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Catastrophic Flash Flooding in Texas; Arpaio Pardon Controversy; North Korea Conducts Three More Missile Tests; Mayweather Beats McGregor; Harvey Disrupts Oil Industry. Aired 4-5a ET

Aired August 27, 2017 - 04:00   ET




UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is CNN breaking news.

CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hi, everybody. Our coverage of the disastrous storm in Texas continues. We're live from the CNN NEWSROOM in Atlanta. I'm Cyril Vanier.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): I'm Natalie Allen. Yes, the death toll has now increased, a second fatality is being blamed on Tropical Storm Harvey as it moves inland, pummeling Texas with torrential rain.

And we were warned this was going to happen.

VANIER: And as we've been telling you, the rainfall could be catastrophic. There are dire warnings of flooding in Houston, where a flash flood emergency has been issued.

ALLEN: Houston police confirm a woman was killed after being swept away by floodwaters Saturday. Up to 27 centimeters of rain, some 8 inches, have already fallen but there could be another 10 cms or another 4 inches per hour.

You can see the damage in Rockport, Texas. That is where Harvey struck as a category 4 hurricane Friday. At least one person was killed in a house fire during the storm in Rockport. Rockport's mayor reports widespread devastation.

Karen Ozon (ph) is the spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Transportation. She is on the line with us from Houston.

Karen, these numbers are spectacular as far as the rain and the potential for flooding.

What are you advising people right now?

KAREN OZON (PH), TEXAS DOT: We are encouraging everyone just to stay put and not get out on the roadways.

ALLEN: Is that for the Houston area? OZON (PH): Yes, it's for the Houston area and surrounding areas. We've had an incredible amount of rainfall that has come through our area overnight and continues to fall. It's extremely dangerous and life threatening.

Flooding is in progress. We have over 150 high water locations on the Houston area highways. And so we're just encouraging people if they don't have to be out in this, just to go ahead and stay home, stay where they are. It is not worth risking your life to get out there.

ALLEN: I want to ask you about that.

At what point, if someone, say, is in the suburbs of Houston and they feel like the rain is coming up too high, at some point do they need to make a decision to evacuate or is that not on the table at this point?

OZON (PH): Right. Well, each area will be a little different. And so they will have to make that judgment call. Right now we're just advising that if you feel like you need to move to higher ground, then to be sure and listen to the local media and pay attention to the news and the reports of the high water locations so that you can make the best decision for yourself on where you're going to move.

But right now, we're even saying, at this point, it's safer just for you to stay where you are and seek higher ground maybe in your house or just locally where you are because there are so many high water locations.

If you get out, you're taking the risk of actually getting stuck in a flooded situation and that just increases your chances of having some problems.

ALLEN: All right. Karen Ozon (ph) for us, we certainly hope people have enough provisions in their home to last this out since it could be raining for several days. We'll stay in close contact with you. Thank you, Karen.

VANIER: And the National Weather Service confirms that a dozen tornadoes have impacted the Houston area since Friday.

ALLEN: CNN affiliate KPRC has more on the devastating damage from the storms and the flooding.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE, KPRC: We are right on the I-45 feeder road at the Frank Wood exit and this whole thing is completely shut down. It is getting worse by the minute. It's unbelievable how fast the water is accumulating.

We have a pickup truck down there, that guy is stuck. He's not going anywhere. I don't know what he's going to do. He may wind up being the object of a rescue in the next few minutes or so.

We were down there, about 200 yards farther down this road, had to turn and come back this way because our truck was about to be floated out of the area. We were in real danger.

Take a look at those barrels out there. When we got here, that's how fast the rain is falling. That barrel was fully visible. Now you can see the closest barrel to me is three-quarters under water. Now that is in the last 15 to 20 minutes. That is how fast the water is coming down. It is rising by inches as we talk here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You look right here behind me this, is one of the businesses that tornado hit. It looks like something went off from the inside. This is a Pizza Hut restaurant. And what happened is that --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- that tornado apparently was moving this direction and went right down this line of businesses.

We'll move over here a little bit so you can get a wider shot of the row. It hit the Pizza Hut and then it hit the Wing Stop next to it and then it apparently skipped and went over to a KFC and hit that.

