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White House Denies Report on Trump Family Fortune; May to Defend Her Brexit Plan As Boris Johnson Slams It; Magic Leap Unveils Its Mixed Reality Headset; Desperation Grows in Indonesia after Quake and Tsunami; New California Law Bans All-Male Corporate Boards. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired October 3, 2018 - 00:00   ET




ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): The death toll spikes in Indonesia as earthquake and tsunami survivors face a fifth day with dwindling resources.

Donald Trump mocked his Supreme Court nominee's accuser and says when it comes to sexual assault, it's young men who should be scared of false accusations.

Letters falling from a sign, a cough, a failing voice. Theresa May is hoping Wednesday's closing speech at the Tory conference does better than last year with Brexit hanging in the balance.

Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church and this is CNN NEWSROOM.


CHURCH: Amid the loss and desperation in Indonesia right now, there are also some incredible stories of survival after Friday's catastrophic earthquake and tsunami.


CHURCH (voice-over): This man was buried in the rubble of a collapsed building for four days. Rescuers worked for hours to dig him out alive. He is in the stricken city of Palu, where there is mounting frustration over the slow pace of aid.

Survivors are facing a fifth straight day with little to no food, clean water or fuel. Thousands of homes have been destroyed as entire neighborhoods have been wiped out. The death toll from the disaster is now at 1,234.

Among the dead, dozens of children, who were at a Bible camp when that quake hit.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CHURCH: Indonesia's president is on his way to the disaster zone. He is to meet with survivors and to see firsthand some of the worst hit areas.

CNN's Matt Rivers is in Palu and has this report. We must warn you, though, some of the images you're about to see are disturbing.


MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Four soldiers to a bag. They drag the person inside to a crude resting place. Feels coarse and undeserved. This is a hastily dug mass grave on a Palu hillside. A direct result of an earthquake and tsunami no one was prepared for.

RIVERS: There's 194 people buried here. Some of whom are still unidentified that didn't deserve this. These are brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, grandparents, friends and they all just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

RIVERS (voice-over): Authorities had laid hundreds of bodies in streets for days after the morgues ran out of room. We saw them for ourselves. Officials say the bodies could spread disease.

The World Health Organization says that's not completely true, but the burials go on. The unidentified bodies had their pictures taken so hopefully they can be ID'd later.

A short drive away those lucky enough to be alive gathered in a place where life is hard. A makeshift camp designed to help the newly homeless is widely unable to meet people's needs. Baby Mohammed is sick. Even if they had formula, which they don't, water here is scarce.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Drinking water, we are really short of drinkable water.

RIVERS: For others, the indignity of living outside is exasperated by having no clean way to use the bathroom.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We need public toilets. None are provided to us. There are some here, but they are all broken and can't be used.

RIVERS: Five days on in camps like these, there's a lack of electricity, of food, of water, of health care, of hygiene. It's no wonder people are getting frustrated and they are increasingly blaming the government for what has pretty obviously been a slow response.

RIVERS (voice-over): Fuel has been scarce, too. A few stations are open. If you follow the rules and line up, you could trade a day just for a few liters.

RIVERS: So, the way you join the line is by taking your gas container and running this rope through the handle. Basically, the rope snakes all the way around and ends at the only gas pump open right now. So, you hook up. You move up the line. And you wait.

RIVERS (voice-over): These people wouldn't wait. We watched them loot fuel tank underneath the ground. Bamboo poles dipped in, coming up full. Armed soldiers merely watched. They told us they didn't want to spark a riot.

They just run their bikes through generators, another said. It's not like there's anywhere else they can get it fast. Dozens of people though, have been arrested for looting city-wide.

The government says there have been challenges in their aid mission, but that overall, they're making the best of a bad situation. And, yes, help is slowly increasing. Aid shifts are in route. Aid flights are picking up but not fast enough.

Looting, thirsty babies, hungry kids, filthy camps and mass burials do not equal an effective disaster response -- Matt Rivers, CNN, Palu, Indonesia.



CHURCH: And CNN's Alexandra Field joins us now from Hong Kong with more on the situation in Indonesia.

So Alex, as Matt Rivers' report shows, Indonesia's government is failing to get clean water, food, medicine and fuel to those most in need in the disaster zone.

Why have they been unable to stage an effective disaster response and what do they need to do to get this right?

