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Violent Clashes and Deaths as Venezuela Votes; Putin Retaliates to Looming U.S. Sanctions; Preparations Against North Korea; New Challenge for the General as Chief of Staff; Australian Authorities Foiled Alleged Airplane Terror Plot; US. Deporting Guatemalan Father with No Criminal Record; Police in El Salvador Battling MS-13 Gang Violence; Honolulu Bans Texting, Looking at Phones in Crosswalks; Top 5 Movies at this Weekend's U.S. Box Office. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired July 31, 2017 - 02:00   ET




GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): In the face of more violence on the streets, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro claims victory in the controversial vote to elect a constituent assembly.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Russia retaliates for new U.S. sanctions by forcing the U.S. to cut its diplomatic mission staff by hundreds of people.

HOWELL (voice-over): And in just a few hours time, Donald Trump's new chief of staff will assume post. We will take a look at what could be the general's toughest challenge yet.

ALLEN (voice-over): More tough that being a general of the United States Marine Corps.



ALLEN (voice-over): Hello, everybody, welcome to viewers around the world. We are live in Atlanta. I am Natalie Allen.

HOWELL (voice-over): And I'm George Howell. CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.


HOWELL: Around the world good day to you.

We begin with the vote in Venezuela. As expected, the president of that nation, Nicolas Maduro, is claiming victory that could give him sweeping new powers. The government says that turnout was high with this vote. The opposition though is contesting that. They say the vote was rigged.

Supporters of President Nicolas Maduro are expected to control a new constituent assembly effectively that could rewrite the constitution.


NICOLAS MADURO, PRESIDENT OF VENEZUELA (through translator): We have a constituent assembly. I said come hell or high water. And hell and high water came. And the constituent assembly arrived from the hand of the people, from its conscience.


ALLEN: There were violent protests across the country during the vote. At least 10 people died in clashes Sunday, including two teenagers. The opposition says the new assembly could weaken the country's democracy even more and could as easily turn President Maduro into a dictator.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We do not recognize this fraudulent process. For us, it is no. It does not exist. And we are going to continue fighting until the government reestablishes constitutional order and democracy for Venezuelans to be able to exercise our right. Let us be clear to the government.


HOWELL: So the Venezuelan opposition also boycotted the vote and is calling for massive protests on Monday. At least 125 people have died in four months of clashes there.

ALLEN: Even though there has been a ban on demonstrations and people feel the need to take to the streets, they're so angry. CNN's Leyla Santiago reports for us from Caracas. We want to warn you, though, you may find some of the following video disturbing.


LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: After months of demonstrations and strikes in Venezuela, yet another day of violence as a blast rocks a motorcycle convoy of police officers. One officer set ablaze by the explosion, police officers scrambling to his aide and to put out the fire.

Who's responsible?

Remains to unknown, but it's an example of the last few months in Venezuela. The opposition has not been able to stop an election that could give President Maduro more power. This is the day government protesters hope would never come. They're not backing down.

This is the obstacle that the opposition has set for the National Guard should they come this way: old washing machine, rocks and signs. And even if you look closely on the ground, they have what we call "Miguelito" -- these were created to pierce through the tire of any motor cycle that comes this way. The opposition is hoping it'll help them fight against Venezuela's National Guard. The government deployed hundreds of thousands of troops Sunday after banning protests resulting in deadly violence.

"This shouldn't be about tear gas," he says.

The government should be figuring out a solution to the food shortage. Meanwhile, at the polls, voters, any government supporters waited in line to elect Maduro's new assembly.

This voter said, "A vote is the only way out of Venezuela's crisis; the only way to find peace on the streets of Venezuela."

Where unrest continues, frustration is growing and the prospect for peace lies in uncertainty -- Leyla Santiago, CNN, Caracas.


ALLEN: The Russian government has given the U.S. until September 1 to flash its diplomatic staff by more than half.

HOWELL: The United States State Department said on Sunday the order was, quote, "regrettable and uncalled for." Our Matthew Chance explains why the Kremlin took action this time.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, in dramatic response to the passing of a new sanctions bill in the U.S. Congress, President Putin of Russia has confirmed that the U.S. diplomatic mission in this country must cut its staff by 755 people, more than half of its personnel.

