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S.C. Legislature Votes to Remove Confederate Flag; Chaos on Wall Street; Donald Trump: On the Attack. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired July 9, 2015 - 04:30   ET



[04:30:40] CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news this morning, a new day for South Carolina. Late in the night, just moments ago, voting to remove the Confederate flag from state grounds.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Chaos on Wall Street. The New York Stock Exchange shutdown, huge swings in China's market, and this new last- minute bailout bid by Greece to stay in the European Union. But will it work? We have live team coverage breaking down these momentous events, ahead.

ROMANS: Donald Trump sits down with CNN, tough talk for his opponents in the 2016 presidential race. Donald Trump unplugged.

Does he ever plug in?

BERMAN: No, I don't think he's plugged in --

ROMANS: Welcome back. I'm Christine Romans.

BERMAN: I'm John Berman. Thirty-one minutes past the hour right now.

Breaking overnight: a historic vote just a short time ago. The South Carolina House passed a bill that orders to remove the Confederate battle flag from the grounds of the capitol grounds in Columbia. That flag you were seeing will fly no more.

The final vote came in the wee hours of the morning. It was 94-20. Governor Nikki Haley will now sign this measure. The debate, it was long, 13 hours. It featured impassioned pleas by lawmakers to make the Confederate emblem a thing of the past.


JENNY HORNE (R), SOUTH CAROLINA STATE HOUSE: If any of you vote to amend, you are ensuring that this flag will fly beyond Friday. And for the widow of Senator Pinckney and his two young daughters, that would be adding insult to injury, and I will not be a part of it.


BERMAN: The final vote came at 1:00 a.m. This renewed discussion of the Confederate flag sparked by the murder

of nine people at an African-American church last month.

Governor Haley applauded the vote with a statement saying, "It is a new day in South Carolina. A day we can all be proud of, a day that truly brings us all together as we continue to heal as one people and one state."

She will sign this bill as soon as today. The flag will come down as soon as tomorrow, we're told.

While that's going on, state police investigating numerous death threats against South Carolina lawmakers that were received during the emotional debate.

ROMANS: All right. Turmoil around the globe this morning. Unbelievable, computer glitch freezing up the New York Stock Exchange, United Airlines, even "The Wall Street Journal" yesterday. The Chinese stock markets plunged, despite the government's struggle to break its fall.

And Greece seeking yet another bailout. This is the end of the road for Greece. The Federal Reserve worries the Greek crisis will hurt the U.S. economy.

We have live team coverage this morning from Hong Kong and Athens. But, first, a look at the latest on the market. At this very moment, Asian stocks are up. But it has been a wild day.

The Shanghai composite dropped 3 percent at the open and has reversed course, climbing almost 6 percent. Imagine that move. The Chinese government is doing everything it can to stop this bubble from bursting.

European stocks -- they are higher. There's hopes there had been an agreement in Greece's debt crisis. U.S. stock futures are higher. They are recovering from yesterday's chaos.

What happened yesterday? Well, 11:30 a.m., the New York Stock Exchange suspended trading and stayed shut for four years. The exchange said it was experiencing an internal technical issue. This was not a cyber breach.

Meanwhile, United Airlines, its fleet grounded worldwide on a different glitch. United says it's fixed a bad router. But travel is disrupted all day.

Folks, check your flights this morning. Those travel delays are rippling into this morning.

And yet another technical problem at "The Wall Street Journal". A 504 error greeted visitors to "The Journal's" home page. There was some speculation that maybe the rush of people running to "The Journal' Web site to see what was going on to the stock exchange overwhelmed their servers.

But at this point, it looks as though it's three different issues. I guess the risk of doing business in the digital era.

BERMAN: Over the last year, millions of people in China rushed to get into the market as it shot up. Now, they are watching as the market swings wildly.

ROMANS: Let's bring in CNN's Ivan Watson in Shanghai.

And, Ivan, I think, you know, just imagine the fact that half of China's stocks are not trading. They just are not trading. And if you are in one of those stocks, you can't get out. You are watching this helplessly.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's crazy. I mean, I think a psychiatrist would describe the markets over the past 36 hours, their behavior is positively bipolar.

