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Osaka Upsets Williams in Controversial Final; Obama Unleashed; Florence Heads for Florida; North Korea Military Parade; U.S. Met with Venezuelan Officers Plotting Coup; Far Right Populism on the Rise in Sweden; More Deadly Airstrikes in Idlib Province; Racing against Trump in Georgia; Remembering Rapper Mac Miller; World Trade Center Subway Station Reopens. Aired 5-6a ET

Aired September 9, 2018 - 05:00   ET




SERENA WILLIAMS, TENNIS PRO: They're going to be allowed to do that because of today. Maybe it didn't work out for me but it's going to work out for the next person.


NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): An emotional Serena Williams talks about her dramatic finish in one of the most controversial U.S. Open matches.

And North Korea flaunts its military in the nation's 70th anniversary celebration but something was missing from this parade. We'll have a live report about that.

And later, voting in Sweden is underway following a heated election campaign centered on immigration. We'll take you live to Stockholm for that.

We're live from CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta. I want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Natalie Allen. NEWSROOM starts right now.


ALLEN: It was a U.S. Open final for the ages but not necessarily for all the right reasons; 20-year-old Naomi Osaka won her first grand slam tennis title, becoming the first Japanese player to accomplish the feat. And she did it decisively, upsetting the favorite, Serena Williams.

But the match may be remembered for Williams' clashing with the chair umpire, calling him a thief and smashing her racket.

What caused all of that?

Here's our Andy Scholes.


ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Absolute chaos breaking out at the U.S. Open women's final on Saturday. It's going to go down as one of the most controversial matches in tennis history.

Serena Williams had already dropped the first set to Naomi Osaka. In the second set, chair umpire Carlos Ramos issued her a warning for receiving coaching from her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, from the stands. That's when Serena approached Ramos the first time.


WILLIAMS: I don't have any coaching. I know you don't know that and I understand why you may have thought that was coaching. But I'm telling you it's not. I don't cheat to win. I'd rather lose. I'm just letting you know.


SCHOLES (voice-over): The match continued. After Osaka broke Serena, she smashed her racket in anger. Serena was then hit with a point penalty for abuse of equipment.

Then during a changeover, Serena went at Ramos again.


WILLIAMS: I don't cheat, I would rather lose.


SCHOLES (voice-over): Ramos then penalized Serena again. And since this was her third offense, she was penalized a game for verbal abuse. When Serena realized the penalty, she went at Ramos again and asked for the referee and supervisor, saying, in tears, the treatment was not fair.


WILLIAMS: That is not right, ma'am, that's not right, this is not fair.


SCHOLES (voice-over): Serena would go on to lose the match 6-2, 6-4 to Osaka. The fans at Arthur Ashe Stadium booing throughout all of these exchanges. And after the match, Serena said she was proud of the way she handled things.


WILLIAMS: I can't sit here and say I wouldn't say he's a thief, because I thought he took a game from me. But I've seen other men call other umpires several things. And I'm here, fighting for women's rights and for women's equality and for all kinds of stuff.

And for me to say "thief" and for him to take a game?

It made me feel like it was a sexist remark. I mean, like how -- he's never took a game from a man because they said "thief." I mean, it blows my mind. But I'm going to continue to fight for women and to fight for us to have equal -- like Cornet should be able to take her shirt off without getting a fine. Like this is outrageous.

And I just feel like the fact that I have to go through this is just an example for the next person that has emotions and that want to express themselves and they want to be a strong woman.

And they're going to be allowed to do that because of today. Maybe it didn't work out for me but it's going to work out for the next person.


SCHOLES: After the match, Serena's coach admitted that he was coaching; everyone does it, he does it all the time and has never been penalized for it in his career. This time he was. And it turned into one of the most controversial endings to a tennis match we've ever seen -- at Flushing Meadows, Andy Scholes, CNN.



ALLEN: CNN sports analyst Christine Brennan is joining us; she is also a sports columnist for "USA Today."

