tv CNN Newsroom Live CNN December 10, 2017 1:00am-2:00am PST
[ cheers and applause ] >> that's all. more fallout, more protests following the u.s. president's decision to recognize jerusalem as the capital of israel. fully liberated. iraq declares victory over isis but the threat of terrorist violence remains. make something progress. firefighters in california work to tame wildfires that are fueled by winds there. these stories all ahead this hour. welcome to our viewers in the united states and around the world. we're coming to you live from atlanta. i'm natalie allen. >> i'm george howell from cnn news headquarters. "cnn newsroom" starts now. 4:00 a.m. on the u.s. east coast. we start in the middle east. protests there taking place this
hour after what has been described as days of rage by palestinians. these live pictures in northern beirut, lebanon. you see people on the streets. the protests continue. >> cnn's ben wedeman is in northern beirut with the latest on what is happening there. where are these protesters, ben, and what can you tell is going on? >> reporter: natalie, what we go a little closer, we're in the suburb of okat in northern beirut. the embassy is up the hill. you can't see it from this area. there is a gate that controls access to that area. and there is concertina wire in front of it. this morning, more of the hot headed youth among the crowd of demonstrators started to throw water bottles and rocks and sticks. some in the crowd tried to stop them, saying this has to be a nonviolent demonstration. but things got a little out of hand and the lebanese security
forces responded with tear gas. and there is a haze of tear gas in the area, that round about which leads up to the american embassy. now, the people taking part in the demonstration today, it is a combination of palestinian groups, islamic groups, as well as leftist organizations. and at the moment, you can see -- we just saw a volley of tear gas being fired into one of those buildings. and sort of they're trying to disperse the crowd. but at the moment, it doesn't seem like people are running away. despite the fact that tear gas in that area is pretty thick. now, we spoke to many of the participants in this demonstration. and, yes, they are condemning president trump's decision to recognize jerusalem as the capital of israel. they're also angry at what is seen as the impotence of arab
leaders when it comes to responding to that -- let's go a little closer, to that decision. the arab league did have an emergency meeting last night in cairo. basically taking that opportunity to condemn president trump's decision. but beyond that, very little in the way of concrete action. the kind of concrete action many people here would like to see arab leaders and muslim leaders to take. natalie? >> especially since the u.s. is kind of stepping back diplomatically. vice president pence headed to the region. mahmoud abbas saying he will not meet with him. want to talk with you about that embassy there. some of the embassies in the region haven't been staffed by the current administration. what do we know about the embassy there and who is protecting it? >> reporter: well, here is somebody who seems to have been affected by the tear gas.
now, i did count recently out of the countries of the arab world, nine of those embassies, american embassies do not have ambassadors. however, there is an ambassador here in lebanon. regarding protection provided to the embassy, it is by lebanese security forces. there are riot police there. i don't think there is any danger that anybody is going to breakthrough the perimeter to the embassy. of course, as is the case in all american embassies, here is another person affected by that tear gas, and the case of all american embassies, there is also a marine guard there. so it really, i don't think the security of the embassy is under threat at this moment. although embassy personnel have been told to cancel all movements for the day, but the fact of the matter is, even under normal conditions, the staff of the u.s. embassy is very restricted in their movements. natalie? >> ben, as you stand out there in the street, and watch this,
you covered the middle east for decades now. how do you see this issue playing out as you said many people in the region are upset that the leaders in the region aren't stepping up more, certainly the u.s. really has not engaged diplomatically after the u.s. president just issued this statement unilaterally. >> reporter: well, you know, this is a very touchy moment in the middle east. this issue was created by president trump, essentially out of the blue. and it does appear at least temporarily to have refocused the arab and muslim world on an issue that it hasn't really focused on much in the last few years. you've had, you know, the arab spring. you've had wars in syria, iraq, yemen, libya, which is really sort of the palestinian issue in terms of the focus of the region, in terms of, for
instance, the media. hasn't really been the focus of much attention. suddenly it is all on it. and what we're seeing is that there are calls from people like this demonstration, they want to see their leaders take concrete action to respond to this decision, which has been universally condemned in the arab and muslim world. though there is a suspicion and indications that perhaps certain arab leaders, excuse me, that tear gas does get to my throat as well, certain arab leaders have, perhaps, said one thing in public and said another to the u.s. administration in private. but, i mean, what i'm seeing here in lebanon is a real sort of anger at the inability of arab leaders really to have an impact or any sort of influence on the decisions of the u.s.
