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Hundreds Dead at Egyptian Sufi Mosque; Trump's Working Vacation; No High-Level U.S. Diplomats Going to India Summit; Syrian Warplane Strikes Orphanage In Eastern Ghouta; Protesters in Paris Demand Action against Libyan Slavery; Dozens Arrested at Pakistani Protest; Zimbabwe's Mnangagwa Sworn In; Macy's Stores Struggle on Black Friday. Aired 5-6a ET

Aired November 25, 2017 - 05:00   ET




GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Egypt's military strikes back in the form of airstrikes after attackers ambushed and killed hundreds of people at a mosque.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Flashes in Pakistan, as police move to break up a two-week-long protest in Islamabad. We'll go live to the capital.

HOWELL: Plus, there is some confusion over who will be in charge of a U.S. consumer watchdog agency after the President of the United States and outgoing director picked different successors. And, Natalie, the question, who will run that agency come Monday morning? That's the big question.

ALLEN: We'll have more about that in a moment.

Welcome to our viewers in the United States, all around the world, we're live in Atlanta. I'm Natalie Allen.

HOWELL: And I'm George Howell, 5:00 am here in the U.S. East Coast. At CNN World Headquarters, NEWSROOM starts right now.


ALLEN: And we begin in Egypt, the Egyptian air force says it found and destroyed vehicles involved in Friday's terror attack in Northern Sinai, killing at least some of the terrorists thought to be responsible.

HOWELL: They carried out the brutal, well-planned attack at a Sufi mosque, detonating explosives to draw people out and then opening fire as they all ran out, even ambushing ambulances that showed up to help.

By the end, at least 235 people were killed, making this the deadliest terror attack in Egypt's history. CNN's Ian Lee followed the story and is joining us live.

Ian, officials say the air force struck several vehicles carrying militants.

What more can you tell us about it?

IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, this decision was made to mobilize the military, to hunt down these culprits by President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi. He made the decision after an emergency meeting of his security cabinet.

The military we know, the soldiers and the air force are combing the desert, looking for the people; the military last night said that they were able to find some of the trucks that were used, they say, in this attack. No one has claimed responsibility.

But it does appear that this attack was carried about -- carried out by ISIS. It bears all the hallmarks -- George.

HOWELL: Ian, you have covered this situation relative to this in the region for many years. I want to get a sense from you, does this undermine the president's credibility, his ability to crack down on these militants?

Or does this put more pressure on him to do more?

LEE: Well, it definitely embarrasses the president to some extent, because he came to office. He came into power on the platform of stability and security. And that's something he's been pledging throughout almost four years in office now.

And, still, we see these massive attacks. This isn't the first time that militants have carried out a mass casualty attack. In Egypt last April, dozens of Christians were killed when two churches were attacked simultaneously.

And every time we see the president, we see the military come out and say, next time, we're going to go harder. We're going to hunt these people down. We're going to put a stop to this.

And, George, we still see attacks like this, you know, also with ISIS losing ground in Syria and Iraq. Egyptian officials have also expressed concern that those militants might try to find other places to go, Egypt being one of them.

So this is a very difficult task for the Egyptian president. The president has also been criticized by people, saying that it's not just going to take bullets and bombs to defeat ISIS. They have to go after the root cause of it.

A lot of people in the northern part of Sinai feel marginalized by the central government in Cairo. So the government is going to have to not only go after militants but go after the causes, the reasons why people are attracted to these organizations.

HOWELL: Ian Lee, we've seen Coptic Christians attacked before. Now Sufis attacked during worship. We'll stay in touch with you. Thanks for the reporting today. ALLEN: For several years, the Sinai region in Egypt has been a flashpoint for violence with Islamist groups waging an insurgency that the government has not been able to quell, as we heard from Ian.

In July, at least 23 soldiers were killed in car bomb attacks targeting Egyptian soldiers at a military checkpoint in the Sinai Peninsula. And, in January, seven Egyptian police, one civilian, were killed in a bomb attack at another checkpoint in the city of al-Arish (ph).

