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Outrage from World Leaders Over Trump's Israel Decision; California Fighting Wildfires; Russia Banned From Joining Winter Olympics; Farewell to a Beloved Icon in France; Trump To Recognize Jerusalem As Israel Capital; Jerusalem Is A Red Line For Muslims; Russia Banned From 2018 Winter Olympics; Migrants Sold Into Slavery And Assaulted In Libya. Aired 3-4a ET
Aired December 6, 2017 - 03:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[03:00:00] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Trump's decision on Jerusalem. Despite warnings from world leaders, the U.S. president is on the verge of recognizing the Holy City as the capital of Israel.
Harsh punishment. Russia barred from the Winter Olympics over state- sponsored doping. We have reaction from Moscow and Seoul.
And remembering Johnny Hallyday. We will take you to Paris where the music world is mourning the death of the rock and roll icon known as France's Elvis Presley.
Hello and welcome to our viewers, joining us from all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church, and this is CNN Newsroom.
Donald Trump is getting ready to break with decades of U.S. policy and recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The plan is already drawing angry reaction from the Middle East and criticism from a number of European leaders.
The Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their capital as well. But a senior Trump administration official says, and I'm quoting here, "It seems clear now that the physical location of the American embassy is not material to a peace deal. It's not an impediment to peace, and it's not a facilitator to peace. After having tried this for 22 years, an acknowledgment of reality seems like an important thing."
Well, Mr. Trump spoke Tuesday with the Palestinian and Egyptian presidents and the kings of Saudi Arabia and Jordan. All of them expressed their opposition to the move, as have other world leaders.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAIDER AL-ABADI, IRAQI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): The Iraqi government strongly warned of the decision fallout and ramifications this move will unleash turmoil in the region and the world alike.
AHMED ABOUL-GHEIT, SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE ARAB LEAGUE through translator): Moving the U.S. embassy will place big question marks over Washington's commitment to the two-state solution and will represent an unnecessary provocation to the Arab nation. FEDERICA MOGHERINI, HIGH REPRESENTATIVE, EUROPEAN UNION FOR FOREIGN
AFFAIRS: The European Union supports the resumption of a meaningful peace process toward a two-state solution. A way must be found through negotiations to resolve the status of Jerusalem as the future capital of both states so that the aspiration of both parties can be fulfilled.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Senior Trump administration officials say the move will not hurt the peace process but did not explain how it would advance U.S. interests.
Well, CNN has the worldwide resources to cover this story like none else can, and we have correspondents position around the globe and throughout the region to bring you the latest developments and reaction.
Our Jomana Karadsheh is in Amman, Jordan this hour, but we begin with CNN's Ian Lee who is in Jerusalem. So, Ian, some U.S. presidents have previously promised to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital while they campaigned for the presidential post, but once elected and briefed on the consequences of just such a move they always back- pedaled on the controversial issue.
But Mr. Trump is apparently sticking to his campaign promise. What could this mean for Jerusalem, the Palestinians and the Israelis ultimately?
IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, let's start off with the Israelis. They are welcoming this move. This is something they've advocated for a long time. When you look at the Palestinians, they are furious about any potential move and any declaration of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
And we've heard from a number of Palestinian officials saying that essentially if the United States does this then the peace process is - peace process is over. We heard this also from the president's office.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NABIL ABU RUDEINEH, SPOKESMAN OF PALESTINIAN PRESIDENT: If the American embassy is going to be moved to Jerusalem, this is against the international law and this will be unacceptable for our side. If this happens, it would complicate things. It would put an obstacle to the peace process. Maybe it would be the end of the peace process.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEE: So there's not really a connection there. Because you have the United States administration saying that this won't affect the peace process but then you have the Palestinians saying that this could kill the peace process.
So there is that disconnect that, you know, as well as the Palestinians have said that the United States just isn't a partner. So that could sideline the United States as well.
But it's also important to point out that even if the United States does recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital that's just one country. You know, it's unlikely that other countries are going to follow suit.
And the international community has been very vocal about the fact that they will not recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital unless there is a peace process between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
[03:05:11] But we're also going to be watching the reaction here on the ground. There's been a call for three days of rage, of protests. The Israelis are bracing for it as well as U.S. diplomatic missions not only in Jerusalem, in Tel Aviv, but really around the region.
CHURCH: Ian Lee, thanks so much. Jomana Karadshed, let's bring you in here. you're in Amman, Jordan as we mentioned where the king had appealed to President Trump to consider the consequences of his imminent decision on the status of Jerusalem.
But the king's opposition to the move apparently fell on deaf ears. What could this mean for the U.S. relationship with Jordan, and ultimately for the peace talks?
