Return to Transcripts main page
Impeachment Inquiry Waiting for Key Witnesses While Some Refuse to Testify; Recent Polls is Fake and Lousy Says President Trump; New Testimony Raises Questions on Ukraine Call Transcripts; The White House Freezes Military Aid to Lebanon; Prime Minister Calls for Calm After Weeks of Iraqi Protests; Hong Kong Police Accused of Targeting Media; On the U.K. Election, Nigel Farage is Not Seeking Election Bid While Women MPs are Stepping Down. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired November 4, 2019 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. You are watching "CNN Newsroom" and I'm Rosemary Church. Coming up, today begins a crucial week in the impeachment inquiry into U.S. President Donald Trump. And a short time ago, we learned what the White House plans to do.
Also ahead, thick smog is choking New Delhi disrupting flights and causing a public health emergency. Plus, a CNN exclusive, a journalist injured in Hong Kong's pro-democracy protest is speaking out for the first time.
Glad to have you with us. And we begin in Washington where a crucial week in the impeachment inquiry is getting underway. Lawmakers have summoned at least 11 officials this week to discuss President Donald Trump's dealings with Ukraine.
But we've learned several of them are refusing to testify. These four men were set to appear on Monday, but a source says they don't plan on showing up. Former National Security adviser John Bolton has also been asked to appear.
Several witnesses interviewed so far have said Bolton raise concerns about Mr. Trump withholding military aid to Ukraine. Bolton's lawyer has said his client would not appear unless he is subpoenaed.
Well, as the impeachment inquiry heats up, we are getting a better idea of what Americans think about the issue. Three new polls show about half support impeaching President Trump and removing him from office. All three pools were conducted between October 27th and October 30th.
Now, despite the findings, President Trump remains defiant. Here is what he told reporters when asked about the surveys.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, according to several recent polls,
more Americans want you to be impeached and removed from office than the number of Americans who don't.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You are reading the wrong polls. You're reading the wrong polls.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fox News, Wall Street Journal, NBC, ABC, Washington Post.
TRUMP: You're reading -- let me just tell you. I have the real polls. I have the real polls. The CNN polls, they're fake. The Fox polls have always been lousy. I tell them they ought to get themselves a new pollster.
But the real polls, if you look at the polls --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- 50 percent of Americans want you impeached.
TRUMP: 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. And the whistleblower should be revealed because the whistleblower gave false information.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: All right, let's get more from Natasha Lindstaedt on all of this. She is a professor of government at the University of Essex. Good to have you with us.
NATASHA LINDSTAEDT, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF ESSEX: Thanks for having me.
CHURCH: Al right. So we heard there President Trump accusing the whistleblower of making up false stories despite all testimony so far and the partial transcript of the Ukraine phone call backing up the details revealed by the whistleblower.
And now the president says that person must be exposed. How significant is it this statement from a U.S. presidential calling to reveal the whistleblower?
LINDSTAEDT: Well, it's alarming because in democracies it's really important actually to have whistleblowers that can come forward and to reveal the truth in order to reveal when there has been an abuse of power. This is a really important check on executive power and it's an important way of checking corruption.
So in democracies people need to be able to be free to come forward and not fear that their identity is going to be revealed, that they're going to be attacked. And we see here in this case, Trump is going back to what his original attack was when this whistleblower report first came out, to attack the whistleblower.
I think that his response to all of this has been completely spontaneous, it's one different response one day to the next, whether it's to invite China to get involved or to deflecting the Democrats or to blame Europe, but he spontaneously responded because he is his own boardroom and he is back to this attack on the whistleblower which goes completely against democratic norms.
CHURCH: And without providing any evidence, President Trump is also accusing White House impeachment inquiry witness Alexander Vindman of being a never Trumper, some suggest this is intimidation and witness tampering, is that what this is and how likely is it that Mr. Trump's strategy will work if that's the case?
LINDSTAEDT: Going after Vindman seems really strange to me. I really have no idea how this is going to work because Vindman could not be a better witness with having been in a conflict, having served his country, having an impeccable record.
