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CNN NEWSROOM

Hundreds Of Migrants Rush U.S. Mexico Border; U.N. Security Council Set To Meet After Naval Standoff Between Russia And Ukraine Near Crimea; Theresa To Address Parliament Monday On Brexit; E.U. Leaders Unanimously Approve Brexit Plan; Theresa May Faces Significant Opposition In Parliament; Aid Groups to U.S.: Stop Yemen's Suffering; Voters Reject Same-Sex Marriage in Taiwan; Thousands of Migrants Wait at U.S. Border; Millions under Blizzard Warning in U.S.; U.S. Climate Change Report Paints a Grim Picture. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired November 26, 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: The U.S. temporarily closes a major port of entry after a group of migrants stormed the border with Mexico.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: The crisis deepens between the Ukraine and Russia after Russian forces allegedly fired on Ukrainian navy and seized three of its ships.

VANIER: Plus, you want to battle but not the war after E.U. leaders unanimously agreed to her Brexit plan, British Prime Minister Theresa May now to sell it at home.

ALLEN: These stories ahead for this hour. Thanks so much for joining us. We're live from CNN headquarters in Atlanta. I'm Natalie Allen.

VANIER: I'm Cyril Vanier. CNN NEWSROOM starts right now. So we begin to sour with a hectic scene from Mexico.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: Hundreds of Central American migrants in Tijuana stormed the country's northern border on Sunday hoping to reach the U.S. U.S. law enforcement officers also fired tear gas at the crowd saying some were throwing objects at border security.

VANIER: Mexican officials say the 39 migrants they arrested will now be deported. The U.S. also temporarily shut down its port of entry. That has now been reopened as you're seeing there. Nick Watt is near the U.S.-Mexico border with more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

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.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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 --

VANIER: Yes, let's talked 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 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.

[01:05:05] 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.

ALLEN: We move to Russia now. A Naval showdown and now the U.N. Security Council is set to meet in the coming hours after the incident off the coast of Crimea. Ukraine accuses Russia of firing on and seizing three Ukrainian ships and calls Russia the aggressor. Russian state media insists the Ukrainian vessels illegally entered Russian waters.

VANIER: Now, all of this threatens to ignite a larger conflict over the Kerch Strait. That's what you're looking at there, a key waterway in the region.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VANIER: This video from Ukraine's internal affairs minister seems to show a Russian ship ramming a Ukrainian boat on Sunday. Ukraine's president says he will take extreme measures to counter the Kremlin.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PETRO POROSHENKO, PRESIDENT, UKRAINE (through translator): Martial law is introduced in order to strengthen Ukraine's defense capabilities amid increasing aggression and according to international law a cold 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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VANIER: CNN's Ivan Watson has reported on the Ukraine-Russia conflict before. Run us through the video one more time.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean, this is a frightening escalation of tensions because it shows armed forces from these two countries coming in direct conflict in this geopolitically and militarily strategic area around the Kerch Strait, the choke point to the Sea of Azov.

The video that we're looking at was distributed by Ukraine's interior minister who suggested that it was intercepted from the Russian military. It appears to have been shot from the deck of a Russian Navy ship. There's a Russian Coast Guard ship there. This is a Ukrainian tugboat, the (INAUDIBLE), and the Russian commander you can hear him swearing and saying I'm going to hit him from the left and then boom slams into this tugboat here. We have seen other clips that seem to be a shot from the same Russian ship on Russian state media not including that key collision point.

Both the Russians and the Ukrainians have reported that the Russian ships opened fire on these two Ukrainian small gunboats and this tugboat and that there were some injuries. The Russians say they've treated the injured sailors. They have taken all three of the Ukrainian ships into custody. But again, escalation because the low- level war that's been fought in eastern Ukraine has been between Ukrainian forces and Russian backed separatists, but now you have the navies engaged in open conflict here. Cyril?

VANIER: All right, so help us understand the map that you have up. I mean, that's absolutely key. You don't understand this story if you don't understand the map.

WATSON: This is a natural choke point. The Kerch Strait, it's the only way to get from the Black Sea into the Sea of Azov which is shared between Ukraine on the one side and Russia. Now, Crimea, Russia seized it in 2014. And then to link it to Russia they built this 19-kilometer long bridge that was opened earlier this year. I think we have a tighter shot that we can show that was open to much fanfare running down here.

