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Outrage over Trump's Jerusalem Decision; Voters Preparing to Make Major Impact on U.S. Senate; Winds Fueling California Fires. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired December 11, 2017 - 00:00   ET



[00:00:10] NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Tensions flare over U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Plus, widespread destruction in southern California where firefighters still face an uphill battle.

And forced out of their homes into the bitter cold -- why some are raising concerns about China's eviction campaign against migrant workers.

It is all ahead here on CNN NEWSROOM. Thanks so much for joining us.

Coming to you live from Atlanta, I'm Natalie Allen. And CNN NEWSROOM begins right now.

Our top story: the U.S. faces more fallout after its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. The change in policy has ignited a war of words between U.S. allies and sparked these Sunday protests in Pakistan.

Demonstrators also turned out in Morocco and here in Turkey. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan even slammed U.S. President Donald Trump in a speech. He said quote, "Trump's announcement is null and void for us -- both the decision to declare Jerusalem the capital and to move your U.S. embassy building there has no standing for us. Leaders of great countries do not cause battles. They try to bring peace."

Mr. Erdogan also attacked Israel calling it a quote, terrorist and child murderer state. That drew a sharp rebuke from Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He was in Paris Sunday and blasted Turkey for its human rights record.

He also made this claim about Jerusalem.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: It's always been our capital. Jerusalem has never been the capital of any other people. I think the sooner the Palestinians come to grips with this reality the sooner we'll move towards peace. And this I why I think President Trump's announcement was so historic and so important for peace.

On the quest for peace there is a serious effort under way now by the United States. And all I can say as I said related to President Macron I think, if you'll pardon the expression, you should give peace a chance.


ALLEN: As we mentioned many protesters taking to the streets in the region. The anger and frustration over Mr. Trump's decision turned to violence in Lebanon. Our Ben Wedeman was there.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The rocks had no chance of hitting the U.S. Embassy north of Beirut; the chants calling for the embassy to be shut down probably barely audible to the American diplomats hunkering down inside.

The embassy itself is more than a mile way. But the message from more than a thousand Lebanese, Palestinians and others who gathered here was clear -- rejection of President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Agnan came from the Palestinian refugee camp of Ain el Hilweh.

"We can't do more than this", he concedes. "All we can do is raise our voices."

Some tried to stop the stone-throwing but failed. Lebanese Gendarme fired volley after volley of teargas knocking some protesters unconscious. Demonstrators burned homemade Israeli flags but their anger was aimed at their own leaders as much as it was at the usual suspects.

"We're used to Arab leaders in regimes who talk but do nothing," says Sheikh Hussein Khasim (ph). "Their condemnations and denunciations are useless."

|They're sheep" says Mohammed. "All those leaders are sheep. Even our children know they're sheep."

WEDEMAN: As the protests began to break up, more stones were thrown and out rushed Lebanese security arresting those who weren't fast enough to get away.

In the end the demonstration was dispersed by Lebanese security forces. The road leading up this hill to the U.S. embassy is secure for now.

Ben Wedeman, CNN -- north of Beirut.


ALLEN: Well, joining me from Jerusalem is Gil Hoffman. He's the chief political correspondent and analyst for the "Jerusalem Post". Gil -- thank you for talking with us.

First of all, as we just saw in our report protesters aren't just angry at President Trump over this. They're lashing out at their own leaders. Some saying it's time fore new leaders and a new approach. Is that something you're also hearing there?

[00:05:04] GIL HOFFMAN, CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, "JERUSALEM POST": Look in Israel there's no more consensus issue than the need for Jerusalem to be recognized as the capital by countries around the world and for the embassies around the world to be here in Jerusalem.

I've been covering politics in Israel now for 20 years and I've never seen the Israelis so united on any one issue.

ALLEN: I'm talking about the Palestinians.

HOFFMAN: Among the Palestinians they are going to be upset no matter what happens. Their leadership has failed them time and time again over the last 20 years and brought them to this situation. They've been offered many deals for peace that they haven't accepted. And right now with this administration placed in Washington they're going to get less of a good deal and probably a successor even less. Time does not work in their favor.

ALLEN: How would you gauge the passion of the Palestinians that have taken to the streets from your vantage point over this?

HOFFMAN: Much less than expected. We had a controversy here a few months ago about metal detectors that were placed at the Temple Mount on the way up to their holy site similar to the metal detectors that have been for Jewish holy sites for many years. And the protests there were much worse than the ones that there are now.

