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Battle For Mosul; What didn't Happen In Sweden; Battle To Retake Western Mosul Rages On; Civilian Casualties Feared In Western Mosul Offensive; Senators To Trump Administration: Preserve Records On Russia; After Rough Week: Trump Tries To Change Topic With Rally; White House: Russia Investigation Won't Find Anything; Trump Appeals To His Base By Attacking Media; Trump: Sweden Comment Based On Fox News T.V. Segment; Sweden: We Can Inform Trump Of Our Immigration Policies; Critics Decry: Trump's Info Sources After Sweden Comment; U.S. Influence On The World Stage; Video Appears To Show Moment Kim Jong-nam Was Attacked; Kim Jong-nam Death Strains Malaysia-North Korean Relations; Malaysia Recalls Its Ambassador From North Korea; Police Not Saying If North Korea Behind Death; South Korea Says It has No Doubt North Korea Behind The Killing; Russia: New Ukraine Truce Monday; Russia: New Ukraine Ceasefire Monday; New Memos Spell Out U.S. Immigration Crackdown. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired February 20, 2017 - 01:00   ET


[01:00:00] CYRIL VANIER, CNN INTERNATIONAL AND NEWSROOM ANCHOR: A day of new fighting in Iraq, where government troops are making a push to liberate the rest of Mosul from ISIS. And new diplomatic pull out from the murder of Kim Jong-un's half-brother. Plus, what happened in Sweden or what didn't happen? Donald Trump had a lot of people wondering after his comments at a rally. Now, we know where he got his information. That's all ahead here on CNN NEWSROOM. Thank you so much for joining us. We're live from Atlanta, I'm Cyril Vanier.

ISIS is under attack in its last major stronghold in Iraq. Ground defensive is under-way to drive the terror group from Western Mosul. Iraq's military released this video proports showing air strike on ISIS facilities. The targets include; factories, used of booby- trapping vehicles. The city is also being pounded by rockets and artillery. The humanitarian groups also warned that civilians could be caught in the crossfire. The U.N. says, up to 800,000 people still live in Western Mosul. But for more, on what anti-ISIS forces can expect in this battle, here's Senior International Correspondent, Ben Wedeman, in neighboring Turkey.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The latest and perhaps decisive phase, to drive ISIS out of Mosul - Iraq's second largest city, began at the crack of dawn. Before Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the beginning of operations on Iraqi television. Iraqi and coalition aircraft and artillery, pummeled ISIS targets in the western part of the city. And over 90 Iraqi airplanes dropped millions of leaflets on Mosul calling on ISIS fighters to put down their weapons and surrender, and warning civilians to stay in their homes and cooperate with Iraqi forces. Since then, those forces have moved from the south and southwest towards the center of the city, their first objective to take Mosul airport.

Resistance is expected to be fierce. ISIS has dug a complicated network of tunnels in the city, and is already using armed drones, and is expected they will, as usual, use many suicide car bombers. Perhaps the most difficult or challenging part of this operation, for government forces will be to minimize civilian casualties. There are as many as 650 to 800,000 civilians living in the western part of the city, and ISIS has never hesitated to use civilians as human shields. The humanitarian situation in the west is dire. Food, medicine, fuel and drinking water - safe drinking water, are in seriously short supply. And humanitarian groups expect hundreds of thousands of civilians to flee the city as the fighting intensifies. Ben Wedeman, CNN, Istanbul.


VANIER: For more on the battle for Mosul: Lieutenant General Mark Hertling, CNN Military Analyst joins us now. Lieutenant General, the Iraqi army has launched the operation. Shia Paramilitary Groups are there, and Kurdish Peshmergas are there as well. Is it a foregone conclusion that western Mosul will fall?

MARK HERTLING, CNN MILITARY ANALYST AND FORMER UNITED STATES MILITARY OFFICER: No, it's not Sir. I think there's a lot of heavy fighting before us. I give the Iraqi Security Forces and the various elements that are coming together, high marks so far. They have done an extremely good job on the Eastern part of Mosul, but it took them much longer than they anticipated with a lot of casualties. The western part of the city is going to be much more difficult. It has the airport, which is critically important to capture as rapidly as possible and I'll explain, why, in a second.

