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Hala Gorani Tonight
Refugee Emergency as Bombings and Freezing Temperatures Worsen in Idlib, Syria; 1,700 Health Care Workers Infected in China; Manchester City Receives Two-Year Champions League Ban; U.S. Reaches "Reduction Of Violence" Agreement With Taliban; Companies Affects Companies Inside And Outside China; Republicans Push To Disrupt Democratic Race In South Carolina; France Will Limit Access To Highest Mountain, Open New Agency; Record Antarctica Temperatures Cause Concern. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired February 14, 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 HOST: Hello, everyone. Live from CNN London on this Friday, I'm Hala Gorani.
Tonight, children shivering in the cold: a mass exodus in Idlib, hundreds of thousands of Syrians once again on the move as bombardments hit civilian
Also, as we update you on the rest of the day's news, we have this breaking news item. European football is handing down quite a harsh penalty for
Manchester City, two seasons out of the Champions League. We'll be looking at that as well.
And we start with Syria. Caught in what seems like an endless war, trying to outrun regime bombing, unable to escape the cold grip of winter, there
really is no let-up for civilians stuck in Syria's war-torn regions.
Idlib was considered a relatively safe haven at one point, but there is really no such thing as safe inside of Syria right now. The regime is still
bombing civilians with the help of its allies, Russia. Women and children - - you see here some of those victims -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad does this with the backing, as I mentioned of Russian forces in many cases.
And now, Turkey is challenging the regime in the north while (ph) a confused U.S. strategy has left a handful of American troops on a very
complicated battlefield. All of these many fronts of this seemingly endless war are closing in around Idlib.
Our Arwa Damon was there today. She visited a family desperate to find safety for their kids.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There are makeshift camps like this that you find throughout these rolling hills that are very
close to the border with Turkey, because this is where people think they might be able to find some sort of refuge.
Eight hundred thousand people have been on the move since December. But when it comes to safety, there is nowhere inside Syria that is actually
guaranteed. This is a family who we met earlier, we've been speaking to them. They just arrived here last night, and they say that they're not
entirely sure that they're going to come here (SPEAKING IN ARABIC).
This is Fadya (ph).
(SPEAKING IN ARABIC)
The bombing is still very close to us here. It's very hard. There is no proper heating. I mean, look, the kids don't even have proper shoes,
warmth. The ground. She's been burning what she can here: coal, wood, at times even rubber.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, many families have nowhere to go. Arwa spoke with one mother who could barely speak through her tears.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAMON: The road that we're on actually leads up to one of the main camps here, but it's completely full. And even there, people don't feel safe. We
just met this family. They arrived a few days ago, but they're thinking about moving again.
And we've been talking to Sawad (ph) here, it's her family. Just I'm going to translate for you what happens when I ask her how she's feeling, because
she's so emotional.
(SPEAKING IN ARABIC)
They don't have any options. We can only thank God -- we can only thank God to keep us patient.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, there's an influx of people fleeing Syria toward the border with Turkey. Arwa reports for many people, the crisis is their worst-case
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAMON: Well, you can now see some more trucks, the vehicles coming by, people packing their stuff up. Some of them say that they would rather be
dead than end up having it to be like this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, as Arwa mentioned, more than 800,000 people have been displaced from their homes in Syria from December to February. Remember,
the percentage of the Syrian population that that represents is absolutely huge. And by the way, the United Nations estimates 60 percent of them are
Earlier, I spoke with the head of the International Rescue Committee, David Miliband, about this crisis.
DAVID MILIBAND, CEO, INTERNATIONAL RESCUE COMMITTEE: This is now the largest displacement that has occurred at any point in the nine years of
the Syria conflict. And I think that speaks to the virulence of the fighting.
This is something that should be gaining the attention of the world, both for its virulence and for the fact that it's creating this extreme pressure
in a very densely populated area.
GORANI: The International Rescue Committee has said in a statement, just in the last 24 hours, that they're receiving reports of children freezing
to death. What are you hearing from staff on the ground?
MILIBAND: Well, it's really a very shocking situation. You referred in passing to the minus-10, minus-11 degrees and that is certainly part of the
current situation today. People don't have the basic coats, never mind the heating that is necessary. And there are the most extreme conditions, which
led to the death of certainly one and possibly five children.
The situation that we're seeing is one that the bombing is continuing. And there is real terror. The fact that over 750,000 people should have been
displaced since December shows you the scale of what is going on. I think it's also important to highlight that over 300 civilians have been killed
in the last three weeks.
GORANI: You mentioned the children. What more can you tell us about what you're hearing about what's happening to them in that part of Syria? What
are staff on the ground telling you?
MILIBAND: Our staff on the ground are meant to be delivering medical care, they're meant to be supporting families. What you've got is people fleeing
in terror. And they are being targeted in their homes, they're being targeted in their hospitals, they're also being targeted when they're on
And this is the most extreme conditions that you've been reporting, and the pictures do speak for themselves. This is now an international emergency.
It contravenes international law --
GORANI: What about all these countries -- and these include Muslim countries in the region who are not really -- and it includes countries
like Saudi Arabia -- not really welcoming these Syrian refugees who are stuck, sometimes, in very small slivers of land, as you mentioned. What do
you say to them?
