Return to Transcripts main page
Bali Volcano Shuts Down Air Travel; Pope En Route To Myanmar; Franken Embarassed And Ashamed But Will Not Resign; Mount Agung Alert To Highest Level; Trump Administration Sued Over Consumer Watchdog Pick; Islamist Leader Calls Off Pakistan Protests; Pope Francis Arrives In Myanmar. Aired 1-2a ET
Aired November 27, 2017 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[01:00:00] CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR: Multiple eruptions from a volcano in Bali. Indonesian officials warn another big one could happen at any time. Tourists and residents are being told to flee but the international airport in Bali has been shut down. We'll have the latest in just a moment.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Also, a historic trip to Myanmar by Pope Francis to try to ease the Rohingya crisis. He'll meet with leaders of the country where just the name Rohingya is a problem.
VANIER: Thanks for joining us, everyone. Great to have you with us. I'm Cyril Vanier.
ALLEN: And I'm Natalie Allen, we're live in Atlanta and CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
ALLEN: Our breaking news is out of Pakistan. State T.V. reporting there, the country's Law Minister, Zahid Hamid, has resigned after more than two weeks of protests.
VANIER: The protesters are religious conservatives who accuse him of blasphemy. They've been blocking a key Islamabad road and violence broke out when authorities tried to remove them this weekend. Let's talk to CNN's Sophia Saifi in Islamabad. Sophia, what do we know?
SOPHIA SAIFI, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Zahid -- oh, sorry, well, Cyril, we know that Zahid Hamid, the Law and Justice Minister for Pakistan has resigned. He resigned early this morning to the prime minister, stating that he was doing so for the sake of peace in the country. Now, his resignation was one of the chief demands of the protesters blocking this major interchange in the city of Rawalpindi -- between Rawalpindi and Islamabad. And because of that, protests have spread all across the country. This hasn't cleared just yet, but the main demand of these protesters has now been completed.
ALLEN: Yes. Have you heard what the reaction has been from all the people that were really wanting this to happen and now it has?
SAIFI: Well, the protesters are still very much on the ground. Still, there in that interchange in the capital. They're currently, the leader, Khadim Hussain Rizvi, is currently speaking to the media right now. From what I just heard, he said that even though the law minister has resigned, it's not enough for the injuries and the casualties that took place on Saturday when clashes broke out between police and protesters. So, we're just waiting to find out whether he is going to announce that this protest is over, whether the streets will be cleared. I mean, containers, security forces have begun to move the blockades. I mean, I saw myself on the roads outside in Islamabad that there has been a clearance operation taking place. But there hasn't been, so far, an official announcement that this stalemate is going to end just yet.
VANIER: Sophia, tell us about the politics of this. Why did the government accept the resignation or asked the resignation of the minister?
SAIFI: Well, the resignation itself has come after a long meeting with the chief of army staff and the resignation yesterday in the capital. The resignation was being forceful by the protesters because they country or the government of blasphemy. That said, that a change in electoral laws in early October had to do with and (INAUDIBLE) that's usually made by lawmakers in the country regarding the finality of the prophet Mohammed is the last prophet of God. Now, these protesters were claiming -- were saying that there was a change made. The government initially said that there was no change. They then said it was a clerical error, but they have tried to make dialogue and there was a stalemate. But at the moment, it's only looking like an intervention by the military that has caused the stalemate to end.
VANIER: All right. Sophia Saifi, reporting live from Islamabad in Pakistan. Thank you very much. And Indonesia says a major eruption from Mt. Agung in Bali could come at any moment. Authorities issued their highest alert after the volcanoes feud ash and flames several times over the weekend.
ALLEN: Yes. They're now urging people within a 10-kilometer radius to leave the area. About 25,000 people have already been evacuated and hundreds of flights are canceled. Let's go now to Mumtaza Tasha, she's a reporter with CNN Indonesia. Mumtaza, how many more people could be in harm's way who are now being asked to flee the area?
MUMTAZA TJATRADININGRAT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (via Skype): If we're looking at the reports from September, the last time, there are around 75,000 people who are living within disaster-prone areas of 12 kilometers, total exclusion zone. But that number could be reduced as the current total exclusion zone is just around 10 kilometers. So, they're expecting there will be around 60,000 to 70,000 people who might evacuate.
And I talked earlier to the head of the current command post who are dealing with the disaster currently, (INAUDIBLE), who mentioned there has -- there are around 25,000 people who have and evacuated to a temporary shelter just outskirt -- just at the outskirt of the total exclusion zone of 12 kilometers, and they are currently doing an all- out patrol around the 10-kilometer zone to tell people who live, who still live to go out immediately as the eruption become imminent. And basically, he assured me that the people who live within the 7.5- kilometer radius from the crater have all left the area, and they're just trying to make the people who live within the 7.5 kilometers to 10-kilometer area of radius from the crater to leave immediately.
