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Midterm Elections 48 Hours to Go; Jamal Khashoggi's Family Wants to See His Body; Voter's Opinion Divided; World Headlines; Yemen War a "Living Hell" for Children; Renewed Sanctions Against Iran Take Effect; Nine People From Two Families Killed in Sicily as Death Toll from Severe Weather in Italy Rises to 29; Music Helps Mosul Rebuild After Fall of Militants; Agent and Officer Join Estonian President in New York Race. Aired 3-4a ET
Aired November 5, 2018 - 03:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[03:00:00] GEORGE HOWELL, CNN HOST: In the United States the stakes are high. One day to go until crucial elections, several races across the country are neck and neck. We'll have the story.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN HOST: As the U.S. unleashes sanctions on Iran and anger boils over in Tehran, President Rouhani says he will proudly keep selling oil. Also this hour.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ABDULLAH KHASHOGGI, JAMAL KHASHOGGI'S SON: It's the truth, like basis human, just a good person, as simple as that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: You'll hear from the sons of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi speaking exclusively to CNN, issuing an emotional appeal for the return of their father's body.
CNN world headquarters in Atlanta, welcome back to our viewers all around the world. I'm George Howell.
ALLEN: I'm Natalie Allen. And this is CNN Newsroom.
All right. It's coming down to the wire in the United States, we've been saying midterms forever and for our international viewers are like enough already.
HOWELL: Just get the midterms there, right.
ALLEN: Just get there. One day left now before the midterm elections.
HOWELL: U.S. Presidents Donald Trump, he is not on the ballot, but Tuesday's vote seems like he is on is the ballot. Many people see this as a referendum on his presidency.
The president is on the campaign trail. He's on blitz in fact, heads to three states on Monday, Ohio, Indiana, and Missouri, all of those are states that he carried in the 2016 presidential election.
Here in Georgia, on Sunday, the president aimed to rally his base stoking fears of migrants are coming across the border if the Democrats gain control. It is a false trope, but let's listen to it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Democrats want to invite caravan after caravan of illegal aliens to pour into our country. These are the same caravans that have violently over run Mexican soldiers, and police -- you saw this. We're not dealing with babies here, folks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: That according to President Trump. Now the man he succeeded, former President Barack Obama was in the heart of the Midwest Sunday seeking to boost Democratic congressional and state candidates. He took aim at Republicans and at Donald Trump saying the character of the country is at stake.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And in the closing week of this election we've seen repeated attempts to divide us with rhetoric, to try to turn us on one another, it's an old play book where the powerful and privileged say whatever it takes to protect their power and their privilege, even if it hurts the country, even when it puts people at risk.
The good news is, Indiana, when you vote, you can reject that kind of politics.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: So, come Tuesday, the Democrats are hoping to seize control of the U.S. House of Representatives for the first time in eight years.
ALLEN: To do that, they need a net gain of 83 House seats. CNN's John King takes a look at it.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The final hours now of the midterm campaign and when it comes to this map, the fight for control of the House a clear Democratic advantage, a majority clearly within the Democrat's race.
Let's look at the race ranking. It's 207, we at CNN rank a solid likely or lean Democratic. Two hundred eighteen takes to get the majority, 207 solid likely lean for the Democrats as we head to the finish line.
Republicans in a weaker position here. What jumps out in the day, see the yellow? Thirty-one toss up races in our CNN rankings, 31. Of those 31, 30 currently held by Republicans. So, the Republicans on their heels playing defense, Democrats in this basket of opportunity the toss up districts more than enough to get to the majority, 218 in the house.
How do the Democrats think they can do it? Start in the northeast and New York. New York and new England states up here, the Democrats think they can get at least a third, if not more of the 23 net pick up seats they need, just in this region alone.
Then you move down here, to Pennsylvania, the mid-Atlantic including Virginia. They think four, five, possibly even more just out of Pennsylvania because they've redrawn the house district lines there. Virginia will be a fascinating test on the election night. Are the Democrats reaching their goals? Do they just get this one? Flip that one seat in the northern Virginia suburbs or can they get a second or a third by flipping more Republican but toss-up seats heading into the campaign. So, watch that.
Another big region of opportunity the Democrats see is the Midwest. You see a lot of toss up districts here. We've already flipped some toward the Democrats in our likely rankings. What makes these yellow districts what do they have in common? Most of them touch the suburbs and that is why the Democrats are optimistic when it comes to the house.
