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Turkish Operation in Syria Threatens Civilians; Giuliani Associates Who Sought Dirt on Biden Arrested; Typhoon Hagibis Heads for Japan; U.K. and Irish Leaders See Pathway to Possible Deal; Germany Increases Security in Jewish Communities after Halle Shooting; Birds Under Threat from Global Warming; Protestor Climbs Atop Passenger Plane. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired October 11, 2019 - 00:00   ET


JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: -- hesitation the Turkish military crosses them all (ph) on day two of its operation against Syrian Kurds.


How low can he go? Donald Trump hits the gutter, more than a year out from the presidential election.

And the canary in the coal mine could be two-thirds of the bird population of North America, a stark warning about climate change, later this hour.

Just two days into Turkey's two days into Turkey's military operation in Syria, and there seems little doubt that a humanitarian crisis is in the making.

The International Rescue Committee says in the past 24 hours alone, more than 60,000 people have been forced to flee their homes, adding that number could ultimately rise to 300,000.

Turkey claims it's killed more than 200 terrorists, but they're mostly Syrian Kurds, who were America's once-loyal allies in the fight against ISIS.

After giving Turkey the green light for this military campaign, Donald Trump is now suggesting he wants to broker a ceasefire. But what appears to be the ultimate bait and switch, the U.S. tried to broker a ceasefire. The Kurds agreed to move their forces away from the border, and Turkey received access to crucial intelligence, intelligence which could have been used by Turkey in preparations of a target list ahead of this offensive.

Our coverage begins with chief international correspondent Clarissa Ward in northern Syria.


CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We spent the day in the northern city of Tell Abyad, right on the border with Turkey. When we arrived, there had been shelling earlier that day.

The town was more or less deserted. Shops were shuttered. The streets were empty. As we got closer to the border, we came across these small protests, less than 100 people who were gathering, insisting that they were going to walk right up to that border to show that they would not be cowed by this Turkish military operation.

However, Kurdish fighting forces on the ground quickly told those people to dissipate, saying that it was not safe.

There was a steady stream of artillery coming in, again, to various targets around the town. And then we also heard some outgoing rounds, with Kurdish forces firing back at the Turkish military. They were also setting fire to big piles of tires to try to create some kind of a coordinated smokescreen across the town.

The people who we saw who were fleeing that town, much like people who we saw yesterday fleeing the town of Ras El-Ayn, saying essentially, they don't know where they are going. They don't know where is safe anymore in northern Syria.

They don't know how big this operation is going to get, who, if anyone, will do anything to stop Turkey from further expanding, further pushing in.

And the real fear is that, if this does turn into some kind of a ground incursion, things will only get bloodier, raising the risk of civilian casualties. Already, some 60,000 people displaced from their homes, and that number could easily climb to hundreds of thousands in the coming days.

Clarissa Ward, CNN, northern Syria.


VAUSE: Joining us now from Washington is Soner Cagaptay. He is with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and author of "Erdogan's Empire."

Soner, thanks for coming in. It's been a while.


VAUSE: It's great to speak with you.

OK. At the U.N. on Thursday, the U.S. ambassador had a warning to Turkey, maybe some red lights, you could call it. The warning, though, was similar to the official White House statement a day earlier from Donald Trump. Here it is.


KELLY CRAFT, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: Failure to play by the rules, to protect vulnerable populations; failure to guarantee that ISIS cannot exploit these actions to reconstitute, will have consequences. (END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: So two similar warnings in two days for Turkey from the Trump administration and, so far, on the ground in Syria, it seems the Turkish military is taking absolutely zero notice of what's coming from the White House. Is that a reflection of sort of just how impotent this president is when it comes to foreign policy?

CAGAPTAY: I think what we're seeing is the United States is actually throwing some support behind Turkey. There was a resolution today at the U.N. Security Council which not only Russia, but the U.S. vetoed. This is quite rare that both America and Russia will veto a resolution.

So it shows maybe Turkish President Erdogan is leveraging both sides quite well. But it also shows that, in my view, that the relationship between Erdogan and Trump is working to Turkey's advantage. Although many other power centers in Washington do not necessarily favor Turkey at the moment, that Ankara can rely on the relationship, the personal rapport that Erdogan has built with Trump.

