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Theresa May's Supporters Not Pleased with Labour Negotiations; Nissan's Former CEO Back to Jail; Democrats Digging More on the Mueller Report; Lawmaker Reject No-Deal Brexit As Theresa May And Corbyn Talk; Netanyahu And Gantz About Even in Latest Poll; U.S. Warns Turkey Not To Obtain Russian Missiles; A Strong NATO Is A U.S. Interest; Venezuela In Crisis. Aired 3-4a ET
Aired April 4, 2019 - 03:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[03:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
IVAN WATSON, CNN ANCHOR: A parliament that just can't a parliament that just can't make up its mind. Especially over Brexit. Theresa May tries to work out a new plan with the Labour leader as MPs struggle to make a major decision.
Plus, hostage justice. Carlos Ghosn is arrested again while his attorney slams Tokyo for using inappropriate pressure against the former Nissan CEO.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Were you scared?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Yes, I was scared. I thought I was going to die because there was so much blood.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATSON: CNN speaks to Venezuelan women who are so desperate for birth control some are dangerously performing their own abortions.
Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us all around the world. I'm Ivan Watson, live from Hong Kong. And this is CNN Newsroom.
Theresa May's efforts to find a way past the Brexit impasse are not winning her much support from her own party. She met Wednesday with opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn looking for a way forward. Her office described the talks as, quote, "constructive," while Corbyn called them "inconclusive."
His Labour Party is pushing for a second referendum to get the public's backing for any deal with the European Union.
Meanwhile, the House of Commons approve a plan to request another deadline extension from the E.U. and prevent a no deal Brexit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN BERCOW, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS: The ayes to the right, 313, the no's to the left, 312. So, the ayes have it, the ayes have it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATSON: The ayes have it by just one vote there.
CNN's Nina dos Santos joins us now this hour from outside Downing Street. Good to see. You probably a few people know better than you how this political crisis continues to grind on in London. Are any of the sites any closer to a way out, Nina?
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you're right. It grinds on and on despite those meetings in parliament in places like Downing Street.
What we saw yesterday was Jeremy Corbyn, obviously, for the first time having this big meeting with Theresa May after she at the last-minute extended something of an olive branch to the opposition party, saying, well, if you want a softer Brexit, help me to make that happen.
That means that, of course, she's turned her back on the no deal Brexit flank of her party and she has started to get some resignations, two resignations, of rather junior ministers yesterday. Saying that they just couldn't countenance her bringing in the head of a party that is just so diametrically oppose on various ideological issue, economic issues, and also on the issue of Brexit.
Now that brings me to what kind of concessions Jeremy Corbyn may well ask for. We're expecting a second series of meetings later on today between Corbyn and May for them to continue this discussion. It's very unclear who will badge on what.
But Corbyn, apparently, sat down as expected his red lines. One of them being membership of the customs union. The Labour Party has always said, Ivan, that any Brexit deal that they could countenance would be one that would have to meet six criteria.
Those would include crucially having the same access to things like the customs union and the benefits of the single market brings with the E.U., as well as safeguarding rights for workers, environmental protections.
And then later on, there is another litany of various other things that they want to make sure are maintained including security and defense.
So, obviously, there's lots of things that the Labour Party can put on the table here and say, we would like a concession on this and that. But first and foremost, the issue will be the customs union.
And then as you mentioned also, the House very much making it clear even if it was only by a one vote majority, that a no deal Brexit should now officially be taken off the cards, and that Theresa May should go back to Brussels for another extension.
Now, Theresa May has already said in her speech when she reached out to Corbyn publicly taking to the airwaves a couple of days ago that she would be asking for a longer delay or a shorter longer delay, if you like, to Brexit to take the U.K. pause that next potential cliff edge of April the 12th. So, the big question is how long will that delay be.
So, now, we have the House saying that she has to ask or they would like to ask for another delay. The question will be how long will it be? What will the E.U. grant it for?
[03:05:00] And also, will Corbyn, if he gets the customs union, then be compelled to ask for another referendum. A confirm that he vote, if you like, of any deal he and May managed to get together, but a confirm that she vote by the people this time, not the parliament, Ivan.
WATSON: All right. Nina, thank you from the view there from London.
And now to get some more analysis on this, I'm joined by Kallum Pickering. He is a senior U.K. economist at Berenberg Bank and he joins me live from London. Good to see you.
I want to start with the view from the European Union, so let's take a listen to Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission who was commenting on this extension that the House of Commons has voted for. Let's take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEAN-CLAUDE JUNCKER, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN COMMISSION (through translator): The 12th of April is the final date for possible approval. If the House of Commons does not adopt us before that date, no short time extension would be possible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATSON: So here we have this senior European official saying, hey, the 12th of April that's the deadline now. You can't push back any further. Is that going to have any impact on the just paralysis that we seem to be seeing in parliament?
