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Maduro Blocks Aid on Bridge from Colombia; Tusk: Special Place in Hell for No-Plan Brexiteers; U.S. Envoy in North Korea to Prepare for Trump-Kim Summit; Democrats Launch Probe of Trump's Finances and Russia; Trump's Family Separation Policy under Scrutiny; Venezuela's Juan Guaido Orders Army to Allow Entry of Humanitarian Aid; Environmental Damage Could Last For Decades; Madagascar Dealing With Measles Outbreak; Nancy Pelosi's Mocking Clap During Speech Goes Viral. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired February 7, 2019 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church with your next two hours of CNN NEWSROOM. Let's get started.
Venezuelans blocked from getting much needed humanitarian aid after the embattled government blocks this bridge.
A congressional Intelligence Committee announces a broad investigation into the president's finances just one day after Trump called for an end to probes into his presidency.
Plus the latest warning on global warming. A new report details a worrying trend about the planet's climate.
CHURCH: Good to have you with us.
The latest battle for control in Venezuela is taking place on a bridge along the border with Colombia. Forces backing Maduro are blocking the path of badly needed humanitarian aid, truckloads of food, medicine and diapers. Maduro says his people are not beggars. But opposition leader Juan Guaido is urging the military to let the aid pass.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUAN GUAIDO, OPPOSITION LEADER, VENEZUELA (through translator): We know the containers are traversing the border bridge crossing. We know the tanks are there on the border. And what we are saying is that it is an absurd reaction by a regime which is not interested in its citizens and that we are going to do everything we can so that some of this aid gets in.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: A few kilometers to the south, another bridge from Colombia is filled with pedestrians. They cross back into Venezuela loaded up with whatever they can afford. CNN's Isa Soares is there.
ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm standing at the Simon Bolivar Bridge. It's the main pedestrian bridge between Colombia and Venezuela. As you can see behind me, there is Colombia and straight in front of me is Venezuela.
People have been making this journey every day. According to Migration Colombia, about 30,000 come in and out pretty much every day. They come in with pushchairs, with trolleys, their suitcases, full of money, money that's worth nothing because of hyperinflation.
And they come here to buy food, to buy toilet paper, flour, eggs.
What did you buy?
She didn't want to talk.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking Spanish).
SOARES: Chicken, no mas?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking Spanish).
SOARES: (Speaking Spanish).
And flour. And flour, too. So some of the basic staples. And of course worth remembering once they get to the other side, they still have a long journey to go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking Spanish).
SOARES: "Just food, that's all I have," he says.
And when I ask everyone walking down this corridor back to Venezuela who they blame, so many have told me, time and time again, there's only one man and that is Nicolas Maduro, the man we've said in the last couple of days, has said this is not a humanitarian crisis, this is an economic crisis. We are not a country of beggars.
But look at these people. Just look around. People are in need of food -- eggs. So many people desperately trying to make ends meet. Back to you. (END VIDEOTAPE)
CHURCH: Isa Soares with that.
The U.S. national security advisor is trying to persuade Venezuela's generals to defect. John Bolton tweeted, "The U.S. will consider sanctions off-ramps for any senior military officer that stands for democracy and recognizes the constitutional government of President Juan Guaido."
Here's how Maduro responded.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICOLAS MADURO, PRESIDENT OF VENEZUELA (through translator): Is John Bolton Venezuela's military chief?
That's why we're going to tell John Bolton what the thinking, doctrine, and strength, of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces are.
Listen well, John Bolton, here is the response of the armed forces to your so-called coup makers. Let's say our slogan loudly. Loyal always, traitors never, so it could be heard in Washington.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Mr. Maduro also pledged his support for 12-nation talks in Venezuela scheduled for the coming day in Uruguay.
The clock is winding down on Brexit. With just 50 days to go, frustrations are boiling over in Brussels. In a few hours, British prime minister Theresa May is to meet with E.U. leaders hoping to renegotiate a deal.
But she was just in Northern Ireland, where she didn't seem to make much progress and E.U. leaders have already signaled they are done with negotiating.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEAN-CLAUDE JUNCKER, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN COMMISSION: The Brexit issue is not a valid (ph) question between the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom, it is a European issue and that's why we cannot accept the idea, which is circulated around (ph), that the withdrawal agreement could be reopened.
And that's the backstop. It's part of the withdrawal agreement. We cannot be open to discussion on the backstop.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: The prime minister's meeting with the European Council president may be frosty after Donald Tusk said there's a special place in hell for Brexiteers who didn't have a plan for leaving the E.U. CNN's Nic Robertson has the details.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: The Irish prime minister got exactly the support he was looking for in his visit to Brussels meeting with E.U. leaders there, a very clear united commitment from them that the withdrawal agreement is not something that's going to be opened up for Theresa May, that the backstop remains part of that agreement.
