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Alabama U.S. Senate Race; Jerusalem Controversy; Massive Thomas Fire Grows To 5th Largest In California History; Former Officer Acquitted In Fatal Shooting Of Unarmed Man; Concerns North Korea Could Disrupt Winter Olympics. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired December 11, 2017 - 02:00   ET







CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Embattled Republican candidate Roy Moore doubles down on his denials as the race for the U.S. Senate seat in Alabama heads down to the wire.

ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Plus tensions flare over U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

VANIER (voice-over): And this is the biggest threat to Southern California right now. The Thomas Fire threatening Santa Barbara and forcing more evacuations.

CHURCH (voice-over): Hello and welcome to our viewers here in the United States and, of course, all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church.

VANIER (voice-over): And I'm Cyril Vanier. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.


VANIER: So we're just one day away now from an election that could have a profound effect on the U.S. Senate. On Tuesday, voters in the U.S. state of Alabama will choose between Republican Roy Moore and Democrat Doug Jones.

CHURCH: Moore is a prominent figure in Alabama politics but he is facing sexual misconduct and assault allegations from decades ago, all of which he denies. Now those allegations have kept Moore's opponent competitive in this deeply Republican state.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DOUG JONES, ALABAMA U.S. SENATE CANDIDATE: I have been all over the state. I can't remember the number of place over the last two months. We've been some 250, some 60 events over the last couple of months.

Roy Moore has done two in the last three weeks. Maybe two in the last month. He's not even in the state of Alabama this weekend. He went to the Army-Navy game. At least that's the report. Folks, he is in hiding.


VANIER: Now Moore received a full-throated endorsement from president Donald Trump.

CHURCH: Alex Marquardt has a look at what's been happening just days before the vote.


ALEXANDER MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, these two candidates are taking very different tacks in the final weekend of campaigning before the special election held on Tuesday.

Judge Roy Moore has not been heard from or seen all weekend. He did not hold any events and he is likely letting the president do his talking for him.

The president has recorded a robocall for the judge, in which he repeats his endorsement and says that Moore is needed in the Senate to help him advance his conservative agenda. Take a listen.


DONALD TRUMP (R), 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.


MARQUARDT: Now on the other hand, the Doug Jones campaign is firing on all cylinders, pulling out all the stops. The name of the game is get out the vote.

On Sunday alone, Doug Jones visited seven different churches. He also enlisted some Democratic heavy hitters including former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick and New Jersey senator Cory Booker, who can help in particular with the African American electorate, who will be absolutely crucial in this election.

Now this was already a tight race but these allegations against Roy Moore have made it even more competitive. So Doug Jones, in these final hours and days, is targeting undecideds, moderate Republicans, women and those African Americans.

To give you a sense of what an uphill battle this will be for Doug Jones, if he stands a chance of winning, he needs a black turnout almost as high as Barack Obama's in the 2012 race.

That was a presidential race. This is an off-year, a special election that is being held in mid-December. We did get a bit of a glimpse into the confidence that Doug Jones may be feeling.

He said today that if he had been asked the odds of how he would be doing in this election when he first got into it, he said it would be the same odds as seeing 5 inches of snow in Birmingham, which we have seen over the past few days.


VANIER: Alex Marquardt reporting there from Birmingham, Alabama.

So the Democrat Doug Jones likes his odds in this race. Let's see what our panel thinks.

CNN political commentator Ben Ferguson is with us. So is political analyst Ellis Henican. Ellis writes the "Trump's America" column for Metro Papers.

The only thing we know for sure about this race is that it is close. Some posts predict a Jones victory. Others go the other way. Several are within the margin of error. So it's close.

Ben, as a conservative, when all is said and done, after weeks of scandal, how do you feel about Roy Moore's candidacy?

BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think he shouldn't be in the Senate, to be honest with you. I've said for a long time that I think we can do better than this. I think that the accusations against him, at least some of them are credible and I personally don't believe that he should be in the U.S. Senate.

But many people in Alabama have put it to me this way. They say, look, I'm not voting for him because he represents my values. I'm going to vote for him because he represents my interests in Washington and what I care about in Washington.

