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Hala Gorani Tonight
China CDC Finds 2.3 Percent Coronavirus Fatality Rate; Michael Bloomberg To Join Debate Stage Tomorrow Night; Donald Trump Issued Pardons Today; Scandal-Plagued Youth Group Files For Bankruptcy; HSBC Plans To Cut 35,000 Jobs As Profit Falls 33 Percent; Jury Now Deliberating Rape And Sexual Assault Charges; Jeff Bezos Pledges $10B To Fight Climate Change; More Rain On Way To U.K. After Major Storm, Record Floods. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired February 18, 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 on this Tuesday, I'm Hala Gorani.
Tonight, coronavirus claims the life of a hospital director in Wuhan, China and the country says he will officially go down as a martyr.
Also, Mike Bloomberg surges into second place behind Bernie Sanders, ahead of Wednesday's Democratic debate. We take a closer look at the former New
York mayor and billionaire.
And the jury is out in Harvey Weinstein's sexual assault trial. We're keeping a watch outside the court and we'll bring you the latest, live from
China's government says it's going to designate health care workers who died fighting the corona outbreak as martyrs. That's after the director of
a hospital in Wuhan died. Officials are fighting criticism over how they've treated medical workers in the heart of the epidemic.
So far, the virus has infected more than 72,000 people inside China alone; more than 1,800 people have died. Kristie Lu Stout has our story.
KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Wuhan's frontline medics continue to suffer. Liu Zhiming, director of the
Wuchang Hospital, died from coronavirus Tuesday morning, according to Wuhan's health commission. Fifty-one years old, he is the first hospital
director to die as a result of the epidemic.
A happier scene from the newly built Leishenshan Hospital as the first patients leave, waving happily and giving a thumbs up but still wrapped up
tight for protection. For those who have survived this sickness comes a new lease of life.
XU SHIQING, NOVEL CORONAVIRUS SURVIVOR (through translator): Now I feel the freedom of life. A healthy body is the greatest freedom.
LU STOUT (voice-over): Seven hundred and eighty million people, almost half of China's population, are living under some form of travel
restrictions as the country attempts to contain the outbreak. Globally, more than 73,000 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in 29 countries
and territories. The fate of hundreds of passengers, stuck on two cruise ships, remain unknown.
On board the Diamond Princess ship, docked in Japan, cases continue to rise and concerned travelers wait to hear if they can be evacuated when the
quarantine period ends, Wednesday morning.
And questions are now being raised over how an 83-year-old American woman tested positive for the virus after she was allowed to leave the Westerdam
cruise liner. After days at sea, it was allowed to dock in Cambodia and many passengers who tested negative were allowed to travel to their home
countries. Others are still in local hotels. The diagnosis meant hundreds were forced to stay on the ship and are being tested.
VENKATRAO P. RAO, PASSENGER, WESTERDAM CRUISE LINER: We were all hopeful that this time, the saga would end, but this time one patient -- or one
passenger who was a patient in Kuala Lumpur was tested for coronavirus, and that put a total halt to further disembarkation. That was on the 14th, and
we have been languishing since then.
LU STOUT: It's not yet know how or when the American woman became infected. She remains in stable condition in Malaysia and the locations of
around 500 other passengers currently remain unknown. Kristie Lu Stout, CNN, Hong Kong.
GORANI: Well, China's Center for Disease Control says the current fatality rate from coronavirus is just over 2 percent, so it's low, relatively
speaking. But that could all change. There's still a lot we don't know about the virus, a lot we don't know about how many people contracted the
virus, may not have sought medical care.
Our Senior Medical Correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen joins me now. So people remember SARS, they remember MERS as well. How does this epidemic compare?
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: OK. You know what, let's take a look at these numbers because they're actually really quite
revealing. Let's take a look first at cases. When you look at this novel coronavirus -- and this one is still going on, so this number's going to
get larger -- 73,415 cases. When you compare that to MERS, 2,465 -- obviously this current one is much higher. For SARS, 8,098.
When you look at the number of countries, it's pretty similar, 28, 27 and 29. And for deaths, when you look at novel coronavirus, so much higher than
the other two, 1,873 deaths. And that is so far -- and for MERS, 858, and for SARS, 774.
And, Hala, you mentioned the fatality rate. It appears that it's two percent at the highest, and here's why. There probably are many cases that
have not been accounted for and that's because some people don't get all that sick, so they don't necessarily present themselves to health
authorities, so they don't really get counted.
So since there are so many uncounted cases, that increases the number of cases. We know the number of deaths, so that brings the rate down. That two
percent is probably high. That two percent, that is way lower than SARS and MERS. SARS, the mortality rate was somewhere around 10 percent; for MERS,
it was 35 percent.
So the bottom line of all of this is that this appears to be a virus that transmits relatively easily but the death rate, thank goodness, is
relatively low -- Hala.
