Italian Day of Mourning for Earthquake Victims; US, Russia Closer to Agreement on Cooperation in Syria; Turkish Forces and Free



Closer to Agreement on Cooperation in Syria; Turkish Forces and Free

Syrian Army Drive ISIS from Border Town; Clinton, Trump Camps Continue

War of Words Regarding Racial Bias. Aired 4-5a ET - Part 1>

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Saying good-bye. A day of mourning is happening in Italy after a deadly earthquake takes the lives of 281 people.

Marathon talks, U.S secretary of state John Kerry and his Russian counterparts say they are getting closer to a ceasefire in Syria. More than five years after a civil war started in that nation.

Just five minutes, that's how long Donald Trump's says -- his doctor rather says it took him to sign off on the presidential candidate's medical forms.

From CNN world headquarters in Atlanta, welcome to our viewers here at the United States and around the world. I'm George Howell, CNN "Newsroom." starts right now.

4:00 a.m. on the U.S. east. Coast and in just about 90 minutes time in Italy, a state funeral has set to begin for some of the victims of Wednesday's powerful earthquake in the central part of that nation. You're looking at live images this hour. It is 10:01 there where you see the serve is about to start.

Saturday is being recognized as a national day of mourning. 281 people were killed. Rescuers there are hoping to find more survivors trapped in the rubble, but as each day passes, that hope is fading fast.

In the meantime, thousands of people are living in camps until the civil protection agency can find them housing.

CNN's Atika Shubert is live at the gym in state funeral where this is happening. Atika, if you could just tell us what is happening right now.

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. I'm just near the gymnasium where that state funeral will be taking place. You might be able to see already some of the local scouts and police are formed at the corridor for families to enter the gymnasium. And that is where many of the coffins are now being -- have been laid out along with the flowers.

A total of 49 people died in this part of -- the earthquake affected area, the Arquata area. And so, these are tiny villages that were completely reduced to rubble. And the communities here are still living with that shock. So this funeral today is part of the process is coming to terms with that loss

We do expect to see Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi here along with the Italian president as well. There were service will begin in ...

HOWELL: CNN's Senior International correspondent Atika Shubert is live there. We'll come back to her in a moment, but you're looking at these live images again where this memorial service has set to begin in just about 90 minutes time. Keep in mind, 281 people killed there. Of course, we will continue to bring you updates from Italy as that nation remembers and mourns the dead and as rescue efforts continue.

Moving on now to Syria where a ceasefire cannot come soon enough for people there but the fighting has stopped, for now, in at least one suburb of this Syrian capital.

Evacuations are underway in Daraya after a four-year long government siege there. Civilians and rebels began living the town on Friday. Both government and opposition fighters signed the deal that ended one of the longest stand off of that nation civil war. It is a strategic victory for the regime as the rebels were forced to withdraw. But, the evacuations could also help Daraya civilians who faced shortages of medicine, food and water. Some people have restored -- resorted rather to eating grass n order to stay alive.

The civil war there in Syria is effectively getting even more complicated and even more multilayered.

Turkey is now vowing to continue its first major military incursion into the country after helping to liberate key Syrian town from ISIS. Turkey also aiming to prevent Kurdish fighters form ceasing more territory. We get more no form out Senior International Correspondent Ben Wedemen in Turkey.


BEN WEDEMEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It was by the standards of the Syrian war in decisive victory. In less than 24 hours, fighters with the free Syrian army drove ISIS out of the border town of Jarabalus. They couldn't have done it without the active participation of the Turkish military, the second largest NATO arm forces after the United States.

Fehim Isaa commands the FSA's Sultan Murad brigade, a Syrian-Turkmen unit.

"For now, our focus is on Isis, he tells me, we came to rid this area of Isis."

But he doesn't deny they've also clashed with U.S. backed Kurdish malicious, which Turkey insists must withdraw east of the Euphrates.

[04:05:10] The U.S. spent hundreds of millions of dollars to arm and train Syrian rebels but has little to show for it, while American officials see Kurdish fighters as far more effective in the war against ISIS. Turkish involvement, not American support, helped provide these Syrian fighters with a rare victory.

"The Turkish role here will be to protect the region" says Commander Fehim, because of the world's indifference and insufficient backing for the free Syrian army, Turkey is providing that support.

U.S. aircraft did strike ISIS targets during the push on Jarabalus, but the non-Syrian boots on the ground are Turkish.

