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Thousands Gather in D.C. to Show Solidarity with Israel; Wall Street Soars on Signs Inflation Continues to Cool; House Passes Spending Bill to Avoid Government Shutdown; How to Stop a Climate Crisis; Buffalo, New York Calls Itself a Climate Refuge City; Volcano Eruption Fears in Iceland; Israel's Military Enters Gaza's Largest Hospital for "Targeted Operation"; Talks Intensify To Release Hostages in Gaza; Ukrainian Troops Have Secured Foothold In The South; China's Xi in U.S. For High-Stakes Biden Summit, Thousands Gather In Washington To Demonstrate In Support Of Israel. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired November 15, 2023 - 01:00   ET




JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Coming up here on CNN, Israel says a target operation is still underway at the biggest hospital in Gaza. In search of Hamas command center believes the under the sprawling Medical Center.

The unprecedented intricate, almost fanatical, detailed planning by Chinese officials ahead Xi Jinping's visit to U.S. to talk with President Joe Biden.

What are you doing right now on climate change? It's not enough planet warming carbon emissions should be falling by now but instead, they continue to rise.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Live from CNN Center. This is CNN Newsroom with John Vause.

VAUSE: At this hour Israeli forces continue what they describe to be a precise and targeted operation against Hamas militants at the biggest hospital in Gaza. According to both Israeli and U.S. officials, Hamas has a command center under the Al-Shifa Hospital, and Hamas militants are believed to be hiding among hundreds of patients, as well as hundreds of displaced Palestinians seeking safety and shelter within the grounds of the medical center.

According to one local journalist Israeli tanks entered hospital grounds with gun barrels aimed at buildings, there was also an exchange of gunfire. The hospital is no longer operational after generators shut down because of a lack of fuel.

Hamas denies it has a command center below the hospital a denial supported by doctors at Al-Shifa as well as administrators. And a short time ago a statement from Hamas blamed the U.S. it reads in part, the White House and the Pentagon's adoption of the false Israeli narrative, claiming that the resistance is using Al-Shifa medical complex for military purposes, was a green light for the occupation to commit more massacres against civilians.

And now more than two weeks into the Israeli ground defense at the IDF claims to have the upper hand in northern Gaza.


YOAV GALLANT, ISRAELI DEFENSE MINISTER (through translator): I can tell you that in the northern Gaza Strip, Hamas lost control. And in fact, we control the entire upper and central area in northern Gaza Strip, especially in Gaza City.


VAUSE: Now to Tel Aviv, Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner, Spokesperson for the Israeli Defense Forces. Peter, thank you for being with us. We're going to start with the operation ongoing in Shifa Hospital, which part of the hospital is being targeted by Israeli forces right now? Are those operations ongoing?

LT. COL. PETER LERNER, ISRAEL DEFENSE SPOKESPERSON: Good morning, from Tel Aviv, John indeed, day 40 of our war against Hamas war that we didn't want, a war that resulted in 1,200, more than 1,200 Israeli deaths. And till today, 240 Israelis and foreign nationals held hostage.

Our operation that was launched in the early hours of this morning, in the area Al-Shifa hospital was precise, located at specific location within the hospital grounds within the complex of the hospital.

And indeed, it was operation -- based on operational necessity and intelligence. Now the operation is ongoing. I won't go into specifics of where or how the activities are ongoing, but I can confirm it is ongoing, John.

VAUSE: At this point, is there any information on what the soldiers may have found, any resistance they may have encountered so far during this operation?

LERNER: So I'd, you know, I'd rather wait until we can conclude what has actually happened. The information will be coming out as throughout the course of the day. The reality is one that is dynamic, I can say that there has been more efforts to relieve and to bring more humanitarian aid by the IDF to the hospital. And this is part of the operation that is taking place as well, because there are civilians there and we're operating in order to distinguish between the civilians and Hamas, the Hamas terrorists that are hiding and taking refuge, perhaps beneath the complex.

It's the reality of this conflict, John. The Hamas have embedded their efforts, their infrastructure, all in the civilian arena. And as you showed extensively yesterday, in the case of the Rantisi hospital, they have no limits and there are no red lines for them. So we're operating we're intending on continuing operations and this is what we're doing this morning. VAUSE: Can you confirm that before this operation began, the IDF made contact with hospital administrators and doctors there and possibly officials with the Ministry of Health and Gaza advising ahead of time that Israeli soldiers would soon enter the hospital?


LERNER: Absolutely, we work on the basis of international humanitarian law and the laws of armed conflict. And when make -- when approaching the hospital, we indeed informed the administrators to keep away from the windows to make sure that the patients and civilians inside the complex keep away from the windows and take cover because we intend on conducting our military operation in order to differentiate and distinguish between the civilians and the terrorists.

So yes, we made a call. We informed them that this is going to happen. But it is a part of the operation. And over the course of the last few weeks, we talked about it extensively yesterday. We are trying to and we have been trying to evacuate as many people as we can from the hospital and the hospital grounds itself, in order to enable us to confront Hamas and continue our goals of this war of disrupting and dismantling Hamas as a governing authority in the Gaza Strip.

