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A Tragedy Strikes Rescuers In Thailand; Beijing Accusing The United States; Nerve Gas That Poisoned A British Couple; EPA leader Scott Pruitt Resigns after Scandals Engulf His Agency; Asylum Seeker Reunites With Daughter After 56 days Apart; Legal U.S. Resident Detained By ICE Returns Home; World Cup Quarterfinals Start Just Hours From Now. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired July 6, 2018 - 02:00   ET


[02:00:10] GEORGE HOWELL, NEWSROOM ANCHOR, CNN: A tragedy strikes rescuers in Thailand, a former Navy Seal helping to free the trapped footballers. Plus, China strikes back against U.S. tariffs, as the U.S. President prepares for a major diplomatic offensive in Europe. Also ahead this hour, still no clues, British investigators trying to trace the source of a nerve agent that sickened a couple the town of (Inaudible).

Live from CNN world headquarters in Atlanta. We want to welcome our viewers all around the world. I'm George Howell. The CNN Newsroom starts right now. This hour, we start with some breaking news out of Thailand. A former Thai Navy Seal has died trying to save a youth football team, this happening again in northern Thailand.

The diver made the ultimate sacrifice, after officials say that he ran out of air after bringing oxygen into the cave system where they're trapped. The 12 boys and their coach were stranded by flooding. And more rain is expected in the forecast. The death of the diver highlights the dangers facing the teams, especially if they use scuba gear to try to escape.

Let's go live to the scene where the search effort continues. Our David McKenzie on the story this hour, David, what more do we know about how this former Navy Seal lost his life?

DAVID MCKENZIE, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, certainly a tragedy that has cast the power over the rescue operation this morning here in Thailand, George. Many of the people have now realized (Inaudible) just how challenging these circumstances are to get these 12 boys out and their coach alive.

Now that 38-year-old former Thai Navy Seal had come out of early retirement from his private sector job to help out and lend his expertise, announced dead at around 2:00 in the morning, passing out in those caverns while trying to deliver oxygen to the boys because their oxygen levels were very, very low indeed. But behind me, you can see what they're trying to do to make this feasible.

More of these pumps have been added over night, George. They are desperately trying to get millions of liters of water out of the cave system. I spoke to a diver just a short while ago. He has been working on this rescue effort. He says that the levels have dropped somewhat. The type of flow inside those tight spaces is less intense, but still incredibly difficult conditions. And he said that the news of this diver's death has hit them hard.


MCKENZIE: What is the mood like right now, now that we've learned this one diver has died?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Definitely, you can feel it, that it has an affect. But we're moving on. Everybody's a professional. So we're trying to put it away and avoid it never happening again.

MCKENZIE: And everyone's focusing on getting these boys out?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody is focusing getting them out, keeping them alive, or getting them out.


MCKENZIE: Well, he said that though it is even difficult for divers, they have to believe that they can get these boys out through the tunnels. Otherwise, they said why are they putting so much emphasis or focus on that. All these international teams, people have stopped their jobs, their livelihoods, come out to help to try to figure out using human ingenuity and (Inaudible) techniques to get these boys out.

Because three of them, according to a doctor's assessment are in very bad health, including the coach, not safe they say to bring them out now what that (Inaudible), (Inaudible) really safe at all.

HOWELL: David McKenzie live with the reporting. David, thank you. We'll stay in touch with you, of course. Adding insult to injury, rain has already started moving into this area. Our Meteorologist, Derek Van Dam following that part of the story live this hour. And Derek, this could obviously make things much worse for these rescuers.

DEREK VAN DAM, METEOROLOGIST, CNN: Yeah, without a doubt, George. In fact, you can see some of the rain drops are already falling on David's shirt. We saw in a live shot a moment ago. The window for dry weather is narrowing now, because we do expect the rainfall to pick up in intensity, especially as we head into the end of the weekend and to the early part of next week.

This is the latest satellite geographical reference. This is northern Thailand. Here is Laos. And there's Myanmar. We zoom into the region. We can see some of the cloud covered drift into the area. This is just low stratus cloud indicative of light rain showers, nothing too heavy. But when the monsoon rain settles in, there's very tropical moisture (Inaudible) air as raindrops are large and it accumulates quickly.

[02:05:03] Lots of rain in a short period of time, it's not what they want to hear, but that is in the forecast. I want to take you back on the 23rd of June. When the boys originally went missing, the Thai Metrological Agency reported a 5.7 millimeters of rain. That obviously was enough to cause flooding in the cave system.

Fast forward a few different days, and you can see that some of the rain picked up in intensity over 15 millimeters in a 24-hour period, leading to more flooding. Than just recently, we had a (Inaudible) from the heavy rainfall. No reported rainfall over the past three days, aside from the few light sprinkles. But let's go forward in time, talk about how much rain we expect each day.

