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North Korea Calls Latest Missile "Nuclear Capable"; Trump's Diplomatic Challenges; Closing In On ISIS Strongholds; Philippine High Court Backs Martial Law In Mindanao; Qatar Issues Official Response To Blockade; Trump, Putin To Hold Bilateral Meeting In Germany; U.N. Worst Global Humanitarian Crisis Since 1945; Parents Agonizing Fight To Save Dying Son. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired July 5, 2017 - 01:00   ET


[01:00:08] MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles.

Ahead this hour, North Korea says its new missile can reach any location on the planet. The U.S. and South Korea respond with their own show of force.

Also, Donald Trump takes his foreign policy doctrine on the road meeting with foreign leaders, and there's a highly anticipated face to face with Vladimir Putin.

Also, Iraqi and Syrian forces close in on ISIS in Mosul and in Raqqa, the caliphate on its last leg.

Hello, everyone, thanks for your company. I'm Michael Holmes and this is NEWSROOM L.A.

So, the U.S. and South Korea are responding to North Korea's latest missile test with a show of force. They conducted a joint military drill on Wednesday to showcase their ability to strike back at Pyongyang in case of emergency. South Korea says it is intended as a strong warning against North Korean provocation. The North claims it tested a nuclear capable intercontinental ballistic missile early on Tuesday that could possibly hit the U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says it is a new escalation of this threat against the U.S., its allies, and the world.

Let's bring in CNN's Andrew Stevens in Hong Kong, and journalist Kaori Enjoji in Tokyo. Andrew, let's start with you. The very latest on these sorts of drill that was taking place today and reaction in the region.

ANDREW STEVENS, CNN ASIA PACIFIC EDITOR: Now, we're very clear the South Koreans on that drill, Michael. They said it was to show that they could precision target the enemy leadership. A very clear message to Kim Jong-un after launching that ICBM missile. It was a joint exercise between the South Koreans and the Americans throwing those missiles into the Korean territorial waters on the East Coast there. And that time, just a few hours after the Presidents of China and

Russia had met, and sent a message saying that the U.S. and South Korea should stop these joint military drills as a first step in returning to the negotiating table. As part of that deal, North Korea should stop carrying out these tests.

So, the U.S. and South Korea completely ignoring that line coming from China and Russia which gives an idea of just how much daylight there is between these key players in how they approach North Korea.

Another interesting development, Michael, Kim Jong-un was reportedly at the launch site which he described as sending a gift package to the Americans on their Independence Day. This is a quote coming from KCNA which is a North Korean news service and Kim Jong-un also saying that he urged his scientists to keep sending gift packages, big and small, to the Yankees indicating that there are still tests in the pipeline, they're obviously testing missiles but they're also testing their nuclear capability as well. So, Kim Jong-un saying that he will continue the tests despite the fall from the South Koreans, despite these calls to talks from Russia and China.

HOLMES: And Andrew, let's stay with you for a moment. I mean, it was back in January that the U.S. President tweeted that the idea of a missile capable of hitting the U.S. with a nuclear warhead, "Won't happen." It looks like it is happening at least, and close to happening. What are the options there?

STEVENS: Well, at the moment, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, has called for an emergency meeting at the Security Council, the U.N. That will be held later this day on Wednesday, Michael. Rex Tillerson is saying this is a major escalation by North Korea. It's -- and he said it's an escalation not only with the U.S. but against the region, friends and allies in the region, and indeed around the world.

The options though do become limited. They can impose more sanctions; they can put pressure on China to also impose more direct sanctions, things like the supply fuel to North Korea, or perhaps putting more financial restrictions on Chinese banks that deal with North Korea.

China has made it pretty clear in recent passes that it thinks it's doing everything it can and should be doing under the U.N. existing sanctions to actually try to bring North Korea to hill. China's made it clear, as has the U.S. that they have absolutely a total zero tolerance for any nuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, but at this stage, the options are limited. I mean, military planning seems to be highly unlikely. There's suggestions that the U.S. made more military assets to the region. But as far as military moves go, that may be it. So, it is very difficult at this stage.

Most analysts who have been talking about this say really, the most practical and likely step forward is talk. And the question becomes, is Kim Jong-un interested in going to the negotiating table? He is moving forward with the program, he thinks is vital to the survival of his country. [01:05:28] HOLMES: Yes. And show no interest in talks in the past or

to sticking to deals that were agreed to in years gone by. And Kori Enjoji in Tokyo, strong words coming from your neck of the world yesterday from Tokyo. Tell us what the latest reaction there is, what plans are, and what the things Japan has for missiles that might hit their way deliberately or otherwise?