You know, they have utilized all of the tools of government in order to build their terrorist army, in order to build their network of tunnels. And this is why we need to operate against Hamas, unfortunately, in Shifa.

VAUSE: You mentioned humanitarian supplies being brought to the hospital. I imagine that includes fueled, you know, if that's actually reached, where it needed to go to those generators, which have run dry. Also there it appears that there is a an agreement for U.N. aid distribution trucks to be refueled in the southern part of Gaza. What are those details?

LERNER: Yes, I'm aware of the reports of the refueling of the U.N. trucks. We will be making an announcement as soon as that is finalized. These reports are important for the humanitarian mission to continue to operate. And, of course, that is why we're continuing our relations are ongoing, open channels with the various international humanitarian organizations operating in Gaza.

There it is essential for the services of and distribution of aid of medical aid and foodstuff. The supplies being brought to Shifa are, I think we will see incubators. This is something we've been trying to coordinate for a couple of days now. I reported about yesterday.

And also medical supplies I expect and perhaps some food as well. Food supplies also to the hospital. You know, this is part of the operation that is ongoing and we'll have to see how that develops as well.

VAUSE: Peter Lerner, Lieutenant Colonel there with the IDF. Thank you, sir. Appreciate your time.

This is now day 40 of Israel's war with Hamas, a devastating and unprecedented Israeli military offensive by air, sea and land in response to an unprecedented brutal and deadly terrorist attack by Hamas Jihadists on Israel.

40 days which have left much of Gaza in ruins. 40 days which have taken so many lives, lives which had barely begun. The children of Gaza, babies both newborn and premature, so many other dead, wounded families and medical staff left helpless to do anything. CNN' Nada Bashir has more on the dire situation facing children within Gaza, and a warning, her report contains graphic images.


NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): How do you begin to explain the nightmares of this war to these children injured distraught, now grieving. The lifeless body of little Hamud (ph), cradled in the arms of his father killed in a strike on the northern Jabalya camp.

In the central region of Derel Bala (ph), yet more goodbyes, yet more children killed. The wounded, rushed to a hospital already on the brink of collapse. Struck they say, as they attempted to evacuate southwards.

HASAN BAKER, INJURED RESIDENT (through translator): What did our children do to deserve this? Are they carrying weapons? Are they confronting the tanks? No, we are civilians. We were trying to move from one place to another. We were following the orders of the occupation forces.

BASHIR: In the north, there is now just one hospital left operational. The rest, paralyzed by shortages in fuel medication and essential supplies with each passing day at the Al-Shifa Hospital, Gaza is largest, there aren't more bodies. But there is no more space in the hospitals morgues.

DR. AHMED EL MOKHALLALATI, SENIOR PLASTIC SURGEON AT AL-SHIFA HOSPITAL: Today, there was an initiative by disobedience within the hospital, that the situation is how they will and they started digging in the -- within the hospital, to try and bury the bodies on their own responsibilities without any arrangements by the Israel side.

BASHIR: With no oxygen supplies left in the hospital, doctors at Al- Shifa have been forced to remove premature babies from the incubators.


As the cries of Gaza is most vulnerable, huddled together, wrapped in foil and blankets to keep them warm. The Israeli military says it has offered to provide at Shifa with more incubators and support for evacuating children. But no details have been shared as to how an evacuation plan could proceed.

DR. MUHAMMED GANDIL, AL NASSER HOSPITAL DIRECTOR OF EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT: So basic requirement for Shifa hospital, Indonesian hospital operation, like if you're medical supply are safe inlet an exit urgently require.

BASHIR: Israel has long held that Hamas has positioned a command and control center beneath the Al-Shifa hospital. The claim now echoed by U.S. officials. CNN is unable to verify this allegation, which has been staunchly denied by both Hamas and medical officials on the ground. Many doctors expressing alarm over suggestions that hospitals could now be considered targets.

Medical staff and Doctors Without Borders same Tuesday, the bullets were fired into one of three MSF premises near Al-Shifa with intense fighting in the vicinity. The Israeli military says it has allowed an evacuation route from the hospital. The medical staff say it is near impossible to safely evacuate patients and civilians amid ongoing bombardment.

NEBAL FARSAKH, SPOKESPERSON, PALESTINE RED CRESCENT SOCIETY: We have received hundreds of calls for people's crying while they are trapped in their homes in Gaza City and the north, they are unable to evacuate their homes because the whole area is -- there is a military operation. And simply anyone who tried to go out will be a target for Israeli militaries.

BASHIR: Many patients are simply too sick to embark on the long and dangerous walk to southern Gaza. Some like this toddler, even dying on the way. But even in the south, in areas outlined as so called Safe Zones by the Israeli military, deadly airstrikes continue.

Family members and medical staff standing shoulder to shoulder for funeral prayers for many in Gaza, now a daily ritual. Nada Bashir, CNN in Jerusalem.


VAUSE: Tuesday leaders of Israel and the U.S. discuss efforts to secure the release of hostages held in Gaza. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he's working relentlessly to bring them home. But he's extra pressure from the Israeli ground incursion is helping move talks in the right direction.