administration. we saw the day before president trump made his public -- his decision, that, you know, he spoke to four arab leaders, the king of saudi arabia, the king of jordan, the president of the palestinian authority, all of them told him don't take this decision. he took it anyway. and their impotence in a sense is very plain to see, for people, like the ones behind me. natalie? >> ben, we always appreciate your reporting, your perspective. you're going to go in closer, we'll stay in touch with you. ben wedeman, thank you. we'll get back to you. >> i doubt he will, though, he'll keep pushing in there. that's how he gets the story. a lot happening out there for sure. beirut is the latest example of outrage across the region. four palestinians have been killed in gaza. and protesters have clashed for days with israeli forces in jerusalem and the west bank. on saturday, arab league foreign
ministers called on the u.s. to cancel its decision. >> some groups are lashing out at u.s. vice president mike pence and his upcoming trip to the region. there are reports egypt's coptic church will not meet with him and neither will palestinian authority president mahmoud abbas. >> on that point, the israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu is set to meet with the french president emmanuel macron in paris. let's bring in ian lee following this story for us live in jerusalem. ian, good to have you with us. to get a sense of what is happening there, tell us about the mood today on the streets. we have seen protests and more are expected. >> reporter: that's right, george. in about, oh, an hour's time we're expecting more protests to kick off in jerusalem and possibly the west bank. when watching these protest s o a daily basis, going out to them, on thursday we saw the largest protests with thousands of people going out all over the
palestinian territories, this time, though, yesterday, we went to the same place, the numbers have dwindled. when we were watching ben wedeman's reporting, we saw a large number of people in the streets. and we haven't seen those numbers sustain themselves here in jerusalem in the west bank in gaza. the numbers have declined a bit. we have seen, you know, a larger protest in neighboring countries like jordan, lebanon, also turkey as well. and when you talk to people, they have this sense of defeatism, they believe that, you know, they'll still go out, they'll protest, but this is something that they don't feel like they have in hand in being able to stop at least at this point and there is some disappointment as ben pointed out with arab leaders, the people want more action, and we haven't really seen any of that. also the people say that they want more action from their own leadership, was the palestinian authority going to do.
we know they're not going to meet with u.s. vice president mike pence when he comes later in the week. but they want more concrete steps forward. they just don't want this to be the end and really sent off into the abyss. >> so for those who do feel abandoned, following this announcement, what is the overall feeling with this meeting that is slated to happen between the israeli prime minister and the french president, who has been critical of president trump's decision to recognize jerusalem as the capital of israel. >> reporter: that's right. this meeting was scheduled about a month ago. and it was supposed to be a friendly lunch between the two leaders, but president trump's decision has changed all of that. and, you're right, french president emmanuel macron was one of the first and most vocal voices to come out and warn president trump about making any such declaration. and the israelis, as we have seen, have been cheerleaders of this announcement of president
trump. so i expect probably a tense meeting between the two leaders as the french president doesn't want to see this region enflamed and more instability, something that only he's warned about, but other leaders in this region. but, you know, for the israelis, this is one of their -- one with of the items on their wish list. they have been advocating for this for a long time. don't expect them to back down either. that's where we could see the tension in this meeting, george. >> ian lee following the story live in jerusalem, thank you. president trump spent part of saturday honoring those who fall in the civil rights movement, but some are not buying his sincerity. >> he attended the opening of the mississippi civil rights museum and spoke briefly to the crowd there. critics ranging from the jackson, mississippi, mayor, to the u.s. congressman and civil rights icon john lewis boycotted that event. many were calling it a photo
opportunity and insult to the people who worked and in some cases died for equality in the united states. >> today, what we are doing is standing on principle. we're standing in accord with what the ideals of this civil rights movement means. and that is why we choose not to share a stage with donald trump. >> on tuesday, voters in the u.s. state of alabama just next door to mississippi will choose their next senator, but certainly not as simple as that. republican candidate roy moore has been accused of sexual misconduct and worse by several women. friday, president trump threw his support behind moore and then today the moore campaign began calling people with a recorded message from the president. that message, that roy moore will uphold conservative values. >> in the meantime, moore's democratic rival doug jones will be counting on african-american voters. senator cory booker and former massachusetts governor deval patrick campaigned with jones on