Now there were a lot of people inside these businesses when that happened. According to the fire department, about 25 people, customers and employees. A couple guys we talked to who were in the Pizza Hut, a couple of the workers in there, said their first clue that something terribly wrong was happening was when a couple of customers came running to them at the counter there and then suddenly all of the glass, those glass doors that you can see are missing and the big windows, blew in at them. They all went and hid in the freezer.


VANIER: That is CNN's Houston affiliate KPRC there. And that was shot in Missouri City, just on the outskirts of Houston.

Meteorologist Derek Van Dam is about 125 miles southwest of where that was shot. He's in Victoria, Texas, which itself experienced extensive damage when the hurricane hit.

Derek, what's the damage?

I know you were saying earlier that you were able to walk around the city.

And what is the weather like now?

DEREK VAN DAM, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Cyril, it's treacherous here. It's downright dangerous in Houston. Let me set the scene for you in Victoria. You said it, I'm 125 miles to the south and west of Houston.

We did a pretty extensive walk around the city. It's what you would expect to see with an equivalent of a category 1 hurricane. Trees completely snapped over, awnings, roofs, some minor structural building damage. We have power lines down, there was electricity out for a period of

time; some of it has been restored, some normalcy coming back to the city. But this tropical storm continues to take me by surprise.

Every few minutes or so, we'll have a strong tropical storm force wind pelt us in the face with just blinding rainfall. I'm sure during this live shot we'll get one of those.

But I want to talk about Houston because really this seems to be the story to follow at the moment. There are so many stories out of this major, major hurricane that has made landfall in the United States.

But first I want to talk about what the National Weather Service has deemed a flash flood emergency for catastrophic, life-threatening flooding. That is wording that is very rare. The National Weather Service does not use that wording often.

Water levels have surpassed a 500-year mark south and east of Houston, that I-45 corridor where the reporter was reporting from, that is where we're focusing in on some incredible historic rainfall totals. Get this, 500 millimeters or 20 inches of rain have fallen in that area in less than 24 hours.

In three of those hours, we saw 350 millimeters of that rainfall, that is 14 inches of rain. I'll try to put it in perspective. There were five simultaneous tornadoes in and around Houston along with a flash flood emergency in the dark of night, all at the same time.

How does one city even cope with it that?

That is what they are dealing with. It's bad here but it's downright dangerous in Houston -- Cyril.

VANIER: And we're also looking at the pictures of the flooding in Houston. They leave absolutely no doubt as to, A, how much water there was and, B, how dangerous that could be.

And some of your words yesterday actually really stuck with me. You were mentioning that just a few inches of rain could sweep a man off his feet. A few more inches could sweep a car and send it further down the road and how dangerous is that?

What do people in Houston need to do at this stage?

VAN DAM: The time to evacuate has passed. You cannot travel at the moment in time. The safest bet you have, if you are in a flash flooding situation -- remember, there is a different between a flood warning and a flash flood warning. Flash flood warning comes on almost instantaneously. You don't have much time to react. You need to seek high ground immediately. If that is the highest level of the building or the structure that you happen to be in, your home, that may be your best answer. There are going to be a lot of dire stories coming out of Houston amongst all the tragedies that have occurred with Harvey that has made landfall here not 24 hours ago -- Cyril.

VANIER: Absolutely. And the word flash flood, flash is very important because I think some people, unless you're in the situation, can underappreciate just how quickly water levels can rise. Derek, thank you very much. We'll speak to you throughout the night. Thanks for your update.

ALLEN: Thank you, Derek.

Now our focus is Houston and the wider path of this storm because Karen Maginnis joining us with that.


ALLEN: And we just heard from Derek, Karen. You all were warning us when this storm was approaching that the National Weather Service using rare words to explain what Houston could be in for.

KAREN MAGINNIS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, we were all really floored when we saw that as well. We are seeing things with this particular system we have not seen ever or very rarely.

And to have six tornado warnings out in a very small area around Houston was mind boggling to see that. And now there is another band that is expected to push through.

We were talking about that I-45 corridor from Houston towards Galveston. But not just there, although you have a pretty heavy band moving through right now but then look at this. We have another band right on its heels and you better believe there is going to be the potential for tornadic activity associated with that as well with some damage.

