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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  April 15, 2019 11:00pm-12:00am PDT

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>> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. hello and welcome to our viewers in the united states and all around the world. you're watching cnn's coverage of the devastating fire at notre dame cathedral. i'm rosemary church. >> and i'm max foster outside of notre dame. you can see the traffic flowing as many of them were trying to allow access to emergency services to continue their work within the cathedral. obviously the major flames have died down and thenoters are saying things are under control.
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investigators will be looking into exactly what started this fire. we're hearing from the paris prosecutors of this. they're actually speaking, questioning construction workers because there were construction work being done in the area of the fire. the flames spread extremely quickly through the cathedral's wooden infrastructure, that famous wooden roof, the spire of the center of the cathedral collapsed on monday. and the roof was largely destroyed as part of that as well. authorities say the twin bell towers though that make up the building facade are safe. that's the iconic image so many of us are used to. one firefighters was injured which is remarkable there wasn't more. the mayor of paris has tweeted major art ret cots and religious pieces have been saved including the crown of thorns believed to have been worn by gees during his crucifixion.
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>> translator: as you can see a monument that you love, that you live in, where you celebrate. a monument that represents so much of our history, it's a profound sadness, and i said, oh, god, why? why? because it's holy monday and for us it's an important week and to ask ourselves, lord, why. i think i'll get the answer when i get to heaven. i think. >> reporter: jim bitterman is up as well, and they're managing to take stock today, but the extent of the damage, what are you hearing from the authorities? >> reporter: well, max, one thing that's going to happen and happening right now, beginning right now is that according to the mayor's office there are a number of exports going through the building and see what can be
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saved from the infrastructure of the building. whether the wallerize safe enough and there's any danger to workers going in to help cleanup things. and what can be used to rebuild notre dame as the president of france said last night, we're going to rebuild notre dame. it'll take decades no doubt. there's been architectural experts talking this morning saying it would be at least decades before notre dame resembles the notre dame we know. you mention the crown of thorns, that's one of the relics meant be the be the crown of thorns that christ wore just before his crucifixion. and there's been a number of things that weren't saved, rather large paintings, huge paintings inside that were not able to be transported away from the fire. there's a lot of fear this
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morning there may not be anything left of a magnificent 8,000 pipe organ. it was a monument historic in itself. the five keyboard organ which for many of us who had the privilege of living here had in fact heard regular sunday afternoon organ concerts at notre dame. no more. and in fact the organ if itself which has been restored only in 2014 was probably destroyed by this. some things will be recovered and put back into place, but it's going to be a long, long reconstruction project, max. >> yeah, and lots of people looked on in horror as this tragedy unfolded last night. at a cafe nearby. what did you first learn about this? >> i was in the cafe about this time so i didn't really see
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anything because the cafe is more hidden on the other side of notre dame, but you could clearly smell something is burning. at first we thought something in the kitchen was burning and the other bartender came to the pub and he said actually notre dame's on fire. so it's something you don't really believe. >> what sort of feeling wept through you when you heard that? >> i was sure it wasn't true. the other thing you think when something like this is happening is probably the first thing is maybe it's a tourist attack since we know what happened back in 2015 and what paris is going through. so we left, me and my friend, and the back was actually on fire. so the first thing that dawned and i took the video and then we are standing there and staring at notre dame surrounded by thousands of people. >> yeah. what the atmosphere like when
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you arrived? >> i think silence. at the beginning i think people weren't talking because people were recording, talking with families, and everybody was telling everything is fine. but after the sun went down i think that all the people were singing songs. i mean, praying. and they were very calm, and it was very sad of course. >> what does it mean to the city, this building? >> it's one of the three or four most important buildings architectural wise in france. the eiffel tower and notre dame. i'm still glad we can still see the facade at the front of the church even though this morning i've seen the first photos from inside the building. the roof is basically not there. it's horrible.
