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Pope Francis Visits Myanmar; Mount Agung Show Signs of Possible Eruption; President Trump Faces News Challenges After Thanksgiving; John Conyers Steps Down; Airstrikes in Syria kills 57 people; Pakistan's law minister resigns; Saudi Arabia eases on Yemen; Ireland threatens to block Brexit; Box office hit for new Disney movie. Aired 3-4a ET
Aired November 27, 2017 - 03:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[03:00:00] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Delicate diplomacy. Pope Francis arrives in Myanmar, a country accused of horrifying acts of brutality against the Rohingya Muslim minority. Now many wonder how the pope will address the crisis.
Plus, on high alert in Bali. Volcanic eruption have already closed the airport and forced thousands to evacuate. And experts say another major eruption could happen soon.
And a new development to the protests in Pakistan. They've been called off after the law minister resign amid blasphemy accusations.
Hello and welcome to our viewers here in the United States and of course all around the United States. I'm Rosemary Church and this is CNN Newsroom.
Pope Francis is in Myanmar for the country's first papal visit. A sizeable crowd of people were lined up to see his motorcade outside the archbishop's home in Yangon. Pope Francis is expected to address Myanmar's humanitarian crisis. The violence in Myanmar has driven out more than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims across the border into Bangladesh.
The pope has expressed concern for this minority before, but he's been warned not to use the word Rohingya on this trip. His advisers are afraid that could spark a diplomatic incident.
CNN's Ivan Watson joins me now from Hong Kong to take a closer look at all of this. Ivan, how difficult will this trip likely be for the pope, given he has been warned mention the word Rohingya? He's been asked to appease the military and the government. All the time knowing of the atrocities committed by the military on the Rohingya people. So how will the hope handle this do you think?
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It will be a little bit tricky, but keep in mind, Rosemary, this not a novice when it comes to international diplomacy. Pope Francis has traveled all around the world before and has stepped into other controversies and conflicts as well. In this case, yes.
He was advised by the cardinal of Myanmar not to use the term Rohingya, in part because that term is rejected by the government. And by a large chunk of the population who view the Rohingya Muslim minorities as illegal immigrants. Though, arguably the Rohingyas have been there for generations and generations. So that's one area that's difficult.
Another area of difficulty is that the Vatican has made it clear that they want to support democracy, which is only -- it's only been about two years since Aung San Suu Kyi's party won the elections. It's in a very delicate power-sharing arrangement with the military and they do not want to overly criticize or embarrass Aung San Suu Kyi. The cardinal of Myanmar has spoken out in support of her.
Another piece of advice was for Pope Francis not only to meet Aung San Suu Kyi who leads the civilian government but also to meet with the most senior general in the military who constitutionally has a great deal more power, again, arguably over the security forces and foreign diplomacy than Aung San Suu Kyi herself has.
That said, Pope Francis has come out very forcefully in the past criticizing Myanmar, claiming that the Rohingya Muslims way back in February are being tortured and killed simply because of their Muslim faith and that was months before the latest crisis erupted in August, which has led to the exodus of more than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims across the border to Bangladesh. Rosemary?
CHURCH: And, Ivan, as you mentioned, Pope Francis will meet Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi who was once revered for protesting against the country's military dictatorship now she's criticized for not denouncing the military's brutality toward the Rohingya refugees. Explain to us why there is so much hate directed toward the Rohingya population. Why are they treated so brutally by the military and the government of Myanmar?
WATSON: You know, for outsiders it's a bit hard for myself included, it's a bit hard to understand because Myanmar is a multi-ethnic state, multi religious overwhelmingly Buddhist. There are 135 officially recognized ethnic groups. The Rohingya are not one of those groups. The government refuses to even use the word Rohingya, often referring to them as Benghali.
But what is clear there is that there is in recent years a surge in Buddhist nationalism there and I would argue a surge in Islamophobia as well.
[03:04:57] WATSON: Funeral for a fallen man. This was the scene in January after the brazen daylight shooting of a well-known lawyer in Myanmar. The victim Ko Ni was an outspoken member of Myanmar's tiny Muslim religious minority. His daughter says he was gunned down while cradling his 2-year-old grandson outside Yangon International Airport.
YIN NWE KHAING, KO NI'S DAUGHTER: When I turned around and looked and my father was on the ground. So I just ran and help him. But at the time there is no sign of life.
