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U.S. Hits Venezuela's State-Owned Oil Company With Sanctions; Prosecution Rests In El Chapo Case; FaceTime Issue Lets Callers Eavesdrop, Secretly Watching Others; Thief Steals Million-Dollar Painting Off Wall. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired January 29, 2019 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NICK WATT, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Brexit is looming and lawmakers are set to vote on key amendments in Parliament that could affect how, when, maybe even if the U.K. leaves the E.U.
Venezuela's embattled president is defiant as the U.S. imposes sanctions that will cost his country billions of dollars.
And we are live in Beijing, where the government is reacting to new criminal charges brought by the U.S. against telecom giant Huawei.
Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I am Nick Watt and this is CNN NEWSROOM.
WATT: Two months to go until Britain is scheduled to leave the E.U. and British prime minister Theresa May is set to face Parliament yet again. Two weeks after lawmakers rejected her deal to leave Europe, she's now going to outline her plan B. In the coming hours MPs are also set to debate possible amendments to the deal to potentially break the deadlock or maybe even delay the entire process.
For more CNN's Phil Black is live in London.
Phil, tough times for Theresa May and also Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition.
What do we expect to actually happen today?
PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So, Nick, today members of Parliament will be debating a number of amendments that could restrict or empower the prime minister's next moves, as she seeks to secure a deal for an orderly withdrawal from the European Union.
One of the amendments, thought likely to be considered, has been put forward by a member of the opposition Labour Party and could result in Parliament ordering the government to delay the official Brexit date of March 29 by anything up to nine months in the event a deal is not secured by the end of February.
So it takes the no deal scenario off the table but only for a time. It's still not clear if that particular amendment has the official support of the members' own Labour Party, its leader continues to walk a delicate line between maintaining pressure on the government and balancing the competing views of the party's own members with the result that is not always especially clear about his intentions, take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The nos to the left, 432.
BLACK (voice-over): A potential climactic moment in Brexit's ongoing drama. In a furious passion, the Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn moves to bring down the government with a formal vote.
JEREMY CORBYN, LEADER, U.K. LABOUR PARTY: So this house can give its verdict on the sheer incompetence of this government and pass that motion of no confidence in the government.
BLACK (voice-over): But as expected, the motion failed. Despite Prime Minister Theresa May's weakness and the recent humiliation of her Brexit efforts in Parliament, opinion polls show that Jeremy Corbyn has failed to convincingly sell the idea that he could do Brexit any better.
He's struggling most in some of Labour's traditional heartlands. This is Sunderland in Northern England, here lifetime Labour Party voters want Brexit badly.
But they don't trust Corbyn to deliver it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think Theresa May is fab to immigrate jobs. If Jeremy Corbyn gets in, God help us.
BLACK (voice-over): Labour's official policy, fight for an election; if that's not possible, all options remain, including pushing for a second referendum. It's a little open-ended.
BLACK: He's trying not to annoy everybody.
MICHAEL CHESSUM, BRITISH LABOUR ACTIVIST: Yes, he's trying to be all things to all people and that will not work. Labour -- all routes out of this current impasse involve pain for Labour.
BLACK (voice-over): Michael Chessum represents the other side of Labour's divide. He's one of Corbyn's many passionate supporters within the party who want their leader to fight for a second referendum to stop Brexit.
CHESSUM: I think there is a failure to grasp at some levels of the leadership that this is an issue of principle. I think a lot of people within the leadership view this as a purely tactical issue, to be traded away for electoral calculation.
BLACK (voice-over): Another view: Labour MPs tell us the party's uncertain policy is a direct result of Theresa May's Brexit stalemate.
BLACK: I think it's well known that Labour doesn't want to leave without a deal. It is well known that Jeremy Corbyn has been pushing for a general election.
Beyond that there is this widely-held view that he's sitting on the fence, is that fair?
ANNELIESE DODDS, BRITISH LABOUR MP: I don't think it is fair. I mean, we think we need to have a general election because obviously our government has failed so spectacularly.
HARRY BENN, BRITISH LABOUR MP: If we had a general election, if Labour won, we would be looking at a very different --
BENN: -- kind of Brexit deal. That is obvious.
BLACK: It's still Brexit. That's the key.
BENN: Well, that depends on what happens.
BLACK (voice-over): So Labour remains a divided party in a divided country. But eventually its leader will have to pick a side or risk further damaging a reputation famed for being principled and authentic.
BLACK: So another important amendment to be considered by Parliament today does have the government's support. It relates that really unpopular part of the prime minister's deal relating to the border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, the section that has been included insisted upon by the European Union.