Speaking on state television, the Russian leader indicated --


CHANCE: -- frustration with the state of U.S.-Russian relations, saying that his country had waited a long time for things to change for the better. But he said he had now judged that the situation would not improve soon. Take a listen to what he said.


VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): We waited a long time for things to perhaps change for the better. We had such hope that the situation would change. But judging by the situation, that will not be soon.


CHANCE: Russian say their measures, which include the confiscation by Russia of two U.S. diplomatic properties in the country are long overdue response to the expulsion in December last year by then President Obama of 35 Russian diplomats amid allegations denied by Moscow of Russian meddling in the U.S. election. But it is clearly also a sign of Kremlin frustration and disappointment in the Trump administration and its failure to improve U.S.' strained relationship with Russia -- Matthew Chance, CNN, Moscow.


HOWELL: Matthew, thanks for reporting.

Now to the topic of North Korea. Both Japan and the United States want further action against North Korea. This after its latest missile tests. The White House says that Japan's Prime Minister Shinto Abe and President Trump agreed that North Korea poses a, quote, "grave and growing direct threat."

They're calling for more economic and diplomatic pressure.

ALLEN: U.S. Vice President Mike Pence also addressed the North Korea situation on Sunday.


MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The continued provocations by the rogue regime in North Korea are unacceptable and the United States of America is going to continue to marshal the support of nations across the region and across the world to further isolate North Korea economically and diplomatically.

But the era of strategic patience is over.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is China not doing enough?

PENCE: We believe China should do more.


ALLEN: The U.S. is trying to stay ahead of North Korea's threats. It tested the THAAD missile defense system on Sunday, intercepting a missile over the Pacific. THAAD isn't capable of intercepting ICBMs, like the one fired by North Korea, but a U.S. official said it's part of an effort to stay ahead of the evolving threat.

For more on that threat, our Will Ripley joins us from Beijing.

Hello to you, Will. THAAD certainly could provide more security for people in South Korea. Usually they're somewhat nonchalant about the threat from North Korea. But that could be changing with every missile launch.

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, Natalie, in South Korea, they -- and North Korea as well -- they have been living for decades under the possibility of an imminent conflict and there have been moments throughout the history of the peninsula where tensions really ratcheted up to the point, where it has come very close, dangerously close, to war. What is different now is the North Korean arsenal, this kind of weapon, this ICBM that could potentially strike much of the mainland U.S. as far in as Chicago and possibly the entire mainland, New York and D.C. by early next year, North Korea's never had a weapon like this before.

And it is true that the THAAD missile defense system, which South Korea has now requested to speed up the installation and bringing in more components of it, it could protect South Korea from shorter-range missiles coming in.

But the THAAD is not going to protect Seoul from all of the conventional artillery that is lined up along the DMZ, that is pointed directly at this highly populated area and could kill many people.

And the defense systems that are in place to intercept ICBMs, like the kind North Korea tested on the 28th of July, just a couple of days ago, it is very spotty. The track record of being able to intercept ballistic missiles. The United States has had some successful tests but they have also had a lot of failures.

And so it is kind like describing trying to take it one bullet to shoot another bullet out of the sky. This is why this is so concerning. And when you listen to the U.S. Vice President Mike Pence talking about the fact that North Korea has to denuclearize and they have to abandon their missile programs and abandon their nuclear program, I can tell you from discussions just within the last month with officials in Pyongyang, from the North Korean perspective, that is not going to happen.

And China certainly is not insisting that North Korea abandon its programs, especially given the fact that they think the United States is provoking a lot of this militarization by North Korea, by things like the bomber flyover the Korean Peninsula or U.S. bombers flew alongside South Korean and Japanese fighters.

And then you had that live fire exercise over the weekend with the U.S. and South Korean militaries shooting their own missiles out into the sea. Here in Beijing, they do not take responsibility for the fact that their trade with North Korea is helping keep that economy going.

They think the United States needs to stop its military exercises and, in exchange, perhaps North Korea freeze its own testing, but neither side at this point -- they are so far away from being willing to do that. It is hard to see a way out here as --


RIPLEY: -- tensions continue to escalate.

ALLEN: Well, if anything, China and the U.S. could certainly sit down and talk more about it, but as you say, yes, Vice President Pence saying there, provocations are unacceptable, but you've heard it from North Korea that they are going to continue.