People are tweeting out that they need help, that people are pregnant, they need to be rescued, someone has diabetes, someone has heart disease. We have seen all kinds of things all evening long. And staggering rainfall amounts.

South Houston, which is actually a little more southeast of the city, the metropolitan city of Houston, has recorded in six hours 12 inches of rainfall. I know there is more than that now. But we keep getting these periodic updates. The ground is saturated. There are still bands of rainfall moving through. And more on the way.

And you're probably wondering what's happening with Harvey?

It's probably going to get downgraded even more. It's barely a tropical storm but it is really circulate -- very slow, it's very stationary, it's picking up that moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and, Cyril and Natalie, it is throwing just buckets of tropical moisture in an area that just can't take it anymore.

ALLEN: Can certainly understand. Karen, thank you so much. Folks there, got to feel for the people going through this. We'll continue to cover it for the next couple hours for sure and all day here on CNN.

And we have got other news coming ahead . The controversial pardon of Joe Arpaio may have been in the works even before Arpaio went to trial. We have new details on that.

VANIER: Plus the emergency flood warning in Houston, Texas. As we were telling you, as Tropical Storm Harvey stalls over that area, we'll see what Houston's mayor is asking residents to do.

ALLEN: Also later this hour, combat styles collide in one of boxing's most hyped fights. How the UFC's Conor McGregor fared against Floyd Mayweather, that is coming up as well.






VANIER: Welcome back. Let's bring you the latest in U.S. politics.

So a day after Donald Trump pardoned the former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, we're now learning that the president took a personal interest in the case before it even went to trial.

ALLEN: According to "The Washington Post," the president reportedly asked the U.S. attorney general, Jeff Sessions, about dropping the case. But Sessions told Mr. Trump it would be inappropriate to interfere.

VANIER: Arpaio was eventually convicted of criminal contempt for ignoring a court order to stop racial profiling. On Friday, Arpaio received a full presidential pardon.

ALLEN: A White House official told "The Washington Post," "We knew the president wanted to do this for some time now and had worked to prepare for whenever the moment may come."

VANIER: And White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said this about the president's inquiry to the attorney general, "It's only natural the president would have a discussion with administration lawyers about legal matters. This case would be no different."

The Justice Department declined to comment to "The Post" about the story.

Let's bring in Leslie Vinjamuri, who teaches at SOAS University of London.

Leslie, your election first of all to the fact that the president asked the Department of Justice about dropping a criminal case against a political ally.

LESLIE VINJAMURI, SOAS UNIVERSITY OF LONDON: I think it's been deeply disturbing because it's yet another indicator that the president does not have an appropriate level of respect for the process of justice and for the rule of law, to actually intervene and specifically ask that a case be shut down is deeply problematic.

Never mind the broader issue of the pardon, which I think is very, very grave with respect to the signal that it sends at a time when politics of race and of division are very contentious in the United States.

So it's not only the case which is deeply disturbing, the pardon, but it's also the manner in which it's been pursued and it's the timing which is, I think, making a lot of people very, very upset.

VANIER: What message does this send to law enforcement officials?

VINJAMURI: Well, I think it's yet another signal; remember, this is not the first time that there has been a question mark raised about whether or not the president has attempted to alter the course of an ongoing investigation. And one thinks back immediately to the question surrounding his motivations for firing FBI director Comey.

So it is a message, it's a signal, that the president has a sense that he can, in a sense, throw his weight around and doesn't have appropriate respect for the rule of law.

But he did then back down, of course, when Attorney General Sessions, who also takes a very hard line on immigration, as we know, but, nonetheless, in this situation said no, this must go forward.

And Trump seems to have been determined to pursue the pardon in any case. Of course, he didn't do this at the rally in Arizona but he intimated that he would.

And then he waited until Friday night and immediately released -- with the hurricane and a very dramatic backdrop of the ongoing hurricane, presumably to dampen some of the media -- the very negative coverage that he knew would be coming from this.

This is a sheriff who is very notorious for pursuing very racially --


VINJAMURI: -- problematic policies and practices. And many other practices that he hasn't been held accountable for. So I think this is a very divisive decision.