And I can't give up that interest to a Democrat that does not support the values or the, quote, "interests of the state." And so there is a lot of voters --


FERGUSON: -- I think are very torn on what they're going to have to do on Tuesday.

VANIER: But those same voters that tell you about values, they don't feel that Roy Moore is running afoul of those same values because of those credible accusations against him?

FERGUSON: Sure. That's why they described it the way I said it a moment ago. They say, look, he doesn't necessarily represent my values but he represents my interests. We're a conservative state. They have a lot of problems with the

Democratic candidate, especially on other issues like abortion. As one caller said to me tonight on my radio show. They said look, I didn't vote even for Roy Moore during the primary. I think he is a bad candidate, the weakest candidate.

But I hope he gets this job and then maybe even, as one caller said, they unseat him and then we get someone appointed by the state so at least my interests are still being represented in Washington, D.C.

Look. The majority of the callers I talked to said they're going to vote for him. They're not big supporters of him. But I think he is probably going to win this election.

VANIER: Interest versus values. That probably sums up this race.

Ellis, you're usually on the liberal side of this conversation can.

Are you rubbing your hands thinking this can only be good for the Left?

What's happening?

ELLIS HENICAN, METRO PAPERS: Boy, I think the politics are right. But there is a moral abomination at the core of this thing that really, I think, goes beyond whatever the narrow political calculations are.

You can make a case, Cyril, that either way the Dems win here. Either they get a seat they didn't expect to get in Alabama or they get a wonderful campaign issue for the midterms and they can, you know, turn Roy Moore into the poster boy of the Republican Party.

We can all understand the political benefits of that. But I got to tell you, I think when we reach the point of having otherwise decent people sending a child molester to the United States Senate and coming up with all these excuses -- and Ben just laid out a couple of them -- oh, maybe they'll replace him later or I've got this economic interest --


VANIER: Should they seat him if he is elected?


HENICAN: -- But we cross some line beyond that. I think it's highly likely that they will. The mechanics of not doing it are very difficult. The principle of allowing people to decide who they want to represent them is a strong bedrock of American politics. So I've got to say, if you vote to this guy, you're sending him to the Senate. Get used to that, Alabamans.

VANIER: Listen to what the senior senator from Alabama, Richard Shelby, had to say on Sunday.


SEN. RICHARD SHELBY, CHAIR, SENATE BANKING COMMITTEE: There is 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've said I can't vote for Roy Moore. The state of Alabama deserves better. I think we've got a lot of great Republicans that could have won and carried the state beautifully and served in the Senate honorably.


VANIER: Ben, I think I heard you say those exact words, "Alabama deserves better," a little while ago.

Are you concerned that this will hurt Republicans and the Republican Party writ large, including the president?

FERGUSON: I do. I think it certainly can hurt because you lose the moral high ground on an issue like this.

Look, we had a week last week, where you had three people that resigned in Congress. Right now is not the time to, I think, compromise on your values.

What I know is this. My personal moral beliefs outweigh politics every single time. I could not walk in with a good conscience and hit a button for Roy Moore. This would be an example of an election that I probably just would not vote in because I also, with a clear conscience, could not support the Democratic candidate.

And there is going to be, I think, a significant number of people that do that. But ultimately, special elections usually have smaller voter turnout. And here is the one caveat.

Everybody is well informed in Alabama on these accusations, on the women they do believe and some of them they have question marks about there, what they've had to say about Roy Moore. They know everything.

And I think they're the ones that are going to get to decide this on Tuesday if they're going vote their values or they're going to vote their interests. And I think a lot of them are going to vote their interests more than they're going to vote their values.

VANIER: Ellis, do you think the Democratic Party, which has taken the opposite stance, by cleaning shop, kicking out all those who have been accused of sexual misconduct, do you think that strategy is a winning one, interests versus values, Democrats choosing values?

HENICAN: I don't know. I've kind of been scratching my head about that one. I like the moral purity of it. But you kind of feel like a sucker at some point, don't you?

When your guys all quit in shame and the other side just says, I deny everything and I won't face any evidence, frankly, right up to the White House. I don't care what any of these people say.

And so forget about it. I ain't going nowhere.

At some point you sort of feel like --


HENICAN: -- you're kind of on the sucker side of that bet.