MILIBAND: Well, I think that there is a global retreat from the principles of the 1951 Refugee Convention. Not every country is retreating -- I mean,
we're in Germany, which has I think set a good example -- but in the main, there's a retreat from the commitments of the 1951 Refugee Convention. This
is a time when countries need to step up.
And we know from history -- the lessons of history are absolutely clear -- that when innocent civilians are not protected, then the law of the jungle
takes over. And that is the danger today.
GORANI: What would you say to civilians -- Syrian civilians -- whose kids have died in these bombardments?
MILIBAND: There's nothing that you can say to a parent who's lost a child that can be of any comfort at all. Only conceivable way forward -- or the
only conceivable comfort could by -- and Syrian refugees have said this to me, that they don't want others to suffer in the way that they have.
It's the most humbling thing, to have a Syrian refugee who's been in Jordan or in Lebanon for six, seven or even eight years, say to you that while
they've lost everything, they don't want other to lose more.
GORANI: David Miliband, there, the head of the International Rescue Committee, who told me that possibly up to five children have died from the
cold, the extreme cold temperatures in northwest Syria.
As the war against coronavirus rages in China, doctors and nurses on the frontlines are facing a heightened risk. China says more than 1,700 health
care workers have been infected with the virus, and that six of them have died. Most of them come from Hubei Province, which is dealing with the
worst of the outbreak.
Today, China is reporting more than 5,000 new infections. And remember, that includes people in Hubei who've shown symptoms but who have not been
lab-tested -- this is kind of a new way of counting people affected. It raises the global total of infections to more than 64,000, and more than
1,300 people have died.
David Culver is in Beijing with the very latest. So yesterday, because perhaps this new accounting method gave us very high numbers, we saw a peak
in the number of infections and deaths. How is it looking today?
DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, today, the more disturbing part of all of this, Hala, has to do with the numbers coming out with regards to
the medical workers. And this is something I've got to say, early on, our reporting uncovered this, I would say going back a couple of weeks at
least. And that is, hearing from the nurses and doctors who were on the frontlines of all of this, within the city of Wuhan within Hubei Province,
the epicenter of this outbreak.
And those nurses and doctors conveyed to us that they felt like they were essentially going into this battle without armor. And that, likening it to
a military operation, which President Xi Jinping has done since taking control of the deployment and coordination effort here.
And so without that armor, they're referring to without the protective suits, without the goggles, without the face masks. They felt as though
they were still having to do their job and didn't have what they needed to shield themselves from the transmission of this virus.
That explains some of these dramatic numbers that we're seeing with regards to the medical workers. And that has just come out today for the first
time, health officials giving us that information, the 1,716 health workers. And among them, six who lost their lives.
We know one of them who lost his life, and that was Dr. Li Wenliang. He died a week ago, and we had talked to him less than a week before he died.
And he had conveyed to us his attempts to try to sound the alarm at what was, at that time, a SARS-like illness. And there was concern from his
point, that things weren't being done early enough at the local level. And sure enough, that proved to be true.
Now, with regards to what they've done since then, Hala, they've now decided to deploy many more medical supplies. We know that those supplies
are now finally reaching the frontlines, so to speak. But for many, it simply has come too late.
GORANI: Yes. And what about where you are, I wonder, in Beijing? I mean you're geographically far from the epicenter of the outbreak, so I keep
seeing, though, images of people that really seem very, very worried, and people -- everyone's wearing face masks and the rest of it. What's the mood
like in a city like Beijing right now?
CULVER: Yes, it's funny. I've had to kind of remind myself that this is not normal. Little things, like going into an Uber equivalent, or
rideshare, if you will, it's called a Didi here. And every little alert comes up saying, you have to be wearing your mask while you're inside. And
they would tell you that it's been sterilized.
Or simply going into a restaurant, and having to put down your identification number, your passport number if you're a foreigner --
CULVER: -- then having to get your temperature checked, then having to get sprayed on with some of the sanitation. Even elevators, they all have
plastic shields over them now. This is what folks here are dealing with.
And then trying to even get into -- visiting a friend, for example, it's next to impossible to get into their complex because you have to be
registered to get into those individual residential complexes. That's the struggle that a lot of folks are dealing with here.
GORANI: You have to get your temperature taken when you go to a restaurant now in Beijing?
CULVER: Yes. That's the reality, absolutely, yes. And that's -- and even to go into a shopping mall, for example, they not only make you get your
temperature taken, but you have to also sanitize your hands.
I mean, and then you go in, and you'll find maybe, I would say, 10 percent of the stores actually open because the reality is, business here is still
not back to normal. I mean, they anticipate it'll come back to normal by Tuesday of next week, and they're anticipating some 160 million people to
be traveling across this country.
And that brings up another big concern here, Hala, that has to do with the containment effort and if it's going to hold with this next wave of travel.
CULVER: And this is the post-Lunar New Year travel that -- well, it was really an extended Lunar New Year.
GORANI: David Culver, thanks very much, live in Beijing.
Now, to the world of football. One of the biggest clubs in England has just been hit with a harsh penalty. Patrick Snell is here to explain all of this
to us -- Patrick.
