Return to Transcripts main page
Markets Unsettled by Britain's E.U. Exit Uncertainty; Once Pro- Leave U.K. Town; New York Government Urges Business to Cut Ties with NRA; Students Plan Black Tuesday Rallies And Marches; Bail Hearing For CFO To Resume In Coming Hours; U.S. Efforts To Promote Fossil Fuels Mocked At COP24; Climate Refugees Flee Drought And Starvation.. Aired 1-2a ET
Aired December 11, 2018 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[01:00:00] JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello everybody, I'm John Vause. Great to have you with us and you're watching CNN NEWSROOM. Ahead this hour, humiliation on hold. Facing overwhelming defeat, Britain's Theresa May postpones a critical parliamentary vote on a Brexit plan to leave the E.U. but she may have just delayed the inevitable.
Wage increases and tax cuts. After weeks of violence the French president tries to come angry protesters and yes, he feels their pain. And judged by the company you keep, the Trump administration sides with Russia and Saudi Arabia to undermine an international climate conference and then speaks for the fossil fuels many of the audience couldn't help but laugh.
900 days after Britain voted to leave the European Union, no one seems to know what that exit will look like and the deadline for departure is a little more than 100 days away. Prime Minister Theresa May abruptly delayed a vote in parliament over her Brexit deal because it was facing overwhelming defeat. A controversial measure which will be the focus of an emergency debate in Parliament,T Tuesday.
Mrs. May now plans to meet with the E.U. to win reassurances to bring back to Parliament. Her insistence said there was only one major sticking point of the deal was met with lawmakers laughing and jeering.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THERESA MAY, PRIME MINISTER, UNITED KINGDOM: It is clear that while there is broad support for many of the key aspects of the deal, on one issue -- on one issue the north another backstop. There remains widespread and deep concern. As a result, if we went ahead and held the vote tomorrow, the deal would be rejected by significant margins. We will, therefore, defer the vote scheduled for tomorrow and not proceed to divide the house at this time.
(END VIDEO CLIP) VAUSE: Anna Stewart, an early live reporter there in London. Good to see you. What, 6:01, that's early. OK, well, since you with us, it's good. Good to see you. Anna, this is like a car speeding down the N5, and everyone is kind of slightly drunk, maybe a little manic, all grabbing for the steering wheel and there's 108 feet of road lift, no one has any clue about what's going to happen next.
ANNA STEWART, CNN INTERNATIONAL REPORTER: Seriously, John, trying to catch up just, having had about four hours, they're trying to catch up on what's happened just since I went to bed is a nightmare. The fallout from what happened yesterday is huge. There's a lot of anger, as you've said a lot of laughter, but I think that's just if you don't laugh, you'll cry. It's just been a big disaster really.
So what we're looking at today is anger from within her own party increasing speculation that she might face the leadership challenge. And I'll just show you some of the headlines today. Finally, the papers come out. May running scared we have in the Daily Mirror. May's last roll of the dice, we have in the Daily Mail. And the Telegraph, the Lady is returning, of course referencing Thatcher there.
So a lot of anger here. And the leader of the Scottish National Party Nicola Sturgeon yesterday already has tweeted to say she would like to the vote of confidence in the cold government. She's called upon Labour's leader Jeremy Corbyn to support her in that. He's giving her a little bit more time. But as he said he applied last night for this emergency debate and that was allowed so the first order of business. Today will be another debate but this time on the fact that she deferred the vote and what happens next.
VAUSE: We just heard from Theresa May saying that basically, the only sticking point in all of this was you know, the complicated arrangement with the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. That is a major issue but there's about 10,000 other issues as well.
STEWART: There are so many issues. I mean that's the one that really stuck in everyone's core. It was just that was they're so awful sticking point. But the thing that I can't get my head round is she's off on a whistle-stop tour of Europe to meet with various E.U. leaders. She starts with the Dutch Prime Minister in the Hague Mark Rutte, then she goes on to Berlin to me with Angela Merkel.
But let me just tell you what the European Council president said yesterday because he says I will not negotiate the deal including the backstop. There's no renegotiation here. So what is it that she's going to be seeking? Apparently, she's seeking legally binding reassurance that the EU will do its best not to make the backstop permanent, but the actual withdrawal agreement isn't going to be renegotiated according to the E.U.
And actually, she told us for a long, long time that it wasn't possible to renegotiate. And so you've got to question, what are we going to get at the end of all this? Will we be in exactly the same place several weeks, months even from here? VAUSE: Yes, it'll be window dressing, it may be some cosmetic changes
but nothing of substance because the deal won't change so that would not be enough for Parliament. So again, as you say, what's the point. Anna, thank you.
CNN's European Affairs Commentator Dominic Thomas is with us now from Los Angeles. Dominic, Brexit never a dull moment. You know, out of all of the British retreats in history, this seems to be Theresa May's very own Battle of Cartagena in 1741. Totally underestimating the strength of the opposition, squabbling within the bridge high command, and once it was over everyone pretended the humiliation never really happened in the first place.
I mean, no one can pretend that Brexit won't happen. What, 108 days until the deadline and the Prime Minister's plan is now basically to play for time and pump it down the road.