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, we're going to have to wait and see what kind of response we get from Jordan. Of course, Jordan, a key U.S. ally in this region. Officials here for days have been warning, Rosemary, about what they describe is the dangerous consequences of such an announcement.
Jordan's foreign minister has been leading this diplomatic offensive on the phone to various foreign ministers across the world, not just this region, and also calling also heads of different organizations because they're really concerned, in the words of the foreign ministers, saying that this would trigger anger on the streets of the Arab and Muslim world.
And as you mentioned, we also heard that warning again according to a readout of the phone call that took place between President Trump and King Abdullah yesterday. The king warning against any move to change the status of the City of Jerusalem, saying that this would have real ramifications on the security and stability of this region and would impact the U.S.'s role in any future peace negotiations.
For Jordan this is a very sensitive issue. Rosemary, as you know, this country is the custodian of the holy sites for Muslim in Jerusalem so it has that official role. Then you have the issue that more than half of the population of this country, either Palestinian or of Palestinian descent.
So there is the concern about any instability and displays of anger that we might see as a result of such an announcement. And then you have the role of King Abdullah, who has really been at the forefront of this effort to try and revive the peace negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
And for months he has said that there is only one solution and that is the two-state solution. And saying that the key to stability and security in this region, the key to fighting extremism is to find a lasting solution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
So everyone here in this country and this region, Rosemary, is bracing for any sort of backlash that we're going to see from what seems to be an imminent announcement.
CHURCH: And Ian Lee, if we can just go back to you for a moment, how careful do Israelis have to be there in Jerusalem celebrating too much once this announcement is made?
LEE: Well, we haven't heard of any announcements for any celebrations. You know, this is something that could spark further protests, it could incite the Palestinians if there is a massive celebration. The Palestinians are going to be protesting this not just in Jerusalem, in the West Bank and Gaza, and we'll have to see what that manifest itself.
But this last summer we saw protests when Israel tried to change the status quo on the Temple Mount known to Palestinians as the Haram Sharif, where they installed metal detectors and that kicked off days of protests with Palestinians going into the streets here and Jerusalem.
There were clashes with the police. And eventually the Israeli government, that of Benjamin Netanyahu, acquiesced and took away those metal detectors that showed how influential protests can be on the street.
But as far as the Israelis are concerned, this is something they've wanted for a long time and they say that they will ensure that there are security measures in place for any potential protests, Rosemary.
CHURCH: many thanks to our Ian Lee in Jerusalem and just moments ago, of course, Jomana Karadsheh in Amman, Jordan.
Well, the U.S. military is preparing for backlash an protests in a number of cities throughout the Middle East.
CNN's Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr has more on that.
[03:09:57] BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: The number of marines who are specially trained in embassy security have been moved to so-called forward positions, to areas where there is concern that these are countries where violence could break out.
We're not being told the areas because of those security concerns. But these are specially trained Marine Corps teams that supplement security at U.S. embassies. They would be used to work inside the fence line, if you will, to protect the embassy, to protect personnel, and if they have to protect U.S. military installations or other diplomatic installations in these countries if they are called in.
That is a very limited -- that is the legal mission for them. Don't expect to see them out on the street. They won't be there. It will be the responsibility of host countries to essentially protect out on the street.
But inside that fence line at embassies and U.S. installations marines will be ready if they are needed on this very narrowly focused mission.
CHURCH: Barbara Starr reporting there. And later this hour we will have more reaction from around the world including live reports from Istanbul and Beirut.
And still ahead this hour, and later in the day, stay with CNN as we bring you President Trump's announcement. That's scheduled for 6 p.m. in London, 10 p.m. in Abu Dhabi.
Another story we're watching very closely, Russia won't be competing in next year's Winter Olympics. It's an unprecedented decision by the International Olympic Committee as punishment for Russia's state- sponsored doping in the 2014 Winter Games. The IOC announced the ruling Tuesday after a 17-month investigation. Officials say the evidence was overwhelming
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THOMAS BACH, PRESIDENT, INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE: The report clearly lays out an unprecedented attack on the integrity of the Olympic games and sports. The report includes in particular the manipulation of the anti-doping laboratory at the Olympic Winter Games at Sochi 2014.
The IOC executive board, after following due process, has issued proportional sanctions for this systemic manipulation while protecting clean athletes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: And the deputy of the Russian state Duma, Igor Lebedev, reacted to the news on Twitter saying in part this. "The decision of the IOC is a humiliation and insult to the great sporting Russia. It is impossible to tolerate this and Russia should refuse to participate in the Olympics 2018."
