After A Day Of Scorn And Spectacle Across The British Political Divide, Prime Minister Theresa May Is Facing Something Different Today - A
<Show: NEWS STREAM>
<Date: November 16, 2018>
<Head: After A Day Of Scorn And Spectacle Across The British Political
Divide, Prime Minister Theresa May Is Facing Something Different Today - A
Sense Of Solidarity; Is WikiLeaks Founder, Julian Assange About To Face
Criminal Charges In The Us? North Korean State Media Says Pyongyang Has
Deported A Us Citizen It Has Detained Since October; More Than 2,000
Rohingya Muslims In Bangladesh Were Supposed To Go Back To Myanmar On
Thursday, But None Of Them Volunteered; The Most Destructive Wildfire In
California History And The Death Toll And The Number Of Victims Missing Is
Grimly Climbing; The Trump Administration Has Imposed Sanctions On 17
People The Saudis Claim Were Involved In The Killing Of Journalist Jamal
Khashoggi; Facebook And Its Leaders Are Swinging Back Against The Fallout
Of A Scathing “New York Times” Report. Aired 8-9a ET - Part 1>
<Sect: News; International>
<Byline: Ivan Watson, Nina dos Santos, Erin McLaughlin, Laura Jarrett,
Alexandra Field, Matt Rivers, Scott McLean, Jomana Karadsheh, Brian
Stelter, Kristie Lu Stout>
<Guest: Jane Goodall>
<High: Some of her top ministers say they will stay in the government and
help work with Mrs. May to push her draft Brexit deal forward. A US
Department on of Justice spokesman says the court filing was made in error
and he would not comment on whether Assange has already been charged. But
“The Wall Street Journal” reports the US is preparing to prosecute him.
KCNA reports Bruce Byron Lawrence illegally crossed the border from China
on October 16th and claimed he was under the control of the US Central
Intelligence Agency at the time. Hundreds of Rohingya in the refugee camps
protested the repatriation plan Myanmar and Bangladesh had both agreed
upon. As some 9,000 firefighters desperately battle wildfires on both
sides of the state, the number of those missing in the California infernos
has soared. “The Washington Post” where Khashoggi worked and the Turkish
government both rejected the new account as a fabrication, unlike the US
State Department which said it was a good first step. Zuckerberg denied
some assertions in “The Times” investigation on a conference call with
reporters saying it just was not correct to suggest Facebook was not
interested in knowing the truth about the extent of Russian meddling. >
<Spec: Brexit, Theresa May, WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, North Korea,
Deportation, Rohingya, Repatriation, Wildfires, California, Saudi,
Istanbul, Jamal Khashoggi, Facebook, “New York Times”>
IVAN WATSON, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: I’m Ivan Watson in Hong Kong. Welcome to “News Stream.” Confidence in Prime Minister May. After a wild day of resignations over Brexit yesterday, today some Cabinet members come out in support of the embattled British leader.
A new weapons test supervised by the North Korean leader, but South Korean and US officials say it does not threaten progress on talks, and more than 600 people still missing as emergency services struggle to put out all the fires in California.
All right, after a day of scorn and spectacle across the British political divide, Prime Minister Theresa May is facing something different today - a sense of solidarity. Some of her top ministers say they will stay in the government and help work with Mrs. May to push her draft Brexit deal forward and they include top Brexiteer Michael Gove and Trade Secretary Liam Fox who spoke to CNN just minutes ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LIAM FOX, BRITISH INTERNATIONAL TRADE SECRETARY: I think that we have to wait until we conclude this process. I think the Prime Minister deserves the right to put that case to the European Union. I think that the greatest price that could be paid would be to have no Brexit at all. I think that would be a betrayal of the British people and I think it would have such a profound effect on our democratic system that you would see a loss of confidence by the public in the democratic process itself. I think that is far too high a price to ever pay.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATSON: Well, Mrs. May has also defended her draft Brexit deal on a London radio show. She took calls from listeners and assured them her plain to maintain the integrity of the UK. Now, we’re covering all sides of story. Nina dos Santos is outside Parliament in London and Erin McLaughlin has reaction from Brussels. Good to see both of you. Now, we heard this criticism lobbed against Theresa May from the left and the right, from within her own party, from Northern Ireland and even Scotland.
