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Trump Tweets Taunts At Kim Jong-un; Trump Threatens To Cut Off Aid To Palestinians; Pro-Government Demonstrators In Iran; Trump Takes Credit For Commercial Air Safety; Cold Snap Hits The Eastern United States. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired January 3, 2018 - 03:00   ET



[03:00:12] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: The U.S. President tweets a taunt at Kim Jong-un while North and South Korea take a big step toward better communication. Mr. Trump is also taking aim at Palestinians, we will tell you why he is threatening to cut off aid. And in Iran, thousands of back on the streets this time the protests are in support of the government, we will have the latest from Tehran. Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I am Rosemary Church and this is CNN Newsroom.

For their first time in almost two year, North and South Korea are communicating on a special telephone hotline and Pyongyang made a call while the two Koreas are talking, North Korea and Washington are not. Kim Jong-un just reopened the hotline so talks can begin on sending a delegation to the winter Olympic Games. While tensions could be easing on the Korean peninsula, Donald Trump is taking his hardline attitude even further as earlier the U.S. President sends this warning to Pyongyang, tweeting, I too have a nuclear button, but it is a much bigger and more powerful one than his and my button works.

His tweet appears to be in response to Kim's New Year's address on 48 hours earlier. In that speech, Mr. Kim said that he had the capability to strike the U.S. main land and the nuclear button was always on his desk. But he also said that he hoped for a peaceful resolution with South Korea and was open to talks with Seoul. The U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. was not impressed.


NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: We will never accept a nuclear North Korea. We consider this to be a very reckless regime. We need them to stop having nuclear weapons. North Korea can talk with anyone that they want, but the U.S. will not recognize it or acknowledge it until they agree to ban the nuclear weapon that they have.


CHURCH: For more on this, Paula Hancocks joins us again, what more are you learning about the opening of this direct hotline between north and South Korea and what they may talk about once these discussions get under way. Will it just be about the Winter Olympics? PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We know that there have been

communications now between the north and South Korea. 3:30 p.m. Local time. It was an hour and a half ago. North Korea called South Korea through the hotline and hotline that had not been used or at since February 2016. The South Koreans were phoning twice a day, every day since that time. But today the North Koreans phoned the south. We don't know what happened during the phone call. We have no kind of indication from the South Korean side at this point.

But we know what the content would have been as we heard from a North Korea official earlier in a day on North Korean television saying that Kim Jong-un had ordered the opening of this communications channel so they could discuss the details of sending a delegations to winter Olympics.

It's highly unlikely that anything beyond that would had been discussed at this point and to be honest, maybe not had that much. They have high level talks on Tuesday. At January 9th, which would be in a village in the demilitarized zone. The North Korea official this that Kim Jong-un was reviewing positively this new year's speech.

CHURCH: Paula on Tuesday, President Trump tweeted that his nuclear button was bigger than Kim Jong-un? How is that taunting of the North Korean leader likely to play out across the Korean peninsula, because I'm sure nothing has been said as yet about that.

HANCOCKS: There will be no official statements. I don't expect an official statement, certainly not from North Korean side, they are ally, the President and the officials do not want to annoy the U.S. in any way. I think they will just not touch barge pole as many leaders across the world. North Korea is different. He may respond. We've seen the attacks from the attacks, have some kind of reaction. And we saw a televised statement from Kim Jong-un directly to the U.S. President that never happened before, rebutting what he had said.

[03:05:07] So, these are two men that, that we have seen do respond to these personal jabs and personal attacks. It is not clear to whether or not Kim Jong-un will respond to that this time around, he had in the past. North Korea was not swift to responds to this kind of tweets.

CHURCH: All right. Appreciate that, Paula Hancocks, a live report from Seoul in South Korea where it's 5:05 in the afternoon. Thank you. Before his taunting tweet to North Korea, Donald Trump had a warning to the Palestinians, get back to negotiating a peace treaty with Israel or the U.S. will withhold future aid payments. On Tuesday he tweeted this, we pay the Palestinians hundreds of millions of dollars a year and get no appreciation or respect. The Palestinians are no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of this massive future payments to them. Let us go to Jerusalem now and CNN Orel Liebermann on how Palestinians and their leader responding to this tweet from the U.S. President.

OREN LEIBERMANN, CNN CORESPONDENT: The responses are just beginning to come in. And no surprise, they are furious, but President Donald Trump threat to cut off U.S. Foreign aid to the Palestinians. Part of that aid comes through U.S. aid, part of it comes through to the U.N. but here is a sample of the Palestinian response. This come from the Central Committee member (inaudible). She says we will not be sabotage, we will not be blackmailed. President Trump has sabotage our search for peace, freedom and justice. Now he dares to blame the Palestinians for the consequences of his own irresponsible actions. This is how they feed about President Trump.