He is someone that no one would view as a partisan hack. He has been completely neutral and he has been truthful throughout. He has tremendous credibility. So going after Vindman doesn't seem to make a lot of sense, but Vindman's testimony was incredibly damaging and that is why Trump is going after him.
Vindman was on the call, he had a firsthand account, and he talked about the fact that he was instructed not to talk about the call because the information was particularly damaging. So he is a key witness against Trump and that's why we see Trump going against him so viciously.
CHURCH: And we also heard President Trump referred to those recent polls, he rejects them. He says that -- and of course they do show that half or about half of America's voters support the impeachment or removal of the president.
But Mr. Trump calls them fake and a phony scam even though it's polls from Fox News, his favorite channel, and he says he has his own secret polling that shows people don't support his impeachment. What's your response to that, this secret polling he refers to?
LINDSTAEDT: I have absolutely no idea what he's talking about with the secret polling. I think he is going off the enthusiasm that he receives when he campaigns and has all these different rallies the he rolls, where all of these different types of excuses that I mentioned go over incredibly well, and where he gets thunderous applause when he attacks the Democrats and when he attacks Europe, we delegitimizes the whistleblower.
All these things go over well in the places where he campaigns. We have no evidence of polling that would support his claims. For the most part, we are seeing a slight majority of the public is in favor of impeaching and removing him.
And as these polls come out, there hasn't been one to say any different. And we are seeing high numbers of Democrats want him impeached and removed. It's 82 percent for that, and then about 47 percent support from independents. Now, of course he has drawn support on the Republican side, but that is dipping as well when we start to look at his job approval rating. His job approval rating among Republicans is now at 74 percent. That's the lowest it's ever been. So the trend is that it's dipping slightly whereas his base is incredibly strong, but the polls are moving more and more in favor of impeaching and removing.
CHURCH: Natasha Lindstaedt, good to talk with you. Thanks very much.
LINDSTAEDT: Thanks for having me.
CHURCH: Well, the testimony congressional investigators have received so far, reveals some alarming details and inconsistencies about President Trump's July phone call with the leader of Ukraine. CNN's Brian Todd explains how the transcripts of these White House calls are put together.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The NSC's top official on Russia, Tim Morrison, is now the second person who is on that faithful July call between President Trump and Ukraine's president to testify before House investigators, adding more intense scrutiny to every word that was said on that call.
One of Morrison's deputies, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, testified Tuesday that there were at least two places that he tried to make corrections to the rough transcript of the call, a source familiar with the matter tell CNN. But the changes to the transcript were never made. The president has depicted the transcript as a verbatim record.
TRUMP: Word for word, comma for comma.
TODD (voice-over): But Vindman testified there are two omissions from controversial parts of the call. There is just an ellipsis where Vindman said Trump actually told the Ukrainian president there were tapes of Joe Biden, according to the "New York Times."
Why would there be an ellipsis there instead of apparently that crucial part of the conversation?
LARRY PFEIFFER, FORMER SENIOR DIRECTOR, WHITE HOUSE SITUATION ROOM: I find that very surprising. Ellipses are not a notation that would have been in a normal situation on raw transcript. So my initial thinking when I saw these ellipses was that somebody on the NSC staff rather than having some clunky looking notation, just put ellipses where perhaps the president's voice trailed off.
TODD (voice-over): Larry Pfeifer ran the White House Situation Room for two years under President Obama. He says he oversaw more than a hundred calls between Obama and foreign leaders, and says during those calls some aides are huddled around another phone in the same room as the president while others are connected on phones in other offices like the Situation Room. He says an account of the conversation is produced by two or three note takers helped by voice recognition software. The account then revised and corrected by policy aides and experts who are also listening.
PEIFER: Brian, I can't think of a time that anybody has recommended changes from a person like Lieutenant Colonel Vindman anytime when they would've been blocked, they would've been accepted.
TODD (voice-over): According to the "Times," there's no tape recording of the Trump call by the American side.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That is something I understand and that hasn't been done since the Nixon era.
