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U.N. Security Council Set to Meet After Naval Standoff Between Russia and Ukraine Near Crimea; Taiwan President Quits As Head Of Ruling Party; InSight Spacecraft Hours Away From Landing on Mars. Aired 12m-1a ET

Aired November 26, 2018 - 00:00   ET

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


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NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): U.S. authorities close the busiest port of the entry between the U.S. and Mexico and fire tear gas at migrants after a handful rushed the border.

CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): A major escalation of tensions between Ukraine and Russia after Russian forces allegedly fire on the Ukrainian Navy and seize three of its ships. Now an emergency U.N. meeting is being called.

ALLEN (voice-over): And E.U. leaders have said yes to Theresa May's Brexit deal. Now the biggest hurdle for the British prime minister, getting the support she needs from Parliament.

VANIER (voice-over): Thank you for joining us, everyone, we are live from the CNN Center here in Atlanta. I am Cyril Vanier.

ALLEN (voice-over): I am Natalie Allen and CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.

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ALLEN: We begin with a hectic scene from Mexico, where hundreds of Central American migrants tried to cross the country's northern border to reach the U.S.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking Spanish).

VANIER (voice-over): So the group had gathered in Tijuana for a peaceful protest on Sunday, then some of them rushed past police toward the border. And that's what you are seeing here. Mexican officials said they arrested 39 migrants, who will now be deported.

The U.S. responded to all of this by temporarily shutting down its port of entry, which has now been reopened.

ALLEN (voice-over): U.S. law enforcement officers also fired tear gas at the crowd, saying some were throwing objects at border security. Nick Watt is near the U.S.-Mexico border with more.

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NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In this border at San Ysidro, one of the busiest land borders on Earth and it was shut Sunday afternoon for four hours to pedestrians and a little bit longer to all vehicular traffic. And the reason, well, there were protests, there was a march. It was supposed to be a peaceful protest on the other side and apparently, that got a little bit out of hand.

People say that as many as 500 migrants tried to storm the border. They managed to get past Mexican police and that tear gas was actually fired. This is what eyewitnesses tell us. Tear gas was fired from this side of the border at those people.

Now Kirstjen Nielsen said in a statement Sunday evening, she said that some of these migrants tried to scale what she describes as legacy fencing on either side of the port of entry and that they were also throwing projectiles at Customs and Border Patrol officers.

Listen, the president last week said that if we feel we're losing control of the border at any point, if we feel there's a danger, people are getting hurt, we will temporarily closed and the border. That is exactly what they did.

The Mexican government now is saying that they plan to deport any of those people they managed to identify who tried to get into the U.S. But the border did reopen after a few hours after the CBP said they managed to get things under control.

They had beefed up their staffing here at the border in anticipation of these protests suspecting that something might go wrong. It did, they closed the border and they dealt with it.

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VANIER: Let's get more on this. Also reporting on this story for us to CNN correspondent Rafael Romo, who joins us now.

Rafael, normally, what is Mexico's attitude towards the migrants trying to cross into the U.S.?

Do they turn a blind eye to that or do they try to stop?

RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SENIOR LATIN AMERICAN AFFAIRS EDITOR: Yes, over all of the decades, it has been a difference. It is not until recently when the caravans gained so much publicity that the Mexican government started doing something about it.

And so Mexico right now is in a unique position. It used to be a source country for migration Mexico to the United States. Now it has become a sort of a transition point. If we go back a few years, net migration from Mexico is zero. So Mexicans who live in the U.S. are going back to Mexico.

But now we have a situation where Central Americans are coming to the United States via Mexico so they have to face a lot of situations that they didn't have to deal with before; meaning, how do you provide security, how do you provide food, shelter, for all of these people where they didn't have any experience in that regard before?

VANIER: Yes and how do you provide for them?

There are thousands of Central American migrants currently in Tijuana, who's actually calling the shots right now in Mexico.

