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HALA GORANI TONIGHT
Fighters Plan Final Showdown with Remnants Of ISIS; The Self- Declared Acting President of Venezuela Not Ruling Out U.S. Military Help; Another Day of Bitter Cold from The Midwest To the East Coast; Facebook's Earnings Leap Despite Public Relations Problems; Activists Criticize Mariah Carey's Saudi Concert; Amanpour Interviews Juan Guaido; Europeans Set Up A New Payment Channel for Iran; U.K. House Speaker's Call For Order Gain Worldwide Attention; No-Deal Withdrawal Now Seems More Likely; U.S. & China Facing Deadline To Negotiate Trade Deal; Millions Of Dollars In U.S. Aid To Palestinians Dries Up; U.S. Set To Pull Out Of Milestone Nuclear Treaty With Russia; Inside The Fight Against "Deepfake" Online Videos. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired January 31, 2019 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:00:00] HALA GORANI, CNN HOST: Hello, everyone. Live from CNN London, I'm Hala Gorani. Tonight, exclusive footage of what is left of ISIS, the
terror group faces a showdown in Syria as enemies close in on multiple fronts. That incredible video ahead.
Also, this hour, a new dramatic claim from Venezuela's self-declared President. He says special forces showed up at his house and intimidated
Also, this --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS: If somebody's going on too long, you sometimes just have to interrupt and say order. The abridged rather than
the "War and Peace" version is what is required.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: He's playing referee in Britain's Brexit drama. A rare and exclusive interview with the Speaker of The House of Commons, John Bercow.
We begin tonight in Syria, a country besieged by years of horror, violence, and misery. In all of that chaos, ISIS saw an opening and tried to turn
the country into its self-declared caliphate. You can see on this map just how much of its control it has lost over the past four years. Now along
the Euphrates River in the east, the remnants of the once formidable force are besieged by Kurdish and Arab forces on the ground and U.S.-led
coalition war planes from the air. We have exclusive and dramatic footage this evening that you'll see only on CNN.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Hala. These may be the final days of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria as a territorial
entity, as a quasi-state. But this last battle is a hard one, as this exclusive video obtained by CNN underscores from cameraman Gabriel Chaim
underscores. But we must warn our viewers that some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WEDEMAN: They're planning their next move in the final showdown with the last remnants of ISIS. The commander of the Syrian Democratic forces is
leading his men on a night operation. Their progress lit by flares into the last stronghold of what was the so-called Islamic state, now reduced to
a remote and ever, ever, ever-shrinking sliver of land along the Euphrates River. At first light, coalition aircraft begin to bomb. As troops
venture into the town of Susa or what's left of it. With the help of artillery and airplanes, we were able to take control of this place, this
soldier tells the cameraman, who shot this exclusive video for CNN. The soldier vows within ten days, god willing, we'll finish. It may take
longer than that. ISIS isn't giving ground easily. They counterattack. [gunfire]
Heavy machine gunfire didn't stop them. The troops had to retreat. By day's end, reinforcements arrive and they were back on the offensive. Not,
however, without cost. The next day starts with a mortar bombardment. The adjacent town al-Marajda the objective. On the edge of town, a soldier
carries a baby, the family follows. But the soldiers are wary. These last villages are full of ISIS's most hardcore supporters. Everyone is treated
They order the young men to take off their shirts to show they're not concealing weapons or explosives. This family's next destination, one of
many camps out in the desert, filling up with tens of thousands who have fled the fighting. Civilians want to escape to safety, says this soldier,
but is threatens them with their weapons to go back so the coalition airplanes won't hit them. Those who defied ISIS paid the ultimate price.
Under these blankets, the soldiers say, are eight children and two women killed while trying to escape.
[14:05:04] The images too gruesome to show. The ISIS fighters did escape, leaving behind weapons and ammunition. Yet, the battle rages on. ISIS's
last stand, its last battle, its last bastion, will go down in a torrent of fire and blood.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WEDEMAN: But if this is the end of ISIS as a quasi-state, it is not the end of the ISIS. The group continues to carry out an insurgency, hit-and-
run attack, bombings in Iraq and Syria, and let's not forget that there are groups affiliated with is operating as far away as the Sinai Peninsula in
Egypt, Nigeria, Libya, Afghanistan, and the Philippines, where the black banner of ISIS still waves. Hala?
GORANI: All right. Ben Wedeman there with that exclusive footage. Let's look more into this. The author of "Making the Arab World" and professor
at the London School of Economics joins us. Ben makes the point, and we saw it with the suicide bombing a few weeks ago in Syria, that if they lose
territory, it doesn't mean they lose their ability to cause a lot of damage.
