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U.S. Stocks Finished Mixed After Sharp Drops This Week; U.S. Health Officials Urge Americans To Prepare; Muslims Targeted In New Delhi Sectarian Violence; Coronavirus Outbreak; America's Choice 2020; Trump Budget Cuts. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired February 27, 2020 - 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 (voice-over): Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church and this is CNN NEWSROOM.
Just ahead, with coronavirus spreading globally and markets taking a hit, Donald Trump assigns his vice president to handle the government response to the outbreak.
Bernie Sanders in the crosshairs: his rivals go after the front-runner once again, this time at the CNN town halls in South Carolina.
Later we will take you to the Indian capital, a city witnessing the worst sectarian violence in decades.
CHURCH: Good to have you with us.
California may have crossed a dangerous threshold in the coronavirus outbreak in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control says a patient in Sacramento could be the first U.S. case of what's called community spread. That means he or she had no relevant travel history or exposure to another known patient.
They CDC is considering expanding airport screenings for the virus. Currently the U.S. is checking only passengers flying in from China. At Los Angeles International Airport, cleaning crews are stepping up their efforts to disinfect restrooms and other public places. They've installed more than 100 additional hand sanitizing stations.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIC GARCETTI, LOS ANGELES MAYOR: We are disinfecting LAX every hour. We are making sure those points of entry and those places where we could see somebody coming in that could create a vector are as secure as we can make them.
(END VIDEO CLIP) CHURCH: Meanwhile, Trump is trying to reassure Americans that the risk from coronavirus is very low. But he insists his administration is prepared. He's asked vice president Mike Pence to lead the U.S. response.
Apparently that's surprised health secretary Alex Azar, who says he is still chairman of the task force. Meanwhile, sources say the president is worried the falling stock market will hurt his chance for reelection.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We're very ready for this. For anything, whether it's going to be a breakout of larger proportion or whether or not we are at the very level.
We were asking for $2.5 million and we think that's a lot. The Democrats and Senator Schumer wants a staff much more than that, normally, like I say, will take it. We'll take it.
If they want to give more we will do more and spend whatever is appropriate. Hopefully we will not have to spend so much because we think we've done a great job in keeping it down to a minimum.
QUESTION: Have you presented any plans that would involve quarantines like we saw in China and what would have to happen?
TRUMP: We do have plans on a much larger scale should we need that. We are working with states, with virtually every state. And we do have plans on a larger scale if we need it.
We don't think we will need it but you always have to be prepared. And again Congress is talking to us about funding. And we are getting far more than what we asked for and I guess the best thing to do is take it. We'll take it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Let's talk more about the administration's response to the coronavirus outbreak with Dan Diamond. He writes for "Politico."
Good to have you with us.
DAN DIAMOND, "POLITICO": Thanks for having me.
CHURCH: So after initially saying the coronavirus was a problem that would soon go away, President Trump came out Wednesday evening to address fears of it spreading and this is what he said when asked if he trusted his own instincts above the advice of his own experts. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: They said it could be worse and I said it could be worse too. I don't think it's inevitable. I will take inevitable. I think we're doing a really good job in terms of maintaining borders and letting people in, in terms of checking people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: So, Dan, is this the case of the president downplaying the risk of a coronavirus outbreak to try to preserve the economy?
DIAMOND: Rosemary, I think that's exactly what is happening. President Trump is very concerned the coronavirus is going to pose not just a risk to public health of Americans but the biggest risk to his reelection.
DIAMOND: My colleagues at "Politico" reported with me a few days ago on the Black Swan event. That's how Trump and his advisers are looking at the coronavirus, as a potential, expected but major disruption to the economy and a scary moment, not just around the world with an election looming and the Trump campaigning on the economy as the strongest issue.
CHURCH: Right. And at Wednesday's CNN town hall former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg reacted to what President Trump said about a possible coronavirus outbreak in his country. Let's listen to that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (D-NY), FORMER MAYOR OF NYC AND PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Number one, he fired the pandemic team two years ago. Number two, he's been defunding Centers for Disease Control so we don't have the experts in place that we need them.
