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Paris Visit Exposes Cracks in U.S.-European Alliance; U.S. Backed Forces Battle ISIS in Eastern Syria; Congo Faces its Worst Ebola Outbreak Ever; The Amazing Stan Lee; Death Toll Rises To 44 In California Wildfires; U.S. Think Tank: Pyongyang Hiding Missile Bases; Hagel: There Is No Denuclearization Agreement. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired November 13, 2018 - 01:00   ET


[01:00:00] JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: The death toll climbs in California's wildfires, the worst ever in the state's history and new fires erupting more lives and property and now under threat. On the brink of another war in Gaza, violent surges between Israel and Hamas, the fears neither side is willing to fall back. And North Korea's hidden nuclear faces proof that Kim Jong-un is saying exactly what he said he would do despite the U.S. President declaring an end to Pyongyang's nuclear threat.

Hello and welcome to viewers all around the world. Great to have you with us. I'm John Vause. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.

In California, more bodies have been found in the debris left behind from the deadly wildfires which continued to burn across the state. The death toll has risen to 44. All but two victims died in the so- called campfire in the state's north U.S. President tweeted Monday he has approved emergency federal aid. The Camp Fire is now the deadliest and most destructive blaze in the state's history, and despite gusty winds, firefighters are making some progress. It's about 30 percent contained. To the south, the Woolsey Fire has killed two people and near hurricane force winds could return in the coming hours.

West of Los Angeles, parts of Malibu are in ruins from that fire, more than 400 buildings, many of them homes destroyed. And to the north, the town of Paradise is practically gone. Flames raced through the town with terrifying speed forcing panicked evacuations. This horse sought refuge in a backyard swimming pool while residents fled. A man rescued -- found the horse and rescued it. CNN's Nick Valencia is in Paradise, California and has the very latest.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's OK, mama, it's OK. Please drive. Just please drive.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: tonight the most destructive fire in California raging on.


VALENCIA: Most people in Paradise already in trouble before they realized what was happening.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maybe it'll be all right.

VALENCIA: This father finding the resolve to calmly sing to his daughter while the walls of flames closed in.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What going to get -- happen when we get fire?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're not going to catch on fire OK, we're going to stay away from it.

VALENCIA: At its peak, the Camp Fire burned a football field every three seconds. Even with emergency alert sent to registered residents cell phones and landlines, paradise had only a short time to evacuate from the inferno.

MAYOR JODY JONES, PARADISE, CALIFORNIA: We did have an evacuation plan in place. We did implement it. It worked the way it was supposed to work. We just never anticipated having to evacuate all zones all at the same time.

VALENCIA: And it's likely many could not get out in time.

KORY HONEA, SHERIFF, BUTTE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA: Currently there are 228 individuals who have been determined to be unaccounted for.

VALENCIA: About 500 miles to the south, firefighters work to contain a blaze on the bluffs of multi-million dollar communities. The flames already destroying homes belonging to celebrities like Miley Cyrus, Neil Young, and Gerard Butler.

GERARD BUTLER, ACTOR: Welcome to my home in Malibu, have gone.

VALENCIA: The Woolsey Fire has already destroyed nearly 200 homes. The flames threatening to destroy another 50 thousand.

GOV. JERRY BROWN (D), CALIFORNIA: This is not the new normal, this is the new abnormal.

VALENCIA: California's Governor Jerry Brown blaming climate change.

BROWN: The chickens are coming home to roost, this is real here.

VALENCIA: Together the fires have claimed the lives of more than 30 people.

In the last 48 hours, more than 10,000 acres have burned. As for those 200 that remain unaccounted for, the Sheriff here in Butte County says it's going to take potentially weeks for them to sift through all of this debris and identify any remains they may find of those who weren't able to make it out alive. Nick Valencia, CNN Paradise, California.

VAUSE: And to the south, a major blaze around the beach community of Malibu has forced thousands of residents to evacuate. Ari Soffer was among those who fled the inferno. He recorded a part of that terrifying journey.



ARI SOFFER, RANCHER, MALIBU: Oh my (BLEEP) God. Oh my God. Get me the (BLEEP) out of here.


VAUSE: Ari Soffer joins us now from Los Angeles. Glad, very glad to have you with us.

SOFFER: Thank you. Thank you.

VAUSE: Can you describe what it was like making that drive. I'm assuming it was on the (INAUDIBLE). It's just you and the dog. Ten miles of blazing inferno, what, it was just a white-knuckle ride grabbed the stream wheel and just don't stop?

[01:05:00] SOFFER: Yes. It was -- it was a rough ride, it was really scary. The dog was in the backseat, the heat was enormous, the road was burning from Trancas Canyon all the way to county line. There was a downed power line which I accidentally drove over. I didn't actually even see it. It's in some of the other video. It was hot, it was scary, but once I started going that direction, I didn't want to turn around and I was actually trying to avoid the same situation that those other ladies were stuck in in a giant traffic jam and unable to move so I went the opposite direction.

