Return to Transcripts main page
Britain and the E.U. Have Reached A Deal; Matthew Hedges Jailed in the United Arab Emirates; Controversy Facing Dolce and Gabbana; At Least Four People Are Dead, Including Two Policemen, In Attack on Chinese Consulate in Karachi; A Baby in India is Fortunate to be Alive; Donald Trump Will Not Take Action Against Saudi Arabia; Comey To Fight Subpoena From House Republicans To Testify Privately About FBI Actions In 2016 Campaign; South African President: Trump "Ill- Informed" About Land Issue; Dolce & Gabbana Cancel Shanghai Show. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired November 23, 2018 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[02:00:22] NATALIE ALLEN, NEWSROOM ANCHOR, CNN: Britain and the E.U. agree a deal on their future relationship. But is it a Brexit step forward or just another deal that no one can agree on? We will explore that. The wife of the British man jailed in the UAE tells CNN about what happened at his controversial trial. And later this hour, the controversy facing Dolce and Gabbana, why the luxury fashion house was forced to cancel a show in China.
Everyone, welcome to our viewers joining us all around the world, I am Natalie Allen, and you're watching CNN Newsroom. We'll get to those stories in a moment. But first, we begin with breaking news out of Pakistan. At least four people are dead, including two policemen in an attack on the Chinese consulate on Karachi. Police sat the incident is over and the attackers have been killed.
CNN Producer Sophia Saifi joins us from Islamabad with more about what was behind this and why this target. Hello, Sophia.
SOPHIA SAIFI, PRODUCER, CNN: Hi, Natalie. Well, you know, this happened in the largest city of Pakistan in the early hours of Friday. You know we started getting reports that there was gunfire. There were sounds of explosions. And this occurred, you know, near the Chinese consulate. There were houses nearby (Inaudible) off the city where there are indeed schools.
There are other diplomatic missions and, you know, a lot of very important residences in that area. Now we're getting reports that the BLA, which is the Balochistan Liberation Army, has claimed responsibility for this. Now this is a little known group internationally. But within Pakistan, it has been known for attacking Chinese targets.
And the reason why they do this is that they're based in the south of Pakistan in the mineral rich province of Balochistan, where the Chinese have set up a lot of projects, you know, in accordance with the one belt one road project, which is the Chinese economic corridor. Now with regard to that, there is a lot of security down there.
They have been setting up a lot of, you know -- there's been a massive port that's being worked on, the port of (Inaudible) in Balochistan. And with regards to that, the BLA is a separatist group. They claimed that the Pakistani state is their enemy. And because Pakistan has a strong alliance with Beijing, with China, and with the amount of Chinese workers now setting up infrastructure in that region, they have been targeting Chinese workers previously.
But the reason why this attack is so important is because this is the first time that there's been a major attempt and an attack in a big Pakistani city and not in the (Inaudible) of Pakistan, Natalie.
ALLEN: All right. Sophia Saifi with the latest for us on that developing story, we'll continue to follow. Thank you. 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 are 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 Brexit if (Inaudible) concerns are not addressed. It is not known what impact that might have. In the meantime, British Prime Minister Theresa May is forging ahead, confident she can prevail. For more on it, here's CNN's Nina Dos Santos in London.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NINA DOS SANTOS, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: 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 U.K. agreed on, which would lay the foundations for a potential future trade relationship after the U.K. were to leave the E.U. on March 29th of 2019. Theresa May made it clear both on the steps of number 10 Downing Street, 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, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: 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.
[02:05:01] DOS SANTOS: What you 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 support from some of the Labour back then. She's also been crucial. The leader of the opposition, though, Jeremy Corbyn, made it clear she couldn't count on that. JEREMY CORBYN, LABOUR PARTY LEADER: A little over a year ago, we were
confidently told by the government that by the end of the Article 50 period, we would have a trade deal. The International Trade Secretary said it would be easiest in human history. Instead, we have 26 pages of waffle. This empty document, this empty document could have been written two years ago.
It is peppered with phrases such as the parties will look at. The parties will explore. What on Earth has the government been doing for the last two years?
