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Paris Climate Agreement Progress Report; Trump & Xi Agree to Suspend New Trade Tariffs; Backlash Deepens over Gene-Edited Twins; Khashoggi Messages May Offer New Clues To His Murder; Remembering President Bush's Character; Macron Tours Damage At Arc De Triomphe; Hundreds Arrested, Dozens Injured In Riots Saturday; Rappler CEO Surrenders To Court, Post Bail. Aired 1-2a ET
Aired December 3, 2018 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[01:00:00] CYRIL VANIER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: New private messages between Jamal Khashoggi and the Saudi exile may offer new clues to his murder. We have the exclusive report just ahead.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Also this hour, mission complete as the world says goodbye to former President H.W. Bush, his loyal companions Sully will be by his side.
VANIER: And the world at a crossroads. A new warning from top officials behind global efforts to limit climate change as new talks begin.
ALLEN: These stories are all ahead here this hour. Thank you for joining us. I'm Natalie Allen.
VANIER: I'm Cyril Vanier. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. Three months, that's how long it's been since journalists 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.
ALLEN: CNN's Nina dos Santos has exclusively obtained ten months' worth of WhatsApp messages that Khashoggi sent to a fellow Saudi dissident and they offer new clues into why he may have been murdered. Here she is.
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: These are words you won't have read in Jamal Khashoggi's columns, instead they're WhatsApp messages never seen before sent by Khashoggi in the year before his death. They laid 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, 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: Talk like this is dangerous for those from a country is one of the world's worst records for human rights. And it wasn't just political views that the pair was 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 following of his confidant.
ABDULAZIZ: At 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 send back home enabling dissidents 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. We have to do something.
How much money did he originally say he would commit to the project?
ABDULAZIZ: He said 30,000.
DOS SANTO: 30,000 US 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: Just like Khashoggi, Abdulaziz believes that he was also targeted after to Saudi emissaries were dispatched to Canada, he says last May to coax him into the embassy there. He made these secret recordings of their meetings and shared them with CNN.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): If you're watching, we have come to with a message from Mohammad 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: Well, Abdulaziz refused, they got to him another way, hacking his phone. According to a lawsuit, Abdulaziz filed this week against the Israeli firm behind the spyware. When the pair's plans were discovered, Khashoggi panicked. God help us, he wrote. How much of a target did that make both of you?
ABDULAZIZ: The hacking of my phone played a major role what happened to Jamal, I'm really s0orry 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've committed.
DOS SANTOS: Nina dos Santos, CNN London.
ALLEN: The Saudi officials have not responded to CNN's request for comment regarding Omar Abdulaziz's allegations. The Israeli company that invented the software allegedly used to hack Abdulaziz his phone says it's technology is licensed for the sole use of governments and law enforcement agencies to fight terrorism and crime.
VANIER: The company adds it does not tolerate misuse of its products. Also The Wall Street Journal is reporting that around the time of Jamal Khashoggi's murder, the Saudi Crown Prince exchanged multiple messages with the senior aide who allegedly oversaw Khashoggi's abduction, torture and killing.
ALLEN: These exchanges are what helped solidify the CIA's assessment that Mohammad bin Salman ordered the murder and it begs the question, why is the Trump administration still not convinced.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[01:05:10] 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 Saudi's 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 has said the Trump Administration would not address the Wall Street Journal reports and the Saudi government for its part has repeatedly denied the Crown Prince's involvement in Cassiopeia's murder.
ALLEN: Fallout from his murder made for some tense moments for the Saudi Crown Prince at the G20 Summit. Reports say some world leaders ignored Mohammad bin Salman while they were posing for this, the G20 Class Photo as it's called.
VANIER: When the French President Emmanuel Macron met with the Crown Prince, he told him that Europeans want international experts to be part of the Khashoggi investigation. A private conversation between the two men was captured on video. This is what it looks like. It's not clear what they're discussing. What is clear though, Mr. Macron was firm with the prince.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT FRANCE: (INAUDIBLE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: But Bin Salman, he got this. He got a much warmer reception from Russian President Vladimir Putin with the two men even than sharing what looked like a high-five at the summit.
