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Australia Now Has A New Prime Minister; Manhattan District Attorney; Hush Money Payment To Stormy Daniels; President Donald Trump Is Lashing Out; In Hawaii, A Powerful Hurricane; Australia's New P.M. is Scott Morrison as Moderate Malcolm Turnbull Is Forced Out; Storm Triggers Floods As It Bears Down On Hawaii; Rohingya Women Subjected To Sexual Violence; Protecting Clownfish From Climate Change. Aired 2- 3a ET

Aired August 24, 2018 - 02:00   ET


[02:00:01] GEORGE HOWELL, NEWSROOM ANCHOR, CNN: After days of high stakes political drama, Australia has a new Prime Minister. We'll explain that story ahead. Turning on Trump, just days after his longtime lawyer implicated him in court. We are now learning one of the President's oldest friends could be spilling his secrets.

Also ahead this hour, a powerful hurricane has already caused flooding. It is headed for shore. CNN is live in Hawaii with that story. Live from CNN world headquarters in Atlanta, welcome to our viewers around the world, I'm George Howell. The CNN Newsroom starts right now. Around the world, good day to you, we begin in Australia.

After major political upheaval, the nation will have a new Prime Minister in less than an hour. Australia's Liberal Party sacked its leader, Malcolm Turnbull, and shows this man that you see here, Treasurer Scott Morrison to be the new Prime Minister. He was elected as leader of the party by a vote of 45 to 40, defeating another challenger, Former Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton.

A chain of events was set in motion earlier in the week when he launched a failed bid to unseat Prime Minister Turnbull. He calls Dutton's actions an insurgency. Listen.


MALCOLM TURNBULL, OUTGOING PRIME MINISTER, AUSTRALIA: There was a determined insurgency from a number of people, but in the party room and backed by voices, powerful voices in the media. Really too, if not bring down the government certainly bring down my Prime Minister- ship. It was extraordinary, described as madness by many.

And I think it is difficult to describe it in any other way. In the party room meeting today, I was impressed by how many of my colleagues spoke or voted for loyalty above disloyalty, how the insurgents were not rewarded by electing Mr. Dutton, for example, but instead, my successor who I wish the very best of course, Scott Morrison a very loyal and effective Treasurer.

(END VIDEO CLIP) HOWELL: Whether Morrison will stay on as Prime Minister is an open question. The country has seen frequent turnover in leadership ever since John Howard stepped down in 2007. To talk more about this, let's bring in James Curran. James teaches history at the University of Sydney joining us live this hour. It is a pleasure to have you on the show.

What a couple of hours there in Australia when it comes to leadership. Let's talk about Mr. Turnbull's suggestion that everyday Australians would be dumbstruck by this political shift given the nation's strong economy.

JAMES CURRAN, UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY: Well, that's right, George. This is a country that is a marvel of the western world when you talk about the fact that we have had 27 years of uninterrupted economic growth. The Prime Minister in his (Inaudible) remarks was spot on. I think everyday Australians are typically sick and tired of seeing the Prime Minister-ship as a revolving door.

This used to be a very politically stable country. But we have now had six Prime Ministers since, as you said, since John Howard left the Prime Minister-ship in 2007. And this was a reckless, self-indulgent political vandalism from the conservative wing of the Liberal Party to unseat a sitting Prime Minister. And now, Scott Morrison's job as the new Prime Minister is to heal the wounds and to take his party into the next election.

It is a very, very challenging task to bond this party together and to unify after really what has been an extraordinary with division, vengefulness, hate, and spite.

HOWELL: It was interesting to hear the outgoing Prime Minister as he spoke to the press, describing this ouster in terms of loyalty and disloyalty by what he describes as an insurgency within his own party, specifically, again, calling out one lawmaker, Peter Dutton, this populist whose appeal on immigration issues seem similar to the U.S. President Donald Trump here in the states. Explain how things evolved to reach this point.

CURRAN: Yes. Well, I mean this really was mainly about the combination of personality and policy, George. I mean ever since Malcolm Turnbull became Prime Minister, the conventional wisdom is that in order to become the leader of the Liberal Party, he had to do a deal with the conservative wing, keeping in mind that Malcolm Turnbull is a progressive (Inaudible) liberal if you like.

[02:05:01] Now clearly, there was a lot of controversy within the party on the vote on marriage quality, on the Prime Minister's approach to climate change, to energy policy. So I think the conservatives within the party who were very (Inaudible) within the last couple of weeks that Malcolm Turnbull was tying Australia's new energy policy to the Harris climate change reduction targets.

So this is a great moment that they were bringing him down again. Malcolm Turnbull lost the leadership of the Liberal Party early on this (Inaudible) of climate change. So I think they saw this as the moment to strike. Despite the fact, George, that bit by bit, the government was starting just to kind of stand a little bit more resolutely on its own two feet.

Its polls were closing up to the Liberal Party (Inaudible). But the problem was that its primary vote has fallen and that the conservative part of the party was abandoning the government. And so this was the moment that Peter Dutton believed they could strike. But it has blown up in the insurgents face.

