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Tsunami Kills At Least 222 People In Indonesia; Partial Shutdown Likely To Continue Until After Christmas; U.S. Envoy In Isis Fight Quits Over Syria Troop Withdrawal; Duchess Of Sussex's First Christmas As Royal Family Member. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired December 23, 2018 - 10:00   ET



[10:00:00] PAULINE CHIOU, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD, I'm Pauline Chiou in New York. A holiday weekend

tragically interrupted after a devastating tsunami rips through Western Indonesia without a word of warning. The disaster swept across parts of

Java and Sumatra Saturday night killing at least 222 people and injuring more than 800.

The tsunami was believed to have been triggered by a volcanic eruption that set off underwater landslides. More than 500 homes were severely damaged

along with at least nine hotels and dozens of restaurants. Take a look at the moment when massive waves crashed into a band playing a live show. At

least one band member, as well as their manager, were killed.

Let's get the very latest from CNN's meteorologist Allison Chinchar live at CNN's worldwide weather headquarters. Allison, help us understand how this

all happened.

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: Yes, thanks, Pauline. Because one of the things we talked about was that this was triggered by an

underwater landslide. That's not a term that you hear very often, OK. This particular one though was triggered by a volcanic eruption.

Typically, when you hear these, you often associate them with earthquakes or plate tectonic movement that wasn't the case with this particular


One other thing to note with this particular tsunami was that we had a full moon and spring tide so in reality that water was already at higher levels

than it would have been normally even before the tsunami started pushing water inland. When we talk about an underwater tsunami, it's kind of a

hard concept to understand so let's break this down.

Here's a look. When the volcano erupts, rock and other debris begin to fall off and slide down the side of that slope. In doing so, as it rushes

down towards the ocean floor water is displaced and pushed upwards and that's what triggers that tsunami especially in this particular case that's

what we believe actually happened.

Now, we talked about where this volcano is. It's in between the islands of Java and Sumatra, the Anak Krakatau which is again part of the crater from

the original larger volcanic eruption of Krakatoa back in the 1800s. Here's the thing though. That volcano is not simply going to stop erupting

from here on out. And we can see that on this satellite. You can see the eruption plumes coming out from this particular volcano even here on the


One thing also to note as well, the forecast as we now begin the recovery and the rescue efforts, unfortunately, rain is going to be in the forecast

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Albeit the chances on Wednesday do start to come back down, but this is likely to hinder any of their rescue and

recovery efforts because they're already going to be digging through stuff and now it's likely going to be wet and muddy pulling and that's going to

be a big concern.

CHIOU: And Allison, if this volcano continues to erupt, could we expect more tsunamis to occur or is this threat over?

CHINCHAR: No, it's still very likely because as that continues to erupt, you're making that ground underneath very unstable so it is still very

likely that you could have more rocks that get displaced triggering more of those landslides and then subsequently yes unfortunately possibly causing

more tsunamis. So for those of you folks in this general region, they will still have to remain on alert just in case that does happen.

CHIOU: All right, so many more challenges ahead. Allison, thank you so much. We are hearing from people on the ground including our colleagues at

CNN Indonesia. Correspondent Roni Satria has a report now from Java.


RONI SATRIA, CNN INDONESIAN CORRESPONDENT: The first time I came or arrived in the location, I saw dozens of houses were damaged and destroyed

and I saw like the waves in the sea because the main street in the land is very close to the beach and the waves is very high. And at 12:00 p.m.,

it's around two hours local time before right now, we were extracted by the police to find a shelter in the higher place due to the high tide that

possibly will also take place in this location.

And my location right now is about five kilometers from the beach which is very not -- very high and not really close and very safe. And a lot of

people and also the people and also including us with the team were panicking at a time of the alarm by the police as instructed us to find a

place here.

And we are stuck right now until we are permitted back to the beach again because we want to see that the damage that impacted the most in Tanjung

Lesun is around 30 kilometers from my location right now. And also we want to whether the aids are from the national disaster agency has already been


And also we see that a lot of heavy equipments already been mobilized also with the personnel that clean up the muds and also the woods that's also --

there are many covering the main street. They're becoming the access from the place on the beach which is very you know, like a popular for the

tourist attractions here.


