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First Arrest In Russia Probe Could Come Monday; Two U.S. Navy SEALS Investigated In Killing Of Green Beret; Thousands Rally Against Catalonia's Independence; Two Sailors Back On Land After 5 Months Adrift At Sea; Childhood Friends Die Within An Hour Of Each Other; Puerto Rico Working To Cancel Power Contract; Butter-Loving France Facing A Shortage. Aired 1-2a ET
Aired October 30, 2017 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[01:00:00] CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR: Washington, holding its breath over charges filed, but still sealed in the Russia investigation. We could be seeing arrests soon. Plus, members of the U.S. Navy's elite SEAL team six under investigation in the death of an army soldier in Mali. And this...
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is happening to middle-class America.
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VANIER: American's opioid epidemic through the eyes of a mother who lost her son to addiction. We have a special in the show. Thank you for joining us, everyone. I'm Cyril Vanier, live from the CNN NEWSROOM here in Atlanta.
So, the story that's had Washington on edge for months is about to get a lot more interesting. We may see the first arrest in the Russia investigation led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. CNN revealed, Friday, that the first charges have been filed. The White House has been silent on those, but the president has been tweeting, and he's focusing on one of his usual targets: Hillary Clinton saying that she's the one who's been colluding, not him. Here's what we know so far.
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GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: I think anybody who's been advised by the special counsel's office that they're a target of the investigation, which I'm sure he has done to those people who are, should be concerned.
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VANIER: and that was New Jersey Governor Chris Christie there with a word of warning for anyone who could be facing charges in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation. Sources told CNN on Friday that a Washington grand jury approved the first charges in the Russia probe and arrests could come as early as Monday. The charges are still sealed under orders from a federal judge, while
we still don't know who might be facing indictments. Mueller has issued a grand jury subpoena for documents and testimony related to former Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort, as well as former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Also, Mueller is now facing pressure from some Republicans to step down.
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CHRISTIE: I have not yet seen anything that makes me think he must step down. That is absolutely indisputable conflict. But I think he's got to be careful, I'll be watching this all the time.
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VANIER: Mueller was appointed back in to oversee the investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. And President Trump has consistently denied any wrongdoing and calls the Russia probe a witch hunt. The White House has not officially commented on the indictments, and the president sought to deflect the attention, Boris Sanchez explains.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No public events for the White House on Sunday. But the president was fired up on Twitter, lamenting what he calls a lack of investigations into Hillary Clinton and the Democrats. In a series of tweets, he specifically cites several accusations that he's made before about the former first lady and secretary of state. Citing that now infamous dossier that was put together by Fusion GPS, the company that was at one point hired by the Clinton Campaign to dig up opposition research on then-candidate Trump. He also talks about the uranium deal. T
his idea that Hillary Clinton took bribes from Russian officials in exchange for more favorable uranium deal -- a charge that he's made before. He also talks about her e-mails, and in one revealing portion, he said that instead of focusing on this, on those controversies, people are focusing instead on what he calls "phony Trump-Russia collusion," which is non-existent. So, while this news is coming from the special counsel that charges are imminent, the president is choosing to focus his attention on an opponent that he defeated almost 12 months ago. Boris Sanchez, CNN, at the White House.
VANIER: A back with us this hour to discuss this, Michael D'Antonio, a CNN Contributor, author of the biography on Donald Trump called "The Truth About Trump"; and the CNN Political Commentator, John Phillips, and KBC Talk Radio Host. John, the first question to you. Once we find out who is charged and what the charge is, it seems to me, the question is going to be, what connection, if any, can be made with the president, your thoughts?
JOHN PHILLIPS, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR AND TALK RADIO HOST (via Skype): Right, and there's a big variance here. It could be something that's very big, that's earth-shattering, and it could be Al Capone's fault, we don't know. All we know is the information that Mueller leaked on Friday night, kind of like a tease for a television show -- tune in on Monday to find out how the story ends. And it could be something that's politically damaging. I suspect it's probably not. It could be something that has nothing to do with the Russian collusion theory that has been out for so long. It could have something to do -- for example, with Paul Manafort's business dealings going back a decade ago. And if it is something like that, if I'm President Trump, I'd go on the offense and I say, look, this is an open-ended investigation where they're investigating things nothing to do with what sparked the investigation, and I think the truth will get behind them.
VANIER: All right. By the way, a word about how this was leaked. We broke -- the CNN broke the story Friday night and we here like to think that we just did good investigative work. But, that said, Michael, somebody is getting arrested likely on Monday, and it's likely to be somebody who has at one point in time been on Mr. Trump's team. Now, does that bother or is going to bother Mr. Trump's base at some point? Do they care?
