Return to Transcripts main page
Migrant Caravan Shelter Shut Down Over 'Bad Sanitary Conditions' As Hundreds Move To New Facility; Paris Climate Agreement Progress Report; India's Ghoramara Island In Danger Of Disappearing; Migrating Starlings "Dropping" In On Rome; Remembering President George H.W. Bush; The Murder of Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi; the G20 Summit has Come and Gone; A Dangerous Precedent; Time is Running Out for Theresa May; Qatar Announced that it is Leaving OPEC; Thousands of Migrants From Central America Have Been Living in Makeshift Camps. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired December 3, 2018 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[02:00:07] GEORGE HOWELL, NEWSROOM ANCHOR, CNN: A CNN exclusive, text messages that may have led to the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Plus, a 90-day truce, the U.S. and China agree to pause their heated trade war, plus this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So what happens if the United States says you can't come in?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Inaudible) He says that they can't get in legally. Then the only option they'll have to do it illegally.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: CNN's Chris Cuomo there. We go inside the temporary shelters along the U.S.-Mexico border as migrants keep waiting, hoping to get across. Live from CNN world headquarters in Atlanta. We want to welcome our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. I am George Howell. The CNN Newsroom starts right now.
It is 2:00 a.m. here on the U.S. East Coast, good day to you. We start with this CNN exclusive. New insight now in to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and one of the unanswered questions, why was he killed? 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.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NINA DOS SANTOS, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: These are words you won't have read in Jamal Khashoggi's columns. Instead, they are WhatsApp messages never seen before, sent by Khashoggi in the year before his death. They lay bear his disdain for Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince, saying quote, he's like a beast. Like Pacman. 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: Talk like this is dangerous for those from a country with 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: 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 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 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: 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 these secret recordings of their meetings and shared them with CNN.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have come to you 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: When 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 spy wear, 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 in what happened to Jamal. I am 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: Nina Dos Santos, CNN, London.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: Nina, thank you. Saudi officials have not responded to CNN's request for comments regarding the allegations of Omar Abdulaziz. The Israeli company that invented the software allegedly used to hack Abdulaziz's phone. It says its technology is licensed for the sole use of governments and law enforcement agencies to fight terrorism and to fight crime. The company adds it does not tolerate misuse of its products.
[02:05:01] The G20 Summit, it has come and gone but the U.S. President is now tweeting about new results of his meeting with the Chinese President Xi Jinping that took place 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. A short time ago, Mr. Trump tweeted that China has agreed to reduce and remove tariffs on cars coming into China from the United States.
Adding that currently the tariff is 40 percent, China has not confirmed that move as of this point. But the President's tweet comes as negotiators from both sides are trying to iron out key trade differences. Let's go live to the Chinese capital. Steven Jiang is following the story in Beijing, Steven, thank you for your time. What reaction are we hearing from China? And is this part of the negotiation play?
STEVEN JIANG, SENIOR PRODUCER, CNN: Well, we are still waiting to hear from the official reaction on this latest tweet. But, you know, it may take them sometime, because this is the kind of added uncertainty or confusion. I think trade negotiators, not only from China but also from the U.S. may have to learn to deal with as they engage in already very complex trade talks in the upcoming weeks and the months.
But George, this tweet does require a bit of context, because China actually slashed tariffs on foreign cars in July right before the start of the trade war with the U.S. So if you buy an imported car from countries other than the U.S., you pay a 15 percent tariff. The 40 percent tariff on U.S. cars is because China added a 25 percent punitive measure on these imports after the trade war started.
So that's why a lot of people are trying to figure out what the President meant by removing or reducing the 40 percent tariffs. Does he mean it goes back to 15 percent or goes to 0 percent? Now that would be a major coup for him, George.
HOWELL: All right, Steven. And, look, so as what we know of this point, we know that the United States has agreed to hold off on tariffs, to put tariffs on ice essentially for a moment. And that China plans to buy more goods from the United States, industrial goods, farm goods, things of that nature. But how much pressure does that take off these two economies, even at least for a temporary moment? JIANG: I think temporarily, this is good news, because it does give
breathing room to a lot of people involved, including investors. If you look at the market reactions here in China, they have been very positive. In Shanghai, for example, the number has been up significantly more than two percent. So this is also applying to American farmers as we mentioned, Chinese manufacturers as well as consumers around the world.