[10:05:45] CHIOU: And that is Roni Satria from CNN Indonesia. It has been a very fluid 24 hours there. Here's a quick look at some of the most

shocking things we're seeing and hearing after the cataclysmic wall of water slammed into Indonesia.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): My dear wife is still missing. The rest of us have broken bones, minor injuries including me but we are

fine. Please pray.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): The water came so fast. So many people were running and were washed away.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The volcanic eruption is less likely to be you know, (INAUDIBLE). And although it is not being clarified weather, it is due to

the volcanic eruption or some other movement in the ocean floor and all that. But yes, it is quite tragic.


CHIOU: Well, e1arlier, CNN's George Howell spoke to Kathy Mueller with the Red Cross. She is in Sulawesi, Indonesia which is an area already

recovering from an earthquake that hit back in September. Here's what she said about rescue efforts there.


KATHY MUELLER, COMMUNICATIONS DELEGATE, RED CROSS: Indonesian Red Cross, they deployed teams immediately after the tsunami last night and then again

this morning and they're working alongside government responders and other actors who are on the ground. But as you mentioned access is hampered. We

know that them the main road into this popular tourist area has been damaged so getting in there is challenging.

And then of course, once you do reach the area, then you're dealing with just widespread devastation in terms of debris and rubble just covering the


GEORGE HOWELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Kathy if we could, and I'll ask our director if we still have that video showing the road. That that has

got to be a major you know, setback as far as trying to get into people because really at this point you have individuals who need water, who need

food, medication right? And you also could have to pick up with people who may be trapped, the search-and-rescue operation.

MUELLER: Yes, there's always a lot to do after an emergency of this magnitude and the Indonesian Red Cross, they've actually been requested to

send in two helicopters so that can help with search and rescue efforts that can also help with assessing the damage and to see exactly from the

air how widespread it is.

We're also deploying 14 water trucks to the area. You're quite right. People do need the basics after an emergency. If they've lost their house,

they don't have anywhere to sleep. They've likely lost the ability to earn a living so they don't have any way to pay and buy things even if the

markets were operating or existing.

And so by providing things like clean water to drink and actually the Indonesian Red Cross, they become quite the expert in water purification

since the Indian Ocean tsunami back in 2004 so they're using that knowledge here in Central Sulawesi and the response to the earthquake and tsunami

back in September and now they're putting that knowledge also to work in this current response.

HOWELL: Then to your point there, the context, keeping in mind the -- you know, what we saw in Lombok, what we saw in Sulawesi, and now what we're

seeing here. We're talking about a nation that is sitting there on the Ring of Fire. These things tend to happen frequently there. But when they

happen, especially in a situation like this where it may have been caused by a landslide underwater, it can happen without any warning.

MUELLER: Yes, and I think we would hesitate to say that people are used to the earthquakes and the disasters because they do live on the Ring of Fire.

But you're right. They've had a lot this year specifically in the latter half of the year and this is the third major one. But I think people,

there's a little bit of fatigue setting in, a little bit of wondering you know, when are we going to catch a break. But let's go into the New Year

you know a little bit of rested.

These disasters they have happened across the country so it's not one any island or community that has been affected but people on a wide scale right

across the country and in this particular disaster, there was the tourist destination for Indonesians. So there were potentially people from wide

across the country who were there spending the holidays with family and friends there.


[10:10:39] CHIOU: That was Kathy Mueller from the Red Cross speaking to CNN about search-and-rescue efforts going on right now in Indonesia. Our

coverage, of course, doesn't end here on T.V. There's a lot more up on our Web site. The latest news, analysis, and videos, all at We will

keep you updated on the latest on the tsunami throughout the show but some other major stories are also coming up.

The U.S. partial government shutdown likely to drag on past Christmas. We'll have a live report from Washington on where things stand. And also,

a little bit later. A White House in disarray. Another senior official is out as the U.S. loses its top diplomat in the global fight against Isis.


CHIOU: Welcome back. Let's get you caught up on the developing news out of Indonesia. Authorities say Saturday tsunami killed at least 222 people

when it slammed into parts of Java and Indonesia. More than 800 others are injured and hundreds of homes are damaged. A volcano may have triggered

this disaster by setting off underwater landslides. One official says the disaster struck without warning adding that Indonesia lacks the equipment

to warn about underwater tsunami threats.

