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Terror Attack in St. Petersburg; Trump Tactics to Divert Attention from Investigation; A Neophyte in Government Gaining More Power; Out of School Children in Afghanistan; Crimes Going Unreported Due to Fear of Deportation. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired April 4, 2017 - 03:00   ET



[03:00:00] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: At least 11 people are dead and dozens more wounded. And it's not yet known who was behind Monday's terror attack in St. Petersburg.

Plus, Trump sends his son-in-law to Iraq before his secretary of state. Now people are wondering just what is Jared Kushner in charge of.

And later, dropping out in Afghanistan more than 1,000 children a day are quitting school to work with many ending up on the streets. We will talk to a man who is trying to save them.

Hello and welcome to our viewers all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church, and this is CNN NEWSROOM.

We have new information in the bombing of the subway in St. Petersburg in Russia. The blast killed 11 and wounded more than 50 others. Russia's prime minister says this was a terrorist act, although no one has yet claimed responsibility.

President Vladimir Putin was in St. Petersburg at the time of the bombing. He brought flowers to a make shift memorial outside the metro station.

CNN's Oren Liebermann joins us with the very latest from St. Petersburg. And Oren, I understand they have identified a suspect. What all do you know on this?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And that identification comes from spokesman for Kyrgyzstan security authorities who spoke with several news agencies and who says the main suspect in this bombing, not only a bombing but a suicide bombing is Akbarzhon Dzhalilov, born in 1995. He's a Russian citizen born in Kyrgyzstan. Born in '95, that make him 21 or 22 years old.

Again, that is Kyrgyzstan authority saying the main suspect behind this deadly bombing that happened between this subway station behind me and the next one down the blue line is 21 or 22 year old Akbarzhon Dzhalilov.

That means the investigation now shifts from the who to the why and the how and as the investigation continues from officials, it is people who have come here, Russian citizens who have come to pay their respects at the memorial that has been set up here just outside the station here in the square.

And you can see that memorial has been growing all morning. Russia declaring three days of state mourning. This is the first of those days we've seen many people come here to pause, to reflect. This woman is right here seem to be taking a picture. Many have laid flowers or lit candles.

There are hundreds of flowers and perhaps hundreds of candles as well at this growing memorial. And there is a similar one at the next station down the road. The bombing happened between these two stations and again, we saw a memorial there. We saw put laying flowers very, very early this morning, two or three o'clock in the morning when we stopped by there.

So, people have been coming, they will continue to come and it was that other memorial where Vladimir Putin paid his respects late last night. So, a country mourning here as the investigation continues.

Again, Kyrgyzstan security authorities naming the main suspect behind at this point behind this suicide bombing, it is Akbarzhon Dzhalilov born in 1995, a Russian citizen born in Kyrgyzstan.

CHURCH: So Oren, we know the identification now of the suspect. As you mentioned we don't know why, but what impact has this attack had on the people of Russia and how has President Putin responded?

LIEBERMANN: Well, President Putin his almost immediate response and it's worth pointing out that he was here in St. Petersburg during the attack. And one Russian official suggested that maybe an indication of the timing of the attack.

But many people here as we've seen that although they've paid their respects, they've also gone about their day. We were actually surprised that the metro station open so early this morning and so quickly. So there is an effort, very much an effort to not let this disrupt their lives.

We are seeing a bit more security. We took a peek into the metro station behind us here where normally you might see two or three security guards, you're now seeing four or five. That is an uptick in security that I would imagine would be spread across in not only in St. Petersburg, but Moscow as well in this attack.

We'll see how it plays out from here. This is less than 24 hours and as Kyrgyzstan security authorities pointing their finger at the man they believe carried out this suicide bombing in the metro here in St. Petersburg.

CHURCH: And Oren, are authorities clear that is only one suspect in this. They think this was perhaps a lone wolf?

LIEBERMANN: There has been some confusion about that. Earlier today we heard from the state run TASS news agency that they were looking for a man and a woman, both around 20 years of age. We now know the man was right around 20 years of age or 21 or 22. We don't have any information that they're done looking for people.

So the investigation from that perspective may still be open. And they still may be looking for who else was involved as investigators look for any possible links between Dzhalilov and anyone else he may have been working to carry out this attack.

[03:05:02] It is worth pointing out here that police did find a second unexploded device just down the blue line of the metro here. That they found defuse. It was about 1 kilogram of TNT disguise or hidden in a fire extinguisher. So that may lead investigators to conclude that this was not a one-man job in which case they will look for anyone else connected to this.

CHURCH: Yes. Understood. And you were talking about the fact that very quickly they got things back to normal. Is there any sense that that may impact the investigation in any way and what are people saying to you about the fact that life is moving on?

