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Polls Open In Key Test For African National Congress; Pompeo Visits Iraq As U.S.-Iran Standoff Escalates; Iran Warns It Could Resume Some Nuclear Activities; Chinese Vice Premier Will Travel to U.S. to Continue Trade Talks On Thursday; Liverpool Beat Barcelona To Reach Champions League Final; New York Times: Trump Lost $1.17 Billion From 1985 To 1994. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired May 8, 2019 - 01:00   ET


[01:00:00] JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Economic inequality and the margin of victory could just determine the future of white- held land. Vague on details and producing no hard evidence, the Trump Administration pushes on with claims of credible threats that a looming Iranian attack has the reason for a massive buildup of military firepower in the Persian Gulf.

And don't even think about it. China warns the U.S. on tariffs as global markets tank. The winds of a trade blowing across the Pacific. Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. Great to have you with us. I'm John Vause and this is CNN NEWSROOM.

Polls are open this hour in South Africa. And while there is little doubt the ruling African National Congress will hold on to power, the vote is still considered a key test for the party once led by Nelson Mandela.

The ANC has governed since the end of White Minority rule 25 years ago. But during those years, corruption and scandal and now a sluggish economy has created a new growing category of voter, the undecided. CNN's David McKenzie joins us now live from Soweto. So David, as best as you can tell at this very early hour, what's the level of enthusiasm on voters and what does that ultimately mean for the result?

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's right, John. I want to show this line in Orlando, east in Soweto. Yes, there is enthusiasm. As you can see it's really early. It's kind of chilly. And any election in South Africa is highly significant. But there is an issue of enthusiasm with the young voters, John. I've been talking to a number of them over the last few days, and the so-called born free, people born been after the end of aspartate, many of them -- millions of them, in fact, haven't registered.

What is at stake here, well, the future of the ANC itself. Just nearby here at the stadium, there were rallies from the economic freedom fighters. That's a radical leftist party that has been pushing for more change, more rapid change. There's a lot of enthusiasm at that rally, and there is a sense that the ANC, John, after years of allegations of corruption, and lack of service delivery, that they might face a stiff challenge from opposition and from these insurgent parties.

Well, why doesn't matter? This is Africa's most industrialized nation and the troubles of South Africa both in corruption and power blackout affect the whole continent and also investment here. Now, I just want to show you here, John, as we look towards the polling station, it should open now, might open in a few minutes late, but certainly, all the materials are here.

More than 48 parties are vying for the selection really seriously. And there is a sense of excitement here. But it is again, 25 years after the end of apartheid and people are feeling that the inequality hasn't been solved in his country. John?

VAUSE: Not even close. David, thank you. I'm sure you'll have a very busy day ahead of you. We appreciate you getting up early, 7:00 a.m. there. Thank you. Aldrin Sampear is a South African talk show host. He joins us now from Johannesburg.

ALDRIN SAMPEAR, SOUTH AFRICAN TALK SHOW HOST: So Aldrin, thank you for getting up early, being with us. You know, this election isn't so much about who will win who will lose. It's pronounced that ANC will get the most number of votes. The big question is the margin of victory. And that gives a major ramifications for the country especially when it comes to the issue of land reform and the future of white-held land.

Well, since -- you know, speaking of the issue of land reform, it is a given at the moment because the fifth parliament has already adopted that Section 25 of the constitution must be amended so the next parliament that comes in will be the six parliaments must just see through that amendment of Section 25 of the Constitution which will allow its appropriation without compensation.

And indeed it is an issue around the margin by how -- by how much the ANC would win. And if you look at the various poles that have been conducted, it does indicate that the ANC will certainly emerge victorious. But then also it shows some growth at least from the third bigger party in the country at the moment, the EFF, that the EFF could grow quite bigger and that's been the party that has been pushing this issue around and the land appropriation without compensation since being elected into parliament back in 2014.

VAUSE: OK, so there's a lot there to unpack. This issue for our viewers who may not be quite up to speed with you know, a South African politics. The Economic Freedom Fighters is the far left group and as you say, they sort of they're now what, the third biggest party in the country. I want your -- our viewers to listen to the leader Julius Malema at a campaign rally a few days ago.


JULIUS MALEMA, PRESIDENT, ECONOMIC FREEDOM FIGHTERS: We are not fighting against white, we are fighting to sit on the dinner table. White people, you will no longer eat alone. We were on the seat on the dinner table. And if you're refusing us on a dinner table, we are going to destroy that dinner table. No one is going to eat until all of us in South Africa eat from the same dinner table. That's what we're fighting for.


[01:05:17] VAUSE: Yes, I don't want to be tried here but what would Nelson Mandela think of that?

SAMPEAR: Well, here's the thing. It is the big debate that currently happening in the country is the issue around inequality and as you've indicated in your introduction as well of that inequality in this country is quite -- it's quite a huge problem. What would Nelson Mandela think about that?

I'm not too sure what he would think but certainly he would agree that the inequality levels in the country are quite -- are quite huge and (AUDIO GAP) people have been saying that if you listen to Julius Malema that he has an anti-white sentiment to some of the comments that he would make on public platforms and so forth, even some people also laying complaint against him at the human rights -- at the South African Human Rights Commission but none have actually stuck at this point.