It is day two of the U.S. partial government shutdown and no signs of it ending anytime soon. Talks on Saturday went nowhere and the Senate

Majority Leader sent lawmakers home for Christmas. The Senate isn't back in session until Thursday so that means barring some dramatic and

unexpected deal the shutdown will drag on for days to come. At the heart of the issue, President Donald Trump's a border wall funding demands and no

one is budging.

President Trump is staying in Washington instead of spending Christmas as his Florida resort due to the shutdown. CNN's a Ryan Nobles joins me now

alive from the White House with the latest. And Ryan the President says he wants $5 billion for this border wall. The Democrats say no way, no deal.

So how do you see a way out of this?

[10:15:26] RYAN NOBLES, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: I don't see a way out of it, Pauline. To be honest with you, this seems to be a prolonged

staring contest between the powerful people here in Washington and neither side appears to be budging. And there doesn't appear to be a whole lot of

communication between the Senate Democrats and the White House which appear to be the two most important players in this conversation.

Listen to what Mick Mulvaney had to say this morning on one of the Sunday talk shows. He's of course the current Budget Director but he has an

important job. He's the incoming acting chief of staff for President Trump. This is what he had to say about where the negotiations currently



MICK MULVANEY, DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET, UNITED STATES: New Mexico has now agreed for the first time in history to keep asylum

seekers, folks who are trying to get into the USA on the Mexican side of the border. So this -- if folks in Mexican facilities maintained by

Mexican officials, they're actually doing more for border security than many Democrats in Congress. So we really think we're in a good place in

terms of getting the wall built and also getting Mexico to participate in our border security.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But none of that is Mexico paying for the wall? Let's just be clear about --

MULVANEY: You and I both know that it cannot work exactly like that.


NOBLES: So Mulvaney they're talking about how all throughout the campaign the President promised that Mexico was going to have to pay for the wall so

why do American taxpayers have to foot the bill in the form of this $5 billion which has now held up the government in totality here and making at

least 30 percent of the United States government grinding to a halt. Didn't seem to have a very good answer for that, Pauline, and it kind of

shows you where these negotiations currently stand.

CHIOU: And in the meantime, during this week, as long as this goes on, essential government workers still have to work without pay. We're talking

hundreds of thousands of people in airport security, customs, immigration. How long could this continue?

NOBLES: Well, I think it's realistic to expect it to extend into the new year. And then, if you forecast it out you know, the situation does not

seem very positive because this is only going to become a more difficult process for Donald Trump because Democrats will now take control of the

House of Representatives. And so if they have no inclination to deal with him when they're in the minority, once they become the majority they're

going to have even less incentive to do so.

So this could be a prolonged staring contest and you know the President is not necessarily taking advice from those who have his best interests in

mind. You know, he initially had agreed to this short-term continuing resolution to open the door to more conversations and then there were very

strong opinions from the conservative media here in the United States that told him that he should think otherwise and then he reversed course.

They are now applauding this move by the President. And if this is where he is taking his cues, it stands to reason that this could take some time

before there's a breakthrough in these negotiations.

CHIOU: Yes. That was a surprising on 180 that we saw earlier this week. Ryan Nobles, thank you so much for bringing us up-to-date live at the White

House. Meanwhile, President Trump is losing yet another key official over his decision to pull troops out of Syria. The U.S. envoy in the fight

against Isis is heading for the exits on the heels of the resignation of Defense Secretary James Mattis. President Trump is reacting by calling

Brett McGurk a "grandstander whom he doesn't even know." Elise Labbott has more on the impending departure.


ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, the U.S. envoy in charge of the fight against Isis has resigned. Brett McGurk told Secretary

Pompeo on Friday night that he would be leaving his post on December 31st. Now, McGurk was expected to leave in February to take up a post at Stanford

University but his decision to leave early came on the heels of President Trump's sudden announcement that he would be withdrawing all troops from


Now, McGurk just days earlier was talking to reporters about the new U.S. policy to stay in Syria not only to defeat the remnants of Isis but also to

counter Iran. In fact, McGurk was in the region meeting with coalition partners to discuss this policy and was sitting with Iraqi leaders talking

about the U.S. commitment to stay in Syria when President Trump tweeted that the U.S. would be withdrawing from Syria. And people familiar with

McGurk's thinking say that not only did he feel his credibility was on the line but also he didn't feel he would be able to defend let alone execute

that policy.