Well, our correspondents are following this story. Clare Sebastian joins us from Moscow, and Paula Newton is in Seoul, South Korea. Welcome to you both.
Clare, let's go to you first. The deputy of Russia's state Duma, as I just said, thinks the country should boycott the 2018 winter games in the wake of the IOC's decision to ban Russia. How is the Kremlin likely to respond to that, and what's been the reaction so far from other quarters?
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Rosemary, dismay, anger, a sense that as we've along throughout this doping scandal, there is politically motivated and that Russia is being unfairly targeted. As yet, no official response from the Kremlin. Conspicuous silence there. They have previously been pretty vocal on this issue, but we do expect to hear from them at some point today. I spoke to people on the streets last night right after this decision,
and they echoed that dismay that we've heard from political quarters. One young woman telling me that without Russia there can be no Olympics.
As for the athletes themselves, whether or not they will be prepared to compete under a neutral flag, we're hearing a variety of different views coming from them at the moment. The head of the Russian ski jump federation told a Russian state news agency that he thinks they should compete under a neutral flag.
But one individual ski jumper has said that she thinks that would be unsportsmanlike. But you know, the athletes clearly have a stake in this decision. This is an emotional moment for them.
But there are others, Rosemary, the whistleblowers included, those whose evidence led to this scandal, initially unfolding led to these reports by the World Anti-Doping Agency coming out that also have an emotional stake in this.
I spoke to one of those whistleblowers, Vitaly Stepanov, he now lives in the United States, I spoke to him right after this decision and I asked him whether he thinks that this ruling will bring about real change in Russia.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VITALY STEPANOV, RUSSIAN WHISTLEBLOWER: Today's decision and then continuous enforcement of the anti-doping rules in Russia will bring that change that the doping culture in Russia changes. I don't know how long that would take. It's still a long fight ahead of us. Still a lot of people in Russia are still currently running sports in Russia must be punished for what they were doing.
[03:15:00] But at least I'm glad the IOC decided to do that. And to fight that -- this fight.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SEBASTIAN: So a bittersweet day for Vitaly Stepanov. Sad, he said that this could mean that some clean athletes don't end up competing. But of course he has some hope after this for the future.
You know, Rosemary, you have to understand, this is about much more than just sport in Russia. National pride here is inextricably tied in with Russia's sporting prowess. It's one of the ways they project their power and influence there in the world. And that is why you see the strong reaction coming out today.
CHURCH: Yes, understood. And Paula Newton, to you now in Seoul, what could this IOC ban on Russia mean for the winter games in South Korea, especially if Moscow does decide to boycott them altogether?
PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And that's the decision that they're waiting on here, Rosemary. As you can understand, it is quite a problem. When they heard the decision, they said that they were surprised that the IOC had gone that far.
I want you to listen now to -- we're going to give you a quote from the president of the organizing committee here, saying "I did not expect the IOC to go this far. We plan to meet with the chairman of the IOC and deliver our message, the message that it's better to allow as many nations, as many athletes to compete."
Now, while they say that it is a second best option for those Russians to be, those Russians that are clean to be able to compete under some kind of a neutral flag, look, they know here that that may mean that some Russian athletes even if they're allowed will choose to stay home.
And just to stand back for a minute, Rosemary, and look at the big picture, you know, once there are so many years of money, stress and planning to put an Olympics together, to see politics taint the entire process it's tough to take. And already they have enough politics and security issues on the peninsula to begin with especially with just in the last few days North Korea launching its latest ICBM and now this.
In terms of also having ticket sales, they are not as brisk as they should be. It could affect that. That could affect tourism as well. But also crucially, you know, what the footnotes, you know, what the reviews of these Olympics will be, of pride we talk about national pride in Russia. It's the same here. They want these Olympics to be as good as they can be.
And with this controversy over Russia it makes it even more difficult. They of course await that all-important decision from Russia to see if they will let those clean athletes compete here. Rosemary?
CHURCH: Yes. We're watching and waiting for that decision. Paula Newton joining us there from Seoul in South Korea. Many thanks to you.
Let's take a very short break here. But still to come, wildfires in California are burning out of control. Entire neighborhoods have been destroyed in minutes. And it may take days before the fires are contained.
Plus, the music world is mourning the death of France's rock and roll icon Johnny Hallyday. We'll have that for you when we come back.
[03:20:00] CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri will officially remain in office. He rescinded his resignation in a special cabinet session headed by the president.
Hariri announced he was standing down about a month ago while in the Saudi capital of Riyadh, saying he feared for his life. He was widely thought to be pressured into doing so, but his resignation was never made official and now it appears it won't be.