PATRICK SNELL, CNN WORLD SPORT: Hala, yes. This is Manchester City. They are England's reigning Premier League champions, and this is a real
statement from European football's governing body, UEFA, who, within the last few minutes, have revealed that City are facing a two-year ban from
the flagship Champions League competition.
I do want to point out, though, this is not affecting the current season, they're still in the tournament. They'll play Real Madrid later on -- later
on this month, in fact.
But this is for after the club was found to have committed serious breaches of UEFA's Financial Fair Play regulations. And this is significant, Hala.
Why? Because it's not just a fine here. The fine, for the record, is some- $32.5 million. That's a drop in the ocean to super clubs like Manchester City and their Abu Dhabi ownership.
This is a huge statement of intent, that two-year ban for the next two seasons, subject of course to appeal -- they are taking this to the Court
of Arbitration for Sport. I do want to get to a statement, a significant statement from UEFA that we've just had. Again, this is all playing out
within the last few minutes.
TEXT: The Adjudicatory Chamber, having considered all the evidence, has found that Manchester City Football Club committed serious breaches of the
UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations by overstating its sponsorship revenue in its accounts and in the break-even information
submitted to UEFA between 2012 and 2016.
SNELL: As noted by the Adjudicatory Chamber, the club has the right to appeal this decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Therefore, UEFA
will not be commenting further on that. So that's that significant part of it. But here's the key bit, that the club committed serious breaches of the
UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations by -- here are the key words, Hala -- "overstating its sponsorship revenue in its accounts and
in the break-even information" subject to UEFA between 2012 and '16. That's from UEFA.
The Manchester City response is this. It's important we reflect that, remember, this is one of European football's biggest clubs, one of the
world's biggest clubs who have never won this tournament. "Manchester City is disappointed but not surprised by today's announcement... The club has
always anticipated the ultimate need to seek out an independent body and process to impartially consider the comprehensive body of irrefutable
evidence in support of its position.
"In December 2018, the UEFA Chief Investigator publicly previewed the outcome and sanction he intended to be delivered to Manchester City" and
the statement continues, in part, the club has formally complained to the UEFA disciplinary body, a complaint which was validated by a CAS ruling --
that's the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
TEXT: "The subsequent flawed and consistently leaked UEFA process he oversaw has meant that there was little doubt in the result that he would
SNELL: That is a big, big news from the world of football. The key takeaways here, Hala, is the fact that this is a ban, a two-season ban, as
it stands right now, and not just a fine.
GORANI: Right. So the question is, will -- I presume they can appeal? Will they actually be banned?
SNELL: Well, they will certainly appeal. That is absolutely going to happen here, City have already said that. The Court of Arbitration for
Sport, as I've said.
But what, in essence, is actually (INAUDIBLE) play? In a nutshell, when clubs can't spend more than they earn, that is the crux of the matter here.
Why is this significant to Manchester City in particular? Because this is a club that's desperate to win the flagship Champions League. They've never
won it at all in their history, they've never won its predecessor, the old- style European Cup.
It's why their head coach, their larger-than-life and world-famous head coach, Pep Guardiola, is at the club right now. Yes, he can win Premier
League titles, but he was hired, in my book, to win that flagship competition. He hasn't done at yet, and you do have to wonder now about his
immediate future at the club, given that, as it stands, City won't be in the tournament for the next two seasons after this one.
GORANI: Patrick Snell, thanks very much.
All right, we're going to take a quick break. When we come back, we'll be talking more about U.S. politics as well as the very latest world news. Do
stay with us. We'll be right back.
GORANI: Just a day after the U.S. attorney general made headlines for criticizing President Donald Trump's tweets about ongoing criminal cases --
this, by the way, is a very rare show of dissent by Attorney General Barr - - well, just a day after that, the Justice Department has dropped its investigation into former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, a perceived
foe of President Trump because of his early work on the Russia investigation.
Is this an effort by Attorney General William Barr to appear to defend the independence of his Justice Department yesterday? He's under fire for
reducing his own prosecutors' recommended prison sentence for one of Mr. Trump's longtime friends Roger Stone.
So here is what Attorney General Barr told ABC News.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL BARR, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: To have public statements and tweets made about the department, about people in the department, our men and
women here, about cases pending in the department and about judges before whom we have cases, make it impossible for me to do my job.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, you may think Mr. Trump would lash out after being criticized, he did not. A source tells CNN the president was already aware
of Barr's general views ahead of that interview.
TEXT: Donald J. Trump: "The President has never asked me to do anything in a criminal case." A.G. Barr This doesn't mean that I do not have, as
President, the legal right to do so, I do, but I have so far chosen not to!
GORANI: Mr. Trump did tweet that he has the, quote, "legal right" to intervene in a criminal case. But so far, he's chosen not to. And of course
legal scholars have opinions about that as well.
As if all of that weren't enough, we're now hearing that Attorney General Barr has privately ordered a re-examination of Michael Flynn's case. Flynn
was President Trump's first national security advisor, a very short-lived time for him as national security advisor. And he was a key figure in
Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.
