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U.K. Parliament To Vote Thursday On Brexit Delay; U.S. Orders Grounding Of Boeing 737 Max 8 And 9 Planes; Appeal Denied for Second Kim Jong-nam Murder Suspect; Interview with Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, Attorney for Doan Thi Huong, Accused of Kim Jong-nam Murder; Students Say No to Modern Day Slavery; Russia Lashes Out At Actions By U.S. House; Students Raise Awareness Of Modern-Day Slavery; At Least One Death From Massive Winter Storm. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired March 14, 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.
Another dramatic day at the British Parliament. Lawmakers reject a no-deal Brexit. Now they prepare for another crucial vote.
The U.S. finally followed suit, grounding all Boeing 737 MAX 8 and Boeing 737 MAX 9 after days of mounting pressure in the wake of the deadly crash in Ethiopia.
Plus students take the lead on an important issue. We are marking My Freedom Day in partnership with schools around the world to take a stand against modern-day slavery.
CHURCH: As crazy as it sounds, the U.K. has plunged even deeper into political uncertainty. Lawmakers will hold yet another vote in the coming hours, this time on whether to delay Brexit until June 30th. They voted Wednesday against crashing out with no deal after again rejecting Theresa May's withdrawal agreement, a no deal scenario is still a possibility.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: These are about the choices that this house has. The legal default (ph) in the U.K. to E.U. law remains that the U.K. will leave the E.U. without a deal unless something else is agreed. The onus is now on every one of us in this house to find what that is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Here is where things stand. Parliament could vote and ask for an extension but E.U. leaders would have to agree to it. Right now, they are reluctant to grant any long-term delay unless Britain spells out clearly what it wants.
If Parliament votes against a delay, it's anyone's guess what happens next. But the prospects of crashing out of the E.U. altogether would appear more likely. So for the latest, CNN's Hadas Gold is outside Downing Street in London.
Hadas, what is the latest on this?
HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was a chaotic scene in Parliament last night where we saw multiple amendments brought forth; at the end of the day, members of Parliament voted against having the U.K. crash out of the European Union without a deal.
This is just an advisory vote because, ultimately, that is the legal default that, without a deal, the U.K. would crash out without a deal. What was chaotic about last night was that, in one instance, the motion brought forth by the prime minister, by the government, the government was then asking their members to vote against.
You actually had several members of Theresa May's own cabinet defying the prime minister and voting against what she wanted them to do.
What's next, as you laid out, is that there's going to be another vote tonight. There will be a vote tonight laying out that there could be a delay to Brexit if members agree to a deal by March 20th. That means there will likely be another vote on Theresa May's Brexit deal sometime in the next week.
This will be try number three for Theresa May to get her deal through. Otherwise, there could just be another even longer delay. Then there's questions about whether the U.K. would need to stand in European Parliamentary elections. To say that the scene right now in London is chaotic, intense is an understatement.
Tonight, we will likely have another very exciting scene in Parliament on the floor that will help determine if and when we will ever know what will actually happen with the U.K. and Brexit -- Rosemary.
CHURCH: It's an incredible story. We will continue to follow. Hadas Gold covering it in a very rainy day there outside 10 Downing Street. We will have more on this a little later this hour.
Big developments in the Boeing story. Ethiopian Airlines says investigation officials have flown the so-called black boxes to Paris for analysis. This comes as the U.S. grounds all Boeing 737 MAX 8 and Boeing 737 MAX 9 planes in the wake of that deadly crash in Ethiopia. President Donald Trump says his administration shifted course based on new evidence from Sunday's tragedy in Ethiopia, which killed 157 people.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The United States has the greatest record in the world of aviation and we want to keep it that way. I did not want to take any chances. We didn't have to make this decision today, we couldn't elated. We may be did not have to make it at all but I felt it was important --
TRUMP: -- both psychologically and a lot of other ways.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Boeing's says its planes are safe but supports the grounding out of an abundance of caution. Before Wednesday, a wave of countries grounded the fleet right after the crash in Ethiopia that left the U.S. and Canada as the only two major countries still flying that aircraft.
CNN's Farai Sevenzo joins me now from Nairobi.
Farai, tat is where that plane was destined to land but, unfortunately, that never happened. Talk to us about how people there across Kenya are coming to terms with what happened over the weekend.
FARAI SEVENZO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This story, as you can imagine, especially with 32 Kenyans dead, has -- sorry to use the expression -- been bleeding out throughout the week, is still with us.
Of course, what you must remember is that, while Canada bans that 737 MAX 8, one of the people that was really affected was coming from Ontario, Canada. This is the story about a family out in Nakuru, hundreds of kilometers away from Nairobi. Take a look at their story.
