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Hong Kong Protester Shot By Police Officer; Crisis in Bolivia; President Trump Impeachment Inquiry; Spain Decides; A Warning About Russian Infiltration. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired November 11, 2019 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. We are coming to you live from CNN Center in Atlanta. I'm Natalie Allen. This is "CNN Newsroom."
Ahead here, chaos in Hong Kong. Police are defending an officer who fired live ammunition at close range amid clashes with protesters. Also, crisis in Bolivia. Allegations of election fraud forced Evo Morales to resign as president after almost 14 years in power. Also ahead here, sources say British lawmakers ignored warnings about Russian interference in U.K. politics. It is a CNN exclusive.
Thank you again for joining us. Our top story, a police shooting is fuelling more outrage in Hong Kong, where protests are in their 23rd week. A warning, what you are about to see is graphic. Video shows a traffic officer with his pistol drawn wrestling with a protester.
A different protester approaches and he is shot point blank in the torso. Other protesters grapple with the officer and two more shots are fired. The wounded protesters survived. Authorities say he is in hospital in critical condition.
For more, let's go to CNN's Will Ripley. He is live out in the streets in Hong Kong for us. Will, this is another example of a tragedy on the streets in this ongoing crisis.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is, Natalie. The video of the shootings spread like wildfire on social media here in Hong Kong. And within hours, protesters were vowing revenge.
In fact, the chant that protesters have been repeating out here on the streets has changed and now they are saying Hongkongers take revenge for what they feel is excessive and disproportionate force by Hong Kong police although, keep in mind, the protesters allegedly involved in this incident were physically trying to beat the officer who then pulled out his gun and fired live rounds of ammunition.
I want to show you what is happening here, Natalie. We are on Hartford Road -- Connaught Road Central. This is one of the main thoroughfares here in Hong Kong busiest shopping district. This is a five-lane roadway that in a matter of like 10 minutes has been completely shut down by this group of protesters, predominately young people based on what I can see behind their masks, which they are wearing in violation of Hong Kong's anti-mask law that was designed to prevent precisely this kind of thing.
And now what they're doing behind these umbrellas there, they are ripping up bricks from the sidewalks that they become very accustomed at doing. They set up like a little supply line and they're getting the bricks from the sidewalk across the highway to the other side of the road.
These bricks are being put in place to prevent police and fire vehicles from -- you see them pulling the bricks right there -- to prevent police and fire vehicles from being able to drive in here and take control of the scene.
It is extraordinary how efficient they are. You see people putting up their umbrellas to block the view of our cameras to try to protect the identities of the protesters who seem undeterred by the threat of punishment including jail time, fines, potentially years behind bars. That is not stopping these young people from doing this basically almost every day.
We see scenes like this or at least every week for sure for 23 or 24 consecutive weeks now, more than five months of protests here in Hong Kong. And this is a city that stunningly seems to show no signs of coming under control.
In fact, the sense I get here on the streets is that the city is losing control. People are angrier. They are more determined than ever to continue to disrupt life in the city despite the fact that the city is now in recession. The hospitality and service industries are in the tank.
And then you have this, a police officer shown on camera on a motorcycle basically trying to ram the motorcycle right into a group of front line protesters dressed in black who are running away from the scene of an activity just like this.
Tensions are flaring on all sides. We also have reports that a man who is voicing support for the Chinese government was doused with petroleum and set on fire. There is a video of that. We are working to get that clear to make sure that it is authentic.
But it is absolutely horrifying -- the things that we are seeing play out on the streets of Hong Kong in less than 24 hours. It's only Monday, Natalie, and this is what is happening. We have our gas masks ready because inevitably the police will come.
RIPLEY: They are going to fire tear gas and maybe pull out the water cannon. But yet it does not seem to stop any of this from continuing week after week.
ALLEN: It is really amazing how these protesters are so determined. And as you say, it's been going on for five months. All right, take care, Will Ripley and your team. Thanks for bringing that to us. We will stay in touch. Right now, it is not clear who is leading Bolivia after political after political upheaval forced its president to resign. Evo Morales had been in power for nearly 14 years. After a handful of other resignations, the second vice president of Bolivia Senate says that leaves her next in line and is willing to assume the office. When Morales announced his resignation, he claimed he was forced out in a coup.