[03:05:01] Let's take a closer look at the numbers. Number one, I talk to you about the northeast and the Midwest. Look how dismal the president's numbers are in the northeast. This is an NPR/Marist poll. Sixty-seven percent disapproval in the northeast, a lot of targets of opportunity for the Democrats.
Midwest, the numbers aren't so bad but the president is still under water. So, Republicans think between those regions, they can pick up the seats, one more factor in that, a lot of those districts since I noted touched the suburbs, six in 10 Americans who live in suburbs disapprove of the president's job performance.
So, while the Republicans in stronger standing in rural areas, there are a lot of competitive districts for the Democrats that touch the suburbs. Here, here and even as you continue to the west. More than enough on this map in the final hours, Democrats believe, the House majority is within their reach. We'll count the votes on Tuesday.
ALLEN: All right. John King breaking it down. The latest CNN polling showed Florida voters are almost evenly split in the state Senate and governor's races.
HOWELL: And in Florida it all comes down to those independents in those razor thin margins. Independents hold the key to victory for one side or the other.
ALLEN: CNN's Randi Kaye spoke with a group of six women in Florida who call themselves independents. They have very different opinions on the races. Here she is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RANDI KAYE, CNN INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: How many of you, show of hands, have made up your mind about who you're voting for? (END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: Of these sixer Florida voters who identifies as independent, five know how they're they plan to vote.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICOLE PADRO, INDEPENDENT VOTER: I don't like the direction, the negative direction that we're going right now so I think it needs to make a flip.
KAYE: Sally Clark Fox says she's voting Democrat. Nicole Padro is still undecided but leaning toward Democrat Andrew Gillum in the governor's race.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: And you're telling me like Gillum, who is a Democrat, and you're registered as a Republican from voting in the primary.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
KAYE: So, you're leaning Democrat on the governor's race?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. That's probably the only one.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: The key issues influencing their votes are immigration, security, the environment, and the economy. Erica D'Angelo is voting Republican.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But how the economy is doing affects me personally.
KAYE: So, when you hear that more people are working, unemployment is way down at a nearly 50-year low and wages are up, that you like the sound of that for Republicans.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I do.
KAYE: What do you make of Donald Trump's approach in these final days and weeks, these endless scare tactics about immigration and the caravan.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: God.
KAYE: Will that sway your vote?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely. I think the whole caravan thing is ridiculous. It's not an invasion.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I mean, I just, I'm ready for change, quite frankly.
KAYE: So, you're saying Donald Trump's scare tactics and on immigration will make you not vote Republican.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's correct.
KAYE: But not everyone's letting the president's language influence their vote. Morgan Kissel, an independent who didn't register to vote in the primary, has decided to vote the Republican ticket.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: Will the rhetoric about the caravan and the scare tactics change your vote?
ERICA DIANGELO, INDEPENDENT VOTER: Nope. I've done all my research at this point, and I understand what's important to me as a voter.
MORGAN KISSEL, INDEPENDENT VOTER: Fear is a very easy motivator to move people in one direction or another.
KAYE: So, has Donald Trump's behavior influenced your vote one way or the other.
KISSEL: Yes, it definitely has confirmed that I'm making the right decision not to vote in that direction.
KAYE: Not to vote Republican.
KAYE: But is the language do you think a turn off to independent voters?
DIANGELO: I don't know if there's a scare tactic other than the fact that I think it's scary that 3,000 people that we don't know are trying to get into our borders, so I absolutely support a military going down to the border.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: Most in this group were disgusted by Trump's remarks following the pipe bomb scare, and fatal shooting at the Pittsburgh synagogue, suggesting both had slowed down Republicans' tremendous momentum.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JESSICA CIALLELLA, INDEPENDENT VOTER: And I just think it's a little careless this, you know, far into the season.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For someone to say something like that when in such a tragic and sad moment was just careless. DIANGELO: It doesn't change my vote, but I think that some teams
people get too hung up on the way that Trump delivers his message instead of what he's actually trying to say.
KISSEL: It was disappointing that that was the reaction.
KAYE: But Yes, that doesn't change your vote, that doesn't weigh into your vote what he's been saying is the.
KISSEL: No. It doesn't weigh on my vote.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: Six independent voters, and five have their minds made up. Three will vote Democrat, two Republican, and one likely split in key races.
