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Venezuela's Critical Vote; Putin's Counter Move; North Korean Hostility; Conspiracy to Bring Down Airplane Foiled. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired July 31, 2017 - 00:00   ET



[000008] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Venezuela on the edge -- deadly clashes between protesters and police as we await official results of a critical election.

And Moscow counters U.S. sanctions ordering U.S. diplomatic missions to dramatically cut their personnel in Russia.

Plus, new threats from Pyongyang as the U.S. says all options are on the table after North Korea's latest missile test.

It's all ahead here on CNN NEWSROOM.

Thanks for joining us. We are live in Atlanta. I'm Rosemary Church.

A possible turning point for Venezuela -- the government held a vote that could give President Nicolas Maduro sweeping new powers and it took place with more violent protests across the country.

At least 10 people died in clashes Sunday including two teenagers. Supporters of President Maduro are expected to control a new assembly that could rewrite the constitution.

Critics say the election was rigged and that the new assembly could essentially turn President Maduro into a dictator. The Venezuelan opposition boycotted the vote and is calling for massive protests on Monday.

At least 125 people have died in four months of violent clashes.

CNN's Leyla Santiago has more now from Caracas. And we do need to warn you, you may find some of the following video disturbing.


LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: After months of demonstrations and strikes in Venezuela, yet another day of violence as a blast rocks a motorcycle convoy of police officers. One officer set ablaze by the explosion, police officers scrambling to his aid and to put out the fire. Who's responsible remains unknown but it's an example of the last few months in Venezuela.

The opposition has not been able to stop an election that could give President Maduro more power. This is the day government protesters hoped would never come. They're not backing down.

This is the obstacle that the opposition has set for the National Guard should they come this way -- old washings machines, rocks, tin signs, and even if you look closely on the ground, they have what they call "miguelitos". These were created to pierce through the tire of any motorcycle that comes this way.

The opposition is hoping it will help them fight against Venezuela's National Guard.

The government deployed hundreds of thousands of troops Sunday after banning protests resulting in deadly violence.

"This shouldn't be about tear gas", he says. "The government should be figuring out a solution to the food shortage."

Meanwhile at the polls, voters, many government supporters waited in line to elect Maduro's new assembly.

This voter says, "A vote is the only way out of Venezuela's crisis the only way to find peace on the streets of Venezuela." Where unrest continues, frustration is growing and the prospect for peace lies in uncertainty.

Leyla Santiago, CNN -- Caracas.


CHURCH: The United Stages had warned Venezuela not to hold the vote and now the Trump administration is considering imposing sanctions on Venezuela's main source of income -- oil.

Senior officials tell CNN one possible option is to ban sales of U.S.- like crude oil to Venezuela. However an embargo on shipments of Venezuelan oil appears to be off the table for now, at least.

Journalist, Peter Wilson, is the former Caracas bureau chief for Bloomberg News and he joins us now from Lisbon, Ohio via Skype. Thank you so much for being with us.

PETER WILSON, JOURNALIST: Glad to be with you.

CHURCH: So critics are calling this a power grab on the part of President Maduro. What are the ramifications of just such a move? And how did it get to this stage given the warnings from the United States?

WILSON: I think the problem is that President Maduro, he called for this assembly in May. The problem is he made a unilateral declaration, it's not been supported by any of the opposition. In the past when the former President Chavez called for such an assembly it went to the people for a vote before they had elections for the assembly.

[00:04:54] In this case Maduro just declared a vote without any approval, no vote from the population, no vote from congress, just unilaterally. So the opposition has always said it was illegal.

The ramifications -- I'm looking for much greater government repression, much more bloodshed that chances of conciliation -- reconciliation, negotiations in my perspective are dead. This has pushed both sides to the brink of civil war and I fear that there's going to be a lot more bloodshed.

CHURCH: It's certainly a grim outlook there. So the Trump administration is apparently considering imposing sanctions on Venezuelan oil. How likely is it that this will happen, do you think?

WILSON: To be quite frank, I've -- given the Trump administration's actions so far, I think it probably will impose sanctions. I myself, would say it's a bad idea. Sanctions against Cuba did not work. The Cuban sanctions lasted for 50 years. It did not result in regime change, did not result in any democratic movement or what have you.

