U.S. Fires Teargas at Migrants Rushing Border; U.S. Condemns the Russian Outlaw Action Against Ukraine In UN Security Council; Trump
<Show: HALA GORANI TONIGHT>
<Date: November 26, 2018>
<Head: U.S. Fires Teargas at Migrants Rushing Border; U.S. Condemns the
Russian Outlaw Action Against Ukraine In UN Security Council; Trump
Threatens to Permanently Close Border Crossing; Theresa May Says No Better
Brexit Deal Is Available; UAE Pardons British Academic Charged with Spying.
Aired 2-3p ET - Part 2>
<Sect: News; Domestic>
<Byline: Hala Gorani, Mathew Chance, Miguel Marquez, Jeremy Diamond, Joey
Jackson, Bianca Nobilo, Sam Kiley>
<Guest: Leroy Chiao>
<High: Matthew Hedges charged with spying on UAE’s day of national
liberation from Britain.>
<Spec: Immigrants; Tear Gas; Russia; Ukraine; Brexit; Theresa May; Mathew
Hedges; Espionage; UAE>
They’ve been consistent in saying, for instance that Crimea is not part of Russia. The annexation was illegal. Yet Putin has, I think placed a bet on building a very strong personal relationship with President Trump and I think that’s what he’s counting on much as we saw at the Helsinki Summit when Trump, I think defied expectations and had very warm words of praise for President Putin.
GORANI: But he’s building that personal relationship. We saw a little bit of a wink, as well, when they crossed paths in Paris, on the 11th of November. However, sanctions are still in place. Russia technically diplomatically is still very much isolated.
[14:35:16] So by pursuing this strategy, I mean, in the end if the end game for Putin is to get sanctions relief, it’s not working.
HODGE: That’s right. And it was never clear, for instance, when Putin intervened in Syria, if he was creating just another distraction to divert from this larger problem that he’s had on his hands since 2014, the problem of sanctions and imposed by the west.
But he has, again, he’s placed a lot of faith in his ability to build personal relationships with other leaders, to work with them on a bilateral basis, even when he faces and he’s bene ostracized in the past.
You remember at the G20 several years ago, I think it was at the end of 2014 he was essentially shunned and left a summit in Australia, went home early and look how he’s -- how far things have changed today. He’s very much the man to talk to. Hala.
GORANI: So, Nathan, we have some breaking news according to Reuters that the Ukrainian parliament has now approved martial law in Ukraine. Not hugely surprising in the sense that Poroshenko has a majority in parliament. Talk to us about what this means practically.
HODGE: Well, Poroshenko had put out a statement earlier in the day saying that the martial would last 30 days, that it would be primarily aimed to doing things like step up cybersecurity, stepping up Ukraine’s border security, upping the general preparedness of the Ukrainian military for what Poroshenko was warning was additional action by the Russians.
Now, kind of a wild card in this scenario here is that there are going to be elections early next year, there are scheduled to be elections early next year in Ukraine. Presidential elections. And there’s been a lot of speculation about the timing of this and questions raised about what the impact of martial law would be on the elections and on campaigning for the election.
GORANI: All right.
HODGE: So we’re going to actually have to take a look at the details here of what the actual decree of martial law says and things.
GORANI: All right. Just thank you very much, Nathan Hodge, is our Moscow bureau chief with more analysis and context around this breaking news story.
As I mentioned, the Ukrainian crews of those seized navy ships are still detained and Reuters is reporting that the Ukrainian parliament has approved martial law for 30 days. So very much this has a potential to escalate in that part of the world. Just as president Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump get ready to meet at the G20 Summit in five or six days. We’ll keep our eye, of course, on that important developing story.
A quick word on something that’s happening in the business world. Just as the holidays approach. A major American carmaker is announcing layoffs of thousands of employees. General Motors says that it’s cutting 15 percent of salaried workers. Fifteen percent. It’s a big number and shutting down five plants across North America.
This is part of the company’s plant to reinvent itself for the future. But, of course, very much comes in direct contradiction with what the president of the United States, Donald Trump, has promised in that part of the country which is to bring manufacturing jobs back. Instead, thousands are being laid off.
Cristina Alesci is in New York with more. What numbers are we talking about here? How many people are getting laid off?
CRISTINA ALESCI, CNN TELEVISION & DIGITAL CORRESPONDENT: The numbers are in the thousands and I’ll come back to that in a second. But this is certainly a big blow for the president, for President Trump’s plan, as you said, to bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S.
The move to close five plants in North America, four in the U.S., is more evidence of what every auto analyst has been saying for years, that production of smaller cars will go abroad because that’s where the growth and the consumers are. Trump or a Republican policies have done nothing to change that dynamic fundamentally.
