tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN September 6, 2019 12:00am-1:00am PDT
this is cnn breaking news. >> we're following two major breaking news story this hour. welcome to viewers here in the united states and around the world. i'm george howell at the cnn center in atlanta. we'll have the latest on dorian. but first, the former president of zimbabwe, robert mougabemuga died. he was in a military coup just two years ago, leaving a complicated and controversial legacy behind. >> reporter: after 37 years in power, demanding nothing less than absolute loyalty, robert
mugabe's reign was never going to end at the ballot box. but few could have imagined the two weeks in november 2017, when his military moved against him and his people took to the streets. what did those crowds mean to former president mugabe? what did he say? >> he saw that they spoke. >> did it break him? >> it moved him. it moved him in a sense that he realized they are speaking to say this is enough. >> reporter: in negotiations the generals would salute the man they were looking to overthrow. the coup and his resignation was a humiliating exit for mugabe, whose very name came to define zimbab zimbabwe. >> he was a man who had so much to offer to zimbabweans.
but he didn't. he focus on himself. the story of robert breaks my heart, in the context of the millions of lives that he destroyed. the millions of lives that he wrecked. >> reporter: robert mugabe's legacy was filled with violence and oppression. for many, he had left behind a shell of a country. >> i, robert gabriel mugabe, do swear -- >> reporter: it's easy to forget at first, he was likened to nelson mandela. he preached reconciliation after a brutal struggle that he helped leave. repaired bonds. he was even knighted. >> the united kingdom and zimbab zimbabwe, had grown from strength to strength over the
years. >> reporter: young zimbabwe was the envy of the continent. >> robert mougabe was my hero. his confidence and postulating amazing positions. and i decided this was a man that impressed me. >> reporter: he would like to say he had a degree in violence. and from the start, he squashed desce descent. >> translator: i saw people being killed. i saw them killed. and i did not say a word. >> reporter: alice relives her trauma every day. her back was broken by the north korean-trained fifth brigade in 1983. it was meant to crush mugabe's rivals, civilians were targeted,
victims chosen along ethnic lines. when knmugabe was threatened again, he was attacked, seizing farms. and he crushed the rising opposition, using his hold on state security. but the violence shocked the world. mugabe was abandoned by the west and its aid and the country never fully recovered. >> they want to come to us and dictate to us what we must do. that shall never be. not in zimbabwe, never, ever. >> he was not an idiot in the country. he worked hard for this country. mistakes were done. but he's a man who cared. but ultimately, of course, the president is, in the end, held responsible for whatever actions.
>> reporter: actions that many say were driven by his number one priority, himself. >> a look at the life of robert mugabe. let's talk to farai. this is a leader, during his life, his decades in power, was revered by many people as he was reviled by many people. >> absolutely, george. it's incredible to think that i'm speaking to you from zimbabwe. there's many people who value robert mugabe's contribution to african history. and many people who saw the turn to dictatorship. and i was very young, in my
teens when robert mugabe took over control in what was rhodesia and then zimbabwe. while we were marking the death of this man, there are some figures with which the people had come into being. he took power. they were all in a great grip of apartheid. as my colleague just said, that kind of control of liberating his people, turned sour very fast. and the things he's remembered for, are kind of the worst things, the violence, the incredible control, the one-man leadership, one-party leadership. let's not forget, while we talk about these things, that
zimbabwe became one of the most educated countries in all of africa through his education policies. now, we were talking about it the other day. the reason why africa is so full of zimbabwe, is education allowed them to take the white collar jobs. and you talk about the policies of grabbing the white-owned farms, et cetera. where are we now in 2019? and south africa is talking about the same thing. namibia talking about the same thing. he turned around the whole narrative. people were overjoyed in a he had actually stepped down to a coup because, after 37 years, his entire direction and purpose seemed to get lost in his views of a power jograb.
