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WEF 2019 Gives Youth a Voice; Government Shutdown Still No End in Sight; Russian and Turkish Leaders to Meet Over Syria Crisis. Aired 3-4a ET
Aired January 23, 2019 - 03:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[03:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
KRISIE LU STOUT, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Becky Anderson in Davos in Switzerland for you.
Well, in the past World Economic Forums, globalization has been the whole point. But this year's trade disputes and slowing growth have been the major topics here in Davos, the World Economic Forum so far.
So is the rise of populism and what some are calling deglobalization shaking the world order. Also, breaking with traditions, some major figures are missing from the meeting this year. With Brexit battles at home, British Prime Minister Theresa May isn't here, and the yellow vests protests keeping the French president busy as well.
The U.S. government shutdown meant the White House didn't send a delegation, but U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo did speak by teleconference and he praised political disruptions, saying he felt it was a force for good.
But one of the leaders who did make the trip to Davos was Brazil's new president. Jair Bolsonaro delivered the message that his country was open for business.
Well, in the coming hours, we expect to hear from the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, amongst others.
But this year, for the first time, the organizers here at the World Economic Forum have named six people under the age of 30 as co-chairs of the meeting. It makes sense. Young people are the people who are going to be most impacted by all of the things that are being talked about here in Davos, climate change, the rise of A.I. and automation, long running conflicts, for example.
And when UNICEF, the global body tasked with promoting the rights of youngsters asked young people what they want world leaders and business tycoons to focus on, they were clear, we want better jobs, more access to education and more than half believe business leaders could do more to help young people succeed.
Well, UNICEF executive director, Henrietta Fore, joining me now. The youngsters have spoken. Our business leaders pay anything more than lip service to their demands, Henrietta?
HENRIETTA FORE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, UNICEF: I think it's starting and having this Davos session on young people and on globalization, they're really starting to pick up the idea that young people need a better education, they need to think about what kinds of jobs and skills they need for the future and that we need to help train them and give them internships and apprenticeships.
It's their time. They say we're 25 percent of the world but we're 100 percent of your future. And they're right.
ANDERSON: And when I said they pay more than lip service and you -- this isn't your first visit to the Davos meeting. We met here last year. I think you were newly installed in the job at that time.
Are you feeling more or less optimistic about the prospects for youngsters around the world? I mean, I live in a region where more than 60 percent of people are under the age of 30, unemployment very high across the Middle East region, and sort of optimism pretty low.
FORE: Yes. Well, you know, on the one hand there is a whole group of countries that are quite optimistic about their young people and their imbalance. For many, though, this demographic dividend, this enormous population surge is really overwhelming them. It's overwhelming all of their capacities in schools and institutions.
So, it's mixed. But this is the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. So, we're optimistic at UNICEF that this is the time when everyone is going to advocate.
And we've just launched this new initiative, Becky, Generation Unlimited and that's for young people between the ages of 10 and 24. We want the world to stand up for this age group to try to give them a chance a future in life.
ANDERSON: Generation Unlimited, mark that one, viewers. Last year, this time, we discussed the plight of children in conflict. In Syria, for example, four million kids have been born since the start of the civil war. And that means they have only known war in their entire lives, same with twice (ph) to kids in Yemen or places like South Sudan or the Rohingya children, for example.
Apart from appealing for funds and more support, what can an organization like yours do here at Davos to make a difference?
FORE: Well, we hope that we're going to be able to continue those funds. We work in humanitarian sessions. So, for instance, education in Syria and in Yemen, half the schools are closed and these young people need to get back into school.
[03:05:07] So, if you've been a child in Syria you may have been born during the war, you've only known war, it's been going on for eight years. And so, many of the students have to catch up. So, they're in one room school houses. We have an accelerated program for children to catch up. So, businesses here can help by funding, but also giving us online education so that we can do it in every language with every community no matter how remote the community. But they can help in education and nutrition, in health, in protection, water and sanitation. Water is an enormous need, clean water, you know that.
ANDERSON: So many of the issues that you and I have discussed in the past conflict, inequality, poverty being discussed here I have to say alongside issues like climate change, for example, the environment. Just how difficult is it to embed these issues within the minds of those -- at a meeting like this who really can make a difference.
Let's be -- let's be really honest. I mean, you're here once again. I know it's important. You need political will from government. You need that funding support. But this private sector up here, and you just alluded to some of the things that can be done. But you know, are they -- are they paying more than lip service? I'm going to ram this question home until I get you. I'm not suggesting you're not being honest. I'm just saying, are they doing more than just paying lip service?
