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Government Shutdown Coming in Less than a Day; ISIS Wiped Out of Territory; Germany Welcomes Refugees; Parents Plead Not Guilty To Torturing Children; Olympic Torch Near Korean Demilitarized Zone; North Korea Defines Relationship Between Trump And Xi; Iowa Voters Reflect On Trump's First Year; South Africa Cape Town Faces Severe Water Shortage; Mid-Air Wedding. Aired 3-4a ET
Aired January 19, 2018 - 03:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[03:00:00] GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: The consequences of political bickering. U.S. lawmakers who can't seem to find a way to avoid a government shutdown.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Also this hour we take you to Mosul, where victory over ISIS came at a steep call to the Iraqi city and its people.
Plus, parents charged with torture. Disturbing new details of what this couple allegedly did to their own 13 children.
ALLEN: Welcome to our viewers around the world. I'm Natalie Allen. We're coming to you live from Atlanta.
HOWELL: And I'm George Howell from CNN world headquarters. Newsroom starts right now.
ALLEN: And our top story, 21 hours from now there is a good chance the U.S. government will shut down.
HOWELL: And the finger-pointing, it's already started. Who's to blame, who knows, depends upon on who you ask. A lot of questions this hour.
The House did approve a short-term spending measure Thursday night, one that would fund the government for just four weeks.
HOWELL: Now that bill went to the Senate, the Senate did agree to move forward with the vote, but the vote never happened. That vote may, I can say may, come on Friday. But at this point it's far from certain.
ALLEN: The Senate needs 60 votes to approve it, but it looks like the votes just aren't there, at least right now. The shutdown would be the first ever with the same party White House and both Houses of Congress.
HOWELL: So if there is no deal and the current spending bill expires, here's a look at that happens. It means bad news for hundreds of thousands of nonessential employees. Those employees would be furloughed. If the shutdown lasts long enough, they would be without their paychecks and salaries would likely be paid retroactively.
As for the military, it is considered essential, and its members would still have to report for duty. But they too could potentially see pay withheld during a shutdown.
ALLEN: Who still gets paid? You might have guessed, Congress. It is written into law. National parks, zoos, and museums would close. Mail would still get delivered. And essential services such as social security would still be funded. That includes the TSA, which handles security checks at airports and air traffic control.
HOWELL: This could have big, big impacts. Let's bring in David Siders, senior reporter with Politico to talk about this more, joining us this hour from Los Angeles. Good to have you with us today.
At this point there just doesn't seem to be a path forward. Who would get the blame in the event of a government shutdown, the democrats or the party in power with the House, the Senate, and the executive branch?
DAVID SIDERS, SENIOR REPORTER, POLITICO: It's interesting. I think the reason that we're this close is because both parties feel that they can shift blame onto the other. And I think polling suggests some uncertainty.
I mean, Americans are aware that republicans control Congress. And so they clearly would get blame here. But if republicans can paint this as an immigration-only issue and put that on democrats, you've seen republicans for more than a decade, really, use immigration as a rallying cry for their base and may see some benefit there.
So you know, bottom line, I think there's plenty of blame. If you're an American, the Americans anyway have demonstrated that they're more than capable of blaming both parties in Washington. There's plenty of ire to go around.
HOWELL: You point out the republicans, as far as immigration, a very big topic that resonates with that base. But what about with democrats? The whole resist movement democrats who want to see these representatives take a stand against the president, would this be a moment for them? And would that be supportive for the democrats?
SIDERS: Well, I think there's two things. First of all, you're right, it's a key political test for some of these democrats who may be in red states, and et cetera, are facing pressure from their base to stand firm for these DREAMers, the DACA recipients.
And I think in the broader sense, it's really instructive for everyone to watch to see -- we've seen this resistance against the president from democrats and the liberal wing of that party. And this will give us some indication of how much punch they have in that fight. If they're really willing to go to the mat. HOWELL: David, have you ever seen anything like this? The Senate
Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, speaking publicly, asking for direction on where the President of the United States stands on any deal. So it appears that's not even republican lawmakers know where this republican president stands at such critical juncture.
SIDERS: That is remarkable. I will say that we are at a point in governing in America where governing gets done only the cliff.
[03:05:01] And so, there is a day left to go here. And talks are continuing on immigration. So while it does appear that we're hurtling towards this shutdown, I wouldn't discount entirely the notion that they could get something together.
HOWELL: David, what's your read, what are your odds, what do you think as far as shutdown? Do you think it will happen?
SIDERS: You know, if I could make odds, I'd be making a lot more I think I'll just watch and I'm probably where you are on trying to figure it out.