U.S. President Joe Biden says he believes the deal is going to happen in his words. He did not provide details. Officials warn that negotiations are volatile and could still break down. The families of many of the hostages have now started a five-day march from Tel Aviv on Tuesday. They're demanding the Israeli government be more than secure their loved ones they're heading to the Prime Minister's residence in Jerusalem.

To Jerusalem now Gershon Baskin, the hostage negotiator who secured the release of Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier who was held hostage by Hamas for five years. It's great to have you with us. Thank you for taking time.


VAUSE: Expectations of a hostage deal rebuilding over the past 24 hours, maybe the past few days, not least because of recent comments from U.S. President Joe Biden, like this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's your message for the families?

JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: Hang on there, we're coming.


VAUSE: Hang in there, we're coming. Biden also said a deal was going to happen, but gave no details. So, a deal may be near but it comes with this Israeli ground offensive, which is underway. How much does that complicate these talks? And how close do you think a deal actually might be?

BASKIN: It's very difficult to determine how close we are to a deal. Obviously, the longer they're talking, the more intensive the talks are, the more secret they are and all leaks about talks are generally noise at impacting the talks themselves putting pressure on the negotiators and the mediators to bring it up a talk.

There's no doubt that with the Israeli ground operation moving further south and into areas that are very sensitive like the hospital make the deal more difficult to reach even though the Israelis believe that there's more pressure on Hamas.

There could be a breaking point, we don't know, where Hamas says no deal. Hamas is demanding a ceasefire. A ceasefire is very complicated for Israel to accept, because it will require a redeployment of troops that are already deep inside Gaza city and around Gaza City and moving south.

There's no guarantee that once Israel declares ceasefire that Hamas will stop shooting. And a lot of logistics are involved in making this hostage deal happening on the ground in terms of putting in the International Red Cross to receive the hostages to check and make sure that they are all hostages if their names and conditions are provided in advance.


And should Hamas be demanding the release of prisoners from Israel, that release will also have to be checked and verified by third parties like the Red Cross, like the Egyptian intelligence, it will take a few games to work out all of these details once they have an agreement, and they probably don't have a full agreement yet on the deal.

VAUSE: Here in terms of what a deal may look like, CNN is reporting this and like you said, it just leaks coming from these negotiations, but the broad parameters that are currently being discussed and how Hamas releasing a large group of hostages at the same time, Israel frees Palestinian prisoners. The hostages for prisoners exchange will take place in the course of a sustained, day's long pause in fighting that could last as long as five days.

But many details, including the duration of the course remain in flux, which goes to your point. From your early contact with Hamas in the days after October 7, is that the sort of deal you think they'd be looking for? And at this point, is that the duration of the pause in fighting, which is most likely to be the biggest sticking point here?

BASKIN: There are two main sticking points. One is we do believe that the deal is probably going to be women, children and elderly, the obviously is a swap for prisoners are women prisoners and miners in Israeli prison, either 43 women and about 190 people under the age of 18.

Hamas is apparently from what we've heard, demanding that other terrorists be released people have killed Israelis. That's a sticking point for Israel and will be difficult to do. And the other course is the prolonged release of the hostages. Hamas would seek to extend the ceasefire time in order to build up international pressure on Israel not to renew its war efforts. And not to complete the mission of dismantling Hamas is the ability to govern in Gaza.

That's what Hamas will be seeking. And of course, Israel is seeking the exact opposite, to have the deal done in one batch of swaps, and to end the ceasefire as soon as possible.

VAUSE: Right now, these talks essentially go from Hamas to Qatar, then the Qataris speak with the U.S. and the Israeli officials, why can't Israel and Hamas just talk one -- to one another directly just in this instance?

BASKIN: Well, that's a great question. That's what I was able to do in the deal for the release of Gilad Shalit back in 2011, is that there is a direct authorized fact channel between me and a member of Hamas. As a non-official Israeli, Hamas was willing to speak to me, as a non- official Israeli, the government of Israel was willing to speak to me so we set up a direct channel that listen to the people who are holding the Gilad Shalit took the time.

This is a lot more complicated. Now we're dealing with a lot more hostages, and there's an active war going on, on the ground. I think you also have to remember that the Egyptians are involved and the Egyptian intelligence do have direct contact with the Hamas leadership underground in Gaza, who are the decision makers here.

The Egyptian intelligence also speaks directly to the Islamic Jihad. So there's definitely an advantage of using the Egyptian channel. We understand that the head of the Israeli Shit Bet, Israeli security agency was in Cairo over the last days probably a turning up the pressure on the Egyptian channel as well as the ongoing talks in Qatar.

VAUSE: Gershon Baskin, it is indeed a complicated is a difficult negotiation. Clearly it is going to go on for some time and time is something that is running fast running out. Thank you for being with us, sir.

BASKIN: For sure.

VAUSE: We appreciate your time. Thank you.