I hope he's right that the virus doesn't come here, that nobody gets sick. That would be a wonderful outcome. But the bottom line is we are not ready for this kind of thing. And the president is not a scientist, is the nicest way to phrase it, doesn't seem to believe in science. We are as exposed to this kind of thing as we've ever been, probably more so.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: So Dan, is Bloomberg right?
Is this country not ready for an outbreak like this?
DIAMOND: Well, I think he's at least half right, Rosemary. The president, President Trump, has made a lot of cuts to the U.S. public health infrastructure. He has proposed cuts to the CDC; he has gotten rid of staff, as Mike Bloomberg correctly said, who dealt with pandemics.
At the same time there are still many staffers who have years of expertise working on this and there has not been a major spread in the United States yet. This might be the kind of issue where, in a moment, it seems like the United States was OK but three weeks later we will realize that we didn't have enough staffing, enough resources or surveillance to prevent a potential outbreak. And in my reporting the idea that the president has made these cuts,
as one source told me, it's a pray and see moment to determine if the U.S. is going to pay for their cuts and decisions that have been made in the past couple of years.
CHURCH: How concerned should we all be about vice president Mike Pence being selected by the president to lead the charge against preparing for a possible coronavirus outbreak, given he has no medical background and, when he was Indiana's governor, he chose prayer over any action to fight an HIV outbreak?
DIAMOND: Vice president Pence in some ways is a very good person to lead a response effort because he has more authority than anyone in the federal government other than President Trump. If Mike Pence wants something to be done a certain way, that will happen. He will be able to put the power of the government behind him.
But you are correct. The critics of Mike Pence are right. When he was in charge of Indiana's public health system, there were many public health problems in Indiana that did not get fixed. The needle sharing problem that led to HIV, opioid epidemic. There were some positive public health steps but many efforts got slid backwards.
I'm not sure a public health expert needs to lead this response, though. In 2014, Joe Biden's longtime advisor, Ron Klain, was put in charge of the U.S. Ebola outbreak response. Ron Klain is a well-known political official. I've talked to him many times. He's not someone who had health care experience before going into that role.
What you need is someone who can just get things done, who can coordinate across the government and make tough decisions. Mike Pence may be able to do that; he may not be able. We have to wait and see I guess.
CHURCH: I guess we will. Dan Diamond, thank you for talking with us. Appreciate it.
DIAMOND: Thank you, Rosemary.
CHURCH: The virus has now spread from China to every continent except Antarctica and on Wednesday, for the first time since the outbreak began, there were more new cases reported outside Mainland China than inside.
In South Korea the number of infections has jumped to almost 1,600. Now the U.S. and South Korea are postponing joint military exercises until further notice. Let's go to Seoul with Paula Hancocks. She joins us now.
Paula, as a sign of how seriously South Korea is taking this outbreak, it is now canceling these joint drills with the U.S.
What more are you learning about that?
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It appears as though it was the South Koreans who requested these drills be postponed. We heard from U.S. officials just 24 hours ago they were trying to work out how they can be scaled back as opposed to not happen at all. But they have been postponed until further notice.
HANCOCKS: It's unclear when will be carried out but they have said it's simply not possible to hold them at this point when you consider the U.S. forces here in Korea have had their first confirmed case of novel coronavirus.
A 23 year old man who was on a military in Daegu itself and was staying on a military base close by. And you look at the South Korean military, they have 20 confirmed cases, across the board in the navy, the army, the marine corps, the air force.
So they're certainly concerned and trying to contain this. If you consider the way many soldiers will be living and staying, they'll be living in barracks in very close quarters. So it is something the defense ministry is trying to crack down on very carefully.
It also comes at the same time the U.S. State Department has decided to increase its alert level for South Korea. It's going to level three which is the second highest level it can be, which is telling Americans they should reconsider travel to South Korea at this point -- Rosemary.
CHURCH: All right, our Paula Hancocks bringing us the latest from Seoul. Many thanks to you.
And Iran is quickly emerging as the epicenter of the outbreak in the Middle East. It now has 139 confirmed cases and at least 19 deaths. There's growing concern about the risk of it spreading to neighboring countries. For more CNN's Jomana Karadsheh joins me now from Istanbul in Turkey.
