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Hala Gorani Tonight

Hong Kong Protests Increasingly Violent; Interview With Gloria Allred As Prince Andrew's Interview Stirs Up Epstein Controversy; Eight Set To Testify In Impeachment Inquiry; U.S. Reverses Policy On Israeli Settlements In West Bank; Iraq Spy Chief Warns ISIS Is Rebuilding; Demonstrations Spread Throughout Iran As Frustration Grows; Powerful South African Telescope Looks To The Skies. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired November 18, 2019 - 14:00   ET



BIANCA NOBILO, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello, everyone. Live from CNN London, I'm Bianca Nobilo in for Hala Gorani.

Tonight, a Hong Kong university under siege, the hardest of hard-core protestors barricaded and surrounded while others try to draw police

attention away.

And near-universal condemnation of Prince Andrew's interview: Should the royal now answer questions under oath? I'll speak to prominent victim

attorney Gloria Allred.

And later, anger in Iran: A hike in fuel prices has motivated people to face off with security forces. We'll have the reports and images CNN is

managing to get out of the near-complete internet blackout there.

It's 3:00 a.m. in Hong Kong right now, and there's a tense standoff outside the university where protestors have barricaded themselves over the past

week. It's becoming a battleground, and the site of some of the worst violence between police and protestors in five months of unrest.

Anna Coren explains.


ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Flames unleash from the parapets of a university turned battlefield. Anti-government demonstrators

holed up for a week, now unloading their arsenal of medieval weapons.

Police moved in early Monday morning, desperate to force the occupiers out on the second day of a siege.

KWOK KA-CHUEN, HONG KONG POLICE: The university campus has become a powder keg where danger is far beyond what we can estimate.

COREN (voice-over): A powder keg that blew. Makeshift bombs like this gas cannister turned into a nail bomb, homemade explosives posing as a deadly

threat, much of it bursting into flames, columns of smoke lifting from the campus. Police below stood armed with long-barreled assault weapons in

view and ready to use, they say.

The bitter violence left many of the young protestors inside too scared to run. Others made their escape, stealing a moment to get away as supporters

worked to distract police outside.

Officers swooped to make dozens of arrests, taking the tally to almost 5,000 protestors arrested since June.

KA-CHUEN: Hong Kong has been crippled by violence and public fear for almost half a year now.

COREN (voice-over): Nearly half a year now that has left Hong Kong often unrecognizable. The city's leader, Carrie Lam, out of sight save for a

Facebook post urging people to surrender to police, as the embattled force fought to gain control of the city.


COREN: There have been ongoing street battled throughout the night between protestors and police. Many of those protestors are now heading home.

There are hundreds of them, just filing out of this area where they were clashing with police hurling petrol bombs and setting up barricades.

Police, obviously firing multiple rounds of tear gas.

Now, the plan for the protestors was to divert attention and resources away from Polytechnic University. We saw some incredible images today of

protestors inside the campus escaping by scaling down a rope to a waiting motorcycle and being whisked away.

Now, police have cordoned off this area. No one can get in or out. They are calling on those protestors to surrender in the hope of resolving this

peacefully. Bianca, back to you.

NOBILO: Our thanks to Anna Coren for that. And we'll monitor the situation closely and bring you any updates that we get over the next hour.

Now, Prince Andrew's attempt to explain his longtime friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein appears to have blown up in his

face. The interview, which was the first time the queen's second son has spoken about Epstein, has produced an outcry, with the prince accused of

seeming unsympathetic to Epstein's alleged victims.

Among them, a woman who says that she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew when she was just 17 years old.


EMILY MAITLIS, BBC NEWSNIGHT PRESENTER: Are you saying you don't believe her, she's lying?

ANDREW, PRINCE OF THE UNITED KINGDOM: That's a very difficult thing to answer because I'm not in a position to know what she's trying to achieve.

But I can tell you categorically, I don't remember meeting her at all. I do not remember the photograph being taken. And I have said consistently

and frequently that we never had any sort of sexual contact whatever.



NOBILO: Many are also criticizing what's seen as an awkward answer about why Andrew stayed with Epstein for several days in 2010. Have a listen as

the prince says that he was too honorable to cut off his relationship with the convicted sex offender.

MAITLIS: Just trying to work this out. Because you said you went to break up the relationship, and yet you stayed at that New York mansion several

days. I'm wondering how long --


ANDREW: But I was doing a number of other things while I was there.

MAITLIS: But you were staying at the house --


MAITLIS: -- of a convicted sex offender.

ANDREW: It was a convenient place to stay. There was -- I mean, I've gone through this in my mind so many times. At the end of the day, with the

benefit of all the hindsight that one could have, it was definitely the wrong thing to do. But at the time, I felt it was the -- it was the

honorable and right thing to do.

And I admit fully that my judgment was probably colored by my tendency to be too honorable, but that's just the way it is.


NOBILO: CNN's Hadas Gold has been following this story and she joins me now. Hadas, I'm sort of incredulous about that argument. Prince Andrew,

saying that he's too honorable and that accounts for his actions. It's a very passive understanding of what honor is, to be cognizant of what the

right thing is to do and then act upon it. Has anybody in Britain been convinced of that argument?

HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I mean, if you're reading the papers and reading the reactions online, I find very few people who thing that this

was a smart thing for Prince Andrew to do in a P.R. sense. But also just that his answers were unsatisfactory.

If he thought this was going to somehow cause the controversy to blow over, draw a line under it, he could move on with all of his work, that seems --

this seems to have caused the opposite effect. And now everybody has even more questions.

OK, at one point in the interview, you say, Oh, I wasn't that good a friend with Jeffrey Epstein. And then you turn around and say in that clip that

you just showed, that he had to go break up the friendship in person? Has he not heard of a phone, has he not heard of maybe not staying at his house

that -- it's just kind of -- it's, as you said, it's very incredulous to think about -- that these are his reasonings for it.

And then also there was some of the awkward sort of alibis he provided. So Virginia Roberts Giuffre, that young woman who has accused him of these

allegations, he's saying, oh, I couldn't have been with her because I was taking Princess Beatrice to a Pizza Express.

He remembers that so specifically, he said, because it's very unusual for me to be at a Pizza Express. But he has absolutely no recollection of

meeting this woman, although there is an alleged photograph.

So it's day two of this story, and still almost every front page in the United Kingdom is focusing on Prince Andrew.

NOBILO: So by any measure, this really has backfired, this interview. Now, the royal family have a huge P.R. machine. It's fairly mysterious, we

don't necessarily know how the decisions are made and who contributes to it. But they do.

So is this Prince Andrew acting on his own here? He surely wasn't advised that this was a good plan, especially, as you say, his alibis were sketchy,

he didn't seem to -- he certainly hasn't dispensed with the criticism of his actions by doing this.

GOLD: Well, whoever did advise him, the advice, whether it was taken or not, the outcome was that they did end up doing this interview and I think

it is also really important to note that it was done in Buckingham Palace. This is the seat of the British monarchy. And clearly, this was -- the

Palace obviously knew that this was going to happen, and it was done that way.

And Emily Maitlis has a really interesting column in "The Times" -- she's the anchor -- talking about what the process was like, going into the

palace, all the activity around it and how at ease Prince Andrew seemed during the interview. He seemed to think that it was going well.

Clearly, it's been a little bit of a different story on the other side of it. Really incredible to see the reaction to it. But the bad news for the

prince has actually been very good news for the BBC. They said that more than 1.7 million people watched it live on Saturday night; even more are

watching it on replays.

NOBILO: It definitely is what everybody's speaking about in the United Kingdom. And to add insult to injury, Prince Andrew's now become embroiled

in another controversy, which has hit the British media today --

GOLD: Yes.

NOBILO: -- this over a racist comment that he purportedly made to a Downing Street advisor? Talk to us about that.

GOLD: Yes. So this came out just a few hours ago -- this is "The Evening Standard" tonight -- where they claim that a former Downing Street aide

says -- allegedly -- that Prince Andrew used a slur in a conversation, a racial slur in a conversation in 2012.

Now, a royal source has told CNN they're strenuously denying this, and they've said they've actually even sent a legal letter to "The Evening

Standard," strenuously denying this allegation as well. But it shows you that the bad news just keeps coming for Prince Andrew.

And I have to say it's kind of amazing. I don't think that Prince Andrew is necessarily as much in the headlines before this interview. But after

Saturday night, this story is not going anywhere.


NOBILO: Certainly not. Hadas Gold, thank you very much for joining us and talking us through it, appreciate it.

And the prince's troubles could be getting worse, as Hadas was just saying. To contribute to this, a prominent victims' rights attorney is calling for

him to go to the U.S. to testify about what he knows about Epstein and sex trafficking.

That attorney is Gloria Allred. She represents several women who say that Jeffrey Epstein abused them, and she joins me now live from Los Angeles.

Gloria, thank you very much for joining the program today and being with us --


NOBILO: Firstly, I'm curious to know if any of the victims who you represent have had a reaction that they've expressed to you about this

interview that Prince Andrew has done.

ALLRED: Well, no. But we are about to have a press conference with one of Jeffrey Epstein's victims and she will react and that's very, very

important. And we also have filed a lawsuit for her this morning in federal court, and so we will be litigating that case for her.

And I would say, as to Prince Andrew, he's concerned about doing what is honorable and what is right. And so I urge him to volunteer to speak to

federal law enforcement and share what he knows, not only about Mr. Epstein but about Ms. Maxwell and anyone else that was in Mr. Epstein's circle.

Because there is still an ongoing serious intense criminal investigation by the United States Justice Department for the Southern District of New York

into anyone else who may have conspired with Mr. Epstein to sex-traffic underage girls.

And so we need the truth, we need justice for the victims. They should not be just a footnote in all of this. If Prince Andrew wants to help and

cares about the victims, this is what he will do. He doesn't need to get the OK from his attorneys if he hasn't committed any crime. Let him just

say yes, I will help now. I will speak to them this week, as soon as possible.

NOBILO: Gloria, there has been a reaction to the interview -- well, many, but specifically one of surprise at the lack of remorse that Prince Andrew

showed towards the victims and sort of nonchalance in the way that he spoke about Jeffrey Epstein.

And then he spoke about Ghislaine Maxwell in fairly warm term. Do both of those things surprise you?

