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Beaumont Loses Drinking Water, Hospitals Evacuate; Zaxby's Providing Meals to Harvey First Responders; U.S. Immigration; Russia Investigation; U.S.-Russia Relations; Harvey's Devastating Hit; North Korea Tensions; Top Kenyan Court Orders New Election; Flood Victims Return Home. Aired 5-6a ET

Aired September 2, 2017 - 05:00   ET




GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): The rain has stopped but the work just getting starting in Houston. The mayor saying the city needs tens of millions of dollars in federal aid to start rebuilding.

We want to welcome our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. I'm George Howell, live in Houston, Texas. Thousands in the city step by step trying to rebuild their lives.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hello to you, George,

I'm Natalie Allen at CNN headquarters in Atlanta. Also ahead, a massive fire just outside of Los Angeles right now. We'll get the latest from the our weather center on the severity.

And President Trump got a big decision this week on immigration.

It's all next here on CNN NEWSROOM.


HOWELL: A good day to you around the world. We're live this hour at an emergency shelter in downtown Houston. Many of the people at this shelter at this hour asleep for the night. Some who don't have a home to return to.

But many people still thankful that they survived because, quite frankly, there are many who did not. We understand now the death toll from the storm stands at 50 people who were killed. There was a second fire that broke out Friday at a chemical plant in Crosby, Texas. Plant officials warn more fires are expected.

The immediate area around that factory has been evacuated. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the EPA for short, says that it has not detected high levels of toxins in the air.

In the meantime, President Donald Trump returns to plan to the state today. Today, the White House has asked Congress for almost $8 billion in emergency aid. The mayor of Houston says the money cannot come quick enough.


SYLVESTER TURNER, MAYOR OF HOUSTON: We must operate with a sense of urgency. We have to have the resources in order to assist people in transitioning from a crisis state and getting them back in a much more stable situation. And we need the resources now. In fact, let me back that up. We need the resources yesterday.


HOWELL: The governor of this state, Greg Abbott, says that about 440,000 people have registered for federal emergency assistance but the head of that U.S. agency cautions against excessive expectations. Listen.


BROCK LONG, FEMA ADMINISTRATOR: FEMA assistance is not unfortunately going to make anybody whole. I cannot restore things the way they were before the storm. But we can be here to help think through how we collectively help the city and other communities within Texas rebuild.


HOWELL: So the floodwaters are starting to recede here in the Houston area but just to the east of this city in Beaumont, Texas, the problem now, another problem, a lack of water, drinking water. CNN correspondent Brian Todd has this report for us.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A first look at the destruction Harvey has left behind. Roads destroyed, homes knocked off their foundations, boats precariously perched, lives and livelihoods destroyed by floods.

But in Beaumont, they're desperate for more water. The roughly 100,000 residents of Beaumont have been without drinking water since early Thursday morning. Now they're lining up for a bottled supply.

The motors on the main water pumping station shorted out when the river spilled over its banks. The secondary pumped also disabled by floods. So the city rushed specialists in, who are working urgently to get the water flowing again.

Right now that is the water lifeline for residents of Beaumont. It's a temporary pumping station set up by Exxon engineers and other engineers, pumping water from the Neches River through this orange pipe right here and up to the pumping station. It takes a long time to get it there and to treat the water and that's what residents here are counting on.

The engineers understand how desperate residents here are to have their water back but they've got to make sure it's safe to use.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are a lot of steps that still need to be completed. They need to go through the water treatment phase and work through all of the treatment facilities you need in order to actually get back into the home. I know the city doesn't have a timeline on that just yet.

TODD (voice-over): At Beaumont's hospital, they aren't waiting. The most fragile of Harvey's evacuees are being airlifted to safer locations. Among them, these premature babies, who have been separated from their parents for days due to flood conditions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're just calling them and letting them know every couple of hours how their babies are doing; they need to take care of themselves right now and we'll take care of their babies.

TODD (voice-over): There have been more than 72,000 Harvey-related rescues this week, adults, children and pets of all kinds, plucked from the rising water and taken to safety.