Crowds cheered and waved flags as they heard the news. A big change from the past few weeks when protesters stormed into the streets accusing Mr. Morales of fraud after he claimed victory in last month's election. CNN's Patrick Oppmann has more on the developments.
PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A political earthquake is rocking Bolivia after the country's longest-serving staunch leftist president Evo Morales was forced to step down. It's been weeks of violent protests and allegations that Morales had stolen an election to become president for a fourth term.
Morales had denied that and said that he was facing a coup. But after report came out showing widespread fraud, Morales finally on Sunday offered to hold new elections. The offer came too late for the country's opposition for the military and the police, many of them have risen up against Morales.
The head of the military said on Sunday it was time for Morales to leave office. In hours, Morales did just that, shocking Bolivia and much of Latin America. He said that it was a coup. It was forcing him from power. He recognized that if he didn't leave, there would be bloodshed, and he wanted to avoid that.
Many of Morales's critics said that he become too authoritarian, that he was never planning on leaving the presidency, and that he was essentially becoming a dictator. So while Morales is out, he has received offers from other countries to seek asylum there. But Morales says while he may no longer be president of Bolivia, he is not going anywhere.
Patrick Oppmann, CNN, Mexico City.
ALLEN: Reaction to the events unfolding in Bolivia is so far mixed. In Washington, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo commended the OAS audit of the election. He says that the United States supports calls for a new election and the installation of a new electoral council.
Mexico's foreign minister says 20 Bolivian officials are seeking refuge at the Mexican ambassador's residence in La Paz. He added, Mexico would grant Morales asylum if he requested it. But Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez is condemning what he called a coup against Morales. That sentiment is being echoed by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. We turn now to the U.S. impeachment inquiry entering a pivotal phase this week with the launch of televised hearings. Beginning Wednesday, lawmakers will hear from witnesses about allegations President Donald Trump withheld military funding to pressure Ukraine to investigate political rival Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.
Among the first to appear is the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine. This man is Bill Taylor. Meantime, House Republicans want to hear from Hunter Biden and the anonymous whistleblower, who triggered this inquiry, though Democrats insist that will not happen. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham weighed in on that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): It is impossible to bring this case forward in my view fairly without us knowing who the whistleblower is and having a chance to cross examine them about any biases they may have. So if they don't call the whistleblower in the House, this thing is dead on arrival in the Senate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: In another development, The New York Times reports the attorney for one of Rudy Giuliani's associates left Parnas, says Parnas delivered an ultimatum to Ukraine's new leadership at Rudy Giuliani's direction.
For more on the hearings and the Republican strategy, Natasha Lindstaedt joins us now from Colchester, England. She is a professor of government at the University of Essex. Natasha, good morning to you. Thank you for coming in. First step here, we are getting insight into the republican playbook for this week.
ALLEN: They are working to divert and distract ahead of the hearings. They are floating conspiracy theory and confusion. With that, will these hearings be able to provide the clarity and openness that Republicans have requested when it was behind committee doors?
NATASHA LINDSTAEDT, PROFESSOR OF GOVERNMENT, UNIVERSITY OF ESSEX: Well, I think they are going to be able to provide clarity. The Democrats have been trying to provide a clear narrative about has happened. The testimonies of George Kent, Bill Taylor, and Marie Yovanovitch have been actually very clear.
They have all agreed with one another. They all corroborated what the whistleblower initially said. They put together a very clear story to understand that the president was basically extorting Ukraine until they would investigate his political opponent and that there was a shutout diplomacy effort taking place.
And on top of that, a smear campaign led by Giuliani to undermine the credibility of Marie Yovanovitch because she was getting in the way of this attempt to get the Ukrainians to investigate the Bidens. So we have been hearing the same story over and over. I think what's gonna happen with the public hearings, one is that the Republicans can no longer say that the process is not transparent, so they can't really keep arguing that anymore.
People will be able to also just see for themselves and gear for themselves these testimonies, which I think are going to be very damning and which are all going to be on the same page, corroborating the story from the original whistleblower.
ALLEN: Right. Also, the president is warning moderate Republicans to stick by him, claiming he did nothing wrong. What do you expect from moderates? There are some republicans not up for re-election. They're retiring.
