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Hala Gorani Tonight
Deadliest Day Today For Coronavirus; Bernie Leads In New Hampshire Polls; President Trump Fires Alexander Vindman And Gordon Sondland; Millions Return To Work In China As Virus Death Toll Tops 900; U.S. Charges Four Members Of Chinese Military With Equifax Hack; Turkey: Five Soldiers Killed, Five Wounded By Syrian Forces In Idlib; Sinn Fein Leader Says She May Be The Next Irish P.M.; Merkel Protege Drops Out Of Race For Chancellor; U.K. To Change Terror-Related After Stabbings; Facial Recognition App Sparks Debate About Privacy. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired February 10, 2020 - 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: Hello, everyone. Live from CNN London, I'm Hala Gorani.
Tonight, we have seen the deadliest day yet in the coronavirus epidemic. As dozens more die in China, the U.K. declares a serious and imminent threat
to public health.
Also, undecided Democratic voters are running out of time in New Hampshire. The next contest in the 2020 U.S. presidential election is less than 24
hours away. We have the latest poll.
Plus, a first at the Oscars: The power of "Parasite" places South Korea in the history books.
China is reeling from its deadliest day so far in the coronavirus epidemic, 97 people died on Sunday alone. The WHO, the World Health Organization, has
sent a team of medical experts to China as the virus shows no signs of slowing down: More than 40,000 people have been infected around the world.
As you can see from the map there, the vast majority in eastern China. Hong Kong and the U.K. are also reporting new cases today; at least 910 people
Now, the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, made an appearance on state-run television, Monday evening. He was shown wearing a face mask while touring
a hospital and disease control center in Beijing. President Xi has largely stayed out of the public eye since the outbreak began. And now, he making a
pretty strong statement. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
XI JINPING, PRESIDENT OF CHINA (through translator): We will fight with great confidence. We will fight for people. We must build confidence. We
will absolutely win.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: David Culver joins me now, live form Beijing. First, let's talk about these numbers and why some people are concerned. I remember, last
week, we were talking about the rate of infection slowing. Now, we're seeing the deadliest day so far on this epidemic, obviously the epicenter
of which is still very much inside of China.
DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And it's worth noting, Hala, if you go back about a week and a half ago, one of the top health officials here in
China was actually predicting that by this past weekend, 10 days later when he made this announcement, that they would reach the peak and that it
should -- large-scale increases, at least -- subside from there. We haven't really seen that. In fact, each day passing has been increasing numbers and
a higher death toll.
But I will point out, the Chinese -- and particular state media and some of the officials as well are pushing out a different type of number. And that
is the recovery rate and the cure factor. This is getting more and more attention here, and it's no doubt part of their effort to try to show this
in some perspective. And as they like to say, counter the overreaction that came from the West, in particular the United States.
And the number that they put out is a cure factor of some 8.2 percent, and they say that's compared to 1.3 percent of a recovery rate, just two weeks
ago. So that's certainly going to be part of this narrative, going forward. And they're pushing this pretty hard. And so no doubt, you're going to see,
as they're framing more positive stories around this.
But the reality is, the numbers of those infected and the death toll are going up.
Part of the numbers of those infected, you could look at, also, more availability to testing. That was an issue that, early on, we did a report
as being a major problem as far as folks actually having access to some of those test kits. It seems like the supplies are there, it was a logistics
issue more than anything else, getting through the lockdown zones. And they're seeming to get to where they need to go, and you're starting in
turn to see the numbers go up as well -- Hala.
GORANI: All right. David Culver, it's 3:00 a.m. where you are. Just a few hours ago, Xi Jinping, the Chinese leader, made that appearance wearing a
face mask. How significant is it that the Chinese leader himself feels the need to telegraph the message that the country is taking this seriously?
CULVER: You might suggest it's coincidental, given CNN, among several other outlets, were questioning where is President Xi Jinping because
generally, in a crisis like this, you would see the leader out in the forefront and making several public appearances, if only to reassure
But the Chinese, they push back against that. They don't like that assessment because in their mind, you don't see him because he's actually
doing work, as they like to portray. He's actually handling the deployment and coordination efforts here, which are significant. And the containment
effort is something that he himself is spearheading.
However, we have to look back where this started. And the origins of this, right? This was criticism initially from state media even, they were
breaking stories on this that criticized the local government, the mayor of Wuhan, Hubei Province in particular.
What changed? Well, the central government has taken control of this now. State media has shifted their appearance of portraying this in a different
light, if you will. And they wanted to -- so it seems -- distance themselves and President Xi more than anything else from any of the
negative headlines: the lack of supplies that we were reporting on, the endangering of some of the medical personnel who are on the frontlines.
You'll recall, many of them were and still are getting infected by this virus.
And so those were the concerns of linking that together with President Xi in particular, that perhaps explains why he wasn't as public in the past
few weeks. But now, yes, you're right, that's an image that state media is running over and over, him out in public in that face mask.
GORANI: All right, wanting to control the narrative there. Thanks very much, David Culver, live in Beijing.