ALLEN: The Prime Minister Mr. Netanyahu said in Paris after meeting with President Macron that this is a move that needed to be done. You're echoing that. And he indicated it could lead to a renewed peace effort.

What do you think? Will this make peace negotiations harder or easier?

HOFFMAN: The truth is easier because there have been negotiations for 30 years that have failed with the same parameters that there have been. Jerusalem is not an issue that Israel would have compromised on anyway during the negotiations.

By dealing with the issue at the beginning now before the talks have even started, Donald Trump actually removed an obstacle that would have made the peace process harder. There's going to be a different approach where the Saudis, the Egyptians, the Jordanians are going to be pressuring the Palestinians to come to the table at a certain point and make concessions that they weren't willing to make in the past because they have no choice.

ALLEN: Well what about the President doing this unilaterally? Many of the U.S. allies are really upset about that? Is that going to create some chasm from friends of Israel?

HOFFMAN: America leads the world. And now with Donald Trump after Barack Obama that is what happens again and people around the world are going to have to get used to it. This is the way the President acts.

Covering politics for so many years I myself was shocked to see a politician keep a campaign promise. But he did and they should have expected this to happen for a long time and deal with the situation and make the best of it which means encouragin8 the Palestinians to come to the table and make concessions just like four years ago when Barack Obama was putting pressure on Israel to make concessions. The world joined America in doing that.

ALLEN: Yes. But what about the allies that say this was the wrong move and this will cause greater instability in the region?

HOFFMAN: I think they warned Donald Trump about it in the past and he made his decision to do it anyway and it's time to move on. Different leaders have different expectations.

This has been done. Now they should be together with the President, encouraging the Palestinians to come back to the table. We need to have a peace process. It's for the good of their people.

And then things can be done that have never been done before. There's an opportunity here that we haven't had -- Netanyahu said when Donald Trump came here that he sees more opportunity for change than at any point in his lifetime.

He's 68 years old. I think in a few months from now we're going to be in a very different place.

ALLEN: It could be but at the same time you are giving kind of a glowing review of President Trump. This is a man who has the lowest approval ratings of any president in decades and he's not exactly been embraced by his allies -- European leaders.

HOFFMAN: Or by American Jews who voted for him less than the other group. Israel is one of three countries around the world that have a significantly favorable approval rating of him. Israel is giving him a chance because look at what we've endure forward 30 years of presidents who have made mistake after mistake.

Repeating the same thing wasn't going to work. You know, thinking outside the box and being creative is obviously what was needed in the Middle East. And so the world should be giving him a chance on this as opposed to repeating failure after failure.

ALLEN: All right. We appreciate your thoughts. Gil Hoffman for us. Thanks -- Gil.

HOFFMAN: Thank you.

Just ahead here -- a crucial vote in the state of Alabama Tuesday will make a big impact on the U.S. Senate. An update on the race involving controversial candidate Roy Moore -- that's ahead.

Plus after nearly a week out of control wildfires are still raging in southern California. We'll tell you why firefighters are having such a hard time trying to contain them.


JULIE MARTIN, CNN METEOROLOGIST: I'm meteorologist Julie Martin with your forecast as we start things off on a very cold Monday for many of you here in the northeast all the way down to Florida.

We're looking at some of those sub-freezing temperatures. The snow has basically moved out that caused all of that trouble here in the southeast and in the northeast for hat matter.

So we will see a little bit more snow coming across the Great Lakes. A clipper system starts to work its way in. And then some very cold temperatures as we head into the week ahead for the northeast and the upper Midwest.

So taking a look at the blues and the purples and the pinks here on the map -- that's the cold air that's really going to be kind of dipping in across these northern territories.

By the time we get back out to the west though, looks like things will definitely be on the warm side. In fact temperatures running well above average in much of the western U.S.

Los Angeles 28, very gusty windy conditions once again there for the fire danger; those Santa Ana winds whipping up yet once again today. 26 here in Dallas; 13 and sunny skies in Atlanta; and 4 for New York City with partly cloudy skies.

Taking a look at the fire danger as I mentioned -- another day of very critical fire conditions expected. Going to be very tough conditions for the firefighters with those winds anywhere from the 20 to 40 kilometers per hour and the very warm weather as well -- temperatures running well above average.


ALLEN: This is a big week in U.S. politics. On Tuesday the eyes of the political world will be on the southern U.S. and the crucial senate race in Alabama. Voters will choose between Republican Roy Moore who has been dogged by a sexual misconduct scandal and Doug Jones the Democrat running in a fiercely Republican state.