The prime minister -- well, the amendment says that it should be replaced by something else and the prime minister hopes that, if she gets enough strong support for that view in Parliament today, she can then go back to Brussels and say, if you cut me some slack on this point, then I am pretty sure I can get the rest of the deal we have thrashed out through Parliament, get its approval and make it happen.
That's the plan anyway. But as we know with Brexit, nothing is certain; we'll have to see how the day unfolds -- Nick.
WATT: It certainly is going to be interesting. Thanks a lot, Phil.
The U.S. government is turning up the heat on Nicolas Maduro with immediate sanctions on Venezuela's state-owned oil company. But military pressure may be coming as well after national security adviser John Bolton turned up at a White House briefing with the words "5,000 troops to Colombia" written on his notepad.
A Pentagon official denies plans to send troops but a White House spokesperson says all options are on the table. For now the U.S. hopes the economic squeeze will force Maduro out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVEN MNUCHIN, U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY: The United States is holding accountable those responsible for Venezuela's tragic decline. We will continue to use all of our diplomatic and economic tools to support interim President Guaido, the national assembly and the Venezuelan people's effort to restore their democracy.
PdVSA has long been a vehicle for embezzlement, for corruption, for Venezuelan officials and business men. Today's designation of PdVSA will help prevent further diversion of Venezuela's assets by Maduro and will preserve these assets for the people of Venezuela where they belong.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATT: Venezuela's national assembly leader and now self-declared president Juan Guaido is also moving to take control of the country's oil industry. He's calling for nationwide rallies and working to secure a crucial backing from the military. Maduro accuses the U.S. of staging a coup.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICOLAS MADURO, PRESIDENT OF VENEZUELA (through translator): With these measures, they intend to rob Citgo from all Venezuelan men and women. Red alert, Venezuela, the United States today has decided to embark on a path of robbing the firm Citgo from Venezuela. It is an illegal path.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATT: The U.S. calls Maduro's reelection last year illegitimate. The U.S. and more than a dozen other countries are now hailing Guaido as Venezuela's legitimate president. But Russia, China and Iran are sticking by Nicolas Maduro.
And after 20 months and more than 2 dozen indictments, the end may be in sight for the investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 U.S. election. That's according to the acting U.S. attorney general, Matt Whitaker, who says he's been fully briefed on special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation and says he thinks it's, quote, "close to being completed."
CNN Shimon Prokupecz looks at the significance of that statement.
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE PRODUCER: This was not expected. He was talking about something else; he was at a press conference that had nothing to do with Russia, it's a completely different investigation. And it caught all of us by surprise that he would even comment in any aspect on this investigation.
Normally when you have people who stand there, they will tell you no comment, no comment, but what is so significant, when you say that an investigation is wrapping up, it's coming to an end, it can signal there won't be anymore significant law enforcement action.
So it could be that in this investigation we see no more arrests. We see no more indictments, we see nothing new happening here because, if what he is saying is true, that means that pretty much all of the significant law enforcement action has been wrapped up. And that the big players, so to speak, have all now been charged, arrested, have been spoken to.
So it is certainly significant and it's also significant because the Department of Justice just never comments on the status of any investigation.
WATT: And after much debate, president Donald Trump's State of the Union address is now set for February 5th. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had asked him to reschedule --
WATT: -- the speech from its original date of January the 29th until the government shutdown was over.
But will there be another shutdown?
As Jim Acosta explains, the White House is throwing cold water on the idea that there can be some sort of compromise on the president's demand for a border wall and entrenched Democratic opposition to the idea.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have to have a wall.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It's as if President Trump has been hiding in a cave. He's largely been out of sight ever since he backed down in the standoff with Democrats over his quest for a border wall. And with just 18 days and counting before yet another government shutdown, the president doesn't sound optimistic telling the Wall Street Journal the offs reaching a deal to prevent another lapse in funding are less than 50/50 which is why top White House officials are warning the president is prepared to declare a national emergency so he can try to go around Congress.
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: What I do know is if they don't come back with a deal that means Democrats get virtually nothing that will make the president and force him to have to take an executive action.
MICK MULVANEY, ACTING WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: It's better. John, to get it through legislation. That's the right way to do it. But at the end of the day, the president is going to secure the border one way or another.
ACOSTA: Despite days of complaints from conservative allies that Mr. Trump was taken to the woodshed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi --
LOU DOBBS, HOST, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK: She has just whipped the president of the United States.
ACOSTA: The White House is trying to insist the president somehow won the stalemate.
SANDERS: The negotiations are still ongoing and I would argue that Conservatives that actually have influence have supported the president throughout this process. This is a simple fix. It's easy for Democrats to sit down and come to an agreement and work with us to get border security.
ACOSTA: Democrats already sounding worried about the prospects of reaching an agreement with the president.