Well, that's inside China. But the most coronavirus cases outside of mainland China are actually not on land, they're on a cruise ship, docked
in Japan. Thousands of people aboard the Diamond Princess have been stuck in quarantine for nearly a week. So far, 135 people on this ship have
tested positive for the virus. The passengers and crew left behind are terrified of getting sick -- who can blame them? Several crew members from
India are pleading for help.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Please help save those who have not been infected yet. There are 160 Indian crew members and eight Indian
passengers on board. Please rescue us, help evacuate us before we contract the virus. Ninety percent of us are healthy as of now. I appeal to India's
Prime Minister Modi, please bring us home safe and sound.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, an American husband and wife have been split up. That's because the wife tested positive for the virus and is in a Japanese
hospital; and he is still on board the cruise ship, unable to leave. They described some of the response they've gotten from home.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KENT FRASURE, CRUISE SHIP PASSENGER: This fear of, you know, mob mentality sort of fear is just unwarranted. Just today, I got a message from somebody
that said, don't come home.
REBESSA FRASURE, CORONAVIRUS PATIENT: I actually got a couple of, like, really threatening messages. People can be really nasty.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, there you have it. This American couple, saying that back home, people are telling them, don't come back, that they're actually being
nasty, even though some of these people on this ship understandably are starting to get literally cabin fever, and going a bit stir-crazy, stuck on
that ship, and are concerned for their own health.
Well, fear of the coronavirus is spreading in Europe as well. Right here in the U.K., four new cases have been confirmed today; two of the people who
have gotten sick are health care workers. The British health secretary says the virus poses a, quote, "serious and imminent threat to public health."
Scott McLean is here with me now. When you hear words like "serious and imminent," that's scary.
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's terrifying. Essentially, though, what that declaration does, though, is just gives British authorities
license to forcibly quarantine someone if it were to come to that.
On a practical level, though, it doesn't really change the risk here, though, Hala. There's only been eight confirmed cases in the U.K. Four new
cases, though, were confirmed today. Two of them, as you said, were health care workers.
That means that authorities are now -- urgently, they say -- trying to track down the patients and other people that these health care workers may
have been in contact with. Thankfully, though, they think that number is low. So all four of those cases, though, can be linked back to the French
France also announced five cases, also linked back to that same ski chalet in the French Alps. All five of the cases in France are British nationals.
GORANI: So what's interesting here is that it is potentially a single individual who's infected 11 people. Now, you could -- I mean, the question
would be, can you call this a superspreading event, that one single individual came into contact with people in France and came back to
England, also had -- came into contact with people here?
MCLEAN: Yes, you're right. So this all stems back from a hotel, the Grand Hyatt in Singapore, where there was a conference going on. He works for a
British company, though, it's a multinational company. So several people, according to this company, went back to their home countries and then were
confirmed to have the virus.
He went on vacation to the French Alps, where, as we know, there were several confirmed cases. He then took an easyJet flight to London, and
then actually visited a pub on the south coast of England before he finally managed to get some help. He showed symptoms during that time in France as
As you said, some British press outlets have been keen to call this person a superspreader; he hasn't been identified yet. But a lot of experts, one
that I talked to, they pushed back at that. So does the World Health Organization. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SYLVIE BRIAND, DIRECTOR OF PANDEMIC AND EPIDEMIC DISEASES DEPARTMENT, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: And I think also what is very important is to talk
about superspreading event, and not people. Because it's not the person, it's really the circumstances and the situation that makes the transmission
increase and not the people themselves, so that we avoid also some stigmatization that is really unnecessary.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCLEAN: So, Hala, on average, we know that each person who contracts the virus will pass it on to two or three other people on average.
MCLEAN: But in this case, experts say we don't know whether or not this is just a natural variant. Obviously, some people will pass it to nobody, some
people might pass it on to seven people. We also don't know whether this person sheds the virus more easily, or whether or not he was just in
contact with more people, thus increasing the odds that he would pass it on to more people.
The other thing to keep in mind here is, if we start labeling people as superspreaders, what does that do to the stigma around that person? And
would someone else think twice about coming forward and getting help if they think that they may have contracted the virus because they think,
well, I don't want that label on me.
GORANI: Well, I mean, it's like that American couple on the ship, that actually said that they're getting nasty messages from back home, from
people telling them not to come back, which is interesting.
Thanks very much, Scott McLean, for that.
Let's set this coronavirus in context for you. We need to see how it works and how it spreads to see how much fear is reasonable here. We have an
expert who's perfect suited to help us with that. Steven Riley is a professor of infectious disease dynamics at Imperial College here in
England, and he joins me now.
Thanks for being with us, Dr. Riley. First, I want to get your take on this superspreading event. Should we call an individual such as the man who we
believe infected up to 11 people a superspreader, or not?
STEVEN RILEY, PROFESSOR OF INFECTIOUS DISEASE DYNAMICS, IMPERIAL COLLEGE LONDON: No, no, we shouldn't. I think it was Sylvie Briand who you just
quoted there, saying a much better term is superspreading event. And it's actually something that we first coined during the SARS outbreak, when
there were some very peculiar single events associated with lots of cases. So it's a much better description of what happens.
