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The Brief with Bianca Nobilo

The U.S. President Makes A Surprise Visit To Afghanistan; A Former Police Chief Has Been Found Not Guilty Of Gross Negligence Manslaughter Over The Hillsborough Stadium Disaster In The U.K.; The Iraqi Prime Minister Has Ordered An Investigation Into The Violence That Killed 31 Protesters And Security Forces. Aired 5-5:30p ET

Aired November 28, 2019 - 17:00   ET



RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Comes along too. And that's business tonight. I'm Richard Quest in New York. Whatever you're up to in the hours

ahead, I hope it's profitable. "THE BRIEF" with Bianca is next after this.

BIANCA NOBILO, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Tonight, on THE BRIEF. The U.S. President makes a surprise visit to Afghanistan and says, the U.S. is once

again in talks with the Taliban. Why climate scientists warn earth, it's heading toward a global tipping point. And the British election may be no

laughing matter. Well, unless you play Jonathan Pie, Comedian Tom Walker joins me on set.

Live from London, I'm Bianca Nobilo. Welcome to the show.

U.S. President Donald Trump has made a surprise visit to Afghanistan where he announced peace talks with the Taliban have restarted.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: The Taliban wants to make a deal. We'll see if they want to make a deal, it's got to be a real

deal. But we'll see, but they want to make a deal. And they only want to make a deal because you're doing a great job. That's the only reason they

want to make a deal. So, I want to thank you and I want to thank the Afghan soldiers.


NOBILO: During his visit, Mr. Trump served food to U.S. troops celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday. He also met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

In a statement released after the meeting, President Ghani said that any peace deal if it was to last terrorist safe havens outside Afghanistan must

be dismantled.

A short time ago, we asked Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr about the significance of Mr. Trump's announcement.

BARBARA STARR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The President suggesting that the Taliban are finally ready to talk after the peace negotiations were cut off by him

earlier this year following a Taliban attack. Mr. Trump again pointing out that the U.S. wants to see a ceasefire with the Taliban, but that may be a

very long road ahead, whether the Taliban are ready for that and whether they're ready to actually enforce the ceasefire seriously remains to be

seen at this point.

If the Taliban according to many analysts see the U.S. as being weak, simply rushing into a peace agreement, this could still all fall apart. Mr.

Trump wants the peace agreement and the ceasefire as a step on that road in order to achieve his goal of bringing additional U.S. troops home from the

18-year war.

Right now, there are about 13,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan. He's already said, the U.S. has already said, it would like to bring the number down to

about 8600 and Mr. Trump pulling no punches, he eventually wants to get U.S. troops completely out of Afghanistan.

But again to make a peace agreement with the Taliban real to make it work, he is going to have to bring the Afghan government into that peace process

and get them as the crucial additional party to agree to all of this and none of that is certain yet. Bianca.

NOBILO: A former police chief has been found not guilty of gross negligence manslaughter over the Hillsborough Stadium disaster here in the United

Kingdom. 96 Liverpool football fans lost their lives in 1989, when men, women and children were crushed to death at a stadium in Sheffield. David

Duckenfield was the match commander, the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.

After today's verdict, we heard from people who lost their loved ones in the disaster.


JENNI HICKS, TWO DAUGHTERS KILLED IN HILLSBOROUGH DISASTER: Whenever we've had disappointments in the past, we've always had somewhere else to go.

Today, we haven't. We have nowhere else to take this. This is it. We're going to have to live the rest of our lives with this injustice.


NOBILO: Let's go over to CNN's Alex Thomas. He's in Preston, England, where the case was heard. Alex, is today's verdict have any bearing on the

inquest into the tragedy that ended three years ago?

ALEX THOMAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, it doesn't Bianca. And that's why there was so much dismay and anguish both from the relatives here at Preston

Crown Court behind me earlier on Thursday and for those families of the 96 who have lost back in 1989, who were watching via video link in Liverpool

about an hour's drive from here as they heard David Duckenfield being found not guilty.