And since it was opened the Russians have begun inspecting ships coming through cargo ships and imposing kind of traffic restrictions. This is what the Ukrainian two gunboats in the tugboat appeared to be trying to go through to reach their ports of Mariupol that's an important industrial Ukrainian city with a giant steelworks that I visited in 2016. The Russians are claiming that the Ukrainians were behaving in a dangerous manner in Russian waters even though both countries share the Sea of Azov.

Now, the Russians say they have cut off access now for security reasons and they've done that by sticking in a tanker ship under part of the bridge that they've constructed, this tanker ship here which the European Union says is not legal, they've called for this to be removed, and for the strategic choke point, to be opened. As part of these hostilities on Sunday, the Russians were also flying warplanes in a clear show of force. You can see how close that is down to the surface of the sea and helicopters as well, so tension there.

And this is a choke point that helped lead to the wars in the past centuries like the Crimean War fought over Crimea so something to be watched closely. And the U.N. Security Council Emergency Session will be addressing this again in a matter of hours.

VANIER: Yes, and that's why incidents like this are so important, Ivan, because they have the potential for so much escalation. Ivan Watson reporting, thank you.

ALLEN: For more about it, CNN's Military Analyst, retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General Mark Hertling spoke about the confrontation.

VANIER: And here's what he said about Russia's goals in the Kerch Strait.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

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 been going on there the last three years after Russia invaded the Donbass and also took over Crimea. We have seen escalating tensions all these past 12 to 18 months. In the Donbass, 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 Donbass 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.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VANIER: That condemnation may come from the emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council that has been called from Monday. We'll be monitoring that. One hurdle has been cleared but now Theresa May faces what could be her most challenging step yet, getting Parliament to approve her Brexit deal. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[01:16:41] PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: CNN "WEATHER WATCH" time. I'm meteorologist Pedram Javaheri. Here watching what's happening across the Americas. The big story.

Storm system locked in across portions of the Great Lakes. Impacted thousands of flights on one of the busiest travel days on Sunday as folks returned back from the Thanksgiving holiday break. And notice the system pushes on in towards Canada but as a result here, could see significant accumulations across places such as Chicago.

Have already seen it across Kansas City where the airport was shut down briefly across that region. And notice even snow eventually left in place in Detroit, as well. So travel disruptions expected going into Monday.

High temperatures will struggle to make it above the freezing mark. So, anything that does fall which is estimated to be somewhere around five to 15 centimeters in a few spots and as high as 30-plus centimeters for a few spots. That expected to stick around for at least a couple of days there. Denver highs around eight degrees.

There is the arctic air, the cold air, it exists here over the next several days. But we do see the trend across the Northeast with a cooler weather expected in Washington down to three degrees for a high. New York City down into the single digits, as well. But certainly not going to have much moisture with that. So, at least remaining dry going in towards late week.

Down into Belize City, around 30 degrees. Around Managua, 33. Guatemala City also into the 30's while Mexico City remains dry, around 22 degrees. And the tropics are beginning to really quiet down. Of course, the hurricane season officially ending the end of this week.

ALLEN: Britain's Prime Minister now faces the next critical step in her Brexit plan, getting the parliament's green light.

VANIER: Yes, Theresa May will address lawmakers in a few hours and urge them to approve the plan that a European Union signed off on at Sunday summit. As she acknowledged, not everyone is going to be happy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

THERESA MAY, PRIME MINISTER OF THE UNITED KINGDOM: 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 -- at this moment.

But the way I look at it is actually this is for us now to move on to 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 -- with the European Union, we will remain friends and neighbors. I've said many times, we're leaving the E.U. but we're not leaving Europe.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: Regardless of how Theresa May or other European members think about it. There's still no guarantee this Brexit plan will end up being approved. For more on it, here's CNN's Nic Robertson.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Brexit divorce is nigh.

MARK RUTTE, PRIME MINISTER OF NETHERLANDS: 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 are very happy.

EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE (through translator): It is inevitably a sad moment. Europe cannot 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, CHANCELLOR OF GERMANY (through translator): 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.

[01:20:02] MICHEL BARNIER, CHIEF BREXIT NEGOTIATOR, EUROPEAN UNION: This is the best deal possible given the circumstances.

