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British Parliament Begins Debate on Brexit Plan Tuesday; Attenborough Calls on World Leaders to Act; Migrants Taking Risky Trips Across English Channel; Former U.S. President Remembered Fondly in China; Fuel Tax Protest Sparks Rioting In Paris; Trump And Xi Agree To Put Off Raising Tariffs; Former President Lying In State At U.S. Capitol; Trump And All Living Former U.S. Presidents To Attend Memorial Service Wednesday At National Cathedral; Reagan's Daughter Takes A Swipe At Trump. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired December 4, 2018 - 01:00   ET


[01:00:00] JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello everybody, I'm John Vause, great to have you with us. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. Ahead this hour, no sign of an end to the deadly protests in France as the list of grievances against the government continues to grow with some calling for the president to resign. Plus, is it a ceasefire or timeout? China and the U.S. put their trade war on hold for 90 days to try and solve disputes which have lasted for years. And President George Herbert Walker Bush remembered for a life of public service and sacrifice, the outpouring of bipartisan praise which intended or not is seen as criticism of the current Commander-in-Chief.

The French government's still clearing debris from Saturday riots in Paris and is now bracing for more violence this weekend. Three weeks ago, a hike in fuel taxes triggered the protests mostly in provincial areas. But the so-called yellow vest movement has expanded into a citizen uprising against income inequality. President Emmanuel Macron has delayed a trip to Serbia to try and deal with this crisis. The French paramedics joined the demonstration on Monday. Melissa Bell reports the government's efforts to try and restore calm.


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 for at least to minimize the damage that is done next Saturday if that protests go ahead.

Already 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 three and four 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.


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 offeror for Macron? How does he bring the temperature down? There's some talk within the governor 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, outrightly outrageous demands like the resignation of the president. We've heard today a spokesperson from the Yellow Vest 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 spot 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 summaries 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. 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 have ten percent unemployment, you have 25 percent youth unemployment sluggish growth for the last decades. And you know, this is something different that even though 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.

[01:05:56] 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 all 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 friends are -- really has one of the longest retirement time in 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 as if 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 was there mostly center-right cabinet. His successful fairly to hold the center in the face of populist 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 year before, ran something like 90 percent of parliamentary candidates who had never ran 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 is 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.

VAUSE: The trade war between the United States and China is on hold at least for now and Wall Street is feeling it. U.S. investors said the Dow up more than one percent, the other two industries in the United States were up as well. U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping met at the G20 Summit and agreed to hold off on new tariffs for 90 days and that 90-day window started December 1st. Oil prices also up on the trade truce as well as OPEC apparently looking to cut output. In Los Angeles now, Global Business Executive Ryan Patel. Good to see you, Ryan.


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, 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 a percent, a percent and a half. They went four percent or five 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 deal maker. This is him being a deal maker. 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 percent 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 a vaguely accurate 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 I.P. 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 six hundred 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.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What we've got here is failure to communicate.


VAUSE: OK, next choice, a line made famous in the Godfather Trilogy.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse.


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


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wrong week to stop sniffing glue.


VAUSE: OK, so the choices are A, a familiar to -- 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 there back and forth retaliatory peace. It was because they had no choice.

[01:15:08] VAUSE: Ryan, as always thank you so much. Good to see you.

PATEL: Thanks for letting me play.

VAUSE: Thanks for playing. Well, around the clock, mourners are paying their respects to the late U.S. President George H.W. Bush. Just ahead, details on the state funeral, who will be there, and what role the current commander in chief will play. Also, legendary naturalist, David Ambroz has warned climate change could lead to the collapse of civilization. But warnings like that motivate world leaders' right now in Poland from making any progress that deals this climate change


VAUSE: And real live this hour at Washington, where it is 18 minutes past 1:00 on a Tuesday morning. And as you can see, long line of mourners even at this hour, filing past the casket of former U.S. President George H.W. Bush.

