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Trump Moving Ahead With State Of The Union Plans; Republicans, Democrats Far Apart On Plans To Reopen; Lawyer, Suspected U.S. Spy Had Russian State Secrets On Him In Moscow; "Sex Coach" Changes Story, Freed By Russian Court; Venezuela Prepares For Mass Demonstrations; Anger Engulfs Zimbabwe Over Fuel Hikes, Cost Of Living. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired January 23, 2019 - 01:00   ET


[01:00:00] JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Heading into day 33 of the U.S. government shutdown which is looking a lot like day one with no plans for the President to meet or negotiate with Democrats.

Touching down in Davos, a record number of private jets arriving just in time for Tuesday's discussion on safeguarding the planet from manmade climate change. And the outrage goes to this Oscar Nominations comes Oscar anger. So what did the Academy get wrong this year? #OscarsSoMale.

The seemingly never-ending cycle of confrontation is ramping up in Washington. Both Republicans and Democrats plan to introduce bills to Congress to end the record long government shutdown but there's virtually no chance that either measure will pass. And the President pushing on with plans for the State of the Union, the annual address which is usually made to a joint session of Congress. But the Speaker of the House Democrat Nancy Pelosi says not this year. Take it someplace else.

From the White House, here's CNN's Jim Acosta.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It's a question the White House is struggling to answer, exactly where will President Trump deliver his State of the Union address in just one week.

HOGAN GIDLEY, DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY, WHITE HOUSE: There are many ways he can deliver the State of the Union address I'm not going to get ahead of anything he would announce.

ACOSTA: Even though House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on the President to delay his address to Congress scheduled for next Tuesday, the White House sent a letter to the House sergeant-at-arms requesting a planning session as if the speech were still on the calendar writing, "Given that we have lost valuable time over the past week, my team would like to reschedule the walkthrough for this Monday if at all possible."

The White House has even considered the possibility of holding a rally outside of Washington if both sides can't reach an agreement. The brinksmanship is escalating as Senate leaders bicker over rival plans to reopen the government and all seem dead on arrival.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: The opportunity and all this is staring us right in the face. That's why we'll vote on this legislation on the Senate floor this week.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), SENATE MINORITY LEADER: The American people know that President Trump is responsible for the shutdown and now they have learned that Leader McConnell is a co-conspirator in the shutdown.

ACOSTA: Meanwhile, some of the federal employees actually dealing with the impact of the shutdown like FBI agents are warning real-world consequences may be looming.

TOM O'CONNOR, PRESIDENT, FBI AGENTS ASSOCIATION: The failure to fund the FBI undermines essential FBI operations such as those designated to combat crimes against children, drug and gang crimes, and terrorism.

ACOSTA: With the shutdown now more than a month long, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the World Economic Forum in Davos that he hopes the standoff will be over soon even though there appears to be no end in sight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When is the shutdown over?

MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE, UNITED STATES: We all hope that it'll end fairly quickly. I hope that we get this one resolved in relatively short order.

ACOSTA: A new book written by a West Wing insider is painting a picture of White House dysfunction even when the government is open. In his book Team of Vipers, former White House aide Cliff Sims describes the situation that is out of control including one moment when Mr. Trump lashed out at former House Speaker Paul Ryan for criticizing the President's handling of the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville.

According to the book, the President claimed he had helped the Speaker in the past saying, "You were out there dying like a dog, Paul. Like a dog." The book appears to be the kind of leaking the President has blasted in the past like when he tweeted last year leakers are traitors and cowards and we will find out who they are. One white as official who isn't offering much information these days is White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders who hasn't held a briefing in more than a month.

The President says he's behind that decision tweeting, "The reason Sarah Sanders does not go to the podium much anymore is that the press covers her so rudely and inaccurately. In particular, certain members of the press. I told her not to bother. The word gets out anyway. Most were never cover us fairly and hence the term fake news.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The last we checked there has not been one held this year, Hogan. Is there any plans to start that back up again or is Sarah Sanders back up the podium? GIDLEY: She's going to come back when she finds a reason to do that.

Because so often it's so funny because the media often tell us that when Sarah Sanders stands right behind me at this podium, why can't we hear from the President?

ACOSTA: The last time the White House held a press briefing was on December 18th more than a month ago and before the government shutdown began. That means the White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders has not answered one question from the podium about how this government shutdown is affecting millions of Americans across the country. Jim Acosta, CNN the White House.


VAUSE: CNN Political Analyst and New York Times White House Correspondent Michael Shear is with us now. So Michael, was the President and the Democrats not talking or at the very least not meeting for the past ten days, Congress has been eating busy with a little Kabuki theater. They'll hold votes on competing proposals each party's putting forward to try and end the shutdown. Here's Mitch McConnell.


MCCONNELL: To reject this proposal, Democrats would have to prioritize political combat with the President ahead of federal workers, ahead of DACA recipients, ahead of border security, and ahead of stable and predictable government funding.


[01:05:07] VAUSE: I mean, this seems to be kind of like busywork right. These measures are destined to fail so firstly, what's the point. And when the silliness is done, what's next?

