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Donald Trump Says His Intelligence Chiefs May Not Be Right All the Time; Pope Francis Making History With His Visit in the Arabian Peninsula; Tom Brady and the Patriots are Champions Once Again; According to President Trump, if ISIS Returns, So Will the United States; A Footballer Imprisoned in Thailand. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired February 4, 2019 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[02:00:01] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump gives a wide-ranging interview, signaling once again that his top intelligence chiefs may not be right all the time.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a dream that the Pope is coming here and it's amazing how the dream is coming true.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Catholics in Abu Dhabi are very, very happy as the Pope makes his first trip ever to the UAE.
VANIER: Plus, the Patriots do it yet again. Tom Brady and his team are Super Bowl champions not for the forth, not for the fifth time, but for a stunning sixth time. We are live from CNN world headquarters here in Atlanta, where the Super Bowl was played. We want to welcome our viewers joining us in the United States and from all around the world. I'm Cyril Vanier.
ALLEN: Everyone is sick of us saying that we're just so proud that we are right next to the Super Bowl.
VANIER: We had fun.
ALLEN: We did have fun. I am Natalie Allen and this is CNN Newsroom. Thanks again for joining us. Our top story, if ISIS returns, so will the United States. That is the word from President Trump about the future of Syria.
VANIER: In an interview with CBS on Sunday, the president says he knows a troop withdrawal from Syria would cause a power vacuum. But the U.S. military is ready for if.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- by your intelligence chiefs so is that -- you could in that vacuum see a resurgence of ISIS, see a resurgence of terrorist like Al Qaeda.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Sure. And you know what we'll do? We'll come back if we have to. We have very fast airplanes. We have very good cargo planes. We can come back very quickly, and I am not leaving.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: All of this comes ahead of Tuesday's State of the Union address, which will likely include Mr. Trump's plans for the southern U.S. border. Here's CNN's Boris Sanchez with more.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: On Sunday afternoon, the Pentagon confirmed something CNN had previously reported out last week. Sources at the Pentagon telling CNN that the White House was prepared to deploy some 3,500 troops to the U.S. border with Mexico to help customs and border protection agents that were stationed there.
The Pentagon on Sunday made the official number closer to 3,750. That would lead to a total of some 4,300 U.S. troops on the border with Mexico. Democrats have said that the move is essentially a propaganda move by the president, using American troops as tools to sell his message of border security. It does lead to more questions about what else President Trump might do to bypass Congress and install his vision of border security along the U.S. border with Mexico.
The president has been frustrated by negotiations with Democrats. During an interview with CBS over the weekend, he has effectively said that negotiating with Democrats was a waste of time, and he called out House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, saying that she was bad for the country. Listen to this.
TRUMP: Well, I think that she was very rigid, which I would expect. But I think she is very bad for our country. She knows that you need at a barrier. She knows that we need border security. She wanted to win a political point. I happen to think it is very bad politics, because basically she wants open borders. She doesn't mind human trafficking or she wouldn't do this because you know the trafficking --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She offered you over a billion dollars for border security.
TRUMP: Excuse me?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She offered over a billion dollars for border security. She doesn't want the wall.
TRUMP: She's costing the country hundreds of billions of dollars because what's happening is when you have a porous boarder and when you have drugs pouring in, and when you have people dying all over the country because of people like Nancy Pelosi, who don't want to give proper border security for political reasons, she's doing a terrible disservice to our country.
SANCHEZ: Arizona spokesperson for the house speaker shot back at President Trump, saying that he was reckless during the first government shutdown. And suggesting that he had been dishonest in misrepresenting, mischaracterizing where Democrats stand on the issue of border security and immigration.
We should point out CNN did see a preview of what the president would be saying Tuesday night during his State of the Union address. There was no indication that he would be declaring a national emergency during his speech. Instead, a White House official suggested that the president would try to have some unifying words for the country, using the occasion to provide a path forward for the nation following that record-breaking, divisive government shutdown.
Boris Sanchez, CNN, traveling with president in West Palm Beach, Florida.
ALLEN: That's talk about the State of the Union with Steven Erlanger, Chief Diplomatic Correspondent in Europe for The New York Times. He joins us from Brussels. Hi, Steven, always good to see you.
STEVEN ERLANGER, NEW YORK TIMES CHIEF DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Natalie. How are you?
ALLEN: I am good, thanks. All right, we just heard from Boris Sanchez right there that perhaps the president will not use the State of the Union to declare some sort of border emergency. The question, though, will the wall still be front and center?