McGurk has been the Envoy dealing with the 70-plus member coalition to fight Isis since 2013 first serving as the deputy to John Allen and then

taking over as envoy himself, clearly has done a lot to reduce the presence of Isis. But as he said there are still remnants on it. He said it would

be reckless for the U.S. to withdraw precipitously. I'm also told that the decision by James Mattis who he was very close to affected his decision.

McGurk is saying that he could no longer serve the President in this policy against Syria. Elise Labott, CNN Washington.


[10:20:51] CHIOU: And to discuss the fight against Isis and the government shutdown let's bring in CNN Political Analyst and Princeton University

Professor Julian Zelizer. He joins me now live also from New York. Julian, we've got Jim Mattis resigning, Brett McGurk resigning. These are

outright protests of resignation. So how do you see the U.S. government trying to conduct foreign policy?

JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, it seems like it's a one-man show at this point, and that was the point of the resignations. Meaning,

their debates about the policy in Syria, there are many people who support the president's idea of pulling troops out. But at the heart of the

protest is the way the ad hoc way in which the president has done this. He's left allies not really knowing what the United States is up to. He's

not even seeking the counsel of his own advisors and that led to high-level officials to leave.

So we don't really know how this is being conducted but it certainly seems that the President is pretty much acting alone.

CHIOU: In the middle of all this, we've got this partial government shutdown. We saw that 180 that Trump took earlier this week which

surprised both parties and even his vice president. Could this shutdown have been avoided?

ZELIZER: Absolutely. If the president had not insisted at the end in response to right-wing critics that the funding for the border wall be

restored or be put into the bill, this would have been solved for now at least until February the short-term fix was agreed to. So this really has

resulted from one demand from the president. And at this point the Republicans although again they complain about what the president is doing,

they're not really putting pressure. They're not threatening to vote with Democrats to override him and that's really you know, the major thing that

we're looking for right now at least until January really begins.

CHIOU: In January 3rd, we will have a new Congress seated. The House of Representatives will be democratically controlled. What will the first

order of business be? Well, the first order of business might be actually getting the government up and running. It doesn't -- it's not clear it

will be running by that point so that will be number one.

Number two, you're going to hear from House Democrats a dual front of investigation and legislation. They're going to be pushing for oversight

that has been lacking under a Republican Congress and they're going to be pushing for ideas that have a small chance of passing but that at least

move the debate in a different direction than where it's been since January of 2017. So it's going to be high velocity politics in Washington starting

in January.

CHIOU: And Julian, give us your perspective on where the I word fits in here, impeachment, because it's a delicate issue. The Democrats would want

to go for it but they also don't want to mobilize the base and they also have to see what comes out of the Mueller report if it's even made, parts

of it are even made public. So how does that fit into the whole legislative landscape looking into next year?

ZELIZER: Well, if an impeachment process starts it will consume all of the attention of Congress, there's no real way around it. That's the you know

highest priority issue if it takes place and nothing else will be discussed. But it might be that House Democrats have no choice. It might

be that the investigations force their hands regardless of the politics where someone like Congressman Nadler has no choice other than to start the

proceedings based on these facts.

What would really matter is not simply do they start an impeachment process, but how does the House Judiciary Committee handle it. Do they

handle it with restraint and care so that it's seen as legitimate or does it look like it's sloppy and partisan like many people saw the Republicans

with Bill Clinton in the 90s. That's really the issue rather than whether impeachment will destroy everything for Democrats.

CHIOU: And if it does move forward from the House and it gets to the Senate, we've got even more Republicans in the Senate in the new Congress,

is that where it stops or does there have to be something so egregious that the proceedings move forward?