And one of the most striking details about this announcement when you talk about the numbers is that it hits a part of Trump country in Iowa -- in Ohio, sorry, which could lose 1,600 jobs at the GM Lordstown Assembly plant. Now, we’ll see how voters there react.
But across the country average people are going to feel this. In total, about 8,000 jobs are impacted by the end of next year. The company also made a point that it’s not just manufacturing but also the executive ranks that are being reduced.
One of the largest automobile unions here, the United Automobile Workers says the General Motors’ decision to shut our production at four plants in the United States will harm workers and will not go unchallenged.
[14:40:59] Now, it’s unclear what action they could take. But in a statement, a union official did say, quote, “This callous decision by GM to reduce or cease operations in American plants while opening or increasing production in Mexico and China plants for sales to American consumers is, in its implementation, profoundly damaging to the American workforce.”
Look, this restructuring for the company will result in $6 billion of free cash flow. Now, part of that savings is from the cost reductions that we talked about. But some of the savings is also coming from reduced investment which is also a remarkable part of this announcement. Tax cuts were supposed to boost investment and now you’re seeing a major American company cut investment.
GORANI: All right. Cristina Alesci, thanks very much. We’ll see if it has any political impact. These are parts of the country, I some cases, that did vote for Donald Trump and there are a majority with the promise of manufacturing jobs or the creation of manufacturing jobs. We’ll see what impact that has. Cristina Alesci, thanks very much.
Now, to a showdown between the U.K. parliament and Facebook. It’s over internal documents, one that Facebook fought to keep private. But now British lawmakers have managed to get their hands on. The tech firm has been under pressure over its data policies. You remember the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
These confidential files outlined a range of accusations including some about Facebook’s alleged disregard for user privacy.
Hadas Gold joins me here in the studio. First, Hadas, explain to our viewers what happened over the weekend. Because parliament used a power that it has to compel the employee of a third party, right, a software company.
HADAS GOLD, CNN INTERNATIONAL MEDIA & BUSINESS REPORTER: Right. I mean, this is --
GORANI: To disclose documents.
GOLD: This is straight out of a movie. What happened is this -- there is this app company called Six4Three that had sued Facebook, has been dealing legally with them for years. Their CEO happened to be in London in this past week.
And what happened was the chair of the committee that’s investigating Facebook here in London, the parliament committee, pretty much allegedly sent the sergeant and arms of the parliament to go get these documents from this person. That’s according to the observer newspaper.
We haven’t been able to independently confirm that, but CNN has confirmed that these documents are now in the possession of this U.K. parliamentary committee and now they’re deciding what to do with them. These documents could contain internal communications between Mark Zuckerberg and other executives. And this app company claims that these documents will shed light on how Facebook really thinks about user privacy, data, how they think about other apps on their platforms, on their rivals.
Now, I should note that these documents are likely a few years old. So they’re not necessarily recent. But Facebook doesn’t want these out in public. These documents are under court seal in California.
GORANI: OK. So we’re talking what? E-mail communication here, messages potentially even involving Mark Zuckerberg?
GOLD: Yes. E-mails and also some internal data.
GORANI: Right. That could what? Shed light on whether or not Facebook was aware or even lent its support to the harvesting of data on its platform?
GOLD: That’s exactly what we don’t know. Could be in the state that this app company claims that these are explosive pieces of information.
GORANI: So why didn’t they freely hand the documents over then?
GOLD: That’s what we don’t know. It’s probably because of this court- ordered seal in California and they’re pushing sort of international law. Does the court-ordered seal in California apply to the U.K.?
Now, the chair of this committee says, that’s not my problem. That’s California. We’re in the United Kingdom here and also members of -- U.K. has something special called parliamentary privilege which pretty much protect them from whatever they might want to say while conducting legislative business and that would potentially protect them from being able to show what’s in these documents in a very important hearing that’s actually happening just tomorrow.
GORANI: And, of course, what we care about is whether or not we’re going to be able to see. Will they be revealed? Will they be published or disclosed these documents?
GOLD: We don’t know that yet. The committee is discussing that right now. But tomorrow, there’s this grand international committee, that’s actually what it’s called. Representatives from nine different countries will all be having this big hearing in London tomorrow. Where they will be questioning among other witnesses a Facebook vice president and that’s where we might see some of the information from these documents come to light.
GORANI: Perhaps embedded in some of the questions, we’ll have some information.
GORANI: OK. Well, it’s going to be fascinating. And that’s -- I’m sure you’ll be covering that and we’ll talk about that tomorrow.
GOLD: That’ll be all day tomorrow.
GORANI: Yes. Good luck with that. Hadas Gold, thank you so much.
And still to come, major aid groups are getting together to issue another dire warning for Yemen. It tells you the world isn’t listening. They say they don’t have the means to avert a catastrophe there, but the U.S. does. We’ll be right back.