GORANI: How concerned are you that we're seeing a new record number of cases in a single day? I mean, last week, the narrative was, maybe we've
peaked. It doesn't appear to be the case.
RILEY: No. So obviously, it would be better if we saw fewer and fewer cases every day. But I think we have to acknowledge the very difficult task
that is under way in China, the very strict interventions that they're -- that they've got in place and that, to maintain that and to really drive it
down is going to be very difficult.
GORANI: Could you compare this to SARS? You mentioned SARS and the fear surrounding that particular disease, a few years ago. Is this worse or not
RILEY: So from a kind of broad perspective now, from a global perspective, this poses a far greater threat right now than SARS ever did. This -- the
virus may be, in some ways, not as severe, so for people who actually contract the virus, it's potentially not as serious for them as an
individual who contracted SARS was.
But from a global perspective, we are, I would say, most people working on this are far more worried now about the coronavirus than we ever were
RILEY: The -- our best estimates of the number of people, even though they've plateaued according to reports from China, and even though their
interventions are obviously having a lot of effects, just the sheer number of people who we think are infectious today is probably far higher than it
ever was during SARS.
So just the sheer -- the task is, eliminating all the infections so there are no new cases. And it's a bigger task today than it was during SARS.
GORANI: What I found interesting in the case of that American couple on the cruise ship off Japan, is the wife tested positive for the virus but
she's essentially showing almost no symptoms. It seems like there's a very, very wide spectrum of potential, you know, of how people show -- are
symptomatic of this disease. It can go from a sore throat all the way to, unfortunately, some people losing their lives. Why is this virus -- how
would you describe this virus in that context?
RILEY: So that's a really important feature of this virus. It's difficult to put hard numbers on exactly how many people are like that, what
proportion of infections occur like that. But we know for sure that it's an important feature.
And it makes it more difficult to stop, that's the crucial point. Because a lot of the interventions that we use are based on people knowing that they
may be infectious. So because people don't know until a little bit later, or some people never know, perhaps, then that reduces the potential
efficacy of some things like contact tracing and isolation that we've used before with great success.
GORANI: All right. It's interesting because you could -- just one last quick one. You could have only a sore throat, and then kind of recover from
that, and the whole time, you've had this virus without really knowing it? Is that possible?
RILEY: Yes, from the anecdotes and the reports we have, that does seem to be possible with this virus.
GORANI: Interesting. Dr. Steven Riley, thanks so much. Really appreciate your time.
Democrats running for the White House are racing around the U.S. state of New Hampshire today as the clock ticks down toward Tuesday's critical
primary. With just a few hours left until polls open, the candidates are sharpening their attacks. Pete Buttigieg is a top target after his better-
than-expected showing in Iowa.
But according to the final CNN tracking poll, in New Hampshire, Bernie Sanders if very much the candidate to beat while Joe Biden and Elizabeth
Warren have quite a bit of catching-up to do.
CNN Political Correspondent, Arlette Saenz is following developments from Washington. So talk to us first about this Buttigieg-Biden feud in the
runup to New Hampshire, Arlette.
ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Hala, you really saw Joe Biden over the weekend sharpen his criticism of Pete Buttigieg. This is
something that we really hadn't seen from the former vice president.
But over the weekend, his campaign released this digital video, comparing Biden's experience as the former vice president alongside President Obama
to Mayor Pete Buttigieg's experience as the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana.
Biden also, at one point, was asked about the fact that he's criticizing Buttigieg for his inexperience, comparing that to -- a reporter noted that
Hillary Clinton criticized Barack Obama for the same thing, back during the 2008 race. And Biden responded, saying that Pete Buttigieg is no Barack
Now, Buttigieg has since also countered, saying that neither is Joe Biden and that he believes that there needs to be a new change in course when it
comes to Democratic politics.
Yesterday, we saw Biden kind of scale back some of that pushback, some of that criticism that he's had on Buttigieg; he wasn't out there, pounding
away at that on the campaign trail.
But this is certainly a sign from the Biden campaign that they realize they need to be a little bit sharper when it comes to laying out the stakes and
trying to present themselves as the best moderate in this race right now.
GORANI: All right. Especially after that showing in Iowa. We'll see what happens in New Hampshire. What's really interesting is how much these
candidates are spending on political advertising.
I mean, the candidate spending the most -- by far -- isn't even running in New Hampshire and Iowa. That is Mike Bloomberg. I want to show our viewers
how much money he has spent, I mean, basically blanketing the airwaves. Let's take a look at this graphic here, it's based on CNN research, over
Hopefully -- there it is. And you have another billionaire, Steyer, at $178 million. Bernie Sanders, followed by Buttigieg, followed by Warren,
followed by Yang. And Biden, you can see there, close to the bottom in the top seven or eight candidates.
Now, let's talk about Mike Bloomberg because he has been releasing these campaign ads relentlessly. One of his latest ones takes aim at not his
fellow Democrats, but at Trump. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RONALD REAGAN, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Mr. Gorbachev, ear down this wall.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Build that wall, build that wall.
GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Americans are generous and strong and decent, not because we believe in ourselves --
TRUMP: I'd like to punch him in the face.
G.W. BUSH: -- but because we hold beliefs beyond ourselves.
TRUMP: Grab them by the (INAUDIBLE).
REAGAN: The future doesn't belong to the faint-hearted.
TRUMP: This is the crap we have to put up with?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: I wonder, I mean, Bloomberg is obviously not featured in this New Hampshire race. But eventually, he's going to pop up. He's not polling
badly in the states after these first two contests. Are Democratic candidates concerned about his entry?
SAENZ: Well, Michael Bloomberg is certainly the big X factor in this race. He is ignoring those first four early states and putting his focus in on
South Carolina. And no Democratic nominee has been successful in doing that, not participating in the Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South
Carolina caucuses and primaries, and then going forth into Super Tuesday.
But Bloomberg is certainly in a league of his own, as you saw with that money in that graph that you put up. And he is pouring millions of his own
money, that other candidates simply cannot counter when it comes to that TV advertisement. They're not pulling in $350 million for their campaign to be
able to fund ads like that.
But one thing, going forward, is how much scrutiny is Michael Bloomberg going to face as he continues to be in this race. You know, for instance,
he may be on that Democratic primary debate stage in Nevada next week, that would be the first time that he would be standing up there with his rivals.
I imagine that some of his rivals are eager to start making some contrasts and some differences made clear between them.
But he certainly remains a big X factor right now, as we are getting closer to states like Super Tuesday and whether or not all of that money he's
pouring in is going to in fact help him secure the nomination.
GORANI: Arlette Saenz, thanks very much.
SAENZ: Thank you.
GORANI: Still to come, just two days -- that's how long it took Donald Trump to go after key impeachment witnesses after his acquittal, their
abrupt firing now has some wondering who might be next.
GORANI: A top Democrat is trying to stop Donald Trump from taking any further retaliatory steps after his impeachment trial. The U.S. president
abruptly fired two key impeachment witnesses Friday -- you may recognize their faces -- they were some of the star witnesses during some of the
Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, the top Ukraine expert at the National Security Council; and the U.S. ambassador to the E.U., Gordon
Sondland, who was a Trump donor during the campaign, it has to be said. The Senate Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer, is not asking government watchdogs
to investigate any cases of what he calls a dangerous growing pattern of witness retaliation.
Our White House reporter Stephen Collinson says Mr. Trump's moves are a clear signal that anyone who crosses him will pay a price. And
interestingly, Stephen, these individuals were planning a quiet exit but Trump didn't wait, he fired them anyway.
STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: That's right. It seems to be that the president wanted to send a signal that any insubordination,
anybody that he deems as unreliable or disloyal has no place in his White House.
Let's remember, these were not people who set out to be enemies of the president. They were subpoenaed by the impeachment inquiry, and they
testified as to what they said was the truth of the president's actions. So I think this is going to send a chilling message throughout the government.
It is explaining to people within the government, the price perhaps of talking up against any future presidential malfeasance. And what we know
about this president is, he's clearly trying to maximize his power and his interpretation of his acquittal in the impeachment inquiry appears to be
that it's time double down and take even more power towards the White House and towards the presidency itself.
So I think there's a very good chance that he will cross some lines in the future. And people within the government are going to have a very difficult
choice to make.
GORANI: Stephen Collinson, thanks for the update.
A word on the Oscars. Hollywood's biggest night at the 92nd Academy Awards had some politics, a few surprises and a historic honor. We'll get to
Stephanie Elam, live in a moment. First, here's her report from L.A.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And the Oscar goes to, "Parasite."
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): An historic victory at the Oscars last night as the South Korean film "Parasite" became the first non-
English language film to take home Best Picture.
BONG JOON HO, DIRECTOR, PARASITE (through translator): I feel like a very opportune moment in history is happening right now.
ELAM (voice-over): The Academy, lowering the lights during the film's acceptance speech -- the crowd, demanding they let the winners finish.
"Parasite" director Bong Joon Ho, also winning Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. And the newly titled category, Best International
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The glass ceiling has been broken. You said that you're feeling pretty good; how are you feeling right now?
JOON HO (through translator: I think we destroyed the barrier too much, we should have taken our time actually.
ELAM (voice-over): The four Acting awards did not offer many surprises.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Oscar goes to Renee Zellweger --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Joaquin Phoenix, "Joker."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Laura Dern, "Marriage Story."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Brad Pitt, "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood."
ELAM (voice-over): But the night wasn't without its political statements.
BRAD PITT, ACTOR, ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD: They told me I only have 45 seconds up here, which is 45 seconds more than the Senate gave John
Bolton this week.
ELAM (voice-over): And jokes, too.
STEVE MARTIN, COMEDIAN: A couple of years ago, there was a big disaster here at the Oscars, where they accidentally read out the wrong name. And it
was nobody's fault, but they have guaranteed that this will not happen this year because the Academy has switched to the new Iowa caucus app.
ELAM (voice-over): The show, opening with a high-octane musical number by Janelle Monae, incorporating the lack of diversity in Oscar nominations
right into her number.
