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Trump Labels Media "Enemy of the People"; Zimbabwe's First Election without Mugabe on the Ballot; Palestinian Teen Who Slapped Israeli Soldiers Now Free; Every Polar Bear Matters; U.K. Parliament Calls for Greater Regulation of Social Media; Dancers Perform During Traffic Light Changes; #InMyFeelings Challenge; At Least 50 Dead As Firefighters Try To Contain Blaze; Widowed Man: Family Begged Me For Help; Trump Threatens Government Shutdown Over Border Wall; Trump To Meet With Like-Minded Italian PM; Russia Shows Off Military Might At Navy Day Parade. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired July 30, 2018 - 01:00   ET


CYRIL VANIER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Heartbreak in California as firefighters battle to contain a massive wildfire.

ED BLEDSOE, LOST FAMILY IN CAR FIRE: They just -- they just kept saying grandpa come and get me, come and get us.

VANIER: We'll be hearing more from that man who lost his wife and two great-grandchildren. Plus, I cannot vote for those who tormented me. Former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe breaks his silence ahead of the country's first election since his ouster. And why are people jumping out of moving cars to the sound of Drake's latest hit? If you're not caught up on the latest social media craze, I've got you covered later this hour. Live from the CNN center here in Atlanta, I'm Cyril Vanier, it's great to have you with us.

The firefighters are hoping that they have now reached the turning point in their fight to contain a massive wildfire in Northern California. In just a week, the so-called car fire has burned more than 36,000 hectares and for the moment it's only five percent contained. At least six people have died so far including two children and their great-grandmother. The widowed great-grandfather told CNN that he spoke to his family as the fire was closing in on them.


BLEDSOE: I talked to -- I talked to Jr. on the phone until he died. He just kept saying grandpa, he said, it's a coming at me. He said it's coming in. The fire is coming in at the back door. Come on grandpa. I said, I'm down the road. He said come and get us. Emily said, I love you, grandpa. Grandma says, I love you grandpa and Jr. says I love you come and get us. Coming and get us. I said I'm on my way. I said -- he talking until he died. I tried to call him back and it just went to nothing. Poor babies, and my wife. I go (INAUDIBLE) I said, what did I do wrong with life? Just wonderful, wonderful people. My wife was the greatest woman in the world and my grandkids was

excellent, them kids, they're the smartest kids in their school. They give them top honors on everything. It just -- it kills me. All I think about is him talking to me and begging me to come and get them out of the fire and he just -- he's kept saying grandpa come get me, come and get us. Come get us. Please come and get us. Now, all I could say was I'm just down the road. I'm coming. I'm coming. I'm coming. But they only wouldn't let me through there.


VANIER: Meanwhile, a second firefighter has died battling the Ferguson fire near Yosemite National Park. That blaze has torched 22,000 hectares. It is currently 30 percent contained. These are just two of the 17 fires burning up and down California. Our Dan Simon has the latest from one of the worst-hit neighborhoods.


DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: For the first time we're now beginning to hear fire officials expressed optimism about the overall effort. They indicated that the containment number is going to go up. That means that the resources that they put into this fire now seem to be working. You have about 3,500 firefighters on the frontlines and obviously a lot of aircraft dumping water on the hotspots. In the meantime, we are in the Lake Redding Estates subdivision and you can see this is one of the homes that has been destroyed. You can see this is a two-car garage.

You see the two vehicles right here and underscore the random nature but all you can see next door. You see this house that is perfectly intact. You have 38,000 people that are under an evacuation order. You have these people who are very restless. Obviously, they want to try to get back into their homes and people, of course, have hopes to get back into. You can't get a hotel in the area. It's just impossible and some of the evacuation shelters have also reached maximum capacity. But now that this containment number seems to be going up hopefully it means that fire crews will soon have this place under control.


VANIER: Earlier, I spoke to Brian Rice, the President of California Professional Firefighters and I asked him what makes this car fire so dangerous.


BRIAN RICE, PRESIDENT, CALIFORNIA PROFESSIONAL FIREFIGHTERS: It's intermixed right on the border of the city of Redding, it's community of about 100,000. You're talking about grass, tall grass, a lot of timber debris, and then timber also, then the other piece of it is the weather has very much been against firefighters. We're starting to see a little bit of change but the daytime temperatures have exceeded 105 degrees and in a couple -- last couple of days have actually been over at about 110 and the fuel moistures are incredibly dry, single- digit humidity and all of that is a very explosive combination for the firefighters that are on the line tonight.

[01:05:19] VANIER: But Brian, is it easier for you to fight the fire at night? That is my understanding.