Christine, thank you for talking to us. Everyone knew it was a historic match no matter how it ended. But no one knew quite how historic and what would happen. It was epic. I want to get your thoughts on how it went down.

CHRISTINE BRENNAN, CNN SPORTS ANALYST: When they are in the heat of the battle, Natalie, all the players, we have seen it in every sport, obviously things can be said, emotions run high, people can get hot and certainly Serena was not happy and we know that.

I think it's the job of the chair umpire at that moment to take a deep breath and to say, what is at stake here?

And it's the grand slam final. It's Serena Williams going for her 24th, which would be historic, the most ever.

And you've got to step back and say --


BRENNAN: -- is this worth a game penalty, literally, potentially altering the outcome of a match, certainly changing the complexion of the match entirely and being a part of history basically for as long as people are talking about tennis?

I think most chair umpires would have stepped back and said, you know what? I'm going to let this athlete vent for a minute. And we know that they have done that with men for generations in tennis. But, no, this ump went right after Serena Williams and I believe she's correctly talking about the sexism inherent in that now.

ALLEN: I want to ask you about that, Christine, she immediately claimed men would have gotten away with calling the umpire a thief, which she did. And she pleaded her court to the referee and the supervisor, that men get away with far more.

Do you agree?

BRENNAN: I think the history of tennis shows us -- I'll throw out a few names for you: John McEnroe, Jimmy Conners, Ilie Nastase going all the way back, even Andre Agassi, misbehavior has been tolerated in a way that just is not with a woman. And the greatest of all times, Serena Williams.

I'm not, by the way, advocating for everyone to lose their minds. I'm not at all. What I'm saying is that tennis is a sport that has never done this. Chris Evert said it on the broadcast. This has never before happened in tennis.

And the great Billie Jean King, saying when women have this kind of conversation or get angry, they are "hysterical." When men do it, they are "outspoken." It is time for the tennis world to really look at these issues, in my humble opinion.

ALLEN: Yes and just wipe that "hysterical" word off the map, period.

Will you answer my next question, which is going to be about Chris Evert making that point after the match. As the audience booed wildly during the trophy presentation, my son was there; he said he couldn't tell what was going on because of all the epic booing, Serena asked them to stop.

She hugged Naomi Osaka, who clearly, though a champion, was shaken by the whole thing. Serena right there, always a class act.

But how do you define this chapter for her and perhaps the pressure is even greater on her long comeback after becoming a mom?

BRENNAN: Well, there's no doubt about that. And what a story this has been. I think she was feeling the pressure and the emotion of it. Again, several have said, everyone coaches. Every one of these coaches is coaching these players. So it's time to -- why penalize Serena and not everyone else?

I think that's a very good point. And Serena has a good point.

But what she did, how quickly she was able to pivot, and in her emotions and twice telling the crowd, no more booing, cut it out, and hugging Naomi and basically saying, she deserves this, it was a classy moment. It was exactly what Serena should have done.

And I know there are people out there who are watching us, saying, wait a minute, Serena's behavior was so bad. Again, put it in the context of an athlete, don't just look at it as a female athlete but as any athlete and see all these tennis players who've been able to get away with that.

But then see that incredible turn where she was the one person who could control that crowd. And she did it. And she tried to capture the moment for Osaka, for her opponent and give her that moment.

Two athletes going at it. Fighting for every point. Having covered sports all these years, think of all the things that are said in the NFL, in the NBA, my goodness, obviously on a tennis court.

And this is what the referee decided to pick on at that moment, to make that statement and change history potentially. I think Serena did a nice job in recovering and capturing the moment for her opponent and, of course, the winner of the match.

ALLEN: She was certainly sticking up for herself and making her case, for the most part in a measured way. But it will be analyzed and analyzed. We'll see where it goes from here, won't we, as far as if there's sexism in the sport. And she will launch a dialogue for sure. Christine Brennan, we appreciate your time. Thank you so much.