[02:04:59] ERLANGER: Well, he's made it such an issue. The problem is he's not going to get it from the Democrats. It's just not going to the happen. So I think, you know, his time is running out in his first term. That's really what we should remember. We have a Democratic House. The Mueller investigation is coming to a close. Some Republicans are certainly going to challenge him.
So I think with the State of the Union he will (Inaudible) it's important to get some stuff done with the Democrats. But the wall is not going to happen. So he can talk about it. He can say these extraordinarily nasty things about Nancy Pelosi that she's in favor of open walls and all that -- all of -- you know, this irony (ph) migration. This is really number one priority (ph), but he's got to figure out what he is going do.
He's not going to declare national emergency. That's what their party has said. So he has to reach out to the Democrats to find some kind of compromise. In fact, they're willing to go to reach a compromise on border security to put in to get the wall.
ALLEN: All right. Steven, thank you. We wanted to ask you a couple of more questions, but we are having a little bit of trouble with your audio. So we're going to work on that. And we're going to get back to you. So hang with us, we'll get back to.
ERLANGER: OK, sorry about that.
ALLEN: That's all right. It's our fault.
VANIER: More U.S. politics. Virginia's Democratic governor bombarded by calls to resign is losing support from his own team. On Sunday, Ralph Northam held a meeting with top administration officials of color and sources say none of them told him to stay in office and fight.
ALLEN: Northam faces pressure after this racist photo in his medical school yearbook went public. Other close political allies say it's time to call it quits.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHUCK TODD, MSNBC HOST: I know you have called for his resignation. Is there anything he can do that would somehow convince you to give him more time in office?
REP. DONALD MCEACHIN (D), VIRGINIA: No. And I consider Ralph a friend. We were elected to the State Senate at the same time. But look, he has lost the authority to lead. He has lost the authority to govern. He has to resign. It's in the best interest of the commonwealth. It's in the best interest of the party.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: At this stage, it is not clear what is in Ralph Northam's political future. Even his stories are changing.
ALLEN: Yes. First, of course, he apologized and said he was in the photo. Now, he says he wasn't. For more about it, here is Jessica Dean.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JESSICA DEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: New reporting here in Richmond, Virginia, where a source with direct knowledge of the governor's thinking on all of this, is telling CNN that as of right now, the governor's thinking has not changed. That Governor Northam has no plans to resign. In fact, that press conference that was scheduled and held over the weekend was there as a platform for the governor to explain the photo, and that it was supposed to be a forum for people to begin to understand the governor.
And hopefully, the governor was thinking that it would give him time to kind of think through what his next steps might be. We are told the governor is evaluating things minute by minute, day by day. But right now, the only reason that the governor would resign is if he was not able to govern effectively. And currently, he doesn't believe that is the case.
Now, the legislature is scheduled to meet on Monday here in Richmond. And it will be interesting to see if anyone brings this up. Right now, no talk from anyone officially publically about any sort of removal from office. But again, we'll see what the days bring.
In Richmond, Jessica Dean, CNN.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: We'll continue to follow the developments there. All right, we are going to go back to Steven Erlanger. He's talking with us from Brussels with The New York Times. You were talking about Nancy Pelosi, and President Trump has continued to -- according to the Democrats and her spokesman, mischaracterize their stance on the border.
Is there a case that he is making to the American people that there is an emergency as far as making to the American people beyond his base?
ERLANGER: We'll, he's certainly trying. I mean what he's arguing is that drugs are pouring across the boarder and people are pouring across the border. Now, some drugs, of course, get across the boarder and some people come across the border. But the numbers are actually down. Partly, they are down because his Justice Department and Homeland Security are being tough when people are in the country.
But I think, you know, I mean I am not on the border. But as an emergency, compared to other times in the past, I don't see it. But it's become a big thing for him politically. It's symbolic for him. As we all know, most people who are illegal immigrants fly in on legitimate visas and overstay their visas. That's the biggest problem. It's not the border.
[02:10:00] But for Trump, it's a big symbolic thing. But for him to say that the Democrats have no interest in border security is just playing politics. I mean he knows it's unfair. They know it's unfair. Maybe the American people also know it's unfair. But this is the way politics are being played now in Washington. People exaggerate lots of things to make points.
ALLEN: Right. And people need to do their best to sort out truth from fiction. Let's talk about the global issues that the president will likely address because he talked about it in the interview with CBS. He's keeping troops in Iraq he says to keep an eye on Iran. He maintains Iran is cheating, although the intelligence chiefs just said this week that they don't believe they are.
