Return to Transcripts main page

IDESK

Climate Summit Kicks Off in Paris; Obama Calls Summit a "Turning Point"; Paris Attackers Had Other Plots Ready to Go; Israeli Teens Convicted in Murder of Palestinian; Russia Slaps Economic Sanctions on Turkey; Pope Wraps Tour of War-Torn CAR; Climate Change Summit; A New Take on "Macbeth". Aired 10-11a ET

Aired November 30, 2015 - 10:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[10:00:00]

(MUSIC PLAYING)

LYNDA KINKADE, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to the INTERNATIONAL DESK. I'm Lynda Kinkade.

We begin in Paris, where world leaders have gathered on a mission to reduce carbon emissions and limit global warming. Security is tight for the U.N.

climate change summit.

This hour Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, U.S. President Barack Obama, French president Francois Hollande and Indian prime minister Narendra Modi

are due to launch a multibillion-dollar clean tech initiative.

Under it, nations will double their research into clean energy. Public demonstrations have been banned in the French capital since those deadly

terror attacks just over two weeks ago. Some protesters took to the streets on Sunday. More than 200 people were arrested after clashes with

police.

Presidents Obama and Hollande both linked the fight against global warming to the fight against terror. Senior international correspondent Jim

Bittermann is following all those developments for us.

Jim, a short time ago, the president of China, the world's biggest polluter, said terrorism cannot hold back mankind's efforts to address

climate change. There's been some really emotive words there from world leaders.

JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SR. INTL. CORRESPONDENT: Exactly, Lynda, in fact, very positive words. And I think President Obama summed it up a bit when he

said cynicism is the enemy. For those people who don't think anything can be done here, he's saying and a lot of the other world leaders are saying

maybe something can to be done here over the next two weeks. Here's a little bit more of what President Obama had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is a turning point. This is the moment we finally determined we would save our planet. It's

the fact that our nations share a sense of urgency about this challenge and a growing realization that it's within our power to do something about it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BITTERMANN: And speaking for the United States, he said, "We have broken the old arguments for inaction, we proved strong economic growth and a

safer environment are not in conflict with each other."

It's that kind of optimism on his part but also on the parts of a lot of other leaders who assembled here that I think is giving some people rise to

the expectation that something could get done here over the next two weeks -- Lynda.

KINKADE: And Jim, there have of course been 20 climate change summits in the past.

Why is this one different?

BITTERMANN: Well, I think first there's a momentum that's built over the last few years. I think it's become evident to a lot of people, a lot of

world leaders, that there's something going on with the climate that's caused by man and that maybe man should do something about it. That's one

thing.

The second thing is that I think gives rise to the hope that something will happen is that 180 of the 195 countries that have assembled here, in fact,

have signed onto commitments committing themselves to reducing greenhouse gases over the next five and in some cases over the next century, five

years and over the next century.

As a consequence, people are expecting that, if those agreements hold, that, in fact, there will be a reduction and a limitation in greenhouse

gases. Whether it will be enough to keep the 2 degrees is another story because U.N. experts say it won't be enough, that they've got to commit to

even more.

But during the next two weeks they will work through some of these things and find out whether or not the commitments are enough or whether more

commitments need to be made -- Lynda.

KINKADE: And as you mentioned, Jim, this is meant to go for two weeks. But the French foreign minister hopes to have hammered a deal out by this

Saturday.

Given that there are almost 150 heads of state and 40,000 attendees, that seems awfully optimistic.

BITTERMANN: It is awfully optimistic but this process has been going on for more than a year now and basically a lot of the nuts and bolts were put

together in a conference in Bonn over the summer. They ended up with an agreement that was 55 pages long.

They want to get it down to about 20 or something at least, to reasonable in shape, and they are going to spend the next two weeks sort of taking out

clauses and paragraphs and whatnot and disagreements, trying to find parts where they can concede things and can get -- find consensus on things.

So it will be a process that's handled by the officials; the heads of state and government will only be here through Tuesday. And then it's up to the

officials, the Sherpas, as they're called, to work out all the details.

And we'll just have to see how it works out. But, yes, Fabius said, the foreign minister said that Saturday would be the deadline in his mind for

having an agreement. Now maybe he's just putting the pressure on because in fact there's another week beyond that that this conference is meant to

go on -- Lynda.

That's true. Move the deadline forward a little.

[10:05:00]

KINKADE: Puts some extra pressure on Jim Bittermann in Paris. Thank you very much.

