Return to Transcripts main page


Moving Embassy To Jerusalem Was Trump Campaign Promise; U.S. To Recognize Jerusalem As Israel's Capital; Russia Banned From 2018 Winter Olympic Games; Questions Surface About What Vice President Pence Knew About Flynn; British Prime Minister: Good Progress Made In Brexit Talks; Wildfires Racing In Parts Of Southern California. Aired at 8-9a ET

Aired December 6, 2017 - 08:00   ET



KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong and welcome to News Stream.


LU STOUT: Bracing for possible tensions in the Middle East, President Trump prepares to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital despite

warnings from multiple world leaders.

Defending its athletes, Russia ponders' next step after the International Olympic Committee bans Russian athletes from the upcoming winter games.

And the results are in and Time's person of the year is the #MeToo campaign, why this was the choice for 2017.


LU STOUT: Now we are just a few moments away from an announcement from the U.S. president that is already sending shock waves through the Middle East

and beyond. Mr. Trump is set to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. And he can announce plans to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to


Now, several Arab and European leaders have condemned the move warning it would spark unrest in the region. All eyes have been on the Israeli prime

minister for his reaction. Here's what he said in the last hour.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: There is one irreplaceable alliance with the United States and that is very strong. It's not as if we

don't have challenges on the campuses. We do, it's not that we don't have challenges elsewhere in the United States. We do. But there is a unique

alliance between Israeli and the United States.


LU STOUT: Benjamin Netanyahu -- they are now moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. This is one of Mr. Trump's promises during his campaign. Ian

Lee tells us what the move means for the relationship between the U.S. and Israel.


IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: When President Donald Trump visited Jerusalem in May, he made history, being the first sitting U.S. President to go to

the Western wall.

Everything was carefully choreographed, so as not to give the impression, the U.S. accepts all of Israel's claims on Jerusalem. Well, that might


President Trump called to tell regional leaders, including Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas about his intentions to the embassy to Jerusalem, a

buzzed word of potential dangerous consequences and damage to the Peace Process. But for the president, it's fulfilling a campaign promise.

TRUMP: We will move theme can embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem.

LEE: Israeli officials hope Trump will finally make good.

MAYOR NIR BARKAT, JERUSALEM: President Trump, I encourage you to do the right thing. To recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and bring the

U.S. embassy home to Jerusalem.

LEE: But there was a reason the move was never made, every previous U.S. president, both Democrat and Republican since 1995 understood the potential


Israel took control of East Jerusalem in 1977, in the eyes of the majority of the international community, including the U.S., it has remained

occupied territory ever since. And Jerusalem's status, should be determined through final peace negotiation between Israeli and the Palestinian.

HUSAM ZOMLOT, HEAD, PLO GENERAL DELEGATION TO THE US: The U.S. is delivering a lethal bullet to the heart of the two-state solution, that

would be actually the case of death to the two-state solution, because Jerusalem is at the very heart of the two-state solution.

LEE: Key U.S. allies warn President Trump of any unilateral move. Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States says the Kingdom supports the

Palestinian people and any announcement on the status of Jerusalem prior to a final settlement would have a detrimental impact on the Peace Process and

would heighten tensions in the region.

French President Emmanuel Macron also called Trump voicing his opposition, quirky, threatened to cut diplomatic ties with Israel. Even the majority

of Americans don't back the president.

According to a Brookings poll, 63 percent of Americans oppose moving the embassy. Around the region, U.S. diplomatic missions have increased

security ahead of the announcement. Now, the world waits for President Trump to make the decision. Ian Lee, CNN, Jerusalem.


LU STOUT: Our correspondents are across the region to bring you the latest on this controversial decision. Let's begin with Nic Robertson in

Jerusalem. Nic, when President Donald Trump makes his announcement, how is it going to be received in Israel?

[08:05:00] NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Israel Katz transport minister has said that it is a historic day that anyone that doesn't

recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, doesn't recognize the state of Israel.

So it will be something that is taken here as important, as historic, as good, as people here -- many Israelis have been hoping and expecting

ultimately it would.

There is of course the concern in the background that many other leaders in the region have been saying that this can and perhaps will lead to

increased tensions.