So this is an ongoing debate with regards to that. But just listening in to the (AUDIO GAP) that you displayed immediately after speaking about them being at the dinner table with the white people and forcing themselves to that dinner table, we also then called on young white voters and saying that the EFF is a political party that represents also young white people and those young white people should be voting for the EFF.

Some analysts believe that them there's a bit of a double standard there, that the EFF is not quite clear around who the target market is. The EFF has said before that they are not saying that they want to chase out white people. All they are arguing is that white people must share the wealth that they currently enjoyed that they received from the land of this country.

VAUSE: Because from an economic point of view, we have this report for the World Bank that 25 years since the end of apartheid the country economically, South Africa is the most unequal country in the world. Here's part of CNN's report. In many ways, the legacy apartheid endures. Previously disadvantaged South Africans hold fewer assets have fewer skills and lower wages and are still more likely to be unemployed. And at the other end of the spectrum, an elite mainly white minority continues to thrive.

So that explains like so many disillusioned with the ANC. It doesn't really explain how it happened, how it got to this point. How do we get to this point?

I think we've got some communications problem there with Johannesburg, unfortunately, and Aldrin cannot hear us, but this election is underway and it is seen it's very much a test for the ANC and part of a way of trying to address that inequality is that we've seen the ANC and, Aldrin talk to this, there is now a motion before the panel which has been approved that the Constitution will be changed, that white- held land will be taken and will be taken away and will be given back to -- as the government sees fit you know, to black farmers and then there will be no compensation.

And so that's where this election stands right now. There's a more moderate opposition groups which says land appropriation can't happen but there needs to be compensation. Right now the ANC and the Economic Freedom Fighters have the numbers it seems to get this through Parliament to change the Constitution. They need 67 percent support for that to happen. And after this election, it looks like it will.

So there are so many controversial days yet to come for those in South Africa, and we'll continue to follow the story throughout the day especially when those results come in. And we have a look at that margin of victory because that will determine the level of support for the ANC and for the president Cyril Ramaphosa who will most likely be given the chance to form a government and serve as president for another five years.

OK, we'll move on here now. America not just sending an aircraft carrier to the Middle East, it's sending the Secretary of State as well. Mike Pompeo made an unannounced op in Iraq on Tuesday. This came as a military showdown heats up with Iran. Washington is deploying bombers and a Carrier Strike Group to the region citing credible threats.

U.S. officials say there's specific intelligence that Iran and its proxies want to target U.S. forces. They also say Iran might be moving short-range ballistic missiles on boats in the Persian Gulf. Pompeo's arrival also came a day shy of a key anniversary. It's been a year since the U.S. left the Iran nuclear deal and Iran is likely to announce on Wednesday that it will reduce its commitments to that deal though it's not entirely clear what that means.

To Los Angeles now and Dalia Dassa Kaye, Director of the Center for Mideast Public Policy at the RAND Corporation. Dalia, thank you for coming in. It's good see you


VAUSE: I want you listen a little more from the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. He was asked specifically what more he could say about these threats coming from Iran.


MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE, UNITED STATES: We can't say much more. I think the Department of Defense has said that these were very specific. These were attacks that were imminent, that there were attacks that are going to happen very soon. We learned about it but if they can (INAUDIBLE) we have to deter them. Other than that I just can't say anymore.


[01:10:02] VAUSE: He's the problem. When the U.S. president has repeatedly lied to the American people, when he's told his senior aides and others who serve in the White House to lie to Congress, he told them to lie to investigators and to the American people as well.

All those intelligence they have, it could be real, it could be credible, but it just seems a stretch right now for this administration to go out and say trust us.

KAYE: Yes. Well, I -- you know, look, well, I think we have to take the threat seriously. It's no secret that the Iranians have a lot of capabilities that could be targeted against U.S. forces in the region. It's not hypothetical. They've done it before during the Iraq war after 2003, killed hundreds of U.S. forces.

But yes, the context here is really important. Before we start hyping up a frenzy of concern and moving toward a war posture, we need to think about what is -- put this thread in context and understand that the U.S. has also been escalating our own posture toward the Iranians. This is not happening in a vacuum.

And so we are now at the one-year anniversary. It's -- I'd not sure a complete coincidence that this visit is happening at that time, the movement of the aircraft carrier, and we've had a number of escalatory measures over the past month, the ending of waivers to squeeze the Iranians as well as the designation of the IRGC force as a foreign terrorist organization.

So none of this escalation is terribly surprising, and I think it's what many expected.

VAUSE: There's an opinion piece from The Washington Post which sort of takes it one step further. It reads, the Trump administration lies at a record-setting pace, and National Security Advisor John Bolton himself was credibly accused of twisting intelligence in the past to justify U.S. action against Iraq and Cuba.

The current hyping of the Iranian threat reminds some analyst of the run up to the Iraq war, a terrible sake that Bolton still defends. And you know, I remember that and there are different similarities here but back then, you had a president who was very eager for war, Trump still seems reluctant to get into a war in the Middle East. That does not mean he could not stumble into some kind of all-out confrontation.

