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U.S. Senator Buried at U.S. Naval Academy; Confirmation Hearings Begin Tuesday for Judge Brett Kavanaugh; Tech Giants will Speak about Security Measures; American Restaurant in Mexico Hires Deportees; Mexican Dig Reveals Seventh-Century Mask; Myanmar Judge Finds Two Reuters Reporters Guilty; Experts: Microwave Weapons Likely Injured U.S. Diplomats; Parishioner Lashes Out At Cardinal In Washington. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired September 3, 2018 - 01:00   ET


[01:00:06] NATALIE ALLEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: A Myanmar court has just sentenced two Reuters journalists to seven years in prison. We'll have reaction just ahead.

The Saudi-led coalition now says the vehicle targeted in an airstrike in Yemen was not a school bus full of children despite evidence to the contrary. And a cardinal scolded at Sunday Mass, as frustration grows over the Catholic Church's sex abuse scandal.

These stories are all ahead here. Thank you for joining us. I'm Natalie Allen from CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta. This is CNN NEWSROOM.

And we begin with the "BREAKING NEWS" from Myanmar where two Reuters journalists have been found guilty of possessing state secrets. The judge sentenced the two to seven years in jail. The two men were arrested while investigating the killing of Rohingya men and boys in Northern Myanmar.

Let's get the latest on this story from Alexandra Field in Hong Kong. These men were certain and hopeful that they would be released but it's a very sad day, Alex, for freedom of the press, which really does not exist in the country of Myanmar.

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Oh, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo had pled not guilty, pleaded not guilty. They had insisted that they had done nothing wrong, and those were essentially the words they said when they were rushed out of the courtroom after receiving that guilty verdict.

One of them said, "We did nothing wrong, we were not exactly shocked by the verdict." But that verdict is certainly causing uproar, you're already hearing many speak out against it. Their own attorney saying that this verdict represents a blow to democracy in Myanmar.

These are two Reuters journalists. The editor in chief from Reuters quickly coming to their defense with this statement, saying, "These two admirable reporters have already spent nearly nine months in prison on false charges designed to silence their reporting and intimidate the press. Without any evidence of wrongdoing, and in the face of compelling evidence of a police setup, today's ruling condemns them to the continued loss of their freedom and condones the misconduct of security forces."

The men have said all along and they had testified that they were accused of being given secret documents -- accused rather of having secret documents. But they say, they were handed those secret documents by police. And then, immediately arrested for being in possession of the documents.

They have long said that it was a setup from police who were trying to silence their reporting. The men, of course, were reporting on a massacre on Rohingya Muslims and ethnic minority in Myanmar. They are reporting specifically on the deaths of 10 men and boys.

The military in that country later admitted that their forces had a role in those killings and yet these two journalists have been in jail for more than eight months. Human Rights Watch's director in Asia is also reacting to this verdict, saying this, "Seven years for Reuters journalists for reporting the truth is what we expect from dictatorships. Aung San Suu Kyi, is this what you want Myanmar to be? You used to believe in freedom of the press, now prove it by ensuring an immediate pardon."

Aung San Suu Kyi, of course, the de facto leader of Myanmar who has come under blistering international criticism recently, Natalie, of course, for failing to do more to defend the Rohingya who have been subject to so much violence in that country.

ALLEN: Exactly. And now, two men just reporting on these heinous acts have been jailed and it was just because it was a story that Myanmar didn't want to get out. Is there any recourse, Alex, for these two men, is an appeal allowed?

FIELD: Absolutely. Their lawyer is saying that they have 60 days to appeal but you're already hearing other voices chiming and now saying that Myanmar's government needs to do the right thing, needs to correct this. Essentially, it needs to pardon these men.

Reuters editor in chief is calling for the government to step in now. Certainly, that's something their attorney wants to see and I suspect that in the coming hours you will see more international pressure other -- other voices joining the chorus saying that these men need to be freed, need to be released, that this has been a true injustice for members of the press in that country.

ALLEN: Absolutely. Alexandra Field, following it for us. Thank you. Other news we're following now --

FIELD: Thanks, Natalie.

ALLEN: -- the Saudi-led coalition is sending mixed signals about an airstrike last month in Northern Yemen.

An official now says a vehicle hit with a U.S.-made bomb was a legitimate target, not a school bus full of children as we know it was. This, after the coalition admitted mistakes in the attack. Houthi officials say 51 people were killed, 40 children among them. For more on this from London, here's CNN's Salma Abdelaziz.