So 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. That is a very special name for the presidential plane that is usually known as Air Force One. Mr. Bush's children, grandchildren family, and friends will be on that flight.
VANIER: Also, aboard will be his faithful companion Sully, his service dog. The former President's spokesman posted this photo of Sully next to Mr. Bush's casket saying mission complete.
ALLEN: So very sweet. Well, 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.
ALLEN: Throughout President Bush's term in office and until the day he died, his close friend and former Secretary of State James Baker was by his side.
VANIER: And Baker described the president's last day to CNN's Jake Tapper.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES BAKER, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE, UNITED STATES: When I showed up 7:00 in the morning, his -- one of the aides who assisted him physically, said Mr. President, Secretary Baker is here. And he opened both eyes, he looked at me and said hey, Bake where are we going today? And I said well, I said, Jefe, we're going to heaven. He said, good, that's where I want to go. Little did I know or did he know of course that by 10:00 that night he'd be in heaven
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Wow. And you were there for his last words which were to his oldest son President George W Bush. Tell us about that.
BAKER: Yes. Well, later on as it became obvious that he was -- that he was probably going to going to pass that evening, they got all the kids on the phone. You know when somebody is passing away the last sense that goes is the hearing and they can hear things. So, they got the kids on the phone and each one of them spoke to him and he spoke back or mumbled back anyway and then they got 43 on the phone, and 43 we said I love you dad and I just want to -- and I'll see you in heaven. And 41 said, I love you too. And those are the last words that he ever spoke.
(END VIDEO CLIP) 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 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.
[01:10:42] 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 Two.
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 a he was 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 T.V. 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: I liked his reflections, very nice. Well coming up here, one of Paris's most famous monuments defaced over the weekend by rioters. Now the French government is asking how it can keep the violence from spreading as protesters grow angrier about the economy.
[01:16:49] KATE RILEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL SPORTS ANCHOR: I'm Kate Riley with your CNN "WORLD SPORT" update. We start with the most incredible finish to the day's big Merseyside derby between Liverpool and Everton at Anfield.
The matches in the six-minute of injury time when Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk, actually miss hits a shot that even he gave up on. It was beyond bizarre that what followed next, though is somehow the Everton keeper, Jordan Pickford somehow pushes the ball back into play and right into the path of Divock Origi to score the winner.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, also in the headlines too after his controversial dash onto the field of play in the aftermath of the goal to celebrate with his one of his own players. Sunday's North London derby between Arsenal and Tottenham was a classic Spurs were leading 2-1 before the Gunners turned the match on its head to win 4-2. Thanks to a brace from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Arsenal now unbeaten in 19 matches.
And Saturday night's big heavyweight title fight in Los Angeles didn't produce the winner, but it is being described as one of the most thrilling heavyweight bouts in years. The duel between America's Deontay Wilder and Britain's Tyson Fury ended in a draw with the English boxer taking it to a final and 12 round despite being knocked down twice.
Many observers feel the Brits have done enough to win it on points, and now it looks highly likely that we will get a rematch in 2019. That's the look at our "WORLD SPORTS" headlines. I'm Kate Riley.
ALLEN: And welcome back. The French government promises a firm response after protests over rising fuel prices turned violent, Saturday.
VANIER: Yes, riders left a trail of destruction. Shells of burned cars and vandalized buildings. Also, I want to show you this, the Arc de Triomphe -- if you've been to Paris, you've been there. It's at the top of the Champs-Elysees.
And more than 400 people were arrested in the chaos, Saturday. And French officials say, they're not letting the violence stand.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICOLE BELLOUBET, MINISTER OF JUSTICE, FRANCE (through translator): When they are not only the basements 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, this are elements that cannot be acceptable in our Republic.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: On Sunday, French President Emmanuel Macron toured the damage at the Arc de Triomphe. He also held emergency meetings with top officials to discuss the protests.
VANIER: For weeks, protesters wearing yellow vests have demanded economic reform. They say President Macron doesn't fight for the interests of working-class people. CNN European affairs commentator Dominic Thomas joins me now.
Dominic, what do the protesters want? Because it's not just the increase in the price of fuel anymore. It's moved beyond that.
