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CNN NEWSROOM

State Of The Union Postponed Until After U.S. Shutdown; Trump Backs Down In State Of The Union Dispute; Nicolas Maduro Accuses U.S. Of Backing A Coup; U.S. Recognizes Juan Guaido As Legitimate President; Trump: All Options Are On The Table; Drug Addiction On Ravages War-Torn Country; Nurse Arrested for Impregnating Woman in Vegetative State; Footballer Emiliano Sala Sent Audio Message from Plane; U.K. Official Warns U.K. Heading for Hard Brexit; Hoarding Food in Case of No Deal Brexit; The Disappearing White House Press Briefings; Japan's Newest Naval Recruits are Women. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired January 24, 2019 - 01:00   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[01:00:00] JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello everybody! Wherever you are around the world, thanks for being with us. I'm John Vause. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. In the hour ahead, Pelosi won Trump nada. The present totally backs down over where and when he'll deliver the State of the Union address after the House Speaker calls it off.

Plus, Venezuela now has two dueling presidents but only one of them has the backing of the United States and it's not Nicolas Maduro. Could this be the beginning of the end of the Bolivarian revolution?

And canned goods, bottled water, and ramen noodles hunkering down for a potential man-made natural disaster, a no deal Brexit.

Whatever Donald Trump is doing next Tuesday, he would not be delivering the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress. In the latest round of Trump v Pelosi, the President capitulated to the Speaker of the House over where and when he'll deliver that annual speech.

Speaker Pelosi said the President would not be invited to the House until the government shutdown was over. When Trump insists on turning up anyway, she said try it. He'd back down. As for the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, that's still going nowhere. Kaitlan Collins has details.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The President of the United States.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: The State of the Union officially off when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi telling President Trump he won't be officially invited to address Congress until the government has reopened. Writing in a letter, "I look forward to welcoming you to the House on a mutually agreeable date for this address when the government has been opened.

Reporters breaking the news to the President during a health care roundtable at the White House today.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's really a shame what's happening with the Democrats. They've become radicalized. They don't want to see crime stopped which we can very easily do on the Southern Border, and it really is a shame what's happening with the Democrats.

COLLINS: Pelosi pulling the plug after the President dared her to disinvite him earlier in the day writing in a letter that he was moving ahead as planned because there are no security concerns regarding the State of the Union. Therefore, I will be honoring your invitation in fulfilling my constitutional duty.

In that scathing letter, the President added it would be so very sad for our country if the State of the Union were not delivered on time on schedule and very importantly on location. Sources tell CNN White House officials weren't expecting Pelosi to push back.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT: It would be I think remarkably petty of the Speaker to disinvite the President of the United States to address the nation that they both serve at the highest level.

COLLINS: Sources tell CNN the president hasn't spoken to Pelosi or Senator Chuck Schumer since he stormed out of their shutdown meeting two weeks ago. His public feud with Pelosi coming amid the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. Now on day 33 and starting to take a toll on federal workers bracing to miss their second paycheck.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is not fair to us. It's not. He needs to fix this and fix this fast.

COLLINS: And the President's top economists making a stunning admission today predicting there could be zero percent GDP growth in the first quarter because of the shutdown.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Could we get zero growth? I just want to know nail this in for the --

KEVIN HASSETT, CHIEF ECONOMIST, WHITE HOUSE: Yes, we could.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Well --

HASSETT: Yes, we could.

COLLINS: Kaitlan Collins, CNN the White House.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: Jessica Levinson is a Professor of Law and Governance at Loyola University. She is with us from Los Angeles. Hey, Jessica.

JESSICA LEVINSON, PROFESSOR OF LAW AND GOVERNANCE, LOYOLA UNIVERSITY: Hi!

VAUSE: Good to see you. OK, "the President shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the State of the Union and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient." Article II, Section 3, Clause 1. Does that not come with an asterisk and an extra line which reads and don't just certainly turn up whenever you want because Nancy Pelosi will call your bluff.

LEVINSON: It sure does. That's going to be the new amendment of the Constitution is the Nancy Pelosi rule. Well, the truth is that the President absolutely does from time to time have to update the nation on how we're doing, what the state of the union is. But there's nothing that requires that that update be to a joint session of Congress. And that is Nancy Pelosi's House and she's the one who guards the door to that House.

And she said in no uncertain terms, I'm the one who's in control of whether or not there's a joint session and whether or not we vote on a resolution that there will be a joint session. And guess what Mr. President, if the government is shutdown, we're not voting on that resolution.

And so she said, I have some ideas for you. You could write a letter. You could give the State of the Union from the White House. But I have another idea for you, do not think about coming into my House, my chamber while the government still is shut down.

[01:05:15] VAUSE: No T.V. time until you fix the mess, I guess.

LEVINSON: Right. No free time for you.

VAUSE: Yes. He's part of the letter from the President to the House Speaker earlier today making it clear he actually planned to turn up next week regardless. "To deliver an important information to the people of Congress of United States of America regarding the state of our union, I look forward to seeing you on the evening of January 29th in the Chamber of the House of Representatives."