PFEIFFER: I think it affords the president a certain level of deniability.
TODD (voice-over): For the Trump call, the transcript at one point has the Ukrainian president saying just the company. Vindman says it should name Burisma, the company Biden's son works for because he claims that's what the Ukrainian president actually said.
The White House says that the ellipses and the transcript don't cover for missing words or phrases and the Trump team denies Vindman's claims that he tried to add words there. Former White House officials who've listened in on these calls say there is enormous pressure to be accurate and make sure nothing is omitted.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If things are left out that again means that a foreign government knows what happened and you're hamstringing your home team.
TODD (on camera): Can a White House aid, a Situation Room duty officer or anyone who's on the call between eh president and a foreign leader record that call on his or her own through their desktop phone or on their cellphone just to make sure that the contents are captured correctly?
Larry Pfeifer says anyone trying to do that at the White House would be fired. And in the Situation Room itself, he says, no outside cellphones or even allowed, Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.
CHURCH: President Trump has been accused of withholding money from Ukraine in exchange for political investigations. Now we are learning about a different kind of hold. A source tells CNN that the U.S. has indefinitely suspended military aid to Lebanon. CNN's Ben Wedeman has more from Beirut.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It really sends the wrong message at this time of uncertainty in Lebanon. Apparently, the State Department wasn't informed of this decision by the White House nor was the Pentagon and our sources in the Lebanese military weren't aware of it as well.
Now, the Lebanese army has since 2006 received about $1.7 billion in aid from the United States. The reason why the United States supports the Lebanese army is that it wants to be the sole military force in this country, keeping in mind that Hezbollah, the political and military group here actually has the most effective military force in the country.
And the purpose of this aid program from the United States was to bolster the Lebanese army. So this is barely a vote of confidence by in that institution.
Now, we do know that according to reporting from the "Wall Street Journal" earlier this week, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who was pressuring the United States to pressure Lebanon on what the Israelis alleged is an Iranian missile building program here in Lebanon.
But it is such a sensitive time, this decision from the United States really seems to confirm from the Lebanese perspective that the United States has one priority in Lebanon and that is to crush Hezbollah. Ben Wedeman, CNN, Beirut.
CHURCH: Activists say that three Iraqi protesters were killed Sunday as dozens of people try to break into the Iranian consulate in Karbala. Protesters set fires and tried to breach the building's fence, and Iraqi security forces opened fire to disperse the crowd. We are told at least 60 people were wounded.
Meanwhile, Iraq's prime minister is begging anti-government protesters to return to normal life, saying the unrest is costing the economy billions. Across the country, angry Iraqis are demanding the government step down saying it is corrupt and there are not enough jobs or basic services.
Well, now to Hong Kong where protests are continuing for their 22nd straight week and so is the violence between police and protesters with journalist increasingly caught in the middle. We will have an exclusive interview with one reporter who was seriously injured.
Plus, a growing number of female MPs in the U.K. are taking a stand saying they've had enough of abusive politics. Back with that and more in just a moment.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) CHURCH: 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 had gathered earlier and we have video from right after that attack and a warning the images are graphic.
Four people were stabbed before the crowd wrestled to attacker to the ground. There are reports that he partially bit the ear of a pro democracy politician.
Now, during the past five months of protest police have been accused of using excessive force. One journalist says they are even targeting the media and she says her injury is proof of that. She spoke exclusively to our Anna Coren.
ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On a footbridge in Wan Chai, an Indonesian journalist following Hong Kon riot police streams live to her viewers on Facebook.
Within minutes, officers raise their guns as a group of protesters appear. With police retreating, the crowd moves forward. Suddenly, an officer fires a shot.
A rubber bullet has hit journalist Veby Indah in her right eye. Her body slumped on the ground crying out in pain, her camera still streaming.
For more than three weeks, Veby lay in this hospital bed. She underwent surgery twice and while doctors managed to preserve her ruptured pupil, they were not able to save her eyesight.
