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Never Said Goodbye: Seven Decades of Separation in Korea; Newspapers Run Editorials Denouncing Trump's Rhetoric; World Mourns "Queen Of Soul" Aretha Franklin; Aretha Franklin Always Supported Detroit. Aired 2a ET

Aired August 17, 2018 - 02:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[02:00:09] GEORGE HOWELL, NEWSROOM ANCHOR, CNN: After days of public criticism, the Vatican finally responds. What it's saying about allegations of widespread abuse of children by Catholic clergy in the United States. A flare-up of deadly attacks in Afghanistan these past few days, we're tracking what's behind the uptick in violence there.

And later this hour, the life and legacy of a music icon, remembering the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. Live from CNN world headquarters in Atlanta, we want to welcome our viewers all around the world. I am George Howell. The CNN Newsroom starts right now. Around the world, good day to you, sorrow and shame, those words from the Vatican for what it calls horrible crimes in response to a report on the sexual abuse of more than a thousand boys and girls by hundreds of priests in the United States, abuse that went on for decades, mind you, and was covered up by the church.

For days, the Vatican remained silent, but pressure and criticism has mounted, and it's been building on the church to respond. CNN's Barbie Nadeau has details now from Rome on what the Vatican is saying and what action it might take.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARBIE NADEAU, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: The Vatican finally broke its silence two days after a Pennsylvania grand jury issued a damning report on rampant (Inaudible) sex abuse in that state. Over a thousand children were abused by more than 300 priests in crimes that spanned 7 decades. In the Vatican statement they used the word criminal and reprehensible in describing these crimes, calling for accountability to those who helped move priests around and keep the abuse going. Greg Burke, a Vatican spokesperson, made a statement. Let's hear what he had to say.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Holy Father understands how much these crimes can shake the faith and the spirit of the people in the pews. Pope also wants victims to know that he is on their side. He wants to listen to them so that this tragic horror will not be repeated.

NADEAU: Victims of clerical sexual abuse are demanding more than just words from this Pope. They want action. Pope Francis has in the past accepted resignations from complicit bishops and cardinals. But survivors and victims of clerical sexual abuse say they would like to see him demand resignations from those who helped cover up blatant clerical sex abuse. Barbie Latza Nadeau, CNN, Rome.

(END OF VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: Barbie, thank you for the reporting. The attorney general of Pennsylvania led the charge, challenging the church to take action now that it acknowledges that and validates, I should say that report, victims of priest abuse say their lives have been changed forever. We have a warning. What you're about to see is indeed disturbing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think the word god makes me think of him, and I just...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're being groomed to get used to a grown man's hands, you know, on you regularly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They targeted me because I was fatherless.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He would always have his hands on me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know that's a hard memory to have, the thought of an erection that you have in your life is at the hands of a priest.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who would believe me, a priest in 1948 or 47 would abuse you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I had no desire to have children, none, because of this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) I couldn't hold or hug.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I didn't feel comfortable at all. I still don't feel comfortable now in relationships.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[02:05:09] HOWELL: There is a lot of reaction to this important story. And you get more information, of course, from CNN's religion editor. You can check out CNN.com/belief for all of the coverage there. Now to Italy, at least 38 people killed in a bridge collapse will be honored with a joint funeral and national day of mourning this weekend.

We're also learning that an unknown number of people are still missing there days after this disaster. Following this story, our Ian Lee is live from near the bridge collapse with more details. Ian, what is the latest you've about those still missing?

IAN LEE, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Good morning, George. You know we're hearing that they still believe that there could be people under that rubble. But we haven't heard of any bodies or any survivors really in the last 24 hours. So they still meticulously move through this twisted steel and concrete, and we've been watching them over the course of the days remove a lot of this rubble and scrape down to the earth to see if there's anyone in the piles. You know just a little while ago, earlier this morning there was a

fire underneath one part of the bridge. The fire crews were able to get to it quickly and put it out. We don't know what the cause of that fire is, but just to give you the sense of the urgency of this operation. They were still searching for bodies and searching for people as that fire was going on.

So that is their number one priority, especially when we talk to the fire chief. There also have been some frustrations here, George, especially with the government and the company that was contracted to maintain this bridge, Autostrade. And we heard from the Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio. This is what he had to say about his frustrations.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We must ensure that everything done according to standards. And I declare that in this story Autostrade Italia cannot reassure us of anything.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEE: A lot of finger-pointing, George. Who is to blame for this? Meanwhile, these rescue teams continue to work, you know, something else that we noticed this morning is that the cars that were parked on the bridge really moments away from going over that edge to the ground below. Those cars have been removed this morning.

