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Not a Smooth Sailing Ride For Boris Johnson's Brexit Plan; Indonesia's Inferno Reaches Neighboring Countries; Tariffs Re-schedule as a Sign of Goodwill; President Trump Wants to Ban E-cigarettes; Benjamin Netanyahu's Plan Not Acceptable to Palestinians. Aired 3- 3:30a ET

Aired September 12, 2019 - 03:00   ET




ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: The British government reveals the worst-case scenario of a no deal Brexit would look like, and this comes as Boris Johnson suffers yet another defeat, this time in Scotland's highest civil court.



PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Even we have to close on as that, and I will respect and appreciate the fact that he wanted to share that with us.


CHURCH: As the slope painstakingly, recovery begins in the Bahamas, our reporter reflects on the hurricane that devastated the Bahamas.

And later, the United States and China takes more steps toward calling trade tensions. We're live in Beijing with the details.

Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church, and this is CNN Newsroom.

We begin with damaging setbacks for a Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he tries to clean up the U.K.'s Brexit makes. Scotland's highest court has ruled that Mr. Johnson's advice to the queen to suspend parliament was unlawful.

Critics say the prime minister made the move to increase the chance of a no deal Brexit on October 31st. The government has appealed to the U.K. Supreme Court but there is more. Parliament forced the government to publish a document detailing worst-case scenarios if the U.K. crushes out of the E.U. without a deal.

It warns of shortages of fresh food and medicine, channel crossing disruptive for as long as three months, increases in food and petrol prices and widespread protests.

So, let's turn to CNN's Max Foster who has been following all of this. He joins us live from London. Always good to see you, Max.

It has been a rocky road from Boris Johnson since he became prime minister, hasn't it? So how this latest defeat in a Scottish court playing out in the British tabloids, and of course, how these worse- case scenarios is being received by the public should a no deal Brexit occur?

MAX FOSTER, CNN LONDON CORRESPONDENT: Well, in terms of this report that came out, when you read it, it seems quite measured. But actually, when you break it down, as you say, we're talking about shortages of medical supplies and food. Things that can't be stockpiled, a lot of it to do with Dover, which is a major port bringing in a lot of products every single day and there's going to be gridlock we're told for days at least there.

So that's one of the big problems here. And actually, the government said today, although they only wrote it a month ago but they are going to update it because they feel there's been some progress since then.

But what it does do, is make the idea of no deal Brexit, even more worrying to a lot of people. So, it could be more difficult for him to push ahead without route. I think that's what the report does.

What's interesting today about the court case is, is that there's another court case now in Northern Ireland, and as you know, Rosemary, there have been two court cases around the central question about whether or not the prime minister misled effectively the queen when he advised her to suspend the parliament.

Now, an English Welsh court found in favor of the government in Boris Johnson, a Scottish court has found in favor of those who feel the queen was misled. And today we are going to hear a case in the Northern Ireland court. And all of those cases will be brought together next case, as you say the Supreme Court. So that's the big showdown.

CHURCH: All right. Max Foster reporting there from London, many thanks. So, we'll talk to you sometime later. Thanks so much.

So, let's now turn to our European affairs commentator Dominic Thomas. He joins us from Los Angeles. Good to see.


CHURCH: So, Dominic, we'll talk about operation yellow hammer in just a moment, but first, Boris Johnson got more bad news Wednesday, this time from Scotland's highest civil court, saying his suspension of parliament was illegal, and he misled the queen. That will now go to the Supreme Court in London early next week. What's the most likely outcome of that and are the possible consequences of this whole sourly tale?

THOMAS: Yes. Well, once again, we are in uncharted territory. It was extraordinary that the Scottish court reversed its decision and, as you just said, you know, underscore the very fact that Boris Johnson had deliberately attempted to essentially prevent a debate around a no deal Brexit and to put himself in front of parliament and subjected to scrutiny and be accountable to the M.P.s.

So, at this particular stage I think there are perhaps two ways of looking at it. On the one hand the court in London could simply now agree with the Scottish court, in which case, Boris Johnson would essentially be forced to reconvene parliament and further discussion would go on.


But I think that at the end of the day, the damage has been done. Everybody knows that the reason why Boris Johnson attempted to shut down, to suspend parliament, is to prevent discussion around the question of a no deal.

And the consequence of that paradoxically was to mobilize the opposition and to get them to pass legislation to block a no deal, which is another legal issue that he faces now and has talked repeatedly about potential ignoring that legal ground as well.

