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Ex-National Security Adviser Among 11 Asked To Testify; Four Injured, Two Critically, In Knife Attack; Indigenous Leader Who Protected Brazil's Rainforest Killed; Indigenous Leader Who Protected Brazil's Rainforest Killed; Flights Diverted as New Delhi Chokes on Heavy Pollution. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired November 4, 2019 - 00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


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MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN NEWSROOM: Hello, everyone, and welcome to our viewers joining us from all the around. I'm Michael Holmes.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN NEWSROOM: And I'm Natalie Allen.

Coming up next, here on CNN Newsroom, this is the start of a key week in the impeachment inquiry into the U.S. president, among the big developments, Donald Trump's former national security adviser could testify.

HOLMES: A brutal attack during a protest in Hong Kong had sent a pro- democracy politician and several others to the hospital.

ALLEN: And murder in the rain forest, we examine why someone targeted a man protecting one of the world's most important natural resources.

HOLMES: We are entering a crucial week into the U.S. impeachment inquiry, one that could bring testimony from a bit of a wildcard.

ALLEN: Former National Security Adviser John Bolton is set to appear before a House investigators Thursday. He butted heads with U.S. President Donald Trump on foreign policy before being ousted in September.

On Sunday President Trump had this to say about whether Bolton would testify.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: It's to him and it's up to the lawyers. It's truly up to the lawyers. I like John Bolton, I always got along with him, but that's going to be

up to the lawyers.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: So this is one of nearly a dozen current or former officials who have been asked to appear this week, but we're learning several of them, including these four men who were set to testify on Monday do not plan on showing up.

HOLMES: Yes, there they are right there. And administration official telling CNN John Eisenberg is claiming executive privilege, Michael Ellis, Robert Blair and Brian McCormack won't appear because they don't have an administration lawyer.

Now, Democrats who have long complained the White House is stonewalling the inquiry say they are moving forward regardless, even if their subpoenas are ignored and officials won't testify.

ALLEN: House Republicans also want to hear from the whistleblower who raised the alarm about President Trump's dealings with Ukraine, remember that person has been a while. A lawyer for the whistleblower says his plan is willing to answer written questions.

HOLMES: But then you've got Jim Jordan, a top Republican on the House Oversight Committee. He says that's not enough in a statement he said, quote, written answers will not provide a sufficient opportunity to probe all the relevant facts and cross-examine the so-called whistleblower.

He went on, you don't get to ignite an impeachment effort and never account for your actions and role in orchestrating it. He have serious questions about the individual's political bias and partisan motivations.

And joining us now is Julian Zelizer, CNN Political Analyst, also a historian and professor of Princeton University. Always a pleasure, Julian, thanks for your time.

Okay. So Donald Trump continues to say the whistleblower lied or was wrong, when in fact the evidence of others, including administration figures, backs up what the whistleblower reported.

Before we get going, have listen to Donald Trump.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: The whistleblower gave a very inaccurate report about my phone call. My phone call was perfect. It was totally appropriate. But he gave a report, he or she. But according to the newspapers, it's a he. They think they know -- they know who it is. You know who it is. You just don't want to report it. CNN knows who it is but you don't want to report it. And you'd be doing a public service if you did.

The whistleblower gave a false report. And because of that false report, people thought bad things were done. And then you had Schiff go out and speak before Congress and before the American people and give a false story. He made up a story. And then I released -- after all this was done, I released, and everybody said, he didn't do anything wrong.

But the whistleblower should be revealed because the whistleblower gave a false story. Some people would call it a fraud. (END VIDEO CLIP)

HOLMES: Yes, a bit of a word salad, as you might expect there. But for a start, the whistleblower's account has been backed up by others, but the president wanting the whistleblower to be revealed. How extraordinary is that given the legal protections offered by law?

JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: It's very dramatic to watch a president do. This is intimidation at one level and it's also at another level of threat why we have whistleblower laws. It's to protect people who see something wrong and it's going on and want that anonymity to report it with some protection.

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And here is the president of the United States using his megaphone to go after the whistleblower, to make this whistleblower the source of what he says are false stories despite overwhelming evidence that what the whistleblower said is exactly what happened.