saturday, both men are prime minister prominent figures in the african-american community. >> let's get more. we're joined by professor of international politics in london. is the criticism of president trump attending the opening of a civil rights museum, is that legitimate criticism? >> i think give than president trump has played a race card throughout the election campaign and since he was elected as well, i think the criticism is justified. if you look at pretty much every symbolic and other issue related to race and to civil rights and so on, if you look at the take the knee and police brutality against the nfl players protesting, look at charlottesville and the equivalence he drew between
white supremacists, kkk, anio nazis and the stand on confederate statues saying this is a protection of our way of life and heritage and so on, i think it is quite clear that this is a move which is designed in a way to galvanize some opposition. as always, president trump is very keen to keep together his base. and now one -- his support is slipping on a national basis. secondly, of course, we have the alabama special election coming up on tuesday as well. >> right. >> he'll be trying to --
spark some interest considering that. >> sure. absolutely. and i think the opponent of roy moore, doug jones, has got a record of actually doing something quite positive and in support of civil rights from the 1960s. i think this is an attempt to try to -- among republican voters, who often are tarred with the brush of racism, and not necessarily racist at all, i think it is an attempt to shore their votes up, to say president trump made this overture, a kind of move towards black rights, civil rights and so on and honoring the heroes as he -- as they are, but i think he's trying to shore up that base. he may have the opposite effect, which is to galvanize the 27%, 28% of the alabama electorate, which is african-american, and others who support civil rights. it could have an unintended consequence. i suspect his main aim is really
to sort of suggest to the sort of broader political base, 78% of gop voters are still supporting him, that what he's doing is he's showing that he's anti-racist and so on. >> it is more -- not so much partisan politics as tribal politics it seems these days. finally, i want to talk to you about what we're seeing, the protests in the region. we just began this newscast with one erupting near the u.s. embassy there in lebanon. why do you think this president did this now? and acting unilaterally? >> two things i think we have to consider. one is we already know that his political base has a large number of christian evangelicals and they're very, very solidly attached to israel. i think this is one thing that he wanted to do to try to shore up that base and so i've delivered on a key promise. but i think the other thing, of course, the geopolitics of the region and we have seen that he has -- he has not recertified the iran nuclear agreement.
he has been very close to saudi arabia. he has stated his support for israel in the way we have seen. and also i think the saudi war in yemen has been backed up as well as the saudi interference in lebanon. i think there is an anti-iran agenda which is going on, and this is really an attempt to solidify the allies in the middle east and the united states as in order to kind of really take on what they believe is a growing iranian and possibly russian influence as well in that region. so it is a domestic base, but also a big geopolitical move. this could have very, very serious consequences for the peace and stability of that region. we already have seen america interfering in that region over several years over the last decade or so. and the impact that has in regard to isis, et cetera. but yet the united states, despite isis in syria and iraq still has 2,000 troops in syria. i think there is a move there to
try to continue that move against iran and i think this is part of that move, this is part of the bigger picture of that move. >> we appreciate your perspective, thanks so much. thank you. >> thank you. still ahead here on newsroom, we'll tell you why there are high spirits on the streets of baghdad after a three year long battle against isis. plus, evacuees are returning to devastated neighborhoods. we're talking about california. firefighters work to control several fires continuing to tear through the state. coming up here on "cnn newsroom." my name is jeff sheldon,
everything is seamlessly put into shipstation, so when we print the shipping ll everything's pretty much done. it's so much easier so now, we're ready, bring on t. shipstation. the number one ch of online sellers. go to shipstation.com/tv and get two months free. sunday has been declared a national holiday in iraq. that follows a very loud saturday night with iraqi celebrating the announcement that isis has been driven from their country. people filled the streets, waving flags, honking horns, setting off fireworks. finally happened. >> the iraqi military says it has fully liberated iraq from what it called isis terrorist gangs and has taken full control of the iraqi, syrian border. iraq's prime minister said the dream of liberation, that dream is reality. and isis dream has now come to
an end. >> we announced to our people and to the whole world that our heroes have reached the final strongholds of daesh and purified it, raising the iraqi flag over areas of western an r anbar. the iraqi flag flies high today over all iraqi lands and over the remotest border areas. >> you and i have covered this, we have talked about it for many, many years now. just talking about the fall of these -- of isis and many major cities there. talk about the significance now of this announcement, not only for iraq, but how is it being perceived regarding u.s. involvement throughout? >> well, george, when it comes to u.s. involvement, if you talk to iraqi officials, iraqi military commander and the kurds, of course, in the north, they tell you they're very grateful for the u.s. support and the support they got from the international community, that international coalition.