VEBY MEGA INDAH, JOURNALIST: I don't know what to answer. I don't know what would happen.
COREN (voice-over): Her older sister flew in from Jakarta refusing to leave her side. Her reassuring presence most valuable at night when the flashbacks of the shooting haunt Veby.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's been a hard time for her.
COREN (voice-over): 39 year old Veby came to Hong Kong in 2012 working for an Indonesian newspaper. She mainly reported on labor issues affecting migrant workers. That was until the Hong Kong protests kicked off.
Veby has been on the front line many times and believe it's her job to document the truth, but now she fears the journalists are being targeted by police.
INDAH: I pray, please god, no more journalist get shot because this is crazy. We are not in a war zone.
COREN (voice-over): Veby's lawyer, Michael Vidler, plays video from a protest. He says the footage shows an officer throwing a tear gas grenade at a group of journalists.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh my god.
MICHAEL VIDELR, LAWYER: An exploding grenade.
It's this refusal to accept the fact that some officers are out of control. It's a problem because then it gives them license to do even worse and we are seeing an escalation of the misconduct of the police officers.
COREN (on camera): Since the shooting here on the 29th of September, Veby has filed a complaint with police and provided them with a recent statement. She is demanding to know the name of the officer who shot her so she can take civil action, information the police to date have refused to reveal. When contacted by CNN, Hong Kong police said the case is under investigation and could not comment.
(voice-over): The Hong Kong Journalists Association says police have, "repeatedly used unnecessary force against reporters," a claim police vehemently deny.
JOHN TSE CHUN -CHUNG, CHIEF SUPERINTENDENT, HONG KONG POLICE: We certainly do not target (inaudible) reporters intentionally. And I would like to stress that police fully respect the right of a media to report an incident in Hong Kong.
KONG WING CHEUNG, SENIOR SUPERINTENDENT, HONG KONG POLICE: We have seen individual operations that involve reporters standing in between the police officers in operations and writers. I understand that those spots are easier for doing proper news coverage, but those are indeed dangerous spots.
INDAH: If others were shot and died, he will not left three weeks in the hospital. Just watching and wondering what is happening and why is it like this? Why did this happen? Why does nothing happen?
COREN (voice-over): The lack of answers now driving Veby in her pursuit for justice, Anna Coren, CNN, Hong Kong.
CHURCH: We turn to British politics now and 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, PRIME MINISTER OF THE UNITED KINGDOM: It's a matter of deep regret, but what we need to do now is get on and do it. And the difference between this government and any other party is that 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 to get a majority, of course, it is a big if.
(END VIDEO CLIP) CHURCH: And for his part, Brexit party leader Nigel Farage is critical of Mr. Johnson's withdrawal deal with the E.U. Farage currently sits in the European parliament and says that he won't be standing as a candidate in the U.K.'s general election on December 12th.
Well, ahead of the British election, there is growing alarm over the number of female MPs who are leaving after saying they have been abused or harassed while in office. MPs are now being warned not to campaign alone. CNN's Nina Dos Santos has more.
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN EUROPE EDITOR: In 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. Nancy Astor took up her seat in December 1919 when women were still fighting for the vote.
A hundred years on and five miles down the road, her legacy is beginning to fade as one by one female MPs resign, some citing increasing hostility in Westminster.
NICKY MORGAN, CRITISH CULTURE SECRETARY: Death threats, I mean, it is continuously abusive e-mails and every morning obviously, you know, you turn the e-mails 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, it wasn't too bad where it goes to police, and I, 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 amid a purge of moderates since Boris Johnson and to Downing Street.
(on camera): All in all, at least 12 female MPs have either left the conservatives or abandoned politics altogether recently. That is not a good look for a party who has provided the country's only two women prime ministers. It also comes at a time when Johnson can't afford to alienate either gender.
(voice-over): Abuse is rife on both sides of the house, but the PM has been accused of dismissing MPs concerns and encouraging an increasingly ugly debate over Brexit.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Order!
