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War of Words; Retract or Provide Proof; Getting Ready for a New Leader; Treasure from the Past; Fighting Modern Day Slavery. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired March 13, 2017 - 03:00   ET



[03:00:00] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN HOST: ... with a major snowstorm on the way.

Hello and welcome to our viewers here in the United States, and of course all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church.

CYRIL VANIER, CNN HOST: And I'm Cyril Vanier. Thank you very much for joining us. You're watching CNN Newsroom.

Turkey's president is threatening strong retaliation against The Netherlands after the country blocked two Turkish ministers from holding political rallies on Dutch soil on Saturday. That sparked angry protests on the streets of both countries.

CHURCH: The Dutch government said it barred the ministers because it was worried about keeping order. But the Turkish president compared The Netherlands to Nazis and warned the country will pay the price.

VANIER: So let's go to CNN's Jomana Karadsheh, she's in Istanbul, Turkey. We want to get the perspective from that country. Jomana, first off, I want to play to you the video of the encounter between a Turkish minister and Dutch police. It was just outside of a Turkish consulate in Rotterdam on Friday evening and it sort of sparked the whole problem.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The manager of this location has higher orders to ask you to leave Holland today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We can escort. We advise Germany. The team is here to escort you in the fastest route to Germany by following the team in your own car.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I will go to the consulate building. This is my country's building and I'm a country's minister. There is nowhere in the world this can happen. I don't agree on this, and I'm not leaving for Germany.

(END VIDEO CLIP) VANIER: So Jomana, so to make sure that our viewers understand just how unusual this is, this is a minister from a foreign country that's essentially being blocked by the police from this country, and you don't see it in this video, but she's then escorted back to the border of Germany, essentially kicked out of the country. How did this go down in Turkey?

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, people would say, Cyril, that what happened would play doubt in The Netherlands on Saturday really defied diplomatic protocols. Whether it was the prime minister -- the foreign minister not allowed to land there, or as we saw, the ministry of -- the minister of family affairs, pretty much being escorted out of the country.

Many here would consider this as a huge insult, a humiliating episode for high ranking officials from this country. And initially, we did see some protests taking place here in Istanbul, outside the consulate general and also at the embassy of The Netherlands in Ankara, with few hundred protesters there.

But since then, these protests seem to have died down. But that war of words seemed to continue on Sunday, escalating with, as we've heard, high ranking officials, including President Erdogan accusing The Netherlands in this case of fascist and Nazi-type behavior, and saying that they would pay the price, Cyril.

VANIER: And about that vocabulary, about the war of words, President Erdogan has really not pulled his punches. I mean, I can't think of a worse insult, especially for The Netherlands, which was a victim of Nazism, to call them fascists and Nazis. I mean, is that the heat of the Turkish referendum campaign?

KARADSHEH: Well, that seems to be the feeling. We have to wait and see how much of this is really posturing, how much of these threats are real. As we heard from several Turkish officials, some believe that a lot of it here is, what we're seeing play out is domestic Turkish politics.

Keeping in mind, you have that referendum that is scheduled to take place on April 16th, a referendum for constitutional amendment, that would give the president far more sweeping powers.

And you know, this is the height of this campaign. He's trying to reach out, not only to the citizens of Turkey here in the country, but also to dual citizens, estimated in the millions outside the country, especially in the European countries like Germany, and also The Netherlands.

So some believe, and especially critics of President Erdogan, that what we're seeing right now, is playing to this domestic audience at the height of this campaign, the head of the referendum, trying to show that Turkey is oppressed by what he's described as an Islamophobic Europe, and that the president is the defender of Turkey. So again, we'll have to wait and see how much of this is posturing.

VANIER: Jomana, why is it so important for the Turkish president and his party to hold these campaign rallies in European countries?

[03:05:08] KARADSHEH: Well, Cyril, because you have millions, estimated Turkish citizens, dual citizens, these expatriate Turks who are in European countries, and this is a very heated campaign. They're trying to gain the president's camp, is trying to gain as much votes as they can ahead of that April 16th referendum, a very important referendum for Turkey.

That would really give President Erdogan far more sweeping powers, as we've mentioned. It would change this country from a parliamentary republic to what is being described as an executive presidency, giving him much more powers.

So during this campaign, he's not only trying to reach out to Turkish citizens here in Turkey, but also to the hundreds of thousands and the millions who are living abroad, during this campaign. Cyril?

VANIER: Jomana, reporting live from Istanbul and Turkey, thank you so much.

CHURCH: All right, let's bring in Matthew Bryza, now a former senior U.S. official, covering Turkey for the White House and State Department. He joins us now from Istanbul. Thank you so much for being with us.

