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Some Leaders No Show at 2019 World Economic Forum; Democrats and President Trump Not Moved by a Month-long Shutdown; Brexit Talks Continues as Deadline Approaches; May Lays Out Next Steps For Brexit Deal; North Korea Operating 20 Secret Missile Bases; World Economic Forum Kicks Off In Switzerland; Venezuelan Government Quashes Military Revolt; Back On Line In Zimbabwe; Israel-Syria Tensions. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired January 22, 2019 - 03:00   ET



[03:00:00] BECKY ANDERSON, CNN ANCHOR: Well, this years' gathering of business and government leaders from around the globe is missing a few things. Chief amongst those that are missing this year is a sense of economic optimism, trade disputes and slowing growth for leading fewer attendees here to feel confident about the near future.

Also missing were members of Donald Trump's administration, thanks to that U.S. government shutdown.

And British Prime Minister Theresa May trying to find a path forward for Brexit, she also stayed away. She unveiled her plan B on Monday in London after parliament overwhelmingly rejected her first attempt last week. But critics say this plan well, is much the same. The only real difference they say eliminating the $84 fee that Europeans would have to pay to stay in the U.K. post-Brexit.

Well, Mrs. May also promising to try to re-negotiate what is known as this controversial Irish backstop.

Well, CNN's Bianca Nobilo begins our coverage for you this hour, folks.

BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: British lawmakers and key night observers would be forgiven for feeling a sense of Deja vu today as the prime minister presented her plan B for Brexit after her plan A failed so dismally. And plan B and plan A look very similar.

In fact, Theresa May didn't announce any substantive changes. She said she'd continue to engage in cross-party talks and give P.M.'s the opportunity to view confidential information in committee meetings.

She did however take the opportunity to explain why she thought extending article 50 would be the wrong thing to do and the problems that she sees in the second referendum.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: 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 hands of those campaigning to break up our United Kingdom.


NOBILO: So, if the prime minister is not currently changing course on Brexit, the impetus might come from elsewhere. Parliamentarians on the back benches have started to table amendments to the prime minister's Brexit plan.

And this could become critical because they give the House of Commons the opportunity to express their support for various different Brexit scenarios like extending the negotiations or even a second referendum and they will be debated in the coming weeks. Potentially, the only event which has any chance of breaking the Brexit deadlock.

Bianca Nobilo, CNN, London.

ANDERSON: Well, CNN's Nina Dos Santos joining us now from London, our Erin McLaughlin standing by in Brussels. Let's start with you, Nina, a big week then in Westminster. Any indication at this point that parliament is warming to the prime minister's position?

NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPPONDENT: Not really if you take the words of Jeremy Corbyn yesterday. He described her plan B as looking an awful lot like plan A and said that seemed to be Groundhog Day. And you just heard there from Bianca laying out these various scenarios, it's looking increasingly difficult for Theresa May on the one hand to placate members of her own party and then also to placate this sort of cross-bench alliances that you've got forming as well, crystallizing her own various different types of Brexit and various different types of solutions to unlock the current deadlock that we have in parliament.

On the one hand, you've got the likes of the hardline no deal Brexiteers who may well like to see the U.K. bounced into that default scenario of a no deal. But then you've also got some of these amendments that have being tabled to try and prevent a no deal scenario, something that of course Jeremy Corbyn says he will only come to the table to negotiate with Theresa May if, indeed, she does rule out a no deal scenario.

She says that that's impossible. And also, the M.P.'s as well tabling these types of amendments to try and extend article 50 or indeed call a new referendum.

Now for the moment the prime minister is focusing very, very staunchly on this thorny issue of the Northern Ireland backstop. She has decided to leave all of the other options aside for the moment to see whether she can get some kind of finessing of the language that could well get a number of her party on board and of course, keep that crucial support of the DUP of Northern Ireland.

But I should add a note of caution. The Work and Pension Secretary Amber Rudd have said that unless M.P.'s are given a vote on where to go from here taking things like no deal off the table also potentially a referendum, there is the prospect still of significant number of resignations inside Theresa May's cabinet. That could put us back to where we were towards the end of last year, Becky.

[03:05:04] ANDERSON: Erin, certainly, the E.U. is doing its best in its narrative to suggest that a no deal is just not what it would want for Britain. We're very clear that E.U. would -- or rather that -- rather that Britain went back for a second referendum, which is not on the table at present.