[01:05:45] VANIER: And tell us about the ash that's been shot up into the sky. How much of danger is that?
TJATRADININGRAT: Basically, the ash is currently drifting towards the east, as the current report that we have received. But in this morning, we have received another report that ash was drifting toward the south, towards the capital of Bali, which is then past our end towards -- heading towards the airport, international airport of Bali, Ngurah Rai. But currently, the ash is now drifting toward the East, now towards the neighboring island, which is the Island of Lombok.
And the people who are living around the area, they've been experiencing ash cloud around the area, especially those within the disaster-prone areas of 10 kilometers. I asked my colleagues who are currently in the southern part of Bali and then (INAUDIBLE), which is just 70 kilometers away. They say that they don't experience any ash in there, but it becomes very dangerous for flights going around the area because it is reported that the ash is covering the flight zone areas with the altitude of 26,000 feet.
ALLEN: Yet again, the highest alert for this Volcano, and another eruption expected. Mumtaza Tjatradiningrat, thank you so much for helping us out. Well, the main airport in Bali has been closed for 24 hours, starting early Monday.
VANIER: And as you are just hearing, the volcanic ash in the sky is dangerous for planes, and the shifting winds make it totally unpredictable. That means thousands of passengers are now stranded in Bali. Let's get straight to Allison Chinchar at the CNN Weather Center. Allison, what do we need to know about this volcano right now?
ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: All right. So, there are several threats to this particular volcano. So, let's kind of break down several of them for you. First off, when we have, in the short term, you've got all of that eruption column taking a lot of the ash in the very fine particles high into the atmosphere -- in some cases, 6,000 to 9,000 meters.
Now, here's what you have to understand, that is a huge concern for aircraft. We'll get into that breakdown in a minute, but gravity takes over a lot of that, so then that has to come back down. That's called the pepper, the ash fall.
That then causes respiratory concerns. Because -- especially, it's very thick ash, people are breathing that in. So, that becomes a concern. Now, you also have the pyroclastic flow -- the heavier particles, the ones that don't get shut up into the air they fall down.
They can move incredibly rapid speeds, making it nearly impossible to outrun. In addition to that, you add then some rain, you also have lahar -- this is basically a mud fly but it's triggered by the volcano itself. But, we also talked about the ash, and that a big concern for aircraft.
So, let's break down some of the concerns that we have there. Again, the most obvious scenario is you have very poor visibility, but that's honestly on the lower end of the concern scale for what we have in this particular area. That volcanic ash also is a concern, because it gets caught in the engines of the aircraft.
The pulverized rock, the very fine particles, even the tiny volcanic glass pulled into that engine. You have to understand, it's incredibly hot as it exits that volcano. So, that's going through an engine that can melt some of the areas inside the engine. But also, as it cools, it solidifies -- basically turning into rock.
You don't want that in your engine, either. So, there are huge concerns here not just from the visibility but a lot of the other stuff. Now, you could have minor damage from flame out, or you could have total engine failure. Which is why, guys, this is why you're seeing a lot of the flight delays and a lot of cancellations. They want to air on the side of caution by diverting as many flights as possible.
VANIER: Allison Chinchar joining us from the CNN Weather Center, who are monitoring that volcanic activity in Indonesia. Thank you.
ALLEN: Yes, later this hour. We'll talk with a volcanologist who is following the story for us and give us more insight into this threat. Other news though that we're following: right now, Pope Francis is en route to Myanmar. He will land there within the hour. Pope Francis is the first pope to visit the country. He's expected to address the growing humanitarian crisis there. Violence in Myanmar has forced over 600,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee across the border to Bangladesh.
[01:10:04] VANIER: And the pope has expressed concern for this minority before but he's been warned not to use the word Rohingya on this trip. His advisers are afraid that that could spark a diplomatic incident. Let's talk to CNN's Ivan Watson; he's in Hong Kong monitoring this. Ivan, what first surprised me when I heard that the pope is going to Myanmar is that the Catholic population there is less than one percent. Less than one percent Myanmar, less than that even in Bangladesh. So, what prompted the pope to visit these countries?
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, there are a number of reasons. First of all, he has made other international visits to countries with very small Christian minorities, like Turkey for example and Sri Lanka. So, he has made journeys like this before to other countries with large Muslim or Buddhist communities.