VAUSE: It's a relationship over a long period of time when Trump was a businessman and building Trump Towers in Istanbul. So yes, there is definitely a relationship there.

What we've also seen is that, you know, all day long and into Thursday night, the U.S. president seemed to be tweeting out a stream of consciousness of, you know, options and what was happening with defeated ISIS caliphate, no U.S. troops, send troops back, financial sanctions on Turkey, maybe mediate between Turks and Kurds, long- defeated, 100 years of fighting. Just on and on and on.


And the tweets seem to be sort of a genuine reflection of the president's thoughts, you know, veering from one extreme to the other with sort of some Trump delusion thrown in for good measure.

But at the end of all the tweets, there was no determination of the best course of action. And here -- this is what that all sounds like from the president. Here he is.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We had a big victory. We left the area. I don't think the American people want to see us go back in with our military, go back into that area again. We won. We left the area. I don't think we want to go back in. Let's see what happens. We are going to possibly do something very, very tough with respect to sanctions and other financial things.


VAUSE: Possibly do something very, very tough to sanctions and financial things. It's not exactly the most detailed strategy of how to hold Ankara accountable. Is it? CAGAPTAY: So it seems to me that there's already legislation on the

Hill in the U.S. Congress to sanction Turkey for the incursion into Syria, and I think this is Trump trying to hold off the Hill. In other -- in other words, trying to prevent the worst of the sanctions.

I think what the U.S. is trying to do is maybe trying to tell Turkey to wrap this up as soon as possible. I think America is respecting Turkey's right to react to what Ankara considers to be an existential threat by a sworn enemy, the Kurdish group over there.

And at the same time, maybe Trump is trying to temper down some of the reactions from the Hill, because we saw today that there was legislation that's being prepared.

VAUSE: Yes. We also heard from the Turkish president, Erdogan. He is in no mood, it seems, for ultimatums. In fact, it seems he's in the business these days of issuing threats. Here he is.


RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, TURKISH PRESIDENT (through translator): Hey, European Union, pull yourself together. I say it again. If you try to label this operation as an invasion, it's very simple. We will open the gates and send 3.6 million refugees your way.


VAUSE: The European Union, like the U.S. Congress, has been very critical of this military operation by Turkey into Syria. But why the hysteria coming from Erdogan over calling this is invasion? Technically, it is.

CAGAPTAY: I have been oftentimes quite critical of Turkish President Erdogan. After all, I wrote a book about him titled "The New Sultan." But in this case, I think Mr. Erdogan is right. This is quite a serious threat to Turkey coming from the Kurdish group in north of Syria. And this time Erdogan has quite broad support, not just from the half of the country that loves them and adores him but also from the other half of the country, including many citizens that disagree with him on other issues that are aligned behind him.

And I think Erdogan is trying to temper down European criticism, because he knows that, ultimately, he holds the lever in terms of his bargaining power with the Europeans. Nearly 4 million refugees in Turkey. If he allowed the refugees to flow into Europe, creating a flow similar to what we saw in 2015, that would definitely fuel the rise of far-right parties on the continent. European governments know this.

And I think, regardless of how much they want to criticize Erdogan, therefore, Ankara is telling them be careful in your criticism, because if you go too harsh, if you go sanctions, of course, Turkey has cards to play.

VAUSE: So with that in mind, not only did the military offensive essentially get a green light from the U.S. when they withdrew forces from the region. "The New York Times" adds this piece of reporting, as well.

"The United States withdrew 50 to 100 troops from the border area in advance of the operation, and American military officials said that the United States was not providing assistance to either side. However" -- this is the point -- "the U.S. was providing intelligence to Turkey until Monday that may have helped it target Kurdish forces."