FERGUSON: With all due respect, let's be clear about something. I think both parties here have not led on this issue very well. You've had Nancy Pelosi that was backing up John Conyers just a couple of days before he finally was forced to resign --


FERGUSON: Hold on one second. You even had -- and this is the part where I think we should take politics out of it and be clear about the lack of leadership here.

You had the Senate minority leader send out an e-mail press release, saying that he thought that Al Franken should step down after the news had already broken that Al Franken was stepping down. That's not leadership.

HENICAN: Where has the moral outrage been on the Republican side?

We've got a guy who may well win in Alabama.


HENICAN: Keep your eyes open tomorrow because I know a bunch of the women of the Trump accusers are getting ready to do an event tomorrow that might prove interesting as well.

It's time, though, isn't it, for decent Republicans with a good moral compass, Ben, maybe you included, to stand up and say you know what?

Maybe some of our guys ought to go, too.

FERGUSON: Like said, I would not vote for Roy Moore. And have I not told anyone to vote for him. I don't think that he has the characteristics needed or the moral -- I think background core issues that matter to be in the U.S. Senate.

VANIER: Gentleman, interests versus values, I think Ben put it best. We'll see which one wins out. That's on Tuesday. Thank you, gentlemen, for joining the show.

HENICAN: Good seeing you guys.

CHURCH: An interesting discussion there. We'll take a short break. Still to come, the U.S. decision on Jerusalem raises tensions between Israel and Turkey. How their leaders are attacking one another.

VANIER: Plus, after nearly a week, out-of-control wildfires are still raging in Southern California. Why firefighters are having such a hard time containing them. Stay with us.





CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone.

A decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital may be turning U.S. allies against one another. Protests over the move have rocked the region for days now. This was the scene in Turkey, Sunday, including a mass demonstration in Istanbul and a scathing speech from president Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a party meeting in the city of Sivas (ph). Here's what he said about Israel and U.S. President Donald Trump.


RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, PRESIDENT OF TURKEY (through translator): You don't have such an authority. Palestine has always been under occupation since 1947. Israel is a state of occupation. Israel is a terrorist state. Mr. Trump, we will not fall for your mistake.


VANIER: Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not take kindly to that. Listen to his response.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL: I'm not used to receiving lectures about morality from a leader who bombs Kurdish villagers in his native Turkey, who jails journalists, who helped Iran go around international sanctions and who helps terrorists, including in Gaza, kill innocent people. That is not the man who is going to lecture us.


CHURCH: Benjamin Netanyahu there.

So let's get the latest now from CNN's Gul Tuysuz and Ian Lee. Gul is in Istanbul and Ian in Jerusalem.

Good to see you both.

Gul, let's start with you. Strong words from Turkey's president in response to the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

What impact is this having on Turkey's relations with Israel?

And what's likely to come out of Mr. Erdogan's upcoming meeting with Russia's President Putin?

GUL TUYSUZ, CNN PRODUCER: Well, Turkey is going to be looking for support and cooperation from Russia. And we've been seeing Russia playing a bigger and bigger role in affairs across the Middle East and in the region in general.

And that role used to be reserved mainly for the U.S. But we see Russia stepping into that role. One of the first phone calls that Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan made in the aftermath of the decision on Jerusalem was to Mr. Putin.

So really, Turkey is pivoting towards Russia, looking for support and cooperation there. And this week is going to be important for Turkey as it tries to build some sort of international consensus.

On Wednesday, Muslim leaders will be gathering here in Istanbul and coming up with a game plan. And, of course, Russia will play into that game plan, whatever it may end up being.

And for the Turkish-Israeli relationship, that is a relationship that has been on the rocks and had just recently started being mended. And we can see now that it's really starting to fall apart once again.

Turkey threatening to cut diplomatic ties with Israel in the aftermath of the announcement. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan saying that it could lead to diplomatic ties being cut. So a rocky relationship that had just started being restored once again taking a fumble and we'll be watching to see what comes of that -- Rosie.

CHURCH: Yes, that's critical. Thanks for that.

I want to go to Ian Lee now, who's in Jerusalem as mentioned.

Ian, what impact will this likely have on any efforts to find peace in the Middle East?

