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Haley Shows Proof of Iranian Missiles; Yemen Still Feel the Effects of Civil War; FCC Voted on Internet Regulations; Unrest on the Streets of Middle East Over Trump's Decision; Omarosa Out of the White House; Japan To Impose Fresh Sanctions Against North Korea; E.U. Council To End Phase One Of Brexit Negotiations; Prime Minister May, We Are On Course To Deliver On Brexit; Disney's Game Changing Deal With Fox; Russian President Looks For Re-Election Next Year. Aired 3- 4a ET

Aired December 15, 2017 - 03:00   ET


[03:00:00] NATALIE ALLEN, HOST, CNN: Protest in Washington as the U.S. Federal Communications Commission takes a vote that could affect the speed of online searches. Also.

GEORGE HOWELL, HOST, CNN: Emotions run high in Charlottesville as the KKK returns, but also there, a jazz musician who says he's on a mission to stop hate.

ALLEN: It's all ahead here this hour. Thank you for joining us. We're coming to you live from Atlanta. I'm Natalie Allen.

HOWELL: And I'm George Howell from CNN world headquarters. Newsroom starts right now.

ALLEN: Our top story. The United States says it has proof Iran is supplying missile to Houthi rebels in Yemen. The U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley made that claim Thursday.

HOWELL: She was standing in front of debris as you see there, debris that the U.S. says was a missile fired last month from Yemen into Saudi Arabia. Haley called it concrete evidence that Tehran poses a threat to global security


NIKKI HALEY, UNITED STATES AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: This evidence is part of what has led the U.S. intelligence community to conclude unequivocally that these weapons were supplied by the Iranian regime. The evidence is undeniable. The weapons might as well have made in Iran stickers all over it.


ALLEN: Well, Iran's foreign minister scoffed in a tweet. He wrote, "I saw this show and what it begat." He was referring to then-U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell's faulty claim back in 2003 that Iraq was hiding weapons of mass destruction which helped set the stage for the Iraq war. HOWELL: Well after years of war, Civil war in Yemen, the toll on

civilians is evident. Seven million people, a quarter of that nation's population, is starving, many of them young children. In fact, one child dies every 10 minutes.

ALLEN: Our Clarissa Ward obtained rare access to Yemen and has an exclusive report. We warn you the video is disturbing.


CLARISSA WARD, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: This is how Ahmed spends his days, lying on the concrete floor, trying to swat away the flies with what little energy he has. Looking at his tiny body ravaged by hunger, you would never guess that Ahmed is five years old. His brother died of malnutrition two months ago.

"We are in a war, there's no food, no water," his mother Sumayah (Ph) says. "Only God knows our pain."

It's a pain shared by too many here in the same small village. We met Abdul Rahman, (Ph) an overwhelmed father of five. He is worried about his son Abdul Wahab (Ph). There is no doctor nearby, and no scale but he can't weigh more than five pounds.

"The problem is that my wife doesn't have a lot of breast milk," he says. "She is sick, too." And it's not hard to see why. There is almost no food in it.


So, they have some bread? Some onions. No meat.

Hunger has always been a problem in Yemen. The two and a half years of war has starved the country. Three million people are displaced. Many live in filthy camps where disease and infection are rife, and malnutrition difficult to combat.

There is food in the market. It's just that few people can actually afford it. And that's what's so tough to get your head around about this crisis. It's not caused by a bad harvest or a drought. It's caused by man.

A Saudi Arabia-led blockade has cut the amount of food and medicine getting into Yemen by more than half. What does come through is heavily taxed along the way.

Rural clinics struggle to meet the scale of the need. Ten-month-old Ali has gained seven ounces since his last visit, a welcome improvement, but he is still suffering from severe malnutrition.

You haven't done anything wrong, the nurse tells his mother. But he's still weak so I really want you to focus on this problem.

For Ahmed, it may be too late. He's been sick for years now. He only speaks when the pain is too much. He tells me, my tummy hurts, my head hurts, Sumayah (Ph) says. He cries. [03:05:00] Hardship and hunger, this is Yemen's story.

"My whole life, agony and I, are like lovers," this Yemeni song goes. Why, world, do you only show us the terrible things?"

But the world doesn't hear his lament while the silence of starvation tightens its grip on a forgotten people.

Clarissa Ward, CNN, La Hash (Ph) Province, Yemen.


ALLEN: A powerful story from Clarissa there. We want to talk more about the situation in Yemen. Dina El-Mamoun is head of policy and advocacy for Oxfam in Yemen.

HOWELL: She just returned from Yemen and now joins us live in London. Thank you so much for being with us. Where to start? The images that we just saw, you say heartbreaking, but I don't even think that word quite paints the picture.

Just tell us from what you've seen. You were there. Talk to us about the conditions of these families, of these children who have dealt with so much hell after so many years.

