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French Paramedics Join Anti-Government Protests; COP24 Climate Conference Kicks Off in Poland; OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft Arrives at Asteroid Bennu; Former President George H.W. Bush Lying in State at U.S. Capitol. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired December 4, 2018 - 00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


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JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): The protests began over a hike in fuel tax but not it appears to be an uprising against France's leader, Emmanuel Macron, who's facing the biggest crisis of his presidency amid some of the worst violence the country has seen in decades.

One minute, 15 seconds, give or take; a very brief visit to the U.S. Capitol by the 45th president, paying respects to the 41st, now lying in state, two men who could not be more different.

And it's just a ceasefire and just for 90 days but the markets find reason to celebrate as the U.S. and China put their trade war on hold.

Hello and welcome to our viewers all around the world. Great to have you with us. I'm John Vause. This is CNN NEWSROOM.

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VAUSE: An official trip to Serbia has been put on hold by Emmanuel Macron as he faces the biggest political crisis since he was elected president of France. Paramedics have joined the anti-government protest on Monday, which started three weeks ago over the rising fuel taxes.

But the so-called Yellow Vest movement has evolved into a citizen uprising, protesting, among other things, income inequality. That triggered the rioting in Paris on Saturday.

We get details now from Melissa Bell on how the government plans to restore calm.

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MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT: The pressure is now on the French government to find solutions to the anger that expressed itself here in Paris so spectacularly on Saturday night.

Political solutions on one hand but also a better way of keeping the streets of Paris safe next Saturday when already the Yellow Vests are pulled for another day's protests.

Now, tomorrow, the French government was due to meet with representatives from the movement. A couple of the leading spokespeople have now confirmed to CNN that they are pulling out, which means that we don't know for the time being whether those talks will go ahead with the French prime minister, Edouard Philippe.

And beyond that question of how politically to defuse this situation that has really gained in strength and momentum and anger over the course of the last three weeks, prison authorities are working hard to try and find a way to keep the violence off the streets or at least to minimize the damage that is done next Saturday if that protest go ahead.

Already in the town hall here in Paris, the mayor's office was working out the cost of just Saturday night's damage and that's estimated now it's something between 3 and 4 million euros. Authorities now scrambling to find a way of keeping Paris quieter next Saturday than it was last Saturday.

The question of a state of emergency being put in place was looked at and then put aside. For now, we wait to hear more about precisely what the Yellow Vests are planning and precisely how the authorities intend to keep Paris calmer than it was -- Melissa Bell, CNN, Paris.

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VAUSE: Benjamin Haddad is a fellow at the Hudson Institute. He also worked as a Washington representative for Macron's presidential campaign last year and he is with us now from New York.

OK, Benjamin, thank you being with us. We'll get to the bigger picture here on what this all means for France and Europe in a moment.

But right now, where is the off-ramp for Macron?

How does he bring the temperature down?

There's some talk within the government of cutting taxes; on the other hand, they still haven't ruled out declaring a state of emergency. These are two very different options.

BENJAMIN HADDAD, FELLOW, HUDSON INSTITUTE: No, I don't think so because they think first the priority is obviously to confront the violence.

There's -- it's impossible to give in to the violence that we've seen from these protesters of the last few days, the vandalizing of public monuments, burning of cars, also some you know, outrageous demands like the resignation of the president.

We've heard today a spokesperson from the Yellow Vests, asking for President Macron to resign. He was elected a year ago and has a five years' term and be replaced by a military leader. So obviously it's very important first for the government to impose its authority and refuse this violence.

At the same time, it is important to dialogue with those who want to have a constructive dialogue with your authorities and see how we can move forward. There's a lot of dissolution and discontent in the country that is not new; that is the product of 40 years of pent-up frustration over the lack of reforms of the political inertia.

This is actually what brought Emmanuel Macron to power last year. So it is important to have this conversation but not absolutely not given to discourage outburst of violence.

VAUSE: Yes; to be fair, you know, these are generational issues which have been building for a long time. It was the issue of tax increases on petrol and diesel which sparked these protests last month.

