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CNN Sees New Rocket Fire From Northern Gaza; George Santos Expelled From Congress; Report: Earth On Track For Warmest Year On Record; MS Sheriff Updates Policies After Deputies Tortured 2 Black Men. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired December 01, 2023 - 14:30   ET




BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: Here just moments ago, our team in Sderot, Israel, heard new sustained rocket fire coming from northern Gaza.

I want to get to CNN's Jeremy Diamond on this for the latest.

Jeremy, tell us what you have been experiencing.

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Brianna, while we were on air with you guys in the beginning of the hour, we heard very large explosions. Then shortly, right after that, as soon as we got off the air, we had sirens sounding above us in Sderot.

And we actually saw the rockets coming from the northern part of the Gaza Strip and heading towards the town of Sderot, which is where we are now.

There were at least a dozen interceptions that we heard. Rockets being fired from the northern part of Gaza Strip and several loud interceptions from the Iron Dome system overhead.

What's really significant about this is that it comes after a week- long pause in fighting between Israel and Hamas. Israeli military experts have long warned this would give time for Hamas to regroup and resume many of its operations targeting Israeli cities.

And what's also interesting is that it came really from the very northern part of the Gaza Strip. One of those rocket barrages that we saw came from near a town in the northeastern most city in the Gaza Strip.

So even after nearly two months of fighting, nearly two months of Israeli bombardment, several weeks of ground operation focused on the northern part of the Gaza Strip.

Hamas or another Palestinian militant group who may have been firing these rockets still has the ability to fire rockets from several of these areas in the northern most part of the Strip.

Which is really remarkable when you consider the fact that Israeli officials for weeks now have been saying that they are in control of the northern part of the Gaza Strip.

And yet, clearly, Palestinian militants in Gaza still having the ability to fire rockets from those very same areas.

KEILAR: Such a good point.

Jeremy Diamond, thank you for that report from Sderot, Israel.


BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN HOST: From the developments overseas to big news here in the nation's capital. The historic vote makes ousted Congressman George Santos only the sixth lawmaker ever to be expelled from the chamber.

This morning, the House overwhelmingly voted 311-114 to remove Santos. The embattled congressman telling CNN, before -- or after the final vote, I should say, quote, "To hell with this place."

I want to bring in political commentators, Scott Jennings and S.E. Cupp.

Thank you both for sharing part of your afternoon with us.

Scott, first to you.

The argument from some Republicans that this sets a dangerous precedent moving forward, do you agree?

SCOTT JENNING, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Not really. I mean, look, I think it's true he hadn't been convicted of a crime yet, but in the U.S. House, there's an Ethics Committee. It's a bipartisan committee.

And part of a member of Congress' due process when you're in the House is the Ethics Committee. And what I was listening to was the Republican co-chair, of the Ethics Committee, the minute the report was finished, running down to the floor as fast as he could to file a motion to expel.

So I think, if you're going to have an Ethics Committee and respect that process and have any kind of institutional integrity surrounding that committee, this was the right vote. And I'm glad it was cast today.

I think he's going to have his day in court. And look, if he wants to run again, he thinks he's been wronged, he can put his name back on the ballot. I suspect he's not going to do this.

But this was a good move for Republican branding in integrity today but also for the institutional integrity of the House.

SANCHEZ: Nothing seems out of the realm of the possibilities with former Congressman George Santos. So we may see him run again.

But, S.E., you have been arguing that, precedent or not, the standard needs to change in the House.

I am wondering, from your perspective, some of the arguments that Santos made about the process with this Ethics Committee report being put together. Did you have any concern about that report being politicized in any way?

S.E. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: No. And let's take what George Santos says with a grain of salt. George Santos is comparing himself to Mary Magdalene. So his version of the truth and his spin on how he's a victim in all of this and a martyr should be discarded, frankly.

Look, this -- the precedent should not be that you must be a Civil War seditionist to be expelled from the House.


Like, just like you and I, Boris, at our place of business, we have standards we have to uphold. Those are ethical standards. But also, we're not allowed to embarrass our employer.

Those are all fireable offenses. We get fired for cause. That should not be different in the People's House.

Just because you're elected to Congress doesn't mean you get to stay there indefinitely no matter what you do.

And I think having two dozen criminal charges, facing two dozen criminal indictments, and a really scathing ethics report should be a really easy call that this guy was an embarrassment and a clown and a fraud and the third district of New York deserves better.

SANCHEZ: Well, Scott, given sort of what S.E. laid out there, that any of the three of us would likely be fired for some of the things that Santos is accused of, a lot of those Republicans that voted to expel him are supporting former President Trump's bid for the White House.

And he's someone that's facing 90-plus charges, some of them federal, for election subversion. He has civil suits related to sexual assault as well as fraud.

What do you make of that disparity?

JENNINGS: First of all, if you're in the U.S. House of Representatives, you live under a different ethical regime than Donald Trump lives under, number one. Number two, he's going to have his day in court.

