Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Pompeo To Meet With Crown Prince In Saudi Arabia; Trump Warns Turkey: Don't Attack The Kurds; Second Black Box Found In Indonesia Lion Air Crash. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired January 14, 2019 - 00:00   ET

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


[00:00:00]

(MUSIC PLAYING)

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): America's top diplomat is set to meet with the Saudi crown prince and says he will bring up the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the hands of Saudi agents.

CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): The U.S. president threatens to devastate the Turkish economy if it attacks the Kurds after America begins its withdrawals from Syria.

ALLEN (voice-over): Also this hour, approve my deal or risk no Brexit at all. The warning the British prime minister will give to lawmakers in Parliament ahead of a major vote Tuesday.

VANIER (voice-over): Thank you so much for joining us, everyone, we are live from the CNN Center here in Atlanta. I am Cyril Vanier.

ALLEN (voice-over): I am Natalie Allen and CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

VANIER: The top U.S. diplomat is in Saudi Arabia right now trying to shore up support for president Donald Trump's Middle East policy. Mike Pompeo is expected to meet soon with Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The U.S. will likely want to focus on Iran and Syria but Pompeo has been dogged by questions about the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. He says he'll discuss it with Saudi officials.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE, UNITED STATES: I'll say what we've said consistently. America's position both privately and publicly is the same. This was an outrageous act, an unacceptable murder. Those who were responsible will be held accountable by the United States of America.

We're determined to do that. We're determined to get at the facts just as quickly as comprehensively as we can. We've had a policy that's been remarkably consistent with respect to this week. We, like the rest of the world, value human rights all across the globe.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: But the U.S. has not been consistent on the Khashoggi case, many lawmakers and intelligence officials believe the Saudi crown prince ordered the killing but the White House and President Trump, in particular, have been hesitant to embrace that conclusion. CNN's Sam Kiley has more for us from Abu Dhabi.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Mike Pompeo goes to Saudi Arabia towards the end of a multi-nation tour around most of the Gulf States and, of course, plus Egypt.

Throughout the tour he's tried to focus all of the attention really on two things, the threat posed by Iran, not only to the Gulf region but also the long-term security of Israel.

Now there have been a number of statements made by administration officials that have been somewhat inconsistent when it comes to how to deal with Iran. But there is unanimity in the administration and among those nations that Mr. Pompeo has visited so far that the Iranian regime does pose some kind of clear, existential, a clear and present danger to many of those countries not least because, of course, Iran is backing Hezbollah in South Lebanon over many decades.

It's backing the regime, alongside the Russians in Damascus; it's backing the Houthi rebels in the Yemen.

Above all, Mr. Pompeo does not want the focus of attention to be in Saudi Arabia on Jamal Khashoggi, "The Washington Post" columnist, who was murdered by members of the Saudi security forces and others inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Now he arrives at a time when he is bringing with him or behind him, chased by even two Senate votes, one condemning the alleged role of Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince in the murder, and the other demanding an end to U.S. support for the Saudi-led coalition.

He's going to have to explain to the Saudis that, as far as the Trump administration is concerned, that remain firm friends and deep strategic partners -- Sam Kiley, CNN, Abu Dhabi.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: A slow U.S. withdrawal from Syria has now begun. Equipment is being rotated out of the country but the 2,000 U.S. military personnel remain there.

VANIER: The U.S. president confirmed the move on Twitter, along with a message for Turkey: don't attack the Kurds. Turkey considers some Kurdish groups to be terrorists.

ALLEN: Mr. Trump said the U.S. will devastate Turkey economically if it doesn't comply. He adds the U.S. does not want the Kurds to provoke Turkey, either. Turkey's presidential spokesperson responded, telling Mr. Trump it was a fatal mistake to equate Syrian Kurds with Kurdish militants.

VANIER: Turkey and the U.S. are allies and both members of NATO, so why would Donald Trump send them --

[00:05:00]

VANIER: -- such a warning?