GORANI: But my question is, why would two young, we understand, healthy medical professionals -- Dr. Li first, the whistleblower, now the director
of the hospital in Wuhan that has been treating so many of these patients - - you know, my understanding was that this virus, when it did kill, it killed vulnerable people with maybe some pre-existing conditions, older
Here, we're seeing younger people affected by this as well, so what does that tell us about how virulent this virus is?
COHEN: So, Hala, this virus is so new, there are so many things we don't know. But it is possible that it's somewhat like the flu. When we hear of
flu deaths, it is usually the elderly and people with underlying pre- existing conditions that have decreased their immune response.
However, every year -- sadly -- perfectly healthy young adults, you know, 20-year-olds, 30-year-olds, 40-year-olds die. Healthy teenagers die. We
don't know why that is. We don't know why most healthy people can deal with the flu perfectly fine -- they're sick for four or five days, they recover
-- but other perfectly healthy people pass away from the flu.
That may be the same case with this novel coronavirus, mostly kills the elderly and people with underlying conditions but also can kill perfectly
healthy young people. We don't know why.
The case with the two medical professionals is especially mysterious because theoretically, they would have had access to medical care. Not
everyone in China has because their medical system has been so taxed by this. Theoretically, you would think these doctors would have been able to
get the care they needed when they needed it, but we're just going to have to wait for those answers.
GORANI: Right, absolutely. And I'm sure we'll learn more as the weeks and months go by, especially with regards to their exposure. Obviously, they
were exposed every single day to many, many patients who were ill. Thanks very much, Elizabeth Cohen.
Just moments ago, the American president, Donald Trump, spoke -- this, coming in to us -- and announced pardons and commutations of some high-
profile sentences. Among them, a pardon for former New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, who served time in prison for tax fraud and
lying to officials.
Well, Mr. Trump also commuted the prison sentence of former Illinois governor, Rod Blagojevich. You'll remember him, he is a Democrat -- was a
Democrat, he was serving time for campaign fraud when he was governor of Illinois, accused of soliciting bribes to fill the seat of Barack Obama
when he was elected president.
Here's what Donald Trump had to say about Blagojevich, listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have commuted the sentence of Rod Blagojevich. He served eight years in jail, a long time.
And I watched his wife on television. I don't know him very well, I met him a couple of times. He was on, for a short while, "The Apprentice," years
ago. Seemed like a very nice person, don't know him.
But he served eight years in jail, he has a long time to go. Many people disagree with the sentence. He's a Democrat, he's not a Republican.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: And that was U.S. President Donald Trump talking about commuting the sentence of Rod Blagojevich. More on that in a few minutes.
But first, to the race for the White House. For the first time since the Democratic debates began, there will be a new face on stage when the
candidates square off tomorrow night in Vegas. We're expecting some major fireworks when billionaire Mike Bloomberg makes his debut.
The former New York mayor has shaken up the race without being on the ballot yet, even, because of his massive spending on political
advertisements, hundreds of millions of dollars. Critics accuse him of trying to buy his way into the White House.
But Bloomberg has already proven he's a force to be reckoned with. A new national poll shows he has surged into second place -- remember, he has not
taken part in any of the caucuses or primaries so far, he is just behind Bernie Sanders but ahead of Joe Biden.
Let's bring in CNN Political Reporter, Dan Merica -- he's in Las Vegas, Nevada -- for more. So talk to us, Dan, about how this Bloomberg appearance
on stage will change the dynamic of the debate.
DAN MERICA, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: I mean, the reality is, it's another variable in an already pretty volatile race. And what's remarkable here is
that, you know, Michael Bloomberg isn't competing in Nevada.
The people who are standing in line behind me at a Pete Buttigieg event aren't going to have the chance to caucus for him. But that doesn't mean
he's not shaking up the race. And while, you know, he didn't know until this morning that he was going to make the debate stage, his opponents --
Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, all the other candidates who will be on that stage -- have been preparing for his entrance.
He's been high in national polls over the last few weeks, it was almost a foregone conclusion that he would qualify for one of these early debates.
And it provides these candidates with both an opportunity and some pitfalls. Michael Bloomberg is going to draw a lot of the attention away
from certain candidates. He offers a moderate approach to politics.
That could be bad news for someone like Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar, two more moderate Democrats who are offering voters like the folks behind
me a more moderate approach to the future, and plans that are similar to Michael Bloomberg.
For people like Bernie Sanders, who, as you note, is the frontrunner in that new poll that allowed Mike Bloomberg to qualify for this debate, this
could be a moment that he's been waiting for for decades.
You know, he has run almost every campaign he's ever run against billionaires and the billionaire class. And now, on the debate stage
tomorrow night, he is going to have a billionaire mayor standing right next to him.
Mike Bloomberg, for his role --
GORANI: It (ph) --
MERICA: -- he's planning for this debate, he has been for a few days. And his aides have been actually standing in, behind podiums, preparing him.
They note that he has not debated since 2009, so they're lowering expectations. But it's certain that he will be the focus of tomorrow's
GORANI: And I want to just remind our viewers of the numbers overall because Bloomberg has surged into second position, but it is undeniable
that currently --
GORANI: -- Bernie Sanders is the frontrunner. The change, the percentage, the point change since December, plus nine for Sanders. He's at 31 percent,
choice for Democratic nomination. I wonder, are the other candidates sort of accepting the fact that he may now be the frontrunner to beat and not
Biden, as they may have presumed a few weeks ago even?