But in some areas, residents remain. In Houston, these families are just now getting to dry land after seven days in --


TODD (voice-over): -- waterlogged neighborhoods.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So long as we have food and stuff. Now we're running out of food and water.

TODD (voice-over): In West Houston, officials strongly urging those with water in their homes to leave now, as water is planned to be released from stressed reservoirs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Floodwaters in the homes is a hazardous situation. And there's dangers of electrocution, there's dangers of structural compromise. It is not a safe place to remain.

TODD (voice-over): Brian Todd, CNN, Beaumont, Texas.


HOWELL: Brian, thanks for the report.

In the meantime, rescues continue throughout the state. There are so many people who've come in to help and even the rescuers need some help as well. One local businessman is doing just that, putting people over profit. Shawn Taylor, the owner of several Zaxby fast food restaurants here in the Houston Metro area.

We spoke earlier, where he explained how he's helping.


SHAWN TAYLOR, ZAXBY'S: I own seven restaurants here in the Houston area. We've been closed for several days and reopened on Wednesday. One of the first things we elected to do was to start providing hot meals for not only first responders but volunteers and folks who have been displaced into shelters.

HOWELL: There are so many, at what pace?

How many have you done so far?

TAYLOR: Since Thursday, we've supplied over 600 hot meals, Zaxby's box lunches, platters, tea, lemonade, you name it, to a host of organizations around the Houston area.

HOWELL: Shawn, I mean, have you ever seen something like this?

This is your city. You drive these streets. Some streets you can't pass. Some neighborhoods still submerged.

Have you ever seen this?

TAYLOR: I've never seen an epic crisis like this in my life. I'm 57 years old. I saw Katrina from a distance, saw Rita close up. But I've never seen anything of this scale and magnitude here in the United States.

HOWELL: What about the spirit here in Houston?

Texas strong, Houston strong, is what the hashtags and all say. You see it, you feel it throughout the city.

TAYLOR: There's a lot of truth to that. It's a fact. If you go back to Katrina, when we owned up the doors here under our former mayor, Bill White, to take in all the evacuees from Louisiana, the city rallied around all of our guests to try to help them and get them situated and make them feel comfortable and welcome.

You're seeing the same thing, just on a greater scale because the devastation is so far spread. It's not isolated to a pocket of the city. It's not isolated to just Houston; the surrounding suburban areas, as well.

Donations are pouring in. I'm getting calls from around the country, from fellow Zaxby's family, how can they help, what can they do. So it's just been nonstop, people wanting to do to help those who were affected by this tragedy.


HOWELL: Shawn Taylor there, Houston resident, helping people.

And, Natalie, that is the story here. You do get a sense when you get here, this is one of those stories that will be here for a while. There's a lot of damage. The recovery will be extensive. But you do see that spirit, people helping people, doing what they can to get the city moving.

ALLEN: It's been very heart-warming to see, George. Thank you for the reporting there. We'll see you in a little bit. We've got another weather-related story to tell you about and that's in California. An out-of-control wildfire that sprang up Friday afternoon is burning up parts of Metro Los Angeles. And before Harvey has disappeared, another storm threat is building in the Atlantic. Meteorologist Karen Maginnis has the latest on both of these situations for us.

Karen, hello.



KAREN MAGINNIS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: All right. I want to show you more about that fire. This is in vicinity of Burbank. It's shut down a portion of Interstate 210 in both directions. It's 2,000 acres or about 800 hectares. There are just about 260 firefighters battling this blaze.

This is called the La Tuna Canyon fire. This is very difficult for firefighters to battle because of the hills and canyons here.

But the temperatures, Natalie, have soared in this area. They've been between 38 and about 42 degrees Celsius or between 100 and about 110 degrees. And firefighters may not get a break until the beginning of the workweek.

ALLEN: Goodness. All right. Karen, thank you for both of those stories.

And coming up here, special counsel Robert Mueller may have new evidence in his investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.




ALLEN: Welcome back.

In the state of Utah, Salt Lake City police have apologized now for arresting a nurse who refused a police request to draw blood from an unconscious patient. The July incident was captured by cameras. Take a look at this tense exchange.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no. We're done. You're under arrest.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I said we're done.