DOMINIC THOMAS, CNN EUROPEAN AFFAIRS COMMENTATOR: Right. So, this whole movement which crowd going a few weeks ago initially started off with a set of grievances that were primarily fixated on rising fuel, petrol, and diesel prices.
But this movement has successfully galvanized or at least attracted a whole range of political elements in France now. Across the political spectrum with a different set of kinds of grievances. And ultimately, weighing in on where they see Emmanuel Macron's presidency and the way it's impacted them now that we've reached the year-and-a-half mark since he came to power. [01:20:21] VANIER: Who's behind the violence? Because protesting is one thing demands for change or one thing the violence we saw this weekend is another.
THOMAS: It is. But let's not forget that taking to the streets in France is inscribes itself in a very long tradition. Now, of course, the destruction of property is regrettable. The physical injuries are obviously absolutely tragic.
But I think it would be a mistake, and it is going to be a mistake if the Emmanuel Macron focuses exclusively on the question of violence and on repressing those demonstrators that have participated in that.
There's a lot of tension, there's a lot of anxiety in these kinds of demonstrations. But it is also clear that there are elements in there who are hell-bent on causing destruction and disruption. And it's unfortunate because I think that these political movements or that these individuals have genuine grievances that they are seeking to express.
VANIER: Yes, and Emmanuel Macron now has terrible headlines to manage in addition to the actual root cause of the problem.
VANIER: This movement has no official leaders, though. Which is tough because who do you negotiate with then?
THOMAS: It's true. There's no leader. Let's not forget that if there's anybody who has lower approval ratings right now, it is Emmanuel Macron. There is more support for the activities of the Yellow jackets and for their cause than there is for the French president.
That there are some leaders in this particular group, and there are issues at stake. And if there is perhaps not a coordinated movement as such, the opposition is coordinated to the extent that the grievances are shared and they pertain to similar kinds of questions.
A perception of the president who is out of touch with the French people, a cost of living that is increasingly impacting French populations. And taxes, particularly on diesel and so on. That are impacting a very large segment of the population.
You know, over 50 percent of new vehicles sold just in the last few years are diesel vehicles. They were considered more economical vehicles. And these are people that are in crowd that larger commutes and so on and so forth who are being impacted from that.
So, Emmanuel Macron needs to sit down and listen to the various representatives that are there, and particularly, to the grievances that are expressed. And to address these, or this movement is going to continue to escalate.
VANIER: Usually, protest movements in France live or die by how much support they actually find within the general population? So, how much support is there for this?
THOMAS: Yes. Well, it is -- it is interesting because, of course, usually these movements are triggered by specific groups. Either trade union groups, or political parties, or student groups. We certainly saw if we think back and there are many parallels to this to 1968. This started off with the -- with student groups, and so on.
But in this particular case, it is a broader spectrum of society. There's a -- it's a political movement. And ironically enough, Emmanuel Macron came to power through a political movement and not a party.
And yet, was able to kind of galvanized interest. And I think it's important to note that it is not that these individuals are specifically against the idea of environmental reform and ecological reform, and so on, and so forth.
They just feel like his fiscal policies have disproportionately impacted not so much unemployed people and so on, but actually working people. And that the concessions that he's made so far have helped the richer segments of society and the corporations, and it is this working people who are having to make up for the budget deficit that is so upset people here.
VANIER: So, what's he actually doing then? Because this has been going on for about three weeks now. They're threatening to hold another protest on the Champs-Elysees again, just next weekend. What is he doing?
THOMAS: Right. Well, it is -- it is a serious concern now. Because, of course, this movement has escalated and people can kind of sense that it is getting somewhere.
I think, what Emmanuel Macron, first of all, is overly focusing on the question of violence and so on, and the various repressive mechanisms which the state is going to implement. What he needs to do is to sit down with various leaders or representatives certainly of the different kind of factions that are -- that are concerned about these questions. And generally, listen to them.
In other words, not keep reiterating his commitment to environmental reform, and so on at no cost. But to listen to what it is that these people are upset about.