KAORI ENJOJI, TOKYO BUREAU CHIEF, CNBC: Well Michael, this is the fifth time that a missile has landed in the so-called exclusive economic zone, West of the coast of Japan. And I think this means the Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, who is about to depart first to Brussels, and then to Hamburg for the G-20, with a very, very full plate and a difficult agenda ahead of him because all the options, almost all of the options that he has in trying to contain this crisis risks stoking the ire of someone else.

For example, a military option is really not feasible for Japan alone. One, because of the constitution, but two, because of the relationship that would backfire with some countries in Asia, noticeably China. The other option that Japan has is to increase its own defense system to maybe upgrade its arsenal and buy higher, better equipment from the U.S. But I think, that too would raise a lot of eyebrows and -- particularly from China.

So really, the third option which is more of, or try to bring more negotiating to the table, more diplomatic approach, seems to be the most viable option. But I think it's critical and not only discussions that Prime Minister Abe is going to have with the U.S. and South Korea, but also whether or not he could bring Russia and China into the fold to try and take what he called constructive action.

So, I think after all of these missile launches and the frequency in which they have occurred -- have been occurring, grow in frustration and growing anger among the Japanese government, but also, a lot the frustration as to what kind of options are currently available for the government.

HOLMES: You know, I'm interested to where you are. We're talking to Paula Hancocks often after this test and she said that South Koreans kind of get used to it and get on with it. What is the street level nervousness among ordinary Japanese as these missiles really just off the coast?

ENJOJI: I think, in generally, for example here in Tokyo, there is not really a sense of alarm from the average person on the street. However, I should point out, that most schoolchildren, if you're going to a Japanese school over the last couple of weeks, would have received a flyer from the school. They brought home a flyer that said here's what you have to do in case there is a missile attack in Japan from North Korea. And in that paper it will say, try and go into a sturdy building without windows, try and go into a subway if you can.

So, I think the government is, in some ways, trying to raise this level of consciousness that the Japanese have. Because I think it's a very, you know, the man on the street isn't that concerned right now, although I think more and more so, because the frequency has been increasing.

HOLMES: All right. Kaori Enjoji in Tokyo, Andrew Stevens in Hong Kong, thanks so much to both of you. And the threat from North Korea certainly to be one of the top diplomatic challenges for Donald Trump as he meets with world leaders at the G-20 Summit this week in Germany.

That's not the only obstacle facing the U.S. President; CNN's Michelle Kosinski reports.


MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN SENIOR DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Trump will meet Vladimir Putin face to face on Friday while they're in Germany for the G-20 Summit. It could have been a simple meeting, a short chat, but the Russians have been wanting more. And now, Trump agreed it's time.

The last time the U.S. met his way with Putin was two years ago. And the last time Obama spoke to Putin in person was a blunt warning that it better stop meddling in U.S. politics. Trump, has had plenty to say about the Russian President.

DONALD TRUMP, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: If he says great things about me, I'm going to say great things about him. I've already said, he is really very much of a leader.

If Putin likes Donald Trump, I consider that an asset, not a liability.

I hope we have a fantastic relationship.

KOSINSKI (voice-over): But the relationship has been anything but fantastic. Sanctions on Russia have not loosened, nor has its hold on Crimea. Trump bombes the Syrian airfield after President Assad's forces, still supported by Russia, attacked citizens with gas. Now, both Trump and Putin are looking for some common ground, at least, in fighting ISIS.

[01:10:14] REP. LEE ZELDIN (R), NEW YORK: There is a lot to talk about it and Russia is an adversary of the United States. And they should talk about Ukraine, they should talk about Syria. The President should find the opportunity to speak about NATO. He should speak about the activity of Russian meddling in the United States elections, as well as other elections abroad.

KOSINSKI (voice-over): For now though, the White House says there is no specific agenda which worries some, even within Trump's own National Security Team over his potential for distraction. And this case, for extensive preparation; concerns that Putin will steer the sheep that Trump may not even broach the subject of Russia's cyber- attacks on American democracy.

SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, FORMER SENIOR ADVISER TO U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY: The United States needs to arrive in Hamburg and send a clear message that it will not tolerate direct attacks on U.S. soil against the United States. And also send a message that the United States stands with its allies. It's really important for U.S. credibility that President Trump makes all these things clear.

KOSINSKI (voice-over): In the meantime, today, Putin met with Chinese President Xi and talks up the two of them working together on the North Korean threat, going for dialogue and a change in U.S. behavior in the issue. This, as skeptical European allies and others, stunned over some of Trump's statements and moves, including the U.S.'s pullout from the Paris Climate Deal, increasingly speak of America as turning inward, the need for others to take a lead.