That was part of an intelligence-sharing arrangement, I think. But not only is the U.S. leaving their allies on the field, on the battlefield, in the lead up to this operation, the U.S. could very well have been helping Turkey plan the attack on the Kurds. And yet, these are U.S. allies at the end of the day. So with friends like these --

CAGAPTAY: It's true, and as I said, I think Turkey is the ally in the relationship and YPG is the partner. And it seems to me that the green light that President Trump gave to Erdogan, or at least as Turkey sees it, was not necessarily embraced by parts of U.S. government bureaucracy, including the military, which has developed a relationship with YPG by having fought side by side with the YPG military against ISIS.

So I wouldn't say this was Trump's most popular decision. And I don't think -- I think this all explains the pushback against Turkey that you're seeing in Washington. But I think in this regard, Turkey has a quite legitimate and serious security threat. I think the Turks never tolerated but understood that America had to work with YPG to defeat ISIS.


But now that ISIS is defeated, they want that relationship over, and they want the United States to pick its ally over its partner in Syria.

VAUSE: Yes. It's a lesson in outsourcing your wars to someone else at the end of the day, I think.

Soner, good to see you. Thank you.

CAGAPTAY: It's always a pleasure. Thank you.

VAUSE: Surprising new developments related to the Trump impeachment inquiry, with the arrests of two associates of Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump's personal attorney. These men are accused of funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars into U.S. politics, a violation of campaign finance laws.

Video posted on social media shows the two suspects with Giuliani, but it's not clear when or where this meeting happened. Prosecutors allege they played a key role in helping Giuliani push Ukraine to try and find dirt on Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden.


GEOFFREY BERMAN, U.S. ATTORNEY FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK: They sought political influence, not only to advance their own financial interests, but to advance the political interests of at least one foreign official, a Ukrainian government official who sought the dismissal of the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.


VAUSE: The men were arrested Wednesday at Dulles Airport outside Washington with one-way tickets to Frankfurt in Germany.

"The Wall Street Journal" reports they had lunch with Giuliani just hours earlier.

Donald Trump, who's facing an impeachment probe from House Democrats, tried to distance himself from the men as he left the White House on Thursday.


TRUMP: I don't know them. I don't know about them. I don't know what they do. But I don't know. Maybe they were clients of Rudy. You'd have to ask Rudy. I just don't know.


VAUSE: Jessica Levinson is a professor of law at Loyola Law School. She is with us from Los Angeles this hour.

Jessica, so Donald Trump, who by his own admission, pushed the Ukrainian president to get dirt on his political rival, Joe Biden, has no idea who these two guys are, the ones helping his personal lawyer gather dirt on Joe Biden in Ukraine. "You've got to ask Rudy."

You know, somehow this seems familiar. Remember that moment, back on Air Force One when reporters asked the president what he knew about the hush-money payments to the adult film star Stormy Daniels? In case you don't, here it is.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you know about the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels?

TRUMP: No. No. What else?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Then why did Michael Cohen make this if there was no truth to her allegations?

TRUMP: Well, you'll have to ask Michael Cohen. Michael is my -- an attorney. And you'll have to ask Michael.


VAUSE: You've got to ask Rudy. You've got to ask Michael. Come on, what's the difference? I mean, let's -- let's take a great leap of faith here and assume the president is not being entirely truthful. What are the implications, if in fact, he does know who these two guys are?

JESSICA LEVINSON, PROFESSOR OF LAW, LOYOLA UNIVERSITY: Well, the implication, it's fascinating. I actually -- this morning in class, I actually just taught -- I said let's talk about campaign finance through three different events.

The first is payments to Karen McDougal and Stormy Daniels. Second is this issue of Russian interference with the 2016 election, what Mueller said about a thing of value. Third is the Ukraine.

And now here we are, kind of already expanding on what I taught my students just a few hours ago.

And so what are the implications if President Trump knew about activities that were violating campaign finance laws, which are federal election laws? If he facilitated or directed those payments to be made, which is again, a big if, then we're in the same situation that we were in when Michael Cohen said, in open court, you know Individual No. One, who we know is President Trump, directed me to make these payments.

So again we're in a situation where the president of the United States would be facing significant legal exposure if his name was Mr. Trump, as opposed to President Trump.

VAUSE: So the unindicted coconspirator title would come back into life.

LEVINSON: Would rise yet again. Yes, exactly.

VAUSE: Yes. Or Individual One to his friends.

