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John McCain's final farewell; restaurant business owner in Mexico hires deportee; huge fire in Rio; Brett Kavanaugh for Supreme Court nominee; two Reuters reporters to spend seven years in Myanmar prison; microwave weapons. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired September 3, 2018 - 02:00   ET


[02:00:08] ROSEMARY CHURCH, NEWSROOM ANCHOR, CNN: A guilty verdict, two Reuters journalists will face seven years in prison for breaching a colonial (Inaudible) in Myanmar. Plus, a week of mourning ends in the United States as Senator John McCain is laid to rest. And later, an American restaurant owner in Mexico hires deportees as a way to tackle immigration setbacks.

Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I am Rosemary Church, and this is CNN Newsroom. And we begin with what Brazil's President calls a sad day for all Brazilians. A massive fire is burning its way through the national museum in Rio. Firefighters have been scrambling to put out the blaze. But its feared centuries of history and millions of artifacts could be lost to the flames. Here's what the museum's former director said about the loss.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is a loss for the world. This can never be recovered. But the people, the building, there is no way to get it back. Thankfully, no one died. But the loss can never be recovered.


CHURCH: The museum dates back more than 200 years, and used to be a palace for the Portuguese royal family. State media report it held at least 20 million artifacts. Now the big story we are following, two journalists will spend the next seven years in a Myanmar prison. A short time ago, a judge found them guilty of possessing state secrets. The two journalists from the Reuters news agency were investigating the massacre of Muslim Rohingya in northern Myanmar.

The U.N. is among those calling for the journalists to be released. Reuters' Editor-in-Chief, Stephen Adler, calls it a sad day for journalists everywhere. Well, as we just reported in Myanmar, just a short time ago, these two Reuters journalists found guilty of possessing state secrets. The judge sentenced both of them to seven years in jail.

Two men arrested while investigating the killing of Rohingya men and boys in northern Myanmar. So let's get the very latest from Alexandra Field in Hong Kong. Alex, we're seeing democracy and freedom of the press under attack in Myanmar right now. How did this all play out in court and what all did the judge say?

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Yeah. This is really a devastating blow for Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe, and not to mention so many who have come to support them to rally for their case and see this as a dangerous movement forged in Myanmar and a true attack on the press. The men were inside the courtroom for some 45 minutes. They listened to the verdict. They were sentenced to seven years in prison.

That's about half the maximum sentence, which would have been 14 years in prison for violating state secrets. They have of course, long contented that they were set up by police, handed secret documents and then immediately arrested for having those documents. The men have been sitting in prison since December. Their lawyer calling this verdict a blow to democracy in Myanmar, also want you listen to Reuters' Editor-In-Chief. This was his immediate reaction to that verdict.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These two admirable reporters have already spent more than eight 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 set-up. Today's ruling condemns them to the continued loss of their freedom, and condones the misconduct of security forces.


FIELD: The men were quickly hustled out of the courtroom through a side door. You could see a mob of reporters around them. We could hear one of them saying that the two had done anything wrong. But that this verdict, Rosemary, didn't come as a shock.

CHURCH: Yeah, exactly right. And of course, we understand these two journalists will be able to appeal the judge's decision. Is there any possibility that this decision could be overturned perhaps if enough pressure is brought to bear by the international community.

FIELD: There has been a lot of international attention to this. Don't forget. You have had leaders from the United States, including Secretary Pompeo, calling for the release of these journalists. Also from the United Nations, from the United Kingdom, from Canada, just to name a few. And as quickly as that verdict came down, we have been hearing from officials and also from human rights groups around the world.

Take a look at this statement from Human Rights Watch in Asia. They say seven years for Reuters journalists for reporting the truth is what we expect from dictatorships. Aung San Suu Kyi, the de facto leader of Myanmar, 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.

[02:05:04] That's also what Reuters' Editor-In-Chief is calling for. He says that Myanmar's government must intercede immediately to correct this. There is as you point out, though, an appeals process that the journalists can undertake. Their attorney says they have about 60 days now to begin that appeal process. But certainly, the Reuters Editor-In-Chief and many others are calling for Myanmar's government to step in directly, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Let's hope we see some progress there, Alexandra Field bringing us the latest details from Hong Kong, many thinks. Well, the head of ISIS in Afghanistan is dead. That is the word from U.S. forces there. They say he was killed in an airstrike last week. He is 1 of 11 ISIS fighters who died in the strike on Nangarhar province. The military says this is the third time U.S. forces have killed a self-proclaimed head of ISIS since July of 2016.