Look, Europe is insisting it just wants clarity at this point. But to be honest, it's done very little to help Theresa May win more support for the deal as things stand at present. Correct?

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, in the eyes of the E.U., Becky, there is very little that they can do at this point to move 230 votes in Westminster. That's how crushing the defeat was. They're calling on clarity for the U.K. to define precisely what can move this needle in the direction of this deal, something that Theresa May has been unable to do so far.

Yesterday there was a meeting of the foreign ministers here in Brussels. They're pushing for Theresa May to redefine her red lines to focus on that future relationship. There is a sense of disappointment here in Brussels at that plan B.

We heard from the German justice minister earlier today tell German public radio that there is a sense that Theresa May is playing for time in all of this and in doing so playing with fire.

We heard from the Irish Foreign Minister yesterday, Simon Coveney, urged Theresa May to take another look at those red lines saying that the E.U. would be open to renegotiating the political declaration. Take a listen to what he had to say.


SIMON COVENEY, IRISH FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTER: The conversation that I had with Michel Barnier today I think pointed to the willingness of the E.U. to be flexible in the context of the future relationship declaration.

If the U.K. wants to change its red lines or change its approach, I think they would get a generous response from the European Union in terms of doing what they can within reason, of course, to accommodate that.


MCLAUGHLIN: Now, E.U. unity in all of this with respect to Brexit has been quite remarkable up until this point. It has been a key negotiating tactic for the E.U. That unity seemed to fray a little bit yesterday with the suggestion from the Polish foreign minister that that backstop, the controversial Northern Ireland backstop as part of the withdrawal agreement perhaps could be limited to five years, a suggestion that was quickly dismissed by the Irish foreign minister as well as others here in Brussels. Becky?

ANDERSON: Erin McLaughlin is in Brussels. Nina is in Westminster for you. I'm in Davos. Thank you, ladies.

Many of the world's leaders are looking for ways to ease humanitarian crisis left behind by Yemen civil war. At least they say they are.

On Sunday, Saudi-led forces pounded its seven military targets in the capital city of Sanaa which is held by Houthi rebels. Now a coalition spokesman says its war planes attacked facilities used for deadly drone operations.

The Houthis aligned with the Iran while the government forces have the backing of Saudi Arabia.

Reuters reports at least two civilians were killed. A fragile truce in the key ports of Hudaydah does seem to be holding. The port held by the Houthis, the U.N. trying to get both sides to withdraw forces from the port where badly needed aid comes in.

Let's discuss the position on the ground in Yemen. We are joined by Peter Maurer. He is the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva who spearheaded in this historic increase in its spending power and oversees work in 80 countries around the world.

So, thanks for coming in. The most powerful man in the world, the American president, selling a lot of weapons that are being used in Yemen. Donald Trump, as we are about to show you on the screen, viewers, in a recent tweet can also be pretty skeptical about climate change. Bear with me here.

We can connect these two things, right, because ultimately, you are looking, as we -- as we go through all of this, we are looking at a situation which, you know, has a crisis so far as poverty is concerned, conflict, poverty, climate change, in some ways it all marries up, doesn't it. Let's start off with your sense of what is going on in Yemen at present.

[03:09:56] PETER MAURER, PRESIDENT, INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS: Well, it definitely marries at even in the context like Yemen and it marries up for a humanitarian organization because we are confronted with those people exposed to either poverty, violence, climate change --


MAURER: -- and we deal with the impact. So, in a situation like Yemen, as you mentioned, we are again in one of those very fragile situations where some sense of a truth is holding and the level of violence comes down slowly while the humanitarian crisis, of course, doesn't disappear from one day to another. Still, we have difficulties accessing people, still there is security

environment which is highly difficult, still there are people disrupted at the present moment. And so the challenges in bringing in humanitarian assistance remains while we are in this limbo situation where there is expressed willingness to negotiate and to create new conditions which would fundamentally change the way we can operate on the ground compared to the attempt to change the things at the negotiating table by continuing the war.

ANDERSON: Before -- before the end of last year with the Stockholm talks, there was a sense of optimism about the potential at least for a political solution in Yemen. Nobody was overplaying the potential, you know, baby steps at this point, but certainly efforts now underway.

Are you optimistic as we go into 2019 for the people of Yemen at this point?

