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Iraqi Lawmakers Slam Visit AS Blow To Iraq's Sovereignty; Trump Makes Inaccurate Statements About Military Pay; Trump "Looking Forward" To Second Kim Summit; U.S. Parents Alarmed BY Polio-Like Disease; Hong Kong's "Golden Coin" Turtle Critically Endangered; Pompeii Yields Up New Secrets About Ancient Myth. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired December 27, 2018 - 14:00   ET



HANNAH VAUGHAN JONES, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello, everyone. Live from CNN London, I'm Hannah Vaughan Jones in for Hala Gorani tonight. Donald

Trump is flying high after his first overseas visit to see U.S. troops but the stock market is sinking. Where yesterday's record gains just a blip,

and floating for 4,500 kilometers. We'll look at the start of one man's journey in a big orange barrel from the Canary Islands to the Caribbean.

Donald Trump then is back at the White House today feeling very positive indeed about his whirlwind Boxing Day trip to Iraq but the state of the

market and of course the ongoing government shutdown could offer cause for major concern. Earlier today Mr. Trump tweeted just returned from visiting

our troops in Iraq and Germany. One thing is certain, we have incredible people representing our country; people that know how to win. Mr. Trump

and the First Lady Melania got a warm reception from the troops but some of the comments the president made while there have raised some eyebrows.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If they want us to do the fighting, they also have to pay a price, and sometimes that's also a

monetary price so we're not the suckers of the world. We're no longer the suckers folks and people aren't looking at us as suckers and I love you

folks because most of you are nodding your heads as well.


JONES: But U.S. markets have struggled to match the president's positivity. Here's where trading stands at this hour. You can see the Dow

Jones down some 540 points, 550 points there. Mr. Trump is also standing firm over days long government shutdown. For more let's cross to Sarah

Westwood. Sarah is live at the White House for us. So he is back home on home soil touting the success of his first overseas trip to visit U.S.

troops but he has flown back there into something of a storm. There's an awful lot going on domestically. What is the priority here? What's next on

the president's to do list?

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right. The president certainly has a lot on his plate now that he's back in the U.S. Part of

that is filling vacancies within his administration. He needs a new Defense Secretary, a new Secretary of the Interior and a new permanent Chief of

Staff but obviously the top priority will be hammering out some kind of deal on Capitol Hill to reopen the government. Now the president wouldn't

answer questions while he was in Iraq about whether he'd come down from that $5 billion demand and accept $2 billion.

That's a potential compromise that has been floated and the president says the money he gets from Congress has to be spent on the construction of the

physical barrier along the southern border. It can't just go to border security in general. Democrats are considering offering $1.3 billion for

border security, that was their original offer but the president again saying that money has to be spent on the border wall and even though Vice

President Mike Pence offered support for a $2.5 billion border security package plus wall funding a few days before Christmas, Congressional

Democrats rejected that offer so talks do appear to still be at a standstill Hannah.

JONES: And Sarah, everyone has been off for the Christmas break. I guess Capitol Hill has been largely quite quiet but presumably these negotiations

have been going on behind closed doors and from the sound of it, no one is giving an inch, either side.

WESTWOOD: That's right. Things definitely slowed down a lot over the Christmas holiday. Lawmakers left Washington to go back to their home

states and even though the House and the Senate are technically re- adjourning at the end of the week, it's unclear how many lawmakers are actually back into town actually engaged in these conversations. The

president suggested that a substantive deal may not take place until Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi takes the Speaker's gavel as

she is expected to on January 3 when the House turns over to the democrats. There's not a lot of incentive right now for the democrats to negotiate on

President Trump's terms given that they're about a week away from controlling half of Congress so because of that there's not a lot of hope

for the shutdown ending in the days ahead with so much about to change on Capitol Hill, Hannah.

JONES: Sarah Westwood live for us there at the White House. Sarah, thanks very much indeed.

Let's talk a little bit more about the markets then. CNN's Senior Economic Analyst Stephen Moore is a former adviser to U. S President Trump. He joins

us from Washington. Stephen, good to see you.

So the market, we were just showing the big board earlier. The Dow Jones down from 500 points today after we saw that enormous surge of 1,000 points

yesterday. We're now seemingly in bear market territory. How bad is this for President Trump given the fact that he has touted the success of the

market so much in line with his own administration?

STEPHEN MOORE, CNN SENIOR ECONOMIC ANALYST: Well nobody likes to see a bear market including the president or the 150 million Americans who are

invested in the stock market. So you're right the market is down about 8 to 10 percent this year. Now look, I think a lot of people rightly blame

the Fed for some bad decisions in the last couple of weeks that have sucked some of the momentum out of the economy.

But what's so interesting because we're coming to the end of the year, and I was just writing my weekly column on this, the real economy here in the

United States very strong. I mean we just completed the Christmas shopping season. Consumer confidence and consumer spending was as good as it's been

in six years. We still have seven million more jobs than people to fill them and the lowest unemployment rate in 50 years. Manufacturing and

construction industries are doing very well so it's this kind of divergence between the real economy which has been doing real well and the stock

market that has been doing so poorly.