JANELLE MONAE, SINGER: We celebrate all the women who directed phenomenal films.
ELAM (voice-over): Actress Natalie Portman, highlighting the all-make Directing category, wearing a cape with the names of women who directed
critically acclaimed films but were not nominated this year. The call for more female voices in Hollywood was clear.
HILDUR GUDNADOTTIR, FIRST FEMALE WINNER, BEST ORIGINAL SCORE: To the girls, to the women, to the mothers, to the daughters who hear the music
bubbling within, please speak up. We need to hear your voices.
ELAM (voice-over): The show was host-less again this year, but Steve Martin and Chris Rock performed an opening monologue that also noted the
lack of diversity in nominees.
CHRIS ROCK, ACTOR: Cynthia did such a great job in "Harriet," hiding black people, that the Academy got her to hide all the black nominees.
ELAM (voice-over): The Oscars also saw some lighthearted moments, with James Corden and Rebel Wilson addressing their recent box office flop.
REBEL WILSON, ACTRESS: As cast members of the motion picture "Cats,"
JAMES CORDEN, ACTOR: Nobody more than us understands the importance of good visual effects.
GORANI: Well, Stephanie Elam joins me now, live from Los Angeles. It's been so difficult not to read any spoilers about "Parasite" because I'm
going to go see it in the theater tomorrow. But as we heard, "Parasite is the first foreign language film to win Best Picture, it's a huge
achievement for South Korea.
ELAM: It's a massive achievement. And this is one of those ones, Hala, that you were like, it's not going to win because no one's ever won before.
And then slowly, you would hear people talking about it in Hollywood, and more people were like, gosh, I really did like "Parasite," I really did
And then, you know, we thought he might win for Screenplay, we knew he had the -- you know, the International Film on lock, that was for sure. But
when he won Director, Bong Joon Ho, that's when everyone was like, ooh, this could be a Best Picture win here.
And it's worth noting how huge of a victory it is. Remember, last year, many people thought "Roma" would be that film to break that barrier, but
that's not the case.
And you heard Bong Joon Ho talk about that one-inch barrier. And he says, you know, maybe I was a little too hard when I said that, of the subtitles
being a barrier for people watching great films.
But this is another way to look at diversity here, because you're talking about a fully Asian cast in this movie, taking on this big Picture win. A
lot of people thought that some of them should have been nominated. But while there's all this looking at, like, maybe black and white, this is
also a huge step forward for Hollywood.
GORANI: Well, Stephanie Elam, thanks very much, and for your report.
Still to come tonight, the U.S. is charging members of a foreign military in one of the largest hacks ever. Details of the accusations, ahead.
GORANI: Millions of people across China headed back to work Monday after the Lunar New Year holiday turned into an extended break due to the
coronavirus. The death toll from the viral outbreak has surpassed 900 people and more than 40,000 cases have been confirmed worldwide. To reduce
transition, many businesses are urging people to work from home if possible.
Richard Quest joins me now with more on the economic impact of all of this on businesses, on the economy of China, and by extension, of course, the
global economy as well, Richard.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: The latest thinking on all of this comes from Goldman Sachs this morning on their morning call when they said,
look, this is not going to be devastating for the global economy. Some people are putting it about half a percentage point which is a lot when the
world is slowing down.
But it is the sort of slow down and sort of loss of growth, Hala, that you make up it for when things get better. So the pent up demand that comes
about usually picks up that slack. That's not to say there won't be severe pockets. Particularly, in the center of China where -- around Wuhan where,
of course, the economy will be taking a very serious hit as it is the manufacturing center and the cross roads for large parts of China.
GORANI: Yes. But also, when China hurts, I mean, when its economy slows, the supply chain of almost every economy is also affected. In Europe, in
the United States, add to that the fact that there's been a trade war between the U.S. and China.
I mean, eventually, there has to be a concern that we're not seeing on stock markets necessarily, but there has to be a concern that this is --
that this needs -- something needs to improve quickly here.
QUEST: Right. You're talking about the ripple effects. And many small --
QUEST: -- businesses around the world are saying, look, we can't source those parts or those raw materials that we're getting from China easily and
quickly. Of course in the long term you can, but China has now integrated itself into so much of global manufacturing that you're absolutely right.
Now that there is a serious problem with the supply chain out of China, that is a real issue.
Now, let's put this into perspective. If you look at the latest thinking, we're talking about the crest of this in maybe another two or three weeks
with the long tail heading out towards April, towards May. If that's the case, then it's manageable by most companies. Some will severely suffer.
But you cannot just suddenly resource your materials elsewhere in Southeast Asia. If you can, good luck to you. But few can.
GORANI: Yes. That's the -- that's one of the best case scenarios, by the way, that we're going to peak in a few weeks and then we'll see a long tail
to the -- to the crisis. Let's hope that materializes and you at the top of the hour, Richard, have a special hour on the coronavirus and its impact on
the world economy.