LINDSTAEDT: So far, the Republicans have stuck by him. They have been pretty loyal to him. They did not necessarily publicly state that they believe there was no quid pro. In fact, they mostly stayed silent. But if you look at the way the House voted, not one Republican decided to vote alongside with the Democrat or the one independent.
So we have seen that there has been a pretty tightknit group. But what is going on behind closed doors is a completely different story. We are continually hearing reports that Republicans are incredibly frustrated, particularly these moderate Republicans, that this is just a huge mess for them, that it could ruin their chances of reelection.
And then for those that aren't going to be running for election, this really is a question about what kind of legacy do they want to leave. We've also seen the elections in Kentucky and in Virginia. Democrats have made huge gains possibly because of this whole impeachment inquiry and mess surrounding Trump.
ALLEN: That's so true. Well, we heard Lindsey Graham a moment ago talk about the fact that unless the whistleblower comes forward and is allowed to testify, that this hearing will be invalid. But the whole point is a whistleblower is allowed to remain anonymous and has offered to give written testimony. So where do you think that argument is gonna go?
LINDSTAEDT: Lindsey Graham is really missing the point here of what whistleblower is supposed to do. They are supposed to be able to remain anonymous. As you've already mentioned, there are even statutes to protect whistleblowers because if they don't remain anonymous, they might not come forward. They take on huge risks. They play a really important role in democracies, in checking abuses of power and other types of corruption. So this argument is just insane to me.
The other issue is that the whistleblower has provided his or her account and we had testimony after testimony that has corroborated the account, most notably Alexander Vindman, who even had a first-hand account. He was on the phone call. He corroborated everything that the whistleblower has said.
So there is no reason to try to out this whistleblower and post some sort of risk to this person. It doesn't make any sense, this type of argument. But again, we are seeing Republicans returning to this idea that the process is wrong and therefore we are not gonna listen to any of it.
ALLEN: All right. It begins this week, and we will talk again, Natasha. Natasha Lindstaedt for us. Thank you for your insights.
LINDSTAEDT: Thanks for having me.
ALLEN: Sure thing. Spain once again finds itself in the political stalemate after socialists came out on top in the country's national elections but failed to gain a majority, this as the far-right Vox party more than doubled its seats in parliament. Acting prime minister and socialist leader Pedro Sanchez is calling on all parties to help ease the political gridlock starting Monday. Spain has struggled to form a stable government.
ALLEN: This was the second election in just over six months and the fourth in as many years.
Well, the British government is accused of delaying a report on Russian influence in U.K. politics. Coming up, in a CNN exclusive, how sources say parliament was worried about the meddling but failed to act.
ALLEN: Welcome back. Russia's influence reaches deep into the British establishment and successive governments in the U.K. have failed to act. That is the stark warning issued in testimony to a parliamentary inquiry on Russian infiltration into British politics.
Sources tell CNN the cross-party intelligence and Security Committee heard from multiple witnesses, they allege Russia has built a network to friendly British diplomat, lawyers, parliamentarians and other influencers across the political spectrum.
The full parliamentary report is yet to be published causing angry questions about the delay. The revelations come at a sensitive time as Britain embarks on one of its most divisive and acrimonious election campaigns in living memory. CNN's Nina dos Santos investigates.
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This week before Britons head to the polls, a bombshell allegation. Members of Parliament say Boris Johnson's government is suppressing a report on Russian influence on U.K. politics.
The contents of the report, compiled by cross-party intelligence and Security Committee, are bound by secrecy until Downing Street approves the release. The Intelligence Services, MI5 and MI6 made contributions, as did private citizens who are experts on the field.
(On camera): I've obtained some of the written and oral statements here and the picture that they paint is a troubling one. They say that successive governments have turned a blind eye to Moscow's targeting of political parties and research rolls inside the House of Commons, and they claimed that well-connected lobbyists, lawyers, and lawmakers have worked to help Russia infiltrate the British establishment.
(Voice-over): One of the witnesses was the American foreign financier, Bill Browder, who despite at one point being Russia's biggest foreign investor, fell foul of the Kremlin 15 years ago. I spoke with him before the report was complete.