MERICA: Yes, I think anyone who is denying the fact that Bernie Sanders is the frontrunner for this nomination at this point is denying reality.
A lot of Democratic establishment folks believe that Bernie Sanders would hurt Democrats' chances in November, especially in some of these counties
and states that are more purple, not as blue, and where they believe that his brand of Democratic socialism -- something that he proudly touts --
could hurt more moderate elected officials.
But the reality is, right now, he has the momentum, he has the energy, he also has a lot of money. He's not as wealthy as Michael Bloomberg,
certainly, but he has money that he has raised and that has certainly helped him, and it was expected to help him here in Nevada, where he's also
seen as the frontrunner -- Hala.
GORANI: Right. Well, Michael Bloomberg has his own money and Bernie Sanders has raised money with lots and lots of donors donating very small
amounts. But as you mentioned there, he does have some money to spend. Thanks very much, Dan Merica, live in Nevada.
Bloomberg has recently rolled out several new initiatives saying he's fighting for America's future. But as CNN's Randi Kaye reports, he could be
haunted by his own past.
MICHAEL BLOOOMBERG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I want you to know that I realize, back then, I was wrong and I'm sorry.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): That was Michael Bloomberg in November last year, offering up a mea culpa for the controversial policing
policy he encouraged, known as stop and frisk.
When Bloomberg was mayor of New York City, the stop-and-frisk policy allowed police officers to just that, stop and frisk anyone they suspected
of a crime.
In 2013, an NYPD report showed African-American and Latino men were disproportionately targeted.
BLOOMBERG: We could and should have acted sooner, and acted faster to cut the stops. I wish we had. I'm sorry that we didn't.
KAYE (voice-over): He may be sorry now, but years ago, Bloomberg was 100 percent behind stop and frisk. Listen to what he said about targeting
minority populations, reportedly during a 2015 speech at the Aspen Institute.
BLOOMBERG: ... And the way you should get the guns out of the kids' hands it throw them up against a wall and frisk them.
KAYE: While Bloomberg has issued numerous apologies for stop and frisk, he's also omitted key facts. He's quick to point out he eventually had a 95
percent reduction in the use of stop and frisk, but fails to mention the 605 percent spike before that, during his first 10 years in office.
KAYE (voice-over): With Campaign 2020 in full swing, Bloomberg now has to answer for more than just stop and frisk. "The Washington Post" reports
Bloomberg made sexist comments to women at his company.
In fact, the paper says an aide once presented him with a booklet of sexist comments she attributed to him. Among them, quote, "A good salesperson" is
like a man who tries to pick up women at a bar by saying, "'Do you want to F?' He gets turned down a lot -- but he gets F'ed a lot too!"
TEXT: "A good salesperson asks for the order. It's like the guy who goes into a bar, and walks up to every gorgeous girl there, and says, 'Do you
want to (INAUDIBLE)?' He gets turned down a lot -- but he gets (INAUDIBLE) a lot, too!"
KAYE (voice-over): The "Post" reports Bloomberg also allegedly said that his company's computers "will do everything, including give you [oral sex].
I guess that puts a lot of you girls out of business."
The campaign denies he ever said any of that. That same article lays out how one of Bloomberg's saleswomen sued him and his company, alleging
workplace discrimination. She said when she learned she was pregnant, Bloomberg allegedly told her to, quote, "Kill it."
Bloomberg's campaign tells CNN he denied the claim under oath and reached a confidential settlement with the woman.
Also, according to the lawsuit unearthed by the "Post," back in 1993, Bloomberg screamed at one of his saleswomen who was having trouble finding
a nanny, shouting, "It doesn't know the difference between you and anyone else! All you need is some black who doesn't even have to speak English to
rescue it from a burning building."
A spokesman for Bloomberg has denied that the presidential candidate ever made any of the statements alleged in the suit.
Bloomberg, who has yet to take the debate stage in Campaign 2020, is sure to have a target on his back when he does. Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
GORANI: Well, let's talk more about what we can expect when Bloomberg takes to the debate stage tomorrow night. We're joined by CNN political
analyst Patrick (ph) Healey (ph), he's a politics editor for "The New York Times."
Thanks for being with us. Do you think these past statements are going to harm Michael Bloomberg, the support for stop-and-frisk, the Muslim
surveillance program in New York when he was mayor, et cetera, et cetera?
PATRICK HEALEY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: They could do real damage. You're going to see Michael Bloomberg on the debate stage Wednesday night for the
first time in years. and as Randi reported, he's going to very much have a target on his back.
You're going to see Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden and others coming right at him for these statements that he's made over time, in terms
of especially regarding race and gender.
And the reality is, is that we don't know how Mike Bloomberg is going to push back on this. We do know that he's doing a lot of debate prep, that
some of his senior advisers have been playing Sanders, for instance, and coming at him with real lines of attack.