HOWELL: It's all very unclear. I want to talk about one other thing. We'll see which way it goes. Obviously, the hope is that lawmakers can figure out a consensus here. But the optics of what it would look like when the President of the United States leaves Washington, D.C. en route for Florida, his resort there, in the event that the government does shut down.
The president headed to an event to celebrate his first year in office, that will also serve as a fund-raiser for his campaign. But again, the optics of a president celebrating at the same time the government's shutting down, if that happens?
SIDERS: I think this is rather crushing for the White House. It's almost easy to forget how big a victory they had on the tax measure which wasn't that long ago. And now the dynamic has entirely changed. And I think you're right. It will present some challenges for the president.
HOWELL: David Siders, we appreciate your time today live for us in Los Angeles, we'll stay in touch with you.
ALLEN: In the Russia investigation, the House intelligence committee has released the transcript of testimony by Glenn Simpson. He's the cofounder of Fusion GPS, the company behind the infamous Trump Russia dossier.
Much like his testimony before the Senate intelligence committee, Simpson implored lawmakers to look at possible money laundering. Simpson detailed what he considered suspicious connections his firm found between the Trump organization and Russia.
HOWELL: Now as we mentioned, the U.S. president is coming up on a milestone. It's been one year now since he has been in office. As a candidate though, he vowed to get much tougher on ISIS. ALLEN: The terror group was already losing ground, but during his
tenure it was driven from cities like Mosul and Raqqah. U.S.-backed ground forces and air power led to those victories but brutal urban combat killed many civilians and much of the cities today lie in ruin.
For more on the president's ISIS strategy CNN's Arwa Damon joins us live from Erbil us northern Iraq. And certainly, Arwa, you have covered all corners of this ISIS story. How much credit does go to President Trump for where we are?
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, President Trump when he was still on the campaign trail vowed to bomb the hell out of ISIS. That is one promise he did keep but while the bombs were falling on ISIS positions and on ISIS fighters, at the same time the president was also bombing the hell out of the civilian population that ISIS was holding hostage.
Here's what we saw in just two days on the ground in Mosul.
DAMON: Residents told this municipal team the body of the girl was buried under a layer of rubble. No one knows her name or where parents are. Her body is curled in the fetal position. Little more than dried skin and bones next to a stuffed bunny. Her photograph will be added to a growing collection of images of the unclaimed. She's almost unrecognizable.
But the workers hope that her family, if they are even alive, will recognize her toy.
In the old city where ISIS made its final stance, where the battle and bombardment were most intense, it's hard to imagine that any rules were followed or how anyone survived.
When President Trump inherited this war a year ago, he did not change the rules of engagement. That is the actual steps and procedures to carry out a military strike. What he did do was give the U.S. military chain of command more authority, which then resulted in a more aggressive strategy.
Now what those words mean on the ground, that's this. The U.S. and Iraqi governments declared victory against ISIS. But for the population here, the catastrophic cost is still unknown.
Six months on, the stench of death lingers. Survivors walk around in a daze. And loved ones still search for their dead. With bare hands and a shovel, these young men are looking for the body of their great uncle. He was an intellectual. But what they remember most about him was his love.
[03:09:57] For a Christian woman whose family would not let them marry. But he yearned for her his entire life. They dig up his skeletal remains on his bed.
(FOREIGN LANGUAGE) One of his neighbors finds an old magazine with an article about another of America's devastating wars. Then, like now, the U.S. has shied away from reporting overall civilian death tolls. Grim realities that only become apparent later.
A month-long investigation by the Associated Press found that 9,000 to 11,000 civilians were killed in Mosul. A third of them from coalition air strikes. A local government official we spoke to says that matches the information he has.
The U.S. military says it does look into individual reports and is acknowledging around 300 civilian deaths caused by its air power. And Iraq, which requests or approves the strikes, has established a committee to look into the overall death toll. What you get on the ground is a glimpse of the scale of death here.
This is a mass grave that has 20 bodies in it.
This man, a grave digger says he buried as many 450 people in two months. Many of the graves unmarked. The identities of those here unknown. But he says most were civilians.
Those who remain are left with the agonizing memories of what they endured in the ruins of his home, Sayeed (Ph) cannot see how victory is theirs.
"To kill one ISIS man, they would fire a rocket worth millions," he tells us, "and knock down ten homes. ISIS won by hurting us and America won by hurting us."
Five-year-old Ardwa (Ph) wants to find her toys. Memories of a childhood gone. This is the one she wants. It's a dream House. Now the only home she has. But the population suffered here is not a numbers game. What they want is accountability for all they lost, for the price they paid.
DAMON: And what a lot of people will also say to you, what they'll also really question with a profound sense of sorrow and anger is whether or not this really was the only way, could there have been another military strategy that would have perhaps somehow spare them, spare them not of course just the loss of their home, but also the loss of the lives of their loved ones.