And that's because as you say back in 2016 after the longest inquest in British legal history lasting more than two years, it was found

categorically definitively that those 96 Liverpool fans had died unlawfully and in order to find that verdict of unlawful death, David Duckenfield was

found by the jury at that time back in 2016 to have been guilty to a criminal standard of gross negligence manslaughter, which is exactly the

same charge he was up for in this trial, which lasted just seven weeks and was a criminal trial brought by the public prosecutors, the Crown

Prosecution Service here in the UK.

And it's because there were two very different styles, one a trial, a criminal trial. One as such a long and exhaustive and non-combative



That we've had this difference and it shocked the families at their core, because it now means that 96 people, Bianca went to watch a game of

football back in 1989 and ended up losing their lives after a fatal crash at the game. The David Duckenfield oversaw, and it means that no one person

will ever now be found accountable for that crime.

NOBILO: Alex Thomas, thank you. And of course, we'll have more on this in World Sport in about 30 minutes time.

The Iraqi Prime Minister has ordered an investigation into the violence that killed 31 protesters and security forces this week. The investigation

will focus mostly on the violence in Najaf and Nasiriyah.

And Wednesday, demonstrators torched the Iranian consulate in Najaf. And today, security forces opened fire in Nasiriyah with deadly results.

Sam Kiley tells us how everything came about.


SAM KILEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Live rounds snap as they fly past. Automatic weapons in use against Iraqi civilians in Nasiriyah. At least 13 dead as

riots and demonstrations continue into their second month against a government apparently bereft of any response, but violence.

This is blood, he says. This is Iraqi blood. A lot has been spilled already. Well over 300 dead and 15,000 injured across the center and south

of Iraq. Tens of thousands have been protesting, they say against the Shia dominated government's corruption, mismanagement, sectarianism, and

increasingly against Iran's close involvement in Iraq's political life.

Here torching the consulate of Iran, a Shia theocracy in Najaf, the heart of the Shia religion. Not long ago, such an act would have been

unthinkable. But anti-Iranian feeling is so high. It's the second time rioters have attempted to burn an Iranian consulate in this Shia region

this month.

When the consulate was set on fire, all the riot police in Najaf and the security forces started firing on us as if we were burning the whole of

Iraq, he says. Iran has called for a firm response from the Iraqi government after its diplomats were evacuated from the burned consulate.

The U.S. and other nations have joined the UN in calling on the Baghdad government to meet the demands from the streets for new elections.

The Prime Minister has offered to resign weeks ago, but he remains in office in the port city of Basra, Bucha Ibrahim (ph) summed up the national

frustration. with a sharp worry. He said I've lived in deprivation and hunger for years. My life can be briefly described as injustice after


Iraq's government has shown no signs that it understands this, but it is comfortable with using brute force. Sam Kiley, CNN.


NOBILO: As the U.S. celebrates Thanksgiving, Hong Kong protesters are showing their gratitude for President Trump, cheering his decision to sign

a bill in support of their pro-democracy movement. As one prominent activist says, it sends an important message to the global community.


JOSHUA WONG, PRO-DEMOCRACY ACTIVIST: For U.S. President, a sign on the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act. That's the remarkable achievement of

all the Hong Kongers. With the courage and determination of Hong Kongers to fight for freedom and democracy, to start the protest movement on June, it

just encourages world leaders around the world and politicians aware that it's time for them to stand with Hong Kong.


NOBILO: The bill's passage has infuriated Beijing at a critical time for U.S. China trade talks. China's Foreign Ministry is threatening to strike

back against U.S. bullying. Earlier, I asked Will Ripley how Hong Kong's different factions, pro-democracy protesters and the pro-Beijing government

are reacting to the new U.S. law.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's what's been so fascinating to watch play out here in Hong Kong, Bianca, because on one hand you had this huge

rally thanking the United States on Thanksgiving Day of all days for passing this bill, a bill that authorizes sanctions on Chinese and Hong

Kong officials involved in human rights abuses and crucially requires the U.S. State Department to review Hong Kong's special trade status, highly

coveted, hugely important to the city's economy.

