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North Korea Missile Launch: Trump White House; NBC Fires Matt Lauer; Pope Visits Myanmar; CNN Shines Light on Libya Slave Trade; Pyongyang Tests Most Advanced Missile Yet; Matt Lauer Was An Anchor On NBC's Today Show; Growing Food On Public Parkland. Aired at 8-9a ET
Aired November 29, 2017 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[08:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN NEWS STREAM SHOW HOST: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong and welcome to "News Stream."
More powerful than ever before. North Korea says its latest missile test shows it can reach anywhere in the U.S. President Trump says, we'll handle
it. While North Korea's closer neighbors express concern and outrage at the test.
And Pope Francis calls on people to overcome prejudice and hatred after meeting Buddhist leaders in Myanmar.
The international community is facing some very hard choices after what is believed to be North Korea's most advanced missile test to date. Early on
Wednesday, Pyongyang launched an intercontinental ballistic missile, it claims can reach the entire U.S. mainland.
North Korea's state media said the missile was topped with a "super large heavy warhead." Pyongyang hadn't conducted a missile test since mid-
September and the launch dashed any hopes world leaders might have had that international sanctions were causing North Korea to rethink it's bellicose
This missile was higher and longer than any previous test that the regime has conducted. The so-called Hwasong-15 soared almost 4,500 kilometers into
the sky. That is over 10 times higher than the international space station. It spent 53 minutes in the air before splashing down in waters off the
coast of Japan.
The U.S., Japan, and South Korea all agree that the missile was likely an ICBM. U.S. President Donald Trump spoke by phone with the leaders of both
countries. Japan's prime minister had harsh words for North Korea.
(START VIDEO CLIP)
SHINZO ABE, PRIME MINISTER OF JAPAN (through translator): Such an act significantly undermines the strong determination of the international
community for peaceful resolution of the issue. Such an outrageous act is totally unacceptable. Japan launched a strong protest against North Korea
and called for an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council. The international community must be united.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LU STOUT: Meanwhile, China is expressing serious concern and opposition to the launch. CNN's Matt Rivers is in Beijing with more on the story. Matt,
did you -- did you feel any change in tone from China in its latest condemnation of the latest North Korean missile test?
MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The short answer to that question, Kristie, is no. The Chinese did not change their position at
least publicly at all during the day today despite this being the North's most technologically advanced missile test to date. The Chinese though have
not considered that a reason to at least publicly change its stance.
We heard the same thing that we always do for the foreign ministry at their daily press briefing earlier today. They urged the North Koreans to abide
by all U.N. sanctions that have been levied against it by the Security Council. They urged all relevant sides as they put it to maintain peace and
stability and to not take any provocative action on the Korean Peninsula.
They reiterated that they don't think that there is a military solution to this problem and urged all sides to get back to the negotiating table. That
is exactly the playbook that the Chinese have trotted out every single time the North Koreans do this kind of provocation. Whether that will change
down the road, just not sure.
LU STOUT: The Chinese just sent an envoy there to North Korea recently and forced new sanctions on North Korea. The pressure apparently isn't working.
So, how willing is Beijing to apply even more pressure on Pyongyang?
RIVERS: I mean, Beijing's motivations are notoriously held very, very close to the chest and so in -- in trying to figure out exactly where their red
line is. Is there something that North Korea can do that will completely fundamentally alter their strategic thinking on this issue? We really can't
answer that question with any definitive statement.
You had seen, you mentioned that there, Kristie, that Chinese had sent some senior foreign diplomats to Pyongyang for the first time in a while. The
leaders of both countries exchanged greetings not that long ago through their respective state media outlets.
So there were some signs that maybe China was being greeted a little bit more warmly by the North Korean government which is something that had been
called into question over the last year or two. And maybe the Chinese could have some influence. The Chinese don't want them to keep launching these
missiles and testing these nuclear weapons. So there is a thought that maybe something was changing.
