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Protests In Hong Kong Ahead Of Xi Jinping Visit; Tough Talk Aimed At North Korea; Catholic Cardinal Charged With Sexual Assault; Maduro Condemns Helicopter Attack as Attempted Coup; Israeli Researcher Cracks Petya Ransomware Code; Marijuana Farms Give Rise to Human Trafficking; Russia Warms Up for World Cup Final. Aired 1-2a ET
Aired June 29, 2017 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[01:00:00] PAULA NEWTON, CNN ANCHOR: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Ahead this hour, President Xi Jinping arrived in Hong Kong for the 20th anniversary of the city's handover to China, but not everyone is celebrating.
NEWTON: Also ahead, a key U.S. Military Advisor says that when it comes to North Korea, all options, including military ones are on the table.
VAUSE: And later, a top aide of Pope Francis is charged after multiple allegations of sexual assault.
NEWTON: Hello and thanks for joining us. I'm Paula Newton.
VAUSE: Great to have you with us. I'm John Vause. We're now into the second hour of NEWSROOM L.A.
VAUSE: This Saturday will mark 20 years into Britain's handing control of Hong Kong back to China. And just an hour ago, Xi Jinping arrived in the city, the first visit there as President. On Saturday, he'll swear in Hong Kong's new Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, a candidate approved by Beijing, which angered many pro-Democracy activists.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: The security, as you can imagine, is tight for Xi's visit. Late Wednesday, about two dozen protesters were arrested at the site where the official ceremonies will be held. Now, many have chained themselves to a large statue of a golden flower. That golden flower is quite symbolic, that was a gift from China to Hong Kong, 20 years ago; symbolic of the handover.
CNN's Ivan Watson joins us now live from Hong Kong. And Ivan, I know that in watching those protests, it really was reminiscent of now -- almost three years ago, the umbrella protest began, and it is what's very mixed feelings that Hong Kong receives Xi Jinping today.
IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. And he arrived, and yes, there was a small crowd of supporters waving the flags of both Hong Kong and China. And he arrived, and he said that this is huge -- this anniversary is a huge celebration for the entire country China, and then he also took care to point the one country, two systems situation that Hong Kong is uniquely in. Take a listen to an expert of his opening speech.
Oh, I apologize. We don't have those comments, but basically, Xi Jinping in his arrival, Paula; he mentioned the one country, two systems. Now, why is this so important? Because Hong Kong is different from any other city in China; yes, it's formally a part of China, but it is still governed by a system, a mini-constitution called the basic law that enables people living here to have much more freedom of speech, of the press, than anybody on mainland China.
For instance, people here can commemorate the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, which is not allowed in mainland China. And what that results in is opposition parties and protests to the central government in Beijing that would not be tolerated on the mainland. And it also leads to some of the ambivalence that many Hong Kong-ers feel about this 20th anniversary of the handover from British rule to the rule of China. Paula.
NEWTON: Yes. As you're speaking, we are showing some video of that protest there by the flower. And Ivan, having covered this protest now, you have for several years, you know, polls are showing that in the last 10 years, the kind of identity the people in Hong Kong, especially young people in Hong Kong feel towards the mainland which China plummeted. I mean, at this point though, do you see the protest movement going anywhere? A lot of people have commented that despite that antipathy towards China that really the protest movement has fizzled.
[01:05:08] WATSON: Yes. Well, I mean, what happened three years ago was, there was unprecedented occupy movement that held part of downtown for some two months and then it did very much fizzle and a lot of public opinions turned against it. In this case, you still have opposition groups that are determined to try to show their dissent and their feelings about what they think Hong Kong should be like in the future. There are going to be armies of police officers, reportedly around 11,000 who will probably try to ensure that there are no signs of any dissent in front of the Chinese leader.
Overall, yes, one of the big questions that Beijing will face is this curious sense of identity that many Hong Kong-ers have, particularly the youth, where only a sliver of them. According to a poll, around three percent identify as Chinese rather than as citizens of Hong Kong, and that's a big challenge and obstacle to try to overcome. And it's part of why when you ask many Hong Kong-ers how they feel about this anniversary, perhaps the only answer you'll get is kind of a shrug and it's just another Saturday, rather than a real celebration or a moment of pride for many residents of this city.
