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May's Brexit Plan B Planned As Repackaged Plan A; Democrats Line Up Against Trump; Kamala Harris Joins Diverse Field Of Democrats; Woman Linked To Russian Oligarch Detained In Moscow; Secret Missile Base Operating Near DMZ; Israel Launches Strikes on Targets in Syria; Another View of Confrontation; China: Human Gene Editing Experiments are Illegal; Last Ditch Line of Defense in Trump White House. Aired 1- 2a ET
Aired January 22, 2019 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[01:00:00] JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everybody. Thank you for joining us, I'm John Vause, you're watching CNN NEWSROOM. Ahead this hour, after a parliamentary rejection of historic proportions for her Brexit plan, the British Prime Minister has unveiled Plan B.
And it looks a whole lot like Plan A. Plus, the battlefield trying to defeat Donald Trump in 2020 getting a little more crowded with another leading Democrat now announcing a run for the White House.
And a new report on secrets about North Korea's missile program just as Kim Jong-un prepares for another historic meeting with the U.S. president.
Well, the British Prime Minister Theresa May says she will be more flexible with lawmakers as she tries to move forward with her Brexit plan. She unveiled Plan B on Monday after Parliament overwhelmingly rejected her first attempt last week. One difference here is eliminating the $84.00 fee Europeans would have to pay to stay as part of an application in the U.K. post Brexit. She's also promising to try and renegotiate the controversial Irish backstop. But there's one area where she will not budge.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THERESA MAY, PRIME MINISTER, UNITED KINGDOM: I set out many times my deep concerns about returning to the British people for a second referendum. Our duty is to implement the decision of the first one. I fear a second referendum would set a difficult precedent that could have significant implications for how we handle referendums in this country, not least, not least strengthening the hand of those campaigning to break up our United Kingdom.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: To Los Angeles now and CNN's European Affairs Commentator and Brexit exit expert Dominic Thomas. Good to see you, Dominic. OK, because we'd like to spend a bit of quality time in the weeks, let's get into it. Because the prime minister told Parliament she'd made three major changes to her original Brexit plan in the wake of that epic rejection last week by pretty much everyone around the world.
Moving forward she says the government will be more flexible, more open, more inclusive when it comes to Parliament and future negotiations with the E.U. She talked about the need for you know, strong protections for worker's rights as well as the environment. And the third point she said "we will work to identify how we can ensure that our commitment to no hard border in Northern Ireland and Ireland can be delivered in a way that commands the support of the House and the European Union.
She made -- the first she promises to the Commons before and on that North Island she's been saying the exact same thing since before Christmas. You know, even though it's Plan B, it's just Plain A preheated the microwave with a bit of you know, parsley on top but the crusty alphabets are still there. And even this meaningful vote which was talked about for next week won't happen until next month, apparently. So basically, the strategy here is to run down the clock and then what?
DOMINIC THOMAS, CNN EUROPEAN AFFAIRS COMMENTATOR: Well, yes. I mean, you run down the clock and some of the concessions she talked about making today were the very things that she took away herself, you know. So it's sort of like President Trump negotiating over DACA when he's the one trying to block it, you know. So none of this made no sense.
And of course, you know, as we know, and as we've talked about you know, several times, the only way that Theresa May can ever hope to get a deal through Parliament is to move to the center. And that means just talking with the opposition and that means exploring ultimately an arrangement that involves some kind of customs union and some kind of single market agreement.
There was absolutely no way that she's going to get that through with the Brexiters so she's stuck with that particular dialer murmur in the risk of fracturing her party. But if she's going to get around this -- the whole question of the Irish backstop and the potentiality of the border, of a hard border with Republic of Ireland, it's the only way she's going to go. If not, that is going to be part of the equation and the European Union is not going to back down on that.
VAUSE: Well, captain Brexiter Boris Johnson himself emerged to cheer on this last final leg of a self-inflicted existential crisis. This is part of what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS JOHNSON, FORMER FOREIGN SECRETARY, UNITED KINGDOM: We're nearly there and we must not give up now because if we hold our nerve, I believe we can deliver not a pseudo-Brexit, a fake Brexit in which we leave the E.U. but end up being run by the E.U. But the Brexit people voted for with all the potential advantages and opportunities.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: What is this man talking about? What are the advantages and the opportunities? What are the benefits?
THOMAS: Yes. I mean, it's just absolutely staggering that he's -- that he's still going around you know, doing this. I mean, the fact is he's repeating the fact that this is the Brexit that people voted for when we know very well that at the very best, voting on leaving the European Union was on one thing a referendum on David Cameron and so on and so forth. People had very little idea of what the implications were.
Certainly, the whole question of Ireland had never -- had not come up at the time. And this idea of the U.K. you know sort of sailing off into the horizon with all these great deals around the world. Every aspect of what he argues has been challenged. The economic benefits and so on and so forth. And it's just remarkable that the amount of attention and the sort of the hypocrisy of this particular wing of the Conservative Party that they just keep on banging their drum pushing and pushing for it which really leads you when you realize that Theresa May you know, quite arrogantly sort of disappeared over the weekend you know, returned with basically no changes, a few cosmetic changes to her plan that maybe ultimately the plan is just to run the clock out and to end up with some kind of Brexit.