DINA EL-MAMOUN, HEAD OF POLICY AND ADVOCACY, OXFAM INTERNATIONAL- YEMEN: Well, the images that we have seen here in this footage is not isolated incidents. The footage you see, whenever you go to hospitals that treat malnutrition, in cases malnutrition.

And we've also seen those during the time of the cholera outbreak as well, because there is a strong connection between malnutrition and susceptibility to cholera as well. And we've seen wards in hospitals have been dedicated to treating those children, and also we've seen the makeshift tents have been erected in yards of hospitals just in order to take the cases that have been flooding in to the different hospitals.

I also want to mention that during the last escalation in terms of the conflict in the last couple of weeks or so, we have seen the total devastation that has actually resulted because of not only the blockade, but also the street-level fighting.

We've seen the streets completely empty of people. People who are sleeping, asking for food in order to feed their children. We have received messages of people who are only a few hundred meters away from us saying that they have run out of food. They were caught unprepared.

There are clashes where there (TECHNICAL DIFFICULTY). That they are unable to come out as well as there are sniper fire everywhere. If you're lucky, you might get one shop at one bakery in the neighborhood and that will serve thousands.

So you can imagine how terrible that is. In addition to that, in addition, you will see the attacks was so strong that buildings were shaking and windows were forced open. And it was really devastating and scary.

ALLEN: Yes. Dina, I want to jump in here and ask you about that blockade. What else -- who -- what nations can help relieve that suffering through the blockade? So many people have said the world is indifferent to the situation in Yemen. Would you characterize it like that?

EL-MAMOUN: Well, it's really multiple factors here, multiple agents or actors. We are looking obviously at the conflict, the coalition, the Saudi Arabian-led coalition in particular.

But we also look at the U.S. and the U.K. So actually put some pressure to relieve the blockade on commercial imports. The point is, it's not just that humanitarian assistance that comes in through the U.N. or NGOs.

Yemen is reliant on commercial import which what makes up more than 70 percent of the food that comes in. So, actually to have a lifting of the restrictions of the humanitarian assistance and not on the commercial imports is not adequate.

And we have seen that, what is coming in is very minimal, and that has actually caused a significant rise in the prices. We've already seen as reported, the prices are too high already for people to buy, but now they are even higher. Fuel has gone up by 600 percent in some areas.

So, you can imagine the end result in terms of the cost of food in relation to that. Also, in terms of the general cost of food, in risen in the region of 100 percent depending on the area, and on the food item itself.

[03:09:54] So, this is significant and it's also been going on over a month now. Really Yemeni politics more in this there in terms of the conflict, in terms of the blockade, and we are really urging a cease fire. We are urging also a return to the negotiations, and most importantly, lifting the commercial blockade as soon as possible.

HOWELL: Dina, thank you so much for taking time again. You were there, you saw a lot of this. Our Clarissa Ward also, you know, showing us what's happening in that nation. A lot of families, a lot of children desperately in need of food and water.


ALLEN: Thank you for your information, Dina. We can tell that you care very much about this situation and know much and we wish you all the best in helping them for us. Thank you.

HOWELL: The Middle East is bracing for more protests after the change in the U.S./Jerusalem policy. It was just a week ago that President Donald Trump recognized the city of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Since then, there have been near constant demonstrations.

ALLEN: Many people were asking, how Muslim leaders might respond to Trump's action on Wednesday. An answer, the organization of Islamic cooperation held an emergency summit and recognized east Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state.

CNN's Oren Liebermann is in Jerusalem for us. Oren, this declaration on east Jerusalem, was that expected?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Natalie, there were certainly an expectation that there would be some sort of move with respect to an emergency meeting of the organization of Islamic cooperation.

And this effectively was the strongest form of diplomatic protest they could register. Not only with each other, but with the world in terms of recognizing east Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state.

It's a largely symbolic move in terms of the fact that it doesn't change facts here on the ground. And yet, as a symbol, much like President Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, it can be an important statement since symbols are so important in Jerusalem.

But, Natalie, that's how to look at it as the strongest form of diplomatic protest back against the U.S.'s move of recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

ALLEN: All right. There were protests one week ago following Friday prayers. What is expected this Friday, perhaps, Oren?

LIEBERMANN: Practically, Natalie, we expect much bigger protests because a number of Palestinian factions have called on large-scale protests not only in e West Bank which is fairly standard, but also here in Jerusalem.

And you get a sense of it here behind me. This is the Damascus gate, one of the sort of traditional flash points where we've seen a lot of tensions not only in recent weeks but of course in recent months and years.

What you can see here is police and border police setting up barricades to try to control the flow of traffic here as worshippers head into Al-Aqsa for midday Friday prayers. That will be the moment we are looking at in just a few hours.