[01:05:21] MICHAEL D'ANTONIO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR (via Skype): Well, I can't pretend to speak for all the people in his base. The polling that we saw over the weekend does indicate that there's some softening in even the hardcore support for him. I think what's more important for to us step back and consider is what this does to the country. So, whenever we go through one of these traumas, and whether you're on the team that says that Mueller is just casting his net too widely, or you're on the team that thinks that something terrible has happened and he must do what he can to get to the bottom of it. This is very bad for the United States of America. We have a president who's just nine -- nine-and-a-half-months into his presidency. He's been very hampered by this all along. I think it's a sorrowful moment for the people of the United States and a really sad moment in our history.
VANIER: I'd like you both to also consider the timing and the context of this. Listen to Senator Bob Corker, somebody whom we know has been extremely critical of the president recently.
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SEN. BOB CORKER (R), TENNESSEE: We've got a short window of time to deliver on tax reform. Something that I want to see happens on behalf of the American people. And to pass those bills, that's where our focus needs to stay.
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VANIER: So look, this is all happening even as Mr. Trump and the Republican Party are pushing through their big tax reform. I mean, is that -- and Mr. Trump is referencing that; his latest tweets, all of this Russia talk, right, when the Republicans are making their big push to historic tax cuts and reform. Is this coincidental? Not, writes the president. John? PHILLIPS: Well, it is a distraction. I think there's absolutely no
doubt about that. But that being said, he's still coming through for the people who voted for him. We're happy that Neil Gorsuch is on the Supreme Court. We're happy that he's appointed a bunch of people who share our values and ideology --
VANIER: But that was months ago. There hasn't been a whole lot of coming through for his voters in recent months.
PHILLIPS: Well, he's moving forward with the wall. I mean, the prototypes came out. That was the big promise that he made to his voters. That's by the way, the one promise he absolutely can't break under any circumstances. The wall absolutely has to go up.
VANIER: But I want to bring you back to this week. Does this -- do these charges, these indictments, do they hamper the Republican's ability to get tax reform done?
PHILLIPS: I think that their hesitancy to do that is unrelated to Russia. Bob Corker, John McCain, and certain others -- Jeff Flake, for example -- they never liked him to begin with. And their feelings are hurt, they have horrible numbers. Jeff Flake is under water in Arizona; he's somewhere underneath (INAUDIBLE) Concordia at 18 percent. And so, I think to a certain degree, they're jealous of what Trump is doing. They're jealous of the fact that his supporters haven't abandoned him the same way that their supporters have abandoned them.
And I think they're holding tax reform hostage, I think they did it to hold health care reform hostage. And at a certain point, they've got to follow through with the promises they made to their constituents. And I'll note, by the way, that Lindsey Graham who is a huge critic of the president has fallen in line on tax reform and on health care reform. He's a guy who's got to face the voters again. These guys, they're not running for re-election so they feel like they can do whatever they want. But in the end, I think they're screwing their own constituents.
VANIER: Mike, Michael, I'd like -- the same question to you: is this hampering Mr. Trump and the Republican's ability to get their priorities done? And in this case, it's tax reform.
D'ANTONIO: Well, I think it must be a little bit. And I think the observation that many of the senators, several of them, are not inline just as they weren't inline for health care is apt. This is the struggle for the president every time he goes to get something big through. The thing I would disagree with is suggesting that somehow this is personal or petty. These senators, especially, have a highly tuned sense of their prerogatives, their own responsibilities. I think they do try to think about what's best for the country.
I don't think very many of them cast votes on important things just out of petty jealousy for another official in the United States government. That said, the president's done a very poor job of really figuring out how to work with the Senate. You know, I think bashing Mitch McConnell, whether you like him or not, he's still the Senate Majority Leader; you need that pal. So, then, you bring him into the White House and put your arm around him, I'm not sure that's enough to get to the 51 votes that he needs for any major piece of legislation.
[01:10:13] VANIER: All right. Michael, John, thank you both very much for coming on the show. There's also the Asia trip; a huge trip to Asia for the president coming up in about a week's time. We'll get to that, and, of course, we'll be covering that on CNN. But thank you both for coming on.
PHILLIPS: Thank you.
