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Russia-Ukraine Tensions Rise after Kerch Strait Ship Capture; Matthew Hedges Now Back in London; Parliament To Vote On Brexit Deal December 11. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired November 27, 2018 - 02:00   ET




ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): More than a third of Europeans surveyed say they know very little about the Holocaust or they've never even heard of it, just one of many eye-opening revelations in a major new investigation by CNN.

The dangerous standoff continues. Ukraine is imposing martial law in border areas, bracing for a possible attack from Russia.

And mission to Mars: after seven months and millions of miles of travel, NASA's robotic spacecraft makes a nail-biting landing on the Red Planet.

Hello and welcome to our viewers all around the world, I'm Rosemary Church and this is CNN NEWSROOM.


CHURCH: We will get to the top stories in just a few minutes.

First, we want to tell you about a major CNN investigation revealing just how widespread and growing anti-Semitic attitudes are in Europe.

More than 70 years ago, when the nightmares of the Holocaust came to an end with the end of World War II, Germany as a nation vowed never to forget. Yet it seems that many in Europe have done exactly that or even more shockingly have never even known about the atrocities committed against millions of Jews by the Nazis.

So all this week, we are focusing on this shadow over Europe. Our chief international correspondent, Clarissa Ward, begins our covering with a sweeping new survey commissioned by CNN that unearths some surprising statistics.


CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: To give us our unprecedented look at anti-Semitism in Europe, we spoke to more than 7,000 European citizens across these seven countries. Forty-four percent said they believe anti-Semitism is a growing problem in their country, with 40 percent saying Jewish people are at risk of racist violence there; 63 percent, around two-thirds of the people we spoke to, agree that commemorating the Holocaust helps ensure that such atrocities will never happen again.

But awareness of the genocide seems to be fading. Of the people in the 18-34 age bracket that we spoke to, almost two-fifths said they had either never heard of the Holocaust or had just a little knowledge of it.

The situation is especially bad in France; 8 percent of people we spoke to there, across all age groups, said they had never heard of the Holocaust. That's around 5 million people in France alone, more than double the population of Paris.

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance spells out what anti- Semitism is with 11 specific samples. One is the myth that Jewish people control global media, economies and governments.

In Europe, 28 percent responded that Jewish people had too much influence in finance and business across the world, a view that was most common in Poland and Hungary.

Europe's understanding of how many Jewish people there are in the world is also way off the mark: 16 percent of respondents thought that Jewish people make up at least a fifth of the global population. According to Pew Research, it is a 100th of that, around 0.2 percent -- Clarissa Ward, CNN, London.


CHURCH: Well, authorities across Europe are reacting to CNN's reporting.

Felix Klein, the German government's anti-Semitism czar, says, "The results of the CNN survey are appalling ... anti-Semitism is a threat for any democratic, open society."

Moshe Kantor, the president of the European Jewish Congress, says this, "The results indicate that substantial numbers of European citizens hold dangerous views about Jews ... the stereotypes that we hoped were disappearing about Jews are sadly alive and well."

And the Representative Council of the Jewish Institutions of France says, "The CNN poll shows that anti-Semitism is profoundly anchored in Europe but is evolving as a multiform disease."

Meantime, you can find out more about anti-Semitism in Europe and the stunning results of the CNN poll on our website. Just go to

Our week-long look at anti-Semitism in Europe turns to Germany on Wednesday. Clarissa Ward takes us to a right-wing extremist march on the streets of Berlin.


WARD (voice-over): Christian Weisberger (ph) explains that neo-Nazis are finding new ways to express the same old hatred. And he should know. Weisberger (ph) --


WARD (voice-over): -- used to be a right-wing extremist himself.

CHRISTIAN WEISBERGER (PH), FORMER RIGHT-WING EXTREMIST: I would say that it is a form of anti-Semitism that disguises itself. So they don't talk about the Jew anymore; they talk about the Zionists or the globalists or the bankers.


CHURCH: Clarissa also meets with members of the Jewish community who are questioning their future in Germany. Join us for the next report in our exclusive series, "A Shadow Over Europe: Anti-Semitism in 2018." That's Wednesday on CNN.

Ukraine isn't backing down after Russia seized three of its navy ships on Sunday. Its parliament voted to impose martial law in areas bordering Russia. It's also condemning Moscow, as are NATO and many European countries. President Trump appeared hesitant to do same but his top diplomats aren't.