KOSINSKI: You can just imagine the kind of attention this meeting is going to get, what photos come out, what was the body language? What does each side then say about how the meeting went and how might those accounts differ? So, many want to see how strong is he in supporting NATO and its allies in talking about the common defense. How much is that going to be a counter to Russian influence? Michelle Kosinski, CNN, Washington.

HOLMES: And President Trump's visit to Warsaw generating concern across Europe in case it is viewed as an endorsement which has been at odds with the European Union. Melissa Bell is in Warsaw. She joins us now live to talk about this. When it comes to what Poland would like to hear from Donald Trump, one takes back to the NATO Summit where he was not, President Trump, was not sort of reinforcing the neutral protection cause of the NATO organization. I mean, what is it that the Polish leadership wants to hear?

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Definitely a reaffirmation of his commitment to that particular clause, that ideal of neutral protection for NATO allies. You can understand why it matters to Poland. You can understand also, Michael, why Donald Trump has chosen to come to Poland rather than head for this second foreign trip to London, Paris, or Berlin before coming to Warsaw.

You can understand why Donald Trump might find some common ground with the leadership here in Poland, having been among skeptics back in May. Also at the G-7, he finds himself amongst friends here but of course, the problem with that or the danger is that he doesn't go far enough in the direction that he has hold here in Poland which to see him go and that is a clear commitment to that clause.

He's going to meet in the second leg of this trip, Vladimir Putin. Vladimir Putin will also be watching very carefully what Donald Trump has to say about NATO and how he clears he is on that reaffirmation of his commitment to that particular clause.

[01:15:09] HOLMES: And also Melissa, you know, when it comes to Vladimir Putin watching on and listening as well, Vladimir Putin interested in neither, but there is a lot of nervous people in that neighborhood, the Baltic States among others who also want to know what Vladimir Putin wants but also what Donald Trump's going to do about Russia. BELL: That's right. So really, his words are going to have to be

very carefully weighed. I mean, the potential to affect either European allies in the shape of France, Germany, Britain, or the host here in Poland are absolutely enormous. He will be meeting, attending tomorrow here in Warsaw, a summit of the Three C's initiative. That is an initiative between the South countries that lie between the Baltic Adriatic and the Black Seas. They're looking for more mutual cooperation.

They're essentially looking, Michael, these countries, to lessen their dependency on Russia for things like natural gas. Now, American natural gas deliveries began here in Poland in June. Donald Trump wants them to increase its part of its strategy to make the United States the next exporter of these products. Poland wants more of that, Michael.

HOLMES: All right. Melissa Bell there in Warsaw following that side of the story for us. Appreciate that, Melissa. And Michael Genovese joins us now. He is a political analyst, also a President of the Global Policy Institute at Loyola Marymount University. And you can't help but think when Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin meet; you'd really want to be a fly on the wall. There's already being suggestions that he won't raise Russian interference in the U.S. election. Would you be shocked if that was not raised?

MICHAEL GENOVESE, GLOBAL POLICY INSTITUTE PRESIDENT, LOYOLA MARYMOUNT UNIVERSITY: In normal times, yes. These are not normal times. Donald Trump is not a normal President. It's not really customary to go from a sit down -- a chat to a sit down with the President, or a Prime Minister, or a leader of another country. This is something you prepare for; you do a lot of work for. And so, a lot's at stake. And President Trump doesn't like to be scripted.

It is shocking to a lot of people because we were attacked by the Russians, they attacked out electoral system, they're still doing it in Europe, and so, to play nice with him is an odd strategy when he's not playing nice to the rest of us.

HOLMES: And before this full meeting was announced, the administration or H.R. McMaster, the National Security Adviser, was saying that there was no agenda. The President would raise what the President wanted to raise amid it would be a conversation. Does that concern you when you're dealing with somebody like Vladimir Putin?

GENOVESE: He is experienced and he's tough. But there's so many hot issues that should be on the front burner. To ignore them, we do it at our own risk. There's so much at stake. There are so many different changes internationally in the way power is played. China's on the rise, the NATO countries are either in this unity or changing, the United States is withdrawing from power. And too much is in stake to just have a casual get to know meeting.

HOLMES: How much does that worry the Europeans? People like Angela Merkel and Mister Macron in France, and others too who are used to American leadership in this Western world? They're saying less of it now and that's a conscious thing by the United States. How much does that worry the Europeans?