VAUSE: When you go to the end, when you cleared you know, basically the blazing orange which is all around you and you're out of the flames, out of the fire zone, did you sort of think how the hell did I get out?

SOFFER: I was so happy that my tires didn't explode, that the car didn't stop running. Apparently, the fire sucks all the oxygen out of the air and the internal combustion motor can't fire, the car could have stalled. I was worried about my dog mostly. I just wanted to get her out of there.

VAUSE: She was OK, right?

SOFFER: The dog is perfectly fine. She smelled like smoke.

VAUSE: And you waited to the last minute to leave. Was there ever a moment during that 25-minute drive when you thought maybe I should have got out a bit sooner?

SOFFER: I probably should have, but you know, I felt like I wanted to try and protect the property which I did with hoses up until the last minute. We didn't think the fire was actually going to hit my yard. You're looking at my yard right there and helicopters flying but that's my backyard burning there right down to my fence and I was able to save I think the house by staying. VAUSE: And because you say that the neighbors, they're pretty

confident from (INAUDIBLE) saying you know forty years we've been here and it'll pass us by but it just didn't.

SOFFER: No, that's right. Yes, they said that you know, they've seen this happen before. We were watching -- if you look in that video, the wind is blowing across the property, not toward so we thought that the part the fire would pass by us but it didn't. It came raging down the canyon. I guess the wind was coming down the canyon or something differently and right at us with -- there was a 50-foot fire tornado coming at us in the backyard.

VAUSE: Yes, your house is still standing. At least you believe it's still standing. So many others are not that lucky. These fires have just happened so quickly and have been so devastating. It's just very hard to sort of get a handle on the scope of the devastation here.

SOFFER: Yes. Very, fortunately, my house made it. I lost my chicken coop and my barn but you know, I consider that really not a loss. My girlfriend Tracey Bregman, her house burned down across the street with all of her belongings, everything she owned was in there. She didn't get anything out in the evacuation. It's a very sad. You know, and many houses on my block, ten neighbors lost their house. My neighbor, Lester, right in front of me lost his house. It's a horrible situation.

VAUSE: Yes. And of course, the death toll standing at 44 and there are fears that will continue to climb. But Ari, thank God you're out and your girlfriend is safe and the dog is good so thank you for being with us.

SOFFER: Thank you very much.

VAUSE: Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri joins us a bit more now -- with more now, I should say, So I guess the question is how much longer is this fire danger going to be there?

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: You know, for Northern California, I think we're finally beginning to see a little bit of a shift for the better. The winds are going to begin to die down significantly. That's the good news to the north. To the south, it's an entirely different story and the winds actually coin a peak on Tuesday afternoon across that region. But look at the perspective here when it comes to what has happened and of course how we got here because let's not forget, July 2018 it was the single hottest month on record in the State of California and it was the single hottest and driest month as well across the state as well.

So put this all together we've had tremendous fuel build across this region, but you notice the forecaster is or improving conditions. We've now dropped the level of concern from extreme and critical down to elevated in the paradise area into northern California. Southern California, unfortunately, the levels have gone up to extreme now for Tuesday afternoon including now San Diego County where winds are expected to be peaking somewhere around hurricane force. And in fact, that was the case there across this region come Monday afternoon when we had wind gusts up to hurricane force 136 km/h and a few observations and higher elevations.

And unfortunately, with these powerful winds, we've seen reports of spot fires that firefighters have had to now take their energy, their attention to is seen embers get picked up carried farther downstream and start additional smaller fires. Of course, firefighters want to attend to that as quickly as possible to not let that become something significant and that has been the concern over this region. Winds going into Tuesday afternoon 110 km/h in the canyons and the valleys could see him around 60 to 80 km/h.

In places like Calabasas, widespread evacuations here. We do expect a little bit of a warming trend unfortunately but peak winds on Tuesday seeing a diminishing winds there come Wednesday afternoon, that really plays a significant role in how quickly the firefighters can see those containment numbers go up and that's why we expect with the winds dying down on Tuesday across the northern portion of the stage that will see a big-time improvements there in the containment number is the next several days. For The Camp Fire, it will take at least until Wednesday or Thursday to see that happen for the Woolsey Fire in the south. And John, the high pressure that's been responsible for the dry weather, for the big time winds is going to screw it off towards the east.

Next week the models do want to hint at a potential -- might get carried away with the amount of rainfall in the forecast but a potential for more humidity and maybe some rain coming in across the state of California.

VAUSE: Something to give thanks for. Pedram, thank you. We're following a surge of violence across the Israel-Gaza border. Israel carried out a wave of airstrikes on Monday after militants fired more than 300 rockets into Israeli territory. Palestinian (INAUDIBLE) say the airstrikes killed at least three people while Israeli authorities say dozens have been proved by Hamas rockets. CNN's Oren Liebermann has the latest details.


OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It has been a very volatile night on both sides of the Israel-Gaza border throughout Monday night as we've seen a sharp escalation in hostilities between Israeli security forces and Palestinian militant groups inside of Gaza. At this point, Israel says those militant groups have fired more than 300 rockets from Gaza into Israel marking one of the most volatile days, one of the highest number of rockets we've seen fired in 24 hours since the end of the 2014 Gaza war.

Israel has carried out dozens of air strikes across Gaza at first targeting Hamas military targets and a lot of Jihad military targets and then expanding the scope of those targets to include Al-Aqsa TV Hamas' news channel as well as residential buildings and a hotel. This all starts on Sunday evening, this specific round of hostilities when an Israeli Special Forces raid inside of Gaza is discovered by Hamas militants according to a statement from the al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' military wing. In the exchange of hostilities that followed, one Israeli officer was killed, a high-ranking lieutenant colonel as well as a Hamas military commander and six other Palestinians.

That then led to what we're seeing now, the rockets. The al-Qassam Brigades that is Hamas' military wing and other Palestinian militant groups have said that is a response to the Special Forces operation that happened inside of Gaza. Israeli military saying very little about that operation. To restore calm, or to attempt to restore calm, Egypt and the United Nations have stepped in trying to get both sides back from the brink. We've seen those efforts before with both Egypt and the U.N. stepping in to cut off these sharp escalations we've seen. The question, will it happen again. That seems very difficult at this point as we see continued rocket fire and continued Israeli airstrikes inside of Gaza. Meaning it could be a very long night in an early morning in and around Gaza. Oren Liebermann CNN, Ashkelon in Israel.


VAUSE: Ronen Bergman with the New York Times magazine joins us now from just outside Tel Aviv. He's also the author of Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel's Targeted Assassinations. So Ronen, just a few days ago, the Israeli Prime Minister, he was trying to reassure the country he was doing everything possible to avoid an unnecessary war. Right now it seems that's exactly where this could be heading.

RONEN BERGMAN, STAFF WRITER, NEW YORK TIMES: The operation in Gaza was a highly secretive intelligence-gathering operation. Many of these have been conducted in to pass Gaza as well as in other enemy territories without being disclosed. I think that the assessment is that 99 percent was that it will not be revealed by enemy forces and therefore Prime Minister Netanyahu who is the one authorizing, as well as these kinds of operations in general, gave it to go in spite of the diplomatic course happening in the same time.

This was not an assassination operation. This was not an aggressive or violent operation. This was supposed to be a very secretive unit going into Gaza collecting information doing that secret assignment and then going out without being revealed. Therefore Prime Minister Netanyahu knowing that the operation is going on could speak about trying to get some sort of (INAUDIBLE) some sort of a ceasefire happening in Gaza while knowing that the operation has been conducting the same -- at the same time. Now, it didn't turn out as well as he thought.

[01:14:57] VAUSE: Yes.

BERGMAN: This is an operation that was revealed and now what we're -- what we are witnessing is a deterioration to an outburst of violence that nobody, no party has wanted but the exchange of blows without understanding the other side perfectly might deteriorate to another Gaza War.

VAUSE: OK, so go situation though, you're referring to the, you know, the debungled -- you know, undercover operation that basically led to the -- was it the immediate trigger for the -- for the surge in violence. Because in the months before leading after this, there had been progress made in trying to deescalate tension between Israel and Hamas.

BERGMAN: Yes, we are talking about a process with few key pins. One of them is Egypt, the other one has your correspondent has mentioned, the United Nation, the (INAUDIBLE). The Qataris has been extremely helpful in trying to bring money and assistant to the electricity a supplement of -- electricity to the Gaza Strip inhabitants.

We have -- we have been witnessing a process that could have, and I hope will have -- will brings them some more peace to the Gaza Strip. The problem is that even when you have sides who are willingly trying to contribute to ceasefire, but you do not have a constant permanent mechanism of easement of tension, you might end up with this kind of deterioration.

VAUSE: Right.

BERGMAN: When Hamas trying to retaliate to what it seen as a blunt interference with the sovereignty of their regime. Israel is retaliating, of course, for killing its civilians. And again, we might see a deterioration to an all-out war that no party wants.

VAUSE: Very quickly, Ron, we almost out of time. In 2014, Israel pounded Gaza for weeks, destroying tunnels and Hamas' missile stockpile. For years on, they've now firing 300 missiles all at once and extending the range. How do they rearm so quickly?

BERGMAN: Hamas has been equipped by Iran Revolutionary Guard in other parties of the Iran -- Iranian administration and armed forces. They also have a capacity to run the own factory inside Gaza. And research and development bootless outside of Gaza, in Lebanon, in Malaysia, and other places.

Israel, and I think we have seen that in the last speech of Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel understand that it cannot solve the Gaza problem with force. Nobody dreams of conquering the Gaza Strip. And I think, Benjamin Netanyahu and other part -- the parts.