And as we see, rescue crews are on top of that bridge. There has been a lot concern about how stable that bridge is, but if they're able to remove those vehicles and crews that are on top, it must be at least stable enough to operate on and around.

HOWELL: I was being looking an image that you posted online, on social media showing one of those big trucks, just, you know, not a far distance away from the edge of that bridge, Ian. If you could also tell our viewers around the world about the memorial service planned for those who lost their lives.

LEE: You got it. You know this is such a huge tragedy for this community. A lot of the people we're hearing from rescue services, a lot of those who were killed were Italian. There were also some were European nationals. And so this is really a community and a country in mourning. And so you're going to have this weekend on Saturday, this national memorial, these funerals that are taking place to honor those dead.

But also, you know, have that hope. That hope is fading that there could still be people alive under there. And you know, we ask, you know, how could someone possibly survive a fall like that about 150 meters. And they say though that these rescue workers have worked in earthquake regions.

They found people a week after the accident has happened. So they say they have that hope, and they really can't operate without that hope. And if that gives them that urgency, but meanwhile, you're right. You know people are mourning those dead and hoping that if there are people under there they are alive, but if they aren't (Inaudible) too many people still trapped.

HOWELL: CNN's Ian Lee live for us. Thank you for the reporting, Ian, and we'll keep in touch with you. Fans around the world are giving Aretha Franklin respect every way they can. Her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is now a shrine. Flowers, photos, notes, even a little red crown for the Queen of Soul. The Apollo Theater in New York City's Harlem has long considered itself Aretha's home.

She first performed there as a teenager. In the early 1960s, the mood between the Apollo landmark are key, it is festive and joyful as the crowd sings along to Franklin's (Inaudible). Mariah Carey posted a photo of herself with Franklin. She wrote you are my inspiration, my mentor, and my friend.

[02:10:01] Even diplomats weighed in. Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright called Franklin an incredible ambassador for American values and culture. Aretha Franklin had a golden voice. She had incredible range. She discovered it while singing at a church. My colleague Jake Tapper looks back at her life and her legacy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAKE TAPPER, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: She performed for popes, and Presidents, and kings. Aretha Franklin, born into poverty in the Jim Crowe south in 1942 defied the odds to become a legendry voice of empowerment for those too often silenced. Franklin provided the soul- stirring music that helped carry Martin Luther King Jr. and his family through the civil rights movement's worst moments.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was behind Dr. King, and I was a very young girl.

TAPPER: Today, civil rights icon and long time congressman John Lewis expressed his gratitude.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) of our time. Aretha inspired all of us with her unbelievable (Inaudible) and ability to make us smile (Inaudible) to be happy.

TAPPER: Her demand for respect in 1967 became a rallying cry for women worldwide. The hit was perhaps fittingly an adaptation of a man's lyrics. Franklin's revision to Otis Redding's words now iconic.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Inaudible) I thought I should spell it out.

TAPPER: Franklin seemed fearless as she created unofficial anthems for all.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you do if you forget a lyric?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I keep stepping.

TAPPER: Her career-defining swagger inspired fans to find their own confidence. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey.

TAPPER: When America's first black President took an oath to lead the nation, her voice again provided the sound track. Barack Obama was the third President to request her presence at his inaugural. The reaction to her house-shaking national anthem at the 1992 Democratic convention perhaps summed it up best.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If that didn't make you patriotic, nothing will.

TAPPER: The Queen of Soul earned her crown by scoring 20 number one hits on the Billboard RNB Charts. But if you call Aretha Franklin a diva, take note of her definition.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My definition of a diva would be singers who give back to the community, who tithe to their churches, who are supportive in any way that they can be outside of theatrics.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[02:15:10] HOWELL: Welcome back to Newsroom. I am George Howell. The Pentagon is tracking China's military growth, and they say it is substantial. The U.S. Military released its newest report. It says China's air force is making some moves that could work against U.S. interests. CNN's Ryan Brown has details for us.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RYAN BROWN, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: China's developing a fleet of long range nuclear-capable bombers that could potentially target the United States. That's according to a new report released by the Pentagon. Now, the report says that China's increasingly training its pilots and bomber crews to fly longer range missions out into the western pacific with the goal of being able to eventually conduct operations against the United States and its allies.