And you can catch this CNN special with Richard, "Coronavirus Counting the Cost" and that's in about 25 minutes at 8:00 p.m. here in London. See you
The U.S. says it believes four members of China's military are responsible for hacking Equifax in 2017. A federal grand jury has charged them with
stealing trade secrets and the personal data of nearly 150 million Americans. And one of the largest hacks on record.
CNN's Evan Perez joins now me from Washington. So first of all, for our viewers outside of the United States, Equifax is this huge, sort of, credit
worthiness agency. And it holds a lot of very personal information on millions of Americans.
EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Right. Pretty much every single American's data is stored by this company. They have everything from
your driver's license, your -- what's known as a Social Security number, you know, date of birth. Every piece of credit information, they gather it
up to determine whether or not you can get additional credit.
And so this is why this information is so sensitive. And according to the Justice Department, according to the FBI, roughly half of Americans' data
was stolen in this hack in 2017.
They say that the scale of this hack is frankly staggering. It's unlike any other hack that we have seen. And so they say that the -- these four
members of the People's Liberation Army, this is a unit within the PLA that specializes in hacking operations targeted this company Equifax, which is
based in Atlanta, Georgia, and stole all of this information.
Now, the question is, what are - what are they going to do with this information? According to the Justice Department, they will use it for
helping to develop essentially artificial intelligence by the Chinese government and also possibly to do intelligence targeting of certain
Americans that they're interested in.
Now, of course, Hala, this is a series of hacks of this type that are being blamed on the Chinese government, including personnel data of U.S.
government workers as well as Marriott, the big hotel company. So a lot of data that is at risk here.
GORANI: All right. Just briefly, they still -- they are in possession of this data. Right? I mean, regardless of who they charge. So what do people
who believe -- who believe that their data, their private information was stolen? What do they -- what do they do?
PEREZ: Well, you know, one of the things that -- one of the reasons why they know that they -- or they believe that this is the Chinese government
behind this is that they have not seen any of this data. Again, this was stolen back in 2017. They have not seen any of this data being used in any
malicious way. That's how they know -- that's how they believe they know that this is stolen by a government and it's for other purposes.
Typically, when hackers steal this kind of information, Hala, you can see that they'll open credit card accounts under someone's name and then
they'll start stealing money. None of that has happened in this case. And so again, that's one of the reasons why all fingers point to China in this
GORANI: Still very unnerving. Evan Perez, thanks very much.
PEREZ: Sure. Thanks.
GORANI: Still to come tonight, a new deadly round of fighting in Syria. Turkey is warning the Assad regime to back off after a, quote, heinous
attack, they say in Idlib.
Plus, some legal changes are in the way in the U.K. after a man convicted of terror-related offensive -- offenses was released early only to go on a
stabbing spree. We'll be right back.
GORANI: Well, there's been another deadly clash between Turkish and Syrian forces in Syria's northwestern Idlib Providence. Turkey says five of its
soldiers were killed and five others wounded by heavy artillery fire from the Syrian regime.
Turkey's called it a heinous attack and says that it has retaliated. CNN's Jomana Karadsheh reports from Istanbul.
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on-camera): This kind of military confrontation between the Syrian regime and the Turkish military
is very rare, but this is the second deadly incident in one week.
Now, Turkish forces are present in northwestern Syria in Idlib province as part of an agreement. They reached a de-escalation agreement they reached
with the Russians back in 2018.
Now, Turkey, of course, backed some of the rebel forces inside Syria. The Russians backed the regime of Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad. And what
we have been seeing over recent months is the Syrian regime moving on the ground and carrying out this air campaign as they prepare to take the last
rebel held territory in Syria, Idlib province.
And they have been making advances on the ground, especially in recent weeks. And that has terrified the population in Idlib. Hundreds of
thousands of people, many of them already displaced in this conflict have fled their homes. Hundreds of thousands streaming towards the Turkish
border that is already closed off because Turkey has 3.5 million refugees, Syrian refugees. They say they can't take in anymore.
According to the United Nations, just in the past two months, nearly 700,000 people have fled their homes in Idlib and they're living in these
appalling conditions on the Turkish border.
So Turkey is in this position right now where it wants to stop this influx of refugees. But at the same time, they are facing this advance from the
So last week, the Turkish president, the Turkish government, they issued an ultimatum to the Syrian regime, saying they have to withdraw from areas
that they've advanced into in Northwestern Syria by the end of the month or all else, the all options are on the table. And we have seen in recent days
the Turkish military reinforcing its troops in Syria, sending in dozens of convoys with heavy armament tanks and troops.
Now, it seems that the regime's undeterred in its determination to recapture Idlib Province. As we saw on Monday, they're continuing to
advance. And according to the Turkish government, they carried out that deadly attack on Turkish forces.
Putting Turkey in a very tough position right now. It is trying to resolve this through diplomatic channels with Turkish and Russian officials meeting
in Ankara over the weekend, but also again on Monday when we saw this attack taking place. Putting turkey now in a very tough position.
What does it do next? It wants to stop the refugee influx, but is this going to mean a direct military confrontation with not only the Syrian
regime, but also its Russian backers?
Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, Istanbul.