Donald Tusk, the European Council president, using very strong language, saying that there was a special place in hell for those who hadn't planned properly for Brexit. For Theresa May here in Northern Ireland, that was incendiary language for some of the political leaders she was meeting here.
She was meeting with the Democratic Unionist Party; their leader has called it provocative. They've also called it insulting. So this is something that's deeply polarizing here because Theresa May was also meeting with leaders of the main nationalist party, Sinn Fein. And they said that Donald Tusk was correct to say that there was a special place in hell.
They said that Theresa May came here with no new plan, no clear vision for the future and they've even gone as far as to repeat their calls that, if there is a no deal Brexit, there should be immediately a referendum across the whole of Ireland for a united Ireland.
Another one of the Northern Ireland party, the Democratic Unionist Party, repeated a call that they've made as well.
Just to give you an idea the massive rift of sort of views here in Northern Ireland that the Democratic Unionist Party said that, if there's a no deal Brexit, then London should take over ruling Northern Ireland, go back to what they call direct rule. That's the polarized debate that Theresa May has walked into here.
So what she heard from the Democratic Unionist Party, the party that she really wants to convince to support her in a vote next week, she heard from them that they still hold her to that amendment last week that she must replace the backstop when she goes to Brussels.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARLENE FOSTER, LEADER, DEMOCRATIC UNIONIST PARTY: Well, I think we're into semantics now. I think what the House of Commons has given her the mandate to do this to replace the backstop and that's there for her mandate to take to Brussels.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTSON: A very clear message for Theresa May there. And what we've heard for the European Union something that they don't appear willing this stage to give. Theresa May now going to Dublin on Friday to meet with the prime minister there for talks, Brexit really coming down to the wire -- Nic Robertson, CNN, Belfast, Northern Ireland. (END VIDEOTAPE)
CHURCH: We turn to Pyongyang, where the U.S. special envoy for North Korea is paving the way for a second summit between Trump and Kim Jong-un. Mr. Trump announced in his State of the Union address that the leaders would meet on February 27th and 28th in Vietnam. Our Paula Hancocks joins us from Seoul.
Good to see you, Paula. One of the biggest issues yet to be figured out by the U.S. special envoy and others is where the two leaders will actually meet. What is said about that?
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, we're only a few weeks away from the 27th-28th of February, when the president said this summit will take place. We only have the country, Vietnam. We did hear in the past few days from U.S. sources, including those in the Trump administration, that they wanted Da Nang, the coastal city, but that the plans were still being finalized.
You can only assume from that that North Korea doesn't want it there. Hanoi is the capital; it is where Kim Jong-un would presumably have to go to meet the president of Vietnam. It's where they have a North Korean embassy. So there's an assumption among many experts that's the way it is going.
But of course the other issue is what exactly is happening in these working level talks and how much is being prepared before these two leaders sit down again. The criticism from Singapore was that it was very much top down and that was really the only way it was going to happen.
But there was very little detail when it came to the statement, working towards denuclearization was even more vague than it had been in previous --
HANCOCKS: -- years, when there had been peace declarations. Clearly there is -- there's a desire for more detail to come out from this summit.
One reason Mr. Biegun is in Pyongyang talking to his North Korean counterparts. The South Korean presidential spokesperson said they welcome the fact this summit is happening but they would like a more concrete and tangible steps to come from the next summit.
CHURCH: As you pointed out, we didn't see much come out of that first summit in Singapore.
What will happen this time?
And what might the U.S. offer Kim Jong-un to entice him to speed up the denuclearization process?
HANCOCKS: We have heard some indications from Mr. Biegun, the special envoy to North Korea himself. He had a speech last week at Stanford University and he said the U.S. president is ready to end the Korean War. It ended in 1953 with an armistice.
North Korea and South Korea and many in the region would like a peace treaty. That's the end result. That's far more difficult and needs more people and countries involved than a simple declaration of the end of the Korean War. That is a political statement. And it seemed to be the clearest indication so far from Mr. Biegun that Trump may be willing to give that.
What would they have in return from North Korea?
They want a lot more detail in exactly how they would denuclearize. Biegun said they would like or he would like a list of exactly what North Korea has. They would like independent experts to be in the country to make sure that what North Korea has said they have destroyed is actually out of action and to monitor what they have declared.
And going forward, they would help them to destroy their nuclear and missile arsenal.
This is a wish list that the U.S. has had for some time. It is one North Korea resisted for some time. So it is a difficult process. All sides agree. But certainly experts and longtime observers of North Korea want a lot more detail when it comes to this summit. Rosemary.