KALLUM PICKERING, SENIOR ECONOMIST, BERENBERG BANK: Well, certainly, if you listen very carefully to what Mr. Juncker said today, and what he said yesterday, he said no further short extension would be necessary. So, if the U.K. wanted a long extension as a bare minimum it would have to participate in the European elections.
This is something that Theresa May does not want the U.K. to do. So, if there's any urgency in parliament to get out of the E.U. as fast as possible and avoid those elections, 12th of April is the final deadline. But in case a much longer extension is needed then the U.K. would probably have to what almost certainly have to participate in the European elections. WATSON: And I believe those are on May 23rd. Let me ask a different
perspective from where you are right now, as an economist, how would you assess the impact that this squabbling has had on the U.K.'s economy?
PICKERING: Well the U.K. economy of course is being pushed around now by some funny factors linked to the uncertainty over Brexit. The hard Brexit risk suggest a big downside risk if it were to materialize.
But for markets, for me, the long-term economic impact of Brexit are much more important. We are going to lose a little trend growth in the U.K. as a result of Brexit. If we can end up with the customs union which seems to be the May-Corbyn compromise, we will probably see potential growth of around 1.7, 1.8 percent down from a little over 2 percent inside the E.U. We can certainly live with that.
WATSON: All right. Well, that's good to hear then. Do you think it's possible, I mean, just looking at again, the bickering there in the House of Commons? That some kind of coalition could be cobbled together large enough to get some kind of an agreement in that body?
PICKERING: Well, that's right. The one factor which is often overlooked in this debate is that within U.K. parliament there is a big majority for close ties with the E.U. It's just finding out what those close ties should be.
If May and Corbyn can agree on the customs union which they probably can. You would probably find a majority for that in parliament.
A customs union is Corbyn's official policy. It's suitably Brexit for much of the conservatives to hold their nose and vote for. The risk is that Corbyn puts to honor his teams on May, maybe including a second referendum.
In which case, she probably has to reach around Jeremy Corbyn and look for a majority in parliament by herself. That's much harder to do. It highlights the risk of the hard Brexit on the 12th of April which we put it around 20 percent. Although it is not the base case.
WATSON: Al right. Your prognosis 20 percent for hard Brexit. Thank you very much for your insight there, Kallum Pickering from Berenberg Bank.
PICKERING: Thank you.
WATSON: Now a disturbing video has emerged that appears to show Britain's political divisions boiling over into something far, far uglier.
The British army has launched an investigation into these images which seem to show four servicemen using a picture of Jeremy Corbyn for target practice. The video was apparently filmed in Afghanistan and shared on SnapChat. The message below it reads "happy with that."
Now it's not clear whether the video has been manipulated somehow. The army calls the behavior totally unacceptable. Let's move to Ethiopia now. That's where Ethiopian officials are set
to release a preliminary report soon on the doomed Ethiopian Airlines flight 302. One hundred fifty-seven people were killed when the Boeing 737 MAX 8 crashed last month.
The entire fleet is grounded as Boeing fixes a software problem that may have prevented the pilots from maintaining control of the plane.
[03:10:08] It comes as the Wall Street Journal reports that the pilots followed the company's emergency procedures but still were not able to save the doomed flight.
For more on this, Robyn Kriel joins us now from Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. Thank you for joining, Robyn. And you've been covering this deadly crash from the very beginning from the smoldering ruins. Are you getting any advance word on the expected conclusions of the Ethiopian investigators?
ROBYN KRIEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, a number of different conclusions, Ivan, but none that we feel than we can report just yet. What I can tell you for certain is that Ethiopian authorities, the ministry of transport who are heading up that investigation have now sat down with ambassadors from the 34 other nations that were affected by this crash.
There were 34 other -- 34 different nationalities of people on this crash ranging from Americans to British to a large number of Kenyans, Israelis, et cetera. The Ethiopian authorities have sat down with these ambassadors at 9 a.m. local time, and are briefing them on this preliminary report and their proposed recommendations.
There's been a number of delays of the release of this report, Ivan. And what I can tell you having spoken to numerous people both inside the investigative committee and outside is that, apparently this report was ready on Monday.
It was then sent to various stakeholders such as, the NTSB and other people for comment and it was waiting for that comment that's when -- that's when the delay took place.
Now obviously, we'll have more idea of why those delays took place later on in this day where we're hoping to hear something. What we understand this according to the Wall Street Journal's reporting is that (AUDIO GAP) to do with this faulty MCAS system, that's anti stall system (Technical problem) that has been installed on the 737 MAX says that pilots have long been grappling with. And essentially, that's what the cause of the Lion Air crash back in October was largely pinned on.
