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Italy Holds Referendum on Constitutional Reform; Populism in Italy: Will Renzi Fall?; Trevor Noah: "Born a Crime" in Apartheid South Africa; Stolen From the Depths

Aired December 1, 2016 - 14:00:00   ET



[14:00:00] CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: Tonight, as the far right and left rise in America and Europe, Italy holds a referendum on constitutional

reform. The foreign minister explains the importance of its outcome.


PAOLO GENTILONI, ITALY'S FOREIGN MINISTER: In Europe, stronger in the reform process in Italy. So that what is at stake is much higher than the

content of the referendum.


AMANPOUR: Plus, how can you be born a crime? Comedian Trevor Noah, host of "The Daily Show," tells me that as the son of an interracial couple in

apartheid, South Africa. He was born a crime.


TREVOR NOAH, HOST, THE DAILY SHOW: There were people who were vehemently opposed to the apartheid laws. They didn't believe that people should be

separated on account of race. And my dad was one of them and my mom was one of them. And my mom saw my dad and she's like, that's the man I'm

going to break the law with.


AMANPOUR: Good evening, everyone, and welcome to the program. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.

From Brexit to Donald Trump, the populist wave is moving across the world. Could it hit Italy next?

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi staked his political future on Sunday's constitutional reform referendum. But it looks like the anti-establishment

is rising up and it could take him down.

Our Ben Wedeman reports from Rome on Renzi's high-stakes gamble.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Demonstrations, marches, rallies, speeches and more speeches. Parties

across Italy's political spectrum have pulled out all the stops in the lead-up to a constitutional referendum, which on the surface might not seem

to merit all this sound and fury.

Italy's energetic 41-year-old Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is trying to convince a perennially skeptical people to modify Italy's constitution. To

slim down and defang its bloated Senate. The chance for real change, Renzi told this crowd in Rome, is a once in a lifetime opportunity.


WEDEMAN: "Yes or never" he says. This needs to be clear. There will not be another chance. Renzi promises a streamlined constitution will be a

tonic for Italy's anemic economy, high unemployment and mind-boggling bureaucracy. But if the latest polls are right and no wins, trouble might

follow. After Brexit and Trump, could Italy be the next to shake the established order.

(on-camera) They worried that a "no" vote could lead to Italy's exit from the European Union. To come out of the country's already shaky financial

policy. But it's important to keep in mind that a "no" vote means nothing changes. Yes, it could lead to the collapse of the government of Prime

Minister Renzi, but Italy has seen 65 governments since the end of World War II. Change here is at best, glacial.

(voice-over): The opposition to the constitutional changes ranges from the far left to the far right. All worried the changes would give too much

power to Rome.

Matteo Salvini, head of the anti-migrant "Lega Nord" is driving around Northern Italy in a camper, spreading the gospel of no. He takes

inspiration from the U.S. president-elect.

"The lesson of Trump tells us we must have courage," he tells me. If the no vote wins, we'll present Italians with a revolutionary program.

Soft-spoken, former comedian Beppe Grillo, leader of the anti- establishment, euro-skeptic Five-Star Movement, Italy's second-largest party, has this advice for the many still undecided.

"Trust your gut," he says. "Don't trust your brain."

Whatever the result, Italy will muddle through says commentator Massimo Franco.

[14:05:05] MASSIMO FRANCO, COLUMNIST, CORRIERE DELLA SERA: While Italy will not finish at all after this referendum, whatever the outcome.

WEDEMAN: Lega Nord supporter Galileo has seen plenty of politicians promising the world and delivering nothing.

"Umpteen governments have left us up to our neck in the muck," he says. Ben Wedeman, Italy.


AMANPOUR: So will Italy trust its gut over its head? It certainly is a critical time for the government there. Indeed, the foreign minister,

Paolo Gentiloni tells me that he's actually optimistic despite the latest polls that the referendum will pass. He joined me earlier from Rome.


AMANPOUR: Foreign Minister Gentiloni, welcome back to the program.

GENTILONI: Thank you.

AMANPOUR: Your country goes to a referendum this weekend and Prime Minister Renzi's side looks to be losing at least in the latest polls.

What is the impact of a "no" vote on Italy?

GENTILONI: Well, you know in Italy, surveys are prohibited in the last two weeks before elections. So we don't have officially new news about the

surveys. Personally, I'm rather optimistic that the "yes" will win. And so that we will have an approval to this reform.

In any case, if the "no" should win, I don't think that we should, we would expect a catastrophe, for Europe or for Italy. Obviously, we will have a

stop to stability and reforms in our country. But I don't share the forecast of a European apocalypse.