RICE: Yes, it is. In fact, today on the car fire, we're getting a little bit of relief from the weather. The winds aren't quite as high as they were. We are seeing the temperatures drop and what that's going to lead to is what we would say the fire is going to lay down a little bit, meaning the firefighters can do a far more aggressive attack and that has been the strategy change over the last 24 -- about 36 hours that they're really shifting into a posture of an offensive fire attack instead of being completely defensive and trying to save lives.

VANIER: It's easy to get the impression if you look at this year and last summer as well that these fires are getting worse. They're worse now than they used to be. Is that -- is that fair? Are you getting the same impression?

RICE: I would say that every firefighter in California would probably agree with that. You know, we're in the midst of a long-term drought. Some of these areas haven't burned in you know, up to a decade and you know, just this year we have firefighters on the fire line on Christmas. In my 30-year career, this is the first time I can say that the fire season has extended from 2017-2018 (INAUDIBLE).

VANIER: So do firefighters need more resources than in light of this, in light of this harsher fire environment?

RICE: I mean, the easy answer, Cyril, it's yes. Right now in the state of California, our Fire Departments, both our state fire department and our local government fire departments were stretch very, very thin. Many departments have not recovered their staffing strength that they had prior to the great recession so we are seeing some staffing shortages badly. And then the explosive fire behavior that (INAUDIBLE) they're all contributors to it.

VANIER: Brian Rice, thank you so much for joining us on the show today. Thanks.


VANIER: CNN Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri joins us now from the CNN Weather Center with the latest on the fire conditions. Pedram, what do you have?

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: You know, there is some improving weather conditions in store there. We're watching this very carefully of course because when you take a look at how things are going to play out here, the satellite imagery kind of shows you exactly what we're looking at. From space, looking down towards the San Joaquin Valley across this region, the haze, the smoke, it's all present there so we know the conditions certainly have been dire in the last couple of days, the pollutants very high in the atmosphere.

We're waiting for a pattern change here on the weather for the temps to cool off, the winds to die down and of course maybe some rain in the forecast. Unfortunately, not all of those on is coming together. But you take a look, certainly, some improving conditions are going to be in store and still at five percent containment but again as you heard firefighters saying and the officials saying that conditions are going to be more favorable to at least gain some ground on that but farther towards the southeast. The (INAUDIBLE) fire upwards of about 30 percent contained and also similar numbers coming in for the Ferguson fire farther towards the east as well. But talk about nearly 90 wildfires that are large in scale across the western United States, almost every single one of them exacerbated because of the drought scenario across that region.

And you notice, not much going on as far as the eastern U.S. is concerned. Not much in the way of drought, not much in the way of wildfire. So the weather pattern looks as such here. And of course when you go down and look at the lay of the land, really doesn't help because a lot of these fires are set up on very elevated terrain and oftentimes when you look at landscape like this it'll tend to increase the speed at which the fire grows is it goes upstream, kind of I use the analogy of taking a lighter or a match and lighting and I should say holding it next to your finger if you kind of bend that and give it a little bit of a slope if you'll notice the flames burning towards your finger much more rapidly. The same sort of a setup here occurs with every 10-degree increase in slope on an elevated terrain.

So if the fire is traveling at 20 km/h at 20 degrees slope, you bump that up just by 10 degrees in slope, you'll double the speed of the wildfire, precisely what happens when you kind of bend that match on your finger there and see the fire burn rapidly towards your finger so that sort of a pattern is taking place across this elevated terrain. Of course, the 40 degrees is helping. The conditions are going to remain locally gusty. Because of the extreme temperatures and the fire is on the ground there, we're going to see gusty winds generated through to the extreme heat in these mountain terrains. And then we know the drought situation remains moderate. Unfortunately no rain in the forecast as well. And both also seen reports of fire whirls or fire nato's as their call here across this region as intense heat is generated near the ground, Cyril.

We're getting all of that energy of the heat kind of rushing in like a vacuum towards the center. All of that air wants to rise and you get these vortices that spin up that are essentially a fireboard of seas that move downstream. They toss embers farther downstream making it really a difficult scenario for firefighters here to try to get some ground on these fires. But you notice the temperature trend remains into the lower 40s but then we see a noticeable drop there down into the upper 30s as we go in towards Wednesday. So that brings in some improvement and hopefully, with that, we'll see a little improvement and the humidity is being bumped up as well, Cyril, so Mother Nature at least maybe giving us a little bit of a break here later in the week.

[01:10:36] VANIER: All right, Pedram Javaheri, marshaling the resources of the weather center here at CNN. Pedram, we appreciate it. Thank you. And last week it was another wildfire we were telling you about. The families in Greece and now trying to rebuild after that blaze which killed more than 80 people and devastated villages.