So that's why these talks going forward in the next 90 days will be crucial. Because they are going to touch on the core demands from Mr. Trump, that is China not only has to buy more from the U.S., but also has to change its economic structure and stop using unfair trade practices. And these are the points long resisted by Mr. Xi and his government.
So at this juncture, it's still a little difficult to envision a mutually agreeable solution or permanent solution to this thorny issue. But that's still good news at least for now, at least based on a market reaction that both leaders have decided to give it another shot on these trade talks, George.
HOWELL: Steven Jiang, live for us in Beijing. Thank you again for the reporting. We'll keep in touch with you on this story.
We are following the Russia investigation. The Moscow Trump Tower project recently surfaced in the headline amid revelations that the U.S. Special Counsel probe was looking into this. A Russian-based developer has confirmed that CNN -- to CNN that it's building a tower in Moscow. But here's the thing. It's not the tower that Donald Trump hopes to see there. CNN's Senior International Correspondent Matthew Chance explains this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEW CHANCE, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: For Trump, it's always been about business, his business, his brand, his properties.
PRES. DONALD TRUMP (R), UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: People ask me why 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: And it was Trump, that property developer who campaigned to be a Republican Presidential candidate. Juggling his business and political ambitions, which inevitably overlapped. 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 are not talking about doing a project. [02:10:05] CHANCE: It was in this location, on the outskirts of
Moscow, near the sprawling (Inaudible) business and 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 these developers, which would have stood across this whole area. You can see here if we look through this wire 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, in a 250-apartment block to Vladimir Putin, the Russian President as a way of attracting buyers.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Trump organization likes to be ahead of the curve. We are always ahead of the curve. And this would be another example.
CHANCE: Ivanka Trump and her spa and fitness brand were also an integral part of the Moscow proposal. According to 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 to the Trump administration take a mean the pop-star son of Crocus owner, Aras Agalarov, who helped set up a meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and Russian 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 the U.S. President, it appears business and politics in Russia have often mixed. Matthew Chance, CNN, Moscow.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: Next here on CNN Newsroom, we look back at the life of the former U.S. President George H.W. Bush, his Presidential style in stark contrast to the current politics of the day. We compare, ahead. Plus, an inside look at migrant shelters on the U.S.-Mexico border, conditions there being described as unsanitary.
[02:15:00] HOWELL: Monday marks the beginning of memorial services and a week of national mourning for the former President of the United States, George H.W. Bush. Mr. Bush died Friday. He was 94 years old. During his time in office, he helped to end the Cold War, saw the reunification of East and West Germany, and launched the successful operation Desert Storm.
On Monday, Mr. Bush's casket will be flown to Washington, D.C. There, the public will be able to pay their respects to a man who spent his life serving his country. CNN's Suzanne Malveaux has details here for you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: It is being called special air mission 41. The mission to deliver the body, the casket of President George H.W. Bush to his final resting place, the President aircraft is now in Ellington Field. This is the Presidential aircraft that carried President Trump to the G20 Summit in Argentina. It is the same aircraft that will carry the body of President Bush from here to joint Base Andrews. The formal ceremonies beginning around 4:45, the arrival ceremony at the U.S. capital (Inaudible) President Bush will lie in state.
It will be 7:30 Monday evening through 8:45 Wednesday morning. The public will be able to pay their respects 11:00 memorial service. The National Cathedral with friends, family, and dignitaries will gather as well. And then Wednesday evening, the President's body to return here to Texas where he will lie in the pose until Thursday morning, and then a second memorial service at St. Martin Episcopal Church.
This is the same church that Barbara Bush was memorialized. A brief trip by train and then onto College Station, Texas where the President will be buried at his Presidential library alongside Barbara Bush and their young child Robin who died at age three. We have been talking to so many people here in Houston. We've been seeing the tributes, the beautiful statues, the flowers, the teddy bears, even those colorful socks that the President loved, all of them honoring late President. Take a listen.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think they are very well respected. And I think he was a great statesman. I loved his socks. So I loved him seeing on the news. I loved seeing the Bush family. So I think he's going to be very missed here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Maybe (Inaudible) Texas is obviously (Inaudible) city is (Inaudible), vibrant with progressive ideas. But I think there is a sense of unity. We realize that we are part of a larger picture here. It's not just about Houston. It's about Texas. And I think we do really behind the Bush's and what they stood for in terms of civility.