MAURER: Well, I'm a little bit more optimistic --


MAURER: -- than I have been two months ago and the Stockholm talks certainly have contributed. And let's not forget, talks are continuing. It's not only that we are back to a fragile situation where military operations still take place, it's also talks are going on, confidence building measures, on access for humanitarian delivery.

So, I'm cautiously optimistic that the situation overall in the region is amenable to something like an agreement which will represent a better deal to do humanitarian work.

ANDERSON: My point at the beginning of all of this was that you argued, and I bring up climate change because it's a big talker here, we know the U.S. position under a Trump administration, but you argue that climate change can be a fundamental agitator to why people use weapons as they do in Yemen. Just explain.

MAURER: Well, what we see in many of the conflicts in which we operate is that changing patterns of weather, either too much or too little rainfall is changing the productive surface under which people can live.

In a country heavily agriculturalist like Yemen also, like the Sahel where I'm just coming from in such a country, in such places where the surface is shrinking because of changing weather patterns, you will have more people population growth for less surface.

And this is also automatically exacerbating some of the conflict. It's not that there is a clear causal link you can demonstrate each and every day. I would be cautious and careful, but on top of poverty, violence, exclusion, injustice, fragility, overall that we have witnessed in so many places, you get an additional complicating factor which is changing weather patterns basically as we all think where a lot of people think are due to climate change. ANDERSON: And you take at least away from Yemen in this conversation

because it's not just Yemen. You came to Davos from, as you rightly point out a very starkly different place out of West Africa with some of the, to use your words, colossal 120 million people need hand-outs just to get by day-to-day because of violent conflict. What is your message here at Davos to help people there?

MAURER: Well, we have a huge gap today globally all over the world, and in many of in the Middle East, in Africa, in the Sahel where I come from between the necessity to assist and protect people and our ability to do so.

And this gap needs to be breached by several actors. It can't be breached by humanitarians. only it can't be breached by the traditional humanitarian work as well. So, we need the engagement of civil society of the economy, of the broader civil society in a new way in the humanitarian -- in the humanitarian sector.

[03:15:00] Here in Davos, of course, it's about social investment, it's about turning investments for productive futures for people in fragile context. It's not --


ANDERSON: Do people care about that up here --

MAURER: I think it's a --

ANDERSON: -- honestly?

MAURER: I think it is an increasingly listened to message. When I compare five years ago when I came for the first time with this message as the president of ICRC, everybody looked at me with big eyes and didn't know what I'm talking about.

Today, I think there is a clear understanding and also there is a group of people thinking that they are responsible for what is happening and changing their behaviors, and at least looking with interest to the fragile context.

ANDERSON: So, there is a reason for you to be here and we're delighted you are. It has been great.

MAURER: Well, I think --


ANDERSON: Thank you for coming over.

MAURER: -- there is a reason and I'm delighted to be here, yes.

ANDERSON: Good luck.

MAURER: Thank you.

ANDERSON: A lot of people up here to talk to. Rosemary, we are in Davos. It is effectively day one, four days up

this mountain, an awful lot to digest. Back to you.


ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: All right. And stay warm. Becky, we'll be back to you just a little later. Many thanks.

Well, no sign of any middle ground. Coming up, the U.S. government shutdown drags into its second month and neither side is backing down. And the shutdown will figure prominently in the 2020 presidential campaign. The latest Democrat to join a rapidly filling field.

We're back in just a moment.


CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. The U.S. government shutdown is grinding into its 32nd day. While there are plans for Democrats and Republicans to vote on separate border security bills this week, there's little expectation the stand-off will end any time soon.

As Kaitlan Collins with details on where negotiations are right now.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: President Trump making an unannounced visit to the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial in Washington today.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's a great day, it's a beautiful day. And thank you for being here


COLLINS: But declining during his two-minute long trip to answer any questions on the longest government shutdown in history.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you talk about the shutdown at all?


[03:19:55] COLLINS: Now 31 days old with 800,000 federal workers bracing to miss their second pay check. Hopes to end the stalemate remained slim this weekend as Trump blasted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as a radical Democrat who's lost control of her party.

Those tweets coming after Pelosi immediately rejected Trump's latest proposal to restore three years in deportation protections for some immigrants, including many of those brought to the country illegally as children in exchange for 5.7 billion for his border wall.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: Number one is three years of legislative relief for 700,000 DACA recipients brought here unlawfully by their parents at a young age many years ago.


