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California Wildfires; Flooding in India and Laos; Palestinian Teen Leaves Israeli Prison; Putin Attends Navy Parade; Pakistan Election; Cohen's Public Breakup with Trump; Family Blames Stabbing Death on Rap Lyrics; Trump versus the Alaskan Wild. Aired 4-5a ET

Aired July 29, 2018 - 04:00   ET




GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): High winds and heat fueling massive wildfires in Northern California, entire communities laid waste, lives lost.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Also ahead, Israel releases a Palestinian teenager jailed for slapping a soldier. We'll tell you what she had to say.

HOWELL (voice-over): Also, inside the fight against a renewed gold rush in Alaska. We'll have the details straight ahead.

ALLEN (voice-over): These stories and much more ahead this hour. We're live in Atlanta, I'm Natalie Allen.

HOWELL (voice-over): I'm George Howell. From CNN World Headquarters, NEWSROOM starts right now.


ALLEN: We begin in Northern California, thank you for joining us. More lives have been lost from that fast-moving wildfire. It has killed at least five people, including two children and their great- grandmother. President Trump declared an emergency in California to allow federal assistance.

HOWELL: Police in that area say they haven't seen anything like this before. The fire so devastating, many people had to evacuate, even prompting a local TV station to pull the plug for safety.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right now we're being evacuated. That's why we are kind of closing out right now. We are going to leave the station because it is now unsafe to be here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You just can't believe this is happening in your community.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That house is my whole life. There is just one thing that is in that house that is not replaceable to me -- and it sounds silly -- but it is a car I had since I was 17. It was my first car. If it gets destroyed, there is no replacing that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We didn't think the fire was going to come here. So we didn't really take things out. Like everybody else that was scrambling at the last minute to get out when we saw the fire on the ridge.


HOWELL: To this point, the fire has consumed more than 80,000 acres. That's about 33,000 hectares, carving out a path of destruction that doesn't seem to be ending anytime soon. Our Dan Simon reports on that.


DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We now have the first confirmed civilian deaths associated with this fire, 70-year-old Melody Bledsoe and her two great-grandchildren, 5-year-old Emily Roberts and her brother, 4-year-old James Roberts.

They were in a house and were unable to leave as the flames raced through their neighborhood. We're told by a family member that Bledsoe called her husband at work to say that the fire was getting close and he needed to come back as soon as he could. That was the last anyone had ever heard from them.

The family checked hospitals. They checked evacuation centers and then late this afternoon they got word that the bodies had been recovered.

In the meantime, you can see where we are. This is called the Keswick Estates subdivision. If you look around, you can see that nothing is left. Whole neighborhoods have disappeared as a result of this fire.

Unfortunately, in terms of the outlook over the next few days, things do not appear to be getting better. This fire is just 5 percent contained, the weather remains hot, triple-digit temperatures today and over the next several days. Humidity is low.

And then at night the wind really gets going. And so firefighters fear that there could be more destruction -- Dan Simon, CNN, Keswick, California.


ALLEN: Brian Rice is president of California Professional Firefighters. He joins us via Skype from Santa Cruz.

Brian, thank you so much for joining us. We know this is a terrifically tense and troubling time for the people you represent. Thank you so much.

I was reading something that you said about how intense these fires are. And we have some video that you provided that shows a structure going up in flames. And you can appreciate what these fires are bringing to this region.

What is the latest that you can tell us as we look at this video?

BRIAN RICE, CALIFORNIA PROFESSIONAL FIREFIGHTERS: We know that the fire made a very strong and erratic push Thursday night and then into Friday, the pictures that you're looking at are taking -- were taken during that time period.

You're seeing a lot of different things from accessing the area, either behind the fire or ahead of the fire and then also, you know, some of the homes and the buildings, the standing fuels that are going.

You'll see, also in there, you can see just how much blowing embers and ash there is and what a problem that causes for spotting. I think a viewer can get a sense of the tremendous amount of heat that the firefighters are facing, not just the temperatures.