ALLEN: A bit earlier I spoke about that with national security and foreign policy analyst Ari Aramesh.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ARASH ARAMESH, NATIONAL SECURITY AND FOREIGN POLICY ANALYST: Turkey has been very adamant, trying to get U.S. forces out, especially from Northern Syria, where there are a lot of Kurdish fighters under sort of the democratic front, have been trained, armed and equipped by Americans.

So the Turks, who have had many issues with about 12 million Kurds in their own country and also Kurds in Syria and Iraq and so on and so forth, so Turks could actually perhaps carry out excursions and carry out military operations against the Kurds in Northern Syria.

Having American troops on the ground would have been a hurdle. Turns out President Trump speaks what President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with Turkey, despite all the advice he has received from his own top national security staff, he decides to listen to Erdogan, withdraw from Turkey -- I am sorry, Syria laterally.

Today, this tweet, which is, again, we are living in very unusual times and a very unusual presidency. On the one hand, he announces a unilateral withdrawal with no sort of plan B.

On the other hand, he lashes out against those people on the ground who convinced him to withdraw. So it is unclear, it's definitely destabilizing. But I feel more and more our allies and even our foes are taking this president less and less seriously.

And so while his tweets in a way may create or sort of push American policy, many friends and foe alike, think that -- believe that his tweets should not be believed or be taken seriously as they were just a few months ago.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: A new "Wall Street Journal" report claims the U.S. National Security Council asked the Pentagon for military options to strike Iran last year. The newspaper says the request followed a September attack by Iranian linked militants near the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.

VANIER: In a statement to CNN, a spokesman for the council says, "We continue to review the status of our personnel following attempted attacks on our embassy in Baghdad and our Basra consulate and we will consider a full range of options to preserve their safety and our interests."

It's not yet known if President Trump knew of this request or whether serious plans for a U.S. strike actually took shape.

Meanwhile, a weekend of explosive allegations in two major newspapers has Washington buzzing.

ALLEN: The U.S. president slammed "The New York Times," calling their Friday story that the FBI was concerned he was working on behalf of Russia "insulting."

VANIER: He also denied a later "Washington Post" report that he concealed the details of his meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin. One Republican says Mr. Trump's actions show Mr. Trump is being tough on Russia.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. RON JOHNSON (R), WISCONSIN: In the end, I'm going to judge this president based on his actions. As you said earlier, we have increased sanctions. We did. We have begun providing lethal defensive weaponry as well as training to Ukrainian so they can defend their territorial integrity.

The jury will be out on other actions this president will or will not take. So, in the end, you just have to you know, basically judge him on his actions.

We defeated basically ISIS. We've taken away that caliphate. We were all concerned about a precipitous pullout. Now that's going to be conditions-based.

We can surely attack ISIS and continue to attack them from positions in Iraq. So again, we'll -- I will wait to see but I've seen pretty strong actions on the part of this administration against Russia.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: The top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee says it proves which side Mr. Trump is on.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MARK WARNER (D-VA.), VICE CHAIR, SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: We still don't know, the American government does not know what was discussed between Trump and Vladimir Putin in that frankly pathetic, embarrassing encounter where Trump was kowtowing on the world stage to Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.

It was one of the worst days post-World War II in terms of America's lack of leadership against a dictator like Putin. And finally, I know this -- people have to stretch their memory but we have to remember all the way back, at the beginning of the week, when the stories came out that Trump's campaign chairman was sharing proprietary campaign data with a known Russian agent, Mr. Kilimnik, who has ties both to Putin and who has ties to the Russian oligarch, Oleg Deripaska. The very same oligarch that the Trump administration now wants to try to remove the sanctions on.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VANIER: All right, Harry Litman joins us live.

You are a former U.S. attorney; you were at the Justice Department as well. I want to try and recap everything that we learned this week. The Trump-Russia story has moved quite fast --

[00:10:00]

VANIER: -- and I want your take on it. Here are some of things we found out.