And that ultimately for a victory is a victory for her keeping the Conservative Party intact. But I cannot see the next few weeks is going down the road with there being either -- about there being resignations or demonstrations and so on as people are increasingly upset with this, you know.
[01:05:58] VAUSE: The Prime Minister also made it clear yet again there will not be another referendum on the issue. This is what she said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAY: I fear a second referendum would set a difficult precedent that could have significant implications for how we handle referendums in this country. But I also believe that it's not yet being enough recognition of the way that a second referendum could damage social cohesion by undermining faith in our democracy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: You know what else could undermine social cohesion, a shortage of prescription medicine, empty shelves in grocery stores, a shrinking economy, a recession. You know, if there is a choice here between the bad, if you think it's bad which would be another vote, and the catastrophic you know, which would be you know, a no plan Brexit, you're not or the bad of it yet over the catastrophic.
THOMAS: No, I mean it's absolute (INAUDIBLE). And we're already in a catastrophic situation. And this has been going on for four years now on every aspect you know, of society you know, has been has been impacted by this. And there is ultimately a no plan. And the tremendous hypocrisy around this too is that they've also been some you know, insinuations and discussion about the sort of the question of the Good Friday Agreement and whether or not that should be you know, revisited or reconsidered and she seems to be forgetting that that also twenty years ago in May 1998 was put through a very convincing kind of referendum.
So she's picking and choosing here what it is that works for her and ultimately trying to satisfy cohesion within her -- within her own party rather than looking at the broader national picture. And once again, she's going down that road without adequately consulting and listening to people and we're just going to be faced with the same problems in the same situation day-in-day-out for the next almost 70 days. You know, it's absolutely extraordinary.
VAUSE: Remember last week we're talking about the fact that maybe those trade deals that they were hoping for you know, those big deals just simply weren't out there in a post Brexit world for the U.K. It does seem that we may have overlooked maybe at least one bright spot for the U.K. Listen to this. This is the New Zealand Prime Minister.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JACINDA ARDERN, PRIME MINISTER, NEW ZEALAND: There is enthusiasm for a free trade agreement with New Zealand. It's really important. It now means the U.K. has undertaken the preliminary work with only three countries, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand in preparation for a free trade agreement. We're not in a position to negotiate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: There's enthusiasm in New Zealand, there's no enthusiasm in the U.S. and the Australians are lukewarm but you know, this is a stopgap measure, it's not a trade deal. It's basically so that exports can continue while there is some kind of trade deal being negotiated, the rules and regulations won't change. But you know, this isn't exactly the return of the British empire isn't it?
THOMAS: No, absolutely not. In fact, what you could argue is maybe the New Zealanders have got a few good towboats and they might hitch up to the island and just sort of pull it down you know, into the southern hemisphere, you know, and that are better weather and let's just see how -- let's just see how that works out. It's absolutely you know, it just shows you that there's sort of the depths to which we've sunk and the desperate nature of this government that this kind of news is somehow there. It's absolutely ridiculous.
All the reporting shows that the U.K. is far better off being part of the European Union as we move. In other words, we are in this new globalized world and that alongside you know, China and India and other parts of the world, the U.K. going it alone and is not a very good proposition economically.
VAUSE: Yes. It's still a good proposition on so many levels and yet it still continues like a car careening out of control. Dominic, good to see you. Thank you. THOMAS: Thanks, John.
VAUSE: Well, with U.S. President under siege facing multiple scandals and investigations, possible impeachment, and incredibly low approval ratings, it seems 2020 is looking to be an irresistible run for many Democrats who have fancied themselves as a potential commander-in- chief. Jeff Zeleny reports on the latest candidate to join an already history-making field.
SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D), CALIFORNIA: Truth, justice, decency, equality, freedom, democracy.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: With those words, Kamala Harris made it official today.
[01:10:02] HARRIS: That's why I'm running for President of the United States.
ZELENY: The California Senator making her announcement as the nation remembers the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. highlighting her own heritage as the first African American woman in the race. Her mother's from India, her father Jamaica. They came together in the civil rights movement. She rose from prosecutor to California Attorney General before being elected to the U.S. Senate two years ago.
HARRIS: I describe myself as a proud American. That's how I describe myself.
ZELENY: In her campaign video, she didn't mention President Trump but she joined Democratic leaders in rejecting the President's proposal to end the partial government shutdown.
HARRIS: Those folks don't want a wall, they want a paycheck.
ZELENY: Harris joins one of the most diverse and crowded fields of Democratic hopefuls in history, one of five potential female candidates. On the biggest day of campaigning yet in the young 2020 presidential race.
HARRIS: I feel a sense of responsibility to stand up and fight for the best of who we are. And I'm prepared to fight and I know how to fight.
ZELENY: A fighting theme emerged today among some contenders from Elizabeth Warren in Boston.
REP. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: We must fight back because this fight is a righteous fight.
ZELENY: To Kirsten Gillibrand in New York.