And remember that Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, has come out against it and, of course, Senator McCain and many people. So it hasn't been received well, except by that very narrow part of president's base, that he continues to think is essential to his surviving in the White House.

VANIER: Let me interrupt you for a second. You mentioned Senator John McCain. Now he's had his tangles with President Trump before. So perhaps it's not that surprising that he would criticize the president on this as well as a couple other presidents.

The other Arizona senator, Mr. Flake, who is also not always aligned with Mr. Trump. This, however, is more surprising. The Speaker of the House Paul Ryan

has come out against the pardon.

This is what his spokesman told "The Wall Street Journal," "The Speaker does not agree with the decision. Law enforcement officials have a special responsibility to respect the rights of everyone in the U.S. We should not allow anyone to believe that responsibility is diminished by this pardon."

So, again, my question here is, should President Trump be concerned that some top Republicans, in this case, Paul Ryan, are falling against him on this?

VINJAMURI: Yes, and again, I think we have to remember the context. This is a case of basically racial profiling. And Speaker of the House has made a statement, just over a week after the violence in Charlottesville and the aftermath of that, in this political situation, which is very grave, along racial lines.

So I think there is a movement now to put distance between the president and many people who see that this is very damaging for them politically. So it is a very significant statement by the Speaker of the House. And I think that we will continue to see a lot of backlash on this particular decision by President Trump.

But I don't think that he's necessarily going to update his way of moving forward. He's gone back and forth, he's retracted some of his statements, his language has been very mixed since Charlottesville.

But to issue this kind of pardon that is so clearly linked to issues of race and division in American society today, in the aftermath of the last 10 days of U.S. politics, is a very serious decision.

VANIER: So I want to revisit a question we were asking a week ago, just over a week ago, after Steve Bannon left the White House, we were asking whether the Trump presidency would change after that, Bannon being such an important figure and often touted as one of the president whisperers in the White House.

Are you getting a clearer answer to that question on that now in light of the Arpaio pardon and the other things that happened this week?

I'm thinking of the ban on transgender people in the military as well.

VINJAMURI: Yes, I think that there was this hope that, with John Kelly coming in as chief of staff, with the departure of Steve Bannon, who's really promoted that white nationalist, America first approach, and also with the departure of Gorka, who was one of Bannon's people, that there would be the consideration of -- a return to the center of the U.S. politics coming out of the White House. And that's not what we've seen.

In fact, right after Bannon's departure, we've seen a number of the policies that you just -- the decisions that you've referred to.

So it suggests that it is really President Trump who is committed to a number of practices that are not well regarded by the majority of Americans, if you look at the polls. And, remember, his approval ratings have continued to decline, even in the last week. And yet he remains committed to this base.

And I think that the challenge, of course, for the president is, if he wants to continue to govern, if he wants to remain in office, if he wants to have success in the midterms, he has to extend his politics beyond that very narrow base and to be more consistent about it.

He went, of course, to Nevada; he spoke the language of unity. And within just a few days of speaking a language of unity to that audience, he issues this pardon, which really is a setback, I think.

So the departure of Bannon doesn't seem to be altering what is coming out of the White House, at least on this set of issues; national security policy might be quite different.

VANIER: Yes. Leslie, it seems like conservative identity politics are still a big part of Mr. Trump's agenda, despite the departure of Steve Bannon.

Leslie Vinjamuri from London, thank you very much. Appreciate it.

VINJAMURI: Thank you.

ALLEN: And you touched on this with Leslie but the president does have the constitutional authority to pardon anyone.

VANIER: Yes, it's legal.

ALLEN: But his pardon of Arpaio could still cause him legal problems down the road.

VANIER: And it's worth remembering that special counsel Robert Mueller is deep into a wide-ranging investigation into the Trump White House and that includes the firing of James Comey as FBI director.

ALLEN: CNN legal analyst Page Pate explains how --


ALLEN: -- the Arpaio pardon could possibly come back to haunt the president.


PAGE PATE, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It does show a pattern. It shows that this particular president wants to intercede, wants to put himself into the Justice Department machinery when it comes to law enforcement decisions, prosecutorial decisions.

