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Hurricane Harvey Devastates Part of Texas; President Trump Pardons a Controversial Former Sheriff; North Korea Aims to Attract Tourists
Aired August 28, 2017 - 04:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Hi. I`m Carl Azuz. Welcome back to CNN 10, your objective explanation of what`s happening worldwide. Thank you for starting your week with us.
The U.S. state of Texas is reeling from Hurricane Harvey. Late last week, the storm strengthened much more and much faster than meteorologists originally expected. And it made landfall Friday night just north of the city of Corpus Christi.
Harvey was a category four storm when it came ashore. With maximum sustained winds of at least 130 miles per hour, it spawned off tornadoes and soaked parts of the state with rain.
Though Harvey lost strength once it was over land and was expected to be downgraded to a tropical depression last night, the drenching storm was moving slowly and the National Hurricane Center said catastrophic and life threatening floods were possible.
At least two deaths have been blamed on the storm. Entire neighborhoods have been flooded. Police told people who are trapped in their homes to take axes with them if they planned to climb up to their attics, so they could chop through their roofs to flag down rescue workers.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency expects the recovery effort in Houston to take years. The city is the fourth largest in the U.S. and it`s been flooded repeatedly in the past. And though it`s located around 170 miles from where Harvey made landfall, the storm`s rain and wind are expected to last the city throughout much of the week.
Every freeway in and out of Houston was underwater yesterday. Three thousand members of the Texas National Guard had been activated. Help,
rescuers and equipment are coming in from across the country.
We`ll have more on the effects of this storm throughout the week. For now, listen to one woman`s account of survival.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`ve been waiting for the Coast Guard helicopter to pick up some of our neighbors. Some of our neighbors are still back there on the rooftops. We saw the boat come by for us and we took the first chance we can get out of there.
REPORTER: So, you were pulled off your rooftop?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, into a boat, yes. That`s how high the water is.
REPORTER: And you were telling me a little while ago, you think there are about 10 feet of water in your neighborhood?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was up to our eaves and some houses, it was over. So, yes, it`s high.
REPORTER: You told me you`ve been paying attention to the warnings, you were -- but you felt comfortable. Why do you feel comfortable?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My neighborhood is full of multi-generations. They`ve been here since the beginning of the neighborhood in the `70s and they`ve been through Ike and other storms, and they were comfortable staying. I trusted them, not that I`m blaming anybody here, but -- yes, anybody is staying.
REPORTER: If they weren`t moving, you feel comfortable?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely. And I didn`t want to drive. I didn`t want to drive out to our family. That`s four hours away in central Texas.
I didn`t feel that was safe either. I didn`t want to be on the road. And now, look at me, we`re in the middle of I-45.
REPORTER: I never thought I`d be doing an interview here on the middle of a major interstate.
The idea that -- I think I give a sense that everyone in your neighborhood felt that you`ve been paying attention to the warnings. You didn`t expect to be flooded, much less 10 feet of water in your neighborhood.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right. When we all went to bed last night, the bayou was high, but not, unlike we`ve ever seen it before during high rain. So, we couldn`t predict this would happen.
REPORTER: And how many more people are back there? You said you saw a lot of people still in the roofs?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are several people on their roofs and wading through the water. There are many people back there still. The boats keep going. Thank God there`s people here to -- they`re volunteering to help us.
REPORTER: Is everything lost in the home?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, yes. You have no idea how terrifying it is until you`re actually there. You heard loud crashes and you have no idea what it is. It`s your refrigerator falling over on your dining room table. It`s bobbing in the water right now. It`s scary. It`s very scary.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ: Another breaking news story from Friday night involved President Trump`s pardon of a man who used to be a sheriff in the state of Arizona.
His name is Joe Arpaio. He served for 24 years as the sheriff of Maricopa County. Arpaio had called himself America`s toughest sheriff and he became widely known for his tough stance on crime for a controversial outdoor jail he established and for cracking down on illegal immigration.
But Arpaio was accused of racially discriminating against Latinos, and in 2011, a judge ruled that Arpaio`s office was unfairly stopping Latino drivers more often than non-Latino drivers, and that it was doing that on the suspicion that the Latinos were in the country illegally. The court ordered Sheriff Arpaio to stop the practice, but he said he`d done nothing wrong and would continue his work.
Late last month, a federal judge found Arpaio guilty of refusing to obey a court order. He was scheduled to be sentenced in early October, possibly to up to six months of jail time. But President Trump`s pardon, also known as executive clemency means the 85-year-old former sheriff will be forgiven of the crime and receive no punishment.