DOS SANTOS: So what happens now? Well, though the action will be taking place over the next three days in Brussels with as 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 the paperwork that we've seen issued over the last two weeks.
Then 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, then it has to go back to the European parliament early next year for them to vote upon this.
Brexit by now means is said 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. Nino Dos Santos, CNN, London.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: As we mentioned, Gibraltar in southern Spain has emerged as the latest potential stumbling block to Brexit ahead of Sunday's vote in Brussels. The main sticking point for Spain is what happens to Gibraltar in the post Brexit world. Madrid wants language in the Brexit agreement that gives it a say about Gibraltar's future. But here's what Gibraltar's Chief Minister had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FABIAN PICARDO, GIBRALTAR'S CHIEF MINISTER: Notwithstanding the threats that we have faced, notwithstanding the considerable challenges that we have faced. Notwithstanding the claims that some voices have wrongly suggested that Brexit presented Spain with the best opportunity it had in the last 300 years to acquire sovereignty or some part of it over Gibraltar.
Gibraltar will nonetheless, and despite all of that, be part of any withdrawal agreement and transitional period, if there is one.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: We will take a look at this longstanding dispute later this hour. Well, France has joined other European Union nations in banning and sanctioning 18 Saudi citizens over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The French Foreign Ministry says Khashoggi's death is a crime extreme gravity, and runs counter the freedom of the press and fundamental rights.
Meantime, Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman is receiving a warm reception in the United Arab Emirates. The Abu Dhabi Crown Prince said the UAE will always be a quote, supportive home for our brothers in Saudi Arabia. And Saudi Arabia's foreign minister is defending the Crown Prince in a TV interview. He says Mohammed bin Salman was not involved in Khashoggi's death and downplayed the killing as a misstep.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have a review of our procedures and policies with regards to intelligence operations. We made sure that the lines of authority are clear so we don't have a mistake like this.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I mean that's a pretty extraordinary breach of authority, murdering somebody inside a Saudi consulate.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely, yes. But unfortunately, these things -- mistakes like this happen with other governments.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Earlier this week, U.S. President Trump signaled that he would not take strong action against Saudi Arabia or Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over Khashoggi's killing. It was one of many messages the President brought up again Thursday while making a thanksgiving phone call to U.S. military members. Here's more about it from our Jeff Zeleny.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEFF ZELENY, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, CNN: In a Thanksgiving Day phone call from his resort in Mar-a-Lago, President Trump talking to military commanders across the world, talking to a general in Afghanistan, talking to a commander of 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.
[02:09:59] But the President quickly turned it political, talking about a variety of hotspots 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 also 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.
PRES. DONALD TRUMP (R), UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: I hate the crime. I hate what is 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, and as I said, maybe he did, maybe he didn't. But I will say, very strongly, that it is 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: 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 advisors followed by Q and A session with reporters at his Mar-a-Lago 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 the independent judiciary into his political argument (Inaudible). So the President certainly unscripted and unsupervised in many respects. Most Senior White House advisers 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 VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: And Mr. Trump was at it again Thursday in his attack on U.S. judges. He tweeted this. Our highly trained security professionals are not allowed to do their job on the border because of the judicial activism and interference by the Ninth Circuit. Nevertheless, they're working hard to make America a safer place, though hard to do when anybody filing a lawsuit wins. Let's talk about this with Scott Lucas.
He is a professor of International Politics in the University Of Birmingham in England and a familiar face here on our program. Thank you, Scott, for joining us.
SCOTT LUCAS, INTERNATIONAL PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM: Very good morning, Natalie.
ALLEN: Thank you so much. Well, so now President Trump is asking the military whether they agree with him on his border policy. This follows his dispute of course, with the judicial branch that we just mentioned. In some ways, is he trying to pit the military against the judicial?
LUCAS: I think it is simpler than that, Natalie. And that is for Donald Trump Thanksgiving was not as much a day to give thanks as much as a day to promote Donald Trump. And in that effort, the military is a prop. The judicial is a prop. What of course, links the two is the issue of immigration, and specifically the U.S.-Mexico border.
