Return to Transcripts main page
Martial Law Set to Take Effect in Parts of Ukraine; Manafort Calls Report He Met With Assange "False, Libelous"; Macron Condemns Violent Protests. Aired 12-1a ET
Aired November 28, 2018 - 00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): "A Shadow over Europe": inside the rise in anti-Semitism; hate speech and crime in Germany and what must be done to combat it.
Rising tensions and martial law set to begin in Ukraine as that country's president warns a full-scale war is possible after a naval clash with Russia.
Plus flight control problem.
What brought down Lion Air 610, killing 189 people?
New safety recommendations to prevent this kind of tragedy from happening again.
Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church and this is CNN NEWSROOM..
CHURCH: And we begin with "A Shadow over Europe." Our extensive investigation into the rise of anti-Semitism on the continent. CNN has spent months looking into the surge in hate crimes and hate speech across Europe.
And, surprisingly, some of the ugliest examples come from Germany, the country whose Nazi leaders killed 6 million Jews during the Holocaust. Germany has gone to great lengths to atone for the atrocities and to remember the victims.
But new polling commissioned by CNN shows 55 percent agree that anti- Semitism is once again a growing problem in Germany; 50 percent say Jewish people are at risk of racist violence in Germany and 16 percent believe most anti-Semitism is a response to the everyday behavior of Jewish people.
Well, Germany has seen a surge in neo-Nazis and far right nationalist groups over the past few years but they're not the only ones behind the rise in anti-Semitism. CNN's chief international correspondent Clarissa Ward reports.
CLARISSA WARD, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's a sight you don't expect to see in Germany in 2018. Hundreds of right-wing extremists, many neo-Nazis marching through the nation's capital.
"Close the border" they shout. "Resistance, resistance." The far right is enjoying a major come back here, bringing with it a troubling rise in anti-Semitism.
According to government figures, anti-Semitic attacks have increased by 20 percent in the last five years. The number of violent right- wing extremists has gone up by nearly a third. This man tells us a shadowy cabal of globalist controls the world.
So, when you talk about elites and you talk about finance is that another way of saying Jewish people?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
WARD: It is.
"Let me say it this way. The banking system, for sure. Banks, finance, the economy, mainly Jews," he says. We had more questions but our conversation was cut short by one of the march's organizers.
I think we have someone who is following.
Making anti-Semitic statements can be punishable under German law. But Christian Weissberger explains that neo-Nazis are finding new ways to express the same old hatred. And he should know, Weissberger used to be a right-wing extremist himself.
CHRISTIAN WEISSBERGER, FORMER NEO-NAZI: I would say that it is a form of anti-Semitism that disguised itself, so they don't talk about the Jew anymore, they talk about the Zionist, or the globalist or the bankers.
WARD: And they are growing more brazen. One man flashes a quick but unmistakable Nazi salute right in front of us, a crime in Germany. It's important to remember this isn't any country, this is Germany.
Just a few hundred yards from the march is a memorial for the millions of Jews murdered here in the Second World War. More than 70 years after the Holocaust, Germany is still haunted by its past and yet remarkably anti-Semitism is once again a growing problem here with 50 percent of Germans agreeing that Jewish people are now at risk of racist violence.
The statistic comes from a CNN poll that also found half of Germans believe Jews are at risk of hate speech. At Feinberg's Israeli -- [00:05:00]
WARD (voice-over): -- restaurant, owner Yorai says he gets threats every day.
YORAI FEINBERG, RESTAURANT OWNER: From murder, to I'll break your knees, I'll break your arms, I'll break your teeth, they're very creative in everything. All of the options that they want to break.
WARD: He was recently accosted by a man who told him Jews will end up in the gas chamber.
"It's only about the money for you, you will pay," the man says to him. "Nobody wants you here."
He told you to go to the gas chambers or that you will go back to the gas chambers?
WARD: You've heard things like that before?
FEINBERG: I heard it very often.