Three men are charged with murder in the car bombing that killed Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. She wrote a popular anti- corruption blog that targeted politicians including Malta's prime minister.
Police arrested 10 men in raids on the island nation. Seven were released on bail. The FBI and Europol helped with that investigation.
Wildfires burning right now north of Los Angeles are spreading so quickly, the fire chief tells CNN it may take up to a week to fully contain them. Tens of thousands of residents have been evacuated, some at a moment's notice.
At one point the biggest fire was destroying about the equivalent of a football field every second. That led officials to impose a curfew in the city of Ventura.
CNN's Sara Sidner was there.
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You hear the numbers. They're talking about tens of thousands of acres burned. They're talking about more than 96 square miles that have been burned. But then you see the reality.
The things that hurt when the residents have to come back into an area like this. This was a home. We ourselves watched it burn to the ground after embers came flying over. You'll look up at those hills flying over from there onto this home, and it just goes up like a matchbox.
We have seen that time and time again. You're seeing fires all over this city here in Ventura. This is where the largest of four fires were burning throughout the day. Firefighters having a very difficult time getting it contained because of the Santa Ana winds that we normally see in October but that are here now in an unusual way going very tough, at some point upwards of 70 miles per hour, making it very difficult to get in front of the fire, plus it's extremely dry.
And that is why for hours and hours this particular home and many others are just smoldering. You see them smoldering there. The firefighters have been out here for much of the day coming back and forth trying to put out those small fires that keep popping up.
But so has the neighbor, who is terrified that the fire's going to jump over this wall just here. And land on his home. And so he has spent time with his own hose coming over and making sure he can wet down the area as much as possible. He's been calling over firefighters to say hey, it's burning again.
This is a dangerous situation and everyone in this neighborhood is fearful that their home could be next. It has been a very rough time here in Ventura for those who live in and around this neighborhood.
Sara Sidner, CNN, Ventura, California.
CHURCH: And our meteorologist Pedram Javaheri is looking at how the weather conditions are affecting efforts to battle these fires. Pedram, just so hard to believe it could take a week to fully contain these fires.
PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes. I figured it would be even longer than that, Rosemary. You know, when I heard that initially I was thinking that may be a little optimistic when it comes to what the weather elements are going to be ahead of us over the next week or so. And you know, fire officials saying the prospect for containment immediately at least is not going to be good because the weather elements are poor as they come.
In fact, get up to 700 kilometers above the earth's surface from space. Look down onto California, this is what you would see as far as the smoke and the way it's been blown offshore. Of course this is all because of the offshore winds or the Santa Ana winds as they're known, as the winds funnel themselves through the canyons, the valleys, and work their way down slope.
And warm by compression as they do so they really begin to speed up through these canyons. So you get very erratic fire weather behavior that takes shape.
But even broader than this there's an area of high pressure that's sitting there across the north coast of Oregon and Washington State. It's forcing the steering currents in the atmosphere to take any weather that would bring in some say, precipitation. All of it out toward portions of Canada into Alaska, bringing it back down into the central United States.
And unfortunately, the long-range model, and this is part of the reason why I think it's going to be very hard to contain these fires, the long range models do not bring much in the way of rainfall across this region until a couple days before Christmas, and that's really true for much of the Western U.S. as well.
Critical concerns right now across Southern California, 20 million people in line for this. That is expected to expand up to the extreme level come Thursday afternoon, and you take a look at this. Remember, we were talking about 50,000 acres or more. It's about 20,000 hectares consuming, about the size of the city of Seattle.
It was consuming land on the order of the size of the island of Manhattan every 15 minutes at the last observation point there. Of course the National Weather Service really eerie verbiage here on what's going on.
[03:24:55] They're saying, quote, "Upon ignition fires will have the extreme growth potential and they're saying this will burn intensely and will be uncontrollable."
So, with all this said officials essentially are saying mother nature has the upper hand on this regardless of how much power we put on these flames and that's how erratic, how extreme the fire weather is right now. Rosemary?
CHURCH: Yes. Absolutely. Thanks so much, Pedram for going through all that material. We appreciate it.
CHURCH: Well, Johnny Hallyday, France's rock and roll icon, has died at the age of 74. His career spends more than half a century, filling stadiums and selling millions of records.
Our Jim Bittermann joins us now with more from Paris. And Jim, many of our viewers across the globe may not have heard of Johnny Hallyday but for the people of France this is a very sad and difficult time. Talk about how the country is remembering their rock and roll icon.
JIM BITTERMANN, SENIOR CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is indeed a sad time for France. Johnny Hallyday was, it's hard to overstate how much of an icon he was. So much so that President Macron himself early this morning, about three in the morning local time, issued a communique saying, there's a little bit of Johnny in all of us.