KAYE: Well, yes. We're in a really serious moment where there may not be an intention to go to war but yes, this escalation could very well get us here. And I think also we should be careful not to put all of this on let's say hawkish advisors like National Security Council -- Advisor Bolton. I mean, let's face it Trump -- President Trump came into office with Iran as a centerpiece of his posture in the region of countering the Iranian threat of the worst deal ever.

In fact, President Trump chose to withdraw from the Iran agreement over the objections of his advisers at that time. So this is you know, this is still the President's decision to move on this escalation with Iran. And I think you know, just kind of putting it on hawkish advisors really takes away I think the responsibility the President himself has. And we should be very careful not to move down the path we did in 2003

without really scrutinizing intelligence carefully, really understanding the context in which this whole alleged crisis is emerging.

VAUSE: There was that bizarre moment in the early days of the Trump administration with then-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn in the briefing room putting Iran on double --

KAYES: Yes, from day one, Iran was on notice. Yes.

VAUSE: Wednesday will be a year to the day that the administration withdrew from the Iran nuclear treaty. In the past 12 months, Tehran remain I guess actually in compliance with the agreement but I guess they received very little in way of sanctions relief. So they're now expected on Wednesday that some small path for nuclear program will actually resume.

So what parts would that be? Does it matter if it's small parts or big parts, significant parts, little parts whatever, their back to the nuclear business right?

KAYE: Yes, I think it -- I think of course it matters but I think the bigger picture is what's important which is you know, we're a year into the after the US's withdrawal of the deal and we have to be asking ourselves what has been achieved. What is the goal? Have we been reaching strategic objectives?

If the objective is do we get a better deal, well, clearly we haven't seen the Iranians coming to the table for a better deal. In fact, now, we're hearing that they may resume nuclear activities that are not acceptable. We're a year into this withdrawal of the agreement and yet we're talking about war, and we're talking about escalation, and we're talking about very concerning Iranian behavior in the region.

This is what the withdrawal from the deal supposedly was supposed to achieve as better Iranian behavior or a better Iran deal. We are not seeing that. So I think it's really a time to ask some hard questions. What is Iran policy right now in the -- in the United States from this administration trying to achieve. And very worrying, and I think right now we're moving on a path where again it may not be the intention but the escalation.

I think we need to take it very seriously. We cannot just assume this is just a posture that is just symbolic. I think the threat is really real on both sides.

VAUSE: Very quickly, I'm almost out of time but Iran's Foreign Minister at least on Twitter seemed to dismiss this military deployment from Washington. The B Team is at it again. He tweeted from announcements of naval movement that actually occurred last month to dire warnings about so-called Iranian threats, if U.S. and clients don't feel safe, it's because they're despised by the people of the region blaming Iran won't reverse that. [01:15:05] You know, despite the, sort of, snark in all of this, how

concerned are they, right now, in Tehran, just with -- simply with the presence of so much U.S. fire power?

KAYE: You know, they're concerned, you know, they're relatively isolated, yes, they still have Russians and Chinese behind them. The Europeans are still very much in favor of keeping the nuclear deal, but if the Iranians make moves that alienate the Europeans, the Iranians are really going to be left quiet in a corner.

And actually, that's what concerns me because there's no off ramp here. We're not really giving the Iranians a way out, and, you know, for them, this is going to be existential and right now, you're seeing all factions within Iran, kind of, digging in their heels, and looking for a way to survive this.

And so, I don't think that's likely the lead to good outcomes, and so we could see, actually, even more escalation and more destabilizing behavior, but from the Iranians. And, you know, some are -- some could argue that -- and I've heard this in places like Israel, that there may be an interest in having the Iranians leave the agreement.

It will make it easier to get international pressure and get the United States more backing for this maximum pressure campaign. But, again, it's not clear where this ends.

VAUSE: That's the problem. And, Dalia, I guess we have to keep watching. So, thank you for being with us. We appreciate it.

KAYE: Yes, thank you.

VAUSE: Global markets have been tanking since President Trump threatened new tariffs against China. On Tuesday, the Dow has its worst day since January 3rd, tumbling almost 500 points. Asian markets are down, right now, with a couple more hours to go in this trading sessions in some places.

CNN's Richard Quest, tracking the fallout, also what lies ahead of this week's critical trade talks between Washington and Beijing.


RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: By any definition, this was an ugly day for the market. and opens lower, it gets worse, the worse one was off over 640 odd points. And then a late rally, but not much, we're still off one and three quarter percent.

The reason, of course, trade talks with China, and the prospect of fresh tariffs and larger tariffs, to be introduced on Friday. At the same time, though, the Chinese are not put off by these threats. They're still sending their top negotiator to Washington, for talks with the administration on Thursday.

Now, where those talks will go, and what happens next, will pretty much determine the course of the market, because you've got Boeing, you've got Apple, you've got Caterpillar, Microsoft, the banks and the industrials, all those that are -- have a certain exposure to China, were amongst those hit hardest.

