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Cities Around The World Ring In 2019; Kim Warns Of New Path If U.S. Insist On Sanctions; Donald Trump Sends New Year's Message; American Arrested In Russia On Suspicion Of Spying; U.K. P.M. Calls On Parliament To Back Her Brexit Deal; French President Macron's Rollercoaster 2018. Aired 1-1:30a ET
Aired January 1, 2019 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[01:05:10] BALDWIN: Happy New Year! I'm Brooke Baldwin!
LEMON: Good night! Happy 2019!
BALDWIN: Happy New Year!
JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Fireworks and celebration as the world welcomes in the New Year and says goodbye and good riddance for 2018. Alone again and oversharing again. In just 11 seconds the U.S. President delivers both a New Year's message and what sounded like a national guilt trip. Donald Trump seems far from happy stuck in Washington with a partial government shutdown.
And message from Pyongyang. Three years of diplomatic surprises and improving relations with U.S., Kim Jong-un wants -- he could seek a new path in 2019 if there is no relief from U.S. economic sanctions. Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us all around the world. Great to have you with us. I'm John Vause. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.
Chicago, Dallas, Mexico City among the many places around the world seeing in the New Year at this hour. In New York City, the iconic giant ball dropped just over an hour ago. Despite consistent rain, hundreds of thousands of revelers gathered in Times Square for the big celebration. One of the biggest New Year's Eve parties in the world is held at Rio. About two million people turnout for the fireworks at Copacabana beach.
And in Arc de Triomphe in Paris with a dazzling light display in the stroke of midnight. The theme this year, fraternity. Fireworks and celebratory gunfire marks the year in Baghdad, and in Sydney Australia, the harbor was lit up with 12 full minutes by the city's biggest ever pyrotechnics display.
In his New Year's address, the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has warned if there is no relief from U.S. sanctions, he could abandon the current thorn in diplomatic relations and in his words, seek a new path. Along with that threat were a conciliatory message from Kim saying he was committed to denuclearization and was willing to meet with President Donald Trump any time. His annual address by the North Korean leader is closely watched around the world. Last year's speech marked the start of unprecedented international
diplomacy with both Washington and Seoul. Well, for more now CNN's Alexandra Field is live in Hong Kong. Happy New Year, Alexandra. OK. Kim Jong-un, he didn't actually say what he meant by a new path and that seems notable especially this choice of words. It could mean almost anything. And as far as threats go, this is pretty tame stuff by North Korean status.
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. This was actually a very measured speech particularly by North Korean standards. It was a half an hour address that typically lays out in North Korea's vision for the year, something similar to a State of the Union. Of course, everyone in the United States going to be listening very carefully to Kim Jong-un's speech this year to hear more about his intentions.
Yes, as you point out it was important that he did reaffirm the commitment to denuclearization clearly. This is a leader who's trying to keep talks going with the United States. He made it very clear and said explicitly that he's ready to sit down with President Donald Trump at any time. But yes, this is a country that has felt the pain of these sanctions that have not been eased by the United States despite the level of unprecedented engagement that you saw over the course of the last year. So Kim Jong-un did indicate some of his frustration. Let's listen to how we put it right.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KIM JONG-UN, LEADER OF NORTH KOREA (through translator): However, if the U.S. does not keep its promise it made in front of the world and misinterprets our peoples patients and makes one-sided demands and continues down the path of sanctions and pressure on our republic, then we will have no choice but to defend our country sovereignty and supreme interest, and find a new way to settle peace on our peninsula.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FIELD: John, yes, he say a new way. He doesn't specify what that new way would be. Obviously the administration of United States is quick to point out that since the Singapore summit between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump you haven't had these missile tests, you haven't had a nuclear test so basically all of that is positive, but essentially you know six months or eight months out from that Singapore summit, all we're left with was this commitment from both sides to work toward denuclearization and really no tangible progress to that end.
So North Korea clearly feeling some of the pain of these sanctions. They have called for you know, step-by-step measures. Meaning that the U.S. would give, North Korea would give at the same time. But both sides really still had an impasse over who acts first in order to reach some progress here.
