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Markets Unsettled by Britain’s E.U. Exit Uncertainty; Once Pro- Leave U.K. Town; New York Government Urges Business to Cut Ties with

December 12, 2018



<Date: December 11, 2018>

<Time: 09:00>

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<Head: Markets Unsettled by Britain’s E.U. Exit Uncertainty; Once Pro-

Leave U.K. Town; New York Government Urges Business to Cut Ties with

NRA; Students Plan Black Tuesday Rallies And Marches; Bail Hearing For

CFO To Resume In Coming Hours; U.S. Efforts To Promote Fossil Fuels

Mocked At COP24; Climate Refugees Flee Drought And Starvation.. Aired

1-2a ET - Part 1>

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<Time: 01:00>

<End: 01:59>


[01:00:00] JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello everybody, I’m John Vause. Great to have you with us and you’re watching CNN NEWSROOM. Ahead this hour, humiliation on hold. Facing overwhelming defeat, Britain’s Theresa May postpones a critical parliamentary vote on a Brexit plan to leave the E.U. but she may have just delayed the inevitable.

Wage increases and tax cuts. After weeks of violence the French president tries to come angry protesters and yes, he feels their pain. And judged by the company you keep, the Trump administration sides with Russia and Saudi Arabia to undermine an international climate conference and then speaks for the fossil fuels many of the audience couldn’t help but laugh.

900 days after Britain voted to leave the European Union, no one seems to know what that exit will look like and the deadline for departure is a little more than 100 days away. Prime Minister Theresa May abruptly delayed a vote in parliament over her Brexit deal because it was facing overwhelming defeat. A controversial measure which will be the focus of an emergency debate in Parliament,T Tuesday.

Mrs. May now plans to meet with the E.U. to win reassurances to bring back to Parliament. Her insistence said there was only one major sticking point of the deal was met with lawmakers laughing and jeering.


THERESA MAY, PRIME MINISTER, UNITED KINGDOM: It is clear that while there is broad support for many of the key aspects of the deal, on one issue -- on one issue the north another backstop. There remains widespread and deep concern. As a result, if we went ahead and held the vote tomorrow, the deal would be rejected by significant margins. We will, therefore, defer the vote scheduled for tomorrow and not proceed to divide the house at this time.

(END VIDEO CLIP) VAUSE: Anna Stewart, an early live reporter there in London. Good to see you. What, 6:01, that’s early. OK, well, since you with us, it’s good. Good to see you. Anna, this is like a car speeding down the N5, and everyone is kind of slightly drunk, maybe a little manic, all grabbing for the steering wheel and there’s 108 feet of road lift, no one has any clue about what’s going to happen next.

ANNA STEWART, CNN INTERNATIONAL REPORTER: Seriously, John, trying to catch up just, having had about four hours, they’re trying to catch up on what’s happened just since I went to bed is a nightmare. The fallout from what happened yesterday is huge. There’s a lot of anger, as you’ve said a lot of laughter, but I think that’s just if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry. It’s just been a big disaster really.

So what we’re looking at today is anger from within her own party increasing speculation that she might face the leadership challenge. And I’ll just show you some of the headlines today. Finally, the papers come out. May running scared we have in the Daily Mirror. May’s last roll of the dice, we have in the Daily Mail. And the Telegraph, the Lady is returning, of course referencing Thatcher there.

So a lot of anger here. And the leader of the Scottish National Party Nicola Sturgeon yesterday already has tweeted to say she would like to the vote of confidence in the cold government. She’s called upon Labour’s leader Jeremy Corbyn to support her in that. He’s giving her a little bit more time. But as he said he applied last night for this emergency debate and that was allowed so the first order of business. Today will be another debate but this time on the fact that she deferred the vote and what happens next.

VAUSE: We just heard from Theresa May saying that basically, the only sticking point in all of this was you know, the complicated arrangement with the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. That is a major issue but there’s about 10,000 other issues as well.

STEWART: There are so many issues. I mean that’s the one that really stuck in everyone’s core. It was just that was they’re so awful sticking point. But the thing that I can’t get my head round is she’s off on a whistle-stop tour of Europe to meet with various E.U. leaders. She starts with the Dutch Prime Minister in the Hague Mark Rutte, then she goes on to Berlin to me with Angela Merkel.

But let me just tell you what the European Council president said yesterday because he says I will not negotiate the deal including the backstop. There’s no renegotiation here. So what is it that she’s going to be seeking? Apparently, she’s seeking legally binding reassurance that the EU will do its best not to make the backstop permanent, but the actual withdrawal agreement isn’t going to be renegotiated according to the E.U.