And what will this mean for Israel's relationship with Turkey from its perspective?

IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Rosemary, like Gul said, that the relationship had been rocky. It was starting to thaw in June of 2016.

But what we're seeing right now is a crisscrossing of red lines. For Turkey, they said that making Jerusalem the capital of Israel was one for them. For Israel, they only see Jerusalem as their capital.

The one thing that's interesting to note is, after the United States declared Jerusalem as the capital of Israel --


LEE: -- we didn't see any other countries follow suit, at least not yet. We've heard rumors but none of them have done it.

We also have been watching closely what President Mahmoud Abbas has been doing. He has been traveling around Arab countries with close relations with the United States to try to garner support.

Yesterday he was in Jordan, speaking with King Abdullah. Today he is going to be speaking with President Sisi of Egypt. Both countries have condemned the United States' move but both countries are close U.S. allies. We'll be watching them closely to see how far they'll go with their condemnation.

Prime minister Netanyahu yesterday was also in France. He spoke with Emmanuel Macron. Macron didn't hide the fact that he showed his displeasure for this announcement made by the United States. He urged the Israelis to have a goodwill measure towards the Palestinians. But he said that France isn't going to follow suit.

And France has been one of the most vocal countries against this warning of this instability that this could see. And like Gul pointed out as well, there is a bit of a power vacuum after this. The United States was seen as the mediator between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

And with the Palestinians saying the United States needs to take a back seat because they're no longer seen as a neutral party that can deal with this, who is going to come in and fill that vacuum?

Could it be Russia?

It's hard to tell. Likely not, because it doesn't have that special relationship it did over the decades with the two parties. But it is going to be difficult to see how this peace process does move forward with the absence of the United States.

CHURCH: All right. Many thanks to Ian Lee in Jerusalem and Gul Tuysuz in Istanbul. Thank you.

VANIER: On Sunday, police used tear gas and water cannons to keep demonstrators away from the U.S. embassy in Beirut. And U.S. policies were not the only target for protesters. Our Ben Wedeman reports from the site of the protests just north of the Lebanese capital.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): 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 away.

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.

Adnan came from the Palestinian refugee camp of Ain el-Helweh (ph).

"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 gendarmes

fired volley after volley of tear gas, knocking some protesters unconscious. Demonstrators burned homemade Israeli flags. But their anger was aimed at their own leaders as much as (INAUDIBLE).

"We're used to Arab leaders and regimes who talk but do nothing," says Sher Hussain Kasim (ph). "Their condemnations and denunciations are useless."

"They're sheep," says Muhammad (ph). "All those leaders are sheep. Even our children know they're sheep."

As the protest 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.


CHURCH: The U.S. ambassador to the U.N. says she believes the decision on Jerusalem will actually help the peace process.

VANIER: Nikki Haley cited the will of the American people as she defended U.S. President Donald Trump's decision in an interview on CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION."


NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: For 22 years, you've had presidents and the American people ask for the embassy to be moved. And no president, not Clinton, not Bush, not Obama actually made -- had the courage to make that move and listen to the will of the American people.

The Senate just overwhelmingly again voted to have the embassy moved. So the Senate did the will of the American people.

When it comes those that are upset, we knew that was going to happen. But courage does cause that. When you make a decision, you're going to have some see it negatively --


HALEY: -- and you're going to have some see it positively. I strongly believe this is going to move the ball forward for the peace process.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: How is it going to move the ball forward for the peace process?

One of the things that's been pointed out -- first of all, let me just say that I'm sure Presidents Bush, Clinton and Obama would dispute the idea that they didn't do it because of courage.

But putting that aside, President Trump is supposed to be a master negotiator.

Isn't this just cashing in a chit and getting nothing for it?

How does this move the peace process forward in any way?

highly Not at all. And I'll tell you, all the presidents wanted to do it and everyone around them kept saying, don't do it, don't do it. This president said, for 22 years, that waiting didn't help us. Now let's try and move the ball.

What I will tell you is, you know, you have to look at the situation, that he just took Jerusalem off the table. He just took it off the table. So now they get to come together. They get to decide what the borders will look like. They get to decide the boundaries. And they get to talk about how they want to see Jerusalem going forward.