In October 2016, armed terrorists attacked a security checkpoint, using four-wheeled drive vehicles. That happened in the city of Mir al-Abid (ph).


ALLEN: A dozen military personnel were killed.

So let's talk more about this threat. Fawaz Gerges is chairing the department of contemporary Middle East studies at the London School of Economics. He joins me now.

Fawaz, thank you for being with us.

First of all, why is the Sinai Peninsula such a hotbed of militant violence?

FAWAZ GERGES, DIR. MIDDLE EAST CENTER, LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS: I think you have an insurgency that has been raging for more than a decade. Even though the insurgency has escalated qualitatively and dramatically since 2013.

We keep talking about ISIS and Al Qaeda. But there are social rules behind this particular insurgency. You have Bedouins traveling who inhabit Northern Sinai. They feel excluded. They feel that the major sources of tourism are not invested in their area. They feel discriminated against.

Long before President Sisi came to power in 2013, the insurgency raged for the past 15 year. The local populations feel disconnected from the central government of Cairo. And what we have, since 2013, basically, this insurgency now has become more militarized and radicalized because it has bought into this ideology and tactics of ISIS because of the rise of ISIS in 2013 and 2014 in Iraq and Syria has resonated throughout the region.

And the insurgency in Sinai is no longer really basically about local goals. Now it's about the ideology and tactics of global Salafi jihadism. And that's why it's very difficult and it's very complex.

ALLEN: Right. And the government has this issue before it, as we've heard from our reporter, Ian Lee, in the region there, that the president is embarrassed when this keeps happening because he came into office pledging security and safety.

Why can't the government get ahead of this threat? GERGES: I mean, just to give you an idea, Natalie, what we're talking about, we're talking about more than 1,000 operators in the Sinai Province or Wilayat Sinai, that has taken on the ideology and tactics of ISIS in 2014.

It pledged allegiance to the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, 1,000 operators, operatives, highly skilled, fanatical, determined. They have the will to kill. And they have basically been carrying out strategic attacks, not only in Northern Sinai -- remember the downing of the Russian plane over the Sinai in 2015. Major attacks as you have just said on the Coptic Christians in Alexandria, in Cairo, on the security forces in Sinai and other places.

My take on it is that no government in the world can protect every civilian place, neither the American government or the British government where I am because when you have a major potent insurgency, people willing to kill -- I mean, the mosque that was attacked yesterday was in a very small, tiny place called al-Rawda, it's about 30 or 40 kilometers away from the capital of Northern Sinai, al-Arish (ph).

And you can imagine, that it would have been very difficult to protect every mosque and every church in Egypt. But the reality is, this insurgency is very potent, it's very deadly, because it's deeply entrenched now in some parts of Northern Sinai.

And the strategy is, you have to basically dislodge the insurgency. You have to find out why Egyptians in Northern Sinai have joined this particular insurgency. You can't just throw military might at it, because regardless of how much military might you throw at it, in fact, you may bring out a counterproductive effect by alienating the local population.

So the strategy in Egypt not only has to focus on the military aspect. You have to focus on the social, economic and political drivers that have powered this insurgency in particular since 2013.

ALLEN: Exactly. That seems to make much more sense than exacting revenge. That's what we hear again and again, from al-Sisi when these things happen.

GERGES: You can imagine the predicament of President al-Sisi. This attack and the many attacks in Egypt over the last three years are determined to undermine his presidency, to embarrass President Sisi.

So basically nail -- I mean a major, major problem in his presidency, in fact, remember, there are presidential elections coming up in the next few months, so the idea of these attacks to show Egyptians that President al-Sisi cannot protect his people, cannot protect minorities like Coptic Christians and now cannot protect worshippers --


GERGES: -- even though they're Sufis. They belong to the Sufi strand of Islam. The reality is, you have a very complex insurgency. In fact, we have multiple counterinsurgencies. We're talking about ISIS, the so-called Wilayat Sinai, ISIS, in the Northern Sinai.