SEN. CHRIS COONS (D-DE), SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: I think the 35- day long federal shutdown was completely senseless. I think, for the president to take us back into another shutdown would be senseless. But the point of compromise is to not begin by saying, absolutely no at this end or this end. It was the president who caused this shutdown by demanding $5.7 billion for a wall.
ACOSTA: The shutdown appears to have done some political damage to the president with the latest CNN poll, of polls showing less than 40 percent of Americans approve of Mr. Trump's job performance.
Russia investigation likely isn't helping with his longtime advisor Roger Stone sending mixed messages about whether he might cut a deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller after the Nixon-era dirty trickster was indicted last week. Stone telling ABC News Sunday.
ROGER STONE, FORMER POLITICAL ADVISER TO DONALD TRUMP: I would certainly testify honestly. I'd also testify honestly about any other matter including any communications with the president.
ACOSTA: And then today, just 24 hours later.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you willing to cut a deal with Mueller to avoid getting the case going to trial?
STONE I don't answer hypothetical questions. I have no intention of doing so, however.
ACOSTA: As he ask with other targets of the Russia probe, the president is downplaying his relationship with his close friend. Tweeting over the weekend that "Stone didn't even work for me anywhere near the election."
Another friend of the president, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is out with a new book, claiming that Mr. Trump thought he had put an end to the Russia investigation when he fired former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. An assessment shared by son- in-law, Jared Kushner.
CHRIS CHRISTIE, FORMER GOVERNOR OF NEW JERSEY: He said, "You know, listen, Flynn's the only guy who spoke to the Russians apparently." And he said, "So, you know, I think this is going to end it and I just laughed." And I said, "Mr. President, it's unfortunate that I have to tell you this, but having done this myself for a living, we're going to be talking about this on Valentine's Day, February 18." And they laughed out loud and Jared told me I was crazy.
ACOSTA: The White House was asked whether the Trump presidency was somehow endangered by the growing number of aides and associates ensnared in the Russia investigation.
Roger Stone last week, Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, Michael Flynn, are you concerned -- is the president concerned that have more and more of his associates, former aides are brought into this investigation, are indicted, plead guilty in this investigation? That this presidency is in danger.
SANDERS: Not at all. In fact, I think nothing could be further from the truth. The more that this goes on, the more and more we see that none of these things have anything to do with the president.
ACOSTA: Press Secretary Sarah Sanders didn't really knock down the idea of a presidential pardon for Roger Stone. Meaning that remains a live option for Mr. Trump. Jim Acosta, CNN, the White House.
WATT: Political analyst Bill Schneider joins me now from Washington.
Bill, can you put into context this wall issue?
Now is there any way that the president can get out of this without building a wall and maintain the support of his base?
BILL SCHNEIDER, POLITICAL ANALYST: No, his base expects to see the wall. It's a very primitive idea but these are people who think in very primitive terms. They see the wall as an absolute barrier and it's the only thing they believe will work. He made an ironclad promise that he would build that wall, he said, with money from Mexico.
He can make up some excuses that Mexico won't pay but his supporters, his base, the only people he's concerned about are his base supporters. They expect to see a wall when he runs for reelection.
WATT: He says --
WATT: -- if the negotiations fail with the Democrats and they don't get the money from the Congress, he will declare a national emergency anyway and build a wall.
Why doesn't he just do that now?
Is this maybe just brinksmanship? SCHNEIDER: It is brinksmanship and it's also legally controversial. The minute he announces a national emergency, two issues are going to come up.
One, is there really an emergency?
When the debate over the wall has been raging for the past few weeks, the issue has been how much of a real problem, crisis, really, is there on the border?
Most Americans consider it a problem but not a crisis. The crisis was the shutdown, not border security.
WATT: And looking forward to 2020, we saw earlier tonight Kamala Harris, who has thrown her hat in the ring for the Democratic nomination, a good candidate, strong candidate, do you think she's going to go all the way?
SCHNEIDER: Well, there are about 20 candidates likely to run. She's one of a multitude. The only ones who slightly stand out are the former vice president Joe Biden and the former candidate, Bernie Sanders, if he runs.
So she is rather distinctive. She's one of two African Americans likely to run. She's one of four women who are probably going to run. It's a very crowded field. Democrats usually vote for someone they fall in love with the way they did with Barack Obama.
I'm not sure they are there with Kamala Harris yet, she's very impressive and she's very capable but I don't know that the Democrats have yet fallen in love with anybody.
WATT: And speaking of 2020 again, Howard Schultz, the former CEO of Starbucks, is saying he might run as an independent. I mean, surely that would be fantastic for President Trump, as it might split the vote towards the Left.
SCHNEIDER: That's exactly right and there a lot of Republicans who are encouraging Schultz to run. They know very well and I can assure you that he would split the anti-Trump vote, he would reelect very likely, reelect President Trump.
