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Doctors Face Chaos While Struggling To Help The Sick; British And U.S. Virgin Islands Struggling To Recover; U.S. Health Secretary To Repay Some Private Plane Costs; U.N. Security Council Admonishes Myanmar; Some Blame Nationalist Buddhist Monks For Crisis; Two Volcanoes Threaten To Erupt In Southeast Asia; Tribute For America's Original Playboy, Hugh Hefner. Vote For Kurdish Independence From Iraq. Aired 3-4a ET
Aired September 29, 2017 - 03:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[03:00:00] NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR : A humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in Puerto Rico. Millions lacking adequate water, food and medical supplies more than one week after Hurricane Maria devastated the island.
CYRIL VANIER, HOST, CNN: More economic pressure from Beijing on Pyongyang. The Chinese government orders North Korean businesses to shut down.
ALLEN: And President Trump's health secretary calling controversy with his taxpayer funded trips on private jets. He promises to pay it back but is it too little too late to satisfy the president.
VANIER: Hi everybody. Welcome to our viewers all around the world. I'm Cyril Vanier.
ALLEN: And I'm Natalie Allen ad this is "CNN Newsroom" live from Atlanta.
Nine days after Puerto Rico was devastated by Hurricane Maria, tons of critical goods are still hung up at the main port in San Juan. Officials blame a shortage of truck drivers and diesel fuel to move them out.
VANIER: Also there are scenes like this all over the island. The roads clogged with debris making passage difficult and many bridges had been washed out as well.
ALLEN: But progress is being made. The U.S. government is starting to get aid to some of the hardest hit areas. The head getting to some of the hardest hit area. The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency said the logistics are a huge challenge.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BROCK LONG, FEMA ADMNINISTRATOR: What we're doing is we're pushing as much forward. We have millions of mills (ph), millions of water. I don want to get into a specific number. But the bottom line is that once they come into the ports or the airports or the waterway ports we have 11 regions where we set up mass points of distribution sites.
So, a couple of things are happening. The problem has been getting it down to the last mile. So what we've done is we're forcing a lot of commodities into those points. Municipalities are either mustering their own trucks and staff to come get the resources and go back to their communities or we are completing that extra, that last mile for them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Despite the progress, San Juan's mayor warns time is running out for many Puerto Ricans facing dire circumstances.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARMEN YULIN CRUZ, MAYOR, SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO: This is a humanitarian crisis and the more times that those containers spent right there at the port, this is just like showing candy to a child except that we're playing with people's lives. It's unacceptable and the FEMA people want to do their job. They are good hearted people. They are committed people. We have to rip that red tape --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: CNN has correspondents covering the story all across Puerto Rico. Boris Sanchez reports now on the collapse of the island's distribution network which is blocking emergency aid from reaching those who need it most.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Desperate Puerto Ricans line up outside the San Juan ice plant, some say they've been waiting since midnight, many just hoping for a small bag of ice to keep their remaining food or medication cool. But for the fourth straight day, they are told there will be no ice, they should try again tomorrow. Maria Rosario says she does not know what to tell her daughter when they ask for food.
MARIA ROSARIO, HURRICANE MARIA VICTIM (through translator): I'm getting desperate. This is no way to live, really. They should bring us water, other supplies because the kids keep asking.
SANCHEZ (voice-over): Many like Rosario are angry because they say the government is not doing enough.
LYDIA RODRIGUEZ, COMMUNITY WORKER: People are already finishing up their stack of food. There are a lot of people in the committee that are wondering if FEMA is going to come.
SANCHEZ (voice-over): Officials are scrambling to clear the logistical bottle necks that are hindering the flow of resources. Thousands of shipping containers packed with goods are sitting on the island's biggest port stuck.
JOSE AYALA, VICE PRESIDENT, CROWLEY SHIPPING: We're talking about medicines, we're talking about food, we're talking about water, ice, construction materials.
SANCHEZ (voice-over): The vice president of Crowley's operations in Puerto Rico says there are not enough truck drivers available and not enough fuel to deliver these goods where they need to go.
AYALA: The frustration of knowing that maybe right now, right now, there's a person in need of medicine. That right now babies, children don't have a water, a bottled water, and it's here, it's in Puerto Rico.
SANCHEZ (voice-over): An endless tangle of blocked roads adding to the difficulties. Even contacting drivers is a problem because cell towers are still offline. The mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulin Cruz, says FEMA officials have been compassionate but she says the federal agency
[03:05:00] told her that her initial petition for help was not good enough. She was asked to write several memos.
CRUZ: Now is not the time for memos. Now is the time for action. Now is the time for justice and now is the time to get life-support supplies into people's hands.
SANCHEZ (voice-over): Boris Sanchez in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
ALLEN: Talking about the challenges of getting around, well, throughout Puerto Rico people have been forced to find creative ways to navigate around the destruction.
