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Senate Hearings on Brett Kavanaugh's Confirmation; Typhoon Jebi Slams Japan; U.S. Gulf Coast Brace for Typhoon Gordon; Airstrikes in Idlib Province; Protest in Rio De Janeiro; Jailed Reuter Journalists Family Speaks Ou; China Massive Investment in Africa; Elephant Massacre In Botswana. Aired at 8-9a ET
Aired September 4, 2018 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[08:00:00] KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong and welcome to "News Stream."
Roof-ripping storms. Japan gets hit with its worst typhoon in a quarter century as the U.S. gulf coast prepares for a battering of its own.
Igniting a ? The U.S. (inaudible) warning to Syria's allies as fears escalate over potential conflicts in Idlib.
And a bounty of aid. Why some in Africa are worried about the rising debt of Chinese loans to the continent.
Now, those stories in just a moment, but first, the Senate confirmation hearing for U.S. President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett
Kavanaugh will begin next hour and it could have massive implications for generations to come. Kavanaugh is President Trump's second Supreme Court
pick. Neal Gorsuch was confirmed in April of last year.
And now there could be five consistent conservatives on the country's highest court. This means that there is the potential for current laws to
be changed like a woman's right to have an abortion, the right of same-sex couples to marry, the right of schools and universities to have a race-
conscience admissions program also known as affirmative action and protections for people with pre-existing conditions under Obamacare.
President Trump promised during his campaign that he would try to overturn Roe versus Wade. That is the landmark Supreme Court decision in 1973 that
gives a woman the right to have an abortion. And then there is Obergefell versus Hodges. This landmark civil rights case from 2015 that grants same-
sex couples the fundamental right to marry.
Now, CNN's Sunlen Serfaty joins us now from Capitol Hill. And Sunlen, if confirmed, will Kavanaugh move the court firmly to the right and what
impact does that have on key legislation like Roe v. Wade?
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, potentially huge, Kristie, and that is exactly what many Democrats are sounding the alarms in essence
about in advance of this hearing. Today, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer saying that Kavanaugh is a threat to anyone who's in support of
reproductive rights. That is just a preview of what likely will become a contentious confirmation fight.
SERFATY (voice-over): A late-night dump of 42,000 pages of documents related to Justice Brett Kavanaugh's time in the Bush White House on the
eve of his confirmation hearing, escalating tension between Republicans and Democrats over transparency.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer calling for the hearing to be delayed tweeting, "this underscores how absurd the process is. Not a single Senator
will be able to review these records before tomorrow." Staffers for Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley firing back insisting that the
majority has reviewed each and everyone of the pages and is ready for today's hearing.
A fight over Kavanaugh's records intensifying after the Trump White House decided to withhold more than 100,000 pages of documents over the weekend
citing constitutional privilege.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. TED DEUTCH (D), FLORIDA: This is a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court. The Trump administration simply said, no. The 100,000
documents they have to do likely with the time that Kavanaugh was working in the White House are off limits. That's outrageous.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SERFATY (voice-over): The Justice Department saying in a statement that they determined which documents were produced noting, "the volume, depth
and breadth of the production of Judge Kavanaugh's documents far surpasses the much smaller and narrower productions for previous nominees.
A Senate source telling CNN that Democrats are planning to focus on four key areas targeting Kavanaugh including his truthfulness, his views on the
Affordable Care Act and pre-existing conditions, Roe v. Wade and executive power including the ability to investigate a sitting president.
Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings kicking off as President Trump launches a new attack on Attorney General Jeff Sessions for the Justice Department's
decision to bring criminal charges against the first two Republican congressmen to endorse President Trump's candidacy. The president tweeting,
"Two easy wins now in doubt. Good job, Jeff."
Mr. Trump seemingly referring to the indictments of Congressmen Chris Collins of New York and Duncan Hunter of California. Collins has been
charged with insider trading while Hunter was indicted by a federal grand jury for misusing more than $250,000 in campaign funds. Both men have
pleaded not guilty and both cases stem from investigations that began after President Trump took office, despite Mr. Trump's tweet stating otherwise.
[08:05:03] Republican Senator Ben Sass blasting the president in a strongly worded statement writing, "The United States is not some banana republic
with a two-tiered system of justice -- one for the majority party and one for the minority party."
