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Memorial Events for George H.W. Bush Begin Monday; Trump: China Agrees to Cut Tariffs on U.S.-Made Autos; U.S., China Take A Time-Out in Trade Dispute. Aired 12m-1a ET

Aired December 3, 2018 - 00:00   ET




NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): New private messages between Jamal Khashoggi and a Saudi exile may offer new clues to his murder. We have the exclusive report ahead here.

CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): "Mission complete." As the world says goodbye to former president George H.W. Bush, his loyal companion, Sully, will be by his side.

ALLEN (voice-over): And we take a closer look at the attempted Trump Tower Moscow deal. How closely the Kremlin may have been involved and what it could mean for the Russia investigation.

VANIER (voice-over): Hello, everybody. Thank you so much for joining us, we are live from the CNN Headquarters in Atlanta. I'm Cyril Vanier.

ALLEN (voice-over): And I'm Natalie Allen. Thank you for joining us. CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.


ALLEN: It has been two months since journalist Jamal Khashoggi walked into Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul, never to be seen again. He was murdered by Saudi officials and we still don't know exactly why.

VANIER: CNN's Nina dos Santos has exclusively obtained 10 months' worth of WhatsApp messages that Khashoggi sent to a fellow Saudi dissident and they offer new clues into why Khashoggi may have been killed.


NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These are words you won't have read in Jamal Khashoggi's columns. Instead, they're WhatsApp messages never been seen before sent by Khashoggi in the year before his death.

They lay bare his disdain for Saudi Arabia's crown prince, saying, quote, "He is like a beast, like Pac-Man. The more victims he eats, the more he wants."

In another, "May God rid us and this nation of this predicament."

The words were exchanged with Omar Abdulaziz, a fellow critic in exile in Canada.

OMAR ABDULAZIZ, EXILED SAUDI ACTIVIST: He believed that MBS is the issue, is the problem and someone has to tell him that, you know, you have to be stopped.

DOS SANTOS (voice-over): Talk like this is dangerous from a country with one of the world's worst records for human rights.

And it wasn't just political views the pair is trading but plans to hold the Saudi state to account, creating an army of so-called cyber bees on social media, leveraging Khashoggi's name and the 340,000 strong Twitter followers of his confidant.

ABDULAZIZ: In the beginning it was a bit difficult for us to have this kind of relationship. For me, I was a dissident and he was a guy who worked for the government for almost 35 years.

DOS SANTOS: Khashoggi pledged funds and Abdulaziz bought the hardware, hundreds of foreign SIM cards to sends back home enabling dissident to avoid detection.

In one message Abdulaziz writes, "I sent you a brief idea about the work of the electronic army."

"Brilliant report," Khashoggi replies. "I will try to sort out the money."

DOS SANTOS: How much money did he originally say he would commit to the project?

ABDULAZIZ: He said 30,000.

DOS SANTOS: Thirty thousand U.S. dollars?


DOS SANTOS: How dangerous is a project like that in Saudi Arabia?

ABDULAZIZ: You might be killed because of that. You might be jailed. They might send someone to assassinate you.

DOS SANTOS (voice-over): Just like Khashoggi, Abdulaziz believes that he was also targeted after two Saudi emissaries were dispatched to Canada he says last May to coax him into the embassy there. He made the secret recordings of their meetings and shared them with CNN.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We have come to you with a message from Mohammed bin Salman. I want you to be reassured. We don't have to approach someone from an official department or the state security. The Saudi Arabian embassy awaits you. DOS SANTOS (voice-over): When Abdulaziz refused, they got to him another way. Hacking his phone. According to a lawsuit Abdulaziz filed in week against the Israeli firm behind the spyware. When the pair's plan was discovered, Khashoggi punished. "God help us," he wrote.

DOS SANTOS: How much of a target did that make both of you?

ABDULAZIZ: The hacking of the phone played a major role on what happened to Jamal. I'm really sorry to say that. We were trying to teach people about human rights, about freedom of speech. That's it. This is the only crime that we have committed.

DOS SANTOS (voice-over): Nina Dos Santos, CNN, London.


