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Hala Gorani Tonight
China Is Furious After The U.S. President Officially Endorsed Hong Kong's Pro-Democracy Movement; U.S. President In Afghanistan On An Unannounced Visit; Not Guilty Verdict In Hillsborough Disaster Case; Anti- Government Protesters Set To Iranian Consulate; Climate Report: Earth Heading Toward "Tipping Point"; New Poll Predicts Conservative Majority Of 68; Aid Workers Prosecuted For Helping Refugees; Ted Turner's Conservation Efforts Help Protect American West; Hungarian Chef Turns To The Forest For Inspiration. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired November 28, 2019 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST, HALA GORANI TONIGHT: Hello, everyone. Live from CNN London on this Thursday, I'm Hala Gorani. Tonight, China is
furious after the U.S. President officially endorsed Hong Kong's pro- democracy movement. We will explore that story.
Also this hour, not guilty is the verdict in the retrial of a former police officer in the Hillsborough Stadium disaster in England. We're live
outside the courthouse.
Also this hour, a state of planetary emergency. A new report says it may soon be too late to reverse the damage we have caused to the planet.
It is Thanksgiving Day in the United States, but that doesn't mean President Trump is getting a break from critics at home or abroad.
Let's start with China. Beijing is angry that the President has signed a bill in support of Hong Kong's protest movement. China's Foreign Ministry
accuses the U.S. of "bullying" quote-unquote and backing violent criminals as it calls them.
Mr. Trump does have some fans among the protesters themselves. One prominent activist says the bill is a remarkable achievement and a timely
As the protesters celebrate, Hong Kong Police are pointing to the violence earlier this month. Police are taking journalists inside the university.
You'll remember the Polytechnic University. That was the site of a nearly two-week standoff.
Just one moment. All right. Apologies. We have some breaking news coming in.
The U.S. President is in Afghanistan on an unannounced visit. And I understand this is footage from moments ago. Let's listen.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: ... and General Milley again, to be at Bagram Airfield. I've heard so much about it. It's an
incredible place. This is some -- some airfield, some fortress. I want to thank all of the Afghanistan troops. We have a lot of them here actually.
We have a number of them standing around saying hello and waving and we appreciate it.
And I also say to you, just at ease, let's just enjoy ourselves for a couple of minutes, I'm going to introduce a few people. But there's
nowhere I'd rather to celebrate this Thanksgiving than right here with the toughest, strongest, best and bravest warriors on the face of the Earth.
You are indeed that.
You know, when I took office, if you can believe it, almost three years ago, we were very depleted. Our military was depleted in terms of
equipment, you see, right? They're all shaking their heads. That's right.
We have all those brand new planes and brand new helicopters and brand new ships being built now -- brand new, incredible submarines. Probably the
most powerful submarines, probably the most powerful weapon in the world is what we're building. The foremost submarines -- nobody is -- nothing is
even close. But we have things that nobody has seen, nobody has heard about and we'll keep it that way.
But we've spent two and a half trillion dollars -- very close to that number -- and very shortly, it'll be a two and a half trillion dollars.
And while I don't love that, you know what that does to my budget because I'm a budget person, we don't have a strong military budget. I'm still
mad. How much do they have? I care enough to worry about budgets? So with what's going on in the world today, very important. Two and a half
trillion dollars, and nobody beats our great Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines.
And we think soon, we're going to be adding a thing called -- space -- you know about that, right? Space.
TRUMP: We're going to have space covered very well. We're covering it now, but we have to cover it to a much greater extent, and you'll be
hearing about that in the coming days and weeks.
I've just come from serving Thanksgiving dinner to some of you. I recognize already some of you in the audience and with General Milley and
the folks and we had a good time.
I then got down, I sat down and had that gorgeous piece of turkey and I was all set to go and I had some of the mashed potatoes that I had a bite of
mashed potatoes. And I never got to the turkey because General Milley said, come on over, sir. Let's take some pictures. I never got to my
turkey. It's the first time in Thanksgiving that I've never had anything called turkey, but that's okay.
But it looked awfully good, I have to tell you that. I should have started with that instead of the mashed potatoes. I made a mistake. But I hope
everyone enjoyed the fantastic meal. It certainly did look good and hopefully everyone can get some well-deserved rest this holiday. Your
family at home and they love you so much.
TRUMP: We flew 8,331 miles to be here tonight for one simple reason, to tell you in person, that this Thanksgiving is a special Thanksgiving.
We're doing so well.
Our country is the strongest economically it's ever been, we have never done so well. We have the greatest economy anywhere in the world. So it's
nice to know that you're fighting for something that is doing well as opposed to something that was not doing well just a number of years ago.
Our stock markets reached the highest level ever in the history of the exchanges -- all three. If you look, all three. It's incredible. It's
incredible what's happening. It just broke a record. I think it's close to 130 days so we're less than three years and 130 times, we've broken the
all-time record and to me that doesn't mean an all-time record, it means something different. It means jobs. It means 401(k).