PAULA SHERRIFF, BRITISH LABOUT MP: And let me tell the prime minister that I often quote his words, Surrender Act, betrayal, traitor. Like I'm for one, I'm sick of it.
JOHNSON: I think Mr. Speaker, I have to tell you, Mr. Speaker -- I have to say Mr. Speaker, I've never heard such humbug in all my life.
DOS SANTOS (voice-over): Former conservative MP, Heidi Allen, is among those not seeking re-election despite (inaudible) to the liberal democrat and installing panic alarms at her home. Others like Anna Soubry will fight on. She has required a police escort since scenes like this.
For Labour, the threats turned deadly three years ago after its MP, Jo Cox was murdered by 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 fourth time in a decade. Today, she says the campaign trail is a scary place.
RUSHANARA ALI, BRITISH LABOUT MP: I am generally concerned for the safety of my colleagues. There's a lot of anger about social issues. There is a lot of anger about Brexit of course and this growing level of intolerance in society.
DOS SANTOS: As the statue will be unveiled two weeks before the U.K. goes to the poll, but with fewer women willing to fill her shoes, she may cut a lonelier figure than she would have done just a few months ago. Nina Dos Santos, CNN, London.
CHURCH: Well, will the new speaker of the House of Commons be able to counteract some of that anger and hostility. MPs will vote in the coming hours for one of the most senior roles in the British parliament. John Bercow bowed out last week after serving 10 years as speaker.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN BERCOW, FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS: Order! Order! Order!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Supporters say he modernized the House of Commons. Critics call him polarizing. And now there are at least five lawmakers vying for his job, including Labour party member Lindsey Hoyle. He has been the deputy speaker of the Commons since 2010.
Bookmakers say he is popular on both sides of the House. They also say his main rival is Harriet Harman, parliaments longest serving female MP and also a member of the Labour Party.
Well, Kellyanne Conway has the ear of President Trump. We will hear what she thinks of the impeachment inquiry and Mr. Trump's dealings with Ukraine amid the country's bloody battle against Russian-backed separatists. Back with that and more in just a moment.
CHURCH: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM, I'm Rosemary Church. I want to check the main stories we've been following this hour. Activists say three Iraqi protesters were killed Sunday, as dozens of people tried to break into the Iranian consulate in Karbala. Iraqi security forces opened fire to disperse the crowd. At least 60 people were wounded. Protesters across the country are demanding the government step down in part due to corruption.
Anti-government demonstrations are also sweeping through Lebanon. Thousands flooded the streets Sunday in the largest protest since the Prime Minister resigned. Many are now calling for the removal of President Michel Aoun. But the President still has supporters, they held a big rally and say, he's the only one who can bring reform.
Washington is bracing for a big week in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. Lawmakers have scheduled interviews with 11 current and former U.S. officials to discuss Mr. Trump's dealings with Ukraine. But we've learned several of those set to appear are refusing to testify.
Well, at the heart of the impeachment inquiry, the allegation that President Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine to get dirt on a political rival. Ukraine is extremely dependent on that aid, as it's been locked in a bloody five-year battle with Russian backed separatists. White House Senior Counselor Kellyanne Conway told CNN she stands by the administration's response that there was no quid pro quo between Mr. Trump and Ukrainian President. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: So, you feel totally confident that at the core of this, the heart of this, there was no quid pro quo?
KELLYANNE CONWAY, WHITE HOUSE SENIOR COUNSELOR: Here's what I feel confident about. I feel confident about the fact that Ukraine has that aid and is using it right now. That is because of this President that they have that the last -- the last administration --
BASH: Kellyanne, you very notably won't say yes or no. Quid pro quo, yes or no?
CONWAY: It doesn't -- first of all, I just said to you, I don't know whether aid was being held up (INAUDIBLE) I know that there were two senators, a Democrat and Republican who called over from Ukraine and inquired about the aid, but we're trying to impeach a president here now in this town across this country, why? Because nothing in this conversation so far, residents of the country --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Joining me now to talk more about this is Mitchell Orenstein, Professor of Russian and East European Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Thank you so much for being with us.