ALLRED: Well, apparently Ms. Maxwell and the prince have been friends for many, many years. At one point, he had described Jeffrey Epstein as just a

plus one for Ms. Maxwell. Well, obviously, Mr. Epstein became a lot more than a plus one to Prince Andrew.

So it's time for him to step up. And I might add, if he is asked to testify in any civil case as well where his information may be relevant to

the civil cases that these underage minors are bringing -- they're adults now, but they were underage when they were sexually victimized by Mr.

Epstein -- then he should also take the oath, tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help him God, in those civil cases as

well. And not make victims jump through legal hoops in order to get him to sit there and tell what he knows, because it could be very, very relevant.

And whatever his feelings are, we just want the facts. That's all we want from Mr. -- from Prince Andrew and from anyone else (ph). Whether a person

is a prince or a pauper, they should provide relevant information.

NOBILO: Gloria, you've said that you want an explanation as to how Prince Andrew didn't notice the underage girls that were so frequently at

Epstein's properties. And you say that you don't understand how that could have passed him by.

Now, his defense in that interview with Emily Maitlis was that people behaved differently around him, and that he certainly didn't notice those

other girls. The implication being that even if those things happened, they didn't happen around him. How credible do you think that is as a


ALLRED: You know, it really doesn't matter if he -- if the young women were sexually victimized by Mr. Epstein right in front of him. What

matters is, he described Mr. Epstein's home and that was the home he stayed in in New York. He also stayed in Mr. Epstein's (INAUDIBLE) beach (ph) and

in the Virgin Islands, where underage girls were in all of those locations. It doesn't matter if he saw a crime being committed in front of him.


What matters is, why didn't he even ask, why are all these teens and maybe a preteen, look around this home. What are they doing here? Are they

living here? Are they working here? Are they going to school? Where are their parents? Why are they here? I mean, the excuse that somehow he's

used to a lot of staff being around, it just doesn't pass, you know, the laugh test. Because it's so unusual for anyone's staff to be a young girl

under the age of 18.

So, you know, as they say in the South in the United States, he's got a lot of 'splaining to do. And he ought to start explaining as soon as possible

in these serious civil cases and the criminal investigation.

NOBILO: Gloria Allred, thanks for joining the program today. Appreciate your time.

ALLRED: Thanks.

NOBILO: Still ahead on the show, we could soon see the most consequential testimony yet in the U.S. impeachment inquiry. An official who has

acknowledged delivering a quid pro quo message to Ukraine will be one of eight witnesses on Capitol Hill this week.

Plus, a new frontrunner emerges in Iowa: where the Democratic candidates stand less than two months before voters make their choices known.


NOBILO: We're now just a day away from the beginning of a second round of hearings in the U.S. impeachment inquiry. And this week could very well

provide the biggest bombshells yet: Eight witnesses are scheduled to testify including one who's already acknowledged delivering a quid pro quo

message to Ukraine. CNN's Lauren Fox has the details.


LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER (voice-over): Eight key witnesses are set to testify publicly in the impeachment inquiry this week, including

Ambassador to the E.U. Gordon Sondland, who is emerging as the most pivotal witness in the proceedings.

WILLIAM TAYLOR, FORMER AMBASSADOR TO UKRAINE: A member of my staff could hear President Trump on the phone, asking Ambassador Sondland about the

investigations. Mr. Sondland told President Trump the Ukrainians were ready to move forward.

FOX (voice-over): In his closed-door deposition, former national security official Tim Morrison, who is slated to testify tomorrow, said he knew of

at least five direct conversations between Sondland and Trump, adding that Sondland was acting at Trump's direction.

Morrison said Sondland told him that he informed a Ukrainian official the nearly $400 million in military aid for Ukraine could be freed up if,

quote, "the prosecutor general would go to the mic and announce that he was opening the Burisma investigation."

REP. SEAN MALONEY (D-NY): What we're talking about here is that the president of the United States used taxpayer-funded military assistance to

pressure a foreign leader to help him in his re-election campaign. That is solicitation of a bribe.


FOX (voice-over): "The Wall Street Journal," reporting this morning on e- mails that show Sondland "kept several Trump administration officials apprised of his effort," including Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick

Mulvaney, and Energy Secretary Rick Perry.

REP. MIKE TURNER (R-OH): As I've said from the beginning, I think this is -- this is not OK. The president of the United States shouldn't, even in

the original phone call, be on the phone with the president of another country and raise his political opponent.

But if you look at Sondland's testimony, which is also public, he says that the direction that he received from the president of the United States was

no quid pro quo.

FOX (voice-over): President Trump, again lashing out at another witness in a tweet.

TEXT: Donald J. Trump: Tell Jennifer Williams, whoever that is, to read BOTH transcripts of the presidential calls, and see the just released

statement (sic) from Ukraine. Then she should meet with the other Never Trumpers, who I don't know and mostly never even heard of, and work out a

better presidential attack!

FOX (voice-over): In a transcript released this weekend, Jennifer Williams, a State Department employee detailed to the vice president's

office, who listened to the July 25th phone call between President Trump and the Ukrainian president. She told impeachment investigators President

Trump's request for a specific investigation struck her as, quote, "unusual and inappropriate."