What happens after those prayers and do these effects of trying to control the crowds here, does it work or does it only serve to inflame the Damascus gate and all of Jerusalem? That we'll find out in a couple of hours, Natalie.

ALLEN: And can you -- does it feel tense where you are right there, Oren?

LIEBERMANN: Not at the moment. It's still too early. It's just past 10 o'clock in the morning here. So, at the moment there is a relative calm but there are a number of police and border police more than we're used to seeing. And it is worth noting that there are more worshippers heading in at this early hour again, than we're used to seeing on an average Friday.

So the potential is certainly there for what could be a very contentious day at the Damascus gate and throughout Jerusalem and the West Bank.

ALLEN: All right. We hope that's not the case. Oren Liebermann, we know you'll be covering it for us. Thank you, Oren.

HOWELL: The way Americans use the internet could radically change. Major decision by regulators. We'll have that story ahead.

ALLEN: Also ahead here, she is out of a job but she still has plenty of attitude. Omarosa leaves the White House, but the former reality TV star says she has a story to tell.


ALLEN: Thousands of Rohingya Muslims were killed in the first month of a military crackdown in Myanmar not hundreds as the government claims. That's according to a new report from Medecins Sans Frontieres, also known as Doctors Without Borders. The aid agency is investigating the eruption of violence against the Rohingya and its aftermath.

HOWELL: The group says at least 6,700 people were killed in attacks starting in late August, and that's a conservative estimate. More than 700 of the victims were children under the age of 5 years old, and even more people died from disease and malnutrition.

ALLEN: Well, on Tuesday of this week, the U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the U.S. was ready to sit down and talk with North Korea even if it was just about the weather.

HOWELL: But CNN has learned those comments took the White House off guard. It sent aides scrambling. They even took the unusual step of later clarifying Tillerson's statement. Some White House aides were concerned the remarks would confuse U.S. allies.

ALLEN: The State Department said later that it's on the same page with the White House and knows it's the president who calls the shots.

HOWELL: Well, the U.S. President still hopes to deliver a major tax reform package this month.

ALLEN: But there are signs his planned Christmas gift could land with a thud.

CNN's Jeff Zeleny is following this one for us.


JEFF ZELENY, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, CNN: President Trump grabbed a pair of golden scissors today at a White House photo opportunity on cutting regulations. But beyond the smiles tonight, deep questions remain over the prospects of the signature republican tax plan.


TRUMP: I think we will get there. It will be in a very short period of time. It will be the greatest Christmas present that a lot of people have ever received. It will be something special.


ZELENY: The $1.5 trillion tax plan is in its final stages, but still not over the finish line as the White House and republican leaders scramble to ease last minute skepticism.

At the capitol Senator Marco Rubio of Florida made a bombshell announcement, saying he will vote no on the GOP's tax plan unless it expands the child tax credit. He's the second republican senator to voice his opposition. The president downplayed the concerns.


TRUMP: I think we'll be there. He's really been a great guy, very supportive. I think Senator Rubio will be there very shortly.


ZELENY: But that confidence from the president was not reflected in the raw math of the Senate. Two republican senators, John McCain of Arizona and Thad Cochran of Mississippi, are both ill. They've been away from the capital all week, making other republican votes even more critical.

With the razor thin margin in the Senate, Vice President Pence said today he would delay a trip to the Middle East until next week so he'll be on hand to break a tie if needed.


ZELENY: The president asked the House and Senate to stay here in Washington and finish this bill even if it means leading into the Christmas holiday.

SARAH HUCKABEE-SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We're pretty confident that we're going to get there before then, but this is something that I think both the House, the Senate and the president are all committed to seeing happen. And we're very hopeful that it will take place at the first of next week.


ZELENY: The White House is making tentative plans for the president to sign the bill into law before leaving for his holiday break at Mar- a-Lago. He's told aids he wants to sign what would be his biggest legislative achievement in the east room, which is best tuned in Christmas decorations.

But the plan still needs another vote in the House and Senate. The latest version set to be announced Friday is expected to lower the corporate tax rate to 21 percent. Lower the top individual rate to 37 percent. And repeal the individual mandate in Obamacare.

But concerns still hang over the bill, particularly whether it has more benefits for the rich or middle class Americans. A key sticking point, when the tax cut for individuals would expire, 2025, or even earlier.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It isn't going anywhere.

ZELENY: All this amid new questions of Speaker Paul Ryan's future. Some of his close friends tell CNN he had soul-searching conversation about how long he may serve as the leader of the House republicans.

[22:20:02] At the White House, those reports cause alarm. Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said the president reached out to Ryan one of his closest partners on Capitol Hill.


SANDERS: We made sure that the speaker knew very clearly and in no uncertain terms if that news was true he was very unhappy with it.


ZELENY: Now that phone call from President Trump to Speaker Ryan indicates the fact that they are close partners. They have indeed worked on legislation throughout the year. This tax plan is the key example of that. The president pushing for a vote on that in the coming days.