So my question to you, Nina, will these messages of support from these two lawmakers, will they be enough to keep her draft Brexit deal alive?
NINA DOS SANTOS, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, they don’t necessarily speak for all of the members of their own party there, Ivan, and they also certainly don’t speak for some of the views of the opposition and this is the key issue. Theresa May called a general election a year or so ago and she very embarrassingly lost her party’s majority in that, which means that her government is only in power largely because it has an ad hoc agreement with the Northern Irish party, the DUP, which has made it absolutely clear that she can’t count on their votes. Then, of course, there’s a number of Tory Brexiteers so pro-Brexit members of her conservative party and members of her conservative party want to remain inside the EU who have also said that they are planning on voting this down, not to mention the Scottish National Party that is furiously irate that in that legal text that emerged this week, there is no mention of Scotland and how to safeguard its interests.
And the Welsh party is likely to vote this down, too, as well as the green, so at the moment, if you do the parliamentary math based on all of that and the 200 odd seats that the labor opposition will probably not give her, it’s looking as though she may only muster around about 200 - 225 seats in the House of Commons, but there could be almost double the amount of seats against this plan if she tries to force it through, which is why a conservative party is potentially considering reportedly at this point a new leadership.
WATSON: Yes and I wanted to ask about this, this possible threat of a no confidence vote. What more do you know about that?
DOS SANTOS: Well, the Conservative Party have very established rules for challenging a leader when in office. What they have to do is they have to muster enough support to get people to write to a specific back bench committee called the 1922 committee; 15% of sitting members of Parliament from that party have to write to the Chairman of that committee saying that they don’t have confidence in the Prime Minister and, as a result, they would like to see a leadership contest.
That equates to 48 letters of this particular variety, this one here that I’m showing you is one of 20 that have so far been made public by Conservative members who have said that essentially they think that this deal, based on the original Chequers compromise is something that will not cut the muster ...
DOS SANTOS: ... in Parliament and that they have been trying to say to the Prime Minister, this copy here is from Mark Francois who is from the Eurosceptic European Research Group and he says he’s been saying for four months at least that this is the type of deal that will never get through Parliament, but he says he hasn’t been listened to.
In fact, the header of this particular letter says she just doesn’t listen. This individual accuses Theresa May of being surrounded by a Pretorian guard of pro-European civil servants. When it comes to whether or not she can be unseated, if they get enough people to write in and say that they want a vote of no confidence, what they have to do then is get 159 votes against her, so simple majority, and then she will be facing a leadership contest. Other people can put their hats into the ring. I should point out, if they fail to secure 159, she could be in the clear for a year because there can’t be another leadership challenge after that for at least the next 12 months.
WATSON: All right. Thank you for breaking down the fractious Parliamentary math there. And you seem to have attracted a protester during part of your answer there, Nina. I’m going to turn now to Brussels because that’s where Erin McLaughlin is standing by and we know that the EU leaders, they are gearing up for a summit next week. How are they reacting to the British Prime Minister’s precarious political position in London?
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, Ivan, we heard this morning from the Austrian Chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, he’s in town here in Brussels. Austria holds the rotating EU Council Presidency. He met with Council President Donald Tusk to prepare for that emergency summit currently scheduled for November 25th. He spoke at a press point about Brexit and he reiterated the EU’s priority in all of this is to see an orderly withdrawal process.