Even though the ultra-right-wing is they all understand that this situation need to be deal with diplomatically, and using force will not solve it.

VAUSE: OK, we'll see what happens. Ron, thanks so much for being with us. Appreciate it.

A sell-off on Wall Street has extended to some financial markets in the Asia-Pacific Region. Let's take a look at numbers, we see Tokyo's Nikkei, which is closed down two percent. Hong Kong, goes up just a touch. Shanghai up by almost one of the quarter. Seoul down almost by one percent.

New York, the Dow plunged more than 600 points, or 2.3 percent on Monday. Investors have concerns about tech stocks, as well as a strong U.S. dollar which erodes corporate profits.

President Trump tried to blame Democrats, offering a proof. But he had a tweet. "The prospect of presidential harassment by the Dems is causing the stock market big headaches." CNN's Clare Sebastian explains there are actual real reason to the plunge. And they're -- yo know, fact-based reasons.

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This was really a tale of several different individual stocks dragging down sentiment and dragging down the broader market. Apple was a key one. Its supplier didn't just cut its outlook, it also said it had a request from a major customer, a major client to reduce shipments already.

Scheduled shipments, of course, that led everyone to think of Apple. And that also revived fears that we already have in the stitchery market about slowing global growth.

Another stock all is talk about is Goldman Sachs, falling very sharply at -- to its lowest point since 2011 on report -- on a report that a scandal involving -- a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund is deepening.

And General Electric continuing to be a major lagged in the stock market falling almost seven percent. The CEO, the new CEO has been in place just six weeks going on television saying that the company isn't going to be fixed very quickly that it is a major challenge to confidence down, again, around that stock.

So, already we know this is a jittery market, but these are key stocks that help drag down sentiment today.

VAUSE: And California utility stocks also took a hit with a wave -- in the wake rather of the wildfires which is still burning across the state.

We'll take a short break. When we come back, remember what five months ago, Donald Trump ended the threat -- the nuclear threat from North Korea. It didn't last long, you saw the images prove and that may not be the case.


[01:22:37] VAUSE: New satellite images suggest North Korea is moving ahead with its ballistic missile program. Researchers at the Center for Strategic and International Studies identified 13 of an estimated 20 hidden missile bases which were never declared by Pyongyang.

The report says all of them could be used for all classes of ballistic missiles including ICBMs. For more, let's go to Hong Kong now. Will Ripley, live for us. So, Will, if these bases were discovered by commercial satellites, presumably, U.S. intelligence would have as good if not better information, which seems to terrific contrary of everything the U.S. president has been saying about North Korea diplomacy and denuclearization.

WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, John. Let's make this very clear. U.S. intelligence knows about these sites. They probably know about other sites that this commercial analysis doesn't know about. Even though this is a group of very well respected experts and Korea watchers. Deception, is North Korea really deceiving by not declaring its missile sites? Or is the deception coming from President Trump himself who chooses to focus on some of the cosmetic but reversible steps that North Korea has taken so far. Likely, more to build confidence with President Trump, which seems to be working if optics are all that matters.

Yes, you know, they destroy the entrances to the tunnels that there are no nuclear test site. They claim to be dismantling one of their missile launch sites. But the fact that they possess these other missile launch sites that are continuing work on them, doesn't indicate North Korea actually breaking any agreement with the United States. There is no agreement.

The June 12th statement that was signed in Singapore to work toward the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and build an atmosphere of peace and stability, doesn't say anything about North Korea unilaterally stopping the development of its shortened medium- range missile programs or performing maintenance and upgrades at the various sites that would house them around the country.

That is North Korea continuing to work on its nuclear deterrent, which by the way, Kim Jong-un speaking in his New Year's address last year said that North Korea should continue to bolster its nuclear capabilities, mass-producing missiles, and warheads, and making sure the country is ready for any scenario. That's exactly what North Korea is doing.

What -- you know, what is different is President Trump's perhaps, perception of what he thinks the denuclearization process should be. And so, when there are these news articles that are painting this as some sort of deception on the part of North Korea.

It's actually quite dangerous because if President Trump, who often is known, perhaps, not to read his briefings, but to get his information from cable news. If he sees something on Fox News, saying that the U.S. has been deceived, and then, that influences his policy decisions. Well, that certainly has a lot of Korea watcher's very nervous.

And that's perhaps, why in South Korea, the government put out a very strongly worded statement just in the past couple of hours saying that they do not believe North Korea is deceiving anyone by keeping these sites active.

They say North Korea hasn't agreed to get rid of them and why would they at this point considering how the denuclearization talks have really stalled. John.

[01:25:25] VAUSE: Well, it's heard the National Security Advisor John Bolton, is listening. Because he is one of the big hawks when it comes to North Korea. Will, thank you.