And then, of course, there is Syria. He also said that he could send troops right back if there is a power vacuum there. How might the reaction be in the region to that?
ERLANGER: Well, you know, the announcement that he was going to withdraw troops quickly from Syria was considered destabilizing. It annoyed our allies, who are after all with us in the fight against ISIS. And it created a fuss that he's then pulled back from. So he did listen to his intelligence people and to his military people, and he slowed down this withdrawal.
I am not sure it's going to actually happen fully because ISIS is not defeated as he says that it is. It is in trouble. But it is spreading in different ways. It's turning into more of a guerilla movement. And also, if the Americans pull out completely from Syria, it does create problems for Iraq, for Turkey, for the Kurds, for lots of our allies.
So I think what you are hearing from him is a slowing down of the process and an effort to reassure his allies, our allies in the region that America will not cut and run.
ALLEN: And we also heard from our reporter there, Boris Sanchez, Steven, that the president may make this time at the left turn (ph) to unify the country. That's not a particular tone he takes that often. Do you think with this speech he might try and restore the support that he lost during the government shutdown?
ERLANGER: Well, I think he's certainly going to try. As I was trying to go say before, his time is running out in his first term. The Mueller investigation is coming closer. The Democrats now have the House.
So if he wants to get more done, which I think he probably would like to do on border security and other things, he needs to at least hold out the hand of compromise on some issues to the Democrats. So I think it's a wise move for him to stand up, speaking to the nation in a more unifying tone. His base has got nowhere else to go.
So I don't think he needs to worry about that. But I think it would help him in his reelection efforts to get more legislation passed on issues that matter to him.
ALLEN: Steven Erlanger, we could hear you just fine and clear.
ERLANGER: Oh, good.
ALLEN: Always appreciate your insights, Steven. Thank you.
ERLANGER: Thanks, Natalie.
VANIER: OK. We have been saying this for years. And we may actually end up saying it again and again. The New England Patriots are Super Bowl champions.
ALLEN: That would be six times over. They beat the L.A. Rams 13-3 just hours ago. Right next door here in Atlanta, this is the sixth championship for the team and for Pats Quarterback Tom Brady.
VANIER: Yeah. They say defense wins championships. Well, it's not always that much fun to watch. The score was only 3-0 at halftime. And the lone Patriots' touchdown came in the fourth quarter.
Watching the game for us was CNN's Andy Scholes. He joins us live from not far where the game was played. And that's the Mercedes Benz Stadium behind you. Andy, I don't care. Personally, I don't care that the score was so low. You still got to watch history.
ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS: You did get to watch history. But I tell you what. We were watching this game and, you know, me and the people sitting around we were like waiting -- is something going to happen, or are we going to see an exciting play. Come on. It's got to happen soon. And it just wasn't there. This was definitely a defensive slugfest.
People on social media were joking that this was the snooze ball, the boredom bowl, the punt bowl, because there are just punt after punt after punt, just not a lot of fun offensive plays in this game. It's kind of ironic because during the season in the NFL it was the second highest scoring season we have ever seen.
Yet, we got the lowest scoring Super Bowl ever. The game was 3-3 all the way into the forth quarter. That's when we finally got to see an exciting play. Tom Brady right here threw a 29-yard strike to his big target Rob Gronkowski. That got the Patriots in the red zone for the first time in the game. And then Sony Michel, the running back punches it in.
[02:15:07] And we finally had a touchdown with seven minutes to go. The Patriots had the lead 10-3. Now, the Rams also had a shot here. Jared Goff, nice pass to Brandon Cooks, but he can't haul it in.
And that would be a huge play in this game. Because moments later, Goff again throwing it, but this time a really bad pass, picked off by Stefan Gilmore. And that would really seal it for the Patriots, they go on to win the game, 13-3, lowest scoring game we have ever seen in the Super Bowl.
Julian Edelman was the game's MVP. He had 10 catches for 141 yards, and Brady, a champion for a sixth time. And our Hines Ward, we caught up with Brady right on the field after the game.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HINES WARD, CNN SPORTS CONTRIBUTOR: What does it mean to win six, man? You are the greatest of all time.
TOM BRADY, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS QUARTERBACK: I don't believe that.
BRADY: I don't believe that. I don't believe that. I don't think about that. I just think I played with so many great guys on so many great teams and I still get to do it at 41 years old, playing a sport I grew up loving and proud of my team tonight.
WARD: What about Jules, man?
BRADY: He was like a little Hines Ward tonight, wasn't he?
WARD: He balled out, man.