You didn't have to say his last name. It was all -- but he knew who you meant when you said Johnny. He was on stage, like you mentioned, for almost 60 years performing, sold more than 110 million albums. He was a symbol of rebellion.
The critics like to say that he came on the scene just about the same time as the electric guitar, before that the favorite instrument in France was the accordion. And he came on the scene with his electric guitar, a sign of rebellion as youth were rebellion everywhere, kind of an Elvis Presley. Here's what one of his commentators said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BERTRAND DICALE, MUSIC CRITIC, FRENCH INFO RADIO JOURNALIST: Elvis was abroad. Elvis was English-speaking. It was some kind of myth. But Johnny was rock a roll. He was the real rock and roll. The rock and rolls that you can understand, about love, about worry, about rebellion, about riding a motorcycle. I think a brand new car. Every myth of the rock and roll was in Johnny's voice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BITTERMANN: That's in fact one of the things that endeared him to the French. Also another thing was is that he was on stage all the time. He was in front of audiences across France, not just in the big cities but in small towns as well.
But he never translated -- he never was able to transfer his popularity outside of France. He tried several times to perform in the United States with limited success, and basically he was a French star in the francophone world. And I think that he'll be remembered for a long, long time to come, Rosemary.
CHURCH: Certainly shall. Jim Bittermann joining us live from Paris where it is nearly 9.30 in the morning. Many thanks to you.
And we'll take a very short break here. But still to come, President Trump plans to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Why Turkey's president calls that a red line for Muslims.
Plus, Russia is out of the upcoming Winter Olympics. We will hear from the man whose research exposed the country's doping program.
We're back in a moment.
[03:30:38] CHURCH: We are just hours away from a major announcement from U.S. President Donald Trump. He is expected to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. A move that is already drawing sharp criticism from Arab leaders and some in Europe. Mr. Trump is also expected to lay out plans to eventually move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. CNN has correspondents throughout the region. Ben Wedeman is in Beirut and producer Gul Tuysuz is in Istanbul. Good to see you both.
Ben, let's start with you. Most experts across the globe seem to think an imminent decision by President Trump to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem is a fait accompli. What's been the reaction in Beirut to that possibility? And if Mr. Trump does announce just such a decision what could that mean for Lebanon and of course the rest of the region?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The reaction in Lebanon and really across the Arab world has been largely -- in fact completely negative. Here in Beirut, for instance, we have the daily star, the main English language newspaper, with the headline "No offense Mr. President Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine." The entire front page of Jerusalem. For instance, other newspapers have said that Trump has lit the fuse for Jerusalem. Certainly reaction across the board negative. Here in Lebanon it's important to keep in mind there are around 450,000 Palestinian refugees in camps in Beirut in the south, and obviously in those spots reaction will be particularly negative.
And this is really a gift to for instance Iran, Hezbollah, Islamic radicals wo do believe that this is proof that the United States is in the pocket of the Israelis and therefore it's going to be bad news for those rulers, for instance, King Abdullah of Jordan, King Salman of Saudi Arabia, President Abdel Fatah Assisi of Egypt who have invested a lot of political capital in developing a friendship with the new President and here he is coming out with a decision that they have told him in phone conversations yesterday, please don't do it.
And now he is going to do it anyway and they are going to have to explain to their people why after all the time and effort they invested in developing a friendship with President Trump, he goes and does the opposite of what they ask him for.
CHURCH: And Ben, what might this call from Palestinians for the days of rage look like? How bad could that get, do you think?
WEDEMAN: We have yet to see. We know, for instance, I've covered the west bank for many years, the Israelis have developed the means to contain popular protests may be just a brief spark that leads to a small fire. But to get back to my early point, what it really does is erode the authority of Arab leaders who have invested so much time and effort in developing this relationship with the new President. By and large, they will be left holding something that they really will have a hard time to defend. So yes, we may see large protests in Cairo, in Baghdad, in Amman, in
the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, Istanbul, for instance, where Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish President, said that recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is crossing a red line. And after a period in which relations between Turkey and Israel have improved, now he is considering cutting relations with Israel. Now, I don't mean to step on Gul's feet by saying this. So I'll pass it on to her. Rosemary.