The reality is, is will voters care enough about this? What we've seen so far is Democratic voters are focused by and large predominantly on who is
the best candidate who can beat Donald Trump. Will they take these statements --
HEALEY: -- in hand and say that they could hurt a Mike Bloomberg against Trump? Or will they say, you know what, that stuff is in the past and for
whatever reason we think he'd be best against Trump. That's the real question.
GORANI: Yes. And the real question is also how minority voters might react, black voters, Latino voters, et cetera.
And what's interesting about Michael Bloomberg's spending is -- of course, we know he's spent hundreds of millions of dollars on his own campaign.
He's also backed other politicians; he's also contributed to Democratic campaigns in 2016.
This, by the way, what we're showing our viewers is Democratic ad spending in 2020. And Michael Bloomberg there, towering over everyone else. But
Democrats, the establishment, is perhaps also reluctant to call him out because he has spent so much money on some of these campaigns.
HEALEY: That's right. He's spent -- he's been the biggest benefactor to the Democratic Party. And the reality is, is that to cross Mike Bloomberg,
to call him out on past comments, to criticize him now risks putting future donations, future philanthropy from Mike Bloomberg in some kind of
jeopardy. So Democrats need to weigh that.
I don't think that's going to stop Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren from going hard at Mike Bloomberg in the debate. But it could, you know, have a
bit of a chilling effect on Democratic interest groups, on -- basically on activist groups that may have received Bloomberg funding in the past or may
hope for it in the future.
You know, they've -- you know, everyone, when Mike Bloomberg's purse strings are as huge and long as they are, people have to make sort of
choices about how much you're going to go after the candidate and sort of raise these questions.
But that's the thing, he is just so dominant within the Democratic Party in terms of his own money that sort of taking him on, you know, I think for
other -- if it was a different candidate, we'd see a lot more of that.
GORANI: All right. Patrick Healey, thanks very much. Hope to speak to you again soon --
HEALEY: Thank you.
GORANI: -- certainly, we'll all be watching this debate. It'll be fascinating to see. Patrick Healey of "The New York Times."
Just hours from now, CNN kicks off a series of five town halls in Nevada over two nights: Sanders, Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Biden and Warren, all
making their case to voters ahead of the next critical contest. It all starts at 8:00 p.m. Eastern, 1:00 a.m. in London on CNN.
And still to come tonight, people fleeing northwest Syria still cannot outrun the violence, and they face new threats on the road. We'll talk with
a U.N. humanitarian coordinator who's on the ground, next.
GORANI: Well, returning to that breaking news we brought you a few minutes ago, President Trump used his clemency power on several disgraced high-
profile figures. He commuted the sentence of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. Blagojevich has been in jail for eight years, after being
sentenced to 14 years for corruption while in office, trying to sell of Barack Obama's old Senate seat.
Mr. Trump also announced that he has pardoned former New York City Police chief Bernie Kerik, who'd been convicted of tax fraud. Kerik was police
commissioner during the 9/11 attacks.
I'm joined now by CNN's John Harwood. So why is commuting the sentence of a former Democratic governor of Illinois? What is he -- what reason did he
give for this?
JOHN HARWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think in all these cases, we're seeing the combination of President Trump's personal
inclinations and his feelings about law enforcement investigations that assail powerful people, and also his desire to inject himself into the
criminal justice system and -- with a flair for showmanship as he runs for re-election.
In the case of Rod Blagojevich, Blagojevich was a Democratic governor who was convicted on charges relating to the appointment of a senator after
Barack Obama became president. And he was accused of soliciting a bribe in return for that appointment.
Now, Blagojevich had also been a contestant on Donald Trump's TV show. And the president has said -- made statements that Rod Blagojevich simply was
doing what any politician would do. That tells you something about President Trump's view of his office and his view of the world. And so he
commuted the sentence of Rod Blagojevich.
The other figures that he issued pardons to today, including the former owner of the San Francisco 49ers, Eddie DeBartolo, he did in the company of
some high-profile athletes. That produced a little publicity bump for the president. In particular, with African American audiences, people like Jim
Brown, Ronnie Lott, other famous African-American athletes at a time when the president's trying to increase his share of the African-American vote.
The other two people that he pardoned today were a former associate of Rudy Giuliani, Bernard Kerik, who had served in New York government and law
enforcement positions. And Michael Milken, a high-profile Wall Street figure who was convicted of securities fraud.
So, again, the president has faced a lot of investigations. He tends to think that people under investigation are being treated unfairly, and he
used the dramatic powers of his office today to offer some clemency in hopes of getting some attention and credit from voters this year.
GORANI: Yes. John Harwood, thanks very much, live at the White House.
A word on Syria now. No shelter is now safe, that is what the U.N. is now saying about northwestern Syria where 900,000 people -- nearly a quarter of
the region's population -- are on the move.
The government is waging a major offensive and staying means this: hospitals -- this is a -- was a hospital. Schools, all being hit.
Leaving looks like this; meager settlements that also come under fire.