FAWAZ A. GERGES, AUTHOR OF "MAKING THE ARAB WORLD" AND PROFESSOR, LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS: Not at all. Remember what happened in Iraq between
2007 and 2011. In fact, they lost their territories. They were pushed into the desert, and they were able to bide their time to structure their
forces. Al Qaeda in Iraq became is, a very powerful organization. Already is, Hala, has shifted into insurgency, as ben has said, into guerrilla
warfare. You have dozens of sleeping cells. ISIS carrying out attacks on a daily basis in Iraq, hundreds of attacks, since the dismantling of the
caliphate. Of course, in Syria, they are also carrying out attacks. But we need to stress one particular point. The dismantling of the physical
caliphate of the Islamic state is very significant. That is no longer ISIS controls major areas.
GORANI: But they can still make life miserable for civilians in places that were liberated from is. Where do they -- where does ISIS still get
its ability to organize and to fund itself?
GERGES: What we need to stress is that according to America and the defense department and U.S. intelligence sources and private sources, you
have in Syria alone between 2,000 and 15,000 active ISIS combatants. That's a huge number. Let's say it's 5,000. The numbers are extreme. No
one knows exactly. But you're talking about at least between 5,000 and 10,000 fighters. They have inserted themselves with the population in
certain parts of Syria. They've already established sleeping cells. We know thousands of ISIS fighters have been able to escape with the civilian
GORANI: Where are they getting their support from? How are they able to finance these operations?
GERGES: They already structured their forces because they realized that basically -- I mean, they were facing an uphill battle. So, we know before
they lost the physical state, they have basically restructured their forces and have been able also to appeal to certain populations, certain parts of
the population in Iraq and Syria. Remember, the war goes on in Iraq and Syria.
GORANI: Are they getting outside funding? I mean, I always wonder after a while, you've lost the territory, you've lost the ability to monetize oil
sales and all the rest. So where are you getting the money from?
GERGES: I mean, I think they have already saved probably millions of dollars and gold. They are criminal networks. The reality is they have a
foothold within certain segments of the population in Iraq and Syria. Remember, Hala, it does not take a lot of money to carry out suicide
bombings. It does not really take a lot of resources to have sleeping cells. In particular, if you have popular support.
GORANI: Lastly, a lot of people have criticized the U.S. for withdrawing, Donald Trump specifically, for announcing the abrupt withdrawal of U.S.
forces. Will that give ISIS more of an opportunity to re-expand or not?
GERGES: Well, already ISIS is saying that the Americans left because the Americans were defeated. This is the narrative by ISIS and the supporters
of ISIS. No one is saying that American troops should not go home. The question is the manner by which President Trump really made the decision,
the impulsiveness. He does not really care about facts. He'll say whatever it takes and does whatever he wants in order to satisfy the
political base of his own political support. And that's why also, Hala, you're asking about ISIS. I mean, President Trump threw the Kurds under
the bus. They've lost 6,000 fighters. They feel stabbed in the back. They feel betrayed. It's on multiple levels the decision was very
impulsive and speaks volumes about the decision-making process of this President.
[14:10:13] GORANI: And the Kurds would argue they've been thrown under multiple buses over the years. This wouldn't be the first time that's what
they say. Fawaz, as always, thank you so much for joining us.
Let's turn our attention to Venezuela and a dramatic accusation from the opposition leader and self-declared acting President Juan Guaido. In a
speech a short time ago, Guaido said President Nicolas Maduro's special forces tried to enter his house and the house of his family, his wife's
family, as part of what Guaido calls an intimidation game that has once again failed. Let's go to our senior international correspondent, Nick
Paton Walsh, who was in Venezuela just a few days ago. He's in Bogota, Colombia. What does Juan Guaido say happened at the family home of his
NICK PATON WALSH, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hala, we're still waiting on pictures of what are referred to as FAES, the police special
forces of Venezuela that Juan Guaido said went into his home where his grandmother -- sorry, his daughter and her grandmother were while he was
away giving a speech at university. That was very promptly seized upon by Senator Marco Rubio in the United States, who retweeted it, and has been
cast as a bid to try and intimidate him. We're still waiting on pictures of them actually being on the home. But it's cast as a bid to try and
intimidate the leader ahead of Saturday's protest. We had protests yesterday. People looking towards the weekend to see if he can bring
larger numbers out on to the street. Hala?
GORANI: And Juan Guaido spoke to CNN, my colleague Christiane Amanpour. She asked him about the possibility of on the one hand perhaps accepting
some help from the United States in his effort to become President officially of Venezuela. But also, what he said about granting amnesty to
people inside of Venezuela. Let's listen to what he told CNN.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUAN GUAIDO, SELF DECLARED INTERIM PRESIDENT OF VENEZUELA: We have to pressure through political means to a dictator because in that manner, it's
characterized throughout the world. So, in this sense, we have to take away all of the support that he has at the moment through the military
forces and to give amnesty to all of those military to be on the side of the constitution. This is an incentive particularly for the armed forces.
For example, although the functionaries who are still at this moment with maduro, an incentive to be able to remove themselves from that power and
ordering them to be able to remain -- to be able to take care of the interests of this country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: So, is it realistic when Guaido says let's give the military, still aligned with Maduro, an incentive to align themselves with the
opposition? Is it realistic? Because the top brass seems to be still very much supportive of Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela.
