tv CNN Newsroom Live CNN December 28, 2018 12:00am-1:00am PST
the u.s. government shutdown partially, it drags on and there are fears it could last longer than anyone expected. the u.s. president, though, somehow claims it's mainly democrats who are impacted. we'll explain or try to explain that ahead. plus, another roller coaster day on wall street. stocks did finish up. that's not helping investors sleep any easier. also ahead this hour, just days after a second migrant child dies in u.s. custody, a top trump official is headed back to the border. live from cnn world headquarters in atlanta, we want to welcome our viewers here in the united states and all around the world. i'm george howell. the "cnn newsroom" starts now. at 3:00 a.m. on the u.s. east coast thank you for being with us this day. just a few days to go before the
new year, and there is little hope for progress when it comes to the partial u.s. government shutdown. we are now seven days into this thing. it is the same shutdown the u.s. president once said that he would own. president trump now pointing the finger at democrats. neither side seeming willing to budge. jessica dean has this report for us. >> reporter: president trump is back in washington and back on twitter. less than two hours after arriving home from his whirlwind trip to iraq the president tweeted about the government shutdown saying, "do the dems realize that most of the people not getting paid are democrats?" the president of the american federation of government employees, one of the largest unions representing government workers, pushed back against trump's claim the shutdown affects mostly democrats saying, "a government shutdown doesn't hurt any one political party or any one federal employee more than another. it hurts all of them." while in iraq the president repeatedly avoided directly
answering whether he'd accept $2 billion for the border wall instead of his original $5 billion request. >> i'm not going to talk about it now. but i will say this. we have been building a lot of walls. >> reporter: instead trump blamed nancy pelosi for keepth government closed despite him repeatedly saying he wants the shutdown to continue until he gets border wall funding. >> but she's calling the shots and she's calling them because she wants the votes. and probably if they do something she's not going to get the votes and she's not going to be speaker of the house. >> reporter: pelosi does have the votes to become speaker and is expected to take the gavel when the new house convenes january 3rd. as the shutdown drags on, the president also faces questions about his trip to iraq. he was in the country for three hours but did not meet with the iraqi prime minister after their face to face was canceled due to differences over logistics. instead president trump spoke with the prime minister by phone. trump was met by loud applause
as he spoke to troops talking about their pay raise. >> you know what? nobody deserves it more. you haven't gotten one in more than ten years. more than ten years. and we got you a big one. i got you a big one. i said no. make it 10%. make it more than 10%. because it's been a long time. it's been more than ten years. >> reporter: but that's not true. military pay has increased every year for more than three decades. the 2.6% increase in the 2019 national defense authorization act is the largest in the past nine years, but it's not the 10% trump claimed. president trump didn't shy away from politics while talking to the troops. >> the democrats don't want to let us have strong borders. >> reporter: late thursday afternoon sarah sanders put out a statement once again reinforcing that any bill that reopens the government has to have "adequate funding for border security." she also called out democrats saying that republicans in the administration had offered what she considered to be a compromise of a bill and that
they had not provided an answer. well, nancy pelosi put out her own statement through her spokesman saying that in fact democrats have offered republicans three different chances to reopen the government but that they haven't taken them and that those three opportunities have had border funding built within that bill but that they were not funding the border wall. jessica dean, cnn, the white house. an examination of phrases and claims. let's talk about this with richard johnson. richard a lecturer in u.s. politics and international relations at lancaster university. live this hour from lancaster, england. a pleasure to have you with us. let's start with the shutdown showdown over the border wall. you'll remember president trump said in his own words earlier that he would own this shutdown. he has flip-flopped on that, now blaming democrats. it's interesting, though, to look back at when mr. trump's predecessor was president, barack obama. and there was a tlaeft of a
shutdown. private citizen trump had this to say. >> if indeed there is a shutdown of our government. >> well, if you say who gets fired, it always has to be the top. i mean, problems start from the top and they have to get solved from the top. and the president's the leader. and he's got to get everybody in a room and he's got to lead. >> it just comes down to these things that were stated by the u.s. president back then in 2013 and then most recently in the oval office. can the president sidestep his own words? >> yes, i mean, one of the things to focus on here is that donald trump is speaking to his own base, his own audience here. so one thing that's interesting is that his approval rating has dipped below 40% for the first time since the charlottesville incident in 2017. but among republicans he maintains an 80% approval rating and still two in three