GENOVESE: You know, the Europeans love to sit back and criticize us for making mistakes yet they demand, they need, they want us to be there. They want us to be the head of the parade. And leadership involves speaking with a clear voice, with a clear message, trying to mobilize people behind that. And all of a sudden, boom. It's gone.

The United States is not leading the same way it has had since World War II. And so, Europe is fumbling for a response, as well. And you're pointing out both Merkel and Macron as either the inheritors of power, or the ones who are going to be stuck in the situation where the United States falls back and Europe can't enter. That means China and maybe, even to an extent, Russia, move forward.

[01:20:43] HOLMES: That's certainly interesting times. Michael Genovese, thans for being with us. Appreciate your expertise.

GENOVESE: Thank you.

HOLMES: All right, we're here after a quick break here on the program. Fierce fighting in Mosul, Iraqi troops battling for the last few blocks held by ISIS. When liberation could finally come to their city.

Also, still to come on the program, U.S. backed rebels made a major game on the terror group self-proclaim capital. The latest from Raqqa after this.


HOLMES: ISIS is on the run as U.S. backed forces get closer to driving the terror group out of two of its self-declared capitals in Mosul in Northern Iraq. Iraqi troops on the verge of completely ousting ISIS from that city. It is believed they are just a few hundred militants left. After eight months of fierce fighting, Iraqi forces expect to fully declare victory in that city within days.

And in Raqqa in Syria, U.S. backed rebels are celebrating what is being called a milestone against ISIS. The troops breaching a strategic wall surrounding the old city and moving in. CNN's Nick Paton Walsh with the latest.

[01:26:05] NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The breaching of the Rafiqa Wall in the outskirts of Raqqa's old city, it encompasses the old city of Raqqa. And the fact that the coalition say that they were able to push through it and blow some holes to that wall that allow the fighters there, backing Syrian Kurds and Arabs to push past the wall and all the booby traps that ISIS put in place.

They've moved those Syrian Kurdish and Arab fighters backed by the U.S. through the outskirts of Raqqa quite quickly. It hit the old city, I think, faster than some thought they would, and then now, about three kilometers away from the city center. That's where they'll find the densest, most difficult urban fighting with buildings but one key advantage for them over those who had to fight for Mosul, the fight which began eight months ago, they're dealing with an awful lot less civilians in Raqqa than there were in Iraqi city of Mosul.

Fifty-thousand potentially in Raqqa or as many as a 150,000, either way, it's a lot less than the (INAUDBILE), the incredibly lengthy campaign in Mosul to drag on. That's one plus on their side also to the coalition say that their dealing to about 25,000 possibly ISIS fighters inside that city.

They've dug in, they took booby traps in place with their facing substantial fire power and quite a lot in fact with the outside. And now, they're in fact quite substantially in circles as well. This could get bogged down when it reaches the city's sensor and its dense buildings and streets, or it could, as it appears to be the case now, continue to move quickly. And when Raqqa does fall, we will see really the last major population nation center that they control in Syria or Iraq no longer in their hands. And ostensibly, the end of the caliphates as we used to call it.

So, a lot of progress, a lot of variants potentially ahead, less civilians to be used as human shield but still a potential for a lot of civilian life here. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Mosul.

HOLMES: The Philippines embroiled in its own fight against ISIS and its Supreme Court has ruled that the country will maintain Martial Law on the Southern Island of Mindanao. Demonstrators protested their ruling, clashing with police in Manila after the court signed it with President Rodrigo Duterte.

He imposed military rule on the island in May after ISIS militants overtook the city of Marawi. An opposition leader warning the court's decision would lead to abuse of power.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But this decision will mean that it legitimizes Martial Law and the abuses that have been taking place in Mindanao. It will make -- the declaration of Martial Law got much easier, not just for Mindanao but for the entire country. This will embolden the Duterte Administration and the militants within the administration to even extend Martial Law beyond the 60-day requirement set by the Constitution.


HOLMES: More than 400 people are being killed in the fighting, so far. Next up here on NEWSROOM L.A., the U.S. and South Korea responding to North Korea's missile launch with a message of their own. Their reaction, coming up.

Also, Qatar issues an official response to the diplomatic blockade, cutting it off from its neighbors where things could go from there, that's also still to come.


HOLMES: You are watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm Michael Holmes and welcome to you all. Let's update you now on the headlines this hour.

[01:30:02]: North Korea announced as the intercontinental ballistic missile that test fired on Tuesday is "Nuclear capable" and has the range to strike anywhere in the world.

The U.S. and South Korea responding with the military drills you see there on your screen showcasing they say their ability to strike back at Pyongyang.