AMANPOUR: Except --

GENTILONI: It's something serious --

AMANPOUR: Sorry to interrupt you. You say you don't share that form. But people who want to vote no are talking about riding on the Trump Brexit

populist bandwagon and many who are the strongest in the "no" camp want a referendum on the euro. And that they say could destroy the euro. Isn't

that an apocalypse in your terms?

GENTILONI: No, because the (INAUDIBLE) is not at stake. Because I think that we will win the referendum. And even if we are not winning the

referendum, there is now a new Italian government coming out the 5th of December. So the message is, if by chance we lose, which I don't believe,

but if we by chance we lose, the message is not fasten your seat belts. The message is for sure, that the process of reforms and stability in Italy

will be interrupted. I hope it could be re-launched soon.

AMANPOUR: Let's say you win the referendum. Critics have said that as well as you know spurring reform and ending gridlock as Prime Minister

Renzi says, it could have a negative impact in that it could make an all- powerful prime minister, ala Benito Mussolini. You've heard that being said.

GENTILONI: Yes. Frankly, I think it's fairly ridiculous. Our country is very complicated one. Our problems are bureaucracy. Too fast change of

governments. Difficulties in the decisional process. Nothing to do with something authoritarian. And nothing will change on the powers of the

prime minister. The point is that the reforms we adopted on our constitution are waited since maybe for years. Everybody knows that they

are useful for the country, but the discussion on the referendum became a different one.

AMANPOUR: Do you think he made a strategic error, linking his own personal political fortune and fate to the result of this referendum? And do you

think that he might say in the last few days that he's not going to resign come what may?

GENTILONI: I think that the -- winning the referendum, this process of reforms and stability, that Italy strongly needs, will be strengthened.

This is I think crystal clear and the reason why the extreme left, the extreme right are altogether against this referendum, is that they know

that winning the referendum, Renzi and the government, will be stronger. Stronger in Europe. Stronger in the reform process in Italy. So that what

is at stake is much higher than the content of the referendum.

[14:10:00] AMANPOUR: On the same day you hold your referendum, there is a rerun of the presidential election in Austria. And, again, people believe

that it's very close and that perhaps for the first time since the end of the Second World War, Europe might have its first-ever far right, extreme

right head of state in a party that was born by the Nazis.

What do you say to that? What is the impact in Europe of that happening?

GENTILONI: Well, obviously, it would be a very negative prospect. We know that the president in Austria has now an executive and fundamental role.

It has a more political and representative role. But in any case, it will be a very, very bad signal. We have to act not only at the national level,

but also at the European level to really give strength to European economic growth and to tackle the migration issue. If we do this, the populist

pressure will be weaker and weaker. If we don't do this, it's hard.

AMANPOUR: Foreign Minister Gentiloni, thank you very much for joining us.

GENTILONI: Thank you. Thank you.


AMANPOUR: And this just in to CNN from France. The French President Francois Hollande has just announced that he will not seek re-election in

next year's presidential election. He's written on his own Twitter, "I have also decided," he said this during a speech, "That I will not be a

candidate to renew my mandate in the next election."

And of course, everybody is looking very closely at France as this populist wave continues. And we just mentioned that along with the Italian

referendum on Sunday, comes the election in Austria for the next president, a far right candidate standing there.

And when we come back, the South African comedian who became America's satirist-in-chief, "Daily Show" host Trevor Noah talks Trump, populism and

writing about being "Born a Crime." That's what happened to him in apartheid South Africa.


AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program.

Donald Trump rode to electoral success as a self-declared man of the people. Claiming to represent the forgotten and the downtrodden. So when

the billionaire president-elect meets with the millionaire being considered as secretary of state in a three-star Michelin restaurant to dine on frog's

legs no less, you would be forgiven for thinking it's beyond satire.

But being satirical about all of this is the challenge facing "Daily" host show Trevor Noah. Now 14 months into his stint behind that famous desk.

I sat down with him while he was in London promoting his memoir, to talk politics and about being "Born a Crime: Stories From a South African



AMANPOUR: Trevor Noah, welcome back to the program.

NOAH: Thank you so much for having me again.

AMANPOUR: So the last time we talked was during the Republican convention in Cleveland, Ohio. Where did you come down? Did you think Donald Trump

was going to win?

NOAH: I didn't think he was going to win. But I always asked the question, I even said to you, I said I can see him winning. But I said

this as a comedian and as an idiot, and now I realize maybe we should have all been more idiotic about it because it seems like, you know, that's what

he was doing. He was in a world that wasn't the real world and he managed to turn it into reality.