In less than a month ago, President Donald Trump recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, that with a very angry response and this is the continuation of that at a growing rift between the U.S. and the Palestinians. At the beginning of the President's tweet, he talked about what it's all about. The bigger picture. He is still pursuing the peace deals, he is trying to get the Palestinians back to the table, after they basically said, we are not dealing with the Americans right now and we are rejecting whatever offer they put back on the table. Where does it go from here? We will find out soon with Vice President Mike Pence expected to be in the region in a few weeks.

CHURCH: yes there are so many pots to this, of course the big question is what impact all this will likely have on efforts to find peace in the Middle East. It is a tough question and it's what everyone wants to know and will the U.S. have a part to play?

LEIBERMANN: The U.S. is the only game in town right now. There's no other country actively putting a plan on the table and traditionally over the past few decades, peace or the path to peace is run through Washington. But the Washington's efforts are in shambles not only because the Palestinians had rejected whatever President Trump has planned and now Israel has tried to take negotiating Jerusalem off the table. So, President Trump has to deal conflict. They will talk about how much aid the Palestinians get. According to U.S. Aid, it is $616 million as well as $4oo million that the U.S. gives to the U.N. body that helps Palestinian refugees. Much of the money is outside of Israel and the west bank and a good portion of it goes here toward education, the cost of removing that could be very high.

CHURCH: All right. Orel Liebermann joining us there from Jerusalem where it is 9 minutes past 10 in the morning. We thank you. And do stay tuned from reaction Palestinian perspective. Chief negotiators say that they are joining us from the west bank later in the show. I want to turn now to Iran were demonstrators are marching in support of the countries regime, they are rallying in cities across Iran. To show solidarity with the government and denounce the violence that has unfolded over the past six days.

This are some of the anti-government protesters clashing with 3the riot police Tuesday. They are fed up with the Iran's stagnant economy and lack of jobs and perceived corruption. Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah blames outside enemies for the unrest, the United States calls the legation complete nonsense. The New York Times Tehran bureau Thomas Erdbrink joins us now from the Iranian capitol, thank you for being with us. Do want to start by focusing on the protesters. The anti-government protesters and who they are of the Iranian population.

[03:10:03] THOMAS ERDBRINK, NEW YORK TIMES TEHRAN BUREAU: Well, these anti-government protesters are people that are living in provinces in smaller cities in villages, people actually for a long time had been the (inaudible) of this regime. But, in let's say, less than a decade this is all change for them. And there's been a drought, a 14 year long drought in Iran that has accelerated and made a lot of people, especially in the last five years move to provincial capitals where they are without a job and under financial pressure to find houses.

And at the same time, they enjoy same technological advances that the rest of the world has enjoyed. Satellite TV, and importantly they have smartphones. Connect to the internet. In these smaller cities, and watching apps like Instagram and seeing how the rich live here in northern Tehran, that makes a lot of them very upset and also highlights them how deprived they are.

A lot of this protesters are out in recent days. Mainly young men, unemployed and despite the fact a lot are political. Let us face it, Islamic Republic is a country ruled by ideology, and everything is political in this country also the economy and the main demands are rally for improving their lives for getting jobs, for getting more income. That is something that the Iran's leader now had tried to figure out on how to address the demands.

CHURCH: At the last hour I spoke with a professor that said that rioters anti-government protests. That you mentioned there, have you seen any evidence of that?

ERDBRINK: If that was truly the case then the Islamic republic would be in a very bad state if rioters can come outside of the country and have protests in over nearly 80 cities in Iran during the past six days. So, while I respect everyone's opinion I think that pointing towards foreign elements who are orchestrating all of this is not in line with reality. The reality is that people has very clear grievance that the economy is in a bad state. Even Iran's official show double digit unemployment for the youth. According to official figures that are probably lower than the adults.

There is high inflation, Iran's foreign currency has taken a dive versus foreign currency. There are real problems here, and Iran's supreme leader pointed out that Iran's enemies are actually abusing the problems. Now, that might well be the case at the same time Iran's leaders and a lot of them said this, including President acknowledged the fact that there are problems inside the country that they have to deal with.

CHURCH: Do you think they will deal with them? Because we certainly think a much softer line coming from the President Rouhani and compared to some of the hardline. He has said that he will look that is that just for consumption from the international community or do you think he would certainly consider that? And do something about it.