And the daytime temperatures in the Redding area are in excess of 105 and closer to 110 degrees. And it -- that is taxing to the firefighters --


RICE: -- let alone the heat that the fire generates and all that plays into the fire behavior. And I talked to many veteran firefighters in the wildland arena (ph) and I've heard almost verbatim from every one of them that the fire behavior that they witnessed and experienced on Thursday evening into Friday morning, they had never seen before.

And these are men and women that have many, many years of experience and training under their belts.

ALLEN: Climate change is making an impact. I was reading here, since 2012, there has not been a month without a wildfire burning in the state and the governor has called this a new normal. This is a completely different situation that anyone is trained for.

I know we have some more video that you have also supplied to us, to show firefighters going down a highway and you see flames on both sides of the highway.

The question is, how do you sustain this?

How do these brave men and women work in these conditions?

And, you know, we're looking at a huge swath of the state. These aren't just small pockets.

RICE: No, no, they're not, Natalie. In fact there is two other fires in the Mendocino area and Lake County areas that have just sparked up today, that are causing a lot of concern.

But the video you're seeing, what you're -- those are highly trained men and women. The equipment that they have, both the personal protective gear and the fire apparatus, are -- it is all designed to accomplish one goal and that is to suppress the fire and protect our watershed and protect our citizens.

And I can tell you that, if you and I were caught out on that road that we're watching, the firefighters working through, and it was you and I, we were trying to escape, our chances of surviving would be very little.

ALLEN: It is terrifying to think that there are actually people working in these conditions and driving through these conditions. In fact, I have a quote here from the Redding police chief that says, "This fire is scary to us, this is something we haven't seen before in the city."

And I just have to say, our thoughts are with all of the people that are working in this situation. Unprecedented times and situations that no one could actually be prepared for. But they certainly are brave and I know the people there in California appreciate their work so much.

Brian Rice, we thank you so much for your time and we hopefully will talk with you again and, hopefully, things will get better before they get worse. Thank you.

RICE: Thank you, Natalie. Good night.

HOWELL: Natalie, to your point, the video, those images terrifying to see. You can only imagine what it is like for the people dealing with it.



ALLEN: Another story we're following, at least 10 people were killed when a strong earthquake struck an Indonesian island east of Bali, not far from a volcano.

ALLEN (voice-over): Dozens were injured, including some of the people seen in this video. Right now rescue teams are searching for survivors. The magnitude 6.4 quake caused significant damage. Tourists and residents in Bali say they felt the shaking; no tsunami advisories, we're happy to say, were advised.


HOWELL: The latest now on a tropical storm that has hit Japan, threatening areas that were marked by deadly flooding just a few weeks ago. The storm was downgraded from typhoon status after it made landfall on Saturday.

Still, though, some 37,000 residents in Hiroshima Prefecture have been ordered to get to safe locations, this because of concerns about landslides and river flooding.

Still ahead, Russia showing off military might. But what message is Moscow sending with its military spectacle?

We'll look into it.

ALLEN: Also, recently a high-profile Palestinian prisoner, a teenage girl was released by Israel. We'll tell you what Ahed Tamimi saying now that she's back in the West Bank. We'll have a live report from Israel. Stay with us, CNN NEWSROOM continues.





HOWELL: Welcome back. New developments in the case of Ahed Tamimi. You'll remember she was jailed late last year after being filmed kicking and slapping an Israeli soldier. The 17-year-old Palestinian has been released from an Israeli prison and is back in her village in the West Bank.

ALLEN: Let's get more on this from CNN's Oren Liebermann, who joins us live from Jerusalem.

Certainly she became a symbol for the Palestinian cause after her arrest. Tell us about her release and what she's had to say.

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A symbol and a hero, I would say. It seems her legend has grown since that arrest and since she became famous in 2012, when a picture emerged of her holding up her fist to an Israeli soldier.