WATSON: That's right. Pretty chilling to think about the battles that the pilots had to face, human pilots with the automatic pilot, the autopilot in this aircraft. Of course, the results of this investigation will have potentially huge consequences on the air -- aviation business industry.
But I want to ask about the families of the many victims here. What are they telling you? What are they looking for? How are they handling this a month after the deadly crash?
KRIEL: Well, I spent some time with an Israeli family, Ivan, who were basically asking for the Ethiopian authorities to open up the crash site so that forensic investigators, specifically trained in these sorts of devastating accidents. Really the plane plowed into the ground, that if their team could go in there and look for more forensic evidence.
The huge worry is that when it comes to DNA and these sorts of compacted scenes as it were that it will take a very long time for all of those pieces to be really put together of this very sad puzzle. And essentially for all the DNA to be collected from the scene, they were worried that perhaps not all of the DNA had been connected it.
Apparently, it takes about two weeks when an accident such as this, and this was wrapped up in a matter of days. However, we do know that the DNA of the -- well, the DNA that has been picked up has been sent to the U.K. for analysis and much to the various countries involved relief. Because there was, we understand some arguments over exactly what should happen with that DNA.
But you mentioned, how terrifying it must have been for both the pilots and the passengers. Ivan, Bole International Airport is just behind me and we can hear planes taking off from there every few minutes, especially in the morning.
It would have been just six minutes of flights of terrifying sirens and emergencies for these pilots, as you say to battle with the plane, a tug of war, essentially, into the ground.
WATSON: Yes. A tug of war that the Lion Air pilots had to fight as well in October of 2018 before crashing into the sea. Robyn, I'm going to ask you to stand by because we will be monitoring here on CNN the upcoming and anticipated press conference from the Ethiopian air crash investigation.
So, thanks very much for now. Robyn Kriel live in the Ethiopian capital.
Still to come, why Nissan automotive former chief Carlos Ghosn has been prosecuted yet again less than a month after he was released from jail.
Plus, some Mueller team members are not happy with the attorney general's summary of their investigation. They called the evidence of obstruction alarming and significant. We'll have the latest.
[03:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
WATSON: Welcome back to CNN. I'm Ivan Watson, broadcasting from Hong Kong.
We have news from Japan. That's where the former head of Nissan Motor Company has been arrested for a fourth time. Prosecutors are now accusing Carlos Ghosn of diverting $5 million of Nissan's funds into his own company. Ghosn is awaiting trial and charges he understated his earnings for
years and abused his position by transferring personal investment losses to Nissan. He denies any wrongdoing and his lawyer had harsh words for prosecutors.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUNICHIRO HIRONAKA, CARLOS GHOSN'S LAWYER (through translator): None of them. I don't understand why they detained him. If anything, the prosecutors are trying to maintain an edge against Mr. Ghosn through hostage of justice. I think it is very inappropriate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATSON: Now are Sherisse Pham has been following this closely and she joins me from Hong Kong. Sherisse, I don't understand. Ghosn has already been arrested, he's been jailed more than a hundred days. Why does -- why did the Japanese authorities keep arresting and releasing him and arresting him again?
SHERISSE PHAM, CNN BUSINESS REPORTER: Ivan, this is a great question and it's a question that has Carlos Ghosn's own lawyers baffled. So, Carlos Ghosn's lawyer, you saw him at the top there, he just wrapped up a press conference in Tokyo where he is accusing prosecutors of playing their last card in this case. He said these charges against his client are nothing new. They are related to the case that is already been brought against Carlos Ghosn. And he called the re-arrest of Ghosn something that is practically unheard of. Have a listen to what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HIRONAKA (through translator): To once again arrest someone who was released under bail is very exceptional. This is a very obvious fact. Someone who is under bail, is someone the court has acknowledged is following their conditions of release, conditions of bail. That there is no risk of tampering with evidence or a flee.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PHAM: So, there is no risk of tampering, there's no risk of fleeing. He's not going to be working with different kinds of evidence. But the timing of this arrest, Ivan, is really interesting. Because this happened just a day after Carlos Ghosn took to Twitter sent his very first tweet saying, "I am going to tell the truth about this case against him and I'm going to do it in a press conference next Thursday."
[03:20:02] All that of course is now in doubt because now he is being detained by the Tokyo prosecutor's office. And the prosecutors are saying look, these are new charges. There are new charges that Carlos Ghosn used Nissan Company money for his own use, and that of course is against the law.
So, we are waiting to see some new details that will be coming forward in the coming days, Ivan. WATSON: Yes. And I think you are also monitoring possible competing
press conferences not only from the defense attorney who we just heard from but also from the prosecutors. Have they spoken, have we learned anything more about this?
