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Europe's Challenges in Wake of Trump Victory; Russia Steps Up Action in Syria; Bataclan Reopens One Year After Attack; U.S. Politics, Senegal Style

Aired November 18, 2016 - 14:00:00   ET



[14:00:24] JONATHAN MANN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, I'm Jonathan Mann, this is CNN "News Now."

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has announced three key positions for his national security team. Senator Jeff Sessions is tapped for U.S. attorney

general, Congressman Mike Pompeo for C.I.A. director and retired Army General Michael Flynn for national security adviser. All three have

accepted the offers.

Barack Obama, meantime, is on the last leg of his final international trip as U.S. president. He's heading to Peru for the APEC Summit after wrapping

up a meeting with European leaders in Berlin. Mr. Obama spent much of his time in Europe reassuring allies about President-elect Trump.

Fierce fighting is reported between Syrian rebels and government forces in Eastern Aleppo. One activist tell CNN this has been one of the bloodiest

days to the city. It is the fourth straight day of Syrian air strikes. Activists say more than 1,000 people have been killed in Aleppo since


A British teenager's dying wish of being cryogenically frozen has been carried out. Her hope was that one day she could be revived and her cancer

cured. Her estranged father objected, but a court ruled shortly before her death that her mother should be allowed to carry out the procedure.

That's your CNN "News Now," AMANPOUR is next. You're watching CNN, the world's news leader.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: Tonight, from Paris and a continent still trying to work out the ramifications of Donald Trump as President Obama

tries to calm shaken European allies. Moscow launches a fresh offensive on Syria.

Will Trump's overtures to Russia play right into President Putin's hands?


ALEXEY PUSHKOV, RUSSIAN SENATOR: We don't expect any special love from Mr. Trump. But we think that he is a pragmatic politician. He's a realist.

And we think that on this basis, he understands the value of negotiations and agreements.


AMANPOUR: Also ahead on this program, a year after the terror attacks here in Paris, this weekend, the Senegalese superstar Youssou N'Dour performs at

the Bataclan, the rough venue where so many lost their lives.

Good evening, everyone, and welcome to the program, I'm Christiane Amanpour in Paris. The heart of a continent which is wrestling with what the U.S.

election of Donald Trump means for the very future of Europe.

As part of President Obama's final foreign tour, he met with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel passing the baton of the liberal democratic order

to the only European leader who welcomed him in and is now seeing him out.

On this program, one of Chancellor Merkel's key aides broke the news that she will run for a fourth term undaunted or perhaps spurred by the rising

tide of nationalism pulsating across the continent.


NORBERT ROETTGEN, GERMAN PARLIAMENT MEMBER: She will run for chancellor. And she is absolutely determined, willing and ready to contribute to

strengthen the international liberal order.


AMANPOUR: Trump's warm relations with Vladimir Putin is rattling nerves, especially in the Baltic states, but giving hope to western adversaries

like Syria. And now Moscow and Damascus are hitting Syria even harder, firing cruise missiles and more air strikes.

Alexey Pushkov, a member of the Russian Senate joined me this week from Moscow to run down a list of how he expects a Trump administration to warm

up relations.


AMANPOUR: Alexey Pushkov, welcome to the program.

Can I start by asking you what you expect from the new American president? There is obviously a very warm relationship already developed between

President-elect Trump and President Putin, where particularly do you expect that to pay off? And how?

PUSHKOV: Well, we do not expect any gifts from Mr. Trump. We consider him to be a president who will defend the U.S. national interests and we find

it absolutely logical and natural.

We don't expect any special love from Mr. Trump. But we think that he is a pragmatic politician. He's a realist. And we think that on this basis, he

understands the value of negotiations and agreements.

[14:05:00] And if the United States under Mr. Trump are willing to find a common language on those multiple issues, that now divide the United States

and Russia and to strike a deal on these issues, I think that this is an approach that Moscow would welcome.

