Return to Transcripts main page

HALA GORANI TONIGHT

Trump On Attending Embassy Opening: "If I Can, I Will"; Israeli Prime Minister Thanks Trump For Jerusalem Decision; Trump: "100 Percent" Not Backing Down On Trade; Trump's Trade Plan Sparks Major Backlash; Italian Voters Back Anti-Immigrant, Anti-Establishment Parties. Aired 3- 3:30p ET

Aired March 5, 2018 - 15:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[15:00:25]

HANNAH VAUGHAN JONES, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. Live from CNN London, I'm Hannah Vaughan Jones in for Hala Gorani.

Tonight, two leaders shrouded in scandal meet at the White House. Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu certainly has plenty to talk about.

It's all changed in Italy as a wave of populism delivers a stinging rebuke to Europe.

And it was the phrase that defined the Oscars. We speak to the professor who coined the term inclusion rider.

To our top story, though, both are under fire at home, dogged by months long investigations that appeared to grow more serious by the day. But for

a few hours at least, Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu could put those troubles aside and focus on talks with a friendly ally.

The U.S. president hosting the Israeli prime minister at the White House today. In brief remarks to reporters, Mr. Netanyahu thanked President

Trump for declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel and agreeing, of course, to move the U.S. Embassy there. Mr. Trump says he may even attend

the opening in person.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We're looking at coming if I can, I will, but I'll be there again. Israel is very special

to me, special country, special people and I look forward to being there and I'm very proud of that decision.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JONES: We are currently waiting for more on this from the White House. The briefing itself should start at any moment with the Press Secretary

Sarah Sanders. We will monitor that and bring you any lines as soon as we hear them.

But for more, though, on the meeting in Washington today, let's bring in Oren Liebermann in Jerusalem and Stephen Collinson standing by in

Washington for us. Gentlemen, welcome to you both.

Stephen, to you first, what did we learn today from these two men, both significantly under (inaudible) to their domestic audiences and probably

enjoying being with a friend?

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: That's right. We certainly didn't learn anything about the respective scandals that they're facing in

their domestic politic circumstances. That was largely because the White House didn't hold a press conference.

Normally on these occasions, especially when the Israeli leader is in town, you have a two and two, they call it, each side's press gets two questions

to each of the leaders. That didn't take place this time and it was clearly, you know, designed so that issues like the domestic corruption

allegations that Prime Minister Netanyahu is facing and really shrouded his visit didn't come up.

So, I think the president certainly did a favor for the Israeli prime minister there. But it was clearly, you know, a very political meeting.

President Trump has made the moving of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a key political point.

It's very popular among his base and of course, it's very good for Prime Minister Netanyahu to sort of portray himself as the fulcrum of this very

crucial Israeli relationship when you have issues like Iran and the Palestinian question on the table.

JONES: Yes, right. What about the optics, though, overall of this whole visit, the fact that there was no formal press conference that you might

expect normally, that Jared Kushner is nowhere to be seen at the moment.

And then of course, the fact that with Jared Kushner and his security clearance, we didn't know whether he was going to be involved at all

anyway, plus Trump just hours before he meets Netanyahu is tweeting about Russian meddling. It makes for confused picture at least.

COLLINSON: It certainly does, but that's the way this White House operates. Donald Trump is the only person in the west wing, in Washington

and probably around the world that seems to be comfortable with this manner of operating as president.

You are right to bring up Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law. Only last week he lost his top-secret security clearance, which means that he is

allowed to see some of the most valuable intelligence secrets in the United States' possession.

That on the face of it at least would seem to make him sort of unable to take a full part in these meetings, given the fact if you're talking about

Syria, if you're talking about Iran, even if you're talking about the Israeli/Palestinian question, you know, intelligence data is at the center

of these issues.

We were told by the White House that he was able to play a full role as the Middle East policy coordinator in this visit. At the end of the day, it's

up to the president to decide whether he could perhaps be party to some of intelligence if it came up during a meeting. But we really don't know

exactly how that unfolded in the oval office today.

JONES: Yes. Let's bring in Oren Liebermann standing for us in Jerusalem. Oren, I'm wondering how the Israelis are looking at this issue of Jared

Kushner, the man who's presumably been at the forefront of a lot of Middle East negotiations on behalf of the U.S. over the course of the last year.

And now suddenly, he's having to step aside.

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think the Israelis are really concerned about Jared Kushner's security clearance. He hasn't been a big

presence here even if he is a religious Jew and (inaudible) has made a few trips here and has a long relationship with Netanyahu.

The Israelis don't see Kushner as the center of the Trump administration. They don't see any real promise coming from the peace plans, so they're not

concerned whether or not Kushner is a part of it.

For them, it's all about Donald Trump, President Donald Trump, who announced he is moving the embassy in May, recognized Jerusalem is the

capital of Israel, which means Trump is a big hit here regardless of the investigations and the issues he's facing back home.