[08:05:00] But clearly with this missile test, the North Koreans are still right on track. And the Chinese, at least publicly, and that is how we are
going to find this out, they have not changed their strategic calculation here.
LU STOUT: And Matt, if China is reluctant to turn the screws and apply more pressure on to North Korea, what impact could that have on the U.S.-China
relationship and the relationship between Xi Jinping and Donald Trump?
RIVERS: Well, I think that the immediate impact of that could be seen in areas outside of national security. What you've heard from the Trump
administration is that they are willing to link issues of trade, for example, and national security.
And what you've heard the Trump administration threaten is that if China doesn't play ball and do what they want them to on North Korea, then
perhaps they would do something on trade, perhaps more punitive measures taken against the Chinese in that trading relationship. We haven't seen
that happen yet.
In fact, we have seen kind of the opposite with the United States under President Trump. President Trump was here not that long ago and went on and
on about the personal relationship that he has with President Xi and how he thinks they are helping on North Korea. Whether this changes the
calculation here remains to be seen, Kristie, but it certainly could given what we heard from the Trump administration in the past.
LU STOUT: Matt Rivers reporting live for us from Beijing. As always, thank you.
North Korea had been fairly quiet in the last two months or so. Some hope that it would lead to diplomacy, perhaps even ease tensions in the region,
but that obviously has changed.
I spoke with Tong Zhao. He is an associate at the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy. And I asked him what exactly the North Korea achieved
with today's launch.
TONG ZHAO, ASSOCIATE, CARNEGIE-TSINGHUA CENTER FOR GLOBAL POLICY: I think apparently they achieved more advanced capability of ICBM, the missile flew
higher than ever before. And also North Koreans announced that they used -- this missile is capable of arming with very heavy nuclear warhead, meaning
that even with heavy payload, the missile can fly as far as to cover the entire continent of the United States.
That represents a greater level of threat. But, also, on the other hand, North Korea officially announced that they have completed the last step of
completing their rocket weapon system. And they have finally realized the goal of committing their nuclear force. So that might be something big.
They might be announcing that they no longer need to test more missiles and that could be opportunity for diplomatic engagement.
LU STOUT (on camera): This test was carried out in the dead of night. Why is that?
ZHAO: I think it could serve a number of different purposes. One is the night provides more cover for the secrecy of the preparation of the launch.
So that makes it harder for the U.S., South Korea, and Japanese government to detect the preparation and to interfere with the launch of the missile.
It makes it harder for them to collect intelligence and to better understand the North Korean capabilities.
In addition, by testing the missile during night, they could be also preparing for their missile forces, the missile operators to be better
capable of conducting missile launches under real battlefield conditions. So, in other words, they might be preparing their capability to actually
use their missiles even during night.
LU STOUT (on camera): And China. How is China watching all this? Does it raise the appetite for Beijing to put more pressure on Pyongyang?
ZHAO: I think China is already on the trajectory of putting more pressure on North Korea after Trump-Xi summit meeting in Beijing. It appears that
President Xi promised to Mr. Trump that China will do more to press North Korea.
The recent news about Air China suspending their flight service between Beijing and Pyongyang, the reported closure of the Friendship Bridge in
Dandong across the Chinese-North Korean border could be the initial steps taken by Beijing to impose more pressure on North Korea. Whether this is
indeed an indicator of much tougher pressure from Beijing, we may have to wait to see more actions from Beijing going forward.
LU STOUT: All right. Beijing-based analyst Tong Zhao there speaking to me earlier.
Now the U.S. president's response after the launch was muted. Quite in contrast to his earlier fiery criticism of North Korea. Let's bring in
CNN's Joe Johns with more.
[08:10:00] And Joe, Pyongyang, they went ahead, they fired another missile. This is a bold act defiance against President Trump. And Trump responds
with this kind of muted way. What is Trump going to do next about North Korea?
JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Anybody's guess. I think some of the things he did were in traditional form. He spoke with his
counterparts in Japan and in South Korea. And then he delivered this response, as you say, it was muted, it was understated, nothing like some
of the bombastic responses to North Korea's behavior that we've seen from President Trump in the past.
No official explanation from the White House as to why there was this shift in tone, nonetheless, we have heard from officials here at the White House,
that the president does not like to telegraph what he plans to do or what he is thinking in order to keep adversaries guessing. So, with that, let's
listen to what the president said about North Korea.
(START VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: As you probably have heard and some of you have reported, a missile was launched a little
while ago from North Korea. I will only tell you that we will take care of it. We have General Mattis in the room with us and we've had a long
discussion on it. It is a situation that we will handle.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNS: Not even on Twitter did we get much more of a response on North Korea from the president, though he did write that doing something about
North Korea is a concern. Therefore, the government, meaning the congress and the administration, should work together to avoid a shutdown and get
funding move forward in order to prevent that from happening later in December. Kristie?
LU STOUT: And meanwhile, Joe, what is President Trump's top policy focus right now? Is this number one priority, not North Korea, but tax cuts?
JOHNS: Absolutely. I think tax cuts is very much a top priority right now for this administration as well as members of congress, while they do keep
North Korea, you know, under view in the rear view mirror as it were.
Tax cuts moving forward in Capitol Jill is key to them, because they are very concerned about next year's mid-term elections and getting some type
of a solid accomplishment for the president going forward to sort of (INAUDIBLE) about to the voters before they make their choices next
LU STOUT: And, Joe, Trump's (INAUDIBLE). He's been pretty active this morning U.S. time. He has re-tweeted a number of anti--Muslim videos all
from the same source. It's raising a lot off eyebrows, a lot of concern. What is he doing here?
JOHNS: We have asked about that. And it's very curious, three videos from the -- a leader, if you will, of a group known as Britain First, which is
also known as something of an extremist group there with very right-wing views. We've reached out to the White House Press Office to ask about this,
whether it was the president himself.
We are aware that at least one other person here has access to the president's Twitter account. So it's possible at least that those videos
that were re-tweeted might not have been re-tweeted by the president himself. It's very curious, but not clear whether this is an endorsement
from the president or there is something else afoot here, but certainly checking. And then we haven't gotten a response back, quite frankly,
LU STOUT: All right. We are still waiting for that response. Joe Johns, as always, thank you for your reporting. Take care.
And now to an anannouncement that has been rocking morning television in the U.S. and also round the world. NBC has fired its long-time news anchor,
a well-known TV personality, Matt Lauer, over what it says was a complaint of inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.
The announcement came at the top of the "Today" show, which Lauer has anchored for two decades. He is one of the most recognizable faces on the
network. The chairman of the NBC News released a staff memo, saying that this was the first complaint ever launched against Lauer, but they believe
it may not be an isolated incident. Matt Lauer was not immediately reachable for comment.
In Myanmar, Pope Francis said overcoming prejudice and hatred is the key to unity. He made the comments during his speech to the country's top Buddhist
monks. He again did not mention Rohingya Muslims by name. The plight has been the spotlight during the pope's visit to Myanmar. Here is what else he
said to the monks.
(START VIDEO CLIP)
[08:15:00] POPE FRANCIS, POPE OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH (through translator): In every age, humanity experiences injustice, moments of conflict, and
inequality among people. In our own day, these difficulties seem to be especially pronounced. Even though society has made great progress
technologically and people throughout the world are increasingly aware of their common humanity and destiny, the wounds of conflict, poverty, and
oppression persist and create new divisions. In the face of these challenges, we must never grow resign.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LU STOUT: Now, CNN's Vatican correspondent Delia Gallagher has been traveling with the pope. She joins us now live from Yangon. Delia, in this
historic mass earlier today, Pope Francis delivered his message of forgiveness and compassion. How is that received there in Myanmar?
DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right, Kristie, it was a very poignant moment when the pope was speaking to about 150,000
Catholics this time and saying he knew about the visible and invisible wounds of the people of Myanmar. And, of course, that is a reference to the
fact that we talk a lot about the Rohingya and the Muslim minority rightly so.
But there is also a Catholic minority involved in conflict in the north there, about 150,000 refugees from the (INAUDIBLE) area in the north. And
so these are people who like all people in Myanmar have lived under military rule, will continue to liver under it partially today. And so the
pope's words were about healing those resentments, if you will, healing those wounds, because the pope is working at two levels here.
One is a kind of political and religious leaders. But also from the ground up, so that people won't have resentment or fear of their neighbor, the
(INAUDIBLE) communities, Muslim communities, and the large Buddhist community here can be tolerant of each other, not be afraid of each other.
So it is a message which have heard over and over again from the pope to all different communities. But of course, in particular to his very small
Catholic community here this morning at mass. Kristie?
LU STOUT: Delia, in the past, the pope has been very vocal and very critical about Myanmar's mistreatment over Rohingya Muslims. So, why has he
adopted this more measured tone during this visit?
GALLAGHER: Well, perhaps precisely because he has spoken out about it before from the Vatican. I think going into this trip, the Vatican knew
that the Myanmar government was well aware of where the pope stands, for example, on the Rohingya crisis.
And so coming here, it was an attempt and it is an attempt to try to look to the future and encourage any positive signs that might be coming from
Aung San Suu Kyi, from religious leaders, and from the people of Myanmar. It's a long-term goal because it's not enough just to solve the Rohingya
crisis in the mind of the Vatican.
That has to be done in the larger context of resolving all human rights for minorities in this country, and indeed helping them to go on the path to
further democracy. So, that's been kind of the larger aim for the pope and probably played into the reason why he didn't choose to mention
specifically the Rohingya people but to speak out in general about conflicts against ethnic minorities and religious minorities. Kristie?
LU STOUT: All right. Delia Gallagher reporting live for us from Yangon. Thank you. Still ahead right here on "News Stream," CNN's exclusive
reporting on Libya's slave trade has riveted attention around the world.
And coming up, Nima Elbagir tells us what it was like to witness the horror first hand.
[08:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LU STOUT: Coming to you live from Hong Kong. Welcome back. This is "News Stream." Now, a shocking turn in the case of reported child abuse that has
rocked China. It turns out two parents made up stories about their children being drugged and molested at a kindergarten in Beijing. Police are saying
They say a father coaxed his child into saying that they had been given pills. (INAUDIBLE) told reporters, her daughter was inspected by naked men.
Doctors found no signs of abuse. Across the internet, however, parents have started sharing tips on detection and prevention of child abuse and
Last hour CNN focused on our exclusive report that has produced a global cry for change. It deals with a slave trade out of Libya and a remarkable
piece of report by our own Nima Elbagir. Here is some of that report.
TEXT: Unknown location, Libya, August 2017.
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): A man addressing an unseen crowd. Big, strong boys for farm work, he says. Four
hundred. Seven hundred. Seven hundred? Eight hundred. You are watching an auction of human beings.
(on camera): They admitted to us that there were 12 Nigerians that were sold in front of us. And I -- I honestly don't know what to say. That was
probably one of the most unbelievable things I have ever seen.
LU STOUT (voice over): Now, utterly disturbing, it is happening today. That slave auction has sparked international outrage and protest like this one
earlier in Paris. Nima and her team, producer Raja Razek, and senior photo journalist Alex Platt, appeared on CNN Talk with Max Foster to answer your
questions about their reporting.
ELBAGIR: How does somebody do that? I think the one thing that we have all learned in our career as a journalists is people can (INAUDIBLE) themselves
into doing anything. It is extraordinarily the cognitive dissidence that people -- how does somebody use rape as a weapon of war? You dehumanize
someone. So these people, big strong boys, you dehumanize him. He's like a hoax, pulling a cart for you.