Will Ripley, we thank you.

HOWELL: In Washington a new chief of staff begins work at the White House this week. He's this man, the retired Marine Corps General John Kelly. He will try to lead a very bitterly divided White House team.

Political observers say that Kelly's ability to control the chaotic infighting there will depend upon how much authority he is given. But the chain of command remains unclear.

ALLEN: Kelly takes over for Reince Priebus. Priebus resigned last week one day after the new communications director, Anthony Scaramucci, went on a profanity-filled tirade and accused Priebus of leaking.

With Priebus force out, the focus is now intensifying on the attorney general's future. Remember him?

HOWELL: That's right. Jeff Sessions, despite President Trump's Twitter attacks, the attorney general says that he is staying on the job but now there is also talk of another possible position for Sessions in the administration. A lot of questions there. Boris Sanchez has this report for us.


BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You have a question for the White House this week, is who is next?

What other potential changes lie ahead?

As you might imagine, all eyes are on embattled Attorney General Jeff Sessions or "beleaguered," as the president described him on Twitter this past week. The president has gone out of his way to say that he is disappointed in Jeff Sessions for his recusal from the Russia investigation.

And now there is this report out there that is igniting speculation as to whether or not Jeff Sessions will replace Secretary General John Kelly at the Department of Homeland Security as Kelly moves into his new post as chief of staff of the White House.

CNN has not been able to confirm the details of that reporting. It is a political report, in which they cite sources close to DHS, speculating and throwing Jeff Sessions' name in there as a potential new secretary for that department.

We have no indication that the president is considering this move or even whether or not Jeff Sessions would accept that position. But because this White House has made some unprecedented moves before, lawmakers are at least entertaining this as a serious possibility.

Lindsey Graham on Saturday via Twitter called this "a bad idea." Senator Susan Collins of Maine said that she would be opposed to such a move on one of the Sunday morning talk shows.

If it were made because Jeff Sessions recused himself from that investigation, but as we heard from Kellyanne Conway on Sunday, the main point of friction between the president and his attorney general is that recusal. Listen to what Kellyanne said.


KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP COUNSELOR: The personnel question that only the president can answer. I will tell you that the president has expressed frustration about the recusal.

So much has flowed from that recusal and so much of President Trump's agenda flows from the Department of Justice. Many of the primary issues in the program he won successfully on go through it the Department of Justice. And look what's happened with this ridiculous Russian collusion delusion.


SANCHEZ: Now though this is just a wild theory, it is a possibility of because, legally, Jeff Sessions has already been confirmed by the Senate. The president could conceivably move him to be the new head of the Department of Homeland Security for up to 210 days as the president then goes out and looks for a new person to nominate as attorney general.

The sticking point here, of course, is that that nominee would face some serious scrutiny in the confirmation process from some of Jeff Sessions' former colleagues, who, as you have seen, support him strongly -- Boris Sanchez, CNN, Washington.


HOWELL: Boris Sanchez, thanks for the reporting.

Now let's get some analysis right now with Scott Lucas. Scott is a professor of international politics at the University of Birmingham, live from Birmingham, England, this hour.

It's good to have you with us, Scott. Let's start with the president's new chief of staff, General John Kelly, so his role will be to rein in who has access to the President of the United States.

What impact, Scott, could this have over what we have seen over the past the six-plus months from the White House?

SCOTT LUCAS, UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM: Well, what they're hoping is that John Kelly can come in and monitor the White House playground. The challenge is is that the biggest kid in the playground, the president, his gang, may not play nice.

You have the question as to whether Trump and his allies are simply going to try to use Kelly to carry out, for example, battles with inside the executive, as happened with Jeff Sessions, as happened with Reince Priebus or whether Kelly might ally with others. Let's say his former military colleagues, Jim Mattis, at the Pentagon; H.R McMaster at the National Security Council, to try to rein in the president --


LUCAS: -- not only on matters of foreign policy, but on matters of simply being able to govern. And it's really a wait and see. You know, no one knows what Kelly is going to do in this post, which is very different from being a four-star general or even being at Homeland Security. You not only have to deal with the president; you've got to do with Congress. You've got to deal with other agencies. You've got do a lot of juggling and a lot of political maneuvering.