And then, go about implementing and altering his economic policies in ways that will actually assist this population. Unless he opens up dialogue, more and more people are going to come out. And I think it's important to remember that Emmanuel Macron came to power with very few people voting for him in the first round of the elections.
He, therefore, has many more people who were opposed to him and his political agenda than actually support him. And even though he has the Parliament and the presidency, he needs to listen to the people, and to the genuine concerns, they are expressing here about economic disparity.
[01:25:13] VANIER: Yes, that's a great point. Dominic Thomas, pleasure speaking to you. Thank you.
THOMAS: Thank you, Cyril.
ALLEN: With the head of the popular news web site is called Rappler is back in the Philippines and has surrendered to a court in Manila.
VANIER: Maria Ressa and Rappler were formally indicted last week on tax fraud charges. An arrest warrant was issued for Ressa. Her news site has been highly critical at Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's brutal drug war. Ressa said Sunday that she will not back down.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARIA RESSA, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, RAPPLER: Going to hold my government accountable for publicly calling me a criminal. I am not a criminal. I have been a journalist my entire life. I will continue to hold the government accountable.
The second is obviously, it makes you feel vulnerable. But I think that's the point, right? The point is for the government to actually make you feel its power and that it can do what it wants to do. Including bending the law to the point that it's broken.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Ressa's lawyer tells CNN that his client has now appeared before a judge, posted a bail, and was free to leave the court.
Coming up here, the U.N.'s top authorities on climate change issue a dire warning. What they say is at risk. That's next.
[01:29:59] VANIER: Welcome back to the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Cyril Vanier.
ALLEN: I'm Natalie Allen. Here are our headlines this hour.
Text messages sent by Jamal Khashoggi may shed light on why the journalist was murdered two months ago. CNN has received exclusive access to the messages between Khashoggi and another Saudi exile. In them, Khashoggi bluntly criticized Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. He also wrote about funding an electronic army of young Saudi dissidents on social media.
VANIER: 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. Then he will be buried at his presidential library.
ALLEN: Israeli police have recommended indicting 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 biggest shareholder of a telecommunications firm in exchange for positive news coverage. Mr. Netanyahu denies any wrongdoing.
VANIER: a U.S.-led strike in Syria has killed a senior member of ISIS. Officials say the ISIS leader was involved in the 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. >
A dire warning is coming out of COP24, the climate change conference in Poland which includes some 200 countries.
ALLEN: Yes. 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 increased in 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 in Poland know they need to do more to protect the environment. Organizers of the Claim the Climate March say not enough is being done to ensure a greener future. That greener future is what the 2015 Paris Climate Accord promised.
ALLEN: It's almost three years later and those at the COP24 conference are still raising red flags about climate change.
Nick Paton Walsh takes a look.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: December, 2015 -- the Paris Climate Agreement gave those sounding alarm bells about the future a renewed hope for the planet. Nearly 200 countries pledging to do their part to limit global warming to less than two degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels with hopes of capping that number at 1.5.
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This agreement represents the best chance we've had to save the one planet that we've got.
WALSH: The call to action, say most experts, not a moment too soon. Hurricanes and typhoons are growing in strength and frequency leaving paths of intense devastation in their wake.
Wildfires too -- blazing hotter and scorching the earth more often with more severity.
And then there are the glaciers, the colossal structures NASA warns are melting at an alarming rate causing sea levels to rise. One of the most visible results of the dramatic effect of warming temperatures leading to loss of habitat for not only animals and sea life but creating a very real threat to life and livelihood for the nearly 40 percent of the world's population that lives within a hundred kilometers of the ocean.
The Paris agreement it seemed the best chance to stave off this march toward planetary disaster. But the euphoria over the world's commitments to fighting the looming climate threat quickly began to fade as implementation struggled to find its footing.
With the new U.S. President in 2017 came a change in belief and course of action for the nation second only to China at the top of the list in total carbon emissions.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: As of today, the United States will cease all implementation of the nonbinding Paris accord.
WALSH: A climate report just released by Donald Trump's own administration outlined $400 billion in cost to the U.S. since 2015 from natural disasters strengthened by climate change. A number that is expected to increase as the world grows warmer.
Trump's response --
TRUMP: I don't believe it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't believe it?