ROMO: Up until December 1st, still President Enrique Pena Nieto, the interior secretary was the one who announced Sunday that he was going to order people be deported, people who participated in the situation done in Tijuana deported back to Central America.

December 1st, the incoming president takes office, President Manuel Lopez Obrador and there has been meetings between the two countries but there was a report of an agreement that we reached out to the transition team they --

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VANIER: Yes, let's talk about the deal between the U.S. and Mexico.

Is there going to be a deal?

ROMO: Whether there will be a deal is still an open question but what they told us and we reached --

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ROMO: -- out to them on Saturday. They said that there cannot be a formal deal because they haven't taken office first.

And number two, the president-elect was very clear that he does not want Mexico to be in a position of being a waiting room for migrants who would seek asylum in the United States, sort of a holding territory for those who would want to come to the United States.

VANIER: Yes, because that -- those would be the potential terms of the deal, right?

That's to say migrants would have to stay in Mexico until -- if there were a deal, that's how it would work until they get an answer from on their asylum claim from the U.S.

ROMO: That is right. And the reality is that in practice that's what's going on right now deal or no deal.

It's costing Mexico a lot of money and I can see a possibility and I'm not saying that's what's going to happen to where the United States and Mexico talk and Mexico -- the United States provides fun -- provides funding to Mexico to help Mexico deal with the needs of the migrants. Is that going to happen --

VANIER: So they're waiting -- they're offering a waiting room.

ROMO: Exactly, exactly.

VANIER: Rafael Romo, thank you so much for joining us.

ROMO: Thank you.

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VANIER: Britain's prime minister now faces the next critical step in her Brexit plan, getting the Parliament's green light.

ALLEN: Theresa May will address lawmakers in a few hours and urge them to approve the plan the European Union signed off on at Sunday's summit. She acknowledged not everyone is going to be happy.

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THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I recognize some European leaders are sad at this moment. But also some people back at home in the U.K. will be sad at this moment.

The way I look at it is, actually, this is for us now to move onto the next stage to move on. As I said I am full of optimism about the future of our country and I believe that we can with this good deal with the European Union. We will remain friend and neighbors. I have said many times we are leaving the E.U. but we're not leaving Europe.

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VANIER: Regardless of how Theresa May or even other European members feel, there is still no guarantee that this Brexit plan will end up being approved. CNN's Nic Robertson reports.

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NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): Brexit divorce is nigh.

MARK RUTTE, DUTCH PRIME MINISTER: No victors here today, nobody winning. We're all losing.

ROBERTSON: Disappointment that was cemented in a U.K. referendum June 2016 has finally arrived.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I will not say that we're very happy.

EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE (through translator): It is inevitably a sad moment that Europe could not rejoice.

ROBERTSON: And relief that after 19 months of talks there is agreement in Brussels at least for how the U.K. will exit the E.U.

ANGELA MERKEL, GERMAN CHANCELLOR: My feelings are divided. I feel very sad, but also, I feel a certain sense of relief that we've been able to achieve what we have achieved.

ROBERTSON: To that point, this warning, the Brexit deal is done. No coming back for more.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the best deal possible given the circumstances.

JEAN-CLAUDE JUNCKER, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN COMMISSION: This is the best deal possible for Britain, this is the best deal possible for Europe. This is the only deal possible.

ROBERTSON: But if you thought that's Brexit done and dusted, think again. Theresa May needs to get the U.K. Parliament to back it.

THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Before Christmas, MPs will vote on this deal. It will be one of the most significant votes that Parliament has held for many years

ROBERTSON: No one doubts its significance, only her ability to pass it. She has dozens of rebels in her own party and 10 key Northern Ireland MPs vital for her majority are backing away, fearing May's deal leaves them less British.

ARLENE FOSTER, LEADER, DEMOCRATIC UNIONIST PARTY: This draft agreement fills her own key commitments.

ROBERTSON: The main U.K. opposition Labour Party tweeted Sunday they will not support the deal either.