[01:05:29] DOMINIC THOMAS, CNN EUROPEAN AFFAIRS COMMENTATOR: I mean it's absolutely extraordinary. And I think that the announcement that the vote was not going to take place today really kind of stunned people. I mean, we all knew that there was not support for the vote but yet the announcement that it wouldn't take place, and I think this was reflected in the lengthy session they held with a hundred plus questions and statements made to the Prime Minister and that revealed the complete division within the house and the different kinds of positions and perspectives.
And the idea that yet again she is going to return to the European Union to come up with some kind of plan she believes she can sell back to people in -- sell back to the Parliament seems just so delusional and is really just indicative of this sort of the poor judgment and that she continues to exhibit and the lack of consultation back at home which is where she's facing the real problems here/.
VAUSE: I want to read you part of a report in The New York Times. Analysts had said that the Prime Minister expected to lose the initial parliamentary vote but hope the margin would not be embarrassingly large. Her plan in that case they said was to win a few concessions from Brussels and return to Parliament for a second vote. Now, that still seems to be Theresa May's plan right now to try and win a few concessions from the Europeans, but the E.U. president has made it clear the overall terms of the exit agreement will not be renegotiated. There's his tweet there. So any change if anything that she gets from the E.U. it's likely what we window-dressing, nothing of substance, which seems kind of pointless right now.
THOMAS: Well, yes. And the whole point is that it back in Parliament that she's got all these different factions and constituencies and there's almost nothing that will satisfy a kind of working majority. The one thing that you know, there's consensus for is that Brexit essentially you know, should go ahead. I mean, there's you know, this is the official position of the Labour Party and it's the dominant position in the Conservative Party. But having said that lots of that comes from just simply speculating where they think the electorate may be and so on. But her returning to the European Union, we have absolutely no idea
what it is really she's going to go back to them. The only thing we keep hearing about is the Irish backstop. But that is just one of many, many, many issues. The fact is between the hardcore Brexiters and the position of say the Labour Party, there is a world of difference between the kinds of Brexits that we're talking about. And so this is the particular problem and we keep coming back to this idea and respecting the outcome of the vote, respecting the vote of the people, but that in and of itself is so ambiguous and needs to be questioned because there was so little known about Brexit at the time.
You know, as you remember the day after Brexit this was the turn that was the most Googled throughout the internet space, right? And so people didn't know where it's going and now they're discovering. And one M.P. today was right I think in pointing out this distinction between the kind of the fantasy of Brexit and the reality and that's at this stage. Let alone if it actually goes ahead, and the reality starts to face the other 27 countries who start to realize that there are particular implications for their own spaces. And so this is a political crisis that we're looking at here.
VAUSE: You mentioned Labour, the Labour opposition, and you know, true to form never letting a political crisis go to waste. Here's the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in Parliament.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEREMY CORBYN, LEADER, LABOUR PARTY: The government is in disarray. Uncertainty is building for business. People are in despair at the state of these failed negotiations and concerned about what it means about their jobs, their livelihood, and their communities. And the fault for that lies solely at the door of this shambolic government.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: You know, if Corbin was Prime Minister, wouldn't he be in a fairly similar position as Theresa May right now?
THOMAS: Look, if Jeremy Corbyn's position was to be an unambiguously opposed to Brexit and point out the reasons why it didn't work, that would be one thing. He's not. He supports the Brexit deal here. He's not in favor of having a second referendum and he's also looking at calculations and districts and former U.K. voters and voters that have returned to the party.
The fact is that the Labour Party, unfortunately, is equally divided. They have also been involved in trying to force people to toe the line in purging members from the political party. This is a political landscape that is divided into so many different factions and there is absolutely no reason to believe that a new leadership in the form of Jeremy Corbyn would extricate us from the mess that we're in. It's hard to imagine where it is that we were to go.
And one of the reasons why Theresa May keep surviving is that leadership alternatives, somebody that could come along and generate some kind of consensus does not seem to be on the table and in the offering right now.
[01:10:04] VAUSE: Now it seems to me that three possibilities, three scenarios are now closer to reality. The first one obviously being that Theresa May finally you know, gets challenged for the -- faces a leadership challenge which she loses. The second on being that a no deal Brexit is now closer to reality. And oddly enough also it seems that maybe could just possibly, you know, a second referendum on Brexit is a possibility as well. I mean, is that how you're saying.
THOMAS: Sure. I mean, those are just three but they're of course so many others. But let's just go back to the idea of the referendum. What would the wording be on that referendum? Will the referendum be do we remain or leave or would it be we take Theresa Mays deal or a no deal but in other words, we still end up with Brexit? Is this perhaps the strategy in the end that make sure that Brexit is actually delivered and then later on we go back to looking at that.
But this is something that we seem to find that across Parliament there is little appetite for a no deal. And I believe or I think the most likely thing that will happen in the next week or so is going to have to be some kind of leadership challenge and some kind of move away from Theresa May to perhaps break the dam in the opposition and to get people to be a little bit more realistic. And that's something that the European may entertain is an extension to this particular process rather than it just sort of ending up down the road when March arrives and the U.K. has left the European Union.