She was released early this morning from a prison in Central Israel after serving eight months in prison. Back in March, she pleaded guilty in a plea deal to charges of incitement and disrupting a soldier. Notably, eight of the 12 charges against her were dropped in a case her lawyer said had much more to do with politics than with actual legal issues.

She was taken from that prison, through a West Bank crossing, to her village of Nabi Salih, where she very much got a hero's welcome. Dozens of her supporters surrounded her, just as many members of the media, it seems, her supporters waving the Palestinian flag and flags, chanting slogans in support of her.

And then she made a very short statement.

She said, "From our home the resistance is continuing until the end of the occupation." She said a few more words and then urged everyone to come to a scheduled press conference she has for a little later on this afternoon.

After making that short stop in her village, she went to Ramallah, the Mukataa (ph), which is the presidential compound, and visited the grave of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to pay her respects. Soon we expect her to be back on her way to the village of Nabi Salih, where she will make those remarks.

ALLEN: It'll be interesting to see what she has to say after this time. Israel certainly got criticized for its treatment and arrest of a minor.

Has the government had anything to say about her release?

LIEBERMANN: Israel faced tremendous criticism. This case was very much a lightning rod for criticism of the Israeli military, the military court system and its handling of Palestinian youth.

There were statements back during her arrest, when the defense minister, Avigdor Lieberman, had said those who go wild during the day will be arrested at night. He very much supported the actions of the Israeli soldiers and her arrest.

It is worth noting that the incident itself happened just a few hours after another Israeli soldier had shot her cousin in the face with a rubber bullet, severely injuring him. Since then, since the plea deal in March and especially now, we haven't heard nearly as much from Israeli officials. We'll see if they make statements today. Certainly we'll report them.

But at least as of right now Israel would like this case to go away quickly and quietly. But by the looks of it, it is not going to do.

ALLEN: Don't think so. She was there with her mother and father who have been with her throughout this ordeal. As you say, she'll be holding a news conference. We'll wait and see what else she has to say. Oren Liebermann, covering it for us, thank you.

Russia is putting on a show of its military strength and the spectacle has geopolitical significance. Moscow is kicking off the international army games and its Navy Day, a public holiday in Russia.

HOWELL: Moments ago, we saw president Vladimir Putin inspecting some of Russia's newest equipment, designed to challenge the U.S. and NATO. The showcase also serves as an international reminder of who Russia's allies are.

Let's talk more about that with CNN senior international correspondent Fred Pleitgen, following the story by phone now in St. Petersburg.

Fred, certainly a very important show of force, but what does it mean for the domestic audience there in Russia and also for people outside of Russia, which audience is being targeted outside the borders?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, George. I'm actually across from Vladimir Putin, he's speaking now. I think this has big significance both here for the Russian audience and, as you stated, and also audiences abroad, specifically Western countries as well.

One of the things that we have been seeing over the past couple of weeks, we have seen that --


PLEITGEN: -- better relationship between President Trump and President Putin, talking about disarmament, nuclear disarmament, better relations between these two countries, the U.S. and Russia.

At the same time we keep that -- especially in the U.S., there are also a lot of people who are very averse to that.

One thing that the Russians are displaying with those army games and especially today, what we're seeing here right now, with naval display of force, they're saying, look, you can have better relations with us but you have to understand we are still a very strong military force.

The Russians have been spending a lot of time and money over the last couple of years, upgrading their forces, especially their navy. It's certainly something they're putting on display here.

If you look at the new things they're going to be playing here at these games, they have a stealth frigate that's going to be inspected by Vladimir Putin. They have a submarine called the carrier killer designed to destroy, especially, of course, U.S. aircraft carriers.

They have a new intelligence ship as well, of course directed at NATO. So the Russians are saying, on the one hand, they want better relations, obviously very difficult right now. But on the other hand, they're saying their force is being upgraded all the time.

HOWELL: Fred Pleitgen on the phone with us. As you look at live images of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, talking about Russia's military might, Fred Pleitgen following the story.