He would like to sign that bill into law, which would be the biggest legislative achievement of his first year in office. He hopes to do that by Wednesday, but before then many hurdles need to be crossed.

Jeff Zeleny, CNN, the White House.

ALLEN: Another story we are watching closely, U.S. regulators voted to undo net neutrality protections giving service providers greater control over the way consumers get their internet content.

HOWELL: That decision comes with widespread protests. Demonstrators say those protections keep the internet fair and keep it open. Whatever your view on the issue, the internet in the United States is now bracing for some big changes.

ALLEN: Our Laurie Segall breaks it down for us.

LAURIE SEGALL, TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT, CNN: What is net neutrality? It has nothing to do with the volleyball or tennis court. The net refers to the internet, something that's become as necessary as water and power for most of us.

The neutrality part is about keeping the net the way it is today. It's a set of rules that went into effect in 2015 to prevent speed traps on the information super highway.

In other words, speeding up access to some sites and slowing down access to others or blocking certain sites entirely. So, are these rules a bad thing? It depends on who you ask.

The companies that deliver your internet like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T have spent millions in lobbying money to get rid of net neutrality. Arguing that having the government micro manage their business is not good for them or their consumers.

On the other side, are internet giants like Facebook and Google, streaming services like Netflix and former President Obama. They all argue the internet is a public good and should be regulated like one. They also say that companies that own the pipelines could play favorites.

For example, a content provider like Netflix is in direct competition with Comcast which owns NBC Universal and controls access to the internet for over 20 million customers. You can imagine a scenario where NBC would want to speed streams of its shows and slow down streams of its rival, Netflix.

Now, Netflix can afford to pay for the fast lane. It is worth more than $70 billion. But the next Netflix, some awesome start up, can't.

ALLEN: We'll wait and see what happens with that. Well, news from the White House, a former reality TV star who worked there, Omarosa, you may know her by that one name. She had a short and controversial stint with the Trump administration.

HOWELL: She was a big star on the "Apprentice," which just happens to be President Trump's previous gig on that show she earned a reputation.

Here's CNN's Randi Kaye.

RANDI KAYE, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, CNN: Omarosa Manigault-newman thrives on conflict. In fact, she's built a career out of it.


OMAROSA MANIGAULT-NEWMAN, OUTGOING ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT: Every woman has a bitch switch. They have to learn how to turn it on and turn it off.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you have yours on?

NEWMAN: Absolutely.


KAYE: That was Manigault-Newman on the Wendy Williams show back in 2008, promoting her book, "The Bitch Switch." She joined NBC's "The Apprentice" four years earlier, quickly becoming the star villain.


NEWMAN: You're not going to talk to me like that.


KAYE: Omarosa Manigault-Newman has created a name for herself literally. She's often referred to as simply Omarosa as if she was Cher or Madonna. And her attitude always on display.

During a segment on Fox Business News, the gloves came off after another guest corrected Manigault-Newman for mispronouncing her name.


NEWMAN: When Tamara says that Donald Trump...



NEWMAN: It's the same time difference, boo. You want to come on with big boobs, then you deal with the pronunciation of your name.

MARIA BARTIROMO, HOST, FBN: Why are you bringing up Tamara's boobs?


KAYE: After the election, the reality TV star turned White House aide also made waves when she was a guest on The View.


NEWMAN: Do I know it has to be really, really hard after, you know, the last year and a half of all the things that you said about Donald to see him sitting in the Oval Office. I know it's going to be hard for you.


KAYE: In June, Manigault-Newman took on the Congressional Black Caucus. Some caucus members reportedly took issue with her signing their invitation to the White House as the honorable Omarosa Manigault. And view the White House visit is just a photo op for the president. Manigault-Newman shot back.


NEWMAN: They're showboating and they're actually shorting out their constituents that they committed to represent by not coming to meet with the president.


[03:25:00] KAYE: Two months later, she sparred on stage at this gathering for the National Association of Black Journalists.


KAYE: Back in her reality TV day, she often tangle with Latoya Jackson on the "Apprentice."


NEWMAN: Yes, you have to think strategically, boo, because you're on the wrong side of Omarosa today.

(END VIDEO CLIP) KAYE: And Janice Dickinson on the surreal life.


NEWMAN: Bitch got what came to her.


KAYE: The tough talking Manigault-Newman seems to be taking her quest from her former boss.


NEWMAN: Mr. Trump said it's good some time to have a bad reputation.


KAYE: And her reputation followed her to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue where a former White House official told CNN that former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and his replacement General John Kelly both were anxious to get rid of her.

After her removal, Manigault-Newman described Kelly's style on ABC as militaristic.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She said she has a story to tell. I'm sure she'll be selling that story.




