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Investigation Underway Into Inferno That Gutted Museum; Myanmar Courts Convicts Reporters In Rohingya Case; Xi Offers Africa Leaders $60 Billion Boost; China Announces Giant Investment In Africa; Hearings To Begin For Supreme Court Pick Kavanaugh; Trump Plans Campaign Rallies Ahead Of Midterms; Saudi-Led Coalition Denies War Crimes in School Bus Attack; Trump Taking "Right to Return" off the Table; U.S. Gulf Coast Hurricane Warning; Roger Federer Eliminated by Aussie John Millman; Djokovic Eases in Quarterfinals; Tennis Hall of Fame to Allow Fans to Vote. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired September 4, 2018 - 01:00   ET



ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. Ahead this hour, anger after thousands of years of history go up in smoke and flames. Why some believe this fire at Brazil's national museum was a disaster waiting to happen. Plus it's being called a dark moment for Myanmar and a new low after two journalists investigating the Rohingya crisis are sentenced to seven years in prison. And the U.S. President back to attacking his own Attorney General suggesting two Republican lawmakers are facing charges for purely political reasons. Hello and welcome, everyone, I'm Rosemary Church, this is CNN NEWSROOM.

Brazil is in mourning after many of the country's most priceless historical treasures irreplaceable ancient artifacts burned to ashes Sunday night. Authorities have launched an investigation into what caused the massive fire to tear through the country's 200-year-old National Museum. While the cause is not yet known, the blame game is well underway. Details now from Shasta Darlington.

SHASTA DARLINGTON, JOURNALIST: For Brazil, it's a national tragedy. They've lost the single most historical and anthropological museum in the entire country with millions of artifacts that really helped define the national identity as well as the building itself that was once home to Portuguese kings.


DARLINGTON: In Rio de Janeiro, the National Museum of Brazil was engulfed in a massive fire. Rare exhibits and priceless artifacts dating back centuries were destroyed. Residents and museum employees gathered in the area as news of the blaze spread and watched in horror as firefighters struggled to contain the flames.

SERGIO KUGLAND DE AZEVEDO, FORMER DIRECTOR, NATIONAL MUSEUM (through translator): They lost worth of world. This can never be recovered. For the people, the building, there is no way to get it back. DARLINGTON: Founded in 1818 by the Portuguese royal family, the

museum was commemorating its bicentennial this year and was home to at least 20 million ancient relics. The museum's collection included thousands of works from the pre-Columbian era, mummified Andean skeletons and the oldest human remains ever to be discovered in Brazil.

DE AZEVEDO (through translator): Thankfully no one died but the lost can never be recovered.

DARLINGTON: The building itself was a piece of history now destroyed in the flames, a former interior palace it was converted into a museum 200 years ago. Brazilian President Michel Temer said the loss of the collection is too great to be calculated. The cause of the fire remains unknown and an investigation has been opened.


DARLINGTON: While the investigation into the cause is just beginning, the finger-pointing is well underway. Museum and university officials say the budget has been repeatedly slashed year after year which has made it difficult to maintain the building, forget trying to update it. They say there wasn't a sprinkler system in place yet they've requested one -- year after year they've requested the budget to install a sprinkler system.

The warning -- the fire warning system was also faulty and in fact, even when the firefighters arrived on the scene, the two fire hydrants that they would have used to put out the blaze didn't have enough water pressure. They went to the water authorities tried to divert the water, that didn't work. They had to go to a nearby pond to get water from the pond and bring in water trucks to put out this fire.

This has just incensed not only the citizens of Rio but really Brazilians who feel like the situation at the Museum is a reflection of what's going on in the country itself after years of a deep recession and a failure to invest in what's most important to them. For CNN, this is Shasta Darlington in Sao Paulo.

CHURCH: And ironically a fire prevention system upgrade for the museum was due to begin in just weeks. Well, Amy Buono is a Brazilian antiquities expert and an Assistant Professor of Art History at Chapman University. She joins me now from Los Angeles. Thank you so much for being with us.

Thank you for having me.

CHURCH: Of course, the national tragedy made all the worse by this revelation that no sprinkler system existed and the fire hydrants weren't even operating. How big a loss is this for the country and of course the world of Antiquities?

[01:05:02] AMY BUONO, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF ART HISTORY, CHAPMAN UNIVERSITY: This is an incredible loss this museum collection how held 20 million objects. It held not just natural historical material and specimens but it also held artifacts from Brazil's ancient past through the last 200 years as well. Much of this material, so much of it is part of Brazil's cultural memory that has now -- has now gone up in flames. And the extent of the collection is -- would be the equivalence of having parts of the Smithsonian museum complex in Washington D.C go up in flames.

CHURCH: Yes, and as you say, 20 million ancient relics potentially lost in this blade. How long will it take to determine if there's anything that it can actually be saved amid the ashes.

