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Public Impeachment Hearings to Start Next Week; American Voters Contemplate on Impeachment Inquiry; Support From Russia for Trump; Great White Sharks Disappearing in South Africa; Catastrophic Fire Threat in Australia; Record-Breaking Cold Weather from Arctic Blast; U.K. Celebrates Remembrance Day; Bolivia's President Steps Down; Chaos in Hong Kong No Sign of Slowing Down; Public to See Live Impeachment Hearings; Consumers Went Crazy for One Day Mega Sale; Saudi Aramco Open its Shares to the Public. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired November 11, 2019 - 03:00   ET



NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. I'm Natalie Allen.

Next here on CNN Newsroom. The protests in Hong Kong have never been more violent. One protester has been shot by police. And we've just learned demonstrators have set a man on fire.

We'll take you live to the streets of Hong Kong.

Also, Bolivia's leader is out but now the question is, who's coming in? We will have the latest on that country's political crisis.

Also, we are just days away from what could be the most important development yet in the U.S. impeachment inquiry. More on the key witnesses we expect to hear from and what their testimony could mean.

Thank you for joining us.

Our top story comes from Hong Kong which has seen clashes between protesters and police for months, but the past several hours has been especially violent.

We are learning a man who confronted protesters was doused with a flammable liquid and set on fire. The video is incredibly graphic and has been shared on social media. Hospital authorities say they are treating a man with burns who is in critical condition.

That incident emerged after another. A police officer shot a protester. We are about to show you that shooting but we warn you it is also graphic.

We are told the protesters survived that shooting and is now in hospital -- a hospital in critical condition.

For more let's go to CNN's Will Ripley, he is live in Hong Kong for us out on the streets there. And, Will, it is just unbelievable how this is becoming more and more dangerous and violent.

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is, Natalie. And you know, I'm not wearing a gas mask and helmet to be dramatic, there has not been any tear gas fired. But I learned from experience on Halloween night when there are police officers nearby with their tear gas guns drawing and their helmets and their tear gas on, we better put ours on as well.

Because it's almost inevitable that at some point along this road as they start to clear the barricades the protesters have set up, shutting down Hong Kong's busiest shopping district.

Once again, it's surreal that on a busy, what should be a busy Monday afternoon my bank is closed, my gym down the street is closed, all these businesses that we Hongkongers rely on every single day shut down. The city's economy struggling in a recession because of relatively small groups of people who have figured out a way to move in very quickly shut down major thoroughfares, set up barricades and bring out the police in force.

But you might notice there is a lot of bystanders here. There's a lot of police, there's a lot of journalists, there are no protesters. They've already moved on. They moved right down the street to the next location where they are going to hunker down, build barricades, and perhaps set fires, spray-paint and do it all over again.

And that's what so remarkable, Natalie. We are more than five months into this protest movement and I can tell you this is some of the worst that we've seen in terms of disruption of Hong Kong and a busy Monday when people are supposed to be able to work.

Workers around here were sent home early, their offices were evacuated after tear gas was fired, tear gas actually hit a man in the head causing him to bleed at central station right over there. There was tear gas fired inside the MTR station because MTR stations are very popular targets for the protesters who are intent on doing as much damage as they can to make their point that they are fighting for their future, they say. They are fighting for the future of Hong Kong, fighting for democracy.

But, Natalie, to me, this feels not so much like a fight for democracy but a fight against the government, a fight against the police, a fight against the very institutions that are supposed to hold the city together.

But at the moment it's all kind of coming apart, and really there's no end in sight.

ALLEN: Yes, you truly get a sense of that with the latest development. All right. Be safe there. Will Ripley for us on the streets there in Hong Kong. Thank you, Will.


Well, in just a few hours, people in Bolivia will wake up to a new political era, one that does not include former President Evo Morales. This is another country that people been taken to the streets to try

to push back a government that has been unfair. This was the reaction where crowds Morales had resigned after nearly 14 years in power.