We've heard from British Prime Minister Theresa May today saying that she hopes and from her Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson who is in Brussels at

NATO meetings are saying that they hope that this leads to a -- the United States laying out its plans, its Middle East Peace plans not clearly that

these should be brought forward.

Theresa May saying that she thinks that there should be a two-state solution here. And what we have heard from the U.S. Secretary of state Rex

Tillerson speaking to reporters in Brussels, is that he doesn't want to get ahead of what the president says.

However, he does sort of allude that there will be more detail than this simple headline that we've had so far from President Trump. He said it's

important that people listen to everything that President Trump has to say.

And it's going to be, of course, in that detail that the real reaction will come here. Does Preside Trump talk about a united Jerusalem as being the

capital of Israel? Does he talk about the possibility of a two-state solution?

Does that still exist in his mind? So the detail that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson alludes to, there's going to be most important for people

here. But generally for Israelis, you have to say and they are saying that this is a historic day for them.

LU STOUT: That's right. Many people in the region will be looking out for that detailed wording when Donald Trump makes that announcement. Donald

Trump ahead of that announcement, says that he still stands by a two-state solution. But really, can that work?

ROBERTSON: At the moment, you know, that the question is, what does the -- what does the impact of his announcement today do for the Peace Process?

You know, President Trump has his special adviser Jared Kushner working on -- working on a Peace Deal in the Middle East here.

That there has been some sort of behind-the scenes shuffle diplomacy if you will going on. But it's not clear to leaders like Theresa May or other

leaders in the regions here. Precisely the nature of what's being discussed.

So at the moment, a lot of it is going to hinge on what we hear -- if we hear more detail on that today. On what we hear how that plan is United

States' current plan is outlined envisaged.

But the concern is that President Trump's statement today could severely damage that possibility. The expectation was for many leaders that the

status of Jerusalem would be something that would come about as a consequence of talks, not something that would come ahead of the outcome of

those talks.

Of course for many people here, the feeling is those talks have been going on for a longtime without resolution. So you know, they live daily with

the current situation of one that sort of, an uneasy or, you know, easy if you will in some places, getting along with daily life.

But the concern today is what impact will that have on the sort of current status quo, which is one where there is no -- no real momentum as far as we

can tell in any type of talks.

LU STOUT: Nic Robertson, reporting live for us, thank you. Let's cross over to our Ben Wedeman who is standing by in Lebanon. He is at the

Shatila Palestenian refugee camp in Beirut, the scene of the September 1982 massacre.

And, Ben, not only there of course at the refugee camp but across the country, there is a strong Palestinian community in Lebanon. How are they

feeling right now ahead of what Trump will announce?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (via phone): I just finished speaking to a 92-year-old man who told me in quite stark time that he feels that the Arab

leaders who have been talking with President Trump, who received, who went out of their ways to become friends with them that they have betrayed the

Palestinians particularly those here in Lebanon.

That who have lived the refugee camp many them since 1948. And there is no solution on the horizon to their situation back 450,000 Palestinians living

in Lebanon, around 12,000 here in this camp here in Beijing.

[08:10:00] And you see the walls have been plastered with posters of Palestine, posters of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. They are

very still much connected to their home land and they feel that slowly, slowly, any hope of any solution to the Palestinian problem.

And to their plight, in particular, is simply evaporating before their eyes and they point out to this what we believe will be a decision by President

Trump to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel as yet another sign of betrayal not only by the Arab leaders but by the United States, itself.

LU STOUT: So already before this announcement from Trump, a deep feeling of betray. Tell us what happens next. We know the Palestinian leaders

have been calming for three days of rage. What could that look like?

WEDEMAN: Well, one, we've seen that before. I've covered the West Bank for many years. We have countless days of rage and here in this particular

camp there may be demonstrations. But they are unlikely to lead to much as anything.

Frankly it will flare up for a few days and life will get back to normal and they will have to live with what appears to be an eternal life as


But I think what's important to underscoring the situation is what we saw, was that President Trump spoke with King Salman of Saudi Arabia, King

Abdullah's Egypt, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the president of Egypt -- excuse me, King Abdullah of Jordan, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt and Mahmoud

Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority.