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The level of need here is abundantly clear, from Matt's reporting, from the images you're seeing. We're hearing similar accounts from aid workers in the region, trying to get to the hardest hit areas.

They have some limited supplies with them and they told tales of being swarmed by people as they try to make their way to these affected areas because people are simply becoming increasingly more desperate for life-saving supplies and essentials on the fifth day after this disaster.

The government has continued to say that they're moving resources into the area, resources like heavy equipment, resources like more rescue crews but also the humanitarian essentials, food, water, fuel, medicine, shelters, portable kitchens, mobile operating units.

Why has this moved so slowly?

The government says they have moved big ships from the state-owned shipping company as well as naval ships. They say that they've been using military aircraft to bring in supplies. So there is certainly evidence that supplies are moving to the area.

The question remains, why is distribution such a difficult problem here?

Why can't they get the resources that they've moved into the hands of the people who need them the most?

We know that there are logistical difficulties. That's been well documented; there are problems with roads because of landslides, because of downed bridges.

But this is five days on. You've got media crews in the area. You've got rescue crews in the area. You've got aid organizations in the area.

Why can't they move these supplies more effectively?

That's the question the government is going to have to answer in the aftermath of this tragedy.

The president of Indonesia is making his second trip to the affected area. Just a couple days ago, he outlined four major priorities; that was the recovery of victims, possibly survivors who remained trapped, the clearing of debris, improvements to transportation and also sanitation.

So we should be hearing later today what he thinks of the efforts that have been made since his last visit just a couple of days ago.

CHURCH: While they try to figure out that distribution problem they clearly have, what is the latest on the search-and-rescue effort that's still underway in the disaster zone?

FIELD: The death toll spiked by hundreds yesterday. It's now 1,234 officially. We know, there are many who have not yet been counted. Officials are clear on that. Everyone believes the death toll will continue to rise. That's why they continue to dig these mass graves and they continue to have these mass burials.

But they're not giving up with the search and recovery efforts. They have brought more heavy machinery into the area. That will help with clearance and they do continue to search for survivors.

But Rosemary, it's been five days. And even those who were able to escape this disaster with their lives are desperately needing of supplies.

So certainly hope is dwindling. The situation becoming increasingly desperate.

CHURCH: We have seen miracles in the past but, as you say, this is the fifth day and that is certainly problematic.

Alexandra Field, joining us from Hong Kong with the latest on the situation in Indonesia. Many thanks.

And if you would like to help those affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia, you can go to and there you will find links to organizations working to bring relief. Well, now we turn to Donald Trump and an explosive months' long investigation by "The New York Times." The paper alleges Mr. Trump built his real estate empire with hundreds of millions of dollars in tax dodges and instances of outright fraud.

"The Times" says Mr. Trump inherited today's equivalent of more $400 million from his father, much of it coming from schemes to help his parents evade paying taxes.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders blasted the report, saying this, "Fred Trump has been gone for nearly 20 years and it's sad to witness this misleading attack against the Trump family by the failing New York Times. Many decades ago, the IRS reviewed and signed off on these transactions."

Well, "The Times" has also published letter from Mr. Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, in which he describes himself and his friends as "loud, obnoxious drunks."

Kavanaugh wrote the letter in 1983 as he and his friends were preparing for a beach vacation. It comes amid questions concerning Kavanaugh's honesty about his drinking and behavior when he was in high school and college.

President Trump is standing by Kavanaugh. At a rally in Mississippi Tuesday, he mocked the woman who accuses Kavanaugh of sexual assault. Take a listen.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thirty six years ago this happened.


PRESIDENT TRUMP: I had one beer, right? I had one beer. Well, you think it was -- no. It was one beer. Good. How did you get home? I don't remember. How did you get there? I don't remember. Where was the place? I don't remember. How many years ago was it? I don't know. I don't know.

I don't know. I don't know. What neighborhood was it in? I don't know. Where's the house? I don't know. Upstairs, downstairs, where was it? I don't know. But I had one beer. That's the only thing I remember.

And a man's life is in tatters. A man's life is shattered.


CHURCH: Republican leader Mitch McConnell says the Senate will vote on Kavanaugh's nomination this week. We get more from CNN's Kaitlan Collins at the White House.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: (voice-over): President Trump voicing confidence in his Supreme Court nominee today, but not without a word of caution.