SEN. KRISTEN GILLIBRAND (D), NEW YORK: Fighting against this will take all of us. It cannot be left to people of color alone. ZELENY: Then, there are those still considering a run visiting South
Carolina today Bernie Sanders and Cory Booker.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: It gives me no pleasure to tell you that we now have a President of the United States who is a racist.
SEN. CORY BOOKER (D), NEW JERSEY: We are dissatisfied. This is not a time for us to rest in our country. The work is not done.
ZELENY: And in Washington, Joe Biden and Michael Bloomberg.
JOE BIDEN (D), FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: As vice president, I saw firsthand the courage of Barack, every -- excuse me, the president. He's my buddy.
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (D), FORMER MAYOR, NEW YORK: Whatever the next year brings for Joe and me, I know we'll both keep our eyes on the real prize and that is electing a Democrat to the White House in 2020.
ZELENY: And that was former Vice President Joe Biden's first public appearance of the year at an MLK breakfast here in Washington. As the inches closer to a decision about running for President, he expressed regret about his support for the 1994 crime bill that led to mass incarceration. He admitted it was a big mistake that was made. It trapped an entire generation.
Now those are strong words of regret and a sign he's repositioning himself for a far more progressive Democratic Party. Jeff Zeleny, CNN Washington.
VAUSE: For more, CNN's Senior Political Analyst Ron Brownstein joins us once again from Los Angeles. So Ron, you know, 2020 it's shaping up to be the race which just proves that old saying you know, when a U.S. Senator looks in the mirror, they see a potential president. And what's -- you know, what's really remarkable about this it's -- there's three senators who are running who are women among all the rest.
RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. Well, first of all, until a Barack Obama in 2008, the U.S. had only elected two sitting senators president ever in our history, John F. Kennedy and a real bonus to you, John, if you can name the other one, it was Warren Harding in 1920. So historically, you know, it was thought that you needed an executive experience to run for president. And obviously, with Obama you know, that was -- that was disproven and he did -- he did extremely well in beating Hillary Clinton in 2008.
Overall we are headed for the most wide open and the largest Democratic primary since the 1970s. If you go back to 1972 and 1976, each time they're about 15 serious candidates in the Democratic primary, about 10 who won at least 100,000 votes total. We haven't seen anything like it since but it appears increasingly that something of that magnitude may be unfolding for 2020.
VAUSE: I didn't realize there'd be a pop quiz.
BROWNSTEIN: Yes, well. (INAUDIBLE) late at night.
VAUSE: OK, thank you. Harris has to run all the day here the U.S. which won us a legacy of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Here's a clip from one of her public appearances on Monday. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS: We are a diverse country. Yes. And some people would suggest that in diversity when there is a diverse population, one cannot achieve unity. I reject that notion because this is my belief. Yes, we are diverse and we have so much more in common than what separates us. And when we emphasize that commonality, when we recognize that commonality, we will achieve greater unity.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: You know, presidential elections are like a pendulum swinging from one type of president to another very different type of president in almost every way. A Donald Trump to a Kamala Harris would be a perfect example of that.
[01:14:49] BROWNSTEIN: Yes. As you know, there's a theory that Americans pick a president to remedy what they thought was deficient in the -- in the previous one. And we kind of go through that swinging of the pendulum. And certainly, there is nothing further apart than Donald Trump and Kamala Harris.
Look, the Democratic coalition is extraordinarily diverse at this point. It is dependent on Millennials, and in 2021 Post-Millennials. College educated and secular white voters, especially women, and minorities.
None white voters are probably be 40 percent almost of all democratic primary voters in 2020. Women, will probably this around 60 percent of all democratic primary voters. That's what they were in both 2016 and 2008.
And kind of the intersection of those two large constituencies in the Democratic Party, Senator Harris stands I think in a pretty strong position. I think, many people, despite the fact that -- you know, she's only been in the Senate for a short time. Expect her to be in the inner tier of top contenders.
And I would also say that her remarks to me are a reminder that to me -- the white hot flame in the -- and maybe that's the wrong -- not wrong analogy but the -- but the burning as flame in the democratic electorate at this point is a desire to make a stand to diverse, inclusive America. Against what they see as President Trump's attempts to stoke racism and divide the country.
VAUSE: And to your point, you know, it's still a long way until 2020, but the political forecasting web site, 528.com has made the argument that Harris could -- you know, win that Democrat nomination this time around.
This a lot of numbers and polling data but they came up with the conclusion that, "In short, post-Obama, the Democratic Party is increasingly the party of women and the woke. And Harris' biography and politics align well with where the party has moved."
OK, from what we know that who is running (INAUDIBLE) to run Harris -- you know, she says she's a top candidate. She seems to be to a stretch to say she's a frontrunner, though.
BROWNSTEIN: Well, you know, look, I mean the only -- the only person who would truly I think to be a frontrunner is the former Vice President Joe Biden, and that is in part because of his name identification.
There are -- there are likely to be -- as I said, the most candidate since 72 and 76. And with a field that large, there are going to be many different ways -- many different fault lines among them.
We will see a different kind of tiers based on age. I mean you have Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown in their late 60s. Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Michael Bloomberg possibly in their 70s, and a whole other group including Harris, and Beto O'Rourke, and Cory Booker, and Kirsten Gillibrand in their 40s and 50s.