So, Turkey's president said The Netherlands will pay the price for banning his ministers from taking part in a Dutch political rally. What does he mean by that, exactly? And where do you see this diplomatic row going from here?

MATTHEW BRYZA, FORMER UNITED STATES OFFICIAL: I think, in the first instance, he means that there will be some sort of restrictions imposed on aircraft from The Netherlands. It could be KLM, like KLM which is also Air France, so that gets a little bit difficult. He's talked about limiting official aircraft from landing in Turkey from The Netherlands, asked the ambassador of The Netherlands not to come back.

And I think also, he's trying to convince citizens of The Netherlands, and maybe to vote against the Prime Minister Rutte's party, which I think is only going to backfire in The Netherlands because that will create support for Geert Wilders in the far right. Where I see this all going, I think it will resolve itself sort of at the level of rhetoric that we're hearing now, quite soon after the referendum.

But until the referendum, I think President Erdogan understands that by playing the Turks up for being victimized, as he sees it, by the inability to hold a rally and allow Turks to express their freedom of speech in The Netherlands, that really plays to his political base and beyond his base here in Turkey.

The opposition leader, Kemal Kilicdaroglu came out last night and actually said, I stand fully in solidarity with President Erdogan, even though the opposition leader so strongly opposes President Erdogan and the referendum coming up on April 16th.

CHURCH: Right.

BRYZA: So I think it's useful in the short-term and I think it will pass.

CHURCH: So why do you think The Netherlands banned the Turkish minister from holding political rallies? Turkey's president says it amounts to Islamophobia, is he right?

BRYZA: I don't think it's Islamophobia on the part of Prime Minister Rutte. On the part of Wilders, of course it is. But Wilders didn't make the decision. I think The Netherlands banned this because this is a case, a classic case of two sides talking past to each other.

From the perspective of The Netherlands government, it's inconceivable that a political debate would be carried on by ministers of another country, among people who yes are dual citizens, but in The Netherlands where The Netherlands is not part of his debate. Similarly, though, from the Turkey's perspective it's unfathomable that ministers wouldn't be allowed to speak to ethnic Turks in The Netherlands.

So, it's not a case of Islamophobia on the part of Rutte, but the prime minister of The Netherlands knows that in his election coming up on Wednesday that there is this up swell of anti-immigrant, anti- Turkish, and anti-Islamic healing in The Netherlands and he's got to protect his rightist plane.

CHURCH: Yes. As you mention election in The Netherlands will be held Wednesday and that's already having an impact here in the United States where U.S. Congressman Steve King has shown support for far- right Dutch politician Geert Wilders, who have said Turkish diplomats should go away and never come back.

And Steve King tweeted this, "Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies." And it's worth adding too that this tweet was supported by the leader of the Ku Klux Klan here in the United States.

Then Chelsea Clinton responded on Twitter and I'm just paraphrasing here. She said that the congressman does not view all our children as all our children.

[03:10:03] So what does this all indicate to you? Are we dealing with the rise of white nationalism in the United States and across parts of Europe? And if we are, what could that mean?

BRYZA: Yes, we're certainly experiencing a sense of nativism, of extreme nationalism, and of racism, across the Atlantic, from the Ku Klux Klan, support you just mentioned from Congressman King's initiative to Geert Wilders in The Netherlands. I mean, he's been a major player or a player in Dutch politics for a long time, for well over decade, a decade and a half, but you know, he's never come close to anything like critical mass, that could get him to be the leading political party in an election.

So what's happening between Turkey and The Netherlands is too reflective of a much deeper re-working of geopolitical and ethnic and social realities throughout the trans-Atlantic space. By the way, it's something that plays very much to the interests of President Putin even though Russia is not involved in this at all.

But all of this negative trends, this animosity, xenophobia, racism, this is playing to the weakening of the trans-Atlantic institutions, like the European Union and NATO, which provide a foundation of the peace that we've all enjoyed for the last 70 years since World War II. So this is a real inflection point in history.

CHURCH: Matthew Bryza, thank you so much for sharing your perspective on this matter. We appreciate it.

Well, South Korea is getting ready for a snap election likely in May, to replace ousted President Park Geun-hye.

VANIER: She left the presidential Blue House on Sunday after a court on Friday upheld her impeachment over a corruption scandal. She was greeted by her supporters at her private residence.

CHURCH: And her critics want her arrested and local media say she's expected to be interrogated by prosecutors. A lawmaker spoke on Park's behalf Sunday.