republicans believe he should shut down the government over the border wall. and so although this is hitting his overall popularity and certainly he's extremely unpopular with democrats now, 90% disapprove of him, and very increasingly unpopular with independents, when it comes to his base, which is what donald trump seems to have been preoccupied with ever since he announced his candidacy for president, he's largely delivering on that issue that they care about. >> richard, you know, here's the thing. we're seeing that lawmakers are less than optimistic about what lies ahead. let's listen. >> if the democrats are not willing to put up even 2.5 or 2.6 billion, they were never serious about it. they were wanting the amnesty portion but not the border security portion. and when you look at that, that's one of the tragedies of today. >> you hear from lawmakers,
richard. and here's the thing. there are some 800,000 people, federal workers, here in the united states who don't know when they will be paid next. you know, we talk about the politics. we talk about the president, the democrats, the republicans. the people in the middle want to know what's next. >> well, i think there are probably two likely scenarios. so one scenario is that the current congress tries to get something through at the 11th hour. and there's been some speculation that there might be an attempt to pass a new funding bill on new year's eve, new year's day. that happened during the fiscal cliff crisis under the obama presidency. otherwise, we're waiting until the new democratic house comes into session and then i could see a scenario where the new house passes a funding bill which is then acceptable to the senate, then that places it on the desk of the president. and then it's much more difficult for the president
himself personally to block a funding bill. it's one thing to blame congress for a back and forth situation like the one we have at the moment. it's a very different thing when it's down to the president himself. >> i want to switch gears now and talk about what we saw the u.s. president during his time in iraq visiting troops, which is customary, which is expected of u.s. presidents to do. but there were certain statements that had been made that have been called into question. one of them the u.s. president telling troops he gave them their first pay raise in more than ten years. that is an outright lie. it is simply not true. it's a story that we've fact-checked and proven. the question here, the president getting a great deal of pushback for this. telling the troops something that's just not true. >> yeah. i mean, it's certainly not true the troops haven't received a pay increase. and also, although they have received a continued pay
increase under president trump, when you factor in inflation effectively it's a with-inflation increase. the only thing i can see in terms of this claim that he's made is that if you added up the value of the pay increase without taking into account inflation overt four years of trump's presidency that would be about a 9.6% pay increase. but that's effectively just maintaining level pegging with inflation. so at -- if there's a grain of truth in it, that's probably where he's getting it from. but it's a gross distortion and it's also completely inaccurate to say that there hasn't been any pay increase in the last ten years. >> again, important to point out the u.s. president spending time with these troops in theater of war, in dangerous places. this is what troops want to see of their presidents, to be there, to show that they understand what the mission is, what they're dealing with in
these different parts around the world. but one thing that is drawing? criticism and even on conservative media, richard, is the president in this case seeming to make it more about him than about the troops. let's listen. >> i would never consider us as a country as the united states suckers. we have always led the fight in every single major war. our military men and women i believe deserve way more respect than that. >> if the president had gone and made this trip, which he absolutely should have done, and not used it as a campaign rally. because when you use language like that and the word suckers -- >> he talked about the border wall as well, which didn't have a place. >> of course. >> that back and forth on a conservative commentary show. but your thoughts about the optics of that trip. >> well, the first thing to say is that it's very late in this president's term to be making his first overseas visit to iraq. barack obama made his first visit to iraq in april of 2009,
his first year in office, only four months into his -- less than four months into his first year in office. so this is i think some people feel that this is overdue. there is an irony about the trump presidency in that he is quite heterodox when it comes to foreign policy and is in some ways more dovish or isolationist than where we might expect mainstream republican opinion to lie. and i think that he's been able to sort of suppress that with a sort of more patriotic nationalist rhetoric at home and certainly paying lip service to his love for the troops. but in reality, he's making policy shifts which are quite unlike mainstream republican leaders have done in the past. so i think i can see -- i can sort of see the confusion among
conservative commentators who are in some cases being forced to make a sort of about-turn on foreign policy and others who are sort of sticking to their republican principles on this and for a rare instance chastising the republican president donald trump. >> richard johnson live for us in lancaster. thank you again for your time. now to the markets. with only two trading days left in 2018, some investors are ready to trade this year in for a new one with a little less whiplash. the dow bounced back in the final minutes thursday and closed up more than 260 points, gaining more than 1%. at one point it had plunged more than 600 points. asian markets have already closed. the nikkei closed down a third of a percent. minimal gains for shanghai and hang seng. but australia managed to reclaim some territory. and european markets are just opening. cnn's business correspondent samuel burk is on the story.