Fred, tell us a bit more about one piece that is certainly missing this time. We're seeing a lot of things on display but notably one thing not part of the lineup.

PLEITGEN: Yes. Look, absolutely right. That is something that is very important here. One thing that the Russian president, of course, has been saying over the past couple of days, past couple of weeks, he wants better relations with the United States. I think right now that's something that the Russians really are focusing on.

Very interesting to hear Vladimir Putin comment, especially at the summit a couple of days ago, when he was speaking about (INAUDIBLE) right now. We hear the Russian troops cheering on Vladimir Putin after his speech, talking about how they want better relations, how he wants President Trump to come to Russia.

Of course, it is something that the Russians think is very, very difficult in the current political climate in the U.S. and Russia as well. Right now we have a cannon salute that's going on after Vladimir Putin gave his speech.

HOWELL: Fred Pleitgen, following this story live, as you're looking at live images there in St. Petersburg, Russia, Russia showing off its military force. Within the country, people watching there and the world watching as well. Fred, thank you for the reporting.

ALLEN: We want to turn to Pakistan now. It looks more and more like Imran Khan will be the next prime minister. Election officials say his Movement for Justice Party won the most seats in Wednesday's general election.

Khan declared victory days ago but he doesn't have an outright majority. He will need allies to form a coalition and that could be tricky.

HOWELL: Khan is a national hero from his cricket days but many of his rivals say the vote was fixed. That's in part because he is viewed as the military's favorite candidate. CNN's Nick Paton Walsh has more on Khan from Islamabad.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): An historic height in an extraordinary journey. Cricket star turned socialite turned political firebrand. Imran Khan is close to becoming Pakistan's new prime minister after a bitterly fought election that have turned Pakistan's tightly controlled political older.

And casting the sporting icon as sometimes anti-American force for change. Born into a wealthy family in Lahore, Khan soon discovered his gifts as a fast bowler leading Pakistan to its first and only Cricket World Cup victory in 1992.

And Khan to become a national hero in a country where Cricket is always worshiped and politicians often reviles. He retired from support and after a spell as international playboy, he married his first wife, wealthy London socialite, Jomana Khan.

A family man, he raised money for charities, one, building a cancer hospital in his home city, Lahore. But back in the turmoil and injustice of '90s, Pakistan, his political ambitions grew.

Founding a new party, the Pakistan Movement for Justice, his central pitch, to end corruption among the country's ruling elite. Pakistani politics has few umpires or rules, though, and is often marred by violence and coups.

He was briefly arrested in 2007 for criticizing military leader, General Pervez Musharraf and just a month later, a political rival, former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated on the campaign trail.

But still Khan kept his sights on the premiership. By 2013, he could martial huge crowds and win the vote in one --


WALSH: -- Pakistani province.

He remained a distant third however nationwide. His conservatism grew as well religious, panning American interference and favoring Pakistan's drastic and sometimes brutal blasphemy laws this year.

He rode a populist wave promising to fight for equality and get tough on terror. His vision he says is for a new Pakistan. What that means, his critics do not know.

ZAHID HUSSAIN, JOURNALIST: (Inaudible) what really he wants to do. He wants to change the system, but nobody knows exactly what kind of change would it be.

WALSH: His supporters think any change is good.

NIMRA HAUREEN, PTI SUPPORTER (through translator): We are supporting Imran Khan because he promised to stop corruption in Pakistan. We are hopeful that we will have a better future and our children will have a better future.

FALVIRA JAVI, PTI SUPPORTER (through translator): This is the first time anyone has treated us as human beings. That we have rights too. Somebody is finally saying we also need medicine and education and other things.

WALSH: This is just the first innings. He'll need to form a stable government, handle a looming economic crisis and navigate the powerful army, who really decide the winners in Pakistani politics and may still be unsure about this charismatic reformist outsider -- Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Islamabad.