Randy Kaye, CNN, Tampa.
HOWELL: Let's get perspective now from Richard Johnson, who lectures U.S. politics and international relations at Lancaster University, joining us this hour. It's good to have you on the show to talk about midterm elections coming up Tuesday.
A lot of excitement around that here in the states as you can imagine. And in contrast we're seeing two different messages in this divided electorate.
The president of the United States focusing on fear around the migrant caravan that he says is coming to invade the United States. We know that hat is not the case. Democrats running against xenophobic, divisive messages, essentially running against the presidents his last two years.
[03:10:03] Which is the greater motivator here for voters?
RICHARD JOHNSON, LECTURER IN U.S. POLITICS AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, LANCASTER UNIVERSITY: Well, midterm elections are base elections and it's about motivating your core supporters and so both sides really are not speaking to try and really bring many people over from the other side. They're there to try and motivate high turnout.
And we're starting to see now the data of early voting turnout, which is much higher than 2014, although 2014 was at historic lows. But some states turnout is actually matching some presidential election year, early voter turnout.
I was looking at Texas this morning, and Texas now early voting is equivalent to what it was in the 2012 presidential election, which is really remarkable for a midterm election where every midterm election you usually get fewer than 50 percent of Americans turning out to vote at all. And in Texas already 40 percent of eligible voters have vote early. So that's really quiet a remarkable measure of how both sides, I think, are motivated in this election.
HOWELL: You know, speaking to some friends back in my home state, independent voters, and you do get a sense that they are considering casting a vote the other way, toward Beto O'Rourke, difference from what they've done before mainly casting votes for Republican candidates. It is an interesting energy there in Texas. We'll see where it goes.
But independent voters we just heard a moment ago, our Randi Kaye speaking to several of them, it really comes down to whether those independents are swayed for or against the president.
JOHNSON: Well, it's interesting I was looking at the Democrats' lead among self-identified voters. And it's about 9 percent. But that's actually the last month gone down 5 percentage points. Now it's not unusual in any election for polls to tighten as election day approaches and people give another look at the candidates.
But, you know, again, I think that although it's important for the Democrats to have that lead and the Republicans are really on the defensive and so many house seats, that we also need to think about some the situation in the Senate where these national polls are not so helpful because it's really not a national election, it's only a third of the country voting.
And in those states the situation is much trickier for the Democrats. There are a lot of states on which the Democrats are now on the defensive, which is very different from the situation in the house. And so, to win those states we need to look at the state level polling data rather than the national level polling data which the national polling data looks pretty good for the Democrats.
HOWELL: You do describe the map quite accurately, considering the races for House of Representatives across the United States, the Democrats have a better shot there. When it comes to the Senate, there is a possibility, but it is a much more uphill, you know, run for them to take control of the Senate.
It does all come down, though, to the question of who shows up to vote. Should Democrats regain both chambers of Congress, what would that mean for the U.S. president, over the next two years of his term?
JOHNSON: Well, the president would be able to continue make some policy changes through the executive branch. That's how President Barack Obama governed for the latter half of his presidency, and we've seen President Trump use the powers of the presidency over the executive branch to say, reverse various decisions that President Obama made through the Justice Department, about incarceration, and voting rights, and so on.
So, this isn't the end of Trump being able to pursue his agenda, but it certainly makes a legislative agenda for the president extremely difficult. But if he holds onto the Senate, then things like executive branch appointments, and to crucially judicial appointments remain in his power.
And so the Senate really is a very big prize that if the Democrats fall short on, Trump can still make quite a lot of transformative policy changes by installing his judges on the federal courts. And that could have decades' long implications.
HOWELL: Richard Johnson joining us in Lancaster, England. Thank you again for your time and perspective. We'll keep in touch with you.
JOHNSON: Thank you.
ALLEN: Be sure to join us Tuesday night for our coverage of the elections. Our coverage starts at 5 p.m. Eastern and goes until all the results are known.
[03:10:00] HOWELL: Still ahead, an exclusive interview with the children of the murdered Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
A. KHASHOGGI: He was amazing like sort of, he's a good dad. Like motivational, understanding, challenging sometimes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: How Jamal Khashoggi's sons are remembering their father. You'll hear their words, and their pain, coming next.
ALLEN: More than one month after journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered, his sons are now speaking out for the first time in an exclusive interview with CNN's Nic Robertson.