But there's also large government buildings. Western Mosul is made up of more, you know, fluent neighborhoods, let's call it, with a lot of bigger houses which I think over the last two years ISIS has probably reinforced and made into fortresses. Particularly, for the defense of this side of the town. What you also have are the roads going out of Western Mosul toward Tal Afar, into the Western by deserts and onto Raqqa, Syria. So, it's a major supply line. It's critically important in terms of reaching key cities. And ISIS wants to hold on, but they had been beaten pretty hard with both artillery and air power over the last several months.

[01:05:14] VANIER: You mentioned the roads leading out of Mosul. Are they blocking those roads or is there an escape route for ISIS militants? Because that's something that have been considered.

HERTLING: They had been blocking the major highways, especially the ones in the Tal Afar, and toward Habergade, and on the Turkish border. But again, Cyril, this is open desert. So, you're talking about the potential for not using roads, for individuals who'll be going through. But I think the ability to see things at night is on the side of the Iraqi Security Forces and the coalition forces. But again, these are - these are trade routes and smuggling routes that've been used for centuries. So, a lot of the tribes in those areas - if they're paid the right amount of money, will get some of the people out. But there's still a massive force inside Western Mosul it's going to be very difficult to do that.

VANIER: And you served in that part of Iraq with the U.S. military in the late 2000, of course, you know that region well. How dangerous does ISIS remain, assuming they are rooted out of Western Mosul? If they can no longer keep that foothold there, are they still a threat to Iraq?

HERTLING: They are still a threat, but not as significant. You're going to see continued efforts, not only in the Northern Nineveh plains, but another key city further to the south that weren't cleared completely. One of the areas that I'm very concerned about, is a small little town between Tikrit and Kirkuk by the name of Hawija. That's always been a hotbed. The Iraqi security forces had bypassed that, and they're already seeing minor actions coming out of there toward Kirkuk that are causing disruptions with security in the area.

There're also still elements of ISIS in and around Baghdad. And, you know, as we used to say when we were there, if you're judging security by the lack of car bombs, it's going to continue to happen. And unfortunately, we saw some of that in Baghdad within the last few days. So, they are still active in many places, it's just that, the Iraqi Security Forces have done a very good job in attacking the majority of that force and getting the city cleared.

VANIER: All right. CNN Military Analyst, Lieutenant General, Mark Hertling. Thank you very much for your insights.

HERTLING: Quite welcome. My honor.

VANIER: U.S. Senators are trying to preserve records that could be used in a possible investigation into ties with Russia. Law Enforcement Officials here, have told CNN that Trump aides were in constant communication during the election campaign with Russians known to U.S. Intelligence. A charge which the Trump administration denies. Our Ryan Nobles has more from Washington.


RYAN NOBLES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is a significant development, the Senate Intelligence Committee sending more than a dozen letters to agencies, organizations, and individuals connected to the Trump administration, telling them to preserve records related to Russia. It is among the clear-signed yet that there will be an in extensive bipartisan investigation into the Russian government's attempt to interfere in the recent Presidential election. The move comes, after a private briefing of Republican and Democratic Members of Congress by FBI Director, James Comey. It was after that meeting which remains a secret, that Republican Senator, Marco Rubio, tweet with confidence that there would be a bipartisan probe into the issue.

Up until now, the Senate Intelligence Chair Richard Burr, of North Carolina has been reluctant to take that step, despite being pushed by ranking Democrat Mark Warner of Virginia. The White House did not deny that the letters have been sent, but push back on the idea that it was a big deal. Saying that, just because the records were requested doesn't mean they will reveal anything. The President himself has forcefully defended the validity of his election win, and has worked hard to down-play any attempt or suggestion that Russia intervened on his behalf. Ryan Nobles, CNN, Washington.