WALSH: Yes, since the beginning, really, the top brass has made the decision to stay with Nicolas Maduro. That's probably based on money, but
it may be frankly they're inculcated in the misdemeanors of the maduro government. If they decide to leave, there could be a complicated fate
ahead of them. The key question is, can Juan Guaido turn this position he has on the international stage and the international support he has into
something real inside the country. He doesn't have his hands on the levers of power. He may potentially have his hands on some of the billions held
in Venezuelan state bank accounts frozen under sanctions. But how do you get that into the country to effect change? Maybe get the wealthier to
perhaps reconsider their position. A lot rests on how practically he can invent this change. Right now, we're seeing a lot of rhetoric. Will it
get people on the streets to change the military's mind? Unclear. The amnesty he's held out is potentially going to make their choice perhaps a
little easier. He's also been clear they don't want some sort of military intervention. I've got to stress, with all this talk, irresponsible as
it's been of a potential military option, that's absolutely the last possible thing that Venezuela needs right now with a massive humanitarian
disaster. Imagine adding into that some kind of military confrontation. It will make people hungrier faster and more miserable.
[14:15:00] GORANI: Sure. Thanks very much.
There's no let up yet from the severe cold that's put large parts of the United States into a deep freeze. Arctic temperatures, and I mean that
literally, now stretch from the Midwest to the east coast, and it's been deadly. Imagine for homeless people, for people who have to be outside who
have nowhere to sleep. At least 11 deaths are reported. This time-lapse video will give you a feel of how bad it is in Chicago. The Thursday
morning temperature there was short of an all-time record low. Our Ryan Young is braving all of this for us in Chicago. He joins us now. Ryan,
you're more bundled up than yesterday, which is good, but I was telling our viewers, this is very dangerous weather. People have lost their lives
because of it.
RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, so it definitely is dangerous. Of course, the more we stand out here, the more exposure to
frostbite is possible. Of course, we were talking about yesterday, we feel today is colder than yesterday, but what ends up happening is it's the long
exposure that ends up getting to you. They're actually saying the more air you take in your lungs, that makes it more dangerous because of what it
does to your insides. We actually moved this shot today, which is a little colder, because we're getting so much wind. This is the fifth largest lake
in the world. That's Lake Michigan behind us. You can see the event that's happening here. It's sort of dissipating right now, but the water
is warmer than the air above, so it creates that fog-like sensation. People having come out here in droves to see this. Then you also talk
about the human ramifications of this. All the civil service workers, the firefighters who have had to be outside and deal with these conditions.
It's really left them at a loss for words sometimes because it's been so painful. Then you talk about the homeless people who -- a lot of folks
have been working to get them off the street, especially in this cold weather. In fact, there's this great story in the Chicago area where some
good Samaritan actually paid for 70 hotel rooms last night for some of the homeless in this area. So that's just a great detail to this. Outside of
that, this event behind us has created just a smorgasbord of people showing up to take pictures and to sort of document what's going on because when is
the chance of you feeling weather like this again? Hopefully no time soon because it is quite painful. Hands and toes, that's where you really feel
it the most.
GORANI: Right. And I love those stories, by the way, when people just take it upon themselves to try to relieve some of the pain that others are
experiencing with. It's just fantastic to hear some people do such good things. I guess the obvious question is, what is the forecast?
YOUNG: Well, we're told the warmup should be happening in the next 12 hours or so. There's been some other people saying a second warmup could
create another event coming right behind it. There's a big question about when the actual push could happen. We know 80 percent of the U.S. is below
zero. That's very interesting to deal with. I'm not going to play the weather guy, but at that point, you know it's just very cold and it's
settling in. You think about Minneapolis, they had to deal with windchills of negative 70. So, we're really getting punched by winter weather in a
GORANI: Ryan Young, thanks very much. Always appreciate it. Chicago is one of the busiest hubs for U.S. airline, by the way. The two major
airports there are reporting hundreds of flight delays and cancellations. Chicago is a clear number one in FlightAware's misery index. Other
airports in the Midwest and the east are also having some weather-related problems. That's causing issues all across the nation. Flight aware
reports all told, airlines have canceled more than 2,200 flights to and from inside the United States. Of course, the recommendation, I was out of
curiosity checking the flight cancellations to Chicago. Air France, the French foreign ministry advising French citizens in Chicago to stay
indoors. People are taking this quite seriously. Obviously, it can be dangerous. Check for your flight status before going to the airport if
your flight is to Chicago.