BUONO: Reports are coming out hourly as workers are shifting through the remains of the museum. I imagine in the next couple weeks there's going to be a better sense of what will remain but so much of it is gone. The building itself is just a hollowed-out cave at this point.

CHURCH: It is just horrible. And as an expert in Brazilian antiquities, how do you even comprehend that the Brazilian government cut the budget on a museum housing, these 20 million relics and failed to ensure there was an adequate fire prevention system in place at the time?

BUONO: Yes. Since 2014 the museum has been operating on a shoestring budget and it both speaks to the lack of infrastructure in the museum and also the lack of infrastructure in the city of Rio where even the fire hydrants weren't working properly. This is really a sign of how devastating things are in the city of Rio and with the recession and with the current government and how desperately in need the city is and the nation is of a change in an investment in culture.

CHURCH: Yes, it's an important point. And you know I think it probably offers a wake-up call for other museums housing relics like this across the globe to ensure that they have some sort of system in place to prevent anything like this happening again. Now, we do -- we do see that there are photos and there's been research done on the various relics. Is that going to offer any comfort to people such as yourself, for experts in antiquities?

BUONO: I think what has happened is devastating. I don't know how much of it -- of this is something that there can be a kind of a recuperation of. I think that it does need to be a wake-up call for other institutions to invest in infrastructures. And research will go on but it's going to be drastically and dramatically altered.

CHURCH: It is a terrible loss for Brazil and certainly the world of antiquities. Amy Buono, thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it.

BUONO: Thank you. Thank you.

CHURCH: Well, two Reuters journalists have been sentenced to seven years in prison in Myanmar sparking international outrage. A judge found the reporters guilty of breaking a colonial-era law, the Official Secrets Act while reporting on an alleged massacre of Rohingya Muslims in the country. United Nations officials quickly issued this statement. "The sentencing of Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo is a dark moment for Myanmar. This is yet another clear signal of Myanmar's distancing from international human rights law. Now, the Asia Director of Human Rights Watch said this. "The

outrageous convictions of the Reuters journalists show Myanmar courts willingness to muzzle those reporting on military atrocities. These sentences mark a new low for press freedom and further backsliding on rights under Aung San Suu Kyi government." Alexandra Field has the details.


ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The verdict from a court in Myanmar causes international outrage. Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, two Reuters journalists sentenced to seven years in prison for violating the Official Secrets Act and returned to the prison they've been in since December. Kyaw Soe Oo says they're not exactly shocked by the verdict. Wa Lone calling it a challenge to democracy. Their families, their young children in court for the ruling widely seen as an assault on the press.

STEPHEN ADLER, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, REUTERS: 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.

FIELD: Kyaw Soe Oo and Wa Lone say police handed them secret documents in December and then other officers arrested them for having the secret documents. Retribution, the journalists say, for a report they were working on. An investigation later published by Reuters into the massacre at a village in western Myanmar of ten Rohingya men part of a long-persecuted ethnic minority group.

the military later admitted its forces had a role in the killings, jailing seven soldiers for the crimes. The journalists who worked to expose the slaughter still behind bars.

[01:10:02] PHIL ROBERTSON, ASIA DEPUTY DIRECTOR, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: This is about the military guarding its secrets and it's about the investigative journalism not being welcome in Myanmar.

FIELD: Myanmar's military leaders already face mounting international pressure, accused in a new U.N. report of genocide for violence against Rohingya Muslims that started again a year ago. The country's de facto leader Nobel Prize Winner Aung San Suu Kyi accused in the same report of failing to use her moral authority to stop the violence.

Now, there are mounting holes for the country's government to pardon the two journalists who were seeking the truth and sentenced to seven years. Alexandra Field, CNN Hong Kong.


CHURCH: And let's hear more now from Reuters Editor-in-Chief Stephen Adler. He told my colleague Michael Holmes given Myanmar's record, the verdict was not a surprise.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) ADLER: I was very disappointed, our entire team was very disappointed. We weren't entirely surprised because the very arrest and the indictment was based on no evidence whatsoever as your report I think showed very well. They were set up. The documents that were placed on them were done, were placed there so that they would be arrested.

And the truth is they were just doing their jobs. They were operating with integrity, with freedom from bias, they were just trying to report on a massacre in Rakhine State. And what was so extraordinary about the report is they had photographs so it wasn't just victims or Rohingya Muslims saying that something had been going on but we actually had photographic evidence both of the victims kneeling prior to being shot and then we had victims of the pictures of them in the mass grave hacked to death and shot to death.

So the level of the evidence was so strong that I think the Myanmar government was very unhappy with their reporting.

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, what was in it though for the Myanmar government to pursue this case? What was the advantage of them particularly because of the -- obviously the massive reaction it's brought more publicity to the case -- to the whole situation.