MIN KYUNG-WOOK, PRESIDENT PARK GEUN-HYE SPOKESMAN (through translator}: I am sorry that I couldn't fulfill my duty as a president until the end. I thank people who have supported and believed in me. I will accept all the results. It will take time, but I believe that the truth will definitely come out.


VANIER: CNN's Paula Hancocks is in Seoul, she joins us now with the latest. Paula, the crisis in South Korea also impacts the stand-off with neighboring North Korea.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Cyril. This goes far beyond South Korean political domestic issues. It affects the relationship with North Korea, it affects the relationship in the region, and also that with Washington.


HANCOCKS: Scenes of pure joy, a stark contrast to disappointment and anger just down the road. South Korea is bitterly divided, but the implications of Park Geun-hye's impeachment reach far wider than this shore. North Korea is still technically at war with its southern neighbor has been watching this scandal very closely, even showing relative restraints since corruption allegations emerged last October.

North Korea's state-run media called Park a common criminal.


that in some ways North Korea is probably enjoying all this, unfortunately, and hoping that a president gets elected who is going to take a more engagement stance. And I would say that probably appears likely.


HANCOCKS: The latest polls show liberal candidate Moon Jae-in is the front-runner so far, but two months before the election has to be held anything could happen. Past liberal presidents were more willing to engage with North Korea. This could be a potential sticking point with the Trump administration in the U.S. who, publicly at least, seems more hardline in their approach.

And there is THAAD, the U.S. anti-missile defense system which started arriving in South Korea on Monday, which liberal candidates have already said they don't want.

JOHN DELURY, PROFESSOR, YONSEI UNIVERSITY: In fact, I would suspect part of the reason for accelerating the deployment of THAAD is not just to respond in the North Korean missile threats, but also trying to get the thing in place before potentially you have a liberal president who says I'm not sure about that.

HANCOCKS: China has been clear about its opposition to THAAD. South Korean businesses say they're suffering due to boycotts that the Chinese government says they didn't put in place.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is it something we want, do we really want to have a problem with China? A lot of Koreans worried about that problem with China causing economic problems within Korea. So tensions are very high.


HANCOCKS: So potentially the first task that the new president has to face, no matter who it is, is trying to reunite this country. South Korea is politically divided, it is polarized and there are sharp divides that have emerged and been laid bare thanks to this corruption scandal. Cyril?

VANIER: Paula, you just mentioned in your piece the possibility that power would switch hands and end up in the hands of a liberal president. How likely is that?

[03:15:08] HANCOCKS: According to the polls, it looks quite likely at this point, but the fact is, we still have two months before this election takes place. And an awful lot can change in South Korean politics and campaigning. We know that there is likely to be some kind of a backlash against Park Geun-hye's party. The conservatives are likely to suffer, according to experts, because of what has happened.

But you know that she does also have some very strong supporters, those that you saw down at her house in southern Seoul on Sunday night, welcoming her back. So it's hard to tell, but at this point it's pointing towards the liberals. Cyril?

VANIER: All right, Paula Hancocks, reporting live from Seoul, thank you very much.

We're going to take a very short break. When we come back, it's almost spring in the U.S., but parts of the country are facing a blizzard. Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri will have the details.

CHURCH: Plus, ISIS fighters raid Mosul's museum and turn priceless artifacts to rubble. But much of the museum's collection is unharmed. How ISIS got fooled. That's still to come.


KATE RILEY, CNN WORLD SPORT ANCHOR: I'm Kate Riley with your CNN world sport headlines.

Sunday saw the Premier League a managerial merry-go-round continues. Craig Shakespeare has officially being named as the Leicester City manager until the end of the season. The English man was appointed caretaker after the club fired Claudio Ranieri as the team struggled to defend their Premier League title.

Shakespeare has been charged with keeping the club in the EPL this season, but his next game is important too, at home to Sevilla in the Champions League. They are 2-1 down after the first leg.

Now staying in the EPL, and the only game on Sunday Liverpool looking for a win against Burnley at Anfield. It wasn't a convincing victory for the reds. It was a hard-fought one, as they had to come from behind to claim all three points, winning 2-1 in the end, it consolidates their perch for a top four finish. They are now five points clear of Arsenal, but the Gunners do have two games in hand, though.

Meanwhile, over in Spain, and the battle for being top of La Liga continued between Barcelona, who ended the day with a point lead, and Real Madrid. Now despite their improbable comeback against PSG, Barcelona was quickly brought back down to earth as they lost to Deportivo La Coruna, 2-1, Real Madrid behind a Sergio Ramos header third far better beating Real better 2-1 and return to the top of table in Spain.

And that's a look at all your sports headlines. I'm Kate Riley.

