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World Headlines; John McCain Dies at 81; U.N. Issues Report On Rohingya Abuses In Myanmar; Family Reunions; A Final Curtain Call For Neil Simon. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired August 27, 2018 - 03:00   ET

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


[03:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN HOST: The legacy of the U.S. Senator, John McCain on the world stage. Better known as the maverick, we look at his role and impact on U.S. Foreign policy.

ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN HOST: In Florida, a gunman opens fire in a crowded videogame tournament. What we are learning about the shooter and the investigation.

HOWELL: And friction within the Vatican. The pope refuses to address an archbishop's call for him to step down over the sexual abuse scandal.

CHURCH: Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us here in the United States and of course all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church.

HOWELL: And I'm George Howell, from CNN world headquarters in Atlanta. The news starts right now.

In the United States, a great deal of mourning. The loss of a political giants and an American war hero.

CHURCH: Senator John McCain died Saturday after a lengthy battle with brain cancer. His final moments was spent at his home in Arizona surrounded by his family.

HOWELL: Flags across the United States are flying at half staff in honor of Senator McCain. You see the White House here, the flag lowered, remembering him.

CHURCH: People will have several opportunities to pay respects to McCain throughout this week. CNN's Kyung Lah reports.

KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Senator John McCain remembered for being such a prominent national figure was Arizona's favorite son and it is here in his home state that the memorials will begin. They start on Wednesday. The flags here at the state capital have already been lowered and it is here at a private ceremony in the rotunda that the memorials will begin.

For six hours he will lie in state here at the Arizona State Capitol. The public will be able to come in to bid their farewells to their senator. On Thursday morning, there will be a public memorial service at a Phoenix Baptist church and then he departs for Washington. On Friday, the Senator will lie in state at the U.S. capitol rotunda.

On Saturday, a national memorial service at the National Cathedral. And then on Sunday, Senator McCain will be laid to rest at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. It is there where he began his military life, his public service and where his body will find its final resting place. Kyung Lah, CNN, Phoenix, Arizona.

CHURCH: So, let's get some perspective on the legacy of John McCain. We are joined by Scott Lucas, professor of international politics at the University of Birmingham. Thank you so much for being with us.

SCOTT LUCAS, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM: Good morning Rosemary.

CHURCH: So, with the passing of John McCain, America has lost a hero and a fearless politician who was never afraid to question his own party's stand on various issues. What does this mean for the country and who might fill that void?

LUCAS: So many great questions. Let me start for a moment with John McCain because I need to be honest with your viewers. I've got very mixed feelings about John McCain's policies that he pursued. I would disagree with many of them, both domestically and American foreign policy. I think there are a few things about John McCain that I note.

The first is that he did change his positions, and he changed positions not be a maverick, but because he thought it was right to change positions. Say for example, he opposed Barack Obama's Obamacare in 2010, but last year when the Trump administration tried to kill it off, he saved the program because he said there was nothing to replace it.

He was castigated by many Republicans, not just Trump for doing so. He used to be a supporter of the hardest (inaudible) anti-immigrat1ion measures for example in Arizona. But in 2013, he looked for a way forward with immigration reform, reaching out across the aisle with Democrats to try to pursue that, an issue that we're still battling with five years later.

And I think the second thing about John McCain is, he could be temperamental at times. He could be coarse in his language at times. He could be insensitive in comments about other countries at times, for example, about Iran or about the Middle East. You are almost universally hearing from colleagues or from journalists or from activists, that no matter what their political views, he treated with decency and respect.

And he wanted to hear from them. He wanted to hear from them even if they differed (ph) with them, to try to establish a dialogue on what could be done. And if there is something that America takes away from this, apart from commemorating both his strengths and his flaws, is that idea that we need to get back to that dialogue amongst all of us, not just politicians in the very near future. CHURCH: Right. Now, President Trump eventually sent out a tweet

offering his prayers and condolences to John McCain's family, but according to the "Washington Post," the president did this to avoid issuing an official White House statement praising john McCain as a hero.

[03:05:05] Why would Mr. Trump do that and what does it say about him and his leadership style?