KAYE: In response, Omarosa Manigault-Newman calling Robin Roberts petty suggesting this is now a black woman's civil war.

Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.

ALLEN: Well, she doesn't go quietly. That's for sure.

All right. Up next here, the U.K.'s Prime Minister Theresa May assures European leaders Brexit is on track despite losing a key parliamentary vote. We'll go live to Brussels for the latest on that.

HOWELL: Plus, tragedies like those in Charlottesville, Virginia remind America that racism is part of the present, not just part of the past. One man there, though, working to change that. We'll have that story as CNN Newsroom pushes on.


HOWELL: Welcome back to viewers around the world. You're watching CNN Newsroom. Thank you for being with us. I'm George Howell. ALLEN: I'm Natalie Allen. Here are our top stories.

The U.S. has presented what it says proof Iran is supplying missiles to Houthi rebels in Yemen. The American ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley made her case Thursday while standing before missile debris recovered from Saudi Arabia. Haley said there's no doubt the weapons were made by Iran. Iran denies that.

HOWELL: The U.S. President thanked his Russian counterpart in a phone call Thursday for complimenting his achievements and praising the U.S. economy.

Mr. Putin made his remarks during his marathon news conference earlier in the day. The leaders also discussed North Korea and U.S./Russian relations.

[03:29:58] ALLEN: Well, Japan is expanding sanctions against the North Korean regime of Kim Jong-un, a government spokesman says Japan will freeze assets of 19 more North Korean institutions. Pyongyang has fired missiles over Japan as it ramps up its missile and nuclear program.

Within a few hours, leaders of the European Union in Brussels are expected to formally declare an end to phase one of Brexit negotiations with the U.K. and now comes the hard part.

HOWELL: The hard part indeed. The British Prime Minister may arrived in Brussels Thursday despite losing a critical vote in parliament. Ms. May says the U.K. is still on track to leave the E.U. in March of 2019. Let's of course talk about this with our correspondent in Brussels, Erin McLaughlin on the story. Erin, with lawmakers in the U.K. voting to have the final say on any Brexit deal, May walks into this phase two with a weaker hand.

MCLAUGHLIN: That is right, George. There is some concern about that here in Brussels, which perhaps is why the E.U. Leaders are taking the summit as an opportunity to show their support for Theresa May. You definitely get the sense that the E.U. wants to see Theresa May remain at the helm of the British government, having considered their alternatives that they believe that she is the best person considering the alternatives to see Brexit through. We heard yesterday from the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Brute who called her a formidable politician for having delivered that Brexit deal last week, bringing Brussels, Dublin, London, as well as the DUP, Democratic Union Party in bell fast together. And last night there was a dinner in which she made a brief speech about Brexit, after which she was met with a round of applause. Jean Claude Younger, the President of the European commission this morning on arrival here was asked about that. He said that that was in recognition of her, quote, big efforts.

He said that this has to be recognized. So, you definitely get the sense the E.U. Leaders are supporting Theresa May in this process. They recognize that she has been greatly weakened after that disastrous general election. And they're happy definitely to get the sense as well with the deal that she managed to broker that really satisfies, in their view, sufficient progress on the three areas that matter most to the E.U. The financial settlement, the Northern Ireland issue, although that is still outstanding. Diplomats tell me that is going to have to be addressed again in the future, as well as citizens. They are expected today at the summit to discuss Brexit as well as give the green light to phase two of the talks, George.

HOWELL: Erin, you mentioned those three topics. Let's talk about the comments of the Brexit secretary David Davis who describe the deal as a statement of intent, suggesting that the resolution is far from finalized with details still to be worked out rather than a binding legal commitment. How is that being perceived by leaders there in Brussels?

MCLAUGHLIN: Well those remarks, were really not received well following that statement. David Davis had to walk it back a little as well as make a few phone calls to various E.U. officials here in Brussels, explaining exactly what it was that he meant. So, we have heard from the spokesperson of the European commission on that as well say that it was at this point a gentleman's agreement, but what I think we'll see out of this summit is a push from the 27 remaining E.U. heads of state and government to make sure the deal is translated quickly into legal text, George.

HOWELL: Erin McLaughlin on the story live for us in Brussels. Thank you for the reporting today.

ALLEN: Exactly six months ago, 71 people died in that tragic inferno at Grenfell tower in London, but any criminal charges are not expected in the future. The metropolitan police say its investigation probably won't be finished until 2019.

HOWELL: The survivors and relatives of the victims, the past six months have been incredibly hard. Many former residents still are without permanent housing. On Thursday a memorial service marked that tragedy. CNN's Diana Magnay has this report for us.


DIANA MAGNAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The cold white one facade of St. Paul's cathedral where the memorial service took place, stark contrast to the inferno of that night and the black caucus of the Grenfell tower. Echoing across the cathedral and its somber congregation, message of thanks for the support from voices within the community.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They provided their services, their clothes, their food, their money, and you know, they're probably going through hardships themselves.