[04:35:06] You had the main stock exchange here in Shanghai plunging 6 percent, a major selloff on Wednesday, and then leaping almost 6 percent today. This coming after the markets here have plunged since June 12th, a little bit more than three weeks, since losing some $3 trillion more than that worth of value. Some 30 percent of the value of the entire Shanghai stock exchange since that time.

And a lot of Chinese investors were attracted to this market over the course of the last year when it was the fastest growing market in the world. So, you had more than 800,000 people opening stock trading accounts here in China in a single day, attracted -- they thought this would just be easy, easy money, that they double their money very quickly. And instead, many people who did not necessarily know the rules of the market and who borrowed heavily to buy shares are now finding that their savings are going up in smoke.

Now, could today's jump in the markets, could that be a sign that big efforts by the Chinese government stop the crash have succeeded? You've got the Chinese government announcing plans to buy tens of billions of dollars worth of Chinese shares. They suspended IPOs. And they've announced that they're going to try to investigate people who may be involved in what they describe as vicious short-selling.

But the fact of the matter is that, as you mentioned, at least half of the companies listed in the stock market had suspended trading this week. So, that means we don't really know if the jump we saw in the market today is a fair reflection of the true value of the stock market, which pretty much everybody agrees is a bubble and that's what led to this crash over the last three days -- Christine and John.

ROMANS: So heavily involved in the day to day machinations of the -- machinations -- machinations?

BERMAN: Either one, they're involved.

ROMANS: In the day to day movements of market, you know, that also doesn't really -- it doesn't show -- reflect the true nature of buying and selling.

OK, thanks so much for that. You know, fears also growing in Greece. The Greek prime minister's official request for a new three-year bailout, I would call it a cool reception from the Eurozone officials.

You know, John, yesterday I was saying these -- they are literally speaking different languages. They are -- the Europeans and the Greeks are on completely different pages here. To mix my metaphor.

BERMAN: The question is, is the Greek prime minister on the same page as anyone in the world right now?

In the United States, the Fed is increasingly concerned that the Greece crisis could spill over into the economy here. There has been a panic of buying. A wave of buying as people flocked in the stores in Athens.

Let's get to the ground there and CNN's Isa Soares is there -- Isa.

ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hello. Good morning, John. Good morning, Christine.

I heard you there asking if they were all on the same page. It doesn't seem like it yesterday, did it? Here in Europe, we heard many talking in European parliament, saying one thing, one thing beyond -- and Alexis Tsipras saying another, which made people kind of scratched their heads and wonder if a deal is possible by Sunday.

Alexis Tsipras, though, I think was -- heard what Europe has to say. And I think it was very clear for him, that he has to put his financial house in order or really get out.

The President Tusk of Europe said it's a wake-up call for Greece, and also a wake-up call for Europe, because if Greece does leave the single currency, they will have huge repercussions here and the impact on the peripheral countries, will be very, very worrying. We have seen bond yields rise because of that.

But the focus today is all on Greece. A cabinet meeting today where they discuss the proposals. Alexis Tsipras already has the backing of many of the opposition leaders because of the time for unity, a time for the country to come together.

And it seems we are getting the signs he is serious about this. He said he will be putting pension reforms through and tax reforms as well. He'll be reforming the pension system.

And he's asked for a three-year bailout. We don't know how much he's asking for but we expect that to be around 50 billion euro, because the IMF said that is how much money it need. It would be the third bailout in six years.

We also know that Greece has put in a formal request for debt relief. We don't know if they will get debt relief or debt restructuring. Back to you.

ROMANS: Debt relief or debt restructuring. Ye know when we talk to Greek citizens -- thank you so much for that,

Isa -- when we talk to people on the ground, they say this is a matter of national pride now. They feel as they are being humiliated by the Europeans in many cases, and it's sowing the seeds for a real discontent. And that's you know, you just like to see a country suffer like that. You know, when the economy breaks down, everything starts to breaks down.

Thanks, Issa.

All right. Donald Trump, brash and defiant as ever, hits back at Hillary Clinton on a new interview with Anderson Cooper, after Clinton told CNN she was, quote, "very disappointed" in Trump's description of Mexican immigrants as drug dealers and rapists.