HOWELL: There is a an effort at this point, when you hear Kellyanne Conway recently describing the collusion illusion, an effort to sweep this entire issue under the rug. Keeping in mind, though, Scott, there are several investigations underway, investigations that still continue and also looking back to the meeting that took place at Trump Tower, the questions about a Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with a Russian attorney, what that means and how that will play out in these investigations.

But the question here is, is there still a there there in your mind, from what you see?

These investigations that continue.

LUCAS: Of course, there is a there there because Kellyanne Conway gave the game away. And that is that the president and his allies want to break the investigations. They want to break the congressional hearings and they especially want to break the investigation's special counsel, Robert Mueller. And that is why we're hearing them float this idea, that Jeff Sessions, who is to blame because he would not stand and restrict the FBI and restrict (INAUDIBLE), even though there was no possibility of anything other than recusal.

They're going to move Sessions in and bring in a new attorney general that will bring the hammer down and possibly even pave the way for the firing of Mueller. That's what Conway is pointing to. That is what president's been pointing to in his tweets.

Of course, if he does that, if he does try to simply push the investigations aside and get rid of Mueller, then all political hell breaks loose.

HOWELL: He has described his attorney general as "beleaguered." There is concern as you point out that the president might try to reassign Jeff Sessions, you know, the question is what would be the plus/minus if he were to reassign him.

But what would be the negative if he were to do so as well?

LUCAS: We saw this in the 1970s when Richard Nixon was besieged by the Watergate scandal. He tried to break the investigation by firing a special prosecutor, Archibald Cox, in what became known as the Halloween massacre. It failed. The attorney general was also dismissed at that point. Other officials resigned and Nixon couldn't hold out. Congress hit back and eight months later, he was gone. Now whether it will play out in exactly the same way, I don't know but it will reinforce the suspicions that Trump is just simply trying to run away from the hearing of the evidence.

And just to recap that evidence, we're talking about sustained meetings between Trump officials, including Trump's son, Trump's son- in-law, Trump's campaign manager with Russian officials.

We're talking about investigation of evidence of Russian financial support to the Trump campaign, to see whether that is valid and we're talking about investigation claims that there were Russian financial links with individual members of the Trump campaign.

None of this is proven yet, but it is all there to be investigated and I don't think you can simply try to shut the door on it, despite Trump's frustration on Twitter.

HOWELL: The investigation certainly continues. Scott Lucas, live for us in Birmingham, England, thank you so much for the insight today, Scott.

LUCAS: Thank you.

ALLEN: Travelers can expect to see longer lines, more security at the airport after an alleged terror plot is foiled. Ahead here, we'll let you know about the latest in the investigation, who was behind it.







ALLEN: Four men are in police custody after Australian authorities foiled an alleged airplane terror plot in Sydney. Police say they rounded up the suspects in the city's suburbs over the weekend.

HOWELL: The prime minister of the nation, Malcolm Turnbull, says that extra security measures are now in place at Sydney airport. He called the alleged terror plot an elaborate conspiracy that involved bringing down an airplane. But authorities aren't sharing more information at this point.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The plot that we are investigating we believe was an attempt to put a device onto an aircraft. But beyond that, the speculation is just that; it's speculation. Until we finish our investigation, until we know which of our many working theories we have and until we can put that information before the courts, it's not helpful to keep speculating.

ALLEN: What has reaction been around Australia, especially there in Sydney?

CNN's Sherisse Pham joins us from Surrey Hills. That's a suburb of Sydney. I believe it's one of the suburbs where one of the suspects was arrested and I would imagine this scare has Australians thinking again unfortunately about the threat of terrorism.

SHERISSE PHAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Natalie, the mood here is tense. We are standing outside one of the houses that was raided over the weekend and, as you said, where one of the men was also arrested.

Now we also went through other suburbs where raids were carried out and one of the neighbors there said this is terrifying. In all the years that he has lived in the neighborhood, he has never seen anything like it.

And so people are on edge. The investigation is ongoing. As you said, four men have been arrested. They have not been charged yet under counterterrorism laws here in Australia. They can be held for up to a week before charges are brought against them.

Now we were also at the airport earlier this morning because this is a plot that involved bringing down a passenger jet here in Australia and killing innocent civilians. So of course security has been beefed up at the airport. We talked to a few people there.