NEWTON: Yes. And it's clear that Xi's leadership still feels as if the protest movement in Hong Kong can pose a threat to that leadership, that's why he has such tight security. Ivan Watson there, we'll continue to follow this-- VAUSE: U.S. President Donald Trump has raised the stakes in the standoff with North Korea. His National Security Advisor, H.R. McMaster, says military options have been updated and are ready to go if Pyongyang carries out another missile or nuclear test.
NEWTON: And U.S. defense officials say there's growing concern about North Korea's ability to attack U.S., and keeping missile test undetected until the very last minute.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
H.R. MCMASTER, ADVISOR OF NATIONAL SECURITY: This threat is much more immediate now, so it's clear that we can't repeat the same approach -- failed approach of the past. The President has directed us to not do that and to prepare a range of options, including a military option which nobody wants to take. There's recognition that there has to be more pressure on the regime. And I think what you'll see in coming days and weeks, our efforts to do that--
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Well, for more on this and the rest of the politics facing the White House right now, we're joined by Gina Loudon, a Talk Radio Host there in San Diego; and here in Los Angeles, Democratic Strategist, Matt Littman. OK. So, they're talking seriously about the military option being on the table and ready to go, Democrats are now talking about the need to -- an authorization of use of force. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JIM HIMES (D), CONNECTICUT: I am not a big believer in President Trump's extensive, deep and nuanced knowledge of the situation in North Korea or Asia, generally. That any military activity that is not responding to a direct attack on the United States or our forces has got to be debated and approved by the United States Congress, that's really, really important.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: So, Matt, this about a lot more than just North Korea. The big pitch here is civilian oversight of the military.
MATTHEW LITTMAN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Right. So, the President is the Commander-in-Chief. Let's remember that during the campaign, Donald Trump said he knew more than the Generals knew from watching weekend talk shows. And it turns out that now, he's really deferring to the military folks and doesn't seem to have a lot of knowledge in the situation. Recently, he confused Kim Jong-un with Kim Jong-il.
And the idea that we're going to have a military strike against North Korea, to what end? Let's remember that we have thousands of troops in South Korea on the DMZ border. And I don't -- there's no great victory for us in attacking North Korea when they could just attack South Korea. So, I don't know what the end game is here, but there's no clear policy aside from saber-rattling by the administration, which North Korea has shown that they're not going to listen to.
NEWTON: And Gina, I have to ask you. If you take the Democrats' face value to say, look, we have concerns not because this is a partisan battle by because Americans will demand a more bipartisan approach to something is serious, as kind of pre-emptive strike against North Korea. I mean, Gina, don't you think that is a pre-requisite here? That everyone's brought on board?
GINA LOUDON, TALK RADIO HOST: Well, I think that it's very dangerous to take the posture of the former President Obama, which was, you know, draw artificial lines in the sand that you have no intention or even ability to follow through on? And then, you do lead from behind. The rest of the world watch that, lost respect for American. But with the decisiveness of this President, the rest of the world is paying attention.
And don't forget, all options of the table -- the military is only one of those, there are a lot of ways to put pressure on North Korea and including the pressure that already been put on them. For example, to the Executive Order last week changing Cuba -- changing the trade with Cuba back from pre-Obama time. So, there are a lot of ways to put pressure on North Korea without it being necessarily military. But I think we can all take great confidence in the fact that the President has surrounded himself with very competent, capable, knowledgeable people with access to intelligence that none of us have.
[01:10:25] VAUSE: Matt, is that a part of comfort that, you know, he is praised by the people around him?
LITTMAN: It's not. I mean, the President is the Commander-in-Chief, he's supposed to make the objective decision based on all of the facts before him. This President doesn't seem to have a great deal of knowledge that makes everybody nervous. I mean, Gina's attacking Barack Obama talking about Cuba --
LOUDON: I don't know where you get that, Matthew.
LITTMAN: I don't what that's all about.