And if he wants to claim the title of being the Ralph Nader of this election, Nader took votes from Al Gore in Florida and elected George Bush president in 2000. If that's the aspiration for Howard Schultz, then he will run for president and that's where it will end up.
WATT: And I want to ask you briefly as well, overshadowing all of this, we know, is the Russia investigation. Robert Mueller, the special counsel. So today or Monday in Washington, the acting attorney general, Matt Whitaker, said of Mueller's investigation, that it is quote, "close to being completed."
Those four little words, if they are true, could throw a spanner in all of this and change everything. SCHNEIDER: It will dominate the conversation for quite a long time. That might be wishful thinking on his part, he's in charge of the investigation. But Robert Mueller marches to his own tune and he will release the report when he's ready to.
So I don't know that this is factual. But Americans expect it and when it happens, it will drop a 2-ton bomb on this entire campaign and on Washington. That's all people will be talking about probably for months.
WATT: Bill Schneider, joining us from Washington, thank you very much for your time.
Next, the list of charges include stealing trade secrets and violating sanctions. The U.S. case against a Chinese tech giant coming just days ahead of tense trade talks.
Plus, it could be the beginning of the end of America's longest war. What we are learning about a potential Taliban peace deal -- coming up.
WATT: China is lashing out at the U.S., saying it's trying to kill Chinese businesses. The U.S. Justice Department filed two sets of criminal charges Monday, accusing tech giant Huawei of trying to steal trade secrets from T-Mobile and of deceiving banks and the government in order to break sanctions and do business with Iran.
The U.S. says Huawei's chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou played a key role in the Iran scheme. Meng was arrested in Canada and is right now fighting extradition to the U.S.
Let's go to Beijing and CNN's Steven Jiang for the latest.
Steven, this cannot be helping this tariff-laden trade war.
Is this part of it?
Is this making it worse?
STEVEN JIANG, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER, BEIJING BUREAU: Well, it's all interconnected in a way, Nick. Remember, the Chinese and Huawei both have responded very quickly and firmly to these indictments.
The company said in a statement that it denied all charges, saying it was disappointed to learn them but also believed the U.S. court system would eventually clear the company's name.
Now the Chinese government response is even more forceful, with the foreign ministry spokesman accusing the U.S. of trying to destroy the normal business operations of Chinese companies like Huawei through these politically motivated charges.
This spokesman called on the U.S. to drop these charges and urged Canada to release Ms. Meng immediately. All things considered, these statements from the Chinese government seemed to be relatively restrained.
And one reason for that is a very senior trade delegation has just arrived in Washington from China, ready for the next round of talks starting Wednesday. So the Beijing leadership doesn't want to derail these talks before they even start.
But these indictments do show an increasing consensus, both within the U.S. government but also between the U.S. and allies on Huawei, that is there is this very grave threat and potential danger of using Huawei's technologies.
And on top of that, of course, there are rising concerns over the theft of intellectual property. That's the focus of a second set of accusations against Huawei. There are some very revealing details in the indictments, including the company, Huawei, actually having a bonus program to reward employees financially who successfully steal competitors' trade secrets.
So all of these things are really going to -- complicating these talks because intellectual property theft is a sticking point in these ongoing talks and a long complaint by Mr. Trump, the U.S. president, against China. So it's going to be very intriguing and some would say, rather worrisome to see what happens next and how these latest indictments may or may not affect the ongoing trade talks -- Nick.
WATT: And Steven, Canada caught rather awkwardly in the middle of all of this.
JIANG: That's right. The Chinese authorities, at least so far, before the latest indictments had directed most of its fire towards Canada. Really a daily war of words, accusing Canada of making the wrong choice and politicizing the case by arresting an innocent Chinese citizen and abusing the bilateral treaty between itself and the U.S.
But, you know, right now, after this latest round of indictments, some say they may take the pressure off Canada somewhat. But still, Canada is bearing the brunt of these -- Chinese anger and some would say retaliation so far, because some say China is trying to pick on a weaker enemy so we'll --
JIANG: -- see what happens next to this already fast deteriorating relationship between Beijing and Ottawa -- Nick.
WATT: Steven Jiang in Beijing, thanks a lot for your time.
U.S. and Taliban leaders are one step closer to potentially ending the war in Afghanistan. The U.S. envoy heading up talks says they have agreed in principle to a peace framework.
Zalmay Khalilzad saying that the deal would see the Taliban commit to keeping Afghanistan from being used as a hub for terrorism and, in return, the U.S. military can withdraw for now.