MICHAEL SHEAR, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, so I think they are likely to fail. There's not a lot of sense on either side that that either of these two measures, one the Presidents Bill that he talked about over the weekend and then also the Democrats proposal to simply keep the government open for a few more weeks or reopen the government for a few weeks so that they can continue talking. Neither of those are likely to succeed.

However, I mean, I think there is a sense that even those of us jaded Washingtonians who have seen these kinds of shutdowns before were pretty stunned over the last few weeks that there had literally been no action. There was no talking, there was no legislative movement, there were -- there were no discussions, there were no late-night you know sessions over pizza we're competing staffs from Democrats and Republicans talk to each other and work stuff out.

So at the very least, when they're actually voting on competing proposals, that may not end the stalemate and it may not end up shutdown, but at least they're doing something.

VAUSE: OK, you know, movement begets movement I suppose, but you know, you've mentioned other previous government shutdowns, this time you know, the Democrats you know, have grown a bit of a backbone. There's been a steel in the spine mostly because of United caucus. Listen to the Senate Minority Leader Democrat Chuck Schumer. Here he is.


SCHUMER: You can't have a compromise when one side is determining not only what they want in the bill but what we want in the bill without even seriously negotiating with us. That is not how negotiating works. That's not the art of the deal.


VAUSE: And he said that without a hint of irony totally oblivious that Republicans you know, could accuse Democrats are doing exactly the same thing.

SHEAR: Yes. I mean, I think look, I think, part of you know what the Democrats have a point about is that while the Democrats have largely proposed reopening the government with a lot -- with not a lot of strings attached. They really just said, hey, let's reopen the government under the current -- the current of spending limits that everybody on both sides has already agreed to, the president already signed legislation in the past to set the current spending levels.

What the Republicans have done is put on the table proposals that have you know, pieces to them that they know the Democrats will hate. The Democrats do have a point that the Republicans are putting on the table proposals that contain things that they absolutely know that Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the Democrats are never going to accept. And so that's part of the reason why we don't expect this to end today.

VAUSE: Well, personally, the latest tell-all book from our former administration inside of has a few clues as to why the shutdown is taking so long to resolve. The book is called Team of Vipers. Former White House communications aide Cliff Sims describes the administration as absolutely out of control. Scenes of chaos, dysfunction, and duplicity among the President, his family members, and administration officials.

And the man who is brought in to bring order to this chaos as chief of staff John Kelly, he's quoted as saying this is the worst expletive starts with "F" job I've ever had. People apparently think I care when they write that I might be fired. If that ever happened, it would be the best day I've had since I walked into this place.

The guy who wrote this book is actually a Trump guy, well he was. In fact, he likes the President, spent all the time with him, and to be honest, none of what has been written in that book seems to be at all surprising.

SHEAR: No, but it's not surprising for couple of reasons, right? It's not surprising because of really good tough reporting that my colleagues at the New York Times and the Washington Post and elsewhere have done over the last two years to document a lot of the same kind of chaos and dysfunction and lack of process and backstabbing in the White House.

There have also been other books that have come out. Obviously, Michael Wolff had a book, Omarosa who worked in the White House had a book that said a lot of the same things. So in some ways, what Cliff Sims is describing isn't really anything new. There might be a few new details here or there, but it does underscore part of the reason why the stalemate over this government shutdown is going on for so long which is that you don't have a disciplined White House as a negotiating partner.

VAUSE: But we'll finish up here with you know, words for the former and possibly future Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry. He lost to George W. Bush back in 2004. Here's his advice to Donald Trump.


JOHN KERRY, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE, UNITED STATES: He doesn't take any of this seriously. He doesn't have an ability to have that kind of conversation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So what would you say to him to get it, sir? What would your message be?

KERRY: Resign.


VAUSE: Yes. He's not resigning but there is this question of seriousness and how the President sees everything kind of through the lens of a made for reality T.V. moment. And that also goes with this empathy factor as well whether you know, whether it's hurricane victims in Puerto Rico or federal employees choosing between you know, medical bills or paying for food because they haven't had a paycheck. There does seem to be you know, what is a stunning lack of empathy from the Commander-in-Chief.

[01:10:09] SHEAR: Yes. That's right. And a kind of a lack of connection to the normal political pressures that normally create environment where this kind of thing can't go on as long as it has, right? Normal politicians react to seams of people saying they're going to have to sell their cars so that they can buy food for the table or as I saw this morning a woman on the television saying that she didn't have enough money to afford to buy her medications and so she'd gone without medications for ten days.

I mean, those kinds of stories normally put pressure on politicians. And you know, for the moment what we have in Washington is a situation where the president seems immune to those stories. He doesn't even talk about them. And the address that he gave over the weekend where he talked about immigration, he didn't say one word about people who are out of money or out of -- or not getting paid.

And then you have a Republican Party in Congress that is more scared of what Trump could do to them politically if they -- if they broke from him, then they are pressured by all of these terrible stories. And so until that changes, until something loosens up that dynamic. I think we could be in for another week or another two weeks or another three weeks of this.

VAUSE: Yes. Yet another reason why this shutdown is the longest in history and no end in sight. Michael, thanks so much. Good to see.

SHEAR: Yes, sure. Happy to do it.