VANIER: Saudi officials have not responded to CNN's request for comment regarding --


VANIER: -- Omar Abdulaziz's allegations. The Israeli company that invented the software allegedly used to hack Abdulaziz's phone says its technology is licensed for the sole use of governments and law enforcement agencies to fight terrorism and crime.

ALLEN: The company adds it does not tolerate misuse of its products.

"The Wall Street Journal" is reporting that, around the time of Khashoggi's murder, the Saudi crown prince exchanged multiple messages with a senior aide, who allegedly oversaw his abduction, torture and murder.

These exchanges are what helped solidify the CIA's assessment that Mohammed bin Salman ordered the murder and it begs the question, why is the Trump administration still not convinced?


MIKE POMPEO, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE: I have read every piece of intelligence that is in the possession of the United States government. And when it is done when you complete that analysis, there is no direct evidence linking him to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. That is an accurate statement, is an important statement and it is the statement that we are making publicly today.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why are you siding with the Saudis over your own intelligence?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Because it's America first to me. It's all about America first. Saudi Arabia, if we broke with them, I think your oil prices would go through the roof. I've kept them down. They've helped me keep them down. We'll see how that all works out. It's a very complex situation. It's a shame but it's -- it is what it is. (END VIDEO CLIP)

VANIER: Secretary of state Mike Pompeo said the Trump administration would not address "The Wall Street Journal" report. The Saudi government has repeatedly denied the crown prince's involvement in Khashoggi's murder.

Now the fallout from the murder made for some tense moments for the Saudi crown prince at the G20 summit that wrapped up this weekend. Reports say some world leaders ignored Mohammed bin Salman while they were posing for this G20 class photo.

ALLEN: When French President Emmanuel Macron met with the crown prince, he told them that Europeans would like international experts to be part of the Khashoggi investigation. A private conversation between the two men was captured on this video here.

It's not clear what they were discussing. What is clear, Mr. Macron was firm with the prince.


EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE (from captions): I am worried. You never listen to me.

MOHAMMED BIN SALMAN, CROWN PRINCE OF SAUDI ARABIA (from captions): No, I listen, of course.


ALLEN: Bin Salman got a much warmer reception from Russian president Vladimir Putin with the two men even sharing what amounted to a high five at the summit.

Other news we're following: the French government promises a firm response after protests over rising fuel prices turned violent Saturday. Rioters left a trail of destruction, shells of burnt cars and vandalized buildings, including the iconic Arc de Triomphe, familiar to millions of tourists around the world.

That's what happened to it there. More than 400 people were arrested in the chaos Saturday. French officials say they are not letting the violence stand.


NICOLE BELLOUBET, FRENCH JUSTICE MINISTER (through translator): When they are not only defacements that are absolutely unacceptable in our republic -- I think of what happened at the Arc de Triomphe -- when there are fires, not only cars, there have been 55 vehicles burned but also buildings that have been burned.

When there are attacks on people, including I think a rape, these are elements that cannot be acceptable in our republic.

(END VIDEO CLIP) VANIER: On Sunday, French president Emmanuel Macron toured the damage of the Arc de Triomphe. He also held emergency meetings with top officials to discuss the protests.

Now for weeks, protesters wearing yellow vests have demanded economic reform. They say President Macron doesn't fight for the interests of working class people. We'll talk more about this with our analyst next hour.

Now Monday begins a week of memorials and mourning for former president George H.W. Bush, he died Friday at the age of 94.

ALLEN: President Bush's casket will fly to Washington on Special Mission 41, a name for the presidential plane that is usually known as Air Force One, but they have changed the name for this flight. Mr. Bush's children, his grandchildren, family and friends will be on that airplane.

VANIER: Including his faithful companion, we were telling you about him, Sully, his service dog. The former president's spokesman posted this photo of Sully next to Mr. Bush's casket, saying, "Mission accomplished."

ALLEN: I hope Sully stays in the Bush family.

Mr. Bush will lie in state at the U.S. Capitol from Monday evening to Wednesday morning, followed by a funeral service there.

VANIER: A second service will be held for the late president in Texas, where he will be buried on Thursday.


