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Germany Shatters Another COVID Record; Migrant Boat Capsizes in English Channel, at least 27 Dead; Sweden's First Female Prime Minister Quits on Day One. Aired 1-2 ET

Aired November 25, 2021 - 01:00   ET




PAULA NEWTON, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, and a warm welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Paula Newton.

Coming up on CNN Newsroom, the latest on the migrant tragedy at sea, 27 people have been confirmed dead. Yet another shattered record, COVID cases in Germany are higher than they've ever been. I will speak with a doctor about why. And the new study that says the Earth has actually been warming for much longer than we thought.

Dozens of migrants attempting to make the dangerous journey by sea from France to Britain, have died after their boat capsized in the frigid waters of the English Channel.

Now among the 27 dead, five women and a young girl, two migrants who survived are now being treated for hypothermia.

Now, a French president Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson say they will step up efforts to prevent migrants from making these dangerous crossings, but both accuse the other of not doing enough. And Mr. Macron told Mr. Johnson in a phone call to stop politicizing the migrant crisis for domestic gain. This all comes as crossings have in fact surged. According to data compiled by Britain's PA news agency, more than 25,000 people have crossed the English Channel to the U.K. so far this year. That's three times the total for all of 2020. Members of a rescue organization described Wednesday's tragedy here.


CHARLES DEVOS, SNSM VOLUNTEER: I found a woman, a pregnant woman and a youngster of maybe 18, 20 at most.

BERNARD BARON, SNSM PRESIDENT: This is real group assassination. And then the situation we experienced today we have been dreading it for a long time. We have been sounding the alarm for a long time.

(END VIDEO CLIP) NEWTON: Now our correspondents right across Europe are tracking developments on both sides of the English Channel. Nic Robertson is in London with reaction from the British Prime Minister, but we begin now with Cyril Vanier in Paris.


CYRIL VANIER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is the worst such tragedy ever recorded in the English Channel. According to French authorities, two people currently fighting for their lives, suffering from hypothermia, says the interior minister. He adds that the inflatable boat they were on was totally deflated by the time rescue ships arrived on the scene. Several boats including two French warships were involved in the French rescue effort which will continue in the morning hours as one person is still missing. This tragedy unfortunately predictable. The number of attempted crossings of the English Channel has surged this year and so have the rescue operations at sea. 671 migrants were intercepted on Wednesday alone, according to the interior minister, as they were preparing to set off for Britain on what is a very dangerous journey, roughly 50 kilometers by sea to Dover across an extremely busy waterway in freezing temperatures and potentially high winds.

Underscoring this surge in migrant crossings, French ships were involved in another migrant operation just a few hours after the first one, this time rescuing 106 migrants stranded at sea.

Now, this is an issue that has vexed multiple French administrations and caused tensions with Britain. Over the years, the French have dismantled multiple migrant camps, increased security at land and seaports but that has not deterred migrants from trying again and again.

In the face of Wednesday's tragic events, President Macron says he will not let the English Channel become a graveyard. Cyril Vanier, CNN Paris.



NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, the fact that Boris Johnson shared that COBR meeting, that high level Cabinet meeting so soon after the tragedy happened really indicates the amount of political pressure, he is under to solve the migrant crisis in the U.K. In recent weeks, the numbers have spiked. British officials are not clear why. Just a couple of weeks ago, 1000 migrants approximately crossed in one day. That's a very big number for the U.K. More than 25,000 of cross so far this year. The Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaking in the evening after that tragedy, spoke about trying to break the business model for the migrant smugglers.

BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: And it also shows how vital it is that we now step up our efforts to break the business model of the gangsters who we're sending people to sea in this way. And that's why it's so important that we accelerate if we possibly can all the measures contained in our borders and nationalities bills so that we distinguish between people who come here legally, and people who come here illegally.


ROBERTSON: The prime minister also appeared to accuse the French of not accepting help that the British have offered to help them on the beaches and whether --and where the smugglers launched the vessels from, that was implicit in what he said has been under, as I say, a lot of pressure. Just in the past week, he has announced a senior Cabinet member should oversee an effort across all government departments to see what can be done about migration. And the Home Secretary speaking after the tragedy, as well, said that she was looking at new plans, a new government plans for immigration that would overhaul what she called a broken asylum system. A lot of political pressure on this government, deflecting some of it to the French authorities, undoubtedly, this an awful tragedy at the end of a spike in migrants coming across the channel to the U.K. Nick Robertson, CNN, London.


NEWTON: Joining us now from Calais is Charles Whitbread. He is the founder of Mobile Refugee Support. And I want to thank you for joining us on what I know, is incredibly difficult circumstances. You know, advocates like you have been saying for some time that this tragedy was both predictable and preventable. Explain to us the conditions on the ground right now with asylum seekers who couldn't even at this hour be boarding some of those boats that we just saw to try and get to the U.K.?

