tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN August 28, 2019 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT
currently a category one hurricane, hitting the virgin islands and puerto rico. you can follow me on twitter at, and our coverage on cnn continues right now. happening now, breaking news, hurricane impact. dorian batters the u.s. virgin islands. and closes in on puerto rico, as a category one hurricane. with floods and landslides in areas devastated by hurricane maria two years ago. this storm could slam florida by labor day as a powerful category three hurricane. best thing ever. president trump is already battering puerto rico, calling the u.s. territory quote one of the most corrupt places on earth. and saying he is the best thing that's ever happened to the island. he is also hammering fox news. accusing it of promoting democrats, saying, quote, fox isn't working for us anymore. >> climbing the walls, president
trump seems to be climbing the walls with worry over his election prospects. sources say he has told aides to break the law if they must to build the border wall before the election and offer pardons for any wrongdoings. >> an outwater threat. satellite photos now suggest kim jong-un may be building a huge nuclear capable submarine that could pose a major new threat to the united states. what is going on in that north korean shipyard? i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." breaking news, a new forecast is just in for hurricane dorian, now a category one storm, is ripping through the u.s. and british virgin islands and approaching puerto rico, home to three million americans. the storm is expected to intensify.
and could pit flori, hit florid the labor day weekend as a category three hurricane. puerto rico is still recovering from hurricane maria, which killed nearly 3,000 people two years ago, and as the island braces for impact, slammed by p, who calls it one of the most corrupt places on earth. president trump also tweeting about his border wall, saying it is going up very fast, although no new miles have been built. sources say the president has told aides he will pardon them if they need to break the law to build the wall before the presidential election. i will speak with the national hurricane director and our koreans a correspondents and analysts will have coverage of the top stories. polo sandoval is on the scene for us. what is the latest there now? >> i want you to look directly behind me, way off in the distance of dark and ominous clouds, that's what dorian looks like from 40 miles away here from our vantage point in san
juan, puerto rico, talking to people on the beach tonight, they tell me that is as close as they want the storm to make it but the reality is very different according to emergency officials who say overnight, we are expecting major rain, and with that, a serious threat of flooding. tonight, dorian is intensifying, and shifting its path. now taking aim as the virgin islands and puerto rico's eastern side. hurricane dorian is tracking loon the same course as hurricane maria two years ago. category four storm, many residents are still trying to recover from. >> this is all that maria left. we were given $8 thou to you to repair. >> $8,000 to repair. >> and officials in san juan say dorian is not maria at least in terms of wind and having more impact on rivers because of the rain. >> very much more ahead in terms of planning, than we were two years ago, and our entire
medical services organization is all powered by generators. >> reporter: puerto rico could see up to six inches and more mountainous areas could see up to ten. heavy rain already affecting parts of the british and u.s. virgin islands which forecasters say could see up to four to ten inches in just a couple of hours time. one resident capturing on camera a bright blue surge of electricity hitting a transformer in the midst of all of the rain. >> this is not a good place to be. in the next two or three days. the good news is, is this will be a very quick storm. this will come through in six or search hours and be over and we can assess the damage. >> reporter: tonight, puerto ricans are not taking any chances, many homes and businesses already boarded up, boats removed from the water, drivers are all filling up their tanks. shelters are open on the island ahead of what could be a busy weekend. meanwhile, in florida, major preparations are also under way, with the storm expected to make landfall there during the labor day weekend. >> we've done this before.
we've been through this together. this is no time to panic. we don't know what will develop in the days ahead but it is time to know your evacuation zone. >> these are things to be prepared for, if not dorian but some other storm, but this is the height of the hurricane season and we all need to be prepared. >> reporter: this morning, when dorian's forecasted path shifted further west, i can tell you that officials scram bled some f the resources from the southern, to the northeast and southeast, and the big area of concern is two islands off the coast of puerto rico, part of the municipal system that were devastated two years ago with maria. wolf? >> polo sandoval, be careful over there, in puerto rico for us. omar is on the eastern side of the island. right in the path of the storm. omar, the area was hit hard by hurricane maria nearly two years ago. what is the biggest concern right now where you are?