But you have also Al Qaeda branch. You also have freelancers. It tells you how complex the situation and the defeat of ISIS in Iraq and Syria is not going to bring about the end of the terrorist attacks, in particular in Egypt because Egypt has one of the most potent ISIS affiliates outside of Iraq and Syria region.

ALLEN: We thank you, as always for joining us, Fawaz Gerges. Thanks, Fawaz.

GERGES: Thank you.

HOWELL: Here in the United States, president Donald Trump is on a working vacation this holiday weekend. He addressed troops overseas by way of a satellite link and visited a Coast Guard station and talked to a number of world leaders.

ALLEN: Among the topics front and center for the commander in chief, terrorism, taxes, immigration and something else, you could say, is par for the course. Here's CNN's Jeff Zeleny.



JEFF ZELENY, CNN SR. WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: President Trump hitting the links today with two of the biggest names in golf, Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson. The White House rarely confirms when the president is golfing, but he made the announcement himself on Twitter, saying he would be "heading over to Trump National Golf Club, Jupiter, to play golf quickly."

He departed after more than four hours at the course. His visit marking the 80th day he's spent at one of his golf properties since taking office and his 100th day at a Trump-branded property. Many Americans and more than a few presidents play golf. It's only notable because of what Mr. Trump repeatedly said before winning the presidency.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If I win, I may never see my -- I may never see these pieces again because I'm going to be working for you. I'm not going to have time to go play golf, believe me.

ZELENY: The president also talking by phone today with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan about the conflict in Syria. The Turkish foreign minister said Mr. Trump pledged to stop arming a Kurdish militia, the YPG, that the government considers a terrorist organization.

The president also condemning the attack today in Egypt killing more than 230 people and wounding more than 100 others in the deadliest terror strike on Egyptian soil.

He called the president of Egypt to discuss the attack, which he also seized upon to push his immigration agenda, tweeting: "We have to get tougher and smarter than ever before and we will. Need the wall, need the ban. God bless the people of Egypt."

The president is also turning his attention to the tax plan up for a vote next week in the Senate. He offered a preview during a Thanksgiving Day call from Mar-a-Lago with American service members around the world.

TRUMP: Now we're working on tax cuts. Big, fat, beautiful tax cuts. And hopefully we will get that and then you're going to really see things happen.

ZELENY: The president is set to meet with congressional leaders at the White House and attend a weekly lunch of Senate Republicans on Tuesday. The Senate Republicans still don't have the votes to pass the sweeping tax overhaul amid the concerns of the bill's effects on the deficit.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Congress is talking about tax cuts that will add trillions to our national debt and hurt our economy.


ZELENY: Senator Ron Johnson has announced his opposition, with Senator Susan Collins, Bob Corker, Jeff Flake, Lisa Murkowski all voicing concerns. Senator Rand Paul will likely support the plan with Senator John McCain as a wild card.

As America marked Black Friday, the president's campaign joined in on the annual day-after-Thanksgiving shopping rush with Trump merchandise marked down 30 percent.

In the president's phone call with Egyptian President Sisi, on the heels of his call with Turkish President Erdogan, talking about terror in Syria, both on the heels of a call earlier this week with Russian president Vladimir Putin also about Syria. This working vacation for the president continues throughout the weekend. He heads back to Washington on Sunday -- Jeff Zeleny, CNN, West Palm Beach, Florida.


HOWELL: Jeff, thank you.

There's another story we're following about confusion over who will lead the federal consumer watchdog agency here in the United States.

Richard Cordray stepped down as the director of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, effective midnight on Friday. In his letter to President Trump he named his deputy director as acting director. But the president had other ideas. He named budget director Nick Mulvaney to the post until a permanent director is confirmed.

As a congressman, Mulvaney had voted to do away with that agency.

So the question now is, who will run this agency come Monday morning? Let's now bring in Leslie Vinjamuri. She is an associate professor of international relations at the University of London and live in our London bureau at this hour.