ERDBRINK: Well, there's a couple of steps that he could take, because in his proposed budget. He had to announce several cuts for Iranians, some tax increases and I think now, we will see that, that the tax increases will be cancelled as is a rise in fuel prices will be cancelled. A lot of foreign companies here that could provide the jobs and a lot young Iranians need. And there's sanctions in the country that has damaged the economy a lot so they have to really get into bigger picture if they want to really solve this problems.

CHURCH: All right Thomas Erdbrink thank you so much for joining us from Tehran. It is 11:45 in the morning.

President Trump has repeatedly tweeted his support for the anti- government protesters in Iran, saying they are acting against a brutal and corrupt regime and the White House press secretary addressed the situation on Tuesday. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is the President seeing as the end game in Iran? Would he like to see a regime change?

[03:15:05] SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I think the ultimate end game would be that the citizens and the people of Iran are actually given basic human rights and he would certainly like to see them being a state sponsor of terrorist.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Inaudible) specific to change in Iran. Did he mean leadership or in policy or both?

HUCKABEE SANDERS: I think the biggest thing of change would be that the people of Iran have basic human rights that their government is frankly not allowing them to have at this time.


CHURCH: The U.S. wants the U.N. to hold an emergency session on Iran. Let us get more now on CNN Fred Pleitgen in Berlin. We have reports extensively from Iran, good to see you again Fred.

Now the U.S. Ambassador of the U.N. Nicki Haley has called on the international community to speak out on the Iran protest, she says the U.S. will seek emergency U.N. talks on the situation, what are European leaders saying about what is happening in Iran and how far might they go on this matter?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, it looks as though they are not going nearly as far the U.S. administration is going at this point in time just yet. If you look at the two main countries here in Europe, Germany and France. You have to keep in mind that they are very quick to reestablish not only diplomatic ties with the Islamic Republic. They have to get economic ties going.

Especially French companies that are moving in Tehran very quick phase, French auto makers also in the oiling gas sector, you have had French investment getting off the ground and the German government has sent high representatives to Iran, and trying to get German companies in there. So, they have different ties to Iran than the U.S. has.

Statements that we are hearing from the government. The main thing that happened over the past 24 hours was a phone call between the French President Emmanuel Macron and Hassam Rouhani, and they spoke and said, the French said we believe the right to assembly has to be guaranteed and the rights to a free speech as well.

They were critical of the Iranians but they didn't go as far as the U.S. is going now. They believe the protests are fired on from France and they call on the French to cut it out. The Germans came out and said, they are counting on all sides to show restraint. They do not want the violence to get out of control. All the statement that we are hearing, don't go nearly as far as the thing that we had been hearing for instance out of Washington over the past 24-36 even 72 hours, Rosemary.

CHURCH: And Fred, as we mentioned, you have reported extensively from Iran. Interested to get anti-government protesters now of course what we are seeing today the seventh day of this protest, the pro government demonstrators, interesting to get your read on this anti- government protesters, what are they trying to aim for here and of course having been in the country you would have been pick up some of the sentiment presumably.

PLEITGEN: Yeah. Well, you are right, some of the sentiment was there. Lot of discontent and a variety of things. People have a difficult situation there, and a difficult, economic situation. But I think a lot of what you are hearing right now, a lot of what you are seeing right now is in one part due to the fact that people simply don't have enough money to get by in many cases the price of food has gone up considerably the price of gasoline was set to go up as well. But, for many of the young people and if you look at the crowds that are protesting at the demonstrations. Many of them are young men in the late teens and early 20s. For them it a lack of perspective.

We have to keep in mind, it's a young population, a highly educated population, what they want is development opportunities. But to fulfill their potential and that is something that where you have heard in the past, people are not happy with the way things are going. And one of the things that critics have been saying is that Rouhani oversold the benefits of the nuclear agreement would bring. Companies are slow to move in to Iran.

And that is not just because of fear of backlash from the United States, but also because there's considerable red tape inside Iran as well that makes it very difficult for companies to invest there. So, the benefits of the nuclear agreement have not come as fast as people had hoped and see that side of the people, when you look at the demonstrations, are starting to give up that hope.