Officials here say one of the goals of this operation is to set up a terror-free zone in effect of buffer zone, to ensure the safety of Turkish citizens living along the border.

This is the wall that separates Turkey from Syria. For years, Turkish forces watched from this side as Syria descended into an ever more brutal and complicated civil war. Now, Turkish forces have crossed that wall and in a sense crossed the Rubicon into a war, it may be very difficult to get out of.

Ben Wedeman, CNN, Karkamis, Turkey.


HOWELL: Ben, thank you. After nearly ten hours of talks in Geneva, the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says the U.S. and Russia are close to reaching a Syrian cease-fire agreement. But, he says Washington will not rush into a deal with Moscow. We get more now from CNN's Mathew Chance.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, after marathon talks in Geneva, Russia and United States were apparently unable to reach a final agreement to cooperate in Syria. Although both sides reported progress on that front.

The U.S. secretary of state John Kerry had said he had long and productive talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov. He said he had achieved clarity with the Russians on most steps toward renewing a Syrian truss. At a joined news conference in Geneva, the Russian foreign minister said that two had a number of steps forward. And it also discussed ways do addressing the humanitarian situation in Syria including Aleppo which has said was the center of their discussions.

Russian and United States are on opposite sides of the war in Syria with Moscow as strong backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Washington calling on him to step down. But they have a common enemy in ISIS and other jihadist groups and talks have been focusing on how to cooperate for instance in the sharing of battlefield intelligence.

There's also have been talk of Russia pressuring the Syrian government to end air strikes on densely populated areas. Those discussions we're told are still continuing despite the fact there was no conclusive agreement at these talks.

Matthew Chance, CNN, Moscow. (END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: Mathew, thank you. Iraq's next major goal is to liberate the city of Mosul, which is the ISIS de facto capital. And the Iraqi army just retook Qayyara which officials want to use as a spring board to recapture Mosul. Senior International Correspondent Arwa Damon shows us how much life is already changing for those no longer under ISIS control.


ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is the main road going through the town of Qayyara, liberated some 24 hours ago from ISIS. And this is Bethshe (ph), who we just met. He came and he was waving his flag ...


He says, because they told us to -- the Iraqi army told people to come out carrying white flags.


So, I just asked him if he was afraid when the explosions happened and yes, of course he was. A lot of people here have been talking to were telling us that ISIS was using them as human shields.

There was another father who we met here with clutching his two-year- old baby. And he said that ISIS fighters were shooting from his front door at the Iraqi security forces. There was incoming mortar fire. And he just remembers grabbing his two-year-old, not being able to see anything and making a run forth out the back door.

We also met Dawood (ph), who is over here -- that. And Dawood (ph) was telling us about how under ISIS, and this may seem like something very simple but they weren't allowed wear shorts. And the adults that were saying that shorts were forbidden. And the adults that we're seeing here are all newly clean shaven because under ISIS they had to grow long beards. And that's maybe the simplest, most basic of the hardships that people were going through.

[04:15:04] There are story after a story, one little girl if he was talking to the Iraq army when they first came in and talked about how her father was strung from one of these posts for three day, accused of collaborating with the coalition. You see that thick black smoke. That is because the oil fields around here that ISIS had set on fire they're still a blaze, and people who we've met and we've been talking to, this has been going on for the last six or seven months.

A number of them did lose their loved ones because of ISIS's brutal rule. All of them said they would have fled if they could, but ISIS would not allow them to do so. Some of them were telling us about how ISIS separated men from the women and the children kept people confined to their homes.

It was the country's counterterrorism unit. So, you see one of their Humvee's coming down the road right now. Some of the other fighters flashing the victory sign that moved in, in the operation to liberate Qayyara. And even though this is being considered as success because it was a strategic for ISIS and that is a very significant victory for the Iraqi security force.

And that people here were saying us the town itself can be rebuild, but what they've lost in terms of live that is something that will never be restored.

Arwa Damon, CNN, Qayyara, Iraq.


HOWELL: A great deal lost there in Qayyarah. We'll stay in touch with Arwa Damon for sure.

Bangladesh's national police chief tells CNN a police raid has killed one of the suspected ring leaders of last month's deadly terror attack on a cafe in Dhaka. Two other extremists were also killed in the hour- long gun battle with police armed militants stormed that cafe in July, killing 21 people, including 18, four nationals.

ISIS claimed responsibility for Bangladeshi police blame a home grown Islamist group.