JONES: Right. And some respite no doubt for Benjamin Netanyahu away from the storm that continues to (inaudible) for him back home.

LIEBERMANN: Some respite, I would say, though. Today, we learned that a third, one of his confidants has turned state's witness. That is another

blow to him in these investigations against him. He's now a suspect in three different corruption investigations.

It seems like every few days there's been a new development here so certainly a welcome break for Netanyahu away from those investigations in

Washington. You asked optics, a question about optics for Stephen, and that really is a good chunk of what this is all about.

It's not just about substance talking about Iran and a peace proposal. It's simply the picture of these two leaders together, shaking hands,

smiling, looking comfortable together. It's a big win not only for Trump's voter base but for Netanyahu's voter base.

JONES: Oren, what about this idea about Middle East peace plan, that these two men seemed to be very confident about, both saying or Trump in

particular saying that the Palestinians are ready to come to the table to negotiate peace and Netanyahu saying, yes, let's talk and come up with a

solution. Realistically, is that their top priority right now when these two put their heads together?

LIEBERMANN: It's certainly not Netanyahu's top priority. The Trump administration is certainly confused some current and former Israeli

officials is still focused on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and finding what he has termed the ultimate deal.

Many thought he has given up a long time ago and yet he is still pushing forward. It's in Netanyahu's best interest to play along, to keep going

along with whatever it is that Trump puts on the table, especially because the Palestinians have already rejected whatever he puts on the table.

So, it's in Netanyahu's best interest essentially to go along with whatever Trump is planning, to show some flattery there, knowing that because the

Israelis are so much closer to the Americans, whatever Trump puts in the table is likely to be a very pro-Israel sort of peace plan solution to the

conflict.

JONES: All right. Fascinating stuff from both of you. Stephen Collinson, Oren Liebermann, we appreciate your time. Thank you.

Not backing down 100 percent, the words of Donald Trump over his threat to slap tariffs on metals imported to the United States. The U.S. president

is taking aim at his country's closest neighbors. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: We're not backing down. Mexico is -- we've had a very bad deal with Mexico, very bad deal with Canada. It's called NAFTA. Our

factories have left our country. Our jobs have left our country. For many years, NAFTA has been a disaster. We are renegotiating NAFTA, as I said I

would.

If we don't me a deal, I'll terminate NAFTA. But if I do make a deal, which is fair to the workers and the American people, that would be, I

would imagine, one of points that will negotiate, tariffs on steel for Canada and Mexico.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No trade war?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I don't think so.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JONES: Canada is the largest supplier of steel to the U.S. and would be hit hard by those proposed tariffs. Let's get out to Ottawa for the

reaction there. CNN's Paula Newton standing by for us.

First of all, Paula, on NAFTA, the president effectively saying to all Canadians if you renegotiate NAFTA and do it on my terms and make sure that

all Americans are happy with everything, then you don't have to worry about all these tariffs and everything will be fine.

PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. You have to wonder, Hannah, is this blackmail or a clever negotiating strategy? Maybe a bit of both. At this

hour, we are supposed to hear from the Mexico, the United States and Canada. They are in Mexico City trying for round seven of those NAFTA

talks.

They have been quite difficult, Hannah. And you know, comments like the president just made me makes the negotiations even more complicated than

they already are. Was he suggesting there that as they get to some kind of a combination on the table there at NAFTA and Donald Trump can go back to

his voters saying, look, I renegotiated NAFTA and I have a better deal that he would take the aluminum and steel tariffs off the table.

Perhaps that is what he is saying. I mean, the president before he made those comments said that he had just been on the phone to officials in

Mexico City, so we wait to hear those results.

But Hannah, here in Canada, of course, they are worried. Canada is not just the top exporter of steel. They are actually the top buyer of steel

from the United States as well.

[15:10:10] The problem is this is not an economic script anymore, Hannah. This is a politic one. Canada is huddling right now to try and figure out

what to do to retaliate if they don't get that exemption that they want.

And really interesting, Hannah, as well is his comments as the media was trying to move out of the room. He was asked do you think we'll have a

trade war? He said I think not. What does that mean? Perhaps people like Speaker Paul Ryan came out this morning and saying that he's also against

these kinds of tariffs on aluminum and trade.

What's so interesting, Hannah, is that, you know, what Donald Trump and his allies really want to get to is a country like China and the fact that they

overproduce and dump all over the world on steel and aluminum.

Some say you can get to that from getting through Canada and Mexico that you know, cross the board tariffs where everybody wild help that. Others

debate whether that will happen and whether or not he'll just end up disrupting so many economic ties all over the world by just starting this

kind of a trade dispute.

JONES: Donald Trump says 100 percent no turning back on this. Tariffs are going to be imposed. This is a man who has said a lot of things over the

past and don't always come to fruition. Is there still any hope, any realistic prospect for Canadians and also the rest of the world for that

matter that this might not happen?