[14:05:00] JONES: Yes, Stephen, stand by for us. I want to bring in our Alison Kosik who is live for us at the U.S. Stock Exchange right now.

Alison, bring us up to speed with the latest on the markets. What's happening?

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Two more hours left to go in the trading day and not a surprise that you're seeing a reversal off of

that historic upswing that the Dow had yesterday. It's kind of natural to see this pull back when you see a historic move like that. I think a lot of

what you're seeing here as far as the volatility goes, the volatility goes both ways and you're seeing the year-end gyrations because of kind of the

massive amounts that stocks have lost. You look at the Dow at its peak in October, it lost 1,000's of points. The S&P 500, the NASDAQ in bear market

territory. That's a 20 market drop from a recent high. As you and Steve were talking about, those are huge moves so when you see the big move that

the Dow made yesterday, I think what you're seeing traders, investors, grabbing onto any profits they can before they close the book on 2018,


JONES: Alison, thanks very much. Stephen Moore still standing by for us in Washington. Stephen, Alison talking there about volatility on the

market. Perhaps that's largely to do with political interference. We've heard the president in recent days, weeks talking specifically about the

Federal Reserve and the chairman and whether his job is on the line also talking about Steve Mnuchin, the Treasury Secretary. At some point either

at the Federal Reserve or the Treasury, are heads going to roll?

MOORE: Well you know I think the Fed chairman, Jerome Powell, is off to a horrible start. I think this is a - this is a market selloff that was

triggered by some really bad decisions by the Fed. We have if anything deflation in the economy right now in the United States and yet the Fed is

tightening money and raising interest rates. It just makes no sense. And so Donald Trump -- I talked to him a couple of weeks ago with him about

this and he was quite frustrated with the Fed chair but there's a lot of issues right now about what legal right the president might have if he

wanted to, could he get rid of him?

By the way I doubt that's going to happen. The latest is the president is scheduled sometime in the next couple of weeks perhaps to sit down with

Jerome Powell maybe for lunch and try to work out some of their differences. But look the other big thing that's going on that's been so

unsettling the markets of course is the trade war with China.

JONES: Right. Yes.

MOORE: And people have kind of forgotten about that a little bit in the last couple weeks but the clock is ticking on the Chinese. I think we're

down to what 60 days before the next round of tariffs would come into effect.


MOORE: And so that's a big deal too.

JONES: But Stephen you mentioned there that you spoke to the president just a couple weeks ago. With regards to the trade war, does the president

bear any responsibility for that and for the knock on effect that it's having on the markets?

MOORE: Well that's a great question. I think a lot of Americans including myself believe that at some point we have to stand up to Beijing. We're in

a very abusive relationship with China. They have been engaged and you saw the story just a couple weeks ago they're hacking now into the databases of

American companies.

They've been essentially stealing about $300 billion of our technology. They're involved in a various forms of espionage, corporate espionage. And

of course they haven't opened up their markets to the United States so I think a lot Americans say, you know it's time to really, you know, stand up

to Beijing.

It's a high-stakes showdown there's no question. But the reason I think it's important is if Trump were to pull this off and if let's say in the

next few months you get a trade deal between China and the United States, I think you're going to see an explosion in the markets all over the world.

So there's an upside here if it turns out.

JONES: OK. Yes, if it turns out and that's the key thing.

MOORE: Right.

JONES: What if it doesn't? How does the president spin that then? As an advisor to the president, how would he spin it if we suddenly see growths

start to stall or fall and jobs start to drop as well?

MOORE: You mean with respect to the trade war or.


JONES: Yes. Generally in the economy.

MOORE: Well look, I still maintain the basis of the U.S. economy is strong, and I don't buy into this talk of recession. But look, when you

see days like today, I see the market is down 565 points now, I mean, that has a wealth effect, as you know, because people feel less confident about

their financial future and they spend less and so on. So I'm not downplaying the impact of a bear market, what I'm saying is, there are some

factors that could turn that around quickly, and the number one factor that would be if the trade war could end, but also if Trump and the Fed

chairman, Powell, could see eye to eye on this. I think the Fed should probably reverse its decision on rate increases. It's only been two -- how

many days have that been? About been ten days since they made that decision and the market has fallen by 2,000 or 3,000 points. I think the

Fed should look at their actions and say maybe we did the wrong thing here.

JONES: All right, well we wait to see what happens. Steve Moore thanks very much indeed, sir.

MOORE: Thank you, happy New Year.

JONES: Other news now. And Vladimir Putin says Russia's new hypersonic missile system is invincible and will be ready to use in 2019. Mr. Putin

is hailing the new system as an unprecedented strategic weapon. CNN's Fred Pleitgen reports from Moscow.


FRED PLEITGEN, CNN REPORTER: Vladimir Putin in command observing his armed forces test what they claim is a hypersonic missile capable of defeating

America's missile defense systems called Avanguard.

VLADIMIR PUTIN (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): The new Avanguard system invincible when faced with current and future air defense and missile defense

technology of a potential enemy. This is a great success and a great victory.