(on-camera) And Congressman Hunter is expected to appear in court later this afternoon and he is continuing to campaign for re-election, but
Congressman Collins has suspended his re-election campaign. Meantime, back here on Capitol Hill, while we're waiting for this confirmation hearing to
begin, it will kick off in just a few hours, Kristie.
And we have excerpts just released from the White House about what Judge Kavanaugh will say later today in his opening remarks. In part he says, "I
am pro-law judge, a good judge must be an umpire. Kristie?
LU STOUT: All right, sparks will certainly fly during this hearing. Sunlen Serfaty, reporting for us live, thank you.
Powerful storms, they are taking aim at the eastern and western hemispheres right now as millions in both regions are dealing with impact of Jebi. It
is the strongest typhoon to hit Japan in 25 years. It slammed the southern part of the country with fierce winds and drenching rains. Tossing cars and
trucks like toys on major roads while ripping the roof off of this building in Osaka. Check it out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LU STOUT: Wow. Now, that comes as residents along the U.S. gulf coast -- they're bracing for a tropical storm, Gordon. It is expected to turn into a
hurricane before making landfall. Officials in the state of Mississippi and Louisiana have already declared states of emergency. And now let's start
out coverage with Typhoon Jebi, as residents of south of Japan, they are now facing mandatory evacuations and brace for dangerous storm surges.
Storm chaser James Reynolds joins me now live on the line from Nagoya. And James, thank you for joining us. You captured some incredible footage of
Typhoon Jebi earlier today just ripping through the streets of Gobo there in Japan. What did you see out there?
JAMES REYNOLDS, STORM CHASER (via telephone): Hi Kristie. It's been pretty wild and crazy day. This high current hit just around lunchtime today and
the onset of it was very, very quick. You know, in the morning when I got up it was a nice sunny morning. It was calm and no indication that a storm
And then over the next couple of hours things really deteriorated very rapidly and it was an extremely strong typhoon especially by mainland Japan
(inaudible) debris flying through the streets, blinding wind and rain. Just a really, really high impact powerful storm.
LU STOUT: Yes, blinding wind and rain, a high impact storm. And could there be more dangerous conditions to come? Can jebi trigger landslides and
REYNOLDS: Yes. The story is by no means over. The storm is now packing into the Sea of Japan, to the north of Honchu but there are still storm
warnings up for areas as far north of Hokkaido. It is still raining in large portions of the country. So, once the main threat of the violent and
damaging wind is finished, obviously the tail end of the storm is bringing a lot of rainfall and that can cause problems.
LU STOUT: Got you. You know, in Japan this summer, it's been a really cruel one. Japan has been hit by a number of major storms. Extreme
conditions like the heat wave earlier. How prepared were the residents there for this typhoon, for Typhoon Jebi?
REYNOLDS: Yes, you're absolutely right. The summer has just been crazy for extreme weather events in Japan. And as you mentioned earlier, this is the
strongest storm to hit the mainland in 25 years. And I saw a lot of people driving around in conditions they obviously shouldn't have been driving
But I think it did took a lot of people by surprise. You know, they've been through typhoons before, but not as powerful as this. I think suddenly a
lot of people were taken off guard by the strength of this typhoon.
LU STOUT: Yes, a lot of people underestimating the strength of the Typhoon Jebi. James, thank you for your reporting for checking in with us and stay
safe. Thank you so much.
Meteorologist Chad Myers joins me now. He's at the CNN Weather Center in Atlanta. And Chad, you`ve been tracking this very closely. Tell us more
about Typhoon Jebi, where it's at now and can it maintain its extreme strength?
CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, no. Now, it's really being torn up by the islands of Japan. I mean, Hokkaido, very, very tall mountains there.
Now, when you get that kind of thing, even over Honchu, you are going to get the storm to be torn up a little bit. But we're still at 170 kilometers
per hour so it is still going, just not where it was.
Now remember, this was a super typhoon at one point on time, three days ago. It's lost some of its power, but it still has that surge. And the
surge that went into Osaka Bay is the highest that they've seen in nearly 50 years. All of that water, all that saltwater, got pushed into Osaka, and
that's what we're seeing here, even some at their airport.