ADLER: They arrested them before the story was published and I think you could argue that the reason they arrested was to confiscate the photographs and to make it impossible for us to publish but we at headquarters did have the photographs and our staff continued to report the story and with the strong support of Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, we went ahead and published it. So the fact is -- the facts did come out and there didn't seem to be any further reason for them to be imprisoned and yet the case continued and it became increasingly clear as the case continued that not only was there no evidence but the evidence was absolutely clear that they were innocent.

HOLMES: What are the options for them now? Obviously, an appeal, do you have any faith in that given how the actual case went -- this initial case?

ADLER: We're going to try a lot of options. We're going to look at international possibilities, things we might be able to do. We're going to look at what we might be able to do within the country. But the important thing is that we're not going to give up. We're going to fight very, very hard for their freedom.

We don't think they should be in prison one additional day. They've already been in prison nine months or something they didn't do. And the fact is what they did was they did journalism in the public interest and it sends a really bad message in Myanmar about its approach to democracy. Myanmar has been on path towards democracy and a free press is absolutely essential to democracy.


CHURCH: And that was Michael Holmes speaking with Reuters Editor-in- Chief Stephen Adler. Well, more than 50 African leaders are in Beijing this week for a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Mr. XI is promising a $60 billion investment in a wide variety of projects aimed at improving the continent and improving China's place on the world stage. Farai Sevenzo takes a look at China's new love for all things African.


FARAI SEVENZO, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Kenya's president became only the third African leader to meet President Trump at the White House last month.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: But we have tremendous relationships with Kenya. We have terrorism, a lot of trade, getting bigger all the time.

SEVENZO: But the panda in the room has been China's growing loving with Kenya and the rest of Africa. And it seems the love flows both ways. Xi Jinping opened the sixth forum on China-Africa Corporation Monday. There's no other photograph like it, not at the Commonwealth, not in Francophone Africa. Over fifty African leaders are in Beijing to hear China's proposals for the next phase of their relationship.

XI JINPING, PRESIDENT, CHINA (through translator): China is willing to provide governmental assistance offering another sixty billion in financing for Africa.

SEVENZO: Purchase like Kenya 3.8 billion standard gauge railway symbolize the rapid infrastructure Africa yearns for and with China is willing to build. But analysts are asking at what cost.

[01:14:58] PATRICK GATHARA, STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS CONSULTANT, KENYA: This is not a gift that we are getting. This is an investment. This is money we are borrowing that we will need to pay back. What are the longer-term benefits and costs to Kenyans?

SEVENZO: Africa's development is being funded by China's own insatiable appetite for economic growth.

So, ubiquitous has been China's presence in Africa, the artists have noticed. Kenyan artist, Michael Soi has its own unique take on the relationship of the century -- China's love for Africa.

MICHAEL SOI, CONTEMPORARY AFRICAN ARTIST, KENYA: It's a very questionable love. It's a -- it's a love in quotes, it's a love that seems to kind of like you know only favor one person in this whole situation, and that is China.

I mean, this whole body of work was actually like initiated as a question. You know, what were the real intentions of China towards Africa? It's more of competition between China, the E.U., and the U.S.

SEVENZO: Are you saying that by 2030, China will be in charge of the African Union?

SOI: At the rate in which they are getting into African -- making or helping make a lot of decisions, maybe probably by 2030, we'll have a Chairman also Chinese. He was a King of Africa.

SEVENZO: President Xi Jinping has clearly won the hearts and minds of Africa's leadership. But he likely needs to do more, still, to win the hearts and minds of Africa's ordinary citizens. Farai Sevenzo, CNN, Nairobi.


CHURCH: Donald Trump is unloading once again on his Attorney General. The president's latest complaint about Jeff Sessions and what it reveals about his lack of understanding of the Justice Department.

Plus, a Saudi-led coalition admits mistakes were made in a deadly attack on a school bus in Yemen. But activists say it could be a war crime. We'll have the details for you on the other side of the break. Do stay with us.


CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee is set to begin hearings for Donald Trump's second pick for the Supreme Court. Brett Kavanaugh is expected to face stiff opposition from Democrats, but the president is focused on another clash with his Justice Department. CNN's Kaitlan Collins, reports.


KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: President Trump, staying out of the public eye today while going after his attorney general behind closed doors. Criticizing Jeff Sessions for indicting two Republican Congressmen.

One who is accused of insider trading, and another who is accused of brazenly misusing campaign funds for personal expenses arguing it could hurt his party in the midterms. In a tweet that stunned Washington, Trump writing, "Too easy wins now in doubt. Good job, Jeff."

That criticism as Trump prepares to hit the road this week to stump for Republicans amid rising fears of a blue wave in the midterm elections, where the stakes couldn't be higher and concerns of impeachment are growing louder.

Trump traveling to Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota, this week alone. As part of the White House's effort to boot vulnerable Democrats and boost Republican hopefuls.

With nine weeks left in the battle to control the House, the president sending this message.