If it were to be taken away, the consequences economically would be devastating for Hong Kong and many perhaps of the people who are out there

thanking the United States for this. But they're thanking the U.S. for putting pressure on the Hong Kong government, which, despite public

sentiment, despite a landslide victory for pro-democracy candidates in the district council elections, they are sticking firmly in line with Beijing's

talking points, as they always do, as they have to do, because Beijing, in the end, calls the shots.


Citizens elect their local lawmakers. But the people who actually run this city and make the laws, well, they are chosen by a system that

overwhelmingly favors Beijing and Beijing is claiming. Why would the United States support a protest movement that, you know, they went onto the PolyU

campus just hours before that pro U.S. rally.

And they say they found 600 petrol bombs, weapons the protesters use against police. Now, police, of course, have been accused of excessive

force. And so, there is this deep divide here.


RIPLEY: And what we saw tonight here with these two competing images, the split screen moment as you will, is really no indication that there's any

resolution or any bridging of this divide coming anytime soon.

NOBILO: Will Ripley there for us. A new report says it soon may be too late to reverse all the effects of climate change. A study published in the

scientific journal Nature says the earth is heading toward a global tipping point and that irreversible change has already occurred in nine different

places. Those include Antarctica and the Arctic, where ice sheets are melting and permafrost has thawed and South America's Amazon region, where

fires are destroying rainforests.

The scientists say, hothouse conditions may make some areas uninhabitable. And they call for urgent action to avoid the existential threat to


In a symbolic vote on Thursday, the European Union parliament declared a climate emergency that comes ahead of a United Nations climate change

conference in Spain next week.

Climate change is also an issue in Britain's upcoming parliamentary election. But Prime Minister Boris Johnson passed up a televised climate

change debate happened this evening in the United Kingdom.

The TV station replaced him by putting a block of ice on stage. As you can see there, emblazoned with a conservative and Brexit party symbols because

Nigel Farage was another no-show. Among those who did participate were Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who promised to plant 300 million trees

during his first term as prime minister if he wins. And Liberal Democrat Jo Swinson, who tried to tie climate change to the Brexit debate.


JO SWINSON, BRITISH LIBERAL DEMOCRAT LEADER: I totally agree that the role that we play internationally is so important. But surely you can see that's

why it's so important that we keep our seat at the European Union table because we have led the way in Europe on this. Europe has led the world.

That's how we got the ambitious Paris Accords through. and turning our back on the European Union, is turning our back on our best way of fighting the

climate emergency.


NOBILO: Prime Minister Johnson's Conservative Party was not amused by the ice, calling the move a provocative partisan stunt.

For more on climate change, CNN has launched a global initiative to engage communities the world over and making a difference to protect the future of

our planet. It focuses on positive contributions we can all make to a sustainable future. Visit for more.

Teams are still searching the rubble in Albania after Tuesday's 6.4 magnitude earthquake. At least 46 people are dead, and several people are

still missing. Among those killed, the fiancee of the Albanian Prime Minister's son and her family. The government has declared a state of

emergency in the hardest hit areas and promises to rebuild homes over the next year.

TikTok is apologizing for the way it handled the viral video of a teen girl who accused China of abusing the Muslims. In a statement, TikTok's Head of

Safety says moderators temporarily blocked the teenager from accessing her account. He also says the viral video was briefly taken down because of a

"human moderation error." The statement clarifies that the video did not violate the company's guidelines. User tells us that despite the

controversy, she didn't do anything wrong.