live in london. a pleasure to have you with us, samuel. life comes with its ups and downs but fair to say the last few weeks have been a little much. >> george, wild, flummoxed, bizarre. the people that i usually go to to make sense of these things, those are the words they're using. and quite frankly, some of them are just stepping back because things are so volatile at this point. right now let's just put up the european markets as they open right here on the screen and you see it's actually looking pretty good. that's after heavy losses yesterday in the european markets and maybe they're taking some pointers from the u.s. markets. you showed at the very last minute erased all those losses and actually ended up positive. but what do you do when things are so volatile and even the experts don't know what's going on? well, traditionally people go to what are known as safe havens. in this case we're seeing people put their money into the japanese yen and the swiss franc. and that's because those currencies are usually seen as pretty stable. so when everything else looks like it's wild, you have to go
to those. right now people are looking at the big picture. something that happens one day is not a trend, especially when it's so contradictory day to day. so i just want to put up on the screen four, george, what people are looking at as they see the big picture. not just in the united states but around the world. starting with slowing economic growth in china as well as other countries. growth is very slow here in europe as well. but we've had new numbers showing the china industrial profits declined for the first time in the past three years. the china-u.s. trade war, we do have a little bit of optimism there. there's a report from bloomberg that says there's a delegation that's going to go from the u.s. to beijing in january. when it comes to brexit, again, this is such uncertainty. there's no way to price brexit into the market because there are so many different outcomes that could happen here. and you've just spent the first part of your show talking about all the chaos in d.c. let me just break it down in terms of numbers for you. at the end of the day those government workers have to pay their mortgage bill just like you and i, george.
but if they don't have that money they have to put it on pause. the banks don't get their money. maybe they have a loan to a friend or a family member. they can't pay that back. that can have a real effect on the economy in the long run. now, it's not a major factor. but little things like that can add up. so it looks like there are some big negatives out there as we look at the political and economic fronts. >> the knock-on effect is certainly in place. samuel burke live for us in london. samuel, thank you. to talk more about this let's bring in ryan patel. ryan a global business executive joining this hour from los angeles with his experience and knowledge. thank you again, ryan, for your time. >> my pleasure. >> let's talk about where things stand right now because obviously we saw this course reverse. the dow jones rallying more than 1,000 points. great news on the surface. but people are still jittery about a slowdown and even a recession. how would you characterize the markets? >> well, listen, if you have to say great news from being down so much in the morning and then just barely getting to the top, i guess that's great news to
walk out of a day that should have been in the red. i think what i learned about this today is that we live in a global economy now. what's different from the depression and from the recession, we're a lot more intertwined. so things like china and the u.s. trade war, news that would come out affects the market. things like brexit next year will affect the market. depending on how that ends. even from the saudi blockade to qatar and regional things like italy and even turkey you saw this year became issues in the market. so those kind of things coming into 2019 will have an effect that is not baked in into this market. and those kind of fears will cause this kind of extreme days up and down because you don't know what's going to be ahead. >> okay. so we talk about the gains. but let's talk about those losses because clearly we've seen volatility in play. there are the downw5rd pressures, as you point out, of global slowdown, the trade tensions between the u.s. and china. what do you make of the losses that we've seen here? in recent weeks. >> yeah. i think -- let's just talk about what just happened today. i think what happened today was the market was trying to figure
out the volatility, is this the bottom. and the answer to that question is no. it may take a month. it may take a few months to see where the volatility will keep going until we find what the rock bottom looks like. and that's what we've seen these -- when you start to see these extreme pressures from up and down, it's obviously people buying and selling but also people are trying to figure out is this the time to get in or not and right now the sentiment is still not ready to buy on these kind of dips. >> this rally certainly welcomed by the u.s. president, who unlike his predecessors donald trump enjoys hanging his hat on the stock market as he has done many times in the past. let's listen. >> doing record business, record stock market, record everything. >> we're all doing well. the 401(k)s doing well. the stocks are doing well. >> and since i took office the value of americans' mutual funds and pension funds has increased by $2.7 trillion.