03:20:05] I think one of the things that so many people who observe Iran are really interested, or almost baffled by, is that they are not calling for one or another side of the political folds in Iran they are rallying for against the establishment that is certainly that we haven't necessarily see in the past, they are not as big as the protesters in 2009 but they are much more widespread, they seemed to be much more grassroots as well, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Fred Pleitgen we thank you so much for your reporting. Joining us there from Berlin where it's 9:20 in the morning. Well, Mr. Trump has been making waves around the world, but he is

lashing out on the so-called deep state back home. His latest attack on the Justice Department that is next. Plus Anti-U.S protest erupt in Pakistan after a tweet from Donald Trump what U.S. ambassador of the U.N. Nikki Haley is threatening for the one time American ally. Stay with us.


CHURCH: Welcome back everyone. U.S. President Donald Trump has been taking aim at foreign adversaries and allies on twitter lately. He is also taking aim at some familiar targets back home and our Jeff Zeleny reports from the White House.


JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: President Trump opening a new front in an unprecedented war with his own Justice Department. The President blasting the DOJ for being in part of what he calls the deep state. A conspiracy theory saying that they are against him. In a tweet, he said the deep state Justice Department must finally act adding that Hillary Clinton's top aid Huma Abedin should go to jail and implying former FBI Director James Comey should be investigated.

HUCKABEE SANDERS: The president finds some of those actions very disturbing and he think he need to make sure if there's an issue that it's looked at.

ZELENY: When asked whether s that the Justice Department is part of what he calls the deep state, Sanders said this.

HUCKABEE SANDERS: Obviously he doesn't believe the entire Justice Department is part of that.

ZELENY: For the President, it was his latest attempt to revive an old fight with former rival, Hillary Clinton and her top aid. The FBI previously said that she was careless in e-mail habits handle e-mail information notably sending messages to her disgraced husband. Just last week whether he would order the Justice Department to reopen an investigation in to Clinton's e-mails President Trump said I have the right to do what I want to do with the Justice Department. But I have stayed uninvolved with this particular matter. President return to the White House from a 10 day holiday break at Mar-a-Lago. The president looking ahead to the 2018 agenda in a big list of unfinished business.

[03:25:08] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are going to have a great year. Fantastic 2018.

ZELENY: It includes passing the government's spending bill in the next few weeks. Repealing Obamacare, the child health insurance program, immigration and border security.

TRUMP: We are off to a very good start and as you know the great tax cuts and getting rid of the individual mandate that was very, very unpopular. As you know. But we are going to have a tremendous year.

ZELENY: The President held meetings inside the west wing today, that was away from public view. And sent out a dozen tweets so far this year. Including the first of 2018 that touch off international incidents with Pakistan. The United States has given Pakistan more than $33 billion on aid over the last 15 years. And they had given us nothing but lies and deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. That prompt the Pakistan foreign ministry to summon the U.S. ambassador to explain Trump's tweet about lies and deceit after blasting it as infective.

The President raising eyebrows tonight after taking credit for no fatal airline crashes on commercial flights. Since taking office I've been very strict on commercial aviation. Good news, it was reported there was zero deaths in 2017. The best and safest year on the record. It actually been nearly eight years since the last fatal commercial airline crash in the U.S. Asking how the President how he claimed the responsibility for the safety streak, the White House Press Secretary answered like this.

HUCKABEE SANDERS: The president has raised the bar for nation's aviation safety and security. He certainly is very grateful.

ZELENY: Jeff Zeleny, CNN the White House.


CHURCH: Let's focus for a minute on the President's tweet about Pakistan, the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nicki Haley said that Trump administration will withhold $255 million in aid from Pakistan because it does not do enough to fight terrorism. Take a listen.


HALEY: Pakistan has played a double game for years. They work with us at times. And they also harbor the terrorists that attack our troops in Afghanistan. That game is not acceptable to this administration. We expect far more cooperation from Pakistan in the fight against terrorism. The President is willing to go to great lengths to stop all funding from Pakistan as they continue to harbor and support terrorism.


CHURCH: Now, Pakistan is not taking the threat lightly. Its U.N. Ambassador said that the country has sacrifice the most in fighting international terrorism and said, that U.S. spokespersons should not shift the blame for their own mistakes and failures on to others. We can review our cooperation if it is not appreciated. Pakistan cooperation is not based on any consideration of aid but on our national interests and principals.

The U.S. President has started another feud on Twitter threatening to withhold aid to the Palestinians and we will speak to Chief negotiator (inaudible) just ahead. Plus hundreds of Iranians rallying across the country in support of the government. This is after nearly a week of anti-government protests. We will have the details for you in just a moment.


CHURCH: A very warm welcome back to all our viewers across the globe, I'm Rosemary Church. I want to update now in the main stories we are following this hour.

In Iran, supporters of the government are now rallying in various cities, their show of solidarity comes after nearly a week of anti- government protests throughout the country.