[10:25:06] ZELIZER: Yes, it has to be really egregious even if the house votes to impeach the president as they did with Clinton, then the Senate

needs to by a super majority basically vote to remove the President, to follow through on that. Right now, the Senate won't do that and House

Democrats know that but scandals take on a life of their own and it could be that the facts are so egregious that it changes the political

calculation of Republicans, that saving the President is no longer worth it to them or to their party.

We're far from that at this point. We don't even have an impeach impeachment process that's begun. But don't assume the dynamics can't

change as facts come out.

CHIOU: Julian, as we're heading into the end of the year, it's worthwhile looking back at the year and at past presidencies. Do you find any other

presidency comparable to the Trump presidency?

ZELIZER: No. This is now in real unique territory. Obviously, many presidents and their second year in difficult circumstances, Congress has

flipped to the other party or there's low approval ratings, but President Trump is you know, taking things to a new level. He's broken convention,

he's ignored norms, and introduced ways of governing from the White House that we have not seen in more into history. So I do think it's fair to say

that there's many parts of the Trump presidency which are truly unique and we don't even know how to react or how they will unfold in real time.

CHIOU: Yes. It's keeping journalists, history professors, and everyone busy. All right, Julian, thank you so much. Great seeing you, Julian

Zelizer, a friend of the show and Professor at Princeton University. The partial U.S. shut down means roughly 25 percent of the government is no

longer funded and hundreds of thousands of federal employees must work without pay.

But those worried about holiday travel or Christmas gifts arriving on time, need not worry. Border checkpoints and airports are staying open at usual

and the U.S. postal service is funded separately so presents in the mail won't be affected at all by this shutdown.

Live from New York, this is CONNECT THE WORLD. Coming up, a devastating tsunami kills hundreds in Indonesia and officials say the death toll will

most likely rise. The latest on the recovery efforts there after this break.


[10:31:06] CHIOU: Back to our top story, more than 200 people are dead after a devastating tsunami hit parts of Indonesia, Saturday night. A Red

Cross official says that the death toll will most likely rise. Hundreds more are injured or missing. The disaster ripped through coastal areas of

Western Java, most likely caused by a volcanic eruption, which triggered an underwater landslide. Officials say there was no warning due to lack of

proper equipment.

Let's get you straight to the ground right now. Roni Satria is a correspondent for CNN Indonesia where the tsunami plowed through. Ronnie,

first tell us where you are in relation to the main point of impact and what have you seen in the past 24 hours?

SATRIA: Yes, Pauline, I'm here right now at -- my position is in the shelter that is built by the ministry of social, the Republic of Indonesia.

As you can see behind me is a place for many people, a 180 eighty people around the Labuhan District, which find shelter here. This is absolutely

the futsal field which is used for the many people to sleep overnight.

And they spend the night here because they don't want to get back to their houses due to the traumatic event last night that hit by the tsunami

through their houses.

And right -- in my right hand here is the emergency -- a kitchen to provide them food at three times a day. And actually, the place in my position

right now, there's also about 50 meters from my place, my position here is also the main post for the national disaster agency. That also to help

collect the aid from many emergency workers that they spread around because there are many coastal areas in surround Bunton, here.

From a place that I came here at the beginning in the morning until I came around 50 kilometers, and I saw that the surroundings of the coastal areas

are -- you know, like damaged and houses -- dozens of houses are destroyed.

And this is very -- the conditions are very, very not good because their conditions are the many people, they're still traumatic to get back to the

houses. And also, when I saw the street that access -- the main access to the place, to the main post here are covered by muds and also woods that is

hit and also carried out by the water. And is still handle by the agency and mostly for the emergency workers surrounded.

And also I went to the Tanjung Lesung Resort where many tourists there from surround Jakarta and also around the Bunton area, they have spent their

holiday there last night. Also, there's also a band concert held right around three to four meters only from the water and from the beach.

And this is very -- absolutely the around 300 people that had go to the concerts our hits by the tsunami. And they are the place in Tanjung Lesong

there is become the main place for the evacuation for the dead body, and they carry out off to the closest hospitals. Pauline.

CHIOU: Roni, there is been so much going on. You mentioned that band, we did hear from the lead singer who's still looking for his wife and other

band members. It's a tragedy all around.

Tell me about some of the people behind you there at the shelter and what are they telling you about what they experienced?