BILL BROWDER, FINANCIER WHO PROVIDED TESTIMONY TO UK PARLIAMENT: The people who we have seen working to further Russian interests in the U.K. are some of the people at the highest level of the establishment.
DOS SANTOS (on camera): Can you give me names?
BROWDER: I can give you lots of names, but we start out with Lord Goldsmith.
DOS SANTOS (voice-over): Peter Goldsmith was the U.K.'s attorney general under Tony Blair. Browder claims that he was involved in a failed effort to help Russia avoid being on E.U. sanctions list. Also mentioned in his testimony is a company co-founded by Lynton Crosby, a heavyweight in conservative party circles. That business is alleged to have helped Goldsmith's work.
(On camera): Are you 100 percent confident of the evidence that you have to support these claims?
BROWDER: I would not have submitted the claims if I didn't have confidence in the evidence backing it up.
DOS SANTOS (voice-over): Goldsmith's firm said it would not comment on client matters but stressed that everyone has the right to legal representation. Crosby's company said that it was enlisted by Goldsmith and did not interact with Russian parties. And Crosby's lawyers said that he was not personally aware of the research done by the entity he co-founded.
(On camera): Another witness to the inquiry accused authorities of "putting political considerations ahead of national security." In testimony delivered in the wake of the poisoning of the former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, they say that Russia has managed to do what no terrorist organization has been able to thus far, deploying a chemical weapon on U.K. soil.
And they claim that Russia presents "potentially the most significant threat to the U.K.'s institutions in its way of life."
Analysts say it's high time that U.K. lawmakers tackled Kremlin interference.
ANDREW FOXALL, DIRECTOR OF THE RUSSIA AND EURASIA STUDIES CENTRE, HENRY JACKSON SOCIETY: I think during the Cold War, what Russia saw to do was gather intelligence. What Russia has been doing since 1991 is trying to gather influence, long wanted to weaken the European Union, divide the transatlantic alliance, and unfortunately western publics and western politicians are now doing those things for Putin.
DOS SANTOS (voice-over): In Westminster, (INAUDIBLE) of Russia was the subject to the contentious exchange during Parliament's last session before next month's general election.
DOMINIC GRIEVE, CHAIR, BRITISH INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY COMMITTEE: So for what purpose is the prime minister still considering it? It certainly can't be the risk to national security as the agents themselves have said there is none.
CHRISTOPHER PINCHER, BRITISH MINISTER OF STATE: It is not as if, Mr. Speaker, the prime minister has had not one or two other things to do during the last several weeks, notably obtaining a good deal for Britain in withdrawing from the European Union.
DOS SANTOS (voice-over): Downing Street declined to comment and has repeatedly denied that the failure to publish the findings was politically motivated. CNN has approached the Kremlin but not heard back.
With Parliament now dissolved and the report kicked into the long grass, it may be many months before the committee's conclusions see the light of day.
Nina dos Santos, CNN, London.
ALLEN: Let's discuss this with our guest, CNN national security analyst Steve Hall. He is a former CIA chief of Russia and Ukraine, the right person to talk to. Steve, thanks for coming on.
STEVE HALL, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST, FORMER CIA CHIEF OF RUSSIA AND UKRAINE: Sure.
ALLEN: All right. First step, what is your reaction to this report from the U.K. and how it fits into Putin's plan to expand Russian influence?
HALL: This is just part of a much larger plan as you were alluding to. It's not just focused obviously on the U.K. but it's focused really on all western democracies. Vladimir Putin's goal here is to try to divide the west and to try to make it weaker so that he can accomplish some of the geopolitical goals that he is most interested in.
We saw some of those recently in Syria. We may see some soon in Libya. But this is all an overall goal on the part of Vladimir Putin to create descent, to create chasms and divisions in western democracies. So far, he's been very successful at it.
ALLEN: Right. He was patrolling Northern Syria with a NATO ally, Turkey. And of course, he is also encroaching into Africa as well. How does this current situation that we are hearing about in U.K. compared to Russian interference in U.S. politics?
HALL: I think it fits very clearly into a pattern that Russia has. They are looking again at countries and at governments that might be sensed by them as somehow weaker and have some leverage to some handles that they can grab on to in the United States. They have targeted these difficult issues that I think all societies deal with, issues related to racism, religion and politics, all sorts of social issues that they're interested and latching onto.