U.S. President Trump hours away from leaving Washington on his second foreign trip which includes the G20 summit, he'll have an official bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the summit sideline. Administration official say Mr. Trump will focus on Syria and Ukraine in that meeting.

Thousands have protested the upcoming summit in Hamburg in Germany, security forces expecting days of demonstrations in the lead up to the meetings. Tuesday protest turning violent as crowds clashed with riot police.

The U.S. and South Korea are responding to North Korea's latest missile launch with a show of force of their own. On Tuesday holding a joint military exercise, you can see it there firing missiles into the territorial waters of South Korea's east coast.

Meanwhile North Korea claims to have developed a nuclear capable intercontinental ballistic missile after Tuesday's launch. Here's Paula Hancocks.


PAULA HANCOCKS INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Celebrated as an historic event in North Korea raising alarm bells among it's neighbors and foes. Pyongyang said this was a successful ICBM, an intercontinental ballistic missile.

An exciting news anchor spoke of the shining success on special broadcast on North Korean television. A clearly delighted Kim Jong-un surveyed the scene, a test launched that North Korean leader had promised since the start of this year but concerns in the South, a national security council meeting and a warning from President Moon Jae-in calling on the North not to cross the bridge of no return and warning of a red line without specifying what that red line was.

China called for restraint for all side urging North Korea to refrain from violating U.N. security counsel resolutions.

JASPER KIM, EWHA WOMANS UNIVERSITY: Well, as always with North Korea's strategic timing. I mean here you get a missile test and you get a wide audience focused on, supposed to be on the G20 summit about trade and cooperation. Now all these party leaders are from around the world are going to be talking about North Korea, North Korea, North Korea.

HANCOCKS (voice over): An official assessment of this launched are worrying for the U.S. DAVID WRIGHT, GLOBAL SECURITY PROGRAM UNION OF CONCERN SCIENTISTS: According to my calculations, they can reach all Alaska but they cannot reach the lower 48 States or the large Hawaiian islands, but have the ability to reach Alaska.

HANCOCKS (voice over): A July 4th celebration for North Korea that the United States does not want.

Paula Hancocks, CNN, Seoul.


HOMES: Let's bring in Ivan Watson from Moscow. Ivan, North Korea on everyone's agenda today. What do we know about the conversation between Vladimir Putin and China Xi Jinping?

IVAN WATSON, CNN'S SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, they sat down, they happened to be meeting in Moscow when the launch took place. And their foreign ministers put out a joint statement Michael where they basically called for trying to deescalate the tensions on the Korean peninsula.

And both through their support but behind a Chinese proposal that's been around for sometime suggesting that North Korea freeze its nuclear weapons development program and missile program with an offer from the U.S. At the same time to suspend its joint military exercises with South Korea.

That's been proposed in the past, Washington has not been terribly open to it, but both Russia and China saying here's a step by step double freeze as they described it, proposal to try to resolve the tensions there. And the Chinese President Xi Jinping went on to talk further about just tension around the world. Take a listen.


XI JINPING, CHINESE PREISDENT (through translator): President Putin and I but agreed that right now the world is not in harmony. There are constantly regional conflicts and wars. The hot issues of the Korean peninsula and Syria are still complicated and hard to solve.


WATSON: There we got to be clear here. Both Russia and China they view North Korea's nuclear weapons program as bad. They but have signed on to multiple United Nations Security Council Resolutions calling for denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and expressed concern about what North Korea did, but they also took time to put in some jabs against the U.S., arguing basically that the U.S. is escalating tensions with the deployment of THAAD anti-missile system in South Korea also saying they a pose the deployment of troops in general in South Korea

.That of course has been in place since the Korean War some 70 years ago. It's not likely to make much progress with Washington that kind of objection. Michael. [01:35:06] HOLMES: Yes, Ivan, just speaking of Washington, we now know that the Russians are wanting a more formal meeting with Donald Trump at the G20, more than a corridor or conversation and a hand shake. We've talked about how important this meeting would be for President Trump and whether he would raise Russia meddling in the election. But how important is the meeting for Mr. Putin?

WATSON: Well, it would be a big step forward for both leaders, for both governments actually. Because you haven't had a U.S. and a Russian president meeting in a bilateral meeting since September of 2015 that was between then President Obama and Vladimir Putin. The relations have deteriorated between the two countries since then.

So this would be a step in some respects forward for Putin to kind of end the isolation he has faced with the west since the 2014 annexation of Crimea. Top Kremlin aides have said listen, U.S.-Russian relations are at zero right now. And you can't just have phone calls which they had a few of them since Trump's inauguration.

