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Trump Postpones New China Tariffs until December; Russia's Rocket Mystery Epstein Friend Ghislaine Maxwell At Center Of Investigation. Aired 1-2a ET
Aired August 14, 2019 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[01:00:00] JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Beijing biding its time as riot police clashed with protesters at Hong Kong's airport. How long will the communist leaders on the mainland be prepared to wait before deciding to intervene?
The U.S. President blinks putting his trade war on hold, delaying new tariffs on Chinese imports because of Christmas shopping. Along the way he admits, yes, Virginia, American consumers really do pay for Trump's tariffs.
And 29 years old and too old to be sexy, pop star Bebe Rexha shames the music industry for age shaming, making her case with one revealing photo posted on Instagram.
Last weekend, police in Hong Kong allegedly shot a protester in the face with a non-lethal beanbag round and reportedly left her blind. And now pro-democracy demonstrators have a new chant, an eye for an eye.
On Tuesday, that new metric may have played out at the city's international airport. It's unclear why the victims were targeted here, but at least one was thought to be an undercover police officer, but all was zip-tied then beaten. The mainland tabloid news, the Global Times says its reporter was among those who were attacked.
As police armed with batons shields and pepper spray moved into the crowd, one officer was cornered and beaten. At one point, he drew a weapon as back up arrived. The airport is come at this hour but the unrest over the past few days has forced hundreds of flights to cancel, this force a shutdown of one of the world's busiest airports.
For now, we have CNN's Andrew Stevens live at the main terminal in Hong Kong and Matt Rivers standing by live from Beijing. But Andrew, first to you. What are the expectations now here in the coming hours for more protests and possibly more clashes?
ANDREW STEVENS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the airport is certainly getting back to normal and quite quickly too. This -- virtually all traces of what happened just a few short hours ago have been erased, John. The queues are getting down to manageable sizes. There are still people who were at customer services. There's quite queues there. But generally, this is an airport which is back to pretty much
business as usual. There are some demonstrators at the arrivals hall which is directly below where I'm standing sitting quietly surrounded by placards, pointing out so what they claim is police brutality, and shouting at people as they arrive pointing out what the police have been doing to protesters.
But the airport distinctly from the past two days is now taking measures to stop this happening for a third day. Number one, there hasn't been any suggestion on social media that protesters regather for a third day in a row of major protests.
The airport itself is also -- it has obtained and an injunction which basically makes it illegal for anyone to carry out any activities that could obstruct the operations at the airport. And they're also closing down the access points.
They're going to be closing down a couple of the ramps and now people who are coming to the airport are actually being asked to show their travel documents and their passports as a way of making sure that only travelers are using this airport. So that's a relief to the people here.
The protestors we spoke to this morning said they're going to stay here, but they're certainly not here in any sort of significant numbers. In fact, the protesters now and the protests themselves now seem to be focusing on events which are going to take place tomorrow and then on Saturday, and a big march is planned for Sunday, John.
VAUSE: Andrew, let's go to Beijing now. So Matt, once we're seeing an escalation here of the violence, of the clashes between the protesters and the police. Does Beijing still have faith that the Hong Kong law enforcement, the police, the government are capable of containing this unrest?
MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Whether they do in private or not, I'm not sure, John. But at least in public, yet again today, the Hong Kong Affairs Office here in Beijing expressed its support for the police and for the government of Hong Kong despite the fact that in that same statement they're saying that the actions of these protesters are bordering on terrorism.
You know, that kind of rhetoric has increased from Beijing authorities since these protests have begun. At first, they didn't talk about it at all, and now they're tossing around words like actions bordering on terrorism.
And that might suggest to you that you know as is a legal under Hong Kong basic law, that the People's Liberation Army could eventually be called in to quell things that are going on in Hong Kong. But when that idea is spoken about, I think it's important to remember what a massive line that would cross for Beijing.
It would essentially mean that Beijing is admitting that its governance of Hong Kong has failed. It could cause an insurrection in Hong Kong amongst the people there, because there is zero support for bringing in mainland troops. And it would also probably you know, spark a huge reaction from the international community in terms of economic sanctions and otherwise.
So I don't think that Beijing wants to do that. I think they want to support the Hong Kong government. I think they want to see these protests die down. They don't want to see the police forces overmatched, and they're not yet.
I mean, it's important to remember that you know, despite being called rioters, these are not riots in Hong Kong. If you were in one part of Hong Kong on Saturday night, you know, you could easily be in Hong Kong right now and have no idea that protests were going on in a separate part of the city.
These are relatively small. There is no looting. There are no massive fires. There haven't been even any deaths yet. And so I think before you see troops cross the border from mainland China into Hong Kong, you wouldn't need to see a massive escalation in terms of violence and looting on the ground in Hong Kong. We're simply not there yet, but Beijing clearly, John, not happy about what's going on right now.
[01:05:37] VAUSE: That is indeed true the case. Matt, thank you for the context and the analysis. Also, Andrew, we appreciate the update there from the main terminal in Hong Kong at the airport. Thanks to you both.