MITCHELL ORENSTEIN, PROFESSOR OF RUSSIAN AND EAST EUROPEAN STUDIES, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA: Absolutely. Happy to be here.
CHURCH: So, let's start by looking at just how dependent Ukraine is on support from the United States and how far President Trump is willing to go to help Kiev, do you think, given he has recently made it clear he wants Germany and France along with other E.U. nations to do more to share the load?
ORENSTEIN: Absolutely. I think -- you know, I think that's a little bit of a canard in the sense that Britain and France and Germany, the European Union, have done an incredible amount to support Ukraine, but primarily economically, primarily with economic aid, governance aid, and soft power, sort of things.
I believe that what President Trump was referring to was specifically military aid. And they're the United States has taken up a bigger burden. But overall, the European countries are supporting Ukraine to a much greater extent than the United States.
CHURCH: Interesting. And how important is Ukraine to the U.S. now, of course, and how much has that changed under Trump's presidency?
ORENSTEIN: Well, Ukraine is important in European affairs right now, because it's at war. It's at war with Russia. It's been attacked in 2014 and has lost 13,000 people in the conflict. And I think it's super important, essentially, because there's been a principle that's guided European affairs, which is that countries shouldn't attack one another. And Russia's unprovoked attack on Ukraine was a huge violation of European security norms, something that's really sent reverberations across the European continent.
And that's why Ukraine is primarily important to the U.S. right now It's been very important for the United States, which as you may remember, has fought two wars in Europe in the previous century, has been drawn into European wars to prevent conflict in Europe. And therefore, to support Ukraine in its struggle, legitimate struggle against the invasion aggression it's had from Russia.
CHURCH: Then, that's certainly how the United States felt in the past, but what about now under President Trump? He doesn't feel the same way about Ukraine, doesn't he? He's been -- he's been talked into believing it's not of the significance that the United States has recognized it to be in the past.
ORENSTEIN: Well, I think -- I think for Trump, it's pretty clear that everything is about Trump, right? So, the United States now has two separate foreign policies. It has the traditional foreign policy of the foreign policy establishment that supported, by the way, both by the Democrats and the Republicans in Congress, which is to support Ukraine for the reasons that I just mentioned. And then, in addition, we have the Trump foreign policy run out of the White House or maybe with some friends of President Trump, his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, which is essentially about what can you do for us? What can you do for our election campaign? And that seems to have been the top priority for Trump in Ukraine, is to obtain assistance from the Ukrainian government to smear his likely political rival in the 2020 election.
CHURCH: And how do you convince the American public that they should care about what happens to Ukraine?
ORENSTEIN: It's pretty interesting that Democrat and Republican Congressmen who are both -- who get elected very frequently and, you know, every two years are very solid on support for Ukraine. And I -- and I think that -- you know, it's -- truthfully, in the United States, a lot of people don't necessarily vote on foreign policy issues. It's probably a pre-secondary concern for a lot of people. But I do think it's it's very possible in the United States to talk to people about European security and to talk about the importance of this particular conflict.
And with regard to the -- and I think, also, there's a really widespread awareness of Russian intervention in the 2016 election. So, people are listening to this or understanding this, are certainly learning a lot more about Ukraine. It's become a central aspect of the impeachment inquiry. So, I do think that people are looking and listening about this topic and they understand the serve long-standing U.S. commitment to European security.
CHURCH: All right. Mitchell Orenstein, thank you so much for joining us. We do appreciate it.
ORENSTEIN: Absolutely. Anytime, thank you.
CHURCH: Well, pollution in New Delhi has reached unbearable levels. How thick smog is affecting travel in the Indian capital. We'll have more on what's causing the problem. Plus, a woman meets the people whose lives she helped save during the Holocaust. Their emotional reunion, that's ahead.
CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. A thick blanket of toxic smog is causing travel chaos in the Indian capital of New Delhi. Some flights have resumed after dozens were diverted from the city's international airport, Sunday, due to poor visibility. New Delhi's chief minister says conditions are unbearable as air quality reached hazardous levels. Ivan Watson is following the developments from Hong Kong and joins us now. So, Ivan, what is the situation now in New Delhi and what's the solution to this?