There -- he says he's bringing a message of reconciliation, forgiveness, and peace to Myanmar as well as to Bangladesh. This would be the first papal visit ever to Myanmar, and possibly a contributing factor is the fact that the Vatican and Myanmar established formal full-fledged diplomatic relations only last May when Aung San Suu Kyi, the effective head of the civilian government paid a visit and met Pope Francis at the Vatican. But, he's also arriving at a time when there are allegations, accusations of ethnic cleansing of Buddhist Nationalism and a surge in Islamophobia. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
WATSON: Funeral for a fallen man. This was the scene in January after the brazen daylight shooting of a well-known in Myanmar. The victim, Ko Ni, was an outspoken member of Myanmar's tiny Muslim religious minority. His daughter says he was gunned down while cradling his 2-year-old grandson outside the Yangon International Airport.
YIN NWE KHINE, DAUGHTER OF KO NI: When I turned around and looked, and my grandfather was on the ground. So, I just ran and held him. But at the time, there was no sign of life.
WATSON: Ko Ni's killing came during a surge of religious tension in this overwhelmingly Buddhist country. A phenomenon CNN reported on two years ago. Who is threatening Buddhism in this country?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Muslim.
WATSON: Muslims only make up around five percent of the population. But some Buddhist monks preach that they pose an existential threat to the country.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are worried they will exploit our ethnic heritage, cultural buildings, religious monuments and our brethren when they carry out suicide bombings.
WATSON: Nowhere is this fear of Muslims more acute than in Rakhine State, where a deadly attack by Rohingya Muslim militants against security forces last August triggered a campaign of reprisals. More than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims have since been driven from their homes across the border to neighboring Bangladesh. Refugees accused the military of torturing their villages, mass rape, and murder.
Myanmar says it's fighting against a terrorist insurgency and denies deliberately attacking civilians. The U.S. and the United Nations call it ethnic cleansing. There's little public sympathy in Myanmar for the Rohingya. For decades, authorities labeled them illegal immigrants and denied them citizenship. The Rohingya crisis has raised fears among other Muslims in Myanmar who do enjoy full citizenship rights.
LI THAN AUNG, IMAM (through translator): The hate speech overwhelms the minds of most of the people in Myanmar. If you look at these people, it's all because of fear, and because of this fear, they are afraid of us and we are afraid of them.
WATSON: In 2015, there was hope that the election of Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Aung San Suu Kyi would calm religious tensions. The murdered Muslim Lawyer, Ko Ni, was one of her top legal advisors and defender of the Rohingya Muslims. Aung San Suu Kyi's government labeled his killing an act of terrorism. A trial of several suspects is underway, but even one of Aung San Suu Kyi's Muslim supporters argues, the political climate in Myanmar is toxic.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They keep on using religion as a political tool, and there were a lot of (INAUDIBLE). So, she has to be very careful. So, I'll be very blunt. If she comes out and defends the Muslim, it would be a political suicide for her.
WATSON: Ko Ni's daughter warned her father to be more careful about challenging Buddhist Nationalist. For that, he may have paid the ultimate price.
WATSON: So, Cyril and Natalie, it's in this political climate that the most Senior Catholic Priest in Myanmar, the Cardinal Charles Bo, he went on record saying he advised Pope Francis not to use the word Rohingya, because that term itself is the source of a great political debate since the government refuses to accept the term Rohingya for this community that is widely viewed by a large part of society and by the government as essentially illegal immigrants. The fact is, is that Pope Francis has spoken out very strongly in the past in support of the Rohingya Muslims in a speech last February; he tried to draw attention to them. This was before the most recent massive Exodus. And he talked about Rohingya saying that "they've been suffering for years, they've been tortured killed, simply because they want to live." So, people will be watching closely to see how he choose to address this major, major issue and crisis during his visit to Myanmar this week. Natalie and Cyril?
[01:15:57] ALLEN: Yes, he was also advised to appease the government and the military leaders that he will be meeting with. So, it will be interesting to see how Pope Francis handles this trip. Ivan Watson, thanks so much.
VANIER: All right. Thank you very much. Yes, the pope is set to arrive in Myanmar shortly. Stay with us as we wait for the pope to arrive there. We'll bring you this live.
PARTICK SNELL, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, there I'm Patrick Snell with your CNN WORLD SPORT headlines. The 2017 F-1 season, coming to a close on Sunday in Abu Dhabi, and it was Team Mercedes would finish off the year in fine style. (INAUDIBLE) Valtteri Bottas holding off his teammate Lewis Hamilton and the Mercedes men finish 1-2, capping a season which Hamilton earned their fourth F-1 drivers crown. Hamilton's closest rival, Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel was third. The series now goes into Winter High (INAUDIBLE) we'd also look forward to, on the 2018 campaign gets underway in mid-March.
