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Republicans Reacting on President Trump's Wrong Decision in Syria; Eight People Killed in Syria's Latest Attack; Unfavorable Poll results from POTUS' Favorite Cable TV; Three Great Inventors Awarded with Nobel Prize. Aired 3-3:30a ET

Aired October 10, 2019 - 03:00   ET




ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. It's 10 in the morning in northern Syria, 3 p.m. in Beijing, from CNN headquarters in Atlanta, I'm Rosemary Church. And this is CNN Newsroom. Let's get started.

Just days after the U.S. president pull troops from northern Syria, Turkey is on the attack against Kurds in the region. We are live on the ground on the Turkish Syrian border.

The White House ramps up its fight against the impeachment inquiry as Donald Trump seeks unity from Republicans on Capitol Hill.

And later, Nobel recognition, the ultimate prize in chemistry is awarded to the developers of one of the world's most commonly used power sources.

Thanks for being with us.

Kurdish forces say at least eight people have been killed in a Turkish military operation in northern Syria. Turkey says it was to root out terrorist in the region but what Turkey calls terrorist have been America's allies, namely the Syrian Kurds who hoped the U.S. immensely in the fight against ISIS.

Turkey says it hit 181 targets on the first day and Kurdish forces say a prison holding ISIS detainees was bombed. Terrified civilians are fleeing by the hundreds, Turkey hopes to clear the way to return the millions of Syrian refugees it has in camps.

Well, CNN has correspondents in place to bring you the latest developments and we begin with Nick Paton Walsh near the border between Turkey and Syria. So, Nick, what happened overnight?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, overnight we heard from the Turkish defense ministry that they have launched a ground operation here. And shortly after that the Syrian Kurds say they were able to repeal ground troops trying to enter into Tal Abyad here behind us. Hard frankly with disinformation and restricted access we have on the

side of the border to know precisely who is where and who succeeded in doing what. But certainly, what Turkey manage to achieved yesterday was twofold. They launched that operation. They launch airstrikes, they launch artillery, they hit 181 targets.

It simply isn't clear where that was. Although it does seem to be a pretty wide sway of the enormous border territory. They're talking about clearing and pushing 18 miles, 30 kilometers into its part of President Erdogan's planned he touted at the United Nations.

But secondly, too, they began a ground invasion as well. Now they said that that ground force would contain what they referred to us to a Syrian national army that they're wherever referring to Syrian rebels that have been fighting the Assad regime but got Turkish backing and now co-opted by Turkey into this operation here.

What happens today though, I think it's possibly key. Because more or less anybody you would normally think would be a Turkish ally has stepped forward to condemn this operation. Be that part of the United States, Donald Trump says it was a bad idea, he said he didn't endorse it but didn't tell them to stop it, although his secretary of state said they had not given them a green light.

We've heard from most European countries there is an issue, we've also heard from many Middle Eastern allies you would normally expect to support Turkey in some way that they are against this too. So, it's not been an easy ride internationally for the Turkish certainly.

And the question today is, do they publicly continue with air strikes, with the scenes that you saw on the Syrian Kurdish side of the border of civilians fleeing and possible civilian loss of life, whether they pause and take a longer game here, possibly now they've essentially laid their markers down that artillery and air strikes could happen in the weeks ahead and the ground troops are already inside Syria.

So, we'll have to see how they play this and also key to that is the scope of the operation they have in mind. Are they going to clear 18 miles in? That could take months. That would involve clearing lost major Syrian Kurdish population centers.

There's a lot of questions I'm sure that Ankara needs to answer here, although one thing you should not be in any doubt of is how this is being played in Turkish state media. There are banks of them already here amassed since when the operation began and cell phone signals went down yesterday.

They were all here quite able to continue their comms that should been broadcasted out. Turkey considers this an operation to vanquish terrorists not hard to reiterate enough though that the people they call terrorists are the ones that were fighting pretty much most time on their own with U.S. air power. The group which most the rest of the world calls the worst terrorist group and that's ISIS.

[03:05:05] Today, there is some deeply concerning suggestions that the detainees, the Syrian Kurds are holding maybe less secure. I'm getting some indications that not so much the case now.

Two of the most high-profile ISIS fighters known as the Beatles, two British citizens Donald Trump said have now been taken into U.S. military custody and possibly on their way to Iraq. Possibly for trial in the United States.

That's an indication of perhaps of how perilous the U.S. consider custody inside Syrian Kurdish areas right now. But as I say, it depends on what we see today from the Turkish military as to how fast and broad this operation will be, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Indeed. And Nick, you refer there to fleeing civilians. What sort of numbers are we talking about, we were seeing some pictures there as well? But overall, what sort of impact is this likely to have on civilians in the region?