WATSON: Ko Ni's killing came during a surge of religious tension in this overwhelmingly Buddhist country. A phenomenon CNN reported on two years ago.
Who is threatening Buddhism in this country?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Muslims.
WATSON: Muslims only make up around 5 percent of the population, but some Buddhist monks preach that they pose an existential threat to the country.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We are worried they will explode our ethnic heritage, cultural buildings, religious monuments and our brotherhood when they carry out suicide bombings.
WATSON: Nowhere is this fear of Muslims more acute than in Rakhine state where a deadly attack by Rohingya Muslim militants against security forces last August triggered a campaign of reprisals. More than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims has since been driven from their homes across the border to neighboring Bangladesh.
Refugees accuse the military of torching their villages, mass rape and murder. Myanmar says it's fighting against a terrorist insurgency and denies deliberately attacking civilians. The U.S. and the United Nations call it ethnic cleansing.
There is little public sympathy in Myanmar for the Rohingya. For decades, authorities labeled them illegal immigrants and denied them citizenship. The Rohingya crisis has raised fears among other Muslims in Myanmar who do enjoy full citizenship rights.
U THAN AUNG, IMAM (through translator): The hate speech overwhelmed the minds of most of the people in Myanmar. If you look at these people, it's all because of fear. And because of this fear, they are afraid of us and we are afraid of them.
WATSON: In 2015, there was hope that the election of Nobel Peace prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi would calm religious tensions. The murdered Muslim lawyer Ko Ni was one of her top legal advisers and a defender of the Rohingya Muslims.
Aung San Suu Kyi's government labeled his killing an act of terrorism. A trial of several suspects is underway. But even one of Aung San Suu Kyi's Muslim supporters argues the political climate in Myanmar is toxic.
U AYE LWIN, MEMBER, ADVISORY COMMISSION ON RAKHINE STATE: They keep on using religion as a political tool. And there are a lot of traps so she has to be very careful. I'll be very blunt, if she come out and defends the Muslims, it will be political suicide for her.
WATSON: Ko Ni's daughter warned her father to be more careful about challenging Buddhist nationalists. For that he may have paid the ultimate price.
WATSON: Now, Rosemary, keep in mind, when Pope Francis has travelled internationally he has sometimes made some very strong political signals. When he went to Israel in the occupied Palestinian territories in 2014, I remember reporting how he laid his head and his hand against the separation barrier that the Israelis built around the Palestinian town of Bethlehem.
Last year, he brought a dozen or more Syrian refugees on his plane back with him from a visit to Greece, back to the Vatican. We've heard that he is planning to meet with several dozen Rohingya refugees when he makes the second stop on this Southeast Asian tour in Bangladesh. Rosemary?
CHURCH: And we will talk about that in just moment. Ivan Watson, many thanks to you, joining us there from Hong Kong. Let's go to Phil Robertson now who joins us from Bangkok, Thailand. He is the deputy director for the Asian division of Human Rights Watch. Thanks so much, sir, for being with us.
PHIL ROBERTSON, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: Of course.
CHURCH: As we heard from Ivan Watson there, after the pope's visit to Myanmar, he plans to go to Bangladesh where the Rohingya refugees are located and we understand he may very well meet with some of those refugees. How likely is it that the pope will do that and what impact would such a meeting have if he does go ahead and talk to Rohingya refugees?
ROBERTSON: Well, we certainly hope that he will because the Rohingya are really a forgotten people. They have been stripped of their name by the Burmese government. They've been stripped of their dignity and their rights by the Burmese army and they've fled en masse into Bangladesh.
It's time now for the international community to recognize that these people deserve priority attention.
[03:10:01] They've suffered far too long and I think that if the pope would meet with them in Bangladesh that would be a good first step to bringing the recognition of the plight of the Rohingya really into the forefront of international community concerns.
CHURCH: And how significant is this papal visit to Myanmar for that very reason? And also, ultimately, Bangladesh. What would you expect the pope to say, how far might he push the boundaries there, given he has been warned not to even mention the word Rohingya. He's been told to appease the military and the government of Myanmar, but could this turn out to be a bit of a gamble for Aung San Suu Kyi, who invited him?
ROBERTSON: I think it may be a gamble for her because this pope has been highly unpredictable and I think that he may well use the word Rohingya publicly. We would certainly encourage him to do so because it's important to recognize the right of the Rohingya to self-identify as Rohingya.