And joining me now is Mark Cutts. He is with the U.N., he joins me from a refugee camp just across the border in Turkey. Talk to us about what these
refugees were coming from Idlib, from Syria are telling you they're experiencing inside of Syria.
MARK CUTTS, U.N. DEPUTY REGIONAL HUMANITARIAN COORDINATOR FOR THE SYRIA CRISIS: Well, the numbers are just staggering. As you reported, it's over
900,000 people. It's now nearly -- close to a million people who have been forced to flee their homes in the last two months.
The scale of the crisis is staggering, but it's not just the scale. It's the fact that these people are not just fleeing a frontline between two
opposing armies. These people are themselves under attack. We're talking about an entire civilian population, which is under attack.
You know, we're seeing entire towns and villages that have been emptied out. These people have been bombed, day and night. Hospitals have been
bombed and schools and marketplaces and densely populated civilian areas. The entire place, in the last few months, has just been a killing field.
GORANI: Yes. And we're hearing reports that camps for displaced people are also being targeted. Is that what you're hearing from people who are
CUTTS: This is our big worry today. These people have been corralled into a smaller and smaller area. And the area that they are now in is full of
camps and tents. About a million people in that area are living out in the open in camps and tents and makeshift shelters. They cannot withstand any
airstrikes and shelling in that location.
That will be an absolute bloodbath, it'll be a huge massacre if the fighting continues into that area. And yet everybody in that area is
worried because there has been shelling very close to that area. There's been shelling right in the middle of that area, actually, and it's created
a huge panic. A number of displaced people and other civilians have been killed in the last few days.
And, you know, this fighting cannot continue further into that area. That is the area where, you know, all of these displaced people are living and,
you know, these really are the most vulnerable people in the world at the moment. This fighting must stop now.
GORANI: And the children as well, we -- our reporter, Arwa Damon on the ground, filed an emotionally devastating piece of journalism from the
region, where you saw kids essentially so traumatized by what they had gone through, little girls wearing nothing but plastic flip-flops, walking for
hours and hours overnight, so traumatized that they had lost their voice, that they had -- they were unable to express emotion even.
In your experience as a humanitarian, how does this generation ever recover from this?
CUTTS: This is the horror of this war. More than half of the 900,000 people who have fled their homes in the last few months are children. This
is an assault, as I said, on a civilian population. This is an assault on children and on elderly people and on, you know, sick people.
You know, these hospitals have been attacked. There were two hospitals that were hit by airstrikes just yesterday. We've had more than 70 hospitals and
clinics and other medical facilities that have stopped functioning in the last few months. There's simply not enough services now to cater for the
millions of people that live in the northwestern corner of Syria.
GORANI: Mark Cutts, the U.N. deputy regional humanitarian coordinator for Syria. We appreciate your time this evening on the program.
CUTTS: Thank you.
GORANI: Still to come tonight, disgraced and vilified. But will he end up in jail? A jury is deciding the fate of Harvey Weinstein, a live report
from the courthouse.
Plus, hundreds of sexual abuse lawsuits are now on hold after the Boy Scouts of America files for bankruptcy.
We'll be right back.
GORANI: HSBC announced today it plans to cut around 35,000 jobs after profits plunged by a third last year. Roughly 15 percent of employees will
be cut over the next three years. The bank says this is part of a dramatic overhaul to the business as it shifts resources from the U.K. here to Asia.
Anna Stewart joins me now. You have coronavirus, Brexit, all sorts of things all coming together and making it a very difficult environment for
ANNA STEWART, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And years of just really underperforming markets in the U.S., in Europe, and investment banking, so
it's a long time coming. But the figures today are really dramatic, 35,000 job losses and a price tag on this turnaround of over $7 billion, so
They're going to close one in three branches in the U.S. They are shedding $100 billion worth of assets, a huge pivot to Asia and the Middle East.
But, of course, in Asia where it gets the bulk of its profits, it is suffering big time in Hong Kong from the protests in the last couple of
quarters, and now, the coronavirus.
GORANI: So what led to this? I mean, you can blame external factors all you want. But is it a management issue? What led to this really dire situation
for the bank?
STEWART: Possibly. We have to select one of the big major headwinds for HSBC. It is the climate of investment banking and low interest rates.
And frankly, if you're not a big U.S. bank, you cannot compete in that arena, globally, it's really hard. And now with negative interest rates,
it's even harder. So this has been on the cards for years, they're possibly behind on their turnaround plan compared to some other European banks, and
now it's happening.
The question is, of course, isn't enough? And if you look at the share price today, despite this huge announcement, you'd expect a bit of a relief
rally the shares down six percent. So investors not convinced at this stage.
GORANI: You don't think it's enough?
STEWART: I don't think it's enough. I also want to see a CEO at the top that's actually going to be permanent because it's an interim CEO. So the -
- I was the last one, which is what you'd expect before a major turnaround, but they have yet to actually put a new one in permanently. Can you trust
the turnaround plan on the chief executive that might not be in that position for much longer?