CHURCH: We shall see. Paula Hancocks, bringing you the latest there from Seoul in South Korea, where it is 4:15 in the afternoon.
We'll take a short break here. Coming up next, Trump lashing out after an House committee announces a new investigation against the president. And New Mexico's government takes a stand against President Trump, saying she won't take part in fearmongering along the southern border. We're back in just a moment.
CHURCH: Well, the crisis keeps getting worse for top Democrats in the U.S. state of Virginia. On Wednesday, attorney general Mark Herring admitted he appeared in brown makeup dressed as a rapper at party in 1980 when he was 19 years old.
Herring said it was inexcusable and insensitive and he accepts full responsibility. Meanwhile, governor Ralph Northam is refusing calls to step down over a photo from his page in a college yearbook. It shows one person in blackface and another dressed as a Klansman. Northam says neither person is him.
And Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax denies he sexually assaulted a woman in 2004. The woman issued a statement Wednesday, describing the alleged assault in graphic detail. But she's not pressing charges.
The U.S. House Intelligence Committee has announced a sweeping investigation into whether any foreign country has leverage over the president. Mr. Trump called the probe "presidential harassment" and had some choice words for the committee chairman. That was just hours after he talked of reconciliation in his State of the Union address. Our Jim Acosta is at the White House.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The president has gone from Kumbaya to combat and lashed out at House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff.
TRUMP: Did you say Adam Schiff?
ACOSTA (voice-over): Brand new probes into Russian election meddling...
TRUMP: Never heard of him.
ACOSTA (voice-over): -- and any possible links to Mr. Trump's global business dealings.
TRUMP: Under what basis would he do that?
He has no basis to do that. He is just a political hack who's trying to build a name for himself. It is called presidential harassment. And it's unfortunate. And it really does hurt our country.
ACOSTA (voice-over): The reason for the president's outburst: Schiff's investigations will be invasive, looking into whether the Russians have any compromising information on the president or his family members that is being used as leverage.
SCHIFF: We'll be conducting our investigation to make sure that the country is protected.
ACOSTA (voice-over): The Democratic chairman's announcement comes on the heels of the president's plea during the State of the Union address that the Democrats, now in control the House, to not open new Russia investigations.
TRUMP: If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation. It just doesn't work that way.
ACOSTA (voice-over): That was just one of many moments that seemed to divide, not unite, members of Congress during a speech that was falsely billed as bipartisan.
TRUMP: Simply put, walls work and walls save lives.
ACOSTA (voice-over): Even with another government shutdown looming over his demand for his wall, the president previewed a strategy for the 2020 campaign, labeling Democrats as socialists.
TRUMP: Tonight we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.
ACOSTA (voice-over): But the president is facing an uphill climb, as a new CNN poll finds more than half of voters are not likely to support Mr. Trump's bid for reelection. Driving much of that opposition: women, the voting bloc the president tried to woo in a speech to unexpected results.
TRUMP: No one has benefitted more from our thriving economy than women, who have filled 58 percent of the newly created jobs last year.
You weren't suppose to do that. Thank you very much.
ACOSTA (voice-over): As he called on Americans to resist the resistance ...
TRUMP: But we must reject the politics of revenge, resistance and retribution and embrace the boundless potential of cooperation, compromise and the common good.
ACOSTA (voice-over): He received a bit of shame from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. All throughout the speech, female members of Congress could be seen registering their disapproval again and again.
TRUMP: We are considered far and away the hottest economy anywhere in the world, not even close.
ACOSTA: The president will be going back to doing what he loves most about being president, it seems, when he heads to El Paso next week for a reelection rally, where the expressions on the faces there should be a whole lot different. Expect the president to continue to accuse Democrats of being socialists.
As one campaign adviser told me, the president wants to run against socialism, no matter who his opponent is -- Jim Acosta, CNN, the White House.
CHURCH: Let's bring Siraj Hashmi.
CHURCH: He is a commentary writer and editor at the "Washington Examiner."
Good to have you with us.
SIRAJ HASHMI, COMMENTARY WRITER AND EDITOR, "WASHINGTON EXAMINER": Thank you for having me.
CHURCH: So, let's start with the announcement by the Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, that he intends to launch investigations into President Trump's ties to Russia and Saudi Arabia and any possible links to the president's global business dealings.
Mr. Trump responded by calling Schiff a political hack and said his actions amounted to presidential harassment.
How much of this is about politics or is there more to this?
HASHMI: Well, right now, it seems that it's all about politics. I mean, Democrats in many ways still not gotten over the fact that they lost the election in 2016 by fact of getting the majority in the House by the 2018 midterm election. You know, they're trying to flex their muscles a little bit.