You're watching CNN "Newsroom" and still ahead. Allegations of bigotry and racist have become the attack lines in the race for the White House. The candidate's latest attacks coming up.

Plus a pro-Trump governor leaves an expletive filled voicemail. What he said a state law maker said -- what, he said to that person when we come back.


PAULA NEWTON, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Paula Newton and these are the top business headlines. The chair of the Federal Reserve says the case is finally getting stronger for the Fed to raise interest rates. Speaking in Jackson Hole Wyoming, Yellen says the economic situation over the past few months could be enough to persuade the Fed that it is time to tighten up. Yellen warned that any decision to raise rates would be data dependent and that the economic outlook was still uncertain.

Meantime, campaigners from the Fed Up Group are demanding an apology from an FOMC member. The group wants the Fed to hold of on raising rates in order to protect the vulnerable workers. A head of the St. Louise Fed, James Bullard called that argument in his words kind of crazy. Campaigners say those comments were condescending.

Bolivia's government has confirmed the murder of the country's deputy interior Minister. A group of minors kidnapped Rodolfo Illanes on Thursday and reportedly threatened to torture him if some of the minor's demands were not addressed. They have been striking for two weeks in protest of a new union law.

Domino's says they will start delivering pizza by drone in New Zealand. Now the dealers are expected to start in Oakland next month. The plan is for customers to meet the drone an arrival where the pizza can be lowered to them on a tether. Dominos is working with the American drone company a flirty scheme.

[04:15:11] Those are the top business headlines. I'm Paula Newton, New York.


HOWELL: A flash flood emergency was issued for the Kansas City, Missouri metro region overnight as heavy rain hit that area. And our meteorologist Derek Van Dam is here to talk about it. Derek, pretty bad scenes there.

DEREK VAN DAM, CNN INTERNATIONAL WEATHER REPORTER: Yeah, there have already been ten rescue attempts at least just in the Kansas City metro region alone, from rescuers and authorities trying to get a thread of people on the tops of vehicles.

We've got some pretty compelling to show video to show bad it actually is. Remember, it's nighttime and this part of the United States. So the true scope of the flooding won't be known until the sun really comes up around 7:00 this morning. But look at this, George. You can see the authorities going from car to car to car.

That car likely was pushed into what is that a tree or a telephone pole? Remember, it only takes about 2.5 feet or two feet roughly of rushing water to pick up an entire SUV and move it down stream. You can see just how much water was filling the streets of Kansas City on the overnight period there.

Here's the reason why. Let's get in to the latest radar imagery across this area. We're live from the CNN headquarters. So, what you're looking at is a 12 hour radar loop for the Kansas City region.

The good news is that the flash flood warnings have been lifted for the Kansas City metro area. However, they're still receding water in the urban areas of Kansas City and that basically the entire metro region.

So, there are some flash flood warnings on the out skirts of Interstate 435 that surround the city center. But what you're looking at here is some of the radar estimated rain falls and there have been reports of localized seven inches of rain.

Maybe that doesn't sound like a lot but the thing is that this happened in such a short period of time. And remember, a water seeks its own level. So, it filled up some of the tributaries and that the local streams across this area and the sewers and the drainage system there just can't cope with that amount of rain in such a short period of time. And that's what we saw on the water rise so quickly, flash flood emergencies were issued.

And thankfully, the rain has come to an end and it appears that they'll have a drying trench through the rest of the day today being Saturday. But, really, that was scary moments for many of the residents there in that very populated part of the United States.

I want to take you to the Western Pacific because we're also are keeping our eye on Typhoon Lionrock. This storm is becoming more and more organized as the hours clock on. In fact the Joint Typhoon Warning Center has just actually issued a stronger storm well at least indicated that this storm has strengthen from 165 kilometer per hour, winds to 175 kilometer per hour. That's that 110 miles per hour for our domestic viewers, and that makes to the strong category 2 Atlanta Hurricane equivalent.

So, this is a storm we're going to monitor as it could potentially make a northwesterly turn towards Tokyo as we head into Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week.

HOWELL: Well, Derek, thank you. We'll stay in touch with you.

The story we are following in the U.S. state of Mississippi, authorities there charged the man with a capital murder in the stabbing deaths of two nuns. The states investigations bureau says that Rodney Earl Sanders was a person of interest early on in this investigation. You see him here.

Authorities found the nuns dead at their homes on Thursday after they didn't show up for work. People who knew the sisters described them as outgoing and compassionate. Officials have not released the motive in the killings.