Today, we should see three millimeters of rain. As we head into to the end of the weekend, four three millimeters by Sunday. But look at Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Collectively, over 30 millimeters of rain expected over those days. That means the potential for flooding and rising water in the caves exist. Forecast future radar shows that the uptick of shower activity across the region three day forecast (Inaudible).

You can see by Sunday, the chance of rain spikes to about 80 percent. Rainfall totals across this area, according to one European model shows anywhere between 25 to 50 millimeters of rain over the next 5 days. So George, time is of the essence. Obviously, we know that already, but again more rain is on the way, back to you.

HOWELL: Time absolutely of the essence. Derek Van Dam, thank you. Let's get some analysis now with Steve Neal, the Managing Director and Instructor -- trainer of the New Zealand Diving joining us from Auckland, New Zealand this hour. You've heard the reporting Neal. You know we understand what's happening on the ground right now.

Unfortunately, this death that highlights the challenge of this situation, you have divers who had the expertise. They know how to dive. They know how to traverse these caves. For several hours at a time, trying to save children, some whom cannot swim, some are in bad health. How difficult will it be to get them out?

NEAL BENNETT, MANAGING DIRECTOR, NEW ZEALAND DIVING: It's going to be extremely difficult. The depths of icing and the restriction, visibility (Inaudible), given these are young children. They've never come up (Inaudible) before. The pressure on them mentally is going to be immense, let alone the physical (Inaudible). So it's an immense challenge.

You're seeing already the complications of the professionals are having. It's massive (Inaudible) for the children.

HOWELL: We know that these divers have been working long hours, physically and technically challenging situation. For a diver to run out of oxygen, as happened in this case, as a diver yourself, how might something like this have happened?

Well, imagine these guys already know their reparations and -- the factors here are going to be limited. They could be -- strong flows of water, which the ranks in crease where they're physically working hard. They're trying to accomplish as much in a short period of time. You saw these push -- and accidents do happen. It's a tragedy what's happened, but these guys are working through extreme. BENNETT: Well, imagine these (Inaudible) and how air they got to use.

But there are a lot of restricting factors here. They got a limited amount of air and tanks they could carry. They're going to be working (Inaudible) waters. And they're pushing these things to the limit, so (Inaudible). So this tragedy that's happened, but these guys are really working (Inaudible).

HOWELL: The one thing that was interesting to me, and I want to pose this question to you. We saw the pipes there that are pumping out all the water. That can only work for so long, Neal, because as the heavy rains come in, that will obviously offset the work that's been done so far.

BENNETT: Absolutely. So the amount itself (Inaudible) water, the cave is below discovery for that water. So as soon as rain (Inaudible) some part of the mountain system (Inaudible) in the caves. Then you're going to get (Inaudible) so we'll be back to square one, if not worse. The predictions that the water that's coming or the rain that is coming is going to (Inaudible) danger, so there'll be back to a more difficult situation (Inaudible).

Visibility will be very poor. It is a very (Inaudible. They got to work fast. They need (Inaudible) as possible.

HOWELL: You know the mood there, Neal, from what we've heard from our teams on the ground, from what we've heard from people that they have spoken to, the mood is one of determination. The moods are one of optimistic and focus, right. But given this latest death, understanding that rain is coming in. How difficult might it be, all thing considered, to escort these kids through the cave system, given that we know that it takes experienced divers about five hours to get through it?

[02:10:01] BENNETT: It is an incredible challenge. They are going to need some rest areas (Inaudible) don't get any worse (Inaudible). If that opportunity is not there, than a duration of five hours for a swim is kind of really, really pushing it, so it's a really tough call. They can't wait with all the water coming in. They've got to do something (Inaudible).

HOWELL: Neal Bennett, we appreciate your time and your explanation you know of what these crews are up against. And we certainly hope the very best as this search continues.

BENNETT: Pleasure. Thank you.

HOWELL: In southern Thailand, rescue efforts are underway for dozens of people missing after two boats capsized in separate incidents. This happened off the resort island of Phuket during severe thunderstorms and high waves. Police say that one boat was loaded with Chinese tourists. More than half have been rescued. The Thai navy, marine police, and local fishermen are helping with rescue efforts there.

Around the world, you're watching CNN Newsroom. And still ahead, President Trump prepares to step out on the world stage, this, as China says the U.S. has just started the biggest trade war in history. Plus, Britain and Russia are trading blame over the nerve gas that poisoned a British couple, but are they any closer is the question to finding the truth? We look into that. Stay with us.


HOWELL: The U.S. President's foreign policy moves will be front and center on the world stage in the coming days. First, Mr. Trump has unleashed a trade war with China. New tariffs went into effect just over two hour's time ago. They're focused on Chinese imports. This as Mr. Trump prepares for next week's summit with NATO allies, plus, a long delayed visit to Britain, and then the highly anticipated summit with the Russian President Vladimir Putin.