VANIER: Rich Galen joins us now, a Republican strategist.

And you were communications director for George H.W. Bush's political action committee when he was vice president.

Tell me first what your lasting memory of the 41st U.S. President will be?

RICH GALEN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, the lasting memory for me is about the same as everybody else. He really was the last --


GALEN: -- of the -- of the courtly presidents. His son, George W., who I knew a lot better -- wait; I know a lot better -- was a Texan through and through.

His dad was a New Englander who moved to Texas and never lost his New England roots. So he was -- he was much more considered and moderate not in -- well in the political sense as well, but moderate in his -- in his speech patterns and the way he greeted people and the way he treated people. And that -- and the thing about H.W. Bush was if you got into his orbit, then he -- you were you were like a nephew or a niece or a cousin. He never forgot. He would -- he'd always stand ready to help or to send you a note about something. He was -- he was just quite an extraordinary man.

VANIER: In your view, what was the most unfair criticism or untrue criticism that was ever made of him?

GALEN: Oh, I don't think there's any question. It was the issue about the -- as "Newsweek," I think, put it, the wimp -- or maybe "Time," "The Wimp Factor."

Again, because of his courtly manner, he was seen as not kind of tough enough or manly enough as opposed to his predecessor and former boss Ronald Reagan who often played you know tough football players and cowboys in movies.

But Bush was very competitive in anything that you could keep score about whether as tennis or golf or politics. And as people know, remember now, they probably forgot, he was the youngest pilot in the U.S. Navy in World War II.

VANIER: And he was -- he actually was a war hero. This man who later on in his political life be at some point known as fought --

GALEN: He was awarded the Silver Star.

VANIER: How did he take the criticism?

How did he -- not just how he responded to it publicly but how did he actually take it?

Do you know?

GALEN: I think it hurt. I don't know him well enough to say that we sat around one day and talked about it but I think from everybody who did know him well enough, it bothered him a great deal because it was just so unfair.

And when he was -- when he was vice president, he didn't have the standing or the platform to be able to -- you know, to cast it aside because he -- you don't want to be -- you don't want to take the stage away from the president no matter who you are as vice president.

And by the time he got to be President, it seemed like it was -- it was too -- it wasn't important enough to make a big deal out of it. You know, when the Soviet Union was collapsing and all the other things going on.

VANIER: Yes. He had a lot on his plate during his presidency.

GALEN: And as we know, his mom told him not to use the word "I" ever.

VANIER: Now, he -- one interesting thing is that he's praised for his leadership qualities. I'm speaking of the dad now, George H.W. Bush, and his moral fiber, all of those things.

Do you think that those leadership qualities that are, I think, universally recognized in the U.S. political sphere, do you think those would have translated well into this day and age where he really was the product of that era?

GALEN: No, I think it was he was a product of that era. The Republican Party, you started sliding away from him after the budget deal of 1990 when he, in fact, agreed to raise taxes and that's been -- that's been memorialized a billion times on TV.

But -- and I worked for Newt Gingrich as well. I was his press secretary when he was whip and then worked in the political shop when he was Speaker and that was really the opening that Gingrich used to cleave a difference between the moderate Republicans of whom George H.W. was the champion and the conservative, the new conservative Republicans, which was headed by Newt Gingrich.

So that era was -- Bush was of that era and I think now he would find it very difficult to be able to make much headway as a Republican candidate say for president.

VANIER: Certainly a different world today, a different world in Washington. Rich Galen, thank you so much for joining us. Thank you.

GALEN: Thank you, Cyril. Nice to be with you.


ALLEN: Defending his country, flying a jet, gets shot down, comes back.

VANIER: And then gets called a wimp.

ALLEN: Doesn't seem fair.

VANIER: The youngest Navy pilot at the time that he got his wings.

ALLEN: Exactly. OK.

The business dealings of Donald Trump, we are turning back to that in a moment. They are under scrutiny once again. Next, what a failed real estate deal in Moscow could mean for the Russia investigation.

VANIER: Plus how the U.S. and China managed to pause their escalating trade dispute and what the future could hold. Stay with us.