HOWELL: The Saudi Arabian government now admits the Washington Post columnist was killed after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. But his sons say that all the information they're hearing that it's confusing and there's really only one thing they want now. Here's Nic Robertson's exclusive interview with Salah and Abdullah Khashoggi.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SALAH KHASHOGGI, JAMAL KHASHOGGI'S SON: It is a mystery. This is putting a lot of burden on us, all of us, that everybody is seeking for information just as we do. And they think that we have answers. Unfortunately, we don't.
[03:20:06] NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Abdullah, we've heard from the Turkish government that have said that they believe that he, your father walked into the consulate, that he was choked, that he was then killed. From the Saudi government we understand that he was killed.
A. KHASHOGGI: Until now it's vague, like it's the story like the details what exactly happened inside. As we know how is the media, Twitter, TV stations, everybody is telling a different story. For me, I'm trying to simplify it as much as possible that he died and as simple as that.
ROBERTSON: And you were the last one of your father's children to see him you said in two months ago in Turkey. How was he then? A. KHASHOGGI: He was happy. It was a very, like it was a very good
opportunity for me to see him. We went head out around Istanbul, had fun, and I think I was really lucky to have that last moment with him.
ROBERTSON: How has all this been on your family on your mother, and your sisters?
A. KHASHOGGI: It's difficult, like it's not easy, especially when the story gets this big, it's not an easy test, it's confusing. Even the way we grieve, it's a bit confusing. Because we're grieving, at the same time we're looking at the media, and the misinformation. Like, there's a lot of ups and down. It's not a normal situation, like it's not a normal death at all.
S. KHASHOGGI: All that we want right now is to bury him and back here within Medina with the rest of his family.
ROBERTSON: In Saudi Arabia.
S. KHASHOGGI: In Saudi Arabia, yes. I talked to that, I talked about that with the Saudi authorities and I just hope that it happens soon.
ROBERTSON: But you need to find somebody needs to find his body.
S. KHASHOGGI: Yes. I believe that decisions are going and I'm really hopeful about that.
ROBERTSON: But what do you place your hope in?
S. KHASHOGGI: It's an Islamic tradition. It's not only Islamic, it's basic humanitarian issue. We just need to make sure that he rests in peace. Until now, I still can't believe that he's dead. I know I mean it's not sinking in with me emotionally. He has deceased, for sure. But the emotional burden that is coming with the puzzle is really, is really big.
ROBERTSON: When you went into your father's apartment here in the United States, you discovered something that made you realize just how important you, his grandchildren, were to him. What was, can you tell us about that?
A. KHASHOGGI: I think going to apartment that was maybe the most emotional moment I had like, in these past days. This picture, especially, it was next to his bed stand, next to his bed. His grandchildren, and that's the last thing he looked at before he goes to bed. It's -- that thing shocked me. Not shocked, but it showed a side, not a new -- but it put an emphasis on his gentle, tender side of loving his family, his grand kids.
ROBERTSON: The last thing he was--
A. KHASHOGGI: Yes.
ROBERTSON: -- here doing was his grandchildren and he put that there so he would see it.
A. KHASHOGGI: Yes. It was something huge, and it touched me personal, like and all the family didn't go about it.
ROBERTSON: What are you proudest of?
A. KHASHOGGI: He always say the truth, like a basic human, just a good person, as simple as that. He was very brave. He was always out there. Like for me it was like rock star and as a journalist.
ROBERTSON: Because he was sort of pushing the system a bit.
A. KHASHOGGI: Yes, and he's always pushing, he was always, yes. He is brave.
ROBERTSON: There have been people who have been trying to sort of create a different impression about him, a different legacy, allegations that he was sort of supported the Muslim brotherhood.
[03:25:01] S. KHASHOGGI: I don't believe so. He can shed a light on that.
A. KHASHOGGI: I used to tease him also, the last time I went to Turkey, I used to tease him like I read this from Twitter like they're saying your Muslim brotherhood, where is your beard? Where is your -- and then he laughs and he tried to -- he goes in details I'm not Muslim brotherhood because of this, this, this. And like--
ROBERTSON: It mean so much to you.
A. KHASHOGGI: Yes.
ROBERTSON: You're breaking.
A. KHASHOGGI: And it just labels or just people not doing their homework properly, reading his article and going in depths, so that's easier for them to just stick a label on him, like, you're something, you're that, you're that, you're that.