LIEBERMANN: Well, people are still stunned by this. It was stunning yesterday and it is still stunning today. When we've seen more than one person come here and stop, and cry just as they look at this memorial. And we'll take one look again back here as we zoom in, and you see cameraman at the moment.

We've seen lots of people come here. So it's still very much an open wound, an open scar as Russians come and pay their respects here. As for investigators they made it clear yesterday we're looking at to talk to metro employees as well as witnesses and gather any evidence they could and that other bomb was part of the other evidence.

All of that with the investigators, you point out the investigation moving fairly quickly at this point. This is less than 24 hours and Kyrgyzstan authorities have already named possibly the prime suspect here. Could it disrupt it, we'll see as the investigation continues.

CHURCH: They certainly moved swiftly. Oren Liebermann, joining us there, live from St. Petersburg just after 10 in the morning there. Many thanks to you.

Well, authorities closed down the entire St. Petersburg metro system after the bombing. Most stations have now reopened as we've mentioned.

CNN's Clare Sebastian has more.

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This explosion happened in one of the busiest parts of one of the world's busiest subway systems. Almost two and half million people on these five lines on this every single day.

Now the explosion is known to have happened between these two stations in Sennaya Square. The only freeway interchange on the St. Petersburg metro and technological institute which is a two-way interchange and a second device was found up here and disabled, according to the officials. This is revolutionary square station not far away, also an interchange

and right next to a main line train station where trains to and from Moscow coming. Now if we got to street level you see even more clearly just how central and significant the areas around the explosion are.

Sennaya Square has two shopping centers, lots of banks and schools nearby and it's about a 15 minute walk from the prospect which is the main artery in this city. It's also a stone throw from some of the city's most famous landmarks. Just over a mile from the Hermitage Museum up here. It's close to St. Isaac's cathedral and also the Mariinsky Theatre.

So clearly, if as the Russian authorities now believe this was a terrorist attack, it was designed to make a serious impact.

Clare Sebastian, CNN, New York.

CHURCH: The White House says President Trump called Vladimir Putin to express his deepest condolences. Mr. Trump also pledged the full support of the U.S. government in responding to the attack and bringing those responsible to justice.

Well, there appears to be some progress in the investigations on possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian officials despite delays, controversies and multiple attempts from the Trump administration to divert attention.

Our senior congressional reporter Manu Raju has more from Washington.

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Tonight, Congress's investigation into Russia's meddling in the U.S. election is taking shape. With the Senate intelligence committee now interviewing witnesses and the House panel once again meeting after weeks of turmoil.

But the White House and republicans raising new questions over whether the identity of any of Trump associates were improperly revealed or unmasked within the intelligence committee during Barack Obama's final days as president.

The president tweeting Sunday, "The real story turns out to be surveillance and leaking.


JOHN CORNYN, (R) UNITED STATES SENATOR: Serious allegations have been made invading the privacy rights of American citizens who might have been caught up incidentally in the collection of foreign intelligence. That's a serious matter.


RAJU: Democrats say the White House's focus on unmasking of certain Trump associates is a smoke screen, intended to distract from allegations of coordination between the Trump campaign and Russians seeking to influence the election. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ADAM SCHIFF, (D) UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE: I think the answer to the question is this effort to point the Congress in other directions. Basically say don't look at me, don't look at Russia. There's nothing to see here. You know, I would tell people whenever they see the president use the word "fake." It ought to set off alarm bells.


RAJU: Behind the scenes, the House intelligence committee is trying to find line lists of witnesses to interview as part of the Russian investigation, while the Senate panel is looking to talk to at least 20 witnesses as part of its sweeping inquiry.

[03:10:03] That's all in addition to the FBI's ongoing criminal investigation. In a major question looms, how will Congress deal with former top national security advisor, Michael Flynn, who's asked for immunity in exchange for his testimony. Even some republicans call the proposal a strange idea.


RAJU: Do you think Congress should give immunity to Michael Flynn?

LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R) UNITED STATES SENATOR: I don't know what he has to offer. I wouldn't give immunity to somebody unless I knew they had something to offer.

RAJU: What about the president saying that he should be given immunity?

GRAHAM: I think he's just trying to encourage him to come forward but I'm not so sure that's appropriate. The bottom line is that if there were any contacts between the Trump campaign and the Russian intelligence services that were inappropriate, I want to find out about it and I want the whole world to know about it.


RAJU: And Rosemary, the question is whether or not the House intelligence committee can get back on track after weeks of turmoil. We're expecting actually a closed door meeting to occur on the issue of Russia and Russia meddling, something they actually have not really discussed as a full committee in some time because of the concern that democrats have raised over Chairman Devin Nunes' role in this investigation and whether or not he's too close to the White House.

