tv CNN Newsroom Live CNN November 26, 2018 12:00am-1:00am PST
dramatic images, teargas fired at migrants. this was the scene as hundreds of people rushed the u.s./mexico border. >> plus, theresa may will soon face a skeptical parliament with one big message that her brexit deal is the only one fit for the u.k. >> and the attack that's led to outrage in ukraine. you saw it right there. kiev accusing russia of seizing its ships and launching a naval assault. we are live from cnn world headquarters in atlanta, and we want to welcome our viewers here in the united states and all around the world. i'm george howell. >> and i'm rosemary church. thanks for being with us. this is cnn newsroom.
and we begin this hour with the migrant crisis at the u.s./mexico border. on sunday, hundreds of central american migrants rushed mexico's northern border, hoping to reach the united states. >> u.s. law enforcement fired teargas at the crowd, saying some people were throwing objects at border security. mexico arrested at least 39 migrants, migrants who now face deportation. cnn's nick watt was at the scene and has the very latest for you from the border. >> reporter: this border, san ysidro is one of the busiest land borders on earth. and it was shut sunday afternoon four hours to pedestrians and a little bit longer to all vehicular traffic. and the reason, well, there were protests. there was a march. there was supposed to be a peaceful protest on the other side, and apparently that got a little bit out of hand. people say as many as 500
migrants tried to storm the border. they managed to get past mexican police and teargas was actually fired. this is what eyewitnesses tell us. teargas was fired from this side of the border at those people. >> joining now to talk more about this is cnn anchor and correspondent rafael romo. the first question that i have, we see the images of people rushing the border. did people make it to the united states? >> not as far as we understand. it was a very peaceful at first, hours in the morning, it was a peaceful demonstration. but the problem started to become very evident because we're talking about only dozens of police officers trying to hold back a group of hundreds and hundreds of people. anywhere from 500 to 700. and so it was pretty clear that they were not going to be able to stop them if they really wanted to. we saw what happened. they wanted to go across the border and they were able to. but as far as we understand, nobody actually made it to the american side. >> and, of course, now we know
that 39 of those, it was around 500 people who stormed the border, 39 of them will be deported by mexico. why those 39 and not the other 400 plus or so? >> they're the ones who police say were the instigators. that there was information earlier that there was false rumors being spread among the immigrants, saying that whoever made it across the border immediately was going to receive the benefit of asylum. and so many people could have acted on that with the false hope that they were going to make it. it was all false and nobody made it to the american side. and so police say that those who instigated this are going to pay dearly for that. not only are they being detained, but they're being sent back to their countries of origin. >> this plays into context. there was reporting from the washington post that the mexican government, the incoming administration had reached a deal with the trump administration to essentially keep people in mexico.
the mexican government, the incoming administration denied that. rafael, talk to us about how much pressure mexico is under with so many people. >> it is in a unique situation. if you remember, mexico used to be a source country for immigration, sending immigrants to the united states. now it has become a transit point for migrants coming from central america. and so they are seeing a lot of the same pressures you see here in the united states. they have had to pay for food, for shelter, for medical services for all of these immigrants. and it has been a bit of a problem in the city of tijuana itself. the mayor saying that he can no longer pay for those needs that the migrants have. and urging the federal government and even the united nations for help for humanitarian relief because he says taxpayers can no longer afford to do this. >> so, what does that mean in terms of -- what will likely happen to those people being gathered at the border? they are not going to be able to move forward into the united
states, and there's nowhere for them to go. >> the reality is whether there is an agreement between mexico and the united states or not, they're staying there. mexico is sort of a waiting room for those people who want to apply for asylum. and we got in touch with the incoming mexican administration and they said we cannot make any agreements with the united states because, number one, we're not in power, first. number two, the president elect does not want to make mexico into a holding territory for those who would want to enter the united states. and so we have the situation where you have hundreds and hundreds of people in limbo and more are coming in. there was a group of another 250 that arrived sunday night to this part of mexico. >> i remember we heard from the interior minister reporting where she said that she does not want mexico to be another holding ground, a waiting room, essentially. but as you point out, there are so many people in mexico right now and more coming. that seems to be the case.