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, by all accounts, the air right now is toxic in the Indian capital. The Environmental Pollution Authority of India has declared a public health emergency. It has rated the air quality there as, quote, severe-plus.
The U.S. embassy in New Delhi has published its own air quality readings, describing the conditions there as hazardous with particulate matter ratings of more than 400, and anything above 100 being considered as bad for people's health. Schools have been canceled in New Delhi on Monday as a result of these conditions. And as you mentioned, a lot of flights, dozens of them, were diverted as a result of the thick smog on Sunday. Now, the top official in New Delhi, the chief minister, has taken to
social media quite actively in recent days talking about this, and blaming much of the smog on farmers in neighboring provinces. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARVIND KEJRIWAL, CHIEF MINISTER, DELHI (through translator): The smoke which is coming into Delhi from outside is due to all the stubble burning. This is why the city atmosphere has been spoiled, and this is why we can only see smoke everywhere.
Anything that could be done to reduce the pollution, the people of Delhi have tried it, we have done it all. The Delhi government along with the people of Delhi in spite of all that effort. Why should we suffer like this?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATSON: So, there, he's kind of suggesting that the residents of the capital city are kind of victims here. And what he's referring to about the fires, there's actually some very interesting satellite imagery that can illustrate how an annual process by which farmers burn off kind of the remnants of crops continues -- contributes to the smog in the region that then blows down according to wind patterns into the Indian capital, New Delhi.
All those red spots are thousands of fires believed to be linked to those farmers' fires. But the farmers are not wealthy people, they have few options to kind of clear their land after they've harvested their crops. And that does not take into consideration the fact that there are millions and millions of cars, for example, in New Delhi. And that the authorities have adopted a measure to try to reduce those numbers with this odd-even rule whereabout 4 million of the cars are taken off the roads.
The environment authorities have also issued other statements, they want to reduce kiln burning. They've introduced another number of other measures. You're not allowed to set fire to firecrackers coming now after the Diwali Festival holiday there that that can contribute to matters as well.
But there are also coal-fired power plants in New Delhi that contribute to this. Factories working as well. This is a cyclical annual problem where the smog gets very bad there and weather patterns contribute to the conglomeration of smog. But it is also a major, major threat to health in that capital city. And India, sadly, boasts a large number of some of the world's most polluted air pollution wise cities in the world according to a number of reports. Rosemary?
CHURCH: Yes, indeed. Many thanks to our Ivan Watson bringing us up- to-date on the situation in New Delhi. Appreciate that.
And now, I want to bring in our meteorologist Pedram Javaheri because we've been talking about this, too, and we heard there from Ivan's reporting, you know, the farmers are being blamed.
PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: Yes.
CHURCH: All of the cars. And I remember two decades ago when I was last in New Delhi, thick smog, the same thing. This is not a new problem. It's -- it is an annual problem.
CHURCH: But -- so, talk to us about the air quality and what can be done about it?
JAVAHERI: You know, little can be done when it comes to the immediate threat, of course, we know what's in the air is going to stay in the air until we have a system come through and move all of this out of the way.
And you know, of course, Rosemary, you said it best, it is the vehicles, it's industry, it's the farmers. And a lot of people don't take this into consideration, the Himalayan Mountains play a significant role in trapping all of that right there in Delhi.
So, we'll break down exactly what is ahead of us here the next couple of days and what can be done as well because, of course, conditions have been going downhill rather quickly. We know officials distributing some 5 million masks across schools to children in India, just to help them protect against the air quality that frankly is some six to seven times above what is considered fit to breathe across India, which is why schools again, shutting down on Monday in parts, as you heard there from Ivan.
But, what is the perspective here? We're talking about 500 plus air quality index in Delhi at this hour. Like now, sitting right around 500. These values do put this right above the hazardous category into the beyond index category.