ALLEN: University of Utah nurse, Alex Wubbels there, saying she was following hospital protocol. Detective Jeff Payne said his supervisor told him to arrest her for interfering with a police investigation.

Wubbels was later released without charges after sitting in a police car for 20 minutes. Payne and another officer are now on leave as an internal investigation --


ALLEN: -- looks into what happened there.

U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to announce on Tuesday whether he'll keep Obama era protections in place for young undocumented immigrants, who came to the U.S. as children. The program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, protects young immigrants known as DREAMers from deportation.

The president said he's still determining what he'll do.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Should the DREAMers be worried?

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We love the DREAMers. We love everybody.


ALLEN: U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan is urging Mr. Trump to keep the program and says it's something Congress has to fix.


REP. PAUL RYAN (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: There are people who are in limbo. These are kids who know no other country, who were brought here by their parents and don't know another home.

And so I really do believe that there needs to be a legislative solution. That's one that we're working on. And I think we want to give people peace of mind.

So I've had plenty of conversations with the White House about this issue. And I think the president as well has mentioned that he wants to have a humane solution to this problem. And I think that's something that we in Congress are working on and need to deliver on.


ALLEN: In the meantime, special counsel Robert Mueller may have a new piece of evidence in his investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. We get more on this from CNN's Jessica Schneider. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Special counsel Robert Mueller has new details about the real reason President Trump fired FBI director James Comey.

"The New York Times" reports the Justice Department handed over a letter President Trump and top political aide Stephen Miller drafted to Comey but never sent, in which the president explains his rationale for the firing. The details of that letter have not been disclosed.

"The Washington Post" reports it was a multi-page letter that detailed Trump's frustration with Comey's unwillingness to publicly state that the president was not personality under investigation as part of the Russia probe.

"The Times" says White House counsel Don McGann opposed sending the letter and ultimately a different one, written by deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, was sent. The Rosenstein memo faulted the former FBI chief for his handling of the Clinton e-mail investigation. The White House wouldn't confirm the existence of President Trump's letter but says his lawyers are working with Mueller.

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: To the extent the special prosecutor is interested in these matters, we will be fully transparent with his investigation. And, frankly, I don't have anything to add beyond that.

SCHNEIDER (voice-over): The letter disclosing President Trump's true intentions comes as the president's lawyers are making the case to Mueller in meetings and memos that the president did not obstruct justice when he fired FBI director Comey in May.

A source familiar with the memos says the legal team lays out the president's constitutional right to fire for any reason and argues that Comey's questionable credibility prompted the firing.

But it was the president himself who admitted to NBC that he fired Comey in part because of the Russia investigation.


TRUMP: In fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story.


SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Mueller's team is also coordinating with New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman. Schneiderman launched an investigation into Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort this summer, delving into Manafort's financial transactions.

Since the president cannot pardon state crimes, any threat of prosecution from Schneiderman could prompt Manafort to cooperate in Mueller's broader Russia investigation. Meanwhile California congressman Dana Rohrabacher is insisting Julian

Assange and WikiLeaks were not behind the WikiLeaks of hacked Democratic National Committee emails last year.


REP. DANA ROHRABACHER (R): I think what we have here, it's really important for the truth to be known.

SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Rohrabacher met with Assange in August at the Ecuadoran embassy in London, where Assange was granted asylum. Sources say the Senate Intelligence Committee is now considering calling on Rohrabacher to talk about the meeting while Rohrabacher is promising to brief the president on the details Assange disclosed.


ROHRABACHER: And I understand that a meeting with myself and the president is being arranged. So at that --- the Americans -- but it's a purpose is to alert the American people to the truth.

SCHNEIDER (voice-over): And the Russian American lobbyist, who was inside that June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower, which included Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort and a Russian lawyer among others, is telling his story.

The "Financial Times" reports Rinat Akhmetshin testified before a grand jury. Special counsel Mueller is using an August 11th. Donald Jr. took the meeting when he was promised damaging information on Hillary Clinton.