Let's start with Iran.
What more are you learning about those confirmed cases and deaths and why is the mortality rates in Iran so much higher than elsewhere?
Do we know?
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Rosemary, that is the big question. We don't really know what is going on in Iran, keeping in mind this is a country where information is tightly controlled and that is one of the main concerns here.
As you mentioned, the issue of the mortality rate, you said we're looking at figures as of yesterday, 139 confirmed cases and 19 deaths. If you look at the mortality rate from the virus at this point, it's anywhere between 13 percent to 15 percent in Iran over the past few days.
That is significantly higher than any other country in the world, significantly higher than the global average, anywhere between 1-2 percent. The question is why is that?
One possibility here, a strong possibility, is there is an underreporting of the number of confirmed cases in Iran. We just don't know why that is.
Is it an issue with screening?
Keeping in mind the health care in that country is really impacted by the sanctions so it might impact the capabilities in the hospitals. Are people are showing symptoms being tested, are people going to hospitals?
Or are we looking at a case where the Iranian regime is basically trying to downplay the severity of the situation?
We've heard from officials there, including the president, Hassan Rouhani, yesterday basically trying to reassure people, telling them it's all under control and then also slamming the U.S., saying they are trying to create panic and fear amongst the population.
So there is a lot of concern about how transparent the authorities are being there and how seriously they are taking this issue. They have put some measures in place. Disinfecting public transport, cleaning up mosques and other places. They've closed the schools and theaters and running the extraordinary measure on Friday of suspending -- they're not going to be having Friday prayers in cities where there is confirmed outbreak of the coronavirus.
But the question is are they doing enough?
And that is the big concern, especially when you look at the epicenter of the outbreak that is the city of Qom, the holy city in Iran. It's the religious capital, where we are hearing that shrine is still open to visitors. They have not been shut down. Officials, they're trying to project this image where the situation is normal and everything is under control.
And also another concerning development is what we heard from the president yesterday saying at this point they haven't made a decision and aren't considering quarantining any Iranian cities -- Rosemary.
CHURCH: That's a real concern there indeed. Jomana Karadsheh, bringing us the latest from her vantage point in Istanbul, Turkey.
CHURCH: Many thanks.
The U.S. state of Wisconsin is in mourning as it comes to grips with yet another tragedy. Five people were killed when an employee opened fire on Wednesday at a Molson Coors brewery complex in Milwaukee. CNN's Omar Jimenez has more now on how the tragedy unfolded.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The mayor here in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. describing it as an unspeakable tragedy for the city, where six people were killed in total, including the shooter. Five people who went to work today, thinking it was just like any other day, thinking they would be able to come home, just like any other day.
But that reality cut short. Now when police responded to this after 2:00 in the afternoon local time, they said they found a 51 year old man, dead from an apparent self inflicted gunshot wound. They say that man was the shooter, dead from the self inflicted gunshot wound but not before taking five of his coworkers with him, according to police.
They say when they responded it was in those initial moments that text messages went out to employees, telling them to shelter in place. Even one text message showing where the shots were coming from across this wide campus that is part of the Molson Coors complex here.
Now moving forward they're going to be trying to work toward a specific motive in this. But to give some perspective, the lieutenant governor says this is the 11th mass shooting to happen in Wisconsin since 2004.
But as this investigation continues, the governor said that, instead, our thoughts today with the families -- Omar Jimenez, CNN, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
CHURCH: Just days before South Carolina goes to the polls, four back to back U.S. presidential town halls on CNN. What the candidates had to say. That's next.
CHURCH: Just days before voters head to the polls in South Carolina, CNN hosted four back-to-back U.S. presidential town halls in Charleston. Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, former Vice President Joe Biden, senators Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren were there, answering the questions on everything from gun control to health care.
Senator Bernie Sanders was on the town hall stage Monday night. Wednesday, he was back on the campaign trail, clearly on the minds of other candidates, who all took turns taking a shot of him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Bernie has put forward a Medicare for all plan. It is a great central idea. We do need universal health care in this country. No one should go broke just because they get sick. Health care is a basic human right.