VANIER: In a series of tweets, President Trump said the Republicans are united and pushing for investigations on Hillary Clinton, specifically the Clinton Campaign's partial financing the Russian dossier, a uranium deal with Russia, and Clinton's private e-mail server, and more. The president called the Russia probe a witch hunt for evil causes and said that Republicans are now fighting back. Republican Senator Susan Collins doesn't always back the president but she too agrees that questions do need to be answered about the dossier's funding.
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SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R), MAINE: They absolutely need to be recalled. It's difficult to imagine that a campaign chairman, that the head of the DNC would not know of an expenditure of this magnitude and significance. But perhaps, there's something more going on here. But certainly, it's worth additional questioning of those two witnesses.
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VANIER: On the other side of the aisle, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee says, he said he wished he had known about the sources of funding for the dossier. Still, for Adam Schiff, the most important question remains: how much of the allegations about Mr. Trump contained in that dossier or actually true?
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REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), CALIFORNIA: Christopher Steele, may have found out even before our own intelligence agencies that the Russians were, in fact, aiming to help Donald Trump in the election. That has been born out by ample evidence and from not only for individual sources but also from the social media campaign, for example, very demonstrably pro-Trump/anti-Clinton. So, that central conclusion has been borne out. Now, the question we continue to investigate is, was the campaign coordinating in the Russian help? That still remains to be seen. There is certainly evidence that's highly suggestive of that in terms of the meeting in Trump Tower, but a lot more work needs to be done.
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VANIER: And there's been another death of the U.S. soldier in Africa. When we come back, we'll tell you why officials say that he may have been killed by two elite members of the U.S. Navy. Plus, Spain stripped its autonomy and sent its leaders packing; what's next for Catalonia and its deposed leaders, just after the break.
[01:15:06] KATE RILEY, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: I'm Kate Riley with your CNN WORLD SPORT headlines. Lewis Hamilton only needed to finish fifth in Mexico to walk away with his fourth world championship title. As it turned out, Britain had an uphill struggle right from the start. On the very first lap, Hamilton suffered a tire puncture after colliding with his closest rival, Sebastian Vettel. But no matter, Vettel could only finish fourth, and Hamilton's ninth-place finish means he's the first British driver to ever have four Formula One titles.
Elsewhere and with a volatile political climate in Spain, as a backdrop, Girona the newly promoted (INAUDIBLE) from the Catalan City, shocked the European champions Real Madrid, 2-1 in La Liga on Sunday. Cristiano Ronaldo withheld score and (INAUDIBLE) and 4-2, scored within three minutes in the second-half for a historic win. They start rehousing European record, 13 matches away winning-streak.
And in women's tennis, Caroline Wozniacki finally got the best of Venus Williams as the former world number one has battled it out for the season-ending WTA finals title. The 27-year-old Danish had lost the 37-year-old American each of the seven times they've met before. But this time, Wozniacki has emerged victorious, 6-4, 6-4, the score 12 years after turning pro. It's the biggest title of her career. And that's the look at all your sports headlines. I'm Kate Riley.
VANIER: The U.S. Navy is investigating the death of a U.S. soldier deployed to a mission in Africa. Staff Sergeant Logan Melgar, with the Army Special Forces, was found dead in June at a U.S. government compound in Mali. Authorities now want to know if he was killed by two members of the most elite special force of the U.S. Navy. Our Ryan Browne has more.
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RYAN BROWNE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: The United States Navy is investigating two U.S. Navy SEALS, part of the elite SEAL team six for their role in the death of the Army Green Beret Staff Sergeant Logan Melgar who was working in support of the U.S. embassy in Bamako, Mali. Now, the U.S. Army's medical examiner ruled Melgar's death a homicide and his widow was informed that he had been murdered. But the Navy took over the investigation in September, once Navy personnel were linked to his death. Now, the United States Navy's Criminal Investigation Service or NCIS would not comment, citing an ongoing investigation, but the U.S. Military is looking at two new Navy SEALS to determine exactly what happened. Back to you.
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VANIER: Pentagon Correspondent Ryan Browne there. And the family and friends of Logan Melgar honored at his alma mater in Texas. Relatives say Melgar's life was epic, and that he will be missed dearly.
Now, with Catalonia's autonomy suspended, hundreds of thousands of protesters in Barcelona rallied for unity.
The scene there from Barcelona City Center on Sunday. Tension spiked in the region when Spain took control of Catalonia after the regional parliament there voted for independence. The central government took unprecedented measures to quash the separatist movement. It dissolved the regional government and called a new election for December. The deposed Catalan Leader, Carles Puigdemont, urged his supporters to use the vote to advance their cause. Madrid has threatened him with rebellion charges, but at the same time, it said Puigdemont is eligible to run in the election. CNN's Phil Black reports from Barcelona.
PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This noisy, pretty joyful crowd is trying to convey what they believe is a very significant message. They want everyone to know that the Catalonian crisis is not just the crisis is not just a difference of opinion or a battle of wills between Catalonia and the central government in Spain. Catalonia itself is sharply divided on the issue of independence. All of these people are saying today, very loudly, they don't want independence. They are proud to be both Spanish and Catalan. They identify as both, and they want both to remain as one as they have done for centuries. These are people who very strongly disagree with the parliamentary vote and the regional parliament of unilaterally declaring independence here like last week.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are the majority here. As you can see, we all came from little towns, from big cities here in Barcelona to speak up and say that we want to stay in Spain.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are here together because we are Catalonians and Spaniards.
BLACK: You are wearing both flags today, the Spanish and the Catalans.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
[01:20:07] BLACK: Why is that? Tell me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For me, it's my both feelings. I can't reject my Catalan part, of course, because I'm a Catalan, like, but I'm not independence -- independentist. And they don't want to understand this, but some people like me, we have such feeling.
BLACK: This crowd is overwhelmingly happy and optimistic, but there is a real sense of concern and uncertainty here as well because no one knows what's going to happen next. As early as Monday morning, we could start to get a sense of how it resonates. The central government of Madrid is going to start to impose its will on this region and how strongly the dismissed Catalonian government is going to resist. Phil Black, CNN, Barcelona.
(END VIDEOTAPE) VANIER: And the tension from the Catalan crisis threatened to bleed into sports on Sunday when the capital's football powerhouse, Real Madrid, meet the small Catalan Club, Girona, both sides were careful to keep the energy on the pitch during the match and the Catalan team pulled off the big upset. Vince Cellini has more.
VINCE CELLINI, CNN SPORTS REPORTER: Cyril, thank you. Real Madrid Coach, Zinedine Zidane, was seeking business, as usual, saying that neither he nor his players would be distracted by the political noise ahead of Sunday's La Liga visit to the Girona -- they're first ever trip to the newly promoted Catalan Club. And you can see here that Girona is deep within Catalonia where the regional parliament declared independence from Spain on Friday, which led to the central government responding by dissolving the Catalan parliament.
So, it is understandable that Sunday's match in Girona, which is a city highly pro-independence and whose former mayor is now the deposed Catalan leader, would have added significance off the pitch. The European champions, Real Madrid, tried to diffuse the situation by deciding not to arrive in their official team bus. And thankfully, the match went ahead without any incidents. On the pitch, plenty of action in the 13,500-capacity (INAUDIBLE).
The striker, Cristhian Stuani, leveled the match one-a-piece in the 54th minute. And just three minutes later, Girona took the lead for good for 4-2, back-healing in the winner and leaving the world player of the year, Ronaldo, with a frustrated expression, to say the least. Girona and Real Madrid's top five European league record run of 13 successive away La Liga wins. And the home fans could not be happier about it.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): A humble and little team like ours has beaten the one they say as the best team in the world. For us, this is something more than history. This is very great. There are no words.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): With all kinds of people. It's been a very good game. We've all enjoyed it. It's been a good game, and that's the most important thing. Everybody respects each other, creating a great environment.
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CELLINI: Well, this is very true. Despite the political undertones, in the end, it was about soccer. For Real Madrid, they now have an uphill battle to catch up with Girona's Catalan neighbors, Barcelona, who have an eight-point lead over their great rivals. Cyril, back to you.
VANIER: Thanks. Vince Cellini there. And still, to come on the show, what could we learn from the first arrest in question with U.S./Russia investigation? After the break, you'll hear from a legal expert on what to watch for. Plus, our Ivan Watson is at the U.S. Navy base in Okinawa, Japan where two rescued sailors set foot on land for the first time in five months. Ivan.
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. That's right, Cyril. These two U.S. women and their two dogs survived more than five months at sea after storms broke their antenna and their mast, and you'll hear that story from them after the break.
[01:27:13] VANIER: All right. Welcome back to the CNN NEWSROOM, everyone. I'm Cyril Vanier. Let's look at your headlines this hour. Someone could be in custody within hours; in the U.S.-Russia investigation led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. A federal grand jury approved the first charges on Friday. Now, there's no word yet on what they are or who will be arrested. We'll take a closer look at that in just a moment.
