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Trump on Travel Ban: If Something Happens Blame Judge; Tech Giants Join Legal Fight over Trump's Travel Ban; Patriots' Historic Super Bowl Win; Russia Reaction to Trump Comments on Putin; Some Iraqi Christians Have No Interest in Going to U.S.; Bumpy Week Ahead for Trump; Iran, Settlements on Agenda for May & Netanyahu Meeting; Le Pen Launches Run for French Presidency; Syrian Refugees Live in Atlanta; Deadly Avalanches in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired February 6, 2017 - 02:00   ET



[02:00:14] MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, and welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. We are live in London. I'm Max Foster.

ISA SOARES, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Isa Soares. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM and it starts right now.

Now U.S. President Donald Trump controversial travel ban remains on pause for now.

FOSTER: All eyes are on the ninth circuit court of appeals. Two U.S. states, Washington and Minnesota, are challenging the ban, which temporarily barred people from seven Muslim-majority countries refugees from entering the United States. The states are due to file legal briefs with the appeals court shortly. Later, on Monday, it is the U.S. Justice Department's turn.

SOARES: It says the lower court's suspension of the ban steps in front of Trump's national security judgment and it wants his executive order reinstated.

While the clash over Mr. Trump's travel ban is deepening as travelers unable to end the U.S. just a week ago, are now returning to American soil

FOSTER: And one again, the president is lashing out on Twitter.

Our Jessica Schneider explains.


JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: After raising eyebrows and getting backlash after his Twitter tirade on Saturday, President Donald Trump took to his Twitter feed on Sunday continuing the rail against the justice system. President Trump tweeting, "Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril. If something happens, blame him and court system. People pouring in, bad." In a second tweet, Trump said, "I have instructed Homeland Security to check people coming into our country very carefully. The courts are making the job very difficult"

President Trump putting the target right on the federal judge and the court system, not agreeing with the decisions that have been made over the weekend and not agreeing what the circuit court did early Sunday morning.

But Vice President Mike Pence is also talking about, saying he believes the travel ban will be put back in place. Take a look.

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There is simply no question under the Constitution and, frankly, under federal law that the president of the United States has the authority, in the interest of national security, to determine who has the right to come into this country. And we are going to challenge the judge's order on that basis.

SCHNEIDER: This legal fight will certainly continue into the week and coming weeks and months.

But in addition, we are looking at a confirmation battle as well. Next stop is Betsy DeVos, the nominee for education secretary. We're expecting a vote in the Senate on Monday Morning. At this point, two Republican Senators have said they will not vote for Betsy DeVos. That means Vice President Mike pence will likely come in and break an expected 50/50 tie. People are expecting that nomination of Betsy DeVos as education secretary to be confirmed because of that vote by Vice President Pence.

Jessica Schneider, CNN, Palm Beach, Florida.


SOARES: The legal battle over Donald Trump's travel ban can be a bit confusing with rulings coming from different courts. Earlier, CNN legal analyst, Danny Cevallos, explained the latest actions of the ninth circuit court of appeals which currently has the case. Take a listen.


DANNY CEVALOS, CNN LEGAL ANLAYST: The ninth circuit court of appeals didn't throw Trump's case, the Trump administration, out of court they just denied the motion for that immediate, essentially, a restraining order on the lower court's restraining order. They are asking the higher court to stop what the lower court stopped. That's all that's happened. The ninth circuit court of appeals has just denied that motion. They are allowing briefing on the matter. And we, lawyers, when we say briefing, that means each side puts together their legal argument on paper and then possibly even an oral argument where they go and actually argue face to face with the judge. But the mere denial of the motion doesn't necessarily mean that the Trump administration will ultimately lose.


FOSTER: Dozens of U.S. tech giants and other companies are joining the legal fight over President Trump's travel ban.

SOARES: They include Apple, Facebook, Twitter, eBay, Uber and Yelp. They have together filed a "friend of the court" brief opposing the ban for the ninth circuit court of appeals. That's the court that is hearing the challenge to the suit brought by Washington as well as Minnesota.