They need a face-to-face meeting and there are a host of areas where they could talk to try to deescalate tensions between Moscow and Washington. You've got U.S. and Russian troops on the ground battling in Russia not far from each other. Russia objecting to the recent U.S. shoot down of a Syrian war plane, a whole host of areas.

And just a few weeks ago that the U.S. imposed fresh sanctions on dozens of Russian entities over Russia's involvement in Ukraine. Russia objected to that and canceled the meeting between a U.S. and Russian diplomat and Russia wants the return of two diplomatic compounds seized by the outgoing Obama administration over the allegations of meddling in the U.S. election.

A whole host of areas where these two leaders could potentially talk. But again, Trump faces a whole list of -- he is walking into a potential political mine field back in the U.S. with record high disapproval ratings and a number of investigations about his campaign's alleged ties to Russia.

Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin is coming in with a decade plus of experience as a head of state. This would be the fourth U.S. president that he would be meeting with. He would be coming from a position of relative power and experience and domestic consolidation at home here in Russia. He's not facing the kind of opposition that President Trump is facing back home in the U.S. going into the meeting. Michael.

HOLMES: Yes and whether that Russia meddling in the election even comes up is being discussed as a yes, no, maybe. We'll see. Ivan thanks so much. Ivan Watson there in Moscow.

Well, Xi Jinpin who was in Moscow as Ivan reported is now in Berlin. The German Chancellor Angela Merkel is going to meet with the Chinese President ahead of the G20 summit in Hamburg scheduled to sign treaties and open the new panda garden at the Berlin zoo.Later in the day Mr. Merkel will greet the South Korean President Moon Jae-in with military honors. Saudi State media said the Arab coalition which is imposing a diplomatic blockade around Qatar has received Doha's official response to its list of demands. Several Arab nations accused Qatar of funding terrorist groups acclaimed that U.S. President Donald Trump was quick to echo. Since then Europe has taken an active role in damage control.

Germany's foreign minsiter visited both Abu Dhabi and Doha on Tuesday in pursuit of a resolution. Jomana Karadsheh with the latest.

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Speaking at a joint press conference with his German counter part here in Doha, the Qatari Foreign Minister would not disclose the details of the letter that he had delivered on Monday to the emir of Kuwait the mediator in this crisis.

Now we know that letter is Qatar's official response to that list of 13 demands by the Saudi-led alliance. The foreign minister saying that letter right now is with Kuwait and it is up to them if they make it public. He also went on to reiterate Qatar's position calling this list of demand unrealistic.

Take a listen to the exchange I had with the foreign minister earlier.


KARADSHEH: You said that the list of demands is unrealistic. You've also said that you won't accept any country basically dictating what your foreign policy should be. But, is there anything on that list that you are willing to compromise on?

SHEIKH MOHAMMED BIN ABDULRAHMAN AL THANI, QATARI FOREIGN MINISTER: They said Qatar adopted very constructively attitudes since the beginning of this crisis. We're trying to act mature and responsible manner rather than doing any irresponsibility acts as the act of aggression which launch aggression (ph) against my country.

[01:40:05] And this has been always Qatar's position. We looked at this list and we introduce whatever items in a way within how it can fall within the context of the international law and the context of respecting the country's sovereignty and interference in our country's affairs which none of any independent state can accept such a thing.


KARADSHEH: He went on to repeat Qatar's position that they are open for dialogue saying that the only way to resolve a crisis like this is through negotiations and dialogue. When asked about what he expected to come out of that meeting on Wednesday, the foreign ministers of the Saudi-led alliance that scheduled to take place in Cairo.

He said he did not know saying this whole situation has been unpredictable but also saying that Qatar so far has done its part and now the ball is in the court of the Saudi-led log.

Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, Doha. HOLMES: Well, if there was ever a crisis that hasn't been getting the attention it warrants, this is it. A looming human catastrophe all but missing for the headlines. More than 20 million people across four countries need food desperately.

The United National say famine in Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen is rapidly getting worse due to drought and regional conflict. The condition so horrific the U.N. warns it could be the greatest humanitarian crisis since the international body was founded in 1945.

We have to warn you, some of the images you're about to see are disturbing. CNN's Farrah Ferenzo (ph) takes a closer look into this potential mass starvation.


FARRAH FERENZO (PH), CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): As animal carcasses lie scattered in the dust, it's a race against time to save human lives. Food parcels fall from the sky over South Sudan, a desperate lifeline for those going hungry. The world's newest country is one of four nations along with Nigeria, Somalia, and Yemen facing critical food shortages.

Little harvest (ph) caused by droughts don't help but armed conflict is mostly to blame. All four of these countries are in prolonged wars. South Sudan recently had famine declaration downgraded by the U.N. while the crisis is far from over.