And I think that you see them following a similar plan, albeit obviously with some different handles because it depends on what's going on in individual country. But we've seen it in U.K. and we've seen it in other western countries as well.
HALL: So it is again part of a larger plan and the patterns fit very close.
ALLEN: Yeah. As you see, Steve, are western countries working to stay ahead of Russia's ploy here. The British report is described as some level of reluctance or lackluster effort to reveal what Russia has been doing.
HALL: It's really difficult to try and figure out how to defend against this. This is a new hybrid warfare that we are seeing out of Russia. They understand that on the battlefield in terms of conventional war against NATO and other western allies that they would have a very difficult time of it. And so they have identified this other methodology that they can go after democracies.
How to deal with that is a real difficult issue. I think transparency is obviously an important part of it. And in as much as you have any government, whether it is in the U.K. or in the United States or elsewhere, that isn't willing to admit what is going on, isn't willing to talk about it and discuss what some possible solutions might be, that is not good for democracy and it is very good for Vladimir Putin. It's what he is hoping will happen.
ALLEN: Right. In some level though, are we being naive to think that other countries like the U.S. aren't doing similar things?
HALL: You know, motivation is really important, Natalie. I think the best analogy is when you look at cops and robbers. Both have guns and bullets but their goals and motivations are quite different. If you look at Russia, Russia's goal is to do things like annex (ph) part of other countries, the Crimea and Ukraine being a good example.
The United States and other democracies have never undertaken any policy activity so as to take over other countries. Their goal is to basically spread democracy. That doesn't sound naive when you consider that is good for the United States, it's good for western democracies when democracy spread.
But there also is this view that open societies where journalists aren't killed and where people have freedom of speech are better than closed societies like what you find in Russia, China, and North Korea. So it's really not a good comparison to say that everybody is doing the same thing.
ALLEN: That's true. Russia and United States stand for different things. Thank goodness. All right, Steve Hall, we always appreciate your expertise. Thanks for joining us.
ALLEN: Despite the allegations surrounding this report, a senior member of the British prime minister's cabinet tells the BBC Russian money is not pulling the strings at the upcoming election.
Protesters in Bolivia are celebrating after President Evo Morales stepped down amid accusations of election fraud. We take a look at what's ahead for Bolivia, next.
ALLEN: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM, I'm Natalie Allen. Here are our top stories this hour: A 21-year-old protester has been shot by a police officer in Hong Kong. A warning, what you're about to see is graphic. Video shows the traffic officer with his weapons out, as he scuffles with the individual. Then, a mass protester in black approaches, and the officer shoot him in the torso. Two more rounds were then fired. The protester is reportedly in critical condition at the hospital.
Spain's incumbent Socialist Party has won Sunday's general election but failed to secure a majority. While the far-right Vox Party more than doubled its seats in Parliament. Socialist leader and acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez is calling on parties to help solve the crisis.
The White House says the United States is seriously concerned about continued attacks against protesters, activists, and media in Iraq. Human Rights monitors say almost 320 people have been killed since the start of anti-government protests last month. One month after Turkey launched its offensive in Northern Syria, some of the major combat operations have ended. But the Turks and their allies say they are still finding explosives. They blame the largely Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces, but some civilians blame Turkey for the chaos. CNN's Jomana Karadsheh got a rare embed with the Turkish military into the so-called "Safe Zone" in the region. She has more in this CNN exclusive.
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The guns may have fallen silent here, but the battle for this corner of Syria is far from over. There is a deceptive calm, but every step could be deadly. A few days ago, a Turkish soldier was killed in a blast doing exactly what these soldiers are doing. We joined the Turkish military on their mission to demine the town of Tal Abyad. So, this area was cleared once before by Turkish forces, but what
they're finding out is that there are cells that are still active in this region. What they do is they still come back and they plant explosives. That is why there are ongoing sweeps clearing operations taking place. And it seems right now that forces here have found a device they're about to detonate.
The team isolates the site before safely detonating the bomb. Soldiers tell us they find 10 to 100 devices every day. Left behind, they say, by an enemy determined to destroy Turkey's promise of a safe zone. We drive into town just hours after a car bomb exploded in the market. There were no casualties this time, but people are still reeling from a horrific bomb attack, just three days earlier.