LUCAS: Because Donald Trump despises John McCain. That is why he wouldn't utter his name even as he insulted him in the final weeks of his life for example, at campaign rallies. We can spend much time on why Trump despises John McCain. Personally, I think Trump is intimidated or was intimidated by McCain's intelligence, by his forthrightness. He hated the fact that John McCain was liked by so many people in the U.S. so he saw him as a rival.

That is why he said I don't like people who were captured and denigrated those five and a half years as a John McCain stunt as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam. Of course later on, Donald Trump just hated it when John McCain wouldn't follow Trump's line on all issues. McCain supported the Trump administration 85 percent of the time. But when he disagreed on healthcare, on immigration, then it became (inaudible) to Donald Trump.

You know, rather than focus on Donald Trump today or Donald Trump who last night tried to proclaim he was America's all-time favorite president because he's stung by the (inaudible), I would rather focus on McCain and I would rather focus on again, what we can learn from him while recognizing he was not perfect, because what we're going to need from politicians, from activist, from journalists, from all of us, is a way to repair the damage.

We're going to need from all of us a way forward, and we're going to need a way forward which is not based on insult or narcissism, but on an ability to work with us even if you think they might not exactly share your own views. Now, for at least today, Donald Trump is at the side of my thoughts. John McCain and others like him are at the center.

CHURCH: Scott Lucas, we thank you for your analysis and of course your perspective.

LUCAS: Thank you.

HOWELL: Now to the pope, wrapping up a weekend trip in Ireland and there, he asked for forgiveness for years of unchecked sexual abuse by members of the clergy.

CHURCH: Thousands of people gathered in Dublin's Phoenix Park on Sunday to see the pope say mass. He told the crowd, the church failed to provide abuse survivors with compassion, justice or the truth. But Pope Francis himself is facing claims from a former top Vatican official that he ignored allegations for years that a cardinal was abusing victims. HOWELLL: Let's get more on how the pope is responding to those claims

and the impact of his trip. CNN Vatican correspondent Delia Gallagher, live in Rome. Delia, the pope's apology though welcomed by many, the question now, do people feel that that approach, the words that he uttered, did it go far enough?

DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know George, throughout the weekend in Ireland we kept hearing over and over again that people didn't want to hear just words, they wanted action. They certainly got words fro the pope, words of sorrow and regret and asking for forgiveness as you mentioned, but the action part remains yet to be seen for many people.

And I think especially now, given the new wave of the Pennsylvania grand jury report in the U.S. and so on, there are still some unanswered questions for people from the Vatican in terms of how they are addressing this scandal. A scandal which frankly has been going on at least since 2002 with the Boston allegations. So I thin the short answer is, no George, that people are not yet satisfied with the response from the Vatican.

HOWELL: Also, Delia, let's talk about the allegation of this former archbishop that the pope knew about sexual abuse allegations against a cardinal in 2013 but the pope did nothing about it.

GALLAGHER: Well George, that was a real bombshell that the archbishop, the former envoy to Washington, D.C., releasing a statement, 11-page statement implicating Pope Francis and a number of other church officials for knowing about the allegations about Cardinal McCarrick. The pope did respond to a question on the plane returning to Rome last night. He said that he had read the 11-page document and here is what he told journalists.

He said, "Read the statement carefully and make your own judgment. I will not say a single word on this. I believe the statement speaks for its self. When some time passes, and you have drawn your conclusions, I may speak." So George, the pope really not confirming or denying the allegations and depending on whether or not you are a supporter of Francis, his response will be satisfactory or not.

Of course, supporters of Francis saying that perhaps the archbishop as a conservative, has an ax to grind with Pope Francis, but others saying, well, the allegations are simple enough to respond to if the pope wanted to.

[03:10:03] So right now, we'll l have to see whether or not the pressure builds from within the church really regarding these allegations or whether people are satisfied with Pope Francis' response, George.

HOWELL: All right, Delia Gallagher, live for us in Rome. Delia, thank you.

CHURCH: Mark Healy is a member of Ending Clergy Abuse, a global wide group with abuse survivors and activists and he joins us now from Dublin, Ireland. Thank you sir for being with us. MARK HEALY, ENDING CLERGY ABUSE: (Inaudible).