Again, we've been bringing you protests in recent weeks filled by accusations of voter fraud in last month's elections, Morales leaves behind a power vacuum after a round of resignations. The second vice president of Bolivia's Senate says she is next in line and is ready to assume the office ahead of new elections.

CNN's Patrick Oppmann takes a look at why Morales finally stepped down.

PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A political earthquake is rocking Bolivia after the country's long serving staunchly 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 a report came out showing widespread fraud Morales finally on Sunday offered to hold new elections.

The offer came too late though for the country 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. And with 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 but that he recognized that if he didn't leave there would be bloodshed and he wanted to avoid that. Many of Morales' critics said that he had 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's not going anywhere.

Patrick Oppmann, CNN, Mexico City.

ALLEN: Well, the U.S. impeachment inquiry moves into a new and potentially damaging phase for President Donald Trump this week. Allegations the president withheld military aid to Ukraine in exchange for an investigation of a political opponent will move from written transcripts into public televised hearings for millions to watch.

Republicans are demanding the whistleblower who triggered the inquiry testify in public.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): It's 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 advices that they may have. So, if they don't call the whistleblower in the House this thing is dead on arrival in the Senate.


ALLEN: CNN's Jeremy Diamond has more on what's ahead this week.

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: President Trump on Sunday continuing to attack the impeachment inquiry and the Democrats who are running the process, something he has done for weeks of course.

But this time it comes as this impeachment inquiry prepares to move to its public phase, as several officials slated to head to Capitol Hill this week for public televised hearings on capitol Hill, including the current U.S. (Inaudible) affair Bill Taylor, the top diplomat in Ukraine as well as the State Department official George Kent.

Those will be the first to come on Wednesday. As all of that is happening of course we are seeing Republicans trying to fine-tune their defense of the president. Several Republican senators on Sunday suggesting that well, a quid pro quo may indeed have happened but that it's not a problem.


SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY): I think we've gotten lost in this whole idea of quid pro quo, and I think Senator Kennedy kind of hit the nail on the head, is that if you're not allowed to give aid to people who are corrupt there is always contingencies on aid.

Even President Obama withheld aid. I think it's a mistake to say he withheld aid until he got what he wanted. Well, if it's corruption and he believe there to be corruption, he has every right to withhold aid.

SEN. JOHN KENNEDY (R-LA): Quid pro quo in my judgment is red herring. There are only two relevant questions that need to be answered. Why did the president ask for an investigation? And number two, and this is inextricably linked to the first question, what did Mr. Hunter Biden do for the money?


DIAMOND: Meanwhile, House Republicans are working up their own efforts to defend the president -- that with a witness list that they have provided to the House intelligence committee Democrats demanding several witnesses, clearly many of these on attempt to divert attention away from the main allegations that President Trump is facing concerning Ukraine.

Two of those witnesses particularly notable, one of them being Hunter Biden, the former Vice President Joe Biden's son, the other being the whistleblower.


The anonymous whistleblower whose complaints of course sparks this entire impeachment inquiry. But Democrats would have to actually approve that list of witnesses. And so far, there is no indication that they are going to be doing that.

House intelligence committee chairman Adam Schiff said in a letter to the top Republican on the committee that "As we move to open hearings it is important to underscore that the impeachment inquiry and the committee will not serve as vehicles for any member to carry out the same sham investigation into the Bidens or debunked conspiracies about 2016 U.S. election interference that President Trump pressed Ukraine to conduct for his personal political benefit."

And so that seems very clear there from the top Democrat on the intelligence committee who is running this impeachment inquiry that some of those witnesses including Hunter Biden and the whistleblower will not be coming forward.

Jeremy Diamond, CNN, New York.

ALLEN: For more on the Republican strategy heading into these hearings, we are joined by Thomas Gift, he is a political science lecturer at University College London. Thomas, good to see you. Thanks for coming on.


ALLEN: And good morning to you. Well the Republicans are spinning this to keep the focus on the Bidens and corruption and away from Donald Trump. Is that going to work?