People around here are telling us that they knew these victims. They were the local pharmacist, the shopkeeper and his children, a woman who was out shopping with her children. And people here, residents are terrified that this could just be the beginning of these kinds of attacks.
We're scared of what's happening, all this terrorism, he says. This man tells us a booby trap outside his home killed his son. He's now scared and has trouble sleeping at night. And this woman says her neighbors came back from Turkey expecting safety here. But these two mothers were carried away in body bags along with their children. Is this the safety that Turkey promised, she asks. And that's the point of these bombings say Turkish-backed Syrian forces.
The SDF, the mostly-Syrian Kurdish fighting force is behind these attacks says Brigadier General Hassan al-Hassien (ph). They're trying to show people that the area is not stable, not safe, so no one comes here. The SDF has infiltrated even the ranks of the Syrian rebels, he says.
Like this 20-year-old now in custody, making less than $100 a month, he was lured not by politics, but by easy money to plant bombs on behalf of the SDFP, he tells us. We can't verify his allegations and the SDF say they're baseless, denying they had anything to do with any bombings. No one has claimed any of these attacks. Over the past nine years of war, this little border town has seen it all. Changing hands multiple times, now it's Turkey's turn to try and bring stability here. It's early days, and it won't be easy, especially for the civilians who once again have to pick up the pieces of their broken lives. Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, Tal Abyad, Syria.
ALLEN: Next here, bushfires in Southeast Australia are threatening people, homes, and wildlife. And fire officials fear it is about to get even more dangerous. More about that, next.
ALLEN: Bolivia is ushering in a new political era, after nearly 14 years in power, Bolivian President Evo Morales stepped down, leaving behind a power vacuum. His resignation comes after weeks of protests amid accusations of election fraud after Morales claimed he won last month's election. For now, second Vice President of Bolivia's Senate says, she is next in line to the presidency following a string of other resignations. Joining me now to talk about these developments, Bolivian protester Jhanisse Vaca Daza.
Jhanisse, thanks so much for being here with us. Let's begin with this fact, Morales is out. So, you were on the streets for days. What are you feeling right now? Is it relief? Is it elation? Is it a mixture of things?
JHANISSE VACA DAZA, BOLIVIAN PROTESTER: It's a mixture. Thank you so much. It's really incredible to see what has happened. We have been in civil disobedience for about 20 days in Bolivia, and we have protests. And in many parts of the country, it's been beautiful to see unity between different races and different parts of Bolivian society. But at the same time, I must admit, it's very worrying, because as of right now, two T.V. stations have suspended their work. There's a big newspaper from the opposition that's not going to be working tomorrow because there's been pro-Morales groups in La Paz, that are attacking and grouping (ph) in different parts of the city. There's been a lot of violent encounters this evening. So, it's very uncertain what's going to happen now.
ALLEN: All right. Are you certain that he will stay out of the picture? Is there some concern of unrest then, as there is some sort of transition of power that will take place? And what would that be?
DAZA: We do not know. We need the legislative assembly to have a session, so that they can establish who's the next in line. As you already mentioned, it should be a woman named, Janina Anez (ph) who's from the opposition. But as of now, it's pretty unclear as to who holds the seat of government because not only Morales and his vice president resigned, but also the head of the Legislative Assembly and many other. I believe it's been almost 50 people that resigned from the MAS Party in the last 24 hours.
ALLEN: So, when and hopefully, this will settle down and there is change in Bolivia. What are your hopes now for your country? What is needed?
DAZA: Well, first of all, we just want free and fair elections. That's what brought us to this point because Morales shouldn't even have been a candidate in the elections that we just had, which by the way, were a fraud as confirmed by a report made by the OAS. But he already had overruled the voice of people by not listening to the referendum in 2016, where we said that we want to respect the term limits. He just ignored that referendum and still went and run anyways for the fifth time, consecutive time that he was running.
So, we just want free and fair elections. Most of the people that have been on the street protesting, myself included, we don't identify ourselves with any specific parties. But we know that it's not fair for one government to stay in power as long as they want to, and to just overrule whatever the Constitution says. So, starting there, we hope to see free and fair elections. We also see -- hope to see respect of basic human rights.