World leaders are tackling climate change; the capitals of India and China are choking in hazardous smog.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KINKADE (voice-over): Have a look what it's been looking like in Beijing right now. Authorities have activated the city's highest pollution alert

levels so far this year. Residents there are being told to stay indoors. Thick smog also blankets New Delhi, where visibility is down to just 200

meters.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KINKADE: Now there's a critical number that's being discussed at the climate change summit. That number is 2 degrees, 2 degrees Celsius. Now

if the global average temperature rises by that number, we're in unchartered territory. CNN's digital correspondent John Sutter joins us

now from Paris.

John, an increase of 2 degrees Celsius is constantly talked about. Just describe for us in practical terms what that means.

JOHN SUTTER, CNN DIGITAL CORRESPONDENT: So 2 degrees is this benchmark, as you mentioned, that basically all the countries in the world have agreed is

too much warming to tolerate. It's not an exact line. It's not like if we cross 2 degrees all these negative things happen all at once.

But the closer we get to that mark the more trouble we are in. This means things like supercharging droughts, storms becoming more intense, heat

waves becoming more deadly.

I went to the Marshall Islands earlier this year, which is way out in the Pacific and countries like that likely won't exist at 2 degrees, which

means you have a language, a culture that completely gets wiped off the map.

So this is a really serious number. People start talking about 3, 4, 5 degrees and you start getting into almost catastrophic scenarios. So it's

an important benchmark because all of the countries in the world have agreed, essentially, that this is what they are trying to achieve with

these talks.

It's sort of the underlying message behind this whole negotiation process and all of these world leaders coming together to try to figure out how on

Earth we can all limit our emissions to the point that we won't cross that 2 degrees line.

KINKADE: And to reach an agreement every country has to be transparent. Now we recently found out that China, the world's leading polluter, has

been burning 17 percent more coal than it was reporting and that, of course, is an amount equivalent to Germany's total carbon emissions.

So how can policymakers be optimistic about a deal when you have this lack of transparency?

SUTTER: Look, I think there are a lot of reasons you could look for pessimism in these talks and I think it's very concerning, these reports

about China's transparency. I do think overall, though, China gets a bad rap on climate.

It's extremely (INAUDIBLE), as you mentioned. All sorts of public health reasons that the country needs to tackle this issue. But they are also

investing huge sums in renewable energy. One report that I saw said that they are investing more than any other country in the world.

They have one of the world's largest markets for renewables, the largest market for wind. So the change needs to happen faster, like absolutely.

But I think that China is coming to the table at these talks and the fact that the two biggest polluters in the world, which are the U.S. and China,

China being the top at this point, but the U.S. having contributed the most over the course of climate change, you know, the fact that they are really

negotiating here is huge.

And that's what makes these talks different than before. And it's part of the reason that people are so optimistic.

KINKADE: OK. John Sutter, thank you very much for your analysis on all of that. We'll talk to you very soon.

You can follow all the developments on this important climate change conference at cnn.com.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

KINKADE (voice-over): Now CNN has learned major new information about the Paris attacks, including plans to hit other places and the possible

whereabouts of a terror suspect who is still at large. Those details just ahead.

Also two Israeli teenagers convicted of murder in the apparent revenge killing of a Palestinian. A live report from Jerusalem just ahead. Stay

with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:10:00]

(MUSIC PLAYING)

KINKADE: Welcome back. CNN has major new information about the Paris attacks and the hunt for the terror suspect Salah Abdeslam. CNN's

Alexandra Field is joining us now from Brussels with more on all of this.

Alexandra, French intelligence now believes Abdeslam is back in Syria.

What else are you learning?

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. It certainly is a possibility. We're being told by law enforcement sources that French authorities are at

least acting under the assumption that he could be in Syria. Yet the terror alert level does remain high throughout Belgium and searches do

continue here to try and root out anyone who could be connected to this cell.

At the same time, Lynda, we are learning more about Salah Abdeslam, the man at the center of this international manhunt, the police have -- the man who

police have most wanted to find since these attacks transpired.

We now do know that Salah Abdeslam was in Paris back in September, two months before the attacks. And we've now learned that, in October, just a

month before the attacks, he was at a fireworks store just north of Paris, where he is said to have purchased 10 detonators.

This adds to the portrait that officials had already built about who Saleh Abdeslam is and what role he may have played. They have previously said

that he did, in fact, rent some of the cars that were used in these attacks.

They have also said that it is unclear to them whether or not it was his intention to participate in the attacks on the night they transpired or if

it was always the plan for him to return to Belgium to plan further attacks. And, Lynda, we do know that he was able to return from France to

Belgium on the night after the attacks because police at that point didn't yet know exactly who they were looking for.