The Iraqi Kurdish president is stepping down on Wednesday after 12 years in power. Masoud Barzani took a political gamble and called for an independence referendum last month but the vote backfired, haunting the Iraqi military to retake key territory under Kurdish control.
And Saudi Arabia says it will let women into three sports stadiums as spectators starting early next year, this after long barring them from arenas. The Saudi crown prince is promising other ambitious reforms for women. Starting next June, women will be allowed to drive on Saudi's streets.
Let's go back to Washington now where this week was going to be about tax reform. President Trump's pick for the federal reserve chair and his upcoming trip to Asia, but instead, all eyes will be on Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russian investigation. The first arrest or arrests -- plural -- could come within hours. The president railed against the probe on Twitter, Sunday, calling it witch hunt and bringing up accusations against Hillary Clinton. Crime and Justice Correspondent for CNN, Shimon Prokupecz, take a look at what comes next.
SHIMON PROCUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: We expect to learn later today what charges were filed in connection with the special counsel investigation once a federal judge unseals the indictment. A federal grand jury has approved these charges in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe, but the charges are sealed, so we don't yet know who will be charged. We've been told that the expectation that it was going to happen, Monday.
And anyone who is facing the charges will be arrested and taken into custody by FBI agents, and then at some point, will face a judge here Washington D.C. Now, this indictment, once it's unsealed, will likely give us a window into some of what the special counsel has been looking at, and how it potentially relates to the Russia investigation. Shimon Prokupecz, CNN, Washington.
(END VIDEOTAPE) VANIER: Let's bring in Page Pate, CNN Legal Analyst and Criminal
Defense Attorney. Page, we really need you tonight. I am glad that you're on set because there are a lot of things that we need to understand and untangle. First of all, what are you going to be looking for specifically from a legal point of view tomorrow when the indictments are made public and the charges are revealed? I mean, outside of the obvious, about who's charged and what for.
PAGE PATE, CNN LEGAL ANALYST AND CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, the process is relatively straightforward in federal court. The indictments remain under seal until the defendants appear in front of the federal magistrate judge. So, it could be that Mueller's team has already advised the defendant's lawyer, hey, we've got an indictment against your guy. He can turn himself in on Monday. We'll appear in front of a judge. The judge will them tell him what he's charged with, explain his rights to him, and then go ahead and address bond. And usually, in cases like this, they'll let him out with a signature bond, no money down, just make sure you show up for court. Once the indictment is unsealed then we're going to get to read not just the charges but the story of the investigation. Most good prosecutors lay out their case in the indictment.
I've seen these indictments, 10 pages, 20 pages, up to 50 pages. So, it's not just we're advising the defendant what he's charged with but we're sending a message to others people who may be charged later. In a case that --
VANIER: So, we're going to know at that point essentially what they have, what the investigators have on a given person or people.
PATE: It could. The prosecutor is not required to put all that in the indictment but most of them do. One, so that people can see it and understand the scope of the investigation. And two, it puts other people on notice. You may see unindicted co-conspirator, then some initials. And they'll indicate to that person that they are a target and very close to being indicted.
VANIER: OK. So, two things here, number one, is that going to tell you how strong the case is against that person.
PATE: It could. It just depends on how far they go in drafting the indictment. They could keep it very short and sweet and to the point that I don't expect that in this case. I expect them to lay out the facts of the case in the indictment.\
VANIER: OK. And number two, what do you make of this idea that maybe they're going after somebody in order to ultimately get to someone else?
PATE: Well, that would be common. I mean, in a federal criminal investigation like this, it is rare that the first indictment is the last indictment. You will usually start with the person who is most clearly culpable. You've got strong evidence, you know you can take it to the grand jury and get an indictment. I anticipate that that means it's probably Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, someone who we know that the government has been investigating for some time. VANIER: Yes, and that wouldn't come as a huge surprise.
PATE: Not at all, yes.
VANIER: Because we know that they've been after them and they've been looking into them. Thank you very much for your explanations.
PATE: Thank you, sir.
VANIER: Two friends lost at sea in a damaged boat for five long hope- starved months. It could've easily ended in tragedy but here's what happened instead. The two women set off on a trip from Hawaii to Tahiti but they were knocked off course by a storm that severely damaged their boat. They lost communications and after months of drifting alone, they lost hope. But last week, the women were rescued by the U.S. Navy. And now they're on land again in Okinawa thanking the men and women who saved them.