Whichever way you voted, you didn't vote for Theresa May's bad Brexit deal, so neither will we and neither will the 35 Scottish nationalist MPs supported this tweet from their leader Sunday.

This is a bad deal driven by the P.M.'s self-defeating red lines. Parliament should reject it.

May is soldiering on, publishing an open letter to pressure MPs.

MAY: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

ROBERTSON: Parliamentary vote is expected by mid-December. Brexit closer but not done yet -- Nic Robertson, CNN, London.

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ALLEN: Ireland's border with Northern Ireland has been a main point of contention in the Brexit negotiations.

VANIER: While Ireland's leader said he would rather not see Brexit happen at all, he does agree with top E.U. officials that the deal is, quote, "the next best outcome."

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LEO VARADKAR, IRISH PRIME MINISTER: I hear a lot of people talking about better deals or alternative deals and anyone can have a better deal or an alternative deal in their own minds. But an agreement, 500 pages long --

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VARADKAR: -- that 28 member states can sign up to, nobody has that. So what is on the table is the only deal that's on the table.

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ALLEN: Joining me now is CNN European affairs commentator, Dominic Thomas, who's been with us through this process and will continue to be, as it is definitely a process.

Dominic, nice to see you. Let's talk about the next step for Theresa May after getting the support from the E.U. in Brussels.

Can she get the support from Parliament?

It doesn't look good. Members of own party, the opposition parties and the Northern Irish, have indicated they'll vote no.

How does she succeed with those odds?

DOMINIC THOMAS, CNN EUROPEAN AFFAIRS COMMENTATOR: Right. Well, you know the irony of the situation is that there is overwhelming support in the British Parliament for Brexit. Both on the part of the -- those that voted for the Leave campaign and because the official position of the Labour Party is to respect the results of the referendum.

The fatal flaw of Theresa May is that she did not engage in substantive cross-party discussions to reach some kind of consensus before she went to the European Union and got a deal.

Now she finds herself returning to face the British Parliament with a deal that is neither popular with the Brexiteers or the DUP because they see it as potentially compromising the integrity of the United Kingdom or is too aligned and with too many obligations to the European Union.

Or, on the other side of the spectrum, those for whom this deal does not provide the kind of inadequate engagement with the European Union that they had -- that they had sought. And so now it's really Theresa May trying to do so, they're back to front reaching the kind of consensus which she has with the E.U. but not with the British Parliament.

ALLEN: Right. So, now that she's got this deal signed on by the E.U., there's really no room for negotiation within Parliament then is there?

THOMAS: Well, I mean this is the big problem. And not only that, I think that the problem was exacerbated today when the European Commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, aligned himself with Theresa May, which was an extraordinary move, saying that this was not only -- you know, the only deal but the best deal that they could possibly get; which seems to sort of foreclose the opportunity of the British Parliament sending Theresa May back to Brussels to try and tweak the deal a little further.

So, she's really in a very complicated situation here. And I think that our attention now is going to shift not so much to the vote in Parliament but to start to think about the kind of legislative implications of the Parliament voting no on this withdrawal agreement and political declaration.

ALLEN: Right. And we know that Britain is set to leave the E.U. on March 29th.

What do you see as worst case scenario for her in this process leading up to then?

THOMAS: Well, right. Well, there's so much uncertainty if the Parliament does vote no. Of course, there could be a range of legislative action from a political party or from the Labour Party to table notions of no confidence, should she not resign herself.

But, of course, the shift is really going to be now about the implications of the no deal.

Do we just sort of keep going down the road until we hit March and then kind of crash out in this sort of hard Brexit?

And this is something that I don't think there's a lot of support for.

And so, on the one hand, the Parliament is putting itself in a difficult position by voting no on this and running the risk of us ending up with a no deal.

Or it's going to have to step up very quickly and find some kind of measure, either by calling a snap general election, which could potentially, with new leadership in place, allow for the option to go back to the European Union.

Or the United Kingdom is going to crash out of the European Union on March 29th at 11:00 pm, let's not forget, and with nothing in place. And this is really a disaster on all fronts.