VANIER: In a town of San Lorenzo for instance CNN met some residents who set up a makeshift cable to help them cross a river where a bridge had collapsed. Our Ivan Watson has their story.
IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Forty-five minutes drive west of the Puerto Rican capital, a dead end. Flashfloods from Hurricane Maria washed out the bridge to San Lorenzo. And now residents are stuck fording the river to get basic supplies or contact with the outside world.
WATSON (on-camera): I'm getting through here but imagine what children have to do or the elderly or somebody in a medical emergency.
WATSON (voice-over): Local shop owner Manolo Gonzalez helped to set up river crossing with scavenged cable. After crossing the river, he gives a tour of San Lorenzo. He say it's a community of about a thousand people. Like much of the rest of Puerto Rico, this storm- tossed American town has no electricity, no running water and no telecommunications.
I'd like to introduce Rosa Torres Rivera, she's 95-years old, far tougher than I could ever be at that age. But since Hurricane Irma there has been no electricity here. So her son has rigged up a car battery to raise and lower her bed and now with the bridge blown out her granddaughter and family had to ford the river on foot bringing in fresh medical supplies.
What do you want people in the U.S. to know about Puerto Rico right now?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need help.
WATSON (voice-over): Several door up the road I meet Julia Rivera.
You guys are sleeping out here?
JULIA RIVERA, HURRICANE MARIA VICTIM: Yes.
WATSON (voice-over): She shows me what the storm did to her house.
Come on in.
Rivera's home for the last 49 years, the house where she raised her children has been ruined.
If we can stay in Puerto Rico and go back to our jobs, that's great, she tells me. If not, then we may move to Texas.
The school where Rivera works was also damaged by the storm. Who knows when it will reopen for the children.
The mayor of the municipality came here and authorized the residents to take all the school food and then distribute it to the community.
During our visit here we saw no signs of government assistance. Mariza Rivera and her husband Marco returned across the river after making the four hour round trip journey on foot to the nearest store to buy bread and rice for their children.
Help us she says. The gas lines are really long. It's really hard. And it does not look like life is getting any easier here more than a week after the storm. Ivan Watson, CNN, San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico.
VANIER: OK, so it's pretty clear from what Ivan showed us there that the elderly and the sick are particularly vulnerable in these circumstances and it not over. CNN (INAUDIBLE) at a Puerto Rico nursing home and because there's no power there, many of them can't operate what is life saving equipment.
ALLEN: When a CNN team arrived at the home they helped a patient with breathing difficulties. Here's CNN Rafael Romo.
RAFAEL ROMO, CNN CORRERSPONDENT: Lilia Rivera already has difficulty breathing when we showed up. The 67-year-old woman suffers from asthma and a heart coition and must take her breathing therapy every four hours. She told us it had already been five hours since she had her last one and since there's no power at her nursing home she couldn't use her nebulizer.
So you need this medication every four hours. (Speaking in foreign language).
With the help of our team we connected her nebulizer to a power inverter in our car so that she could take her breathing medication.
(Speaking in foreign language)
She can finally get her treatment. She's one of
[03:10:00] five elderly patients at this nursing home in Bayamon who need breathing therapy and many suffer from other conditions.
RUTH TIRADO MUNIZ, NURSING HOME DIRECTOR: We have approximately 50 percent of the residents that have diabetes and a lot of people that have mobility problems.
ROMO: They have had power problem since Hurricane Irma hit Puerto Rico and Maria the second storm to hit the island in as many weeks only made things worse. They have a power generator but the fuel is running very low.
How much more fuel do you have left here?
MUNIZ: OK, this morning after not having electricity we found out that we have only eleven inches of gas, of diesel.
ROMO: Some residents already suffering from depression have not yet recovered from the trauma of surviving not one but two hurricanes.
Lilia Maldonado says surviving a hurricane is hard but is especially difficult for people of her age. With the help of God, this woman says, Puerto Rico will get back on its feet. After taking her breathing therapy Rivera can finally breathe easier. Before saying goodbye, we call authorities in charge of fuel distribution to alert them of the emergency.
But with dozens of nursing homes just like this one around the island, we wonder how many elderly patients are in a dire situation just like Rivera's. Rafael Romo, CNN, Bayamon, Puerto Rico.
ALLEN: These stories give you the idea of what they need. If you would like to help the people in Puerto Rico and around the Caribbean, be sure to go to our website, cnn.com/impact and you can donate to one of the charities that we vetted and read about what they're doing, or volunteer your time.
VANIER: We're going to take a short break but when we come back, these stories and more in line with the new set of U.N. Sanctions China is taking economic action against North Korea, how Beijing is dealing another blow to Pyongyang's bottom line.
ALLEN: Also ahead here, how Kurd's independence could be setback in the war against ISIS. An exclusive report from northern Iraq. That's coming up here in "CNN Newsroom."
VANIER: Welcome back. China has ordered all North Korean businesses operating within its borders to close by early next year.