VANIER: Let's talk about the week that was in the Trump White House, and the week that will be with Conservative CNN Political Commentator Ben Ferguson, he's with us from Dallas, Texas; also with us, our Senior Political Analyst Ron Brownstein, he's in Los Angeles. Ron, is also the Senior Editor of "The Atlantic." Let's start with what Ellis Lamb that was talking about the Senate Intelligence Committee, essentially, putting the White House on notice saying, "don't destroy any documents, we're going to look into this, we're going to look into you." Ben, do you think - how concerned are you about this cloud hanging over the White House?

BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I'm not concerned about it at all. I'm glad that the Senate is going to do this. I think there should be transparency in government. And if they feel like this is an issue where they need to take a real hard look at it, then I think they should definitely do it. I also don't think, there's anything wrong with the White House talking to foreign leaders, as they're getting closer to coming into the White House. And I think all these documents should be taken a look at, to make it clear and transparent to the American people that nothing here went on that was improper or wrong and or illegal. So, I'm glad they're doing it. If they feel they need to, they should do it.

[01:10:07] VANIER: Well, Ben, the concern, I think, that was raised was not that Trump aides were talking to foreign leaders, and it's quite clear to everyone, that always happens in a campaign.


VANIER: The concern was the amount and the intensity of the contacts, and that's what raised concerns, and raised red flags for the Intelligence Community.

FERGUSON: Sure. But there was also an awful lot of things that were going on right at that time with America and Russia. So, it makes sense to speak with them more often, because they were a center point, especially at that point in the campaign, especially when it came to foreign affairs, especially with the White House under Obama. There was a lot of interaction at that moment in time. It would make sense to me, you would have more conversation to them -


FERGUSON: Whenever that much news going on.

VANIER: Ron? Do you think we're going to get clarity on this?

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST AND SENIOR EDITOR OF THE ATLANTIC: Well, I mean, that's going to be the question, right? Because the issue is not whether they were discussing foreign policy, the issue is ultimately whether the Trump campaign or people in the Trump orbit were colluding with Russia in their efforts. As the Intelligence Community, has now said both influence the election and specifically to influence the election to improve the odds of Donald Trump winning. And that is the core question that we are examining and, you know, the Senate Intelligence Committee is not the ideal venue for a public investigation. It is a committee that is, you know, more accustomed to keeping things quiet than kind of airing them in the bright sunlight of day.

But there is a sense, like a growing of seriousness and urgency on the committee that including not only Republicans who have been, you know, sort of sympathetic to the administration, but those like Marco Rubio who've been critical, and Democrats like Mark Warner. I mean, this does seem to be gathering steam as a serious investigation. And as Ben said, I think we are going to learn more in the months ahead. One thing that's clear also, is that within the Intelligence Community and the Law Enforcement Community, this investigation is proceeding and there is a certain amount of anxiety, that it may be shut down around them if they're not providing information to the public with the leaks that the President is condemning. So, this story is far from over.

VANIER: Yes, I know. Definitely. We still - we're still waiting for the answers on this story. Ben, Trump had a really black and white week. Very adversarial with the press on Thursday, during his press conference. Immense support, on the other hand, from the crowds in Florida of the weekend. Is that going forward? Is that going to be the blueprint for his presidency?

FERGUSON: Look, I don't know if it's going to be the blueprint for the next four years. I certainly think in the near - in the near term, he's making it very clear with the media, that he's more than willing to spar with them, debate with them. This is something that some people I think have thought of as if it's a negative. I like the fact that you have a blunt and open dialogue with the President of the United States of America, and those in the media.

We did not see this from President Obama. You had a nine minute back and forth with Jim Acosta. That is open dialogue which is good for the American people, it's good for this White House. Yes, he's critical of many people in the media, but at least there is an open dialogue, and no one is being shut out to these conversations. So, I think his supporters definitely like it. I'm one of those. I like this back and forth. I like this open dialogue. And I like that he's challenging the press as well.

VANIER: All right. Both of you, you need to tell me your views on this Sweden moment at the Florida rally by Mr. Trump. He was making a point about the dangers of unfettered immigration. And here's what he said.