Now, some of this is also strategic messaging, a report says. China trying to send messages to countries in the region that its military is more capable and more ready to act. Now, the report notes other areas where China is boosting its military capabilities, particularly in space.

It says that China developing missiles, lasers, and outer space robots that could be capable of targeting U.S. satellites, something that the United States military cited as a reason why it wanted to pursue the Trump Administration's space force. Now, the report also says China is expanding its reach in areas outside of the pacific, establishing a military base in Djibouti and looking at future military bases in places like Pakistan.

The United States has long been concerned about China's military activity, and this report is just the latest in a long line of documents that the U.S. has put out, sighting its concerns about Beijing's activities. Ryan Brown, CNN, The Pentagon. (END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: Ryan, thank you. And that big military parade the U.S. President wanted is now on hold. Mr. Trump floated the idea after watching the massive (Inaudible) day parade in Paris. One on veteran's day in Washington was in the works, but Thursday the Pentagon put the breaks on it for now. It said maybe next year. The American Legion said the money would be better spent, fully funding the Veteran's Affairs Department.

Now to Afghanistan, where a rash of deadly military attacks is raising alarms from Kabul to Washington, the very latest assault, gunmen attacked the training center for the Afghan intelligence service in the capital city. Two attackers were killed by security forces after an hours-long standoff. On Wednesday, a suicide bomber detonated explosives inside an education center, also in Kabul.

And officials say 34 people were killed and dozens more wounded. ISIS is claiming responsibility for both attacks. And earlier this week, the Taliban -- the forces, they tried to over run the city of Ghazni, south of the capital. Hundreds of people were killed there. CNN's Ivan Watson is following the story live in Hong Kong this hour.

Ivan, according to the United Nations, 2018, this year could be one of the deadliest years ever for civilians of this conflict.

IVAN WATSON, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Yeah. The deadliest since they started tabulating civilian casualties in the first six months of each year. So yeah, this is a deadly, bloody, fighting season in Afghanistan's long history of conflict. You have these two attacks in Kabul that now ISIS is taking responsibility for on Wednesday and Thursday.

ISIS and the Taliban frequently attack targets, usually government targets in the city. There were a lot of teenagers killed when this attack took place on Wednesday at this educational center where teenagers were learning English. And the ministry of health saying about 40 people killed in that attack alone. Now, the President of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani, he's just tweeted that he traveled to the city of Ghazni, which is about 150 kilometers southwest of Kabul.

[02:19:52] And that is coming after the Taliban (Inaudible) assault on Friday and succeeded in taking over parts of that city for days, including the police headquarters. And it took days of fighting to get them out of there. The United Nation says that they're still trying to figure out getting electricity back to the city.

There are many, many shops and properties that have been damaged. There have been even reports of children trying to find their parents in the aftermath of that carnage. Now, you alluded to the death toll, and that's particularly tragic because the U.N. says that in the first six months of this year, there were at least 1,692 civilians killed.

And that is the deadliest first 6 months of any year since the U.N. started calculating this some 10 years ago. And it gives you a sense of the annual drumbeat of death and loss. The U.N. saying that the majority or the people, the civilians killed, it is as a result of improvised explosive devices planted by the different insurgent groups by suicide attacks.

And also some 20 percent of civilian casualties caused by pro- government forces as well. This is a long war, and it is not apparently ending any time soon.

HOWELL: All right. Ivan Watson live following this story in Hong Kong. Thank you. Former Trump adviser, Omarosa Manigault-Newman released another audio tape on Thursday. On that tape, President Trump's daughter-in-law, Laura, the wife of Eric Trump offers Newman a job with the Trump re-election campaign. Now here's the salary, $15,000 thousand a month, the job, to do some speeches and public appearances. Keep in mind that was after Newman had been fired from her White House job.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Inaudible)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, god, no.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We need every positive, right? We're talking about like 15K a month. Let me see what that adds up to.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah, that's 180,000. Does that sound like a fair deal for you?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: One hundred eighty thousand. You heard it there. Newman calls it hush money and a way to silence her, the money, again, coming from small donors. Laura Trump says that she is, quote, absolutely shocked and saddened by her betrayal and calls the tape a fraud. And there's this five word tweet from Laura Trump's husband, Eric.