FOSTER: The brief says the ban is substantially harming the companies because it hurts their ability to track foreign workers and staff, increases the costs of doing business, and makes it harder for them to compete internationally.

Political analyst and Democratic strategist, Morris Reid, joins us now.

Morris, this is an extraordinary situation where you have the president taking on the judiciary. Has it happening before?

[02:05:01] MORRIS REID, POLITICAL ANALYST & DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: It's weird. If you look at the way Al Gore handled the Supreme Court situation when he lost the election, he handled it professionally. He accepted the verdict and he moved on. It is funny the president of the United States, two weeks into the job, is already challenging the other branch of government. That's why we have checks and balances. It is unprecedented. But Donald Trump said he wanted to make history. He is being very historic in the way he is handling these things.

SOARES: Are you seeing the mood change within the Republican Party? Are we seeing splits because of this spat that we have seen?

REID: It's interesting. I thought he would have an 18 to 20-month bump. I still believe that. But you'll see, if he starts to lose momentum you'll see people moving away from him. Remember, Republicans came up with a bill to do away with their independent authority and their audit office. Trump did a tweet, he closed it down. That showed his political power. As this wears on, we'll see how much political juice he still has with Republicans. Ultimately, if his ratings stay under 40 percent going into the midterms, you'll see people move away because they don't think he has as much political power as he did coming through the door. You'll see if they stay with them or not.

FOSTER: A lot of criticism of Trump right now. It is an opportunity for the Democrats but you don't seem to be hearing that Democratic voice loudly right now. It seems to be all Republicans.

REID: If the Democrats are only an opposition party, they'll never get the White House back. It is one thing just to be opposition but you have to show the American people you have a better solution. I haven't heard much solutions from the Democratic Party.

FOSTER: Why not?


REID: Well, the Democratic Party is leaderless in a lot of ways. They don't have the presidency anymore. They don't have head of the Democratic Party. You two opposition leaders in the House and Senate who don't control an agenda. They need a party leader that can set the tone, get on TV, and propel the message forward.

SOARES: Or is this just the Democrats' way saying we'll give him all the attention, let him fall on his face?

REID: Absolutely not.


SOARES: Is it a political tactic?

REID: It is because they don't have a leader. But you see the people are rising up. The sad thing is the people didn't go to the polls like this when Hillary Clinton was there. But you see emerging voices that ultimately could be the next generation of political leaders on the Democratic side. One of the problems with the Democrats is you haven't had that generational shift. Now that the Clintons are out of the picture, there may be more leaders to come forward, people from Ohio, for example, where they need to win, or from Pennsylvania.

SOARES: Key states.

REID: Key states that Republicans, that Donald Trump flipped. The Democrats need a leader. I hope they take someone that's a new generation leader so they are listening to the people.

FOSTER: When we look at demonstrations on the street, they are not necessarily reflective, are they, of the national mood, because the polls then come out and show Donald Trump has a lot of support. That's reflected by the election campaign, a lot of these quiet supporters out there that voted for him.

REID: They are not that quiet. They starting to show up.


You noticed that at the Super Bowl. There was one side for the guys for Trump and the other side against Trump. But the silent majority is starting to rise up but if you look at what's going on right now, there are lots of women, lots of minorities out there, but they are out there on segmented issues. This was the problem for the Democrats last time. They split the voters. They didn't have a cohesive message that was able to motivate the entire population. If you look at Donald Trump's message, it's still motivating everyone, make America great. People saw themselves in that. The Democrats, although they represent a lot of disparaging parties, they need to bring people together and rally around a single issue. Until they are able to do that, they will still be a fragmented party with people showing up -- if you saw the messages, there were five, six, seven different signs.


REID: Just no cohesive message. So, the Democrats really need to rally around a message that hopefully will propel them back to the White House.

SOARES: Morris Reid, thank you very much. Thanks for coming in on a day I know you're feeling a bit down because the Falcons lost. Thank you very much.

REID: I have my red for the Falcons.



Thanks, Morris.

FOSTER: Morris wasn't the only one watching the Super Bowl last night either. Also, of course, Donald Trump. He tuned in at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, as the New England Patriots won the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history.