It was drummers of France who lift the Davis Cup trophy for the 10th time as it went to the fifth at the siding rubber. Belgium had fought back in the first match of the day as David Goffin beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to level the tie at 2-2 in Lille. But world number 18, Lucas Pouille, rolling past the Darci's French Captain, Yannick Noah, and company celebrates their first title since 2001.
Finally, Manchester City, containing their premier league record start of the season on Sunday with a narrow 2-1 win at Hunter's Field. Pep Guardiola's team have now won 11 straight. That equals a club record in 12 of their 13 league matches so far after Sergio Aguero's second- half penalty leveler. Raheem Sterling with the win out, six minutes from time. That's a look at your CNN WORLD SPORT headlines. I'm Patrick Snell.
[01:20:15] ALLEN: U.S. Democratic Senator Al Franken said he's heading back to work and he has no plans to step down. Several women have accused him of inappropriate touching.
VANIER: In a round of interviews in his home state of Minnesota, Franken said that he didn't remember groping women. And added, it wasn't something he would intentionally do. He says, he's embarrassed and ashamed, and he's hoping he can make it up to the people that he'd let down.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. AL FRANKEN (D), MINNESOTA: I'm just going to do my job. And I'm going to go forward, and this has been -- ten days since this came out. I'm going to go forward. I'm going to take responsibility. I'm going to be held accountable. And I'm going to try to be productive in the way I speak about this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: With me now, Andre Bauer, former Republican Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina; and Dave Jacobson, Democratic Strategist, both of you are CNN Political Commentators. Andre, let's start with you. Al Franken has decided to push through this, push through the controversy. Should he be returning to work on Monday in your opinion?
ANDRE BAUER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR AND FORMER REPUBLICAN LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR OF SOUTH CAROLINA (via Skype): I do believe he should return to work. I thought he handled it in a very dignified way. These are, these are serious allegations. Those young ladies did say that she accepted his apology, and I think he needs to get back to work on what the voters elected him to do. And in the next election, he'll have face those voters again to see if they accept his apology as well.
VANIER: How do you feel about that? Because Al Franken has been accused by multiple women of groping them when he took pictures with them -- at least that's some of the accusations, not all of them. He says, he doesn't remember that: that's his explanation or his excuse. How do you feel about that explanation?
DAVE JACOBSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR AND DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Look, at the end of the day, this represents a significant challenge for the Democratic Party. It pains me to say this on a personal level. Two weeks ago, I was talking to you about how Al Franken should be one of the top contenders for 2020 come for the presidential race.
I've read several of his books, and I've historically been a fan of his. But I do think that if the Democratic Party wants to be a bold leader moving forward into the mid-term elections on issues of equality and justice and making sure that we have a fair workplace, symbolically it is good for the Democratic Party, for Al Franken to step aside, and for the Democratic Party to cleanse itself of those who are associated with any sexual harassment or sexual misconduct activities.
And so, I think while Al Franken has been a leader on a number of related issues, particularly those related to women, this behavior is simply unbecoming and unacceptable for the United States senator. And so, for the good of the party, moving forward, I think he should step aside.
VANIER: Andre, should it matter how good a politician, someone is when you're facing accusations of sexual misconduct?
BAUER: Well, it should matter. Accusations are one thing; the picture is much more damning and that's where the real burn is. If these allegations have been made, a lot of people would say, well, you know, maybe it didn't happen. But those pictures are very troubling. And, of course, I do understand he's a comedian, but at the end of the day, he's now a United States senator and he's being held to a different standard.
That being said, I think you're going to see more and more, not just out of Al Franken, but more women coming forward. And good for them, you know, no one should be touched inappropriately. But I do always worry about the time factor, sometimes used when elections are coming up and things like that. So, there need to be repercussions for nonlegitimate claims as well. Because these are serious, serious allegations and should be taken so.
VANIER: So, here's another Democrat who's in trouble: Congressman John Conyers, the oldest Member of the House. He also faces accusations of sexual harassment and workplace abuse, and he has now stepped down from his role as the leading Democrat in the powerful Judiciary Committee to, in his words, "clear his name." Dave, he also denies the accusation. So, he's not saying I'm guilty; he's saying I just have to take the time to clear my name. Is that the right thing to do?
JACOBSON: Well, I think the question for Democrats is do they believe to them? Democrats are leading the against Roy Moore in the upcoming Alabama Senate race. Skewering the Republican with the allegations that he has engaged in sexual misconduct with a minor.