His new process is going to come from these court cases. And we'll see what people do if he is convicted of a crime before the election.

But I think, for the House itself, and the idea that this institution is held in pretty low esteem right now by the American people, using the Ethics Committee process to clean it up and to react to something that clearly needed to be dealt with is good for the institution. You bring up the institution of the presidency and we'll have to cross

that bridge when we get there. Which is going to come sooner rather than later I suspect.

And as you point out, a lot of Republicans are going to have to cross that bridge with their constituents and also with the American people.

SANCHEZ: S.E., when it comes to the sort of dynamic within the party, I'm wondering how much of this you ascribe to the fact that many of those that supported this resolution to expel him were fellow New York Republicans who flipped Biden districts in the last midterm election.

How much of this, for them, is purely about survival and how much of it is actually about ethics?

CUPP: I think a lot of it is about survival. But I have also talked to a number of Republican lawmakers who were embarrassed by George Santos. The stories were ridiculous and absurd. It looked really bad.

Now the expulsion of George Santos is a lot of things. It's, one, a check on the integrity in the House. Two, it's a shot across the bow to Democrats dealing with Bob Menendez.

And it takes away a talking point that some Democrats can use against Republicans.

But one thing it is not is a panacea for all the problems inside the Republican House today. Those problems still persist. Getting an agenda through is going to be just as hard without George Santos as it was with him.

SANCHEZ: S.E. Cupp, Scott Jennings, we have to leave the conversation there. Appreciate you all joining us on a historic day.

CUPP: Thank you.

JENNINGS: Thanks, Boris.

SANCHEZ: Of course.

So right now, world leaders are at a major climate conference in Dubai. We're learning who the biggest polluters in the world are. We have details, in just moments.



KEILAR: This morning, blunt words from the head of the U.N. to kick off the COP28 climate change conference.


ANTONIO GUTIERRES, U.N. SECRETARY-GENERAL: We cannot save the burning planet with a fire hose of fossil fuels.


KEILAR: The World Meteorological Organization says 2023 is on track to be the warmest year on record, about 2.5 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than before the Industrial Revolution. The group says it's very close to possibly endangering humanity.

CNN chief climate correspondent, Bill Weir, is with us.

Bill, what does it say about the leaders of the two largest greenhouse gas polluters, China and the U.S.? They are not even going to be at this event.

BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT: Well, yes, it's leaving a sour taste in the mouths of a lot of people in the rest of the world, especially when you look at the biggest makers of this problem.

This is the 28th global trust exercise as almost eight billion humans try to come up with a way to take on the biggest challenge ever.

And it's really a question of fairness. If you look at who is burning what these days, China is the big polluter. But they are expected to taper off within the next couple years and start flattening their curve.

But they are still putting a lot of coal online, along with a lot of solar. All of the above.

The United States is second these days. But thanks to shifting away from coal, we managed to flatten the curve a bit. We have a couple of different scenarios of taking it down.

Meanwhile, India is number three. They are growing. And they will keep growing their population comes into the middle class in a place with over a billion people.

What's deceiving about this is "per capita." Americans' per capita footprint, carbon footprint is twice as big as somebody from China. Four times a as big as somebody from India.

When you look at the historical emissions, imagine these are mountains of carbon being built by people through time, since back to 1850.


This is most of the world. That's their mountain. There's Russia's. There's the E.U.'s. Europe's comes in. They started pretty soon. There's India. Here's the United States. The biggest historic emitter. And now China just started much later but is much bigger these days.

If you take this into account, what would be fair is for Europe to decarbonize by 90 percent in just the next seven years.

For the United States, almost 70 percent, which is not going to happen. Right now, Brianna, we're coming down maybe 4 percent a year.

So the call at this COP28 is for rapid decarbonization, but it's being hosted by a petrol state.

The CEO of the Abu Dhabi Oil Company has been charged with using this to try to further their interest, expand fossil fuel production around the world, a conflict of interest, many say.

But at the same time, he's resisting that, pushing back. They set up the first loss and damage fund on the first day. The UAE is kicking in $30 billion total, much more than the United States, which, so far, has pledged $17.5 million to all of these developing countries around the world.

KEILAR: Still, if they keep going like they are going -- and you spell it out there -- they need to make huge adjustments, but they are making tiny corrections.

What does it look like when they hit a point of no return?

WEIR: This is the big worry. The difference between 1.5 and 2 degrees Celsius is a difference between having a few coral reeves left around the planet and having none.

It means having no mountain glaciers. It means the collapse of the ice sheathes at both ends of the world, which means sea level rise eventually.

Right now, we're on track to hit about three degrees Celsius of warming. That's five degrees Fahrenheit. Not good for anybody.

So even if 1.5 is no longer alive because we deterred so long as a species, every tenth of a degree counts. And really matters. It could be the Great Barrier Reef you're saving by doing this.