And now the question, George, is whether or not Peter Dutton and indeed Tony Abbott, the former Prime Minister who is also putting many of these (Inaudible) to the populace (Inaudible), whether or not now they will accept this new government, whether or not they will put aside their own ambitions, and whether or not Scott Morrison can now, as I say, bring the conservative and moderate (i of the Liberal Party together.

HOWELL: And again, you know, the spotlight certainly will be on Treasurer Scott Morrison. He is set to become the 30th Prime Minister of Australia, seen by some as a compromise candidate. Of course, we will be waiting to hear what he has to say about government moving forward. We are continuing to monitor for those live images, that event, that should be happening here in the coming hours. Thank you so much for your time and perspective. And we will keep in touch with you.

CURRAN: Thanks very much.

HOWELL: Now back here in the United States, we could soon learn more about the hush money paid to two women who claim they had affairs with Donald Trump. The publisher of the National Enquirer has reportedly been granted immunity by federal prosecutors. That man, David Pecker, a longtime friend of President Trump with a reputation for burying negative stories about the future President.

The Associated Press reports the newspaper kept the safe with damaging documents. Sources say that Pecker provided investigators with details about hush payments to two women who claim they had affairs with Mr. Trump. Former attorney Michael Cohen says that President Trump directed him to make the payments.

In the meantime, the New York Times reports the Manhattan district attorney is considering whether to pursue criminal charges against the Trump organization in connection to the hush money payment to Stormy Daniels. The U.S. President is lashing out at Michael Cohen, the Russia investigation, and his own Attorney General, Jeff Sessions. We have got more from CNN's Jim Acosta reporting from the White House.


JIM ACOSTA, CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, CNN: In this latest round of President Trump and his favorite cabinet punching bag, Attorney General Jeff Sessions punched back. It all started after the President attacked Sessions once again for recusing himself in the Russia investigation. PRES. DONALD TRUMP (R), UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: Jeff Sessions recused himself, which he shouldn't have done, or should have told me. He took the job and then he said I am going to recuse myself. I said what kind of a man is this. And by the way, he was on the campaign. You know, the only reason I gave him the job was because I felt loyal.

ACOSTA: But hours later, this time, Sessions surprisingly jabbed back, saying in a statement, while I am Attorney General, the actions of the Department of Justice will not be improperly influenced by political considerations. No nation has a more talented, more dedicated group of law enforcement investigators and prosecutors than the United States.

TRUMP: This is a little bit of a celebration meeting.

ACOSTA: Earlier in the day, the President tried to turn away from the Russia probe to celebrate his record. That is until he could hear the questions about the criminal records of his former advisors.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you going to pardon Paul Manafort?

ACOSTA: The President did not say whether he would pardon his now convicted former campaign chairman Paul Manafort. Instead, Mr. Trump focused his fury on his former attorney Michael Cohen. The President tried to say Cohen's crimes weren't actually crimes.

TRUMP: He pled to two counts that aren't (Inaudible) which nobody understands. I watched a number of shows. Sometimes you get some pretty good information by watching shows. Those two counts aren't even a crime. They were campaign finance.

ACOSTA: But here's the reality. In Cohen's plea deal, he admitted to making an excessive campaign contribution when he paid off a porn star alleging an affair with Mr. Trump. The President told more whoppers, insisting he wasn't really that close to Cohen, his longtime personal fixer.

TRUMP: He has been a lawyer for me, didn't do big deals, just small deals, not somebody that was with me that much.

ACOSTA: And perhaps the most surreal moment of the interview, Mr. Trump condemned the fixer for flipping.

[02:10:03] TRUMP: This whole thing about flipping they call it. I know all about flipping. For 30, 40 years, I've been watching flippers. Everything is wonderful and they get 10 years in jail, and they flip on whoever the next highest one is, or high as you can go. It almost ought to be outlawed.

ACOSTA: Up late in to the wee hours and tweeting about the Russia investigation, the President appears to be fixated on his fate as well, issuing dire warnings about impeachment.

TRUMP: I don't know how you can impeach somebody who has done a great job. I will tell you what. If I ever got impeached, I think the market would crash. I think everybody would be very poor. ACOSTA: As his outside attorney, Rudy Giuliani, talked about


RUDY GIULIANI, LAWYER, PRESIDENT TRUMP: You can only impeach him for political reasons, and the American people would revolt against that.

ACOSTA: As for Jeff Sessions, officials tell us the Attorney General was at the White House for meeting on prison reform. And sources tell us the Attorney General's job status did not come up at the meeting. So for now, it seems Jeff Sessions still has a job. Jim Acosta, CNN, the White House.


HOWELL: To talk more about this, let's bring in CNN Political Analyst Ryan Lizza joining us now in Washington, D.C., Ryan, always a pleasure to have you here on the show. We are seeing these once Trump loyalists flipping, from Michael Cohen to now David Pecker of the Enquirer, flipping. Are these signs of a President who prides himself in loyalty, but he is losing his grip on an aspect that is very important to him in these relationships?