Still to come, they say there is no such thing as bad publicity. Facebook may have just proved that with its latest earnings report. We'll be right
[14:20:01] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
GORANI: Well, the long list of Facebook's PR scandals is not hurting the company's bottom line. On Wednesday, Facebook posted a record $6.9 billion
profit for the final quarter of 2018, and that, as I mentioned, is despite the backlash over multiple privacy and security scandals. Apple is now
saying it's banning the controversial Facebook research app from its smartphones. It tracks what users do with their phones on a voluntary
basis. Apple says the app violated its agreement with Facebook. So how is this possible? Samuel Burke is here. With all these -- plus all this
anecdotal evidence. You have friends, I have friends that say, that's it, I'm closing my Facebook page because they're not comfortable. They have
too much access to my data. Yet this.
SAMUEL BURKE, CNN MONEY BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT: Facebook is defying gravity. The scandals from Cambridge Analytica to connections with
violence in Myanmar and India via Facebook, it is just incredible what they went through in 2018. Yet, the stock is up almost 12 percent. I want to
put up on the screen three major takeaways I have after this really blockbuster, truly blockbuster earnings report. Number one, 2018 a
terrible year for Facebook PR-wise. An incredible business year. Advertisers saying, well, where else are we going to go to get to
millennials? Your friends who say they deleted the Facebook app, maybe they installed it again.
GORANI: Or maybe they're just old. Maybe they're not millennials. Also, there's all that anecdotal evidence and even figures that have been tracked
that suggest millennials are into other platforms, not necessarily Facebook. So that's where I'm confused as well.
BURKE: Which brings us to number two. There's going to be this big change in focus, much like Apple won't report the iPhone numbers anymore.
Facebook says we're not going to report what our core numbers are on the social network. We're going report our messaging apps and Instagram. One
big 2 billion+ number.
Expect to see many more advertisements on Instagram. That's what Facebook is signaling, for precisely the reason you mentioned. Yes, people are
migrating more to these other apps. Number three and perhaps the most alarming and most important, fake accounts up 27 percent, Hala. They
estimate there are 116 million fake accounts, far more than in previous quarters.
GORANI: This is Facebook reporting.
[14:25:01] BURKE: Facebook reporting this. In other words, you and I have been talking about this since 2016, of course the U.S. Presidential
election, the Mueller investigation has indicted Russian trolls on Facebook, and yet the problem is getting worse even though Sheryl Sandberg
said after the call yesterday this blockbuster earnings report proves that we can both protect the platform and make it profitable, though I don't
know if I would say they're protecting the platform if the amount of fake accounts is up 27 percent. Incredible.
GORANI: Right. And so, what does this mean for Facebook going forward? They've weathered all these issues then. It seems as though -- is their
subscriber or account pick-up better than expected? So, people are signing up even though --
BURKE: Much better than expected. It wasn't great in the United States, but they're no longer losing people. They're actually adding people in the
United States. Same thing here in Europe. A lot of the emerging markets are still strong as more and more people sign up for the internet. In
other words, so many of the signs we saw out of this report signal strong, strong winds ahead for Facebook.
GORANI: Interesting. All right. Samuel Burke, thanks very much.
To a story in Saudi Arabia now. The brother of a jailed women's rights activist has given a detailed account of abuse that his sister is allegedly
enduring there. She was arrested last May along with ten other women's rights activists in Saudi Arabia. Her brother wrote an opinion piece on
CNN.com. He says she was tortured in what she called a palace of terror. He says, my own baby sister said she is being whipped, beaten,
electrocuted, and harassed on a frequent basis. She said that sometimes there are masked men who wake her up in the middle of the night to shout
unimaginable threats. Saudi authorities did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment on the allegations.
Well, she is also asking for help from an unlikely ally in all of this, the U.S. singer Mariah Carey. The U.S. superstar is performing in the kingdom
tonight. Ahead of that, he asked her to request his sister's release while on stage. By the way, Mariah Carey has been criticized, it has to be said,
online. I've seen quite a bit of it on social media where some people have told her, do not perform there, or if you perform there, you're basically
condoning some of what's going on.
Staying in the Middle East, three European countries are setting up a workaround to bypass American sanctions on Iran. Germany, France, and
Britain have created a new payment system. The channel will be used only to sell food and medical supplies to Tehran. Now, why is this happening?
Because month after the U.S. pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal and he reimposed sanctions, these European countries needed to find another way to
circumvent the U.S. to still trade some of these goods that are not technically subject to sanctions. So, we're talking about medicine,
medical equipment, and food. Let's look more into the reasons behind this. CNN's international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson is here. So, this is
interesting because this is really the first step in Europe forming its own trading channel with Iran that completely leaves the U.S. out.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: It's quite a message, isn't it? And it's interesting that it comes this week, just after we've
heard from the U.S. intelligence chiefs saying different things to President Trump about Iran and Iran's compliance with the nuclear deal, the
JCPOA from 2015. Why is this significant, and why have the Europeans done this? In part, it's because Iran said, look, we're complying, but we're
going to have to get benefit from it, otherwise we'll stop complying. So, Iran was putting pressure on European countries that signed up to the deal
to help them out. In this way, they've helped them out. But they're also at the same time essentially repudiating President Trump's assertions about
listening to what his intelligence chiefs are saying.