FORE: Well, they could do so much more. This is care about doing the right thing now. They care about the sustainable development goals. They have purpose. They have a mission. But have they really thought through how their businesses, their new innovations could help the humanitarian world or all of these young children around the world? They have not yet thoroughly thought about that.
So, we're trying to catch every business we can, every foundation we can. We need innovations in our world. We're doing things the same way. When I was in Syria, we were in the bombed-out area in east Douma -- in Douma in east Ghouta, and when you walk through there, it's not livable. The apartment buildings are coming down. We had big vats of water that are clean water that you can go to get clean water for cooking for your family.
Our business is thinking about how their supply chains and how their products and services could be used in these situations. We have 300 emergencies a year.
So, to your point, could we use more help? We surely could. We need the commitment of every CEO here. We do. But we need them to look at their basic business so that it's sustainable so they want to do it year after year after year because the world needs a lot of help.
ANDERSON: I know you don't come here thinking, well, let's hope we achieve something. You come here with a defined mission. What is the takeaway that you -- that you will be pleased with Friday afternoon when you leave this mountain top in Switzerland? What are you looking to take away?
FORE: So, if they would all commit to stand up for young people, commit to Generation Unlimited, that would be tremendous. We've got humanitarian appeals coming out. For UNICEF, we are in the neighborhood of $3.8 billion a year, half funded. So, if they can help us with products and services and funding volunteers, that would be great.
ANDERSON: Henrietta, let's hope they're listening. Thank you.
FORE: Thank you, Becky.
ANDERSON: Henrietta Fore with us today.
Well, a lot more from Davos in the day to come. We got a number of headlining leaders here. It's a busy day. There are some -- notable absentees this year. And we've been discussing those, not least Theresa May, Emmanuel Macron and the U.S. president, but there's an awful lot on the agenda. We'll be across it for you. Stay with us. Back to you for the time being.
STOUT: Yes. And Becky, thank you for that very important conversation on empowering children around the world, and as you said, has been more than just lip service. It's got to be real.
Now we're monitoring another confrontation in the works in Washington, D.C. U.S. President Donald Trump, he is moving ahead with plans for his State of the Union speech, but it's unclear at this moment exactly where he will deliver it.
And the Republicans and the Democrats they will vote on dueling plans to reopen the government. Neither is expected to pass.
Jim Acosta has more.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR 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 WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: 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 was still on the calendar, writing, "Given that we lost valuable time over the past week my team would like to reschedule the walk-through for this Monday, if at all possible."
[03:10:12] The White House has even considered the possibility of holding a rally outside of Washington if both sides can't reach an agreement. The brinkmanship is escalating as Senate leaders bicker over rival plans to reopen the government and all seem dead on arrival.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, (R) MAJORITY LEADER, KENTUCKY: The opportunity to end all of this is stating us right in the face. That's why we'll vote on this legislation on the Senate floor this week. SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, (D) MINORITY LEADER, NEW YORK: 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, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE: We all hope that it will end fairly quickly. I hope that we get this one resolved in relatively shorter order.
ACOSTA: A new book written by a West Wing insider 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 a 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, quote, "You are 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 House official who isn't offering much information these days is White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders who hasn't hold a briefing in more than a month. The president says he's behind that decision, tweeting, "The reasons 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 who never us fairly enhance the term fake news."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The last we checked there has not been one held this year, Hogan. Is there any plan to start that back up again or see Sarah Sanders back at 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 that White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders has not answered one question from the podium while how this government shutdown is affecting millions of Americans across the country.
Jim Acosta, CNN, the White House.
STOUT: Covington Catholic high school will reopen later on Wednesday with a police presence around the school. The Kentucky high school has been the focus of controversy after video of students at the March for Life in Washington went viral. Teenagers wearing Make America Great Again hats were seen encountering a Native American elder, Nathan Phillips.
The students were widely condemned for mocking Phillips. A video showing different angles raised questions about what actually happened. A student in the video says he was not disrespectful.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICK SANDMANN, TEEN IN VIDEO: As far as standing there, I have every right to do so. In hindsight, I wish we could have walk away.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STOUT: Now President Trump publicly sided with the students. Press Secretary Sarah Sanders says that the administration has reached out to express support for them, and says if the president invites them to the White House it will be after the shutdown ends.
Now Venezuela is getting ready for more demonstrations against President Nicolas Maduro. The protest come hours after U.S. Vice President Mike Pence stir the pot in a Twitter video promising support for the people of Venezuela who are raising their voices for freedom.
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MICHAEL 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.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICOLAS MADURO, PRESIDENT OF VENEZUELA (through translator): Never before has an official for the highest level come out in the name of his government. He spoke on behalf of the President of the United States to say that in Venezuela the opposition must overture the government.
