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Trump Signs Bill to End U.S. Government Shutdown; Trump Heads to World Economic Forum This Week; Forum Calls for Cooperation on a Fractured World; Former North Korean Spy Recounts 1988 Plane Bombing. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired January 23, 2018 - 04:00   ET


MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR: Ahead on CNN NEWSROOM, back to work, the U.S. government shutdown ends but only, for now, we'll have the latest in Washington.

The shutdown behind him, President Trump is set to join other world leaders at the World Economic Forum. We'll preview what's at stake in the live report from panels in Switzerland.

And fighting escalates on the Syrian Turkish border raising concerns about the new humanitarian crisis.

Thanks for joining us, I'm Max Foster in London, this is CNN NEWSROOM.

Donald Trump is claiming victory on the U.S. government shutdown, he tweeted late on Monday that -- this, he said, "A big win for the Republicans as Democrats caved on shutdown. Now, I want a big win for everyone including Republicans, Democrats, and DACA, but especially for our great military and border security. Should be able to get there, see you at the negotiating table."

The House and Senate ended the shutdown on Monday agreeing to extend funding for three weeks. Senate Republican Leader, Mitch McConnell helps break the impasse by promising to take up immigration reform but neither democrats nor republicans have stopped pointing fingers over what happened.


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), SENATE MINORITY LEADER: It's a shame Mr. President that the American people and the Senate have had to endure such hand wringing, finger pointing stridency to secure a guarantee that we will finally move to address this urgent issue.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: I think we've learned anything during this process is that a strategy to shut down the government over the issue of illegal immigration is something that the American people didn't understand.


FOSTER: Well some critics say Democrats simply gave up on DACA but it appears that trusting republicans promised to hear the amount on immigration reform. CNN's Phil Mattingly has more now from Capitol Hill.


PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN U.S. CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Three days, that's how long the government shutdown lasted. On Tuesday morning, the government will reopen, hundreds of thousands of federal workers will no longer be furloughed. But the real question is, what did everybody actually get out of this?

You can look at the democratic votes in the final spending bills both from the Senate and House and recognize that not all Democrats were on board with the deal that was eventually made. The reason why, concern about the promises, about the word of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, about the fact it wasn't tied into any spending bill. What is that? The DACA resolution, some type of bipartisan deal to protect those dreamers, 600,000, 700,000 individuals.

That has always been the Democrat's primary purpose, the primary goal here, they didn't get any guarantees. But they did get that promise. That's what Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer was pointing to.

SCHUMER: I expect the Majority Leader to fulfill his commitment to the Senate, to me, and to the bipartisan group and abide by this agreement. If he does not, of course, and I expect he will, he will have breached the trust of not only the democratic senators but members of his own party as well.

MATTINGLY: So guys, you look at what this deal will actually do, it funds the government through February 8th, and also extends the children's health insurance program for six years, it delays three different ObamaCare taxes that pretty unpopular on a bipartisan basis.

So in some level, there is wins for everybody in it but politically, there's no question about it, Democrats felt like they needed an out and that is exactly why a bipartisan group of senators, 25 in all by the time it was all said and done help drive towards this final deal as it is.

Still, there are no shortage of huge issues to deal with and a large shortage of time. At least for now, a clean slate or a somewhat clean slate.


FOSTER: Well that's Phil Mattingly reporting there. With the government shutdown over at least for the next three weeks, the U.S. president will now head to Davos in the coming days.

First lady Millenia won't be there, the White House says she's staying behind because of scheduling issues. Mr. Trump will be rubbing elbows with the world's financial and political elites but will he rub them the wrong way with his America First Agenda? Nic Robertson is in Davos, he joins us now.

So, people starting to arrive, what sort of reception do you think President Trump's going to get because inevitably, he's going to get a lot of the attention.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Sure. Look, I mean the forum here is all about finding a shared future in a fractional world. I mean, what does that -- what does that really mean?

Well, for example, it means working together as a global community to find the solutions for global problems, and one of those is for example, refugees, Cate Blanchett, the actor we'll speaking about refugees this morning. If we think about it look, refugees flooding across the Mediterranean from Libya coming from Sub Sahara and Africa trying to find a shared future for everyone in a fractured world, that's one way to look at it.

President Trump's view, however, tends to be an America first view and is not afraid to stand up in global summits to put that view forward even when it doesn't fall on receptive ears.


He sort of rejects the free trade that a lot -- you would find a lot of the leaders will be coming here, Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor. Theresa May, the British Prime Minister. Emmanuel Macron, the French President. All of these types of people generally have a more pragmatic view to free trade.