rafael romo, thank you so much. >> thank you. >> let's get some perspective on all of this now with scott lucas. scott a professor of international politics at the university of birmingham, also the founder of e.a. world view live this hour from birmingham. pleasure to have you on the show with us, scott. what happened on the border will say very different things to a divided nation. some will see desperate migrants fleeing persecution, mothers trying to shuttle their toddlers from teargas. others will see as the president describes it, as example of invasion, people who are not following the rules to enter the u.s. how significant is imagery like this in a bitter debate like the one that is playing out here? >> well, first, let's start with the facts. as you have been trying to do, and that is 500 people, thousands who have gathered in tijuana, moved towards the border. they didn't necessarily storm or rush the border. they weren't invading. they marched. now, they chose to go around
mexican police and continue to the border, and they tried to cross into the border. where, in fact, if they make it across, they have a legal right to claim asylum as of this point. now, what is now being projected, of course, as you put it, on two different sides. those who tend to sympathize with the plight of the migrants, many of them women and children. we'll say, why are you stopping them, why are you not allow them to at least be processed rather than using force against them with the teargas. those who want to whip this up on the other side, and i suspect we'll see this immediately, will make the argument that somehow this is an invading force, that they are going to overrun america. even though they are unarmed, even though it is no more than some of them throwing stones, and they're facing a heavily armed u.s. force. but here's the bottom line, george. whatever side you take, donald trump created this crisis. i think donald trump wants this crisis. he is angry. he is frustrated.
he is even scared because of a combination of issues at home. and if he can continue to blame migrants, continue to say that the courts are sheltering migrants, continue to blame liberals who defend migrants, he's hoping he can play onto support against all the issues he faces right now. >> you say that donald trump started this. but just to clarify, these caravans have been coming for many, many decades, for many years. this is not the first time. are you saying that it's because of political, you know, political motivations that the president is focusing on this? >> well, let's talk about how these caravans have been handled before, george. that is as your correspondent noted. san ysidro in california is one of the largest crossings in the world. and you can't consider the individual cases of those migrants who reach there and say, do they deserve to have an asylum hearing. or you can say, they don't deserve to have an asylum hearing and you can send nemanja back. that is what the previous administration did. what this administration has done is to create this idea --
first of all, we'll have a wall with mexico. and anyone who approaches this, we will shake our fist them, they will not approach. them compounded this with a zero tolerance policy, remember, which is separated children from immigrant parents. they are trying to limit and even deny the right of asylum by keeping people in mexico and we are at the point -- please remember where donald trump has authorized u.s. forces to use lethal force to shoot protesters, to shoot migrants who throw rocks. that's why i say he at least escalated this crisis. there was an alternative yesterday to what we saw. and that is to deal with those 500 people respectfully, to hear them out, and then to apply the process of law whether they stay inside the united states awaiting a hearing or whether they're sent back to mexico. >> the u.s. president does have campaign rallies ahead. how will all of this play toward his base and his continued push for immigration reforms and his call to build a wall, a wall
that he has always said mexico would pray for, but as we now know he intends taxpayers to foot the bill? >> donald trump, as he did before the november 6 elections, when he campaigns in the special election for the republican candidate, he'll whip up the idea she is standing firm against the envegas of the united states. behind that there are some serious policies. and those policies which are supported by the -- by white house advisor stephen miller to not only block almost all immigration into the united states, but to cut back on legal immigrants by about 25%. that is the situation. but we hear all about president trump's base -- please remember, in the november 6 elections, that use of immigration did not work in areas that are on the "frontline." republicans lost at least three congressional seats in texas. they lost the senate race in arizona. so the irony is if trump's base in north dakota or in the outer reaches of the united states believe this invasion is occurring, those on the
"frontline" don't necessarily buy that message, especially at the cost that we're seeing with yesterday's incident. >> scott lucas, live for us in birmingham, england. thank you again for your time. >> thank you, george. >> we'll take a short break here. still to come, theresa may clears one big hurdle in brussels. now she faces a bigger challenge. getting brexit through parliament. >> the united states is not fighting the war in yemen, but aid groups say it is as much to blame for the humanitarian disaster there as any of the combatants. live ahead. ♪ when you have nausea, ♪ heartburn, ♪ indigestion, ♪ upset stomach, ♪ diarrhea... girl, pepto ultra coating will treat your stomach right. ♪nausea, heartburn, ♪ indigestion, upset stomach, ♪ diarrhea... try pepto with ultra coating. take care of the hands that take care of you. that's me in back in 1987, when i gave isotoner gloves to all my teammates. now i have a different set of teammates.