There are many groups of indigenous people and women that have been under attacks in this past few days. A group of women were kidnapped yesterday in Oruro, and they were attacked by pro-Morales forces. Some of them were even sexually abused. So, we just want to see basic respect for human rights, democracy, and free and fair elections. I think that's something that many people across the world ask for, and Bolivians are not the exception.
ALLEN: Right. We're seeing protests around the world, and it seems like the people have spoken and have won this for Bolivia. We really hope this will be a peaceful change of power for all of you. And thank you so much for speaking with us, Jhanisse Vaca Daza. Thank you. Good luck to you.
DAZA: Thank you.
ALLEN: Well, after a weekend of deadly bushfires in Southeast Australia, forecasters say catastrophic conditions are about to make things much worse. New South Wales and Queensland are under a state of emergency. Dozens of fires are still burning, and intense heat and dry winds on Tuesday are expected to fuel even more. Fire officials are using people in high-risk areas are urging them to leave now. The smoke from these fires can be seen as far away as New Zealand. Our meteorologists joins us now to talk more about it, Pedram Javaheri. Pedram, these are already the most fires ever seen in Australia. It is hard to believe there could be even more coming.
PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: You know, the conditions are not going to help out, Natalie, and that's the concern moving forward. We've got a massive front on approach here. And we're talking about well over 100 bushfires across the region, stretching from Brisbane all the way south, of course, to near Sydney. These two states from areas around New South Wales towards Queensland most impacted by this.
And when you take a look at what is on the horizon, a powerful front, much cooler air behind it, but unfortunately, before we get there, we're going to have winds begin to really pick up an intensity, going in from Monday into Tuesday, and in particular, Tuesday night. Here's the front, 50-plus kilometer-per-hour winds in advance of it around Melbourne. Notice, as the front advances through Tuesday, places such as Sydney will push closer to 60 or 70 kilometers per hour. The front exits here off towards the east by Thursday. But again, the condition is expected to really deteriorate across this region.
And even these Fire Service Commissioner saying they've simply never seen a large number of fires for New South Wales simultaneously across this region. So, we know climatologically, this is what you expect this time of year. But you notice, this region indicate in the dark red that is indicative of the lowest rainfall on record over the past three months. And, of course, that's for New South Wales and portions of Queensland.
But notice the western territory, the northern region of Australia, as well. All of those areas when you go back to a 19 month period have seen a tremendous deficit in rainfall, as well.
So, you put this together. You put the upcoming fire season which happens from October through January across this region, you expect this to begin and really take shape.
But, of course, it's over a very densely populated region, some 7-1/2 million people call this region a New South Wales home, and a lot of them right on the east coast. And, of course, the winds wreaking havoc here.
We've had got a couple of days where the smoke has shifted to the south, reports of some of the smoke reaching Antarctica, and then, other days it shifts to the north and works its way towards New Zealand. So, really a broad-reaching event here across this area of Australia.
And unfortunately, as we go on from Tuesday into potentially Wednesday, the regions of Sydney and Hunter going to be see extreme to catastrophic fire weather conditions. So, it's going to get worse before it gets better across this area, Natalie.
ALLEN: That is such bad news. It's a story we'll watch closely. All right, Pedram, thanks so much.
It started as an informal holiday to celebrate single life. Now, Singles' Day breaks in billions and billions of dollars. Next here, why it's the biggest record-busting shopping day of the year.
ALLEN: Saudi Aramco is releasing fresh details on its potentially record-shattering IPO. But the oil giant still won't say just how much of the company will be floated. John Defterios reports from Abu Dhabi on what could be the biggest public offering ever.
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Investors are now one step closer to the opportunity of owning a piece of the world's most profitable company. This 600-page prospectus by Saudi Aramco outlining what could be the largest public offering ever.
Exactly how big the IPO will be remains unknown, but it could be the biggest listing ever with Alibaba of China holding the current crown.