[04:20:11] In the race for the White House accusation of bigotry and racism on Friday, the Democrats vice presidential pick Tim Kaine told the crowd in Florida that Donald Trump promotes values of the white extremist group, the Klu Klux Klan. Listen.


TIM KAINE, U.S. DEMOCRATIC VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Donald Trump is their candidate because Donald Trump is pushing their values. Klu Klux Klan values, David Duke values, Donald Trump values, are not American values.


HOWELL: The Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus commented and condemned Kaine's comments saying the following, "Tim Kaine sunk to new lows with dirty and deplorable attacks which have no place in this campaign. No matter how desperate he is to distract from his running mate Hillary Clinton's litany of corruption scandals, there is no excuses for this vile and baseless smears."

In the meantime, Donald Trump, firing back, telling CNN's Anderson Cooper he believes that Hillary Clinton is a bigot.

Jim Acosta has more now on these latest attacks.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The battle between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton is shaping up to be a race to the bottom and the bottom is no where in sight when it comes to their clash over race.

HILLARY CLINTON, U.S. DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They're often the kind of kids that are called super predators.

ACOSTA: Trump fired off a new attack on Instagram. Reminding voters of Clinton's use of the term "super predators" and pushing her husband's crime Bill back in 90s.

ERROL LOUIS, MODERATOR: You called out President Clinton for defending Secretary Clinton use of the term "super predator" back in the 90s when she supported the crime bill. Why did you call him that?


ACOSTA: Trump is trying bolster this case into former secretary of state is a bigot, an accusation he defended to CNN's Anderson Cooper.

TRUMP: She's a bigot. She has been extremely, extremely bad for African-Americans.

ANDERSON COOPER: That hatred is at the core of that or just like African-American ...

TRUMP: ... or maybe she's lazy.

ACOSTA: The GOP nominee seems to be doing anything but clarifying his position on what to do with the nation's undocumented. Earlier this week, Trump claimed his immigration policy is softening, now not so much.

TRUMP: I don't think it's a softening. I've heard people saying it's a hardening, actually.

ACOSTA: But the Trump also appears to have abandoned a proposal he floated earlier this week that would have allowed law abiding undocumented immigrants to stay in the U.S. if they stay back taxes.

TRUMP: There is no path to legalization unless they leave the country and come back.

ACOSTA: The campaign now wants those immigrants to return to their country of origin.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, DONALD TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: You can return home and then if you like to go stand in line, like everybody else is, the thing that we learn in kindergarten, stand a line, wait your turn.

ACOSTA: Clinton's advisers argue Trump simply is stumbling over a dangerous policy that hasn't really changed. Her campaigns message in its latest ad "It's Trump who's the racist."

TRUMP: Your schools are no good. You have no jobs. Look at my African- Americans over here.

ACOSTA: Clinton's warning to the nation Trump is always be Trump. CLINTON: He has built his campaign on prejudice and paranoia. And it's deeply disturbing that he is taking hate groups that lived in the dark regions of the internet, making them mainstream, helping a radical fringe take over the Republican Party.

ACOSTA: Trump is denying those allegations.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Do you want white supremacists to vote for you?

TRUMP: No, I don't at all, not at all.

ACOSTA: And accusing Clinton of desperation.

TRUMP: When Democratic policies fail, they are left with only this one tired argument. You're racist, you're racist, you're racist.

ACOSTA: So far top Republicans haven't raise to the cameras to defend Trump against this latest attacks. The RNC's response to that, they're on vacation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The congress is in recess, it's August, there's a lot of reasons.

ACOSTA: Trump is also facing new questions about his recently hired campaign CEO Steven Bannon, who was once charged with domestic violence 20 years ago. A case as fist reported by political that involved Bannon's ex-wife and was later dropped.

A Bannon spokesperson told POLITICO "The bottom line is he has a great relationship with his children with the twins. He has a great relationship with the ex-wife. He still supports them."


HOWELL: CNN's Jim Acosta reporting there for us and Jim we appreciate that.

Another Trump tactic has been raised questions about Hillary Clinton health. But now, the doctor who issued the only public medical record for Trump in this campaign says that he wrote it in a rush.

Dr. Harold Bornstein wrote a four paragraph note last December and in that note, he declared Donald Trump would be the "healthiest individual ever" elected to the presidency.

Bornstein now tells NBC News he tried to write the note as fast as he could, but he said that he still stands by his assessment of Donald Trump's health. Listen.