[01:04:54] SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN INTERNATIONAL FIELD PRODUCER: In an extraordinary admission of guilt, a Saudi investigative body found that there was mistakes made in the compliance to the rules of engagement in an airstrike last month that killed dozens of schoolboys.

We dug further on the statements, interviewing Colonel Turki al- Maliki, the spokesman for the Saudi-led Coalition in Yemen. And he gave some extraordinary remarks in defending the attack as a legitimate military operation.


COL. TURKI AL-MALIKI, SPOKESPERSON, SAUDI-LED COALITION: As been announced by the Shiite yesterday, it's a legitimate target. It's not a school bus. The bus is carrying some fighter's elements and they are responsible about recruitment and also the -- some of the Houthis experts in that bus. So, it was, as been -- as been announced by the Shiite, it's very legitimate target. And the only thing -- the only mistake being committed by the coalition is the timing. Wrong timing where the targeted being conducted.


ABDELAZIZ: Colonel Turki al-Maliki went on to say that the rules of engagement would be improved and revised. It's unclear what that means at this time, but it was a step that was welcomed by the State Department in a statement today.

And remember, it's not just Riyadh that's implicated in this attack. The Saudi-led coalition has a myriad of partners. He among them, of course, is the U.S. and it was an American supplied bomb that was used in this airstrike last month that killed dozens of schoolboys and sparked an international outrage.

Human Rights Watch today saying the attack is a, quote, "apparent war crime," calling on all countries to stop arms sales to Saudi Arabia, and saying anyone that continues to supply weapons to the Kingdom could be complicit in war crimes. Salma Abdelaziz, CNN, London.

ALLEN: A change of command for NATO forces in Afghanistan in the conflict that has become America's longest war. U.S. Army General Austin Scott Miller is assuming command of U.S. and coalition forces there. Miller was among the first U.S. troops to arrive back in 2001 as part of the campaign to topple the Taliban following the September 11th attacks.

At the handover ceremony, he said, NATO forces must continually learn and adapt to the enemy and the environment. Washington faces growing questions over its strategy to bring the Taliban into talks to end this 17-year-old conflict.

The outgoing Commander General John Nicholson had a message for the Taliban, it's this. "The time for peace is now. He urged the Taliban to accept a ceasefire offer and begin peace talks with the Afghan government. For more on this, Sam Kiley is in Kabul for us.


SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Emerging from the desert, a glimmer of hope. Coming from Taliban commanders on the ground to offer to talk, and to talk about peace. In this exclusive video, Mullah Sher Agha, laying out the terms.

"Peace negotiations should be among Afghans and for Afghans. We should not wait for Pakistan, Iran, Russia, or America to bring peace to Afghanistan. If people from government die, they're, Afghans. If Taliban die, they're Afghans, foreign countries are playing in Afghanistan to weaken Islam, " he says.

Taliban leaders outside Afghanistan have inched toward peace talks. But it's a rare offer from fighting commanders. Just weeks ago, the Taliban overran Ghazni, a city only 81 miles from the capital. It was recaptured and is being rebuilt.

But this brief Taliban victory has showed that they may enter negotiations if they have a position of strength, an increase in violence, a prelude to talks.

Have you recognized by the outgoing U.S. commander?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Signed, Austin Scott Miller.

KILEY: Has he handed over the NATO mission to the former head of American Special Forces?

GEN. JOHN NICHOLSON, OUTGOING COMMANDER: I believe that some of the Taliban want peace also. But they are being encouraged to keep fighting.

KILEY: His successor suggesting that the focus should be directly on fighting terrorist organizations.

GEN. AUSTIN S. MILLER, COMMANDER, JOINT SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND: There are groups in Afghanistan who want nothing more than to harm others. These groups thrive in ungoverned spaces. They raise money, they recruit, they plan, they inspire attacks. We must maintain pressure on them.

KILEY: There's a degree of optimism being shown inevitably by the generals handing from one command to the other here. But the experience of 17 years, they acknowledge means that the Taliban have to be brought in from the cold. They have to join the political process and that leaves ISIS so-called "Daesh," as the main focus both of the international community and ironically, also for the Taliban.

[01:10:04] "Our enemy is first, ISIS, and then, government. A common enemy in ISIS does not make the Taliban friends with the Afghan government or the U.S., but it may be a rare platform for agreement in future talks. Sam Kiley, CNN, Kabul. (END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: Brazil's President calls this a sad day for all Brazilians and here is why. Right there, firefighters now scrambling to control this massive fire at the National Museum in Rio.