that's your money. >> so it's great when it's great. but mum is the word when it's not. in fact, we know president trump phoned his advisers from air force one on his way back from iraq to talk about that 1,000-point gain. we know the markets can be unpredictable, as we know this president takes pride in unpredictability as well. so how predictable would you say this strategy is of his to continue hanging his hat on the markets? >> well, you know, i think he knows no difference. you saw last year, too, we went through this situation where he went up -- the market was up and even when it had bad days he would just ignore it. so for him, you know, i think he is one -- this is going to be his legacy. when he's done with his term and his presidency he's going to look back and he's going to look at this legacy and he thinks the market is going to be his one because he is the business guy. and you know, i think hence why he came after the fed. right? he was blaming the fed on why this market was going to go down. so needing to have a kind of actually point he needed to push
across. but you know, again, we've known in history that presidents don't dictate and put their hat on the economy, the stock market per se because it is a different animal. >> okay. so heading into 2019, do you see us heading into a strong economy or do you expect more ups and downs like we've seen? >> listen to np i think you need to bring your seat belt, george, because it's going to be a roller coaster ride for the first two quarters. because earnings season's right around the corner, one, and we don't know where it's going to go. positive or plus. obviously we note u.s. economy is 2 to 3 percent gdp. still pretty healthy. but like i said you don't know what's going to happen -- this china-u.s. trade piece is a big deal. and these deadlines for march 1st, the fed meeting date for march 30th is all on the calendar. and the market is watching what's going to happen these days. you cannot ignore this when they are put that far in advance behind it. you know, i feel people have been using the word "recession" freely, 2019, 2020, when is it. i think the first two quarters
let's get through that first and see how it will play. i think the federal reserve is watching this now no longer quarterly but once a month. that's going to be a big deal here. it's got everybody's attention. >> it's got everybody jittery. everybody for sure. ryan patel, thank you so much for your time. >> thanks for having me. next on "newsroom," the search for answers continues after a second migrant child dies in u.s. custody. and now the homeland security secretary will travel to the u.s.-mexico border to look at the situation for herself. we'll have that ahead. plus the russian president vladimir putin boasts about the invincibility of his new missile. but some experts have their doubts. stay with us.