So let's bring in Shimon Prokupecz to break this all down. So the fact that William Barr is now saying, you know, first, that these attacks -- what he
told ABC News, "These attacks on the Department of Justice are making my job more difficult," saying that potentially there should be a re-
examination of the Flynn case, dropping the McCabe case, all of that. What's going on? Is this Barr trying to say to the world, I'm an
independent attorney general, I cannot be pressured by the president?
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Right. I'm in control here, right? It's unclear, there's a lot going on here. You have
one day where the attorney general's out there, trying to show that he's fighting, going against the president in this stunning rebuke of the
president, the fact that he tweets and undermines the Department of Justice by tweeting about cases and investigations that are close and probably dear
to him because it's his friends, some of these people who have been convicted, some of these people who are now sitting in prison.
So you wonder what's going on here. Because with the Andrew McCabe situation, this has been going for nearly two years. And in the last
several months, the attorneys for Andrew McCabe have been asking the Department of Justice, what's going on with our case?
They had heard some rumblings that Andrew McCabe was about to be indicted. Then all of a sudden, everything just shut down. Everything went quiet,
they were asking for months -- from two (ph) prosecutors, what is happening with this case. And they never responded to them.
And then all of a sudden, unexpectedly, today, we get notice that the case, they're no longer investigating Andrew McCabe and the case is closed,
that's it. They're done with that investigation.
GORANI: That's really interesting, what's going on.
And people -- our viewers around the world -- will probably remember the name Michael Avenatti. At one point, he was on television screens
practically every day, sometimes several times a day. He is the lawyer who represented Stormy Daniels, the porn star who alleged an affair with
President Donald Trump.
He was being tried today. We have a verdict in his case. Remind us what he was accused of and what this verdict it.
PROKUPECZ: Right. And this was one of the first cases that started to sort of unravel Michael Avenatti, started to undo him. And it was the sports
apparel company Nike that came forward to federal investigators, claiming that Michael Avenatti was trying to extort them.
He came to them with claims that they were paying amateur basketball players, and said he was going to expose them. Said that he represented a
client who was making these claims, and that Michael Avenatti said he was going to go public with these claims at a time that could have potentially
damaged Nike's reputation and the value of -- the valuation of the company.
And the lawyers for Nike felt that this was an extortion scam, and so they went and they told the FBI about it, they told the prosecutors about it.
And they did an undercover sting and they recorded conversations and they indicted him. And now he's been convicted.
According to our producer there in court, just moments ago, Michael Avenatti was convicted of three counts by a jury in New York. And this was
all over the fact that he threatened to publicly accuse Nike of illicitly paying amateur basketball players, unless the company paid him millions of
dollars. Avenatti wanted money. He said to Nike, I will come forward with this scheme that you guys have undertaken unless you pay me millions of
This is one of the cases against Michael Avenatti. There are now other cases against him, pending out in California, fraud cases that include some
of his former clients. There is also a case that Story Daniels has against him. So there's still a lot of legal trouble ahead for Michael Avenatti.
But certainly significant here, out of New York. We get word now that he's been convicted on these cases. He's been in jail, awaiting verdict in
Manhattan. He's going to continue to remain there and then eventually he'll be facing sentence on this case, and then obviously potential trial on the
GORANI: All right, a fall from great heights for Michael Avenatti.
PROKUPECZ: Oh, yes.
GORANI: Thanks very much, Shimon, for that.
Back to the Department of Justice news, the back-and-forth with Attorney General William Barr. Let's cross over now to the White House for some
reaction. We're joined by CNN's John Harwood.
So the president's reaction to this very rare kind of show of dissent by Attorney General Barr. One of the things he told ABC News was, you know, I
basically -- paraphrasing -- it's really hard for me to do my job with this constant pressure applied by the president on the Justice Department.
What's been the reaction of the president?
JOHN HARWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think the reaction of the president is kind of a tell, Hala, to the fact that Bill Barr's rebuke
was not something that we should understand as a rebuke.
First of all, the White House press secretary, Stephanie Grisham, yesterday, put out a statement saying the president wasn't bothered. The
president is always bothered when he gets straight-up criticism by people.
In reality, what happened was, what Bill Barr had done -- the Justice Department had done in the Roger Stone case -- created a tremendous
backlash against the Justice Department, and Bill Barr needed to calm that down.
Now, the president did send out a tweet this morning, said I didn't tell Bill Barr to undercut the career prosecutors handling the Stone sentencing,
but I could have if I wanted to. This is a way he frequently does when he's accused of wrongdoing, say I didn't do it but it wouldn't have been wrong
if I did do it. And that's what he did.
And I think the administration, the White House are hoping that the Justice Department can go on with trying to vindicate his own interests, as we have
seen in this announcement that the Michael Flynn case is going to be reviewed by the Justice Department.
There's clearly momentum felt on the side of the president and his allies in the Justice Department in the wake of his acquittal in the Senate.
GORANI: And it is the president's M.O. to deny and then admit something that he was accused of doing. And one of the things that he did that fit
that modus operandi was admitting that Rudy Giuliani, his personal lawyer, was in fact sent to Ukraine to do his bidding.