The building goes back more than 200 years and was once home to the Portuguese royal family. State media report it held at least 20 million artifacts. Whole collections, could now be lost. Cause of the fire, still unknown.

Scientists believe microwave weapons may have been used to injure U.S. diplomatic staff in Cuba and China in the past few years. Starting in 2016, those staffers reported mysterious headaches, nausea, and other ailments. And described hearing strange sounds.

Now, experts who examined them, say the diplomat likely suffered brain injuries and microwave technology was likely to blame. For more about it, CNN's Patrick Oppmann is in Havana.


PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Investigators looking into the alleged health attacks on U.S. diplomats. Both herein Cuba and in China have a new theory and it is looking at so-called "microwave weapons." These are devices that emit an electric -- electromagnetic beam of energy, very precise beam of energy that can cause numerous symptoms including apparently concussions, and it could cause people to hear sounds that don't actually exist.

You know, initially, when U.S. diplomats complained that they were being targeted by some sort of mystery device in Cuba, investigators felt that it could involve a sonic weapon. Now, they appear to have discounted sonic weapons and are looking at microwaves, saying that there are weapons or number of countries that have had microwave weapon programs going back decades. And that they could have been used to essentially bombard these diplomats in Cuba and in China that has caused them to have concussion-like symptoms.

When doctors look at their actual brain scans, they see evidence of a concussion, evidence of brain trauma, but there was never a physical event that would correspond to that kind of brain trauma.

But this is a theory the FBI has come here on numerous occasions to Cuba to investigate and has not found any hard proof that there were attacks against these diplomats. The Cuban government denies any involvement at all, says that they have put hundreds of government officials all in the case looking at any kind of attack that could have taken place.

Any kind of health evidence, and said that they found absolutely nothing. But the U.S. has pushed back in that the Cuban government, even if they were not behind the attack, that they must know more, so for the moment least, this remains a theory in search of evidence. Patrick Oppmann, CNN, Havana.


ALLEN: A powerful typhoon is barreling towards Japan which is still recovering from heavy floods from prior typhoons. Pedram will have the latest on it for us, next. Also, shame on you, why one parishioner yelled and heckled a cardinal during Sunday Mass?


[01:15:54] KATE RILEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL SPORTS ANCHOR: I'm Kate Riley with your CNN WORLD SPORT HEADLINES. Defending champion, Rafael Nadal, is through to the men's quarterfinals, as is Serena Williams, the 23-time Grand Slam champion playing at her first U.S. Open since the birth of her daughter this time last year. Serena who had to overcome older sister Venus in the previous round blasted Kaia Kanepi 6-0 in the first before dropping the second and winning again easily in the third.

To Formula One, where the eight-year wait for a home win for the Ferrari team at the Italian Grand Prix continues. That's not Lewis Hamilton's problem though, as he and his Mercedes team swiftly took full advantage winning at Monza on Sunday.

Ferrari's top driver, Sebastian Vettel, tangled with Hamilton on the opening lap, spinning out of control and he was left a slightest way from behind back up. And with just seven races left, Hamilton's lead over Vettel is back up to 30 points.

Well, finally, what a wild week for Man United manager Jose Mourinho. It's ended with a 2-0 victory for his club at Burnley. The under- pressure manager whose team has lost two or three league matches at the start of this EPL season felt he needed to emphasize his overall accomplishments at testing press conferences earlier this week. And in any event, Romelu Lukaku scored both goals in the victory to ease that pressure, at least. So, now, that's a look at all the WORLD SPORT HEADLINES. I'm Kate Riley.

ALLEN: So many Catholics around the world say they have had enough inaction from the church on the clergy's sex abuse scandals. One man in the United States targeted his outrage at the Archbishop of Washington at a mass Sunday.


CARDINAL DONALD WUERL, ARCHBISHOP OF WASHINGTON: We need -- we need to call a close to our prayers on our loyalty, our Holy Father, Pope Francis. Increasingly, it's clear that he is the object of considerable animosity.



ALLEN: Cardinal Donald Wuerl is accused of covering up clergy misconduct when he was a bishop in Pennsylvania. CNN's Rosa Flores has more on the protests at Sunday's mass. ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Just outside the church, I spoke to the man who screamed "Shame on you" to Cardinal Wuerl. And he says that he screamed that out because he's frustrated. Because he's hoping that the church can be held accountable and he's hoping that the church will be transparent.