And while he has the power to do that -- he is chief executive, he controls the executive branch -- it's highly inappropriate. It's not something that we see presidents do. There are internal Justice Department policies that are supposed to prohibit that type of conduct. But it is still legal. It's still constitutional. So while I think

it's unusual and I think it may show a pattern of conduct that could be relevant to this separate investigation, the president is not going to get in trouble for talking to Sessions about this pardon.


ALLEN: As mentioned, the former sheriff was convicted of violating a judge's order to stop racially profiling Latino drivers. One of the key witnesses to testify against the sheriff has reacted to this pardon.

In a new op-ed in "The Washington Post," Dan Magos describes being pulled over, along with his late wife, by one of Arpaio's deputies. Now I'll read part of that here to give you a sense of what he says he experienced.

"Standing there in the street, he patted me down. My underarms, my torso, my legs, even my groin. My wife was watching the whole time. That was the most humiliating part. I couldn't defend myself or I couldn't defend her.

"When the search was finished, I asked the deputy for the third time why he had pulled us over. He said it wasn't because he hadn't been able to see the license plate -- " it was, sorry -- "because he hadn't been able to see the license plate on my truck and then finally he let us go with this warning, 'Don't think for a minute that this has anything do with racial profiling.'"

ALLEN: Magos spoke with CNN's Brooke Baldwin about his disappointment over the pardon. Here it is.


DAN MAGOS, ARPAIO TRIAL WITNESS: I was furious when I heard the announcement that Arpaio had been pardoned and I was also sad, disappointed, disappointed that the presidency was getting involved in a case in Maricopa County.

And it was quite disappointing, especially since I had been fighting this case, going to court, to every session, court session for the last 7.5 years.

After all this effort of years, now the President Trump comes and just, with the stroke of a pen, erases everything and walks all over my efforts and that of the Hispanic community in Maricopa County.

And all those people that stand behind the Constitution and defend the Constitution, some even with their lives, and apparently the Constitution does not mean anything to either Arpaio or Trump.


ALLEN: That was the key witness there, Dan Magos, talking about his experience. And I'm sure he speaks for many others there in that county. Well, coming up here, we'll have the latest on the hurricane, now a tropical storm, that has caused so much devastation on coastal Texas and now Houston facing historic flooding.

VANIER: Plus tensions rise after North Korea's latest missile test. We'll have an exclusive report from Pyongyang. Stay with us.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is CNN breaking news.

CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Welcome back, everyone. We continue our live coverage. I'm Cyril Vanier.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): I'm Natalie Allen. We continue to follow the flash floods and the impact of what is now Tropical Storm Harvey. It is soaking the southern coast of Texas after slamming the state Friday night as a category 4 hurricane.

At least one person was killed during the hurricane in the town of Rockport, where it came ashore.

VANIER: And another person was killed in Houston, Texas, after she was swept away by floodwaters. A flash flood emergency has been issued there. Houston is bracing for what could be catastrophic flooding.

ALLEN: One person has been already killed by the floodwaters and the city's mayor is urging people stay home, stay off the roads.


SYLVESTER TURNER, HOUSTON MAYOR: We said just a few days ago that was going to be a very serious storm and we said this storm was going to last four or five days. And that is exactly correct. It's a serious storm; it's going to last four or five days. And quite frankly, this is day one.

And the streets are treacherous. It makes absolutely no sense for anyone to be out on the road unless it's an emergency.


VANIER: Let's get more on what the storm is actually doing. Meteorologist Karen Maginnis joining us for that.

Karen, you heard the mayor of Houston there saying this is going to last four or five days. Walk us through what we can expect in the next couple of hours going into Sunday and then perhaps an outlook as well for a few days.

KAREN MAGINNIS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes. Well, first of all, as I was standing here listening to all of this and looking at this radar, I was floored by just how broad this rain shield is. Extending all the way toward San Antonio and Austin, edging toward

Dallas, extending toward Galveston into Louisiana, a huge, broad, deep, tropical moisture-laden area.

The ground is saturated. The more the rain comes in -- and there will be plenty more associated with this -- and the ground is saturated, the bayous are filling up. We have looked at some of these reports and we may even blow away by feet what some of these bayous have done in the not-too-distant past.