U.S. officials tell CNN the Pentagon is planning to pull out about half of its current forces. CNN's Barbara Starr has the details.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Unprecedented progress at this time because U.S. representatives are talking to Taliban representatives and it appears that there is at least a framework for some kind of deal to move forward.
What the Taliban want is all foreign troops, including 14,000 American forces, out of Afghanistan. The Pentagon right now looking at maybe that very concept, withdrawing half of them, 7,000. There is also an option to withdraw about 3,500.
It all depends on what kind security arrangement they can come to.
The question is, will President Trump announce something at this rescheduled State of the Union address?
The Pentagon knows he wants to announce either a withdrawal or at least a significant reduction. He believes that that war needs to be wound up after 17 years. But the really uncertain question right now is the Afghan government.
There has to be direct talks, in the U.S. view, between the Taliban and the Afghans. There has to be security guarantees and what kind of role if anything would the U.S. be left with to continue to conduct counter terrorism missions to go after Al Qaeda and ISIS in Afghanistan.
So a lot of open questions but very significant progress that U.S. representatives are saying, there is a framework deal but still a lot to be decided.
WATT: That was CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr.
A final report from Nepalese authorities has found a pilot in a deadly Nepal plane crash last March was "emotionally disturbed." The Bangladeshi owned BS-211 burst into flames after landing in Kathmandu with 71 people aboard; at least 49 people were killed.
Officials say the pilot was stressed and felt a colleague was questioning his reputation as an instructor. And the report notes he was involved in an unnecessary, unprofessional and lengthy conversation, even in a critical phase of the flight.
And while political factions battle for power in Venezuela, an estimated 90 percent of the country is living in poverty. We'll head to Caracas for an exclusive report on how families and children are getting by.
And a mine company's safety record comes under scrutiny yet again after a disaster in Brazil kills 65 people.
[02:30:34] WATT: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Nick Watt with our headlines this hour, British lawmakers will soon get the chance to shape the course of Brexit. Two weeks ago, those very M.P.'s rejected by an historic margin the deal that Prime Minister Theresa May had struck with E.U. official. In the coming hours, they'll their chance to debate and vote on changes to that plan and potentially break the deadlock.
And the U.S. has filed criminal charges against Chinese tech giants Huawei, the Justice Department says the company tried to steal trade secrets from T-Mobile and deceived banks and the government to do business with Iran. Huawei denies violating any U.S. laws. And the Trump administration has imposed new sanctions on Venezuela's state- owned oil company. That could in the next year keep more than $11 billion in assets out of reach of Nicolas Maduro's government.
U.S. officials also apparently not ruling out military options in Venezuela. Self-declared President Juan Guaido says he's prepared do whatever is necessary to bring democracy to Venezuela. More than three and a half million Venezuelan people are displaced and a million more are expected to leave the country this year. Guaido says he wants to conditions for people to come back and see their families again. Human rights watch is urging an end to the violence on all sides.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KENNETH ROTH, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: A major concern right now is that the government not resort to the, you know, violent blood shed to maintain its power that it has in the past. And it is, you know, there's a long history now of abusing lethal force as well as, you know, severe mistreatment of protesters to shut down the protests and so our primary concern right now is that that not be replicated as these two competing parties negotiate the future of Venezuela.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATT: Whatever the future holds, the military is likely to hold the key. Right now, the top brass support Maduro. But there are signs that some soldiers are breaking rank. CNN's Nick Paton Walsh has our exclusive report from Caracas.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Cross into Venezuela's unending disaster, the world' worst growing refugee crisis. And it's like the world as you know it is slowly ending. Oil once made them the richest in South America, but this is now the line for three days and nights to get a full tank. In the capital, there's a queue for everything everywhere. Hunger breeds a special kind of anger. This is how hyperinflation works.
These groceries cost $50 now, but because of what's happening with the local currency, they'll be worth double at least by next month. People paying tomorrow's prices today. There's no queuing for the youngest living off what even here nobody wants. This isn't play. It's practice for self-defense. My brother got killed in July by another gang says 14-year-old (INAUDIBLE) they found the body in the river. We gather stuff, we beg, a piece of chicken skin to take home.
In the socialist utopia that now leaves nearly every stomach empty. This was the day when change was meant to come hundreds of thousands flooding Central Caracas watching opposition leader Juan Guaido swear himself in as interim president. But it fast turned sour. They've had this standoff outside the military air field here for months. But this is the first time with an opposition leader claiming the presidency. All eyes are on the army and whether it, too, would rise up.
(INAUDIBLE) question really in the standoff, it's about the military's vote. They may be throwing stones at them here, but what they really need is the army to switch sides. That didn't happen. And the police tear gas and motorcycle charges sent us fleeing downside streets. Yes, yes, yes, I know. Some likely wounded, although dozens reported dead during the day. It was up here in the normally loyal slums where the fight was nastiest.