Caroline Karanja was a passenger on the Boeing 737 flight tonight to Nairobi from Addis Ababa last Sunday. She was returning to Kenya from Canada, where she settled with her three young children. Her mother, Ann Wangui Karanja, visited them six months ago and was also making the journey home.
The tragedy hit three generations of one family. At the family home outside Nakuru, 162 kilometers from Nairobi, a steady stream of people arrived to offer their condolences, a family of five amongst 157 dead. For many, such loss is unimaginable.
JOHN QUINDOS KARANJA, HUSBAND AND FATHER OF ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES VICTIMS: I miss those kids. Although I miss my mom and my daughter and my wife (INAUDIBLE), I (INAUDIBLE) when they were collecting eggs.
SEVENZO (voice-over): John Quindos Karanja lost his wife of 34 years, his daughter and his grandchildren. He says it feels like a dream.
J. KARANJA: I was just speaking of it as a dream (ph), that I'm dreaming, they are not (INAUDIBLE). (INAUDIBLE). The point will be (ph) (INAUDIBLE) my wife, my grandchildren and my daughter.
Quindos Mwangi Karanja is Caroline's brother.
QUINDOS MWANGI KARANJA, CAROLINE'S BROTHER: They had such a strong bond. I know my sister was calling herself Caroline Karanja, but she preferred calling herself (INAUDIBLE) daughter.
SEVENZO (voice-over): Quindos also lost his mother.
Q. KARANJA: Mom is the center of this family. She brings us together. I've never seen a couple that have been in love since the first day as my parents have. They got married, they lived happily ever after and you got to admire that.
SEVENZO (voice-over): The questions are here now about whether to visit the site of the final moments of Flight 302 outside Addis Ababa.
Q. KARANJA: My thinking is, we have very fond memories of our mom, my sister, our nephew and nieces. And (INAUDIBLE) bad memories of the scene of the crash.
SEVENZO (voice-over): Here, father and son disagree.
J. KARANJA: (INAUDIBLE) yesterday. And it was lucky to get the body of his buried (ph) one. So that can be (INAUDIBLE) the aunt (ph) to go.
SEVENZO (voice-over): Carol's sister, Kelly, communicated with her before she boarded the ill-fated flight.
She wrote to her sister, "My heart isn't really excited. I feel like there's something bad ahead. But I don't know what."
Sympathy for such monumental losses is overflowing. But there is no telling when closer for the bereaved will arrive.
SEVENZO: There you have it. Now remember, that is one over 157 possible stories. It is quite hard to watch it unfold.
CHURCH: I totally understand. Just too many heartbreaking stories. So many people affected. And three days after this devastating plane crash, the United States eventually grounded its Boeing 737 MAX planes. The FAA citing new evidence from the crash site as its reason for doing so.
What are you learning?
SEVENZO: It began a domino effect. Country after country shutting airspace to the 737 MAX 8 plane. Of course, you are talking about --
SEVENZO: -- 157 people who came from 35 different nations, it kind of begs the question, was it too late to make this happen?
At the moment here in Nairobi, France's Emmanuel Macron is in the country, which gives you a sense of where Africa is geopolitically, why so many people are passing through it and, of course, their citizens. That's why we have so many people across these different nations affected. What we are learning at the moment is that Ethiopia has decided to
send those black boxes to France to decipher them, to see what questions they can answer.
And of course, we are also learning that more and more relatives are beginning to go to Addis to identify their dead.
CHURCH: Yes, interesting those boxes did not come to the United States. Farai Sevenzo, thank you so much.
CNN is marking My Freedom Day around the world. Students are raising awareness about modern-day slavery through music and action. More for you when we come back.
CHURCH: In Malaysia, the trial for one of two women charged with killing the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has resumed. It comes after charges against the second woman were suddenly dropped earlier this week. Ivan Watson joins us from the courthouse, just outside Kuala Lumpur.
Ivan, this just doesn't make sense.
What's the logic?
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is quite a remarkable week that's taken place in the high court in Kuala Lumpur. Hearing that emotion, to have the charges dropped, the murder charges dropped, against that Vietnamese suspect, Doan Thi Huong, were rejected by the public prosecutor. I'm joined by her defense counsel. This is Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, who spoke on her behalf in the courtroom today.
The prosecutor rejected your appeal to drop her charges.
What is your reaction?
HISYAM TEH POH TEIK, DOAN THI HUONG ATTORNEY: We are really upset this morning. We responded in court on behalf of Doan Thi Huong to say that the rejection is without basis. We used the word perverse. It does not inspire confidence in our criminal justice system. And we informed the court that, in essence, that case against Siti Aisyah and Doan Thi Huong are the same. There are --
TEIK: -- many similarities, no material differences. And the court has found, as a matter of fact, that there is a case against both the accused, both the accused have stated in court that they are scapegoats of the North Koreans.