President Trump says he wants it fair and balanced. So in that context, he's coming here as something of a disruptor, something who assures working together as a global community. Look at the global climate change issue, he took the United States out of that last year. So he doesn't come here with a reputation of someone who's going to work with everyone else, rather someone who's going to put his own message forward.

However, he will perhaps (INAUDIBLE) in a little of the glory that Christine Lagarde, the IMF Chief has laid at its feet just yesterday saying that President Trump's tax cuts in the United States are contributing to a positive global economic outlook at the moment. But, of course, that just presses the very questions that they're here to answer which is, if the current model of the global economic growth continues, then so do the fractures because that's where they came from.

So will President Trump answer that? People will be waiting to hear. I don't think expectation would be so high at this stage, Max.

FOSTER: Who else are you looking forward to hearing from, who are the big names arriving who will get some attention in the shadows of Donald Trump?

ROBERTSON: Sure. I mean look, one of the interesting things here is that President Trump arrives and gives his speech or gives his speech when traditionally a lot of the main speakers would have already left.

Perhaps that won't happen this time, many of them will be wanting to chance to meet them. But Narendra Modi, the Indian Prime Minister giving the keynote opening speech minutes away from now. You have Erna Solberg, the Norwegian Prime Minister speaking. Justin Trudeau, very -- the Canadian Prime Minister here today, speaking as well.

Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor will speak. Theresa May, British Prime Minister will speak. Emmanuel Macron, the French President. They will all get their chance to speak and many views and positions will be heard before President Trump gets to speak.

So many ways, the agenda is set, the real discussions and heart of what they want to get to of the global economic forum here will have been set, will have been talked about. President Trump will sort of come in at the back end of it with perhaps his own thoughts on it. So, I think perhaps when we look ahead we'll hear the Indian Prime Minister's expected to say why now is a good time to do trade and business in India.

We're going to hear all these leaders with putting forward big perhaps global views. But in essence, framed around the key and important questions for them and for their countries. Angela Merkel comes in now knowing that she's now -- her chances of being the next German Chancellor and now looking much better, now she's in a position to form a coalition. The British Prime Minister Theresa May will be hoping to sort of shore up that special relationship with Britain that feels anything but special at the moment.

So many people will have their own particular things that want to speak with privately President Trump about. Max --

FOSTER: OK. Nic, thank you very much indeed. Busy week ahead for you. Anguish in Bangladesh meanwhile as Rohingya refugees face the prospects are being sent back to Myanmar. Some say that would be a death sentence, we'll get the latest on the repatriation operation which was meant to start today.

And a Former North Korean spy is trying to warn the world against trusting the regime. We'll have her story, next.



FOSTER: In Syria, (INAUDIBLE) has killed nine people and wounded 21 others in its (INAUDIBLE) neighborhood. Syrian state-run news says rebels fired the mortar shells into the capital from Eastern Ghouta. That area has been under siege by Syrian government troops for more than four years now.

One Turkish soldier has been killed as Turkey's military offensive continues targeting Kurdish militia in Northern Syria. America's top diplomat is urging and (INAUDIBLE) exercise restraint but President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is showing no signs of backing down.

Turkish warplanes and troops continue to target fighters in the Afrin area. Sam Kiley has this report.


three of Turkish invasion of Syria's Afrin province targeting Kurdish militia, adding another layer of conflict on an already shattered nation. These troops are from the free Syrian army, they're fighting alongside Turkey but the Kurdish fighters they're attacking have been western allies, armed and trained by the U.S. in the fight against the so-called Islamic state.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We ran out of armor and food when we got there. Eleven of us got wounded in the legs, the stomach, but we took three hostages from PKK, thank God.

KILEY: The Kurds released video of the moment of missile launch and the destruction of a Turkish tank. CNN cannot independently verify it but the Kurds are outgunned and Turkey is a vital NATO partner. So the U.S response to attacks on this American-backed army is muted.

REX TILLERSON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: We are concerned about the Turkish incident in Northern Syria. Having said that, in a statement I issued yesterday, we recognize and fully appreciate Turkish's legitimate right to protect its own citizens.

KILEY: Turkish president is insisting that there was no going back.

RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, TURKISH PRESIDENT (through translator): We will handle Afrin, there's no stepping back from Afrin.

KILEY: But Turkish border towns are being hit from Kurd areas by rockets. A sign that the Kurds will not go quietly.


FOSTER: Sam Kiley joins us live from the Turkish-Syrian border. Some suggestion that Turkey would have need the approval from Russia to go ahead with this. How does this all play into the conflict there?

KILEY: Well it is multilayered. So in order to conduct operations which are now in their fourth day here Max, the Turks have been firing artillery and rockets from the hillside just behind me.

