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HALA GORANI TONIGHT

Syrian Army Says It Has Entered Flashpoint City of Manjib; Trump Announced U.S. Withdrawal Last Week; Two Vietnamese Tourists Killed When A Roadside Bomb Hits Tourist Bus in Egypt; Trump and Congress Are Deadlocked Over Border Wall Funding; US Homeland Security Chief to Visit U.S.- Mexican Border; European Union Struggles to Stem the Flow of Immigrants; New Details In Sexual Assault Allegation Against Spacey; U.S. Stocks Up After Week Of Wild Swings; Oldest U.S. War Veteran Dies At 112; Celebrating The Spirits Of The Season. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired December 28, 2018 - 14:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[14:00:00] HANNAH VAUGHN JONES, CNN HOST: Hello, everyone. This Friday live from CNN London, I'm Hannah Vaughn Jones in for Hala Gorani. Tonight,

a complicated battlefield gets even more chaotic. Kurdish forces turn to the Syrian government as U.S. troops plan to withdraw. Is this a first

result of Donald Trump's retreat? And the U.S. President threatens to close the entire southern border as part of the government shutdown

showdown with Democrats. Plus, Europe's only migrant crisis is far from over. What the British government is saying about people crossing the

English Channel just since Christmas.

We start with a very fluid situation in Syria. Government troops say they have answered a call for help from Kurdish fighters and have entered a town

near the Turkish border. Here's the picture of the Syrian flag saying it in Manbij. They want protection after the U.S. said they'll withdraw

troops acting as a buffer. The U.S. military disputes Syria's claim that government troops are inside the city but a source tells CNN they are,

indeed, moving closer. As all this is happening, Syrian rebels backed by Turkey say they're moving towards the front lines of Manbij, as well. This

shows the heavily armed rebels gathered near the city. They say they're ready to launch an operation to, quote, liberate Manbij. Let's bring in

Ian Lee to walk us through these developments first. Ian, let's just get things straight to start off with. The Kurds who are the traditional

allies of the United States are now asking Assad, the Syrian President and his troops, for help to keep the Turks out.

IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. When you look at what's happening around northern Syria, basically what you're seeing is everyone

staging for the day the United States decides to leave, to fill that vacuum. The YPG, part of the SDF, the Syrian Democratic forces, allies

with the United States in fighting is, well, they feel vulnerable and so they're looking for who can help them. And they have had an on again/off

again relationship with the Syrian government. And so, it's no surprise that they're looking at them to help fill that void when the United States

leaves so that when the Turkish forces along with the Syrian rebels look across the battlefield they look at the Syrian government as well as their

Russian allies which would probably make the Syrian rebels and the Turks think twice to attack and that's what exact the YPG is hoping will happen.

JONES: And, Ian, you're in Israel at the moment. Give us an idea of how the Israeli government is reacting to its very, very close ally the U.S.

pulling out of Syria. This all happening very much on Israel's doorstep, as well.

LEE: Yes. I think the United States pulling out of Syria is making many Israeli officials nervous. We have heard from several Israeli politicians

and mill tear leaders that have sharply criticized the U.S. decision. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has been more even keeled coming to the

U.S. pullout saying it will affect Israel but at the same time Israel can defend itself and maintain the red lines it says it has in Syria basically

making sure that Iran doesn't entrench itself inside of the country. They have carried out air strikes recently to that effect. So, they seem to be

pretty much continuing the course that they have been on. The United States has said that they'll fully support Israel but it does leave that

vacuum. That does make it uncertain about what is going to happen next for Syria. Hannah?

JONES: Ian Lee, thank you very much. For more on the evolving situation on the ground, let's go to analyst John Kirby who's in Washington and joins

us now. Good do see you. Hot on the heels of the U.S. announcing, President Trump announcing that there would be a withdrawal of troops from

Syria, we now see this movement of other power players in the region, as well. My understanding is that they were going to hold off from any

movement into northern Syria and attack if you like on the Kurds. With this new development in the last 24 hours, can the U.S. trust Turkey?