ROBERTSON: Can you tell us about that meeting with the crown prince and the king?
S. KHASHOGGI: Yes, in that meeting with the king and the crown prince, when I went there with my Uncle Sal, the king has stressed that everybody involved will be brought to justice. I have faith in that this will happen.
ROBERTSON: You're placing your faith in the king?
S. KHASHOGGI: Yes.
ROBERTSON: In your heart of hearts, what do you think happened?
A. KHASHOGGI: Something bad happened. Something might be, but I really hope that whatever happened, it was -- it was -- it wasn't painful for him or something like that or at least it was quick, or he had a peacefulness that's what I wish for. S. KHASHOGGI: I'm not sure. I'm just waiting for the facts to come
out. It's, for me it's just death. I know that he is dead. All I'm waiting for is for the investigation to be over so the facts can turn up.
ROBERTSON: How do you think your father would want to be remembered?
S. KHASHOGGI: As a moderate man who has common values with everyone. Genuine. And honest. A man who loved his country, who believed so much in it and its potential. Jamal was never a dissident. He believed in the monarchy that it is the thing that is keeping the country together. And he believed in the transformation that it is going through. That's how he should be remembered.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: One of our voters watching this in real-time with us as it best saying, "I hope their sons find their dad's body soon for everyone's closure."
ALLEN: Absolutely. They deserve that entirely family.
HOWELL: Yes. We'll be right back after the break.
[03:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ALLEN: Welcome back. You are watching CNN Newsroom live from Atlanta. I'm Natalie Allen.
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN NEWSROOM HOST: And I'm George Howell with the headlines we are following for you this hour. Top Democrats and Republicans making the final push. They are campaigning across the United States for party candidates in the U.S. midterm elections.
President Donald Trump continuing his campaign blitz for Republicans. He will headline rallies in key states, Ohio, Indiana, and Missouri. Democrats also doing the same, also focusing in on Texas, Georgia, and Florida. Elections are set for Tuesday.
ALLEN: Chinese President Xi Jinping is pledging to lower tariffs and support free trade in his remarks at the opening ceremony of the China International Expo in Shanghai. President Xi is also urging other countries to "solve their own problems before blaming others."
HOWELL: North Korea warning it may restart its nuclear program, this if the U.S. doesn't ease sanctions against that nation. North Korea's top diplomat is set to meet with the U.S. secretary of state this week in New York. The United States says it will drop sanctions when North Korea verifiably ends its nuclear program.
ALLEN: UNICEF is describing what it is like to be a child in Yemen right now and they say it is a living hell. UNICEF's Middle East director delivered a stark warning in his speech on Sunday. He says a child in Yemen dies every 10 minutes from diseases that are easily prevented. HOWELL: UNICEF counts some two million children suffering acute malnutrition. Some 400,000 of them are near death. The children are victims of violence from the long war with Saudi Arabia, a near famine, and a deadly cholera outbreak. The report ahead contains images that are graphic and disturbing.
We bring in CNN's Nima Elbagir. Nima is live in London with this story. Nima has been covering this humanitarian crisis in Yemen for many years. Nima, tell us more about the situation as it stands now, just sharing with you your most recent report, more than heartbreaking, this war, disgusting to see play out, but tell us the latest.
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Especially given that we have been receiving warnings from eight agencies for months now, George. They have been saying we are on the edge of a precipice, and now it seems that tens of thousands of children have fallen over that edge, as you said. The images are incredibly disturbing, but we hope our viewers aren't going to look away. Take a look at this.
ELBAGIR (voice over): Youssef (ph) arrived at the hospital yesterday. At first, his family couldn't afford to take him to hospital. They had to wait until they could scrape together enough money for the journey. They turn him over to examine his back, but it's too painful.
ELBAGIR (voice over): His malnutrition is so advanced that every breath is a wheeze of agony. At 13 years of age, he weighs as much as a four year old. Here at this hospital, they've been inundated with starving children. Mohammed (ph) is just five months old and is severely malnourished. Starving mothers giving birth to starving babies, and the cycle continues.
LISE GRANDE, U.N. RESIDENT AND HUMANITARIAN COORDINATOR FOR YEMEN: Every single day, more than 100 children are dying because of causes related to the conflict and to the crisis. There are seven million people in Yemen who are malnourished, three million of whom are acutely malnourished. It is a devastating, heartbreaking human, very human tragedy.