People come up to me with their 401(k) and say, sir, you've made me look like a genius. Thank you very much. You know, they're up 78 percent.
They feel good.
So I would just want to say that we thank God for your health and all of the things that you've done. You are a very special people, and you don't
even know how much the people of our country love and respect you, and they do. That's why I'm here. I'm just bringing the message.
The courageous American warriors in Afghanistan and across the region are leading the fight to vanquish America's enemies and defeat forces of
radical Islamic terrorism.
I would say it so often during the campaign, that's what we're doing. Together, we're making tremendous progress. Just a few weeks ago, as you
know, and as President Ghani mentioned, U.S. Special Forces brought the world's number one most wanted terrorist to justice.
When the President said more important than Osama bin Laden, I would say that look, you know, different than -- he was an organizer. Al Baghdadi
was an organizer. He was the founder of ISIS. He was the father if you want to call him that of ISIS. I think he wasn't so happy three weeks ago
when he saw those incredible 67 men in that case just come pouring down onto where he was staying and that didn't work out too good.
And we have a new national hero. You know who that is, right? Conan. Conan is a new -- is our new grade hero and Conan was at the White House
the other day, you might have seen it. And it was something, but the animal known as al Baghdadi, the founder, the leader of ISIS, the man who
was trying to reinstitute ISIS because we've defeated -- we have a hundred percent of the ISIS Caliphate and Syria is now ours.
He is dead. His second is dead. His third -- we have the sights on the third. I think the third doesn't want the job.
TRUMP: Instead he said, you know what? Maybe I'll go work at a store or something.
But Baghdadi was a savage and soulless monster who raped, tortured and slaughtered the innocent, including many, many Americans.
When you saw those folks, those great people in the orange jumpsuits, oftentimes standing on a beach with a thug behind him and a big knife.
That was all al Baghdadi, but he is gone.
The American warriors hunted him down, they executed a masterful raid, and they punched his ticket to hell. That's what happened.
TRUMP: Shortly after we got Baghdadi, we focused on some other elements to the area. And we also started leaving the area because it is secure, but
we didn't leave it totally, we kept the oil. Makes sense, right?
I've been saying for a long time, keep the oil. I hate to say it. I used to say it with a place called Iraq to keep the oil. They didn't listen to
me. I was a civilian. They didn't listen, now they have to listen.
TRUMP: But we kept the oil and we kept it and we can help the Kurds. We can help our partners. We can have it developed. It's where they got
their wealth. That's where they got their money. We kept it.
So we'll go back in when we have to as it arises, but hundred percent, we have thousands of prisoners. We'd like Europe to take those prisoners.
They have not stepped up to the plate at all.
Many come from France, many come from Germany. They come from different countries in Europe, they have not stepped up to the plate. That's not
good. We have to talk to them, John, because they should be taking those people back and trying them.
TRUMP: And if we didn't do it, they'd go back to France, and they'd go back to Germany and to U.K. and to all of the places where they came,
that's where they want to go back. And they should take them.
Weeks ago, we also announced that the forces are coming back, they are coming back home. We are reducing over here, but because of technology and
all of the things that we have, we are able to reduce in Afghanistan very substantially, actually, which is -- and do even more devastating attacks
on the enemy.
So that's part of the two and a half trillion that we have coming. Finest equipment in the world. We build the greatest equipment anywhere in the
world, by far, and we're selling that equipment now to many, many countries that are our allies.
The enemies we decide, usually not to do it. History has said don't sell the good equipment to the enemy.
Our message to the bloodthirsty terrorists is clear, you will not escape your wretched fate because the long reach and the really awesome power of
the United States military is unstoppable. We have the most powerful military in the world by far. There's nobody close, and we're going to
keep it that way. We're going to keep it that way.
This evening, as millions of families sit down at their dinner tables back home, they'll be saying a prayer for the men and women serving our nation
in Afghanistan and deployed all around the globe. Great men and women all around the globe. Many are coming home.
GORANI: The U.S. President there on an unannounced visit to Afghanistan visiting Bagram Air Base, which has been the main U.S. operational hub in
Afghanistan on Thanksgiving there.
This is happening against the backdrop of a very quiet troop drawdown of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. Our global affairs analyst, David Rohde
joins me now from New York.
And David, I saw in the background there among those gathered to listen to the President, the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, also there. What do you
make of what the President has said? He also restated that claim that U.S. troops left Syria, but quote, "kept the oil," still unclear what exactly
the President means by that. What do you make of this visit to Afghanistan and announced by Trump?
DAVID ROHDE, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: You know, first I give the president credit for visiting the troops and you know, making this
unannounced you know, spending this time with them.