TRUMP: No, no, I don't believe it.
WALSH: The tectonic shift in position by the U.S. government not the only worrisome trends. Brazil has rescinded its offer to host a U.N. climate conference next year with the incoming foreign minister calling climate change, quote "a Marxist hoax".
[01:35:03] But the World Meteorological Organization says otherwise, warning the planet's long term warming trend is far from abated.
PETTEN TAALAS, SECRETARY GENERAL, WORLD METEOROLOGICAL ORGANIZATION: 2016 was the warmest year on record and 2017 was the second warmest on record and this is -- 2015 is number three and this year is number four.
WALSH: The situation is so dire scientists say if a real change is not made imminently the planet is on track to warm three to four degrees Centigrade by the end of the century likely causing widespread food and the water shortages, economic catastrophe, and large scale loss of life.
The current data is far from encouraging. The Paris agreement largely symbolic in nature had no tangible consequences to nations that fail to meet their targets and many are indeed falling short.
2017 sets a record for carbon emissions -- a record expected to be broken again in 2018 as new coal-power plants fire up across Asia and Africa joining the other fossil fuel plants still active around the global.
And in a bit of ironic fate, Poland, this year's host nation for climate talks gets 80 percent of its power from coal. Something that they a, along with the other industrial nations, will have to change and change soon to give the planet a fighting chance for survival.
Nick Paton Walsh, CNN -- London.
ALLEN: Joining me now is Bill McKibben the founder of 350.org, an organization working to combat climate change by ridding the world of fossil fuels. Bill -- thanks so much for joining us.
Let's talk about this meeting that is beginning this week. This is considered the most critical meeting on climate change since the 2015 Paris agreement. And four former U.N. climate talks presidents issued a statement on Sunday ahead of the meeting -- that's unprecedented -- calling for urgent action in the next two years.
What is that action? And could this meeting this week do something to get there?
BILL MCKIBBEN, 350.ORG: Well, the action we need as you know from that report, is deep and wide. When I wrote the first book about climate change 30 years ago this was all still abstract and theoretical. Now some corner of the world is on fire, or flooding or, you know, every single day. And so there is a huge sense of urgency that's finally informing the work of many nations.
The problem is, though, that we are not anywhere close to the pace that scientists say is necessary. And the biggest example of this is that we are continuing to start knew fossil fuel projects, dig up more fossil fuels.
I think probably the most important work that citizen movements are doing at this conference in Poland is to continue spreading the demand that we keep fossil fuel in the ground. That's why there has been these huge divestment campaigns and things.
We'll see if the countries of the world are able to move faster than they agreed to move in Paris which is what science demands. It is hard with Donald Trump, the leader of the most important country in the world, unwilling to help at all.
ALLEN: Yes. I was going to ask you about that. Why are governments, including the U.S. under President Trump, still supporting big oil now with this mounting evidence that climate change is happening?
ALLEN: Why are they supporting oil still over the protection of citizens and ecosystem that keep us alive? How do you make sense of it? It's rather maddening.
MCKIBBEN: The answer to that one, I'm afraid is the easiest question you're ever going to ask or get answered. I mean this is the richest industry the world has ever known and in our political world, money talks a lot louder than it should.
In this case it's drowned out common sense and science for 30 years. Finally, finally reality is breaking through. And because the price of solar energy and wind energy has fallen so far, we're going to be moving in that direction as a world. The question is, how fast will we move in that direction?
The oil industry and their employees, like Donald Trump, would like to drag out that transition as long as possible. If we do that, the world 75 years from now will run on sun and wind. It's just going to be a broken world that we are powering that way.
ALLEN: And I want to ask you, without the United States -- they are on the sidelines -- Donald Trump is pulling the United States out of the Paris Accords but we're still on the sidelines. Who is the leader -- who are the leaders who could exact change? Who might you be counting on now?
[01:39:58] MCKIBBEN: Well, the E.U. has traditionally played a leadership role, but of course, it's distracted by many things. Look at what's happening in France even this week.
In the last couple of year, somewhat to people's surprise, China has played at least somewhat more ambitious role than they have in the past. Because of their dirty cities, they are moving quickly toward renewable energy. And they seem to be willing to kind of leverage that to get some moral high ground internationally.