GIFT: Well, I think the problem for Republicans is that there doesn't appear to be any evidentiary basis to contradict the quid pro quo fact pattern, so essentially, they're left with no other options.

They might say that, you know, either Trump's actions didn't rise to an impeachable offense or that the intent to commit a crime wasn't there were or the White House policy with Ukraine is somehow so incoherent that no one could really make sense of it. And I don't think that any of those justifications, unfortunately for the Republicans seem particularly convincing.

ALLEN: Right. Well, the Republicans have issued a witness list to the Democrats. They would like to see Hunter Biden and the whistleblower, it's probably very slim that Republicans will allow that but if that doesn't happen, they claim this whole process isn't valid.

GIFT: Well, that's certainly, but they've been trying to do since the very beginning, and they are going to continue to complain about process and particularly that the Democrats are rejecting their request for witnesses.

You mentioned Hunter Biden as somebody they wanted to interview, they also wanted to interview the whistleblower, but Adam Schiff has really insisted that he is not going to turn these public hearings into what he referred to as a sham.

And I think he has a point, because Hunter Biden has no knowledge directly related to Trump's dealings with Ukraine and the whistleblower's knowledge of the call is all secondhand.

ALLEN: You know, Republicans are also expected to argue that while Democrats have built up evidence from foreign policy officials, they have yet to prove that Trump or those closest to him directly ordered the withholding of aid or asked for political concessions. Is that argument perhaps their strongest opening to undermine the Democratic impeachment case?

GIFT: That's a great point, Natalie. I don't find it particularly convincing and I don't think Democrats will either, I also don't think that the American people will find that a compelling argument. But that's basically the hand that they've been doubting.

And so, I think that they're going to try to make it and ultimately will be up to the House, and then potentially the Senate, and also the American people who figure into this as well.

ALLEN: Right. Televised public hearing this week. It will be interesting to see what the ratings are there --

GIFT: Yes.

ALLEN: -- as people are tuned. Well, at the same time, will the refusal by the White House to make available witnesses like Rudy Giuliani or the acting chief of staff Mulvaney, will that allow the Democrats to argue the White House has something to hide.

GIFT: Well, certainly that's the case that they are going to make and they're essentially going to say well, if the Republicans did nothing wrong, if this was such a perfect call and there was no a concerted effort behind these dealings with Ukraine then why not put everyone forth.

But this is also going to set up constitutional challenges over checks and balances and separation of powers and that's been the case since the very beginning. Who is going to comply with subpoenas, who is not, and so you're really going to see this battle, I think between the House of Representatives and the White House going forward.

ALLEN: Well, I want to switch gears here a little bit and ask you about something else that developed on Sunday. Former Trump appointee, the former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley has a book coming out this week and she says in her book that former top White House officials Rex Tillerson and John Kelly asked her to undermine the president. Here she is Sunday about that. Let's listen.


NIKKI HALEY, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: Instead of saying that to me, they should been saying that to the president, not asking me to join them on their side bar plan, it should have been go tell the president what your differences are and quit if you don't like what he's doing.



ALLEN: All right. Let's talk about what he is referring to. She claims that both of these men wanted to undermine the president and asked her to undermine the president because she writes, they said that he doesn't know what he's doing, he is incompetent and that they're trying to save the country.

That is quite a revealing look as the West Wing and the chaos that has really been there from the beginning.

GIFT: It certainly is, Natalie. The first thing to remember about this publication is the backdrop of it, which is Nikki Haley wants to sell books and she also wants to set up her political career. There has been some speculation that she might someday run for president.

But to the point that you make, you know, the details of the book do seem very consistent with there being a lot of concern within the White House about the competence and the judgment of this president at a very basic level.

Nikki Haley certainly isn't the first to make this observation. Anonymous and others have done so as well. And so, this is basically just very consistent with the narrative that we've already seen.

ALLEN: Right. All right. Thomas Gift, we always appreciate your insights. Thanks for joining us.

GIFT: Thanks so much, Natalie.