It's good to have you, Leslie. So this is a very curious situation, what's happening with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This tweet from Elizabeth Warren sums it up, the conflict that we're seeing.

She says, "If there is a CFPB director vacancy, the deputy director becomes the --


HOWELL: -- "acting director. Donald Trump can't override that."

Your thoughts here?

LESLIE VINJAMURI, SOAS UNIVERSITY OF LONDON: That's right, the underdog Frank, the director does become the director. But of course President Trump has opposed -- part his agenda is, of course, to deregulate. So putting his person in place over the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau I think is very important to him.

And he does have the authority, of course, to appoint a new director in due course. But that person will have to be confirmed. So at this point, I think there's a real tussle in terms of who is actually be in control on Monday morning.

Of course, the person -- Mick Mulvaney can continue to do his current job as budget director and run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau but that is not what is supposed to happen if you follow the tenets of Dodd-Frank.

HOWELL: Another story we've been looking into, there's been a great deal of skepticism over the president's latest tweet regarding "TIME" magazine.

He said that "I was probably going to be named Man/Person of the Year like last year but I would have to agree to an interview and a major photo shoot. I said probably is no good and took a pass. Thanks anyway," said President Trump.

And then "TIME" magazine responded.

"The president is incorrect on how we choose Person of the Year. 'TIME' doesn't comment on our choice until publication, which is December 6th."

That's from "TIME" magazine. But this whole back-and-forth, and some are even questioning whether it even happened, Leslie.

VINJAMURI: That's right, it's been one of those stories that, each time you read a tweet from the president, you think it can't get any more surreal than it has in the past. But it certainly did with this "TIME" magazine story. It just seems to be, you know, more of what we're seeing, I think,

unfortunately, on many weekends, many holiday weekends, where the president is looking for a little bit of attention and wants to perhaps distract from the fact that he's not, once again, going to be "TIME's" man of the year.

ALLEN: All right. Another story we're following, Mr. Trump's daughter, Ivanka, and the global entrepreneur summit that she'll be leading in India. But the State Department decided not to send high- level delegates for this summit.

What does this say about the relationship between the secretary of state Rex Tillerson and Ivanka Trump, especially with regards to who is the face of U.S. foreign policy?

VINJAMURI: Yes. This is actually quite an important summit; in the past, Secretary John Kerry has attended the summit. It's focusing this year on women entrepreneurs and Ivanka Trump is going.

Normally, you'd expect a fairly senior team from the State Department to back her up. But of course there's this ongoing conflict between Rex Tillerson and what he sees to be his proper role as the secretary of state, one who is not doing very well in terms of the fallout within his own agency, within his own State Department.

And his sense that Ivanka Trump is not really supposed to be the representative of the U.S. foreign policy. Nonetheless, she was invited by the prime minister of India and is going, you know, to represent the United States.

So it's not good for the United States to turn up to a major and a very important summit with the lens on very clearly discontent, disagreement about who will support her and who's really the voice of U.S. foreign policy.

So, overall, it's another sign of disarray that's taking place right now in the U.S. foreign policy appointments that have been made and who's really in charge, the White House, Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner or Rex Tillerson.

HOWELL: A lot of uncertainty there. Leslie Vinjamuri, thank you so much for your perspective today.

VINJAMURI: Thank you.

ALLEN: Coming up here, there are talks of a final peace in Syria. But the violence has not let up. We'll tell you how one town is still suffering at the hands of the Assad regime.

HOWELL: Plus Argentina holds out hope in the search for its missing submarine. Why one officials says it can still be found. CNN NEWSROOM live from Atlanta, Georgia, simulcast on CNN USA here in the states, CNN International worldwide. Stay with us.





HOWELL: Welcome back to NEWSROOM.

President Trump made a big promise to Turkey's president on Friday in the ongoing war in Syria.

ALLEN: According to Turkey's foreign minister, Mr. Trump said the U.S. would immediately stop arming the YPG. That's the Kurdish militia fighting ISIS alongside U.S.-backed Syrian rebels. Back in May, Mr. Trump approved a plan to supply weapons to the YPG.