ALLEN: Yes, our Nic Robertson joins us now live in Seoul with more about it. Nic, everyone is still waiting to see if China would do more. Is this a drastic move and something that will truly hurt North Korea?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: It's certainly something that potentially can have an impact on North Korea, potentially a significant impact, you know, if you look at it from this point of view that 80 to
[03:15:00] 90 percent of the business trade is done between North Korea and China accounts for rather 80 to 90 percent of North Korea's trade with the world is done with China so this cuts down a significant part of that, that that will have an impact on North Korea. Not so significant of course for China. This is china making good on U.N. Security Council Resolution 2375 that was signed unanimously back on the 11th of September.
So, what they are saying to North Korean operated businesses joint ventures, North Koreans restaurants for example in China, what the Chinese government is saying is that you are now going to have to shut down, 120 days from now, you will have to shut down and that will be early January next year.
Now, China has already taken the step of saying that no new joint ventures between Chinese and North Korean businesses can be started up in China. So this goes a step beyond and if it is enforced thoroughly and if it does sort of take into account some of those unofficial nonregistered North Korean businesses that operate inside China as well are register as North Korea per se then this will have significant effect.
Add on to the top of that as well that China has last weekend announced that it was cutting textile imports or stopping textile imports from North Korea. That's significant. It also said it will stop or cut rather oil exports to North Korea. So these are a combination of things that will begin to have a slow effect. Obviously for the Chinese economy it will have very little impact on the Chinese economy.
ALLEN: Very positive steps then by China, What about the Chinese companies operating in North Korea? Will they continue?
ROBERTSON: As part of that sanctions that particular draft of the U.N. sanctions, there's no obligation on them at this time, at least an announcement from China, no announcement. So they should have to stop their operations inside North Korea, but anywhere where China does business with North Korea is something that -- is an area that the United States in particular is going to be looking towards to increasing pressures on North Korea if they don't come into the compliance or change behavior if you will that these sanctions are designed to do.
ALLEN: All right, all of this coming after North Korea testing its most powerful nuclear test it has done yet. Thank you so much Nic Robertson for us there in South Korea.
VANIER: Let's stick with North Korean issue for a moment because new questions are being raised about the death of U.S. college student Otto Warmbier, the 22 year-old was held for over a year in North Korea.
ALLEN: And his father says there's evidence his son was brutally tortured but a coroner appears to be challenging that. For more, here's our Brian Todd.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The mystery over what happened to Otto Warmbier while he was in North Korean custody is deepening. Kim Jong-un's regime now denies allegations that the 22 year-old college student was tortured during the 17 months they held him. President Trump tweeted this week, Otto was tortured beyond belief by North Korea. Warmbier's parents told their story to CNN.
FRED WARMBIER, FATHER OF OTTO WARMBIER: Ottoa was systematically tortured and intentionally injured by Kim Jong -- Kim and his regime.
TODD: Warmbier's father says after his son was returned from North Korea in June in a vegetative state. And before Otto died a few days later -- He examined his son's bottom teeth and found what he says is evidence of torture.
WARMBIER: His teeth looked like they have been rearranged with a pair of pliers.
TODD: But the Hamilton county coroner in Ohio who gave an external examination of Warmbiear and brought in a forensic dentist contradicts the father's claim.
LAKSHIMI KODE SAMMARCO, CORONER, HAMILTON COUNTY: There is no evidence of trauma to the lower teeth or mandible. We were surprised that they, yes, at that statement.
TODD: The coroner says their postmortem examination found no obvious signs of torture, but we may never know for sure. Warmbier's family declined a full autopsy and the coroner went along with that request. Dr. Victor Weedin, a forensic pathologist who has investigated hundreds of murders, says that was a mistake.
VICTOR WEEDIN, FORENSIC PATHLOGIST: This is a case it has tremendous potential international repercussions. This is a case where there's a possibility that it was a homicide. In those cases, there should be no question, you should do an autopsy. It's possible that a torture can be committed and you don't know see signs on the outside of the body but might see signs internally.
TODD: One of his doctors have said he lost much of his brain tissue due to oxygen depravation to the brain. Veteran coroners tell CNN that could have been caused by strangulation but you
[03:20:00] also possibly by medication, a heart attack, a blood clot, or a botched suicide attempt.
Warmbier was sentenced to hard labor for allegedly stealing a political poster during a visit to Pyongyang. Some analyst believe it may not have been on the North Korean interest to torture Warmbier severely because they frequently use American prisoners as bargaining chips.
BALBINA HWANG, GEORGEROWN UNIVERSITY: It says with any kidnapped victim. It does you no good to try to get a ransom if the goods frankly are not, you know, still breathing and healthy and safe.
TODD: But most everyone agrees whether the North Koreans tortured o Otto Warmbier or not his fate falls squarely on the shoulders of Kim Jong-un.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is no doubt that this is the Kim regime's fault. If he hadn't been in prison by the North Koreans, Otto Warmbier could with us today.