You know, it was ambiguous that he's turning up. Essentially he was challenging Pelosi to try and stop him and she did. She came down cold and then Trump back down tweeting a short time ago I will do the address when the shutdown is over. I'm not looking for an alternative venue for the State of the Union Address because there is no venue that can compete with history, tradition, and importance of the House Chamber.

I mean, if this was kind of a bigger picture here, a test of resolve over the shutdown of the government and who's willing to blink first, you know, and then Pelosi walks away from this the winner, Trump looking very much the loser.

LEVINSON: Yes. Again, if and I think that's a big caveat, if this relatively frankly petty and inconsequential fight about where the State of the Union is and when it will be, is really a test of resolve. I think that people though should be careful to underestimate Nancy Pelosi and your viewers likely remember when she was up against President Bush, President George W. Bush. And he wanted to privatize Social Security.

And she basically did exactly what she's doing now with the same tactic which is that's not going to happen. We're not going to engage. We don't have any compromises. We're not coming to the table until you say no. It worked for President George W. Bush. She essentially hobbled the end of that presidency and that idea and it may well work for President Trump.

VAUSE: Well, you know, beyond the (INAUDIBLE), there's the politics. It seems to be sort of a pre-emptive move. Pelosi sort of avoids you know, sitting there behind the President in the lower House on national television. Well, he says, whatever he wants regardless of whether it's true, regardless of whether it's fact or fiction, and you talk about the border, the shutdown he can blame the Democrats, he can do anything. So -- and she you know, would have to sit there as the Speaker does behind the president.

LEVINSON: Right. So -- I mean, the optics of that well, let's say this on a basic human level that must just be enraging. I mean, she must just be sitting on her hands desperately wanting to fact-check every other sentence or and or pulling a Justice Samuel Alito who famously said at a State of the Union President Trump not true. And so no, I don't think she wants the politics of that. I don't think she wants the optics. But I also think she is as we said taking this as an opportunity to say President Trump when I say no, I really mean no. I don't mean this is an opening offer.

VAUSE: OK. We've just heard actually from Speaker Pelosi. She put out a tweet sayings, Mr. President, I hope by saying near future, you mean you will support the House-passed package to end the shutdown that the Senate will vote on tomorrow. Please accept this proposal so we can reopen the government, repay our federal workers, and then negotiate our differences.

You know, it does seem to me as if she's making the most of this and maybe it does open you know, some kind of window of opportunity here. But you've got this standoff now here between you know, the President and Nancy Pelosi over you know, the State of the Union Address. It wasn't a total waste of time for the President because now he knows how to spell madam, as in Madam Secretary. In the first letter he wrote he put an "E" at the end like the French-style.

And you know, so you got the Speaker and the president going back and forth, Donald Trump learning how to spell a little, they're not engaging in these negotiations over how you're trying to end the government shutdown. In fact, you know, what we're hearing from the administration is it's preparing for the longest shutdown. The Washington Post reports the White House Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney has pressed agency leaders provide him with a list of the highest impact programs that will be jeopardized if the shutdown continues into March and April. '

So you know, there's also reporting that there's no plans beyond February for paying government leases and utility bills. This is a shutdown if it continues as it is, and there's no indication that it will do anything other that, it will have consequences this country has never seen before because it's in uncharted territory.

LEVINSON: It is. And you know, all joking aside from the kind of pettiness potentially of the State of the Union, it is deadly serious to people whether or not they get their paychecks. And there were some agencies that were funded in part until now. And there was one branch of government that was funded in part till now, the federal judiciary.

Now, as of the estimates are at either later this week or next week, the federal judiciary goes into a crisis mode and can only hear those "most important cases." Now the idea that one-third of our government essentially is functioning on no funding and that that's the third that is supposed to protect individual rights, I think should be truly frightening.

Let's not forget, all of the federal government workers who are now making terrifically difficult decisions of do I have medical care or do I pay my rent, let's also not forget all the people for whom they depend deeply on federal public assistance and really cannot and this -- you know, it can't be overstated, cannot pay to stay in their homes and/or feed themselves.

So the idea that we're playing politics with this, I mean I really hope that as you are doing, the media continues to covered the real face of this. And this is not just a political game. This isn't just chess. It's real lives and real people who truly will go hungry and or without medical care if we don't do something.

[01:10:48] VAUSE: And what we seeing is a bunch of new polling out there shows that the President is pleading support because of the shutdown. The AP-NORC poll has his approval rating at 34 percent, down eight points from a month ago before the shutdown. One of the lowest levels of his presidency. There's you know, there's no indication the President sees this as his responsibility. He's famous for his lack of empathy. But this is a guy who can read polls and he can read these poll numbers are tanking. And I'm wondering if that particular element might actually be you know, part of the motivation he needs to find a compromise.