ALLEN: Coming up on CNN NEWSROOM, long-time confidant of President Trump, Michael Cohen, has made a clean break from his old boss, it seems. We'll discuss why he's doing it and what risk he might pose to the president -- coming up.

Plus a new oil rush in Alaska, spurred along by the Trump administration, is threatening thousands of acres of unspoiled land. How locals are fighting back.





ALLEN: Welcome back to our viewers in the U.S. and around the world. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Atlanta. I'm Natalie Allen.

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


HOWELL: The dramatic falling out between the U.S. president Donald Trump and his long-time attorney Michael Cohen, it now appears irreversible. One of Mr. Trump's lawyers, Rudy Giuliani, says the president's legal team and Cohen's legal team, they have stopped sharing information. That includes documents and witness interviews.

ALLEN: CNN's Tom Foreman takes a closer look at the epic meltdown of a relationship that seemed rock solid just a short time ago.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Donald Trump's defender --

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: You guys are down and it makes sense --



Says who?

KEILAR: Polls. Most of them.

All of them?

FOREMAN (voice-over): -- his trusted adviser...

COHEN: The words the media should be used to describe Mr. Trump are generous, compassionate.

FOREMAN (voice-over): -- and most of all, his lawyer...

COHEN: My job is I protect Mr. Trump. That's what it is. If there's an issue that relates to Mr. Trump that is of concern to him, it's, of course, concern to me.

FOREMAN (voice-over): -- Michael Cohen is all that to Donald Trump. And Trump returned the favor with an extremely rare close relationship.

DAVID SCHWARTZ, FRIEND OF MICHAEL COHEN: It was much more than an attorney-client relationship. It was something much deeper, almost father and son kind of thing. Donald Trump knew that Michael always had his back.

FOREMAN: The two native New Yorkers joined forces about a dozen years ago when Cohen bought a condo in a Trump building and by most accounts they bonded quickly over their shared values and sharp elbows. Soon, Cohen was handling real estate deals, helping run some companies and even coordinating transportation for Trump.

COHEN: They say I'm Mr. Trump's pit bull, that I am his -- I'm his right-hand man.

FOREMAN: When Trump's campaign lit up, the portfolio expanded to include alleged payoffs to women claiming sexual relationships with the client, even as the president has steadily denied them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Then why -- why did Michael Cohen make this, if there was no truth to her allegations?

TRUMP: Well, you have to ask Michael Cohen. Michael's my attorney and you'll have to ask Michael.

FOREMAN: And as the Russia investigation tightened, Cohen famously told "Vanity Fair" last year, I'm the guy who would take a bullet for the president.

Then came April --

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Breaking news, the FBI today raided the offices of President Trump's long-time attorney, Michael Cohen.

FOREMAN: The president erupted.

TRUMP: It's an attack on our country in a true sense.

FOREMAN: But while he shouted witch hunt, Cohen has since gone another way, telling ABC, "I don't agree with those that demonize or vilify the FBI. I will not be a punching bag in anyone's defense strategy. And now, I put family and country first."

For his part, President Trump, who used to routinely and warmly talk about Michael Cohen, now seems to not be saying his name publicly at all, let alone nice things about him -- Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.


HOWELL: Let's talk about this now with Steven Erlanger, the chief diplomat correspondent for "The New York Times," live from Brussels, Belgium.

A pleasure to have you on the show as always. We'll start with the president's attorney, Rudy Giuliani. He's taking the lead now for President Trump in trying to control the message around Michael Cohen and any evidence that he might bring to bear. Compare Giuliani's words in the past about Cohen to what he has to say now. Let's listen.


RUDY GIULIANI, TRUMP ATTORNEY: He doesn't have any incriminating evidence about the president or himself. The man is an honest, honorable lawyer,

I expected something like this from Cohen. He's been lying all week or for two -- he's been lying for years.


HOWELL: All right, so now Giuliani questioning Cohen's credibility. It is a --


HOWELL: -- message of contradiction, to say the least. Who is one to believe in this case more?