KINKADE: Yes, that is true. And we're also hearing that there was a plan for these attackers to specifically target Jewish areas within Paris.

FIELD: Right. This relates to Abdelhamid Abaaoud, who has been called the mastermind of these attacks. He was, of course, killed in a raid with his

female cousin by police.

But we are now learning that an associate of this female cousin, somebody who was in touch with the female cousin, in fact, willingly went to the

police and said that there were further plans that Abdelhamid Abaaoud planned to carry out, including attacks on Jewish areas, attacks on the

transport system and even attacks on schools.

So this is something that right now police are looking into further, trying to see what kind of details they could piece together as to who else could

have been potentially involved in carrying out some of these plans -- Lynda.

KINKADE: OK. Thanks very much, Alexandra Field in Brussels, for bringing us up to date with all of that. Talk to you soon.

Now two Israeli teens were convicted of murder for a the killing of a Palestinian teenager last year in a case the prosecutor called "barbaric."

Our Oren Liebermann has been following the developments on this and joins us now from Jerusalem.

Oren, this is an absolutely horrific case. The two convicted of murder but the lawyer for the ringleader is actually pushing the judges for a last-

minute insanity defense.

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Yosef Ben-David is the ringleader here and has been considered the ringleader but he didn't say a

word during the trial, which ended months ago. His lawyer had claimed he was mentally unfit to stand trial but --

[10:15:00]

LIEBERMANN: -- offered no evidence to support that until the last possible second, until just a couple of days ago. This is months after the trial.

The judge had already decided that the factual finding was that these three, the two minors and Yosef Ben-David, had committed this barbaric

murder and then, at the last second, the ringleader, Ben-David, submits an insanity defense.

Now this threw everything into a bit of legal disarray. The two minors, those are essentially just a half-step away from conviction here and

they'll go to sentencing.

But as for Ben-David, in a few weeks now there will be another hearing, another delay to this, in which the court will decide whether they should

even consider this last-second insanity plea. So that's throwing everything, as I said, into a bit of legal disarray here.

Another few weeks of waiting for justice for the family of Mohammed Abu Khdeir in this horrible act, this horrible murder -- Lynda.

KINKADE: And speaking of the family, they've been watching this throughout the case.

How are they responding?

LIEBERMANN: Well, Mohammed Abu Khdeir's father, Hussein Abu Khdeir, was absolutely outraged that there was another further delay, any more delay in

serving justice here to the three people who carried out this attack. He said that if he didn't see justice soon here that he threatened to take

this case to the International Criminal Court.

He also said if these were Palestinians on trial, the entire justice system would have moved much faster. He also claims that if these were

Palestinians, their homes would have been destroyed and their families would have been kicked out. So he's absolutely outraged here in demanding

justice be served on Yosef Ben-David.

KINKADE: OK. Oren Liebermann in Jerusalem, thank you very much.

Now there will be no meeting between Russian and Turkish presidents at the climate summit in Paris. That's despite the fact that Recep Tayyip Erdogan

had asked to meet Vladimir Putin in the wake of the Turkish shootdown of that Russian warplane. Now Jill Dougherty at the International Center for

Defense and Security joins us now from Moscow.

Jill, it was expected that the latest they would meet in Paris. But there is a chance that they could meet next month.

JILL DOUGHERTY, INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR DEFENSE AND SECURITY: Well, there is. But right now it is not the time for either man apparently to sit

down. I know Turkey would like it, because they want to put this behind.

In the wake of what Russia has been doing in retaliation and it's very serious retaliation, economic retaliation. President Putin made it very

clear that there would be serious steps and, in fact, over the weekend he began to lay this out.

Now, in the list, I think you would have to say, some of the top steps would be food imports are cut. Tourism by Russians to Turkey, which is

very big, 3.3 million people brings in a lot of money to Turkey; that is cut.

Employment of Turkish nationals in Russia is suspended basically indefinitely. There are a number of things that Russia is going to be

doing. And they made it clear, if you look through that presidential decree, it's very open-ended. It can last pretty much as long as Russia

wants it to last.

And the definition of what will be controlled or limited is also very broad. The government can decide to basically ban anything it wants. So

this is very hurtful to the economy of Turkey and that's why Turkey wants a meeting.

But President Putin says they have not apologized for shooting down that -- the Russian plane and the pilot who died, as we know, in that case. And

until they do and make some type of recompense, then Russia is not going to meet or go, let's say President Putin himself will not meet with President

Erdogan.

KINKADE: OK. So President Putin won't meet with Turkey's leader. But he did meet today with the President of the United States.