And you take the cities such as Los Angeles, they're sitting at around 80 even with all the wildfires in Southern California. So, you kind of consider what's happening here, it's not just the fires, it's a combination of all of those and the mountains, as well.
And, of course, Diwali was taking place here in the past few days and the folks celebrating with fireworks. And did you know that one single firecracker actually causes heavy pollution within a 10 cubic meter area?
So, you take millions and millions of people, put them in one area, ignite these firecrackers, and of course, a stagnant air pattern across the region, you notice the color contours here kind of indicate where the pollution is, where it's slated to go inside the next couple of days, as it shifts a little farther towards the south.
And we do expect some improvement inside the next few days. In fact, by tomorrow, by Tuesday, we're talking about them dropping down to the hazardous -- beyond the hazardous -- slightly lower than that to the moderate category should be about 123 in Delhi. And then, once we get to Wednesday, even a slight improvement there as well. So, improving conditions are definitely going to be expected across this region.
And one more thing, Rosemary, I kind of looked into a recent study that came out from the University of Chicago. They analyzed air quality across this region of northern India, they expect the life expectancy of some of these folks impacted -- hundreds of millions. Estimated 300 million people to lose about seven years' worth of their life just by growing up across these regions of India.
So, definitely, a lot needs to be done starting with the industry. But some of it really such as the geography cannot be a helped, of course.
CHURCH: Yes, that's just not right there.
CHURCH: And something really needs to be done. They need to really take immediate action.
CHURCH: Many thanks to you Pedram for explaining all of that.
JAVAHERI: Thanks for having me.
CHURCH: Appreciate it. Well, the German city of Dresden has declared a Nazi emergency, citing years of far-right extremism. The move is symbolic and has no legal consequences. But Dresden city councilors say it's necessary to warn of the movement's growth.
Meantime, CNN spoke to a leader representing the center-right Christian Democratic Union Party, which strongly opposes the move. He says there is no state of emergency, and the vast majority of Dresden citizens are not right-wing extremists.
Well, in Jerusalem, a family of Jewish Holocaust survivors are reuniting with one of the women who rescued them. The woman in the wheelchair is Melpomeni Dina Gianopoulou. Israel's Holocaust Center says she was just 14 when she and her family provided food, clothing, and a hiding place for a young Jewish family. Then, they help the family escape from occupied Greece.
The Holocaust survivors describe what it meant to reunite with their savior.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH YANAI, SURVIVOR FROM HOLOCAUST (through translator): I see all my family here. Thanks to the great gesture they did. Can you imagine, three orphans sisters who decide to take upon themselves? Such a huge risk. If they had been caught, not only those sisters, but the whole neighborhood who knew about us, all would have been killed.
YUVAL DAGAN, DESCENDANT OF HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR (through translator): I have no way to describe the huge debt we all owe her. In fact, all this collection of people who are my dearest, none of us would be here if it were not for her.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Melpomeni, says she wishes she could have saved even more people. Incredible.
Well, Kenya rides a wave of success at the New York Marathon. We'll have more on a major upset in the women's division. Back with that in just a moment.
CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. A rookie has taken down a reigning champ in the women's division of the New York City Marathon. 25-year- old Joyciline Jepkosgei, finished first place on Sunday, running Mary Keitany's chance at a fifth women's title in the race. She came in second place.
Meanwhile, fellow Kenyan, 26-year-old Geoffrey Kamworor won the men's division for a second time. He says he gained an appreciation for running long distances as a youngster, trotting five kilometers to and from school every day. Each winner walked away with a $100,000 prize. Well done.
And finally, it's been stuck on rocks above Niagara Falls for more than a century. But severe weather has dislodged a boat that has not moved from its rocky perch since 1918.
High winds and heavy rain have now pushed the boat closer to the falls on the Canadian side. The vessel became stuck when it dislodged from its tugboat in the final months of the First World War. But against the odds, the two men who were on board were rescued.
And thanks so much for joining us. I'm Rosemary Church. I'll be back with more news in just a moment.