Vice President Mike Pence's office is making a concerted effort to distance itself from Williams, who is slated to testify tomorrow, releasing a

statement emphasizing, quote, "Jennifer is a State Department employee."


NOBILO: The White House is still blocking other witnesses at the heart of this scandal from testifying. But now, President Trump suggests he himself

would be willing to talk to Congress. He tweeted that he likes the idea, and says he will strongly consider it in order to get Congress focused


Well, we've heard something similar before. Remember when Mr. Trump said he was willing to talk to Special Counsel Robert Mueller? He never did,

and submitted written answers instead. Now, in yet another major development, we're learning that the House is investigating whether Mr.

Trump may have lied to Mueller in those written answers.

Let's bring in CNN White House reporter Stephen Collinson to work through all of this with us. Stephen, there's been a couple of things that have

happened over the past few days in typical Trump administration style. There's also been this unexplained hospital visit in the press as well.

Help us kind of navigate our way through all the controversies and news that we've seen over the last 24, 48 hours.

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Right, Bianca. Well, there's never really any weekend in the Trump administration. You mentioned that

hospital visit, which is a slightly surprising occurrence given that generally when a president goes for his annual checkup in Bethesda Naval

Hospital or Walter Reed just north of Washington, it's announced in advance, they go up there in their helicopter.

This was rather sudden and unannounced. The president took -- went up there 15 miles or so in his motorcade. That, of course, raised all sorts of

questions about whether this was a routine visit, as the White House said, or whether the White House wasn't perhaps being completely truthful.

This White House really doesn't get much benefit of the doubt, given the somewhat estranged relationship with the truth that the president has had

throughout his administration. So that's one thing.

On the other hand, all of these new developments happening over the weekend -- new depositions were released by the House impeachment inquiry, which

appear to tie the president closer to a direct role in ordering this pressure on Ukraine to conduct an investigation into his potential 2020

opponent Joe Biden.

So this is all boiling up and the week ahead, the next four days, could be the most crucial, as you said, in the impeachment inquiry so far. We're all

looking for that testimony on Wednesday with Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the E.U. who appears to be emerging as President Trump's

prime contact with the Ukrainian government.

NOBILO: And, Stephen, as we ramp up to this critical week in the impeachment inquiry, do you detect any sort of deviation or change in the

president's strategy to all of this, insofar as we can call it that? Or perhaps his behavior in general?

COLLINSON: I think what we've seen over the last few days is interesting. These are direct attacks on witnesses by the president. We saw it on

Friday during the testimony of Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. The president attacked her testimony in real time

and it was read out to her by Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

We saw the president attacking Jennifer Williams, somebody who worked in the -- Vice President Mike Pence's office yesterday on Twitter. So it does

seem that the president is trying to at least lean on some of these witnesses, perhaps to get them to think twice about what they might say

before the committee.

Of course, some Democrats are saying that this actually amounts to witness tampering, and this could be something that could be folded into the

eventual articles of impeachment that the House is expected to vote on during perhaps December.

NOBILO: Stephen Collinson, always good to talk to you. Thanks very much for joining us from Washington.

Also in the U.S., a new frontrunner is surging ahead as Democrats look for a candidate to take on President Trump next year.


According to a new CNN-Des Moines Register poll, Mayor Pete Buttigieg has now a strong lead in the state of Iowa, which holds the first caucus for

voters to make their preferences known. Senator Elizabeth Warren is second, while former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders

are close behind her. Senator Amy Klobuchar, far behind in fifth place.

Buttigieg is the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who was little known nationally before joining the presidential race. And if he won, he'd be

the first openly gay U.S. president.

For more now, Vanessa Yurkevich joins me from New York. Vanessa, what is it about Buttigieg which is causing this surge in the polls? Is it just

that he's not as far-left as Warren and Sanders and a little bit more exciting and novel than Biden?

VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's a little bit of all of that. He is a more moderate candidate, and he is a little bit of a newcomer

to this scene. But what we can really attribute that jump in the polls to is his organizing in the state of Iowa. He's raised a ton of money, and his

campaign is really putting it to good use.

In September, they opened 20 field offices alone. They have over a hundred staffers now, and they're also targeting opening offices in more rural

communities. And that's in places that other campaigns simply don't have the funds to be able to open offices in more rural communities.

But it's important to point out that this is one poll. And the top candidates -- Warren, Biden and Sanders along with Buttigieg -- have sort

of been trading top spots in these polls for a number of weeks now.

And also, when you look at Buttigieg and how he's polling in Iowa, it's significant that he is in front. But this race is so fluid and the charge

for his campaign is really going to be to try to keep this momentum up as we go into that Iowa caucus February 3rd. Because our poll also reveals,

Bianca, that about two-thirds of voters still haven't made up their mind about who they're going to be voting for -- Bianca.

NOBILO: And, Vanessa, of course you're right to caution on the polling. We have to be very careful anyway, like you say, voter volatility's high

and it's just one poll. And there are many undecideds, as you mentioned.

But where does this surge that we're seeing, Buttigieg, fit into other national polls that we've seen, other samples that we've seen in early

voting states, swing states, things like that?

