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Michael Bloomberg Attending COP25 Climate Summit; Climate Change Highest Ranking Vital Issue; Former. Mayor Michael Bloomberg (D-NY), Presidential Candidate, is Interviewed About his Campaign and Climate Change; John Avalon, Former Editor-in-Chief, The Daily Beast, is Interviewed About the Michael Bloomberg's Presidential Campaign; The History of Violence Against Muslim Minority in India; Dexter Filkins, Staff Writer, The New Yorker, and Rana Ayyub, Global Opinions Writer, The Washington Post, are Interviewed About Narendra Modi and Kashmir; Interview With Former New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired December 10, 2019 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[13:00:00] CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hello, everyone, and welcome to "Amanpour." Here's what's coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FMR. MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So, I didn't come from money. Everything I have I made and I'm giving it all away.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Presidential hopeful, Mike Bloomberg, joins me at the U.N. climate talks in Madrid. Why he thinks he can outrun the Democrats and
beat President Trump.
Then, two reporters on their deep dive into Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, and what they uncovered when they finally got into Kashmir.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTINE QUINN, FORMER SPEAKER OF THE NEW YORK CITY COUNCIL: We have an affordability crisis, and we've seen that grow but we never really took a
moment to stop and say, where does it end up?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: How young kids end up homeless. We hear from a Bronx school principal and the head of a New York NGO trying to break this cycle.
Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in Madrid.
Two weeks after entering the 2020 race for president, and with some catching up to do, billionaire Michael Bloomberg, is perhaps not where you
would expect him to be. He's right here in Madrid making his first foreign trip as candidate attending the COP25 climate summit.
The Spanish capital is hosting two weeks of negotiations as thousands of protesters and activists are calling for more action. The teenage
activist, Greta Thunberg, spoke briefly again today, keen to give the limelight to other young campaigners whose stories she says must be heard.
For her, Generation Z, climate change ranks highest as the vital issue of out time. That's according to a major new study by Amnesty International.
Former New York Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, agrees with that, making it one of his top campaign issues. His dedication to the environment earned him a
(inaudible) - a special U.N. envoy for climate action, and he's already spent a billion dollars on campaigns to tackle this global emergency.
And I caught up with him as he meets with world leaders and young people here at the summit and just as House Democrats cross the impeachment
Rubicon, announcing two articles of impeachment, accusing President Trump of abusing his power and obstructing justice.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
AMANPOUR: Mayor Bloomberg, welcome to the program.
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you for having me.
AMANPOUR: Are you still mayor or are you now Mike?
BLOOMBERG: I advertise myself as Mike.
AMANPOUR: There you go.
BLOOMBERG: Thank you very much. My kids call me something else but Mike works.
AMANPOUR: Right. So, Mike presumably to bond more with people, who you're trying to get to your --
BLOOMBERG: No, it's just shorter and quicker.
AMANPOUR: Fine. What I want to know is this, here you are at this incredibly important climate summit. The administration, the White House,
is not here. You're here. Some would say this is a little bit counterintuitive, because you've also declared for president. You're a
late comer to the race. You've got to catch up. Why was it important to come here?
BLOOMBERG: I'm not a late comer to this. I've been doing this for a very large (ph) number of years. We've put a billion dollars of my money into
working on climate change. We have gone all around the world to speak. We've lined up foreign leaders and rallies and got everybody to make some
We're not where we have to be, but made it for a long time. The running for president came afterwards, not before.
AMANPOUR: Do you think, interestingly, right now, that climate could be an election issue particularly amongst the young? We see in many areas that
the environment is overtaking migration, immigration.
BLOOMBERG: Right. Two things. Number one, I think the statistics say you're right, that particularly young people care. And number two, it
certainly should be at the top of everybody's list.
Climate change has the potential to destroy our planet as we know it. I hope it doesn't happen. It certainly is -- probably is not going to happen
in my lifetime, but we can go along ways.
Just look every day, you see forest fires, you see floods, you see droughts, you see things that we never had before. Talk to farmers,
they're growing different crops in different places at different times of the year.
This is really serious stuff. And it shouldn't be a campaign issue. You would think that everybody who wants to lead the country or work in the
Senate or wherever it is, would have taken on this issue for a long time, been out there, studying the issue, rallying people, because it's something
that we've made some progress on, but have a long, long ways to go. And it's an international problem as well as a domestic one. So, you really
need a lot of international experience.
AMANPOUR: Is that why Mike Bloomberg wants to be president? I ask you this because given your commitment to this, as you rightly point out, in
March you basically said, the choice before me has become clear.
Should I devote the next two years to talking about my ideas and record knowing that I might never win the Democratic nomination or should I spend
the next two years doubling down on the work that I'm already leading and funding and that I know I can produce real and beneficial results for the
country right now? I've come to realize that I'm less interested in talking than doing.
BLOOMBERG: Yes. And what's changed is, over the last three months, I watched and I saw Donald Trump getting stronger and his potential opponents
not exactly strengthening their positions and looking to me like they were -- they would be able to beat Donald Trump.
And I just said, you know, four years is bad enough. Eight years you can't do it. And, yes, I didn't want to do it. I said I would do other things,
and I could do other things, but I just -- when I finally got done, I looked in the mirror, and I said, you know, you owe it to your kids, you
owe it to your country.
I would not forgive myself if I didn't try. I don't know if it works or not. But, you know, I'm a doer, as I (ph) said. And I can certainly do a
lot of this, and I don't think it will hurt my ability to continue on with these projects if I don't win. If anything, it would probably strengthen
AMANPOUR: You're pulling a few punches there. You're giving yourself a plan B.
BLOOMBERG: No, no. Any common sense person has a plan B. I think we can win. I've tried to explain to people how we're going to win. I've tried
to explain to people I'm in the process of doing that and what we would do if we did win.