that has been active in iraq since 2014, supporting them in their battle. they're grateful for the support they got from their neighbor, iran, that played a significant role backing those popular mobilization units, the shia militias, that played a key role in so many of the battles to regain iraqi territory. but they would tell you that this is an iraqi moment. it is the iraqis who really made the greatest sacrifice here. they're the ones who led these battles, paid the ultimate price. thousands of civilians and fighters killed over the past few years in these battles to recapture iraqi territory. and you have millions who have been displaced. this a great moment for iraq and the international community when you see an end to this phase of isis, that group, terror group that controlled territory now no more. >> so iraqi officials have control of the iraqi/syrian
border. that's important. what is the overall condition of isis? certainly the group has been broken down throughout the region, but how and where is isis still viable? >> well, they no longer control significant territory. it is nothing compared to what we saw back in 2014 where they were controlling so many of iraq's major cities, the same thing in syria. so you're looking at some pockets in desert areas along the iraqi/syrian border when it comes to the syrian side of the battle. i think this was really well summed up by the top u.n. official to iraq, the united nations secretary-general's representative last month when he was addressing the security council. and he said that isis is down, but it is not out when it comes to iraq. when you talk about this military victory, that is only one component of a very complex
battle, so while this is a great moment, there is a lot of hard work ahead, a lot of challenges, to make sure that those conditions, george, that we saw, years back, that allowed for isis to gain a foot hold and to grow in iraq, iraqis need to deal with, need to deal with the divisions we're seeing again resurface, especially when you look at the polarization in the region between the sunni and shia powers and then you have addressing the grievances of the sunni communities, the communities that three years ago some of them allowed isis to take hold. some of them joined isis. so iraqi government needs to work hard to make sure they're not feeling marginalized, neglected and that comes with making sure that these areas that were devastated, these mostly sunni areas, devastated by the fighting, that you see reconstruction, that they're rebuilt and the millions who are displaced from their homes are allowed to return. all this keeping in mind that while isis as a so-called caliphate is over, the ideology
is not defeated, george. so they need to work hard on that and it still, as a terror group, possesses the capability of carrying out devastating attacks, something iraqis know all too well. >> this day, in iraq, the military there saying isis has been removed, the country fully liberated from isis. celebrations in baghdad, of course. thank you so much for the reporting. >> certainly hope that holds true. boris johnson is iran for a meeting with top leaders, part of the reason he's there is to appeal for the release of jailed british iranian citizens including an aid worker held since april of last year on charges of spreading propaganda which she denies. >> on saturday, johnson spoke with iran's foreign minister and will hold talks with hassan rouhani and they'll discuss britain support for iran's
now with instant text and email updates you'll always be up to date. you can easily add premium channels so you don't miss your favorite show. and with just a single word, find all the answers you're looking for. because getting what you need should be simple, fast, and easy. download the xfinity my account app or go online today. welcome back to viewers here in the united states and around the world. you're watching "cnn newsroom." thank you for being with us. i'm george howell. >> i'm natalie allen. here are our top stories. violent protests rocked the middle east in reaction to the u.s. recognizing jerusalem as israel's capital. this was the scene near the u.s. embassy in lebanon minutes ago. protesters set fires and clashed with security forces. authorities responded by firing tear gas to try to disperse the
crowd. u.s. president donald trump honored civil rights heroes at the opening of a museum in mississippi on saturday. however, many current activists skipped that event at the civil rights museum saying mr. trump's policies are insulting to those being honored at that museum. the iraqi military says it has liberated all of iraq from isis. celebrations erupted in the streets of baghdad. iraqis, you can see, very happy with that news. the country's prime minister says iraq now fully controls the border between iraq and syria. one of the wildfires raging in the u.s. state of california, southern california, well, it is now 100% contained. crews are monitoring the liberty fire through the night. this as they continue to battle five other fires. at least one person has died so far. the state's governor calls the long wildfire season the new normal. u.s. president trump has been praised and criticized for