And so, it's almost hypocritical for Democrats to not grapple with this issue internally, to digest it on, and to come up with bold solutions on how to move forward. And part of that is ridding themselves of those who are associated with the taint that is sexual harassment and sexual misconduct. And so, I believe there was a five- figure payout, essentially hush money for the woman who, you know, had said that she had pushed away from the sexual advances of the (INAUDIBLE) of men.
[01:25:22] So, look, I think the challenge is got to make a question: do you believe the women or do you not? And I think the Democratic Party has historically been a brand, it's all about fairness and equality and justice. And if we're going to move forward on that agenda, a message and as a brand, heading into the 2018 elections, then we have to act like it.
And while it might be painful for the party to push some of these folks to the side who have engaged in a lot of positive policies throughout the course their career. The reality is, sometimes they got to take one for the team, and think about the larger fixture.
VANIER: All right. So, in that case, let's listen to Nancy Pelosi, Minority House Leader, and tell after this what you thought of her response.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY HOUSE LEADER: We are strengthened by due process. Just because someone is accused, was it one accusation? Is it two? I think there has to be -- John Conyers is an icon in our country. He has done a great deal to protect women. The Violence Against Women Act which the left-right wing is now quoting me as praising him for his work on that and he did great work on that. But the fact is, as John reviews his case, which he knows; which I don't, he will do --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why don't? How is it --
PELOSI: Excuse me, may I finish my sentence?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sure, sure.
PELOSI: -- that he will do the right thing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: So, Nancy Pelosi seems to give him -- to give John Conyers a pass by virtue of the fact in her view he's an icon and he's done a lot of great stuff for women in his political career. And Andre, that goes to that earlier question of: should you even be balancing those two things one against another? Somebody's career and track record versus the accusations that surface at a later point in time?
BAUER: No. And also, the people in this country, ought to know when money is paid out for anyone in Congress, that ought to be public record. The fact that Congress has hid that away from the American people is deplorable. And further, I don't mind telling you, I served in the office 14 years and I was off -- sometimes overly cautious, much like vice President Pence has been.
People made fun of him, but now more than ever, you can see why he has been so judicious in the way he conducted his business and making sure that there was no way people could make allegations because he wasn't alone with these individuals. And so, I think you're going to see a different type of decorum in the future in dealing with public officials and how they may even perceive or be perceived in dealing with, you know, someone that worked for them.
VANIER: Before that, as you say, before behavior and conduct, and culture changes including in Congress, it looks like there's going to be a lot more accusations. Dave Jacobson, Andre Bauer, thank you very much for joining us. Thank you, gentlemen.
BAUER: Thank you.
VANIER: Still ahead on the show, U.S. President Trump faces a new legal battle over who should leave the Consumer Watchdog Agency. We'll have the latest on the Mick Mulvaney controversy.
[01:28:23] ALLEN: Also, Indonesia nervously watching Mt. Agung. Next, I'll speak with a volcano expert to break down just how dangerous a major eruption would be.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Welcome back. You are watching the CNN news -- NEWSROOM live from Atlanta. I'm Natalie Allen.
CYRIL VANIER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: And I'm Cyril Vanier. Right now, Pope Francis is on his way to Myanmar and he's expected to arrive shortly. You're looking at live pictures of people lining the streets, waiting for him to arrive. This is Myanmar's first ever papal visit.
The pope announced the trip back in August.
ALLEN: One topic he will focus on, the more than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims who have fled Myanmar to Bangladesh to escape violence. The pope will meet with Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi before traveling to Bangladesh where he may meet with the Rohingya refugees.
VANIER: All right. Back to one of the big stories that we're also following for you this hour. Indonesia says that Bali's Mount Agung could have a major eruption at any time. Authorities are warning that residents within a 10-kilometer radius should leave the area right now.
ALLEN: And that's about 75,000 people. Around 25,000 have already been evacuated after a series of smaller eruptions over the weekend. Now Indonesia has issued its strongest volcano warning, a level four alert. Joining me now is volcanologist, Janine Krippner.
Janine, thank you much for talking with us. First of all, the highest state of alert has been declared for Mount Agung in Bali. There are four alerts, I believe that's correct. What does that mean, the highest alert?
JANINE KRIPPNER, VOLCANOLOGIST: The highest alert means that an eruption is possible within 24 hours. So, in this case, we've seen that eruption has already started. So they're talking about the potential of a larger eruption at this point.