LEVINSON: I frankly think that maybe the only thing that really moves him is poll numbers. Now, President Trump has fluctuated certainly but he's fluctuated kind of within a small, relatively small zone of kind of mildly unpopular to massively unpopular. And right now we're hitting that more kind of massively unpopular. I think what he's really going to do is a calculation in terms of people he's always thinking about is his base -- his base and his voters. And he's trying to determine how this is going to play.

Will it be worse for him if he does a -- if he does compromise and open up the government or will it be worse if the numbers continue to crater and he hobbles the country. Now, there is a potentially an escape route for him where he can say I'm opening the government, we're ending a shutdown, and I'm declaring a national emergency, and I'm going to use military funding to build the wall. At that point, we kind of race into a potential constitutional crisis dealing with national emergency powers but that may be the escape valve that he's eyeing right now.

VAUSE: It also gets the point when do the Democrats realize that you know, yes, you may be right, yes, you could win but maybe you need to be the grown-up here and you know, try bringing this to a head. Jessica, thank you. Good to see you.

LEVINSON: Good to see you.

VAUSE: The Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has ordered all U.S. diplomats to leave within 72 hours after Washington backed anti- government protesters and recognized the opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela's legitimate President. He swears himself into office on Wednesday.

The other President Nicolas Maduro rallied his supporters in the capital to denounce a long history of what he calls Gringo intervention.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NICOLAS MADURO, PRESIDENT, VENEZUELA (through translator): I have decided to break diplomatic and political relations with the imperialist government of the United States, out of Venezuela they go. Enough interventionism. There is dignity here. Here there are people to defend this land.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: The newly self-declared President Juan Guaido is calling for new elections. The last residential vote which thought Maduro win a second term has been widely denounced as a sham. CNN's Rafael Romo has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SENIOR LATIN AMERICAN AFFAIRS EDITOR: Promising a transitional government, Venezuela's young opposition leader Juan Guaido swears himself in as interim president. It is an act of defiance before huge crowds of supporters.

JUAN GUAIDO, INTERIM PRESIDENT, VENEZUELA (through translator): I swear to secure an end of usurpation and a treasonous government and to have free elections.

ROMO: The show of resistance is one of the strongest against Nicolas Maduro whose controversial second term began this month after a much- disputed election, boycotted by Maduro critics and found illegitimate by a number of countries including the U.S. now throwing its support behind the opposition's new leader.

Wednesday's protest is the largest organized demonstration against Maduro since 2017 when a bloody crackdown left more than 100 dead and several jailed the opposition brought to its knees. Now, they answered the call of a charismatic 35-year-old leader who may be the opposition's last chance to oust Maduro.

First becoming politically active as a student, he protested against then-President Hugo Chavez for what activists believed who attempts to control the press. Guaido then found the political mentor and one of the best-known faces of Venezuela's opposition Leopoldo Lopez who has been under house arrest for seeking to overthrow Maduro in 2014.

Guaido joined Venezuela's representative legislative body, the National Assembly as a relatively unknown. But earlier this month, he is selected as its leader and used the event to rail against Maduro.

A few days later, Guaido was arrested and briefly detained. Once released, he doubled down against Maduro and calling for this week's protest. Venezuela's pro-government Supreme Court soon nullified the National Assembly's power which only seemed to strengthen Guaido's resolve.

[01:15:32] GUAIDO (through translator): There are those who want to continue intimidating and putting us on a knife-edge. This National Assembly stays firm to move forward. Working for the people of Venezuela with a very clear focus.

ROMO: Although Guaido's resistance has gained traction, Maduro's still has supporters inside the country. Some of whom formed a parallel rally on Wednesday. His camp blames foreign interference. Particularly, by the U.S. for stoking anger inside the country. And for sanctions which they claim have damaged the economy.

But critics point to corruption and failed policies for the crisis, an astronomical inflation rates, chronic shortages of food, and medicine, and a mass exodus since 2015 of millions looking for more stable conditions.

As the ones oil-rich Venezuela faces collapse, some hope a young new leader may offer promise in a country desperate for change. Rafael, Romo, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: Juan Carlos Hidalgo is with us now from Washington. He's a Latin American policy analyst at the Cato Institute. Juan, thanks for coming in.

JUAN CARLOS HIDALGO, POLICY ANALYST, CENTER FOR GLOBAL LIBERTY AND PROSPERITY: Good evening.

VAUSE: There's now this bizarre diplomatic situation with Venezuela trying to separate ties with Washington. The Trump administration saying, "No, you can't do that." Here's part of a statement from the administration.

"The United States maintains diplomatic relations with Venezuela and will conduct our relations with Venezuela through the government of the interim President Guaido."

But the same it goes on to argue that because the United States doesn't recognize the Maduro regime because it's illegitimate, Maduro doesn't have the authority to break diplomatic ties. Clearly, there is a lot of symbolic value to that alone. But what are the practical implications?

HIDALGO: Well, there is a lot of symbolism about this. This goes beyond symbols. And we are going to find out the exact consequences in the hours and days ahead. For example, there is a question about oil business with the Venezuelan government. What happens to those all companies that buy Venezuelan oil? Are they supposed to keep paying money to the Venezuelan government that breaking up relations with Venezuela?