VAUSE: An American security consultant being held in Moscow on charges of espionage made a brief court appearance on Tuesday. Well, Paul Whelan's application for bail was denied. State prosecutors did reveal some of the evidence which they say proves their allegations he's a spy. The very latest now from Moscow from CNN's Fred Pleitgen.


FRED PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: American Paul Whelan remains in Russian detention forced to stand in a glass cell as a judge shot down his request for release on bail while he awaits his espionage trial.

Are you being treated OK Mr. Whelan?

Paul Whelan, not allowed to answer CNN's questions behind bulletproof glass in the high-security courtroom. Whelan was detained by Russia's intelligence service the FSB in his hotel room in central Moscow in late December and charged with espionage. His lawyers saying he was given a classified flash drive.

VLADIMIR ZHEREBENKOV, LAWYER OF PAUL WHELAN (through translator): Paul received information and I confirm the information is classified as state secret information on a flash drive. In reality, Paul was expecting to receive from an individual information of a cultural nature, him attending one of the cathedrals, Paul's vacation photos.

PLEITGEN: Paul Whelan's lawyer says he was misled into taking the classified information but the attorney defending the investigation.

So do you think it's going to be a fair trial?

ZHEREBENKOV (through translator): The process was very constructive and professional. Whelan's rights were observed.

PLEITGEN: But the attorney also admitted that so far, the defense has only been able to see about five percent of the evidence available in this case.

ZHEREBENKOV (through translator): The investigators failed to disprove Paul's position specifically that he did not view this information as state secrets.

PLEITGEN: Some are speculating Russia may have taken Paul Whelan as a possible bargaining chip perhaps to exchange him for a high-profile Russian in American detention like Maria Butina who has admitted to working as a foreign agent inside the U.S. Russia vehemently denies the allegations but Paul Whelan's family continues to call for his release.

While we still lack any details from the Russian government about why Paul is thought to be a spy and who provided him with the alleged state secrets, a family statement reads, we are certain that he was entrapped and is not guilty of espionage.

After being denied bail, Paul Whelan's hardship in a Russian jail continues. His attorney saying it could be months before his trial even begins. Fred Pleitgen, CNN Moscow.


VAUSE: Well a self-styled sex coach best known for her claims of having evidence which proved Donald Trump's links to the Kremlin has been released from Moscow jail. The 28-year-old model was detained last week at a Moscow Airport on her way home to Belarus. More details now from CNN's Brian Todd.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: She had written a book on how to seduce a billionaire, was a force on social media with Instagram posts from jail in Thailand, even from the back of a paddy wagon and claimed she had inside information on Russian interference in America's 2016 election.

ANASTASIA VASHUKEVICH, SEX COACH (through translator): I'm ready to give you all the missing puzzle pieces, support them with videos and audios.

TODD: But now Anastasia Vashukevich, a self-proclaimed seductress and sex coach from Belarus is telling a different story from inside a Russian courtroom. Instead of promising to shed light on Russian involvement in America's affairs, she's gone silent about one of her own allegedly an affair with Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch with ties to Vladimir Putin.

[01:15:07] VASHUKEVICH (through translator): No audio tapes of Oleg Deripaska will be published, and I no longer will be compromising him.

TODD: Vashukevich's extraordinary term from alleged snitch to pledged silence has startled analysts, and led to fears she may have been pressured into keeping quiet.

Up until this week, the 28-year-old had told anyone who would listen that she had carried on an affair with Deripaska. Telling journalists she saw him meet several times with, at least, three Americans. She refused to name them.

VASHUKEVICH: Hi, to Deripaska. I'm waiting for him to come rescue me.

TODD: Released from custody in Moscow. But still facing a prostitution inquiry, she posted a one-word comment on Instagram. SARAH MENDELSON, FORMER AMBASSADOR, UNITED NATIONS ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL: Well, it certainly would seem that there were threats made to her to silence her. For her to have been out there so much with photographs and other evidence. And then to do 180 degree about-face suggests to me, somebody's gotten to her and silenced her.

TODD: Vashukevich had spent nearly a year in jail in Thailand after being arrested on prostitution charges. Last week, she pleaded guilty and was deported. She had previously said she feared she'd died in a Russian prison if that happened.

When she landed in Moscow, she was abruptly detained by people she claimed treated her rudely. So, why the sudden change from seeming to resist arrest to total capitulation? Russia watchers say it's not clear, especially given the damning information she once said she had.

So far, Vashukevich has not shared publicly any of the recordings or photographs she once promised of Americans meeting with Oleg Deripaska. And there are no indications that she's spoken with special counsel investigators in the U.S. A Thai official says, FBI agents tried to meet with Vashukevich in the Thai jail last year and were not allowed to.

But she has posted pictures of her and Deripaska embracing on his yacht. And video of Deripaska speaking with Russia's Deputy Prime Minister on the yacht. Analysts don't discount the idea that she could have something investigators would want to see.

KEITH DARDEN, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, SCHOOL OF INTERNATIONAL SERVICE, AMERICAN UNIVERSITY: If there are conversations that she recorded between Deripaska and Americans about other aspects of the U.S. elections, those could be extremely damaging.

TODD: Deripaska denies any involvement in election meddling.


TODD: He also denies having an affair with Vashukevich. Now, there is real concern for Vashukevich's safety.