As CNN's Kaylee Hartung reports the stakes are high for both parties.


KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The clock is ticking down to the December 12th special election for Alabama's junior seat in the U.S. Senate. Republican candidate Roy Moore has all hands on deck as he works to galvanize his base in this state -- conservatives and Christians. In this state that Donald Trump won by 28 points in the 2016 presidential election Roy Moore is depending on him for some help. Listen to a clip from this robocall that will be ringing across homes in the state of Alabama.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Hi. This is President Donald Trump and I need Alabama to go vote for Roy Moore. If Alabama elects liberal Democrat Doug Jones, all of our progress will be stopped cold.

[00:15:03] HARTUNG: This is just the latest effort by President Trump to support the Republican Moore. It was just last Monday that he explicitly endorsed the candidate. On Friday he took a trip to nearby Florida about 20 miles from the state line where he had encouraged Alabamians to come to the rally and then, of course, encourage them to vote for Roy Moore.

Now, in this home stretch of the race it will be interesting to see what impact this can have. But the targeted ground game for Moore is different from bringing in a heavy hitter like President Trump. Canvassers who are going door to door knocking, explain to me that they are going to areas where they know Moore has support.

The effort is all about getting out the vote. Getting people to the polls for a special election in December on a Tuesday when we're near the holiday season when politics is very far from many people's minds.

But for anybody who lives in the state of Alabama and from what I've experienced it would be hard to be unaware of an election that has gotten so much national attention.

In Birmingham, Alabama -- Kaylee Hartung, CNN.


ALLEN: Alabama's senior Republican senator says he could not and did not vote for Roy Moore. Richard Shelby tells CNN he's already cast his ballot and chose to write in a candidate.


SENATOR RICHARD SHELBY (R), ALABAMA: There's a time, we call it a tipping point. And I think so many accusations so many cuts, so many drip-drip-drip. When it got to the 14-year-old's story, that was enough for me; I said I can't vote for Roy Moore.


ALLEN: Joining me now, political analyst Michael Genovese president of the Global Policy Institute at Loyola Marymount University. Thanks for being with us.

Well, this week we will find out if voters in Alabama will stand by Donald Trump and elect Roy Moore -- a very controversial figure long before he ran for senate. If he wins, Michael, what does that signal?

MICHAEL GENOVESE, POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, that's a great question.

I think the key is what we'll be able to better answer the question was the 2016 Trump victory -- was it an anomaly based on Trump and his personality or does it have legs? Is that the shape of things to come? Is that in effect the future of the Republican Party?

But as Kaylee reported, you know, this is ve2ry Republican state -- 28-point win for Trump last year. So the expectation is that the Republican ought to win. The fact that it's close is pretty surprising to a lot of people.

But, you know, in off cycle elections such as this turnout's the key. The Republicans are going to count on the so-called evangelical vote.

For the Democrats the key for Doug Jones is can he get the African- American vote out? And that's why Cory Booker was stumping for him in the last couple of days.

ALLEN: Right. Well, Moore is accused by several women of sexual misconduct and/or assault. He flouts federal law as a judge. He openly denies civil rights for gays, not putting his thoughts on gays lightly. And Republicans still fell behind President Trump on this sans Mr. 8elby.

Is this a turning point? Those that were distancing themselves from Mr. Trump are now just going to fall in for the sake of the tribal politics we've been seeing?

GENOVESE: well, it's partly what happened. I mean Donald Trump did not endorse Moore in the primaries. The Republican Party initially says they were not going to support him. They caved in and now they support Moore.

So it's a devil's bargain for them. On the one hand they need his vote. That would be the 52nd vote, a very slim margin.

Problem is if he wins the Republicans are saddled for several years probably with someone like an alleged pedophile being the face of the party. And that's not going to do them any good.

I'm not talking about the south where they might win but in some of the marginal states that could be deadly.

ALLEN: Well, let's move to President Trump's decision on Jerusalem declaring it's the capital of Israel. He's definitely shaking things up in the Middle East -- protests in many countries.

But could this be something positive for peace? Many Palestinians have told our reporters they need new leaders and a new approach. Mr. Netanyahu said in Paris this could help the peace process.

What's your take?

Genovese: Well, that's the key question. Is this something that will be enhancing the process or will be it reducing the process and the likelihood of peace? The road to peace has been strewn with wreckage. Does this clear the wreckage or does it make for more of a mess?