And by expanding the House Oversight and the House Intelligence Committees' investigations into the president's dealings before he was president, while he was still a private citizen, while he was a businessman, into however he was connected to the Russian government, it seems to be overstepping their bounds and actually abusing their authority by chairman Adam Schiff expanding the probe to, you know, look at business dealings he had prior to actually being president of the United States.
CHURCH: Right. And of course, those probes will be invasive as they try to determine if the Russians have any compromising information on Mr. Trump or his family that might be used perhaps as leverage against him.
How will the president deal with all of this going forward, given it does cross that red line he drew when he first took office, that his family and his business dealings were off limits?
HASHMI: Well, it's possible that, you know, President Trump could react in a negative way, whether it be firing special counsel Robert Mueller, because he would be the ultimate arbiter with respect to say whatever the findings that the House finds in terms of their probe.
You know, just this past day, the House intelligence committee voted to send the transcripts that it had of these witness testimonies over to the special counsel's office. And this is really to, you know, fact check and basically -- it's really a perjury test really.
Because if you can find any of these witnesses lying to Congress, then all of a sudden you can bring up more charges like they did against former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen as well as Roger Stone and basically get them dead to rights on things that they said. And they have facts on that they know they said was a lie.
And then all of a sudden you get further cooperation in that regard. And that could hurt the Trump presidency in more ways than one.
CHURCH: Right. I want to turn now to the next presidential race and CNN polling shows most Democrats want Joe Biden to run in 2020.
Can he overcome two glaring problems if he runs?
His age and the fact that he's another older white male in the race when Americans seem to look for more than that now. HASHMI: Yes, it is interesting the challenges that former vice
president Joe Biden faces. Yes, we're in an age where diversity matters. And obviously youth matters. The Democratic Party is seeming to skew more towards that -- more diverse and youthful image. Biden is just a misrepresentation of that.
At the same time he has the best chance of beating Trump in the 2020 elections. That's what Iowa Democrats, who were actually polled by CNN, 54 percent said that they want the winner of the Iowa caucuses to be someone who can beat President Trump and not so much be more aligned with them on the most major issues.
Joe Biden is more of a neoliberal type. He hasn't always been more progressive or more towards the socialist wing of the Democratic Party. So that might hurt him a bit. You know, Democrats care more about winning. That's what the goal should be.
CHURCH: Right and the Republicans see Biden as the biggest threat, don't they?
HASHMI: 100 percent. Biden, it evens the playing field between him and Trump. Biden, while he was vice president, he was seen as the wacky uncle that was part of the Obama administration. He said what is on his mind. He sometimes said -- he had more colorful language and even -- and also derogatory language as well, just cursing at times when he shouldn't be cursing.
HASHMI: It might be the type of antidote that Democrats need to fight back the incendiary rhetoric sometimes blared by President Trump.
CHURCH: Of course, he has yet to make a decision on that. we shall see.
Siraj Hashmi --
CHURCH: -- thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it.
HASHMI: Thank you for having me.
CHURCH: New Mexico's governor is rejecting President Trump's claim of a national security crisis at the U.S. southern border. She calls it fearmongering and is defending her decision to pull National Guard troops from the border.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHELLE LUJAN GRISHAM, GOVERNOR OF NEW MEXICO: I'm not going to participate, nor do I think it is appropriate in any shape or fashion to use the National Guard to attempt to militarize the border when we're dealing with asylum seekers who, their constitutional rights continue to be breached.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Last year Trump ordered the deployment of National Guard forces to help secure the border. About 2,200 are assigned to that mission, which is scheduled to end in September.
Meantime, lawmakers will hold a hearing in the coming hours on the Trump administration's zero tolerance immigration policy at the border. The White House has been struggling for months to reunite migrant children separated from their parents. Our Ed Lavandera reports.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Cindy Flores was reunited with her 1-year-old daughter in California. The toddler was taken from her father in late December after the Honduran family crossed the border seeking asylum.
The father was taken into immigration custody and charged with illegal entry. It took more than a month for the little girl to be reunited with her mother.
LISA CASTELLANOS, MI GENTE: This gigantic pain that she has felt, I would just ask people to multiply that times thousands. We know there are thousands of children in detention and families that are separated.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): Months after the Trump administration said it would stop separating migrant children from their parents as part of what was called the zero tolerance policy, the story of this migrant family is raising questions about how much has actually changed.
MARY BAUER, SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER: We see that family separation has not ended.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): Working in Tijuana, Mexico, immigrant activists like Mary Bauer with the Southern Poverty Law Center said there's still a crisis of child separation on the border.