WARD: Germany acknowledged it has a problem, recently appointing its first anti-Semitism czar. Felix Klein is focused on creating a nationwide system for reporting anti-Semitic crimes and on improving integration of Germany's different communities.
FELIZ KLEIN, ANTI-SEMITISM COMMISSIONER, GERMANY: Anti-Semitism always existed in Germany and also after 1945 and now though, it is showing its ugly face more openly. Things that people would never have dared to say in a bar or in a restaurant and a private surrounding do it so now using social media or the internet.
WARD: Germany has seen upticks in neo-Nazi activity before. Most notably in the 1990s. While official statistics show that more than 90 percent of anti-Semitic attacks nationwide are from the far right, there's a new element of concern for the Jewish community. The arrival of 1.4 million Muslim refugees in the last three years.
Doron Rubin is the leader of Germany's small Orthodox Jewish community.
DORON RUBIN, HEAD, KAHAL ADASS JISROEL CONGREGATION: A lot of coming, the incoming of a lot of immigrants, a different history and different background and especially obviously coming from the Middle East also because of Israel, a different attitude towards Jews.
KLEIN: When we talk about Muslims originated anti-Semitism, I think we can only win that battle with the help of the moderate Muslims, without them, this wouldn't be a successful fight.
WARD: Overall, the Jewish community remains anxious.
RUBIN: I think much more Jews now think again like can we call Germany our home. And is it possible to live in this society. You can know that that's question that might not have been asked five years ago are starting to pop up again.
WARD: It's a question few in this country ever imagined would have to be asked again -- Clarissa Ward, CNN, Berlin.
CHURCH: Clarissa Ward there.
And reaction to CNN's investigation is pouring in from everyday Europeans to world leaders. CNN's Oren Liebermann sat down with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said he's worried but not surprised by the results of our survey.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: Well, I'm concerned because I think anti-Semitism is an ancient disease. And when it rears its ugly head, it first attacks the Jews, but it never stops with them and then sweeps entire society. This happened obviously in the mid- century Europe, first in Germany and then throughout all of Europe and the consequences were horrible.
Yes, I'm concerned. But I think we have to fight it. And we are fighting it. And some of the -- most of the European countries and governments I commend them for fighting anti-Semitism. They're right.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's easy to sit here and make statement and say never again every Holocaust Memorial Day, but that's not going to end this.
Do you see the concrete actions that need to happen here on the part of European countries?
NETANYAHU: Well, let's just says what's between two things. First, the sources of anti-Semitism. There's old anti-Semitism in Europe that came from the extreme right and that is still around.
But there's also new anti-Semitism that comes from the extreme left and also the radical Islamic pockets in Europe that spew forth these lies and slanders about Israel.
The only democracy in this entire region, the only one that has courts, human rights, right for all regions, gays, everything. I mean, the whole thing is ridiculous.
I mean, the attacks on Israel, the one carrier of European values in the Middle East is absurd and it is absurd twice. Not because of what I said but because six million Jews annihilated on the soil of Europe and to have anti-Semitism in Europe is a particular -- particularly offensive absurdity of history.
So, yes, I'm concerned with that. But again, what do I see? Number one, I see European governments, I spoke to Merkel, Macron and May and they were -- and others. They're putting up a fight. I'm seeing this in Eastern Europe.
I saw Viktor Orban in Hungary. He's opened up a center against anti- Semitism. I saw Sebastian Kurz in Austria. He just held a conference against anti-Semitism. And that's encouraging.
But the other side of it is, of course, education. You also have to educate people. In your survey, you know, a good chunk -- a third of the people hardly knew anything about the Holocaust. I think education is important. And I think a strong forceful position is important.
I'll tell you what else is important. The state of Israel is important, because when we had no state, we were completely defenseless against anti-Semitic forces that annihilated a third of our people. Every third Jew was destroyed.
Well, today we have a state, we have a capacity to stand up for ourselves and to defend ourselves and that ultimately --
NETANYAHU: -- is the best guarantor against anti-Semitism.