BASKIN: Thank you. VAUSE: We'll take a break. When we come back, China's President is now in California. It'll be summit with Joe Biden. What's at stake here what both sides are hoping to achieve and can they achieve it, more on that in the moment. Also, Wall Street soars on reports inflation continues to cool, rational exuberance we seem to have. The latest numbers in a moment.



VAUSE: According to a senior Ukrainian official Ukrainian forces have secured a foothold in the eastern bank of the Dnipro River. That's considered to be an important advancement in the southern Kherson Region, key frontline between Russia and Ukraine.

It's the first time a senior official has acknowledged that Ukrainian troops have been able to hold that piece of real estate.

Russia withdrew forces from the west side of the river about a year ago a major setback for the Kremlin. But until now Ukraine's counter- offensive has only made incremental gains.

In recent years, the relationship between the U.S. and China has bounced between tense strange and troubled. Now the leaders of both countries have a chance for a reset. Few hours ago, China Xi Jingping arrived in San Francisco for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum. His first visit to the U.S. in more than six years.

U.S. President Joe Biden will also attend that forum as well and hopes to improve ties with China during a face to face meeting with Xi, in particular by increased and regular communications. The U.S. has been working to restore military communications with China since last year, after Beijing cut off contact following a visit to Taiwan by a former U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How would you define success with your meeting with President Xi?

BIDEN: To get back on a normal course of correspondence, being able to pick up the phone and talk to one another as a crisis, being able to make sure our military still have contact with one another. We can't take, as I told you, we're not trying to decouple from China. What we're trying to do is change the relationship for the better.


VAUSE: When Xi last visited the United States, it was all about chocolate cake and Donald Trump had Mar-a-Lago. CNN's David Culver has more now from San Francisco.


DAVID CULVER, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Sharing the sofa and a smile at Mar-a-Lago. Serenaded by former President Donald Trump's grandkids seen in Chinese for visiting President Xi Jinping, the blossoming it seemed of a new friendship and with it closer ties between the U.S. and China.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: I think long term, we're going to have a very, very great relationship and I look very much forward.

CULVER (voice-over): Not quite how the story played out. In n the six years since Xi's last visit to the U.S., U.S.-China relations have plummeted to all time lows.

BIDEN: They must play by the rules.

CULVER (voice-over): The issues where to begin, a bruising trade war, a devastating pandemic.

TRUMP: It came out of China.

CULVER (voice-over): Rising tensions in the South China Sea, growing threats from Beijing over its goal of unifying with Taiwan, and amidst Russia's ongoing war in Ukraine, and alarmingly cozy Xi and Putin relationship in the war between Israel and Hamas, China refusing to condemn Hamas.

President Xi's first trip to the U.S. was 1985 as a local Communist Party official taking in the sights. Today, he's China's most powerful ruler since Mao demanding near total control of a population of 1.4 billion people. Xi now returns to an increasingly divided United States, something Chinese state media repeatedly highlights and it's propaganda. But if there is one topic that consistently unites Washington, it's been tough on China, a sentiment bolstered by the downing of a suspected Chinese spy balloon earlier this year.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're testing us. They're mocking us. They're trying to embarrass us.

CULVER (voice-over): China has its own issues. After years of record growth, the world's second largest economy is struggling. Its housing market in crisis, youth unemployment at record highs, and for the first time in 25 years a deficit in foreign direct investment, international companies increasingly uneasy putting money into China in part because of Beijing's unpredictable crackdowns.


The U.S. has reputation has also taken a hit in China fueled by state media's anti-West messaging and nationalistic posts on China's tightly controlled social media, ahead of the summit, rising skepticism towards us intentions. One Weibo user posting that this is a U.S. delaying tactic. Its strategy of containing China won't change but only intensify. Another posting, anyone who thinks that China-U.S. relations will become better is simply naive. It's just your wishful thinking.

Many in China supporting Xi's proposed new world order one that's not led by the US. The U.S. now hosting this high stakes West Coast meet up with low expectations on the outcome. No more love seat for the leaders of two superpowers, instead, both on a hot seat with the world watching if they can tamp down tensions.

CULVER: And to give you a sense of just how polarizing the relationship is right now between the U.S. and China, a House Select Committee Chairman is demanding the names of the businesses and the people involved in a welcome dinner for President Xi in which companies are reportedly paying up to $40,000 for a seat at the table with the Chinese president. The lawmaker calling it unconscionable. David Culver, CNN, San Francisco.


VAUSE: It's a for a short break I should say. When we come back, tens of thousands rally in the U.S. Capitol in support of Israel. More on that. And also a march for hostages from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, in a moment.


VAUSE: Welcome back, everyone. This is now day 40 for more than 200 hostages being held by Hamas somewhere in Gaza, and demands are growing louder in Israel to bring them home.

Families of the captors are now on a five-day march from Tel Aviv to the Prime Minister's residence in Jerusalem.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're marching to the Prime Minister to shout to him that we need them home now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have to do everything our government has to do everything to release them. Otherwise, we will be mentally wounded country.



VAUSE: And in Washington, DC, possibly the biggest pro Israel rally since the war in Gaza began. Tens of thousands gathering on the National Mall.

And CNN's Brian Todd was there.