COLLINS: Democrats declare the offer dead on arrival.


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, (D) MINORITY LEADER, NEW YORK: If he opens up the government, we'll discuss whatever he offers but hostage taking should not work. It's very hard to negotiate when a gun is held to your head.


COLLINS: And immigration hard liners dismissed it as amnesty, including Ann Coulter who tweeted, "We voted for Trump and got Jeb Bush."

The president pushing back on that criticism from conservatives, saying amnesty isn't part of his offer now, but might be later on in a much bigger deal.

And on the eve of the Martin Luther King holiday, Vice President Mike Pence likening the president to the civil rights icon.


MICHAEL PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: One of my favorite quotes from Dr. King was "now is the time to make real the promises of democracy." You think of how he changed America, he inspired us to change through the legislative process to become a more perfect union. That's exactly what President Trump is calling on the Congress to do.



COLLINS: Martin Luther King, Jr.'s son pushing back on that comparison.


MARTIN LUTHER KING III, MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR'S SON: Now, Martin Luther King, Jr. was a bridge builder, not a wall builder.


COLLINS: Now CNN is being told that the White House does expect the Senate majority Leader Mitch McConnell to introduce the president's proposal tomorrow as part of a broader package. That could potentially be set up for a vote on Thursday.

But it's still a question of whether or not any Democrats would support it. They would need several Democratic votes, and so far, since the speech gave his speech on Saturday not a single Democrat has come out in support over it. Though plenty have criticized it.

A senior Democratic aide told CNN they do not expect it to be able to get 60 votes. But in the White House's eyes at least they will be able to ratchet up the pressure on Democrats and put them on defense.

Kaitlan Collins, CNN, the White House.

CHURCH: Well, a list of Democrats ready to take on U.S. President Trump in 2020 is growing. U.S. Senator Kamala Harris announced Monday she is running for president.

The first term California senator is skipping the traditional step of creating an exploratory committee first to test the waters. Harris says she is driven by five values, justice, decency, equality, freedom and democracy.


SEN. KAMALA HARRIS, (D) CALIFORNIA: I love my country. I love my country. 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.

And in particular, when we're talking about fighting for the values that we hold sacred and dear, when it comes to talking about how we fight for the American people and have leadership in this country, that is focused on the needs of the people instead of self-interest, I'm prepared to fight that way and I believe it will be a winning fight.


CHURCH: Harris is a former prosecutor, district attorney of San Francisco and California attorney general.

And she is joining an already crowded field. Here's a look at Democrats now running or positioning themselves to run for U.S. president, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand have formed exploratory committees. Former Obama cabinet member Julian Castro, Kamala Harris we just mentioned, Representatives Tulsi Gabbard and John Delaney and former West Virginia State Senator Richard Ojeda, and entrepreneur Andrew Yang all have announced they are running.

And Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown has announced a listening tour which could be a precursor to a candidacy. We'll keep an eye on that. What a field.

Well, we are learning more about the tense stand-off in Washington that went viral over the weekend. You may have seen the video of a teenager standing face-to-face with a Native American elder.

Well, Sara Sidner has both sides of what happened in front of the Lincoln Memorial Friday. SEN. KAMALA HARRIS, (D) CALIFORNIA: We are now hearing from the

chaperones of the Covington Catholic students who came face-to-face with the Native American elder. The chaperones are defending the actions of the students and putting the blame on this group of black men hurling insults at the boys.


[03:25:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: See how you got these pompous bastards come down here in the middle of a native rally with their dirty ass hat on.

JILL HAMLIN, PARENT & CHAPERONE, COVINGTON CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL: I can't believe they even stayed and listen to the vitriol and the hatred that was being shouted at them. As a mother, it was horrible. Horrible.

JIM WILSON, PARENT & 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 watch but do not engage. But more and more students gathered and the taunting gets worse.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A bunch of incest babies. A bunch of babies made 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 chaperones 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 in 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 ELDER AND ACTIVIST: Then there is 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 finds offensive. Phillips moves around the group beating his drum, and soon comes face-to-face with Sandmann.

"I believe that by remaining motionless and calm, I was helping to diffuse a 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 continue taunting the kids.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a bunch of future school shooters.