As he left the White House for Philadelphia, the president telling reporters he's optimistic the Senate can vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh in the coming days.

PRESIDENT TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Hopefully, as Mitch said, they will have a vote by the end of the week and it will be a positive vote.

COLLINS: But Trump making clear Kavanaugh's fate remains uncertain, as the FBI investigates the sexual assault allegations made against him.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: A lot is going to depend on what comes back from the FBI, in terms of their additional, number seven investigation.

COLLINS: Trump implying even he could be swayed by the outcome.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: We're going have to see what the FBI says. They will come back with a report.

COLLINS: Amid questions about whether Brett Kavanaugh was truthful when he downplayed drinking in high school and college, the president drawing a line at lying to lawmakers.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I don't think you should lie to Congress. To me, that would not be acceptable.

COLLINS: Trump, who sources say has privately voiced suspicion about the MeToo movement, claimed today it's a scary time for young men in America.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: It's a very scary situation where you're guilty until proven innocent. COLLINS: Adding, he believes the outcome of all of this will be

bigger than Judge Kavanaugh.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: What's happening here has much more to do than even the appointment of a Supreme Court justice. It really does.

COLLINS: Those statements echoing what Donald Trump Jr. said about the allegations against Kavanaugh in a recent interview.

QUESTION: Who are you scared most for, your sons or your daughters?

DONALD TRUMP JR., PRESIDENT TRUMP'S SON: I mean, right now, I would say my sons.

COLLINS: Asked for what message he has for young women, Trump today only offering this...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) PRESIDENT TRUMP: Women are doing great.


COLLINS: Now what were seeing from President Trump about his Supreme Court nominee is sense of cautious optimism and that is a far cry from what President Trump was saying when he first nominated Brett Kavanaugh as his Supreme Court nominee, touting him as essentially the ideal justice, a family man, Ivy League educated with a head full of hair, who President Trump believed was right out of central casting.

And it seems the president is just hoping that nomination can hang on -- Kaitlan Collins, CNN, the White House.



CHURCH: Joining me now to talk more about all of this is CNN senior political analyst Ron Brownstein. He's also a senior editor at "The Atlantic."

Great to have you with us.


CHURCH: Well, a lot to cover, of course. So, let's --


BROWNSTEIN: It's Tuesday.

CHURCH: There's more than usual. So, we do want to start with what "The New York Times" refers to as dubious tax schemes that Donald Trump apparently used in the 1990s to grow the fortune his parents gave him. Essentially, tax evasion schemes that "The New York Times" calls outright fraud.

What might be the consequences of this tax analysis?

BROWNSTEIN: Well, first, this is remarkable reporting. It is an incredible level of detail compiled by journalists who don't have subpoena power. And it is something that the New York State authorities have already indicated that they will be following up on.

Look, this -- what they documented was a multi-year, multi-pronged effort. Successful effort to evade federal taxes, particularly the estate taxes that would flow from the transfer of the father's wealth to the children.

And they showed systemic attempts to lower the value of properties. Perhaps, fraudulently, create sham companies to drive down assets and take all of these steps to radically reduce their tax burden.

Now, you know, on the one hand, I think that most people have turned away from Donald Trump because they view him as personally vile or unfit. We're probably at the peak of that.

So, it may not be that there are many more voters who will reject him because of this -- than have already rejected him because of other personal issues surrounding him.

But I do think that in an election season, where Democrats are arguing very -- with a good deal of success at the Republican tax bill is unfairly tilted toward the wealthy and will ultimately threaten programs on which the middle class depend, particularly, Social Security and Medicare.

I mean, this is a powerful talking point that Donald Trump is basically --


BROWNSTEIN: -- rewarding people who have approached the tax system the way that he did.

CHURCH: Yes, be interesting to see those people who pay every single tax dollar they owe to the government, how they feel about.


CHURCH: This you know that in November, won't we? So, let's turn now to Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the contradictions that we are starting to see emerge in regard to his drinking defense.

We're now learning about a letter reportedly written by Kavanaugh in 1983 when he described himself and his buddies as "loud obnoxious drunks with prolific pukers among us," his words.

And now, we don't know if this was perhaps a joke. But it comes in the midst of former classmates coming forward, saying Kavanaugh is not being honest about the extent of his drinking.


CHURCH: And some insists he was lying to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

How damning is all this put together?

Because, of course, in isolation, maybe it's not so bad.