We start though with the looming trade war with China. Beijing has accused the United States of starting the biggest trade war in economic history, $34 billion of tariffs have just started and there could be more on the way. CNN's Senior Producer Steven Jiang is following the story live for us this hour. Let's talk about what this means, these tariffs are in place. Today is the day initiated by the U.S. and China saying that it will fight to the finish. That's the quote.

[02:15:08] STEVEN JIANG, SENIOR PRODUCER, CNN: George, that's right. Now the war is on, according to what the Chinese statement you just cited. What are clear right now is the specific measures China will use as a counter attack. What we know so far is they have previously announced a list of 545 American products worth $34 billion.

That would be subject to 25 percent in tariffs on July 6, which is today. But the latest statement does not mention that, but that's the assumption that everybody assumes. China will counter attack as they have promised. Now if it stops here, it's actually a relatively small number, 34 billion may sound massive.

But bilateral volume was more than 600 billion last year. But the problem here, George, is it's not going to stop here. Mr. Trump has already said if the Chinese retaliate, he will impose even more tariffs on more Chinese imports. The latest number we heard from the President was on Thursday, when he told reporters on Air Force One 50 plus 200 plus 300, $550 billion.

That's actually more than what the U.S. brought from China last year. So it's maybe a little fuzzy, but his resolve, his determination is clear. Now that does put the Chinese at a disadvantage, because the Chinese actually obviously buy less from the U.S. than the other way around. So a lot of analysts say the Chinese could respond by launching so-called non-tariff means to punish American companies.

For example, sending inspectors to inspect facilities of American companies, rejecting applications for licenses and other business applications, or delaying reviews of mergers, or (Inaudible) their products. So this could in general make American business and companies' life very difficult here in China. And some of the names being mentioned that could be subject to such treatments, including some of the biggest names in American business, including Apple, Starbucks, and Boeing.

They all increasingly rely on the Chinese market for their bottom lines. And they are obviously very visible and easy targets, George.

HOWELL: You know we've laid out these numbers that seems to increase exponentially quite honestly, as you know this situation continues. We've talked about the big scary word, trade war, right? But what does it mean for people to feel the reality of what we're talking about? So here in the United States, where do they feel? In China, where would people feel the difference?

JIANG: It's interesting. In the U.S., at least from the Chinese's perspective, there is a list of targeted U.S. imports for tariffs, or according to some analysts, very precise, one of such products is soy beans. The U.S. exports soy beans to China than to any other country in the world. So soy beans are chosen, along with many other agricultural products according to some observers.

Because the Chinese are trying to send a message to Mr. Trump, a lot of these agricultural products are from states that supported Mr. Trump in the last U.S. presidential election. Now these farmers and these blue collar workers remain to be (Inaudible) allies and supporters in the U.S. So by targeting these products, the Chinese in their probably are trying to hit the Trump supporters economically to vote Mr. Trump's political base, and maybe that would force him to change tactic or change course, George.

HOWELL: Steven Jiang live for us on the story. Thank you for the reporting. We'll keep in touch with you. Now to the issue of North Korea and mounting pressure on the U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo. Pompeo, currently in that country for talks on denuclearization, this video of the Secretary of State during the stop over in Japan, Pyongyang has yet to provide any firm details or timeline of its plans to give up its nuclear programs.

The recent U.S. intelligence reports suggest North Korea has no intention of giving up its weapons.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's under tremendous pressure. I think what we've seen from Singapore is rather an empty joint statement. And now he has to make something out of it.


HOWELL: So the pressure on the U.S. Secretary of State. In the meantime, President Trump has a busy few weeks ahead, preparing to step out on the world stage once again. On Monday, Mr. Trump is scheduled to announce his pick to replace retiring justice Anthony Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court. Than he heads to Belgium for the NATO Summit and from there, the President travels to the United Kingdom, talking with the British Prime Minister Theresa May.

After that, he's off to Helsinki, Finland for his first summit with the Russian President, Vladimir Putin. Let's talk more about this now with Peter Matthews, Peter, a political analyst and professor of political science at Cypress College in California joining from Los Angeles.

[02:20:03] Thank you so much for your time today, Peter. Look, we know about the first round of tariffs, but the greater question now is what happens next. Where do things go? What is the danger of an escalation between these two nations?

PETER MATTHEWS, PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL SCIENCE, CYPRESS COLLEGE: It's very real, George. You know one nation pushed tariffs first. The other one retaliates. The other one retaliates back again. And it can escalate tremendously as like back in the 1930s when the (Inaudible) was first brought in during the depression.

And against the wishes of many, many economists, and that just went in to all our trade war -- deepen the great depression, made it worse. That can happen here.