This was shot by a resident as the flames were coming in. He only realize that he got trapped outside his house when the wind slammed his door shut. He could feel the heat on his head so he grabbed a bucket of water and doused himself. The flames were so intense he said that he was dry again in seconds. Thankfully the man was able was able to call someone in the house and get to safety.

A critical moment for the future of Zimbabwe, the country's first election since former President Robert Mugabe was ousted but he is not going out quietly and is taking a jab at his former party.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are going to build a great border wall. President Trump threatening to shut down the government if he doesn't get the border wall that he promised his voters. It could be a bruising political battle for Republicans with the midterm elections just around the corner


VINCE CELLINI, CNN INTERNATIONAL SPORTS ANCHOR: I'm Vince Cellini with your CNN World Sports headlines and what a ride. The Tour de France says a new champion Geraint Thomas says become the first Welshman to win cycling's most prestigious bicycle race. Thomas proved to be the strongest rider over the 2,082 miles spread over 21 stages. And the 32-year-old beat out Dutchman Tom duMoulin by one minute, 51 seconds and teammate Chris Froome by two minutes 24 seconds. At Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton had a bit of an advantage over his rivals. He loves the race and no one has led more laps on his track than he has.

[01:15:01] He easily closed out his sixth win at the Hungarian Grand Prix. The drama happened behind him. His teammate, Valtteri Bottas, kept running into trouble. First, clipping the back of Sebastian Vettel as the Ferrari passed him toward the end. And then, he ran into the side of Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo. Bottas ended up in fifth place.

Manchester United will kick off their Premier League season in less than two weeks, but they are nowhere near midseason form. Jose Mourinho's men went up against their Premier League rivals, Liverpool, in front of over a hundred thousand fans in Michigan. They were thrashed, 4-1, thanks in large part to the stunning overhead kick from their newly signed Xherdan Shaqiri. And that is a look at your sports headlines. I'm Vince Cellini.

VANIER: There are just a hundred days until the U.S. midterm elections and the President Trump is returning to a main campaign issue that fired up his voters in 2016, namely his promise to build a border wall.


TRUMP: We are going to build a great border wall. We will build a great, great wall. We're going to build a wall, don't worry about it. I worked on of this. I promise we will build the wall. And who's going to pay for the wall?



VANIER: So, who's going to build that wall again? President Trump apparently expects Congress now to put the bill. And he's threatening a government shutdown if he doesn't get his way. Tweeting today, "I would be willing to shut down the government if the Democrats do not give us the votes for border security which include the wall.

Meanwhile, more than 700 children separated from their parent at the border still have not been reunited with their families after the court-ordered reunification deadline passed on Friday. Our Kaylee Hartung has more from McAllen, Texas.

KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As we've reported on the impact of President Trump's zero-tolerance policy, we've learned that no two family stories are the same. But there have been some common threads among them that is confusion and frustration. At times chaos and incredible challenges in communication.

The story that best encapsulates where we are today though is that of a woman we'll call Alejandra. About a month and a half ago, she and her six-year-old daughter crossed the U.S. border. They had fled their home country of Honduras because of the gang violence there.

When they crossed the border, they were detained and separated. 11 days ago, Alejandra was told that she would be reunited with her daughter later that day given her paperwork for release. But that never happened.

As of today, she continues to sit in a detention facility in Texas. Her daughter remains in New York. And as Alejandra asks questions as she sits in limbo, here's what she says she's told.


ALEJANDRA, ASYLUM SEEKER (through translator): The first thing that I ask is always, "Do you know when will be my girl will be brought here so she can be reunified with me?" And they tell me, "No, I don't know anything," they say to me.

HARTUNG: Alejandro's daughter's attorney has been told a red flag has been raised in the child's case. HHS says they won't comment on specific cases. But a spokesperson tells CNN that any family who hasn't been reunited yet is because of specific concerns they have for that family. As I said, no two stories are alike, but frustration remains for so many. Kaylee Hartung, CNN, McAllen, Texas.


VANIER: Amid an increasingly bitter trade dispute, we've learned that the America first president is producing his re-election campaign flags in China.

The manager of a factory in an eastern province tells Reuters that they have made some 90,000 of these, the banners that since March. That looks like them, all right.

But an official for Mr. Trump's reelection campaign actually says that they must be knockoffs because he insists that 100 percent of their merchandise is made in the USA.

President Trump's stance on immigration is just one area of agreement that he has with Italy's Prime Minister. The two men will meet at the White House on Monday, and the atmosphere is expected to be much warmer than recent talks Mr. Trump has had with other European leaders. Delia Gallagher, reports.

DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT: President Trump may see some European countries as foes, but in Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, he's got a friend.


TRUMP: Giuseppe's a new the Prime Minister of Italy is great, we got to meet him. Very strong on immigration like I am, by the way.

GALLAGHER: Closing ports and borders to illegal immigrants is one area where Trump in Italy see eye to eye. Italy's Interior Minister Matteo Salvini visited the U.S. president in 2016 on the campaign trail, and written more than a few pages out of trumps playbook for his own election campaign, even the winning slogan, Italian's First.

More than 600,000 refugees most from North Africa have landed in Italy in recent years. But in June, more than 600 refugees at sea were turned away from Italy, Salvini was defiant. They will only see Italy on a postcard he said. They were eventually accepted in Spain.

Professor Federigo Argentieri, says Italy's government is similar to Trump's in random decision making and an apparent incoherent plan.

[01:20:28] FEDERIGO ARGENTIERI, DIRECTOR, GUARINI INSTITUTE, JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY: Trump has understood or at least is being told that Italy must be coddled, so to speak. Because it's-- so far, the only -- the only real similarity in Western Europe.

GALLAGHER: Although Italy has refused Trump's request to give more money to NATO, they're behind the president in his support of Vladimir Putin.

Prime Minister Conte tweeted, "I agree with the president, Russia should be back in the G8. Matteo Salvini's made no secret of his admiration for Putin, calling him one of the best politicians of our time. And publishing a photo on Facebook wearing a Putin T-shirt in Moscow's Red Square.

Italy's government coalition received 69 percent of the vote in March elections. But not all Italians agree with their leader's support of President Trump. Sabrina, a legal assistant in Rome, says Trump hasn't made the best impression or bella figura internationally. Especially, separating immigrant children from their families.


GALLAGHER: Bella figura, or not in Italy's government leaders, President Trump has got a friend in Europe something hard to come by these days. Delia Gallagher, CNN, Rome.


VANIER: Malaysia is set to release a long-awaited report on lost flight MH370. Investigators will brief the families of those on board in about an hour now. The flight vanished after take-off from Kuala Lumpur back in March 2014. It was on its way to Beijing carrying 239 people.

Exhaustive searches since then, have turned up very little. Debris linked to the flights has washed up on islands in the Indian Ocean, but the planes fate remains a mystery to this day.

Russia has spent dozens of warships through -- has sent with dozens of warships through the waters near St. Petersburg in its annual Navy Day Parade. That's where President Vladimir Putin touted the success and strength of his fleet. Frederick Pleitgen, reports.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The display of Russia's naval power in the heart of St. Petersburg. Vladimir Putin inspecting the vessels from his own presidential boat. Then, touting the advances of the country's naval forces.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (through translator): The Russian fleet successfully resolves the tasks of the country's defense capability, makes a significant contribution to the fight against international terrorism, and plays an important role in ensuring strategic parity.

Strategic parity means parity with the U.S. and its NATO allies. Russia showcasing a submarine nicknamed, The Carrier Killer. Designed to hunt U.S. aircraft carriers. A new stealth frigate, and a spy vessel aimed at countering American missile defense technology.

On this day, Vladimir Putin's message to the West is very clear. Even though Russia's military might not be as big and as well funded as militaries in the West, it can still be a threat to America and its NATO allies.

Last week, Russia also showing off new missile technology, including a hypersonic missile that Kremlin says, can beat American defense systems. All this right after both President Trump and Vladimir Putin discussed working together to prevent a new arms race at the recent summit in Helsinki. A point Putin reiterated this past week.

PUTIN: Russia and the United States have a stake in that. The whole world has a stake in that, in not starting an arms race.

PLEITGEN: But while Russia may be interested in preventing an arms race, Russia also clearly wants to show America and its allies that its forces are stronger and more advanced than at any time since the Cold War. Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Saint Petersburg, Russia.


VANIER: Still to come, Donald Trump meets with someone he's dubbed. The enemy, no, not another world leader but the head of one of the world's largest newspapers. How the president described their encounter, just ahead.


[01:28:06] VANIER: And back to the NEWSROOM. I'm Cyril Vanier with your headlines. Firefighters are struggling to slow an erratic wildfire in California that has now killed at least six people the Carr Fire has spread to 38,000 hectares on Sunday. At least, seven people are still missing. This is one of just 17 wildfires raging in California.

On the eve of Zimbabwe's historic election, former President Robert Mugabe announced he will not vote for his old party, the Zanu PF. Mugabe says he cannot support those who, quote, "brought me into this state." The 94-year-old was forced to resign in November under military threat after ruling Zimbabwe for almost four decades. Mugabe suggested he will instead support the opposition leader.