You know, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, he seemed to have a message on Thursday for someone. Here he is.


BERMAN: We will not hesitate to investigate and prosecute those who engage in criminal conduct that draws into question the integrity of our political process, and I want to add that this investigation is continuing.


VAUSE: Why add that last part about the investigation continuing? Who's he trying to rattle?

LEVINSON: So, I think that he is trying to rattle either President Trump or, frankly, probably more likely, any members of the administration who would try to say to these individuals don't cooperate, don't provide any information, there may be a pardon at the end of the day for you.

Again, we're speculating. We don't know. But we know that President Trump has certainly pardoned people who have engaged in very questionable behavior. So I think what he's trying to telegraph is don't tamper with the

people who were just indicted. Don't tamper with any evidence. We're not done here. This continues.

And it's unfortunate that we have to say that, but if you look as, you know, matter of analogy to what's happening for the impeachment inquiry, we have the president and the administration telling people, don't show up, don't comply.


And what the U.S. attorney here is saying is, we're going to come after you. This is not over.

VAUSE: Yes, there but for a legal guidance with the Office of Legal Counsel.

OK. The Ukraine president, he held a marathon 14-hour-long news conference on Thursday in front of more than 300 reporters, telling them he'd not been blackmailed by Donald. He didn't even know that military aid was on hold when he was having that phone conversation with Donald Trump. Here's a little more from Zelensky.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY, PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE: They say, gave me nothing, gave nothing, any details of Burisma, and any details. I didn't get any details about involved to your elections, previous elections. So I didn't get.


VAUSE: Which Donald Trump tweeted was the ultimate proof of his innocence.

Just in terms of the law, though, if someone is the victim of extortion and the person responsible for the extortion is still in a position to threaten the victim, how reliable is their testimony?

LEVINSON: Yes, well, I think you know the answer to that. So, I mean, to the extent that he is still subject to extortion in the sense that there's still, of course, aid on the line, you know, he doesn't sound particularly credible.

I would also say, look, with respect to the idea that he's now saying, look, I would never be held hostage, he's trying to convey that he's a strong president, that we aren't at the mercy of the United States. He's trying not to look like somebody who was, frankly, you know, potentially duped by the president.

But what we know from the text messages, what we know from the parts of the whistleblower complaint that have already come out, is that everybody was aware that there was military aid for the Ukraine on the table. People were aware that the Ukraine -- that members of the Ukrainian government wanted a meeting in the White House. And that it looked like those were -- and again, looked like not proven -- that those were contingent upon President Trump getting what the text messages said was a deliverable, meaning opposition research, a thing of value that was helpful for him in his reelection.

So look, when President Zelensky says, no, there was nothing wrong, I mean, that in no way exonerates President Trump. This is not somebody who we can look to for credible exoneration when it comes to, again, what are we talking about? Bribery, extortion, campaign finance corrupt practices.

VAUSE: That was kind of my hunch.

Seventeen Watergate special prosecutors have signed an op-ed in "The Washington Post." The headline reads, "We Investigated the Watergate Scandal. We Believe Trump Should be Impeached." They lay out their case with the evidence and why.

But at a campaign rally in Minnesota, the president kept hammering the same blatant lie, that it's all about the Democrats trying to overturn the 2016 election.

This is when Trump lashed out at the whistleblower for the Ukraine call. He went after the son of Joe Biden, Hunter. And then came a very low personal attack on the former vice president. Here it is.


TRUMP: And your father was never considered smart. He was never considered a good senator. He was only a good vice president, because he understood how to kiss Barack Obama's (EXPLETIVE DELETED).


VAUSE: The president of the United States, ladies and gentlemen. Donald Trump can go this low this quickly, where will he be, what, 389 days away when we come to election day?

LEVINSON: Well, I mean, I think that we see that there's this kind of exponential ramp up in the tweeting, in the rhetoric in the campaign rallies, which frankly, not many of us thought the rhetoric could be ramped up or turned up that much, even from this president of the United States.