Donald Trump Jr. has agreed to sit down with the Senate Judiciary Committee for a transcribed interview behind closed doors as the investigators dig into the June 2016 meeting.

Senators have told CNN they expect him to appear as soon as this month. It is still unclear, though, if Don Jr. will eventually testify publicly. But committee leaders do say an open session is still on the table -- Jessica Schneider, CNN, Washington.


ALLEN: On another related Russian front, it's a diplomatic tit-for- tat that's been building for months. Friday --


ALLEN: -- was the deadline Moscow gave the U.S. to reduce the number of its diplomats in Russia. In response, the U.S. ordered the closure of the Russian consulate in San Francisco as well as two annex buildings in Washington and New York.

Now Russia's foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, said Moscow didn't start it and, when talking about U.S.-Russia relations, he used a dance analogy.


SERGEY LAVROV, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): Regarding the USA, as the president repeatedly said, we are not looking for any fights with this country. We have always been friendly to the American people, open for constructive interaction.

But as you know, you need two to tango. So far in my opinion, our American partners have been performing a solo break dance again and again.


ALLEN: Well, for more on this, CNN contributor and former Moscow bureau chief, Jill Dougherty joins me now from Moscow.

You never knew break dancing would make its way into this situation that we are in with Russia.

But where are we in the break dance, as far as, did we comply, the U.S., that is, with Moscow's wishes as far as reducing diplomats?

JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, at least now what the United States argues, is this is all an issue of parity. So the U.S. and Russia would agree that it is equal; they have the same number of diplomats because the U.S. has drawn down diplomatic staff and the same number of consulates.

And that's what the United States was arguing when it ordered the Russia to close that consulate in San Francisco and two other annexes, one in New York and one in Washington, D.C.

Now that response by Sergey Lavrov, it sounded kind of tongue-in-cheek but actually there was more serious reaction coming from the Russian government and from Russian officials.

You have a comment that is being quoted in the Russian media, from Yuri Yushikoaf (ph), who is the -- a senior aide to President Putin, saying this is essentially this is a raider takeover of Russian property.

And then on the website of the foreign ministry, spoke to -- the statement from the spokesperson, Maria Zakharova, calling this a blatant violation of international law and also saying that the U.S. Secret Service have said that they are going to inspect the buildings, conduct a search, including forcing the diplomats and their families to leave their apartments for about 10-12 hours.

Now all of this -- and I'm sure we'll be getting reporting during the day -- is supposed to happen today, which is Saturday. That's the deadline for the Russians to turn over or to at least vacate that consulate.

It's become very sensitive. In fact, there are almost echoes of the Cold War, Natalie. There was some video that came out on websites of smoke coming from one of the chimneys of the Russian consulate in San Francisco. The fire department said don't worry, it's just a smoke alarm. It's not a fire.

But then there were allegations by one U.S. lawmaker, that this is, indeed, kind of Cold War, burning documents, et cetera. There's no confirmation of that but it gives you the feeling of the level of concern and anger, I think, now on the Russian side.

There's been anger on both sides. So the question is where, I think, Vladimir Putin is going to take this. He's the person who will have to decide how they, in a direct sense, respond to the Americans. And it could be tit-for-tat or it could be something more serious. But it's certainly a very, very disturbing chapter right now in the relations between the two countries.

ALLEN: Absolutely. Jill Dougherty for us there in Moscow live, Thank you, Jill.

We're going to talk now with researcher of American political science and the author of "America after Obama," Amy Greene. She 's also a professor and she joins us from Paris.

Amy, thanks for meeting with us. We're going back to the Trump story and his issue about whether to do away with this DACA program, that we heard Paul Ryan say should be saved; Texas doesn't like it, wants the president to get rid of it.

What kind of situation is President Trump in on this?

And it sounds like he's kind of softening his heart for these children.

AMY GREENE, AMERICAN POLITICAL SCIENCE RESEARCHER: Yes. I mean Trump has always been sort of ambiguous. One of his campaign promises was to repeal DACA, to end it the day after his election. And so his supporters, his base, they're clearly not happy with the president for not adhering to that promise.