NIKKI HALEY, UNITED STATES AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: This is no way for a law-abiding civilized nation to act. Impeding Ukraine's lawful transit through the Kerch Strait is a violation under international law; it is an arrogant act that the international community must condemn and will never accept.


CHURCH: This standoff largely centers on the Kerch Strait which links the Black and Azov Seas. Russia built a bridge over the vital waterway and has been accused of harassing ships headed to Ukrainian ports. CNN's Matthew Chance has more on the standoff from Moscow.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is the moment simmering tensions on the high seas burst into outright hostility. The Russian patrol boat intercepting a Ukrainian naval tug and ramming it dangerously hard.

In audio recording broadcast on Ukrainian media which CNN can't independently verify the Ukrainian boat can be heard protesting.

CHANCE: Then Russian officers ordered the Ukrainian vessels to surrender or face attack. The Ukrainian navy says six of its sailors were injured when Russia fired on three of its vessels then seize them. An act of aggression said Ukrainian officials by Moscow. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PETRO POROSHENKO, PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE (through translator): I address the leadership of the Russian federation the demand for the immediate release of Ukrainian servicemen who, in violation of international law were brutally detained and whose fate is unknown. We demand they be immediately handed over to the Ukrainian side together with the ships and to deescalate the situation in the Azov Sea.


CHANCE: But that situation has been escalating since Russia's President Vladimir Putin opened a controversial bridge earlier this year spanning the narrow Kerch Strait between Russia and annex Crimea. All maritime traffic to and from the Azov Sea must pass under it.

U.S. officials say Russia has been harassing international shipping there for months. Stopping or delaying vessels heading for Ukrainian ports. Russia said it's simply reacting to dangerous naval maneuvers by Ukraine which have now forced it to curb access.

SERGEY LAVROV, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): Maneuvers in the narrow straits naturally create threats and risk for normal movement of vessels in these waters.

CHANCE: And this is how Russian state television has cast the naval clash as a provocation orchestrated by Ukraine and its supporters in the United States to disrupt a planned meeting between Presidents Trump and Putin at the upcoming G-20 summit in Argentina.

Ukrainian government says it is imposing martial law in response to the crisis and amid international condemnation. The coming days may yet see this confrontation on the high seas escalate further -- Matthew Chance, CNN, Moscow.



CHURCH: And for more, I am joined now by Jill Dougherty. She is a CNN contributor and our former Moscow Bureau Chief.

Good to see you. So, Jill, you have covered this region for many years.

What's Russia's endgame here after seizing three Ukrainian Navy ships and holding 24 sailors over alleged border violations?

JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, you'd have to say that number one by seizing them they are protecting --


DOUGHERTY: -- that area around Crimea which is the area that they annexed from Ukraine. And in fact, they built a bridge. And I think you know part of it is exactly physically what's going on

the ground they built a bridge that connects Crimea to Russia.

And in effect this little strip of water is really a chokehold so that Russia can let's say cut off that area in -- beyond the Kerch Peninsula -- the Kerch waterway -- Kerch Strait and make it very difficult for Ukraine to export and import product, steel, grain and others from the ports -- there are two of them -- that are located there.

So really one of the reasons I think is that they want to continue to economically weaken Ukraine and also continue to kind of roil the waters, pun not intended, politically in that area.

It makes it -- people are losing jobs because of some of this economic cutback of their trade and that creates societal problems and it can also create political problems. So weakening Ukraine is one of them, protecting Crimea and their land and the water around it is certainly the other.

CHURCH: Right. OK, so the U.N. Security Council convened Monday but failed to come up with any solution to this situation. This is what U.S. President Donald Trump had to say about the matter. Let's just bring that up.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We do that like what's happening either way. We don't like what's happening and hopefully, it'll get straightened out. I know Europe is not -- they're not thrilled. They're working on it too. We're all working on it together.


CHURCH: So Mr. Trump failed to call Russia out on this but his secretary of state Mike Pompeo wasn't afraid to do that saying this in a statement.

"The United States condemns this aggressive Russian action. We call on Russia to return to Ukraine its vessels and detained crewmembers and to respect Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders extending to its territorial waters."

So, Jill, what are the possible solutions to this imminent crisis -- or you could say it is a crisis now -- and would you expect Russia to do any of those things that Secretary Pompeo is asking for?