[01:20:16] TRUMP: People say we have the majority. By how much? Like by almost nothing. Somebody has our cold, we no longer have the majority. We need Republicans in Congress.

COLLINS: That amid a creeping sense of panic from Republicans who fear that seats which were once safely theirs are now up for grabs. SEN. RON JOHNSON (R-WI), HOMELAND SECURITY AND GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE: Over the next two months, Republicans just have to point out the success.

COLLINS: Those Republican fears on full display in Texas where Senator Ted Cruz is facing an unexpectedly tough fight against a Democrat Beto O'Rourke, in a race that should be a cakewalk for Cruz.

Trump announcing he'll rally alongside Cruz in the Lone Star State next month. Tweeting, "I'm picking the biggest stadium in Texas we can find." But the president's critics will look to remind Texans of the bitter feud that played out between Trump and Cruz in 2016, when he suggested Cruz's father was involved in the assassination of JFK, insulted his wife, Heidi and branded him lying Ted.

TRUMP: I think he's crazy. I honestly, I think he's crazy. Lyin Ted, does not have the temperament to be doing this. He is choking like a dog because he's losing so badly.

COLLINS: With the battle for the House just weeks away, CNN's latest House race ratings show there are 30 seats considered to be toss-ups. 28 of those are held by Republicans and 12 are in areas Hillary Clinton won in the presidential election.

Asked recently, if he fears impeachment if Democrats win the House, Trump telling Bloomberg News, "I don't think they can impeach somebody that's doing a great job."

Now, the White House has says President Trump plans to be on the road 40 days at minimum between August first and Election Day. He is eager to get out and support these candidates. But what we're told by sources inside the White House is that the president's motivation for this is self-protection.

He knows and he's very aware that if Democrats take over Capitol Hill, it could pose a real threat to his presidency. Kaitlan Collins, CNN, the White House.


CHURCH: And joining me now from Los Angeles, Peter Matthews, professor of political science at Cypress College. Great to have you with us.

PETER MATTHEWS, PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL SCIENCE, CYPRESS COLLEGE: Good to be here. So, just nine weeks away from the November midterm elections and President Trump is intensifying his attack on Attorney General Jeff Sessions over the indictment of two Republican congressmen. Tweeting this, "Two easy wins now in doubt. Good job, Jeff."

What does that tweet signal to you about how vulnerable President Trump is feeling right now, and when has a president so blatantly attacked his own attorney general for following the rule of law?

MATTHEWS: Rosemary, it's just incredibly stunning because this man is saying things that go against the rule of law. He breaks all the rules, all the decorum of the office. I suspect the rule of law which says that no one is above the law, the law should apply evenly and equally to everyone.

And he wants these two congressmen to be exonerated because this majority might be in danger, or he says they were the early supporters, it's unconscionable that he doesn't look at how the law should be applied fully and fairly, and not consider his electoral chances. It's the total epitome of what Trump is about, unfortunately.

Do you think he understands what the Attorney General is supposed to do and what the Department of Justice is supposed to do, the role of those two? The attorney general and the -- and the department?

MATTHEWS: He doesn't understand it or he doesn't care because the department is supposed to carry out the law, it supposed to be impartial in the prosecution that it pursues. And he just completely ignores that. All he's thinking about is, "Will I be impeached? Will the Democrats take over the House? They might even put me up for impeachment, and who knows if the trial might not end up in me being removed?"

He's really desperate right now, unfortunately, for the country as well, because we really can't get good policy out of this all right of him if all he's concerned about is hanging on to his seat.

And, of course, seats once considered safely Republican could very well go to the Democrats, what your numbers tell you about what might happen in November?

MATTHEWS: My numbers tell me the Democrats need 23 seats to take over the majority in the House, they might actually win about 30 seats. Because for example, the last two special elections showed that the Democrats were outperforming themselves from the previous years by eight points.

And the generic poll that says would you prefer a Democrat or Republicans to lead Congress? About six to eight percent of higher, say Democrat. They want Democratic Congress.

So, this is a very dangerous situation for Republican incumbents, especially with an unpopular president. Don't forget President Trump's rating is went down to 36 percent approval and 60 percent disapproval is the highest negative ratings ever had.

[01:25:00] CHURCH: Right. Of course, we have to be very careful because as we saw with the last election, those numbers can be very misleading and often wrong. But there is this increased fear on the Republican side of the possible impeachment of President Trump. A valid fear or just hype, do you think?

MATTHEWS: I think it's both. He's hyping it up because he wants to get the Republicans to vote. He is saying if you don't vote for me, we're going to lose everything. You going to lose me and you going to lose all -- everything that we gained. I mean, the right-wing agenda. And at the same time, what is very real, because the Democrats take the majority in the House, I think they're sensible not to look at this carefully and objectivity and look for articles of impeachment and vote for them. And the only thing is will the Senate be in the hand -- in a large enough number in the Senate to agree with a removal of the president.