RYAN LIZZA, POLITICAL ANALYST, CNN: Yeah. Look. What we saw today in an interview on Fox and Friends was one of the things that the President values and requires more than anything else. He made clear for, you know, the hundredth time is the word you mentioned, loyalty. So, you know, most reports coming from the White House is that he is really rattled by the fact that several longtime aides and friends have been pressured by prosecutors to turn on him, and, you know, it is a cliche but it is true.

The walls seem to be closing in a bit. The news about Pecker is particularly interesting, because, you know, this is someone that has known Trump for years and years and years. And they have had this very unusual relationship that I think we are about to find out a lot more about, where this tabloid, this influential tabloid served as a sort of protector to Donald Trump, both before he was running for President, but much more importantly, while he was running and while he was President in the last couple of years.

So a lot of unusual developments in the last week of former aides turning on this President, and not, you know, from Manafort to Cohen, to Pecker, to even people like, you know, Omarosa.

HOWELL: And Ryan, I also want to talk with you about the U.S. Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, firing back after those less than favorable comments from the President. This is not the first time, clearly. What do you make of the suggestion from Senator Lindsey Graham that a new Attorney General may soon replace him?

LIZZA: I thought that was very unusual for Graham to say that, because in some ways it undercuts Sessions and makes him almost a lame duck. It is a pretty important development today that Sessions stood up to the President. I mean, you know, to the extent that Trumpism is an ideology, there is probably no one that represents that ideology more in the Trump administration than Jeff Sessions, right? What he is doing at the Justice Department is very much implementing

the policies that Trump ran on, where he has run afoul of Trump is of course, on these investigations. Trump decided that the Attorney General should be his personal lawyer rather than an independent. And it has taken a while for Sessions to get to this place.

But he put out a statement today, saying essentially no, the Justice Department is independent. We don't do things based on politics. And, you know, that is a really crucial moment. There have not been many Republicans, many people who are in the President's party who have been willing to say, you know, you know, willing to stand up to the President when he has sort of broken norms and pushed the boundaries.

And it is really important that the Attorney General did that. I think frankly, Jeff Sessions is sort of unlikely, you know, unlikely person to have done that. But he has really decided to protect the independence of the Justice Department. And that is crucial in terms of the rule of law in this country.

[02:15:07] HOWELL: Ryan Lizza, with perspective there in Washington. Thank you so much for your time today.

LIZZA: Hey, thank you.

HOWELL: The National Security Advisor, John Bolton, says that he told his Russian counterpart that the United States won't tolerate interference in its elections. They met in Geneva on Thursday, and Bolton says they made progress on a number of areas. Then this question came from a BBC reporter. Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am just wondering, as National Security Advisor, whether you were told given the events of this week, admissions (Inaudible) you mentioned election meddling, whether you're ever concerned that your own President is a (Inaudible).


HOWELL: All right. We want to transition for a moment here. We are getting some new information as we are following events in Australia. I want you to take a look here as we are hearing from the man that will now be the new Prime Minister of that nation, Scott Morrison speaking. Let's listen in right now live.

SCOTT MORRISSON, INCOMING PRIME MINISTER, AUSTRALIA: (Inaudible) to tell you as the new generation of liberal leadership is we are on your side. That is what matters. We are on your side. And we are on your side because we share beliefs and values in common. As you go about everything you do each day, getting up in the morning and going off to work.

Turning up on site, getting the parent you are caring for up in the morning, (Inaudible) each and everyday, getting the kids off to school, getting home at night. Perhaps if you are lucky, time together those happy moments too often, too far between, with the (Inaudible) so many families face today. The Liberal Party is on your side.

The national party is on your side. The values and beliefs that we hold is what connects us all. If you have a go in this country, you will get a go. There is a fair go for those who have a go. That's what fairness in Australia means. This is something we hold very dear to us. It's why we believe that Australians should keep more of what they earn.

It is why we believe that those who have come from so many different parts of the world in this country to create this country, and demonstrated that by their very actions have sought that fair go in this country, as we all have whenever we got here. Ten generations ago or 10 minutes ago, we have come to have a go and we will get a fair go.

That regardless of our ability or circumstances, we are here to make a contribution rather than take one. That in order for you to do better, you don't think someone else has to do worse. This is important values and principles that we believe deeply, that our party believes, that our government believes, and will drive us.

We believe that the best form of welfare is a job. That is what releases people out of poverty. That is what releases people out of hardship. The dignity of work, the ability to go and have choices as a result of the efforts you make regardless of your level of ability. It is one of the reasons I have always been a big fan of the national disability insurance claim, and why I always have been a keen to make sure it is funded.

Because I know that (Inaudible) releases people with national disabilities to be able to do what they want to do. And that is to make a contribution and to be able to take themselves forward and their families. And everyone has to play by the rules in this country, everyone. Whether you are big business, setting electricity prices, or lining money or you are just someone parking in the street.