I think that Aung San Suu Kyi, frankly, has set up a situation here where she may well be disappointed with this visit because the Rohingya will dominate. I think he's been warned not to use the word Rohingya by his own clergy in Myanmar, simply to, I think inoculate those clergy against an unnecessary backlash that might happen because the Rohingya are so politically unpopular within her -- you know, I think that there is really a situation here where the pope has to do the right thing and let the chips fall where they may.
CHURCH: And what do you expect to come out of the pope's meeting with de facto Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi, once viewed of course as a human rights icon, now seen as a disappointment to many who fight for justice of the downtrodden.
ROBERTSON: Well, what I were hoping is that she recognizes the importance of dealing with treating various different minority religions, whether they Catholicism or other forms of Christianity or Hinduism or Islam in a nondiscriminatory manner. And that she really finds a way to rein in the Buddhist extremists who have been instigating hate speech, an in some cases violence against these religious minorities.
In a country like Burma which is so multiethnic and multi-religious, you know, to not do that, to allow these tensions to fester I think is really a very, very dangerous thing, indeed.
CHURCH: Phil Robertson, we thank you so much for joining us. I appreciate it.
ROBERTSON: Thank you.
CHURCH: We turn to Indonesia now. And Indonesia says a major eruption from Mount Agung in Bali could come at any moment. And these are pictures that just came into CNN just a few minutes ago, in fact. Authorities issued their highest alert after the volcano spewed ash and flames several times over the weekend.
Look at that. They are urging residents within a ten kilometer radius to leave the area. About 25,000 people have already been evacuated but many have not left.
So let's go to Mumtaza Tjatradiningrat, she is a reporter with CNN Indonesia and joins us now. So Mumtaza, what more are you learning about this volcano? We saw those latest pictures. Why have so many people refused to evacuate the area given the dangers they confront here?
MUMTAZA TJATRADININGRAT, CNN CORRESPONDENT, INDONESIA: Well, most of Balinese who live within the area especially within the 10-kilometer radius from the crater are basically farmers and it becomes very hard for them to leave when they do not have vehicles at the same time. So it becomes very hard for them to leave their cattle to leave their home when there are no vehicles to help them out to go to the temporary shelters just 10 kilometers (TECHNICAL PROBLEM).
But most of them who live especially within the 7.5 kilometer radius from the crater has been confirmed left the area and went to the temporary shelters. However, the government -- the command posts as well as the search and rescue team as well as the policemen, the military army, they are helping out civilians, villagers who are living within the 7.5 kilometer to 10 kilometer radius of the crater to leave the area immediately.
They're helping out with trucks, busses and to help all the villagers so that the area and go to the nearest temporary shelters. They're expecting over 50,000 people to be relocated and to seek refugee into over eight districts and surrounding the area, safe zones for the people.
If you see, if you remember that the last time over 100,000 people fled the area even though their homes are safe. But with the volcanic ashes spewing out (TECHNICAL PROBLEM) from the crater it becomes dangerous. But the people have been experiencing a very hard time to breathe so it becomes very imminent for people who lives even in the outskirts of the 10 kilometer radius zones to also leave the area.
[30:15:03] CHURCH: All right. Mumtaza Tjatradiningrat reporting there from CNN, Indonesia on the situation there with the volcano in Bali. Beautiful resort island with lots of tourists there and so many people. Their lives in danger at this very moment. Keeping a very eye on that and we will have more on the danger from the volcano in about 30 minutes from now with our meteorologist Allison Chinchar.
We'll take a short break here, but President Trump faces a new legal battle over his appointee to run a consumer watchdog agency. The latest on Mick Mulvaney controversy ahead.
And President Trump has also weighed into the Alabama Senate controversy will that derail his efforts to push tax reform and a spending bill during this critical upcoming week? We will take a look at that as well.
Back in a moment.
CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. We are tracking some major news out of Washington. A lawsuit seeks to halt U.S. President Donald Trump's choice to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. That is a government watchdog that oversees Wall Street.
[03:19:59] On Friday, Mr. Trump named Mick Mulvaney to lead it, but the outgoing director Richard Cordray had already named his own successor. Her name is Leandra English and she is behind the lawsuit trying to block Mulvaney's appointment. Hope he's still with me on this.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said this about the lawsuit, "The law is clear, Director Mulvaney is the acting director of the CFPB. Now that the CFPB's own general counsel who was hired under Richard Cordray has notified the bureau's leadership that she agrees with the administration and Department of Justice's reading of the law. There should be no question that Director Mulvaney is the acting director."
