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Death Toll Rises to 44 in California Wildfires; Israel Launches Dozens of Airstrikes on Gaza Targets; U.S. Think Tank Says North Korea Hiding Missile Bases; Paris Visit Exposes Cracks in U.S.-Europe Alliance; Saudi Arabia to Cut Oil Production; Congo Faces Its Worst Ebola Outbreak Ever; Remembering Marvel Universe Creator Stan Lee.. Aired 12-1a ET
Aired November 13, 2018 - 00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): The death toll climbs in California's wildfires. The worst ever in the state's history. With new fires, more lives and property are under threat.
On the bring of another war in Gaza, violent surges between Israel and Hamas with fears that neither side is willing to pull back.
And North Korea's hidden nuclear faces. Proof Kim Jong-un is doing exactly what he said he would do, despite the U.S. president declaring an end to Pyongyang's nuclear threat.
Hello and welcome to our viewers all around the world. Great to have you with us. I'm John Vause and this is CNN NEWSROOM.
VAUSE: The death toll continues to rise in California's devastating wildfires, now standing at 34 after 13 more bodies were found on Monday. Nearly all of those who died, 42, are from the Camp Fire in the state's north, the deadliest and most destructive wildfire California has ever seen.
U.S. President Trump tweeted a short time ago he has approved emergency federal aid. Earlier he blamed poor forest management for the fires and threatened to slash assistance. At least 100 people are still missing as the Camp and Woolsey Fires skip across Northern and Southern California. State regulators are investigating two utility companies, both reporting electrical equipment malfunctions close to the point where two fires started.
The flames wiped out the Northern California town of Paradise. Many there escaped with just seconds to spare. Susan Miller and her daughter, Amber, tried to keep driving as the flames kept coming closer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) AMBER TONEY, PARADISE, CALIFORNIA, RESIDENT: It's OK, Ma. Please, please drive. Just please drive.
SUSAN MILLER, EVACUATED PARADISE, CALIFORNIA: I know. I'm trying. Oh, please God, please. Please let us get out safe.
TONEY: I thought the windows were going to shatter because it was just so hot.
MILLER: And you were praying the car in front of you wouldn't stop. It was -- I'll have nightmares for the rest of my life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: To the south, another major blaze around the beach community of Malibu forced thousands of residents to evacuate as well. Ari Soffer was among those who fled the inferno. He recorded part of that terrifying journey.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE).
ARI SOFFER, MALIBU, CALIFORNIA, RESIDENT: Oh, my God. Oh, my God.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) and then being told to evacuate your home because of fire (INAUDIBLE).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
And Ari Soffer joins us now from Los Angeles.
Glad, very glad to have you with us.
SOFFER: Thank you, thank you.
VAUSE: Can you describe what it was like to make the drive?
I'm assuming it was on the PCH (ph) since you and the dog, 10 miles of blazing inferno.
Was it just a white knuckle drive, grab the steering wheel and just don't stop?
SOFFER: Yes, it was a rough ride. It was really scary, the dog was in the back seat. The heat was enormous. The road was burning from Trancas Canyon all the way to county line. There was a downed power line, which I accidentally drove over. I didn't actually even see it. It is in some of the other video. It was hot. It was scary.
But once I started going that direction, I didn't want to turn around and I was actually trying to avoid the same situation that those other ladies were stuck in, in a giant traffic jam and unable to move. So I went the opposite direction. VAUSE: When you got to the end and when you cleared the blazing orange that is all around you and you're out of the flames and out of the fire zone, did you start to think, how the hell did I get out?
SOFFER: I was so happy that my tires didn't explode, that the car didn't stop running. Apparently the fire sucked all the oxygen out of the air and the internal combustion motor can't -- fire, the car could have stalled. I was worried about my dog mostly. I just wanted to get her out of there safe.
VAUSE: She's OK, right?
SOFFER: The dog is perfectly fine. She smells like smoke.
VAUSE: and you waited until the last minute to leave.
Was there ever a moment during that 25-minute drive when you thought maybe I should have gotten out sooner?