[03:35:00] ELBAGIR (voice over): For the last three years, Yemen has been in the grip of a civil war, pitting (ph) the U.S.-backed Saudi- led coalition against Iran-backed Houthi rebels.
Here in Yemen, even as criticism swelled of allegations of official Saudi involvement in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the world ignored the Saudi crown prince's other undertaking, restoring the government of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi (ph) at whatever cost. Now it may almost be too late.
GRANDE: You've asked us the important question about whether or not we can scale up to meet the increased needs across the country. We estimate that 14 million people could be at the brink of famine. But we know that if be receive funding and receive it now, that we will be able to reach these people. It will, however, require that all of the parties to the conflict do everything they can to facilitate and support our work.
ELBAGIR (voice over): Dahlia (ph) is just over a year old. She has the tell tale swollen stomach of malnutrition. Her shallow breaths almost as much an agony for her mother as they are for her.
Her mother says she needed an operation to insert a feeding tube. Their last hope. Now, they wait. Youssef's (ph) mother rubs his hands. She's already lost two children. And she doesn't know whether Youssef (ph) will survive, whether he'll ever be the same again. Like so many mothers here, she can only hope and pray.
ELBAGIR: You heard Lise Grande there, George, if the parties to the conflict don't agree to a ceasefire, if the world doesn't send much- needed aid, then more children will die.
HOWELL: Hopefully the world won't look away. Nima, thank you for the report. We'll be right back after this.
[03:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
HOWELL: It was expected Monday and it has now happened. The United States reimposed sanctions against Iran. And in a show of defiance, you see the look there on the streets of Tehran. Thousands of Iranians came together marching Sunday at a government-organized rally in Tehran protest.
ALLEN: The sanctions have been lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal with President Trump, pulled out of that agreement, as you know, earlier this year. The measures aim to cripple Iran's energy, shipping and banking sectors.
Senior international correspondent Fred Pleitgen joins us now from Tehran. He has been reporting on the run up (ph) to this day, and we can certainly see the anger there on the streets, Fred.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, we certainly can, Natalie, not just on the streets here in Tehran, but certainly in the Iranian government as well. In fact, President Hassan Rouhani came up earlier today and he called the sanctions unjust. He said it would be an honor for Iran to bust those sanctions and that's exactly what the Iranians plan to do.
PLEITGEN (voice over): Hard line protesters unleashing their anger at the U.S. and Israel as new sanctions against Tehran are set to go into effect.
(on camera): These people say they have a clear message for President Trump. No matter how tough America gets, no matter how strong the sanctions are, they are about to stand up and fight back.
(voice over): Signs denouncing President Trump in abundance. After Trump's tough talk on Iran, tough words in return.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every person all over the world hate this man.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And coming here to say down with USA, down with Israel and all of your friends.
PLEITGEN (voice over): The demo comes on the anniversary of the Iran hostage crisis when protesters stormed the U.S. embassy here in 1979. And just hours before the Trump administration will launch new sanctions targeting Iran's vital oil and gas sector, a move many Iranians already struggling to get by, fear could send the economy into a tail spin. Experts saying Tehran is working to try and offset the sanction's hit.
HAMED MOUSAVI, PROFESSOR, TEHRAN UNIVERSITY: We're seeing a sort of Iran's version of pivot to the east since a few years ago. And this is not only been in the economic realm, but also in the political and military realm, where Iran has become closer both to Russia and to China.
PLEITGEN (voice over): Iran once again bracing for new sanctions and new hardship, a situation its people know all too well and hoped they left behind.
PLEITGEN: In another show of defiance, the Iranians also conducting large scale air defense drill that started yesterday, continuing on today, involving of course anti--air rockets as well as cannons as well. But, you know, aside from that defiance, you really do have a lot of concern, a lot of anxiety among many Iranians as their economy has been in a tail spin and they think that these new sanctions will only make things worse, Natalie.
ALLEN: Yes. Is there any chance that the sanctions will cause the government there to engage the United States?
PLEITGEN: That's actually a very good question, certainly one that I think right now is very difficult to answer. Look, as we stand here right now, the Iranian government and the Iranian leadership, the clerical leadership, the supreme leaders say absolutely not.
They say they believe that President Trump and the U.S. government simply can't be trusted because of course there was that nuclear agreement in place and the U.S. decided to leave that nuclear agreement.