HOLMES: Yes. And because it was also Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman who has given evidence of his concerns about that phone call with the Ukrainian president, raised serious concerns about what was said. The president spoke about him as well. Have a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: With all of those people, a very few people, that I know came forward, and they only came forward when you asked, and some of them are never-Trumpers.

REPORTER: What evidence do you have that Col. Vindman is a never- Trumper?

TRUMP: We'll be showing that to you real soon, okay?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOLMES: He said a lot more about Lt. Col. Vindman well. But, essentially, you have there the U.S. president threatening that there is evidence that he's a never-Trumper and it's going to come out soon. There are some already suggesting that witness tampering or the very least intimidation. What's your view?

ZELIZER: Well, it is. First, the charge itself isn't really relevant. What's relevant is what he reported about the phone calls and this entire operation. And this is what the president does. He attacks the legitimacy of the person who bears information as a way to discredit the information. But this is intimidation and it replicates what happened during the Mueller investigation. The president would go on and he would attack people who were involved, whether it was the investigators or people giving testimony, and use it to raise questions about who they were so that you didn't focus on the information that you're actually giving the investigators.

HOLMES: Also there was such a lot that he said today. He was raging against the polls again. I mean, polls showing more Americans want the president impeached than do not. Let's have a listen to that one.

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REPORTER: Mr. President, according to several recent polls, more Americans want you to be impeached and removed from office than the Americans who don't.

DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: You're reading the wrong polls.

REPORTER: Fox News, Wall Street Journal, NBC, ABC, Washington Post, all of those polls.

TRUMP: I have the real polls. The CNN polls are fake. The Fox polls have always been lousy. I tell them they ought to get themselves a new pollster. But the real polls -- you look at the polls that came out this morning, people don't want anything to do with impeachment. It's a phony scam. It's a hoax.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOLMES: An, Professor, do you think that he really believes that, that the polls even from Fox are wrong and he has some secret polling, real polls?

ZELIZER: He might believe it. And I do think at some level, he lives in a bubble. He believes the bubble within which he lives and everything outside of him is false, fake or manufactured.

But regardless of what he thinks, it's a very systematic consistent strategy we have seen from the president, it's an information war. And when information goes poorly for him, when the data doesn't support, that the people approve of what he's doing or that his opponents are weak, he goes after the information and simply says, it's not true.

And so probably at this point, the two converge. It's a strategy, it's his belief and we're going to hear this repeatedly over the next few months as the impeachment investigation goes public.

HOLMES: Just very briefly, the narrative with the Republicans has pretty much shifted from quid pro quo to it might have been wrong but it's not impeachable. Does that new claim qualify constitutionally to as impeachable?

ZELIZER: Absolutely. It fits the two things that founders were concerned about, a president governing for his own self-interest and the potential of a president being corrupted in the end by foreign power and foreign policy. So these are the exact kind of concerns that the phone call raises. It's a textbook definition.

HOLMES: Julian Zelizer, as always, thanks, I appreciate. Thanks, Professor.

ZELIZER: Thanks for having me.

ALLEN: All right. Coming up here with Hong Kong already on edge, tensions over the pro-democracy protests have turned even more violent. And now, a knife attack in the city has left several people with serious injuries. We'll have a live report for you just ahead here.

HOLMES: And then later, a defender of the Amazon rainforest killed in an ambush, the latest on his death and who might be responsible. We will be right back.

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ALLEN: And welcome back.

Police in Hong Kong say four people were injured Sunday by a man who went on a knife rampage. It happened outside a mall where pro- democracy protesters have gathered earlier.

HOLMES: And we have video from right after the attack. A warning that the images are graphic. Four people in all stabbed before the crowd managed to wrestle the attacker to the ground. There are reports that he also partially bit the ear off of pro democracy politician.

ALLEN: The violence comes on the 22nd straight weekend of protests, and it's just weeks before Hong Kong is supposed to hold district council elections.

Let's talk more about it with our Will Ripley. He joins us from Hong Kong. Will, hello to you. What do we know about the attacker and his motivation?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, clearly, the timing of this, as you mentioned, just weeks before the district elections is no coincidence. Politics is the issue that has this city deeply divided between those who support the communist party in Beijing and Hong Kong's ties with Mainland China and others were part of the pro- democracy, anti government movement that has been protesting for nearly five months now on the streets of Hong Kong.