BRENNAN: Natalie, my pleasure, thank you.


ALLEN: All right. We go to U.S. politics and the critical midterm election this November. They are creeping closer, aren't they?

The former U.S. president Barack Obama was in California on Saturday, campaigning for Democrats hoping to retake control of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Unlike his sharp critique of Donald Trump a day before, Mr. Obama never mentioned the current U.S. president by name but everyone knew exactly who+ and what he was referring to.


BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The biggest threat to our democracy, as I said yesterday, is not -- it's not one individual, it's not one big super PAC billionaires, it's apathy. It's indifference. It's us not doing what we're supposed to do.


OBAMA: When there's a vacuum in our democracy, when we are not participating, when we are not paying attention, when we're not stepping up, other voices fill the void.

But the good news is, in two months, we have a chance to restore some sanity in our politics.


OBAMA: We have the chance to flip the House of Representatives and make sure that we have checks and balances in Washington.


ALLEN: Well, the former president will be actively campaigning for Democratic candidates over the next two months. He'll in Ohio this week and in Pennsylvania later in the month.

Kate Andrews writes a column on U.S. politics for "City A.M." in London and is news editor at the Institute of Economic Affairs.

Thank you, Kate, for coming on. we always appreciate your insights.

KATE ANDREWS, "CITY A.M.": Thank you for having me.

ALLEN: I want to talk about Barack Obama, the former president there, he was more measured in Illinois, his first speech coming out to campaign for Democrats but he did go right after President Trump here in California, it was a little more vague. He alluded to the climate right now in the White House but he's seemed much more fired up.

What stands out to you in Obama's message so far to rally Democrats?

ANDREWS: It stands out that he's doing it in the first place. The etiquette of former presidents is usually not to weigh in on what the current president is doing. George W. Bush did not do this to Barack Obama. Bill Clinton did not do it to George W. Bush.

And the fact that Obama is doing it to President Trump really breaks with the unspoken rule, you don't do this to other presidents.

Here in the U.K., we remember when President Obama overstepped the mark in terms of interjections when he told Britain that if they were to vote to leave the European Union, America would put the U.K. at the back of the queue for a trade deal.

That gave a nice little bump to people who were campaigning to leave the European Union. The U.K. did not like that interjection.

And I think something similar may happen in America when they see Barack Obama being so politically active so soon after leaving office.

ALLEN: But at the same time, the Democrats have failed in many people's opinions to cement their message and what they stand for in the era of Trump. So this is one person who's trying to kind of do that now, isn't he?

ANDREWS: I think it's a bit lazy frankly that they are going back to Barack Obama because he was the last Democrat to truly be successfully on the national stage in America. But Americans had eight years of him.

And for them to roll him back out and not a fresh face I think could have a lot of pushback. Furthermore, Obama shouldn't be in California and Illinois. He should be in Minnesota and Pennsylvania and states where the midterms will be swung. The president is still appealing to people in those swing states. And a lot of the policies, like them or loathe them, are appealing to

people in those regions. The economy is booming at over 4 percent at the moment. A lot of people are in those swing states will be having more cash in their pockets and feeling those gains.

If Democrats want to speak to people, they need to go to where they lost people originally back in 2016.

Hollywood spends enough time bashing the Republicans. You don't need to be in California to do this. You need to talk to people voting based on the economy and how they feel things have gone the over past two years. Still the Democrats don't seem to be able to do that.

ALLEN: As far as what the Democrats do have going for them, we have seen another kind of -- much controversy at the White House this week with the op-ed in "The New York Times." We have Bob Woodward's book coming out. We have the slow drip of the Mueller investigation.

Where could the Republicans be vulnerable when it comes to Donald Trump's track record and his unpopularity?

ANDREWS: The Republicans can certainly be vulnerable if the Mueller investigation pans out to have a real smoking gun in it that goes directly after the president showed some kind of collusion with Russia. But we still haven't seen that. We don't have that.