But he wasn't the only one to send a loud message during that mass in Washington, D.C. There was another woman who sent a very loud message with her silence. She stood up, she crossed her arms and gave the Cardinal her back.


MARY CHALLINOR, PARISHIONER: I think, he should resign. I think he should understand that just because you didn't mean to do something, doesn't mean that there weren't terrible consequences for lots of people. And I feel he should resign as Cardinal.


FLORES: We reached out to the archdiocese to ask about this protest, and here's what they said in a statement. "Cardinal Wuerl has spoken extensively over the past two months, conveyed his profound sadness, apologies, and contrition, and addressed every issue as it has arisen in a straightforward and transparent manner."

I was inside that church. I can tell you that the Cardinal was received warmly, he also received applause. But it was not until the end of the mass when he started speaking about clerical sex-abuse that emotions boiled over. Rosa Flores, CNN, Washington.

ALLEN: Pope Francis also faces increased scrutiny about the church abuse scandals. A former top Vatican official accuses the Pope and church leaders of weaving a conspiracy of silence. For more about that, here's our Vatican analyst John Allen.

[01:20:03] JOHN ALLEN, CNN SENIOR VATICAN ANALYST: One week after Italian Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the Pope's former ambassador in the United States from 2011 and in 2016 made a bombshell charge that he had informed Pope Francis of sexual misconduct warnings against former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick in 2013 and that the Pope essentially ignored them for the next five years.

Vigano was back at it this week also suggesting the Pope Francis and his allies had lied about what they knew when Pope Francis met Kentucky County Clerk, Kim Davis in September 2015.

Davis was the county clerk who had refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples after the overfell decision and became a symbol of opposition to gay marriage in the United States.

At the time, a papal spokesperson suggested that the Pope didn't know who Davis was. And that this was entirely Vigano's fault in his role as the ambassador. Vigo is now -- Vigano is now claiming he presented a memo to the Pope. In advance, he briefed his top officials so they knew full well who the Pope was meeting. Today, the Vatican is not issued comment on the second accusation from Vigano. There are some sources suggesting we may get some clarification from them, perhaps, the later this week. But in the meantime, what seems clear is that the contra talk that has been unleashed by the accusations of Archbishop Vigano are not going to go away anytime soon. From Rome, this is John Allen, reporting for CNN.

N. ALLEN: With thousands of people are fleeing Nicaragua as President Daniel Ortega refuses to step down a bit of violent political and social crisis. Protesters in the capital again took to the streets Sunday despite a brutal government crackdown on people. More than 300 citizens have been killed since April.

The U.N. blames Nicaraguan authorities and paramilitary groups for killing, torturing, and raping protesters. The U.S. ambassador to the U.N. says President Ortega is terrorizing his own people. The Nicaraguan government denies the allegations.

Thousands of people in rain battered southern China are waiting for floodwaters to recede. Days of torrential rain pounded parts of Guangdong Province. Almost 130,000 people have been left homeless. Emergency crews are working around the clock to rescue people who are still trapped.

We'll keep an eye on that one, and Typhoon Jebi is approaching Japan and we're following that one, as well. Our meteorologist Pedram Javaheri, and Japan has already gotten hit by so many storms in the past few months, Pedram.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: It really has been the season for them right as far as tropical system after tropical systems. This is the last thing they want to see him.

N. ALLEN: Yes.

JAVAHERI: And talking about what was a Category 5 at one point, the strongest system we had on our planet. Now, we can considerably unfortunately for that, as well. Because you take a look, the symmetry, the organization all of the tropical characteristics of this storm beginning to collapse a little bit.

And again, weakening still a formidable storm. Category 3 equivalent, we expect it to drop down to potentially a Category 2 as it sits plus 500 kilometers East of Okinawa. But you notice this southern trajectory of Japan there has been really inline for tremendous storm activity in recent weeks.

In fact, go back since the beginning of July, we had Prapiroon, Jongdari, Shanshan, Lipi, and of course, Soulik that impacted also the Korean Peninsula. Cimarron came in most recently, and now, we have Jebi came in. So, really does the math and much of that concentration notice is right here in the southern tier, but we've had many lives lost in this period because of these tropical systems, the flooding rain associated with it.

