Two Emory University Students Killed in Bangladesh Terror Attack; Donald Trump's Possible Vice Presidential Picks Examined; U.S.



Attack; Donald Trump's Possible Vice Presidential Picks Examined; U.S.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch Criticized for Meeting Bill Clinton;

Green Algae Covering Water Off Florida Beaches; North Carolina

Possibly Revising Law Concerning Transgender People and Restrooms;

Details of New NBA Contracts Released. Aired 10-11a ET - Part 1>



[10:00:14] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We heard three really large gunshots. There were like reports all or people saying there was, like, an attack on the restaurant.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This neighborhood is one of the most if not the most secure neighborhood in Dhaka.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was a huge bomb blast which we heard.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a very posh neighborhood. It's always been very secure. Everyone is just stunned that something like this could happen here.


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everybody, I'm Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good to be with you. It's 10:00 here on the east coast, 7:00 out west. This is CNN Newsroom.

We now know that a student from Emory University from Miami, Florida, is among 20 civilians who were killed in that terror attack in Bangladesh.

Emery University released a statement a short time ago, saying that she was in Bangladesh visiting family and that their prayers go out to her family and her friends for strength and peace at this unspeakably sad time, also saying that they are offering counseling services for the community there at Emory who is feeling her loss right now.

But the drama that was unfolding after gunmen seized a cafe that's very popular with westerners in the diplomatic zone of Dhaka ended just hours ago. This was an almost 12-hours long siege. They took hostages, they fired rifles, they threw grenades at piece. After that 12-hour standoff, commandos stormed that restaurant to end the siege. An army official says they were able to rescue 13 hostages and kill six of the attackers. Remember, ISIS has claimed responsibility for this attack. If that is true, it would make it the second deadly act of terror this week attributed to that terror group.

BLACKWELL: Yes. And in Turkey investigators are getting new information about the terrorists behind the attack at the Istanbul airport. U.S. officials tell CNN that Ahmed Chatayev, an ISIS lieutenant from Chechnya, is likely behind that plot.

Let's get the latest on the terror attack in Bangladesh first, though. CNN international correspondent Sumnima Udas joins us now with that. Sumnima, what have you learned?

SUMNIMA UDAS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We now know that of the 20 victims, nine were Italian, one was an Indian student from Berkeley University. All 20 bodies have been taken to a military hospital for autopsy. According to the military there, most of them were found with slit throats.

Also some new information that happened around 7:30 in the morning and it was sanctioned by the prime minister around the time. That's when the commandos stormed into the restaurant and within 13 minutes they had killed six of those terrorists and they were able to capture one.

Now, this military intervention, of course, happened about 11 hours after the gunmen stormed into the restaurant. We've heard from eyewitnesses, witnesses, a cafe worker who said that they came in with guns, they were shooting in the air. They weren't shooting at any people at the time. They weren't hitting anyone, really trying to instill fear. Here's what the cafe owner or cafe worker had to say.


SHUMON REZA, CAFE EMPLOYEE (via translator): When we got out we were on the roof. When they threw the bombs, the whole building was shaking. More than 10 or 12 bombs, they kept throwing and throwing. It felt like they were progressing forward. So when we thought they were progressing forward, we thought it wasn't safe anymore and jumped from the roof.


UDAS: It just gives you a sense of how armed they were and how vicious they were according to the military. They had IED's, they had sharp weapons, and they had walkie-talkies as well. The prime minister of Bangladesh has just spoken to the public in Bangladesh announcing two days of mourning.

BLACKWELL: Sumnima, let's talk more about the claim of responsibility here from ISIS, which came very early on. And there are still U.S. officials who question the validity of that claim. First, is ISIS in the business often? Is it their M.O. to claim responsibility for attacks that they have no affiliation with? And why are we seeing this question from U.S. officials? UDAS: Well, in the context of Bangladesh, ISIS has often claimed responsibility for quite a number of attacks. But these were attacks against individuals in the past two years, individuals like bloggers, atheists, writers, Hindu priests, for instance, one Italian expat as well.