You kind of mentioned this; since then, the grievances and the demands have grown. They now include restoration of the country's wealth tax and increase for pensions and also an increase for the minimum wage, also cutting salaries for politicians.

Many commentators who have made the point a lot of the anger on the streets is directed at Macron himself. He's seen by many as just a president for the rich and he actually doesn't have a real traditional core base of supporters, which seems also to be a problem.

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HADDAD: Yes. I think this is an unfair criticism. Once again, I mean, these are -- these ills that these people are protesting against did not start with Macron.

I mean the fact is that this country has not been prepared to face the economic challenges of globalization, has not been prepared to face the technological transition, green transition, this was actually why this tax on gasoline was installed in the first place with the support of a majority of the population.

But you know, when Macron took office, you had 10 percent unemployment, you had 25 percent youth unemployment, sluggish growth for the last decades. And you know, this is something different than even our neighbor, Germany, has, much lower unemployment and higher growth.

So, you know, it isn't necessary for France to take these steps and reform its economy. It's not going to happen overnight. I think President Macron already started last year with opening up and bringing flexibility to the labor market and connect taxes actually to a vast majority of the French population.

But obviously -- and it's completely legitimate -- there is a lot of impatience, there's a lot of frustration. But, once again, it's not acceptable to be expressed for violence.

VAUSE: Macron has not spoken publicly about the violence in Paris since he returned from the G20 summit. But on Saturday he tweeted that the -- you know, he has respect for the protests and also listened to the opposition.

He added that violence is unacceptable but we're also hearing from the government that there is an insistence that, you know, this diesel tax hike is going to go through.

And the insistence of sticking with the diesel tax hike, that oil -- the gas tax hike, that doesn't seem to be the central issue here, which seems to suggest that Macron and those around him yet to understand the full implications of these protests.

HADDAD: No. You're right. This goes way beyond the diesel tax. And you said it. I mean, we have demands that go from a higher minimum wage, lower retirement age, when the French are -- really has one of the longest retirement times in the world because of its high life expectancy, you know, a cap on salaries or banning outsourcing.

This is a broader demand for protectionism. And I would say what we're seeing you know in a grassroots level, to a large extent, is you have a lot of people are just disenfranchised, discontent, but you also have on-the-ground convergence between the far left and the far right.

Imagine in the United States if the occupying Tea Party had coalesced together in a more violent way. So what we're seeing, you know, you did say that President Macron brought together reformers, liberals, pro-European figures from the center left in the center right to create a sort of reformist majority beyond the traditional left/right divide.

And I think we're seeing a response from both the far left and the far right that right now is a leaderless and expressing itself in this very anarchic way. But I think it is growing into a political force that needs to be understood but also needs to be fought with both core ideas.

VAUSE: And with that in mind, here's an opinion piece which you wrote for "The Atlantic."

It reads in part, "Macron's fall reveals the profound challenges that moderate liberals face in a polarized political climate. As he pursues his reforms, he's also trying to reshape French politics, bringing together a coalition of reformers from both sides of the political aisle, elected with center left folks but governing with a mostly center right cabinet.

"His success or failure to hold the center in the face of populists may well shape the fate of liberals across Europe."

So what you're saying is that there are implications here not just only in France but for Europe.

It's a lot easier to, what, to rule by division like the American president, that is trying to bring together centrist from both left and right? HADDAD: Yes. I think it is much more challenging to try to bring in structural reforms in a country that has been paralyzed for decades and to try to do it with a moderate vision and approach. Once again, what's interesting is that Macron's election was also a result of this discontent.

This is someone who was completely unknown in French politics only two years before running for president, who created his own party from scratch the year before, ran something like 90 percent of parliamentary candidates, who had never run for office, complete political novices.

And this is what the French wanted. So you already had this anger that he managed to respond to but without giving in to the populist violence or any extremist or nativist ideology.