HOWELL: The Trump administration certainly taking a tougher stance on China. We'll see what happens as this you know trade war plays out. But there's tough talk also with U.S. allies with NATO. Mr. Trump's beef has always been pressuring these nations to pay more for defense. Does this pressure either help of hurt the U.S. overall you think?

MATTHEWS: I think it probably hurts the U.S. because it shows a resentment on the part of the U.S. President, which it shouldn't be there, because it's not just how many percent of the GDP that this country provides for its defense budget, but how much does it contribute to NATO itself in terms of logistics and in terms of where the bases are?

So you cannot reduce it down to a dollar amount. There is the percentage of the GDP as Trump wants to do. He wants them to pay two percent. And Germany's paying 1.5 percent already. They've been moved to two percent in a few years. He wants it right away. He's threatening to actually do the thing that would be very bad for NATO like withdrawing U.S. support for certain things such as Article 5 for example.

HOWELL: All this happening, these meetings of the NATO. In advance of the Trump's meeting with the Russian President Vladimir Putin later this month, but in a world where traditional U.S. allies, Peter, seems to be treated as frienemies, and as a warming of relations with traditional adversaries like Putin, like Kim Jong-Un. Is the Trump agenda remaking the international world order?

MATTHEWS: It seems to be in some ways turning it upside down, at least halfway upside down, because it's not bad to try to get better relationships with some of your adversaries and try to work out the (Inaudible) you know more or less a combination in the right way, not overly giving up U.S. interests. But at the same time, you should never put aside your own allies and insult them, and do things like (Inaudible) G7 where he just shunned them.

So many left the place early, and you know he's been doing things very detrimental to the relationship with us and our allies. I'm worried what he'll do with the NATO allies in this coming few days.

HOWELL: And again, you know in advance of a meeting with Vladimir Putin. Is there a concern that this creates a degree of mistrust between the United States and its allies?

MATTHEWS: Absolutely, because the allies are concerned. What is Mr. Trump going to talk to Mr. Putin about? What is he going to offer that has not been consulted with the allies themselves? For example, Mr. Trump also wants to meet with Mr. Putin privately without anyone but the translators there initially. And that's kind of unusual. It happened maybe once when President Reagan took a walk with President Gorbachev in the woods.

But wasn't a private meeting in a room. And Trump wants to insist on meeting privately with Mr. Putin first. So the allies might be a little suspicious. What's going on there? What's being given away perhaps or promised? But them (Inaudible) knowing officials knowing what exactly are happening. It's kind of concerning in some quarters for sure.

HOWELL: All right. It is a big meeting for sure. All eyes will be on what happens there. Stand by for a moment, Peter, as we switch over to another major story we're covering out of Washington this day. The U.S. President embattled head of the EPA, the Environmental Protection Agency has resigned on Thursday. That resignation after confronting months of ethics, controversies, CNN's Kaitlan Collins explains what happened.


PRES. DONALD TRUMP (R), UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: Scott Pruitt, Administrator of the EPA.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Embattled EPA Chief Scott Pruitt out after months of melting ethics scandals and questions about his behavior. President Trump announcing on Twitter, I have accepted the resignation of Scott Pruitt as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, praising Pruitt's work, rolling back Obama era regulation that the EPA, but making no mention of the dozens of ethics questions facing him.

Pruitt writing in a letter to the President, your confidence in me has blessed me personally. Adding, the unrelenting attacks on me personally, my family is unprecedented and has taken a sizable toll. Pruitt had been under a cloud of scandals for months now, constantly facing questions about his security detail, pricey first-class travel, and cozy relationships with lobbyists.

Pruitt was back in the headlines just this week, a CNN report revealing he and his aids kept secret calendars to hide contentious meetings. An aid testified before the House Oversight Committee that Pruitt asked to find his wife a job with the salary over $200,000 at the Republican Governor's Association. And CNN reporting that he directly asked Trump this spring to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and let him lead the Department of Justice instead. [02:24:02] Before that, stories about his housing situation in

Washington, his wife's desire for a Chick-fil-A franchise, and even a search for a used Trump Hotel mattress stunned White House aids. Despite the bad optics, Trump never waivered.

TRUMP: I'm not happy about certain things, but he's done a fantastic job running the EPA, which is very overriding. But I am not happy (Inaudible).

COLLINS: On Wednesday, Pruitt appeared to be in good standing with the President. Smiling and shaking hands at the White House's Fourth of July picnic.

TRUMP: Administrator Scott Pruitt.


COLLINS: But in this administration, 24 hours can mean the difference between a job and a farewell. Now, President Trump made clear in his first remarks to reporters about Scott Pruitt's resignation that he had resigned and was not fired from his position as the EPA Chief. President Trump praising him, saying he did an outstanding job and wishing him well in the future. For now, EPA Scott Pruitt's deputy, Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist will take over. Kaitlan Collins, CNN, the White House.