[02:35:06] Special forces entered these streets. They've been coming back to make arrests all during the afternoon when we were invited to meet Carolina's extended family when Maduro's base has long lived. State handouts bought their loyalty for year, but now this was all she has to feed four this day. And they say now, they too want Maduro gone. I can't hold it anymore, one of her cousins says, we're being crushed. We're beggars now, always begging. This isn't political. It's survive.
People are killing each other for a kilo of rice, for water. Army defectors outside Venezuela called on soldiers to rise up. But we hear from one junior officer that even when you can't feed your family it's more complicated. I would say 80 percent of soldiers are against the government, some even go to demonstration, but the big fishes the senior officers are the ones eating getting rich while at the bottom, we have it hard. I get a dollar and a half every month promptly enough for one chicken, and a food box from the barracks, then we have to work magic to make it last like everyone else.
Would you or the soldiers you know at your level would you open fire on resistance people in the streets? I'd rather quit. That person could be my brother or my mother. We need a general to flip to make a change. And as Washington says Maduro isn't president, but Moscow insists he is. Everyone else walks zombie like further and closer towards starvation. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN Caracas.
MATT: Anger is growing after a dam collapse at a mine in Brazil killed 65 people. Hundreds more are still missing and protesters are now demanding answers. This was the scene after the disaster Friday that without warning sent tons of sludge into a nearby town engulfing everything in its path. Outraged, demonstrators turned out at the mine company's headquarters Monday in Rio de Janeiro accusing executives of murder. They spelled out very clearly that they believe this was not an accident, but a crime. Eleni Giokos says more on the disaster and the company's controversial safety record.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELENI GIOKOS, CNN BUSINESS AFRICA CORRESPONDENT: As rescue operations continue, authorities say that the chances of finding more people alive diminishes by the hour. Now, the world' largest producer of iron or saw, one of its dams burst its banks on Friday and making sludge and mud moved into a very small town called Brumadinho and this is where the local community was significantly impacted. The images that are coming through show the extent of the catastrophe in Brazil.
Now, this isn't the first time that Vale has been involved in an embroiled in a dam burst. In 2015, a larger dam burst its banks. Now, this was in a joint venture with another mining giant, BHP Billiton where we saw 19 people losing their lives and this was, of course, the large effort environmental catastrophe in Brazil's history. Now, Vale has been under the spotlight for its safety standards. We now that judges are saying that they need to make sure that the other dams in the surrounding areas are in fact stable.
The CEO that took over in 2017 had promised that it would focus on the safety standards at the company. And, of course, now, the world is watching very closely. The company has come under significant pressure financially, market capitalization is down around $18 billion. And, of course, three billion dollars in assets have been frozen by the courts to ensure that reparations and damages are paid not only to the victims but, of course, to clean up this significant spill.
This comes just a month after the inauguration of the new Brazilian president who had said that he wants to see mining productivity increased in the country even if it means that not adhering to environmental restrictions. This, of course, is going to perhaps bring into question Brazil's new method of looking at mining in the country. Eleni Giokos, CNN Johannesburg.
WATT: Nearly a decade after Greece' debt crisis put a strangle hold on the country's economy. There's yet another sign of recovery. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced plans to increase the monthly minimum wage by about 11 percent. Labor unions say 11 percent is not enough to offset losses workers suffered during the debt crisis. Employers say tax cuts are also needed. But in 2012, the minimum wage was slashed by 22 percent.
[02:40:00] And a U.S. university professor calls out Chinese students for speaking in their native language. Now, there's a tense backlash after she warned them to only speak English or face consequences. And tales of bribes and bloodshed, for two months, the jury has heard the case against accused Mexican drug kingpin El Chapo Guzman, everything from diamond-encrusted pistons to a naked escape through a sewage- filled tunnel. So what comes next?
WATT: Two separate controversies in the U.S. are raising the same issue. Should people be required to speak English no matter the circumstances? First, the case at Duke University where a professor sent an e-mail to students after getting complaints from faculty members. Miguel Marquez picks up the story.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So here's the story, assistant professor Megan Neely sent the e-mail to first and second year students in the biostatistics master's program at Duke. In the e-mail, it was filled with bolded and underline sentences. She told students to, "Commit to using English 100 percent of the time in professional settings. Neely claimed she was approached by two faculty members who complained about international students speaking Chinese in common areas.
Neely says that faculty members asked to see photographs of the students in the program, so that they could, "Remember them if the students ever interviewed for an internship or asked to work with them for a master's project. Now, students rightly saw that that was a threat and spoke out. This went from the hallowed halls of Duke to hauling international outrage nearly overnight. Students are now pushing for investigation into exactly who are these two unnamed faculty members.