VAUSE: Which is why a very short tweet from Ian Dunt, a political editor in the U.K. seem to sum everything up quite nicely. Dear Lord above, what an effing shambles. There it is. We took out the naughty way.
THOMAS: Dunt, Ian Dunt, good man. Thank you.
VAUSE: Good to see you. Britain's House of Commons was already in a fairly raucous mood on Monday but then a Labour M.P. grabbed the ceremonial mace and all hell broke loose. Without the mace which you can see here, Parliament can't needle pass laws. The delay in the Brexit vote apparently sparked the M.P.s anger. Here's what happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN BERCOW, SPEAKER, BRITISH HOUSE OF COMMONS: I'm grateful to the -- I'm grateful to a dedicated servant of the house for bringing forward the mace and restoring it to its place. I'm sorry but under the power given to me by standing order number 43, and I think the honorable gentlemen know the implications of his action, I must order the honorable gentleman to withdraw immediately from the house for the remainder of this day setting. Mr. Russell-Moyle please leave.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Lawmaker Lloyd Russell-Moyle tweeted this. Thankfully they haven't locked me in the Tower of London, but if they had, I'd expect May to be in the cell next to me for her treatment of parliament today. I'm allowed back tomorrow after my symbolic protest against the government. Wish May was not allowed back.
Well, France will face more protests in the coming hours despite President Emmanuel Macron promising an increase in the minimum wage and no new taxes on pensions. He announced the concessions on Monday to try and calm weeks of violent anti-government protests but as CNN's Ben Wedeman reports, it may not be enough for thousands of demonstrators outraged by a big increase in France's cost of living.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: President Emmanuel Macron spoke to the nation for 13 minutes in a pre-recorded address during which he began by condemning with violence of some elements within the Gilet Jaune, the so-called Yellow Vest who have been protesting since the 17th of November.
He promised to increase the minimum wage by 100 euros a month. He said he would cancel a planned increase in taxes for old-age pensioners and he said that he would be encouraging employers to give their employees Christmas bonuses. But many people said that what he had to offer was too little too late and in the coming days it is expected that there will be more protests. Students have said that Tuesday will be black Tuesday. They're protesting educational reforms which will make it more difficult for students to get into universities.
Today there were 120 disruptions at French schools, 40 of which were completely blockaded by the students. It is expected that on Friday there will be strike by trade unions. They will be joined by students and the Gilet Jaune saying that next Saturday will be Act 5, the fifth Saturday in which they will hold protests. I'm Ben Wedeman, reporting from Paris.
VAUSE: A bail hearing will resume there coming hours of the CFO of Chinese telecom giant Huawei. Just over a week ago Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Vancouver, Canada accused of planning a scheme for her company to dodge U.S. sanctions on Iran. The U.S. wants to extradite her. For the very latest now, CNN's Ivan Watson live in Hong Kong.
OK, so this is well the first time we're getting some new details exactly about you know, all the issues surrounding this case because there's been this suppression order which is placed on the Canadian courts. So what more do we know now after this bail hearing?
[01:15:08] IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's going to go into a third day now. And we've learned a lot more about Meng Wanzhou herself, the daughter of the founder of this Chinese tech giant, Huawei. And we've learned a little bit more about the charges against her.
The defense attorney is arguing for her to be released on bail. And proposed that she put up a million dollars with a bail, that she owns two properties in Vancouver, where the court proceedings were taking place, that she where an electric bracelet, be monitored 24 hours. And the judge has had a lot of skepticism and questions about that.
We've learned more about her, for example, she owns two homes in Vancouver. A $5.6 million, $16million of value respectively. That she has been married at least, three times, has four kids, has survived thyroid cancer. These are few of the details we've learned about her.
About the charges against her, well, the defense submitted a power point presentation from -- a presentation conducted in July of 2013. According to the document, and it details Huawei and its business with Iran. Insisting that it is in compliance with U.S. European Union and United Nation sanctions, detailing also its relationship with a subsidiary called Sky-Comm.
And it's there where the accusation seemed to come from. The relationship between Huawei and Sky-Comm. And that seems to be where the allegations of fraud and possible sanctions busting are stemming from, accusations that Huawei and Meng say they are innocent of. John.
VAUSE: You know, Ivan, this all comes through this 90-day pause in the trade war ceasefire between the United States and China. Obviously, this has resonated in China. Especially under the leadership there. What are they been saying about all this?
WATSON: Well, the Chinese foreign ministry has summoned the U.S. ambassador in Beijing -- the Canadian ambassador in Beijing, probably for a dressing-down about this, demanding the release of Meng. And has had some choice words for Canada itself. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LU KANG, SPOKESPERSON, CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY (through translator): If the Canadian side fails to deal with this issue properly, it will face serious consequences. And I can tell you that the consequences are entirely up to Canada.
There have been media reports revealing details of Miss Meng Wanzhou's treatment in custody. Including possible inhumane measures. Such as not providing her with basic medical care. We believe this is inhumane and infringes on her human rights.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATSON: Now, Meng was taken to hospital after her arrest on December 1st. And our team that was in the courtroom today, they saw her and they said she did look healthy in response to those accusations from the Chinese diplomat there.