And earlier, Donald Trump and First Lady Melania were among those who paid their respects as Bush's body lies in state at the Capitol Rotunda. We have more details now from CNN's Sunlen Serfaty.

SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There have been so many moving moments as the nation continues to honor the life and legacy of former President George H.W. Bush up here on Capitol Hill. So much emotion on Monday as the family watched his casket slowly being carried, step by step into the U.S. Capitol. Where, of course, he once served as a congressman from Texas.

His body lies in state here in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol. Was open overnight Monday into Tuesday for members of the public to come in and pay their respects, and one by one people came inside to give their respects to the former president including President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump.

They came up late on Monday evening. President Trump saluted the casket and the First Lady Melania, she had her hand over her heart.

Now, at a ceremony on Monday afternoon on Capitol Hill, certainly, a common theme was not only speaking about the former president and all that he achieved at his time in office. But mostly about who he was as a man. That who was modest and kind and someone who established deep relationships herein Washington.


REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: George Herbert Walker Bush demonstrated the finest qualities of our nation and of humankind. A great leader and a good man. A gentle soul of firm resolve. He showed us that how we live is as important as what we achieve.

His life was a hymn of honor. His legacy is grace perfected. His memory will belong to glory.


[01:20:29] SERFATY: And the former president's body will continue lying in state. And on Wednesday, that is when he will be broach the National Cathedral for his memorial service there, and he'll be eulogized by his son, former President George W. Bush. Sunlen Serfaty, CNN, on Capitol Hill. VAUSE: The White House has confirmed Donald Trump will attend Wednesday state funeral. 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 has struck a startling similar tone as those for Senator John McCain, who died three months ago. An outpouring of bipartisan praise. Both been described as honorable, gracious, decent.

Trump and McCain had probably few dirty 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.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

[01:25:22] VAUSE: Yes, this will be -- look, knowing this president as we know him now, this will obviously not be an easy time 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 sort of Patti Davis, she made that comparison during an interview on CNN just a few hours ago. Listen to part of it, here it is.


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.


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 different too. If we look at relationship between reporters and the presidency, the New York Times opinion writer Maureen Dowd had an (INAUDIBLE) 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 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 in 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 that'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 at this president, the current occupant of the White House? Is he just a 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.

VAUSE: Monstrous wildfires, rising seas, almost every sign is now saying it all boils down to a warming planet. A famed efforts David (INAUDIBLE) has a dire warning as leaders gather in Poland to talk climate change.


[01:29:57] VAUSE: Famed naturalist David Attenborough has a dire warning as leaders gather in Poland to talk climate change.


VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. Thanks for staying with us. I'm John Vause.

We'll check the headlines this hour.

French paramedics have joined nationwide protests, angered by rising costs of living as well changes to workplace conditions. Three weeks of demonstrations which started over a hike in fuel taxes have now become the biggest political crisis facing the French president since he was elected last year.

Global markets rallied on Monday after the U.S. and China reach a pause in their trade conflict. The 90-day period for trade negotiations started December 1. Tariffs were meant to go to effect in January. China says though it will hold off on new auto tariffs.

The White House has confirmed Donald Trump will attend Wednesday's state funeral for former president, George H.W. Bush. Mr. Trump and First Lady Melania paid their respects at the U.S. Capitol where Mr. Bush's body is now lying in state. He will be buried Thursday. It's going down to the wire for the British Prime Minister Theresa May and her Brexit plan. Five days of debate in the Brexit withdrawal begins in the coming hours in the House of Commons. A week later Parliament is expected to vote on the deal.

Calls for a second referendum though are actually growing louder.

We have details now from CNN's Bianca Nobilo in London.


BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT ((voice over): Almost two and a half years after Britons voted to leave the Europe Union it is crunch time.

THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: If the deal is voted down in the House of Commons, it will lead to more division and more certainty.