[08:10:06] There's an airport that's actually in the bay. You'd need to take a bridge to go get it. It's completely under water. There are still so
much water in Osaka Bay. So here we go, still in 24 hours, still a 75 kilometer per hour storm, but by that time, even north of Vladivostok. So,
it's long gone from Japan at this point in time.
Now, there is still going to be more rain. When you get the topography that I talked about, tearing up the storm, you get very high amounts of rainfall
on top of those mountains. You could get a half a meter of rain and it's not going to stay up there. It has to come down.
So Kristie, as you talked about, there could still be more flooding. Tokyo I think really out of the woods here. There is some chances of rain, but
the real threat now would be on the eastern side of the slopes as we go on up the island chain all the way to northern Japan. That is where most of
the rain will pile up now as the storm has moved into the Sea of Japan.
LU STOUT: Got it. The rain is going to pile up. You have the flooding risk that you mentioned, an airport in Osaka under water. Terrible situation
there and meanwhile, Chad, you are also keeping a close eye on tropical storm Gordon in the Gulf of Mexico. How strong is that going to be when it
MYERS: Well, you know, comparatively on the population that will be impacted and the size of the storm, we're really not talking much at all.
We're still going to see a lot of rain here from the storm here north of Tokyo. But the storm that is the Gulf of Mexico is in very warm water and
will spread winds of about 120 kilometers per hour on the land near Mobile and just to the east of new Orleans.
Now, that affect is two million people. That's the most that we're going to see any type of hurricane strength force winds or typhoon force wind. So,
this is a much smaller and more compact storm. It wasn't in the water as long. It never got to be a super typhoon. It never even got to be a
Category 1 yet. Right now still only 100 kilometer per hour storm, but it is headed towards this area here to the east of New Orleans.
Lightly populated, but still it's there. There are many people here -- two million people between this side of the window here or the cone and that
side of the window cone. Two million people will be affected, but not like we saw in Japan. I mean, this will have some surge, but the surge that went
into Osaka was tremendous.
LU STOUT: Got it. A tale of two storms. Chad Myers, thank you.
Now, let's go down now to Gulfport, Mississippi for more on Gordon. It is intensifying, it's on the move. That's where we find Jennifer Gray. And
Jennifer, Gordon is on its way to becoming Hurricane Gordon. How prepared are residents there for this storm?
JENNIFER GRAY, CNN METEOROLOGIST: I think they are very prepared, you know. And if this makes landfall as a tropical storm or a hurricane, the
effects really aren't going to be that much different. We're going to see about a meter of storm surge and I think that's the biggest thing that
people are concerned about because this is a very low-lying area and so any amount of water that comes up, it's going to go straight inland.
And so people have been putting sandbags around their homes as well trying to protect their property. That's one way they've been preparing. Another
way here at the marina, people have been asked to get their boats out of the water. They have about four to five hours left to do that before the
deadline passes. We've seen people out this morning early getting their sailboats out of the water, trying to get them to higher ground.
So, any amount of storm surge that we see here, those boats could start banging together and that's the last thing that the folks want along this
part of the gulf coast. It just creates a lot in property damage. And so, we're going to be waiting on the storm. Still looking like or going to be a
strong tropical storm or a minimal hurricane as it makes landfall.
Still a couple of hours away from feeling the effects. The rain still well offshore, but as we get into this afternoon and especially this evening,
that's when the rain will pick up, the wind will pick up and we'll see how much storm surge we get. But estimating about a meter of storm, surge and
then quite a bit of rain for the gulf coast as well. Kristie?
LU STOUT: Got it. There could very well be damage to properties. Here's hoping nothing more than that. Jennifer Gray, reporting live for us from
the U.S. State of Mississippi, thank you.
Just hours after U.S. President Donald Trump warned Syria and its allies against an attack on Idlib province. An activist group says Russia has
resumed airstrikes. Now, the raids follow a war of words over the fate of the last rebel stronghold inside Syria, home to more than three million
Government troops have been surrounding the area preparing for what appears to be a major assault. A short time ago, the U.S. special envoy said he
believes nothing dramatic will happen before talks in Geneva next week. CNN's Nick Paton Walsh has been following the (inaudible) for us. He joins
us now and Nick, airstrikes have been reported. Is this the beginning of that long feared assault on Idlib?