MENDELSON: I would think her life is in danger. Whether she's in Russia, Belarus, or goes elsewhere, I think that she's in a very precarious situation.

TODD: We press Russian officials in Moscow, and here in Washington to respond to questions about whether someone has likely tried to silence Anastasia Vashukevich. They have not responded to that or to the concerns that Vashukevich's life is in danger. Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


VAUSE: Still to come here on CNN NEWSROOM, anti-government protests are preparing for another day on the streets of Venezuela. And those mass demonstrations may be bigger than initially expected after a message of support from the American vice president. Also, could the new regime be as badly even worse than the old regime? The question many are asking in Zimbabwe amid reports of daughter or soldier searches soldiers beating men in the streets and soaring gasoline prices.


[01:20:48] VAUSE: The U.S. Vice President is encouraging opposition protests in Venezuela. A video message on Twitter starts out with hola, on Mike Pence. But then, it takes a critical turn.


MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Nicolas Maduro is a dictator with no legitimate claim to power. He's never won the presidency in a free and fair election. And he's maintained his grip of power by imprisoning anyone who dares to oppose him. The United States joins with all freedom-loving nations in recognizing the National Assembly as the last vestige of democracy in your country. For it's the only body elected by you, the people.


VAUSE: Nicolas Maduro says never before has someone speaking on behalf of the U.S. President, encouraged protesters to overthrow the government in Venezuela. And he wants a total and absolute revision of relations with the United States.

Tensions between Washington and Caracas have been bad and flaring for years. CNN's Amara Walker looks at how relations reach such a low point.


AMARA WALKER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro started his controversial second term in an elaborate ceremony this month. Promising to build socialism in the 21st century. For the country's opposition, this moment marked an unprecedented power grab.

JUAN GUAIDO, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF VENEZUELA (through translator): Venezuela has a de facto government for the first time since 1958. We have a dictatorship in Venezuela. It's a government which was not elected with sovereignty. Maduro kidnapped the state for his own benefit.

WALKER: The head of the National Assembly, Juan Guaido, said he would be ready to take over as president. A statement that led Venezuela's pro-government Supreme Court to nullify the body's power. Still, the opposition appears emboldened. In a fight to unseat Venezuela's president.

A man claiming to be a military sergeant called on Venezuelans to support an uprising. "People of Venezuela, we need your support." He said in a video posted to social media this week. He and a group of soldiers were detained but the message of resistance spread. Protests in the capital turned violent. Officials using tear gas to break up the crowd. Those demonstrations perhaps a preview of mass marches called by the opposition. Which received a ringing endorsement from the U.S.

PENCE: We say to all the good people of Venezuela. Estamos con ustedes. We are with you. We stand with you. And we will stay with you until democracy is restored.

WALKER: The U.S. vice president's message receiving an angry rebuke from the Venezuelan president who said Pence was openly calling for a coup. And from others in Maduro's camp, incensed by America show of support to the opposition.


WALKER: Maduro's government has long blamed the U.S. for stoking anger inside Venezuela. And for sanctions which they claim have damaged the economy. But critics point to corruption and failed policies for the difficulties Venezuelans face. An astronomical inflation rate, chronic shortages of food and medicine, and a mass exodus since 2015 of millions looking for more stable conditions. The ones oil-rich country now in crisis. Its citizens desperate for change. Amara Walker, CNN.


VAUSE: Zimbabwe's president has warned head will roll if there's proof of mis conduct by security forces during a deadly crackdown on protesters. Emmerson Mnangagwa cut short his trip to Davos and returned to a bitterly divided country. CNN's Farai Sevenzo has details.


[01:24:40] FARAI SEVENZO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Protest across Zimbabwe follow the sharp rise in fuel prices. This was Bulawayo the country's second-largest city.

At the same time, Zimbabwe's capital, Harare, saw an explosion of rural anger at the rising cost of living. President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa's promise of a new Zimbabwe is in danger of turning to ashes.

Fuel or the lack of it has been a constant factor in landlocked Zimbabwe. Everything here is priced in U.S. dollars, from fuel, to bread, to transport. Making survival for millions an incredibly difficult prospect.

With the outbreak of violence, President Mnangagwa was forced to cut short a trip to Europe, aiming at fixing the country's moribund economy. In his absence, retired General and Vice President Chiwenga was left in charge. But can former soldiers become politicians overnight?

Chiwenga deployed the security forces onto the streets. As the violence intensified, authorities took the extraordinary step of shutting down the Internet. Claiming protest were being organized on social media. The government has blamed the opposition for the unrest. Opposition leaders say many of their members have been arrested and assaulted.

There are reports of door-to-door searches. All the hallmarks of a past regime seemed to have resurfaced. Ordinary Zimbabweans say they are caught in the middle. This man grieving the loss of his son in the violence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think that the person who shot him thought he was an MDC activist. He was just a footballer, it's a sad story.

SEVENZO: The government says, its forces have done nothing wrong. It points the finger instead at what authorities are calling rogue elements and criminals posing as security forces.

CHARITY CHARAMBA, SPOKESPERSON, POLICE SENIOR ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER: The Zimbabwe Defense Forces and Security Services have noted with grave concern and increase in cases of people committing crime, particularly, robberies. When is clad in military or a police uniform.