GORANI: And his intelligence chiefs are saying Iran is complying.
ROBERTSON: On this issue, on the nuclear issue.
GORANI: So, this is currently for food, medicine, medical equipment. It's for goods that technically are not subject to sanctions.
ROBERTSON: We're not seeing the big oil companies or the car makers.
GORANI: They don't want to get in trouble with Trump.
ROBERTSON: And perhaps their financial flows are going to flow through the United States inevitably and it will be harder for them. The U.S. has been
clear from the get go. They've said, you know, we will pursue this. If we think you are breaking the sanctions in any way, they'll pursue. They said
they'll be very aggressive about this.
GORANI: That's why using the banking system is impossible. It's so integrated that you have U.S. banks involved.
ROBERTSON: In the United States, dollar is dominant.
[14:30:10] GORANI: What I find interesting is this is a structure that will be in place not right away, in a few months later this year, but I
imagine a scenario where a new U.S. President comes in, says this Iran deal works, we'll sign up to it again, but the European countries will be the
ones with the infrastructure to trade with Iran, not the U.S. it will have been left out.
ROBERTSON: But I think that the U.S. will see -- if that's what happens, they'll get the economic benefit of it in the longer run. Europe as well
to a degree, but Europe will perhaps have the benefit because it will have helped Iran out when Iran was in a tight spot. But look, let's face it.
The world gets the benefit if this back channel that's been created stops Iran accelerating towards making a nuclear bomb because that's what it was
all about. That's what the deal was supposed to shut down.
GORANI: Also, they're not sending Ferraris. We're talking about essential goods.
ROBERTSON: Medicine. I mean, the things -- look, as with all sanctions, the criticism is always -- and we've seen this around the world. It's
always that it affects the wrong people. It doesn't stop leadership from doing what they want. It affects the -- it affects the normal people. So
this is it. Medicine. People are going to need that.
GORANI: You could look at Venezuela and say, where did sanctions get you?
ROBERTSON: Or Iraq or dot, dot, dot. Join the dots.
GORANI: Long list. Nic Robertson, thanks very much as always.
Still to come tonight --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN BERCOW, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS OF THE UNITED KINGDOM: Order! Order! The House will have heard very clear -- order! Please. The House
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: He's gained attention around the world as the U.K.'s colorful Speaker of the House. We have an exclusive interview with John Bercow,
GORANI: If you have been following the twists and turns of Brexit and the chaos in the U.K. parliament, as they debate the way forward, you've
probably seen this before.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BERCOW: Order! Order! The House will have heard very clear -- order! Please. The House will have heard very clearly --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Over the last few months, it often seems like the only order in Brexit has been coming from John Bercow's mouth. The colorful way he
marshals the proceedings has brought him attention from around the world, but of course the Speaker of the House is playing a much more pivotal role
in Brexit. And he's given an exclusive interview to CNN.
Our Bianca Nobilo spoke to him earlier.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BERCOW: It's not for the speaker, let's say, in the context of Brexit to prescribe one route or another. And I think the record shows that I've
always been particularly keen, for example, to give a voice to the minority or dissident voices in the House of Commons rather than in any sense decide
with the majority.
It's also a challenge sometimes to select the right amendments for debate in respective legislation. There is a limited amount of time. You can't
choose every topic. I have procedural advisers who guide me. I will look at a bill and I will take a view about the main themes thereof, what needs
to be aired, what can be further teased out of the government, if it's selected for allocation of parliamentary time.
Does an amendment letter say, have a large number of signatories? And if so, that might make it worthy of selection. Does it have cross-party
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[14:35:04] GORANI: Bianca joins me now in the studio. So this is interesting. He hasn't given an interview in a few years, right?
BIANCA NOBILO, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR CORRESPONDENT: Correct.
GORANI: And he's talking about Brexit and selecting amendments and all the rest of it. And this is something that is technically not something a
speaker should say publicly or --
NOBILO: No, it's not what we'd expect it, because the speaker -- if you like, it's more, in terms of his role, like the queen and the prime
minister, he has to be above party politics, he has to be impartial. Now, that's a point he underscored many times, when I spoke to him today. But
clearly, you can't avoid the elephant in the room.
And so I was asking him, are you conscious of the way that the world is looking at Britain, the fact that parliament is so divided and can't come
to a consensus, does that concern you? And he acknowledged that, yes, obviously it does concern him, but he sees his role to really reduce the
power of government and champion the power of parliament.
So that's why -- well, part of the reason that we're in the sticky situation that we're in. It's because all of these other voices that
aren't the government in Britain are having much greater say over this issue of Brexit, and he's a huge part of that. And he also mentioned that
because we are in a minority government in the U.K., unlike a majority, it's more important to champion the House of Commons.
So if Theresa May had more power and more members of parliament wouldn't be in this situation. So John Bercow is able to exert a lot more influence.