YURKEVICH: Right. So Buttigieg is doing very well in Iowa. Also in New Hampshire, he's rising in the polls. But when you start to look at the

national polls, he's polling in the single digits. And then when you look at early voting states like Nevada and South Carolina, he's also in the

single digits.

And the Buttigieg campaign is keenly aware that they especially have a lot of work to do in South Carolina. In South Carolina, there's a huge voting

bloc of African-American voters and the campaign realizes that in order to win the Democratic nomination, you have to do well with African-American

voters, specifically in South Carolina.

But also in our new poll, it reveals that about only 27 percent of Buttigieg's own supporters think that he can beat President Trump, and we

know that is really the number one issue for voters across the country: Who can beat President Trump? So only 27 percent of his voters think he

can do it compared, Bianca, with someone like Joe Biden who, in our same poll, it reveals that about 57 percent of Joe Biden's supporters think he

can beat the president.

So while there's a good performance coming out of this poll for Mayor Pete Buttigieg, electability could be a big question mark as we look down the

line -- Bianca.

NOBILO: Vanessa Yurkevich, thank you. We know you'll keep an eye on that for us. Good to hear from you.

Still to come on the program, a CNN exclusive interview: A top Iraqi official says there's evidence that ISIS is trying to make a big comeback.


MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: We condemn strongly any acts of violence committed by this regime against the Iranian people, and are deeply

concerned by reports of several fatalities. We've been at that since the beginning of this administration.


The Islamic Republic must cease violence against its own people and should immediately restore the ability of all Iranians to access a free and open

internet. The world is watching. The Iranian people will enjoy a better future when their government begins to respect basic human rights, abandon

its revolutionary posture and its destabilizing foreign policy in the region and behave simply like a normal nation. The choice is clearly with

the regime. Continue with Iran.

President Rouhani recently announced that Iran will begin uranium enrichment activities at the Fordow facility. Therefore, the United States

will terminate the sanctions waiver related to the nuclear facility at Fordow effective December 15th, 2019.

The right amount of uranium enrichment for the world's largest state- sponsor of terror is zero. Iran originally constructed Fordow as a fortified underground bunker to conduct secret uranium enrichment work.

And there is no legitimate reason for Iran to resume enrichment at this previously clandestine site.

Iran should reverse its activity there immediately. Iran's supreme leader is reverting to his tried and true method using nuclear brinkmanship to

extort the international community into accepting the regime's destabilizing activity. The United States rejects this approach

completely, and calls on all nations to do the same.

The only viable way forward is through comprehensive negotiation to address the full range of Iran's threats in their entirety. Iran's most recent

action is yet another clear attempt at nuclear extortion that will only deepen its political and economic isolation from the world.

I also want to spend just a minute talking about Iraq. The last few weeks, United States has watched the protests very, very closely. We support the

Iraqi people as they strive for a prosperous Iraq that is free of corruption and Iranian maligned influence.

We stated clearly that Iraq's leaders must protect human rights as Iraqis lift their voices just to cure a flourishing democracy. Calls are

consistent with the Trump administration's track record as being a force for good throughout Iraq.

We work with Iraqi security forces to take down the ISIS caliphate and we'll continue to make sure it cannot reemerge.

The United States remains the largest humanitarian donor to Iraq providing more than $2 billion in food, water, medicine, and shelter since 2014

alone. We're the largest donor as well to stabilization. We built more than 500 schools, 100 health centers, 50 water treatment plants with many

more projects coming on line soon.

Now our commitment continues, we will not stand idle while the corrupt officials make the Iraqi people suffer. Today, I'm affirming the United

States will use our legal authorities to sanction corrupt individuals that are stealing Iraqi's wealth and those killing and wounding peaceful


Like the Iraqi people, taking to the streets that our sanctions will not discriminate between religious sect or ethnicity. They will simply target

those who do wrong to the Iraqi people no matter who they are.

Turning now to Israel. The Trump administration is reversing the Obama administration's approach towards Israeli settlements. U.S. public

statements on settlement activities in the West Bank have been inconsistent over decades.

In 1978, the Carter administration categorically concluded that Israel's establishment of civilian settlements was inconsistent with international


However, in 1981, President Reagan disagree with that conclusion and stated that he didn't believe that the settlements were inherently illegal.

Subsequent administrations recognized that unrestrained settlement activity could be an obstacle to peace. But they wisely and prudently recognized

the dwelling on illegal positions didn't advance peace.

However in December 2016 at the very end of the previous administration, Secretary Kerry changed decades of this careful bipartisan approach by

publicly reaffirming the illegality of settlements.

After carefully studying all sides of the legal debate, this administration agrees with President Reagan. The establishment of Israeli civilian

settlements in the West Bank is not, per se, inconsistent with international law.

I want to emphasize several important considerations. First, look, we recognize that -- as Israeli courts have the legal conclusions relating to

individual settlements must depend on an assessment of specific facts and circumstances on the ground.

Therefore, the United States Government is expressing no view on the legal status of any individual settlement.

The Israeli legal system affords an opportunity to challenge settlement activity and assess humanitarian considerations connected to it. Israeli

courts have confirmed the legality of certain settlement activities and has concluded that others cannot be legally sustained.