he was going to give power to his wife, et cetera. and zimbabwe was feeling grief. and his move from power hasn't changed very much in the country, george. >> speaking about his native country and the complicated relationship it had with the once-leader again, robert mugabe, who died at the age of 95 years old. back here stateside, we're following another big story. hurricane dorian, it is still churning along the u.s. east coast. look at this image here. earlier in wilmington, north carolina. that storm hugging the north carolina coast, with winds of 90 miles or 150 kilometers per hour. dorian caused flooding in the carolinas and kicked off tornadoes and left hundreds of
thousa people without power. another look at the bahamas. look at the devastation behind. so much left behind there. each new day brings clear how bad the destruction is there. hundreds of people are still missing. the death toll has risen to 30. and the country's health minister warns the final number will be, in his words, quote, huge. let's get the latest on where the storm is and how strong it is with karen mcginness. >> george, something very interesting is taking place right now. we got an update from the national hurricane center. it is moving more quickly. the wind associated with this is lower. but look at this. it's been a week. the last time this was a category 1 was a week ago. and now, it looks like the northern edge of this eyewall, moving right in the vicinity of this cape lookout area. and the people in the lake, the
cape lookout area, just moving through, they have probably been evacuated. this is the closest that i have seen hurricane dorian come to an actual coastal area since it moved over the bahamas. it is a little more ragged. it is moving towards the northeast at just about 15 miles per hour. if it makes landfall. landfall is officially 50% of that eye onshore. we're not seeing that yet. but we're seeing the strongest winds associated with hurricane dorian right now. this is a closer view. cape lookout. cape hatteras. i thought if it came close, it would be in this vicinity. this is a protected area. this is a national seashore. this is very fragile. one of the more fragile
coastlines in the entire world. certainly, at least long the eastern seaboard. there's cape lookout. there is hatteras. a roged looking eye, to be sure. winds now at 90 miles per hour. i mentioned it's moving to the northeast. the possibility of the storm surge, maybe as high as six feet along the coastal areas. and the potential for tornadic activity. emerald isle, lots of damage there. and a little bit of damage to the north. and most of these are short-lived but happened nonetheless. you typically think of these as something that happens over the plains and the springtime. you get the quick firing up of tornadoes that can happen from the feeder bo eer bands on the side of the hurricane. >> thinking of the people who are under that storm at this
hour. karen, we'll continue to keep in touch with you. some of the worst devastation has been in the abaco islands of the bahamas. our crew made it to mthe key an saw the destruction of human nature. here's the exclusive report for you. >> reporter: people on the abaco islands are trying to process what they've gone through and figure out what happens next. when they look at their own city, their own towns, their own streets, they cannot believe what they survived. take a listen. >> it is so much worse than they had feared. the abaco islands forever scarred by mass destruction. home after home, rooftops blown away. boats tossed like confetti.
the obvious question, how could anyone survive this? >> okay, okay. >> reporter: we arrived by helicopter with billy, embracing his wife, after days of not knowing if she was dead or alive. shanna hunkered down with friends until the roof blew off and they scrambled to find anything still standing. this is what kept you guys alive? >> this little room. >> came in and hunkered down. and shanna was on the ground crying. >> reporter: what did it sound like here at the time? >> it was loud.
>> crashing. banging and whirling. >> stuff was coming through this wall. >> reporter: so many in the abaco islands saw things that resembled a horror movie. like tornadoes touching down every minute. >> words can't describe it. words can't describe it. they could never categorize this. never. it was like an atomic bomb went off. >> reporter: residents tell me their little island paradise is unrecognizable to even them. they could never have imagined a storm as powerful as dorian. there's no better way to describe to you the force of hurricane dorian than to be right here, where people rode out the storm in their living rooms and dining rooms.
the roof blew off the house. the kitchen came down. the refrigerator came down. the living room and dining room is all over. these things being tossed around the world like projectiles. they all cowered, hovered in their bathrooms and closets. anything they could find to take shelter. they are only the beginnings, but the basics. helicopters take out the sick and the young families. >> i'm sure it will never be the same again. we will rebuild the best way we know how we can. we know it will never be the same. >> reporter: it will take a miracle to recover for it all. these people are terrified about what comes next. still traumatized by this storm.