Quote, I truly hate disloyal people. CNN has learned President Trump is eager to strip more people of their security clearances in the coming days. And sources tell the Washington Post it's part of an escalating attack on critics or those who played a role in the Russia probe. It comes as the President faces harsh backlash over revoking security clearances of CIA director John Brennan. Our Jeff Zeleny has this report on it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Inaudible)

JEFF ZELENY, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: President Trump folding his arms and biting his tongue today, not answering questions about his retaliation against former CIA Director John Brennan, who has blasted him as unfit for office. At an hour long cabinet meeting...

PRES. DONALD TRUMP (R), UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: The past administration, I won't say who. ZELENY: The President not mentioning or explaining the decision to

revoke Brennan's security clearance and review those of nine others critics.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The leadership of...

ZELENY: But Brennan, the intelligence chief under President Obama who served the administration to both parties is firing back. In a New York Times op-ed Brennan writing Mr. Trump clearly has become more desperate to protect himself and those close to him, which is why he made politically motivated decision to revoke my security clearance in an attempt to scare and silence others who may dare to challenge him.

As for the Russia investigation, Brennan added, Mr. Trump's claims of no collusion are in a word hogwash. He pointed to this moment from two summers ago when candidate Trump said this.

TRUMP: I will tell you this. Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.

ZELENY: That same day, Russians attempted to hack into Hillary Clinton's server, according to documents in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. A day after White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders announced a security clearance move.

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, PRESS SECRETARY, WHITE HOUSE: Consultations with Mr. Brennan are now outweighed by the risk posed by his erratic conduct and behavior.

ZELENY: She kept silent at the cabinet meeting. Neither her or nor any administration official spoke about the decision today. The President contradicted the claim that it was simply an effort to protect national security, telling the Wall Street Journal, the Russia investigation was on his mind.

I call it the rigged witch hunt, and it's a sham. And these people led it, the President told the paper. So I think it's something that had to be done. This unprecedented move praised by some Republicans, while also criticized by national security officials of both parties.

[02:24:57] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought it was just kind of a banana republic kind of thing, and you know, I don't like it. I think it's inappropriate.

ZELENY: So the President who rarely holds back his criticism has been silent on all of this, not explaining his decision, and also not explaining the contradiction if he was trying to settle political scores, or simply trying to protect national security. Interestingly, he's still not answering questions, not even talking about it, even on Twitter. Jeff Zeleny, CNN, the White House.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: Jeff, thank you. Twelve former senior intelligence officials are coming to the defense of the former CIA Director, Brennan. In a letter signed by six former CIA directors, five former deputy directors, and a director of national intelligence, they called the revocation of Brennan's security clearance baseless, political, and an attempt to stifle free press.

In addition, the man who oversaw the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden offered a stinging rebuke of the President's actions. Retired Admiral William McRaven offered to give up his security clearance in solidarity with Brennan, saying Trump has, quote, embarrassed us, humiliated us, and divided us as a nation. In an open letter to President Trump, he said like most Americans, I had hope that when you became President you would rise to the occasion and become the leader of this great nation.

Adding, the criticism will continue until you become the leader we prayed you would be. You're watching Newsroom, and still ahead, Nearly 100 South Koreans are getting a chance to reunite with loved ones in the north. Meanwhile, the hundreds of thousands of people left behind would settle for a mere letter or a photograph. We'll have those stories for you ahead.

Also, we are closely following what's considered the worst flooding in southern India in nearly a century. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HOWELL: Welcome back to our viewers around the world. You're watching CNN Newsroom. I am George Howell with the headlines we're following for you this hour. The Vatican has expressed sorrow and shame over sexual abuse spelled out in a damning report by a grand jury in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. In it, hundreds of priests are accused of criminally assaulting more than a thousand children over 70 years.

The Vatican says there should be accountability for both abusers and those who permit abuse. A new Pentagon report says that China is actively developing a fleet of long range bombers with nuclear capabilities. U.S. Military officials believe these aircraft could be ready to go in the next 10 years. The Pentagon also says China's air force is likely training its pilot for missions targeting the United States. Tributes and condolences are pouring in for a music legend, Aretha Franklin. She died Thursday after battling cancer. The Queen of Soul exit capitulated to stardom in 1967 with Otis Redding's song Respect. Eventually, she have -- she have 20 number one songs to her credit along with 18 Grammy Awards. Aretha Franklin was 76 years old.