And a lot of people, when they see the anonymous article in "The New York Times," just think it's another attack on the president without substantiated evidence. And it will just feed his base to think that the mainstream media, the elites, all these buzzwords that people call them, are ganging up on the president.

So I think the Republicans will be vulnerable if we get some meaningful evidence. But that remains to be seen. And the Democrats simply campaigning on Russia with a former president, with no new or innovative spokespeople, I don't think it is going to cut the mustard. I don't think it's going to have the overall effect that they are hoping to see.

ALLEN: We will see.

Can you believe we're just two months from the midterms we have been talking about?

We'll be talking with you again and appreciate your insights. Kate Andrews, thank you.

A lot of impressive hardware in North Korea's military parade but --


ALLEN: -- one particular piece was missing. We take you to the country's 70th anniversary celebration and will shed light on that.

Plus, a dangerous storm is headed for the U.S. East Coast. We'll tell you when and if it's expected to make landfall and which state may be impacted -- from our Derek Van Dam.




ALLEN: Welcome back.

Tropical storm Florence is heading toward the U.S. East Coast and could make landfall as a major hurricane. Virginia, South Carolina and North Carolina have already declared states of emergency. Though it is still a tropical storm right now, Florence is only getting stronger as it churns over the Atlantic.



ALLEN: Hundreds of thousands of North Koreans are celebrating the day 70 years ago when their country was born. The celebrations include massive military parades. But as Will Ripley reports from North Korea now, it's what not is on display that is noteworthy.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: North Korea's military parades to celebrate its 70th founding anniversary left no doubt that this is still a military state. It has a standing army of more than 1 million and there were thousands of soldiers marching here along Kim Il-sung Square.

But one dramatic difference that I've seen, this parade versus the previous parades I've seen in this very square, the nuclear program was not included.

You didn't see the nuclear symbol and you certainly did not see the intercontinental ballistic missiles that are believed to pose a threat to the mainland United States. Those were kept away. The focus was on the soldiers themselves.

Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, did not give a speech. But his right-hand man, Kim Yong-nam, did speak. One thing he said that I thought was particularly striking, he told soldiers they needed to be prepared to fight a war but they also needed to be prepared, simultaneously, to fight an economic battle, to build things like roads and bridges and buildings, to grow this country's economy, something that Kim Jong-un has said is his priority moving forward, something that he hopes that the United States will be able to help with as he continues to work towards diplomacy with President Trump.

Denuclearization talks have been very difficult. Just because North Korea's not displaying its nuclear weapons doesn't mean it's getting rid of them. In fact, U.S. intelligence has stated that they don't believe North Korean leader Kim Jong-un intends to fully denuclearize anytime soon. He was standing here alongside a special enjoy of Chinese President Xi

Jinping and in less than two weeks he'll be meeting with South Korean, President Moon Jae-in. There was a letter exchanged from Kim to Trump, indicating that the two leaders, the U.S. and North Korea, want to keep the denuclearization process moving forward.

And this parade, certainly the imagery here suggests that North Korea is making a change when it comes to its nuclear program -- I'm Will Ripley, reporting at Kim Il-sung Square, Pyongyang, North Korea.


ALLEN: Will there in North Korea. Let's go to our Paula Hancocks, she is in South Korea.

Paula, seeing Will's report there, what a difference a year makes. No nuclear weapons on display.

What perhaps could that signal?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Natalie, it really shows that Pyongyang is sticking to its message. We have heard from North Korea and the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un through state-run media that he wants to focus on the economy now.

Granted, he said it was because he felt he was in the position he needed to be with the nuclear and missile program. But this diplomacy, even though it is faltering between the United States and North Korea, is still ongoing.

Over the past several days, we have seen glimmers of hope that the two sides will find some common ground. We did hear from the South Korean envoy that went to North Korea and met with Kim Jong-un, said that Kim Jong-un has unwavering faith in Mr. Trump. Mr. Trump then tweeted saying they could work things through together.