BAUER: We want to see the system changed so that children are not locked up for these reasons when they have loving family members who are eager and happy to take them in.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): Department of Health and Human Services officials say there are currently about 11,000 migrant children in custody. These are mostly children who arrived at the border unaccompanied.
A Health and Human Services inspector general report found thousands more children than originally thought were separated from their parents as part of the Trump administration's zero tolerance policy. Officially, the number separated stands at about 2,700. About 170 of those children still have not been reunited. But in the majority of those cases, the children won't be reunited
partly because of concerns the parents are unfit. Former Department of Homeland Security official Scott Shuchart says the federal government is struggling to figure out how to handle the arrival of families at the southern border while also making it harder for these migrants to request asylum.
SCOTT SHUCHART, FORMER DHS OFFICIAL: By denying people to lawfully approach a port of entry to seek protection, that's driving people into the desert, where it is more dangerous and where they then surrender voluntarily to Border Patrol at these very out of the way places. That seems clearly to be what is happening.
CHURCH: Our thanks to Ed Lavandera for that report.
Trump appears to make a landmark announcement about ISIS. Still to come, we will take you to Eastern Syria still controlled by the terror group.
Plus another sexual abuse crisis for the Catholic Church. Pope Francis confirms nuns have been victims of predator priests.
[02:31:14] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Rosemary Church. I'm going to check of the headlines this hour. In Venezuela, forces loyal to embattle President Nicolas Maduro are blocking a bridge where desperately needed humanitarian aid is supposed to be delivered from Colombia. Opposition Leader Juan Guaido is urging the military to let the food, medicine, and other necessities through.
The President of the European Council says there is a special place in hell for people who promoted Brexit without a plan. Donald Tusk's comments came a few hours before British Prime Minister Theresa May meets with E.U. leaders to renegotiate. But the E.U. has already said it will not reopen the deal. Donald Trump is lashing out over a new House intelligence committee investigation into his financial interests and whether any foreign country holds leverage over him.
The president called the committee's Chairman Adam Schiff a political hack and says the investigation is presidential harassment. Well, Donald Trump says he expect to announce next week that coalition forces have recaptured 100 percent of the territory once controlled by ISIS. He did not address concerns that the terror group is still fighting covertly and could regroup even though their land is gone. The president has said he wants all U.S. forces out of Syria even though his advisors have recommended against a rapid withdrawal. Still, Mr. Trump is celebrating his military success.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Under the new approach we developed, we empowered our commanders in the field enabled our partners on the ground and directly confront ISIS' wicked ideology. The United States military, our coalition partners, and the Syrian Democratic Forces have liberated virtually all of the territory previously held by ISIS in Syria and Iraq. It should be formally announced sometime probably next week that we will have a hundred percent of the caliphate. But I want to wait for the official word. I don't want to say it too early.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo says a troop withdrawal from Syria is not the end of America's fight against the terror group. CNN's Ben Wedeman is in Eastern Syria not far from the final pocket of ISIS resistance.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The battle to retake the last enclave on ISIS in Eastern Syria at this point appears to have reached a standoff. What we know from commanders of the anti- ISIS coalition is that there are about 2,000 people left inside the last town. That includes 500 ISIS fighters. Some of its most battle hardened ruthless and experienced fighters in addition to around 1,500 civilians among them family members of those ISIS fighters as well as a few local inhabitants.
Now, the anti-ISIS coalition is somewhat hesitant to go in guns blazing out of fear that there will be a huge number of civilian casualties. So there -- the standoff continues. There are rumors. There are negotiations with tribal elders within the town perhaps to work out a sort of evacuation deal for the ISIS fighters and their families similar to other deals whereby they were taken and bussed to Idlib Province in Western Syria, the last part of the country held by the armed opposition to the regime of Bashar al-Assad.
[02:35:06] We are told by officials here that there are no such negotiations going on. Now, we did hear President Trump today saying that perhaps within a week it would be announced that ISIS had been totally defeated in Syria. But on the ground there is no clear indication that this final battle is about to occur. I'm Ben Wedeman, CNN reporting from Eastern Syria.
CHURCH: Now, in that speech Ben mentioned, Mr. Trump also pledged to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. Afghan power brokers have spent the past two days negotiating with Taliban representatives at peace talks in Moscow. But Afghanistan's president and representatives from the U.S. were not invited. CNN's Oren Liebermann has more now from Moscow.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: There is a victory here to be claim that would certainly be Russia's. Although, Russia has been quick to point out that they're not hosting these talks and it's fact the Afghan diaspora hosting these talks. It is certainly at a state owned venue and everyone here knows that it's in Moscow. And Moscow has certainly been able to bring together in this meeting a number of different power brokers.
