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Death of 2nd Child in U.S. Custody Prompts DHS Action; Russia Boasts New "Invulnerable" Hypersonic Missile System; Top-8 International Stories in 2018. Aired 1:30-2p ET

Aired December 27, 2018 - 13:30   ET


[13:30:00] DANA BASH, CNN HOST: Do you -- I'm guessing you believe what's going on in Washington and around the country, parts of the federal government are shut down over this very issue. Do you believe it's worth it?

ART DEL CUETO, VICE PRESIDENT, NATIONAL BORDER PATROL COUNCIL: Listen, this is what I believe. I think we need to start taking serious border security. You don't know who is coming across or what time they're coming across. We just have to have a better vetting process. It comes down to this. It doesn't come down to being any particular party, but everyone listening and everyone watching, yourself, if I come to your home, do you want me to knock on your door or climb through your window?

BASH: No, that's a fair analogy.

I want to move to the fair reality going on right now going on with the migrants who people like you and your colleagues that have to deal with and try to keep and follow the law, however murky that law is. Two migrant children have died in U.S. custody. As a result, the Homeland Security Department and CBP officials announced a new series of procedures and screenings. Based on what you know, is that enough to help at least keep those who are here, particularly children, safe and healthy?

DEL CUETO: Nobody wants to have any loss of life, regardless of whether they are children or adults. It's the loss of life and it's horrible. Any measures that you can push forward and try to better when you have them in detention and make sure that there's no loss of life is going to be better. So the more that they put into it --


BASH: The measures that you have seen, is that enough. The changes in the administration --


BASH: -- is that enough?

DEL CUETO: I think it would be enough. In the end, the problem is there's going to be individuals that cross into the United States that are not healthy. The problem would be when these individuals do lose their life, it is put at the feet of the men and women out there working. It shouldn't be placed on the feet of the Border Patrol agents out there doing their job.

BASH: Art Del Cueto, thank you so much for your time. Appreciate it.

DEL CUETO: Thank you.

BASH: And back to the market, stocks are sliding, down right now 430 points. The Dow is sinking behind that sell off, ahead.

But first, the CNN film, "Love Gilda," looks at the incredible life of the comedy legend, Gilda Radner, and airs here on CNN, Tuesday night, 9:00 eastern. Here's a sneak peek.


GILDA RADNER, COMEDIAN: Hi, I'm Gilda Radner. And, OK, now.


RADNER: People want to know what made you funny. From the time I was a kid, I loved to pretend.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was the very first performer chosen for the cast of "Saturday Night Live."

RADNER: Rosanne Roseannadanna.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They loved her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I basically stole all my characters from Gilda.

RADNER: I can do almost anything if people are laughing.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Gilda was just not quite herself.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One morning, she just said, I don't know what's wrong with me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For a comedian, it's the most unfunny thing in the world.

RADNER: Hello?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She felt that she could be of help. And that's exactly what she did.

RADNER: How often do we get to know exactly how brave we are?

I always felt that my comedy was just to make things be all right.

ANNOUNCER: "Love, Gilda," New Year's Day at 9:00 p.m.


(COMMERCIAL BERAK) [13:38:20] BASH: Russia is celebrating the New Year by beefing up its military arsenal. Here's a look at the newest missile it's said to be adding to its defense systems. President Vladimir Putin calls it invincible and invulnerable. Putin is known to boast about certain military capabilities which aren't always rooted in reality.

Let's bring in former Pentagon spokesman and CNN military and diplomatic analyst, Retired Rear Admiral John Kirby.

Admiral Kirby --


BASH: -- we've been talking during the break. This is some scary stuff. Walk us through this.

KIRBY: This is a very advanced system. Let's take a look at this. It is called the avant-garde missile system. It's a system because it actually -- this is a glider that goes on top of an intercontinental ballistic missile. It can fly faster than the speed of sound, sometimes 20 times fast than the speed of sound. Some estimates have it at Mach 27. It's capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. Here's the really worrisome part. Not just the speed but they can adjust altitude and direction sort of at will, as it approaches the target, making it very difficult for conventional missile defense systems to target. We don't have anything like this in our arsenal. Pentagon analysts will say it's probably be 2023 before we can field something like this. The real worry is we also don't have radar systems capable enough of detecting this particular glider vehicle far enough out to be effective at targeting it.