In all of those conversations, they appealed to President Trump to not take this decision, but he's going ahead with it any way. It does underscore

the feeling of many Palestinians around in the region that Arab leaders really don't have much talk when it comes to American domestic policy.


LU STOUT: As you point out, you know, a number of world leaders, especially there across the Middle East have warned President Trump against

making this decision, but it appears he's going to go ahead within the hours ahead. Ben Wedeman, on the line from Beirut, thank you.

Now the Kremlin is cautioning against any emotional response to the International Olympic Committee's decision to ban Russia from the Winter

Games. A spokesman says Moscow is analyzing the ban before passing judgment.

Russian athletes who can prove that they're clean would still be able to compete but only under a neutral flag. And the committee's unprecedented

decision follows a lengthy investigation into allegations of widespread doping.

Now, South Korea, which is hosting the Winter Games in PyeongChang has expressed shock over the move. Olympic organizers there ahs said that they

didn't expect the committee to go that far. Paula Newton has more from Seoul.


PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Here in South Korea, they are caught in the middle of all this. The last thing they want is for politics to

interfere, what is supposed to be a, you know, point of national pride in about two months when they host the Winter Olympics.

There are already plenty of politics here. I don't have to remind everyone in terms of the tension here on the Korean Peninsula especially as North

Korea has been launching more missiles. To this ruling, they say that they were a bit surprised.

I want to quote you now from the president of organizing committee here saying I did not expect the IOC to go this far. We planned to meet with

the chairman of the IOC and deliver our message, the message that it's better to allow as many nations, as many athletes to compete.

Now to that end, they say that at least the second best option here is to allow those Russian athletes to compete obviously under a neutral flag --

no Russian flag, no Russian national anthem.

But they do understand here that that will take definitely some of the excitement out of these Olympics. Russia is a fierce competitor and sports

like figure skating for instance. The Russians will be sorely missed.

They are dealing with a little bit more adversity, even in terms of things like ticket sales. They want obviously the TV viewership as well. And all

of that now in jeopardy as they wait to see what Russia's next move will be. Paula Newton, CNN, Seoul.


LU STOUT: OK, so as reported, Russia says it's still analyzing the decision. Let's speak to CNN's Clare Sebastian in Moscow for more and,

Clare, I mean we know that the sport in the Olympic Games, a massive source of national pride there in Russia. You have been wondering and waiting for

official reaction to the IOC decision. What have you heard?

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, it's interesting there, Kristie, because that response from the Kremlin coming more than 12

hours after the announcement from the IOC was quite a departure from what we are used to hearing from them on this issue.

[08:15:00] We have become used to the Kremlin dismissing, denying, simply calling these allegations a state sponsored doping, politicizing the

western conspiracy. This was a much more so but much less defensive stand saying that we need more analysis, that all emotions should be taken out of


Really they're trying to take a step back and really look at what's happened and try to figure out how they can work with it, having said that,

the Kremlin's response was in shock contrast to some to the anger and dismay that we've seen over the last few hours in political quarters.

One, the deputy head of the Russian parliament calling this a humiliation and an insult, saying that Russia shouldn't go to the games under these

circumstances but really, it is all about Russia's next move, and how they -- how they move forward.

We don't know yet. The Kremlin is reserving judgment, as I have said, so is the Russian Olympic Committee, so is the sports ministry. The athletes

are divided at the moment.

We haven't seen any consensus and whether or not they feel that they should go under the neutral flag. Some say yes, some say no, they are set to meet

on the December 12th, all of the Russian Olympic hopefuls and make a collective decision. So I think there is a sense that they're going to try

and look at all the fact, and there are few days to think about it, Kristie.

LU STOUT: And Russian athletes, according to IOC, they can take part in the winter games, if they're tested to be clean and compete under a neutral

flag. Not the flag of Russia. Is that something Vladimir Putin can accept?

SEBASTIAN: Well, it's interesting because there is a nuance in that as well. The IOC says yes, this will be the Olympic flag, the flag of Russia

isn't allowed, but they are going to be designated Olympic athletes of Russia.