All we did was say this is not something that we're going to allow to happen in the middle of your negotiations. You come together and you decide what you want from the Israelis and the Palestinians for the peace process to look like.


CHURCH: And we'll take a short break here. But still to come, the family of an unarmed man who was shot and killed by an officer says he was executed. But a jury disagrees. The video of his last moments alive.

Plus --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can see the wind as it pushes the embers this way. All of these embers fly toward the houses that haven't burned yet.

VANIER (voice-over): Uncontrolled wildfires tearing through Southern California. We'll tell you what's it like for firefighters on the front lines, just ahead. Stay with us.



[02:30:00] CYRIL VANIER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Welcome back everyone. Good to have you with us. I'm Cyril Vanier.

ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: And I'm Rosemary Church. We want to update you now the main stories with following this hour. Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore defended himself against sexual misconduct allegations in an interview released Sunday. He said he doesn't even know the woman who were accusing him. Voters will choose between Moore and Democrat Doug Jones on Tuesday to fill Alabama's vacant Senate seat.

VANIER: Is really Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is defending President Donald Trump's decision on Jerusalem. He is talking about it in Brussels where he is meeting with European Union Foreign Ministers. Mr. Netanyahu suggested Jerusalem has always been Israel's capital and said Palestinians need to in his words, ''Come to groups with this reality.''

CHURCH: In Southern California, the rampage in Thomas fire has moved north prompting more evacuations. The largest of the six infernos has jumped 10 percent contained and has now scorched more than 93,000 hectares. California's governor says extreme fires could be the new normal for years to come.

VANIER: And there's some 200,000 people have been forced to leave their homes because of these fires and some people are starting to return.

CHURCH: They're digging through rubble to see what little they might be able to salvage. CNN Senior U.S. Correspondent, Kyung Lah has more now from the fire area.

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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not a house by house fight but, yes. We're trying to prevent that and, you know, if we can get the wind to cooperate with us, the wind is definitely picking up now.

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

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

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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The firefighters, they're busy.

LAH: Exhausted. And at the back of this truck, injured, thousands of firefights 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 a lived in their barn. Some horses barely made it out, their trainers' escape route burning around them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got by heading out of (INAUDIBLE)

LAH: This entire neighborhood disappeared in just 20 minutes. Daylight revealed all that was lost. IN Los Angeles Bel Air neighborhood hillside, the mansions burned. More people running from flames.

FELICIA WALDMAN, EVACUEE: We just started panicking. We didn't know what to do. So we haven't been told to evacuate but we were going to evacuate. So we just started thinking -- my husband said, ''Just take anything that you know 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 KAPLAN, FIRE SURVIVOR: There's not much. But if there's a few things that would help them have some connection to the past then that's what -- then that's what I'm trying to do. That's what it is. Material stuff but like you said memories of a lot of years.

LAH: Back here in Santa Barbara County it is at night when the fires fury has most visible, you can see it turning 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. Kyung Lah, CNN Santa Barbara County, California.

VANIER: Let's go to the CNN Weather Center now. A meteorologist, Julie Martin is standing by. Julie, the weather conditions are really key to putting out the fire. So how is it looking?

JULIE MARTIN, CNN METEOROLOGIST: That's right. And as Kyung was mentioning no rain in a very long time in Southern California, none expected either. The good news is the winds will start to die down but this has been the longest Santa Ana wind event so far this season. So it's been very tough for the firefighters. The fire we're most concerned about right now, the Thomas fire, 237,000 acres it is only 10 percent contained right now. So this is one that will continue to watch 359 square miles that's bigger than the city of Chicago to give you some perspective.

[02:35:06] So that fire continuing to cause a lot of trouble here but the good news is five of the six fires currently burning are at least 70 percent contained as we speak. So firefighters had been making some headway. Taking a look at the threat level though, the temperatures are going to be up there once again today as well as the wind, the humidity very low. So all of those ingredients coming together. The Santa Ana winds firing up at least to this evening then we will start to see a change in the pattern. This high pressure moves off to the north and weakens some, so those winds will start to die down by the time we get into Tuesday and the rest of the week.