At the same time, Trump has made statements saying that these DREAMers are close to his heart. Obviously, the objects of the decision having to be made now --


GREENE: -- and apparently it's coming out on Tuesday -- are terrible because, of course, Natalie, as you mentioned, Texas is not particularly, you know, pleased. They're the second largest, I think, population of DACA, of DREAMers.

And so obviously to make any kind of announcement going in the sense of revoking this plan, especially given what Texas is going through now, seems like it would be a catastrophic timing for the president. And of course he would face opposition not only obviously Democrats almost unanimously but also from members of within his party, as you mentioned, Paul Ryan among them.

ALLEN: Right. And Texas has said it will take this matter to an unfriendly court if the president does away with it. But he did tell them the Associated Press that recipients of DACA should rest easy.

He said it's a decision that I make and it's a decision that's very, very hard to make. I really understand the situation now. So something, yes, has impacted him in this situation, where it's the same like we heard one thing on the campaign trail; he gets into office, he hears more, he learns more and then softens.

GREENE: Right. It's possible. As you mentioned, one of the state's attorneys general from Texas brought about the complaint but then again you have the population situation, which is quite different.

And, of course, you know, that's one of the great ambiguities of Trump. But I think no matter what happens with his decision to either stop DACA, modify DACA and restrict it or even to maintain it in some other form, asking Congress to find the solution. In a way the damage is already done.

You see this immobilization among DREAMers who have been, for the first time in their lives, given the rights to fully emerge as members of society with the protections that would allow them to live productive lives within the United States.

And there's this sense of fear, of almost existential paranoia. Ive spoken to some people and they've said there's this notion of a real threat.

So whatever the decision, whatever the president announces on Tuesday, in a way, the damage is already there, letting the populations know there is almost -- nothing is safe. So I think that, no matter what, you have a degree of damage.

And even if Trump decides to maintain DACA, rebuilding of trust that Trump would have to start engaging in with communities that are already in opposition to his presidency.

ALLEN: We thank you, Amy Greene.

Next, it will be tax reform, the budget and his wall. He threatens to shut down the government if they don't give money for the wall. So we'll talk with you about that perhaps some other time. Thanks for joining us, Amy.

GREENE: Thank you, Natalie.

ALLEN: Still ahead here, floodwaters receding but rescues of stranded people continue day after day in Texas by the U.S. military and an army of volunteers. We'll have that story for you, live from Texas.




(MUSIC PLAYING) ALLEN: Welcome back to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Natalie Allen. Here are our top stories.


ALLEN: The death toll from Hurricane Harvey has risen to 50. On Friday, the Trump administration asked Congress for nearly $8 billion in emergency aid. The president will visit the state on Saturday.

Officials at a crippled chemical plant outside of Houston say more explosions and fires are likely after the factory's cooling systems were knocked out in the storm.

George Howell is back with us live there in Texas.

George, even though there are so many issues that this state has to deal with, it's still so wonderful to see that people from all over are still coming in to help them out.

HOWELL: There is a resilience among residents here and certainly those people who are coming in to this state to help.

But, Natalie, as you point out, there are many towns in and around Houston that have a lot of damage. About an hour's drive southwest of this city, there's a town called Wharton, Texas. Wharton is the birthplace of renowned U.S. journalist Dan Rather.

There's a lot of devastation in that city. The rains from the storm brought the Colorado River out of its banks and left residents there stranded. We get more from CNN affiliate KTRK.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This has been a staging area for first responders just outside of the city of Wharton. This is America coming together. These are first responders here, all the way from Phoenix, Arizona; from Los Angeles; even Oakland, California.

FEMA is here and the ATF are here and they are all helping at a very critical situation in the city of Wharton really good now.

Video snow from Sky Eye (ph) over that city, a good part of the city is underwater. It's been cut off from all directions for days now. We were able to get into the city earlier today on a big monster truck.