VAUSE: There also seems to be two very different timelines. The North Koreans want the U.S. to move quickly and move soon eating these sanctions, but in Washington sanctions relief for the North Koreans, it doesn't even seem to be really on the agenda at the moment. So how long -- you know, is there a timeframe here for Pyongyang before it loses patience and seeks this new path, whatever that path might be?
FIELD: Yes, when is time up? That's probably the question on all sides. That's why you hear the administration in the U.S. consistently saying that they want to keep these talks going with North Korea. You repeatedly see President Trump tweeting about the fact that he wants to sit down again with Kim Jong-un.
You also have South Korea playing a pretty pivotal role here in terms of keeping up the engagement with North Korea because you want to keep all sides talking in order to avoid the kind of destructive and frightening tension that you saw mounting in 2017. But really there hasn't been a timeline attached to any of this, just that vague commitment to work toward denuclearization. And you've got the North Korean side saying that they want to see measures from the United States.
The U.S. continuing to say that they want ease sanctions without progress from North Korea so it seems like it's still an impasse and no one has offered a way forward at this point. Earlier this year just a couple of months back, we did see the U.S. apparently making possibly one concession where they seemed to back away from a key demand that they would not insist on seeing a full inventory of nuclear weapons and facilities in order to have that second summit. So there may be some room there in order to get the two sides back to the table and continue the discussions at least, John.
[01:10:55] VAUSE: Diplomacy with the North Koreans has never been easy. Alex, think you. Good to see you. As President released a year's video message and like a divorced dad all alone for the holidays the 11-second clip was filled with passive aggression and self-pity.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: While I'm at the White House working, you're out there partying tonight but I don't blame you. Enjoy yourselves. We're going to have a great year. Have a really, really happy New Year.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Earlier the President tweeted he was actually waiting for the Democrats to make a deal to fund his border wall and end the partial government shutdown but Democrats take control the House said on Thursday and they seemed determined to deny funding for the wall. We get late details now from Jessica Dean.
JESSICA DEAN, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Ten days into the partial government shutdown. Sources involved with negotiations say President Trump is privately telling lawmakers and officials he will not sign a bill with only $1.3 billion for border security, the current Democratic offer.
Today the President sending out a flurry of tweets on the shutdown taking shots at the Democrats saying, "I'm at the Oval Office. Democrats come back from vacation now and give us the votes necessary for border security including the wall." But Democrats appear equally dug in. Taking control of the House on Thursday, they plan to vote on a package that maintains the $1.3 billion for border security but no wall funding.
Still following a two-hour lunch with the President on Sunday, Senator Lindsey Graham remained optimistic a compromise could be reached in the next few days.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: The President didn't commit but I think he's very open-minded.
DEAN: Meantime, new details about the administration's attempted rebranding of the Trump wall. Outgoing chief of staff John Kelly telling the Los Angeles Times, "to be honest, it's not a wall." He went on explaining the President still says wall oftentimes. Frankly, he'll say barrier or fencing. Now he's tended toward steel slats. But we left a solid concrete wall early on in the administration when we asked people what they needed and where they needed it.
The comments led Trump to fire back tweeting, "An all concrete wall was never abandoned as has been reported by the media. Some areas will be all concrete but the experts at border patrol prefer a wall that is see-through, thereby making it possible to see what is happening on both sides, makes sense to me. "
The President also brought the Obamas into his border wall fight tweeting, "President and Mrs. Obama built/has a ten-foot wall around their D.C. mansion compound. I agree. Totally necessary for their safety and security. The US needs the same thing, slightly larger version. The U.S. Secret Service did erect a barrier gate in front of the Obama's home before they moved in. The House is located on a residential street in Washington D.C."
And he also brought the deaths of two migrant children at the border into the fight blaming their deaths on Democrats tweeting, "Any deaths of children or others at the border are strictly the fault of the Democrats and their pathetic immigration policies that allow people to make the long trek thinking they can enter our country illegally. They can't. If we had a wall, they wouldn't even try."