AMANPOUR: So I'm trying to figure out where those issues are and what the deal is, and there are several outstanding. You say you don't expect any

special love, but Dmitry Peskov, Mr. Putin's spokesman and close aide told us that they expect to see America, a NATO pulling back from certain areas

close to the Russian border and other such things and even pulling back from sanctions and other such measures that have been imposed over Russian

actions in Crimea and the eastern Ukraine.

So can you spell out the precise areas where you think deals can and will be made?

PUSHKOV: Well, the first area where we think that we can reach an agreement is on a common fight against the Islamic State. Actually, this

is what Russia is doing in Syria and what the United States are doing in Iraq.

The Obama administration definitely did not want to have any cooperation with Russia although it has some context, also between military, people on

these issues. But what we would like to see something Vladimir Putin has voiced when he spoke at the general assembly of the United Nations last

year in New York, when he said that we have to have a global anti-terrorist coalition.

Now Mr. Trump during his electoral campaign said many times that if Russian wants to fight the terrorists in the Middle East and first of all the

Islamic State, we should do it together because they are our common enemies. We find this very reasonable approach. And so that's the first

area where we think we can reach an agreement.

AMANPOUR: I just want to jump in on the Islamic State, because today President Assad has said that Trump could be a natural ally if that is his


So I do want to know what you expect different from the Obama administration in terms of final settlement in Syria. With a Trump

administration, where do you expect the difference to be?

PUSHKOV: I am not representing Mr. Assad. So I cannot really comment on what he said today. But what I can say is that today in the Middle East,

we have a clear and present danger and this is the Islamic State, which is still controlling a part of Syria and which is still controlling a part of


And we think that the first task in this area is to fight and to defeat the Islamic State. And then we can move on with political settlements in Syria

and with the, I would say, neutralization of other terrorist activities on this territory.

And so I think that this is where we should and could act together. Something the Obama administration was repeatedly saying it does not want

to do together with Russia. So this is I think a possible difference between the Obama administration approach and the future Trump

administration approach.

AMANPOUR: Let me ask you about European security because that is another area that you've mentioned. Today, the German defense minister says "It's

always good for us to remain in dialogue with Russia, but for us it's also important that we not forget our principles. That means the international

laws should not be broken."

She's obviously clearly talking about Crimea and she is talking about Eastern Ukraine. What do you expect different from a President Trump

regarding what you call, you know, European security?

PUSHKOV: Well, I think that, first, we should probably expect from the United States to put a bit more pressure on Kiev because Ukraine is

definitely avoiding to accomplish the Minsk agreements. And this feeling exists in Berlin. This feeling exists in Paris. I know that they are

trying to influence the position of the Ukrainian government on this score. And we think that to move on with the Minsk agreement, we should have a

more active role of Kiev.

For the time being Kiev says there are no conditions for implementing the Minsk agreement. But there is nothing than the Minsk agreement. There is

no other road map. There is no other agreement. So we think that if the United States would exercise a certain influence on Kiev so that they are

more willing to move on with the Minsk agreement, it could bring a progress to this issue.

[14:10:00] Now Crimea. Now we know the position of the United States on Crimea. At the same time, we think that Crimea should not be put in the

center of our relationship.

I personally strongly doubt that Crimea is a first national priority for the United States. And so we think that we should kind of agree to

disagree on this issue. But it should not prevent us from reaching agreement on a number of important world issues.

We have the issue of the climate; we have the issue of the nuclear armament in North Korea; we have a huge instability in the Middle East and we do not

think that the differences on Crimea should prevent two most powerful nations on the planet, United States and Russia, to cooperate on this much

more pressing issues.

AMANPOUR: You mentioned working together on climate. But as you know, Donald Trump has dismissed climate change and has said that they want to

get out of the Paris Accord. There was a whole meeting in Marrakech that's just ended.

What are you going to say to the new administration about what you, you know, you've just said it, it's very important, keeping the international

work going on combating climate change.

PUSHKOV: Look, Mr. Trump's position on climate is something you have to ask him about.