SOFFER: I probably should have. You know, I felt like I wanted to try and protect the property, which I did with hoses, up until the last minute. We didn't think the fire was actually going to hit my yard.
You're looking at my yard right there and helicopters flying. But that is my --
SOFFER: -- backyard burning there, right down my fence. And I was able to save, I think, the house by staying.
VAUSE: You say the neighbors. They're pretty confident, saying 40 years we -- we have been here and it'll pass us by. But it didn't.
SOFFER: That's right. The -- they said that -- you know, they've seen this happen before. We watch, if you look in the video, the wind is blowing across the property and not toward it. We thought the fire would bypass us but it didn't. It came raging down the canyon. I guess the wind was coming down differently and right at us. There was a 50-foot fire tornado coming at us in the backyard.
VAUSE: Your house is still standing, at least you believe it's still standing. Some others not that lucky. These fires happen so quickly and have been so devastating. It is hard to sort of get a handle on the scope of the devastation here.
SOFFER: Yes. Very fortunately my house made it. I lost my chicken coop and my barn. But I consider that really not a loss. My girlfriend, Tracy Bregman (ph), her house burned down across the street with all of her belongings everything she owned, she didn't get anything out.
It is a very sad and you know, many houses on my block. Ten neighbors lost their house. My neighbor, Lester, right in front of me, lost his house. It is -- it is -- it is a horrible situation. VAUSE: The death toll at 44 and fears it will climb. Thank God you're out and your girlfriend is safe and the dog is good. So thank you for being with us.
SOFFER: Thank you very much.
VAUSE: A surge in violence across the Israel-Gaza border. Israel carried out a wave of airstrikes on Monday. This is after militants fired more than 300 rockets at Israel. The Palestinian health officials said that the airstrikes killed at least three people.
Israeli authorities say the Hamas rockets have left dozens wounded. CNN's Oren Liebermann has our report.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It has been a very volatile night on both sides of the Israel-Gaza border, throughout Monday night, as we see a sharp escalation in hostilities between Israeli security forces and Palestinian militant groups inside Gaza.
Israel said the militant groups fired more than 300 rockets from Gaza into Israel, marking one of the most volatile days, the highest number of rockets we've seen fired in 24 hours, since we have seen the end of the 2014 Gaza War.
Israel has carried out --
LIEBERMANN: -- dozens of airstrikes across Gaza, at first they targeted Hamas military targets, Islamic Jihad military targets and then expanding the scope to include al-Aqsa TV, Hamas' news channel, as well as residential buildings and a hotel.
This starts on Sunday evening when Israeli special forces raid inside Gaza is discovered by Hamas militants, according to a statement from the al-Qassam brigade, Hamas's military wing. In the exchange of the hostilities that followed, one Israeli officer was killed, a high ranking lt. colonel and a Hamas military commander and six other Palestinians.
That led to what we're seeing now. The rockets, the al-Qassam brigade and other Palestinian military groups have said that's a response to the special forces operation that happened in Gaza. The Israeli military saying little about that operation.
To restore calm, Egypt and the United Nations have stepped in, trying to get both sides back from the brink. We have seen these efforts before with both Egypt and the U.N. stepping in to cut off these sharp escalations.
Will it happen again? That's very difficult at this point. We see continued rocket fire and Israeli airstrikes in Gaza. It could be a long night and early morning in and around Gaza -- Oren Liebermann, CNN, Israel.
VAUSE: Ronen Bergman with "The New York Times Magazine" joins us now from just outside Tel Aviv He's also the author of "Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel's Targeted Assassinations."
Ronen, just a few days ago, the Israeli prime minister was trying to reassure the country he was doing everything possible to avoid unnecessary war. Right now it seems that's exactly where this could be heading.
RONEN BERGMAN, "THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE": Right. But I have -- I think that (INAUDIBLE) that the Israeli establishment (INAUDIBLE) and (INAUDIBLE) were not aiming at that. The operation in Gaza was a highly secretive intelligence gathering operation.