LIEBERMANN: You mentioned Hungary, one of the countries in Poland as well. These are countries where anti-Semitic imagery dog whistle anti- Semitism was used in everyday politics, yet, nevertheless, they have good relations with Israel. Their leaders seem to have good relations with you.
Is there contradiction there, how do you reconcile that?
NETANYAHU: Look, there are old tendencies that have to be fought and they keep coming back, it's like a, I describe anti-Semitism as like a chronic disease. It can be fatal if you don't challenge it. And it can be contained and reduced if you do. That's what I expect government and leaders to do and mostly of them actually they do do it.
LIEBERMANN: What about when those leaders both use that anti-Semitic imagery--
NETANYAHU: Well --
LIEBERMANN: -- and are strong friends of Israel? Is there an issue there?
NETANYAHU: I don't think they should. I don't think they do. And I think that ultimately the -- the real issue is can we tolerate the idea that people say that Israel doesn't have a right to exist which I think is the ultimate anti-Semitic statement, you know.
The majority of the Jewish people are very soon going to be living in Israel. There are over six million Jews now living in Israel. So, the new anti-Semites say this. Well, we're not against Jews, we're just against the state of Israel.
It's like I would say, well, I'm not against French people, I just don't think there should be France. France wouldn't exist. So, anti- Semitism and anti-Zionism and anti-Israeli policies. The idea that Israelis doesn't have, the Jewish people don't have a right for a state. That's the ultimate anti-Semitism of today.
I talked about Zionism. You know, we're sitting here in this interview about 200 meters from Mount Zion. mount Zion is the mountain in the center of Jerusalem where King David proclaim Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish people 3,000 years ago.
And Theodor Herzl, the modern Moses, led our people to reestablish a Jewish state here called this national movement Zionist based on this mountain right here.
So, when people say, well, I'm not an anti-Semite, I'm only anti- Zionist. They're basically saying, I don't think the Jewish people should have a state. And the Iranians say even more blunt, not only shouldn't they have a state but we're going to annihilate the six million who are here.
We're going to deny that there was a Holocaust that killed six million Jews. And while we're planning the next Holocaust for the six million who are here.
Well, as we say, that is not going to happen. Because we're not going to let it happen. But I think that anti-Semitism has to be exposed. Anti-Israel policies of the kind that say, not criticism, that we can accept, you know, everybody can be criticized.
But to say you don't have a right to have your own state, we've been here for 3,000 years, actually 4,000, closer to 4,000 if you include Abraham. We don't have a right to exist? Well, if we don't have the right to exist, nobody has a right to exist.
And I think be that that particular prejudice against the Jewish people has to be countered and I'm glad to see leaders like the president of the -- of the Czech Republic who was just here, Milos Zeman, saying, if we betray Israel, we betray ourselves.
And he said it in the previous speech, he said, "I'm a Jew because the Jewish people carried the values of western civilization and I identify with that."
And I think there's -- this is the deepest meaning of anti-Semitism. It really goes against the whole idea of the development of western civilization and of human enlightenment and freedom.
Israel is not above criticism. But the idea, but we're slandered very often. And especially the idea that we don't have a right to exist, well, you know, frankly, I'll combat it and if people don't like it, let them not like it. We're here. We're going stay here.
LIEBERMANN: Are you confident about the future of Jews in Europe? NETANYAHU: I think it has to be protected. And we expect every government to act to protect Jews as they would act to protect anyone living there and many are. Individual Jews have a choice. They can always come here but we -- we respect their individual choice.
But I also expect and actually see that the governments of Europe by and large I have to say just about every one of them acts to fend off these attacks because they're wrong in their own right and also they're wrong, they're dangerous for the society at large. And I'm glad to see this policy pretty much across the board.
CHURCH: Benjamin Netanyahu there.
Well, we are also getting more reaction from Europe and the U.S. to CNN's anti-Semitism poll.