Well, President Trumps back in Washington after the Thanksgiving holiday and he has a busy week ahead. He still has to get a tax reform bill passed in the Senate and has out a deal on government spending and do it all before the end of the year.
More now from CNN's Boris Sanchez.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The president returning from a Thanksgiving holiday at Mar-a-Lago to the White House on Sunday with no shortage of items on the agenda and no shortage of controversy.
The president on Sunday digging in his heels in his support of Roy Moore, stopping just short of endorsing the embattled republican Senate candidate in Alabama. On Sunday, the president attacked Moore's opponent Doug Jones via Twitter. Writing in part, quote, "The last thing we need in Alabama and the U.S. Senate is a Schumer/Pelosi puppet who is weak on crime, weak on the border, bad for our military and our great vets, bad for our Second Amendment and wants to raise taxes to the sky. Jones would be a disaster."
The president continued, "I endorse Luther Strange in the Alabama primary, he shot way up in the polls but it wasn't enough. Can't let Schumer/Pelosi win this race. Liberal Jones would be bad."
It's a clear case of the president seeming to split with a lot of members of his own party. If you recall, the initial White House response to the allegations against Roy Moore echoed what many other republicans were saying, that if these allegations against Roy Moore were true, then he should drop out.
But as more and more establishment republicans have said that it is best for the party and for the country, as Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina did this weekend, that Roy Moore drop out of the race, the president has left the door open to even potentially go to Alabama and campaign for Roy Moore.
All of this coming amidst a very busy week legislatively. The Senate could potentially vote for tax reform as early as Thursday, and it is really a make or break moment for the president's first year in office after a first year that has lacked in any major legislative accomplishments, the republicans have a lot riding on tax reform.
So, the president is actually headed to Capitol Hill during the early part of the week to meet with Senate republicans to discuss tax reform and then another major thing on the horizon after that visit to Capitol Hill the president is set to meet with leaders from both parties at the White House to discuss finalizing a budget to fund the government.
Government funding runs out on December 8th so we could potentially see not only deal to fund the government but one on raising the debt ceiling and on things like DACA. So it's very interesting to see the president so on the other side of the issues when it comes to Roy Moore, even within his own party.
Boris Sanchez, CNN, in Washington.
CHURCH: U.S. Senator Al Franken says he is embarrassed and ashamed of the allegations he touched women inappropriately, but he says he has no plans to resign. In a round of interviews, the democrat admitted he let a lot of people down and now he hopes to regain their trust.
(BEGIN VOICE CLIP)
SEN AL FRANKEN, (D-N.Y.): I think this will take some time. But I think that with a -- I'm taking responsibility. I've apologized to the women who have felt disrespected and to everyone I've let down.
I'm cooperating fully with the ethics committee and I am trying to handle this in a way and to -- that adds to an important conversation and to be a better public servant and a better man.
(END VOICE CLIP)
CHURCH: And another longtime democrat is facing allegations of sexual misconduct. John Conyers is stepping aside as a ranking member of the House judiciary committee. He denies sexually harassing staff members but he says serving on the committee while he's under an ethics investigation would be a distraction. House democratic leader Nancy Pelosi refused to criticize Conyers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NANCY PELOSI, UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES MINORITY LEADER: We are strengthened by due process. Just because someone is accused -- was it one accusation, is it two?
[03:25:01] I think there has to be -- John Conyers is an icon in our country. He's done a great deal to protect women in the Violence Against Women Act which the left wing -- the right-wing is now quoting me as raising him for his work on that. He did great work on that.
But the fact is as John reviews his case, which he knows, which I don't, I believe he will do --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why don't you know?
PELOSI: I believe that he will...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, how is it that you don't?
PELOSI: Excuse me, may I finish my sentence?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sure.
PELOSI: That he will do the right thing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: All right. We'll get to that in just a moment. But Inderjeet Parmar joins us now from London. He is a professor of international politics at City University. Thanks so much for being with us. A lot to cover of course. So, I want to start with President Trump's continued support of
Alabama republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, who has been accused of pursuing relationships with teenagers when he was in his 30's.
On Sunday, Mr. Trump sent out two tweets essentially endorsing Moore. How problematic could this prove to be for the president going forward do you think?