I think there's a very real threat to the president's himself right now in terms of his power. And so, he's as flailing around wildly.

CHURCH: Right, and in just a few hours from now, confirmation hearings for President Trump's Supreme Court pick, Brett Kavanaugh, get underway. And a lawyer for former President George W. Bush has just released 42,000 pages of documents to the Judiciary Committee.

What impact might these documents have, how will they all be reviewed in time, and how likely is it do you think that Kavanaugh will ultimately be confirmed?

MATTHEWS: Well, the hearings are tomorrow, and in terms of raw numbers, the Republicans have the larger number of votes in the Senate to confirm him. It only takes a majority vote, 50 percent plus one to confirm him.

So, a chance that he gets confirmed in that sense, but yet, Kavanaugh is deserving in many ways to a lot of voters including the women voters of America who want to keep the choice on abortion to be legal.

And yet, Kavanaugh is waffled on it. He said that he -- that abortion ruling and Roe v. Wade is settled. But on the other hand, he actually opposes abortion in some cases. He had a 17-year-old immigrant woman, he said she could have an abortion but she has to first find a sponsor and that family has to counsel her first.

So, he doesn't believe in the full right of a woman to choose. And this is very dangerous for many, many women and the freedom of conscience, especially. So, there's a lot of danger signals about Kavanagh, and if Democrats or some Republicans even one or two votes against him, that could really hurt his chance of nomination of being confirmed.

CHURCH: And yes. As you point out, I mean, there are a number of concerns about Brett Kavanaugh. It's going to be interesting to see what some of this documentation reveals. There is fears about where he stands on abortion right. So, there is fears on the number of other issues. What laws might he change, do you think, going by what you know of Brett Kavanaugh at this moment?

MATTHEWS: I know that he's been very anti-labor and pro-corporation for big business. And he ruled against workers who try to unionize and did unionize, they organized the Union in the somewhere up in the northern part of the United States, and they were factory with the meatpacking workers.

And he ruled that -- in his -- in his dissent, he said that the workers have no right to organize the Union. They're not covered by union laws because they were undocumented, most of them. So, some of them were documented, others undocumented. He said those workers as a whole do not have a right to organize because they're undocumented people among them.

And that's taught to me unconscionable. So, work -- a person is working in America, they are a worker, and they are -- they need protection through collective bargaining. So, I think this is a dangerous thing also. Will workers' rights with environmental regulation?

He is so much for deregulating the environmental regulations. He's against in allowing regulations on clean air and clean water. Especially, clean air. And that's the real problem for global warming.

Many, many danger signals here along the way and I hope enough people in the Senate will know that to vote against him including some of the Republicans such as the main Republican Senator. The Senator Collins of Maine, she's a pro-choice Republican, she's concerned about him too.

CHURCH: We'll watch very carefully to see what happens with those hearings. Peter Matthews, always a pleasure to have you on the program. Thank you.

MATTHEWS: Thank you, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Well, after a deadly air strike on a school bus packed with children, the Saudi-led Coalition behind the attack says, it was, quote, a legitimate target. We'll have the details, next.


[01:31:21] CHURCH: Welcome back. You are watching CNN NEWSROOM.

I'm Rosemary Church. Want to check the headlines for you this hour.

Authorities have launched an investigation to determine what caused Sunday's massive fire that gutted Brazil's National Museum. It's feared the flames destroyed millions of artifacts spanning 11,000 years. Museum officials say the building suffered from lack of funding. There was no adequate sprinkler system in place and nearby hydrants were dry when the blaze erupted.

Condemnation from around the world after a judge in Myanmar sentences two journalists to seven years in prison for possession of state secrets. The two Reuters reporters were investigating the massacre of the Rohingya minority there. The U.N. is calling for their release. Human Rights Watch calls the sentences a new low for press freedom.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is about to wrap up this year's African summit in Beijing. Leaders from 53 African nations are attending that summit at which china's president announced a $60 billion development deal for Africa that includes investments, aid and low-interest loans.

It is a parent's worst nightmare and human rights activists say it could be a war crime. At least 26 school children ages six to 11 were killed last month in Yemen's bloody civil war. They were on a field trip when an air strike hit their bus.

CNN has revealed the bomb used by the Saudi-led coalition in that attack was made by the United States and had been sold to Saudi Arabia as part of a deal with the U.S. State Department.

CNN's senior international correspondent Nima Elbagir reports.


NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): The U.S.-backed Saudi-led coalition has announced the findings of an incident assessment team and they're doubling down on their assertion that the bus -- the school bus attacked on August 9th was a legitimate target.

TURKI AL-MALKI, SPOKESPERSON, SAUDI-LED COALITION: War crime is not found in Yemen. War crime or any systematic targeted civilian is not founded in our operation in Yemen. We are applying the high standard measure and the best practice for always; this special instruction and also for the (INAUDIBLE) directives.