For more now, we're joined from Hong Kong by Joshua Wong, one of student leaders from the 2014 Occupy Movement and a leader of the pro- democracy group Demosisto. Joshua, thanks for coming in. Can you explain the tactics here? How will this continual disruption at the airport along with the attacks on a reporter from the mainland and an undercover police officer, how will this actually force the Hong Kong government in Beijing into meeting the demands of the demonstrators?
JOSHUA WONG, LEADER, DEMOSISTO: It's crystal clear four people gather at Hong Kong Airport in the past few days and gather on street in the past two months have the crystal clear demand, urge government to terminate the extradition bill, stop police brutality, and let Hong Kong people elect their own government.
We're strongly aware the clash happened yesterday. But the fundamental problem is when a young lady joined the protest peacefully result in permanent blindness because of being fired by a bullet of riot police and how undercover officers wear their helmet, wear the mask, and where the black t-shirt pretend themselves as protester and arrest other demonstrators on weekend is just trigger people this content of this summer.
And I believe massive rally will happen on Sunday. and is a must for Beijing listen to the voice of Hong Kong people.
VAUSE: You know, police in Hong Kong have called on protesters to walk away from the violent demonstrators who they blame for you know, the confrontations with a number of undercover police officers and the violence which we've seen. I want you to listen to this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TSE CHUN-CHUNG, POLICE RELATIONS BRANCH, HONG KONG POLICE (through translator): We appeal to law-abiding residents to see clearly that no disguise can hide protesters lawless acts. Protesters violent acts can bring nothing but damage to social orders and hurt innocent residents. Police will do solemn enforcement and hold all lawbreakers accountable in any legal way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Protesters like yourself, you've accused the police of using excessive force and we have seen that play out as well. Regardless of that, do you believe that the majority of Hong Kong residents, the moms and the dads who turned out in the hundreds of thousands just a month or so ago, are they still with this movement even as this level of violent confrontation you know, continues to escalate?
WONG: We admit that force have been used by protester, but I hope people were aware that if peaceful orderly and protests that authorized by police is useful, no one, no matter elderly or youngster would love to join protests and strike on every weekend.
And now the life-threatening weapon were used by Hong Kong police including 2,000 tear gas were fired, 700 activists were arrested, and even result in permanent blindness of young activists. It result in people anger and everyone is asking instead of hiding behind those riot police, why President Xi Jinping or the Hong Kong Chief Executive Carol Lam just do nothing, refuse to have any kind of compromise or accepting people's demand?
VAUSE: How can there be compromise from Carrie Lam and the Hong Kong administration if there are no negotiations between the government and the protesters? Because as I understand it, this protest does not have a leadership in the traditional sense?
WONG: The fact is not only young activists stand on the front line but even the leader of business sector from the general Chambers of Commerce also demanding Hong Kong government to set up the investigation commission on police brutality but until this day Hong Kong government still refuse to accept people demand, setting up the investigation commissioned by retired judges to investigate on the clash happen in the past few and weeks and few months is the way out and the solution to solve the social conflict. But Hong Kong government especially Carrie Lam is just a puppet of communist regime.
And when Hong Kong people are aware that how an international financial center was transformed into a police state, it just trigger more people urge now is the time to stop the police brutality. No one would love to see any force or clash or any fouls. But Hong Kong government must accountable and responsible, respond to the voice of people.
[01:10:00] VAUSE: But you see when you talk about compromise, that implies some kind of negotiation going back and forth between the protesters and the government. The way this is set up is that who does the government compromise with? Who -- where is the address? Who is the person? Who talks to the government?
Because way it is set up right now with this movement, there is no way of compromise because there is no one to talk to. And so it is their demands or all of this continued protests and violence it seems.
WONG: In the long term goal, of course, we are asking for free election. We hope to elect our own government. But in the short term goal, we just hope to stop the police brutality and set up Investigation Commission. Of course, we understand now the some of this content is kind of leaderless movement.
But pro-democratic and lawmaker on 1st of July which means almost two months ago, they already sent a public letter to the leader of Hong Kong Carrie Lam and urge to have a dialogue. From 1st of July till mid of August, Carrie Lam still refused it. So I am asking, where is Carrie Lam and how come when one country, two system eroded to be one country one and a half system.
Carrie Lam the lead of Hong Kong still without any kinds of dialogue, compromise, or any conversation and just allow clash happened between protesters and riot police and she it seems that they don't bear any kind of political responsibility. So in conclusion, her political pride override the future of Hong Kong.
VAUSE: There has been a deafening silence of international support it seems for this pro-democracy movement. We've heard from the U.S. President on Tuesday. He was asked if China should show some kind of restraint when dealing with these protesters. It was a tepid response at best. It was hardly what you'd expect from a U.S. president. There's been very little support from the U.K. for example. How disappointing is that?
WONG: I urge U.S. should pass the Hong Kong human rights and democracy act in the Congress and is a must not to sought to any crowd control weapon including rubber bullet and tear gas to Hong Kong. When Hong Kong police are firing teargas that's produce from U.S., rubber bullets produced by us company, I believe U.S. government must not keep silence.