As Trump seems unmoved on the money he needs for the border wall, his decision to remove U.S. troops from Syria may be slowing down. Senator Graham telling reporters the President agreed to reevaluate in order to find the best way to move forward with the withdrawal.
GRAHAM: I think we're slowing things down in a smart way but the goal has always been the same. To be able to leave Syria, make sure Isis never comes back, our partners are taken care of, and Iran's contained, and I think that's possible. It's going to take a little longer than everybody thought but hopefully, we can get there.
DEAN: The President also tweeted about his plans in Syria saying that he plans to slowly bring the troops back home while also fighting Isis. He also said this is what he campaigned on and that he is just following through with that promise. Jessica Dean, CNN the White House.
[01:14:59] VAUSE: A U.S. citizen has been arrested in Russia accused of carrying out an act of espionage. According to Russia's Federal Security Service, poor Nicholas Whelan was detained on Friday. And right now, very little is known about him or his alleged crime.
Under Russian law, a spying conviction can carry up to 20 years in jail. Some analysts though, believe this is all part of a tit-for-tat strategy by the Kremlin after a Russian spy, Maria Butina was arrested in July.
Almost three weeks ago, she struck a deal with prosecutors pleading guilty to one count of conspiring to act as a foreign agent in return for cooperating with investigators.
Prosecutors say Butina infiltrated conservative political groups in the United States including the National Rifle Association. Well, after a break most of 2018 saw Britain's Prime Minister embroiled in a crisis of historic proportions. And with the House of Commons set to folk down her Brexit agreement in coming weeks, 2019 isn't looking much better. Even though Theresa May believes this is a chance for the country to turn a corner.
And in the midst of the ongoing yellow vest protests, Emmanuel Macron goes on the offensive, vowing to restore calm just part of what was a tumultuous year for the French president.
VAUSE: Eight tons of fireworks lit up the London sky as the U.K. (INAUDIBLE) 2019. The spectacular pyrotechnics were the mayor's way of highlighting his message, London is open. Despite the British government's ongoing Brexit dilemma.
And the woman at the center of that Brexit dilemma, British Prime Minister Theresa May used her New Year's message to plead for support from lawmakers for her withdrawal agreement from the E.U.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THERESA MAY, PRIME MINISTER OF THE UNITED KINGDOM: In the next few weeks, M.P.s will have an important decision to make. If Parliament backs the deal, Britain can turn a corner. The referendum in 2016 was divisive. But we all want the best for our country. 2019 can be the year we put our differences aside and move forward together. Into a strong new relationship with our European neighbors, and out into the world as a globally trading nation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: France's President Emmanuel Macron, went on the offensive during his New Year's message, rebuking the so-called "yellow vest" protesters as a megaphone for a hateful crowd. This could be a pivotal moment for Macron as he tries to restore calm after weeks of violence across the country. While also pushing on with his promises of economic and labor reform. CNN's Melissa Bell, reports now on a year which saw Macron labeled president for the rich or facing an unprecedented citizen's revolt and plummeting approval ratings.
MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT: With high hopes not to mention their handshakes, hugs, and kisses, Emmanuel Macron was welcomed to the White House.
TRUMP: I like him a lot.
BELL: Deep divisions glossed over by very public displays of affection.
TRUMP: We have to make him perfect.
[01:20:01] BELL: As the French president sought compromises with the United States on Iran and trade tariffs on behalf of Europe. They're too there was hope that the French president's ambition might protect the European Union from the gathering storm clouds.
All the more so because Emmanuel Macron never seemed to shy away from an opportunity to present himself as the forthright and plain speaking new leader of the free world taking the lead on global issues like climate change.
EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE (through translator): For patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism. Nationalism is its betrayal. By saying our interests first and never mind the others, you stamp out the most precious thing a nation has, its moral values.
BELL: And so, for a while in 2018, the French president seemed on top of the world. With France winning on the pitch and celebrating on the Champs-Elysees. But by the end of 2018, the Champs-Elysees was erupting again only this time, not in drawer.