BRADY: He played his butt off. And I knew he was going to play his butt off. He was so focused, and we needed him big time and he came through.
WARD: Congrats, my brother.
BRADY: Thanks. I appreciate it.
WARD: What is it about the Super Bowl that you just keep making plays, man? I get so geeked up when I see you running around and making play after play after play for Tom Brady.
JULIAN EDELMAN, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS WIDE RECEIVER: I don't know. I just try to go out and have a good week of practice and you know, try to make the play when my number's called.
WARD: MVP of the Super Bowl. What does that mean?
EDELMAN: It's pretty crazy.
WARD: Is it surreal?
EDELMAN: It is pretty surreal. I am still, you know --
WARD: You are not going to sleep tonight. I guarantee that.
EDELMAN: I don't know yet. I just want to say hello to my little baby girl, Lily. I love you. I miss you. And I can't wait to see you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHOLES: Now, Tom Brady, 41 years old, the oldest quarterback to ever win a Super Bowl. I was right there on the field when he was celebrating with his family. And, you know, this is his sixth Super Bowl title. But they were so happy. You would have thought it was their first. And I actually caught up with Tom Brady's dad and asked him how proud of him -- or how proud was he to see his son win his sixth Super Bowl.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM BRADY SR, TOM BRADY'S FATHER: I was proud of him at five. I was proud of him when he didn't have any. But now that he has six, it's extra sweet, you know? It's just not even something that you could even fantasize with. And we just have been living the dream for about 18 years now, so we are very thankful.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHOLES: And, you know, some fans are saying they are tired of seeing the Patriots in the Super Bowl. This is the fourth time they have been in the game in five years. And they are tired of seeing Tom Brady win. But you know what, guys? I say they are wrong. We should appreciate this because we're watching the Michael Jordan of the NFL right now, Tom Brady.
He's the greatest to ever play the game. Who knows how many more times we'll see him in the Super Bowl? He's definitely coming back for another season, but we should appreciate it while it's here.
VANIER: Absolutely. He gets GOAT status for us that, right, greatest of all time? I mean no question.
SCHOLES: No question. Tom Brady is the greatest player to ever play in the NFL.
ALLEN: Right. Even though he denies it, we got to give it to him.
VANIER: Andy Scholes, ladies and gentlemen, our MVP. Thank you very much.
SCHOLES: Appreciate it.
ALLEN: Bye, Andy. Thanks. OK, Pope Francis is starting day two of a historic trip to a place no pope has ever gone before. In UAE, how Christians and Muslims are treating his visit. We'll have a live report from Abu Dhabi.
VANIER: Plus, Venezuela's president fights off pressure from the U.S. and Europe, his message to Donald Trump after being warned of possible military intervention. Stay with us.
[02:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
VANIER: Pope Francis is making history in the United Arab Emirates. He arrived on Sunday, becoming the first Roman Catholic Pope to ever visit the Arabian Peninsula. The region is the birth place of Islam but it's also home to millions of Christians. CNN's Becky Anderson has more from Abu Dhabi.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's the kind visit that comes once in a lifetime.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't think exciting is the -- you know, correct word to describe the feeling. I visited Rome, but here it's a completely different atmosphere.
ANDERSON: This visit is history in the making. For the million strong Catholic community in a country with 200 different nationalities practicing a variety of faiths. Francis will become the first pontiff to say mass on the Arabian Peninsula, a region overwhelmingly Muslim. Bishop Paul Hinder who has lived in the Middle East for over a decade says the diversity of the Catholic community here is what makes it so special.
PAUL HINDER, UAE BISHOP: The majority surely are Indians and Filipinos. But we have Christians from the Arabic-speaking countries.
ANDERSON: Tickets to the papal mass were assigned through a lottery system. With ticket holders officially given the day off work. And the excitement is palpable when you speak to church-goers here in Abu Dhabi.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everybody wants their tickets, asking me where are the tickets, we want to come, even those who are working they told me we will be absent for our job just to be here and be with the pope.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a dream that the Pope is coming here. And it's amazing how the dream is coming true.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Pope coming is a peak of every Christianity's job. (Inaudible) Muslim country that can do any better than this.
ANDERSON: The public mass is expected to attract 135,000 faithful, according to the organizers. American deacon, Donald Fox, will be among those assisting Pope Francis on the day.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I definitely will have to try to insure that I don't show my nervousness. It will definitely be the large type of celebration that I have ever done.