ALLEN: Such a gripping story, Arwa. Thank you to you and your team for that. And yes, terrific tragedy for the people of Mosul.
HOWELL: The Pentagon has responded to reports of civilian casualties in the fight against ISIS. A spokesman says, "While we do not discuss details of our internal processes and procedures of assessing civilian casualties, we can tell you that unlike ISIS, the coalition works extensively to reduce the risk to civilians on the ground, and we leverage our technology to ensure the strikes are as precise as possible."
ALLEN: U.S. Vice President Mike Pence leaves Washington Friday for a trip to the Middle East, a trip where he will visit Egypt, Israel, and Jordan. But overshadowing the trip is one of his boss' most controversial foreign policy decisions, the formal recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. It is the kind of move that threatens to derail decades of careful diplomacy.
The grand imam of Al-Azhar, one of the most powerful figures in Sunni Islam, explains to our Ben Wedeman why he won't be hosting the vice president during the visit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AHMED MUHAMMAD AHMED EL-TAYEB, GRAND IMAM OF AL-AZHAR (through translator): We welcome the visit. But we're surprised by the decision to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. It gives credence on the claim that Jerusalem is Jewish and justifies the Jewification of Jerusalem.
This is contrary to international law. We believe Jerusalem is an occupied city and not a Jewish city. It is 100 percent Arab under Israeli occupation. I believe there isn't any religion that would approve of this decision. Religions came to free mankind of tyranny, of capital, and power.
I believe that I would be contradictory in front of people if I hosted one of the architects of this decision by the American administration.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: So again, that was in reference to the vice president's trip to the Middle East, the first overseas trip of the Trump presidency by Mr. Trump was to Saudi Arabia.
[03:15:04] He was treated to a lavish display of royal ceremony, you might recall, during the two-day visit. He and the Saudis also agreed to a huge weapons deal worth billions of dollars over 10 years.
So what does Saudi leaders think of President Trump at the one-year mark? Our Nic Robertson joins us from the capital, Riyadh. Mr. Trump hasn't quite aligned with some obvious allies, but Saudi Arabia he has.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, where Saudi Arabia and President Trump really see eye to eye is on Iran. President Trump sees Iran as sponsoring terror throughout the region, that's a view shared by many others in this region. And absolutely, by Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia has Iraq and Syria to the north and it sees Iran as expanding into, expanding its influence into Iraq and into Syria. That concerns it. It's part of a coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen. Those Houthi rebels, according to a U.N. report, are getting ballistic missiles from Iran. Those ballistic missile the Houthis are firing at the capital here, Riyadh, population 7.7 million people. So, you know, for Saudi Arabia, Iran is a huge issue. Prince Mohammad
Bin Salman, the Crown Prince here who's trying to sort of, if you will, reorganize the country with his 2030 vision, give it broader economic independence, reinvigorate the country, if you will.
Certainly with his father, King Salman who hosted President Trump in May last year, really got the relationship off to a good start. And on the issue of Iran, they very much see eye to eye.
ALLEN: And the Iran issue also, Nic, has had a side story, that bringing Saudi Arabia more aligned with Israel.
ROBERTSON: Yes, for Israel, Iran is an existential threat. So, you know, they both share a common enemy. United States, President Trump sees Saudi Arabia as a route to influencing regional opinion towards a Palestinian/Israeli peace deal. There is an axis of interest from Washington through Jerusalem to Riyadh here.
This is something that you wouldn't perhaps have seen so overtly in the region before President -- under President Trump. This is something that's becoming more apparent. President Trump has recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. That certainly led to a lot of speculation in Arab media that the king here has been supportive of that idea.
President Trump is with that decision shaking up the region, as we just heard from Ben Wedeman's interview. It's coming consequences absent President Trump outlining a plan to move this single initiative forward in some way. There is an understanding that Jared Kushner, his special envoy for the Middle East, has made significant visits here to the capital Riyadh. We don't know what came out of all those meetings, they've been private.
But it does -- it does grow that perception in the region that President Trump, Saudi Arabia, and Israel, are closer perhaps than they have been under any other U.S. president. That said, President Obama made multiple visits to Saudi Arabia, and President Bush before him had a very close relationship with the Saudis.
But I think what we see in Saudi Arabia now is changes within the country, domestically, but also Saudi Arabia posturing itself as being the significant dominant player within Sunni Islam and a political force and ally for others outside the region.
ALLEN: Nic Robertson for us there in Riyadh. Thank you, Nic.
HOWELL: Still ahead here on Newsroom, prosecutors describe the deplorable conditions inside of a home in California, a home where 13 children rescued from a lifetime of abuse.