In Venezuela, I think it's better if the Trump administration would take a back seat and let South American countries, Central American countries take the lead in condemning Venezuela.

If Trump -- if President Trump does that, Maduro -- President Maduro will use it against the opposition by saying that the oppositions are American lackeys or what have you. Anti-Gringoism in Venezuela still is very strong.

CHURCH: Now, of course, while we've been speaking, we've been showing these live pictures of President Maduro. They're no doubt elated this election, this vote has gone ahead.

So, you mentioned these other options. We know, of course, oil sanctions are on the table. They're not likely to have much of an impact, are they? What other responses are available the international community in general or have they left this move too late, do you think?

WILSON: None. Actually, I think the international community is the best chance of avoiding a civil war breaking. If several countries have already said they will not recognize the results of this election -- there had been several South American countries.

Also the Mercosur Trade Group which is like the South American equivalent of the European community, they have already warned that they could expel Venezuela from the group if this vote, if this election does take place; if this new constitutional assembly is seated.

So -- and on next Tuesday, a week from Tuesday, foreign ministers from South American countries will be meeting in Peru to discuss possible sanctions, possible actions against Venezuela and against the Venezuelan government.

So in this case, I think the international community is the best hope to averting this type of bloodshed, this type of civil war.

CHURCH: All right. We'll watch and see what happens here. Peter Wilson -- thank you so much for joining us.

WILSON: Thank you.

CHURCH: Appreciate it.

Well, the United States faces a September 1 deadline to slash its diplomatic staff in Russia by more than half. Moscow is also kicking the U.S. out of two properties in Russia including this country home near Moscow.

Russia's president said he'd been hoping for better relations with the U.S. but pending new U.S. sanctions required Moscow to take action.


VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF Russia (through translator): I thought it was time for us to show that we will not leave this without an answer. As for other possible measures or whether it is a lot or not, this is quite sensible from the point of the view of the work of the diplomatic department because a thousand or so employees, diplomats and technical workers that work and still work in Russia -- 755 will have to stop their activities in the Russian Federation.


CHURCH: The U.S. State Department responded Sunday with this statement. "The Russian government has demanded the U.S. mission to Russia limit total mission staffing to 455 employees by September 1. This is a regrettable and uncalled for act. We are assessing the impact of such a limitation and how we will respond to it. We have no further comment at this time."

Well, CNN global affairs analyst David Rohde joins us now from New York with his perspective on this. Always good to have you on the show and always great to get your perspective on these matters.

So how is President Trump likely to respond to Kremlin orders to cut 755 diplomatic staff members at the U.S. embassy in Russia by September 1?

DAVID ROHDE, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: I think he'll follow them. It would be crazy, frankly politically in the United States if he were not -- if he were to somehow, you know, not sign the bill -- this is the new sanctions just enacted by the U.S. Congress that angered Putin and that led to this move from Moscow today.

[00:10:02] So I think, you know, Trump will sign this -- these new sanctions and American diplomats will leave in the numbers has demanded.

CHURCH: So what are the likely ramifications of these expulsions and what impact will this have on U.S.-Russian relations going forward?

ROHDE: It's another, you know, very troubled chapter. This will really reduce American and diplomatic activities. American intelligence officials have said that they've had an increasingly difficult time operating in Russia.

There was an incident where an embassy employee was sort of assaulted by a Russian police officer outside the embassy. So that was part of a campaign of sort of harassment.

So this is the sort of tit for tat that goes on sometimes within the countries. Again, the political position that Donald Trump is in if he does anything that makes it look like he's going easy on Russia just adds to these many, many questions about, you know, was there any collusion with Russia during the campaign.

Again, there is no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia but any action he takes that isn't seen as standing up to Putin will fuel, you know, his political -- political opportunity for Democrats to attack Trump.

CHURCH: As well, of course, making him look weak. And this wasn't exactly the relationship that President Trump wanted with Russia; quite the opposite in fact.

What went wrong? And what's likely to happen next, do you think, with that relationship?

ROHDE: I don't think there's anything that, you know, occurred directly between Trump and Putin. I think Trump has made political errors in terms of responding to this investigation. I think firing the FBI director, James Comey, you know, gave Democrats a lot of political fodder to continue these investigations.