And he said that he would like to see support for this deal within the British Parliament. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEBASTIAN KURZ, AUSTRIAN CHANCELLOR (Through a translator): It’s a good deal for both sides. Nobody was tricked into it. But this deal prevents a hard Brexit. It helps us in Europe, but it helps Britain even more. A hard Brexit would hurt Great Britain much more. I sincerely hope there will be some necessary support in the British Parliament that would lay the foundation for an orderly withdraw, but at the same time we can live together in an orderly way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCLAUGHLIN: So it’s full steam ahead for this summit. Again, November 25th which is next Sunday. It’s no small feat organizing this, getting all of the moving parts together to have this summit actually happen. That 585-page withdraw agreement has gone out to all the capitals at the Ambassador’s meeting here in Brussels this morning, they no doubt have their comments and questions to the European Commission about that.
There’s also a major component of all of this still being negotiated. The UK negotiators arrived in Brussels last night to sit down at that negotiating table once again with Barnier’s team to talk about the political agreements about that future relationship that is needed between the UK and the EU. That’s still being negotiated. That deadline is Tuesday. That will also need to be signed off by Theresa May’s cabinet, and it’s unclear at this point given the political fractures there in the UK how that’s going to happen.
WATSON: Yes, I mean, how do you negotiate and if your negotiating partners’ mandate is weakening apparently by the day. Nina dos Santos live in London and Erin McLaughlin live in Brussels, thank you very much.
Now to another story with a London angle. Is WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange about to face criminal charges in the US? Federal prosecutors included references to possible charges against Assange in an unrelated court filing unsealed last week. A US Department on of Justice spokesman says the court filing was made in error and he would not comment on whether Assange has already been charged. But “The Wall Street Journal” reports the US is preparing to prosecute him.
One of Assange’s lawyers tells CNN the report confirms his client’s life is at risk. Assange of course has been holed up in the Ecuadoran embassy in London for the past six years. Now, joining us from Washington is our US Justice reporter Laura Jarrett. Good to see you. Let’s start with this rather striking detail, Laura, that the US authorities may be pressing charges against Julian Assange, but this possibility emerged through some kind of clerical court error. How could that have happened?
LAURA JARRETT, US JUSTICE REPORTER, CNN: That’s right, Ivan. It is a truly remarkable, remarkable development that was discovered just overnight here over in the US.
JARRETT: Buried in court papers in a completely unrelated case that was only recently unsealed, so meaning made public. But in an attempt to try to keep that separate case under wraps back in August, Federal prosecutors in Virginia, twice referenced charges against Assange and here is what they said. I’m reading from this motion. They said, “The complaint supporting affidavit an arrest warrant as well as the motion and proposed order would need to remain sealed until Assange is arrested in connection with the charges in the criminal complaint and then can therefore no longer evade or avoid arrest and extradition in this matter.”
So perhaps using a template from Assange’s motion there in this separate case and that’s how it happened. So when we asked how this could have happened, why his name appeared in this totally unrelated filing, a spokesperson for the Justice Department said the court filing was made in error and that Assange was not intended to be named there, but he would not go any further.
And so these precise charges and what he’s facing, Ivan, still remain very much unclear.
WATSON: And it all could be moot because US authorities still can’t get their hands on Assange as long as he is hiding in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. But thanks very much for the update on that bizarre twist there in US Courts. Laura Jarrett live from Washington.
North Korean state media says Pyongyang has deported a US Citizen it has detained since October. KCNA reports Bruce Byron Lawrence illegally crossed the border from China on October 16th and claimed he was under the control of the US Central Intelligence Agency at the time. In a separate development, North Korean state TV released this photo that it says shows leader Kim Jong-un supervising the test of a newly developed ultra-modern tactical weapon. Very little is known about what type of weapon that is or whether it is even new.
So to help explain a little bit more, let’s bring in Alexandra Field who is covering this from Hong Kong. Good to see you, Alex. This American detainee, to the best of our knowledge, this is the first time we’ve ever heard about this detained man by the last name of Lawrence, right?
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CORRESPONDENT, CNN Yes, this was news that was breaking from North Korea in the middle of the afternoon. It was put out by the North Korean state news agency. They had explained that they had released him, deported him, actually, over the border. They didn’t specify which border, where he is now or when did deportation happened, but they did backtrack to say he had be detained for about a month after illegally crossing over into North Korea and they say admitting to that.