And in the future, I hope international communities could pay attention to what would be the next step of Beijing.
VAUSE: But in the past, the U.K. I think even took a much harsher step and stop sales of you know, non-lethal crowd enforcement measures to the Hong Kong authorities. That hasn't happened this time.
WONG: On the late of June, U.K. government already announced to stop the export license of crowd control equipment to Hong Kong police force because of the police brutality. I think it just show a clear signal how people strongly aware on the political crisis in Hong Kong such an international financial center were generated by Carrie Lam and the political crisis have never been solved by the government. And they still stay behind of riot police and do nothing.
VAUSE: The Hong Kong government issued a statement in response to the clashes at the main terminal there at the airport. It reads, the government stability condemns these violent acts which are outrageous and have overstepped the bottom line of a civilized society. The police will take relentless enforcement action to bring the persons involved to justice.
When they talk about relentless enforcement action, specifically what does that look like? What does it mean?
WONG: We know how Hong Kong government would love to condemn on protester. In fact, in the past ten weeks, every week they will condemn on protester. But condemn on protester or criticized on demonstrator is not providing a concrete plan or solution to solve the crisis. Instead of just keep blaming on ordinary citizen -- and in Hong Kong, more than 75 percent of people agree to set up the investigation commission on police brutality and those clashes.
At the same time Hong Kong people, we have two out of 7.5 of population, 25 percent of citizen (INAUDIBLE) ago on mid of June already join a single individual protest. So in the Battle of David versus Goliath, I hope people get aware that how Hong Kong government just verbally criticized on citizens and actually how to have the mass arrest and prosecution.
But arrest, prosecute is not a way out. Fundamental problem is Hong Kong people are not getting the chance to elect their own government. If they do not give back Hong Kong people right to elected, to govern, to vote in the election, this kind of protest might continue and Hong Kong government must responsible for it.
VAUSE: Joshua, we're out of time, but just to the point about the U.K., you are correct. I think they have suspended sales of crowd control measures, but they have still invited Hong Kong officials and the police to an arms fair which will be held later in London. So there is a you know, could you say it's bad news as far as you're concerned. But we appreciate you being with us. Thank you so much.
[01:15:00] WONG: Thank you.
VAUSE: Donald Trump is doing a turnaround on tariffs. The U.S. President has delayed the new tariffs he promised to hit to slap on China. That means some Chinese made consumer goods including cell phones, toys, and video game consoles will get a break at least until December 15th. Donald Trump says the move is intended to help you as shoppers when the holidays arrive.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're doing this for Christmas season just in case some of the tariffs would have an impact on U.S. customs, but so far there's none. The only impact is that we collected almost $60 billion from China, complements from China. But just in case there might have an impact on people, what we've done is we delayed it so that they won't be relevant on Christmas shopping season.
(END VIDEO CLIP) VAUSE: This apparent ceasefire in the trade war was a bonus for the markets. The Dow soared on Tuesday gaining 373 points recovering most of Monday's 400 point drop. And joining us now, Ryan Patel, Global Business Executive and Senior Fellow at the Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University. Good to see you.
RYAN PATEL, SENIOR FELLOW AT THE DRUCKER SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT AT CLAREMONT GRADUATE UNIVERSITY: Likewise, John.
VAUSE: Riddle me this, Batman. Up until now the U.S. president who is really consistent on anything has been remarkably consistent on tariffs consistently wrong. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We're taking in billions and billions of dollars from China in the form of tariffs. Our people are not paying for it.
The tariffs are not being paid for by our people.
We've collected close to 59 billion in tariffs so far. And in my opinion, the consumer has not paid for it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: And on Tuesday, you know, that language ended. And to be fair, he used words like just in case and you know, might have had an impact, that kind of stuff. But his words and his actions clearly indicate that China is not paying the full cost of the tariffs, at least some of those costs were being paid for by American consumers.
So what, do we know this all along and he was just bluffing? Did he read economics dummies and you know, he's possibly see this headline in the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, latest China tariffs will cost $831 per household. That's from a Fed reporter, the New York Fed. So how do you explain all this? Where did this come from?
PATEL: Well, it must come from Robin. He's got roaming around. Because if he's Batman, he must have a bunch of those. I mean, think what happened is the businesses got to them. I mean, when you see all of what is going on, this is not -- he mentioned the consumers but this is the other way around.
Consumers buying from corporations, corporations holiday season is the biggest time in the U.S. economy in the fourth quarter, and he knew. And we're talking about August right now. He knew that he needed a strong market. He knew that this was something -- he just came back with a ten percent tariff two weeks ago.
Like you mentioned, why did it change? Corporations, businesses, not just spoke up, but with all these variables in place, we were going in a path that was going to least resistant to go downward and nothing was going to push it up and he needed the economy with some kind of you know, foresight or light.
He needed to show some kind of light that we're not going down that path, and this kind of was the -- I mean, talking about Christmas gift, if it stays like this, it's huge for the market and investors are saying that there's going to be some stability for the next few months.