All the ideology, there is a centrist group, Biden, and Bloomberg again. As Sanders and Warren -- Elizabeth Warren on the left. There is race, there is gender, I think the core divide, though, is really what is the -- what is the main strength of each of these candidates as a potential nominee against Donald Trump.
You have one group of candidates, although I think, like Biden, whose best asset is that they may be able to reassure the normally Republican-leaning center-right voters who simply can't abide Donald Trump and move toward the Democrats in suburbs all over the country and gave them that big House win.
The other side are candidates, I think who are better suited toward mobilizing the portions of democratic base that are already most antagonized by and alienated from Trump, but not necessarily guaranteed to vote. And that is ranges from people like Bernie Sanders to Kamala Harris, to Beto O'Rourke.
And I think, this question of reassurance or mobilization, how do you beat Trump, which strategy is better? You might end up with one of each on the ticket. I think that is going to be a core divide in the Democratic primary.
VAUSE: Very quickly, we almost out of time. That you know, you're talking about 20 many more prominent Democrats running. You know, this looks set to be -- we know for a fact that there will be more debates for instance which -- you know, set the stage for a long -- could be a nasty drawn out expensive vicious primary season.
You know, last time run a 75-year-old socialist caused major problems for the party in Hillary Clinton. BROWNSTEIN: Yes.
VAUSE: By refusing to get out when there was no chance of him winning. I mean, if that happens this time, if it is a knock him down, drag them out -- you know, really got a sort of nasty campaign, because that's how these things often turn out. Not intentionally but that's the end result.
That -- could that do enough damage to the Democrats and to the party to allow Donald Trump with his, you know, a rock-solid core group of supporters to come through and win 2020?
BROWNSTEIN: Sure. I mean, I don't think the Democratic primary will be the decisive factor that creates that. But, you know, it is possible that -- it's very hard to imagine Donald Trump on the trajectory he's on winning the popular vote. It's not inconceivable to imagine him winning Electoral College by holding onto a few key states, particularly, Wisconsin and Arizona.
The one thing I would -- I kind of caveat what you said is, democratic voters, view Trump as an excel central threat to kind of the character of the country and the rule of law in the country.
And I think they will have very little tolerance for primary candidates who are tearing down other primary candidates in a way that could weaken the party against Trump.
I think, beating Trump is such an overriding imperative to the prime directive as they would say, on star trek for democratic voters that I think -- that they are going to be less tolerant than they were in 2016 when the threat did not seem as imminent.
VAUSE: They also say, "Beam me up, there is no intelligent life on the planet". Maybe that could be true as well. Ron, thank you.
BROWNSTEIN: Thank you.
[01:19:52] VAUSE: And joining us next Monday night, Eastern Time here in the U.S. for a live democratic town hall. Yes, with 2020 presidential candidate, Senator Kamala Harris.
Well, a Brexit trade war's deglobalization, the world economy is slowing and the IMF says it could all get a whole lot worse if world leaders don't stop the arguing and actually start working together.
Also, she get headlines offering a trade bombshell of inflation of Trump-Russia connections, and now she's hours away from a court hearing in Moscow. The latest on the strange case of the Belarusian model and sex coach. Next on CNN.
VAUSE: Well, a woman claiming to be the former mistress of a Russian oligarch linked to the Trump campaign is due for a court appearance in Moscow in the coming hours. As she thought she'd be allowed to return to her native Belarus, it was hours after being arrested in Thailand. Russian authorities though had different plans. CNN's Matthew Chance has our report.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Tonight, this model and self-styled sex coach is languishing in a Russian jail. Facing prostitution charges and a sentence of up to six years. She's already apologized for publishing images of Oleg Deripaska, a Russian billionaire close to the Kremlin. Implicated in allegations of collusion with the Trump campaign.
ANASTASIA VASHUKEVICH, MODEL AND SEX COACH, BELARUS (through translator): No older record about Oleg Deripaska will be published, and I no longer will be compromising him. Therefore, he needs to relax. Really, I've had enough.
CHANCE: These are the snaps that got the 28-year-old into such deep trouble. Pictures of her on a yacht off the Norwegian Coast in 2016 with Deripaska and a deputy Russian Prime Minister.
Russia's main opposition leader seized on the images as evidence of collusion. Suggesting the two men who could be heard discussing U.S.- Russia relations, links the Kremlin and figures close to Trump. Both deny any wrongdoing.
CHANCE: Is it true that Mr. Manafort owed you millions of dollars?
But the oligarch has fended off allegations of collusion before. We confronted him after it was reported that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort who once worked for Deripaska offered them private briefings. Clearly, rattled, the billionaire told CNN, he never received any communication about it.
OLEG DERIPASKA, PRESIDENT, UNITED COMPANY RUSAL: Get lost, please.
[01:24:51] CHANCE: The model did try to get lost on a beach in Thailand, where she was hosting sex and seduction classes. But with such potentially explosive material in her possession, she claimed to have 16 hours of audio recordings.
It wasn't long until she was found and arrested by Thai police on charges of soliciting. She managed this tantalizing message before being locked away.