WALSH: Well, certainly, obviously, Syrian Kurds used to a fluid existence but Kurds so many of them have been resettled recently because they're in areas that ISIS had once held. So, it's very hard to tell the numbers here.

The Iraqi Kurdish region that borders the Syrian Kurdish region has said they don't have the capacity to accept all the refugees that might flee in their particular way but we don't know how many will be on the move.

If it is the case as we've heard from reports, so we're not been able to confirm that there may be shelling towards a lot of the populated areas or around them on the Syrian Kurdish side of the border. That would put thousands of people potentially on the move, maybe tens of thousands.

That's in scope will be an extraordinary humanitarian catastrophe which many aid agencies have warned is a possibility here.

So, deep concerns about that but let's say we'll have to see today whether what we saw yesterday was the Turkish government military laying down their markers for the fact they intend to do things in the weeks ahead. Whether that suggest the tempo of what every day will bring as we go forward. Rosemary?

CHURCH: Indeed. Our Nick Paton Walsh there at the Syrian Turkish border just after 10 in the morning. Many thanks to you for bringing us that live report.

Well, according to a CNN report, a growing number of Republicans are outraged over what they see as Donald Trump's abandonment of Kurdish allies.

A senior U.S. defense official tell CNN Turkey's mission in Syria, quote, "has already had a detrimental effect on our counter ISIS operations." They have effectively stopped. In fact, that's what some Republicans predicted. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): This is the pre-9/11 mentality that pave the way for 9/11. What's happening in Afghanistan is no concern to us. So, if he follows through with it would be the biggest mistake of his presidency.

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): The thing I believe if you make a commitment and somebody is fighting with you, America should keep their word.


CHURCH: Congresswoman Liz Cheney tweeted this. "News from Syria is sickening. Turkish troops preparing to invade Syria from the north, Russian backed forces from the south, ISIS fighters attacking Raqqa. Impossible to understand why Donald Trump is leaving America's allies to be slaughtered and enabling the return of ISIS."

Well, back in Washington, President Trump is trying to fight off the impeachment probe stonewalling House Democrats and working to ensure Republican lawmakers are unified behind him but he may be quickly losing support even among his base.

A new poll from Fox News finds 51 percent of registered voters want Mr. Trump to be impeached and removed from office. That's up nine point since July. The poll also finds 51 percent feel the Trump administration is more corrupt than previous ones, and that's up five points from last month.

Well, President Trump's main Democratic rival, Joe Biden, the man the president asked Ukraine's leader to investigate, is now saying for the first time that Mr. Trump must be impeached. Take a listen.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: His words and his actions, President Trump has indicted himself by obstructing justice, refusing to comply with the congressional inquiry he's already convicted himself. In full view of the world and the American people, Donald Trump has violated his oath of office, betrayed this nation, and committed impeachable acts.


CHURCH: Joining me now to talk more about this is Larry Sabato, director for the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. Always good to have you with us.


CHURCH: So, President Trump is feeling the heat within his own party right now while most Republicans remain very silent over the Ukraine scandal. Everything changed when he announced the withdrawal of U.S. troops from northern Syria. [03:10:01]

Now the president is dealing with increasing anger within his own ranks as Turkey launches an attack on U.S. allies. Lindsey Graham leading the charge along with Majority Leaders Mitch McConnell. Where could this potentially go, do you think?

SABATO: This is really quite significant. The Republicans over the years have been great advocates for the Kurds ever since the Iraq War, if not before that. And they're very loyal to the Kurds.

It's really quite amazing that this particular issue involving after all only a few dozen U.S. troops has triggered such a strong Republican response. They wouldn't break with Trump about anything until now.

Now will they carry over to other subjects? We'll see. But it is significant that some of the key leaders like Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham have decided that they can finally express opposition to something that President Trump does.

CHURCH: Yes. And of course, President Trump's troubles don't end there with the impeachment inquiry heating up as well. The Democrats considering a wave of subpoenas in response to his refusal to cooperate.

And now for the first time he's rival Joe Biden has joined other presidential hopefuls and call for the impeachment of the president. Could this perhaps force the hand of Nancy Pelosi to move forward with an official vote on the issue do you think? She's resisted so far.

SABATO: Yes. She's resisted. She may have to reconsider because even some of her own troops have been calling for this. It would certainly carry. It's not going to be a close vote. I don't know why it sacrifices anything that Pelosi believes in and it would clear some of the underbrush and also take away a rationale for the Republicans to disagree with the process.