And Houston is just surrounded by bayous. And they allow that water to run off. But there is no place for the for the water to go. I want to point out there are currently three tornado warnings in effect around Houston. So it is the flooding, the tornadoes, the wind damage; it is a desperate situation. We'll have another live report at the top of the hour.

ALLEN: All right. Thank you so much, Karen.

Again, the storm made landfall Friday night as a category 4 --


ALLEN: -- hurricane. It hit the city of Rockport very hard. We have some pictures that show some of the wreckage and what is left of that town now.

VANIER: And earlier I spoke to Rockport resident Chantal Cleveland; her home was one of many that was destroyed when the hurricane made landfall there. Fortunately, she had followed recommendations and left her home at the time. She told me earlier what it was like when she drove back into town the next morning.


CHANTAL CLEVELAND, ROCKPORT RESIDENT: I really didn't expect the storm to get as large as it was. It was originally projected to be a depression. Finally convinced my stubborn parents to evacuate to Corpus Christi. We came back into Rockport this morning at the crack of dawn.

I didn't know what to expect. I know that, as I was driving into Rockport, the homes were becoming more and are more destroyed. Finally, as I pulled into our driveway to see the roof of one of our homes gone. So we really couldn't get into the driveway because it was inundated with water.

VANIER: Yes, we see the water on the pictures.

CLEVELAND: Yes, so I just ran into my home. I thought I was going to need the key to open the door and I didn't even need it because it was broken. There was sheet rock, insulation everywhere, about two feet of debris. Our stuff was just covered in it.

We weren't expecting the storm to get this big, so we only packed a couple changes of clothes when we came to Corpus Christi. It quickly got stronger, it was a category 4. So you can see our homes, they have been demolished.

Sadly, we had tenants living in the other three. So they're have to come home to destroyed homes as well, completely gutted, you know, it's just debris upon debris. But we aren't the only ones that are experiencing this. Our whole town, community is.

VANIER: What is the prospect for your house?

It looks totally destroyed.

CLEVELAND: Yes. You know, I just didn't really expect that to happen. We have our casual routine, where I get home from work, Rockport is a beautiful community, a lot of people go and visit it. We rely heavily on tourists. So I'm kind of sad to see what is to come.

VANIER: How long have you lived there?

Have you experienced any weather events similar to this?

CLEVELAND: No. I've lived in Rockport my whole life. So 24 years. And my parents have lived there since the '70s and they have experienced hurricanes and tropical depressions. But they have never left. They braved them through and they wanted to brave this one through.

And I'm so glad they didn't because, as you can see in those pictures, there are just walls --

VANIER: That would have been dangerous. That clearly would have been very dangerous for anyone in that house.


CLEVELAND: -- yes, and it breaks my heart because a large percentage of our community stayed to brave it through.


ALLEN: How about that one, my goodness, she's so fortunate and her parents. As always, if you want to help victims, you can go to our website,

The part where she said I talked my stubborn parents into leaving, they are thanking her now.

VANIER: Yes, yes And it's good that she did. You see what the house looked like.

What if they had been inside the House?

And so many houses in Rockport were destroyed.

We're going to take a short break. But when we come back, the latest on new North Korean missile launches. Will Ripley has an exclusive report from Pyongyang. Stay with us. Also one of the most hyped boxing matches ever is over. UFC champion Conor McGregor surprises some of his critics in his bout against Floyd Mayweather. We'll have more on that.





ALLEN: Tough talk from the U.S. does not appear to be stopping North Korea. Pyongyang fired three more missiles Saturday as the U.S. and South Korea conduct war games. Initial reports said all three missiles failed. But the U.S. later said two went about 250 kilometers.

VANIER: The launches came just days after U.S. secretary of state Rex Tillerson said North Korea had shown some restraint. He noted it hadn't engaged in any provocative acts since a U.N. resolution calling for more sanctions.

ALLEN: The U.S. and Pyongyang had been trading threats for weeks due to its missile program if not longer than that.

CNN's Will Ripley is the only Western journalist inside North Korea at the moment. He filed this exclusive report.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: On the surface, it is a quiet Sunday here in Pyongyang. But just beneath the surface, it's described to me as an extraordinarily tense time, some of the highest levels of tension seen here in years.