A mother in South Korea and a son in North Korea. They spent nearly a lifetime apart separated by war and the demilitarized zone between the two countries. But in just a few short days, they'll finally get the chance to see each other face to face. Emotional reunions. Our Paula Hancocks has that story for us.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Lee Keum-seom is 92 years old, oblivious to the crowds in the Seoul Shopping Center. She has an outfit to buy for a very special occasion. On Monday, Lee will meet her son for the first time in 68 years. Lee and her husband were among many North Koreans who fled South as the Korean War took hold in the 1950. She recalls walking for days carrying her 1-year-old daughter.

Her husband carrying her son. She left the road to breastfeed her baby slipped and sprained her ankle. When she returned, she couldn't find her husband.

TEXT: I thought (INAUDIBLE) I ran into my brother-in-law. He said my husband had gone back to find me.

HANCOCKS: As the fighting caught up with them, Lee had to take a train, then a ship, and waited in South Korea for her husband and son to catch up. They never did.

TEXT: Whenever I woke up, I would take my daughter out to (INAUDIBLE) and sit on a rock. That was my spot and I would cry. I cried every day for a year.

HANCOCKS: Lee is one of 93 South Koreans who will be reunited with family members they haven't seen in decades out of 57,000 who had applied. These reunions happen only when the relations between the two Koreas are good. The last one was three years ago. It is an emotional and highly controlled three days at a mountain resort in North Korea.

TEXT: (INAUDIBLE) I don't remember what my four-year-old son would look like. Would it be OK to hug my son? He is over 70 years old now. When I see him, I'll call his name (INAUDIBLE) and hug him. That is the only thing on my mind.

HANCOCKS: (INAUDIBLE) is still waiting. He's one of thousands who can only wonder if their chance will ever come. He's 85. His two brothers, one older, one younger, did not manage to escape the North during the war. He has heard nothing about them since.

TEXT: At the very least (INAUDIBLE) I cried a lot. I left when I was 17. Isn't that a time when I should have been in my mother's care?

HANCOCKS: Paula Hancocks, CNN Seoul.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOWELL: Paula, thank you. Some 100 people have died in severe flooding and landslides in India's Southern State of Kerala. At least 100,000 have been evacuated in what is considered the worst flooding there in nearly a century, and forecasters are expecting more rain to come. More until Saturday. Let's bring in Jomey Joseph with her take on what's happening there. Jomey works for the charitable organization Catholic Release -- Relief Services with South India and joins us now by phone.

Thank you so much for your time today. First of all, tell us the situation bad as we understand and there is more rain to come. What does that mean for people there?

JOMEY JOSEPH, HEAD, CATHOLIC RELIEF SERVICES INDIA: Yes. Thank you. So they have been experiencing (INAUDIBLE) June 2018 who does not be reason effort. From August 8th, the petition began like very (INAUDIBLE) drain opening up the dam and overflowing to us. So as you said most of the people are in the camp (INAUDIBLE) and 155 relief camps have been opened in all 14 districts of Kerala. It is like almost 20 million people at the Kerala State, but this is not stopping.

[02:35:02] The India Meteorological Department has forecasted heavy to very heavy rain until Saturday and has issued a red alert for (INAUDIBLE) all transportation to Kerala has been stopped. There's no flight. There's no train and even traveling by road is very challenging and there's a lot of rough road due to landslide. So the been engaged -- sorry.

HOWELL: No, no, it's OK. I -- and I apologized. I didn't mean to interrupt. I was just going to say that as you're speaking we're looking at these images. We're seeing the massive flooding. We're seeing some of the landslides, and I did want to get your thoughts, Jomey, on what's being done for people who are still stranded in many of these areas?

JOSEPH: Yes. So (INAUDIBLE) and people station and a team was station (INAUDIBLE) Kerala State. There, we found a lot of families actually in the interior part of these state and not being able to reach because the road is cut-off of the base -- I mean even the boats are not available to reach there. So there are a lot of them are stranded and they're not been able to even access the relief camp. And especially with tribal population in these areas have been highly affected because they're all a group biggest like most economically (INAUDIBLE) so like I was talking to a few people.

They are saying that landslides are not very uncommon there. But then this flooding is highly unusual especially in the (INAUDIBLE) which they have never experience in their lifetime and most caused due to the opening of the dam and also was kind of -- so that has been a big concern for them. And a lot of people are taking shelter in churches or commonplaces like a community center or even related for sharing together.