And actually, she told us for a long, long time that it wasn’t possible to renegotiate. And so you’ve got to question, what are we going to get at the end of all this? Will we be in exactly the same place several weeks, months even from here? VAUSE: Yes, it’ll be window dressing, it may be some cosmetic changes but nothing of substance because the deal won’t change so that would not be enough for Parliament. So again, as you say, what’s the point. Anna, thank you.

CNN’s European Affairs Commentator Dominic Thomas is with us now from Los Angeles. Dominic, Brexit never a dull moment. You know, out of all of the British retreats in history, this seems to be Theresa May’s very own Battle of Cartagena in 1741. Totally underestimating the strength of the opposition, squabbling within the bridge high command, and once it was over everyone pretended the humiliation never really happened in the first place.

I mean, no one can pretend that Brexit won’t happen. What, 108 days until the deadline and the Prime Minister’s plan is now basically to play for time and pump it down the road.

[01:05:29] DOMINIC THOMAS, CNN EUROPEAN AFFAIRS COMMENTATOR: I mean it’s absolutely extraordinary. And I think that the announcement that the vote was not going to take place today really kind of stunned people. I mean, we all knew that there was not support for the vote but yet the announcement that it wouldn’t take place, and I think this was reflected in the lengthy session they held with a hundred plus questions and statements made to the Prime Minister and that revealed the complete division within the house and the different kinds of positions and perspectives.

And the idea that yet again she is going to return to the European Union to come up with some kind of plan she believes she can sell back to people in -- sell back to the Parliament seems just so delusional and is really just indicative of this sort of the poor judgment and that she continues to exhibit and the lack of consultation back at home which is where she’s facing the real problems here/.

VAUSE: I want to read you part of a report in The New York Times. Analysts had said that the Prime Minister expected to lose the initial parliamentary vote but hope the margin would not be embarrassingly large. Her plan in that case they said was to win a few concessions from Brussels and return to Parliament for a second vote. Now, that still seems to be Theresa May’s plan right now to try and win a few concessions from the Europeans, but the E.U. president has made it clear the overall terms of the exit agreement will not be renegotiated. There’s his tweet there. So any change if anything that she gets from the E.U. it’s likely what we window-dressing, nothing of substance, which seems kind of pointless right now.

THOMAS: Well, yes. And the whole point is that it back in Parliament that she’s got all these different factions and constituencies and there’s almost nothing that will satisfy a kind of working majority. The one thing that you know, there’s consensus for is that Brexit essentially you know, should go ahead. I mean, there’s you know, this is the official position of the Labour Party and it’s the dominant position in the Conservative Party. But having said that lots of that comes from just simply speculating where they think the electorate may be and so on. But her returning to the European Union, we have absolutely no idea what it is really she’s going to go back to them. The only thing we keep hearing about is the Irish backstop. But that is just one of many, many, many issues. The fact is between the hardcore Brexiters and the position of say the Labour Party, there is a world of difference between the kinds of Brexits that we’re talking about. And so this is the particular problem and we keep coming back to this idea and respecting the outcome of the vote, respecting the vote of the people, but that in and of itself is so ambiguous and needs to be questioned because there was so little known about Brexit at the time.

You know, as you remember the day after Brexit this was the turn that was the most Googled throughout the internet space, right? And so people didn’t know where it’s going and now they’re discovering. And one M.P. today was right I think in pointing out this distinction between the kind of the fantasy of Brexit and the reality and that’s at this stage. Let alone if it actually goes ahead, and the reality starts to face the other 27 countries who start to realize that there are particular implications for their own spaces. And so this is a political crisis that we’re looking at here.

VAUSE: You mentioned Labour, the Labour opposition, and you know, true to form never letting a political crisis go to waste. Here’s the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in Parliament.


JEREMY CORBYN, LEADER, LABOUR PARTY: The government is in disarray. Uncertainty is building for business. People are in despair at the state of these failed negotiations and concerned about what it means about their jobs, their livelihood, and their communities. And the fault for that lies solely at the door of this shambolic government.


VAUSE: You know, if Corbin was Prime Minister, wouldn’t he be in a fairly similar position as Theresa May right now?

THOMAS: Look, if Jeremy Corbyn’s position was to be an unambiguously opposed to Brexit and point out the reasons why it didn’t work, that would be one thing. He’s not. He supports the Brexit deal here. He’s not in favor of having a second referendum and he’s also looking at calculations and districts and former U.K. voters and voters that have returned to the party.