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including the latest movies and box sets from around the world. ( ♪ ) we even have live sports and news channels. ( ♪ ) and your free wi-fi will start shortly. enjoy your flight mr. jones. world's best inflight entertainment. fly emirates. fly better. she has gotten approval of the european union. history was made in brussels and now britain's prime minister faces her next challenge with brexit. getting it through parliament, getting parliament on board. theresa may will address lawmakers in a few hours, hoping to do that. >> the leaders of all the e.u. countries signed off on the draft agreement sunday. many did so with mixed emotions, though. but they are united in their belief that this is the best deal possible for the u.k. >> and getting this through parliament will not be an easy task.
opposition parties, the northern irish d.u.p., and members of the prime minister's own party say they will vote no. our team of correspondents covering all aspects of this historic agreement between the e.u. and the u.k. and what comes next. our ion in national diplomatic ad or nic robertson live for us and erin mclaughlin live in brussels. nick, what happens next will be critical. theresa may making the case to get members of parliament on board. we are already hearing, as i mentioned, it's a nonstarter for some. >> reporter: that's how the numbers add up at the moment. she has a cabinet meeting here in about 2 1/2 hours. she will be addressing parliament later today. she sent out a letter to the nation, an open letter to the nation. yes, all about putting pressure on m.p.s to support this. she says it's this deal or back to square one. there's no doubt here that brexit has become a little closer, but the challenges to
get there and deliver it much higher. brexit divorce is nigh. >> no victors here today, nobody winning, we are all losing. >> reporter: disappointment that was cemented in the u.k. referendum june 2016, has finally arrived. >> i will not say that we are happy. >> translator: this inevitably a sad moment. you're cannot rejoice. >> reporter: and relief that after 19 months of talks, there is agreement in brussels at least for how the u.k. will exit the e.u. >> translator: my feelings are divided. i feel very sad, but also i feel a certain sense of relief that we have been able to achieve what we have achieved. >> reporter: to that point, this warning. the brexit deal is done. no coming back for more. >> this is the best deal possible given the circumstances.
>> this is the best deal possible for britain. this is the best deal possible for europe. this is the only deal possible. >> reporter: if you thought that's brexit done and dusted, think again. theresa may needs to get the u.k. parliament to back it. >> before christmas, m.p.s will vote on this deal. it will be one of the most significant votes that parliament has held for many years. >> reporter: no one doubts its significance. only her ability to pass it. she has dozens of rebels in her own party. and ten key northern island m.p.s vital for her majority are backing away. fearing may's deal leaves them less british. >> this draft agreement feels her own key commitments. >> reporter: the main u.k. opposition labor party tweeted sunday, they won't support the deal either. whichever way you voted, you didn't vote for theresa may's bad brexit deal, so neither will
we. and neither will the 35 scottish nationalist m.p.s support it. this tweet from their leader sunday. this is a bad deal driven by the p.m.'s self-defeating red lines. parliament should reject it. may is soldiering on, publishing an open letter to pressure m.p.s. >> thank you, mr. speaker. >> reporter: parliamentary vote is expected by mid december. brexit closer, but not done yet. >> here, here. >> reporter: and what we're going to hear from theresa may i think very similar to what we've heard in recent weeks, that this is the deal that the british people asked for in the referendum. this is the best deal that can be had, that she's delivered on it. and that also, you know, we heard raised yesterday in brussels, she talked about this was a negotiation and, in essence, there is and give and take on a negotiation. so that's going to be part of the subtext of the message as well. yes, we may have had to
compromise on some things, but we got the key issues. it's going to be a very, very tough sell. >> nic robertson, thank you. now let's cross over to erin mclaughlin live in brussels. erin, we were together when you first reported this news of this divorce deal being approved by the e.u. 27. here's the refrain. it sounds like a refrain to a song, but this is what britain will have to consider that this is the only deal that they will have to review. >> reporter: that's right, george. and yesterday at that summit, as i think it reflect ed ed in nic piece there, there was tremendous sadness, sadness for the e.u. and sadness for the u.k. there was a telling moment when the member of the european commission jean claude juncker said if he was a british citizen he would feel tremendous sorrow when imagine being the future
for his grandchildren. it was with that backdrop that the 27 e.u. leaders signed off on the so-called divorce deal, which essentially comprises of two documents. the first is the withdrawal agreement. that comprises some 585 pages of legally binding text. then in view of the e.u. is nonnegotiable, because to them it introduces certainty in this process in three key areas when it comes to citizens' rights living in the u.k.. the citizens living in the united kingdom. when it comes to financial certainty providing financial settlement in which the u.k. will pay tens of billions of dollars to the e.u., and then finally and most controversially, that northern ireland backstop solution, those are the priorities for the e.u. that was secured by them unanimously signed off yesterday. but again, the question is will she be able to get -- theresa may be able to get this through