But then the shelter situation is so bad that people are really having even difficultly. They're all in the top of them and so even for them to have like a good safety also becoming a challenge in this interior areas of Kerala.

HOWELL: Jomey Joseph on the phone with us giving us a sense of what's happening as you see these images of the massive flooding and the landslides that are taking place there in that part of India. Thank you so much and we'll keep in touch with you. Let's now bring in our meteorologist Derek Van Dam here. Derek, these pictures really tell the story.

DEREK VAN DAM, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. That also, George, and the rescuers who are battling this torrential rain as they're trying to bring people to safety. I mean hats off to them for the effort there because that is extremely challenging. You and me have been in those situations when that monsoonal rain sets in. It sets in very, very heavily. It's interesting to note as well, George, that the entire country of India, the monsoon season which we typically get during these months is down by 10 percent as a whole, but Kerala -- the State of Kerala is actually up by 30 percent.

So they've seen probably the brunt of the monsoonal rain and unfortunately has led to scenes just like this. Take this for example. We have three different locations in the State of Kerala that has had impressive rainfall totals within the past 72 hours. We've had nearly our entire months' worth of rain just in three days across portions of Kerala. I mean this is a significant amount of rain in a short period of time. No wonder we see these flooding scenes and when we talked about the displaced families and unfortunately the fatalities.

I mentioned just a moment ago that the entire country of India is down 10 percent or roughly nine and a half percent from their climatological average in terms of monsoonal rains. But the State of Kerala that is the exception. They are up by 30 percent, so significant amount of precipitation there. We still have orange alerts in effect for Kerala and the neighboring states. But look at little further to the north where Mumbai is located. We have red warnings in effect.

That means according to the Indian Meteorological Agency you need to take action, be prepared for the potential of flooding rains because as we notice in the general shifting winds and weather patterns, we see that rain is starting to move away from Kerala and settling in a little further towards the north again for areas near and around Mumbai. So we're going to start focusing our attention across that region as we head into the weekend and to early next week.

You can see the satellite loop has been active across Southern India, but it is starting to clear up ever so slightly. So maybe some good news there because we'll start to see those rainfall totals come down a bit as we go into the course of the weekend. You can see that the darker shades of orange and red are focused a little further to the north which isn't good news for the residents there. But of course, we need to see some relief in Southern India. Here's the weather forecast.

It is hot and sticky across the area. Rain continues from Mumbai all the way to the east coast there tonight. Temperatures in the upper 30s and just look at these astounding images coming out of there. Again, hats off to the rescuers because they are putting in a full on effort to save every single person and family that they possibly can from these devastating flood that some, George, are calling the worst.

[02:40:09] HOWELL: In almost a century. Well, all right. Derek, thank you. All right. Appreciate it. Here in the United States and from coast to coast, newspapers are denouncing the U.S. president's anti-press rhetoric and they're not the only ones. We'll explain ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HOWELL: A rare moment in the nation's capital here in the United States on Thursday when the Republican-controlled Senate unanimously passed a resolution reaffirming support for freedom of the press and asserting the press are not as the U.S. president puts it the enemy of the people. It is a direct rebuke of President Trump who repeatedly used his inflammatory phrases to attack the media and to undermine stories that he doesn't like, and the Senate wasn't alone.

Hundreds of newspapers across the United States ran editorials on Thursday defending a free American press. It was The Boston Globe that kicked off this initiative here in the United States and to get their perspective, let's bring in Alex Kingsbury. Alex, the deputy editor of the ideas section at The Boston Globe joining this hour in Boston. Thank you so much for your time, Alex. Let's start by hearing the president and his pastor marks of exactly how he feels about the American free press.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They are the fake, fake, disgusting news. They are the worst. Those very dishonest people back there, absolute dishonest, absolute scum. It's frankly disgusting the way the press is able to write whatever they want to write. They are the enemy of the people. I would never tell them, but I do hate them and some of them are such lying, disgusting people. It's true.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: What's disgusting and quite frankly corrosive are those comments about the American free press. Mr. Trump has been active since the publishing of these editorials in one of those, and we'll show them here. One of those tweets suggesting that he does want a free press. The other suggesting The Boston Globe is in collusion it says with other papers on free press. When you saw these tweets, Alex, your thoughts?