So there is a -- you know, there is an element of Russia to this neutrality. And this is something that people here are very much latching

on to. I just spoke on the phone today to Yelena Isinbaeva, who is a Russian pole vaulter.

She was among the athletic athletes who have barged from the Rio Olympics in 2016. And she said, had she been offered that designation, she would

definitely have accepted it.

She called on Russian athletes not to even speak the word boycott allowed, she said this was -- this was their chance. She didn't have her chance.

We are hearing as they said, there are opposite view from some others in the foreign community but generally there are a lot -- there are many here

who are latching on to the fact that this isn't as bad as it might have been for Russia.

LU STOUT: Clare Sebastian reporting live from Moscow. Thank you. Now we will have much more on this story in sport later in the hour right here on

CNN. Now to the U.S.-Russia investigation and President Trump's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr. is set to testify before the House Intelligence

Committee in the coming hours.

And there are new questions about how or whether Vice President Mike Pence could remain in the dark about Michael Flynn's talks with the former

Russian ambassador. Jeff Zeleny has more on the developments from Washington.


JEFF ZELENY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: New questions tonight about how or whether Vice President Pence could have remained in the dark over Michael Flynn's

talks with the former Russian ambassador.

It's causing anxiety within the vice president's inner circle. And he will eventually be called for an interview with Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

They are preparing for that. One Republican close to Pence told CNN.

Documents unsealed last week show several Trump advisers talked to Flynn about his calls with then Ambassador Sergey Kislyak over U.S. sanctions

even as Pence's aides insist the vice president was unaware. How some of Trump's top confidants could have known while Pence with the time he was

leading the Trump transition team did not is a mystery hanging over the Russian investigation.

Over a view of the timeline of the events raises more questions than it answers. On December 20th, Pence holds a national security meeting at the

transition offices in Washington. On December 28th, the day President Obama approved new sanctions against Russia for meddling in the 2016

election, President-elect Trump said this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you think generally about sanctions being stretched?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think we ought to get on with our lives.

ZELENY: On December 29th, while Pence was in Indiana preparing for his son's wedding, Flynn calls K.T. McFarland who is at Mar-a-Largo with other

transition official to discuss Russia sanctions.

Flynn then calls Kislyak to talk about sanctions, and finally, Flynn calls McFarland back to discuss the Kislyak phone call. Sixteen days later on

January 14th, Pence calls Flynn to personally ask about his calls with Kislyak. On January 15th, Pence goes on television.

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I've talked to General Flynn yesterday and the conversations that took place at that time were not

in anyway related to new U.S. sanctions against Russia or the expulsion of diplomats.

They did not discuss anything having to do with the United States' decision to expel diplomats or impose a censure against Russia. So General Flynn

has been in touch with diplomatic leaders, security leaders in some 30 countries.

[08:20:00] That's exactly what the incoming national security adviser should do.

ZELENY: Five days later on January 20th, Trump has sworn in as the 45th President of the United States, Pence has sworn in as vice president.

On February 9th, the Washington Post story reveals Flynn did in fact discuss sanction with Kislyak. Four days later, on February 13th, Trump

fires Flynn. Three days after that, on February 16th, the president offered his reasoning for Flynn's dismissal.

TRUMP: He didn't tell the vice president of the United States the facts and then he didn't remember. And that just wasn't acceptable to me.

ZELENY: Jeff Zeleny, CNN, Washington.


LU STOUT: Now a short time ago Time Magazine revealed that highly anticipated person of the year, the title goes to the Silence Breakers,

that millions, many of them women who have forward with personal stories of sexual harassment and assault.

They're rallying around the #MeToo movement that has fuelled a global discussion. And do stay with us for more on this later in the hour. Now

still to come right here on News Stream, the British prime minister, faces questions in parliament after her government failed to reach a deal on

Brexit earlier this week.


LU STOUT: All right. Coming to you live from Hong Kong. Welcome back, this is News Stream. The British prime minister insists that progress is

being made in Brexit talks despite no breakthrough in Brussels so far.