But altogether, how damning is this for Kavanaugh?

And how might Jeff Flake, Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins be responding to all of this?

BROWNSTEIN: And that -- you know, the answer of the first question is really the answer of the second questions. Because they are the ones -- those three Republican Senators are the ones who hold the nomination in his hand. I think it's pretty clear in their hands. It is pretty clear at this point that his answers about the extent to which he -- you know was drinking both in high school and college were misleading at best and outright false at worst as some of his classmates have argued.

And what makes this I think it kind of the two wires crossing is what makes this so potentially powerful is that -- you know, there are a variety of other areas where many Democrats and outside observers believe he has been misleading in his testimony. Particularly, on various aspects of his work in the -- in the Bush White House.

Including I think direct -- he's been caught in a direct contradiction on something quite serious about whether he had access to e-mails that were stolen from judiciary committee members when he was in Democrats, when he was a member of the Bush White House.

So, I think this does raise serious questions about his credibility, but they will only matter if in fact, those three Republican Senators are willing -- you know, will come to the conclusion that it's too much for him to carry on to the Supreme Court.

CHURCH: Now, on Tuesday, President Trump responded to the pressure that Kavanaugh is currently under by attacking his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, for not knowing all the details about when she was sexually assaulted, which is the case for most women who have been sexually assaulted. They don't remember all of the details.

Now, then, he added that boys and men are the real victims in this current #MeToo climate and that Kavanaugh's life is now shattered as a result of it. How is that likely to play it be received by female voters?

BROWNSTEIN: Well, look this is -- this is a really important moment. First of all, the biggest single threat to Republicans in the midterm election is the sharp turn away from the president and the GOP among college-educated white women.

Professional white women who look and sound and have experience as an awful lot like Dr. Christine Blasey Ford who has three degrees and was talking very comfortably in medical jargon.

It is not true that there is a -- it was a uniform response to Trump or Kavanaugh among women. Among blue-collar white women, the Trump is much more popular. And in polling just out yesterday, a majority of non-college white women said they believe Kavanaugh and he should be confirmed.

But on the other side of the ledger, among those white collar white women, Democrats are poised to have their best showing in a midterm election possibly ever.

The best they've ever polled among them is 52 percent. They are polling at above 60 percent now. Routinely, in surveys measuring of support for November. And in that poll yesterday, roughly 60 percent of them said they believe forward and believe that Kavanaugh should not be confirmed. So for the president to come out and mock this woman at a moment when the backlash, the recoil from him among suburban professional white women is the single biggest threat to the Republican majority in the House, in these white-collar suburban districts, in every major -- around every major city in the country. It is just -- you know an extraordinary moment of putting out a fire with gasoline.

CHURCH: You're right. And Ron, just finally --


BROWNSTEIN: I have to saying those.

CHURCH: Just finally, CNN is reporting that Donald Trump tried to get his son Eric to help him with hush money payments to Stormy Daniels along with his former lawyer Michael Cohen. Which means, of course, Mr. Trump apparently knew about these payments to keep Stormy Daniels quiet.

What do you make of all of that?

BROWNSTEIN: Leaving aside the family dynamics of enlisting your son and to help pay off your mistress. And the issue of your alleged mistress and the issue of his continued involvement in the Trump Organization which was something, of course, which was supposed to be in the past.

Look, I mean, this is just another area. We have over 60 percent of Americans consistently saying in polls that the -- they do not believe the president's honest or trustworthy.

Now, I said to you before, the fact that his approval rating is around 40 percent, while unemployment is around four percent, our two numbers that should not be able to be contained in the same sentence. There's no president in American history, I think, for the president having such equivocal approval ratings --


BROWNSTEIN: -- when the economy is this strong.

And the reason that he is below where he should be are precisely these kinds of doubts about him personally.

Some people say -- you know, he's kind of skating above all of this. It is simply not true. He should be 15, 18 points higher I think in approval than where he is. And the only reason he isn't is because many of the people who are doing best, this kind of comes back to where we were before.

And these white collar suburbs who are doing the best in this economy, nonetheless, are making a judgment about his values, priorities, temperament, that is causing more of them than usual to vote Democratic in the midterm and that's the biggest threat to Republicans of five weeks from tonight.

CHURCH: Ron Brownstein, always good to have your perspective and analysis. Thank you so much.

BROWNSTEIN: Thank you.