U.S. President Donald Trump fired off a number of tweets Sunday slamming special counsel Robert Mueller. He claims Mueller has a conflict of interest because they once had a contentious business relationship. Though, he didn't elaborate on what that was. And Mr. Trump again railed against the Russia investigation calling it an illegal scam.

The publisher of The New York Times, says he warned Donald Trump that his attacks on the media are divisive and dangerous. The two met earlier this month, and in a tweet on Sunday, Mr. Trump called that meeting interesting. But then, went on to blast the media once again as the enemy of the people.

Me now, Ellis Henican, columnist of Metro papers. And Ben Ferguson, CNN political commentator, host of the Ben Ferguson Show.

Ben, does it bother you at all when the president labels the media, the enemy of the people?

BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Look, I think that when you attack the media as a whole, yes you have to be very clear about who you're attacking and what your issues are. I don't have a problem with the present attacking certain people for admitting information or purposely not covering information, or downplaying certain things and accomplishments he's having.

I do -- I am concerned when you have entire broadband reach where people say all the media is evil are all the media is bad. I'm part of the media. I'm a commentator in the media. I'm at talk shows in the media. But

I want it to be clear and concise when you're attacking the media -- it's something I've about this president for quite some time -- I don't want it be where all media is evil or all media is bad.


But at the same time, I do think that there are some in the media that are incredibly biased against this president and they act like they're not bias when they are doing some of the reporting.

VANIER: So Ellis -- supporters of the President and critics of the media -- and there are many in the U.S. would argue that Trump hasn't actually restricted the freedoms of the press, freedoms of the media so that there's no point over reacting to what are mere words. What do you think?

HENICAN: Now the words -- words matters. I mean this is the communication business. I don't think I'm an enemy of the people. And frankly, I don't think Ben is either although I don't want to rule out a short stay in reeducation camp, maybe.

No, but seriously guys. I mean this is dangerous stuff, you know. It's fine to have a debate. We all live -- we love having a robust back and forth and all kind of different opinions being expressed. That's what this country is all about.

But when you start trying to delegitimize, in effect, kind of threaten -- I mean let's be honest. A lot of this stuff really is threatening. You're in some dangerous territory. He needs to stop this right now.

FERGUSON: You know, I don't think it's dangerous territory because there is -- first of all the media should be challenged.

I mean you look at this president last week. He gets a new trade deal with the E.U. and doesn't get much credit of it. You had GDP at 4.1 percent when the media was writing articles in October before the election of '16 saying that the President has lost his mind that quote, "pigs" -- one economist was quoted as saying "Pigs don't fly. The President is crazy or Donald Trump is crazy to think this is a possibility."

You had the Federal Reserve say the President was -- then-candidate Trump was also crazy and we can only expect 1.5 percent GDP growth and the President said -- responded with I'm going to give you tax cuts. I'm going to give you better trade deals. And I'm going to give more manufacturing jobs, America. That's how we get to 4 percent.

Where is the media talking about how the President was right about that? So when he is upset or frustrated that he doesn't feel like he's getting a fair shake on these types of issues. I think he has a legitimate point to be making there

VANIER: So if I can jump in -- a couple of things about that -- Ben.

Because we were dealing with that news and we did report all of that news some of time. Some of the time, the President, I want so say from a media coverage standpoint tends to shoot himself in the foot because he goes out and says something which is totally unnecessary which we have to cover because it's a tweet it's a sound bite of the President and he is the President of the United States.

And then we end up instead of talking about the economy which admittedly is doing great we ended up talking about a number of things including the economy but not just that.

So to that point --

FERGUSON: I agree.

VANIER: Hold on. To that point, I want to play to you the President's short-lived communications adviser Anthony Scaramucci. He was speaking to my colleague Jake Tapper earlier today.


ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS ADVISER: Having a war declaration or having that level of antagonism with the press does not help the President, does not serve his interests going into midterms or the reelection.

I understand the frustration. I understand the President's personality where he likes to punch back and he likes to be combative. But what I think that also does -- and Jake, you'd probably agree with me in this -- it galvanizes the press vis a vis the White House.


VANIER: So this is my question, and I want to hear both of you on this, this is a strategy by the White House, right, to engage in confrontation with the media.

My question is wouldn't he be better served by cultivating a more appeased relationship with the media?

Ellis -- you first.

HENICAN: Yes, clearly. I mean the Mooch is right. And listen, there's a distinction that the both of us need to make, I think. There's a difference between debating, combating or arguing with or offering to share a perspective and trying to delegitimize.