And all starting several weeks ago with the exchange of fiery rhetoric between the United States and North Korea.

Remember when President Trump threatened to rain down "fire and fury" on this country and North Korea responded by detailing a plan to launch missiles and have them fly over Japan, come down dangerously close to the island of Guam, home to key U.S. military assets and more than 160,000 American citizens.

We haven't seen that kind of military escalation on the peninsula and, in fact, it has only been rhetoric for the last several weeks, until North Korea simultaneously launched three short-range ballistic missiles with two of them traveling around 250 kilometers; that's more than 150 miles, landing in the waters off of Japan.

That short range would still put within striking distance U.S. military bases in South Korea and all of metropolitan Seoul, theoretically. But these are just tests.

And just like the special forces operation, another military exercise that happened here in North Korea, with their Supreme Leader, Kim Jong-un, overseeing the whole thing.

No coincidence that North Korea is demonstrating its military force as the U.S. and South Korea prepare to enter week two of their regularly scheduled joint military exercises. They always infuriate the regime here in North Korea.

And, in fact, it's extraordinary that we are even being allowed to report from inside the country at this very tense time. It's never happened before.

Again, the North Koreans saying, while all is quiet on the surface, just beneath, simmering tensions that could potentially boil over if there is any misstep on either side -- Will Ripley, CNN, Pyongyang, North Korea.


VANIER: And Will has absolutely fantastic insights on life inside North Korea, which is extremely rare. For more on that and more of Will's reporting, follow his Twitter page, @WillRipleyCNN. Follow his Instagram, where he posts frequent updates from inside Pyongyang. It is truly unique.


VANIER: You do not often get those shots of Pyongyang.

Now one of the most hyped fights in recent boxing history is finally over. This was the scene in Las Vegas, Nevada. Floyd Mayweather beat UFC champion Conor McGregor by a technical knockout in the 10th round. The American is now the first boxer to reach 50 professional wins undefeated.

ALLEN: McGregor was the clear underdog but came out strong in the first few rounds, as our Don Riddell reports. He was there. He did much better than expected.


DON RIDDELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it wasn't a circus, it wasn't a farce, it was a proper fight. And it was a lot more entertaining than many people thought it was going to be.

The headline is that the American, Floyd Mayweather, beat Ireland's Conor McGregor with a technical knockout in the 10th round.

After such an extraordinary on buildup and hype that had gone through the roof, the fear was that this fight was going to fall flat on its face, that the UFC star, McGregor, who was making his professional boxing debut, simply wouldn't be able to compete in any kind of meaningful way. But that was not the case at all.

The Irishman came out strong, edging the early rounds, fighting in an unusual style, hitting Mayweather from angles that the far more experienced boxer wasn't expecting. But in the end, McGregor burned himself out. Mayweather said his

tactic was to see what McGregor could bring to the table, bide his time. And after 25 minutes or so up his game.

And at that point, Mayweather had the Irishman worked out and, in the end, the fight lasted 28 minutes, with the ref stepping in to spare McGregor further punishment.

It remains to be seen what is next for the 29-year-old Irishman. He remain a champion in UFC. He has said tonight that he doesn't think he will box again.

What next for Mayweather?

Well, remember he came out of retirement to fight tonight. He has now said he is retired for good, having reached the magical number of 50 professional fights, 50 wins, zero defeats. That is a new record and he will go into the Hall of Fame as one of the all-time greats.

It has been a fun week here in Las Vegas. It was a fantastic fight, all things considered. And I think both the sports of boxing and UFC will leave this arena with their respective heads held high -- Don Riddell, CNN, Las Vegas.


ALLEN: Don's tie is a little loose there. He's done.

VANIER: Fun week in Las Vegas, he said.

ALLEN: Yes, I'm sure.

Keep it in Vegas there, Don.

Mayweather and McGregor held a news conference after their bout. Here's some of what they said.


FLOYD MAYWEATHER, BOXER: Well, I want to go out with a bang. I told you guys it would be blood, sweat and tears and I tell you the other -- he's a hell of a fighter standing up. Kind of shocked me.

But after 21 years in the sport of boxing, you know, I've had some great fights, I had some boring fights but, at the end of the day, I will be always remembered as a winner.