[02:24:57] ANDERSON: There is a feeling of real impact in a country that very consciously promotes an image of tolerance. Pakistani Faizel Kieren (ph) who has lived in the UAE for nearly a decade and has previously seen the pope in person describes what this visit means to him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is coming to my home. It is as if Jesus is coming to my home.
ANDERSON: A sentiment shared by many members of what is this tight- knit community.
Becky Anderson, CNN, Abu Dhabi.
VANIER: For more on the pope's visit, CNN's Delia Gallagher is live in Abu Dhabi, Delia.
DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, good morning to you, Cyril. Yes, the Pope is here, the first time a pope in a country in the Arabian Peninsula. This morning just short -- a short time from now, Cyril, the hope will be meeting with the crown prince.
Now, there is a delicate political situation that is overhanging this visit, and that is the situation in Yemen, because the Emirates is in a coalition with Saudi Arabia, fighting a war in Yemen, a war which the U.N. says has created one of the largest human catastrophes in our time.
And the pope from the Vatican on Sunday just before leaving for the Emirates made a plea for peace in Yemen. We do not know if he will raise that issue privately with the crown prince and government authorities. But certainly, they know where he stands on the issue.
And then later this afternoon, Cyril, one of the main reasons the pope has come here to meet with the Muslim Council of Elders, together with the grand imam of Al-Assad, Al Tayeb. This is a man who is one of the principal Muslim leaders for Sunni Muslims. And the pope believes that all religious leaders need to come together to help fight fundamentalism and to encourage peace.
And so he comes here to meet with these leaders once again. He has already met several times with the grand imam for that purpose, also, of course, to help encourage tolerance, religious tolerance for Christian minorities and other minorities in many countries in this region, Cyril.
VANIER: Live from Abu Dhabi, Delia Gallagher reporting. Thank you very much.
ALLEN: Next here, we follow an interesting case, a footballer jailed in Thailand fights to go back to his new wife and his team in Australia. We'll have the latest on Hakim Al-Araibi and his case and why his home country Bahrain wants him extradited.
[02:30:52] ALLEN: And welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Natalie Allen.
VANIER: I'm Cyril Vanier. Let's look at the headlines. U.S. President Donald Trump tell CBS even though he wants troops out of Iraq, he's going to keep some there to keep an eye on neighboring Iran. Mr. Trump also says a troop withdrawal from Syria may cause a power vacuum, but the U.S. Military can respond and return if necessary.
ALLEN: Virginia's Democratic Governor is losing support from his own team after a racist photo in his medical school yearbook went public. Ralph Northam faces pressure now to resign. On Sunday, he held a meeting with top administration officials of color, a source says none of them told him to stay in the office and fight.
VANIER: And guess who, the New England Patriots are Super Bowl champions yet again. They beat the Los Angeles Rams 13 to 3 in what was a defensive showdown here in Atlanta. It is the sixth Super Bowl win for the Patriots and for their quarterback, Tom Brady. The game's only touchdown came in the fourth quarter.
ALLEN: New developments in Venezuela's leadership standoff. President Nicolas Maduro warns Donald Trump against trying to force him from power. He told Spanish channel laSexta that the U.S. president risks, these are his words, staining his hands with blood if he doesn't stop. President Trump has said sending troops to Venezuela is still an option.
VANIER: Meanwhile, Mr. Maduro has rejected an ultimatum to call early presidential elections. Now, some European nations had threatened to back the opposition if he failed to do so by Sunday.
ALLEN: As President Maduro continues to fight off international pressure, his rival is seeking humanitarian aid from abroad. For more, our correspondent Stefano Pozzebon is in Caracas.
STEFANO POZZEBON, JOURNALIST: Yes, increasing pressure on Nicolas Maduro's shoulders not only by those remarkable comments by U.S. President Donald Trump, but also by other European countries, many in the European countries such as Spain, France, Germany, and the U.K. all coming on Juan Guaido's side demanding fresh, free, and fair elections as soon as possible. But at the same time, Nicolas Maduro isn't giving no sign that he's bulking against that pressure that he's given an inch to his opponents' demands.
For a fourth time in 10 days on Sunday, Maduro was seen rallying his troops surrounded by military officials and denouncing a plot to for a coup attempt against his rule and really portraying himself as a leader who's not ready to leave without a fight. On the other side, Juan Guaido again detailing on Sunday the logistics of the humanitarian aid plan that is meant to bring an end to the deep economic and humanitarian crisis here in Caracas saying that the opposition.