TODD: A key question now, what can the Trump administration do to punish North Korea for the death of Otto Warmbier. Human rights advocate say the administration could push more sanctions on the regime or place the regime back on the list of state sponsors of terrorism but so far, the State Department, has been noncommittal about doing that. Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.
VANIER: Iraq is threatening to crack down after this week's Kurdish independent votes and set to block international flights going in and out of Iraq-Kurdistan major airports and it's also running military drills with Turkey, a country that has its own large Kurdish minority. Our Gul Tuysuz is tacking events from Istanbul and joins us now with the latest. Gul is Kurdistan taking Baghdad's threats seriously?
GUL TUYSUZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, at this point they have to take these threats seriously. We are just hours away from t suspension of all international flights to and from the Kurdish cities of Irbil and Sulaymaniyah being suspended at the request of the Iraqi aviation authority in Baghdad.
These flights being cancelled is going to cut off the KRG at least by air from the rest of the world. And of course Iran, Turkey and the central government in Baghdad all came out last Monday before the Kurdish referendum took place saying they were going to act together to make sure that if the KRG goes ahead with the referendum, that there will be repercussions and that the trio will all be acting together to cut off the KRG and to punish them for going ahead with this vote. These international flights being cancelled is going to be very
problematic for the KRG. They will effectively be cut off and the fear here of course is that once the flights are cancelled that could just be one step in what could eventually amount to a blockade of the autonomous Kurdish region. So absolutely these threats have to be taken seriously.
VANIER: Look, is there a military option for Baghdad here? I mean sometimes that is the question that is asked for the central government when there is a province that wants to succeed and break away.
TUYSUZ: Well, both sides in this, both the central government in Baghdad and the KRG has said that they do not want this to escalate to a military level. Having said that, option is very much open to both sides in this. The Iraqi central government has been carrying out military drills in Turkey right on the border that Turkey has with the KRG.
The Turkish military has been doing this for more than 10 days and they were joined by Iraqi units coming up and doing really a show of force with tanks rolling around right on that border. But again, both the central government and the KRG have said they don't want to use military force, that they want to use dialogue and the Iraqis coming out and saying that they want to use the constitution to solve this crisis.
VANIER: All right, Gul Tuysuz reporting live from Istanbul in Turkey. Thank you very much.
ALLEN: The dispute over independence for Kurdistan comes as the Kurds and Iraq's government are fighting a common enemy. That of course is ISIS has been losing ground.
VANIER: But there are fears the divisions within the country, the ones we've just been talking about might work in the terror group's favorite. Our Nima Elbagir has more on that in this exclusive report from northern Iraq.
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The bridge across the (INAUDIBLE) river. A bullet scarred watch tower looms over the remaining few meters of Kurdish Peshmerga controlled territory.
ELBAGIR (on-camera): This bridge right here, this river, this was the border between ISIS held territory and the territory held by the Kurdish force. It took them an entire year with air cover fro the U.S.-led coalition just to be able to push ISIS back just another kilometer so the ISIS frontline, which is just
[03:25:00]up there where we're headed.
ELBAGIR (voice-over): Major Adnan Majeed is in charge of this garrison on the outskirts. As he walks us up to his look out perched up towards the frontline, it's eerily quiet. ELBAGIR (on-camera): All of this that you can see out there, that is still under ISIS control.
ADNAN MAJEED, MAJOR, PESHMERGA FORCES (through translator): All of our intelligence information is that ISIS moral is low. Their fighters are attempting to flee. They are weak at Hawija.
ELBAGIR: This was essentially supposed to be the staging ground for the operation to retake Hawija but that hasn't happened yet. Since the referendum for independence was carried out against the wishes of the Iraqi federal government so much of what became of this operation to retake one of ISIS' last remaining strongholds is in flux.
Shoulder to shoulder with the U.S. reads this commando's patch. At the base, American supplied armored vehicles line up against the wall. The Kurdish forces are increasingly trained and supplied by the U.S. but that doesn't mean that they have the United States' support in their bid for independence from Baghdad.
The U.S. State Department has said the referendum has already affected coordination and their bid to dislodge ISIS from its remaining territory and is raising tensions they say, ISIS is looking to exploit. Major Majeed and his men expected the Iraqi army units to arrive on the 26th. Days have passed but no sign of them. They're still waiting and they're growing worried.
An Iraqi Armed Forces spokesman tells CNN the Peshmerga were never expected to play a key role in the push on Hawija. Major Majeed shows us a wall bearing the names of the comrades they lost to ISIS.
His men, he says, are committed to honoring those sacrifices, committed to the war against ISIS, but these very sacrifices are the reason they believe they've earned the right to independence. Earned their right to go it alone, whatever the rest of the world may think. Nima Elbagir, CNN, Kirkuk, northern Iraq.