AMANPOUR: No, but I'm asking you, Mr. Pushkov. I'm asking you. What you would say to the new administration?


PUSHKOV: I cannot -- I cannot answer you for -- Christiane, I cannot answer you for Mr. Trump. What I can say is that this issue will not

disappear. Besides I have enumerated some other issues, which are also very high importance.

And also this situation in Europe, this high tension in Europe, what does it give to the United States this high tension in Europe?

Do we want an incident happening in the Baltic, somewhere in the Baltic Sea between the Russian planes and some American ships because there are very

intensive maneuvering there? Who will gain from this? Will America gain from this? Will we gain from this? Well, we will not. And I don't see

it's in the interest of the United States.

So with that we are interested to bring down tensions in Europe, because we think that they are artificial to a large extent. Russia is not a threat

to any NATO country. And Russia is definitely not a threat to the United States.

But there has been a lot of tension building in last times. And if Mr. Trump brings down this tension-building, to a certain extent at least, it

will be already an important progress that will open the doors for a better dialogue.

AMANPOUR: Alexey Pushkov, thank you so much for joining us from Moscow.

PUSHKOV: Thank you.


AMANPOUR: Now in the midst of all this global chaos and uncertainty, we get a little of the healing power of music. The Senegalese singer Youssou

N'Dour brings joyous music back to the Bataclan in Paris as it reopens a year after suffering a brutal terror attack. After this.





[14:15:13] AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program, and we are reporting from Paris, a city now one year on from the horrific terror attacks that

killed 130 people and shook this country to its core.

It was at the Bataclan Concert Hall, where most victims lost their lives, 90 people in all. After shutting its doors for the past year, the music

venue reopened this week with an emotional concert from Sting.

And this weekend, the Senegalese superstar Youssou N'Dour will take the stage. Immensely popular, N'Dour is perhaps best known for his hit, "7





AMANPOUR: As he was preparing to take the stage, I spoke to N'Dour and asked him about how the attacks affected him and how his music could heal.


AMANPOUR: Youssou N'Dour, welcome to the program.


AMANPOUR: You're here in Paris for a little bit of a bittersweet reason. It's a year since the tragedy at the Bataclan and other places. Just take

me back, what went through your mind when you heard what had happened at a venue where you played many times.

N'DOUR: You know, first of all, it's a way for me to remember all this innocent people who are dying during this horrible attack in Paris. And

every time, you know, what something really badly happened, music come in and unify people. Music come in and unites people. This very important.

And bring the message of love, you know, peace.

AMANPOUR: Except you must have been horrified, because it was music that was the target of these killers a year ago.

N'DOUR: Yes, we have to protect our place where we deliver music, where we deliver art. I think we need security, we need a lot of things, but we

need art also and this is very important. This is why we have to be together and same year. We protect our place. Music is important for

life, also.

AMANPOUR: You have spent a lot of your time singing for these causes.

N'DOUR: Yes.

AMANPOUR: "Biko" with Peter Gabriel during the anti-apartheid struggle. You've done many, many human rights interventions.

Tell me about how you feel music plays a role in social justice and progress, if you think it does.

N'DOUR: Yes, especially in Africa, music means something. You know, words, the content means something. And we can use this music, what I call

-- what I call music is a language. It's maybe the first language. You can use it to deliver a message as it is more faster than everything.

AMANPOUR: I don't suppose you can sing a few bars of "Biko" now, can you?


AMANPOUR: That's so beautiful. It's so poignant. You have such range, but that was an amazing song to highlight the plight of this anti-apartheid

activist who had been murdered.


N'DOUR: The first time I heard this song was really something. You know, song like, you know, the song like coming from you, you know, it was really

something. I think really just this song can be shared by a lot of people around the world.

AMANPOUR: How do you expect to feel when you take the stage at the Bataclan this weekend?

N'DOUR: I don't know yet, but we tell people together to be strong, to remember all this innocent people but this is also for the world. You

know, I think, you know, people need to know Bataclan is open for the music again even, you know, these horrible things.