The fact is that the Labour Party, unfortunately, is equally divided. They have also been involved in trying to force people to toe the line in purging members from the political party. This is a political landscape that is divided into so many different factions and there is absolutely no reason to believe that a new leadership in the form of Jeremy Corbyn would extricate us from the mess that we’re in. It’s hard to imagine where it is that we were to go.

And one of the reasons why Theresa May keep surviving is that leadership alternatives, somebody that could come along and generate some kind of consensus does not seem to be on the table and in the offering right now.

[01:10:04] VAUSE: Now it seems to me that three possibilities, three scenarios are now closer to reality. The first one obviously being that Theresa May finally you know, gets challenged for the -- faces a leadership challenge which she loses. The second on being that a no deal Brexit is now closer to reality. And oddly enough also it seems that maybe could just possibly, you know, a second referendum on Brexit is a possibility as well. I mean, is that how you’re saying.

THOMAS: Sure. I mean, those are just three but they’re of course so many others. But let’s just go back to the idea of the referendum. What would the wording be on that referendum? Will the referendum be do we remain or leave or would it be we take Theresa Mays deal or a no deal but in other words, we still end up with Brexit? Is this perhaps the strategy in the end that make sure that Brexit is actually delivered and then later on we go back to looking at that.

But this is something that we seem to find that across Parliament there is little appetite for a no deal. And I believe or I think the most likely thing that will happen in the next week or so is going to have to be some kind of leadership challenge and some kind of move away from Theresa May to perhaps break the dam in the opposition and to get people to be a little bit more realistic. And that’s something that the European may entertain is an extension to this particular process rather than it just sort of ending up down the road when March arrives and the U.K. has left the European Union.

VAUSE: Which is why a very short tweet from Ian Dunt, a political editor in the U.K. seem to sum everything up quite nicely. Dear Lord above, what an effing shambles. There it is. We took out the naughty way.

THOMAS: Dunt, Ian Dunt, good man. Thank you.

VAUSE: Good to see you. Britain’s House of Commons was already in a fairly raucous mood on Monday but then a Labour M.P. grabbed the ceremonial mace and all hell broke loose. Without the mace which you can see here, Parliament can’t needle pass laws. The delay in the Brexit vote apparently sparked the M.P.s anger. Here’s what happened.


JOHN BERCOW, SPEAKER, BRITISH HOUSE OF COMMONS: I’m grateful to the -- I’m grateful to a dedicated servant of the house for bringing forward the mace and restoring it to its place. I’m sorry but under the power given to me by standing order number 43, and I think the honorable gentlemen know the implications of his action, I must order the honorable gentleman to withdraw immediately from the house for the remainder of this day setting. Mr. Russell-Moyle please leave.


VAUSE: Lawmaker Lloyd Russell-Moyle tweeted this. Thankfully they haven’t locked me in the Tower of London, but if they had, I’d expect May to be in the cell next to me for her treatment of parliament today. I’m allowed back tomorrow after my symbolic protest against the government. Wish May was not allowed back.

Well, France will face more protests in the coming hours despite President Emmanuel Macron promising an increase in the minimum wage and no new taxes on pensions. He announced the concessions on Monday to try and calm weeks of violent anti-government protests but as CNN’s Ben Wedeman reports, it may not be enough for thousands of demonstrators outraged by a big increase in France’s cost of living.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: President Emmanuel Macron spoke to the nation for 13 minutes in a pre-recorded address during which he began by condemning with violence of some elements within the Gilet Jaune, the so-called Yellow Vest who have been protesting since the 17th of November.

He promised to increase the minimum wage by 100 euros a month. He said he would cancel a planned increase in taxes for old-age pensioners and he said that he would be encouraging employers to give their employees Christmas bonuses. But many people said that what he had to offer was too little too late and in the coming days it is expected that there will be more protests. Students have said that Tuesday will be black Tuesday. They’re protesting educational reforms which will make it more difficult for students to get into universities.

Today there were 120 disruptions at French schools, 40 of which were completely blockaded by the students. It is expected that on Friday there will be strike by trade unions. They will be joined by students and the Gilet Jaune saying that next Saturday will be Act 5, the fifth Saturday in which they will hold protests. I’m Ben Wedeman, reporting from Paris.


VAUSE: A bail hearing will resume there coming hours of the CFO of Chinese telecom giant Huawei. Just over a week ago Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Vancouver, Canada accused of planning a scheme for her company to dodge U.S. sanctions on Iran. The U.S. wants to extradite her. For the very latest now, CNN’s Ivan Watson live in Hong Kong.