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, people get the context here. Airstrikes against Idlib are nothing new. This has been an area which
has been bombarded consistently since the beginning of the civil war. Now the major concern of course is the potential for a broad onslaught by the
Syrian regime who said they want to take back all parts of Syria if they can.
[08:15:009] And Russia and Iran, who've said that they consider it to be an area full of terrorists and in the words of the Iranian foreign minister,
it needs to be cleaned. Now, of course there are some extremist militants fighting in that area, some with links to al-Qaeda, in fact, even the U.S.
special envoy to the fight against ISIS said that this was the biggest haven of al-Qaeda potentially since 9/11.
But, that is absolutely no comfort or protection at all for the three million civilians or so also hiding in that area, too. Now these are people
who have been forced from their homes around Syria via violence and often in fact moved in bus convoys as the regime has taken back areas and dumped
Idlib has a complicated history because neighboring Turkey has in fact assisted some of those militant groups, too. So now we have this incredibly
complicated precarious and potentially very bloody standoff between militant groups that have possibly extremist's fringes, some of the
But in the midst of millions of civilians who are deeply in need but have some elements of Turkish protection and support around them, but now, it
seems increasingly enclosed by Russian, Iranian and Syrian regime forces, too.
The airstrikes that we saw today hitting an area called Jisr al-Shughour. Of course, we don't know the death toll at this point. We've seen
airstrikes in the past weeks and this may well be possibly some sort of military warning bell from the Russians and the Syrian regime ahead of
important talks on Friday in Tehran. Kristie?
LU STOUT: Ahead of this looming attack, tensions are rising on all fronts. Nick Paton Walsh, reporting live for us from London. Thank you.
You're watching "News Stream." And still to come, China is making another multibillion dollar investment in Africa, but at what cost to the
continent's developing economies? More on Beijing's love affair with Africa, next.
Also ahead, Botswana was once known as a safe haven for elephant but dozens of these majestic creatures have been found dead there in recent months.
Stay with us.
LU STOUT: Coming to you live in Hong Kong. Welcome back. This is "News Stream."
Now, police and protesters clash in Rio de Janeiro on Monday in the wake of a fire that devastated Brazil's national museum. Hundreds of people took to
the streets to voice their anger. Protesters are linking the fire to government spending cuts and inadequate maintenance of the building.
The 200-year-old museum, previously a royal palace, was completely gutted. It held an estimated 20 billion artifacts. The fear is, nearly all of them
have been destroyed including the oldest human remains ever found in Brazil as well as mummies discovered in the Andes.
[08:20:04] The families of two Reuters journalist jailed for their reporting on violence in Rakhine State in Myanmar have been giving an
emotional press conference. The wife of reporter Kyaw Soe Oo paid tribute to her husband.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHIT SU WIN, WIFE OF KYWA SOE OO (through translation): I feel that it's totally unfair that to be convicted for seven years. He was the best
husband ever to me. I fear that I will be tearing (ph) the family apart. I don't want that. His father has to cry -- our father wants to be with --
with his daughter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LU STOUT: The anguish of the families after the verdict. World leaders and human rights groups, they have urged authorities in Myanmar to review the
sentences of the journalist who were sentenced on Monday. The two men were investigating a massacre of Rohingya Muslims in the region. The violence
was part of a conflict which the U.N. does describe as a form of ethnic cleansing.
Chinese President Xi Jinping is pledging another $60 billion in aid investment and loans to Africa and leaders from just about every country in
Africa are wrapping up a two-day summit in Beijing on economic cooperation with China. Some analysts worry that the continent is becoming over
burdened with Chinese debt. Farai Sevenzo looks at what some called China's love affair with Africa.