alice loves the smell of gain so much, she wished it came in a fabric softener too. [throat clears] say hello to your fairy godmother, alice. oh and look they got gain scent beads and dryer sheets too! so we improved everything. we used 50% fewer ingredients added one handed pumps and beat the top safety standards the new johnson's® choose gentle
welcome back to "cnn newsroom." i'm george howell. the death of a second child in u.s. border patrol custody. it has prompted the secretary of homeland security to say she will go to the southern border to see the medical conditions for herself. kirstjen nielsen will travel to el paso, texas on friday, then yuma, arizona saturday. both children were from guatemala and died within weeks of each other after they and their fathers were picked up by border agents. the cause of death has not yet been determined for either
child. let's talk more about this now with dylan corbett, the director of the hope border institute in el paso, texas. joining via skype this hour. dylan, thank you for your time. >> thank you. >> your group focused on bringing religious and secular communities together around issues on the border. and now with the deaths of two children what are people telling you about the government's approach given these latest tragedies? >> you know, i think it's simply tragic that it had to come to this. what has been going on on the border for all of 2018 with policies like zero tolerance, with policies like family separation, with policies like boasting cbp agents on the bridge denying people access to asyl asylum, which is forcing people into more dangerous and more remote parts of the border, that unfortunately deaths like this are to be expected. the u.s. government's approach has been to militarize the border in response to what's going on. the problem and the phenomenon
of immigration at the border. and the military has responded, deploying troops, deploying extra resources to secure the border and militarize the border, has resulted unfortunately in unfortunately we've had deaths as a result of this. >> groups like the aclu place blame squarely with customs and border patrol. the department of homeland security, though, sidesteps the blame and instead points the finger at migrants themselves, as we see in this statement from the secretary of homeland security, kirstjen nielsen, saying "our system has been pushed to a breaking point by those who seek open borders, smugglers, traffickers, and their own parents put these minors at risk by embarking on the dangerous and arduous journey north." your thoughts on that statement. >> you know, i read secretary nielsen's statement yesterday on the death of felipe alonzo-gomez. and what shocked me was that she blamed congress, she blamed immigration judges, she blamed
activists and advocates, she blamed the migrants and the parents of migrants themselves but she never took responsibility. she never took responsibility as the secretary for the department of homeland security. when jakelin caal died at the beginning of december, cbp was obligeblige obliged, cbp and dhs were obliged within 24 hours to inform congress. effectively they broke the law by not informing congress of the young girl's death. by not taking responsibility for the children in their custody, this is troubling because dhs and cbp have a responsibility to guarantee the safety and the security of the families in their custody, to guarantee the safety and the health and the well-being of the children in their custody. both of these children were in the custody of border patrol when they expired. so this is troubling that the secretary doesn't seem to think that she needs to take any responsibility for this. >> you talked about the migrants fleeing these various countries
and as they flee, as they're detained by customers and border patrol in these different facilities, we're hearing more about the conditions there. more and more these agents are seeing families together with children crossing the border. and we heard the commissioner for customs and border patrol say they're just not ready for it. listen. >> what we're seeing with these flows of huge numbers of families, with lots of children, young children, as well as unaccompanied minors coming into border patrol custody after crossing the border unlawfully, that they're not -- our stations are not built for that group that's crossing today. they were built 30, 40 years ago for single adult males, and we need a different approach. we need help from congress. we need to budget for medical care and mental health care for children in our facilities. >> dylan, you touched on this. these facilities as they are presently, how crowded are they? and what does it mean for children? >> very crowded. i agree with the commissioner on this. these facilities are not -- they're not adequate for families. they're not adequate for
children. when i.c.e. began releasing people into the streets in el paso over the christmas holiday here, downtown, and we encountered them, we greeted them, we gave them food, we provided medical attention when necessary, we saw that they had not bathed in several days, that they were not being given adequate nutrition, many of them were sick. one of the children we actually had to send to the hospital because he exhibited the same symptoms that jakelin caal did. he had a fever and he was dehydrated. they are in these cells, they're called eleras for a reason because they're like iceboxes, like sardines. it's difficult to even go to the bathroom with any degree of privacy. they're no place for children. they're no place for families. >> dylan corbett, we appreciate your time. thank you. >> you're welcome. thank you. we are learning that the man suspected of shooting and killing a california police officer was in the u.s.
illegally. authorities are still searching for the alleged shooter. they have not released his name. but they say he shot officer ronil singh. authorities satey the 33-year-o policeman was doing a traffic stop at the time as part of an impaired driving investigation. the u.s. president donald trump has tweeted on this. there is a full-scale manhunt going on right now in california for an illegal immigrant accused of shooting and killing a police officer during a traffic stop. time to get tough on border security. build the wall, says the u.s. president. still ahead here on "cnn newsroom," the u.s. responds to russia's ballistic boasting. how it might match vladimir putin's new hypersonic missile. we'll explain. i'm a veteran
and the army taught me a lot about commitment. which i apply to my life and my work. at comcast we're commited to delivering the best experience possible, by being on time everytime. and if we are ever late, we'll give you a automatic twenty dollar credit. my name is antonio and i'm a technician at comcast. we're working to make things simple, easy and awesome.