ALLEN: Twenty-four thousand people have already been evacuated. The ash plume is at seven and a half kilometers high. What kind of risk does that in itself pose? KRIPPNER: Ash plume can be hazardous especially to people who already have respiratory issues but the real hazards that it's done are the lahars or the mudflows and these have already started because of the rainfall. And then the possibility of pyroclastic flows which is glowing avalanches that can race down volcano at speeds a few hundred miles per hour. So these are the two really big hazards that people need to really get out of those hazard zones from.
ALLEN: Seven thousand people also stranded at closed airports considering the conditions now on the air and what might still happen. How long could this ground airplanes?
KRIPPNER: It really depends. So the ash could continue for a while but the wind could change and blow the ash away. So this eruption started at 5:00 Bali time yesterday and it's only really close to 8.2 hours ago. So the ash plume was actually active for quite a while and so it could be (INAUDIBLE) so that could change again.
ALLEN: The last time this volcano erupted was 1963 and 1,000 people were killed. Why all of a sudden does a volcano wake up?
KRIPPNER: Indonesia has been a very active place of volcanoes (INAUDIBLE) ground with one plate is going down under another.
[01:35:01] So Indonesia actually has a hundred and twenty-seven-ish active volcanoes which means they've erupted in the past thousand years or so. So this is actually a pretty normal scenario for Indonesia and they're very used to erupting volcanoes, they're very experienced.
ALLEN: When you first saw what was happening, what was your reaction? Were you thinking this is going to be huge and it might get worse before it gets better?
KRIPPNER: No. My initial reaction when I saw the orange alert was this might be precautionary but then once I saw that it went to red I realized this really means business.
ALLEN: Well, as I mentioned, in 1963, 1,000 people were killed because there was little warning back then. How advanced is the technology now that experts like you use today?
KRIPPNER: It's really good. And this -- they've had over two months of warning from this eruption. They have multiple seismic sensors. So it's measuring the little earthquakes which is showing the movement of the magma and the gases within the volcano.
They're also noting how the volcano is actually expanding or changing in shape or size on the millimeter scale. They've got satellite data looking at the gases and the heat coming out of this volcano. They've got huge (INAUDIBLE) measurements looking at the creature on the slopes of the volcano and again, that's with the magma moving up into it.
So this is a very well monitored volcano and they have excellent volcanologists monitoring on the local team. ALLEN: And as far as where you work and live, how do you monitor it? Is it all, like, on computer or do you have special technology for yourself?
KRIPPNER: At the moment, all I'm doing is monitoring what the officials are saying. So I'm not looking at the (INAUDIBLE) data at all. I'm just translating what the officials are saying into a language that everyone can understand.
ALLEN: Well, I'm going to mention to our viewers that your Twitter handle is @janinekrippner, K-R-I-P-P-N-E-R, because I know you'll be tweeting about it. We really appreciate you talking with us. Thank you, Janine.
KRIPPNER: You're very welcome. Have a good evening.
ALLEN: Again, we're still tracking breaking news out of Washington. U.S. President Donald Trump is being sued over his pick to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Court document show attorneys for Leandra English filed the suit. She was named acting head of Watchdog Agency by its outgoing director but Mr. Trump on Friday named this man you see here Mick Mulvaney to the post.
VANIER: The White House has defended the president's pick. Here's what Press. Secretary Sarah Sanders says about the lawsuit. The administration is aware of the suit filed this evening by Deputy Director English. However, the law is clear.
Director Mulvaney is the acting director of the CFPB. Now that the CFPB own general counsel who was hired under Richard Cordray has notified the bureau's leadership that she agrees with the Administration's and Department of Justice's reading of the law, there should be no question that Director Mulvaney is the acting director.
ALLEN: For analysis, let's go to Troy Slaten in Los Angeles. He's a criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor. So, Troy, it comes to this and both sides are saying they are right. Any idea who is really right here?
TROY SLATEN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, the Trump Administration is no stranger to lawsuits challenging executive actions. I hear the Trump Administration is saying that pursuant to the Federal Vacancies Reform Act that they're entitled to appoint a director of any agency when there's a vacancy. Even one that's subject to Senate confirmation.
But this specific agency that was created in the wake of the global financial meltdown of 2008 was -- is known as the Dodd-Frank Act created this bureau to be independent and said that when the director steps down, the deputy director becomes the acting director. It's a very specific provision of the law. So the deputy director here, Miss English, was elevated to the position of director, acting director.
VANIER: Why are there different readings of this act? I mean, it sounds like appointing the head of an agency should be a process that's a little simpler than what it appears to be right now. SLATEN: So the Federal Vacancies Reform Act was created to avoid this type of confusion. But most laws that create a federal agency don't have specifically a provision that was created here. Here, it appears that Congress, if you look at the -- what -- what's called the legislative history and that's what lawyers and judges do when you're trying to figure out what a law means.