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>> there's been, you know, politically very unsettled in paris recently and then you have this which is unsettling again, this sort of symbol of continuity. >> i think it's such an unfortunate -- i really think to mean things are happening in paris right now, too many things are happening to france. and i think this is just like the top thing that shouldn't have happened. and i've heard there were work happening since the last day. >> and i think the construction workers have been questioned today but that might be formality but that's where we're looking in the investigation. >> probably. i don't want to say it's someone's fault so -- >> but as you say relief, in this current environment they automatically think of terror because this is the sort of target terrorists would go for to get attention. so huge relief initially when you heard it wasn't that.
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>> it's a church. it's not like if you had a building burning and we actually had notre dame on fire. and i've seen and it's been more than 850 years. and it survived everything. and now in 2019, why did it happen right now, why did it happen at the time we can do everything. technology is so developed and now we're having a simple problem. >> emmanuel macron he was here yesterday, will probably be here today. do you look to your president in times of leadership? >> i'm trying not to go into the politics. >> someone needs to speak on behalf of the nation presumably. >> i'm sure he's going to -- like he already said already yesterday that we are going to rebuild notre dame. but i don't know if it's possible to really rebuild something that is that old.
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but anyway i'm sure emmanuel macron is going to do everything he can to calm the atmosphere. now it's very hard in paris and it's raining as well. i would definitely prefer to hear what is safe than what is destroyed. i've heard it the most important accessories i can say inside they were safe. >> the relic, yeah. >> but you cannot really save the room, the paintings, the windows. >> the stained glass windows in front. >> two huge on the sides, on the left and right side. i don't know if it's good or bad condition. >> i think the one heartening
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thing at least which is the facade so famous, the front, the two bell towers that looks pretty safe so that's reassuring. >> i when we were watching the fire last night from there, at one point when the other tower which is behind notre dame and collapsed for hours it looked like an explosion inside. so there people were thinking we were not sure if there was an explosion inside. this collapsing and all the outer part started collapsing and collapsing and burning and burning. so the fire was horrible and heated. >> horrible thing to see but thankfully in control now. the investigation continues. we'll also look at how this is affecting, you know, the whole religious community not just about catholicism or christianity here, but religious
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groupings from all over the world came in together on this because each religion has their own buildings which are sacred, and they can all relate to what happened here in paris. we'll be back in just a moment. o deal with shave irritation. so, we re-imagined the razor with the new gillette skinguard. it has a unique guard between the blades. that's designed to reduce irritation during the shave. because we believe all men deserve a razor just for them. the best a man can get. gillette.
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welcome back, everyone. let's just recap our top story. a massive fire has ripped through notre dame cathedral in paris. it is a dark moment for the city
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of light. for hours centuries of history were reduced to ash. and you can see the inferno from above here. the building's iconic spire is destroyed and the roof is gutted but not all is lost. firefighters were able to save the facade and bell towers. just days before easter, officials also recovered priceless relics. tweeted this photo earlier, it shows some of the items from the flames. the collection includes a crown of thorns purportedly placed on jesus before his crucifixion. nicholas paul leads the center for medieval studies and joins me now. >> thank you for having he. >> so people in france and across the world are shocked and saddened by this news notre dame
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was ablaze for so many hours. those flames are now contain asked the good news is it was saved from total destruction, but so much has been lost. how difficult do you think it will be to rebuild as the french president has vowed to do? >> i think it could be very, very challenging. i don't actually know -- since we don't know exactly what has happened inside the building it's tough to tell what kind of structural work will need to be done to reinforce what remains, but i think it will be a very, very significant challenge. but one i think a lot of us hope will be undertaken. >> absolutely. and of course notre dame took centuries to build. it stands as a remarkable architectural symbol as well as one for religion and culture in france. talk to us ability its significance for people in france and indeed throughout the world. >> well, as cathedral church over the city of paris it witnessed the rise of first is
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city and then the medieval kingdom of france. it witnessed so much in terms of paris' history. and i think that's one of the reasons why this fire has been felt so keen lee and why there's such a feeling of trauma for so many people watching. >> and that's the thing isn't it, it's centuries old and there it stands as this incredible symbol. and yet in this era so difficult and isolate today get to so that fire trucks can actually get in there and put out the flames. and they did some great work doing that, but it was a challenge getting into that hour at peak hour as well. so talk to us about that and how
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difficult it is to save symbols like this. >> first of all just to say the obvious it's so important and symbolling, i mean it's right at the center of the medieval city of paris. and those medieval town centers are notoriously difficult places to reach. and what we think as being modern convenient transportation and available utilities. so those were two edges of the same sword i would say. on the other hand, in terms of what has been lost in the building i mean from what i've heard and obviously we don't exactly know, the parts that i think the medieval -- the community of medieval historians and medievalists more generally are most concerned about are the windows which may have been lost, the great rose windows which are really monuments of medieval gothic art.