DONALD TRUMP, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: You look at what's happening in Germany. You look what's happening last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would believe this? Sweden, they took in large numbers. They're having problems like they never thought possible.


VANIER: The problem as we know now is nothing actually happened in Sweden. Here's what Mr. Trump said, "My statement was in reference to a story that was broadcast on Fox News concerning immigrants and Sweden." And just before we get to my question - the reaction from Sweden, because that's interesting as well. Of course, they're - they say, "We look forward to informing the U.S. administration about Swedish immigration and integration policies." Which was obviously an easy comeback for them. Ron, do you think that, that kind of episode diminishes the President's credibility? And if so, is that a problem in terms of carrying out his policies in the future?

[01:14:16] BROWNSTEIN: Well, this pushes right at one of the critical, and not the critical fault line about Donald Trump, both at home and abroad. Ordinarily, you know, there is an exhaustive process that produces any word that comes out of the President's mouth. There're a lot of people who decide what are the appropriate thing to say, specially, at a foreign policy. This seems to be something that he watched Fox, the night before. And you know, with, you know, virtually no veil or filter is coming out of his mouth the next day at a rally.

There is no question that there is a portion of Donald Trump's electorate that thrills to idea of him kind of, you know, shattering the normal boundaries of behavior. But it is a mistake, I mean, it's clearly a mistake to say that it's all his voters, all of his supporters. If you look at the exit polls from the election last fall, a quarter of the people who voted for him - slightly more than a quarter in fact, said, they did not believe he was qualified to be President. But they voted for him anyway because they wanted change and didn't trust Hillary Clinton.

You can see in the polling now, that many of those voters are anxious about the way he is approaching the presidency. To say nothing of the reaction internationally that we saw at the Munich conference this weekend, where there was open anxiety about it kind of means for the Western Alliance. Not only from the Europeans, but from John McCain among others as a leading Republican in the Senate. So, look, I guess, there are people who are very excited and want this kind of behavior. But I think it's a mistake to assume that it comes without cost, and that all of his voters are on board with the way he is approaching the presidency.


FERGUSON: Look, I think you see what Donald Trump has said about Sweden, for example. And there have been multiple stories in that part of the world talking about the uptick in crime, and violent crime that has happened as a lot of these refuges have come in. And as soon -

VANIER: Hold on, Ben. He referenced an issue that never happened. Is there no credibility problem there for him?

FERGUSON: Well, hold on. He didn't say that. Let's be clear. When he talked about what happened in Sweden, and if you listen to his entire comment that he made there, he talked about the uptick and what has happened in that country at the hands of some of these refuges who obviously were not well vetted. So, to say - and his point was he says, look what happened last night and then he goes on to explain it. If you take in the context, I don't have a problem with this. I think some people are trying to imply that he was acting as if there was a terrorist attack. If you listen to his comment, he did not imply that.

He talked about how they had been too loose, with allowing refugees in. Stories are now coming out about women being attacked and other people being attacked at the hands of these refuges, the same way that we've seen this in Paris, the same way that we've seen this in Germany. And so, his point was, you look at this country, they made a mistake, it goes back to his vetting issue here. I don't have a problem with him saying this. Some people I think like to try and make things bigger than they really are with him. If you listen to his entire comment, it makes sense in the context to what he was saying, specifically to a crowd that was listening to him talk in Florida.

VANIER: All right. Well, he did actually specifically say, "look at what happened last night," and then, you know, the Swedish authorities - the Swedish authorities listened to the whole speech presumably, and they were aghast, you know.

FERGUSON: Well, let's be clear though. Sweden also has an interest in making it clear to the rest of the world. Especially, when you're dealing with tourism that everything is absolutely a OK. But if you look at the articles have been written in that part of the world, specifically, it's very clear that they have had an uptick in their violent crime, specifically really to refuges coming into their country. And it's been documented now for the last couple of months. So, this is not breaking news in that part of the world, it is breaking news here in America.

VANIER: Gentleman, that's all the time we have for now unfortunately. But thank you both for coming on. We're going to have to wrap this up. Ben Ferguson, Ron Brownstein, very much appreciated. Thanks.