SEVENZO: Human Rights Watch told CNN last week. But citizens reported seeing plainclothes men patrolling the roads with guns and knives. The President continued to tweet on his travels. Yet, his citizens could not read his tweets.

Authorities' added communication shut down to their armory. Until a High Court judge ruled its illegal, and the Internet was fully restored. But the question is, where is the real center of power? With the politician president or with the retired general? Many fear the problems in new Zimbabwe may be worse than the old one. Farai Sevenzo, CNN.


VAUSE: Still to come here, the thorn in Theresa May's Brexit deal, Northern Ireland and the trade backstop amid the battle over a border comes to return of some divisive and deadly differences.


[01:30:01] VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.

I'm John Vause with the headlines this hour.

U.S. President Donald Trump is still planning to deliver his State of the Union address from the Capitol as scheduled. That's despite House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggesting "You should move the speech because of the government shutdown and security concerns."

Hundreds of thousands of government employees will miss a second paycheck this week because the government is not funded. An American accused of spying in Russia has been denied bail and will

remain in prison until his trial. In a hearing on Tuesday Paul Whelan's state-appointed lawyer said Whelan thought a thumb drive he was given contained vacation photos and did not know it had classified information.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is encouraging anti-government protesters in Venezuela ahead of a plan for mass demonstration. He President Nicolas Maduro a dictator with no legitimate claim to power. Mr. Maduro says he wants a total revision of already strained, intense relationships with the U.S.

Well, hopes are fading of finding survivors after a plane vanished midflight over the English Channel with Cardiff City's star new recruit Emiliano Sala on board. A little more than hour after takeoff the small single-engine Piper Malibu disappeared from radar. Sala was traveling from France to Cardiff to make his cup debut.

World Sports anchor Don Riddell has details.

DON RIDDELL, CNN WORLD SPORTS ANCHOR: Signing for premier league club is a dream for many football players. But it's turned into a nightmare for one Argentine striker and his family, friends and fans across two continents.

Emiliano Sala joined Cardiff City over the weekend but he's now missing after his plane disappeared from the radar over the English Channel on Monday night. When he spoke with Cardiff on Saturday, he was really excited about the new challenge ahead.


EMILIANO SALA, FOOTBALL PLAYER: It gives me great pleasure and I can't wait to start training, meet my new teammates and to get down to work.


RIDDELL: In Nantes his former team, they are devastated. Wednesday night's cup game has already been postponed and a vigil was held on Tuesday.

You can see the emotion of the fans here. Even though he had left the club, Sala remains very popular back home in Argentina. His family are anxiously awaiting news. On Tuesday CNN Espanol caught up with his father, Horatio.


HORATIO SALA, FATHER OF EMILIANO SALA: I found out this morning around 6:00 or 6:15 a.m. I received a call from a guy from Esperanza. I was petrified. Then I spoke to several people but this is inexplicable. It is inexplicable.

(END VIDEO CLIP) RIDDELL: An extensive search and rescue operation has so far turned up nothing. And that search has now been suspended until Wednesday morning.

Police in Britain say that if the single engine plane crashed into the sea, the chances of survival would be slim.

Sala spent Monday back in Nantes. Tragically this is one of his last social media posts, "La ultima ciao", the last good-bye. Nobody wants to think the worst. But with the passing of time, it is getting harder and harder not to.

Authorities checked in with local airports in the Channel Islands to see if the plane had landed there but they turned up nothing.

Sala should have been training with his new teammates on Tuesday. That training session was canceled.

Incredibly this is the second aviation incident to have affected the premier league this season. In October Lester City's owner was killed in a helicopter crash.

Back to you.

VAUSE: Don -- thank you.

Well, to Brexit now. The British Prime Minister promising everything will be done to prevent a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

CNN's Nic Robertson reports the trouble over Brexit is bringing back the troubles from the past.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice over): Lumbering off the ferry in the port of Larne, the lifeblood of Northern Ireland's commerce. 105 minutes across the Irish Sea from mainland U.K., cars, trucks, people come and go in their thousands every day.

(on camera) It is not just an important commercial link across the Irish Sea, it is also a vital cultural link for so many of the people in Northern Ireland now who Theresa May depends upon for her slender majority in government.

(voice over) Just behind the harbor, Larne town wears its loyalty large. Nearby villagers tattoo the tarmac in homage to the union that has bound this province to the United Kingdom for almost a century -- loyalty that gives local unionist MP Sammy Wilson a lock on this constituency.

[01:35:07] SAMMY WILSON, DEMOCRATIC UNION PARTY MP: We have huge historic links with the rest of the United Kingdom. And those go back hundreds of years, whether that's, you know, common religion, common language, all sorts of things and we're not going to give that up. ROBERTSON (on camera): But Brexit is testing the strength of that

union. Wilson's Democratic Unionist Party MPs who prop up May's government refuse to accept any Brexit deal that diminishes those ties which so far May has failed to do to their satisfaction.

THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: So I will be talking further this week to colleagues including in the DUP.