We must, of course, though, put it, somewhat, into perspective. The Dow Jones is up the best part of 15 to 17 points and a percent for the year, so far, to date. So, what we are seeing is the froth coming off the top of the market. And, of course, the issue, of course, whether or not that continuous, that depends on the future direction of the trade talks and tariffs. Richard Quest, CNN, New York.


VAUSE: Well from New York to Beijing, Steven Jiang joins us now live with more. So, Steven, you know, it almost seems like we were lulled into the, sort of, false sense of security about these talks, there was -- you know, all this talk about, you know, cautious optimism is our moving ahead or a trade deal was just in the horizon, and now, this is some dire warning that, you know, the end is nigh.

STEVEN JIANG, CNN BEIJING SENIOR PRODUCER: That's right, John, and it's very hard to imagine that this juncture to see how the two sides can bridge their increasingly wide gap in just two days. But also, interestingly, you know, the state media here still has not reported detail of Mr. Trump's original tweets that he fired off on Sunday, you know.

The terms they used had been very broad and vague, in terms of what the U.S. threat actually was, and they have not reported the remarks, very strongly, whether remarks by Mnuchin and Lighthizer either. On social media, actually, sensors have been very busy deleting any screen shots of Mr. Trump's original tweets. That's how sensitive they are towards this issue.

Now, what they are starting -- the state media are starting to turn out these articles and commentaries, touting the strength and resilience of the Chinese economy, and also reaffirming the government's determination not to harm its national core, national interest, due to the upcoming talks, and without a trace of irony, saying that the government will not budge under any pressure.

But that's exactly how a lot of people perceive this decision to send the Vice Premier, Liu He, to Washington is all about, because that trip was thrown into serious doubt after Mr. Trump's tweets. But I think the leadership here made a call after weighing the pros and cons, deciding they could not afford to have a complete breakdown in these trade talks.

So, that's why, in a way, they are trying to have it both ways, sending Liu to D.C. to keep the negotiations going, while projecting this image of strength here, at home, with the domestic audience, so politics is very much at play here, as well. John?

VAUSE: Steven, thank you, we appreciate the update there. Steven Jiang, live for us, in Beijing.

[01:20:00] Here's a sports story, to football, Liverpool apparently came from behind to knock out Barcelona, here's Don Riddell. DON RIDDELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL SPORTS ANCHOR: You know, this has been an extraordinary Champions League season, the drama has been unrelenting. We shouldn't be surprised by anything, anymore. On Tuesday night, we witness history, as Liverpool produced a stunning comeback to eliminate Lionel Messi and Barcelona.

The visitors won the first leg, three-nil, but the Reds incredibly made it three all by early in the second half, and then this happened, Arthur lost concentration at the corner there, (INAUDIBLE) returns as Trent Alexander-Arnold played it into Divock Origi, who was only playing because of injuries to Liverpool's star players, and he thrashed it into the top corner, for a four-nil lead on the night, 4-3 on aggregate.

This was incredible. This was absolutely extraordinary. This was a comeback of epic proportions and it put Liverpool through to the Champions League Final for the second consecutive year. Yet again, they never walked alone. This is what their manager, Jurgen Klopp, had to say afterwards.


JURGEN KLOPP, LIVERPOOL MANAGER, PREMIER LEAGUE CLUB: Winning is already difficult, but winning with a clean sheet, I don't know how the boys did it. It was incredible how we defended, how we -- ten past ten, most of the children are probably in bed, but these boys are (BLEEP) mentality giants. It's unbelievable. It's unbelievable.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sorry for the language.

KLOPP: You have to find me if you want.


RIDDELL: Football fans, sports fans, famous athletes all over the world, just couldn't help but react to this incredible performance. The three-time NBA champion, LeBron James who's a part owner of Liverpool, he tweeted this, amazing night for the Reds, wow #YoullNeverWalkAlone.

You know, Liverpool has done something like this before. I was at the Champions League Final in 2005, when they played A.C. Milan. They were played off the park in the first half, they were three-nil down, at half time, but they came back to win that game.

And so, there was just this inkling, this sense, that may might do it again, it seemed improbable, but with Liverpool, it wasn't impossible. And what an amazing performance that was tonight. We'll be talking about this game for a long, long time to come, back to you.

VAUSE: It's about soccer. After the break, we head to Washington, where the White House has another roadblock for Democrats in Congress. We'll tell you how Democrats are fighting back. Also, so, maybe now, you know why Donald Trump did not release his tax returns. New reporting suggests the world's greatest businessman, plus more money than almost any other American taxpayer in the early 90s. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


VAUSE: New York Times is out with a big investigative report on Donald Trump's taxes from the mid-80s through the early 90s. Documents show Trump's businesses lost nearly $1.2 billion over that same period, and the future president paid income taxes only twice, in 10 years. In 1990 and '91, his core businesses losses were more than double, the next closest taxpayers.


SUSANNE CRAIG, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, NEW YORK TIMES: Because his businesses just weren't doing well, they actually were doing horribly year in and year out. And he had some decent investments, you know, we saw them here and there.

But, you know, always, they were just, you know, the losses just flooded them, like, he would make money here, but then he would just lose money. He had (INAUDIBLE) stock trading, for example, and he was -- there were years where he would make money and then he just lost it all in the next year.