VASHUKEVICH: I'm ready to give you all the missing puzzle pieces. Support them with videos and audio regarding the connections of our respected lawmakers with Trump, Manafort, and the rest. I know a lot. I'm waiting for your offers in a Thai prison. But those offers never came.
And after months in custody, Vashukevich pleaded guilty to soliciting and conspiracy. She was then deported to her native Belarus via the Russian capital.
But this is what greeted her as she tried to transit through Moscow Airport. Seized by plainclothes security and manhandled into a wheelchair before being dragged away, struggling, and terrified.
Now, Vashukevich is set to appeal for bail. But now, Russia finally has her in its grip. It may be reluctant to let her go. Matthew Chance, CNN, Moscow.
VAUSE: Well, rescue operation underway right now to two cargo ships caught fire of Crimea. Russian official say, it appears to have started during a fuel transfer. At least, 10 crew members utterly dead, 7 are missing. Some jumped into the water trying to escape the flames.
The International Monetary Fund wants the global economy is slowing, and trade wars could make it all a whole lot worse. The IMF update came as leaders and influence gathered for the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Here is IMF Chairwoman Christine Lagarde.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTINE LAGARDE, MANAGING DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND: The risk of a sharper decline in global growth has certainly increased. Add to this, the uncertainty, the geopolitical worries, and disappointing long-term growth prospect, and you have an economic picture with a pretty clear message. And the message is the following. For policymakers, address remaining vulnerabilities, and be ready if a serious slowdown were to materialize.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Well, Davos is known for its winter sports. And so, CNN's Richard Quest hit the ice with the town's pro-hockey team to see what the sport can teach us about the global economy.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: The piece of the Swiss mountains tranquil, but a place to think amidst the quiet.
Hockey Club Davos makes its presence felt. When they train, you know about it. The cloaks right next door to west. Leaders should come here to learn a few tricks. Think of the players as today's economic problems.
The speed of going on the attack, the ferocity when things go wrong just staying upright is a challenge. First up, get more padding when things go wrong.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One step forward.
QUEST: What's point of make a step forward? I can barely move.
Force it, yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good.
QUEST: Now, we're ready with all the tools on --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no, not though.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't go. So, this is to block the fact and this is catch it there.
QUEST: Now, we're ready to attack the global economy.
Think of me as the global economy. Fragile, uncertain, not sure of what to do. Needing all the help I can get. So, onto the ice and what the world is facing today, Brexit.
No one knows what's happening and everyone seems to be going in circles. Then, there's the U.S. and China, bashing each other over trade. The world's economy caught in the middle but pull over.
Finally, growth. After several years of speed, countries like China is slowing. And for some, they may come to a sudden stop. If we don't get it right, it won't be pretty. What about style and grace?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Doesn't really matter as long as you win.
QUEST: H.C. Davos may not be having their best year ever. But they are a good example of how to get the economy right. But all this shows is that if everyone pushes in the same direction, instead of trying to pull it all apart, well, the global economy stands some chance of staying on its own two feet. Richard Quest, CNN, Davos.
VAUSE: Well, he's a natural.
Ok, when Trump met Kim last year, history was made but will a second summit spark the diplomatic flames of optimism once again? Especially now with a new report uncovering the North Koreans may not have been entirely forthcoming about their true intent.
VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.
I am John Vause with the headlines this hour.
British Prime Minister Theresa May says she will ask the E.U. for more concessions in an effort to try and break the deadlock over her failed Brexit plan. On Monday, she said she would scrap a controversial $84 fee for Europeans who want to apply to stay in the U.K. after Brexit. On a day honoring a civil rights icon, U.S. Senator Kamala Harris had officially announced she's in the running for president. She's joined a diverse field of Democratic primary candidates with more women already in this race than ever before.
The International Monetary Fund warns the world economy is slowing and trade disputes could make a whole lot worse. This comes as bankers and global leaders are in Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum. The IMF says it's worried about U.S. tariffs and a slowdown in China's economy.
We're just a few weeks away from the second U.S. and North Korea summit. We don't know where they'll actually meet, the location has not been announced. But we do know the location of an undisclosed missile base in North Korea.
Brian Todd reports now on what the revelation could mean for the upcoming nuclear negotiations.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): It appears Kim Jong-un is continuing to operate a secret dangerous web of hidden missile bases even while he corresponds with President Trump about a second summit with the U.S. aim of getting rid of his nuclear weapons.
Researchers with the analysis group Beyond Parallel are out with a new report showing what it says are satellite pictures of ongoing operations at this missile operating base called Sino-ri which the group says has never been acknowledged to exist by North Korea.
LISA COLLINS, CO-AUTHOR, NORTH KOREAN MISSILE BASE REPORT: North Korea doesn't necessarily develop its ballistic missiles here but it does fuel them, prepares them for launch and can roll them out at any time for -- in the case of a conflict situation. And basically they roll them out through these underground facilities and drive through its facilities where they prepare for launch.
COLLINS: Neither the White House, the Statement Department nor U.S. intelligence are commenting on the new report. Beyond Parallel says Sino-ri is one of about 20 missile bases the North Koreans are operating secretly.