There have been a number of water rescues over the last several days. Shelters have opened up. But since the town has been so hard to get to, supplies have been running out. And just hours ago, we saw the relief here. Dry goods on an ATV truck on the way, some 200 people right now are in shelters along with the humanitarian efforts.

A big mission to help the livestock in the floodwaters here. We spoke with Jon Hale (ph), who organized this mission using an app called Zello. He said it has helped him to communicate with those in need when city communications --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- went offline.

What would have happened?

JON HALE (PH), LIVESTOCK RESCUE MISSION COORDINATOR: They would have been dead in the water because this really helped. When these guys were telling me, how do you know these people are needing help, we knew because of Zello.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And as those first responders are coming back from their missions to the staging area, they're getting scrubbed down and disinfected. In one lane, you can see the vehicle right now, first responders are next. And just in the other lane, pets are also being contaminated before they're going to shelters across this area.

The good news this afternoon, these floodwaters are going down.


HOWELL: Reporter Floti Kalergas (ph) there with CNN affiliate KTRT on the scene in Wharton, Texas.

Floti, thank you so much for the report.

Now a small army of volunteers made their way here in the Texas Gulf Coast, helping with all the rescue operations taking place.

Adam Marr is one of them, a military veteran who lives in Dallas. He spoke with CNN a short time ago with his story.


CAPT. ADAM MARR, U.S. ARMY (RET.): We got down there; this would have been Wednesday, just as the storm had moved over there. Conditions were deteriorating. You had one of the largest refineries in the country that's under water and smoke's billowing. The clouds are looking very ominous.

And everybody's trying to get boats into the water into this residential neighborhood. And when you get to the families and see the looks on their faces of despair and being distraught, it's very hard to swallow.

But then, you know, the good light on that, the other side is the hope and just the sense of, hey, somebody's here for me. I'm going to be OK when you arrive.

CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR: And what were people telling you?

When you pulled them out of their house and put them on your boat, what would they say to you?

MARR: Just thank you. There's a little bit of shock and disbelief. You know, a lot of people tried to hold it out as long as they could or, like in Port Arthur's situation, it came on so fast, they just didn't really have time to get out.

So really it's just -- you know, there's not a lot of talk.

But you ask them, hey, how are you doing, considering the circumstances?

And a lot of people would smile and just give a good spirit attitude of, hey, I'm alive, so I'm making it.

And, Cyril, if I could say, like that's one thing I want people to take away from this. And that's that that, no matter the race, religion, creed, your political alignment, what this ultimately was was people helping people.

And it's sad that it had to happen with -- that Hurricane Harvey took for it to happen but I think what you're going to see is this is going to go down as one of the finest moments in America's history.


HOWELL: Now we are expecting the U.S. president to arrive here in the Houston area. The White House says President Trump will give $1 million to the Harvey relief efforts. At first there was the impression that the president would be donating his own money. Now that's not entirely clear.

Our Sara Murray asked for clarification on it. Listen.



Do you know if that's going to be coming from his own money or from the Trump Foundation?

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: He has not finalized where all of that will go. And I was actually going to use that as a perfect segue to remind everybody, if you have suggestions, he is very open to hearing those. We've' gotten a couple but please send more if you have them.

MURPHY: I wonder if it's going to be his personal money or money from --

SANDERS: I haven't had a chance to do that. But I will.


HOWELL: So no answer there, really.

The mayor of the city says $75 million to $100 million will be needed for recovery here. Natalie, a lot of money that will be needed for sure. Don't forget, of course, if you can help out, visit

You can find links to find vetted charities, working to help those hardest hit areas here in this hurricane disaster zone.

Natalie, again, you see these images and you really do understand what people are dealing with here, although there's that sense of resilience as people push forward.

ALLEN: Certainly hope all the money that's coming in will help the city rebuild in a way that, perhaps, this -- something of this magnitude can be prevented in the future.

George, we thank you. We'll see you soon.

Coming up here, a first in Kenya, the country's top court throws out the president's election win. We'll tell you how he reacted.





ALLEN: South Korea says it has agreed with the U.S. in principle to revise a treaty limiting the range and strength of its ballistic missiles. U.S. President Donald Trump and South Korean president Moon Jae-in spoke on the phone Friday, as our Will Ripley reports from Pyongyang.