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JENNIFER APPEL, RESCUED AFTER 5 MONTHS AT SEA: Had they not been able to locate us, we would have been dead within 24 hours. These fine men and women behind us took us into their care, brought us under their wing, gave us safety, took care of our animals, gave us toothbrushes, things that we didn't even think about bringing with us when we left. They have provided for all of our needs, they have exceeded our expectations. And I have never been on a Navy ship before. This place blew my mind.
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VANIER: Now, Ivan Watson is right there. Ivan, I know you spoke to the survivors, and it really is pretty amazing what they went through.
WATSON: That's right. I mean, they said that they were expecting to do an 18-day journey by sailboat from Hawaii to Tahiti, and instead, they were hit by a succession of storms that broke their mast and left them essentially drifting without communications with the outside world, and accompanied, of course, by two very friendly dogs. And somehow they survived an ordeal that lasted more than five months. Here's an excerpt from what some of the journey was like. Take a listen.
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APPEL: Well, we did not really want to go back into the middle of hurricane season because Hawaii generally has a whole bunch of hurricanes that line up one after another. And the thought of being in another hurricane in that -- with that disability is potentially deadly. And we are actually in a safer position so we continued down to Kiribati. And when we got to Kiribati, they couldn't understand us on the radio. And we thought it was just because of the language barrier. But apparently, it was the antennas that had gotten damaged. So, from there, we traveled to the beginning of the Cook Islands, and we got into white squall, which is a very bad type of storm that you don't normally see coming because it's white. That pushed us into an area of 160 West that is called the Devil's
Triangle. And they call it the Devil's Triangle because boats go in but very rarely do they ever come out. And if they do, there are very few people or no one on the boats. And the reason for that is because that is a tiger shark breeding ground. And we got some amazing pictures of flat water. And every once in a while, you'd see this three-foot waves just come up. And it was the sharks pushing us into their hunting ground so that their babies could learn to hunt.
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[01:35:17] WATSON: So, how did they survive all this time? Well, Natasha Fuiava and Jennifer Appel, they say that they had a water desalinization unit on their sailboat and they had a lot of dried food stores that helped them get through more than five months. They also had a wind generator and some solar panels that's helped them basically keep their appliances going. But of course, a number of different communications devices were not able to function, they say, because their antenna was broken.
They did at times come in contact with places like Wake Island, it's a U.S. island. They came close to other ships, but were not for some reason, communications reasons, perhaps or language problems, able to communicate and be rescued until they linked up with a Taiwanese fishing boat. And later with this U.S. Navy vessel here, the USS Ashland which picked them up last Wednesday, and just a few hours ago brought them here to dry land here in Okinawa. Cyril?
VANIER: Ivan, I mean, it's stunning, their story. A couple different things I was asking myself while they were speaking, how did they get out of the shark triangle?
WATSON: I -- they were drifting, essentially. As Jennifer Appel explained it to me, since they could not spread their sail because the spreader or the splitter in their mast was broken in the storm, they jerry-rigged some kind of a -- some kind of a jerry-rigged sail that helped them along. But at times, they were actually moving backwards and having to move either with the wind or with the swell in different directions. So -- and their motor, they say, was not functioning, either. So, this was a sailboat that was essentially adrift for months and months and months.
And when you see the footage of a skiff from this ship going out to meet the boat, you can see that it's covered with grime on its haul. It's clear that it's been out at sea for quite a long time. And when I asked, you know, were there dark days? They said absolutely. Absolutely, there were. And Natasha explained that they spent a fair amount of time reading the bible or reading bible apps on their cell phones, which they were able to recharge and that helped get them through these long months at sea. That, and photos of sunsets. Cyril?
VANIER: Ivan Watson reporting live from Okinawa, Japan. And those two survivors were just incredibly lucky. Ivan, thank you for bringing us their story. Thank you.
Now, the opioid crisis in the U.S. is claiming thousands of lives and tearing apart families.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I went over to him, and I touched him, and he was cold.
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VANIER: After the break, how two childhood friends died within an hour of each other. Plus, what else the U.S. government could do to help opioid addicts across the country. Stay with us.
[01:41:27] VANIER: Welcome back. In Kenya, there is still no winner in Thursday's presidential vote. The country's election commission is expected to announce the results, Monday. And as it stands, they're likely to name incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta the victor. But opposition leader Raila Odinga is calling this election a sham, and says that, low voter turnout on Thursday is a vote of no confidence. The turnout figures are currently in dispute by both major parties.
Puerto Rico's power authority is working to cancel a controversial contract awarded to a small Montana utility company. Whitefish Energy was given a $300 million deal to help restore power after Hurricane Maria. The company is located in the hometown of the U.S. interior secretary, raising questions about this election process, but the secretary says he had nothing to do with the contract. And the Puerto Rico Governor says for his part that the scrutiny is just not helping the island rebuild.