[01:34:59] The group says the Sino-ri base is important because it might have played a role in the development of the Pukkuksong-2 ballistic missile, one of the country's most advanced missiles unveiled by Kim's regime almost two years ago, shortly after President Trump took office.
COLLINS: It could not hit as far as the U.S. mainland it could probably, perhaps in some circumstances, hit as far as U.S. forces in Guam.
TODD: Right now, Kim is not required to declare any of his missile bases but in the future as part of the negotiations over his nuclear program, the U.S. will likely insist that he declare bases like Sino- ri.
While President Trump is credited with starting dialogue and decreasing tensions with the dictator, the President's critics say he hasn't been nearly tough enough with Kim about secret bases like Sino- ri.
JAMIE METZI, FORMER OFFICIAL, U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL: The North Koreans absolutely hoodwinked President Trump and President Trump wanted to be hoodwinked. It was clear from the beginning that the North Koreans were not agreeing to give up their nuclear missile programs.
TODD: A key concern now, Beyond Parallel says the Sino-ri base is close to where U.S. troops are stationed.
GEN. JAMES "SPIDER" MARKS, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: You can do research and development in a location and then roll those things out from that location and deploy them, fire them to the south. There's no intelligence warning. There's no warning to U.S. troops.
TODD (on camera): Analysts say even if the North Koreans are someday required to disclose the presence of missile bases like Sino-ri, look for Kim and his regime to keep those bases secret for as long as they can because if U.S. negotiations with North Korea break down in the future and both sides resume their hostile posture towards one another, those bases could be placed on a U.S. target list and the North Koreans know that.
Brian Todd, CNN -- Washington.
VAUSE: In Afghanistan, still no official word on the death toll from a Taliban attack Monday on a military training base. Officials say a Humvee packed with explosives blew itself up at the compound's entrance. The attackers then opened fire. This compound is just west of the capital, Kabul. Sources fear all out (ph) more than 100 people may have been killed.
A senior government official though says he's been told not to talk about it because it will actually hurt morale. This all came hours before the Taliban announced its resumed peace talks with U.S. officials.
Syria has launch a complaint with the U.N. after Israeli airstrikes on Monday around Damascus. The Israelis say they were targeting Iranian military assets and had given every indication that future air attacks are very much on the table.
CNN's Oren Liebermann has more now from Jerusalem.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Israel carried out a wide-ranging series of airstrikes across Syria near the capital of Damascus late Sunday night targeting Iranian military positions, the military said. Israeli military said the targets include weapons depots, intelligence sites and more.
Israel also struck Syrian air defense batteries when those systems fired at Israeli aircraft. The Russian Ministry of Defense said four Syrian soldiers were killed in the attack.
The strikes, some of the most severe Israel has carried out in Syria were a response to an Iranian missile fired toward the Golan Heights. The military said the missile was a medium range surface to surface missile, the first time Iran has fired such a missile at Israel. The missile was intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome Aerial Defense System.
Now all of this began on Sunday morning when Israel carried out a rare daytime strike in Syria. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to publicly acknowledge the strike on a trip to Africa -- also an incredibly rare move.
Israel has reiterated its red lines when it comes to Syria. It will not allow Iranian military entrenchment. It will not allow Iran to transfer advanced weapons to Hezbollah. And it will not allow Iran to draw close to Israeli territory.
For now the escalation between Israel and Iran seems to have ended. And civilian restrictions have been lifted in northern Israel. But of course, as we've seen in the past the region remains tense.
Oren Liebermann, CNN -- Jerusalem.
VANIER: Still to come here, a new video shows what may have led to a stare down between a teenager in the U.S. and a Native American elder. It went viral prompting outrage and death threats that even a new angle, a new video may not have a clear picture.
[01:38:58] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
VAUSE: We're learning more about the tense standoff in Washington which went viral over the weekend. You may have seen the video of a teenager standing face-to-face with a Native American elder. CNN's Sara Sidner -- I'm sorry Sara -- has both sides of what happened in front of the Lincoln Memorial on Friday.
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): We are now hearing from the chaperons of the Covington Catholic students who came face-to-face with a Native American elder. The chaperons are defending the actions of the students and putting the blame on this group of black men hurling insults at the boys.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. You've got these pompous bastards come down here in the middle of a Native rally with their dirty-ass hat on.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can't believe they even stayed and listened to the vitriol and the hatred that was being shouted at them. As a mother -- it was horrible, horrible. JIM WILSON, PARENT AND CHAPERONE, COVINGTON CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL: Our
boys did nothing, no violence. They did not attack those gentlemen. They stood there waiting for their bus.
SIDNER: Indeed a small group of black men who identify as Hebrew- Israelites did say hateful things to seemingly everyone around them. First a priest, then the students wearing "Make America Great Again" hats.
The students watched but do not engagement but more and more students gather and the taunting gets worse.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A bunch of incest babies. A bunch of babies mate out of incest.
SIDNER: Nick Sandmann, the student at the center of the viral video says the rhetoric was startling. "Because we were being loudly attacked and taunted in public a student asked one of our teacher chaperons for permission to begin school spirit chants to counter the hateful things that were being shouted at our group," he said.