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

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

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

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

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

ROBERTSON: The main U.K. opposition, Labour Party, tweeted Sunday, they won't 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 PM'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: A parliamentary vote is expected by mid-December. Brexit closer, but not done yet. Nic Robertson, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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 for own party, the opposition parties, and the Northern Irish. Do you (INAUDIBLE) 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 p.m., it's not forget. And with nothing in place. And this is really a disaster on all fronts.

[01:25:13] ALEN: 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 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.

ALLEN: Next here in Yemen, the United States isn't fighting the war there. But a group say, it's as much to blame for the humanitarian disaster as any of the combatants. Here why, next.

[01:30:26] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back.

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.

CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR: 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, blockades, damaged infrastructure, not to mentions, of course, the fighting. And all of this is preventable.

CNN's Sam Kiley explains.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SAM KILEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): An electronic pulse tracks Naziha's (ph) battle with death. Her insides were torn out in an air strike carried out by the Saudi-led coalition that's supported and armed by the U.S. and the 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 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 it's getting support from five of the U.S. biggest charities that are working in Yemen. They published a joint letter calling for an end to support to Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. in the war.

ABBY MAXMAN, CEO OXFAM AMERICA: The U.S. has been over the course of the conflict over three and a half involved in supporting the Saudi- led, U.A.E.-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 air strikes like the Saudi attack on a bus 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 the 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.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VANIER: Now a blow to the LGBT community in Taiwan. Voters say no to legalizing same-sex marriage. And that's not all they did. We'll have the latest on the Taiwan elections when we come back.

[01:33:16] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VANIER: Taiwan's ruling party has suffered a major blow with local elections prompting President Tsai Ing-wen to resign as head of the Democratic Progressive Party. She will still serve out the remainder of her term as president.

ALLEN: On Saturday voters expressed their dissatisfaction with the government amid tensions 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.

This is an issue that has been around for quite some time. But what does this signal for the ruling party, Steven?

STEVEN JIANG, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER: Well, Natalie -- it means they have a lot of soul-searching to do especially ahead of the next general election in 2020. But this result is not entirely surprising because the odds had always been against President Tsai and her party.

China has been trying to undermine her presidency almost since day one due to her refusal to acknowledge the so-called One China principle which Taiwan is considered part of China, even though the two sides have been governed separately since 1949.

But Mainland China remains one of the most important destinations for Taiwanese products and investments. And Taiwan's travel industry really relies on Chinese tourists for their source of revenue.

So that's why Beijing has been able to choke the island economically. And as a result, really choking Miss Tsai and her party politically. And remember Natalie -- these are the moves in addition to the Chinese military ramping up their live fire drills around the island and the government here trying to squeeze Taiwan on the international stage.

So all of these moves really have caused a lot of discontent and unease on the island. So that's why her party, you know, suffered this crushing defeat.

Going forward, the bigger question is what is she going to do? Is she going to change course. And if not that could mean the return to power by the main opposition which does savor closer ties with China.

So that really will have a lot of major implications on cross strait relations, as well as actually the relationship between China and the U.S. which still considers Taiwan a major ally here -- Natalie.

ALLEN: And Steven -- in a separate issue. Voters in Taiwan said no to changing Taiwan's civil code to accommodate same-sex marriage. How disappointing was that for the LGBT community and its supporters?

JIANG: It was a very bitter blow -- Natalie, especially because the island's constitutional court just over a year ago ruled that same-sex couples actually had a constitutional right to get married and they ordered the local legislature to change the law to accommodate that.

They gave the legislature two years, but a bill was stuck in a deadlock. That was why opponents of marriage equality were able to put forth these referendum questions on the ballot and they organized a very well-funded and well-organized campaign to derail marriage equality and they succeeded.

So now, of course, the prospect of having marriage equality in Taiwan is very much in doubt. That really disappointed a lot of people. Not only in Taiwan but also around the region because when that landmark ruling was handed down last year it was seen as a beacon of hope in this still very much socially conservative region -- Natalie.

ALLEN: All right. We thank you for your reporting. Steven Jiang for us in Beijing. Thanks -- Steven.

VANIER: And I want to stay in Asia. We both do, in fact, because we are getting a first look at the puppies born to one of North Korea's peace gift dogs.

[01:40:00] South Korean President Moon Jae-in's office tweeted that the six pups were born on November 9th and are all very healthy.