We all have to live by the rules of this country, the law of our land. These are values we uphold. And it is important that we do that right across our areas of policy. And that we believe that we should decide our own future as individuals, as families, as communities, and of course as a nation. We all want to be able to make our own choices in life.

[02:19:50] Whether it's about who comes to our country as John Howard famously said, or what school you want your kids to go to or what team they want to follow. I suggest the Sharks. It's not going to be a matter of national policy. I assure you, or Victorians. We believe in choice. And because of that, it means we can believe in our future.

We are an optimistic, we are a passionate, and we are an ambitious people full of aspiration for ourselves, for our families, and of course, for our great nation, for all of us. That is what we believe as liberals. Our plan, my plan for this country is for an even stronger Australia. To keep our economy strong, to guarantee the essentials that Australians rely on, to keep Australians safe from terrorism, to all the way to bullying in our schools, to keep our country together, to not pit one group of Australians against another.

To ensure that one can succeed and all can succeed, that one doesn't have to fail for another one to succeed. We have a lot of challenges as a country, and we will get through them as we always have together. Now our job, particularly for Josh and I, as we take forward this new mantle of leadership as a new generation, is to ensure that we not only bring our party back together, which has been bruised and battered this week.

But that will enable us to ensure we bring the parliament back together, that we can continue to work to ensure that our country stays close together. We are a resilient bunch, Australians. And the fact that we have had the longest running economic success of any nation in the world today is a tribute to the resilience of the Australian people.

And they need that continued leadership to take them forward, not just on the economy, but of every aspect of Australian life that we feel so proud to be a part of, and that Josh and I feel so proud to lead. So in making those statements about the direction, let me also tell you my immediate priorities. In addition to of course, our economic and national security is the drought.

I have already discussed this, as Josh has said, with the leader of the national party. This is our most urgent and pressing need right now. And I will be meeting with Major General Day as soon as possible to review our drought response plans and to hear from him, and working with the nationals and our regional and rural liberal members to ensure that we do what is necessary to help our regional communities, our farmers, and all those affected.

We will do what is necessary and coordinate with the states and territories. That will be my first focus. But there are many others. And I can take questions on that. Before I throw to Josh, let me say a few words about today also. I want to start by thanking, and he still is the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull. I have known Malcolm for a long time, as you know.

He has been a dear friend. He has served his country in a noble and professional way. Josh and I have watched and worked with him as he has led our cabinet and the achievements we've been proud to serve with him as a government. Whether it is in the economy, whether it's in all the other areas that Malcolm has outlined today at his earlier press conference, he is a great Australian.

He has contributed a great deal to this country and our party and our nation. We will be very grateful for his contribution. Also, I want to thank Julie Bishop, who I am sure Josh will remark as well. She has been a rockstar for the Liberal Party as a foreign minister and for Twitter and Facebook. She has been an amazing contributor and driver of foreign policy, and an advocate for liberal values from one end of this country to the other, and one end of this world to the other. And we thank her for her service, and I will be talking to her

obviously about what role she would like to play in the government that we will now seek to put together. I also want to thank Peter Dutton for the service that he's provided. I actually recommended him for the job of as minister for immigration and border protection after I left it some years ago. And he has served faithfully in that role in home affairs.

And I look forward if he so chooses for him to be playing a role in the government, which I intend to lead. Finally, though, I want to thank Josh. I have worked with Josh for many years. We didn't run as a ticket today. That is not how it should be in our view. We knew that each of us needed to seek a mandate in our own right to heal our party, to bring our nation together, and go forward.

[02:25:10] And so he sought his and I sought mine. It just turns out that he voted for me and I voted for him. But that was an expression I think of a natural relationship between the two of us. We all have work to do. I wasn't planning to take too many questions today. We will deal with other policy matters and other issues.

And of course, I have further work to do in the national party today before heading out (Inaudible) later this evening. And we will be dealing with that then. I look forward to working with Michael McCormick and his entire team. Michael and I have known each other...

HOWELL: We are hearing from the soon to be sworn in new Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison. Again, we know that he will be sworn at some time soon, thinking the current Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull just moments ago in that news conference. Let's bring in our guest, James Curran. James, (Inaudible) moment ago, teaches history at the University of Sydney. James, you got to hear just a bit of this. What stood out to you?

CURRAN: Look. I think Scott Morrison has got a very solid foundation of policy experience, George. He has been minister for immigration, minister for social services and Treasurer. He has been an incredibly ambitious politician. He got to the Prime Minister-ship a little over 10 years since entering parliament. I think he will be very determined to make a policy impact, certainly in the field as you just heard, of trying to help struggling farmers in regional Australia, particularly regional (Inaudible).

Really suffering from a very drought, he will also want to be fixing up the energy policy, which is still in limbo. He also wants to try to control the debt. Some of these experiences as Treasurer, I think will very well placed to try and make those policy issues. But I think the other thing that we should keep in mind, George, of course, is that -- as you and I both know, as many of your viewers know.