GORANI: Good question. Anna Stewart, thanks very much. And you'll have more on Richard's show at the top of the hour. Thanks very much.
The Boy Scouts of America, one of the largest youth organizations in the United States, has filed for bankruptcy and hundreds of sexual abuse
lawsuits are now on hold as a result.
According to court testimony from last year, the group estimates more than 12,000 children were abused by former leaders over the course of 72 years.
The organization says bankruptcy is meant to make sure it can equally compensate all the survivors.
Lawyers representing hundreds of the alleged victims are blasting the bankruptcy filing.
CNN's Martin Savidge joins me now live from Atlanta with more. What are the lawyers for these alleged victims saying about this bankruptcy filing?
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They like a lot of people, Hala, are having a lot to say about this development today. Many Americans, I think,
were surprised when they woke up with a headline that this iconic institution, the Boy Scouts of America had gone bankrupt while they were
This had been in the works for about a year. And in fact, what happens now is a double impact, one on the organization, the other on litigation. As
you pointed out, there's been hundreds of lawsuits now that have been brought to bear against this organization -- excuse me -- for sexual
And as a result at that, that means there are thousands of potential victims here. Some lawyers have suggested that the U.S. Boy Scouts could be
on the hook for up to billions of dollars' worth of compensation.
So the organization realized that they needed to do something, they went to the bankruptcy court for protection, they say for two reasons, one, in
order to keep the compensation money flowing to the victims, which they agree with, and then on top of that, in order to keep the organization
going, which derives the income to help pay for the victims, as well as to continue the services the Boy Scouts provide.
So that's their justification. But the attorneys that represent all these victims say, look, you're denying their clients a day in court, you're
essentially denying them the opportunity to speak out against the wrongs that they believe were done against them by this organization over decades.
And something else, it means that now if they want to make a claim, they no longer can do it in civil court, they'll have to go through bankruptcy
court. It's a very mechanical kind of function, and they will be in line with everybody else which means they may not get the large settlements that
many of the attorneys believe that their clients are due.
And one last thing, there is not going to be a deadline, which means you won't be able to forever continue to file a claim against the Boy Scouts,
they will set a time when after that point you can no longer seek any kind of compensation. And many people here saying, well, this is only now that
the numbers are rolling in that many states have begun to relax the prosecution.
So a lot of big changes are coming and I can't begin to express to you how far this really iconic institution that many Americans had revered, has
fallen in the minds of the American public, Hala.
GORANI: And how does it impact the -- I mean, are -- I'm not aware. I was never a scout or the female equivalent of that. I -- what was --what is the
female equivalent of a scout...
SAVIDGE: Oh, we had the Girl Scouts?
GORANI: Oh, the Girl Scouts, yes. It's called something else, I think, in Europe.
But how has it affected, sort of, culturally life in America where it really was such an institution?
SAVIDGE: Yes. Let me...
GORANI: Do kids still go to join the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts?
SAVIDGE: They do. I mean, if you go by the numbers, and there is some controversy about the numbers, but the Boy Scouts says that they still have
about two million members. But this was something -- there were five U.S. presidents that were former Boy Scouts at one particular point.
In fact, the term Boy Scout, it stood for something, it stood for usually people who said that they were truthful, that they were reliable, and that
they were trustworthy.
In fact, if somebody just use the phrase and called you a Boy Scout, it was a compliment. It meant that you were a stand up person that you did the
right thing. Now, many people would say that is a phrase that belongs long in the past, sadly.
GORANI: Martin Savidge, thanks very much.
Still to come tonight. We'll go live to the courthouse where a jury is deliberating the fate of disgraced movie mogul, Harvey Weinstein.
And Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, jumps into the climate change fight with a $10 billion promise. So why is he facing criticism? We'll be right back.
GORANI: Well as we speak, seven men and five women are deciding the fate of disgraced movie mogul, Harvey Weinstein. The jury in his rape and sexual
assault trial got the case just a few hours ago.
CNN's Jean Casarez has been watching the trial for weeks and tells us what the jury heard.
JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Defendant and disgraced Hollywood mogul, Harvey Weinstein, has had virtually in silence for four weeks as jury
selection followed by 28 prosecution witnesses and seven witnesses for the defense, testified before a diverse jury of seven men and five women.
The looming issue in this trial did Weinstein commit rape and sexual assault or where the encounter is consensual. But at the heart of the
prosecution's case are six female accusers of the former Hollywood giant who took the stand one by one to point the finger at Weinstein.
Prosecutors are using testimony from three accusers to try to show Weinstein's pattern of conduct. They hope testimony by actress, Annabella
Sciorra, will help them gain a conviction of predatory sexual assault.
But Weinstein's indictment stems from the allegations of just two women, Miriam Haley and Jessica Mann, the statute of limitations has already run
out on the other women's allegations. Haley testified while Harvey was mentoring her during her work as a production assistant on one of his
shows, she was asked to go to his New York City apartment in summer of 2006.
After arriving, she testified, Weinstein lunged, trying to kiss her. "I walked backward because he was pushing me with his body until I got to the
bed and I fell backward onto the bed and I tried to get up and he pushed me down."