SOARES: Based on the Atlanta Falcons rallying from 25 points down to win 34-28 in overtime. Mr. Trump tweeted congratulations. This is what he said, "What an amazing comeback and win by the Patriots. Tom Brady, Owner Bob Kraft and Coach Bill Belichick are total winners, wow."

Let's get more. CNN's sports correspondent, Andy Scholes, on the game in Houston, Texas. He joins us now.

Andy, how exactly did they pull it off?

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: It was a minor miracle. To me, it was the greatest Super Bowl of all time and it included the greatest comeback. No team had ever comeback from more than a 10- point deficit. The Patriots were down by 25 at one point. Now there's little question, Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback to ever play the game. He has won five Super Bowls, the most in NFL history.

But this game did not start well for the Patriots. In the second quarter, Brady threw an interception to Robert Alfred. He takes it the other way for a touchdown. It was 21-0 Falcons at that point. They would get up by as many as 25 points, but the Patriots would mount a comeback in the fourth quarter. Brady here, it may be the greatest catch in NFL history. Adelman snatching the ball right before it touches the ground. That would lead to a Patriots touchdown. They needed a two-point convention to tie this up. Brady would come through finding Danny Amandola (ph)to tie it. For the first time in Super Bowl history, we had overtime. The Patriots would get the ball first. Tom Brady marches them right down the field. James White touches it in for the touchdown. New England wins in a stunner, 34-28. Tom Brady adds to his legend as he was once again named the Super Bowl MVP.


[02:11:04] TOM BRADY, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS QUARTERBACK: Thank you to all of our fans. Everyone back in Boston, New England, we love you. You have been with us all year. We are bringing this sucker home. (CHEERING)



FOSTER: You know, outside the U.S., people might not have heard of the teams but they have definitely heard of Tom Brady. Explain why it was such a big one for him.

SCHOLES: It was big for a couple of reasons. He got emotional quite a few times talking about his family. We find out his mom has been dealing with a health issue. She hadn't been at a game all season but she was there rooting on Tom, her son. We saw a pretty touching moment with his family. You see him kissing his wife and his mom. He said he was dedicating this Super Bowl win to his mother.

Another reason this game was very important for Tom Brady was the whole Deflategate saga. For Patriots fans, this year has been called the Tom Brady revenge tour. You see him shaking hands with Commissioner Roger Goodell. Goodell was booed very loudly by all the Patriots fans at the end of the game when he presented Patriots owner, Robert Kraft, with the trophy. And this was a big moment for Patriots fans as they were able to get their revenge for the Deflategate.

Guys, Brady was not completely happy after the game. Somebody stole his game Jersey that was in his locker that, I'm sure, he was planning on keeping as a piece of memorabilia. That jersey is missing in action. They don't know where it is.

FOSTER: If someone tries to sell it, they will get called out.

SOARES: Andy, you look happy. Who were you backing?

FOSTER: Don't ask him that.

SOARES: Of course, I can.

SCHOLES: I am a Tom Brady fan.


I was pretty happy. It was pretty special to see him to win.


SOARES: Thanks, Andy. Take care.

Still ahead right here on CNN NEWSROOM, the White House tries to clear up mixed messages over Russian President Vladimir Putin. We'll have the reaction from Moscow, next.

FOSTER: And you'll hear from the U.S. vice president who says he is very troubled about the situation with Russia and the Ukraine.



[02:17:13] FOSTER: U.S. President Donald Trump will attend a NATO's leader summit in Europe despite objections to the organization's relevancy, on Sunday.

SOARES: Mr. Trump spoke with NATO Secretary-General Jen Stoltenberg by phone on Sunday and committed to joining the summit in May. NATO says the two leaders discussed the importance of the alliance in troubled times.

Meanwhile, Republican leaders are calling out President Trump over his defense of the Russian president.

FOSTER: In an interview with FOX news, Mr. Trump seemed to equate U.S. actions with authoritarian regime of Vladimir Putin.




O'REILLY: Do you? Why?