[10:05:14] So it's not uncommon for ISIS to claim responsibility in Bangladesh. But every time they've done so, the Bangladeshi government has always come out and said that ISIS is not present in Bangladesh. And that's exactly why the U.S. officials that also voiced some concern are saying that ISIS doesn't have a presence in the Indian subcontinent and in Bangladesh. And in fact the Al Qaeda, or the subcontinent version of Al Qaeda, has a much larger presence in the region. In fact, there's a group which is a local militant group, which is linked to Al Qaeda. They've claimed responsibility for a number of attacks. So there's a lot of confusion right now as to who exactly is responsible. But hopefully through that one captured terrorist there will be more clarity.

BLACKWELL: All right Sumnima Udas reporting for us. Sumnima, thank you so much.

PAUL: Again, this is a siege that lasted a little more than 12 hours. What happened in that siege and in that 12 hours is disturbing and it's frightening, and our Andrew Stevens has more on exactly what we know happened.


ANDREW STEVENS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: An unidentified man carried from the scene, teams of police and bomb disposal experts, and ambulances lined up, waiting for the worst.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Those two shots were warning shots which were fired in the air. So that's the initial two shots I heard. And then I heard an explosion.

STEVENS: The sounds of terror rocking the streets of Dhaka, gunmen targeting a cafe frequented by foreigners in an upscale diplomatic quarter. Some inside were lucky enough to escape. Others were taken hostage.

SHAMA HUSSEIN, WITNESS: My cousin actually has four friends who are inside being held hostage right now. So it's very tense. We're very worried. And you have to remember it's also Ramadan right now. So this is the time when people go out to eat, especially on a Friday night. So the restaurant would have been more crowded than usual I would think.

STEVENS: The siege went on through the night, hour after hour, with no word of what was happening inside the holy artisan bakery. And then this --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It woke me up, and within five minutes I started hearing gunfire. STEVENS: A gun battle followed by an eerie silence. That silence broken not long after by explosions as security forces swept the restaurant. The military says troops rescued more than a dozen hostages, shooting dead six gunmen and capturing at least one alive. But then, the shocking news that the military had also found 20 bodies in the restaurant, all hacked, all stabbed to death.

ISIS claimed responsibility even before the siege had ended, but U.S. officials say there could be other players involved.

SAJJAN GOEL, INTERNATIONAL SECURITY DIRECTOR, ASIA PACIFIC FOUNDATION: What's happening in Bangladesh is disturbing because effectively it's become a battle ground for the ISIS affiliated group and the Al Qaeda affiliated group.

STEVENS: Terror has struck Dhaka in the past. Secular bloggers and minority religious leaders have been hacked to death by Islamic extremists. The government recently launched a nationwide crackdown. But authorities haven't faced anything like the scale of this terror on Bangladeshi soil before.

LORI ANN WALSH IMDAD, TEACHER: I think we are seeing a rise in radicalism in this country. It's so close to home. No one really expects to see something like that take place.

STEVENS: Andrew Stevens, CNN.


BLACKWELL: New developments in the search for answers into what brought down the Egyptair flight back in May. The committee investigated the crash says the cockpit voice recorder is in good enough condition for them to try and pull some of the data from it. It was put back together in France and is on its way back to Egypt for analysis. Information from the flight data recorders released earlier this week indicated possible smoke in the front of the plane. Egyptair flight 804, you'll remember, plunged into the Mediterranean on May 29th, killing all 66 people on board.

And these pictures are really something to see. Dangerous amounts of algae plaguing Florida beaches and prompting a state of emergency. Do you see all that green? It's not just what it looks like. People say the stench is so bad they can't even go inside, and marine life suffocating underneath that thick blanket of sludge.


JENNIFER GRAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Florida is known for pristine waters, and to see this blue green algae covering the canals and rivers, it is simply heartbreaking. People are angry. They want answers. Not to mention it's a holiday weekend where people are known to get out on the water quite a bit in this state. We'll have a full report coming up.

(END VIDEO CLIP) [10:10:01] BLACKWELL: Plus, speculation ramping up over who Donald Trump will pick to be his running mate, but there is one name not on the short list that some would have expected.


SARAH PALIN, (R) FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: They call themselves the never hash-tag whatever. OK. Whoa. Whoa. I just call them Republicans against Trump, or RAT for short.


BLACKWELL: Attorney General Loretta Lynch says that she regrets meeting with former president Bill Clinton while speaking at the Aspen Ideas Festival. This is what she said, that she's vowing to take the advice of the FBI and the career prosecutors over whether charges should be filed because of Hillary Clinton's use of a private server during her time as secretary of state. CNN correspondent Chris Frates is following the story. Chris, good morning.