Many, many of these have been productive in the past. Gaza as well as the other enemy territories without being disclosed. I think the assessment is that 99 percent was that it would not be revealed by enemy forces. Therefore, Prime Minister Netanyahu, who is the one authorizing this operation as well as -- or these kinds of operations in general, gave it a go, in spite of the diplomatic course happening in the same time.
This was not an assassination operation. This was not an aggressive or violent operation. This was supposed to be a very secretive unit, who are in to Gaza, collecting information when that secret assignment, then going out without being revealed.
Therefore Prime Minister Netanyahu, knowing that the operation is going on, could speak about trying to get some sort of a cease-fire in Gaza when knowing that the operation has been conducted at the same time.
It didn't turn out as well as he thought. This was an operation that was revealed. Now what we're witnessing is a deterioration to an outburst of violence that nobody, no party has wanted. But the exchange of flows without understanding the other side perfectly might deteriorate to another Gaza war.
VAUSE: OK. Those situations, though, you're referring to the bungled undercover operation that basically led to this, was an immediate trigger for the surge in violence because, in the months before, there had been progress made in trying to deescalate tension between Israel and Hamas.
BERGMAN: Yes. We're talking about a process with few kingpins (ph). One of them is Egypt; the other one is -- your correspondent mentioned the United Nations. The (INAUDIBLE). The Qataris has been extremely helpful in bringing money and assistance to the electricity supply to (INAUDIBLE) -- electricity to the Gaza Strip inhabitants. We have been witnessing a process that could have -- and will have --
bring some more peace to the Gaza Strip. The problem is that even when you have sides who are willingly trying to contribute to a cease- fire but you do not have a constant, permanent mechanism of easement of tension, you may end up with these kind of deterioration.
When Hamas trying to retaliate for what it sees as a blunt --
BERGMAN: -- an interference with the sovereignty of their regime, Israel retaliates for killing its civilians, again, we may see a deterioration to an all-out war that nobody wants.
VAUSE: In 2014, Israel pounded Gaza for weeks and destroying tunnels and Hamas missile stockpiles. Four years on, they have now fired 300 missiles at once and extending the range.
How do they rearm so quickly?
BERGMAN: That's been equipped by the Iran Revolutionary Guard and other parties of the Iranian administration and armed forces. They also have a capacity to run the oil factory inside Gaza and research and development, what is outside of -- of Gaza in Lebanon, in Malaysia and other places.
Israel, I think we've seen this in the last (INAUDIBLE) Israel understands that it cannot solve the Gaza problem with force. Nobody dreams of conquering the Gaza Strip. I think Benjamin Netanyahu and other parts, maybe not the ultra right-wingers, they understand this situation needs to be dealt with diplomatically and using force (INAUDIBLE).
VAUSE: We'll see what happens. Ronen, thanks so much for being with us. Appreciate it.
New satellite images suggest North Korea is moving ahead with its ballistic missile program. That's despite the U.S. president's assurances that Pyongyang is no longer a nuclear threat.
Researchers at the Center for Strategic and International Studies have identified 13 of an estimated 20 hidden operating bases. The North has not reported. The report says the bases could be used for all classes of ballistic missiles, including ICBMs.
Grace Liu joins us now. She's a research associate at the James Martin Center for Non-Proliferation Studies in Monterey, California.
Grace, thank you for joining us.
GRACE LIU, JAMES MARTIN CENTER FOR NON-PROLIFERATION STUDIES: Thank you for having me.
VAUSE: I guess this should be surprising to no one. The North Koreans never made any commitment to stop building up its nuclear arsenal. They're in breach of no agreement. LIU: Exactly. So a lot of researchers and even analysts (INAUDIBLE) the Kim-Trump agreement that was signed back in June where the North says they will work towards the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
If we look at that language further, we can see that's not a solid commitment at all. It is basically saying they're wiling to think about denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.
VAUSE: Just shortly after they signed that meaningless agreement back in June, at a meeting in Singapore, the U.S. president returned to the U.S. proudly declaring on Twitter he'd saved the world from the North Korean nuclear threat.