And so this attack, we believe, was likely politically motivated, given the fact that it was a pro-democracy lawmaker who was targeted, although still no statement from police about the suspect, who was one of the man who appeared in that video.

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You saw the pro-democracy lawmaker with his hand up to his partially severed ear that was reportedly bitten off.

But then you also saw another man beaten and bloody on the ground. That is the man who police believe was having a political, very heated discussion, pulled out a knife and ended up injuring six people in total on that attack in a shopping mall here on Hong Kong Island.

So it just goes to show that here we are, week 22 of these protests, and not only do they show no sign of abating, but the types of violence continue to surprise and continue to make headlines even when you think that it can't get even worse. It does.

ALLEN: Also, Will, even though crowds were smaller over the weekend that took to the streets, there was still a significant amount of disruption.

RIPLEY: Absolutely, Natalie. I think that's what is important to point out is that the crowds are noticeably smaller. The biggest demonstrations were on Saturday. It was safe to say the numbers were in the thousands, not the tens of thousands or the hundreds of thousands that we saw at the beginning of the summer, certainly, and yet still they spent hours kind of playing this cat and mouse game with police. Small groups of front line protesters hurling bricks, hurling petrol bombs, police responding with tear gas and rubber bullets, and you can see an evidence of the vandalism right here.

And the real animosity towards anything, any business, any media associated with Mainland China, these are the front doors of the Xinhua News Agency. This is the one of the leading news outlets that is run by the Chinese communist party, essentially. They receive bulletins everyday telling them what the talking points are. Their doorway is smashed, some sort of a makeshift barricade set up here, but we don't know if they are going to continue to target businesses.

One of the reasons that protesters were gathering in shopping malls on Sunday is because they're going after pro-Beijing businesses, businesses that they feel are in support of Mainland China, in support of the Hong Kong government.

And, frankly, as this violence continues to get darker, there really is no end in sight. There is no indication of how any thing is going to bring these two sides together.

ALLEN: 22 weeks of it as well, and it goes on. All right, Will Ripley live in Hong Kong for us, Will, thank you.

HOLMES: Well, activists say three Iraqi protesters were killed on Sunday, dozens of people trying to break into the Iranian consulate in Karbala. Protesters are setting fires and trying to breach the building's fence and Iraqi security forces opening fire, eventually, to disperse the crowd. We're told at least 60 people were wounded.

Meanwhile, Iraq's prime minister is begging on anti-government protesters to return to normal life, saying, the unrest is costing the economy billions. For days, protesters have blocked access to the country's main gulf port, keeping it shut down.

And then right across the country, angry Iraqis demanding that the government step down, saying it is corrupt, there aren't enough jobs or basic services.

And large anti-government demonstrations also raging across Lebanon, as they have for some days. In Beirut, thousands of people pouring onto the streets, resuming their calls for political reform. The unrest has already forced the resignation of the prime minister. Now, protesters are calling for President Michel Aoun to step down. But the president still has supporters, hundreds of them holding a big rally just outside the capital. They believe Mr. Aoun i's the only one who can bring reform.

ALLEN: In British politics, the election campaign is heating up with Prime Minister Boris Johnson apologizing for failing to deliver Brexit by the October 31st deadline.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: It's not deep (ph). All we need to do now is get on and do it.

And the difference between this government and any other party is only this government offers a deal that is ready to go and a way of delivering it immediately in the middle of December, if we are lucky enough to get a majority.

Now, of course, it's a big if.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: It is a big if for his part. Brexit party leader Nigel Farage is critical of Mr. Johnson's withdrawal deal with E.U. Farage currently sits in the European parliament and says he won't be standing as a candidate in the U.K.'s general election December 12th.

HOLMES: Now, ahead of the British election, there is growing alarm over the growing a female M.P.s who are leaving after saying they have been abused or harassed while in office.

ALLEN: Yes. It's so bad that M.P.s are now being warned not to campaign alone. CNN's Nina Dos Santos has our story from London.

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NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: At this foundry in East London, workers are putting the final touches to this bronze sculpture of the U.K.'s first female Member of Parliament.

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Nancy Esther took up her seat in December 1919, but women were still fighting for the vote. 100 years on and five miles down the road, her legacy is beginning to fade, as one-by-one, female M.P.s resigned, some citing increasing hostility in Westminster.