This crisis in western democracies that we have seen across the United States, in Britain, in Europe as well, obviously, Australia is not immune that. People have lost faith in politicians, in political institutions. And Scott Morrison has got a very big job to try and restore Australians' faith in what politics can deliver. And I don't think Australians are simply looking out for just the

story of economic growth, even though that is obviously to be welcomed. I think they are looking for some kind of broader narrative about the country and about the future and about the complexity of the future, and how the government and how politicians are going to try to and lead and tell the story about actually where the country is headed.

And I think we saw some flavor of that, and I suspect that Morrison will be very keen to develop a storyline, effectively of what we have left in Australian politics over the last decade.

HOWELL: All right.

CURRAN: (Inaudible) has been able to pull that off.

HOWELL: It is a very important shift in leadership there. Thank you so much for your time, James Curran. We will keep in touch with you.

CURRAN: Sure. Thank you very much, George.

HOWELL: I want to show you the scene right now in Hawaii. This was a few hours ago. The sound there, emergency sirens ringing out, warning people to take shelter ahead of Hurricane Lane, it is set to be the states most powerful storm in decades. It has already brought flooding to parts of the big island. The brunt of the storm could hit in the coming hours.

The impact could be, as you see here, devastating. Let's go live to Hawaii. CNN's Natasha Chen is live in the Kona district on the big island. Natasha, within the last hour, we understand the news that this threat to Hawaii Island has been downgraded now to a tropical storm warning. Tell us what you are seeing, though, at this point.

NATASHA CHEN, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, for the radar images of all of those bands we're seeing, it's actually circling us. Luckily, we have kept a little bit dry here. It is really, however, pummeling the east side of the island. Now despite the fact that it is a tropical storm at this point, we still got an emergency alert on our phones maybe just 30 minutes ago, saying that there was a new landslide problem on Saddle Road, and that is a state route going to the mountains toward the east side of the island.

So despite it being downgraded, there are serious threats here. We are still seeing dramatic tides crash against the shore all day. So we know that where you played that video of the sirens going off, that is on Oahu. Those islands are now going to feel much more serious effects.

HOWELL: And to point that out, those other islands certainly -- the threat is still high there as this category three storms continues to push to the north. Thank you so much for your time and be safe out there. We will stay in touch with you.

CHEN: Thank you.


HOWELL: You're watching CNN Newsroom live around the world. We will be right back after the break.


HOWELL: Live around the world, welcome back. You're watching NEWSROOM. I'm George Howell with the headlines we're following for you this hour. Australia has chosen a new prime minister. A short time ago, Treasurer Scott Morrison was elected the leader of the Liberal Party. This was after Malcolm Turnbull lost a no-confidence vote to what he calls a determined insurgents within the party. In recent days, Turnbull has said he will leave parliament.

Hawaii is being hit with a heavy set of rain and flooding ahead of Hurricane Lane. The storm could remain a threat for days and authorities are urging people to take shelter. It has already triggered landslides. It has forced road closures on the big island there. In Scotland, a group of nuns are among those arrested for alleged child abuse. Police say it happened for decades at an orphanage that closed in 1981. Eleven women and one man were arrested.

More arrests could be announced later on Friday. The U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is headed back to North Korea next week. It will be his fourth trip there. Right now, there are no plans for a face- to-face meeting with the North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un. This trip comes as the optimism of the Trump-Kim Summit in Singapore has soured. Let's get the latest on this. CNN's Will Ripley is live in Hong Kong following the story.

And Will, this meeting comes as there are indications North Korea has stopped dismantling its launch sites. Tell us more.

WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, George. You know, this trip arguably is the most important Secretary Pompeo's political career because after the Singapore Summit when President Trump and North Korea's Leader Kim Jong-un signed that pledge to work towards the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and a peaceful era between the United States and North Korea.

[02:35:15] We've just seen frankly things go downhill from there. Diplomacy hasn't worked. There have been U.S. intelligence reports indicating that North Korea is building new missiles. They -- as you mentioned, they stopped the dismantlement of the -- what was believe to be the dismantlement of the Sohae Satellite Launch Station according to analysts over at 38 North. They were looking at images that say there really hasn't been any work done on the site since the beginning of the month.

It was never really clear if they were taking it apart or if they were doing perhaps some other upgrades or, you know, modifications to the site. And yet, North Korea's main launch capabilities, those mobile missile launchers, they remain fully intact. North Korea did claim to destroy its nuclear test site at Punggye-ri. But we don't if there are other test sites of North Korea could reopen some of the tunnels which entrances we saw blown up back in May.

So what Secretary Pompeo and his new special representative for North Korea policy, Stephen Biegun who was just appointed. The announcement was just made. What they need to do when they're on the ground in North Korea is to get something substantive that they can take away whether it be a list, a more transparent disclosure by North Korea of their nuclear capabilities or a timeline for when North Korea might take certain steps.

But the North Koreans, they have really scoffed at the United States that they have felt all these unilateral demands that they give up a large share of their nuclear weapons right up front at the beginning of the denuclearization process instead of this kind of slow phase step by step approach where they received reciprocal benefits for every small step that they take that the North Koreans want and they have the backing of their main ally China in that.