The bad news for Emmanuel Macron would come from home. Beginning with footage from another protest that showed his advisor Alexandre Benalla beating up protesters on May the 1st. He says he was simply helping police. Several ministerial resignations followed, including by the popular Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot.
Macron's ratings plunged further already dampened by a three-month- long rolling rail strike and protests in the spring. Then, there was Macron's directness. Like the time he told a job seeker that he should have no trouble finding a job, widely picked up in the French press as another example of his inability to understand the struggles of the working class.
ALEXIS POULIN, POLITICAL ANALYST: He is -- he is the king of the technocrats in France. And if you see him, you know, it breeze Davos. But here, we're talking about people talking about billions to people who are talking in sense to finish the months. It doesn't -- its two worlds that collide. And, of course, Emmanuel Macron is brilliant to the people of the elite. But talking to people of the street doesn't work.
BELL: And to the streets they took, in November, a protest against a hike in the fuel duty that seemed to come from nowhere emerged round about throughout the country, erupting into anger, and violence, and Saturday gatherings in Paris.
With much of that anger aimed at the French President himself, four weeks into the protests, he admitted to his mistakes.
MACRON: I may sometimes have given you the impression that it was not my concern, that I had other priorities. I know also that I have occasionally wounded some of you with my words.
BELL: Macron announced concessions in the shape of financial help to those least well-off. Measures that did seem to take the wind out of the sails of the yellow vest movement, but also, perhaps tarnishing the image of a strong and unbending president determined to reformat home in order to lead abroad. Melissa Bell, CNN, Paris.
VAUSE: Next up here on CNN NEWSROOM, we have not seen anything like it for a decade. Not since the great recession has the S&P 500 finished a year in negative territory and there could be worse to come in the year ahead.
[01:24:57] VAUSE: New Year celebrations lighting up the night sky over Bangkok there. Huge crowdsource of stunning fireworks in Thailand's capital as they welcome the Year of the Pig.
2018 saw volatility return to the stock market with a vengeance. Making this past year the worst for U.S. stocks in a decade. It's mostly being driven by economic and political uncertainty. And with 2019, expected to be even worse, investors are being warned to buckle up for a bumpy and wild ride. Here is CNN's Cristina Alesci
CRISTINA ALESCI, CNN MONEY AND POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: Market rallied on the last day of trading in 2018. That was after the president suggested the U.S. and China are making progress on a trade deal. It was an optimistic end to an abysmal month. The worst December for the Dow since 1931, a dramatic downturn because December is historically known for its Santa Claus rally.
Bigger picture, the Dow lost 5.6 percent for the year. The worst year for stocks since 2008. Look, stocks were bound to fall, you can't have a bull market run forever. But it's the way stocks are declining, that's causing investor concern. Specifically, trading this month has been punctuated by panic selling and extreme volatility.
The S&P 500, which is another index was either up or down more than One percent, nine times in December alone. That's compared to eight times in all of 2017. Although the fundamental economy is strong here in the U.S., investors are worried about what's ahead. They're trying to measure the impact of a prolonged trade war with China, a global economic slowdown, political instability around the world, and how dysfunction in the White House and in Washington might actually impact fiscal policy.
For the average person, we'll be getting to see signs that the market jitters are bleeding into the real world. Impacting confidence and that could have a negative impact on spending. A gauge of consumer confidence sell for the second time in December. Bottom line, there is a lot -- there are a lot of headwinds ahead in 2019. And investors are just going to be pessimistic until they have reason not to be. Back to you.
VAUSE: Christina, thank you. And while the world is looking forward to 2019, NASA is looking into the past. Right now, the New Horizons spacecraft is flying by was known as Ultima Thule, a distant object. So old and pristine as like looking into a time capsule from the beginning of our solar system.
It's almost 6-1/2 billion kilometers away. That's way beyond Pluto, making this the most distant planetary flyby ever. New Horizons launched in 2006, made a successful flyby at Pluto back in 2015.
It's a long way away, and thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause. "DEFINING MOMENTS" is up next. You're watching CNN.