But, you know, having said that, what's really significant again is whether this becomes at all bipartisan. The impeachment effort. In the House it probably won't although I wouldn't be surprised if a handful of Republicans voted to impeach in the end.

In the Senate it's essential because if you don't get at least 20 Republican votes you will never get to 67 votes out of 100 needed to convict.

CHURCH: Right. And in the meantime, a new poll from Fox, from Fox News in fact, finds 51 percent of registered voters want Donald Trump to be impeached and removed from office. Representing a new high in Fox's polling. Up about nine points since July. And those increases come across party lines. What do you think that might signal for the president? We're talking Fox News here. His favorite network.

SABATO: Yes. That catches anybody's eye. Now the truth is I have to say, Fox polling has been fairly accurate and unbiased as opposed to other parts of Fox News. But this is the fifth poll in just three days that has shown real movement among independents and Republicans against the president, and in favor of impeachment and in some cases, conviction.

Now for Republicans it's still maybe a fifth in the best poll for impeachment advocates, it's perhaps a quarter. But a quarter of Republicans is a lot of Republicans added to 80, to 90 percent of Democrats and a majority of independents.

So, I would say things are going terribly well for the president at least in terms of impeachment. Conviction is another matter.

CHURCH: Indeed. And of course, that same Fox News poll finds 51 percent of those surveyed feel the Trump administration is more corrupt than previous ministrations, up six points in the last months.

And as to rate how troubling Mr. Trump's dealing with Ukraine's president are, 51 percent again rate them extremely or very troubling, while just 26 percent say they're not at all troubling. What are those numbers tell you?

SABATO: It tells me that people are actually paying attention and they haven't always been since Donald Trump became president or they would've been a stronger reaction to a lot of other developments. That again is bad news for Donald Trump.

He is convinced himself because there has been so little reaction to many of his moves that he could get away with anything. Well, not necessarily. We'll see whether it plays out this way but these numbers suggest to me that people are responding, average Americans, and that this may be cutting at least somewhat across party lines.

CHURCH: And what's interesting too is that these numbers reflect how people are feeling about the Ukraine call. So, people are starting to digest the details of that. This is before they get an opportunity to understand what is happening in northern Syria, and now of course the operation, the military operation by Turkey is now underway.


So presumably, this is not going to look good for President Trump in the days and weeks ahead?

SABATO: If Donald Trump doesn't have the usual unanimous support or new unanimous support among Republicans in Congress, and for that matter outside of Congress, he's going to discover a new reality which is people won't have his back. He's used to having the chorus of Republicans across the country supporting everything he does. This will be a new experience for him.

CHURCH: Larry Sabato, we always appreciate your analysis and perspective on all things political and beyond. Many thanks.

SABATO: Thank you, Rosie.

CHURCH: Still to come, Jews in Germany targeted on the holiest day of the Jewish calendar and the deadly shooting rampage was streamed live on the internet.


CHURCH: Police in Germany have arrested a 27-year-old man suspected of an anti-Semitic attack on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar. The gunman killed two people near a synagogue and a kebab shop in Halle. He apparently streamed the attack online with a camera mounted on a helmet and was heard using anti-Semitic slurs.

Our Melissa Bell joins us now live from Halle in Germany. So, Melissa, what more are you learning about this deadly shooting?

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, what that livestream video tells us, Rosemary, is how much more deadly this attack could have been last night. Of course, for this few minutes you see him outside the synagogue failing to open the door.

I'm joined this morning, Rosemary, by Max Privorozky who is the head of the Jewish community here in Halle. You were inside the synagogue at the time. Tell us a little bit about what happened what you saw, what the feelings of the people who were gathering inside for Yom Kippur were.

MAX PRIVOROZKY, CHIEF, HALLE JEWISH COMMUNITY: We have read Torah and suddenly we have heard outside, we have heard that somebody -- that somebody shoot his weapons. It was very loud. We have seen that somebody killed a person on the street. And then --


BELL: Because you would see this on the video. This is your security --

PRIVOROZKY: We have seen that somebody was killed, we didn't see who is it. We didn't see -- we didn't see is it a woman or a man, but we saw that somebody was killed and then we have seen that he tried to destroy our door, our another door to the cemetery and he shoot.


Sometimes he had Molotov cocktails. It was very, very, very -- we're very afraid.

BELL: It took 10 minutes, you're saying, Max, for the police to arrive.