But getting from here to there is going to be hard. It is going to be hard. And Bernie's plan doesn't explain how you get from here to there. It doesn't explain how we bring in the extra allies that we will need, how we build coalitions that we need. And it doesn't explain how we are going to pay for it.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: You recently tweeted about Senator Sanders. You said he's beholden to the gun lobby. I know he voted against the Brady bill five times; he voted to block some lawsuits against gun manufacturers --
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (D-NY), FORMER MAYOR OF NYC AND PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If that isn't in the NRA's pocket, I don't know what is.
COOPER: He says the gun manufacturer vote was wrong and he wants to expand background checks and end the gun show --
BLOOMBERG: (INAUDIBLE). I don't wish him ill. If he changes his mind to do the right thing, that's good.
COOPER: Do you really believe he's beholden to the gun lobby?
BLOOMBERG: Well, I do know that he voted against background checks, which we've been four, five times in a row.
He also voted for a bill that gives the gun manufacturers protection against you suing them for misuse of their product. It's the only industry in America that is protected, the only one. And he was the sponsor of that piece of legislation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We can go back and forth on issues but Elizabeth and Bernie and I actually are all three of us are in leadership together at the U.S. Senate. I'll bet you wish you were in those meetings. And we have worked together on many, many issues. And I admire both of them.
I don't agree with their bill on Medicare for all. I think it's better to build on the Affordable Care Act with a public option.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: I think Bernie is a decent, honorable man who means what he says but I think it's going be -- it's not enough just to win and beat the president. The next president has to be able to win back a Democratic Senate. As they say, ask yourself the question. You are running for the United
States Senate in Georgia, where we can win, and North Carolina, here in this state, in Pennsylvania, in Arizona.
Do you think it helps or hurts to have a self proclaimed socialist at the top of the ticket?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: With me now from Palo Alto in California, Thomas Gift, lecturer in political science at University College of London.
Thank you so much for joining us.
THOMAS GIFT, UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON: Thank you, Rosemary.
After lots of shouting at the debate on Tuesday, CNN's town hall offered more detail on health care, gun reform, electability and a whole other issues.
Out of the four presidential candidates we heard from there, who do you think came out on top?
Who is the most presidential, do you think?
GIFT: That's difficult to say. I do think Bloomberg struck me at more ease in this town hall tonight and I think for the first time he was able to articulate the case for his candidacy.
Unlike in the debates, where he spent most of his time fending off criticism, this format gave him the opportunity to project his agenda. And I think Bloomberg did quite well in providing concrete example of how as mayor of New York City he worked to get legislation passed including, lobbying the state legislature to legalize same sex marriage and reform education.
GIFT: He also spoke passionately about gun control which is a key issue for him. Maybe this was just a function of lowered expectations after the debate. But I think Bloomberg had quite a nice evening.
CHURCH: That's interesting.
You felt he was the one that came out on top out of the four of them?
GIFT: I think he did. Obviously, I think all the candidates had their moment. And, of course, I think one of the most memorable moments for me was Joe Biden, when he was speaking to the reverend, whose wife had died in the Charleston shooting.
For all the interparty wranglings in primary campaigns, sometimes we see a bit of humanity. That was one of them. It was really touching, Biden reached out to this individual. Biden himself, who has lost a wife, his son and his daughter, and reflected the kind of empathy he's known for. And I think that's why voters in South Carolina support Joe Biden. So
I also think he had a very solid evening.
CHURCH: Of course, you mentioned Michael Bloomberg. He clearly bombed the first debate for the 2020 presidential race and did not seem prepared at all. He's done his homework this time and went into considerable detail. And it is a very different setting, isn't it, these town halls allow you time to go into this detail.
So does this put him back in the race?
Does he have any chance of ever getting nominated?
Do you think that's possible?
GIFT: That's a really good question. Out of these centrist candidates, you still have to look at Joe Biden as more of a central contender. I certainly wouldn't rule out Michael Bloomberg because he has lots of money to burn and he is trying to occupy that lane.