HOWELL: All right. Kaitlan, with the reporting there, thank you. And now Peter Matthews again with analysis, Peter in that resignation letter, Scott Pruitt never mentions the numerous investigations against him. Instead, saying it came down to the personal pressure that he and his family have experienced regardless of the reason here. Are you surprised this resignation happened?

MATTHEWS: Not at all. He's deflecting from the real problems they caused with these terrible egregious practices of ethical violations. But most importantly, George, what you're seeing here is regulatory capture, where the regulatory agency says the EPA is supposed to promote clean air and clean water and reduce global warming by its policy and research.

The agency is supposed to regulate on behalf of the American public's interest that's been captured by the lobbyists that Scott Pruitt represents. He sued the EPA many times to stop it from functioning properly -- Oklahoma Attorney General. This is the regulatory capture problem of the special interests running our government by people like Scott Pruitt and Ms. Betsy Devos in the Education Department that promoted privatization of education.

Capturing the agents that are supposed to promote the public good and pushing it for private interest instead. So it's much more than just individual egregious violations, which are so outrageous -- ethical violations that we see, but it's much more than that. It's really capture, regulatory capture.

HOWELL: Peter Matthews, thank you so much for your time and perspective.

MATTHEWS: My pleasure.

HOWELL: Still ahead, (Inaudible) nerves and deja-vu, how a small area in the British countryside is coping with not just one but two shocking cases of poisoning with a deadly nerve agent. Plus, a separation is finally over for one migrant family in the United States, now, just 3,000 or so to go, we'll have more on that story ahead. Around the world, you're watching Newsroom.


[02:30:14] GEORGE HOWELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Welcome back to our viewers around the world. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Atlanta. I'm George Howell with the headlines we're following for you this hour. The head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has resigned under a cloud of controversy. Scott Pruitt is the target of at least 14 separate ethics investigations. In his resignation letter, he blamed, "Unrelenting attacks on himself and his family never mentioning the numerous investigations against him." The U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in North Korea on talks for denuclearization, this video of the Secretary of State during a stopover in Japan. Pompeo is under pressure to get commitments on a timetable and next steps from Pyongyang. His visits come amid new intelligence reports that North Korea has no intention of gives up its nuclear weapons.

China has accused the United States of starting, "The biggest trade war in economic history this as $34 billion in U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods go into effect." Beijing says it now has no choice but to strike back. Recapping our top story this hour, the breaking new that we're following, a former Thai Navy SEAL has died while preparing for the rescue of a boy's football team trapped in a flooded cave. The deputy governor of the province says that the former SEAL died performing his duty. He was a volunteer who ran out of air while securing oxygen tanks at an underwater station point. The 12 boys and they're coach, they've been trapped there now for 13 days.

They became stranded when flashfloods cut them off and more rain unfortunately is in the forecast. That -- additional rain of course will complicate any further rescue missions. One possibility is that the boys use scuba to swim out. There's no doubt cave diving is not for the faint of heart. It's not for the claustrophobic. Even the most experienced divers become trapped and can panic. CNN's Gary Tuchman took a look at this profession from the U.S. State of Utah.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I walk in 40-degree water with two of the preeminent cave divers in the United States. Sgt. Wendell Nope is the trainer of the Utah Department of Public Safety dive team. Richard Lamb is a civilian who is part of the team. We're in Northern Utah's Logan Canyon at a cave system geographically similar to the cave in Thailand where the young boys and coach are trapped and it's similar in other ways too. WENDELL NOPE, UTAH DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY: This case is flooded

with snow-melt water. The cave in Thailand is flooded with monsoon water.

TUCHMAN: Both men begin their scuba voyage into the caves with our cameras. To give us a look at the dangers, and show us why you absolutely never do anything like this without cave diving certification. Just getting into this nearly half mile long cave system requires squeezing through a narrow tunnel. And this is not the narrowest tunnel they will face. The water that go as deep as 90 feet. Are you scared sometimes going when you in a cave like this?

NOPE: I have at times been afraid when something unexpected happens.

TUCHMAN: Something unexpected includes equipment failure, changes in water depth, and falling rocks and boulders that could leave you trap.

RICHARD LAMB, DIVE TEAM MEMBER: My greatest fear is running out of air before I make it out of the cave. The truth is I've been stuck in this place.

TUCHMAN: Stuck for about six minutes, Richard Lamb says. It crossed his mind that he was in serious trouble. He was rescued by Sgt. Nope. To become cave diver certified, one of the requirements is that must be at least 18 years old through the difficultly and skill needed which raises yet another concern for those boys in Thailand. Some as young as 11 and several who can't swim.