The country still faces the emergency levels of hunger. In Somalia, a mother watching over her emaciated daughter. She is one of 275,000 children UNICEF say will suffer from severe malnutrition as drought and nearly three decades of internal conflict. Most recently the governments war on Al-Shabab militants persist.

32-year-old Nima and her children are amongst those desperate in this places from that event.

NIMA ADEN MOHAMED, DISPLACED MOTHER OF SEVEN (through translator): I came with 250 goats all of them are dead except for two. I have seven children who I'm struggling to feed and I'm forced to give them this black tea without milk as all the animals I used to milk are dead.

FERENZO (PH) (voice over): In Nigeria's northeast, an ongoing war between the government and the terror Boko Haram have devastated from supply and access to humanitarian aid, forcing many to flee just to find food and safety.

BUKAR ABDULKADIR, DISPLACED NIGERIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): I spent three years in Cameroon from 2014 to 2017 then we decided to come with all my family. What we want from the government is to help us. We don't have wood to cook, we don't have anything in our hands, even soap to wash.

FERENZO (PH): Beyond the horn of Africa and across the Red Sea, images from inside Yemen show just how desperate food shortages are there, as Saudi-led coalition bombards military rebels in the country. Nearly half a million children in Yemen are suffering for severe Malnutrition.

As the country battles cholera epidemic with over 200,000 people infected according to the U.N. The food crisis affecting these four countries and how to get the funding to provide relief is at the top of the agenda for humanitarian organizations.

JAMES ELDER, UNICEF: The money is there. We know that. We know there is money available. If the money doesn't come, then we hit a crisis point of mass death. We know it's much more expensive than to reach that famine. That F word stands for failure.

FERENZO (PH): And with no clear sign of relief anytime soon is a failure to provide for the millions who today go bed hungry.

Farrah Ferenzo (ph), CNN, Nairobi.


HOLMES: Desperate situation. Coming up on the program, the Pope weighing in on the fate of a terminally ill baby in London. What the Vatican is offering the child's parents.

[1:45:00] That's next.


HOLMES: Welcome back. The heartbreaking story of terminally old british baby has drawn worldwide attention and sympathy including from the Vatican. The Pope's pediatric hospital in Rome says, it is willing to take in Charlie Gard so his parents can then decide his fate.

A court ruled the London hospital in charge of the 10-month-old's care can turn off his life support. That is expected to happen on Friday. Diana Magnay with more.


DIANA MAGNAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is a very painful story of a little brain damaged boy with an incredibly rare genetic disorder. Just a handful of cases in the world, two parents desperate to try anything that might conceive or be improve his condition and doctors who feel that any therapy would be futile.

In the U.K. when you have a situation where doctors and parents disagree in a child care, it goes to the courts. Charlie's parents wanted to take him in the U.S. treatment called nucleoside bypass therapy. The court on the advice of his medical staff and a host of other experts concluded that it would not be in Charlie's best interest to be tested on that might benefit medical science, but it wouldn't benefit Charlie.

And therefore that it would be in his best interests given his limited quality of life for treatment to be withdrawn. Donald Trump has offered to help. The Vatican own hospital has offered to take him in, but the decision of Britain Supreme Court is final. The life support machine was meant to be turn off from Friday. But what is likely happening is that the hospital is trying to develop an end of life plan that the parents can bear that doesn't give the child any additional distress, but makes his final few hours as comfortable as possible.

The parent said last week, their last wish was for him to die at home and they said that the hospital had refused. Well, that may be because they consider Charlie too fragile to move and they can care for him best at this stage in the hospital.

Diana Magnay, CNN, London.


HOLMES: Well, the president of the Vatican hospital says she been in contact with Charlie Gard's mother and they're working to get her son into treatment, but the London hospital is refusing to transfer the baby for what it says a legal reasons.

Hong Kong is home to a dynamic art scene with a growing appreciation of creativity. Architect and artist William Lim shows CNN a new art hub called H Queen's and we get a glimpse in his renowned private collection of Hong Kong art.


WILLIAM LIM, CL3 ARCHITECTS FOUNDER AND MANAGING DIRECTOR: Hong Kong is a very eclectic place. I mean, in a way it is a very contemporary city. But it also has very old sections and it's a city of big contrasts.

[01:50:06] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice over): William Lim is an artist, art collector and architect. His latest project a building called H Queen's combined those passions. In the final stages of construction it's

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (on camera): Hi there, William.

LIM: Hello, hi.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (on camera): Really excited to learn more about H Queen, the new arts hub in the heart of Hong Kong central district. How did you when you were designing this, keep it from becoming just another office building?