VANIER: We want to bring you breaking news. Information that we've been getting over the last few minutes of a deadly stampede by people in Mumbai, India. The reports of multiple deaths occurred at a train station during rush hour around 9:30 a.m. local time. Now, local T.V. apparently shows people scrambling to escape the crush by climbing over railings and stairways. We'll bring you more details on that as soon as we get them.
Still ahead after the break, even at crisis, Puerto Rico's bureaucracy is keeping some hurricane victims from getting proper medical help.
ALLEN: We'll have reports about that plus the mile high controversy over the U.S. health secretary air travel, what he's promising to do to make it right, coming up here.
[03:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ALLEN: And welcome back to you. You're watching CNN Newsroom live from Atlanta. I'm Natalie Allen.
VANIER: I'm Cyril Vanier. Let's get to top story this hour.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: For some event, Iraq is hours away from blocking international flight at two major airports for in the Kurdistan region, the decision follows a deiced referendum as voters backed independence for the region. Iraq's prime minister said control of the airports must be handed over to the federal government.
VANIER: CNN has learned exclusively that White House senior advisor Jared Kushner did not tell Senate investigators about his use of a personal e-mail account for official business.
President Trump's son-in-law testified in July. Intel Committee leaders have said to be concerned about whether Kushner was upfront with them.
ALLEN: Nine days after hurricane Maria made land fall, U.S. emergency official say some incredible aid is now beginning to reach storm victims in Puerto Rico but tons of food, water, fuel, and medicine remain stuck right here at the island main port. In those trucks due to a severe shortage of truck drivers and fuels had run on blocked roads.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: So many in Puerto Rico are facing potentially life threatening situations due to poor sanitations and a lack of basic necessities.
ALLEN: Our Sanjay Gupta visit a one emergency shelter where doctors are scrambling to help those with serious health issues but getting them to a hospital is blocked by red tape.
SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is 62-year-old Josefina Alvarez's reality. Look at what happened to us, she please. Nobody has taken care of us. For two weeks, Ms. Alvarez has been here in there shelter. An hour outside of San Juan but me as well be on a different island all together. Like thousands of others, she has become really sick.
DR. ASTRID MORALES, VOLUNTEER: We have no hospital to get her because all the emergency are closed because they have no electricity and we have no place to get her. She's getting more complicated.
GUPTA: Doctor Astrid Morales volunteer at the shelter has tried everything to get Alvarez to a hospital. The ambulance we just saw just left.
MORALES: Yes, because they have no authorization from their boss.
GUPTA: That seems -- that seems ridiculous. MORALES: Tell me about it.
GUPTA: We're in the middle of a disaster, in the middle of a crisis and you're waiting for paperwork?
GUPTA: This is a very treatable problem under any other circumstance.
MORALES: Yes, sure.
GUPTA: Get her to the hospital, put her I.V.
MORALES: Probably a few hours or so, I'll be back and she then she can go home.
GUPTA: What happens of she doesn't get this?
MORALES: Well, she might get her infection to the blood and got complicated with vaccines and even death.
GUPTA: There's no communication here. So we give her our satellite phone to try and call for help.
MORALES: (Speaking Foreign Language)
GUPTA: Puerto Rico's secretary of health finds a hospital for Alvarez but then the same problem, how to get her there. We can take the patient. I'm a doctor, we can take the patient ourselves. We have to no time to be asking if there -- although a secretary is there.
MORALES: We he already accept the patient, so she...
GUPTA: You can't even believe what's happening here. I mean she's -- there's no power, there's no water, she's a diabetic, she have insulin, she has an infection that could threatened her life. No ambulance will take her to the hospital. That what's happening here.
JOSEFINA ALVAREZ, PATIENT: Oh, lord.
GUPTA: It's OK.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Speaking Foreign Language)
GUPTA: It's OK.
ALVAREZ: (Speaking Foreign Language)
GUPTA: There's nothing about this make sense. I mean look what we're doing here, we're transporting a patient, this not an ambulance but it's the only thing that we really have right now to get her to the care that she needs.
There are probably thousands of patients who are in the similar shelters, no power, no water, no medications, no way out. There are probably thousands more who are still in their homes that haven't even been able to get to a shelter. So she is just -- she is one example of what is happening here. We have been setting a bit her into the hour journey.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hold on. One more.
GUPTA: OK, one more. Watch out.
[03:35:00] Doctor Sanjay Gupta, CNN, Loiza, Puerto Rico.
VANIER: All right, so quick update. We asked Sanjay how the woman in that story is doing, well she's now receiving medical care, we know that. The doctor said that she will need surgery to treat the infection that she developed. We'll follow her story, of course as time goes by.
ALLEN: Must be so frustrating for people to see this in news media and can get in but the help they need can't get it unfortunate there.
VANIER: Sometimes the power of the camera can be used to good effect.
ALLEN: Absolutely. Well, much of the public attention is focused on Puerto Rico at the moment but the Virgin Island are likewise in dire straits.
VANIER: Our Robyn Curnow looks at the situation there.