GORANI: But so, of course, people around the world don't know him because of this stuff. They know him because he's so theatrical. The order and
unlock and then when he reprimands a member of parliament for not respecting another MP, when it's their turn to speak. I mean, he's become
There was even a German website that had a whole montage of his just most outrageous moments. It's so exotic. U.K. politics are so exotic. There's
nothing like the House of Commons in the U.K. It's actually entertaining. Some of it is entertainment. He's a showman, let's be honest.
NOBILO: He is and he's very talented when it comes to rhetoric. He's a good orator. Those things are important to him. But he does admit that
sometimes controlling the House of Commons, particularly in prime minister's questions, which is probably what our viewers would think of,
when they imagine the speaker, can be really challenging. And he said not because it's like intellectually complex.
Just because when you've got over 600 people in a room shouting, there's only one of you. Well, you can't control them if they desire to make a
cacophony. I spoke to him about that, and he said something rather interesting. Let's take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BERCOW: There are 60,000 people in the crowd, and there are virtually 60,000 people who think they know better than the referee. The referee's
just got to do his job as he thinks fit. And in a sense, perhaps, the speaker is in a not altogether dissimilar position. There will be very
large numbers of people in the chamber and doubt there's very many people viewing the proceedings who think that they know what's what.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOBILO: So the talk there was cut off, but he was talking about going to an Arsenal football match with his son, likening his role of speaker to the
role of the referee on a football pitch when everybody watching the game thinks they know best. That's how he feels in the House of Commons.
GORANI: Right. But what happens with the referee is oftentimes the referee is hated when that referee makes a call that the other side doesn't
like. And he's not -- he's sometimes criticized.
NOBILO: He is. He's come under heavy criticism, be it for his handling of Brexit, his selection of amendments, or even the way he's handled issues of
bullying and harassment in the House of Commons.
However, he remains very clear in his purpose and unshaken by that. He said he isn't fazed by moaning government ministers because it's not his
job to worry about inconveniencing the government. It's his job to champion democracy and make sure that the House of Commons is heard. And
that came across really clearly. He's truly passionate about that.
GORANI: All right. My favorite one is unlock! I like order, but unlock is my new favorite.
Thanks very much, Bianca, for joining us.
The prime minister has been ordered back to Brussels to renegotiate her Brexit deal, but the E.U. says there's no room to talk and the prospect of
no-deal is now more likely than ever.
Nina dos Santos shows us what that might mean.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No-deal!
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's the biggest question on Britain's minds. And one their parliaments tried to
make sure the country would not have to answer.
THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: The House did vote to reject no-deal, but that cannot be.
DOS SANTOS: What would happens if the U.K. left the E.U. without a deal? The official predictions have been sobering, from immediate shortages of
food and medicines as ports block up, to a nine percent fall in GDP, a 30 percent drop in house prices, and sharp interest rate hikes.
In other words, disaster, says this campaigner who fought for parliament to have the final say.
GINA MILLER, FOUNDER, LEAD NOT LEAVE: No-deal will be an absolute catastrophe. No-deal means no transition. So that means in the morning of
the 30th of March, everything would have to be in place. So we would have to start from scratch.
[14:40:03] And, also, this idea that we would be able to replicate exactly the same is impossible. Because if you think about it, we are 65 million
people compared to half a billion in the E.U. So we just don't have the same clout.
DOS SANTOS: But with unemployment at a 43-year low and exports still growing, Brexiteers say the country is well equipped.
EDGAR MILLER, CONVENER, ECONOMISTS FOR FREE TRADE: It shouldn't be thought of as no-deal. It should be thought of as a different deal. We, in fact,
have generally referred to it as a world trade deal where you stop the obsession about trying to have a special arrangement with the E.U.
DOS SANTOS: The E.U.'s own research predicts the lion share of growth over the next decade will come from outside the bloc, and levers want Britain to
be able to capitalize on that trend.
E. MILLER: The biggest benefit is that you can do free trade deals with all the countries in the world, and we calculate that to be about a four
percent increase in GDP.
Secondly, you have your own regulation that is tailored to the U.K. You can get rid of the dead hand of E.U. regulation. And we calculate that
that is about another two percentage point's increase in GDP.
DOS SANTOS (on-camera): Although a no-deal Brexit ends up being a blessing or a curse, depends to a large extent on whether the U.K. can trade under
World Trade Organization rules after leaving the E.U., aside from the fact that that could make a whole range of goods, including some of these clothe
son this London high street subject to significant tariffs, it's also unclear as to whether the WTO rules today would need to be brought up to
date with more modern aspects of the British economy.
G. MILLER: Leaving with no deal means leaving every single E.U. institution, and we would have to have those replicated on the morning of
the 30th of March. So that's a medicals agency, a chemicals agency, the list goes on and on. We have not one ready.
DOS SANTOS: As ever with Brexit, the theory paints one picture and the practicalities another. And until March the 29th, no one will really know
if no-deal is or isn't the way to go.
Nina dos Santos, CNN, London.