Grace Liu joins us now. She's a research associate at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey in California. Grace, thank you for taking your time to join us.


VAUSE: I guess, this should be surprising to pretty much no one. Because the North Koreans, never made any commitment to stop building up its nuclear arsenal. They're in breach of no agreement.

LIU: Exactly. So, a lot of researchers and even analysts like to sight the Kim-Trump agreement that was signed back in June, where the North says that they will work towards the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

And if we look into that language further, we can see that that's not any solid commitment at all, it's just basically says that they're willing to think about denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.

VAUSE: And just shortly, after they signed that meaningless agreement back in June, after a meeting in Singapore, the U.S. president returns to the U.S. proudly declaring on Twitter he'd saved the world from the North Korean nuclear threat.

Here's the for defense secretary Chuck Hagel on that claim from Donald Trump. Listen to this.


CHUCK HAGEL, FORMER UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: This again is a fabrication of the president's conversations and whatever he says is reality. Well, it's not reality. Let's start with the beginning. The North Koreans have not signed any document working out, laying out, what steps they're going to take to denuclearize in North Korea.

There's been nothing stated, agreed to, framed, signed, except what President Trump says they've said.


VAUSE: Is there a real danger with the U.S. president who only hears what he wants to hear?

LIU: Yes. I think -- I think the Senator is exactly correct. There was no language whatsoever in -- talking about any type of verifiable real reimbursable dismantlement or destruction of nuclear weapons, or any nuclear capabilities in that agreement at all.

And it certainly doesn't change or renege on Kim's promises in his New Year's speech for this year that says that North Korea has finished their development program and will proceed to mass-produce nuclear weapons.

VAUSE: You know, the president often talks, especially, during a stump speech about how the missile and nuclear tests have stopped. He considers North Korea foreign policy success. Last week, CNN's Will Ripley reported this. "North Korea could restart nuclear activities if sanctions are not eased. Pyongyang could toughen its stance on its nuclear program if the U.S. does not change its position on easing sanctions, a source with knowledge of North Korea's position tells me."

You know, a lot of this could be the typical back and forth that you get from the North Koreans through negotiations. But would it be entirely surprising to you given the state of those negotiations and how they stall if Pyongyang did, in fact, restart testing?

LIU: I think, actually they haven't stopped testing at all. And we can see that it's very apparent through our satellite imagery analysis. So, we can see that they continued actually to develop a lot of their solid fuel ballistic missile capabilities, or at least, renovated and there are still ongoing construction around facilities related to solid missile development. We see a lot of activity going on around there submarine base.

And again a lot of these so-called dismantling activities are actually getting rid of infrastructure that can be easily rebuilt or infrastructure that they no longer need for certain tests. For instance, to test some of their larger liquid-fueled missile engines. We see that they've successfully launched several of these missiles already in the past couple of years.

So, we know that when they dismantled a liquid fuel test stand, they most likely don't even need to test that specific piece of technology anymore. And so, then, taking apart this type of infrastructure actually doesn't mean a lot in terms of denuclearization.

VAUSE: You know, this is not the first U.S. administration which has struggled when it comes to dealing with North Korea. It does, however, seem to be the first administration which is willing to oversell so little. At this point, can this diplomatic process be saved in any way?

LIU: Well, I think we have to keep in mind that due to the U.S. has two-term policy, Trump has a re-election coming up. And so, at least to the American people, he wants to bring as many wins as we can during his first term to increase his chances of a second term absolutely.


But at this point, I think it is fairly positive that both Kim and the South Korean President Moon have continued to have dialogue. And it seems like at least between the U.S., South Korea and North Korea there's this ongoing -- at least back and forth process.

So at this point I think it is -- it is not a lost cause yet. But I think it would be very utopian to assume that complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula will happen in the next couple of years.

VAUSE: We don't use that word enough -- utopian. Grace -- thank you. Appreciate you being with us.

LIU: Thank you so much -- John.

VAUSE: When we come back, a washout on the world stage with Donald Trump. Why some are showering the President with criticism after weekend his trip to Paris.

Also, CNN's exclusive report on the fight against ISIS in eastern Syria. Why U.S.-backed forces are trying to eliminate the terror group once and for all.


VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody.

I'm John Vause with an update of our top stories this hour.

The death toll has risen to 44 in California's catastrophic wildfires. All but two of the victims are in the northern part of the state from the so-called Camp Fire. It is now the deadliest and most destructive fire in California's history.

President Trump is promising expedited emergency relief after initially blaming poor forest management and threatening to cut aid.

Palestinian health officials say Israeli air strikes have killed at least three people in Gaza. Israel says it won (ph) strikes after militants fired more than 300 rockets on Monday. Israeli officials say those rockets injured several people in Gaza (ph).

A U.S. think tank says it's identified more than a dozen undeclared missiles bases in North Korea. The Center for Strategic and International Studies believe the bases could be used for all classes of ballistic missiles including ICBMs.