First of course the Taliban at a strongest point now than perhaps at any point over the course of the last decade and a half. Beyond that, former Afghan President Hamid Karzai was seated at the head of the table essentially between all of the other power brokers. In addition, one of the two women at the table was Fawzia Koofi who was one of the most important parliamentarians there and an advocate for women's rights. There are all these desperate interests that Russia has been able to bring together to host these talks.
Does that mean these talks are going to succeed wherever this process leads from here? No, certainly not. Even President Donald Trump when he talked about the peace process the U.S. is trying to lead on Afghanistan said these are very difficult talks. In fact, the U.S. had to meet with the Taliban and then separately met with the Afghan government. So even the U.S. and Trump acknowledged that it's a very difficult road ahead.
CHURCH: Well, the Catholic Church is facing yet another crisis. For the first time, Pope Francis has acknowledged that nuns are being sexually abused by priests and bishops. Many Catholic say it's being going on for decades and it's way past time for the church to do something about it. Our Delia Gallagher reports.
DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT: Pope Francis returning from a three-day visit to the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday evening on the Papal plane responding to journalist questions acknowledged for the first time that there is a problem of the sexual abuse of nuns by priests and bishops. Here's a little bit of what the Pope had to say in response to a journalist question.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
POPE FRANCIS, HEAD OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH (via translator): I think it's still taking place because it's not of though the moment you become aware of something it goes away. But it continues and we've been working on this for some time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GALLAGHER: And Pope Francis also mentioned that there was an order of nuns in France in 2013 which Pope Benedict XVI dissolved for what Francis characterized as sexual slavery. And the Vatican on Wednesday morning clarifying that Pope Francis was referring to manipulation, that it's the psychological and sexual abuse of nuns in a vulnerable position. Now, what is interesting about this is that it is the Vatican's own magazine which raised the issue last week in an article saying the Vatican should not close its eyes to the question of sexual abuse of nuns on the part of priests also because it often results in pregnancies, abortions, and in children who are not recognized by their priest fathers.
And all of these comes just a few weeks shy of a global meeting that's going to be held at the end of February at the Vatican on sex abuse. And that's a meeting for which the Vatican has tried to downplay expectations. But with this latest acknowledgement by Pope Francis that there is a problem of sexual abuse of nuns by priests and bishops, it is becoming increasingly difficult for the Vatican to do that. Delia Gallagher, CNN Rome. CHURCH: The death toll continues to rise from that dam collapsed in
Brazil. Still to come how the environment is already suffering and could be ruined for decades to come. Plus, if it sounds like you've heard this before it's because you have. We just lived through one of the hottest years on record and scientists say it's only going to get worse.
[02:42:12] CHURCH: Well, U.S. President Donald Trump has nominated a vocal critic of the World Bank to lead it. David Malpass is a former Wall Street banker who is now with the U.S. Treasury Department. In the past, he has said the World Bank is bloated, overpaid, and mismanaged, and like the president has railed against multilateral institutions.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID MALPASS, UNDER SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY FOR INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS: Multilateralism has gone substantially too far to the point that it is hurting U.S. and global growth. This viewpoint is sometimes mislabeled populism. But I think it is a pragmatic realistic response to a multilateral system that often drifts away from our values of limited government, freedom, and the rule of law. As multilateral structures have grown larger and more intrusive, the challenge of refocusing them has become urgent and difficult since multilateral structures and dependencies have become so entrenched.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Malpass was formally the Chief Economist at Bear Sterns months before its collapse. He downplayed the likelihood of a global recession saying housing and debt markets did not play a big role in the U.S. economy. The World Bank's board must approve the nomination. It usually differs to the U.S. nominee. Well, in Brazil, the death toll is now up to 150 from that devastating dam collapse. Nearly 200 people are still missing and the disaster has brought devastating environmental consequences that could go on for decades to come. Shasta Darlington reports.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Once pristine water now flows red brown carrying mining waste, debris, and an unknown number of toxins through Southeast Brazil running downstream from the City of Brumadinho. This river spreads the catastrophe of a deadly dam collapse.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MALU RIBEIRO, PROJECT COORDINATOR, SOS MATA ATLANTICA (via translator): The Paraopeba River supplies water to the metropolitan area of (INAUDIBLE) and 34 municipalities along its basin. A population of about 20 million people across these cities are indirectly affected. All of them using the basin. DARLINGTON: With an avalanche of thick red mud, the ruptured dam
killed scores of people burying everything in its wake as it devastated the area. The flood of mining sludge swept into a key waterway. It's now laying waste to a vast ecology threatening all those who depend on it.