VANIER: OK, a lot of new details have been coming out on the Russia investigation this past week and CNN has been doing some digging; in particular, on Trump Tower Moscow. It's that real estate deal that Donald Trump pursued while he was running for the U.S. presidency.

ALLEN: This past week, the president's former attorney, Michael Cohen, admitted he lied to Congress about Mr. Trump's business dealings with Russia. CNN's Matthew Chance takes a hard look at what we know about the deal and the questions it raises.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): For Trump, it's always been about business, his business, his brand, his properties.

TRUMP: People ask me, what does Trump stand for more than anything else. And if I use one word, it's always quality, big windows, great fixtures, beautiful kitchens. Everything is going to be the best and that's what it's all about.

CHANCE (voice over): It was Trump that property developer who campaigned to be a Republican presidential candidate, juggling his business and political ambitions, which inevitably overlapped.


CHANCE (voice over): But by how much is only now coming to light. His former lawyer revealing negotiations to build a Trump tower in Moscow went on much longer than previously admitted until at least June 2016 after he essentially secured the nomination. Nothing wrong with that, Trump insisted, before leaving for the G20.

TRUMP: It was a well-known project. It was during the early part of '16 and I guess even before that. I didn't do the project. I decided not to do the project. So I didn't do it. So we're not talking about doing a project.

CHANCE (voice over): It was in this location on the outskirts of Moscow near the --


CHANCE: -- sprawling Crocus City business entertainment complex that the Trump World Tower Moscow, as it was called, was meant to be built, part of a 14-tower project, according to the developers which would have sort of across this whole area.

You can see here through this wired fence that some of the towers have already started to be constructed but, of course, the Trump Tower isn't amongst them.

One of the ideas for that Trump building, according to one of his business associates, was to give the top floor, the penthouse apartment, a 250-apartment block, to Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, as a way of attracting buyers.

IVANKA TRUMP, DAUGHER OF PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: The Trump Organization likes to be ahead of the curve. We're always ahead of the curve and this would be another example.

CHANCE (voice over): Ivanka Trump and her spa and fitness brand was also an integral part of the Moscow proposal. In a letter of intent obtained by CNN, Trump's daughter would be given sole and absolute discretion to approve the spa designs. This was a Trump family affair.

But how much was the Kremlin also involved?

Until this week, it insisted attempts by Trump associates to make contact over the Moscow tower had been ignored. The Kremlin spokesman now admits his office called and asked why they wanted to have meetings with the presidential administration and explained that we have nothing to do with construction issues in the city of Moscow. It may be an important change.

The Russian-based owners of Crocus City, where Trump Tower Moscow was meant to be built, have been embroiled with the Trump family in other areas, too.

Did the Russian authorities give your family information to pass on?

Take Emin, the pop star son of Crocus owner Aras Agalarov, who helped set up a meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and Russians promising dirt on Hillary Clinton at Trump Tower in New York.

Aras and Trump also co-organized the 2013 Miss Universe contest in Moscow. But for the U.S. president, it appears business and politics in Russia have often mixed -- Matthew Chance, CNN, Moscow.


VANIER: So Matt Bevan joins us now.

Now I have been wanting to talk to you for a long time, as you know, you are a reporter at ABC Radio in Australia and you host the single best thing I have heard on the Russia investigation. It's a podcast called, "Russia, If You're Listening."

You tell the story of this just unbelievable Russia investigation, the crazy characters, the ridiculous lies, where it's all going and you just do in a very colorful way and a very, very informative way. A lot has happened in this last week in the investigation.

What was the biggest development for you and how does it move the story a long?

MATT BEVAN, ABC RADIO: Well, thank you very much, Cyril, that's very nice of you to say. Look, for me the biggest thing this week is, as your reporter was saying, the timeline here.

So far, there are two sort of threads of this story that have seemed separate. One is the push for sanctions relief for Russia. The other is the Trump Tower Moscow project.

Now previously it seemed that they were completely unconnected because the discussion over sanctions that Donald Trump participated in sort of came along after it seemed that he had already given up on the idea of building the Trump Tower Moscow.