LIM: As we studied the kind of neighborhood and all that, there are a lot of buildings like that already. And I realized there are a lot of galleries moving to Hong Kong and looking for space. And so I proposed to the owner why don't we do a specific building for art galleries.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And can you describe some examples of the internal functions or just the quality of the building that make it unique? LIM: I think one of the biggest challenges for Hong Kong in the dense urban environment is how do you move artwork up into the buildings? We deviced a very unique solution where we actually have a crane mounted on the top of the building. It is permanently there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice over): A quick look around Lim office leaves no doubt that he enjoys being surrounded by art. He started seriously collecting local artists over the last decade.

LIM: So this is one of my earlier purchases. It's the Hong Kong antique Wilson share (ph). I find it at the time quite fascinating in terms of that combination of east and west.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice over): Lim says international interest in Hong Kong art has grown exponentially since the arrival of Art Basel five years ago and feels that local reception has also grown more positive.

LIM: It never used to be like that. In a very practical place like Hong Kong, art was viewed as something you'd absolutely don't need. And I think it's becoming more and more so that people feel that it's OK to be artistic, it's OK to be, you know, a filmmaker or an artist. Or, you know, it is still a very respectful profession.

So, I think in a very short time, the attitude about art has changed here. And I hope it will continue to progress.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice over): The city continues to develop a stronger spirit of creativity, adding a splash of color to the concrete jungle.


HOLMES: And up next on NEWSROOM L.A., firefighters go on a chicken round up at the edge of a busy highway. Thousands of loose birds make a run for it. We'll be right back.


HOLMES: Welcome back. Extreme rainfall soaking parts of Bangladesh this week while a tropical storm eyes the Caribbean. Our meteorologist Pedram Javaheri joins us with more. Good to see you, Pedram.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, likewise, Michael. You know, the places across Bangladesh, that's an area we talk about two or three weeks ago. You might recall we had some 150 fatalities associated with a landslide and you look at fresh video coming out this region once again.

The monsoonal rains in full effect across this region and in fact the perspective as far as how much rain has come down a quarter to a meter to a half meter of rainfall in just a couple of days worth of time.

[01:55:04] Cherrapunji, India, one of the communities that has been hammered in recent day of this rainfall holds not one, but two world records.

One for the most rainfall in a given year, over 26,000 millimeters or about 1,000 inches in one year and another record for the most rainfall in one month. You know that one being over 9,300 millimeters and 3.40 (ph) inches in just one month.

So again, it puts it into perspective of this region well-known for the soggy here map and of course you have the Bengal, the moister comes right at across the plains ad he force that air to rise into Khasi Hills and the Himalayan Mountains across this region. It just squeezes all the moisture out of the clouds there.

And in fact a very good way to look at it is the perspective right here because you can clearly see the flood plains right here outside of the areas stay around Southern Bangladesh. But as he working towards that Cherrapunji itself you get into hills.

Just keep in mind and imagine taking a wet sponge and pushing it against the wall and watching all that water drain out of it on the wall. Precisely what happening with these clouds are this running right into the mountains there and squeezing out all the moisture across this region.

So that is the concern around this area over the next 24 to 48 hours with additional rainfall across some of these regions. And we're talking several hundred more millimeters potentially going into the upcoming weekend.

Another area you're watching carefully across the Atlantic Ocean an 80 percent chance that Tropical Storm Don forms sometime in the next couple of days. And model indications right now take the storm system just about every single model. Takes it right toward the Leeward Island.

And then we're seeing a little bit of a shift here could potentially threaten parts of Bermuda as we go into the latter portion of this week. And then a trio of tropical disturbance is here from a 20 percent to an 80 percent chance of forming across the Eastern Pacific.

So, yes, Michael it is beginning to warm up there in the tropics and it is the time of year you expect to see things like this happen as well.

HOLMES: I guess you do. Pedram, good to see you mate. Thanks so much.


HOLMES: All right. Well, it wasn't foul weather get it. That snarled traffic on a stretch of highway in Western Austria on Tuesday. Drivers found themselves stuck for five hours because of fowl as in chickens. Thousands of them.

The birds had spilled under a busy section of the main highway when the truck carrying them crashed. About 100 firefighters removed debris and wrangled the surviving chickens. Some of the bird tried to make a run for it. Official suspect the truck driver dozed off at the wheel. That's not what these guys though they were going to end up doing when they joined the fire department.

You are watching CNN NEWSROOM. Live from Los Angeles. We are not chicken. I'm Michael Holmes. We're back with more news, right after this.