Meantime, NATO's new commander in Afghanistan says the U.S. and its allies in the region will keep up the pressure on ISIS and other terror groups. General Scott Miller's comments came during a change of command ceremony in Kabul Sunday. Well, the outgoing Commander General, John Nicholson, also had a message for the Taliban.

And that message, the time of peace is now. He urged the militant group to accept a ceasefire offer and begin peace talks with the Afghan government. Sam Kylie has the latest now from Kabul.


SAM KILEY, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Emerging from the desert, the glimmer of hope, coming from Taliban commanders on the ground to offer to talk and to talk about peace, in this exclusive video, (Inaudible) laying out the terms.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Peace negotiations should be among Afghans and for Afghans. We should not wait for Pakistan, Iran, Russia, or America to bring peace to Afghanistan. People from government die there Afghans. If Taliban die there, they are Afghans.

KILEY: Foreign countries are playing in Afghanistan to weaken Islam, he says. Taliban leaders outside Afghanistan have inched towards peace talks, but it's a rare offer from fighting commanders. Just weeks ago, the Taliban over ranked (Inaudible), 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 of violence, a prelude to talks.

A view recognized by the outgoing U.S. commander, as he handed over the NATO to the former head of American Special Forces.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 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.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 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 is a degree of optimism being shown inevitably by the general's 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 (Inaudible) as the main focus, both in the international community and ironically also for the Taliban.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 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 maybe a rare platform for agreement in future talks.

KILEY: Sam Kiley, CNN Kabul.


CHURCH: A 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. Earlier, the coalition admitted mistakes in the attack. Houthi officials say 51 people were killed, including 40 children. CNN's Salma Abdelaziz has more now from London.


SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: 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 school boys. We dug further on the statement, interviewing Colonel Turki Al-Maliki, the spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen. And he gave some extraordinary remarks and defending the attack as a legitimate military operation.

[02:09:59] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As been announced by the Jihad yesterday, it is a legitimate target. It is not a school bus. The bus is carrying some fighters' elements and they're responsible about recruitment and also some of the Houthis experts in that bus. So it was, as has been announced by the Jihad is very legitimate target. And the only thing, the only mistake being committed by the coalition is the timing, wrong timing where the target had been 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 is not just Riyadh that is implicated in this attack. The Saud-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 school boys and sparked an international outrage. Human rights watched today, saying the attack is a quote, apparent war crime, calling on all countries to stop arms deals to Saudi Arabia, and saying anyone that continues to supply weapons to the kingdom could be complicit in war crimes. Salma Abdelaziz, CNN, London.


CHURCH: A week of mourning, an American hero comes to a close. Ahead, we will take you into John McCain's final journey, which ended back where his life of public service began. Plus, this man could be one of President Trump's lasting legacies. Next, we will discuss how Brett Kavanaugh could tilt the U.S. Supreme Court further to the right.


[02:15:00] CHURCH: The U.S. bid farewell to an American hero this week, but for Cindy McCain, she was saying goodbye to her husband and partner of 38 years. You are looking at pictures from Sunday's private burial ceremony for Senator John McCain. Overhead, four U.S. military fighter jets flew in formation before one peeled off, symbolizing a fallen comrade.

Senator McCain's burial at the U.S. Naval Academy in Maryland ends a week of mourning the lawmaker, who was known as a maverick in the U.S. Senate. Brian Todd takes a look at this final goodbye.


BRIAN TODD, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: This was one of the most powerful and emotional days among the five days of the collective national send off for Senator John McCain, even though this day on Sunday, his final burial ceremony at the Naval Academy Chapel were supposed to be private. Two of the images that we're left with were very powerful images the public was able to see. And that -- the first one 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're 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 a live position where we can watch, as one of them peeled away, that of course, symbolizing a lost comrade. So again, very, very powerful 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 was being buried here on the grounds of the U.S. Naval Academy when his father and grandfather, who were two very accomplished admirals at the U.S. Navy at Arlington National Cemetery.

Well, according to Senator McCain himself and those who knew him, this was the place that really forged 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 he's a prisoner of war.