ALLEN: Right. That would be the worst case scenario to be sure. And we also know if she -- when she goes back to the E.U. to get into the details more, we've already heard since they approved the Brexit deal signs from them that there are going to be tough negotiations ahead.

Leaders want to protect their own interests issues like Gibraltar and fishing rights that will not play well for Theresa May back home, will it?

THOMAS: No. I mean, this was what was really extraordinary. And I think that -- you know the aspect of the discussions over the last few days that really warrant further attention was, first of all, the Spanish prime minister's position on Gibraltar, which essentially, you know forced to the negotiating table and adjustment and a promise down the road.

And a threat that once Brexit takes place on the 29th, that's only the beginning of discussions. Then the discussions begin on the trade deal and Emmanuel Macron, today made a very threatening statement that he will potentially lock the European -- the United Kingdom into a permanent backstop if they don't get permissions on fishing rights and so on.

And I think what we're going to see is all E.U. 27 countries, start to bring to the table the discussions and the imperatives of their individual nation states --

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THOMAS: -- as they start to further scrutinize the implications of a trade deal.

And this has enormous implications as we go down the road for trying to achieve some kind of permanent deal. And I think this is just the beginnings of that kind of process.

ALLEN: Much to watch and we always appreciate your insights. Dominic Thomas, thank you. We'll see you again.

THOMAS: Thank you, Natalie.

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VANIER: A naval showdown threatens to ignite a larger conflict between Russia and Ukraine. We'll have the latest on a violent standoff near Crimea. Stay with us.

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VANIER: A naval showdown near Crimea is becoming the latest flashpoint for Russia and Ukraine. The U.N. Security Council is set to meet in the coming hours. This after Ukraine accused Russia of firing on and seizing three Ukrainian ships. Russian state media report they illegally entered Russian waters.

Ukraine calls Russia the aggressor. The incident threatens to ignite a larger conflict over the strategic Kerch Strait.

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ALLEN (voice-over): This video from Ukraine's internal affairs minister seems to show a Russian ship ramming a Ukrainian boat --

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ALLEN (voice-over): -- on Sunday. Ukraine's president says he will take extreme measures to counter the Kremlin.

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PETRO POROSHENKO, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (voice-over): Martial law is introduced in order to strengthen Ukraine's defense capabilities amid increasing aggression and, according to international law, occult (ph) act of aggression by the Russian Federation.

Martial law does not mean our refusal to resolve the issue of liberating Ukrainian territory by political and diplomatic means. We have intentions to keep adhering to all international obligations, including the Minsk agreements.

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VANIER: Let's try to understand what's going on and the possible implications. CNN's Ivan Watson joins us live from Hong Kong, he knows this region well.

Ivan, let's have you run us through the video one more time, because it is extraordinary.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And this is dramatic, because this is a time Ukraine has been fighting against Russian-backed separatists in the east of the country for years. But now you have a case of armed forces from Ukraine and Russia coming in to direct conflict in this strategic area, the Sea of Azov, the Black Sea and the Kerch Strait.

The video in question was released by the Ukrainian authorities, it seems to have been filmed from a Russian ship and shows that vessel, purportedly that vessel, approaching what we think is a Ukrainian tugboat during this tense confrontation on Sunday between two Ukrainian navy gunboats and this tugboat and Russian Navy and coast guard ships and, boom, the Russian vessel appears to ram the Ukrainian tugboat.

The Ukrainians say the Russians have captured its three boats and that six of their sailors were injured. The Russians say that three sailors were injured and that they have provided them treatment.

And, of course, there is completely conflicting narratives from Moscow and Kiev about what exactly happened here. The Ukrainians saying they were trying to travel into the Sea of Azov to one of their ports. The Russians saying that the Ukrainian vessels were acting in a dangerous manner and that the Russians were simply defending themselves.

VANIER: Ivan, the geography here is key, I am glad you have this map up. This is happening in the middle of a heavily disputed territory.