PRIVOROZKY: It took about 10 minutes till police come.

BELL: The feelings in there must have been of sheer terror. What saved you, though, was the system that you had on the door. You want more security outside synagogue.

PRIVOROZKY: We have good doors. We know now that there are very good, they are better than weapons from this man, from these men. But I don't know if he destroyed this door, is it possible today that I speak to you. BELL: Max, thank you so much for joining us.

So, more calls there for greater security outside synagogues like this one here in Halle. But clearly, that is what we've seen here, Rosemary, an attack that could have been far worse than it was for the cemetery the people who have gathered inside.

Later in the video you see the man head to the kebab shop where that second person was killed. We are expecting far more details later today on exactly what went on and what was known about the suspect before he went on his rampage, Rosemary. Since we'll be hearing later on here at the synagogue in Halle from both the interior minister and the German president.

CHURCH: Yes. And we will bring those details to all our viewers. Melissa Bell bringing us the very latest there from Halle in Germany. Many thanks to you.

Well, protesters in Ecuador promise to stay on the streets until austerity measures are appealed. President Lenin Moreno cut a fuel subsidy that had been on the books for 40 years. That triggered the protests. Workers unions joined thousands of indigenous people marching in the capital during a nationwide strike.

The unrest in Quito forced President Moreno to move the government to a coastal city.

Well, trade talks between the U.S. and China are set to resume Thursday. Sources say U.S. negotiators have low expectations for this 13th round of talks. It's the first meeting at the ministerial level in months, but it comes after the Trump administration blacklisted more than two dozen Chinese businesses and put visa restrictions on Chinese officials for human rights abusers.

Tariffs on $25 billion of Chinese goods, are set to go up to 30 percent on Tuesday.

Well, for the first time in the 32-year history of the Rugby World Cup, organizers are canceling two big matches because of expected bad weather. A powerful super typhoon is approaching Japan and organizers say they are concerned about public safety.

So, they have scrapped the matches on Saturday between England and France and New Zealand and Italy. Two points will be awarded to each team in line with tournament rules. Officials say they will decide about Sunday's matches once the storm passes through.

From electric cars to cell phones, lithium ion batteries are powering the future. Now the developers are being recognized with the ultimate prize in science. We're back with that in just a moment.



CHURCH: The lithium ion battery revolutionized their lives helping us move from fossil fuels and toward renewable sources. Well, more than 30 years later the three scientists who invented it are being honored with one of the top awards in science. The Nobel Prize for chemistry.

Simon Cullen has our report.

SIMON CULLEN, JOURNALIST: It's an invention that's powering the future. Everything from electric cars and consumer electronics to enabling large-scale renewable energy plants to store r electricity. Now the transformative power of the lithium ion battery is being recognized with the ultimate prize for its three developers.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The 2019's Nobel Prize in chemistry.


CULLEN: John Goodenough, Stanley Whittingham, and Akira Yoshino, each from different countries, each building on the others research. Professor John Goodenough who's now 97, the oldest Nobel Laureate ever, didn't travel to Stockholm, instead celebrating in London.


JOHN GOODENOUGH, NOBEL LAUREATE: How do I feel? I'm the same as I was before.



CULLEN: In Tokyo his fair fellow Nobel Laureate was given a standing ovation. Along with Stanley Whittingham, the trio help create a rechargeable world.


GOODENOUGH: Climate change is coming. From the burning of fossil fuels of course. We also know that that's not a sustainable option.

STANLEY WHITTINGHAM, NOBEL LAUREATE: By using batteries to store and shift on the sun and wind power we can eliminate coal power plants.


CULLEN: Making the development of lithium ion technology an essential plan in cutting carbon emissions.


PETER BRUCE, CHEMIST AND PROFESSOR OF MATERIALS, OXFORD UNIVERSITY: You know, we're actually only starting to see the real impact of what he's done in the area of climate change. I think it'll be very hard to decarbonize transport vehicles, passenger vehicles without the lithium ion battery.


CULLEN: For John Goodenough his work is not yet done. He still turns out to the lab every day hopeful of inspiring the next generation of scientists.


GOODENOUGH: I'm still working every day.


CULLEN: Simon Cullen, CNN, London.

CHURCH: Well done to all three of them. And thank you so much for joining us. I'm Rosemary Church. CNN Equestrian is next. But first, I'll be back with the check of the headlines. You're watching CNN.



CHURCH: Hello again. I'm Rosemary Church. And this is CNN news now.

Turkey's defense ministry says it has hit 181 terrorist targets in northern Syria with air strikes and artillery fire.