But, you know, common sense says I'm going make sure that I can take care of my family and keep advancing the causes and I believe in so strongly,
whether it's climate or guns or, you know, there's a whole bunch of issues -- the environment, part of the climate I guess -- education. These are
things that this country and the world desperately needs.
I think, based on 12 years in city hall, I know something about it. But my real expertise is I can (ph) attract great people and I know how to get
them to work together. They are the ones that will do what we need done in this country.
AMANPOUR: So, let me ask you, because there's a break to break down there. And first and foremost, one of the big things about you that everybody is
talking about is that how you're outspending your Democratic rivals by a factor of three combined.
I mean, you're spending more than three times they all are combined. Plus, you're offering incredibly competitive salaries, double, practically, of
many of the other campaigns in terms of trying to attract, as you say --
BLOOMBERG: And so, what is the problem there? I missed you there.
AMANPOUR: I haven't declared my question yet. So, hold on a second. People are saying, do we need yet another billionaire in the race. Are we
BLOOMBERG: Wait a second. Who is the other billionaire?
AMANPOUR: Well, isn't there a Tom Steyer and a Donald Trump?
BLOOMBERG: I have never seen their tax returns, so I don't know.
AMANPOUR: But are you going to run as a billionaire then?
BLOOMBERG: I'm running as an American citizen who believes in this country, who thinks that I can make a difference. And I've been giving
away -- so far, I think, I've given away something like $10 billion for things that I think are important to this country. One of which is getting
us a good president.
This is just another investment in a long list of whether we put a billion dollars into the environment, we put $600 million into fighting guns and
that sort of thing, or spending whatever it takes to get elected and provide good government because leadership really does matter.
And keep in mind, instantly, my father made $6,000 the best year of his life. So, I didn't come from money. Everything I have, I've made and I'm
giving it all away. If that isn't -- I don't know what else to tell you.
AMANPOUR: Do you think, because 2016 showed that clearly people -- what I think it showed, that people weren't ready to vote for pragmatists. You do
advertise yourself as a doer. Somebody who can get things done. Somebody who has made massive change in the issues that you've devoted your money to
and your profile. Are people ready for a pragmatist or is it still kind of the emotional --
BLOOMBERG: Look, I think Donald Trump ran as saying he could do all this stuff. I kept saying he does not know what he's talking about. He's never
been a business guy. He's never had the experience of foreign policy or housing even. He's a real estate guy, but not really in what we're talking
about here, providing housing for people that need it. We need hundreds of thousands of houses around this country.
He doesn't know anything about any one of the defense or any of these issues. And I gave a speech, as I remember, in the 2016 Democratic
convention in August, I think it was, in Philadelphia, saying that he was the wrong guy for the job. He doesn't have the temperament or the
experience to do what we need. But he certainly said he was a doer. So, you know, let him tell you what he's all about.
AMANPOUR: I don't really want to talk Trump politics with you, but I have to because today the articles of impeachment have been unveiled. What is
your view? What is your commentary?
BLOOMBERG: I think it is very sad for this country that I can say the following.
But unfortunately, the evidence seems to be serious enough that I would, if I was in the Senate, or in the House, I would vote for impeachment. But I
don't think we should do this lightly. I think it's a great danger, you influence the political process.
Fundamentally, I think the electorate should decide who they are led by and if -- and they have an opportunity to throw him out every (ph) four years.
AMANPOUR: So, your campaign manager said, and he said to me and he said to others, that it looks like it's impeach, acquit, re-elect, talking about
Donald Trump in the House, the Senate --
BLOOMBERG: The first two, you can be pretty sure that both -- that is going to happen, getting impeached and not getting convicted. Getting re-
elected, that's what an election is all about. It's not until --
AMANPOUR: But that's one of the reasons why you have jumped in, because you think right now Trump is winning?
BLOOMBERG: I think Trump is getting stronger, and I think he would just eat alive the candidates because they don't have plans that I think are
practical that can be implemented. They don't have management experience. And the president's job is a management job, 4 million people to manage.
And if you don't have a lot of management experience -- this is not a job where you take training wheels, this is the future of the world, the free
world, maybe the whole world. And you need people with experience.
AMANPOUR: Well, one could say that Joe Biden who has spent a lifetime in the Senate, he spent many years as vice president and he's now campaigning.
AMANPOUR: He's also on the moderate wing of the Democratic Party, which I think is where you are. And he's actually ahead of the pack. So, my
BLOOMBERG: Joe Biden is a very nice guy, and I'm not capable of -- I shouldn't be one describing his background. Go ask him.
AMANPOUR: But what I want to ask you is, what do you think you can do differently? Because this is a different campaign, you're not --
BLOOMBERG: I don't know what he's going to do, what he would do.
AMANPOUR: OK. But what --
BLOOMBERG: I can tell you what I would do if elected. I would put together a team. I would do certain things, day one, like rejoining the
Paris Agreement but I would --
AMANPOUR: The Climate Accord.
BLOOMBERG: I would spend the first hundred days building the team, and I did that in city hall. And that team stayed with me basically for 12
years. Nobody's ever had a team in government that stayed a long time like that. But that's the reason the administration was so successful. It
takes a long time to do these things.
One of the candidates said, well, maybe I'll only run for president and stay there for four years. What, are we supposed to pay somebody to learn
on the job and then not get the value? You want people to be there for a longer time because all of these projects take a long time.
AMANPOUR: In terms of, though, your election strategy, you're sort of ignoring, because you have to, Iowa and New Hampshire, the very early ones.
BLOOMBERG: They're the first four - the early ones. We just came in too late. Barack Obama supposedly was in Iowa 99 times. I didn't have the
time to do that, and there's -- and I'm not going to forget about the rest of the country.