NEWTON: Absolutely. Canadian officials still say they're waiting for the last minute. You saw people from the Trump administration kind of wavering

a little bit this weekend because they didn't know what Donald Trump was going to do.

Perhaps the most honest answer, Hannah, is that Donald Trump doesn't know what he's going to do at this point in time. He is waiting to see what

comes out of those negotiations in Mexico City and perhaps waiting to say to himself that, look, if these negotiations go the way I want perhaps I

can exempt at least Canada and Mexico, and take it from there.

But again, I have to underscore that look Donald Trump ran on these promises. When you start to look at the red states, the swing states and

what he wants to accomplish through midterms and perhaps the reelection campaign as far out as 2020, he wants to go back to those voters with

something. This is an easy hit in communities that their manufacturing base has been absolutely decimated.

JONES: Yes. Of course, there's midterms, crucial midterms coming up later on this year. Paula Newton live for us in Ottawa, Canada. Thank you.

So, no outright winner, a surge in support for populist parties, (inaudible) parliaments in sight and a nation plunged into political

uncertainty. That is outcome of Italy's election on Sunday.

What we do know is that anti-immigrants and anti-establishment parties came out on top. The 5-Star Movement led by Luigi Di Maio was the best

performing single party. It got more than 32 percent of the vote. Meanwhile, a right-wing coalition party has managed to snag 37 percent.

CNN's Ben Wedeman is in Rome for us to help make sense of all of these results, joins us live now. So, Ben, clear winners and clear losers but

still no clear outcome in all of this.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No. In fact, Hannah, political uncertainty, as you mentioned is something that Italy is going to

have to face. But Italy has faced political uncertainty to a large extent for the last 70 years where you had 65 separate governments in the last

five years.

Three separate governments now. None of the parties are coalitions reached the 40 percent threshold of the vote that would allow them to form a

government. The only thing that really is clear, the real winner in this election are those who are furious at the status quo.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WEDEMAN (voice-over): It was a moment of joy through the 5-Star Movement's 31-year-old leader, Luigi Di Maio (ph) when the numbers came in. A

movement born just nine years ago fueled by anger over corruption, bureaucracy and economic decline is now the country's most powerful

political force, taking almost a third of the fractured electorate.

The Italians chose to break with the old system, says this pensioner, Alfredo Di Benedetto. The other big winner was the euro skeptic rabidly

anti-immigrant Lega or The League. Their share of the vote has more than quadrupled.

It's clear yesterday the Italians gave us a precise mandate, the League's leader, Matteo Salvini declares. Everything changes, this newspaper

headline announces, while another paper throws up its hands with a body banner, meaning roughly what a mess.

[15:15:09] The country is ripe for radical change. Incomes have been stagnant for a quarter of century. Unemployment remains stubbornly in

double digits. The young are leaving the country in record numbers.

They go to Spain, England, America, anywhere as long as they can find a stable job. There's nothing stable here any says Rome resident, Amalio

Gida. The last traditional party still standing is center-left Partido Democratico or Democratic Party, saw its share of the vote fall from 25

percent in 2013 to 19 percent in Sunday's vote.

Monday evening its young, once promising leader, former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi vowed to resign as soon as a new government is formed.

Newspaper columnist, Massimo Franco, says, the guardians of the status quo only have themselves to blame.

MASSIMO FRANCO, COLUMNIST, CORRIERE DELLA SERA: The 5-Star Movement is a symptom of the failure of the traditional party system. It's not the

source of this failure. If you don't govern well, other people maybe more incompetent are coming and taking your place.

WEDEMAN: Where the traditional parties failed, it's not at all clear if the suddenly empowered populist can succeed.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WEDEMAN: And of course, the problem with the populist is they do not have any experience in government. Luigi Di Maio, for example, the leader of

the 5-Star Movement, only 31 years old, he never finished university, has never held a steady job. In fact, one publication pointed out the only

thing he's ever run is a website. So, how he could possible run Italy at this point, Hannah, is anyone's guess.

JONES: Anyone's guess, indeed. The volatile situation in Italian politics right now. Ben Wedeman live for us in Rome. Thank you, Ben.

All right. Still to come on the program this evening, a bizarre story here in the U.K., a coordinated response to a major incident. Find out who

British media say isat this center of this current mystery.

Plus, aid finally arrives in Syria's besiege Eastern Ghouta, but there is no end in sight to the suffering.

And later on, he's won the Tour de France and Olympic gold, and now Bradley Wiggins is at the center of a doping scandal. More on that.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[15:20:04]

JONES: Welcome back. Now to an extraordinary story here the U.K., British media report that a man who is critically ill after being exposed to an

unknown substance in Southern England is former Russian spy.