[03:15:01] That is why I have decided and given the order to the chancellor of the public that we initiate a total absolute revision of the relations with the government of the United States of America. And in the next hours, we will take political diplomatic and defense decisions of national sovereignty in defense of the constitution, in defense of Venezuelan democracy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STOUT: Nicolas Maduro there. And we will be monitoring protest action in Venezuela later today.
You're watching Newsroom. And up next we'll be going back to Davos for the World Economic Forum. David Attenborough's message for leaders about climate change coming up.
ANDERSON: Davos it is sub-zero cold and every one here talking global warming. So how does that add up? Well, the big thing to know is that this climate and there's weather.
Climate, the average conditions over a really long time, decades, centuries, millennia even. Whereas, weather more of what's going on right now. So, like a hot summer's day doesn't make a hot year. A lot of snow doesn't freeze climate equations.
Plus, extreme weather like gigantic snowstorms can also be linked to a changing climate. And that explains why the world can still be getting warmer as a whole while we still see a lot of freezing events around it.
Well, some leaders heading towards more pro-business approach, and perhaps stepping away from protecting the planet. Brazil's new president, Jair Bolsonaro, delivered a message that his country is open for business. But critics worry he could be a disaster for the environment and the Amazon.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAIR BOLSONARO, PRESIDENT OF BRAZIL (through translator): Brazil's economy is still relatively close to foreign trades. And to change that situation is one of my administration's major commitments. You can be sure that by the end of my term in office our economic team led by Minister of Finance, Paulo Guedes, will position Brazil in the ranking of the 50 best countries in the world to do business.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[03:19:56] ANDERSON: Well, my next guest says the Davos elite and I'm assuming she's alluding to the presidents there are still pretending we have time to fix the climate crisis. We don't, she says, period.
Greenpeace International executive director, Jennifer Morgan joining me now. I mean, Jair Bolsonaro heavily criticized by your own agency for the potential damage he will do to the Amazon and the environment with some of his policies.
But ultimately, Jennifer, you couldn't be here with a more attentive audience this year.
JENNIFER MORGAN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, GREENPEACE INTERNATIONAL: Yes.
ANDERSON: I mean, you know, so David Attenborough speaking to just how important it is that humans begin to think about, you know, what is going on. It's now or never, right?
MORGAN: Absolutely. I mean in the World Economic Forum's own global risk report has identified climate changes again year after year. But again, climate change, the top risk. We have the world scientist in October, saying, if we don't change course immediately --
MORGAN: -- we will see an increase of temperature and cataclysmic. We're in an emergency situation right now.
ANDERSON: And you've said make no mistake, we are in a climate emergency and that's emergency must dominate. This isn't though the first time that we've heard these calls here. The voices, though, certainly louder this time. How do we, you, and everybody, how do we convert words into actions at this point?
MORGAN: Well, I think there's a number of different ways. One is just for people for leaders to -- well, read the IPCC report and internalize what this actually means, right? The other is for them to listen to the 15-year-olds.
You know, yesterday, we actually had Greta Thunberg at the event where Sir David Attenborough was speaking come in and ask leaders here, corporate leaders to pledge, to promise her that they will stay below or do everything they can stay below 1.5 degrees.
ANDERSON: A member of consent in the room?
MORGAN: It was a spatter of applause, right, she's coming here.
MORGAN: Actually, she's on her way from Sweden by train and she said, you know, I don't believe any for one minute you're going to do it, but prove me wrong, right? So -- and then there's a whole other side of this equation, which is from a business perspective of Davos are the opportunities that are here actually and you heard that from a major Indian company.
ANDERSON: Well, let's talk about some of those because return on investment is clearly what the guys and the women who are -- who employed by businesses to come up this hill and negotiate deals. It's about returns on investments, so talk to us about the opportunities of the environment.
MORGAN: Well, I think there are two sides here. One is the opportunity. So renewable energy costs have gone, you know, they're dramatically lower that it's cheaper to go renewable than fossil fuel right now, even if you don't count in all of the cost.
ANDERSON: Only just, but yes.
MORGAN: Yes, only just, but if you don't count in all of the health costs also of air pollution and coal. So, you see the opportunities that are -- that are there.
You see also the costs in supply chains, right, of the climate impacts which often get forgotten. So, I just, you know, in the U.S., for example, 40 percent of small businesses don't get reopened after there's extreme weather event, after there's an extreme hurricane, that type of things. So, you need to be looking at both of those things.
If you look at, for example, mobility right now, right, who is going to be making the first the big market win on electric vehicles that need to be powered by hundred percent renewables.