INDERJEET PARMAR, PROFESSOR, CITY UNIVERSITY IN LONDON: Well, going on past precedent and his own record on the question of relations with women, I suspect that this is not going to do too much damage to the president himself. It has damage to some extent Roy Moore, but he seems to have recovered in the polls and President Trump has seems to be back in supporting him.
And as you know, that --his is disruption of the national grand old party. And Steve Bannon, Roy Moore, and President Trump are basically undermining that national party. They have been very critical of (TECHNICAL DIFFICULTY) Paul Ryan than the establishment republicans overall. So I'm not sure how much damage this will do to President Trump, really.
CHURCH: That seems to be how it works, right, and of course, as we just saw the democrats have problems of their own with Representative John Conyers stepping down from his powerful judiciary post amid accusations of sexual harassment. And Senator Al Franken admitting he is embarrassed and ashamed about sexual harassment allegations that he is facing.
We saw Nancy Pelosi struggling there. So what impact is this all likely to have on the democrats and on the leadership team, and what voters likely to make of all of this?
PARMAR: Well, I think it just as another day to the coffin of the two national parties, really. Their leadership is seen as so far out of touch that even Doug Jones in Alabama doesn't want to be connected in any way with the national Democratic Party itself.
The -- Roy Moore has been abandoned by the national Republican Party as well. And what we see here is a kind of mudslinging on a partisan basis, the kind of thing that basically has undermined the two parties standing in public opinion and so they are standing in the sort of around 40 percent approval mark. Fifty-five to 58 percent disapproval (TECHNICAL DIFFICULTY).
I think most people seem to see that these two parties have got their own agendas. They play a particular game in Washington, D.C. and the affairs of ordinary people, which is what the screaming in 2016 with the backing of president -- candidate Trump and also of Bernie Sanders seem to be all about.
All of that seems to be forgotten and I think many people are very, very disillusioned with national politics and they want to maybe select more local candidates. And people like Doug Jones and Roy Moore are steering clear of the national parties, probably for those kinds of reasons. CHURCH: All right. Many thanks to Inderjeet Parmar, joining us there
from London. A few technical problems there, but we do thank you for your analysis and perspective.
Let's take a very short break here. But still to come, a law minister resigns and a call for violent protest end. Coming up, what is next in Pakistan?
Plus, Saudi Arabia is allowing some food and aid into Yemen, but activists warn it is not enough for millions facing famine there and prevent the diseases.
We're back in just a moment.
[03:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CHURCH: And a very warm welcome back to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church. I want to update you now on the main stories we've been following this hour.
Pope Francis is in Myanmar for a three-day visit. He will meet with leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Tuesday to discuss the humanitarian crisis there. Violence in Myanmar has forced more than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims across the border into Bangladesh. The pope may also meet with some of the Rohingya refugees when he travels to Bangladesh on Thursday.
Indonesia is urging residents within 10 kilometers of Mt. Agung in Bali to evacuate. It's already erupted several times over the weekend and authorities warn a major eruption could happen any time now. The country has issued its highest alert and we will go live to meteorologist Alison Chinchar for more on the volcano in just a moment.
Airstrikes and shelling have killed at least 57 people in two Syrian towns, that is according to U.K. based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. It reports Russian aircraft targeted an ISIS held town in Deir ez-Zor province and killed more than 30 civilians. The attacks come ahead of peace talks set for Tuesday.
We are tracking developing news at Pakistan. The Islamist leader whose group clashed violently with Pakistani security forces has called off a weeks' long protest and this comes after news that Pakistan's law minister resigned. The protesters accused him of blasphemy and were blocking a key Islamabad road.
CNN's Sophia Saifi is in Islamabad and joins us now with the very latest. So Sophia, the protesters appear to have gotten what they wanted, the resignation of the law minister so, is this the end of the matter?
SOPHIA SAIFI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, a week back, one would have said that maybe this would be the end of the matter, but the leader of this protest, Khadim Hussain Rizvi made a press conference -- held a press conference earlier today, and even though the law minister has resigned, and he has said, Khadim Hussain Rizvi, that they will be, you know, dispersing and we can see crowds dispersing on the ground.