But yes, this is not an American who we were aware was detained. We’re still working to contact US officials to see what they know about the conditions of the detainment and also what brought about the sudden release of this detainee. Ivan, you’ll remember, the last time we saw American detainees released was back in May and at that time, it was seen that North Korea was offering something of an olive branch by releasing the detainees because it was in the weeks leading up to that big summit between President Trump and Kim Jong-un so that was seen as something of a conciliatory gesture that helped to get that summit on track.
Not clear at all what the circumstances were surrounding this release, something we’re still working to find out, Ivan.
WATSON: Okay, now let me ask you about this weapons test because North Korea carefully calibrates the messages it sends to its former arch enemy, the US, so what kind of a message do you think they’re trying to send with this statement, which is nothing like the kind of ballistic missile launches or nuclear weapons tests that we were seeing before the historic summit between Kim Jong-un and President Trump?
FIELDS: Very clear here, it seems, Ivan, that North Korea is flexing its muscle, but perhaps just a little bit. Look, there was a lot of pomp and circumstance surrounding this weapons test. Of course, you know that the message is tightly controlled. This is something that state media wanted to report. They wanted to tell the world that they were testing a new weapons system. They didn’t exactly say what it was, just that it was tactical and for North Korea’s defense.
Of course, analysts in South Korea were quick to take a look at what was going on there. One source telling CNN that the South Korean government now believes that North Korea was testing long range artillery, possibly a multiple rocket launcher. Interestingly, this is something that South Korea then does not consider to be a military provocation. While it is a test on of a weapon system,, it’s something that we have not publicly seen from North Korea in a while, they are very clearly drawing a distinction between this kind of test of a piece of artillery versus, say, a missile test or a nuclear test.
But it’s clear that North Korea wanted attention to surround this test because the last time that North Korean state news actually reported on Kim Jong-un being in the field to witness weapons testing was when they did a test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile just a year ago. Of course, very different kinds of test, but clear that North Korea is trying to draw attention at a time when you have seen tension build between the US and North Korea, a bit of an impasse when it comes to getting these talks about denuclearization on track and toward a second summit here, Ivan.
WATSON: All right, thanks for that optic. Alexandra Field, live from Hong Kong and have a great weekend.
Let’s turn now to Southeast Asia because that’s where more than 2,000 Rohingya Muslims in Bangladesh were supposed to go back to Myanmar on Thursday, but, get this, none of them volunteered. Instead, hundreds in the refugee camps protested the repatriation plan Myanmar and Bangladesh had both agreed upon.
Some said they would rather take poison than return to a country where they are not guaranteed safety. Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya fled Myanmar escaping a brutal military crackdown there. The UN Refugee Agency agrees, warning that repatriating the Rohingya to Myanmar would put them back in danger and although officials in Bangladesh say they cannot force anyone to return, that’s not making the refugees feel any safer. CNN’s Matt Rivers explains.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
MATT RIVERS, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: He didn’t want to leave. Myanmar was home, but the violence was so brutal, so overwhelming, fleeing to Bangladesh was the only choice.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DIL MOHAMMED, ROHINGYA REFUGEE (Through a translator): They were slaughtering even young children and killing everyone. We were very much afraid of them shooting us. That’s why we fled.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RIVERS: Dil Mohammed was one of several hundred thousand Rohingya Muslims pushed out after the Myanmar military carried out what the top UN investigator calls a genocide killing, raping and torturing their way through Rakhine State, which Myanmar denies. His nephews and other relatives were killed in the violence.
Now, more than a year since the exodus began last August, some refugees are being asked to return.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOHAMMED (Through a translator): I was told by the camp leader that my name was on the list and that I would have to go back immediately.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RIVERS: The fear of going back to Myanmar, coupled with all he’s been through was just too much. Dil Mohammed had celebrated his 60th birthday this year and he decided it would be his last.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOHAMMED (Through a translator): I felt very upset and I remembered what had happened to my relatives. I couldn’t bear it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RIVERS: Did Mohammed tried to end own life, but he survived and recovered in the hospital, now back in his home. It turns out his name wasn’t on the official list of refugees approved for return. It was just a rumor.
