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Trump and Rouhani's War on Twitter; Americans Can't Get Over Trump's Behavior; Shooting Rampage in Toronto Killed One; North Korea Not Keeping its Promise; Disturbed Man Opened Fire in Vegas then Surrendered; Syria Conflict; Extreme Weather; British PM's Political Battles; History At The Open. Aired 3-4a ET
Aired July 23, 2018 - 03:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[03:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN HOST: At 3:00 a.m. on the U.S. East Coast. Following the breaking news this hour. A war of words between the leaders of Iran and the United States.
I'm George Howell.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN HOST: And I'm Natalie Allen. Welcome to our viewers in the U.S. and around the world. This is our top story.
The rhetoric escalating just hours ago on Twitter.
HOWELL: Late Sunday, the U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted this. You'll see it's in all caps there. It says, quote, "To Iranian President Rouhani, never ever threaten the United States again or you will suffer consequences the likes of which few throughout history have suffered before. We're no longer a country that will stand for your demented words of violence and death. Be cautious at the U.S. president."
ALLEN: President Trump appears to have been responding to these comments from President Rouhani. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HASSAN ROUHANI, PRESIDENT OF IRAN (through translator): Mr. Trump, don't play with the lion's tail. This would only lead to regret. You will forever regret it. You are not in a position to incite the Iranian nation against Iran's security and interest. The Iranian nation knows its interest and sacrifices to protect them. You are mistaken.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: President Trump top diplomat took aim at Iran. Here is Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE POMPEO, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE: The bitter irony of the economic situation in Iran is that the regime uses this to line its own pockets while its people cry out for jobs and reform, and for opportunity.
The Iranian economy is going great but only if you are politically connected member of the elite.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: Mike Pompeo there. And now following this story, CNN international correspondent Ian Lee, live in Jerusalem. Ian, look, I'm not sure if there has been reaction at this point given these exchanges this latest response from the U.S. president.
But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu there certainly has been one of the president's biggest international supporters in this.
IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, George. And we're expecting him in about this next hour to possibly say something about his cabinet meeting.
But for the prime minister, you're right. He has championed against this deal since the very beginning, since President Obama was working with the other members of the Security Council, and Germany and Iran to try to come up with this deal. He went to Congress to lobby against it. He failed in those efforts.
But with President Trump he has succeeded. He has worked with the United States government to get them to pull out of the deal. The United States broke the agreement by pulling out of it. And Israel has said that Iran is an actor of bad faith. They revealed a treasure- trove of information detailing Iran's nuclear program.
In that information it does detail it in the early 2000s. The one thing though, that it has yet to reveal is Iran not abiding by the Iran nuclear deal. Although Israel says this information shows that Iran is an actor of bad faith.
But Israel for their part, they see Iran in multiple threats. First, you do have what Israel perceives as a nuclear threat from Iran, although there is no evidence that Iran so far is producing a nuclear weapon. But they also have Syria. And Israel has been very adamant about Iran not getting a foothold inside of Syria where they are able to launch strikes or attacks towards Israel.
And so, by the United States putting this economic pressure on Iran, they're hoping that that also puts their pressure on their involvement in Syria, as well as their involvement with the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.
HOWELL: All right. Ian Lee following the story, live in Jerusalem. Thank you, Ian.
ALLEN: For more now let's turn now to frequent guest Scott Lucas. He's a professor of international politics at the University of Birmingham in England and the founder and editor of E.A. World View. Scott, thank you for joining us. So it seems to have started with those comments by the Iranian
president. Urging President Trump to make peace with Iran. The he made a reference to war and then that prompted the terse all caps threat from Mr. Trump. What do you make of it?
SCOTT LUCAS, POLITICS PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM: There are three things in play. All important. First is that the Trump administration is pursuing a policy of regime change in Iran which is different of course from the approach of the Obama administration.
Secondly, the Iranian leadership not only the president of the supreme leader have stepped up their rhetoric in the past weeks. Notably, by warning that they will hinder the oil sales of other countries if Iran's oil exports are reduced by American sanctions.
[03:05:04] And thirdly, Donald Trump has been known to use a dramatic tweet like this as a distraction when he's under pressure. For example, under the Russia investigation and his meetings with Vladimir Putin. And there's nothing more distracting than threatening a war.
ALLEN: Right. This seems to be the pointing you gave three options there. To the unraveling of the Iran nuclear deal. Because it's still very much up in the air as far as the future.