In the legislative history, there was a provision of the Dodd-Frank Act that left the filling of the vacancy to the president under the Vacancy Reform Act. But here in this law, in Dodd-Frank, it's specifically went around the Federal Vacancies Act and created a process to fill the vacancy within its own ranks. And so when Richard Cordray stepped down he specifically appointed Miss English to become his successor.
[01:40:00] ALLEN: Yes. And Troy, everyone has been wondering, so, who's going to show up to lead the bureau on Monday here in a few hours? Will this lawsuit put that to rest for now? Is everyone just going to be on hold while this is looked at?
SLATEN: Well, somebody's going to have to take the helm. And the Consumer Protection Bureau's own legal counsel said that the executive reading of this -- of this provision, I mean, the president's interpretation of the law, is that he had the authority to appoint an acting director, which he did, in Mick Mulvaney who also had the job as Director of the -- of Management and Budget. Now, she -- what the lawsuit is essentially asking is for the federal court to step in and issue what's called the declaratory judgment and a temporary restraining order keeping the president from being able to install Mulvaney and keeping Miss English as the director.
The Department of Justice, the Office of Legal Counsel has said that the president is right. The Department of the Consumer Fraud Protection Bureau's own legal counsel said that the president is right. So it's unlikely that Miss English is going to be in the job come tomorrow morning.
VANIER: We'll just have to wait and see who walks through the door.
ALLEN: Yes, interesting to watch. Just a bit -- so many twists and turns with this Administration and then this is thrown up. Unique situation to be sure. Troy, we appreciate it. Troy Slaten, thank you.
SLATEN: Thanks for having me.
ALLEN: I would imagine most broadcast news will be there with their cameras in a few hours outside the bureau. We'll take a quick break here and more news right after this.
ALLEN: We have breaking news out of Pakistan. The Islamist leader whose group clashed violently with Pakistani Security Forces has called off a week's long protest.
[01:45:06] This comes after news that Pakistan's law minister has resigned. The protesters accused him of blasphemy and blocking a key Islamabad road over it.
VANIER: Let's talk to CNN's Sophia Saifi in Islamabad. She's been talking, walking us through this for the last couple of days. Sophia, it looks like the protesters got the last word.
SOPHIA SAIFI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They did clearly, it appeared so. And it's already putting this government that was already in a very precarious fragile state, it's a bit tenuous at the moment. There's a lot of criticism that's been leveled and depressed and on the ground here, there's still an air of uncertainty.
And even though, you know, the leader of this (INAUDIBLE) that was holding the protest have said that, "Yes, we're calling off the protests." There's still a long list of demands that he put forward, on the top of which was the law minister resigning, that he still wants prisoners to be released. A lot of different demands that are being made.
And it's 12 hours that's when he said that he will finally clear off that important interchange between the capital and its twin city of Rawalpindi. Cyril?
ALLEN: Well, they -- this is Natalie. They do seem to have gotten, you know, what they wanted, but they have more demands. So, we're not sure where he this could end at this point?
SAIFI: Well, Natalie, I mean, it's looking like they will move. They said that they will move. They do have more demands. There was a long meeting between the prime minister and the chief of army staff yesterday.
So it appears that there's been some assistance from the military. Some dialogues, you know, with the military and within the three leaders and with this party and with the government to kind of facilitate an ending to this scenario. And from the looks of it, it's just unknown as to what would happen in the evening. Even though they are saying that they're going to clear out.
VANIER: Sophia, why do they accuse the minister of blasphemy? And more specifically, was there any credence to that argument?
SAIFI: Well, here's the thing, so early October, basically, there was an amendment that was being made to enacted laws and there was a proposal made, according to these protesters, that there was going to be a change in an oath that's made by lawmakers regarding the finality of the Prophet Mohammed as the last prophet of God. Now, that's one of the basic tenets of Islam. That's something that all Muslims believe. But according to these protesters, there was a -- there was an attempt to change that oath.
The government initially said that there was no attempt. That there was nothing of the sort. They then said it was a clerical error, but that's when this whole wording of blasphemy arose. And in Pakistan looking at blasphemy laws and looking at how blasphemy laws are kind of taken out by vigilante justice, you know, you've seen various senior politicians being killed in the name of blasphemy.
So it's a very sensitive matter here in this country. And the fact that, you know, the fact in (INAUDIBLE) capital of this country was shut down almost for two and half weeks shows how sensitive this entire situation was.