One, the FBI investigated Trump to find out if he was acting in Russia's interest.

Two, Trump hid his conversations with Vladimir Putin from his own administration.

And three, last week now, Paul Manafort shared confidential data with a known Russian agent while he was running Trump's campaign.

If you take all these things in the aggregate, what does it all add up to for you?

HARRY LITMAN, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL: Well, and the first two, of course, are just the last 48 or 72 hours.

In general, the entire, I would say, scandal or Mueller probe has broadened from a criminal setting to a national security setting.

So I think the focus of these two stories is -- brings the dimension of not whether Trump happened to take actions that were crimes under the U.S. code but whether he was, in fact, in the most alarming of ways, in the pocket of Putin and Russia and was literally an agent of them.

It seems preposterous and completely implausible and yet the FBI had concrete information to suggest it was so. They went forward. The whole notion is a complete kind of constitutional crisis in the making because the president is the officer who determines the national security interests of the United States.

VANIER: Harry, I do want to bring up something, though. We don't know where that investigation went. We know that the FBI had enough information that they were asking themselves that question. But we don't know whether there was any evidence so to speak and we certainly don't know what the conclusion has been.

But that question of whether Mr. Trump was somehow a Russian agent was actually asked of him in so many words this weekend, here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you now or have you ever worked for Russia, Mr. President?

TRUMP: I think it's the most insulting thing I have ever been asked. I think it's the most insulting article I have ever had written. If you read the article, you can see they found absolutely nothing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VANIER: Harry, I don't want to make too much of this but it's hard not to notice when you listen to this answer, when you listen back to it. The president doesn't really answer the question. It's a straightforward question.

LITMAN: It really is, right?

What's missing is the straightforward no. Again on this point of they didn't find anything. No, we know they had a predicate to go forward. We also know that the probe has been now absorbed in Mueller's work.

You're right, we don't know what's come of it. It would be in Trump's interest to have everything open if it had been resolved satisfactorily. These kinds of investigations often drag on for years and they are very hard to know the ultimate conclusions of.

And here it would have to play out in a political way. So Congress is going to be really trying to push hard to get this information from Mueller and have it be included in his report.

VANIER: Mueller's widely believed to be wrapping up his investigation. He could be sending his report to the Department of Justice as soon as next month.

Then what happens?

LITMAN: First, you know, he's widely believed but he has not said so.

(CROSSTALK)

LITMAN: This all comes from defense side. I don't think it will be that soon because he's got some steps he has to take, even if there are a few that will take some time.

But what happens after?

That's part of the stakes involved in the Bill Barr confirmation hearing that begins Tuesday. It will ultimately be the attorney general's decision, my strong prediction is, it will, the report itself will go to Congress and see the light of day. And it will be for them to make a political response.

VANIER: All right, Harry Litman joining us today, thank you so much for your time. We appreciate it.

LITMAN: Thanks for having me.

ALLEN: A pivotal week ahead for prime minister Theresa May and Brexit ahead of Tuesday's crucial vote she struggles to keep Britain's divorce from the E.U. on track. We'll be live from Downing Street ahead here.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[00:15:00]

(WEATHER REPORT)

(MUSIC PLAYING)

ALLEN: Think about Theresa May for a moment. Yes, this is an important week. The prime minister of Britain is scrambling to save her Brexit deal as the clock ticks down to a critical vote Tuesday. In just a few hours, lawmakers will be debating in Parliament.

VANIER: And the British prime minister will make a last-ditch attempt to convince that rejecting her plain will be catastrophic for the U.K. She'll be saying this during a speech to a group of factory workers in a pro-Brexit city on Monday.

Hadas Gold is outside 10 Downing Street in London.

Hadas, this speech is Theresa May's last chance to weigh in.

HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we are in just over 24 hours before that big vote that takes place Tuesday evening here in London at Parliament.

But the numbers don't look good for Theresa May. She needs 320 members of Parliament to approve the deal that she negotiated with the European Union, that's the same deal that -- the vote that she pulled just over a month ago for the same reasons, she didn't think it would pass.

But as I said the numbers aren't looking good. The Sunday papers were all reporting yesterday it's not a question of if she will lose the vote but by how much. They are estimating anywhere from 100 to 200 votes will be the difference.

But despite those numbers staring her in the face on the cover of all the Sunday papers, Theresa May is trying to convince members of parliament to be on her side. As you noted, she will be at Stoke-on- Trent. This is a pro-Brexit stronghold. She will be speaking to factory workers.

We got a preview of part of her speech and she will say, she will warn members of Parliament of the consequences --

[00:20:00]

GOLD: -- of voting down her deal. And she says that by voting down her deal, they make a no Brexit more likely than a no deal Brexit.

And she'll say, quote, "If we found ourselves in a situation where Parliament tried to take the U.K. out of the European Union in opposition to a remain vote, people's faith in the democratic process and their politicians would suffer catastrophic harm.

"We all have a duty to implement the results of the referendum."

So the vote takes place Tuesday evening and then what happens if she loses the vote is uncharted territory. Per recent amendment, Theresa May will very have to come back within three days with a new plan, that falls around Monday.

But we are likely to see a lot of things moving after that vote happens. Everything from probably the opposition party, led by Jeremy Corbyn, calling for a no confidence vote, which could lead to a general election.

Pretty much any of the situations aside from the members of Parliament voting for her deal or voting for whatever deal she comes back probably leads to a delay in the actual Brexit date which is currently set for March 29th. But unless her vote goes through it will be delayed -- Cyril.

VANIER: Hadas Gold, reporting from London. A lot happening in the U.K. this week, thank you very much, Hadas. We'll speak to you again.

GOLD: Thanks.

ALLEN: Let's talk more about it with CNN European affairs commentator Dominic Thomas, joining me now.

Dominic, good to see you.

DOMINIC THOMAS, CNN EUROPEAN AFFAIRS COMMENTATOR: Good to see you, Natalie.

ALLEN: This is an incredibly important week for Theresa May and the U.K. She says if Parliament rejects the deal, it will be catastrophic.

Do you agree?

THOMAS: Well, it's so interesting, at least what we can say is a lot will happen next week or certainly over the next two weeks. And since we have been waiting since 2016 finally we'll get to the point where we're going to have some kind of greater clarity. \

What's interesting is that as Theresa May headed into the December break, what she was arguing at the time was essentially that Brexit was the only opportunity. It was her deal or it was going to be a no deal Brexit. And she engaged over the holidays in a whole set of fearmongering measures about the catastrophic impact of the no deal Brexit at that time.

And the first thing that happened when she returned from that break is that the Parliament has taken control; thereby, I would argue, further weakening her, making it almost impossible for her to push for a no deal.

And the narrative has now shifted as she's campaigning and lobbying to try to get support for her deal between her deal and possibly a Brexit never even happening.

So what happens over the next couple of days is very important. And it is also possible that Theresa May does not even go for a vote for her withdrawal agreement that goes to the European Union first, to make some concessions.

The question this time around is what the level and the threshold of tolerance will be in the Houses of Parliament for Theresa May's actions.

ALLEN: You talk about going to the E.U. for concessions. That's the plan B.

What would she be looking for?

What could she do to try to renegotiate?

THOMAS: It's really hard to figure out what it is. I mean, obviously the question of the Irish backstop remains the constant kind of issue. But essentially what we have is a broad political spectrum that goes from, let's say, the Brexiteers all the way to those that wish to remain in the European Union.

And when you add up those particular groups and factor in the issue with Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party, who are really more interested in this stage in having a general election than in assisting Theresa May with some kind of Brexit plan, there is so much uncertainty that goes around that.