I think if we do see some candidates drop out after Super Tuesday because they are not viable with the fund-raising dollars drying out, then perhaps we could see Mike Bloomberg emerging as more of a central contender with Biden as well as Sanders.
CHURCH: Of course, Joe Biden is well positioned to win the South Carolina primary, that is according to various recent polls. He really needs to do well to continue on this journey.
Could the results of those polls and the South Carolina primary and his performance at this town hall help revive his chances?
Because a lot of people were thinking, he thought he was the guy but he seems to have lost it.
GIFT: Absolutely Rosemary. Biden is really confronting the test of a political career in South Carolina and I think even he would acknowledge that. A Wisconsin (ph) University poll (INAUDIBLE) today actually showed a very good lead for Biden -- 18 percentage points. And that's the highest point margin in leading in South Carolina. And it has increased quite substantially in recent days.
If he can win in a convincing fashion, I think he'll be energized for the campaign and emerge as the most viable (INAUDIBLE) nomination. I think it could change the psychology by encouraging some Democrats to rethink assumptions about whether a Sanders nomination is inevitable.
At the same time, it would still be a very much uphill battle for them, especially if some of the other candidates continue to stay in the race and split that moderate vote.
CHURCH: Thomas Gift. Many thanks. Appreciate it.
GIFT: Thank you.
CHURCH: Try as they might, the world's stock markets can't shake off the coronavirus. We will check the Asian markets and look at what's to come on Wall Street. That's ahead.
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Welcome back to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Rosemary Church. Thursday could be another rough ride on Wall Street with U.S. stock futures down across the board once again. The coronavirus rattling markets again on Wednesday but not nearly as badly as previous days.
Now the Dow and the S&P fell less than one percent while the NASDAQ made small gains snapping a four-day losing streak. But President Trump again is downplaying the outbreak's impact on the market suggesting instead the Democrats are largely to blame.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think it took a hit maybe for two reasons. I think they look at the people that you watch debating last night and they say if there's even a possibility that can happen. I think it really takes a hit because of that. And it certainly took a hit because of this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: And for more on how the outbreak is affecting global markets, Kaori Enjoji joins me now from Tokyo. So, Kaori, how are those numbers in Asia looking right now? And what are investors most worried about at this point?
KAORI ENJOJI, JOURNALIST: Well, the equity markets across Asia are looking still weak again today with the exception of Shanghai. I mean, the Tokyo market, one of the biggest in the region ended down 477 points. That's more than two percent. It takes the losses to more than 1,500 points over the last couple of trading sessions and below the critical 22,000 mark. So this is a fairly steep drop again, for Tokyo.
We're seeing oil continue to slide as well. And I think the biggest fear -- there to fears I think right now. One, of course, is the contagion. How much further and farther this virus is going to spread? And the second for investors is, of course, the economic fallout. You're seeing basically a paralysis in the manufacturing sector in the world, second-largest economy, China, for the last month. And you're having ripple effect and governments and companies are trying to gauge the extent of that.
You had South Korea come out and say today that they expect slower economic growth this year as a result of the virus. You had New Zealand come out earlier on today said that they probably may have to take emergency measures because exports to China account for about 25 percent of the country's total exports.
And you add on top of that different layers, for example, companies every day seem to be telling their employees, don't go to work, stay at home, so it raises the productivity issue. You have big concerts and events being canceled every day as well so you'd have a consumption issue as well. And on top of that, you have these clusters of outbreaks still continuing in various communities and schools are starting to shut down.
Things like that continue to raise anxiety and fear. And I think all of those combined people or investors are saying, wait a minute, we're just going to head to what's what feels safe. And right now, that seems to be the U.S. Treasury market. And we're continuing to see gains in there and the yields on the government bonds continue to sink.
So I think the picture is generally similar to what we saw earlier on this week. But, as you mentioned, not nearly as jumpy as we saw this week. I think what we're going to start -- investors are going to start focusing on is next week because finally, we'll actually get some real numbers from corporations about what the damage has been in the month of February. And I think that may compound some of the concerns people have particularly on the supply chain side of things.