his decision to recognize jerusalem as israel's capital. it is a clear break with past administrations, but the status quo has never led to long-term israeli/palestinian peace. >> here is cnn's nic robertson on whether president trump's gamble will pay off. >> reporter: clashes like these in the past few days, stone throwing palestinian youth goading well armed security forces, a part of what world leaders openly worried might happen, following president trump's announcement recognizing jerusalem as israel's capital. the fears weren't misplaced. there have been casualties. yet this is only a partial picture. many of the palestinian protests have been relatively peaceful. overall, have lacked the scale and zeal of past palestinian actions. but it is too soon to know how all of this is going to turn out. it raises the question can
president trump capitalize on his announcement? >> we're profoundly grateful for the president, for his courageous and just decision, to recognize jerusalem as the capital of israel. >> reporter: israelis from the prime minister on down have been gushing in their praise. >> good step forward towards peace. >> when i came into office -- >> reporter: one lawmaker suggested trump's name should be carved into judaism's sacred western wall. there is much speculation about where trump made the announcement. his critics say to fulfill a campaign promise, yet the careful framing by the white house and the positive israeli response perhaps gives trump leverage other u.s. presidents lacked. throughout the region, pro palestinian protesters have united to say trump is biased towards israel. and the u.s. can be a negotiator.
>> president trump made the biggest mistake of his life. >> reporter: the palestinian protests, i talked to people who said this too. but they also told me they aren't happy with their own leadership. >> i think the leadership has many opportunities in terms of a wake-up call and haven't listened to the street. i hope that it is a wake-up call for them to pursue a different course of action. >> reporter: frustrations hang in part on palestinian authority president mahmoud abbas. his post trump statement was seen as weak. but also with regional leaders. >> some of the arab states are in the acting in a very vigorous and obvious way. the statement was dangerous. the action should be strong. >> reporter: helping israelis and palestinians find peace has been one of the bigger challenges for recent american
presidents. it bedeviled the best minds and negotiators, the u.s. has been able to muster. too soon to say if trump's gamble against advice, and orthodoxy, will pay off. nic robertson, cnn, jerusalem. we turn to southern california now, where six wildfires have scorched nearly 73,000 hectares or more than 180,000 acres. and 85% of that is just from the rampaging thomas fire. >> almost 200,000 residents have been forced to leave their homes. some are now returning, but they're coming back to find their homes have been reduced to rubble. neighborhoods not standing anymore. cnn's kyung lah has the latest from ventura, california. >> reporter: this is what the thomas fire in ventura county, california, did just to one neighborhood. you can see that there are cars still in the driveway. and what remains of a house just
rubble. the fire pushed through this community, burning house after house, just where we're standing we can see more than half a dozen houses on this block alone. firefighters extremely concerned about the deteriorating conditions and trying to prevent more people from losing so much. >> a lifetime. couple of lifetimes. like i said, 84, 83, my mom and dad have been living here for 30 years, they built it themselves. there is not much. if there is a few things that will help them, you know, have some connection to the past, then that's what i'm trying to do. it is what it is. material stuff. but like you said, memories, of a lot of years. and we'll see where it goes from here. i don't know what they're going to do. it is a process.
it is shock. still shock. still trying to understand. >> little box. >> it is a little lizard. don't ask me, but, you know what, if it helps, it helps. despite all the loss, we're fortunate. we have family close by. we have other options. and, you any, it is material stuff, other people are doing so much more, have so much more tragedy in their life, we have nothing to complain about. you got to focus on that, makes the rest of it easier to deal with. >> reporter: the santa ana wind conditions are expected to increase throughout the weekend, especially as the weekend ends, making the job for firefighters even more dangerous. they are trying to fight the flank of the fire as it grows on the northern side. they say they need this weather forecast to turn around for them.