Now this is the story of the Houthi again. The JIAT is an independent team. We have announced that we're accepting the outcome and the finding. We're giving all the evidence that we have for the JIAT.

And if the Houthi, they are telling the story and other organization, it's been proved by the information that we have as intelligence information. It's not a school bus because there is no school time at that time when the incident had happened and also we have shown all the videos. We never -- we never observed or noticed any kids in the bus and it's been announced that some of the Houthi fighters are inside that bus.

ELBAGIR: So a legitimate target -- a denial that war crimes are being committed in Yemen in spite of the findings of that U.N. panel of experts. The concern is that can lessons truly be learned if the Saudi-led coalition still refuses to acknowledge what so many people could see for themselves.

What CNN was able to broadcast when we obtained cell phone footage filmed in their last hours by schoolboys on that bus; that there were children on that bus. Can lessons truly be learned?

[01:35:05] Nima Elbagir, CNN -- London.


CHURCH: The Trump administration has decided to end all funding for a U.N. agency that provides essential services to more than five million Palestinian refugees. The White House says the agency is irredeemably flawed. But critics say President Trump is trying to take off the table a central demand of Palestinian leaders -- their right to return to lands that are now part of Israel.

Our Oren Liebermann has more now from Jerusalem.


OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Inside the Dheisheh refugee camp, Abdul Qadir al-Lahham (ph) makes his way to daily prayers. The 100-year-old Palestinian refugee has difficulty hearing and is short of strength, but the memory of fleeing his home in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war remains sharp.

ABDUL QADIR AL-LAHHAM, PALESTINIAN REFUGEE (through translator): I was left at home. I was outside (INAUDIBLE). When I came back, I realized that my wife and daughter fled with all the villagers. So I took my sheep and fled to Bethlehem where I found them three days later.

LIEBERMANN: The memories are seven decades old but some scars never heal. Pain and principle carried down through the generations.

AL-LAHHAM: I'm living in ten-meters prison for 70 years. One side a hundred dunes (ph) of land, a bit of soil for my land means more than my soul to me but I'm not worried because justice never lasts.

LIEBERMANN: This is what's left of al-Lahham's village. Ruins he says he has not visited since 1975.

(on camera): The idea that this is still their land, still their family's home is one that's central to Palestinian national identity. Two generations later his grandson says there's no room for compromise when it comes to the right of return.

Muhammad al-Lahham is 22 years old and spent his whole life in the Dheisheh refugee camp. The camp services are run by UNRA, the United Nations agency in charge of Palestinian refugees. The U.S. cut funding to UNRA in a move widely seen as trying to undercut the status of Palestinian refugees.

MUHAMMAD AL-LAHHAM, PALESTINIAN REFUGEE (through translator): Impossible. I can never compromise on my right of return. Everything I see in the refugee camp reminds me of my right -- people, flags, pictures, the way we live. I have a right and I will never give it up.

LIEBERMANN (voice over): The key is the symbol here -- the ability to unlock your own door once again. Images of the key are prevalent in Palestinian refugee camps in a way that makes it clear. The Palestinians will not simply give up the right of return.

It is this intransigence that makes it perhaps the most sensitive and difficult issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, even more so than Jerusalem.

DAN SHAPIRO, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO ISRAEL: The truth is that every American proposal since the Oslo accords under the Clinton administration and the Bush administration and the Obama administration, in different ways, has made clear that there's no American intention to facilitate a right of return. LIEBERMANN: The Dheisheh refugee camp is home to roughly 15,000

Palestinian refugees -- a small fraction of the five million refugees in the Middle East and beyond. The idea that these refugees could return to their homes in modern-day Israel has always been a nonstarter for the Israelis as it would dramatically change the character of Israel as the Jewish state.

SHAPIRO: It may be the hardest issue and it may be an issue that ultimately this whole effort crashes upon.

LIEBERMANN: Even if Palestinian leaders understand the difficulties of the right of return it will take a major concession in a peace process for them to be able to make that compromise like a commitment to a two-state solution from the Americans and Israelis.

And that's something Palestinians haven't heard in years.

Oren Liebermann, CNN -- Dheisheh refugee camp.


CHURCH: Coming up next on CNN NEWSROOM -- a new warning issued for America's Gulf Coast bracing for tropical storm Gordon. We will explain what the region could soon be facing. We're back in just a moment.


CHURCH: A hurricane warning is in effect for parts of America's Gulf Coast as tropical storm Gordon continues its march northwest from the Florida Keys. Gordon could be a category 1 hurricane by the time it makes landfall Tuesday night. Some two million people in the region are under hurricane watches or warnings.

So let's turn to our meteorologist Pedram Javaheri. He's tracking Gordon and joins us now with more. So Pedram -- what is the advice you have for people at the -- basically waiting for this to make landfall?