But you know, once again, the impatience is very high and we see the tide of populism, you know, in Europe all over the place, from the far left and the far right. And this is a very challenging time and I personally hope that he doesn't give in and continue to push a reform- oriented agenda.

VAUSE: Yes. It is that middle road which has always being so very, very difficult or even sort of more difficult now than it seems to be for a very long time.

Ben, thank you for coming in. Good to see you.

HADDAD: Absolutely. Thank you.

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VAUSE: Live now to Washington, where it is nine minutes past midnight, and the body of president George H.W. Bush is lying in state at the Capitol.

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VAUSE: Earlier the casket, as it --

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VAUSE: -- arrived was carried past his elder son, the 43rd president, George Bush, and then President Trump and first lady, Melania, paid their respects Monday night, a brief visit lasting less than 90 seconds.

The Capitol will remain open until Wednesday morning to allow mourners a chance to also pass by the casket.

The White House has confirmed Donald Trump will attend Wednesday's state funeral. He will be seated front row alongside former presidents, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter. Former president George W. Bush will deliver a eulogy for his father.

Given Trump's criticism of past presidents, that seating plan alone is likely to highlight his isolation. And then there will be the service itself. The tributes and memorials for George H.W. Bush have struck a starkly similar tone as those for Senator John McCain, who died three months ago.

An outpouring of bipartisan praise, both men described as honorable, gracious, decent. Trump and McCain has publicly feuded for years.

He wasn't invited to the senator's funeral, which became an extended comparison between a selfless war hero, dedicated to public service, and a man who avoided the Vietnam draft with four deferments of college and a fifth for bone spurs.

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VAUSE: Well, there is similar bad blood between the Bush family and Donald Trump, the 41st president made clear he wanted the current U.S. president at his funeral. Placing the office of the presidency above any personal ill will.

And while the service will try to steer clear of the anti-Trump turn on McCain's funeral, they will still be talk of sacrifice in service, of selflessness, a greater good. Intended or not, that praise alone is likely to sound like a criticism of Donald Trump.

For more now, presidential historian, Mike Purdy, is with us from Seattle.

Mike, thanks for taking the time to be with us.

MIKE PURDY, FOUNDER, PRESIDENTIALHISTORY.COM: Thank you.

VAUSE: This is President Donald Trump who likes praise, he likes being praised. I wonder if on Wednesday, after speaker to speak and remembers George W. Bush and his life of service at such glowing terms.

Is it just possible that, maybe for a moment, the 45th president will stop and ask himself, "What will they say about me? What will my legacy be?"

PURDY: Well, I think we can hope that. Although personally, I would be pessimistic about it. I mean, I think President Trump at some point needs to begin to reflect on the fact of what life will be like when he does not control his Twitter narrative. And when history will be the judge of his deeds and he won't have control over it.

He likes being the center of attention obviously. And so, that is going to be -- that's his challenge as president to rise to the occasion. He, of course, has a very difficult history with the presidents that he will be with.

He called Barack Obama the worst president in the history of our country. Bill Clinton was the worst abuser of women in the history of our country.

He criticized George H.W. Bush in his thousand points of light and said, "What does that mean anyway?"

So, he's got a big history with these presidents and they have a history with him, as well, in terms of saying things about him. Obama said he was unfit to be President.

VAUSE: Yes.

PURDY: Clinton said he didn't know much.

VAUSE: You know, (INAUDIBLE) is being appointed to the first Gulf War as one of the highlights of President George H.W. Bush's presidency. On the eve of that war, he addressed the nation. Here's part of it. Listen to this.

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GEORGE H.W. BUSH, 41ST PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have before us the opportunity to forge for ourselves and for future generations. A new world order, a world for the rule of law, not the law of the jungle, governs the conduct of nations.

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VAUSE: You know, President Bush saw this world of shared responsibilities. Smaller states no longer at the mercy of stronger nations.

I just wonder if over the weekend, do we see Donald Trump's vision of a new world order at the G20?

You know, with that high-five handshake between -- you know, leaders of Russia and Saudi Arabia, two men with no regard for international norms or standards of international law. They act with impunity and they had the support of the current U.S. president.