So he finds himself in a very precarious position, it's a further blow to his administration, and it reinforces the idea to the general public that there is a discrepancy between what Boris Johnson is telling the public about his plans to negotiate with the European Union, and what in fact his Brexiteer cabinet are doing and scheming, and have been doing so all along, which is to distract from the realities and the dangers of this particular project and as confirmed by the report that you mentioned earlier.

CHURCH: Right. Let's turn to that, that troubling document, operation yellow hammer, that the government was forced to make public. It reveals some disturbing risks involved in leaving the E.U. without a deal, including food price hikes, reduced medical supplies, and street riots.

And given these worst-case scenarios will hit the most vulnerable across the United Kingdom. Why is there so much enthusiasm on the part of the prime minister and others to pursue a no deal Brexit that could potentially plunge the country into economic turmoil?

THOMAS: Right. Absolutely. And what so many people have said, you know, all along is that, you know, really at the end of the day the best deal is to remain in the European Union. And everybody has been talking about the consequences of a no deal.

And what we see here is a completely reckless cabinet, we are on the third conservative prime minister around this particular question. It is dividing and further dividing the conservative party. There is no end in sight to being able to solve this. And it just reinforces the idea that this Brexit cabinet does not care about the consequences.

It is happy to manipulate and instrumentalized the British public, in many cases, the most vulnerable. Those that will be most negatively impacted by the consequences of a no deal. And all along where experts have been pointing out, is that extricating oneself from the European Union is sort of like doing surgery on conjoined twins.

You have to prepare for this, it's extraordinary complex and it is not something that you can deal with in the way that they have been talking all along. And this cabinet is simply interested in delivering Brexit.

And I fundamentally just do not believe that they care about the consequences of this and this is just a reminder here of the disconnect between what they are promising and have been promising the British people all along and the actual reality of Brexit outside of this emotional debate that has been going on now in the U.K. for so many years.

CHURCH: Dominic Thomas, we thank you as always for your analysis.

THOMAS: Thank you so much, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Twenty-five hundred people are still registered as missing in the Bahamas more than a week after Hurricane Dorian devastated the islands. Search and rescue crews aided by dogs are now going through the rubble looking for people, dead or alive. Officials cautioned that the number of missing, may be misleading.


CARL SMITH, SPOKESMAN, NATIONAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY: This list has not yet been checked, against government records of who is staying in shelters, or who have been evacuated. The database is processing is underway.

Some individuals who evacuated from Abaco and the Grand Bahama have not yet registered with social services. We encourage them to do so at the Department of Rehabilitative and Welfare Services.


CHURCH: And CNN's Patrick Oppmann arrived in the Bahamas as the storm approached. Here are his reflections on the horror of what happened and what's still to come.


OPPMANN: Hurricane Dorian unleashing a category five fury on the Bahamas. Look at that view. We knew what we were getting into when we got on the plane, it was category five hurricane, you think of it very, very seriously.

I knew that it was not going to be pleasant, I knew that it was going to be pretty rough, and it was.


We are being lashed here in Freeport in the Island of Grand Bahama by Dorian's winds all night long, it sounds like a jet engine, just screaming winds that pick up but never really go away.

Finally, we were able to get out and see other parts of the island that up until now have been in accessible.

You can see there are still hurricane force winds and rain coming down on us. Because a little -- a little baby there, a boy there, they're covering up and protecting. Come through, come through, come through. Good job.

My cameraman Jose and (Inaudible) and I, we've just seen amazing scene of people being pulled of jet skis, being pulled of boats that had been -- people that had been riding out the storm on the roofs and we had to get into the water in order to get those shots.

We just see a guy get on the jet ski with a life preserve (Ph) that didn't fit him and go roaring out there in the middle of the hurricane to save people's lives, you know, it's one of the bravest things I've ever seen.

The certain points (Ph) from the weather kicked up and we're leaving. We're really getting pelted and beat up. And Jose, our cameraman came to me and said we got to go back, this guy came to me and said his wife died.

HOWARD ARMSTRONG, HURRICANE SURVIVOR: And my poor little wife got hypothermia and she was standing on top of the kitchen cabinet until they disintegrated. And then I kept with her and she just drowned on me.

OPPMANN: I'm so sorry.


OPPMANN: I know that interview touched so many people, it touched us. He literally has to close on his bad (Ph), and I will respect and appreciate the fact that he wanted to share that with because it really was one of the things that I think woke people up to what was going on here.

This is complete and utter devastation like I've never seen. Jose is going to point the camera over here. Look at this. That's a wheel. This is the underside of a plane; this is what's left of the wing. You think of the force required to throw a plane from the runway into a terminal.