The oil giant is set to sell half a percent of its shares to Saudi retail investors with the offering period kicking off on November 17th. It will then price the chairs on December 5th, with trading under Tadawul. The Saudi Stock Exchange expected to start mid- December. The prospectus did not say how much of the company would be floated. Original plans for five percent listing are now looking less likely. Scaling back in the region of one to two percent. Low oil prices, the climate crisis, and geopolitical risks remain concerns for investors, including, the September 14th attack on its oil facilities, which temporarily cut their production in half.
After that speedy recovery, the Aramco chairman Yasir remain in saying, listening Riyadh makes sense at this juncture.
YASIR OTHMAN AL-RUMAYYAN, CHAIRMAN, SAUDI ARAMCO: I think this is the right time for us coming to a juncture where we want to take Aramco to be a public company, to have more of disclosure.
DEFTERIOS: Let's not forget, this is one of the crown prince's priorities, Mohammad bin Salman in his 2030 vision. And well, maybe smaller than originally expected, he wants it delivered before the end of 2019.
John Defterios, CNN Business, Abu Dhabi.
ALLEN: When did you know the world's biggest shopping day is underway? It is Singles' Day, China's global shopping festival in a sort of anti-Valentine's Day. You know, day singles can do something for themselves, buy something for themselves.
It became a massive shopping spree. Thanks to Alibaba, the e-commerce giant and its co-founder Jack Ma. For 24 hours, shoppers can rack up huge discounts for clothes, cosmetics, and electronics, and well, anything else they can think of.
People usually spend more on Singles' Day than on Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. And this year looks no different.
David Culver is watching the sales numbers rise in Hangzhou, China and he joins us now. David, how is it looking?
DAVID CULVER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's interesting how you point out Singles Day at a way to buy things for yourself -- a treat yourself type holiday.
CULVER: The chief marketing officer telling me, it has evolved into much more now, Natalie. People buying for their family and friends, but I'm sure a good number of people have been filling their cards with their own desired items because they've been doing that for weeks here. That's the reality.
A lot of folks have been talking about putting things away in their e- shopping cart. Today, really maybe not so much shopping as it would be the e-checkout day. That's when they're finally going through and processing all those payments. And behind me you can see the numbers going up, the top is RMB, below that U.S. dollars. And they're at $29.9 billion. They're one billion away from the $30.8 that was hit last year for the all-time total. So, we've got several more hours to go and they could likely surpass that by a good number. It's something we'll be monitoring.
It's also something that's somewhat of an indicator as to consumer confidence in spending here in China. It's been in question since the GDP growth has seen it slow down and mean we're really lowest numbers in nearly three decades.
You also got the ongoing U.S.-China trade war that's looming. So, this will give us an idea as to what consumers are comfortable spending, how much they're willing to spend, and as my colleague Sherisse Pham pointed out in a cnn.com article one that you can check out, it's not necessarily though going to suggest that consumer confidence is at an all-time high.
Even if the numbers here are higher than last year, and the reality is people still like going after bargains and sales, so that's what today is all about. It's much bigger than just Alibaba, several other e- commerce sites and retailers taking part in this. But Alibaba certainly has the biggest chunk of the market share.
And one of the things they're really pushing Natalie, are Chinese brands. Because the reality is recent trend has shown that the Chinese customer is turning more towards Chinese brands. They see quality in it and they see it for them as shopping local, buying something that's from their own country.
ALLEN: Yes, understand that. And we're seeing part of the festival and the hoopla and the entertainment aspects of this shopping day.
ALLEN: I mean, it's not just a shopping day, it's an extravaganza, isn't it?
CULVER: Yes, it is. And the word they use, the chief marketing officer tell me, experience. And that's what they're changing shopping into. So, you saw Taylor Swift, she headlined the big show that kicked-off all the e-shopping that started at midnight. Several other performers taking part. It was really designed to be a show that could be watched on your phones as well.
So, it's an interactive experience and that's what they have done with the shopping too. So, people will go through shopping, they all see videos pop-up to be able to play games to get more discounts. That's what this has become. Incredibly interactive and experience, your word, extravaganza, certainly living up to that.
ALLEN: All right. David Culver for us. Thanks so much, David. We'll see you again.
ALLEN: And thanks' everyone for watching this hour. I'm Natalie Allen. Remember to connect with me anytime on Twitter @AllenCNN or Instagram. But don't go anywhere, I'll have another hour of news right after this.