VAUSE: A lawyer for the President says the Times' information is demonstrably false, but then did not demonstrate how it was, in fact, false.

House Democrats are ready to take their fight with the White House to the next level. They're set to vote in the coming hours to hold Attorney General William Barr, in contempt, for not turning over the full unredacted Mueller report.

But, the White house, showing no signs of changing its strategy of stonewalling, and why would they? It's worked so far. CNN's Abby Phillip, reports.


ABBY PHILIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Today, the White House is sticking a thumb in the eye of Congressional Democrats, ordering Former White House Council, Don McGahn, not to turn over documents in response to a House Judiciary Committee subpoena. White House lawyer, Pat Cipollone, telling Judiciary Committee Chairman, Jerry Nadler, in a letter, the records belong to the White House and are protected from disclosure to Congress because they implicate significant executive branch confidentiality interests, and executive privilege.

But the White House is not going, so far, as to exert executive privilege outright, this, coming as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell moves to play defense for President Trump, calling on Democrats to drop their efforts to follow up on Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): Baseless accusations of perjury? Laughable threats of impeachment? Look, we all know what's going on here. This whole angry barrage the Democrats had prepared to unleash on President Trump, except the facts, let them down.

PHILLIP: McConnell signaling to Republicans that they should push back on efforts to force Mueller to testify.

MCCONNELL: The Special Counsel's finding is clear. Case closed. Case closed.

PHILLIP: But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, firing back, not so fast.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): The case is not closed.

PHILLIP: As Trump pushes back on probes into his taxes and possible obstruction of justice, Pelosi also accusing the Trump administration of stonewalling Congress to push Democrats toward impeachment.

PELOSI: Trump is goading us to impeach him. That's what he's doing, every single day. He's just like, taunting, taunting, taunting, because he knows that it would be very divisive in the country. We can't impeach him for political reasons, and we cannot impeach him for political reasons. We have to see where the facts take us.

PHILLIP: The White House has now made their position on document production clear, but remember, Democrats still want to talk to Don McGahn about potential obstruction of justice, and while President Trump has made it clear, he doesn't think McGahn ought to testify.

A source familiar with the matter says, the White House has not officially conveyed that position to McGahn. Abby Phillip, CNN, the White House.


VAUSE: The one year anniversary of President Donald Trump's family separation policy is being marked by protests. A cage has been placed on the capital lawn, inside, the statue of a child, not far away, a mother reaches out.

The U.S. has stopped separating families at the southern border, but the artists who made the sculptures says, this is a reminder that we don't know exactly how many migrant parents and children are still being kept far apart.

Still to come on CNN, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence says America would consider sanctions relief for any Venezuelan official who breaks from President Nicolas Maduro, but it's an offer, is anyone willing to take.

Also ahead, European parliament election is coming up, but the candidates aren't the only ones under pressure, its high tech companies have to deal with this very fake news.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [01:32:04] VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody.

I'm John Vause with an update on our top news this hour.

Iran is likely moving short-range ballistic missiles on boats in the Persian Gulf. This according to U.S. officials. They say those missiles are part of the reason the U.S. is sending a carrier strike group as well as bombers to the region. The Pentagon says there's a credible threat from Iran against U.S. forces.

The U.S. Secretary of State made an unannounced trip to Iraq as tensions with Iran escalate. Mike Pompeo says he spoke with Iraqi leaders on Tuesday about protecting Americans in the country. U.S. officials say Iraq was one place Iran and its posse might target U.S. troops.

The short trade truce between China and the U.S. remain uncertain at best ahead of this week's talks in Washington. Global markets have been tanking since Trump threatened new tariffs against China on Sunday. China said that raising tariffs will not resolve any issues at home.

At least six people are dead after a suicide bombing at a Sufi shrine in Lahore, Pakistan. Police say the attacker target officers who were posted outside the tribe. Pakistan's Prime Minister condemned the attack happening on the second day of Ramadan.

A week ago, as the dawn broke over the Venezuelan capital surrounded by a few armed soldiers Juan Guaido, president of the national assembly and the man leading anti-government protests declared the final phase of Operation Liberty was underway.

This seemed to be the moment when the embattled president Nicolas Maduro and its corrupt regime would finally be (INAUDIBLE) from power. But Operation Liberty liberated no one and seems over before it even began. And with that the hard realization that a military coup overthrowing Maduro was probably never going to happen.

That seems to be the only strategy right now that the U.S. has. Vice President Mike Pence announced sanctions would be lifted for those who support the opposition against Maduro.


MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Just as THE national assembly has promised to provide amnesty to anyone who has not committed a war crime so too the United States of America will consider sanctions relief for all those who step forward and stand up to the constitution and support the rule of law.


VAUSE: For more on that Jason Marczak with the Atlantic Council is with us from Washington. Jason -- good to see you.


VAUSE: Ok. So Mike Pence was at the annual meeting of the Washington conference of the Americas. According to their Web site, each year some 250 of the hemisphere's leading public and private sector experts convene to compare notes with their colleagues, set the agenda for the year ahead.