But this -- this is a sort of traditional Commander-in-Chief speech to the troops and in a way it's part of, I think, a reelection effort. We are,
you know, about a year away from the election. And he -- you know, the speech was very Trumpian, the sort of, you know, the triumph of killing
Baghdadi, the talk that the Europeans weren't doing enough.
And then you're right to highlight the quote about, you know, "seizing the oil." He is not talking at all to the Afghans and the war in Afghanistan
is, you know, going terribly.
Thousands of Afghan soldiers and civilians are dying every month. The President sort of scuttled a very promising chance for peace talks about a
month ago. So it's -- you know, it's for an American audience. And I think it put President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan in a difficult position.
GORANI: Right, because this troop, this very slow troop drawdown is happening despite the fact there is no peace deal with the Taliban. And I
imagine someone like Ashraf Ghani, the President, and the other Afghans are concerned that if the Americans leave without something in place, this will
spell disaster for them.
ROHDE: Yes, he is sort of bragging about you know, we're spending trillions of dollars Our military, but we're abandoning you, Afghans. And
that doesn't -- you know, and this is the problem. You know, to win these wars or to just, you know to find Baghdadi, it was the Kurds that found
It's the vast majority of the people who are dying in Afghanistan are Afghan soldiers and Afghan policemen. So talking about, you know, getting
out of the country, talking about the only reason you're doing this is to seize oil. That's exactly what ISIS and al Qaeda and the Taliban have said
all along that the United States doesn't care about the people of Afghanistan, it doesn't care about the Kurds. It doesn't care about
average Syrians. The Americans just want oil.
And so again, it's a good domestic politics speech. It doesn't, you know, help stabilize Afghanistan.
GORANI: But I guess from the perspective of Donald Trump's supporters, U.S. troops have been in Afghanistan since 2001. What has it gotten us?
It has cost trillions of dollars. In the end, the Taliban are resurgent. They're holding large swathes of territory in the country. Why not just
leave? What is it getting us?
ROHDE: Well, there is a danger and I mean, you know, there's a danger that you know, that it would become a base again for possible attacks on the
Americans have heard that, you know, after nearly two decades there, they've heard that enough.
I do think a model had been reached in Syria and there was an emerging model in Afghanistan of small numbers of American Special Forces soldiers,
working with Afghan forces working with the Kurds -- that is sustainable.
I don't think we need 100,000 troops in these countries, and so pulling out completely does, you know, create a chance for ISIS and the Taliban al
Qaeda to come back.
But it is, I understand Americans, there should be a very small American footprint in Afghanistan.
GORANI: And this is his first ever visit to Afghanistan because his previous visit to a conflict zone was Christmas 2018 in Iraq. This is now
Thanksgiving 2019, obviously you don't usually -- you don't ever as far in my experience, heads of state announce visits to conflict zones.
And it's interesting to see him there. But he -- as you said, it's very Trumpian talking about how Baghdadi was probably more dangerous than Osama
bin Laden, patting himself on the back for being Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces in the United States when Baghdadi was killed, and you're
saying his audience here is mainly a domestic audience. I do wonder how Afghans would react to this. What do you think?
ROHDE: Again, I think it would alienate them. He is bragging about, you know how great the American economy is, by the way he was overstating it.
The economy is not the strongest it's ever been in U.S. history. He is bragging about the stock market that that has hit records, but this is sort
of sounds like a campaign stop.
I give him credit. Those soldiers are there risking their lives, those Americans deserve the President of the United States visiting. It's great.
He is serving them Thanksgiving dinner, but he is speaking you know, only to an American audience.
He is not achieving any kind of policy goal in Afghanistan. I do think there's a chance for a negotiated settlement. And I think the President
could prioritize that more on this visit.
GORANI: And we see Ashraf Ghani there in the background and John Kirby is joining me now as well. And, John, we know that the President has
conversations with world leaders and sometimes reverses course, or sends out a spontaneous tweet that surprises everyone, even sometimes military
leaders in the Pentagon.
I wonder what conversation happened today between the two men? Because Ashraf Ghani would want American troops to stay until there's some sort of
deal with the Taliban.
REAR ADMIRAL JOHN KIRBY (RET.), CNN MILITARY AND DIPLOMATIC ANALYST: Yes, that's right. I mean, it would be interesting to be a fly on the wall for
that meeting. I mean, he knows, Mr. Ghani knows that there is still a lot of work to be done on the security front inside his country. The ANSF, the
Afghan National Security Forces have definitely improved over the last several years, and they have taken a lot of casualties in the fight because
they are in the lead of securing their country.
And they desperately want the United States to stay engaged; not just NATO, but the United States specifically because the U.S. can bring the kinds of
capabilities to bear on the battlefield that they really need: Intelligence, reconnaissance, surveillance, logistics support, aviation
support -- all those things are really important to Ghani.