LOUDON: I really don't know where you get that. Look at his decisiveness with Syria. Look at his follow through with things like creating jobs and eliminating -- I mean, there --
LITTMAN: You asked about decisiveness and I'll answer it because you also mentioned something else about the United States' reputation in the world. The poll came out, I think it was yesterday that showed in every country, I believe except Russia and maybe Israel, the reputation of the United States has been severely damages under Trump presidency, one.
Two, we did attack Syria; Donald Trump did shoot a missile at Syria, that's true. And so far, we found out that Syria has chemical weapons that they may use again. So, I'm not sure what the good was done in the first place. There seems to be the actual policy towards Syria, which was a lot of people's concern in the first place. Those missiles went to Syria. LOUDON: Matthew, you know that for a fact you answer a bully like Kim Jong-un with a bully.
LITTMAN: What does that mean?
LOUDON: And you answer a nice guy as a nice guy, a bully with a bully.
LITTMAN: What does that mean?
LOUDON: And you also know, you also know that you don't have to be liked around the world to be respected. People respects this President --
LITTMAN: But no one respects him. That's what the poll is saying. That people --
LOUDON: It's been demonstrated over and over again. People had no respect --
LOUDON: For the former President and that, unfortunately --
LITTMAN: We're not talking about the former President.
LOUDON: Has prepped into the beginning months of this administration. But luckily, this President seems to have it together and I think will let the world know that he's very serious, and he plans to follow through on the things that he said he would do.
LITTMAN: So, that's a good point because the poll shows the reputation of Barack Obama as President versus Donald Trump. And the poll shows that people, take the United States, have much lower regard for them since Donald Trump became President versus Barack Obama. So, you're right. There is a study that shows that that world does have much less respect to the United States since Donald Trump became President. Good point.
LOUDON: They don't have to like you to fear you.
VAUSE: OK. We're going to move on now to health care. And guys, in control room, we're going to jump ahead to number 60. I just -- they're all the same page. Because if this Republican health draft does not get through, Mitch McConnell has raised the possibility, you know, the Republicans will have to negotiate with Chuck Schumer. The President was asked about that and he didn't seem very keen. Listen to Donald Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm going to find out if he's serious. He hasn't been serious. Obamacare is such a disaster, such a wreck and he wants to try and save something that's really hurting a lot of people. It's hurting a lot of people. He has to be very, very serious. And he has done a lot of talking, bad talking. And he just doesn't like a serious person.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: Gina, you know, the President brought this up; he wanted to talk about this. Is it because he's serious about sounding bipartisan or that he thought it would a good strat. He's mentioned it before; he's going to bang those Republican Senators over the head with this. If you don't negotiate with me on this, I'll go to Chuck Schumer and the Democrats.
LOUDON: Well, I do think that the Republicans and the Democrats should all sit down and have a conversation. Honestly, the way our government is supposed to work is that everyone comes to the table. We have a terrible death spiral in our health care system right now, thanks to Obamacare where premiums have increased in average of $3,000 a year for Americans, and where 83 percent of insurers have pulled out of the system altogether. Something has to be done.
And obstructing, as the Democrats have done, is not productive at all. I do wish that they would come to the table and put in their (INAUDIBLE). But unfortunately, they've chosen to sort of, you know, close their ears, and close their eyes, and pay no attention. And therefore, they've chosen not to have a seat at the table, and I don't think that benefits Americans. I think the obstructionism needs to stop.
VAUSE: Very quickly, Matt.
LITTMAN: Well, listen, just remember when they were doing Obamacare, Obama even went to the Republican Congress and took questions from Republican Members of Congress for hours and hours. Donald Trump won't talk to Democrats. The Republicans have negotiated in secret. Chuck Schumer offered to meet with Trump, to no avail. And to meet with Mitch McConnell, to no avail. This Republican health care plan has about 17 percent popularity in the country. This is incredibly low, to incredibly unpopular.
LOUDON: That's not true, Matt.
LITTMAN: And Trump himself said that it's mean. So, I'm not even sure what the benefit is to the Republican --
LOUDON: That's not true either.
LITTMAN: Who've been trying to pass this thing?
LOUDON: Remember you can read the bill after you pass it? I hardly, I hardly call that communicating with the Republicans.
VAUSE: And Gina got the last words.
LOUDON: I guess.