CHURCH: All right then. Many thanks to you. Ben Wedeman reporting there from Beirut with reaction from across the region. We thank you for that. President Trump's decisions is drawing especially harsh words from Turkey. As we heard from Ben, one of the few Middle Eastern countries with diplomatic relations with Israel. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[03:35:05] RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, TURKISH PRESIDENT (TRANSLATOR): Mr. Trump, Jerusalem is the red line for Muslims. Our struggle on this matter will continue with resolve. As a matter of fact, this can go as far as breaking off our diplomatic relations with Israel.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Erdogan does not miss an opportunity to attack Israel. Jerusalem has been the Jewish capital for 3,000 years. It was never and will never be the capital of anyone else. There's always going to be someone to criticize, but at the end of the day it's better to have a united Jerusalem than Erdogan's sympathy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: let us go to Turkey now and CNN producer Gul Tuysuz. Good to have you with us. As we heard there, Turkey's President says Jerusalem is a red line for Muslims and he warns this may result in his country breaking off diplomatic relations with Israel. But Israel doesn't appear too worried about that, does it?
GUL TUYSUZ, CNN PRODUCER: No. And really while Turkey is one of the countries that has diplomatic relations with Israel in the region, that relationship, has been defined more -- it' more antagonistic than it is friendly, especially over the last decade. So strong words of course coming from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan saying this is a red line for Muslims and that he would consider cutting diplomatic ties with Israel. We also have the Turkish prime minister coming out today and saying that any action on Jerusalem at the moment would be unlawful. He also said that any action taken on Jerusalem would just exacerbate the religious conflict in the region and called on the U.S. to refrain from making any decisions at this point, but here on the street in Turkey and on social media really in a country that is so polarized domestically Jerusalem is one of those things that both leftists here as well as conservative Muslims all agree on.
There is a very heartfelt emotional tie to the status of Jerusalem. And we've seen there have been some calls that have been made. Not major scale ones, but some calls for demonstrations particularly after Friday prayers. And there is expected to be a march here in Istanbul. That is not expected to go through or hit any of the Israeli or U.S. missions here in Istanbul. But it's definitely something to keep an eye on to gauge the relation not just of officials here, but also on the streets.
CHURCH: All right. Many thanks there to Gul Tuysuz, a CNN producer in Istanbul, Turkey. Where it's just after 11:30 in the morning.
Another story we're following, the international Olympic committee decision to ban Russia from the winter games next year is an unprecedented punishment. It is the result of a 17-month investigation that began after reports exposed the depth of Russia's state-sponsored doping scheme. CNN Don Riddell spoke to Richard McLaren, the man who wrote those reports shortly after the news broke.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARD MCLAREN, WROTE REPORT ON RUSSIAN DOPING: I certainly very pleased with what they've done. I would like to congratulate the IOC on their decision in the work they've put into coming to the conclusions they announced today. On the other hand, I find it to be a sad commentary about sport and so that saddens me but I'm pleased to see that all of my work has been confirmed as being both useful and accurate. It substantiates significantly what I've had to say both in July and December of last year.
DON RIDDELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What for you is the most surprising or damaging aspect of your inquiry?
MCLAREN: Well, I was asked to look into the sample swapping that went on in Sochi, and I did, and I reported on that. And yes, it did occur. But in the course of doing that I discovered that there was a cover-up mechanism where doping positives were being falsely reported both in the laboratory instrumentation and also in the world anti- doping computer system. And that surprised me. I didn't expect that to come out, of my work. But then I realized that Sochi was just a small part of a much bigger picture and then I worked on describing the bigger picture in the two reports.
RIDDELL: So if the athletes end up being there anyway, what's really changed?
MCLAREN: Well, let's wait and see if that actually occurs. The way the material I've read would suggest is it will be relatively few athletes that will actually be able to compete and that will be particularly the case when the full data that is available but still not completely analyzed, it comes out of the equipment that was in the lab in Moscow, not Sochi but it relates to athletes that also competed in Sochi. We know the results of some of that information, I think the number of athletes that may be able to compete may be significantly reduced.
[03:40:24] CHURCH: Richard McLaren talking these with CNN's Don Riddell about Russian doping. And after the break we will hear from a critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin on the IOC's decision to ban Russia from the winter games. We're back in a moment.
CHURCH: Bill Browder is joining us now thank you much for being with us. And for our viewers who may not be aware of your background, you live and invested in Russia for a very, very long time. But unfortunately things did go very south for you as a result of corruption. In fact, your book "Red notice" documents that experience. And you've now become one of Vladimir Putin's biggest critics. And I want to talk about probably your worst experience with corruption. Talk to us about that.
BILL BROWDER, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, HERMITAGE CAPITAL MANAGEMENT: My worst experience with corruption revolves around a lawyer that worked for me named Sergei MagNitsky. Sergei Magnitsky uncovered a 230 million Russian government corruption scheme. He exposed it. And in retaliation the Russian officials we exposed arrested him, put him in pretrial detention, tortured him for 358 days and killed him at the age of 37, eight years ago. And since then Vladimir Putin has personally got involved in covering up the murder of Sergei MagNitsky. So this story, although it's just one many terrible things that happened in Russia, really lays bare the corruption that goes right up to Vladimir Putin.