And that's really what this is about. Enemy of the people -- I mean that is -- that's despot talk. That's not two reasonable people disagreeing about whether someone's being fair to a politician or not. That's -- this is a whole different level which is frankly why I do call it dangerous.

VANIER: Ben -- on the specific issue of whether this is the best political strategy, confronting the media like that. Do you think it works?

FERGUSON: Scaramucci and I and others have said that we thought there should be a different strategy and clearly it has not been the strategy that has worked for this President. I thought he was too combative during the primaries, yet it worked. I thought he was too combative during the general election, yet it worked.

I thought he was too combative once he became the President yet it seems to be working. I mean Donald Trump is a different person. And one of the best things I've ever heard is let Trump be Trump and you're not going to change that.

And when the President gets angry at the media for the way he feels like they're covering an issue or over exaggerating one issue and under covering another one, he's going to call them out every time.

[01:39:55] And Scaramucci, with all due respect to him -- look I think Scaramucci would love to be a member of the media right now which is what I think he's auditioning for. It's like watching "The Apprentice" except in real time. He's dying to be relevant again since he lost that big job. And so, of course, he's going to side with the media right now.

But I promise you if he was in the White House --

VANIER: Well, hey Ben -- to his credit.

FERGUSON: -- right now --

VANIER: To his credit, when he was --

FERGUSON: He would be saying the opposite of this.

VANIER: I'm not sure. To his credit when he was White House communications director, he gave that one big press conference to sort of herald his new job and the coming of Scaramucci to the White House --


FERGUSON: Yes, but --

VANIER: -- and he did start to cultivate a better relationship with the media.

I want to bring up --

FERGUSON: -- you remember what cost him his job. It's what cost him his job was him ripping on people and using foul language. So the idea that, you know, Scaramucci was going to do it differently, I laugh it. It's what cost him his job.

VANIER: I want to bring up one specific instance that occurred this week. Earlier this week the White House barred a CNN reporter from attending an open press event ostensibly because they simply did not like her questions to the President earlier that day.

Listen to Shepard Smith, anchor on the normally Trump-friendly Fox News. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHEPARD SMITH, FOX NEWS HOST: When the President attacks journalists, we question his motivation and try to discover the underlying reason, for historically those who regularly and as a matter of pattern attack the messenger, who degrade and belittle the purveyors of truth, and work to diminish the free press often find the facts displeasing and endeavor to keep you from knowing them. We are on guard and we hope politics aside, for the greater good, that you are too.


VANIER: Ellis -- if you look at the short history of this administration, you kind of know you've crossed a red line when you have Fox calling you out.

HENICAN: It is. It almost makes me uncomfortable honestly. Yes. Everything in the media makes us want to compete with each other and throw punches at each other. But this is something that we all do or hold (INAUDIBLE). I know Ben's going to join me in this one.

We've got to ask tough questions of every politician. We cannot tolerate our colleagues being tossed out because they ask questions the administration doesn't like. This is what we do. It's defined in the constitution and it makes America better. We need to stick together.

VANIER: Ben -- real quick, last words.

FERGUSON: Yes, look. You can disagree with members of the press. You can call them out on it. You can have a meeting with them. You can say that you thought they badger the President and ask the same question too many times in a setting.

But you don't ban them. I actually agree with Ellis. I agree with many of my colleagues all over the country in different news organizations including Shepard Smith on this one. I don't think banning a reporter is a good look for this White House. I don't think saying you're not going to get invited to this is a good look for this White House.

You can call them out. You can let the public decide if it was appropriate or not. You can have a meeting for decorum issues but just saying you're gone and you're going to sit out this one, I just don't think it served the President well. I think it gave many people that don't like this President something to talk about. I think it was just a bad moment for this White House from the communications standpoint and I doubt they'll do it again.

VANIER: Ben, Ellis -- you agree. That doesn't happen very week. Listen -- thank you very much.

HENICAN: I like it.

VANIER: It's always a pleasure talking to you -- thanks.

HENICAN: Good seeing you.


VANIER: Polls opened in Zimbabwe this hour and it will be a major test for the strength of the country's democracy. It's the first election since former President Robert Mugabe was ousted under military threat after ruling the country for 37 years.

You're watching live pictures right now.

And on the eve of the election Mugabe turned his back on the party he helped create, the ZANU-PF. And instead suggested that he would support the main opposition.


ROBERT MUGABE, FORMER PRESIDENT OF ZIMBABWE: I have also said Mujuru (ph) and Khuphe (ph) don't offer very much. So there is Chamisa left. ZANU-PF -- I can't vote for ZANU-PF.