NICKY MORGAN, BRITISH CULTURE SECRETARY: There are threats. I mean, it's just continuous abusive emails. And every morning, obviously, you turn the emails on, and there is more stuff that is rude, offensive.

And I think, actually, a couple of weeks ago, my office referred something to me. And they said. Oh, this one is too bad. We won't go to the police. And I thought, frankly, we wouldn't have said that three years ago. DOS SANTOS: Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan this week became the latest female minister to step down, ending her career and in a purge of moderates since Boris Johnson entered Downing Street.

All in all, at least 12 female M.P.s have either left the conservatives or abandoned politics all together recently. That's not a good look for a party which provided the country's only two women prime ministers. It also comes at a time when Johnson can't afford to alienate either gender.

Abuse is rife on both sides of the House, but the P.M. has been of dismissing M.P.s' concerns and encouraging an increasingly ugly debate over Brexit.

JOHN BERCOW, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS: Order.

PAULA SHERRIFF, BRITISH LABOUR M.P.: Let me tell the prime minister that we often quote his words, surrender at, betrayal, traitor. I for one, I'm sick of it.

JOHNSON: I have to tell you, Mr. Speaker -- I have to say, Mr. Speaker, I've never heard such humbugging in all my life.

DOS SANTOS: From a conservative M.P., Heidi is among those not seeking re-election despite defecting to liberal democrats and installing panic alarms at her home. Others, like Anna Soubry, will fight on. She is required a police escort since scenes like these.

For labor, the threats turned deadly three years ago after its M.P., Jo Cox, was murdered by a right wing extremist just days before the E.U. referendum. Her colleague, Rushanara Ali, is getting ready to fight for her East London seat for the first time in a decade. Today, she says the campaign trail is a scary place.

RUSHANARA ALI, BRITISH LABOR M.P.: I am genuinely concerned for the safety of my colleagues. There's a lot of anger about social issues. There's a lot of anger about Brexit, of course. And there's a growing level of intolerance in society.

DOS SANTOS: As this statue will be unveiled two weeks before U.K. goes to the polls, while fewer women are willing to fill her shoes, she may cut (ph) a lonelier figure than she would have done just a few months ago.

Nina Dos Santos, CNN, London.

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HOLMES: Worrying (ph) developments.

ALLEN: It certainly is.

HOLMES: It's scary, it really is.

Well, will the new speaker of the House of Commons be able to counteract some of that anger and hostility? M.P.s are going to be voting in the coming hours for one of the most senior roles in the British parliament.

ALLEN: John Bercow bowed out last week after serving ten years as speaker.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BERCOW: Order. Order.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: Supporters say he modernize the House of Commons. Critics call him polarizing, and now, there are at least five lawmakers vying for his job.

HOLMES: Yes. That includes labor party member Lindsay Hoyle. He had been the deputy speaker of the Commons since 2010, but they can he's popular on both sides of the house. They say his main rival is Harriet Harman, Britain's longest serving female M.P. and also a

member of the labor party.

ALLEN: But who will be able to say order like he does?

All right, coming up, fighting to save the lungs of the planet, why the battle to preserve the Amazon rainforest may have caused another tribal leader his life.

HOLMES: Also, toxic smog causing massive problems in India's capital. We'll have more on the nightmare that is causing for people.

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HOLMES: Welcome back.

In Northeast Brazil, an indigenous leader who helped protect the rainforest has been killed in an ambush.

ALLEN: And this is the second indigenous leader killed. Authorities say loggers are behind the attack on the forest guardian, as they're called.

Journalist Shasta Darlington has our history from Sao Paolo.

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PAULO PAULINO GUAJAJARA, INDIGENOUS LEADER: We are protecting our land and the life on it, the animals, the birds, many things.

SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Paulo Paulino Gaujajara's right to protect his indigenous land was abruptly taken away Friday. According to authorities in Brazil, the indigenous leader was killed by a group of loggers who ambushed him in the same area he once swore to protect, the Arariboia Reserve in the state of Maranhao in Northeastern Brazil. Guajajara was part of one of Brazil's largest indigenous groups known by the same name. In 2012, they formed the Forest Guardians, a community dedicated to patrolling the land and protecting the rights of the people that inhabit it.