parliament. it is an open question, but the e.u. 27 were unanimous in that message, that this is the only deal that -- given the red lines of the united kingdom that she will be able to get through parliament, given what brexiters want to achieve, given what remainors are also demanding. so what happens next, again, we don't know, but no doubt the 27 e.u. leaders here in brussels will be watching how the situation evolves very, very closely. >> all leading up to, erin, that date that parliament makes a decision on this come december. we'll have to watch and wait and see what the prime minister does to gain support. erin mclaughlin live for us in brussels. nic robertson live just outside number 10 in london. thank you both for the reporting. >> and we do want to bring you this breaking news. we just learned the u.a.e. government has pardoned matthew hedges, the british academic was sentenced last week to life in
prison for espionage after a five-minute trial. the u.k. government and hedges' family had been pushing the u.a.e. to grant him clemency. want to bring back our nic robertson who is there at 10 downing street. nick, of course, this a story you're very familiar with. how surprised are you with the outcome here? >> reporter: there had been some indications at the end of last week and over the weekend. the foreign office is right in front of me, you see downing street behind me. the foreign office is right behind the camera here. there had been some indications from the foreign office that perhaps this was possible that the u.a.e. was considering the representations that had come from the foreign office here. the appeals from matthew hedges' wife who had been there for that very, very short final hearing, one of four hearings in that trial, the emirates had insisted they believed he was involved in espionage.
the british government had appealed for clemency and pardon. we don't have anything yet from the british government here, but it does certainly sound as if their optimism over the weekend, it has been rewarded. you know, we know in the emirates that right around now is a period where it was expected it could be possible because of national celebrations that this would be the type of moment where the government could authorize the pardoning of prisoners. so perhaps it is in that context. but what we have heard from the spokesman of the emirate government at the moment, it is too soon to say precisely what the details are. it is certainly something many people in this country and elsewhere were shocked when this long sentence was handed down by the koertcourts in the u.a.e. they were shocked because it seemed to come out of the blue and they were shocked because typically in cases where espionage is the allegation and the charge, these things are
dealt with more quietly, more diplomatically. and there were questions being raised throughout the gulf region. officials i was talking to were saying, what does this signal? what is the emirate government trying to signal here? the signal now seems to be whatever it was, they've got over that for now, and they are pardoning matthew hedges. no indication yet when he'll be allowed to leave the emirates, when he'll be arriving back in the u.k. no doubt for his wife, for his family, this is tremendous news. >> nick, what's interesting is the u.a.e. apparently showed a video, purported confession of matthew hedges in the spying case that clearly wanted to get that out there. but then still pardon him. >> reporter: well, they clearly wanted to make -- back up, if you will, what their allegations were, that they said that they had evidence from his own personal electronic equipment, that they had evidence of espionage. they said that he'd had proper legal representation, that it
had proper access to consular officials, consular officials in the emirates. but these were points that were challenged by his wife. she was -- she didn't feel that the access had been there. she didn't feel that he'd been properly treated or at least treated in a way that was conducive to a fair trial, that he doesn't understand arabic, that he was held in solitary confinement a long time, this was unsettling and unstabling for his mental condition. my assumption is if the emirates are showing that material, it's to bolster their case that they did have, in their view, a solid case against him. >> our nic robertson bringing us up to date on this news from 10 downing street. we do want to go to sam kiley now. he joins us on the line from abu dhabi. of course, as we have been reporting, matthew hedges pardoned by u.a.e., but not before he confessed to spying. sam, just bring us up to date on
all the information you are learning on this. >> reporter: well, rosemary, i've just come from the event, the press conference and the demonstration of a video that was played to us twice of mr. hedges' allegedly confessing to spying for mi 6. in one of the sections it is a video of him in one of the court hearings in which he's asked by the courts whether he was an m.i. 6 agent and what rank he was, to which he replies, captain. now, this is very significant because there are no ranks in m.i. 6. there is no such thing as a captain in m.i. 6. so, it's a clear indication he was trying to signal, at least denial, that he was an m.i. 6 agent. whether he was or wasn't. and then on top of that, they showed a further video interrogation with him in a comfortable-looking office, in which he sat across a table,
