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Brexit Deal Confuses More in E.U.; Underwear Protest Posted Online; Death Toll Escalates in Northern California; Ceasefire Turned into More Rockets Firing. Aired 3-4a ET
Aired November 15, 2018 - 03:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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[03:00:00] ANDREW STEVENS, CNN HOST: Theresa May says her cabinet backs the draft Brexit deal but what's next is likely to be the toughest fight yet.
Beijing makes an often -- an opening offer to Washington in hopes of ending the U.S.-China trade war.
And outrage over the verdict in a rape trial in Ireland prompts women to post pictures of their underwear.
Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from around the world. I'm Andrew Stevens in Hong Kong. You're watching CNN Newsroom.
European capitals are now analyzing a draft Brexit deal with the U.K. that has been endorsed by the cabinets of the British Prime Minister Theresa May. European officials say they will now go through a series of meetings to consider the proposal and barring any unexpected hitch.
The European Council is expected to meet this Sunday to formalize the agreement. At a news conference within the last hour, the European Council president, Donald Tusk said that the E.U. has always accused Brexit as a lose-lose proposition. He said the negotiations have only been about damage control.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TUSK, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN COUNCIL: As much as I am (Inaudible) to see leave, I will do everything to make the farewell the least painful possible for both, for Europe and for us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEVENS: Theresa May faces a much bigger challenge though, to try and get her Brexit deal through a skeptical parliament.
Nina Dos Santos joins us from London with the latest. Interesting, Nina, listening to Donald Tusk there talking about a lose-lose. You could be given for thinking that Theresa May maybe thinking the same thing given the amount of grief that she's had to deal with and it continues.
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPPONDENT: Yes, lose-lose, and she could lose her seat as prime minister, perhaps even before those E.U. negotiations are finished. Because remember that what they did there in Brussels earlier today was say that they thought that they had enough agreed there to convene a special November 25th the E.U. summit to finally discuss this last draft of the Brexit text so it could be rubber stamp before it comes here to the British parliament.
But in the meantime, again, reports continue about potential plots to unseat Theresa May largely by pro-Brexit ministers who are very agreed to the text of this deal. We've also got some people who want to the U.K. to stay inside the E.U. within the conservative party. Also there in the opposition Labour Party who are saying there was absolutely no way that they will vote for this deal either.
And there are reports that up to 10 cabinet ministers didn't want to back her in that five-hour cabinet marathon that she had yesterday. She managed to get a collected agreement, collective unity. But it is by no means ruled out that we could see resignations over the next few days of senior government members.
In the meantime, we have had one resignation. Shailesh Vara on Twitter who is a Northern Ireland minister so not a cabinet level minister but still significant minister who represents a significant jurisdiction of the U.K. that thorny issues being Northern Ireland and the border with the Republic of Ireland to the south.
Shailesh Vara has actually resigned, saying that he can't vote for this because essentially it leaves the U.K. in a halfway house with no time limit on when the country will be its own sovereign nation.
So, for pro-Brexit Tory M.P.s this idea of having a transition period that may well then be extended to along the transition period followed by potentially some kind of backstop arrangement of the U.K. can unilaterally take itself out of, that is basically a no-go.
And that is why some of these ministers may well resign that could have serious consequences for Theresa May before the deal even get to Brussels and then of course she has to try to get it to the house by December 20the when parliament hits recess, Andrew.
STEVENS: The reason why this Brexit draft is so messy and so compromise, Nina, all goes back to the Northern Ireland question. Just if you could, explain to viewers why, you know, what is effectively a small part of the United Kingdom is the biggest obstacle to having a clean break.
DOS SANTOS: Well, there's two reasons for this. One, constitutionally Northern Ireland wants to stay part of the United Kingdom. Any type of legislation that is agreed upon here in London and also in Brussels that allows Northern Island to be governed just even slightly more in terms of its customs arrangement by the E.U.
Obviously, unionists in Northern Ireland would view that very badly because they would view that potentially as a way of eventually paying the way towards a unified Ireland that they don't want. So, they don't want any kind of balance of power that tip the balance closer towards the European Union. And therefore, of course, Ireland their neighbor on the other side of the border to the south.
[03:05:06] But the issue is also political one for Theresa May as well because remember, after calling that ill-fated 2017 election she lost her majority in the House of Commons, and as a result, she's relying upon the DUP, a Northern Irish party that is fiercely oppose to any outstretch of political weight from Brussels and from Ireland, she's relying on them for 10 key votes that she will need to try and get this legislation to parliament.
So, part of it is a political issue and part of it is a historical legacy issue that Northern Ireland does not want to espouse any type of legislation that will see it cleaved off from the rest of the U.K. Andrew?