PURDY: That's right. I think Donald Trump has totally blown up the presidency in terms of our relationships with other countries. Expected norms, collaboration, pulling out of trade agreements, pulling out of the purse -- a climate agreement.

And I think President Trump's actions are because he always wants to be at the center of attention. And I think that's what is going to make this weekend -- this week a difficult one for the president because it won't be about him.

And I wonder if we'll see some tweets coming out afterwards in anger. We'll have to see how that plays out.

VAUSE: Yes, this will be -- look, knowing this president as we know him now, this will obviously not be an easy time --

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VAUSE: -- on Wednesday. But, especially if you listen to what's already being said -- you know, making this comparison between Donald Trump and George H.W. Bush. And President Reagan's daughter, Patti Davis, she made that comparison during an interview on CNN just a few hours ago. Listen to part of it, here it is.

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PATTI DAVIS, DAUGHTER OF RONALD REAGAN: The president is supposed to revere democracy and all of the institutions that hold it up. The president is supposed to work with our allies with diplomacy and respect. And at the same time, stand up to autocrats who murder people.

The president is supposed to understand and adhere to the Constitution. The president is supposed to be a grown-up. You know, 9-year olds are should be able to look up to the President of the United States, not feel that he's one of them.

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VAUSE: You know, I've just wanted Trump's bombastic divisive style and style of politics has that sort of embellished or -- you know improved, if you like, the legacies of past presidents?

Because there's almost this longing for those days, whether or not they were real or imagined.

PURDY: You know, I think it has to some extent. I think we compare a president's who pass away to the current president. And we've got some pretty big extremes. I mean, George H.W. Bush is going to be remembered, I think for his basic sense of decency.

For the fact that he was a civil man, he was a consensus builder, a collaborator, he knew how to compromise, if you look at -- you know, what he did in terms of developing the coalition for the Gulf War.

So, Bush knew how to do that and Trump doesn't appear to have those skills. And so, yes, we compare them and we look at them quite differently.

VAUSE: Yes. They -- quite differently, too, if you look at the relationship between reporters and the presidency, "The New York Times" opinion writer, Maureen Dowd, had an anecdote from her time as a White House reporter, covering -- you know, the George H.W. Bush administration.

There's this friendship, which, you know, I guess that not a lot of people knew about. It was -- she talked about how it developed over the years.

Here's part of her column.

"'Put it this way,' he wrote me once, 'I reserve the right to whine, to not read, to use profanity. But if you ever get really hurt or if you ever get really down and need a shoulder to cry on, or just need a friend, give me a call. I'll be there for you. I'll not let you down. "'Now, go on out and knock my knickers off. When you do, I might just

cancel my subscription.'"

You know, that's a very long way, but it's far away as you could possibly get from, you know, the enemy of the people.

PURDY: Right.

VAUSE: Has the coverage of the White House changed so much in those years?

Or is it just that this president, the current occupant of the White House, is he just really thin-skinned compared to others?

PURDY: Well, I think, he is very thin-skinned. I think some of his actions and past actions, perhaps, have caused the press to be critical. And I think, rightly so, all presidents have challenges with the media because the media is there to hold government to account.

And to the extent that a president is more out in left-field shall we say, then the media is going to be there. You can go back and look at Watergate and President Nixon. And they did a good job in terms of uncovering what was going on.

But I think what that quote you read, you know, indicates is George H.W. Bush knew and understood and valued relationships. That was the key and he knew how to praise people. He was probably better as president behind the scenes. He wasn't a very good upfront sometimes.

He struggled with what he called the vision thing. And he was more comfortable, I think, behind the scenes. But he was very effective at it because he knew how to build relationships.

VAUSE: Yes and of course, this is a moment for the nation to remember and obviously to take time to consider where it is -- you know, where -- and where it is being and where it is going. And these are all very difficult issues.

But Mikey, thank you so much being with us. We appreciate it.