The problem for Trump in the Middle East is that the two pillars of his policy in that region have been neglect and chaos. He goes in there intermittently then runs away and there's no sustained policy.

And so by giving Israel this gift, and it was a gift as much to Trump's base here in the United States as it was to Israel, because the evangelicals really like this call -- the call to move the capital the U.S. Embassy to Israel.

[00:20:01] So he's helping his base he's also helping Israel. Does he help the chances of peace? That's much less likely.

ALLEN: Right. It just seems that the base, Donald Trump's base, is kind of running the world right now according to the United States. All of his moves are for his core constituencies. So that's an interesting part of this.

But as far as making this move on this own, dismissing our close allies who said not to do this, concerned about stability in the Middle East, in some ways alienating close friends of the United States. Will that lessen the leverage he may have over our or his enemies as a result?

GENOVESE: Well, this is part of a pattern. You know, in Lebanon the United States withdrew; the French moved in. In Syria, the United States pulled back; Russia moved and Iran moved in.

And so the President's America first policy has been to let others do the heavy lifting in these regions with difficult problems and not get the United States involved. The problem for the United States is that that not only diminishes their leverage but it also makes us seem to be the country that is abandoning leadership of the global community.

ALLEN: And this is a country, of course, that brought down communism. So that's kind of -- that's certainly a new world order we'll have to think about.

Michael Genovese -- as always. Michael - thank you.

GENOVESE: Thank you Natalie.

ALLEN: Well, we turn to California now. Thousands of firefighters waging what seems like an endless roar against these destructive fires in southern California. They're currently working to contain six active fires.

The largest, the Thomas fire is still burning out of control as it advances north prompting fresh evacuations. It has now scorched 93,000 hectares and it's only 10 percent contained.

Since the fire started earlier this week some 200,000 people have been forced to leave their homes. Some are now returning to sift through rubble to see what little might have been spared. CNN's senior U.S. correspondent Kyung Lah has more from the fire area.


KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR U.S. CORRESPONDENT: Unrelenting and growing as punishing winds and dry land fuel the largest of California's fires, the Thomas fire.

DAVE ZANIBONI, SANTA BARBARA COUNTY FIRE DEPARTMENT: It's not a house by house fight yet. We're trying to prevent that. And, you know, if we can get the wind to cooperate with us the wind's definitely picking up now.

LAH: So you've been hitting it from the air as well as working it from the ground?

ZANIBONI: Yes, correct. The helicopters have been a huge help.

LAH: You see the wind as it pushes the embers this way, all of these embers fly towards the houses that haven't burned yet.

ZANIBONI: Firefighters -- they're busy.

LAH: Exhausted and in the back this truck injured. Thousands of firefighters weary after nearly a week battling wildfires raging across southern California.

In northern San Diego County homes burned in minutes. A wildfire spreading so fast terrified thoroughbred horses ran in circles trapped. Others burned alive in their barns. Some horses barely made it out; their trainers' escape route burning around them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've got five heading out of Sanders Rig (ph).

LAH: This entire neighborhood disappeared in just 20 minutes. Daylight revealed all that was lost.

In Los Angeles' Bel Air neighborhood, hillsides and mansions burned. More people running from flames.

FELICIA WALDMAN, EVACUEE: We just started panicking. We didn't know what to do. So we hadn't been told to evacuate but we were going to evacuate. So we just started thinking my husband said just take anything that you think you might need. Everything can be replaced. Let's just get out of here.

LAH: Nearly 200,000 people in southern California evacuated this week, some returning to a home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, honey. It's me. Our house is still there. Yes everything looks good.

LAH: Others digging through what's left.

DAVID KARIAN (PH), FIRE SURVIVOR: There's not much but if there's a few things that will help them, you know, have some connection to the past then that's what I'm trying to do. It is what it is. Material stuff, like you said memories -- a lot of years.

LAH: Back here in Santa Barbara County it's at night when the fire's fury is most visible. You can see it churning in those hills. It continues to march northwest.

But it's not just the wind. It's also the dry brush -- 250 days here in California without any significant rain.

[00:25:02] Kyung Lah, CNN -- Santa Barbara County, California. >


ALLEN: Meteorologist Julie Martin is joining us now with the latest on conditions. And I think Kyung Lah, Julie, just hit something really hard, you know, 250 days without rain. This is what happens.

And who knows if that situation will get better for California. This might be the new normal.