[04:40:06] Trump accused her of dodging media questions about her emails.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: She has a lot to hide. She doesn't want to talk to the press. Look, she was the worst secretary of state in the history of the United States.


ROMANS: Republican leaders are growing more worried that Trump's harsh words of immigrants will hurt the 2016 prospects. A Republican source tells CNN that Republican Committee Chairman Reince Priebus called Trump to complain to him. Priebus saying he has, quote, "spent four years trying to make in-roads with the Hispanic community."

This as controversy grows over a Trump hotel project that according to "The Washington Post", that hotel project has undocumented immigrants working at the construction site.

CNN's Joe Johns is in Washington with more on that.


JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: John and Christine, a rare moment of uncertainty for Donald Trump. The billionaire presidential candidate who is known for speaking his mind and so decisively about a whole range of issues. It's about Trump's construction projects, including one going up in Washington, D.C., where he has hired a top project management company to oversee the job. And questions have been raised about whether any of the workers on the site are undocumented immigrants.

It's become a real issue, especially in light of Trump's highly controversial comments at his campaign kickoff about Mexican immigrants who crossed the border into the U.S.

In a revealing interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper, Trump gave an honest answer about employees working on his construction projects in general, admitting that he cannot say for certain there are no illegal immigrants on any of the jobs.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Can you guarantee that you don't have illegal or undocumented workers working for you in hotel projects or various projects?

TRUMP: I can't guarantee it. How can I -- how can anyone? We have 34 million in the country. I used to hear 11. Now, I hear 34 million. I can't guarantee anything.

But I can say this, we work he very hard to make sure that everybody is legal as opposed to illegal.

JOHNS: And there was more controversy surrounding the Washington, D.C. hotel that is supposed to open at the end of this year or some time in 2016.

The celebrated chef and entrepreneur Jose Andres became the latest Trump partner to drop out of a venture with him due to his controversial comments about immigrants. Andres had planned to put a new restaurant inside the hotel -- John and Christine.


BERMAN: All right. Our thanks to Joe Johns for that.

Donald Trump also made it clear that he is standing by a retweet that some people say was a personal jab at Jeb Bush. The retweet said, "Jeb Bush has to like Mexican illegals because of his wife."


TRUMP: If my wife were from Mexico, I think I would have a soft spot for people from Mexico. I can understand it.

COOPER: You think that influences his position on illegal immigration?

TRUMP: I think it could. I mean, maybe it should.

JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My wife is from Mexico. I love her dearly. You can love the Mexican culture, you can love your Mexican-American wife and also believe that we need to control the border.


BERMAN: Jeb Bush made actually a pretty funny joke. He said he didn't see his policy of loving his Mexican-American wife changing in the foreseeable future.

ROMANS: It's been a policy he's had for some three decades.

BERMAN: Forty-one years.

ROMANS: Forty-one.

BERMAN: He's been married for 41 years.

ROMANS: Four decades.

BERMAN: He's stuck by that policy the whole time he said.

The border control plan from Jeb Bush calls for putting border patrol agents closer to the border and fixing the E-Verify system to make it more reliable.

ROMANS: And the E-Verify system is something that the employers use to make sure that the person who is working for them is the person they say they are.

BERMAN: All right. Baltimore's police chief is out of a job, fired, after a crime surge there and the riots. What the city's mayor had to say -- that's next.


[04:47:22] BERM AN: Breaking news overnight out of Chicago. A Southwest airlines flight bound for Boston was forced to abort takeoff at Midway Airport because of mechanical problems.

One of the 143 passengers took this video with sparks coming from the wings. The wings not supposed to do that during takeoff, not at all. Wow!

A fire department spokesman says the engine caught fire. Southwest said no one was hurt and that the plane is being inspected.

ROMANS: In Baltimore, the embattled police chief is out. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced the removal of Commissioner Anthony Batts Wednesday, saying, quote, "The people of Baltimore deserve better."

Batts was widely criticized for his response to the riots that erupted after the death of Freddie Gray. Earlier, a police union report criticized his leadership, saying officers received confusing orders during those riots.

The mayor says she is responding not to the union report. She is responding to a dramatic spike in homicides.