So this was the place where he said himself that he wanted to be buried next to his friend, Admiral Chuck Larson. He said at the end of the 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.


CHURCH: President Donald Trump's ability to shift the ideological direction of the U.S. Supreme Court will have legal consequences, which may last well after he's no longer President. Last year, the Senate confirmed President Trump's first Supreme Court nominee, Justice Neil Gorsuch, and now President Trump could cement the conservative hold in the highest court in the country with his second nominee. Judge Brett Kavanaugh is considerably more conservative than the swing justice he's replacing, Anthony Kennedy. If Kavanaugh is confirmed, the Supreme Court could see its most significant ideological change in a dozen years. His confirmation hearings begin on Tuesday, but the battle over his nomination is already intensifying. The Trump administration is refusing to release more than 100,000 pages related to Kavanaugh. That includes records of his crucial role under former President George W. Bush. Our Boris Sanchez has more from the White House.

BORIS SANCHEZ, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, CNN: The attorney charged with reviewing some 660,000 pages worth of documents related to Brett Kavanaugh's time at the White House as a 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.

[02:19:48] That is angering Democrats and further angering them, the fact that another 148,000 pieces worth of documents will be released to lawmakers, but then lawmakers will not be able to even describe those to the general public. Several Democrats have spoken out against this declassification process, namely Senator minority leader Chuck Schumer, and Senator from Minnesota, Amy Klobuchar. She spoke at one of the Sunday morning talk shows, saying that this process has been anything but normal. Listen to this.

AMY KLOBUCHAR, (D) UNITED STATES SENATOR: This is not normal. You have a nominee with excellent credentials, with his family behind him. You have the cameras there. You have the Senators questioning, but this isn't normal. It's normal because we are not able to see 100,000 documents that the archivist has just -- because the administration has said we can't see them.

They have exerted their executive power, 148,000 documents that I see - 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 this show.

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 Brett Kavanaugh's time at the White House that have been released far eclipsed 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 stands on Roe versus Wade and abortion will come up during his hearings, which begin on Tuesday. Boris Sanchez, CNN, at the White House.


CHURCH: So is it unusual that the U.S. government will withhold 100,000 pages in the confirmation process of a Supreme Court nominee. Well, earlier, we posed that question to Michael Shear, who is a CNN Political Analyst and the White House Correspondent for the New York Times. Take a listen.


MICHAEL SHEAR, POLITICAL ANALYST, CNN: It is an unusual amount. Part of that though, relates to the fact that the overall number of documents that senators have asked for relating to Judge Kavanaugh is in itself is 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 shear 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 be made public because you have got to protect that. That is certain to be at the center of a pretty big fight in the coming week as these hearings start.

Previous Supreme Court nominees who have had documents that were related to the White House, and 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 will 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 either numbers but 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 could decide who they think has the best case.


CHURCH: CNN Political Analyst Michael Shear also made the point that other conservative Supreme Court judges have eventually voted more liberal after getting confirmed. Well, scientists believe microwave weapons may have been used to injure U.S. diplomatic staff in Cuba and China over the past few years. Starting in 2016, those staffers reported mysterious headaches, nausea, and other ailments, and described hearing strange sounds.

Well, now experts who examined them say the diplomats likely suffered brain injuries. And microwave technology was probably to blame. CNN's Patrick Oppmann explains.


PATRICK OPPMANN, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Investigators looking into the alleged health attack once U.S. diplomats both here in Cuba and China have new theory, and it is looking at so-called microwave weapons. These are devices that emit an electromagnetic beam of energy, very precise beam of energy that can cause numerous symptoms, including (Inaudible) concussions. It could cause people to hear sounds that don't actually exist.

Now initially, when U.S. diplomats complained that they are being targeted by some sort of mystery device in Cuba. Investigators felt that it could involve weapon. Now they appeared to have discounted sonic weapons and looking at microwaves, saying that they are weapons, a number of countries that have microwave weapons programs dating back decades and that they could have been used to essentially bombard these diplomats in Cuba and in China.

[02:24:56] That is causing 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 on the case looking at any kind of attack that could have taken place, any kind of health incidents, and said that they found absolutely nothing. But the U.S. has pushed back, saying that the Cuban government, even though it's (Inaudible) behind the attack, that they must know more for the moment at least. This remains in theory in search of evidence. Patrick Oppmann, CNN (Inaudible).