GORANI: Really also a humanitarian disaster there in Northern Syria.
So there are big questions now going on in Ireland. There is also a big surprise. The Sinn Fein Party, Mary Lou McDonald's nationalist left wing
party has won 37 seats so far. And with the other main parties possibly on course to miss the numbers they need to form a combined majority.
The Sinn Fein leader says she could be Ireland's next prime minister. This is a surprising outcome. The count is ongoing but this amounts to a
political earthquake in a country where two parties, Fianna Fail and Fine Gael have dominated Irish politics since independence, almost a century
The Sinn Fein leader was unsurprisingly very happy with her party's performance.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARY LOU MCDONALD, PRESIDENT, SINN FEIN: You know, it's a big statement of change. This is a big statement. This is no longer a two-party system. It's
a statement that people want a different type of government. And that people have great confidence in us, and I say that with all humility.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, it's complicated. Though the current prime minister, Leo Varadkar, says he's unwilling to govern with Sinn Fein. The party once
associated with the IRA, the Irish Republican Party, a group engaged in a long and violent struggle with Britain to unite the island of Ireland.
We're unlikely to know the final election results for a few days. But we'll keep our eye on that story.
Now, from political uncertainty in one of Europe's smallest states to renewed doubts in one of its biggest. The woman tipped to lead Germany when
Angela Merkel steps down after 15 years as chancellor, says but in the end, she will not run for the job.
Mrs. Merkel's protege, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, is also giving up her role as leader of the Christian Democratic Union. Although the chancellor
is asking her to stay on as defense minister.
Melissa Bell has more now on Kramp-Karrenbauer's decision and its implications for the continent.
MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT (on-camera): AKK's decision to stand down, came as something of a surprise in its suddenness. Indeed, Angela
Merkel confirmed that she hadn't even been informed of it before it was announced. But in many respects, it had been a long time coming.
Only last autumn she urged her party to back her or sack her so weak was she considered and her party so divided. The chosen successor to Angela
Merkel who was due to take over as chancellor at the end of 2021 when Angela Merkel will stand down had been contested in her role as the
successor for many months with the right wing of the CDU wanting to take the party further to the right than she was willing to take it in order
better to take on the far right AFD in the polls.
The latest scandal and the one that no doubt really put a nail in the coffin of her future as a potential chancellor came last week when it
emerged in Thuringia that CDU Party members had voted with the AFD to keep the far left out of the local government there.
Now, there is a long standing agreement within German politics that the mainstream parties do not enter into any kind of political alliance, formal
or informal, with the extremes on either wing of the German political spectrum.
And so the announcement came. This is what AKK herself had to say about her decision.
ANNEGRET KRAMP-KARRENBAUER, GERMAN DEFENSE MINISTER (through translator): Almost two years ago, the CDU Party conference in Germany elected me as its
general secretary. At that time, I gave up my heart on state office of prime minster of Saarland to serve the party. That was then, and it's still
my motto today.
Because like many others, I have a lot to thank the CDU for. I knew back then that this was going to be a difficult time and the past two years have
confirmed that. For all these reasons, and with the attention of strengthening the CDU, I have, therefore, informed the presidium and the
federal executive board of my following decision today. I will not apply for candidacy as chancellor.
BELL: The announcement, no doubt, opens a new period of instability in a country where for the last few years and for all of Angela Merkel's terms,
stability has been the norm.
Melissa Bell, CNN, Paris.
GORANI: Well, here in the U.K., the government is working on changing a law that allows for the early release of terrorism offenders after a second
stabbing attack in London in just a few months.
CNN's Nic Robertson has more.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): To avoid this, newly released convicts committing frenzied knife attacks then shot
dead by a police, the government is doing this. New legislation keeping terror convicts in jail longer.
ROBERT BUCKLAND, BRITISH JUSTICE SECRETARY: Introducing longer and tougher sentences for serious terrorist offenders, ending release for them before
the end of their custodial term.
ROBERTSON: Reaction has been swift pointing out problems. The government's own former reviewer of terror legislation says the new law keeping convicts
longer than they or the judge expected may prove illegal.
ALEX CARLILE, REVIEWED TERROR LEGISLATION FOR U.K. GOVERNMENT: What's proposed will definitely be attacked in the courts. It's already clear that
there will be litigation, and I couldn't possibly predict that the outcome will be favorable to the government.
ROBERTSON: And not just illegal, missing a fundamental issue. Jails have become hot houses for radicalization, says former politician and counter
radical organizer, Fiyaz Moghul.
FIYAZ MOGHUL, FAITH MATTERS: The fact is these prisoners are allowed to come together around some of the most charismatic is the most extremists
you have. That's got to stop.
ROBERTSON: Terror convict, Mohammed Wahabi, was one of those charismatic prisoners. He got de-radicalized in jail. In this interview conducted 10
days before the most recent terror attack, he warned of dangers to come. Because government de-radicalization in jails is failing.
WAHABI MOHAMMED, DE-RADICALIZED TERROR CONVICT: Unfortunately, they haven't produced the results that you want because it is just turning everything
into a machine conveyor belt.