HOWELL: The White House says there are no impending plans to stop selling arms. Turkey has long condemned the YPG, which it considers a terrorist group.

ALLEN: For more than five years, the conflict in Syria has shocked and appalled the world. This week, the talk among the leaders of Russia, Turkey and Iran was a finding of peaceful settlement.

But as our Nick Paton Walsh reports, some parts of that war-ravaged country are still not seeing any signs of any peace.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You may have thought this was over, but is not. You may have heard Russia, Iran and Turkey talking about their peace plans. Besieged Eastern Ghouta near the capital where hunger is so profound, it reportedly led to suicide.

Meals of trash, a ceasefire elsewhere means bombs here. Relentless, over 10 days, reported 100 dead. The mortars continuing Friday. Even the headlong dash to the rescue is deadly itself.

You may have heard of starve and surrender. A favorite regime tactic to deprive their opponents of the strength to fight on. The bombs that came with it took the lives of their children here.

ISIS may be done, but the savagery is not neither is the hatred or the need for vengeance. Nearly 200,000 are besieged here. So, short of food, a single lemon has its price written on it. Imagine dealing with nightmares when awake but also with insane hunger.

Here sugar is $40 a kilo and a single egg $1.20. This week, Russia, Iran and Turkey declared a conference to settle the post-ISIS peace in Syria.

A day before, Assad let the world know how grateful to Moscow he is, perhaps unwittingly with this hug. The torture went unseen there, but its pain may mute the victory cries you will hear in Moscow from Damascus -- Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, London.


It's just surreal --


ALLEN: -- how much these people have endured.

HOWELL: Nick Paton Walsh, giving us an understanding what's happening to people.

Thank you, Nick, for the reporting.

Moving on now to Argentina, the nation saying it's not giving up hope in the search for a missing submarine. This despite news of a possible explosion near the ship's last known location. The ARA San Juan vanished more than a week ago with 44 crew members on board.

ALLEN: Teams from around the world have searched for the ship. But many now fear the worst. Here's why a navy official says there is still hope, though, for a rescue.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The weather, thank God, is favorable in that search area for scanning and mapping the seabed, hoping for the rapid detection and location of the San Juan submarine.


ALLEN: Well, the submarine has been missing for over a week now. And that's about the time that they may run out of oxygen.

Fingers still crossed here.

Outrage is growing after CNN uncovered a horrific modern-day slave market. Yes, you heard right. As you may recall, our reporting revealed migrants being sold as property in Libya.

HOWELL: The U.N.'s High Commissioner for Human Rights said on Friday that people of African descent are frequently denied their rights. His words come as people of Paris have taken to the streets, people demanding action. CNN's Melissa Bell has more from the French capital.


MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For the second time in a week, protesters gathered in Paris to express their anger and to call for an end to slavery. The trigger, CNN's exclusive reporting on Libya's slave markets.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We talk about the weight of words and the shock of images. People were able to see for themselves.

BELL: This is what people were able to see. Dozens of men in Libya being sold at auction many for little as $400. President Emmanuel Macron wants the U.N. to act.

EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE (through translator): It's a crime against humanity. It's one of the forms of trafficking that is the most profitable today and that leads to the most serious crimes and that seats in part the terrorist networks.

BELL: The French president was joined this week in Paris by the head of the African Union, he too wants more than words.

MOUSSA FAKI MAHAMAT, AFRICAN UNION CHAIRMAN (through translator): Imagine you find yourself in a state where human beings are sold in an auction to the highest bidder. This is abominable. No conscience can accept it. We have to act and we have to act now.

BELL: That sense of outrage has also been expressed this week in France's National Assembly. The MP, Max Mathiasin, the great-great grandson of a slave, received a standing ovation when he delivered a passionate plea to parliament to act.

And it was the viral Facebook post of another descendent of Guadeloupian slaves, the journalist, Claudy Siar, that led to last Saturday's protest in Paris. But he believes that the consequences may felt elsewhere.