She faces questions in parliament after failing to strike a deal with the E.U. She says that they first either make sure that there will be no hard

border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

That's a major stick point in the negotiations. Now CNN producer Bianca Nobilo, joins us live from London. Bianca, again, Theresa May, she spoke

in the last hour, she says good progress is being made. But what's the reality and how much pleasure is she under to get some sort of a brake


BIANCA NOBILO, CNN PRODUCER: Theresa May did say very good progress has been made but what the E.U. is looking for it's sufficient progress to move

on to that next stage. It does seem that enough progress may have been made on the Brexit bill that the U.K. has been convinced that it might be

able to pay around 44 billion pounds.

And also on citizens rights, but it is this issue as you said about Northern Ireland which is the sticking point. We know that the prime

minister spoke on the phone to the head of the DUP Arlene Foster earlier today.

But the DUP leader didn't think that enough progress had been made, that the draft deal wasn't in terms that they would accept in order for them to

come over to West Minster, meet with the prime minister and then move the talks forward to phase two.

LU STOUT: Bianca Nabilo reporting live from 10 Downing Street, thank you for that update. Now more than a thousand firefighters are struggling to

contain over wildfires. They are spreading quickly across Southern California.

[08:25:00] Tens of thousands of people are being evacuated north or Los Angeles as dry conditions and these unpredictable winds fan the flames. At

one point, the biggest flame was destroying the equivalent of a football field every second.

Curfew has been imposed at the City of Ventura, Stephanie Elam is there. She joins us now. Stephanie, this is a very dangerous situation, a fast-

moving fire, what's the latest on the fight to contain it?

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. And this is just the Thomas Fire. I mean this is the one that has burned some 50,000 acres and is

completely out of control. And, Kristie, if you take a look behind me, you can see what it's done here to this house, and it's really eerie how this

house and the one next to it burned down.

But if you can maybe see the background, there is a house standing there is completely fine. And it's like that throughout this neighborhood, also

happening now are the wind starting to pick back up at this hour.

And that is really the concern because we haven't had any rains here in several months. So the brush is very dry especially after the hot sun that

we have had here.

And it doesn't take much for it to catch on fire and then those embers to just fly through the wind and catch on something else, and burn it down.

We were just watching some firefighters come through here. I see maybe some smoke coming up from here. They saw some little bit of flame.

They came through here and they hosted it down again, so they're keeping an eye on it, so that if any little embers pop up, they can -- they have to

back down quickly so they don't spray it to any of these other homes that are still standing untouched right next to us. Kristie.

LU STOUT: Yes, such a tragic landscape behind you with someone's car, someone's, presumably a living room where that chimney was. What is the

humid story here. You know, when so much has been lost, homes and livelihoods and how is the community doing?

ELAM: Well, that's the hard part. So many people had to evacuate so quickly to get away from these flames, and they are still actively burning

through out here. We drove around to parts of Ventura and up into a town called Ojai, which is quaint little town.

But a lot of people know it because if they go to relax in that little town, but you can see the flames are still burning throughout these

hillsides here, so for a lot of people, it's a question of what is the situation with their homes.

They place mandatory evacuations, having to go find a hotel or maybe even having to go find, here's one of the fire trucks going by here now. They

have to go find relatives to stay with.

But you can see they are staying out here, patrolling these neighborhoods out here in these foothill communities, just to make sure because just in

the last hour-and-a-half or so, the winds have started to pick up.

And we are really going to see more of those winds later on this evening. So while this is an awful situation, the goal here is to not have more of


And they already know that they're going to be stronger winds tonight and going into Friday, so because of that, while this is one situation, there

is still so much more danger out there.

LU STOUT: Absolutely the winds are picking up, that's going to present challenging conditions for these firefighters. We wish them well and to

you and the crew, take care. Stephanie Elam reporting live for us from Ventura.

This year, we saw this global grass roots movement come about, a movement against sexual assault. And now the Silence Breakers even honored as

Time's person of the year. We've got that story straight ahead.


KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN NEWS STREAM SHOW HOST: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. You're watching "News Stream." These are your world headlines.

Protesters have been gathering in Gaza ahead of an expected announcement by the U.S. president to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. That

has raised concern about unrest in the region. Donald Trump is expected to lay a plan that could include moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to


The Kremlin is cautioning against any emotional response to the International Olympic Committee's decision to ban Russia from the Winter

Games. A spokesperson says Moscow is analyzing the ban before passing judgment. Russian athletes who can prove that they are clean will still be

able to compete, but only under a neutral flag.