WATSON: That the North Korean made scapegoats out of these two women?
TEIK: And they ran the same kind of defense. And yet when we make representation of the reasons, our defense was rejected without any reasons given by the public prosecutor.
WATSON: Do you have any idea, did you expect the Indonesian suspect, Siti Aisyah, to be released on Monday?
And do you have any idea why she was released?
TEIK: It came is a complete surprise. We were not informed that there will be a development on Monday. And I cannot give any reasons why except, the AG has made a statement publicly about two days back to say that the reason was as a result of the intervention of the Indonesian government.
WATSON: And the Indonesian government was lobbying at the highest levels to have their citizen released and to escape the death penalty.
The Vietnamese government, have you seen it step up its own lobbying effort on behalf of your client?
TEIK: We had many meetings. We took instructions from a great number of (INAUDIBLE), many meetings with them. In these meetings, officials from the different ministries were present: ministry of justice, public security and foreign affairs.
And they inform us that efforts were made in the process of getting the release of Huong. So efforts are made by them.
WATSON: And I just spoke with the Vietnamese ambassador to Malaysia on these steps and he said he was very disappointed that his citizen wasn't released today.
The question to you, sir, is this case, in your opinion, an example of the judicial system at work in Malaysia?
Or has it been influenced by politics at this stage, geopolitics?
TEIK: This is a decision made by the honorable attorney general, which is (INAUDIBLE) under the law of our country, he has the sole discretion for the charge and whether to discontinue the proceedings otherwise.
But what we say here is that, although you have the power, (INAUDIBLE), that discretion is not absolute. That discretion must be measured by fairness (ph) and justice. In this case, there is none.
WATSON: Will anyone, in your opinion, face justice for the brazen murder with VX nerve agent of Kim Jong-nam in Kuala Lumpur International Airport in February 2017?
TEIK: As far as we're concerned, we have to see Siti Aisyah and Huong, they are scapegoats, they are not the real assassins nor the culprits. The real perpetrators are the North Korean assassins who have been identified in court. And efforts must be made to secure their arrests and the subsequent charge and (INAUDIBLE).
WATSON: What is the next step for your client, who was weeping in court today and postponed her own testimony on the grounds that she was ill?
TEIK: I have to go and see her and make sure that she is well and fine before the 1st of April. At the same time, the court has ruled ((ph) that the government of Vietnam has made representations to their counterparts in Malaysia. We only hope that both the (INAUDIBLE) federation will obtain instructions from and the government will make extra efforts to secure release on or before the 1st of April 2019.
WATSON: What does it say about the justice system in this country, if a country lobbies hard, murder charges can be withdrawn against a suspect in a murder that was caught on camera in broad daylight?
TEIK: That's the reason I submit a (INAUDIBLE) this morning, that the decision of the AG in rejecting our representation does not reflect well on our criminal justice system. It does not inspire confidence. And frankly, it is a perverse position.
WATSON: All right, Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, thank you very much for speaking with me.
I might add, the stakes are quite high here, Rosemary. His client could face the death penalty if she's found guilty in this case. Of course, she has pled not guilty -- Rosemary.
CHURCH: Ivan, we will catch up with you again next hour with more on this story. Many thanks.
The global celebration of freedom is here. It's My Freedom Day around the world. Part of CNN's commitment to ending modern-day slavery. We have reporters stationed in India, Ghana, Poland, the U.K. and the U.S. to bring you the very latest throughout the day.
Young people all over the world are posting their messages on social media, describing what makes them feel free. Let's head to Hong Kong with CNN's Kristie Lu Stout.
How are students there celebrating My Freedom Day?
What are they telling you?
KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN ANCHOR: Here in Hong Kong, I'm at the Hong Kong --
STOUT: -- International School. And they are marking My Freedom Day, the student-led day of action against modern-day slavery. You see in the badges that they are wearing with anti slavery messages. The freedom wall behind us has messages of hope. What is happening here around me this afternoon is something called this a Socratic seminar, where they are discussing issues like human trafficking and how to stop the never-ending cycle of exploitation. Joining me now is Darcy Webb (ph). She's a middle school student here
at the Hong Kong International School.
You have been leading this discussion earlier today.
What have you been talking about so far?
DARCY WEBB (PH), HONG KONG INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL: We are talking about modern slavery and human trafficking in a modern-day setting and what's going on right now. We are also talking about how fortunate we are that maybe some of us did not know about it until CNN came and said it was My Freedom Day today. Then we learned about it.
But we are just so fortunate. So I think that is a big part, that we are learning more about this.