[14:05:00] JOHN KIRBY, CNN MILITARY AND DIPLOMATIC ANALYST: No. And I don't think actually when it comes to what was going on inside Syria we

ever really could trust Turkey to keep their interests aligned with ours. Look. I think they long wanted to go into Manjib with the backed rebel

forces. I don't think it's going to evolve quite as quickly as maybe the headlines have said it will. I think you have the Syrian army now

approaching from the south. You have Turkish backed opposition forces around the north and the Kurds in the middle to negotiate a better outcome.

I don't think it's going to come all that fast. But look. We have never been able to rely on Turkey's word. Their promise to, you know, eliminate

ISIS inside Syria, they can't do that. Frankly, they don't have any interest in doing that. The primary goal is squashing the Kurds and

interesting to see how it plays out as everybody looking for new partners with our pullout. We are leaving a big vacuum as was reported that

everybody will try to fill.

JONES: Of course, so much is made of this seeming U.S. betrayal of the Kurds who have fought beside them so hard for so long, as well. Now it

seems they're lambs to the slaughter now. What impact does that have on future U.S. operations

within this region now that they presume bring can't turn to the Kurds for support?

KIRBY: Not just the Kurds, too. The Syrian Democratic forces, there were thousands of Arab fighters, as well. It was sort of a -- it was a group.

We have sent a strong message on a couple of levels. We abdicate any leadership or outcome in Syria. We are turning our backs on that country,

regardless of what the President says of what he can do from Iraq. Number two, we sent a strong signal to those who have aligned with us that we are

an unreliable, unpredictable, somewhat chaotic partner to have. And so, as we're starting to see, people are now even those who are working -- worked

with us are now looking for other partners. Number three, this is a big one, is that the future of the Middle East, you're starting to see a real

geopolitical shift here and might have [14:05:00] seen this week the UAE established -- re-established the embassy in Damascus. That's a huge

signal because UAE was backing rebel fighters against Assad. It says they think Assad's here to stay and he is the future of Damascus and Syria in

terms of leadership. Number two, that they're willing to ally with him to counter Iran and Turkey. You're starting to see a bipolar arrangement now.

Turkey and Iran are aligned against the Sunni Arabs and it is going to be a return to an Arab influence in Syria we haven't seen before.

JONES: John, final thought on this then. You mentioned just now that the U.S. lost any leadership authority within the region. If Turkey isn't

capable of ridding ISIS as it's said, as Erdogan said to Trump he'll do, could the U.S. reenter into the fray?

KIRBY: There's a lot to that question. I think it's highly doubtful given the President, his commitment to pull out and I think it would be very

difficult for him to, you know, backtrack on that decision. If you're asking me in terms of physical space and time, yes. You could put special

operation forces in in a short time. They don't need a lot of support. An advantage, of course, in the military quiver to be a quick arrow to shoot

and I don't see politically how that happens under this President and I think they try to manage the ISIS problem now remotely from Iraq. That

gets more difficult. Your question gets to the real issue here of is and footprint in Syria and much smaller and nimble. It was easy to strike -- I

shouldn't say easy. Easier to strike from Iraq when they were in great numbers, had infrastructure, they had -- they were overt, larger targets,

more fixed targets to hit from the air, remotely from Iraq. One of the reasons we put boots on the ground in there because they were dwindling in

number and we wanted to eyes on to have real good time sensitive targeting data on them. That will be lost.

JONES: We appreciate it. Thank you so much.

Now, breaking news from Egypt. The interior ministry there says a roadside bomb hit a tourist bus in Giza near the Pyramids. Let's get to producer of

CNN for the details on this now. Joining us from Cairo. What are you learning so far about this tourist bus hit in a tourist area?

[14:10:00] SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN MIDDLE EAST PRODUCER: That's right, Hannah. Just after 6:00 local time a bomb hidden along the roadside where

the pyramids located, homemade bomb went off hitting a tourist bus, it was carrying 14 Vietnamese tourists. Two of them were killed according to the

interior ministry. Bomb hidden along the roadside where the pyramids located, homemade bomb went off hitting a tourist bus, it was carrying 14

Vietnamese tourists. Two of them were killed according to the interior ministry. Ten others wounded and in addition, two Egyptians, the bus

driver and a representative of the tourism company wounded, as well. Of course, this is a major concern to a company reliant on the tourist economy

and the interior ministry said they'll send police to the scene to investigate the cause of the accident. They have struggled with issues of

terrorism, particularly from the Islamic state. This hit will be sure to concern the country.