TRUMP: Well I respect a lot of people. But that doesn't mean I'm going to get along with him. He is a leader of his country. I say it's better to get along where Russia than not. And if Russia helps us in the fight against ISIS, which is a major fight, and Islamic terrorism all over the world -

O'REILLY: Right.

TRUMP: -- major fight, that's a good thing.

Will I get along with them? I have no idea.


O'REILLY: He's a killer though. Putin is a killer.

TRUMP: There's a lot of killers. We've got a lot of killers. What, you think our country's so innocent? You think our country's so innocent?

O'REILLY: I don't know of any government leaders that are killers.

TRUMP: Well, take a look at what we've done, too. We've made a lot of mistakes. I've been against the war in Iraq since the beginning.

O'REILLY: Yeah, but mistakes are different than --

TRUMP: We've made a lot of mistakes, OK? But a lot of people were killed. So, a lot of killers around, believe me. (END VIDEO CLIP)

SOARES: Let's get more on Russia's reaction to President Trump's comments. Claire Sebastian joins me now from Moscow.

Claire, good morning to you.

There's plenty of raised eyebrows in the U.S. following the comments by President Trump. How are those -- how is his defense of Putin being received in Moscow?

CLAIRE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Isa, it's suddenly getting a lot of attention. Those comments leading state TV news bulletins this morning.

I think it's interesting to know the Kremlin are, despite a lot of mixed messages coming out of the White House over the last week or so, maintaining a level of cautious optimism about how the Russian/U.S. relationship will play out.

It was interesting to note that after Trump and Putin spoke over a week ago now, the foreign minister used the word "moral preaching." He said he was pleased to see there wasn't any of that in the conversation between Trump and Putin.

I think the striking thing about all of this is the kind of comment we heard from President Trump is really what we are used to seeing out of the Kremlin, that kind of moral equivalency. But the vice president came out and said it wasn't a case of moral equivalency. But really it is a striking parallel. Mr. Trump in the past has equated things like Russia's action in Crimea to what the West has done in Kosovo. Russian media pointed out the divisiveness of the U.S. election campaign as a counterpoint to criticism of Russian democracy. I think that's why here it is so striking from a sitting U.S. president -- Isa?

[02:20:10] SOARES: And you were talking about Vice President Mike Pence who also spoke about Ukraine. Take a listen.


MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are watching and very troubled by the increased hostilities over the past week in eastern Ukraine. I know the president had a conversation with Vladimir Putin.


PENCE: They spoke at that time about Ukraine and I expect those conversations are going to be ongoing.


SOARES: Claire, we know they spoke about Ukraine. Do we know in detail what was said? Did they see eye to eye on the question of Ukraine? SEBASTIAN: You know, Isa, that was the first time we heard from the

U.S. side that they had spoken about Ukraine. When we got the read outs of that call two Saturday's, it was the only the Russian side that mentioned in passing, one line, that they had spoken about Ukraine. We don't know what exactly was said.

You know, he is concerned, Mike Pence, with good reason. We've seen an escalation in violence over the last week in eastern Ukraine. A slight quietening down over the last two days and after bringing the power back on to a flashpoint town in eastern Ukraine, to bring aid in. But it is still a source of serious concern. And particularly from the Russian side. They are worried it will get in the middle of the relationship, the improving relationship, as they see it, between the U.S. and Russia.

I want to read you one tweet from a prominent Russian politician. He says, "Mr. Trump should avoid to fall in the, quote, 'Ukrainian trap.' U.S./Russian relations should not become hostage to Mr. Poroshenko's adventurist polices."

It gives you a sense at how the Russians are looking at it -- Isa?

SOARES: Claire Sebastian for us in Moscow. The time is 21 minutes past 10:00 in the morning. Claire, thanks.

FOSTER: This week could be critical in determining if tensions between the U.S. and Iran will get worse. Iran started military drills on Saturday after President Donald Trump imposed sanctions and didn't rule out military action against Iran.

FOSTER: In his FOX News interview, Trump did not clarify what he plans to do about the nuclear deal negotiated under the Obama administration.


TRUMP: They have total disregard for our country. They are the number-one terrorist state. They're sending money all over the place and weapons, and you can't do that.