So, I'm working on the rest of the country while they're working on these four. Is their strategy right or mine? I don't know. That's what we're
going to find out.
AMANPOUR: And what do you say to, you know, the latest -- it's a Republican poll but it's saying that impeachment is helping President Trump
in the states that matter and in the states that -- the swing states where you are concentrating on?
BLOOMBERG: Christiane, I said back when -- and Pelosi said the same thing, both of us were worried that impeachment would rally his troops and make it
more difficult to defeat him. And so, both of us were reticent. I think - - I can't speak for her, but what I've heard her say, we both have come around to the fact that it is so egregious what he did, you have to have a
AMANPOUR: Now, I have to ask you because you've been asked before, and the baggage is going to be something you're going to have to talk about. "The
New York Times," as you know, wrote an editorial. Mr. Bloomberg faces immense obstacles to winning the Democratic nomination starting with his
own political baggage that includes a history of making demeaning comments about women and a record of championing law enforcement policies that
disproportionately targeted black and Latino men with invasive searches.
And Charles Blow, who as you know has also said no black/Latino or person of color should vote for Mike Bloomberg in the primaries.
BLOOMBERG: Well, we'll see what happens in the election. Number one, you know, I probably said some things that are (ph) embarrassing over the
AMANPOUR: This is about the women, the frat house?
BLOOMBERG: Yes. I mean, our company has a history of treating women, in terms of promotions and compensations and of work environment as good as --
I'd put any 20,000-person company that deals around the world up against ours will do very well, thank you very much. And if I said something to
embarrass somebody, I apologize. I'm sorry about it.
In terms of --
AMANPOUR: Stop and --
BLOOMBERG: -- stop and frisk. Look, it was our policy. In the end, it turned out we were using it too aggressively.
And when we cut it back, it didn't have the effect. We thought crime would go up -- it didn't, it went down. And so, we reduced it by 95 percent.
And I've said I'm sorry. I was wrong, and I'm sorry.
After that, I don't know what else to tell you. Crime did come down, and we can - dramatically -- from 650 murders to 300 murders on the basis of
8.4 million people. It's the safest city -- big city in America, foreign away. And we've continued to take on the NRA. They're reeling their
managements up in arms against each other. Their fundraising has been hurt very badly.
I mean, we're doing all the things that you would expect somebody to do first when they're mayor. And then afterwards, we continue to do this.
This is not a fight that I went in for one thing. I didn't do it for political reasons. I feel strongly we cannot have a world where some
neighborhoods are safer than others based on their ZIP code or something. That's just the wrong thing. We have to do something, and I'm continuing
to do it.
AMANPOUR: Mike Bloomberg, thank you very much, indeed.
BLOOMBERG: Thank you.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
AMANPOUR: Now, interestingly, once he's finished his conferences and negotiations here in Madrid, Bloomberg is flying straight to Stockton,
California where he will accept the endorsement of the very young, I believe, 29-year-old African-American, mayor there.
For more on the state of the presidential race and, of course, the developments in the impeachment affair, I'm joined by political analyst,
John Avalon, former chief speech writer for another previous New York mayor, Rudy Giuliani.
John Avalon, welcome to the program.
JOHN AVALON, FORMER EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, THE DAILY BEAST: Good to see you, Christiane.
AMANPOUR: So, just your take on what you just heard from Mike Bloomberg. You know, he really does come across as somebody who wants to try, that,
you know, he's not arrogant enough to think he can win but wants to really give it the good college try because of the issues. Particularly, as he
said, climate, guns, education, women's issues, all the things that he's put his money behind over the last many years.
AVALON: Yes. Look, as you pointed out, he had decided not to run in March. He flirted with campaigns in the past. But I think it's
significant that he decided to get it really at the last minute.
A lot of folks who thought about running were boxed out by Joe Biden's strength in the polls, and he has been Teflon. He keeps at the top of the
pack no matter what else is happening. But a few months ago, as Elizabeth Warren seemed to be surging and Pete Buttigieg has his moment, a lot of
folks were sort of saying, you know what, they were concerned about Joe Biden's durability over the long haul.
And so, it makes sense for a guy who has been, you know, successful three- term mayor of New York City to look at someone like Pete Buttigieg and say, you know, he's a 37-year-old mayor of Indiana's fourth largest city, maybe
I should get in. And only Mike Bloomberg, frankly, has the money to do it.
We have no idea, Christiane, the impact of the amount of money he's going to spend. Never going to see anything like it. It's a big idea. He's
going to hit some resistance from the far-left, as you pointed out. But he can also make the case that he's been committed some of the issues they
most care about.
AMANPOUR: Let us just play a quick sort of soundbite from Joe Biden who, as we've just said, is leading the pack since he got in and up until now.
This is what he said about Bloomberg's money and his reason for running.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I agree that he has decided that he is better off spending his own money, which is unlimited amounts of money,
than going out and trying to raise new money. I don't know. I think they're going to look and decide what is he bringing and what's he adding
to the race?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, there are two questions there. One, he is spending his own money. The taxpayers are not being hit for this bill. What does he bring?
And just another thing, John, of course, you know, the previous, you know, well-positioned candidate who spent a huge amount of money was Jeb Bush,
former governor of Florida. He spent a huge amount of money, more than Bloomberg has yet spent. And yet, he dropped out pretty early and ended up
with less delegates than you can count on one hand.
AVALON: Yes. Look, money matters but it's not determinative in a populist era and we've seen that over and over. Hillary Clinton overwhelmingly
outspent Donald Trump, for example. I think the scale, as you pointed out, where he's spending multiples of the Democratic field and not focusing on
the first four states is what's going to be really fascinating to watch.