And I am not really sure that there is anything she can bring back from the European Union at this stage. The divisions are in the Parliament within her party and within the Labour Party, not with the European Union.

The European Union has negotiated in good faith all along and the 27 countries are united in terms of what they signed off on the withdrawal bill. And there is not going to be much they'll get out of there that will allow her to really make any kind of significant change here.

We really are in a kind of situation that resembles that in the U.S. today. A kind of standoff over Donald Trump's wall and the standoff over what kind of Brexit we are going to end up with.

ALLEN: And the clock is ticking. And we have a clock that's ticking down to the March deadline, 74 days, 17 hours, 32 minutes and on it goes.

So the question is, if they just went to March 29th with nothing, what could be the economic repercussions of that for the U.K.?

THOMAS: Well, and that really at this stage looks like the most unlikely scenario, the Parliament certainly does not have any real kind of support for that. And the most likely is that there will be an extension if there is not even a general election or any kind of referendum. But the impact would be absolutely, you know, dramatic, first of all,

there is a total lack of preparation for this to go in to place. The U.K., of course, reverts back then to WTO deals.

But the most important aspect of it really is those living in the United Kingdom, the E.U. residents there, would face tremendous uncertainty --

[00:25:00]

THOMAS: -- as would British people living in the European Union. But a whole range of effects having to do with customs control, imports, trade, all those kinds of issues would be impacted by that.

The European Union is a complex organization, the United Kingdom has been a member of it for a long time now. You can't simply crash out of this mechanism and not expect there to be any kind of dramatic impact.

And really what is so extraordinary is that Theresa May knew that this withdrawal bill which she came back would not get support in Parliament. And yet here she is again, weeks later, after the Christmas break, with the same deal.

It really raises a serious question, I think this will be the nature of the debate next week, is can a government and should a government that is not able to pass legislation in Parliament remain in power?

I think that's what we may get an answer to coming into this week.

ALLEN: So much up in the air. But, yes, this week will be a pivotal one and we will talk with you again about it. Dominic Thomas, we always appreciate your insights, thanks.

THOMAS: Thank you.

VANIER: And neither side on the U.S. government impasse looks ready to give in. Coming up, a Republican senator's suggestion to try to break the Capitol Hill logjam. Stay with us.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(MUSIC PLAYING)

ALLEN: Welcome back. You are watching CNN NEWSROOM. I am Natalie Allen.

VANIER: I am Cyril Vanier, let's look at the headlines.

(HEADLINES)

[00:30:00] Pompeo is set to meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. He says the oppressed Saudi officials on the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Iran and Syria will also be on the agenda. NATALIE ALLEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: The U.S. has begun its (INAUDIBLE) from Syria, by pulling out from of its equipment. But President Donald Trump has tweeted a warning to Turkey, don't attack the Kurds. Turkey considers some Kurdish group to be terrorists. The militia has stepped up attacks in ISIS-held territory. Mr. Trump says Turkey will face economic ruin if it does not comply.

VANIER: Sudanese police fired bullets and teargas to break up crowds of protesters Sunday in Khartoum. Crowds were chanting for freedom and calling on President Omar al-Bashir to resign, after almost 30 years in office. Dozens of people have been killed in weeks of unrest.

ALLEN: The U.S. and Latin American governments are condemning the arrest of Venezuelan opposition leader, Juan Guaido. Intelligence agents stopped his car and briefly detained him Sunday after he said he was prepared to temporarily replace current president, Nicolas Maduro, a Venezuelan says the agents acted on their own. The opposition calls it a kidnapping.

VANIER: Divers have found the cockpit voice recorder from the Lion Air flight which crashed off Indonesia in October.

ALLEN: They had already found the flight data recorder on November 1st, it showed the pilots had fault to override a safety system which kept pulling the plane's nose down, all 189 people on that flight were killed.