So this is a room filled with people who know, you know, more than a little about the current crisis in Venezuela. So with that in mind, I want to play a little more from what Mike Pence said then we'll pick it up towards the end of that last bit. Listen to this.


PENCE: Sanctions relief for all those who step forward and stand up for the constitution and support the rule of law.


[01:34:57] VAUSE: Four long seconds of awkward silence. Not a clap, it was crickets. It seems to indicate there's not a lot of support for his plan to rule over the military leaders, at least not a lot of support in that room. Why is that?

MARCZAK: Well John -- I think first of all the Vice President sent an important message. And it's an important message to the military, to what I call "disenChavez" (ph), people who at one time supported Hugo Chavez and now Nicolas Maduro and are disenchanted with the corruption of Nicolas Maduro and the depths to which he's taken the country.

And it's an important message from the United States that if you break with Nicolas Maduro you can be on the right side of history. And that is fundamental because there is not going to be a return to democracy in Venezuela without the military being supportive. And without those who once supported Nicolas Maduro coming on -- coming on and being allies with the interim government in their quest to bring democracy back to Venezuela.

VAUSE: It's an important message and it's one which is out there but it's one which doesn't seem to be resonating because so far, you know, for the most part the leadership within the military are sitting (ph) very closely with Maduro.

MARCZAK: Yes. Well, you know, John -- the leadership of the military is with Maduro not because they're loyal to him or not because they have some kind of ideological affinity with Nicolas Maduro. But it's because of the corruption in the regime.

It's because of the fact that arms trafficking, drug trafficking, everything -- Venezuela has become a kleptocratic narco state. And those who are higher echelons of power, those are the military brass benefit from that handsomely so there's very little incentive to switch sides.

And so what is critical is that the U.S. along with the nearly 60 other countries around the world that recognize the interim government offer those types of insurance -- assurances to the military so they too can be part of the future of Venezuela and that they get democracy the world will recognize them.

VAUSE: You know, the U.S. Government was a very early supporter, the first supporter of Juan Guaido. And much like Juan Guaido, the Trump administration is opposed to direct negotiations between the Maduro government and the opposition trying to end this standoff.

But so far street protests have not worked. Encouraging military leaders to stage a military coup have not worked. On the other side it's clear the Maduro government is unable to cope with the country's humanitarian crisis. So we're at this point now where it seems the only option really left is for these two sides to get together and talk, to have some kind of the negotiation to end this.

MARCZAK: You know John -- the challenge with a negotiation is the fact that Nicolas Maduro has tried that in the past. And he has used negotiations previously to try to regain power when he felt that he was at a minimal point in his tenure. And so he -- there is opposition to negotiations by those who have been burned by Nicolas Maduro's negotiations in the past.

And so what will be critical for the interim government and for Nicolas Maduro to come to the table is to have a set of preconditions. And as the interim the government has said the discussion needs to be a discussion about Nicolas Maduro's exit from power. It cannot be --


MARCZAK: -- it cannot be about Nicolas Maduro continuing in his role in the presidential palace because we see the depths to which that has taken Venezuela and frankly the regional and broader global effect of the mismanagement of Venezuela by Nicolas Maduro.

VAUSE: Yes. This is a crisis which he has caused, it's a humanitarian disaster on his watch. And yes this is a country which clearly needs a new government.

But we also have a situation that under Venezuelan law members of Congress has immunity from arrest but the Supreme Court has stripped immunity from seven lawmakers accusing them of taking part in the failed uprising last week. It means they can actually now be arrested.

And so on that Mike Pence had this warning. Here it is.


PENCE: If the Supreme Court of Venezuela does not return to its constitutionally mandate to uphold rule of law, the United States of America will hold all 25 of its magistrates accountable for their actions.


VAUSE: We've seen this sort of carrot and stick approach by Mike Pence. The carrot for those who join the opposition speaks to those oppose it. But if the carrots are unlikely to work what chances are the sticks?

MARCZAK: Well, you know, the sticks that we see today and also the Vice President' speech, he announced the lifting of the individual sanctions against the head of intelligence service. The head of the intelligence service had last week gone ahead and broken with Nicolas Maduro and Vice President Pence announced that all sanctions will be lifted against him.

And full access to all his assets in the United States and his dealing with U.S. persons and U.S. property. That's an important message. And it's an important message that sanctions are not permanent. Sanctions are meant to change behavior and when that behaviors has changed sanctions could be lifted.

Now the challenges is ensuring that those who are at the top level of the military brass feel both the incentive, the carrot, that they can have these sanctions lifted but also continuing with the sticks.

[01:40:00] Not just sticks from the United States but what is critical are sticks from the European Union and sticks from the many other Latin American democracies who are also doing everything they can for the democratic transition in Venezuela.

VAUSE: We're out of time Jason but it does seem that this is now at a point where, you know, the people of Venezuela cannot deal with a whole lot more. I mean, you know, they're starving in the streets. So there's got to be a resolution here somewhere, I guess.

MARCZAK: There has to be. There has to be. Yes.

VAUSE: Good to see you. Thank you.

MARCZAK: Thank you.

VAUSE: The U.K. will take part in the E.U. elections despite voting for Brexit almost three years ago. And it's not just the British voters who are suffering from Brex-gret (ph). The European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker says that Brussels should have intervened before the referendum.