And one thing they're expected to talk about too, is that private surveillance information that both Nunes and the top democrat in the committee Adam Schiff reviewed in private classified briefings including what Nunes said were concerns that some Trump associate -- associates contacts and communications were picked up incidentally by U.S. surveillance. It's something that some republicans say they need to be a significant part of this investigation.

But democrats are not quite sure if they want to hear more about that, which will be a subject of this closed door meetings. Rosemary.

CHURCH: Many thank, Manu. Well, the U.S. Senate has a long tradition of confirming nominees to the Supreme Court with some bipartisan support.

Now that's looking unlikely for President Trump's nominee. Democrats have enough votes to block the nomination of Neil Gorsuch. Republicans are threatening to use the so-called nuclear option which would lower the votes required to confirm Gorsuch to a simple majority.


CHRIS COONS, (D) UNITED STATES SENATOR: I am not ready to end debate on this issue. So I will be voting against cloture. Unless we are able as a body to finally sit down and find a way to avoid the nuclear option.

ORRIN HATCH, (R) UNITED STATES SENATOR: The first time in history conduct a filibuster. I think that's unworthy of the Senate. I don't think it's the right thing to do.

SEAN SPICER, UNITED STATES WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Democrats are setting a very dangerous precedent.


CHURCH: Republicans refuse to even consider President Obama's Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland because it was a presidential election year.

Well, Donald Trump's senior advisor who also happens to be his son-in- law takes a trip to Iraq. Details on Jared Kushner's growing role in major U.S. foreign policy. That's next.


PATRICK SNELL, CNN WORLD SPORT REPORTER: Hi, there. I'm Patrick Snell with your World Sport headlines.

The LPGA Tour commissioner Mike Whan saying he's written a letter to Lexi Thompson. This after a controversial four-stroke penalty cause her a second major title. The 22-yyear-old from Florida left absolutely devastated after being given a total four-stroke penalty while leaving the final round of the ANA inspirational event.

An e-mail from a TV viewer having alerted officials of golf at incorrectly place the mount ball by about an inch or so during Saturday's round.

And South Korea's So-yeon Ryu would go on to win in a playoff.

As the countdown continues to next year's Winter Olympics since South Korea, organizers there now know it will be without the participation of players from the national hockey league coming confirmation on Monday. The last few months the league has indicated they weren't in favor of

NHL participation in the main due to the middle of the season disruption and financial impact cause by shutting down the season for a couple of weeks.

Finally, we told you the stolen and found again jersey of winning Super Bowl quarterback Tom Brady. Well, on Monday, Brady receiving that shirt at a Boston Red Sox game. His team mate Rob Gronkowski, though, had other ideas wrestling it away from his draws and trying to run with it. Brady chased him down though to once again be reunited with the jersey that he say valued around half a million dollars.

That's a look at your World Sport headlines. I'm Patrick Snell.

CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well, U.S. President Donald Trump is in the midst of a major foreign policy week. Mr. Trump met with Egypt's Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on Monday. It's the first time in seven years an Egyptian leader was hosted at the White House. Ties were strained between the U.S. and Egypt.

The Obama administration openly criticized Mr. El-Sisi's human rights record. Activists say El-sisi is a ruthless dictator orchestrating a brutal political crackdown. Mr. Trump has a different idea.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I just want to let everybody know in case there was any doubt that we are very much behind President El-Sisi. He's done a fantastic job in a very difficult situation. We are very much behind Egypt and the people of Egypt we will fight terrorism and other things and we're going to be friends for a long, long period of time.


CHURCH: On Wednesday, President Trump will meet King Abdullah of Jordan. And on Thursday, Mr. Trump welcomes Chinese President Xi Jinping to his resort in Florida.

Well, U.S. President sends his senior adviser who is also his son-in- law on a diplomatic mission to Iraq. Jared Kushner made the surprise trip Monday where he met with the Iraqi prime minister. Something Mr. Trump's secretary of state hasn't even done yet.

Michelle Kosinski has more on Kushner's growing role in the White House.

MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: More than a seat at the table. Trump's son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner seems to be at the head of nearly every table at the White House, from streamlining the government to achieving peace in the Middle East.

President Trump told one newspaper, "Jared is such a good kid and he'll make a deal with Israel that no one else can. Tonight, Kushner is in Iraq. Invited by the chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff to see the situation firsthand, to get an update on the fight against ISIS. Prompting this bewildered tweet from President Obama's deputy national security advisor, Ben Rhodes. "Kushner in Iraq before the national security advisor or secretary of a state. Totally normal."