The director of the Auschwitz Memorial in Southern Poland says, "The anti-Semitic or xenophobic ideologies that in the past led to the human catastrophe of Auschwitz seem not to have been erased from our lives today.
They still poison people's minds and influence our contemporary attitudes in social, political, ethical and other aspects."
And from Washington, the director of the U.S. Holocaust Museum says, "The persistence of anti-Semitic stereotypes among substantial percentages of Europeans is cause for concern, although the fact that a majority of respondents feel governments should do more to combat anti-Semitism shows many understand the dangers this hatred presents."
Joins us for "CNN TALK" on Wednesday; Clarissa Ward will be on the show, talking about anti-Semitism in Europe and the startling results of the CNN poll. That's at noon London time.
Well, on Thursday, we turn the focus to France, home to the largest Jewish population in Europe. Anti-Semitism has always been a problem but attacks have increased in recent years. Clarissa Ward talks to one woman who questions her family's future in France.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WARD (voice-over): Miriam and her family have considered moving from France, joining the more than 55,000 Jews that who have left since the year 2000.
In the sanctuary of their home they celebrate Shabbat, a ritual ushered in every Friday night by lighting candles and reciting a blessing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm scared for the future of my baby here, I hope that he will have a future here. And you know, Jewish communities are part of historical France. Really. And so, I think France without any Jews is not anymore France.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Clarissa also talks to officials from the French government to find out what they're doing to counter this trend. Join us for the next report in our exclusive series, "A Shadow over Europe: Anti- Semitism in 2018." That's Thursday only on CNN.
Well, the rise in anti-Semitism is not unique to Europe. Anti-Semitic incidents and hate crimes are surging in the United States as well. The FBI says they increased in both 2016 and 2017. CNN's Sara Sidner reports on the state of hate --
CHURCH: -- in America.
RABBI JEFFREY MYERS, TREE OF LIFE SYNAGOGUE: I'm not just concerned about the rise of anti-Semitism, I'm concerned about the rise of hate in our country.
SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A quiet Saturday morning of prayer and reflection at rabbi Jeffrey Myers' synagogue in Pittsburgh...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Contact! Shots fired, shots fired!
SIDNER (voice-over): -- savagely interrupted by gunfire.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's got an automatic weapon. He's firing right in front of the synagogue.
SIDNER (voice-over): Anti-Semitism had blasted its way back into America's consciousness.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have at least four down in the atrium, DOA at this time.
SIDNER (voice-over): Barry Werber was praying inside the Tree of Life Synagogue when bullets started flying. He hid in a closet as a gunman mowed down 11 of his fellow worshippers.
SIDNER: What is it like being a survivor?
BARRY WERBER, SYNAGOGUE MEMBER: Sometimes I just feel dead inside. No feeling at all. And I hate that feeling. But it's there.
SIDNER: How many of your friends have you had to bury?
WERBER: Too many to count.
SIDNER (voice-over): It was the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in American history. The personification of a rising state of hate in this country. The Anti-Defamation League says anti-Semitism in America was already exploding, from neo-Nazi marches to more subtle propaganda. In 2017, the ADL logged nearly 2,000 anti-Semitic incidents, a 57
percent spike in just one year.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's the single largest surge we've ever seen since we've started tracking this data.
SIDNER: The FBI, which only counts hate crimes reported by police, saw an astonishing 37 percent rise in anti-Semitic crimes. The police in Pittsburgh says the gunman's anti-Semitic fervor was spelled out on social media.
One site in particular that attracts racists and neo-Nazi because of its loose policies on free speech. Experts say those sites are becoming echo chambers that are getting louder and helping motivate real-life attacks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Race war now.
SIDNER (voice-over): The anger and misguided ideology of neo-Nazi which has been permeating the dark corners of the internet now materializing on street corners and being scrawled across the American landscape.
Swastikas on a temple in Indiana, on a school in Colorado, on a school bus in Florida, on political signs in California and on street signs in Nevada, words of hate on a temple in California.