SIDNER: As the group 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 a Catholic student from a different school respond.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Land gets stolen, that's how it works.


SIDNER: Ultimately, the Native American to 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 this 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.

CHURCH: A cooling economy amid global warning while Davos men and women are talking climate change. That's coming up next.


ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to CNN Newsroom. I'm Rosemary Church with the check on the headlines this hour. British Prime Minister Theresa May says she will ask the E.U. for more concessions in an effort to break the deadlock over her failed Brexit plan. On Monday, she said she would scrap a controversial $84 fee for Europeans who want to stay in the U.K. after Brexit.

Venezuelan's government has put down a military revolt against President Nicolas Maduro. The uprising sparked violent protests in the capital of Caracas. The National Defense minister says the small group responsible will face the full weight of the law.

Researchers from the group Beyond the Parallel say North Korea is operating 20 secret missile bases in some of the countries most advanced missiles may have been developed at one of those bases. The report comes before Donald Trump's second summit with Kim Jong-un scheduled for late February.

And we will have more global news for you in just a moment. But for now, let's head back to Becky Anderson, in a very cold Davos, Switzerland. Becky?

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Rosemary. Let me tell you, it was hard to get out of bed this morning because it really is bone-chillingly cold here, a freezing minus 13 degrees Celsius. So, amid all this snow, what better time to talk about global warming, right? But hold up, one doesn't cancel the other out, believe me. While some people, even the American President can seem get confused by this, it is actually quite simple.

There's weather and there's climate change. The average conditions across hundreds, even thousands of years whereas weather the right now as it were. So, you wouldn't say a hot day makes a hot year, right, just like some snow doesn't cancel out climate change. So, it's real, it's happening and we've been talking about it for a long time. I seem to enjoy cold places because here's my report from the Arctic, Tundra of Norway 12 years ago.


ANDERSON: A vast ocean of ice, and expands of untouched wilderness, this is Spitzbergen, an island located within the Arctic Circle. Quite literally the top of the world, the arctic is one of the largest unspoiled regions on earth, Arctic region that's rapidly changing.

Well, the impact of climate change is already visible here in the arctic ice capsule, glaciers like these are shrinking, as parts of the polar region warmed twice as fast as the global average.


ANDERSON: I should never have gotten rid of that warm jacket. So, two things are clear after all this time, there's no plan B, but plan A ain't working, so, what now? Let's bring in M. Sanjayan, a man dedicating his life to looking after our world, running Conservation International, there in a -- 30 countries, I've spent hundreds of millions of dollars each and every year fighting climate change.

So, sir, very basic question, will I ever get to do a report that says we have saved the planet?

M. SANJAYAN, CEO, CONSERVATION INTERNATIONAL: I really hope you get to do that and it has to happen in the next 30 years or so necause the one thing we know for sure is that the fate of humanity is going to be fundamentally determined probably in the next decade. That's what's happening right now.

ANDERSON: So, what is your message to the great and the good up here (ph)? Just how involved is the private sector and are they listening to what you are telling them at this point?

[03:35:06] SANJAYAN: This private sector has become increasingly involved in this, which is the good news about the whole thing. And the taking of this seriously, there's a new report that just came out called Global Risk Assessment, you know, the World Economic Forum Davos puts it out.

And it firmly says that climate change is right there at the very top of the risks and impacts the world is facing. In fact, the top -- of the top five biggest risks facing the planet, three of them are environmental. So the companies are listening to this and at least some of them are willing to take some big steps right now.

ANDERSON: Give me an example.

SANJAYAN: OK, so, one thing we did very simply, Apple -- everyone knows Apple -- you know, they have committed to reducing their emissions. And one of the ways in which they have done this, in addition to being sort of low energy, efficiency sort of stuff, is they have worked with us to purchase to help protect a piece of the coastline of Columbia.

So, this is 30,000 acres of mangroves -- mangroves forest grow in the coast. They protect the coast, but they are also really great at sucking in carbon dioxide and storing it. Now, why they're doing it? They're doing it primarily because that carbon is going to be locked away forever. It is about the equivalent of taking about 235,000 cars off the road every year.