At least 21 people have been and hundreds arrested since those demonstrations began. Iran's supreme leader is blaming foreign enemies for the unrest.

President Trump is threatening to withhold future payments to the Palestinians who he claims are no longer willing to talk peace with Israel.

Mr. Trump says the U.S. gives hundreds of millions of dollars and gets no appreciation or respect. For the first time in nearly two years, North Korea has reopened its hotline with South Korea.

Kim Jong-un gave the order so the two sides can discuss next month's Winter Olympics. South Korea's president has urged North Korea to participate in the games.

Meantime, concerns are being raised about U.S. President Trump's tweet that his nuclear button is bigger and more powerful than that of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, we asked experts and a U.S. congressman about it.


GORDON CHANG, COLUMNIST, THE DAILY BEAST: Whatever you think your past issue be, you should be talking about the policy and getting a cold issue in the world.

So for instance, if he likes sanctions which I happen to like, he should be talking about the September 21 executive order, which is a monumental step forward.

Instead we are talking about this and we are talking about his other tweets, so this is, I think a big step backward. It makes the U.S. look foolish. It does help us on no level at all.

RET. REAR ADMIRAL JOHN KIRBY, CNN MILITARY AND DIPLOMATIC ANALYST: I do think that in all, the Pentagon and the State Department, there has got to be a lot of concern over this, because he is the president of the United States.

And his tweets are going to be taken as official policy. And here's the thing, they are going to -- they are going to be misread. There is no question that they are going to lead the miscalculation and confusion over there. All the statements that he makes where they retorted their pause for

nuance, and he doesn't have a lot of nuance in there, so I think we have to worry about how they're going to be perceived over there, and that's what I'm sure, my colleagues and my former colleagues at the Pentagon and the State Department are worried about right now.

TIM NAFTALI, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: The president's tweet was irresponsible, it was unprecedented, I cannot imagine any previous president joking this way. Imagine John F. Kennedy during the Cuba missile crisis, using that kind of language with Nikita Khrushchev of the Soviet Union.

REP. JIM HIMES, U.S. HOUSE DEMOCRAT: Why would you want to goad this unpredictable leader of North Korea that maybe demonstrates his capabilities, that would get real very quickly. Just when Kim Jong-un was getting less bellicose for our president who goad him.

Again, I can't climb inside this guy's head but if you tell my nuclear button doesn't work, that certainly sounds like you're calling at the poker table. And so I -- you know, look, if we have another test tomorrow, if we see another missile test, we'll know why.


CHURCH: Some reaction there and the former Obama White House photographer is also responding to Mr. Trump's tweet. Pete Souza has taken consistent aim at President Trump and he captioned this one.

Unfortunately the red but on the resolute desk is to call for the ballet, not to start a war. Donald Trump is threatening to withhold future payments to Palestinians. So he says, no longer want to negotiate a peace treaty with Israel.

On Tuesday, he tweeted, we pay the Palestinians hundreds of millions of dollars a year, and get no appreciation or respect. But the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them.

Well joining me now from Ramallah, chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat. Thank you, sir, for being with us. I want to start by getting your reaction to President Trump's warning to the Palestinians. What did you think?

SAEB EREKAT, CHIEF PALESTENIAN NEGOTIATOR: Rosemary, we held 55 meeting with the Trump administration since January 20th, 2017, and including four meetings between President Abbas and President Trump and other meetings between myself and my colleagues with Mr. Kushner and Mr. Greenblatt. The basic principle contributes in the first meeting with President Trump.

[03:35:00] He said to us, we will not impose solutions. We are negotiating good faith and we're going to reach it out from a deal, so we told him, we are on.

And no benefits more from the success here than they were than us, I don't know any chance to lose more and the absence of (Inaudible). Now, what did he do, number one, he decides to declare Jerusalem as Israel capital, dictating the rules of negotiations in Jerusalem before they begin.

Then in the Congress, it is something quote, kill our force, and threatening to cut aid to Palestinians. In the 17th of November 2017, they move not to do the extension for a office and Washington closing it.

And now, he is threatening to cut it to our way, (Inaudible) work agencies which means, that he wants hundreds of thousands of Palestinian children in the refugee camps in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza and the West Bank without schools, sick people without hospitals, without clothes, and so on.

Now yesterday, there is really Knesset voted to amend the laws in Jerusalem, which means count been negotiated, the day before yesterday, the Israeli government -- the whole party that rules Israel voted to annex the West Bank and imports Israeli laws and the settlement.