And he's also, I think, you know, lost some support from Republicans on the Hill. That's why you have, you know, such an overwhelming number of votes in Congress, both Republican and Democrat, in favor of these new sanctions.

It shows, you know, Trump's inability to get the Republican sort of back him on Russia. Russia has become, you know, whether it's fair or not or deserved, Russia has become so radioactive in Washington that Donald Trump cannot control his own Republican Party.

CHURCH: David Rohde -- thanks so much for your perspective on this matter. Appreciate it.

ROHDE: Thank you.

CHURCH: And we'll take a very short break here. But still to come -- U.S. officials look to turn tough words into action. Their latest show of force after North Korea's missile launch. That's still to come.

Long lines and extra security at Sydney Airport after a terror attack is foiled. What officials are saying as they carry out their investigation.

We're back in a moment with that. And a whole lot more. Do stay with us.


CHURCH: Welcome back -- everyone.

Well, U.S. ambassador to the U.N. says the time for talk is over when it comes to North Korea. Nikki Haley said in a statement the U.S. doesn't even want an emergency Security Council session after Pyongyang's latest missile test.

She wrote, "There is no point in having an emergency session if it produces nothing of consequence." She added, "China must now decide if it's willing to challenge North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un."

Other U.S. officials have echoed Haley's stance including Vice President Mike Pence.


MIKE PENCE, U.S. VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The era of strategic patience is over. The President of the United States is leading a coalition of nations to bring pressure to bear until that time that North Korea will permanently abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile program.


CHURCH: Well, North Korea claims the missile it launched Friday could reach the entire U.S. mainland. In response, the U.S. once again tested the THAAD missile defense system intercepting a missile over the Pacific on Sunday.

Well, now Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has told reporters he spoke to U.S. President Donald Trump by phone earlier. He said they agreed to take further action after North Korea's missile launch.

For more on the escalating tensions in the region, our Will Ripley joins me now from Beijing. Great to see you -- Will.

So what might this further action be that Japan's Prime Minister refers to and is South Korea in agreement as well, given both Japan and South Korea have much more to lose if any form of military action is being considered here?


Japan, South Korea and the United States are certainly in lockstep on the issue of North Korea and that they do acknowledge the need to work together to try to put as much pressure as possible on North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un's regime, especially given the fact that China and Russia are doing pretty much the opposite.

As for what options they have in Japan, they can certainly continue to step up the unilateral sanctions that have been in place but perhaps make them stronger.

There are Korean-Japanese living in Tokyo for example and other parts of Japan who had in the past been able to send money to North Korea. Japan has blocked that. They have blocked the ability to travel back and forth between the countries.

South Korea, the United States -- their options for further action really are limited especially without the cooperation of Russia, and most importantly, China.

CHURCH: And you mentioned China -- by its very action, it appears China has no intention of restraining its ally, North Korea.

So is it time for the United States to accept that and move on to these other options. Is there any indication at all that you're saying there that China might help?

RIPLEY: China would make the counter-argument, Rosemary, that they are upholding all of the agreements that had been made with the U.N. Security Council. For example, they continue to suspend their coal imports from North Korea which is the main revenue source for the regime.

[00:20:00] However, they do continue to trade -- they continue to be the number trading partner with Pyongyang. They call that normalized relations between two countries that are neighbors and friends.

And so you saw the North Korean economy grow by almost 4 percent last year, in large part because of its trade relationship with China but also because North Korea is growing its trade relationship with Russia.

Russia is now buying North Korean coal. There is now a ship that goes back and forth between Vladivostok, Russia and Wonsan on North Korea's east coast. And so the trade relationship with Russia is growing and it's not coincidental Rosemary that Russia after this latest ICBM launch was trying to downplay it and suggests that it might just be a medium range ballistic missile, not an intercontinental ballistic missile.

So you have China and Russia that continue to have an alliance essentially with North Korea and you have Japan, the United States, South Korea and much of the rest of the world trying to figure out what they can do without the close cooperation of those two countries.

CHURCH: Yes. And in the meantime, a lot of people uneasy in the region and beyond in fact.