LEDA DE OLIVEIRA, RESIDENT (via translator): We used the river to feed ourselves for everything. It gives us fish. We used it to water our plants and now we can't do this anymore.
[02:44:56] HAYO PATAXO HA HA HAE, TRIBAL CHIEF, NAO XOHA NATIVE COMMUNITY (via translator): The river was everything. We bathed in it. We washed our clothes, our food, so we were really sad from the tragedy.
DARLINGTON: A tragedy that may be compounded by an additional risk. Medical experts warn contamination could precipitate a health crisis.
MARCELO RIBEIRO, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, MINAS GERAIS STATE HOSPITAL FOUNDATION (through translator): We are really worried about what will happen next. There's a risk of diseases like field fever, dengue fever, acute intestinal infectious diseases, and others.
DARLINGTON: If history is an example, the now sludge filled waters likely won't clear anytime soon. More than three years after a dam collapse in the same state, affected river water is still unusable. Some of the mining waste flowing hundreds of kilometers into the Atlantic Ocean.
FABIANA ALVES, CLIMATE AND ENERGY CAMPAIGNER, GREENPEACE BRAZIL: We are hoping for the best. We are hoping that victims can be found and that things do not get worse as it was at Rio Doce. But we still need to see and wait for this disaster to understand the size of this disaster.
DARLINGTON: The most recent catastrophe has also ravaged expanses of forests that some environmental officials say may take thousands of years to recover. Before-and-after images show huge tracts of land consumed under a sea of mud. A visceral picture of devastation promising untold long-term consequences for Brazil. For CNN, Shasta Darlington, Sao Paulo.
CHURCH: Scientists say, last year was the fourth hottest on record and it's only going to get hotter.
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GAVIN SCHMIDT, DIRECTOR, NASA GODDARD INSTITUTE FOR SPACE STUDIES: It's been hot. The last five years have been the record warmest years that we've seen in a record that goes back to the 19th century and possibly even hundreds of years before that. And while we didn't see a record warm year last year, in 2018, the last four years have all been about two degrees Fahrenheit above what it was in the late 19th century. So we've been -- we've been warming a lot. (END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: So, let's start bring in our meteorologist Pedram Javaheri to talk more about this. And Pedram, you just have to wonder with it getting hotter. What is that going to mean for those parts of the globe that are already very hot?
PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: Yes, so to the more susceptible areas, especially as well, Rosemary, but we've seen a forecast put temperatures in some of these areas that are currently in their hottest season. Say in the middle 30s, even middle 40s, pushing that up by another five or so degrees to the middle 40s even around 50. And, of course, at places like Central Australia, parts of the Middle East in the summer season.
All of these areas that are already extreme will certainly be more extreme as we go over the next several decades. But the data once again coming in this particular one among the most valuable of the studies because it includes NASA and NOAA's observations on a global level.
So, 2018 coming in fourth hottest year on record. And you notice top five hottest years on record, all of them happening since 2014. So, an incredible perspective here just look at the most recent years and see the impacts that have taken shape on a global scale. And the perspective again when you look at the year by year breakdown of all of this, we know that the hottest year on record was 2016, far and away. And then you see 2015, 2017, and 2018 very close proximity to one another as far as how far above average they were being in the top 5 warmest years on record.
But the study also revealing something we've kind of seen gradually takes shape in the past several months with other studies which is both the Antarctic and the Arctic are seeing their lowest sea ice extent on record -- the second lowest sea ice extent on record.
And, of course, you compare that to the 1980s about 2 1/2 million square kilometers of sea ice, roughly the size of Mexico and Central America. A 95 percent reduction in that to about 0.13 square kilometers of sea ice -- million square kilometers of sea ice. So, an incredible reduction in all of that as well.
And then, you look at 2018 as a whole hot spots on that on a global level we're right there across northern Asia, portions of the Middle East, well above average much of Europe, and really important to note, Rosemary, you think of Europe, you think of the beast from the east, those individual events that were very significant cold wintery. And then, you see the broad 2018 depiction, and you see Europe was among the warmest displaced from average there.
So, it kind of shows how when we have Arctic outbreaks like we did in the United States about a week ago has nothing to do with even an annual level let alone a broad multi-year level. And this is just from 2018 alone.
CHURCH: Yes, that's a very important point to emphasize. Pedram, thank you so much for explaining that to all of us. Appreciate it.
JAVAHERI: Thank you.
CHURCH: Well, the Philippines' Health Department has just declared a measles outbreak in Manila. Almost 900 suspected cases and urged people to get vaccinated. In Madagascar, the situation is even more urgent. 20,000 people have been infected with measles since October.