CHURCH: All right, we'll watch to see what happens next week then. Kaori Enjoji, many thanks to you. I appreciate it. Well, President Trump says the risk of the coronavirus to the American people remains very low. However, the Centers for Disease Control warns it's not a matter of if but when the virus will spread in the United States. CNN's Brian Todd looks at what you can do to prepare.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Top American health officials say they expect to see more cases of coronavirus in the U.S. They're not sure how much the virus may spread inside the U.S., but they say Americans everyday lives could be impacted, and they need to prepare for the worst.
NANCY MESSONNIER, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL CENTER FOR IMMUNIZATION AND RESPIRATORY DISEASES, CDC: Disruption to everyday life may be severe.
TODD: What exactly does that mean?
CELINE GOUNDER, INFECTIOUS DISEASE SPECIALIST, NYU SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: That may include canceling mass gatherings, sporting events, having people work from home as much as possible.
TODD: And experts say possible school closures, but they stress that all may occur only in certain areas where there could be some community spreading of the virus, not all across the country. So what can the average American do to prepare or to fend off coronavirus? Experts say there are some very simple but important steps.
CHRIS MEEKINS, FORMER ASSISTANT SECRETARY, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES: Those include items like washing your hands for 20 seconds. Most people do it less than five to 10, including not touching your face not touching your eyes if you haven't washed your hands recently. TODD: Fist or elbow bumps, experts say, would be good alternatives to
shaking hands while the outbreak is at its height. Use knuckles or elbows to touch elevator buttons and doorknobs instead of your fingers. Stay home if you're sick. What about wearing masks as we see people do so often in Asia? Experts say Americans don't need to wear masks on a widespread basis. One reason, they don't always work perfectly.
ALEX AZAR, SECRETARY, U.S. HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES: That could actually sometimes be more harmful to you than not wearing a mask. Because if it's not fitted right, you're going to fumble with it, you're going to be touching your face which is the number one way you're going to get disease is unclean hands touching your face.
TODD: And there's longer-term preparation Americans are being advised to make. Experts say, think of it like an approaching hurricane.
GOUNDER: Having maybe two weeks' worth of food at home in terms of dry goods, can goods, frozen goods, in case for whatever reason, you know, there were to be some quarantine instituted. And I think actually most importantly having a good supply of prescription medications on hand.
TODD: What Americans should not do, expert say, is panic. The transmission and fatality rates from coronavirus are extremely low. In the U.S., most people who get it will survive. As far as things we enjoy and do every day like going to restaurants --
MEEKINS: People should continue to go out to eat. I'm continuing to eat out and I'm not worried. And my job in the government was to be worried about the worst possible things that could happen.
TODD: What about everyday travel for Americans on subways and buses? Experts say, we should not refrain from taking subways and buses to work. Just create a few more inches of space between you and those close to you if you can. Same for air travel, they say. Don't change plans or stop traveling unless there's a significant spread of coronavirus inside the United States, and there's a large cluster in a particular city. Then maybe you look at adjusting your travel there. Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.
CHURCH: Stay calm and prepare. That's the key. Let's take a short break here. Still to come, days of sectarian violence in New Delhi leave destruction in the streets and a death toll, but keeps climbing. We're back with that in just a moment.
CHURCH: Well, days of sectarian battles have reduced parts of New Delhi to smoked out rubble. At least 30 people have been killed in protests that exploded into violence Sunday. Demonstrations began in December over a law that fast tracks Indian citizenship for refugees from neighboring countries, but only for non-Muslims. Our Sam Kiley is in New Delhi. He joins us now live. So Sam, what's the latest on this and what's India's government doing about it?
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the latest death toll is now up to 30, Rosemary. Those are the people who've been killed or have died of their wounds from the violence which really flared over three days starting mostly on Saturday going through Sunday and Monday coincident with the visit of Donald Trump. Not the sort of thing that Narendra Modi would like to see out on the streets at a time when he's being praised for the religious tolerance that India used to be most famous for. But that is certainly not what we discovered on the ground. This is what we saw.