Phil Black covering the developments for us. Joins me in the studio now. So, what do we know at this stage, Phil?

PHIL BLACK, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So, Hannah, this started yesterday afternoon. Police say they received a phone call from a

member of the public saying they were concerned about the welfare of two people. Police went to the location and a 66-year-old man and a 33-year-

old woman unconscious.

Those two people are now in a hospital in critical condition, in intensive care, and the police are simply saying they are -- they believed that they

have been exposed to an unknown substance, which seems sort of -- well, it's quite general, really.

But the police response hasn't been, it's been significant. They are declaring a major incident. Emergency services across the board are

involved. While (inaudible) as you mentioned that's because British media are naming the 66-year-old man as former Russian spy, Sergei (inaudible),

who was according to British media granted refuge in the U.K. after he was part of a spy squad between the United States and Russia back in 2010.

JONES: And this is all worryingly familiar to what more than a decade ago now another instance in the U.K.

BLACK: Indeed and it goes some way towards explaining just why the response is as big as it is. Why the police saying they are not taking any

chances. You recall back to 2006 that was when a man named (inaudible) was poisoned and died a slow horrible death because of a radioactive substance

known as polonium 210.

(Inaudible) was a former Russian spy. British authorities believed that he met with two Russian nationals here. They slipped him this poisonous

substance and then he died that very slow death overtime.

The findings of the public inquiry here say that he went to the very top to Putin himself most likely authorizing that particular killing. There have

been a number of other Russian nationals who have died under shady circumstances here in the U.K. as well.

Now we don't know if this is one of those instances, but the very least the police would be aware of this man's background and it shows that they are

not taking any chances.

JONES: And certainly not taking any chances and where this happened (inaudible) in London. They cornered off huge parts of the British

capital. This is all in (inaudible) southern England and they have still done very similar actions there in terms of blocking off -- (inaudible) the

like?

BLACK: Yes. So, parts of the city center are still cordoned off we are told. The number of are areas are still cordoned off while they are still

investigating trying to determine if the crime has been committed here at all.

In the (inaudible) case, the substance that was used was radioactive and fatal because he consumed it, but radioactive enough so that the police

were able to actually track its movements across the capital in the leadup to (inaudible) actually consuming the stuff. So, they are simply taking no

chances, but they do say at the moment they do not believe that there is a threat to the wider community.

JONES: Fascinating as it potentially is tragic as well. Phil, thanks very much for keeping us up to date with that story.

We delivered as much as we could amidst shelling. That's what an aid worker had to say after a humanitarian convoy was forced to leave Syria's

besieged Eastern Ghouta region. It hadn't fully unloaded. It was just the latest blow for people there as the military continues to pound the enclave

by air and ground.

President Basha Al-Assad indicated that this offensive won't be ending anytime soon. Assad also said that his troops are trying to trying to get

rid of, quote, "Terrorists."

CNN's Sam Kiley is following the battle for Eastern Ghouta from Lebanon for us, joins us live with the latest on this. Sam, first off, these aid

convoy reports being stripped of their critical trauma packs on the way in this enclave. Why?

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the Syrian regime has made something of close to a habit of taking out very essential medical

supplies on the rare occasions that these sorts of convoys get in. On this occasion the convoy was stripped of trauma packs, blood plasma precisely

the sort of medical supplied needed to treat people who have been enduring now the second week they are into.

They've had two weeks rather of sustained bombardment by their own government on this besieged enclave. And to take a closer look at that, we

produced a report a little bit earlier on today, Hannah, but I should warn viewers that it does contain some distressing scenes.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KILEY (voice-over): Eastern Ghouta, under attack. Some 400,000 people live here. They've been bombarded for two weeks by Syria's government and

its Russian allies. This is the Russian and Syrian version of a cease fire demanded by the U.N. Security Council.

[15:25:03] Syria's government agreed to allow a first convoy of humanitarian aid in more than a month, but removed badly needed medical

supplies like trauma kits.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We are hoping to enter without shelling sounds because there must be a respect to the ceasefire especially

this is a humanitarian convoy heading with a big number of civilians to help civilians.

KILEY: And the needs are intense. This is now an everyday scene in Eastern Ghouta, frantic rescues, no match for a ruthless military campaign.

BASHAR AL-ASSAD, SYRIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): The humanitarian crisis that the west talks about every once in a while on all levels is a

lie, a very silly lie, a silly as the western officials that talk about it.

KILEY: Assad's forces claim to have taken part of Eastern Ghouta and provoked fears of reprisal killings against civilians. Mahmoud (inaudible)

has been sheltering in a basement for 13 days.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They will take prisoners. They will torture people. I can't imagine what they can do cause we've seen what they are capable of.

They have no respect for their own people.