He did now issue a new set of demands which include the government taking -- bearing responsibility for all the damages that were incurred. They're also requesting -- demanding that all of the prisoners who were, you know, all the protesters who were taken prisoner by police on Saturday when these violent clashes occurred should be released. And even though we're seeing a disbursement (ph) of crowds, he's still there, still sitting there. So, one wonders what's going to happen next. Rosemary.
[03:35:00] CHURCH: Sophia, how unusual is it to see the Pakistan government cave into pressure from protesters like this and what might this signal, do you think?
SAIFI: Well Rosemary, it's a very unusual set of circumstances. You know, we have been informed that there was a long meeting between the prime minister and the Chief of Army Staff yesterday. The leader of this protest movement praised the army quite, you know, quite a lot in saying that the army was the one that came in and facilitated a dialogue between the government and the protesters to kind of disburse the situation, diffuse the situation.
In the meantime, a justice of Islamabad High Court has severely criticized the military in being involved in the situation in the first place because there was a tweet on Saturday when these clashes broke out by the spokesperson of the military saying there shouldn't be any violence on both sides. And the question now that's being asked is, why is the army being neutral?
And when, you know, this is the question that's being asked by the judge of the Islamabad High Court, that since when does the army, you know, engage in dialogue? When has it become a mediator in that way? So there's a lot of talk on the ground at the moment. There is a lot of speculation, but the government is fragile, but still very much in control.
CHURCH: All right. Sophia Saifi bringing us that live report from Islamabad. Many thanks to you.
Well, Saudi Arabia has eased its blockade in Yemen after facing international pressure. Food and medical aid were allowed to enter parts of Yemen controlled by Houthi fighters for the first time in three weeks. The blockade contributed to the country's catastrophic food crsis and cholera epidemic. The details now from CNN's Jomana Karachi.
JOMANA KARACHI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The human toll is staggering. The images heartbreaking, yet there seems to be no end in sight for what is now the world's worst humanitarian crisis. With millions on the brink of famine, aid is slowly trickling back into Yemen.
A U.N. plane carrying urgently need vaccinations for more than a half a million children made it into Sanaa on Saturday. Speaking in (INAUDIBLE) on Sunday, a top U.N. official warned that this is not enough.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEERT CAPPELAERE, UNICEF REGIONAL DIRECTOR MENA: So yesterday is just a small step forward. We hope that this step forward will be sustained, but as I said, there are many more steps to follow. So, yesterday was not an end, it is just a very small step.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KARACHI: The Saudi-led coalition that's been locked in this two and a half year war against Houthi rebels tightened its blockade of Houthi- controlled territory including the capital Sanaa earlier this month after Saudi Arabia intercepted a missile targeting its capital Riyadh. The Saudi-led coalition said the blockade was to stop weapon shipments to the Houthis -- it accuses Iran of supporting. This comes as the proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia escalates.
But the blockade has impacted relief efforts in Yemen, making an already dire situation even worse in one of the world's poorest countries where more than half the population is reliant on aid. With its health sector on the verge of collapse and a devastated water and sanitation system, the largest ever recorded cholera outbreak hit Yemen this year. Other infectious diseases are spreading.
Like so many other conflicts, the youngest pay the heaviest price. According to the United Nations, every ten minutes a child dies in Yemen of infectious diseases and malnutrition.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAPPELAERE: Children are one of the biggest victims of a war that is not of their making. I hope very much that world leaders, wherever they are sitting, will come to realize that the current situation in Yemen for children, but for the Yemeni people as a whole cannot continue. The situation is catastrophic.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KARACHI: Pleas that so far seem to go unanswered. Jomana Karachi, CNN, Amman.
CHURCH: All right. We want to go back to the situation in Indonesia right now where authorities are watching Mt. Agung very closely for a possible major eruption. Because of dangerous ash plumes, Bali's main airport has been shut down for 24 hours leaving thousands of passengers stranded. So let's go straight to Allison Chinchar at the CNN weather center. Allison, I know you're watching this very closely. What information do you have on this volcano and its imminent eruption?
ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Great. So, up until the last couple of months, this has sat quiet since the 1960s. That's when we had our last major eruption. But in the last couple of months we started to notice the activity begin to perk back up again.
[03:40:00] However, the last few weeks, it started to die back down. That's why the most recent activity really has people on alert. And in addition to that, you have to start talking about the threats that are out there, the first being the ash that gets spun off into the atmosphere. This not only triggers poor visibility but also has huge implications on flights.