The USS Comfort is back in San Juan after treating patients around Puerto Rico. The floating state-of-the-art hospital was deployed by the U.S. government after Hurricane Maria, but many clinics on the island didn't know the protocol for sending patients to the ship. And it sat mostly empty for the first couple of weeks, but now, Puerto Rico's Governor says 60 percent of the ship's beds are full and a number of surgeries have been performed on board.
The opioid epidemic in the U.S. is described as the worst drug crisis the country has ever seen. The problem is so bad, President Trump declared it a public health emergency last week. Now, that's not as helpful as declaring a national emergency which would make new funding available and that could have helped these two teenagers that we're about to tell you about. They were found dead on the same morning within an hour of each other in the same neighborhood right here in the State of Georgia. CNN's Lynda Kinkade reports.
KATHY ABRAHAM, MOTHER OF JOE ABRAHAM: We wanted to have two children because we wanted them to have each other and now Matthew is an only child.
LISA MANNING, MOTHER OF DUSTIN MANNING: I'll never be the person I was. LYNDA KINKADE, CNN ANCHOR: 18-year-old Dustin and 19-year-old Joseph Abraham had so much potential.
L. MANNING: Those are his football trophies are up there.
GREG MANNING, FATHER OF DUSTIN MANNING: He's in a great place.
K. ABRAHAM: Joe was a very sensitive young man. He was funny. He had a big heart.
KINKADE: In this neighborhood, on the outskirts of Atlanta in America's south, a dark sorrow shared by two families. On May 26th, a Friday morning, paramedics called to this home at 6:09 a.m. Dustin Manning was dead. Less than an hour later, half a mile that way, the same situation, Joe Abraham found dead on the floor. Two teenagers, childhood friends, and now victims of the opioid crisis.
DAVE ABRAHAM, FATHER OF JOE ABRAHAM: I started yelling, and yelling, and yelling, Joe, Joe, wake up, man.
K. ABRAHAM: As I walked through that door, it was just almost surreal. He was on 911 on a phone call. I just came back to him, I said we can't fix this.
D. ABRAHAM: When I opened the door, he was crouched over on his bed. It looked like he was tying his shoes almost.
L. MANNING: I went over to him. And I touched him and he was cold.
KINKADE: Dave and Kathy Abraham and Greg and Lisa Manning share the same pain. Their families torn apart, their sons, teammates in little league. Boys started dabbling in drugs in middle school.
[01:45:12] What drove him, do you think, to the drugs?
L. MANNING: He told us that the drugs was what gave him the out. It made him not feel whatever the depression was making him feel.
G. MANNING: They're given these opiates to kids who are getting their wisdom teeth out before they know it, they're addicted.
KINKADE: Both of the parents got their sons into treatment centers. The night before they died, Dustin was at a treatment while Joe was at a friend's place.
KINKADE: So, just to be clear, the boys went out together the night before but it appears that they may have bought these drugs by the same dealer.
D. ABRAHAM: Exactly.
K. ABRAHAM: Yes.
KINKADE: So, it looks like the same pill, essentially, the same wrapping.
D. ABRAHAM: Yes.
K. ABRAHAM: Yes.
KINKADE: Toxology reports found both teens ingested a toxic mix of heroin and fentanyl which can be lethal in small doses.
Do you know how much fentanyl it took kill him? Just explain it for us.
G. MANNING: Well, according to the coroners, the amount that was in his system was about three grains of salt. That's the equivalent of that.
KINKADE: And it happened pretty quickly.
L. MANNING: They said within about 20 to 30 seconds after he sniffed it, it was -- he was gone.
K. ABRAHAM: This is happening to middleclass America. I never thought that I'd never get to see him grow old. You know, it's just the -- it's not the natural order of things. And that's been a real hard pill to swallow.
KINKADE: Lynda Kinkade, CNN, Atlanta.
VANIER: And for more on America's opioid epidemic, visit our Web site, cnn.com/opioids. We're back after this. Stay with us.
[01:50:49] VANIER: Some 45 million people in the North Eastern U.S. are under a flashflood watch threatened by a powerful storm heading into New York and New England. And thousands have already lost power. Now, Meteorologist Karen Maginnis has joined us. She's going to tell us more about that.