FEROZA AZIZ, TIKTOK VIRAL VIDEO CREATOR: I just know that - I knew that what I did was correct. What I did was amazing, because I spread this news

to a new audience, to the youth, and they know what's happening in our world now. And because of using TikTok, I reached millions.


NOBILO: The U.S. and other countries accused China of setting up mass detention camps and committing human rights violations against Muslims.

TikTok is a Chinese owned company, but it says it doesn't moderate political content.

Another tech company is also dealing with controversy. This one is over maps. Ukraine is accusing Apple of giving into Russia's demands. The

Russian version of Apple Maps now mocks cities in Crimea like Simferopol as part of Russia. It shows a border dividing Crimea and Ukraine. But if

you're using the Apple Maps outside of Russia, you'll find Crimea is firmly part of.


Ukraine. Remember, Russia annexed Crimea back in 2014, a move that sparked international condemnation. Apple isn't giving an explanation for the

change, but Russia's parliament has long pressured the company and others to change how Crimea appears in their maps.

When THE BRIEF returns, we speak to a UK comedian, best known his journalist alter ego about how he's helping people engage with the state of

British politics.


NOBILO: In trying times, the Brits are known for using humor and the UK boasts a long tradition of political satire. One man who is using comedy to

highlight British politics right now is Tom Walker. He plays Jonathan Pie, a fictitious British news reporter, who lets loose his opinions on it in a

way that he thinks some news reporters might secretly wish they could. But those of you who may not be familiar with him. Here's a clip.


TOM WALKER, ACTOR, COMEDIAN: Jonathan Pie on the campaign trail in Newcastle. This week was the week that no election can do without. It's

what's known as the politician's imaginary budgets up the wall week. Combine that with the NHS who can beat the highest contest along with the,

who can plot the most trees week? It's been quite a spectacle. It's the - say anything you can to get elected week.


NOBILO: I spoke to Tom Walker a short time ago and I asked him what was the key to his character.


WALKER: So, the genesis of Jonathan Pie is, it's what happens between takes, really, when the producer goes and cut. What does he really think of

the news? And it's to create - the news is mad. So, somehow, I wonder sometimes when newsreaders are reading the news, if they're reading the

news going, what, do you know what I mean. And in this day and age that we live in.

Donald Trump is in the White House. It's sort of slightly - it's a bit mad. So, to present it a sort of normal is kind of weird. So, what do you really

think when you're going - when you're reading out Trump's illiterate tweets as actual news?

NOBILO: Just going to - we're going to keep that answer. They've just got to check it. Fix the cable. Thanks, guys. This is the sorts of things that




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sorry. I just think (inaudible).


NOBILO: We should leave this in the interview.

WALKER: This is exactly what I'm talking about.

NOBILO: This is why--

WALKER: Your journalism is excellent, but your skin is really showing it.

NOBILO: Story of my life. I'd like to think the whole of that. Even if people do usually leave the journalism.



WALKER: Yes, your skin is awful.

NOBILO: Yes, exactly.


NOBILO: So, we just had a little pause because they had to fix a couple of things behind the scenes and that's really what you're doing, but what you

started off doing with the character, you're trying to expose those moments which a lot of viewers might argue, a lot more interesting. What happens

when the cameras stop rolling? Because it is so much less glamorous than people would ever think. Not that it looks particularly glamorous, but--

WALKER: It does I mean your studio set looks really nice right now. But there's a big - on the floor and I - and there's stickers on all over the

floor. But in the camera, the studio looks really nice. But you know--

NOBILO: And particularly outside doing political reporting, when it's cold. People get moody. It can be very uncomfortable. You're saying that for

hours and trying to explain the--

WALKER: And the general public are there. And that's I mean, I get that myself. How news anchors, reporters actually do it, how they keep going

with people walking past and I mean, what I love at the moment is if you're on the green outside Westminster.