NOBILO: This week the U.K. parliament begins voting on the Brexit deal Theresa May struck with the E.U. but she is facing an uphill battle to convince lawmakers, even on her own side, to back the agreement.

JACOB REES-MOGG, CONSERVATIVE MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: This is not Brexit. This is a failure of government policy. It needs to be rejected.

BORIS JOHNSON, MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: If you ask me a question am I going to vote against it? The answer is yes.

NOBILO: One of the major sticking points for Brexiteers is the so- called Irish border backstop which is designed to make sure there's no hard border between Northern Ireland which is part of the U.K. and the Republic of Ireland which will remain in the E.U. The backstop will mean Northern Ireland continues to be subject to E.U. rules while the U.K. and the E.U. to find a long-term solution to the border problem.

But Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Political Party whose support Theresa May relies on for government doesn't support the plan.

ARLENE FOSTER, LEADER OF DEMOCRATIC UNIONIST PARTY: But for us we cannot wish away the fact that the draft withdrawal agreement contains arrangements that we believe are not in Northern Ireland's the long- term economic or strategist interests.

NOBILO: The Brexit deal is also facing strong opposition from those who want the U.K. to remain in the E.U. And they're demanding second referendum.

TONY BLAIR, FORMER BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: It didn't settle it. You've now got a situation where there is a division in parliament, in the government, actually even in the cabinet, certainly in the country. And you've got two different versions of Brexit on offer.

NOBILO: On Monday morning a petition calling for a people's vote on the final Brexit deal was delivered to Downing Street.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To have over a million people do that is an extraordinary thing and powerful.

MAY: People are talking about a second vote when we haven't even delivered on the first vote.

NOBILO (on camera): There's a real possibility that Theresa May she will lose the parliamentary vote. And if that happens, it could trigger a leadership contest or a general election, throwing the entire Brexit process into chaos.

And with Britain leaving the E.U. on the 29 of March 2019, time is really running out to make any substantial changes to the Brexit deal.

(voice over): In Brussels, the only thing E.U. officials can do now is watch and wait to see how the British parliament reacts.

MICHEL BARNIER, E.U. CHIEF BREXIT NEGOTIATOR: The time has now come for everybody to shoulder their responsibilities. British members of parliament will have an opportunity to take up (INAUDIBLE) on that withdrawal agreement and the test of the political declaration.

NOBILO: Europe has already warned Britain the deal on offer is the best one possible. Take it or leave it. . Bianca Nobilo, CNN -- London.


VAUSE: World leaders have gathered in Poland for a major U.N. climate conference. The first day of COP24 wrapped on Monday. Officials are trying to implement the 2015 Paris Climate Accord but unlike that landmark agreement, the U.S. is not playing a major role at this conference. No surprise given Donald Trump's denials of climate change.

In contrast to the U.S. president, the famed naturalist David Attenborough who knows a thing or two about the environment and the planet, delivered a stark warning to the delegates in Poland.

DAVID ATTENBOROUGH, NATURALIST: The people have spoken. Leaders of the world you must lead. The continuation of our civilizations and the natural world upon which we depend is in your hands. Thank you.


VAUSE: And then later Attenborough spoke to CNN's Christianee Amanpour correspondent.


CHRISTIANEE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: So let me ask you. You are there giving this speech, you've given a speech to COP24. What is your underlying fundamental message at this time?

ATTENBOROUGH: It is a message to the people who have got their fingers on power. The people who couldn't do things in terms of both money and legislation and big practical events. A message from people, ordinary people around the world who are facing the brunt of what is happening in the climate today and say that they desperately need action.

And they are -- they give some opportunity of 208 million people to express their views as to what they're feeling about climate change and what's happening to them.

AMANPOUR: So were you surprised to hear what these young people had to say because always we hear from the sort of -- you know, the people in power or the experts or whatever. Were you surprised to hear from the people and what they had to say?

ATTENBOROUGH: I wasn't surprised, but I was very moved. The fact that there are people, several hundred million people around the world are using the Internet to speak to the people in power.