We want to talk about the winter storm over in the U.K. as well. This one dropping the most snow in about four years through a part of the U.K. Actually here in Germany it shut down the airport in Duesseldorf at the height of the storm also disrupted a lot of air travel not only here in Germany but also in London and in Birmingham, England as well. So we did get quite a bit of snow coming in with this year in Sennybridge, Wales 30 centimeters on Sunday and here in England high, we had 12 centimeters. So the good news is the snow has pushed out but that cold air waiting in the wings coming in behind it as well as the gusty winds. So we will see more bitterly cold air coming in today as well as very windy conditions throughout the U.K. and parts of Germany.

So taking a look at some of those wind gust, we could see anywhere from say 20 to 40 kilometers per hour here throughout the next couple of days actually as our system continues to push on out. As far as any more precipitation coming we could see more snow certainly as we get into France and portions of Germany still picking up considerable snowfall the rest of you for the rest of the week. Like it looks like it will be raining after the white stuff. Back to you.

VANIER: Julie Martin joining us from the CNN Weather Center, thank you very much. We got a few inches of snow here at the rest of the CNN Headquarters here in Atlanta but we're through with the wildfire.

CHURCH: Atlanta doesn't cope very well with it, doesn't it? Even tiny bits. Yes.

VANIER: U.S. President Donald Trump has been a climate change denier and now the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency appears to be removing references to climate change from its website.

CHURCH: One group tracks the EPA's thousands of web pages. And CNN's Rene Marsh has more on what they found.


RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION & GOVERNMENT CORRESPONDENT: This is a group of 10 volunteers using software that alerts them when a change is made to the agency Web site. They've been tracking the changes since President Trump got into office and they say the EPA is slowly erasing the facts.

It's happened again, the Environmental Protection Agency scrubbing more references to climate change from the agency's Web site. In the EPA's strategic plan, climate change resilience is gone and links on how to adopt the climate change gone, too, on EPA's Web page for the nation's most contaminated superfund sites, click the climate change link you'll find it's been updated to reflect the EPA's priorities under the leadership of President Trump.

SCOTT PRUITT, ADMINISTRATOR, EPA: I don't even know what it means to deny the climate. I would say they're climate exaggerators.

MARSH: The agency says, of course, the site will be reflective of the current administrations' priority, but this isn't the first time the Trump administration has wiped away references to climate change. CNN reported in April, the agency scrubbed this page devoted to climate change, instead, this message popped up. Andrew Bergman is a part of the team of academics and non-profits monitoring the government Web site for changes.

What's the ultimate end-goal, you think?

ANDREW BERGMAN, ENVIRONMENTAL DATA AND GOVERNANCE INITIATIVE, EPA: I think in the short-term, to be able to, you know, more easily repeal certain regulations they don't like without as much pushback from -- you know, from the public. MARSH: The EPA says all the contents from the Obama administration is still easily accessible and publicly available on its Web site, but the monitors we spoke to say, while it doesn't appear that the agency deleted any information, they've archived it in ways not easy to find.


CHURCH: All right. Well, good news for investors wanting to cash in on Bitcoins while the price gems without having to actually buy the Bitcoins. On Sunday, the Chicago Board Options Exchange open its Bitcoin future's market, it's the first time a government-regulated exchange has allowed trading on the digital cryptocurrency value.

VANIER: So right now a single Bitcoin is worth more than 16,000 dollars. Some topic I don't want to miss, one that Bitcoins volatility signals a bubble about the top, they say it's imminent. But other insiders say it will grow just more stable with widespread acceptance.

CHURCH: We'll keep an eye on that. All right. The shooting death of this unarmed man has fought outrage.

[02:40:01] Still to come why the jury found the officer who shot him not guilty of murder.


CHURCH: A jury in Arizona has acquitted a former police officer of the murder of an unarmed man. The officer says he felt threatened. But the body camera footage of the incident appears to tell a different story.

VANIER: And now we have to warn you, some of our viewers may find this video disturbing. CNN, Paulo Sandoval reports on this.


PAULO SANDOVAL, CNN U.S. CORRESPONDENT: Newly released body camera footage of this police shooting shows Daniel Shavers last moments. Police were responding to a report of a man pointing a rifle out of a hotel window.