Here's the former Defense Secretary, Chuck Hagel, on that claim from Donald Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHUCK HAGEL, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: This again is -- is a fabrication of the president's conversations and whatever he says is reality. Well, it is not reality. Let's start with the beginning, the North Koreans have not signed any document working out, laying out what steps they're going to take to denuclearize in North Korea. There's been nothing stated, agreed to, framed, signed, except what President Trump says they've said.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Is there a real danger with the U.S. president, who only hears what he wants to hear?
LIU: Yes, I think the senator (sic) is exactly correct. There's no language whatsoever talking about any type of verifiable dismantlement or destruction or nuclear weapons or any nuclear capabilities in that agreement.
It certainly doesn't change or renege on Kim's promises in his New Year's speech that says North Korea have (INAUDIBLE) their development program and will proceed to mass produce nuclear weapons.
VAUSE: The president often talks, especially during a stump speech, about how the missile and nuclear tests have stopped. He considers North Korea a foreign policy success.
Last week, CNN's Will Ripley reported this.
"North Korea could restart nuclear activities if sanctions are not eased. Pyongyang could toughen its stance on a nuclear program if the U.S. does not change its position on easing sanctions, a source with knowledge of North Korea's position tells me."
A lot of this could be the typical back and forth you get from the North Koreans during negotiations but would it be surprising to you, given the state of the negotiations and how they've stalled, if Pyongyang did in fact restart testing?
LIU: I think actually they haven't stopped testing at all. We can see -- it's very apparent through our satellite imagery analysis. So we can see it continued to actually develop a lot of their solid fuel ballistic missile capabilities or at least renovated and there's still ongoing construction --
LIU: -- around facilities related to solid missile development.
We see a lot of activity going around their submarine base. And again, a lot of these so-called dismantlement activities are actually getting rid of infrastructure that can be easily rebuilt or infrastructure that they no longer need for certain tests; for instance, such as the tests of their larger liquid fuel missile engines.
We see they successfully launched several of these missiles already in the past couple of years. So we know that when they -- they dismantle a liquid fuel test stand, they don't most likely don't even need to test that piece of technology anymore. So them taking apart this infrastructure actually doesn't mean a lot in terms of (INAUDIBLE).
VAUSE: This is not the first U.S. administration which has struggled when it comes to dealing with North Korea. It does, however, seem to be the first administration that is willing to oversell so little.
At this point, can this diplomatic process be saved in any way?
LIU: I think we have to keep in mind that, due to the U.S. policies Trump has a re-election coming up, so at least to the American people, he wants to bring as many wins as he can during his first term to -- to increase the chances of a second term, absolutely.
But at this point I think it is fairly positive that both Kim and the South Korean president Moon have continued to have dialogues and it seems like, at least between -- between the U.S., South Korea and North Korea there's an ongoing, at least back and forth process.
So at this point I think it is not a lost cause yet. But I think it would be very utopian to assume that complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula will happen in the next couple of years.
VAUSE: We don't use that word enough, utopian. Grace, thank you. Thank you for being with us.
LIU: Thank you so much, John.
We'll take a short break. Donald Trump back from Paris but even a gigantic umbrella could not shield him from the criticism that rained down after his latest trip to Europe. That's next.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) (MUSIC PLAYING)
VAUSE: In terms of political photo-ops, the weekend ceremony in Paris --
VAUSE: -- was a gimme. Traditional allies coming together to mark 100 years since the end of World War I. But in just 44 hours from wheels down to wheels up, the U.S. president managed to take what was meant to be a show of global unity and instead exposed the cracks in the transatlantic relationship like never before.
The symbolism was stark as world leaders walked shoulder to shoulder in the rain as bells rang out to mark the exact moment the fighting ended. Donald Trump was MIA. He traveled in a limo separately for security reasons, according to the White House.
Then there was the warm greeting from Russia's Vladimir Putin , a handshake, a thumbs up, pat on the arm. Trump was clearly pleased. In stark contrast to the bone-crunching handshake he received from one-time bestie French president Emmanuel Macron.