JEAN-CLAUDE JUNCKER, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN COMMISSION: The second mistake I made was to listen too carefully to the British government, Cameron. Because then Prime Minister asked me not to interfere, not to intervene in the referendum campaign.

It was a mistake not to intervene and not to interfere because we would have been the only ones to destroy the lies which were circulated. I was wrong to be silent at an important moment.


VAUSE: Well, Brexit not the only issue for the E.U. Often the case when there is an election there's also fake news.

CNN's Simon Cullen reports.


SIMON CULLEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right across Europe the election campaign is underway.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's fight back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We can win this election.

CULLEN: The European parliamentary election is the world's second largest democratic vote second only to India. Across the E.U.'s 28 countries more than 360 million people are eligible to take part.

For months, European officials have been warning of the risks of fake news urging tech companies to do more to combat the spread of misinformation.

JULIAN KING, EUROPEAN COMMISSIONER FOR THE SECURITY UNION: We cannot afford to wake up the day after the election and find that we could and should have done more.

CULLEN: Twitter, Facebook and Google all say they're taking the issue of fake news very seriously and have put in place stricter rules to try to prevent foreign interference.

During the campaign, political advertisers must prove they live within the European Union. All ads must be accompanied by a clear label to show who paid for it. And all three companies say political ads will be stored in a searchable archive to promote transparency.

JOHANNES BAHRKE, EUROPEAN COMMISSION SPOKESPERSON: Platforms have come a long way. It's now clear for users what is political advertisement and what is not. That was not the case before.

CULLEN: Twitter has now rolled out a new feature to make it easier to report people who share wrong information about how to vote. And Facebook, has expanded its fact-checking network which will rate the accuracy of material on its platform.

CHARLIE BECKETT, LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS: Social networks are waking up belatedly. They are trying to help. They're trying to give people signs.

CULLEN: A much harder issue to deal with though is that of fake accounts which can spring up quickly amplify false and misleading information. Following the U.S. election and Brexit referendum the social media giants will growing scrutiny over how their platforms have been manipulated and misused.

Even Facebook acknowledges there are limits to what it can do.

MARK ZUCKERBERG, CEO, FACEBOOK: I don't think anyone can guarantee in a world where you have nation states that are trying to interfere in an election. There's no single thing that we can do and say, ok we have not solved the issue.

BECKETT: There is going to be a storm of quite horrible and provocative messaging across the continent.

CULLEN: A political environment in which facts matter more than ever.

Simon Cullen, CNN -- London.


VAUSE: Well, as the U.S. government rolls back the environmental protections, the real world impacts is being felt with lives cut short because of air pollution. Details when we come back.


VAUSE: Where others see environmental disaster, the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sees business opportunity. In this case, from the rapidly shrinking levels of ice in the arctic.


MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: The Arctic is at the forefront of opportunity and abundance. Steady reductions in sea ice are opening new passageways and new opportunities for trade.


VAUSE: Opportunities for trade, that's one way to put it but what he's talking about is the result of climate change. And it will bring some very dire consequences.

For years U.S. intelligence has cited climate change as creating new challenges for national security. And a lawsuit filed by environmental groups accuses the EPA of failing to protect communities from dangerous levels of smog.

CNN's Bill Weir reports some experts say the problem is so bad, lives are being compromised.


BILL WEIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This little guy has no idea that his young lungs are breathing some of the worst air in America. He lives in Bakersfield, where a valley full of oil field fumes and mega dairy ammonia, and diesel traffic (ph) create the worst bad air days in the nation.

But according to the American Lung Association, he is just one of 140 million Americans breathing uneasy and unhealthy.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have the cleanest air and water they say in the world.

WEIR: No one actually says that. In fact, the 20th annual State of the Air report finds that pollution has gotten measurably worse over the last three years.

More than four in ten Americanize live in counties with unhealthy levels of ozone or soot, or the tiny particles that get deep into young lungs and aging brains, accelerating disease and maybe even dementia.

GENEVIEVE GATE, CENTRAL VALLEY, AIR QUALITY COALITION: I remember going up into the mountains, which you can't see but are right there and turning around and looking down at the valley and seeing the smog, the soup of pollution and realizing I wake up and go to bed in that soup every day, and I got really angry.

WEIR: So angry, she quit her job, began volunteering for an air equality coalition in Fresno, rallying neighbors like Auralia (ph) who just lost her 51-year-old husband to cancer and has two sons who struggle to breathe.

And doctors like Alex Sherriffs (ph) , who can see and hear the toll of pollution in the lungs of his patients.

DR. ALEX SERRIFFS, UCSF FRESNO ALZHEIMER AND MEMORY CENTER: If you live with the air quality we have today, you're probably threatening your life expectancy six months. And I don't think that's acceptable. I don't think it's anything we need to accept.

WEIR: But as bad at it is, it could be so much worse. If America was still burning and churning like the 1970s Bakersfield would look like industrial India, and the one thing that kept this country from going down that road is something called the Clean Air Act.