GORANI: Well, as the deadline to yet another U.S. government shutdown fast approaches, President Donald Trump is digging in on his demand for a border
A short time ago, he spoke at the White House. He hadn't spoken publicly in a bit, accusing the top democratic in Congress of playing games by
denying funding for one of his signature campaign promises. He says part of the wall is being built right now and that it's working.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If you go to Tijuana and you take down that wall, you will have so many people coming into our country
that Nancy Pelosi will be begging for a wall. She'll be begging for a wall. She will say, Mr. President, please, please give us a wall.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, it's hard to imagine a scenario in which Nancy Pelosi would be begging Donald Trump for a wall, certainly. But, of course, he's trying
to make the case once again.
Sarah Westwood at the White House. For this wall he promised his supporters during the campaign, where are we on that now, the talks between
the White House and Congress on trying to avoid another shutdown?
SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Hala, President Trump was setting expectations low for those talks between conferees on Capitol
Hill, saying he doesn't really expect that there will be a deal coming out of those negotiations.
Speaker Pelosi, obviously, earlier today said that there would be no money for a border wall in that package, so Democrats are still dug in behind
their refusal to fund a border wall. And President Trump said he would be wasting his time if he read the text of a bill that came back to him
without any funding for a border wall. So he's not taking a national emergency declaration off the table. That's something the administration
has viewed as a way for the president potentially to tap into existing federal funds. He's also not ruling out a second partial government
shutdown if the money isn't there for his wall on February 15th.
GORANI: And there have been important trade talks taking place in Washington. China/U.S. trade talks. And this is something that these
tensions with China that is really unnerved the business community and markets. Any progress there?
WESTWOOD: Well, President Trump sounded optimistic today. It's the first time we've seen him in six days, by the way, about the prospects of getting
to some sort of agreement, at least in principle, with China by the March 1st deadline. That's when tariffs on some Chinese goods are set to go up
from 10 percent to 25 percent.
President Trump said he hopes that an agreement could be hammered out by that deadline but cast doubt on the idea that that would be codified on
paper by that March 1st deadline. He's suggesting it won't be an incremental kind of deal. He wants to see something comprehensive that
tackles everything from fentanyl to intellectual property theft to the trade barriers the China and the U.S. have imposed on each other.
[14:45:05] He's got a meeting later today with some top officials from China to talk about trade, but he said, Hala, that the final product, that
the final version of this deal will likely have to come from a face-to-face meeting, another one, between him and Chinese president Xi Jinping.
GORANI: Sarah Westwood, thanks very much.
Still to come, all U.S. aid to Palestinians is now gone, dried up. President Trump pulled the plug. We'll see how that's forcing some key
projects to shut down and how that could impact ordinary Palestinians. We'll be right back.
GORANI: Israeli military prosecutors have charged five soldiers with severely beating two handcuffed and blindfolded Palestinian detainees in
the West Bank. An indictment says some soldiers cheered and shouted out cries of happiness as the prisoners were punched and as they were kicked.
It says at one point soldiers removed one detainee's blindfold so he had to watch the abuse of the other.
They were arrested in a military sweep after the killing of two Israeli soldiers by a Palestinian gunman a few weeks earlier.
Now, for months, U.S. funding to Palestinians has been drying up. That's after the U.S. president, Donald Trump ordered an end to $200 million in
Well, as of tomorrow, there will be no American money left.
Oren Liebermann shows us how the lives and livelihoods of countless Palestinians will be affected.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The orchard of date trees was filled with hope when it was first planted. The harvest and
sale of dates had already created 4,000 jobs and was expected to create thousands more when the trees were fully grown.
ISMAIL DIEK, FARMER: We are exporting for around 26 countries in the world, and it's covering around 25 percent from the total export of the
agriculture sector in Palestine.
LIEBERMANN: The trees were planted near a planned irrigation line, part of a major infrastructure project from USAID, which has pumped some $5 billion
into the West Bank and Gaza since 2001.
The project launched in late 2017 was hailed by President Donald Trump's special representative, Jason Greenblatt, as a boost to the economy of
nearby Jericho. That was then. This is now.
LIEBERMANN (on-camera): Nearly a year and a half after this project was launched, all work here has come to a halt. The road itself remains torn
up, and the sewage line installed underneath here unfinished.
LIEBERMANN (voice-over): Work on this project and other funding programs in the West Bank and Gaza have dried up, along with U.S. aid to the
Palestinians, most cut off by the Trump administration, some rejected by the Palestinian authority because of the threat of liability under new
[14:50:00] A spokesman for USAID told CNN, we continue to work through the potential impact of The Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act. In consultation
with partners, we've taken steps to wind down certain projects and programs in the West Bank and Gaza.
One thing hasn't changed under the pressure. Palestinian resolve.
DIEK: Before, we feel that this help come from the American people, to help the poor people and to help the people to have better life. Now, we
feel that this is just for dictations of the political positions of the people, and I want to tell you that we are the Palestinians refusing any of
this dictation from anybody in the world.