What came out of that meeting?

DOUGHERTY: He did. Well they met for about a half an hour and they discussed, as you might expect, Syria and Ukraine.

Now the Kremlin does mention that President Obama expressed regrets about the shootdown of the Su-24; the White House also mentions that or a U.S.

official mentions that but they stress a little bit differently, the U.S. position, that, number one, President Assad, whom Russia supports, must

step down or must be out of the picture during that political transition.

And they also stress that, in their view, Russia should be striking at ISIS and not opposition forces. So it's pretty much laying out what the U.S.

position has been all the time.

But it's a good sign, of course, that both men are meeting. You know, they just met two weeks ago, in fact, in Turkey at another conference. So this,

at least is very good in the context, Lynda, of almost no discussion on an official level between the United States and Russia. At least the

presidents are seeing each --

[10:20:00]

DOUGHERTY: -- other face to face.

KINKADE: Yes, that's true. Jill Dougherty in Moscow, thank you very much.

Still to come, U.S. officials in Afghanistan have issued a chilling warning. The embassy in Kabul says it has received credible reports of an

imminent attack in the Afghan capital.

A statement issued Monday says the threat for a possible attack in the next 48 hours; there are no further details regarding the targets, timing or

method of the planned attack.

Hundreds of Saudi women are taking advantage of a new opportunity for them in the ultraconservative kingdom. That story just ahead.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(MUSIC PLAYING)

KINKADE: Welcome back.

A Palestinian poet has been sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia. Ashraf Sayed was convicted of apostasy and other blasphemy charges this month,

according to the Human Rights Watch monitoring group.

Originally the 32-year old was sentenced to four years in prison and 800 lashes but a new judge decided that was not enough. Human Rights Watch

says he has 30 days to appeal the sentence.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is changing its election laws by allowing women to campaign for public office for the first time; 900 women have registered to

run. Some are proudly showing off their paperwork but women will only be allowed to participate in elections at the municipal level. The first one

in which women can vote will be held on December 12th.

Pope Francis is flying back to Rome right now after wrapping up a six-day visit to Africa. The most dangerous part of his journey was the last in

the war-ravaged Central African Republic. Our Vatican correspondent Delia Gallagher has the details.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Today in Central African Republic was the moment of --

[10:25:00]

GALLAGHER (voice-over): -- most concern for the pope's safety as he visited a mosque in the neighborhood of the capital city that's considered

particularly dangerous because it's the site of a continued standoff between Muslim and Christian militia here.

Flanked by Vatican security, U.N. and French troops and undercover detail, the pope said, "God is peace, salaam," and that those who claim to believe

in God must be men and women of peace.

Tension slightly lifted; the pope ended his six-day visit to Africa on a celebratory note at an open air mass here, where he told a packed stadium

that the sufferings that they have experienced are opportunities for a new future, a future that the people of this war-torn country certainly hope

will be a brighter one after the visit of the pope -- Delia Gallagher, CNN, Bangui, Central African Republic.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KINKADE: Well, still to come, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates talks with CNN about his multibillion-dollar clean energy initiative that's being

announced today at the climate summit in Paris.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(MUSIC PLAYING)

KINKADE: Welcome to the INTERNATIONAL DESK. I'm Lynda Kinkade. Here are the headlines.

(HEADLINES)

[10:30:00]

KINKADE: Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates says the best way to fight climate change is with cheap, clean energy. He spoke with CNN in Paris

just a short time ago before helping to launch a multinational clean energy initiative.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL GATES, ENTREPRENEUR: The key to getting increased commitments to avoid the temperature rise that we want to avoid is going to be innovation.

We need to bring the cost premium for being clean down. And the partnership that's key to that is governments funding basic research and

private investors, like the group of 28 people I brought together, to take the high-risk venture investments and turn those into products so that we

can have clean energy that's not more expensive than today's hydrocarbon energy.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: But you say the gigantic commitment of governments. But a lot of them are still pumping out fossil fuel

emissions. A lot of them aren't doing what they need to do because there's really no enforcement mechanism.

So how do we get that part straight so that there can be an even playing field on people moving forward with innovation?

GATES: Well, the best thing of all would be to get competitive with the price of hydrocarbon. Some countries will use a tax approach to help

bootstrap that, which is good. There's been a lot of tax credits involved. There's been a lot of what are called renewable furlough standards.

But in the long run you need the innovation so that the cost of clean is as low or ideally lower than the coal-based energy generation. And that's why

the science is so exciting now.