ALLEN: North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un gifted the puppy's mother and another dog to the South after he met with Mr. Moon at a summit earlier this year. The South Korean leader also shared photos of the puppies on the official Blue House Twitter page. Days after they were born South Korea sent military planes filled with tangerine to Pyongyang.

So we say yes to toe puppy diplomacy. More puppies less weapons.

VANIER: In just a few hours, the U.S. spacecraft Insight is set to touchdown on Mars. It guides itself to landing and scientists call that the seven minutes of terror precisely because most missions have actually failed to land on the Red Planet.

ALLEN: When that (INAUDIBLE) landed, Insight is expected to start sending back images of the planet's surface almost right away. It launched back in May on a mission to study the deep interior of Mars. We wish it well.

A major holiday weekend turns in to a major headache for millions of travelers in the United States. We'll have the latest on the blizzard that has grounded thousands of flights across the country.

[01:41:12] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(CNN SPORT NOW)

VANIER: Welcome back. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.

We want to welcome our viewers across the U.S. I'm Cyril Vanier.

ALLEN: And I'm Natalie Allen.

Here are our top stories this hour.

The U.N. Security Council is 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 reports the vessels illegally entered Russian waters. Ukraine says Russia was the aggressor.

VANIER: 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, the opposition parties and the Northern Irish DUP have indicated that they will be voting no.

ALLEN: Mexico plans to deport 39 migrants after they tried to cross illegally from Mexico into the U.S. The migrants were part of the group who rushed past police towards the U.S. border Sunday. U.S. officials responded by temporarily closing that very busy port of entry in Tijuana. VANIER: Now, the migrants were part of a large caravan that traveled from Central America to reach the United States. Thousands are now in the Mexican border town of Tijuana. Those are the pictures you were looking at. They're waiting to file asylum claims.

ALLEN: Earlier I spoke with former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of Defense Ana Maria Salazar about this and asked if Sunday's event surprised her.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANA MARIA SALAZAR, FORMER 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 in considering the political environment that's happening. You know, there was U.S. elections in the United States, midterm elections, and 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, 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 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're going to have a new government here in Mexico. So 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, part of 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 look like. And there is now an incentive to try to cross in illegally in to the United States as we speak because it appears that this, you know, trying do it kind of legally or, you know, kind of knocking at the door at the border which is the way it's being done right now.

They get to Tijuana. They kind of knock on the border -- they kind of knock and take -- they take a number and they get in line and they do 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 tear gas and other law enforcement officials.

I mean it is a terrible situation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: And again, the situation caused the closing of the border at Tijuana. It's now open.

And you can imagine people are returning from the long Thanksgiving holiday and some people had this to deal with. A winter storm has forced airlines to cancel over 1,000 flights on one of the year's biggest holiday weekends, travel weekends in the U.S.

VANIER: Yes. Over 10 million people are under a blizzard warning across the Midwest. Kansas is under a state of emergency.

Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri joins us from the International Weather Center -- Pedram.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes -- Cyril and Natalie.

ALLEN: It looks bad out there.

JAVAHERI: The timing -- the timing could have been a little bit better right? When it comes to how things have played out the last 24 hours.

[01:50:00] Of course, we had a pretty easy transition weather-wise in to the big holiday travel weekend. And then, of course, now on the way back, one of the busiest travel days being on Sunday.

Big-time system pushes across portions of Midwest, across the Great Lakes right now. And the instability, so significant, even some thunder snow are being depicted there just north of Chicago right now. Pretty unusual pattern.

But here is the blizzard warning perspective. From portions of Quincy all the way through Chicago at this hour, we have the blizzard warnings in place, meaning blizzard conditions imminent or occurring. We know they are occurring because we are seeing gusts 30, 40, 50 miles per hour. That's expected to continue through at least 10:00 a.m. across some of these areas.

Very low visibility that's why Kansas city had to shut down their airport for a period of time. And of course, as Natalie and Cyril just told you, thousands of flights impacted across this region many of them being delayed. Chicago O'Hare and Midway both really taking the brunt of this and even across Minneapolis seeing some big-time delays as well associated with this.

And snowfall totals -- the winners or the lowers, however you want to look at it -- 16 inches across portions of Iowa coming in with the highest totals thus far.

But again, the system is on the move. Quick-moving system will push out of here. It leaves behind about another eight to ten inches out of Chicago by the time you wake up tomorrow morning. And then the system quickly moves on in towards southern Canada.