OK, so this is well the first time we’re getting some new details exactly about you know, all the issues surrounding this case because there’s been this suppression order which is placed on the Canadian courts. So what more do we know now after this bail hearing?

[01:15:08] IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it’s going to go into a third day now. And we’ve learned a lot more about Meng Wanzhou herself, the daughter of the founder of this Chinese tech giant, Huawei. And we’ve learned a little bit more about the charges against her.

The defense attorney is arguing for her to be released on bail. And proposed that she put up a million dollars with a bail, that she owns two properties in Vancouver, where the court proceedings were taking place, that she where an electric bracelet, be monitored 24 hours. And the judge has had a lot of skepticism and questions about that.

We’ve learned more about her, for example, she owns two homes in Vancouver. A $5.6 million, $16million of value respectively. That she has been married at least, three times, has four kids, has survived thyroid cancer. These are few of the details we’ve learned about her.

About the charges against her, well, the defense submitted a power point presentation from -- a presentation conducted in July of 2013. According to the document, and it details Huawei and its business with Iran. Insisting that it is in compliance with U.S. European Union and United Nation sanctions, detailing also its relationship with a subsidiary called Sky-Comm.

And it’s there where the accusation seemed to come from. The relationship between Huawei and Sky-Comm. And that seems to be where the allegations of fraud and possible sanctions busting are stemming from, accusations that Huawei and Meng say they are innocent of. John.

VAUSE: You know, Ivan, this all comes through this 90-day pause in the trade war ceasefire between the United States and China. Obviously, this has resonated in China. Especially under the leadership there. What are they been saying about all this?

WATSON: Well, the Chinese foreign ministry has summoned the U.S. ambassador in Beijing -- the Canadian ambassador in Beijing, probably for a dressing-down about this, demanding the release of Meng. And has had some choice words for Canada itself. Take a listen.


LU KANG, SPOKESPERSON, CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY (through translator): If the Canadian side fails to deal with this issue properly, it will face serious consequences. And I can tell you that the consequences are entirely up to Canada.

There have been media reports revealing details of Miss Meng Wanzhou’s treatment in custody. Including possible inhumane measures. Such as not providing her with basic medical care. We believe this is inhumane and infringes on her human rights.


WATSON: Now, Meng was taken to hospital after her arrest on December 1st. And our team that was in the courtroom today, they saw her and they said she did look healthy in response to those accusations from the Chinese diplomat there.

Some analysts are arguing that China is trying to compartmentalize this, that not to let the controversy over Meng’s arrest spill into the ongoing trade dispute, and the relations between Beijing and Washington. And instead is focusing much of its ire on Canada which is carrying out the U.S. arrest warrant, and the extradition order right now. However, some Chinese state media is much harsher accusing basically Canada of being a lap dog of the U.S. And we’re just going to have to wait and see how this unfolds. John.

VAUSE: OK. Ivan, thank you. Ivan Watson, there. Live for us in Hong Kong with the very latest. We appreciate the details. Thank you, Ivan.

Next up here on CNN NEWSROOM, spooking fossil fuels at an international climate change summit. Who does that? How the Trump administration has taken the U.S. from world leader to recalcitrant (INAUDIBLE).

Plus, the most influential and powerful gun lobby in the United States. The NRA facing a cash crunch. I’ll meet the architect to the plan to squeeze the National Rifle Association where it hurts.


[01:21:57] VAUSE: Just 1.5 degrees Celsius could decide the fate of our planet. The rising temperature of the earth passes at 1.5 threshold, the results could be disastrous.

The COP24 climate change conference, underway right now in Poland is trying to find agreement on how to stop that disaster from happening. But some say the U.S. delegation is trying to derail the talks by promoting clean and efficient fossil fuels. What’s the reaction here?


PRESTON WELLS GRIFFITH, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY: The administration’s economic strategy is rejuvenating our economy, revitalizing our manufacturing base, benefitting American workers, creating jobs, and encouraging innovation while safeguarding our environment.


VAUSE: Well, that laughter you can hear is coming from protesters mocking that official from the U.S. Department of Energy. And that’s not where they stop.


AMERICAN CROWD: Keep it in the ground, keep it in the ground. Keep it in the ground, keep it in the ground.


VAUSE: And a new report not only links climate change to extreme weather. It says global warming is causing some of those events. The American Meteorological Society blames human activity equal in greenhouse gas emissions for a number of extreme events last year.