JONES: And just briefly, we know it's two Vietnamese tourists killed in this incident. Does it mean that those authorities have been contacted by

the Egyptians?

ABDELAZIZ: We are still in the very early stages, Hannah. As I said, it's been about three hours. We do understand that the interior ministry has

already begun investigating and you know that the government of Egypt will be contacting the Vietnamese authorities and unclear what's taken place and

of course with them being Vietnamese nationals, it is important for the countries to work together for information for the loved ones and still

waiting to find out more.

JONES: All right. Thank you so much for updating us on the latest from Egypt. Thank you.

Now, to other news this hour, U.S. President Donald Trump appears to be in increasingly frustrated with the government shutdown and the situation at

the U.S./Mexico border. He is tweeting furiously about it. A few hours ago, he threatened to completely close the southern border if Democrats

don't give him money to build his wall. He also said he would cut off aid to several central American countries if they don't do more to slow the

flow of migrants heading to the U.S. let's bring in White House reporter Sarah Westwood for more on this. First of all, the claim to close the

border entirely, is that within the President's ability?

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: It's not clear that President Trump has the authority to seal off the southern border and also not clear

whether the administration has done any kind of assessment that would look at what kind of economic impact the decision could have and not the first

time the President has made this threat previously when his back has been against the wall sort to speak on the immigration agenda and he's

threatened to shut down the southern border, threatened to send the military and did carry out a plan to send U.S. troops to the southern

border. And he's threatened to cut off aid to Central American countries whose people cross into the U.S. illegally. At the moment, there looks to

be no way out of the shutdown. January when House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is expected to take the gavel and perhaps, we could see some

movement on a possible deal at that point.

JONES: Yes. I was just going to ask, Sarah, then, what would it take to break the deadlock on Capitol Hill at the moment? Could it be that the

thousands of unpaid federal workers currently affected by this partial shutdown that they could kind of like revolt and appeal to the President or

would it be that the President has a weak hand, indeed, come January 3rd when the Democrats have the House?

WESTWOOD: Well, of course, that hand is already looking weaker with each passing day as Democrats get closer and it is a great point about the

thousands of worker who are going to stop receiving a paycheck because they have been furloughed as the government is partially shuttered and

increasing pressure on this administration to cut some kind of deal with Democrats that reopens the government as the weeks drag on and some of the

people furloughed start to run into financial troubles. It is not an insignificant number of people who are going to be going without paychecks.

And the President doesn't have a whole lot of leverage at this point given that half of the congress will soon be controlled by Democrats.

JONES: Sarah, live for us in Washington, thank you very much, Sarah.

The U.S. Homeland Security Secretary will get a firsthand look at the situation at the border with Mexico today. Kirstjen Nielsen is making the

trip following the deaths of two young Guatemalan children in U.S. custody. Nick Valencia is in the border city of El Paso, Texas, for us. What is

Kirstjen Nielsen expecting to see and do on this visit?

[14:15:00] NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hannah, she is very cagey about the details but we do expect her to meet with health officials here

local and officials of customs and border protections and moving on to Arizona tomorrow. She's also going to be looking at the medical

screenings. It was part of a series of measures of what she called measures to keep another migrant from dying in custody. We assume she is

in the process of making the tours and not given details about the visit. What is happening here today right where I am standing in front of the

greyhound bus station is we continue to see migrants dropped off at just a steady stream of them all day. It was just a short time ago we saw 15 to

20 migrants dropped off by volunteers that included no fewer than 5 children, one of them a baby. What's particularly frustrating to the

charities is not coordinated with I.C.E. and what happened in the past. I spoke to a program director of a nearby church in New Mexico who says that

over the weekend they reached out to I.C.E. to let them know that they had resources available for migrants, as many as needed to be cared for. Still

they were dumped on the streets of El Paso.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANSELMO DELGADO-MARTINEZ, EL CALVARIO METHODIST CHURCH: We were ready. We had staff all ready to take in refugees on Christmas Eve

and Christmas day. And the next thing we know we are watching the news and watching them dropping them off in the streets.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VALENCIA: And here as I'm reporting, more migrants going inside the bus station. Most of them have been in CPB custody for several weeks if not

months and those I have talked to said they had tickets bought by family members or volunteers to reunite with their families. Hannah?