So, it's all over the place, but the missing piece for my perspective is the political leadership which also needs to come from the corporates because they may say things here but go back home to the parliament, and who's really pushing a high carbon price? Who's pushing a hundred percent renewables?
ANDERSON: Well, who is doing well? Let's name and shame. Who is doing well at present and who needs to do better?
MORGAN: Well, I think who's doing well on the renewable side of things, you know, actually, China has been doing quite well on the renewables, meeting their targets here and there. India is moving on solar in a very big way. Costa Rica is going carbon neutral, small but actually very important. You know, if you look at their mobility concepts how they are going to be doing electric buses, how their whole electricity grid.
MORGAN: Those are ones that you can listen to.
ANDERSON: So, back in an envelope wish list, if you and I, and I will say now you're invited onto the show this time next year --
MORGAN: I'm ready here.
ANDERSON: -- from end 2020. What do you want to be telling me that was that you feel was successful in 2019? What are the key missions this year and what do you want to achieve?
MORGAN: So, number one is a phaseout of coal in Germany by 2030, and that will be decided this Friday, if not next week, and Chancellor Merkel is here and she should be signaling that. So next year, she can come and say we're phasing out coal by 2030, we're doing it and adjust way on good just transition. [03:24:57] And Europe will have signaled it's going to increase its ambition under the Paris agreement. That means they're going to raise their target, right? And that means that they will have moved towards a coal phase out. So, we need those coal phases out but Germany is number one really right now.
ANDERSON: Are you basically treading water on the states until Donald Trump isn't elected again.
MORGAN: Absolutely not.
ANDERSON: I'm not suggesting he won't be elected for a moment.
MORGAN: Absolutely not. No. There's a green new deal proposal that is coming forward also from youth actually in the U.S., which is making its way through the House of Representatives. So, hopefully, that next year that will be making its way forward that's going to --
ANDERSON: Got it.
MORGAN: -- takes the scale into account. So, there are some big things. There's a summit in September by the U.N. secretary-general, I want to see leaders coming and announcing they're going to do more and the numbers. I want to see the numbers.
ANDERSON: There's some big asks in all of that. Jennifer, thank you. Good luck here.
MORGAN: Thank you.
ANDERSON: It's Wednesday morning in Davos, day two. Some big talk is not least, Angela Merkel today. Let's see what she says about some of the key issues. It's not just, Kristie, this year about globalization versus deglobalization, about whether as Pompeo suggested, do we really want economic growth. Is that mission target going forward?
This year, much talk, much talk about climate change, about the environment, about innovation, about inequality, poverty, comfort, and have that all fits in this message is that there is no world going forward if we don't insure that we get on with some of those issues that we've been talking about for years. Kristie?
STOUT: Absolutely, Becky. And as your guest, Jennifer Morgan, just told you, all those issues so important, but you got to have the political leadership and the will to deliver it.
Becky, thank you so much. We'll check in with you soon.
Now, all eyes on Moscow in just a few hours when Russian and Turkish leaders will meet to discuss what happens next in Syria. Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan are set to focus on Ankara's proposed security zone in northern Syria.
And even though the Kremlin supports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad while Turkey has backed the rebels fighting its forces, Moscow says it can play fair. Well, let's get straight to Moscow. CNN's Matthew Chance is standing by. Matthew, these two leaders are -- and they have been on opposite sides of the conflict. So, as they hold these talks today, what kind of common ground are they going to reach?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think, Kristie, it's more of a question of what compromise these two figures that have a great deal of sort of measure political respect for each other. In fact, they got quite a good personal relationship which underpins their abilities to compromise.
What kind of compromise are they going to be able to reach on this issue? You're rightly point out that one of -- one of Turkey's overriding strategic objectives in Syria is to establish, you know, a safe haven or to deprive its Turkish rebels domestically of safe havens in that part of northern Syria. It wants to stage a full incursion into northern Syria to establish sort of security zones I supposed they would call them.
The Russians are keen for their ally, the Syrian President Bashar al- Assad, to reassert government control over all those areas. And so, you know, it's a diplomatic dance between these two figures to see what sort of compromise they can reach.
The Russians have been very adept I think at drawing Turkey into an acceptance of its position that Bashar al-Assad is going to be staying as the president of Syria. But in order to achieve that they had to in the past make certain compromises allowing Turkey to stage limited insurgents into various areas in northern Syria. And we may able to see something similar to that (ph) as a result of these talks.
STOUT: Got it. And that shock announcement from Donald Trump that the U.S. is withdrawing in Syria. Is that adding a sense of urgency for these leaders to reach a compromise?
CHANCE: I think it is because it's being seen as a big opportunity by the Turks to go in full on and really establish a big security zone in that part of northern -- northern Syria. And so, they're really sort of chomping at the bit to get in there to do that.