LAMB: In my perception it's the last resort. But it is a viable means providing them an escape route.

NOPE: If it's the only resort.

LAMB: If it's the only resort.

TUCHMAN: Officials in Thailand are pumping water out of the caves around the clock, a much better option says this master diver.

NOPE: I believe if the rain were to subside enough that the pumps could draw enough water out of the cave, that would be an optimal scenario.


TUCHMAN: This frigid watery cave is so inherently dangerous we're even told that more people have walked on the moon than have navigated through this. Our two experts tell us in additional to themselves they know of only five other people who have gone through here.


TUCHMAN: The circumstances for the boys and their soccer coach in Thailand remain life threatening and extremely challenging. But these Utah experts have faith in their diving colleagues on the scene.

NOPE: When a human being is faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges, we seem to rise to that challenge.

TUCHMAN: Gary Tuchman, CNN Logan Canyon, Utah.


[02:35:21] HOWELL: Gary, thank you. Now, to the United Kingdom, investigators there are searching for the source of the deadly nerve agent that poisoned two people on Saturday. Police say the sickened couple handled an item that was contaminated with Novichok, a Russian developed chemical weapon. It is the second time this year that the dangerous substance has uprooted the sense of calm in the British countryside. It's leaving people there on edge, people nervous for what might come next. CNN's Erin McLaughlin reports.


ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Investigators are now closer to piecing together the mystery of the couple poisoned with a deadly nerve agent in the U.K. Police now say the pair was exposed to a weapon deadly nerve agent after handling a contaminated item. It's still unclear where that item came from or even what it is. This as the investigation expands in the heart of Wiltshire. Thursday, the social housing unit where Dawn Sturgess lives was evacuated. She's fighting for her life alongside her boyfriend, Charles Rowley. Detectives are meticulously and systematically searching a number of sites in the hunt for the source of Novichok, a poison so potent, experts say even trace amounts can kill. Four months ago, the same nerve agent was used to attack a former Russian spy and his daughter. In what British officials believe was a Kremlin-backed plot to take out Sergei Skripal, a perceived traitor. Authorities say it's possible Sturgess and Rowley unwittingly came into contact with poison leftover from the Skripal attack. Though they did say Sturgess and Rowley did not visit locations previously decontaminated.

SAJID JAVID, HOME SECRETARY OF THE UNITED KINGDOM: It is completely unacceptable for our people to be either deliberate or accidental targets, all for our streets, our parks, our towns to be dumping grounds for poison.

MCLAUGHLIN: Now, over a hundred counterterror officers are scouring the streets of Salisbury for clues. The park where the couple enjoyed summer drinks, the pharmacy where they bought their hair dye to cheer on England at the World Cup, a local church where Rowley enjoyed a community barbecue all cordoned off. Police officers standing guard. Here in Salisbury, there's a sense of unease, a concern that more people could get sick.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's quite scary. It's quite worrying as well.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just worry about the kids (INAUDIBLE) catching --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) to grow about if what's about. It's quite worrying. MCLAUGHLIN: Even British authorities now acknowledge there are no

safety guarantees.

BEN WALLACE, BRITISH MINISTER OF STATE FOR SECURITY AND ECONOMIC CRIME: I can't sit here and guarantee you that you will be safe in Manchester a hundred percent from terrorism nor can I guarantee you in the West Country that you are going to be at the moment a hundred percent safe from further contamination. If until we know the full details of what happened back in march.


MCLAUGHLIN: British officials alleged the Kremlin holds the key to solving this mystery. They're urging Russian officials to come forward with any information about how the Skripals' were poisoned back in March. Security minister saying it's Russia's opportunity to, "Right this wrong." The Kremlin meanwhile denies any involvement. There is a thing that this is all just a British conspiracy. Erin McLaughlin, CNN, Salisbury, England.

HOWELL: Erin, thank you. The Kremlin says Britain is creating obstacles to the investigation of the latest Novichok poisoning. Russian officials have repeatedly denied any involvement in the attack on the Skripals' in March and deny accusations about the latest poisoning as well. Russia's foreign ministry spokesperson says they've been trying to cooperate with British officials for months now, but they've been always knocked down.


MARIA ZAKHAROVA, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESWOMAN (via translator): We urge Theresa May's government to stop playing games with chemical poisonous substances and stop creating obstacles for a joint investigation on what happened on the U.K. soil with a Russian citizens. I'm sure that for everything May's government has done, the government and its immediate representatives will have to apologize one day.


HOWELL: The Syrian military assault on rebel held Daraa is slowing after the Syrian opposition and Russia agreed to resume ceasefire talks this according to the opposition Free Syrian Army. The Jordanian government has been instrumental in getting the parties back to the table. The U.N. says some 300,000 have escaped the fighting. Thousands are taken refuge along the borders of Jordan and Israel. Both countries refused though to let in anymore refugees. The leader of the cult behind the Sarin gas attack on the Japanese subway in 1995 has been executed.