So my guess is that he did it very politely, but I'm sure he did it very clearly to Mr. Trump, that he doesn't want the United States to abandon
this mission precipitously.
GORANI: Yes, what would happen, do you think, in your experience, if the U.S. withdrew precipitously? I mean, we know that a couple thousand troops
left Afghanistan. We're at about 12,000 to 13,000 troops currently inside the country. What would happen to Afghanistan if those troops left?
Because many of them are there to support, to train the Afghan Army and Police in their fight against extremist forces?
KIRBY: Yes, I think you would see a significant degradation in the security environment across the country, that now, we need to keep in mind
that the number of troops in Afghanistan now are roughly about the same number that Obama left when he left office. So there hasn't been much of a
Trump has loosened the rules of engagement for our troops, and allowed them more freedom on the battlefield than they had under the previous
administration. But they are largely in an advice and assist capacity. There's some counterterrorism troops.
And I think if you pull them out precipitously, or at least the majority of them in a quick fashion, without giving President Ghani and our Afghan
partners as well as our NATO partners a chance to calibrate their presence on the ground, you would definitely see the Taliban take full advantage of
And I also think, Hala, that it would place us in a much weaker position at any proposed negotiating table with the Taliban going forward.
Now, obviously, the talks are stalled. We need to get them back on track. But if the Taliban sees weakness, if they see we're just willing to cut and
run, they're not likely to make a deal that would be in the long range interest not only of the Afghan people, but of our national security
interests in terms of a terrorist presence inside Afghanistan for the long haul.
Hala All right, they could just be waiting things out. Just playing a waiting game.
GORANI: Right, and then hoping that their hand would be strengthened as a result. Thanks very much John Kirby and David Rohde as well. Thanks very
much to both of you for talking and helping us break down this unannounced presidential visit to Afghanistan.
The U.S. President Donald Trump there serving Thanksgiving meals to troops at the Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan.
We will have a lot more news after a quick break. Stay with us.
GORANI: Here in the U.K., there's a not guilty verdict in the retrial of a former police officer who was accused of gross negligence manslaughter in a
stadium disaster that happened in Hillsborough in this country all the way back in 1989.
It was a very traumatic incident for people in this country, still talking about it obviously. The former Police Superintendent David Duckenfield,
who is now 75 was the Match Commander at the FA Cup Semifinal match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest and there was a crush that day that led to
the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans.
Don Riddell is at the CNN Center. He has been covering this story for years. Let's first go to Alex Thomas. He's in Preston, England where the
case was heard. So why did they come to this conclusion that this man, David Duckenfield was not responsible for the deaths of these fans?
ALEX THOMAS, CNN WORLD SPORT: Well, Hala, the jury had been deliberating for some days and couldn't reach a unanimous verdict that had already been
knocked down from 12 jurors to 10 because of different reasons, and it led to the judge actually instructing them that he would accept the majority
verdict of nine to one. And that then happened quite quickly after that instruction.
What we didn't know is that they will then come back with the quick verdict that David Duckenfield was not guilty and it caused something of an uproar
in the court, that's for sure. Certainly, the initial reaction, we saw Christine Burke who is now 47, but was only a teenager at the time she lost
her father Henry, stand up, sobbing and crying out to the judge, who is responsible for the death of my father, because somebody was.
And the anger really dates back to the finding of the official inquest in this case back in 2016, which, after the longest legal proceedings in
British legal history, lasting more than two years, it was found that the killing of these 96 fans was completely unlawful, and we knew the criminal
proceedings would follow after that.
David Duckenfield was liable for the deaths of just 95 of them. One of the fans having died several years later, because of a legal technicality,
could not be included in this case.
But of surprise and disappointments, those families that David Duckenfield was found not guilty, ultimately, Hala, 96 people went off to watch a game
of football back in 1989 and ended up losing their lives, and now nobody has been found responsible for that, and probably never will.
GORANI: All right, Alex is in Preston. Thanks very much. Well, after the verdict, David Duckenfield's lawyer issued a statement saying, quote,
"David is, of course relieved that the jury has found him not guilty. However, his thoughts and sympathies remain with the families of those who
lost their loved ones. He understands the public interest in this case, but would ask that his privacy and that of his family is respected and will
not become commenting further."
Now, earlier, we heard from people who lost loved ones in the disaster, and we'll be discussing that with Don Riddell who has been following this story
for many years.
Don Riddell joins me from the CNN Center in Atlanta. And this tragedy, of course, happened many years ago, but I was telling our viewers around the
world, this is something that this country is still grappling with, this disaster that happened in Sheffield at Hillsborough Stadium, all the way
back in '89. Can you explain why this is still something that this country is still, you know, trying to get past?
DON RIDDELL, CNN WORLD SPORT: It is a lot about the performance of the judiciary and the legal process in the United Kingdom. This is, it would
be easy to see this as just a football or a sports story, but it points to the very heart of a democracy and what it's all about.