across a desk from two individuals who were typing and translating, cross-questioning him in english, during which he explained that he was an m.i. 6 operative, but that he was an analyst, not a field officer. now, this, again, is a crucial difference. as he pointed out in that interview, analysts analyze and field officers are the people who, in the words of spies, develop assets. in other words, persuade others to reveal secrets. but he then went on to say that while he was in the united arab emirates, he was using the cover of matthew hedges, ph.d. student, and that is how he approached asset, not as m.i. -- not as matthew hedges, m.i. 6 agent. so what we've got there is a very confused and inconsistent confession and frankly those two job descriptions are exactly what would appear -- do appear
on the m.i. 6 website. they advertise for analysts who stay at home and analyze and field officers who go out into the field and recruit spies as agents for the united kingdom. he was in this jumbled interrogation and said he did both jobs. i happen to know because i spent many years studying british intelligence. analysts rarely, if ever, are asked to conduct field operations and certainly not attempt to recruit agents, which is a specialist task which takes many, many years of training. so, the evidence such as it was provided to us was, in my view, extremely inconclusive as proof of his role as an espionage agent of a british intelligence. but i should stress this. but the emirates say they have a lot of other matters of intelligence, electronic intercepts, analysis of his electronic device ands so on.
but because that relates to very sensitive material, they say they're not going to share it -- that with us, rosemary. >> right. our sam kiley bring us up to date from abu dhabi on the phone there. and just repeating the breaking news that matthew hedges has been pardoned by the u.a.e. this pardon, though, came hand in hand with an apparent confession. the british scholar saying that he was a spy. we will have more on that on the other side of the break. do stay with us. st got my ancestrydna results: 74% italian. and i found out that i'm from the big toe of that sexy italian boot! so this holiday season it's ancestrydna per tutti! order your kit now at ancestry.com
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live from the a.t.l. i'm george howell. >> i'm rosemary church. want to check the headlines we are following this hour. we just learned the u.a.e. has pardoned matthew hedges. the british ph.d. student was sentenced last week for life in prison for espionage after a five-minute trial. though the u.k. government and hedges' family had been pushing the u.a.e. to grant him clemency. a family spokes woman said hedges was forced to sign a confession in arabic, a language hedges does not read or speak. >> mexico plans to deport 39 migrants this after they tried to cross illegally from mexico into the united states. you see the dramatic images that happened. migrants rushed past police toward the u.s. border on sunday. u.s. officials responded by temporarily closing that port of entry, but it is now reopened at this point. >> british prime minister theresa may faces her next brexit hurdle on monday.
she will urge parliament to pass her brexit deal, which the e.u. has now approved. members of her own party, the opposition parties, and the northern irish d.u.p., have indicated they will be voting no. so let's get more perspective on this. quinton peel joins us from berlin. he is an associate fellow with the europe program at chatham house. good to have you with us. so, how likely is it that theresa may can convince recalcitrant british lawmakers to support her e.u.-approved brexit deal despite current numbers showing it's not looking very good for her right now? >> no, i think she's on a pretty hopeless wicket. there are more than 90 members of her own party have said they don't like the deal she's done and they don't want to vote for it. that's a huge rebellion. so i think the chances are that she is simply not going to get
this through the british parliament. it was a sort of curiously unreal day yesterday when they signed off on the deal in brussels and said, you know, this is the beginning of the end, knowing that within two weeks, the british parliament is probably going to say we don't like the deal, we don't want the deal and we're going to throw it out. so, i think she's got a hell of a job of trying to turn that round at westminster, and she's, after all, not a very persuasive politician. she tends to repeat herself endlessly. and when she tried to persuade people during her elections last year, she really -- she bombed badly and lost her majority. >> so, the problem with that, of course, is what happens next? if theresa may fails to bring some of these british lawmakers on board and approve her deal, what happens? are we looking at possibly a general election here or could
there be a brexit -- another brexit referendum? how likely is that? >> both of those things are possible. she has -- is required by law, if she fails to get it through parliament, to produce her strategy, her plan b within 21 days. i think she'd probably produce it within 24 hours. she'd actually have to say what she's going to do. now, i suppose there are three options. one is to go back to brussels and say, please, please, do something to make this better. a very difficult option because, actually, the original way she's probably going to get anything near a majority in the house of commons is to make the deal she's done closer to the e.u., actually more maybe a permanent member of the customs union. that's precisely the sort of deal that her rebels will hate and will not stop rebelg. so, she's really caught between