CHURCH: Now, as a survivor yourself, what is your reaction to Pope Francis refusing to say a single word about this letter from a former archbishop about the pope allegedly covering up abuse in the church?

HEALY: I think the pope is on the run. I think he is firefighting and he has been firefighting since his major gap (ph) back in January when he was leaving Chile with this (inaudible). All is infamous, all his lies, all his (inaudible). I think it's really a response or a comment that should be directed towards the church and the hierarchy.

It is they who are covering up, concealing, and lying to everybody about what's really has gone on in the past and what is going on to address it. Pope Francis has taken his name from a saint whose prayer is all about action. This pope is not living up to any action. He's on the run and I think now it's a house divided and it is going to fall.

I think these allegations raised against him 'and his knowledge of McCarrick clearly show that there is so much happening in respect of what needs to be said about their knowledge of the abuse scandal itself, that they don't know and can't get their messages straight. They are now in-fighting. This is very serious.

This is the beginning of the end as I see it. And certainly we in ECA are calling for a new paradigm, a new discussion so that we can actually get to the bottom of what are the injustices that so many survivors worldwide have had to suffer and endure from this particular institution.

CHURCH: I want to talk to you about the action you are calling for in just a moment, but I want to get to, you know, the fact that the former archbishop did not offer any evidence to support his accusation and we do not know what his motivation may be for going public with these accusations.

Some have suggested that he is a conservative and this is his way of attacking Pope Francis. The pope though says the letter speaks for itself and people should make their own judgment. So what is your judgment when you look at the wording of that letter?

HEALY: Well I have to say, I not seen the wording of this 11-page letter. I have been reading about what has been this disclosure and his calls for his resignation. My response to that is certainly. There needs to be a robust response to the points raised by this particular cleric or hierarchy of figure by the pope. And the pope is not going to discuss, I think, these matters in public because then other revelations will certainly come of this.

So, you know, there is more in this story and there certainly, my belief is the accusations are true and that there was widespread knowledge about McCarrick.

CHURCH: I mean, one would think that if, you know, if they were not true, he would say that straight out but it is very difficult to make any judgment at this point, but I want to go back to the question of action because many Catholics have called for less words and more action and some in America want the bishops to resign. What action would you like to see the church take in response to this abuse now?

HEALY: The setting up of a forum in which we can have a truth and reconciliation worked out, and it has to be on an international (inaudible). But before all of that, we are looking for full disclosure and banks disclosure, all of church records. So that starts with what was gathered by his predecessor, Pope Benedict, he was head of the CDS. They're calling in for all sides (ph) globally to be sent to the congregation for the doctrine of the faith.

So we know that these files are in the Vatican. We also know this worldwide, in each of the diocese archdiocese, that there are files held there also, and not to leave as a major group, those of missionary orders of congregations, whose superiors also hold enormous data and information about their apparent members.

Later this morning, we will be revealing additional names that were revealed here in Ireland, 88 of them already, mand that number is going to be extended this morning here in Ireland. And ECA is going to release that with bishop's accountability or bishop accountability at 10:30.

[03:15:08] CHURCH: Mark Healy, thank you so much for talking with us. We do appreciate it.

HOWELL: Still ahead, another mass shooting in the United States. Investigators trying to learn why a man opened fire during a videogame tournament in Florida.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHURCH: Once again, a mass shooting in the United States has brought heartache to the state of Florida. This was at a videogame tournament in Jacksonville. Two people were killed when a young man opened fire and then killed himself. Police have identified him as a 24-year-old from Baltimore.

HOWELL: His motive is not clear but we do know that he was competing in a tournament which was being live streamed online. We are about to show you video of one of the games going on when the shooting started. We do warn you, you may find the video disturbing. You can hear the gunshots and at least one person reacting to being shot. Listen.

(BEGINV VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got a lot of good games going on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a lot. It's going to be hard to be (inaudible)

[03:20:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not tough out to (inaudible)

(GUNSHOTS)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (BLEEP) What you shoot me with? (GUNSHOTS)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: Chilling audio there. And we now know the identities of the two people who were killed. One was Taylor Robertson. He was 27-years- old from West Virginia.