ALEX PLATT, CNN SENIOR PHOTOJOURNALIST: I think when you were approaching an auction, people were talking of these people as merchandise.
MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And you didn't know what to expect from who you were going to meet. Do you understand why they would put themselves up
for slaves now?
PLATT: Look, it was -- I felt very uncomfortable in the detention center. I kind of felt embarrassed. It became obvious to me that the only difference
between me and them is an accident at birth. I was very conscious that, hey, they might feel the same thing about me.
I can't understand what motivates people, but, listen, everyone that I talked to -- and not everyone in that detention center have been through
the slave system -- they all had this dream of coming to Europe for whatever reason.
ELBAGIR: When we first started looking into this three years ago, it is because we were hearing this from migrants on arrival in detention centers.
Let's face it, we'd like to think we are confident in our jobs. You know, this wasn't that difficult to hear from people. They were scared to tell
the stories. So this was a three-year process of trying to get people to tell the stories and to trust us.
And over the the last year when we really -- Roger was really kind of getting out there and speaking to contacts on the ground, we were pushing
this forward, the National Organization of Migration came for it and said, migrants are telling us that they were auctioned off from buses in the
southern Libyan desert.
FOSTER: It sounds like a really basic question. Why aren't they telling the police who were there to just go into the market and close it down?
RAJA RAZEK, TELEVISION PRODUCER: Because there is no system place. I mean, right now, we got Libya that has two major governments. It's still
[08:25:00] a country that's recovering from the events of the past. So there isn't a system in place. When they do round them up, they are still
saying, we were talking to them, they were over 200 Libyan (INAUDIBLE), the illegal immigration. And so, they say, we're doing all that we can.
LU STOUT: Nima Elbagir joins us now live from London. Nima, thank you so much for joining us. It was a riveting hour, interactive discussion there
on CNN Talk. We talked about how you uncovered this story. Your reaction while you were reporting on this story. And you also touched upon why this
is happening. It's because these migrants have been dehumanized. Can you tell us more about why they have been so dehumanized? Why this is happening
in Libya today?
ELBAGIR: It feels like these are people who are exploited again and again, so right from their country of origin, they are sold this dream of Europe.
They're told that their money buys them safe passage to that dream. We, of course, know that's not true. Then by the time they arrive in Libya, the
departure point to get into Europe, we know that the European Union has worked closely with the Libyan coastguard as is their right to stop migrant
boats from coming into Europe.
What that meant is that there has been this bottleneck of migrants inside Libya. So for many of these smugglers, these unscrupulous criminals, when
they see people as they refer to them merchandise, piling up in their warehouses, they see people who are eating and filling up space, so why not
exploit them further? Why not make money off them? So when you refer to them as merchandises, they did as cargo, as an excess of stock, which we
also heard, it's very easy to then sell them off to the highest bidder.
LU STOUT: This is a modern-day slave trade? It's happening now in Libya. Does the Libyan government have the commitment or the means to end this?
ELBAGIR: The question is whether the Libyan government has the capability. There are areas in which we were able to ascetain that there were auctions
happening that the Libyan government doesn't actually have under its control. You have the internationally recognized government, the GNA. You
have a competing government. Then you have local militias.
Libya on the ground is catastrophic in terms of the infrastructure that's there and the Libyan government has been very frank with us by saying we
don't even have the ability to provide safety for all of our own people. We need the world to help and the African Union has come out. The U.N. has
come out. These are all great statements of horror and abhorrence. Now there needs to be tangible action, Kristie.
LU STOUT: Yes, absolutely. Thank you so much for your reporting to raise awareness in this international will to finally end this despicable trade
happening. It is so shocking. Nima Elbagir reporting for us. Thank you.
And in case you missed it, if there is something you want to learn more about this issue, you can catch the replay on CNN "Talk" special on the
slave auctions in Libya that airs 8:00 p.m. Monday, 9:00 p.m. in Berlin. Don't miss it, here on CNN.