CHURCH: And of course what is happening with Russia has been very much news for this country and its dealings with the Trump campaign and the Trump administration and the relationship between Russia and the United States. But I do want to talk about the big news for Tuesday, because of course the IOC announced its decision to ban that country from competing in the winter games. How do you think the Russian government is going to respond to that? And more specifically President Putin. He is going to be pretty angry.
BROWDER: First of all, what we have to understand is that the Russian cheating in the Sochi Olympics, which is what led to the IOC ban, is one of many, many things Russia cheats on. They cheat in the Olympics, they cheat in international politics, and they're involved in the U.S. Election, they're involved in the British election, they cheat in international finance, and then they cheat in all sorts of other areas.
[03:45:02] And so what Putin wants to do in these situations is retaliate. But how does he retaliate against the international Olympic committee? What does he do? Is it ban them from traveling to Russia? This is sort of his knee-jerk reaction. When the U.S. imposed sanctions on Russian he could impose sanctions on the U.S. But he can't do anything with the International Olympic Committee, which is one of the reasons these international organizations are in one way things he tries to corrupt the most, but another way he feels the most powerless when they act against him.
CHURCH: And he realizes the international community are very aware of these activities, although it seems that President Trump isn't. Why do you think we're seeing this continual situation where President Trump is standing up for the Russian President, standing up for the Russian administration, won't accept that Russia Meddles in the elections even though so many organizations within the United States have tried to explain that to the President? BROWDER: It's really perplexing to me. I know Vladimir Putin better
than most, and he is a cold-blooded killer, he is a criminal, he is a kleptocrat and he is not a man that we should be respecting. And the fact that any leader says anything nice about Putin gives him legitimacy that shouldn't be given. There's one important caveat, which is that while Trump is saying these nice things his administration is full of people not saying nice things. And if you listened to Rex Tillerson giving a speech last week he was extremely tough on Russia. Nikki Haley is very tough on Russia. General Mattis is very tough on Russia. So it's not as bad as it may seem on the tweet surface, because the administration is actually pretty tough on Russia, and I would say that Russia has gotten no great advantage from whatever they were hoping Donald Trump would give them.
CHURCH: We still see Donald Trump very cautious about his language toward Russia and particularly to President Putin. Why do you think that is, and what advice would you give to him given your experience, what advice would you give to President Trump about dealing with Russia?
BROWDER: Well, I don't know what motivates Trump, and I'd love to know and so would your entire audience and everybody else in the world. But to the extent that Trump would listen to me about Putin, and let's just say he has an open mind, I would say that Vladimir Putin is a guy who wishes us ill, he is not a man who's our friend, and most importantly we can't appease him. You can't reason with Vladimir Putin. He is a man who needs to be contained. And if Trump is such the tough guy that he makes himself out to be, then he should be extremely tough on Putin and contain him and not allow him to push into Ukraine, not allow him to mess around in Syria, not allow him to hack our elections, not allow him to cheat in the Olympics, and we should be tough on Russia at every juncture to stop Vladimir Putin from doing the terrible stuff he is doing.
CHURCH: I did want to ask you about Paul Manafort. Former campaign manager for Donald Trump and now he is got himself into a lot of trouble. And we know and we've learned that he has gone ahead or he was trying to co-author a document with a friend and contact who has contacts with the Russian intelligence. And this despite a plea agreement. Why would he do that knowing what the ramifications might be legally for him?
BROWDER: I can't put myself in Paul Manafort's mind or his shoes. He is a highly compromised individual. You know, the things that I've read about him from the U.S. Justice Department's complaints are very damning. And if it comes to pass and there is trial, I think it's not going to be turning out so well for that individual.
CHURCH: And just very quickly, how do you think the Mueller investigation, the probe into Russia's going to turn out? Would you expect to see obstruction of justice? Would you expect to see collusion proven in any way?
BROWDER: We're all armchair lawyers, armchair prosecutors. We don't know. I don't know. You don't know. Nobody knows what Mueller knows. The one thing I can say is that whatever we know he knows 1,000 times more than us, because he has access to wiretaps, he has access to subpoena powers, he has access to cooperating witnesses, and what he knows will come out and it will crystallize. All we've seen so far are tiny little pieces in a very big puzzle. And either Donald Trump is going to be right and it's a nothing-burger or there's going to be hardcore evidence of collusion or obstruction of justice. And that only time will tell.
CHURCH: Bill Browder, thank you so much for coming. We appreciate it.