KILEY: Rioters desecrate the minarets of a Delhi mosque with a flag bearing the simian image of Hanuman, the Hindu god of power. It's calculated to insult and inflame. The mosque itself torched on the third day of communal violence that killed dozens and injured many more. This is what remains of (INAUDIBLE). I asked (INAUDIBLE), how will you make a living now?
He said, when there is nothing left, how will we earn? We will steal and then drink poison and die. He told me that a mob attack the mosque in this mostly Hindu neighborhood 24 hours earlier. They moved on to smash and burn Muslim homes around it.
This has been not only burned, but the toilet has been smashed. The shower rendered useless. This is what communal violence really looks like.
Violence erupted after a powerful Hindu politician from the ruling BJP party published a video demanding that anti-government protests be stopped. He warned that if the police did not stop the demonstrations, we will take to the streets. Soon rival mobs clashed in riots that spread across the northeast of Delhi. Victims from both communities ended up side by side in the local morgue.
Yasmin waits for the release of her brother in law's body. She said, people came from behind, and we're shouting (INAUDIBLE), Hail Lord Ram. They took Mehtap away. Then we got an anonymous call that Mehtap have been set on fire. Hamir is saying a Hindu lost his nephew.
Do you think that the policies of Mr. Modi have contributed to this?
That is true. If they didn't make this law, that would not have happened. But the law is right from his perspective. He is our Prime Minister, and people shouldn't riot like this, he said.
The Indian P.M. has appealed for calm, but scores have died the riots and protests this year across India, and the bloodletting looks far from over.
KILEY: Now, Rosemary, a lot of the people out on the street there in the Muslim community directly blame Prime Minister Modi for this and point to his tenure as Chief Minister of Gujarat about 15 years ago or more when he presided over a state, where there was a great deal of communal bloodletting in the ground in which at least 1,000 Muslims were killed back then. He is seen as deeply anti-Muslim by that community and indeed many secular or more moderate Hindus within India.
But he has appeal for calm. The national security adviser to the Prime Minister has been out on the streets. The streets here in the capital have been flooded with police now in an effort to bring an end to this communal violence that hit a large number of communities in the northeast of the city. So for now, it has gone quiet, very quiet indeed. But the resentments, of course, will last and this is definitely not the last we've seen of this violence, I don't think. Rosemary?
CHURCH: All Right, Sam Kiley with his live report from New Delhi, many thanks. Well, ants are creatures often misunderstood. They frequently overlooked, stepped on, or seen as pests. But one researcher in Mozambique is testing how a particular species of ant can actually be used as a natural pest control. And it's changing our understanding of the ecosystems around us. CNN Eleni Giokos has more.
ELENI GIOKOS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Norina Vicente is a pioneer in bringing Africa's biodiversity science to farming.
NORINA VICENTE, RESEARCHER, GORONGOSA NATIONAL PARK: I am doing a research about biological control using Weaver Ants to reduce the pests in agriculture.
GIOKOS: That's right, ants. They're often seen as pests themselves, but ants are the cleaners and engineers of the ecosystem. Vicente is testing whether these insects can actually be used as a natural pest control for coffee plants.
VICENTE: Their community use chemicals to control the aphids. But what they don't realize is that using chemicals, they are not just killing the pests, but also they are killing those that provide a good ecosystem service.
GIOKOS: She does the research at the Edward O. Wilson Biodiversity Laboratory, in Mozambique's Gorongosa National Park working alongside local coffee growers. Her study involves relocating entire colonies of ants to coffee plantations, then collecting data on how effective they are at removing insects like caterpillars and stink bugs.
From her research, she found that the Weaver Ants is perfect for helping cashew and coffee crops because they provide a shady environments that ants thrive in when building the colony and bring the nutrients in the ground to the surface of the soil. Vicente is fascinated by science and is now working towards her master's degree.
VICENTE: The main reason that I want to get deep in science is because I want not just tell the people the importance of the ants, but also solve problems, and also help in terms of conservation of these species.
GIOKOS: She hopes that through research like hers, we can preserve and conserve the ecosystem, while being an inspiration for many young innovators in her community and around the world.