This comes despite Donald Trump's declaration back in June that Pyongyang was no longer a nuclear threat.

In terms of political photo-ops, the weekend ceremony in Paris was a give-me. Traditional allies coming together to mark 100 years since the end of World War 1. But in just 44 hours from wheels down to wheels up, the U.S. President managed to take what was meant to be a show of global unity and instead exposed the cracks in the transatlantic relationship like never before.

The symbolism was stark as world leader they walked shoulder-to- shoulder in the rain as the bells rang out to mark the exact moment the fighting ended.

[01:34:59] Donald Trump was MIA. He traveled in a limousine separately for security reasons, according to the White House.

And then there was the warm greeting from Russia's Vladimir Putin -- a handshake, a thumbs up, pat on the arm. Trump was clearly pleased. A stark contrast to the bone-crushing handshake he received from one- time bestie French President Emmanuel Macron.

Divisions between the U.S. and Europe were there long before Donald Trump was elected president. And not it seems relations are crumbling. And that's just how Trump likes it.

Julian Zelizer is a CNN political analyst as well as a professor and a historian at Princeton University. He joins us now from New York. Julian -- thanks for coming in.


VAUSE: Ok. Trump continued with the bad blood when he was safely back home with a series of tweets criticizing Europe for not paying enough on defense. No one would ever accuse this president of having a sense of occasion.

But do we see a glimpse, a possible glimpse of the future world order over the weekend with a Europe first policy. The Europeans going their own way especially on issues like defense and finance. And if that's the case what are the implications here for the U.S.?

JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, that's a risk many other Americans are not happy about. But it's certainly very real. This was post-symbolic. And it was an actual instance where the President was literally separated from other European leaders who are our closest allies. And at a certain point, European leaders will act without the President.

There are limits. The U.S. is still a vital player. Its resources are necessary. Its military is necessary but he has strained this relationship to almost the breaking point.

VAUSE: Here's part of an op-ed written back in August by the German foreign minister talking about the future of the transatlantic relationship. He wrote, "The overlapping of values and interests that shaped our relationship for two generations is decreasing. The binding force of the East-West conflict history. These changes began well before Trump's election and will survive his presidency well into the future. That is why I'm skeptical when some ardent transatlanticist simply advises us to sit this presidency out."

Has the calculation in Europe shifted, or is it shifting towards a view that if the Americans voted kind of like Donald Trump once and they could elect him or someone like him or worst again.

ZELIZER: Well, I'm sure that's on the minds of many Europeans. I don't think everyone assumes this was some kind of mistake. This was a democratic decision. He certainly can be reelected.

On the other hand, I'm sure they paid attention last week in the midterms when Democrats did well in some of the congressional races taking control of the House of Representatives. So they do know nothing is inevitable.

But having him as president, having him send this message pretty consistently, a tense message to European allies is not quickly forgotten. So there will be a lot of repair work by members of Congress or future presidents to go beyond what President Trump has done with these relations.

VAUSE: I guess that's the question, you know, Can it be repaired?

ZELIZER: Well yes, it can. I mean look, even the relations themselves that come out of World War II, there was a moment when they were really made. And so we have moments when great leaders can achieve that. And that can happen again.

But it can take decades for that to happen. It could be the result of different kinds of crises which necessitate countries to work together. This was a lot of hard work that is really being weakened in recent years. Some of it because of the President, some of it forces beyond him. But he's certainly part of the equation.

VAUSE: Yes. Other presidents, other American presidents have dealt with these divisions in the past with Europe. There have been big disagreements before. You know, the Iraq War for instance.

But those disputes never saw the Europeans actually start talking about their own united military or establishing their own financial system. There was always a way of keeping this relationship working.

ZELIZER: Right. It was like disagreements within a family. Everyone agreed they were in the family. Everyone agreed that unit was important for security reasons, for values reasons. But now, I think there are some who fear that family has been severed. And everyone isn't going to go home to the same place.

And at a certain point countries will make their own calculations and they will start to plan ahead, not to have the partner in that home anymore.

And so I think, you know, we're getting close. We're not there yet. But that's a little bit of what we saw this weekend.

VAUSE: Does any country apart from Russia benefit from the U.S. and Europe not working together?

ZELIZER: Now -- I mean at least in terms of our principal allies, I think the benefits of the alliance even after the cold war remains strong. They could be repaired. Certainly a lot of our alliances and institutions like NATO were far from perfect. But the idea of abandoning them doesn't seem to serve the interest of the United States or many of these other countries.

[01:39:55] I think many experts agree -- and that's why many are hoping the path would be to repair things that are broken, to approve things that are broken rather than to abandon them altogether.

VAUSE: Ok. Julian -- thank you. Appreciate you being with us.

ZELIZER: Thank you.

VAUSE: Well, ISIS has been driven out of its strongholds in Iraq and Syria. The fight against the terror group continues. And their leaders are on the run but small groups of fighters remain loyal and have now dug-in battling U.S. backed forces in eastern Syria.