LUCAS: No, Iran nuclear deal is dead at least from the standpoint of the United States. European countries--
ALLEN: That's what I meant because others are trying to salvage it or go around somehow.
LUCAS: Yes. But the point is that the U.S. is that divided from those European allies now. This is why we're in different territory. The Europeans don't want regime change. Russia and China don't want regime change. Perhaps Benjamin Netanyahu wants regime change but his own military intelligence officials are very wary, especially about military action.
So the United States or at least Trump administration is pretty much in uncharted territory here. Now how far they go how far they push it, well, right now it's back and forth.
Because each time they push further for regime change like in the secretary of state speech yesterday, the leadership of Iran, especially the hard liners, especially the supreme leader they will hit back. They will say we will not stand down, we will not back down. We will have a resistant economy.
And the danger here is not that you have a war tomorrow that breaks out tomorrow, but that you get a war by miscalculation. Or you get a war simply because these insults step up to a point where neither side wants to back down.
ALLEN: Right. You know, let's look at North Korea for a moment. We have the back and forth with Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump, and that led to a meeting. Iran certainly, a different, a different regime.
However, you know, Mr. Trump using harsh words like be cautious, you're also dealing with here. Is there any merit to that? Is there anything positive to say to that when you look at the situation between the U.S. and North Korea.
LUCAS: I mean, there's an interesting theory out there. And that is Donald Trump will threaten military action one year and then the next he wants to meet the leader of another country. But I think there's two major differences here. I think Trump actually saw even though I think it's a bit fanciful that he could strike an individual deal with Kim Jong-un in North Korea.
I don't think he sees that with the Iranian leadership especially because of the Israel dimension that's in play here. And secondly, Iran's supreme leader is not going to sit down with Donald Trump. He hates Donald Trump. He's not a big fan of the U.S. So we don't get a switch from the tough talk to all of a summon a summit in Tehran next year.
ALLEN: Now certainly, you know, and Donald Trump had hoped once he backed out of the Iran nuclear deal that Iran would call him up and want to talk about deal making. But that certainly isn't going to happen. How far are we from diplomacy between Iran and the U.S. right now?
LUCAS: We're half a world away from it. You're not going to get diplomacy. Look, I just want to make this very clear. That the stated position the Trump administration maybe, we'll have a new nuclear deal if Iran accepts the conditions. They aren't.
What they want to do is bring down the leadership in Iran. They want to bring down the supreme leader. They want to bring down President Rouhani. I'm not saying whether that's right or wrong but that's what they want to do.
Now when you are threatening regime change you cannot expect the Iranian leadership to say that's all right now, we'll talk to you. We'll have a new nuclear deal. That's not going to happen.
Instead, the hard liners are going to dig in. The supreme leader, the Revolutionary Guards they're going to call on their population to sacrifice economically. They are going to demand no negotiations with the U.S. They are going to escalate their involvement in Syria.
In other words, when you pursue regime change from Washington you don't get success immediately. You are going to get confrontation. And that's where we are.
ALLEN: Yes. They're certainly pushing back. Scott Lucas, we appreciate your insights. Thank you.
LUCAS: Thank you.
HOWELL: The U.S. president is also tweeting about Russia interference in the U.S. election and he is reversing course again. ALLEN: Yes. He tweeted Sunday that it's a big hope and he slammed
Barack Obama accusing him of failing to inform the Trump campaign about Russia, but that is not correct.
In August of 2016, then candidate Trump was briefed by U.S. intelligence officials that Russia would try to infiltrate this campaign.
HOWELL: Sunday's tweet by Mr. Trump follows his stunning refusal a week ago to call out Russian interference. That's when he stood side by side with the Russian leader. A day later he backtracked. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Dan Coats came to me and some others they said they think it's Russia. I have President Putin he just said it's not Russia. I will say this, I don't see any reason why it would be.
[03:09:59] The message should have been I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be Russia. Sort of a double negative. So, you can put that in. Then I think that probably clarifies things pretty good by itself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: But it actually hasn't clarified much. There' been so much back and forth. Now one of the president's staunchest supporters said Mr.T rump needs to do a better job clarifying what is his stand on Russia.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TREY GOWDY, (R) UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE: The evidence is overwhelming. It can be proven beyond any evidence reburden (Ph) that Russia is not our friend and they tried to attack us in 2016. So the president either needs to rely on the people that he has chosen to advise him or those advisers need to reevaluate whether or not they can serve in this administration.