CHARLES WHITBREAD, FOUNDER, MOBILE REFUGEE SUPPORT: The conditions here in North France are absolutely awful. We have 1000s and 1000s of displaced people who are being forced to live in camps on the edge of the cities who are being pushed from place to place and really just being treated awfully and really, it's a very hostile environment for anyone living in the area.

NEWTON: Do you know the circumstances around this specific incident in terms of how it happened or who was involved?

WHITBREAD: No, we -- as humanitarian aid organizations are not actually concerned with this, obviously, for us, really, this is an absolutely avoidable tragedy. I mean, the responsibility of this falls entirely on the French and British governments. And, yeah, I mean, where people are able to move freely between France and the U.K., these deaths would never have happened.

NEWTON: What do you think should be done, though, just if we get into more detail about that, France and the U.K. before this tragedy, we're actually looking to harden their stand with asylum seekers?

WHITBREAD: Yeah, that is -- that's been the stance from the U.K. and France now for many years. But the fact remains that the more the French and the British militarize, it was harder it will be for people to cross, and the -- more people will risk their lives and the more they will have to resort to smugglers. NEWTON: But the issue is, neither government seems to think that the solution is freedom of movement, though, do you believe that would be the only thing that would help here?

WHITBREAD: I believe that freedom of movement is the only way that you will completely avoid these deaths. However, allowing people to have safe legal routes into the U.K., will of course, allow people to pass through without risking their lives.

NEWTON: Now, the other piece of this, though, we have to say are the human smugglers, they prey on the desperation of these refugees, you know, how calculated they are? What more do you think can be done to deter their actions?

WHITBREAD: Well, the fact remains that were these policies not in place, the smugglers would have no reason to be here. If people were able to move backwards and forwards, then he would not have to resort to the smugglers.

NEWTON: It seems simplistic to say that these would be the solution. So, you know, it's been more than a decade since I've covered what's gone on in Calais. I'm sure the conditions are exactly the same as when I saw them more than a decade ago. What do you think ultimately needs to be done, though, because there have been many governments in both France and the U.K. that have already tried to solve this problem before?

WHITBREAD: That there has to be a reform of his policies. They have to change. It is the only way that this situation is going to change. Years have proved that the methods that they are employing do not work, and that the situation will continue as it has done for, as you say, decades. Until these policies change. People will continue to risk their lives trying to cross this border.

NEWTON: As I said, it is entirely possible that people are risking their lives at this hour still to try and get from France into the U.K. Charles Whitbread, thanks so much for being with us.


NEWTON: Now he just got more difficult to go unvaccinated in Italy.


Still ahead, the measures being taken to try and stop the spread of the coronavirus there. Plus, unlikely bedfellows agree to form a new government in Germany, have a plan to tackle climate change and of course the record COVID outbreak. And Sweden picks its first ever female prime minister. She resigned after less than 12 hours on the job.


NEWTON: Protesters in the Solomon Islands are defying a lockdown to demand the resignation of the prime minister. Now, they set fire to buildings in the Capitol for a second day. Media reports say protesters from Malaita Province came to the Capitol because they felt overlooked by the national government. A citizens petition filed in August called for the government to respect the rights of self- determination of the Malaita people and to limit ties with China and to resume development projects in that province.

Coronavirus cases are climbing globally driven by the dramatic surge in Europe. Now, many countries are now weighing new restrictions. Italy is toughening its COVID health pass, a negative test will no longer be accepted to enter bars, theaters or restaurants. People will need to show either proof of vaccination or proof of recovery.

Meantime, Germany just hit a very somber milestone with more than 100,000 lives lost to the COVID pandemic. The country also soared past its daily case record for the second day in a row.

Joining me now is Dr. Ralf Reintjes, a Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health Surveillance at the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences. And we appreciate you joining us.

The numbers are just staggering, record setting, not just in Germany, but throughout Europe. I do want to speak specifically, though, about Germany. What do you fear now that this will mean for the healthcare system in the coming weeks?

DR. RALF REINTJES, PROFESSOR OF EPIDEMIOLOGY AND PUBLIC HEALTH SURVEILLANCE: Good morning. Yeah, the situation is dramatic at the moment. In various parts of the country, already the healthcare system is coming to its limit. And was this enormous numbers being reported on a daily basis? The this is going to give serious problems for the healthcare system in general.

NEWTON: How did Germany get here for months? You know, Germany has been a public health model when it came to trying to tackle this difficult pandemic?