DOUGHERTY: You know, one would be releasing the man, releasing the ships, certainly. But I don't think that's going to solve it because you still have this problem of that chokehold and the control that Russia exerts over the Sea of Azov, which is the area is small, very narrow, shallow sea located right next to Ukraine.

They still have control over that. And the problem here is it's being used not only militarily but politically on both sides.

Russia continuing to say that you know there's a provocation coming from Ukraine and from the West and the Ukrainians accusing the Russians of provoking. I do not see this ending quietly or simply going away. I think it's going to continue to fester.

And one of the problems is when you begin to fire on another ship or another boat and you begin to arrest people, unpredictable things can happen and this is precisely what could happen. It might be contemplated it's kind of a political game but when you get live fire, then it can get very dangerous.

And already, obviously, you know, Ukraine, that situation in eastern Ukraine has been going on since 2014. So it's not -- it's very worrying and this is certainly way beyond anything that happened so far.

CHURCH: Yes. This is the concern indeed and of course, Ukraine is now threatening to declare 30 days of martial law.

What would be the likely consequences of such a move?

DOUGHERTY: Well, you know, originally when that proposal came up, they were talking about 60 days of martial law and pretty draconian aspects to that, right?

They pulled it back. President Poroshenko pulled that back to 30 days. He vows that it will not affect civil rights of the Ukrainians etcetera. But it certainly raises the level of concern into a kind of a fever pitch both in Ukraine and then in Russia reacting to that.

And don't forget you know, there's a political part of this Rosemary which is you have Ukrainian presidential elections coming up at the end of March, coming up just in a few months, three months. Mr. Poroshenko --


DOUGHERTY: -- is not looking as if he's doing well so there are some who say that partially he could be doing this to gin up political support.

You also have President Putin whose ratings have been falling recently because of the economic reforms with the pension system. Some say that it could be partially that. But I do think it's this concern that Russia has for keeping control on Crimea and extending that control into that area that will affect Ukraine.

CHURCH: Jill Dougherty, we thank you for your analysis. Many thanks.


CHURCH: A British academic who was sentenced to life in prison in the United Arab Emirates is free and back home in the United Kingdom. A plane carrying Matthew Hedges arrived in London just a short time ago, hours after he received a presidential pardon. The 31-year-old PhD student was arrested in May at the Dubai airport

and was sentenced last week for spying.

Before announcing his pardon Monday, authorities released a video purportedly showing him confessing. Both Hedges' family and Britain deny he was a spy. The UAE said it pardoned Hedges because of its ties with the U.K.

The U.S. is condemning Russia at the U.N. but not Saudi Arabia when it comes to the war in Yemen. Sources tell CNN the U.S. has slammed the brakes on a Security Council resolution calling for a limited cease-fire. It would also let in more humanitarian aid but the U.S. fears angering its Saudi ally.

There are reports that the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, threw a fit when he saw an early draft of the resolution. He's seen as an architect of the war, which the U.N. has called the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

The charity Save the Children came out with shocking figures last week. It estimates that extreme hunger or disease has killed 85,000 children under the age of 5 since the war in Yemen began.

Theresa May is facing steep odds after addressing a divided Parliament. The prime minister is now taking her Brexit campaign on the road.

And Turkish investigators take their investigation of Jamal Khashoggi's murder to a new location. We'll have that when we come back.





CHURCH: Britain's prime minister travels to Northern Ireland and Wales Tuesday as she pushes to rally support for her Brexit plan. Parliament is set to vote on the agreement on December 11th. Theresa May addressed the House of Commons on Monday, urging lawmakers to accept this deal or risk starting all over again.

But as Bianca Nobilo reports, Ms. May is facing an uphill battle.


BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Theresa May faced a bitterly divided U.K. Parliament Monday, just one day after getting her Brexit deal approved by the E.U.

And in a marked contrast to the unanimous an orderly way that the E.U.-27 signed off, Theresa May was faced with a barrage of hostile questioning from MPs in the House of Commons who opposed her deal from all sides. This as she's beginning her campaign to sell her deal and persuade MPs to vote it through Parliament.

THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: And I could say to the house with absolute certainty that there is not a better deal available. There is a choice which this house will have to make. We can back this deal, deliver on the vote of the referendum and move on to building a brighter future of opportunity and prosperity for all our people or this house can choose to reject this deal and go back to square one.

NOBILO: Currently the parliamentary arithmetic doesn't add up in the prime minister's favor. Schools of her own backbench MPs have publicly declared that they will reject the deal as has the Democratic Unionist Party, the DUP, which the Prime Minister relies on for her majority in parliament. And if Theresa May was hoping to look for the opposition Labour Party to support her, then the Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn had other ideas for her today.