JONES: Nick, what is the priority for authorities at the moment? Is it that there's concern over the health conditions that these kids who are

trying to cross the border are arriving with? Or, is it the conditions within which they are held once they're in U.S. custody?

VALENCIA: I mean, to be frank about this, Hannah, it seems that they're just trying to keep their head above water right now. It was earlier this

week I spoke to an official saying they're completely overwhelmed and we should note that there's a partial government shutdown happening right now

in the United States and that's affected CPB, the very agency that's tasked with securing our borders and stretched thin affected by furloughs and

don't have the manpower to begin with at full capacity and now fewer resources and Nielsen is expected to highlight the medical screenings and

not only overwhelmed in the charities but the CPB facilities.

JONES: Certainly are. Nick Valencia live for us in Texas, thank you very much, indeed, nick.

President Trump is using the death of a police officer in California to make an argument for more border security. The alleged killer was caught a

short time ago but when he was still at large Mr. Trump tweeted about it highlighting the fact of a manhunt for an undocumented immigrant suspected

of shooting a police officer. The police officer Singh was an immigrant from Fiji with the department since 2011 and shot during a routine traffic

stop.

Still to come tonight, up and down. Over and over. Just why have the U.S. markets been volatile this week? We're live at the New York stock

exchange. Hopefully with the answers for you, next.

[14:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JONES: Welcome back. Police in Sudan's capital fired weapons into the air and used teargas to break up a tenth straight day of protests. The people

have taken to the streets across the country protesting fuel shortages and skyrocketing inflation. So far, more than a dozen people have been killed

with hundreds more injured. The U.N. called for an end to the excessive force and arbitrary arrests.

Now, we turn attention to the political unrest in the Democratic Republic of Congo ahead of Sunday's Presidential election there. With an Ebola

outbreak and elections delayed in several cities that violence has spiked. Michael Holmes reports.

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Firing live rounds into the air and teargas, as well, security forces try to disperse protesters. Angry over

their exclusion from a long-awaited Presidential election in the Democratic Republic of Congo. As the country votes for a new leader on Sunday, voters

in these three cities will have to wait months to cast their ballots. They happen to be opposition strongholds against the outgoing President who's

been in power since 2001.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): They need to get us another President. And if that doesn't happen, we will create chaos starting from

today until solution is found. If it calls for us to die then so be it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOLMES: The electoral commission said the postponement is due to violence there and an ongoing Ebola outbreak in the east of the country, reportedly

the second deadliest in history and the opposition say that is' a pretext to take away their vote. Demonstrators are attacked in an isolation

center, 24 patients fled. In the country's capital, supporters of a leading opposition candidate marched on the headquarters of the electoral

commission demanding the three cities be allowed to vote in Sunday's election.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PIERRE LUMBI, CAMPAIGN DIRECTOR, LAMUKA OPPOSITION COALITION (through translator): The people who have already been very patient, who have

accepted three postponements and a two-year wait, are now saying enough. The electoral commission crossed a red line.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOLMES: This election is meant to lead to the first Democratic transfer of power in the country, originally scheduled in 2016. Repeated delays

sparked violence that have killed dozens and then last week another postponement reportedly due to problems deploying voting materials. Now

scheduled for Sunday, final results are expected in January. Although it's unclear how votes in the three excluded cities would ever be factored into

the election. Michael Holmes, CNN.

JONES: Here in the U.K. the home secretary declared a major incident after a spike in migrant arrivals across the English Channel. Every day this

week my grants have been making the crossing from France. Mostly in small rubber boats. He said he asked for an urgent call with the French

counterpart to address the situation. Meanwhile, in Spain, a ship of more than 300 African migrants has docked after days at sea. Other places

refused the boat to enter after they were rescued off Libya a week ago. As this steady stream of migration into Europe continues the continent's

leaders are grappling with how to handle it. Immigration is a topic that's as divisive as ever. Simon Cullen has more now.