LIEBERMANN: Pulling the plug on the USAID money was supposed to be a way for the Trump administration to pressure the Palestinians ahead of the U.S.
peace plan. Instead, the Palestinians are trying to pick up the burden of these projects on their own, and with them, the destiny of their cause.
Oren Liebermann, CNN, Jericho.
GORANI: Now to a big foreign policy challenge facing President Trump, a dispute with Russia over a key arms control pact. The U.S. could begin
withdrawing from the INF Treaty this weekend as Moscow's warning such a move could trigger a whole new arms race
Here's Fred Pleitgen with that.
FRED PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After more than 30 years, the U.S. is set to pull out of a milestone nuclear
disarmament agreement, the treaty on Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces, or INF. Washington saying Russia is cheating.
MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: We either bury our head in the sand or we take common sense actions in response to Russia's flagrant disregard
for the expressed terms of the INF treaty.
PLEITGEN: And this is the missile system that the U.S. says violates the INF, the nuclear capable 9M729. America says it folds within the
prohibited range of between 500 and 5,000 kilometers and must be destroyed if Russia wants to save the INF Treaty.
Moscow denies the allegations and claims the U.S. is the one breaching the deal. Russia's army even putting on a briefing displaying the 9M729 system
and claiming its range is within the limits of the INF.
LT. GEN. MIKHAIL MATVEEVSKY, RUSSIAN ARMY (through translator): Russia has implemented and continues to meticulously implement the requirements of the
treaty and does not allow for any violations to happen.
PLEITGEN: But journalists were only able to see the launch vehicle and container not the actual missiles.
PLEITGEN (on-camera): The Russians are saying, the reason why this rocket is longer than its predecessors, not because they've increased the range,
but simply because they've increased the size of the warhead which would be approximately right here in the container.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): The INF Treaty was signed in 1987 by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, aiming to eliminate
land-based medium-ranged nukes.
Today, both Russia and the U.S. view the treaty as largely obsolete because it constrains the two while non-signatories like China are free to field
medium range nuclear weapons.
Moscow claims it wants to try and turn the INF into a multilateral treaty to try to save it.
SERGEY RYABKOV, RUSSIAN DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER: We are open to different ideas how to move things further forward. We do not exclude anything
PLEITGEN: Moscow says if the INF fails, it could lead to a new arms race and make the danger of nuclear conflict much higher almost three decades
after the end of the Cold War.
GORANI: Fred Pleitgen there.
More to come. Could you tell if a video you're watching online is real or is fake? We'll be right back.
[14:55:24] GORANI: Well, you'd be forgiven for getting duped by deepfake videos online thanks to advanced artificial intelligence. But for the
U.S., combatting this is a matter of national security. Here's Miguel Marquez.
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Especially our friends who are lesbian --
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Which Barack Obama speech is real, which is fake?
OBAMA: I visited with the families of many of the victims on Thursday.
MARQUEZ: The one on the right, fake. Researchers at the University of Washington took Obama's speaking and made it look like he said the same
thing at a different time and place.
How about this one? Which one is fake? If you pick the man, you're wrong.
Researchers at Stanford University transferred the expression, head position and eye gaze from the man and applied it to the woman.
They're called Deepfakes, videos that look so real it's hard to tell what's fake.
BuzzFeed published this Obama video, his lips digitally altered, his voice, the actor, Jordan Peele.
JORDAN PEELE, ACTOR: This is a dangerous time.
MARQUEZ: It doesn't take much imagination to see how videos like these could confuse, disrupt and intensify anger in everything, from business, to
foreign policy, to politics.
SEN. RICHARD BURR (R), NORTH CAROLINA: I don't need to remind anyone in the room, when this country's democracy was attacked in 2016, it wasn't
with a bomb or a missile or a plane, it was with social media accounts that any 13-year-old can establish for free.
MARQUEZ: In the years since the 2016 election campaign, we have seen fake after fake after fake, including photos of Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump
meant to stir anger, motivate or depress one side or the other. Many shared tens of thousands of times.
AARON LAWSON, STAR ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, SRI INTERNATIONAL: Yes, I think any time you can misrepresent reality in a way that could convince people of it
being other than it really is, is potentially dangerous, especially if you have no way of detecting it.
MARQUEZ: Detecting fakes is exactly what SRI, along with the government's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is trying to do. Trying to stay
one step ahead of deepfake technology using artificial intelligence to teach computers the telltale signs of a fake.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just like --
MARQUEZ: For now --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was just -- I -- this was -- this was very truly surprising for me.
MARQUEZ: It's a little bit of fun, whether a Jennifer Lawrence, Steve Buscemi mash-up, or a seemingly obsessed Nicholas Cage man who's put him in
everything from "The Matrix" or Julie Andrews from "The Sound of Music."
GORANI: Well, that is terrifying. I'm Hala Gorani. Stay with CNN. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is next.