But it's not just Iraq. Kushner has been designated the president's point person on a list of issues including trade deals, communicating with China, heading off the new office of American innovation, which includes updating the entire government's technology infrastructure and tackling the opioid crisis.


TRUMP: And he's very good in politics.


KOSINSKI: He's held important meetings with foreign leaders, even when Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was noticeably absent.

Today the White House was asked how exactly he can do all of this.


SPICER: There's lot of relationships that's Jared's made over time with different leaders, Mexico being one of them you mentioned, that are going to continue to have conversations with him and help facilitate. That doesn't mean by any means that it's being done without coordination with the State Department. And quite in fact, the opposite.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's a direct line to the president, whereas the other institutions are not.

SPICER: I think great. That's even better, then I think that's a win for our government.


KOSINSKI: So, is Jared Kushner from sources say has won the president's confidence by projecting a lot of confidence, even when he doesn't have the experience or knowledge, the de facto secretary of state.

[03:19:59] To many, it has appeared that way. And appearances affect influence. To the point that some diplomats like the Chinese ambassador have been dealing directly with him.

Sources say it's also worked well for Middle Eastern delegation like the Saudis. For them government is a family affair. Kushner also was at the center of negotiation to get the president and Mexico to the table in D.C. which then collapsed after Trump executive order on immigration as well as some presidential tweets.


TONY BLINKEN, FORMER UNITED STATES DEPUTY SECRETARY OF STATE: And the larger question is, up until now we haven't seen lot of regular order in this administration when it comes to making foreign policy.

It's supposed to be centered around the national security council. They debate the policy, they decide the policy, they speak with policy. That doesn't seem to be happening. There's lot of free-lance going on.


KOSINSKI: Tonight, as Kushner works in Iraq and prepares for the president's high stakes meeting with the Chinese President, Xi, on Thursday, the man with zero diplomatic, government or foreign policy experience may now be the most high profile member of the administration doing just that. Why and how are the lingering questions outside the White House and around the world?

CHURCH: Michelle Kosinski with that report. And CNN's joins us now from Irbil in Iraq. So, Ben, Ben Wedeman what has been the reaction in Iraq to President Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner visiting the country and assessing the situation there ahead of U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, there's not been a lot of comment upon the mechanics of the visit. The fact that of course, Mr. Kushner, a 36-year-old has no military experience, no diplomatic experience. This is his first ever trip to Iraq.

Now last night we saw him meeting with the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. Now he is accompanied by men with military experience. The joint chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff Joseph Dunford and Steven Townsend, the general who is in charge or leading the international coalition against ISIS.

Now the situation in Iraq is somewhat delicate when it comes to the Trump administration. Let's not forget that President Trump, just the day after his inauguration went to CIA headquarters and said that the United States after the invasion of Iraq in 2003 should have taken Iraq's oil, and then he went on to say it may have an opportunity to do so in the future.

Iraq was included in the initial travel ban imposed by the Trump administration.

However, then it was removed in the second version of that travel ban. So, Iraqis are of mixed feelings. Now I've spoken to many Iraqis who seem to like President Trump in the sense that he's a strong man -- he's perceived as a strong man at least and certainly that has a certain amount of traction here.

Here in the northern part of Iraq in Kurdistan, I've met people who have named their children Trump. Men who named his fish restaurant Trump fish. So there is a certain amount of admiration for him.

But there's confusion when it comes to the real intentions of this administration and certainly Jared Kushner is going to have to deal with all of that. In addition to everything else he's supposed to be responsible for. Rosemary? CHURCH: Yes, indeed. And Ben, what all did -- or is he, is Jared

Kushner achieving while in Iraq and what does this say about how matters will be dealt with going forward with the Trump administration?

WEDEMAN: Well, so far, Rosemary, I think he's just here to learn about the place, to figure out some of the mechanics, the personalities involved and in fact, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Dunford did say that he had invited Mr. Kushner along to familiarize him with the environment.

So he's go having to be first of all looking at the situation in Mosul. This is an offensive now into its sixth month. It's proving to be increasingly difficult when it comes to the battle to drive ISIS out of the western part of the city.

We have mountain civilian casualties. The United States says it may have played a part in a March 17th incident that left well over 100 civilians dead. So, it's a messy environment and there's a lot to learn for the young man. Rosemary?.

CHURCH: Yes. Yes, indeed. All right, Ben Wedeman, joining us there from Irbil in Iraq, where it's nearly 10.25 in the morning. Many thanks.

Well, Mr. Trump is raising the stakes on North Korea. Warning if China won't keep Kim Jong-un in line, the U.S. is willing to go it alone. As we mentioned, the U.S. president will meet with China's leader at the end of the week.

And for more we want to go now with CNN's Matt Rivers who joins us live from Beijing.