CHURCH: And we will take a break right here. But coming up next, it's a law designed to help working women break the glass ceiling. But critics of a ban on all male corporate boards worry it may have unintended consequences -- we're back in a moment.




CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. California is trying to get rid of the corporate boys' club. A new state law requires all publicly traded companies to include at least one woman on their board of directors by the end of next year.

A company with at least five directors needs to have at least two female board members by the end of 2021. Similar laws are commonplace in Europe but California's legislation is a first for the United States. But the new law is not without its critics and that includes our next guest.

Jessica Levinson is a professor at Loyola University Law School. She joins us now live from Los Angeles.

Good to see you.

JESSICA LEVINSON, LOYOLA UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL: Good to see you, thanks for having me.

CHURCH: So what is it about this new state law that you don't like?

LEVINSON: Well, the first thing is I don't think it's legal. I think it doesn't pass constitutional muster under both our California constitution, our state constitution, and our federal Constitution.

We have something called an equal protection clause in both of those governing documents. And this is a law specifically on its face that we have a gender preference. We prefer women.

Now I think it is vitally important that we try and get some modicum of gender diversity, not just on corporate boards but in law firms, in politics, in every sector. We know that it's important for a variety of reasons, including leading to better public policy outcomes when we have some level of gender diversity.

But I don't think a government mandated quota, where there is really no limiting principle, is the way to accomplish that.

CHURCH: So what would be a better way to ensure that more women are represented in the corporate world? LEVINSON: Well, I think you can do things like incentivize for private corporations, that they --


LEVINSON: -- not only have more women in the board room but have more women in every level of the corporation.

So one thing that the government can do to try and incentivize behavior is tax breaks. Another thing the government can do is try and make it so that you can actually create a pipeline for natural women leadership in corporate America, so you can create and foster situations where corporations can hire both men and women, which is what they currently do in America at about a 50-50 rate but then not have the enormous drop-off, which we see in America now.

We see this in business, in law, in politics where, as women get older and become parents, they increasingly drop out of the workforce. And corporations can change the culture and change that.

CHURCH: Why do you think women aren't being selected?

What's the barrier here?

LEVINSON: Well, I think it's a couple of reasons. I think one of them is there aren't enough women in the pipeline of these corporations. So I think oftentimes these publicly traded corporations that are headquartered in California are looking to their upper management, for instance, to see who to put on their board.

I also think that they're looking in other sectors for prominent women to try and put on their boards. And so part of it is we have a gross underrepresentation of women in both of those categories.

And I think part of it is that we still do, even in progressive, liberal California, have an old boys' club attitude and environment. And I think that both of those things grossly hinder gender equality.

CHURCH: All right. Jessica Levinson, thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it.

LEVINSON: Thank you.

CHURCH: Well, the political survival of British prime minister Theresa May could be on the line. In a few hours from now, she will defend her Brexit plan after Boris Johnson challenged her authority. We'll have the details for you and a guest when we come back.




CHURCH: Welcome back, everybody. I'm Rosemary Church. Time to update you on the m stories we are following. (HEADLINES)


Well, in just a few hours from now, British Prime Minister Theresa May, will again, defend her Brexit plan as she fights for her political survival. She is expected to tell her Party's conference that Britain's future is full of promise, even as Brexit negotiations hit a delicate and uncertain stage.

Mrs. May is standing by her proposal to keep some close economic ties with the European Union. But her plan is facing attacks from all sides, including by one of the most recognizable and flamboyant figures in British politics. Our Bianca Nobilo has more.


BIANCA NOBILO, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: On the eve of Prime Minister May's keynote address here at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham, her colleague and rival, Boris Johnson, has told the ruling Conservative Party to abandon the government's Brexit plan.

In a much anticipated speech, Boris said Britons still have the opportunity to get Brexit right, and it could be a win-win on both sides of the channel. He condemned the Chequers proposal as a cheat and encouraged grassroots supporters to ditch it.

BORIS JOHNSON, FORMER BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: Do not believe them, finally, when they say there is no other plan and no alternative. It's not my plan. It's not the IAE plan or the ERG plan, all these models, excellent, although, they are substantially the same.

Super candidate (INAUDIBLE) trade deal plus a deep and special partnership with our principal partners in the E.U., they're all derived from the prime minister's own vision at Lancaster House. And now, therefore, is the time truly to take back control and follow that vision. Make the elegant, dignified and grateful exit the country voted for.