welcome back to our viewers here in the united states and all around the world. you are watching "cnn newsroom" live from atlanta. i'm george howell. thank you for being with us. the pentagon says that it plans to increase research in hypersonics, both offensively and defensively. this move in response to russia, which has chosen to weaponize that technology. moscow tested its new hypersonic nuclear missile that vladimir putin calls invulnerable. cnn's fred pleitgen has this story from moscow. >> reporter: vladimir putin in command, observing his armed forces test what they claim is a hypersonic missile capable of defeating america's missile defense systems called avant garde. >> translator: the new avant garde system is invincible when faced with current and future air defense and missile defenses technology of a potential enemy. this is a great success and a great victory. >> reporter: while some experts doubt whether the avant garde
missile is really combat ready and as capable as moscow says, russia claims it flies up to 20 times the speed of sound and is capable of evasive maneuvers if confronted by missile defense systems. >> translator: next year the avant garde system will be put into service. a regiment will be formed which will start combat duty. this is a wonderful gift to the country for the new year. >> reporter: the missile test came at the same time president trump was in iraq, standing by his decision to pull u.s. troops out of syria, giving a massive boost to russia's influence in the region. and amid growing tensions between moscow and washington over trump's decision to pull out of a decades-old intermediate-range nuclear forces treaty. vladimir putin unveiled plans for a variety of nuclear weapons in march, including the avant garde and an unmanned underwater drone, which the drones also claim will be invincible. >> translator: we achieved a
major breakthrough in developing new weapons this year. there's nothing in world like these weapons. and i hope that our new systems will make those used to militaristic and aggressive rhetoric think twice. >> reporter: while moscow says its new generation of nukes are not aimed at threatening anyone, experts fear russia, china, and the u.s. could be on the brink of a new nuclear arms race as tensions between them rise and arms control treaties are scrapped. fred pleitgen, cnn, moscow. >> fred, thank you. the oldest american world war ii veteran has died. richard overton, the man you see right there, long-time resident of austin, texas. he was also the oldest man living in the united states. and he lived on a street that bore his own name. overton was 112 years old. his family said that he had been treated for pneumonia. the governor of texas said richard overton was "an american icon and texas legend who made us proud to be texans and proud to be americans." overton joined the u.s. army in 1942 as part of an all-black
unit that served in the pacific. he was honored by the former president barack obama in twt20. overton gave credit to god and his daily routine, cigars, whiskey, and ice cream, for his long life. and what a life. condolences to his family. (voice) you know what you're doing right now? (danny) impressing the heck out of me. also, giving a shih tzu an updo. pet care ain't easy. 12 hours? 20 dogs? where's your belly rubs? after a day of chasing dogs you shouldn't have to chase down payments. (vo) send invoices and accept payments to get paid twice as fast. (danny) you deserve a treat. and by treat i mean cash. bacon-wrapped cash. josie...it's time to get yours! (vo) quickbooks. backing you.