MARTIN: Yes. And Natalie, there's no rain in the forecast for the foreseeable future in L.A. County, Ventura County either. So unfortunately, things are not looking great in terms of the available moisture.

We are seeing a little bit of progress though. And we should get a little bit of help in terms of those winds as we move throughout this week.

So making some progress here but certainly a lot of that damage has already been done here in Southern California. The Thomas fire now the fifth largest in Ventura County; It's only 10 percent contained at this point. Twenty million people under a threat currently and elevated fire danger.

We are under a red flag warning through Monday evening for southern California. So those winds, those Santa Anas are expected to continue to whip up at least throughout Monday evening.

Temperatures are going to be on the warm side; the relative humidity down in the single digits in some cases. So we've got all those factors, those offshore winds continuing to flow. This is the longest-lived Santa Ana event of the season so far by the way.

The good news is our high pressure that is partly responsible -- that's going to be retreating up to the north. So those winds will be decreasing week. Again though still those firefighters really have their work cut out for them. They're going to have to get a handle on particularly that Thomas fire -- 930 square kilometers consumed already.

This is the size of Chicago to give you some perspective -- 606 square kilometers. So we're talking about an area of land that's already been burned that's bigger than the city of Chicago.

That fire continuing to push northward as well. So we'll keep our eyes on that one for you. Here's the other story we're following though. Europe hit very hard over the weekend with a lot of snow in places like the U.K. In fact at one point flights in and out of London were just at a premium, about 39 percent of them cancelled or delayed. And it's the heaviest snowfall in four years here in Derbyshire, England.

Numerous delays and cancelations, disruption to rail as well as that snow really settled in. The good news is it is moving out but we're looking at cold windy conditions for the remainder of the day -- Natalie.

ALLEN: All right. Julie -- thanks very much.

Well, in the aftermath of President Trump's Jerusalem decision, Russia's president is meeting with his Egyptian and Turkish counterparts.

We'll have a live report about what could come of those talks -- ahead here.




NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Welcome back. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Atlanta. I'm Natalie Allen. Here are our headlines.


ALLEN: Russian president Vladimir Putin has expressed concern over President Trump's Jerusalem decision. Mr. Putin is scheduled to meet with the presidents of Egypt and Turkey later Monday. CNN producer Gul Tuysuz joins us now from Istanbul with more.

And it certainly seems like Mr. Putin continues to enhance his presence in Middle East affairs.

GUL TUYSUZ, CNN PRODUCER: Absolutely, Natalie. The influence that Russia now has in the Middle East can't be understated. One of the first calls that Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the heels of the Jerusalem announcement was to Mr. Putin of Russia.

They spoke about it and a Turkish presidential statement came out, saying that both Putin and Erdogan believe that this decision is going to negatively impact peace and stability across the region. So agreement there from both leaders.

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been his fiery self the last couple of days. Yesterday he made one of those fiery speeches, in which he called Israel a terrorist state. He said it was an occupying power and the Jerusalem decision was null and void for him.

So there is a lot there to talk about with Mr. Putin and Erdogan meeting. Mr. Putin is also expected to go to Egypt, where he'll be meeting with leaders there as well. So it is going to be a week of diplomacy in the region concerning the Jerusalem decision.

Here in Turkey, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation will meeting so they can come up with some sort of action plan in the aftermath of the Jerusalem decision taken by President Trump.

And we're going to have to watch this week to see whether or not those diplomatic efforts, all these meetings, phone calls, conversations that regional leaders and world leaders have been having on the Jerusalem decision will have any impact whatsoever -- Natalie.

ALLEN: Gul Tuysuz watching things for us. Of course we'll be coverage Putin's meeting this week. Thank you.

Thousands of migrant workers are being evicted from their homes in Beijing. It's part of an effort by the local government to shut down what it calls unsafe and overcrowded housing. CNN's Matt Rivers joins us from Beijing with the details.

Sadly, Matt, this is happening during winter.

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Natalie, it gets extremely cold in Beijing during the wintertime. Many of the city's poorest residents were expecting to ride out the winter months in what used to be behind me.

You can see this wide-scale destruction, all of this debris used to be homes, used to be businesses. Sometimes they were combined. And they were occupied by migrant workers here in Beijing.

People generally from the rural parts of the country that came here to find a --


RIVERS: -- better life. Yet as a result of this latest government initiative, what you have seen is the people who were living here were given little to no warning before they were quite literally sometimes forced into the street.