But now that Michael Cohen has updated us on the timeline and those two things now seem to overlap, that's extremely --


VANIER: We are talking June 2016.

BEVAN: Yes, June 2016 is when he signed that's finishing (ph) and, by then, Donald Trump had already been talking about sanctions relief for Russia. And the reason that's important is because there is absolutely no way that Donald Trump would have been able to build that Trump Tower Moscow without the U.S. relieving Russia of some of the sanctions that are being put on them.

And that's because the financier of the project was set up to be VTB, which is a Russian bank, which is sanctioned by the U.S. government. So Donald Trump would not have been able to do business with that bank, would not have been able to accept that financing, unless the Russian -- the sanctions on Russia were lifted.

Now --


VANIER: Wait, let me stop you there for just a second because Donald Trump has an answer for all of this, he says I was running my business. And I was doing -- not only did I not do the deal but if I had done the deal, there would have been nothing wrong and certainly nothing illegal with that.

BEVAN: Well, it would have been, though, to a certain extent, particularly because it seems, from what we have been told by Michael Cohen and others, that the money was coming from this bank that had been sanctioned by the U.S. government.

So Donald Trump wouldn't have been able to accept that money unless these sanctions were lifted and now that Michael Cohen has talked about this --


BEVAN: -- updated us on the timeline and said that he spoke not only to the Kremlin but also the Trump family about what he was doing, that potentially fills in a gap between these two threads of the story and a very bad gap for Donald Trump, particularly if he was aware that he needed to lift those sanctions in order to get this deal done.

VANIER: What are you looking for now?

Like what piece of information are you -- is on your radar as the next thing that might drop or the next thing that would really inform you as to where this story is going? BEVAN: Well, more information from Michael Cohen and from Michael Flynn would be imperative. Particularly Michael Cohen in the court documents that were submitted last week, Michael Cohen said he spoke to members of the Trump family.

Now who is that?

Who is it that he spoke to?

Is it Donald Trump Jr. for example?

And if so, can Donald Trump Jr. expect an indictment to come his way soon?

And while so far Donald Trump has been -- that is Donald Trump Sr., the president, has been threatening to interfere with the Mueller investigation, he hasn't done so. But if the indictments start to arrive in his own family, if his own family starts to be tied up in this, then that very well might change.

VANIER: Is that where you think the president is most vulnerable right now?

BEVAN: In his -- well, his business has always been his biggest vulnerability. If there is some way of tying Russia directly to the Trump Organization, which has not been openly shown, in any way that is illegal, then that would be a very significant thing and potentially would undermine him in the eyes of the public, if the public comes to believe that he's making these policy choices that he's been making during his presidency because he stand to financially gain from them for Russia.

VANIER: All right, great talking to you, Matthew Bevan, thank you very much. We'll talk again.

Matthew Bevan in Sydney, Australia, thanks.

BEVAN: Thank you, Cyril.

ALLEN: The U.S. and China have called a temporary truce in their trade war but it will probably be a tough proposition to turn that into a permanent deal. We'll have the latest live from Beijing coming up next here.


[00:30:00] NATALIE ALLEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Welcome back to the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Natalie Allen.

CYRIL VANIER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: I'm Cyril Vanier. Let's look at your headlines, memorial ceremonies for former President George H.W. Bush will begin Monday, the public will be able to pay their respects in Washington, for three days.

The presidential aircraft will then fly Mr. Bush's casket to Texas for a funeral there, followed by a burial at his presidential library. ALLEN: Israeli police say there is enough evidence to indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a third corruption case. Charges could include fraud, bribery and breach of trust.

The Israeli leader is accused of advancing regulatory benefits to the controlling shareholder of a telecommunications firm, in exchange for positive news coverage. Mr. Netanyahu denies the allegations.

VANIER: An arrest warrant has been issued for journalist, Maria Ressa, a fierce critic of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte's brutal war on drugs. Ressa and her online news site, Rappler, face tax fraud charges, which Ressa insists are politically motivated.

ALLEN: A U.S.-led strike in Syria, has killed a senior member of ISIS. Officials say the ISIS leader was involved in a brutal death of American Peter Kassig. The former U.S. army ranger and aid worker was captured by the terror group in 2013 and beheaded, a year later.