So, but follow this very carefully and we'll notice it kind of weakened again in the next few hours drop down to a Category 2 equivalent. And then, push in somewhere East of Kochi has been going to Tuesday morning. That's where the brunt of this storm is going to be really and you notice it quickly crosses back over the waters weakens further, and the heavy rainfall becomes the big story to follow here.

Osaka, potentially 75 or more millimeters of rainfall works your way at little farther towards the east in excess of 100 millimeters can come down and wet conditions in Tokyo, gusty winds even in place to potentially delays some travel across that region, as well, as the system moves across the area.

I want to show you what's happening, though we do have a potential tropical cyclone in the works. The next system in line across the Caribbean now would be Gordon. This tropical system poised to develop sometime in the night states 24 so hours. It'll push right over the Florida Keys, of course, on a holiday across the United States.

And notice, it goes into the Gulf of Mexico also forecast to gradually strengthen over time. And we think landfall potentially Tuesday night or Wednesday morning, areas are on coastal Mississippi or New Orleans namely into Louisiana would be not in line here for some heavy rainfall come in Wednesday morning.

And Natalie, of course, it has been so quiet across portions of the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico that looks like activity now wants to pick up a little bit here as we go in towards the beginning of September.

[01:25:17] N. ALLEN: Right. It looks like at New Orleans is in the way there, doesn't it? We never like to see that.


N. ALLEN: All right, Pedram, thank you. And we know you'll be watching it for us. A hero's farewell for U.S. Senator John McCain. We'll show you where he chose to end his journey, next.


N. ALLEN: And welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Natalie Allen, live from Atlanta Georgia. Here are our top stories.

A judge in Myanmar has found to Reuters journalists guilty of possessing state secrets. The two men have been sentenced to seven years in prison. They were investigating the deaths of Muslim Rohingya men and boys. They were arrested in December.

A massive fire has engulfed Brazil's 200-year-old National Museum in Rio. Firefighters are working very hard to put this out but you can see it is a massive fire. State media report, there were at least 20 million artifacts in the building. It is feared entire collections are now lost forever. What caused the fire? Still unknown.

[01:29:51] A spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition denies an air strike in Yemen

last month hit a school bus full of children despite evidence that it did hit a school bus. The coalition said Saturday mistakes were made but the spokesman tells CNN the vehicle was legitimate target, not a school bus.

The outgoing commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan is urging the Taliban to sign a peace treaty and come to the negotiating table. General John Nicholson's comments came during a change of command ceremony in Kabul. The militant group has since signaled it is ready to talk.

U.S. Senator John McCain ended his 81-year journey where his life in public service began. McCain was buried at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. The Senator died last Saturday and was honored with ceremonies in Phoenix and Washington.

Brian Todd has more on his private service.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): This was one of the most powerful and emotional days among the fives days of the collective national send off for Senator John McCain even though this day on Sunday, his final burial ceremony and final ceremony at the Naval Academy Chapel was supposed to be private.

Two of the images that we're left with were very powerful images the public was able to see. The first of them was the images of the throngs of people, hundreds of them, gathered on the streets of Annapolis in the streets leading up to the Naval Academy gates. Even though these people were not allowed to take part in the ceremony and get inside and see it, they still lined up along the streets to pay their respects to Senator John McCain.

Another very powerful image was one for the entire world to see if they were watching this. And that was the fly over on Sunday afternoon. Just as the burial service at the cemetery was getting underway, a formation of FA-18 fighter jets flew overhead. It flew right over our live position and we can watch this. One of them peeled away, that, of course, symbolizing a lost comrade.

So again, very, very images on a day that was a very private ceremony for the McCain family and their close friends and yet we, the public, were able to take part in this.

A lot of questions asked about why Senator McCain is being buried here on the grounds of the U.S. Naval Academy when his father and grandfather, who were two very accomplished admirals of the U.S. Navy are buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Well, according to Senator McCain himself and those who knew him, this was the place that really forced his character. He had an imperfect run of things here at the Naval Academy. He wasn't such a great student. He graduated fifth from the bottom of his class. He piled up a lot of demerits and yet this was the place that really forged Senator McCain's character. It really gave him the toughness that served him so well in Vietnam and as a prisoner of war.

So this is the place where he said himself that wanted to be buried next to his friend Admiral Chuck Larson. He said at the end of his book, "The Restless Wave" this is where he wanted to be buried because this is kind of where it all began for him.

Brian Todd, CNN -- Annapolis, Maryland.