This is what he told a Fox News host on the phone.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
GERALDO RIVERA, FOX NEWS HOST: Was it strange to send Rudy Giuliani to Ukraine, your personal lawyer; are you sorry you did that?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Not at all. Rudy was a great crime-fighter, you know that maybe better than anybody --
RIVERA: Of course, yes.
TRUMP: -- and Rudy's --
RIVERA: I interviewed him, I was the first one --
TRUMP: -- And Rudy is totally on his --
RIVERA: -- to interview.
TRUMP: -- game. Rudy's on his game.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
GORANI: All right. So what should we make of this, quote-unquote, admission?
HARWOOD: Well, this is an admission of something that we all recognized. The president does not trust the career officials in the government because
-- and his own National Security Council within his State Department, within his own embassy to Ukraine, his envoy there. Bill Taylor, they had
all resisted the efforts by the president to try to gin up an investigation of Joe Biden, who at that point was his -- seemed to be his chief rival. He
doesn't appear that way right now.
So the president circumvented that process with Rudy Giuliani. He had previously denied having sent Giuliani. But, again, given the president's
conduct, those things aren't really credible. We know from the Mueller report, Hala, that President Trump had said repeatedly, I had the right to
fire Mueller if I wanted to but I didn't try to do it.
Well, his lawyer, his White House Counsel, Don McGahn, said he did try to do it. Not only that, he tried to create a false record to cover the fact
that he had tried to do it.
So this is a White House that does not have much credibility, and that's being underscored by events right now.
GORANI: John Harwood, thanks very much, live at the White House.
HARWOOD: You bet.
GORANI: Still to come tonight, a glimmer of hope for peace in Afghanistan. There is a new deal to reduce violence there. Will it work? We'll be right
GORANI: The U.S. has an agreement just reached with the Taliban will go into effect very soon. Official say it's intended to reduce violence in
Afghanistan for one week. This was an asset the International Security Conference in Munich, Germany, and that's where we find our international
security editor, Nick Paton Walsh.
So I guess the big question is, when it does go into effect, what guarantees are there that it won't hold and lead to this very brief week of
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: Yes, I mean, Hala, it is still a patchy picture. Essentially, a senior administration official
today has kind of repeated what the defense secretary said yesterday, which was they have agreed proposal with the Taliban, the Americans, that is to
reduce violence for seven to 10 days.
What we don't know today is exactly how the Afghan government feel about it, because they haven't been on the record about how they would be
involved in that. We don't know the full details of how this reduction in violence would occur, what might be excluded, who would necessarily be
given the job or what circumstances that they would use to measure its success or not.
And then finally, also to when it would go into effect because so much what we've seen so far, have been agreements in principles, often in black and
white too, that have yet to be translated into the reality.
So a lot of fanfare, potentially, for this over the past 24 hours. But the fact we haven't actually seen a time when it's supposed to begin, well,
that tells you something. And a source close to talk is suggesting that we're not going to hear announcements about when it might begin today, or
since the end of that now or tomorrow, even that could change. That could be brinkmanship still going on here. But a confused picture, certainly,
GORANI: Right. And also, I mean, there's -- I mean, you could be forgiven for being a little skeptical and pessimistic here. These agreements haven't
always held in the past. And it's not just the Taliban, you have other groups ISIS, for instance, inside Afghanistan. So it's not just those two
WALSH: Obviously. And this is part of the problem, obviously, in terms of the measuring of the success of something like a truce or reduction in
violence, ISIS may continue to fight. There may be fringe groups or the Taliban younger fighters who don't like the idea of a broader political
settlement deciding to continue fighting.
Really, to be honest, both sides can blame anyone else they like for continued violence during that period. But it's the enduring political
settlement that's important.
Now, obviously American officials are hoping that if there's holes, they can then get the Afghan government and the Taliban talking. And then you
might possibly conditions basis, a phrase we hear a lot, see U.S. troops repositioning or maybe withdrawing their numbers.
But there's a big problem to all of this, frankly, Hala, the Taliban have been winning on the ground for a number of years. And what Donald Trump
said about a year or plus ago, he wanted to win. He's now also been saying he wants to take his troops home. That dynamic has not changed and stuck in
between the Afghan government who've been the ones here who've not been heard from that loudly.
So we could be into a dynamic here, frankly, that's self-fulfilling. The question is, whether or not, a reduction in violence builds the confidence
or certainly the stagemanship that allows this peace process as it were to move forward. Hala?
GORANI: All right. Nick Paton Walsh, thanks very much.
With more than 64,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, businesses around the world are worried. Some of them are, in fact, on red alert. The U.K. drug
firm, AstraZeneca, says the virus has affected its shares. China is one of the company's key markets and it is -- it expects the impact of the
outbreak to last several months.
Small companies in China are also in trouble. A survey by two universities found that 85 percent will go out of business if the outbreak continues for
the next three months. The coronavirus is also choking international supply lines, it's affecting importers of Chinese goods everywhere.
Clare Sebastian joins me now. She's visiting a company in New Jersey that relies on China to turn a profit. And I see a lot of, you know, wedding
dresses and black tie gowns around you. Where are you exactly?
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Hala. This is a business called Mon Cheri Bridal, they're a wholesaler of wedding dresses.