[10:35:03] SATRIA: Yes, when I talk to some of the people around here, they experience the traumatic event last night from 9:30 p.m. local time.

They said that there are twice the wave is very high. The first one is not really high and the second one, it came to the houses.

And decided is, they ran through the -- they ran through the higher shelter. And also, actually, there are no -- like as you said before there

is no early warning stated by the Indonesia's Geological agency.

And in this afternoon, I also experienced the panicking with the people here, because the police here give an instruction to go to the higher

shelter but actually there is no waves well stated by the agency here, saying that there's no second -- we can say that there's no second tsunami.

So, is -- this like only early warning but to prepare how to you make have to find a better place? I mean a shelter that higher then we get stuck for

two hours in the higher place because we cannot go to the location because five kilometers is a safe place for them because mostly houses and also

villas around here is very close to the beach. It's around 15 until 20 meters only. Pauline.

CHIOU: Oh, that must be so nerve-wracking to be told. You need to get to higher ground initially and there's no place to go. Tell us a little bit

more about the aid coming through. Because we did speak with the International Red Cross, they have asked for two helicopters. They've

deployed 14 water trucks.

You told, you mentioned that there is mud and trees on the main access to your area. So, is it difficult for some of this aid to get through?

SATRIA: Yes, the aides here, the first thing that the agency, the national disaster agency did this morning from actually that the beginning of the

tsunami happens last night. They try to find access because may the conditions of the muds in the along the streets is a very -- you know, like

close to access from one place to another place.

It's very difficult to reach some people that get -- some people that don't get aides so far. And they'll make a post in some location. Like in my

place right now, in Labuhan, it's a big post.

But there are others places that still have no aides because they are separated like about 50 or to 60 kilometers from my place right now. And

the first thing that the agency, the national disaster agency did this morning is to make or to clear up the access by covering up or clean up the

muds and also the woods that covers the street. And also to make easy for the heavy equipment and also the car are from the agency, and also from the

Red Cross coming into the place to give the aids for them.

CHIOU: Roni, thank you so much for giving us a look at what the people there have been going through. It's been a very long day. Roni Satria,

you stay safe and thank you again. Roni Satria from CNN, Indonesia.

Let's check back with our meteorologist Allison Chinchar. Allison, it was just chilling hearing Roni's stories about what people have gone through

and just sort of that, that panic with rescuers initially saying they had to get to higher ground but there was no place else to go.

This came as such a surprise because there was no normal warning. So, walked us through what happened.

CHINCHAR: And that's typical. I mean, you don't have a lot of warning time with events like this. But again, in some countries where you have

that infrastructure in place, it can help even just with a few minutes. But these events typically don't allow for a lot of warning time because

they happen very quickly.

Here's a look at what took place. We have the volcanic eruption. Now, when that happens, you often get rock or a sediment that begins to slide

down the slope of the volcano. In doing so, it displaces a lot of that water as it races towards the ocean floor.

Because of that, again, it generates that tsunami wave by pushing that water up very, very high. And that's what took place in this particular

situation. Now, again, it took place in between the islands of Java and Sumatra. This was not caused by an earthquake.

Remember, we had an underwater landslide several months ago in a different part of Indonesia. But that was caused by an earthquake. This one we

believe was caused by the volcanic eruption.

One other thing that really worked against a lot of this area as we were under a full moon and a spring tide. So, the water levels were already

higher than normal before the tsunami pushed all of that water inland. So again, that's obviously going to bring the water in a little bit further

and higher than normal.

This is the volcano we've been talking about, Anak Krakatau. It sits in between the island of Java and Sumatra. One thing to note too is the

forecast, unfortunately going forward is not really going to help with the rescue and recovery efforts.

We do have rain in the forecast for the next three days. Now again, Wednesday it's a low chance but both Monday and Tuesday, we have relatively

high chances for showers and thunderstorms. That's going to make it difficult not only for the rescue and recovery efforts. But again, as

they're trying to get aid into a lot of these places. That's going to hinder them, as well. So, that's something that's, unfortunately, going to

stick around for at least the next couple of days.

Pauline, and one other thing to note here, you can see the plume of the eruption as it was taking place on Saturday and continues through today.