MALVEAUX: The President was a huge sports fan here, a big city booster, and of course, the representative for the Seventh District of Texas, which has now turned Democratic. People in Houston embracing this man with love and respect, as well as his whole family as the rest of the world prepares to say goodbye, Suzanne Malveaux, CNN, Houston, Texas.
(END VIDEO CLIP) [02:19:52] HOWELL: Let's now bring in Tim Naftali. Tim is a CNN
Presidential Historian and Former Director of the Nixon Presidential Library, joining via Skype this hour, thank you for your time today, Tim.
TIM NAFTALI, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN, CNN: My pleasure, George.
HOWELL: Looking ahead at the events to take place this week, what are your expectations?
NAFTALI: Well, it will be a somber moment, a somber series of moments. I believe it will also be an opportunity to celebrate a lot. And it also will be for many people an opportunity to celebrate an American role in the world, a role that America does not play at the moment but may once again play in the future. George Herbert Walker Bush deeply believed in the importance of allies.
He believed in the concept of collective security. In some way, you could see him as a continuation of Franklin Roosevelt. George Bush fought in World War II, believed that some of the ideals that Roosevelt saw when he helped build the United Nations, were ideals that had a place in the post Cold War world. He really felt that nations should work together for peace.
HOWELL: I'm just following on what you are describing here, really the paradigm shift, right? I mean you are talking about the politics of then, in contrast to the politics of today. This feeling when you think about George H.W. Bush, the themes that come to the fore of allies, of globalism, certainly in contrast to the politics that we are seeing play out now on the geopolitical stage.
NAFTALI: Well, two things, one I think individuals matter. There is a debate among historians and scholars as to the extent to which great events of the product and structure and great waves of change, and others look to the role of individuals. And, of course, most of us think it's a bit of both. Does Donald Trump represent most Americans? Does his view of America first, does his isolationism, because that's basically what he's pushing.
Is that the mindset of America now? I am not convinced that it is. I am not convinced that most Americans embrace Donald Trump's view, transactional view of international players. But he is President. And as President, he has enormous power and influence. But it's not clear that that is where America will be once he leaves office.
So I am not sure we are in a paradigm shift in terms of where America is going. We are certainly in a Presidential paradigm shift.
HOWELL: Speaking of Mr. Trump, he will be attending, Tim. He will be attending one of these ceremonies. This is important because it will be the first time we have seen the U.S. President, Mr. Trump, side by side with the other Presidents, former Presidents who he has openly disparaged. I hate to bring that into view but that is the case as it stands. How significant will it be?
What is the -- what's the impact, do you think, of seeing this President side by side. How important is it for the nation for that to happen?
NAFTALI: Well, it's extremely important for Donald Trump to act like a President. And he has time and again rejected Presidential norms. Rejected the kinds of things we expect from Presidents whether they are Democrats or Republicans. Attending a state funeral is a requirement for a President. He had the opportunity to find an excuse not to go to First Lady Barbara Bush's funeral earlier this year.
He did not have to go to Senator John McCain's funeral. He has to go to a state funeral. He doesn't have a choice. The death of a President leads to a state funeral. So he had no choice but to go. So it's really up to Donald Trump. Will he behave the way all American, all modern American Presidents have behaved? But, you know, that's the test for him. It's not a test for the American people.
And it's not a test for the Presidents that are going to be sitting next to him. It's a test for Donald Trump. Is he going to act Presidential during this week of mourning?
HOWELL: Tim Naftali, we appreciate your time. Thank you so much.
NAFTALI: My pressure, George. Thank you.
HOWELL: Still ahead this hour on CNN Newsroom, human rights groups are calling out the deplorable conditions at a migrant shelter on the U.S.-Mexico boarder. We take a look inside, plus this. After protesters damaged the center of Paris this weekend, the French government is digging in to how it can keep the violence from spreading. Stay with us. We'll be right back.
[02:25:00] HOWELL: Welcome back to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. You are watching CNN Newsroom live from Atlanta. I am George Howell with the headlines we're following for you 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.