Will Ripley -- many thanks to you for your analysis. Appreciate it.

Well, extra security measures are in place at Sydney Airport after Australian authorities foiled an alleged airplane terror plot. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says it was an elaborate conspiracy to bring down a plane. Four men are now in custody.

CNN's Sherisse Pham joins us now from Surry Hills, suburb of Sydney. Good to talk with you. So what all do we know about this alleged terror plot and how was it foiled?

SHERISSE PHAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, here's what we know -- Rosemary. I talked to a police official yesterday and he said this investigation and the moments leading up to the arrest. It all happened quote, "very, very quickly".

What we know is that raids were conducted over the weekend at five houses across Sydney, four men were arrested and now they are taking their time. Under Australian counter terrorism law, they can be held for up to a week without charges being set against them.

And the house right across the street from us right there -- that was one of the houses where the raid took place. And then it's also the house where one of the men was arrested.

And the investigation is ongoing. Have a listen to what the Australian Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin told reporters this morning.


ANDREW COLVIN, COMMISSIONER, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE: We have search warrants still being conducted in New South Wales. Those search warrants will probably last a few days.

We have people who have been interviewed. And no one has yet been charged.


PHAM: So like he said there, no one has yet been charged and they can hold them for up to seven days until charges are laid. And so obviously because this was a plot to bring down a passenger plane, security at airports have been beefed up. We were at Sydney Airport earlier this morning and people were there and they were showing up two and a half hours ahead of their flights that were domestic flights.

Usually you would rocket (ph) to the airport 45 minutes before your flight takes off and you would be just find -- Rosemary.

CHURCH: Yes. It usually runs very smoothly, indeed. So how close did these suspects get to pulling off this planned attack? And what other attacks might be planned? Did the police have any idea?

PHAM: Well, officials are really keeping that kind of information close to the vest but Prime Minister Turnbull did talk to ABC Radio this morning and he said that the plot was quote, "advanced". They wouldn't go into any more further details than that.

Now this has been a little bit of a wakeup call for Australia. This terrorism plot was a big. It was sophisticated as they say. And so now, the question Rosemary is whether or not this plot had any links to overseas terror networks.

CHURCH: Yes. Still many questions not being answered here. Sherisee Pham -- thank you so much in these early days of this investigation. We appreciate it.

Well, parts of eastern China are bracing for more flooding from another tropical system making landfall in just a few days from now. Meteorologist Karen Maginnis joins us now with the forecast. So Karen -- just how bad might this be?

KAREN MAGINNIS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: This has really been historic. It's been about 50 years since Taiwan issued two back-to-back storm advisories and they have seen some devastating weather here over the past 72 hours.

Take a look at this. It is now -- at least Haitang, has already made landfall in eastern China. But take a look at what happened across Taiwan when se saw these two back-to-back systems. One greatly reduced, the last one. Haitang is now a much weaker system.

It was downgraded to tropical depression intensity. But there you can see a gentleman passing a tree that has toppled over. And indeed flights were cancelled, many people without power. There were people who were stranded in some areas. Some regions of Taiwan where the latest one, Haitang, made landfall produced about a thousand millimeters of rainfall in about 72 hours.

[00:25:07] But this is what is very startling. This was -- what happened with Nesat -- it moved across Taiwan, made landfall at (inaudible). But to the south, here's Haitang, moved across the southern end of Taiwan, moved into Taiwan straight and right smack over at the same area where we saw Nesat. That's where it made landfall.

Lots of moisture associated with this so you can see and expect what we saw with the last system. Remember there's two of them -- that's the first one; Haitang being the second one with over a thousand millimeters of rainfall. We're still kind of calculating some of the rainfall totals across eastern and southeastern China.

The last system only made it to tropical depression strength once it made landfall. But still in the forecast, it's still going to rain out pretty much in an area from Shanghai to Hong Kong. We could see some isolated areas where there could be severe flooding.

And then there is Noru. Noru has been sitting out across the Pacific for weeks now. It is the equivalent of a category 5 hurricane. It is moving towards the north-northwest. And Rosemary -- this is so powerful but beyond about 72 hours, as it moves to the north- northwest, we're not exactly sure what the forecast says. But we'll stay on top of it for you.