VANIER: President Trump is tweeting about new results of his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Argentina, this weekend. The leaders of the world's two biggest economies agreed to a temporary truce, in their trade war, for at least 90 days.

ALLEN: Just minutes ago, Mr. Trump tweeted that China has agreed to reduce and remove tariffs on cars coming in to China from the U.S., adding that currently, the tariff is 40 percent. China has not confirmed this move yet. But the President's tweet comes as negotiators from both sides are trying to iron out key trade differences.

The trade war between the U.S. and China has been escalating for most of this year. Let's take a look at that. Back in March, the Trump administration announced plans to impose 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods.

Beijing promised to respond in kind. That overshadowed the last round of formal trade negotiations between China and the U.S., a couple of months and later, and they ended unsuccessfully.

VANIER: Now, in July, the two governments introduced the first wave of tariffs on $34 billion worth of each other's exports and the second wave came in August, affecting another $16 billion of each other's products.

In September, the Trump administration announced more tariffs on about $200 billion worth of Chinese exports. These Chinese goods are subject to a 10 percent tariff right now. Beijing responded with tariffs on another $60 billion of U.S. imports.

The U.S. had planned to raise its latest tariffs to 25 percent on January 1st, but with the trade truce, that raise is now on hold.

ALLEN: So, did you get all that? Well, Steven Jiang can elaborate for us. He's in Beijing for us. Steven, that back and forth we just illustrated, shows the complexities of this trade war, now comes the hard part, three more months of negotiations. What can we expect? STEVEN JIANG, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER: Well, Natalie, that's a billion- dollar question. And I think one of the difficulties here, at least, from the Chinese perspective, is the tweets -- President Trump tweets, like the way you just mentioned.

I mean, that just came out of nowhere, 40 percent tariff on U.S. cars, is because the Chinese actually included U.S. cars as part of their counter-tariff list after the trade war began, so they added 25 percent on the existing tariff.

So, for most other imported cars, the Chinese tariffs are actually 15 percent. So, Mr. Trump, you know, in his usual style, is very grand in presentation, but very little, in details, in tweets like that.

So that, of course, is the kind of uncertainty or unconventional approach that the Chinese negotiators have to deal with. But the key, going forward, Natalie, is the 90-day negotiation period that a White House emphasized in its statement. And that's something actually interesting that the Chinese didn't even mention in its read out.

But these talks are going to focus on the core demands from Mr. Trump. That is, China needs to change its economic structure and stop unfair trade practices against the U.S. that means, the Chinese have to not only buy more from the U.S., but also stop stealing American intellectual property and stop subsiding Chinese companies and industries.

And these are the points long resisted by Mr. Xi and his government, because they view this as a strategic move by the U.S. to contain the rise of China, so this juncture is still a little difficult to envision how they can come to a mutually agreeable permanent solution to this problem, given how far apart they have remained.

But, no matter the reasons, they are giving this another shot in terms of trade talks. I think that's good for investors here, in China. The markets have been up since opening bell, on this Monday, including in Shanghai, the numbers are up, significantly.

[00:35:17] And I think that's a scenario a lot of people have been expecting that this temporary deal will make a lot of people breathe a sigh of relief, Natalie.

ALLEN: Yes. It will be interesting what the markets do in the United States, this week, too. It's complex enough, throw in some random presidential tweets and, you know, yes, good luck to the negotiators. Steven Jiang, always appreciate you coming on, helping us understand it. Thank you.

VANIER: Food, water, peace and stability. All of these things are vital to life on this planet. But the U.N.'s top authorities on climate change say all of those things are also at risk. We'll have the details on all of that, coming up.


VANIER: A dire warning, coming out of the COP24 Climate Change Conference in Poland, which includes some 200 countries.

ALLEN: On day one of the event, four former presidents of the conference said this, we are approaching dangerous climate thresholds, species are disappearing at an unseen rate, lands are degrading at an accelerated pace and global carbon dioxide emissions increase in the 2017 after a three-year period of stabilization.