This is the moment to do that, and there is time. This is the moment to dump Chequers.

NOBILO: He cautioned if we bottle Brexit now, the people of this country will find it hard to forgive. The controversial former foreign secretary is the highest profile politician to openly attack the Prime Minister's Brexit plan, as negotiations approach the critical October deadline.

And though the speech was popular in the hall, and certainly won't dispel speculation about Boris' leadership ambitions, it is very unlikely that rank and file MPs who he has to win over, will have been swung by this. Bianca Nobilo, CNN, Birmingham.

(END VIDEOTAPE) CHURCH: CNN European Affairs Commentator Dominic Thomas joins us now from Los Angeles to help us navigate the politics of Brexit, Dominic, welcome.


CHURCH: Now, as we await Prime Minister Theresa May's keynote speech, the pressure mounts. She needs to perform better than last year. She lost her voice, struggled against a backdrop of signs falling all around her. How is she likely to go this time, defending her Brexit plan up against her rival, Boris Johnson, who boldly rejects it?

THOMAS: Right. Well, the top certainly -- and remarkable resume that here we are, one year later, and Brexit is still the number one agenda item at the Conservative Party conference, and Boris Johnson is still the number one sideshow, taking place here. And we're talking, yet again, about whether or not she will survive and be the prime minister, you know, exiting this particular conference.

We spent a year talking about soft Brexits, hard Brexits, even blind Brexit, no deals, the Chequers plan. And at the end of the day, no one really knows which plan is the one that's the most likely to be used or not. Ultimately, when it gets down to it, it has to do with different visions of Brexit, of course, that the degree of alignment and obligations, as we move forward.

One interesting thing today, which, I think, an indication as to where Theresa May's speech is going to go, is this extensive focus on the question of immigration.

And of course, this, kind of, frontal attack on the European Union by saying that under the aegis of this new plan she's elaborating, people who come from mainland Europe will be treated in the same way as any other potential migrant coming into United Kingdom.

So, she is trying to appeal to the far-right branch of her party, while also letting the European know that as the negotiations come up, she is going to be tough around this particular and very divisive question.

[00:35:10] CHURCH: All right. So, you said no one knows which plan is likely to be supported by the Conservative Party. Will the strategy of May or of Johnson, prevail, though? There must be a sense of where people are going within the Party, who they are preferring at this point and which strategy they feel will work for the country.

THOMAS: Yes. But I think that's the question of the internal family dynamics, the parties, the dynamics of the Conservative Party and how those then could potentially appeal to a broader electorate.

So you have Boris Johnson constantly challenging the prime minister. But as we know, when David Cameron stepped away from the position after having being challenged throughout the whole Brexit campaign by Boris Johnson, Boris Johnson was the last person who wanted that particular position. Ultimately, what Theresa May finds herself is needing to negotiate a deal with the European Union that will satisfy, of course, the European Union, the vote in parliament, and the far-right branch of her political party.

That Boris Johnson is really the figurehead of, and who is advocating from an unambiguous complete withdrawal and from the European Union and the capacity to be able to strike free trade deals.

This is complicated for Theresa May because she has to think about the question of the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, but of course, as an independent country, and a member of the European Union.

And to decide how she's going to position herself on that question, because the only reason she's still in power, is because of the 10 votes from the DUF, the Northern Ireland Party that is supporting the majority in parliament, who absolutely do not want to see a hard border with the Republic of Ireland, or to see any kind of deal that would treat them differently to Scotland, Wales and England.

So, she is stuck between at least three rocks here, as she tries to move forward.

CHURCH: You know, she does appear to be hanging by her fingernails, doesn't she? Theresa May has been fighting for her political survival for some time now. And Boris Johnson has made it very clear, he wants to replace her. Can she survive all this?

THOMAS: Well, it's not so much surviving in whether he is the one that wants to replace her. I think, really, the positioning here, has to do around the question of what kind of Brexit deal will come about. And in many ways, to the Conservative Party are benefitting from the fact that the opposition, in other words, the Labor Party, is itself equally divided on these particular questions.

And what could see is the clock simply running out. And we end up with some kind of deal that doesn't make it through parliament, and end up with some kind of pressure on Theresa May to call a general election. That's kicking things down the road even a little further.