i have heard from many people that have loved ones missing. and they are wondering if it will be possible to rebuild given the magnitude of the destruction. paul newton, cnn, nassau. >> thank you. as newsroom continues, we have more on the death of the former president of zimbabwe. robert mugabe has died at the age of 95 years old. stand by. these folks, they don't have time to go to the post office
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good to have you with us. >> good morning. >> let's talk about the man who was compared to nelson mandela. they revere him as an icon. but younger generations have a different view. they see him as a man who clung to power, who cracked down violently on descent. how do you believe that robert mugabe will be remembered? >> yes. he leaves a legacy. as you pointed out, it is also generational. i'm from the older generation. i was there at independence in 1980 and certainly in the '80s and the '90s, there were a lot of positive things that happened in terms of education, health, possibly the highest literacy rate, in terms of the sector was
rebuilt. even then, there was still a negative side, which was the killings of people . overall, there was a much more positive legacy. for the younger generation, the decline of the economy, around political violence. and particularly corruption. these are things which the current government is now having to grapple with. and they admitted themselves, particularly the corruption legacy is a big issue. certainly a mixed legacy. beyond zimbabwe, people will see him, perhaps, a more favorable light. he is in the same league as people that are still there. they reaffirmed african
identity. and you can't underestimate the power of that because i remember, you know, growing up in rhodesia in the '60s and '70s, where being black, you know, people, you're part of an underclass. that's a very powerful thing. he will be remembered partly for that. certainly, we cannot condone the more negative aspects of his rule. and that part of his legacy still remains today. >> it is, to quote one of our correspondents, a very complicated mixed bag, when you look back to the past and consider his legacy. and with the current president of zimbabwe, who tweeted recently, let us know about the death of this former leader. what change has happened since that transition of power?
>> i think the government had to grapple with various issues. they have brought in economic reform process, in terms of the economy. i think the government has -- the current government is very much aware that they have to reform the economy. they have to make it more inclusive. they've put up an anti-corruption commission to try to grapple with the issues of corruption. there's a land order going in. some of those things, it is a reformist -- more reformist government. there's an international reengagement going on. we've seen a lot of zimbabwe government visits to the u.k. and west. there is a broader look west aspect taken by the new government. mugabe was renowned in many ways for not being friendly to the west. i think the current government
has taken more of a look west than a look east approach. with regard to corruption, and the question of political reform. i think that's something that the government is really grappling with. and that, i think that is taking -- a slower pace than the economic reform agenda. >> i remember covering that transition in 2017. there were so many people who were cheering in the streets, excited and hopeful about change under the current president, the crocodile, as his nickname is. but many people still seem a bit frustrated, according to the reporting that we're hearing. frustrated about the lack of economic change. the lack of change since the transition of power. we appreciate you being with us to give us perspective on the
death again of the former president, robert mugabe, at the age of 95 years old. we're following the big story here stateside, hurricane dorian, from an island paradise to piles of rubble, this storm left its mark. >> hurricane dorian came here and ripped the roof clean off. but not only that. you think of the power that a storm needs to knock down entire cement walls. >> i mean, wow. look at that. we're finally getting to some of the hardest hit areas. our exclusive report ahead. stand by. - in the last year, there were three victims
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we continue following the breaking news this hour. hurricane dorian moving up the east coast as we speak. i'm george howell at the cnn center in atlanta. the latest on this hurricane. the center of the storm right now is brushing along the north carolina coastline. it's weakened slightly to a category 1 storm, with winds around 91 miles per hour. that's 51 kilometers per hour. warnings and watches extend up the east coast into canada. the storm has kicked off many tornadoes and waterspouts in the carolinas and high winds have downed trees and power lines. so far, five storm-related deaths have been reported in the united states. and in the bahamas, a much worse story to tell you about. the death toll stands at 30 but hundreds are unaccounted for.