AMANPOUR: In this year since those attacks, suddenly the idea of refugees and immigration and migrants have become a dirty political word for so many


You're a Senegalese. There's a huge Senegalese population here, also in the United States. What do you feel about these politicians, whether it's

Trump, whether it's Brexit, whether it's Marine Le Pen, you know, blaming a lot of problems on immigrants and immigration?

N'DOUR: Well, I think the world needs dialogue. We have to deliberate a lot of things. What I feel sometime, you saw (INAUDIBLE), you saw it from

-- and people from Africa and different country, they think we have to go there to have more.

This is why, you know, we have to ask all the politicians, all the leaders to think about how we can redistribute (ph) something, you know, not really

donation but, you know, relation to make better world actually liberate.

AMANPOUR: So to make it better in Africa, so that those populations don't have to come across.

N'DOUR: Yes, I think -- everybody, you know, prefer to stay at home, but they go because of work. They're not going to do bad things.

AMANPOUR: How do you feel when you see boatloads of Africans trying to cross the Mediterranean, so many sinking, so many dying?

N'DOUR: Yes, I'm touched about all these things, because our days to Africa -- you know, one Africa moving forward trying to be really emerge

and go, you know, prosperity, and the think the continent need to be built and there's a lot of things happening.

And the other way is, the other hand, you see an African who, you know, lost because of they don't have what I call everything need to be done

before you get job, you know, and definitely it's really something very difficult.

We have to think about it. We have to be together. To think about all these things and to give them chance, to give them chance.

AMANPOUR: Was your country closely following the U.S. elections?

N'DOUR: Definitely. My country following like every country.

I think, you know, we have to separate two things. First, during the campaign was very bad. The message was very difficult and very bad to the

Muslim, to the immigrant, to all the people. But I consider this was the campaign. Now America elects a president.

I think he needs the world. He needs Africa. We have to bring dialogue for a win-win. No one can go without the others. And really my message is

what we're really waiting is, you know, dialogue to have better world. Otherwise, America is going to lost, you know, the leadership they have

around the world culturally, you know, economically and influence.

But I believe and the organization of United States, you know, no one can come and do something really badly to the world. But, you know, give him,

Trump, a chance.

AMANPOUR: Youssou N'Dour, thank you so much.

N'DOUR: Thank you very much. I really appreciate it.


AMANPOUR: And from Senegalese song to Senegalese humor. Next, we imagine the West African comedian bringing people the news, satirizing the U.S.

election season while splattered in face paint. We'll explain, next.


[14:25:56] AMANPOUR: And finally tonight, imagine a world where the news is delivered in face paint and a blonde fright wig. My guest tonight

Youssou N'Dour is not only a huge star in Senegal and around the world, he's also a media mogul. He owns a national television station at home.

And when he wanted to bring news of the U.S. election to the Senegalese audience, he chose one of the country's other big stars.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Salaam-Alaikum, good morning.


AMANPOUR (voice-over): The popular comedian Kouthia plays Donald Trump. The Senegalese audience in the highest-rated show on the channel, "The

Kouthia Show." Though largely a satire for many viewers not fluent in English, it's their best source of news of U.S. politics.

N'DOUR: America concern also the rest of the world and especially in Senegalese. I was thinking about, you know, show the African and

Senegalese who live in the United States how (INAUDIBLE) and he do a great job.

I think, you know, we make the American election very popular to Senegalese and he was talking about a lot of things. I think he help also more

understanding to, you know, people, and was really great and really proud of this idea.

Today, when you go to Senegal, you know, people are talking about you know, all the job my station do and the comedian Kouthia is a great man.


AMANPOUR: And there was a Hillary Clinton on the show, too. Just going to show that when it comes to ingenuity and creativity, it's not just "The

Daily Show." More and more nations around the world are sharing in the satire.

And that's it for our program tonight. Remember, you can always listen to our podcast, see us online at and follow me on Facebook and

Twitter. Thanks for watching and goodbye from Paris.