DR. HAROLD BORNSTEIN, DONALD TRUMP'S DOCTOR: I thought about it all day and at the end, I get rushed and I get anxious when I get rushed. So, I tried to get four or five lines down as fast as possible so that they would be happy. (OFF-MIC)


[04:25:14] HOWELL: Also in U.S. politics but at the local level the governor of the state of Maine, Paul LePage has been caught on tape living in expletive filled voice mail for a state lawmaker. Listen.


PAUL LEPAGE, GOVERNOR, MAINE: Mr. Gattine this is the governor Paul. Richard LePage. I would like to talk to you about your comments about my being racist. I want to talk to you. I want you to prove that I'm a racist. I've spent my life helping black people and you little son of bitch socialist. You, I need you t, just friggin. I want you to record this and make it public because I'm after you. Thank you.


HOWELL: Mr. LePage there, he is also known very -- for his loose style. He's also a vocal supporter of Donald Trump. And he has made comments in the past claiming that "90-plus" percent of named drug dealers are "black and Hispanic".

Democratic state representative Drew Gattine was the target of the governor's voicemail. He spoke about it on Friday with CNN's Jim Scuitto, and said he didn't even call LePage a racist.


DREW GATTINE, MAINE DEMOCRATIC STATE REPRESENTATIVE: I was pretty shocking to get that voicemail yesterday. I've never received a voicemail like that before and, you know, it's, you know, this is a governor as you pointed out who continues to cross the line. And every time you think he's cross a line, you think he can't go any further. But then, he draws a different line and he crosses it.


HOWELL: Certainly, though, that is the governor LePage caught on tape. You're watching CNN "Newsroom" And still ahead, a setback for advocates of a controversial ban on bikinis in France. A court rules on whether one town can stop women from wearing the full length swimsuits in public. Live from Atlanta, broadcasting across the United States and the world at this hour. You are watching CNN "Newsroom."


[04:30:38] HOWELL: Welcome back to our viewers here in the United States and around the world, you are watching CNN "Newsroom." It is always good to have you with us. I'm George Howell, with the headlines we're following for you this hour on Saturday is a national day of morning for the victims of the powerful earthquake that hit central Italy. A state funeral for some of the dead is being held shortly.

The earthquake killed at least 281 people so far and has injured 400 others. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says the U.S. and Russia are close to reaching a Syrian ceasefire agreement but still have some issues to work out. Both sides will try to finalize details while they continue their meetings in Geneva.

Hundreds of thousands of people have died in Syria since war began there nearly 5.5 years ago.

In Syria, an evacuation deal is giving thousands of civilians and hundreds of rebel fighters safe passage out of the besieged area of Damascus. Daraya has been affectively cut off for food and water supplies for nearly four years now as Syrian government forces battled opposition fighters there.

In Brazil, the federal police are recommending charges against the Former President Lula da Silva and his wife for money laundering and passive corruption. It's up to prosecutors now to decide whether they will pursue charges with a judge. The allegations are tied up to the corruption investigation into state run oil companies. The company Petrobras.

In France, a setback for advocates of the controversial ban on burkini's. French mayors, at least in some towns, do not have the right to ban these full-length swimsuits that are worn by Muslim women. And on Friday a court ruling does not affect all the towns of the ban but it could be a setback.

We'll have more now from our Senior International Corespondent Jim Bittermann.


JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESSPONDENT: The supreme administrative court ruled basically in the case of one particular town of Villeneuve-Loubet in the South of France where the mayor issued a decree forbidding any kind of beach wear that we're suggested of our religious affiliation. And he says that this was a provocation could lead to a disturbance in the public order.

The court ruled that he had overstepped his bounds essentially that a mayor couldn't rule that on his own, that in fact that kind of a decision would have to be made at a national level.

The question now is whether the other communities, who have been acted similar decrees in there are about 30 of them. In fact, whether those mayors will see this as jurisprudence and say we're not going to try to enact, enforce our bans or whether they will try to test this even further. The court made it clear that anybody who is fine under the law and a Villeneuve-Loubet -- decree of Villeneuve-Loubet can in fact challenge the mayor and bring countersuits. So, the other mayors may think that this is too much and they may have back down or they continue to test it.

Politically, there's another issue here. And that is that the political parties moving ahead towards the Presidential Election in 2017 have taken this on, especially the center right and far right parties and have suggested that they would enact a Burkini ban -- if that's what you want to call it -- across the country, perhaps in the next legislative session.