But it's very difficult for the international system to function effectively with one crucial player, the United States, not just dragging it's a heels but trying to rush in the other direction. I mean the U.S. has sent a delegation to Poland whose job will be to tell people about the blessings of coal. That's, you know --
ALLEN: That doesn't make any sense.
MCKIBBEN: That's nearly -- nearly Monte Python levels of parity.
Nat 1: It certainly is. We'll be watching it. And see what comes out of it, perhaps talk with you again.
Bill McKibben -- always appreciate it -- founder of 350.org. Thanks -- Bill.
MCKIBBEN: Thank you.
ALLEN: So we will be covering the COP24 meeting and see what does come out of it for you this week.
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 in to a permanent deal. We'll have the latest from Beijing when we come back.
ALLEN: Welcome back.
President Trump is tweeting about new results of his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G-20 summit in Argentina. The leaders of the world's two biggest economies agreed to a temporary truce in their trade war for at least 90 days.
VANIER: A short time 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".
[01:45:02] ALLEN: 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. Our Steven Jiang joins us now from Beijing to talk with us about this development. Any insight on that tweet regarding the auto industry the President sent?
STEVEN JIANG, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER: Well, Natalie -- the tweet is just very typical of Mr. Trump. He is boasting an achievement without offering much clarity or details. And it does require a bit of context because China actually slashed tariffs on foreign cars in July right before this trade war started with the U.S.
So if you buy an imported car here from other countries other than the U.S., you pay 15 percent on tariffs. But China added 25 percent punitive tariffs as a counter measure against the U.S. tariffs after the trade war started -- after the trade war began. That's why you have the 40 percent figure.
So it's -- at this moment a bit unclear what Mr. Trump meant by reducing or removing a 40 percent tariff on U.S. cars. Does he mean going back to 15 percent or does he mean going to zero percent? Now, that would be a major coup for him.
This example does illustrate a kind of confusion or uncertainty negotiators actually on both sides have to deal with during these increasingly complex talks especially when you add in presidential tweets from time to time -- Natalie.
ALLEN: Right. So now we've got 90 days to see how the negotiators tackle the serious issues and there are still many of them in these talks.
And meantime, though, tell us how the markets are reacting to possibly what a truce might mean for the economy there.
JIANG: The markets here in China have responded very positively to the temporary truce. The numbers are up significantly in both Shanghai and Shenzhen. This is largely expected because investors really hate uncertainty. At least this temporary truce gives them some breathing room as they look forward to the next round of talks.
As well as I have to say, consumers around the world as well as American farmers and Chinese manufacturers -- but these upcoming talks are really the key Natalie, because they are going to focus on the core demands from Mr. Trump, that is China not only to buy more from the U.S. but also need to change its economy structurally and stop using unfair trade practices against the U.S. And these are the points long resisted by the Chinese government and President Xi.
So it really remains to be seen how the two sides can come up with a permanent solution to this very thorny issue any time soon -- Natalie.
ALLEN: All right. Steven Jiang -- helping us understand it all. Thank you so much as always. >
VANIER: Scientists have been talking about this for a long time, but they didn't think anyone would do it this soon and not this way. The gene editing claims that they have been alarmed by. That's what well talk about when we come back.
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PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS CNN METEOROLOGIST: Good Monday to you. I'm meteorologist Pedram Javaheri for CNN Weather Watch right now.
Watching portions of the midwestern United States here as some snow showers push out across areas of Great Lakes with a moving systems while really much of the U.S. remains rather quiet.
In fact, one of the more active areas yet again going into the first week of December will in fact with the western United States and the state of California -- much-needed rainfall across that region.
But there is our disturbance pushing across the Great Lakes with enough instability, enough cool air going over still warmer waters of the Great Lakes relative to the environment and the surrounding area that we are seeing that transfer of energy creates some snow showers across this region.
And certainly, the lake effect snow we're seeing in full effect across some of these areas, bringing in some decent snow totals over the last couple of days and what is left of it here begins to dwindle over the next couple of days. And about five to ten centimeters is all you expect to get across that region.