ANDERSON: The more of that the better from the private sector. We know, though, that governments need to buy in and the U.S. government under President Donald Trump hasn't. Are you treading water for the next couple of years in the business that you are in and there are many of you up here this week? Treading water in the hope that Donald Trump won't get reelected in 2020, if indeed, he stands and that all bets are off and the Americans are backing -- do you -- I guess what I'm asking is -- do you need American buy-in at this point, an American support?

SANJAYAN: It is absolutely crucial to have American buy-in and American support. There's no doubt about it. I think the vast majority of Americans actually wants us to be engaged in this.

The interesting thing that happened is right after the election when the pronouncement was made that the United States was going to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement, which really doesn't go into effect for another couple of years, but pulled out of it.

ANDERSON: Until after the elections in 2020?

SANJAYAN: A couple of days after it turns out, what was interesting was how many companies -- virtually every company, from Walmart to Disney, from Tiffany's to Exxon, Cayman and said we're still in it. That, I think, was a radical change. If you went to the climate summit in California, you saw company after company at the table saying "we're still in it".

So, in a funny way, I think, it gave courage to the rest of the world, it gave courage to the environmental community and it gave courage to other businesses to say, there is something going on. Look at PG&E, biggest provider of electricity in California, they're out of business, declared bankruptcy, really why? Because they under estimated the risk of climate change quite dramatically.

ANDERSON: That state sides (ph), let's take a look who's chugging out the most gasses globally, China by far and away the biggest, twice the next biggest, America. Is everything, ultimately though just hot air, if China, in command and it controlled economy, with as far as one can see, little appetite for the environment, doesn't itself get fully on board?

SANJAYAN: You know, there's no doubt that people need energy. And the fact that people have been able to get energy, there's lots of people who live in energy poverty and we can't forget that. So the need for development is there.

What I'm seeing is that countries that are still on the path of development are willing to leapfrog, leapfrog and escape, you know, the hundred years that the West kind of went when they went through industrialization.

ANDERSON: Off-grid system. We are seeing that's really good (ph).

SANJAYAN: Exactly. And massive investment off-grid systems, massive investment in solar, massive investment in wind and other forms, even nuclear and other forms of clean energy or relatively clean energy. What we need to also see is an investment in forest conservation. So, if you are going to get to the Paris target, so, frankly any other target, basically we get the world to carbon neutrality by 2050, we have to include the conservation and restoration of tropical forests.

ANDERSON: We quite arrogantly call our planet earth because we humans live on it, but, of course, most of this, in fact, is water. So let's take a quick look finally at that with my colleague, Ivan Watson. Just have a quick look at this.


Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia, a vibrant under water ecosystem of coral and sea life that's roughly the size of Italy. So huge you can actually see it from space.

[03:40:03] Scientists are sounding the alarm. They say, for the second year in a row, this sprawling under water treasure is bleaching on a massive scale.


ANDERSON: We had been talking about what happens on land. What about in these oceans? What are the long-term impacts that we are seeing of climate change in the oceans, particularly we all hear about the use of plastics getting into the food chain, for example.

SANJAYAN: Yes. So plastics are clearly a major problem in the oceans. But the other real danger the oceans have been absorbing a lot of is heat. Right? So, it turns out that the oceans, especially deep oceans, have been really sucking up some of these heat that the planet is going to face. And if that tips, it really could be hot earth, it could really be a tipping point.

So, the protection of oceans is absolutely crucial, mangroves, grass beds, coral reefs. Getting plastics out of the oceans is absolutely essential and I would say it's sort of an add-on to climate.

ANDERSON: Everyone should be doing their bit when it comes to the scourge that is plastics around the world and in these oceans. So, it's a pleasure having you on.

SANJAYAN: Thank you.

ANDERSON: A beautiful day here, but it's a cold one. Lots of going on, Rosemary, we will be back in about 10 or 15 minutes time.

CHURCH: All right. We will see you then. Stay warm. All right. We will take a very short break here, but still to come the crisis in Venezuela has escalated yet again. Details on an apparent military revolt meant to take down the country's beleaguered President.

Plus, social media access restored in Zimbabwe. And why the government cut the connection and the President left the country.


CHURCH: A rescue operation is underway after two cargo ships caught fire off Crimea. Russian officials say it appears to have started during a fuel transfer. At least 10 crew members are dead, seven are missing. Some jumped into the water to escape the flames.