But the disconnect cannot continue. The evidence is overwhelming. And the president needs to say that and act like it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: All right. That from Trey Gowdy. And now we're hearing from the top Democrat on the U.S. House intelligence committee who had this to say about Mr. Trump's behavior regarding Russia. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), CALIFORNIA: Well, I certainly think he's acting like someone who is compromised. And it may very well be that he is compromised or it may very well be that he believes that he's compromised that the Russians have information on him.
We were not permitted to look into one of the allegations that was most serious to me. And that is where the Russians laundering money through the Trump administration. The Republicans wouldn't allow us to go near that.
I hope that Bob Mueller is investigating it, because again, if that's the leverage the Russians are using it would not only explain the president's behavior but it would help protect the country by knowing that in fact the president was compromised.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Let's cross over to Moscow and see how this is playing there. Our senior international correspondent Sam Kiley joins us. We all know that any talk of Russian interference in the U.S. election drives Russia nuts. So how's that playing over there, Sam?
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it drives them nuts as you say, Natalie, often with delight. Because of course, in the Russian doctrine chaos in the ranks of the enemy or the rivals is in and of itself victory.
Now what we've recently had with yesterday's tweet or overnight tweet from Donald Trump suggesting that the 2016 interference in the U.S. political process is by Russia was a hoax means that he's backtracked on his backtrack from his original statement from Helsinki which questioned the veracity of the U.S. intelligence conclusions that that's exactly what happened.
Now you might argue that this is good news for the Putin administration. And you would be right. Because it's the same time the Russians are saying that the allegations against Maria Butina, the alleged agent of the Kremlin who is seeking allegedly to have political influence on the behalf of the Kremlin through the National Rifle Association and others was a fabrication.
So you're linking these ideas of hoax and fabrication in both cases seeking to undermine the very structures of the United States that they are supposed to conduct investigations and prosecute people who have been found against whom there's been a case found as a result of those investigations.
So, again, this super suits to the Kremlin. Now I use that term because of course Sergey Lavrov say that the consequence -- consequences from the Helsinki summit were better than super, Natalie.
ALLEN: Right. And they are the ones that have been talking about really what was discussed. Much more so than Mr. Trump. You're saying he's backtracked on the backtrack. That kind of sums it up, doesn't it, the confusion. We really appreciate it, Sam Kiley for us there in Moscow. Thank you, Sam.
HOWELL: All right. Another target of Mr. Trum'ps tweets on Sunday. His own Justice Department.
ALLEN: This time the president accused the FBI and the Justice Department of misleading the courts in order to get approval to spy on Carter Page. Page of course the former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser accused of also working for Russia.
HOWELL: The Justice Department released the evidence it used to get the surveillance approval for Page. Page spoke with CNN's Jake Tapper about the accusations in the FBI request.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARTER PAGE, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN FOREIGN POLICY ADVISER: This is so ridiculous. It's just beyond words, you know. It's you're talking about misleading the court. It's just so misleading going through those 400 plus page documents, you know. Where do you even begin?
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Did you ever advise the Kremlin or work with the Kremlin on anything?
PAGE: Look, Jake, no. I -- no. I've never been an agent of a foreign power in any -- by any stretch of the imagination.
[03:14:59] You know, I may have a -- back in the G20 when (Inaudible) to do that in St. Petersburg, I might have participated in a few meetings.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: Carter Page there speaking to my colleague Jake Tapper. Still ahead, we're following the latest on breaking news in Toronto. Police there investigating a late night shooting rampage. A shooting that left one person dead and more than a dozen wounded.
ALLEN: Also ahead here, North Korea and the U.S. are still talking for now. Why improved ties could be breaking down though. We'll have a live report for you from that region. Stay with us.
HOWELL: Breaking news we've been following out of Toronto. One woman is dead and at least 13 others wounded after a shooting that took place Sunday night. Police say that the shooter is also dead. They don't know much about the shooter but they are investigating, quote, "every possible motive including terrorism."
ALLEN: Investigators are working multiple scenes including outside a restaurant where the shooting took place. All of the victims were taken to hospitals. One of them a young girl is said to be in critical condition.
[03:20:01] One witness describes here what he heard and saw.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sir, what did you hear tonight?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Several gunshots. Lots of gunshots. That's about all I heard. Then I --
(CROSSTALK) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How many shots would you say? How many--
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would say I heard at least 20 shots in intervals. You know, clips being spent. Reloading. Clip being spent. Reloading. Clip being spent. That's what I heard. And then I saw the carnage as I ran down the street here to kind of follow the gunfire. I guess pretty crazy.