CROWD: -- with Israel.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A show of support thrown tens of thousands in Washington including lawmakers from both parties.

REP. MIKE JOHNSON (R-LA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: The survival of state of Israel and her people unites us together and

it unites all Americans.

TODD: But really to support Israel at a time of war.

ERIC FINGERHUT, JEWISH FEDERATIONS OF NORTH AMERICA: We support Israel's fight to rid itself of the terror threat and restore safety and security to its people.

TODD: And to push for the release of hostages held by Hamas. The mother of hostage Hersh Goldberg Polin pressing for action.

RACHEL GOLDBERG, SON KIDNAPPED BY HAMAS: Why is the world accepting that 240 human beings from almost 30 countries have been stolen and buried alive?

TODD: Shaked Haran has seven family members who've been kidnapped, including a three-year-old niece.

SHAKED HARAN, SEVEN FAMILY MEMBERS KIDNAPPED BY HAMAS: I don't if anyone is holding her hand, keeping her warm. We don't anything.

TODD: She came here from Israel, worried that the public's attention is focusing elsewhere.

HARAN: People are talking about ceasefire, about a pause. But they're not talking about the hostages.

TODD: The really also focused on covering anti-Semitism, amid a spike in incidents at college campuses and elsewhere.

TOVAH FELDSHUH, ACTRESS: College and university presidents, if you remain weak, if you remain silent, you are complicit.

TODD: Political graffiti against Israel was found at the rally site on Tuesday.

ARI MOSKOWITZ, RALLY ATTENDEE: What scares me now is what I'm seeing. The anti-Semitism I'm seeing I'm seeing in the U.S. Seeing that out in the open is really terrifying. So it's also good to be here with people in solidarity.

TODD: At the rally, calls for action against hate.

DEBRA MESSING, ACTRESS: Like our ancestors who for 3,000 years looked hate straight in the eyes, we too will prevail.

TODD: Tight security in DC with roadblocks and checkpoints, with rallies to support Israel, dueling with rallies to support Palestinians in a battle to win over public opinion.

MARKOWITZ: I support everybody's right to protest. I just wish that people would come at it from a perspective of peace and coexistence.

TODD: Several people we spoke to here said they hope there was an understanding that a rally in support of Israel was not a rally against Palestinians. One of the speakers, Alana (INAUDIBLE) who's related to six hostages being held by Hamas, told the crowd that the simple fact is that you don't have to choose. That you can abhor the suffering of Palestinian families, and abhor the suffering of Israeli families like hers.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


VAUSE: New economic data shows inflation continues to fall in the U.S. and so the interest rate hikes may now be off the table. And that sent markets soaring. The Dow jumped almost 500 points Tuesday, the Nasdaq and S&P 500 both had their best days since April. Some describe that as rational exuberance.

The gains on Wall Street came after the Consumer Price Index fell to 3.2 percent in October after rising the previous two months. That was year on year. It was virtually flat for October.

Joining us now from New York is CNN economics and political commentator, and opinion writer for the "Washington Post", Catherine Rampell. Good to see you.


VAUSE: OK. So almost all of the graphs are heading in the right direction. We just saw the year-on-year numbers. Here's the month on month. Inflation was flat in October. Take out the volatile food and energy prices, year on year inflation was at 4 percent, notably trending downwards.

And then there is wages growth versus inflation, wages growth almost flat, another indicator to show productivity is up. So out of all of those indicators, is there one which stands out in terms of importance and whether or not the fed will put future rate hikes on hold?

RAMPELL: Usually, the Fed likes to pay attention to overall price growth when you strip out volatile food and energy prices. And in fact, they pay more attention to another release which we'll get soon. That's a different way of measuring that.

But basically that core number that you referred to -- so that is again inflation minus the elements of food and energy, that's the most important thing here. And that's still elevated, obviously 4 percent year over year. Still much higher than the Fed would like but way down from where it was.

And I think it's at its lowest level in a couple of years at this point. So that's very good news. And in fact markets interpreted it as ecstatic news and basically priced in no more rate hikes for quite a while. Potentially we may be done in fact with the rate hikes in the cycle at this point.


VAUSE: A healthy child has many fathers. And so it was with this inflation data. U.S. President Joe Biden noted in an X post, "The inflation was falling while the job market remained fairly strong and robust."

Back in the 1980s, Fed chair Paul Volcker tamed inflation but he did it with 20 percent interest rates and a recession. Is the current Fed chairman Jerome Powell heading for the same result here but in a much kinder, gentler sort of way?

RAMPELL: Well, it does seem like we have escaped the fate that had befallen the United States many times before in fact when we had tried to tame inflation. Almost every time, we had gone through a bout of very high price growth. It ended with high interest rates and a recession.

This time around it does seem like, knock on wood, we are headed towards that coveted soft landing.

Now I don't think it's quite fair to draw a direct comparison between now and the 80s. in the 80s, inflation was much higher than the peak that we saw this time around. It was only around 9 percent. And besides that, you know, at the time, the Fed had been asleep at the switch for quite a while so it had to work much harder to convince markets that it was credibly committed to getting price growth down which meant, of course, even higher interest rates.