In Afghanistan, officials say 12 people were killed in Monday's Taliban attack on a military training base. Two car bombs targeted the compound west of Kabul. One vehicle blew up, the other was stopped. A senior government official says there are concerns the attack could hurt morale. The assault came hours before the Taliban announced it had resumed peace talks with American officials.

[03:45:06] Venezuela's defense minister is vowing harsh punishment for a small team of soldiers who attempted an uprising against the President Nicolas Maduro. It sparked another round of violent street protests, put by the government. Stefano Pozzebon reports now from Caracas.


STEFANO POZZEBON, JOURNALIST: The tension is at its highest here in Caracas, Venezuela, once again, tear gas and rubber bullets were used to disperse the protesters triggered in the early hours of Monday by an alleged military uprising in a commando of the National Guard, but their commander, headquarters of the National Guard was just a couple of miles away from the near Miraflores Presidential Palace.

And when those National Guards allegedly took their arms against their commander-in-chief, against Nicolas Maduro, and leaks those video on social media that was enough for the neighbors to take on the streets to protests against what they're called an illegitimate rule by Nicolas Maduro.

On the other hand, we're seeing yet another stage of the bitter constitutional crisis between the legislative power held by the anti- Maduro position, the Parliament of Venezuela and the executive power held by Nicolas Maduro.

Today, the Supreme Court of Venezuela ruled that the national assembly is illegitimate -- the leadership of the national assembly is illegitimate and any law that has been discussed and brought forward in the last two years has absolutely no legal value.

And as we see, the opposition has called for yet another national protest on the day of Wednesday on the 23rd of January. We see that the tension is rising even more and those things that we're seeing this morning of rubber bullets and fire could soon come back in everyday Caracas.

For CNN, this is Stefano Pozzebon, Caracas.


CHURCH: Well, Zimbabwe's highest court has ordered access to social media restored after a violent crackdown on protestors. Authorities clamped down on Internet use last week after the president announced a 150 percent hike in fuel prices. At least five people were killed and more than two dozen wounded in the protests. Human rights groups blame the police and the army for the violence.

Well, CNN's David McKenzie is live this hour in Johannesburg, he joins us now. So David, what is the latest information you have on the president who has now returned to Zimbabwe. What's he saying?

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right, Rosemary. Edison Mnangagwa came late in the night on Monday, Zimbabwe time, to the country. He has put out a series of statements on Twitter, somewhat ironic since the government blocked social media for so many days saying -- and I paraphrase -- that the fuel hike was the right thing to do. He claimed that the protests were not peaceful and that he would look into the allegations of violence and misconduct by the security forces.

He did say he wanted to reach out to political parties and for everyone to come together. It was a very balanced and even-handed statement, but on some level doesn't mesh with what's actually going on, on the ground in Zimbabwe, Rosemary.

CHURCH: So David, how likely is it that people in Zimbabwe will buy the argument that the President is making there?

MCKENZIE: I think it's' -- he is going to have a tough time convincing ordinary Zimbabweans. He said statements like this before after episodes of states sponsored violence. I just got off the phone with a prominent human rights lawyer who is defending more than a dozen people in courts because of various accusations from the state.

Now, he classifies the groups that have been arrested in this drag (ph) in two ways. One, it's clear that the military and the police were targeting civil society leaders, trade union leaders and opposition members just going to their homes and in some cases pulling them out, even if they weren't there at the protests, and then it also seems like that there's a random dragnet of people that occurred last week.

He described one 17-year-old boy who is apolitical, he says has nothing to do with the protest movement or the opposition, but was pulled out of his house because he happens to live in a so-called high density neighborhood that is an opposition stronghold.

So, the President's statements will grate with those realities that people are just living on the ground in Zimbabwe. Ultimately, the biggest issue for them is just putting food on the table and hoping to get paid for those lucky enough to have jobs. The president has a huge job trying to pull together the nation if that is, in fact, what he wants to do, given the violence, the deaths and injuries in the past few days. Rosemary?

[03:50:04] CHURCH: David McKenzie bring us the latest situation in Zimbabwe from his vantage point there in Johannesburg, many thanks to you for that report.

Well, Syria has sent letters to the U.N. condemning Monday's Israeli air strikes around Damascus. Israel says it was going after Iranian targets and its signaling it will do it again.

CNN's Oren Liebermann has more now from Jerusalem.