STEVENS: And while this current government is in place, it looks like a totally intractable problem. Nina, thank you very much for the analysis. Nina Dos Santos, joining us from outside the house of parliament in London.
Steven Erlanger is chief diplomatic correspondent in Europe for the New York Times and he is watching his play out from Brussels. Steven, good to have you back on the show.
We're all hearing the criticism that the vocal shrill criticism coming on the deal, which even though it was passed. I mean, one cabinet, one high profile Brexiteer calls is the worst of both worlds. It may be, but is it actually workable?
STEVEN ERLANGER, LONDON BUREAU CHIEF, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Well, I think it's workable. But you have to remember it's a transitional agreement. I mean, the withdrawal agreement is real. Britain leaves it pays its money. The problem is no one is ready for the future relationship. We've got two more years or so of negotiations on really what matters, which is Britain's future relation with the E.U.
What people are unhappy about is the standstill transition period. And the biggest problem has been as we've always said the border between the E.U., which is Ireland, the republic and the U.K. which is Northern Ireland. And how you manage that has -- will continue to be a big problem.
I'm not always sure what the British various parts of the British establishment thought possible but they can change things in the future relationship negotiations if they choose to do so.
In the meantime, really nothing changes for the next 20 months. I mean, you have a standstill, effectively a standstill deal where Britain is still paying into the E.U. where there are still freedom of movement where nothing actually changes while negotiations continue.
ERLANGER: Now Theresa May, you know, has been pressuring every choice as far back as possible. Now the boots are on the ground and people have to decide. STEVENS: It's a good point raise, the fact that nothing really does change materially until the end of 2020 as far as are the relationship between Britain and the E.U. is concerned.
I want to go back to the first point you raise about Northern Ireland because this is the key. This was the 5 percent which is always been usually problematic. You're a diplomatic correspondent, do you see a way through this, neither side wants a hard border but they have to negotiate but and don't you have to have a hard border if there is going to be Europe leading up to the to the border with Northern Ireland?
ERLANGER: Well, this is the problem. I mean, really have two contradictory things going on here, right. One is the E.U. want to protect its single market, which includes Ireland. And Britain doesn't want to divide itself, you know, England and the rest of the country from Northern Ireland and you can't have one without the other.
So, what they're trying to do is treat Ireland as an island as a single entity for customs and duties. And what the U.K. then said is don't divide us. So let's treat all of the U.K. as a single custom. And frankly, Brussels conceded on that point.
But again, this is only for a transition. I think down the road it's possible to negotiate a significant free-trade deal of sort of Canada plus-plus that will eliminate on goods which is after all only 15 percent of the British economy free trade and free passage of goods across Ireland and from the U.K. into the E.U.
The problem will be there will have to be some kind of regulatory checks. They don't have to be on the border. They can be in factories, they can be on ships or pharmaceuticals, or livestock because after all, the E.U. will defend its single market and Northern Ireland, you know, in the future may not be actually part of it.
[03:10:04] So that's what they are going to have to figure out. It remains a problem, it will be a problem for the next two years. And I think, you know, for the moment, Britain being able to trade freely with the E.U. is probably a good thing for Britain and a good thing for Northern Ireland.
It is not the Declaration of Independence immediate that Brexiteers wanted. But, you know, many people in Brussels feel that would've been incredibly costly because no one is prepared for that (Inaudible).
ERLANGER: The worry people have, frankly, is a (Inaudible) at the end of this negotiating period December 2020 or even 2021 if there's no deal. That frightens people too.
STEVENS: Absolutely. Well, I say a week is a long time in politics. So, two years is an unimaginable with what's going on in Westminster at the moment.
Steven, thank you very much for joining us. Steven Erlanger with the New York Times in Brussels.
Firefighters are beginning to get the upper hand on the wildfires in California, but the human toll is rising. Fifty-eight people have now died across that state. That number is expected to increase. More than 100 people are still missing in the northern fire.
Nick Watt has our update.
NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In Southern California, another completely separate fire exploding east of Los Angeles whip by those same Santa Ana winds creating carnage across California. And another dangerous flareup on the western edge of the enormous Woolsey Fire around Malibu not clear homes but those hot dry gusty winds can be very dangerous burning embers far and wide.
Two dead in Malibu so far, and inland in Agoura Hills another body found. Authorities suspect that fatality also fire related.