Certainly what we're seeing is a case of North Korea sticking to what it had said it would do on this particular occasion, if it had shown ICBMs or long-range missiles, that certainly would have been seen as provocative. -- Natalie.

ALLEN: Right. And we know Kim Jong-un has written a letter to the U.S. president, which Mike Pompeo --


ALLEN: -- the secretary of state currently has. We'll be waiting to hear perhaps more on that. But we also know that the North Korean leader will meet again with the South Korea president. And that is what is coming up.

What can you tell us?

HANCOCKS: That's right. That's the 18th to the 20th of September. It's a three-day summit where President Moon Jae-in of South Korea will be going to Pyongyang. The first time he's gone to the North Korean capital and the third time only a South Korean president has been there to meet with the respective North Korean leader.

Clearly one of the main things on the agenda is to declare an end to the Korean War. Back in 1953, it ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty. So this is something both Seoul and Pyongyang want to push forward. It's something the U.S. appears to be dragging their heels on a little bit more but that's the focus there.

And you can really feel the inter-Korean relation is improving quite significantly. In fact, Mr. Trump actually asked, according to the South Korean Blue House, asked President Moon to become the, quote, "chief negotiator," representing the U.S. and North Korea. So really the South Korean president is now officially being recognized by Mr. Trump as what he's been doing along, being the mediator, trying to bring the two sides closer together. -- Natalie.

ALLEN: Much to watch in the next month, thank you. Paula Hancocks live in Seoul.

The rise of right-wing populism in Europe is gaining ground in a bastion of liberalism. Recent polls show the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats Party is set to expand its footprint in parliament. We'll have a live report on what's at stake in today's election.

Also more airstrikes and the worst may be yet to come for civilians. The latest from Syria's Idlib province -- ahead here.





ALLEN: Welcome back to all of you, our viewers here in the U.S. and around the world. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live in Atlanta. I'm Natalie Allen.


ALLEN: President Trump and the adult movie actress suing him actually agree on something. You'll recall Stormy Daniels was paid $130,000 to keep quiet about an alleged affair with Mr. Trump during the 2016 campaign.

According to a legal document filed by the president's lawyer Saturday, Mr. Trump would not contest Stormy Daniels' assertion that Trump's name isn't on the deal, thus invalidating it.

That means she should not have to keep quiet and the lawsuit against the president will be dropped. All of this as Michael Cohen, the Trump lawyer who provided Daniels with the money, filed suit to get the money back. Daniels' lawyer calls all the filing "shenanigans."

Venezuela often accuses the U.S. of plotting against it. And new reports are adding fuel to that flame. Sources confirm to CNN the U.S. met with Venezuelan military officers plotting a coup against the country's president, Nicolas Maduro. CNN's Elise Labott has the story from Washington.


ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: CNN has confirmed that U.S. officials met secretly with Venezuelan military officers who were plotting a coup against Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro.

That's according to a current and former U.S. official. American officials met with renegade Venezuelan military officers abroad several times over the last year after those officers made contact.

But sources told us that Washington ultimately decided against supporting the coup, didn't provide the Venezuelan officers with any support and plans for the coup ultimately fell apart.

Now the Trump administration's discussions with the Venezuelan military officers about that potential coup were first reported Saturday by "The New York Times." But the Maduro government has been concerned for some time that the U.S. was behind such a coup plot.

President Donald Trump has previously discussed the possibility of military option in Venezuela. Asked about the possibility of a military intervention in response to the mounting crisis in the country, the president said that certainly the U.S. could, quote, "pursue taking military action against Venezuela."

It would be a dramatic escalation of the U.S. so far diplomatically and sanctions focused response to the political and economic crisis rolling Venezuela. CNN has previously reported in August of last year President Trump asked several advisers about the possibility of invading Venezuela. Those talks went nowhere and the chaos in Venezuela continues -- Elise Labott, CNN, Washington.