CONOR MCGREGOR, UFC CHAMPION: I always knew that when the fight comes around, all these many seats, I'm going to show up and I'm going to give a good account of myself. And I thought I'd put him out there. And I went to put him out. And I believe the first couple of shots flustered him and I hit him a few times.

But then he started reading it and then he started parrying the shots. Well, I enjoyed the fight. It was a great contest. And a lot of stuff I'll take with me in my training. (END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: I was trying to figure out, were you listening to that or were you watching?


VANIER: No, I was listening. I was listening.

ALLEN: I thought that was an interesting setup.

Did you have anything else to say?


ALLEN: All right. OK.

Coming up here, Hurricane Harvey ripped across the Texas coast. Part of the story that we haven't reported on yet this hour, major oil and gas refineries had to shut down. And that has already disrupted the global industry. We'll talk more about that coming up right after this.







ALLEN: We continue to bring you the latest on this storm. Texas is reeling from Harvey as officials warn of potentially historic floods in the next few days. At least one person was killed in the hurricane in the town of Rockport. The city's mayor reports there widespread devastation. You're looking at it there.

VANIER: And one woman was killed after being swept away by floodwaters in Houston. A flash flood emergency has been issued there. They are expecting a catastrophic amount of rain. Harvey came ashore Friday night as a category 4 hurricane, the most powerful storm to hit the U.S. in a decade.

ALLEN: And the damage from the storm is expected to create major problems for the oil and gas industry.

VANIER: The region where the storm hit is crucial to production and the hurricane is already expected to hike up prices. Our Alison Kosik explains.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Hurricane Harvey hit a region of the country that is immensely important to the production of oil and gas in the U.S.. Almost 30 percent of all the refining done in the U.S. is done right in the path of Harvey.

So as we've seen the storm make its way through, we've also seen oil platforms and oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico shut down. That is where the oil is pulled up out of ground. We've seen refineries dotted across the Gulf and those were taken offline.

And it's at those refineries that the oil is made into gasoline. And because those refineries are taken offline, there is now a supply disruption in gas. So that means we're seeing prices move a little higher, at least that's what analysts are telling me to expect.

Expect to see gas prices go up anywhere from 5 cents to 25 cents a gallon beginning this weekend and into next week. But analysts do expect those prices to come back down after next week.

However, there is one caveat: if there is permanent or more destructive damage done to the refineries or to the rigs, we could see those higher gas prices last a little longer.


VANIER: Alison Kosik there.

When the eyewall of Harvey hit the coast of Texas --


VANIER: -- on Friday night, the images were truly remarkable.

ALLEN: Yes, here are some of the most dramatic moments as the storm made landfall.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're being hit by a pretty significant band from Harvey as it is making landfall here, about 50 miles, as you mentioned, south of where we are, we are here in Port Lavaca.

There is Lavaca Bay just in front of me here. And that storm surge from Harvey is pushing water from the bay this way. That rain is coming through and it is stinging as the wind is blowing it sideways right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Storm surge has been a big issue further up the Texas coast but here in Corpus, we've been dealing mainly with this strong wind and it's been going for about three or four hours now.

This is a slow moving storm, which mean that these winds will stay strong at least for a little while longer. So there will be issues here in Corpus for a while longer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These are about some of the worst conditions I have ever been in during this type of a hurricane here. Look at that wind right there. Not only is the water parting, the wind is whipping it into a froth.

There is no power anywhere in the city of Rockport. We're starting to see trees go down everywhere; we're starting to see a lot of debris. In fact, when we were in our live truck earlier, trying to get our story together, at one point, we thought the truck was going to tip over. And that's when two full grown men sitting inside --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) this hotel. The owner's a little nervous because half of the building is apparently missing. (INAUDIBLE) first look at it. This is only from the front half of the hurricane. (INAUDIBLE). This is incredible.


ALLEN: A few of the scenes of the folks who weathered it. Yes.

Thanks for watching this hour. I'm Natalie Allen.

VANIER: I'm Cyril Vanier. It's just about 4:00 am in Texas, where there is catastrophic flooding in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, as we've been telling you. Our coverage of the storm and much more continues right after this break. Stay with us.