HOWELL: And Eli Clayton, 22 years old, a former high school football player from California. Robertson's gaming sponsor tweeted that the men were great competitors and well-loved members of the Madden community.

CHURCH: Investigators have searched the suspect's family home in Baltimore.

CHURCH: Neighbors says that he was rarely seen. CNN's Polo Sandoval has this report.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Police in Jacksonville, Florida confirmed that the suspect behind the nation's latest mass shooting is a 24-year-old man from Baltimore, Maryland. Police confirming his identity, David Katz is among the three people dead at the scene. Katz allegedly opened fire at a videogame competition Sunday afternoon inside that Jacksonville restaurant.

Police also believe that Katz was a participant at this videogame tournament though they have not confirmed a motive, only saying that he used a handgun in the shooting. Investigators say Katz shot and killed two people. Nine others were also shot and are recovering from their injuries.

Police now asking the community for any video. They are already going over that footage that already has been circulating online. It shows the seconds before those shots rang out, offering a picture inside that game bar. Investigators also conducting a search of the suspect's vehicle as they try to piece together a motive in this case. Polo Sandoval, CNN, New York.

CHURCH: Joining me now to talk more about this disturbing story is John Matthews. He is a former Dallas police officer and the author of "Mass Shootings: Six Steps to Survival." Thank you so much for being with us.

JOHN MATTHEWS, FORMER DALLAS POLICE OFFICER: Good to be here.

CHURCH: Well the details of course are chilling, 24-year-old David Katz of Baltimore shot and killed two people, wounded nine others and then turned the gun on himself and took his own life. We don't know the motive just yet but how does something like this happen and what security measures needed to be in place at this tournament to try to prevent a shooting like this?

MATTHEWS: I can tell you, any public gathering, we need to put security measures in place that are going to mitigate the chances of a shooting like this happening. We've got two ways the public enters, check them, just like we check them at athletic events and high profile public facilities.

Anytime we've got the public getting together, we've got to check people, check their bags and make sure they are not bringing a weapon in. In this instance, we had a videogame conference going on and the shooter obviously knew about that.

I've watched many of these videos and the thing that disturbs me the most is that you watch the videos and these young people kept playing the games. They heard the shots. They saw the shooting occurring and they were playing the games. They were so focused, so intent and so the shooter really had the run of the whole place.

CHURCH: Yes, I mean, I don't think any of these video gamers had any idea what was actually taking place. Your book though is about how to survive a shooting like this. What should people do when they are taken by surprise by an incident like this, a lot of the time, not even realizing that a shooting is taking place?

MATTHEWS: Well, the first step is you've got to be situated and initially aware. You've got to be aware of your surroundings, and that was the sad thing about today as these kids were focused on qualifying for this tournament. They were focused on the game and you can hear the gunshots and see the games they were still playing. So you've got to be aware of your surroundings.

The first and best thing you can do is to exit the area. Get away from the gunman as fast as you can in a safe manner. That usually means not going out the primary exit by going out some secondary exit away from the gunman. If you cannot exit, the best thing to do is to find cover. Anything that will stop bullets, that's what you're looking for.

And it might be videogame machines. It might be furniture, soda machines, anything that will stop bullets. If you cannot find cover, find concealment. Concealment is anything that will hide you. If you can stay out of that shooter's line of sight, your chances for surviving an incident like this go up greatly.

CHURCH: Now, you do touch on this, but when you -- we talked about security, but what does America need to do to stop these mass shootings, and when will the politicians think enough is enough? What will it take?

[03:25:01] MATTHEWS: Well, I cannot speak for the politicians. You know, we've had these incidents for the last 30 to 40 years. And so they need to get together in Washington and figure out what they're going to do on a national level. But we as citizens, we've got to be prepared. We've got be trained.

We've got to know how to respond and we've got to beef up security at all of these events. Whether it is an outdoor concert or a videogame tournament or anywhere that large members of the public are getting together, we've got to make security a priority for all Americans.

CHURCH: John Matthews, thank you so much for talking with us. We do appreciate it.

MATTHEWS: Thank you very much.

HOWELL: Still ahead here on "CNN Newroom," remembering a maverick. We'll hear from those who worked closely with U.S. Senator John McCain and learn what it was that earned him that name, the maverick.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHURCH: Very warm welcome back to our viewers joining us here in the United States, and of course all around the world. You are watching "CNN Newsroom." I'm Rosemary Church.