And remember the essential backdrop to this that on the military side, Donald Trump over the wishes of his military advisors, including the Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, ordered almost 6,000 U.S. troops to that border to stop immigrants who in fact are thousands of miles away, not near Texas but near California. Donald Trump has ordered that the military, possibly unconstitutional, should be allowed to use armed force against those immigrants.
And that has the military concerned. At the same time, over immigration Donald Trump is trying to overrun the courts. He has tried to say that the Ninth Circuit court is unjust when it tries to rule for example that there is a right to asylum. And when John Roberts intervened to talk specifically about judicial independence, Donald Trump tried to push him back.
And says sorry, Chief Justice, you need to be quiet here because courts in order should not act against Trump. The military should not respond to Donald Trump. That cutting edge issue right now with immigration will continue for weeks because of Trump and his advisor Steven Miller. And the question is does the White House get its way or is there some attempt by the military, and especially the courts to defend their position on the American system.
ALLEN: Right. You mentioned that he continues to take on the Chief Justice of the United States to push back on Mr. Trump over his saying that judges aren't fair, that many judges represent Mr. Obama or Mr. Bush, and of course, John Roberts would have none of that, but when he pushed back against the President. Bottom line is Donald Trump does not like being ruled against. He can't stand not winning or kind of getting his way.
[02:15:07] LUCAS: Well, I still think one of the best ways to look at this is that Donald Trump (Inaudible) says he would run the Trump organization. And no matter what advisors would tell him, he would say I am the boss, you know? And he's running it like the reality show The Apprentice, where he can fire anybody or show them out of the room. Well, this is not a business.
This is the U.S. government with checks and balances. And so the issue beyond Donald Trump personally is very much whether agencies have the space within a White House to say with respect, Mr. President, we need to tell you that there are costs here, serious costs here. And it is whether the courts have the right to act as a third branch of government, to say quite rightly this is constitutional or this is unconstitutional, or whether they are now to be reduced to a mere show piece for whatever the whims of this particular President or any future President are.
ALLEN: He continues to take his hard line against whatever he perceives going on at the border, Scott, as you say. It is not like they're there yet. Let's listen to what the President said about the people he perceives that are looking to perhaps try and move into the United States.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: As you probably see over the news what is 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're not good people. And they're bad people. 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 who that you know who we're letting in, and we're not letting in anybody.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: You know it's interesting, you know, despite the President's views, he steps out and tries to own this story. And he has had an impact with certain people in the United States who feel like this caravan is somehow perhaps trying a little bombardment at the U.S. border.
LUCAS: Well, he did this before the election in November. He's doing it now. And the backstop to this -- the backdrop to this is that he was speaking to the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, whose mission there in part is to fight against terrorism. And so Donald Trump, in effect, was equating immigrants with terrorists. That's what he's doing. I think there are some people who will buy into that line.
But I think for all of us, whatever the political position is, it is important to simply to get to the facts of this case. And that is the people in that caravan in Mexico and many other immigrants are not terrorists. They're not MS13 gang members. They're people who want a better life in the United States. Now we may argue the best way to react to that wish, but we do need to call out the attempt by Donald Trump and by others to reduce these people and dehumanize them as being some type of invasion of America.
That is, you know, what the Statue of Liberty is there as a marker against, that when you have the poor, the tired, the hungry, that they're not to be turned away as some type of alien threat. That they're there in some cases to be sheltered and eventually to contribute to the United States. So I have faith that just as many people in the elections earlier this month rejected that anti- immigration message, so there are many people who want to take a more sensible decent way towards the issue then the current President does.
ALLEN: As always, we appreciate your insights. Of course, this story is developing and we'll talk about it some more. Scott Lucas, thank you.
LUCAS: Thank you, Natalie.
ALLEN: A diplomatic standoff between Britain and the United Arab Emirates over a (Inaudible) convicted for spying. The U.K. says he's innocent. The UAE says he confessed. We'll have that coming up.