FARAI SEVENZO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Kenya's president became only the third African leader to meet President Trump at the White House
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have tremendous relationship with Kenya. We have terrorism, a lot of trade, getting bigger
and bigger all the time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SEVENZO (voice-over): But the panda in the room has been China's growing love-in with Kenya and the rest of Africa. And it seems the love flows both
ways. Xi Jinping opened a six forum on China-Africa cooperation on Monday. There's no other protocol like it. Not at the commonwealth, not in
(inaudible) in Africa. Over 50 African leaders are in Beijing to hear China's proposals for the next phase of their relationship.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
Xi JINOING, PRESIDENT OF CHINA: China is willing to provide governmental assistance offering another $60 billion and financing for Africa.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SEVENZO (voice-over): Projects like Kenya's $3.8 billion Standard Gauge Railway symbolize the rapid infrastructure Africa yearns for and which
China is willing to build. But analysts are asking, at what cost?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PATRICK GARTHARA, POLITIAL ANALYST: This not a gift that we are getting. This is investment. This is money we are borrowing and that we will need to
pay back. What are the longer term benefits and cost to Kenyans?
(END VIDO CLIP)
SEVENZO (voice-over): Africa's developer 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 his own unique take on the
relationship of the century, China's love for Africa.
MICHAEL SOI, ARTIST: It's a (inaudible) question about. It's a loving (inaudible). It's a love that seems to kind of like only favor one
participant in the whole situation, and that is China. 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 like a 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 hey are getting into Africa and making our -- helping make a lot of decisions, maybe probably by 2030 we'll have a
chairman on (inaudible). He was like 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.
LU STOUT: Now, Botswana has been referred to as a safe haven for elephants, but aerial surveys from the charity Elephants Without Borders
indicate that that is no longer the case. Now, the images you are about to see are graphic. The remains of 87 elephants have been discovered across
the country in just two months. One ecologist said he hadn't seen that many dead elephants anywhere else on the continent.
Let's bring in CNN's Dave McKenzie who has seen the impact of poaching firsthand. David, thank you for joining us. You know, Botswana, again, it
was supposed to be a safe place for elephants, but activists, they uncovered this mass slaughter. Tell us more about this grim discovery.
[08:25:00] DAVE MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's devastating for conservationists and particularly for those who follow elephant numbers
across Africa. Ans as you see from those horrendous pictures of what can only be seen as recent most likely poaching kills of elephants with the
tusks hacked off often with rudimentary axes and in brutal fashion.
The research was done with Elephants Without Borders, Mike Chase, the lead scientist with that group, has been doing the survey since July. He's only
half way through that survey, Kristie, and already nearly 90 carcasses like that have been spotted from the air. The last time they did a similar
survey in 2014, less than 10.
So it shows that the poachers are moving into Botswana not just on the border regions where we've reported on it before, but deep into the
northern part of the country, close to very popular tourist areas. There are two possible reasons for this.
One, that other areas around southern Africa have been wiped out of their elephant populations and, two, the government announced in May, Kristie,
they were actually disarming some of those anti-poaching units. This will be very alarming to conservationists and certainly the government, which
has yet to comment to us at this time.
LU STOUT: Yes, the photos of this massacre, you know, just very disturbing to look at. You can clearly see the faces have been hacked off. The tusks
have been hacked off. And as you know, you've been reporting on this for years, David, there is a strong link between poaching and the ivory trade
in China. And even though there is a ban in place in the country, is there still a strong demand for ivory?
MCKENZIE: Well, at the beginning of this year, some publications are saying it's the year of the elephant because on the very first day of the
year, China had this outright ban of ivory sales in the country. That was supposed to really dampen down the demand side of this horrific problem.
But as we've reported earlier this year in Mozambique in the northern part of that country, also in southern Africa, the Chinese, both on the ground
and in other parts of the world seem still intimately involved in the illegal ivory trade.
Now, Botswana is particularly important. It has more than 100,000 elephants at last count. That's a major safe haven generally for these elephants. But
as you see from this count that is potentially no longer the safe haven that we had hoped for, Kristie.
LU STOUT: David, for the sake of protecting these beautiful animals, we thank you for your reporting. David McKenzie joining us live from
Johannesburg. Take care.
You're watching "News Stream." And still to come on the program, NBC News has been facing accusations that it blocked one of its own reporters from
breaking up a bombshell story about Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. Now, that reporter is speaking out about what he says really happened.