[03:24:59] So Matt, just days before meeting with China's leader, Xi Jinping, President Trump warned that the U.S. would go it alone if Beijing doesn't help rain in North Korea. How's Beijing likely to respond to that threat? And what could it mean for diplomacy throughout the region there?

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, he made, the president made these marks and remarks in the interview with the Financial Times over the weekend in the United States. And then the government here in Beijing has not formally responded to what the president said.

But I think just like most of us, Beijing is going to take this at face value. They are going to look at what the president said and they are going to work that into their calculations in terms of how they're going to approach this high level meeting.

The first meeting that is set to take place between President Xi and Trump in Florida later on this week. But there's a couple things to point out here that I think are very important.

The first is that the president has said things in the past, used strong rhetoric about China in the past that hasn't -- that he hasn't followed through on. So remember when he was campaigning, he said things like he was going to label China a currency manipulator on day one of his administration. That did not happen.

He threatened imposing tariffs on Chinese imports to the United States. He has not done that so far. So I think what the Chinese are going to look at here and say, OK, we're going to take this at face value but also that they could very well be seeing this as a negotiating point the opening round, if you will, of negotiations between that will take place later on this week between the President of the United States and the President of China.

So they're going to be looking at it at face value but I think the Chinese are also well aware of the kind of context that these remarks tend to have.

CHURCH: Yes, indeed. And Matt, North Korea's state news agency reacted angrily to an article in the Wall Street Journal last week suggesting a regime change in Pyongyang. What all did they say about that?

RIVERS: Well, in state media in North Korean state media they came out against this column that was written in the Wall Street Journal talking specifically about a regime change, that that should be the focus of U.S. foreign policy when it comes to trying to solve the crisis that's ongoing in North Korea.

Not surprisingly, North Korean state media really got quite upset with that, that's of course a very sensitive topic, given the all mighty power that Kim Jong-un has in that country. State media very squish -- quick to lash out there.

But it's also interesting when you bring China into the mix there. China is not going to be in favor of any regime change more than likely in North Korea. China really wants the regime to stay in power for strategic reasons.

North Korea acts as a buffer against the U.S. forces that work with the South Koreans on the Korean Peninsula and also they don't want a refugee crisis if the regime were to collapse right on their border, so not surprising what we heard in state media given, you know, how important that their leader is in North Korea.

CHURCH: Of course. All right, Matt Rivers joining us live from Beijing, where it's nearly 3.30 in the afternoon. Many thanks.

We'll take a short break here, but still to come the St. Petersburg subway bombing is just the latest attack on Russian soil. What it has in common with the country's bloody terrorist history. We're back in a moment.


CHURCH: A very warm welcome back to all. I'm Rosemary Church. I want to update you now on the main stories we're following this hour.

Authorities in Kyrgyzstan have identified a Kyrgyz national in his early 20s as the subway suicide bomber in St. Petersburg in Russia. The explosion killed 11 people and wounded dozens more. Authorities defused a second larger device in a fire extinguisher.

U.S. President Trump met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi at the White House on Monday.

Former President Barack Obama refused to host Mr. El-Sisi and instead criticized his human rights record. Mr. Trump says President El-Sisi quote, "has done a fantastic job in a very difficult situation."

At a South Korean detention center, prosecutors are questioning the country's ousted President Park Geun-hye. The grilling is expected to take about eight hours. She was arrested last week for her role in a corruption scandal. Some supporters gathered outside the detention center earlier where she's awaiting trial.

Well, Monday's subway bombing in St. Petersburg is just the latest in a long history of terror attacks in Russia.

CNN's Phil Black takes a look.

PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Russia's military brutally crushed Chechen separatists when they sought to break away from the Russian federation around the turn of the century. But awarded men fighters went underground or deep into forest to continue their campaign against the Russian state.

In 2002, Chechen invaded a Moscow theater holding 852 people hostage. One hundred twenty nine were killed. Most from the gas used by Russian security forces to knock out the terrorists.

Two passenger planes which have departed Moscow in August 2004 were brought down by explosions almost simultaneously. Authorities blamed two Chechen women. The combined death toll, 89 people.

The next month, the world watch with harrow as more than 1,000 people were held hostage for days at a school in Beslan in the north caucuses. It ended when Russian forces stormed the school. More than 330 people were killed including 186 children.

Moscow's metro system was targeted with suicide bombs in both 2004 and 2010 killing around 80. In November 2009, a bomb derailed the high speed train between Moscow and St. Petersburg killing 28 people.

Thirty six died in January 2011 when the arrivals area at Moscow's Domodedovo airport was struck by a suicide blast. Before the St. Petersburg metro bombing the most recent Russian terrorist attacks took place in the southern city of Volgograd at the end of 2013.