Here is what they told us. Have a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm feeling reasonably confident. You know, I mean, it seems that the authorities have done a very, very good job in this situation. It is quite alarming and is concerning and it is something we're going to have to live with. It is very troubling.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not at all because it says we like it because it is safe for everybody. So, I mean --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- they should do this and I think this is the best way to protect everybody.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm confident that, whatever they were looking for, whatever they found, was all that we need to worry about.


PHAM: Now they said that they have -- they are confident that whatever they were looking for, they've found. And that was a really interesting statement from that passenger there, because they did find something in those raids over the weekend. They found a suspicious device.

Officials aren't going into detail into exactly what was found and how far along it was. But Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull talked to Australian media earlier this morning and he said that the plot was, quote, "advanced."

So this was a sophisticated plot. And for the first time, really, we're hearing officials using the words and the phrase "elaborate conspiracy." And that's a real wakeup call for Australians here.

But now, Natalie, the real question that's remaining is does this plot have links to (INAUDIBLE) terrorists and we'll know more in the days ahead -- Natalie.

ALLEN: Yes and isn't it -- do I have it right, that police were tipped off about this and that's how they knew this might be going down?

PHAM: Yes. So we talked to a police official yesterday and he said this happened very, very quickly. What we know is that the time leading up to the raid, that was quite short.

Prime Minister Turnbull was asked about this, was this a tipoff from an overseas national intelligence security agency?

He declined to comment on that. But he did say Australia, we work very closely with our allies and with other organizations and that collaboration he said is, quote, "seamless."

So that is what we know so far -- Natalie.

ALLEN: Well, yes, that is a good thing as well. We thank you, Sherisse Pham. Sure you'll be be hearing more in the next few days for us. Thank you, Sharisse.

HOWELL: Around the world this hour, you're watching CNN NEWSROOM. Still ahead, a man with no criminal record, a wife and two kids is now being told that he's no longer welcome in the United States. Why he is being deported back to Guatemala. Stay with us.


[02:30:21] ALLEN: Welcome back. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Natalie Allen.

HOWELL: And I'm George Howell, with the headlines we're following for you this hour.


HOWELL: As expected, the Venezuelan government is claiming victory in a vote that could undermine the country's democracy even more. Supporters of President Nicolas Maduro are expected to control a new assembly that could rewrite the constitution. At least 10 people were killed Sunday in clashes that took place during the vote.

CNN's Paula Newton was on the front line of the opposition protests.


PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is voting day in Caracas for the opposition and the resistance. They spent much of the day in the streets, taking on the National Guard and the police, the military, saying this vote is rigged and will lead to any remnants of democracy being erased in the country.

Now many people we spoke to here, you know, they are tired. They are fatigued. They are angry. And they are running out of options. One thing they are looking towards is Donald Trump, and wondering if any sanctions, if they're triggered, while it will mean a deeper humanitarian crisis, they're wondering if it could bring finally the change they are looking for in this country.

Paul Newton, CNN, Caracas.


ALLEN: Back to North Korea now. As we mention, U.S. officials are calling for China to put more pressure on North Korea. For more on how effective that might be, our colleague, Amara Walker, spoke earlier with Bruce Klingner.

HOWELL: He is a former CIA deputy division chief for Korea and a senior research fellow for Northeast Asia at the Heritage Foundation.


BRUCE KLINGNER, FORMER CIA DEPUTY DIVISION CHIEF FOR KOREA & SENIOR RESEARCH FELLOW FOR NORTHEAST ASIA, HERITAGE FOUNDATION: The Trump administration complains that China is not doing enough, which is correct, but also the Trump administration continues to hold back on fully implementing U.S. law and U.S.-targeted financial measures. If the administration were to impose secondary sanctions, it could influence Chinese banks and businesses away from engaging North Korea. And that does not require the permission of the Chinese government.

AMARA WALKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. When you talk about President Trump complaining, I want to show that Tweet that was sent out after this ICBM test. And President Trump saying, in a series of tweets, "I am very disappointed in China. They do nothing for us with North Korea, just talk. We will no longer allow that to continue. And China could easily solve this problem."

And what you're saying Bruce is that the United States should impose secondary sanctions, which would basically force the hand of China to stop doing business with North Korea.