CHRIS FRATES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Victor. You're exactly right, Attorney General Loretta Lynch saying that she's accept the recommendations of the FBI and the career prosecutors. And remember, they're weighing whether to bring charges against Hillary Clinton for her use of that private email server, something that has really dogged her for over a year now.

But it's important to remember, Lynch made that announcement yesterday after she came under fire this week for meeting with Bill Clinton in Phoenix when both their planes sat on a tarmac there at the airport. Republicans immediately jumped on that meeting. They argued here's proof that Lynch had a conflict of interest and she couldn't possibly be impartial in her department's investigation into all the Clinton e- mail stuff. So Lynch says that Bill Clinton's visit, though, it was simply a social call where they talked about grandchildren.


LORETTA LYNCH, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: I may have viewed it in a certain light. But the issue is how does it impact the work that I do or the work that the Department of Justice does. I certainly wouldn't do it again, and, you know, because I think it has cast a shadow over what it should not, over what it will not touch.


FRATES: Now, the attorney general says she made the decision this spring to defer to her staff on these recommendations on how to handle the investigation. But she wants to avoid a conflict of interest because, obviously, she's an employee of a Democratic president who is out there campaigning for Hillary Clinton. Victor?

BLACKWELL: Chris Frates, thanks so much.

PAUL: You know, one of the big campaign questions remaining is who will be vice president. On the Democrat side Hillary Clinton is whittling her list of potential vice presidents. Political favorites include Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. She's been an attack dog for Clinton against Donald Trump, and she's popular among Bernie Sanders supporters as well.

Julian Castro rumored to be near the top. He's the current secretary of Housing and Urban Development and has been campaigning for Clinton since last year. There's also speculation about Tim Kaine. He's been a senator from Virginia since 2013, one of her earliest supporters, an affluent Spanish speaker which will help with Latino outreach, they say.

BLACKWELL: Donald Trump is pushing against reports that members of his party are hesitant to take the RNC stage just weeks from now, tweeting this morning, quote, let's put it up, "The speaker slots at the Republican convention are totally filled with a long waiting list of those that want to speak."

One of those spots is likely reserved for his vice presidential pick, and leading that list right now according to reports, dark horse contender Indiana Governor Mike Pence. A meeting between the two has some political watchers wondering if a Trump-pence ticket could be in the works. CNN senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta is following that story.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Donald Trump doesn't have a running mate just yet, but he does have a short list. A senior advisory tells CNN New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, former House speaker Newt Gingrich, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, and Senators Bob Corker, Jeff Sessions, and John Tune, plus Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin are all under consideration.

Speculation is suddenly swirling around Pence who is scheduled to meet with Trump and is described by one top campaign aide as a dark horse coming down the track. A Trump spokesman noted Mr. Trump is meeting with a number of Republicans in the run up to the GOP convention, adding he has a good relationship with Governor Pence. It's a surprising development as Pence endorsed Ted Cruz before the Indiana primary and seemed to tamp down expectations this week.

MIKE PENCE, (R) INDIANA GOVERNOR: I haven't talked to him about that topic. My focus is here in the Hoosier state and that's where it will stay.

ACOSTA: Despite Trump's previous statements that he would reveal his pick at the convention, aides now caution the announcement could come sooner to drum up excitement. At the Western Conservative Summit in Denver, Trump didn't say much about his vice presidential search, though he did give a shout out to Sessions and began to fill out the convention program.

DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I love my children. I love my children. My children are going to be speaking at the convention. My wife is going to be speaking at the convention. We're going to have a great time. ACOSTA: Campaign officials hope the veep-stakes will send the message that many Republicans are rallying behind the presumptive nominee despite the never Trump movement.

PALIN: That gang, they call themselves, the never hash-tag, whatever. OK. Well, I just call them Republicans against Trump, or RAT for short.

ACOSTA: As Trump's warm up speaker, Sarah Palin ripped into his critics.

PALIN: It's really funny for me to see the exploding heads keep exploding over this movement, because it seems so obvious. Trump wins, America will win because voters are so sick and tired of being betrayed.

ACOSTA: And Trump tried to remind the party of what they're up against, pointing to Bill Clinton's controversial meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch as Hillary Clinton is under an FBI investigation over her private e-mail server.