ALLEN: Plus Germany's growing economy is forcing companies to turn to a new source of worker to fill positions. We'll tell you who they're hiring and training ahead here.
[03:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK) ALLEN: A horrific story coming out of Perris, California. The alleged mistreatment of 13 children by their parents was horribly cruel to say the least.
ALLEN: Beatings, strangulation, near-starvation we reportedly dished out for minor infractions.
HOWELL: It is just unbelievable.
ALLEN: It is.
HOWELL: The details of what, you know, is going on in this home. Their arraignment on Thursday. You see the parents there, David and Louise Turpin both pleaded not guilty to torturing their children. Bail set at $12 million each. The Riverside County prosecutor says the conditions inside that home were so deplorable they can only be described as depraved.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE HESTRIN, DISTRICT ATTORNEY, RIVERSIDE COUNTY: The parents would apparently buy food for themselves and not allow the children to eat it. They would buy food, including pies, apple pies, pumpkin pies, leave it on the counter, let the children look at it, but not eat the food.
All the victims were and are severely malnourished. One of the children at age 12 is the weight of an average 7-year-old. The 29- year-old female victim weighs 82 pounds.
Several of the victims have cognitive impairment and neuropathy, which is nerve damage, as a result of this extreme and prolonged physical abuse.
None of the victims were allowed to shower more than once a year. None of the victims have seen a doctor in more than four years. None of the victims have ever seen a dentist. This is severe emotional, physical abuse.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: It is quite frankly just unbelievable.
ALLEN: It is.
HOWELL: There were 13 children found inside that home, ranging from 29 to 2 years old. All are now being cared for at local hospitals.
ALLEN: And as investigators pore over the home, they discovered the horrible circumstances the children were forced to endure year after year.
Here's CNN's Stephanie Elam. STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Listening to the Riverside County
district attorney list all of the things they say they've discovered in this household, it almost seems too much to believe.
The district attorney saying that they have found that the children were being locked up for the most minor of offenses. Even including washing their hands above their wrists. They were seen as playing in the water and could be chained up for that.
They said the treatment of the children has gotten progressively worse. And they're starting these charges starting in 2010 but that's when they moved to California.
We do know according to the district attorney's office that these abuse, the abuse started earlier than that in Texas, and then got worse when they moved here to California. Some of the things that they're saying about the children, when the 17-year-old, the one who was bold enough to plan this escape with her siblings for over two years, when she escaped she took one of her siblings with her.
That sibling got scared and ran back into the House. She stayed on plan and called the police. And when police got to the home, they said that the defendants in this case, David and Louise Turpin, were able to unchain the 11-year-old and the 14-year-old, but the 22-year-old was still chained when the authorities made their way into the home.
They said that they chained them there for weeks or months at a time, to the point that they wouldn't let them out if they needed to use the restroom, based on the evidence that they saw in the House.
As far as their appearance, they're saying the 17-year-old, she didn't know what medicine was when the police first spoke to her. That some of the children didn't know what a police officer was. So they're talking about the fact that they had cognitive impairment and nerve damage, only allowed to shower one time a year, and that they suffered beatings and strangulations. There are so many things in here that the list goes on.
[03:24:57] But today was the first time that we actually saw the Turpin couple in court today, looking stoically on as the judge went ahead and set their bail at $12 million each. They are looking, despite the fact, despite the fact that they have plead not guilty to all charges, they are looking at spending 94 years to life in prison if they are found guilty in this case.
Stephanie Elam, Riverside, California.
HOWELL: Stephanie, thank you for that report.
ALLEN: Not much more to say. Obviously a story unfortunately we're going to have to hear more about.
HOWELL: Yes. We'll move on to Germany. That country's economy is growing strong these days. But there's a shortage of young talent to meet the high demand for labor.
ALLEN: The big companies are looking to a new source of workers, refugees.
But as Atika Shubert reports, they haven't entirely filled the gap.
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The city of Dresden is profiting from Germany's booming economy. Home to a thriving tech industry from semiconductor makers to software producers such as SAP. The company is constantly trying to fill positions as it grows and it has tapped a new source of talent, refugees. Such as Amar Arat (Ph), who fled the war in Syria.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I feel welcome, we've accepted you. It was so awesome.
SHUBERT: Amar is among 150 refugees taking part in SAP Germany's vocational training program. About one-third are likely to end up with full-time jobs with SAP and other companies have begun to ask SAP how they have done it says the head of vocational training.
NICO HERZBERG, SAP, DRESDEN: Here in Dresden we have 700 people coming from over 20 nations worldwide. So we are used to that. What Amar could bring in is really an experience none of our students have. I would encourage all the other companies, just do it.