I realized after a couple of days of saying this is the worst devastation that I've seen that every day I was going to see something worse.

You know, you think about the people who have stayed behind, what they must have gone through.

EVA THOMAS, HURRICANE SURVIVOR: Yes, and I think about it because I had a nephew and three of his kids die in the storm. And my heart is broken. I say I can't imagine that they are dead, what they face with. OPPMANN: We went out to a place called McLeans Town and we got there

before the government. They got decimated. Its damage it looks like a tsunami went through there, 30-foot high storm surge.

When we were leaving a boat came, it was people from this other island also got destroyed and they are showing up with help and I think that really defines who Bahamians are.

People here will, on their own, maybe with some help from outside, rebuild this country, maybe rebuilt it differently. A lot of towns will cease to exist but people here have incredible spirit. And for the ones who survived I think you can see the fire in their eyes and the fact that they are not going to let this stop them.


CHURCH: Incredible reflections there from CNN's Patrick Oppmann while in the Bahamas. And to learn how you could help those affected by Hurricane Dorian, you can visit and you will find several different ways to contribute.

We'll take a short break here. Still to come, the U.S. president calls is a goodwill gesture towards China. He is delaying a plan to increase in tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars in Chinese goods, how Beijing is reacting, that's next.

Plus, from Europe to the Middle East, outrage is brewing over the Israeli prime minister's campaign promise to annex parts of the West Bank.



CHURCH: U.S. President Donald Trump is calling is a gesture of goodwill, announcing via tweet he will delay increasing tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods. He says the increase from 25 percent to 30 percent will now happen in mid-October, two weeks later than first planned.

CNN's David Culver is in Beijing and joins us now live with more on why the president is making this move, and of course the reaction in China.

So, David, good to see you. President Trump calling this a gesture of goodwill. Is that how China views this? And where might all this be going?

DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is interesting to hear how he is characterizing that, Rosemary. Good to see you as well, by the way.

I think, perhaps we look at the biggest indicator here. And the real- time one first being the markets. So, we look at the Asian markets, for example. Right now, they are trending upwards, so seen this as a positive move. Looking at the U.S. futures those likewise looking upward. So, economically, it's being perceived as a positive step.

Politically, that's another situation. And I think the questions still remain. But if we look at what the president put out on Twitter and it seem to be a very accommodating tweet, one that was willing to change the schedule so that the Chinese people could celebrate what is a very important day for them, national day on October 1st, a day that marks 70 years since the founding of the People's Republic of China.

And so, for the president to acknowledge that and push off that high- level, minister level talks another 14 days, shows some sort of willingness there. And that in of itself is going to be well respected.

But you have to also keep in mind how that came about. It came a few hours after China's finance ministry went forward with plans to remove 16 items from the tariffs list.

And so, those 16 items, they're on Portland, they're relied heavily on here in China, they're everything from cancer drugs to shrimp, to whey for animal feed.

But perhaps, it's also worth noting what's not yet on the exemption list but still being tariffed, and that is items that have to do with U.S. agriculture soy beans, pork, and you look at U.S. cars, so manufacturing, why is that important?

Well, that ties right into the political side for President Trump. Farmers and manufacturers huge part of his base. And so many would argue that, that is still China's bargaining chip going into these high-level talks next month. It's curious to see if China will add those to the list as well, as far as relaxing the tariffs.

And if they do that, it could potentially become today. We're looking at actually a commerce ministry briefing, that's underway right now. We've got a team there, Rosemary. And so, we're monitoring that to see if there's any movement there, because that would be a quite significant step in suggesting an easing of the tensions ahead of these talks.

CHURCH: Many across the world very eager to see some positive moves in this direction. We shall watch it very closely. David Culver joining us live from Beijing. Many thanks.

Well, one day after U.S. President Donald Trump fired his national security adviser there's talk of having the secretary of state fill that role as well.

Sources say administration officials are discussing having Mike Pompeo take the job of his former rival John Bolton. He'd be the second person in history to do both jobs at once, the first was Henry Kissinger. President Trump has said he will make a decision on Bolton's replacement next week.

Well, the U.S. President has declared war on teen vaping. Mr. Trump says, his administration is now moving to ban the sales of flavored e- cigarettes. [03:20:03]


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Vaping has become a very big business as I understand it like a giant business at a very short period of time. But we can't allow people to get sick and we can't have our youth to be affected. And I am hearing it, and that's how the first lady got involved.