CHURCH: A stunning outburst interrupts a mass in the U.S., as sex abuse scandals continue to plague the Catholic Church. Plus, U.S. politicians have been using the death of this college student to advance the immigration debate. And now, her family is speaking out against that connection. We'll explain when we come back.


CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. I'm Rosemary Church. I want to update you now on the main stories we've been following this hour. A judge in Myanmar has sentenced two Reuters' journalists to seven years in prison. They were convicted of possessing state secrets. The two were investigating the massacre of Muslim Rohingya when they were arrested. The president of Reuters calls it a sad day for Myanmar and the press everywhere. A massive fire engulfed Brazil's 200-year old national museum in Rio. Firefighters have scrambled to put out the blaze. State media report there were at least 20 million artifacts in that building. It is feared entire collections are now lost forever. No word yet on what caused the fire. A spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition denies an air strike in Yemen last month hit a school bus full of children. That is despite evidenced to the contrary.

The coalition said Saturday mistakes were made, but the spokesman call CNN -- tell CNN rather the vehicle was a legitimate target and not a school bus. The outgoing commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan is urging the Taliban to accept a cease fire and begin peace talks. General John Nicholson says it's time for the Taliban to stop killing fellow Afghans. His comments came Sunday during a change of command ceremony in Kabul.

Many Catholics say they have had enough inaction from the church on the clergy sex abuse scandals. One man targeted his outrage at the archbishop of Washington at a mass Sunday.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need -- we need to hold close in our prayers and out loyalty our Holy Father, Pope Francis. Increasingly, it's clear that he is the object of considerable animosity.



CHURCH: Cardinal Donald Wuerl is accused of covering up clergy misconduct when he was a bishop in Pennsylvania. CNN's Rosa Flores has more now on the protest at Sunday's mass.

ROSA FLORES, CNN INTERNATIONAL 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 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.

CHURCH: And Pope Francis is also facing increased scrutiny about the church abuse scandals. A former top Vatican official accuses the pope and church leaders of weaving a, "Conspiracy of silence." Here's Senior Vatican Analyst John Allen with the very latest.

JOHN ALLEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL SENIOR VATICAN ANALYST: One week after Italian Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the pope's former ambassador in the United States from 2011 and 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 that Pope Francis and his allies had lied about what they knew when Pope Francis meet 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 Obergefell 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. Vigano was now -- Vigano is now claiming he presented a memo to the pope in advance.

He briefed his top official so they knew full well who the pope was meeting. To date, the Vatican has not issued comment on the second accusation from Vigano. There are some sources suggesting we may get some clarification from them perhaps later this week. But in the meantime, what seems clear is that the contratante that has been unleashed by the accusations of Archbishop Vigano are not going to go away any time soon. From Rome, this is John Allen reporting for CNN.

[02:35:17] CHURCH: Chinese President Xi Jinping is hosting more than 50 African leaders for a summit focus on economic ties between China and African nations. The U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres is also there. While speaking with Guterres, Mr. Xi made no direct mention of the ongoing trade dispute with the United States. But he did complain about unilateralism and protectionism rearing its head. Well, thousands are fleeing Nicaragua as President Daniel Ortega refuses to step down amid a violent political and social crisis.



CHURCH: Protesters in the capital again took to the streets on Sunday despite a brutal government crackdown. More than 300 people have been killed since April. The U.N. is blaming 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 and Nicaraguan government denies the allegations. Well, some deportees from the U.S. to Mexico find themselves caught between two worlds.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your culture changes like everything is different. So they see you like, you're not from here.


CHURCH: Just again, how a restaurant in Mexico is trying to soothe the wounds caused by the U.S. immigration debate. We'll have that in just a moment.


CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well, Florida's democratic candidate for governor is responding to racist robocalls targeting his campaign.

[02:40:04] Andrew Gillum's historic primary win Tuesday gives him a shot at becoming state's first black governor. But the racist phone calls paid for by a white supremacist and Neo-Nazi group and racially charged comments by Republican opponent casting a cloud over the race. Gillum addressed the issue with CNN's Dana Bash on Sunday.