I saw at least four people shot here by the fountain. As you said someone came out of the restaurant here, so I missed that. Another person in Dimitri (Ph), so I assume was shot as there was a lot of action going on there. Towels trying to be grabbed. Trying to help people out, I guess what they were doing.
That's all I saw. And then obviously the police arrived and now I'm standing here watching this. Not cool. Not cool at all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: Again, we know that at least one woman is dead, 13 others wounded. This is a story we'll continue to follow. This shooting rampage that took place in Toronto, Canada.
Growing signs now that warming relations between the United States and North Korea maybe cooling off.
More than a month after the Singapore summit with Kim Jong-un, President Trump says that things are going well. But according to a U.S. official in private, Mr. Trump is frustrated, angry at the pace of denuclearization talks.
Following the story, our Alexandra Field is live in Seoul, South Korea. Alexandra, there was a point that according to our Will Ripley's reporting, a bright spot here. North Korea determined to continue with the talks. That at least must be resonating well in the region.
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Sure. Look, probably officials here in South Korea echo what the officials say in the U.S. probably, which is that they main optimism about the - what possibility of these talks is in the future. What they could potentially yield.
The reality is that there have been no concrete actions and no plans for concrete actions since that Singapore summit which yielded nothing more essentially than in agreement to get started on what is really the hard work.
So we know that there is a long road ahead. The U.S. has been very clear. Even just a few days ago, in saying that they will keep sanctions against North Korea in place until there is progress. North Korea bristled at that and shaved under those sanctions.
So we have seen mounting hostility from North Korea in the form of rhetoric not just direct threat to the United States but also now directed at South Korea. Criticism of the administration here and the threat it seems that they could potentially renege on another agreement that they made to South Korea. That is to reunite some of the families between South Korea and North Korea torn apart decades ago by war.
The two sides have agreed when they started talking earlier this summer to go for with official reunion in August. This is dearly important to so many people who have been separated for so long. This is an ageing population. People who are in their 80s and 90s hoping to reunite with loved ones. It could be a last chance for them. This are hoping this will happen in August.
But George, over the weekend we saw in state news out of North Korea that there could be obstacles in terms of bringing this reunion about. North Korean state news demanding now the repatriation of 12 North Korean waitresses who they say were abducted in 2016.
South Korea has since 2016 contended that the women defected. This has again, long been an issue of contention. But George, this is the first time that North Korea is using the subject of these waitresses and tying them to the issue of the reunions.
So this is a moment where everyone is really sitting back and watching and waiting to see whether North -- whether or not North Korea is ready to continue to act in good faith here when it comes to agreements with the South Korea and also ultimately, with the United States. George?
HOWELL: The demands are flying back and forth. Alexandra Field following it all, live in Seoul, South Korea. Thank you.
ALLEN: There has been another shooting at a church in the United States. This happened in the State of Nevada. And one person was dead.
HOWELL: In Fallon, Nevada, official say that a man walked into the Mormon church on Sunday afternoon. That man then firing a gun. And then walked home. Police say that this man, 48 year-old John Kelly O'Connor later surrendered to police. The police chief talked about Kelly's possible motive. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEVIN GEHMAN, POLICE CHIEF, FALLON, NEVADA: Initially it does not appear that this attack had been directed upon the church but the individual victim. Staff is currently working on gathering additional information. We're getting a search warrant for Mr. O'Connor's residence and conducting interviews with witnesses at this time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Again, one person was killed. A second person had an injury to the leg.
HOWELL: Israel's defense minister says the main commercial border crossing near to Gaza will reopen on Tuesday provided conditions remain quiet.
[03:25:01] ALLEN: That announcement coming from Avigdor Lieberman after Israel launched what it called a wide scale attack against Hamas targets in Gaza over the death of an Israel soldier.
HOWELL: The U.N. secretary general has urged Hamas ad Israel to, quote, "step back from the brink of another war." So far the cease fire appears to be holding.
ALLEN: And for now to a deadly ambush on a taxi mini bus. This occurred in South Africa. Police say 11 taxi drivers were killed late Saturday when gunmen jumped onto the road from bushes and opened fire on the bus.
HOWELL: Four other people were critically injured. The victims were traveling back to Johannesburg from a funeral. Police say they didn't know who the gunmen are or why they attacked.
A bold rescue in Syria's civil war. What we're learning about the evacuation of the White Helmets hundreds of civilians. That story ahead for you.