PURDY: Certainly, my pleasure. Thanks.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: We will take a short break. When we come back, the trade war: a truce.

But it will last?

What is in this deal anyway?

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VAUSE: Wall Street likes the ceasefire in the U.S. and China trade war. All three U.S. indices jumped more than 1 percent Monday after President Trump announced a 90-day hold on imposing new tariffs; $200 billion of Chinese goods were supposed to be slapped with tariffs beginning in January.

In return, the U.S. president says China will reduce tariffs on U.S. cars. Details now from Alison Kosik.

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ALISON KOSIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, there. Stocks surged at the opening bell but cut their gains of it by the time the closing bell rang. Investors, though, are still upbeat from the best outcome they could hope for from the G20 in Argentina. A deal to negotiate towards the deal in the trade dispute between the U.S. and China.

And although it's not a permanent truce in the trade war, it does keep the dispute from escalating and takes out some of the investor uncertainty for the next few months.

Investors are hopeful and skeptical at the same time that, within the 90-day deadline, progress can be made in talks.

As Monday's stock market rally, faded buyers went into bonds pushing yields lower. Investors also bought oil, the price of U.S. crude jumping more than 4 percent on the heels of a temporary tariff truce and as OPEC looks ready to reduce supply.

OPEC meets on December 6th to decide its output policy. Investors will now turn their attention to the next big market mover. That's on Friday when the U.S. jobs report is released. November's numbers are expected to show hiring cooled off and wages picked up. The unemployment rate is expected to hold steady at 3.7 percent.

The U.S. financial market will be closed on Wednesday to honor the memory of former President George H.W. Bush, who passed away Friday.

I'm Alison Kosik, reporting from the New York Stock Exchange. Now back to you.

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VAUSE: In Los Angeles now, global business executive Ryan Patel.

Good to see you, Ryan.

RYAN PATEL, GLOBAL BUSINESS EXECUTIVE: Likewise.

VAUSE: OK. So, the Trumpian version of events goes something like this. After months of stalled trade talks, escalating tension between China and the U.S. with the world gone mad on the edge of a global trade war, Donald Trump swoops in and over just one year uses his Jedi-like deal-making skills to strike a deal at Xi Jinping.

Take a look at Monday's front page of the "People's Daily" in both Mandarin and English. No word of a trade agreement, saying for almost every other news outlet in China.

And then China's version of WeChat, which is sort of Twitter, partially sent to the official Chinese translation of the White House statement and the forward function was disabled.

OK, something's going on here. It's not uncommon for both sides to you know, cherry-pick information the stuff that they like. This seems they like picking from different trees.

PATEL: Well, first off this is not a truce, it's a timeout. You know, I think this is putting both bases, right?

This is a win actually for China too to go back to their base and be able to say hey, you know, we can stop the bleeding a little bit and for Trump --

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PATEL: -- this is what he needed. I mean, when they said what was the best outcome, this was the only outcome that would have at least bought more time.

Having nothing that comes out of this conversation would have been bad.

And as you can tell from the markets today, yes, they were up, there you know, for 1 percent, 1.5 percent. They went 4 percent or 5 percent but it just kind of created this predictability and hopefully will happen over the next few months that the investors can kind of look at.

VAUSE: Yes. 90 days to solve all of this and it's been going on for years.

OK, let's just go back to a presidential tweet on Sunday. That was the announcement from Donald Trump that China had agreed to cut tariffs on U.S. car imports currently at 40 percent.

The reason why they're at 40 percent is because China hiked them by 25 percent in response to U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports. The president likes to break things and then try and fix them and then essentially, you know, claim credit for fixing something and the market likes it.

PATEL: Well, this is why there wasn't a joint statement, right?

I mean, they -- this was part of the reason why they wanted wins and Trump -- I mean if you and I both talked about this last week. He want -- he needed to show that he won in this and he -- like you said, he started off the second, saying he is the dealmaker. This is him being a dealmaker.

However, the market reacted because there was no bad news. I mean, we live in a day now where, you know, good news apparently doesn't do anything if you have really even little slightly bad news that takes the market down a few percentage points.