I think it's really interesting what he said in that. I mean, he referenced that letter a little bit. I read the letter. I read the footnotes to the letter. I read the cases citing in the footnote. and I will say, again, and what letter are we are talking about. It's President Trump's lawyer, the White House counsel, sending a letter to Congress saying, we're not going to comply with your impeachment investigation.

And what we have is, apparently, the president of the United States thinking an impeachment inquiry is like a dinner invitation, where you can just take it or leave it. And what we have is a letter that is filled, frankly, with legal nonsense and the kind of nonsense that you heard from the rally, where he's saying, you're just trying to overturn the election; where there's a fundamental misunderstanding with why impeachment is part of the Constitution, and why the Constitution specifically says Congress, this is incumbent upon you.

This is the way that we punish a duly-elected president who's behaving badly. It's not trying to overturn the election. It's trying to hold our government together.

VAUSE: Yes. And also, you know, the whole concept of co-equal branches of government seems to be something which the president does not quite grasp in its fullest.


Jessica, it's great to see you. Thank you.

LEVINSON: Thank you.

VAUSE: We'll take a short break. When we come back, time is running out for the E.U. and the U.K. to agree on Brexit, but now maybe a glimmer of hope, just the slightest tinge. Details on a crucial meeting between the Irish and British prime ministers.

Also, Japan scrambling to be ready as a powerful storm approaches. Ahead, the impact it's already having on daily life, and also, at major sporting events across the country.


VAUSE: Well, first the NBA caved to China, apologizing for a manager's tweet supporting democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong. Then it stood up for free speech, and now we're back to caving. This is what happened when CNN anchor Christina MacFarlane asked a question about the controversy.


CHRISTINA MACFARLANE, CNN ANCHOR: The NBA has always been a league that prides itself on its players and its coaches being able to speak out openly about political and societal affairs. I just wonder, after the events of this week and the fall-out we've seen, whether you would both feel differently about speaking out in that way in the future.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Excuse me. We're taking basketball questions only.

MACFARLANE: It is a legitimate question. This is an event that's happened this week during the NBA.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's already been answered. We're taking basketball questions only.

MACFARLANE: This particular question has not been answered. James?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Any other questions?

(END VIDEO CLIP) VAUSE: Now, we're back to apology. Here's a statement: "A team

representative inappropriately interjected" -- excuse me -- "to prevent CNN's Christina MacFarlane from receiving an answer to her question. We've apologized to Ms. MacFarlane, as this was inconsistent with how the NBA conducts media events."

It comes as the NBA is trying to save the relationship with China, trying to keep access to billions of dollars of potential revenue. Despite the controversy, the L.A. Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets played their first preseason games in Shanghai on Thursday to cheering crowds. They do love their basketball, but maybe they won't get to see it.

OK, in Japan there's a looming threat of a powerful typhoon. It's called Hagibis. It's causing more and more disruptions. The qualifying session of the Japanese Grand Prix has been postponed. The storm has also forced the cancellation of two Rugby World Cup matches, two big ones, in fact.

A typhoon unexpected to hit near Tokyo on Saturday with winds equivalent to a Category 2 hurricane.

Dozens of homes in the region are now being shielded with blue tarp in anticipation of torrential downpours.


Derek Van Dam, meteorologist extraordinaire, is with us right now. OK. You've got those strong winds. You've got those blue tarps. I mean, does it --

DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: You've got to remember, those blue tarps could have been from the last typhoon that impacted the region not only a month ago. So they're really still from Faxai, which was --

VAUSE: We're saying, but how are they going to stand up to this thing?

VAN DAM: Not great when you have a blue tarp on top of your head. That's not as sturdy as a roof.

VAUSE: Not a good sign, yes.

VAN DAM: These are the four problems that we have with the storm. This is why I believe it's going to be so, so dangerous, and it's because of the size. It is because of the strength. It is because of the timing, and it is because of the location.

Now, in terms of the size, we're talking about a wind field of 54 kilometers per hour sustained winds stretching over 1,400 kilometers. This storm is huge.

The strength, this is one of the strongest typhoons across the world this year so far. Now into the timing, you heard John talk about the cancellation of

Rugby World Cup matches. We have the Grand Prix taking place in Tokyo this weekend. I mean, so much is at stake here.