Khashoggi bluntly criticized the Saudi Crown Prince. He also wrote about funding an electronic army of young Saudi dissidents on social media. The G20 Summit, it has come and gone. But now a U.S. official says the difficult work begins to resolve the U.S.-China trade dispute. The two nations called a temporary truce in the trade war for at least 90 days after the Presidents of the countries Trump and Xi meant in Argentina at the G20 over the weekend.
Negotiators are now trying to work out these outstanding issues. Time is running out for the British Prime Minister Theresa May to convince parliament to back her Brexit deal. The vote on the bill in just eight days now, and if it doesn't pass, the U.K.'s the main opposition party says it will seek a no confidence vote for Ms. May.
Qatar has announced that it is leaving OPEC. The country's minister of state of energy and affairs says the withdrawal from the Oil Producer's Organization will happen on January 1st. It says the country wants to focus its efforts on increasing its natural gas production. Along the U.S. border with Mexico, thousands of migrants from Central America have been living in makeshift camps.
And the conditions of those camps have been described as unsanitary, poor, and recent rainfall has made matters worse there. CNN's Chris Cuomo and Leila Santiago give us a first hand look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[02:30:00] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right. We're going to enter what they're calling the facility, the shelter facility. You've been seeing this sign and then Scottie show them all this because this is a distraction. We're going to meet Leyla Santiago now and go inside, and show you the reality of what they're calling a facility, a shelter.
LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is the camp that was set up for the migrants. You can see helicopters. You can hear helicopters are constantly coming over because we're really close to the U.S.-Mexico border. There are thousands --
CUOMO: So this is what they're calling the shelter?
SANTIAGO: I mean there's nothing above. Most of the tents that you see here, there is one building that has a roof. But not a lot of people fit in there.
CUOMO: What are we seeing here in terms of the conditions because everybody keeps saying who's here something has to change, something has to change?
SANTIAGO: Yesterday was big day. Rain came down and so a lot of these tents were flooded. You can see --
CUOMO: Yes. You can see the flooding over here where they have to go to the bathroom.
SANTIAGO: And that's good compared to what it was yesterday. I mean these piles of trash here are really for some people the only belongings that they had and so it was soaked. People were scramble to go try to get a tarp to try to keep warm, children sleeping on wet blankets.
CUOMO: So what happens if the United States says you can't come in?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (via translator): He says if they can't get in illegally then the only option they'll have to do it easily I believe. But he knows that immigration -- U.S. immigration will be there keeping an eye.
CUOMO: So this place just keeps growing, right?
SANTIAGO: Right. CUOMO: Everything we're seeing now the line just keeps moving this
way. It started over there and now the tents have just been spreading more and more this way. And even with this new shelter, that's the new -- there's a new shelter like 45 minutes away and it's met with a lot of skepticism because is it better or is it farther away, and that's why you still see these tents. Obviously, people believed it was a better deal they would go. The sanitation here is regular.
They're coming and they're emptying the porter potties. But it is -- this is isn't just water, OK? This is sanitation waste. These people are living in it. What is next? This can't stay this way. They --
SANTIAGO: Right. Right.
CUOMO: So what are the possibilities?
SANTIAGO: Well, I keep asking people that, officials, the migrant themselves, and nobody seems to have an answer.
CUOMO: They don't know? So they're really just taking it day by day?
SANTIAGO: Hour by hour I would say. His stomach is hurting. Yesterday, Justin was with a bucket emptying out the tent and this is Jefferson, when everything was raining, he was outside looking for a tarp to cover his family. So it's a family of four. She says she wants to find a job. She's saying she doesn't want to go back to her country, so I'm asking her why. She's about to cry, so I'm asking her why. She's scared to talk about what happened in Honduras because she's afraid it will get back to the people over there.
CUOMO: You know, the story is so common that they're leaving something at home that they're afraid of so much that they'd rather live like this.
SANTIAGO: This is Hennessey, Jennifer. She's showing -- oh, look at this. Look at what she is showing us. She has in her cart the bible.
CUOMO: These are icons. This is protection for her. Somebody put this around her for protection. These are religious icons. This is -- this is protective.
SANTIAGO: She's our mother.