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and if those has been lost that will be a great tragedy. >> and of course they'll try to remake them but it will never be the same. the spire around the stand that was built in the 19th century and that's a completely different project. >> that's right. and lot of parts of the building even the ones we think as being the most ancient and medieval, a lot of them were actually the work of restoration projects primarily in the 19th century. the great architect -- leduke was involved in the restoration of notre dame. and there was an attempt to complete the building and add on details which emphasized its medieval nature. so many of those details actually date to the 19th century. but of course the structure of the building so much of its stu sculpture and art were
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generations of craft people putting it together. so really the product of a community through time. >> and notre dame attracts more than 13,000 visitors a year. clearly that won't be happening for some time. but no doubt once it is rebuilt many more people will which foosfoto see this incredible symbol. and thankfully the facade was save. and lot of what you're studying, the medieval part has been able to withstand this fire, hasn't it? >> that's right. and we heard today that also some of the treasures of the treasury were also saved. i've heard reports that some of them were saved. that was one of the great fears as well. not just for the fabric of the building itself but for some of the artworks it contained, which is also part of the reason why people come to visit the church. it's really remarkable how iconic it is and how it is such a destination for visitor tuesday paris and visitors to france.
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even though paris does not want for fabulous monuments, but this is one that's really architectural in paris. >> this is still a very devastating week for the french and the holy week as well. thank you so much nicholas paul for joining us. we do appreciate it. >> thank you. and we turn to u.s. politics now. and the attorney general is set to release a redacted version of the mueller report thursday, and that appears to have the white house on edge. jim acosta reports. president donald trump is lashing out at the special counsel. >> reporter: traveling to minnesota to tout his tax cut president trump appeared to have the 2020 campaign on his mind. >> we may have the best economy wave ever had. everything we've done can be undone and bad bad things can happen. >> but the president seem
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tuesday have more immediate concerns, mainly the trump administration's plan to redact mueller's findings to the public on thursday. even before all of the facts are in, mr. trump is alleging he's the victim, tweeting they spied on my campaign, we will never forget. the president's personal lawyer, rudy giuliani who's expected to release a rebuttal of the mueller report piled it on. >> i think it was the product of you want to call it a political dirty trick or you want to call it a crime, i don't know. criminal conspiracy. but in any event i think that collusion will leave that question open. how did this come about. >> the president also tweeted mueller and attorney general william barr based on mueller findings and intelligence have already ruled no collusion, no obstruction, investigate the investigators. but that's not true. mueller did not reach a conclusion on obstruction. barr did. mr. trump's attacks on mueller's team run counter to his comment last month when he said the special counsel had acted
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honorably. the president is continuing to talk up the idea of sending undocumented immigrants to sanctuary cities. tweeting those illegal immigrants who can no longer be held, congress must fix the laws and loopholes will be subject to homeland security given to sanctuary states. >> anyone who illegally crosses the border will be detained until they are moved out of the country and back into the country which they came. >> reporter: the president also coming under intense criticism for slamming congresswoman ilhan omar. in a statement omar says sense the president's tweet friday evening i've experienced an increase in direct threats on my life when replying to the president's video. >> certainly the president is wishing no ill will and certainly not violence towards