PHILIP BRAILSFORD, MESA POLICE DEPARTMENT OFFICER: Hands up in the air! You do that again we're shooting you, do you understand?

DANIE SHAVER, KILLED BY A POLICE: Please. Do not shoot me.

VANIER: Begging for his life.

BRAILSFORD: OK. Listen to my instruction.

SHAVER: I'm trying to just do what you say.

BRAILSFORD: Don't talk, listen. Hands straight up in the air. Do not put your hands down for any reason. You think you're going to fall, you better fall on your face! Your hands go back in the small of your back or down, we are going to shoot you.

SHAVER: Yes, sir.

SANDOVAL: An officer then ordered Shaver to crawl towards him. He does complies but then moves his right hand behind him despite the warning. The officer Philip Brailsford fires five rounds, killing Shaver. Brailsford was charged with second-degree murder over this January 2016 shooting. In an interview with police, he said he thought Shaver was going for a gun saying, ''He could have easily and quickly draw a weapon down on us and fired without aiming. He could have hit us with a citizen that we had just detained.'' No gun was found on Shaver, Brailsford was acquitted last week. His defenders saying his actions were justified.

NATE GAFVERT, PRESIDENT, MESA POLICE ASSOCIATION: Pretty much with every use of force, a subject matter expect that redo this case absolutely said he acted consistently with his training.

[02:45:00] SANDOVAL: On the tape, Shaver repeatedly order to follow officer's instructions.


[02:45:05] PHILIP BRAILSFORD, FORMER POLICE OFFICER, MESA, ARIZONA: If you make mistake, another mistake, there's very severe possibility you are both going to get shot. Do you understand that?


BRAILSFORD: If you move, we're going to consider that a threat and we are going to deal with it and you may not survive. Do you understand me?

SHAVER: Yes, sir.

SANDOVAL: Despite the warnings he received, Shaver's family does not believe the shooting was justified. Their attorneys saying in a statement to CNN, "That's an execution, pure and simple. The justice system miserably failed Daniel and his family."

Witnesses, later, told police, Shaver was showing them an air rifle he used in his job exterminating pest. Polo Sandoval, CNN, Atlanta.


VANIER: Coming up after this next break, next year's Winter Olympics will taking place on one of the world hot spots. South Korea, just kilometers from North Korea, why Korea watches a worried about the North, next.

CHURCH: Plus, this little boy's emotional plea about bullies has thousands rallying behind him. The celebrity standing with a young kid. We'll have that for you in just a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) MARTIN: I'm Meteorologist Julie Martin with your forecast as we start things off on a 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 down that caused all the trouble here in the southeast and in the northeast for that matter. So, we will see a little bit more snow coming across the great lakes. The 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 pinks here on the map, that's the cold air. That's really going to be kind of dipping in across this northern territories.

But, time we get back off 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 size in Atlanta. And four 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. It would be a very tough condition for the firefighters with those winds anywhere from 20 to 40 kilometers per hour, and a very warm weather, as well, temperatures running well above average.


[02:50:05] VANIER: Of a group that won in 2017 Novel Peace Prize, says, countries with nuclear arms must eliminate their instruments of insanity.

CHURCH: The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons accepted the prize in Oslo on Sunday. In her acceptance speech, the group's executive director gave a stock warning.


BEATRICE FIHN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN TO ABOLISH NUCLEAR WEAPONS: The story of nuclear weapons will have an ending. And it is up to us to decide what that ending will be. Will it be the end of nuclear weapons or will it be the end of us? One of these things will happen. The only rational course of action is to seize living, honor the conditions where our mutual destruction is only one impulsive tantrum away.


CHURCH: And one of those nuclear countries is, of course, North Korea. And everybody is watching to see what it might do with the Winter Olympics coming to South Korea Zone.

VANIER: As Brian Todd reports, no one is taking Kim Jong Un's notoriously unpredictable regime for granted. BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As tensions with Kim Jong Un's Regime intensify, U.S. law enforcement and security agencies are ramping up coordination with their South Korean counterparts. Just eight weeks before the Winter Olympics, concerns are mounting that North Korea might engage in a violent provocation to disrupt the games which are being held just 50 miles South of the DMZ.