BROWNSTEIN: Thank you.


[01:17:56] VANIER: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. The mysterious death of Kim Jong-nam, has sparked an international row. Details ahead, from Kuala Lumpur. Plus, will the West lose its influence on the worlds stage under the Trump presidency? We'll speak to a former U.S. Ambassador about that, right after the break.


VANIER: Welcome back, everyone. We have dramatic new video that we want to share with you, coming in to us from Japan's Fuji T.V. Apparently, showing the moment the half-brother of North Korea's leader was attacked at the Kuala Lumpur airport. You're going to see on the highlighted portion of this surveillance video, there you go, what appears to be a woman placing something over Kim Jong-nam's face from behind and walks off.

And then, Kim, in the grey suit there, in the center of the screen, can be seen approaching the ticket counter, apparently seeking help, an ambulance was then called to take him to a hospital. But he died on the way to the hospital. You see him pointing to his face, to eyes, where that product was apparently sprayed. Meanwhile, the mysterious death is straining relations between North Korea and Malaysia. CNN's Saima Mohsin is in Kuala Lumpur, tracking the investigation and the growing diplomatic row.

SAIMA MOHSIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The Kim Jong-nam, a murder investigation has now taken a diplomatic turn with a back and forth between the Malaysian and North Korean authorities here in Kuala Lumpur. Now, this follows a rather dramatic and impromptu statement from the North Korean Ambassador to Malaysia. He came to the mortuary, shortly after midnight Friday, and made a statement in response to that.

The Malaysian authorities have released a statement saying that, "the Ambassador insinuated, the Malaysian government had something to conceal, and was colluding, and playing into the gallery of external forces." That's a quote from the Ambassador from North Korea. And the Malaysians say that, they have acted completely transparently. And because this was a case of sudden death on their soil, it's not only their right, but the law in Malaysia to conduct a postmortem examination. And they are going according to procedure. They also said, the Malaysian government views the criticism as baseless.

Now, up until now, Malaysia and North Korea have had very good relations. In fact, they have an embassy in Pyongyang. And as a result of this situation now, the Malaysian government has recalled its ambassador in Pyongyang, I quote "to Kuala Lumpur for consultation." Of course, the postmortem examination and the police inquiry continues. There are several new suspects and people that police want to speak to. Take a look at.

Seven new faces, all wanted for questioning in connection with the death of Kim Jong-nam. As police confirmed to me today, this is now a murder investigation. These four men are now suspects. They've been identified by polices as being North Korean, with civilian passports. Crucially, police say, they all left the country on the day of the attack. The police wouldn't say where they flew to. And these three men are also wanted by police "assist in their investigation." None, are suspects. Two are yet to be identified, the said, is a North Korean man, the whereabouts, unknown.

NOOR RASHID IBRAHIM, ROYAL MALAYSIAN POLICE DEPUTY INSPECTOR-GENERAL: A Korean male approached an officer and the Malaysian Airport, Customer Service Center. Informing her that two unidentified women has sweep or has wipe his face with a liquid, and that he was feeling dizzy.

MOHSIN: Under the keen eyes of the world's media, police gave details on the murder investigation in a packed press conference.

IBRAHIM: The cause of death is still, unknown. We are waiting for the toxicology and pathology of death.

[01:24:37] MOHSIN: Malaysian police officials say, they will stick to procedure and won't release the body without formal identification by a next of kin or a DNA test. Well, that's being met by the ire of the North Koreans. The North Korean Ambassador to Malaysia condemning Malaysian authorities handling of the case saying, "they won't accept the results of the postmortem examination."

In the meantime, four suspects already under arrest remain in custody. One of them an Indonesian woman, apparently, thought she was taking part in a prank T.V. show, and feels duped in taking part in the attack, that's according to the Indonesian National Police Chief. Another strange new twist to this already outlandish murder mystery. Now, look in total, there are five North Korean suspects; one in custody, and four wanted for questioning. The South Korean government has held a briefing saying, it has no doubt that North Korea is indeed behind the killing of Kim Jong-nam. No response from North Korea on that, so far. Saima Mohsin, CNN, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


VANIER: A new ceasefire for Eastern Ukraine. It was announced by Russia and set for Monday, but there's no word yet, if it's taken hold.