[14:25:00] [14:25:00] SIMON CULLEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: 2015. The height of Europe's migrant crisis. More than 1 million refugees arrived on

European shores. Many fleeing conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

YOUSEF KARAJAKES, SYRIAN REFUGEE: I lose everything there. I lose my wife and I lose my daughter. I lose my family. They're dead. In the bomb. In

the war.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CULLEN: The influx presented an unprecedented challenge for the European Union which struggled to support member states bearing the brunt

particularly on the eastern border. As they tried to move west, countries along the route began building border fences. Setting the scene for

violent clashes between migrants and police. Since then, the number of migrants trying to each the EU has been falling. But thousands of people

continue to arrive each month. Most coming on boats across the Mediterranean from North Africa, refocusing the migration pressure points

on Italy and Spain. Italy's new government in particular reacted with force banning some migrant ships from docking.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): My executive is the people of the right to come to arrive in Italy by plane, maybe first class, not on boats.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CULLEN: Italy's anti-migration government is not alone in Europe. Others like Austria, Hungary and Poland adopted a similarly hard line.

JONES: This is truly historic change in Europe and I think when you're living amid it sometimes you lose sight of how significant it is.

CULLEN: The effects are already being felt. For years, the European Commission tried to find a long-term solution to the migrant debate and

stark differences remain about the best way forward.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TUSK, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN COUNCIL: We can no longer be decided to solve the problem of illegal flows and those who want to use it for

political gain.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CULLEN: With European parliamentary elections scheduled for May analysts warn there's little incentive for promise.

JONES: There are a number of EU governments and parties that have a vested interest in ensuring that the European commission and the European

parliament and council do not resolve the question of external border security.

CULLEN: The last time Europeans elected members of parliament in 2014 the key issue was the economy. This time around, it is immigration. According

to an opinion polling by the European commission, it ranks alongside terrorism in voters' minds. This means that for the year ahead this is

where the political battle lines will be drawn. Potentially driving even deeper divisions within the EU and changing how Europe responds to

migrants. Simon Cullen, CNN, London.

JONES: Still to come on the program tonight, new details emerge in a sexual assault allegation against the actor Kevin Spacey. Police say they

now have evidence.

Plus, historic firsts, trade wars and a dramatic rescue. We take a look back at the top stories that shaped the world in 2018.

[14:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JONES: Welcome back. It is a wild week for U.S. markets. Wednesday saw the Dow skyrocket while a nail biter on Thursday saw the markets

dramatically dip before clawing back the losses in the afternoon. Lets's take a look at how they're doing right now.

Up positive territory around about 100 points or so. Just shy of 100 points now.

Let's get straight to the center of all this now. The New York Stock Exchange. Our Alison Kosik is standing by for us. As she has been doing

all this trading day. Alison, good to see you.

So we are, what? About an hour and a half out from the closing bell. There was much talk beforehand of whether we were going to see a third

consecutive daily gain. Is that likely at all or is it too soon to tell?

ALISON KOSIK, CNN GENERAL ASSIGNMENT CORRESPONDENT: You know what? After what happened yesterday, that's anybody's guess. You have to remember,

yesterday we saw the Dow have solid -- have solid and negative territory. I'm talking about with 600-point loss that was a raise and then the Dow

ended up 260 points.

So, yes, we've got an hour and a half to go. We're seeing the Dow in positive territory but really anything could happen. And it really have

been watching stocks searching for direction today. They've been moving from gains to losses to gains again all day

So that volatility still happening though not in that exaggerated form that has certainly defined the week. It's been more in a narrow range. We

shall see where things end up in about an hour and a half.

But still those worries continue to weigh on Wall Street. That's the type of worries including a slowing global economy, of unresolved trade

situation between China and U.S. and then rising interest rates. All of that continues to weigh on sentiment that's helping to cause the

skittishness.

And I haven't even mentioned what's happening in Washington, the government shutdown. And then the question of whether Fed chair, Jay Powell is going

to be able to keep his job next year. So all of these uncertainties are keeping Wall Street on edge more than usual. Hannah?

JONES: Why the extremes, Alison? Why do we see a 650 drop-off on Monday? A 1,000-point gain on Wednesday. And then today, now we're back to these

kind of like marginal movements. So 100 points up and down. But why are we getting this vast range of fluctuation?

KOSIK: Well, some of it maybe year-end positioning. I mean, you're looking at investors ready to close the book on 2018. And when we saw that

jump of 1,000 points on the Dow earlier this week and then the next day, there will be solid high volatility.

It's probably a lot of investors trying to grab some of those profits off the table. But I think if you think more broadly, I think all of the

issues I mentioned are really causing uneasiness and uncertainty in the market and it's uncertainty that doesn't sit well with the market and that

helps increase the volatility that we've seen.