[02:20:00] ALLEN: A diplomatic storm is brewing between the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates over this man. PH student Matthew Hedges, he was sentenced to life in prison, life in prison for spying. Both Hedges and the British government say he's not guilty. The prosecutors say he confessed. His wife says the UAE mishandled and misinterpreted her husband's case. She spoke with our Hala Gorani, her first on camera interview since
Hedges was convicted and sentenced and taken away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANIELA TEJADA, WIFE OF MATTHEW HEDGES: It was a very tense environment, massive for him. Matt and I were sitting 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, 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 has been accused of.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The authorities are saying he was given care, psychiatric and medical care, that he was allowed to meet with British consulate officials, that he had representation, that this was a case that was thoroughly investigated and prosecuted. What's your response to that?
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.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. And you were able to -- have you been able to speak to him since the verdict? And do you know where he is now?
TEJADA: I don't know where he is now. I have not been able to speak to him. I didn't even get to say goodbye.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 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.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 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 is not unheard of that governments in authoritarian regimes particularly misinterpret academic research as espionage work or as a threat. And Matt is sadly is the first person to endure such a travesty in the UAE as a western academic.
[02:25:04] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you just met with the foreign secretary of this country, Jeremy Hunt. Did you -- did that meeting encourage you? What came out of it?
TEJADA: I am very hopeful now that the British government have taken a firmer stance about the matter and emphasize further stance, the fact that Matt is innocent, that the UAE will come to terms with reality, and the fact that Matt indeed is innocent.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I wanted to read to you. The 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.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 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 our 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 fate 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 and a house in the countryside, and a man who means no harm. I never meant any harm when I went out to the press. I just want him back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: We will continue to follow that story, of course, here at CNN. All right, well, whatever you may be doing right now, we think you should stop and watch this. A baby in India is lucky to be alive after a train passes right over her. Watch. Can you believe that? She was accidentally dropped onto the railway tracks just seconds before that train roared through the station.
Miraculously, she survived. Cell phone footage shows the train passing right over the child, as you can see, somehow leaving her unharmed, my goodness. The clock is ticking down on a Brexit deal with the E.U. Still ahead, Spain now threatens to withhold support unless it gets a say over Gibraltar's future. We'll have that in a moment. Plus, the Trump administration set to release a major climate change report, but some people are suspicious about the timing of it.
[02:31:25] NATALIE ALLEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: And welcome back to you. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Atlanta. I'm Natalie Allen with our top stories. Authorities in Karachi, Pakistan say four people are dead including two policemen in an attack on the Chinese consulate. A separatist group has claimed responsibility. Officials say it's all over. Three attackers are dead and no Chinese officials were hurt. France is banning (INAUDIBLE) 18 Saudi citizens over Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi killing.
The French foreign ministry says his death is a crime of extreme gravity and runs counter to the freedom of the press and fundamental rights. Germany made a similar announcement on Monday. The U.K.'s draft 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 unless Madrid is given a say about Gibraltar's future after Brexit.
The tiny British outpost is located on the southernmost tip of Spain on the Mediterranean. Its military importance maybe long gone, but not its political symbolism. For more about that, here's CNN's Nic Robertson.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Gibraltar, population 30,000 proud Brits, a vestige of U.K. colonial power, now, a not so strategic rocky spit. Struggling 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 the flavor of behind the scenes tensions.
FABIAN PICARDO, CHIEF MINISTER OF GIBRALTAR: Spain insist that Gibraltar must be Spanish and that we must hand over a slice of Gibraltar at least to her (INAUDIBLE) entirely Spanish.
ROBERTSON: Now, come the 11th hour of Brexit talks in Brussels. On Spain, issuing a wrench in the E.U.'s carefully coordinated plans.
PEDRO SANCHEZ, PRIME MINISTER OF SPAIN (via translator): I have to say that we feel displeased. We found in the withdrawal agreement a number of elements in one article. Article 184, the 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, PRIME MINISTER OF UNITED KINGDOM: I spoke to Prime Minister Sanchez of Spain. We have been working constructively with the government of Spain and Gibraltar in the negotiations on the withdrawal agreement and we want this work to continue in the future relationship. But I was absolutely clear that Gibraltar's British sovereignty will be protected.