>> reporter: nearly two years ago, but people still have hurricane maria very much top of mind, as hurricane dorian threatens this portion of the island. and rainfall was really the major concern here. in fact, from the beginning, they said it was not a hurricane maria wind event, but the flooding and the rain that would come with it was a major concern. now, on the other side of the day, now, it seems that we have gotten past some of the more serious bands of dorian, for this spot in particular, but that's because it was just, it is now moving just east of us, particularly over the virgin islands which were hit and have been hit, and i should say are currently being hit, very, very hard, with the brunt of this storm, in fact, in is a spot south of saint stoms, saint thomas, sustained winds 80 miles an hour, and wind gusts over 100 miles an hour and one of the major concerns there, not just in the immediate sense, but also in the long term, is the director of disaster recovery for the virgin islands,
specifically pointed to hurricane maria and said that they just do not have enough permanent work that has been done in the nearly two years since maria, to withstand another storm. this is exactly what they feared. so we can imagine the damage assessment on the other side of when this passes, and it is going to be a significant one, and while they say they do know what to do, the difficulty is going to be actually dos i, doi it, once we are on the other side of dorian, as it continues to build strength and making its way to the u.s. mainland. >> omar, be careful over there as well. joining us now, general johnson, the director of the virgin islands territorial emergency management agency. thanks so much for joining us. i know it is an incredibly dangerous and difficult time right now. tell us more about the conditions you are seeing on in the virgin islands right now. >> well, first of all, we have been activated the last two days, so right now, we
anticipate every step of the way, we are very close to the national weather service, with our emergency responders, first responders from the islands here, st. croix, saint thomas, saint john, we have tracked the last couple of days, the tropical storm progress, tropical storm dorian, going through st. croix this morning, heading to st. thomas and then at 2:00 this afternoon, it went to a category one, right before it landed over by the airport. so we had a little scare for that. right now, the hurricane has gone beyond the island of saint thomas, and now open water, and we feel very blessed, going through that event today. the individual territories are very resilient. we have gone through this before. very seasoned with what is going on. a tremendous team with first responders and emergency responders from the federal side, and inhouse, and federal responders were here for irma, maria, and we're welcome to have them back in our environment right now, we are hunkered down on the island of st. thomas and
st. john and st. croix last night and we're prepared today. >> what is your current assessment? how significant will the damage be once the storm passes? >> the damage assessment right now is primarily to our islands of st. thomas and st. john. would he have island-wide power outage there. the good news is, we have crews still remaining here from irma, maria, that do restoration, and the water and power authority are very prepared to go out and start doing restoration once we have safe conditions. right now, we are still under curfew. tomorrow morning we will reassess the curfew situation. the importance right now is to be safe. >> critically important. as you know, hurricane dorian was originally supposed to have a bigger impact on puerto rico but the u.s. virgin islands, where you are, bearing at least for now the brunt of the storm. did that make it more difficult for you to prepare? >> not at all. we always anticipate and chauch, and the storms can change, in any direction, and we are
prepared for the weather updates, and it is the first part of the decision point, what are the conditions toing to be in the next 12 to 24 hours with other responsiveness and as well as opening up our shelters last night on the island of st. croix to make sure the population can come in there and this morning, open up shelter on the island of st. thomas and island of st. john. >> be careful over there. we will stay in touch. good luck to all of those folks at the u.s. virgin islands. we appreciate the update. and joining us is the director of the national hurricane center ken graham. thanks for joining us. first of all, what's the impact that dorian is having on communities in the caribbean that are clearly still struggling to recover from hurricane maria? >> i will tell you, wolf, they're getting all sorts of rainfall. they're getting the wind. and that's always a dangerous combination. right here, satellite and radar, looking right next to each other here. you can see the eye moving north of the islands but we have to remember, that some of these bands can linger on a little bit
later. even if this eye moves northward, look at the rain bands coming out of. there you can still get some rainfall overnight and dangerous situation for the island, and we have to keep an eye on it throughout the entire night. >> after passing through the caribbean, hurricane dorian is expected to strengthen, correct me if i'm wrong, as it approaches the united states mainland. how significant is the threat to the east coast right now? >> things shifted overnight because the center, the weak system, the hurricane of the hurricane hunter was seeing the center jump around a little bit and yesterday's forecast is a little further to the west and mow it shifted eastward and we don't have the mountains to deal with, we have more water to deal with and all of it is very warm water and not moving over the terrain. we expect it to strengthen of. so possibly a major hurricane by the time we get to the florida coastline. >> ha steps should people be taking, let's say from florida, all the way up to jacksonville, maybe into georgia, south carolina, what kind of steps should they be taking over the next few days?