The weather is bad at the moment for the use of aircraft but it's impossible to use those aircraft against the Kurds without the permission both of the Syrian government and Russians who are both on the same side in its conflict and both have very substantial air defenses here.

So there was an agreement clearly to allow the Turks to conduct this operation. And at the same time, of course, the United States is getting increasingly anxious about the future of its allies in the region on the ground in Syria behind me, the YPG. Now, the area behind me known as Afrin has been an area used by Kurdish militants over many decades to conduct their war of succession against Turkey.

And that is the reason really why it is being picked out at the moment by Turkey to get the Kurds away from the border. But it's not going to stop there, they also control and this is the Kurd's many hundreds of kilometers of border territory all the way to the Iraqi border. And the Turkish president has vowed that he will go all the way with this operation, probably slicing off Kurdish control territory in a sort of salami-slicing operation. But it's not going to be easy, this is mountainous terrain that the Kurds know very, very well.

FOSTER: And how does this leave Turkish-U.S. relations?

KILEY: Very tensed, very, very problematic. The Turkish president yesterday almost lampooned the United States by saying, "You went into Iraq and you're still there. We're not going to make the same mistake."

He may be lived to regret those words but the two are -- the two biggest armed forces within NATO. Turkey is the only Muslim country within NATO and remains a vital part of their international alliance and it's for that reason that Rex Tillerson and Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary for the United Kingdom are all saying that they want to keep civilian casualties to a minimum but do recognize the right of Turkey to secure its borders.


But if this goes on and the attacks start to spread further east into much more areas where the so-called Islamic state has been destroyed by the alliance of Kurds and American special forces and others, then I think that's going to get a lot more problematic because, of course, in amidst all of this chaos, it is conceivable the so-called Islamic state will use this as an opportunity to regroup and start attacking again.

FOSTER: OK. Sam Kiley on the Turkish-Syrian border, thank you very much indeed. Now, the plan to repatriate hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees, Bangladesh is on hold.

According to Reuters, citing a government official, more than 650,000 Rohingya that fled Rakhine State in Myanmar escaping rape, torture, and murder. Many fear those face the same if they return. Clarissa Ward reports.


CLARISSA WARD, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They're fleeing for their lives after an arduous 10-day journey, these Rohingya refugees have made it to safety in Bangladesh. Dazed and exhausted, but safe for now from the horrors they escaped in Myanmar.

MOHAMMAD SALIM, ROHINGYA REFUGEE (through translator): My son was killed by the Myanmar army this man says. And still I stayed there but then they destroyed my house, so there was no place for me to stay.

Mohammad left with 43 others from his village. More than half of them, women and children. Now they're being told to return to the place that nearly killed them. As official vetting in the repatriation process begins.

But the grim reality is that the crisis in Myanmar is far from over.

ASSIA KHAFUN, ROHINGYA REFUGEE (through translation): Girls were unable to sleep there at night, they would stay awake in fear of the military, this woman says. They used to harm us, harass us, hurt us. There was sorrow and tears everywhere.

The families will join some 650,00 other Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh who fled Myanmar since late August when an attack by Rohingya militants on security forces sparked a brutal crackdown by the army. With widespread reports of rape, murder, and villages burn to the ground.

Now, as the prospect of a return to danger looms, protesters, taking place in the refugee camps. Many say they will only return home with guarantees of their security and aid agency say that is still far from certain.

KEVIN ALLEN, UNHCR REPRESENTATIVE: Any decision to return has to be voluntary. It has to occur in conditions of safety and dignity, and it has to be sustainable. To ensure that this happens, there is a lot of work that needs to occur.

WARD: A key concern that returnees will be sent to internment camps inside Myanmar with no timeline on when they can return to their villages.

HALIMA KHAFUN, ROHINGYA REFUGEE (through translator): If the government of Bangladesh threaten to kill us by cutting our throats, we will not go even then, this woman says.

SALIM (through translator): I would be happy to die here because it's a Muslim country, this man says. In there, they tortured us to death.

The prospect of an easier death, now the only comfort for people who have come to expect nothing from this world. Clarissa Ward, CNN.


FOSTER: Now with just over two weeks away from the start of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea. A former North Korean spy says despite boring relations between the North and the South, Pyongyang cannot be trusted.

Three decades ago, she bombed a passenger plane on the regime's orders and she was caught and put on trial. Paula Hancock spoke to the former secret agent about her crime.


PAULA HANCOCK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Kim Hyon-Hui doesn't look like a terrorist. A softly-spoken mother of two, only her hands give away a traumatic past.

Plucked from university at 18 for her language skills, recruited by the worker's party be a North Korean spy. KIM HYUN-HUI, KOREAN AIR 858 BOMBER (through translator): I was

chosen among a lot of other people, Kim tells me. I felt some pride at least at that time.