VAUSE: Well, obviously stocks rallied on the news of the tariff delay, and the U.S. President continued to talk about the possibility of a breakthrough in those trade negotiations with Beijing. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We had a very good talk yesterday with China, very, very productive call. I think they want to do something. I think they'd like to do something dramatic. I was not sure whether or not they wanted to wait until a Democrats has a chance to get in. Hopefully, that's not going to happen because the economy would go to hell in a hand basket very fast. But they really would like to make a deal.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: I wonder about that last part because nothing has really been resolved in this trade dispute between Beijing and Washington. So there's a market rally because tariffs were delayed for a few months or was it driven by a belief that President Trump caved and he doesn't have the stomach for -- to further escalate this trade war with China.
PATEL: I don't believe the second thing. This is a stop-gap. This has nothing to do with -- I mean, if Wall Street is believing that there's going to be a deal as of today because of signs of this, they are on the wrong path here. This is an actually stopgap. I mean, this is strategically to help the U.S. economy not keep bleeding.
You saw what's happening over the last few weeks. You saw that we are -- the market and businesses are on topsy-turvy on any kind of news. And President Trump and his team noticed that this is not something they want to continue to battle on all four fronts. And I don't think this gets them closer to a deal.
I guess it's great that they're talking in two weeks. I mean, there's still no urgency behind this. They still got to talk about IP rights and the actual hardcore things that they've been not avoiding or talking or resolving, we're nowhere close to that.
So if someone takes this as well we're going to get a deal done, I mean, it would be better if you just play with what he said. It doesn't get me kind of thinking that it's going to get done.
[01:20:02] VAUSE: Well, you know, over the normally Trump cheerleading Fox News, host Laura Ingraham treated this. Trump caved. China will be emboldened during Hong Kong crackdown no less. U.S. remove some items from China tariff list, delaying tariffs for others.
OK, to that point, if you're Xi Jinping, and there's this is great crisis in Hong Kong, and suddenly out of nowhere the U.S. president hands me this propaganda gift that came out of nowhere, why wouldn't you just wait out the self-described world's greatest negotiator? PATEL: Because he already knew that Trump would cave. He already knew that those can happen. I think what China is going to look at is what's best for them. I think what China -- I take the opinion as China wants to come out as deal looking strong and not losing face.
They also know they need this deal. I think fighting the tactics with Trump of playing this war chicken, I don't think they want to get into this. I mean, they could come back and hurt them, hurt the U.S. more but I don't believe that they're going to do that.
I think what they should do now is engaged in a conversation that they look good. That's what they want at the end of this. China wants to have a great deal and still move forward. They know they're getting hurt too but to play these kinds of games with obviously with President Trump, they're not interested in it.
And I think what president -- what China has always known is that they know that it can hurt the economy. They know what the hot buttons are is Wall Street with the U.S. administration and they obviously found it. When we -- you and I talked about currency trade war, they knew that they had that weapon.
VAUSE: Yes. There's also this official visit to petrochemical plant in Pittsburgh by the President. This was a visit when he attacked the Democratic rivals Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden calling them Pocahontas and Sleepy Joe. He also made this claim. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: This thing is costing me a fortune being president. It's probably going to cost me including upside, downside lawyers because every day they sue me for something. It's probably costing me from $3 to $5 billion for the privilege of being -- and I couldn't care less. I don't care. You know, if you're wealthy it doesn't matter. I just want to do a great job.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: This is a mandatory for you know, inflating his own wealth. Those numbers are not just impossible to verify but they seem impossible to believe.
PATEL: Yes. And John, let me tell you this. After he's done whatever he's chooses -- whatever he's done doing being president, he made his money afterwards. He's going to be actually wanted. The stuff that -- you know, people are going to pay him to come speak. People are going to pay him to -- I mean, he has made his life outside of -- he's going to be fine.
And you know, it's funny that he says this because you know he has made himself by becoming the President of the United States, he made himself to be wealthy even more so whatever the number was before so. I don't really feel bad for him. I just feel like you know, this is a conversation when he's talking about, there's other issues going on in the U.S. I wish he would focus on what's at hand for the economy and the American people and focus more about that. VAUSE: Yes. And we should say, that was an official White House
visit by the way. Those aren't campaign stop. It's an official White House visit. Ryan, thank you.
PATEL: Thanks, John.
VAUSE: A short break. When we come back, a British socialites, longtime friendship with Jeffrey Epstein is now in scrutiny. We'll tell you how she fits into this ongoing investigation into sex trafficking. And later this hour, a secret city, suspected missile accident, and the Kremlin in damage control. A closer look at Russia's mysterious rocket.
[01:25:00] VAUSE: The warden at the prison where Jeffrey Epstein was being held has been placed on temporary leave. The accused sex trafficker apparently committed suicide over the weekend. According to the U.S. Attorney General, there were seriously irregularities at the prison. Notably 30-minute checks on Epstein did not happen. In fact, he was left unattended for hours.
A primary focus of the criminal investigation is to be -- is believed to be Epstein's longtime friend Ghislaine Maxwell. CNN's Max Foster reports on this British socialite now at the center of a scandal which involves prominent politicians and a senior member of the royal family.
MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: She is the figure that keeps reappearing in images associated with the Epstein scandal. At Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago party in 2000, on the front row at Chelsea Clinton's wedding, and here right behind Prince Andrew, and of then- 17-year-old Virginia Roberts Giuffre who claims in court documents that Epstein kept her as a teenage sex slave and that he was assisted in his efforts by a British woman Ghislaine Maxwell.
In the court filings, Giuffre alleges she was forced to have sex with a royal under Epstein's instructions including in Maxwell's London apartment, and that she acted as a madam. All the allegations against Andrew are being denied. Any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors was dismissed by Buckingham Palace as categorically untrue.
Known as his right and left hands, Epstein described Maxwell in 2003 as his best friend in this profile for Vanity Fair, not a colleague or an employee. The revered daughter of a media Baron Robert Maxwell, she grew up in this vast country estate in the idyllic Oxfordshire countryside.
After her father's mysterious death at sea in 1991 falling from his luxury yacht named in her honor, Maxwell reportedly moved to New York to start her new life. So how did she go from highly educated and connected figure in British high society to an accused figure in the background of an investigation into underage sex trafficking.
GHISLAINE MAXWELL, ASSOCIATE OF JEFFREY EPSTEIN: I'll do my best.
FOSTER: Footage of her is as elusive as she is. Here she's speaking on ocean sustainability at the United Nations in 2014 under her role as founder of the TerraMar Project, a non-profit.
MAXWELL: It's a pledge. There's no taxes, by the way. It's all free. And all you're signing is you love the ocean, that you will spread your love of the ocean because we're a digital platform.
FOSTER: Out of public view though, Epstein's accusers claim Maxwell was sourcing teenage girls for him and directing them to have sex with Epstein and his friends. Newly unsealed documents from a 2015 defamation case refer to her as one of the main women, primary co- conspirator, acting as a madam for Epstein, assisted in international trafficking Giuffre and numerous other young girls for sexual purposes.
Giuffre says Maxwell recruited her when she was 15 years old. In her court deposition, Maxwell says Giuffre's claims are untrue. I know that Virginia is a liar and I know that what she testified is a lie. So I could only testify to what I know to be a falsehood. I can categorically deny everything, she has said. I have no knowledge of anything else.
Maxwell hasn't made a public statement since Epstein was charged in July but has previously denied the allegations. She's not been charged herself and her attorney hasn't responded to numerous requests for comments.
Geoffrey Berman U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York has said the investigation is ongoing so more indictments are possible. Investigators are currently looking for any alleged co- conspirators. Along with her flat in London, records show an address registered to Maxwell in Salisbury in Wiltshire. It's no doubt investigators would like to talk to her. Max Foster, CNN London.
VAUSE: When we come back, Hong Kong in chaos after ten weeks of often violent protests. So is mainland China ready to intervene?
[01:32:24] VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.
I'm John Vause with the headlines this hour.
The U.S. is delaying new tariffs on Chinese-made consumer goods after trade negotiations as negotiators agree to resume talks within the next few weeks.
It's the latest turn around (ph) for President Donald Trump who has repeatedly threatened tariffs as leverage in the U.S.-China trade war.
Hong Kong's International Airport has resumed a normal schedule after a day of violent actions (ph). Protesters seized several people, police tried to rescue them but were met with a strong resistance. The airport now says it has an injunction to prevent anyone from trying to intervene with the normal day-to-day operations.
Beijing continues to wait and watch the pro democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong so far limiting their response to just stern warnings. But after weeks of protests and no end in sight, many fear patience on the Mainland maybe wearing thin.
Here is CNN's Ben Wedeman.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Ten weeks of protests, hundreds arrested, a key international airport overrun and paralyzed. Watching all this unfold, Beijing is not amused. A spokesman for China's Hong Kong and Macau office warned the protests have, in his words, begun to show signs of terrorism.
The nationalist Chinese tabloid "Global Times" published video of the People's Armed Police, China's federal police, deploying on Shenzhen right on the border with Hong Kong.
Two weeks before the People's Liberation Army Hong Kong garrison posted a video online showing troops training to deal with rioters and put out a statement stressing its determination and ability to protect Hong Kong's prosperity and stability. Hong Kong's charmed status, part of China but apart from China at the end of the day it's at China's pleasure.
under the territory's garrison law the Hong Kong government can request the intervention of the Chinese army in the event of natural disaster or civil disorder.
And civil disorder is in the air with some anger focused on symbols of the Chinese state.
Chief executive Carrie Lam has a blunt warning.
[01:35:02] CARRIE LAM, HONG KONG CHIEF EXECUTIVE (through translator): Hong Kong society is not safe or stable, the rioters have pushed Hong Kong to the brink of no return.
WEDEMAN: Yet armed intervention by Beijing would shatter Hong Kong's international business-friendly image and strike the death knell for the one country-two systems arrangement.
Pro Beijing legislator Holden Chow insists that doomsday scenario is at the moment unlikely.
HOLDEN CHOW, PRO BEIJING LEGISLATOR: I don't think the PLA will come in to deal with the situation because I trust the Hong Kong police and Hong Kong as the government has the ability to deal with the situation here.