REINTJES: Yes, absolutely. In the beginning or the first year more than the first year, public health actions were really in line with scientific knowledge and policymakers were making lots of good decisions. But last since -- yeah since a little while ago, several months now the focus has been moved away.


And we had general elections and lots of other things have been moved in the limelight, and people had the feeling that the pandemic was more or less over. And on the one hand side, and actually after such a long time, there's a strong feeling of pandemic fatigue. So, people are, have been for a long time, much more reluctant about protecting themselves against infection.

NEWTON: You know, of course, you are always advocating vaccines. And you say, though, that while you should try and encourage people to get vaccinated, you are not an advocate of vaccine mandates. Why don't you think that'll help at this point?

REINTJES: This is a big discussion at the moment, everywhere. But the point is not to discuss for a long time and weigh all the advantages and disadvantages. At the moment, we really need to have action to reduce contacts, to stop the further spread because when traumatic situation was --76,000 cases being reported this morning, if you take into account the under reporting, we -- it's about a quarter of a million new cases a day. So now --

NEWTON: Unfortunately, it looks like we just lost Dr. Reintjes. See if we can get him back. We're just going to go to him again. Dr. Reintjes, you were just saying that really, over 75,000 cases today alone that were documented, but the caseload is likely much higher than that.

REINTJES: Absolutely. And at this point in time, we need action, quick action. So, reducing of contacts, of course, to motivate for the lots of people to get vaccinated or to get a booster but also at the same time to reduce other measures to use other measures to reduce further spread of the virus at this point in time.

NEWTON: But the coalition government that is coming into office soon may be looking at putting in a mandate. You don't believe that's a good idea?

REINTJES: I think it's a good idea. But it's for the next wave, for the fifth wave. This will be very relevant. But now at this point in time we need to act further. We can't wait until more and more people are vaccinated. This will take too long to have really in effect.

NEWTON: I understand. So, you're saying that for right now vaccination just not going to do it. We'll continue to follow the story, Doctor, and appreciate you being with us.

REINTJES: Most welcome.

NEWTON: Now, the decision on how to steer Germany out of the outbreak will of course be left to the government. And as I was just saying on Wednesday, three major parties ironed out a deal to form that new coalition led by Olaf Scholz. Now, the so-called Traffic Light coalition would include his SPD party along with the Greens and the Free Democrats. But as Anna Stewart now tells us those three can be in fact very strange bedfellows.


ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: After two months of negotiations, a new coalition deal has been struck in Germany between three parties. Their leaders are smiling on the way to a press conference Wednesday, no doubt relieved. They're not natural allies. The FDP is pro-business and is usually more aligned with the center right than to the left leaning SPD and the Greens. Yet despite major differences in some of their campaign policies, they've already reached an agreement on a number of areas, wanting to phase out coal by 2038 years earlier than planned. They also hoped to get 15 million all electric cars on the roads by then, a proposal though that's an example of some of the compromise that's been done. It's not as ambitious as the Green Party had set out for, they had proposed banning combustion engines in new cars by then. Legalizing the sale of cannabis and license shops was another eye- catching announcement. And they're considering making COVID-19 vaccines mandatory. While this new government will want to deliver on the forward-looking policies they were elected on, they have many issues to address, not least of which is COVID-19. On Tuesday, Germany recorded its highest daily increase in new infections since the pandemic began. And that will be a further drag on an economy already under pressure from the supply chain crisis and high gas prices.

The Bundesbank has said inflation may reach 6% this month. Assuming the party members are happy with the deal, Olaf Scholz could be sworn in as Chancellor as early as the sixth of December, bringing angler Merkel 16-year tenure as chancellor to an end. She was a steady hand at E.U. diplomacy, and she leaves big shoes for Scholz to fill.


Germany will play a critical role in steering the EU's economic recovery. It's pandemic response with a migrant crisis on the Poland, Belarus border. And with tensions mounting between Europe and Russia. Anna Stewart, CNN, London.


NEWTON: Sweden's first female prime minister says she still wants the job despite resigning on her very first day. Social Democrat Magdalena Andersson stepped aside after the Green Party pulled out of their coalition. Andersson, who's also the current finance minister said she wants to lead a single party government. Sweden's Parliament Speaker is expected to put her forward for a new vote.


MAGDALENA ANDERSSON, SWEDISH FINANCE MINISTER: So, although the parliamentary base appears to be unchanged when it comes to the government, it ought to be tested by parliament anew. For me it's a question of respect. But I also don't want to lead a government where there could be reasons to question its legitimacy.


NEWTON: Now, female prime ministers are nothing new in Scandinavia, Finland, Denmark and Iceland all have women running their governments. And Norway's previous Prime Minister was in fact a woman.