ROBERTSON (voice over): ON Monday, May pledged to listen to the DUP concerns again. Top among them, the E.U.'s backstop demand intended to honor Northern Ireland's Good Friday or Belfast Peace Agreement that ended decades of bloodshed and ensures the northern Irish-Irish border remains open after Brexit.

Difficulty for her -- Wilson is unwilling to compromise.

WILSON: It would serve (INAUDIBLE) us very, very well I think to leave without a deal. We could say see this nonsense, we're a backstop. It is nigh off the table. That's how I'll deal with discussion of the border between Northern Ireland and Irish Republic.

ROBERTSON: The trouble for May, Wilson's reasonable discussion doesn't just reject the E.U.'s bottom line, the respect for the Belfast Peace deal. He claims the E.U.'s backstop has already broken the terms of the peace deal and they need to back down.

WILSON: Yes, of course, as I said to you, the backstop would require our laws premiered (ph) in Brussels. Not in London. In other words constitutionally we will be separated from the rest of the United Kingdom. And that does breach the Belfast agreement.

ROBERTSON: Across the province, the U.K.'s biggest border town Derry where nationalists who want strong ties with Ireland, are the majority, fears are May, who has pledged not to tinker with the Belfast or Good Friday Peace Agreement will get a one-sided view of it from Wilson's DUP.

JOHN BOYLE, DERRY CITY AND STRABANE MAYOR: The Good Friday (INAUDIBLE) affect the people here in this country and voted for it in overwhelming numbers. So there. That's something that people here supported. So really Sammy -- I said to Sammy I said really? Honestly Sammy are you reflecting the views of the people of this country? I don't think you are.

ROBERTSON (on camera): What is clear Brexit talks risk dragging Northern Ireland's divisive and at one-time deadly differences out into the open again. Raising the stakes for competing unionist and nationalist views and with it concerns about rising violence.

Nic Robertson, CNN -- Northern Ireland.


VAUSE: While the U.K. struggles to find a way out of the E.U., France and Germany are moving closer together to confront the rising populism on the continent. Both the French President and the German Chancellor are warning nationalism is a threat to Europe and they renewed a friendship pact which was first agreed to more than 50 years ago.

CNN's Jim Bittermann reports.


JIM BITTERMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It was like an old married couple getting together to renew their wedding vows. France and Germany getting together 56 years after they signed what was called the Elysees Treaty, a treaty that showed that they could cooperate after World War II, the bitter enemies getting along in terms of culture and economics and security and those kinds of things.

This time around it was to intensify those kind of links that Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel got together and signed a treaty in Aachen, Germany. And basically this treaty provides for all kinds of different links to be strengthened.

It's very general in its terms (ph), not big on specifics. Although the one that is being cited most often here is this mutual defense treaty which provides for Germany to come to the defense of France, and France to come to the defense of Germany should they be attacked.

Jim Bittermann, CNN -- Paris.


VAUSE: Tough (ph) words of warning about a looming climate change disaster at the Davos summit -- that's the place where the world's elite arrive on private jets leaving behind them a heavy carbon footprint. So will this warning have an impact?


VAUSE: Well, to the World Economic Forum now where a British royal and a (INAUDIBLE) British legend. Prince William and famed naturalist David Attenborough talked about climate change and the damage to the environment. While business and political leaders are in Davos mostly to talk about the global economy Attenborough wants them to tackle climate change as well.

DAVID ATTENBOROUGH, NATURALIST AND ENVIRONMENTALIST: We are now so numerous, so powerful, so all pervasive the mechanisms that we have for destruction are so wholesale and so frightening that we can actually just exterminate whole ecosystems without even noticing it. We have now to be really aware of the dangers of what we're doing.


VAUSE: And for more I'm joined now from Los Angeles by environmental scientist Jess Phoenix; also the executive director of Blue Print Earth.

Ok. Jess -- good to see you.


VAUSE: David Attenborough, absolutely 100 percent right about the catastrophic environmental damage we're causing and have the potential to cause every day. He made this appeal for us to be more aware. I would argue that there is already a high level of awareness out there. What is missing is the level of caring and concern.

PHOENIX: Yes. I think a lot of people are unaware of the fact that their individual actions actually do have an impact. And it's really hard for people to lead in their own lives when the people who are tasked with setting the standards are coming to an event talking about the environment and showing up in private jets.

People who have the means and have the ability to make change on a larger level need to lead by example. And I think that's a really important take away from the Davos summit.

VAUSE: We'll get to the private jets in a moment.

Here's a little tidbit. It comes from page 17 of a survey of more than 1,300 CEOs from more than 90 countries. That's about the impact of climate change and how concerned are they that the about the impact it would have on their business.

Last year, 31 percent said extremely concerned -- the issue ranked in the top ten, it was number nine. This year, only 19 percent of CEOs are extremely concerned. It's fallen in the rankings to 13.

In fact, their biggest concern for 2019 is overregulation. If ever there was a time to focus beyond quarterly profits, you know, boys and girls in the business world -- this is it, right?

PHOENIX: Exactly. Corporate social responsibility shouldn't just be a series of buzz words. It needs to be something that actually drives companies to do better on a daily basis. Whether you're in natural resources extraction or in children's toys, you need to be thinking about what impact your actions as a corporation are going to have on the future of our planet and on the children that we all ideally want to protect.