First the local train station was hit, killing 18 people. A day later a suicide blast tore apart a bus, killing at 36 deep.

Russian authorities are now also worried about the terror threat from Syria. It's believed thousands of people from the Russian federation have traveled to Syria to joined Islamist groups.

President Vladimir Putin told the Russian people that's why he ordered air strikes there in late 2014 to kill the terrorists before they could return and kill people within Russia's borders.

[03:35:01] Analyst believe Russia's efforts in Syria have also motivated Islamist to strike back at Moscow and point to the ISIS bomb which brought down a Russian passenger jet over the Sinai Peninsula in October 2015.

Russia has dedicated huge resources to fighting terrorism at home and abroad. Authorities will be desperate to learn how those responsible for the St. Petersburg attacks were able to get pass Russia's formidable security and intelligence services.

Phil Black, CNN, London.

CHURCH: Colombia's president says no more people are missing in the country's devastating mud slides but the toll is staggering. More than 250 people are dead, including dozens of children. Morgues have begun releasing victim 's bodies to their families for burial.

President Juan Manuel Santos says Colombia received one third of its monthly rain in just one night, causing rivers to burst their banks. He blames climate change for the disaster.

And the weather pattern that set the stage for the floods is far from over. Our meteorologist Pedram Javaheri joins us now with more on the situation. And Pedram, as if the people of Colombia haven't had enough to deal with. There appears to be more on the way.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Certainly does. You know, you see the video like that and it hurts to see some of the folks dealing with this. And you know climatologically this is exactly when you expect the month of March into April to be the toughest time of the year.

So this region of Colombia is certainly not out of the question to see additional rainfall over the next 30 to 60 days before conditions improve and that is based on what we typically see this time of year what is known as the Intertropical Convergence Zone, especially where the winds come together near the equator.

And the southern hemisphere winter they stage just south of areas of Colombia. But as you go from March into April, that shifts directly over much of Colombia. So this is when you see the heaviest rainfall come down in these next couple of months.

But I want to show you this. Because the yellow bars indicate the amount of rainfall that's come down in 2017 for any given month. You notice January more than average, in February, slightly below average. In March yet again above average, and in April, a very quick start there to approaching average in just the first couple of days.

So a wet start to 2017 across much of this region. And the thunderstorms they are certainly there. In Mocoa are going to see additional rainfall in this region. But you know you hear officials talk about climate change is an issue. You hear a variety of elements be blamed on what is happening here, but oftentimes it is just more than one or two elements that have to come into place for something like this to happen. And have in say that with airplane crashes as well. Weather is just a small contributor to a multitude of events that takes place.

I want to take you down towards this region in this particular community that was hit because we know it's very densely populated. But there's actually several rivers that come together and meet up in this community right there. And there's wonders, two, and number three as well.

Put this together. This is the Andes Mountains. We know a significant deforestation is taking place across this region as well. So rainfall wants to interact with these mountains of clouds run into these mountains and essentially like a sponge squeezing out the water. You get all of the water that comes down of course the river begin bursting their banks.

You have multiple rivers meeting up in an area across the very densely populated region, that is a particularly a very properly laid out as far as the infrastructure is concerned. So all of these elements certainly go to play here to cause the flooding concerns that has been in pace.

And again, additional rains are expected, Rosemary, going into later this week and into the next month or so as well.

CHURCH: All right. Oh, goodness. We appreciate you keeping a very close eye on that. Thanks, Pedram.

JAVAHERI: Thanks, Rosemary.

CHURCH: We'll take a short break but still to come, keep calm and carry on. The British prime minister makes it clear she's not fazed by the flap over Gibraltar. We'll go live to the rocks. That's next.


CHURCH: Welcome back. Well, the British prime minister is seeking to downplay a Brexit-fuelled dispute over Gibraltar. Theresa May has dismissed comments by a former leader U.K. conservative party leader who hinted Britain should be prepared to take military action.

This all stems from a row which erupted after the European commissions dropped Brexit guidelines appear to increase Spain's influence over the future of the British controlled territory. The rock, as Gibraltar's often called, sits on the southern tip of Spain.

And international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson joins us now here from Gibraltar. So, Nic, explain to us what's going on here and whether the European commission's even has the power to increase Spain's influence over Gibraltar.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, certainly Spain has, like all E.U. countries, has a strong voice and a potential veto voice on any aspect of the outcome of the Brexit negotiations.

So, why that particular clause was added to Donald Tusk, the European Council president's guidelines. His notes on essentially to the other E.U. nations ahead of the negotiations of what they should consider. Why he added that clause is unclear other than it did come at the request and the pressure of Spain.