Thirteen million people remain on the red flag warnings, hundreds of thousands forced to flee from their homes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REBECCA HACKETT, FIRE SURVIVOR: I just thought maybe I was going to die. I just, I was like, I just have to keep going. I can't turn around, I can't stop. I have to just keep going.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We all left in the dark.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATT: At a meeting for the Malibu evacuated emotions high, temper is hot.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICK STEWART, MALIBU HOMEOWNER: I mean, the evacuation was not smooth. I had to hear about the smooth evacuation on the radio a hundred times, I'm sitting on that Zuma parking lot wandering if I'm going to die from the smoke.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATT: Meanwhile, in Northern California through the ash and rubble that was once at time called Paradise, they're still searching for the death. The toll will rise. There's already the deadliest fire in California's history.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KARYN BARTLEY, EVACUEE, PARADISE, CALIFORNIA: Our dream is gone right now, but I just want to say that everybody out here has been so gracious and we're so thankful for friends who have been so supportive.
(END VIDEO CLIP) WATT: Nearly 7,700 homes burned and counting lost to the fast-moving flames of the so-called Camp Fire at its peak consuming every second an area the size of a football field.
Cal Fire creating this interactive map all that red is destroyed, those tiny chunks of black the only areas unaffected. One official says in his 30 years of service he's never seen such destruction.
In less than a week in area around four times the size of Boston has burned. There is a little bit of hope in the horizon, the winds are dropping and some rain is forecast for the end of next week, but until then, California still a tinderbox.
Nick Watt, CNN, Malibu, California.
STEVENS: Well, as Nick just said there, the wildfires have burned an area larger than the cities of Chicago and Boston combined. It is just devastating.
Let's go to our meteorologist Derek Van Dam now at the international weather center with more. Derek, are conditionings -- are conditions starting to weaken in a significant way and when can they expect rain?
DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: OK. Rain at the end of next week like Nick mentioned. The high elevations in the coastal mountain range in Southern California they still have wind gust in excess of 40 kilometer per hour. We'll get to the details in just one moment, Andrew.
But just like I mentioned a moment ago. This is a state that has had several wildfires this year and has burned over 930 square kilometers, which is equivalent to the size or larger than the size of the square kilometer of berlin, so that really puts into perspective for our international viewers.
And to see some of these before and after images coming out of the Paradise region in Northern California and Butte County just horrific to see what could be your hometown or my hometown, for instance, a completely obliterated basically nothing left 80 to 90 percent of Paradise has been destroyed.
[03:15:03] So, well, just put yourself in that situation, right, very, very scary moments. Now, the Camp Fire only at 35 percent containment. Authorities believe that it won't be fully contained until the end of the month, with no containment date set for the Woolsey fire in Southern California. Wind gust 25 to 40 kilometers per hour.
Again, in the highest elevations. They have dropped somewhat so there is giving some relief to the firefighters battling the blazes in Southern California but we still remain elevated to critical here across Los Angeles, Ventura and into San Diego County, strong winds again in the higher elevations but really, the low humidity values and the extremely dry conditions.
If you go back seven months the last measurable rainfall across the state was really in April of 2018. So, we turn the tabs off and all of the sudden that vegetation that once flourished, dried out very quickly and created our tinderbox conditions allowing for smoke to fill the air.
Some of that smoke has drifted across San Francisco International Airport, that's delayed over 270 flights, canceled nearly 2o flights, and that is why we have an air-quality alert in effect across the San Joaquin Valley today. That is all, thanks to the smoke and haze and fog that is really settled into the region making it very dangerous for anyone with respiratory problems.
Again, Andrew, relief coming in sight at the end of next week, that's Thanksgiving week here in the state. Back to you.
STEVENS: That's going to be a long wait though for some of those are victims up there. OK. Derek, thanks so much for that. Derek Van Dam joining us from the international weather center.
Women around the world are posting photos of their underwear online. It's to protest a rape case in Ireland. Coming up, we'll hear from one of the women who started that campaign.
And Rohingya refugees who fled a brutal army crackdown say they're terrified of going back to Myanmar. So where does that leave them. We'll explore that later this hour.
STEVENS: Angry women around the world are posting photos of their underwear online. It happened after a jury in Ireland found a man not guilty of raping a 17-year-old girl. But during the trial his attorney brought up the kind of underwear the girl was wearing.
Well, women on social media considered the victim blaming and took their protests to Twitter with a hash tag "This is not consent." Among them is Ruth Coppinger, a socialist member of the Irish parliament.
[03:20:06] OK. Let's go now to Phil Black, he joins us from London with details on that case. And just if you can just paint the picture of what happened at the trial because it does sounds so controversial, Phil.
PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Andrew. So, as you saw from the read trial, this was a case where there were competing versions of what happened. A 17-year-old girl said she was dragged upper lane in the city of Cork and raped. The 27-year-old man accused of the crime says he didn't drag everyone -- anyone, I should say, and that what happened was consensual.