STOUT: Interesting. Awareness of the problem but what you can do to act.
Was there something that you can learned about human trafficking or modern-day slavery either here in Hong Kong or around the world that gave you pause, that just really surprised you?
WEBB: This morning, we watched a video. Usually, when I think of slavery, I think of slavery occurring in developing countries or in countries that would normally gravitate towards thinking of it.
But slavery has reports in all 50 states of the United States. That was really shocking to me because most people think of America as this totally developed and utopian country that doesn't have a lot of these problems because they are so developed but they are still there.
STOUT: The problem does exist in dark corners all around the world in the United States, in Hong Kong, 40 million people living in slavelike conditions today. The problem seems so immense, so daunting.
Are you optimistic that we can end modern-day slavery?
WEBB: I hope so eventually. Right now, in our day and age, we have access to all of this information that many generations before us did not have. We have Internet. We can just Google and we can learn more about it. So I think a lot more people are empathetic and they are more aware than past generations may have been. I think that's a huge step that needs to be taken.
Darcy (ph), stay empowered. Stay involved. Thank you so much.
I will talk to someone else who is here that has been listening to the students. He is at the front line of the fight against modern-day slavery. Modern-day abolitionist Matt Friedman of The Mekong Club, who is also inspired by what these kids are doing. Take a listen.
MATT FRIEDMAN, THE MEKONG CLUB: I've been doing this work for 30 years and when I sit down and listen to these students, I feel like I want to take a notebook out. They are so aware of what this issue is. They have done their homework, they've gone online, they've collected all of this information.
What they can do basically, learn about the issue and then share this information with somebody else. It's very easy to do something like that. When it comes to consumer goods, prior to buying a branded thing that can go online, they can collect information about a particular product.
If there is a policy that that company has, it can congratulate them. If they don't have a policy, they can simply state, listen, I like your product, I'd feel better if you've had it, that encourages companies. They can fund raise. There's a lot of organizations that need just a little bit of money in order to help them move forward.
Lastly, volunteering: My youngest volunteer was 9 years old. This girl was awesome. She was able to do things that second-year Yale Law students were not able to do. Any student that wants to step up and get involved has much to do.
STOUT: A very inspired Matt Friedman there. Young people are very often the victims of human trafficking and modern-day slavery but they're also some of the most passionate and powerful activists who are fighting against it. That is what is happening here in Hong Kong and around the world on this, My Freedom Day. Back to you.
CHURCH: Thank you so much. Incredible students there. Many thanks.
Students in one South Korean school are turning to music and video editing to raise awareness about modern-day slavery. CNN's Paula Hancocks as the story.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A final rehearsal before singing to the whole school. The Seoul Foreign School Choir (ph) chose the song, "You Will Be Found" for the stage musical dear Evan Hanson (ph), to pay tribute to the victims of modern-day slavery.
ALEXIA DIAMANY, SEOUL FOREIGN SCHOOL: That feeling of being at rock bottom, feeling like you are alone. I think it's important to remind people everywhere, regardless of where you're from or your background or what situation you've been born into that you will be found and there is someone who cares about.
HANCOCKS (voice-over): Teachers have been talking about modern-day slavery in recent weeks to children from elementary to high school in the run-up to My Freedom Day.
LOLA COOPER, SEOUL FOREIGN SCHOOL: We look at bonded labor in India and Pakistan and we also looked at sex trafficking in places like Europe and the U.S.
HANCOCKS (voice-over): Mari Lee is a 12th grader with a passion for video editing. Encouraging students, teachers, parents to sing and send their efforts in. "A Million Dreams" from the musical "The Greatest Showman" was an obvious choice, she says.
MARI LEE, SEOUL FOREIGN SCHOOL: Some of the lyrics in "A Million --
LEE: -- Dreams," where it talks about the future and how bright and how hopeful our future can be, really speaks to all the students about how, even though slavery is going on right now, we can stop it.
HANCOCKS (voice-over): Paula Hancocks, CNN, Seoul.
CHURCH: Those young people, they are amazing, offer a great deal of hope to all of us. And later this hour, we will go live to India, with students at the We School in Kalinjar, marking My Freedom Day, only here on CNN.
CHURCH: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM, I'm Rosemary Church, checking the headlines for you.
CHURCH: Let's bring in CNN transportation analyst Mary Schiavo. She is the former inspector general of the U.S. Department of Transportation.
We should note you now are practicing law and represent families of airline crash victims and you have current litigation pending against Boeing. So great to have you with us again.
MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Thank you. Good to be with you.
CHURCH: You and I spoke 24 hours ago and I asked you then why the U.S. had not grounded the Boeing 737 MAX planes. Now it has done just that. But the U.S. was the last country to do so.