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anyone. >> reporter: democrats say the president has gone too far. >> nothing she said is deserving of what's happening to her and what the president is doing to her. this is reprehensible attack on her. it's trying to incite anti-islamic feelings. >> reporter: the president is also standing against democratic attempts to obtain his tax returns as his legal team has told the treasury department in a letter that those documents should not be handed over. lawmakers says they wouldn't understand mr. trump's returns anyway. >> this is dangerous, dangerous road, and frankly chris i don't think congress particularly this group of congressman and women are smart enough to look through the thousands of pages that i would assume president trump's taxes will be. >> reporter: that issue aside it's the release of the mueller report findings that has much of washington on the edge of its seat. an administration official insists the white house is not concerned about what would be in
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those findings but acknowledges there is a curiosity about the unknown. jim acosta, cnn, the white house. >> and when we come back, we will have much more on the fire at notre dame including a look at the cathedral's rich history and its importance to the french people. but first a poignant view of the paris skyline last night showing smoke and flames rising from the cathedral with light from the silty's other major icon, the eiffel tower, shining bright. directly to
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welcome back to paris. investigation under way into what caused that huge blaze which destroyed most of the roof. high up there in the bell towers the firefighters are moving around trying to assess the damage and also trying to work out, you know, what caused this fire. there are investigations under way. the paris prosecutor's office is
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involved, and we understand they're speaking to some construction workers that we assume were working on the building. officials say the fire is under control now, though. not before it did that major damage, toppling the distinctive spire and destroying the building's roof, a wooden infrastructure. that roof was famously this big wooden structure, ancient and historic and now lost. one of the firefighters was seriously injured but amazingly there weren't more injuries. the initial fire reported from the cathedral's attic. and looking above you can see just how it grew. the french president emmanuel macron calling for international fund raising efforts to rebuild. >> translator: the notre dame of paris is our history, our literature, our imagination, the
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place we have lived all our great moments, our academics, our wars, our liberation. it is the epicenter of our lives. it is the bench mark from which distances start and from which we measure ourselves from paris. it appears in so many books, so many paintings as a cathedral that is one of all french men and women, even those who have never come here. >> reporter: the roads are now open. they were all closed up around this area to allow the emergency services in. nic robertson was here all night. >> reporter: what two world wars and a bloody revolution failed to do. one of the world's most beautiful and best loved buildings. paris' notre dame cathedral has been burned. its graceful form rendered black and in places barely recognizable.
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the iconic heart of one of europe's noblest nations has been pierced. gasps rose from the crowd as the towering flames took hold late in the afternoon. others sang hymns as the slender spire succumbed to the inferno. everyone touched by the tragedy. >> we heard the tower fall and it was the worst sound. people screamed. >> reporter: the catholic cathedral has stood here for almost 900 years, built in a french gothic style. famed for the buttresses that support its walls and the ribbed vault ceiling. a place where emperors came to be crowned and great leaders laid to rest. it's been at the center of french life for more generations
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anyone here can remember. a place of prayer and of praise, of solace. a place all others in france are measured from, a cultural anchor. >> cites so sad. everyone's so sad. people can't realize it's happened. we're going have to wake up tomorrow and wake up the day after and it's gone. >> reporter: more than 400 firefighters fought the blaze late into the night, eventually taming its consuming fury. >> translator: what happened tonight in notre dame is a terrible tragedy. on behalf of the whole nation i want to thank all the firefighters who fought and are still fighting the flames. thanks to their bravery the worst has been avoided. >> reporter: well, inside there were some famous historic artifacts. crucial to many tenants of christianity but also a huge national significance to france.