Next, she described a vicious sexual assault. "I just checked out and decided to endure it, that it was the safest thing to do at that point."
The defense argued that Haley willingly maintained contact with Weinstein, including accepting the gift of a free trip to Los Angeles and Haley
testified she did have sex with the movie mogul about two weeks after the alleged assault.
"You are not claiming Mr. Weinstein forced you to have sex at the Tribeca Grand, are you?" "No." Haley, however, testified for the prosecution that
her sexual relationship with Weinstein was not consensual.
Jessica Mann has a similar story telling the court she had a relationship with her mentor Weinstein but that she, too, was assaulted by him in a New
York City hotel room.
"Were you able to get out of the room?" "No." "What did you do next?" "I gave up at that point and I undressed and he stood over me until I was
completely naked, then he told me to lay on the bed."
Mann then testified Weinstein violently raped her.
The defense brought before the jury dozens of e-mails that could imply a consensual relationship and bond between the two. Mann's testimony was
insistent, saying, "I know the history of my relationship with him. I know it is complicated and different. But it does not change the fact that he
Weinstein pleaded not guilty to all five counts, including rape and predatory sexual assault.
Now, the case is in the hands of the jury.
GORANI: Well, Jean Casarez joins me now live. And, Jean, the jury has sent a note and has some questions. What are they asking?
CASAREZ: Well, it's very interesting. It was about 40 minutes after they had just started their deliberations. They wanted to understand legal
terminology, they wanted to understand the law, and they had just been instructed on the law and they want to also know why they can convict on
some counts and not on other counts.
This is a very legally complex case. And I think the overall impression that most people are having from that juror's note is that, they're
confused. They don't understand what they're supposed to do.
And you understand because for six weeks now, there's been testimony, 28 prosecution witnesses, seven witnesses by the defense, they are alleged
facts on both sides, very easy to understand. And then all of a sudden, they're given this law today. And they're late people and they're supposed
to understand it. And it's confusing, very confusing. I'm an attorney. It's one of the most confusing jury instructions I have ever seen.
And so the judge, the attorneys took a long time to figure out what to say back to them. Their responses were plain and simple but vague, because they
want the jury in the jury room to know what they're doing is deliberate on their own.
GORANI: Yes. But I wonder the fact that they have questions about even the definition of the charges. I mean, is this something that is worrying
potentially the prosecution at this stage?
CASAREZ: We don't know. We haven't spoken to the prosecution. There are orders for them to not talk about the case at all. But I think that common
sense tells you that both sides, especially the defense, though, I think, may have a concern that this jury may not understand that they have to
find, for instance, Annabella Sciorra. And Mimi Haley guilty of major crimes to have a predatory sexual assault conviction.
GORANI: And the verdict, the expectation, I guess, how long is a piece of string? You never know. But in this case, as you mentioned, they have a lot
to consider. What is your expectation for when a verdict might come down?
CASAREZ: You know, we're here on Tuesday. They've had a lot of days off, they've just started their deliberations. You don't know what a jury is
going to do, right? It could be at the end of today, for whatever reason, it could be on Friday. Jurors love Friday verdicts because they just don't
really relish the idea of coming back the next week.
But as the judge told them last week when they walked out, he says, remember, you have until March 6 to reach a verdict. That's when they were
told the trial was going to end. So we don't know.
GORANI: And what has struck you, you've covered this trial, you've covered many other trials of people accused and on trial for sexual offenses and
other serious criminal offenses. What has surprised you in the last few weeks in this trial, if anything?
CASAREZ: I think what has struck me is the strength of the evidence on both sides. This case could go either way. I mean, it's been widely reported
that this is a challenging case for prosecutors because both of these women had, quote unquote, relationships with Harvey Weinstein.
Of course, the prosecution trying to narrow the focus in to show that even if you have a relationship, even if you send loving e-mails before and
after that someone can be sexually assaulted within the midst of that consensual relationship, the defense trying to show that those loving e-
mails show that it was a consensual relationship.
And that once people started talking about Harvey Weinstein that they turned it around so they too could possibly get -- they get their civil
lawyer and just get the publicity of it.
But I think the one thing that is certain that Harvey Weinstein was the star maker, and young women that wanted to become famous, so much went to
him, he mentored them to a small degree, but then they became in his spell, and they kept coming back to him.
GORANI: Jean Casarez, thanks very much.
Human rights advocates are hailing a verdict in Turkey. A court on Tuesday acquitted nine people over what became known as the Gezi Park protests. The
2013 protests began over plans to bulldoze a popular Park in Istanbul and build a shopping mall.
They grew into huge and sometimes violent demonstrations against the government. Seven defendants were tried in absentia and were expected to be
acquitted if they come back to Turkey.
Still to come tonight, Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, pledges billions to help with climate change, but not everyone is impressed with his efforts. We'll
be right back.