The Iranians believe that with that, American is defying and breaking international law and so they say right now, they don't think it's worth negotiating with Washington. That doesn't mean -- the question in the future. Hassan Rouhani has said, President Trump said he'd be willing to talk to him, that Hassan Rouhani would be willing to do that as well. I just don't -- it just doesn't seem as right now, the Iranians think it is the correct time to do that.
Now if the economic situation continues to deteriorate, maybe that could change at some point, but certainly, especially with this president in office, it doesn't seem as though there's much appetite here in Tehran for further talks and a possible to new (ph) end a different deal, Natalie.
ALLEN: We appreciate your reporting from Tehran for us, Fred Pleitgen. Thanks so much, Fred.
HOWELL: Now to Italy where historic rainfall and flooding continue to cause major problems in that country. Officials there said Sunday another 12 people died in Sicily over the weekend.
[03:45:02] That now brings the death toll to 29 people dead.
ALLEN: Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte says the government will declare a state of emergency for the areas affected by the storms. CNN's Amara Walker has more on the destruction the storms have caused.
AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: All week, rivers overflowed, causing damage throughout the country. High winds snapped trees like toothpicks.
In Sicily, nine people from two families died as flood waters from a nearby river suddenly swept into the home where they were having dinner. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte was in Sicily Sunday.
GIUSEPPE CONTE, PRIME MINISTER OF ITALY (through translator): It's an enormous tragedy, being in your house and from one moment to the next being submerged by the water.
WALKER: Among the dead were two children, one and three years old. Earlier in the week, flooding in Venice put historic buildings at risk. Tourists adjusted to the high waters. Some Venetians dealt with the flooding in their own way.
In Rome, cars were damaged by falling trees. This week's extreme weather was caused by a seasonal high tide and a strong low pressure system in Southern Europe. Italy is preparing for more. Meteorologists say climate change is making flooding more common.
CONTE (through translator): The government has already allocated to the environment industry, one billion euro for interventions on the hydrogeological safety.
WALKER: The full economic impact of the extreme weather will take a while to calculate.
Amara Walker, CNN.
ALLEN: Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri is keeping a watch of this story. You were telling us it may get worse before it gets better. PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yeah, that's unfortunately the case. And you know, guys, when you look at the calendar, the month of November, the month of December, these are the wettest times of the year across this region of the world, and the wet season certainly upon us when you take a look at what's happening here.
In fact, one disturbance right there across the heart of your screen, then one back towards the west. We have activity here with storms essentially following the same pattern we saw seven days ago when this all initiated here.
We have the libeccio winds from the southwest, the sirocco winds from the southeast, both bringing in quite a bit of moisture in this region. Then you look at the steering environment in the atmosphere, the jet stream is set up as such to where it's really steering these storms directly over portions of Italy, the hardest areas hit.
And this particular pattern really doesn't look like it wants to break town just yet. So when you breakdown how much rainfall has come down in the past seven days or so, we're talking about upwards of 300 plus millimeters to the north and other couple hundred millimeters to the south.
And you notice of course the highest concentration is right to the north, but pretty good concentration of heavy rainfall even as far as south as the southern tier of Italy. We have had tremendous winds to go with this as well. In fact, a week ago, we had a wind gust observation up to 180 kilometers per hour.
So, once you bring down this much water, you put winds as much as the speeds that we've seen observed, there are now estimates that we've seen some 14 million trees come down and of course you saw in the previous story from Amara Walker there, it kind of breaks down exactly what has been happening here in recent days.
Of course, this is not a scenario you want to see and even in the mountain ranges where beautiful forest and mountains across the region where this particular region, known as the Violin Forest, because of the high quality of wood found here that's used in musical instruments, that has all been decimated across that region as well.
So, the severe weather concern, here's the forecast into Monday morning. Notice it is almost the exact same spots we've seen them in the last several days. The flash flooding concern is there. The tornado threat is there. And also the large hail threat is there.
Look at this forecast, how often in November do you look towards Southern Europe, Madrid, Lisbon in particular, temps there are cooler and the conditions are wetter than what's happening to the north in, say, London, where far more mile, even in Berlin at 17-degrees while Madrid only 11 degrees. So it shows you the sort of reversal in the weather pattern we've seen from the north down towards the south, guys.
ALLEN: It certainly does. We'll be thinking of Italy. Thank you, Pedram. JAVAHERI: Yes, thank you.