[10:40:58] CHIOU: All right, so that's continuing. So, there is still more dangers ahead. On top of that, the weather forecast and the debris

posing challenges there. Allison, thank you so much. Allison Chinchar, live at our severe weather center.

Let's get you up to speed now on some other stories that are on our radar right now. British police say they found a damaged drone near Gatwick

Airport after drones caused the airport to shut down for 32 hours earlier this week.

Earlier, police released two people they arrested in connection with the event. A 47-year-old man and a 54-year-old woman have been freed without

charges. A detective says they did cooperate and are no longer suspects.

In Yemen, an advanced team of U.N. observers has arrived to oversee the seize fire in that nations 4-year-old conflict. The delegation will focus

mainly on the port city of Hodeidah. A key lifeline for goods and humanitarian services coming into the country. Fighting has all but shut

it down and led to a severe shortage of food across the country.

In Morocco, authorities arrested nine more people for a total of 13 after the murder of two Scandinavian tourists. State media say that four of them

are suspected of carrying out the killings. Substances that could be used to make explosives were also discovered during a raid. This comes as

hundreds of Moroccans held a vigil for the tourists.

Live from New York, this is CONNECT THE WORLD. Coming up next, another one calls it quits as a top anti-ISIS official leaves the White House. We

break down where the departure leaves the global fight against the terror organization.


[10:44:52] CHIOU: As we mentioned earlier, a second senior U.S. official has quit over U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to pull U.S. troops

out of Syria.

Brett McGurk was a top diplomat working as the U.S. envoy to the International Coalition battling ISIS. He had just finished briefing

partners that the U.S. would stay in Syria when he learned President Trump had flipped his stance. McGurk's resignation comes just one day after U.S.

Defense Secretary James Mattis quit over the same issue.

On Twitter, Mr. Trump dismissed the resignation as "nothing event". So, let's get more on this story and get you right to where this is having an

impact. CNN's Gul Tuysuz joins me live from Istanbul. Gul, what kind of ripple effects are these resignations having across the region?

GUL TUYSUZ, CNN PRODUCER: Well, the latest reaction we have is from France, where the Macron came out and said that he deeply regrets this

decision. And that basically being partner's means that you should stand shoulder to shoulder. He's basically signaling his dissatisfaction with

the U.S. decision to pull troops out of Syria.

But here in Turkey where we are, this was a welcome move Turkey has been for a long time asking the U.S. to stop supporting a Kurdish fighting force

that has been instrumental for the U.S.'s fight against ISIS in Syria.

Turkey views that same Kurdish fighting force as an extension of what they call a terrorist group here at home. So, that was a welcome development

for Turkey.

But even the Turkish reaction has been one that has been careful about whether or not ISIS has been defeated, basically saying that while ISIS has

been territorially defeated, that now steps need to be taken to make sure that ISIS doesn't reemerge -- that it doesn't get back to controlling

swathes of territory in Syria.

And for that, we can look at what Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's said referring to a phone call that he had with U.S. President Trump. He

said that in that phone call, Trump asked him, "Well, what about ISIS, can you take care of ISIS?" To which Turkey responded saying, yes, we can as

long as we have your support.

Basically signaling the possibility of Turkey taking on a much bigger role in Syria and not only going after those Kurdish fighters that were the U.S.

is allies. But also taking on the fight against ISIS. How would that work? We just don't know right now.

CHIOU: So, it sounds like, from that phone call, it was decided that President Trump said, you know, if you can handle it, I mean the messaging

seems to be, if you can handle it, it's all yours. And Turkeys prepared to take a bigger role.

Now, this leaves a vacuum there in Syria. So, is there an expectation that Turkey is going to go in immediately?

TUYSUZ: Well, again, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in that same speech said that given conversations that he's had with the U.S. President

Trump, as well as diplomatic and military officials between the two countries talking to each other, the Turkey has decided to postpone. Not

open-endedly, but to postpone for some time a much-expected incursion that they said they were going to carry out across the border.

Basically, Turkey has been threatening very vocally over the last couple of weeks saying that they are prepared to launch an operation into Syria to

move those Kurdish fighters away from their border. Because Turkey does view them as an extension of the terrorist group that is here in Turkey.