ALLEN: Also ahead here, powerful tropical storms are pounding East Asia. Five of them in fact, all at the same time. And this is the result right here. Pedram will have that for us coming up in the next half hour.
HOWELL: Coast to coast across the United States and to our viewers around the world this hour. You're watching CNN Newsroom live from Atlanta.
I'm George Howell.
ALLEN: And I'm Natalie Allen.
Here are the top stories this hour.
HOWELL: At least 14 people we understand including a young girl has been shot in the city of Toronto. And we understand one of the victims has died. Police say the shooter is also dead. But they have no other information about him and they are asking for the public's help.
They are working multiple scenes including outside of a restaurant. Police say they are investigating every possible motive including terrorism.
ALLEN: Police have arrested three men in London in connection with an acid attack that badly injured a 3-year-old boy. It happened Saturday in a shop in Worcester, England. The boy had serious burns on his face and arms. Investigators believe the attack was deliberate. Police already had another suspect, 39-year-old man in custody.
HOWELL: The leaders of Iran and United States escalating a war of words. Just a few hours ago, this tweet from the U.S. president saying, "the Iranian President Rouhani never ever threaten the United States again or you will suffer consequences the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before."
Mr. Rouhani was quoted warning the U.S. the U.S. a war with Iran is the "mother of wars."
ALLEN: Meantime, President Trump is slamming the FBI and Justice Department for releasing evidence surrounding this man, Carter Page. He is a former Trump adviser accused of working for the Russian government. Page denies that. Mr. Trump says it shows the FBI and Justice Department are bias . That's his allegation.
When U.S. prosecutors charge Maria Butina of being a Russian spy last week, it opened up a new rift between the two countries.
HOWELL: That's right. The Russians and Butina say she's just a pro- gun lobbyist who (INAUDIBLE) high-ranking politicians and gun groups were her job. Prosecutors say she is something more sinister. Our Matthew Chance takes a look at just who Maria Butina is.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: She shots directly to the heart of American conservatism, combining a passion for guns with an irresistible charm rarely associated with the U.S. gun lobby.
MARIA BUTINA, ALLEGED RUSSIAN AGENT: I am a representative of a Russian federation here. And I am a chairman of "The Right To Bear Arms." It's a Russian non-profit organization.
CHANCE: In fact, prosecutors say she was a Russian agent, accessing conservative groups like the National Rifle Association, the NRA, to influence U.S. policy. It certainly got her privileged access to leading U.S. Republicans like John Bolton, now U.S. national security adviser. But back in 2013, an NRA official, who agreed to appear in a pro-gun video used by Butina's Russian lobbying group.
JOHN BOLTON, UNITED STATES NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Should the Russian people have the right to bear arms? I can share with you a word about what this particular freedom has meant to Americans and offer you encouragement as you consider embracing that freedom.
CHANCE: Butina's social media accounts featured numerous videos of people shooting guns as well as meetings she attended as a speaker. The U.S. defense lawyer says she was just an energetic net worker and even the Russian foreign minister has taken up her calls with his U.S. counterpart.
In a recent phone call, Sergey Lavrov told U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the case against Butina was fabricated and stressed the unacceptability of the actions of the U.S. in arresting her. According to U.S. court filings, Butina offered sex in exchange for a position in a special interest organization in the U.S. and was in close contact with a sanctioned Russian national about her work.
BUTINA (voice over): I'm visiting from Russia.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Good friend of Obama, Putin.
BUTINA (voice over): My question --
TRUMP: He likes Obama a lot. Go ahead.
BUTINA (voice over): My question will be about foreign politics.
CHANCE: It's also known that work brought Butina into contact with Donald Trump. The Russian lobbyist asking the then presidential candidate in 2015 about Russia and sanctions.
TRUMP: I believe I would get along very nicely with Putin, OK? And I mean, well, we have the strength. I don't think you need the sanctions.
CHANCE: Russian media is casting the Butina case as the latest example of the anti-Russian hysteria in the United States with Kremlin-controlled television tracking down her father in deep (ph) Siberia to plead her innocence.
"She had to meet lots of different people for her future profession." But Larry Butin tells state media, "she did nothing illegal of that I'm certain," he adds.
But this far less certainty in the United States where it remains unclear whether this flame-haired Russian really was just a pro-gun lobbyist or if she had her sights set on an even bigger target.
Matthew Chance, CNN, Moscow.
HOWELL: Matthew, thank you. We are learning much more about a daring rescue effort in Southern Syria. Members of the White Helmets were among 422 civilians evacuated by Israeli forces over the weekend.