ALLEN: Another story we are following out of Washington -- big week this week on Capitol Hill. President Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh begins confirmation hearings Tuesday. He is considerably more conservative than the justice he may be replacing, Anthony Kennedy. If confirmed Judge Kavanaugh could submit (ph)a conservative dominance in the U.S.' highest court for decades to come.

One crucial question is if he would vote to overturn a landmark case that affirmed a woman's constitutional right to an abortion -- that is Roe versus Wade. The Trump administration refuses to release more than 100,000 pages of records related to Kavanaugh.

CNN's White House correspondent Boris Sanchez has more about this.


BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (on camera): The attorney charged with reviewing some 660,000 pages worth of documents related to Brett Kavanaugh's time at the White House as the staff secretary for President George W. Bush has determined that about 100,000 pages should not be released to neither lawmakers nor the general public because of what he claims was constitutional privilege.

That is angering Democrats. And further angering them -- the fact that another 148,000 pages worth of documents will be released to lawmakers but then lawmakers will not be able to even describe those the general public.

Several Democrats have spoken out against this declassification process, namely Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator from Minnesota Amy Klobuchar. She spoke on one of the Sunday morning talk shows saying that this process has been anything but normal.

Listen to this.


SENATOR AMY KLOBUCHAR (D), MINNESOTA: This is not normal. You have a nominee with excellent credentials, with his family behind. You have the camera there. You have the senators questioning but this isn't normal.

It's not normal because we are not able to see 100,000 documents that the archivist has just -- but because the administration has said we can't see them -- they've exerted their executive power; 148,000 documents that I have seen that you cannot see because they won't allow us to make them public so I can't even tell you about them right now on the show.


[01:35:10] SANCHEZ: The White House is pushing back on this criticism from Democrats. Deputy press secretary Raj Shah weighing in on Twitter this weekend writing that the 440,000 or so executive branch documents related to Bret Kavanaugh's time at the White House that have been released far eclipse the number of documents released for previous Supreme Court nominees. The previous five, in fact combined.

You can bet that this conversation about documents and further about a number of hot button issues including Kavanaugh's stance on Roe versus Wade and abortion will come up during his hearings which begin on Tuesday.

Boris Sanchez, CNN -- at the White House.


ALLEN: Joining me to talk more about this is Michael Shear. He's a CNN political analyst and White House correspondent for "The New York Times". Michael -- thanks for being with us.


ALLEN: First, why is the President withholding 100,000 pages of Judge Kavanaugh's record. That sounds like a lot but is it an unusual amount?

SHEAR: It is an unusual amount. Further that though relates to the fact that the overall number of documents that senators have asked for relating to Judge Kavanaugh is in itself unusual. He has a very large paper trail, much larger than any previous Supreme Court nominee.

That said, the Democrats definitely are arguing that the sheer amount of documents being held back, being not made public, is really large. Some 100,000 pages of documents that the Trump administration largely is claiming are work product and personal information that in terms of lawyers providing advice to the President, in this case President Bush -- that that shouldn't yet be made public because you have to protect that. That is certain to be at the center of a pretty big fight in the coming week as these hearings start.

ALLEN: Right. The deputy press secretary said that look, they've satisfied the request for documents, over 440,000 pages of documents that have been revealed. But we have this 100,000 that have not.

Has this ever happened before with a Supreme Court nominee, this much information kind of being kept in the dark to the American public and to the senate judiciary committee?

SHEAR: No, it's never happened before at this extent. Previous Supreme Court nominees who had documents that were related to the White House in, by and large, those documents had been made public. The people in charge of them, the previous presidents whose papers they were, largely said look, we'll go ahead and waive whatever privileges we have so that those documents can be public.

So no, it is unprecedented. Both sides have their arguments to make in terms of numbers that they cite are the numbers that's withheld or numbers made public. But ultimately, that is going to be for the senators, both Democrats and Republicans, who are holding these hearings this week to fight over and then the American public to decide who they think has the best case.

ALLEN: And as far as Judge Kavanaugh himself, he certainly could have an impact on this court as far as another conservative coming on to the Supreme Court. What would be the issues?

SHEAR: Yes. It is not actually uncommon for a judge to come on the bench with particularly strong views. That is not so unique. What is unique is that he would be the swing vote in many cases. He is replacing somebody -- Anthony Kennedy on the court who was himself often the fifth vote that swung either one way or the other on the nine-member court -- issues like abortion; issues like campaign finance.