WEDEMAN: Perhaps but as protests carry on and intensify and their impact is felt well beyond this tiny crowded territory, that could change.
Ben Wedeman, CNN -- Hong Kong.
VAUSE: Back to Hong Kong now and Joseph Chang, a political science professor at City University of Hong Kong. Thanks for coming in -- Joseph.
JOSEPH CHANG, POLITICAL SCIENCE PROFESSOR, CITY UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG: Thank you.
VAUSE: Why has Beijing decided to sit on the sidelines and not actively intervene in any substantive way. Is there a calculation here being made by Xi Jinping.
CHANG: Well, Beijing probably is aware that the Carrie Lam administration probably can handle the situation. Intervention will be very costly not only for Hong Kong because of the damage to business confidence and to the international -- to withdraw (ph) from the international financial center.
And also very costly for Beijing because it's one country, two systems model will be perceived to have failed. Its policy towards Hong Kong will be perceived to have failed. And any intervention will have a really bad impact on Taiwan which is going to have its presidential election in January. Basically the Chinese leaders would like the Carrie Lam administration to clean up the mess itself.
VAUSE: I wonder because it's often been said that Beijing, you know, is unwilling to act here or showing restraint because of the economic disruption You know, the PLA is stepping down Nathan Road would be seen as bad PR. In some ways it doesn't kind of ring true in the sense that the Community Party is only taking this sort of long view and is rarely concerned about the opinions of others.
CHANG: It is concerned mainly with the preservation of the party regime and this monopoly of political power. If it seemed essential to intervene it will not hesitate. But at the moment, the calculus is such that it does not believe it has to intervene physically but certainly it has been working hard to mobilize the Hong Kong business community to come out to support the Carrie Lam administration.
And a united front is making tremendous effort using a lot of resources and money from Beijing, of course, to try to turn the tide of popular opinion.
VAUSE: And we are seeing that with the number of business leaders coming out and showing their support for Carrie Lam. But the former American ambassador to China told CNN one reason for Beijing not acting at least up until now is because they're unsure of what to do. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAX BAUCUS, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO CHINA: There's got to be a meeting of the minds on both sides here. If Beijing thinks that they can just jam a solution down the protesters' throats that is not going to work. And I think they know that and they're trying to figure a way out.
Don't forget China is very conservative. It's (INAUDIBLE) dealing with matters like this. They're used to having it their own way. So this has been difficult for them. They're not nimble. They don't have a big diplomatic corps like the United States does, for example. This is tough for them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
V3 : If that assessment is true it would be an encouraging sign that this, you know, might not end like Tiananmen Square. How do you see it?
CHANG: I tend to agree. Because well, the options of interfering directly are limited. You see the PLA, the People's Liberation Army is not exactly the tool to deal with crowd control. You need very competent, well-trained police force to do it. And the Hong Kong police force is competent enough, strong enough exactly to handle that.
The issue of course, is you send in the PLA, the streets will be very quiet, empty and -- but then how when will the PLA withdraw? And how are you going to restore business confidence? How are you going to restore business activities. So I think Beijing is cautious enough to understand this calculus.
[01:39:57] VAUSE: You know, the U.S. President was asked on Tuesday if China should show restraint when dealing with these pro-democracy demonstrators. This is what Donald Trump said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Hong Kong thing is a very tough situation. It's very tough. We'll see what happens but I'm sure it will work out. It's a very tricky situation.
I think it will work and I hope it works for liberty. I hope it works out for everybody, including China.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: It was a pretty tepid response. Not what you'd expect from a U.S. president. How will Beijing view those comments?
CHANG: Beijing officially will consider the statements as interferences in Beijing, interferences into the domestic affairs of China and they will be used and in fact has been used as proof, as evidence of collusion between the Hong Kong democracy movement and western powers to discredit the pro-democracy movement and to mobilize patriotism among Hong Kong people and above all else among people in Mainland China which certainly have been supporting the government's position on Hong Kong so far.
VAUSE: So that will be the official way (INAUDIBLE) view but even though it's very tepid or not, you'd expect -- you know, if that was a Barack Obama or a George W. Bush you would expect to hear a much stronger language.
And we have heard much stronger language coming from U.S. lawmakers, for instance, when it comes to, you know, demands for China to respect peaceful protesters, that kind of thing. So even if this was a fairly weak statement coming from this U.S. president, they'll still be viewed as almost being hostile to Beijing?
CHANG: Beijing will try to exploit these statements. I think Hong Kong people as well as Beijing understand that the pressure will mainly come from Congress and not from the White House.
And the pro democracy movement, the protesters have been quite skillful in influencing international public opinion. They managed to raise quite a bit of money and have advertisements in all of the major newspapers -- in all major newspapers in the world just before the G- 20 summit.
And it was also said that there were communication between the White House and President Xi Jinping, mainly that the White House did not have the intention to exert pressure too much, at least not publicly on the Hong Kong issue before and during the summit meeting.
VAUSE: Ok. At that point, we are out of time. Professor -- thanks so much for being with us. We appreciate your insights.