Involves that these companies are prevented from buying crude from Venezuela and thus, this is an indirect way to impose all -- impose all sanctions on that country. I mean, there are many questions that need to be answered and we're going to find out in then -- in the coming days.

VAUSE: The official statement from the U.S. president makes it clear that this is just the beginning. It reads in part, "I will continue to use the full weight of United States economic and diplomatic power to press for the restoration of Venezuelan democracy. We will continue to hold the illegitimate Maduro regime directly responsible for any threat it may pose to the safety of the Venezuelan people."

And there's a bunch of other countries which have also recognized Juan Guaido as Venezuela's legitimate president. Is it a game changer though now that the United States has thrown its hat and has joined that into the ring, has joined that list of Nations?

HIDALGO: This is the most serious challenge that Nicolas Maduro has faced so far. Not only he's -- he is facing a united front, at least, is within the Western Hemisphere of the United States, Canada, and most Latin American countries, including the neighbors, Colombia and Brazil.

But also is facing reignited opposition. Up until very recently, there was a deep divorce between the opposition parties and the population. Despite that they, they share the same goal of trying to evict Maduro from power.

The installation of Juan Guaido as president of the National Assembly. As -- and he sworn in today as president interim of Venezuela, has reignited the enthusiasm of Venezuelans on the opposition and the possibility that this could be actually the end of the Maduro dictatorship.

VAUSE: The wild card in that though, in a big way remains the military, the Maduro regime claims to have the support of the armed forces. They can say whatever they want, doesn't make it true.

The question though, is will the generals and the high-ranking officers, many of whom -- you know, neck deep in corruption actually want a regime change?

HIDALGO: They are dipping corruption, they are dipping smuggling, they are dipping drug trafficking. The National Assembly recently passed a bill in order to grant them immunity in case they support this democratic transition. And this is -- thus, this is the carrot they are trying to give the military officers. Particularly, the top brass in order to convince them to withdraw their support to Maduro and support this democratic transition. We will see if that works in the coming days ahead.

[01:20:10] VAUSE: You know, senior U.S. official refused to rule out -- you know the military option if Maduro decides to use his security forces to stay in power. And turn them against his opponents. We've heard this threat before from the US president about -- you know, the military option. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE). Are you considering of military option for Venezuela?

TRUMP: We're not considering anything but all options were on the table.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does that mean you're considering --

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: With just all options always, all options are on the table.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Is that a pretty high bar here for the United States to -- you know, to send in the military? I mean, what are we looking at here for that decision to be made?

HIDALGO: I think that will be a mistake. It will be a mistake in the sense that he will split this coalition of countries in the Western Hemisphere with Latin Americans. Countries don't see with positively the idea of the United States intervening militarily in the region. Is being over a generation since the United State did that the last time in Panama.

And I will certainly split this coalition of Latin American countries and the United States. Moreover, I think that, that will be a very controversial movement. And the United States doesn't want to own the post-Maduro buildup of Venezuela. I think this is for the best to leave this to Venezuelan themselves. With certainly, with some pressure from abroad through target extensions as it's being done so far.

VAUSE: You know, Venezuela's economy has collapsed in a spectacular way. Falls for the inflation rate last year at 80,000 percent. Here's another eye-catching headline in Venezuela. A haircut cost five bananas and two eggs. Where a bottle of whiskey cost 16 years of wages.

You know, last week, Maduro raise the minimum wage what by 300 percent. But it seems the economy has now reached the point where there is nothing this regime can do to minimize the pain and the impact on their traditional supporters, the working class.

And they are the ones who are actually out protesting this time. Normally is a middle class for the big cities. So that seems to be yet another big game-changer here when it comes to -- you know, looking at the end of -- you know, Maduro as president.

HIDALGO: Indeed. When Hugo Chavez died in 2013, the country was deeply polarized. And that was one of the big talking points about Chavez's legacy. He was inheriting a deeply divided society. But now that the polarization is basically gone, and most Venezuela's, any over 80 percent of Venezuelans want Maduro to live power and consider Chavismo, a deep other failure.

Given the magnitude of the economic meltdown that, that country is undergoing. Which hasn't been seen, at least, in the Western Hemisphere in modern eras.

VAUSE: Yes, and there's a problem when you have one of the world's largest supplies of oil or reserves of oils and your people can actually buy toilet paper and medical supplies. So, Juan Carlos, I'm sure we'll be speaking many times in the coming days and weeks. Thank you,

HIDALGO: My pleasure.

VAUSE: Next up on CNN NEWSROOM. The demons of Syria not the political ones, but the ones turning more and more young Syrians into drug addicts. Also, it's a long way from the promises made by the leave campaign. But ahead of Brexit, many in the U.K. are hoarding food and other supplies.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[01:26:00] VAUSE: Well, for the most part, Donald Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops in Syria was widely criticized. But Wednesday saw one notable exception. Russian President Vladimir Putin called it a positive step.