ALLEN: Sure thing. Well, it started as an informal holiday to celebrate single life, now single's day rakes in billions and billions of dollars. We'll tell you why it's the biggest record shopping day of the year in China.



ALLEN: Well, it is Veterans Day in the United States and it is a crazy shopping day in China, people are spending money like crazy today. It's China's global shopping festival, otherwise known as singles dat. It's on 11/11 every year.

And with billions of dollars spent every hour it is bigger than black Friday and cyber Monday combined. It became a massive shopping spree, thanks to Alibaba, the e-commerce giant and its co-founder, Jack Ma.

For 24 hours, shoppers around the world can rack up huge discounts for clothes and cosmetics, sports cars and liquor. You know, if those two things put, so sportscar and liquor, how do we write that, basically whatever you can think of.

David Culver is keeping track of the numbers at Hangzhou, China. Yes, could you pick me up a couple Teslas and some beer there, David.

DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, just as long, Natalie, as you keep the two separate, OK, not as the same, for as same out. You know, I think I've fallen asleep seeing numbers just counting in my mind because this has been incredible to watch.

This is the count that they have going on here, they have several monitors set up at (Inaudible) global headquarters. And right now, we are at $30.3 billion. We're about 500 million away from last year's record. And we still have several hours to go for this online shopping extravaganza to continue.

It's somewhat indicative of consumer confidence, analyst warn not entirely. But what we are looking at here in the midst of a down economy. China's GDP growth has slowed to its lowest level in nearly three decades. You got the U.S. trade war with China, still ongoing.

And yet this may give us a clue as to what every day folks are thinking and how they are going to spend their money. It will be more interesting to tell the percentage in growth year to year and we'll get those numbers a little bit later but that will be really indicative of consumer strength.

Because as analyst point out anybody looking for a bargain is going to come today to do some shopping. So, it's not necessarily overall consumer strength that will shine here.

Interesting to have watched over the past several weeks as people here have prepared for this day and they've had their iPhones and android devices and all their phones, Huawei phones prepare for their (Inaudible) and Timo apps putting in their e-cart, Natalie.

Several items a list of things that they have been scouting out and going through reviews and preparing to buy today. So, at midnight is when they started going to the e-check out, if you will, and making these purchases final and getting a lot of discounts and benefits and doing so.

Also, interesting to see some of the brands there showcase here and doing pretty well. It seems a lot of the Chinese market is looking to do Chinese shopping, wants the brands from China to support local, if you will, as they are seeing it because they believe that the quality has increased greatly over the past few years and serves their demands just fine.

ALLEN: Yes, it's also fascinating and the extravaganza that goes along with it, at least it's gone global too. How is it spreading outside of China?

CULVER: A short time ago I spoke with the chief marketing officer and he stressed that point exactly. This is not just a China focus event. In fact, they have some 78 countries that are partaking.

And as I was looking at the list of the top countries that are selling to the China market, you've got Japan up there, the U.S., Korea, and at the same time this model of connecting retailers with customers is something that has been exported by Alibaba group to several other countries too.

So, they see this as an effort that's moving well beyond the boundaries of the people's republic.

ALLEN: All right. We'll see if it tops the 30-billion mark from last year. David Culver, very interesting stuff.


ALLEN: Thanks so much. Keep watching it.

All right. Other news we are following for you. 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.

CNN John Defterios reports from Abu Dhabi on what could be the biggest public offering ever.

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN BUSINESS EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Ambassadors are now one step closer to the opportunity of owning a piece of the world's most profitable company. The 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 its shares on December 5th, with trading on to 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 5 percent listing are now looking less likely, scaling back in the region of 1 to 2 percent, though oil prices, the climate prices 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 he also remains in saying, listen in, 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, we want to take Aramco to be a public company to have more (Inaudible).


DEFTERIOS: Let's not forget this is one of the crown prince's priorities. Mohammad bin Salman in his 2030 vision, although it may be smaller than originally expected he wants it delivered before the end of 2019.