It is risky but basic research from governments plus entrepreneurs like this group of 28, that includes University of California, I think that lays

the foundation over the next decade, will fund over 100 companies and enough of those will be successful to meet this challenge.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: And, Mr. Gates, what do you hope, beyond what you're about to launch along with President Obama and President

Hollande, what we've been talking about, that the governments can do. Because many people say, oh, you know, unless all the governments actually

get together, sign onto something that's legally binding, which this will not be because of the problems with the U.S. Congress, that it just won't

work.

For instance, China, which has made all sorts of promises about capping its emissions, turns out it's been emitting 17 percent more of coal and those

kinds of emissions than it either knew or made public.

What is your hope therefore for where governments can lead?

GATES: Well, it's very helpful to have a framework for commitments. But five years from now, why will people increase those commitments?

And how can we make it more feasible so that we can get almost all those countries meeting their commitments as well as improving them?

And the answer is innovation. I've seen innovation in the digital space; in the inner space it doesn't happen as fast. It's harder. But now we're

bringing together literally billions on the government side and billions on the private side. And that's going to get a lot of new startups going.

And so the -- it won't be as hard to make commitments. I think that's key. If we didn't have innovation, I don't think we would ever get to where we

need to be.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KINKADE: That was Bill Gates there, speaking with our Christiane Amanpour and Chris Cuomo.

And Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Alibaba chairman Jack Ma are among those backing the clean energy initiative.

Still to come, Hollywood's new take on a Shakespeare classic. Oscar nominee Michael Fassbender shares why he could not resist stepping into the

role of Macbeth.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:35:00]

(MUSIC PLAYING)

KINKADE: Welcome back.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have released two new photos of her daughter, Princess Charlotte. The photos were taken by the Duchess herself

earlier this month at their home in Norfolk.

A statement from Kensington Palace states the couple still receives messages from all around the world about their daughter. Princess

Charlotte is now 6 months old.

And doesn't she look gorgeous?

Shakespeare's "Macbeth" is the tragic tale of a man obsessed with fulfilling a prophecy. But a new movie looks at the main character through

the prism of post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. CNN's Max Foster spoke to the Oscar nominee, Michael Fassbender, who stars in the film.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MICHAEL FASSBENDER, ACTOR: I suppose in a way, trying to appreciate and sort of respect what it would have been like to be a soldier at that time -

- and so the previous life coming into the play as it starts or the film, in this instance, so what has made him the man he is when we meet him.

That sort of gruesomeness was very much a part of his characterization in the sense that I've never thought of it before until Justin said that this

was the approach that he was going to take in terms of dealing with a character who is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder from battle.

So it was almost like that Shakespeare had an insight into this condition even back then.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "MACBETH")

MAX FOSTER, CNN HOST (voice-over); So there's month to do with PTSD, his character, you feel, than that moment of the beginning of the film, where

you lose the baby.

(END VIDEO CLIP, "MACBETH")

FASSBENDER: I think that's also a driving force. I think that's more to do with --

[10:40:00]

FASSBENDER: -- their relationship that they've kind of -- their relationship has not collapsed. But it's disintegrated in a way.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "MACBETH")

FASSBENDER (voice-over): In a way it's like a couple that are trying to find each other again and the fact that he's never there, you know, because

he's out in battle for many months on end.

(END VIDEO CLIP, "MACBETH")

FASSBENDER: And the fact that they haven't really had the opportunity to mourn this loss. And when they come together in that first scene, it's

almost like they are starting to learn what it's like to be with one another again, both sort of physically and emotionally.

FOSTER: You have put so much energy into the performance, didn't you. It looked absolutely exhausting.

Was it hard, keeping up?

FASSBENDER: Hard to try to keep warm.

(LAUGHTER)

FASSBENDER: A lot of energy to sort of just dealing with the elements.

I think it requires the work, really, if you're tackling such a piece and to really show respect to Shakespeare's work.

FOSTER: And it's still relevant, it's extraordinary, isn't it?

FASSBENDER: That's the thing. And we really wanted to make it a relevant piece. The idea for me that I always wanted to make it a piece that would

draw a younger audience in, in a way that they could relate. Sometimes I think with Shakespeare, there can be a tendency for a block to be there

when you just look at the text on the page and it seems so alien.

So we definitely wanted to make something more relatable and perhaps more intimate and the language less dramatized as we've seen it.

(VIDEO CLIP, "MACBETH")

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KINKADE: Looks like a good film.

That does it for us here at the INTERNATIONAL DESK. I'm Lynda Kinkade. But don't go anywhere "WORLD SPORT" with Amanda Davies is up next.

END