OREN LEIBERMANN, CNN CORESPONDENT: Israel carried out a wide ranging series of airstrike across Syria, near the capital of Damascus late Sunday night, targeting Iranian military positions, the military said. Israeli military said the targets included 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 have carried out in Syria, were a response to an Iranian missile fired toward the Golan Heights, the Israeli 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 day-time strike in Syria. The Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to publicly acknowledge a strike on a trip to Africa, also an incredibly rare move.

Israel has reiterated this redlines when it comes to Syria. It will not allow Iranian military entrenchment and it will not allow Iran to transfer advance weapons to Hezbollah and it will not allow Iran to drop 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 have seen in the past, the region remains tense.

Oren Liebermann, CNN, Jerusalem.


CHURCH: And we will head back to Becky Anderson in Davos, Switzerland, after a very short break for a preview of the keynote address at this year's World Economic Summit and the man making the speech dogged by controversy back home. We're back in in just a moment.


ANDERSON: President -- the Brazilian President Bolsonaro set to deliver the keynote address here in Davos in just a few hours' time. Mr. Bolsonaro telling reporters he is here to show the world Brazil has changed. He says he is looking to restore confidence and that Brazil is a country safe for investment.

With me now, CNN's business emerging markets editor, John Defterios. Let's just talk about what we expect first to hear from the Brazilian President.

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Well, this is his first major appearance within the global community here. He -- Donald Trump is not here in Davos 2019, but he has allowed the American equivalent promising to cut red tape, cut taxes and kind of unleash capitalism in Brazil. That is a tall order. We're coming out of a succession of different presidents, Lula, Dilma Rouseff, Michel Temer, who made a lot of promises, but they were laced with corruption and eventually stalled.

I mean, we are looking at 1.5 percent growth for Brazil last year, hopefully 2.5 in 2019. He is hoping to accelerate that with his enthusiasm, but he has to deliver on the policy, which is a challenge for him.

ANDERSON: This speech will come after the release of the global risk report here ahead of the conference beginning. What did that tell us about the state the world economy?

DEFTERIOS: Well, both are global risk report and I thought it was fascinating, Christine Lagarde came on a Monday before Davos of the International Monetary Fund and put out a concern of a slowdown. She is going to have the second half of 2019.

[03:55:10] And they have similar lists for the risk in 2019. At the top here something that Donald Trump instigated for the last two years and that is taking on China when it comes to trade. We've seen that the tariffs are slowing down growth. We have to worry about Chinese growth, nearly the slowest in 30 years.

So much concern there that, in fact, officials in China met after their slow growth and said they want to be very attuned to the populous fervor, that it could prompt (ph) because of the slowdown. We have to watch that.

A no deal Brexit still remains on the list going forward. And we also have to think about the debt mountain that was in the risk report and again for the International Monetary Fund, the highest since World War II in the developed world and the highest in the emerging market since the 1980's. That means, Becky, we have a slowdown.

What measures do the central banks take to rectify growth? Now, I've heard bankers in the morning -- this morning, top Google executive, nobody is talking about the sort of slowdown in the second half where they need to be more attentive to the populous fervor we've seen particularly in Europe right now. So much as business as usual here in the Davos Mountain, which surprises me considering what the International Monetary Fund and the World Economic Forum global risk reports were talking about.

ANDERSON: Definitely (ph), is then, this mountain?

DEFTERIOS: Well, it sounds like it, to be very candid. You've been talking about this with your various guest about, the poverty gap and too big to fail banks that are out there. Brian Moynihan of Bank of America was asking his panel this morning, can we see a bank the size of Bank of America again. I though the regulators wanted just to stop, then he says, the reality is they have more consolidation, so the answer is, we won't see banks being broken up by regulation, at least, certainly not in the United States.

ANDERSON: Will this meeting miss the like of Donald Trump, Theresa May, President Macron?

DEFTERIOS: You know, it's fascinating, because Richard Quest and I are walking home last night after a very long day, we are saying, we are almost a little bit spoiled by the interesting because we saying yesterday we were spoiled by the fact there is so much chaos linked to Donald Trump. ANDERSON: Amazing. We will take a short break and back end of this hour. John Defterios, in the house with me. I'm Becky Anderson, here in Davos in Switzerland from this year's World Economic Forum.

CHURCH: And I'm Rosemary Church. The news continues next with Max Foster in London. You are watching CNN.