HOWELL: And I'm George Howell wit the headlines we're following for you this hour.

CHURCH: Another mass shooting in the United States. Two people were killed in Jacksonville, Florida when a man opened fire at a videogame tournament on Sunday. Nine other people were taken to hospitals with gunshot wounds. The suspect identified as a 24- year-old from Baltimore, Maryland used a handgun then killed himself. His motive unclear.

HOWELL: Pope Francis says for now, he will not say a single word of claims that he knew of sexual abuse allegations against a cardinal for years and chose to do nothing about it. An archbishop made the accusation in an 11-page letter and is calling for the pope to resign on his way back to Rome from Ireland. Pope Francis told reporters the letters speak for itself and said people should make their own judgment.

ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN NEWSROOM HOST: The late U.S. senator, John McCain, will be honored for five days this week in three locations. McCain died Saturday after a battle with brain cancer. He will be honored in his home state of Arizona, then at the U.S. capital in Washington, then laid to rest at the U.S. Naval Academy in Maryland. Some of those who knew Senator McCain best spoke with CNN on Sunday.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SEN. JEFF FLAKE (R), ARIZONA: His voice was important -- has been for years, but never more important than the past year. That's one thing I expressed to the family. The gratitude of all of us, that they took such good care of John and made sure that he was able to speak, you know, in these last few months, when it was so important.

So, it's tough to have a voice like that silenced. But this voice for civility, to put the country above your party, these are things that he taught for years, and never more important than -- than the last year.

SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R), MAINE: Over the years, we had a wonderful relationship. And he was a real mentor to me. I think this is a part of John McCain that a lot of people don't know about, is that he took younger senators under his wing.

And, in my case, I -- he taught me so much about national security and foreign policy, even when we didn't always agree. I'll miss how much fun he was and how much I learned from him. He leaves a big hole in my heart. My condolences go out to Cindy. I talked to her just about 10 days ago. And I knew the end was coming. But he is irreplaceable.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), CALIFORNIA: It was just an honor to be in his presence and to watch the kind of respect world leaders had for him, to watch the way he struck up such an easy relationship demeanor with others, it was a treat to be around him.

STEVE DUPREY, FORMER SENIOR ADVISER TO JOHN MCCAIN: John faced his prognosis the same way he did everything else in life, matter of fact, straightforward, incredible sense of humor, but also every time we visited reminding us that your time on this earth is finite.

Nobody gets out of here alive, as he said to me, and that you should make every day count. He loved the year he had. He had some wonderful times with his family, got to see a lot of friends, did some really important work right up until the very end. That's just so John McCain.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOWELL: It is fair to say that John McCain made his mark not only in the United States but around the world. And to talk more about that, let's bring in CNN's Ivan Watson for a look at Senator McCain's legacy around the globe. Ivan, pleasure to have you with us there live in Hong Kong.

Looking back, some of Mr. McCain's most recent comments came to the contrary of the U.S. president's concept of America first, which to many world leaders translated as America alone. In fact, Mr. McCain constantly reminded allies that America is with them, despite the president tariff wars, his divisive rhetoric toward them, and cozying up to traditional adversaries.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. He had a very large international stature and posture for a U.S. lawmaker. He was very outspoken as well. You know, when it comes to the Middle East, for example. And listen, some of his suggestions, his policies were quite controversial.

In 2002, a year before the U.S. invaded Iraq and the aftermath of 9/11, McCain was out forcefully arguing for regime change in Iraq and continued to argue in favor of sending more troops and weapons to Iraq as that war got increasingly bloody.

And it wasn't until his memoir which came out this year that John McCain acknowledged that that was essentially a mistake. Here is a line from that book, "The Restless Wave," where he writes, quote, the Iraq war with its cost in lives and treasure and security, can't be judged as anything other than a mistake, a very serious one, and I have to accept my share of the blame for it.