Now, in terms of location, we're still reeling from the previous typhoon that impacted Tokyo that caused over -- get this -- seven billion U.S. dollars' worth of damage not a month ago.

So two cancellations of Rugby World Cup matches. You can see that Ireland versus Samoa, which is in the western portions of Japan on Saturday, that will stay clear from the worst weather.

But let me show you why they are going to cancel these matches, because when you have the center of a powerful typhoon tracking right over Tokyo, right near the location of two very important Rugby World Cup matches, they have to put the spectator over the weather. Regardless, everyone knows that. It is the safety of the spectator and everyone who is attending these games, including the players, as well as the officials.

And just think about how the travel will be impacted, too. We've already have reports of over 900 cancellations at the Hong Kong, or excuse me, Tokyo airport and the surrounding airports.

So this storm, there is a little bit of positive news to this, and that is the fact that it is slowly weakening as it continues to traverse to the north and east.

But when we talk about how quickly this storm intensified, just in a 24 hour period, this is not a typo, folks. It increased 160 kilometers per hour in one day alone. That's called rapid intensification.

This storm will also bring the potential of flash flooding, because rainfall totals will be intense in a very short period of time. Really, we've got a whole slew of concerns here in Japan. But the fact that it times with so much sports this weekend, that's terrible for everyone.

VAUSE: Bad timing. Never good. Never good to have a typhoon.


VAUSE: Or super typhoon, this one especially so. Worst of the year so far. OK, Derek. Thank you.

OK. After weeks of deadlocked Brexit negotiations, talks between the Irish and the British prime ministers have raised some hopes of a breakthrough, perhaps. The two leaders are sounding optimistic that a deal could be made before October 31.

CNN's Nic Robertson has all the gruesome details.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, both the prime ministers agree that they could see a pathway to a possible deal. This, of course, seems to break a sort of a logjam at the moment.

And the Irish prime minister, Leo Varadkar, the Taoiseach, actually came out, speaking to journalists a little after he got away from the meeting, which lasted about three hours or so. Speaking to the journalists, he actually sounded quite positive about how it had all gone.

LEO VARADKAR, IRISH PRIME MINISTER: I think it is possible for us to come to an agreement, to have a treaty agreed to allow the U.K. to leave the E.U. in an orderly fashion and to have that done by the end of October. But there's many steps and lots of things that are not in my control.

ROBERTSON: That positivity does seem quite a distance away from where we were earlier in the week, where there seemed to be a blame game, though the talks seem to be sort of on the verge of breaking down.

The thorny issues that were said in the joint statement after the meeting were the issue of customs and the issue of consent.

Now customs, whether or not Northern Ireland stays in the European Union union, customs union. That's an issue.

Consent, the people of Northern Ireland, can they, will they be in a position to give their consent for whatever Brexit deal comes about?

So, those are the thorny issues, those bridges not crossed. But optimism breathed into the fact that progress can be made.

Progress, where does it go from here? Well, the British minister for Brexit, Stephen Barclay, will meet with E.U. chief negotiator on Friday, Michel Barnier. So that sort of gets the idea that the talks can continue.

The optimism now that the talks can be concluded, an agreement can be made by the end of October. It still sounds very positive, but it is a lot different from where we were just a few days ago. So some optimism at the moment. Haven't heard yet from Boris Johnson at No. 10.

Nic Robertson, CNN, Merseyside, England.


VAUSE: When NEWSROOM returns, the threat climate change is posing to the entire bird population of North America. It's a stark warning, but is it too late to save them and to save us?



VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause with the headlines this hour. The International Rescue Committee says more than 60,000 civilians in

northern Syria have fled their homes in the past 24 hours, as Turkey continues its military offensive against Kurdish-led forces.

Turkey says its aim is to end the presence of terrorists, and, so far, more than 200 have been killed.

Syrian Kurds were a strong American ally in the fight against ISIS and are the targets of this military operation.

U.S. prosecutors have charged two associates of Rudy Giuliani with allegedly funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars of foreign money into U.S. elections. Authorities say the men played a key role in Giuliani's efforts to try and force Ukraine to dig up dirt on Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden.