BASH: Why is Putin doing this? The obvious answer is because he can. But why isn't the United States keeping up with this?

[13:39:54] KIRBY: We have been investing are in hypersonic technology for a number of years. The Pentagon does take this threat seriously. We are just not as far along as they are.

I will say that it's not clear how accurate this glider missile system is. Putin claims it hit the target. We don't know that for sure. There's more development that has to happen.

On the Poseidon, this is another. This is a nuclear-powered, nuclear- capable torpedo. It's about 18 feet long and can carry warheads, very fast, somewhere between 55 and 100 miles an hour under the water, very deep, about 3,000 feet deep it can travel. And it can go for ranges of 6,000 miles. It's designed to hit large ships, like aircraft carriers or installations ashore. Again, this is a very advanced system. They are testing it now. We don't know when they'll put it in the field. We don't have anything to match it right now.

Russia has been building up their military a lot over the last year. They are, as the national defense strategy said, a resurgent country trying to improve their influence and military capabilities. In March, they tested the Satan II, another ICMB that can carry up to 26 multiple independent - BASH: Ominous name.

KIRBY: Yes - multiple independent target reentry vehicles that it can carry. They did war games in December with China. Typically, the war games in the east were about China, about deterring China. This year, they operated with Chinese forces, sort of as a show of muscle to the Americans. And to make sure we knew they were the big dog in the Asia-Pacific region. In October, they've upgraded military installations right on the Baltic Sea in Kaliningrad. They want a footprint there right on NATO's doorstep. Of course, they are testing this thing called a nesting-doll satellite. We're not sure exactly --

BASH: This is the scary thing. Right?



BASH: This is so unknown?

KIRBY: You can see in that picture, there's a small little satellite --


KIRBY: -- that sort of comes out of the big one. That's one that we don't really understand. It can autonomously move around. The Russians are claiming it is meant to repair other satellites, but there's a fear that that other satellite could be used to target our own with lasers or just knock them out by hitting them.

BASH: Terrific.

Admiral Kirby, thank you so much for your insight and expertise.

KIRBY: Thank you.

BASH: Always good to talk to you.

KIRBY: Thank you.

BASH: From a historic summit to a trade war to a battle over immigration, the top-eight international stories of 2018 is next.


[13:46:37] BASH: From a dramatic and daring cave rescue to the brutal murder of a journalist, CNN's Clarissa Ward takes us through the top-eight stories that made global headlines in 2018.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: In Thailand, rescue crews are searching for a missing youth soccer team and their coach. They're believed to be trapped in a cave. CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):

The 12 boys and the coach trapped deep inside the cave by sudden monsoon flooding.


WARD: While many feared the worst, rescuers from all over the world converged on the cave, searching for signs of life. And 10 days into the mission, success. The team found huddled on a ledge. The unforgettable chorus of little voices.


UNIDENTIFIED DIVER: How many of you?


UNIDENTIFIED DIVER: Thirteen? Brilliant.

WARD: But the threat was far from over. A Thai diver died in the rescue effort. And with more monsoon rain coming, the boys' parents waited on pins and needles, as did the rest of the world, until --


ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: All 12 boys, every child from the soccer team has been rescued from the flooded cave in Thailand after 18 days.

WARD: Number seven, a migration movement becomes a humanitarian crisis. Some 7,000 Central Americans fleeing violence and poverty in their home countries walk thousands of miles to the U.S.-Mexico border. Many saying they want asylum in the United States.

President Trump taking a hard line against the caravan.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No nation can allow its borders to be overrun. That's an invasion.

WARD: The situation slowly simmering for weeks as the caravan drew closer, finally reaching a boiling point at the border.

BLITZER: Happening now, breaking news, border escalation. President Trump is defending the U.S. of using tear gas against migrants who rush towards the U.S. border.

WARD: Thousands of asylum seekers are still there, waiting and hoping in makeshift camps and shelters.

UNIDENTIFIED CNN CORRESPONDENT: She said if she goes back to Honduras, they will kill her.

WARD: Number six, in Marsh, a former Russian spy and his daughter were found on a park bench in Salisbury, England, poisoned with the toxic nerve agent, Novochuk.

UNIDENTIFIED CNN ANCHOR: The former double agent, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter are in critical condition. They were found slumped over on a park bench.

WARD: After investigation, Britain said the Russian government was behind the attack.

THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: The two individuals named by the police and CPS are officers from the Russian military intelligence service.