Now the British Parliament meantime is reviewing its rules about children in the workplace, after a lawmaker was scolded if you can believe it, for bringing her baby into a House of Commons Debate. Labor MP Stella Creasy, pardon me, shared an email from an official telling her she should not have her three-month-old son with her. She says, she was surprised given that she's brought him and her older daughter into the chamber before as have other MPs.

Now, the issue of mixing motherhood and politics is not new. We've seen incidents in both Germany and Denmark where politicians were asked to leave their -- leave for, bringing their babies to work. But it's not discouraged elsewhere in 2017, and Australian Senator made history by breastfeeding her baby in Parliament. The following year, New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern brought her newborn to the U.N. General Assembly.

The head of the European Union's observation missions said Venezuela's elections last weekend were held in better conditions in previous races, but she declined to say whether the vote was in fact free and fair. Now the lackluster assessment underscores the status of representative government in Latin America. Matt Rivers reports.


MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If you're a fan of democracy, November has been a very bad month in Latin America. The latest example Venezuela, which held local and regional elections on Sunday, President Nicolas Maduro claiming victory for his party, which won 21 of 24 state governorships. He says the result is because of our hard work and our honesty.

Critics, though, and the outcome was already determined the vote can't be trusted, they say, in a country where Maduro controls state institutions. Allegations, of course, voting and violence against opposition members during yesterday's vote have already surfaced.

And then there's Nicaragua where on November 7, President Daniel Ortega, one another term in what can only be described as sham elections. His regime unleashed a campaign of political terror back in June, arresting any prominent would-be opposition candidates and tossing them in jail.

Those in jail are sons of the imperialist Yankees, he says. They're no longer Nicaraguans. We even tried to get into Nicaragua ourselves to see what was happening there. But authorities deported my team and me after just a few hours in his victory speech or take a spoke about journalists like us.

These scoundrels want to come cover the elections, we already know they're employees of the American intelligence agencies. So, Ortega wins a fourth consecutive term in Nicaraguans democracy is on life support.

(On camera) But it's not just those three countries that are having problems. This is a map from Freedom House, a pro-democracy research group, and each country is given a score that measures its liberal democracy. Green means an improving score. And as you can see, there's not a lot of green on this map. From 2019 to 2020 nearly every country in Latin America and the Caribbean either became less free or stayed the same. There are signs of creeping anti-democratic norms all over the place.

(Voice-over) Like in Latin America's largest country, Brazil, led by right wing populist, Jair Bolsonaro, who earlier this year reminded many of the country's dark days of military dictatorship. He approved a military parade on the same day that lawmakers were voting on a controversial change to the country's voting laws. The law didn't pass but Bolsonaro has since suggested he won't respect next year's election results.


From what I see, he says, I will not accept any election results that do not declare me the winner. My mind is made up, a dictatorial declaration. The kind of language some say is also coming from another country, El Salvador, currently run by world's coolest dictator, Nayib Bukele, not my words, of course, he wrote that himself on his Twitter bio earlier this year.

The millennial president might have been joking, but his attacks on democratic institutions and the opposition are no laughing matter and have some concern that he could be central America's next strong man. What's happening in these places might not stay there.

DAVID ALTMAN, PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL SCIENCE, CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY OF CHILE: There is a threat of contagion, of diffusion, of these authoritarian trends.

RIVERS: Across 18 Latin American countries only 49% of people said democracy is the best form of government, according to a late 2020 poll by Latinobarmetro.

MARTA LAGOS, FOUNDER, LATINOBARMETRO: The next four years. Yes, you might get very worried because things can get very worse, you know, we will have all these monsters that will appear here and there.

RIVERS: Well, Marta Lagos has also told me that she's actually really hopeful about democracy in Latin America, that so many people actually still support democracy, even after all of the corruption and economic hardship and even violence that so many countries in this region have dealt with recently. As one expert told me where it's bad, it's really bad but with thriving democracies in places like Costa Rica and Uruguay if you are a fan of democracy, he says there is still a lot of hope to be had. Matt Rivers, CNN, Mexico City.


NEWTON: JP Morgan's CEO is walking back some comments he made about his investment bank outliving China's ruling Communist Party. Jamie Dimon told an audience in Boston on Tuesday about a story he told during a recent trip to Hong Kong.


JAMIE DIMON, CEO, JPMORGAN: I made a joke the other day that -- I was just in Hong Kong that -- I made a joke that the Communist Party is celebrating its 100th year, so is JPMorgan. I'd make a bet that we last longer. I can't say that in China. They are probably listening anyway.