And there is this question about if something came to the court having to do with whether or not for example President Trump could be subpoenaed in the Russia investigation, that question might well come to the court and it could be Judge Kavanaugh who could cast the deciding vote on whether or not the President has to submit to an interview with Robert Mueller, the special counsel. All of those are issues that will certainly come up.

ALLEN: That is certainly a complex issue in and of itself; usually these things are already complex enough when you're talking about putting somebody on the Supreme Court.

What would be the major laws that could be reversed if say a Judge Kavanaugh got on the Supreme Court?

SHEAR: Well, look, I think sometimes we can overstate this. There are justices that we have seen have gotten on the court, people expect them to go one way or another and sometimes they can surprise. But the Democrats are definitely making the case that abortion is one of the main legal precedents that they question whether or not Judge Kavanaugh would uphold given his record.

[01:40:06] And then there is the whole litany of kind of more liberal, you know, issues like climate change, environmental regulation; that kind of thing that if, as questions come to the Supreme Court -- immigration is another -- as some of these questions come to the Supreme Court, in the past there's been pretty stark divides between four liberal justices, four conserve justices.

Judge Kavanaugh would be in the position to say do environmental regulations get upheld? Do labor laws get upheld or not. And of course, abortion is a big question; whether or not restrictions would be put on abortion or whether in the end abortion could be ruled illegal altogether. Those are the kinds of things that all of the senators are going to be arguing about this week.

ALLEN: Yes. But your point is well made. You never know, once someone gets on the Supreme Court, how they will handle their job. One remembers David Souter brought on by first President Bush and he certainly tilted left in his decisions.

We really appreciate your insights. We'll talk with you again. Michael Shear -- thanks so much.

SHEAR: Sure, happy to.

ALLEN: A restaurant in Mexico is trying to put a salve on rules (ph) caused by the U.S. immigration debate and it is using American-style barbecue to do so. We'll have that story for you in just a moment.

Also, who was King Pakal the Great? And why is this mask a groundbreaking discovery. We will take you to some amazing Mayan ruins in Mexico next.


[01:44:50] ALLEN: In light of the investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 U.S. elections some U.S. lawmakers have called on representatives of the Internet's major players to speak in a hearing on foreign influence and the use of social media. But it looks like one huge name will be missing.

CNN's Hadas Gold has the story for us from London.


HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Executives from some of the world's biggest Internet companies are set to testify this week in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Facebook, Twitter, and Google were all invited for a hearing on Wednesday in Washington about what these companies are doing to help prevent foreign actors from trying to influence elections using their platforms.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey have agreed to attend. But Google did not offer any of their top executives and said they plan to send a senior vice president instead, an offer senators rejected.

The hearing comes one week after President Donald Trump said Google, Facebook, and Twitter were treating conservatives very unfairly and were quote, "trying to silence a very large part of the country.

White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said last week that the administration would look into possibly regulating Google after the President alleged Google was suppressing pro-Trump information in its search results.

Although Wednesday's hearings are about preventing foreign actors from trying to influence the midterm election, the executives will likely also be asked about the President's accusations. That is whether Internet companies are biased against conservatives and pro Trump media and figures.

This is a charge that has long dogged these companies and which they have denied. It is not clear yet whether Google will be sending an executive to testify on Wednesday. The committee's chairman, Senator Richard Burr, told reporters last week that if Google does not send a suitable executive, they will hold a hearing with an empty chair in Google's place.

Hadas Gold, CNN -- London.


ALLEN: As Americans fire up their grills Monday for the Labor Day holiday, just south of the border in Mexico, many expats will head to a restaurant that is serving up some traditional U.S. barbecue and it is also taking a stand in the heated immigration debate.

Our Patrick Oppmann went to Mexico City for this one.


PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): It turns out that selling authentic American barbecue in Mexico is a pretty good business to be in. Eight years after first opening their doors, Mexico City's El Pinche Gringo, the slang for "darned American" has two locations, more than 50 employees and loyal customers lining up for the tender ribs and brisket.

Even in the era of Donald Trump and rising tensions between the U.S. and Mexico, the restaurants American co-owner Dan Defossey says he feels at home.

DAN DEFOSSEY, CO-OWNER, EL PINCHE GRINGO: I have been so grateful in the last couple of years with all the rhetoric going on, all the thing that I have never gotten anybody telling me go back to the U.S.