There's also prom dresses, these are mother of the bride dresses. Ninety percent of everything they sell comes from China.
Now, they have about two months' worth of inventory here in the warehouse. Now that's about 35,000 dresses, but they say that their factories in
China, they're about 45 of them, are having trouble hearing this from a lot of industries, they're having trouble getting back to work. Have a listen
to what I asked the CEO, Steve Lang, about this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVE LANG, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, MON CHERI BRIDALS: Situation is of our 45 factories, 13 of which make wedding gowns and the remainder do colored
dresses like prom dresses and mother of the bride, half of them are back to work. The other half are waiting for their factories to be cleared and
But it isn't just the factories, it's the supply -- the entire supply chain. So you have fabric Mills, you have trucking, you have air freight,
all of these issues are impacted in the entire supply chain.
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SEBASTIAN: Right. So you can see, Hala, this is much more complicated than just one factory supply into this warehouse. It impacts the entire supply
chain. Once they even start producing the product, there's the whole issue of can they get it out. Shipping capacity is constrained.
And you can see it here in the warehouse without the coronavirus. All of these racks would be full.
Now, they say they are expecting some shipments cuts coming through next week. But meanwhile, they're having to tell customers not to expect rush
orders or custom orders. They are saying that they're going to be fine. They hope that this this is going to be temporary.
But like a lot of businesses we've seeing around the world, big and small, they just have to wait.
GORANI: All right. Clare Sebastian there with the very latest on how this Corona virus outbreak is affecting ordinary businesses like wedding dress
importers. Eventually, it's going to impact also consumers, all these women who are waiting for their wedding dresses to get to them in time for their
wedding. I hope that won't cause too much drama for people's big day.
Valentine's Day, the day you tell someone you love them with a bouquet of flowers, arguably the busiest day of the year for florists, but this year,
yes, the coronavirus has put a big dent on that business in China.
Lynda Kinkade tells us more.
LYNDA KINKADE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR (voice-over): In a dark empty shopping mall in Beijing, this florist goes about her Valentine's Day
routine. Wearing a mask and gloves, she prepares rose bouquets for what's usually the busiest time of the year, but this year, it's different. The
coronavirus is having a big impact on the Chinese economy, especially since the government puts strict rules in place restricting public activities.
The shop owner says she's seen a 90 percent drop in sales.
CAI XIAOMAN, FLOWER SHOP OWNER (through translator): The sales aren't good. Usually, we'll have six to seven people working overtime now. We would work
overnight tonight and we've prepared all the flowers on the 11th and we should be working on orders on the 12th and 13th. This year, it's just me
here and I dare not to take many orders because I'm worried I might not be able to deliver them.
KINKADE: She's had the flower shop for many years and stayed open because she doesn't want to disappoint her most loyal customers. To ease their
concerns over the coronavirus, she's even including a bottle of hand sanitizer along with each order.
Another florist in the city restrictions on transport and fly cancellations made it a challenge for the shop twin port roses.
SONG JIANKUN, FLOWER SHOP OWNER (through translator): Affected by the epidemic, our flowers almost couldn't make it to Beijing, because we often
use roses from abroad. And many countries like Turkey and Holland have already canceled their flights to China.
However, we managed to transfer the last batch of roses through Shanghai before the grounding.
KINKADE: The owner says her costs have risen 80 to 100 percent. She's taking a loss by selling bouquets to customers for the regular price. It's
a gloomy Valentine's Day this year in China with tens of thousands of people infected by the coronavirus. Hundreds have been killed, the usually
booming business has slumped.
Romantics is staying at home to avoid exposure leaving shops and supermarkets empty.
Lynda Kinkade, CNN.
GORANI: Now to the race for the White House. The South Carolina primary happens in a little more than two weeks and Republicans there are talking
about how they might affect the democratic vote. It's an effort that could provide a boost to Bernie Sanders. Republicans can vote in those democratic
primaries. So it could lead to a lot of strategizing on their part.
CNN's Lauren Fox has that story.
LAUREN FOX, CNN POLITICS CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Conservatives in South Carolina pushing for Republican voters to disrupt
the upcoming Democratic primary.
CHRISTOPHER SULLIVAN, CONSERVATIVE DEFENSE FUND: You know, I guess you could call it meddling.
FOX: One grassroots organizer, Christopher Sullivan, calling it quote, Operation Chaos, a nod to Rush Limbaugh's 2008 effort to encourage
Republicans to vote in democratic primaries and keep Hillary Clinton in the race longer to hurt Barack Obama.
I would love to see the Democrats, whoever wins the South Carolina Democratic primary, for everybody else to accuse him of having stolen the
election because he was actually elected with Republican support and therefore prolong the chaos and the disruption.
FOX: It's also the latest obstacle for Joe Biden, who needs a victory in South Carolina to bolster his campaign.
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Our votes count too.
KAREN MARTIN, CONSERVATIVE ORGANIZER: Biden was expected to win South Carolina. We wanted to disrupt what was expected.
FOX: South Carolina has an open primary, allowing eligible voters to cast ballots in either party's primary. Conservatives have complained for years
it's resulted in democrats boosting moderate Republicans in the state.