You know, what I'm hearing, you know, into next year, we could expect volatility to really be the norm. Hannah?

JONES: All right. Alison Kosik live for us, the center of it all, New York Stock Exchange, in New York. Thank you.

KOSIK: Sure.

JONES: Now, New York City, staying with New York, is known for its vibrant lights, but people weren't quite prepared for the night sky to suddenly

pulse blue.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My God. Look at the sky.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JONES: Now, this was all caused by a power company mishap in Queens. The phenomenon is known as an arc flash. The eerie display drew crowds of

onlookers throughout the area and had many on social media asking whether aliens had arrived. Rest assured, they haven't. The instance caused brief

power outages and flight delays, though.

Amazing pictures there.

Now, new details are emerging about sexual assault allegations against the actor, Kevin Spacey. Police now say there is video evidence that he

allegedly groped a busboy at a restaurant back in 2016 and Spacey has responded with a video of his own.

Our Miguel Marquez has the details. First though, a warning. This story has some sexually explicit language.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KEVIN SPACEY, AMERICAN ACTOR: You trusted me even though you knew you shouldn't.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The video titled "Let me be Fran," posted to the Kevin Spacey's Twitter account shortly after indecent

assault and battery charges brought by a then 18-year-old accuser whose mother spoke out on his behalf last year.

HEATHER UNRUH, MOTHER OF ALLEGED VICTIM: In July 2016, actor Kevin Spacey has sexually assaulted my son.

MARQUEZ: Spacey in his video doesn't address the charges. He performs the video in a kitchen, Santa Claus apron on and in Frank Underwood character

from the Netflix show "House of Cards" that Spacey starred in for five seasons until he was fired after several allegations of sexual misconduct

surfaced.

SPACEY: You wouldn't believe the worst without evidence, would you? You wouldn't rush to judgments without facts, would you? Did you?

MARQUEZ: Netflix had no comment about the video whose timing, tone and substance were jarring given the charges the actor knew were coming. There

was a hearing in the case four days before Spacey posted the video.

[14:35:10] SPACEY: Conclusions can be so deceiving.

MARQUEZ: One piece of evidence Spacey's accuser has against the 59-year- old actor says the complaint is video of the assault itself. The accuser's girlfriend when interviewed by the police says she received a Snapchat

video from her boyfriend showing Spacey touching the front of the accuser's pants by his crotch.

UNRUH: Kevin Spacey bought him drink after drink after drink. And when my son was drunk Spacey made his move.

MARQUEZ: Her son, the accuser, admitted to police he told Spacey that night he was 23. Not his real age of 18. According to the complaint. He

says the assault happened late night after his shift as a busboy at Nantucket's Club Car Restaurant.

UNRUH: The victim, my son, was a star struck, straight 18-year-old young man.

MARQUEZ: The accuser claims after several drinks Spacey asked sexual questions, exchanged phone numbers, then tried to get him to his house.

Then in a packed bar, the accuser claims, Spacey used his left hand and started rubbing his thigh and eventually sexually assaulting him for about

three minutes.

UNRUH: Nothing could have prepared my son for how that sexual assault would make him feel as a man. It harmed him. And it cannot be undone.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

JONES: Let's get a closer look then at all of this. Miguel Marquez joins us live then from New York. Miguel, we heard in your report there a lot of

what the prosecution are going to be saying or accusing Mr. Spacey of. But I understand that we've also had a court hearing which is given us

something of preview as to what the defense are going to argue here. Tell us more.

MARQUEZ: Yes. So on the 20th, there was this hearing, a very sort of perfunctory hearing but the defense, Mr. Spacey's defense lawyer, got to

asked the officer or the trooper, the state trooper of Massachusetts, who filled out the complaint, got to asked him some questions and there was

some revealing information there.

One that the video that the accuser says he has is about one second long, perhaps even less. The accuser also was -- wasn't able to identify which

shirt he was wearing that night. The entire incident taking place over about 70 minutes. Came out in this hearing and the accuser apparently had

as many as 10 drinks during that 70-minute period.