ROBYN CURNOW, CNN ANCHOR: This isn't Puerto Rico but in the U.S. Virgin Islands, the trail of destruction and suffering are much the same. The U.S. and British Virgin Islands with Delta 12 blow by hurricanes, Irma and Maria -- Irma during the week of September, then Maria two weeks later.
Once pristine, the landscape of the British Virgin Islands is now listed with twisted metal and tangled tree trunks. Quite frankly, the scene is like something out of a horror movie, very apocalyptic and also when you just look at the landscape as well, we've seen the decimation of all green vegetation. You know, everything is gone basically. So it's pretty dark.
Some 2000 British military personnel on the ground in the British Virgin Islands and more than a hundred tons of aid had arrived there. In the U.S. Virgin Islands, residents feel they be left in the shadows of Puerto Rico's recovery.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We understand Puerto Rico, the much larger island and a lot more populated people there but we do have our own needs here on the island and we do need the supplies coming in for us as much as we need them. You know, we hear the plane flying over to Puerto Rico and sending them up lots of supplies.
CURNOW: Aid is reaching the U.S. Virgin Islands slowly, complicating the situation. Many goods bound for the Virgin Islands come via also hard-hit Puerto Rico.
The U.S. air force has floating communication equipment, the National Guard and FEMA have teams on the ground there, and the Salvation Army is serving food to nearly 5,000 residents daily. Officials say more help is on the way as residents take recovery the only way they can, one day at a time. Robyn Curnow, CNN, Atlanta.
VANIER: Meanwhile the Trump administration that we have, hits another controversy on its hands, cabinet members flying on private jets at taxpayer expense. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price says he will reimburse the government for part of the cost of his flights.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Secretary, couple of quick questions, will the check for your writing, will that (Inaudible), tax payer questions.
TOM PRICE, SECRETARY, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES: I think what we have done right now is to demonstrate good payers if that's part of the concern and the criticism and we look forward to inspector general's reports.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you plan to stay on the job?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: But Price is not the only one under fire for using private and military flights for more now, here's CNN's Rene Marsh.
RENE MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Revelations of even more trips on private planes by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, over the weekend, Price said he only took a total of 11 trips.
PRICE: These were 11 trips over about an eight month period of time.
MARSH: But Thursday, his agency revealed even more trips bringing the total to 13 which includes more than two dozen individual flight including one where he flew private on the short hop from Washington, Dulles to Philadelphia. The total cost to taxpayers for all of the trips, at least $300,000. The president expressed displeasure with Price.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I am looking to that very closely. I am not happy with it. I will tell you, I am not happy with it.
MARSH: The inspector general is reviewing Price's travel and the agency says it has initiated an internal departmental review of the procedures to determine any changes or reforms that are necessary. And Price is publicly addressing the issue.
PRICE: The optics in some of this don't look good and that's why we again have taken this criticism to heart.
MARSH: After an event in D.C. on Thursday, Price responded to the president's criticism saying quote, I think we still got the confidence of the president. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders is also fielding questions on Price.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is Secretary Price expects to keep his job in this administration?
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, PRESS SECRETARY, WHITE HOUSE: I think the president addresses this yesterday. We are going through this process. We're going to conduct a full review and we'll see what happens.
MARSH: But Price is not the only cabinet secretary facing heat, in documents obtained by CNN.
[03:40:00] Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island takes EPA Chief Scott Pruitt to task for both private and government aircraft. One flight from Cincinnati to New York City on June 7th cost taxpayers more than $36,000.
EPA said Pruitt needed to fly on a military jet because he was on a tight schedule flying to Italy for a summit the next day. Senator Whitehouse also questions $14,000 flight aboard a government aircraft on July 27th. Pruitt flew from Tulsa to Guymon, Oklahoma. EPA says there were no commercial flights.
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ALLEN: Well since Rene file that report for us, Politico and others have revealed Health Secretary Tom Price's private military flights cost taxpayers more than $1 million.
VANIER: Still to come on CNN Newsroom, the U.N. chief says the Rohingya Muslim refugee crisis is spiraling into human rights nightmare, more on the ongoing tragedy when we come back.
VANIER: Well, half a million Rohingya Muslims have escaped with the United Nations describing as textbook ethnic cleansing in Myanmar.
ALLEN: The U.N. Security Council held its first public meeting on the crisis Thursday. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the violence has spiraled into a human right nightmare.
ANTONIO GUTERRES, SECRETARY-GENERAL, UNITED NATIONS: I continue to call on the Myanmar authorities to take three immediate steps. First, to end the military operations, second, to allow unfettered access for humanitarian support, and third, to ensure the safe, voluntary, dignified and sustainable return of the refugees to their areas of origin. ALLEN: The secretary council meeting came as 15 Rohingya drowned while trying to make their way to Bangladesh, nine children among the victims.