We've had decades now where the Fed has built up that credibility and didn't have to raise rates as high.

VAUSE: Well, there's still the threat of an external shock. There's two wars underway. There is Ukraine, you know, Israel with Hamas. But one external shock is off the table at least for now.

Just days before the government was due to run out of money, a deal between Republicans and Democrats to pass the spending bill means the government shutdown has been postponed I guess, until early next year.

We'll talk about that in a moment, but first, here's CNN's Melanie Zanona.


MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: Well, the House has voted on a plan to avoid a government shutdown on Friday. But Speaker Mike Johnson had to rely on Democratic votes to do it.

In the end the vote breakdown was 209 Democrats and 107 Republicans voted for this plan to keep the government open, and that was far more Democratic support than Republican support. And it's almost an identical vote tally to the one that got former speaker, Kevin McCarthy, booted from the speakership.

So now this bill will head over to the senate where we are expecting it to easily pass before the Friday deadline. But one of the big questions looming over the House vote was whether or not speaker Mike Johnson was going to suffer the same fate as Kevin McCarthy who also put a stopgap spending bill on the floor that did not include spending cuts, and also relied heavily on democratic support to get it passed. But the conservatives that we've been talking to say they're willing to give Mike Johnson a pass here. And that has caused some of McCarthy's allies to charge them with hypocrisy. Let's listen.

RALPH NORMAN (R-SC): Mike's got trust. We trust what he's doing. He came and met with us last night. And he laid out. He in his opinion, had no other choice. He got three vote, two vote majority.

REP. DUSTY JOHNSON (R-SD): Let's be clear, Kevin McCarthy was not thrown out because of the stopgap funding measure. That was the excuse people used. There were people fixing for a fight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean hypocrisy in Washington is nothing new.

ZANONA: So Johnson has managed to avoid a right-wing rebellion, at least for now. But there are signs of challenges to come. And that is because the new Speaker has promised that this will be the lost stopgap spending bill that he puts on the floor. So all eyes are on those government funding deadlines early next year.

Melanie Zanona, CNN -- Capitol Hill.


VAUSE: And there's a footnote to all of this, this Republican Party is not without internal problems, or turmoil, or (INAUDIBLE). Listen to this.


REP. TIM BURCHETT (R-TN): It was a clean shot to the kidneys, you just don't expect a guy who is a one-time, three-steps away from the White House to hit you with the sucker punch in the hallway.

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): I would not hit him. I would not hit him in a kidney. I didn't hit the guy. I did not punch him, I did not shoot him or anything like that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You didn't shove him?



VAUSE: This is a school yard fight between one of the eight Republicans who voted to oust McCarthy as speaker and obviously the former speaker himself. This is grade school stuff which would be kind of silly and laughable if it wasn't for the fact that these lawmakers, because of the way the House is now set up with the Republican Party having such a slim majority, a small number of lawmakers can vote in a way that will impact the entire world economy. And they are acting like kids in junior high.

RAMPELL: Yes. I know. You keep on thinking they cannot get worse, you know, the level of discourse, the level of sophistication, the behavior on Capitol Hill can't possibly deteriorate any further, and then it does.

I am glad certainly that we are not going to have a government shutdown, or looks like we're not going to have a government shutdown this time around. But we're going to be back in exactly the same spot a few months from now.


RAMPELL: So in terms of their level of maturity, whether we are talking about throwing schoolyard punches or actually grappling with a basic responsibilities of their job, they are failing the test.

We are going to be back where we are now, where we were in September in a few months and it's very hard for me to see how they evolve from where they are today to a better place that doesn't result in a shutdown or potentially worse, and doesn't have ramifications for the U.S. economy as well as many of our trading partners and allies around the world.

VAUSE: Well, a punch to the kidney. Catherine, thank you for being with us. We appreciate it.

RAMPELL: Thank you.

VAUSE: Lawmakers in the lower house weren't the only ones behaving badly on Tuesday. In the Senate, considered the genteel chamber of intellects and elites, the Republican senator from Oklahoma reacted in a way not unlike a surge prepubescent testosterone challenging a witness from the Teamsters Union to a physical fight during a Senate hearing.

The confrontation was brought under control by the chairman of the hearing. 82-year-old Senator Bernie Sanders.


SEN. MARKWAYNE MULLIN (R-OK): You want to run your mouth, we can be two consenting adults and we can finish it here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. That's fine, perfect.

MULLIN: Do you want to do it now?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'd love to do it right now.

MULLIN: Well, stand your butt up then.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You stand your butt up.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT): Oh hold it. Stop it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. The solution to every problem.

SANDERS: Oh no. Sit down. Sit down. You're are United States senator.

(END VIDEO CLIP) VAUSE: And so he is, and the reason he was upset is because the witness described him as a clown in a tweet.

Coming up here on CNN, the gap between what we're doing and what we need to do for climate change is growing into a chasm. Even so a new U.N. report has a glimmer of hope. We will tell you what that is when we come back.