WALKER: I mean, you have just got people shouting start Brexit or have Brexit. You know, they're screaming. So that's why all the news anchors are

wearing these anymore all the time these days. But how they keep their focus. And also, they've got someone in their ear going and just stretched

out by 30 seconds, just make something up. I mean, that's happening right now.

Like someone in your ear right now is going, make him be more interesting.

NOBILO: My producer just did that as a joke in fact. Why are people in this day and age, particularly in perhaps in the UK and the U.S. afraid to argue

with people who they oppose and those who I would imagine argue for curtailing free speech think that you should just shut those opinions down.

They shouldn't be allowed to exist.

But then you're never going to meet people who think those things - stop thinking those things just to talk about it.

WALKER: It's like it's really Orwellian. It's kind of a thought crime, you know. You can't stop people thinking horrible things. I mean I've got into

a lot of trouble for sort of defending the principle of free speech and comedians and others coming out calling me a sort of horrible things like a

Nazi apologist. Just because I stand up for free speech is absolutely bizarre to me. And aliberal, it's the opposite of being liberal. Yes, it's


NOBILO: Do you care more about free speech now than you did when you created the character--

WALKER: I didn't think there was an issue with free speech until I started sort of becoming this sort of part of the comedy world, sort of part of the

political world. And then you suddenly realize that that it's not about listening to and challenging your opponents, it's about shutting your

opponent's down.

NOBILO: So, from a comedic perspective, which one? Corbyn or Johnson gives you more readily accessible material.

WALKER: Johnson gives me more because he is the actual Prime Minister, but he also gives me more because it's everything that Pie would hate, because

he is this Estonian (ph) privileged. He is not a remarkable man. Boris, the only thing that marks him differently from a road sweeper is his education.

Right. His posh upbringing that has meant that he has been bred for high office.

That does not make him a talented man. It makes him a very, very lucky man. It's an accident of birth that he is in number 10. So, he's easy, but he's

everything that Pie would hate with the world. He's everything that I hate with the world, but he is everything that Pie would rail against.

So, of course, Pie has this sort of a bit more of an old school lefty would hate this idea of this privileged Estonian (ph) in number 10. And Pie is a

Corbynite. I'm not as - I'm not quite as left as Pie, I don't think. But it's kind of difficult to attack Corbyn sometimes because I - from a

perfectly selfish, I suppose, career point of view, from my point of view, I know that a lot of my core audience are - that's how I sort of wrote -

got my success is being this sort of Corbynite Chelsea mouthpiece.

So, when Corbyn is not doing so well, maybe I do. I am a bit slack maybe, but let's be honest, it's the Tories that have been in power for nine

years. It's much more important for me to hold them to account and occasionally hold labor to account for being absolutely useless at not

being how they are not running away with this election after nine years of austerity. Three prime ministers and Boris Johnson in number 10. They

should be running away with it.


NOBILO: Now, that's about a quarter of the interview, the rest will be posted online in the coming hours. Check out our page at to

find the whole uncut version. When THE BRIEF returns, Americans.


Say that they're heavier this decade with fewer wants to lose weight. We'll tell you why.


NOBILO: To anyone in the United States, Happy Thanksgiving. For many of you and Americans around the world, it's a day of turkey and all the trimmings.

But I'm here as so often to be a buzzkill.

A new poll from Gallup says Americans weigh more than they did last decade. But here's the catch. Many of them also seem to be fine with it. 28 percent

of people polled said that they weighed 200 pounds or more. That's at least 90 kilograms. Four points more than the previous decade.

But fewer Americans consider themselves obese. Perhaps reflecting changing attitudes towards weight, 90 kilos isn't actually an unhealthy weight if

you're 190 centimeters or taller, but for the majority of Americans who are shorter that weight can be considered overweight or even obese. But as I

said, let's finish on a good note. Happy Thanksgiving and happy birthday to my wonderful producer, Rick, who I'm very grateful for. That's THE BRIEF,

I'm Bianca Nobilo. And "WORLD SPORT" is up next.