VANIER: Mugabe said he can't support those who quote, "brought me into this state" alluding of course to his ouster. Mugabe's late announcement is seen as a political stab in the back of his successor.

Up next the tragedy that this species can ill afford -- the death of a polar bear off Norway is making people look again at how the animals might be kept from human harm.

Plus Britain battles "fake news" -- Lawmakers are setting their sights on social media companies to stop the spread of misinformation.


VANIER: A Palestinian teenager who became a symbol of resistance is back home with her family. Ahed Tamimi was released from an Israeli prison on Sunday after serving an eight months' sentence for assaulting an Israeli soldier.

In a news conference after her release she was defiant saying her fight against Israeli occupations continues. She was arrested in December when this video emerged of her slapping and kicking Israeli soldiers after her teenage cousin was allegedly shot by Israeli forces.

CNN's Ian Lee has more on Tamimi's homecoming in the West Bank.


IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): It's quite the celebration here in Nabi Saleh, Ahed Tamimi's hometown. You can see her picture is on the walls, also that of Nariman, her mother. Flags lie in the street but it wasn't your typical homecoming. There's a lot of symbolism. The first stop she made was to the house of a family member who died, to pay her respects. The second stop was to the grave of former Palestinian president Yasser Arafat where she laid a wreath.

Then she met the current Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and she brought up a couple of issues that are closer. That of Palestinians who are in the Israeli prison-- she'd like to see continued support for them. The other thing she brought up was Palestinian unity. And there is a split between Fattah and Hamas. She urged the Palestine president do lay aside their differences and come together in unity.

After that she came here to her hometown where she was greeted by family members, by friends as well as the international press. And when asked what she plans to do next, we have remember, this is a girl who went into prison at 16. She came out at 17. She graduated high school in prison.

She says her next step is going to college. She says she wants to learn and study law so she can help Palestinians who are in her position or could become in her position in the future.

Ian Lee, CNN -- Nabi Saleh, the West Bank.


[01:45:02] VANIER: Outrage is growing in some corners after a polar bear was killed by a guard from a cruise ship. The image we're about to air of the dead bear might be disturbing to some. So I want to give you a head's up.

This happened on Saturday in an area known as the realm of the polar bears between mainland Norway and the North Pole.

The German cruise ship company says four guards were on land leading tourists off the ship when the polar bear attacked the guard and another guard shot it in self-defense. The guard was airlifted out with head injuries but he is expected to recover.

Meanwhile environmental activists are coming to the bear's defense. Wildlife expert Jeff Corwin spoke to CNN earlier.


JEFF CORWIN, WILDLIFE EXPERT: They are critically endangered and are slipping towards extinction. So when there's only 25,000 polar bears left on the planet, every one matters.

This is a species that you've just said, accurately so, is under distress. It is being stressed because its environment is changing because of warming seas. The perennial ice that these bears depend upon has all but disappeared. This is ice that's supposed to be there permanently.

A polar bear has the ability to swim 60 miles a day, yet they are drowning in open water because the ancient ice they relied on (INAUDIBLE) has gone away. So yes, oftentimes we now (INAUDIBLE) polar bears foraging and hunting for food that they normally would not need.

But this is polar bear habitat -- Fredricka. This is a place where we know they live. So when you are in this ecosystem as a tourist or as an explorer, as a scientist, you have the responsibility to follow the protocols to ensure that you stay safe and don't interfere with the wild behavior.


VANIER: Now the German cruise line has apologized for the incident.

Members of the British Parliament are warning that fake news is a threat to democracy. The committee investigating the issue wants the government to stop using that term altogether preferring misinformation instead. And it is calling for greater regulation of social media.

CNN's Samuel Burke has been working on this.


SAMUEL BURKE, CNN BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT: It's a blueprint for regulation sure to reverberate across Silicon Valley, this 89-page report released Sunday by a British parliamentary committee.

The report called on companies like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to face financial and legal liability when they fail to police fake news on their platforms.

DAMIAN COLLINS, BRITISH COMMONWEALTH MP: We have to correct this sense of liability for them to say that if you don't proactively look for and monitor harmful content, and I think they ought to classify the real hard fake news, real lies being spread during election as harmful content.

If you don't act to identify that and the sources then you could be liable for that information having been spread. I think if we introduce that liability as law, we'll see them take it more seriously.

BURKE: The committee recommended new taxes on social media companies and stiff fines when they promote political ads that lack transparency.

COLLINS: The tech companies are saying themselves they want to give more transparency. What we could do is write it into our laws.

BURKE: If adopted the recommendations would radically change the way tech companies are treated in the U.K. less like passive platforms and more like publishers.