NEWTON: So, in a statement, Dimon said, I regret and should not have made that comment. I was trying to emphasize the strength and longevity of our company. Still ahead here on CNN Newsroom, Turkey stages of grand welcome for the United Arab Emirates Crown Prince. How the one-time regional foes are rebuilding their relationship. Also --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's been a long fight. It's been a hard fight. But God is good.


NEWTON: Reactions are pouring in after all three defendants were found guilty in the murder and the killing of Ahmaud Arbery. We'll discuss what the verdicts mean for the U.S. justice system. That's next.



PAULA NEWTON, CNN ANCHOR: Crowds broke out in tears of relief and celebration outside a courtroom in southern Georgia on Wednesday after three white men were found guilty of murder and other charges in the death of Ahmaud Arbery. Now, the 25-year-old black man was out for a jog last year when he was chased down, shot, and killed.

CNN's Martin Savidge has been following the trial and has more reaction from the courtroom.


JUDGE TIMOTHY WALMSLEY, CHATHAM COUNTY, GEORGIA: Count one, malice murder. We the jury, find the defendant Travis McMichael guilty.

I'm going to ask that whoever just made an outburst be removed from the court place.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Loved ones for Ahmaud Arbery overcome with emotion this afternoon, as all three defendants were found guilty of murder by a jury of 9 white women, two white men and 1 black man. Judge Timothy Walmsley read through all nine counts for each defendant.


SAVIDGE: Travis McMichael, the man who shot and killed Arbery claiming of self defense was found guilty on all nine counts. His father, Gregory McMichael was found not guilty on one charge, but guilty on the other eight.


SAVIDGE: William Roddie Bryan Jr., the man who took the video of the shooting, was found guilty on six counts.


SAVIDGE: People outside the courthouse rejoiced.

LINDA GAMBLE, ARBERY FAMILY FRIEND: Today justice was served.

SAVIDGE (on camera): Did you ever doubt this day might come?

GAMBLE: I did not. I felt good.

LINDA DUNIKOSKI, LEAD PROSECUTOR: The jury system works in this country. And when you present of truth to people and they can see it, they will do the right thing. And that's what jury did today in getting justice for Ahmaud Arbery.

SAVIDGE: The jury deliberated for over 11 hours after 13 days of testimony from more than 30 witnesses. The three defendants claimed they were trying to make a citizens arrest of Arbery saying that they suspected he had burglarized a nearby home construction sites, referring to the video of Arbery wandering inside that home months before being killed.

After the verdicts were read, Arbery's family spoke outside the courthouse.

WANDA COOPER-JONES, AHMAUD ARBERY'S MOTHER: It's been a long fight. It's been a hard fight but God is good.

MARCUS ARBERY, SR: I won't want to see no daddy watch their kid get (INAUDIBLE) and shot now like that. So it's all our problem. It's all of our problem. So hey, let's keep fighting.

SAVIDGE: No sentencing date as yet. All three men in this case now face the possibility of life in prison without parole.

There is also anticipated to be a federal trial on federal hate crime charges. And there too, if found guilty, they could face life in prison without parole. That trial is scheduled to begin in February, in this very same small coastal Georgia community.

Martin Savidge, CNN -- Brunswick, Georgia.


NEWTON: CNN legal analyst and civil rights attorney, Areva Martin joins me now from Los Angeles. Good to see you this evening, and before we get into the details here, I want everyone to listen to the Reverend Al Sharpton, outside the courthouse after the verdict was announced.


REVEREND AL SHARPTON, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST: Let the word go forth all over the world, that a jury of 11 whites and one black in the Deep South stood up in the courtroom and said that Black Lives Do Matter.


NEWTON: You know, it's important to remind people here, right. That this entire court case was not a sure thing. That for weeks prosecutors did nothing.

AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes. That's a really important point, Paula, that it took 74 days before these three defendants were actually charged.

We know that it took, you know, that amount of time because there was favoritism that was provided to these defendants. We know that there is a district attorney that was involved in the early handling of the case, who faces criminal charges himself.


MARTIN: So, you know, there's been a lot of talk about the pastors and the protesters, but for that community raising its voice and people taking to the streets, it's doubtful that these three men would've ever been charged.

NEWTON: And it really gave me chills to listen to reverend al sharp in, just because you said it so succinctly. what does this verdict mean for the American justice system, do you think? If anything.

MARTIN: Yes, I think we have to be careful to try to, you know, make this verdict about something, you know, profound as it relates to the American jury system.

Obviously it is an important verdict. It was the just verdict. It was the right verdict given the evidence, given the law on this case. But it's one verdict in one jurisdiction involving one incident of three men shooting and killing an unarmed black man.