But I do think that this question of immigration, the way in which Theresa May tried to appeal to that far-right part of the Conservative Party today.

By also providing oxygen to some of the most disturbing aspects of the Brexit debate, which has to do with control and selecting immigration and making immigration a problem and rekindling that rather than thinking about the asset that it could be or has been to the United Kingdom, and creating these hierarchies between essentially desirable workers and undesirable workers.

That's a deliberate attempt to appeal to a particular branch of the party. But that also means, therefore, taking a particular distance from the European Union that is going to need comfort zone when it comes to the mobility of workers. If it's going to strike any kind of deal that is potentially going to open up the European markets to the U.K., without them having to strike an independent trade deal, which might be a very difficult negotiation down the road.

CHURCH: Dominic Thomas, we'll be watching very closely to see how her speech goes and to see how this all is resolved, many thanks to you for joining us and for your analysis, appreciate it.

THOMAS: Thank you, Rosemary.

CHURCH: We'll take a short break. Still to come, the next generation of virtual reality headsets have been revealed. It's called Magic Leap, and it mixes reality with a holographic world, a sneak peek at this new technology, after the break.


[00:40:00] CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well, there is a new twist in the mystery surrounding one of China's most famous actresses. State media report that Fan Bingbing has been fined for tax evasion and ordered to pay nearly $130 million.

She's accused of lying about how much money she made from some of her films. Fan hasn't been seen in public since June, leading some to speculate she would be detained or she had been detained by China's communist authorities.

The report says she is a first-time offender and won't face charges if she pays the money by an unspecified deadline.

Well, it took eight years to develop, and now, a tech company called Magic Leap, is banking on a future where you can interact with a holographic world in your living room. The company raised millions of dollars from investors like, Google and our parent company, AT&T, to create this new type of virtual reality. Our Samuel Burke has our report.


SAMUEL BURKE, CNN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT: Inside the world's oldest working film studio. A new generation of digital characters, like this guy, are coming to life.

ANDY SERKIS, ACTOR: I don't know whose to relate to right now. I mean, you're looking great, I have to say.

BURKE: I bulked up a bit.

SERKIS: Yes, you've done the work.

BURKE: Who is this guy?

SERKIS: This is a character called Grishnakh. He is a bit of a digital no-hope, basically, he was a piece of concept artwork that never made the grade. BURKE: Actor Andy Serkis is a motion capture superstar known for his roles in Lord of the Rings and Planet of the Apes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do not come back.

BURKE: Now, he and his team are creating custom creatures for a new medium, mixed reality.

SERKIS: It's really the beginning of a whole new realm of storytelling.

BURKE: First came, virtual reality, immersing you in a digital environment, then, augmented reality, like Pokemon Go, projecting digital objects on to the real world. In mixed reality, digital constructs like Grishnakh, anchor themselves in the real world.

OK. So, now there is that character right there on the table. His feet are right there on the table.

America's start-up Magic Leap is developing headsets that allow you to see the world in this mixed reality.

SERKIS: This character is aware of the world, can interact with the world, he is also more importantly aware of you, where you're looking and he'll interact with you.

BURKE: So, right now, the goggles are processing that I'm stepping back. That's all being calculated into what's happening?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely, the little cameras inside there that are reading your eyes.

BURKE: Magic Leap, backed by billions for investors like Google, J.P.Morgan and CNN's parent company, AT&T, envisions a future where instead of looking down at your phone, your mixed reality glasses and one day, a contact lens, will project tools like Google maps, on the road in front of you.

How far away are we from that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From that version of what we're doing?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's on our -- on our road map. I mean, honestly --

BURKE: Ten years? Twenty years?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I think a step change of 2, 3, 5, 10 years.

BURKE: For now, virtual, augmented and mixed reality headsets are still bulky and pricey. Magic Leap's cost more than $2,000 and took eight years to develop.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a big task. You know it's only going to get better.

BURKE: Giving Serkis plenty of time to let his imagination run wild.

SERKIS: Put some energy into it. Bring up the fear. Bring up the fear of you, you're panicking. You can say things. Oh, my God, I got to get out of here. I'll leave that to you.

Samuel Burke, CNN, London.


CHURCH: Looks very cool there. And thank you so much for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Rosemary Church. Stay tuned now for "WORLD SPORT" and then I'll be back at the top of the hour with more global news. Stick around.


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