Back towards the West we go where the Golden State gets in showers here and tremendous rainfall stretches even into the Baja, California which frankly as you go in to the months of December, January, and February this is when really you have your best chance of seeing wet weather and this is great news across the forecast over the next several days to see some activity once again return across the western U.S.
Montreal, rain and snow showers in the forecast; Chicago cloudy conditions and also cold around two degrees there; and speaking of cold, here comes yet again across the eastern United States.
ALLEN: Well, the backlash is expanding after a Chinese researcher claimed last week he helped engineer the world's first genetically- edited humans.
VANIER: Yes. He said he consulted with an American bioethicist but as CNN's Alexandra Field tells us, that professor, a professor from Stanford says he didn't know things would get this far.
HE JIANKUI, CHINESE SCIENTIEST: Two beautiful little Chinese girls.
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is the doctor who changed the future of the human race and let the world know on YouTube.
He Jiankui stunned the scientific community with the claim he pushed the boundary no one else had.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A line has been crossed that should not have been crossed.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's very disturbing, it's inappropriate.
VICTOR DZAU, PRESIDENT, U.S. NATIONAL ACADEMY OF MEDICINE: Well, this is huge.
FIELD: He says he genetically edited human embryos not just for research but for implantation leading to the world's first births of genetically-altered humans, baby girls born in China from embryos designed to be resistant to HIV.
JIANKUI: For this specific case I feel it's a -- I feel proud actually.
FIELD: The tool used by He called CRISPR is found in labs around the world.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It give us the precise way of cutting the gene or putting a little piece of gene in.
FIELD: It's often used by researchers trying to treat incurable diseases.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) it's very easy. You can use it everywhere and use it now.
FIELD: Leaders in the field of gene editing have collectively agreed it's too early to implant edited embryos in humans because of the risks, the unknowns and the ethical questions about altering humankind.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're at the hinge of human history.
FIELD: William Hurlbut is the leading American bioethicist who teaches at Stanford University. In the months before the news broke, Dr. He consulted with him.
WILLIAM HURLBUT, STANFORD MEDICAL SCHOOL: Every time we met together we would talk about the seriousness of the issues. And in a sort of stepwise way what you had to do to make sure that it was done right.
But when I heard that there were live born children from it, I thought, oh, my gosh, he just jumped ahead.
FIELD: Hurlbut knew nothing of the plans to implants edited human embryos. Dr. He studied at Stanford as a post-doctoral fellow where he worked with leading researchers. Hurlbut describes him as smart but perhaps too trusting of his own wisdom.
HURLBUT: He's young. He's inexperienced and he's -- you know, he's from a small rural community and in China --
FIELD: He's research has been shut down by Chinese authorities. It's also raised questions about whether there will be a rash of new regulations to stymie scientific development or if scientists can regulate themselves.
DZAU: We all want to be first, right? I mean this is where you really feel that you are making a huge difference and you're getting recognition. But I think in this particular case the outcry from the community is so huge that I think it will slow things down.
FIELD: He's work has already stoked fears about the future -- what it could like look like, how soon it could come, whether it includes designer babies, and if a tool found in labs around the world could one day make them.
Alexandra Field, CNN -- Hong Kong.
[01:55:04] ALLEN: We will leave to you ponder that but we have a different story to close out this hour.
VANIER: Yes, police closed a short-lived case on New York City's most wanted couple. For two days police were searching for this newly- engaged couple whose marriage proposal oops -- oh, no. That's where it all went wrong.
So it slipped through their fingers literally. Police say the man dropped his engagement ring -- there it is -- oops, down the utility grate while proposing.
ALLEN: Gosh. By the time police retrieved the ring the couple had gone home without leaving their contact information. But with the help of Twitter police were able to find the couple. They are making arrangements to get their ring back.
VANIER: Where were they supposed to leave the contact information? On the grate? I'm sorry. Anyway.
ALLEN: Call the fire department. I don't know. Ok.
All right. They're getting married, she's got the ring.
Thanks for watching I'm Natalie Allen.
VANIER: I'm Cyril Vanier.
Stay with CNN for another hour of news with George Howell. You are in great hands, have a good day.
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