[01:29:24] VANIER: Welcome back to our viewers all around the world. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Cyril Vanier, let's take a look at your headlines. An offensive, rages on to drive ISIS from Western Mosul - its last major Iraqi stronghold. This video from Iraq's military proports to show air strikes on ISIS facilities in the city. The targets reportedly included factories, used to booby-trap vehicles.

No word yet, on the start to a new ceasefire, an embattled Eastern Ukraine. Russia said it would start on Monday a recent spike in violence, Ukrainian forces and Russian backed separatists have been locked in conflict for three years. And CNN has obtained U.S. Department of Homeland Security memos, that describe aggressive new policies for immigration and border control.

[01:30:20] CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR: U.S. Vice President Mike Pence will meet with European Union and NATO officials in Brussels in the coming hours. He's hoping to reassure European allies worried about the direction of U.S. foreign policy under President Trump. Pence spoke at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday and said the U.S. supports NATO and stands with Europe.

Ambassador Christopher Hills in Colorado joins us now. Used to be the ambassador to Iraq and South Korea.

You're used to looking at foreign policy in terms of the big picture and how the world is moving. That's what we would like to do today. We're starting to get leads what it will look like under a Trump White House. Are we moving though a world with less influence, what the west is calling for and what Senator John McCain fears might happen.

CHRISTOPHER HILL, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO IRAQ & SOUTH KOREA: The real problem is President Trump is very slow getting appointments out there. He has a secretary of state but essentially he is basically home alone. Although Rex Tillerson wanted to name other people, they have to go through a political verification in the White House. And so far he's not had much luck getting people through. You look at his meeting with the Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov in Germany today, Russia had a set of people on their side of the table and the Americans had just three or four people. The first problem is we don't have a team. And the second we have a president who doesn't have a lot of experience in this area, doesn't really know what he wants to do, and has a vague idea he wants to do deals and convince people of his way of thinking. To do deals diplomatically you have to cue that up. You never pull a rabbit out of the hat diplomatically before you stuff the rabbit into the hat, and you have to know what you're doing.

VANIER: Tell us about Russia's first steps under a Trump presidency and how to interpreter them.

HILL: They would like him to succeed. They feel he's a friendlier president than Hillary Clinton would be. The first thing we saw, in the waning days of the Obama administration, we saw the effort to impose additional sanctions after it was clear the Russians interest feared in the U.S. elections. At the same time, the Trump administration signaled one way or the other, which will be the subject of a lot of investigation in the coming weeks and months, but signaled somehow these sanctions would only be temporary. The consequence was President Putin did not issue counter-sanctions against the United States. That was the first issue.

In terms of what has been going on in the world, we don't see the Russians with respect to the North Korean missile watch, because I think in the next couple of years, they will be a big problem for the Trump administration nor do we see them wanting to do something different with the Syria policy. We have to wait to see with respect to the specific places. Although there is some --


VANIER: Ambassador, if I can interrupt you there, I want to get you to talk about Syria. The U.S. envoy sent to the Syrian conference seemed to suggest Washington would be perfectly content to let Russia do the heavy lifting when it comes to Syria.

HILL: It's hard to say. Turkey is going through a lot of internal problems, and with respect to the Arab world, not loved a lot these days, and that's Russia as well. I don't see a long-lasting solution without something done by the democracy is in the world, Western Europe and the United States. It appears Western Europe is otherwise occupied and the U.S. is simply not deployed here. We have to see how this works but I don't see lasting participation without the Western democracies.

VANIER: U.S. Ambassador, Chris Hill, thank you so much. It's daylight in Kiev, Ukraine. As we've reported, there's no work on

the start of the new cease-fire is in the embattled eastern part of the country. Russia said it would take place on Monday after a recent spike in violence between Russia-backed separatists and Ukrainian armed forces.