CHANG: Thank you.
VAUSE: well, there has been almost no official word from the Kremlin on an apparent missile accident last week but with the radiation detected in the air due to this explosion give away details on a new secret nuclear weapon. We'll explain, next.
[01:45:02] VAUSE: Russia has called off the evacuation of a northern village where a suspected missile accident killed at least five people last week. The Kremlin is now talking publicly about what may or may not have happened but officials in Moscow have been boasting about a new nuclear weapon.
Here is CNN's Brian Todd reporting from Washington.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: U.S. officials fear what Vladimir Putin has yet to acknowledge, that a deadly explosion late last week in Russia was caused by a nuclear-powered missile.
Russian military officials on Tuesday called for the evacuation of the village of Nyonoksa, about 30 miles west of the coastal port area where Thursday's explosion occurred. They said it was because of military drills.
But hours later, they called off the evacuation even though independent groups have verified that some radioactive particles have very likely gotten into the air. ALEXANDRA BELL, SENIOR POLICY DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR ARMS CONTROL AND NON-PROLIFERATION: I think, you know, a lot of other countries would've probably already evacuated the surrounding areas. But I think the Kremlin is a bit in damage control at this point.
TODD: Damage control, experts say, because they believe the explosion may have tipped off the U.S. and others to information that Putin may never have wanted to become public.
The five elite nuclear specialists killed in the accident were from Sarov, one of Russia's secret cities. During the Cold War it was known as Arzamas-16.
The Russians have at least 10 secret cities like it, experts say, and they are the rough equivalent of Los Alamos, New Mexico -- the birthplace of the first American nuclear bombs.
BELL: The 10 facilities are going to be focused on the width and breadth of the Russian nuclear arsenal, so some are going to have to do with developing the delivery systems, missiles or, you know, gravity bombs.
Some are going to be more focused on the actual weapons themselves, and you know, processing the plutonium.
TODD: Analysts say these secret Russian cities are even more closed off than those notoriously secretive American facilities like Los Alamos or Area 51 -- the classified aircraft and weapons compound in Nevada.
MICHAEL CARPENTER, FORMER NSC OFFICIAL ON RUSSIA: Look, if you're a foreigner you can't get anywhere near these cities. Sometimes they will grant foreigners access if you give up your passport, your phone, your camera. They'll let you in for a little bit but that is very rare even for Russians.
You have to go through a checkpoint to get in there, sometimes electric fences around the cities.
TODD: Experts say many of these cities are decrepit, decaying and have experienced deadly accidents with nuclear material and even anthrax. But they are still important to Vladimir Putin who is developing an ambitious new weapons program which includes the missile that U.S. officials say just exploded. A cruise missile with essentially, a nuclear reactor on board and which could have unlimited range.
Experts say the deadly explosion is likely not on the scale of Chernobyl, the 1986 nuclear plant explosion which killed dozens initially and may have contaminated thousands more.
Like this explosion, the Soviet Union at first refused to acknowledge the nuclear accident until the West detected high radiation levels over Europe.
BELL: What the danger really is here is that the Russians continue to pursue these kinds of potentially dangerous and risky systems.
TODD: Analysts say despite this deadly accident we shouldn't expect Vladimir Putin to cut back his ambitious new weapons program. They say the Russian president is simply too eager to develop a sophisticated, high-powered missile that he hopes is going to be able to evade American missile defenses in the future.
Brian Todd, CNN -- Washington.
VAUSE: When we come back, a 29 year old is told she's too old to be sexy. The American pop star hitting back at the music industry and age shaming.
VAUSE: When singer/songwriter Bebe Rexha hit the red carpet at this year's Grammy Awards, she made headlines not for her nomination as best new artist but rather her revealing fashion choice.
The Web site Pop Sugar warned readers "Bebe Rexha's red carpet looks are so sexy, you'll need a cold shower after seeing them."
[01:49:57] The 29-year-old (INAUDIBLE) a lot of attention by wearing revealing skin tight outfits or short mini skirts and knee-high boots. Her act is unashamedly racy. She's often spoken of being proud of her body, especially her curves.
Even though, she says, a male executive in the music industry recently told her she's now too old to be considered sex.
Her response came Monday posting this mirror selfie on Instagram warning wearing (INAUDIBLE) black lingerie and adding "I'm fed up with being put in a box. I make my own rules."
And remember the outfit that she wore to the Grammys. Well, here's the back story.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEBE REXHA, SINGER: So I have my team head out a lot of designers. And a lot of them do not want to dress me because I'm too big. Literally like I'm too big. And if the size 6, 8 is too big then I don't know what to tell you. And I don't want to wear your (EXPLETIVE DELETED) dresses. Because that's crazy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Caroline Heldman has been a guest of ours in the past. She's a Democratic strategist but she also works with a number of women's groups. She's co-founder of the New Orleans women's shelter. She joins us now this hour from San Francisco in California.
Caroline -- it's good to see you.
CAROLINE HELDMAN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Good to see you -- John.