PLEITGEN: While some experts doubt whether the Avanguard missile is really combat ready and as capable as Moscow says, Russia claims it flies up to 20

times the speed of sound and is capable of evasive maneuvers if con fronted by missile defense systems.

PUTIN (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Next year the Avanguard will be put into service. A regiment will be formed which will start combat duty. This is

a wonderful tremendous gift to the country for the New Year.

PLEITGEN: The missile test came at the same time President Trump was in Iraq standing by his decision to pull U.S. troops out of Syria, giving a

massive boost to Russia's influence in the region and amid growing tensions between Moscow and Washington over Trump's decision to pull out of the

decade's old intermediate range nuclear forces treaty. Vladimir Putin unveiled plans for a variety of nuclear weapons in March including the

Avanguard and an unmanned underwater drone which the Russians also claim will be invincible.

PUTIN (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): We've achieved major breakthrough in developing new weapons this year. There is nothing in the world like these

weapons. And I hope that our new systems will make those used to militaristic and aggressive rhetoric, think twice.

PLEITGEN: While Moscow says its new generation of nukes are not aimed at threatening anyone, experts fear, Russia, China, and the U.S. could be on

the brink of a new nuclear arms race as tensions between them rise and arms control treaties are scrapped.


JONES: Fred Pleitgen reporting there from Moscow. Still to come tonight, U.S. border patrol says it is overwhelmed and needs help. We'll tell you

what is driving the call for more money. Plus, thousands of people in Indonesia out of their houses and on edge, fearing another tsunami there.

We get the latest on the erupting volcano that triggered last weekend's tsunami causing so much death and destruction.


JONES: Welcome back. There is a surge in migrant crossings of the English Channel. Another boat arrived early this morning from France, and that's

after at least 50 people made the perilous journey since Christmas day. That's according to British authorities. Most are arriving in small

inflatable boats, like the one you can see here, risking their lives to try to cross one of the world's busiest shipping route. The U.K. immigration

minister has blamed organized crime groups in part for the increase.

A wave of street protests in Sudan shows little sign of weakening amidst a violent crackdown by government forces. Met with live fire and tear gas,

demonstrators are calling for a change of government in what many are dubbing the Sudanese-Arab spring. Leone Lakhani has more now.


LEONE LAKHANI, CNN REPORTER: As hundreds march through the Sudanese city of Atbara, the calls grow loud. Freedom, freedom, they chant calling for

an end to President Omar al-Bashir's nearly three decades of rule.

Protests that began nearly a week ago erupted over rising food and fuel prices.

MARWA MAGEED, KHARTOUM RESIDENT: Everything has become very expensive and we don't know what's happening. It feels like there's a ticking time bomb

and we don't know when it will explode.

LAKHANI: From now, there's no sign the anger will die down. A state of emergency was declared in Atbara, after protestor's targeted al-Bashir's

party offices.

Speaking to his supporters on Tuesday, al-Bashir blamed the discord on external groups.

PRESIDENT OMAR AL-BASHIR: Thank you for hosting me, thank you for your support and enthusiasm which is a response to every foreign agent, traitor,

outlaw and destructive person.

LAKHANI: Protests have now spread across Sudan in the largest demonstrations in several years. In Khartoum, police disperse crowds with

tear gas. In another mobile phone video, a demonstrator appears injured and is carried away. Amnesty International said on Monday at least 37

people have been killed but the main opposition group is calling for investigations into the government's response. Leone Lakhani, CNN, London.


JONES: There were similar scenes in Tunisia where protestors clashed with police for a third night. Demonstrations there began after the death of a

journalist. He set himself on fire blaming what he called harsh social circumstances and a lack of hope. This was his message.


ABDERRAZEK ZORGUI, TUNISIAN JOURNALIST: I will set myself on fire so god willing, those unemployed will fire it up in the protest. It's about

jobless people. Those who don't have income. Those who cannot afford buying food. They should stage protests and demand their right to have



JONES: Well, his death bore a strong resemblance, frightening resemblance to the suicide of a fruit seller 2011 that sparked the Tunisian-Arab

spring. The head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection says Congress needs to step up and help after the death of a second Guatemalan child in U.S.

custody. An 8-year-old died on Christmas Eve in a New Mexico hospital. The cause of Felipe Alonzo-Gomez's death is not clear but he had been

diagnosed with a cold and given some medication.

Hundreds of migrants are being dropped off every day in border cities like El Paso in Texas because border protection is not allowed to hold them any

longer. Agency officials say they need more funding from Congress. The mayor of El Paso spoke to CNN's Jim Sciutto earlier and says something

needs to be done.


DEE MARGO, EL PASO MAYOR: We need a resolution. We're tired of dealing with the symptomatic problems that are just getting worse.


El Passo is the 6th largest city in the State of Texas and the 19th largest city in the United States and we are the largest U.S. city on the Mexican

border. So we need to deal with this. We could tell you first hand. I've said before, you want to know about border issues, you want to know about

immigration, comes to El Passo.