And so it's going to be really tricky here because we know that the meeting in early July did not go well. So Pompeo has a lot to prove this time around, George.

HOWELL: North Korea before described the U.S. actions as gangster like, so, Will, we'll have to see how these next set of meetings go. Thank you for the reporting. Will Ripley live for us in Hong Kong today. We'll keep in touch with you of course. Now, to South Africa. That government enraged by a tweet from the U.S president specifically his reference to, "The large-scale killing of farmers." South Africa denies that. CNN's Tom Foreman explains the issue of land redistribution in post-apartheid South Africa.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trump directed him to do it all.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Manafort may flip. Cohen may provide other evidence.

SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president did nothing wrong. There are no charges against him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Impeachment, this is what they wanted for a long time.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Amid a storm of legal implications, political questions and even talk of impeachment.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If I ever got impeached, I think the market would crash.

FOREMAN: There it was a tweet from left field. I've asked Secretary of State Pompeo to closely study the South Africa land and farm seizures and expropriations and the large-scale killing of farmers. The tweet was apparently spurred by a story on the president's favorite channel.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa has begun and you may have seen this in the press. Seizing land from his own citizens without compensation because they are the wrong skin color.

FOREMAN: It's true the South African government is in a fierce debate over politics ahead of next year's elections. Debate on whether to allow some white-owned farms to be seized and handed to black citizens reparations for years of apartheid. AfriForum, an activist group that mainly represents white South Africans has called for international intervention.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Millions of people in this country need your protection.

FOREMAN: South Africa's president says the issue will be debated by the public and in parliament. But is large-scale killing of farmers underway? Not according to a study last year from a large South African farmers group which found while violence in rural parts of the country remains high, a tax on farmers have been declining. Trump's tweet was based on false information. Government officials quickly said calling them hysterical comments.

Still, the false notion of white South African farmers under genocidal fire is a popular trope with white supremacist, Neo-Nazis, and conspiracy theories. Some of whom have plenty to like in President Trump. His brutal comments about some African countries, his attacks on protesting football players, and more even as he insists he's no racist.

TRUMP: I am the least racist person you have ever interviewed. That I can tell you.


HOWELL: CNN's Tom Foreman there debunking a false claim. South Africa's government wasted little time responding to what Mr. Trump said. It called the U.S. charge -- it called the U.S. who was told the president's intervention was polarizing and based on false information. The U.S. State Department answered this way.


HEATHER NAUERT, SPOKESPERSON, UNITED STATES STATE DEPARTMENT: I should mention that the expropriation of land without compensation. Our position is that that would risk sending South Africa down the wrong path. We continue to encourage a peaceful and transparent public debate about what we consider to be a very important issue in the South African recently do as well.


[02:40:15] HOWELL: Pope Francis travels to Ireland this weekend. The main reason he's going is to attend the world meeting of families and celebrate an open air mass on Sunday. But the scandal surrounding church sexual abuse and cover-ups will follow him. While he's in Ireland, the pope will meet with some of the victims there. The pope's visit comes just after a 900-page grand jury report was released in the U.S. State of Pennsylvania. That report details decades of abuse at the hands of predator priests and a widespread cover-up by the church. Our Erica Hill spoke with some of the victims.


JOHN DELANEY, SURVIVOR OF SEXUAL ABUSE BY PRIEST: I would get high before I would have to have serve mass there and I could separate myself from what was about to happen to me and I was in charge of the altar boys. I got to make the schedule. I would schedule myself so that others didn't have to take it. I did. I did it so that other people wouldn't have to take it because I knew I was stronger. And I knew I could disconnect.

SHARON TELL, SURVIVOR OF SEXUAL ABUSE BY PRIEST: My abuser used to say mass in our kitchen.


TELL: In our kitchen --


HILL: Where you grew up?

TELL: Yes, in our kitchen. I was abused for 20 years. And you asked how I separated the two? I split. I had one of me that took handled the abuse and the other one was just myself.

HILL: Arthur, you're here to speak for your son who's no longer with us. But you can continue to give him a voice.

ARTHUR BASELICE, SON WAS SEXUALLY ABUSED BY PRIEST: What kind of a parent would I be if I didn't continue my struggle and fight for my son? What kind of a person and man, and any human being would even think about molesting a child let alone somebody who claims to be a representative of God? And these are the kind of people that the Catholic Church wants to represent them in the community? Spiritual incest, soul murder, that's what I see.

JIM VANSICKLE, SURVIVOR OF SEXUAL ABUSE BY PRIEST: Psychological abuse, emotional abuse --


VANSICKLE: -- but all of these different abuses, they have gone through they stay with us. We continually think about it and re-abuse ourselves in silence.

HILL: Why do you think this is such a problem in the Catholic Church? It's not just Pennsylvania. It's not just the United States.