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes. Rosemary -- what I've been saying all day with this system is if you were to have a hurricane across the Gulf of Mexico, this is essentially what you want to see because this storm system, it is poised to become a hurricane but right now you notice, not very organized here, very little as far as symmetry.

And you notice there's a little bit of an eye trying to form in the center of this system. But again, the conditions are conducive for rapid development over the next 18 or so hours which is the amount of time it will have over very warm waters, in fact, 28 degrees Celsius.

That's the threshold you want to see for a tropical system to be able to develop. And we have it well into that range. In fact, low 30s, middle 30s across some of these regions. So we know it has what it takes to strengthen. There's very little sheer on the top of the storm to rip it apart as well. And that's why the Hurricane Center has put the two million people underneath the hurricane watches and hurricane warnings. The area indicated in red just east of New Orleans near Biloxi, near Mobile and just west of Pensacola. That's the highest probability for a category 1 hurricane to make landfall some time between 7:00 and 9:00 p.m. on Tuesday local time.

And notice right before landfall when it gets its best organization. So if this system had about a day's more time over open waters it could be a major hurricane. But fortunately, it doesn't have that and it is moving very rapidly which really plays a role into decreasing the rainfall amounts.

In fact, historically speaking if you slow a system down, you bring in tremendous rainfall. You speed it up, up to 25, 30 kilometers per hour which is precisely where Gordon is currently sitting at. Notice the rainfall amounts historically are about 100-plus millimeters of rainfall and that is precisely what's in store with the storm that comes ashore shortly again after 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday there and becomes a hurricane right at landfall potentially.

So we're going to watch this carefully but fortunately it doesn't have enough time to strengthen beyond that, we don't think, in the next 18 or so hours -- Rosemary.

CHURCH: All right. Good to have you keeping a very close eye on that. Appreciate it -- Pedram.

JAVAHERI: Thank you.

CHURCH: And I'll have more news for you at the top of the hour. I'm Rosemary Church.

"WORLD SPORT" starts after a short break.


VINCE CELLINI, CNN ANCHOR, WORLD SPORT: Hello and welcome to "WORLD SPORT" at CNN Center. I'm Vince Cellini.

Monday's round of 16 at the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament had a story line -- that is Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer in the men's quarters come Wednesday. But it turns out John Millman did a rewrite.

The 55th ranked Aussie stunned the second-seeded Federer in one of the great upsets in event history. It was a night when Federer looked all of age 37. He was clearly off his game.

He took the first set but Millman battled back and took advantage of Federer's erratic service game to break feds (ph) in the second. Then in the third, more of Millman taking that set in a tiebreaker and the fourth set was more of the same.

As a stunned crowd watched, Millman closed out the Swiss legend and five-time U.S. Open champ winning 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 and 7-6. So gone is Federer after 10 double faults, 77 unforced errors; he had been 40-0 versus players outside the top 50 in Flushing Meadows. Wow.

Well, earlier, 6th-seed and Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic, who has been unbeatable against opponents ranked outside the top 50 here, was again versus Portugal's Joao Sousa. It appeared routine, Novak again needed medical time-out due to heat and humidity but in any event, he reached the final eight at the U.S. Open for the 11th straight time, in straight sets 6-3, 6-4, 60-4. The joker picking a third title at Flushing Meadows; Millman is next for him in the quarters on Wednesday.

On the women's side, whether it was the 15-month banned substance suspension or simply Father Time at age 31, 2006 U.S. Open champion Maria Sharapova had labored to reach round four putting her unbeaten record under the lights at Flushing Meadows on the line against Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro.

All four of Sharapova's matches have been under the lights and she got some criticism over that. This at Arthur Ashe Stadium where Suarez Navarro was all business; the 30th-seeded player showing a lot of grit and hustle, constantly moving Sharapova and controlling early action. She won the opening set, 6-4.

Suarez Navarro just kept it rolling, and in the match point area of this, she delivered a great passing shot. Took the match 6-4 and 6-3 and reached the quarters on what was her 30th birthday. She'll face Madison Keys next. Sharapova's first loss in 23 night matches at the U.S. Open.

And now a conversation that includes our Don Riddell and Todd Martin who was a finalist in the U.S. Open back in 1999. He also played in the Australian Open final, won eight career titles and was ranked as high as number four in the world. These days he's the CEO of the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

And the first topic here -- broader voting procedures as fans will be added to the election process next year.


TODD MARTIN, CEO, INTERNATIONAL TENNIS HALL OF FAME: This is the first time that International Tennis Hall of Fame will produce a fan vote for induction into the Hall of Fame for the class of 2019.

So we have eight candidates representing seven countries on the ballot this year. And fans from across the globe, already well more than 90 different nations, have voted and we'll have voting until October 7th.