[03:35:06] MAGNAY: The multi-faith service for those of faith within the community and for those of none. Attended by members of the royal family whose visits have been welcomed and by the Prime Minister whose visits have not. The leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbin with the direct message before the service for Theresa May who promised quick relief that has been slow coming.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Make sure everyone in Grenfell gets a permanent place as quickly as they possibly can. Secondly, put the resources in to building this social housing we need in this country to end homelessness and severe overcrowding, which damages young people's lives.

MAGNAY: It is still six months on, as many struggle to cope with lost. More than 100 families are stuck in emergency accommodation, cramped into small hotel rooms. Those tasked with this service were requested to stay away from the service. This was the moment to mark six months since the fire, to remember the 71 people who lost their lives, but to move on is so much harder for a community who still feels their voice is not being heard. Public inquiry will begin to hear evidence in the new year, but there are complaints that the diversity of Grenfell is not represented here. Poet Melissa Mindy lost two of her cousins in the fire.

MELLISSA MINDY, POET: I lost my voice that day. And I can write, but I can't write and I can't really express how I feel because it's indescribable. There are no words for that kind of ending. You know, warnings were given. Nobody listened

MCLAUGHLIN: This Thursday for an hour they did, a rare moment of unity. A justice for the survivors and for the bereaved still a long way off. Dianna Magnay CNN London.


HOWELL: There has been a deadly collision between a train and a school bus, this happened in southwestern France. You see the image here. Investigators say they are still trying to figure out what happened there.

ALLEN: The FMTV says at least four people were killed and about 20 others including the woman driving the bus were injured. We don't know any more information right now. We'll continue to work this story. The French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his condolences.

About four months ago in the state of Virginia, the United States saw something many thought had long been left behind.

HOWELL: What we saw, a full-on white supremacists KKK, neo-Nazi marched out in the open streets in a college town our Sarah Sidner was there on Thursday as some of those demonstrators had their day in court.


SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No one could forget what happens here when white nationalist showed up in Charlottesville as did counter protesters. But four months later we want to show you what happened when the KKK showed up and went to court.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You (BEEP). Do not come into our city and try to rewrite history.

SIDNER: In Charlottesville emotions are raw, tensions are still high.


Four months after hate turned into homicide here, members of the Ku Klux Klan were showed up and were confronted outside court, they are here to support a member of the clan. Also in court, James Fields, the man accused of driving his car into a crowd, killing young protester Heather Heyer in August and the man who brought the white nationalists unite the right rally to Charlottesville.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can't do anything in this town.

SIDNER: In the midst of those trying to scream down hate, the rare occurrence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's going on, man? How are you doing? Darrell Davis, a blues musician, and an imperial wizard of the Ku Klux Klan agree to meet and find common ground.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As Americans, your confederate history is as much a part of my history as my black history is part of yours. It is time we know one another.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are exactly right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, how do we convince these people to say, hey, look, we can spend all your life arguing or we can move forward?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know as well as I do. My organization has a bad history.

SIDNER: But their meeting wasn't welcomed by some.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me ask you a question.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, you can't and me a question about (inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well then you have no solution, then.

SIDNER: Davis says he does and has the KKK robes to prove it.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How many robes have you gotten from the Klansmen?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: About 44, 45 and Clans women.

SIDNER: And Clans Women?


SIDNER: Who have said why?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're done. As a result of meeting me and having these conversations. Not overnight, but over time.

SIDNER: For more than 30 years, Davis has been on a mission to change minds, especially of those who would rather see him dead, he was drawn to Charlottesville in part because he says the unite the right rally was not about saving confederate statues.

[03:40:11] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The reason they were there was to initiate the first steps of a race war.

SIDNER: Surprisingly, clan leader Billy Snufr agreed wholeheartedly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of them were not here for the statue. They were here --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To cause trouble.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They were here to cause a race war.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is exactly right.

SIDNER: A descendant of slaves trying to make inroads with the Virginia clan leader, a chance of change they know will be a long road.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you understand what her concern is at all? Do you see anything?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, slavery was wrong.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Slavery was wrong.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But there were white slaves too. You don't hear about that. You don't ever hear about the white slaves.

SIDNER: And with that last sentence, Imperial Wizard Snufr use a tactic that is employed by racist to try and equate somehow the hundreds of years of institutional generational slavery forced on black people with what happened to the Irish here in America when they had to suffer through indentured servitude. But none of that phases Darrell Davis. His philosophy is when the conversation ceases, there is fertile ground for violence and hatred. Sarah Sidner, CNN, Charlottesville, Virginia.


HOWELL: Sarah, thank you for the report.

ALLEN: Let us hear it for Darrell Davis.