Putin met in Moscow with the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. They discussed a possible safe zones and how to divide up Northern Syria once those U.S. troops are out.

Seven years of brutal fighting has left Syria, broken country. A landscape of waste and debris and despair. Hundreds of thousands of dead and now add to that long list of problems, drug addiction. And children as young as 10 are becoming addicts. This report now from CNN's senior international correspondent Ben Wedeman.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: "I take 30 pills first thing in the morning," says 23-year-old Mahmoud. "As many as 150 by the end of the day."

He's one of dozens seeking help at the only drug rehabilitation center in Syria's rebel-controlled Idlib Province. The save a soul hospital for mental illnesses. The war has left hundreds of thousands dead. Millions exiled and displaced and rampant drug abuse has taken an invisible long-term toll.

29-year-old Mahmoud was a rebel fighter. A doctor prescribed painkillers after he was wounded.

MAHMOUD, REBEL FIGHTER, SYRIA: Tramadol.

WEDEMAN: Tramadol, says, Mahmoud. And he told me, "Only to take it when I was really in pain. I needed it a lot, so I took a lot. I became addicted. I couldn't live without it. For two years I took the pills."

Tramadol and opioid is cheap and easily available over-the-counter in Syria. "Before I couldn't sleep," recalls Mohammad. "I couldn't eat. I was always vomiting, always nervous, always shaking."

After spending weeks in the clinic, he says he's much better. What will he do when he gets out?

"I want to return, God willing, to fighting," he says. We showed Mohammad's interview to Dr. Joseph Elkhoury, a psychiatrist at the American University of Beirut Medical Center, and an expert on opioid abuse.

JOSEPH ELKHOURY, PSYCHIATRIST, AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF BEIRUT MEDICAL CENTER: The chances of him falling again into some form of dependence is easily above 50 percent, even with support.

WEDEMAN: Serious nightmare has spared no one. The doctor who runs the clinic who asked that his name not be revealed and his face be blurred for fear of reprisals, says people of all ages are falling prey to addiction.

"We're seeing addiction starting with children who are 10, 11, or 12 years old, he says. Addiction is supposed to start later at the age of 18, or 19, or 20. But because of the breakup of families, it's starting at an early age."

Hundreds of thousands of fled did live as government forces have regained more and more territory. The population is mushroomed with little opportunity for those who now live here.

ELKHOURY: You know, they're bored, they're sitting there. Not much hope happening for them. And there's this promise of a chemical heaven that is instant. And this relief from everything around you.

WEDEMAN: The chemical heaven quickly becomes hell. Since becoming an addict four years ago, Mahmoud struggled with the demons in his head.

"My father locked me up at home," he recalls. "He chained me up once."

Trying to escape the demons in their heads, they'll need a helping hand. Ben Wedeman, CNN, Beirut.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: Next up on CNN NEWSROOM. The words from star footballer, most likely among his last. Well, details on the messages Emiliano Sala, left for his friends before the plane he was on, disappeared.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[01:29:57] VAUSE: Next up on CNN NEWSROOM, the words from a star footballer most likely among his last. We'll have details of the messages Emiliano Sala left for his friends before the plane he was on disappeared.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VAUSE: Welcome back everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.

I'm John Vause with the headlines this hour.

Juan Guaido, the leader of Venezuela's national assembly has declared himself acting president. He was backed by the U.S., E.U. and at least a dozen other countries. Tens of thousands of people filled the streets of Caracas to protest President Nicolas Maduro who accuses the U.S. of backing an attempted coup.

U.S. President Donald Trump has backed in his battle with the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over the State of the Union address, tweeting late Wednesday he would deliver the speech after the government shutdown ends. Pelosi had said the President will not be invited to the House Chamber for the address as is the tradition until the government is reopened.

North Korea's Kim Jong-un is said to be pleased by a letter he received from Donald Trump. That's according to state media. The White House confirmed the letter was sent but would not say what was in it. Both sides are finalizing the details for a second summit set for the end of next month.

And the lawyer for a Chinese-Australian writer detained in China tells CNN he is being held for alleged espionage. Yang Hengjun is a democracy advocate who has been critical in the past of the Chinese government.

A nurse at a long-term care facility in Phoenix, Arizona has been arrested and accused of impregnating a patient in a vegetative state. 36-year-old Nathan Sutherland, who was assigned to care for the woman who last month unexpectedly gave birth. The family says she's not in a coma and actually has a level of consciousness including responding to sounds. Sutherland has been charged with sexual assault and vulnerable adult abuse. Police still don't know if other women may have fallen victim to Sutherland but they do have living proof of this crime and the breakthrough came down to science.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SGT. TOMMY THOMPSON, PHOENIX POLICE: Sutherland was a licensed practical nurse or an LPN who was responsible for providing care to the victim during the time this sexual assault occurred.

On Tuesday, January 22nd -- that was yesterday -- the scientists and the Phoenix Police crime laboratory determined the sample obtained from Sutherland matched the baby.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: At this stage police say Sutherland is not talking. The family of his victim has declined to comment on the arrest. At least though the baby is aid to be doing well.