Now, what happens to all of that ash when it goes up? Well, gravity takes hold. It must come back down. This is where you get what's called the (INAUDIBLE) ash fall. This becomes a concern for folks on the ground in the form of respiratory concerns because you're now inhaling that ash and those very finite particles. One of the other threats is the pyroclastic flows, that's a lot of the heavier material that just goes sliding down the side of the mountain. Those can move at incredibly rapid speeds that unfortunately are nearly impossible to outrun.
You mix that with moisture especially if we get rain in the forecast, which is expected to be there, that can trigger lahars which are basically just mudslides that are caused by the actual volcano. But we talk about that ash in the air and the implications it has for air travel because we already know we've had numerous cancellations of flights in the vicinity. The reason for that is that ash goes up -- remember, it's incredibly hot temperatures.
Its pulverized rock and that volcanic glass, they get pulled into those engines, they melt in the engine and often times melting the components of the engines. But here is the thing, as they rise, they cool rapidly. That causes them to solidify. So you're basically having rocks thrown at the engine parts, and that can cause some severe problems as well.
Now, also in terms of that, you have to keep in mind that the wind direction can take that ash anywhere it wants to go. That's why you have a wide area where they've blocked flights from going through. Now you also have to keep in mind that rain may be in the forecast, and this is what we mean about causing some of those mudslides.
This is the general region, Rrosemary, where the flights are not allowed to go. The problem is, there are currently two airports in that vicinity and unfortunately, since we don't exactly know where it's going to take that ash as the wind shifts, those airports might be closed for at least the next several days.
CHURCH: Yes. Both the islands of Bali and Lombok affected by this. We're keeping a very close eye. Many thanks to you, Allison Chinchar, for that. Let's take a short break. A major sticking point in the Brexit negotiations -- Ireland is pressuring the U.K. to keep the Irish border open. We'll have the details for you next.
[03:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CHURCH: Welcome back. Well, Ireland is threatening to block Brexit talks if its border with Northern Ireland is not kept open. The E.U. member once wants the British prime minister to assure them a hard border will not be imposed. The European Union says the U.K. has a week to sort out the disagreement for Brexit negotiations to move into the next phase. Meanwhile, Irish farmers are concerned for their economic future. CNN's Nic Robertson has more on that.
JOHN SHERIDAN, FARMER: You can really take the ridgeline --
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes.
SHERIDAN: As a border. All along, just follow it all along.
ROBERTSON: Where Britain meets the E.U. --
SHERIDAN: All of this breeze its way through the countryside. Absolutely.
ROBERTSON: Northern Irish farmer John Sheridan fears Brexit.
SHERIDAN: It's a fate for the farm, for our family and for our communities. Big (INAUDIBLE) --
ROBNERTSON: His farm is on the border with the Irish Republic. He survives by doing business on both sides. Brexit could mean trade tariffs an controls. It could kill profits.
SHERIDAN: We don't have a border at the moment fortunately. It's invisible. We are told -- we could have a digital border. That's a load of crap because --
ROBERTSON: All along the border, sentiment and worries run deep.
The river there, that's the border, and running right across it, this road. Up there, Northern Ireland and just down the road there, the Republic of Ireland. Not a border control in sight, and that's just the way people here want to keep it.
In Belcoo in Northern Ireland, memories of the 30-year conflict and the border controls that came with it, still fresh.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We didn't like having to go into customs posts and then searched. So we don't want it. We want as it is now with no customs.
ROBERTSON: Just over the river in the Republic of Ireland, the same fears, a botched Brexit leaving border controls could mean big bills. Peter McVittie (ph) runs a haulage company.
PETER MCVITTIE, BUSINESS OWNER: The cost unbelievable. Money and time -- and in the haulage business, time is of essence.
ROBERTSON: McVittie is also a counselor for the republic's ruling party, is frustrated with English politics.
MCVITTIE: The people and the republic didn't vote for this. This has been heaped on top of us. The people in Northern Ireland didn't vote for it either. It's been head on top of them.
ROBERTSON: E.U. officials have vowed to minimize the impact of Brexit on Ireland, but if demanded, Britain cut a deal that doesn't impact the fragile peace process in Northern Ireland that balances pro- British and pro-Irish tensions.
Back in the north, farmer Derek Thornton voted against Brexit, is appalled at political incompetence in London.