And northeastern U.S. here, much of it going to be high elevation snowfall. Don't see much in the way of significant snows there for the major cities if any at all.

But notice, if you get up to the ski resorts, pretty good snow coming down over the next couple of days. So for some good news but for a lot of people big-time delays still expected on Monday.

VANIER: Good luck. Fingers cross to all the travelers who are stuck there.

Pedram Javaheri joining us from the CNN Weather Center. Thank you. Appreciate it as always.

JAVAHERI: Thank you.

VANIER: Now, if you unplugged over the holiday weekend in the U.S., good for you. But you may have missed an explosive new climate change report from the U.S. government and it paints a bleak picture. Climate change is going to get worse and its effects in the U.S. could be dire.

ALLEN: It predicts by the end of the century there will be more premature deaths and a shrinking economy. The report suggests immediately cutting fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emission which could potentially save thousands of lives and billions of dollars.

Over the weekend I spoke with environmentalist Bill McKibben. He predicted the consequences of climate change decades ago and says not much has been done to stop it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL MCKIBBEN, ENVIRONMENTALIST: What was 30 years ago a theoretical and abstract threat is now the fierce daily reality of people's lives. Sometimes it's incredibly dramatic as in those wildfires that you have been covering the last few weeks in California. Often it's slower -- the droughts, the rising sea levels.

But all in all, climate change is now the biggest thing happening on our planet. The most insidious. And the fact that we haven't done anything about it largely because of the power of the fossil fuel industry is really the most infuriating thing that you can imagine.

The biggest deception of at least of my lifetime is this idea spread for years by the oil industry that maybe climate change wasn't real so we didn't need to take it seriously.

ALLEN: Yes. That was my next question about who holds the blame. The fossil fuel industry which covered it up or governments that didn't respond or didn't have the zeal to go around that. So here we are -- go ahead.

MCKIBBEN: They're the same thing, you know, in too many cases. I mean look at our own government of the United States, where the fossil fuel industry holds enormous sway. Look at Russia or Saudi Arabia that are in essence petro states. Look at Canada and Australia that keep digging coal and digging up tar sands everybody though science told them we need to stop.

In each case the fossil fuel industry is just too powerful.

ALLEN: Right. So here we are. And now this report in 2018 proved another congressionally mandated report that predicted things in 2014. And we also learned that it's going to cost us billions of dollars in our economy to keep respond to all these climate issues. What's life now going to look like in the next decades -- Bill?

MCKIBBEN: Well, in many ways, it depends on what we do over the next five, six, seven years. Already we are committed to raising the temperature of the planet a few degrees Fahrenheit. But if we don't take action very dramatically and very quickly over the next few years, much quicker than we do based on pure economics alone then that number will get up to six, seven, eight degrees Fahrenheit and we'll be on an entirely different planet.

The good news is that the engineers have done their job well, and the price of solar power and wind power has now come down to the point where in many cases it's cheaper even if you don't factor in that enormous cost of global warming that you just spoke about.

[01:55:00] So we could be making this move quickly. But to do it, we would have to break the political power of the fossil fuel industry which is why there are big movements around things like divestment from fossil fuel companies.

Cities like New York or countries like Ireland have sold their stock in the big oil companies. Some jurisdictions like cities and states are now suing the oil companies trying somehow to break their hold on our political system.

ALLEN: And how can we continue to innovate on a scale that is needed when the President of the United States won't even acknowledge climate change?

MCKIBBEN: Look, the President of the United States at least on these issues is clownish. I mean to stand -- he said the other day, climate may have changed but in my expert opinion soon it will change back. You know, he goes to California and advises people to rake their forests.

We have to not let him get in the way. That's why it's good news that young people are pushing our Congress. Now Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, as you know, called for a select committee to force a green new deal.

Maybe we're beginning to make a little bit of progress in Washington around the White House, not with it unfortunately.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: Environmentalist Bill McKibben there talking with me earlier this weekend about the report. You can read more about it on our Web site.

VANIER: All right. Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. It's been a pleasure having you with us.

I'm Cyril Vanier.

ALLEN: And I'm Natalie Allen. Stay right here for another hour of CNN NEWSROOM with George Howell and Rosemary Church. See you later.

VANIER: Have a great day.

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