CLAUDY SIAR, JOURNALIST (through translator): This has to serve as a wakeup call to African leaders. I think that, with regard to the fixers, there will be a before after. It's not impossible to imagine that some political systems, that some governments in Africa may wobble and even fall in the coming months because there has been an awakening and there is a desire for revolution today.

BELL (on camera): The numbers of this latest protest are down on what they were last week, but the anger of those here is undiminished and the organizers say that they will continue holding these protests so that the momentum is not lost -- Melissa Bell, CNN, in Paris.


HOWELL: Melissa, thank you.

Still ahead here on NEWSROOM, violent clashes between protesters and police in Pakistan have been happening. We have a live report from Islamabad on that -- ahead.

ALLEN: Also Zimbabwe's new president promises to life the country out of poverty, stamp out corruption.

Will he do it?

We'll have more on Zimbabwe's transfer of power when we come back.



[05:30:00] (MUSIC PLAYING)

HOWELL: Welcome back to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world, you're watching CNN NEWSROOM. It's good to have you with us I'm George Howell.

ALLEN: I'm Natalie Allen.


HOWELL: All right, we're following some new and important developments out of Pakistan. Police there say 100 people have been arrested. Nearly 100 police and others have been injured at an Islamabad protest. Let's go to live to CNN's Sophia Saifi in the Pakistani capital.

Sophia, what more can you tell us about the root of these protests?

SOPHIA SAIFI, CNN PRODUCER: Well, George, the root has to do with (INAUDIBLE) protesters are actually accusing the government of having committed last May. And it all goes back to last month, in October, when there was, according to the protesters, a change in the electoral laws with regard to an old made by lawmakers about the finality of the Prophet Muhammad as the last prophet of God.

Now this is something very controversial because it has to do with religion and blasphemy. The government has denied it. But the protesters themselves have asked for the law minister to resign, for the law minister to be laid off. And that has not been done.

So there was a constant stalemate in the capital for the past few months, a complete shutdown of traffic, economic losses. And that has now erupted, after last night's deadline, with a complete clash between police and protesters this morning in Islamabad -- George.

HOWELL: All right, Sophia, and we're looking at images of what's been happening there in Islamabad.

What more can you tell us about the fact that the Pakistani --


HOWELL: -- TV stations, many of the private stations, have been taken off the air?

SAIFI: Yes, this is a development that's only happened about an hour and a half ago. There were a lot of images being broadcast across the country. And the Pakistani electronic media regulatory authority sent out a notice, calling all cable news channels to resist and sensitively report on the matter that's happening between the cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

According to some people in the government that I've spoken to, this has caused more protesters to come out. We're hearing of reports that protesters in Karachi and Lahore and Islamabad, which are the three major cities across the country. But the fact that there's a major media blackout like this is

something unusual. It hasn't happened in at least a decade, when former President Musharraf called for a blackout, called for an emergency in the country and there was a summer blackout.

So there's a lot of rumors. There's a lot of unease and a lot of unknowingness of what's going to happen in the hours to come.

HOWELL: CNN producer, Sophia Saifi, live for us in Islamabad. We'll stay in touch with you as developments continue out of the region. Thank you.

ALLEN: In Zimbabwe, people are hoping for big changes from their new president, Emmerson Mnangagwa. He was sworn in Friday following Robert Mugabe's resignation this week.

HOWELL: A Catholic priest mediated the talks that led to the transition of power. He spoke exclusively to our David McKenzie about this historic process.


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With each passing day, the calls grew louder, the pressure on Mugabe mounted.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you hear two bulls wanting to fight, you have to know how to tame both.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): And this priest persisted.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did I feel the pressure?

I'm a tough nut.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): As a mediator between Mugabe and he military, it was up to Father Mukonori (ph) to make sure the guns on the streets stayed silent. And the only sounds that the former president heard were the cries of his people and the reasoned voice of a long-time confidant.

MCKENZIE: What did those crowds mean to former president Mugabe?