ROBERTSON: As the clock ticks down, tensions on this arising. All 27 E.U. leaders must sign off on the deal. There are impatience to get it done.
ANGELA MERKEL, CHANCELLOR OF GERMANY (via translator): I don't have an objection in Spain. I can't say exactly how we will solve this issue. But I hope it will be solve by Sunday. Over the coming days more working will be done on the future relationship between Great Britain and the E.U.
ROBERTSON: And while they decide, back on The Rock, views express in it last year unlikely only hardening. What is it you worry 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: They've been through hard times with Spain here before. A border blockade from '69 to '82.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Spain, they've always speak the same, so it's -- it doesn't change.
[02:35:05] ROBERTSON: And although, almost everyone here voted against Brexit, they are British before Spanish.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One hundred percent British. I'd rather die to be Spaniard.
ROBERTSON: In Brussels, talks are far from that kind of life and death choice quite diplomacy is still the winning formula. Spain's long-standing desire to have a greatest say in the future of The Rock. For now, at least seems unlikely to crash the process predictions The Rock's residence gave me last year look set to hold true.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm quietly comfortable that we will find a way to survive that we will find a way to take Gibraltar forward despite Spain's attempts.
ROBERTSON: It would be foolish however to think Gibraltar won't be making the headlines again at another delicate moment in the (INAUDIBLE) Brexit process. Nic Robertson, CNN London.
ALLEN: The Trump administration is just hours away from releasing a major report on climate change. President Trump as you likely now has been a huge skeptic of global warming and critics argue the report is being release on Black Friday. That's one of the slowest news day for the year in the U.S. in an effort perhaps by the Trump administration to bury the story. Our meteorologist Derek Van Dam joins us with more.
I guess the main issue is this report that's coming out why is it, you know, specially important?
DEREK VAN DAM, CNN INTERNATIONAL WEATHER ANCHOR: Well, there are so many -- so many reasons for it because it really puts into perspective the state of the climate specifically here for the United States. But regardless of its controversial early release date on Black Friday here the day after Thanksgiving, it is still very important to assess what is happening here for the climate across the U.S. What we're finding though we haven't seen the report. It's going to be release later today but what we're finding is that
it's going to confirm an overwhelming amount of evidence that shows the Earth is warming. Global warming is happening. It's occurring because of human causes and that the impacts from global warming like perhaps the California wildfires for instance are going to become more frequent and more intense in the future. This is what know. We have set 17 of the last 18 -- 17 of the 18 warmest years have occurred since the year 2000, so this just shows you global warming taking place and you might ask yourself this is volume two of the national climate assessment.
What was volume one about it? Well, that was about the science behind climate change. What are the driving forces? The volume two that's about to be release here in the U.S. on Friday Black Friday is going to talk about the risks, the impacts, and the ability for the U.S. to adapt to climate change and it's going to break it down at more of a regional and hyper local level. In 2017, we set records for costliest disasters. In fact, we have 16 record disasters that topped over $1 billion U.S.
I don't need to remind you what happened in Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Hurricane Irma in Florida. So what this report will do is it will break down into regions for instance the various climate change impacts like sea level rise, what that will do to places like New Orleans or New York City, or into Charleston. It will also talk about the frequency of heavy rain events impacting the Northeastern U.S. and obviously the ongoing wildfire threat in the ongoing drought of the western parts of the country.
What we do know is that the greenhouse gas emissions, what we emit into the air through transportation, electricity, industry, and our agriculture, those are the greenhouse warming glass -- gases. We know that they have exponentially increased since the post-industrial era since the mid-1800s and that is a direct link with the warming planet and our extreme mother events like droughts and wildfires over the Western U.S. as well, so a lot to talk about here within this report.
But one thing is for sure is that there's a lot of important information and they're going to break it down into specific regions and how the U.S. can plan and adapt to a changing climate specifically for local cities across the U.S.
ALLEN: And while our viewers know what we're talking with the climatologist tomorrow at this time that you and I can discuss it further when it comes out.
DAM: And when this report is released, some 200 pages or more, we've got a lot of reading to do over the weekends --
ALLEN: You can do it.
DAM: OK. Fair enough. I'll report.