Some analysts are arguing that China is trying to compartmentalize this, that not to let the controversy over Meng's arrest spill into the ongoing trade dispute, and the relations between Beijing and Washington. And instead is focusing much of its ire on Canada which is carrying out the U.S. arrest warrant, and the extradition order right now. However, some Chinese state media is much harsher accusing basically Canada of being a lap dog of the U.S. And we're just going to have to wait and see how this unfolds. John.
VAUSE: OK. Ivan, thank you. Ivan Watson, there. Live for us in Hong Kong with the very latest. We appreciate the details. Thank you, Ivan.
Next up here on CNN NEWSROOM, spooking fossil fuels at an international climate change summit. Who does that? How the Trump administration has taken the U.S. from world leader to recalcitrant (INAUDIBLE).
Plus, the most influential and powerful gun lobby in the United States. The NRA facing a cash crunch. I'll meet the architect to the plan to squeeze the National Rifle Association where it hurts.
[01:21:57] VAUSE: Just 1.5 degrees Celsius could decide the fate of our planet. The rising temperature of the earth passes at 1.5 threshold, the results could be disastrous.
The COP24 climate change conference, underway right now in Poland is trying to find agreement on how to stop that disaster from happening. But some say the U.S. delegation is trying to derail the talks by promoting clean and efficient fossil fuels. What's the reaction here?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESTON WELLS GRIFFITH, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY: The administration's economic strategy is rejuvenating our economy, revitalizing our manufacturing base, benefitting American workers, creating jobs, and encouraging innovation while safeguarding our environment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Well, that laughter you can hear is coming from protesters mocking that official from the U.S. Department of Energy. And that's not where they stop.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMERICAN CROWD: Keep it in the ground, keep it in the ground. Keep it in the ground, keep it in the ground.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: And a new report not only links climate change to extreme weather. It says global warming is causing some of those events. The American Meteorological Society blames human activity equal in greenhouse gas emissions for a number of extreme events last year.
Including droughts in the U.S. northern plains and East Africa. Flooding in South America China and Bangladesh, and heat waves in China and the Mediterranean.
Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri joins us for now with more. OK, this is significant because the words matter. It always used to be they would never take entirely sure if it caused these events but they were always said it made them worse. Now, they go that one step further.
PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: Absolutely. You know, the stance had always been in the meteorological community, and the climatological community, John, that weather is essentially like your mood, and the climate is your personality.
So, not at any one particular event cannot account for a broad perspective of where things have been like in the past day 20, 30, 50 years. Now, with better computers, better modeling, better scientific data, were able to really make a direct correlation to specific events after analyzing them, and they've now finished analyzing 2017s weather events and incredible findings really when you take a look at how things have played out.
Because we've seen the strong evidence towards droughts, flooding, and as you go towards the coastal flooding, thinks the sea level rise. And, of course, heat waves, that's where the best evidence exists right now for these being related directly to climate change and human-induced climate change.
But the study took into accounts some 120 scientists. Especially, the brightest scientists in the world when it comes to the weather and the science of climate. And then, they examined some 10 countries and looked at specific events in 2017 across these 10 countries.
And with historical modeling, historical weather data, along with advancements in their computer technology that they have, they're able to put simulations out, look at specific events and see if those events had anything to do with climate change and more so, human- induced climate change causing these events. And they actually isolated 17 specific events on this report that was released on Monday.
Now, you take a look, a lot of these might ring a bell, we have covered them extensively. And you take a look for example in the United States there were, at least 16 record-breaking events and disasters that set each one over a billion dollars in losses.
Hurricane Harvey was one of them, and this was one that was analyzed very carefully because it dropped the wettest storm in U.S. history. There are 150 centimeters came down in a matter of four days.
Data suggest that this would not have happened, it was almost entirely related to the warmer waters off the coast there in the Gulf of Mexico. And also, the warmer temperature that allowed more water vapor to be present in the atmosphere to produce the whopping amount of 150 centimeters and caused the billion-dollar disaster that was seen there.
We have heat waves in Europe, we had heat waves in the Mediterranean. They are now three times more likely to occur. We know that based on historical data. Then, back in 1950. And essentially, all of these now have human fingerprints on them, when it comes to climate change and were able to isolate them after analyzing each one. And it looks to be the case, at least, for many of them in 2017. John.
[01:25:52] VAUSE: Pedram, thank you. It's the kind of disturbing report. Appreciate that.
VAUSE: If global warming continues, experts fear a growing exodus of climate refugees and forced to flee drought and starvation. That's already happening in parts of Central America as CNN's John Sutter reports.
DELMI AMPARO HERNANDEZ, RESIDENT, COPAN, HONDURAS: It did rain more before, but not so much anymore, because there wasn't much harvested in the corn fields this year. We didn't harvest anything.
JOHN SUTTER, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Delmi has been struggling to feed herself and four kids these days. The crops just aren't growing like they were. Conditions eventually got so bad that her husband, Hermond, fled Honduras for the United States. Part of the migrant caravan that attracted the ire of U.S. President Trump.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And in that caravan, you have some very bad people.