CHURCH: We appreciate that as well. Thank you so much -- Karen.

Well, it's no small task, with the White House in turmoil, a new chief of staff steps in to try to establish order. We'll take a look at the challenges still to come.

And we catch up with a family who voted for Donald Trump -- what they think about his presidency so far.

We're back in a moment.




ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): A very warm welcome back to our viewers joining us from all around the world. You are watching CNN NEWSROOM and I'm Rosemary Church. Let's check the headlines for you this hour.


CHURCH: A new work week at the White House begins with a new chief of staff. Retired Marine Corps General John Kelly will try to lead a fractured White House team after President Trump ousted Reince Priebus on Friday.

Political observers say Kelly's ability to control the chaotic infighting will depend on how much authority is given. It is still unclear what the chain of command is.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I will do whatever the president and our new chief of staff, General Kelly, asks me to do. And yesterday I was on "FOX and Friends" and said very clearly that if we can have protocol, pecking order, order discipline and a chief of staff that empowers the staff to succeed, I know that General Kelly's has done that on the battlefield. I know that he's done that as a chief military aide to former cabinet secretaries. I know he's done that as a cabinet secretary.

And so we have great faith that that will be done.


CHURCH: Joining us now is political analyst Michael Genovese. He is also the president of the Global Policy Institute at Loyola Marymount University.

Thank you so much for being with us. So newly appointed White House chief of staff John Kelly starts his new post Monday.

Is he going to be able to transform the chaos of the White House to some form of order, do you think?

And how big a task could that be?

MICHAEL GENOVESE, POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, they've been playing musical chairs with top spots. The key for Kelly and in order to for him take control is you have to have people report to the president through him.

Currently, there are just too many people who report directly to the president and so Kelly needs to come in and create some order, discipline and hierarchy. I think he probably could do to the White House staff.

The question is can he do that with Donald Trump?

Donald Trump does not like to be managed. He likes to be his own manager and he's so personally undisciplined -- random tweeting -- that the key is not going to be for Kelly to control the staff; it's going to be to control the president.

CHURCH: Interesting. And John Kelly has moved to his new post, of course, leaves his old post at Homeland Security secretary vacant and there is lots of chatter that Jeff Sessions may be moved into that post after to being humiliated by President Trump, who wants him out as attorney general.

What are you hearing about that?

What would be the ramifications of just such a move?

GENOVESE: Well, to switch Sessions over to Homeland Security would be so transparent that you just can't see the Congress approving it and or him getting away with that. And Jeff Sessions was treated very shabbily.

Trump owes Sessions a lot. He's the first senator to endorse. But more than that, Sessions' endorsement gave a legitimacy to Trump on the right wing of the party that he did not have at that time and so while it's an exaggeration to say that without a Sessions there's no President Trump, it's not an exaggeration to say that he's shown his friend and his former -- his colleague, the attorney general, he's really been treated shabbily.

Now It does not go unnoticed in Washington. It is a small town. It is a one-industry town and word spreads quickly and so as they keep trying to fill spots in the administration, some outsiders is going to look at a job offer and say --


GENOVESE: -- do I want to put myself through that?

If he'll go through to Sessions with such a humiliating series of events, I don't think I want to be a part of that.

CHURCH: But of course President Trump continues to publicly shame Jeff Sessions.

What's the end game there?

GENOVESE: Public humiliation is a part of Trump's character. You'll recall during the campaign, right after Trump won, he called Mitt Romney twice to come to Washington to allegedly interview for the secretary of state job.

And Romney was a big critic of the president's. He brought him there in a very public showing of that and then dangled the secretary of state before his eyes and then, boom, gave it to someone else.

And after doing all that groveling Romney was let down. And so that's part of Trump's management style. He feels that there in order for him to feel big, he has to make other people feel small.

It may have worked in New York in the real estate industry. It has devastating impact in Washington.

CHURCH: yes, apparently not working well. Of course, in the meantime we're seeing issues like North Korea and Russia be ignored. We will see what happens. Michael Genovese, many thanks to you for your analysis and perspective on this.

GENOVESE: Thank you.

CHURCH: Well, the division in the White House is making headlines daily but is it changing the minds of those who voted for Donald Trump?