a rock and a hard place. the second possibility is the election possibility. now, labor, the labor opposition will push very hard to try and get an election. but under the law as it stands, they won't win that unless they can persuade the conservative party itself to back it. and they don't want another election because they might lose it. and finally, could there be an alliance right across parties to say, well, if we can't decide in parliament, let's put it to another referendum. i think that looks increasingly likely. >> well, i mean, when we look back at it, a lot of the voters across britain, they didn't really know exactly what they were voting for in that first referendum, did they? >> no, and precisely that's in a way what the argument is. now they have a deal on the table. let them vote on the deal. curiously enough, even during the referendum campaign, there were key people in the leave
campaign who said, look, don't worry about -- you can vote no this time because there is guaranteed to be a second referendum when you'll be able to decide when you see what the deal looks like. so both sides actually said a second referendum was possible. now theresa may dismisses it out of her hands and says, over my dead body, i'm not going for a referendum. it may just be that in two weeks' time she has actually no other option. >> well, now voters have seen what that deal looks like, haven't they? quentin peel, thank you so much for joining us. we appreciate it. >> again, following breaking news, we have just learned that the u.a.e. government has pardoned matthew hedges, the british academic was sentenced last week by an emirate court to life in prison for espionage after a five-minute trial. though the u.k. government and hedges' family had been pushing the u.a.e. to grant him clemency, we want to show you a tweet first that we are just
hearing from the foreign secretary -- from the u.k. let's show this tweet first. this is from jeremy hunt. we are seeing this fantastic news about matthew hedges, although we didn't agree with the charges. we are grateful to u.a.e. government for resolving issues speedily. we also -- but also a bitter/sweet moment as we remember nazanin and other innocent people detained in iran. justice won't be truly done until they, too, are safely home. they, too, are safely home. sam kiley has been following this. sam joins us now from abu dhabi. sam, this is highly significant, for sure. as you were at that news conference and the information was presented to you, what did you take away from it? >> reporter: well, i think what we are seeing here, george, is a very skillful fudge come up with the developed or cooked up, if you like, by the abu dhabi government or the u.a.e. government represented here, of
course, in abu dhabi. and the reason i say that is that from the perspective of the united arab emirates, the emirates, they had caught him red-handed and got a confession out of him, part of which they played us. the british argument right throughout this case, when it was kept under wraps for five months during which his family say that mr. hedges was kept in solitary confinement for a good deal of it, there was a negotiation that went on between the emirates and the british. the emirates wanted to approach this spy to spy, have it resolved between intelligence agencies, and the british pushed back on that firmly saying, no, he wasn't a spy. that is still the british position. it most certainly is not the emirates position. they played a series of videos, we weren't allowed to record them. the first one has a moment in which mr. hedges appears in court and asked by a member of the court, what was your rank in
m.i. 6. he replies captain. that's significant because there is no such thing as a captain in m.i. 6. there are no military ranks of any kind in m.i. 6. then there was a series of clips from an interrogation in a comfortable looking office in a civilized environment with him sitting across a desk, looking relaxed, talking to two emirate officials in which he explains that he was an intelligence analyst with m.i. 6, but then he goes on to say that the people who developed assets, as they call it, who persuade people in foreign countries to betray their nation and reveal the secrets to the british, those are called field operatives. he says, i wasn't one of them. that's not my role. but then he goes on to describe how that's exactly what he was doing in the emirates. he describes how he was using the cover of, as he put it, matthew hedges, ph.d. to
approach people rather than with his m.i. 6 hat on, as he described it. matthew hedges, m.i. 6. now, this may be an outright confession of, frankly, a johnny english level of spy. or it is him signalling both to his interrogators and perhaps to others that he most certainly was not part of m.i. 6, george. >> wow. all right. sam kiley, thank you again for the reporting. >> let's take a very quick break. still to come, a small but critical waterway is becoming a flash point for russia and the ukraine. the latest on a violent confrontation near crimea. we're back in a moment. we're about to move. karate helps... relieve some of the house-buying... stress. at least you don't have to worry about homeowners insurance. call geico. geico... helps with... homeowners insurance? been doing it for years. i'm calling geico right now. good idea!