VAUSE: Ok. There's been no shortage of anti-body shaming campaigns or what's called body positivity. The best known, I guess is Real Beauty campaign. But there are others like Love Your Body Day and the What's Underneath Project.
Empowered women feel good about themselves and to know that, you know, the images in magazines and on television just not every day reality.
I mean those images are chosen by men like the one who told Rexha that a 29-year-old is too old to be sexy or the designers said she was too big. Is the problem here that there's been nothing on the flip side, no effort to shame the shamer.
HELDMAN: So John -- my take is a little different. So I love these campaigns. I love that Bebe Rexha is coming out and swinging against the sexism in the industry when, you know, she's a size 8 and we're talking about whether or now, you know she's going to find clothing and, you know, designers refusing to dress here.
I mean it's sexism but even in these campaigns that focus on the body still kind of reinforces this idea that girls and women are primarily valued for their bodies.
So I would push back even further or more if you will, and say the problem is that it doesn't matter for a woman if you're a world leader, it doesn't matter if you're a world class athlete, it doesn't matter if you're at incredibly talented singer. You are still valued based upon your body.
And so whether you're valued -- you know, whether we value more of a variety of bodies or whether we only value this kind of hegemonic white, skinny, blond a body at the end of the day what we need to do is (INAUDIBLE) the fact that our primary value for women is our bodies and shift it more to something that's about what we do and our talents and our hard work.
VAUSE: That's a good point. And actually (INAUDIBLE) earlier in the year Rexha told help.com, "When I first got signed to one of my deals, my managers were like, are you ready to get into boot camps shape?
I was like sure what does that mean? They told me to lose 20 pounds. It kind of messed me up."
So the point is she was signed in 2013. That's six years ago. (INAUDIBLE) her partners made the scene a long time ago. But in general terms when a woman is told, you know, to lose 20 pounds and she's messed up, what are we talking about here?
HELDMAN: Were talking about a culture where we normalize women as sex objects and that is a message that we sent the little girls.
So what ends up happening is that for example two-thirds of American women have disordered eating. We know that being raised in this culture which tells us our bodies are our primary value. We know that that leads to higher rates of eating disorders, body shame and hatred. It actually lowers our confidence. It makes us more depressed. So it actually leans to a host of public health issues. So this isn't an individual issue one woman is going through. This is a cultural issue that has profound public health implications.
VAUSE: Ok. 33 years ago, we saw the original "Top Gun" movie. The sequel is now set to release next year. Tom Cruise will be back but not Kelly McGillis. Listen to her explaining why to "Entertainment Tonight".
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KELLY MCGILLIS, ACTRESS: I'm old and I'm fat and I look age appropriate for what my age ISS. And that is not what that whole theme is about.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Last year though at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, Nicole Kidman spoke about the changes in the industry and how older women are being cast in big roles and more often. Here she is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICOLE KIDMAN, ACTRESS: And I want to thank you all for your trailblazing performances you've given over your career. And how wonderful it is that our careers today can go beyond 40 years old. 20 years ago, we were pretty washed up by this stage in our lives.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[01:55:02] VAUSE: Kidman maybe 52 but she looks 32 because she has a face which was permanently frozen with Botox, hasn't moved in 30 years. So is the message to women, you can get old just don't look old or you'll still be cast?
HELDMAN: Well, that's absolutely the message -- John. And of course, there's no, you know, no bad feelings toward Nicole Kidman. She's playing a game that's rigged against her. It's rigged against all of us, right.
So the problem, I mean aside from your body not really being a meritorious way to value yourself, it means that if that's the game that women are being asked to play and we learn it as little girls it means that we eventually all age out of value which is kind of terrible when you think about half the population fearful about it and so now it is fantastic that more women are appearing over 40 and in their 50s, even in their 60s in streaming services in Hollywood. Mostly driven by the way, by female directors and writers.
At the end of the day if they're not allowed to age, they're still sending the message to women everywhere that we're not allowed to age and the moment that you do, your value declines.
VAUSE: Ok. You know, the argument that we hear often from the music or the movie industry, they're just responding to what the audience wants. So how do you take a step back and how do you keep (INAUDIBLE) a culture which is taught from very early age to value youth over years.
HELDMAN: Well it is not what girls and women want. What we actually know is that the more that girls and women are represented in a multiplicity of ways and in diverse ways whether that is in terms of race or sexuality or ability, or body size, or age it actually makes more money for Hollywood.
So what we have is money being left on the table by folks in the industry who have some very antiquated notions about what the market wants. And women are at 51 percent of film goers in the United States, and globally they're are 52 percent of film goers. So the idea that we are stuck in this old outdated sexist notion on what women want and what even men want means that Hollywood is leaving a lot of money on the table.
VAUSE: We're out of time Caroline but we we've seen this movie before. a time but we've seen this movie before. We saw it with, you know, African-American people. We saw it with Asian people when they're up there on the screen and they're represented, they go to see the movies and they make more money. It's as simple as that.
VAUSE: -- thank you.
HELDMAN: Good to see you.
VAUSE: Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause.
Please stay with us, a lot more news after a short break with Rosemary Church.
You're watching CNN.
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