At the same time of his death, he was being accompanied by another guardian, Laercio Souza, who according to authorities is seriously injured. They were both looking for water not far from home.

Brazil's Minister of Justice and Public Security, Sergio Moro, called the incident a terrible crime, and promised to spare no effort to bring those responsible to justice, justice, a word many believe, arrived too late.

For years, Survival International, an organization that works to protect tribal people, has warned about the great risk assumed by the so-called Forest Guardians. They claim that while the Arariboia Reserve is officially protected by the state, it has been the target of constant attacks and threat by loggers and miners, inspired, they, say, by the pro-deforestation policies implemented by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.

Last June, Guajajara and other indigenous leaders recorded video warning about the attacks.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): That same month, according to official numbers, deforestation in the Amazon accelerated more than 60 percent compared to the same period last year.

But with deforestation, other consequences emerge. Several studies affirmed that the number of fires each year is highly correlated to deforestation and the severity of the drought during the dry season.

This year alone, the number of fires in the Brazilian Amazon was 25 percent higher than the average number of fires in the same period, from 2010 to 2018. Facts that President Bolsonaro insists on minimizing.

JAIR BOLSONARO, BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): The Amazon is not being devastated. Nor is it being consumed by fire, as the media is falsely portraying.

DARLINGTON: In the midst of the fire and the threats are the indigenous tribes. For them, the message is clear,

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I'm scared a little sometimes, but we don't let ourselves be dominated by fear. But we have to lift up our heads and make things happen. We are believing and fighting.

DARLINGTON: A fight that Guajajara can no longer continue. Shasta Darlington, CNN, Sao Paulo, Brazil.

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NATALIE ALLEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Leila Salazar-Lopez is executive director of Amazon Watch, a nonprofit group that works to protect the rain forest and the indigenous people who live there. She joins us now to talk about this via Skype from San Francisco. Thank you so much, Leila, for coming on.

LEILA SALAZAR-LOPEZ, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, AMAZON WATCH: Thank you for having me.

ALLEN: That story certainly illustrates the issue here. The Amazon is an ecosystem the whole world depends on. Nine hundred thousand indigenous people live there. An indigenous leader was killed, also, back in July. And as we heard in that report, it's miners and loggers. Why has it come to this?

SALAZAR-LOPEZ: Well, unfortunately, there is an all-out attack, a genocidal attack on indigenous peoples throughout the Amazon. And in Brazil, it is particularly a travesty, followed by -- with the fires, with the increased deforestation, with increased fires. And also attacks on indigenous people, and this is really, you know, a policy that's being promoted by the government.

ALLEN: Yes, let's talk about that. Because the government really isn't doing anything to stop this or is it looking the other way. Many blame the pro-deforestation policies implemented by the Brazilian president, Bolsonaro. What has he said about this?

SALAZAR-LOPEZ: Well, this is a policy of the Brazilian government, led by Jair Bolsonaro. His -- his plan and the government's plan to promote economic development in the Amazon, the most biologically diverse rainforest and ecosystem -- terrestrial ecosystem on this planet.

Bolsonaro, with his government and corporate entities, primarily agribusiness and the mining industry, are promoting economic development in the Amazon, which means destruction for the Amazon and the people who guard it. The forest guardians like Paulo Paulino Guajajara. They have already -- they have been defending their land, and they have been already under so much attack by this government. And this is another martyr that we are seeing. And we're seeing increase in attacks against not only the rights and territories of indigenous peoples with this government, but the lives, as well.

ALLEN: Absolutely. And this fact illustrates how bad it's become. According to official numbers, deforestation in the Amazon accelerated more than 60 percent, compared to the same period last year.

And -- and here's a quote from the Brazilian leader: "The Amazon is not being devastated, nor is it being consumed by fire." So he's just not acknowledging what is happening.

What -- who is standing up for him? What groups? What forces? We know that world leaders came together this -- this summer to address this problem of the -- of the fires.

SALAZAR-LOPEZ: The fires were the alarm bells that sounded throughout the whole world, that finally sounded across the world. Because indigenous people have been trying to sound the alarm of the attacks against their rights and territories since Jair Bolsonaro was elected, and I would say for hundreds of years before that.