And the Russians are obviously very keen for their ally, Bashar al- Assad, to move his forces into that area as well. And so, some kind of compromise is going to have to be worked out. But it's a very risky game, of course. We're talking about too massive militaries, huge military force on the ground.
And one of the things that's driving their constant meetings and constant discussions about compromise is the reluctance of these two countries to get into a full-on military confrontation with each other.
STOUT: All right. Matthew Chance reporting live from Moscow. Thank you very much -- very much for joining us.
You've been watching CNN Newsroom coming to you live from Hong Kong. We'll hit you with the headlines right after this short break.
[03:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
STOUT: Welcome back, I'm Kristie Lu Stout. Let's give you an update on the tops stories this hour. The U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is encouraging anti-government protesters in Venezuela ahead of a planned mass demonstration. He called President Nicolas Maduro a dictator with no legitimate claim to power. Mr. Maduro says he wants a total revision of relation with the U.S.
U.S. President Trump is still planning to deliver his State of the Union Address from the Capital as scheduled. That despite House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggesting he move the speech because of the ongoing government shutdown. Hundreds of thousands of government employees will miss a second paycheck this week.
Police had resume searching for Cardiff's City new star recruit, Emiliano Sala. He has been missing since his plane vanished midflight over the English Channel on Monday. Sala was flying from France to Cardiff for his English Premiere League debut. French authorities say they still have no news of the missing plane.
Let's take things over to our Becky Anderson. She is standing by for us at Davos, side of the World Economic Fund, Becky.
ANDERSON: And welcome back to what is a chilly morning here in Davos, this year's World Economic Forum. We are expecting to hear from leaders like the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe later on then, we are also expecting to hear from -- not expected to hear -- he is here with me, John Defterios, here with me right now.
DEFTERIOS: That will be a problem, I wasn't speaking at this point, right?
ANDERSON: Not quite yet actually (ph) yet. John, Angela Merkel and Shinzo Abe, amongst the number of world leaders who will be speaking here today. It's a busy day two.
DEFTERIOS: Yes. I would recall it a primetime World Economic Forum. This is the core day, needless to say. Let's start with Angela Merkel. She's going to be leaving office soon, right? She has somebody coming in to replace her as the party chief. She doesn't like this idea of a U.K. exit from the European Union and she's so sensitive about her legacy.
Becky, I think she's going to make a push to say, it's not too late to negotiate. She said it a week ago, but I think she's going to comeback in and say for the greater good of the European Union and for the future of Britain, let's try to work something out, at least something that's not a shock to the system. She has to worry about her growth, 1.5 percent in 2018, was the worst in five years.
Does Shinzo Abe weigh in to the U.S.-China debate, I think, is the big question here. China is a huge exporter so as Japan and clearly certain that he'll come out and say, look, this is not good for the global economy, even though he is somewhat of an ally, Shinzo Abe, of Donald Trump.
[03:35:03] Interesting, I think that we have the Ethiopian prime minister as emerging market side (ph) fascinated by the fact that the growing about 10 percent, transition of power after the death of the previous leader, a huge market in east Africa, one that is very central to the plans of the Middle East as well, they invest in to the market.
And I think the keynote in terms of news coverage today is the vice president of China, Wang Qishan. He is a powerful player there. Two years ago Xi Jinping was saying let's not retreat from globalization, but try to solve it. Donald Trump came with a different message last year, banging the drums, we may had a stalemate, they are going to have to find a solution.
One source I spoke to yesterday was suggesting we can see it in the next couple of months. May not be what Donald Trump's looking for, but Donald Trump will say, I fought the good fight and I got what I wanted for the United States. It's hurting global markets. It's hurting the global economy.
ANDERSON: It is. You're absolutely right. These trade wars have been front and center since the appointment of Donald Trump back in 2016 and 2017, when he was inaugurated. We spoke earlier to one commentator here who said, he thought the year 2018 was a year that had -- to a certain extent was less affected by the trade wars than he thinks 2019 will be. But we've already seen this global markets rallying off the back of these issues, aren't we?
DEFTERIOS: We have. I tell you, as one observer told me this morning, it's colder in Davos this year, but it is a lot quieter without Donald Trump around.
DEFTERIOS: He was blowing the trumpets and saying I'm doing the greatest things, regulation reform, cutting taxes, the stock markets rallying. If he actually came to Davos in 2019, what would be his narrative? I'm fighting the good fight, shut the government down, fighting a good fight. I'm still fighting with China --
ANDERSON: And this markets full recovery, he will say.