At one point, a student removes his shirt riling up the crowd and their school chant. Two minutes later you hear a drum beat. That is where Nathan Phillips, the Omaha tribe elder and activist comes in.
He is no stranger to conflict. He protested with thousands of others at Standing Rock against the Dakota Access pipeline. Phillips had just attended the Indigenous People's March and said he thought things were getting out of hand so he tried to use his Native American music to quell the tension.
NATHAN PHILLIPS, NATIVE AMERICAN: Then there was this young group of young students that came there and were offended by their speech and it escalated into an ugly situation that I found myself in the middle of.
SIDNER: The kids dance and begin chanting. Some do a tomahawk chop -- something the Native American community finds offensive. Phillips moves around the group beating his drum and soon comes face-to-face with Sandmann.
"I believed that by remaining motionless and calm I was helping to diffuse the situation," Sandmann says. "I realized everyone had cameras and that perhaps a group of adults was trying to provoke a group of teenagers into a larger conflict."
Both Sandmann and Phillips have every opportunity to separate. Neither do. The Hebrew-Israelites continued taunting the kids.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a bunch of future school shooters.
SIDNER: As the groups separate you can hear someone with the Native American group say "You stole our land."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just because you stole the land, don't make it yours. SIDNER: And the Catholic students from a different school responds.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Land gets stolen. That's how it works.
[01:45:00] SIDNER (on camera): Ultimately, the Native Americans and the students see things completely differently. They don't agree on how it felt on either side except for one point. And that is that the source of the tension began with the group of black men calling themselves the Hebrew-Israelites who were spewing obscenities at these Catholic high school students.
Now, we have also received a letter. A letter that was sent to some of the parents at the school from the Catholic diocese saying that an independent third party investigation is now underway. And that police, local authorities are all involved in trying to make sure the students are safe.
One of the students has at least said that he has faced death threats as has his family. And so this story is certainly not over.
Sara Sidner, CNN -- Los Angeles.
VAUSE: Sara Sidner. Ok.
Officially Beijing is taking a strong stand against what's known as gene editing. This comes after a Chinese scientist sparked outrage around the world when he announced the birth of twin girls with DNA which he modified. He's now reportedly under house arrest. The government has declared his experiments illegal.
More now from our man in Beijing, Matt Rivers.
MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He Jiankui made headlines across the world back in November when he announced that his small team had worked in secret to edit embryos to reduce the risk of babies being born HIV-positive. In other words, they were gene editing babies before they were born.
He then claimed that one of those embryos he worked on resulted in the successful birth of twin girls, Lulu and Nana. And that a second woman is pregnant as well a gene-edited embryo.
There was, as you might expect immediate uproar within the scientific community across the world with critics saying that basically he went too far. That editing genes in the embryo is a serious breach of medical ethics.
Medical experts told CNN that the technology surrounding gene-editing is basically still in its infancy and could lead later on to a multitude of unknown genetic problems later in life. And that the experiment was also a huge blow to the reputation of China's biomedical research industry. And it wasn't just the medical community that was upset by this. Shortly after presenting his results, He Jiankui basically disappeared and China said he had been placed under immediate investigation and that anyone associated with his project should suspend their work.
Well, China today officially came out with the preliminary results of that investigation saying in state media that He violated an explicit law banning embryo editing and did so, quote, "in pursuit of personal fame and fortune with self-raised funds and deliberate evasion of supervision and private recruitment of related personnel".
Authorities also allege he forged ethical review documents and blood tests to circumvent a ban on assisted reproduction for HIV positive patients. As to the babies born under his program, they'll now be monitored closely by the state.
No word yet from authorities on a possible punishment. But you can the state to come down hard on this one. China mirroring the medical community's outrage using its legal power to do so.
Matt Rivers, CNN -- Hong Kong.
VAUSE: Marcy Darnovsky is the executive director of the Center for Genetics and Society. Marcy -- thanks for being with us. You're at Berkeley there.
So I do want to start with the very obvious. It seems now the authorities in China confirmed what this scientist has claimed that he engineered the world's first gene-edited babies.
Regardless of what happens now, it's done. That line has been crossed. There is a second pregnancy underway. So explain what the really terrifying potential consequences of all this could be?
MARCY DARNOVSKY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR GENETICS AND SOCIETY: Sure. Well, I think it's important to recognize that even though a line has been crossed in an incredibly reckless way, that doesn't mean we have to keep on crossing it. We can stop. And it's really important that we do so for a couple of reasons.
One is the health of children who are created after this manipulation of genes when they're at the embryo stage. We just don't know what's going to happen to them.
But the other reason is that it's way too dangerous in social terms. We don't want to create a society in which some people are born supposedly biologically superior to the rest of us.
We have kind of been down that road before. With the Eugenics Movement in the 20th century. We don't want a dramatic new form of eugenics at a time when we are already dealing with huge levels of inequality and discrimination in our societies.
VAUSE: Yes. You know, the science ministry in Beijing issued a statement on Monday saying it was resolutely opposed to these experiments and added it would work to improvement relevant laws and regulations and improve the scientific research ethics review system.