[08:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN NEWS STREAM SHOW HOST: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. You're watching "News Stream" and these are your world headlines. In
Japan, nearly 14,000 people have been evacuated as Typhoon Jebi lashes the country with drenching rains and heavy winds. And Jebi is the strongest
storm to make landfall in Japan in 25 years.
Air strikes hit the last major rebel stronghold in Syria on Tuesday. It's according to an activist group. The Idlib media center says Russian jets
carried out the attack. There are no immediate reports of casualties. Government troops have been surrounding the area preparing for what appears
to be a major assault.
President Trump's pick to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy of the Supreme Court will appear in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.
Judge Brett Kavanaugh is expected to face questions about abortion rights, the Mueller investigation and Obamacare.
And the conflict between NBC News and a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Ronan Farrow, has gone public. Farrow released a statement on Twitter on
Monday accusing NBC News of having blocked his reporting on Harvey Weinstein and then misleading the public about doing so.
An excerpt of Farrow's statements reads this, quote, "The story was twice cleared and deemed reportable by legal and standards only to be blocked by
executives who refused to allow us to seek comment from Harvey Weinstein," unquote.
Farrow was firing back at his ex-boss, NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack, for an e-mail he sent out to network employees. In the e-mail, Lack argues that
Farrow's reporting was quote, "Not fit to broadcast." More specifically, it says, "Farrow lacked a witness or any of Weinstein's alleged victims on
the record at the time he turned in his script."
For more on this, we'll bring in Brian Stelter, who join us from New York. And Brian, Ronan Farrow, he is now speaking out about the specifics of
NBC's role in the Harvey Weinstein story. What more did Farrow say? And we will learn even more, when will his new book comes out?
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Yes. He has been very careful not to talk too much about the back story here until his book comes
out. I think he wants to set the record straight in a very public way and a very lengthy way.
We don't know when that book is going to come out yet, but this story is back in the news nearly one year after the Harvey Weinstein scandal erupted
in part because of fresh reporting by the "New York Times" and other outlets and in part because Farrow's producing partner, Rich McHugh,
resigned from NBC and left in a huff, basically, burning the bridge down on the way out, saying that his boss has acted unethically and saying there
must have been something else going on here.
What we're really seeing is a clash between a giant news organization, NBC News, and a few of its ex-reporters, Ronan Farrow and Rich McHugh, who say
the network botched this story that they should have broadcast Farrow's reporting about Weinstein but instead they sat on it for many months and
eventually let Farrow take it elsewhere. It's also notable one of the accusers of Weinstein has come out over night and said, "Hey, I was talking
to Farrow. I was willing to go on the record. NBC didn't want to hear from me." So we have a number of people now lined up against NBC saying the
network acted unethically on this case.
LU STOUT: A number of people supporting Farrow's claim, including Weinstein victims, what is known about Harvey Weinstein's connections with
NBC and the amount of influence he may have had?
STELTER: That is the heart of this story. I think that is the most important part of this. Harvey Weinstein, a near ago, was a famous media
movie mogul. He could call up anybody and get his calls returned. So, he was constantly, at this time last year, calling NBC news executives, trying
to find out about Farrow's reporting, trying to put a stop to the reporting.
Now, what NBC has done in the past day in an extraordinary step is come out with a document that explains what it says were all of the contacts. And
the network is flatly denying that Weinstein was able to influence NBC and get them to shelve the story. But it's pretty clear that Farrow and people
on his side, they think something fishy happened. They think Weinstein got to NBC and found a way to cut a deal and kill this story.
And of course, look, you think two months later, the "New York Times" and farrow, the "New Yorker", they went ahead and they published stories about
Weinstein and took him down. Dozens and dozens of women have come forward accusing Weinstein of everything from harassment all the way to rape and
that could have been NBC's scoop. But the network -- it says, believed Farrow's reporting was not fit to broadcast.
LU STOUT: So Ronan Farrow and the people who backed him are saying, yes, something is fishy here. So, our calls are growing for an independent
investigation of NBC News?
[08:35:04] STELTER: That definitely is the next element here. Rich Mchugh, that producer I mentioned who just resigned, he came out over night
and said, "We do need an investigation. We need an independent investigation to find out what happened here." I think what we are seeing
is the deck stacked up against these news executives who -- look, they may be doing a great job in lots of other ways, but this has been a giant
problem for the network for a year and it's getting to be a bigger and bigger problem because Farrow is speaking out more.