ALLEN: Venezuela's foreign minister is lashing out on Twitter about this development.

Translated from the original in Spanish, he wrote, "We denounce before the world the intervention plans and the support to military conspiracies by the U.S. government against Venezuela.

"The United States' own media shed light on new and crass evidence."

The White House declined to comment on the meetings but said this in a statement, "U.S. policy preference for a peaceful, orderly return --


ALLEN: -- "to democracy in Venezuela remains unchanged.

"A lasting solution to Venezuela's worsening crisis can only arise following restoration of governance by democratic practices, the rule of law and respect for fundamental human rights and freedoms." In Dallas, Texas, a police officer who shot and killed her neighbor in his own apartment will not be charged for manslaughter yet. Police say investigators have postponed seeking a warrant until they get an interview with this officer.

The shooting took place on Thursday night. The female officer opened fire after allegedly mistaking the victim's apartment for her own. The victim is identified as a 26-year-old man.

Dallas mayor Mike Rawlings paid tribute to him Saturday and the city's police chief addressed the community's fears.


MIKE RAWLINGS, DALLAS MAYOR: Let's just start with the belief that has become very apparent to us all, that Botham Jean was exactly the sort of citizen we want to have in the city of Dallas.

CHIEF RONNIE HALL (PH), DALLAS POLICE DEPARTMENT: Right now there are more questions than we have answers. We understand the concerns of this community and that is why we are working as vigorously and as meticulously as we can to ensure the integrity of this case and the integrity of the department is upheld. In doing so, we hope to bring understanding and clarity to the family.


ALLEN: A landmark election is now underway in Sweden. Voting places opened a couple hours ago. Sweden traditionally is a very liberal country but polls show the far-right Sweden Democrats gaining strength, echoing the rise of right-wing populists across Europe. Our Atika Shubert is covering this for us live in Stockholm.

And from your vantage point, Atika, what is the mood this Election Day?

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think voters are coming out for different reasons. They are motivated by different issues but the one thing they all agree on is this is one of the most important elections Sweden has had in decades with so much at stake. I want to bring in Susanne Lindestein (ph).

We've been chatting; you just voted.

What for you was the most important issue this election?

SUSANNE LINDESTEIN (PH), SWEDISH VOTER: Well, I think that the two main issues in this election is democracy and climate. That's the most ones. But beyond that, I think, coming down to a little bit more practical questions, I think it's about the education system, health care and integration.

SHUBERT: You mentioned integration and the impact on the climate and so forth and you mentioned democracy as well. The rise of the Sweden Democrats, this is a populist far-right country against immigration. They have campaigned on this one issue of immigration. For you, how concerned are you about immigration and by the rise of

this party?

LINDESTEIN (PH): I'm really concerned about the rise of the party and also similar parties. We see in Europe that we have them all over in many countries now. And I think it's a big threat to democracy and also to the stability of Sweden.

SHUBERT: How worried are you that you could end up -- you don't know what kind of a government you're going to get because the vote is so unpredictable this time around.

LINDESTEIN (PH): Yes. That's really going to be complicated. We had a complicated situation in the parliament for the last four years and we are facing the same situation, even worse, I think, this coming four-year period.

SHUBERT: It seems voters do want some kind of a change.

But why has immigration become the top issue, do you think?

LINDESTEIN (PH): Well, I think we had a lot of immigrations in the last two or three years. And we have a problematic situation in Europe. Whether it is countries not letting immigrants in. Sweden and Germany were the two countries who opened up their borders.

And, of course, when so many people come in a short time, it's complicated and a lot of challenges. And people are feeling threatened about this. And they are taking benefits of that.

SHUBERT: Yes, you can certainly see that now in the polls. Thank you so much for talking to us.