It's great we're joined now by Alexander Hug, who is the OSCE monitoring mission to Ukraine, on the line from Kiev.

Mr. Hug, the OSCE. played a very important role here. It's your job to see whether the cease-fire is respected or not. Do you have everything you need hand access to get what you need.

[01:35:26] ALEXANDER HUG, OSCE MONITORING MISSION (voice-over): Good morning. There is great difficulty to access the conflict on either side of the line. We are using unmanned vehicles to observe the area. With this technology complimenting what we will do.

VANIER: I want to make it clear. You're saying part of the conflict line, in this conflict, you cannot get to, correct?

HUG: There are some times we are prevented from accessing it. One day we get to and one day we don't get to. We try to overcome it with additional technology to reach it and allows them to observe, nonetheless.

VANIER: Is there any reaction in Ukraine that appears to be a significant development. Russia and passports from separatist regions? How could this impact the cease-fire? Do you see reaction on the ground?

HUG: You see special determination, large numbers of cease-fir violations, particularly, we have "live from" 2,500 violations with being fired. It is worth knowing since midnight we have seen significant reviews and only seen up until now small arms fire, promising heavy weapons remain on both sides where they shouldn't be and positions of the Ukraine forces and the other side are too close to one another. This could lead to further flare-ups.

VANIER: I need to point to something you just said, obviously key at this point in time. You said there have so far, since midnight, the cease-fire was supposed to come into effect, been small arms violations, correct?

HUG: I can confirm what we have. I would like to draw the attention to the fact that the heavy weapons have not been used this week and still there positioned. They need to be withdrawn to make this more sustainable now.

VANIER: Mr. Hud from the OSCE monitoring mission in eastern Ukraine, thank you very much. We'll keep a close eye on what's going on. Thanks a lot.

We'll take a very short break. Coming up, a ruin in remote Scotland and ruined lives, hit by human trafficking. We'll show you how they're connected when CNN returns. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[01:41:37] VANIER: This is something important to us at CNN. All this week, the Freedom Project is looking at stories of human trafficking in many places people may not expect. Today's segment shines the spotlight on 12 Bangladeshi men who were trafficked to remote parts of Scotland. There, they were forced to work 24 hours a day at a hotel with no pay, months on end. Now they're free. But don't expect a happy ending.

Isa Soares explains.


ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The snowcapped mountains in Scotland attract hundreds of tourists every year. Up until recently, many would have stayed at the 37-bedroom Stuart Hotel that now lies in ruins and the former owner serving a three-year labor prison sentence for trafficking.

Local charity worker Gene Lair (ph) remembers when he first learned of the case.

GENE LAIR (ph), CHARITY WORKER: It got my attention late in 2009. It was in a terrible state. There were victims of human trafficking. They had to pay a lot of money to come here. They weren't paid properly and weren't paid to do the job they were contracted for, working long hours, sometimes up to 23 hours a day and forced to do all the work and not just be chefs, they were brought over to do.

SOARES: Abdul was a chef in his family's business back home. He was attracted by an advert by a local paper.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am a greedy man? Because I wanted more money. Actually, no, this is -- I wanted a better life. Every human and my country's conditions, everybody knows.

SOARES: Once they realized the work was different, they felt bound to the man who paid thousands of dollars of sponsorship visas.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He said, "If you don't do this, I can cancel. Some police will arrest you." We don't shout at all, we don't say nothing, he is a sponsor. He like a master, he is a master.

SOARES: After a year of labor abuse, he and three other victims found help at a charity who put them in touch where a Gene Lair (ph) was working at the time.

LAIR (ph): There was only four of them who had agreed to be supportive of my help and to go to the plays and have the case prosecuted.

SOARES: The trafficked men said they were able to stay on short term temporary work visas after agreeing to testify as witnesses into the criminal investigation where they face deportation back to Bangladesh.

Despite him being in prison he feels his life would still be under threat at home.

[01:45:17] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, I can't go back.