Now, North Korea's missile launch prompts swift reaction from South Korea as it responds with its own military capability. We will be live with Will
Ripley in Seoul, next.
[08:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LU STOUT: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. You're watching News Stream. These are your world headlines.
LU STOUT: Now following its most powerful missile test today. A military official is quoted in North Korean media saying, old lunatic Trump is
daunted by their new gift package.
It goes on to say that no force on Earth can check the events of North Korea. Now there has been widespread condemnation of North Korea's latest
Now in Myanmar, Pope Francis said over coming prejudice and hatred is the key to unity, and though the comment during a speech to the country's top
Buddhist monks, however, he again did mentioned the Rohingya Muslims by name. A group the U.N. says is suffering ethnic cleansing.
We are new details about the hours before an Argentine Navy submarine went missing. The Navy says the sub reported a faulty battery about 10 hours
before an explosion like sound was detected. The vessel went missing in the South Atlantic two weeks ago. The crew has 44 people on board.
Flights are taking off from Bali's main airport for the first time in three days. Now the airport reopened just hours ago, that's welcome news for
tens of thousands of travelers who had been stranded on the island after Mount Agung began spewing ash and smoke on Saturday. Now authorities
warned a larger eruption is still possible.
LU STOUT: Now South Korea responded with its own missile strike drill in response to North Korean missile test. Let's bring in Will Ripley. He
joins us live from Seoul. And, Will, first your though in what North Korea achieved here.
I mean, it called its latest missile its most powerful ICBM, saying it quote, meets the goal of the completion of the rocket weaponry system and
that work completion is interesting. What has North Korea done here?
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, what they've done is they've launched a missile higher than they ever have in the past, 10 times the
altitude of the International Space Station, 4,500 kilometers.
So a very high arc but a very familiar trajectory bringing that missile down to within 200 nautical miles of Japan, this is the path that we've
seen many North Korean missiles travel.
So what they have done here is they demonstrated their capability to launch an ICBM farther than they ever have before. They claim that they have now
proven with this test that a nuclear would survive reentry into the Earth's atmosphere because essentially the missile goes up into space, comes back
There is extreme heat and pressure involved and the big question that a lot of analysts have been asking is whether a North Korean nuclear warhead
could survive such a reentry. North Korea is now saying that it can.
So the thing we need to ask is, is North Korea done here? Did they feel that they've now proven that they rounded off the nuclear program or will
they feel the need to follow through on a threat that they first made back in September.
A threat reiterated to me in October and then about a month ago, when I was in Pyongyang speaking with senior diplomats that North Korea also intends
to detonate a nuclear device possibly above the Pacific Ocean.
The first, you know, aboveground atmospheric of nuclear testing in nearly four decades to prove to the world and specifically the Trump
administration that they have this capability.
Will this test be enough? Is this it? Is North Korea willing to talk? The sense I've gotten from North Korea officials is not yet, Kristie.
LU STOUT: OK, so no room for negotiation, no room for diplomacy just yet. Now you've traveled to North Korea some 17 times, the world's most isolated
country. When you talk to people there on the ground, what are their thoughts on diplomacy on Donald Trump, on readiness for war?
RIPLEY: Well you know, you ask the average North Korean or even North Korean officials and they don't feel it's possible for their leader Kim
Jong-un to even talk to President Trump. The reason for that is President Trump's rhetoric.
He gave that speech at the United Nations. He threatened to totally destroy North Korea. You know, he called their leader rocket man.
Of course the North Koreans never heard that insulting nickname because that would never be reported inside of that country where the flow of
information is so tightly controlled.
But you know publicly what people will say to you on the street is that they are 100 percent behind their government, even though they do have to
sacrifice as a result of their nation's nuclear program. They -- they go without things like nutritious food in many areas, regular electricity,
[08:35:00] Because their government is investing a large amount of its resources in this weapons program designed to protect the government that's
in power. But they tell people to protect their way of life and to protect their actual lives.