I don't know if we should start celebrating and thinking that this means that we're going to see fundamental changes in our criminal justice system. We have historical disparities in our criminal justice system, and just as recently as months ago we were not able to even pass the George Floyd Policing Act, it stalled in the Senate.

So I think there's still lots of work to be done, as we celebrate this victory tonight. But we have to remember to stay vigilant about addressing the inherent structural and racial biases in our criminal justice system.

NEWTON: Yes. For sure, I mean the word -- the two words Trayvon Martin, right, comes to mind. A lot of people uttered words of that young man who did not see justice, that actually really came across in this court case.

I want to ask you, though, what I found interesting as well, is when you listen to the discourse today. Whether it was on the left or the right, the coverage of the verdict was essentially the same. Does that make it something, you know, almost aspirational, in terms of when it comes to justice?

MARTIN: Absolutely. What we know historically, and that's what the Reverend Al was really speaking about was some fear, some concern that there wouldn't be justice in this case because this case was happening in the Deep South. Because there were -- you're having white jurists, and the judge himself even acknowledged that there was intentional discrimination in the its election of the jury.

But I think the evidence in this case, Paula, was so overwhelming. You had three white men chased and, you know, trapped like a rat by their own words, unarmed Ahmaud Arbery, who was by all accounts just jogging in the neighborhood and shoved (ph) him.

You know, they imbued themselves with the authority of law enforcement when they were not law enforcement. And they acted as if they could kill like law enforcement, or detain someone like law enforcement. And this was the resounding rejection of their theory of citizens arrest, and their theory of self-defense.

NEWTON: Yes. And again, the video, if you look at it. It's incredible. Because it really laid bare what exactly went on in those moments. Without the video perhaps again, there wouldn't have been a court case.

You had to feel for the family, the jury asked to see the video again just before they rendered the verdict. So they, again, had to go through that.

In terms of where this goes from here, and I don't mean this case, I mean do you feel like this could be transformational in any way, just to give everyone some confidence that when you do present facts this way to the justice system that things will work.

I mean the prosecution here went out of their way in fact not to mention race, but to really lean on the law.

MARTIN: Yes. I hope one thing that comes out of this case, Paula, is a deterrent, right. We talked a lot in this case, or during this case, about vigilante justice. And that's what you made reference to Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman.

This notion that individual citizens can take the law into their own hands. That they could use weapons to detain or and try to arrest and in this case even kill another citizen. So hopefully this verdict -- these guilty verdicts and, you know, the prospect that these individuals will never see the outside of a jail cell will deter any future individual from engaging in this kind of conduct.

But what it means overall for our judicial system, I think you know, the jury is really still out on that because as this is happening, we're still fighting these repressive voter suppression laws.

And again not, you know, being able to get federal criminal justice reform passed in Congress. So, there's still a lot of work to be done, but I think we can celebrate this verdict and hopefully individuals who, I could say, would have the notion that somehow they can engage in this conduct would be deterred by this verdict today.

NEWTON: Ok, Areva Martin, I appreciate your insights here. And Happy Thanksgiving to you. I appreciate you being with us.

MARTIN: Thank you Paula. And the same to you.


NEWTON: Now, the United Arab Emirates crown prince is in Turkey for the first time in 10 years.

A series of economic agreements between the 2 countries could breathe new life into their troubled relationship.

More now from CNN's Jomana Karadsheh.


JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): It was a stunning development: the UAE's national security adviser in Ankara this summer meeting with the Turkish president.

What followed, even more stunning. A phone call between President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the UAE's de facto ruler Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed. A senior Emirati official describing the call as quote, "positive and friendly" based on a new phase in which the U.A.E. seeks to build bridges, maximize commonalities, and work together with friends and brothers to ensure future decades of regional stability.

This week, the two leaders are meeting for the first time in years.

YUSUF ERIM, MENA AND TURKEY FOREIGN EXPERT: The reconciliation that I saw the least likely here, the most problems diverging interest was the UAE-Turkey relationship. So this type of fast forwarding of the reconciliation process leading to a top level meeting is definitely surprising.

KARADSHEH: The rift emerged with the so-called Arab Spring, with Turkey's support for popular uprisings (INAUDIBLE) close to the Muslim Brotherhood putting it at odds with Middle Eastern monarchies, including the UAE that viewed these movements as a threat to their own rule.

Tensions continue to rise with Turkish officials accusing the UAE of supporting the 2016 coup attempt in Turkey. And in 2017, it was Turkey that extended a lifeline to Qatar, when it's Gulf neighbors tried to isolate Doha.

The rivalry between the two regional powers played out through their expansionist foreign policy, across the Middle East and Africa, where it unfolded dangerously, in Libya's devastating proxy war.