[02:40:06] Chizuo Matsumoto who went by the name Shoko Asahara spent 22 years in prison for the deadly attack. Japan's justice minister confirms six cult members who took part of the Sarin attack were also executed Friday. They had placed plastic bags of Sarin on crowded Tokyo trains during rush hour. This is back in 1995, 13 people died, more than 5,000 became ill. The Trump administration is staring down some very tight deadlines now as they scramble to figure out how to reunite thousands of migrant children with their families. We'll follow that story for you. Also, a surprising treasure inside a suitcase all but forgotten in the attic of a family home.


HOWELL: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm George Howell. Friday marks a very important deadline for the United States government. They have to make sure that every migrant parents separated from his or her child at the U.S. border has a way to make contact with their child. Now, this is the first in a series of deadline set by a federal judge to reunite thousands of children with their families by the end of the month. There are complications though. Our Miguel Marquez explains.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There is great urgency at the federal government to make these reunifications happen. The Health and Human Services secretary saying that they have some 3,000 -- just under 3,000 minors that are in their care that were separated from their parents. What they are not saying is how many of those 3,000 were due to the separation of the -- under the Trump zero- tolerance policy. We have seen no reunifications by the Trump administration since the judge ordered the administration to make those reunifications. But we are seeing them on a one-off basis, lawyers who represent individuals. We are able to see some of this. We saw one at Logan Airport that is it's hard to watch. It is hard to listen to. Now, that is a Guatemalan mother and her eight-year-old daughter being reunited. They were been -- they've been separated for about two months. They were picked up at the Arizona border.

[02:44:59] They was -- they were in different states. The mother had friends in Massachusetts. She got out on bond after clearing a test, the credible fear test she had for her asylum claim. She then made bond, she then determined where her daughter was. She worked with HHS, and the -- and the agencies there to verify that she was this girl's daughter.

She went to stay with friends in Boston, then they flew the daughter in, gives you an idea how complicated every one of these can be. The daughter came into Logan Airport and that's where they have this just really powerful, difficult to watch reunion. Where the daughter at one point is also want to come and care for her mother, as much as the mother caring for her daughter.

The Trump administration saying that by next Tuesday, they will have those younger children. Those under five are reunited with their parents. It is not clear how they are going to do that. They says they're already bringing the adults to Texas to be close to their kids, and then, it appears that they are going to house many of them together in some sort of new encampment we believe it's going to be at the military base on Fort Bliss near El Paso.

The Trump administration also says they will use DNA tests to ensure that the parents and the children are related. There is great concern about to the making sure that they are giving the parents and -- you know, bringing the parents and the children together and that they are correctly matched.

They're also saying that it's only going to be used for identification purposes and nothing else. It's clearly causing can some concern for parents and advocacy groups, but parents right now willing to do anything to get their children back. Miguel Marquez, CNN, McAllen, Texas.

HOWELL: Miguel, thank you. Now, to an update that we have, a story that we brought you recently. A legal U.S. resident who had been arrested under immigration crackdowns at now back with his family.

You may remember, Jose Luis Garcia, he was taken from his home in California last month because of a 2001 domestic violence dispute. He was facing deportation, but a judge has now ruled that Garcia could continue living in the United States as a lawful resident. His daughter spoke to CNN right after her father was taken. Listen.


NATALIE GARCIA, DAUGHTER OF JOSE LUIS GARCIA: It was just a typical Sunday morning and drinking his coffee, watering the lawn, and he started screaming out my name, and I ran out. And there was eight officer or agent arresting him. And I asked for a warrant, and then, they showed me a warrant. They said that they were going to take him and it was due to a domestic dispute that he had in 2001 and he had a misdemeanor. And they didn't tell me where he was go being taken, or anything, they just took him. You cannot separate people, you cannot just come to people's homes

with no warrants, with no wear -- no identifications. My father carried his green card and his wallet, his driver's license, they took that from him. They took it, they said it was government property.


HOWELL: If I recall correctly, all that happened on Father's Day. She says that her father is now in the process of becoming naturalized.

Still ahead this hour, a suitcase in the attic is finally unpacked. We'll show you the history that was hidden inside.


[02:50:03] HOWELL: If you got an old suitcase sitting in the attic, you might want to see what's inside. Our Nick Glass reports the contents could be quite revealing.

NICK GLASS, CNN ARTS REPORTER: Nothing evokes a time and a place quite like black and white photographs, workingmen outside a pub in the east end of London in the 1930s. Both a hats on Oxford Street just by Selfridges. And Piccadilly Circus in the 1950s are blaze with neon and reflected light.