Bangladesh officials insist that any returns would be voluntary, but fears are spreading among those who are on the list of more than 2,000 names and some of them are now moving from camp to camp to avoid being sent back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOHAMMEDUL HASSAN, ROHINGYA REFUGEE (Through a translator): We came here to stay with our relatives. Now I am unable to get rations and just living on the run.
NOJUMA KHATU, ROHINGYA REFUGEE (Through a translator): We came from a heap of fire and they are trying to send us back to that heap of fire. We are afraid. We are not even eating any more.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RIVERS: The UN and the US have called for the repatriations to halt as conditions aren’t safe for the Rohingya to return. On Wednesday, the US Vice President pressed the issue with Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi in Singapore.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The violence and persecution by military and vigilantes that resulted in driving 700,000 Rohingya into Bangladesh is without excuse.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RIVERS: On a recent government-led trip inside the restricted area of Rakhine State, we were shown the border area where refugees would arrive.
So the plan would be for refugees to come back from Bangladesh just behind me and then come into this gate to come into one of these booths here where they would meet an immigration officer for the first time, but if you were wondering if these are being used at all, well, it sure doesn’t look like it.
Myanmar says some of the returnees would be identified and processed here before being transferred to a different camp within Myanmar. The fear from Rohingya refugees is that if they go back without proper citizenship rights or safety guarantees, they will be vulnerable all over again to abuse and violence.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOHAMMED: They will put us in the camps and persecute us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RIVERS: Dil Mohammed says unless some of these basic conditions are met, he will never return home. Matt Rivers, CNN.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
WATSON: All right, coming up next on “News Stream,” we head to Istanbul where special prayers have been offered for slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi while the US hits Saudis with sanctions.
It’s already the most destructive wildfire in California history and the death toll and the number of victims missing is grimly climbing. We’ll have a live update from the devastated town of Paradise. Stay with CNN.
WATSON: Welcome back to “News Stream.” I am Ivan Watson in Hong Kong. As some 9,000 firefighters desperately battle wildfires on both sides of the state, the number of those missing in the California infernos has soared. The statewide death toll has now grown to 66 and the number of people unaccounted for in the Campfire in Northern California has soared to more than 600.
Almost 10,000 homes have been destroyed. CNN’s Scott McLean is in Paradise, California, and joins us now. Scott, I mean, the death toll and now, the number of people missing, they’re just staggering for a natural disaster in the US. How did this fire catch so many people off guard?
SCOTT MCLEAN, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Yes, it must have, Ivan and there are questions being raised right now about the effectiveness of the emergency alert system, the system that will call you or text you to tell you, “you need evacuate now.”
Many people here say they never got an alert. They never got a warning or if they did, it simply came too late. The local Sheriff, he says, look, this fire simply moved too fast. They couldn’t keep on top of it. He also says that some people may have gotten the alert and just chosen to ignore it.
The local mayor said, look, they had an evacuation strategy. They just never expected a city of more than 20,000 people to evacuate all at once, Ivan.
WATSON: Scott, the evidence behind you, that burnt building behind you, there are more than 10,000 homes that have been destroyed in this fire. What are people now suddenly made homeless, what are they telling you?
MCLEAN: Yes, it’s a pretty difficult situation. One person said, look, it’s us versus thousands of people when we’re talking about looking for places to stay. It is difficult if not impossible to find a hotel in the local area that has a room available, let alone for a long period of time. The shelters, nearly all of them are full and at least one is dealing with a Nora virus outbreak.
So yesterday, we actually found that there had been a bit of a tent city pop up outside of a Walmart in nearby Chico, California, just down the road. Some people are staying in their cars. We are talking about families as well and it gets pretty cold overnight.