>> well, wolf, you make a great point of all of these different areas. look how large this cone. is you're stretching all the way, the entire coastline of florida, has to be ready. so listen to those local officials. have all of the plans ready. know what you're going to do. know your evacuation zone. this is one of the bigger pieces of advice that i have to give, wolf, is listen to the latest forecast. the forecast changed somewhat. there is some uncertainty in the modeling as we go to the extended forecast. listen for the latest. it can change. be prepared. listen for the latest. we will get through it together. >> has this storm been difficult to forecast? >> it has been extremely difficult, because when it started off, it really, when you have a small system like this, the smaller the system, the more impact you can have, based on the forecast, whether it goes over the mountains, or if it goes over the water. very difficult when it is that small. and in this case, going over the water, we think it is going to be get stronger and stronger with time. >> do you worry that the changing forecast will make it more difficult for people in the path of the storm to prepare?
>> i think it is the thing that we've been talking about for the last few days here, we stressed the uncertainty, and look at this cone, wolf, we expect the center to be anywhere in this cone two thirds of the time. so the big thing we have to stress is not the center forecast, not just where that line is, not where the center, but listen to where it could be, anywhere from georgia, the entire coast of florida, we're letting people know, if you're in there, you have to assume you're going to be impacted and you have to be ready. >> that water i take it is pretty warm right now which will be bad news for this hurricane, because it is going to intensify, right? >> yes, it is interesting, because the previous forecast, when it was further to the west, you had some islands to go through, the bahamas, and you also had some shear to deal with. this new forecast, why it changed overnight, is you're further out in the ocean, where the warm waters are, and less shear and that's why the forecast intensity went up. it is just a different path. >> ken graham, we will check back with you, thanks to you and all of the people who work with you, for what you're doing, you're going to be saving lives indeed.
we appreciate it very much. >> you bet. let's go to our meteorologist allison chinchar at the cnn weather center. what is your big take-away from what you just heard right now, where is this heading? >> two take-aways. number one, prepare. even if you go out, you buy supplies, water, poptarts, whatever, and then you find out it is not coming to you, you're just out the money for water and poptarts but always better to be prepared. and two days ago, we expected it to be a tropical storm. now, it is looking like a major hurricane. so you really need to pay attention. especially as this storm continues to intensify. which it did for the latest update. now, up to 80 mile-an-hour sustained winds, starting to pick up speed a little bit, northwest at about 14 miles an hour. you can see all of this heavy rain here, over the virgin islands, and then starting around eastern portions of puerto rico, as well. and here's a look at the track. it will go out over open water. with the warm water, it will help the system intensify over the coming days before it finally begins to veer off
toward the coast of florida. you may notice that track is very wide. the question is why? why is there all of the uncertainty about where this system goes? here is something to note. tropical systems always want to go north. so it takes something incredibly powerful, to prevent it from going north. so in normal circumstances, this would start to veer north. maybe heading back towards the carolinas. but you have this very intense high pressure system here that is essentially steering it, and pushing it, over towards florida. and the other question becomes, what happens to this low pressure system and this ridge that is really starting to take shape across the central u.s. and how much of an impact does that have on dorian in the coming days, to whether or not it ends up making a second landfall, somewhere along the gulf coast region. a lot of the models are in agreement that very heavy rainfall is expected to take place as the storm intensifies over the open atlantic. then the question becomes, where is that exact landfall point? and really, we're going to have to keep a close eye on how much more this intensifies, and any more wobbling that this storm