Of course, nobody should expect to go to a football match and be hurt or even killed. But that's what happened on this day. And it took so long
for the truth of what actually happened to come out. It took decades for that to come out because initially, the fans were blamed for their own
They were accused of arriving late without tickets, drunk, and they were blamed for the deaths of themselves and that of their fellow supporters,
and it took multiple inquests, and many, many years before a verdict of accidental death became unlawfully killed, as Alex just mentioned. And
still no actual legal proceedings against anybody who might be responsible.
That has now happened with David Duckenfield. He faced two trials. The first was a mistrial earlier this year, and now a second trial being found
And who is going to be found responsible for this? As Margaret Aspinall put it, she is the Chairperson of the Hillsborough Family Support Group.
She lost her son, she said, "You know, 96 people were unlawfully killed yet no one has been held accountable for those deaths. If David Duckenfield is
not responsible, then who killed my son?"
GORANI: And I want to get to some sound that we have of the families and relatives of the victims. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARGARET ASPINALL, CHAIRPERSON, HILLSBOROUGH FAMILY SUPPORT GROUP: The question I'd like to ask all of you, people within the system; then who put
the 96 in their graves? Who is accountable for 96 unlawfully killed? What a disgrace this has been today. And what a shame on this country of ours.
I feel so embarrassed.
CHRISTINE BURKE, FATHER KILLED IN HILLSBOROUGH DISASTER: Somebody is going to be held responsible for 96 deaths in the biggest sporting disaster in
British legal history. And there's nobody being charged for it. It's absolutely outrageous.
JENNI HICKS, TWO DAUGHTERS KILLED IN HILLSBOROUGH DISASTER: We've now got to live with knowing that all our loved ones, all of the families' loved
ones were unlawfully killed and we have now got to live with well, who is accountable for the deaths then?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: So, Don, you were mentioning Margaret Aspinall whose son was killed and there's a lot of frustration there because people believe
someone needs to be held responsible. Are they right in thinking that it's possible no one ever will?
RIDDELL: I certainly think that is looking more and more likely just given the passage of time. So many of the campaigners are no longer even alive.
It was so long ago. So much of the evidence -- it has just becomes so difficult to actually sort of maintain the integrity of all the evidence.
It just gets harder and harder and harder.
I don't doubt for a minute the resolve of these campaigners, and they've been incredibly focused and dignified throughout the last three decades.
But how much strength have they to continue this fight and how many more options are there for them to be able to hold anybody accountable?
GORANI: Don Riddell at the CNN Center in Atlanta, thanks very much.
Still to come tonight, we are on the cusp of the U.K.'s general election and now a new poll gives one party a clear win. We will tell you which one
after the break.
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Security forces in Iraq are carrying out a deadly crackdown on protesters after the Iranian consulate was
torched in the city of Najaf. Take a look at this video.
At least 13 protestors were killed in Nasiriyah today. Though some reports put the death toll even higher. Iran is demanding Iraqi authorities
respond firmly to the attack on its consulate. Ongoing anticorruption protests in Iraq have swelled into a nationwide revolt against Iranian
influence in the country's affairs. These demonstrators were angry at Iran, so they targeted the representative office of Iran in that part of
Our Sam Kiley is follow the story tonight from Abu Dhabi.
What's the latest? Because this is -- it just seems to me like it's spiraling completely out of control. And it's across the country. Not
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No, absolutely, Hala. Certainly in the central and southern regions, which you know better than
most, Hala, are sheer majority areas.
Baghdad, all the way down to Basra has seen these demonstrations intensifying really now into -- well into their second month. And every
now and again, periodically, the government has one of these bloodletting occasions because it seems to be absolutely clueless as to what else to do
about it. Particularly in the context of the Shia population rising against the influence of the Shia theocracy in Tehran.
This is how today unfolded.
KILEY (voice-over): Live round snap as they fly past. Automatic weapons in use against Iraqi civilians in Nasiriyah. At least 13 dead as riots and
demonstrations continue into their second month against a government apparently bereft of any response but violence.
This is blood, he says. This is Iraqi blood. A lot has been spilled already. Well over 300 dead and 15,000 injured. Across the center and
south of Iraq. Tens of thousands have been protesting, they say, against the Shia-dominated government's corruption, mismanagement, sectarianism,
and increasingly against Iran's close involvement in Iraq's political life.
Here, torching the consulate of Iran. As Shia theocracy in Najaf, the heart of the Shia religion.
Not long ago, such an act would have been unthinkable. But anti-Iranian feeling it so high is the second time rioters have attempted to burn an
Iranian consulate in this Shia region this month.
When the consulate was set on fire, all the riot police in Najaf and the security forces started firing on us, as if we were burning the whole of
Iraq, he says.
Iran has called for a firm response from the Iraqi government after its diplomats were evacuated from the burned consulate.