With anti-Semitism on the rise in Europe, Germany is struggling to figure out how to keep synagogues safe. Wednesday's attack in the eastern city of Halle shows how big those gaps in security actually are. Even though police have arrested the 27-year-old gunman, there are fears that his motives may have spread.

CNN's Melissa Bell has the latest.


MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Flowers and candles left in tribute just outside of the door that saved so many lives on Wednesday. It was just beyond it, inside the synagogue that more than 50 people had gathered to mark Yom Kippur. It was a security system installed here on that door several years ago that prevented Stephan B. from carrying out his plan and getting inside the synagogue.

The security system, however, could not save the woman he shot just outside.

(voice-over): These pictures, caught by eyewitnesses, show the attack as it unfolded on the streets of Halle on Wednesday. CNN is not showing the video captures by the assailant himself and livestreamed on the video streaming site Twitch. It clearly shows the gunman's frustration with his malfunctioning weapons.

The condemnation of German leaders was swift. The German president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, visiting the synagogue on Thursday.

FRANK-WALTER STEINMEIER, GERMAN PRESIDENT (through translator): It is not enough to just condemn such a cowardly attack. It is clear that the state is responsible for its Jewish communities in Germany, and it is equally clear that the entire society must take a stand, show solidarity with the Jewish citizens in our country, as the citizens of Halle did last night and will continue to be doing. And we must show our solidarity not only on days and events like this.

BELL: A vigil was also held outside the synagogue with some of those who'd been inside, returning to the scene. They described ten terrifying minutes before the police arrived. [00:35:05]

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The truth is, in the moment, you don't really have time to feel. You just react. And I think that's what we did. We reacted. And it's only today that I think we're really able to really start feeling.

BELL (on camera): This is the kabab shop just a few hundred yards from the synagogue where Stephan B.'s rampage ended and where he killed his second victim.

What the livestreaming of his attack shows is at once his clear anti- Semitic motivation and his frustration at his inability to do as much harm as he'd hoped.

Melissa Bell, CNN, Halle.


VAUSE: Just a few weeks ago came the stark news that North America's bird population was in rapid decline. Now the sequel. If nothing is done to slow global warming, two thirds of what's left of the bird population could be facing extinction.

CNN's chief climate correspondent, Bill Weir, has the latest.


BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From the Baltimore Oriole to the Golden Eagle; from the song birds in your backyard to America's rarest heron, fishing in Tampa Bay, our fine feathered friends are in deep trouble.

MARK RACHAL, AUDUBON, FLORIDA: At this site, there used to be 50 to 60 nesting pairs. This was only about 15 years ago. And now, we're down to about five to eight pairs.

WEIR: After a recent study found that the U.S. and Canada lost nearly three billion birds just since the Seventies, Audubon scientists took the largest climate models and looked into the future, of over 600 species.

(on camera): So this is not a development comes into a grassland and ruins the nesting grounds. This is that places on earth get too warm for these species, so they have to either move or go extinct.

BROOKE BATEMAN, NATIONAL AUDUBON SOCIETY: Exactly. So it's a combination of changes in temperature, precipitation and vegetation.

WEIR (voice-over): Brooke Bateman was the lead scientist and found that if humanity keeps warning the planet at the current rate, almost two-thirds of the North American birds they study could be driven to extinction. And as they try to survive, many species like the Common Loon will fly north and never come back.

BATEMAN: This is the bird that I just went home in my second grade, I wrote a report about it. And to this day, it's been a special bird for me.

Last year, I brought my five-year-old daughter, and we went, and we sat on the lake, and she got to hear the loon for the first time.

And it's like magic. You see it on their face. And its range is going to completely shift out of the U.S. in the future with climate change. So you'll no longer be able to go to that same place and hear that bird call anymore.

WEIR: But more alarming than the loss of pretty songs and colors is what birds like the common robin are telling us about the speed of climate change.

BATEMAN: People usually think of robin as the sign of spring; the robins are back. But robins are actually over-wintering in a lot of places more frequently than they used to and not leaving at all.