ANDREW GILLUM, FLORIDA GOVERNOR CANDIDATE: I have to tell you, I do find it deeply regrettable. I mean on the day right after I secured the democratic nomination, we had to deal with some of the dog whistles directly from my opponent. I want to make sure that we don't racialize and, frankly, weaponize race as a part of this process which is why I called on my opponent to really work to rise above some of these things.

People are taking their cues from him, from his campaign, and from Donald Trump. And we saw in Charlottesville that can lead to real frankly dangerous outcome.


CHURCH: The 78-second robocall message mocks Gillum's race and plays jungle noises in the background. Now, the same group behind robocalls aimed at Gillum may also be responsible for racist robocalls targeting Latinos in and around Des Moines, Iowa. That's according to local media. Now, it's all part of growing anti-immigrant sentiments since the murder of Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts. U.S. President Donald Trump and his fellow Republicans have been using the Tibbetts murder as a political tool and now the Tibbetts family is speaking out. CNN's Polo Sandoval has the story.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's been about a week since the funeral of Mollie Tibbetts was held. Her family has been mourning privately. However, this weekend her father broke his silence with a message to politicians to stop using his daughter's death that's part of this immigration debate. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You saw what happened to that incredible beautiful young woman. It should have never happened illegally in our country.

SANDOVAL: When some politicians and pundits have refused to listen, Mollie Tibbetts father's says he had to ask again. On op-ed in this weekend's Des Moines register, Rob Tibbetts renewed his plead to have his murdered daughter left out of the immigration debate. He writes, some have ignored our request and instead chosen to callously distort and corrupt Mollie's tragic death to advance a cause she vehemently opposed.

Tibbetts' statement comes as nervousness and fear grow throughout the small farming region that was Mollie's home because of the suspected killer's undocumented status. Some members of Des Moines, not in our city responded officials on Twitter who later painted over the words. A white supremacist group has been calling Iowans with a message spewing hate calling for a White American in the name of Mollie Tibbetts.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was stabbed to death by an invader from Mexico.

SANDOVAL: Another sign of nerves into Latino community, two local festival celebrating that culture were postponed. One group cited Tibbetts' murder as the reason for the cancelation. Joe Henry, a local Latino leader is worried about troubling climate in this part of the country.

JOE HENRY, LEAGUE OF UNITED LATIN AMERICAN CITIZENS: Latinos are being threatened both in social media and in neighborhoods.

TRUMP: A person came in from Mexico illegally and killed her. We need the wall. We need our immigration laws changed.

SANDOVAL: Some conservatives remain firm in blaming current immigration laws for the fate of this promising 20-year-old. But her father insists Mollie was nobody's victim. Do not appropriate Mollie's soul in advancing view she believed were profoundly racist he wrote in this op-ed. Nor is she a pawn in other's debate.


SANDOVAL: Well, CNN did have the opportunity to spend some time in Brooklyn, Iowa. This place has become now a flashpoint for the illegal immigrant debate. We heard from regular folks who say they largely do support the immigrant community after all they hold such a crucial part in the farming economy. However, they certainly have some conservative views though when it comes to the United States E- Verify System which is a federal program that allows potential employers to screen people's ability to -- and illegibility to work in the United States and we're told that the suspect in this case was not screened through that program. CHURCH: Well, many people on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border are

trying to move the immigration debate away from racism and hysteria. One example the American owner of a restaurant in Mexico City. He says it's time to reframe the debate and focus on treating one another as equals. CNN's Patrick Oppmann reports.


[02:45:01] PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: 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, that slang for darn 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, PINCHE GRINGO: I've been so grateful in the last couple of years with all the rhetoric going on, all the things that I've 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 as I speak to them in English and they kind of having nostalgia for -- because they missed the United States, and they missed their lives and they missed 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, says 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, DEPORTED IN MEXICO: Your accent changes, and the way you behave. Your cultural changes like everything it's different. So, they see you like, "You're not from here."

OPPMANN: Changes that make finding work even more difficult.

When people are deported, they often come back to a country they haven't been to in years, sometimes decades, and hardly even recognize anymore. One of the hardest parts about re-assimilating is finding a job. The far as he hopes he can inspire more kindness on both sides of the border despite the current political climate.

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

OPPMANN: Because just like making great barbecue, changing minds takes plenty of time and patience. Patrick Oppmann, CNN, Mexico City.