PHAM: Prosecutors have spoken, unfortunately, it did not come in live so were not able to monitor it live.
But here is some interesting some more interesting details that I do want to share from Carlos Ghosn's lawyers, and I realize this is just one side of the case. The prosecutors have put forward a statement about these new charges and saying that they were payments to an overseas entity.
There has been some previous reporting that these were payments to one business partner. I expect that is what was revealed at this press conference. We will have more details about that very soon here.
But Carlos Ghosn's lawyer also revealed some fascinating things that happened. He was arrested early morning in his Tokyo apartment where his wife was present. Carlos Ghosn's documents that were on his person and in the house were taken but the prosecutors also took the cell phone and the passport of Carlos Ghosn's wife and she is not, as far as we know named in any of the cases or the indictments in these cases and the indictments against Carlos Ghosn.
So that would be a really interesting development in this latest twist in the saga that has brought down one of the titans of the auto industry.
WATSON: Yes. Quite a fall from grace. Sherisse Pham following this closely, thank you very, very much.
Now we are going to go some U.S. news. Some of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigators say the Mueller report is more damaging to President Trump than Attorney General William Barr's memo initially revealed. That from the New York Times and the Washington Post.
Some of the team saying the evidence of obstruction was alarming and significant. One official told the Post that team members has prepared summaries for each section and they expected that those summaries would be released to the public. But instead, the attorney general did his own summary.
That comes as the House judiciary committee approves a subpoena to get the full unredacted version of the report. The part line vote came in a contentious committee meeting Wednesday. The chairman said he is not issuing the subpoena just yet, but will if he needs to.
CNN's senior congressional correspondent Manu Raju has details.
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: House judiciary chairman Jerry Nadler armed with the subpoena something that he plans to use in the coming days, he said, in very short order. He would serve the Justice Department with subpoenas demanding the full Mueller report, demanding the underlying evidence, and also subpoenas to five former White House officials who worked, who testified before the Mueller investigation who may have received records from the White House, they want those records.
These subpoenas have been authorized now that the House judiciary committee on a party line vote after Republicans attack Democrats for acting recklessly. Democrat say they want full transparency.
But nevertheless, Jerry Nadler now has his subpoenas in his back pocket. And the House judiciary chairman, the chairman will serve them when he feels like it's not getting, he's not getting cooperation from the Justice Department.
Now the question is will he agree to any sort of middle ground and will the Justice Department comply with Nadler's request. Nadler is making it very clear he's not willing to negotiate.
RAJU: Are you willing to negotiate any middle ground in terms of redactions of the Mueller report?
REP. JERROLD NADLER, (D) NEW YORK: No. The committee must see everything, as was done in every prior instance. The committee is entitled and must see all the material and make judgments to what can be redacted for the public release by ourselves.
We are not willing to let the attorney general who, after all is a political appointee of the president make that judge -- substitute his judgment for ours.
RAJU: Now at the same time Republicans are taking a much different approach. The Senate judiciary chairman, Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina told me he does not want to see the full unredacted Mueller report. He says he'll let Bill Barr make the decisions on what the blackout and he'll take Barr's word for it.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R) SOUTH CAROLINA: I want the Barr to come before the committee May the 1st, and present the report minus the grand jury information, minus classified information. I don't need to look at a million documents. Just tell us about the report.
RAJU: So, you don't -- unredacted, you don't want to see the unredacted report?
RAJU: But nevertheless, a big court battle brewing both over the Mueller report if the Justice Department does not comply with the Democratic demands and over that grand jury information. [03:24:58] Jerry Nadler told me yesterday, quote, "absolutely." He
would go to court and ask for that grand jury information. If it is not provided to the House judiciary committee that's going to be one area focus for the days and weeks ahead.
The question, though, ultimately, what will Justice Department do. At the moment, declining to comment.
Manu Raju, CNN, Capitol Hill.
WATSON: All right. So, let's take a look a little bit deeper into this mess. Scott Lucas is a professor of international politics at the University of Birmingham and the founder and editor of the E.A. World View. And he joins us from Birmingham, England. Thank you for joining, Scott.
You know, in the two years that the Mueller team was working, his lawyers, the FBI investigators they were remarkably tight lipped. They were almost no leaks to speak of. But now, they're speaking on condition of anonymity to both the Washington Post and the New York Times. So, is this a sudden lack of discipline or perhaps a sign of desperation?
SCOTT LUCAS, POLITICS PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM: It's neither. It is an attempt quietly to support getting the report before Congress, and possibly before the public with what it says rather than what the attorney general says that the report finds.