(on camera): But the dynamics across the region are starting to change, with clear geopolitical shifts from Qatar's reconciliation with the Saudi-led alliance to long-time foes Saudi Arabia and Iran engaged in diplomatic talks. The UAE and Iran are also trying to de- escalate tensions and it seems Turkey is on a diplomatic spree, trying to mend ties with Saudi Arabia and Egypt, and now bitter rival, the UAE.

ERIM: There is a lot of changing regional dynamics that are leading actors in the region to reformulate and recalibrate their foreign policies now. The inauguration of the U.S. President Joe Biden, the ARAMCO attack on Saudi Arabia by Iran-backed militia, the withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan led by the Taliban takeover, the perception of less U.S. engagement in the region, a return to the Iran nuclear deal -- these are all factors that are leading these countries to reformulate their strategies.

KARADSHEH (voice over): For Turkey, this is not just about mending fences. It is very much about the dire state of its economy with inflation near 20 percent and its currency, the lira, at an all-time low.

ERIM: President Erdogan came to power in 2002 on the back of positive economic policies. He stayed in power due to the economy. So a weaker economy before the 2023 elections is definitely something he doesn't want. And the Emiratis have the money to be able to provide a booster shot for the Turkish economy.

KARADSHEH: Before relations soured Turkey was one of the UAE's biggest trade partners, and both sides are hoping to pick up where they left off with the Gulf state already eyeing more investment opportunities in Turkey.

(on camera): No one is expecting one high-level meeting to resolve a decade long feud, but many are hoping this could be the beginning of the end of a rivalry that continues to reverberate across this region and beyond.

Jomana Karadsheh, CNN -- Istanbul.


NEWTON: Iran's foreign minister says he's reached an agreement to continue cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency. He says details of the agreement still need to be worked out at a future meeting, but the head of the IAEA says these talks with Iran were, in fact, inconclusive, and that time is running out to reinstall cameras at a centrifuge workshop to make sure that Iran isn't trying to build weapons.

Iran claims that Israel sabotaged a workshop back in June, destroying one of those four cameras. Tehran later removed all the cameras.

Coming up, a voracious predator on the ocean floor has been almost wiped out. We will look at the devastating consequences and what's being done about it.



NEWTON: Today on "Call To Earth", the world's largest starfish, the sunflower sea star has been decimated by a mysterious plague which has caused populations to decline as much as 95 percent since 2013. That is wreaking havoc on delicate ecosystems from Alaska to New Mexico. But a new breeding program is trying to bring them back.


JASON HODIN, RESEARCH SCIENTIST, FRIDAY HARBOR LABS, UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON: A lot of people when they think of top predators in the ocean, they may think of something like a shark. And that's exactly what you should be thinking about when you think about the sunflower star.

It is the largest sea star in the world. So it eats all kinds of organisms on the sea floor from shellfish, to sea urchins. Moving their little tiny feet underneath to glide across the sea floor and then strike fear into organisms that they encounter.

So when they eat, they actually swallow the entire prey hole. And it sort of seems a little counterintuitive to say that a predator helps to keep more species around, but that's actually what happens.

And so when the top predators are present, you have a much more diverse and high functioning ecosystem.

My name is Jason Hodin and I am a research scientist at Friday Harbor Laboratories at the University of Washington.

The sunflower star existed along a very, very wide stretch of the coastline all the way from Alaska down to northern Mexico.

Starting in about 2013, there was a syndrome that started to appear all up and down the west coast of North America where sea stars of all varieties started to show this wasting syndrome, which is this horrible effect that causes the sea stars to essentially melt.

Sunflower stars were really, really hard hit and they were down in this region to probably 5 percent of their historical numbers. And in some areas in the south, like off of California, we haven't seen sunflower stars for years.

When a predator that is a key member of an ecosystem like sunflower stars are disappears, there are really broad cascading affects. And that's what we are actually seeing in places like California where kelp forests are declining. And that happened right around the same time as the sea stars started to disappear.

Kelp is just so fundamental to the health and well-being of the ocean. It's a habitat for an incredible number of organisms. It removes carbon from the atmosphere. And what we have seen is essentially a shift in the habitat from this diverse, highly functioning ecosystem with many different kinds of species.


HODIN: And now we see, mostly barren habitat with a lot of sea urchins. And sea urchins eat kelp. And so right now the populations are sort of out of balance. And we think that one of the contributing factors for that is the loss of one of their major predators, the sunflower star.

We feed them exactly once every two days. So in 2019, I was first contacted by the (INAUDIBLE) conservancy in California because they were interested in whether it would be possible to breed sunflower stars through their life cycles.