ROBERTSON: Usman Rajif (ph) who counseled and helped de-radicalize Wahabi Mohammed also interviewed 10 days before the most recent attack had the
same somber prediction.
ROBERTSON (on-camera): Is there radicalization taking place in jails?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is definitely radicalization taking place in jails. It's a massive phenomenon.
ROBERTSON: So if we don't tackle this phenomenon, then there's going to be more cases like the Usman Khan getting out of jail and killing people?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, there's going to be more cases.
ROBERTSON: Over the past year, successive governments have failed to successfully tackle radicalization in jails. The government's most recent
report in 2016 called for 69 changes. Only a fraction of those have been fully implemented and the problem is getting worse.
A recent U.N. report predicts as many as 1,000 terror convicts could be released across Europe this year.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): Not enough is being done to figure out what works according to Lord Carlile.
CARLILE: We don't know whether it's fit for purpose. Because there has not been the quality analysis that is needed to tell us whether it's fit for
purpose. It certainly needs to be examined.
ROBERTSON: Bottom line, until new legislation is backed up by new de- radicalization initiatives, experts say the public are still in danger.
Nic Robertson, CNN, London.
GORANI: Still to come tonight, do you like the idea of a search engine that can recognize faces from all over the world and all sorts of digital
platforms? The details of a new app that is scary to privacy watchdogs. We'll be right back.
GORANI: A new facial recognition app is sparking controversy about privacy. The app uses public photos pulled from all over the internet to help
identify suspects. To help police identify suspects. But many think it crosses a line.
Our reporter Donie O'Sullivan has the story.
DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wow. Oh, my God.
HOAN TON-THAT, FOUNDER, CLEARVIEW A.I.: Is that you?
O'SULLIVAN: That photo is me.
TON-THAT: It doesn't look like you. That's when you were younger?
O'SULLIVAN: That's my face. A photo I haven't seen in years. Found in seconds by the facial recognition app Clearview A.I..
TON-THAT: Clearview is basically a search engine for faces.
O'SULLIVAN: Clearview has scraped billions of images from sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google to use in a facial recognition system. It
claims more than 600 law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and Canada are using this. Though it's unclear how many have actually paid for it.
TON-THAT: So that's the photo of you.
O'SULLIVAN: So this is a photo of me from cnn.com. Wow.
We're starting to see pictures of me that are not from that original image. This is from Medium...
O'SULLIVAN: Tech giants aren't happy about this. They say it violates their terms of service and have sent cease and desist letters.
This AI technology is looking at what? It's looking at ...
TON-THAT: The unique features. So it learns to ignore things a little bit like the beard and focus on the features that stay the same across
O'SULLIVAN: Do you understand why people find this creepy?
TON-THAT: I can understand people having concerns around privacy. So the first part to remember it's only publicly available information. We're not
just making technology for its own sake. The reason and the purpose we found is to really help law enforcement solve crimes.
GURBIR SINGH GREWAL, NEW JERSEY ATTORNEY GENERAL: I was deeply disturbed. I was concerned about how Clearview had amassed its database of images. I was
concerned about its data privacy and I was concerned that it was tracking law enforcement searches.
O'SULLIVAN: Are you concerned about taking it to out of those hands of law enforcements?
GREWAL: A facial recognition tool can be used properly if we understand how the database is created.
O'SULLIVAN: Clearview claims its app is 99 percent accurate. A claim that CNN hasn't verified.
So you think this is an area that should be regulated?
TON-THAT: Yes, absolutely. I don't think regulation is a bad thing. And we want to work with the government to create something that is safe and
understandable and keeps the whole public at ease.
GORANI: Well, Donie O'Sullivan joins me now.
How was this different from reverse Google image search and that kind of thing? Because I've sometimes taken pictures of people and searched for the
origin of the picture and found it. How was this different?
O'SULLIVAN: Yes. So search engines like Google have tools called reverse image search where you can take an image, it can be of a person or a
landscape or anything basically and stick it into Google and you'll find other versions of that image.
What Clearview does is you can take a photo of anyone. And you can take it on your phone, you can upload an old photo. And it doesn't find versions of
that photo. It finds every photo of that person that's in the database. So it's using artificial intelligence, AI technology, and it's running it
through to see all these images that they've gathered from social media platforms.
GORANI: And very briefly, this is not available to the wider public. But ultimately, I mean, you can assume it will be someday.
O'SULLIVAN: Yes, right. Now, they say they're working with law enforcement and a few banks for fraud investigations. But as we've seen with
technology, you know, a lot of things that happen for the government and law enforcement eventually started working for the commercial sector. And
there's a whole ton, as you mentioned, of privacy concerns about this.
And the social media platforms are really unhappy about it, because it's their user's photos that are being taken from the web.
GORANI: All right. Donie, thanks very much.
I'm just glad I didn't grow up when Facebook was around. Leave it at that. Donie O'Sullivan, thank you very much.
And thanks for watching tonight. I'm Hala Gorani. There's a lot more ahead. There is a special edition of "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" on the economic impact
of the coronavirus. Stay with CNN.