Signed by President Nixon in 1970, it empowered the brand new EPA to crack down on the biggest polluters. But President Trump's EPA just rolled back rules on car emissions and coal plants and told the review panel of 20 air quality scientists that their services are no longer needed.

SHERRIFFS: If you lived your entire whole life in the valley in the late 1970s, early 80s, with the air equality level we had then, you probably were shortening your life expectancy by two years. We owe so much to the Clean Air Act, and we need to protect the Clean Air Act and be sure it is strengthened not weekend.

TRUMP: I want clean air and beautiful, crystal, clean water -- right. We want that.

[01:50:01[ WEIR: He may want it, but in the age of relentless drilling, farming, driving, and burning, it is clear the skies do not clean themselves.

Bill Weir, CNN -- in central California.


VAUSE: Ride-share drivers in more than a dozen cities will strike Wednesday ahead of Uber's Wall Street debut. Local drivers and labor groups have organized action in major cities in the U.S., the U.K., Australia and of course, South America.

It's meant to send a message to Uber and Lyft that drivers want a livable income, job security, and regulated fares. Drivers in Los Angeles will stop working for two hours, in New York, a two-hour strike is scheduled during the busy commute.

Still to come Prince William sharing his excitement about his newborn nephew. He spoke from experience and said he welcomes his brother into the parenting club.


VAUSE: From glittering palaces to ancient ruins, Karnataka in southwest part of Indian is a region which offers many worlds -- many, many worlds. And traveling throughout this area on two wheels can add yet another perspective.

In our series "Iconic India", we explore the growth of cycling in Karnataka.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's rush hour in Bengaluru, the capital of the Indian state of Karnataka.

KIRAN KUMAR RAJU, CYCLIST: Biking for me is everything.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Weaving through the congestion is Kiran Kumar Raju. .

RAJU: I forget everything. What I'm thinking is about the bike, how fast can I go. How can I turn in myself

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Five years ago he decided to give up his high paying job as a civil engineer to pursue his passion: cycling. Since then he has never looked back.

RAJU: It gives a big adrenalin rush because you're just thinking about you and the bike, how better you can experience the entire journey.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For Kiran, the congestion is a blessing.

RAJU: Cycling in traffic feels good because that's where it all started for me, maneuvering between bikes and cars, in fast morning traffic or slow moving traffic, it's very similar to mountain biking.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All part of his training to become one of India's top cross country cyclists.

RAJU: Competed across all competitions, road, mountain bike and duathlon.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But it is outside the city limits where Kiran really puts his ability to the test. 60 kilometers north of Bengaluru, he hones his skills six days a week on the trails that surround the Nandi Hills.

RAJU: They have a lot of technical defense, a lot of loose rocks, and big boulders and (INAUDIBLE) that tests the ability of a rider. Nandi has just enough for any kind of cyclists to be attracted or diverted as this mind because it's a tourist spot.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But the Nandi Hills are not just for professionals like Kiran. An ancient hill fortress, dotted with historic temples, vineyards, and colorful villages, Nandi Hills is a popular destination for people looking to escape the city.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tejaswini Gopalaswamy is the co-founder of a travel company with a spin.

Founded in 2014, Unventure offers tourists an alternative way to experience the real India.

TEJASWINI GOPALASWANY, CO-FUNDER, UNVENTURED: Bicycling opens you up to so much of the local culture, so much to do of tne land. A bicycle offers you the ability to connect all your senses

[01:55:02] You know, you're moving, you are connecting, you are learning something concrete. When you go home, you take back an entire story.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And seeing the sights of India from a new perspective.


VAUSE: Well, just a day after the British royals welcomed their newest addition, the Duke of Cambridge spoke about his newborn nephew, welcomed his brother Prince Harry to the sleep deprivation society, also known as parenthood.

Max Foster has more now from Windsor.


MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This Monday was about Prince Harry coming in front of the cameras and showing his elation after the birth of his first son. But Tuesday was about the wider family having their saying. Harry's father Prince Charles in Germany saying he can't wait to come back here to Windsor to meet his new grandson. And then big brother William weighing in as well, on an engagement here in the U.K.

PRINCE WILLIAM, DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE: I'm so thrilled. I'm so thrilled. I'm looking forward to seeing him in the next few days when (INAUDIBLE). I'm very pleased and glad to welcome my brother to the sleep deprivation society that is parenting. So yes, that will be --

FOSTER: The location of this royal birth is still a mystery. A British newspaper insisting the duchess was taken up to a London hospital in the middle of the night where she gave birth, and then they returned back here to Windsor to home. Buckingham Palace insisting but they're not going to comment on that. They say it's a private matter and they're not going to confirm or deny those rumors. Perhaps we'll find out a bit more on Wednesday though, when the Duke, the Duchess and their newborn come out in front of the cameras.

We get to see what this new royal baby looks like. Does he take after his mother? Does he take after his father? And perhaps, a few words from Meghan -- the Duchess of Sussex.

Max foster, CNN -- Windsor.


VAUSE: Well, you've been watching CNN NEWSROOM.

Thanks for your company. I'm John Vause.

Stay with us. Rosemary Church takes over after a very short break.

You're watching CNN.


[02:00:00] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Hellos 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.