MARK ZUCKERBERG, CEO, FACEBOOK: I think that it is inevitable that there will need to be some regulation.

BURKE: But British lawmakers said they weren't satisfied with efforts by social media companies to regulate themselves.

COLLINS: What they do is they pre-empt regulation. They don't like being regulated. So if they think the threat of regulation is real they will try and design their own way of solving the problem.

BURKE: The committee which has been working closely with members of the U.S. Congress also proposed measures to combat election interference and it slammed Facebook in particular for failing to fully investigate how and if Russia uses its platform to influence voters.

In a statement to CNN, Facebook said, "The committee has raised some important issues. We share the goal of ensuring that political advertising is fair and transparent and that electoral rule changes are needed. We will work closely with the U.K. government as we develop these new transparency tools.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN HOST: The chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg is $16 billion poorer than when he woke up this morning.

BURKE: Last week, the stock prices at Facebook and Twitter each fell almost 20 percent after both companies said they were spending heavily to combat misinformation and clean up fake accounts on their platforms.

COLLINS: You look to the near future and this problem is probably going to get worse using, you know, virtual reality, augmented reality (ph) techniques, you can already create fake speech given by someone in a place they never were with an audience they never met. They'll pass it off as real and share that online.

Now, we're going to need the help of the tech companies to stop that sort of information spreading, otherwise that could have a real outcome on elections in the future.

BURKE: Big tech's willingness to help out will surely be tested now that regulation is going to closer to becoming law.

Samuel Burke, CNN -- London.


VANIER: The latest viral trend of people hopping out of cars to the tune of a Drake song. #InMyFeelings challenge.

Stay with us.


PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS METEOROLOGIST: A tale of two different stories across portions of the United States. You slice the U.S. in half and you see what's happening on the Eastern periphery, it's all about the clouds, the storms, the thunderstorms in the afternoon hours; while the western United States is all abut sunny weather and also extreme heat that's been in place literally across much of that region. But notice this -- tremendous amount of moisture really east of the

Mississippi over the next couple of days. We're talking 50 to 100 millimeters widespread. Some areas across the coastal region with the Carolinas there could see some -- see some downpours there going in towards the beginning of this week.

New York City cools off a little, up to 27; Montreal same score with thunderstorms possible while (INAUDIBLE) places across say Denver, upper 20s. Otherwise Vancouver, British Columbia -- what an incredibly hot July. I think they're going to wrap that up here and maybe bring in some cooler weather as we bring the month of August in.

But you notice around the Midwestern U.S. if any comfortable readings have been in place they're going to gradually chip away at that. You're up into the 30s in St. Louis, up into the upper 20s around Chicago and even New York City sees a brief warming trend in store.

But this is where we're watching for some relief. Of course we know these firefighting efforts across northern places of California entering Oregon. But notice temps across Seattle and Portland had been at historic values. Going to see a cooling trend beginning the month of August there with temps dropping back toward seasonal values. While down to the Caribbean -- Havana around 32, Nassau 31 degrees.

VANIER: Ever find yourself bored while stuck at a traffic light? Well, a dance company in Mexico City decided to entertain drivers while they're waiting for the light to change. They're taking classical ballet to the streets.

Twirls, leaps are choreographed for 58-second performances -- the precise length of time for a Mexico City traffic light to turn green. The dancers belong to the Ardentia Theater Company and their street appearances have had a very positive response in the two weeks since they began.

Now, before we end up the show, I have been warned against reporting this next story, shamed in fact by younger colleagues in the NEWSROOM who told me that this would expose career ending ignorance of social media trends. Still I must.

If you are like me, you could be forgiven for wondering why things like this are popping up on your social media.


VANIER: So random people hopping out of cars to dance to rapper, Drake's recent hit "In My Feelings". And by the way, if you don't know who Drake is, I can't help you at this point.

[01:55:02] This is called the Shiggy challenge and if you were cool, you probably would have done it three weeks ago and posted it on Twitter. Like these celebrities -- NFL star Odell Beckham, Jr.

And we've also got this one from singer Ciara and his famous boyfriend.

And Will Smith probably gets the medal for this one.

So just to set the record straight, it all started with social media borderline celebrity Shiggy. He posted this.


VANIER: And it just took off from there, the rest is history. However, not everyone is playing it safe -- ouch. The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board is actually taking this seriously and they're urging people not to jump out of their cars to dance.

They call this, I wonder why -- they call this foolish and dangerous.

That's it from us. Thanks for watching CNN NEWSROOM. Have a great day. The news continues after the break with cool kids who definitely know the #InMyFeelings challenge -- Natalie Allen and George Howell.

Have a great day.