TRUMP: I said, no, no you're kidding I don't believe it. I thought somebody was joking. But it's not a joke. It's not a joke. It's a very serious thing. And to have a thing like that happen is so sad. That could be a Mexican plane up there. They're getting ready to attack.

ACOSTA: But GOP Insiders are still nervous that Trump's sometimes racially tinged rhetoric is taking the party in a wrong direction, pointing to the real estate tycoon's response to a woman who took a jab at Muslim TSA workers at a town hall in New Hampshire.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why aren't we putting our retirees, our military retirees on that boarder or in TSA? Get rid of all these hibijabis (ph) they wear at TSA. I've seen it myself.

TRUMP: You know, and we are looking at that.

ACOSTA: CNN is also told by sources that Senator Jeff Sessions and Newt Gingrich may only by on Trump's short list as a courtesy. Senator Thune, one source joked, may simply be too tall to be tapped as a running mate.

Jim Acosta, CNN, Washington.


BLACKWELL: A major city in the West Bank sealed off after two deadly attacks in three days, I should say. Now authorities are sending in more troops. Oren Liebermann is live from Jerusalem.


OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We've seen closures like this one here behind me, fixed barricades. We've also seen cement blocks and piles of dirt, all in an attempt, the severe measures to fight a series of attacks and the uptick of violence right at the end of Ramadan.



BLACKWELL: Federal authorities are looking into a fatal crash involving a Tesla in autopilot. Regulators are now trying to find out what went wrong.

PAUL: We're showing you some video here from last year. The man you're going to see in this video here is Joshua Brown. He is the very man that was killed in this recent accident. What you're seeing here in this video is him last year giving a demo of how autopilot works. Cristina Alesci has the details on his crash and the questions that are now being raised.

CRISTINA ALESCI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Victor, Christi a cloud over autonomous driving. We've heard warnings about the dangers of this technology and more important how it's used for years. This makes it real. Here's what happened. A tractor trailer was making a left turn in front of the Tesla, and the autopilot system didn't recognize the trailer because of its height and the white color against the bright sky. Now the system never triggered the brake and neither did the driver. The car slid under the trailer, killing the driver. Tesla is taking this very seriously, expressing sadness. And 40-year-old Joshua Brown died in the accident. And he was a tesla enthusiast. He made YouTube videos while driving the car. Here's one of him showing how autopilot works.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you don't take control the car starts to brake. I've already done some testing with that, and, yes, it definitely starts to abruptly slow down.


ALESCI: Tesla wants to put this all into context, saying it's the first fatality in 130 million miles of using autopilot. It's also making the point that drivers really should keep their hands on the wheel at all times, but the software does not require hands on constantly.

Now, Tesla says that it tells customers the technology is still in beta, which means it's in development. But experts are already taking issue with the company. They're saying if the system has any kind of blind spot, drivers should not be allowed today use it, especially at high speeds. It's one of the reasons the government is now investigating the accident, and the main issue for many critics at the end of the day is that these features lull people into a false sense of security. After all, it's easy to reach over and get something from the back seat or to check your text messages really quickly.

Just to put it into context for the industry, the quest for self- driving cars has been a race for automakers and tech companies. They believe firmly it will improve safety and reduce the number of deaths on the road. And also, by the way, they really want to get people excited about buying new cars. In fact, the government is planning to release rules for testing autonomous vehicles on public roads just this summer. And it's unclear how this accident will impact that process. Christi, Victor?

BLACKWELL: All right, Cristina, thank you so much.

This is an important and pretty big problem any time it happens, but especially on the Fourth of July weekend. People are headed to the beach, headed out on boats, and a green slime is blooming along parts of the Florida coast.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We heard three really large gunshots. There were like, reports all over from people saying there was like, an attack on the restaurant.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This neighborhood is one of the most if not the most secure neighborhood in Dhaka.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was a huge bomb blast which we heard.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was a huge bomb blast which we heard.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a very posh neighborhood. It's always been very secure. Everyone is just stunned that something like this could happen here.


PAUL: We've been watching this attack for hours in Bangladesh. And this morning we have breaking news that Emory University is saying one of its students, the Emory University here in Atlanta, one of its students was among the 20 killed in the terror attack in Bangladesh. The school says Abinta Kabir was an undergrad student at its Oxford College campus here in Georgia. She is from Miami, Florida, was visiting friends and family in Dhaka. Emory tweeted this a short time ago, "Our thoughts and prayers go out on behalf of Abinta and her family and friends for strength and peace at this unspeakably sad time." And they also said that in the wake of the loss the university is offering support to members of our community through counseling services.