KILEY: But there is dwindling hope for survival or of any help from outside. That's why activists wrap the bodies of these children in U.N.

sacks.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KILEY: Now, the White House has issued a statement condemning the Russians for what they and the White House say that over a period of four days in

February, the Russians flew 20 air sortees in Russian planes against the civilians of Eastern Ghouta.

This evening nine of those trucks part of that convoy, humanitarian relief convoy will have to turn back because of fears that the air strikes might

resume. Not all of the fairly limited amount of humanitarian relief was even able to be delivered today.

JONES: And the Syrian president has been speaking in the last 24 hours or so. Does he seen Eastern Ghouta and the conflict there as part of the end

game in the overall conflict in Syria?

KILEY: Very much so. I think the pattern is very clear. With Russian help and Iranian help too, particularly with troops on the ground, the

Assad regime was able to capture Eastern Aleppo after a prolong siege of many years using overwhelming air power pretty indiscriminately.

We've seen the same thing in Eastern Ghouta. If they are victorious, they will move onto Idlib, which is last remaining significant rebel enclave.

In this context and given the level of outrage in Washington, there are sources in the White House who have said that the Trump administration is

reexamining their military options.

Absolutely no decision has been taken, but you'll recall the last time that Donald Trump ordered strike against Syria, it was following the use of

sarin gas. Now there hasn't been any use of sarin gas and nerve agent by the Syrian regime since then but there have been numerous incidents of the

use of marginalized lethal chlorine.

JONES: All right. Sam Kiley, we appreciate it. Sam covering this conflict in Syria from Lebanon for us.

Still to come tonight, a sight not seen since the end of the Vietnam war more than four decades ago. A U.S. warship is moored off the Vietnamese

coast. We'll tell you what message its meant to send.

But first, remarkable images coming up from North Korea as well. South Korean delegation is on a diplomatic mission to Pyongyang.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[15:30:22] HANNAH VAUGHAN JONES, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Welcome back. South Korea is seizing the moment for a diplomatic push just week after the

closing of the Olympic Games. Seoul has sent a diplomatic mission to Pyongyang and says the group met with Kim Jong-un himself. It appears to

be South Korea's first face to face meeting with the North Korean leader since he rose to power. The delegation delivered a handwritten letter from

South Korea's President Moon to Kim. Unfortunately, we don't know what that letter actually said.

Money talks when it comes to China's ambitious plans to strengthen and modernize its military. The government plans to boost defense spending by

8.1 percent this year. And that amounts to around 175 billion extra dollars for all branches of the armed forces. The proposal itself is

expected to be approved during the annual session of China's parliament which began today. Well, in response, the United States is sending this

message to China, saying it stands ready to counter its expanding military might. And as Matt Rivers reports, a U.S. aircraft carrier, is moored off

the coast of Vietnam for the first time in decades.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, right now we're just off the coast of Vietnam near Da Nang. And we're on board this relatively small boat

heading to that very large ship. That's the USS Carl Vinson. It's an aircraft carrier in the U.S. Navy. And it is moored right now a couple

miles off the coast.

This is the first time a U.S. aircraft carrier has made an official visit to Vietnam in more than 40 years, since the end of the Vietnam War,

actually. Other navy ships have visited since 2003, but this is different. This is an aircraft carrier. And it's emblematic of a changing

relationship between the both countries.

Trade, for example, has exploded between both sides and of course both sides have been cooperating on security as well. It was just in 2016 that

President Obama lifted an arms sales embargo on lethal weapons to Vietnam. And it was a major sign that the bilateral relationship had progressed a

friendlier term and it does appear to be continuing under President Trump. The president visited here last year. Secretary of Defense Mattis was just

here in January. The ambassador to Vietnam says he hopes to keep that momentum going.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think you're seeing the fruits of decades worth of effort to build bilateral trust to overcome the legacies of war.

RIVERS: Not too far where we are right now, the Chinese military has been building and militarily developing artificial islands for years in water

that they claim is their territory. But several other countries including Vietnam claim some of that same territory as theirs. The U.S. doesn't

recognize the Chinese claims either.

Vietnam, more than most countries in this region, has shown a willingness to stand up to Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea. In the

government there, the United States likely sees an ally in this part of the world in regards to this particular topic. That is part of the reason why

this aircraft carrier is docked here right now. This is a projection of U.S. military might able to go to all corners of the globe. And analysts

tell CNN that this is absolutely a message to China, that message being the U.S. military is here to stay in this region and that they are willing to

team up even with old foes to combat what it sees as a growing threat from Beijing.

Matt Rivers, CNN, aboard the USS Carl Vinson of the Vietnamese coast.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

JONES: Matt, thank you.

Well, the United States had another or yet more lighthearted message for China. President Donald Trump has praised the Chinese President Xi Jinping

for his move to stay in office indefinitely. Mr. Trump appears to have been joking, we should stress. But there is no question Mr. Xi is among a

number of leaders whose power currently sees no end. Our Nic Robertson has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

[15:30:22] NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Xi Jinping isn't the first to come to power and hold on. Putin's done it, Erdogan's just done it.