STEVEN ERLANGER, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": Well, that's very hard to say. In some degree it depends who is in most trouble. They're both in kind of warm water, one of them boiling, one of them is not yet. So we'll see what happens if Giuliani gets into trouble, too.

Michael Cohen, you know, was important for Trump. I'm not sure how important he actually was. He sort of took care of a lot of so-called dirty business. But he had his own business on the side.

And this is, you know what -- we have got two investigations going. One is by Robert Mueller, into the possibility of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

But then we also have a Manhattan prosecutorial investigation into Michael Cohen and allegations of business fraud and malpractice.

The problem is, this crosses lines. Trump always used to say, if the Mueller investigation started looking into his private business, that was the big red line for Trump. Well, this isn't Mueller exactly. This is the Manhattan prosecutors, following its own trail.

So it is difficult moments for Mr. Trump and the White House. Rudy Giuliani is just trying to defend him as best he can; that's what lawyers do. They'll spin stories. You see "Better Call Saul," well, you better call Rudy. It's the same issue.

HOWELL: Steven --


HOWELL: -- you also talk about these investigations crossing lines. Let's talk more about that because we heard Cohen's claim that Mr. Trump knew in advance about that meeting with Russians, the president has responded on Twitter.

He said he didn't know about the meeting with his son, Don Jr., involved, that he attended.

But if Cohen's claim is true and these investigations crossing, right, does this point to possible collusion?

ERLANGER: Well, it does. That's why Trump is so nervous about it. And, again, it is very hard to gauge because Michael Cohen is in trouble, right?

And Michael Cohen is trying to defend himself. And he was the sort of lawyer who knew how to pull buttons and how to press media buttons. And so does his lawyer cum PR guy, Lanny Davis, who worked for Bill Clinton.

So they're pressing every button they can, including social media, television, the press, to try to defend Michael Cohen.

And one of the things that gets Cohen attention is this charge now. Is it true?

I don't know. We'll have to see.

But it is certainly does put Mr. Trump closer into the gun sights of a collusion investigation.

Our assumption has sort of been, while his son, Donald Trump Jr., was involved in this meeting, it wasn't clear that Donald Trump himself was involved or engaged in the meeting itself. We've heard various different accounts of what actually went on there.

But there is no question Donald Trump Jr. was really interested in dirt on Hillary Clinton. That he made clear in e-mails that have gone public. But the president himself has, so far, not been touched by this.

HOWELL: Steven Erlanger with perspective today, live in Brussels, Belgium, thank you for your time.

ERLANGER: Thank you, George.

ALLEN: Coming up here, authorities blame increased crime in London on a new form of rap music. And we'll tell you why they're trying to curb drill music -- coming up next.





ALLEN: Turning now to London. One family there is blaming the death of their teenage son on an aggressive form of rap. It is called drill.

HOWELL: Authorities are now coming under fire there for their efforts to try to ban the music. Salma Abdelaziz reports.



SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN PRODUCER (voice-over): It is meant to intimidate, rap about stabbing a rival gang member.

This is drill music, a London subculture that authorities say fuels teen violence. The group you see here, CR0, proved the police's point. They sang about killing, then actually did it.

Last summer, wearing balaclavas and armed with knives and a machete, they chased down and stabbed 15-year-old Jermaine Goupall. Stanley says his son was an innocent, not a member of a gang.

STANLEY GOUPALL, JERMAINE'S FATHER: I've lost a child over somebody writing lyrics and foreshadowing it.

ABDELAZIZ (voice-over): Struggling to confront an epidemic of knife crime and murders, homicide surged by 44 percent in just one year. U.K. authorities have taken a controversial and drastic step: they've banned the music. A London court ordered this group, 1011, to stop making drill music.

GOUPALL: Emmanuel was his middle name.

ABDELAZIZ (voice-over): Anything is worth a try, says Stanley. He blames drill for inspiring the schoolboy's murder, just two streets away from here, their family home.