BROWDER: Thank you
[03:50:02] CHURCH: All week long CNN's freedom project is exposing cases of modern-day slavery inside the migration crisis. Our next story highlights some Nigerians who wanted to relocate to Europe, but say they were sold into slavery and sexually exploited in Libya instead. Our Arwa Damon reports.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm sad because when I went to Libya I was not like this.
ARWA DAMON, SENIOR CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Physically at least 28 year old (inaudible) is finally free, but the pain of what she endured, it's still so raw.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He used to hurt me. Apart from the work.
DAMON: She was sold into sexual slavery in Libya.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And especially they hate us, especially Nigerians. When you tell them that you are from Nigeria, they will treat you like a slave. They treated us like a slave as if we don't even- we are nothing. So we went through a lot there.
DAMON: Now back in Nigeria, she sits behind 18-year-old Jennifer, who is too traumatize to talk. They are kept here with other rescued women, where home of overhead fan and a soap opera on TV are the only comforts in this temporary home. They're all waiting to be reunited with their families. The young women are kept in a safe house in an undisclosed location and authorities say that as more and more return the clearer the picture of just how vile and abusive the situation in Libya is.
It's not just prostitution and human trafficking. Many returnees describe what sounds like an open air slave market where people are just bought and sold and anyone who tries to resist is often killed and their body just dumped in the desert. They were trying to get to Europe, where the promise of work has driven record numbers of Nigerians on the dangerous journey across the desert toward the Mediterranean and women, they are especially vulnerable along the way. Edie says she spent three days crossing the desert. One person in her convoy died along the route. When she reach, Libya, she said a prayer of thanks thinking the worst was behind her. They sold you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
DAMON: Were they buying and selling a lot of people.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. When they finish paying their money for staying with somebody they will sell you to another people. So you start all over again.
DAMON: Little that she know that like to many others her goal, her dream of a better life would end in the increasing lawlessness of Libya. Arwa Damon, CNN, Benin City, Nigeria.
CHURCH: Our freedom project series continues tomorrow. Here's a clip from our report from Isa Soares.
ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You have to sleep with men. Better to bring 200 euro back to your madam. If you must -- the highest he can pay you is 30 euro. You calculate how many men you're going to sleep with to --
SOARES: Your whole life is going to be tied to this debt.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You keep paying, paying, paying, it never gets finished. Everybody wants to be here. Everybody wants to see what it's like. But it's not what they think it is.
SOARES: It's clear for all to see what it actually is. A new slave trade of human trafficking and human misery.
CHURCH: You can join us Thursday to see Isa's full report. That is at 6:00 a.m. in London and 2:00 p.m. Hong Kong. We'll be right back.
[03:55:18] CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well Santa Claus receives a lot of letters this time of year, and one in particular has just gone viral. Our Jeanne Moos reports on a 6-year-old boy who told Santa his life was empty. Yes, he really said that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Merry Christmas.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A lot of kids are scared of Santa.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sweetie come on.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Look, you can pull it.
MOOS: Maybe Santa should be scared of the kid who wrote this letter to him. We took the liberty of adding the voice.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Santa, I'm only doing this for the class. I know your naughty list is empty and your good list is empty and your life is empty. You don't know the trouble I've had in my life. Good-bye.
MOOS: Give that kid the boot.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ho, ho, ho.
MOOS: Might be a bad Santa's reaction. But a good understands.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of rejection in this job.
MOOS: NPR reporter and mother Sarah McHammond posted the letter saying "my 6-year-old Santa skeptic was told to write a letter to Santa in school. So he did. Mom didn't want to do an interview. So all we have is the now gone viral letter, which ends --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Love, I'm not telling you my name.
MOOS: There's a hall of fame for Santa letters, this one goes in it. "Your life is empty. You don't know the troubles I've had." future country songwriter, tweeted one admirer. Noted his mom, "P.S. the troubles in his life. His brother. Don't call child services." the letter is adorned with jolly wreaths on one side and skulls on the other. Sure, Santa's used to misspelling turning into Satan. This four-year-old is now 13 and went on to win spelling bees. But it was the bleak nihilism along with the misspellings.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know your naughty list is empty.
MOOS: That put this on the best Santa letters list. It was compared to the movie "Elf."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You sit on a throne of lies.
MOOS: As if Santa is nothing but an empty suit.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And your life is empty.
MOOS: Jeanne Moos.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am not telling you my name.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Joy to the world.
MOOS: New York.
CHURCH: There you go. Thanks for your company this hour. I'm Rosemary Church. Remember to connect with me at any time on twitter. The news continues with Hanna Von Jones in London. Have a great day.