SIDNER: What was spelled out here?
RABBI YISROEL CINER, BETH JACOB CONGREGATION OF IRVINE: Expletive, F- U, Jew, expletive again in red spray paint.
SIDNER (voice-over): And anti-Semitism expressed through bullet holes shot through a temple in Indiana. Cars were set ablaze at a Jewish cultural center in Tennessee.
And across the country, posters are popping up on college campuses meant to instill Nazi ideals in young minds. Even the dead are targets.
At 92 years old, Millard Braunstein knows the pain of loss.
MILLARD BRAUNSTEIN, MOTHER'S GRAVE DESECRATED: This was the love of my life.
SIDNER: But he's never personally experienced anti-Semitism until this year, when 175 tombstones at a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia were desecrated.
BRAUNSTEIN: My mother's stone was knocked over and it was really very upsetting.
I said, how could this happen in America today?
SIDNER: For the victims of anti-Semitism, the question is, why has it returned with such a vengeance? JONATHAN GREENBLATT, CEO, ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE: Anti-Semitism is nothing new. What is new is, number one, the public conversation. The charged atmosphere, the incredibly polarized phenomenon in our society today.
SIDNER: Experts say Charlottesville, Virginia, last year was a turning point. The moment the growing rise in racism and anti- Semitism went public. Hundreds of white nationalists, neo-Nazi and Klansmen took to the streets, protesting the decision to remove a Confederate statue.
It was one of several protests last year, but this was different. It began with a torch-lit march on Friday night.
UNIDENTIFIED MALES (chanting): Jews will not replace us.
SIDNER: That turned into a violent confrontation the next morning between white nationalists and counter-protesters. In the end, police say a man with neo-Nazi ideals killed 32-year-old Heather Heyer. Those who monitor neo-Nazis say the aftermath may have encouraged the movement.
TRUMP: But you also had people that were very fine people -- on both sides.
SIDNER: Especially because the president's lack of a complete condemnation of what happened was cheered by white nationalists.
BRAUNSTEIN: Show me a good neo-Nazi and show me a good Ku Klux Klansman. I mean, it just isn't there.
WERBER: Instead of saying, well, there's wrong on both sides, how were we wrong? What were we doing --
WERBER: -- wrong ... except praying?
That can't be wrong.
SIDNER: Barry Werber likens that kind of thinking to Hitlerism. He's well aware of the torture that regime meted out on a family member.
WEBER: He was used by the German scientists for experiments. They had literally cut the muscles out of his arms to see if they would regrow. And he had to live with that. Thank God I never had to go through that.
SIDNER: Jews have a saying about the Holocaust: never again. After what he's been through, Werber is terrified it really could happen again -- Sara Sidner, CNN, Pittsburgh.
CHURCH: And you can find out more about anti-Semitism in Europe and the stunning results of the CNN poll on our website. Just go to cnn.com/antisemitism.
With martial law just hours away, Ukraine's president warns things could soon get a lot worse between his country and Russia. A look at what could happen if these two adversaries go into battle again -- next on CNN.
CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone.
Well, martial law will take effect just under two hours from now in parts of Ukraine. This as President Petro Poroshenko warns of full- scale war with Russia. The tensions come after Russia seized Ukrainian ships and more than 20 troops on Sunday.
Moscow has released video of some of the sailors appearing to give confessions. Ukraine says they did so under duress. Here's what Mr. Poroshenko said Tuesday about Russia's intentions.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PETRO POROSHENKO, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): After an incident which happened in the Azov Sea, we had to ensure the Ukrainian armed forces would be able to repel an attack after a full- fledged land invasion. These Russian tanks were not withdrawn yet. They remain there at the Ukraine-Russia border.
And that's why I don't want anyone to think that it's entertainment or a game. The country is under the threat of a full-fledged war with the Russian Federation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: And for analysis --
CHURCH: -- let's bring in Michael Bociurkiw. He is a global affairs analyst and a former spokesperson for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
Thank you so much for being with us.