VAUSE: But what was interesting is that when senior White House aides were asked specifics about all of this, they just kind of either they walked it back or they fudged it with vaguely accurately and accurately vague.

PATEL: Well, it's hard because you -- we're in the middle -- we're in the middle of trade war because of IP rights, because of agriculture, because of imports and exports and security and they cannot have all these details over a dinner.

I'm sorry to tell you that. And over the next 90 days, it's going to be focused on small low-hanging fruit item deal, items that they can come together to on. And even then, we don't know out of the 600 items that are on this tariff list.

So for me, I think it'll be very interesting to see what things that they agree upon and what things that they don't. And when January comes because anybody take a step backwards and stop this thing.

VAUSE: OK, no music clips this time but instead famous movie moments.

Which of the following scenes best describe how you feel about the state of trade negotiations right now between China and the United States?

Your first choice is from the 1967 classic starring Paul Newman, "Cool Hand Luke." Here it is.

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STROTHER MARTIN, ACTOR, "CAPTAIN": What we've got here is failure to communicate.

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VAUSE: OK, next choice, a line made famous in "The Godfather" trilogy.

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MARLON BRANDO, ACTOR, "VITO CORLEONE": I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: OK, I can call it. It was at this memorable quote from the classic comedy, "Airplane." Here we go. Listen this one.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LLOYD BRIDGES, ACTOR, "STEVEN MCCROSKEY": Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue.

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VAUSE: OK, so the choices are A, "a failure to communicate;" B, "I'm going to make an offer they can't refuse" or, C, "wrong week to stop sniffing glue."

Which one and why?

PATEL: Oh, I love number three so much. I just want to pick that. I swear it's a great movie.

But you know, I think it's you know, I think it's number two. Anywhere between one and to is the communication and the deal offer. I guarantee you the deal that would be may be agreed upon today from ninety days is not going to be very much different.

I just think that it was amount of pressure that is pushing on from the economy side and the basis is why this truce came -- this truce happened alright this time out is what I call it, because they needed it.

It wasn't so much for the heads of countries, who were willing to stop their back and forth retaliatory piece. It was because they had no choice.

VAUSE: Ryan, as always thank you so much. Good to see you.

PATEL: Thanks for letting me play.

VAUSE: Thanks for playing.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: We will take a short break. When we come back, a major climate conference underway right now in Poland but with Donald Trump denying that climate change is actually a real thing caused by humans, it's no surprise that the U.S. is not part of the action.

We'll separate fact from fiction when it comes to the big issues. That's ahead.

Also, drink up but don't ask where it came from. Extreme lengths by one city to avoid going dry.

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[00:30:00] VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. I'm John Vause, with an update on our top stories this hour.

French paramedics have now joined the anti-government protest (INAUDIBLE) on Monday. They're blocking a bridge in Paris.

Three weeks of demonstrations against a hike in fuel taxes has now expanded to a protest against the French president, with those other issues like income and inequalities.

Donald Trump and the First Lady have paid their respects to the former U.S. President, George H.W. Bush. His body is lying in state in the Capitol Rotunda. Mr Trump and all four living former U.S. presidents will attend the memorial service on Wednesday, at the national cathedral.

Day one of the COP24 Climate Conference has wrapped in Poland. The U.S. doesn't have a major presence but other countries are looking how to implement the Paris climate deal. Naturalist David Attenborough had a dire warning for attendees. He called climate change the world's greatest threat in thousands of years.

Well, despite the broad scientific consensus that the world's climate is warming and humans are a major cause, some still insist it's either a natural occurrence, a hoax or at the very least, it's over overstated (INAUDIBLE) breaks an awful lot of theories to try and support their denials.

Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri is with nus now to separate facts from fiction. Oh, boy, good luck with that one.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: I know.

VAUSE: Let me get on with this because some -- people get really fired up.

JAVAHERI: You'd be surprised. You know, in the era of social media where we get the fake news. We get fake weather on our department side as well. But just so you know, step outside.