JONES: The Mayor of El Passo there. Let's go live now to El Passo where CNN's Dan Simon is standing by for us. Dan just talk us through this bus

station where you are at the moment. I know that in the past we've seen droves of people driven in and sort of dumped there. Is that still


DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We haven't seen it happen for the past couple of days and that's really because this was a public relations crisis

for the immigration authorities who were just dropping off these migrants at the bus transit behind me. These folks had nowhere to go, they had no

bus ticket. They were hungry, they were tired and it was very cold outside. So usually when something like this happens, the customary

practice is for immigration authorities to alert the local shelters and alert the churches that the migrants are going to be here so the shelters

can take them in. That did not happen in this case and that's why this has become such a problem for the city of El Passo.

JONES: And the second child now to die in U.S. custody - second migrant child, what is the major concern here for the authorities? Is it that

migrant children are coming in with preexisting health conditions that they can't account for or is it that when they're in U.S. custody the conditions

they're being held in are just simply not up to scratch?

SIMON: Well I think it's both. Certainly you had two children who have died within the past month and that is raising major concerns in terms of

whether or not border patrol is well equipped to handle the influx of Central American migrants particularly children. We do know that the

Homeland Secretary Kristjen Nielsen has ordered her agency to perform enhanced medical screening on these children particularly those under the

age of 10 years old but ultimately what happened with this case, this eight year old who died on Christmas Eve, we don't know Hannah if this was a

result of him contracting something on the way up the border, coming across the border or if he got sick while in the custody of border patrol. That's

something that hopefully the autopsy will answer. We know that one was performed yesterday and the results unfortunately won't be available for a

few weeks, Hannah.


JONES: All right, Dan Simon live for us there in El Passo, Texas thank you.

It's early Friday morning in Indonesia right now where thousands of people remain displaced. Officials warn about the possibility of another Tsunami.

They've raised the threat level because the Krakatoa volcano is erupting. That volcano triggered the Tsunami that we saw last weekend. That Tsunami

killed more than 400 people. Our Tom Sater joins us with more on this. Tom, this erupting volcano, it's now having an impact on air space and

travel affecting people outside of just Indonesia.

TOM SATER, CNN METEOROLOGIST AND WEATHER ANCHOR: That's right Hannah and the fear continues to grow because we're just not sure how long Krakatoa is

going to continue to erupt. When we first had that eruption which was at 9:03 evening time, they couldn't tell that the waters were receding so they

didn't know of course with the shaking of the ground either that a Tsunami was going to occur. But what we've been watching here now is because that

plume is getting larger, they've been making evacuations from surrounding islands. The excursions owns about 5 kilometers.

Not so much for prop planes but for jet planes and of course those airliners. We've had 17 cancellations, about 120 delays. That's out of

Jacarta but regional flights are really a concern. This was video that came in the next day and we know now that underneath the water surface lava

is of course interacting with the salt water of the ocean here so that could cause more underwater landslides. And of course in 1883 when it

erupted, it took about 39,000 lives it collapsed within its own crater and made its way below the surface of the water. It wasn't until the 1920s

that it made its way above land and continues to grow.

This has been erupting since June as Japanese satellite shows us that partial collapse. So the concern is if it continues to rumble like this we

could see a full collapse again. That could cause even larger tsunamis. The devastation is much grander than we expected and now they've got a

problem the heavy rains have moved in and now rivers are swelling. So for all of those rescue workers and search crews, they're not able to get to

some of the more remote villages. So that's a big concern and now Hannah we're heading into January which is the wettest month of the year so a lot

of concerns in this region of the world.

JONES: And another region we should focus on Australasia and Australia, it's the start of summer over there and they've seen scorching temperatures



JONES: . which given the fact that it's the beginning of this season suggests there's still worse to come.

SATER: And we're seeing the worst of it now way too early. I mean when you get up to Marble Bar, 49.3 degrees. We've had areas that have been

well over 42 and 45 for 27 straight days. That's not just a December record, that's an all time record for that area. Notice even in and around

Adelaide, 43.7 - that is 16 degrees warmer than it should be this time of year. These are December records. Again, but what we're watching is it's

from coast to coast. I mean we've got north winds that are just bringing the scorching heat all the way down in the Southeast.

And now ozone levels are starting to rise so those with respiratory issues is a big concern. Now when you look at the average high, let's say in

Melvin 25 degrees, they're going to see a little bit of reprieve in the days ahead. Sydney is going to get up into the 30s but many locations, you

get away from that coastline and of course, it just continues to be scorching. But notice Adelaide 37 dropping to 31. You're back into the

heat again. So again Hannah, what we've been seeing here is just extraordinary that Australia continues to see this year end and year out,

more most likely than any other country.

If you think it's warm there, let me take you a little further south quickly down to Antarctica. This line right here, the lowest extent of sea

ice that we've seen in Antarctica for recorded history for this time period, the average should be much, much greater, so another sign that

we're going in the wrong direction climate wise.