DEFTERIOS: Yes. No, but he clearly has to find a solution because this takes a year to work its way through. The tariffs are now in place. It's hurting U.S. farmers. He's having to pay to subsidize the U.S. farmers. He still has the threat hitting the European Union car manufacturers, don't forget, still has that threat with Germany. So he's has threats all around and his impulsiveness is what I think really rattles the Davos community, if you will.
The CEOs likes the idea of tax reform, who doesn't, if you are a leading company like this. It is almost like a dividend payment, but they don't want to see the tension 12 months on.
ANDERSON: I know. DEFTERIOS: Becky, this is a reality.
ANDERSON: There is an emerging narrative from the progressive Democrats in this space and says none of this is working for the man on the street saying, we're going to do something about it should they win in 2020.
ANDERSON: It's a very different America, I think. John for the timing, thank you very much, indeed.
DEFTERIOS: All right.
ANDERSON: Democracy succeeded in Tunisia. But eight years after the Arab Spring, there is frustration and anger. We are going to hear from the head of Tunisia's government after this very short break. Stay with us.
[03:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ANDERSON: Well, back in 2011, the uprising in Tunisia led to the president's ousting and a push for democracy. It's the Arab Spring's eight anniversary. Protest in Tunisia's spread to Egypt, Libya, Syria and Yemen. But there's now growing anger over Tunisia's economic decline in as some see it.
Joining me now is the head of the government of Tunisia, Youseff Chahed. Now, walk down memory lane, sir, if you will. Nearly a decade since the Jasmine Revolution. Are you confident there has been enough fundamental change in the factors that pushed Tunisians on to the streets because we are seeing and back on the streets at present?
YOUSEFF CHAHED, HEAD OF THE GOVERNMENT OF TUNISIA: The short answer is yes. The wrong answer is that, of course. This is a democracy. You don't have a democracy that is born every year in the world. So, it takes time and Tunisia is not living alone.
We're living in a geopolitical situation. We are also threatened by all what's happened in the world, like those stories, groups, ISIS, Al Qaeda. We're attack three times in 2015, because we are Democratic.
So answering your question, I am confident, having people in the streets, demonstrating this is because Tunisia's democracy and they're free to do that.
ANDERSON: And there's be much support over the years of Tunisia and a democracy, which is very unusual in the Middle East and North African region. So, many compliments in that way that things have gone, but the IMF and other institutional -- or international leaders pushing you to cut government spending and to implement reforms in order to bring in more investment and create jobs.
Are you going to roll back on any of these IMF plans, these austerity plans? Because at present there are concerns, and if you don't, it will be an explosion on the street. CHAHED: I don't think -- I think of course, we know -- we need to understand why we arrive at this point because, as I mentioned yesterday in the session, there is a cost for having a democracy. We fight for having freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of press. So this is the cost.
During the last few years, the economy was suffered -- was suffering so -- now when we arrived, the situation was very difficult. Macroeconomics deficit were weak (ph). We arrived at 2016, there was seven person deficit -- public deficit. So, now we reduce it to 4.9 in 2018 and we aim to have 3.9 next year.
Growth was less than 1 percent in 2016. Now, we are talking about 3 percent. Of course, there's still some difficulties, but this is the learning curve to have democracy. You need to pay cost and we consider that this costs and that we still can manage it. And we still can -- I mean, most difficulty we can manage that.
ANDERSON: So, what you're telling me is that despite the concerns from Rached Ghannouchi, for example, who is the leader of the Modern Islamist Party, concerned that there will an explosion in Tunisia. You're saying that you will stick to what the IMF has embedded for you as far as austerity plans consent, no worrying back.
CHAHED: We are not doing that because IMF said we have to do that. We're doing that because we're concern and we are responsible for our country. We are responsible to have -- to stabile deficit. We are responsible of having -- to boost growth. So, we are doing those reforms not because IMF -- we are member of IMF, and we have a good cooperation with IMF, but we are not doing that under the pressure of IMF. We discussed with IMF. We explained some local specificities (ph). We can do that. We can do that.
Tunisia is a specific case. This is a unique case in the region with a democracy in the Arab-Muslim world. So, I think we are really convinced about doing that, about reducing deficit, about creating more jobs, about having the most sustainable model for Tunisia with renewable energy, with digitization. So all those reforms, we are really committed for those reform and we will do this reform.
ANDERSON: What are you going to do for the man in the street? How are going to satisfy them, the man on the street, to support these reforms? I know it is not easy. I mean, it wasn't easy in the U.K. under John Osborn, back in 2010 and after the 2008 financial crisis.
You know, austerity is tough. How are you going to convince the man on the street that this is worth the pain because it was only eight years ago that we saw Tunisia and so many other countries around the region explode?