And so, this case hung on the issue of consent. But it was in her closing remarks that the defense lawyer, Elizabeth O'Connell said to the jury, according to journalist in the room, that they should consider think about what the 17-year-old was wearing on the night and specifically her underwear.
She is quoted of saying this, that "Does the evidence outruled the possibility that she was attracted to the defendant and was open to meeting someone, and being with someone. You have to look at the way she was dressed. She was a wearing a thong with a lace front."
Now after 90 minutes of deliberation the jury came back and said the accused man was not guilty. There has been a very angry reaction that the lawyer was allowed to suggest that she did suggest that the woman's choice of underwear on the night the 17-year-old choice of underwear on the night could have indicated that she was looking for sex.
Now we've seen that outrage on the streets of Cork. There are protests outside the courthouse women lying underwear there in public. In parliament as you mentioned, the politician held up underwear to talk about the problem with victim blaming, and indeed, around the world women on social media have been posting images of the own underwear with the hash tag "This is not a consent."
The response has been international. An angry response from women around the world who find it difficult to believe, that even now it is still possible to discuss a women's choice of clothing in court in order to discredit a rape allegation. Andrew?
STEVENS: Phil, thanks very much for that.
Well, earlier, Susan Dillon set up a Twitter page to provide an anonymous space for survivors of sexual violence to share their experience. Now she's part of the group that came up with the "This is not consent" hash tag. And joins us from Wicklow town in Ireland.
Susan, thank you very much for taking time to talk to us today. What does it say, first of all, about Ireland that in a rape case the defense lawyer uses the clothing worn by the victim as something in their defense?
SUSAN DILLON, JOINED ONLINE PROTEST: I think it shows that we have a long way to go as a society but mostly in our core system which I believe this probably lacking behind societal views on the issue. We clearly have great myths embedded as part of our culture that need to be dispelled.
STEVENS: Have you been surprised in any way by the way that this, that hash tag is taken off, not just in Ireland but internationally?
DILLON: Absolutely. You know, we just did it to support women and to try to make a stand on this particular issue and hopefully foster some change in people's minds and essentially the court system. We are really overwhelmed by the way it's taken off and particularly internationally, but it can only be a good thing.
STEVENS: Absolutely. Where -- what do you want to achieve from this? What are you hoping the results of this will be? Obviously, there is an awareness issue there, but any other concrete steps in terms of changing laws, of getting the Irish judiciary to look at things differently?
DILLON: Yes. I mean, first and foremost, it's about supporting survivors and women and showing that their choice of clothing does not imply consent. But we want that to also translate to the court system. So, we would like to see a situation where evidence like is inadmissible, because frankly, it is not evidence, it does not imply anything. And so, we will be in contact with the minister for justice following this few days of campaigning.
STEVENS: I'm just curious. What sort of comments have you been hearing and what have people been saying to you about this case?
DILLON: Overwhelmingly supportive. In particular, via the support page I had a lot of women contact me with their stories. I had women contact me with how they've been shamed by police and threw their applications through the court system around what they were wearing. That is simply not good enough.
[03:24:58] So we just want to support those women. There are lots of women who are currently going through the system or have been raped in the past, and we want them to know that they're not to blame.
STEVENS: All right, Susan, thank you so much for joining us. Susan Dillon of the movement, the hash tag "This is not consent." Thanks for joining us.
DILLON: Thank you.
STEVENS: Israel's defense minister has resigned in protest over a ceasefire agreement with Hamas. Avigdor Lieberman says it's giving into terror. He's also calling for early elections.
The ceasefire comes after the worst clashes between Israel and Hamas in four years. Militants fired 400 rockets into Israel Monday and Tuesday, Israel hit back with more on more than 100 targets in Gaza.
Well, beyond the political fallout there's also the human toll not just the numbers of the dead, but the psyche of the living especially the children.
Arwa Damon reports from Gaza City.
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The ruins of the Israeli bomb site are still smoldering. But five-year-old Nada's (Ph) mother says her daughter wanted to see her classroom. She clutches her hand walking through the building she used to laugh and play in and shows us where she used to sit.
The building next door is what seems to have been the main target but this nursery was also significantly damaged in the Israeli airstrike. You can still see the baby's bottles in the rubble. There wasn't anyone killed or wounded here. The strike happened in the early hours of the morning but also the Israelis had warned residents in this area to evacuate.
Her mother says Nada is normally a chatterbox that her shy and quite behavior are because she's in shock.
"We have to, as a population, get used to this," Mariam says, "whether we like it or not, it's our land. If we don't protect ourselves, who is going to."