The Venezuelan opposition will gather humanitarian aid from abroad in three different points around the Venezuelan border, one is in (INAUDIBLE) the other is in Brazil, and one on an unspecified Caribbean island and that it will demand to the armed forces that the aid will be let into the country. But, again, increasing pressure both aboard and here at home in Caracas at the end of this dramatic power tussle is nowhere to be seen. For CNN, this is Stefano Pozzebon, Caracas.
VANIER: A footballer fighting extradition to Bahrain will spend two more months in a Thai jail. Hakeem al-Araibi appeared at a Bangkok court hours ago. He fled Bahrain in 2014 and says he was tortured there. Thai authorities arrested him on his honeymoon back in November. He has refugee status in Australia and plays for a Melbourne club.
ALLEN: Bahrain alleges he helped protesters vandalize a police station. But his supporters say the charges are politically motivated. The footballer is a critic of the Bahraini government. Let's talk more about this story. Joining us now is Craig Foster live in Bangkok. He's a former captain for the Australian national football team and he's part of a campaign calling for al-Araibi's release.
[02:35:04] Craig, thanks so much for being with us. So what do you make of these allegations from Bahrain and their push to try to bring him back?
CRAIG FOSTER, FORMER AUSTRALIAN FOOTBALL CAPTAIN: Well, it's horrific. It's horrific according to international law and it's even more horrific according to the values, principles, and the regulations of sport. So Bahrain have very strong positions of official governance within both FIFA, one of the members of the royal family, and it was particularly the royals as well, not just the government that Hakeem was involved in a pro-democracy demonstration back in 11- 12.
But then in 2016, he was very critical of Sheik Salman, a member who was the AFC president running for the FIFA presidency at that time. This is why we feel that this is nothing more than a politically motivated case and it's a retributive one from Bahrain. So the case itself it simply -- he's simply a political prisoner. It shouldn't be going on. There was an Interpol red notice placed on him by Bahrain contrary to the regulations of Interpol itself because Bahrain is the country from which he fled persecution and torture as you previously said, and he was granted asylum by Australia.
He came here and he was detained and then the red notice was lifter, nevertheless, it's clear that Thailand were already colluding with Bahrain and what this relationship is between them were not entirely clear. But it's certainly much stronger than international legal norms that the Thai government has said they'll abide by. They haven't today. He is a torture survivor and under the convention against torture that was exceeded to by the Thais in '07. They should simply return him home.
Nevertheless, they've expedited into their court system and at least today, Natalie, Hakeem's local lawyer has been given another 60 days to prepare the case. We hope it doesn't get there. We aim not to let it get to that 60 days. This is already in excess of two months of improper incarceration of a torture survivor, Natalie, and we just think that it's an absolutely horrific example of Bahrain's tentacles reaching around the world saying anyone who's critical of us we can use acquiescence third party countries to make sure that we can get you back to punish you.
ALLEN: All right. So he does have a lawyer and you've got a campaign to try to free him. What kind of pressure are you putting on? What should international football's role also be in this case?
FOSTER: Yes, good question. So football hasn't step up early or well enough. And one of the reasons because the deep political motivations and ties here are overriding this case and certainly Hakeem's hopes of freedom. So the AFC president is a member of this royal family of Bahrain who are working with the government to have him (INAUDIBLE) as a refugee. So clearly, the support of the Asian Football Confederation was never going to be what it should.
We've asked for him to stand down immediately and we continue to do that. He subsequently recused himself but that's ridiculous. It's nowhere near enough. FIFA last week after coming here for a week and speaking to the Australian ambassador designate and other embassies the case became of such concern to us that we rush last week to FIFA to see Fatma Samoura, the secretary general and appraised her in confidence of some of the key aspects of the case which are really worrying, and that led to Fatma escalating FIFA's explanation of the case to emergency status.
And they wanted to see some progress last week. We haven't seen it. I think probably FIFA are even surprised. The Thai prime minister has not responded to Fatma Samoura. He has not responded to a letter from the Australian prime minister and continues to take this path that Bahrain are leading him down. So we are asking for people to support this campaign and we're going to really urge and impress very strongly on FIFA now that we believe sporting sanctions are necessary.
If a refugee or any other type of player is not safe in Thailand or Bahrain cannot guarantee their safety transiting through this country to play football games then clearly they shouldn't be able to host either tournaments or matches and we expect to see that in the very near term.
ALLEN: Well, I can tell that you're optimistic and we hope this has an ending that you're looking for. We appreciate your passion. You're certainly immersed in this story and we thank you, Craig, Foster. We'll talk with you again if there are developments. Thank you, Craig.