The highly contagious disease has spread to crowded urban areas. Our David McKenzie is in Madagascar and found anxious families along with worried doctors.
[02:50:05] DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Baby Piro clings to his father. His measles made life-threatening by malnutrition. They traveled 24 hours just to get to a hospital for treatment.
What were people in the village saying about measles?
"There are a lot of cases now in my village," he says. "It's getting even worse."
It is Madagascar's worst outbreak in decades. More than 50,000 infected, more than 300 killed across this island nation by an entirely preventable disease. The virus was forgotten by many, including physicians. Thanks to vaccines. But for years, immunization rates have been dangerously low.
LON KIGHTLINGER, VOLUNTEER, UNITED STATES PEACE CORPS: Outbreak like this in Madagascar should be a wake-up call for not only every person, every health center in Madagascar but for the whole world. This disease -- diseases come back and they clobber us if we're not protected.
MCKENZIE: Measles is now finding victims in Europe and the U.S., as well. In Washington State alone, there are around 50 confirmed cases.
Do you get frustrated when you see outbreaks in the U.S. for preventable disease?
KIGHTLINGER: I do. I do, especially measles. And the U.S. are -- the whole infrastructure is set up to prevent.
MCKENZIE: In Madagascar, the system is overburdened and underfunded. So, when this outbreak hit, Lon's past life found him.
KIGHTLINGER: No, so I said, you know, I work for them.
MCKENZIE: The former epidemiologist is now a Peace Corps volunteer, put to work by the local clinic tracking cases and distributing vaccines.
KIGHTLINGER: We get it done together.
MCKENZIE: It's a team.
KIGHTLINGER: Yes, it's a team.
MCKENZIE: We follow as he visits a man recovering from the virus. Even the strong have fallen ill.
KIGHTLINGER: He's starting to get his strength back a little bit.
MCKENZIE: The doctors say, baby Piro will recover, too. But with measles and other preventable diseases, recovery isn't the aim, prevention is. And that requires a global effort and attitude.
"It is a question of mentality," says Doctor Andersoa, "Because we need to convince those people. It's not only people in poor countries are not well-educated." Here, health is never taken for granted. And one fact is known only too well, vaccines saved lives. David McKenzie, CNN, and Antananarivo.
CHURCH: Well, a body has been recovered from the wreckage of a plane carrying football star Emiliano Sala. The human remains were found during the search for the missing aircraft. But officials did not say if the body is Sala's or his pilots.
Sala, a recruit for Cardiff City was traveling to the U.K. on January 21st when the single-engine Piper Malibu disappeared from radar over the English Channel. Bad weather delayed efforts to recover the plane.
We'll take a short break. We'll have more news for you when we come back.
CHURCH: When President Trump told lawmakers, it's time to reject the politics of revenge, during his State of the Union speech on Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi cracked. And then, sarcastically, she clapped. Here's Jeanne Moos.
[02:55:06] JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: She was the show behind the show, nodding no when the president declared the State of the Union is --
MOOS: Muttering commentary to herself, smiling at colleagues, urging new female members of Congress to rise rolling her eyes.
TRUMP: Ridiculous partisan investigations.
MOOS: But Nancy Pelosi became the queen of condescending applause after President Trump proposed rejecting the politics of revenge and embracing the common good. She clapped madly, their eyes met. JIMMY FALLON, HOST, THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON, NBC: Pelosi was like, you're never getting your wall.
Comedian Patton Oswalt congratulated Speaker Pelosi for inventing the -- you clap.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on you all.
MOOS: It launched a million GIFs. The internet was rocked with memes, as photoshoppers added things like golden handcuffs. The clap back reminded one guy of when I tell my wife I changed a diaper.
And then there was the mystery, what was Nancy reading?
TRUMP: Not right.
MOOS: Some called it rude and petty for Pelosi to bury her nose in papers. Was that the Mueller report? Or Trump's tax returns? Or a menu?
TREVOR NOAH, HOST, THE DAILY SHOW, COMEDY CENTRAL: I kept expecting a waitress to come over with an order of Buffalo wings.
MOOS: Nah, she was just reading along with the President's speech.
Of course, Nancy wasn't the only head shaking eye roller in the House. Presidential hopeful, Kamala Harris looked exasperated, as did Kirsten Gillibrand, who even used her eye roll was a fundraising appeal, then took it down after critics said it violated House rules.
Speaker Pelosi's daughter, Christine, tweeted, "Oh, yes, that clap took me back to the teen years. She knows, and she knows that you know." All we know is that all that clapping was the Speaker's seal of disapproval. Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
CHURCH: And thanks for joining us this hour. I'm Rosemary Church. I'll be back with another hour of news in just a moment. Do stick around. You're watching CNN.