VANIER: Violence in Myanmar's northern Rakhine State escalated in late August. State-run media says Rohingya militants killed 12 security officers at the time and the military then stepped up what it called clearance operations in Rohingya of villages driving thousands of people from their homes.
Now Myanmar's national security advisor says that his country is just trying to fight terrorism, not persecute anybody for their religion. He denied pointedly accusations of ethnic cleansing.
U THAUNG TUN, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR, MYANMAR: I wish to say, there is no ethnic cleansing and genocide taking in Myanmar. Ethnic cleansing and genocide are serious charges, and they should not be used lively.
ALLEN: Bangladesh is one of the brunt of the Rohingya accident with refugees streaming across the border at a steady phase.
VANIER: And some say nationalist Buddhist monks and Myanmar largely to blame for this crisis. CNN Amara Walker reports.
[03:45:00] AMARA WALKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A country in crisis. Bangladesh has taken a nearly half a million new Muslim refugees from Myanmar since the exodus began on August 25th. Many are suffering from starvation and disease as they arrive in overcrowded refugee camp on the Bangladesh border.
They tell tales of massacres and villages burning. The U.N. has called it the cleansing while the Myanmar government claims are Rohingya set fire to their own homes and villages.
MOHAMMAD JALL (ph), ROHINGYA REFUGEE (through a translator): We suffered so much. They are killing us with guns and burning our homes. We couldn't find a way out, so we had to run.
WALKER: The Rohingyas who are a stateless Muslim minority claim that the Myanmar military is behind the attacks, many say they are retaliation for a radical groups killing of border guards on August 25th.
The military has locked in the most powerful force in Myanmar and Buddha's nationalism, a strong influence in the country but two group said always seem eye to eye, their interest have begun to aligned. Today's crisis is just the latest eruption in a pattern of violence between the Buddhist and Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.
And the powerful Buddhist monk sometimes called the Buddhist bin Laden has led rallies in social media crusade that humanitarian organizations they had invited that pretrial violence.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who is threatening Buddhism necessarily this country?
WALKER: Ashin Wirathu has been a driving force of the anti-Muslim movement in Myanmar and he's known for leading the 969 Movement that boycotts Muslim businesses. He was imprisoned by the military junta for inciting religious conflict in 2003.
He was released in 2012 as part of a general amnesty and continues to preach anti-Muslim rhetoric. He took to social media to communicate with its growing base of support and in 2014, he used Facebook to propagate false rumors that a gang of Muslim men had raped a Buddhist woman. Riots broke out and two people were killed. Wirathu denied allegations that he was to blame for the violent.
ASHIN WIRATHU, LEADER, 969 MOVEMENT (through a translator): Muslim organizations are the ones responsible for this and are more able to stop it from happening again.
WALKER: Since his release from prison, Wirathu you had let the committee to protect race and religion, also known as the Ma Ba Tha that has steadily grown in political power. Ma Ba Tha, 62-years-ago and pushing legislation that limits marriages between Muslims and Buddhists.
WIRATHU, (through a translator): Muslims threatened Buddhism for marriage conversions. The law requires the Buddhists women who marry Muslims to convert to Islam.
WALKER: Wirathu denied that he has negative force in Myanmar and condemned the media for his appearance on a Time Magazine cover in 2013 with a caption, the face of Buddhist terror.
WIRATHU, (through a translator): This is a serious violation of media ethics by media workers in a powerful nation.
WALKER: In March, a group of senior Buddhists placed restrictions on Ma Ba Tha and band Wirathu from preaching for a year. He defined the order recently when he spoke in a contentious meeting from on Ma Ba Tha.
A provocative and influential figure, Wirathu's anti-Muslim ideology has expose fractures in a society already rife with conflict. Amara Walker, CNN.
VANIER: We want to go back to India for a second. We have breaking news earlier in the show from Mumbai.
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VANIER: Well we now have an update. Police say at least 22 people were killed in a stampede at a train station during rush hour. It was 9:30 a.m. local time. Here is the video this footage from our affiliate India CNN aid team and show the crowd on the platform.
An official says it happened on a narrow stairway after an unexpected rain shower, as people climbed over railings to avoid the crash. Police are adding that 35 people were injured and the victims were rushed to local hospitals.
ALLEN: Still to come here, thousand of people have been evacuated in two Southeast Asian conflict as two separate volcanoes threatened to erupt.
VANIER: Plus, he glamorize the bachelor lifestyle and helps for America's sexual revolution. We will look back at the controversial legacy of Playboy founder, Hugh Hefner.
[03:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ALLEN: Tens of thousands of people are trying to escape the threat of two volcanoes that could erupt at anytime in Southeast Asia on the island of Bali. Officials say more than 134,000 residents who live near Mount Agung have been taking -- taken to shelters.
VANIER: And on Ambae Island in Vanuatu, residence there will be moved away from the Monaro volcano. One expert tells CNN else its pure coincidence that both volcanoes are showing signs of erupting at the same time. We get more on that from out meteorologist Derek Van Dam who quickly can become a volcanologist. Hi, Derek.
DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, that's right. Good day, Natalie. So you know, the new number book knowledge and threads a day early zero you know the new numbers to CNN show over 140,000 people being evacuated from their towns and their communities surrounding Mount Agung in northeastern Bali.
Of course this is out of an extreme abundance of caution because the potential is there for a volcanic eruption. This is Bali. There's Denpasar, the capital. Let me show you a Google Earth image of Mount Agung.
I have actually climb this volcano, see it for myself, seen the crater, it towers over 3,000 meters. It is magnificent but what's interesting to note is that there are several of these villages within that 10 kilometer radius from the crater and those are the ones that people want to evacuate.
That's why they have the highest alert level from Mount Agung right now according to seismologists and volcanologists, the alert level right now remains at four which means that people within that 10 kilometer radius, either need to evacuate or exercise extreme caution because a potential volcanic eruption could happen at any moment in time.
How do these volcanologists actually know that a volcano could erupt? Well, there are several signs out that Mother Nature tends to give. One of which is an uptick in earthquakes and if you go back over the past three years surrounding the Mount Agung region. We had a low frequency of earthquakes flying out but look what happened in September specifically within the past two or three weeks, we've had a significant uptick in seismic activity. So earthquakes cross this area giving a prime indicator that this earthquake or this volcano could potentially erupt at any moment.
Another interesting thing to notice that there are 30,000 cows within the vicinity of Mouth Agung and the potential volcanic eruption, 10,000 of which have been evacuated safely but there is just not simply enough food to feed those cows that have been evacuated.
So that's also a concern that the major economic interest for those people there as well not only a culturally one as well, another interesting tidbit of information that Mount Agung is actually one of the highest contributors of sulfur dioxide.
And you know what happens when than mixes with water vapor, it forms acid rain, Natalie and Cyril, that is not something that will want to see happen if this volcano erupts, back to you.
ALLEN: All right, Derek, thank you. Well, in California, rescue crews have been coping with another rock fly. It happened at the El Capitan rock formation at the Yosemite National Park. It injured one person.
VANIER: Just a day ago, a man from Wales was killed actually after a small rockslide occurred in the popular climbing location. Officials say the park will remain open despite those two incidents. And tribute to being paid to Playboy Founder Hugh Hefner who died on Wednesday, he was 91-years-old.
ALLEN: Hefner launched a controversial magazine Playboy back in 1953 but throughout his career, he became a picture in popular culture. Our Jeanne Moos said goodbye to the Silk Road Casanova.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Despite what he said on the Simpsons...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think all you have to do is die.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
MOOS: He liked being called Hef.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm leaving, I knew that for your host.
[03:55:00] MOOS: Hef, the Hef cap from the 50s and 60s, who played the Playboy after dark, before dark and any light but someone tweeted the man wore a robe for a living. Every morning was happy hour.
HUGH HEFNER, FOUNDER, PLAYBOY: I do.
MOOS: He married three times. His last wife was 60 years younger than Hef when he turned 80, he was still relevant enough to be serenaded by Paris Hilton. After making his name founding Playboy, he appeared as mystery guest on What's My Line.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I applauded the sports world.
MOOS: Does sex qualifies as sport?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is your definition of sanity?
HEFNER: Racism, war, bigotry but sex itself no. What does that in Cold War and this would be -- if world in sexual being.
MOOS: But even in death, not everyone was feeling warm and fuzzy towards Hef, the president of the gay rights organization GLAD tweeted, Hefner was not a visionary, he was a misogynist, but even if unpopular with some, he was a pop culture icon.
HEFNER: You wanted something?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, thank you.
MOOS: From Laverne and Shirley to a Nelly, Justin Timberlake rap a video and this icon will rest in peace next to another, Marilyn Monroe, Hefner purchase the crib next to hers. After all she was his very first Playboy cover. All these bunnies later, Hefner's tale is larger than life, he became not so much a sex symbol, as symbol of sex.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Drinking with three blondes, I guess I skipped a regular day for you.
HEFNER: A slow one.
MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
ALLEN: All right, before we go here, British Prince Harry was wrapped up in a conversation at the Invictus games in Toronto.
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ALLEN: And didn't seem to notice little Emily Henson. Good hands there. She kept stealing his popcorn over and over.
VANIER: At some point, he did caught -- catch the two-year-old red handed. What was her punishment? There you go, more popcorn courtesy of the Prince himself. He kissed her and some whispering and he clapped along.
ALLEN: No, he's not going to do it. Emily is the daughter of Hayley and David Henson, a past captain of the British Invictus team and Harry's friend. After this is no (Inaudible), he love to have kids.
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ALLEN: That's it for CNN Newsroom at Atlanta, thanks for watching. I'm Natalie Allen. VANIER: I'm Cyril Vanier. The news continues next with Max Foster in London. You're watching CNN. Stay with us.