[03:20:05] VANIER: Welcome back. A top republican is calling on U.S. President Donald Trump to either retract his wiretapping allegation or offer up proof.

In a string of recent tweets, Mr. Trump accused former President Barack Obama of ordering a tap on his phones during the presidential campaign.

CHURCH: A spokesperson for Mr. Obama denied the claim; a former and current intelligence officials also reject it. Senator John McCain tells CNN he has no reason to believe the allegation. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN MCCAIN, (R) UNITED STATES SENATOR: President Trump has to provide the American people, not just the intelligence committee, but the American people, with evidence that his predecessor, former President of the United States was guilty of breaking the law, because our director of national intelligence, General Clapper testified that there was absolutely no truth to that allegation.

So I think the president has one of two choices. Either retract, or to provide the information that the American people deserve, because if his predecessor violated the law, President Obama violated the law, we've got a serious issue here, to say the least.


CHURCH: For more on this, James Davis joins us now from Munich, Germany. He's the dean of the school of economics and political science at the University of St. Gallen. Thank you so much for being with us.


CHURCH: So, as we just heard there, Senator John McCain said President Trump needs to retract or prove his wiretapping claim, and he adds, he doesn't even believe it, given the intelligence community also rejects Mr. Trump's claim, what's likely to happen next? Or is this just another distraction?

DAVIS: Well, it's clearly a distraction. And the president has proven himself to be the master at distraction. But I think the more important question is, what does this tell us about this president and his style of governing.

This president could find out with one or two telephone calls whether or not there's any substance to this claim. But he prefers to take his information from questionable news sources, rather than from the professionals in the U.S. government, who are charged with watching this sort of thing. So I think what we need -- we need to find out, you know, who is the president listening to and why.

CHURCH: So, how damaging is a claim like this, where a president accuses his predecessor of ordering the tapping of his phones during the election campaign, and what impact can an allegation of this magnitude have in the current political climate when no proof is provided? And from what you're saying and what so many are saying, it appears there isn't any proof.

DAVIS: Right. I think his base is going to believe him. And I think part of the strategy, if there is a strategy behind this, is to continue to provide red meat to the base, to keep them angry at the previous administration and keep them behind the president, keep this myth alive that there's some kind of an elite conspiracy against Donald Trump and against the plans he has for the country. Of course, the long -- in the long-term, the risk to the president is

that he loses credibility with the vast majority of the American people. The vast majority of the American people are not likely to believe some kind of conspiracy theory, and once the house intelligence committee, once the Senate Armed Services Committee, once these committees start to investigate these claims, we'll find out whether there's any substance to them.

And if there isn't if it turns out that the president has been relying on fake news, it's going to diminish his credibility, and he needs credibility in order to move his agenda forward.

CHURCH: All right. Well, we'll see what happens with that. I want to turn now, if we can, to the revised Trump administration travel ban. It no longer includes Iraq in the original seven majority Muslim majority countries banned entry into the U.S., and but will it be enough? And just how palatable is the rest of the new travel ban?

DAVIS: Well, I'm not a constitutional lawyer, but from what I understand, the document, the revised document, is much more careful and justifies more carefully the kinds of bans that the president is trying to put forward for the next 120 days or so. I think it may, in fact, pass constitutional muster. But that's an issue for the courts to decide.

Again, though, the broader question, the bigger question is, is the president demonstrating that he's able to put together an administration and a policy process that is governed by some kind of professionalism.

And all of these events, the firing of U.S. attorneys in a very unprofessional way, the original executive order, which was rushed out in a way that led to the courts to block it, all of this suggests that this administration still has a long way to go before it's operating at a level of professionalism that the American people have a right to demand.

[03:25:12] CHURCH: So many questions, and we will keep asking them. Thanks so much for joining us, James Davis in Munich, Germany. Many thanks.

DAVIS: Thank you, Ms. Church.

VANIER: Also happening around the world, in Northern Haiti, celebrations for a music festival became the scene of a deadly bus crash.

Officials say at least 38 people were killed when a bus plowed into parade crowds on Sunday. We're learning the driver was already fleeing another hit and run incident. An eyewitness says people were still trapped under the bus pleading for help when it finally stopped. Police are searching for the bus driver.

CHURCH: A landslide has killed at least 46 people searching for food at a garbage dump in Ethiopia. A journalist on the scene said piles of trash seemed to have collapsed. Authorities are still searching for survivors.

Many people rely on the landfill outside Addis Ababa to make a living, they sift through the rubbish, scavenging what they can to survive.

An official says the government is trying to resettle the people living at the garbage dump.

Well, the U.S. Northeast is about to get one more winter beating.