Second, we're not addressing or prejudging the ultimate status of the West Bank. This is for the Israelis and the Palestinians to negotiate.

International law does not compel a particular outcome, nor create any legal obstacle to a negotiated resolution.

Third, the conclusion that we will no longer recognize Israeli settlements as per se inconsistent with international law is based on the unique facts,

history, and circumstances presented by the establishment of civilian settlements in the West Bank. Our decision today does not prejudice or

decide legal conclusions regarding situations in any other parts of the world.

And finally, finally, calling the establishment of civilian settlements inconsistent with international law hasn't worked. It hasn't advanced the

cause of peace.

The hard truth is, there will never be a judicial resolution to the conflict and arguments about who is right and wrong as a matter of

international law will not bring peace.

This is a complex political problem that can only be solved by negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

The United States remains deeply committed to helping facilitate peace, and I will do everything I can to help this cause.

The United States encourages the Israelis and the Palestinians to resolve the status of Israeli settlements in the West Bank in any final status


And further, we encourage both sides to find a solution that promotes, protects the security and welfare of Palestinians and Israelis alike.

Turning now to Hong Kong. The United States is gravely concerned by the deepening political unrest and violence in Hong Kong including the standoff

between protesters and police at Hong Kong Polytechnic University and other campuses. We call for restraint from all parties in Hong Kong.

Violence by any side is unacceptable. The Hong Kong government bears primary responsibility for bringing calm to Hong Kong. Unrest and violence

could not be resolved by law enforcement efforts alone. The government must take clear steps to address public concerns.

In particular, we call on chief executive, Carrie Lam, to protagonist accountability by supplementing the independent police complaints accounts

overview with an independent investigation into the protest related incidents.

As the United States government has said repeatedly, the Chinese communist party must honor its promises to the Hong Kong people who only want the

freedoms and liberties that they have been promised in the signing of British joint declaration, a U.N. filed treaty.

And finally, Bolivia. The Bolivian government announced Friday the expulsion of hundreds of Cuban officials for their country. It was the

right thing to do.

Cuba wasn't sending doctors and officials to Bolivia to help the Bolivian people, but rather to prop up a pro-Cuba regime headed by Evo Morales who

sought to maintain his grip on power through electoral fraud.

Bolivia now joins Brazil and Ecuador in recognizing the Cuban threat --


BIANCA NOBILO, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Let's get more now on this massive U.S. policy change that we've just been hearing about from U.S.

secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, there on the settlements in the West Bank.

We're now joined by CNN's Oren Liebermann who's in Jerusalem.

Oren, what's your reaction to what we've just heard from Mike Pompeo?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: As you pointed out, it's a massive announcement but not all that a surprising of an announcement given

the policies of the Trump administration in the years that I've been following this and their peace efforts. The administration stopped calling

the occupied West Bank occupied instead calling it disputed.

Jason Greenblatt, the former head of the peace team said he didn't want to call them settlements at all. He simply wanted to call them cities and

towns or villages. All of that was moving away from the idea that the West Bank was occupied territory according to at least the U.S., although it

certainly remains as such under international law.

Who benefits from this? Well, no doubt this is a boost to President Donald Trump himself and his voter base, the religious evangelical voter base that

sees Israel as a very important issue and this will speak right to them.

There are two other conspicuous elements of timing here. First, this seems a slap in the face or at least an attempted one to the European Union and

the court of justice there, which had just ruled last week that goods produced in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank have to be

labelled as such.

It can't just say made in Israel or has to say made in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank or something a kin to that. This seems to be a

slap in the face of that ruling, and simply saying the U.S. won't follow it.

It is also whether intentional or not a very big boost to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who is in perhaps his most perilous political situation,

I would say over the last few years, and perhaps of his political career.

He will claim victory for this. He will say he's been pushing for it all along. And it has been in the works, according to Secretary of State Mike

Pompeo for the past year, and it gives him a political boost when is desperately in need of one if he hopes to remain prime minister.


NOBILO: Oren Liebermann in Jerusalem, thank you so much for explaining that surprise decision as it might seem to us on the surface. But as you

explained there are antecedents to that to go back a long way certainly under this administration. Thank you.

And we'll continue to monitor the secretary of state's remarks as he's continuing to make them now. We'll update if there's any policy

announcements you need to know about.

Now, Iraq's chief military intelligence officer has a grave warning. He says that ISIS is planning to rebuild its terror operation from the rubble

of its so-called caliphate.

Communication show how senior ISIS members are planning to break prisoners out of jails in Syria and Iraq. And in Turkey, wealthy conspirators are

returning and forming new cells.

Sam Kiley brings us this exclusive report.


SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hidden among those fleeing the last stand of the so-called Islamic caliphate, are

leaders who evaded prisons like these taking refuge in Turkey.

Flush with millions of dollars and driven by revenge, they're plotting mass jail breakouts to rebuild the terror network. These explosive warnings

come from Iraq's veteran head of military intelligence in an exclusive interview with CNN.

LT. GEN. SAAD AL-ALLAQ, HEAD OF IRAQI MILITARY INTELLIGENCE: (through translator): Those elements who are currently in areas in Turkey play a

key role in the new effort to recruit fighters.