OPPMANN: But Defossey said he has seen an increase in Mexicans who have been deported from the U.S. seeking work and made a conscious decision to hire them. So far seven deportees are on his staff. It's not charity he says, the deportees are some of his best workers.

DEFOSSEY: You know, sometimes I speak to them in English and they kind of have nostalgia for because they miss the United States and they miss their lives and they miss their family that still lives in the United States. So if we have a sanctuary they appreciate that and then they work hard.

OPPMANN: One of those deportees, Hugo Hernandez say that he was deported following an arrest for DUI and sent back to Mexico after a decade living illegally in the U.S. Coming home was not easy.

HUGO HERNANDEZ, DEPORTEE WORKING AT EL PINCHE GRINGO: You know, I sense changes and the way you behave, your culture changes. Like everything is different. So they see you like you're not from here. OPPMANN: Changes that make finding work even more difficult.

(on camera): When people are deported they often come back to a country they haven't been to in years, sometimes decades and don't even recognize anymore. One of the hardest parts about re- assimilating is finding a job.

(voice over): Defossey hopes he can inspire more kindness on both sides of the border despite the current political climate.

DEFOSSEY: I can't control what is done over there. All I know is that we have a little bit of barbecue diplomacy here.

OPPMAN: because just like making great barbecue, changing minds takes plenty of time and patience.

Patrick Oppmann, CNN -- Mexico City.


ALLEN: Barbecue diplomacy -- sounds good.

A beautiful day for U2 fans after lead singer Bono get good news from his doctor. We will have that right after this.


PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good day to you -- meteorologist Pedram Javaheri watching what's happening here across portions of the Caribbean as we do have a potential tropical cyclone in the works.

This is what is -- it's expected to become Tropical Storm Gordon over the next 24 or so hours. This system right now impacting areas of the Bahamas, certainly impacting portions of northern Cuba as well and also bring in heavy rainfall into the Florida Keys that skirts right across the Florida Strait over the next few hours.

But we do know this system is poised to enter the Gulf of Mexico. It is also poised to gradually strengthen and as it does it will become Tropical Storm Gordon and landfall somewhere at this point looking at Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning across the coast of Louisiana, potentially even areas around western Mississippi.

So we will watch that carefully here for a lot of rainfall to be in store across this region as some (INAUDIBLE) across this region and bring in again tremendous rainfall towards the middle portion of the week where the flood threats being very high across that region.

At this point for the Monday afternoon forecast looking at some flooding also in place across portions of the Midwestern U.S.; in Chicago scattered thunderstorms, 28 degrees; New York, Montreal yet again another toasty one here for the month of September. We can promise you in the month of October will likely not start this way but big time warmth in place across the northern tier of the U.S. and you notice cooler air does eventually filter in as we approach this upcoming weekend. ALLEN: Archaeological digs are often filled with surprises and an astonishing discovery in Mexico is literally putting a new face on the lengthy reign of a king named Pakal the Great.


MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): A dig at a famous Mexican site yields a face mask believed to be from the 7th Century.

ARNOLDO GONZALEZ, ARCHEOLOGIST (through translator): It is not a representation of a God. After looking at some images, it is possible that it is Pakal the Great. We are quite sure of this at this time.

HOLMES: Pakal the Great was a Mayan king thought to have ascended to the throne aged just 12. He ruled for some 68 years. His reign believed to have been generally prosperous. And the fine architecture he ordered built is now being studied.

The mask itself is still being examined but archaeologists think it is the first time Pakal the Great has been shown as an old man. Meantime the careful excavation of the abandoned city of Palenque continues.

GONZALEZ: The idea is to take House E in this eastern part of Palenque to its original state. We are almost at this stage with the floor of House E.

HOLMES: The site is a popular tourist destination with thousands of international visitors marveling at the area's artifacts every year.

Michael Holmes, CNN.


[01:55:00] ALLEN: Well, it seems Bono has found what he is looking for. The U2 lead singer says he has seen a doctor and will be back to full voice after he had to cut short Saturday's show in Berlin because of this.


BONO, U2 LEAD SINGER: I have lost my voice and I don't know what to do. I was just singing like a bird about ten minutes ago.


ALLEN: He said he lost his voice and he wasn't sure why. Bono says he's relieved anything serious has been ruled out by the doctor. U2 will return to Berlin in November. The band is to perform in Cologne, Germany Tuesday.

Thanks for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Natalie Allen.

The news continues next with my colleague, Rosemary Church.

Please stay with us. Thanks for watching.