VANIER: Yes, our meteorologist Pedram Javaheri joins us now with this forecast. And Pedram, by the way, I'm going to stop believing what you say. Because not that long ago, you were on the set telling us about unseasonably warm weather, and now you're telling us the opposite.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: It's been a wild year, right? It's the year we thought that winter was not going to happen this go around for the eastern half of the U.S. at least than you know. We've had a record warmth out-pacing record cold so far this year, 901. We've had over 200 tornadoes. We should have about 60 in the cold seasons.

We have plants blooming some 20 to 30 days in advance of when they should be blooming. And all of us are ready to...

CHURCH: Surprising.

JAVAHERI: ... for the surprise here. We'll show you what's happening, too. Because, guys, we're talking about 103 million people from the Midwestern U.S. towards to the northeastern U.S. where we have winter weather advisories, winter weather alerts, blizzard watches indicated in green. You don't see those every day in place.

And that number by the way, 103 million, is roughly one in every three people in the United States having to deal with this weather over the next 24 to 36 hours.

Temperature doesn't what it looks like. Generally into the single digits around northern New England, how about negative single digits around Montpelier, at Portland, Maine. Way your way down towards New York City, we're talking about 10 to 12 degrees, what it feels like outside right now.

And the storm system that is pushing it across the Midwestern U.S. is actually bringing Chicago something they haven't seen since December 17th. That is more than one inch of snowfall in the cold season.

Finally, getting that in Chicago later today. Over 300 flights have been canceled this early Monday morning across parts of the northeast and parts of Chicago, in particular.

And you take a look, as the storm migrates out of the Midwestern U.S., it meets up with a storm exiting out of the southeastern U.S. Put them together, the energy real -- really tremendous here as we go towards tomorrow night into Tuesday morning.

Depending on where this storm system lines up later on into Tuesday morning, it could really play a significant role in how much snowfall could come down. Initial estimates right now, generally 8 to 10 inches. In fact, more than 50 million people could see a foot of snow come Tuesday across the northeastern U.S.

The highest concentration this one model here, puts that very close to New York City, northern New Jersey, certainly parts of eastern Pennsylvania, and to even Boston that could see significant snow.

But what impresses me the most when you factor in that snow is the forecast wind speeds. It's around lunch time for New York City at Central Park, look at that, 73-mile-per-hour wind gust potential depending on where the storm system tracks, offshore or closer towards land.

Montauk out there towards some of the closer communities, winds could exceed 100 miles per hour. This would be at the same time as snow coming down. Again, this will change the variations could either go up or downed depending on the track of the storm system.

But this is what Cyril was talking about, just a couple of days ago we were touching on 70 degrees, Cyril. It was a record temperature in places like Central Park.

VANIER: Thank you.

JAVAHERI: That's what you remember.

VANIER: I remember what you're saying.


CHURCH: He's going to hold you to it.

JAVAHERI: We're going to see if we can get about a foot and a half of snow out of this and maybe you'll listen to me more.


CHURCH: (Inaudible) your credibility.

VANIER: I'm back on board. You broke out all the models, the European model and everything. All right.

JAVAHERI: Exactly.

VANIER: Pedram Javaheri at the International Weather Center.

CHURCH: Thanks, Pedram.

VANIER: Thank you so much.

JAVAHERI: Thanks, guys.

CHURCH: We'll take a short break. ISIS fighters damage and deface Mosul's museum. Just ahead, what they didn't know about the collection they destroyed. Back in a moment. [03:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VANIER: Welcome back to our viewers here in the United States and around the world. I'm Cyril Vanier.

CHURCH: And I'm Rosemary Church. I want to update you on the main stories we've been following this hour.

South Korea's ousted president has thanked her supporters and says she's sorry she couldn't fulfill her presidential duties until the end. That is according to a congressman who spoke on Park Geun-hye's behalf. Park left the executive mansion on Sunday after a court upheld her impeachment on Friday.

VANIER: An alliance of Jihadists groups is claiming responsibility for twin bombing in the Syrian capital Damascus. The Umbrella group says they targeted Syrian soldiers and Iranian militia.

Now it's worth noting that Iran has supported the fighters helping the Syrian regime. According to activists, at least 74 people, most of them civilians, were killed in Saturday's attack.

CHURCH: Top republican Senator John McCain is calling on President Trump to either retract his wiretapping claim or provide evidence to substantiate it. Mr. Trump has accused former President Barack Obama of ordering a tap on his phones during last year's election campaign. Former and current intelligence officials have rejected the allegation.

VANIER: Turkey and The Netherlands are in a bitter feud over Ankara's political campaigning on Dutch soil. The Turkish president called the Dutch government fascist and Nazi-like after it turned away Turkish ministers who try to speak at a rally in Rotterdam on Saturday.