He also represented himself as 23-year-old to Mr. Spacey. But not just that but said he was studying business at Wake Forest University. So there

was a -- there was a whole sort of discussion in court or questioning in the court like this was a young man who was coming on to Kevin Spacey and

wanted to hang out with him so Mr. Spacey may have, you know, jumped to that conclusion and become sexual with him so that all of that is sort of

in that background.

The other thing that we now know is that on the 7th of January, Mr. Spacey will be in court in Nantucket to be arraigned on this. It was unclear from

that hearing whether he would or not. We thought he might be able to waive that appearance. But it seems that Mr. Spacey will in fact be in court.

JONES: And when he does appear in court then, could he find, Mr. Spacey this is, could he find that this somewhat bizarre video that he posted

online of him in his Frank Underwood "House of Cards" character, could be used against him in some way?

MARQUEZ: I don't think so. I mean, I don't know. I'm not a lawyer. I don't think it will probably come into play. But it is from a PR point of

view, you know, the -- there was a hearing on the 20th so his lawyers were clearly aware. He was clearly aware that this -- something legally was

coming his way.

On Monday, Christmas Eve, the Boston Globe breaks the story about these charges coming. And within minutes, about 20 minutes or so later, he posts

-- he himself, posted this video to his Twitter account. It doesn't -- it was just jarring. It's just -- if all this wasn't happening, you think,

oh, maybe he just wants his job as Frank Underwood back. But in the context of this, it just raised a lot of eyebrows.

JONES: Yes. Certainly did for all of us watching this court case unravel.

Miguel Marquez, thanks very much, indeed. We appreciate it.

MARQUEZ: You got it. Take care.

JONES: Now, still to come on the program tonight, America's oldest man has passed away at the age of, get this, 112. What was his secret to a long

and healthy life? Find out after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[14:40:57] JONES: Welcome back. 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 through 2018.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: 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 their coach trapped deep inside the cave by sudden monsoon

flooding. While many feared the worst, rescuers from all over the world converged on the cave searching for signs of life. Ten days into the

mission, success. The team found huddled on a ledge, an unforgettable chorus of little voices.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many of you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thirteen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thirteen?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Brilliant.

WARD: But the threat was far from over. A Thai diver died during 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 --

ROBYN CURNOW, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Jubilation in Thailand.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All 12 boys every child is rescued from that soccer team has been rescued from that 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, walked 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 and that's an invasion.

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

BLITZER: Happening now. Breaking news. Border escalation. President Trump is defending the use of teargas against migrants who rushed for the

U.S. border.

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

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She says, if she goes back to Honduras, they'll kill us.

WARD: Number six. In March, a former Russian spy and his daughter were found on a park bench in Salisbury England. Poisoned with the toxic nerve

agent, Novichok.

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

WARD: After investigating, 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 those claims. The accusation provoke diplomatic expulsions and sanctions against Russia.

Number five.

[14:45:00] A jolt to the right in European politics. In Germany, Hungary, Sweden, Austria, and Italy, populous far-right political parties made major

gains in legislative elections.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're now to the election results in Hungary that is the like in nationalist, the ringing alarm bells in some European capitals.

WARD: Nationalism, Islamophobia and Anti-Semitic attacks surge. Fueled by anger about immigration and mistrust of the elites.

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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

WARD: 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 MALE: Three years of civil war. 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 five had died from malnutrition.

People don't often think of this war as an American war, but many Yemenis do.

A plane from the U.S.-backed Saudi-led coalition struck a bus carrying them, dozens died.

Munitions experts tell CNN, this was a U.S.-made Mark MK82 bomb.

Critics call Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman the architect of the war. Now, 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 shockwaves across the world.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are getting more information coming in right now on the death of Washington Post journalist, Jamal Khashoggi. He walk in to

the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey on October 2nd, he was never seen again.

WARD: Saudi officials released 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.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 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 sitting U.S. 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, including shutting down a major missile testing site, but in the month

since little progress 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. 2018 presented diplomatic challenges and in some cases major missteps

clashing with allies and flirting with foes.

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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president directly undermine the precision of Theresa May --

CURNOW: Calling the Canadian Prime Minister quote, "Very dishonest and weak."

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

Russian interference in the U.S. election.

TRUMP: I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful 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: Some worry he has become an international punchline.

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

WARD: 2018 ends with more uncertainty about America's role and influence in the world, and a public rebuke.