may end up doing in the short term. >> the latest forecast for us, thank you. we will get back to you very soon. we're staying on top of this story. thank you very much. up next, as the storm moves in, president trump is already battering puerto rico, calling the u.s. territory, quote, one of the most corrupt places on earth. and sources say president trump has told aides to break the law if they must do so, to build the border wall, with mexico, before the presidential election. offering pardons for any wrong-doing. dealing with psoriatic arthritis pain was so frustrating. my skin... it was embarrassing. my joints... they hurt. the pain and swelling. the tenderness. the psoriasis. i had to find something that worked on all of this. i found cosentyx. now, watch me. real people with active psoriatic arthritis are getting real relief with cosentyx. it's a different kind of targeted biologic. cosentyx treats more than just the joint pain
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. as hurricane dorian closes in on puerto rico, president trump is already slamming the u.s. territories as he lashes out in all directions apparently worried about his own re-election prospects. our white house correspondent boris sanchez has the latest. >> reporter: tonight, president donald trump signing an emergency declaration securing aid for puerto rico but not without insulting the island and reigniting a feud with the san juan mayor. trump tweeting, fema and all others are ready and will do a great job. when they do, let them know it and give them a big thank you,
not like last year, that includes from the incompetent mayor of san juan. later adding, puerto rico is one of the most corrupt places on earth. their political system is broken and their politicians are either incompetent, or corrupt. congress approved billions of dollars last time, more than any place else has ever gotten. and it is sent to crooked politicians. no good. and by the way, i'm the best thing that's ever happened to puerto rico. the president once again, alluding to the false claim that puerto rico received $92 billion in disaster relief following hurricane maria in 2017. in reality, congress allocated about $40 billion in aid, with the island only receiving a fraction of that. >> i have taken better care of puerto rico than any man ever. >> reporter: and now, the trump administration is slashing $155 million in fema disaster relief funding, according to documents newly obtained by cnn, rerouting $271 million within dhs toward
efforts to cut migration along the southern border with mexico. in a statement to cnn, fema claims the move will not impact ongoing long-term recovery efforts across the country. this, as sources say trump is so determined to fulfill his promise of a border wall before the 2020 election, that sources say he is encouraging aides to ignore environmental regulations, fast-track billions of dollars in funding, and aggressively seize private property to build the wall. cnn confirming reporting originally in the "washington post," that trump is promising staffers he will pardon them if they break the law. trump also reportedly demanding the wall be painted black, making it hot to the touch, and topped with steel spikes, to make it more intimidating. trump responding today, that the story was made up by the "washington post," only to demean and disparage. despite trump's claim that the wall is going up fast, customs and border protection tell cnn
that zero new miles of border have been built and 60 miles of dilapidated barrier have been replaced and plans in place for roughly 110 miles of new wall. meantime the white house is shying away from a major indication the president plans to host next year's g-7 meeting at his miami area golf resort, the white house tweeting out, trump shares the location of the next g-7 summit, attached to a video of trump, talking to reporters about the doral, at the g-7 in france. >> they went to places all over the country and they came back and said this is where we would like to be. >> reporter: a white house official tells cnn the tweet may be removed because plans for the next g-7 meeting have not been finalized. trump today, also taking aim at his favorite news outlet. tweeting, just watch fox news, heavily promoted the democrats. hopeless and clueless. they should go all the way left, and i will still find a way to win. that's what i do. win. too bad. i don't want to win for myself. i only want to win for the