They've started a petition. It has thousands of signatures at the moment. And the dean of the University School of Medicine has apologized profusely saying there is absolutely no restriction or limitation on language you use to converse and communicate with each other. Your career opportunities and recommendations will not be influenced by the language you use outside the classroom.
The dean has also asked for a review of the biostatistics program and recommended ways to improve the environment for students of all backgrounds. Professor Neely has resigned as the head of the master's program, but remains an assistant professor at Duke. This is even resonating in China though. More than 300,000 Chinese students attend U.S. schools every year. Universities like Duke recruit and want those overseas students. That's why there's such a strong whiff of hypocrisy here.
On social media in China, Weibo, the Chinese Twitter, essentially. The topic has been trending with many questioning whether this constitutes racism and asking what would Americans say? Well, how would they react if their students were not allowed to speak English while studying abroad?
[02:45:26] WATT: Megan Neely says she deeply regrets causing hurt feelings. She apologized in a joint statement with the chair of the department.
Now, the second controversy involves a veteran U.S. television anchor's remarks during a discussion about immigration and the border wall. Former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw said this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM BROKAW, FORMER ANCHOR, NBC NEWS: I also happen to believe that the Hispanics should work harder at assimilation. That's one of the things I've been saying for a long time. You know, that they ought not to be just codified in their communities. But make sure that all their kids are learning to speak English and that they feel comfortable in the communities. And that's going to take outreach on both sides, frankly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATT: Now, on a purely factual level, Pew Research Center says, English proficiency among U.S. Hispanics has been on the rise for years. In 2015, 69 percent of young Latinos reported speaking only English at home, or said, they speak English very well.
Brokaw later said he was truly sorry for his remarks which he admitted were offensive.
Defense attorneys for reputed drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman are preparing to present their case. The prosecution rested on Monday after a parade of 50 witnesses who painted a dark picture of the accused drug lord. El Chapo's lawyer tells CNN, he's got just one witness and it's not Guzman himself. Polo Sandoval has the details.
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: For the last two months, jurors have listened to tales of bribes and bloodshed. Her testimony about notorious Sinaloa Cartel boss Joaquin El Chapo Guzman. And saw a rare images of the drug lord with his diamond-encrusted pistol by his side.
Government witnesses testified how Guzman allegedly smuggled drugs through tunnels, cars, semi-submersible, even inside cans of chili and fake bananas. Details from his former associates now cooperating with the government, included explosive testimony from fellow Sinaloa Cartel member, Alex Cifuentes.
He testified about his former bosses bribes allegedly paid to Mexican officials. Cifuentes claimed Guzman once paid former Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto a $100 million in October 2012 when he was president-elect. Pena Nieto's former chief of staff called the allegations false, defamatory, and absurd. Adding that it was Pena Nieto's administration who located, arrested, and extradited Guzman to the United States for trial.
El Chapo's former I.T. expert, Cristian Rodriguez whose photos shown here was obscured by prosecutors to hide his identity revealed how the cartel communicated through a system of encrypted phones.
He used spyware to capture conversations with members of Guzman's criminal organization. Guzman is facing multiple counts, including firearm and drug trafficking charges, and faces life in prison. Though the list of charges does not include murder, testimony took a graphic turn when Isaias Valdez was called to the stand. The former security guard turned pilot recalled when Guzman was involved in the gruesome murders of three rivals.
Former Colombian cartel lord Juan Carlos "La Chupeta" Ramirez also called to court testifying, he started working with El Chapo in the early 90s. Ramirez went on to work with Guzman for nearly 18 years and was eventually captured in 2007.
He was so hotly pursued by authorities that he underwent several plastic surgeries to try to evade capture. Juan constant fixture in the courtroom has been Guzman's wife of more than 10 years, former beauty queen Emma Coronel.
Coronel helped her husband escape from a Mexican prison according to testimony that came from a former prison guard turned Chapo associate. She's not facing charges at this time and her lawyer had no comment about those allegations. In their final move to convince jurors of Guzman's guilt, prosecutors showed images of the tunnel that provided his escape.
A government expert described it as being just under a mile long complete with a motorcycle track set to have been used by El Chapo and an associate for the ride to freedom. Polo Sandoval, CNN, New York.
WATT: Now, rules at art museums are pretty simple. Look, but don't touch them, obviously. Don't steal. One thief didn't get the memo and walked out with the million-dollar painting. That story next on NEWSROOM.
And FaceTime users look out a bug in the software allows callers to hear and see you even if you don't answer your phone.
[02:51:39] WATT: A newly discovered bug in Apple's FaceTime software is presenting a big problem. It allows people to listen in on those they're calling even if those people don't answer their phones. Callers can even see through the camera. CNN Business confirmed the bug multiple times in its own tests.