WATSON: Yes, you've got Russia and Ukraine here, Ukraine formally a Russian and Soviet Imperial possession. It's been independent. But the real tension happened in 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea, taking it from Ukraine.

Now what that immediately did was Crimea was cut off from the rest of Russian territory and you have this part of Ukraine up here, with the strategic port of Mariupol -- it's an industrial Ukrainian port with a giant steelworks.

For it to ship its steel out, it has to come through this narrow Kerch Strait, which the Russians built a land bridge over that opened earlier this year. And that's where the flashpoint really was because the Russians have begun inspecting Ukrainian ships passing through this natural chokepoint, trying to reach Ukrainian ports.

And it --- the Ukrainian ships that were trying pass through and apparently were blocked by the Russians. Look at one of the measures they have taken to close off the Kerch Strait. They have anchored a tanker ship here. The Russians saying they have to do this for security reasons and the Ukrainians are saying that cuts us off from water that belongs to us as well, the Azov Sea.

And the Russians have engaged in shows of force here along their brand-new bridge; they have been flying on Sunday warplanes in very close proximity to the bridge, helicopters as well.

This is all again ratcheting up tension in an area with a strategic naval chokepoint. And it is exactly these types of geographic chokepoints that led to conflicts going back as far as the 19th century; the Crimean War waged between Ottoman forces and Russian forces over Crimea -- Cyril.

VANIER: Ivan, thank you so much. That's really helpful. A big geopolitical power play around this body of water. Thanks for bringing all of that up. Ivan Watson, thank you.

ALLEN: CNN's military analyst, retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, spoke earlier about the Russia-Ukraine confrontation.

VANIER: Here is what he said about the Kremlin's goals in the Kerch Strait.

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LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: This is something that those of us who watch Europe and especially the Ukraine and the crisis has --

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HERTLING: -- been going on there the last three years after Russia invaded the Donbas and also took over Crimea.

We have seen escalating tensions all these past 12 to 18 months. In the Donbas, they have continued to attack violating the Minsk Accords and also being reported by the Office of Security Cooperation in Europe.

So this is a continuation of threats by Moscow, by Putin's Russia and it is a trying and attempt to influence the passage of Ukrainian ships to their key ports on the Sea of Azov. Russia is attempting to influence Ukraine's ability to conduct normal trade and shipping from the western part of their country to the eastern part of the country.

They now have to travel through that Kerch Strait where the bridge has recently been built connecting Crimea with Russia and the Russians are now doing things that negatively influence that.

Now the Russians will claim that they entered -- that the Ukrainian ships entered Russia territorial water. That's to be decided.

You can see the tracks of the ships, you can see what's happened but this is just uncalled for in terms of trying to interfere with Ukrainian trade. And it comes at a very damaging time strategically. This is certainly playing in the hands of Putin.

Europe is in somewhat a little bit of chaos right now with the Brexit going on in the U.K. and with riots in the streets of France and also in the United States has normally been a leader helping this sovereign country of Ukraine.

You reported earlier on what's going on in the United States and there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of attention on what's going on in the sovereign nation of Ukraine.

As we've watched the attacks by Russia in the Donbas region which is the eastern part of Ukraine over this last year, they have escalated anywhere between 18 and 25 violations of the Minsk Accords per day.

There have been thousands of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians killed in that area. And it's really gone unnoticed other than by those who watch the region and NATO who's certainly paying attention to this. NATO earlier today condemned this action by the Russians.

Luckily, the State Department spokesman also condemned it today. So I think we're going to see the potential for condemnation.

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VANIER: That was Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, our military analyst there.

Now the United States is not fighting the war in Yemen but aid groups says it's as much to blame for the humanitarian disaster there as the actual belligerents. Details on that next.

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[00:30:00] NATALIE ALLEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Welcome back, you are watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Atlanta, I'm Natalie Allen.