JULIANN BORTZ, SURVIVOR OF SEXUAL ABUSE BY PRIEST: I think it has gone on because it was allowed to go on. They knew these guys knew they were going to be covered for. They knew they were going to be moved. They did it because they could. HILL: Is there anything that the Catholic Church could do to regain

your trust?

TELL: No --


TELL: Not today.

DELANEY: Not at all.



HILL: Are any of you still do you still consider yourselves Catholic?

BORTZ: I'm Catholic.



TELL: I go straight to God.

VANSICKLE: I'm not -- well, I was -- look, my grandparents were from Italy. I didn't have a choice. So --

BORTZ: It's in the DNA. Catholicism is in the DNA for some of us.

DELANEY: The Jesus that I learned about in school would not turn his back on children, not once.

BORTZ: Everything they taught is a lie. I mean it's -- there's no other word. There's no other word. So am I Catholic? Yes, I'm Catholic. But do I believe anything, not anymore.


HOWELL: That was Erica Hill reporting. The grand jury report said more than 300 Pennsylvania priests abused more than a thousand children. A former auxiliary bishop from the Pittsburgh diocese told a local newspaper that he was aware of incidents of sexual abuse when they were reported. But said, it was not his responsibility to deal with clergy misconduct. That's what he said. We'll be right back.


[02:46:21] HOWELL: We been telling you about the hurricane threatening the U.S. State of Hawaii. And now, we have our meteorologist Ivan Cabrera here to tell us about the status of that storm right now, it is a monster.

IVAN CABRERA, CNN INTERNATIONAL WEATHER ANCHOR: It is. And the rain I think is going to be just incredible. It already has been I think one of the rainiest months in August, you're going to see at Hilo, and that is going to transpire into massive flooding.

Let's talk about it because we have an active a situation here with an unfortunately very slow-moving storm. This is moving rather slowly to the north over the next several hours of this we continue you see. There you see the eye. I mean, it's still well organized as certainly as it continues to head out to the north, look at some of the radar.

But here's the point I've been making last few hours, right? We have this compact feature here. But look at all the rainfall well out of the head of the system. So it's pumping all this moisture on top of the islands.

And what do we have? Well, we have mountains here. But look at this fascinating radar. You see the rain coming east to west it crashes into the mountainside and as it does, so you begin to see those yellows and oranges.

Everything gets enhanced as all that rain, all that air has nowhere to go but up. And so, it rains on the same side of the island here. And then once we switch the winds over the next couple of days, we'll get some different size of the islands getting in on the heaviest of the rain.

But right now, it's on the eastern flank here of the Big Island of Hawaii. As we continue with the storm, it will head off to the west but it is going to do so rather slowly. We'll be here all weekend and we're going to be covering this as it continues to kind of crawl through the southern part of the island here.

So, we're talking an additional 300-600 millimeters of rainfall. A massive flumps right here for our good friends in Hawaii. So, these are the impacts of flash flooding as my main concern along with the landslides, of course, that come with that heavy rain.

Damaging surf certainly not out of the question and numerous power outages. Quick update on our weakening tropical storm. This is Soulik here. I mean, there's barely anything left it, and is excellent news for the Korean Peninsula likewise with our other once typhoon, Cimaron, now this also a tropical storm weakening rather quickly as it heads off to the north and east.

But I think we're going to continue to see some very dramatic pictures coming out of Japan as a result of all the heavy rain and flooding there.

HOWELL: All right, Ivan, thank you. We'll keep in touch with you.

CABRERA: Good, yes.

HOWELL: It has been about a year since the Myanmar military started what aid groups, U.N. officials and government have denounced as a brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing.

Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya people have been forced to escape Bangladesh. In addition to reports of murder and torture, aid organizations say, there were widespread cases of women and girls raped by Myanmar security forces as they escaped the country.

All claims that Myanmar's military denies. Some of these women are now talking publicly about these painful stories. Our Alexandra Field has this report.


ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In this dust refugee camps in Bangladesh, many women and girls harbor 18 full secrets. They are survivors of what the U.N. calls widespread sexual violence against Rohingya. Allegedly, carried out by the military in Myanmar, last year.

Rape was quote, "A calculated tool to force them from their homes." Claims the government denies. More than nine months on, a number of babies have been born as a result of rape. Little Yasmine was delivered in June. Her mother Meher, says she was raped by soldiers who set fire to her village in September.

[02:50:02] MEHER, RAPE SURVIVOR (through translator): They demanded to rape me in exchange for sparing my children's life. I agreed to them.

FIELD: Filled with shame, Meher tried to keep what happened from her husband.

MEHER: I told my children not to tell their father about the incident, but they did anyway. Because of that, my husband wanted a divorce. But he couldn't leave me as I had no parents.

FIELD: Women who survived rape in this community (INAUDIBLE) even by their families. For Meher, the baby would be a painful reminder of horrors left behind.

MEHER: I tried a lot to abort this child, but abortion was not possible. I went to the nurse and took pills for abortion. But they didn't work as they were supposed to.

FIELD: Around 60 babies are born to Rohingya women in refugee camps in Bangladesh each day according to UNICEF. The number of pregnancies resulting from rape is unknown.