SHUBERT: Consider the number. Germany has enjoyed eight years of robust growth and 13 years of rising employment. And according to the German Institute for Employment Research, the country had a million unfilled jobs, mainly in tech, in the last quarter of 2017. Sixty percent of companies here cite labor shortages as their biggest concern, says Germany's Chamber of Commerce.
In 2015, Germany took in as many as a million refugees and continues to take in more. But can refugees and newly arrived immigrants fill the gap? Not entirely.
VOLKER TREIER, DEPUTY CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, ASSOCIATION OF GERMAN CHAMBERS OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE: The bulk of the refugees are for the time being, not meeting the qualification demand of the businesses. This is true when it comes to the language skills. But this is even more true when it comes to the qualification requirements.
SHUBERT: It does cost more time and money. SAP invested in intensive language programs and proactively tries to match skills. Hossam Rezek (Ph), for example was an experienced operations engineer for a Syrian telecom in Damascus before he fled the war. Now he works as a programmer with SAP and has Dresden his wife and two children. He credits his colleagues for making him feel at home.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I like so much here. My team help me to do it. Actually my team was my window to the language.
SHUBERT: SAP admits their program is small and still won't fill all the gaps, but the company insists it's a start.
Atika Shubert, CNN, Dresden.
ALLEN: There is evidence that U.N. sanctions against North Korea are having an effect. Coming up here, how those sanctions are also affecting U.S. relations with China.
HOWELL: Also the U.S. president, how do his supporters feel now that he has been in office for one year? We'll take you to a small town in the U.S. State of Iowa where feelings are running high on both sides.
[03:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
[03:31:13] HOWELL: Welcome back to our viewers around the world. You're waiting "CNN newsroom." it is good to have you with us. I am George Howell.
ALLEN: I am Natalie Allen. We're live in Atlanta. Thank you for watching. Here are our top stories.
A U.S. Government shutdown is now less than 21 hours away. The house of representative adopted a stop-gap funding measure on Thursday. It is now before the senate, which may vote on it on Friday ahead of a midnight deadline, but passage is far from certain. The White House says it is confident congress will approve it and accept President Trump to sign the bill before he leaves for a weekend this Florida resort.
HOWELL: The parents of 13 children in the U.S. State of California, they pleaded not guilty to torturing and starving 12 of those children. Bail was set for David and Louise Turpin at $12 million each. The prosecutor says the children were harshly punished for years with beatings and strangulations and near starvation.
ALLEN: The Olympic plane has crossed the unification bridge in South Korean near the demilitarized zone. The two Koreas have agreed the North will send athletes to the games and March together under a unified flag at the opening ceremony. Officials say nearly 70 percent of the tickets for the games have been sold.
HOWELL: The U.S. President and his Chinese counterpart are enjoying a relatively cozy working relationship, though it hinges on one volatile problem, reining in a nuclear North Korea. Let's go live to Matt Rivers who's following his story in Dandong. There on the border between North Korean and China, is there a difference now in trade, the trucks going back and forth?
MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean compared to the last couple of times we've been here, George absolutely. Really the first year of the Trump presidency, when it comes to the U.S. relationship with China, has centered on North Korea. Talk about trade, talk about environmental policy. Really North Korea has pushed all of those aside and the battle over how far to go with sanctions against North Korea has really played out locally here in Dandong. That is North Korea across the river behind me. With a combination of American pressure towards putting more sanctions on and the Chinese government increasingly becoming wary of what the North Koreans are doing on that side of the border, there has been absolutely an effect on the amount of trade between both countries.
RIVERS: There are fewer trucks these days. The bridge quieter than months and years past. If bridge traffic is this light, it means trade between China and North Korea is slowing down. That is the word on the ground in Dandong, a key trading hub on the Chinese/North Korean border. The main reason comes from 7,000 miles away in New York City.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The draft resolution has been adopted unanimously --
RIVERS: A series of increasingly tough sanctions approved by the U.N. Security Council in 2017 has put the squeeze on North Korea. And as a result its largest trading partner, China. These sanctions more than anything else have come to define U.S./China cooperation under President Donald Trump. And yet few expected both sides to work together after Trump's divisive 2016 campaign.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whether it's China with our agreements, no matter what it is, it seems that we don't seem to have it.
RIVERS: China was a favorite target of the Republican candidate who accused China of "raping" the U.S. economically and for failing to solve the North Korea problem. But in an April meeting at Mar-a-Lago in Florida change the President's tune. He got on well with Chinese President Xi Jinping and a calculation was made. The administration would back off on trade issues in the hopes of Chinese help on pressuring the Kim Jong-un regime to stop developing nuclear weapons. The result, three rounds of sanctions, all approved by the Chinese after different North Korean nuclear and missile tests.