VAUSE: Because we all live on the same planet. You know, CEOs, business leaders, Warren Buffet, Jeff Bezos -- we're all here. There's not some other plane they've got on the side where they can all go to when this one is done.

[01:44:52] But why is it that they don't have the same kind of thinking, you know, on a much bigger scale that, you know, most people have like those who are concerned about the planet that's concerned (ph) with what we do? And yet, they seem to separate that -- divorce it from their actions as business leaders.

PHOENIX: I think that oftentimes you get a little bit insulated the further removed you are from say boots on the ground reality. If you're not living in a place where contamination is evident, if you can afford to go away to vacation in lovely, gorgeous places where the environment is still relatively pristine, you may be able to forget and insulate yourself from the reality of climate change that we're all facing.

And of course, poor people are disproportionately impacted by the effects of the changing climate. So I think it's really important that business leaders and world leaders do actually take the time to go down and see the effects on the ground both to people and to animals and environment.

VAUSE: Yes. There does seem to be a certain element of let's emit carbon at Davos. We're going to the private jets now. They're expecting 1,500 private jets to land and take off during the week-long global gathering. That's up from last year which saw more than 1,300 private jets -- that was a record year.

The director of an air travel service said "There appears to be a trend towards large aircraft with expensive, heavy jets, the aircraft of choice. This is at least in part due to some of the long distances traveled but also partly due to business rivals not wanting to be seen to be outdone by one another." At the end of the day it's all about mostly (ph) my carbon footprint is bigger than yours.

PHOENIX: You know, I think it actually would be truly revolutionary for a business leader or a world leader to show up on a bike or some other power source, you know, mode of transportation that is not --


VAUSE: Take a train.

PHOENIX: -- fossil fuels. Yes, why not.

I mean I think it's being of the people is an important quality for people in positions of power. And if you don't remember what it is like for everyone else when you ask them to, you know, tighten their belts and do things for the environment, you know, you need to remind yourself that that obligation is on you as well.

VAUSE: There is a certain amount of business savvy to actually, you know, relate to your customers, I guess.

Jess -- good to see you. Thank you.

PHOENIX: You, too.

VAUSE: And the nominees are -- from super heroes to super snobs -- who got the Oscar nod, who did not and who's most likely to go home with that gold statuette next month and what's so special about this year's Oscars?


VAUSE: Singer Chris Brown has been released from police custody in Paris after being questioned on suspicion of rape. Authorities say he won't face charges for now but the investigation. He won't face charges for now but investigation is ongoing.

Brown and two others were arrested after a 24-year-old woman alleged she'd been assaulted in Brown's hotel suite earlier this month. He denies the accusations and his lawyer plans to sue for defamation.

Well, from big blockbusters to Art House films and period pieces, the 91st Academy Awards is shaping up to be the first in some ways and maybe not in others.

Jeremy Roth reports their (ph) history has already been made.


JEREMY ROTH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): A few surprises, but mostly predictable as nominations for the 91st Academy Awards were announced Tuesday morning.

[01:49:54] The Bradley Cooper/Lady Gaga rendition of "A Star is Born" received nominations in almost all the top categories, including Best Original Song co-written by Lady Gaga.

But Cooper found himself left out of the Best Director category. Instead the honors went to the directors of "Black Klansman", "Cold War", "The Favourite", "Roma" and "Vice".

Other top contenders with multiple nominations -- "Can You Ever Forgive Me", "If Beale Street Could Talk", and "Green Book" which earned Mahershala Ali, a best supporting actor nomination this time around.

MAHERSHALA ALI, ACTOR: Dear Delores -- D-E-A-R. This is an animal.

ROTH: The rock drama, "Bohemian Rhapsody" which follows the story of "Queen" will also come out swinging when the awards air on February 24th.

One of the biggest surprises though was Netflix, known as a TV power house earning its first Best Picture nomination for its film "Roma". The black and white Spanish language drama scored ten nominations including in both actress categories.

And finally ones of the top grossing films of the year, "Black Panther" received seven nominations and is the first superhero movie to receive a Best Picture nomination.

I'm Jeremy Roth, reporting.


VAUSE: And joining me now from Los Angeles for the awards season, the awards season columnist for the "New York Times", is Kyle Buchanan. Kyle -- thanks for coming in.

KYLE BUCHANAN, "NEW YORK TIMES": Thanks for having me.

VAUSE: Ok. As surely as night will follow day, outrage will follow the Oscar nominations especially on the Twitter machine of hate where everyone seems really angry most of the time. Although Amber Tamblyn wasn't actually angry but she did point this out. "No woman nominated for Best Director. No woman nominated for cinematography. No woman nominated for editing. No woman nominated for music. One woman nominated for adapted screenplay. One woman nominated for original screenplay. My academy fam," she writes, "we must do better."

Ok. The question were women actually snubbed here or, you know, is it just the case that women don't deserve a nomination?

BUCHANAN: I mean in my opinion, two of my very favorite films of this past year were "Leave No Trace". It was directed by Debra Granik who made a Best Picture nominee a couple of years back "Winter's Bone" with Jennifer Lawrence.