As you can see, a lot of different issues. Climate change is one of the top things, I've been speaking about to voters, but also the welfare system here that's been so generous, not only to Swedes but to immigrants as well.

And that is one reason why integration, refugees and immigrants has become one of the top issues in this election -- Natalie.

ALLEN: +It will be interesting to see what Europe's response will be to this as well.


ALLEN: Atika Shubert, we'll talk with you again to see how it's going.

Russia and Syria say they are targeting terrorists with the pictures telling a different story. A dramatic rescue in Idlib province, the last rebel stronghold in this war.



ALLEN: Violent clashes in Greece Saturday as police launched tear gas and stun grenades at crowds of protesters, some of whom had attacked them with stones. Thousands of people protesting a referendum that will settle a long-running dispute over the name of the country's Balkan neighbor, Macedonia.

Many Greeks are furious that the new proposition still contains the word "Macedonia." They fear that could lead to territorial claims over the Greek province with the same name.

Well, more airstrikes were reported in Syria's Idlib province on Saturday. And there are fears the worst is yet to come. The White Helmets rescue group says at least four people were killed; Russia and Syria say they're going after terrorists.

As you can see here, it looks like a child was among the latest victims. At least one woman was saved. Rescuers found her reaching out, crying from under the rubble.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Speaking foreign language).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language).


ALLEN: That is such an unbelievable --


ALLEN: -- rescue. The White Helmets rescue team working that area to save that woman's life. Incredible.

Idlib is Syria's last major stronghold and it is also home to millions of people. Russia and Syria are expected to launch a full assault. And that could be devastating for civilians. CNN's Fred Pleitgen has more from the Syrian capital.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Less than 24 hours after the Tehran summit, the Russians, Iranians and the Turks, the opposition is reporting intense airstrikes in the province of Idlib, which is, of course, the last area in Syria that is still held by opposition forces.

It seems as though several people have been killed in those airstrikes. That's according to the opposition. So far all that has not been confirmed by the Russians.

But at the summit in Tehran on Friday, you basically had two sides to this equation. On the one hand, there was the Turks, who warned that any sort of offensive against Idlib province would bring a lot of bloodshed. They say that a cease-fire was needed.

The Russians for their part especially were saying they believe that fighting terrorism, as they call it, should be the highest concern. Now of course, the U.S. has warned both the Russians and the Syrians to take into account the civilians on the ground there inside Idlib province.

There are some estimates that say that is around 3 million civilians could still be inside Idlib province. But the reality of the matter is also that around Idlib province you do have a large scale force by the Syrian military, not just many troops out there but also some of the battle hardened forces that the Assad government has, many of them veterans.

For instance, the battles here of Aleppo and also the outskirts of Douma, which were some of the toughest of the Syrian civil war. So there's a great deal of concern about the situation around Idlib province, whether or not things might kick off soon, whether or not, maybe because of airstrikes reported in Idlib, they have already kicked off.

That's completely unclear. But certainly the international community keeping a very, very concerned and worried eye on Idlib province and what might happen there in the not-too-distant future -- Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Damascus.


ALLEN: We'll keep an eye on the developing story in Idlib.

The U.S. Open tennis winner Naomi Osaka is reflecting on her historic win. She beat her childhood tennis idol, Serena Williams.


NAOMI OSAKA, U.S. OPEN WINNER: I had Serena next to me. For me, that made me more emotional than anything else.

ALLEN (voice-over): More of Osaka's interview and her reaction to Williams' fight with the umpire during their championship match. That when we come back.





ALLEN: More tributes are pouring in for Mac Miller, the rising 26- year-old rapper, who died unexpectedly on Friday. Our Pauline Chiou has more about his life.


PAULINE CHIOU, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Posted on his official YouTube channel, a video of what appears to be Mac Miller's final performance at the Hotel Cafe in Hollywood.

Just a day after the video was posted, the 26-year-old hip-hop artist was found dead, shocking his friends and fans.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of people are hurting for sure.