VANIER: CNN's Ivan Watson is following these developments. He's in Hong Kong. Ivan, what are you learning?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Well, they located the cockpit voice recorder.

So, this will hopefully answer some very important questions, if the flight -- the voice cockpit voice recorder is still intact and if it's recovered successfully, and all the data, this critical data is extracted, it will hopefully answer some more critical questions about why a brand new Boeing 737 crashed shortly after takeoff, within 10 minutes of -- from the main airport in Jakarta, with 189 people on- board. The crash took place at the end of October.

So, the recovery teams have been working quite literally for months, to try to locate this. And Indonesia navy spokesman tells CNN that it was found buried meters in to the sea bed, at a depth of some 30 meters below the surface of the Java Sea.

Now, already, they found the flight data recorder and what that had indicated was that the final 10 minutes of this plane's flight was incredibly turbulent and that the pilots and the plane were getting faulty information from the angle of attack censors, the flight speed sensors, and that that had kicked in an automatic system that was pushing the plane in to a dive, forcing the pilots to manually pull the plane up.

And that this happened more than 30 times in the 10 short minutes that the plane was in the air. What we don't know is what the pilots in the cockpit were saying to each other, and why they couldn't figure out how to turn off this automatic dive feature that they were battling against in the cockpit. Cyril?

VANIER: Ivan Watson, reporting live from Hong Kong, thank you very much.

And with the U.S. government shutdown dragging on, President Donald Trump is not giving up his fight for a border wall. But a new CNN poll shows it's costing him.

ALLEN: Fifty-five percent, say the President is more responsible for the shutdown than the Democrats. And his disapproval rating is now up to 57 percent. That's a five-point jump since last month.

VANIER: Yes, lawmakers get back to work on Monday, but there's no sign of a compromise for funding the wall. And there's still a looming possibility the President could declare a national emergency to secure military funding for that wall.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Before he pulls the plug on the legislative option, and I think we are almost there. I would urge him to open up the government for a short period of time, like three weeks, before he pulls the plug.

See if we can get a deal, if we can't at the end of three weeks, all bets are off, see if he can do it by himself through the emergency powers, that's my recommendation, but I think the legislative path is just about shut off.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Beyond that, assuming that the shutdown still continues, would you support President Trump, yes or no, declaring a national emergency?

SEN. RON JOHNSON (R), WISCONSIN: I would hate to see it. You know, using that act would be -- in this instance, would be a far larger act than has ever occurred in the past, so for not -- primarily because if we do that, it's going to go to court and the wall won't get built.

So, I actually want to see this wall get built and so I want to keep pressure on the Democrats to come to the negotiating table in good faith and fund what they have supported in the past.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[00:35:17] ALLEN: The effects of the shutdown, easy to see at some major U.S. airports, many security screeners have not shown up to work, forcing the closures of a security check point, ticketing counter and a concourse at airports in Houston, Texas and Miami, Florida.

VANIER: Authorities have arrested 12 people in connection with the kidnapping of an American businessman in Costa Rica. Officials raided several properties in Costa Rica on Friday and arrested nine people. That's what it looked like. Three other suspects who had fled the country were detained Saturday in Spain.

ALLEN: Officials say William Sean Creighton who owns the online gambling site, 5Dimes, was abducted in September. His family paid almost $1 million for his release, but his whereabouts are still not known.

Extreme conditions, freezing temps and a history-making adventure across Antarctica, one U.S. endurance athlete conquered them all. We hear from Colin O'Brady ahead here.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ALLEN: That's Cyril on vacation. Just kidding. That's U.S. explorer Colin O'Brady, pitching a tent on his history-making solo journey across Antarctica.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COLIN O'BRADY, ANTARCTIC EXPLORER: I got caught up in a massive storm. It was just so hard to get the tent up, I didn't know if I was going to be able to get it up, or I was just going to have to just keep walking. I'm in the tent now, hoping these tent poles hold. Man. That was really intense.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: I remember reading about that one. Can you imagine?