John Defterios, CNN Business, Abu Dhabi. ALLEN: And speaking of oil, if you're watching internationally,

thanks for being with us. The Global Energy Challenge, a special here at CNN is next. If you are watching from the United States, please don't go anywhere, I'll be right back with much more news for you.



NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: -- after confronting protesters. Another protester was shot by a police officer. And a warning, this video is graphic. It shows the traffic officer with his weapon out as he scuffles with one individual, then a masked protester approaches and the officer shoots him right there in the torso. We're told the protester is in critical condition.

A new political dawn in Bolivia in the wake of President Evo Morales stepping down. Morales led the country for nearly 14 years but resigned following accusations of election fraud. His resignation was greeted by cheers from protesters in this country who for weeks had taken to the streets after Morales claimed victory in last month's election.

The U.S. impeachment inquiry moves into a critical new phase this week when witnesses will testify in public televised hearings starting Wednesday. One of the first up is the top U.S. Diplomat in Ukraine, Bill Taylor.

His closed-door testimony has corroborated many claims made by the whistleblower who alleges President Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine to force an investigation of a political rival.

Well, CNN talked with voters across the United States to get their views on the impeachment proceedings. Athena Jones has our report.



ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Trump insisting he's not worried about the impeachment inquiry set to ramp up on Capitol Hill this week delivering a familiar message to reporters Friday.

TRUMP: This is just like the Russian witch hunt.

JONES (voice-over): It's a message that has become a mantra.

TRUMP: The deranged, delusional, destructive and hyper-partisan impeachment witch hunt.

JONES (voice-over): One his supporters in battleground states across the country are echoing.

TRUMP: To make America great again. JONES (voice-over): In Michigan where Trump won by just under 11,000

votes after President Obama carried the state twice, some Trump supporters blasted the Democrats.

JAMES MELSTROM, FINANCIAL ADVISER: I think it's a total witch hunt just like President Trump says. I think that the Democrats are really just trying to overturn the results from 2016 and I think it's going to fail miserably.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The president's doing a great job.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think Trump's got it.

JONES (voice-over): And they praised the president's performance.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look at the real estate. I mean, house goes on the market, it's gone in a week, if it takes that long. I mean, the economy is just booming.

JONES (voice-over): But in Georgia's sixth congressional district, which elected a Democrat to Congress in 2018 after Trump won it narrowly in 2016, some voters said they were tired of a president who feels he's above the law.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why not just let the ballot box determine the fate of the president.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's the level and the depth of what has gone on. The extent to which the administration feels above the law, our minds just continue to get blown. And there has to be a limit.

JONES (voice-over): Former Republican Tamara Stevens supports impeaching the president, even if it energizes Trump supporters.

TAMARA STEVENS, FORMER REPUBLICAN: Asking for an investigation and dirt on your political opponent in 2020, I mean, he could potentially be going up against Biden. This is what he was asking for. That has a value that well exceeds a million dollars. So, how people can excuse that and say, oh, it's no big teal. It's just part of diplomacy.

JONES (voice-over): Stevens says there is an important difference between the Ukraine investigation and the Russia investigation Trump spent two years slamming.

STEVENS: This is looking forward to 2020 and trying to mess around with an election that we've got coming up. That's a whole new ball game.

JONES (voice-over): Republicans in her district not surprisingly disagree.

DEBBIE FISHER, GEORGIA REPUBLICAN: I think it is a sham and it's not as much the impeachment itself as the process that they are going to that is unprecedented in the history of this country.

JONES (voice-over): Add in Pennsylvania, which went for Trump in 2016 going red for the first time since 1988, voters split largely along party lines with Democrats ready to throw the book at Trump.

BLAIR ELLIOT, REGISTERED DEMOCRAT: We're seeing the evidence in realtime almost and I think that that's good enough for me to think that he's ready to go.

MIKE LAWS, REGISTERED DEMOCRAT: I think he's violated the law. Trying to exploit money that was already appropriated from the Congress and holding that up saying I need a favor.

JONES (voice-over): And Republicans standing by the president.