In his final moments on board a doomed flight, it seems football star Emiliano Sala was calling friends and family about his fears the plane would crash. Cardiff City's star new recruit and a pilot were flying from France on Monday when their single engine Piper Malibu plane disappeared over the English Channel.

[01:35:00] Patrick Snell has more.

PATRICK SNELL, CNN WORLD SPORT: Well, the search continues for the South American footballer Emiliano Sala who'd recently signed for the English Premier League Club Cardiff City. Now the Argentine who had just been transferred by French Liga side (ph) Nantes to the Welsh capital for just under a reported $20 million was traveling along with the plane's pilot from western France when their light aircraft went missing over the English Channel on Monday night.

Now audio has emerged of Sala on board the flight, speaking to his friends in a WhatsApp voice message. We don't know when he made the call. Now in it he appears to be making sarcastic jokes about the condition of the plane.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

EMILIANO SALA, FOOTBALLER: Hello brothers, how are you doing, crazy people? Brothers, I'm so tired. I was here in Nantes doing things, things, things and things and they don't end, they don't end, they don't end.

So guys, I'm on the plane and it looks like it's going to fall down in pieces. And I'm on my way to Cardiff, tomorrow yes. We start in the afternoon. We start training guys with the new team. Let's see what happens.

So how are you doing guys? All ok? If in an hour and a half you don't have news from me, I don't know if they would send someone to look for me because they won't find me, but you will know. Dude, I'm so scared.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SNELL: It's now been well over two days since the plane and those on board went missing and the authorities say that what began as a search and rescue operation is now a recovery mission.

On Wednesday efforts to find the aircraft was suspended saying the decision on whether to resume the search would be made early on Thursday.

Patrick Snell, CNN -- Atlanta.

VAUSE: With only nine weeks before Brexit deadline, the E.U.'s chief negotiator warns the United Kingdom is on track to automatically leave the E.U., crashing out.

Michel Barnier says parliament's rejection of Theresa May's Brexit deal without an alternative makes a no deal Brexit more likely than ever. And he says just because the majority of the U.K. politicians don't want a hard Brexit that doesn't mean it won't happen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHEL BARNER, E.U. CHIEF BREXIT NEGOTIATOR: There are two possible ways to leave the E.U. Number one, an orderly withdrawal based on the agreement that we have built step by step with the U.K. from the last 18 months. Number two, a disorderly withdrawal leaving the E.U. without a deal is a default scenario and there appears to be a majority in the House of Commons to oppose a no deal.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Well, an extension of article 50 would be pushing back the deadline and that's one way to avoid a hard Brexit or at the very least buy some time. But that means politicians would have to work together. Not everyone has faith in politicians.

That means the so-called Brexit hoarders are stock piling food and medicine that could be in short supply after a no deal Brexit.

CNN's Anna Stewart reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GRAHAM HUGHES, BREXIT HOARDER: Tomato soup, chicken soup, ketchup, paracetamol, ibruprofen.

ANNA STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): You've got a lot of cans in this one.

(voice over): Canned goods, condiments, and medicine -- items on the shopping list of a so-called Brexit hoarder.

Graham Hughes, copy writer and a staunch remainer has been stockpiling food for months. He's concerned what a hard or no-deal Brexit could bring major delays and disruption to Britain's food supply.

HUGHES: We've got chicken soup -- lasts forever. Also we've got chicken noodles. These are dried. These last forever as well. It's stuff that we can keep. I'm not getting anything that's going to run out. Just this -- I'm not saying there's going to be no food coming in and out because of course, we're still going to trade.

But the disruption to having to check every single container coming in and out of the country -- it's madness. The idea here isn't that we're going to have enough food to last us nothing else but this for six weeks. It's just this is going to supplement what we can buy from the supermarket.

I've been to Zimbabwe. And I've been to Venezuela. I've seen what it is like when the supermarket went out. That stuff is terrifying. You go down entire aisles of the supermarket and that particular product isn't there and we don't know what it's going to be if not (INAUDIBLE).

STEWART: Graham isn't alone. Blogs abound online with Brexit stockpiling suggestions from canned and dried food to baby essentials. Even new underwear a size (ph) up for the entire family.

And you can buy an emergency Brexit box for $380 dollars. It sounds extreme but experts agree that food shortages could be a problem.

[01:40:01] IAN WRIGHT, DIRECTOR, GENERAL FOOD AND DRINK FEDERATION: You'll see random disappearance of products and well-known brands from the shelves because supply has been interrupted and people can't get them from their supermarkets.

You won't run out of food, but you will find that your favorite brands are sometimes in short or no supply.

STEWART: For Graham, shopping for a family of four, it is better to be safe than sorry.

HUGHES: And I'm not saying that we should all, you know, build a nuclear bunker in the back garden. It's not going to be that bad but make sure that if there is particular food that you enjoy, make sure you got enough of it to least two months after D-Day.