MICHAEL BOCIURKIW, GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: My pleasure.
CHURCH: So Ukraine's president is warning that Russia could launch a full-scale war.
How likely is that do you think and what would be the ramifications if that indeed happened? BOCIURKIW: Well, one thing for sure, Rosemary, we're in very dangerous unchartered territory right now with the incursions that have happened in the Sea of Azov. You know, you just showed the confessions of those -- of those servicemen.
It now looks like this is going to become a very drawn-out affair. Russia is indicating that they're going to keep these 20 or so men for quite some time, put them on trial.
And don't forget that this has been something that's been percolating for quite some time. Russia has been very intimidating in the Sea of Azov. It's really almost choked off commercial traffic to Ukraine airport.
So we are heading, I'm afraid to say, to a very bad place, possibly even Russia controlling the entire Sea of Azov which by the way is about the size of Switzerland and also possibly even taking the coastal land in Ukraine, the courts of Mariupol and Berdyansk. It's a very, very difficult situation we're in right now.
CHURCH: All right, so you see the endgame for Russia is controlled here in that part of the region.
What role might politics be playing though in all this with Ukraine's president facing an upcoming election?
BOCIURKIW: Sure. Well, you know there's politics on both sides. Putin is not doing well, is not polling well amongst his own people because mostly of economic decline there. But as for Poroshenko, you know, there -- I was in contact with a lot of friends and former colleagues and journalists today in Ukraine and there's a lot of fear and confusion over that martial law declaration.
Number one, it now appears that martial law is already in a bit in place for about 24 hours.
Secondly, there's not much clarity -- there's not much clarity for journalists in terms of what they can report so a lot of speculation that Poroshenko who is polling also very, very badly may have done this, as I pointed out in my CNN op-ed just now, may have done this to boost his poll ratings or even possibly delay the election scheduled for March 20 -- March of next year.
So I hate -- I hate to ascribe negative motives to what he did but the timing is very, very odd.
CHURCH: Yes. I mean, politics does seem to have played a role as you say on both sides but we're definitely seeing this too on the part of the Ukrainian president.
What would be the impact of -- you say that this martial law is already in place, it's certainly our understanding that it will -- it will take effect in a couple of hours.
So talk to us though, once it does take effect or what sort of impact that will have on the country on currency and how the Ukrainian president would benefit from having martial law in place.
BOCIURKIW: Yes. Well, sure. I mean martial law powers does give him quite a bit of strong powers. The effect so far has been quite grave. The currency has plummeted against the U.S. dollar. People are actually thinking about different travel plans because they're not sure what kind of documents they need.
And also you know, it's sad in a way. I don't think the Ukrainians calculated this but right when you know, Ukraine is on the springboard for taking off in terms of business, it may -- I think it will deter investment and for sure it's going to deter tourism.
Now Poroshenko, could very well extend the martial law declaration to go further and he could postpone the elections for March of next year, which could give him more time to, again, as I said in the CNN piece, to look like the comeback kid, to look like this strong patriot general, commander in chief that is there to protect the country, because he needed to do something to boost his poll ratings. He wouldn't win if an election was held tomorrow.
CHURCH: Right. And of course, at the same time, we know that European politicians are considering sanctions again against Russia as a way to solve this situation. We'll be waiting to see what the international community does do in the midst of this.
Michael Bociurkiw, thank you so much for your analysis. We appreciate it.
BOCIURKIW: My pleasure.
CHURCH: And let's take a very short break here. Still to come, the plane crashed just 11 minutes after takeoff, killing everyone on board. Now a new report offers a glimpse of the chaos going on inside the cockpit before that deadly Lion Air crash and how the crash could have happened sooner. We'll take a look at that when we come back.