What did he say?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He saw that they spoke.

MCKENZIE: And he listened to them?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are the results?

You see the results. That's a sign that he listened.

MCKENZIE: Did it break him?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It moved him. It moved him in this sense that he realized they are speaking to say, this is enough. MCKENZIE (voice-over): The negotiations were long.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sometimes in a day, we'd go to three different places.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): But they were always civil.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was not a fight. It was a discussion.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): The generals even saluting the man they look to overthrow.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In a few weeks from now...

MCKENZIE (voice-over): It was during this address that the world thought Mugabe was ready to go. The resignation letter was already drafted. But before sending, Mugabe asked for just a few more weeks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Listening of a 93-year old is not the same as listening of a 25-year old.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): Adversity, says the priest, the cries were heard and a new president of Zimbabwe took the stage. Stripped of his office, Mugabe still wishes there was a more systematic transfer of power, says Father Mukonori.

He said he is available to Emmerson. He is available. He's at his disposal. He does not vanish from life, he is not dead. But he's vanished from limelight.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): A man who ruled with an iron fist, perhaps not willing to completely let go -- David McKenzie, CNN, Harare.


ALLEN: We're joined now by "The Washington Times" correspondent Geoff Hill to discuss this historic change in Zimbabwe's leadership.

Geoff, thanks for talking with us with. First of all, the euphoria we just saw from those people, such a beautiful thing to see. But now it's up to Mnangagwa to come through for them.

Do you think he can and he will?

GEOFF HILL, "THE WASHINGTON TIMES": Yes, I do. And perhaps I'm putting naive confidence in Emmerson, who I have met several times and spoken with many times. Emmerson is a pragmatist whereas Mugabe was more of a philosopher, sometimes a very violent and bad philosopher.

Emmerson understands what needs to be done to get this country back on track. Words are not going to do it. He will have to show very quickly and very clearly that this is the change before Western countries reengage financially.

ALLEN: That's encouraging that you've met him and feel good about his taking over the country. He struck a very inclusive tone -- [05:40:00]

ALLEN: -- in his remarks to the country.

What stood out for you?

HILL: The fact that he said the past was the past and he didn't want any retribution, that he wanted to go forward inclusively. This was so important, not just in terms of white and black. Remember at the height of Rhodesia in the 1970s, there were only 320,000 whites.

There now 12 million black people, 4 million of them living in exile. And Zimbabwe has a number of tribes. The Shona tribe, the Shona's Mnangagwa's own (INAUDIBLE) people, have a number of clans. It is bringing all of those people together that is so important because many have been marginalized during the Mugabe rule.

ALLEN: Ninety percent unemployment in Zimbabwe.

Is job one the economy?

And where does he start?

HILL: This is so critical. You've hit it there. Not 90 percent unemployment but Mugabe, a former school teacher, insisted that all schools do algebra and Shakespeare. You have the most literate and well-educated country in Africa.

And of course, you can't expect kids who have done their education to go and grow pumpkins. They want real jobs in the city. They're on Twitter, they're on Facebook and they insist on their voice being heard. And the first voice, the loudest voice is, we want jobs.

ALLEN: Well, hopefully he can start to create that. He certainly reached out to the world, saying, we're open for business. One journalist we spoke recently with said she was a tad disappointed he didn't account for his role in the past when he spoke, working alongside Mugabe, who put the country in this downward spiral.

Should he have addressed that?

HILL: Very difficult because, of course, he was involved in the genocide of the 1980s against the Ndebele people in the south of Zimbabwe. This would have him in The Hague, essentially. So he has to be very careful.

But you remember that when Gorbachev came to power and he'd been a Soviet strongman, so had Boris Yeltsin, neither of them said sorry for the past. They simply changed the future.

ALLEN: Geoff Hill with "The Washington Times," thanks so much for joining us.

HOWELL: Still ahead here on CNN NEWSROOM, the biggest shopping day of the year in the United States. Consumers fought crowds and long lines to be part of it. And the retailers fought the competition. Stay with us.