Look, when I spoke to you folks last week, I said quite bluntly that William Barr was trying to bury the Mueller report with his four-page letter to Congress. That he was misrepresenting what the report had found or might have found about collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
And in particular, that Barr was trying to bury any pursuit of obstruction of justice even though, even though his letter implicitly says that Mueller's team had found evidence of obstruction by the president.
Now we know that the House judiciary committee initially said April 2nd for the release of the report to them. We know that Barr has missed that deadline. That he has said, well, maybe, maybe I'll give it to you by mid-April but I have to redact portions of it, including possibly sweeping portions relating to Trump as a third party.
So, this, I would see as a concern by the Mueller team. That the attorney general is not playing fair and is trying to bury their work over two years ago. Not to say that Trump should be found guilty at this point, but to say that the full report should be presented to Congress for accountability and then we can decide whether or not Trump should face political or even criminal action over what he has done.
WATSON: Well, that's a pretty serious accusation that the attorney general would be trying to bury some of this. Democrat lawmakers are clearly trying to make sure that they have everything covered here because they're mounting so many different investigations on different fronts.
One of them it doesn't specifically have to do with the Mueller report, it's now the House and Ways Means committee. A House Ways and Means committee asking for six years of President Trump's tax returns.
Now we know that the president famously broke with a generation of tradition by refusing to disclose this information, citing that he was being audited. Do you think this move that it has any chance of bringing those tax returns in front of the public eye?
LUCAS: Not immediately, because we know that Donald Trump has refused point blank to release not only tax returns but other financial records. We know that he warned the Mueller investigators not to investigate his business affairs despite the fact that prosecutors in (Inaudible) what state are doing so.
So, the White House will respond with legal action and will take this to the courts. However, this is more of a political maneuver now. I don't think anyone expects Trump to be forced out of office before the 2020 election. But he's campaigning for reelection.
And House Democrats are saying we are not going to let up on accountability as you do. I know these are serious accusations, Ivan. But I need to be clear here. We have had Donald Trump in the White House tried to hold back on any accountability regarding finances.
And the Trump Russia report only adds to this because what William Barr said in June 2018 is that that investigation should not proceed and that it should not specifically proceed in terms of obstruction of justice.
While he has now written his letter to try to make sure that it doesn't proceed. And we're seeing that members of the House, Democrats, and indeed, some members of Mueller's team are not willing to settle for that.
WATSON: Well, we'll be watching closely to see if in fact that Mueller report is finally published by the middle of the month as the attorney general stated.
Professor Scott Lucas from the University of Birmingham, thank you very much for your insight there.
LUCAS: Thank you.
WATSON: All right. So, Benjamin Netanyahu he seeks an historic fifth term as the Israeli prime minister. Just days from now we'll find out if he succeeds against decorated army general Benny Gantz.
[03:30:03] A live report from Jerusalem is coming up. Stay with CNN.
WATSON: Welcome back I'm Ivan Watson live in Hong Kong. Let's update you on our top stories this hour. British lawmakers have approved a plan to request another deadline extension from the European Union and prevent a no deal Brexit. That comes as Prime Minister Theresa May has wrapped up her first day of talks with opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn aim at breaking the Brexit impasse.
The man accused of attacking two mosque in New Zealand will face more charges. Brenton Tarrant will be charged with 50 counts of murder. And 39 counts of attempted murder. In his earlier court appearance, he was charged with one count of murder.
With just days to go before the Israeli election, a recent poll shows Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz are about even. The survey of voters by Israel's channel 13 shows Mr. Netanyahu's Likud Party would win 29 seats. That is a one seat advantage over the blue and white party of Benny Gantz.
CNN's Michael Holmes joins us from Jerusalem. So great to see you there my friend. In a country that you know and have reported on for decades. Now, some are calling this, in fact, Oren Liebermann in article on CNN.com is calling this the toughest election campaign of Benjamin Netanyahu's career. Why?
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. That is right it has been because he is got a challenger who is challenging him on the security issue, it's interesting for the first time in weeks, you got Netanyahu's Likud Party ahead in the polls, but it's interesting a few days ago, another polls showed Benny Gantz and hi Blue and White Party ahead with (inaudible) difficult it is to predict this election.
But the important thing to remember is we discuss many times, neither Netanyahu nor Gantz are going to get enough fleets to rule alone, but here's the thing, the man who gets the most seats will be the one likely to be ask by the president to form a government. In coalition with some of nearly a dozen smaller parties and Netanyahu at the moment seems as having the advantage there.
So that head to head hugely important with who is likely to get the first shot at forming a coalition. And now as we speak, Ivan, Mr. Netanyahu en route to Moscow, it's just a one day trip. Interestingly he met with Donald Trump last week, Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro, this week now Vladimir Putin. The trip being seen as a showing off his foreign policy credentials five days before the election, he says it's just a routine meeting, Ivan.