Including droughts in the U.S. northern plains and East Africa. Flooding in South America China and Bangladesh, and heat waves in China and the Mediterranean.

Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri joins us for now with more. OK, this is significant because the words matter. It always used to be they would never take entirely sure if it caused these events but they were always said it made them worse. Now, they go that one step further.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: Absolutely. You know, the stance had always been in the meteorological community, and the climatological community, John, that weather is essentially like your mood, and the climate is your personality.

So, not at any one particular event cannot account for a broad perspective of where things have been like in the past day 20, 30, 50 years. Now, with better computers, better modeling, better scientific data, were able to really make a direct correlation to specific events after analyzing them, and they’ve now finished analyzing 2017s weather events and incredible findings really when you take a look at how things have played out.

Because we’ve seen the strong evidence towards droughts, flooding, and as you go towards the coastal flooding, thinks the sea level rise. And, of course, heat waves, that’s where the best evidence exists right now for these being related directly to climate change and human-induced climate change.

But the study took into accounts some 120 scientists. Especially, the brightest scientists in the world when it comes to the weather and the science of climate. And then, they examined some 10 countries and looked at specific events in 2017 across these 10 countries.

And with historical modeling, historical weather data, along with advancements in their computer technology that they have, they’re able to put simulations out, look at specific events and see if those events had anything to do with climate change and more so, human- induced climate change causing these events. And they actually isolated 17 specific events on this report that was released on Monday.

Now, you take a look, a lot of these might ring a bell, we have covered them extensively. And you take a look for example in the United States there were, at least 16 record-breaking events and disasters that set each one over a billion dollars in losses.

Hurricane Harvey was one of them, and this was one that was analyzed very carefully because it dropped the wettest storm in U.S. history. There are 150 centimeters came down in a matter of four days.

Data suggest that this would not have happened, it was almost entirely related to the warmer waters off the coast there in the Gulf of Mexico. And also, the warmer temperature that allowed more water vapor to be present in the atmosphere to produce the whopping amount of 150 centimeters and caused the billion-dollar disaster that was seen there.

We have heat waves in Europe, we had heat waves in the Mediterranean. They are now three times more likely to occur. We know that based on historical data. Then, back in 1950. And essentially, all of these now have human fingerprints on them, when it comes to climate change and were able to isolate them after analyzing each one. And it looks to be the case, at least, for many of them in 2017. John.

[01:25:52] VAUSE: Pedram, thank you. It’s the kind of disturbing report. Appreciate that.


VAUSE: If global warming continues, experts fear a growing exodus of climate refugees and forced to flee drought and starvation. That’s already happening in parts of Central America as CNN’s John Sutter reports.


DELMI AMPARO HERNANDEZ, RESIDENT, COPAN, HONDURAS: It did rain more before, but not so much anymore, because there wasn’t much harvested in the corn fields this year. We didn’t harvest anything.

JOHN SUTTER, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Delmi has been struggling to feed herself and four kids these days. The crops just aren’t growing like they were. Conditions eventually got so bad that her husband, Hermond, fled Honduras for the United States. Part of the migrant caravan that attracted the ire of U.S. President Trump.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And in that caravan, you have some very bad people.

SUTTER: Hermond didn’t join the caravan because of violence in his homeland. He left because of drought and climate change. Central America has been hit with an intense and unusual drought in recent years. Crops are failing, starvation is lurking. The U.N. says 2 million people in the region are at risk for hunger.

EDWIN CASTELLANOS, DEAN OF RESEARCH, UNIVERSIDAD DEL VALLE DE GUATEMALA: We have seen events of children actually dying out of hunger. So it is that extreme. These people are moving away if not just out of their own will, it basically they -- because they have no option.

SUTTER: The reasons people migrate are complex. But the World Bank says in coming decades, more than 17 million people in Latin America could be forcibly displaced because of climate change. This is already starting to happen in Honduras. And almost nowhere is the trend, more pronounced than in Copan.

Data from the U.S. Border Patrol which seen and analyzed in collaboration with the University of Texas shows an increase in migration to the U.S. during the recent drought.

LISANDRO MAURICIO ARIAS, MAYOR, COPAN RUINAS, HONDURAS: I believe around 30 percent of the population, 25-30 percent of the population has emigrated.

SUTTER: Climate model shows it’s only getting worse. Droughts are becoming more intense. The relatively small, dry corridor of Central America is expanding. And it may cover the entire region.

EVELIO OCHOA, RESIDENT, COPAN, HONDURAS: When it rains, the cob grows. And as you can see because of the drought it doesn’t.

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