JONES: Yes, another sign of global warming. Tom, thanks very much indeed. Tom Sater for us there. All right, still to come on the program tonight,

Donald Trump received a warm welcome from U.S. troops but many Iraqi politicians are fuming over his visit. We'll have much more on the U.S.

president's surprise trip just ahead.


JONES: Welcome back. Back now to one of our top stories this evening, Iraqi leaders didn't exactly roll out the red carpet for Donald Trump

during his brief visit to U.S. troops there. President Trump was supposed to meet with Iraq's new prime minister but they ended up speaking by phone

instead and many Iraqi lawmakers are demanding the government expel U.S. forces all together. One calls for an emergency session, quote, "to

discuss this blatant violation of Iraq sovereignty and to stop these aggressive actions by Trump who should know his limits.

The U.S. occupation of Iraq is over. Let's get some perspective now on Mr. Trump's visit to Iraq. We're joined by CNN Military Analyst and Retired

U.S. Air Force Colonel Cedric Leighton and CNN Political Commentator Doug Heye. He's a Republican strategist. Gentlemen, welcome to you both.

Cedric, let me come to you first. So the Iraqis are particularly unhappy or some of them at least unhappy by Mr. Trump's visit and the irony I

suppose being Iraq is one of the few places in the Middle East where President Trump says he's not going to be withdrawing troops from. Are

they right to cite the arrogance of the American President with this particular visit?

[14:30:00] CEDRIC LEIGHTON, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, we're not sure, Hannah, that what happened in the background here. So, you know, the one

thing that I would say is that it is the normal procedure for a president when he visits a country to visit the head of government or the head of

state at a very minimum to do that.

But in this particular case, there may have been security issues that we don't know about or there may have been some other factors that complicated

it. I think the visit was too short in general terms because three hours you can only do so much in that amount of time.

But I think that, you know, to say it's arrogant on the part of the Americans is probably a bit too far but I would also say that it would be

important for President Trump to make every effort to have met with the new Iraqi prime minister.

JONES: And, Doug, you know, this was a foreign trip, the first of this president, actually, to visit troops overseas. A foreign trip with a very

much domestic audience in mind, I guess.

Lots of people talking about the politicization of this trip. But it should have really just being a commander in chief going to visit his troop

and instead, it was more of a rally. Do you accept that criticism?

DOUG HEYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think it's very fair criticism. You keep in mind, the president had been under a lot of criticism from some

Republicans but certainly a lot of democrats for not visiting troops in a place of conflict thus far in his presidency.

It was very unusual if you look at comparisons to Barack Obama, George Bush or Bill Clinton or other presidents before them. So the president was

under criticism and rightly so by going to the -- by going to visit the troops, it set the right tone for the day after Christmas for him to

actually receive some bipartisan praise. And unfortunately, then things got way too political.

And I can tell you having worked at the Republican National Committee, running communications when Barack Obama was president, if Barack Obama had

taken a political tone in domestic politics in such a similar circumstance, Republicans would have been fighting over each other over who could make

the loudest statement against the president.

I think it was a very big unforced error and politicized something that not only doesn't need to be politicized but shouldn't ever be politicized.

JONES: And unforced error or not, Cedric, I'm wondering what you think that America's allies are going to make of this knowing that the U.S.

president has arrived there in a country where he says he's got no plans at the moment to withdraw troops from there.

But what are they going to make of it? The fact that he's gone to Iraq now. Are we going to say him rocking up in Damascus sometime soon?

LEIGHTON: Well, I think, Hannah, that might be a bridge too far at the moment. But, clearly, what we've done here is in essence delineated our

source of influence. We're keeping our interests in Iraq. We're leaving our interests in Syria.

And I think it's unfortunate that it happened in this way because there seems to have been no planning in terms of the withdrawal of U.S. forces

from Syria. And I also think that it puts our allies, the Kurds, in particular, into Syrian democratic forces, in a very bad situation.

From that standpoint, I think the allies that are part of the fight in Syria, the fight against ISIS and the fight against Assad, they are taking

a look at this and they're wondering not only how much staying power does the United States have but can we ever be counted on in the future? And

that is a serious dilemma for us and I think it will complicate our relationships going forward.

JONES: Yes. And, Doug, back on the domestic agenda, if you like, again focusing on this trip, though, one of the things that the president talked

about to the troops that he was addressing, was a pay rise. Let's just listen to what the president had to say and we'll talk off the back of it.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You just got one of the biggest pay raises you've ever received. You haven't gotten one in more

than 10 years. More than 10 years. And we got you a big one. I got you a big one. I got you a big one.


JONES: Doug, he got a huge cheer there, but it's a lie. I mean, he hasn't given them the biggest pay raise and it hasn't been 10 percent and it

hasn't been 10 years since they've had a pay rise as well.

I mean, on the assumption that all the troops that were listening, yes it sounds good, but they know how much they're earning. Who was the president

actually talking to? Who was this catchphrase addressed to?

HEYE: Yes, Sometimes it's not really clear. We just know that when you put Donald Trump in front of a large group, that Trump is going to Trump.

And that's another example that we just saw with this one. And it's not just that he didn't single handedly get them the raise that they were going

to get anyways.