There were also signals the two leaders agreed diplomacy could still work to curb North Korea's nuclear and missile program.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Despite that tweet from the U.S. president, Donald Trump, saying talking is not the answer when it comes to North Korea, it seems as if the U.S. has not ruled out diplomacy.

In a phone conversation with South Korean president, Moon Jae-in, according to the South Korean got, President Moon and President Trump reaffirmed their view that it is important to apply maximum sanctions and pressure on North Korea so that it refrains from making provocations and comes out to the dialogue table to peacefully resolve its nuclear issue.

Now North Korean has long insisted that sanctions just aren't going to work. In fact, Russian president Vladimir Putin called it a dead-end road and said that provocative rhetoric could only push the Korean Peninsula to the brink of a large-scale conflict.

Here in North Korea, despite a U.S. flyover involving jets and (INAUDIBLE) bombers, there was not a strong response threatening a retaliatory military action like there was a few weeks ago when that flyover prompted that threat for North Korea to launch missiles toward Guam.

This time around North Korea put out a commentary in the Rodong newspaper, the mouthpiece of the ruling Workers' Party, saying that it's time for the U.S. to change its long-standing position of refusing to acknowledge North Korea as a nuclear power.

They didn't specifically say that but they said it's time to acknowledge that North Korea's position in the world has changed and that, if the U.S. doesn't change its approach, North Korea will continue to develop its nuclear arsenal and put the mainland U.S. in greater danger than it already is.

That's essentially North Korea saying, if you recognize us, you give us a seat us at the table and don't tell us we have to throw out all of our nuclear weapons -- because they say they won't do that -- and then perhaps North Korea says they can talk.

But in the past, diplomacy has fallen apart for a lot of different reasons, even if North Korea is allowed to have discussions.

Would they allow inspections of their nuclear arsenal?

Would they really freeze development?

There's a lot of complex issues to work out.


RIPLEY: At least for the time being, you have both the United States and North Korea both indicating a willingness for diplomacy. But they still have very different views of how to go about it -- Will Ripley, CNN, Pyongyang, North Korea.


ALLEN: Kenya's president has criticized the country's top court for nullifying the results of last month's presidential election and ordering a new vote within 60 days. Uhuru Kenyatta originally said he respected the court's decision but later called the justices "crooks." Our Farai Sevenzo is in Nairobi and he explains how the court made its decision.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The decision is hereby issued that the presidential election held on the 8th (INAUDIBLE) 17 (ph) was not conducted in accordance with the constitution and the applicable law rendering the declared results invalid, null and void.

FARAI SEVENZO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The moment a Kenyan supreme court judge halted the country's political affairs, the high court ordering the country to hold another presidential election, opposition candidate and former prime minister Raila Odinga, who had been trying (INAUDIBLE) process for so long, was jubilant at the court's decision. RAILA ODINGA, FORMER KENYAN PRIME MINISTER: This is a very historic day for the people of Kenya and, by extension, the people on the continent of Africa.

For the first time in history, a ruling of African democratization, a ruling has been made by a court nullifying the irregular elections of a president. This is a precedent-setting ruling and very historical.

SEVENZO (voice-over): While the current president, Uhuru Kenyatta, struggled to maintain his composure in the face of this massive setback.

UHURU KENYATTA, PRESIDENT OF KENYA: I personally disagree with the ruling that has been made today. But I respect it. As much as I disagree with it, I respect it. I disagree with it because, as I have said, millions of Kenyans queued, made their choice. And six people have decided that they will go against the will of the people.

SEVENZO (voice-over): The decision to annul the election was actually divided, 4-2. However, the majority ruled.

Meanwhile in the streets in Mr. Odinga's strongholds of Kisumu and the crowded and poor neighborhoods of Nairobi like Kibera, celebration erupted. The decision by Kenyatta's supreme court was most clearly felt in areas like this, Olympic, in the center of Kibera, the most massive, sprawling slum in all of Nairobi and, indeed, one of the largest in Africa.