[00:35:03]

And when the fires, the news of the fires broke out, the world noticed what was really happening. And while the government and corporations will say that these fires happen all the time, not this way. This is a massive increase in fires, coupled with the massive increase in deforestation.

And the rise of the murders. Just last year alone, there's already been a 23 percent rise in the murders against land defenders, making Brazil the most dangerous place to be a land defender.

And when you combine that with the fact that indigenous peoples are the ones that are protecting their land, their land that is now islands of rainforest that they are protecting because of, what? The lawlessness and the impunity that is being promoted by this government. This government is actually giving illegal loggers -- loggers, whether legal or illegal -- loggers, miners, agribusiness, anyone who wants to claim land to destroy it to make way for business, they're getting free rein to do it.

And the government isn't doing anything to protect them. That government is actually encouraging this. The government has taken funds away from all the agencies that are designated to protect indigenous environment.

ALLEN: It's terrible. It's just terrible.

SALAZAR-LOPEZ: So how could they be saying that they're going to do everything they can to protect, to find who's responsible for this, when they're the ones that are promoting this? So --

ALLEN: Absolutely.

SALAZAR-LOPEZ: So what we say is, you know, we don't -- we're not counting on the government. We are counting on the international community at this time to stand up and -- and show their support for indigenous peoples.

ALLEN: It has to.

SALAZAR-LOPEZ: Show your support for the Amazon.

ALLEN: Right.

SALAZAR-LOPEZ: Which is why indigenous leaders, including Sonia Guajajara, the leader of the indigenous leader in Brazil, is in Europe right now, calling on the European governments, European corporations and governments to say, we will not trade in these high-risk commodities.

ALLEN: And that's what has to happen. It's got to hurt Brazil.

We've got to leave it there. We appreciate so much your information and your passion in this -- this endeavor. Leila Salazar-Lopez, thank you.

SALAZAR-LOPEZ: Thank you.

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Really, it is just heartbreaking what is happening there. And when you see those aerial shots, and you have little pockets now of rainforest --

ALLEN: Yes.

HOLMES: -- instead of it being a canopy that goes on. We're destroying the planet.

ALLEN: We are.

HOLMES: And the short-sighted nature of us --

ALLEN: Yes.

HOLMES: -- is just something to behold. You can't do those stories enough.

Anyway, there is another environmental disaster happening half a world away. We're talking about pollution in New Delhi. It has reached unbearable levels.

ALLEN: How thick smog is affecting travel in the Indian capital. This is a live picture right here from New Delhi. We'll have more on what's causing the problem, next.

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HOLMES: A thick blanket of toxic smog causing travel chaos in the Indian capital of New Delhi and in other major cities in the country, as well.

Some flights have resumed now after dozens were actually diverted from the city's international airport on Sunday, because of poor visibility. New Delhi's chief minister says conditions are unbearable; air quality has reached hazardous levels.

Journalist Vedika Sud joins us now from New Delhi to talk about this. I mean, somebody said the other day, Vedika, that just being in New Delhi is like smoking two or three packets of cigarettes a day. It is that bad.

VEDIKA SUD, JOURNALIST: It is even worse, indeed. You're talking about 35 cigarettes that any person in Delhi right now breathing would be smoking, quite literally. So just think about the children in the area, as well. Because you

have toddlers. You have infants, and they are inhaling toxic smoke. That's about 35 cigarettes a day. That's the situation as we speak. You can even look at, you know, the sky behind me. There's this apocalyptic shot of pollution that we are witnessing here. Children are being forced to wear masks. The situation, indeed, is extremely grim.

You also have the Delhi chief minister, like you pointed out, calling it an unbearable situation as I speak to you; and this is expected to last for the next few days, as well.

HOLMES: It really is something, isn't it?

Then again, we're out of time. We've got to leave it there. I appreciate you joining us. Vedika Sud there, journalist on the spot.

It really is -- it is just absolutely extraordinary, like two to three packets of cigarettes a day. The burning of crops from the outside. They had fireworks for Diwali, the big celebration there, and just the traffic. Just the traffic.

ALLEN: Can't imagine.

All right. That will do it for us for now. Thank you for watching. I'm Natalie Allen.

HOLMES: And I'm Michael Holmes. WORLD SPORT coming up next. And then we're back with another hour of news from around the world in about 15 to 20 minutes.

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