PRAMILA PATTEN, SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE ON SEXUAL VIOLENCE IN CONFLICT, UNITED NATIONS: Some I'm told are hiding their pregnancies. But I'm also told that many are simply having deliveries in their home, in their camp, unattended or sometimes with local midwives.

FIELD: Meher gives birth alone in this small bamboo shack. She and her husband have now forged a bond with their new child in these most difficult of circumstances.

MEHER: Yes, I love her. My husband also loves her now. Though he couldn't accept her at first. He adores the baby when she smiles and plays.

FIELD: But the worry for some is the stigma these children could face when they grow up.

BEATRIZ OCHOA, MANAGER, MEXICAN HUMANITARIAN ADVOCACY, BANGLADESH: The greatest concern of the babies left behind is that they could grow up with a stigma or a label attached to them which is the last thing we'd like to see for this babies.

FIELD: For Yasmine, this could be one of the many challenges she'll face in the years ahead as she learns to call this refugee camp, home. Alexandra Field, CNN.


HOWELL: CNN asked Myanmar's government for a response to the story. And here is what a spokesman said, quote, "There is no evidence that Myanmar soldiers committed any human rights violations in their response to the terrorist attack of 2017. Goes on to say we have recently formed the new Independent Commission which will investigate alleged rights abuses in Rakhine State including rape. We will treat any case in accordance with the rule of law."

Still ahead, saving the clownfish. Efforts are underway to keep this creature made famous by a movie from becoming extinct. Stay with us.


HOWELL: A car set to be auctioned on Saturday could fetch up to $60 million and it's not just any car, obviously. This car is a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO. And if it comes anywhere close to its estimates, it will set a record for any car ever sold at auction.

Experts say it's desirable because it's good-looking, it's won races and it is rare. Only 36 of the cars were ever manufactured. All are still running and the owners who know each other belonged to a very exclusive club. Wow!

This next story about saving Nemo. It's not just the name of the film about the famous animated clownfish, it's also an effort to protect the creature from overfishing after movie stardom, and the effects of climate change. Our Ivan Watson has this report.


IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Meet the humble clownfish. Though small in size, it's one of the most instantly recognizable inhabitants of the world's coral reefs. A fish made famous by the 2003 animated film, Finding Nemo.

The movie told the story of a father searching for his son, Nemo after he's captured from the wild. But finding Nemo's box-office success has had some unintended consequences.

[02:55:15] KAREN BURKED DA SILVA, CO-FOUNDER, SAVING NEMO PROJECT: After the film, Finding Nemo, there was a drastic spike in the number of fish that people wanted for their aquarium. Karen Burke da Silva is a marine biologist and the co-founder of a program called Saving Nemo. DA SILVA: And the places that they were getting those fish actually was from the wild. As the numbers kept coming out of the wild, they started getting very, very small in some places, and in fact, in certain areas became locally extinct.

WATSON: Students at the Belgian Gardens primary school in the Australian city of Townsville we're trying to change that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At the top, there's a little orange clownfish. It's really tiny, it's like a dot. Can you see it?


WATSON: Oh, wow! It's really small, yes.


WATSON: As part of the Saving Nemo program, these children are helping breed baby clownfish.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We breed them so we can give fish that we breed to people who want clownfish, and so they don't have to take them out of the wild.

WATSON: The clownfish raised here are eventually traded away to pet shops in exchange for aquarium supplies.

Where are the eggs?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Those little bubbles.

WATSON: Unfortunately, the clownfish is now facing an even bigger challenge, climate change. Rising temperatures around the world are bleaching. In other words, killing off -- coral and sea anemone, the habitats clownfish call home.

Marine biologist Jodie Rummer says it'll take more drastic action to protect the clownfish.

JODIE RUMMER, MARINE BIOLOGIST, JAMES COOK UNIVERSITY, AUSTRALIA: The way to protect them is a really, really big solution. And it has to do with ending our reliance on fossil fuels. That's directly related to the warming of the oceans, is the emissions into the atmosphere.

WATSON: For newcomers, the story of the little star of Finding Nemo may have another surprising plot twist.

DA SILVA: I'm not sure if everybody knows that clownfish are hermaphrodites.

WATSON: All clownfish are born male. And some eventually transform and grow into bigger females.

DA SILVA: Females are the largest. They're the top fish in the anemone. Everybody wants to be the female.

WATSON: Which could make the next Finding Nemo sequel a very different movie. Ivan Watson, CNN Townsville, Australia.


HOWELL: Ivan, thank you. And join Ivan this weekend for his special report Raised To Save The Reef, it premieres Saturday at 8:30 in the evening in Hong Kong. That's 1:30 in the afternoon in London, here on CNN.

And we thank you for being with us for this hour of NEWSROOM. I'm George Howell at the CNN center in Atlanta. More news right after the break. Stay with us.


HOWELL: New leadership in Australia. Malcolm Turnbull is ousted as Prime Minister after a party vote.