VICENTE: I'm really proud to be a scientist. Using science, we cannot just discover a new species, not just discover habitat, but also you can understand how entire ecosystem work.
GIOKOS: Eleni Giokos, CNN.
PATRICK SNELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL SPORTS ANCHOR: Hi there, I'm Patrick Snell with your CNN World Sport headline. Just one place to start. That's in Madrid where Europe's club kings Real took to the field to play Wednesday. This in the first leg of their round of 16 tie with Manchester City club. Still reeling from that recent two-season European bound for allegedly breaching financial fair play regulations.
Well, City falling behind you this one thanks to Isco's goal for Real. But the visitors hitting back superbly. Two late strikes from Gabriel Jesus and then Kevin De Bruyne on a penalty to take a 2-1 first leg lead back to Manchester. Real's Sergio Ramos (INAUDIBLE). He will miss the return.
Wednesday's of the match featuring Italian champs Juventus traveling to France to face Lyon, the (INAUDIBLE) are two-time club champions of Europe. But it's almost unthinkable you have to go back to the year 1996 that they last one it. Lyon languishing in seventh place in France but they would shock the Italian giants here.
Lucas Tousart, the 22-year-old, what a really special career moment for him. Lyon 1-0 surprise winners of a mighty Juventus. And it's the end of the road for Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova who's announced her retirement from the sport. Sharapova who turned 33 in April taking the social media Wednesday to confirm the news. A career that yielded five major titles including the prestigious career grand slam.
Those are your World Sport Headlines. I'm Patrick Snell.
CHURCH: Well, it is lent, the Christian season of fasting and reflection. And Pope Francis wants Catholics around the world to give up something, not chocolate, or French fries, or soda. Instead, he's asking people to quit insulting others on social media. Speaking at St. Peter's Square on Ash Wednesday, he said land is a time to give up useless words, gossip rumors, tittle-tattle, and speak to God on a first name basis. Great advice there for all of us.
Well, any parent knows just how hard it can be to get a child to eat their vegetables. But what if their child is actually the President of the United States, known for his love of fast food? Here's our Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: What do you get when you sneak cauliflower into mashed potatoes? A sneak peek at the presidential diet, thanks to former White House doctor Ronny Jackson.
RONNY JACKSON, FORMER WHITE HOUSE DOCTOR: He has incredible genes.
MOOS: Remember the physician who gave President Trump's such a glowing report that SNL parody then?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's my expert medical opinion that the President's got a rocking butt with the perfect amount of cushion for the pushing. And if given the chance, I would.
MOOS: Well, now, Dr. Jackson is pushing for a seat in Congress.
JACKSON: And push back on this liberal, socialist, communist uprising.
MOOS: But what caused an uprising on social media was what Dr. Jackson told The New York Times about why President Trump failed to lose weight. The exercise stuff never took off as much as I wanted it to, but we were working on his diet. We were making the ice cream less accessible. We were putting cauliflower into the mashed potatoes.
SETH MEYER, COMEDIAN: Of course, the hard part was getting the mashed potatoes into his bacon cheeseburger.
MOOS: Can you imagine this presidential tweet.
JIMMY KIMMEL, COMEDIAN: He defended himself tweeting, "It was a perfect cauliflower."
MOOS: Someone posted actual video of Trump having dinner of cauliflower mashed potatoes. Did he also pretend the spoon was an airplane coming in for a landing, wondered someone else, adding an illustration. With the President's love for fast food --
TRUMP: We have 300 hamburgers, many, many French fries.
MOOS: No wonder cauliflower required covert action. Just imagine Dr. Ronny Jackson's White House cookbook, take cauliflower florets, grind them up, surreptitiously add the mashed potatoes taking care to use a mouth undetectable to the untrained palate.
What? They don't have White House taste testers to protect the president from hidden cauliflower?
What's next, brussels sprouts infiltrating the meatloaf? Kale and the Kentucky Fried? Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
CHURCH: Hiding the greens will be very difficult. Thanks so much for joining us. I'm Rosemary Church. Remember to connect with me anytime on Twitter. And I'll be back with more news in just a moment. You're watching CNN. Do stick around.