Obviously, every member of Congress who works on appropriations could claim credit for the increases that we've seen year after year to take care of

our soldiers. So, unfortunately, whether it's an audience at a political rally here in the United States or now overseas to our troops, Trump is

going to be political and unfortunately say a lot of things that are verifiably untrue.

JONES: And, Cedric, final thought to you on this. The president was also asked about his security concerns making this trip. He said he was

concerned about Melania, his wife, the first lady, of course. And then I think he said something about being concerned about the institution of the

presidency. Should this president be more concerned than his predecessors about his safety overseas?

[14:35:17] LEIGHTON: I don't think so. I think all presidency, unfortunately, you know, the last 20, 25 years or so have to be concerned

about their safety wherever they go. But this president is no different and the secret service, the U.S. secret which protects the president and

the first family, they know what they're doing. They work with local authorities as well as the military in cases like this.

And the president really can rest assured that everybody will do everything that is humanly possible to protect him and his family. So I think the

concerns on his part were unwarranted.

JONES: All right. Colonel Cedric Leighton, Doug Heye, thanks to you both, gentlemen. Thank you.

HEYE: Thank you.

JONES: Now, Mr. Trump's trip to Iraq was supposed to be a classified affair, conducted under cover of darkness. That's until an amateur plane

spotter here in the U.K. saw this.

Alan Meloy took this photo of a very distinctive plane in the skies above Sheffield in Northern England. He knew right away it was one of only two

planes that alternate as Air Force One. Meloy posted his photo online sparking early speculation about Trump's supposedly top secret journey. So

maybe those concerns of President Trump about security weren't so unfounded after all.

Now no date has been set yet for a second summit between the U.S. and North Korea. Yet President Trump, apparently, expects it to happen despite

conflicting signals from Pyongyang. CNN's Will Ripley has this report.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In a matter of days, Kim Jong-un is expected to make his biggest speech of the


A New Year address that could reveal new clues into the North Korean leader's mindset, as he prepares for what could be a game changing second

round of diplomacy with President Donald Trump.

On Christmas Eve, Trump tweeted this photo from the Oval Office taken during a briefing with his North Korea team. "Looking forward to my next

summit with Chairman Kim," he said.

But more than six months after Trump and Kim's historic summit in Singapore, many observers fear U.S.-North Korea diplomacy is falling apart.

Satellite images show work continuing at North Korean missile sites, weapons factories and its main nuclear reactor.

On Monday, North Korean state media continued its increasingly sharp criticism of the U.S. warning that America must stop provocative and

malicious acts. North Korea has expressed growing anger with the U.S. for keeping sanctions in place. Sanctions over North Korea's nuclear program.

And U.N. allegations of widespread human rights abuse. An issue Pyongyang has reputedly called non-existent.

Within hours of Trump's tweet, a U.S. federal judge ordered North Korea to pay more than $500,000 to the family of Otto Warmbier. The U.S. college

student died last year of severe brain damage. Just six days after North Korea released him. The family says he was tortured. Claims North Korea

has denied.

The Warmbiers unlikely to collect the full amount of damages. Pyongyang has few assets in the U.S. the parents could make a claim for.

In recent months, Pyongyang has not ruled out a possible return to the tensions of more than a year ago when North Korea last test fired an

intercontinental ballistic missile.

Despite rising tensions with the U.S., a new sign of diplomatic progress this week between North and South Korea. A ground breaking ceremony to

modernize roads and railways in the North and connect them with the South.

And perhaps more diplomatic maneuvering by Kim Jong-un's government. North Korean media while criticizing the U.S. has praised President Trump blaming

Trump's opponents for the breakdown in denuclearization talks. A move experts say could be an attempt by Kim to play to the president's ego in

hopes of getting a better deal, if that second summit ever happens.

Will Ripley, CNN.


JONES: Well, thanks very much, indeed.

Now to Saudi Arabia and the king there, King Salman is shaking up his government somewhat. Among the changes, foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir

has been demoted. He's replaced by former finance minister, Ibrahim al- Assaf. Al-Jubeir was a prominent figure in efforts to distance the Saudi royal family from the murder of the journalist, Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul

blaming the death on a, quote, "Tremendous mistake and rogue elements."

Still to come on the program tonight. Hoping for a healthy 2019? I certainly am. We'll look back at some of the top health stories of 2018.

[14:40:58] And talk about taking the slow boat. One man, one barrel and 4,500 kilometers of ocean at a whopping two kilometers per hour. We'll

bring you that story when we come back.


JONES: Welcome back to the program. We are, of course, nearing the end of the year. And for health professionals around the world, 2018 was a year

of new treatments and new challenges. CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta looks back at this year's top five health stories, including outbreaks of a polio-like

illness in the United States.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Parents across the country were on edge this fall as a polio-like illness called Acute Flaccid

Myelitis or AFM paralyzed their children.


GUPTA: AFM is usually proceeded by a respiratory illness or a fever but the underlying cause maybe a virus. It attacks the spinal cord effecting

strength and balance. Now the CDC has been tracking AFM since 2014 but there were a record number of cases this year.