[14:50:04] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Breaking news. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis quits. In a stunning letter to the President of the United States,

the four-star general calling out President Trump for not backing American allies for supporting authoritarian regimes.

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

(END VIDEOTAPE)

JONES: Clarissa Ward there with the look back at the top stories of the year.

Now, America's oldest man and its oldest World War II veteran has died at the age of 112. Richard Overton from Texas volunteered for the United

States army back in 1942. He served in an all-black unit in the pacific. And in 2013, he was invited to Washington by President Obama.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He was there at Pearl Harbor when the battleships were still smoldering. He was there at

Okinawa. He was there Iwo Jima where he said, "I only got out of there by the grace of God." Today, Richard still lives in the house that he built

all those years ago. Rakes his own lawn. And every Sunday, he hops in his 1971 Ford truck and drives one of nice ladies in his neighborhood to

church.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JONES: Richard Overton died after being hospitalized for pneumonia. He survived as long as he did despite a daily habit of ice cream and cigars.

His advice for making it past 100? Keep yourself occupied and connected to God.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICHARD OVERTON, WORLD WAR II VETERAN: Stay busy. And talk to the Lord and live with the Lord. Don't live with the people. Live with the Lord.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JONES: Our thoughts with his family. We'll be right back here at CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JONES: Welcome back to CNN. Now, one Hungarian liqueur has been a toast to the country's culture for centuries with its exotic secret recipe. This

distillery provides a tradition for the holiday season, as we learn now in "Destination Budapest."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): At this historic distillery in Budapest, more than a million liters of Unicum are aging in 500 barrels.

FRANK ODZUCK, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, UNICUM: It's a very sophisticated drink because herbs and spices from five continents come in time year from

very exotic countries, so we have roots from Malawi (ph), for instance.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Unicum was first produced more than two centuries ago as a remedy for indigestion. It was created by Jozsef Zwack, a doctor at

the court of Vienna for the king of Hungary. The Zwack family began commercial production of the liquor in 1840.

ANNE ZWACK, CO-OWNER, UNICUM: I do some of the herb mixing. Of the most secret part of the whole recipe. Traditionally, it was the women in the

Zwack family who did that. And so I have taken it over.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The secret recipe has survived turbulent times. Production was interrupted by the Second World War and afterwards, the

business was seized by the communist regime producing which produced an inferior imitation of the liquor after the family smuggled the recipe out

of the country.

ZWACK: The family, of course, lost everything. It was no compensation involved in this confiscation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Past communism crumbled at the end of the 1980s, Anne Zwack and her late husband finally managed to back control of the company

and the family remains heavily involved today.

[14:55:07] More than a third of all liquors sold in Hungary come from the Unicum distillery. The drink has an established part of Hungarian culture

and along with the glittering Christmas markets add a spiritual seasonal spirit to Budapest at this time of year.

JONES: And finally tonight, the last Friday of 2018, we here at CNN London are saying goodbye to a very dear friend and colleague. After 21 years

behind cameras and audio booths, and in sat trucks, director Jerry Kaufold is moving on.

Jerry, pictured here, was in the field when President Trump met President Putin in Helsinki earlier on this year. You can see him there pretty

excited to have Chris Cuomo, I think, is in the front of the camera behind in there.

This next picture is Jerry in his usual spots coming up in a second in the control room operating the audio board. He is the reason that Sarah

Westwood and I can hear each other every night. Sarah who I was talking to from Washington earlier on in the program.

And here's Jerry working his magic at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. And we had to find a photo of him, of course, with the Hala

Gorani team at HALA GORANI TONIGHT team. They were covering a tough story in Brussels throughout this picture.

But, as always, Jerry's experience, dedication and unique sense of humor saw them through.

Jerry come on through. This is your last shift with us. From a personal note, can I just add kindness beyond measure and professionalism beyond

words? Thank you so much. Thank you so much for all the work that you've put in here and for all the kindness that you've shown so many of us over

the years. And for all of us. You're on your last shift. And hopefully you'll be back for more. But for all of us in the last shift, we are just

so proud to have had the privilege of working with you. I think we can put it there.

Thanks, jerry.

Thanks, also, to all of our viewers for watching tonight. Stay with us here at CNN. Quest holiday highlights is up next after a check on the

headlines.

END