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some of them were rescued during the fire, which is incredible when you think of the scale of the inferno. cyril vanier now looks at what was saved but also what might have been lost. >> we don't know the full extent of the destruction just yet but we do know at least some of that history has gone up in smoke. we fear for instance the great organ has not been saved. one of the most famous in the world. it still contained pipes from the middle ages when it was built. it's hard to imagine how that might have survived. in fact anything made of wood might be gone. that includes parts of the tapestry of sculptures inside the cathedral like these here from the 14th century. also the rose windows, we don't know what state they're in, if the glass survived the blaze. they're one of the most
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recognizable features of notre dame. again these date back to the 13th century. if you have visited paris and been to notre dame you've probably seen them. it cathedral is an architectural treasure, no doubt. it also contained treasures. several artifacts sacred in christianity. this here is believed by christians to be the crown of thorns, a braided circle of canes that according to scripture was placed on the head of jesus christ before his crucifixion, and it's shown in a casing here. that fortunately was saved we are told along with what is supposed to be a piece of the cross jesus was purportedly crucified on and nails of that cross. but i want to leave you with a couple of pictures to show you hew imeshed notre dame is in the
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city of paris. it's not one of the monuments that sits apart from the city. it's very much a part of the tapestry of paris. and one last thing and this is childhood memory, when you stand in front of notre dame if you look carefully, if you will see, look right about here and you'll see a little bronze plaque embedded in the stone. it's cilometer zero meaning all distances in france are measured from this point at the foot of the cutheed ral. and i think that tells you everything you need know about how our lady of paris, how central it is to the city and to the country. back to you. >> very delicate artifacts. fire damage, smoke damage not the only threats here. as the roof burned all sorts of masonry was falling kpoun on those artifacts, too. so huge amount of damage done here. we'll bring you any updates as we get them.
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welcome back, everyone. we'll look at some other news now. and sudan's ousted president topathize list of leaders who now faces corruption charges there. two sources tell cnn alba sheer along with the held of the ruling party and former interior minister will formally face prosecution in the coming days. the three are also expect today be charged in the deaths of protesters. this as protests gebs the transitional leadership continues. despite efforts to disperse them, protesters vow to stay in front of the army headquarters until the government hands over power to civilian government. ivanka trump is in ethiopia promoting her womens global economic program.
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president donald trump's daughter and senior advisor is focusing on ways to help women achieve success in business. some see her visit as a hopeful sign of closer relations with the president. >> reporter: a somber beginning to the first daughter's second day here in ethiopia. ivanka trump visited ethiopia's holy trin techurch paying theerment tuesday the 157 victims of the ethiopian airlines flight 372 which crashed back in march. eight americans were killed along with people from 34 other nationalities. then ms. trump met with a group of dynamic female african leaders as part of her wgdp or womens global development and prosperity initiative as a dialogue to promote women in the workplace. she sat alongside ethiopia's first female president.
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and while it seemed quite staged, managed and a softer approach to diplomacy we're told by ethiopian business men and women for them it struck a far more strategic tone. ivanka 2ru678 is a direct link to the u.s. president, deployed to a country in the midst of democratic reforms and just according to their prime minister to balance and expand its international relationships. nowhere is the chinese economic influence in africa more visible than right here, and ivanka trump has now seen that first-hand. sending his daughter a top advisor here some ethiopians believe was a powerful positive message from president trump who while maintaining an america first approach is keen at least in his africa policy to counter the threats posed by great power competitors, russia and china. ivanka trump's next stop is ivory coast.
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actress lori loughlin and her husband have pleaded not guilty to two conspiracy charges in the u.s. college admissions scandal. they also waived hair right to appear in court for an arraignment on a money laundering charge. prosecutors say the couple paid $500,000 to a fake charity to get their two daughters into the university of southern california. dozens of wealthy parents, college coaches and test administrators have been accused in the massive scandal. and we will return to paris with the latest on the notre dame fire in just a moment. do stay with us. new lower price. wow. that's a lot of asparagus. yeah, you said get a bunch of asparagus. oh, you... a bunch. i... thought you kinda... a bunch.
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♪ well, sun's up and the traffic again flowing around notre dame cathedral. it was all closed off while firefighters did their work. they say they do have it now in control. some burning embers inside we understand. it's now raining which might help a bit. but high up though in the bell tower we can see the firefighters moving around and assessing the damage. but also looking for evidence about how this started. the paris prosecutor's office telling us they're actually speaking to construction workers as part of their investigation. obviously a shock not just here in france but around the world. this is how the newspapers have been looking at all of this.