The U.S. and other nations have joined the U.N. in calling on the Baghdad government to meet the demands from the streets for new elections. The
prime minister has offered to resign weeks ago but he remains in office.
In the port city of Basra, Bakah Ibrahim (ph) summed up the national frustration.
He said, I've lived in deprivation and hunger for years. my life could be briefly described as injustice after injustice.
Iraq's government has shown no signs that it understands this, but it is comfortable with using brute force.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KILEY: Now, Hala, over the last three days, we've been able to confirm a minimum of 31 people killed. That's including those 13 in Nasiriyah.
There were several in Najaf where the consulate was burned and the government there has organized a number of what they call security
committees to go out into the regions to try to deal with this. The man, the office that put in charge of that committee was removed from that role
after just one day after those -- the killings in Nasiriyah. Hala?
GORANI: All right. Thanks very much for that report there, Sam Kiley.
We are getting a new pictures from Afghanistan where U.S. President Donald Trump made an unannounced visit. Mr. Trump talked with the Afghan
president, Ashraf Ghani. He spoke to U.S. troops stationed at Bagram Air Base. And these are new pictures coming to us of that sit-down with the
It's his first visit to Afghanistan. And only his second visit to U.S. troops in a war zone. This taking place, of course, on Thanksgiving.
A new report says it soon may be too late to reverse the effects of climate change. A study published in the scientific journal, Nature, says the
earth is heading toward a global tipping point. It says irreversible changes are already taking place and hot house conditions may soon make
some areas uninhabitable.
The scientists call for urgent action to avoid an existential threat to civilization. We do hear time and time again these warnings. Well, it's
about taking them seriously, experts say.
Just a short time ago, our senior international correspondent, Arwa Damon, talked to us about the significance of this new report, she's reported
extensively on the climate crisis. Here's what she find.
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hala, this group of researchers in that commentary are talking about irreversible changes that
we have already made to the earth. To the very planet that sustains all of us that are at this point in time irreversible.
The point that is of utmost important right now is that we do not make what is already a bad situation significantly worse to the point where this
planet may not be able to sustain life as we know it.
The researchers are talking about how we are rapidly approaching this global tipping point. The point of no return. And what they are doing is
highlighting nine areas where they say we have already approached this tipping point or are rapidly approaching it.
These includes the Antarctic and the loss of glacial ice there. The arctic and the loss of sea ice. The permafrost in Russia that is melting. They
talk about areas even in northern America that have been significantly affected as well as the Amazon.
And the other key issue that they talk about is how none of these areas exist in isolation. What happens in the arctic doesn't just stay in the
artic, it impacts the climate across the entire world.
The Atlantic Current. One of the main Atlantic Currents, for example, that moves heat from the south from the Antarctic to the north, that has been
slowing down. This is important because that affects weather patterns, weather systems. And what the report is talking about is warning about is
not the kind of weather anomaly that we've been seeing right now with these crazy storms and hurricanes, and the drought that are taking place.
They're warning about something much, much more severe.
And they're saying repeatedly, over and over again, that we simply don't have time. We have been dragging our feet for decades now, aware of the
impact we're having on the environment and we just can't afford to do that anymore, Hala.
GORANI: That's quite some of the symphonic intro there. Two weeks until the general election here in the U.K., a new opinion poll could mean good
news for Boris Johnson. It predicts -- this one predicts a comfortable win for the prime minister. A YouGov forecast for the Times says the
conservative party is on course to score a majority of 68 seats.
Two years ago, YouGov accurately predicted then Prime Minister, Theresa May, would lose her majority in parliament. YouGov will repeat the model
interviewing more than 100,000 people before next month's election.
Nina dos Santos joins me here.
Although it has to be said, I don't think YouGov predicted that Brexit would win in 2016. So we take these polls --
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Indeed.
GORANI: -- seriously but we also know that they don't always point (INAUDIBLE) accurately.
DOS SANTOS: -- Ever since the two referendums causes independence, then, of course, famously, the referendum on the U.K.'s eventual decision to exit
the E.U. which is what Brexit eventually was voted for. These polls have been viewed with a huge amount of skepticism.
As you pointed out into your introduction there, Hala, the difference about YouGov. So here, been given a little bit more credit is that obviously it
did predicts that situation with Theresa May when obviously, many of the other polls led everybody that she was on course stomping majority,
probably the best since Margaret Thatcher had been in office, and that was a spectacular political miscalculation.
What are they showing today? It was actually this is a very big poll. They've polled 100,000 people across the country over seven days. They say
that if the election would to be held today, the conservative party would get a majority of 68 seats.
Three hundred and fifty-nine is the number that they reckon the Tories will get, 211 for Labour. The S&P, 43, and the Liberal Democrats, 13.