Dr. Basem Naim, a member of Hamas International Relations Bureau says that by agreeing to a ceasefire Hamas is demonstrating their willingness to look for peace.
BASEM NAIM, MEMBER, HAMAS INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS BUREAU: Our answer was clearly yes, immediately if it's possible. Therefore, we have encouraged all the efforts to return back to the ceasefire agreement, to return back to clam, to give a chance for the cease to be lifted and to deprive this race of any excuses, to destroy this process.
DAMON: At a small rally Hamas speaker claimed victory and credit for bringing down Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, though his reason for resigning was that Israel did not respond aggressively enough.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AVIGDOR LIEBERMAN, DEFENSE MINISTER OF ISRAEL (through translator): Hamas does not talk about coexistence or recognition of the state of Israel. They do not want to improve the employment situation in the Gaza strip. They continue to invest their budget of 252 to $270 million in building up their military capabilities.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DAMON: This cycle of escalating violence and ceasefires has become part of the routine of life here, a routine no one necessarily want or can do much about.
Hamas' main TV station headquarters was also targeted, employees are sifting through the rubble trying to salvage bits and pieces. And the morning show went on as scheduled from the street.
There is a sense of what is perhaps best described as defiant resignation but to what end?
Araw Damon, CNN Gaza City, Gaza.
STEVENS: Thousands of U.S. troops are waiting along the border with Mexico. So why have President Trump's threats about an invasion from the caravan 'caravanished?'
Plus, reports of progress towards ending the trade war between the U.S. and China, how it could impact the upcoming meeting between Donald Trump and to Xi Jinping.
[03:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ANDREW STEVENS, CNN NEWSROOM HOST: Welcome back. I'm Andrew Stevens in Hong Kong. Let us update you on our top stories this hour. The European Council is expected to formally accept the draft Brexit deal on November 25. It comes after the British Prime Minister Theresa May narrowly persuaded her cabinets to go along with the agreement, but that night might have been easy part. Mrs. May must get her skeptical parliament to pass negotiated terms before the deadline next March. The agreement is already causing heartburn among some British
politicians, the conservative minister from Northern Ireland resigned Thursday morning. Shailesh Vara complained that the terms lazy U.K. in a half White House with no time limits. When we finally, become a sovereign nation.
A ruling is expected on Thursday in the federal lawsuit, CNN has brought against the Trump administration. It comes after the White House revoke the press pass of chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta, CNN says the administration cannot bar a reporter even if it doesn't like his reporting. The Justice Department says, yes it can.
White House sources say that President Trump is in a foul move. One official told CNN quote, he is pissed at damn near everyone. Well, the president confirmed Wednesday what many have speculated is looking to make major changes. CNN's Jeff Zeleny reports.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: A week ago after the midterm elections.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There was as a big day yesterday, incredible day.
ZELENY: Tonight President Trump mood is anything but his isolated and growing more furious by the day White House officials tell CNN with one bluntly saying, yes he's pissed at damn near everyone. And tonight he's searching for a scapegoat. In an Oval Office interview with the Daily Caller, the president revived old conspiracy theories about voter fraud. The Republicans don't win and that's because of potentially illegal votes. He told the conservative website. When people get in line that have absolutely no right to vote in they go around in circles. Sometimes they go to their car to put on a different hat, put on a different shirt come in and vote again. Nobody takes anything. It's really a disgrace what's going on.
After announcing his support for a bipartisan prison reform bill tonight and he did not answer questions about the fraud allegations. There is no evidence to back up the claim aimed at the Florida recount, but offers a window into the president's state of mind. As the White House head to the uncharted territory.
With Democrats assuming for the house and special counsel Robert Miller inching closer to issuing a report on the Russia investigation. A day after first lady Melania Trump wants to public grenade across the White House saying deputy national security adviser Mira Ricardel no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House. She reported to work today. A rare personal rebuke for Mrs. Trump. CNN has learned, she's been quietly calling for her firing for weeks, because of a conflict over her tripped to Africa last month.
When the problem wasn't solved. Mrs. Trump went public. All that is a far bigger shakeup is looming even as the president says he will soon decide the fate of Homeland security Secretary Kirsten Nielsen. She was at the U.S.-Mexico border today alongside Defense Secretary James Mattis receiving a briefing from military commanders.
The president has made little secret of his dissatisfaction with Nielsen on his two signature issues, immigration and border security. It could touch off a domino of departures, including White House Chief of Staff John Kelly who was Nielsen's top advocate inside the administration. The president is already talking to a handful of potential replacements for Kelly, including our elevating Vice President Pence's Chief of Staff Nick Ayres to the post, but even before his name, CNN has learned there's been aggressive push back against them with some senior aides even threatening to resign if he stopped for the job.
[03:35:06] And talk of a staff shakeup has led to an actual development in the staff shakeup just a short time ago, the White House announcing that they are indeed going to remove that deputy national security adviser Mira Ricardel from her position. Of course she is the one you got in the crosshairs with the First Lady's office just a yesterday. The White House has waited some 24 hours for resolution on that.
White House press Secretary Sarah Sanders sending out a statement just a few moments ago saying indeed that she is going to transition outside of the White House. We will still have some type of job in the administration, but clearly a signed here that the first lady is very unusual rebuke certainly worked in this case. Jeff Zeleny, CNN, the White House.
STEVENS: The president's threats about caravans of criminals invading the United States have dried up. Now the midterms are over. At hundreds of migrants have actually reached the U.S. border at Tijuana, Mexico and those thousands of U.S. troops into stave off the invasion, well they are still waiting. CNN's Barbara Starr reports.
BARBARA STARR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Defense Secretary James Mattis checking up on the troops at the bare-bones military camp on the Texas border with Mexico. 5900 troops deployed to help stop caravans of migrants still hundreds of miles from the U.S.-Mexico border which President Trump has warned about.
TRUMP: Look at what's marching up, that is an invasion, that's not -- that is an invasion.
STARR: But on the ground. The reality is different Mattis reiterating the military will not be confronting the migrants as he defended the mission.
JAMES MATTIS, DEFENSE SECRETARY GENERAL: Obviously a moral and ethical mission to support our border patrol men.
STARR: 1300 of those troops in Texas largely cast with putting up concertina wire without weapons in hand. Part of their orders to barricade the Texas border for migrants coming north may try to cross. MATTIS: The troops doing that obviously are not armed, they don't
need their weapons. The don't engineer laid the barb wire, the soldiers, marine doing that are over watched by M.P.'s who are armed.
STARR: Mattis will aware of the political firestorm surrounding the deployment now telling American forces to ignore the news media.
MATTIS: There are all sorts of stuff in the news that sort of thing. You just concentrate on what your company commander tell you. Because if you read all that stuff, you go nuts.
STARR: But the question of President Trump's political motivation for sending troops is not going away, from October 16 to November 6 midterm election day, 45 tweets mentioning the border, but since then zero.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think that strengthens the argument by those who believe that this was a politically motivated mission in the first place.
STARR: And in a bizarre moment, Mattis insisting there is precedent for forces on the border actually siding (inaudible) via the famed Mexican revolutionary leader.
MATTIS: I see many of you are aware that Pancho Villa-Wilson, hundred years ago, a little over hundred years ago deployed the U.S. Army to the southwest border that over a century ago that threat then was Pancho Villa troops, a revolutionary Arabian across the border in the United States, New Mexico in 1916.
STARR: The difference being Pancho Villa led her group of revolutionaries with guns while the current group of migrants includes men, women and children who were mostly escaping violence in their own countries.
So while the political questions still rage many of the troops don't even know if they will be home for the holidays and the Secretary of Defense, talking about Pancho Villa. Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon.
STEVENS: Now sources tells CNN, China has made an opening bid in restarting the trade talks with the U.S. One source says, the offer is nothing new will short of U.S. demands, but at least the channels are open. CNN's Matt Rivers is live in Beijing with details on this. Matt, do you have any details as of the Chinese I have in the past played the sort of things very close.
MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I mean, you heard this story before Andrew, that there is negotiations between the U.S. and China. The U.S. has a list of demands that includes pretty substantial reforms to the economy here things like changing intellectual property theft, changing force technology transfers tightening up trademark and copyright laws and the Chinese come back and say will actually not going to do most of those things, or even acknowledge some of those things are problems, but we will say with selective tariffs on certain imports here in China.
That's exactly where we are yet again. According to two people briefed on this latest Chinese offer to the United States ahead of that crucial potential meeting at the G-20 and a couple of weeks in Buenos Aires between President Trump and President XI.
[03:40:02] What has been going on is that negotiations between the U.S. and China over a potential trade deal which had been dead in the water for months have reopened ahead of that G-20 and what the United States has been saying is that China needs to put some sort of substantial offer on the table for negotiations in Argentina to actually have any sort of substance or merit behind them.
So China apparently put forth this offer. According to two separate sources, CNN is spoke to, but the source is called a lowball offer. So apparently yes, as you mentioned, the talks are ongoing. They're talking one another. That's not a bad thing in any way, but it doesn't appear that what's gone on so far with this offer. That the Chinese have laid out is really enough to move the move the needle at all.
STEVENS: And to whether that needle will be moved to when the two leaders actually meets at the G-20. It might to be seen as well, Matt. Thank you so much for that. Matt Rivers joining us live from Beijing.
Now, Myanmar says it is ready to welcome back thousands of Rohingya who fled to Bangladesh, but so far, no Rohingya refugee has volunteered to return. We will tell you why next.
Plus, reports of brainwashing in China old part of what U.S. lawmakers are calling a gross human rights violation. We will hear how one family says it's being torn apart.
STEVENS: Myanmar says it is ready to welcome back thousands of Rohingya who fled to Bangladesh, but so far none of the refugees has volunteered to return. The repatriation program was set to start now, more than 700,000 Rohingya are in refugee camps in Bangladesh following a military crackdown in Myanmar's Rakhine State. The U.N., the U.S. human rights groups and the Rohingya themselves have repeatedly warned against repatriation calling it, premature and dangerous. Let us go to our Alexandra Field now. She joins us out with the story she is in Hong Kong and Alex, I guess not surprising that they are not returning.
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And it is clear that those Rohingya Muslim refugees are feeling the fear that is now planning to cross back over the border. Bangladesh repatriation commissioner has come out today and said that not a single person has volunteered to this point to make that trip back into Myanmar. The plan was to send about 2000 refugees back in the coming weeks. The plan to move out a 150 people a day, but it has been made very clear that no one has to move who does not volunteer to do so. What is holding them back? [03:45:00] Fear of course the place that they came from. It was back
in 2017. Were we first met people who were streaming across that border into Bangladesh by the tens of thousands then by the hundredth of thousands, oftentimes, their bodies riddled with bullets, tales to tell of their villages being set on fire, people in the camps in Bangladesh today are saying that they had not been given the correct conditions yet to return to Myanmar. They want the full rights of citizenship. This is a minority group who has lived for generations in Myanmar, without the full rights of citizenship and they want guarantees of a safe return.
It does not appear to many in the international community that Myanmar has met those conditions you have the U.S. State Department reaffirming the fact that any returns must be voluntary and you have U.N. human rights representatives taking a step farther saying that a plan to repatriate should be halted for now, sighting the enormous scale of the atrocities against the Rohingya back in 2017 and into 2018, also citing the fact that there has been a lack of accountability for those atrocities and saying that there continue to be reports of violations against Rohingya, Muslims were still living in Rakhine State today.
So at this point Andrew, we wait and see over the next couple of days to see if there are in fact any volunteers willing to take place in a plan hatched between these two countries.
STEVENS: If there are, or if some of those conditions are met that you talk about Alex and which does encourage some to return, what sort of monitoring is in place to make sure that they remain protected. If you like from what happened before. Would there be international (inaudible) to see what is going on?
FIELD: There is a very small group and international aid workers who have been in Rakhine State, but access is incredibly limited even to media groups to get a very small and rare glimpse into what is happening in Rakhine State. So Bangladesh, the official say they had been taken in, they have seen the processing center that Rohingya's would go through when they make their return to Myanmar. We are told, there's a temporary facility that they would be staying at the refugees and itself. These Rohingya Muslim say, they just don't know they cannot be assured of what it is that they will be returning to. They say their entire villages have been set on fire. They simply do not know what is left for them and certainly they are weary of any official word they are hearing from Myanmar. Andrew.
STEVENS: Alexandra, thank you very much. Alexandra Field joining us live here in Hong Kong. Now China is denying accusations from human rights organization that is engaged in a crackdown targeting Uighur Muslims. Beijing says it's combating Islamist extremism, but it seems to adopt a new tactic that critics say (inaudible) mass incarceration. Ivan Watson reports.
IVAN WATSON, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Everyday, Good Shipra Hudya (ph) steps up to the microphone and speaks to her homeland. Hudya is a journalist with the U.S. government-funded radio free Asia in Washington D.C. She broadcast in Uighur, the language of an effort Muslim minority from the Western (inaudible) region of China. These days, Hudya lives in fear for her family back home.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, this is my brother. This is my last picture. We don't know where he is right now. My cousins, mother side and father side. They are missing same day.
WATSON: Hudya says at least 23 of her relatives went missing on February 1st, 2018. She hasn't heard from any of them since. Six Uighur employees of Radio Free Asia say their relatives back in Xinjiang have disappeared in the last year.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three of my brothers and two of my sisters are missing. I lost contact with my mom.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All have camps.
WATSON: All feared detained in a shadowy network of Chinese prisons. Reports of the mass incarceration of up to 1 million Uighurs, the subjective inquiry at a recent United Nations human rights panel in Geneva.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are deeply concerned by credible reports of the mass detention, repression and surveillance of Uighurs and other Muslims in Xinjiang.
WATSON: After initially denying the existence of prison camps. Beijing now says it is sending an unspecified number of people for vocational training free of charge to combat the spread of terrorism and adds that they are free to leave when they complete their courses.
This recent report narrated by Chinese state TV highlights one of these training centers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (TRANSLATOR): Most of the student was almost proficient in Chinese. They are easily instituted and coerced by terrorist and extremist ideologies.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (TRANSLATOR): If I had not come here to study. Maybe I want to follow these religious extremists and walks down the path of crime.
[03:50:00] WATSON: Leaders outside of China expressed alarm on the number of people who are disappearing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Virtually every week or I've spoken to in the last year and a half has family members been detained in these camps. This is a social engineering project that has very little precedent.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The focus will be on building economic corridors based on existing international transport groups.
WATSON: The Chinese government wants to make Xinjiang and important international hub for its ambitious built-in road initiative. But Beijing has struggled to assimilate Xinjiang indigenous (inaudible). UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You cannot just force people to love you or
WATSON: In Washington (inaudible) says her 74-year-old mother described harsh prisonlike conditions when she was detained last February.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As my mother described the people that torture.
WATSON: After months under house arrest. Hudya says her mother's phone went completely silent last month. She fears she is once again in detention, with no word from her loved ones, Hudya is far from home giving a voice to the voiceless.
STEVENS: Ivan joins us now with more on the story. Ivan, it is an important story and it's been sort of getting bigger and bigger. First, the Chinese try to sort of suppress any information coming out now, as point it out, they puta spin on it. But there is also reaction coming now more from the U.S. The U.S. is a introducing the legislation, you can just tell us about that.
WATSON: Yes, I mean there are very few things that Republicans and Democrats seem to agree on in Washington these days, and that you had bipartisan draft legislation proposed by Republican and Democratic senators and they have called this proposed law. The quote Uighur human rights policy act of 2018 and Andrew, what they're doing is they are condemning the alleged mass detention of more than 1 million Uighur Muslims and members of other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang autonomous region and goes on to condemn what they say is the harassment of Uighurs outside of China and specifically mentions these six radio free Asia journalists that we talked to who say that their families appear to had been rounded up in part, because of their reporting on human rights abuses in Xinjiang.
The legislation also goes on to call on the U.S. government to impose sanctions on top Chinese government officials, including Chen Quanguo, he is the party secretary in Xinjiang who was moved from running to bet trough the last couple of years running Xinjiang and he's accused of being behind the ramping up of these very draconian alleged security measures in that region. They are also calling on U.S. corporations to stop selling to the states apparatus in Xinjiang as well.
Well, the Chinese Foreign Ministry was asked about this Andrew, this week and responded accusing U.S. lawmakers of spending American tax dollars on matters that should not be of their concern and going on in the to some kind of what about-ism, accusing the U.S. of a long history of racial discrimination, citing statistics, for example of African-Americans in the U.S. who are convicted of murder on a much greater frequency than white Americans.
What about-ism is when clearly there are reports of something going wrong and a roundup of people, the reports to believe on an industrial scale in Xinjiang. Andrew. STEVENS: Absolutely and Donald Trump does have the opportunity to
raise this directly with Xi Jinping in that meet in the G-20. Ivan, thanks very much for that. Ivan Watson, joining us in Hong Kong. We are going to take a short break, we will be back in just a moment.
[03:55:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
STEVENS: Jewels belonging to Marie Antoinette, fetches a hit bidding price on auction. It's exceptional diamond and pearl pendant was the main attraction and sold for more than $36 million, far beyond the two million-dollar estimate. Some say it is a record for pearl. It is part of a 100 piece collection belonging to France's last queen that fetch the total $53 million. The gems are being kept hidden by distant family members until now. Queen Maria when it died on the guillotine in the 1793, during the French Revolution after being widely criticized for her lavish spending. That if she could afford that today.
Now, chilling day in Toronto has produced an extremely heartwarming video.
They are two of Canada's newest refugees having a great time after they looked out the window, so something that never seen back in their (inaudible). Snow. The video went viral with several million views including by Canada's Prime Minister. Justin Trudeau tweeted, amazing, now convince that shoveling is fun and you are all set. He also tank the woman who took the family into her home. Then added welcome to Canada.
The children along with their mother and siblings arrived last Thursday from a refugee camp in Sudan with that been living after escaping the war in their home country. And that is it. Thanks so much for joining us. I'm Andrew Stevens. Make sure you stay with us, the news continues with Max Foster. He's in London. You are watching CNN.