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the french liberation reads noter drame, translation our tragedy. across the atlantic the new york daily news hell fire. france grapples with the fire. religious leader are sending as well. retweeting tonight we pray for the firefighters tackling the tragic notre dame fire. and everyone in france and beyond. who watches and weeps for the beautiful sacred place. where millions have met with jesus christ. he finishes in french. we are with you. the catholic archbishop of new york. addressed the tragedy. here's the cardinal. >> the people in new york the unite with you, and the citizens of paris in sorrow over today's devastating fire.
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we here love st. patricks. it is our spiritual home for people of all faith. thus can we but imagine the sadness of your people as they watch their family home of the soul reduced to ashes. this holy week teaches us that like gee seuss, death brings life. today dying we trust will bring rising. >> last night a huge mass of people flooded down here. tourists and christians. you have a quite an extraordinary story. >> 1:00 this morning i managed to get on the side of the island. through the crowd. there was a small press position. outside the cathedral. and about 1:00 a.m. a posse of officials in suits i noticed were coming from a different
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direction going towards the west door. i joined them. no one stopped me. >> this was the government delegation. >> going inside. to have the first look at what was inside. we went through the west door over there. underneath the tower. we weren't wearing hats or let inside by fire crews. just to see for ourselves. i think really it was still standing. it was a sense early on in the evening of utter catastrophe. that it was going to come down. and by midnight it was clear the twin towers as they are called the 850 year-old towers it was still standing. >> you and the prime minister. >> and firefighters. no one asking who i was. luckily. i recognized the french prim minister. it wasn't president macron. and we everyone was staring up at the ceiling.
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the sparks coming down and embers. wood work falling down. the floor was an inch deep in water. still water pouring through. suddenly we picked out -- my iphone. what is that. suddenly light on it. it was a crucifix still standing. on the alter. particularly for those of religious -- it really significant importance. >> is it completely destroyed inside? >> not totally. the tiles you can see the black and white tiles. chairs and pews are out. holes in the roof. some of the windows are still in tact. and it's a bad scene. but it's -- >> you see straight through to the sky. >> you can look up straight out. and see rain coming through.
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probably on the far coming through. there's a sense last night about 10:00. standing on the bridges. the public. there was a sense of we are about to lose a crucial part of identity. this is a national disaster. the this morning the mood is it's bad. but we got a lucky escape. it's salvageable. >> the demonstrations and the deviciveness in paris. it's interesting to see the building is unifying people. >> last night there was absolutely everyone was as one. it was a sense of global shock. people here were touched. the world messages of condolences. there is a huge sense of solidarity. i think there was certainly for the president. the worst happens would be
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domestically. a moment the fact that it's still here. that's why the government is so keen to show we're getting on with this. i don't think there's any problem raising the funds. it will happen. >> paris prosecutors office speaking to construction workers. that was a suspicion last night as well as something happened with the construction. do you think the french will be forgiving of that? what's the mood. >> the a the the moment you don't get the sense of looking for someone to take out and shoot. that may change. not at the moment. once they find out what happened. it was minutes after the public started. this happens with famous old buildings. people forget. windsor castle the fire there. that started with a construction someone took the eye off. >> the wood and the construction. >> a lot of electricity. and people can be careless.
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at the end of the day. maybe somebody left something on. >> extraordinary night. for you and people who came yesterday. >> we continue to follow the investigation and hear what the prime minister has to say and the president. and firefighters. we'll bring you all the updates as they come through. from outside the iconic building. the facade is still standing today. guys do whatever it takes to deal with shave irritation. so, we re-imagined the razor with the new gillette skinguard. it has a unique guard between the blades. that's designed to reduce irritation during the shave. because we believe all men deserve a razor just for them. the best a man can get. gillette.
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to save 30% on all the medications we carry. so go directly to now. hello, welcome to our viewers joining us in the united states. and all around the world. you're watching cnn special coverage of the fire at notre dame cathedral. i'm rosemary church. >> i'm max fosters outside


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