What changed the FAA's mind so suddenly?
And why did it take this long to reach that conclusion, a conclusion apparently reached by these other countries?
SCHIAVO: Yes, well, the official version is, they got additional information.
But the unofficial version and the stories coming out from the Department of Transportation and the FAA is there was great confusion, arguing, there wasn't agreement over what was going to happen and most importantly was the discovery that there had been complaints in the United States by U.S. pilots concerning this plane before the Ethiopia crash and before the Indonesia crash.
When -- and it was to a hotline where the FAA is supposed to use it to troubleshoot problems and do trend analysis. And then, also there was -- it was revealed that the FAA said the Boeing was supposed to make changes by April. But the infighting revealed that it was not decided what those changes should be at, they were still arguing about what they should do or shouldn't do.
So, for the FAA to say that the plane was safe, when they didn't know what to do, and didn't know what caused the second crash. It was just simply ludicrous to say that the plane was OK to fly.
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Right. And then as you say, officially the FAA has identified these similarities between the Ethiopia or Indonesia crashes and that's why they ground what they say, that's why they grounded the Boeing 737 Max planes Wednesday. But wasn't that exactly why other countries did that? So, why gamble with the lives of passengers and more specifically might this new information do to help perhaps find affixed?
SCHIAVO: Well, you're exactly right. That's what the Federal Aviation Administration was doing with the lives of American passengers, because we were the last. They were just betting that even though they didn't know how to fix the plane and they didn't really know what caused the second crash, they were just gambling that it wouldn't happen a third time before somebody figured out what to do and that was totally unacceptable.
And so from here on out, the -- it's a great task, it's very large. They haven't decided what they need to do to fix it yet, it's going to be very important what's on those black boxes which have been sent to France. Again, there was talk about of sending them to the United States, but that made no sense if the U.S. was saying they didn't need to make any change, that seemed very biased this early on in the investigation.
They have to find out what changes need to be made to that flight computer, they have to figure out why the engines continue to pitch the plane up and then the computer forces the nose down. They have to decide what to do about the manuals, because aircraft manuals are separately certified from the airplane. So, both have to have an air worthiness directive. So they have a tremendous amount of work in front of them.
And as I mentioned before, there is not an agreement between Boeing and the FAA exactly what to do.
CHURCH: And you mentioned there that those black boxes will go to France not the United States. And that to your belief is that Ethiopia select -- Ethiopia selected France for fear of bias in the United States because of its link to Boeing?
SCHIAVO: Yes, I think so. The NTSB and the United States has a terrific black box lab to analyze the black boxes, but that being said so does France, France can do it. The French BBA's are very good and they worked many, many crashes. But, maybe not as quickly as one would like, but they are -- certainly able to do it. And they will do it. It'll be fine.
CHURCH: Yes, I mean, there was a little bit of a delay, presumably that was trying to determine where they would send them. But I did want to talk you about the grounding of these planes, because they -- that will remain in effect until a fix is found. How long might that take and just how easy would it be? Do you think it will be a matter of just replacing software or are these planes going to be redundant?
SCHIAVO: Well, the planes are supposed to be redundant. What's supposed to happen in a modern aircraft is no one system is supposed to be a single point at failure. Meaning, if it goes wrong, the plane can go down. And here, what we've learned is that this angle of attack indicator that went wrong on the Lion Air really was by having a discrepancy, it was a single point of failure weakness.
Meaning, if you had a discrepancy on this indicator, the plane can push the nose down and keep on going. So, that has to be remedied and also there's an issue of do we want to put a warning in the cockpit, so the pilots know inaudible warning or some other kind of warning? So the pilots know when the system is kicking in? Right now it turns out that system is -- that warning is an option, airlines could have chosen to buy it. The FAA wants to make that mandatory and I think it should.
CHURCH: Mary Schiavo. Thank you so much for your analysis. Great to hang on with us.
SCHIAVO: Thank you.
CHURCH: All Right. We go back now to another big story we are following. It's just over two weeks to go until Brexit British Lawmakers are running out of options. They've already shot down the Prime Ministers withdrawal plan for a second time and voted against a no deal Brexit.
[02:35:00] In just a few hours there's another vote on whether to delay Brexit until the end of June. E.U. leaders have had enough of the uncertainties surrounding Brexit saying, they are prepared for the divorce with or without a deal. CNN'S Erin McLaughlin has the latest from now from Brussels.