The other thing is going to be that he's going to be investing in state parties, which I think may create more of a groundswell of support for him
than people might imagine. And though the far-left may hate the idea of a technocratic billionaire running for president, he can credibly say that he
has demonstrated his commitment to taking on the NRA and gun reform and the environment in ways that other -- he's got a record of success in those
areas, in addition to being mayor, that other candidates just don't. This is a giant experiment. He's playing for the center lane. It will be
fascinating to see if he can pull it off. But he's going to have an impact on the race.
AMANPOUR: John, what's really interesting, though, these issues that you've just laid out are really the issues that are at play right now.
Climate, for instance. Young people are going to be a huge voting bloc in 2020, and this is their issue and he's the guy, as you say, who's got a
record on it. Women, who even Republican strategists say, you know, those who voted for Trump back in 2016 are beginning to, you know, sort of move
away and independents and suburbans and all the rest of it.
And he has a massive record on spending for women's health issues --
AMANPOUR: -- reproductive rights issues, and the rest. So, just talk to me about, you know, a potential voter pool there who will be attracted to
his record on those issues.
AVALON: Well, it will be interesting test whether, you know, voters in the Democratic primary, in particular, whether they vote along sort of identity
politics lines. By which case, you can say, look, he's a rich old white guy and therefore, doesn't represent me or my vision of America, or whether
they're going to look at the record, by which you can say he has a demonstrated record of success and commitment on many of the core issues
that the left most cares about.
Who -- what wins that tug of war of the Democratic primary is going to be just as important and fascinating as the big debate between the center and
the left of the Democratic Party. And we certainly know which side he stands on that one.
AMANPOUR: Exactly. And interesting, you know, Elizabeth Warren, after that big surge, sort of -- beginning to sort of lose that surge. And
Bloomberg sort of hovers just around Pete Buttigieg, I think he's about fifth in the rankings right now. But, you know, you once worked as a
speech writer for Rudy Giuliani, not only is he a former mayor but he's heavily implicated in the current impeachment affair.
We're seeing the two articles, abuse of power and obstruction unveiled against him. Those allegations against President Trump today. Where is
this going to go, probably, people believe it'll be impeachment and acquittal but politically and, I guess, you know, for the institutions of
politics and justice in the United States?
AVALON: There's a lot in that question. I mean, first of all, I think it is fair to say looking at the hyper partisan polarized nature, he's likely
to be impeached. Only the third American president to do so in the House Representatives and likely to be acquitted in the Senate. That said, what
he has been accused of fits very closely with what the founding fathers imagine the president might be impeached for. Not just abuse of power but
frankly having foreign powers interfere in our domestic politics. That's, something straight, the founding fathers would have recognized.
It also is significant that we had one impeachment in the first 200 years of the republic and we've had three in the last 45. This is a cycle. And
the inability of Congress to reason together on the allegations or even recognize common facts is a very problematic sign. So, you're going to see
the Republican base probably retrench around the president despite the facts being bad and the principles not wanting them to apply to a
But we're going to have a more polarized country and more deeply polarized country as we head into an election. But I think in some ways, commitment
to the underlying principles of impeachment as set up by the founding fathers are going to lead a lot of folks to conclude that they are almost
required to vote for impeachment based on the underlying principles above questions of partisanship.
AMANPOUR: But when you think about President Trump who's got, you know, nearly 56 percent approval on how he handles the economy, it's a big issue,
obviously, and you've got Michael Bloomberg doing a very different, some say unprecedented strategy, people look back to John F. Kennedy for the so-
called national strategy.
AMANPOUR: What -- I mean, explain what that means, this national strategy.
AVALON: Well, is that Mike Bloomberg is going to say, you know what, momentum doesn't matter out of the early states. We're going to do
something unusual. We got in late. We're going to acknowledge it. We're going to ignore the first four. Super Tuesday is up early. We're going it
play big in super Tuesday and swing states.
And I think part of the economy question, which is the only area where Donald Trump is above water, above 50 percent in his approval ratings
because the economy has been going very well, and that's been keeping his approval ratings around 40 percent. And typically, with this kind of an
economy, I mean, a sandwich could be at 60 percent.
Mike Bloomberg's pitch is going to be, I'm a successful businessman as well and you can trust me to not tank the economy, and that would be a fear with
some folks on the far-left getting the presidency that could very easily sway swing voters in swing states to say, stick with the devil you know.
The economy is doing well.
AMANPOUR: John Avalon, thank you so much. It's so fascinating.
And one of the most amazing things about being here at the climate talks in Madrid are the inspiring young people, of course, the face of this global
movement. This 8-year-old from India photographed with Greta Thunberg is calling on her prime minister to implement climate change laws and save her
And we're going to talk more about politics in India with our next guest.
In August, the disputed territory of Kashmir split between three nations was thrown into chaos when India stripped it of its special autonomous
status. Soldiers filled the streets and the communications blackout that was imposed, it was hard to know exactly what was going on.
"New Yorker" staff writer, Dexter Filkins, was working on a story about the Prime Minister Narendra Modi but couldn't get into the region. And so, he
enlisted the help of journalist, Rana Ayyub, who has covered extensively the history of violence against the Muslim minority in India and how they
got in, and what they found is shocking.
Dexter and Rana join me from New York and New Delhi.
Welcome to you both.
Dexter, if I could just start with you. Just tell me what it was like to be there trying to tell this story, seeing how Kashmir was being explained
to the Indian people and wanting to try to figure out whether that was really what was happening. What made you enlist Rana?
DEXTER FILKINS, STAFF WRITER, THE NEW YORKER: Well, foreigners weren't being admitted to Kashmir. I mean, it's just -- it's completely locked
down. And, you know, it's part of this larger story, not just about Kashmir but what the Hindu nationalist government is doing to Muslims in
India. And I thought that Kashmir was a kind of Exhibit A. I wanted to see it.