kyung lah, cnn, ventura, california. >> just wow. look at that. that devastation there. >> acre after acre, right? derek van dam is here to tell us about the firefighters trying to stop this, and they have come from all over the country. >> ten states in fact. the u.s. president donald trump just signed on friday the federal state of emergency for the state of california. that allows resources, including resources from across the western u.s., including as far away from alaska. we have ten states participating in the fire fighting efforts in southern california. 216 fire fighting engines, there is also over 700 personnel from the states that are contributing to the fire fighting causes in southwestern california. check out the video behind me. this is astounding to see. just some of the aerial shots in ventura county of the thomas fire. this is one that has spread so sporadically, to quickly, within the past five to six days.
now burning roughly the size of new york city. it is incredible to just grasp yourself around the size and sheer magnitude of the flames and how many structures have been destroyed as well. here is an update on the thomas fire. 154,000 acres burnt so far. 20% containment with the lilac fire north of san diego. check this out. we zoom into the area here on google earth. that shaded area of red, that's the entire scarred burned area from the thomas fire. this isser inially the size li nearly the size of chicago. you can get an idea of how significant the fires really are. the fire stretches from santa barbara to los angeles and san diego today. a critical fire danger in store for sunday. we have over 20 million americans that are in a red flag warning, but there is some silver lining. there some light at the end of the tunnel. firefighters have made a major
advancement on some of the smaller fires that are across the area. look at this, nearly 100% containment for the liberty fire, creek fire and rye fire at 85% contained respectively. that doesn't mean there aren't still smoldering ashes within the brush in the ground. if the winds do pick up as they're expected to do so, tonight and early monday morning, that could easily spread and start new spot fires away from the original burn center. we also are starting to see lower relative humidity values, not good news for the firefighters. but this is an incredible shot here. you can see just the personnel working together with the firefighters in the foreground and helicopters in the background, all efforts, all resources toward this and they are making some ground. >> we salute them for sure. >> derek, thank you. >> all right, guys. still ahead here, the stakes are high in the u.s. state of alabama where a heated senate race is almost coming to an end. and coming up, the racially
we told you a bit earlier, alabama senate candidate doug jones is hoping the state's african-american voters will help him to defeat roy moore in tuesday's special election. >> cnn's alex marquart looks at why their vote, the black vote, is so crucial. >> yes, that's going to be it. >> reporter: alton smith and jennifer oliver going door to door in this suburb of birmingham. at the first house, oliver meets rinatia thomas. if jones is to stand a chance of winning, he needs every vote he can get, particularly among african-americans. a monumental task requiring black voters to make up a share
of the electorate along the lines of the turnout in barack obama's last election, 28%. but this is a special election. in an off year, in mid-december. randall woodson was just sworn in as mayor of birmingham. >> it is a challenge. i think it is a worthy fight. and what i mean by that is there is six days before this election. you can't discount the last six days. there is more to be done. there is work already being done and miracles happen. >> reporter: you think it would take a miracle for jones to win? >> i think miracle would work. there is a balance here. >> reporter: what more does doug jones need to do to galvanize this base of support that he so badly needs? >> don't stop working. keep knocking on doors. >> reporter: black voters are around the quarter of the total electorate, but the majority of democratic voters. roy moore's base is overwhelmingly white. many african-americans accuse him of being a racist. moore has said he doesn't
believe obama was born in america, and that representative keith elson, a muslim, shouldn't be allowed to serve in congress. then this. >> started to create new rights in 1965. and today we got a problem. >> reporter: 1965 was the year the voting rights act was passed ban be racial discrimination. >> this is a man who said the country was better off when black people weren't allowed to vote. >> reporter: democratic strategist richard dickerson believes jones could be doing more to energize black voters, but says moore's past will help galvanize them. >> if not a white supremacist, he's a racist. i think he has shown that on time and time again, by both word and deed, and his actions. >> reporter: jones is best known for his case as u.s. attorney against two members of the ku klux klan. john knight, the head of alabama's legislative black caucus says that isn't
necessarily registering with african-american voters. >> a lot of the young voters just are not familiar with that. but i think that many will ask what are you going to do for me today? that's the kind of thing i pick up across the state as we go around. >> reporter: and go around they are. now with less than a week to go. >> we're going to churches, going to the places we know the voters are located. we have to have everybody in place to do what is necessary to get him elected in this state. >> that was alex marquart reporting. that election in alabama on tuesday, so we'll see how that plays out between these two candidates. >> we'll certainly be there covering it, of course. coming up, north korean boats washing up on shore, some with skeletons on board. why there is a rise on ghost ships. excskeletons and mummies an golden shrouds, discoveries from two egyptian tombs. person who opens it.