Apple says it has identified a fix for the problem and will release it in a software update later this week. Until then, to avoid falling victim to the bug, disable FaceTime on all your devices.
The lowest temperatures in a generation are sweeping across the Central United States and the East Coast this week. Already frigid air will get even colder in coming days. Some 220 million people, that's about three-quarters of the continental U.S. population could be exposed to record-shattering lows. We're talking wind-chill factors down to 51 degrees Celsius. That's maybe 60 degrees Fahrenheit below zero. Weather experts are warning of possible life-threatening danger. They say that those who are 25 or younger have never experienced such extreme temperatures in the region.
Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri joins us from the International Weather Center with the latest details. Pedram.
PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: Yes, it's a pretty incredible trend, OK. You know, when you look at how cold it is outside, we've seen the numbers here, of course, 30, 40, 50 below. At these numbers, you can throw a boiling water in the air and watch it vaporize, you have motor oil freeze, you have even antifreeze and vehicles begin freezing.
And, of course, even at this hour, wind chills approaching minus 40 Celsius across the northern tier of the United States. And incredibly, it will get colder still going in towards, at least Wednesday afternoon and eventually, into Thursday morning as well as all of that cold air shifts in not only towards the south but also off towards the Northeastern United States. And that's why we have such a large area of population impacted by this.
But look at these morning low temperatures in degrees Celsius. Chicago minus 29, down to minus 32 degrees. Minus 8 is what -- is average for this time of year which, of course, climatologically it's the heart of winter, right? We're talking about the latter portion of January, early February.
That's when you expected to be the coldest. But at these numbers, only five to 10 minutes of outdoor exposure, and you have permanent damage to your skin. Of course, hypothermia sets in. And these temperatures typically around 35 below is when schools begin shutting down preemptively just to not have kids outdoors for any period of time when it comes to say, going from their front steps towards even a bus, into the bus stop.
But again, this is the coldest time of year but this particular trend among the coldest we've ever seen and all of this air originating out of the northern polls, of course, an area that does not have much sunlight this time of year.
And notice the color contour is kind of follow that red contour all the way towards the Northern Tier of the United States. That's where we have the 50 below or colder in a few spots. And in fact, about 80 million people dealing with these wind chills that are that cold. And even extends as far as south is the Southern U.S., there is an incoming front. Could see a mix of wintry weather.
But a very quick shot here moves in across the south places such as Jackson Mississippi, Birmingham, Alabama. Look they have a decent shot of accumulating snowfall. But notice this trend here.
Compare Chicago is at morning low temperature there on Wednesday. To Fairbanks, Alaska, and you kind of see that disparity of incredible cold. And in fact, with those numbers going with a high temperature of 25 below in Chicago. A low temperature of 32 below. Coldest ever observed for a high temperature was minus 24, this could be the coldest day, and also could be the coldest night Chicago has ever seen going in from Wednesday into Thursday.
Good news there, Nick is that there is a dramatic warming trend that'll feel absolutely balmy come Saturday and Sunday from that climb of 30 below to about four above maybe.
[02:55:25] WATT: Pedram, thank you very much. Now, to Moscow, a thief sauntered into an art gallery and sauntered out with the painting he stole right off the wall in broad daylight. CNN's Michael Holmes shows us how it happened.
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The thief appears in the back of the gallery on the far left of your screen. He slowly approaches a painting and touches it with his left hand. He then grabs the painting with both hands takes it off the wall and walks off camera. Quickly appearing again on the other side of the screen.
He nonchalantly carries the painting through the gallery, strolling past a room full of visitors who appear to assume he's an employee. No one stops him. It happened at the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow. Russian police detained this 31-year-old man who they say is behind the brazen burglary.
He denied committing any crime. The 20th-century painting called Ai Petri, Crimea is valued at about a million dollars according to state television. It was later recovered at a remote construction site outside the city. Luckily, it wasn't damaged.
Museum officials say that it was taken from a temporary exhibition that had not yet been fitted with an alarm. The Russian minister of culture says procedures are being put in place at the Museum. So, this doesn't happen again.
VLADISLAV KONONOV, OFFICIAL AT MISTRY OF CULTURE, RUSSIA (through translator): The number of security officers has been increased in the halls. Additional fixation measures of the paintings have been taken. All paintings will be enhanced with electronic security sensors as they must be.
HOLMES: This isn't the first incident at this art gallery. In May of last year, one of Russia's most famous paintings depicting Ivan the Terrible and his dying son was badly damaged after a man attacked it with a metal pole. Michael Holmes, CNN.
WATT: Thanks for joining us. I'm Nick Watt. I'll be back with another hour of news in just a moment. You're watching CNN.