In November, the FDA fast tracked and approved two new cancer treatments. The track fee Xospata. They represent a whole new way of looking at cancer

and it's treatment targeting tumors based on their gene mutations as opposed to their location in the body.

The FDA has declared e-cigarette use among America's youth an epidemic. Nearly 40 percent of high school seniors now admit to vaping, a substantial

and significant increase from last year.

DR. SCOTT GOTTLIEB, COMMISSIONER, U.S. FOOD DRUG & DRUG ADMINISTRATION: If these trends continue, the viability of the e-cigarettes and the vaping

products as an alternative for adult smokers could be lost.

GUPTA: Yes, e-cigarettes are quote-unquote "safer" than traditional combustible cigarettes. But contrary to what most kids believe e-cigs

contain more than just flavorings. They contain nicotine, a chemical called diacetyl and sometimes toxic heavy medals. And nearly a third of

kids who vape then go on to smoke traditional cigarettes within six months.

Life expectancy in the United States has decreased for a third year in a row. Driving the drop record high drug overdose deaths, mostly opioids and

suicide rates have increased 40 percent since 1999.

Collectively, they are called the deaths of despair. Two high profile deaths underscored the issue this year. Fashion designer Kate Spade. And

here at CNN, we're still mourning the death of our good friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain who took his own life at age 61.

ANTHONY BOURDAIN, TRAVEL DOCUMENTARIAN: That's amazing. Damn, that's good. I missed you. I missed you bad.

GUPTA: Rest in peace, Tony.

In November, a U.S. government report found climate change will result in the premature death of thousands of Americans. A startling conclusion.

And you don't have to look far to see what they mean. From the wildfires in the west to the tick and mosquito born infections in the northeast to

the droughts in the south. But there are climate change skeptics who dismiss the report.

[14:45:14] TRUMP: I don't believe it. No, no. I don't believe it.

GUPTA: But look, seeing is believing. This is the Elephant Butte Reservoir for the Rio Grande. It used to be brimming to the top. Now,

it's only three percent full. Less and less snow melt is feeding the river which is forcing some Texans to implement some drastic measures including

recycling sewage water into drinking water. Toilet to tap.

But with climate change effecting the future of clean water everywhere, I decided to give it a try.

All right. Moment of truth. Just remembering how this whole process started. It clearly looks very different, smells very different.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Smells like water. Looks like water. Cheers

GUPTA: Cheers to 2018.


JONES: And cheers to you. Dr. Sanjay Gupta there.

Now, from health issues facing us humans to an existential crisis for a turtle. The golden coin turtle maybe small but the species is also

considered so valuable the conservationists are having to keep them in hiding in Hong Kong. Strange story but here's CNN's Ivan Watson with more.


IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): in the jungles above Hong Kong, there is a living treasure. An animal on the

verge of extinction in the wild which poachers risk jail time and big fines to capture.

Conservationists start battling to save this golden coin turtle.

ANTHONY LAU, HONG KONG BAPTIST UNIVERSITY: The main reason that we're doing this is because we want to reduce the threat to turtles. And one of

the main threats is illegal trapping.

WATSON: BY a stream bank, researchers find evidence left by what they suspect are turtle trappers who apparently ignore anti-poaching warnings

from city authorities.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So far, we don't find this very effective. I mean, we don't see like real enforcement follow this like putting up this sign.

Even worst we thought about that putting up this sign may help people get their turtles in the place.

WATSON: This is a female golden coin turtle. So she's a critically endangered semi-aquatic turtle that used to thrive all across southern

China and parts of Southeast Asia. But now, the species only lives in the wild here in Hong Kong.

Some people, they want to own her as a pet. Well, they want to eat her and some actually believe that this species might have medicinal properties

that could actually cure cancer. And it is her golden head and the three stripes on her shell that some people believe make her lucky. And as a

result even more valuable.

A conservationist program set up by Kadoorie Farm and supported by the government aims to safely breed golden coin turtles. Conservationists had

hoped to release them into the wild within five years, but 20 years later, that's still not considered safe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're actually going to be running trials in the next couple of years to run small scale experiments in semi-wild controlled

environments to find out if the turtles we have here know how to survive in the wild. But still, we got a couple of years at work, I think, before

we're ready for that. And that's coincidentally not such a bad thing. Because I think the wild still needs a couple of years before it's going to

be safe.

WATSON: Activists want stricter law enforcement to prevent the sale of these turtles and other endangered species in the Asian markets. If not,

they fear this ancient reptile may only survive in captivity.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One day, hopefully, this animal will be in the stream in Hong Kong and continuing this species' survival in Hong Kong.

WATSON: Ivan Watson, CNN, Hong Kong.


JONES: Ivan, thank you very much. More to come on the program tonight, including a great story this, one man and the cold. The journey that has

never been done before. Probably never attempted before. That story is coming up in just a moment.