She's got a son. Together that is a beautiful young man and she feels very, very strongly about it. She's seen it, we're both reading it, a lot of people are reading it but people are dying with vaping.


CHURCH: At least six deaths in the U.S. have been read linked to vaping along with more than 450 cases of lung illness. But authorities don't know what's causing this epidemic. The American Vaping Association says flavors and nicotine are not the issue, the harm is caused by vaping THC from marijuana bought on the street.

The Food and Drug Administration is to finalize the policy in the coming weeks.

Well, 10 U.S. Democratic candidates will gather later Thursday in Houston, Texas for another presidential debate. But the focus will be on frontrunner Joe Biden facing Elizabeth Warren for the first time on a debate stage. Electability against President Trump is expected to be a theme.

A new CNN polls show Biden leads the race for the Democratic nomination with 24 percent support down five points from the last poll, but Warren and Bernie Sanders are gaining ground and battling for second place. Warren got a four- point boost since last month now at 18 percent. Sanders is just behind her at 17 percent.

Well, Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi in just a few hours. It comes just days before Israelis go back to the polls for the second time in less than six months. And the talks could be tense as Russia has reportedly condemned Mr. Netanyahu's campaign promise to annex parts of the West Bank if he is elected.

Well, Mr. Netanyahu is under fire for that controversial pledge. The U.N., European Union, and Arab league are among those criticizing his plan to claim the Jordan Valley as part of Israel, but some of the fiercest reaction comes from those who would be directly affected. The Palestinians themselves.

Palestinian authority leader Mahmoud Abbas is threatening to tear up all signed agreements with Israel if the annexation goes through. The Jordan Valley makes up about a third of the West Bank, and is considered a Palestinian bread basket. One official explains its importance.


SAEB EREKAT, CHIEF PALESTINIAN NEGOTIATOR: It's impossible to have a Palestinian state without the Jordan valley. This is the border, this is the water, this is the agriculture, this tourism, this is history, this is the (Inaudible) get. How can someone imagine, and me having a bible for the same state without my (Inaudible) kilometers in the Dead Sea?

And what do they think about my prosperity? My prosperity is not going to come through donations from Ireland and Britain, and France and the States. My prosperity will come if I can control my natural resources.


CHURCH: And polls are tight right now for the upcoming Israeli election scheduled for Tuesday.

A short break here. Still to come, forest in Indonesia are burning and even the country's neighbors are choking on the fumes. The damage and what may have sparked the fires, that's next on CNN Newsroom.



CHURCH: Forest fires raging through Indonesia are so large that the neighboring countries of Malaysia and Singapore are choking on the smoke. About half a million face, facemasks were handed out in a single day.

CNN's Tom Sater explains how the fire might have started?

TOM SATER, CNN METEOROLOGIST: The fire crackles and pops as it burns out of control in Ken Park, Indonesia. Intense forest fires have burned more than 930,000 hectares in the recent weeks. Hundreds of residents have been evacuated as firefighters desperately try to extinguish the flames.

Nine thousand personnel have been sent to help put out the flames but they say they're still short of help.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The size of this burned area is about five hectares; the challenges are lack of water source and not enough personnel.


SATER: As the fire rage across the Indonesian regions of Sumatra and Kalimantan, smoke and thick smog have spread into neighboring countries. Winds are carrying a dense unhealthy haze into Malaysia, Brunei, and Singapore, causing high levels of air pollution.

Children in the Malaysian state of Sarawak put on face masks as they start their morning classes. This comes a day after 409 schools closed for day due to the unhealthy air quality according to state media.

Malaysian authorities handed out a half a million face masks and Singapore's national environment agency is telling residents to stay indoors.

Police say the cause of the fires is still under investigation but believed they have started when farmers use slash and burn techniques to clear the land, the same practice that caused many of the fires in the Brazilian Amazon.


MOHAMMAD ROMMEL, POLICE CHIEF, EAST KOTAWARINGIN POLICE DEPARTMENT (through translator): We still need further investigation and to collect evidence of the fire we need to find the starting point of the hot spot and direction of the falling trees that were cut, so we can check whether the fire was intentionally started. But according to our colleagues in a local mitigation agency, it was most likely caused by humans.


SATER: Indonesian authorities have tried to stop the illegal practice by farmers by imposing hefty fines and jail time, but the fires keep starting and burning.

Tom Sater, CNN.

CHURCH: And thanks so much for your company. I'm Rosemary Church. Follow that Start Up is coming up. But first, I'll be back with the check with the check of the headlines. You're watching CNN.