SUTTER: Hermond didn't join the caravan because of violence in his homeland. He left because of drought and climate change. Central America has been hit with an intense and unusual drought in recent years. Crops are failing, starvation is lurking. The U.N. says 2 million people in the region are at risk for hunger.
EDWIN CASTELLANOS, DEAN OF RESEARCH, UNIVERSIDAD DEL VALLE DE GUATEMALA: We have seen events of children actually dying out of hunger. So it is that extreme. These people are moving away if not just out of their own will, it basically they -- because they have no option.
SUTTER: The reasons people migrate are complex. But the World Bank says in coming decades, more than 17 million people in Latin America could be forcibly displaced because of climate change. This is already starting to happen in Honduras. And almost nowhere is the trend, more pronounced than in Copan.
Data from the U.S. Border Patrol which seen and analyzed in collaboration with the University of Texas shows an increase in migration to the U.S. during the recent drought.
LISANDRO MAURICIO ARIAS, MAYOR, COPAN RUINAS, HONDURAS: I believe around 30 percent of the population, 25-30 percent of the population has emigrated.
SUTTER: Climate model shows it's only getting worse. Droughts are becoming more intense. The relatively small, dry corridor of Central America is expanding. And it may cover the entire region.
EVELIO OCHOA, RESIDENT, COPAN, HONDURAS: When it rains, the cob grows. And as you can see because of the drought it doesn't.
SUTTER: Evelio says, he fled to the U.S. three times with the help of a smuggler. Each time he was deported back to Honduras.
OCHOA: We didn't have much to harvest this year because of the drought. We had very little corn to harvest. We had even fewer beans. Very little, because of the drought.
SUTTER: His wife, Nora, says their family would have starved if a relative hadn't sent them help from the states. She wants Evelio to try the dangerous journey again, but they don't have the money.
Climate migrants who joined the caravan have little chance of safe and lawful passage to the U.S. International law does not recognize the rights of so-called climate refugees.
And President Trump has claimed that all refugee candidates have to wait in Mexico while their claims are reviewed. Slashing carbon pollution could decrease the number of climate migrants by millions, the World Bank says. And irrigation projects could help ease the pain of future droughts.
But this Exodus already is taking a toll. Delmi's husband died on the road while trying to join the caravan across the border in Guatemala.
HERNANDEZ: He said he was going to look for a better life, so that his children wouldn't suffer. So that we wouldn't suffer anymore. However, it wasn't possible, no. What he wanted didn't come true.
SUTTER: The circumstances of his death are unclear. The family buried him in the land he used to till.
HERNANDEZ: He left us alone. He left us alone forever.
SUTTER: John Sutter, CNN, Copan, Honduras.
VAUSE: Time for a quick break. And then, with the Brexit vote delayed in Britain, Wall Street is paying the price. More than financial implications on the uncertainty facing Britain and Europe.
[01:29:58] VAUSE: Time for a quick break.
And then with the Brexit vote delayed in Britain Wall Street is paying the price. More of the financial implications of the uncertainty facing Britain and Europe.
VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause with the headlines this hour.
Britain's Theresa May is heading back to Europe hoping to renegotiate some concessions on the draft Brexit agreement to win over opponents back home in parliament. The British Prime Minister will travel to Berlin and The Hague on Tuesday after canceling a parliamentary vote on her withdrawal deal which was set to be overwhelmingly voted down.
French President Emmanuel Macron has promised to increase the minimum wage and scrap new taxes on pensions to try and quell weeks of violent anti-government protests. But the move may not be enough to ease the growing anger over France's rising cost of living. Student plan to protest later Tuesday and trade unions are also expected to strike on Friday.
A bail hearing for Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou will resume in the coming hours. The CFO of the Chinese telecom giant is accused of helping the company dodge U.S. sanctions on Iran. She's being held in Canada and is facing extradition to the U.S.
Well, the markets hate uncertainty and right now there is truckloads of it surrounding Brexit. (INAUDIBLE) session on Wall Street and it's slightly up because of a surge in tech stocks but Brexit anxiety sent bank stocks sharply lower. The pound spiraled about 1.5 percent falling just shy of a 20-month low.
For more, lets head off to Los Angeles and Ryan Patel, global business executive. Ok.
So, Ryan -- along with, you know, this big hit to the currency there's been a gradual slowdown of U.K. economic growth if you look at the second half of the year. But just what happens next seems to be the big mystery.
It's bigger than sort of what happens in the Bermuda Triangle? You know, what happens with this parliamentary vote. For better or for worse, you know, this was actually meant to be a cathartic moment for the country. And finally there is some direction. But now the Prime Minister has put all this uncertain back in the mix and just keeps dragging for another 108 days.
RYAN PATEL, GLOBAL BUSINESS EXECUTIVE: Well yes. But I think there is some certainty. If there is a deal you are still not as well off and if there is no deal you are even further off. And I think that's what -- this is what's going on with what you are seeing with the politics right now is that there is this uproar of it.
There is this negotiated deal they agree upon. The GDP will be down a few percentage before without losing the E.U. And I think that's what is causing this tension. And what is -- what is the real worry which I believe that Wall Street has not baked in is if there is no deal.