Divisions between the U.S. and Europe were there long before Donald Trump was elected president and now it seems relations are crumbling. And that's just how Trump likes it.
Julian Zelizer is our CNN political analyst as well as a professor and historian at Princeton University, joining us now from New York.
Julian, thanks for coming in.
JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Thank you.
VAUSE: Trump continued with the bad blood when he was safely back home with a series of tweets, criticizing Europe for not spending enough on defense. No one would ever accuse this president of having a sense of occasion.
But do we see a glimpse, a possible glimpse into the future world order over the weekend, with a Europe first policy, the Europeans going their own way, especially on issues like defense and finance?
And if that's the case, what are the implications here for the U.S.?
ZELIZER: Well, that's a risk many other Americans are not happy about. But it is certainly very real. This was -- this was both symbolic and it was an actual instance where the president was literally separated from other European leaders, who are our closest allies.
At a certain point, European leaders will act without the president. There are limits, the U.S. is a still vital player. Its resources are necessary. Its military is necessary. But he has strained the relationship almost to the breaking point. VAUSE: Here is part of an op-ed written back in August by Germany's foreign minister, talking about the future of the transatlantic relationship.
He wrote, "The overlapping of values and interests that have shaped our relationship for two generations is decreasing. The binding force of the East-West conflict is history. These changes began well before Trump's election and will survive his presidency well into the future. That is why I'm skeptical when some ardent transatlanticist simply advises us to sit this presidency out."
Has the calculation in Europe shifted or is it shifting toward a view that if the American voters can elect Donald Trump once, they could elect him or someone like him or worse again?
ZELIZER: I'm sure that's on the minds of many Europeans. I don't think everyone assumes this was some kind of mistake. This was a democratic decision. He certainly could be reelected.
On the other hand, I'm sure they paid attention last week in the midterms, when Democrats did well in the congressional races and taking control of the House of Representatives. So they do know, nothing is inevitable but having him as president, having him send this message pretty consistently, a tense message for European allies is not quickly forgotten.
There will be a lot of repair work by members of Congress or future presidents to go beyond what Trump has done with these relations.
VAUSE: That's the question.
Can it be repaired?
ZELIZER: Yes. It can. Even the relations themselves that came out of World War II, there's a moment when they were really made so we have moments when great leaders can achieve that. That can happen again. But it could take decades for that to happen. It could be the result of different crises that necessitate countries to work together.
This was a lot of hard work that is really being weakened in recent years. Some of it because of the president and some of it forces beyond him. But he's certainly part of the equation.
VAUSE: Other American presidents have dealt with these divisions in the past with Europe. There've been big disagreements before; the Iraq War, for instance. But most disputes didn't see the Europeans actually start talking about their own united military or establishing their own financial system. There always was a way of keeping the relationship working.
ZELIZER: Right. It was like disagreements in a family. Everyone agreed they were in the family. Everyone agreed that unit was important for security reasons and values reasons.
Now I think -- I think there are some who fear that family has been severed. And it -- everyone isn't -- isn't going to go home to the same place. At a certain point, the countries will make their own calculations and they will start to plan ahead not to have the partner in the home anymore.
So I think we're getting close. We're not there yet. But that's a little bit of what we saw this weekend.
VAUSE: Does any country, apart from Russia, benefit from the U.S. and Europe not working together?
ZELIZER: No. I mean, at least, in terms of our principal allies, I think the benefits of the alliance even after the Cold War, remain strong. They could be repaired certainly, a lot of our alliances and institutions like NATO, were far from perfect. But the idea of abandoning them doesn't seem to serve the interests of the United States or many of these other countries.
I think many experts agree and that's why many are hoping the path would be to repair things that are broken, to improve things that are broken, rather than to abandon them all together.
VAUSE: OK, Julian, thank you. Appreciate you being with us.
ZELIZER: Thank you.
VAUSE: Still to come, the Democratic Republic of Congo has been hit with a worst outbreak of the Ebola disease in its history, and the world should be worried.