ALLEN: Search teams have found the wreckage of the plane that was carrying Argentine football star Emiliano Sala. U.K. aviation investigators confirm that a privately funded marine search team located the plane in the English Channel. Sala and the pilot went missing two weeks ago. The official search operation was called off days after the aircraft disappeared when officials said it was unlikely they would find survivors.
[02:40:04] Football fans have been paying tribute to the 28-year-old star striker. Sala had just been signed with the English Premier League Club Cardiff City.
VANIER: And coming up, parts of Australia have been hit with record rainfall and the experts say it won't be stopping for several more days. Stay with us.
ALLEN: Epic rains in Australia have forced the release of water from this dam in the State of Queensland. That's only adding to the record-setting rainfall that has inundated the area.
VANIER: Yes, very impressive pictures there and no less impressive weather. Thousands of people have fled their homes. There are reports of snakes and crocodiles in the flood waters. And the forecast isn't getting much better. The rain may continue until Thursday.
ALLEN: So what has been a brutally hot summer for Australia, and now, they're hit with this. Karen McGinnis join us now with more about it. Karen?
KAREN MCGINNIS, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: Yes. There are two aspects of this and one is that we saw such heavy rainfall. It's been so heavy that in the last seven days around Townsville, they've seen a year's worth of precipitation in seven days. If you can imagine your own area that you live in in seven days receiving all the rain fall that it typically sees, that's what they're seeing. So this dam was at just about 200 percent capacity.
I've seen varying totals give or take either way the dam was on the verge of breaking. Maybe that's a slight stretch of what was to come. But nonetheless, the damn was over full and as a result, they had to release the water. So when they did that with the combination of the monsoonal rain that produced such staggering rainfall totals. [02:45:00] Now, we're talking about some of this areas right along the Ross River that have spilled out of their banks. And that has been so widespread, the damage, the catastrophic flooding that has taken place.
Just to give you an idea, take a look at this video. And yesterday, we showed you drone video of just how expansive a region this was. Now, people are trying to save their -- anything that they can from their homes.
There are sandbagging in areas that have already been flooded. They are taking their possessions, there are helicopters. They have all kinds of emergency equipment, rescuing people. People that rescuing their pets. Anything that they can do to make things better for themselves.
And here you see a vehicle going through the floodwaters the flood waters are contaminated. That's another aspect that we're looking at as well. They're saying some of this contaminated water will spill out into the ocean which could mean the Great Barrier Reef, as well.
All right, Townsville, I mentioned. Over 1,000 millimeters of rainfall in the past seven days, and more is on the way. Now, it looks like Monday, maybe a 100 millimeters or so around Townsville. Maybe on Tuesday, 50 to 75 millimeters. And now we're looking at saturated areas becoming super saturated.
So, Natalie and Cyril, this is a situation not going to get better anytime soon. And, in fact, we are in monsoon season right now.
[02:46:23] ALLEN: All right, Karen. We know you'll be watching it for us. Thank you very much.
Well, this year's Super Bowl halftime show went off without a hitch. But it wasn't easy getting there. Several artists refused to perform. We'll explain why, coming next.
MAGINNIS: Hello, everyone. I'm CNN meteorologist Karen Maginnis. This is your WEATHER WATCH for the Western Coast of the United States two back-to-back systems. So pressured in not just rainfall but lowering the snow levels there as well.
So, millions of people under which a weather advisory's and winter storm warnings also into the Northern Tier. Very cold temperatures returning there, while along the eastern seaboard of the United States some cloud cover here and there. Gradually the rain by Tuesday. Late in the day on Tuesday and then, Wednesday, we'll pick up some of that moisture into places like New York City and Boston and Washington, D.C.
Look at this. Winter weather warnings as I've mentioned from the Cascades and the Susques and to the Northern Tier along the Canada and U.S. border. Buckle up because it is going to be dangerously cold. Well, here is the West Coast at rainfall right around Sacramento, also for San Francisco, down to Los Angeles. In the previous 24 hours, there were some record-setting rainfall amounts. Take a look at this, forecast high today in Denver with partly cloudy skies. It will be 13.
Look at Winnipeg. Snow showers minus 21 degrees. We look a little further to the South Nassau, Bahamas mostly sunny, 24 that sounds pretty nice. And if you are traveling to Mexico City, 26, plenty of sunshine.
[02:50:28] VANIER: Even if you're not a fan of football, you can still enjoy watching a Super Bowl halftime show at its best. It is a spectacle of music, choreography and fireworks.