STEWART (on camera): You seem to be frustrated. Are you just frustrated that no one sees it as you see it.

HUGHES: These people just don't care. They don't care. (INAUDIBLE) and they're going to go hungry. They don't care that their own pets are going to go without food because there'll be disruption. We're an island that can't make enough food for itself.

STEWART (voice over): For now he appears to be in the minority.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll worry about it later if it ever happens.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don't need to stuff up. At least at the moment. No. I think there's a big fuss being made about everything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We lived through a world war. And we lived through all change. What you only do is you work through it. You work through it. You don't panic.

STEWART (on camera): Keep calm and carry on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Correct.

STEWART (voice over): Anna Stewart, CNN -- Northeast England. (END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: Next up on CNN NEWSROOM an all-points bulletin in Washington. Missing: the White House daily press briefing. It hasn't been seen in weeks. Is it gone?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VAUSE: They started as daily briefings, then weekly, then monthly and now whenever press secretary Sarah Sanders feels like it.

The last one was December 18. The White House Correspondents' Association says these briefings are actually critically important. The President though apparently doesn't agree, tweeting, "The reason Sarah Sanders does not go to the podium much anymore is that the press covers her so rudely and inaccurate in particular certain members of the press. I told her not to bother. The word gets out anyway."

Now here's what Sarah Sanders told the administration's favorite television network Fox.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Look, we're in the business of getting information to the American people, not making stars out of people that want to become contributors on CNN. And that's a lot of times that we see take place in the briefing room.

We're more than happy to take questions. But we think that there should be a certain level of decorum and a certain level of honesty and responsibility that comes with that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: She did it with a straight face.

[01:45:00] Michael Hiltzik joins us now. He's a Pulitzer Prize- winning journalist from Los Angeles. Amazing, isn't it? Ok.

To that point that Sarah Sanders made about reporters hoping to become YouTube stars, you know, I disagree with it but to be fair there was an element of must-see TV when she went mano a mano with, you know, I guess the likes of Jim Acosta.

Here's a clip. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Could you state for the record which outlets that you and the President regard as the enemy of the people.

SANDERS: I'm not going to walk through a list. But I think those individuals probably know who they are.

ACOSTA: Would that include my outlet which received (INAUDIBLE) last week --

SANDERS: I don't think it is necessarily specific to a general -- broad generalization of a full outlet. At times, I think there's individuals that the President would be referencing.

ACOST: Do you have any problem defending the President's comments?

SANDERS: I don't have any problem stating facts, no. John.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you -- Sarah.

SANDERS: I know that's something you probably do have a problem with and I don't.

ACOSTA: Actually Sarah -- we do state the facts. I think there've been many occasions when you don't state the facts.

All the people around the world are watching what you're saying, Sarah. And the White House, the United States of America, the President of the United States should not refer to us as the enemy of the people.

His own daughter acknowledges that and all I'm asking you to do, Sarah, is to acknowledge that right now and right here.

SANDERS: I appreciate your passion. I share it. I've addressed this question. I've addressed my personal feelings. I'm here to speak on behalf of the President. He's made his comments clear.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Yes. We could on and on and on. But this argument about reporters going to be YouTube stars is vapid. I mean the reality is the administration and the President have an extremely thin skin and they hate being challenged.

MICHAEL HILTZIK, JOURNALIST: And that's true although I would point out the -- the extreme absence of any actual content in that exchange. I think that's been the problem with these press briefings under the Trump administration.

Sarah Sanders is just the latest of the line, as you know, crisp (ph) spokespersons who really are not there to give information. They're there to bicker.

And -- and look, there's -- there's -- there's a certain amount of preening that goes on before the cameras on both sides. We -- I think we all know it. I think if those cameras were turned off, it would be a very different atmosphere in the room.

The last thing I would say is that it wasn't that long ago that we were discussing within the press whether the press should attend these briefings by Sarah Sanders in the first place --

VAUSE: Right. HILTZIK: -- because they had really deteriorated into basically just a farrago of lies and misinformation and bickering and challenges and insults from the podium. And you know, the talk was maybe the newspapers and TV stations should just send interns and not actual correspondents because it's a waste of everybody's time.

VAUSE: You know, listen, if they have to go to the White House press briefing it actually has a logistical function here. Essentially it has been a way in the past at least, you know, for the White House press secretary to answer, you know, the same question from a lot of different reporters and get a lot of information out there all at once and it made life easier.

That's a new garden variety administration where people are lucid and the answers don't change from hour to hour and there's no deliberate attempt to mislead or outright lie. Ok so that's the history of it.

But there's also this argument that these briefings are no longer needed because this is a president who never stops tweeting and doesn't stop talking. The problem is it is mostly one-way traffic with the President.

HILTZIK: That's true. And John you're right that in the past, you know, when you had administrations that actually saw some advantage in imparting information and maybe even adhering to questions that they were getting so that they could gauge the mood of the news media and in fact the public. This was a different sort of thing.

It doesn't mean that press briefings were devoid of attention and challenge. But there was a much larger component of information because this was the way that administrations communicated with the press. And that was a necessary process.