I also, by the way, want to bring up with Henry Kissinger, a former secretary of state who actually opened diplomatic relations with China, what he had to say. This is according to "The New York Times." Mr. Kissinger apparently called Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with this approach. He said, quote, "I believe we have a better chance of getting to the nuclear problem with North Korea if we first come to an agreement with China about what follows after the collapse of the North Korean regime."

And what Mr. Kissinger was saying there was that the U.S. would have to commit to withdraw its troops from the border if there were a clash with the North Korean regime. Do you believe that's a viable strategy?

KLINGNER: I think it's an extremely poor idea. One should not signal weakness of basically abrogating the U.S.-South Korean military alliance, withdrawing our troops from the area, and presumably, you know, ending the nuclear guarantee, the extended deterrence guarantee. You don't go into negotiations with China about that.

Also, South Korea, our key ally, would criticize us for, as they have criticized us in the past, for negotiating their security over their heads. South Korea would need to be the one making the decisions as to what happens on the Korean Peninsula after the collapse of North Korea. Clearly, you we have peace treaty negotiations, which would -- might involve China and the United States, but the South Korean people and the Korean people are the ones that have to determine their future.

So China has shown that it is reluctant to talk about what its red lines are, what its contents are for a collapse of the North Korean regime. So the George Bush administration, the Barack Obama administration both tried to engage with China on an official and unofficial level, trying to get a sense of what they were thinking of in a post-North Korean situation, and the Chinese government and even Chinese academics would refuse to engage on that.


HOWELL: The Heritage Foundation's Bruce Klingner, again, there speaking with our Amara Walker.

A young man fled from Guatemala for the U.S. more than a decade ago. And since then, he has become a husband, a father, a U.S. taxpayer.

ALLEN: Now he's worried he'll be torn from his family after a surprise order to leave the country.

Our Alexander Marquardt met the family and shares their painful story.


ALEXANDER MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Joel Colindres is putting the finishing touches on a playhouse, but he does not know whether he will be around to see his kids use it. After 13 years in the U.S., Colindres was told to buy a one-way ticket back to Guatemala.

JOEL COLINDRES, FACING DEPORTATION BACK TO GUATEMALA: I was about to cry. But I kept myself strong for my wife. But she had a hard time. She almost dropped herself on the ground and she started screaming and crying.

MARQUARDT: At 20 years old, he crossed from Mexico illegally, but told he could stay provisionally. His mistake, missing a critical court date.

SAMANTHA COLINDRES, WIFE OF JOEL COLINDRES: He had the dream to leave where he was because it was really dangerous over there. He wanted to come over here.

MARQUARDT: Joel fell in love with Samantha, who is American. They had Preston and Lila, living a quiet life in suburban Connecticut, until now

SAMANTHA COLINDRES: We took that risk. It's kind of what you do for love. I didn't know he had a deportation order. None of us did.

MARQUARDT: For years, Colindres has worked as a carpenter, paying his taxes and never breaking the law.

COLINDRES: I'm just trying to make life better for my family. That's all I'm trying to do. Working hard every day. Working six days a week. Being here, also trying to fix up the house at the same time if very hard. But, you know, I had so many dreams. And now there's no hope.

MARQUARDT: Colindres' story is far from unique. Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal has been trying to help them, and others in similar situations.

SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL, (D), CONNECTICUT: It's unfair and unwise. We're losing a great talent and energy, and we're ripping apart families. We're tearing apart communities. That is a tragedy for our nation. It's traumatic for them. And we need to do something better in accordance with American values.

MARQUARDT: President Trump has long vowed to be tougher on illegal immigration.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are going to get the bad ones out, the criminals and the drug dealers and gangs and gang members and cartel leaders.

MARQUARDT: Arrests nationwide of undocumented immigrants have spiked, over 20,000 in the first few weeks of the Trump presidency. Overall, up by 33 percent. Arrests of non-criminals, more than doubling.

BLUMENTHAL: There are hundreds and maybe thousands in Connecticut and many, many more around the country that find themselves in this trauma and tragedy. The fundamental unfairness of it ought to strike the hearts of Americans. The trauma and tragedy can be avoided.



MARQUARDT: For Colindres, it's these moments with his children that make his legal limbo all the more real and painful.