GORANI: Well, Elton John, according to the New Zealand Herald, has canceled two concerts. He was supposed to perform in Auckland this week. Elton John
had to be held off the stage on Sunday and says he was suffering from walking pneumonia which can make it hard to breathe. He was diagnosed
earlier in the day but wanted to still give fans as much of a show as he could.
He is 72 years old and the iconic singer plans to return to New Zealand next year to make up for the canceled shows.
Jeff Bezos is entering the fight against climate change in a really big way. The Amazon CEO is pledging $10 billion, billion with a B, to start to
combat what he's calling the biggest threat to our planet. He made the announcement on Instagram Monday and said his initiative called the Bezos
Earth Fund will begin giving out grants this summer.
But not everyone is impressed, activists who are critical of Amazon's Environmental record are calling for change as closer to home. Let's go to
Bill Weir, he's CNN's chief climate correspondent for more.
So what this 10 billion some, what does Bezos intended to be used for?
BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's very, very vague, Hala. He says it will go to NGOs and maybe some scientists and those who
are, you know, on the frontlines of the climate fight and they'll take it. I mean, the earth can use as much help as it can get these days.
But as you pointed out, some critics even some of his own employees are pointing out this is his personal money. He has 130 billion dollar net
worth. This is less than a percent of that. He's the only one of the top five richest men not to be part of the Giving Pledge with Warren Buffett
and Bill Gates to give away more over half of their assets.
And they -- they're pointing out that so much more good could be done with Amazon, the company, not to mention, you know, all of the fuel that is
burned, delivering all our stuff 10 billion items a year they deliver, but also Amazon Web Services uses cloud computing their business with their
cloud computing to help fossil fuel companies find more oil and gas reserves at a time when scientists are telling us we can't afford to burn
the oil and gas we already know about if we want to keep life on Earth as we know it.
And so a lot of -- I don't know, you know, not to be ungracious and ungrateful for a gift like this, but these days, it's safe to -- and I
think reasonable to ask how much is really focused on solving a problem and how much of it is image burnishing and sort of greenwashing.
GORANI: Because I learned something today, and that is that Amazon's carbon footprint is absolutely huge. It's bigger than Apple's. In fact, it's
bigger than New Zealand's, or Sweden's.
GORANI: And close to Singapore. This is -- so critics and I've heard this all day today say, why don't you work on making your company more energy
efficient and environmentally friendly? I guess what could -- what would the answer to that be?
WEIR: Well, they did make some pledges to try to sort of dial it down and not as an ambitious way as some of the competitors like Microsoft and Apple
have done who get A's. Even companies like Wal-Mart, get A's from the carbon disclosure projects who measure these things.
He -- they did pledge to buy 100,000 electric delivery vans. That's a good thing. That's a good thing. But when you think about how much more change
could be enacted with a company of this size and scope, if they decided to get behind a technology that could rapidly decarbonize the economy, it
would help in incredible ways and I think that's the main complaint is -- to whom much is given, much is expected as the Good Book says, and that I
think is the main criticism for this.
GORANI: All right. Bill Weir, our chief climate correspondent. Thanks very much for that.
Well, speaking of the climate of extreme weather in the U.K., forecasters say to expect even more rain just days after a major winter storm dropped a
month's worth in just 48 hours. It was the second straight weekend of awful weather. And as residents clean up, they worry that floodwaters could rise
Our Scott McLean has our story.
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Storm Dennis brought gale force winds and many levels of rain to the U.K. this weekend,
flooding streets and swamping homes, and in some parts of the country, it is likely still to get worse.
The deadly storm battered the British coastline while further inland, it forced many people to flee to higher ground as rivers burst their banks.
The worst of the flooding is in Southwest England and in Wales, where authorities went door to door with boats and even used helicopters in
On Sunday, Storm Dennis caused a record number of flood warnings and alerts in England, almost 600. Tuesday's weather brought a welcome reprieve for
many areas as floodwaters receded, leaving a muddy mess on the streets, but a much bigger problem inside homes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All the furniture is gone, all the carpets floor, electricity, gas, everything is ruined, all the house is ruined.
MCLEAN: All of the rainfall came on top of what Storm Kira dropped just a week earlier. In Northern England, Dennis was the last thing they needed.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We were just about getting back on track, so we can see without being hit half again.
MCLEAN: While the situation improves in some communities, elsewhere, it may still get worse. Some river levels still rising, prompting flood warnings
that pose a danger to life and a forecast showing more heavy rain to come this week.
Scott McLean, CNN, London.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: And a final note on one of our top stories, Michael Bloomberg Entering the democratic race for the White House. Another top candidate,
Elizabeth Warren, has weighed in tweeting. "It's a shame Mike Bloomberg can buy his way into the debate. But at least now primary voters curious about
how each candidate will take on Donald Trump and get a live demonstration of how we each take on an egomaniac billionaire."
Would you all now like to stay up for this debate? It's at 2:00 a.m. Central European Time, 1:00 a.m. here in the U.K., and 3:00 and 4:00 a.m.
middle of the night in the Middle East.
Thanks for watching. Stay with CNN. After a quick break, "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is next, and I'll see you same time, same place tomorrow.