We have an administration now, first of all it doesn't really think it's that important to communicate information, certainly not factual information. And it does seem to think that it is most effective maybe inevitably the most effective spokesperson is the President himself.

But as you pointed out that -- that -- that is, you know, we're talking about a spokesman who really has no format and no system and other things either through Twitter or in his impromptu meetings or passing by with -- with journalists that make no sense.

[01:50:00] That have no strategy and have to be walked back or explained later on. So there really is no actual information going on in any of these exchanges.

(CROSSTALKING)

VAUSE: Sorry. Sorry. Finish your thought -- Michael. I didn't mean to jump in.

HILTZIK: Well, so what is any of it good for? I think -- look, you know there's a sense that -- that Trump or the administration can hurt reporters by denying them information or denying access. I think the only people he can hurt are the reporters in the White House press corps who are in the room.

But journalists outside that room are doing terrific work, investigative work on what is actually going on in this administration. And that effort, it is stronger, when you don't have to worry about protecting your access to the President or the sources inside the White House.

VAUSE: I want to finish up with a headline from my favorite -- one of my favorite newspapers anyway -- the "Zimbabwe Daily". Here it is. "Trump tells spokesperson not to bother with White House press briefings".

You know, the story is just taken (INAUDIBLE) but you know, the government officials in Zimbabwe, you know, which this is a country which has struggled with the concept of freedom of the press and transparency and a whole bunch issues. Maybe reading that headline and thinking well, you know, there you go.

HILTZIK: Well look, Zimbabwe was a place that had a strongman president for decades. And that was Robert Mugabe. And I think, you know, Trump could have taken his correspondent course in how to treat opponents. And it wasn't pleasant and it wasn't good. It wasn't healthy. It really wasn't good for Zimbabwe.

VAUSE: Yes. And I see what is happening here. And it's almost like a reinforcing of, you know, those tactics which, you know, Mugabe used in a small way for a very, very long time, you know, blocking reporters and not disclosing information, all that kind of stuff.

Michael -- thank you. Good to see you, mate.

HILTZIK: Good to be here.

VAUSE: Well, a shrinking population and some unique challenges for Japan's military that brings about a nontraditional change in the recruiting class. We're inside a surprising boot camp. That's next on CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VAUSE: Well, the eighth most powerful military in the world is changing. Traditionally Japan's armed forces have been mostly men, no women. But now defense recruiters are widening their net and more women are signing up.

CNN worked with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting to gain rare access to a female navy boot camp and spoke with some of the women on the frontlines of defense.

Alexandra Field has their story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): These are faces of some of Japan's newest naval recruits. And Japan's military wants to see many more of them -- women. MOEKA YOSHIMATA, FORMER NURSE (through translator): My friends and family warned me that protecting the nation would be tough. They I asked if I was afraid of it. But I asked myself who will do the job if everyone is afraid.

FIELD: As part of the past of this country's self-defense force, their job is to protect the country and respond to natural disasters. But for now these women are also part of Japan's response to a different kind of problem.

With the population in freefall, the pool for military recruits is shrinking. Japan wants more women to step up and serve.

LT. JR. GRACE MISAKO YAMADA, JAPAN SELF-DEFENSE FORCE (through translator): We do have more men in the force, as opposed to women. So going forward we would like to put women more in the spotlight.

[01:55:03] FIELD: High profile women have helped to smash the image of a male-dominated force. In 2018, Ryoko Azuma (ph) became Japan's first female warship squadron commander and Misa Matsushima (ph) a self-confessed "Top Gun" film fan became the first female fighter pilot.

But women are still overwhelmingly outnumbered. Female enlistment stands at 6 percent. The new goal is to make women 9 percent of the military by 2030. Japan has also extended the recruitment age limit from 26 to 32 to bolster numbers even more. The recruitment drive comes as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expanding the Defense Force's global role and upping defense spending (INAUDIBLE) largely into countering threats like China's growing military might in the South China Sea.

At the Yokosuka Naval Base, recruits say they're eligible for nearly all the jobs open to men.

KOKORO ISOMURA, FORMER ACTRESS (through translator): Female staff cannot work on board submarines. But soon it will be possible. I would love to get on one.

FIELD: For now it is about putting more women in the military. These recruits know they're also taking a step toward making Japan a more equal society.

Alexandra Field, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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

Please stay with us. A lot more news after a very short break.

You're watching CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VAUSE: Hello and welcome to a special edition of CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Becky Anderson in Davos in Switzerland where it is day three.

Amongst the headlines European Union political and business leaders basically said British Prime Minister Theresa May needs to get her act together on Brexit. They stressed the need for an orderly exit from the E.U. Germany's Merkel saying the less complicated the better.

And the Chinese vice president says China needs the world and the world needs China in spite of a trade war that includes the United States.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[02:00:02] WANG QISHAN, CHINESE VICE PRESIDENT (through translator): For the Chinese and U.S. economies, I believe they are mutually indispensable. This is the reality.