WEIR (on camera): So it's a different kind of harbinger now.


WEIR: If the robin is hanging out in December --


WEIR: -- something is wrong.

BATEMAN: Something's wrong. And that's the thing. Birds are indicators. Birds tell us. They're the ones that are telling us what's going on in the environment. And so we say at Audubon that birds tell us it's time to act.

WEIR (voice-over): And if humanity can act fast enough and somehow hit the carbon-cutting targets of the Paris Accord, she says 75 percent of the most vulnerable species could survive.

(on camera): Do you have kids? Do you?

RACHAL: I do. I have three young girls.

WEIR: Do you think those species will still be around when they're your age?

RACHAL: I do, I do. I think -- I think the habitat may be a little bit different, but I'm hopeful.

WEIR (voice-over): Mark has been working to protect Tampa Bay for over a dozen years and has seen firsthand how even casual love of birds can inspire positive action.

Even the managers of that coal-fired power plant are Audubon supporters, he tells me.

But while it was the canary that warned coal miners of invisible doom back in the day, these days it seems that birds of all shapes and sizes are being forced to do the same. Bill Weir, CNN, Tampa Bay.


VAUSE: Next up on CNN NEWSROOM, it's plain to see this environmental protestor is no Tom Cruise, a.k.a. Ethan Hunt. We'll explain why this mission impossible was cut short.



VAUSE: In a few hours we'll find in a few hours we'll find out who the latest Nobel Peace Prize winner will be. According to bookmakers, 16-year-old actress Greta Thunberg is the clear favorite. Her passion and apparent fearlessness in speaking out about the dangers of climate change has put her in the top spot.

Some others in the running: Abiy Ahmed, the Ethiopian prime minister who brought an end to the country's decades-long conflict with Eritrea; Chief Raoni, the indigenous Brazilian leader who led a campaign to protect the Amazon from deforestation; as well as Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand's prime minister and her response notable after the double mosque shooting which left 50 people dead.

Well, it was all pretty cool when Tom Cruise did it in "Mission: Impossible" but not so much when a lone environmental protester managed to climb on top of a commercial passenger jet in London. Jeanne Moos has more on why and how it all played out.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The view was better than a window seat, but don't expect meal service atop this British Airways flight at London city airport.

JAMES BROWN, PROTESTOR: I'm on top of a plane. There it is.

MOOS: James Brown was protesting the lack of action on climate change. A fellow protester was shooting the stunt.


MOOS: Brown wasn't acting so brave.

BROWN: I hate heights. I'm (EXPLETIVE DELETED) myself. I can't believe I managed to get on the roof and it's windy.

MOOS: He managed to board when the plane was still empty because he has a disability.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: James, being partially sighted ,was the first one to be taken on board.

MOOS: He climbed up, sat for a while, live streamed his motivation.

BROWN: This is for my kids. This is for everybody's kids. Oh, God, this is too scary.

MOOS: He ended up lying face down.

Not surprisingly, there were Tom Cruise comparisons.

TOM CRUISE, ACTOR: Open the door! Oh, my God!

MOOS: Unlike Tom, James Brown never made it to cruising altitude.

BROWN: Oh, good. The security is coming. I hope they don't take too long, cause this is (EXPLETIVE DELETED) scary.

MOOS: Some passengers were angry about the delays caused by protests all over the airport.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you proud about this?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, yes. We are very proud of what he's doing.

MOOS (on camera): You know, in some ways, it was almost an upgrade to be on top of the airplane rather than in it.

(on camera) "Plenty of legroom, though."

"No need to fly business to be able to lie flat."

"The Daily Show" tweeted, "This economy plus on Spirit Airlines."

After 20 minutes or so, the woman shooting the video was arrested on suspicion of aiding and abetting endangering an aircraft.

BROWN: I don't know how the hell I got up here. I don't know how the hell I'm going to get down again.

MOOS: Firemen got him down, sort of sliding him off into their arms. Instead of "Mission: Impossible," this was mission can't wait until it's over.

BROWN: Really shaky. Hate heights.

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


VAUSE: Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause. Stay with us. WORLD SPORT starts after the break.