GOUPALL: I would like it to be controlled by the lyrics of what comes out of these young people's mouth. That's what I would love to see (INAUDIBLE) what they actually do with the actual drill music is teasing one another and daring each other and putting threats on each other.

ABDELAZIZ (voice-over): Videos by the convicted killers 00 and dozens of songs by other drill artists were taken off YouTube at the request of the Met police. But in a basement studio in West London, drill producer Emil Profitt tells us the genre doesn't create gang life, it simply reflects it.

The issue is so much more deeper than the music. It is just an easy way to -- for a copper and not spend any money.

ABDELAZIZ: But don't you think that it glamorizes violence, it perpetuates violence?

PROFITT: If songs are proven, not just it's the music that what -- it's proven that that lyric is 100 percent for this person, he said he was going to do that and he did that, obviously that's a bad thing.

Coming from where I come from, I try and encourage them to do better and come out of that life and show them, like, forget the retaliation, like, just try and leave it.

ABDELAZIZ (voice-over): Stanley also hopes for resolution, not revenge.

GOUPALL: He was my darling, my young son.


ABDELAZIZ (voice-over): And as this father grieves, the country struggles to contain a culture of gang violence before it claims more innocent lives.

GOUPALL: I feel the spirit in this room. I feel the spirit so much in this room. The name, Jermaine Goupall, is alive. The candles are alive. He's alive.

ABDELAZIZ (voice-over): Salma Abdelaziz, CNN, London.


HOWELL: You just feel for that father, the loss of a beautiful child.

ALLEN: Yes, certainly, certainly. That's just a sickening story all around.

Coming up here, we're going to take you to Alaska because there is a major possible change to this beautiful land.


BILL WEIR, CNN HOST (voice-over): Welcome to one of the last truly wild places on Earth.


ALLEN: But all this wilderness could be in for that change, if President Trump makes an important decision. We'll tell you about it next.





HOWELL: Welcome back. We are getting more views of the blood moon lunar eclipse, which millions of people saw around the world.

ALLEN: We didn't get to see it here in the U.S. But one photographer captured this --


ALLEN: -- unique images in Athens on Friday, using statues from Greek mythology.

HOWELL: Beautiful imagery there.

The moon was in total eclipse for 103 minutes, the longest lunar eclipse of the century.

ALLEN: Speaking of beauty, the Alaskan wilderness is one of the last unspoiled places in the world. But that could change very soon as Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is facing off with the Trump administration.

HOWELL: That's because laws that were signed last year are opening the door now for oil businesses to come in for the first time in decades. Our Bill Weir takes us there.


WEIR: This is magnificent, wow. WEIR (voice-over): Way up in the tip-top of Alaska, an airline can feel like a time machine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is here in there? There are a bunch of little babies running around.

WEIR: Because the Arctic National Wild Life Refuge commonly known as ANWR is the kind of pure wilderness most of America paved over long ago.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is it. You are in the heart of the arctic refuge.

WEIR (on camera): Welcome to one of the last truly wild places on Earth.

(Voice-over): The coastal plain brims with life from musk oxen to bear, both grizzly and polar. Birds that will migrate to the backyards of all 50 states.

But as Florian Schulz has captured over the years, the most common creature is the caribou. And not just a few but hundreds of thousands. The kind of herd unseen since the plain's buffalo were wiped away. And when Florian is here with his family we can't help but wonder how long it will last.

FLORIAN SCHULZ, FILMMAKER, WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER: We need to keep some of these places untouched. We are changing the world everywhere so fast. But why not leave a few places unspoiled?

WEIR: For almost 60 years, that was the rational that protected ANWR from this. These are the oil fields at crude old bay that fill the famous pipeline and power countless lives. But since there are billions of barrels elsewhere, nature lovers have long argues there is no need to drill here. And for decades, that argument held until --

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: One day a friend of mine who's in the oil business called, is it true that you have ANWR in the -- I said, I don't know. Who cares? What is that? He said, well, you know, Reagan tried. Every single president tried. And I said you got to be kidding. I love it now. And after that we fought like hell to get ANWR. He talked me into it.