[03:45:12] CHAHED: So, by discussing, by explaining. Today, the dialogue is free Tunisia. We have free press or we can explain. The political class needs to play strong role explaining those reforms, explaining how important are those reforms. Also, we need to have a kind of safety net for those vulnerable people that can probably --
ANDERSON: You have that?
CHAHED: Yes. We are trying -- with IMF, we try to have that to explain that loose reform can be difficult for certain vulnerable people. So we need to address specifically those people having -- giving them social protection, giving them social -- I mean, covering their social needs. So this is important and this is among our discussion with IMF.
ANDERSON: The investors have been wary for some time about investing in Tunisia. You're optimistic about 2019 in a word?
CHAHED: Yes, yes. I mean, we're trying to create an enabling environment. If you see doing business with simply Tunisia, we own eight spots and we think -- we think we're about -- among the fifth countries in African and the Arabic world in terms of competitiveness. So, of course, I'm optimist.
ANDERSON: Good luck.
CHAHED: Thank you.
ANDERSON: Thank you, sir, and thanks for joining us. We are live from Davos. After this short break with a fact check on Donald Trump and the Russia investigation. Stay with us.
ANDERSON: Donald Trump has made more than 8,000 false or misleading claims since he became the U.S. president two years ago. Well, that is at least according to the "Washington Post" fact checker database. He frequently slams and belittles the Russia investigation.
But CNN's Tom Foreman reports the facts don't support necessarily what President Trump is saying. Have a listen to this.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It is one great hoax. This is a hoax. Witch-hunt.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Among all the president claims about the Russia probe, none has been so unwavering as the idea that it's a partisan plot to take him down.
TRUMP: It's a witch-hunt that is a disgrace.
FOREMAN: But the facts say otherwise. He's assertion of Robert Mueller and his team are angry Democrats, not an ounce of proof, even though some contributed to Democrats in the past. Trump's notion that no one on his team did anything wrong, refuted by charges against and guilty pleas from five of his associates.
WILLIAM BARR, ATTORNEY GENERAL NOMINEE: I don't believe Mr. Mueller would be involved in the witch-hunt.
FOREMAN: Even his Attorney General nominee is weighing in. BARR: I believe the Russians interfered or attempted to interfere with the election and I think we have to get to the bottom of it.
FOREMAN: Another claim, Trump had no business with Russia during the campaign.
TRUMP: I have nothing to do with Russia, folks, OK. I'll give you a written statement.
I know nothing about Russian, I know -- I know about Russia, but I know nothing about the inner workings of Russia. I don't deal with them.
FOREMAN: He's former Attorney Michael Cohen, heading to jail and cooperating with the Mueller investigation says contrary to earlier denials plans for a Trump Tower in Moscow were still in the works deep into the election.
RUDY GUILIANI, ATTORNEY FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP: He's telling the prosecutors what they want to hear.
FOREMAN: Though Trump's current attorney, Rudy Giuliani, continues to try and muddy the water.
[03:50:03] GUILIANI: There's no business there.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: I don't deal there is what the president said.
GUILIANI: He said I'm not doing business in Russia.
TAPPER: He said, I don't deal there.
GUILIANI: I don't -- I don't have any -- he doesn't.
FOREMAN: Another claimed. Trump's team was not coordinating with Russians.
TRUMP: there has been no collusion. Absolutely no collusion.
FOREMAN: It's now known 16 Trump associates had contact with Russians during the campaign or transition, including at that now infamous meeting in Trump Tower involving Donald Trump Jr. in which he had been promised dirt on Hillary Clinton. Proof of course collusion? No. Communication? Absolutely.
And Trump has repeatedly said, maybe the Russians weren't even involve. He has raise doubts time and again about the whole idea that Russia interfered in the election, even standing next to the Russian president as he did so.
TRUMP: I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.
FOREMAN: But of course, all the major U.S. intelligence agencies say the evidence points squarely and overwhelmingly at Russia.
These are just half a dozen of examples of what the Washington Post says or hundreds of times the president misstated, misled, or flat-out lied about the Russian investigation.
Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.
ANDERSON: Let's do more in this show, we're here in Davos, I'm with the Wired editor-in-chief, that's a magazine called Wired, he's not wired himself. Nicholas Thompson is in the house. It's cold over the year.
In an era of Donald Trump, just for my benefit and the benefit of the viewers, let's just define the difference between misinformation and disinformation, if you will.
NICHOLAS THOMPSON, EDITOR IN CHIEF, WIRED: It's tricky boundary, but I would say, misinformation is information that somebody didn't intend to mislead. It is put something wrong on the Internet. And the way social networks work, a lot of times that gets rather amplified.