You know something could be lost in the translation but that seam seems like pretty weak tea to me.
[01:49:57] DARNOVSKY: Well, you know, there are dozens of countries around the world. And there is actually also a binding international treaty from the Council of Europe that clearly legislatively prohibit this kind of gene-editing, the kinds used for human reproduction.
China so far is one of the countries that doesn't have a legislative prohibition. It does have guidelines -- what you might call soft law.
But there is another key country that's in that same category and that's the United States. So it's important that these countries with advanced biotech and advanced medical research sectors join the rest of the world in saying that we will not use these powerful new gene- editing tools for the purpose of altering the genes of future children and future generations.
Let's use them to help people who are sick. Not to open the door to new forms of inequality and discrimination.
VAUSE: You know, when you talk about medical ethics China doesn't really come to mind except in terms of actually not really having any especially at a state level.
This is a country, you know, where private businesses -- when I spent some time in Beijing, you know, they would promise cures for all sorts of diseases, terminal diseases by using stem cells. And parents traveled there thousands of miles brining their kids with false hope. They make tens of thousands of dollars, it was snake oil.
The government let it happen and continues to let it happen to this day. You know, that's kind of an equivalent thing here. I think there is a feeling among China that if there is a potential to be gained from the science while it may not be internationally acceptable, they will turn a blind eye to it happening in the private sector.
So again, in that context, you know, how seriously can we take their commitment, you know, to punish the doctor and to try and outlaw these experiments and make sure they don't happen again?
DARNOVSKY: Well, you know, we'll have to wait and see but the response so far has been encouraging not only from the government but from Chinese scientists. It was less than 24 hours before a statement had been circulated and signed by well over 100 Chinese researchers and scientists.
And you know, would that happen in other parts of the world. I don't. So far I think we can say that the response has been appropriately sharp. And I think we need to make sure that it's not just seen as one rotten apple in the barrel. But that this is a practice that really does need to be prohibited to prevent both the immediate health consequences and the dire social consequences.
So, you know, if China is going to step up and take it that seriously, and pass the laws -- that is really encouraging. And I hope that other countries that haven't done that so far like the United States, will do the same.
VAUSE: Yes. You know, I appreciate your optimism and, you know, there is reason to be optimistic. There's also reason to be pessimistic as well. But as you say, we'll see what happens.
Marcy Darnovsky -- thank you. Appreciate you being with us.
DARNOVSKY: Thank you. Thank you.
VAUSE: Well, Google apparently considering its next step after becoming the first U.S. tech giants to be fined under the E.U.'s new privacy rules. France's data protection watchdog says the world's biggest search engine must pay a $58 million penalty for failing to be transparent about how it uses data.
Apparently you can't type into the browser what who to do when you are being fined millions dollars for privacy violations. That just doesn't work. The regulator also raised concerns about Google's approach for seeking consent for ad targeting.
Up next here, when all else fails Donald Trump's personal lawyer, the best one in the world, Rudy Giuliani has perfected this one last ditch perfect line of defense. "So what?"
[01:53:25] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
VAUSE: Well, with a legal mind like a sharpened steel trap Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani has perfected what seems to be the ultimate last ditch line of defense here for the President. "So what?"
Here is Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's that last ditch line of defense -- two words uttered dismissively to quash any questions.
RUDY GIULIANI, TRUMP PERSONAL LAWYER: And so what if he talked him about it.
MOOS: Rudy Giuliani saying --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So what.
MOOS: When asked if President Trump talked to Michael Cohen about his congressional testimony.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, so what, right?
MOOS: Had reporters saying, what? But so what has lots of cousins for instance, so without what.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Two-thirds of Americans say it's not worth fighting.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So.
MOOS: And Michael Cohen himself, back in the day when he had candidate Trump's back had his own two-word come back.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But you guys are down and it makes sense that there would --
MICHAEL COHEN, TRUMP'S FORMER LAWYER: Says who? Says who?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Polls -- most of them. All of them.
COHEN: Says who?
MOOS: But so what has another close relative one President Trump seems especially fond of.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Who cares?
Who cares? Who cares?
MOOS: The President professed not to care even when told Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called him a racist.
TRUMP: Who cares?
MOOS: "The View" co-host Joy Behar was often portrayed on SNL by Fred Armisen saying --
FRED ARMISEN, COMEDIAN: Who cares?
So what? Who cares?
MOOS: While Anthony Scaramucci likes to elongate his "what"?
ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: So what?
MOOS: And Hillary uses more elevated language to say pretty much the same thing.
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: What difference at this point does it make?
MOOS: It's one thing for Pink.
MOOS: Or Metallica to sing it. (MUSIC)
MOOS: But for politicians it's often the retort of last resort.
COHEN: Says who?
MOOS: Me. Jeanne Moos --
TRUMP: Who cares?
MOOS: -- CNN --
GIULIANI: So what.
MOOS: -- New York.
NEWT GINGRICH, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Who cares?
VAUSE: I care.
You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.
I'm John Vause and the news continues right here on CNN with Rosemary Church after a short break.
[01:59:58] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to a special edition of CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Rosemary Church.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Becky Anderson in Davos in Switzerland.