Autocrats, all of them, and Trump jokes Xi is right.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: he was able to do that. I think it's great. Maybe I want to give that a shot someday.

ROBERTSON: Democracy is still alive in the U.S. The world's super power is not transitioning to a dictatorship. But is China? Xi with his term

limits lifted, gets power for life over the world's second largest economy, an emerging super power who's demanding territorial expansion.

Like Xi, Putin had trouble with term limits. His continuing grasp on Russia, less wealthy, less powerful than China, came by controlling the

media and gaming the electoral system.

Erdogan's path was messier. He cracked down on critical media, used a compliant parliament to consolidate power in his own hands as president.

Whatever the path to total power, the outcome for autocrats can be costly.

Saddam Hussein in Iraq, for decades, a bloody dictator died at the end of a hangman's rope. Libya's Gaddafi came to power in '67, summer of love,

ruled like a potentate, died on the run, dragged from a storm drain, shot with his own gun.

The list of living autocrats stretching on Kagame in Rwanda, Duterte in the Philippines, Kim Jong-un in North Korea, each with their own reputation for

control and regression.

At the other end of the scale, former Zimbabwean Resident, Robert Mugabe, an old school autocrat, recently walked away from his bloody past without

paying his butcher's bill.

Xi has a lot of autocratic precedents to pick from. The one path he wouldn't be deviating from is leading China to global dominance.

Nic Robertson, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

JONES: Fascinating stuff there.

Still to come on the program this evening. It was, of course, her big moment and she certainly used it to make a big point. We'll discuss

Frances McDormand's play for gender equality in Hollywood.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[15:40:01] JONES: It was a defining moment of the night. Frances McDormand accepted her best actress award at Sunday's Oscars with a rousing

speech asking all the female nominees in the room to stand up together. She also left the audience with these two words "Inclusion Rider." Well,

since the ceremony that little-known term has enjoyed something of a major spike in Google searches. McDormand says she herself only just learned

about the concept. And she explain more after the show.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FRANCES MCDORMAND, AMERICAN ACTRESS: An inclusion rider, which means that you can ask for and/or demand at least 50 percent diversity in, not only

the casting but also the crew. And so the fact that I just learned that after 35 years of being in the film business, we're not going back. So the

whole idea of women trending, no. No trending. African-Americans trending. No, no trending. It changes now. I think the inclusion rider

will have something to do with that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JONES: Well, I'm delighted to say that the woman who coined that phrase, inclusion rider and the idea behind it, can join us now. Stacy Smith is an

associate professor at the University of Southern California and the founder and director of Annenberg Inclusion Initiative. And as you can see

joins us from Los Angeles. Professor, thank you so much for joining us on the program.

And it was a momentous night for Hollywood when this term was acted there on that big stage. And no one else had really heard of it before. It must

have been such a huge moment for you given that it's your term. You came up with it and you presumably been talking about it for some time.

STACY SMITH, DIRECTOR, ANNENBERG INCLUSION INITIATIVE: Absolutely. It's great to be here. Last night was unbelievable to hear that mentioned on

the stage being broadcast around the world. So we're thrilled. There's work to be done and we can't wait to get started.

JONES: Everyone is now, as I said in the introduction, they're turned into Google inclusion riders trying to work out what it means. Let's hear it

from the horse's mouth, if you don't mind me saying. Can you tell us what inclusion rider means to you?

SMITH: Sure. It's an addendum into a content creator or an actor's contract that specifies target inclusion goals when it comes to gender,

race ethnicity, LGBT, people with disabilities, in supporting or small roles on screen. It also has provisions for hiring below the line behind

camera. And positions like first AD, second AD, cinematographers, et cetera. So it's a provision in a contract. It's a metric that helps

people counter the bias that we've seen hiring year in and year out in Hollywood.

JONES: You say it's a provision in the contract, but presumably it's not commonplace at the moment given the fact that the likes of Frances

McDormand, for example, only heard this term last week. And she must have come across hundreds of contracts in her time as an actress.

SMITH: Absolutely. Working with a civil rights attorney, Kalpana Kotagal out of D.C. and Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni at Perl Street. We came together

and really put this idea of how do we counter implicit bias in the auditioning and the casting in process. Sometimes actors have asked for

specific inclusion goals. We're just making it a bit more formal with this language, ensuring that people who have talent have access and opportunity

just like most of the straight white able-bodied males who get access and opportunity in Hollywood.

JONES: There are some stark statistics that your research has come up with over the years. I wonder if you might talk us through some of that stuff

that stand out for you the most when you look specifically the gender issue, for example, and the number -- and women being represented in

Hollywood compared to men.