Disinformation is when somebody goes on and says I'm going to confuse them, I want to disrupt democracy. I want to put something genuinely wrong and I'm going to do it with malicious intent.
ANDERSON: How much disinformation is around these days?
THOMPSON: An awful lot because the people have seen that it can be quite effective the way the platform worked, the way our minds work, you can put misleading malevolent information on the Internet and it will spread and it will mislead people.
ANDERSON: So, what is Big Tech doing about that? Because he seemed trouble at present, isn't it?
THOMPSON: It's -- well, it's a deep trouble in lots of ways at present, but there have been extraordinary efforts to try to stop this and certainly in United States --
ANDERSON: Is it a little too late?
THOMPSON: Too little too late for 2016. There is incredible disinformation. And of course, we are living in the consequences of that. But if you look the 2018 election, things are on a lot better. We don't know for sure because you never can quite tell what's happened. The question now is the capacity for this information has gone with artificial intelligence, the ability to create images that look like anybody or sound like anybody.
So as we head into 2020, what can we do not have this problem get worse? And then of course, in elections around the world, what can be done now to prevent it? ANDERSON: A lot of focus here on climate change. Some say that we
are decades behind the curve. Is Big Tech the next crisis that well are not talk -- I know you said, you know, back in the day in 2016, we were sideswiped by what was going on, by this disinformation. You say 2018, it looks that we are doing better. And by 2020, you know, will we have move to -- let me just give you our views of, you know, something to think about here.
Amazon will soon know when you need light bulbs right before they burned out. YouTube knows how to keep you staring at the screen long pause when in your interest stuff. An advertiser in the future might know your sexual preferences before they are clear to you.
THOMPSON: Yes, that's true. I mean, the amount of data that we generate that the companies have and the capacity they have to use that data and understand us is mind-boggling. And that's one of the reasons people care so much about privacy right now because when you think about the data that could be given off.
But when you think about the future, the world is cracking apart. Democracy is faltering right now. Technology is for the role in the fraction of democracy and the question is, many of these companies were designed to promote democracy. So can they help bring the world back together then?
ANDERSON: We're they? We're they really, we were told they designed to promote democracy --
THOMPSON: Certainly many of the people who work there cared deeply about the idea that technology would help promote democracy, would make the world, you know, more open and connected.
ANDERSON: But are they connected?
THOMPSON: That is a very good question. I think there are structural decisions made at the beginning that set companies in the wrong direction, but I absolutely believe there is a deep strain of idealism in Silicon Valley, which is why there is a real reckoning right now.
ANDERSON: To that point and I know that one of the sessions that you will be part of here will be a session about human rights and technology.
[03:55:05] THOMPSON: Yes.
ANDERSON: Just what's the can see (ph) of your argument or narrative about human rights and whether technology is a good or bad things for our rights going forward?
THOMPSON: Technology should be a very good thing. It should be thing that, you know, enables people who don't have voices to have voices that allows people who have been imprisoned unjustly to organize campaigns to get out. But what we've also seen is because of misinformation and disinformation that can have the opposite effect. One of the most interesting questions for me, since I'll be discussing it on today is that the structure of the Internet was initially designed to give people anonymity, right? So that you could report human rights abuses. But because the structure allows your anonymity, that makes disinformation and misinformation and abuse of dissidents much easier. So it's a structural decision made when the Internet is created that ultimately has kind of the opposite effect.
And so one of the things that technology is doing now is trying to look the way the Internet works, the way the platforms were concerned, what did we do wrong that help put us in the world where it now and can we fix it? And can we fix it while still making lots of money, which is a separate platform?
ANDERSON: So I put this to you then, you're invited on this show this time next year, beginning of 2020, what will have been achieve for the good of you and me, and the rest of our viewers by this time next year?
THOMPSON: My hope, is that the companies that put many more people looking for disinformation and most importantly that they've change the structure of the algorithms at a deep level so they don't reward disinformation and misinformation the way they do it now.
ANDERSON: Is it a return on investment if they do that? Is there an incentive to --
THOMPSON: Short-term negative returns on investment. You lose money, right? The algorithm are set up to optimize money right now. But look at the reputational damage that has been done, because of the last couple of years. So in the long run we would be all better off and they might even make more money.
ANDERSON: Nick Thompson in the house, viewers, thank you for that, sir.
THOMPSON: See you next year.
ANDERSON: You will. And you're watching the special edition of CNN Newsroom, I'm Beck Anderson live in Davos in Switzerland for this year's World Economic Forum.
LU STOUT: Take care Becky, I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. The news continues next with Hannah Vaughan Jones in London. Keep watching CNN.
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