CYRIL VANIER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: I'm Cyril Vanier. Let's look at your headlines. British Prime Minister Theresa May faces her next Brexit hurdle on Monday. She will urge parliament to pass her Brexit deal, which the E.U. has now approved, members of her own Party, as well as the opposition Parties and the Northern Irish DUP, have indicated that they will be voting, no.

ALLEN: The U.N. Security Council was set to hold an emergency meeting in the coming hours, this, after Ukraine accused Russia of firing on and seizing three of its ships, near Crimea. Russian state media report the vessels illegally entered Russian waters. Ukraine says Russia was the aggressor.

VANIER: More than 360 people are injured after a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck Western Iran on Sunday. Many homes in rural areas were badly damaged. The quake struck near the board with Iraq, tremors could be felt in Baghdad.

ALLEN: Mexico plans to deport 39 migrants after they tried to cross, illegally, from Mexico, into the U.S. The migrants were part of a group who rushed past police, toward the U.S. border, Sunday. U.S. officials responded by temporarily closing that port of entry.

VANIER: Now, the migrants were part of a large caravan, traveling from Central America, to the U.S. Thousands are now in the Mexican border town of Tijuana, waiting to file asylum claims.

ALLEN: I spoke with Former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Ana Maria Salazar, about this, and asked if Sunday's events surprised her.

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ANA MARIA SALAZAR, FORMER U.S. DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: We were talking about this about a month ago, when we saw the caravan coming in through the Mexican southern border and considering the political environment this is happening, you know, there was U.S. elections in the United States, midterm elections.

Mexico is about to swear in a new president, this Saturday, and there is also a lot of -- well, there is literally nobody in the federal government right now, here in Mexico, that is answering the phone because there are, you know --

Most of these high-level government officials who have the responsibility of security in Mexico are basically going to lose their job or they are going to be moving on in the next couple of days, so it's somewhat of the perfect storm. And of course, why would you have a large group of migrants move up to the -- to the southern border of the United States if it's not to do something like this.

So, it's not surprising. What is surprising is that and concerning is that, this could potentially go on through the next -- through the next week, two weeks, where we are going to have a new government here, in Mexico, so it -- this is not over yet.

Part of the issue that the Mexican government is facing, right now, and the U.S. government, is that of these 9,000 people that potentially could be coming up to the Tijuana border and asking for political asylum, or some type of asylum, humanitarian asylum, assuming that Donald Trump doesn't change or orders to violate U.S. law.

Where the problem is most of them will not get political asylum or humanitarian asylum, in part, because there is desperation because of the economic situation. So, when you have such large number, asking for asylum, you can imagine what the lines are going to look like and there is now an incentive to try to cross in, illegally, into the United States, as we speak, because it appears that this, you know, trying to do it, kind of, legally, or you know, kind of, knocking at the door at the border, which is the way it is being done right now.

They get to Tijuana, they, kind of, knock on the border, they can knock and take a -- they take a number and they get in line, and they do these pre -- these initial interviews. I mean, part of the problem is, because of the number of people, and the desperation there is right now, we are probably going to --

Probably, unfortunately see more of these images of people just deciding to see if they can cross and see what happens in the United States, if they actually get through the National Guard and the soldiers that are at the border and the teargas and other law enforcement officials. And it is a terrible situation.

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[00:35:21] ALLEN: And, of course, one will continue to keep our eye on, Ana Marie Salazar there, for us, from Mexico.

Well, five of the world's biggest aid organizations agree, if the U.S. doesn't stop supporting the Saudi war in Yemen, it will be directly complicit in causing what could be the largest famine in decades.

VANIER: In a scathing letter, the aid groups, say 14 million Yemenis are at risk of starving to death. Three years of war have caused import restrictions, block aids, damaged infrastructure, not to mention, of course, the fighting, all of this, preventable. CNN's Sam Kiley explains.

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SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: An electronic pulse tracks (INAUDIBLE) battle with death. Her inside were torn out, in an air strike, carried out by the Saudi-led coalition that supported and armed by the U.S. and U.K. The bombing killed three of her sisters, and wounded two more, in Hodeidah.