[03:35:16] They targeted everything from oil shipments to joint business ventures with North Korean companies. And Dandong is one of the places where you come to see if they're being enforced. Popular businesses here like these restaurants, staffed and run by North Koreans, have recently shuttered. We've been to Dandong four times in the last two years. And I can tell you that these streets used to be filled with North Koreans buying items in these stores to sell back home. But today it's basically empty. We spoke to six different business owners in this area who told us that since the sanctions went into effect, business has plummeted. Though none would talk on camera for fear of wading into a sensitive issue.
To be clear, trade is still happening. We still see trucks loaded down with goods arriving from North Korea. The President recently told Reuters China could still be doing more to curve Pyongyang's ambitions. One example, tackle smuggling, still rampant all along the border. Back in September, we saw illegal North Korean seafood being sold openly on Chinese streets.
But back at the bridge, the effects of American lobbying for tougher sanctions is clear. According to Chinese customs data, total trade between China and North Korea fell by 50 percent in December 2017.
RIVERS: So now as we move into 2018, the North Korean issue isn't going to go anywhere. So the question is if the United States wants China to keep doing more, put more sanctions against North Korea in place, assuming Pyongyang continues with missile and nuclear tests as we move through this year, how far is China willing to go? Are they willing to go further with sanctions? Every time we pose that question to the Chinese government we get the same response, which is, we do not answer hypothetical questions.
HOWELL: Matt Rivers following the story live there at the border between China and North Korea, thank you for the report. Stay in touch.
ALLEN: In the United States, Democrats are trying to move ahead with the resolution to censure President Trump for using a vulgar slur to describe African nation.
HOWELL: With Republicans in control of congress that measure has very little chance of being brought up for a vote. Still, the chairman of the congressional black caucus wants the President to admit that he was wrong for using the word he had used.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CEDRIC RICHMOND, LOUISIANA CONGRESSMAN: The last part of the resolution is to ask that the president retract his words and issue an apology. We are all adult. We've all made mistakes before in our life. But the real test of leadership is to acknowledge when you make a mistake.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: The President has said that he didn't say the word. A Republican Senator, Lindsey Graham, was one of the lawmakers in the room when the President allegedly used that word to describe African nations. Graham said that he expressed his displeasure with Mr. Trump at that time.
ALLEN: But on the larger issue of whether President Trump is a racist, listen to what the Senator told our Dana Bash.
DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Can you tell me what happened in that meeting? In your own words.
SEN LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R) SOUTH CAROLINA: No. I can tell you this --
BASH: Why not? Why can't you?
GRAHAM: Because I want to make sure that I can keep talking to the President. I told him what I thought. And that is more important to me than anything else. BASH: But he did call those countries shithole countries?
GRAHAM: You can keep asking me all day long and I'm going to tell you the same thing. Why don't you ask me, is he a racist?
BASH: That was my next question.
GRAHAM: Why don't you ask me?
BASH: Do you think he is a racist?
GRAHAM: Absolutely not. Let me tell you why. You could be dark as charcoal and lily white, it doesn't matter, as long as you're nice to him. You could be the pope and criticize him, it doesn't matter, and he'd go after the pope. You could be Putin and say nice things and he'll like you. Here's what I found. He is a street fighter. It's not the color of our skin that matters, it's not the content of your character. It's whether or not you show him respect and like him. And if he feels like you're all script, you don't like him, he punches back. And as President of the United States, the only advice I can have you is that the street fight's over. We need a leader. And you got here by being a street fighter, you beat me, you beat everybody else. Mr. President, you have the ability to bring this country together.
ALLEN: Lindsey Graham being outspoken there. Of course across the U.S. in big cities, small towns, the debate over President Trump goes on. We visit a town in Monticello, Iowa.
HOWELL: And there you'll find die-hard followers of the President and die-hard opponents, and some with a growing sense of buyers' remorse as Bill Weir reports for us.
[03:40:04] BILL WEIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In Monticello they still wind the clock tower by hand. And still mix politics into their coffee. Down at Darrel's. It is so great to sit at the table of knowledge in Monticello, Iowa. It's a tradition that goes back to Truman. But no President has ever tested the limits of Midwestern politeness like number 45. This county went for Obama, then swung over to Trump. Why?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trump pulled the wool over their eyes. And they have most -- and his base has not recognized it yet.
WEIR: You think Virgil's been coned? You think Jerry's has been bamboozled?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're so ingrained with the crotch-grabbing liar.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trump wasn't my first choice either. However, he is doing a hell of a good job. And he is playing three-level chess versus everybody else playing checkers.