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Wednesday night, the European Commission responded to Westminster saying very clearly, that the only way to Brexit and avoid that dreaded no deal scenario is to agree and pass an actual deal. They released a statement following the vote saying, "We take note of the votes in the House of Commons this evening. There are only two ways to leave the E.U. with or without a deal. The E.U. is prepared for both to take no deal off the table. It is not enough to vote against a no deal, you have to agree to a deal. We have agreed a deal with the Prime Minister and the E.U. is ready to sign it."
Now, as Westminster turns its sights on the possible extension request. E.U. Officials and E.U. Leaders have been talking about that as well, even though I'm told there is no consensus on that point just yet. What we're hearing over and over, and over again is that they want a clear and definitive reason for any such extension. They want Westminster to define precisely what they want out of the future relationship and only then will the E.U. consider that extension. Erin Maclaughlin, CNN, Brussels.
CHURCH: And joining me now from Brussels, New York Times Chief Diplomatic Correspondent, Steven Elanger. Good to have you with us.
STEVEN ERLANGER, NEW YORK TIMES CHIEF DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT: Thanks, Rosemary.
CHURCH: There's an element of deja vu to all of this, of course we've been talking about it for a number of nights. But of course, the no- deal scenario was rejected by British lawmakers. But with only 15 days to go there still a possibility that Britain will crash out of the E.U. with no deal, isn't it?
ERLANGER: Oh, totally, because the default option is March 29th good bye unless something else happens and so far nothing else since happened. The British Parliament can vote that this -- its desire to do a lot of things but that doesn't mean the European Union will agree. And of course, you cannot replace, no deal with no deal. No deal has to be replaced with a deal. So, Mrs. May, as we talked yesterday is going to bring a third
meaningful vote to the table.
She's going to make Parliamentarians vote yet again, on her deal. Her strategy has been, yes wind down the clock, but simply to say you can't have no deal if you don't have a deal. And my deal is the one that we and the E.U. have agreed upon and like it or not, it's the best deal available to avoid no deal. Now, she has also said we could have a short extension if we pass this deal.
If we don't, then we're likely to have to ask for a very long extension and that will drive Brexiteers crazy, because it postpones Brexit itself and it also raises the possibility that there will be another referendum or that Brexit will be altered in ways that Brexiteers don't want or even abandoned altogether. That's her threat. That's what she's trying to bring to bear on her own party to get them to finally in a third vote, vote her deal in and be done with the divorce settlement.
CHURCH: Yes. That's a worry, because, I mean, she's done it two times, it's been rejected. She has to know where this is all going because the E.U. is reluctant to grant an extension without any deal on the tables. So, what is the next step here or what could possibly happen? What are these possible scenarios now?
ERLANGER: Well, I wish I could say I thought she knew where she was going. I've tried to lay out her strategy which could fail and if it does fail, I think she will then go to the E.U. Summit next week and ask for a longer extension. The E.U. will say for what? Which should be a very good question. But her intention could be, I think really, even if that doesn't work to try to vote even a fourth time before March 29th.
Because at the moment as we've discussed, Parliament agrees there's -- they don't want a no deal, but they really do disagree on what kind of deal they want or there may be a set of votes, cross party votes to try to get a sense of what Parliament wants, but it's very, very late for all of this. It's been an extraordinarily meltdown and her only strategy seems to be to force it to the very last second before midnight and trying to get her deal through.
[02:40:06] Otherwise, I think, she will say to her party and to the nation that Parliament is blocking the Brexit they voted for.
CHURCH: And of course, while this is all playing out, there were a lot of people who wanted to remain in the E.U. So, how likely is it again, we talk about the Second Referendum, we talked yesterday and you've really feel it is off the table, but it sort of still hanging in there isn't it? And then of course, this option of a general -- a possibility of a general election.
ERLANGER: Yes. Well, that's absolutely true, I mean, it's hanging in there partly as a threat. Now it is, you know, the problem for a second referendum is a lot of the Labor Party MP's are from constituencies that voted to leave. So, they are very reluctant to cancel Brexit or raise the possibility of canceling it. And it is possible, of course, anything is possible, that, you know, if there is a long extension, she can, you know, give up and say what she doesn't want to do.
Yes, let's have a second referendum, but then you have all these questions. You know, what would it the question be, right? Because how can you only have a yes or no? You'd probably need at least three questions which would be very difficult to manage. So, my guess is more likely than a second referendum would be a general election. But first, we have to go through the pain of a third or even a fourth vote to try to convince this Parliament.
It really is in their best interest to focus on the future trading relationship which can be anything Britain and E.U. decide. It's not limited by this divorce deal and just to get it done and move on.
CHURCH: Yes. The whole process has been excruciating and it is not over yet. Steve Erlanger. Thank you so much for joining us. We appreciated it.
ERLANGER: Thanks, Rosemary.