HOWELL: Still ahead on Newsroom, the music of Mosul.
HOWELL: A year after fall of ISIS, musicians who once lived in fear come together again.
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JAVAHERI: As always, thanks for joining us here on CNN. I'm meteorologist Pedram Javaheri for weather watch. A pattern shaping up here to be for some severe weather at least across areas of the south eastern, south central United States back towards the northwest, still seeing the same snowy pattern that's been in place, while towards the northeast, it is all about the wet weather just about 24 hours or so in advance of election day later on Tuesday.
Severe weather risk widespread from areas of Alabama on into Tennessee, eventually into Kentucky as well, on a scale of one to five, pretty high concern here for some of these areas, Nashville, south towards northern Mississippi. That is a three in line there with tornadoes being one of the primary threats across this region. All of this really expected to ignite some time towards the afternoon and evening hours.
Of course daylight savings time has come to an end, meaning the sun sets sooner, making these storms much more dangerous once you have to deal with them post-sunset as it gets dark outside. To the north we go, we do have wet weather in store across portions of the northeast. Higher elevations tap and some wintery weather as well, but you've got to go north of Montreal to really see significant snows.
Look what happens here going into later this week, eventually into early next week. The coldest air of the season eventually sets up shop around portions of the mid-west and you notice that lingering effect into the northeastern U.S. Temps gradually inching back down closer towards the single digits, four in Winnipeg, 20 down in Atlanta.
ALLEN: From the sound of gunfire, now to the sound of music. It has been more than a year since Mosul, Iraq was liberated from ISIS.
HOWELL: Once a cultural capital of Iraq, it is now using music and art to reclaim its identity. Our Michael Holmes explains.
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is the sound of harmony. The sound of peace. This is what life is like in Mosul today, people listening intently to the beautiful music of an orchestra.
(GUNFIRE) HOLMES: Very different from last summer, and for years before that, when only the sounds of bombs could be heard. It was in 2014 that the Islamic State claimed the city as part of their caliphate, blowing up statues and cultural monuments. The fighting brought the city to its knees, leaving most of it in rubble.
But the militants were defeated by Iraqi and Kurdish forces and a coalition led by the United States. Now as musicians play in the park where ISIS once trained child soldiers, the city is reclaiming its cultural identity.
KARIM WASFI, FORMER DIRECTOR, IRAQ NATIONAL SYMPHONY (through translator): Through music and soft power, we can overcome the fragmentation and the hurtles which have directly impacted civil life, ideological and cultural life, and even ordinary economic life.
HOLMES: To find fears of further attacks, artists and activists hold weekly book markets and photography exhibitions. They even painted murals around the city in an effort to restore public spaces to their pre-war beauty.
[03:54:58] ISIS torched the university library, destroying millions of books, which the activists tried to replenish with an international book drive. And a new cultural center has opened in the city, welcoming both men and women that features a book shop and hosts readings and music.
ALI AL-BAROODI, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF MOSUL: Mosul lost its identity, lost its features, lost thousands of its people with some even still under the rubble. These efforts aren't going to fix everything overnight, but it gives us hope and makes us feel that we aren't alone, and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
HOLMES: Hope for a brighter future for Mosul with the sounds of a new beginning.
Michael Holmes, CNN.
HOWELL: Natalie, you remember covering the terrible things that were happening.
ALLEN: Yes, and look how people have come back.
ALLEN: It's so wonderful to see.
HOWELL: Music brings people together too, yeah.
ALLEN: Sounds beautiful.
HOWELL: Running a grueling 42-kilometer marathon is tough enough to do when it's on your own. Doing it while protecting a foreign dignitary, that's an entirely different challenge.
ALLEN: We're talking about the New York City marathon. Yes, that is what two members of the U.S. secret service did on Sunday. The agent and officer ran alongside Estonian president, Kersti Kaljulaid, in the New York City marathon.
The secret service says it was a mission accomplished in the end. Kaljulaid completed the race unharmed. Those guys, way to go. Fifty thousand plus runners in New York City this Sunday, and it was a beautiful day for little 26-mile run. George and I, sorry, we couldn't make it.
HOWELL: Yeah, I hate it. Next time.
ALLEN: Next time, George. Thanks for watching CNN Newsroom. I'm Natalie Allen.
HOWELL: And I'm George Howell. The news continues with our colleague Hannah Vaughan Jones live in London. You are watching CNN, the world's news leader.
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