VAUSE: Welcome back. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause, with an update of our top stories this hour. The death toll has risen to 44 in California's catastrophic wildfires. All but two of the fatalities are in the northern part of the state, from the so-called Camp Fire, is now the deadliest and most destructive fire in California's history.
U.S. President Donald Trump is promising expedited emergency relief after initially blaming poor forest management and threatening to cut financial assistance.
Palestinian health officials say (INAUDIBLE) airstrikes have killed at least three people in Gaza. Israel says it launched strikes after militants fired more than 300 rockets on Monday. Israeli officials say the rockets injured several people across the border, in Israel.
Saudi Arabia just gave a gift to U.S. oil companies. The kingdom announced plans to cut oil shipments by half a million barrels per day. The Saudis say they're doing it to balance prices in the market. But less Middle Eastern inventory means more customers will turn to U.S. producers.
Settle week selloff on Wall Street is extending to some financial markets in the Asia Pacific region. Let's take a look at the latest numbers here. We see two up and two down. Japan has been down and Seoul is down, Hong Kong is up, and Shanghai is up.
In New York, the Dow plunged more than 600 points, so 2.3 percent on Monday. Investors are concerned about tech stocks and a strong U.S. dollar which affects corporate profits. President Trump tried to blame Democrats offering to proof, tweeting this.
The prospect of presidential harassment by the Dems is causing the stock market big headaches. Plus, Sebastian explains there are actual real reasons for the plunge, not like the one the President report, real reasons with facts and things.
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This was really a tale of several different individual stocks, dragging down sentiment and dragging down the broader market. Apple was a key one; its supplier didn't just cut its outlook.
It also said it had a request from a major customer, a major client, to reduce shipments already -- scheduled shipments, of course, that's everyone's think of Apple. And that also revived fears that we already have in this (INAUDIBLE) market about slowing global growth.
[00:35:10] And now, the stock -- I want to talk about is Goldman Sachs, falling very sharply to its lowest point since 2011, on the report that a scandal involving a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund is deepening.
And General Electric continuing to be a major lagged in the stock market, falling almost seven percent. The CEO -- the new CEO has been in place for just six weeks, going on television and saying that the company isn't going to be fixed very quickly, that it is a major challenge.
So, confidence is down again, around that stock. So, already, we know this is a (INAUDIBLE) market but these are key stocks that help drag down sentiment today.
VAUSE: California utility stocks also took a major hit in the wake of those wildfires, across the state.
The Democratic Republic of Congo is facing its worst Ebola outbreak, ever. About 200 people have died since August, and hundreds of more cases have been reported. On top of that, health workers are facing violence from militants, that's hurting efforts to try and contain the outbreak.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. OLY ILUNGA KALENGA, MINISTER OF PUBLIC HEALTH, CONGO (through translator): At this point, 319 cases and 198 deaths have been registered. In view of these figures, my thoughts and my prayers go to the hundreds of families grieving, to the hundreds of orphans and the families that have been wiped out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: CNN Medical Analyst, Dr. Seema Yasmin, is with us now from Washington. Dr. Seema, good to see you.
DR. SEEMA YASMIN: CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Hi, nice to talk to you, John.
VAUSE: OK. There is some good news, and then there seems to be a lot of bad news here. We'll start with the good. There is a vaccine and so far, it's been administered to what, almost 30,000 people. And in the past, at least, it's been pretty effective, right?
YASMIN: That's right. It's been tested for safety and efficacy. It's not yet licensed, so when it's been used in situations like it is now, it's used under a compassionate use, yes.
VAUSE: And it's actually a pretty big trial, if you like, a massive trial, of this drug, which otherwise, wouldn't be released on such a wide scale.
YASMIN: Exactly. And John, we really have to emphasize what a huge achievement it is that 27,000 people, so far, have received this experimental vaccine because the people responding to this Ebola outbreak are effectively working in a civil war zone that's escalating on violence, going on between these two groups in the region, and it's directly impacting the Ebola response.