We have a new generation of sunflower star juveniles growing in the lab right now. Then the next goal after that is to see whether or not sea stars at a year old, whether they can survive out in the wild. What we really want to do is, in addition to trying to restore the populations that are there actively, we also want to maintain the health of the ecosystems where they exist now. And you know, that extends to all manner of things that all of us can do to protect our local waters and our ecosystems.

They are all connected. And they're connected to the health of the sunflower star and they are connected to the health of our ocean ecosystems. And to our own health.

You know, we are learning something about an endangered species here and information that we hope will inform upon our ability to be able to preserve the species and others like it in the wild.


NEWTON: Well, fascinating creatures there. Let us know what you are doing to answer the call with the hashtag Call To Earth.

You are watching CNN NEWSROOM, we will be right back with more news in a moment.


NEWTON: A massive pile of illegal drugs, you see it there, going up in smoke in Pakistan on Wednesday. Officials burned about 18 metric tons of confiscated narcotics with a street value of $1.3 billion. Drugs included heroin, hashish, cocaine and crystal meth.

Now, Pakistan is a major transit route for drugs coming out of Afghanistan, the world's top heroin producer.

A new study finds the Arctic Ocean has been warming for much longer than previously thought. Now, the study was published in the "Journal of Science Events" as researchers found temperature and salinity -- the saltiness of the water -- was fairly constant. That is until the early 1900s and then suddenly increased.

Derek Van Dam is here with the details. This is a fascinating study and I confess I've had trouble interpreting it.

DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: All right, well maybe I can help clear things up for you at home.

What you are talking about is the Arctic Ocean. That's just in the northern parts of the Atlantic Ocean. And it's warmed, according to the study, faster and earlier than previously thought.

And this coincides right around the time when humans started to supercharge the atmosphere with carbon dioxide, the heat-trapping gases from the burning of fossil fuels.

We know that that skyrocketed during the Industrial Revolution and continues to do so. And there's that direct correlation with a warming planet -- a rapidly warming planet and the level of greenhouse gases from methane to carbon dioxide that helped trap that heat like a blanket wrapping the entire earth.

Now, the concern here is that with this ocean water being warmer sooner that some of our climate models that scientists used to help predict the future of how our climate will change may not accurately represent that. So they could actually be floods. So they need to actually start to figure in this earlier warming period. And that will certainly impact us.


VAN DAM: Let me show you this ocean current simulation from NASA. So basically we get these ocean currents that transport and redistribute the warm ocean waters from the tropics northward. And this, of course with a study just off the coast of Greenland, has an impact on sea ice across the Arctic Ocean.

When we start to lose that sea ice, the sun is no longer reflected by the coloring of white from the ice it's instead absorbed by the deep dark blues of the ocean. And this has ramifications on our weather patterns going forward.

Paula, this is fascinating. An enhanced jet stream has the potential for cold plunges there, monsoonal changes and even prolonged drought over western Africa.

So these are the long-standing ramifications of warmer ocean waters where we didn't previously think it was.

Back to you.

NEWTON: Yes. Thanks for the explanation, it's certainly fascinating, but also a bit alarming. Derek, appreciate it.

VAN DAM: Right.

NEWTON: That's pretty. The Christmas season is in full swing at Denmark's Tivoli (ph) Amusement Park. As many as 1 million lights decorate the park in the center of Copenhagen. And 1,000 spruce trees are decked out with lights, garland, and ornaments.

Tivoli normally welcomes about a million visitors each year at Christmas but the park had to close after just two weeks last year due to the pandemic. Visitors though right now are happy to see things getting back to normal.


JAMES TRUSCOTT, TIVOLI VISITOR: I heard a lot about Tivoli Park, I came to Copenhagen. I got told it was much cooler than in the wintertime. So we've come specifically to Copenhagen to see Tivoli. And it's kind of exactly what I thought it would be, it's amazing. A beautiful place.


NEWTON: Germany is getting into the holiday spirit as well as its leader prepares to pass the torch.

On Wednesday, there you see her, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, she received the Chancellory's official Christmas tree for the last time. Merkel successor, social democrat Olof Scholz is likely to be sworn into office next month. Giving the Colorado pine here a chance to see two leaders work.


ANGELA MERKEL, GERMAN CHANCELLOR (through translator): This tree will experience two German governments, an acting one and a new one. Something not many Christmas trees have seen. But I think the Colorado tree will like it. Thank you very much.


NEWTON: Merkel was Germany's first female chancellor of course and chose not to seek a fifth term in office ending her run in power after 16 years.

And that does it for us. I am Paula Newton. Thanks for spending part of your day with me.

Don't go anywhere, Rosemary Church picks things up here as CNN NEWSROOM continues in a moment.