SMITH: Absolutely. And this is why this tool, the simple solution is important. So we look at the top 100 films every year and we look at all

the speaking characters. Anyone who says one or more words on screen. Females fill less than a third of all speaking characters on screen across

the last 10 years of notable movies. And that number really hasn't changed in over a half of a century.

But the more important problem is when you cross gender and race. In 2016, 47 films didn't feature a single black female speaking character on screen.

66 were devoid of Asian female speaking on screen And 72 didn't feature a single Latina on screen talking. This tool can help counter those biases

that seem to be part of the decision making when it comes to casting in these major motion pictures. So this has to be a way to counter the bias.

JONES: Talking about the bias though and positive bias or positive discrimination that your kind of research might bring about, the critics of

that would say that it then waters down the talent pool somewhat and that maybe it even limits creativity when it comes to making Hollywood

blockbusters. What's your answer to that?

[15:45:04] SMITH: My answer to that is that's really adventurous and missing the point. Right? We have taken provisions to say in the rider

that if this is a historical piece, you get a pass on screen. But for most stories when it comes to motion picture content, we see an invisible quota

at work that favors straight white able-bodied males. And when we're talking about small roles, most of the roles in film can be accounted for

by characters speaking five lines or less. That's not a heavy or demanding as to say.

For minor parts, let's make sure that the stories reflect the ecosystem or the world we actually live in. And they're very talented actors that are

simply not getting an opportunity because of their identity. That's not inclusive and that's not fair.

JONES: Frances McDormand, after the Oscars when she was speaking to the press and that we just played a clip before talking to you, Stacy. She

also criticized the fact that diversity has been reduced to just a trend rather than being a fundamental necessity of fundamental demands of all

actors and actresses across the board. Do you think there's been a shift now that something's going to change because of the actions that she's

taken based on your research?

SMITH: Well, let's hope so. Right? There has been such momentum building since October -- and then with the pressure from the Me Too movement and

Time's Up. I think it's an unprecedented time right now that people are locking arms and standing side by side and really embracing solutions. And

our hope is that the agencies in Hollywood that represent the actors for film, television, digital storytelling, that the agencies will ask every

actor would they wipe an inclusion provision in their contracts. And we can work with them to create save our nations where this is just part of

process of the negotiation process moving forward to ensure that it wasn't just a moment at the academy awards, but it's actually a movement that's

sustainable and changes the status quo in Hollywood.

JONES: The other thing Frances McDormand said on stage when she accepted her Oscar was she invited Hollywood producers, studios, directors to invite

women, female lead actors to come in to their studios to meet with them, to talk about projects and upcoming ideas. I'm wondering how positive or

confident you are that in, what, nearly 24 hours on now that in the next 24 or 48 hours, those meetings might actually happen.

SMITH: Well, one could hope. Hollywood, though, is very resistant and reticent to change. Right? And so we need a confluence of factors

operating, whether it's contractually based solutions, whether it's the economic success of films like "Wonder Woman" and "Black Panther" and

"Girl's Trip" and " Fast and the Furious." And actors and activists calling out for change. We need all of these factors to come together and

we need the studio heads really to act and to embrace and to make a public proclamation that diversity inclusion matters and they're going to take

steps to achieve it.

JONES: Yes. And I guess that was all the more obvious when she stood on the stage and said, "All the other female nominees tonight, please stand

up." And I guess the most stark thing there was the fact that so few people actually then stood up because so few women had actually been

nominated. And we obviously hope that your research and these inclusion riders will be in all contracts from now on and that this the start of

something new in Hollywood.

Stacy Smith. Professor, thank you so much for joining us. Thank you for your research and congratulations on the prominence that it just been

given.

SMITH: Thank you so much. It was great to be here.

JONES: OK. More to come tonight, including we all hate it when our technology freezes, but Apple's latest glitch has taken that quite

literally. We'll explain all.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[15:50:45] JONES: A new doping scandal have shaken the cycling world. A report by British lawmakers says the Olympic champion and Tour de France

winner Bradley Wiggins used permitted medication to gain an unfair advantage in the Tour de France. The report itself says he crossed an

ethical line. That as CNN's Phil Black tells us Wiggins and Team Sky deny the claim.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Bradley Wiggins is Great Britain's most decorated cyclist of all time. The 37-year-old, became Britain's first-

ever winner at the iconic Tour de France in 2012 with Team Sky. Wiggins, as he's essentially known is a rare breed of rider who has excelled both in

trek and road cycling. Across four Olympics, he's bagged a total of eight medals including five gold. In the post Lance Armstrong world of cycling,

Team Sky and Wiggins have branded themselves as being at the vanguard of the anti-doping movement in the sport.

But now the legitimacy of their legacy is being questioned after a devastating report into doping by U.K. lawmakers. The report accuses

Wiggins and Team Sky of crossing an ethical line to win the 2012 Tour de France. "We believe that drugs were being used by Team Sky within the

wider rules to enhance the performance of riders and not just to treat medical need," the report states. Wiggins, who retired in 2017 has taking

decongestant medication for asthma in the past. Something he's received a therapeutic use exempting for over his career.