people. the new fox news is letting millions of great people down. we have to start looking for a new news outlet. fox isn't working for us anymore. >> now, wolf, on that reporting that the president told aides we pardon them if they acted illegally to build his long-promised border wall, a white house spokesperson says the president was only kidding. wolf? >> thank you, reporting from the white house, thank you. and democratic congressman mike quick quigly of illinois, a member of the house intelligence committee, thanks for joining us. let me first get your reaction to president trump attacks puerto rico, as the island is riding out this hurricane, hurricane dorian. >> it's history repeating itself, unfortunately. you couple this with the fact that they are now rechanneling money used for fema and natural disasters for the president's political gain. it's extraordinary. let's me make something clear, too. i've been in congress ten years. and we have had to dramatically
supplement fema to the tune of billions of dollars, because of hurricanes, wildfires, and other natural disasters, that are taking place, at an increasing number, with a higher level of severity. largely due because of climate change. something the president isn't helping with, rather he is hurting us. >> are you confident, congressman, that the president will sign an emergency aid bill for puerto rico, if necessary? >> in the final analysis, he will. i would like to think if there is any humanity left in the man. but at this point in time, nothing surprises me. i call on my colleagues in congress to force the issue, and help the citizens of the united states, and puerto rico, the virgin islands, and those who will be impacted certainly in florida, rather than attacking them. it's interesting, he attacks them for political corruption, he has some level of expertise there. >> let's move on to another
sensitive issue. as you heard, cnn has confirmed, the "washington post" report that president trump told members of his administration that he would pardon them if they break the law to fast-track construction of his border wall with mexico. what's your reaction to that? >> again, the president acts in the same manner that he has before. dangling pardons, which was evidenced in the mueller report, that came out previously. this is the president of the united states, by doing so, acting illegally. again, for political gain. a reason, an additional reason, we should move forward with an impeachment inquiry. the president continues to commit acts, high crimes and misdemeanors, which the house and senate need to investigate. >> congressman, thanks for joining us. >> any time. thank you. coming up, we will have the latest on hurricane dorian. a lot is developing as we speak. we'll be right back.
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we are following the breaking news, three million americans of puerto rico right now, are dealing with hurricane dorian, after the storm hit the u.s. virgin islands earlier this afternoon. throughout the day, president trump has been sending tweets, disparaging puerto rico, calling it, and i'm quoting the president right now, one of the
most corrupt places on earth. let's bring in our experts, and ryan, saying puerto rico one of the most corrupt places on earth, the politicians are corrupt, congress approved billions of dwlaollars, more th anyone else, sent to crooked politicians and by the way, i'm the best thing that has happened to puerto ricos. what's your reaction? >> i would like to ask puerto ricans about that. talk about victim blaming. this is an island in danger of being hit by a hurricane. i can't think of a more, something that previous, a difference between previous presidents and the way he is treats us. this is a natural disaster and just so people remember in normal times what a president did when being hit by a natural disaster, making sure fema is on
the ground and people are prepared and public service announcements what zow if you run out of water or your electricity goes out. and instead, inexplicably, this president is disapparentlying the political leadersh, did the the political leadership of the island for no apparent reason at all. >> any reason why he would be attacking the island at this moment? >> best guess, he feels the politicians of san juan, have disparaged him, have not thanked him, for the last response, which by the way was a complete failure. people are left without resources for a long time. and there were private groups going in there to make sure people had bottled water. so not only does it represent a failure for the administration, but he always holds a grudge. and you know, another hurricane isn't going to dissipate that. and the other thing is, we, and you saw it, the contrast, between the responses in texas, and in florida, versus puerto rico, it was faster for those two others.