CHIOU (voice-over): At times Miller's personal life attracted as much attention as his musical career, especially in his almost two-year relationship with pop star Arianna Grande. They recorded multiple songs together and last year he performed with her onstage when she returned to Manchester, England, for a benefit concert following a terror attack there during her performance the previous month.

In May, Miller was arrested on DUI and hit-and-run charges in Los Angeles. He's openly discussed battles with addiction in the past and music was often where he channeled those struggles.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The music he was making over the last few years was kind of insular, was very much he was following his heart. It could be a little bit weird. He didn't necessarily follow the trends that rap music was going through. But it was still very popular. And that is a really hard thing, I think, to do for anyone.

CHIOU (voice-over): Those who knew the young rapper described him as genuine and kind, as friends and collaborators paid tribute to his short life online.

Singer Ed Sheeran posted a photo of himself with a feisty Miller on Instagram, writing, "This just really saddened me. As well as being a great talent, he was a great human."

Chance the Rapper wrote of Miller on Twitter, "Beyond helping me launch my career, he was one of the sweetest guys I ever knew. Great man. I loved him for real."

The Pittsburgh Steelers also posted their condolences for Miller, who was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The NFL team tweeted a picture of him, looking happy and smiling during a game. The caption, "Rest in peace, Mac Miller" -- Pauline Chiou, CNN.


ALLEN: We take a closer look now at Naomi Osaka's historic win at the U.S. Open.. She beat Serena Williams in straight sets to become the first Japanese player to win a grand slam singles title. She's 20 years old.

But her victory was marred by controversy, tears and anger after Williams clashed with the chair umpire. CNN's Andy Scholes talked with Osaka after the match and asked whether Williams' outburst distracted her.


SCHOLES: All right, Naomi, you beat your childhood idol and you worked your whole life for this moment, what were your emotions when you got that final point and hugged Serena at the net?

OSAKA: Well, it felt like a dream. And I don't know, emotionally, I was all over the place. I couldn't really pinpoint an exact emotion.

SCHOLES: What did she say to you after the match when you won?

OSAKA: Well, she said that she was proud of me. And from there, I just started crying because it meant a lot.

SCHOLES: What does it mean to make history --


SCHOLES: -- for an entire country?

OSAKA: Well, I mean, I don't really know yet because it hasn't really sunk in. So I guess in a few hours I'll tell you.

SCHOLES: What was going through your mind when all the chaos was happening, when Serena was arguing with the chair umpire and the officials, what were you thinking when all that was going on?

OSAKA: Well, I wasn't really noticing that anything was going on. I had my back turned and I was really just trying to focus on, like my game and stuff.

SCHOLES: Did all of the booing, did it ruin the moment for you at all?

OSAKA: No, it was more like I had Serena next to me. For me, that made me more emotional than anything else.

SCHOLES: And you kind of broke down there during the ceremony at the end.

What was going through your mind at that point?

OSAKA: Well, I was thinking that this is a moment that I've always dreamed of. And it feels so weird that it is happening. And I couldn't really -- like I didn't really know what to do at that point.

SCHOLES: And you're just 20 years old, when do you think it's going to sink in that you are a grand slam champion and no one can ever take that away from you?

OSAKA: Maybe now because you said it.


SCHOLES: That's good timing.

(END VIDEOTAPE) ALLEN: She played some championship tennis for sure.

New York subway line Number 1 has reopened an important station. The World Trade Center Courtland Street Station reopened for the first time since September 11th, 2001. The old station was destroyed during the terrorist attack when the World Trade Center collapsed above it.

The new station pays tribute to its history with words of freedom, an inspiration along the walls. Its opening comes just days before the 17th anniversary of the attack that traumatized New York City and this country.

And that is CNN NEWSROOM. Thanks so much for watching. I'm Natalie Allen. For U.S. viewers, "NEW DAY" is next. For everyone else, "AMANPOUR" is next. See you soon.