Until recently, no one knew these images even existed. They were discovered in a battered old suitcase in an attic in Kenton in the South of England. A cache of several hundred negatives left by an amateur photographer, very few had ever been made into prints.


MARTIN CARROLL, FORMER COMMERCIAL PHOTOGRAPHER: I thought, we should have something about clear a house and not before time after about 30 years. I've -- I'm forgotten the suitcase was up there, to be honest.

GLASS: The suitcase and the photos came from Martin Carroll's late father-in-law.

CARROLL: All the negatives were in me little manila envelopes. And yes, we've got a shot of the London market with the, the family intent on finding matching shoes from a huge great pile.

GLASS: Camera in hand, this was the amateur photographer. By profession, John Turner was a property manager.

LIZ TURNER, DAUGHTER OF JOHN TURNER: I was so delighted when we found these pictures because I thought, yes. I knew that was in there somewhere because he was a man who wore a mask quite a lot.

GLASS: John Turner was a man of very few words. He preferred to express himself visually.

TURNER: He had a very dry, very quirky sense of humor.

GLASS: And you can sense that in this early self-portrait in the rain. And irresistibly so in his street photography.

The lady collecting for a pet charity is herself asked for money by a beggar. Exactly, the sort of picture worthy of a master 20th-century photographer that Henri Cartier-Bresson. The 1950's fashionista butterfly sunglasses and fur, is given the once-over by a bronze dog. The husband distracted by the lingerie display.

As opening the suitcase in a revelation.

TURNER: Yes. Yes, it has.

GLASS: A nice revelation?

TURNER: A very, very nice revelation because the pictures feel like the father, I had an intuitive relationship with yes.

GLASS: Asleep at the wheel on a cross-channel ferry. Nuns at the beach. The passing backward glance on Bond Street, who or what was that?

After his death in 1987, John Turner's photos disappeared into the Attic without anyone realizing how good they were. Liz and Martin are planning a book and they hope an exhibition. Nick Glass, CNN, with a suitcase of old photos, in Kent.


HOWELL: Well, just a few hours' time, the World Cup quarter-finals kickoff. First stop, Uruguay, will take on France, both teams unbeaten heading into this clash of former world champions.

Later in the day, five-time champion Brazil will battle Belgium, the tournament's top scorers. On Saturday, Sweden go head-to-head with England and the final World Cup hosts Russia finally will meet with Croatia.

World Cup has had its fair of -- a share of surprises, I should say with leading teams and players now out of the tournament. Others have been given a chance to shine like Brazil's Neymar. He could be named the best footballer in the world. "WORLD SPORTS" Alex Thomas, explains for us.

ALEX THOMAS, CNN INTERNATIONAL SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: For the last decade, FIFA's trophy for men's player of the year has been shared between just two men. You've probably heard of them, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

But with Portugal and Argentina round to the World Cup, maybe someone else will be crowned at what is now called, The Best FIFA Football Awards.

Harry Kane and Kylian Mbappe have been mentioned, but it's Neymar who seems to have the best chance according to a fellow Brazilian, who's won the prize three times.


[02:55:06] RONALDO: I think, he has a great opportunity to win these awards, this World Cup, the timing on. And that he's still alive and I think he's -- he got a chance but he needs to win the World Cup which pursues to choose to win the best player of the year.

LOTHAR MATTHAUS, FIRST FIFA WORLD PLAYER OF THE YEAR, GERMANY: It's just something what cannot be positive for him. And we don't like to see the acting, especially, we speak about fair play. And Neymar is an idol for many kids, he has to stop defecting.

THOMAS: Matthaus says, one thing that might count against Neymar is his growing reputation for reacting to fouls on the pitch in a rather exaggerated manner. It's led to a flood of social media means and gifts poking fun at the Brazilian. And I showed one to Ronaldo who defended his young compatriot.

RONALDO: People are very, very creative, you know. Football is much more easier and this happen all the time. Maybe I did this to -- you know --

THOMAS: It's no problem?

RONALDO: At all. No problems that all.

GLASS: Even coming back from injury, Neymar is still showing us how talented he is. But he wants to be considered the worlds' best, he needs to make sure we remember him for his football not as play- acting. Alex Thomas, CNN, Moscow.


HOWELL: All right, Alex. Thank you. And in the United Kingdom, the Trump baby blimp is getting closer to liftoff. London's mayor has given protesters the OK to send this giant balloon over Parliament during the U.S. President Donald Trump's visit to the city next week.

The six-meter blimp is hardly flattering. It depicts a Twitter-loving Trump as an infant with yellow hair and small hands holding a cell phone. The protesters though still need -- these protests still need approval from police and air traffic services before the blimp can take flight.

Thanks for being with us here for CNN NEWSROOM. Let's reset and bring in our U.S. viewers at the top of the hour from more news from around the world. You're watching CNN, the world news leader