GARRETT GUMMER, REGISTERED REPUBICAN: I don't think David Copperfield or if Harry Houdini was living they could pull a quid pro quo out of that transcript.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How do you explain the way testimony from others who say they had concerns about the call?

MILO MORRIS, REGISTERED REPUBLICAN: Those are not data points. That's opinion. And I don't know we can necessarily try somebody based on somebody else's set of opinions.

JONES (voice-over): Independents were similarly split.


MARIENE PRAY, INDEPENDENT VOTER: I have seen enough evidence in reading the transcripts and watching a variety of news sources that looks like a lot of abuse of power.

JIM LUNDBERG, INDEPENDENT VOTER: Things he's done are reprehensible and I'm embarrassed that he's our president. But I'm not a lawyer and I don't know if those things rise to the level of high crimes.

JONES (voice-over): But back in Michigan, even those who support the inquiry have a clear warning for Democrats. Don't let this side track you from tackling the issues that are top of mind for voters like health care and jobs.

CHRISTINE WILLIAMS, SMALL BUSINESS OWNER: I think it's important that the inquiry be going on. I also think it's important that we not be distracted by it and that there's actually governance going on as well.

JONES (voice-over): Athena Jones, CNN, New York.


ALLEN: President Trump has plenty of support in Russia and while some Russians enjoy watching political dysfunction in the U.S., Matthew Chance reports they are concerned about how Russia would be affected if President Trump were impeached.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In the burger bars of downtown Moscow, Trump is a favorite on the menu.

There please, the Trump burger. Right. What's in -- what's in the Trump burger?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's like Angus beef.

CHANCE: Angus beef.


CHANCE: No baloney. No baloney.


CHANCE: Okay, good.

And the president, like the burger, is popular with Russian diners.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Wow, this is so wonderful man because this is special. Special hair.

CHANCE: Trump -- you love his hair.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. This is so strange but I like -- he's strong.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) the truth and Trump (inaudible) and other presidents would be like much more strict for Russian.

CHANCE: Much more critical of Russia.


CHANCE: Right.

(voice-over): The truth is, many Russians see President Trump as a rare friend in the White House one would be lost if he's impeached.

One Russian state television, tightly controlled by the Kremlin, support for Trump and the impeachment battle is absolute. After all, it is Russia, they sometimes joke, that got him elected. Allegations of election meddling were officially denied, but often referenced even on serious news shows with a wink.

Have you lost your mind that you want to remove our Donald, asks the host of this weekly current affairs program. They say Trump is weakening the United States, says one of his guests. Yes, he is, and that's why we love him, he adds. The more problems they have, the better for us.

It's no secret some Russians are taking pleasure at the political discord in the United States. Impeachment, according to Republican members of Congress in a recent open letter to the "Wall Street Journal" is what Vladimir Putin wants.

But the fast-moving impeachment process may be too chaotic even for the Russian president. He wants crippling sanctions lifted, arms control deals, and a working relationship with the White House. Virtually impossible, he says, in such a toxic political environment.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translation): How can we cooperate with them when they are so engaged in their domestic political affairs? Obviously, this is always the case during an election campaign, but this domestic political race has gone a little over the top. I don't think it's ever been like this in the history of the United States.

CHANCE (voice-over): Like Russia itself, its views on Trump and his possible impeachment are complicated and contradictory. They relish the chaos, but crave stability and have little time for opponents of their American friend.

CHANCE: What about people who say he's not a good president, he should not be president? What do you --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is boring people. This is people who think only these because this is president like these.

CHANCE (on camera): Whereas you can see, President Trump is very popular in Russia. People here see him as sympathetic to their world view. And amid-international sanctions of this country for his actions in Ukraine and elsewhere, the U.S. president is an outspoken advocate for bringing Russia in from the cold.

They are maybe watching the political crisis in the U.S. for some satisfaction, but few Russians really want to see President Trump leave office. Matthew Chance, CNN, Moscow.