the minister says the final death toll will be, in his words, huge. high rock and grand bahama island, those are two areas hardest-hit. no one could see the level of duction there until now. cnn's patrick oppmann brings us this exclusive report. >> reporter: we're in the town of high rock or what used to be. this is the clinic. it has been leveled by hurricane dorian's category 5 winds that came screaming through here. there's people that say the ababcos, different islands, received the worst damage. and they need to come here. they need to come here, few places they have visited. it took us much longer to get here, driving around debris,
like this. you see, in every direction for miles, all the power lines are down. most of the poles are down. there's trees down. you don't see cars coming back and forth because there's nothing or nowhere to go to here. this was the town center. over there, look at this. it's amazing. this was the police station. hurricane dorian came here and ripped the roof clean off. but not only that, you think of the power that a storm needs to knock down entire cement walls. we don't know if anybody was here. but it's hard to imagine they survived because residents say the storm surge, and you can see the line just up there, got this
high. almost all the way to the roof. 17 feet, they said. they measured it. you can see the water stains all the way down to the ground. the devastation everywhere you look. it goes all the way back to the water. there's 300 homes here. every home is either damaged or destroyed. you can see where the wind smashed into the sign but somehow didn't tear it off. slabs of concrete thrown around like they were nothing. this is the high rock prison. there's only one jail cell. and it's not guarding anybody now. we don't know if anybody was here when the storm came, behind bars. they didn't stick around. there's nothing left in this town. and the people say, they have yet to receive any help from the government.
like so many bahamians, they are waiting for that assistance to come. patrick oppmann, cnn, the town of high rock, on grand bahama island. the main priority now for the bahamas is search and rescue. the coast guard have rescued more than 200 people since dorian hit the islands. the coast guard said its will be continuing its air operations. the other story we're following this day, the death of the founding father. robert mugabe has tied and we have a look at the legacy and the impact on that nation. (client's voice) remember that degree you got in taxation?
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more on the former president of zimbabwe, robert mugabe who died at the age of 95 years old. he was the first government after independence in 1980. that, after a military coup took over in 2017, and removed him from power. he also led the african national union to overthrow the white minority government of ian smith and bring independence to the territory. many people remember him as a
brutal autocrat. but the current president called him an icon of revolution. let's bring in jeff hill. jeff is the chief africa correspondent for "the washington times" and author of the book "what happens after mugabe." he joins us from johannesburg. good to have you with us. >> hi, george. >> let's talk just a bit more about this man and his legacy. clearly, there's a generational divide here. older generations remembering him as part of the liberation movement, likening him to nelson mandela, considering him a hero or an icon. yet, younger generations remember him clinging to power, cracking down on descent. overall, how will he be remembered in that nation? >> george, i don't think it's a
generational divide. it's a divide between those are often, maybe at the time supported mugabe and the survivors, victims, who made it through some of his bloody campaigns. they certainly do not have good memories. and like to recall in the 1970s, george, the country known as rhodesia was protected by africa and now is one of the poorest countries in the world. and millions are driven into exile. these are the people who are now celebrating and are happy with his passing. those might perhaps have a better memory of him. >> as far as the transition of power in 2017, i was speaking to one of our correspondents who covered this. he recalls people in the streets, people hopeful about
change under the new government and president. what has that change been for people? have they realized those hopes? >> george, there really has been no change. he has continued the economic policies under robert mugabe. and he was going to talk about new investments have never happened. there were sanctions against the country, the u.s. and britain and others will not put money into zimbabwe until there's a credible and free election until the government let go. it's essentially just the ruling party. very difficult to bring about change under the circumstances. some analysts compare it to the self-inflicted injury that has destroyed one of the richest countries in the region. >> we spoke a moment ago, how he
will be remembered, mugabe, within his own country. but internationally, around the world, people who know of his history, his legacy, how do you suppose he will be remembered around the world? >> george, i think he will be remembered as the great educator. you and i talked an hour ago about the -- the education system brought to the country. going to cause those graduates. shakespeare and algebra couldn't find jobs. and one of the reporters has been in johannesburg in areas that have been moved in by exiled zimbabweans. there's a million of them here in johannesburg. people on the street, dancing, playing music out of their apartment windows. there's a huge amount of happiness here.