VANIER: Thankful my vacation looks nothing like that, kids in the snowstorm. O'Brady used nothing but skis and his own muscles to power across, wait for it, 1,500 kilometers of Antarctica. He's back from his adventure now, and that makes him the first person to successfully cross the entire continent, alone and unaided.

ALLEN: After all of that. Yes, he would be forgiven for wanting to take a rest, but no, O'Brady is out and about. He spoke earlier with CNN about this unbelievable achievement.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

O'BRADY: It's disorienting at time in those white outs, it was challenging, it tested every ounce of my body. That clip at the top of the segment of me, in my tent, having to set it up alone in those conditions was extraordinarily challenging. And I think that the most challenging part was the last couple of days.

I actually managed to go 32 hours nonstop cover the last, you know, 80 miles, 120 plus kilometers in one final push to get to the end. But it was tough every step of the way.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[00:40:19] ALLEN: Oh my goodness, he's amazing, truly amazing, one for the history books. I'll never want to pitch a tent again after seeing that video. All right, it's super hot in Australia, just in time for the Australian Open. VANIER: Yes, the blistering heat has been an issue for the tournament in recent years, so there is now a heat stress scale to help deal with the extreme temperatures. Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri joins us now, Pedram.

ALLEN: Yes, we just went from super cold to super hot here, Pedram.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: I know. It really is incredible. In what the folks have to deal with here, Cyril and Natalie, is temperatures that not only are in to the 30s, even into the 40s, but we're talking about court temperatures into the 60s, closing in on 70 degrees Celsius or about 155 or so degrees Fahrenheit.

So, incredible heat, of course, this was the case last year (INAUDIBLE) to. We're talking about heat stress scales being introduced into this because now, they're going to be able to allow some of these players, breaks, potentially even suspend play, depending on certain threshold of temperatures.

But, we had players deal with heat-related illnesses, we had ball boys and ball girls deal with this. And with spectators also, going back to as early as 2015, having extreme temperatures during this event that, of course, is in the heart of summer, and although Melbourne is close to the water there, we're still seeing an impact when the winds shift from the north, it is all inland in a wind and warm, dry air that shifts down towards the south.

So, it really sets the stage here for a dangerous weather pattern. So, they've introduced this particular scale which goes from one to five, and we think over the next couple of days, easily, we should be into the scale threes, fours and five, which would include some extended breaks once you cross into the threshold of the level four scale. And then (INAUDIBLE) level five scale and we know a play will now be suspended.

In fact, after the third set of every play there, they'll allow 10- minute breaks once you get to these categories, and certainly, some better news there.

But look at the expansive nature of all of this, Tuesday, Wednesday, into Thursday, extensive heat, we're talking about temperatures climbing up to almost 40 degrees Celsius, before we get a marine influence and then, eventually, by this weekend, get a break in the weather pattern across parts of Australia, guys.

ALLEN: I feel so guilty of watching it from my air conditioning here.

VANIER: It's cool here.

ALLEN: Yes. Thanks, Pedram.

VANIER: Pedram, thank you very much, Pedram Javaheri, joining us from the CNN Weather System.

Finally, this hour, a piece of fine law enforcement, officers in the U.S. State of Indiana got a call about children sledding down a dangerous hill and they decided to investigate.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, we survived.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nice.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: That's the result of their investigation. The officers say there was no danger, they checked it out to make sure the kids were being safe and responsible, so they joined in and put this video on social media, saying it was for safety reasons and stuff. Love it.

Thanks for watching this hour, I'm Natalie Allen.

VANIER: I'm Cyril Vanier. "WORLD SPORT" is up next, and we are back in about 18 minutes, join us then.

ALLEN: See you soon.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, we survived.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nice.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ready.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[00:45:00] (WORLD SPORT)