[14:15:00] AMANPOUR: Or you recognized something. You recognized a type, which you may have seen growing up in Africa. The strong men, the people

who use the rhetoric, et cetera.

Do you think you were particularly sensitized to that kind of public performance?

NOAH: I genuinely do feel that. I can't lie. I relate to Donald Trump. I feel it when he speaks. I can see why he connects to people. You know,

he stays away from big words. He makes sure his message is clear. He's great and repetitive and he's emotive.

The intricacies of politics are things that are lost on most people. And a lot of the time that is why people feel like politics is, you know, an

elite sport. And when someone comes along and breaks it down into the basics.

Trade, we're going to win. Foreign policy, we're going to win. War against ISIS, we're going to win. So much winning. Don't care who you


AMANPOUR: Even when there's no road map.

NOAH: Even if you're a fourth grader, you'd go I would vote for that guy because I like winning.

AMANPOUR: You have, you know, an amazing life story. Your whole book is called "Born A Crime." It really starts quite shockingly as you reprint

the Immorality Act of 1927, in which you write, about the crime it is in South Africa at that time of a white and black getting together, marrying

or having a kid and that's precisely your story.

NOAH: Yes, that is exactly my story. And I talk about that because that was my life. Apartheid is the setting, but really it's the story of

myself, learning and growing up with my mom.

AMANPOUR: And your mother obviously is the key personality in this book and you dedicate the book to her. And you thank her for making you a man.

The stories of your childhood are at once terrifying and hilarious. I can't get over the way you said, you know, you almost had so little to eat

that you ate dog bones and worms sometimes.

NOAH: Yes. Some people think I mean the bones of dogs, no, I explain it in the book. But we ate in the butcheries where we live. The butchers

would cut off bones and people would normally cook them for their dogs. And we would eat those sometimes. Because even within being poor, there

are levels. I didn't realize that we could get poorer than where we were and we did.

AMANPOUR: What was it like trying to connect with your father in a situation where the two of them should not have been together, a white

father, a black mother?

NOAH: Well, I was in a situation where I couldn't connect with my father. I was in a situation where for a lot of my life growing up, my father and I

were separated. Thanks to the law. What I was blessed with was a mother who didn't make me feel that way.

AMANPOUR: Just describe how they met and what brought these two very different people together.

NOAH: Well, my parents met really in what was considered the underground scene in Johannesburg. There were people who were vehemently opposed to

the apartheid laws. They didn't believe that people should be separated on accounts of their race. And my dad was one of them. My mom was one of

them. And my mom saw my dad and she was like that's the man I'm going to break the law with.

AMANPOUR: You write very humorously, but of course it's sad about seeing your dad and running after him, daddy, daddy, and your mother, you know,

freaking out and him freaking out as well. You also had to be kept away from him in public.

NOAH: Every time I hear the story and I tell it, it's not sad to me. My mom tried once to take myself, my father and her out together and she said

let's try and go out to the park as a family.

And, you know, on the way there, we walked very distant from each other. My mom and I together, my dad walked away from us, so that no one would

know we were together. And we got to the park.

And, again, we were supposed to maintain a distance, but I don't know this so I started chasing him. I started screaming out, you know, daddy, daddy,

and people are looking, going, where is this daddy, you know. And there's this white man and he starts running away from me, and I start chasing him,

and then my mom starts chasing me. And I am having the time of my life because I'm running in the park with my family. My parents are terrified

because this kid is going to give the game away.

AMANPOUR: How does she make you a man?

NOAH: I think by -- wow, by sharing all of life's lessons with me. My mom always treated me as the adult she wanted me to become. So for my mom she

taught me that being a man was about having an equal in a relationship, seeking out someone who is an equal. Seeking out a space where two people

of equal standing can benefit each other using their different skills.

And so, you know, she taught me to be independent. She taught me to be caring. She taught me to be, to have empathy.

AMANPOUR: You talk like this about your mother and all that she taught you. I have to ask you about some of the stuff you tweeted and some of the

stuff you said about woman in your stand-up earlier when you were much younger.

Do you regret that now?

NOAH: I don't regret it, because I feel that you have to make mistakes when you're growing up. So I think if anything, it's nice to see a

benchmark in yourself.

Do I regret being a juvenile idiotic young man? No, because I needed to be that.


AMANPOUR: I just thought you were going to say yes, of course.

NOAH: No. But the thing is my mom used to say be a boy when you're a boy, so that you can be a man when you're a man.