BLACKWELL: And Christi, let me jump in here, because there is a breaking sad addendum to this.

[10:30:00] A second Emory student has also been killed. Emory tweeting out just minutes ago, "Second Emory student has been identified among those murders in the Bangladesh terror attacks." So now two students at Atlanta's Emory University. We know that Abinta was from Miami. We'll find out more details about the second student, but now two students from Emory University, two of the 20 killed in this attack at that bakery in Dhaka. We'll of course get you more as soon as we get it on the details of the hostage standoff that happened over 12 to 13 hours overnight. You can check out the latest on our website

Stateside now, North Carolina legislators have reversed a small part of HB-2, the controversial legislation requiring transgender people to use the bathroom according to the sex on their birth certificate. Both supporters and opponents of the bill have rallied at the state capital. In the most recent change according to CNN affiliate WRAL, lawmakers, they didn't touch the part of the law dealing with restrooms. Instead they restored the right to sue for wrongful termination. Here is CNN's Nick Valencia on what opponents of the bill want to see next.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His excellency, the governor of North Carolina, Pat McCrory.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: On the steps of the state capital, the governor of North Carolina walks with purpose. Some might call it a balancing act.

CROWD: Undo HB-2! Undo HB-2!

VALENCIA: For the last three months the governor has been caught in the middle of the state's Republican Party and critical business leaders over a controversial law focused on transgender people. The new state law requires trans-people to use the public restroom corresponding to the sex on their birth certificate even if it doesn't align with their gender identity. In the 100 days since the law passed it has been so controversial among economic stakeholders, the NBA has threatened to move next year's scheduled all-star game from the state. And already a handful of entertainers, including Bruce Springsteen and Demi Lovato, have canceled North Carolina tour dates. State Democrats say the economic pressure has been so fierce Republican legislators are now in the works to modify the divisive law.

CANDIS COX, TRANSGENDER ACTIVIST: North Carolina issued a certificate of sex reassignment, which so ever is the more recent.

VALENCIA: That's Candis Cox, a leading trans activist in the state, reading the modified version of the law for the first time.

COX: The problem with this is you have to undergo sexual reassignment surgery. We cannot require you to do something, but that's not something that people have to do.

VALENCIA: We wanted to better understand the proposed modifications, so we asked the house bill's co-author pro-temp Paul Stam. But he didn't have much to say.

Where do things stand with House Bill Two?

North Carolina's governor also declined to speak to us. But behind the scenes, State Democrat Chris Sgro said the governor is meeting with adversaries to secure enough votes to get a modified version of the bill to pass.

REP. CHRIS SGRO, (D) NORTH CAROLINA STATE REPRESENTATIVE: What that tells me is that the vote count is incredibly tenuous around the proposed non-fix that we've heard that really does nothing to substantially change House Bill Two, and I'm certain that why they're having trouble getting any votes for it.

VALENCIA: And for those like Candice Cox directly affected by the law, there is no compromise -- it's repeal or nothing at all.

COX: To ask whether or not we could compromise or is there something outside of repeal, I would say you cannot ask me what level of discrimination is OK.

VALENCIA: By some estimates House Bill Two could cost the state up to $5 billion a year in lost revenue. Until now Republican lawmakers have said economic threats aren't enough to change the law. But now, however, that seems to have changed.

Nick Valencia CNN, Raleigh, North Carolina.


BLACKWELL: As this fight over HB-2 continues, North Carolina voters are being introduced to Zeke Christopoulos through an ad opposing the bill. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All of us take pride in our work, and we're proud to call North Carolina home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I remember when I learned that Zeke was transgender and had transitioned from female to male. I was a little uncomfortable at first.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've heard a lot of people are concerned about restrooms.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When you stop and think about it everyone needs to use the bathroom just to get through their day. And a law that forces Zeke to use the women's restaurant is totally inappropriate, and that's exactly what HB-2 does.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: HB-2 goes so far that when I use men's room I could be thrown in jail.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's unnecessary and it's discriminatory. It took away local protections for gay and transgender people and even protections based on race and gender.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: HB-2 is already hurting our economy. Businesses are leaving and they're taking jobs with them.