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arriving on japan's shores. brian todd has more. >> reporter: a mysterious wooden boat washes up on a desolate japanese beach, inside a grisly discovery, eight skeletons. japanese officials strongly suspect they were north koreans. >> they don't have great navigation capabilities and equipment and lost their way. >> reporter: this boat with lights rigged up reportedly to attract squid was found recently with several desperate north korean survivors on board. on some vessels, the japanese coast guard found survivors alive, but emaciated, lying among the debt. now, a spike in the number of so-called ghost ships washing ashore in japan, dozens in just the past month, has analysts concerned about increasingly dire conditions under kim jong-un. >> that's a reflection of growing desperation in the north korean economy. >> reporter: u.n. sanctions over the programs are pinching north korea's economy. they prohibit the government from selling seafood to other countries. so experts say the re jim
pressures fishermen to sell their catch on the black market. >> they're having to rendezvous with foreign vessels in international waters and essentially sell their catches on the high seas so it can be relabeled as japanese or chinese or singaporean fish. >> reporter: that means going further and further out to sea, on poorly equipped boats, manned by some people who analysts say are likely not even fishermen by trade. >> they're probably inexperienced people who are going out, and the result is they're having difficulty when they get out there. >> reporter: in recent days, japanese authorities discovered one boat had come ashore on a japanese island uninhabited, deserted except for a small shelter, which officials say desperate north koreans ransacked. >> translator: almost everything worth any money was gone, from doorknobs to door hinges, anything worth anything and appliances have disappeared. >> reporter: the fishermen are more than willing to risk starvation and death, experts say, because of the almost unattainable quotas they're
given by kim's regime. how much pressure would the fishermen have been under to produce more and more and more? >> the pressure is incredible in terms of that. they're sent out, if they don't produce -- catch what they're supposed to, if they're behind, if they -- if they lose control of the boat, they will be punished. >> reporter: japanese officials say at least some of the surviving north korean fishermen were slated to be returned back to north korea at their own request. why? analysts say some of them probably feel that because they don't speak the language very well, they would struggle living in japan, but others may fear retaliation against their families by the regime if they apply for asylum and defect. brian todd, cnn, washington. an anticipated unveiling. artifacts found in two tombs over the past six months. among the finds, a linen-wrapped mummy, funeral masks, and shrouds.
some guilded in gold. >> amazing to see what has been discovered there. some officials say the artifacts date back to egypt's 17th dynasty. that's around 1580 bc. the tombs are located near luxor and were discovered in the 1990s, but had been kept sealed only until recently. wow. in taiwan, 80 people spent 90 minutes sitting still and staring into space for the, you guessed it, space out competition. i could do that, i think. sure enough it is harder than it looks. you get disqualified if you talk, sleep, eat or use of course any electronics. >> they're keeping concentration there. the winner is the person with the most stable heart beat. the competition was started in south korea as a way for people to destress and decharge from digital overload. >> nothing like recharging. need a little bit of that. thank you. that's our first hour. our top stories are just ahead.
i'm natalie allen. >> i'm george howell. we'll be right back after the break. stay with us. ost office. they have businesses to run. they have passions to pursue. how do they avoid trips to the post office? stamps.com mail letters, ship packages, all the services of the post office right on your computer. get a 4 week trial, plus $100 in extras including postage and a digital scale. go to stamps.com/tv and never go to the post office again.
. happening now. security forces and protesters clashing near the u.s. embassy in beirut. just one of a series of demonstrations in the region against the u.s. president's decision to recognize jerusalem as israel's capital. >> in the meantime, mr. trump pays a controversial visit to a civil rights museum in mississippi. african-american leaders decide not to attend. is there a bitcoin bubble as prices soar, we look at the online currency phenomenon. we want to welcome our viewers here in the united states and all around the world. i'm george ho