ALEX KINGSBURY, DEPUTY IDEAS EDITOR, THE BOSTON GLOBE: Well, listen, I would disagree with Mr. Trump's definition of collusion. Collusion is something that's done in secret between multiple parties and, you know, maybe at the Trump Hotel. This is a project that was done right out in the open. This was an open initiative by The Globe to reach out to news publications and other media outlets around the country and weigh in on the really alarming rhetoric that Trump has adopted recently.

Now, listen, you know, being anti-press has been Trump's brand for a long time, and being a critic of the press is something the press is fully equipped to deal with. But saying the press is the enemy of the people is another matter all entirely.

It's an alarming distraction or it's an alarming change from the past presidents of the United States. And something that frankly, the people on the Globe editorial board were alarmed with. And around the country, as well, we've seen other editorial boards weigh in and be very alarmed at what's going on.

[02:45:43] HOWELL: An attack on one is an attack on all. Meaning, that Mr. Trump, while he likes to single out the national media, the effects go well beyond that down to local newsrooms.

As you point out, many of these cases you see young men and women who are just trying to get started in their careers telling the stories of their communities. Their voices are also reflected in this with these editorials from newsrooms, small and large. KINGSBURY: That's exactly it and we didn't ask all these

organizations to publish our editorial or an agreed-upon editorial. We asked them to tell -- you know, what this rhetoric meant to them in their own words.

And that's what really leads to a granular picture of what journalism looks like in the United States in 2018. You had an editor from Iowa describing what it was like for an editor to be confronted with a man who walked into the newsroom with a gun and wanted to settle some score about something that had been written.

A conservative paper down in Mississippi, who wrote that their conservative founder who founded the paper knows what it's like to be an enemy of the people because he stood up to the KKK in the 60s.

These are -- these are very passionate people about what they do. They think it's patriotic, they're deeply committed to it, and they're deeply alarmed when they're -- when they're labeled a traitor or an enemy of the people in their own country by their own president.

HOWELL: Also around the world, let's talk about the impact of these corrosive attacks on journalists trying to get the story out in places where they don't want the story out. Places where their lives are in danger. Did the president's words give the green light for governments that despise a free press?

KINGSBURY: I mean, it's something that's absolutely concerning. Listen, the people look to the President of the United States as the leader of the free world. And what does it say to leaders in Ankara, or in Moscow, and Beijing, in, in all these places that it's OK to treat the press as a domestic threat?

That's alarming to people in our business no matter where they are, and we should note that the United States is one of the best places in the world to be a journalist because we're protected by the rule of law, were protected by a society that values what we do.

And to erode that, for Mr. Trump to erode that faith in what we do as a civic good is to endanger what we do, but it's also to endanger journalists around the world.

HOWELL: Alex Kingsbury, thank you so much for your time, joining from the Boston Globe.

KINGSBURY: Sure, happy to be here.

HOWELL: And still ahead, my interview with Aretha Franklin's nephew as he mourns her loss and reflects back on an incredible life and an incredible legacy.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [02:50:16] HOWELL: Let's talk more about Aretha Franklin's life with Vaughn Franklin. Vaughn, her nephew. Thank you so much for your time today and being with us.

VAUGHN FRANKLIN, NEPHEW OF ARETHA FRANKLIN: Thank you very much. I appreciate it.

HOWELL: It was the power of her voice. It was the heart on full display any time she sang for anyone lucky enough to hear her. Let's start by listening just to -- just a moment here of the Queen of Soul, your aunt.

First of all our deepest condolences to you, of course.

FRANKLIN: Thank you.

HOWELL: But watching her, growing up alongside her, seeing her hit these heights, what was that like?

FRANKLIN: It was an unbelievable feeling just to be in the presence of her while she was singing, it's just something you really can't describe. So many of her songs have so many different meanings, and it means so many different things to people.

But just being around here when she was singing, it's just -- it even now, it just makes my hair stand up in this watching the videos it's just unbelievable.

HOWELL: These past few months certainly, have been very difficult for the family.

FRANKLIN: It has. Yes, yes, it has. You know, we've had a chance to really spend some quality time with her. To include myself who -- you know, I'm based in Atlanta, but of course, I've gone Detroit, spent a lot of time with her. My cousin's there, Sabrina, and other family members. We had a chance to really surround her and give her the love that she gave us after our parents passed away.