DAMIAN COLLINS, BRITISH CONSERVATIVE MP: I think one of the issues people words rightly struggled to understand is why is it that we have these

ethical gray area in sport where medicines are used or they can be used to treat medical need, but they also have known performance, enhancing

properties. Why is it someone can take medication that way and gain a competitive edge from it? I think most people would say, well, that

shouldn't be allowed. And therefore we should look to redraw the rules around these medicines in sport saying that medication that's used to treat

medical need shouldn't also have performance enhancing properties. Or if an athlete is so sick, they generally require that treatment, then they

shouldn't be able to compete while they're benefitting from the use of that drug.

BLACK: Wiggins and Team Sky denied the claims made in the report. They argue, they did not break any of the world anti-doping agencies rules. On

Twitter, Wiggins issued a strong response, saying, "I find it so sad that accusations can be made where people can be accused of things they have

never done which are then regarded as facts. I strongly refute the claims that any drug was used without medical need. I hope to have my say in the

next few days and put my side across."

Even though Wiggins has not broken any regulations, the latest allegations may tarnish his proud legacy.

Phil Black, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

JONES: Now, Europe is emerging from a cold snap. Things got so cold this weekend that people went ice skating on the canals in Amsterdam. But if

you wanted to capture this incredible scene on your iPhone, well, you might have been out of luck. Many users say the camera on the phone stopped

working in the subzero temperatures.

Samuel Burke is here with more on this. So that's scene in Amsterdam. But how widespread is this problem?

SAMEUL BURKE, CNN BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hannah, we're talking about hundreds and hundreds of users all across the world

having problems with the flash when it's cold outside on their iPhone 8, 8 plus, and the X. And when we think back on the famous iPhone scandals, the

iPhone 6 bending like beck ham. You have the iPhone -- whoa, a whole slew of them flowing gate. There was a whole bunch of generations.

This is how it started on message boards on the Apple support forum. If we didn't have these message boards, people are having this problem at flash

right now. Might have just gone to the Apple store thinking it was them. But what we're seeing are people who are trying to take pictures, not even

when it's freezing, when it's within the bounds that Apple talks about being able to use your phone going to use it and the flash doesn't work.

Let's just take a look at what Apple is saying about this. Not commenting directly, but influencing us to what they have on Apple support.

Saying, quote, "Use IOS devices where the ambient temperature, I didn't know there needed to be an ambient temperature, is between zero and 35

degree Celsius. That's 32 to 95 for us, Fahrenheit, folks. And then it goes on to say, low or high temperature conditions might cause the device

to change its behavior to regulate its temperature.

[15:55:21] But what's interesting when we look at the videos that people are uploading, they're showing screenshots of what the weather app says or

if the iPhone is right about the weather. It's within those bounds and they're still having these problems. And this comes at a time when the

iPhone X demand isn't nearly what they thought it would be. They never had the super cycle. So they're talking about having an oversupply of phones,

maybe even having to cut the cost of the phones, which could be good for the customer but not good for Apple. But another issue for Apple and the

iPhone.

JONES: One wonders whether they sell them in like really cold places. But anyway, that's another story for another day.

Also, the new Samsung phone you were telling us about last week. That's been rated down. Tell us more about that.

BURKE: Yes, we were at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. They launched that new phone. It got very good reviews from the start. But you can

never know until you really are hands on with something. And there's a company out there that just looks at these cameras. They take pictures and

they study them. The company called DxOMark and they're rated the new Samsung 9 plus and it's had the highest score they give, 104 points for

their camera. The iPhone X loses by just three points, 101. The Pixel 2, 99 points.

We're actually in a market right now, Hannah, where the smartphone market is contracting. They sold less smartphones in 2017 than they did in 2016.

SO any little thing they can do, any feature they could do better, than their competitors, means a lot to them. And of course, taking photos is

what means to most of people, whether it's on your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. So people are intrigued that after all the problems Samsung

had. Remember those fiery phones? It seems like they've turned the corner with a solid camera.

JONES: So one nail for Samsung on this one at the moment.

Samuel, thank you so much.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JONES (voice-over): Now, finally take a look at this dramatic video from an airport in eastern China, strong winds and a torrential rain storm

caused the roof to collapse. Travelers were forced to scramble for cover, cars have speed off the way. And luckily, remarkably there were no

injuries reported in this incident. It all happened in the departures terminal. Once everyone was moved safely out of the way, remarkably the

airport was able to resume normal operations in quick speed time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JONES: Amazing pictures there. Thank you so much for watching tonight. Stay with us here on CNN. "QUEST MEAN BUSINESS" is coming up after this

break.

END