CNN's Nick Paton Walsh has this exclusive report from the front lines.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): ISIS are more than just ghosts found here in the dust of eastern Syria. The last symbolic territory are in a distance under the cover of darkness fighting Syrian Kurdish fighters, pummeled by coalition air power and pushed back towards Iraqi border.

Dark means chaos here. For the past (ph), it's a lethal for American technology. That was an Apache attack helicopter finding its target.

These are rare pictures of the daring night-time operations that have taken back swaths of land. It is startling to see how rudimentary the tools are in a fight so essential to the world.

Triage by phone light, saline solution and dressings. How young the fighters are. This one apparently deafened by shelling. Can you talk, they ask him.

The dead, those who survived this walk (ph) and those in need of urgent surgery begin a long journey to better care. Through a night sky that still echoed with the sound of deaths (ph).

Lurking below in these remaining villages could be ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, defended by die-hard loyalists and foreigners and car bombs. The street to street battle as ferocious as before but unseen by a world who have believed President Donald Trump when he says ISIS has been defeated.

There are holdouts around the village of Souta (ph) still gripped from what they have as day time brings a new sense of challenges. ISIS mortars close in.

Up on the roof, ISIS snipers pin them down. It is startling how this chaotic and young force loosely in control of their weapons got so far. Then the constant in this war, American air power behind both these advances and much destruction.

Trump never disappoints, he says, yet the sheer force compounds a question -- how to handle this (INAUDIBLE) who gave ISIS shelter and the members in the long-term.

The biggest battle he says is going to be bringing the people from ISIS' way of thinking. They've been dragged here by ISIS from their former capital Raqqa. They still think ISIS will come back one day and give them a caliphate again.

This family say they risked arrest by ISIS who only fled this afternoon. "I was in the refugee camp" he says, "but ISIS is surrounded and imprisoned."

Yet, it's impossible to balance their immediate human needs with what their real sympathies may be.

They ask old man, why didn't he die in the air strikes? "It's in the hands of God whether I live or die," he said.

And so they return like thousands of others to the camps behind the front lines. But ISIS' victims and possible future flag bearers form a well of suffering and hatred that will smolder across these plains for years to come.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN.


VAUSE: Still to come, the Democratic Republican of Congo has been hit with the worst outbreak of ebola in the ebola disease and its history. And the world should be concerned.


VAUSE: The Democratic Republic of Congo is facing its worst ebola outbreak ever. About 200 people have died just since August and hundreds of other cases reported to health officials. And now efforts to contain the outbreak are being hampered by ongoing unrest and violence from militants.


DR. OLY BUNGA KALENGA, PUBLIC HEALTH MINISTER, CONGO (through translator): At this point 319 cases and 198 deaths have been registered. In view of these figures, my thoughts and my prayers go to the hundreds of families grieving. To the hundreds of orphans and the families that have been wiped out.


VAUSE: CNN medical analyst Dr. Seema Yasmin is with us now from Washington. Dr. Seema -- good to see you.

DR. SEEMA YASMIN, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Hi, nice to talk with you -- John.

VAUSE: Ok. There's some good news and then there seems to be a lot of bad news here.

We'll start with the good. There's a vaccine, and so it's been administered to what -- almost 30,000 people and in the past at least, it has been pretty effective right.

F1: That's right. It's been tested for safety and efficacy. It is not yet licensed. So when it is being used in situations like it is now it is used under a compassionate use. Yes.

VAUSE: And essentially you have a pretty big trial, if you like, a massive trial of this drug which otherwise wouldn't be released on such a wide scale. F1: Exactly. And John -- we really have to emphasize what a huge

achievement it is that 27,000 people so far have received this experimental vaccine because the people responding to this ebola outbreak are effectively working in a civil war zone that's escalating armed violence going on between these two groups in the region and it is directly impacting the ebola response.

Just recently two healthcare workers were shot dead. There was also a shooting and many people were killed in Bennie which is the main city in north (INAUDIBLE) -- the reason why the ebola outbreak is spreading. So it's not just the virus that is causing the problem. It's also this escalating armed violence as well.

VAUSE: That's the bad news -- getting the vaccine to the areas where it is needed because as you say there are multiple rebel groups fighting and in particular to the northeast of the country. As you say, health workers are coming under fire, mortar fire and they're heading out with armed guards.

But there's also this two-stage impact that has. First of all, there's the threat to the health workers but then when they had to stop those operations and they say the virus, the disease, then gets the upper hand. And so it gets ahead of them.

YASMIN: Absolutely. And we just saw a recent, you know, a few weeks back that there was a two-day suspension of finding ebola cases or trying to track down their contacts because of the escalating armed violence.

We also saw last month that U.S. government house workers were pulled out of the hot zone and stationed in the capital of the DRC instead. And that's not really where they want to be. They want to be in the hot zone. They want to be exactly where the virus is spreading.