Now, what is key is though is that, basically, Boris Johnson can't necessarily feel too comfortable with this because they say within 30
seats, that could be Tory there's still a five percent margin of error there, so it is very narrow. They also say that if they start to lose
their 11-point lead over Labour, and it heads down towards the seven percent mark, then again, it could end with another situation where we have
a parliament, a no majority for the conservatives.
GORANI: But a conservative majority, essentially, I mean, it's a binary choice. You have a conservative majority, you get Brexit. You'll probably
get it before January 31st.
You have a hung parliament, who knows?
DOS SANTOS: Indeed. And this is something that is coming up actually in a leader's debate that's being aired on one of the U.K. broadcasters as we
speak. One of the smaller U.K. television channels which is hosting a climate crisis debate. But giving an opportunity to try and pick the
brains of some of the political party leaders including Jeremy Corbyn (INAUDIBLE) who was just mentioned in this very issue on channel four, that
And they've also decided to empty chair Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson in spectacular fashion with blocks of ice which are melting throughout the
course of this hour of heated debate. On the issue of climate change, but also on the issue of Brexit, whether or not Brexit will ever be done.
As I said, the two people who are the big proponents for Brexit, Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson, who want to get Brexit done and the hardest
possible fashion of Brexit, have not taken up the opportunity to talk about that this evening on a major U.K. broadcast, Hala.
GORANI: All right. Nina dos Santos, thanks very much. We'll be right back. Stay with us.
GORANI: Europe needs to get its act together when it comes to dealing with migrants and asylum seekers. That's what the U.N. Refugee chief, Filippo
Grandi, said earlier today.
Now currently, European rules state that migrants need to seek asylum at the first point of entry. Often, that's countries like Italy for instance.
This, he says, places a lot of the burden on coastal countries. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FILIPPO GRANDI, U.N. HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES: Europe has to get its act together on these issues anyway. You know, the doubling principles
that everybody has to go and seek asylum in the first country in Europe in which they enter was perhaps OK 20 years ago when there were few people,
but it's completely inadequate now. So Europe has to have a new system that is based more on sharing, on responsibility sharing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, the European Commission had proposed a quota style system to ease the burden on the frontline countries, but the idea has been blocked
by several countries who refuse to take in their share of refugees and asylum seekers.
That trip to Europe can be dangerous. And now, some of the aid workers who are trying to save migrants at sea are being prosecuted for doing so.
Simon Cullen has the details.
SIMON CULLEN, CNN FIELD PRODUCER (voice-over): In different circumstances, these rescuers might have been considered heroes --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: First, ladies, children, OK?
CULLEN: -- pulling migrants from dangerously overcrowded boats as they made their way towards the Greek island of Lesbos.
SEAN BINDER, SEARCH AND RESCUE VOLUNTEER: We had two search and rescue boats. We have scuba equipment. We had a very well trained medical team,
which could respond within seven minutes. Whereas the ambulance sometimes traveling along at 40 minutes.
CULLEN (on-camera): So the difference is life or death for some people?
BINDER: It can be.
CULLEN: But rather than being celebrated, they're being charged. Sean Binder is facing a string of serious accusations in Greece.
BINDER: Being part of a criminal organization, money laundering, obviously tantamount to smuggling. Our actions are tantamount to smuggling and
espionage or spying. And so we still face centuries in prison.
CULLEN: He's not alone. In June, the captain of the sea-watch rescue ship, Carola Rackete, was arrested by Italian authorities after docking on
the Island of Lampedusa.
CAROLA RACKETE, SEA WATCH: We, unfortunately, didn't have any other option than to enter the port without permission.
CULLEN: On board were 40 migrants who had been rescued from the Mediterranean. Rackete was later released from arrest, but still faces an
ongoing investigation under anti-people smuggling laws.
Laws enabled by an E.U. directive.
CULLEN (on-camera): The 2002 directive was designed to combat people smuggling. It allows countries to prosecute anyone helping someone else
enter Europe illegally. It doesn't require there to be a financial motive and the humanitarian exemption clause is only optional. Meaning countries
can choose, whether or not, they enact it.
CULLEN (voice-over): Over recent years, the number of migrants arriving by sea has been falling. At the same time, according to E.U. funded research,
there's been an increase in the number of criminal investigations targeting aid workers and NGOs.
RACKETE: They're criminalizing human beings helping other human beings being in need. And that just completely needs to stop.
CULLEN: As a result of the crackdown, there are now fewer rescue ships operating on the Mediterranean, a region that has claimed the lives of
nearly 20,000 migrants in the past six years.
In a statement to CNN, the European commission acknowledges there is a lack of clarity in the implementation of the humanitarian exemption clause and
says it'll continue to gather more evidence about how the directive is being applied.
ELISA DE PIERI, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: The case has been made to them that these prosecutors are in large part trumped up and they shouldn't happen at
all. I think they are not convinced yet that this is a sufficiently serious problem toward and that the change of the directive.