O'REILLY: So you're not real bullish on Iran at this point?

TRUMP: No. I'm not bullish. I think they have total disrespect for our country. And I understand. That deal, I would have lived with it if their said, OK, we're all together now.


TRUMP: But it was just the opposite. It's like they're emboldened. They follow our planes. They circle our ships with their little boats. And they lost respect because they can't believe anyone could be so stupid as to make a deal like that.


FOSTER: Mr. Trump wants to stop all refuges admitted to the United States for 120 days. After that, to give priority to a group of people he says are being horribly treated.

Our Ben Wedeman found out some in Iraq are saying thank you, but no thank you.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORERSPONDWENT (voice-over): They make do with the little they have. The people here are Christians who fled their town in northern Iraq when ISIS took over, losing homes, businesses, almost everything they owned.

You would think they would be rejoicing at President Trump's suggestion he'll give preference to Christian refugees.

Evelyn Meky (ph) and her family get by on an income from their simple shop. She isn't jumping at the offer.


WEDEMAN: I don't want to go abroad," she says. "I love Iraq, my country. It's the country of our parents."


WEDEMAN: Camp residents have nailed crosses and Iraqi flags to their temporary homes eager to stress they are Iraqis first, Christians second.

(on camera): Some of the people here have been here in this camp for the past two and a half years. It's a fairly bleak existence. But despite that, some of them say, even given the chance as Christians to move to the United States, they still wouldn't go there.

(voice-over): Evelyn's husband shares her skepticism.


WEDEMAN: "Let's say I went to America, what would I get out of it," he asked. "No, let me live in my Iraq and die in my Iraq."



WEDEMAN: Before the U.S. invasion, almost a million and a half Christians lived here. Since then, as many as two-thirds have left.

[02:25:09] LOUIS RAPHAEL DE SUKO (ph), CHALDEIAN CATHOLIC PATRIARCH OF BABYLON: Not only Christians, but also others, Muslims, Sunnis, Shia, Yazidi also.

WEDEMAN: Louis Raphael de Suko (ph) is the first Chaldean (ph) Catholic patriarch of Babylon and leads the larges Christian community in Iraq. He's at pains to warn, giving preference to Christians over Muslim will only increase resentment. DE SUKO (ph): It doesn't matter they are Christian or Muslim, they

are human beings. You know, does this - the sectarian language was very bad.


WEDEMAN: The faithful take communion at Baghdad's St. Joseph's Church.


WEDEMAN: The pews are emptier than before. A sense of loss haunts many who have seen loved ones leave never to return.


WEDEMAN: Mafatuma (ph) thinks it is a good idea to stop all Iraqis, regardless of religion, from leaving.


WEDEMAN: "Enough immigration," she says after the service. "They shouldn't let our young people go. No one will be left here."


WEDEMAN: The American president's words cold comfort for dwindling flocks.

Ben Wedeman, CNN, Baghdad.


FOSTER: The latest on the legal blow to Trump's travel order has him lashing out on Twitter. More on the other battles he's facing as well after the break.

SOARES: And Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu will meet with the British Prime Minister Theresa May. What's at the top of his agenda, next.


[02:30:09] FOSTER: Welcome back to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Max Foster.

SOARES: And I'm Isa Soares.

Let me bring you up to date on the main top stories we're following for you this hour.


FOSTER: More now on President Donald Trump's travel ban, and a look at how everything has played out so far. He signed an executive order on January 27 banning people from the Muslim-majority countries for 90 days. He also suspended the U.S. refugee program for 120 days and indefinitely stopped Syrian refugees from entering the U.S.

SOARES: The following day, protests erupt around the world, many angry at what they saw as a ban on Muslims. This past Friday, a federal judge halted the ban. Two days later, the federal appeals court denied the government's emergency request to reinstate it.

FOSTER: Donald Trump's third week as president -- there's only been three, can you believe it -- promises to be as bumpy as his first two. He's facing a lot of pushback over several issues, including his executive order travel ban.

CNN's Suzanne Malveaux has more.


SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After just the first two weeks in office, President Trump is preparing for a judicial showdown over whether his travel ban by executive order can stand. To the dismay of both Democrats and some Republican lawmakers, Trump spent part of the weekend disparaging the federal, who temporarily suspended the ban, through tweets calling the judge a "so- called judge who made a ridiculous ruling," adding, "Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril. If something happens, blame him and the court system. People pouring in, bad."

This could become an issue for Republicans that are trying to get the 60 votes necessary in the Senate to confirm Trump's pick for Supreme Court justice, Judge Neil Gorsuch.

Also, Republicans publicly distancing themselves from Trump's comments about Russia when he suggested in an interview with FOX News there was a moral equivalency between the U.S. and Putin.

Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi is now calling for a formal investigation into Trump and Putin's relationship.

Monday, President Trump makes his first major public address to the U.S. troops since is inauguration when he goes to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida. There he's also going to be briefed by U.S. Central Command, CENTCOM, and Special Ops Command.

Suzanne Malveaux, CNN, Washington.


FOSTER: British Prime Minister Theresa May will meet with her Israeli counterpart in London today, and Iran and Israel settlements in the West Bank pretty much high on the agenda.

SOARES: Mr. Netanyahu called for a united front against what he calls Iran's extraordinary aggression - his words. A spokesman for May said She will reiterate her support for the Iran nuclear deal and May will also outline Britain's concerns that the settlement activity undermines trust in the peace process.

Let's get more. Joining now, Yossi Mekelberg, an associate fellow for the Middle East and North Africa Program at Chatham House.

Yossi, thank you very much for joining us.


SOARES: Plenty on the agenda today. We heard from Mr. Netanyahu saying there are opportunities in this relationship with Theresa May. What does he mean by that?

MEKELBERG: He meant London and I think Washington.

SOARES: Right.

MEKELBERG: I think just back from Washington. Maybe for some close relations. Brexit (INAUDIBLE). His own problems at home. He visits Washington next week. In many ways, it is almost preparation in trying to synchronize what happened in the U.K. and in Israel, also what happens in the United States right now.

FOSTER: They have to try to work out exactly what U.S. policy towards Israel is because there's mixed messages coming out from Washington. How is Theresa May going to be able to help Mr. Netanyahu through that?

MEKELBERG: I think anyone expects policies from the White House in the next four years. Trump started his election campaign by saying that he is a sort of a mutual kind of guy. Then he said he we will have to make concessions. But then he changed. He said this is not how to win elections in the United States. So, he moves to blame Obama for being weak on Israel. He promised he would take a different view and move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. In the meantime, Israel announced building around 6,000 house, homes in Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank. This makes someone in the White House, they have to say something. They said they are not helpful. At the same time, the U.K. probably helped to draft a resolution on 3 December that condemned settlements and called them illegal.

SOARES: And this is it. Theresa May will face pressure from many people in the U.K., including Jeremy Corbin, who says she needs to (INAUDIBLE) when it comes to illegal settlements.

MEKELBERG: Correct. But not consistent and a few days later condemned John Kerry for saying the same and saying it is the most in the history of the country. At the same time, condemning the settlements. So, there are also inconsistencies in British policy on settlements. Then comes the question of Iran.


MEKELBERG: Netanyahu would like for Trump to take this issue of Iran. And as we know, Trump thinks this is the worst deal ever. So how you square all of this.


SOARES: It doesn't seem like they are see eye to eye on a lot of points.

MEKELBERG: No. But at the same, their own bilateral (INAUDIBLE) in the U.K. If you look at the trade volume, it's 5 billion pounds a year, in corporation, military and intelligence. So, it's a mixed bag. There are issues that Britain and Israel differ and differ substantially. But probably have closer relations more than ever.

SOARES: Yeah, maybe about optics as Netanyahu goes to Washington. Lots of play here.


SOARES: Yossi, thank you.

FOSTER: We'll be previewing it all through, also when he goes to Washington.

Yossi, thank you very much.

SOARES: Thank you.

MEKELBERG: Thank you very much.

SOARES: Now, the leader of the far-right National Front Party in France has officially launched her presidential campaign.