SOARES: In response to the story, the home office said they do not routinely comment on the individual cases. But they issued a statement: "The U.K. has a proud history of providing protection to any who need it. Any who feels threat before returning home can apply for asylum. Each claim is carefully considering on its merits."

They are renegotiating their appeal to the U.K. and to bring their families.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is my life. I want to bring my family. He wanted to come with me and play with the snow.

SOARES: Isa Soares, CNN, Scotland.


VANIER: Tuesday, the CNN Freedom Product will introduce you to a trafficking victim in Hong Kong and shocking realty he and others like him are facing.


SOARES: "My boss has treated me worse than an animal. It was physical and mental torture. I would work 24 hours a day," he says.

He didn't fall through the cracks in the system. Here, there is no system. Hong Kong has no specific laws criminalizing forced labor or human trafficking.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Even in Pakistan, they all have human trafficking.


VANIER: Let's see what's being done to change this system Tuesday on the CNN Freedom Project.

And CNN is also teaming up with young people around the globe for a unique student-led day of action against modern-day slavery. We're launching My Freedom Day on March 14th.

Driving My Freedom Day is a very simple question: What does freedom mean to you?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't quit your job. Freedom is the life unhindered by restrictions society creates.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Freedom means to fight for my family.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To me, freedom means the ability to make your own choices. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Freedom means to be able to do whatever I want.



VANIER: What does freedom mean to you? Send us your answer via text, photo or video across social media. You can find out more on our website on their initiative there.

When we come back after the break, NASA is narrowing its search for alien life. Why we might not be alone in the solar system, coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [01:52:02] VANIER: So NASA is looking for other life in the universe. It may not have to look outside our solar system which isn't that far. The space administration is considering of putting a lander Europa, one of Jupiter's moons. The primary goals would be searching for signs of life and whether Europa is habitable for future robot explorations.

Jim Bell is here to explain.

Jim, you're professor of planetary science at Arizona State University, president of the planetary society. And makes you one of the best people to tell us what's going on. Why do we think there may be alien life on Europa?

JIM BELL, PROFESSOR OF PLANETARY SCIENCE, ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY: Cyril, we don't know but the list of solar systems is actually pretty small. A lot of effort on mars and farther out, one of the most exciting pro-tensional places is Jupiter's large moon, Europa.

VANIER: Viewers looking at it right now that's Europa orbiting around Jupiter.

BELL: Europa has an icy crust like most, so cold out there. We think below that icy crus, maybe 10, 15 kilometers we don't really know, a liquid water ocean.

VANIER: You think there's more water on Europa than planet earth?

BELL: That's the hypothesis but we've never been there.

VANIER: The existence of the ocean isn't confirmed.

BELL: It is a very good hypothesis consistent with the data we have, and mate irks Europa one of those environments in our solar system.

VANIER: It's all under a crust of ice, as you say. The proposed robot that would land there, what would it do?

BELL: The idea is find chemical evidence or mineral evidence or something quantitative we can latch onto that tells us about the chemistry of that ocean. Is it salty? What are the organic chemicals? It is the type of environment to be conducive. There's chemical analysis to measure the ice and more importantly that's there. We want to get down 10 centimeters or more into the sub subsurface.

VANIER: What could be in that ocean? Molecular level stuff or bigger?

[01:55:14] BELL: Cyril, we don't know. We don't know how long that ocean has been there or how warm it is. If there are black smoker vents or hydrothermal vents. It could be one of the few places we can go and test this hypothesis about life outside our own world. It's just waiting for us to explore.

VANIER: Jim, before we wrap this up, is this mission going to happen? Is it a lock yet?

BELL: Not a lock yet. A hope that this will follow along and help that orbiter decides passing close by Europa, where to send that? By the late 20s, we may have more places to land.

VANIER: Jim Bell, thanks for talking to me. I feel smarter just having talked to you.

Thanks a lot for your time.

BELL: Thanks for having me on.

VANIER: That does it for this hour of CNN NEWSROOM.

The news continues with Rosemary Church and George Howell right after this. Stay with us.