So what that has triggered here in Gibraltar is a sense that Spain is increasing its desire to have some kind of hand in the sovereignty of Gibraltar citizens. This is something that they have passionately voted against most recently, 2002 with a 30,000 people here.

And ninety nine percent voted against joint U.K. Spanish sovereignty.

So, it's really touched on a very passionate issue. But there are many, many dimensions to this and part of it is Theresa May's position. Now she has said quoting Winston Churchill just yesterday, saying that she is all about George or jaw, notice as he had said war, war, war and clearly she's trying to deescalate what some of the tensions that have been fuelled here.

But interestingly at the same time her office in number 10 Downing Street has briefed that, rather than briefing against those very -- that very strong language from Lord Michael Howard suggesting that Theresa May would act in the same way that Margaret Thatcher did over the Falkland Island 35 years ago, I send military reinforcements there to fight a war.

Rather than saying that he was wrong they just said that he was showing the resolve of the British. So this is a passionate issue for people who live here, it's a passionate political issue in Britain.

And there's been criticism of Theresa May back home from the political opposition there that she should have seen this coming and this whole narrative of war is making potential enemies out of all the allies in the E.U. that she's basically negotiating with, Rosemary.

CHURCH: All right. We shall see where this all goes. Nic Robertson, bringing us the very latest from Gibraltar, where it is 9.43 in the morning. Many thanks.

Well, France holds its second televised presidential debate Tuesday that's less than three weeks from election day. The first debate featured the top five candidates but this time all 11 presidential hopefuls will take to the stage.

All eyes will be on independent centrist Emmanuel Macron and far right leader Marine Le Pen. They are considered the frontrunners in this tightening race.

Well, Marine Le Pen believes that it's time for her party, the National Front, to lead. And her supporters shares her vision for France.

CNN's Melissa Bell went to a town considered a national front stronghold and she has this report.

MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Nearly 700 kilometers to the south of Paris in the heart of (Inaudible) sits (Inaudible) out of France, a town protected by a gate built in Medieval times when popes still called nearby avenue homes.

Today the town's Christian heritage continues to loom large, even if the splendors of the past have long since faded in what is one of the poorest parts of the country.

[03:45:00] It's market day and with less than a month until the election, the far right is out (Inaudible), as is the far left. On the holder, the national front gets a warm reception. The party has not only one M.P. here but also two mayors.


GEORGES MICHEL, NATIONAL FRONT SPOKESMAN (through translator): When you start having local representatives like mayors, you in the political landscape, you are recognized and then you necessarily get a different sort of reception. As they say, victory leads to victory.


BELL: And it is the victory of Marine Le Pen that Georges now believes will follow. He doesn't hesitate to hand his leaflets even to the town's veiled women. There are new figures on the size of the Muslim population here. French law doesn't allow the data to be collected.

But Georges believes that it is now not far from half. The market here in (Inaudible) has existed since Roman times and much of what is sold has been sold here for centuries. What has changed though, is the nature of the local population. Some say it's changed beyond all recognition and what many of those intending to vote national front here told us today was that they're intending to do so not so much to make France great again, as to make France French again.

Karine Clement (Ph) began campaigning for the national front five years ago when she says she realize that the Muslim population was changing.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Their parents try to assimilate. The new generation was born in France. They don't want to be assimilated as French.


BELL: Karine shows us into the national Front headquarters, from here the party fought its successful campaign to get Marine Le Pen's nice, Marion Marechal-Le Pen elected as a lawmaker in 2012.

Now the fight is to get Marine Le Pen into the Elysee Palace, one of the party's volunteers explains why.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We feel a little bit less French. We've given a lot to these migrants who have come in to France illegally, and now we don't look after our homeless people. We should look after ourselves first.


BELL: Back in the market, it is a view rejected by some who fear that the national front is fear mongering even if there does seem to be a strong sense of abandonment by the more traditional political elites.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): The politicians prefer to say that it's the Syrians who want to come and steal your jobs who are going to take your houses, but there is no money for the French that there are homeless people in the street. It is just dividing all the better to rule.


BELL: Even here where support for the National Front has been strong and where the desire for change is real, there is a sense that Marine Le Pen might just represent a change too far.

Melissa Bell, CNN, (Inaudible).

CHURCH: And we'll take a short break. Still to come, save the children says life is already bleak for many Afghan children and it could get even worse. We'll be live in Kabul, just ahead.


CHURCH: A warning from Save the Children about a dire situation that's expected to get even worse. The aid group says more than 400,000 children in Afghanistan are likely to drop out of school this year and that puts them at risk of exploitation.

It's all due to growing instability and it's about to get worse because of a spike in forced returns from Pakistan.