RIVERS (voice-over): They came on a Sunday, armed with sledgehammers and a government mandate. Workers broke down doors and kicked people out of their homes. Forced evictions as Beijing's winter sets in.

A few days later we meet Jao Huewha (ph), who wants $3 for the kettle but settles on $2.50. A week ago the kettle and the rest sat in her tiny apartment in South Beijing. Now it's all laid out for sale, in freezing temperatures on a dirty street.

"Our apartment was demolished," she says. "I'm sad. I'll be homeless."

She and other rural migrants had been living in this building. But on November 25th, this notice went up.

"Tenants, please clean out before November 26th at 5:00 pm or there will be consequences."

As promised, the government showed up the next day. Within hours, crews left the building uninhabitable. We walked through to see walls stripped bare, windows broken, ceilings torn down and signs that residents had left in a hurry.

They had to leave some stuff behind. There's shoes still on this rack. Inside this bedroom, there's still a mattress on the frame. There's clothes in that dresser behind me. They're all examples that show how fast these people were forced to leave their homes.

It's all part of a government campaign to rid the capital of what it calls illegal structures. This after a fire last month killed 19 people in Beijing's Dashi (ph) neighborhood. Though often unsafe, these types of structures are all most migrants can afford.

Critics accuse the government of using that fire as an excuse to force hundreds of thousands of poor migrants out of the city and back to where they came from. The government denies that.

In a rare open letter, dozens of prominent Chinese intellectuals call the evictions, quote, "a vicious incident that breaks the law and tramples on human rights."

The evictions have prompted an outcry online and, not surprisingly, authorities have censored talk of the issue on Chinese Internet. And on the streets, security has been deployed to keep order, including these plainclothes enforcers who tried to stop CNN from shooting here.

This is a public street.

Why are you interfering?

And back outside Jao Huewha's (ph) apartment, there's 24-hour security as we saw for ourselves.

What's happening now is we're being forced to leave the building because the security guards say that it's not safe. They don't want us to film, even though residents are still having to come in here to try and collect their stuff. Clearly it isn't that safe. There's broken glass on the ground.

But it shows you the struggle these residents are facing. They want their stuff but these guys won't let them get it.

This place once welcomed migrant workers. Many worked low-end jobs in construction and restaurants. And now some are being forced to leave the city they helped build.

"I had no choice but to go," Jao (ph) says. "We can't find housing. It's time to go home."

(END VIDEOTAPE) RIVERS: And we know that the government doesn't want us talking about this, as you saw in the piece. We also know the CNN signal currently being shown inside Mainland China has been blacked out completely. This is ongoing, Natalie. This isn't stopping anytime soon. We're not exactly sure how many migrants.

There's no way to know exactly how many people have been forced out but we know that it's happening continually and the government doesn't want to talk about it.

ALLEN: We appreciate the fact that, while you were getting kicked out of that building, you kept right on reporting. Way to go, Matt Rivers for us there in Beijing.

A top U.N. envoy says tensions on the Korean Peninsula are the world's most dangerous security issue. Jeffrey Feltman made a rare visit to North Korea last week. He arrived at a critical time, just one week after North Korea tested an advanced long-range missile.

Feltman met with the country's foreign minister to discuss the growing tensions with South Korea and the United States. He says a diplomatic solution is possible if both sides pursue sincere dialogue. But he says time is of the essence.

All right. Still to come here, what's better than one Santa Claus?

Well, hundreds. We'll tell you why these people ran around in the cold, dressed like old St. Nick. That's coming up.





ALLEN: Good news for investors wanting to cash in on bitcoin's wild price jumps without having to actually buy bitcoin.

On Sunday, the Chicago Board Options Exchange opened its bitcoin futures market. It's the first time a government regulated exchange has allowed trading on the digital cryptocurrency's value.

Right now a single bitcoin is worth more than $15,000. So top economists warn that bitcoin's volatility signals a bubble about to pop. Other insiders say it will grow more stable with widespread acceptance. We shall see.

This weekend in Denmark, hundreds of people took part in a special charity run in a city in the country's south. Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language).

ALLEN (voice-over): Who needs a sleigh when you can run?

The Santa Claus Run was organized by The Matches (ph), charity name after a story by legendary Danish author Hans Christian Andersen. The money raised will be used to give 500 families a Christmas dinner and a gift.


ALLEN: How nice. Christmas spirit there.

I'm Natalie Allen. Up next, it's "WORLD SPORT." I'll be back at the top of the hour with another hour of news from around the world. You're watching CNN.