JEREMY CORBYN, LEADER, U.K. LABOUR PARTY: The Prime Minister May have achieved agreement across 27 heads of state but she's lost support of the country. This deal is not a plan for Britain's future. So for the good of the nation, the House has very little choice but to reject this deal.

NOBILO: The date has now been set for the historic vote on the prime minister's Brexit deal December the 11th. Mark your calendars. It will be the prime minister's toughest Brexit battle yet -- Bianca Nobilo, CNN, London.



CHURCH: And for more on this, CNN European affairs commentator Dominic Thomas joins us now from Los Angeles.

Good to see you.


CHURCH: So Dominic, right now the numbers don't look good for Theresa May.

How likely is it that she could win over enough British lawmakers over the next two weeks to get her Brexit deal through Parliament when it goes to a vote?

THOMAS: Right. Well, the numbers don't just not look in a favor, they look absolutely terrible and there's no support there. The irony of this, of course, is that there is overwhelming support in the House of Parliament for Brexit. There just isn't overwhelming support for her particular deal.

Either those that initially voted to leave support the idea Brexit or the opposition Labour Party's official position has been to support the outcome of the referendum. I think in Theresa Mays case, she is trying too late in the game to enlist domestic support around these kinds of issues. She's got her withdrawal agreement and a political declaration with the European Union that she's not going to be able to convince people back in Parliament to support this particular deal.

And so what we are going to have right now is a couple of weeks of sort of you know, of lobbying and pressuring and we see a lot of threats out there as she sends out different ministers and cabinet members to try and sell this deal.

But it doesn't seem like there is any path towards her getting the deal, the majority vote that she needs in Parliament to get this particular deal through.

CHURCH: The E.U. said it's the best deal that's available. They approved it.

How does the British prime minister plan to convince those lawmakers that her Brexit deal is the right path ahead?

Essentially what is her strategy over these next two weeks then?

THOMAS: Well, the strategy, unfortunately, I think even the European Union saying out loud but this was not only the best deal but the only deal was somewhat problematic.

And you know, in some ways it's sort of forecloses the opportunity of consulting with Parliament and returning to the European Union to ask for this deal to be -- to be tweaked.

So ultimately what she's doing is threatening the members of Parliament and therefore the British public with this sort of overhanging you know, possibility of the European -- of the U.K. crashing out with a no deal which of course would have all sorts of implications for E.U. citizens, the border with Northern Ireland and all the kinds of questions that we've been talking about.

And we have seen in the international media, both French President Emmanuel Macron, talking about aspects of the deal and the trade deal which would come after the agreement, even Donald Trump, you know, waited on this today.


THOMAS: And so, she's really sort of being attacked and challenged on all sides. And it was seeing that the deal is indefensible to the extent that there is nothing in there that can possibly satisfy the multiple factions that exist in the Houses of Parliament.

And I think she went about this process the wrong way rather than engaging in extensive consultation back home across party lines and across these kinds of divisions, she went to the European Union first and has come back with a deal that essentially endeavors to satisfy everybody and in so doing satisfies nobody.

CHURCH: All right. So, let's say you are right.

And going forward in two weeks, so the British prime minister fails to get the support she needs, what happens then?

A general election possibly?

Perhaps, another attempt to put this to the British people with another Brexit referendum?

What do you think will happen?

What needs to happen here?

THOMAS: Well, all of those -- all of those votes are there. What I think will happen, what I think needs to happen is, I think at this particular stage, if the vote does not go through Parliament, Theresa May must go. She must either resign or -- and the Parliament must produce a vote of no-confidence or table such a motion.

I think, at that particular stage, they need to be able to go back to the European Union with something concrete. Simply having Theresa May continue with these negotiations is not good enough.

They need to be able to go back to Europe and say, "Look, we're having a general election here."

And after the general election, I think one possible option is to consider a referendum. If the outcome of the referendum is to remain in the European Union, then, this saga is over once and for all.

And if it is indeed a vote to remain in the European Union, a cross- party commission must immediately be set up, that can explore and negotiate the parameters of a deal that they can then take back to the European Union.

But I cannot see Theresa May shepherding this way through any more than I could at the beginning of this process. What I thought, it was so outrageous that somebody who had supported remaining in the European Union ended up being the person to kind of shepherd this through.