A more recent conflict that being in Syria, I recall when I was covering kind of the refugee exodus from Syria in 2012 and 2013, John McCain was visiting refugee camps along the Turkish border with Syria, he was calling for Syrian rebels to be armed. [03:35:07] Remember, he made a surprise visit across the border into Syria with Syrian rebels, arguing that they should be armed because Russia and Iran were arming Assad forces. So, to make it fair, you should arm the Syrian rebels.

And time has shown that the rebels have been very much on the losing side of that conflict as well. That is somewhere he was at odds with the Obama administration. He was also a fierce critic of the Kremlin. That's something that put him very much at odds with President Trump, the leader of his own Republican Party.

When President Trump in a interview responded to a question, saying, hey, is President Putin a killer? President Trump kind of famously said, hey, do you think America is so innocent? Well, John McCain, he lashed at that on the Senate floor, showing images of Kremlin critics who had either been killed or alleged that they had been poisoned for their criticism of the Kremlin. Take a listen to this excerpt from that speech.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Putin is a killer. He is a killer. I repeat, there is no moral equivalent between that butcher and thug and KGB colonel and the United States of America. And to allege some kind of moral equivalence between the two is either terribly misinformed or incredibly biased. Neither -- neither can be accurate in any way.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATSON: So, George, while the president of Ukraine, which has been fighting a Russian-backed separatist movement for years in Eastern Ukraine, well, he has expressed his condolences and applauded John McCain's legacy.

Russian lawmakers have been on the opposite side of that. Russian state TV calling McCain a symbol of Russophobia and Russian lawmakers saying that he basically was left -- he had the mentality of the cold war. George?

HOWELL: Ivan, let's look back at the past as well. McCain fought in Vietnam war, a nation where he was captured. He was tortured. When he returned to United States, he was part of the push to normalize relations between the United States and Vietnam.

WATSON: This is remarkable because he says that he was terribly tortured. He wasted away to barely more than 100 pounds during his five and half years as a POW in Vietnam. He was captured while on a bombing raid over Hanoi and then he was shot down.

Despite that ordeal, he was a prominent voice in the U.S. Congress, lobbying for resumption of ties with Vietnam, lobbying for raising the U.S. embargo against Vietnam and made multiple trips back to Vietnam, back to the infamous Hanoi Hilton. It is now a museum. I have been there and I have seen among the displays there images of McCain when he was a prisoner. And then when he had returned, he applauded the Clinton administration's decision in 1995 to resume relations with Vietnam and was a booster of that. He has even been kind of applauded by some of his Vietnamese former prison wardens who have called him a good guy and said that they were able to view each other as opponents on the other side of the battlefield, but brought together by their humanity.

So, he didn't work just across partisan lines in the halls of Congress, but also in international affairs as well.

HOWELL: Ivan Watson with the worldview of John McCain, thank you so much for your time.

CHURCH: The United Nations has just published a long-awaited report on human rights abuses against Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims. We will have a live report for you on the other side of the break. Just stay with us.

[03:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHURCH: The United Nations has just issued a blistering new report about violence against the Rohingya in Myanmar. It says the country's top military general should be investigated and prosecuted for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Rakhine State.

CNN's Alexandra Field is tracking the story for us from Hong Kong. She joins us now live with the very latest. So, Alex, talk to us about what exactly is in this report because we've just told our viewers accusations of genocide and crimes against humanity. Will we ever see these top military generals prosecuted for these crimes?

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: These are incredibly strong words that we are hearing for the first time. In the past, we heard U.N. officials talk about how this was a textbook case of ethnic cleansing. But now, officially you are hearing this commission say that the top generals need to be investigated and also prosecuted for genocide.

Certainly, this is the kind of report that many were hoping for, those who feel there has been no justice for the Rohingya people. The report does make a number of recommendations, including that this now be referred to the international criminal court or to another tribunal that would be gathered to take on this case.

It also recommends that an independent body continue to do the work that this commission has done to try and unearth the crimes against the Rohingya people. Certainly, Rosemary, this has been extraordinarily difficult work to do because when you read through the analysis they put forward, they make it very clear that they have not had the participation of Myanmar's government.