A spokesman for the U.N. secretary general says Yemen is facing the largest famine in modern times. He says more than eight and a half million people

are on the brink of starvation from seven million back in June. U.N. officials say air strikes continue despite calls for a humanitarian


Three men have been charged in the murder of prominent Maltese journalist Daphne Galizia. Sh was killed in a car bombing in October. She had been

investigating corruption among Maltese political circles when she was killed.

The "Silence Breakers" have been named as Time magazine's Person of the Year. Now, they are the individuals who set off this global discussion over

sexual harassment and assault by coming forward bravely with their personal stories. They are rallying around the "Me Too" social medial movement that

has given a voice to millions around the world.

CNN's senior media correspondent Brian Stelter joins us now with more on the story. Brian, wow, bravo to this brave women, the so-called "Silence

Breakers." They have been honored as The Person of the Year. But according to the editors of Time, why did they decide to honor them?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Because this reckoning that is happening both in the United States and in other countries seems to have

come on very quickly and seems to have provoked real social change.

The editors point point this has been simmering for a long time, and that is definitely true. We have seen as you and I described before a tipping

point in the past two months, starting with the Harvey Weinstein scandal leading to revelations about abuse of power by other powerful men in other


This shows no signs of slowing down. If anything, this phenomenon is speeding up. Today, for example, there is going to be a legislation on

Capitol Hill with regard to some of these issues around arbitration of contracts. We are seeing action every day on these fronts, trying to stem

abuse of power and sexual harassment. So, it's a logical choice, I think, by Time magazine.

LU STOUT: Yes, absolutely. And we knew that the hashtag "Me Too" was on the Time magazine short list. But why do you think the Time editors went with

the "Silence Breakers" as opposed to the hashtag movement?

STELTER: I think it is useful to what they're trying to do. You're reframing the conversation a little bit. I have used the term tipping point

a lot or Weinstein effect. We have seen the "Me Too" hashtag trend all around the world as women and men have shared their stories with that


I think by reframing it around silence and breaking the silence, they are trying to identify what was so unique about what happened starting two

months ago with Weinstein and then with other stories as well. That these women who had accounts and some cases dating back decades, like Ashley Judd

who is on the cover.

Ashley Judd had been harassed by Harvey Weinstein decades earlier, felt she could not come forward, but something changed in the wake of maybe the

"Access Hollywood" tape and Donald Trump, in the wake of Gretchen Carlson's lawsuit against Fox News's boss Roger Ailes.

Something was different this year. She was able to break the silence. And because it wasn't just one person but dozens of women coming forward

against Harvey Weinstein and other powerful men, there has been this tipping point.

So I think what Time is trying to do here, reframing a little bit, saying these issues have been cloaked in silence for too long, and now the silence

is being broken.

LU STOUT: Yes, that's interesting. Advancing the conversation, reframing it to the "Silence Breakers." It kind of reminds you when the whistle blowers

were honored as Person of the Year Time magazine --

STELTER: Exactly.

LU STOUT: Of course, you have been covering the rise of this movement and the growing list of sexual harassment allegations in the media industry. A

number of powerful men have fallen. You know, from Harvey Weinstein, you mentioned him just now.

[08:35:00] Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose. Is there going to be change and when?

STELTER: It's really interesting the timing for the Time Person of the Year cover because we are seeing actually developments on that front today.

There are group of women who accused Mark Halperin of harassment in October. Some of those women then started talking amongst each other,

having conference calls, meeting up in person, reaching out to other women who have accused other powerful men of harassment.

And so they organized a coalition announced today called "Press Forward." They are trying to advance the cause of systemic change in newsrooms so

that women are not abused and harassed in workplaces like NBC or ABC or other networks.

So that's one example, I think, what we are seeing as concrete change. These women announcing a coalition support network of sort for victims of

harassment. And if we see that in many other industries which we are seeing and in Hollywood, for example, on Capitol Hill, wherever there is power,

wherever there is a power center, we are seeing the stories of harassment and abuse.