FOSTER: Marine Le Pen told supporters she will restrict immigration and fight globalization.

Melissa Bell has more on the presidential race there.


MELLISA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: France's presidential campaign came in the shape of two candidates currently leading in the polls. On one hand, he resigned from the government last year to stand as an independent. He is hoping to convince as many voters from the right as from the left to back his platform and present a credible alternative. She spoke here today launching officially her campaign, a campaign she believes will take her all the way. It was a pop list speech all about the need to retreat behind France's borders. She wants to leave the European Union. She wants also to leave NATO. There are a good deal of similarities between her platform and the one on which Donald Trump stood in the United States. It is that pop list way that allows Brexit to happen and Donald Trump that will carry her to power. She spoke today in front of a very enthusiastic crowd. They are convinced her time has finally come. Both candidates are expected to make it to the second round of the election if you believe the polls for the time being. Pollster points out it will be one of the hardest elections to call.

Melissa Bell, CNN, Paris.


FOSTER: Queen Elizabeth is the first British monarch to reach a sapphire jubilee. That means celebrating 65 years on the throne. Her reign began on February 6, 1952 after the death of her father. King George VI father gave her these sapphires. The queen has no public events planned. Royal sources saying she will spend the day in quiet reflection at home in Sandringham.

SOARES: Is it normal that she doesn't have any events planned?

FOSTER: Yes. She always marks it that way. It also marks the end of her father's reign. She doesn't see it as something to celebrate.


While many people are here with valid visas were caught in President Trump's travel ban, next, you'll hear from a family from Somalia. CNN was there when they finally reunited in the United States.

02:40:08] FOSTER: Plus, we'll look at what rescuers are up against as they dig through villages buried by avalanches in Afghanistan and Pakistan.


FOSTER: Welcome back to you. Many families with visas were stuck in limbo when U.S. President Donald Trump signed the controversial travel ban order. One of them was a family from Somalia, which is one of the seven countries banned. They finally reunited on Sunday in Virginia.

SOARES: The husband is a U.S. citizen. He was waiting for his wife and two children, including a 10-month-old baby. They had valid visas and had booked a flight from the UAE last week.

CNN spoke to them after they reunited. Let's listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It has been a very difficult week. I am happy.

UNIDENTIFIED CNN REPORTER: What were you feeling when you were getting on the plane?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I used to hear the campaign rhetoric but I never thought it would be so personal to me. It touched us personally. Now from now on even though my family already came here, we feel for all of those who are still in limbo and not knowing what will happen next.


FOSTER: Well, they said they don't plan to leave the U.S. any time soon.

SOARES: I'm not surprised after what they have been through.

Well, if it resumes, the ban holds stops immigrants and refugees to the U.S. for the next four months. FOSTER: The ban halts indefinitely refugees from Syria in the midst of a brutal civil war.

Our Polo Sandoval spoke to one Syria couple who has made their home near Atlanta.


POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A search for refuge lead Assan (ph) and Rani Amusa (ph) from Aleppo, Syria to an Atlanta suburb. This is where they started their life in the U.S., away from the war zone that was their home. Fighting between ISIS and al Nusra Front forced them into a neighboring country.

[02:45:12] ASSAN AMUS (ph), SYRIAN IMMIGRANT TO U.S. (through translation): I didn't stay because there is discrimination against Kurds and that forced me to apply for asylum in the United States.

SANDOVAL: Months later, Assan and Rani (ph) reached out to refugee organizations within the United States. They were vetted, and two years after fleeing Syria, admitted in his refugees.

Today, they make a living working in these aisles and in the kitchen of this international market northeast of Atlanta.

They are among six Middle Eastern refugees working here. The market's owner, a 22-year-old second-generation American of Jordanian heritage, says it's about giving refugees a chance to ease into life in the U.S.

UNIDENTIFIED MARKET OWNER: I'm happy to give them that opportunity to allow them to express all they want to do and allow them to grow with us. It's my hope that I can help train them and help them assimilate.

SANDOVAL: Rani (ph) says life in America was hard at first but she is working to overcome language and cultural barriers.