So to Mr. Trump, you are out of the deal. What's left to negotiate? You are moving from Negotiating to dictating, and then you are threatening us, if we don't accept your dictations, that you are going to cut aid.

I'm not -- I'm not under independent country, I'm under Israel occupation. The refugees are the result of Israel, they are responsible for Israel, and there is international responsibility to solve the refugee problem in 1950 when (Inaudible), and other work agency was established.

Now, if the Israelis -- you want to dictate Jerusalem, and want to dictate security, and want to dictate territory, and then you tell me, come here, boy, we know what's best for you.

Then you must accept this dictation, this is the art of our deal, this is the way we negotiate. This is the new fairness of 2018. This is going to fly. This is not going to work.

CHURCH: So, sir, you...

EREKAT: This is not going to push the region...


CHURCH: So you were saying that this latest tweet from President Trump, plus the fact that he recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, as far as the Palestinians are concerned and the Palestinian leadership, this signals the end of efforts for peace. Is that what you are saying as far as the Palestinians are concerned?

EREKAT: On the contrary, he went out of his principal that he defined for us. He said verbatim to us, I will not impose a solution. I will get an agreement that will be acceptable to both sides. And then he decides, unilaterally, to stand up and say, Jerusalem is Israel's capital. What he did to that point, he disqualified himself as a go between

Palestinians and Israelis, as a facilitator for the negotiations, decisions and conceptions will not be made by Americans or others.

It's going to be made between Palestinians and Israel, and we never stop negotiations -- (Inaudible) who stop the negotiations. But now, to come and move from the squares of negotiations, to dictations and then threatened that they would cut aid to refuges and this, and that, this is not going to work.

We are under Israel occupation. It is Israel's responsibility and instead, President Trump saying what he is saying, I think he should not reward the Israeli occupation, the Israeli aggression, the Israeli settlement activities, the Israeli in positions.

He should look at the Knesset, the decision yesterday not to negotiate Jerusalem and the whole party to enact the West Bank. What is left to negotiate? Such policies are destroying the moderates in the region and encouraging and strengthening, and empowering the extremists, and that's honest truth.


CHURCH: So, what's the next step then because President Trump is saying, the Palestinians don't want to negotiate peace. You are saying there is nothing left to negotiate at this point because President Trump has taken it all off the table.

So what needs to happen next? What are the Palestinians going to propose, given what the circumstances are now with what President Trump has said?

EREKAT: I really can't stand guards from President Trump's lips. I really can't stand guards from President Trump's lips. He knows very well that for eight months, we have engage him in good faith negotiations and the principle was of non-unilateral steps, non- positional solutions.

We're going to continue working when we went to the Security Council, 14 countries including his allies in Britain, France, and others voted for us at the General Assembly, he saw threats to cut aid, 60 percent to 70 percent of nations, 128 nations stood in the right side of history.

[03:40:00] And I hope that President Trumps will stand in the right side of history -- that President Trump will stop imposing solutions today. Today, his ambassador to Tel Aviv is going to go over that settlements -- illegal settlements and the West Bank, which are considered by international law.

We want the president of the Unites States to revoke his decision on Jerusalem. We want him to be a fair arbitrator between Palestinians and he is (Inaudible) -- he said, I will be fair.

By doing, dictating on us, what Netanyahu wants, what the evangelical wants, what the government wants, I think this is total unfair.

Now we are working with Europe, we are working with the Arabs, we are working with the Africans, we are working with the agent, we are working with Russian, the Chinese. We are committed to peace.

We committed to the two-state solution in the 1967 line. We are committed to the principle of line for peace. We want a Palestinian step in the 1967 line with Jerusalem as its capital to live in peace and security.

In the state of Israel -- we have organize the state of Israel. Now with President Trump and what Mr. Netanyahu are doing, are torpedoing and destroying the two-state solution and moving towards imposing and dictation solution which will not fly. It will not fly, it will just add fuel to the fire. It will strengthen extremists in the regions and destroy moderates.

CHURCH: Saeb Erekat, we thank you for joining us from Ramallah. Appreciate it. Well more now on events unfolding right now in Iran, huge crowds have turned out in cities across the country to show support for the government, some carried posters showing the image of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

He's being a focus of anger among antigovernment protesters who were unhappy with the country stagnant economy. However, Khamenei blames what he calls outside enemies for storing the unrest.

Saeed Kamali Dehghan is a journalist for the Guardian and covers Iran. He joins us now from London. This -- you know, we are seeing now today in the seventh day of the pro-government protesters out on the streets.