And we should say it's not just the armed conflict that is one of the complexities of this outbreak. This is the second outbreak of ebola in DRC this year, the tenth in the country's history and this is on track to be the biggest and deadliest outbreak.

[01:49:54] And one of the concerns that decides this armed conflict is not where the outbreak is spreading, when a virus is spreading, it's very close to a border with Uganda and also a border with Rwanda.

Just last week, there was concern about a man who presented to a hospital in Uganda with symptoms that look like they could have been ebola. He turned out to test negative which was very reassuring. But there's this perpetual fear that this outbreak will spread across international borders.

VAUSE: And the head of the Centers for Disease Control told the "Washington Post" on Monday, "The outbreak in the Congo might not actually be contained and the disease he says has become so serious that international public health experts need to consider the possibility that it cannot be brought under control, and instead will become entrenched. If that happens it will be the first time since the deadly viral disease was first identified in 1976 that an ebola outbreak led to the persistent presence of the disease."

Add to that the possibility, you know, the outbreak could cross over the border into Uganda. This seems that this outbreak could quickly move from what is a crisis to a catastrophe.

YASMIN: Which is why it's really interesting that just last month the World Health Organization convened and they considered designating this outbreak a public health emergency of international concern which you'll recall they did for the huge outbreak that happened between 2014 and 2016.

But interestingly, the World Health Organization decided that as complex and as challenging as this outbreak is, they wouldn't designate a public health emergency of international concern. So we'll have to see if that changes especially because this proximity to international borders, this ongoing armed conflict. And because the public int his region is extremely distrustful of government officials and even public health workers who are trying to help them.

VAUSE: And this all started back in August and we're now in November and it is only getting worse. Dr. Seema -- thank you.

YASMIN: Thanks.

VAUSE: His was a name among names.





LEE: No, no. Really. I'm Stan Lee.


VAUSE: Yes. That really Stan Lee. Coming up, we look back at the wonderful world of the comic book icon.


VAUSE: His imagination gave the world iconic super heroes like Spider-Man, Iron Man, the Fantastic Four -- super heroes with flaws and failings which made them relatable and real.

Stephanie Elam takes a look back at the amazing life of Stan Lee.


STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Spider-Man, Iron Man and the X-Men -- they're among the most iconic comic book heroes in history and they simply would not exist without Stan Lee, the visionary behind Marvel Comics lived a life almost as incredible as the characters he created. LEE: I'm pretty proud of the fact that some of the stories that I

wrote so many years ago are still being read and hopefully enjoyed by the public. And people are making motion pictures based on them and television series.

ELAM: Spider-Man debuted in 1962 and became Lee's most successful comic book creation.

LEE: Spider-Man is my favorite because he's the most popular. He's known and loved worldwide.

ELAM: Lee's spidey senses were tingling. Years later in 2002, the first Spider-Man film was released and was a blockbuster hit.

LEE: As a child I didn't really know anybody who shot webs or crawled on buildings or wore suits of armor and flew or anything like that. I just imagined them and there they were.

[01:54:59] ELAM: He also imagined Thor, the Incredible Hulk, and the Fantastic Four. They were flawed people with extraordinary powers.

LEE: I never had any idea the characters would last this long. In fact I and the people I work with who co-created them with me, the many talented artists, we just hoped that the books would sell, and we'd continue to get our salary and be able to pay our rent.

The movies have done so much for the characters. The movies had given the comic book characters even more prestige.

ELAM: The native New Yorker was born Stanley Morgan (ph) Lieber. He had humble beginnings but his love for comics took him much further than he ever dreamed. He also earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

LEE: In a million years, I never thought, you know, that I would get something like this.

ELAM: As his creations became larger than life on the big screen he also kept a feverish pace making appearances at events like Comic Con in San Diego.

Though his life seemed charmed, it wasn't without adversity. Lee was married to his wife Joan for over 60 years and they had two daughters. However, his youngest only lived for a few days.

In his 80s Lee was involved in various lawsuits against Marvel and Disney over the span of seven years. In September 2012, He had surgery for a pace maker and joked he was trying to become more like his Iron Man character Tony Stark.

LEE: To me the most important thing in the world is to keep busy. And I'm happy to say I'm lucky enough to still be busy.

ELAM: The Stan Lee Foundation was also a passion project for Lee who seemed to believe with great power comes great responsibility.

LEE: What we concentrate on is education, educating children.


LEE: I never would have dreamed years ago that anything like this would happen.

ELAM: The king of comics who was adored worldwide was most proud of his family and his comic heroes. Perhaps Lee will be remembered as a legendary innovator with an uncanny ability to capture the imagination.

LEE: Excelsior.


VAUSE: Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause.

Our very own superhero Andrew Stevens takes over from Hong Kong right after a short break. You're watching CNN.