That spark angry protest in both countries when the prime minister says the Turkish president's remarks are unacceptable.

Let's speak to Dominic Thomas who joins me from Amsterdam, he's the chair of the French and Francophone Studies Department at UCLA. Dominic, good to have you with us.

I want to go back to the root cause of this diplomatic row. Several European countries, including most recently The Netherlands, of course, barred Turkish political rallies from taking place. And most of them cited security concerns. Is that the real reason?

DOMINIC THOMAS, PROFESSOR, DEPARTMENT OF FRENCH & FRANCOPHONE STUDIES UCLA: Well, I think no. The real reason, is this is all about elections, elections that are about to take place in Turkey in a month's time, where Erdogan is proposing a referendum ever dramatically to reform the Constitution. And, of course, the elections coming up this week in The Netherlands.

[03:35:04] Germany took a similar position to The Netherlands, where they have elections coming up in six months. And the French took a very different position by allowing the foreign minister to speak in the eastern town of Mets. No matter what has happened, and no matter what decision was made and we can talk about that perhaps a little bit more.

The fact is, it has brought increasing attention, or public attention to the presence of very large and ex-pat or dual-citizen communities from Turkey, living in Germany, where estimated at over a million and several hundred thousand in The Netherlands.

And this is given another opportunity in this election, that has been driven by the far-right populist Wilders, in discussions around Islam, terrorism, border control, and national identity, by bringing attention to these communities and raising suspicion about their allegiance or alliance to Dutch and to The Netherlands as a priority. So, essentially, there you can...


VANIER: So, Dominic, hold on. The Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte is up for re-election in two days. And you mentioned that he's against Geert Wilders, who's been very critical of immigration, critical of what he calls Islamization as well. Is that pushing the Dutch Prime Minister, Mr. Rutte, to the right, and is that the reason why he prevented those Turkish political rallies from taking place?

THOMAS: Right. I mean, I think it's the, it really is the big question is, by preventing the rally, he of course has created a diplomatic row with the Turkish president, who, of course, is using this as an opportunity to deflect from criticism of his own, let's say, democratic deficit in his country at the moment, by being able to take the high ground.

But of course the reactions of the Turkish president are giving the current prime minister in The Netherlands the opportunity to stand tough against Turkey and to look like he's going to defend the country and so on. And that could play out very well.

However, he's also coming, you know, under tremendous criticism, as indeed is the European Union for what is after all, a fairly hypocritical relationship with Turkey and the far right in Germany, The Netherlands and elsewhere, have already been very critical of the European Union because of the deal it struck in 2016 with Turkey to essentially pay Turkey to serve as a shield in the migrants crisis.

So this has a much longer history here. And we can see the tensions rising when the stakes are extraordinarily high in this election Wednesday, where you have a vast array of political parties running and the outcome is undetermined. And so much of this has relied on emotions and fear. And with so many undecided voters going into this election, you can see how this is beginning to wear on the candidates running up to the election.

VANIER: You've told us a lot about the wider context. In your final estimation, when the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says, well, barring my ministers, my Turkish and Muslim ministers from entering these western European countries, that's Islamophobia, do you think he has a point? THOMAS: Yes. I mean, of course he does. Because where the reaction

one would have, you know, hoped from European leaders would perhaps have been to say that, no, in these countries, we value democratic principles. We believe in freedom of speech. We believe in transparency of the judiciary. And when people want to talk and speak, we have no problem with that.

Secondly, we have no problem with people living in this country who are dual citizens. I think that would have upheld the values of tolerance and so would have exposed Erdogan for that dramatic downfall in democratic principle in this country. And that would have been a more powerful stance by not allowing his people to speak.

And let's face it, this is not the first time that international leaders who have come to European countries to campaign for their own election or referenda, that would have been a better way to proceed on this and would have avoided potentially this diplomatic crisis.

VANIER: All right. Dominic Thomas, who monitors European elections who is in The Netherlands two days ahead of this election, we'll speak to you of course later on in the week. Pleasure speaking to you today. Thank you very much.

THOMAS: Thank you, Cyril.

VANIER: Iraqi forces say they've taken back more than half of western Mosul from ISIS. The military says its troops have hit two ISIS strongholds, inflicting heavy losses on the militants.

CHURCH: Almost 100,000 civilians have escaped since the offensive to retake Mosul began last month. On Sunday, official say, more than 10,000 were been taken into nearby refugee camps. Iraq's military also says they have discovered a mass grave in northwest Mosul. They believe it contains the remains of about 500 people.