[03:35:04] ALLEN: That rescue group is credited with saving thousands of lives. Israel says they were under threat amid a Russian and government offensive. Israeli forces moved in into Jordan after a request by the U.S., Canada, and E.U. countries.
CNN's Jomana Karadsheh is tracking the story from Istanbul. She joins us live for a look at why there was such a global effort to rescue the rescuers and why now. Jomana?
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, Natalie, this is one group in Syria that has been receiving funding support from some western countries over the years. And over the past month, we have seen the regime backed by the Russian allies making significant gains in southwest Syria, in Daraa and Quneitra provinces.
That is when this concern was raised about the fate of the White Helmets and their family members. In the past week or so, we learned that there was a discussion that high levels between western nations to try and put a plan together to get them out of the war zone.
KARADSHEH (voice over): At the height of the Syrian civil war, often it was the White Helmets who were the first on the scene. With no local police or emergency services, residents and rebel-held areas turned to these Syrian volunteers recognized by their iconic protective gear.
JAMES LE MESURIER, FOUNDER, MAYDAY RESCUE: They have all chosen to risk their lives to save others and that makes every single one of them a hero.
KARADSHEH (voice over): The group rescued tens of thousands of people caught up in the conflict, often saving the wars' most vulnerable. Like this baby girl. After 12 hours of digging and drilling, volunteers finally reached this two-week-old baby trapped under the rubble.
But now it's the White Helmets themselves who are being rescued. As town after town in southern Syria is reclaimed by the government, there's been increasing concern over the fate of the White Helmets. The regime and the Russian allies have long labeled the group as terrorists, accusing them of staging chemical attacks and faking rescues.
In an internationally-coordinated mission in an unprecedented move, hundred of Syrians including White Helmets volunteers and their family members have been evacuated out of the country of Israel into Jordan. The group will stay there before being resettled in Germany, Brazil and Canada, the three countries Jordan first have pledged to take them in.
Canada has praised the work of the White Helmets saying, "we feel a deep moral responsibility towards these brave and selfless people." The U.K.'s foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has described the rescue as "fantastic news" and has thanked Israel and Jordan for acting so quickly on the request.
He says the White Helmets are the bravest of the brave, adding that in a desperate situation, this is at least one ray of hope, a moment of international action in a conflict where it has rarely brought any good. This time, it may have saved hundreds of lives.
KARADSHEH: And, you know, Natalie, these 422 civilians are considered the lucky ones here. There are tens of thousands. The number fluctuates on a daily basis. According to the United Nations, anywhere between 140,000 to 160,000 were stranded in Quneitra Province on the border with the occupied Golan Heights.
They have nowhere safe to turn to. They have been displaced by the fighting. And both Jordan and Israel have sealed off their borders. Jordan says for its part, it cannot take in anymore refugees. So, there's a lot of concern still for the fate of those tens of thousands.
ALLEN: We will be continuing to follow it very closely. Jomana Karadsheh, for us, thank you so much.
HOWELL: We are following extreme weather baring down on East Asia. A deadly heatwave in Japan, breaking records and sending people scrambling for shelters. Stay with us.
[03:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ALLEN: Japan is suffering its hottest day on record. A city near Tokyo registered a temperature of 41.1 degrees Celsius Monday. That is nearly 106 degrees Fahrenheit. Tokyo feels like 38 degrees which of course is no picnic.
HOWELL: At least 44 (ph) people have died. Much of the country is in the grip of this brutal heat wave. The humidity and the lack of air conditioning in many buildings is making it difficult very difficult to keep people cool. All of this comes just weeks after massive flooding that killed more than 200 people there.
ALLEN: And in Vietnam, at least 21 people have died from all of this. More than a dozen are missing. So much rain, flash floods, and landslide swamp entire villages. Government groups are working to salvage homes, health care centers and hospitals that were damaged, but more rainfall is on the way.
HOWELL: That's not news people want to hear there. And also tropical storm is battering Eastern China. Nearly 200,000 people have been relocated from coastal areas hit by strong winds and heavy rains. It's disrupting travel too. More than 500 flights from Shanghai have been canceled and the city's ferry services have been suspended of course due to the gusty winds there.
Our meteorologist Pedram Javaheri has a lot to cover this day live in our international weather center. Pedram, tell us more about what is happening, this extreme weather.
PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: It's just been a series of storms. None of them have been really a menacing feature. No large scale, say, Category two, three or four-type storm. But the storms have all been either tropical storms or tropical depressions. You take a look across portions of the western and central Pacific.
We are talking about five disturbances. Tropical storms 13, 14, and 15 all lined up across that region and of course over portions of Vietnam and over Eastern China. All of these have exacted tens of millions of people across this region. And the impacts continue. The heavy rainfall continues and of course it is the wet season. You expect to get some heavy rains.
As you advance the map, it will kind of show you exactly what we're talking about when it comes to the systems and the way they progressed over identical spots and produced heavy rainfall over identical spots. And that's the concern over this region.
We are watching this to continue at least the next week or so here, George and Natalie, with the heavy rainfall that is expected to come. You know, the map is just highlighted with a tremendous amount of activity right now across the Pacific Ocean.
HOWELL: A lot of people in the path of those storms. Pedram Javaheri, thank you so much. We will keep in touch with you.
JAVAHERI: Thank you, yeah.
ALLEN: Britain prime minister had a lot on her plate in the past few weeks. We will look in Theresa May's summer of political survival, coming next here on CNN "Newsroom."
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JAVAHERI: Let's talk about the weather. I'm meteorologist Pedram Javaheri, CNN weather watch here, watching the unsettled pattern across the eastern United States. There are some soggy weather certainly in store while the heat in place along the central portion of the U.S. and very little rainfall to go around in parts of Texas.
But notice the activity staying around this region from the gulf coast out towards the Atlantic coastline where we have thunderstorms abound. Tropics have been quiet which is great news at least. Still, it doesn't stop the heavy rainfall that has been in store nearly around the coastal region of Carolina. A lot of rainfall expected over this week with the thunderstorms in the forecast.
New York City, upper 20s. Chicago, not too bad, remaining dry around 29 degrees. Denver climbs into the lower 30s. Southern California has been at it with quite a bit of heat so far this season, yet again climbing up in Los Angeles up to 33 degrees over the next several days. A comfortable set up in Chicago, we warm up a little bit, which is not too unusual for this time of year but you notice the wrap up of the week there. The temperatures do want to cool off a little bit.
Very comfortable in New York City considering it is the hottest time of the year. And back towards portions of the inter-mountain states there, watching a lot of wet weather come in. Some of this has to do with the monsoon moisture that is streaming in to the North Denver. It could be one of the areas with quite a bit of rainfall over the next week in that region. Temperatures at bay across the region as well. To the Bahamas, 31. Havana, 33.
HOWELL: Both houses of British parliament summer break cannot come fast enough, especially for the prime minister of the nation, Theresa May, who has held on to that office despite two very tumultuous weeks.
For more on this, let's bring in CNN's Nina Dos Santos live, number 10 there. Nina, look, there have been pointed criticism from the U.S. president, numerous resignations, a host of complications around Brexit, but Theresa May is still standing. The question, is she standing strong or barely standing after all of this?
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, at the moment, she's not standing here at number 10. She's actually on route to the north of England, reason why there is no cloud above the seats of government who are indeed next to number 11 where (ph) Chancellor is, also on an away day (ph). This is the penultimate day of parliament, as you quite rightfully pointed out, George. This means that for the moment, Theresa May is still in power although her position doesn't necessarily look that much surer than it was a couple of weeks ago.
There is speculation over the course of the weekend in some of the pro-Brexit newspapers that another key cabinet minister could be ready to resign. This means that although Theresa May definitely deserves a break, will she be able to get one? Well, here's a look at her summer of survivability.
[03:50:00] JOHN BERCOW, SPEAKER OF THE U.K. HOUSE OF COMMONS: The ayes to the right, 305. The nos to the left, 302. So the ayes have it. The ayes have it.
DOS SANTOS (voice over): Theresa May has faced off (ph) a rebellion on crucial trade bills, survived multiple government resignations in the past two weeks.
BORIS JOHNSON, MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT OF THE UNITED KINGDOM: It is not too late to save Brexit.
DOS SANTOS (voice over): And endured a roller coaster visit from President Donald Trump.
TRUMP: I didn't criticize the prime minister. I have a lot of respect for the prime minster.
DOS SANTOS (voice over): After all of that, it is thought that Britain's leader deserves a break more than most. But can she really afford to let her guard down this summer?
(on camera): With no majority since her ill-fated 2017 general election and with dissatisfaction building on both sides of the house about how she plans to go about Brexit, some would argue it's a wonder Theresa May has held on this long.