MAYOR STEPHANIE RAWLINGS-BLAKE (D), BALTIMORE: Too many continue to die on our streets, including three just last night and one lost earlier today. Families are tired of feeling this pain and so am I. Recent events have placed an intense focus on our police leadership, distracting many from what needs to be our main focus: the fight against crime.

So, we need a change. This was not an easy decision, but it is one that is in the best interest of the people of Baltimore.

(END VIDEO CLIP) ROMANS: The Deputy Police Commissioner Kevin Davis was named interim commissioner.

BERMAN: Severe storms moving ahead toward the East Coast this morning. We have dramatic video showing some flash floods and rescues of what's happened along the way. That's coming up next.


[04:52:52] ROMANS: Severe weather in store for parts of the Northeast and mid-Atlantic states. Flash flooding already a problem in rural Pennsylvania County. Emergency teams had to rescue several from their cars, their vehicles. Water rose quickly after heavy rain spilling over creeks and on to local roads.

BERMAN: They're cleaning up in East Canton, Ohio, after some major storm there. Look at that tree. Residents say powerful winds forced so much right to the ground.


ANDREA GILLS, EAST CANTON, OHIO RESIDENT: It was so fast, we didn't have time to be scared. You know, we didn't even realized what happened until we came back up.


ROMANS: Let's bring in meteorologist Pedram Javaheri for the very latest.


Look at the storm centered right over portion for the Northeast. I think this is going to your afternoon forecast here when it comes to these stores, really beginning to blossom and we know the front gradually going to be shifting on toward the direction as we head over the next couple of days.

So, we do have a severe weather threat on a scale of one to five, it is a two. It includes 18 million people. So, Philly, Washington, Baltimore all in line here. The main threat damaging winds, potentially some dangerous lightning strikes as well.

But look at how uniform the temperatures are. From Abilene at 76 coming off the heels of the historic rainfall, to New York, more than 1,500 miles away, still at 76 degrees. And again, keeping it mild across the eastern half of the country.

So, the storms expected to pop up into the late morning hours from Detroit to Cleveland. Pittsburgh gets it at lunchtime. Philly and New York get in on the stronger storms this afternoon.

And also, watching a tropical depression. This one poised to become our tropical storm. This would be Elle. As it forms, it's 600 miles away from portions of Hawaiian Islands and we think in the next couple of days, it gets closer towards the weekend. No direct impact, but high surf and small crafts advisory also in place if your travel plans take you towards the Hawaiian Islands -- guys.

ROMANS: All right. Pedram, thanks for that.

Bubbles popping and economies collapsing and a technical glitch shuts down the New York stock exchange. Oh my.

BERMAN: Sounds like a party.

ROMANS: Major threats to your money, we've got all that next.


[04:58:16] ROMANS: All right. Welcome back. I'm Christine Romans.

Let's get an early start on your money this morning. Stocks around the world are higher. But that's not the whole story. Asian stocks are now up. The Shanghai Composite dropped 3 percent at the open and climbed almost 6 percent. The Chinese government is propping up the markets.

Greece tocks are also up on hopes of an agreement n Greece. Greece is expected to submit proposals for a plan today to avoid bankruptcy and stay in the European Union. Stocks in the U.S. are bouncing back from the chaos yesterday.

At 11:30 a.m. yesterday, New York Stock Exchange stayed shut for four hours. The exchange says it was internal technical issue. That glitch did not exactly add to consumer confidence or investor confidence. The Dow fell 261 points yesterday.

Oregon set to make community college free -- free community college in Oregon. The state passed a bill that will cover the cost of students, who first governor signs the bill, Oregon would become the second state to offer free community college.

Tennessee, free community college. A similar program last year passed. Earlier this year, President Obama proposed a plan to make the first two years of community college free.

BERMAN: It's interesting. You see bipartisan support. Tennessee with a Republican governor, Republican legislature. Oregon, Democratic.

So, you see it happening in two different states. Really not an issue of party. An issue of sort of lead.

ROMANS: You have to make higher education available and not have people go into debt to get it. That's the most important thing.

BERMAN: Very interesting.

All right. EARLY START continues right now.


ROMANS: Breaking news this morning: a new day for South Carolina just hours ago voting to remove the Confederate flag from statehouse grounds.

BERMAN: Chaos on Wall Street. The New York Stock Exchange shuts down.