But, now that it has been postponed, that operation would have been targeting particularly that Kurdish fighting force. But now, the scope of

it has grown and can Turkey really take on both fight against those Kurdish fighters as well as ISIS? We don't know. But it would be the third

operation for Turkey and it's something we just don't have any sense of timing or scope for yet.

CHIOU: All right, thank you so much Gul Tuysuz, live from Istanbul for breaking this down for us. We appreciate it.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD live from New York. And coming up next, find out why the National Christmas Tree in the U.S. is a little in the


Also, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are spending their first Christmas together as a married couple, and their last before the arrival of their

first child. We take a look at their holiday plans.


[10:51:43] CHIOU: Touching back on one of our main stories this hour hitting into the festive season. Because the U.S. government partially

shutting down, outright canceling the Christmas spirit. In one way, this is the scene at the National Christmas Tree near the White House. Area


The park service closed the site on Friday after a man climbed the tree and refused to get down for an hour. Now, they cannot reopen it because there

aren't any funds to fix some of the problems that this man caused.

But, it's not all doom and gloom this Christmas. Across the Atlantic, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will be spending the holidays as a married

couple for the first time. As Christmas approaches, all eyes will be on the pregnant Duchess of Sussex. And how she's adjusting to her new role.

CNN's Erin McLaughlin has more on the story.


ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Just like last-minute gift shopping, Britain's royal family has kept their own Christmas

tradition for generations. Sending cards with official photos to friends, family, and loyal subjects.

This year's cards show Prince William and wife Duchess of Cambridge at home with their three children George, Louis, and Charlotte. Prince Charles and

wife, Camilla, who recently celebrated the prince's 70th birthday. And finally,

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Sussex.

MCLAUGHLIN: Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, the wife of Prince Harry. The couple has delivered their own version of a Royal Christmas card. The

photo taken as they watched fireworks the night of their wedding last May.

Meghan Markle, now visibly pregnant with the couple's firstborn royal due in the spring. Feeling more at home in the U.K. with each passing day.

MEGHAN, DUCHESS OF SUSSEX: Good evening, everyone. It is such a pleasure to be here in my new home of the U.K.

MCLAUGHLIN: Showing her common touch with a royal flourish at this nursing home.

MEGHAN: And always very excited.


MCLAUGHLIN: Bringing Christmas cheer. And giving a royal sigh.

MEGHAN: How's everything going?

MCLAUGHLIN: Out of excitement for the season and the joy of expecting her first child. Telling residents she was feeling very pregnant that day.

Markle is set to spend her first Christmas with Prince Harry as a married couple. With her new in-laws in the winter home of Harry's grandmother,

Queen Elizabeth, she already visited last year breaking tradition, if they weren't married then.

Now, she comes as a royal. Still adjusting to her new role and to British culture. Just as the British are adjusting to her. Bonnie Greer, an

American who's lived in Britain much of her life has received honors from the Queen for her work in the arts is an acquaintance of Prince Charles.

BONNIE GREER, CHANCELLOR, KINGSTON UNIVERSITY: There are rituals. So, for instance, there are hierarchies of Highnesses. So, if Catherine is in the

room, her highnesses is higher than Meghan's highnesses. And people are cursing and bowing and deferring all over the place to each other. And, of

course, the Queen is the highest. So, all of these kinds of things are going to hit her.

MCLAUGHLIN: Still, the British are already adjusting to her and taking her to heart.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We can't wait to see the royal baby.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think she's a great addition. I love her style and her attitude.

[10:55:03] MCLAUGHLIN: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, now preparing a new home for when baby makes the Royal three.

Meghan Markle also brings her own Christmas song to everyone she meets. Erin McLaughlin, CNN, London.


CHIOU: It's a very exciting time. Well, you can always follow the stories the team is working on throughout the day by going to our Facebook page. And you can find all the best bits from the CONNECT THE WORLD team there, anytime, night or day. Any time zone

delivered right to where you are.

I'm Pauline Chiou, in New York. That was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thanks so much for watching. We'll be back with a wrap of all the biggest news

stories in the world right after this break. Including the very latest from Indonesia.