WARD: Russian President Vladimir Putin denied the claims. The accusation provoked diplomatic expulsions and sanctions against Russia.

Number five --


WARD: -- a jolt to the right in European politics. In Germany, Hungary, Sweden, Austria and Italy, populist far-right political parties made major gains going in legislative elections.

UNIDENTIFIED CNN ANCHOR: Now for the election results in Hungary that is delighting nationalists, but ringing alarm bells in some European capitals.


WARD (on camera): Nationalism, Islamophobia and anti-Semitic attacks surged, fueled by anger about immigration and mistrust of the elites.

When you talk about the elites and you talk about finance, is that another way of saying Jewish people?

[13:50:13] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

WARD (voice-over): A CNN poll found that 28 percent of Europeans think that Jewish people have too much influence over finance and business across the world.

Number four --




UNIDENTIFIED CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yemen is now the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

WARD: Famine, water shortages, a deadly cholera epidemic, and by some estimates, 85,000 children under the age of 5 have died from malnutrition. People don't often think of this war as an American war, but many Yemenis do.

(SCREAMING) WARD: A plane from a U.S.-backed Saudi coalition struck a bus carrying them. Dozens died. Munitions experts tell CNN this was a U.S.-made marked MK82 bomb.

Critics call Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman the architect of the war. For the first time in two years, the U.N. has forced the warring parties to the negotiating table. The stakes are high. Almost 12 million people are on the verge of starvation.

Number three, the brutal murder of a journalist sends political shock waves across the world.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: We are getting more information coming in on the death of "Washington Post" journalist, Jamal Khashoggi. He walked into the consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on October 2nd and was ever seen again.

WARD: Saudi officials release several shifting accounts of what happened, evidence, including an audiotape, revealed chilling details. Khashoggi's killing was premeditated, the assassins even bringing a body double to pose as the murdered journalist.

Take a look, same clothes, same glasses and beard, similar age and physique, everything except the shoes.

The CIA and other U.S. allies concluded the Saudi crown prince ordered the murder. President Trump unwilling to hold him accountable.

TRUMP: Maybe he did, maybe he didn't.

WARD: Number two, unprecedented dialogue on the Korean peninsula.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: The leaders of North and South are about to meet to negotiate a peace settlement and denuclearization. President Moon shaking hands with Kim Jong-Un.

WARD: And in June, the first ever meeting between a U.S. sitting president and North Korean leader.

TRUMP: We're ready to write a new chapter between our nations.

WARD: North Korea's Kim Jong-Un also promising to end his nuclear program.


WARD; Including shutting down a missile testing site. But in the months since, little program and recent satellite images suggest North Korea is moving ahead with its ballistic missile program.

Despite all this, President Trump projects a positive front and plans are still in the works for a possible second summit between Trump and Kim.

Number one, an American president upending the traditional world order. And 2018 presented diplomatic challenges and, in some cases, major missteps, clashing with allies and flirting with foes.

COOPER: President Trump lashing out at the NATO summit, insulting Germany and calling our NATO allies delinquent.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: The president directly undermined the position of Theresa May.

BOLDUAN: Calling the prime minister, quote, "very dishonest" and "weak."

WARD: But it was Trump's summit with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki that drew the most scrutiny, especially his response when asked about Russian interference in the 2016 election.

TRUMP: I have great confidence in my intelligence people but President Putin was extremely strong in his denial today.

WARD: While the president touts his chemistry with world leaders --

TRUMP: In fact, I'll get that little piece of dandruff off.

WARD (on camera): -- some worry he has become an international punch line.

TRUMP: My administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country. America, it's so true.


WARD (voice-over): So 2018 ends with more uncertainty about America's role and influence in the world and a public rebuke.

UNIDENTIFIED CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis quits. In a stunning letter to the United States, the four-star general calling out President Trump for not backing American allies and for supporting authoritarian regimes.

WARD: For a president who likes to proclaim America First, 2019 will be a true test of where his priorities stand among American allies.


[13:55:09] BASH: That's it for me this hour. I'll be back on "THE LEAD" at 4:00 p.m. Eastern.

"NEWSROOM" with Ryan Nobles starts right after this.


[14:00:05] RYAN NOBLES, CNN ANCHOR: Good afternoon. I'm Ryan Nobles, in today for Brooke Baldwin. Thank you so much for joining me.