But until these big oil majors and these petrol states step up on meetings like this and say, here are all the reserves we found that were not going to exploit, we're just going to keep having the same conversations.

KEILAR: So much at stake.

Thank you for walking us through it. We do appreciate it, Bill.

WEIR: You bet.

KEILAR: Ahead, officials in Qatar are warning that Israeli military operations in Gaza are complicating the chances of returning to a truce. It comes as sources tell us the truce talks between Israel and Hamas are still happening. So what is the latest there? We'll have more.



SANCHEZ: The sheriff of a predominantly white county in Mississippi is announcing reforms after an unspeakable crime committed by five of his deputies. All of them have pleaded guilty to state and federal charges for

bursting into a home last January and torturing and tasing two black men for hours.

Calling themselves the Goon Squad, the former deputies are all white. And they're now awaiting sentencing for their crimes.

The sheriff, though, has just been re-elected, and he's trying to turn the page. But many in the community say that he is the source of the problem.

CNN's Ryan Young has been following this story from the beginning.

Ryan, there are other horrifying details about what happened that night.

RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely, Boris. We've been talking about this story for months now.

As you can understand, we wanted to talk to Sheriff Bryan Bailey for quite some time, but this active investigation was ongoing.

We also talked to the two victims, who told us the horrifying details of what they went through.

Let's make it clear. These two men were innocent. They were never charged with a crime. They were brutalized.

Bryan Bailey calls the men who used to work for him criminals.


BRYAN BAILEY, SHERIFF, RANKIN COUNTY, MS, SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: I had a group of thugs wearing badges that got out and went and committed a home invasion against two innocent men. It was completely -- everything they did was outside the scope of their duty.

YOUNG (voice-over): Sheriff Bryan Bailey speaking about his department's so-called "Goon Squad."

In January, five sheriff's deputies and one police officer from a neighboring department forced their way into a home in Rankin County.

That night, one deputy sent a text message asking, "Are you all available for a mission," according to court documents.

Eddie Parker and Michael Jenkins were inside. The two black men were tortured, tased, and say they were sexually assaulted for two hours.

At one point, a deputy put his gun inside Jenkins mouth, shooting him. Then, according to court documents, the "Goon Squad" tried to cover it up.

Jenkins told CNN about the pain he still suffers.

YOUNG (on camera): Did anyone from the department ever reach out to you and apologize? Have they ever asked for anything at all?


BAILEY: Eventually, I'd like to apologize, you know, to them. I've apologized to them on camera and everything like that. And I have seen them one time in person.

YOUNG (voice-over): It's the first time the victims have been offered a face-to-face meeting.

BAILEY: I'm sorry for what happened to them. But, again, that was not a deputy sheriff that did that to them, that was a criminal.

YOUNG: Bailey won re-election earlier this month. He ran unopposed. Now the community is grappling with questions about leadership.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know Bryan Bailey's heart. He is law enforcement all the way and he loves Jesus all the way.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's still in because they want him in.

YOUNG: Despite his election victory, the Rankin County NAACP has begun collecting signatures calling for Bailey's resignation.

ANGELA ENGLISH, PRESIDENT, RANKIN COUNTY, MS, NAACP: We want law enforcement officers to be held accountable, to be punished for these kinds of behaviors.

YOUNG: Jenkins and Parker claim the deputies called them the "N" word and used other racial slurs during the beating.


In a county that's majority white, but neighbors Jackson, one of America's blackest cities, Bailey says he doesn't want his deputies' actions to reflect on him.

BAILEY: Race isn't (ph) over with. There's good and bad, right and wrong. I don't care what color you are.

YOUNG: The sheriff also said there were new efforts within the department to retrain deputies. Every taser use is logged and deputies recently received civil rights training.

The NAACP doesn't think that's enough.

ENGLISH: The only way that we will be able to get the trust of the people back is to get -- remove Sheriff Bailey from office.

YOUNG: With a pending federal sentencing of his former deputies casting a shadow over the department, residents we spoke with still have questions about the future of law enforcement in Rankin County.

BAILEY: I still have a lot of support within the community asking me not to resign. They want me to stay here. They -- you know, they believe in -- believe in this department. (END VIDEOTAPE)

YOUNG: Boris, we should be clear, the sentencing for those deputies who pled guilty doesn't happen until next year sometime. It's obviously, an open wound for the community.

You think about those two men who were inside that house, and they took us in that house to tell us about their ordeal they went through. They believe the sheriff failed because of his leadership.

At the same time, the sheriff said he had no idea this Goon Squad was operating.

There are other people who are calling for further investigation into this department. But as you can understand, those wounds are going to take quite some time to heal.

It's so disgusting some of the things we read in the indictment -- Boris?

SANCHEZ: Ryan Young, thank you so much for that report.

Coming up, lawyers for former President Trump are in a Georgia courtroom right now fighting to get his election racketeering case thrown out. We're live from outside the courthouse when we come back.