I mean, as it turned out, you know, we just got on a plane and went. And, you know, walked out of the airport. So, it wasn't all that difficult but
I -- but no one else had managed to get in there. And when we got in there, yes, it was pretty shocking. I mean, it was pretty much what your
viewers just saw, total lockdown. Everybody -- the Kashmiris cut off from the rest of the world and Kashmiris cut off from each other. And very,
very depressing. Soldiers everywhere.
AMANPOUR: Rana, it is, you know, really difficult for -- as Dexter said, certainly, for those of us even outside of India, even further afield, you
just don't know what is happening. And, you know, you have been reporting on Narendra Modi, on the -- as we said, the violation against Muslim
minority in India. What were you looking for in Kashmir? Because clearly a different story was being broadcast on Indian state media.
RANA AYYUB, GLOBAL OPINIONS WRITER, THE WASHINGTON POST: Absolutely, Christiane. The kind of news reports that were trickling in from the
Indian media was that everything was normal in Kashmir and there were tourists all over the place.
As somebody who has been reporting on Narendra Modi for the last 14 odd years and somebody who has witnessed his majoritarian pro Hindu politics, I
knew that this was another exercise in basically establishing his Hindu national supremacy because Kashmir also happens to be the only Muslim
majority state in India, at this point of time.
So, on the (INAUDIBLE), the government of India revoked the special status where all the -- every democratic leader in the country has been put behind
bars. There's no internet. There's new connectivity. Kashmiris have no means to communicate with anybody in the world, and a position has been
taken on their behalf.
When we and Dexter went to Kashmir for the first time, we met families who had 12-year-olds and 13-year-olds had been detained, you know, and
thousands have been detained in jails across Kashmir and across the country because the jails in Kashmir are overflowing. That's where Kashmir stands
It is a project to again humiliate Kashmir and kind of domesticate Kashmir because it is a part of the Hindu nationalist's dream to kind of unify
Kashmir with the rest of India and not give it the special status that it deserved historically.
So, what we saw in Kashmir, Dexter and I, and I also subsequently (INAUDIBLE) again, is something that I've not witnessed in the valley
before. Kashmir is like -- Kashmir, like the rest of the country, is sliding down a dangerous path of majoritarianism.
AMANPOUR: You know, obviously, the Indian government who we keep trying to get on this program to put their side across and we've had no luck up until
now, we keep asking. But they obviously deny all the claims of harshness and violation of rights and, you know, all the things that you've been --
you and others now have been reporting about.
And Narendra Modi, as you remember, was in the United States in September. And, in fact, he was at a rally with a lot of Indian-Americans in Houston,
Texas. President Trump was with him. And he took that moment to rally the expat community against this special article, 370, that gave Kashmir its
Let's just play what he said, and we can discuss it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NARENDRA MODI, INDIAN PRIME MINISTER (through translator): Article 370 deprived the people of Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh of development and equal
The forces fighting terrorism and separatism were exploiting the situation. Now the same rights that were given by the constitution of India to the
rest of the Indians have now also been given to the people of Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And, Rana, it is said and you have reported and others have that India, since the election of Narendra Modi back in 2014, has become a much
more difficult place for the Muslim minority to live.
Just tell us about what you know and your own experience briefly.
RANA AYYUB, AUTHOR, "GUJARAT FILES": Well, Christiane, I first went into Gujarat as a relief worker when I was 19, when Mr. Modi was a provincial
minister of Gujarat, and 1,000 Muslims were killed in a span of two days.
Until this day, Mr. Modi has not expressed regret for the killings. The Supreme Court of India, the highest constitutional body, has called Mr.
Modi a modern-day Nero who looked the other way, where innocent children and women were being burned alive.
Until this day, Mr. Modi has not commented. There's not a single interview that he has given to the media on the Gujarat riots. There were multiple
extrajudicial murders of Muslims who were labeled as terrorists.
And as it transpired later, they were all innocent. Since 2014, since Mr. Modi has assumed power, almost on an everyday basis, you see the
humiliation of the Indian Muslim, who has been othered in various forms.
Muslims are being lynched on the streets of the country on accusations of consuming beef. You have the Babri Masjid was just razed in 1992. The
Supreme Court of India has now given the land to the Hindus to build a grand temple.
Today, as we talk, the prime minister of the country has brought in the most unconstitutional bill in the Indian Parliament here, which is the
citizenship amendment bill, which grants citizenship to all persecuted minorities in the neighboring countries except Muslims.
Nothing more constitutional has ever taken place in the sanctum sanctorum of the Indian Parliament. This is the first time India is witnessing this
dark era wherein Muslims are humiliated every day. They are lynched when they step out to protest.
There is an atmosphere of fear in the country. It's like a nightmare to be a Muslim in India right now. I remember, when one of the accused -- when
one youth was lynched, and not very far from New Delhi, the national capital. The civil aviation minister of the Modi government went and
(INAUDIBLE) the accused who lynched Muslims.
That's how brazen it has been in Mr. Modi's regime in the last six years. And it's only getting worse by every day.
AMANPOUR: Dexter, I want to read you a short excerpt of what you wrote about this in this "New Yorker" article, talking about the consolidation of
You wrote: "Ever since Modi was first elected prime minister in 2014, he's been recasting the story of India from that of a secular democracy,
accommodating a uniquely diverse population to that of a Hindu nation that dominates its minorities, especially the country's 200 million Muslims."
I mean, you have hit the nail on the head, because the whole world talks about India as the largest democracy, and India holds that position
proudly. And yet, as you report, it's become more and more India for the Hindus.
Just give us a sense of this move away from India's secular history.
DEXTER FILKINS, "THE NEW YORKER": Well, I -- you just said it.