HOWELL: Indeed. Still ahead, a Russian President, a marathon news conference and what made the U.S. President call to say "thank you?"

ALLEN: Also ahead here, an unlikely pairing in the corporate world, the mouse and Fox. We'll have details on Disney's megadeal coming up.


HOWELL: Welcome back to CNN newsroom. The U.S. President called his Russian counterpart on Thursday to thank Vladimir Putin for praising him and the job he is doing with the U.S. economy that praise came during the Russian leader's marathon news conference held earlier in the day.

ALLEN: Well, we also learned during that news conference that when the two leaders talk, it's bit like a boys club. Putin said he calls the American President Donald, Donald calls his Vladimir. There's more. Here's Brian Todd with it.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: By Vladimir Putin' standards, this was a brief news conference. Speaking for more than 3 1/2 hours, the Russian President didn't spare any degree of flattery for his controversial American counterpart. Putin said President Trump has been working under great constraints and limitations, but, so far so good.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (TRANSLATOR): Objectively we can see a number of fairly serious achievements over the short period he is been at work. Look at the markets, for example.

TODD: What's Putin's calculation for complimenting President Trump?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He wants to be in a position where he is grading the administration that elevates his status certainly in front of his own people as if he is assessing the Trump administration. He also wants to drive a wedge between the administration and the congress. He is acutely aware it was the congress that pushed the sanctions over the summer.

[03:45:20] TODD: Putin also brushed off the investigation into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. The former KGB colonel calling it espionage mania.

PUTIN (TRANSLATOR): This is all dreamed by people who are in opposition to Trump to make sure that everyone thinks that what he is doing and working at is illegitimate. It's just delirium, its madness.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It also feeds into President Trump's concern about the intelligence community, the so-called deep state, President Putin acknowledged this was something that was created to divide. So, it just strengthens President Trump's views on this investigation.

TODD: Putin's own reelection next year is a foregone conclusion. Still, this authoritarian leader had the nerve to say he wants a, quote, balanced political system with competition. He was asked why there is no effective opposition running against him.

PUTIN (TRANSLATOR): when you are talking about opposition, it is not a matter of just demonstrating in the streets. What you have to do is propose something to make things better.

TODD: This from the man whose opposition has an extraordinary habit of meeting up with violence. Alexa, the most vocal opponent of Putin's who is still alive has been arrested on corruption charges he says are concocted by Putin. Naval has been repeatedly jailed and prohibited from running for office. Pro prominent Putin opponents like (inaudible) and Vladimir (inaudible) have wound up dead or poisoned to the brink of death.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People that threaten the stability and the longevity of that regime suffer consequence, fatal consequences or they are bankrupted. They are, you know, forced into exile.

TODD: After he wins reelection next year, analysts say Vladimir Putin may try to inject some fresh blood into his circle he may replace some members of his team. He may even install a new Prime Minister to try to make Russians think he is actually undergoing reforms. But at the core, they say, this will be the same Vladimir Putin who won't willingly give up power any time soon. Brian Todd, CNN Washington.


ALLEN: We turn now to a megamerger in Hollywood. Two of the biggest players in Hollywood, Disney is buying a huge chunk of 21st century Fox for more than $52 billion. The entertainment giant will get big movie and TV franchises and expand its global footprint with 350 channels in 170 countries.

HOWELL: 21st Century Fox will keep its news channel, business network, and some sports channels. The executive co-chair of Fox, Rupert Murdoch, says the game changing deal began with a casual chat with Disney's CEO. Listen.


RUPERT MURDOCH, EXECUTIVE CO-CHAIRMAN 21ST CENTURY FOX: This started with Bob Iger a friend of mine. We had a couple glasses and just talking about our businesses and the industry generally, the forces, disruption happening. That was all. He ran me back a couple weeks later and said, this conversation a bit more. I said it was only two months ago.


HOWELL: Disney is hoping that deal will give it an edge over digital rival like Amazon and Netflix with its extensive vault of content Disney can offer exclusive titles through its own streaming services.

ALLEN: Content, content, content.

HOWELL: Big word.

ALLEN: The deal still faces hurdle CNN's Alice Stewart breaks it down for us.


19 years ago.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It grows into a powerful emotional climax.

STEWART: Much of Fox including the Simpsons will soon be owned by Disney.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it is clear today that consumers want access to entertainment, one that is high-quality. But, two, they want access pretty much anywhere any time anyhow.

STEWART: Fresh from the "Star wars" red carpet, Disney CEO Bob Iger will soon have many more movie premiere to attend. Disney already owns huge media franchises. Star wars, The avengers and Frozen. Now with the Fox acquisition, it will add X-men, Planet of the apes and Ice age under its fold. Then the pay TV group, Sky, Star TV, a stake in Hulu, and a load of cable TV channels giving it a massive global footprint and more content for the streaming services it plans to launch.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have to remember that they are only going to be a handful of global brands in the streaming space. We know one is Netflix, the other is called HBO, one is Amazon video and let's guess the, fourth will be called Disney. Fox itself is just too small to even contemplate using its brand outside the U.S.