it has been almost two years now since the white house falsely claimed that donald trump's inauguration was one for the record books. turns out it wasn't the crowd size that made history. it was the spending. and now that inauguration is reportedly under investigation. our randi kaye has this report. >> starting right here and right now -- >> reporter: $107 million. that's how much donald trump's inaugural committee raised in donations for the event. now federal prosecutors want to know if any of that money was
misspent. and perhaps more importantly, did top donors pay big money in exchange for access and influence in the trump white house? the "wall street journal" first broke the story. >> part of this is certainly looking at what these donors gave and what they expected, what they received. but it's also partly about what happened with the inaugural committee's expenditures. >> reporter: this all apparently stems from the raid on former trump attorney michael cohen's office. according to the "wall street journal," investigators seized a recording of a conversation between cohen and a woman named stephanie winston wokoff, a former adviser to melania trump and one of the key planners for donald trump's 2017 inauguration. she reportedly expressed concern during that conversation about how the inaugural committee was spending money. >> this is a wow. >> reporter: real estate developer tom barrick, who ran the inaugural committee, denied
there was a new investigation, adding he'd been questioned about it in 2017. the white house is distancing itself from the probe. >> that doesn't have anything to do with the president or the first lady. the biggest thing the president did in his engagement in the inauguration was to come here and raise his hand and take the oath of office. >> reporter: meanwhile, an investigation by pro publica found that the inauguration paid the trump organization for rooms, meals, and event space at trump's washington hotel. and that ivanka trump, the president's daughter and then a senior executive at the trump organization, was involved in negotiating the prices at above market value for venue rentals by the inaugural committee. a spokesman for ivanka's lawyer told pro publica that ivanka said discussions should be at a fair market rate. and it isn't just about the money. the "washington post" reports that certain attendees at the inauguration also reportedly caught the attention of counterintelligence officials at the fbi. though it's unclear which
attendees. the paper reported that victor vekselberg, a tycoon closely aligned with putin's government, attended inaugural events. along with natalia veselnitskaya, the russian lawyer whose meeting with donald trump jr. at trump tower in june 2016 is now under scrutiny. >> congratulations, mr. president. >> reporter: it's all just part of why federal prosecutors are zeroing in on the day donald trump officially became the 45th president of the united states. randi kaye, cnn, new york. >> randi, thank you. what a year. a historic summit between the u.s. and north korea and also that daring rescue of a boys' soccer team from a cave in thailand. so many stories. we're counting down the year's top international stories ahead. stay with us. 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 71-year-old frenchman is hoping to cross the atlantic ocean, but here's the thing. he is not in any hurry. in fact, he's using a barrel. it has all the comforts of home, including a bed, a small kitchen, and even wine for new year's eve. jean jacque savan set off from the canary islands.
he's planning to drift at a lazy speed of a couple of miles, or two to three kilometers per hour. he hopes to raecht the caribbean by the end of march, but he's taking his time. somehow i think cyril vanier would like that story. from a dramatic and daring cave rescue to the brutal murder of a journalist. cnn's clarisa ward takes us through the top eight stories that made global headlines in the year of 2018. >> in thailand rescue crews are searching for a missing youth soccer team and their coach. they're believed to be trapped in a cave. >> the 12 boys and their coach trapped deep inside the cave by sudden monsoon flooding. while many feared the worst, rescuers from all over the world converged on the cave, searching for signs of life. ten days into the mission, success. the team found huddled on a
ledge. an unforgettable chorus of little voices. >> thank you. >> how many of you? 13? brilliant. >> reporter: but the threat was far from over. a thai diver died during the rescue effort. and with more monsoon rain coming the boys' parents waited on pins and needles, as did the rest of the world, until -- >> jubilation in thailand. all 12 boys, every child from that soccer team, has been rescued from that flooded cave in thailand after 18 days. >> reporter: number 7. a migration movement becomes a humanitarian crisis. some 7,000 central americans fleeing violence and poverty in their home countries walk thousands of miles to the u.s.-mexico border. many saying they want asylum in the united states. president trump taking a hard line against the caravan.