[14:45:46] GORANI: Another urgent plea, this one directed to the United States on the crisis in Yemen. Five of the world’s biggest aid agencies penned a joint statement writing that the U.S. will share in the blame for civilian deaths if it doesn’t change course and stop supplying weapons to Saudi-led forces.
The aid group says 14 million people are at risk of starving to death unless the violence ends. Nima Elbagir joins me now to discuss it all.
So, let’s talk about this. So we’re talking about five aid groups. How do they -- because, you know, the world has not acted. There have been so many pleas in the past. What do they think will be different this time? What’s their strategy?
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, there is definitely a sense that there is a vulnerability in this moment. That post-Jamal Khashoggi’s killing, post the uproar that finally started kicking in post when the little boys were killed on that bus on August 9th.
There is a sense that there is momentum. And for these U.S. NGOs who are primarily responsible for a lot of the aid that’s delivered in Yemen, there is a feeling that they have to try and capture this moment and it really speaks to how extraordinary a moment it is that you have U.S. NGOs speaking out against the U.S. president.
I mean, they haven’t just said you will be responsible for the famine if you don’t act. They have said, the U.S. is responsible to its military and diplomatic support for Saudi Arabia, prolonging this conflict. So they’re also putting at the U.S.’s doorsteps already the deaths that have happened to this point. That’s pretty unprecedented.
GORANI: And, of course, it’s not just the presidency of Donald Trump. It’s the presidency of Barack Obama before him.
GORANI: U.S. arms. There was a brief moment where some of the precision- guided munitions weren’t being sold.
There’s a Senate briefing on Yemen, as well. What’s the hope there? What could be achieved?
ELBAGIR: This is also pretty extraordinary a measure. This is the War Powers Act, which was brought in essentially to ensure that nothing like the Vietnam War would happen again.
The last time it was successfully invoked was against Ronald Reagan. And this isn’t just the usual suspects. This is being put forth by Bernie Sanders and Chris Murphy who are, of course, both democratic senators, but it actually is gaining mainstream Republican and Democrat support.
And if they survive this, there is another measure which is co-sponsored by one of President Trump’s main allies, Lindsey Graham, a Republican senator, and that’s all before you’re going to January where the Democrats take over the House.
After three years of the world ignoring this conflict --
GORANI: What could it lead to? I mean, what would change the situation on --
ELBAGIR: If the Democrats take over the House?
GORANI: No. What could -- what are the efforts here that are being pursued in on Capitol Hill that could change the reality on the ground in Yemen?
ELBAGIR: Well, first and foremost, they’re blocking the arm sale to Saudi Arabia. It’s a $2 billion arm sale. And that’s really what has gotten Trump incensed that he believes this is impacting American workers.
What’s interesting is that the representatives of the American people feel that they can get away with pushing this, even if it is at the expense of the American workers, because you have now seen dying and starving Yemeni children in mainstream media organizations in the U.S. and it’s clearly finally having an impact.
GORANI: All right. Nima, thanks very much, as always.
More to come after the break. Seven minutes of hell. That’s what scientists are calling the nervous wait while they see if a NASA spacecraft has landed on Mars.
[14:50:06] We speak to a former astronaut about the bold mission. We’ll be right back.
GORANI: Any moment now we are expecting touchdown for a NASA probe on Mars. These are live pictures from mission control. It’s called the InSight Spacecraft. It’s expected to land any time. You’re looking at an animation now. I’m going to put that up, an animation of how scientists hope that will go. Let’s listen to the conversation from mission control.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The lander will separate from the back shell and begin terminal descent using its 12 descent engines.
Altitude convergence. The radar has locked on the ground.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Standing by for lander separation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Carrier interruption on Marco Alpha and Marco Bravo.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Lander separation commanded. Altitude 600 meters. Gravity turn. Altitude 400 meters.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We’re getting there.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Three hundred meters. Two hundred meters. Eighty meters. Sixty meters. Fifty meters. Constant velocity. Thirty-seven meters. Thirty meters. Twenty meters. Seventeen meters. Standing by for touchdown. Touchdown confirmed (INAUDIBLE) at the Mars.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wow.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That is fantastic.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This never gets old.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, it doesn’t, Rob. Control room just erupted.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fabulous, fabulous.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And the Marco team there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This team, you did great. Kim Brizer (ph) and the key designers of Lockheed. Sandy Grab (ph). What a great team. This is really fabulous.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fantastic news.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got picture on it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Lots of fist bumping going on in there. What a relief.
[14:55:04] We’ve cut over to the camera over in Times Square. Boy, people are weathering the rain to see this.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They can’t believe --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That is so fun --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let’s do it again.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let’s do it again. Let’s do it again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Wow. Well, that was exciting. That was exciting. NASA has landed a probe on Mars. You could hear the applause erupting. People hugging. Jumping up and down. Losing their headsets.