With South Carolina's Republican presidential primary canceled this year, conservative leader Karen Martin said, she saw an opportunity to finally
give Democrats a dose of their own medicine.
MARTIN: We thought, huh. What would happen if we made a grassroots statewide effort to crossover and vote for one candidate in the Democratic
FOX: Martin is pushing for voters to back one candidate, Bernie Sanders. Others say they're leaving it up to the voters.
MARTIN: Just for the sake of optics, it would be great to be able to contrast the ideology of an avowed socialist against a capitalist.
FOX: The campaigns have caught the attention of Biden's team, including surrogate and state senator, Marlon Kimpson. He says Republicans in the
state fear Joe Biden in a one-on-one matchup with Trump.
MARLON KIMPSON, SOUTH CAROLINA DEMOCRATIC STATE SENATOR: They are trying to interfere with this election to choose the weakest candidate because they
know, without cheating, Donald Trump will not be reelected.
FOX (on-camera): Now, it's not clear how many Republican voters are going to participate and come out for the Democratic Party or if they'll be able
to have an impact in this process.
But the South Carolina Republican Party is arguing they are not endorsing this effort writing quote, "We do not like Democrats meddling in our
primaries, and we certainly do not encourage the same thing from Republican voters."
Now, the South Carolina Democrats, they're arguing the turnout is going to be so high. Their base is so energized that Republicans can't meddle in
For CNN, Lauren Fox.
GORANI: Well, before South Carolina votes, it will be Nevada's turn. CNN political reporter, Maeve Reston, is live in Las Vegas right now.
And demographically, it's an interesting race because one in five eligible voters in Nevada are Latino. A lot of them younger voters. How will that
MAEVE RESTON, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Yes.
GORANI: -- the primary?
RESTON: Well, see, what we're seeing here, Hala, is a lot of the campaigns and also outside groups making a big push to register those younger Latino
voters who have come of age this election. And I was out yesterday talking to many sort of random voters in Latino precincts.
And it's so interesting because you do see that age gap really playing out here in Nevada, among younger Latinos, they almost immediately bring up
Bernie Sanders, they've been following him on social media since the 2016 campaign. They like his position on health care, also on immigration.
And so he's really organized here in Nevada and hoping to pull out a win here. But there are also is an opportunity for the other candidates because
the big -- one of the big unions like Culinary Union, for example, announced yesterday that they were not going to endorse a candidate in this
race, and that was a big blow to Joe Biden, who had hoped he would have their organization muscle to get voters out there.
So it is a -- you know, it is that kind of a wild race here in Nevada. The Culinary Union does not like Bernie Sanders' Medicare for All position
because they have negotiated for their health care benefits. And so that's added a really interesting twist to the race here and we don't quite know
yet how that's going to play out.
GORANI: And one of the things you told our producers that the first six Latino voters you spoke with yesterday did not know that the caucuses were
coming up to And one of the things you told our producers that the first six Latino voters you spoke with yesterday did not know that the caucuses
were coming up.
It's interesting that -- I mean it -- I'm not in the U.S., obviously, but there's so much U.S. politics talk on TV with the ads, with --
GORANI: -- Facebook and social media. How do you explain that?
RESTON: Well, so -- I mean, it's just such a great example of the fact that this is not Iowa and not New Hampshire. It's not a place where the
candidates have just been parked for the last year. And a lot of them are really just kind of getting to this state. They have campaigned on and off
here, but it just hasn't been as much of a focus in this state. And this is also a huge state where people, you know, who work at casinos, work odd
hours, they're not always watching the news at the same time as everyone else.
And it also shows you that there hasn't been just as big of a push to really tell voters what's happening yet. They're not seeing as many ads as
in other states. And so there's obviously a lot of work for these candidates to do as they hit the ground over the next week to try to get
people registered and out to vote. Early voting actually starts on Saturday. So it will begin as soon as tomorrow.
GORANI: You mentioned that Bernie was -- comes up a lot, that Bernie Sanders name comes up a lot. I wonder with younger voters, and it's not
just the Nevada, it's in other states. What is his appeal? This is a man who's almost 80 years old.
RESTON: Right. I think that -- you know, when you talk to them, there's just such a passion there about his consistency on issues like health care,
forgiveness of college debt, free college, those are all things that are really important to some of the voters that I talked to.
And I also talked to a DACA recipient, who was really worried about, you know, immigration issues under Trump who feels that Bernie's plans will be
life-changing was the word that she used with me. And so people who are looking for those kinds of protections just really feel like he would be
their advocate. And that seems to be his appeal thus far.
His message seems to be piercing through more than the other candidates thus far.
GORANI: All right. We'll see and it'll be interesting also, as you mentioned, Maeve, to see Joe Biden's performance in Nevada.
GORANI: Thanks very much.
RESTON: For sure.
GORANI: Still to come tonight --
RESTON: Thank you.
GORANI: -- find out what France is doing to save its tallest mountain and the glacier that is basically disappearing on its slopes. We'll be right
GORANI: Locust swarms hundreds of times larger than normal could soon threaten millions of people in East Africa. Officials from the United
Nations are warning that it is climate change that is bringing extra rain to the region which has led to unprecedented locust breeding.