It's one of the strained situations where the scrutiny is about what was not reported, what was not broadcast. And I think whether you're an NBC
viewer, whether you're a CNN viewer, whether you're a "New York Times" reader, no matter what you are as a news consumer you want to believe
there's no undue influence by the people that are being covered.
LU STOUT: Absolutely.
STELTER: That's why I think this case is so important.
LU STOUT: Yes. Brian Stelter, always appreciate your reporting and insight. Thanks so much. Take care.
Now, the billionaire founder of one of China's largest online retailers has been released from a U.S. jail. Richard Liu, the CEO of jd.com was arrested
in the U.S. State of Minnesota on Friday on suspicion of sexual misconduct. Minneapolis police released him without bail. Jd.com says that Liu was
falsely accused while on a business trip, but the Minneapolis police department says the case is still active.
A Chinese kindergarten principal is out of a job today for organizing a provocative performance to welcome students back to school. Now, keep in
mind those kids, they're aged 3 to 6 years old. Take a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LU STOUT: A female pole dancer and video of that -- of a female pole dancer moving around a flagpole at a Shenzhen-based school in front of
kindergartners, as you can imagine, exploded on Chinese social media as angry parents shared it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL STANDAERT, JOURNALIST: My wife started showing me the photos and the videos that just came up on her WeChat from all the parents that were
there and we were both pretty shocked. We didn't think anything like this would happen at any kindergarten anywhere in the world. My wife was talking
to the principal and that the principal had said something like, this was a good international dance and that it was good exercise. She wanted to
introduce the kids to that form of exercise.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LU STOUT: And international dance is a good form of exercise, totally bizarre. Now, that parent you heard from just now he took to Twitter after
the pole dancing display saying the school's principal had quote, "gone nuts," and citing one of her decisions to host 10 days of military
exercises with machine guns to close out the school year before summer began. The school district says parents deserve an apology.
You're watching "News Stream." Still to come, we take you next to Dubai and see how one company there prepares children to become the next generation's
innovators by using robots.
[08:39:59] LU STOUT: OK. It is back to school time and we all know that getting students interested in subjects like science and technology can
sometimes be a challenge. But in Dubai, one company has come up with a unique way to engage children's creative side by using robots. We have the
report. Samuel Burke reports.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am Junkbot, your home assistant.
CNN BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Meet Hayek (ph), a robot built from cardboard, and the brain child of this Dubai-based entrepreneur.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Most of the kids have an impression that in robotics it's hard, you know, it's not for me. But then they see a cardboard box,
you know, or a coffee cup converted into robot, they started thinking this is something I can do.
BURKE: Established in 2015, Junkbot provides a simple do-it-yourself education kit containing electronic components and sensors that can attach
to practically anything.
It let's children make robots out of used household items like tissue boxes and even old shoes. Then a software application is used to program the
robot from a smartphone. Junkbot's aim is to get children interested in robotics and in the critically important area of STEM Education, which
stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Seventy five percent of future jobs actually require STEM skills and 80 percent of college students are not well prepared. The
kids need hands-on experience.
BURKE: The start-up puts its success down to the support it receives from in5, a creative space and mentorship facility in Dubai's Internet city,
established by the government, 24,000 thousand people currently work in technology companies across this city. In5 wants to attract more locally
educated innovators and believes the government support and startups like Junkbot will help then achieve that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think what's happening across the governments in the UAE and the vision of the innovation and Dubai strategy and UAE strategy it
is supporting the education when it comes to technology. Any innovation that happens across the region or any country has to be sustainable. The
only way it will be sustainable is if you have good, good talent coming in to the market.
BURKE: Right now, Junkbot sells its kits (ph) to schools in the United Arab Emirates online and in retail across the Middle East region. It has
global expansion plans with its core belief that every child can be an inventor. Samuel Burke, CNN, Dubai.
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LU STOUT: And that is "News Stream." I'm Kristie Lu Stout. But don't go anywhere. "World Sport's" Christina Macfarlane is next.
[08:45:00] (WORLD SPORT)