ALLEN: All right, well, here's what we can expect to happen for those of you watching in the United States and well, Russia too, it's going to be a busy few weeks. CNN will bring it all to you live including the coverage of the hearings this week.

[03:39:58] And those begin Wednesday with Bill Taylor and George Kent set to

testify. And then join us on Friday for the public hearing of former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch. You'll see it live here on CNN.

Well, wildfire -- wildlife, excuse me, lovers are stumped by an underwater mystery in South Africa. Great white sharks are disappearing without a trace. We'll tell you about it, next.


ALLEN: Check that out. This was an opening night like no other. This is in Argentina where a sports club arranged for a hologram of a flaming lion to prowl the roof of their new stadium. That's pretty cool right there where people weren't scared.

All right, we have this important story to share with you. Great white sharks are mysteriously disappearing from one of their most famous hunting grounds. CNN's David McKenzie takes us off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa where experts are worried about what's happened to them.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will throw the cage off the back of the boat.

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): We've come to dive with an apex predator.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Seal Island is probably the world's most famous location for seeing Great white sharks.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, there he is. There he is.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): And we see plenty of sharks --

(on camera): It was incredible. It came right at us to check us out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, right there, right there, right there.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): But no great whites. These sharks are scavengers, not the iconic hunter that made this bay famous. After millions of years, in 2019, the great whites of Cape Town have vanished.


CHRIS FALLOWS, PHOTOGRAPHER: For me, the loss of the great white shark is losing part of my soul, you know. This is an animal that shaped my life. It's given me some of the greatest highs of my life.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): Chris Fallows, the photographer who put these sharks on the map, is forcing himself to speak in the past tense.

The first time you saw this, what was it like?

FALLOWS: It was unbelievable. I mean, everybody is fascinated by great white sharks, but flying great white sharks, to see this incredible super predator taking to the air, showing off its athletic prowess, it was fantastic.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): This past season, they haven't seen a single shark. On the cliffs above, shark spotters used to take these sightings for granted. This year, they've recorded zero great whites, not a single one.

MCKENZIE: What if they don't come back?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we're just going to have to wait. MCKENZIE (voice-over): Fishermen like Solomon, Solomon say there are

more seals now too competing for their catch. It seems the ecosystem is already feeling the effects.

SARA ANDRIOTTI, BIOLOGIST: The impact of losing the apex predator for the marine environment is going to be huge.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): Biologist Sara Andriotti says the zero sighting is alarming, but not surprising. She predicted the collapse years ago. In 2012 by studying genetics, she found that the population was smaller and more vulnerable than anyone imagined.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): What were your reactions to the population of great whites in South Africa?

ANDRIOTTI: Concern, mostly, but also shock. We were expecting to find a thousand or more individuals around here.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): Overfishing, shark poaching and the weak gene pool have all contributed.

ANDRIOTTI: People don't like to listen to sad story. And it is difficult to realize that humans could have had such an impact on such a pre-historical iconic predator.

FALLOWS: Unless we really step up our efforts to conserve what we have left, South Africa's once bountiful shores are becoming more and more empty by the day.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): If there's any hope of great whites to return, he says the focus should now be on what needs to be done, not about what once was. David McKenzie, CNN, False Bay, South Africa.


ALLEN: And that is a very disappointing statistic for the great whites. Well, much of the U.S. is facing a bitter cold snap. It is still autumn, but the winter weather is already causing a lot of trouble. We'll have an update on the record-breaking chill, ahead here.



ALLEN: After a weekend of deadly brush fires in southeast Australia, forecasters say catastrophic conditions are about to make what you're seeing here even worse. New South Whales and Queensland are under a state of emergency and fire officials are urging people in high risk areas to leave now. Gabrielle Boyle with "Nine News" in Australia has the latest.


GABRIELLE BOYLE, REPORTER, NINE NEWS: I'm joining you this morning from Taree, which is a regional center about four hours north of Sydney on the New South Whales coastline. And it is here the epicenter of the bush fire emergency response.