VAUSE: It makes it easy. People get really fired up. OK.

JAVAHERI: Absolutely. And you know, we try to get kind of a broad perspective of all of this. I kind of break it down for you. We'll show you the past 150 years, the data, of course. This is a color depiction where from the left side of the screen, 1850, 2017, on the right side.

You see the dramatic warming trend essentially, with this particular study relayed. But you know, some of the myths that we see, John, the climate has changed before, and that's absolutely true. It has several times in Earth's past. But most of these changes occur on the order of thousands or millions of years, not what we've seen in decades now, in the past three to five decades.

And humans have caused the fastest most abrupt changes we've seen in history. And in fact, the carbon dioxide level really corresponds well from the 1880s to the present day, with temperature increasing, and again, most dramatically, in just a matter of the last five decades or so.

And, you know, another myth we often see, in fact, I saw this at my son's school. I went there for a weather presentation to teach them about the science. And some of the kids raised their hand, my mom says that you guys are, you know, incorrect most of the time. VAUSE: Your mom doesn't know anything, John, let me tell you.

JAVAHERI: Oh, I have to nicely tell them that, you know, statistically, John, we're about 80 percent accurate when it comes to the forecast. It's the 20 percent that people seem to remember, and that's significant variables in the daily forecast.

VAUSE: (INAUDIBLE) the strikes

JAVAHERI: It really is. And, you know, when it comes to climate, it's a completely different game. We're looking at long-term trends rather than single events and climate models doing an incredible job. And historically, they've already been accurate. They're accurate to present day.

In fact, since the 1980s, we knew sea level is going to rise. That has happened since the 1980s, very dramatically. And we see the trend of just one degree Celsius warming will take the sea level up by about almost a metre in height.

And in fact, look at this, just in the past decade or so, the fastest sea level rise has occurred off the coast of the Philippines, 10 millimeters a year, about the length of your, say, fingernails growing, is how high the sea levels are getting in some of these areas across portions of Indonesia, unto the Philippines.

And you look at who is most responsible for how much emissions they're putting out in metric tons, it's India, it's the E.U., it's China, it's the United States, by far and away. But it's the people not at all contributing to it, by this sort of a scale that is dealing with it most insignificantly.

[00:35:10] VAUSE: The (INAUDIBLE) is great before parts of the world.

JAVAHERI: It really is. And it's unfortunate in that sense. But you take a look, you know, we often hear volcanoes emit more CO2 than humans, then that's absolutely false. In fact, humans emit 100 times more CO2 worldwide. Our emissions have gone up since the last couple of years, their highest ever, at 53 plus billion tons.

And, we often hear volcanic eruptions and we see the volcanic eruptions have actually significant cooling effect on our planet. In fact, there's something called the year without a summer, it was Tambora, it was 1816. The temperatures across portions of the earth, across Europe and Asia, in particular, dropped three degrees Celsius because of eruption.

So, the ash into the atmosphere kind of takes the sun's luminosity down a notch. And you know, people believe the sun spots, they have activity in warming up the planet. Since 1870, only 0.1 degree changed from the sun's impact on our temperatures warming. The truth is, the sun actually has shown a cooling trend in the past three decades.

So, you know, there's plenty of data to put it otherwise. VAUSE: She thinks the environmentalists and scientists, they have the biggest mistake they have made was calling it global warming (INAUDIBLE) they should've called it climate change.

JAVAHERI: Yes. I meant to say it earlier in the segment.

VAUSE: Yes, because (INAUDIBLE) climate taking a snowball and saying -- and the tweet from the President saying it's cold outside. And the other thing too is that when 99.9 percent of the scientists out there say you've got lung cancer, you need surgery. You should take it. You don't find that one percent of the doctors who (INAUDIBLE) they know you're fine.

JAVAHERI: Yes.

VAUSE: So, there we go, Pedram, good to see you.

JAVAHERI: Thanks for having me.