KAREN MAGINNIS, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: Yes, this is really an amazing system. It's kind of an amalgamation of a couple of things that have come together, but I want to show you. We have tens of millions of people across the northeast and New England that are impacted by this. With high winds, heavy rainfall. All right, you're used to hearing that. But the winds have been gusting in some areas up to 100 kilometers per hour in some cases. And the worst-hit areas, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and into Eastern Massachusetts. As a matter of fact, the police services there are saying if you don't have to go out in this, don't.
They're expecting an additional perhaps 50 to 100 kilometers in some of these areas. Look, the wind forecast, it looks reasonably benign. But as we go towards the afternoon, it looks like those wind gusts are going to be tapering off a little bit more, but it's really been pretty ferocious out there. We've had numerous reports of high winds bringing trees down, bringing power lines down, localized street flooding. Already about a quarter of a million people in this northern or Northeastern United States region reportedly without power. I dare say there are many more people than that because there are a lot of rural areas that probably perhaps have not reported just yet. Some of the worst-hit areas out on the cape, out in Massachusetts.
All right. Across Europe, we've had some high wind reports as a powerful storm system makes its way towards the eastern. You can see some of the damage in Germany. That storm system is exiting into western sections of Russia. But on the back side of this, still very gusty. Coastal areas of Poland might expect as much as 100-kilometer- per-hour wind, but we're looking gusty winds also into Scotland and into Northern Ireland as well as into Ireland. Milder temperatures across Spain and into France, in our forecast, but wow, what a powerful system that we saw, not just in the U.S. but also in Europe. And we're not finished just yet. I dare say some of those workers trying to get to the airports in the northeast, New York, LaGuardia, Newark, they're going to have a heck of a time during the morning commute hours.
VANIER: All right. Karen Mginnis is following that for us. Karen, stay with us, because I know you have strong feelings about butter.
VANIER: And there is such a thing in France as a croissant crisis. That's not even a joke. French chefs and home cooks are not amused. There's not enough butter to go around in France. So, how did we get to that? Jim Bittermann explains.
JULIA CHILD, CHEF: Now, here comes a very important step which is softening the butter.
JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anyone who remembers Julia Child whacking the daylights out of a stick of butter on her T.V. show, "The French Chef" also will know she wasn't angry at it, she loved the stuff. Saying as the French often do, "With enough butter, anything is good." But as chefs here seem to be treating their butter better these days, it's because there is not enough.
CHRISTOPHE VASSEUR, BAKER: When you -- we ask to the supplier, we want to buy 200 kilos of butter, they answer maybe 150 but not 200.
BITTERMANN: And a butter shortage in a nation that consumes more butter than any other in the world, eight kilos or about 18 pounds per person per year, a shortage is a real crisis.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Cooking without butter, eating without butter, it's unthinkable for me.
BITTERMANN: But don't blame these guys, they've been doing their job. It's more a question of how the government has churned the butter market over the past few years, spreading milk subsidies to thickly and then thinning them to next to nothing. And as a consequence, supplies have gone up and down while prices have gone down and up. A ton of butter now costs more than double what it did in the early part of this year.
Christophe Vasseur who each day turns out a thousand croissants and other leafy pastries at his Paris bakery has had to pass along the increased cost to his customers. A croissant is 10 cents more today than it was in September.
VASSEUR: The second pile of butter we're going to put later --
[10:54:59] BITTERMANN: Because 30 percent of the content of one of those pastries is pure butter. Vasseur believes part of the increased appetite for butter stems from new health studies which have improved the product's fatty image.
VASSEUR: Everybody now is saying, oh, we should have butter on a daily diet a little bit. But on the daily life it means that the demand is exploding. And on top of that last explanation, some new markets opened like China, like Southeast Asia, like Japan.
BITTERMANN: But improving the butter situation is a slippery challenge, especially when the end of the year approaching when the French really chew their fat.
Perhaps to avoid a run-on dwindling supplies, something that could lead to a butter meltdown, the government has been trying to be very reassuring about the situation, saying it has it in hand and that supplies will be back to normal before the holidays. But professionals are not so sure, and some are taking things into their own hands.
Something Vasseur is happy to show you in his refrigerator.
VASSEUR: So, usually, I ordered every week, I receive like two or three. So I had to order for two months, because I don't know whether in two weeks' time, they're going to be able to supply me, so I --
BITTERMANN: Observers here say it's just unthinkable that butter shortages might lead to rationing for the holidays. As one headline writer put it, "sacre bleu." Jim Bittermann, CNN, Paris.
VANIER: OK. Stay with us. You'll be with Natalie Allen after the break.