CHURCH: It here -- it's been a tortured journey. No doubt about it.

Dominic Thomas, sir. Thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it.

THOMAS: Thanks, Rosemary.


CHURCH: Nearly two months after Jamal Khashoggi was murdered, Turkish authorities may have a new lead in the search for his remains.

Police spent 10 hours searching a villa about 90 kilometers south of Istanbul. The chief prosecutor's office said that the day before the journalist was killed, one of the 15 suspects contacted the Saudi national who owns that villa.

Officers reportedly searched a well in the garden and used sniffer dogs and drones to search the land around the property.

Teargas and fear at the U.S.-Mexico border. We will have the U.S. president's reaction to the showdown between desperate migrants and Border Patrol.

And can Emmanuel Macron tamp down growing anger over rising fuel prices?

Days after massive protests gripped Paris, the French president will address his country. We'll have the details for you on the other side of the break.


[02:30:29] CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. I'm Rosemary Church. I want to update you now on the main stories we've been following this hour. Ukraine will impose martial law in border areas with Russia and pro-Russian forces. Parliament approved the move Monday after a sea confrontation with Russia near Crimea. Russia seized three Ukrainian Navy ships and detained 24 sailors. Both sides accused the other of being the aggressor.

The British parliament will vote on the Brexit agreement on December 11th. Prime Minister Theresa May faces major opposition to the plan and will begin a four nation U.K. tour in support it Tuesday. She addressed parliament Monday telling lawmakers it's either this agreement or back to square one. Well, U.S. President Trump is not backing down in his defense of the measures his country is taking at the border with Mexico.

He asked why were they there when he saw images of children and parents being tear gas as they rushed to U.S. border on Sunday. Mexico is now also clamping down deporting at least 98 migrants following this dramatic clash. Mexico's foreign ministry has sent a diplomatic note to the U.S. embassy asking for an investigation of the incident. Many running from the tear gas were families with small children.

Among the crowd, this mother and her two little girls in diapers desperately running for safety. In his part, Mr. Trump blames so- called grabbers for being hit with what he calls very safe tear gas.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: First of all, the tear gas is a very minor form of the tear gas itself. It's very safe. But you really say why is a parent running up into an area where they know the tear gas is forming and it's going to be formed and they're running up with a child? And in some cases, you know, they're not the parents. These are people they call them grabbers. They grabbed a child.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CHURCH: Emanuel Macron will make his case to the French people in a

televised address in about two hours from now. The French president is facing growing pressure following a second straight weekend of violent protest. Demonstrators are furious over surging fuel prices and a rising cost of living that's making it tough for many to make ends meet. More now from CNN's Melissa Bell in Paris.


MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT: An explosion of violence transformed (INAUDIBLE) Saturday with paving stones ripped out and thrown, water cannons, and tear gas used, and for several hours a police force struggling to contain the anger that had grip Paris' most famous street. It was the second Saturday gathering of a wider protest now in its 11th day. It begun on November 17th amid a violence but in greater numbers.

When the yellow vest ticked off in protest to get to hiking the fuel duty that's contributed to a 16 percent rise in the price of diesel in here. Over the next few days, many of the barricades remained in place manned by protesters wearing the high visibility jackets that are obligatory for motorists in France. Born as a pool to action on the internet, the movement is in the hands of no single union or political party.

It's focused, broader than just the cost of perpetual with chance and placards aimed at the cost of living in general and the liberating policies of the French president in particular.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (via translator): We're very disappointed by Macron. I voted and believed in Macron but I regret having voted for him. If I have to do it again, I would never vote for him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (via translator): We don't eat as we like to everyday. It's not normal. How long will this last? I think it's not normal so the protesters should continue.

BELL: In Brussels over the weekend, Emanuel Macron whose popularity rating has fallen tweeted to thank the police and condemn the violence which is interior minister laid squarely at the feat of the far-right. On Tuesday, the government is to announce measures but already there are calls on the internet for a third Saturday of action next weekend with opposition politicians accusing Emanuel Macron of having failed to hear his people despite last Saturday's considerable dent. Melissa Bell, CNN Paris.


CHURCH: Well, U.S. President Donald Trump is casting doubt on his own administration's report that warns of the potentially catastrophic impact of climate change. The president says flat out he doesn't believe it. The non-partisan government released Friday involves 13 federal agencies and more than 300 leading climate scientists.