[03:35:05] WATSON: Well, it doesn't hurt to show up face to face with other world leaders? Michael, tell us more about the opposition challenger, Benny Gantz?
HOLMES: Yes, now, he is seen, I went down to Tel Aviv, a couple of nights ago, to see him at the town hall, he's not seen as having the guile or the personality or the political street smart that you like with Benjamin Netanyahu. But security as you know, it's always the number one issue aimed in Israeli elections. And he does have solid credentials, very solid credentials in that area. Let's take a look at look at the man.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HOLMES: The man who wants to be Israel's next Prime Minister Benny
Gantz he served his country's military chief under the incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Together they led the country through two wars in Gaza, but that hasn't stop Netanyahu Likud Party from slamming Gantz on the campaign trail.
Gantz has fired back at those who says he might have military credentials, but no political experience. Particularly on the world stage.
BENNY GANTZ, LEADER, BLUE AND WHITE PARTY: I said to the prime ministers before, presidents before, chief of staff before, what are you talking? Is my starting point anywhere worse than what was Netanyahu's 13 or 15 years ago?
HOLMES: Security is always the main issue in Israeli elections and Gantz had support from former defense chiefs and front line soldiers. Alon Ziderman, was a paratrooper in the 2014 Gaza War, he had no direct contact with the then Chief of Staff, but the impression Benny Gantz made on him was a factor in his decision to support him
ALON ZIDERMAN, GANTZ SUPPORTER: I think that Israelis voted their Prime Minister, because of his security background. And I think that with Benny Gantz and his partners, former -- three former Chief of Staff, I think he has that covered.
HOLMES: Then there's Ehud Barak, former Prime Minister and his country's most decorated soldier.
EHUD BARAK, FORMER ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: Benny after all set for many years in the meetings of the cabinet and the government meeting to discuss -- discussing the most critical issues of the country. So he is much better prepared than he would be when he came to parliament.
HOLMES: In Tel Aviv, Gantz moving voters in the home stretch. He's neck and neck with Netanyahu in the latest polls, but Israeli politics isn't about head to head, neither men will win outright and it's all about who can form a coalition with nearly a dozen smaller parties.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: And Ivan, Benny Gantz, he might have risen to the top of Israel's the (inaudible) Iraqi, but let's face it, he's got less than a week now to convince voters he could run the country and that most recent poll has him behind, he's got some catching up to do, Ivan.
WATSON: And then the messy coalition building process begins there. Michael Holmes, thank you very much for that update from Jerusalem.
WATSON: Now, tensions between two long time NATO allies. The U.S. has warned Turkey not but an anti-aircraft system from Russia. Ankara say, the purchase of S400 missiles is already a done deal. But Washington wants Turkey to buy the U.S. missiles of defenses system instead. And U.S. Vice President Mike Pence says the Russian made system poses a security risk for the western alliance.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Turkey must choose. Does it want to remain a critical partner of the most successful military alliance in the history of the world? Or does it want to risk the security of that partnership by making reckless decisions and undermining are alliance.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATSON: But, Turkey's vice president says it's the U.S. that must choose between remaining an ally or joining forces with terrorists. Our first to U.S. support for Kurdish fighters. And economist journalist tweeted quote, America's vice president and Turkey's vice president talking past each other on Twitter. Happy 78th anniversary NATO.
But the head of NATO acknowledges that there are differences within the organization and calls them a healthy sign of strength. The Secretary General address the U.S. Congress a day after meeting with President Donald Trump, a sometimes critic of the NATO packed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JENS STOLTENBERG, SECRETARY GENERAL OF NATO: We are in alliance of many different nations. With different geography, history and political practice. Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and labor, Independence, Greens and many more, this is democracy. Open discussion and different views is not the sign of weakness, it is a sign of strength.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[03:40:06] WATSON: Now Jens Stoltenberg spoke with our Hala Gorani about the future of the alliance. And his thoughts on Donald Trump.
STOLTENBERG: The United States needs friends. It's good for United States to have friends, so it is in the national interest of United States to have a strong NATO. Terms necessary has been -- he's committed to NATO, but he wants allies to pay more and I agree, we need fair burden sharing for NATO to be strong.
HALA GORANI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: But he's understanding of how NATO functions some people have questions, he is essentially saying were paying for a big proportion of NATO which basically is protecting Europe, we are being taken advantage of because Europe is also and taking advantage of us on trade, that kind of thing. As if, there is some sort of central NATO budget in this case. Is this is something that he is told you and have you corrected him on that?