CHURCH: Well, police in Brazil are searching for the motive in a school shooting that left at least eight people dead. Mourners held a vigil for the five students and two school officials who were killed. At least 10 others were injured. Police say, the gunmen where two former students at the school near Sao Paulo. They killed themselves before police arrived on the scene. They say one of the gunmen also killed his uncle at his car rental business before going to the school.
The Republican controlled U.S. Senate has broken ranks with President Trump. They voted 54 to 46 on Wednesday to curtail U.S. Military support to Saudi Arabia in the Yemen War.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: S.J. Res.7, joint resolution to direct the removal of United States Armed Forces from hostilities in the Republic of Yemen that have not been authorized by Congress.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Seven Republicans voted with Democrats, the measure now goes to the U.S. House, where it's expected to pass, if that happens, a Presidential veto is likely. Some Republicans, who voted for the resolution made it clear they were frustrated that Mr. Trump still supports the Saudi Crowned Prince after the murder of Journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Well, meanwhile, the U.S. House has passed a number of measures targeting Russia. One condemned the annexation of Crimea. One dealt with the killing of a Russian Opposition Leader. And another targeted President Putin's finances. Needless to say, the Kremlin was not happy about it. Now Fred Pleitgen reports now from Moscow.
FRED PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Russia ripping into the U.S. after the House of Representatives past several Kremlin critical resolutions. Including one aimed that to shed light on Vladimir Putin's finances. Russian State T.V. trying to ridicule the measure.
OLGA SKABEEVA, HOST, 60 MINUTES (through translator): The crazy printer on the Capitol Hill set a new record, Guinness Book worthy record of passing four Anti-Russian Laws in one day.
PLEITGEN: As usual, Moscow railing against the U.S. while not criticizing President Trump. Kremlin Officials have long said, despite the interference in the 2016 election, they believe America's President wants better relations but is hamstrung by Congress.
DMITRY PESKOV, KREMLIN SPOKESMAN (through translator): This is an ongoing, very unfriendly and rabidly Russophobic line. It's a continuation of this emotional exultation. So, of course, we don't expect any sober assessments from the House of Representatives, because now they are a hostage to these emotions.
PLEITGEN: The Kremlin starting to feel the heat with Democrats now holding a majority in the House. Vladimir Putin spokesman saying he believes time will get tougher for Russia as the 2020 election season heats up.
PESKOV (through translator): Any specialist who knows the recent history of the United States can easily predict that as the presidential election approaches, the intensity of Russophobia will only increase, because Russophobia has always been used as an electoral tool in the United States, to our regret.
[02:45:15] PLEITGEN: Moscow's reaction, a confrontation course with America, and its allies. Vladimir Putin recently introducing new nuclear-capable weapons, he says can't be stopped by U.S. defenses.
And on Russian State T.V. avow. Even after Putin is set to leave office in 2024, things won't change.
YURI ALORIN, COMMUNIST PARTY, RUSSIA (through translator): When the president's constitutional responsibilities end in 2024, you, our friends in America or Ukraine, think that our line will change after that? They will be even harsher.
PLEITGEN: And the Russians keep saying they want better relations with the United States, and they think better relations would be in the interests both of Moscow and of Washington. But it certainly seems that they're losing faith in President Trump's ability to make that happen. Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Moscow.
CHURCH: And coming up, it's My Freedom Day around the world. And we will head to India to see how young people are raising their voices against modern-day slavery. We're back with that in just a moment.
CHURCH: CNN is marking My Freedom Day today, asking students around the world, "What makes you feel free?" It's all part of the CNN Freedom Project and our commitment to ending modern-day slavery.
At this moment, more than 40 million people are living in slavery around the world. Forced labor generates $150 billion a year. One in four victims of modern-day slavery are children. And women and girls represent 71 percent of all slavery victims.
But young people are raising their voices to bring awareness to the topic and posting videos on social media. So, let's head to Kalinjar, India right now and CNN's Nikhil Kumar. Good to see you, Nikhil. How students there celebrating My Freedom Day?
[02:49:53] NIKHIL KUMAR, CNN NEW DELHI BUREAU CHIEF: Well, Rosemary, we are in as you said, Kalinjar, which is in the northwestern Indian State of Rajasthan. It's a rural village. It's hours from the nearest town or city. And we're in a government-run school that's been set up with the help of a charity called, "We", based out of Canada, operates internationally.
And they've held set up this school where hundreds of students from the local area come girls and boys to be educated. This is really important in this community because this region like lots of other parts of the country has a problem with illiteracy, particularly, amongst young girls. And a problem with child labor, forced labor. And so, today the kids who come to this school, they are all celebrating what freedom means to them. They are currently in the middle of an activity, they're making drawings and writing down what freedom means to them. How they feel see their future? All of it will later on the afternoon will be put together in a mural to mark My Freedom Day.