I also loved this film called "The Rider". It was directed by Chloe Zhao. They're both smaller films that didn't have necessarily the machinery of a gigantic big-pocketed company like Netflix let's say. But that doesn't mean that they weren't worthy. It is just another sort of sad kind of what sometimes goes into this awards season, which is money talks.

VAUSE: Ok. You know, one of the other thing that may have led to so many other snubs out there is that overall there seems to be a lot of international talents which got nods which means that, you know, obviously the locals had missed out.

BUCHANAN: Yes. Well, that is actually something to sort of take heart in. Two of the Best Director nominees were for foreign language films. In fact "Roma" is doing so well. It might be the very first best foreign language film to win Best Picture.

The Academy has taken great pains in recent years to try to diversify its membership, to invite more women, more people of color. And a lot of that has meant becoming a more international group. And I think we're really seeing the results of that today.

VAUSE: You know, one of the blessings year -- only eight films nominated for Best Picture. Last year it was like 14 or 28 or something -- I don't know.

Two movies though stand out and the first one of that list is "Black Panther", a movie which has broken so many barriers and crossed new territory already. And now it is the first superhero movie to be nominated for Best Picture. So could it actually go on and win?

BUCHANAN: I think the win for "Black Panther" might be that Best Picture nomination. Although I would be -- I would think that there was something wrong if Ruth Carter, who is the costume designer, nominated for "Black Panther" is going to win something.

I don't think we've seen anything more iconic than what she delivered. I mean if you walked outside on Halloween and you didn't see several "Black Panther" characters every block, you weren't in my neighborhood.

So yes, I think for Marvel, just to even make it into this category, would be exceptional. I would have liked to have seen the director of the film, Ryan Coogler, make it in. But that's a tough category. And the director's branch can be kind of snobby sometimes. I think they weren't ready to let a superhero movie through even though the general academy wanted it in Best Picture.

VAUSE: Thank God, they got rid of that popcorn award and category.


VAUSE: There's also the Netflix "Roma" movie which Reuters report said "After disrupting television, Netflix has stirred unease in the traditional movie industry by encouraging people to skip the theater and watch films at home. Major theater chains refuse to show Netflix films and some top directors have balked at making films that will be seen primarily on the small screen."

You know, I get it about the unease because, you know, change is never easy. But the reality is that Netflix and Hulu and Amazon, you know, all the rest of it -- that is the way of the future. Learn a way to compete with it, don't try and stop it or hold it back because if you do you won't win.

BUCHANAN: I -- you know, I mean think you're right. And I think anything we're going to see this accelerate in the next few years not only because Roma has gotten so much Oscar attention which I think will wear down the resistance of a couple of people.

[01:55:04] Some directors who maybe wouldn't want to make a film for Netflix and have their film mostly be watched on television, but also a lot of heavy hitters are getting into the space. Disney is going to launch a streaming service. Apple is about to launch a streaming service.

And if they see Netflix get these Oscar nominations for "Roma" they're going to want in too. We might reach a point in the very near future where the bulk of our Best Picture nominees come from streaming services.

VAUSE: You said a few moments ago money talks.


VAUSE: If you throw enough cash at someone, they're going to do it at the end of the day.

We're almost out of time. But what we have here is a situation where this 91st Academy Awards, no host after Kevin Hart and, you know, the scandal surrounding his background and you know, homophobic comments and that kind of stuff.

So what they're planning this year is just what -- a group of A- listers just like a "Friends" ensemble cast writ large to basically go there and read awkward lines from a prompter. How is this going to work.

BUCHANAN: Yes. I mean, how is it going to work? I think that they're asking themselves that same question. You know, the idea of essentially getting a roster of big A-list stars to be big celebrity presenters is kind of what they do every year. I don't think that's enough reason necessarily to tune in.

Part of the reason people do tune in is they're curious about the host. They want to see what is he or she going to say. What are they going to make jokes about? What are the big moments going to be? They're going to have to work a lot harder to find those moments when they don't have sort of a main personality guiding the sensibility and the tone of the night.

VAUSE: I mean when you think about the days of Billy Crystal who is just so great at doing the Oscars, why don't they just get him all the time?

BUCHANAN: Yes. You know, I think they need to find whether it's a Billy Crystal or a Whoopi Goldberg for that matter. I thought she was pretty fantastic in that same era. They have to find somebody who likes doing this job, is good at this job, and wouldn't mind doing it over and over again.


BUCHANAN: But I think also -- yes.

VAUSE: Go on. Continue because it is a full-time job.

BUCHANAN: Well, I mean it's as full-time as you're willing to make it. And that's very hard I think for a lot of big Hollywood stars. They get booked long in advance.

You look at say Dwayne Johnson's schedule. I mean that seems like a no-brainer. An actor that everybody adores who would be a great Oscar host, a big mainstream great personality. But I guarantee you his next two, three years are booked probably down to the minute. You've got to act early to lock down someone like that.

VAUSE: Exactly. It's a double-edged sword. You want one of those guys and girls and women and men are all tied up already.

BUCHANAN: Exactly.

VAUSE: Ok. Kyle -- thanks for coming in. Good to see you.

BUCHANAN: Any time.

VAUSE: Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause.

Stay with us. The news continues here on CNN after a short break.