[14:50:11] JONES: Welcome back. It may look humble but it's one of the world's most coveted ingredients, the truffle. And while many associated

with French or Italian find dining, demand for Hungarian truffles is now soaring. CNN's Nick Carrie (ph) takes us on a truffle hunt outside



NICK CARRIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We're on the hunt for truffles in a forest on the outskirts of Budapest. Hungarian truffles are

in high demand these days because they're more affordable than in most other European countries.

Emri (ph) has been a professional truffle hunter for six years. His assistant, Edit, tells us he found about 60 kilograms of truffles last

year. Oh, brother, the dogs did.

EDIT FULESI, TRUFFLE HUNTING ASSISTANT: The dogs rare doing the work. The dogs are trained with treats. Some dogs, unfortunately, all over the world

are trained with starving. But this more human and better way.

CARRIE: Joining the group today is Chef Eszter Palagyi, who earned the coveted Michelin Star at the tender age of 29 and it's being crowned

Hungary's best chef in two of the past three years.

ESZTER PALAGYI, MICHELIN STAR CHEF: I hope we find 100, 200 grams truffle. But I can use is it as well in the kitchen. Bigger as possible.

CARRIE: As one of Europe's rising kitchen stars, Eszter pursues a philosophy of using local ingredients whenever possible.

PALAGYI: If I have to buy it from outside of the country, it stays different. And it's not our soil inside. The taste is so much stronger as


I hope and I believe when somebody comes to Costes, they don't have just food and the dinner, they have the small part of our history. I hope they

fall in love with our country and our food as well.


JONES: And now it's an ancient site that's been excavated for centuries, but the City of Pompeii is still giving up new secrets from beneath its

ruins. The latest find is showing an age-old myth in a new modern light. CNN's Barbie Nadeau explains


BARBIE LATZA NADEAU, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Her tempting gaze has been obscured for almost two millennia. According to

Greek mythology, Leda, the queen of Sparta, was seduced or some say, raped, by the God, Zeus, who was disguised as a swan.

But masters of the renaissance and poets have never quite agreed on whether her peculiar sexual encounter speaks to a woman's sensuality or to a man's


The story is most often depicted as an act of violence. But this small rendition, just discovered on the wall of a bedroom, here on Pompeii, is


MASSIMO OSANNA, CHIEF POMPEII ARCHAEOLOGIST: Let's say it's a message of sensuality. That means, I'm looking you, and you are looking me.

Meanwhile, I'm doing something very, very special. It's very explicit. And also look at the naked -- her leg, and also, the luxurious sandal that

she has.

So, very -- it's a message of beauty, but -- a message of beauty, but in total, message of sensuality.

NADEAU: This incredible finding was made during maintenance work going on here, at one of the most famous archaeological digs in the world. Pompeii

was destroyed in 79 A.D. when Mount Vesuvius erupted overhead.

Francesco Muscolini, an archaeologist here on Pompeii, says the first rocks from the eruption, did kill people. But they actually also preserved these

treasures before layers of burning ash covered everything.

FRANCESCO MUSCOLINI, ARCHAEOLOGIST: On top of this layer, there are -- the layer of the pyroclastic flow that destroyed the city.

NADEAU: An ash.


NADEAU: No lava?

[14:55:00] MUSCOLINI: No lava.

NADEAU: The maintenance work also led to other treasure troves that public has not yet seen.

MUSCOLINI: The female here is Venus and the male is one of her lovers. There is also a small eros (ph).

NADEAU: This part of the open air museum will eventually be accessible to the millions of tourists who visit the site each year.

And then, as they wander through these ruins, they can also reflect on what they know about this ancient Leda myth in the context of today's Me Too

Movement. Was she a victim of rape or was it consensual?

OSANNA: I don't know if it's a message of power of the men on the women. This is an -- I think it's different aspect. This is the power of the goat

over the female -- human female, Leda.

NADEAU: Everyone can look into Leda's eyes and judge for themselves exactly who is seducing whom, and perhaps, even learn something from the

ancient world at the same time.

Barbie Latza Nadeau, for CNN, Pompeii.


JONES: And finally on the program tonight, a salute to the spirit of adventure within all of us or at least in some of us, a spirit that leads

some of us to do pretty crazy things. Take, for example, 71-year-old Jean- Jacques Savin. The French man took off on Wednesday from the Canary Islands, off the west coast of Africa hoping to float in a large orange

barrel all the way to the Caribbean.

No sale, no engine, just the current propelling him and his barrel at about two kilometers an hour. We should say there are some home comforts in the

barrel. It has a bed and a kitchen inside.

Savin hopes to end up in Barbados or maybe Martinique or even Guadeloupe. Don't we all? Wherever the current takes him though over the next few


And then staying with the story of adventure, there is endurance athlete, Colin O'Brady. He claims to be the first person to cross Antarctica by

himself without any human or machine help. He has been hiking for 54 days. At his quest was a competition.

British explorer, Henry Worsley is also attempting the solo Antarctic trek. The two men started out on the same day but currently, Colin O'Brady says

he completed the journey first. Well done to him.

Thanks so much for watching tonight. Stay with CNN. I will be back for the check of the headlines for you in the next few minutes.