HANCOCK: Seven years and eight months of training in ideology, martial arts, cheating, survival in the wild, then she received her first assignment.

HYUN-HUI (through translator): The mission was to block the upcoming 1988 Seoul Olympic game, she says, to threaten the cycle by bringing down one of their planes. I was nervous, I was worried I wouldn't be successful.

HANCOCK: Kim and her fellow agent border Korean Airlines 858 in Baghdad, Iraq disembarking at a layover in Abu Dhabi before the plane continued on to Seoul but it never made it.


The bomb Kim had placed in an overhead locker detonated over the Andaman Sea near Myanmar, all 115 people onboard the airliner were killed.

HYUN-HUI (through translator): The bomb was a small Panasonic radio, she says, behind that with the batteries. North Korea built it so half of it backed as an explosive with chemicals in, the other half could be used as a regular radio.

From the moment I entered the South Korean plan, Kim says, I thought I was in enemy territory, that's how I have been trained. I was very nervous. For one moment, the sort of these people will die crossed my mind. I was surprised when I thought that, I felt I was being weak, I was doing this for unification.

HANCOCK: Kim and her accomplice were caught in Bahrain after handing over the wrong ticket with her fake passport. Her comrade killed himself by swallowing cyanide. Kim bit her suicide capsule but survived.

Brought back to Seoul, interrogated for two years before receiving the death sentence, only to be pardoned by then President Roe Tae-Woo who saw her as a victim as much as those who died at her hands. Kim says she was overwhelmed with guilt thinking about the victim's families, about her own family she says would certainly have been sent to a concentration camp. She later heard rumors her parents have died.

Fighting back tears, she explains why she needs to keep talking about this today, 30 years on, North Korea will now be part of South Korea's Olympics next month.

HYUN-HUI: They have not changed at all, she says, they are using South Korea to overcome their difficulties to achieve their goal, they execute their own public, siblings, families. Do not be fooled. North Korea has not changed at all.

HANCOCK: The late Kim Jong-il personally ordered the bombing of Korean Airlines 858 she says and she believes his son and currently the Kim Jong-un would not hesitate to revert to terrorism if talks do not get him what he wants. Paula Hancock, CNN Seoul. (END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. As world and business leaders head to the World Economic Forum, (INAUDIBLE) our Richard Quest is building an igloo ahead of the event.


FOSTER: (INAUDIBLE) into the snowy peak of Davos in the World Economic Forum, this year's theme is creating a shared future in a fractured world but with U.S. President Donald Trump being known for his America First (INAUDIBLE), how will that thing be achievable? Richard Quest weighs in to waist deep snow to explain to you.


RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There are snow, snow, and more snow. For days it snowed in this rich mountain resort. (INAUDIBLE) what everyone knows, the world is fractured.

To learn what might be achieved, I've come to build an igloo. There's a lot of snow. The principles of building this structure in the snow are the same ones to those in discussions will need to sort out the mess in the world.

Immigration, trade, human rights, and equality, war and conflict, climate change, these are the heavy burdens that are being carried to Davos as everyone tries to solve the fractures in this troubled world.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No fractures on the block.

QUEST: No fractures.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. They have to be perfect otherwise the igloo might fall in.

QUEST: And that's the risk.


QUEST: I try my best but in the end fractures and all.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) it's a bit wobbly but it's --

QUEST: It's a bit wobbly but that's what the world is like at the moment.


QUEST: So we'll just have to have a few wobbles.


QUEST: If it's a fractured world, many in Davos blame President Donald Trump for doing the fracturing. We've already build -- oh. And the igloo builders have a message for those who want to live in glassed towers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who wants to live in a tower? I mean, it just gets higher and higher and --

QUEST: Donald Trump and his cabinet will cast a long shadow at Davos. Enough problems, for now, we've got an igloo to build. This is hard work. How many of these blocks do we need?


QUEST: Fifty?


QUEST: You want me to do 50 of these? Dozens of blocks later and finally the roof.


QUEST: Building this igloo neatly demonstrates the issues facing this year's World Economic Forum. The U.S. delegation led by President Trump will be arriving for the message but no longer can it be business as usual when it comes to the USA.

That may well be true but what everyone's going to discover is that it takes many blocks, some fractured to make and put together what is undoubtedly a shared future in this fractured world. Richard Quest, CNN Davos.


FOSTER: Join Richard for a special edition, CNN Money live from Davos. That's all this week, start at 2:00 p.m. in London, 10:00 p.m. in Hong Kong right here on CNN.

I'm Max Foster in London. Back with a check of the headlines in just a moment.


FOSTER: Hello, I'm Max Foster in London.