MAGED GHALEB, FATHER OF AIRSTRIKE VICTIMS (through translator): We are calling on all of the honorable people of the world, all people from all religions, anyone who has a heart to stop this bloodshed. We cannot take it. Yemenis and their children are being murdered in cold blood.

KILEY: A bipartisan bill that demands an immediate end to fighting, and to the U.S. support for Saudi Arabia's campaign, is being considered by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and is getting support from five of U.S. biggest charities that are working in Yemen.

They've published a joint letter, calling for an end to support to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, in the war. ABBY MAXMAN, CEO, OXFAM AMERICA: The U.S. has been over the course of the conflict, over 3-1/2 years, involved in supporting the Saudi-led, UAE-backed coalition, in Yemen, and it has perpetuated the war. The U.S. has been an arms broker, while trying to be a peace broker, which is a difficult thing to do both.

KILEY: At least 10,000 people have been killed in this war. Many of them hit in airstrikes like this Saudi attack on a buzz that killed dozens of children, with an American bomb. The U.N. has called for a ceasefire, but there are no signs that the two biggest arms suppliers to Saudi Arabia, the U.S. and U.K., are going to join Denmark, Finland and Germany, in stopping the flow of weapons.

And while the war rages on, aid agencies say that 14 million people are threatened with famine, and the U.N. says 400,000 children are on the brink of starvation.

Sam Kiley, CNN, Abu Dhabi.

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ALLEN: As always, such painful images coming out of Yemen. Well, coming up, here, a crushing defeat for Taiwan's ruling party, in an election, seen as a test of public support for Taiwan's independence from China. We'll have a live report for you, coming up here.

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[0:40:00] VANIER: Taiwan's ruling party has suffered a major blow in local elections, prompting President Tsai Ing-wen to resign as head of the Democratic Progressive Party. She will serve out the remainder of her term.

ALLEN: On Saturday, voters expressed their dissatisfaction with the government, amid tension with Beijing and a sluggish economy. Analysts say that most voters support the status quo, reaping economic benefits from mainland China, without being governed by it.

CNN's Senior Producer Steven Jiang joins me now from Beijing, Steven, hello to you. What does this defeat signal for the ruling party?

STEVEN JIANG, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER: Well, Natalie, they certainly have a lot of soul searching to do and they have promised to do so.

But the odds had always been against President Tsai and her party, because the government here, in China, has been trying to undermine her presidency almost since day one, due to her refusal to acknowledge the so-called one China principle, under which Taiwan is part of China, even though the two sides have been governed separately since 1949.

But mainland China does remain one of the most important destinations for Taiwanese products and investments and Taiwan's travel industry relies on mainland tourists as a main source of revenue. So, that has enabled Beijing to squeeze the island, economically, and as a result, really choking President Tsai and her party, politically, in this latest round of elections.

Now, the question, the bigger question going forward is, what is she going to do? Is she going to change course? If not, could that mean the return to power by the island's main opposition party, which is known to be in favor of closer and more friendly ties with the mainland.

So that really means these local results from last weekend's elections will have major implications, not only on cross street relations, but also on the relationship between China and the U.S., which, of course, as you know, regards Taiwan as a major ally in the region, especially under President Donald Trump. Natalie.

ALLEN: All right, Steven Jiang for us, watching it. Thank you, Steven.

VANIER: In just a few hours, the U.S. spacecraft, InSight, is set to touchdown on Mars, it guides itself to landing, you see, and scientists call that, the seven minutes of terror, because most missions have failed to land on the red planet.

ALLEN: InSight is expected to start sending back images of the planet's surface almost right away, if and when it lands. It launched back in May, on a mission to study the deep interior of Mars. Good luck.

Thanks for watching CNN NEWSROOM, I'm Natalie Allen.

VANIER: I'm Cyril Vanier. "WORLD SPORT" is up next, we're back after that, stay with CNN.

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