CNN's Ben Wedeman has seen the devastating impact ISIS has had in western Mosul.

VANIER: He went to the city's museum where militants have reduced priceless artifacts to rubble.

[03:39:58] BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Ancient treasures that survived the ravages of time, fell victim to the folly of man. The remains of statues dating back to the Assyrian Empire, more than 2,500 years old, lie in pieces on the floor of the Mosul Museum.

Two years ago, ISIS militants took sledge hammers and jackhammers to the museum's collection, posting a video of their vandalism on social media.

Characterizing the pre-Islamic inhabitants of Mesopotamia as idol worshippers, an unidentified man declares the ancient antiquities must be destroyed, "even if they're worth billions of dollars," he says. Iraqi forces battling ISIS in west Mosul recently regained control of the museum. This is all that remains of one of the museums, Lamassu, a winged

bull, a symbol of the might of the great Assyrian Empire. Not only did ISIS go to the trouble of breaking apart these statues, but they also chipped away the face.

And as you can tell, the battle still rages all around us. It wasn't all about implementing ISIS's twisted interpretation of Islam. When their cameras weren't rolling, they were looting the museum.

Captain Farris (Ph) of the Iraqi federal police explains why there's a gaping hole in the museum floor. "This vault," he says, "contained artifacts that weren't on display. ISIS took them out and sold them outside of Iraq."

All, however, is not lost. Three-quarters of the collection was moved to Baghdad before ISIS seized Mosul, because this museum was set for renovation. As fate would have it, the final joke was on ISIS. Many of the statues they toppled with such gusto were cheap replicas. They were fakes.

Ben Wedeman, CNN, west Mosul.

CHURCH: We'll take a short break here, but coming up, far right leader Marine Le Pen is set to present her plans for French citizenship.

VANIER: We'll be going live to Paris for details after the break.

CHURCH: Plus, they're in high school and learning to fight modern day slavery around the world. Our CNN Freedom Project has their journey.


VANIER: Welcome back. So let's see what's happening in the French presidential race. In the coming hours, conservative candidate Francois Fillon is expected to present his project for France. And the far-right Marine Le Pen is set to hold a news conference on her plans for citizenship.

CNN's Melissa Bell is covering the French campaign, she joins us now from the Paris with the latest. Melissa, identity, immigration, French values, that's always been such a central part of Marine Le Pen's platform and political identity, and it's got her riding high in the polls at the moment. What are you expecting from her this morning?

MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We're going to hear in greater detail what we already know, her plans, for instance, about the limiting immigration, not just in terms of numbers, but in the way that the immigration policy has been set up in France for decades, Cyril, that is changing the fact that children born on French soil get an automatic right to French citizenship.

And those questions of identity, those questions of what makes French people French. As you say, they've been part of her platform, they're been part of her program, they're been part of her DNA all her life, and they've become more and more, a part of the French political narrative. That's what has been so interesting about this campaign.

As you say Francois Fillon will also be speaking to the French today, retrying to get his campaign back on track, not just after the scandal over the alleged fake jobs that he'd given to his wife and to his children, but about a series of allegations that seem to be crippling his campaign week after week.

He'll be getting back to that key theme that had proved so popular at the time of his election in the republican primary, what he's offering France in terms of economic reform. He's very radical plans, very Thatcherized plans for getting France back on track.

The question will be whether that idea of a rupture that had for a while seemed so popular, so promising, as it would carry him all the way to the Elysee, still has a place when that narrative of Marine Le Pen, a very populist discourse and she's been speaking on French radio this morning, again speaking in the name of the people, speaking to the people about the sort of social protection that she'll give them.

No economic rupture there, but a rupture of another kind, a change really in how France's politics, France's identity would be defined. And I think the whole country is going to be watching very clearly, very closely that election. You mentioned a moment ago, the one in Holland in just a couple days' time. The question being, how prepared the European continent is to renounce the sort of liberalism that has characterized its politics ever since World War II, Cyril.

VANIER: Melissa, we're just six weeks away from the first round of the presidential election. Normally by this stage, you know, the political landscape and the race is kind of settled, we have a sort clear picture of where it's going. We don't right now in France.

BELL: It is utterly destabilizing, it seems to change from day to day. You also tend to have two main parties in the forefront of a campaign at this stage, the two parties that have essentially divided power between themselves since the fifth republic in 1958. That is particularly not the case.

The left, the socialist party has chosen a candidate so far to the left that he appears to have excluded himself and in the polls is really struggling to make them show. And Francois Fillon, as I said, is looking a poll to a third behind Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron. This is an extraordinary campaign in so many different respect, not at least its unpredictability, Cyril.