STOLTENBERG: So we have discussed how NATO is working and that my -- important thing for me is that, he is committed to NATO. He has clearly state that he is behind NATO, he did that when we met yesterday. He did that in the State of the Union, especially when he met NATO leaders at the NATO summit in Brussels last July. But not only words, but also deeds. United States has increases in their military persons in Europe. So we see you as commitment to NATO, both in words and in deeds.
WATSON: Stoltenberg says, NATO will become even more important in the future given Russia's military buildup cyberattacks and interference in elections in other countries.
Contraceptives are scarce in Venezuela and it leading to unplanned pregnancies and illegal abortions.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fetuses were found in garbage cans or babies were abandoned and we were really surprised by the number.
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WATSON: More on this alarming implication next. And the man who led Algeria for 20 years ask his nation for forgiveness after he abruptly resigns. We'll have the details, stay with CNN.
WATSON: Welcome back. We are going to turn now to the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela. A new report is advising the United Nations to lead a full scale emergency response to the severe medicine and food shortage crisis there. The report was just released by human rights watch and the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
[03:45:08] It highlights increased numbers of maternal and infant deaths. The spread of vaccine preventable diseases such as measles and diphtheria, sharp increase in the transmission of infectious diseases and high levels of food and security and child malnutrition.
The statistics are dismal, for example, the number of reported tuberculosis cases rose from 6000 in 2014, to more than 13,000 in 2017. Measles cases rose from one in 2012, just one, to 6200 confirmed cases since June 2017. And malaria is up as well. From fewer than 36,000 cases in 2009 to more than 414,000 in 2017.
Venezuela's health crisis is also impacting birth control options, contraceptives are expensive, and nearly impossible to find leading to arise in unplanned pregnancies and abortions. Our Paula Newton reports.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is not a line for food or water, but still, they say, it's a bear necessity. In Venezuela they are desperate for birth control. For several years now several times a week they come to the health clinic PLAFAM for some of the only birth control that is available. It's terrible, Junai (ph) tells me, you just can't get contraceptives.
If you do get them, her friend Emily adds, it's expensive. Even if you work your entire salary isn't enough to get one pack of pills. And for young girls who can't get birth control, they tell me, especially teenagers, many turn to abortion. We visited with the clinics medical Director months ago and the situation is the same today he confirms. Contraceptives are scarce at public clinics and unaffordable at private ones.
The World Health Organization says Venezuela now has one of the highest adolescent pregnancy rates in South America. As even black market contraception is far too expensive for most, and the consequences of this shortage poses an even greater risk to the long term health of women and girls. This young woman says she induced her own abortion at home with herbal tea and pills. She says the pain was unbearable.
Were you scared?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Yes, I was scared. I thought I was going to die, because there were so much blood. It was horrible.
NEWTON: Hemorrhaging, she went to see a doctor, but could not confess to having an abortion and still does not want her identity revealed. Abortion is illegal in Venezuela, punishable with up to two years in prison.
LUISA KISLINGER, WOMAN'S RIGHT ACTIVIST: There's no way of knowing what they're doing and how they are performing these abortions, so it's very worrisome.
NEWTON: This woman activist says the latest available health records show maternal mortality in Venezuela was up 60 percent in 2016 alone. The recent study of infant mortality, she says is even more alarming.
KISLINGER: Fetuses were found in garbage cans or babies were abandoned in we weren't really surprised by the number, the sheer number. And these are the ones that make it into the media. We don't know how many more there can be.
NEWTON: A generation of Venezuelan women now live in fear of how sexual activity and pregnancy can up end their health and their lives. Paula Newton, CNN, Caracas.
WATSON: To Algerian now, were one day after the surprise resignation of the longtime president Abdelaziz Bouteflika has ask his country to forgive his shortcomings during his 20 years in office. His departure follows weeks of protest demanding he stepped down. CNN's Becky Anderson reflects on the influence he's had over Algeria.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A revolutionary that is how Abdelaziz Bouteflika was once seen as a former freedom fighter, he help end French colonial rule of Algeria, in the mid-20th century, but his political career ended on a much different note.
The 82-year-old leader stepped down on April the 2nd. After weeks of protests, saying that his plans to seek another presidential term. Despite rarely being seen in public since the stroke, some five years earlier. Bouteflika was first elected president in a controversial vote in 1999. This after a seven year long civil war where a 150,000 Algerian's lost their lives.
Bouteflika granted amnesty to militants in return for peace. While the violence didn't end overnight, many fighters laid down their arms. And Bouteflika help to breathe new life into the economy.
[03:50:06] As new roads and shopping malls emerged, much of this funded by rising oil and gas revenues. Bouteflika also credited with reopening Algeria to the world. Algeria is an ally for the U.S. in the war on terror.