CUOMO: The virgin mother? Inside every one of these there's a family with a story and a struggle, and there's a lot of similarities, but there are a lot of individual hardships as well, so many of them are joined by one really desperate reality. They don't have anywhere else to go. Going home they believe is not an option. Now, you may want to believe that that's a play for sympathy. But to live like this in these conditions for the amount of time they've been here, think about.
And here are all the kids the same thing could be happening in your community. How bizarre is that? Imagine if this was the best you could do for your kids. And look what they're playing in the middle of?
SANTIAGO: So this is Angel and when I met -- when I meet him in Mexico City, his feet were blistered and swollen and red. Let's see how they're doing now.
[02:35:05] CUOMO: They looked good. They looked better now. They're a little chapped up on the bottom, but they looked better. It's good to have shoes.
CUOMO: You know, I saw a sign when we were coming over here you see how it says shine on his shirt. There was written on the side of a causeway where people are trying to enter (INAUDIBLE) the sun shines for all. It's hard to believe that if you're living in this place right now.
SANTIAGO: There seems to be some hope among the families that they've sacrificed everything to get here, so surely there's a better future. But they're also very well aware of that fence which represents a lot. You know, a barrier to what they see as the better future.
CUOMO: Yes. I mean, you know, you could look at it two ways. Look how close they are. That's how chose they are to realizing the dream. But more and more, that fence is representing exactly what, you know, to be frank, the president hopes it does a barrier that you're not getting in. That you're not want that you should go away. And here, we're caught in the middle of what reality is going to be accepted.
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: My colleague Chris Cuomo and Leyla Santiago giving people a firsthand look at people there migrants who have demonized in U.S. politics as of late, the people, mothers, fathers, children who are living in quite deplorable conditions. Moving on now to France, the government there is considering all options to control violent protests in Paris that have happened for the past three weekends. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: More than 400 people arrested, dozens more injured in these clashes between police and yellow vest protesters as they call on Saturday. The protesters are angry by rising fuel prices and government environmental policies. The President of France Emmanuel Macron surveyed the damage on Sunday and he led a crisis meeting to discuss how to respond to these riots. Mr. Macron talked about the violence in Paris at the G20 while people at home reflected on what was happening.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE (via translator): The people who (INAUDIBLE) violence don't want any change, any improvement. They want chaos and they are betraying the causes which they claim to serve. They are manipulating them. They will be identified and they will be held responsible before justice.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People are disturbing tourists and disturbing people who come to visit. But it's also their right do that, so I think it has like both sides. It's like positive and negative.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (via translator): I think it is sad that the people who are hungry are forced to come to this to get heard. I think it is very, very sad in a democratic society.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: The French government's spokesperson said anti-violence measures are being considered include possibly imposing a state of emergency. This story about a former CNN journalist and the head of a popular news website called Rappler, back in the Philippines has surrendered to a court in Manila. 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 of the Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's brutal drug war. Ressa said Sunday she won't back down.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARIA RESSA, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, RAPPLER: I'm going to hold my government accountable for publically 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)
HOWELL: Ressa's attorney tells CNN that his client has now appeared before a judge, posted bail, and was free to leave the court. We'll continue to follow the story of course. Still ahead here on NEWSROOM as the world's authorities on climate change gather in Poland, we look at the accomplishments since the monumental Paris climate accord. Also speaking of climate change, an entire Indian island is about to be wiped right off the map.
That's right. We'll tell you about it. Stick around.
[02:42:48] HOWELL: A greener future. That is what the 2015 Paris climate accord promised and almost three years later those at the (INAUDIBLE) 24 climate change conference are still raising red flags about climate change. Our Nick Paton Walsh has this look for you.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: December 2015, the Paris climate agreement gave those sounding alarm bells about the future a renewed hope to 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 of 1.5.
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This agreement represents the best chance we have had to save the one planet that we 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 (INAUDIBLE) the colossal structures NASA warns a 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.
Not only animals and sea life, but creating a very real threat to the life and livelihood for the nearly 40 percent of the world's population that lives within 100-kilometers of the ocean. The Paris agreement it seemed the best chance to stave off this march toward planetary disaster. But euphoria over the world's commitments to fighting the looming climate threat quickly began to fade as implementation struggled to find its footing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President.
WALSH: With the new U.S. President in 2017 came a change in belief and course of action for the nation's second only to China at the top of 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 climate accord.