Just recently, two healthcare workers were shot dead. There was also a shooting and many people were killed in Beni, which is the main city in North Kivu, the region where the Ebola outbreak is spreading. So, it's not just the virus that is causing the problem, it's also this escalating armed violence as well.
VAUSE: That's the bad news. Getting the vaccine to the areas where it is needed, because as you say, there are multiple rebel groups fighting, in particular, the northeast of the country. As you say, healthcare workers (INAUDIBLE) they're heading out with armed guards. There's also this, sort of, two-stage impact that we had.
First of all, there's this threat to the health workers. But then, when they have to stop those operations, and they say the virus, the disease, then gets the upper hand. It, sort of, gets ahead of them.
YASMIN: Absolutely. And we just saw recently, a few weeks back, that there was a two-day suspension of finding Ebola patients to try to track down their contracts because of the escalating armed violence. We also saw last month that U.S. government health workers were pulled out of the hot zone and stationed in the capital of the DRC instead.
And that's not really where they want to be. They want to be in the hot zone, they want to be exactly where the virus is spreading. And we should say, it's not just the armed conflict that is one of the complexities of this outbreak. This is the second outbreak of Ebola in DRC, this year, the tenth in the country's history. And this is on track to be the biggest and deadliest outbreak.
And one of the concerns beside this armed conflict is that where the outbreak is spreading, when a virus is spreading, it's very close to a border with Uganda and also a border with Rwanda. Just last week, there were concerns about a man who presented to a hospital in Uganda, with symptoms that look like they could've been Ebola.
He turned out to test negative, which was very reassuring, but there's this perpetual fear that this outbreak will spread across international borders.
VAUSE: And the head of the Centers for Disease Control told the Washington Post on Monday, the outbreak in the Congo might not actually be contained. And the disease, he says, has become so serious that international public health experts need to consider the possibility that it cannot be brought under control and instead will become entrenched.
If that happened, it would be the first time since the deadly viral disease was first identified in 1976 that an Ebola outbreak led to the persistent presence of the disease.
Add to that, the possibility, you know, the Ebola outbreak could cross over the border into Uganda. This seems -- this outbreak, could quickly move from a crisis to a catastrophe.
YASMIN: Which is why it's really interesting that just last month, the World Health Organization convened and they considered designating this outbreak, a public health emergency and international concern, which will recall, they did for the huge outbreak that happened between 2014 and 2016.
[00:40:06] But interestingly, the World Health Organization decided that as complex and as challenge as this outbreak is, they wouldn't designate a public health emergency of international concern, so we'll have to see if that changes, especially because this proximity to international borders, this on-going armed conflict and because the public in this region is extremely distrustful of government officials and even public health workers who were trying to help them.
VAUSE: And this all started back in August and we're now in November, and it's only getting worse. Dr. Seema, thank you.
VAUSE: He created the universe for super heroes. An imagination which Spider-Man, Iron Man, the Fantastic Four, just to name a few, and he was a hero to generations of fans around the world. And when we come back, we will remember the genius and creativity of Stan Lee.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't believe I'm standing here talking to you. You're responsible for the greats. Let's see the list, Spider-Man. STAN LEE, WRITER, EDITOR AND PUBLISHER OF MARVEL COMICS: Guilty.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Incredible Hulk.
LEE: Afraid so.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, man, this is so cool, the X-Men?
LEE: Now that you mentioned it, look at that couple.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: The superheroes he created were just like you and me, take away their superpowers, they had human flaws. They struggled with everyday life. And perhaps, that's why they and Stan Lee became so wildly popular. He died Monday, in Los Angeles, 95 years old. He was a towering feat in the comic book world, revolutionizing how stories were written and told.
All while creating beloved iconic characters, including Spider-Man, the Hulk, Captain America, introduced characters from comic books to the big screen. Stan Lee earned a star on the Hollywood walk of fame and through it all, he always remembered the fans.
Actor Robert Downey Jr. who played Marvel's Iron Man in the movies, tweeted to Stan Lee on Monday, I owe it all to you.
Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause. Stay with us now. "WORLD SPORT" is next. You're watching CNN.
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