Because they say the United States is a nuclear power at their doorstep waiting to attack or even drop a bomb on them, and that scenario that North
Korea has -- has told its citizens for decades, that has helped that authoritarian government to maintain such tight control over that country.
LU STOUT: Will Ripley, reporting live from Seoul, thank you. Now we're turning now to an announcement that is sending shockwaves across the news
industries, especially in America.
NBC has fired its long-time news anchor Matt Lauer over what it says was a complaint of inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.
Our senior correspondent Brian Stelter joins me now. And, Brian, since the news broke, what have you learned -- any details especially on that
allegation against him?
BRIAN STELTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No and NBC is not sharing information about what this employee alleged but we know the complaint was filed just
on Monday night. On Tuesday night, Lauer was told his contract was being terminated effective immediately, not to come in to work on -- on Wednesday
Early Wednesday morning, just a few hours ago here in the U.S., Lauer's co- hosts Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Hotb and others were told of this decision. They were understandably shaken up by the news but this did not come as a
complete surprise and here's why.
For several weeks, The New York Times and Variety Magazine have been investigating Lauer's off-camera conduct. They have been calling sources,
former NBC staffers, et cetera. This had been rumored and it was widely known within the Today show that there could be damaging stories about
Lauer coming out pretty soon.
Now I'm told those stories were not -- they were about to publish. It was not a different hour after he was fired. A story was about to come out
about him. NBC says it took this action based on the complaint that was filed with H.R. on Monday night.
But certainly the background to this decision is that other victims have made allegations to other news outlets and, Kristie, I think that
information will probably come out in the hours or days to come. For now though, we don't know the details of the allegations.
LU STOUT: I know but you are working on that. We will continue to follow your reports online and press on air as well. Brian Stelter reporting live
for us from New York, thank you.
You're watching News Stream. Still to come, what if you can go shopping for groceries in the neighborhood park. We'll show you how one New York
artist is trying to make fresh food accessible to everyone.
LU STOUT: All right, coming to you live in Hong Kong. Welcome back. You're watching News Stream. Now in some places around the world, it's
hard to find fresh produce but New York artist Mary Mattingly thinks fresh food should be a basic right, but the way to make that happen.
MARY MATTINGLY, NEW YORK ARTIST: I still feel the provocation as a proposal for what New York City's public land could look a in functions
like in the future.
My name is Mary Mattingly I believe that food should be a public right and that our public spaces can be used to grow fresh healthy food.
[08:40:00] Well, the floating food for us, it's 140 by 30 foot art, a place where people can come and take fresh food for free. There are a lot of
kales in here and raspberries. Down here in the meadow, this is another phase where fruits are growing and lots of salad greens and lots of herbs.
Currently, Swale and concrete land park in the Bronx, that area is considered a food dessert. It's one of the largest food desserts in the
Today in one of our last days, it's very -- the park is quite empty. I think as people get ready for the winter time and hibernating just like the
plant will be hibernating soon.
Earlier in the summer, where it is much warmer. And it was very active, so we would have about 500 people a day coming on to Swale to pick their
groceries for a couple of days or the week. As direct result of Swale initiative, this is New York City's first ever food way.
The place where they're allowing people to come and take fresh food on public land, the first time that it's been done in over a 100 years.
The concept of the food for us is important in many ways. You can imagine planting a system where everything is helping each other. Over time, it
needs less human care. So our proposal is, if this can be in parks, over time it would take less maintenance. It's actually be growing.
There are so many things going on like food in the city right now, from farms on rooftops, urban farms to community garden and one thing that we
can do with Swale that's different on all of those things is you can talk about public lands so perfectly and have -- right now New York City has 100
acres of community gardens compared with 30,000 acres of public park land.
If I were to say, let's utilize some of that public park land to grow at a bold event, suddenly we have increased access to public food city wise.
LU STOUT: What a beautiful vision. And that is News Stream. I'm Kristie Lu Stout but don't go anywhere, World Sport with Christina Macfarlane is