For 70 years, since 1947, India has been the hope of the world. I mean, it was Gandhi and Nehru founding Indian democracy. It was a secular
democracy, the world's largest, and really kind of an extraordinary experiment and -- but essentially based on the respect of minorities.
Every major religion in the world in India.
And what's happened under Modi -- and I -- and this is the really significant thing -- is that that entire -- that entire paradigm, the whole
foundation of the Indian state, has been thrown away and is being thrown away.
And it's being replaced by essentially a -- as you say, a Hindu majoritarian view, where the minorities are basically second-class
And Rana mentioned -- I just want to say, Rana mentioned the lynchings. And it's extraordinary. I mean, I went to villages in India where Muslim
people are being lynched. It is like really -- it's like the Reconstruction era in the American South. Like, to be a black man then is
to be a Muslim man now.
And it is terrifying. I have never seen anything like it. And I never thought I would see that in India, the largest democracy in the world.
AMANPOUR: Wow, that is really harsh to hear.
And, then, let me ask you that, as a journalist -- and India's always had a very vibrant journalistic community -- obviously, Rana is one of them. But
it's -- is it sort of a case of, if you report negatively about the prime minister, you're closed down?
What's going on with the reporting?
FILKINS: Well, Modi has very effectively basically silenced or crushed or squeezed the independent media around India.
And it -- again, it's been an extraordinary development that has gone largely unnoticed. And the -- basically, the way that he's been able to do
that is that most -- unlike, say, in the United States, most of the major Indian television, Internet, newspapers, they rely heavily on government
And so the Indian government is cut them off. And then, as for private advertising, they have squeezed the businesses and said, we want you to
stop advertising in this newspaper. We want you to get rid of this editor. We want you to stop advertising on this television channel.
And Indian business -- businessman have basically -- the business community has fallen into line. And so what's happened is, is that, when you have a
situation like in Kashmir, the Indian media goes along, largely. They just parrot the government line.
And so there's only very few journalists like Rana left who are brave enough and willing to try to tell the truth.
AMANPOUR: Well, thank you both for this incredible window into what's happening.
And, again, we do try to get the Indian government view and their perspective. And we will continue trying.
But, Dexter Filkins, Rana Ayyub, thanks for joining us.
Now, over the last year, many of the young climate activists here at the summit in Madrid have walked out of their classrooms in protest. But
imagine if your school is really your only home.
According to federal data, more than a million students in the United States' public school system are homeless. That is up 70 percent over the
Christine Quinn, the very same New York politician who once ran against Bloomberg for mayor, is currently president and CEO of WIN, the city's
largest provider of services to homeless women and children. And Daniel Russo is a school principal in the Bronx in one of the poorest
congressional districts in the U.S.
And they sat down with our Hari Sreenivasan to talk about their own experiences with this disturbing trend.
HARI SREENIVASAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Christine Quinn, let me start with you.
Around the country, there are more than 1.3 million kids in schools that are homeless, and that's up 70 percent in the last decade. How did this
CHRISTINE QUINN (D), FORMER NEW YORK CITY COUNCIL SPEAKER: Well, I think this happened for a number of different reasons.
One, we know, in New York City, but across the country, we have an affordability crisis, and we have seen that grow. But we never really took
a moment to stop and say, where does it end up?
Well, an affordability crisis and an income inequality crisis end up with apartments and homes being too expensive for families. And where do
families go when they can't afford a home? They end up homeless.
Yes, we have very good unemployment numbers in this country. But we never take a moment to look at the underbelly of them and how much of that
includes minimum wage workers, fast food workers, people with two or three full-time jobs.
So I really believe the heart of this crisis is caused by no one accepting the reality that homelessness and affordability crisis are two sides of the
And until we connect them as it relates to economic development and housing policies, we're going to be in a hamster wheel.
And what most people don't know is that the majority of the homeless in New York are families with children; 70 percent of the people in shelter are
families with children. You don't see that on the street. It's a crime to have your child on the street, but that's the reality.
Fifty-three percent of our mothers in shelter are working. They're working, and they couldn't pay the rent.
And this, I hope, not-held view anymore that homeless people or homeless mothers are lazy and drug addicts and criminals and brought it on
themselves, there is no truth to that.
And let me tell you, the hardest-working, most resilient people I have ever met are the homeless moms in our shelter. They can't and don't pull the
covers over their heads, because they have children to take care of.
And I'm telling you New York stories, but I have colleagues I work with all over the country. These are universal stories.
What are the physical effects? How does this manifest at a school level? What happens?
DANIEL RUSSO, PRINCIPAL, PS 294: So, I mean, obviously, each case is different, each child is different, and the circumstances under which a
family ends up homeless is different.
But some of the recurring themes that we see at our school is students with impacts on their mental health. So students can become withdrawn,
depressed, pull back from their peers and their classmates. That's usually driven by anxiety, a sense of the security has been shattered.
Imagine being a student who gets picked up by his mother in the afternoon, and you walk home just a couple blocks from the school, only to find that
the house, the apartment door is padlocked with an eviction notice on your door, and everything that you own is inside.
Imagine the insecurity that that family feels. They look at their children, and what did they do? Oftentimes, they go back to where they
came from, which is the school. And they count on the school staff to help them work through getting to the shelter system, being processed through
PATH here in New York City, and all of the challenges they are about to encounter being homeless.
SREENIVASAN: Tell me about some of your kids.
RUSSO: I have 500 beautiful children in the South Bronx. This particular population requires a lot of support, not only around the academics, like
Christine said, but we have to have a food pantry inside of the school, so that families that are approaching the weekend or a school holiday can come
into the main office and literally say: Mr. Russo, we don't have food in our house to get our family through the weekend.