Your medium and mine -- television is very powerful, but there are many more people that have mobile phones than they have television sets. So that message is getting to people that we haven't been able to reach. And what is more, enabling them to say what they think about the situation that they personally are facing and then bringing that into the center so that people who sit on these platforms, who control hundreds of millions of pounds in terms as the World Bank we've just heard now being very generous so that they can really hear what's happening in the world around them.

We're in big conferences like this, international conferences, you're isolated from people whose homes have just been razed to the ground or facing hurricanes. But this is -- this is where it's working. This is where the penalties are being paid for what humanity has been doing to the planet.

AMANPOUR: You know, and you speak with such urgency and this is a very unprecedented event, this Take Your Seat that you are representing peoples all over the world. Tell me whether you believe this will continue. Tell me about the importance of this hashtag movement Take Your Seat.

ATTENBOROUGH: Well, we will see. We will see whether people out there take advantage of this.

[01:39:48] And we will see and I believe this is -- we can predict that if they do take advantage of this, that it will be a great incentive to the people who sit in conference rooms discussing protocols and figures and policies to realize that we are actually dealing with real people -- men, women and children who are actually taking the brunt of this on the chin.

And not only that, but also the natural world which is also bearing the brunt of what we've been doing to it and is facing catastrophe.

AMANPOUR: I just want to go back to several of the things you've said in the past about this environment which you are uniquely qualified to talk about it given your incredible decades-long, you know, travel around the world and bringing this to people's attention in the most understandable way possible.

Let me just ask you, I mean you've used this medium, television, to really make an impact. At the moment how do you reflect on the success of what you have done?

ATTENBOROUGH: Well, I don't know. But I think -- I think that the condition that the earth is facing has never been visible to a large proportion of the world's population. And it is the responsibility of people who do the sort of work that I do to make sure that what is happening is visible to people.

They know but it's also visible to the people who have their fingers on power, both political power and fiscal power, monetary power to do something about this situation, which is every day that passes it gets more and more serious.

AMANPOUR: So about 18 years ago in "State of the Earth" you said the future of life on earth depends on our ability to take action. Many individuals are doing what they can but real success can only come if there's a change in societies and our economics and in our politics.

So is that kind of the purpose of your story telling and do you feel that some of these people in positions of power are persuadable particularly those who are deniers and who believe that it's economically unfeasible?

ATTENBOROUGH: Well, we don't have the choice. They can't reckon that it's unfeasible. That's the voice of doom if they said that. Of course, the action is feasible. We have to do something about it.

I mean I didn't start by - I was unaware when I started making natural history films, that there was going to be a disaster facing us just over the horizon. I didn't know that that was going to happen. And the motive that I had in making "Natural World" is because I think the natural world is marvelous and wonderful and one of the great solaces of the human beings, that we are a part of this sort of thing. And that's the sort of thing that television should be dealing with.

That's why I started in it, but what you realize now is that if you don't speak up, nobody will. I've had unprecedented good fortune in being able to travel around the world and seeing all the most wonderful things. And what sort of a person would I be if I failed to speak up on this occasion when we suddenly see what is facing us just over the horizon.


VAUSE: That was David Attenborough and part of his conversation with Christianee Amanpour.

Migrants racing the Brexit clock to reach the U.K. -- a dangerous trip across the English Channel just got a little harder because of the French Coast Guard. We'll have details when we come back. You're watching CNN.


VAUSE: In recent weeks, a growing number of migrants have tried to reach the U.K. by crossing the English Channel. It's a risky trip from Calais, France across rough seas and heavy maritime traffic. Melissa Bell reports many of the migrants are from Iran and they're willing to risk their lives to try and get to the U.K. before Brexit.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many people?

BELL (voice over): A three-year-old with her family, rescued from the icy waters of the Channel. Over the last month, more than a hundred migrants have made it to the United Kingdom aboard dinghies.