CNN's Gary Tuchman checks in with a family in Ohio to find out.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Scott Sykes (ph) is a grandfather, a steelworker, a Democratic councilman in the village of McDonald, Ohio, and a Donald Trump voter, the first time this husband and father of three ever voted for a Republican for president.

SCOTT SYKES (PH), DEMOCRAT TRUMP VOTER: There is individuals in this village that looked down on me, family members as well. But I have to think about these individuals in this room and put food on the table and I think he had a better chance of providing a job in the future for us.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Sykes (ph) had to start a gutter cleaning business after so many steel jobs left this part of the Rust Belt. But shortly after the new president took office, he got a job at a plant that makes titanium for the F-35 fighter jet. He works seven days a week and loves it and says this about President Trump.

SCOTT SYKES (PH): He helped negotiate that F-35 fighter jet. So there was a mass hiring over there. So for me personally, I think he's done a good job.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): It is very debatable how much credit the president deserves since negotiations were in the works before he took office.

But this family gives Mr. Trump the credit.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who did you vote for on Election Day?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I voted for Donald Trump (INAUDIBLE).

TUCHMAN (voice-over): But then there is mother and wife, Darinda Sykes (ph), who appreciates the president's business credentials but did not vote for him or Hillary Clinton and would still not vote for either of them today.

DARINDA SYKES (PH), SCOTT'S (PH) WIFE: I don't like how he just throws things out without thinking it through. Sometimes he says things and I think he's acting like a fifth grader.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): When the Sykes (ph) family sat down with Van Jones before the president took office, they talked about why they could not vote for Clinton.

SCOTT SYKES (PH): Hillary, we could not trust her, anybody who deletes, as I understand it, 30,000 e-mails two days after she was subpoenaed...

TUCHMAN (voice-over): And today:

SCOTT SYKES (PH): Oh, there is things about Donald Trump that I do not trust. But he spoke to me about jobs and that overruled everything.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): But they say they could have forgiven Hillary Clinton for what they believe were her ethical lapses.

SCOTT SYKES (PH): If she would have came through here and not completely neglected us or completely disregarded us, she would have had all of our votes, everybody in this entire county. We switched over because she came through here and said nothing that was going to help us put food on the table.

We were only looking for hope.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): And ultimately, that's why Scott Sykes says he voted for Donald Trump.

SCOTT SYKES (PH): You don't sit around and wait for things to happen. You go out and you clean gutters and --



SCOTT SYKES (PH): -- you make ends meet. You do all that you can.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): It is families like this that helped put Donald Trump in the White House for four years. And if he delivers on his economic promises, could keep him there for eight -- Gary Tuchman, CNN, McDonald, Ohio.


CHURCH: All right. We'll take a very short break here. But still to come a cable car in Germany derails, leaving dozens of passengers trapped in the air. Their dramatic rescue -- that's next.




CHURCH: Welcome back.

A dramatic rescue caught on video in Cologne, Germany: the Cologne cable car runs over the River Rhine. One of its cars derailed Sunday, trapping more than 100 people; 32 cars were in operation at the time of the accident. Emergency officials use cranes and ropes to rescue everyone trapped, including some children.

It's not known what caused that derailment.

Some women like to shop until they drop, as the saying goes, while some men drop at just the thought of having to shop at all. But now one Shanghai mall is offering something that may have husbands and boyfriends at least tolerating a trip to the mall. They're called manpods. They're cubicles offering video games that women can leave their partners in while they shop, like children, in fact.

Anyone can use the pods but the owners had many minor calls (ph) so far. Me seem to love the idea.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Waiting happens when you feel like you have nothing to participate in. When she is buying something and I have no suggestion to make, this kind of waiting, just waiting for time pass. It is just boring.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I think this idea is pretty good because nowadays many men like me do not fancy to go shopping with their girlfriends. With this facility, it's very convenient, though. I can take a rest and play and do not need to go shopping with my girlfriend. It is great.


CHURCH: There you go. More than 1,000 men have used the manpods apparently since their launch in June.

So that wraps up this hour of CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Rosemary Church. "WORLD SPORT" is up next. I'll be back at the top of the hour with more of the latest news. Hope you can join us.