But we are also seeing victims start to organize. And I have a feeling that is actually going to be a big story in the coming year. If 2017 was this

moment where the "Silence Breakers" came forward, 2018 is going to be about trying to have systemic change as a result of all these individual stories.

LU STOUT: Yes, absolutely. How do you create that safe workplace? A society free of harassment. Brian Stelter, thank you so much for that.


LU STOUT: Take care. We will talk again soon.

STELTER: Thank you.

LU STOUT: You're watching "News Stream." Still ahead, the CNN Freedom Project exposes modern day slavery happening in Libya. Young women trying

to make it to Europe where they were instead sold into slavery, now, thankfully safe in Nigeria. The government is asking for international

help. We got that story, next.


LU STOUT: Coming to you live from Hong Kong. This is "News Stream."

Now, Bangladesh says it is building a new home for tens of thousands of Rohingya refugees, but activists have slammed this plan. They are to be

located on a low lying island, an island that is prone to flooding during the monsoon. Officials say that they are working to make it more habitable.

There are about a million Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. More than half of them arrived in the past three months or so. They say that they escaped

violence from Myanmar's military, a charge that the military denies. The U.N., the U.S., and the U.K. have called the situation ethnic cleansing.

All this week, CNN's Freedom Project has been exposing cases of modern day slavery inside the migration crisis. Today, we will show the plight of

young Nigerian women who were hoping to make it to Europe, but say that they were sold into slavery and sexually exploited in Libya instead. Arwa

Damon has their story.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm sad because when I went to Libya, I was not like this.

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Physically, at least, 28-year-old Edie (ph) is finally free, but the pain

of what she endured, it's still so raw.

[08:40:00] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He used to hurt me. Apart from the work.

DAMON (voice over): She was sold into sexual slavery in Libya.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And especially they hate us, especially Nigerians. When you tell them that you are from Nigeria, they will treat you like a

slave. They treated us like a slave as if we don't even -- we are nothing. So we went through a lot there.

DAMON (voice over): Now back in Nigeria, she sits behind 18-year-old Jennifer, who is too traumatize to talk. They are kept here with other

rescued women, where the hum of an overhead fan and the soap opera on TV are the only comforts in this temporary home. They're all waiting to be

reunited with their families.

(on camera): The young women are kept in a safe house in an undisclosed location and the authorities say that as more and more return, the clearer

the picture of just how vile and abusive the situation in Libya is.

It's not just prostitution and human trafficking. Many returnees describe what sounds like an open air slave market where people are just bought and

sold and anyone who tries to resist is often killed and their body just dumped in the desert.

(voice over): They were trying to get to Europe, where the promise of work has driven record numbers of Nigerians on the dangerous journey across the

desert toward the Mediterranean. And women, they are especially vulnerable along the way.

Edie (ph) says she spent three days crossing the desert. One person in her convoy died along the route. When she reached Libya, she said a prayer of

thanks, thinking the worst was behind her.

They sold you?


DAMON: Were they buying and selling a lot of people?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. When they finish paying their money for staying with somebody, they will sell you to another people. So you start all over


DAMON (voice over): Little that she know that like so many others, her goal, her dream of a better life would end in the increasing lawlessness of


Arwa Damon, CNN, Benin City, Nigeria.


LU STOUT: Freedom Project series continues on Thursday with the harrowing story of a teenaged orphan who set off for Europe from Nigeria's Edo State.

Instead of becoming a doctor as she had dreamed, Becky (ph) was pushed to pay off her debt with prostitution. Join us on Thursday to see the full

report by Isa Soares right here on "News Stream," 9:00 p.m. in Hong Kong, 1:00 p.m. in London.

And finally on our program, the only known war memoirs of Japan's Emperor Hirohito are going on the auction block in New York. The emperor presided

over Japan during the first half of the 21st century. The handwritten documents illuminate the (INAUDIBLE) role in World War II and records of

events dating back to the 1920s. The auctioneers put an estimate of some $150,000 on this historic manuscripts.

And that is "News Stream." I'm Kristie Lu Stout. Don't go anywhere though, "World Sport" with Amanda Davies is next.


[08:45:00] (WORLD SPORT)