VAUSE: Thank you. Well, the Federal Government isn't climate change seriously, but for many U.S. communities, it's an everyday reality. El Paso, Texas is facing a major drought. CNN's Doctor Sanjay Gupta has a look at the extreme steps that he's now taking to survive.

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DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: You're looking at the place where the real grand, the mighty river once float. Today, dust and sand, instead of water. This is El Paso, Texas, just across the border, Juarez, Mexico, hardly any rain here, not much humidity, just dry.

ED ARCHULETA, FORMER MANAGER OF THE EL PASO WATER: We were forecast to be run out of water by the year 2020.

GUPTA: Ed Archuleta ran the water utility in El Paso when that dire prediction was made in 1989. Then, El Paso ends were using around 200 gallons of water per person, per day. And so, Ed's first order of business was to simply preach conservation. Residents were paid to turn green lawns into brown desert landscapes, and it helped, quite a bit.

Today, El Pasoans have cut their water usage by 35 percent per person. But, for a city that's significantly relied on the river, it was becoming increasingly dry.

ARCHULETA: There's no question that I think that climate changes are affecting the Rio Grande.

GUPTA: To better understand what climate change looks like here, we travelled two hours up river, just outside of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.

We made our way now to the Elephant Butte Dam. You can see it over here, behind me, built in 1916. At times, the water has become so high that will actually spill through the dam. But, take a look at the water levels now. It's about three percent of the total capacity.

PHIL KING, PROFESSOR OF CIVIL ENGINEERING, NEW MEXICO STATE UNIVERSITY: What are seeing is a systematic increase in temperature. So, we're seeing the snowmelt run off earlier than historical and a more rapid melt than average. And again, for a given level of snowpack, less run off actually, reaching the river and reaching our reservoir here.

GUPTA: Phil King is a professor of civil engineering at New Mexico State University.

We're certain that what we're seeing here is worsened by climate change.

KING: With very high confidence, yes

GUPTA: A reservoir like this may fill again, one day, but when it does, it probably won't fill as quickly, and the water will drain faster than ever before. That's the thing about climate change. It doesn't happen drip by drip. It is cycles that are continually getting worse and worse.

And so to keep this major American city from going completely dry, despite being nowhere near a coast, they built the world's largest inland, desalination plant. It treats the brackish water underneath El Paso's main aquifers.

ARCHULETA: It basically gives El Paso an insurance policy against draught.

GUPTA: Another more provocative step, creating a closed loop. It's exactly what it sounds like, treating sewage water, and then, sending it directly back into drinking water pipes, toilet to tap. Gilbert Trejo of El Paso Water shows me how it's done.

It starts by filtering out solids like rags and wipes out of raw sewage. Then, there are many levels of filtration and treatment for the bacteria, viruses, and everything else. Moment of truth.

GILBERT TREJO, CHIEF TECHNICAL OFFICER, EL PASO WATER: Let's do it.

[00:40:07] GUPTA: OK. Let's do this. Sounds like water, looks like water. Cheers. It's what is necessary to make El Paso drought resistant. It tastes like water.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: Our thanks there to Dr. Sanjay Gupta for that report. We'll take a short break. When we come back, after one very long chase, years in the making, NASA finally catches up with an asteroid, the mission, challenges, still to come. That's also still to come, next here, on CNN.

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VAUSE: It's a close encounter, more than two years in the making, NASA's spacecraft, OSIRIS-REx, arrived at the asteroid Bennu, on Monday. And because, you know, spacecraft, they all (INAUDIBLE) people, tweeted this, #WelcomeToBennu! After two years of travel and more than a decade of planning and work by my team, I'm here. But arrival, went on to tweet, is just the beginning.

OSIRIS-REx will spend the next year, circling and examining Bennu, to find a safe landing spot, so it can then touchdown and collect a sample, and then return to Earth. If all goes well, spacecraft should drop off a capsule filled with asteroid dust in the deserts of Utah, in the year 2023.

Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause. Please stay with us. "WORLD SPORT" is up next. You're watching CNN.

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