VANIER: All right. Fascinating race. Melissa Bell will be covering that for us as we near the finish line 23rd of April, the first round of a French presidential election. We'll be covering that here on CNN. Thank you very much, Melissa.

CHURCH: And we'll take a very short break, but still to some teenagers in Geneva say they're giving voice to the voiceless. Our CNN Freedom Project looks at their fight against modern day slavery.

[03:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK) JAVAHERI: Just one week left in the winter season, and winter is certainly going out with a bang across parts of the United States. The cold air already setting up shop, and of course the moisture will accompany it here over the next couple of days.

We're talking January to early February-like temperature in places and in fact, the cold air eventually will spill all the way to the south as we go in towards the latter portion of the week. But we're watching here carefully is a storm system across the Great Lakes of the United States.

Another one joining it across parts of Florida at this hour. And put them together in the proper alignment here you can get tremendous snowfall out of this with the cold air already in place.

That is what the concern is over say, Monday night into much of Tuesday across parts of the northeastern U.S. That is the most densely populated corner in the United States. And we're talking about the potential for at least 30 centimeters of snowfall for 50 million people come Tuesday afternoon across this region of the U.S.

Look at those temperatures. The 20's of yesterday are long gone. We're talking about temps below zero in places and staying that way for a couple of days. In particular, around New York City get to around zero for a high on Tuesday and fails to get there come Wednesday afternoon. And that pattern again should extend into the latter portion of the week.

Chicago, how about the first snows there in the past 24 hours, the first significant snows since the 17th of December. Seventeen degrees is what they have in store in Denver. Temperatures in San Francisco, sunny, and around 22 degrees.

CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well, one school in Geneva, Switzerland, is raising awareness about human trafficking. A youth program is encouraging teenagers to use social media to fight modern day slavery.

VANIER: And they're learning how to spot the signs of trafficking. Our Eleni Diokos has as attended one of the sessions encouraging students to speak up.


ELENI DIOKOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What does freedom mean to you?

For these students in Switzerland, freedom is abundant.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Freedom means being able to pursue what you want without imposing yourself on the freedom of others.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To be able to feel safe wherever you are in the world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To me, freedom goes beyond rights. DIOKOS: But in the relative safety of Geneva, they're being exposed

to the dark realities of human trafficking. Rasha Hammad, founder of Youth Underground, has created educational programs in schools around the world.

RASHA HAMMAD, CO-FOUNDER, YOUTH UNDERGROUND: As in all international communities, the kids are still in a bubble, and even us as adults, that we are, we tend to be in a bubble. So it's very difficult to crack that.

DIOKOS: An estimated 5.5 million children around the world are victims of human trafficking, with shocking stories that resonate.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My family is from Syria, and they go through a lot of bad things over there, especially women and men. It's so easy for them to be targets.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where I'm from in Bulgaria, it is the same. Because you have so many teenagers in my age who are being trafficked into countries like Turkey as well as into Greece.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I knew that a lot of people are being trafficked as young as 1 to 2 years old into the sex trade, but I didn't know that it was such a global thing.

DIOKOS: Now students are hoping to capitalize their resources for change.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think that we should give that privilege to be able to give a voice to those who don't have it.

[03:55:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're so far away from what happens around the world. And whether it's in continents like Africa whether it's in parts of Asia, it's scary for us, where we lived, as mentioned, we're in a bubble. We don't have -- we don't have -- we have the means to protect ourselves.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe that because of youth underground, it gives me a way of being more aware of my surroundings and it helps me help these people who know that some of them, and especially the majority of them are stuck in a poverty trap.

DIOKOS: One way to reconnect and connect with others to initiate an echo on social media.

HAMMAD: Now there's Snapchat, there's Facebook, there's all sorts of ways that they do that. They create different groups, they travel together. They decide to attend different events and talk about trafficking.

DIOKOS: What do you plan to do with the knowledge that you've gotten from the Youth Underground program?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's always about the human contact and trying to help people. Because, I mean, even if it's a cheesy saying, one person, you can just help one person, and it does make a difference. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My future is now elevated because of school and

gives me a platform to raise my voice and to be more influential over people.

DIOKOS: The Youth Underground program is galvanizing a new generation of activists, by using multiple platforms to engage students, where emotions don't just stay in the classroom.

Eleni Diokos, CNN, Geneva.


CHURCH: Inspiring students there. And thanks for watching CNN Newsroom. I'm Rosemary Church.

VANIER: And I'm Cyril Vanier. For our viewers here in the United States, Early Start is next, and for everyone else, do stay tuned for more from the CNN Newsroom with Max Foster in London.

CHURCH: Have a great day.