CULLEN: Rescuers warn if it's not changed, the criminal charges will continue.
BINDER: The effect has been to embroil us in costly and lengthy legal procedures and this act is a form of deterrence. It has frightened people
away from doing this kind of work and this is work that is sanctioned by international law without a doubt.
CULLEN: A situation he says that will result in more deaths at sea.
Simon Cullen, CNN, London.
GORANI: Well, we were talking about the climate crisis and the climate threats facing the world, particularly the United States.
CNN is launching "Call to Earth." A call to action for the planet and one man who's dedicated his life to the cause is our founder, CNN's founder,
Ted Turner. He's now the second largest private landowner in the United States with conservation efforts, front and center, on his properties.
CNN chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta got a firsthand look at Turner's drive to help protect our planet.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Once an icon of the American west, free-range herds of bison are now a rare sight.
This herd of castle rock bison in northeastern New Mexico is especially rare. Much like the land they roam. And the man who owns them, Ted
GUS HOLM, MANAGER, VERMEJO PARCK RANCH: Those bison, because of their unique genetics, are one of the native species on this landscape that we
GUPTA: Fifteen hundred castle rock bison now depend on the tourists who visit their home, Vermejo Park Ranch.
JADE MCBRIDE, MANAGING DIRECTOR, TURNER RESERVES: One obvious way that guests help us do conversation work is by coming and staying and helping us
generate revenue that we need to do that work. They get a chance to experience nature and really connect with it in a way that they don't get
in their normal everyday lives.
GUPTA: At more than 2,200 square kilometers, it's one of the largest ranches in the United States. Vermejo has undergone many changes since Ted
Turner purchased the ranch in 1996.
Solar panels and a greenhouse help make the accommodations sustainable. But the most significant changes have been to the natural environment.
HOLM: One of the other initiatives that Mr. Turner undertook when he started the ranch was a real desire to have native trout back on the ranch.
GUPTA: The Rio Grande cutthroat trout serves as an indicator species. A sign of a healthy ecosystem. The restoration project took 18 years, but
the fish are now thriving in all of the property's lakes and streams.
Vermejo is a place of contrasts. Extensive conversation efforts alongside fishing and hunting, which in part helps control the animal population.
HOLM: If you have too many, it can be overgrazed and you start having impacts on your ecosystem.
GUPTA: The conservation efforts are completely funded by tourism. But like everything else at Vermejo, it's a balancing act.
MCBRIDE: We're not going to go out and just build massive resorts on Ted's properties. Even though it might generate a lot of revenue, that's not our
GUPTA: It's all part of the mission set forth by Ted Turner so his properties will continue to thrive for generations to come.
MCBRIDE: Ted has a really great quote. When we connect with nature, we heal ourselves. When we protect nature, we heal our planet. And I think
that that happens when people are here. When they spend time in nature, it's healing to themselves and it helps us protect our planet.
GORANI: And that was Sanjay Gupta reporting. You can learn more about this initiative on our special website, cnn.com/calltoearth. We'll be
GORANI: This week, we've been taking a culinary tour of Budapest, going inside kitchens and meeting chefs who are changing Hungarian cuisine.
Today, we are forging in a forest outside Budapest with a chef who earned a restaurant, Babel, its first Michelin Star this year.
ISTVAN VERES, CHEF, BABEL: In fine dining, you have to do something different, something special. Something unique. I always like to create a
new things. Most of the times, I engrave the plate the day after. I do realize you put your soul on the plate.
Cooking is my life. So it's not the special for me. It's an obsession.
ANDRAS JOKUTI, HUNGARIAN FOOD CRITIC: He has a very brave approach. He has a very unique approach. He loves to combine different taste, like you
go there and you think every time, OK. I didn't expect that.
Like sweet with fish, and pickles things and everything that you would say upfront, no, that won't work. He knows what he wants so he's going his own
VERES: We're putting imagination on a plate.
BEN MORRIS, SOUS CHEF, BABEL: He's -- has a great palette for flavor and he wants to incorporate this and his imagination. Every dish we have is --
this is from a childhood memory or just walking through the forest one day, he look at something, he think, OK, I want to put this on our menu. What
can I do?
VERES: Now, we are not far -- not far from Budapest, the country side. We are looking for some rosehip for my new dessert. It's a combination of
rosehip, pig's heart and pig's blood. I really like pig's blood because I'm from Transylvania. We eat a lot of blood.
That castle of Dracula is not far from my hometown, so.
JOKUTI: His approach is not to recreate Hungarian cuisine through modernizing and making it more contemporary and refreshing it. But to say
OK, we have this and this ingredients in this region. I want to create something very special and very unique according to my taste.
VERES: Never scared about many things. My philosophy is -- in your -- in the life, you have to try everything.
Please taste it.
GORANI: I'm Hala Gorani. I'll see you next time. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is next.