Why was he pardoned? The White House says that throughout his time as sheriff, Arpaio protected the public from crime and illegal immigration and that after 50 years of admirable service, he`s a worthy candidate for a pardon.
Arpaio, a Republican who`s strongly supported President Trump`s candidacy for office, said his conviction was a, quote, political witch hunt by holdovers in the Obama Justice Department. Prosecution of Arpaio`s case begun when Democratic President Barack Obama was in office.
Critics of the pardon called it unacceptable and said no one is above the law. And some spoke out against the timing of it as the pardon was announced while Hurricane Harvey was closing in on Texas and the focus of news coverage at that time.
This is the first pardon by President Trump and American leaders are given the power to make pardons by Article II Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ (voice-over): Ten-second trivia:
Which of these places is located between the Yellow Sea and the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea?
Taiwan, North Korea, Vietnam or Mount Fuji?
Located between these two bodies of water is the Korean Peninsula where you`ll find North Korea.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ: North Korea is promoting itself as a safe place for tourists and it`s hoping more visitors from neighboring Russia will infuse some cash in the North Korea`s economy.
Beginning next month, U.S. citizens will be banned from traveling there. The State Department says it`s concerned about safety for Americans and it`s telling any who are still there to get out before the ban takes effect. Humanitarian workers and journalists will still be allowed though.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the quite corner of the Beijing airport, check-in time for the day`s only flight to Pyongyang. It`s the usual crowd, a handful of North Koreans and dozens of foreigners, mainly tourists. Tour companies estimate around 5,000 Western tourists come to North Korea each year, including about 1,000 Americans.
(on camera): What is this here that we`re seeing?
NICHOLAS BURKHEAD, AMERICAN TOURIST: It`s a tourism visa booklet.
RIPLEY (voice-over): Nicholas Burkhead is a U.S. Army veteran from Virginia. He`s making this trip much sooner than expected.
BURKHEAD: Originally, I was planning to read the language book first and go a couple of years now, but I heard there`s going to be bans next month.
So, I thought I have to go in while I still could.
RIPLEY: Beginning September 1st, Americans will no longer be able to visit North Korea as tourists. The U.S. State Department announced a travel ban after the death of Otto Warmbier.
Authorities sentenced Warmbier to 15 years hard labor for taking a propaganda banner off the wall of his hotel. Warmbier suffered a brain
injury in North Korean custody and died six days after coming home. He was 22.
SIMON COCKERELL, KORYO TOURS: You`re a fine tourist until you break the law. And if you break the law, that country is cruel and it is merciless.
RIPLEY: Tour operators Simon Cockerell has made more than 160 trips to North Korea. One of his American clients, Jeffrey Fowle, was detained in 2014 for leaving behind a Bible. North Korea released him months later.
(on camera): What is your biggest fear about going in?
ALI KARIM, AMERICAN TOURIST: Well, you know, obviously, that they hold people
RIPLEY (voice-over): Ali Karim quit his job as a doctor in Washington, D.C. to travel the world. He says he wanted to visit North Korea before it`s too late.
(on camera): Have you told your family that you`re going there?
KARIM: Oh, yes, they know about everything.
RIPLEY: What did they say?
KARIM: Are you crazy?
RIPLEY (voice-over): This is the final group of Americans Koryo Tours will bring to North Korea, before the travel ban takes effect. Cockerell expects to lose up to 20 percent of is tour business, but he says the American tourists and North Korean locale lose much more.
COCKERELL: For anyone curious who wants to see what it`s like or a bit of what it`s like, that opportunity is now gone, and for any North Koreans who are interested in having them around, a portrayal of Americans, then that which their government provides them, that opportunity is now gone, too.
RIPLEY: North Korea insists it`s a safe place for anyone willing to come, even Americans, as long as they respect local laws. Meanwhile, the slow stream of tourists continues, at least for now.
Will Ripley, CNN, Pyongyang, North Korea.
AZUZ: All right. This is like a "10 Out of 10" buffet. Large schools of fish recently appeared off New York`s Long Island. So as some sandbar and dusky sharks showed up for an all you can eat extravaganza.
The kaleidoscopic patterns created by fish trying to get out of their way make this aerial video extraordinary. And for a casual observer who just happens to like sushi, it makes you want to do your fishing and your swimming at the same time.
You think there`d be more safety in grouper. But if you found yourself submerged in a wall to wall eye school of bait, you don`t want to fly your trout out of there really fast before you become a croaker.
I`m Carl Azuz and that`s "10 Out of 10", chum.