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ships said to be shown here are being held at the crimea port in kerch. >> ukraine says the ships were planning to enter the strategic waterway, the kerch strait before they were fired on. russia closed the strailt sunday but state media reports it's now been reopened for civilian vessels, and this dramatic video comes from ukraine's minister of internal affairs. it appears to show a russian ship ramming a ukrainian tugboat on sunday. ukraine's president is furious and says he wants parliament to declare marshal law. let's turn to cnn's ivan watson who is monitoring all of this from hong kong. he joins us now live. so, ivan, you are very familiar with this region and what's been happening between russia and ukraine. explain to us where this is going and the impact so far of these increased tensions. >> reporter: rosemary, ukraine and russia, two neighbors, former soviet states that have been at odds for years, but now for perhaps one of the first
times we are seeing their armed forces appearing to engage in open conflict together, all in this narrow waterway. the kerch strait, and the video that was distributed by the interior minister of ukraine seems to be shot from the deck of a russian ship. and you can hear the commander ordering his crew amid many expletives to ram into this ukrainian navy tugboat. the russians accuse the ukrainians of staging a provocation and behaving dangerously in russian territorial waters. it comes down to a territorial dispute between these two countries. so, let's take a look and explain some of the geography here and why this is such a strategic region. the only way to get from the black sea to the sea of ozov which is shared bayou crane and russia is through this narrow waterway, the kerch straight. it is vital for ukraine for
shipping from its port, industrial port of mariupol, they have to pass through here. it is also vital to russia because it is a link between the russian main land and the crimea peninsula, which russia annexed and seized, according to many western governments, against international law in 2014. what russia did in the last year was complete a brand-new bridge across this waterway, linking russia to the ukraine. it's 19 kilometers long, and this is where the russians have begun intercepting and inspecting ships passing through and where they stop the ukrainian trio of navy vessels from passing through. they open fire. they also placed a tanker ship underneath one span of the bridge to block traffic.
and the area is becoming increasingly militarized. we saw a show of force, not only russian navy ships, but jets and attack helicopters flying in the area as well. >> extraordinary situation there. ivan watson keeping a close eye on what is going on. appreciate that report. >> when we come back, one of the busiest travel weekends in the u.s. turns into a nightmare for many people. for those mt. midwestern u.s. will see relief from the blizzard that has roared through the region. are you a christian author with
a book that you're ready to share with the world? get published now, call for your free publisher kit today! a winter storm has forced airlines to cancel nearly 2000 flights on one of the year's biggest holiday weekends in the united states. >> 14 million people are under a blizzard watch across the midwest, and nearly 20 million are under a high wind advisory. >> and our meteorologist pedram javaheri joins us now with more on all these delays. what a mess. >> what a mess, yeah. one of the busiest days, as you said. certainly not president same set up we saw a couple days ago when we had the travel period began with very quiet weather, then all of a sudden, of course, you have the messy weather currently in place. and the blizzard conditions expected to continue through at least mid-morning across portions of ohio on into
portions of illinois, i should say, on into areas around chicago as well. where up to 8 inches of snowfall into the forecast as we approach the morning hours. in fact, more than double that amount has already come down in parts of iowa in the past 24 or so hours across that region. but the system, it is on the move across the great lakes, eventually on into portions of the new england area. interior new england gets serious snowfall. disruptions tallying up in the past 24 hours, exceeding 6000 when you look at delays and cancellations into the united states in the past 24 hours. and really interesting way to look at this as far as the cost related with all of this. on average it costs about $6,000 per airline to cancel each and every single one of those flights. you factor in a couple thousand flights disrupted, it has major implications. you look at the passengers on board on average, it costs them about $400 per passenger when it comes to lodging, food and time missed from work with all these flights canceled in the past 24 hours. again, the system on the move, snow showers expected across the interior portions of new england
where another foot or so of snow comes down in their forecast. the other big story for monday as folks try to get back to work and the normality here will be the powerful winds in the forecast, up to 50 miles per hour across the ohio valley. that will cause disruptions monday afternoon. back to you, guys. >> thank you for being with us this hour so far cnn newsroom. i'm george howell. >> i'm rosemary church. early start is here in the united states. for everyone else stay tuned for more news with max foster in london. you're watching cnn. have a great day.