[02:44:57] WALSH: A climate report just released by Donald Trump's own administration outlined $400 billion in costs to the U.S. since 2015 from natural disaster strengthens 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 worsened trend. Brazil has rescinded its offer to host the U.N. climate conference next year. With the incoming foreign minister calling climate change, a "Marxist hoax".
But the World Meteorological Organization, says otherwise, warning the planets long-term warming trend as far from abated.
PETTERI TAALAS, SECRETARY-GENERAL, WORLD METEOROLOGICAL ORGANIZATION: 2016 was the -- was the warmest year on record, and 2017 was this -- was the second warmest recorded, and this is 2015 was 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 water shortages, economic catastrophe, and large- scale loss of life.
The current data is far from encouraging. Paris agreement largely symbolic in nature had no tangible consequences, the 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 globe.
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 along with the other industrial nations will have to change, and change soon give the planet a fighting chance for survival. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, London.
HOWELL: Nick, thank you. The lack of progress on global warming is acutely being felt at sea level.
In places like coastal India, where one tiny island could someday vanish. It's already shrinking, and as our Nikhil Kumar explains climate change is the culprit.
NIKHIL KUMAR, CNN INTERNATIONAL 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 the cause 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 village elders. Many of the villages have lost their homes.
One house stood next to these rice paddy fields, now flooded by rising tides.
Reva Sett, lost their home three times in the last decade and had to move further inland each time. Now, she fears for her survival as the land disappears, so do the crops.
REVA SETT, RESIDENT, GHORAMARA ISLAND (through translator): We faced 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 residence 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 3 to five degree 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 plant and animal species.
They say the effects of that failure will hit the worlds' poorest especially hard. Like the many villages on Ghoramara Island, who say they want to leave the island but can't afford to. Nikhil Kumar, CNN.
HOWELL: Still ahead, millions of migrating birds are filling the skies of Rome. We will tell you why they are ruffle in feathers in the Eternal City and what's being done to scare them away? Stay with us.
[02:51:49] PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: Good Monday to you. I'm meteorologist Pedram Javaheri. CNN "WEATHER WATCH" right now. Watching portions of the Midwestern United States here as some snow showers push out across there's the Great Lakes with a moving system while really much of the US remains rather quiet.
In fact, one of the more active areas yet again going into the first week of December will, in fact, be 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 it enough instability, enough cool air going over still somewhat warmer waters of the Great Lakes relative to the environment and the surrounding area that we're seeing that transfer of energy creates some snow showers across this region.
And certainly, the lake effect snow wishing in full effect across some of these areas bringing in. Some pieces snow totals in 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 10 centimeters is all you're expected to get across that region.
Back towards the West we go where the Golden State gets in showers here and tremendous rainfall stretches even as the Baja California region, which frankly, as you go into the months of December, January and February. This is when really of 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.
HOWELL: Millions of migrating starlings are leaving their marks, so to speak, on the city of Rome. As you can imagine, all of those birds and bird droppings are creating quite a mess. As Barbie Nadeau reports the city has launched unusual tactics to combat the problem.
BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: 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're ruffling the feathers of everyday 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. Hitting 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 hunter has, but their squawk is worse than their bite.
Marito, tells us they're using the hawks together with distressed calls to deter the birds. "They are not trained to kill," he says, "just to scare."
But who is scaring who?
[02:55:03] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm running away from.
NADEAU: Some people even like them.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I think they're fantastic.
NADEAU: Not everyone agrees with introducing predators to scare the migrating mass is the way, but something has to be done to make rooms 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.
HOWELL: Keep the umbrella handy there. Barbie, thank you very much.
In Johannesburg, the late Nelson Mandela's 100th birthday star power was out in force for a charity concert there. And it brought thousands of people together Sunday for the global citizen festival. It's goal to raise awareness about poverty, while also honoring South Africa's first black president, Nobel Peace Prize winner and anti- apartheid icon.
Beyonce, Jay-Z, and Ed Sheeran were among the performers there. And Oprah Winfrey gave a keynote address on Mandela's legacy.
Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM this hour. I'm George Howell at the CNN center in Atlanta. You can connect with me anytime on Twitter at George Howell, CNN. More news right after the break. Let's do it again, stay with us.