We can take them down to the food pantry and make sure that family is cared for, for the rest of the time until school resumes and breakfast and lunch
at the school continues. Our children get -- all get free winter coats as the cold weather sets in.
They all get free eyeglasses -- eye exams and eyeglasses. There's a lot of services, but you have to think about the partnerships that you could bring
into a school in a strategic and organized way to make sure that you reach all of the children's needs.
SREENIVASAN: What about kind of the infrastructure that plays into all of this? I mean, there are mayors around the country that say, hey, we have
got more shelters on the way.
But there's a lot of not in my backyard, right? It's all great to have more shelters. Let's fix the homeless problem. But then you realize the
map includes something that's six blocks from your home. No.
QUINN: Well, a couple of things.
One, the ultimate goal is to get everyone living -- living independently permanently in affordable housing. So the shelter is not the overall
answer. That is. But until that affordable housing is built and exists, people need a place to be.
And they also, in that place, the shelter, need to have services that deal with what they have been through, domestic violence; 80 percent of our moms
have experienced domestic violence in their adult lifetime, and on and on.
So shelters shouldn't be seen as this place of evil. They're actually places of healing and growth. And the not in my backyard people, get over
yourself. And the elected officials -- and I used to be elected official. And I know those crowds are scary, no question.
We need to get over ourselves, because this is a -- first of all, they don't put the shelter 10 blocks from you, where are they going to put it?
Where are people going to go? Do you want to wake up and see a mother and her children sleeping on the street on the block you live on?
People need to go. And who the heck are you to look in the face of a 5- year-old child in America and say, you know what, you are evil and I don't want you near me?
RUSSO: You know, it also manifests itself in disproportionate numbers of homeless people being housed in certain neighborhoods in New York City,
RUSSO: Certainly, there are communities across the city that are a little bit louder in not in my backyard, and they end up with less homeless
families being housed in their neighborhoods.
In my school, 30 percent of our students live in temporary housing. So we have over 100 families that we're supporting through that every single day.
Obviously, it's a big lift. It's a heavier lift than a principal might have, we will say, another part of the city.
QUINN: Yes. Yes.
RUSSO: But you can also develop a skill set for that. There's opportunities there to really hone and refine not only what the services
are that you provide, but the way in which you provide them.
SREENIVASAN: Tell me what an average day is like for a student to get to your school, because the proximity sometimes of shelters and schools, at
least at a city like New York, it's not down the block.
So, Christine and I were talking about this earlier. New York City is one of the only cities in the country where citizens have a right to shelter.
So, if you're processing through intake, and you end up going from the Bronx all the way to Staten Island to a motel to be housed, I mean, that's
a wonderful service that the family is provided.
But the family also wakes up the next morning with no way to get the child two hours back to the school in the Bronx. The Department of Education
does provide transportation for students back to their families -- to their school of origin, because there's a lot of information to suggest that
keeping at least the schooling consistent for the child, as they go through this very uncertain time with their family, is beneficial for them.
But, of course, there's -- that's a double-edged sword, right? Perhaps you're putting your child on the bus at a 5:30 pickup time in Far Rockaway,
or the Bronx, or in Staten Island, two neighborhoods that are quite far from us, and sending them all the way back to our school.
And that child is getting dropped off at 6:30 or 7:00 at night. It's a great service, but it adds a layer of challenge that sometimes makes things
a little bit more difficult for the students.
SREENIVASAN: What are the some of the challenges? I mean, if you're in a shelter, for example, they have curfews. There might be restrictions on
Wi-Fi to do homework, right?
RUSSO: No, no, no, Wi-Fi here is a huge issue.
QUINN: There's not restrictions on Wi-Fi in shelter. There is no Wi-Fi in the shelters in New York City. And I'd be shocked if it was anywhere else.
So that's a huge issue for a mom looking for a job, for homework. We had a young man. We had 39 children from WIN facilities go to college in August
and September, which is our highest ever, which is amazing.
But one of the young -- a young man who got into a bunch of schools, he wrote his letter, his essay, on his phone. That's unconscionable. So
that's like a big challenge.
We were even talking about, how do parents know it's parent-teacher night or whatever? They send out e-mails.
RUSSO: Can't message them on an app if there's no Wi-Fi.
RUSSO: You can't message them on Facebook or post something online if the families in the shelters don't have access to that kind of information.
So it's the good old-fashioned knocking on door, posting up signs, backpacking letters home, trying to get information to parents, if there's
a communication gap.
I just want to mention one other thing which works we do at WIN, Dan does at his school, but it's really something all over the country that needs to
be more embraced, is trauma-informed care and trauma-informed care training for people who interact with populations like the homeless who are
At WIN, everyone gets trauma-informed care, from the entry-level security guide to the Ph.D. who's head of our social service programs. It is a no-
blame model that goes into a situation assuming that the client is being triggered.
SREENIVASAN: Tell me about some of the types of discussions you have had with your students. What kind of trauma do they come to you with?
RUSSO: So, with little students in a K-5 school, they just -- they want to feel secure and know that their needs are going to be met.
Some of their parents try to shield them from what is going on. But they're intuitive. And they know if they have arrived at the door and it's
padlocked and they're heading back to the school, something is not right.
And so what does that look like in the classroom the next day? That looks like a student who won't hang that backpack in the closet because they
don't know that they're going to have access to that at the end of the day. That looks like a student who's stealing milk off of another child's tray
at lunch because they don't know what's waiting for them in the shelter.
There's all kinds of different ways that this manifests itself, and most of them become barriers to learning. And that's, I think, the main problem
that we, as a school system, are trying to work through in a city where the homeless numbers continue to rise.
SREENIVASAN: Now, you went out to or you still go out to places where the kids live, partly because sometimes it's hard to get in touch with them.
SREENIVASAN: And one of those occasions, I read that there was a group of students that weren't coming to school.