ALLEN: All right. Thank you. All right. Next story, America's oldest surviving veteran of the Pearl Harbor attack in Hawaii has died. Ray Chavez passed away peacefully in his sleep Wednesday. Chavez was a quartermaster in Pearl Harbor when the surprised attack by Japan took place. In recent years, he travelled across the U.S. Look at him. He looks great. Attending services and commemorations and talking with school children. He spoke with CNN back in May about his service.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[02:40:06] RAY CHAVEZ, PEARL HARBOR ATTACK SURVIVOR: I remember and then I forget and remember again because it's very important that the younger generation know and learn at the beginning of the war. I would do it again if I was called in active duty.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Ray Chavez was 106 years old. A national debate on women's right has unfolded in South Sudan following the married auction of a teenage girl. She was reportedly bid on by five men including government officials. The case is now forcing some to reconsider marriage traditions in the country. Our Farai Sevenzo breaks it down for us from Nairobi.
FARAI SEVENZO, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The incredible story of a young South Sudanese woman named Nyalong Ngong Deng has gone viral all through South Sudan and indeed although East Africa. Why is that? It's 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 won the hand in marriage paid 500 cows, three cars, and $10,000.
Now, why does this matter? It matters because the (INAUDIBLE) of it is the issue of women's rights. People like the National Alliance for women's 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 that her who already has wives. But of course, this is tradition. The danker in South Sudan do their marriages in this way. They offer a dowry and then the parents accept it and then marry the girl.
And of course, all of this is been taking to 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 ravage by war. On CNN, we continuously cover stories about South Sudanese refugees all over this part of the world. And of course, and also 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 it about the tradition of marriage in South Sudan.
Here is what the deputy Governor of the East Lake region state about Nyalong Ngong Deng.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In 2011, when Nyalong was 10 years old and her family has been neighbors to theirs, she was a people in (INAUDIBLE) 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 approach the parents and ask for the girl's hand in marriage when she matures. It's common practice here and is acceptable in our culture since time in memorial. In our traditional danker culture, it's allowed. Why can't it happen now?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SEVENZO: But of course he lose 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 (INAUDIBLE) was she coerced into it? Is it something that she wants to do? Farai Sevenzo, CNN Nairobi.
ALLEN: And ahead here, U.S. House Republicans have some questions for former FBI Director James Comey. He says he's willing to talk under one condition. That's next. Plus, a CNN exclusive interview with the president of South Africa. Why he says U.S. President Donald Trump is ill-informed.
[02:46:26] ALLEN: An attorney for former FBI Director James Comey, says he will fight a subpoena to testify privately before the House Judiciary Committee.
The Republican chairman issued -- has subpoenas -- issued subpoenas for Comey and former U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch. Over FBI actions back in the 2016 presidential campaign. CNN's Alex Marquardt here's details.
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It probably wasn't quite the way they expected to start their Thanksgivings. Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former FBI Director James Comey, receiving subpoenas to appear before the House Judiciary Committee in early December.
That committee has led by Republican Congressman Bob Goodlatte, who will lose control of the Clinton e-mail prove when Democrats take over the House next year.
Now, Comey has already responded. Saying he's happy to sit down for another hearing but that he doesn't want to be behind closed doors.
He tweeted, "Happy Thanksgiving. Got a subpoena from House Republicans. I'm still happy to sit in the light and answer all questions. But I will resist a closed door thing because I've seen enough of their selective leaking and distortion. Let's have a hearing and invite everyone to see."
Comey's lawyer has also responded to the subpoena calling it an abuse of process and saying that he and Comey will go to court to try to make sure that his testimony if it happens, is public.
And, of course, this all comes back to timing. Republicans in the House know their days are numbered. So, this is a way for them to get some parting shots in, while they still can. Alex Marquardt, CNN, Washington.
ALLEN: The South African president has criticized U.S. President Donald Trump for helping advance claims by right-wing groups that large numbers of white farmers are being murdered. In an exclusive interview with CNN, the South African president said, "Mr. Trump's recent tweet about land redistribution and farmer killings was ill- informed."