So, it was nice just to be able to be there with her whenever she needed us and just help her through this difficult time.

HOWELL: Certainly, the world mourning her loss. Notably, her voice was so inspiring, especially during the civil rights movement. There's a clip that we want to play here where she talked about how she wanted to support Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during a very important time. Let's listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ARETHA FRANKLIN, SINGER AND SONGWRITER: When Dr. King came and came out in the early days of Selma and Rosa Parks, I told him that I wanted to go out and travel with him and sing for him. Because I had sung for my dad, and I'd like to sing for Dr. King, and what he is trying to do here, I appreciated what he was trying to do, bring people together. Was certainly, get parity in some way, and lighten up the discrimination and give people a chance to make a dollar. And so, my dad said if that was what I wanted to do, it was OK.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: Well, that clip from a never-before-seen CNN interview with a CNN original. But again, people like her inspiring so many who paved the way for all of us.

V. FRANKLIN: Yes.

HOWELL: Tell us more about her legacy.

V. FRANKLIN: You know, there -- there's so many things that you can say about what she's done before, what she has accomplished with the civil rights movement as support of Dr. King. And, of course, you know, her father, my grandfather (INAUDIBLE) Franklin.

You know, she's an amazing person. And I think, based on what she has done in her community, with the annual events that she held her at my grandfather's church. Her contributions to the different organizations -- charitable organizations that she valued so much.

So, I think through those things that she's done for people, the city of Detroit will help with her legacy as she -- you know, we move on.

HOWELL: And that's the other thing I want to talk to you about the city of Detroit. This was home for her, it's where she started, it's where she made her mark and continued to be part of her life. This is where she lived.

V. FRANKLIN: Yes, yes.

HOWELL: What did she mean to Detroit and what the Detroit mean to her?

V. FRANKLIN: Detroit meant everything to her. I mean, you can see it in her eyes, she loved Detroit, she really did, and she spoke very highly of Detroit. You know, during difficult times, you know, she -- some of her songs just brought life back into the city.

And as a result, you know the city thanked her by naming several streets after her within very prominent areas of downtown Detroit. So, just as much as she loved Detroit, Detroit loved her.

HOWELL: Vaughn, there is so many songs, I don't need to put you on the spot but was there one song that was your song that you -- ?

[02:55:04] V. FRANKLIN: Oh, Natural Woman.

HOWELL: Yes.

V. FRANKLIN: Natural Woman. And -- but she has so many great hits that really motivated people. If you just listen to her, the words for song, if you just turn on your radio, close your eyes, and just listen to the words, every song that she sang has a meaning, and it has a purpose, and it inspires a lot of people.

And, you know, she's inspired us as a family. I mean, she brought us together -- you know, she's taught us different things, you know, he's taught us how to value family. You know family is very important and you know, we're going to miss her, we'll definitely miss her.

HOWELL: Vaughn, we've covered a lot of topics here but if there was one thing that you would want the world because again the world is -- you know, certainly mourning, the world remembering at this moment. What would you want the world to remember about your aunt?

V. FRANKLIN: You know, the world knew her as the Queen of Soul. We knew her as aunty, aunt Ri, aunt Riri. She loved family, she always wanted family around her, and I was very, very important to her. When she was on the stage, she has performance, she had to entertain millions of fans.

But as soon as she stepped off that stage, she was an aunt, she was a mother, she was a grandmother, she was a very loving, a warm-hearted person that wanted people around her all the time.

And it was evident. It was evident even down to her final days you know she wanted family around her, and she knew that family was in her presence and -- you know, that meant a lot to us.

HOWELL: You know I heard earlier, just how she was also just an everyday person there in Detroit, if she's in the grocery store, he's an everyday person, but so transformative around the world.

V. FRANKLIN: Yes. Yes.

HOWELL: Vaughn Franklin, thank you so much for your time.

V. FRANKLIN: Thank you very much, and I appreciate it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HOWELL: Criminally and morally reprehensible by possibly the toughest language ever from the Vatican, condemning pedophile priests and telling victims the Pope is on their side.

A flare-up of deadly attacks in Afghanistan these past few days. We're tracking what's behind this uptick in violence.

And showing respect and reverence for the Queen of Soul. Aretha Franklin's incredible life and amazing career. Live from CNN world headquarters in Atlanta. We all welcome our viewers all around the world. I'm George Howell, the CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.