The prime minister even considered bringing forward parliament summer recess, so concerned she was about the prospect of the confidence vote in her leadership. And with Labour now polling five points ahead, the one thing united (ph) had deeply divided conservative party is the prospect of a government led by Jeremy Corbyn.
JEREMY CORBYN, LEADER, BRITISH LABOUR PARTY: After two years of dither and delay the government has sunk into a mire of chaos and division. The agreement that was supposed to unite the cabinet led to the cabinet falling apart within 48 hours.
DOS SANTOS (voice over): With May sending parliament penultimate day with her cabinet (INAUDIBLE), there is little time for those wishing to unseat her, though that doesn't mean that MPs (ph) can't spend the summer plotting from afar. The real test for May will come in September when the writing could be on the wall or not, as the conservative party hosts its annual conference. (INAUDIBLE), she still survived.
THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Our economy is back on track. Overrun on the ground.
DOS SANTOS (voice over): If she makes it past the domestic battles, Brussels will be the next test in an October summit for a trade deal with the E.U. or when Britain leaves the block in March of the following year. If there's no deal to rubber stamp by December, a hard Brexit could be on the cards. So for now, the prime minister's future looks just as uncertain as that of her country.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Brexit (ph) wish you a very good break over the summer.
DOS SANTOS: George, it's that prospect of the no deal Brexit that really has dominated the newspapers over the course of the weekend. With the newly pointed Brexit secretary, Dominic Raab, taking to the airwaves saying that he would rather have a good deal or no deal at all than a bad deal and of course he rather have a good deal but when it comes to the type of deal, he would refuse to pay the European Union money that the U.K. technically owes that the prime minister has originally said she would pay.
If he didn't get the type of deal that he wanted, remember that the newly appointed Brexit secretary just like his predecessor voted in favor of leaving the European Union, so here we have it again, we have a combination of warring factions within the cabinet to a likely to war over the course of the summer over the ideology behind Brexit, whether or not the U.K. should be left to leave the E.U. without a deal at all.
Whether that would be a bad thing, economists generally say that it would be terrible for the U.K.'s economy. And of course remember that when number 10 and all the parliamentarians get back from the summer break, it will be less than six months to go before Brexit actually really happens, George.
HOWELL: That elusive deal. We'll have to wait and see. Nina Dos Santos, live outside number 10, thank you so much there in London. All right. Italy's Francesco Molinari made history at golf open championship.
ALLEN: Certainly did. He held off some of the sports biggest names including Rory Mcllroy and Tiger Woods to do what no Italian golfer has done before. CNN's Alex Thomas reports for us from Scotland.
ALEX THOMAS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: With the winds strengthening on the final day of Britain's open golf championship, this became a bit of a war of attrition for the leading players. And it also (INAUDIBLE) the fable of the tortoise and the hair (ph). Flashy player at the way side (ph). Francesco Molinari has plotted along par after par after par and lifted the Claret Jug, the first Italian golfer ever to win a major.
FRANCESCO MOLINARI, 2018 OPEN CHAMPION: Amazing to stand here with the Claret Jug. I knew it was coming in with a some good golf. My record around here was terrible. Didn't make me too optimistic about the week. But I just tried to not think about it and focus on hitting the shots day by day. I felt really good this morning when I came here. I felt like I was ready for the challenge.
[03:55:03] It could have gone either way but I knew I was going to do my best today.
THOMAS: Molinari was playing alongside Tiger Woods. For a short period, it looks as if the veteran American would complete what would have been one of the most miraculous sporting comebacks of all time. In the end, his dream was dashed, but he admitted he enjoyed being back in the heat of competition.
TIGER WOODS, PROFESSIONAL GOLFER: It was a blast. I was saying earlier that I need to try to keep it in perspective because if you said you are playing open championship, I would have said that's I'd be very lucky to do that. It's going to sting for a little bit here. But, given where I was to where I am at now, blessed.
THOMAS: Tiger Woods said afterwards he had taken heart from what Serena Williams had achieved, reaching the ladies singles final at Wimbledon after the birth of her first child. And on this performance, both Woods and Serena will end up winning another major title in the near future.
Alex Thomas, CNN, Carnoustie.
ALLEN: A big story to end on. We appreciate Alex for that.
ALLEN: Thanks for joining us these past two hours. I'm Natalie Allen.
HOWELL: And I'm George Howell. "Early Start" is next for our viewers here in the United States.
ALLEN: For everyone else, stay with us for more news with Max Foster from London. Thanks for watching.
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