If there is no deal between the E.U. and the U.K. that will cause these markets to further spiral down because I don't think that of it -- any really -- that is kind of put in there right now. [01:35:05] VAUSE: Yes. Listen to the reaction from business to this
delay in the vote. The head of the Confederation of Industry said it was another blow for companies desperate for clarity adding the country risks sliding toward a national crisis unless there is an agreement soon.
The head of the Chamber of Commerce talked about utter dismay business community and the delay will have real world consequences -- you're seeing that right now.
British lawmakers, they know this. The British Prime Minister she knows this but it seems it's not even sort of being worked into the political calculations here.
PATEL: Yes, that just tells you the chaoticness that's happening. You know that they know that this rhetoric is going on and I think for me there's now all of a sudden this pressure that's being on this meeting that Theresa May is going to have with the E.U. in a few days.
I mean, I don't know what they are going to come across and if she doesn't come across with anything that's positive that it's going to get passed in the U.K. I think it will cause the spiral to be even more vocal. Businesses are going to even worry even more and it could cause this even uncertainty to be -- you'll see more of these tweets.
VAUSE: You know, you mentioned how bad a no-deal Brexit could actually be. It will be bad for Europe. It could be a catastrophe for the U.K. So bad Cadbury is hoarding ingredients for their chocolate expecting shortages.
Here are some other warnings of significance. British automobile and airplane manufacturing could be stalled, grocery store shelves will be empty, massive traffic jams with trucks idling for miles as they wait to reach, you know, tunnel and ports, have to go through customs and inspections.
The governor of the Bank of England has warned no deal would cause a financial chaos similar to the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis.
You know, is it possible that the Prime Minister is sort of the gambling that the consequences of leaving the European Union without any deal at all are so grave, so damaging that ultimately the reluctant members of parliament will come around to her deal which will minimize the pain? Do you share her confidence I guess, in a sensible, logical decision making British MP?
PATEL: Well, if you say it that way, no.
VAUSE: I mean.
PATEL: I think what -- she's going through the motions. Like I think that they have gone through this paces where it's almost a check box you have to go, come back to parliament and say, well, this is what the best deal is. And at that point I don't think she knows either what's going to happen. And that's what is worrying. Usually as a leader you kind of have an idea where you can lead the group to a certain answer. And like I said, I think this is just the tipping point here. You're going to talk about tariffs, talk about trade. You're talking about immigration -- that all affects the economic perspective of the U.K.
Think about when the pound continued to go lower investors from outside will think that this is a market to be bought and that will create even more chaoticness besides from the internal GDP growth.
VAUSE: OK. Let's finish up with some sound from the finance minister Philip Hammond. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PHILIP HAMMOND, BRITISH FINANCE MINISTER: The idea that there is an option of renegotiating at the 11th hour is simply a delusion. We need to be honest with ourselves, the alternatives to this deal are no deal or no Brexit.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: That last part, we have gone from deal or no deal to now deal or no deal or no Brexit. The no Brexit option seems to be getting a significant push after a ruling by the E.U.'s highest court that Britain can call all of this off, walk back from the edge and everything would just return to how it was, you know, like the season nine cliffhanger of "Dallas". It was all just a bad dream.
PATEL: Well it is a bad dream and it's been going on for the last two years.
VAUSE: A nightmare --
PATEL: I mean I don't see that confidence. I mean at least from the business community I don't even think that's an option. I think that would be the easy answer to this and somehow they get to that. But I don't think anyone is taking that perspective as an option, and maybe one of your games, John, that they put that option in there it will be a, b, c, but not that one.
VAUSE: I just thought, you know, maybe just a second referendum, go back have another vote. You know, anything -- right now anything is possible. Nothing is off the table.
PATEL: That's true. That's true. You are hoping for the best.
VAUSE: All right. Ryan -- good to see you. No musical video clips or movie clips this time. We're out of time. Thanks for being with us.
PATEL: Thank you.
VAUSE: Be well.
British businesses are not the only ones desperate for some Brexit clarity. The people who call Southend-on-Sea home are asking if voting to leave the E.U. was in fact the right chose.
They spoke to CNN's Hadas Gold.
HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Best known for its long pier and summer holidays Southend-on-Sea is just one hour long train away from the hustle of London and drama of Brexit. It's quiet right now in the off season but at the local fish and chip shop 25-year old Eddie Farooq says when it comes to Brexit, his diners are not quiet. They are frustrated.
EDDIE FAROOQ, ROYAL FISH & CHIPS EMPLOYEE: I think most people are just fed up of politics altogether. That's why they just want to get this over and done with, a good deal for everyone. Everyone's happy
GOLD (on camera): In the 2016 referendum, Southend-on-Sea voted 58 percent in favor of Brexit. But two years on many of those who voted to leave have become disillusioned with the process and some are even changing their minds.
[01:40:04] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everyone has had enough now. They just want a done deal really.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whatever it is, we're going to have to get on with it. You know, it's with the politicians and we're going to have to ride the storm. It's going to be a storm whatever way.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now we'd vote stay.
GOLD: You vote to stay.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, now.