Top-level leaders who fled secretly in the direction of Gaziantep and other areas are key funding members of the organization, and they have vast

amounts of money. They even have investments in Turkey.

KILEY: The general said that he handed a dossier of nine ISIS leaders to Turkish military officials in this room a month ago. We were shown but not

allowed to film Iraqi arrest warrants for two of those men which said that they're expert bomb makers and wanted for terror and mass murder. The

warrants say they pose a great danger in the Middle East and to the West. Turkish officials told CNN that they're looking into the allegations.

Iraq trapped and attacked former ISIS leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, forcing him from Iraq into Syria where he was eventually killed in October. But the

general warned that the ISIS threat remains potent.

About 10,000 alleged fighters are now held in prisons guarded by the Syrian Democratic Forces. How long they can be contained is unclear since

Turkey's recent incursion into the area where it considers the Kurdish elements of the SDF a terror group.

The Trump administration has been widely criticized for withdrawing U.S. forces who were working with the SDF from the border area. European forces

have done nothing to help contain the potential threat here and most refuse to repatriate their citizens who joined ISIS.

Turkish forces have rounded up dozens of alleged ISIS members, recently arresting 42 people allegedly involved in complex money transfers for the

terror group.

But Iraqi military intelligence believes that these prisons and others like it could be attacked at any time. Funded by ISIS leaders living in Turkey.

AL-ALLAQ (through translator): We have concluded that the real intention of ISIS is to begin a mission they're calling breakdown defenses, to storm

jails inside Iraq and Syria to free terrorists.

KILEY (on camera): And what do you think should be done about them?

AL-ALLAQ (through translator): There should be a large international effort to deal with this because these criminals could escape camps and go

back to their countries. They pose a great danger to countries in Europe, Asia, and North Africa.

KILEY: In the nation where the terrorist caliphate first emerged, a warning that it still has the money and the intent to be reborn.


NOBILO: Sam Kiley is here with me to discuss his exclusive piece.

Sam, you were asking the chief military intelligence officer at the end there what can to be done about this and he said an international effort is

required. But as you outlined there, it's not exactly fertile ground for concerted effort from all of these regional players.

So what does happen? How can this tide be stemmed.

KILEY: Well, the first thing is that somebody's got to step in to the gap left by the withdrawal or reduction in American forces there in terms of --

this would certainly be the position of the Trump administration. And I think he's got a lot of support from this, ironically, both from the Kurds,

the Iraqis, and even the Turks, which is the European military could be doing a great deal more in that area to secure, for example, those camps,

10,000 potential fighters in one prison, 70,000 women and children in another, an incubator arguably for future ISIS youngsters, people that need

to be rescued effectively from what is terrorist grooming.

Very little, if anything, is being done. And as a result of that we're already seeing President Erdogan has started expelling people alleged with

-- to have ISIS contact back to this country and others very much against their will.


But there has not been a European response and it's quite fascinating given the level of threat, not just from terrorism but from the potential

floodgates that the Turks have threatened to open in terms of refugees being allowed to restart crossing into Greece again.

So there's an awful lot of interest that the Europeans should have in that environment. It's quite fascinating that they're being so hands off.

They've done everything up until now entirely through the American prison.

NOBILO: And just quickly because we've got to go. But is there any sign that they are trying to coordinate some type of response, the efforts are

being made between any of these countries to come up with something?

KILEY: You sort of time, the answer is no. None at all. I mean, it's absolute -- it is quite stark. I mean, the British have Special Forces on

the ground working with the Americans, the Danes, French do too, but they've had to scale back operations as the Americans have.

And at the moment, there is no -- nobody is stepping forward to secure these camps that are being guarded by Syrian Democratic Forces that are

simultaneously being drawn off to try to at least block what they would see as a Turkish incursion into their territory.

NOBILO: Sam Kiley, thank you very much for joining us. (inaudible) now.

In Iran, nationwide demonstrations are gripping the country. Protesters took to the streets on Friday after the government announced a fuel price

hike. Now, leaders are warning of a crackdown.

CNN's Phil Black reports.


PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The few videos now emerging from Iran showed brief chaotic moments. Security forces

firing weapons. Banks and other buildings severely damaged by fire.


Crowds of people, some running in fear. Others together determined and chanting against the Iranian government.

In this video, people linger in the eerie, smoky aftermath of violence in the city of Shiraz. The world's view events in Iran has been narrowed by

an almost total internet blackout.

But these images which have surfaced on social media appeared to show a sudden dramatic outpouring of anger across the country by people fed up

with tough economic conditions and what they see as corrupt leadership.

American sanctions designed to change Iran's behavior in the region are already biting hard. Now, the government wants to increase the price of

petrol by at least half with steeper hikes for those who exceed strict rationing.

The Iranian government says the price increase is necessary to help Iran's poorest families and it blames the United States for encouraging riots and


Phil Black, CNN, London.




NOBILO: In the middle of a desolate part of South Africa sits one of the most advanced radio telescopes in the world. Eleni Giokos shows us for our



ELENI GIOKOS, CNN BUSINESS AFRICA CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory, brilliant minds are monitoring dark

skies and bright stars, looking for answers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At the legend, this is where you see all the antennas. I can believe everything and just choose to see one.