COLINDRES: I have no idea what -- you know, at this point, it's very, very high -- very hard to hide it, you know. Trying my best.

MARQUARDT (on camera): This is the hardest part?

COLINDRES: This is it. Yes, of course. You know, how you can leave those behind?

MARQUARDT: Alex Marquardt, CNN, New Fairfield, Connecticut.



ALLEN: U.S. President Donald Trump is vowing to dismantle and decimate the ultra-violent MS-13 gang.

HOWELL: He made the comments during his visit to Long Island, New York, Friday, where the brutal gang is known for gruesome killings there.


TRUMP: And were going to destroy the vile criminal cartel, MS-13, and many other gangs, but MS-13 is particularly violent. They do not like shooting people because it is too quick, it is too fast. They like to knife him and cut him and let him die slowly, because that way is more painful. And they enjoy watching that much more. These are animals.


HOWELL: Immigrants from El Salvador started the MS-13 gang in Los Angeles decades ago. Since then, it has expanded across United States and back into Central America.

ALLEN: And now, police in El Salvador are under constant threat. MS- 13 claims to have killed six police officers in the last two weeks.

For more, here is CNN's Rafael Romo.


RAFAEL ROMO, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's the 2017 class of the Salvadoran National Police Academy.



[02:40:02] ROMO: Four-hundred-seventy-four young police officers within the next few days will join their country's efforts to fight enemy number-one, MS-13, the brutal gang known here as (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE).

Being in law enforcement in El Salvador is not for the faint of heart. Officers are walking targets. Six have been murdered in the last two weeks alone.

"Many of my classmates decided not to go on," this graduate says. "For me, it is about serving my country."

The graduate was number one in his class. He is following in the footsteps of both of his parents, veterans of the national police, with a combined 43 years of service.

In a country where nine people are murdered every day, being a police officer in charge of solving homicides means you keep a low profile.

As proud as they are of their son, they asked us not to show their faces on camera.

"We're living in difficult times, his father says. "Supporting my son in his decision to join the force has not been easy."


ROMO: Training police officers in El Salvador means preparing them to defend themselves at all times. Some officers have been murdered at home or on their way to work.

"They made the decision to join, even when they know the risks they will face," the police academy's director says. "They are very brave people."

Gang violence in El Salvador was so widespread in 2012 that the government relented and negotiated a truce with the gangs. MS-13 leaders were transferred to medium-security prisons and were given other benefits in exchange for a reduction in violence.

But the current government favors toughness.

The current justice minister promises more anti-gang operations and more jail time for offenders.

New changes in the penal code means mandatory jail sentences in a maximum-security prison for those convicted of targeting police officers, soldiers, judges and prosecutors. But these new police officers know tougher laws mean little to MS-13 gang members, especially considering that as soon as they go out on the streets, there will be a price on their heads.

Rafael Romo, CNN.


HOWELL: Rafael, thanks for the reporting.

An Israeli military appeals court has upheld the guilty verdict against the soldier who fatally shot a Palestinian in the West Bank last year.

ALLEN: The Palestinian was suspected of attacking another soldier and had already been wounded and subdued when he was shot. HOWELL: Taiwan faces more weather ahead from the second storm to hit the island in 24 hours. Details ahead as NEWSROOM pushes on.


[02:46:11] HOWELL: Welcome back. In the Philippines, the mayor linked to the illegal drug trade was killed Sunday during a raid on his home. The mayor was on President Rodrigo Duterte's list of top drug suspects. He was killed on Mindanao Island in the southern part of that nation.

ALLEN: Police say they found high-powered firearms and drugs in the raid. He is the third mayor to be killed in Mr. Duterte's narcotics crackdown.

Also in the southern Philippines, about 1000 families are now homeless after a massive fire. It started in a house Sunday and then spread to nearby buildings.

HOWELL: Officials say the fire was difficult to fight because there was no fire truck on the island. Residents helped to put the flames out with buckets of water. Wow. The cause of the fire still under investigation.

ALLEN: Parts of southeastern China are in for more flooding from another tropical storm system.

HOWELL: For what's happening here, let's bring in our Meteorologist Karen Maginnis, at the International Weather Center, with more -- Karen?