ALLEN: All right. We thank you, Sophia Saifi for us there again in Pakistan. Thanks, Sophia.
VANIER: And right now we're also waiting for Pope Francis to arrive in Myanmar as are the citizens there. You can see people lining up there. Historical line, the live pictures right now. Ahead on the show a live report on what we can expect from the pope's visit.
[01:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ALLISON CHINCAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: This is CNN WEATHER WATCH, I'm Meteorologist Allison Chinchar. Well, we've got two big stories. First, the system out in the Pacific Northwest, it's finally going to begin to make its way off to the east, taking with it the rain and snow chances.
But before it can get there, the other big story is the record of warm air that's going to be surging out ahead. In some cases, we are looking at temperatures that will be warmer in South Dakota than they will be in Northern Florida. Here's the look at the moisture again, making its way from areas of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, pushing off to the east moving towards Wyoming and Colorado.
Now, the good news is most of the moisture is going to rung out, so you're not looking at the flooding potential for some of those states that we have been dealing with in areas of Washington State. With that said, we've got another system that will be arriving just after the first one leaves. So, there is still going to be more moisture brought in for cities like Vancouver, Seattle, and Portland, and a lot of these cities really don't need it.
They've like at least a little bit of a longer break in between systems coming in. We talk about the temperatures, 12 for the high in Chicago, mostly sunny skies; 26 in Dallas, that may not necessarily be a record, but it's going to be awfully close. Denver, looking at a high-temperature around 23 degrees with partly cloudy skies. If they hit that, that would end up breaking their record.
ALLEN: We are just moments away from Pope Francis' arrival in Myanmar, and you're looking at live video of people lining up to greet him when he makes his way through the city. The pope is visiting the country as it is engulfed in a humanitarian crisis that the U.N. called ethnic cleansing. Violence in Myanmar is driving more than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims across the border into Bangladesh.
That's the pope when he was leaving Rome earlier. Pope Francis is expected to speak up for the Muslim minority during his trip but the situation is so delicate, his advisers are warning him not to use the word Rohingya. They're worried it could set off a diplomatic incident.
VANIER: CNN's Ivan Watson is in the Hong Kong with more on the pope's visit to Myanmar. So Ivan, why exactly is the pope visiting? Obviously, he's arriving in the middle of his international humanitarian crisis.
And when we think of Myanmar ever since August we think of this, this -- what the U.N. calls ethnic cleansing. Is that why the pope is going and is that why he planned this trip in the first place?
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's important to note that the Vatican initiated and did establish formal diplomatic relations with Myanmar just last May. Aung San Suu Kyi, the highest ranking civilian official in the government, effectively the head of the government in Myanmar. She traveled to the Vatican in May, met with Pope Francis.
And moments later the Vatican announced that it was going to establish full diplomatic relations. So the big Rohingya crisis, the exodus of more than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims, that began after August 28th when Rohingya militants attacked Myanmar security points. It was a deadly series of raids.
And then what appeared to have been reprisals that the United Nations and the U.S. and Britain have all claimed are ethnic cleansing. So that's part of the backstory there. The pope says that he's going to be bringing a message of reconciliation, forgiveness, and peace.
He's also visiting Bangladesh. That's a majority Muslim country next to Myanmar as opposed to Myanmar which is a majority Buddhist country there are tiny Christian communities in both of these countries. Cyril and Natalie.
VANIER: And Ivan, we're hearing just now that the pope has now landed in Myanmar, so that trip has begun.
[01:55:00] And we know from his schedule that his first day starting now is going to be a day of rest. And of course then throughout the week, he's going to start meeting the leadership in Myanmar, both political leadership with Aung San Suu Kyi and key, the military leadership. That's also coming up in the next couple of days.
Ivan, I also wanted to ask you what kind of perception of the pope is there in Myanmar bearing in mind that there's only a minute portion of the population there that is actually Catholic.
WATSON: That's right. Only about 700,000 Catholics in all of Myanmar and if fact, a lot of people there simply don't know who the pope is. So there'll be -- presumably some curiosity about that for the small Christian community there which is only about six percent of the population, this will, of course, be a very important visit. One that people have traveled all across the country to participate in. Natalie and Cyril. ALLEN: All right. Ivan Watson for us. And thank you, Ivan. We'll continue to cover the story as the pope arrives. Thanks for watching this hour. I'm Natalie Allen.
VANIER: You got Rosemary Church, she'll be taking care of you up next with CNN NEWSROOM, have a great day.
[02:00:09] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Pope Francis has just arrived in Myanmar and everyone will be listening to --