STEWART: Meanwhile, Rupert Murdoch's Fox Empire will be soon brought down to Fox News, Fox sports, and its broadcasting network. He spent the last 30 years building up his empire, now he is selling most of it off.

[03:50:14] Another mega merger in a space struggling to compete with digital rivals like Netflix and Amazon. Disney has given some detail on the shopping spree. The questioned remain will this help Fox's battle for British regulators to take over sky? What will happen to Rupert Murdoch CEO of Fox, will he have a place in the new entity? Finally, will this deal pass through the beady eyes of the U.S. regulation, the AT&T Time Warner deal, already ran into huge difficulties at the DHA. And this, a horizontal merger is likely to raise even more antitrust concerns.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There will be solutions that involve a depletion, a sale of some of the assets.

STEWART: It all goes to plan, Disney will soon be at the steering wheel of an even large movie TV streaming giant. Anna Stewart CNN money, London.


HOWELL: Thank you. It's what "Star wars" fans have been waiting for, big one.

ALLEN: Speaking of giants, "The last Jedi" is opening today in North America after opening in theaters in the U.K. and several other countries, including Germany and Australia. It is the latest chapter in this blockbuster film saga.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I only know one truth. Time for the Jedi. To end.


ALLEN: Ok. Another one, the first "Star wars" film premiered, do you know? 1977. Yeah.

HOWELL: All right.

ALLEN: My first date. That is why.

HOWELL: I won't tell you what was going on with me.

ALLEN: All right. Coming up next we're going to get the latest on the California wildfires. Ivan Cabrera will check in with us.


ALLEN: How about this one. A female singer in Egypt is facing two years in prison for releasing a raunchy music video. The local media say the court found her guilty of inciting debauchery.

HOWELL: Her video had issues was released last month. Sparked controversy for being sexually suggestive. She and the video's Director were also ordered to pay a fine of around $560 for that.

A firefighter was killed on Thursday in the United States battling the Thomas fire. This happened in the southern part of California. He was one of many responders trying to contain what is now the fourth largest wildfire in that state's history.

ALLEN: As of Thursday, it was at 35 percent containment with more than 100,000 hectares scorched and no end in sight.

HOWELL: A big fire.

ALLEN: Ivan Cabrera brings us the latest. My goodness, another firefighter killed and this one is still raging.

IVAN CABRERA, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Horrible development there is no question about that. I think we're going to have a 12 to 18 hour of worse winds. This could keep going. This fire could go to 2018. That is how things are looking right now, 30 to 35 percent containment hopefully that won't be a case, but tell you what, not looking good out there.

03:55:03] Just to give you a perspective, 1009 square kilometers had now been burn essentially 1969 hectares how does that compare? This is bigger now than Berlin, the entire City of Berlin, and 892 square kilometers. You can obviously see the land consumed here has just been unbelievable along with the lives lost and all the structures that have been burning. This is the area now under critical fire danger. This continues I think through the middle part of today Friday in the United States, right. And then we'll get a bit of a break later Friday and into early Saturday. But then the winds pick right back up. We have fire dangers that continue. This is a red flag warning now. Not just because of the wind but the relative humidity. So this high moves away a little bit weakens, but in it its place is low pressure. It us didn't matter whether it's high or low. As long as you get those winds generally offshore running through the mountains that is going to be an issue. I think 80 to perhaps 100 kilometer per hour winds heading into the upcoming weekend, once again, and of course that will be a high-fire spread danger along with that humidity.

All right. Look at this, this is a disaster here in the making. Tropical storm (inaudible). I remember, you don't need a typhoon to have big-time issues here. The problem with this storm is the movement. Look out there. Lest at 2 kilometers per hour, essentially this has stalled over the central Philippines and it is providing a deluge of rainfall. Just in the last 48 hours, 722 millimeters of rain fall. That is an unbelievable amount. Guess what, we have a lot more perhaps as much as half a meter more of rainfall, because the system is not moving as quick. In fact look at that 24 -- two days from now, it's still over the size and we're talking about Luzon as well with potential accumulating rainfall that could reach perhaps half a meter. Very slow moving system. That is going to be a problem there with heavy rain for the Philippines. You know the hurricane season of course over, well over into the Atlantic. But here in the western pacific it goes right through the end of the year and keeps on going through 2018 as well they have pretty much a year-long season with typhoon and tropical storms.


ALLEN: All right. Ivan, thank you much. And that does it for our show. Thank you for watching. I am Natalee Allen.

HOWELL: And I George Howell. We'll be back on CNN Newsroom in 24 hours.

ALLEN: See you there.