[00:30:00] 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 about 90 minutes from now, in areas it says are under threat from Russia. The two countries are trading accusations after Russia seized three Ukrainian naval ships near Crimea. Ukraine's president says his country could be facing a full-scale war with Russia.
President Trump's Former Campaign Chairman, Paul Manafort, calls a report he met secretly with WikiLeaks Founder, Julian Assange, false and deliberately libelous.
The Guardian newspaper reports Manafort and Assange, met inside the Ecuadorian embassy, in London, several times, including once around March of 2016, the same month Manafort joined Donald Trump's campaign. Months later, WikiLeaks released Democratic e-mails believed to have been stolen by Russia.
Indonesian investigators have released more preliminary findings of the Lion Air crash that killed 189 people in October. It says the Boeing 737 aircraft experienced similar flight control problems on a previous flight, but the pilots took different action.
It suggests Lion Air can do more to improve safety and to ensure operation documents are properly filed, but it did not offer a definitive cause of the crash.
And our Ivan Watson joins us now from Hong Kong, with more on all of this. So Ivan, we've learned the pilot struggled to control the plane, from the moment it took off. What else is in that preliminary report?
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This has just been issued by Indonesia's National Transport Safety Committee. It's a 70-page report here, Rosemary, that reveals a lot of information about the final minutes of this flight, and how horrifying it must have been for the 189 passengers and crew, in the 11 minutes before the plane plunged into the Java Sea.
Basically, about 90 seconds into that flight, on the morning of October 29th, from Jakarta, the co-pilot was already radioing air traffic control and asking the air traffic controllers to confirm the plane's altitude and basically reporting that there was some kind of a flight control problem.
Then, about nine minutes into the flight, and he repeated this message to air traffic control, about nine minutes in, the pilot then, comes on the radio to air traffic control, and also says that they're having trouble reading the altitude of the plane because they're getting different reports from their own instruments.
[00:35:00] The last words of the pilot are about 10-1/2 minutes into the flight, and he indicates what altitude he would like the plane to operate at. He says five thousand, and then about 19 seconds later, the flight data recorder stops recording information.
So, the implication is that is when the catastrophic crash into the ocean, then, takes place. Additional information we're learning has to do with possible -- the possible cause of the crash, which is a real oxymoron, runway stabilizer -- runway stabilizer.
Basically, this new model of the Boeing 737 Max had a kind of autopilot feature. When it thinks that the plane is going into a stall, Rosemary, it automatically pushes down the nose of the plane, into a dive.
And what was taking place, over the period of that 11 minutes, was that more than 30 times, the autopilot tried to push the nose of the plane down, and the pilot was manually trying to pull it back up, which would have been probably a terrifying ride to be on, again, for passengers and crew. And so, part of what the investigators are trying to figure out is, why did that continue, that autopilot keep kicking in. Why didn't the pilot turn that autopilot feature off? Is this the fault of Boeing not explaining to the pilot how to turn off that autopilot feature?
Is this the fault of engineers for not replacing a sensor that may have been faulty, that had been faulty, on previous flights, but it certainly reveals a great deal more, about what led to the final deadly disaster off the coast of Java.
CHURCH: It is chilling because we still have to figure out if this plane is safe, and there are a lot of them around the globe. Ivan Watson, thank you so much for bringing us the details on that preliminary report. Appreciate it.
We'll take another short break. Still to come, angry protesters took to the streets of Paris, for two weekends in a row, to demand lower fuel prices. Now, French President Emmanuel Macron responds, but is he saying what they want to hear? We'll take a look at that when we come back.
CHURCH: Well, a defiant Emmanuel Macron, says he will not lower taxes on fuel, despite sometimes violent anti-government protests over the past 11 days. The French President addressed the country, saying France cannot be pro-environment one day, and then, against higher fuel prices, the next.
So-called Yellow Vest Movement began as a protest against fuel tax hikes. But it widened in the demonstrations against Mr. Macron's economic policy. Some say, he fails to comprehend people being unable to make ends meet.