VAUSE: A new U.N. report says the world is not doing nearly enough or moving quickly enough to keep a life-threatening level of climate change at bay. The report finds that even if countries meet their climate pledges, by 2030 we'll still see 9 percent more planet-heating pollution than we did in 2010.

These current goals of reducing carbon emissions are not nearly enough to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

At the same time the U.S. has just released its own national assessment. A sweeping new report warning that even though the U.S. is slowly decreasing its planet-warming pollution, it's not happening quickly enough to make the country's goals.

And it says the effects of climate change are now visible in every part of the country. President Biden is now saying it is time to act fast.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This assessment shows us in clear scientific terms that climate change is impacting all regions, all sectors of the United States and not just some, all.

It shows that communities across America are taking more action than ever to reduce climate risks and warns that more action is still badly needed.

We can't be complacent. Let me say that again. We can't be complacent. We have to keep going.



VAUSE: Leah Stokes is an associate professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara focusing on public policy, public opinion, and political behavior in the context of energy, environment as well as climate change.

It's good to see you. It's been a while.


VAUSE: Well, you are always welcome. Here's the bottom line from this latest report which we have received.

"Even if countries enact all of their current climate pledges, planet heating pollution in 2030 will still be 9 percent higher than it was in 2010."

So if that ends up happening, what does that actually mean for the planet's climate in terms of temperature, storms, ice melt, sea levels? What will it look like? And what are the chances that it is going to be 9 percent or even higher?

STOKES: Yes. So the fact is that we have been digging up fossil fuels and burning them for over a century now. And all of that fossil fuel burning, that combustion is putting large amounts of CO2 and carbon pollution into our atmosphere, into our oceans and it's already having devastating effects, right.

You see that in hurricane, in drought, in flooding, all of these horrific disasters really cost the world at this point. And so, you know, we have to stop burning fossil fuels as soon as possible.

But even if we do that the fact is that our procrastination for decades is going to have consequences. We can see that in the wildfires, for example, that ripped across Canada this year leading to massive air pollution across the Northeast United States.

You know, every year that we delay really cutting fossil fuels back, you know, the more we are going to pay for that in 2030, in 2040, in 2050 because the earth system is kind of a slow-moving tanker, right like an ocean tanker, and to turn it around it is going to take some time.

So the system will keep reacting to all of that pollution that we pumped out even if that happened decades earlier.

VAUSE: The executive secretary of the U.N. Convention for Climate Change posted on X, "Today's report said the governments combined are taking baby steps to avert the climate crisis. Emissions need to be cut 43 percent by 2030 to limit global warming to that magic number of 1.5 degrees Celsius.

And normally I'm the doomsday guy but there does seem to be a glimmer of hope in all these numbers given that the upward growth of carbon emission while it continues, it slowed and could soon peak and projections show that emissions in 2030 will be 2 percent lower than they were in 2019. 3 percent lower than the estimated level for 2025.

So if baby steps result in small improvements and we know that now. Giant steps then what, result in gigantic big improvements?

STOKES: Absolutely. You know, this can all feel overwhelming, right. A lot of numbers, these really doomsday scenarios. But the fact is what you really need to understand is that we have the technologies we need to solve this problem.

We have electric vehicles, right. We have heat pumps to heat our homes, to heat our hot water systems. We have solar panels and we have batteries and we have wind turbines. There are so many things that we can deploy at a massive pace that we haven't been doing fast enough.

But if we do that, we don't have to rely on fossil fuels. You know, I've been working on climate change for about 20 years now and in the early days when we talked about these things which, you know, wasn't even really the early days compared to scientists who go back really decades, people didn't necessarily know what exactly the solutions are.

We're supposed to change our light bulbs or something like that. Well, that isn't the case anymore. We have the technologies we need. And so all we have to do is deploy them very quickly so that we can get off fossil fuels as fast as possible.

VAUSE: And in the U.S. the National Climate Assessment was released on Tuesday with similar findings that the United States and other major polluters need to do more to cut carbon emissions.

And here's one key finding. "For every one-degree Fahrenheit that the planet warms, the U.S. economy's growth each year is 0.13 percentage points slower than it would be otherwise. The report finds a seemingly small effect that can add up over decades to a sizeable amount of forgone prosperity."

So if the threat climate change poses to almost every aspect of our very life, of our way of live for many others a threat to their very survival, surely the economic argument for reducing carbon emissions is compelling as well.

So at this point, who is in favor of pumping out more carbon emissions?

STOKES: Yes. It's everything you just said, John. The reality is that burning fossil fuels, leading to climate change is bad for the economy. It's bad for people's health and well-being. You know, it's not a good thing to do. So why do we keep doing it?


STOKES: Well, fossil fuel companies profit off of delay. Every year that we procrastinate and don't start moving to clean electric technology, is a year that those companies make profits.

In the last few years, they've actually made record profits like they never have before because oil prices and gas prices have been so high.

And so staying on this fossil fuel trajectory is in the interest of a small number of people who are burning up the planet just so that they can continue to make profits.

VAUSE: Leah, it is good to have you with us. Thank you so much for the explanation. We really appreciate it.