AMANPOUR: We call it apartheid. In your book, you call it apart --

NOAH: Apart-hate, which is really what it is.

AMANPOUR: Because it's the hate is what you're emphasizing.

NOAH: Well, that's what I believe. I always thought it was apart-hate was a perfect way to see it. That's what it was. You know, you separate

people, you get them apart and you make them hate each other. And that's really all it was fundamentally.

AMANPOUR: And it seems to be a recipe that keeps getting played out whether it's in Europe now, whether it's in the United States under this

terribly divisive campaign.

NOAH: I think human beings unfortunately get to a place where when we are hungry and when we are afraid, if somebody can give us an easy fix and

someone to blame, then instantly we latch on to that and we see that as a cure-all. And it's because we've been taught about the bad guy. You know,

you want that villain and unfortunately populists use that.

AMANPOUR: So what do you do for the next four years? How do you hold accountable or do your "Daily Show" job in the Trump era?

NOAH: Well, I think you afford the Trump presidency all of the respect it deserves. That's what you do. And you see if President Donald Trump

delivers on what he says he will deliver on. And I find that's what comedy has always been. A space where we come together to go, OK, I'm not crazy.

You see it as well? I see -- OK, we're not crazy.

AMANPOUR: Your mother in this book you recount said don't fight against whatever it is, mock it.

NOAH: There are different ways to fight things and mockery is one of the most powerful. Because with mockery comes two things, it removes a certain

level of its prestige and power and sometimes more importantly, it imbues within that subject shame. And that is a very powerful tool. And if you

think about it, that's one of the largest or one of the most effective tools that came to bring down apartheid -- shame.

AMANPOUR: Trevor Noah, thank you very much.

NOAH: Thank you very much.


AMANPOUR: And when we come back, imagining the World War II ships disappearing from the bottom of the Pacific Ocean and why it's become a

Titanic problem. That's next.


[14:25:00] AMANPOUR: And finally tonight, imagine a world of puzzling disappearances, deep beneath the turbulent waves of the Pacific Ocean, a

mystery is brewing as Ivan Watson found out.


IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): February 27th, 1942. The battle of Java Sea. One of the worst Naval defeats for

the allies in World War II. The Japanese Navy crushed a coalition of warships from the U.S., Britain, Australia and the Netherlands. Sinking at

least eight ships in several days of fighting off the coast of what is now Indonesia.

In the run-up to the 75th anniversary of the battle, a diving expedition recently made a disturbing discovery. The wrecks of at least four Dutch

and British warships, some of which are seen in this rare archived footage completely disappeared off the bottom of the sea. Leaving Indonesian

officials baffled.

ARRMANATHA NASIR, SPOKESMAN, INDONESIA MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS: It's been identified where they passed. It has moved or whether it has been

stolen. The point is it's not there where it was once there.

WATSON: Britain and the Netherlands condemned the disappearance.

(on-camera): Here's why some people are so upset about the missing warships, the relatives and governments of sailors who died on board view

the undersea wrecks as maritime war graves that should be respected and protected just like any other World War II cemetery where hundreds of

fallen servicemen are buried.

(voice-over): In 2014, the U.S. Navy held this ceremony over the final resting place of the USS Houston. A cruiser that fought to the death

against the Japanese alongside the Australian ship Perth, before both ships sank with a combined loss of life of more than 1,000 sailors.


literally was the only person that got out of the lower deck turret number one team because he was a young man. He was only 17 years old.

WATSON: After the war, Otto Schwarz started a survivors group that's now led by this his, John, who is now deeply worried about the disappearance of

other ships in the region.

SCHWARZ: We're on eggshells. We're very anxious and very disturbed and we're just praying and hoping that no further damage gets done to either

our ship or any others.

WATSON: Two years ago, U.S. Navy divers visiting the "Houston" discovered scavengers systematically looted the wreck. Experts say hoisting an entire

warship off the bottom of the sea would be logistically challenging. But if you could do it, professional Indonesian ship breakers tell CNN, the

scrap metal from one vessel alone would easily be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

SCHWARZ: To do things such as we're talking about would be equivalent for someone to go into Arlington National Cemetery with an excavating equipment

and start digging up coffins and graves. The same thing.

WATSON: The Indonesian and Dutch governments have agreed to launch a joint investigation to solve the mystery of what happened to the final resting

place of so many sailors.

Ivan Watson, CNN.


AMANPOUR: And I hope we find out.

And that is it for our program tonight. Thank you for watching and good- bye from London.