WEIR: December's tax cut bill also opened ANWR to drilling thanks to Alaska's senator Lisa Murkowski who slipped in the provision knowing that it would only need 51 instead of 60 votes to pass.

SEN. LISA MURKOWSKI (R), ALASKA: It is wrong for those from the outside looking in who have taken a nice trip into an area and said, this must be protected.

WEIR: But conservationists point out, there is already a huge glut of American oil.

(On camera): And oil companies are laying people off up here, right? Because prices are so low. NICOLE WHITTINGTON-EVANS, THE WILDERNESS SOCIETY: Oil companies have been laying people off. And, you know, for the first time in the last five years, I was seeing more oil company workers leaving the state of Alaska and going to places like North Dakota than coming into the state.

WEIR (voice-over): But much like Trump's efforts to revive dying coal mines, the rush to drill here seems driven more by politics than economics.

(On camera): Former speaker of the House, Tom DeLay, once said, if we could drill in ANWR, it will break the back of the environmental lobby.

DAN RITZMAN, SIERRA CLUB: Well, they haven't drilled in ANWR yet. We know that the arctic regions are heating twice as fast as any other part of the world. And it just makes zero sense to come here and look for more oil that's just going to exacerbate that problem.

WEIR (voice-over): And among those opposed is the Gwich'in nation, the northern most tribe of Native Americans.

(On camera): How many people live here?


WEIR: Wow. I think about 150 people live on my floor of my apartment building.

(Voice-over): The numbers may be tiny but they are definitely not outsiders.

GEMMILL: Archeological evidence shows we have been here over 25,000 years.

WEIR: And the only reason they survived is caribou. Back in the day, they would trap the animals in these handmade corrals. These days they use guns and snowmobiles but still need the animals to survive in one of the most expensive neighborhoods in America.

(On camera): Groceries at the Midnight Sun can cost twice as much as the Whole Foods in Manhattan. Gasoline up here runs $10 a gallon. But still given the choice between oil money and caribou, there is no debate. These folks will stick with the one animal that has kept them alive for thousands of years and they cannot imagine drills and trucks and pipelines across what they call the sacred --


WEIR: -- place where life begins.

GEMMILL: Look what happened to the Plains Indians and the buffalo.

That's not going to happen to my people. We're not going to allow that to happen again. WEIR (voice-over): To the Gwich'in, they are a Native American David against a Goliath -- oil companies, Republican lawmakers and the Inupiat, a coastal tribe of Native Alaskans eager to drill and cash in.

EDWARD REXFORD, UNALAKLEET, ALASKA: Now that the U.S. is saying we can finally do this, now we have the other side, the environmentalists saying we can't do this. What's wrong with this picture?

WEIR: As the government rushes towards development, community meetings lay bare the fight -- tribe versus tribe, neighbor against neighbor.

ADRIENNE TITUS, UNALAKLEET, ALASKA: We have thousands of gallons discovered in places that have already seen destruction, but restraint is what we lack. When did we all become owners of the land? It has always owned us.

WEIR (voice-over): Bill Weir, CNN, Alaska.


HOWELL: We have new video of the moment a volcano in Indonesia came back to life. Take a look at this.


HOWELL (voice-over): Rare power there. You can see, you can hear that volcano spewing ash and lava. It came to the surface from the ocean half a century ago. It has been active ever since.

ALLEN (voice-over): This volcano is considered the child of another volcano, which, more than 130 years ago, spewed so much ash, it caused global temperatures to fall by more than one degree.


ALLEN: That will do it for this hour. But the day's top stories are just ahead. We'll be right back. I'm Natalie Allen.

HOWELL: I'm George Howell. CNN NEWSROOM is right back after the break. Stay with us.