>> no nation can allow its borders to be overrun. and that's an invasion. >> reporter: the situation slowly simmering for weeks as the caravan drew closer, finally reaching a boiling point at the border. >> happening now breaking news. border escalation. president trump is defending the use of tear gas against migrants who rushed toward the u.s. bord border. >> reporter: thousands of asylum seekers are still there, waiting and hoping in makeshift camps and shelters. >> he says if he goes back to honduras they'll kill him. >> reporter: number 6, in march a former russian spy and his daughter were found on a park bench in salisbury, england, poisoned with the toxic nerve agent novichok. >> a former double agent sergei skripal and his daughter are in critical condition. they were found slumped over on a park bench. >> reporter: after investigating britain said the russian government was behind the attack. >> the two individuals named by the police and cps are officers
from the russian military intelligence service. >> russian president vladimir putin denied those claims. the accusation provoked diplomatic expulsions and sanctions against russia. number 5 -- a jolt to the right in european politics. in germany, hungary, sweden, austria, and italy populist far right political parties made major gains in legislative elections. >> now to the election results in hungary that is delighting nationalists but ringing alarm bells in some european capitals. >> reporter: nationalism, islamophobia, and anti-semitic attacks surged, fueled by anger about immigration and mistrust of the elites. >> when you talk about the elites and you talk about finance, is that another way of saying jewish people? >> yes. >> reporter: a cnn poll found that 28% of europeans think that jewish people have too much
influence over finance and business across the world. number 4. >> three years of civil war. yemen is now the world's worst humanitarian crisis. >> reporter: famine, water shortages. a deadly cholera epidemic. and by some estimates 85,000 children under the age of 5 have died from malnutrition. people don't often think of this war as an american war. but many yemenis do. a plane from the u.s.-backed saudi-led coalition struck a bus carrying them. dozens died. >> reporter: experts tell thn this was a u.s.-made 82 bomb. critics call saudi prince mohammed bin salman the architect of the war. now for the first time in two years the u.s. has forced the warring parties to the negotiating table. the stakes are high.
almost 12 million people are on the verge of starvation. number 3. the brutal murder of a journalist sends political shock waves across the world. >> we are getting more information coming in right now on the death of "washington post" journalist jamal khashoggi. he walked into the saudi consulate in istanbul, turkey on october 2nd. he was never seen again. >> reporter: saudi officials released several shifting accounts of what happened. evidence, including an audiotape, revealed chilling details. khashoggi's killing was premeditated. the assassins even bringing a body double to pose as the murdered journalist. take a look. same clothes. same glasses and beard. similar age and physique. everything except the shoes. the cia and other u.s. allies concluded the saudi crown prince ordered the murder. president trump unwilling to hold him accountable. >> maybe he did. maybe he didn't.
>> reporter: number 2, unprecedented dialogue on the korean peninsula. >> the leaders of north and south are about to meet to negotiate a peace settlement and denuclearization. president moon shaking hands with kim jong un. >> reporter: and in june the first ever meeting between a sitting u.s. president and north korean leader. >> we're ready to write a new chapter between our nations. >> reporter: north korea's kim jong un also promising to end his nuclear program. including shutting down a major missile testing site. but in the months since little progress and recent satellite images suggest north korea is moving ahead with its ballistic missile program. despite all this, president trump projects a positive front and plans are still in the works for a possible second summit between trump and kim. number 1. an american president upending
the treaditional world order. 2018 presented diplomatic challenges and in some cases major missteps. clashing with allies and flirting with foes. >> president trump lashing out at the nato summit, insulting germany and calling our nato allies delinquent. >> the president directly undermined the position of theresa may. >> calling the canadian prime minister "very dishonest and weak." >> but it was trump's summit with president vladimir putin in helsinki that drew the most scrutiny. especially his response. when asked about russian interference in the u.s. election. >> i have great confidence in my intelligence people, but i will tell you that president putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today. >> while the president touts his chemistry with world leaders -- >> in fact, i'll get that little piece of dandruff off. >> reporter: -- some worry he has become an international
pipeline. >> my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country. america's -- so true. [ laughter ] >> reporter: 2018 ends with more uncertainty about america's role and influence in the world and a public rebuke. >> breaking news. defense secretary jim mattis quits. in a stunning letter to the president of the united states, the four-star general calling out president trump for not backing american allies, for supporting authoritarian regimes. >> reporter: and for a president who limkes to proclaim america first 2019 will be a true test of where his priorities stand among american allies. thank you for watching this hour of the "cnn newsroom." i'm george howell at the cnn center in atlanta. for our viewers in the united states, "early start" is next. for viewers around the world, my colleague will ripley picks it
an unplanned holiday light show. a transformer blows up lighting up the sky above new york. the skies won't be quiet either today. a messy end to the holiday week. for 800,000 federal workers, no relief soon. the shutdown will last until 2019. another volatile day on wall street. bounced back in the final hour.