GIOKOS: Here in the Northern Cape, a radio telescope called MeerKAT is bringing the sky online for astronomers near and far to use.

FERNANDO CAMILO, CHIEF SCIENTIST, SOUTH AFRICAN RADIO ASTRONOMY OBSERVATORY: South Africa's beautiful dark skies where you can really see

the sky very well with your eyes. And, of course, it has radio-quiet spaces where we can build a radio telescope.

South Africa was interested in bringing to the country a mega-science project. And so, MeerKAT was built in part to essentially show that South

Africa is ready to host such a high-tech international project.

Radio astronomy is a relatively new science. Radio waves come from to us from galaxies stars across the universe. So making images with a telescope

like MeerKAT is very different than taking a photo with a camera or an ordinary telescope.

So, first, you collect the radio signals that hit each of our 64 antennas separately. So that combination of having many, many dishes and also

separated widely up to eight kilometers gives this unique capability to MeerKAT to make really, really high fidelity, sharp images.

GIOKOS: Scientists all over the world use this data to investigate mysteries of the galaxies.

CAMILO: So, the first major discovery that MeerKAT made, it was reported in the journal, Nature. It's the discovery of these two big radio bubbles

at the Milky Way Center (INAUDIBLE) center of the galaxy where there's a massive black hole.

People have been looking at the galactic center for decades with radio telescopes. But ours had some unique capabilities that allowed us to make

this discovery that nobody have ever seen before.

South Africa has emerged as a real player in the world leagues, radio astronomy in just about 15 years. I mean, 15 years ago, there was

something like half a dozen radio astronomers in South Africa. And now, one of the world's best radio telescopes is in South Africa.

GIOKOS: As MeerKAT continues to look into the past, the telescope is securing South Africa's astronomy status into the future as it expands into

a larger project over the next decade.

Eleni Giokos, for "INNOVATE AFRICA."



NOBILO: We want to focus on big tech and the power that it has over our lives.

According to CNN's global economic analysis, it's too much. Rana Foroohar talks about this in her new book, "Don't Be Evil How Big Tech Betrayed its

Founding Principles and All of Us." And she joins me now.

So let's start there. These big tech companies began with utopian visions for how they might affect humanity, Google, Facebook, et cetera.

And now they are certainly dystopic elements. I mean, which parts of our lives do you think we should be most fearful of big tech's influence?

RANA FOROOHAR, CNN GLOBAL ECONOMIC ANALYST: Well, you know, one of the things I try and do in my book which is really a 20-year arc going from

that utopia in the mid-1990s to the real dystopia today, is to connect all the dots.

So I look at the economic, the monopoly power that these firms hold, which is really a very similar to the 19th century railroads. I mean, they own

the networks, they own what goes on in the networks.

I look at the political, not only the use of platform technology and election meddling, but also the fact that these firms are the largest

lobbyists in the world.


Now, they're in New York, in London, in Brussels, in Washington, you know, trying to get regulators to do their bidding. And then the cognitive

effects. And this actually goes to kind of a personal story.

One of the reasons I got interested in writing this book is that my own son was really captured and sort of pulled down the rabbit hole of a supposedly

free video game, was then drawn in through what's called persuasive technology. It sounds very Orwellian but it actually combines casino

gaming techniques with behavioral not just to sort of pull you through and get you spending money within the game. And this is how most games

operate. I mean, the apps like Fortnite, you know, have hundreds of behavioral nudges.

This is happening. This kind of surveillance capitalism is all around us now and it really begs the question, how much choice do we have? Are we

making our own decisions? Or the algorithms making them for us?

NOBILO: So, do you think there is a concern that these algorithms, as they start to increase more into our lives are actually depriving us of free

will and we don't even realize it?

FOROOHAR: I do. I mean, you know, it's amazing at this point how much algorithm programs know about you. I mean, you think about just -- not

just what you do online, how your eyes move when you're looking at a screen. But where you go if you have an android phone, it knows that when

you're in a supermarket. If you're in a smart car, it knows where you drive.

As we move out, not just from the consumer internet but to the internet of things where there's sensors all over in smart cities, you're going to be

surveilled all the time.

And, you know, take this to the dark side, you can see in China, for example, a country in which there really is a surveillance state and

there's not a debate around privacy like we have in Europe or in the U.S. You have a system of social credits where if you're doing or saying

approved things, you may do better in your job or get special benefits. If you're doing or saying the wrong things, you may not have access to a

mortgage or to healthcare.

We need to have a debate before this goes any further, a transparent public debate and not have the biggest companies in the world making up their own


NOBILO: So we don't have much time. Just one reason that we have to be optimistic, one green shoot that maybe some of this is in-hand?

FOROOHAR: I think the fact that there's public outrage building. You know, it's interesting. A lot of this reminds me of the great financial

crisis in the sense that it was a complex topic.

But when people finally got a narrative that made sense, they said, hey, you know what, big banks have to take some responsibility for their


I think we're at that point now and the public at large is saying, you know what? We need to debate about the rules of surveillance capitalism.

NOBILO: Rana Foroohar, it's wonderful to speak to you. Good to see you in person.

FOROOHAR: Thanks for having me.

NOBILO: And thank you for watching tonight. Stay with CNN. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next.