HOWELL: Welcome back to NEWSROOM.

So you know, Thanksgiving, you have the turkey. You have everyone together. It's a big thing.

ALLEN: Yes, yes.

HOWELL: And then some people jump into Black Friday. It's the biggest shopping event of the year. Retailers offer steep discounts to entice shoppers to spend big money to kick off the holiday season. And this year, U.S. shoppers were expected to spend more than ever.

ALLEN: But brick-and-mortar stores have seen a troubling trend over the past two decades as more customers move to online shopping. And 2017 has been particularly brutal for retailers. Nearly 7,000 stores in the United States have closed.

Amazon is reaching out beyond its online borders. The Internet retailer opened up a popup store, a physical store in London for Black Friday.

HOWELL: But that may seem a little counterintuitive for Amazon, which makes most of its money, big money online. Samuel Burke went there to see what it's up to.


SAMUEL BURKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There is a major shift happening right now, 59 percent of Americans say that they plan to shop online this year. That's the first time that we've seen more people planning to do this in the digital world than the physical world.

Even though we hear so much about brick-and-mortar stores closing up because they can't compete with Amazon, that very same company is actually opening up more and more spaces in the physical world, including an Amazon pop-up shop.


BURNETT (voice-over): So, Paul in Amazon's home on Black Friday and this is the kitchen.

PAUL FIRTH, AMAZON: That's right.

BURKE: But the real question for you guys is Amazon was always supposed to be a digital space. That's what made you more efficient. You didn't have to pay for a brick-and-mortar shop.

So, why a place like this kitchen, for Black Friday?

FIRTH: Well, we always try to experiment at Amazon. We did that when we first brought Black Friday to the U.K. back in 2010.

That year, we just had 300 deals, just on Black Friday.

BURKE: Why spend all the time creating this beautiful kitchen when you guys own Whole Foods now?

There's a Whole Foods right down the street here in London, where you could be doing all this.

Isn't that why you guys bought Whole Foods?

FIRTH: Because we are selling to people in their homes. And we want people to see how this product will work in their homes. And what we've done here is try to create what a home might look like.

BURKE: It is interesting because you see the tentacles of Amazon expanding. We've got Amazon Lockers by my work. You have this pop-up shop. And it does make some people wonder where will it stop.

I mean, is Amazon's goal to be in all parts of our lives, literally from the living room to next door to our work?

FIRTH: I think Amazon's goal is to make things easier for our customers. And if that means by putting a delivery locker near your work is easier for you to get your parcel, if by putting a place like this together so that people can understand how products work easier, then that's what we'll do.

It's all about focusing on what makes it easier for our customers.

BURKE: As long as they sign up for Prime.

So who are going to be the big winners here?

When you speak to experts, they say it will be the places that have a foothold in both the digital and the physical world, like Amazon is doing, the way Walmart is with its acquisition of Left in the dust could be people like Target and Costco, which just haven't been able to build out their digital spaces as well.


HOWELL: All right, Samuel Burke, thank you.

Now for those who chose to shop online at home for Black Friday, they can thank Jeff Bezos, Amazon's founder and CEO. But, really, he should thank them because Bloomberg says that Bezos' net worth now just peaked at $100 billion.

ALLEN: Billion. Bezos' stake in Amazon rose by $2.4 billion after Amazon shares rose Friday on hopes for online sales. That's like, I mean, he just made $2.4 billion and that pushed Bezos even farther into the top bracket of the world's richest people.

So rock on, I guess.

HOWELL: Rock on.

Still ahead here on NEWSROOM, parts of the northwestern part of the United States are underwater. This, after a Thanksgiving holiday storm. Our meteorologist, Ivan Cabrera, has more on what's happening in the Pacific Northwest. Stay with us.






HOWELL: Thanks for being with us on CNN NEWSROOM. I'm George Howell.

ALLEN: I'm Natalie Allen, for our viewers in the U.S., "NEW DAY" is next. For others "AMANPOUR." Thanks for watching CNN.