Gawid (Ph) is 14 and in the impoverished outskirts of Jalalabad he doesn't attend school. Instead he collects and sells garbage to people to burn for fuel.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): When I'm collecting garbage I feel really sad and wonder why I'm working at this age where I should be going to school. It is my time to get an education, not to work. I feel like I'm getting left behind.


CHURCH: He was born in Pakistan but his family was forced back to Afghanistan after Pakistan began tightening regulations and kicking out Afghanis by the hundreds of thousands. With no jobs returnees face a bleak reality.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): All the returnees are

unemployed. There are no jobs. I'm jobless and my children are working on the streets instead of going to school because of poverty.


CHURCH: After leaving in Pakistan for 20 years Gur (Ph) was sent back to Afghanistan. His family of 16 now live in a make-shift tent village. He fears what will happen to his children if they can't get a proper education.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): If my children weren't enrolled in school, they could become terrorists, thieves, they could be recruited by an insurgent group, be trafficked or start using drugs.


CHURCH: The concern is widespread with more than 1,000 children per day expected to drop out of school in Afghanistan this year, that's according to a new report from Save the Children.

The organization along with the United Nations is trying to alleviate the suffering by providing cash payments to some returnee families.

On this day, 150 families got their first payments and some schools are accommodating returnee students even though they have no toilet, electricity or running water.

Save the Children is sounding the alarm to the United Nations that Afghanistan's humanitarian aid is not fully funded and that lack of funding could erase 15 years of progress made in education.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I want to go to school to get an education and become a doctor or school principal and to serve the children and my country. I hope I can do that one day.

And we were going to have a guest for you from Afghanistan. Unfortunately, we weren't able to get that organized but we will certainly speak to them at another time.

But federal authorities say immigration agents to will continue to make arrest at a court house across court houses across the U.S. despite accusations from California chief justice that it appears undocumented immigrants are being stalked.

And L.A.'s police chief says the practice has also led a full -- led to a full in the number of crimes reported by many immigrants.

CNN's Sara Sidner explains.

SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is almost unheard of for a police chief to tell the public a decrease in crime reports may actually be a dangerous trend but that is exactly what's happening in one of America's biggest cities.


CHARLIE BECK, CHIEF, LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT In Los Angeles domestic violence reports are down 10 percent in the Hispanic community, 10 percent. Imagine somebody being the victim of domestic violence and not calling the police because they're afraid that their family will be torn as under because of immigration enforcement.


SIDNER: What's even more alarming, he said, reports of rape dropped 25 percent in the Latino community, compared to the same time last year. The fear is crime isn't actually dropping but victims are too scared to report it. Noting the drop came after Donald Trump with his tough stance on immigration took office.


BECK: There's no direct nexus to it but there is a strong correlation.


SIDNER: But in Denver the city attorney says she has seen a direct link. Heightened fears of deportation has so far scared away four domestic violence victims.


KRISTIN BRONSON, DENVER CITY ATTORNEY: All four were Latina and all four contacted our office to let us know they weren't willing to proceed with the case for fear of deportation.


SIDNER: The women were not so much afraid to face their alleged attacker, but instead afraid of this.


[03:55:06] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you here with immigration enforcement?


SIDNER: ICE agents in plain clothes waiting outside court rooms to detain undocumented immigrants. This video taken by a private law firm shows their fears are not unfounded.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you coming to make arrests?



SIDNER: Local law enforcement worried about the potential impact of ICE's presence on witnesses and victims.


BRONSON: We are worried that crime will go unpunished and if crime is unpunished and there are no consequences, obviously crime can rise.


SIDNER: According to ICE policy, courts are fair game, but ICE officials say detaining people at court houses is often a last resort, aimed at violent criminals. Still, their actions are having a chilling effect on victims too. Where are you afraid to go now?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): The courts. It frightens me to think that just by going there, immigration will get me.


SIDNER: This undocumented mother of two American born daughters says she used to live in terror inside of her home because of her abusive spouse before fleeing. He was never charge. But now she is even more terrified when she leaves her home.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Every single day I think about this. My daughter said mom, "I'm afraid when you pick me up from school immigration will be there."


SIDNER: There are a couple of important things to note here. One is that physically speaking there is only a very small bit of data because we're only talking about the first three months of the year, so hard to tell if there is a larger trend here.

Secondly, ICE agents did end up in court houses making arrests during the Obama administration but they largely stopped the practice sometime after 2013 when there was a huge backlash after ICE agents arrested some women who had gone to court to get restraining orders. Now ICE clearly back in court and the clash between some law enforcement and victims of advocates is too.

Sara Sidner, CNN, Los Angeles.

CHURCH: And thanks so much for your company. I'm Rosemary Church. The news continues next with Isa Soares in London. Have yourselves a great day.