Yesterday, we showed you our exclusive investigation of South African white supremacists pushing their propaganda in the U.S. Warning of a mass killing of white South African farmers.
Our David McKenzie now talks to the South African president about the land redistribution.
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Corruption, lack of will, these were the top issues brought up in a report on the land redistribution.
CYRIL RAMAPHOSA, PRESIDENT OF SOUTH AFRICA: Yes.
MCKENZIE: Not necessarily, money. So, why would it be any different? Why should people think that land redistribution won't be a cash cow for corrupt officials?
RAMAPHOSA: Well, it will be different because we're now in a -- in a new dawn. We're now in a new phase. We have repositioned quite a number of things that we are doing in government to do things more effectively, free of corruption, with greater determination, and greater commitment.
MCKENZIE: The investor community seems to be holding back a little bit, worried about, primarily, I've heard from them the land issue. Is that a fair assessment?
RAMAPHOSA: Well, that seemed to be the case until I convened an investment summit. I was able to give the investing community a clear message on the question of land. I said, one, we've got to deal with this. This is a festering sore. I want you to join me in working together to address this problem.
We are going to make sure that we address it in a way where we will not want to destroy our economy. We will instead want to improve the lives of our people. Taking into account, when I say, "Our people," I'm talking about both black people and white people. Just as Nelson Mandela did.
[02:50:21] MCKENZIE: There are groups lobbying overseas. Saying that in one case, there is a looming threat of ethnic cleansing in South Africa. But they seem to be getting some traction with that.
RAMAPHOSA: Well, we know that there are a number of South Africans, this small group that represents a very tiny minority view within the population of South Africa that are going around the world, spreading messages, and in the main most of them are people who are hankering for a return to the old apartheid ways.
MCKENZIE: Are these racists?
RAMAPHOSA: Yes. In the main, most of them are racists and they are not very positively disposed to us, black people.
MCKENZIE: They are getting resonance in the U.S., and Australia, and even getting mainstream politicians like President Trump and the Australian Interior Minister to talk their talking points.
RAMAPHOSA: They are in the finding people who get some resonance with what they are saying, and these are people who are ill-informed about what is happening here.
MCKENZIE: But this is the president of the U.S.
RAMAPHOSA: Just as President Trump was ill-informed about the messages that they were beaming out. Those people overseas who are taken in by this message of whites in South Africa being under threat, they are looking at South Africa through the lens of black versus white. And South Africa has long moved away from that.
MCKENZIE: What if you fail in this quest? If the government has on some level failed up to this point, what is at stake here?
RAMAPHOSA: A lot is at stake. You could even say that the stability of the country is at stake. And I am not fond of failing at anything. And this issue, we will not fail on.
ALLEN: And next here on CNN NEWSROOM, why a major fashion brand is starting to lose business over accusations of racism? Are the allegation's fair?
ALLEN: The fashion house, Dolce & Gabbana is facing the threat of boycott by some celebrities and buyers in China, after allegations of racism. As our Kristie Lu Stout, reports they had to cancel a fashion show in Shanghai.
KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In a series of Dolce & Gabbana adverts, a model attempts to eat Italian food with chopsticks accompanied by narration and stereotypical Chinese music.
The ad was intended to promote the luxury brand so-called Great Show, billed as a 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 screenshot 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 apologize for any distress caused. And in official press statement said this, "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 the people around the world who loves Dolce and 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.
[02:56:09] ZHAO XUEQI, STUDENT IN BEIJING (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, and, 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, ASIA CORRESPONDENT, WOMEN'S WEAR DAILY: Among your everyday customer, we've just seen social media light up with videos people taking their Dolce Gabbana clothes and destroying them in some really creative ways. So, burning them, cutting them into shreds, using it as cloths to wash their toilets and 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. CNN search results show Dolce & Gabbana products have been pulled off major Chinese e-commerce platforms like J.D. & Taobao.
What was supposed to be a great show has turned into a great fiasco for the brand? A massive market lost in just a matter of days. Kristie Lu Stout, CNN, Hong Kong.
ALLEN: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Natalie Allen, and I'll be right back with another hour. Please stay with us.