Previously we have seen the antigovernment protesters. Just how representative of those antigovernment protesters there, when you look at the crowds of the pro-government protesters, what direction is this all going in for Iran?

SAEED KAMALI DEHGHAN, JOURNALIST, THE GUARDIAN: Based on the footages broadcast pro-regime rallies across Iran today was a huge turnout for the regime but now there's a caveat. If you are going out to progress in rallies and on the mission, there won't be any antiriot police for you there to worry about.

So it's very difficult to compare the pro-regime rally to this weeklong, unrest in Iran where people have been pacing and confronted by teargas, some have been shot dead, there was violence.

So it's difficult to -- I mean it's not fair compare to numbers that's -- I mean, Iran has never had problems to get supporters to the streets. But Iran is not only country of 1 million or 2 million. It's a country of 80 million.

And you know, the pro-regime rallies happen in Iran, almost every year, not every month. What is interesting is that, you know, it's a week now. You know, it's been weeklong unrest across Iran that started last week on Thursday, despite to provinces. And I mean the publish of nature of these offices are almost unprecedented since the 1979. It is the biggest challenge to Iran since 2009 when we -- there was a big unrest as well about it, (Inaudible), this time that crowd in Tehran is not as many.

But it's maybe happening in the provinces and in terms of geographical stay in the provinces, I mean, at least in my lifetime, I have never seen it's happening.

CHURCH: And as you say, it's the biggest challenge since the 2009 with the green movement. It is very different to that though, isn't it?

And you mention those people in the provinces, mostly these young men who were struggling to get jobs and are looking for more hope and development.

Presumably, these people who rattle the streets, the pro-government protesters are not feeling the impacts of the economy in a negative way. In the same way presumably are those people in the provinces.

DEHGHAN: The biggest difference in 2009 is that, this time it's the working class you vote it. Last time, it was the middle class with political demands.

This time it started office over economy grievances, and the middle and the working class are the most affected by the economy, by the sanctions and frankly, they don't have anything to lose.

That's why you're chanting harsher slogans. Remember 2009, you have death the harmony, something that was rarely had back in 2009. Slogans have become harsher.

[03:45:00] According to officials, the average age of protesters in the west is 25. So it's also that, there is a lot of youth -- youth unemployment in Iran now stands at 40 percent. So that explains why people are out.

CHURCH: Yes, that is a very high number of youth unemployment at 40 percent. Saeed Kamali Dehghan, thank you so much for joining us and bringing us those details, we appreciate it.

Well, a free Taliban hostage is under arrest and in jail in Canada, now faces multiple charges including assault, sexual assault, and unlawful confinement.

Militants held Joshua Boyle and his family in Afghanistan for five years until a rescue mission freed them. The family returned to Canada in October and only offenses were allegedly committed since then. Boyle is scheduled to appear in court in the next few hours.

Well, no stranger to exaggeration, U.S. President Donald Trump may have added one more to a long list of misleading claims. His take on commercial airline safety. That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Prosecutors in Los Angeles are reviewing two police investigations against disgraced Hollywood mogul, Harvey Weinstein.

No other details were immediately available. Since October dozens of women have accused Weinstein of sexual harassment and assault over a period of decades. He denies any nonconsensual sex.

But the allegations created a ripple effect of sexual misconduct complaints against other high profile men, upending several careers and triggering the MeToo movement.

U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted a dubious claim on Tuesday taking credit for a safe year of commercial air travel. Our Tom Foreman have the fact check.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The first problem with the president's claim here is in the second part of his tweet, in which he refers to last year as the best and safest year on record.

Well first of all, what he was talking about here is a study of worldwide aviation which doesn't have that much to do directly with the U.S. president.

Now granted, in the United States were his purview is strongest. Yes, we had a very safe year in aviation. But all these other years were also very safe.

In fact despite 9 million to 10 million flight a year, you have to go all the way back to 2009 before you can find a regularly scheduled U.S. air carrier having a fatal crash in the United States.

So for him to say this is the best and safest year on record, I suppose in 2017, turned out to have had more planes and more passengers safely traveling -- you can say that.

But it is incremental at best and it's a continuation of work that's been going on for years before Donald Trump became president. Now, did he take steps to improve the airline safety record out there?

[03:50:00] Well, you can say that he did raise the possibility of privatizing and modernizing air traffic control. But that really hasn't gone anywhere in Congress so far.

There was the ban on laptops, aimed at stopping plastic explosives that was then replaced by better screening measures, but bear in mind, this is really aimed at terrorism.