DEREK THORNTON, IRISH FARMER: I know we're in it and the farms going to run and the (BLEEP) hit the fan and should (INAUDIBLE).
ROBERTSON: His families have farmed here for five generations and sees changes coming that they would have feared.
THORNTON: We're in a very nice part of the world and to me united -- I buy me decent I would say so. We in and out maybe four times a day. It wouldn't make any damn difference.
ROBERTSON: For John Sheridan, too, Brexit could bring the logic of a united Ireland closer.
SHERIDAN: Would I be better off in a united Ireland? In a hard Brexit situation, absolutely.
ROBERTSON: All along this beautiful border, much at stake. Nic Robertson, CNN, on Europe's land border with Britain, Northern Ireland.
CHURCH: And we'll take a very short break here, but coming up, Disney Pixar's new movie "Coco" is a hit at the box office. We will hear from some of the stars about the film's message. That is next.
[03:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CHINCHAR: This is CNN Weather Watch. I'm meteorologist Allison Chinchar. Well we've got two-big stories. First, the system out in the Pacific Northwest. It's finally going to begin to make its way off to the east, taking with it the rain and snow chances. But before it can get there, the other big story is the record warm air that's going to be surging out ahead. In some cases, we are looking at temperatures that will be warmer in South Dakota than they will be in northern Florida.
Here is a look at the moisture, again, making its way from areas of Washington, Oregon and Idaho, pushing off to the east and moving towards Wyoming and Colorado. Now the good news is most of the moisture is going to be wrung out so you're not looking at the flooding potential for some of those states that we have been dealing with in areas of Washington State.
With that said, we've got another system that will be arriving just after the first one leaves. So there is still going to be more moisture brought in for cities like Vancouver, Seattle and Portland and a lot of these cities really don't need it. They'd like at least a little bit of a longer break in between systems coming in.
We talk about the temperatures, 12 for the high in Chicago, mostly sunny skies, 26 in Dallas. That may not necessarily be a record, but it's going to be awfully close. Denver looking at a high temperature around 23 degrees with partly cloudy skies. If they hit that, that would end up breaking their record.
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CHURCH: That is a scene from "Coco," Disney and Pixar's new animated film about a young boy in Mexico exploring music, life, family and death. And it's already a smash hit to critics and viewers alike. It earned about $71 million on it's opening weekend in the U.S. alone and the "Washington Post" reports "Coco" is now the highest grossing film in Mexican box office history, bringing in more than $48 million there.
And now Isha Sesay takes a closer look at "Coco" and what the film has to say about the importance of family.
ISHA SESAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Imagine you had an opportunity to meet your ancestors.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This isn't a dream then. You are all really out there.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You thought we weren't?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, I don't know.
SESAY: Disney's new animated film "Coco" tells the story of Miguel, an aspiring musician who travels to the land of the dead to learn about his heritage.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Never underestimate the power of music. No one was going to hand me my future. It was up to me to reach for my dream. Grab it tight and make it come true.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Make it come true.
ANTHONYT GONZALEZ, VOICE OF MIGUEL: He has a passion for
[03:55:00] music and he doesn't let anyone stop him. He doesn't let anyone get in his way, and that's what I really look up to and I think other kids might look up to as well, like if they have a secret passion, they have to share it with the world, just like Miguel does.
SESAY: He also connects with old love ones and realizes family can link us to our past but also bridge us to our future.
BENJAMIN BRATT, VOICE OF ERNESTO DE LA CRUZ: Everyone comes from a family. We all come from somewhere. This film points out that you can pursue your dream and take off on a singular journey and you don't have to abandon where is it you come from or who it is that you belong to. That, in fact, if you keep those things close to you, it makes you a better person, a more complete person, and that's a lovely thought to have especially in this time and age.
SESAY: And throughout its mystical story line, "Coco" reminds us that every family around the world has a story to share.
GAEL GARCIA BERNAL, VOICE OF HECTOR: We came through to this film. We can achieve that potential that anybody is allowed to tell the story of any other place. So therefore it is a triumph of migration, of interconnection, you know? Of between people and this is what will only save us, you know, the humanity. The only thing that will save us, is this connection.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're your family, mijo.
CHURCH: Isha Sesay reporting there. Powerful messages and stories, and thanks for your company this hour. I'm Rosemary Church. "Early Start" is next. For everyone in the United States and for everyone else, stay tuned for more news with our Max Foster in London. Have yourselves a great day.