RUSSO: That's right.
They weren't coming to school. We run -- monitor our attendance very closely, of course, and we pay particular attention to our students in
temporary housing, because we want to know, why aren't these children coming to school, if they have been given a roof over their head by the
When you notice that students -- influx of students from the same building are not coming to school, that's a red flag that something is up. So we
went. We knocked on doors until one mother answered and told us that her child had not bathed in several days.
And so she wasn't sending them to school, because, quite frankly, he smelled. So we rallied the parents together, got them...
SREENIVASAN: They didn't have water?
RUSSO: There was no water in the building for several days.
So we rallied the parents. I knocked on every door I could find, every, student plus other families that were not involved in the school, and told
them, walk down the block to our City Council office and demand this something be done in this building to restore water.
And the next day, the water was flowing again in that building. It only took them to go make some noise and stand up for the rights. It's not
right for any family in New York City, less alone some of our most vulnerable populations, to be living without water.
SREENIVASAN: Do you see -- you see hundreds of moms and kids. Do kids carry this as if it's their fault?
QUINN: Homeless children believe they bear the responsibility for why mom and they are in shelter. They carry it with -- if I -- with them.
If I had been better, whatever that means, dad wouldn't have hit her. If I hadn't wanted those sneakers, we wouldn't have gotten evicted, we would
have been able to pay the rent.
Add on to that 80 percent of the women, domestic violence, that means the children saw it, experienced it, lived in that terror. So they absolutely
carry it with them, absolutely. We see it -- this is -- when you go to intake, PATH, as Dan has mentioned, you bring -- get to bring two bags of
your stuff with you.
But you're leaving your apartment in the middle of night. You're getting evicted. You usually bring them in garbage bags, Hefty bags.
We can't use Hefty bags around the shelter where the kids are, because we would bring them into a room, and the children would freak out. Who's
getting kicked out? Who are you throwing out?
Just those -- simple sight of those bags from intake triggered it all for them. So it's all with -- inside of them with blaming themselves, which is
why you need trained, focus staff who are going to help them work through that.
SREENIVASAN: Look, somebody's going to ask, listen, she was in previous administrations. What is so tough about this problem? Why did it get
worse over the last 10 years?
QUINN: Well, there's a number of reasons.
One, I don't think we have a highest level of care that we should have, attention to it, so to speak. When I was the speaker of the City Council,
we had to sue Mike Bloomberg, and we beat him, around a policy he put in place that would have kept homeless individuals who are single out of the
shelter, not even allowed them to get in the door.
We have had prior administrations who cut out the rental voucher that tenants use -- homeless people use to get an apartment that we, in the
council, fought against that for years. We now -- thankfully, Mayor de Blasio put it back in place, but it took them almost three years to put it
back in place.
So I think there have been champions in government around this issue, and I would credit the members of the City Council when I served as some of them.
But we need this to go to the highest levels, at the highest levels of attention.
SREENIVASAN: You're running a school that is still, even with the populations that you're serving, compared to other populations in similar
schools, you're doing better than average by a long shot.
So how did you start to turn this around? How do you budget differently? What are the kinds of resources that you're putting in your school that
perhaps can be replicated elsewhere?
RUSSO: So, you know, when we really -- when we started the school, we were really focused on strengthening the instructional core, teaching and
As we have got into that work in the beginning years, we saw that we couldn't get to those important issues if students were not ready to learn,
if they were not setting the conditions for learning inside of our school.
SREENIVASAN: If they're hungry in the morning.
RUSSO: If they're hungry in the morning, if they're coming to school cold and thinking about the cold walk home, because they don't have a winter
So I think that the school really started to find success when myself and the rest of the staff certainly began to think about, what do children
really need to be their best selves, to show up, to be able to tend academically to rigorous work, rigorous standards that we have here in New
York City, and overcome the challenges that are in place against them, by no fault of their own?
The Department of Education has increased their supports to schools with a large number of temporary housings. We do have a social worker through a
program called Bridging the Gap in New York City, where we have a social worker in the building devoted full-time to supporting our students who are
living in temporary housing, partnerships with the New York City...
QUINN: That's the program I talked about, yes.
RUSSO: Partnerships with the New York City Food Bank to ensure that we have the food pantry, with New York Cares.
It's about finding the partnerships and making the time to bring the needs of the children, academic and social-emotional, to the forefront of the
work, and creating a staff culture, like Christina said, that believes in a trauma-informed approach, so that if you see a child acting out or not
attending to their work, you're not assuming that they're lazy, distracted or disinterested, but that maybe there's something internally going on that
the guidance counselor or social worker can certainly help with.
QUINN: Yes. Yes.
RUSSO: But even you, as the teacher, can begin to attend to, so that that child can get to the reason why their parents sent them to school in the
morning, which was to learn.
SREENIVASAN: Christine Quinn, principal Daniel Russo, thank you both.
RUSSO: Thank you.
QUINN: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: An important reminder for all of us.
And, finally, let us end on the art of the possible.
As the Madrid climate summit wraps up, let's remember a time when a global climate problem quickly resulted in a global solution.
I'm talking about the ozone layer, to which "The New York Times" devoted its whole editorial this weekend. When the world learned that the ozone
layer was weakening, it quickly moved to phase out the offending chemicals, CFCs, then HCFCs. And the ozone layer started to heal.
Can such action be taken today against carbon emissions? Well, there is some reason to hope.
With young people demanding more from their leaders and Democratic presidential candidates in the U.S., as well as European candidates, making
it a top issue, you can't help but imagine, as I said, the art of the possible, that political will finally meet popular demand.
That's it for now. You can always catch us online, on our podcast and across social media.
Thanks for watching, and goodbye from the climate summit here in Madrid.