WEIR: The ones that support him are either greedy or bigots or they just don't see it yet. If the vote were taken today, I think it would be different.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If it wouldn't be for the Electoral College, he wouldn't have won.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right. La, la, la, la, la, la.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you sing too?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We run 800 acres of corn and beans. Then we do bale some hay. Our kids actually buy their own 4H animals. They do the chores for them.
WEIR: That will teach you, right?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That teaches you, yeah.
WEIR: At the Adams farm, did you all vote for President Trump?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
WEIR: The family Republican shows little voters remorse.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think he is doing a decent job. I think we need to give him a chance.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He went to the American farm bureau federation meeting. I haven't seen that from other Presidents.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Throughout our history, farmers have always, always, always led the way.
WEIR: Those words played really well around here. But his actions could end up hurting these folks. His nominee for chief scientist at the department of agriculture wasn't a scientist. And then got tangled in the Mueller investigation. He scrapped an Obama rule that would have protected small family farms against big corporate meat packers. He is threatening to tear up the trade agreement that keeps a lot of these farms alive.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's NAFTA that is another story. That does scare us. Pretty bad.
WEIR: You guys would go bankrupt?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We would go bankrupt, yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am sure he has a plan. If he does pull out. I don't know what that plan is. WEIR: Somebody has telling me this town used to be called the
Pittsburgh of the prairie, because there are so many factories.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
WEIR: And there are worries that oak street manufacturing, a mom and pop make of restaurant furnishings.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're hopeful as far as the tax reform. We're positive about that. We have grave concerns about his actions verbally.
WEIR: Like what?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Some of the -- some of the statements that he makes. There's just -- there's just a lot of disrespect for a large number of people.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As a Republican, he was worried about his grandchildren paying the national debt. It doesn't seem to make a damn bit of difference anymore.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We'll have to have another Obama come and clean it up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Then we can double our debt again.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He got you into the prosperity you're having now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, give him all the credit for the stock market going up, yeah, you bet yah. Out of your butt, man.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whoops!
WEIR: Is there a safe word when things get too heated?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's a good time to cut your rose bushes?
WEIR: That is the safe word?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You've got to do it one day real hard. I was worried.
WEIR: One year into Trump, a state he won by almost 10 points, is producing a bumper crop of worry. Even among those who love him most. Bill Weir, CNN, Monticello, Iowa.
HOWELL: The U.S. President says that he called Apple' CEO, Tim Cook, to thank him for promising to bring home hundreds of billions of dollars from overseas and to build new U.S. Facilities creating some 20,000 U.S. Jobs.
ALLEN: Cook says Apple would have done some of that even without the recent U.S. Tax cut. He has been outspoken critic of the Trump administration.
HOWELL: Still ahead, water everywhere but not a drop to drink. Why the taps in Cape Town, South Africa, could soon run dry.
[03:46:58] ALLEN: 2017 was another hot year, NASA says it was the second-warmest year since recordkeeping began in 1880.
HOWELL: NASA says the planet's long-term warming trend has continued and it's mainly driven by human activity. The six hottest years on record have all occurred since 2010. The rising temperatures are having impact in South Africa. Cape Town for instance. In the middle of a drought and May have just had three months left of water.
ALLEN: CNN's Michael Holmes has more on this looming crisis.
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: South Africa's famous city by the sea may be running out of water. Cape Town, home to nearly four million people and vacation spots for 2 million tourists a year, has only about three months left in this water reserves. Three years of drought and a boom in population over the past two decades has outstretched the city's taps at the height of the summer. Officials have dubbed April 21st as day zero, or the day that Cape Town officially runs dry.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think day zero is going to happen whether the government wants to do it or not. I think the water is going to run out. It very scary to think of. But I think it is reality.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's happening in the last 20 years. Now it's this predicament.
HOLMES: Authorities are asking residents and tourists to limit the amount of water they use to 87 liters per person per day. That means keeping showers to two minutes. Using recycled water in garden and flushing the toilet only when necessary.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Every other day we shower to save water. We make do.
HOLMES: Some officials are saying that residents are not heeding the warnings and fines may be imposed. Once the reservoir dips below 13.5 percent, the city will shut off water to everyone except essential services. Residents will then have to collect their own water at centers around the city with a maximum daily ration of 25 liters per person. It is a daunting prospect for some locals.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When we look at day zero, why are we looking at day zero? There are alternatives other than to close up my hotel, switch off all the taps. There are alternatives and there are countries in this word that have proven there are ways to deal with drought. HOLMES: City officials are scrambling to find alternative water
sources by building desalination plants and drilling underground holes. It is uncertain did if these efforts will be ready by day zero. One thing is for sure, there's no rain in sight for the next several days. Michael Holmes CNN.
ALLEN: That is hitting home. Our own Derek Van Dam lived in Cape Town. Friends and family in Cape Town.
[03:50:03] HOWELL: I do. About 60 percent of Capetownians aren't saving enough water. The government there is assuming that they are not going to change or shift their behaviors any time soon they're going to assume that day zero is very likely. In fact, they're going to be implementing very, very strict water restrictions. It's clear as day what's happening down there.
I mean, look at this astonishing before and after photo of one of the main reservoirs feeding the majority of Cape Town its water source. Look at the before and after from 2013 to 2017. You can see the depletion. Here's another way to look at it. From 2014 to late last year, you can see just how much were has been depleted from the major dams. Again, that feed the city, roughly four million people, and its water.
As it stands right now these major dams the storage capacity at 28.7 that is down 1 percent from last week this time. And unfortunately that last 10 percent is very difficult to extract from the dams and reservoirs. So effectively we only have about 20 percent of usable water for the City of Cape Town as it stands. Right now the City of Cape Town implementing strict water restrictions. It's called level 6b restrictions. It's effective February 1st. They're asking people to use, I shouldn't say ask. They're going to force people to use less than 50 liters of water per day. That means taking showers under two minutes. Only using the toilet and flushing the toilet when it's absolutely necessary.
No rain in sight for the weekend and for the next foreseeable future as our weather patterns continue to shift further and further south. When we typically see our winter rains, were seeing these cold fronts gets pushed away from the Western Cape. The City of Cape Town, the executive mayor, Patricia De Lille, striking a positive note. She says, this is the moment where we can bring about the fundamental behavior change that is needed to save us all from running out of water. That is called day zero in Cape Town and it has become infamous, unfortunately in that part of the world. Because this could be the first major metropolitan to literally run out of water.
ALLEN: Crazy. Of course we'll be covering it extensively.
When we come back here, they were married up in the air. A pair of flight attendants in love tied the knot in the skies over Chile and guess who did the wedding on the plane? That story next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
HOWELL: The work of a quick-thinking bus driver in China, he saved passengers from a massive land slide. He was driving a shuttle bus when he spotted two fallen stones on the ground, slowed down in case of danger, in the nick of time. Several huge boulders fell from that mountain. The driver slammed on his brakes
ALLEN: No one was injured and only the front of the bus was damaged. Do you believe that? Looking at that, right there. The bus company gave the driver 3,000 yuan, or about $470, for his heroic deeds.
ALLEN: Pope Francis on an unexpected detour while visiting Chile Thursday. Take a look. As the Pope mobile made its way down a crowded street. A police woman on a horse was thrown to the ground.
HOWELL: Watch as the pope stopped the caravan and gets out of his car to go back and check on her. The Vatican says Pope Francis waited for the woman for the ambulance to come and offered words of comfort. She wasn't seriously hurt there.
[03:55:03] ALLEN: A Chilean couple is flying high at their surprise wedding a jet airplane their chapel.
HOWELL: And to make it even more memorable, Pope Francis performed that ceremony. CNN Rosa Flores
ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The papal plane turned into a wedding chapel when Pope Francis spontaneously married two flight attendants at 36,000 feet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He offered and we said, well -
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
(TRANSLATOR): They were sitting a customary flight crew photo when the conversation began. Small talk turned into a full blown catholic wedding when Pope Francis asked if they were married. The couple responded, "only civilly." For a natural disaster turned their wedding day upside down when the 2010 earthquake hit Chile, destroying the church where they were supposed to tie the knot. According to the couple, Pope Francie didn't waste any time before asking, do you want me to marry you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He invited us to sit down and we started talking to him and that was the moment.
FLORES: Pope Francis then said, we need a witness. The CEO of the airlines served as such.
The good thing about papal trips is cardinal's travel with Pope Francis, so the pontiff turned around and asked a cardinal to draft the wedding certificate. With few resources on the plane, the couples says one of the cardinals used a sheet of paper from the airline to draft the document. After a brief blessing of the wedding rings by the pope, the couple and their boss turned witness signed the wedding certificate and made history. For this is the first wedding ever on a papal plane, according to Vatican officials. The pope asked, is she still the boss?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I told him, yes.
FLORES: A reference to how the couple met. She was his boss at the time? Pope Francis gave the couple rosary as gifts and then said he hopes this motivates couples around the world to marry. Rosa Flores, CNN, Northern Chile.
HOWELL: Some people just get excited about bonus miles and they got married.
ALLEN: Exactly. Yeah I like bonus miles. Yes, that was a bonus, wasn't it? Cute story. Wish them well.
HOWELL: Thanks for being with us for "Newsroom." I'm George Howell.
ALLEN: And I'm Natalie Allen. The news continues next from London with Max Foster. Thanks for watching CNN.