DON RIDDELL, CNN WORLD SPORT HOST: The top players are defined by the titles they win. And in particular, the number of slams they are able to accumulate. How much do you think it means to the players to be in the Hall of Fame as well?

MARTIN: I think it means a tremendous amount. You have some of the most stoic characters in our sport who have broken down on the stage when receiving the ultimate honor, an induction in the Hall of Fame. And having played with many of them, I know how much -- how important it would have been for me to have been inducted, but also just in every discussion I ever have about the Hall of Fame, the players, the Hall of Famers, constantly talk about how moving it is for them to be part of that history.

RIDDELL: Why do you think that is? Why is it so moving and so emotional and so important to them?

MARTN: I think there's a number of reasons why. One, it happens five years -- a minimum of five years after they've retired. So they likely are out of the limelight a little bit. But they're also being associated with those characters that we knew growing up -- the Rod Lavers, the Don Budges, the Margaret Quartz, the Martina Navratilovas, the Billie Jean Kings.

[01:50:00] To have lived a life passionate about a sport and then to have played it professionally and then ultimately be part of that same club as all those players that you used to look up to as a player. I can't speak for anybody except for what it would be like for me, that that's incredible.

RIDDELL: We often say how lucky we are to be living in this era of men's tennis -- Federer, Nadal and Djokovic all playing so well for such an extended period of time. For those who maybe don't follow the game of tennis as closely as we do, can you put into context just how special this time is?

It's out of this world. I don't know if there is hyperbole that can properly describe it. It's -- it was one thing to play with Pete Sampras and have him win 14 grand slams, which broke a record that had stood for 30 years. And then no more than a decade later, that record was being broken again by Roger. And yet he's got two guys right on his heels.

So, just if you look at the utter number, I think it's about 50 grand slam titles between the three of them. There's only 40 every ten years. So that's 12.5 years worth of an amazing amount of achievement and that's only spread over the course of Roger's 17 years on tour -- 17, 18 years on tour.

RIDDELL: And what have they done for the standard of each other's play simply by being in each other's orbit this whole time?

MARTIN: Well, I would have said this two years ago before roger started winning majors again, but Roger was a better player in 2015 and '16 than he was in '05 and '06. He just didn't have as many titles in those years to show for it. And that is because Novak and Rafa specifically, and many others as well, constantly are challenging each other to get better and better.

And that's, I think, in some ways, that's the definition of greatness. And in other ways, it's just the demand of an athlete. If you aren't getting better, you're getting worse.

(END VIDEOTAPE) CELLINI: But legends are vulnerable. Federer is out at the U.S. Open.

Coming up, the life of a refugee presents enormous challenges. But if you can find a home, develop your talent, anything is possible.

Next on "WORLD SPORT" from South Sudan to Australia to basketball in America.


[01:55:00] CELLINI: The best basketball players in the world head to North America to play in the NBA. And the college game is also interested in international recruiting. But it doesn't end there. You might be surprised to learn that high schools in the United States also scout overseas. And a group of Sudanese refugees are heading that way via Australia.

Here's Nina Stevens from our affiliate, 7 Network.


NINA STEVENS, 7 NETWORK REPORTER (voice over): They are teenagers flying high. Born in a refugee camp, Malek Malual came to Australia as a baby. Now he's headed to America.

MALEK MALUAL, BASKETBALL PLAYER: It's always been my dream to go to America and play. Now I have the opportunity to play there.

STEVENS: Twins Paul and Sila Tako (ph) who also came here as refugees are joining him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We came up together and we're just going to finish together.

STEVENS: There's a common thread. All the boys are aged 16 from the South Sudanese background and living in western Sydney. They are part of the Savannah Pride Basketball Team training at the Blacktown PCYC; now five have won scholarships to play basketball in American high schools.

MAYOR CHAGAI, SAVANNAH PRIDE COACH: It took a lot of hard work for the kids and myself to really see there's opportunities come and I was really excited.

STEVENS (on camera): These teenagers have been training and playing games five days a week, but that doesn't mean that their education has been taking a back seat. Their coach keeps an eye on their grades and their school attendance. And if they're not up to scratch, they don't get to play.

MALUAL: He tells you to stay away from the streets. Focus on your family, and make sure basketball comes second, education first.

STEVENS: Savannah Pride's impressive alumni includes Asha Madyock (ph) now playing in Lebanon and Denga Kuth (ph) who has just joined the Sydney Kings.

RAY WILLIAMS, MULTICULTURALISM MINISTER: I think it's just extraordinary and it happened right here in the heart of western Sydney.

STEVENS: Now a new wave of success stories where academic meets athletic.

Nina Stevens, 7 News.


CELLINI: Talent is where you find it.

And that is our time. I'm Vince Cellini.

Stay with us. More news is here, coming up on CNN.


[02:00:09] CHURCH: Putting his party above the law -- President Trump launches a bitter new attack on --