JAMES GAGLIANO, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: My concern are softer targets, and obviously, things that the North Korea might do to provoke the South Koreans that to attempted to cause either the game is being shut down or events being moved, or potentially war.

TODD: Security expert says, soft targets like transportation hubs, schools, and shopping areas could be targeted by the North Koreans during the Olympics. Could athlete from America and elsewhere be endangered? U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley, hinted added on Fox when asked if America would send its team to the games.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It feels comfortable sending family members that they were athletes on our team?

NIKKI HALEY, UNITED STATES AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: I think it depends on what's going on at the time. And that, in the country we have to watch this closely and its changes by the day.

TODD: But now, the White House and U.S. Olympic Committee say, America is planning to send its athletes to the Winter Olympics. Still, there is a unique security threat at this games. The location, and razor sharp tensions over Kim's missile test have the region on edge.

North Korea has used tunnels to try to insert commandos and frogmen into South Korea for spying and assassinations. And the regime has a history of violence, surrounding major South Korean sporting events. A South Korean airliner was blown up by two North Korean agents in 1987, with all 115 people on board, killed.

One of the agents was captured, and said the bombing was ordered by the North's leader to disrupt the 1988 summer Olympics in Seoul. And during the 2002 World Cup in South Korea, North Korean patrol boats engage in the skirmish with the South. Leaving several servicemen on both sides, dead? Analysts say Kim has strong motives for disrupting this Winter Olympics.

PATRICK CRONIN, CENTER FOR A NEW AMERICAN SECURITY: He is facing the prospect of two years of maximum economic strangulation through sanctions, another law enforcement measures to really cripple this economy.

He's going to look for ways to fight back. One way to fight back is to hurt the South Korean economy. The South Korean economy right now is 100 percent focused on a successful international Olympic event. So, imagine cyber sabotage, you don't kill anybody but you just disrupt the economic flow, the transportation flow. You create a headache for the South Korean government. You make the South Koreans look bad, they lose face.


TODD: Analysts say, if the North Koreans don't engage in a violent provocation during the Winter Olympics, they're at least likely to send spies in the South Korea during the games. They say the Olympics will offer the North Koreans an opportunity to gain economic intelligent on South Korea to play slip our agents there. And to make contact with agents they already have in South Korea. Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.

VANIER: We want you to -- we want to introduce you now to keep in charge. The video we're about to show you went viral and you'll find out why. Keaton gets bullied in school. Other kids pour milk on him, they make fun of his nose, they make fun of his pose. This is what he explained to his mom after she came to pick him up in school early because he was too afraid to have lunch there.


KEATON JONES, BULLIED BOY FROM TENNESSEE: What did they do to be (INAUDIBLE) what did I do to other people? Because they are OK. Before that they're different don't need to be criticized about it. They insult your fault but if you want to make fun of just don't, don't let it bother you, please, stay sad like this.

[02:55:00] VANIER: His words have touched a lot of people. Thousands are rallying behind Keaton now, including celebrities like Snoop Dogg and Star Wars icon, Mark Hamill. It also straps a cord with Tennessee Titans, Titan Delanie Walker, who invited John's family to up come and game. And Ultimate Fighting Championship President Dana White also took notice. He wrote this, "Meet Keaton Jones, a very smart little boy who is being bullied at school. This video is heartbreaking. I want to bring Keaton to Vegas and hang out UFC headquarters."

CHURCH: On Captain America, is on also on Keaton side after Chris Evans invited him and his mom to the Avengers premiere in Los Angeles next year, And Banes King tweeted this, "You may have heard of my parents, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and (INAUDIBLE) king. I tried to honor them and their legacies. I'm so sorry about the pain you experiencing because of bullying, you met her, I love you. And a go fund we paid has been set up to Keaton's college tuition. It has already raised more than $46,000 that is great news in date, isn't it?

That's great to see. We'll let support for him as well.

And thank you for watching this hour CNN NEWSROOM, I'm Rosemary Church.

VANIER: I'm Cyril Vanier, CNN NEWSROOM continues right now with the latest, stay with us.


CHURCH: U.S. President Donald Trump, gives his full (INAUDIBLE) endorsement to controversial Senate candidate, Roy Moore --