And it's the only one of many activities that we've already seen during the day. You've got the girls and the boys here who earlier were decorating that blackboards in Hindi and in English over there.
These are the girls who are competing with the boys who've put it up over there on that blackboard, all to commemorate My Freedom Day. And they'll be doing more throughout the day in a place that as I say is very, very important for this community.
The fact that they're in school here, the fact that this school exists and these girls can come here, the boys can come here, and be educated, that helps the community fight against things like child labor. Which as I say, remains a problem in this area. Rosemary?
CHURCH: Thank you, Nikhil. Appreciate that. All of these students are just incredible and so inspiring.
And we encourage you to get involved. Tell the world what makes you feel free like these students from around the world.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Freedom for me is the right to act, speak, or think as I want.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Freedom for me is being able to choose who I date and when.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Freedom to me is when people have the liberty of expressing themselves.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I dream of a world where education will be fulfilled in every child's sight. And I believe when we live in freedom, we live in peace.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Freedom to me is have peace in our land. Freedom also means, stand of what you believe in.
STUDENTS AROUND THE WORLD: Say no to child labor. (INAUDIBLE). My Freedom Day.
CHURCH: Amazing kids. And share your story using the #MyFreedomDay, and follow CNN's live blog up now at cnn.com.
And coming up next here on CNN NEWSROOM, a rare Blizzard called a bomb cyclone strikes the central us with the ferocity of a major hurricane. We've got that covered. Back in just a moment. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CHURCH: At least one death has been reported from a rare winter storm called a bomb cyclone. A state trooper was struck and killed by a car in Colorado while he was helping another motorist.
Driving was almost impossible due to whiteout conditions at the peak of the blizzard leading to this 100 car pileup. Colorado officials say more than a thousand motorists were stranded along the interstate.
The storm affected most of the central U.S. from Canada to Mexico. Hurricane force winds toppled mobile homes, large trucks, and even a freight train. So, let's turn to our meteorologist Derek Van Dam, joining us with more on this. And what is a bomb cyclone exactly?
[02:54:49] DEREK VAN DAM, CNN INTERNATIONAL WEATHER ANCHOR: Well, a bomb cyclone is a low-pressure system that has to drop 24 millibars in less than 24 hours. A storm did 30 millibars in less than 24 hours.
And this was the view out of a terminal from the Denver International Airport. Around these bomb cyclones, we get strong winds, and when it snows, you get blizzard conditions. I wouldn't want to get on that plane, and many people don't know, in fact, about a thousand flights were canceled out of Denver International Airport. Alone on Wednesday with another thousand flights expected across the country today.
I mean, it's all thanks to this large storm system you see spinning out of control across the central U.S. I mean, from a meteorological perspective, it looks like someone placed a hurricane in the central parts of the country. Not over the ocean but over the lands.
And these winds, they look like their part of a hurricane as well. I'll show you some of the top wind speeds. There's a central pressure that dropped over 24 millibars, all the way to 960 millibars. This is indication to meteorologists that the storm is particularly strong. And, by the way, those types of readings are equivalent to a Category 2 hurricane. That's incredible. Winds topped 150 even 160 kilometers per hour. And the storm still churning out wind gusts in excess of 100 Kilometers per hour, especially across the plains and in advance of the system near Chicago.
There's the cancellations today, lots of delays from Denver all the way to Salt Lake City. And if you look at the watches and warnings encompassing this map, we've got it all. Flood, blizzard, wind, thunderstorms. It covers roughly the equivalent of adding up the landmass of the U.K., Spain, France, Germany, Poland, and the Ukraine, all these areas over the central U.S. That's 2.5 9 million square kilometers. Well, that's an incredible amount of the country from coast to coast.
So, here's the storm system as it's evolving and to make matters worse, you think that it wasn't enough that we had blizzard conditions on the cold side of the storm, we have the potential for tornadoes today. Specifically, into the Ohio River Valley.
In fact, the latest information from the Storm Prediction Center has this enhanced risk of severe storms from Indianapolis through Cincinnati, all the way to Huntsville, all the way to the Gulf Coast states as well.
So, if you're traveling to or from these locations on Thursday, expect delays, there's still a lot of wind associated with the system, Rosemary. So, the potential exists for, more whiteout conditions and unfortunately, flooding and the potential for severe weather as well.
CHURCH: Wow. Thanks so much for the heads-up on that, Derek. We'll talk again soon.
VAN DAM: All right. Sure.
CHURCH: And thank you for joining us. I'm Rosemary Church. I'll be back with another hour of news in just a moment. You're watching CNN. Stay with us.