GOLD: Why would that be?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think just because the way everything has been handled. The way it's all been so confusing. And no one seems to listen to what people had to say.
GOLD (voice over): The row over Theresa May's Brexit deal continues back up the Thames, out of sight not out the mind for people here waiting who are waiting for the country to move on.
Hadas Gold, CNN -- Southend-on-Sea, England.
VAUSE: Next up here on CNN NEWSROOM, we'll talk to an activist who has taken on the powerful gun lobby in the U.S. after an unspeakable tragedy.
VAUSE: For most members of the U.S. Congress there's two very good reasons to fear the National Rifle Association -- millions of dedicated followers who are committed to single-issue voting, and deep pockets to target politicians who oppose their pro-gun agenda.
But on the financial side, well, maybe it's not exactly struggling, the NRA has taken a big hit with tax records from last year reporting income at just over $310 million. that's down by $55 million on the previous year. For 2017, they were $26 million in the red. And according to OpenSecrets.org one of the biggest drivers for the falling revenue is declining membership dues.
At the same time as revenue is down gun control groups in the New York state house have been lobbying business both big and small to cut ties with the NRA which has sparked a lawsuit from the National Rifle Association alleging the actions of the state legislature as well as the governor have left the group in severe financial strait.
The court filings say that because the defendants, that's New York state and the Governor Andrew Cuomo, made it clear to banks and insurers that it is bad business in New York to do business with the NRA.
The financial strain appears to be having a very real world impact in the lead up to the mid-term congressional elections last month. Political spending by the NRA was down by as much as 90 percent compared to the 2014 midterm vote which meant the most powerful and influential pro-gun lobby in the United States was actually outspent by gun control groups last month by almost $2.5 million.
[01:45:00] And the results from the elections didn't exactly go the way the NRA wanted. Candidates with an F from the NRA were elected to Congress, state houses as well as governor's mansions. And gun control measures passed in Florida and Washington state.
The idea of forcing companies and corporations to pick a side to directly confront the NRA lobby group thought so big and powerful it was impossible to challenge head-on -- well that came out of the tragedy of the Parkland High School shooting in February of this year.
Since then more than 40 companies, many big international corporations ranging from banks to airlines to rental car agencies, have ended whatever relationship they ever had with the NRA.
Fred Guttenberg was the midwife (ph) for that plan. His 14-year-old daughter Jaime, well she was shot and killed at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. And Fred, you know, so sorry about your loss. But it's good to be speaking with you now.
FRED GUTTENBERG, DAUGHTER WAS KILLED IN PARKLAND, FLORIDA: Thank you -- John.
GUTTENBERG: Thank you.
VAUSE: I want to -- if you can explain to me, the direct line here, can you draw this direct line between the NRA funding shortfall and your campaign to get businesses to end their relationship with the NRA? GUTTENBERG: Absolutely. In the week or two following my daughter's
murder, the truth is, I walked around my house, saying I want to break that f-ing lobby. And I set out on a mission to go after their money.
It started actually surprisingly quickly with the business side of things. And businesses saying they'll no longer do business with the gun lobby. So the businesses have taken this seriously.
And every day there is new businesses that are saying we won't do business with you.
VAUSE: You know, there's this very pro-gun president right now in the White House.
VAUSE: And with Donald Trump, the NRA seems to be expanding, you know, its core mission, you know, getting to cultural issues, touting lawmakers who voted against the present Supreme Court nominee, for example. But especially with, you know, this recently launched NRA TV. Here's a clip. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANA LOESCH, NRA SPOKESWOMAN: How did America end up raising generation paranoia?
Well, probably I would think that many in mainstream media have something to go do with that. Despite the rarity of for instance school shootings, which the author of this article readily admits, kids and parents are waking up anxious every morning wondering if their school is going to be the next target.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Just very quickly, what do you say to that?
GUTTENBERG: I'm going to guess that was Dana -- correct?
GUTTENBERG: Listen, Dana is a tool for the gun lobby. And she is on a daily basis saying things that are insane and incorrect. And that's just another example.
In fact, this year alone shootings in schools were the highest level ever in this country.
VAUSE: With regard to the NRA, the lawsuit which has been filed in New York. It's centered on the fact that the NRA say they can't buy media liability insurance for their channel. They say if they can't buy that insurance, they say the whole think will actually end up folding.
This seems to be a very effective way to simply close down the NRA as opposed to taking away, you know, 10 percent rental discounts on higher (INAUDIBLE) for members.
GUTTENBERG: The NRA TV troubles are a financial issue. It's not about the insurance. The financial issue is that they don't have the income coming in because they can't sell the insurance. So they are cutting costs and the NRA TV is one place. In fact, they just laid off a bunch of staff last week.
The NRA is for me, the leadership -- is they are evil. Not the members, I don't have an issue with NRA members. But their leadership no longer represents the membership. Their leadership now represents the gun manufacturers. And unfortunately they've gotten involved in some other things politically as well.
But I have an issue with the NRA leadership, they need to be defeated. They need to be financially removed from the grip that they have had on our legislation and our legislators. And we're on our way to getting that done.