In 2001, Bouteflika was criticized when security forces (inaudible) protests by ethnic purpose, seeking greater rights. Of which they also did a decade later. Alongside thousands of Algerians who demanded more freedom during the Arab Spring. Bouteflika though managed to survive. But militant Islam in Algeria did too.
A series of bombs rocked the capital Algeria in a 2007 attack, claimed by Al Qaeda's North African branch. In 2013, dozens of hostages were killed in a terrorist attack on the gas plant in the south. And in 2014, ISIS inspired militant's beheaded a French tourist.
Bouteflika wanted a fourth term the same year which would also prove to be he's last. His successor now inherits an oil rich OPEC member. On the doorsteps of Europe still trying to put men to militant Islam at home. Becky Anderson, CNN, Abu Dhabi.
WATSON: An outlandish claim about windmills with absolutely no proof.
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DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If you have a windmill anywhere near your house, congratulations, your house just went down 75 percent in value. And they say the noise causes cancer, you tell me that one, OK?
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WATSON: They say, but we don't really know who they are. Here is the latest claim from Donald Trump and why he makes so many so often. Stick around for that report.
WATSON: Welcome back to the program it's a well-documented fact that Donald Trump has a pretty tricky relationship with the truth according to the Washington Post fact checker, the U.S. President is now responsible for 22 false or misleading statements a day. The latest involves his father's birthplace. CNN's Brian Todd looks at why, Mr. Trump bends the truth so much.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The president makes a claimed about his family history which we presumed he has to know isn't true.
TRUMP: My father is German, right? Was German and born in a very wonderful place in Germany, so I have a great feeling for Germany.
TODD: It's well established that President Trump's father, Fred, was born in the Bronx in 1905. A Trump advisor defended the president telling CNN, quote, Obama thought we had 57 states. Sometimes mistakes happen, but this isn't the first time Trump has made this claim.
TRUMP: I have great respect for Germany, my father is from Germany.
Tell me both of my parents were born in E.U. sectors, OK? I mean, my mother was Scotland, my father was Germany.
TODD: Trump's mother Maryanne was born in Scotland. His paternal grandfather was born in Germany. Trump has a pattern of making not just misstatements where he simply has his facts wrong --
[03:55:00] TRUMP: It took 11 months to build the Empire State Building.
TODD: But statements which are outlandishly untrue --
TRUMP: If you have a windmill anywhere near your house, congratulations, your house just went down 75 percent in value. And they say the noise causes cancer. You tell me that one, OK?
TODD: One example of a blatant lie, this year the Trump administration ravaged the budget of a project called the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, slashing it from $300 million to $30 million. Just days later, Trump came out and said this at a rally in Michigan.
TRUMP: And I'm going to get, in honor of my friends, full funding of $300 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
TODD: One famous Trump lie came after he botched the name of Apple CEO Tim Cook.
TRUMP: We appreciate it very much, Tim Apple.
TODD: Trump then told two donors that he actually said Tim Cook Apple really fast and the Cook part of the sentence was soft, according to Axios.
TRUMP: Tim Apple.
TODD: Trump later tweeted, I quickly referred to Tim and Apple as Tim, Apple as an easy way to save time and words. The fake news was disparagingly all over this.
Just about every American president has lied about something.
BILL CLINTON, FORMER UNITED STATES OF AMERICA PRESIDENT: I did not have sexual relations with that woman. Miss Lewinsky.
TODD: And of course, some were big lies.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I first learned from news reports of the Watergate break in. I was appalled --
TODD: But Richard Nixon's lies about Watergate, Bill Clinton's on his affair and Lyndon Johnson on Vietnam were committed for political expediency.
MARC FISHER, CO-AUTHOR, TRUMP REVEALED: For most politicians, when they do dissemble, when they do say things that aren't true, they're doing it to try to get by, they're doing it to try to gain some political advantage. In Donald Trump's case, it's just an endemic part of who he is.
TODD: Trump biographer say his proclivity to lie, dating back at least to his days as a real estate developer in New York is more about instant gratification than anything else.
FISHER: He is just riffing. He is doing the moment. This is what Donald Trump does -- life takes place for him in the present. He doesn't really care about the past, not even that much about the future. He wants to win the moment at every turn.
TODD: One key question is, why don't the presidents aide who speak for him publicly, people like Sarah Sanders or Kellyanne Conway ever publicly correct the presidents lies? Trump's biographer say that is for their own survival. That he would punish them if they ever did that, accusing them of undermining him. They say those aides have to be careful of how they even approach Trump in private over that. Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.
WATSON: All right. Well, thank you for your company. I'm Ivan Watson in Hong Kong, but the news continues next with Max Foster in London, you are watching CNN.