RANI AMUSA (ph), SYRIAN IMMIGRANT TO U.S. (through translation): When I first arrived, I was a bit concerned. After meeting some American friends, they helped me, accepted me, and helped me with the language. Things are better for me now.

SANDOVAL: They would like to see the White House lift its suspension of the refugee program, allowing them to have the same opportunities as them.

ASSAN AMUSA (ph) (through translation): I did not communicate with anyone here about that ban. Yes, I know about it, but I hope that President Trump will revisit his decision and open the states again for the refugees. Because the ones living as refugees, they are suffering. Wherever they are, from whatever country they're in, they are suffering and they have the need and they have the right to live a good life with dignity.

Polo Sandoval, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE) SOARES: A series of avalanches in Afghanistan, Pakistan and India killed dozens of people in recent days and more are believed to be trapped.

FOSTER: Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri joins us from the CNN Weather Center with.

It is going on and on there.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS METEOROLOGIST: It is absolutely incredible, Max. When you think about what is going on here in this region it is well known for being heavily disputed borders. More people lose their lives than from guarding these borders. It really puts it in perspective of what's going on.

As we show you this, there is Kabul. I want to dive into the mountains. We know slopes at 50 to 60 degrees here. It certainly meets the criteria across this region, but when you look at what has occurred the numbers in red here indicating the fatalities and preliminary numbers in place, when you see yellow numbers that's the number of people that are currently trapped across these regions. Some of these roads impassable. They cannot make it there to provide any rescue operations. This widespread coverage is what's most striking about this. This is roughly the size of the country of the U.K. as far as where you have avalanches occurring.

I want to show you something. To get avalanches I want to show you here. To get these you have to have the elements come together. You have to have weak bonding between layers of snow. Several meters have come down. Into the afternoon hours, temperatures warm up a little bit. You get sleet and freezing rain. It causes a thin layer of ice to form. It causes this instability in the layers that leads to avalanches. If you're in these sorts of situations it is actually a really good trick to get down and swipe that credit card through the ice or snow. When it runs through it's not good news. If you're thinking it might be in an area. If it's harder to run through it. You know there's better bonder taking place between the ice as well. You get this to take place you have the layers and snow on top of it you get this instability and it breaks free. That is what's happening there across Pakistan. The weather pattern doesn't look conducive here for recovery effort. Later into the week, we are seeing another storm system slated to come right through. So, additional snow expected across these higher elevations as we go into Friday, guys.

FOSTER: Thank you so much, Pedram. Really well explained, wasn't it?

SOARES: A great tip with the credit cards.


Thank you. Very good to see you.

FOSTER: Appreciate it, yeah.

JAVAHERI: You bet.

FOSTER: And from him to Lady Gaga, it's a natural segue.

SOARES: I'm sure she'll love that.

[02:50:14] FOSTER: She, meanwhile, has been taking to the Super Bowl halftime and showing new heights as well.

SOARES: How she used drones and the roof of the stadium. That's coming up after this short break.

You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.




FOSTER: U.S. President Donald Trump isn't the only world leader taking notice of the Super Bowl this year. Pope Francis says it can be an agent of peace.

SOARES: In a video, the pontiff praised the event and said he hopes it would bring people together. Take a listen.


POPE FRANCIS (through translation): Lady Gaga brought a message to the Super Bowl. It was one of inclusion. Gracias.


SOARES: Lady Gaga also brought a message to the Super Bowl, and that was one inclusion. The halftime performance began with her at the NRG Stadium as a fleet of drones lit up the sky.


[02:55:12] (SINGING)


FOSTER: Really super cool. She jumps off. She is OK. A death- defying cable drop to the stage below. She sang a medley of her hits, including LGBT anthem. She caught a football. There's no end to her talent.

SOARES: And everyone is saying, I think it's spot on, the fact that it was quite a political statement without having to say anything political or even his name.


There you go. She's done it for you.

SOARES: That does it for us this time. I'm Isa Soares.

FOSTER: I'm Max Foster.

We are back with another hour of NEWSROOM from around the world. Stay with us. CNN is the world's news leader.