ALLEN: This your show went smoothly, no wardrobe malfunctions or any other major problems, but it was not easy to lock down the performer because of several controversies involving the NFL.
Let's talk more about this year's Super Bowl halftime show with Shirley Halperin, she's the executive music editor at variety. Shirley, how are you? Thanks for being with us.
SHIRLEY HALPERIN, EXECUTIVE MUSIC EDITOR, VARIETY: Thank you. Thanks for having me.
ALLEN: We appreciate it. All right. The halftime show had some fireworks behind it. We're going to talk about that. Maroon 5 performed. And they did have guests that performed with them, but it was hard to get those guests. We'll talk about that in a moment. First, what do you just think of the show?
HALPERIN: You know, I think they played it pretty safe. To be honest, you know, there wasn't a lot of sort of spectacularness about the performance. You know, they ran through their greatest hits. And didn't make any -- you know, overt political statement or even -- you know, symbolic political statement. It really just seems like they came out, they did their thing and they -- you know, left the stage. So, it was a little uneventful as far as halftime performance shows up and so.
ALLEN: Well, we see the Gospel Choir there, I liked that part of it. But, there is a story behind why they could not get certain artists to perform within -- with them. And it all has to do with the silent protest led by Colin Kaepernick to take a knee during the national anthem. Many artists didn't want to touch the halftime show, right?
HALPERIN: That's correct, yes. You know I think we called it a variety music's least wanted gig. It's just this year and especially -- you know, it really was perceived that if he did perform at the Super Bowl that you weren't standing with the right to protest, and with Colin Kaepernick. And it divided the urban music community.
And I think that's a big part of the reason why they had such a hard time getting people to commit as a special guest. But there is also this extra pressure of the Super Bowl being in Atlanta, the black culture of Atlanta and paying homage to it. Bringing in a band of that is, you know, known for sort of white soul music from Los Angeles. You know wasn't really in line with the sort of musical heritage of that city.
So, that was another issue on top of that. So, they had a lot on their shoulders when they took this performance and certainly when they took the stage.
ALLEN: Right. And other artist and supporters of the move to take a knee ask Maroon 5 to do so, but they didn't. Let's look at a tweet that was sent out to by the director Ava DuVernay, she is the director of the Civil Rights movie Selma. She wrote, "I will not be a spectator, viewer or supporter of the Super Bowl today in protest of the NFL's racist treatment of Kaepernick at its ongoing disregard for the health well-being of all its players. To watch the game is to compromise my beliefs, it's not worth it."
And they had asked other big stars to perform, and they said, "No."
HALPERIN: Yes, that's correct, there was a lot of backlash, common also voiced his opinion publicly that he would be you know -- if he were in that position, he would not take the stage on and officially sanctioned NFL game.
You know, this is a -- this is a much bigger story than just a band that was booked to perform a halftime show. And in a way, I kind of feel bad for Maroon 5 because they had to -- you know, they really had to take that blow. And make with it what they could, which was just a challenge no matter which way you looked at it.
So, yes, they brought out a gospel choir, they brought out Big Boy who is -- you know, a local musician from Atlanta. They brought out Travis Scott so that hip-hop would be represented. No, they really just tried to tick all the boxes and we ended up with that Super Bowl show, which was -- you know, it was OK, not great, not terrible.
ALLEN: Right, right. Do you think the artists dance will make a difference with the NFL? The NFL instituted a rule that players couldn't take a knee, but could remain in the locker room, they got so much flak over that, they pulled back. The question is, does Super Bowl halftime show is famous? Is arts days over because of this?
[02:55:12] HALPERIN: I don't think so. I think it's too much of a moneymaker for the franchise, for the networks, for the league. So, I don't see it going away. But I do think that they'll have to pay much closer attention to these issues in the future, so that they don't run into a problem like they did this year where was just weeks, and weeks, and weeks of you know, back and forth. And a lot of Adam Levine described it himself as hate thrown, thrown their way.
So, you know, we want to be able to rejoice -- you know, with the game and the performance, the musician, the production, the lights, all of that. It should be very best of and joyous. And this year really had like a very dark cloud hanging over it. That was a shame. ALLEN: Right. We'll see what the NFL does in the future. We appreciate your insights, Shirley Halperin, executive music editor at Variety. Thanks, Shirley.
HALPERIN: Thank you.
ALLEN: OK, halftime show, so, a lot of hunting in the game but the highlight for me was the fly over. They opened the roof of the stadium and we're going to have that for you next hour. I'm Natalie Allen.
VANIER: I'm Cyril Vanier, we'll be back in four minutes.