Ahmed wasn't so lucky. After two failed attempts at crossing on a dinghy, he is back in the woods of northern France -- woods that he calls the jungle. He tells us that the risk is worth it.

AHMED, IRANIAN MIGRANT: Not controlled. You can go to England for two or three hours. If you have strong motor you can go.

BELL (on camera): But there are big ships, there are waves, there are currents. It's very dangerous. You could die in the water.

AHMED: Yes, I know. But to die is better than life in the jungle.

BELL (voice over): Ahmed left more than two years ago and fellow Iranians have been arriving in greater and greater numbers according to aid workers speaking of economic hardships and political persecution.

HADI, IRANIAN MIGRANT: The rules in Iran is not the same in Europe, you know. The rules is the same but they don't accept the rules. Whatever they want they do.

BELL: They tell us that asylum will be easier to get in the United Kingdom and as (INAUDIBLE) figures show that Iranians do a relatively good chance of receiving asylum on the other side of the channel. The trouble is getting there and soon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, the New Year at U.K. leaves the Europe. And everything is going to be hard and no-one can go to U.K.

BELL: As they say there's the difficulty of the cost, people smugglers charge migrants thousands of Euros to help them get on to trucks. Hence the desperate attempt to find other ways across the water.

The French Coast Guard has redoubled its patrols and now says it is rescuing migrants every day.

INGRID PARROL, FRENCH COAST GUARD: So these people when we found them, they are in the state of hypothermia and also they are just so frightened because we saw that this (INAUDIBLE) deaths and we don't want to have corpse on the beach or to have collision with big boat.

BELL (on camera): This is the part of the French Coast that is the closest to England. From here you can see the cliffs of Dover. It is only 17 nautical miles across. And so it is from these beaches, from this part of the coast that the migrants set-off in whatever they can find in fishing boats, in dinghies and sometimes even in kayaks.

(voice over): Miraculously some do make it across.

Peter Wallace is a local councilor in Dover.

PETER WALLACE, DOVER COUNCILOR: Before the camps people would try and get through to the tunnels or in the back of lorries but it's been this huge change in the last month. Over a hundred people including tiny, little children have been trying to get across the whole channel and in tiny little boats.

BELL: Which has become a daily struggle for the French and English Coast Guards.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you need help? Ok. Help is coming. We called for help.

BELL: And however desperate this image, these are the lucky ones, rescued from English waters. Waters so cold that no-one could survive them for more than an hour.



VAUSE: Health and sanitary issues have forced the closure of a migrant shelter in Tijuana. According to the mayor's office, the sports complex housed more than 5,000 people and was the main shelter for migrants heading for the U.S. border.

A CNN crew was on site last month, documenting squalid conditions including open sewage drains. The migrants are now being moved to a new shelter further away from the border.

Since his death on Friday, George H.W. Bush has been mourned and remembered in glowing terms in the United States and around the world. His body is now lying in state in the U.S. Capitol as mourners slowly file by -- a sign of respect for a man whose history of public service prepared him for the highest office in the land like no other before.

Through the 1970s before Beijing and Washington reestablished diplomatic ties, President Bush was the unofficial U.S. ambassador to China -- an experience which would influence his views on foreign policy for decades to come.

[01:50:00] CNN's Ivan Watson reports.


IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): George H.W. Bush is being remembered fondly in China. It's perhaps surprising in a communist country in the middle of a trade war with the current U.S. administration. Former President Bush was an old friend of the Chinese people. Chinese leader Xi Jinping told President Donald Trump on Saturday he witnessed and promoted the historic development of China-U.S. relations for over four decades.

Bush first arrived in China in 1974 as the unofficial U.S. envoy not long after President Richard Nixon's own historic first visit to the country. At the time the U.S. and China had no diplomatic ties but Washington was keen to pull Beijing into its camp against the Soviet Union.