Right now, it’s only about 4 or 5 degrees Celsius outside. I spoke to a mother staying in her car with a 7-year-old daughter. I spoke with a grandmother staying in a tent outside with her 9-year-old grandson said it was just near impossible to stay warm throughout the night. That grandson told me what he missed about his home which has been destroyed. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELI KINGERY, CAMP FIRE EVACUEE: Just being in a bed.
MCLEAN: You just miss your bed? It’s warm.
KINGERY: Being under a ceiling and actually having a real bathroom. It’s hard.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCLEAN: Pretty heartbreaking. You don’t expect to hear things like that from a kid in the United States of America. And Ivan, the President, he will actually be here tomorrow touring the devastation for himself. And I can tell you, it will not be hard for him to find stories just like the one being told by that 9-year-old and his grandmother.
WATSON: Especially after he tweeted that mismanagement of forests led to this destruction. We’ll see how he handles that controversy. Scott McLean, live in Paradise, California. Thank you very much for that update.
WATSON: Now to a murder mystery in Istanbul, an ongoing murder mystery. The Trump administration has imposed sanctions on 17 people the Saudis claim were involved in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. It comes as absentee funeral prayers were held for the slain journalist in Istanbul on Friday morning.
Saudi prosecutors say the journalist died after he was injected with a deadly dose of a sedative. They’re seeking the death penalty for five of the people charged. “The Washington Post” where Khashoggi worked and the Turkish government both rejected the new account as a fabrication, unlike the US State Department which said it was a good first step.
All right, so our Jomana Karadsheh Karagche, she joins us now from outside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Good to see you, Jarmanal. But you were at the Fati Jami, the Fati mosque where this largely symbolic funeral was taking place. Is there any sense of closure for friends and relatives of Jamal Khashoggi?
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CORRESPONDENT, CNN, Well, you know, Ivan, it was Fati mosque Friday after Friday prayers and you had several funerals taking place. And the coffins of the deceased were placed on these concrete slabs and the one where Jamal Khashoggi’s coffin would have been placed was empty. So, really, you don’t get a sense that anyone has reached the point of closure just yet, you know, speaking to colleagues and friends of Khashoggi, they say they’re only doing this now because it’s a religious obligation. It’s been more than 40 days since he was killed. And they’ve pretty much lost hope that his body is going to be found, that he’s going to get a proper burial.
So they say they’ve gone ahead and carried on out these absentee funeral prayers that are known in Islam. And it’s not just the friends and family, Ivan, who are asking about Jamal Khashoggi’s body. The Turkish government has been pressing the Saudis on this point for some time now and they say they’re not getting any satisfactory answers and we heard that again yesterday from Turkish officials following the statements that came out of Saudi Arabia. They say they’re not convinced what they’re hearing from the Saudis. They believe this was premeditated murder, they say, and that it was ordered at the highest level of the Saudi government. But I think, you know, here in Turkey, the government has gotten to a point where they feel extreme frustrated with what they say is this lack of cooperation from the Saudis and they feel that the time has come now for an international investigation, Ivan.
WATSON: All right. Jomana Karadsheh, live from in front of the Saudi consulate in Istanbul where this grizzly murder is believed to have taken place. Thanks for the update.
Now, coming up on “News Stream,” Facebook is fiercely fighting back against a damming “New York Times” report claiming parts of it are just wrong. Stay with CNN.
Welcome back to “News Stream.” I’m Ivan Watson in Hong Kong. These are your world headlines. Ministers including top Brexiteer Michael Gove say they will remain in Theresa May’s government to help her push her draft Brexit deal forward. The Prime Minister has spent part of her day defending the plan on a London radio show. She took calls from listeners and assured them her plan will protect the integrity of the UK.
The slaughter carried out by Cambodia’s brutal Khmer Rouge regime 40 years ago has now been ruled a genocide. The two most senior surviving leaders have been found also guilty of genocide and other crimes against humanity.