They have not been allowed on the ground in Myanmar. They have had to rely on hundreds of interviews, videos, pictures, and satellite images to try to piece together what happened to the Rohingya people and who exactly perpetuated the crimes against them. They document of course in this report instances of indiscriminate killings of people who are trying to flee their villages, entire villages in Northern Myanmar being torched, they say by members of the military. Assaults on children, gang rapes, horrors that we have long heard about. But again, this is the first time that you're hearing this commission from the U.N., this fact-finding mission say that this amounts to genocide and that there should be prosecution for it, Rosemary.

CHURCH: And Alex, the U.N. report also says that Myanmar state counselor, Aung San Suu Kyi, did not use her de facto position as head of government or her moral authority to stop these events in Rakhine State. What could this mean for Suu Kyi?

FIELD: Rosemary, this is certainly part of the report that is sure to garner a lot of international attention. There has been fierce international criticism for Aung San Suu Kyi for failing to come out in greater support of the Rohingya people.

It was just even last week that the state councilor, the de facto leader of Myanmar, came out and talked about the real threat of terrorism that had led to the violence that erupted in Rakhine just a year ago as she had put it.

[03:45:01] So this will certainly garner a lot of attention. What the report says is it points out the fact that the civilian government and its leaders don't have the scope to control the military in Myanmar, but it does say that she could have used her moral authority to work to prevent some of the crimes against the Rohingya.

A little background for our viewers. We are recalling what happened just a year ago. We are talking about the Rohingya Muslims. They are a minority group in Myanmar which is a predominantly Buddhist country. There was an attack staged by Rohingya militants on border security post on August 25th of 2017.

The military responded in a way that is documented in shocking detail in this report. But this report says that the military certainly went well beyond the scope of any kind of campaign that it could have or should have conducted. The military has long contended that they are working to clear out militants who staged that attack.

What we now know, Rosemary, is that some 700,000 Rohingya Muslims fled what they call persecution, running for their lives over the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh in the months that followed that attack that was staged back on August 25th.

CHURCH: Alexandra Field, we thank you for that live report coming to us from Hong Kong.

HOWELL: A fine relation between North and South Korea brought together some family members separated for decades by the war on the Peninsula.

CHURCH: It was the second round of the reunions in the past week organized by the Red Cross. CNN's Paula Hancocks has more now of these very emotional and heartfelt visits.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This rounds of family reunions between North and South Korea is now over. It has been going on for a week. It ended on Sunday and more than 160 families where reunited over that time. But that is a tiny fraction of the amount of people that would like to be reconnected.

These are families many of whom were torn apart during the Korean war back in the 1950s. They haven't been able to get in contact with each other since many not even knowing until they knew they were part of this reunion whether their loved ones were even still alive on the other side of the border.

So 57,000 people were eligible to be a part of this just from the South Korean side. There was a very small fraction of that that were considered the lucky ones and able to go to North Korea to be part of these reunions. We have been seeing some extremely emotional images of families who have not seen each other in decades, reconnecting for just a very brief amount of time.

It is a short visit. It is over three days. But it is very choreographed. It is very controlled, just how long these families are able to -- to even be in the same room. So an extremely difficult time even for those who have been chosen that are considered the lucky ones. We heard from the Red Cross that they are hoping for more reunions.

The head of the Red Cross saying that -- he was saying as early as October, could potentially be a time for the next round of reunions. Now this is not been confirmed for the North Korean side. We spoke to the head of the Red Cross here in South Korea before he went to North Korea. He said he has been talking to his North Korean counterpart about this.

He wants more reunions. He wants larger numbers to be involved in this. And different ways of staying in touch even after they have managed to reconnect. Obviously a very difficult situation for tens of thousands of people, most of whom are in their 80s and 90s. So this is certainly the case that time is running out.

Paula Hancocks, CNN, Seoul.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHURCH: We will take a very short break here, but it is a curtain call for one of America's most beloved playwrights. We look back at the life and work of Neil Simon.

[03:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: I hope you're having a good faith start to your Monday. I'm meteorologist Pedram Javaheri. We are watching an interesting setup across portions of the Western United States and into parts of Southern Canada as well. How about some snow introduced back into the forecast here? Cool enough temperatures to support some higher elevations. More on that momentarily. But the 30s coming back into the forecast in places like Chicago, New York City. Atlanta climbs up to 32 degrees and wait until you see how much warmer it still gets after a brief shot of cool air that was in place over the last few days.