and that's unusual in african culture. no matter how bad someone is, there's generally respect and regard for the person on their parting. he will be remembered for his role for opposing apartheid, his wonderful educational system. and a great orater. that covered up an evil streak. jeff hill with perspective, live for us. thank you. still ahead, we're following, of course, the aftermath of what we saw in the bahamas of hurricane dorian. and that's continuing to churn along the east coast. and the president is clinging to that and that sharpie. we'll have more of that in a moment. stay with us. iddi e. an ipad worth $505, was sold for less than $24; a playstation 4 for
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the bahamas. 30 people have died and hundreds are unaccounted for. one state not impacted by dorian is the state of alabama. the u.s. president claims it was in the danger zone, danger from this hurricane. and days later, he is refusing to admit he could have been wrong. our chief white house correspondent, jim acosta, has this for you. >> reporter: leaving what may become an indelible mark on the presiden presidency, it was hardly a master stroke. now, the white house is dragging its feet about who altered the weather map, in the oval office. aides refusing to say if it was doctored by the president. >> that was the original chart. it was going to hit florida and georgia, going toward the gulf. that's what was originally projected. >> reporter: the president is defiant he was right all along. tweeting, alabama was going to be hit or grazed and then
hurricane dorian took a different path along the east coast. that followed this tweet from mr. trump. this is the originally projected path of the hurricane in its early stages. all models predicted it to go through florida and hit georgia and alabama. zoom in on that map, it is from august 28th, four days before the tweet that got the president in trouble in the first place. he said on sunday, south carolina, north carolina, georgia and alabama will most likely will hit. >> they got a little pit of a great place. it's called alabama. alabama could be in for some very strong winds. >> reporter: that's not true. contrast what the president said on sunday, showing that the storm was nowhere near alabama. >> i know alabama was in the original forecast. they thought it would get it. as a piece of it. >> reporter: sources tell cnn
the map was altered just before the president presented it to the public. white house aides know who did it, a problem for the president's team, as mr. trump said he doesn't know what happened. >> that map that you showed us today, it looks like a sharpie. >> i don't know. i don't know. >> reporter: and there's one more problem. as a fox news meteorologist noted, it's a violation of federal law to falsify a national weather service forecast. democrats are pouncing. >> i feel sorry for the president. if he found it necessary to pull out a sharpie and alter the map. i don't know if one of his aides thought they needed to protect his ego. this is a sad state of affair for our country. >> reporter: the president is diverting funds to pay for his border wall, including money to rebuild tindall air force base that was hit by hurricane michael. he pledged he was coming to
tindall's rescue. >> i saw the devastating effects of that category 5 hurricane. category 5. never heard of a category 5s before. we're rebuilding the whole place. and we're doing a job. >> reporter: one of the president's top homeland security advisers appears to be taking the blame for the altered map. an official saying that the president's comments were based on a briefing that included the possibility of tropical storm-force winds in southeastern alabama. the statement from the white house does not say who altered the map. jim acosta, cnn, the white house. >> all right. back to what really matters here, of course, the devastation that so many people are dealing with. if you would like to help the victims of this hurricane, dorian, head over to our special impact your world website. that's where you will find a list of organizations that are helping to reach those who are in need.
that address is cnn.com/impact. thanks for watching cnn newsroom. i'm george howell at the cnn center in atlanta. stay with us as we continue to follow the breaking news. hurricane dorian on the east coast and the death of the former president of zimbabwe, robert mougabmugabe. growing odors. hes sit arod that's why we graduated to tide pods sport. finally something more powerful than the funk. tide sport removes even week-old sweat odor. it's got to be tide.
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♪ ♪ hurricane dorian now closer than ever to the u.s. coast line lashing the carolinas and spawning at least two dozen tornadoes. >> this whole town is gone. >> hundreds remain missing as the death toll from hurricane dorian climbs in the bahamas. breaking overnight. zimbabwe's hero turns tyrant. robert mugabe has died. plus, the washington post has said it has solved the