Over the last 24 hours or so, people that have had to evacuate their homes and businesses have come here. They've come with horse floats, caravans, trailers, just their cars, anything they can to escape that bush fire leaving their homes and leaving (inaudible) rural fire service crews to respond to this emergency.

We have lost more than 150 homes already and tragically three people have lost their lives. It's certainly been a busy 24 hours for emergency crews. Let's take a look at what the rural fire service have had to say about their emergency response.

SHANE FITZSIMMONS, COMMISSIONER, NSW RURAL FIRE SERVICE: We've got another 400 flying in and driving in today ahead of the conditions tomorrow. Our colleagues from Victoria are sending in more than 50 additional fire trucks, which we've prepositioned in areas like (inaudible) and in the Hunter, ready for rapid deployment and the bolstering of the local fire fighting effort.

BOYLE (voice-over): But of course, the emergency isn't over yet. The rural fire service here in New South Wales is predicting catastrophic conditions tomorrow and that's for a number of reasons. We're expecting very high temperatures upwards of 40 degrees.

We're expecting very strong winds and of course, we've had drought conditions for several years now across this region, meaning there's no water in the soil, there's no water in the plants and everything erupts when it catches fire.

Certainly, we have had dozens of fires burning across this region through recent months and fire crews have really struggled to contain them. The concern is tomorrow when those conditions deteriorate, that things could escalate.


ALLEN: Well, I'm sure people in the state of California can relate to that scene there in Australia. We'll keep tabs on that story this week.

Well, it is cold in the U.S. much colder than usual. Over the next week, Arctic blast will break records across the country from the Midwest to the Deep South with temperatures that feel more like January freeze than November chill.

Our meteorologist Pedram Javaheri joins us now with more about it. Yes, the trees just started changing. The leaves just started changing. And now they are covered up in some places with white.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: It's happening quickly. It absolutely is. And we're talking about some areas running 30 or more degrees below average. It's an incredible trend here when you look at just how cold it's going to be across some of these areas.

And of course, some big time wintery weather to be had across the Great Lakes, across the northern plains and work your way into portions of the Midwestern U.S. as well. We have a massive front on the horizon here that will bring snow showers and a wintery mix as far as south is Nashville, Tennessee here in the beginning portion of November.

Really, as you said, January to February-like trend, and of course, all of this pushes and eventually towards the northeast. And when it's all said and done, looking at a significant amount of lake-effect snow right on the eastern portion of the Great Lakes there because of course, the lakes are still rather warm as we're just transitioning in the last three weeks out of the fall season.


So, as that cold air goes over the warm waters, we get some of that energy transfer in place and as much as 8 to 10 inches of snowfall possible on the eastern portion of the Great Lakes. And then notice widespread coverage here of at least 2 to 4 inches from Nashville towards St. Louis

And in and around the say areas around Chicago, Columbus, all of these regions have a shot at least of some snow in the forecast. And the temperatures, the best we can do across parts of the northern tier, that 18 degrees this afternoon around Minneapolis.

Of course, that is more something you would see, say in February, not in November. And you take a look at this, upwards of 350 record temperatures possible inside the next couple of days. And about a 2,000 mile area of land underneath winter weather advisories for the country as well so, big-time wintery chill already in the forecast, Natalie.

ALLEN: All right, Pedram, thanks very much.

We want to take a second to send out a salute to the veterans. This is Veteran's Day here in the United States and a national holiday. And in the U.K., the queen and other members of the British Royal Family paid their respects Sunday to the U.K.'s war dead to mark Remembrance Day, as they call it.

The 93-year-old monarch looked on as her son, Prince Charles, laid a wreath made of poppies honoring those who died in conflicts. The annual ceremony traditionally takes place on the Sunday closest to the anniversary of the end of World War I.

Other tributes included this World War II airplane dropping 750,000 poppies over the white cliffs of Dover. And the two-minute moment of silence was observed across the country.

Thank you so much for joining us. I'm Natalie Allen in Atlanta. "Early Start" is next. Have a great week.