The court ruled Friday the country must recast their vote for a president in the next 60 days. They court did not blame President Kenyatta for the irregularities in August's election but laid the blame at the foot of the independent electoral and boundaries commission, saying the IEBC failed, neglected or refused to conduct the election in accordance with the Kenyan constitution.

The court has not yet published its full ruling. But the head of Kenya's electoral commission, Afulu Chebukate (ph), suggested that the discrepancy between the electronic results and the manual count was the basis for Friday's announcement.

The election process in August had been praised as free and fair by most election observers, from John Kerry of The Carter Foundation, to the African Union to the European Union. Now as voters head back to the polls, these two long-term rivals are once again center stage of Kenya's ongoing political drama -- Farai Sevenzo, CNN, Nairobi.


ALLEN: After a short break, we'll return to Houston and bring you a story about people going home to see what is left.



[05:50:00] (MUSIC PLAYING)

HOWELL: Welcome back. I'm George Howell live from Houston, Texas.

We're seeing the damage from Hurricane Harvey up close and personal for about a week now. Thanks to NASA, now we're seeing the impact of the storm from outer space. Look at that. This image taken, it shows by satellite the Texas coast and Houston. And you can see the rivers and bays have turned brown by sediment that's been stirred up from this massive storm. Wow.

Many of the people here in Houston who evacuated, many of them don't have much left to save in their homes. But we followed one father, who's determined to retrieve his son's favorite possession. His hope, that it will comfort him while they're away from their home.

CNN national correspondent Nick Valencia has that story for us


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, sir, for being --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- I'll see you soon.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If there's anything good that's come from the hurricane, it's this. Ryan Short has never met the man he's sitting next to but they're already working together.

RYAN SHORT, FATHER: I've just got to get one bike for my son, man.

VALENCIA (voice-over): Like so many, Short's 2-year-old son, Jacob, is having a hard time being displaced.

SHORT: Take a left, right here.

VALENCIA (voice-over): So he's doing what any dad would do for his son. He's going back into the devastation to look for his son's favorite toy.

Along with his friend, Tyler Sheen (ph), Dufresne (ph) came all the way from Austin, Texas, to help, because he knows what it's like go through this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was in the flood of Onion Creek, Austin, 2013.

VALENCIA (voice-over): Most of Short's belongings have been ruined by water. But Ryan is a man on a mission.

SHORT: I didn't get all his toys but he'll like his bike mostly.

Oh, look. There's the bikes, everything floating. VALENCIA (voice-over): Wading through the pieces of the life he's made, he finds what he's looking for.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll take this out for you.

VALENCIA (voice-over): A few minutes later, we're back on the boat and on our way out.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Awesome. It's for his little boy.

VALENCIA (voice-over): A family who has lost almost everything except each for other.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is my home now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is your home now, huh?


VALENCIA (voice-over): And now his 2-year-old son's prized possession.

SHORT: Thanks for coming, guys.

VALENCIA (voice-over): -- Nick Valencia, CNN, Houston, Texas.


HOWELL: Nick Valencia, thank you for the report.

So in Nick's report, you do really get a sense of the spirit, the feeling here throughout the Gulf Coast of Texas. There is a sense of resilience. It is incredible to hear the stories of people who have lost so much but, again, just taking day by day to figure out well, let's get home. Let's figure out what's left. Let's figure out how to rebuild our homes.

There are also people who don't have homes to return to. There's even resilience there. But there's a great deal of uncertainty, Natalie, as people take those steps. But, you know, the future is just unclear, given the extent of the devastation here.

ALLEN: Right. As the shock wears off and they're safe, now reality sinks in as perhaps how far they have to go and how long they wait for their lives to be normal again.

George, thanks so much for reporting for us from Texas.

And thank you all for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Natalie Allen.

HOWELL: Natalie, a pleasure to be with you.

I'm George Howell, live here in Houston, Texas.

For our viewers in the United States, our coverage continues with CNN's "NEW DAY" right after the break.

ALLEN: And for our international viewers, I'll be right back with a check of our top stories. Thanks for watching.