CHURCH: We'll take a very quick break right here. But still, to come, a powerful typhoon is expected to make a direct hit on Southern Japan. We will have a weather update for you just ahead.


PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: Today, to 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 expected to become a tropical storm Gordon over the next 24 so hours.

But this system right now impacting areas of the Bahamas, certainly, impacting portions of northern Cuba, as well. And also bringing heavy rainfall into the Florida Keys as its skirts right across the Florida straight 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, watch that carefully here for a lot of rainfall to be in store across this region as send some guides across this region and brings in again tremendous rainfall towards the middle portion of the week with the flood threat 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. I can promise you the month of October will likely not start this way, but time warmth in place across the northern tier of the U.S.

But you notice cooler air does eventually filter in as we approach this upcoming weekend.


[02:51:21] CHURCH: Torrential rain in Southern China is battering more than a million people. Emergency crews are working around the clock to rescue trapped residents in the Guangdong Province near Hong Kong. Now, the flooding has killed at least two people and caused $150 million in damages.

Well, Typhoon Jebi is approaching Japan, and residents are being warned that they could be slammed by damaging winds and flooding. Let's turn to our meteorologist Pedram Javaheri who has been following this very closely at the International Weather Center. So, Pedram, how bad could this be?

JAVAHERI: Yes, Rosemary, it was at one point the stronger storm we had on earth this year, so far was a strong Category 5 feature this weakened since you can see already losing some of its organization down to a Category 3, but it is just a few hundred kilometers away from making landfall. We think sometimes inside the next 18 hours as we go into Tuesday morning local time.

Southern Japan certainly, all eyes on alert across this region and, of course, you look back just over the past two months. Since the 1st of July, the activity has been tremendous across this region. We've talked about a numerous storms making landfall. But the system itself again beginning to move its way to the north.

But notice this, we've had now six storms making landfall across Japan or at least impact Japan impasse in the past six weeks or so. And you look at the numbers, that's once every eight or so days. We've had a tropical feature across some part of Japan, a high concentration of them right there in a southern tier of the island. So, certainly, another storm to add to the list here.

Again, early Tuesday morning, when we look for landfall somewhere east of Kochi there where heavy rainfall is the story, and the storm weekend's potentially to a Category 2 at that point it comes in into the early morning hours. Is then, rainfall becomes the big story an area that has been absolutely saturated. Gets an additional 70, 80, 100 plus millimeters of rain.

Even Tokyo get some rainfall out of this even though they are well out of the path of the system. Still get some enough rainfall to produce potentially some flooding across the city there. But that is one element we're falling across what's happening in the Western Pacific, and also what's happening there in the Caribbean.

We've had a very quiet season by contrast herein the Caribbean. But the next dormant line would be Gordon, and this is forecast to occur sometime over the next 24 hours where we think by Monday night, the storm as it crosses the Florida Keys becomes tropical storm Gordon, it work its way to the Gulf of Mexico. And look at the beeline trajectory right there for its potentially New Orleans or areas around Western Mississippi could be a strong tropical storm might landfall.

At this point not looking at this to become a menacing storm but again, it is not the winds that take lives, it's the rainfall and there's a lot of it in store there for southern portions of the U.S. going into the middle of this week. Rosemary.

CHURCH: All right. Appreciate, you bring us up to date on that situation, Pedram. We'll talk again next hour.

Well, a Chinese billionaire, Richard Liu was arrested in the U.S. State of Minnesota while on a business trip on Friday. He was taken into custody on suspicion of criminal sexual conduct but released the next day without charge.

Police records show Liu was released pending complaint. Liu is the CEO of Chinese tech giant His company released a statement, saying Liu is being falsely accused and there's no substance to the claims against him.

Well 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 at 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 very latest.

[02:54:57] HADAS GOLD, CNN POLITICS, MEDIA AND BUSINESS REPORTER: 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 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 adviser 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 hearing are about preventing foreign actors from trying to influence the midterm elections, the executives will likely also be asked about the president's accusations that is whether internet companies are biased against conservative and pro Trump media and figures.

This is a charge that has long dogs these companies and which they have denied. It's 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.

CHURCH: And thanks for you accompany this hour. I'm Rosemary Church. I'll be back with more news right after the short break. Don't go anywhere.