VAUSE: Earlier this year there was a CNN town hall. One of the student leaders from Parkland, Cameron Kasky, he asked Senator Marco Rubio about taking NRA campaign money. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAMERON KASKY, STUDENT: In the name of 17 people you cannot ask the NRA to keep their money out of your campaign?
SENATOR MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: I think in the name of 17 people -- I can pledge to you that I will support any law that will prevent a killer like this --
KASKY: No, but I'm talking NRA money. No.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[01:49:57] VAUSE: You know, Kasky nailed him. Rubio was ducking and weaving. He tried to be all things to all people. And that's because for a very, very long time politicians had to keep the NRA -- you know have to keep them happy especially in a place like Florida.
But it does seem like the midterm elections just past have shown that paradigm has now significantly shifted.
GUTTENBERG: It has. You know, this country showed they will put their money and their vote behind those who support gun safety. This election was a turning point. This process is only just beginning.
If you just look ahead in two years, we are going to do it next on the Senate. Marco Rubio, Senator Rubio will pay a price for his lack of leadership and his lack of action following Parkland.
I can tell you, that about -- on the day that the Florida House was passing the gun safety legislation, I was with Senator Rubio in his office. I could get not get him to go out and say he supports the legislation being passed in Florida that day. And was because he was worried about his NRA money.
GUTTENBERG: So he now knows he's on the losing side of that argument. And I look forward to his opponent making him pay a price for it.
VAUSE: Ok. Fred -- we are out of time. We shall leave it there but thank you so much for being with us. And we're coming up to the anniversary in February and I know that obviously that's going to be a tough time for you --
GUTTENBERG: It's unbelievable a.
VAUSE: -- and you know, our thoughts and prayers with you. And you know, I hope every day gets a little easier, I don't know if it does but I hope it does. Thank.
GUTTENBERG: Thank you very much.
VAUSE: Well, a disturbing video is sparking outrage on social media. And now there's an investigation. It shows New York police restraining (ph) a mother and trying to pry her one-year-old son from her arms. Details next.
VAUSE: A disturbing video is sparking outrage over what many have describe as excessive use of police force by police trying to take a one-year-old son from his mother.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're hurting my son. You're hurting my son. You're hurting my son. You're hurting my son. You're hurting my son.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my God.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: This happened on Friday at a government welfare office in New York. And the mother was crying, "you're hurting my son" as officers tried to yank him from her. A security guard had called police after the woman refuse to get up off the floor in that crowded office.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LISA SCHREIBERSDORF, EXECUTIVE DIRECT BROOKLYN DEFENDER SERVICES: She had to take a day off to do that. And she got here at 9:00 in the morning, and was -- there was not enough seats. Now, as you just heard, there has been quite a bit of overcrowding in many of these facilities, in part due to I think some closures. But there was not enough seating I think a lot of people had no place to sit and she was sitting on floor.
She was asked to move multiple times. There was no place to go and the security I guess decided to call 911. Now, I agree, of course, that that was the worst option that they could have used.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: The New York Police Department says an investigation into the altercation is underway. The 23-year-old woman was detained for resisting arrest and is expected in court on Thursday. Her son has been placed with relatives.
[01:54:59] In Vermont, one resident was so frustrated and angry by town officials repeatedly denying his request for a building permit. He gave them all the finger big enough for the whole town to see.
Here is Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ted Pelkey (ph) has taken finger- pointing to a whole new level with this seven food tall wood carving of a middle finger salute mounted on a 16 foot pole.
Are you the kind of sort of give the finger sort of guy like when you drive?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I can say it's probably happened before.
MOOS: But this isn't road rage, this is rage against Westford, Vermont town officials. For a decade the town has refused to Pelkey a building permit to relocate his recycling business onto his own commercially-zoned property.
Let's face it, if I stood out by the road and screamed something, nobody would have listened, right.
PELKEY: The statue's up there not saying a word, boy it's working good.
MOOS: Lights are trained on it 24/7. Motorists on Route 128 can't miss it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Way to go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's beautiful. I wish I had one.
MOOS: You'd think a seven-foot tall chainsaw carving of a finger would cost an arm and a leg -- $4,000 actually. Pelkey hit on the idea while at a bar having drinks with his wife.
PELKEY: Yes, about two Long Islands into it.
MOOS: Sadly TV stations have felt oblige to blur the image.
PELKEY: No, CNN don't have to blur it.
MOOS: Oh, yes, we do -- Ted. Local reporters have gotten creative. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pelkey's hand gesture that's hidden behind my
hands up here is a response to this. They are meeting from the development review board last year.
MOOS: The chair of the Westford Select Board wouldn't say much since they are anticipating a court hearing. The process would be the same with or without the Pelkey's recent sculpture. It turns out the law can't lay a finger on Ted because his finger is considered public art.
PELKEY: Really made me feel warm and fuzzy.
MOOS: But when I made a warm and fuzzy gesture, here's the finger I'll give you.
At least you can't say he never lifts a finger.
Jeannie Moos, CNN -- New York.
VAUSE: He's just saying we're number one.
You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause. The news continues here on CNN right after a break.
[02:00:01] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Brexit takes a time-out.