Leah Stokes there, associate professor at the University of California. Appreciate your time. Thank you. STOKES: Thank for having me on.

VAUSE: And according to that report, over the past year, every part of the U.S. to varying degrees has been touched by climate change. From record high heat waves, and deadly heat waves, to more intense and violent storms, to widespread, and devastating flooding. But one city, famous for bad weather might be a refuge from climate change.

CNN's chief climate correspondent Bill Weir reports now from Buffalo.


BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT: There is an old joke that tells us there are only two seasons in Buffalo -- winter and the Fourth of July. But in the age of global warning, the city wants you to know that now their weather is going from punchline to lifeline.

Thanks to its Goldilocks location amid the Great Lakes, Buffalo has never reached 100 degrees.

STEPHEN VERMETTE, CLIMATE SCIENTIST, BUFFALO STATE UNIVERSITY: You get on average about three days in the summer get to be 90 degrees or higher. I mean if you are in Phoenix, you are looking at that and saying, what the heck, you're calling that a heat wave?

WEIR: And when Professor Stephen Vermette did a deep dive of the records, the Buffalo State climatologist was shocked to find no increase in droughts or floods.

WEIR: There was this epic snowstorm last winter, really deadly and destructive, blizzard of '22 but that's not an indication that those are going to get worse?

VERMETTE: No, because we had the blizzard of '77, the blizzard of '85, '81. The blizzard of '36. I'm not saying that a going to say it's going to disappear, it's still there. In fact the snow amounts have remained steady in all of this. Doesn't seem to be getting worse.

And that's the key here. We're still going to have severe weather like the wind and everything, else. But it's not going to get worse.

WEIR: I have to say, it's really ironic and telling about the world we now live in. That a place sort of associated with cold jokes, and Super Bowl losses, could be a huge winner, relative, on a hotter planet.

BYRON BROWN, BUFFALO, NEW YORK MAYOR: That is the way that we look at it as well. There was a professor from Harvard that was talking about the effects of climate change, and listed some cities that would be considered climate refuges, in the future.

And Buffalo was one of the cities on the list and so we just leaned into it. We are going to not only call ourselves a climate refuge city, but due to the kind of things that are required to be welcoming with migration, with new Americans coming here, with seeing the first population growth in the city since the 1950 census. WEIR: After Hurricane Maria, 3,000 Puerto Ricans became permanent


ANTHONY MATTEI, TEACHER'S ASSISTANT: When the hurricane start, what we do, we move from the second floor, we move to the first floor.

WEIR: Including Anthony Mattei (ph), who is now a teacher's assistant.

MATTEI: I remembered, when I moved here people told me, oh you know where you are going? Because in Puerto Rico, it is always warm, it is hot. I said I know. And I moved here like in winter. But I liked it. It's good.

WEIR: Did you consider other spots? Or what was it about this place that appeal to you the most?

HOLLY JEAN BUCK, UNIVERSITY OF BUFFALO: For the Great Lakes, the fresh water, the projections of climate change look like Buffalo might have a climate more like New York, Philadelphia, towards the end of the century.

WEIR: Wildfire smoke helped drive Holly Jean Buck and her family out of southern California. And as a climate scientist, she said she was welcomed with open arms and employment.

BUCK: But really, the energy of the people are really forward thinking. And western New York, and New York state about what opportunities there might be in clean energy and clean tech. And how to build those solutions and ways that are good for communities.

WEIR: So it's not just the latitude, it's the attitude?

BUCK: Yes, exactly.

WEIR: And the welcoming spirit of the place, I suppose.

BUCK: The City of Good Neighbors they call it.

WEIR: Nice, nice.

And you found that to be the case?

BUCK: I have, totally.

WEIR: Among the others selling points for western New Work are abundant freshwater. 20 percent of the world's freshwater is in the Great Lakes. And as it rushes over Niagara Falls it provides bountiful hydroelectricity, sustainable energy.


WEIR: You know, they used to say that the three rules of around the state are location, location, location. And that is especially true in the age of climate change.

Bill Weir, CNN -- Niagara Falls. (END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: In a moment here on CNN, with the threats of an eruption still high, residents evacuated a town in Iceland. The authorities raced to protect the local power plant. Details in a moment.


VAUSE: Well, police have arrested a suspect on suspicion of manslaughter after what was initially described as a freak accident during an ice hockey game in the U.N. Adam Johnson's neck was cut by another player's skate during a game between his team and Nottingham Panthers and the (INAUDIBLE) last month.

His death has put more focus on player safety, including whether players should wear protective neck guards.

A nearby volcano possibly set to erupt at any moment. Officials in Iceland have again ordered people to evacuate the town of Grindavik on the country's southern peninsula. Local authorities insisted this is not an emergency evacuation, but increased levels of sulfur dioxide are being detected in the air, and that's raising some concern.

Authorities say they are preparing to build a protective trench around the geothermal power plant close to the site of the possible volcanic eruption. The plant provides power and hot water to around 30,000 people in the region.

Well with that, thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause.

Please stay with us. The news continues with my friend and colleague Rosemary Church after a short break. See you back here tomorrow.