The probe emerged from what they were calling seven minutes of hell. It was seven minutes of hell, of course, because they didn’t know, they had no communication with the probe during those seven minutes of terror, I should say, is what they were calling it.
Leroy Chiao, former astronaut, can join me now on the line. Leroy, talk to us about why this is significant.
LEROY CHIAO, FORMER ASTRONAUT (through telephone): Well, this is a pretty huge deal. I mean, any time you’re landing a spacecraft on Mars, it’s pretty tense because basically, you know, only about 40 percent or so of spacecraft we’ve sent to Mars have made it. And, you know, you’ve an eight- minute delay right now because of the relative positions between Mars and the Earth.
And so, you know, the Mars’ atmosphere is tricky because there’s enough of an atmosphere that you need a heat shield to dissipate that heat and as you reduce speed. But the atmosphere is not thick enough for a parachute to slow you down enough to land. So you start out with a parachute in the high atmosphere.
But then once you get lower, you’ve got to use other strategies. And today, we saw basically a propulsive landing using rocket engines to slow the vehicle down, keep it stable and touch it down. And I think that it’s just fantastic.
GORANI: It’s great to see these images of celebration from mission control in California just a few moments ago. So, now that the probe is on Mars, what’s the objective of the mission?
CHIAO: So this probe, the InSight probe, is designed to use very advanced instruments to look inside the planet and it has very sensitive seismometers. It’s going to detect Mars’ quakes and that’s going to give a lot of clues into the inside of the planet. It’s also going to measure temperatures and heat glow and so we hope to learn how Mars formed and a little bit more about how our Earth -- on Earth probably formed, as well.
GORANI: How long does it take to send data back from the probe to Earth?
CHIAO: Well, it depends on the relative distance and that’s because of our two different orbits. Generally speaking, Mars is about half, again, as far from the sun as the Earth. So when the two planets, our two planets are aligned, you’ve got about a six-minute time delay that is traveling at speed of light, radio waves take six minutes to go one way.
Right now, we’re fairly well aligned. So there’s about a little over eight minutes delay. And so that’s been interesting. The actual landing happened eight minutes earlier than the celebration going to took that long for the information to get to Earth.
GORANI: That’s what they were calling, the seven minutes of terror where they had a loss of contact. And how long does it take to plan something like this? I mean, I just love these, you know, positive stories. We cover so much death and devastation in the news every day and it’s just such a joy to see people celebrate something positive and advance in science like this. How long would it have taken them to plan these?
CHIAO: Oh, absolutely. These missions are planned many years in advance. You’ve to get the idea for the mission accepted. And then proposals put together. You got to get it through Congress and the administration for funding.
And then once the program is funded, you’ve got to get your spacecraft built, get a rocket scheduled for it and then you launch it and it’s going to take, in case of Mars, when the planets are lined up, about six or so months -- six to eight months to get there.
CHIAO: So this has been many years in the making.
GORANI: You’re saying that the data will be used to determine seismography and how Mars was formed. I mean, what will that -- if you look at other Mars missions, what have we learned about this planet? Because the big question, of course, is not just how it was formed and what’s in it, but whether maybe billions of years ago, this is a planet that could have supported life. Right?
CHIAO: Oh, absolutely. Yes. The Mars probes evolve in complimentary in what they’ve done. You know, the Phoenix lander landed near the poles of Mars and detected water and even observed snowfall.
Other probes have determined that there are large -- the rock formations suggest that lakes and oceans. In fact, you know, billions, maybe four billion years ago, there were huge oceans on Mars, very different place, had a much thicker atmosphere, had a magnetosphere that would have protected the surface from the sun’s radiation to a large degree, and so, yes, very possible that perhaps billions of years ago, there was some kind of perhaps microbial life on Mars. So it would be very exciting to discover.
HALA GORANI, ANCHOR, CNN: And I guess, now how often do the people, the scientists and the people who have worked so hard to make this happen, how often can they check in on what kind of data is being collected by this probe?
CHIAO: Well, the probe will send back the measurements that it takes, it’ll receive commands from the Earth. So with that time delay, these are all very carefully choreographed, and hopefully soon, we’ll be receiving some images from Mars and some actual scientific data. And then that will continue - this probe will continue to operate for - I’m not sure exactly how long, but you can bet it’s not going to be just a little while. They’re going to operate it as long as they can.
GORANI: All right, Leroy Chiao, former astronaut, thanks very much for talking us through this breaking news. And NASA probe has landed successfully on Mars. We spent several kind of nervous minutes there alongside Mission Control hoping it would reemerge and complete its mission at least in its initial phase to land on Mars and to collect data so we can all learn more about the planet. We’re expecting comments, by the way, from the US President Donald Trump. We’ll have that and a lot more on “Quest Means Business” next.
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