[00:40:01] The French president says he understands the anger, but will not tolerate violence.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE (through translator): I do not confound these unacceptable acts with the protests they have added themselves to. I do not confound those that have engaged in violence with citizens that want to convey a message.
I understand the citizens, but I won't give anything to those that seek destruction and disorder, because a republic is about public order and free expression of opinions.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Well, CNN European Affairs Commentator, Dominic Thomas, joins us now from Los Angeles. Good to have you with us. So, President Macron condemned the violent weekend of Paris protests against rising fuel prices, but now, those demonstrations have grown to include many of Macron's economic policies.
How bad could this prove to be, for the French leader, do you think, going forward?
DOMINIC THOMAS, CNN EUROPEAN AFFAIRS COMMENTATOR: Right. Well, these tensions are clearly going to escalate. Emmanuel Macron has a tendency to speak above people, to -- he has articulated the fact that he does not want to respond to the pressures from the street, which is the traditional mechanism used, in France, to express grievances.
And let's just look at the particular context here. If you are a middle or lower income person, living and working in France, in the last 10 years, you have essentially been forced out of major urban centers. Your commutes to work have increased because of the price of lodging and so on and so forth.
You are, therefore, disproportionately impacted by these rising prices in diesel and in petrol. And let's also provide some context here. We are talking about prices here now, that are rising to the equivalent of somewhere around $6.5 per gallon, right, to be able to gas up here.
Meanwhile, the gas itself, the price of it, includes somewhere around 60 percent of taxation, and of that, only about 20 percent are going to the environmental issues which Emmanuel Macron is using as the justification for these particular taxes.
And at the same time, what the general population is seeing and feeling is that this increase in taxation is actually a mechanism to be used to offset the deficit that Emmanuel Macron has in place, precisely because he has provided so many concessions to corporations and businesses and to the highest income brackets in French society.
And this, of course, is fuelling the sentiment of an inequality and the difficult reputation that Emmanuel Macron has been unable to shed, is that he is, in fact, the president of the super rich.
CHURCH: Right. But of course, Macron says he won't change course on his anti-pollution measures or condone the violence. Is that the best course of action? Is it -- is it the bitter pill that the French people will need to swallow, or is it a matter of the president not hearing the pain that the French are going through right now?
THOMAS: Right. Well, there's a bit of both. One of the issues Emmanuel Macron faces, of course, is that he came to power in very unusual circumstances. He was elected as a leader of a movement and not a political party, and he has had some difficulty articulating some of his measures at the local level, where he does not have representation in municipalities and mayoral offices and so on.
As I said earlier, he is absolutely intent, and he has broad support for the importance of ecological transition and so on. The problem is, that the mechanisms in place, and this is very particular to France and other European countries, is that diesel is overwhelmingly the fuel that is used for cars in France.
There is an attempt to move towards electronic vehicles, hybrid vehicles, and so on, but these are expensive. And of course, those people who are driving diesel vehicles are driving them, because at some moment in history, those vehicles were more economical.
And so, there is a real standoff here, on these particular issues, particularly the fact that so many of his measure, the labor reform laws, the desire to cut welfare protection, and so on and so forth, are also impacting these populations.
And I think that there is a difference on some of these issues that Emmanuel Macron would be well advised to listen for the genuine grievances that people are expressing. These are, of course, the very grievances that have been fuelling the rise of populist movements and far right movements in France and elsewhere.
As the construct between the kind of distant elite, that is out of touch with the daily realities, is fuelling the sentiment among the peoples that they are being left behind by this government, in which many people had tremendous optimism.
CHURCH: Dominic Thomas, thank you so much. We will be watching to see what happens across France, because, of course, this isn't just in Paris. It is elsewhere, as well. Thank you so much for your analysis, as always.
THOMAS: Thanks, Rosemary.
CHURCH: And thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Rosemary Church. Stay tuned now for "WORLD SPORT." You're watching CNN.
[00:45:00] (WORLD SPORT)