[02:35:20] It warns that unless something is done, climate change could result in the deaths of thousands of Americans caused severe crop declines and caused the U.S. economy hundreds of billions of dollars by the end of the century. Here's what the president told reporters Monday.


TRUMP: I've seen it. I've read some of it and it's fine. Yes. I don't believe it. No, no. I don't believe it. And here's the other thing. You're going to have China and Japan, and all of Asia, and all of these other countries, you know, addresses our country. Right now, we're at the cleanest we've ever been and it's very important to me. But if we're clean but every other place on Earth is dirty, that's not so good. So I want clean air. I want clean water very important.


CHURCH: According to an August poll by Quinnipiac University, nearly two-thirds of American voters say the U.S. needs to do more to address climate change. Well, a triumphant day on Earth and on Mars.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Touchdown confirmed.


CHURCH: Coming up, the daunting task of landing a spacecraft on Mars and the knowledge we can expect from it. Back in a moment.


CHURCH: From terror to triumph. NASA's InSight spacecraft touchdown on Mars Monday. Its mission is to study the red planet's interior. But before that breathtaking landing, InSight had a seven-minute descent into the atmosphere will all the work to get up there could have been all for nothing.


TOM HOFFMAN, PROJECT MANAGER, NASA: It was incredibly emotional experience to think about working for seven years as many other people hear in the room have done to get to the point where you have seven more minutes to survive, literally survive, is incredibly hard to describe. My heart was basically I think to stop beating for seven minutes. I don't know if that's healthy or not. But --


[02:40:04] CHURCH: I'd say not. Project Manager Tom Hoffman and his colleagues certainly had a reason to celebrate. Jeanne Moos takes a look at NASA's exciting day.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You think you're flight was long? It took inside on those seven months to get to Mars. At least you landing didn't require a heat shield to withstand 3000 degree temperatures and a supersonic parachute to slow down. The lander had to stretch its legs. Now wonder the folks at NASA cheered every successful step.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- has locked on the ground.


MOOS: And watched party turned into nail biters.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thirty-seven meters. Seventeen meters. Standby for touchdown.

HOFFMAN: Every time she made a callout, you know, the hairs on the back of my neck would start rising a little bit higher.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Touchdown confirmed.

MOOS: There were epic handshakes, high fives, fist bumps, and hugs, mission leaders raised their hands in jubilation. Museum goers cheered.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Touchdown confirmed.

MOOS: While a drenched audience watching on a giant screen in Time Square face conditions only slightly more hospitable than Mars. Within minutes of landing came the first image.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They got it. There it is.

MOOS: There what are termites on a desert, microbes under a microscope. Actually, that's Mars dust on a dust cover.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- the horizon back there (INAUDIBLE)

MOOS: Of course, Twitter offered mockups of other first picks.


MOOS: When it comes to picking a parking spot on Mars, thick slap like Kansas without the core how NASA described the landing zone.


MOOS: The mission is designed to explore the interior of Mars. A probe will burrow 16 feet deep to take the planet's temperature. A seismometer will look for Mars' quakes. NASA's administrator estimated the U.S. won't land a human on Mars until the mid-2030s. But some expected to see Matt Damon step out of the inside lander.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But I'm still alive.

MOOS: So is the lander. The day begun with fingers cross and ended with a line of high fives and a handshake worth of an NFL touchdown. Jeanne Moos, CNN New York.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CHURCH: Well done to all. Well, Twitter is getting all shock up over

a new claim by Donald Trump. Here's what the U.S. president told a crowd at a rally in Tupelo, Mississippi on Monday. It just happens to be Elvis Presley's hometown.


TRUMP: Well, I am thrilled to be back in Tupelo. I love Tupelo. Home of thousands of hard working American patriots and the proud birthplace of King of Rock and Roll, Elvis. Elvis, we love Elvis. I shouldn't say this. You'll say I'm very conceited because I'm not. But other than the blonde hair when I was growing up, they said, I looked like Elvis. You see that. Could you believe that?


CHURCH: Will let you judge for yourselves. Here's a young Elvis Presley and a young Donald Trump. What do you think? Early this month, Mr. Trump posthumously awarded the rock icon the country's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. And thank you so much for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Rosemary Church. Remember to connect with me anytime on Twitter. I love to hear from you @RosemaryCNN. Stay tune now for "WORLD SPORT". You're watching CNN. Have a great day.


[02:45:00] (WORLD SPORT)