China was still engulfed in Chairman Mao's tumultuous cultural revolution, economically-backward and diplomatically-isolated and yet Bush saw a future rising power.

As he famously bicycled around Beijing, the future U.S. president studied China first hand.

VICTOR GAO, FORMER TRANSLATOR TO DENG XIAOPING: That's when he got to know the Chinese leader, including Chairman Deng Xiaoping and this helped him ink his many subsequent years of dealing with China.

WATSON: After a brief power struggle when Mao died, Deng took over and launched economic reforms that would transform China. Victor Gao was his translator. He remembers the rock star welcome Bush received when he stopped by Beijing in February 1989.

But a few months later, things took a dramatic turn. The Chinese military brutally crushed pro-democracy protesters in Beijing and elsewhere, killing hundreds and perhaps thousands.

The Tiananmen Square massacre in June 1989 forced Bush to take a hardline stance.

GEORGE H.W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We deplore the decision to use force and I now call on the Chinese leadership publicly, as I have in private channels, to avoid violence and to return to their previous policy of restraint.

WATSON: But Bush's private channels proved instrumental. He saved bilateral ties from total collapse by sending a secret envoy to Beijing to keep top level communications open.

GAO: President Bush took tough positions against China in those difficult days. However, he had the wisdom of the long-term development of China-U.S. relations.

WATSON: For that Deng and his successors appear to still be grateful. Bush's last trip to China was with his son President George W. Bush during the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's good for the world to see China as it is. There is a lot of misunderstanding about China in the world. And I think this game helps to allay some of those concerns. And so it's very good.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The 41st president of the United States.

WATSON: That sentiment in the eyes of many Chinese people speaks to the true legacy of the 41st U.S. President on what some call the world's most important diplomatic relationship.

BUSH: And so with no further ado, the President of the United States.

WATSON: Ivan Watson, CNN -- Hong Kong.


VAUSE: Well, it was a huge step forward for equality as well as equal rights and then the co-host for the prestigious Ballon D'Or for the award, he decided to talk and ruined it all.


VAUSE: The world's coveted Ballon D'Or recognizes the world's best players and for the first time, there were two awards this year -- one for men and another for women.

After Ada Hegerberg delivered an acceptance speech urging young girls to believe in themselves, the co-host of the ceremony ruined the moment with a totally inane question, asking Hegerberg about her ability to twerk.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): You've seen that I prepared a little celebration for (INAUDIBLE). So we said we're going to do something similar. Do you know how to twerk?



VAUSE: The twerking question provoked a fire storm on social media, some calling it pathetic and inappropriate. The host says he has since apologized.

So would you like $22 million a year to play with toys. That's the life of a seven-year-old YouTube sensation. His name is Ryan -- there he is. He topped Forbes' list of the highest YouTube earners, taking in $22 million in a year. He's also just inked a deal with Walmart to sell their line -- to sell their line of toys. And look what he does. Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So I didn't really like Blue so much. Maybe they need more time, right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know it's so cute.



VAUSE: Ok. According to Forbes two other YouTubers passed the $20 million mark this year. The guys at Dude Perfect (ph) who specialize in crazy sports tricks, and Jake Pol who branched out into a merchandising business.


Decorations at a house in Texas look more like a Halloween prank than a Christmas display. A homeowner in Austin took a page out of "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" with a dummy Clark Griswold hanging from the roof with a ladder tilted next to him.

(INAUDIBLE) caught on the joke (ph). The display prompted a lot of calls to the emergency phone number 911. And a man driving by last week actually tried to rescue. He thought it was actually someone in trouble before realizing it was a dummy.

This is a security camera footage. The family advised, the (INAUDIBLE) apologized, gave him a gift card, got him --

Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause.

Please stay with us here on CNN. A lot more news after the break.


[02:00:02] VAUSE: Hello everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.

I'm John Vause with breaking news from the Middle East. A military operation under way by Israel in the Lebanese border right now.