The massive swarms could emerge in coming weeks as young locusts mature to breeding age and began hatching more youngsters themselves. It sounds
Officials are urging the international community to contribute millions of dollars to help control these insects. If the swarms are not stopped, it
could bring wide-scale famine to Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, Tanzania, and Uganda. And you're going to have issues of course as usual with people
fleeing areas where they cannot cultivate land.
The French president, Emmanuel Macron, is taking steps to protect Western Europe's tallest mountain. Macron has announced plans to limit access to
Mont Blanc, and for a new government agency to combat what he calls the fight of the century.
CNN Cyril Vanier tells us more.
CYRIL VANIER, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST (voice-over): At France's highest mountain, a high-profile visit by the French president to a natural wonder
In the heart of the Alps, Emmanuel Macron walks through a massive glacier that has been admired for centuries. Now, it is disappearing rapidly.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): This lake did not used to be there. Before, the glacier extended almost down to the village, and now, little by
little, you can see more and more rocky debris instead.
The Mer de Glace, or Sea of Ice, has shrunk by eight to 10 meters each year, receding two kilometers since 1850. Researchers believe that by the
end of the 21st century, 80 percent of the glacier could be lost forever.
This will be the fight of the century, Macron vows after his visit, announcing protections for Mont Blanc, including a protected zone, tighter
restrictions, and higher fines for littering. He also unveiled a new national biodiversity agency and other broader measures to combat the
MACRON (through translator): Acceleration of the glacier shrinking is also proof of the effects that were always anticipated, including by us.
Consequences of past actions and the urgency for us to act today.
VANIER: In France, global warming reveals itself in more than a dying glacier. Some vineyards have had to change their time-honored techniques as
hotter temperatures alter the flavors of the country's famed wines.
Seasonal businesses are having to consider a warmer future. At least one ski resort was forced to temporarily close when the lack of snow left
slopes bare. It followed France's warmest winter months in a century, matching a trend of rising temperatures across Europe where age-old natural
wonders may struggle to survive.
Cyril Vanier, CNN.
GORANI: It's been a dramatic week in Antarctica where events have caused new concern about climate change. And just a matter of days, the ice
continent has seen record temperatures, a glacier break and a dramatic decline in penguin colonies.
Our meteorologist, Allison Chinchar, joins me now to discuss. And for those of us working in Celsius, it is hotter in Antarctica right now over the
last 24 hours than it is outside here in London.
ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Right. To keep in mind, you're in the Northern Hemisphere, and they're in the southern hemisphere, it is summer
there. So it is, in theory, supposed to be warmer in the Southern Hemisphere than it is in the Northern Hemisphere.
But with that said, these are extreme temperatures, even for this particular region. Here's a look at what we've been talking about. It's
these two locations right here, this base in this island. This is where those record temperatures come from. Keep in mind, the World Meteorological
Organization does have to go in and verify these numbers to make sure they were accurate.
But here's the numbers 18.3 and 20.75 Celsius. If those are considered valid temperatures, they break the previous record, which was 17.5 degree
Celsius back on March 24th. Just about five years ago.
We're also keeping an eye on this particular area. This is called the Pine Island Glacier. That's where it is for reference. Here's a video of it. You
can see the glacier pushing out into the water. And then you begin to notice this here is that break that we've been talking about, that's the
large chunk that has broken off into the water.
For comparison, it's about the size of Atlanta, Georgia. So it's a very large section of ice that broke off.
Now, we're also talking about January as a whole. When we look back at the month of January, globally, it was the warmest January on record, in fact,
comparing it to the 20th century average. Look at this. The all-time January record was 1.14 degree Celsius, warmer than that overall average.
The previous had been 1.12.
Now, if you're thinking to yourself, OK, this information seems like we've heard this before. You have, almost two weeks ago, Copernicus came out with
similar data showing how warm globally we had been, Hala, but also especially a lot of regions in the Northern Hemisphere.
Look at Northern Russia, look at areas of Europe. Also, Europe having its warmest January on record there for the month of January.
GORANI: Allison Chinchar, thanks very much.
I haven't worn my big coat all winter, so far. It's the first time in my life since I've lived in London, but I haven't.
Thanks very much. I haven't worn my big coat all winter so far first time in my life since I've lived in London, but I haven't. It's interesting.
Certainly, you feel that the temperature is higher just over the last several months.
We will be right back.
GORANI: Billie Eilish, one of the biggest names in music right now has released her much anticipated new song for the next James Bond film.
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GORANI: Well, the song is called "No Time to Die" just like the movie. 18- year-old Eilish is now the youngest person to write and record a bond theme Song. 18 years old.
If you're a dog owner or an animal lover of any kind, this video will bring you nothing but joy.
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This is LBD which stands for Little Brown Dog. She belongs to astronaut, Christina Koch. They're seeing each other for the first time in nearly a
year. Koch spent 328 days in space.
And this is how she was greeted by LBD. She broke the record for the longest single spaceflight fight for a woman.
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GORANI: Goodbye, everyone. Have a great weekend. If it is your weekend. I'm Hala Gorani, I'll see you next time.