In places like Chicago, stays in the 30s initially at least in the forecast. In places like Boston after dropping (INAUDIBLE), back up to 36 degrees come Wednesday afternoon. So certainly summer is not over yet across some of these regions. Notice again some rough weather to go around across the Great Lake. Swim day on to Chicago there as we look for some afternoon storms to take place over that region.

But here we go. Winter weather advisories. Haven't said that for quite some time. Back in the place across northwestern portions of Wyoming. Northwestern area of Montana where it is above 2,000 meters. We are talking 20 centimeters of fresh snow coming down.

So, yes, the seasons begin to change and you kind of feel the initial bout across the northwestern corner of the U.S. and that all gradually of course shifts off toward the east -- across this region. But we are watching temperatures for now to begin to warm up across the Eastern U.S. while watching what is left of lane, nearly not much, but a rainmaker at this point.

HOWELL: One of America's most successful playwrights has died. We are talking about the Tony Award winner, Neil Simon. He was 91 years old.

CHURCH: The playwright and screenwriter will long be remembered for his popular comedies including "The Odd Couple," "Barefoot in the Park," and "The Sunshine Boys." CNN's Sara Sidner has more on Simon's memorable contributions to the stage.

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SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It didn't really matter who the stars were. If Neil Simon wrote it, people wanted to see it. Time magazine once called him the patron saint of laughter. A native New Yorker, Simon learned his craft in the early days of television, writing for comedian Sid Caesar.

NEIL SIMON, AMERICAN PLAYWRIGHT: We would string old jokes together until we finally learned how to create them.

SIDNER: Simon later wrote a play about TV comedy writers. "Laughter on the 23rd Floor."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to be a writer. I want to write comedy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A comedy writer? A big why. You really want to be like me? Like any of us?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: More than anything else in the world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Helen, you know us, we are disgusting. SIDNER: Many of Simon's plays were part autobiography. His 1961 broadway debut, "Come Blow Your Horn," was based on Simon's relationship with his older brother, Danny. Simon later remembered how worried he was when his that first play opened.

SIMON: If that play failed, then I go to Hollywood and write some sitcom for the rest of my life.

SIDNER: "Come Blow Your Horn" did not fail. It ran 677 performances and later became a movie starring none other than Frank Sinatra. A few years later, Simon's "Barefoot in the Park" helped make Robert Redford a star. And in 1965, Simon won his first Tony for "The Odd Couple," the story of two mismatched roommates, Oscar and Felix.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everything you do irritates me. And when you're not here, the things I know you're going to do when you come in irritates me.

SIDNER: "The Odd Couple" was a huge hit that inspired a successful movie and a long-running television series. And it firmly established Simon as broadway's most popular playwright. Other hits followed. "Plaza Suite," "The Last of the Red Hot Lovers," "The Sunshine Boys," just to name a few.

[03:54:57] No theater season seemed to be complete without another new play, sometimes a new musical featuring Simon's one-liners. There were screenplays too for movies like "Murder by Death" and "The Goodbye Girl" for which Richard Dreyfuss would win an Academy Award for best actor. Critics often dismiss Simon as a mere joke writer.

SIMON: Because I wrote a play almost every year. Twenty-seven plays in 30 years is almost every year. So anyone who writes (ph) that many place, it could be very hard for him.

SIDNER: Simon never gave up comedy. But as he got older, his scripts became more serious. And in 1991, three decades after his broadway debut, Simon won the Pulitzer Prize for a coming of age play that mixed comedy with sadness, "Lost in Yonkers."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I forgot my key.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you get in downstairs?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I used my spare key.

SIDNER: They named a New York theater after Neil Simon. But Simon's real monument is made of laughter. As new generation of actors continue to revive Simon's plays, that laughter will continue for many years to come.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOWELL: The laughter that meant so much to so many people. Thank you so much for being with us for this hour of CNN "Newsroom." I'm George Howell. CHURCH: And I'm Rosemary Church. "Early Start" is next for our viewers here in the United States. And for everyone else, CNN "Newsroom" continues with Hannah Vaughan Jones in London. Have yourself a great day.

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