As a consequence, access to water, food, the conditions for stability, peace, and prosperity, are more than ever under threat.

VANIER: Meanwhile, in Belgium, thousands gathered to make sure those gathered in Poland, know they need to do more to protect the environment. Organizers of the claim to climate march, say not enough is being done to insure a greener future.

And a greener future may not be in the cards for those living on one small Indian island. As Nikhil Kumar reports, the island is in danger of disappearing completely.


BARBIE LATZA NADEAU, CNN, ROME BUREAU CHIEF: Rome is being overwhelmed by a new wave of migration. You could almost say the city is going to the birds. Every evening around sunset, skies over Rome start to darken with clouds of starlings heading south for the winter.

And they are ruffling the feathers of every day Romans. Around 4 million of them munch olives all day in the countryside and then descend on the Eternal City at night, on a wing and a prayer to do their business, pelting the city with rock hard bird droppings.

Starlings are protected species in Italy, so Rome city hall has enlisted specialists to take on this crappy job. A bird, in hand, is exactly what (INAUDIBLE) this hawk handler has. But their squawk is worse than their bite.

(INAUDIBLE) tells us they're using the hawks together with recorded distressed calls to deter the birds. They are not trained to kill, he says, just to scare.

[00:40:17] But who is scaring who?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm running away from them.

NADEAU: Some people even like them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think they're fantastic.

NADEAU: Not everyone agrees with introducing predators to scare the migrating mass as a way, but something has to be done to make Rome safe again. Well, the experts debate this messy problem, yet to be solved, it's better to just stay prepared for this rather unpleasant rain.

Barbie Latza Nadeau for CNN, Rome.


ALLEN: We appreciate that story by Barbie, that's not what we introduced. You're thinking, where is the island that's disappearing?

VANIER: Where's the Indian Island?

ALLEN: That was about millions of migrating starlings, leaving their mark and how Rome is using falcons to help clean it up, so we appreciate Barbie for that.

VANIER: Absolutely. And we also appreciate Nikhil Kumar for the upcoming report, without further ado, the Indian island.


NIKHIL KUMAR, CNN NEW DELHI BUREAU CHIEF: The Indian Island of Ghoramara, home to some of the world's largest mangrove forests, as well as rare and endangered species. Now, the tiny island is on the verge of disappearing, all because of climate change.

It's just five square kilometers, located south of the Indian City of Kolkata. It's part of the Sundarban Delta in the Bay of Bengal. Sea levels are rising and soil is slowly eroding, swallowing up the island. Scientists say it's because of global warming. The island has lost nearly half its size in two decades, according to the village elders.

Many of the villagers have lost their homes. One house stood next to these rice patty fields, now flooded by rising tides. Reva said, lost her home three times in the last decade and had to move further in land, each time. Now, she fears for her survival. If the land disappears, so do the crops.

REVA SETT, GHORAMARA ISLAND RESIDENT (through translator): We face a lot of problems. People have nothing to eat once the land is lost to the water. The island is small now, and people have left and gone away.

KUMAR: On this island, there's no electricity, no cars, no cell phones. Yet, the residents here are forced to deal with the effects of a carbon footprint from far away.

SANJIV SAGAR, VILLAGE HEAD, GHORAMARA ISLAND (through translator): The residents here, the 4,800 people who live here, we have to save them. We have to increase the height of the embankment. We have to relocate the residents from here, to another better place.

KUMAR: A recent U.N. climate change report warned that global temperatures are on track for a three to five degrees Celsius rise, this century. Scientists say that it's crucial to limit the rise in global temperatures to avoid more extreme weather, rising sea levels and the loss of plants and animal species.

They say the effects that have failure will hit the world's poorest, especially, hard, like the many villagers on Ghoramara Island, who said they want to leave the island, but can't afford to. Nikhil Kumar, CNN.


ALLEN: One of the ramifications of climate change. We'll continue to cover the COP24 meeting in Europe, this week. Thanks for watching. I'm Natalie Allen.

VANIER: I'm Cyril Vanier. "WORLD SPORT" is up next, and we're back in 15 minutes, stay with us.


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