>> it was. and you know, samantha, as the storm approaches, the mainland united states, presumably over this weekend, the trump administration, get this, is diverting $271 million in disaster relief funding, approved by congress, to step up immigration enforcement along the border. is that going to hurt the ability of fema, for example, to do the job? >> well, most likely it will. and while president trump views the federal budget as his campaign fund, he's used his power, or frankly abused it, to finance his pet projects, by reappropriating funds towards things he thinks will sound good on the campaign trail. remember he declared a national emergency on the southern border so that he could reappropriate funds from the department of defense. congress said that that was illegal. but that was able to move forward. and now, yet again, the executive branch is stepping in, and moving funds from disaster relief, disasters have not gone down, nor have the need to responds to them, toward
something that he believes is a political priority, which is the border wall. the issue is that he is putting american lives at risk. his political campaign is trumping the lives of at least three million puerto ricans that could be at risk, from this hurricane, as well as folks in florida, and unless fema stepped in, which we don't think they did, and said that these funds weren't necessary anymore, the president is making himself the appropriator in chief, and maybe setting up yet another battle with congress. >> is he allowed to reprogram this money, just with a signature? >> i mean the key word here is appropriations. there are three branches of government. and congress is the one that has the power of purse. to actually appropriate funds like they need to. and as always said, they did not want to appropriate and ear mark funds for fema-related beds, and i.c.e. related beds, they did not want to do so and now to circumvent the authority, at the beginning of the hurricane season, in a way to show the
executive branch, is really as nancy pelosi say, highly inappropriate, and quite frankly it is insincere and sad and awful to do so. and when we come to what he is able to do. it is not unheard of from one department, to have funds go from different agencies, in that department. and what is unheard of is when congress is already appropriating funds for a particular need, and they have the priorities of congress, and the american people, and for that to be undermined, and that is the real issue. >> we have breaking news, political news, i want to get to, ryan, senator kirsten gillibrand, democrat of new york, a democratic presidential candidate, has just tweeted, she is dropping out of the race for the democratic presidential nomination. she hasn't been doing well in the polls. what's your reaction? >> it shows a couple of things. one, how important these debates. are if you can't make that debate stage -- >> which is next week. the next democratic presidential debate. >> and it is in houston, texas, she did not qualify for that debate. >> let me read the statement that she just posted on twitter. today, i am ending my campaign
for president. i am so proud of this team. and all we've accomplished. but i think it is important to note how you can best serve, to our supporters, thank you from the bottom of my heart. now let's go beat donald trump, and win back the senate. >> you know, campaigns usually don't end, they just run out of money, and she could not raise the funds to keep that campaign going. if you get into the debate, maybe you can generate some excitement, some publicity about your campaign and generate some more funds, that didn't happen, so it was the death knell for her campaign. >> the next democratic presidential debate in two weeks, what do you think, jackie? >> i don't think this is the end of folks dropping out because ryan is absolutely right. if you don't have that exposure, if you're not able to catch fire, the debate that she was in, she really didn't make much of an impact and you could argue because she didn't get enough time but it just didn't happen for her. and she faced some head winds among democratic donors because of her decision to call out al franken and call for him to
resign and sort of lead the charge there. she didn't back down on that. she, you know, doubled, tripled down on that decision, and made it a part of her campaign. but that did, that was part of her difficulty, raising the necessary funds to continue. and then there is the other issue with some of these campaigns that are having trouble making the debate, saying the dnc rules aren't necessarily helpful to campaigns, to people who aren't necessarily in the national spotlight all the time. >> i suspect more candidates will be dropping out fairly soon as well. everybody, stick around. more news we're following. a possible settlement involving one of the big drug companies, caught up in the opioid scandal. are we supposed to dance? ♪
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as it nears puerto rico. much more on that in a few moments. also tonight, we're learning new details about a possible legal settlement involving a prominent family and the giant pharmaceutical company at the heart of the country's opioid crisis. our national correspondent, erica hill is joining us, she has details. tell us more. >> reporter: it's a story of pain, addiction, and enormous profits. for years, purdue pharma and the family who owns it the sacklers have been blamed for oxycontin's role in the nation's opioid epidemic. >> the citizens of missouri have been the victims of a coordinated campaign of fraud,
and deception about the nature of drugs known as opioids. >> reporter: the sacklers insisting the family and the company had nothing to do with the health crisis. but tonight, facing thousands of lawsuits, cnn has learned purdue pharma is in settlement talks which could cost the company $10 to $12 billion according to news. and the sackler family would give up its stake in the company and pay at least $3 billion of its own money. it wouldn't be the company's first settlement, or admission that it made billions selling pain pills. >> do you know how much the sackler family has made off the sale of oxycontin? >> i don't know. >> but fair to say it's over a billion? >> it would be fair to say that, yes. >> dr. richard sackler, purdue pharma's former president and current chairman, answered questions, during a 2015 deposition for a lawsuit brought by the state of kentucky.