KAREN MAGINNIS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: George and Natalie, it looks like these back-to-back storm systems have made some history, as least far as Taiwan is concerned. What they have not been for 50 years, two tropical storm warnings issued in just two days. It is astounding. Just to get your baring straight, here is Taiwan. This is the coast of China. There you can see a lot of that moisture coming up on our satellite imagery across southern Taiwan. And when you see these rainfall totals, they are nothing short of staggering, with some of these areas across the southern portion of Taiwan almost 1100 millimeters.

Well, let's take you back. Titang (ph) is the first tropical system to make landfall across southeastern China. This is the second one. The first one produced a tremendous amount of precipitation. The imagery you see, this is from in Taiwan. A gentleman is looking at the downed trees as he rides his scooter through the streets. And one person is caught through the flooding rains left. The severe flooding is almost 1100 millimeters. Look at this video coming out of Taiwan. The flooding rains here closed schools, businesses, neighborhoods with extreme flooding. There were flights delayed. They sent out the military to keep things safe there and to safeguard the population. You see downed power polls, also some trees. There were about 100- plus people injured. We don't have any reports of fatalities.

What makes it so amazing is these two tropical system, one edges towards Taiwan, then makes landfall right around the southeast coast of China. Then the second one goes through the strait and makes landfall just about in the same area of our last tropical system. The latest only reach tropical depression in intensity. Once it makes landfall, it will fizzle out. But a lot of these areas, just will ring out with heavy moisture and will produce the potential for localized flooding. Lots of devastation in the wake of these two tropical systems.

Back to you guys.

ALLEN: My goodness.

All right, Karen, thank you.

HOWELL: Karen, thanks.

Natalie, how many people do you know that just can't put their cell phone down?

ALLEN: Everybody.


[02:49:52] HOWELL: OK, well, if you are the U.S. state of Hawaii, that state is basically cracking down on it. The penalty they will face for being glued to their devices. Stay with us.

ALLEN: No, Hawaii, no.




HOWELL: Welcome back to NEWSROOM. So the next story is about cell phones.

Natalie, there was one time I saw someone on the phone, walking and ran into a wall.



ALLEN: Yes. I've done it.

HOWELL: You've done it? Well, there you go. I came close.

In October, Honolulu will be the first U.S. city, major city to look to ban mobile phones for texting while crossing the street. The city council hopes it will reduce injuries and deaths from distracted walking. Kind of like what I described.

ALLEN: It's a problem. The mayor said people will face fines from $15 to $99, depending on the number of times police catch them glancing at their phones will they cross the street.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm fine with that because it seems a lot of cars don't pay attention, and people, when they walk, they don't pay attention either. And when they're on their phone, it gets worse.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know if it should be a law that you can't use your phone. You know, because it is your phone.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I like the feeling I can use my phone whenever I want to.


ALLEN: Oh, well. It's sad they have to make people not use their phones.


[02:55:01] ALLEN: Kind of dangerous. People making calls for emergency services, of course, you'll be exempt.

HOWELL: It'll save them a headache, like walking into a wall. That's a headache, right?

ALLEN: Walking into a car.


ALLEN: All right. We're going to turn to the movies now. From emojis to "Spiderman," it was a big weekend at the U.S. movie box office.

HOWELL: Here's the question, was the World War II epic, "Dunkirk," able to hold onto the top spot?

Here's David Daniel.


DAVID DANIEL, ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): "Spiderman: Homecoming" spent it's fourth straight weekend in the top five, and $13.5 million gave it a domestic total of $278 million. "Atomic Blonde," starring Charlize Theron, opened slightly lower than expected, $18.6 million for fourth place. "Girl's Trip" fell just one spot to third place, rolling out with $20.1 million.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: We have business to attend to.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: What kind of business?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Monkey business.

DANIEL: The weekend's top new entry was the "Emoji" movie, which opened with $25.7 million, not quite enough to take the title. (SINGING)

DANIEL: "Dunkirk," Christopher Nolan's World War II epic, earned $28.1 million in its second weekend, enough to hold off the competition and retain the weekend crown.

In Hollywood, I'm David Daniel.


ALLEN: And I'm Natalie Allen. And we have more ahead.

HOWELL: I'm George Howell. Stay with us.


[03:00:09] ALLEN: Russia retaliates for new U.S. sanctions, ordering the U.S. to cut its diplomatic staff in the country --