What were talking about is general aviation accidents, not terrorism as such and there has been talk more recently by the administration about something called the commercial aviation safety teamwork CAST.

This is a group that works government and private together to try to prevent air accident. They are going to make this more proactively safe. But return about something in the future and by the way, CAST has been around for 20 years.

It was started by Bill Clinton. It made all this progress we have been talking about for a long time. So for him to say, he somehow been very strict on commercial aviation have suggested that's made the difference, there really is very little evidence to back such claim.


CHURCH: Tom Foreman, with the report. And the president has made plenty of these misleading claims since taking office, including the good many that are just plain false.

In fact, the Washington Post has been keeping an exact tally the day before Mr. Trump's tweet, he was up to 1950 such claims on track to hit 2000 by the time he hits one year in the Oval Office.

Many of these have to do with Mr. Trump taking credits. So just go and check out CNN's list of his 10 most questionable claims at

A cold snap across parts of North America is sitting record temperatures and threatening humans and animals alike. Up next, stunning images from the deep-freeze. We're back in just a moment.


CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Many areas in the eastern U.S. remain in the grip of an arctic air mass and now a powerful winter storm is taking aim. Now, Ivan Cabrera has been following all of this. Ivan, it is freezing out there. And we don't see any incidents anytime soon, do we?

IVAN CABRERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, not at all. In fact, Rosemary, we're going to continue with that several arctic pledges and oh, in between we're going to sandwich in a powerful nor'easter or a coastal storm that is going to clash with that cold air, that arctic air.

And you know what is going to happen -- snow, and in fact, snow as far south is Florida. This is going to be quite an event. And it is already happening here. Do you see the color changes on the radar.

You see that purple there and even some white showed up on the northern side of Florida and a snow which is expected to accumulate, heading in the next 12 or 24 hours.

So this is going to be a big deal because it's also going to be mixing in with some sleet and also ice. So the roadways are going to be a mess and they are not used to that -- this part of the United States.

And by the way, that winter storm warning that you seem to think there extends all the way across the southeast and then up into New England, where here of course, they are used to the snow.

And they are avoiding too much about it but they can't about the arctic air because my goodness, once the snowdrops -- and we're talking of several centimeters of snowfall then another arctic air mass begins to move.

And here is the coastal low, this will provide hurricane force winds, I don't think you could make it quite on shore but we could have some gust, perhaps 80, 90, 100 kilometer per hour winds as a low really intensifies by the time in begins on Thursday.

[03:55:00] So it is ice accumulating down south, wintry mix in snow and then we're going to continue to see that snow bed. Further on to the north, where it could fall anywhere from 40 to size 16 centimeter of snow fall and that will happen on Thursday. So there it is. If you wanted some warm weather, you're going to have to perhaps go to Australia where it's nice and summer.

CHURCH: Now, there is an option. Thanks so much for, Ivan, sharing it. Well in parts of North America, it is so cold outside but sharks appear to be freezing to death and polar species are being forced in doors. Our Jeanne Moos has more now on the eye-popping images.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Who needs a thermometer to answer the age-old question, how cold is it? Cold enough for the Calgary Zoo to temporarily bring its penguins indoors before letting them out again, cold enough to freeze a shark.

At least three of them were found washed up on Cape Cod, likely stranded due to cold shock, noted the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy. They had to be thawed to be autopsied -- a true sharkcicle.

How cold is it? Not cold enough at six below to detour a guy dressed as a banana from water skiing on the Mississippi, but definitely cold enough to generate Internet memes.

I'm not going outside until the temperature is above my age. Remember this trick from previous cold snaps, turning boiling water instantly into snow is so last year. This is the year of...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Frozen bubbles.

MOOS: Craig Boehm created a perfect specimen at a temperature of minus 31 degrees Fahrenheit. In Saskatchewan, Canada, it has all the allure of a fragile homemade snow globe with over 4 million views.


MOOS: There's pretty much one basic recipe for making ice bubbles and it doesn't involve using that store bought bubble blowing stuff.

Another Canadian who has helped whip up hash tag bubblemadness recommends warm water, corn syrup, dishwashing soap and sugar. The corn syrup, what does it do?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It basically hardens. It gives it a little bit of structure. Otherwise they just blow away.

MOOS: And if you really want a snow globe affect, add a Christmas tree. So when the temperatures dip, just dip your straw and...


MOOS: Even penguins love bubbles. Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


CHURCH: Yes, something you can do in the cold there. I'm Rosemary Church. Remember to connect with me anytime on Twitter. The news continues now with Hannah Vaughan Jones in London. Have a great day.