the tapes were first obtained by pro publica. >> do you believe that any of purdue's conduct has led to an increase in people being addicted in the commonwealth of kentucky? >> no. >> reporter: purdue settled that case months later for $24 million. yet, years before, the company and three executives had already pleaded guilty in federal court to misleading and defrauding doctors and consumers about oxycontin and agreed to pay more than a $600 million fine. >> for these misrepresentations and crimes, purdue and its executives have been brought to justice. >> reporter: still, the accusations and legal challenges persist. >> before it was a heroin crisis, before it was a fentanyl crisis, it was a prescription drug crisis in this state which was oxycontin. >> reporter: purdue pharma tells cnn while it will defend itself vigorously, they are acting on a
solution with plaintiffs because they see little good coming from years of pastaful litigation and appeals. >> i don't think they will be concerned about appeals and litigation, i think they're concerned about their liability which is going to be massive if they don't settle. >> reporter: attorneys are expected to update the court on settlement talks at the end of the week. in terms of that payout, "the new york times" is reporting most of the money would be restructuring the company through a chapter 11 bankruptcy filing and that means profits from drugs sales including oxycontin would fund the settlement and the company would be required according to the times to offer it's diction treatment drug free of charge and i want to point out that cnn has reached out to mevs the sackler family and we have yet to hear back. coming up, new satellite image, raising the troubling possibility that kim jong-un is making progress on a weapon that could threaten the united states.
new satellite images north korea's military may be making progress on an ominous weapons unit. >> reporter: we're told there is new activity at a shipyard where kim jong-un builds and tests submarine that's contain nuclear vessels. they are working on one in particular which will be one of the most menacing weapons and he seems determined to deploy it as soon as he can. new evidence that north korea's ambitious young supreme commander may soon have another submarine to command and a new way to threaten the u.s. new satellite photos just published by the website beyond parallel shows what appears to know new activity at the shipyard in north korea where his regime builds submarines. a large he sub and a so-called midget sub are parked there.
along with another support vessel. there is a crane. a vehicle in one photo and people at the dock. analysts believe it could be to support this. an enormous nuclear capable submarine being built or renovated which kim was photographed inspecting last month at a nearby location. experts say the shipyard activity could mean the north koreans are preparing for a crucial test. >> the purpose of this vessel may be to take the test barge into open waters and test a submarine launched ballistic missile. >> cnn talked to a top pentagon official. >> we see very intentional modernization on the part of the dprk. >> what concerns but the development of that submarine? >> well, if you extrapolate far enough, they're looking for a capability that makes them a more potent adversary. >> another senior u.s. official has told cnn, the u.s. has been tracking the development of this sub for a year and a half.
kim successfully test fired a ballistic missile from a smaller submarine in 2016. a vessel which experts say could hold one nuclear tipped mils. this larger one, they say, could hold three or more. these subs give kim the ability to launch nuclear missile that's would be harder to detect in advance and analysts fear he's trying to develop a longer range submarine. >> they could potentially within the next decade develop submarines capable of moving across the pacific ocean to reach the united states. >> it comes as the new defense secretary spoke about kim's other missile threat. >> we are concerned about their short range ballistic missile tests. we want to understand what they're doing and why. we won't overreact. >> tonight expert sas the full steam ahead shows he's trying to build a nuclear force that can survive enemy attacks. at the same time, diminishing
the promise of president trump's overtures. >> this only reinforce that's north korea seems at least at the moment not committed to denuclearizing to the extent the president had mentioned. >> reporter: how can the u.s. and its allies countter threat from kim jong-un? they'll have to put more spy planes in the air, more shipments and even underwater sensors to try to detect and intercept the submarines. it will be difficult, expensive and it could provoke china and russia to be more aggressive in the pacific. the allies may have no other choice. coming up, dorian could slam the u.s. mainland by labor day as major hurricane. pride ourseln making it easy for you to get your windshield fixed. with safelite, you can see exactly when we'll be there. saving you time for what you love most.
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cnn news live. slamming puerto rico. as the u.s. territory is threatened by dorian, it is also being bashed by the president of the united states. after famously throwing towels at hurricane maria victims, mr. trump is throwing insults. calling the island corrupt. back to the wall. we're learning more about the president's obsession with completing his border wall before the 2020 election. is he encouraging aides to break the law by promising pardons? and fox aren't friends. mr. trump complains that his once favorite news network is not doing enough to promote his presidency. is he openly admitting he expects fox to act like state-run tv? we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf