Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Spanish PM Threatens to Derail Brexit over Gibraltar; Hostile Tribe Believed to Have Killed U.S. Visitor; Teenager Auctioned Off for Marriage in South Sudan; Trump Administration Releasing Climate Report; Dolce & Gabbana Cancel Shanghai Show; E.U. And U.K. Agree On Framework For Future Trade And Security; 27 E.U. Members Expected To Ratify Brexit Deal On Sunday; Trump's Thanksgiving Call To Military Turns Political; U.K. And UAE In Talks Over Jailed British PhD Student; Wife Of Jailed British PhD Student Speaks To CNN. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired November 23, 2018 - 01:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[01:00:00] CYRIL VANIER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Welcome to the CNN NEWSROOM, I'm Cyril Vanier. Ahead this hour, British and E.U. leaders reach a draft deal on their future, one that critics argue makes a complete nonsense of Brexit. Plus, a husband sentenced to life in prison, his wife searching for answers. We speak exclusively to the wife of a British academic accused of spying by the UAE. And he went to one of the most remote parts of the world to spread Christianity but he didn't make it back alive.

So we'll get to all those stories in just a moment, but first, breaking news out of Pakistan where a gunman have launched an attack on the Chinese consulate in the city of Karachi. Moments ago I spoke with a journalist with Turkey's Anadolu News Agency who was in Karachi. He said he could still hear the gunfire police sources tell him there were three or four heavily armed attackers, possibly a suicide vest recovered as well. We'll bring you more on that as soon as that information comes into us.

Now, Sunday marks a critical milestone for the U.K.'s controversial Brexit plan. 27 members of the European Council are to meet in a special session in Brussels to go over the final terms of the deal. They're widely expected to ratify it but it is not a certainty. Spain is unhappy with Brexit regarding the British territory of Gibraltar in southern Spain. Its Prime Minister has threatened to vote against breaks it if Madrid's concerns are not addressed. Now, it's not known what impact that might have.

In the meantime, British Prime Minister Theresa May is forging ahead confident that she can prevail. Here's CNN's Nina de Santos.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN EUROPE EDITOR: Another day, another deal on Brexit. This time it was the future political relationship that was laid out in a draft text that the E.U. and the U.K. agreed on which would lay the foundation stone for a potential future trade relationship after the U.K. was to leave the E.U. on March the 29th of 2019. Theresa May made it clear both on the steps of 10 Downing Street, to the people and also to the members of Parliament that she'll have to convince that this was the best deal that Britain could get.

THERESA MAY, PRIME MINISTER, UNITED KINGDOM: this is the right deal for the U.K. It delivers on the vote of the referendum. It brings back control of our borders, our money, and our laws, and it does so while protecting jobs, protecting our security, and protecting the integrity of the United Kingdom. The agreement we've reached is between the U.K. and the European Commission. It is now up to the 27 leaders of the other E.U. Member States to examine this agreement in the days leading up to the special E.U. council meeting on Sunday.

DOS SANTOS: What you'll have to rely on members of the opposition party to make up her numbers after spectacularly losing her majority in parliament in the ill-fated 2017 general election. And that means that support from some of the Labour backbenches will also be crucial. The leader of the Opposition though, Jeremy Corbyn, made it clear she couldn't count on that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEREMY CORBYN, LEADER, LABOUR PARTY: A little over a year ago, we were constantly told by the government that by the end of the Article 50 period we would have a trade deal. The international second trade secretary said it would be easiest in human history. Instead, we have 26 pages of waffle. This, this empty document -- this empty document could have been written two years ago. It's peppered with phrases such as the parties we'll look at, the parties will explore. What on earth is the government been doing for the last two years?

DOS SANTOS: So what happens now? Well, although the action will be taking place over the next three days in Brussels with Theresa May set to make another whistle-stop tour there before, of course, the big meeting taking place on Sunday between E.U. heads of state to rubber- stamp a lot of the paperwork that we've seen issued over the last two weeks. Then will the U.K. Parliament will have to vote on this. And they made it clear that they're hostile not just to the political declaration but also to the previous piece of paperwork issued last week which is the 585-page detailed withdrawal document.

If the U.K. Parliament does pass this, well, then it has to go back to the European Parliament early next year for them to vote upon this. Brexit by no means is said and done but at least two milestones have been achieved for Theresa May with the agreement over the last few weeks of the U.K.'s withdrawal from the E.U. and now the nature of the relationship it wants to rebuild thereafter. Nina dos Santos, CNN London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[01:05:01] VANIER: CNN's European Affairs Commentator Dominic Thomas joins us now from Los Angeles to shed some more light on this. Dominic, we're going to talk about the different angles of this between now and Sunday when the European leaders meet. For today though, I'd like to focus on one aspect of this which is the future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union. Once Brexit is done, right, once the U.K. is out of the E.U. what's their relationship going to look like. The main thing is trade. That's what both sides are mostly worried about at this stage. What do we know about that?

DOMINIC THOMAS, CNN EUROPEAN AFFAIRS COMMENTATOR: Well, what we know is from what's been published in the withdrawal agreement thus far, and what's been mentioned in the political declaration, and the ways in which over the last week or so, it has been subjected to cross- party scrutiny and analysis. And should this even go through, should we get to the point of March 2019 and the Brexit deal actually go ahead, what we're actually looking at is very little change for the time being because we're going to through a transition period which will initially expire in 2020 with the possibility of renegotiating and even longer time to be able to deal with all the issues and problems that have come up along the way and those that will come up down the road. '

Essentially what we're going to be working with is a customs union style agreement and a single market membership that will essentially continue almost unchanged except that the U.K. will be out of the E.U. but it will continue to pay in to the European Union funds that will have no say over various policy initiatives that are going along. And as I just said, during that time period there will be returning to the question of the border between Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, the fisheries questions and all the kinds of issues and -- that have come up over this extended Brexit negotiation.

VANIER: This -- you make this a really interesting point that I think is really central and our viewers need to understand. On March 29, 2019, Brexit more than likely is going to happen. That's the date. Everybody has stuck to that date so far. But you're -- and that's the date a U.K. is no longer part of the E.U. But you're telling us apart from that formality, the E.U. shrinks from 28 to 27 countries, the links between the two sides remain pretty much the same?

THOMAS: Well, they're pretty the same because there's no deal in place. They haven't agreed as to whether they're going to completely withdraw and go for a World Trade Organization deal or whether in fact, we're going to remain with something a little bit closer which would allow for there to not be a border with Northern Ireland.

In other words, to remain in the customs union or something alongside, something like the single market. As we know, this is complicated and there's all sorts of discussion taking place over that, but essentially I might not even share your optimism. I think that the likelihood of us getting to March 2019 and this actually going ahead along the way there all sorts of things that could happen such as a general election, a second referendum, and so on. There's an awful lot of uncertainty.

What Theresa May has been trying to do and she's taken control over these negotiations is there's a constant disconnect between the conversation she has in Brussels which is, of course, the logical conversation. These are the people from whom you are divorcing. The problem is she needs to bring this back to the United Kingdom and get this through an extraordinarily divided Parliament which reflects the divided political landscape of the U.K. today.

VANIER: And to be clear, there's a huge question mark about -- so how they trade together right, after Brexit. And the European Union doesn't want to settle that question now. Am I right on that?

THOMAS: Right. I mean, for the time being, they've been unable to settle it now. I mean, the whole point of it really is there should have been a deal in place --

VAINER: But wait. Let me stop you there for a second. It's not just -- my understanding is they're not just unable to settle it now. The E.U. actually doesn't want to settle it now. They want to first get to Brexit, and once the U.K.'s out of the E.U. and has less leverage, then they hit them with a trade deal and OK, let's figure out how we do this.

THOMAS: Well, that argument is a difficult one to make. The point is, they haven't got to the point where they've arrived in an agreement where they can actually sort of move ahead, right? So there's a lot of back and forth as to whether or not the E.U. holds the power or the United Kingdom holds the power. Ideally, there should have been a deal in place which would allowed for a Brexit to take place at March 2019. That was ultimately the mandate of Teresa May. They have failed to achieve that goal. And now we find ourselves in a transition period which is essentially a kind of an extended a match to try and see what the outcome and the result will be.

VANIER: And this -- so this extended -- what we call it, sub-E.U. essentially for a number of years, this -- that doesn't match the vision of Brexit or at least not the vision that Brexiteers had, the people who voted to leave the E.U.

THOMAS: Right. Absolutely not. So I think once again, and you made the right -- the absolute you know, correct distinction between Brexiteers and those that voted to leave so the Brexiters really today are associated with that sort of far-right you know, extreme fringe of the Conservative Party that ultimately want total withdrawal from the European Union and WTO rules or something along those lines as Theresa May as mentioned, it was about the money, it was about the borders, it was about the laws.

As we know, the number one issue for leave voters was the question of immigration. The agreement and the declaration talked about this where essentially the United Kingdom will have total control over its borders and implement a system of skills trade and coefficients and so on and so forth. But when it comes down to the laws, the agreement specifically talks about the fact that the European Court of Justice, for the time being, remains the arbitrator that the European Convention on Human Rights must be adhered to.

And in terms of the money part at the moment, there's no deal in place and so continued membership to the customs union, membership to the single market and so on, means paying into that and therefore neither having control of the rules and regulations nor having the autonomy to do what one wishes with one's money.

[01:11:00] VANIER: Dominic Thomas, great to get your insights on this. We'll have to talk again between now and Sunday on the sticking point right now of Gibraltar. There are going to be more sticking points probably. And on the likelihood that E.U. members are going to agree on this Brexit deal as it stands, Dominic, will speak again. Thank you.

THOMAS: Thank you, Cyril.

VANIER: Here in the U.S., the Thanksgiving holiday did not keep Donald Trump from talking politics. Asked what he was thankful for, the U.S. President praised himself and the "tremendous difference he's made in the country." He'd been speaking by phone with members of the U.S. military around the world. CNN's Jeff Zeleny is in West Palm Beach where the President is spending the holiday.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: In a Thanksgiving Day phone call from his resort at Mar-a-Lago, President Trump talking to military commanders across the world, talking to a general in Afghanistan, talking the commander of a ship in Bahrain, and other military officials. Now, this would all be a normal course of events for a Commander-in-Chief to call in on troops serving around the world that the President quickly turned it political talking about a variety of hot spots around the world including the U.S. southern border.

The President essentially asking members of the military if they agreed with his position, the President so blasting other countries for their policies against the U.S. also disclosing some operational details. But it was the conversation with the president doubling down on his defense of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that certainly raised eyebrows, all over that brutal murder of Washington Post opinion columnist Jamal Khashoggi. The president said he believes the Saudi Crown Prince feels badly about it. Let's listen.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I hate the crime, I hate what's done, I hate the cover-up, and I will tell you this. The Crown Prince hates it more than I do and they have vehemently denied it. The CIA points it both ways. You know, it's -- and I -- as I said, maybe he did, maybe he didn't. But I will say very strongly that he's a very important ally. And if we go by a certain standard, we won't be able to have allies with almost any country.

ZELENY: So the President there drawing a moral equivalence to what he believes is an ally in Saudi Arabia versus other allies around the world, never once talking about the moral leadership and the moral questions here that so many others have raised including Republican allies of the White House.

Now the President went on in that unusual phone call with military advisers followed by a Q&A; session with reporters at his Mar-a-Lagi resort for nearly an hour, talking about troops along the border, and that controversial ruling that ended up with the President in a fight with the Supreme Court Justice here in the U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts. He called him an Obama judge of course, the Chief Justice pushed back so the President pushed back as well and you know, was essentially bringing in the independent judiciary into his political argument fray here.

So the President certainly unscripted and unsupervised in many respects, most senior White House advisors are not here in Florida for the Thanksgiving Day vacation. But the President after doing all of that, spent most of the rest of the day on the golf course. Jeff Zeleny, CNN West Palm Beach, Florida.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VANIER: Joining me from Washington D.C. is Michael Shear. He's a CNN Political Analyst and White House Correspondent for the New York Times. Michael, it's Thanksgiving in the U.S. so predictably Donald Trump was asked what he's thankful for. This was his reply. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are you thankful for, Mr. President?

TRUMP: For having a great family and for having made a tremendous difference in this country. I've made a tremendous difference in the country. This country is so much stronger now than it was when I took office that you wouldn't believe it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VANIER: OK, so he appears to be thankful in no small measure for himself. For our international audience, what's the usual tone of presidential Thanksgiving messages?

[01:14:55] MICHAEL SHEAR, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, it's not that. You know, there were sort of two things that were surprising about that. One, is that most presidents are more humble especially on Thanksgiving so they would think -- be thankful for you know the blessings of the country, or the -- you know, the people around him, for his family. You know, but not for himself. But that is almost never done.

And the other thing that was remarkable about it was that it took place at exactly the moment that he was trying to portray himself as caring about the troops, right?

He had just done this phone call, and you know, it was -- it was -- it would have been or could have been a moment where he sort of rose above all of the chaos of his administration, and -- you know, let the spotlight shine on people who are in very dangerous places, doing very dangerous things. And instead, he brought it back to himself. It was really quite remarkable.

VANIER: And he used the conversation to bring it back to his domestic policy priorities. He kept making the conversation about politics. He's -- I want to give you an example. He spoke to an Air Force general, Air Force General Lyons in Afghanistan, who was discussing the fight against terrorists there. And this is what Donald Trump answered.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: As you probably see over the news what's happening in our southern border, and our southern border territory, large numbers of people and in many cases we have no idea who they are. And in many cases, they are not good people. And they're bad people.

But large numbers of people are forming at our border and I don't have to even ask you, I know what you want to do, you want to make sure that you know who we're letting in, and we're not letting in anybody.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VANIER: So, we don't know what the opinion of General Lyons is on immigration. But it looks like the president is using the people he had on the phone as props.

SHEAR: Yes. That certainly looked like that. The thing that you have to understand about this president is that he obsesses about things endlessly.

He's not somebody that can do what most presidents can do, which is to compartmentalize, right. Most presidents have gotten to the place that to the presidency in part because they're able to multitask to take a different tone in a different environment. And to not kind of obsess about one thing when they should be doing something else.

And of -- and this president constantly watches television, gets thoughts in his head, and then obsesses about them endlessly. And especially when he's down on vacation or holiday as he is right now at Mar-a-Lago, his resort in Florida, when there's less distractions around, he literally stews about the subjects that are upsetting him.

And obviously, the border and the -- and the challenges by the legal system and others to what he wants to do at the border is something that is really on his mind, and he just can't get it off.

VANIER: On the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, he said a couple of interesting things. Not so much the fact that Donald Trump seems to be protecting Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. He's been doing that since day one.

But he said this, "If we hold Saudi Arabia to this standard, by which, I think he means murder, then we won't have many allies." I think this gives us a really good window into his foreign policy thinking. Tell me what you make of it.

SHEAR: You know, this is sort of an extension of that remarkable statement that he put out the other day, in which, he laid bare the sort of thinking that he goes through when he (INAUDIBLE). What are always (INAUDIBLE) the difficult challenges, right? The interests of the country versus human rights concerns, for example. In this case, he was quite plain about the fact that, you know, it doesn't really matter what the human rights violation is. In fact, in this case, it couldn't be worse, right? The murder and dismembering of a journalist.

And yet, in the statements today, in the in the statement that he issued the other day, he makes it clear that for him, there really isn't a kind of interest to be balanced. Because he really pays -- he puts little weight on the human right side of that ledger.

VANIER: Yes.

SHEAR: He only wants to focus on the sort of financial and diplomatic interest of the country.

VANIER: And even if it comes at the cost of -- I was going to say, truth. I should say, of his own CIA's assessment. Because he undermined the CIA's belief, the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is indeed behind the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

And the interesting thing there is it's becoming a pattern. He did the same thing when his own intelligence services -- plural, assessed that Russia had meddled in the 2016 election.

SHEAR: Right. That may have actually been the least surprising thing that happened today. The idea that he would undermine his own intelligence services has actually been the sort of jaw-dropping observation that we've had since before he actually took office, right? During the transition --

(CROSSTALK)

VANIER: But now, there's a confirmation he's not doing it just on the one issue that's a thorn in his side which is Russia.

[01:20:00] SHEAR: That's right. Now, that's it -- that's exactly right. This is -- this adds to the idea that it's not just a Russia specific thing. It is a real kind of distrust and mistrust of the intelligence services that serve ultimately to provide him with the information that he needs to make decisions, and he just doesn't believe them.

VANIER: All right. Michael Shear, CNN political analyst. Happy Thanksgiving. Thank you.

SHEAR: Sure. Thank you.

VANIER: A diplomatic standoff between Britain and the United Arab Emirates over a Ph.D. student convicted for spying. The U.K. says he's innocent, the UAE says he confessed. And wife is now speaking out. Her first on-camera interview since he was sentenced.

And later this hour, why the fashion brand, Dolce & Gabbana is the target of a boycott over allegations of racism. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) VANIER: A diplomatic storm is brewing between the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates over this man. Ph.D. student, Matthew Hedges.

He was sentenced to life in prison for spying. Both Hedges and the British government says, "Hey, he's not guilty." But prosecutors say he confessed. Hedge's wife says the UAE mishandled and misinterpreted her husband's case.

She spoke earlier to our Hala Gorani. Her first on-camera interview since Hedges was convicted and sentenced.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DANIELA TEJADA, WIFE OF MATTHEW HEDGES: It was a very tense environment. A massive room. Matt and I were sat on opposite sides of the room. I was sitting. He was standing, surrounded by armed guards, with a judge in a big podium, facing him.

A very intimidating. It lasted less than five minutes, and we were all pretty much incredulous to hear the sentence, the final verdict.

Particularly knowing the fact that Matt is fully innocent of what he's being accused of.

HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: The authorities are saying he was given care, psychiatric, and medical care. That he was allowed to meet with British counselor officials. That he had representation that this was a case that was thoroughly investigated and prosecuted. What's your response to that?

[01:24:53] TEJADA: He did not have sufficient counselor access. He only had access to three visits. The first one after six weeks of being detained. He did not have medical and psychiatric support. He was heavily medicated but that is not medical support and he did not have psychiatric support at any point during his detention.

He did not have access to legal counsel throughout his -- the interrogation process, nor the months that followed. As a matter of fact, he only met his lawyer on the second hearing. And he did not even know his lawyer's name until three or four days ago.

GORANI: OK. And you were able to be -- have you been able to speak to him since the verdict? And you know where he is now?

TEJADA: I don't know where he's now. I have not been able to speak to him. We didn't even get to say goodbye. We were --

(CROSSTALK)

GORANI: In the courtroom, you weren't able to hug or kiss goodbye?

TEJADA: No. The second, the sentence was given, we were both made to leave.

GORANI: What -- is it possible that he did, or said, or spoke to someone that might have led to some sort of misunderstanding?

TEJADA: Absolutely, not. I think the only misunderstanding is his research. It's not unheard of that governments in authoritarian regimes particularly, misinterpret academic research as espionage work or as a threat. And Matt's sadly is the first person to injure such a travesty in the UAE as the Western academic.

GORANI: And you just met with a foreign secretary of this country, Jeremy Hunt. Did you -- did that -- did that meeting encourage you? What came out of it?

TEJADA: I am very hopeful that now that the British government have taken a firmer stance about the matter, and emphasized through their stance the fact that Matt is innocent. That the UAE will come to terms with reality, and the fact that Matt indeed is innocent.

GORANI: And I wanted to read to you this statement came out just a short time ago. It goes through a list of just several paragraphs of how the UAE -- this is from UAE officials thoroughly prosecuted the case.

But then it ends with this line, "Both sides hope to find an amicable solution to the Matthew Hedges case." Does that give you hope that maybe something is being discussed?

TEJADA: I hope that indeed they reach an amicable solution, and that solution is to bring Matt back home. But, I will not rest until I have him back and safe at home with me.

GORANI: And you know him better than anyone. You're his wife. How do you think he's handling this?

TEJADA: He said one thing to me when we were on a way to court. I asked him, what is it that scares you the most? It sounds nearly egotistical to say it, but these were his words. He said that his greatest fear was not knowing when he would be able to see me again.

We got married less than two years ago. And we have so many plans for our life, and for our future that have been interrupted indefinitely because of this horrible unjust episode.

And I just wish that the people who have decided to take his face into their hands could see that he is not just a man on his own, he is a man with a family, and he is a man with a young wife who loves him. Who he has plans to have children and a dog in a house in the countryside. And a man who means no harm. I never meant any harm when I went out to press. I just want him back.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VANIER: That was Daniela Tejada, the wife of British student Matthew Hedges convicted by the UAE for espionage.

Unwanted attention now on a remote tribe on a forbidden island after they allegedly killed a missionary there to spread the gospel. We'll have the details on this incredible story when we come back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[01:29:48] CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR: Unwanted attention now on a remote tribe on a forbidden island after they allegedly killed a missionary there to spread the gospel.

We'll have the details on this incredible story when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VANIER: Welcome back to the CNN Center. I'm Cyril Vanier.

Here are the headlines this hour.

A doctor in Pakistan says four people, including two police officers, are dead in an attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi. Local media showed a plume of black smoke rising from the area. Now, it's not clear if the toll includes the attackers. Police have ramped up security across the city, Pakistan's largest. The hospital also said the attack is over.

The wife of a British man jailed in the United Arab Emirates tells CNN her husband's life sentence for spying is a misunderstanding. PhD student Matthew Hedges and the British government say he's innocent. However, prosecutors insist that he confessed. Hedges can appeal for a few trial.

The U.K.'s Brexit plan is expected to be ratified Sunday by E.U. ambassadors in Brussels. It includes a separate agreement on future trade and security issues. Spain's Prime Minister says he will oppose the deal if Madrid's concern about Gibraltar is not addressed.

The tiny British outpost is located on the southernmost tip of Spain along the Mediterranean. Its military importance may be long gone but not its political symbolism.

CNN's Nic Robertson explains.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS EDITOR (voice over): Gibraltar, population 30,000 proud Brits, a vestige of U.K. colonial power, now a not-so strategic rocky spit (ph), straggling out into the Mediterranean from southern Spain more than a thousand miles from Mainland U.K. And now, not unsurprisingly, putting a wrinkle in Brexit negotiations.

Last year the Rock's chief minister gave me a flavor of behind-the- scenes tensions.

FABIAN PICARDO, GIBRALTAR CHIEF MINISTER: Spain insists that Gibraltar must be Spanish and that we must hand over a slice of Gibraltar at least or else we become entirely Spanish.

ROBERTSON: Now come the 11th hour of Brexit talks in Brussels and Spain is throwing a wrench in the E.U.'s carefully coordinated plans. PEDRO SANCHEZ, SPANISH PRIME MINISTER (through translator): I have to

say that we feel displeased. We found in the withdrawal agreement a number of elements one article. Article 184 that call into question Spain's capacity to negotiate with the United Kingdom on the future of Gibraltar and the Spanish government cannot accept that.

THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I spoke to Prime Minister Sanchez of Spain. We have been working constructively with the governments of Spain and Gibraltar in the negotiation on the withdrawal agreement. We want this work to continue in the future relationship but I was absolutely clear that Gibraltar's British sovereignty will be protected.

[01:35:03] ROBERTSON: As the clock ticks down, tensions on this are rising -- all 27 E.U. leaders must sign off on the deal. There is impatience to get it done.

ANGELA MERKEL, GERMAN CHANCELLOR (through translator): I don't have objection in Spain. I can't say exactly how we will solve this issue but I hope it will be solved by Sunday.

Over the coming days more work will be done on the future relationship between Great Britain and the E.U.

ROBERTSON: And while they decide, back on the Rock, views expressed to me last year are likely only hardening.

(on camera): What is it you're worried about that Spain wants here? What are they trying to get out of this Brexit deal?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What they want to get out is Gibraltar back.

ROBERTSON (voice over): They've been through hard times with Spain here before. The border blockade from '69 to '82.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Spain, they've always treated us the same. So it -- it doesn't change.

ROBERTSON: And although almost everyone here voted against Brexit, they are British before Spanish.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 100 percent British. I'd rather die than be Spaniard.

ROBERTSON: In Brussels talks are far from that kind of life and death choice. Quiet diplomacy is still the winning formula. Spain's longstanding desire to have a greater say in the future of the Rock, for now at least seems unlikely to crash the process. Predictions the Rock's residents gave me last year look set to hold true.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm quietly confident that we will find a way to survive. We will find a way to take Gibraltar forward, despite Spain's attempt.

ROBERTSON: It would be foolish however to think Gibraltar won't be making the headlines again at another delicate moment in the torturous Brexit process.

Nic Robertson, CNN -- London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VANIER: Now to this fascinating story. A Christian missionary from the U.S. appears to have been killed by inhabitants of a remote island off the coast of India. Authorities say John Allen Chau went to the North Sentinel Island to preach even though it's illegal to go there. The tribe living on that island is considered the last pre-Neolithic tribe in the world.

Nikhil Kuman has details from New Delhi.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NIKHIL KUMAR, CNN NEW DELHI BUREAU CHIEF (on camera): A remote Indian island, an isolated tribe and a suspected murder of an American Christian missionary. The saga of John Allen Chau's disappearance has captivated people in India and beyond as authorities try to pinpoint what exactly happened.

Police say 27-year-old Chau came to India on a tourist visa but went to the country's North Sentinel Island to preach and convert its inhabitants, a tribes people known as the Sentinelese who are protected by Indian law.

Just over a dozen people are thought to live on the remote island off the country's east coast. It is off limits for outsiders. No one is allowed within five nautical miles of the island. A rule meant to both protect the tribe and outsiders because of the tribe's history of forcefully repelling strangers.

But police say Chau found a local fisherman who could take him close to the island in mid-November. He was to canoe the rest of the way.

And that's when tragedy struck. According to the fisherman who say that days later they saw the tribespeople dragging Chau's body around.

Now, the police haven't independently verified that Chau's been killed. They're going by the testimony of the fisherman who'd been arrested for facilitating Chau's trip. And authorities are trying to work out how to recover his body.

A friend of Chau's tell CNN that he knew that the island was a restricted area and that his mission there was illegal. He wanted to go there, to get to know the islanders' way of life, eventually share the gospel and perhaps translate the Bible, according to this friend.

But based on what authorities are saying the mission appears to have ended in the most tragic of ways.

Nikhil Kumar, CNN -- New Delhi.

(END VIDEOTAPE) VANIER: We'll try and find out more about that and the precise circumstances of what happened. We go live to the Andaman Islands. It's near the North Sentinel Island where this tribe lives.

So our next guest, the editor of "The Andaman Chronicle", Denis Giles. He joins me from Port Blair. Denis -- tell us more about the Sentinelese people first of all.

DENIS GILES, EDITOR, "THE ANDAMAN CHRONICLE": The Sentinelese are considered, and in fact they are, the most isolated people living on earth. They have been isolated for thousands of years. And they lack -- they do not have any kind of connection with the outside world and that means that they lack any kind of immunity from the vestiges that lies outside.

So the population of the North Sentinelese is again estimated to be from 15 to around 100. And this is also depending on the size of the island and the resource availability.

VANIER: What about their lifestyle? What kind of people are they?

[01:40:02] GILES: The Sentinelese and the other aborigines of Andaman Islands, they are basically hunting and gathering community. They don't do farming. And they are restricted to hunting and gathering.

VANIER: Now, we have some insight into what happened when John Chau made it ashore because he actually described some of it in his diary which he then left with the fisherman who had brought him to the island. His mother recovered the diary, shared some of it with the "Washington Post".

So he wrote this. I quote, "I hollered, my name is John, I love you and Jesus loves you. You guys might think I'm crazy in all this but I think it is worthwhile to declare Jesus to these people."

Do you know of any past instances of people who've tried to make contact with the Sentinelese and how that happened and what happened?

GILES: In 2006 there was an incident where two local fishermen got drifted and reached the North Sentinel island. They were later killed by the North Sentinelese and their bodies were seen buried on the sand in the seashore.

The North Sentinelese have always been hostile. And indication is even after the tsunami of 2004 when the authorities tried to contact, they shot arrows at the helicopters and the ships that approached. As a mark of protest that they are not -- they don't agree to accept any kind of outsiders in their land.

VANIER: So there's never anybody who's been to see them as has got anything but a very hostile reaction?

GILES: No. Even in 2006, the bodies of the two fishermen was never recovered. The thing is like we should try to understand that the North Sentinelese are endangered aboriginal tribals of the islands and they are protected under several rules, regulations and laws. So any attempt to contact them is illegal. And moreover, if we even try to recover the bodies or the body of Chau in the present instance, we might be posing a great risk to the people who lack immunity to the kind of diseases which lie in the outside world.

VANIER: Right. If their exposed to anybody from the outside world, as you say, they could contract a disease. Now John Chau, the missionary, he actually knew that they were dangerous and he knew that there was a risk to him and even he swam back to the boat that brought him there and then went back to the Sentinelese even though they had fired arrows at him.

And I should make it clear, he had actually said that he's asking God to forgive them should they kill him which it appears -- it appears is what happened because the fisherman who brought him actually say -- have told police that they saw his body.

One more -- one more thing for you, what -- is the Indian government preventing people from reaching this island? Because John got there easily enough, it appears.

All right. We lost the connection there with Giles. What an extraordinary story.

Still ahead, the auction of a child bride in South Sudan sparks a debate about women's rights. Why the case is forcing some to question marriage traditions in the African nation.

Stay with us.

[01:43:39] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VANIER: A national debate on women rights has unfolded in South Sudan following the marriage auction of a teenager. The girl was reportedly bid on by five men, including government officials. The case is now forcing some to reconsider marriage traditions in the country.

CNN's Farai Sevenzo has the details.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FARAI SEVENZO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The incredible story of a young South Sudanese woman name Yalong Gongdeng (ph) has gone viral all through South Sudan and indeed all through East Africa. Why is that?

Is it because three very powerful men have been bidding for her hand in marriage? And of course the winning bid is the talk of all social media. The man who won her hand in marriage paid 500 cows, three cars and $10,000. Now, why does this matter? It matters because at the center of it is the issue of women's rights.

People like the National Alliance for Women Lawyers and all kinds of issues about why is it that a young woman, a young girl for that matter, of this age can be bought in a way by a man so much older than here who already has wives. But of course, this is tradition. The Dinka in South Sudan do their marriages in this way. They offer a dowry. And if the parents accepted and they marry the girl.

And of course, all of this is being (INAUDIBLE) considering South Sudan's position in the world. South Sudan is a very poor country. The last African country to be independent in Africa which has been ravaged by war.

On CNN we continuously cover stories about South Sudanese refugees all over this part of the world. And of course, also at the center of it is why is it that men, politicians, in South Sudan can afford to pay out this kind of money. And then we need to understand what is this about the traditional marriage in South Sudan?

Here is what the deputy governor of the East Lake Region says about Yalong Gongdeng.

DAVID MAYOM RIAK, DEPUTY GOVERNOR, SOUTH SUDAN EAST LAKES REGION (through translator): In 2011 when Yalong was ten years old and our families were neighbors to theirs, she was a pupil in Yei, a town in South Sudan.

I even paid her school fees at that time because I grew up knowing her. And her parents know this is the truth. This is when I approached the parents and asked for the girl's hand in marriage when she matured.

It's common practice here and is acceptable in our culture since time immemorial. In our traditional Dinka culture, it is allowed. Why can't it happen now?

SEVENZO: But of course, he lost in his efforts to try to win her hand. And the winner, a businessman, is now her husband.

This story will continue to mesmerize people all over social media in South Sudan and East Africa. And we wait to hear how she feels about it. Was she coerced into it? Is this something that she wants to do?

Farai Sevenzo, CNN -- Nairobi.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VANIER: The Trump administration is just hours away from releasing a major report on climate change. Now, President Trump as we know is a huge sceptic of global warming and critics argue that a report is being released on Black Friday, one of the slowest news days of the year in the United States in an effort to bury the story.

I want to talk about this report. It is not out yet. But with our meteorologist Derek Van Dam because you report on extreme weather patterns and they're getting even more extreme since we've been talking for the last two years.

DEREK VAN DAM, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, without a doubt. And regardless of this controversial release date of volume two of the National Climate Assessment Report, it is an extremely important analysis of the state of our climate, specifically here in the United States.

[01:49:50] And what it is doing is it is going to contribute to the overwhelming evidence that our global planet is warming, that humans are the cause of that warming and the impacts, the serious impacts like the California wildfires, for instance, are only going to increase in severity and frequency in the future.

So where we're talking about the warmest years, I just want to point out too, that 17 of the top 18 warmest years have occurred since the year 2000. 2017 was an extremely hot year. 2018 is shaping up to be a warm year as well. Perhaps one for the record books, time will tell.

Now, you ask yourself, well, We had volume one released, what is the difference between volume one and volume two of the National Climate Assessment Report? Well, volume one talked about the driving forces behind climate change. Volume two, the one that's going to be released on Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday here in the United States, this is going to talk about the risks, the impacts and the adaption of climate change specific to the United States.

2017 was a record year -- many disasters, setting (ph) over $1 billion in damages or more. So this U.S. climate assessment report is going to focus regionally and even hyper-locally on the effects of climate change like sea level rise, you have New Orleans and New York City, for instance. The increase in heavy rain events across the northeast and the ongoing drought over the western U.S.

One thing for sure, we're noticing that the greenhouse gases, the warming gases that help warm our planet from transport to electricity all on the increase. And that is directly linked to extreme weather events like hurricanes and droughts as well as wildfires for instance over the western U.S. -- Cyril.

VANIER: I want to bring one more thing to attention. I know -- this is a tweet by Donald Trump. I know obviously that you saw this. It was a day ago and he wrote this, "Brutal and extended cold blasts could shatter all records. Whatever happened to global warming." This doesn't seem to sit well with the scientists.

VAN DAM: You know, I saw it and it seemed like a very ill-informed tweet in a way. It's almost confusing whether with climate. Weather is a short-term event that happens to you and I. Climate is a long- term event of the weather that'd averaged over 30 or 40 years' time.

So an analogy, for instance is weather would be your mood for the day. Maybe you're angry, upset, happy, sad. But climate, which is averaged over a long period of time, Cyril, is like your personality. How you behave in the long-term.

VANIER: All right. We want to talk to you again once you get your hands on that government report.

VAN DAM: All right. VANIER: Thank you -- Derek from the CNN Weather Center. Appreciate it as always.

Next on CNN NEWSROOM, why a major fashion brand is starting to lose business over accusations of racism. Are the allegations fair?

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VANIER: A court in southern France has just ruled that an ad showing a woman tied to a train track does not promote anti-female violence. Let's show it to you. This image was part of a town's campaign promoting, of all things, its new high speed TGB service and the caption says, "With the TGB, she would have suffered less."

Now, critics say it condones violence. It was launched just months after a woman in France was actually killed by her partner after she was tied to train tracks. So there is a context here. But the town denies that its campaign was inspired by this murder and the ads, they have now been removed.

The fashion house Dolce & Gabbana is starting to lose business in one of its biggest markets amid a backlash over accusations of racism. They've had to cancel a fashion show in Shanghai.

And as Kristie Lu Stout tells us, the brand has been pulled from big name online retailers.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

[01:55:00] KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): In a series of Dolce & Gabbana adverts, a model attempts to eat Italian food with chopsticks accompanied by a narration and stereotypical Chinese music.

The ad was intended to promote the luxury brand's so-called great show built as tribute to China to be held in Shanghai this week. Instead it caused a massive backlash and criticism for allegedly mocking Chinese people.

Fueling the controversy, a screen shot of alleged racist comments posted on Instagram by the company's co-founder, Stefano Gabbana, reacting to criticism of the videos and accused of making derogatory remarks toward China.

He later reposted it with the words, "Not me", claiming his account had been hacked. "I love China and the Chinese culture. I'm so sorry for what happened," he wrote.

The designers apologized for any distress caused and in an official press statement said this. Quote, "Our dream was to bring to Shanghai a tribute event dedicated to China which tells our history and vision. It was not simply a fashion show but something that we created especially with love and passion for China and all of the people around the world who loves Dolce & Gabbana." But it was too late. Social media had erupted with criticism of the company and co-founder, calling the advert and post offensive and racist. The controversy was the number one topic on China's Twitter- like Weibo platform with more than 120 million reads.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I think we need to be rational but I think that we should see how they explain this matter to us. If they maintain this vicious attitude then of course, we can't accept this. And we'd need to boycott the brand.

STOUT: Celebrities and models pulled out of the show, which was eventually canceled. Movie stars like Zhang Ziyi said they would boycott the brand.

TIFFANY AP, BEIJING BUREAU CHIEF WOMEN'S WEAR DAILY: Among your everyday customer, we've just seen social media light up with videos of people taking their Dolce & Gabbana clothes and destroying them in some really creative ways. So burning them, cutting it into shreds, using it as cloths to wash their toilets, et cetera. I think this is nothing short of a real crisis for the brand.

STOUT: As negative sentiment grows, police and security guards have been stationed outside Dolce & Gabbana stores in Beijing and Shanghai.

A CNN search result showed Dolce & Gabbana products had been pulled off major Chinese e-commerce platforms like JD and Taobao. What was supposed to be a great show has turned into a great fiasco for the brand. A massive market loss in just a matter of days.

Kristie Lu Stout, CNN -- Hong Kong.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VANIER: That's it from this hour. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Cyril Vanier.

The news continues on CNN right after this with Natalie Allen. You're in great hands.

[01:57:49] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)