VAUSE: Matt and Gina, thank you so much.
LITTMAN: Thank you. [01:15:07] VAUSE: We appreciate the discussion. OK. Well, the North Korean threat is expected to dominate the first meeting between President Trump and the South Korean President, Moon Jae-in Thursday.
[01:15:15] NEWTON: Now the two leaders come from of course oxidants in the political specter but the dismantling of Pyongyang's nuclear program is a common goal. The North has conducted three missile test, since Mr. Moon's inauguration in May.
VAUSE: Paula Hancocks joins us live from Seoul. So Paula, as always doing as checking out the Korean Times, looking at the other editorial there was clearly harshly worded it was titled "Mr. President showed Trump backbone" here's some what I read "An ego-centric Trump may feel good to see Moon eager to please to him to the point of giving up his principles. By doing so, Moon is running the risk, handling over the control of their summit to Trump and making it difficult to raise objection about Trump's unilateral actions". So how much pressure is the newly elected South Korean leader under ahead of this summit and to walk away with some kind of tangible results?
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well certainly I think there's a key to might have a pressure to make it a successful summit whether or not that means is he's going to walk away with anything is a another matter. That survey that your guest was just referencing that that the Pew research center survey here in South Korea there was an 88 percent confidence at the end of President Obama's 10 year in the United States that's down to 17 percent when it comes to the U.S. under President Trump. So there is a lot of fear about what the United States is going to do when it comes to the alliance, when it comes to the U.S. missile defense system and North Korea.
HANCOCKS: North Korean athletes showcase their taekwondo skills in South Korea, a sporting connection where a political one is lacking. The South Korea President Moon Jae-in wants to change that meeting with sportsman that the taekwondo world championship last weekend and then North Korean member of the international Olympics committee, he calls for a joint North South Korean team at the upcoming winter Olympics. I want to feel those emotions again he said that I felt when the world cheered as atheletes from North and South Korea march together during 2000 Sydney Olympics.
A clear pro engagement stunts ahead of his summit with the U.S. President Donald Trump. Mr. Trump has made contradictory statements on North Korea saying he would be willing to meet leader Kim Jong-un at the same time is saying a pre emptive strike is still on the table. Experts say President Moon needs to make a personal connection with his U.S. counterpart.
JOHN DELURY, PROFESSOR, YONSIE UNIVERSITY: My sense from the South Korean side is there are more focus on the inter personal dimension, you know, and trying to have a good summit trying to get a read of Donald Trump. As I think all world leaders are.
HANCOCKS: The shed problem of North Korea's nuclear missile program provides some common ground.
JOEL WIT, SENIOR FELLOW, U.S.-KOREA INSTITUTE: Well you also has the somehow figure out how the inject into mix of discussion of the substance because the challenge is facing us from North Korea aren't can't be put off.
HANCOCKS: And then they start, the U.S. missile defense system being deployed to South Korea. Which many imply don't what, including in the past President Moon although he didn't soften his tone. A recent protest outside the U.S. Embassy had a distinct anti American tone. This protester says I want President Moon to tell President Trump that side is not beneficial for the peace of South Korea and people here are furious about being controlled by the U.S.
HANCOCKS: Now one expert here in South Korea did say that at least President Moon has the late commerce advantage, he has seen how are the leaders have meet with President Trump and ask whether he's going to go for the at the European more confrontational approach potentially like Prime Minister Macron or whether he would do what the leaders in Japan and China did. Make sure that you have a personal relationship and hopefully the rest follows, John.
VAUSE: He might even get some chocolate cake like China's President did. Paula thank you.
NEWTON: It was gorgeous or beautiful cake.
NEWTON: It was beautiful, right? Excellent.
VAUSE: Next on NEWSROOM L.A., sexual views charges in Australian against a tough figure in the Catholic Church, full details in just a moment.
NEWTON: ISIS would hold in Iraq could soon fall out of its control, the last push to liberate the city.
[01:21:42] NEWTON: One of the leading figures in the Catholic Church has been charge with what is called historic sex offense.
VAUSE: Police say there a multiple charges and multiple complains against Cardinal George Pell, he denies the allegation is preparing to appear in court next month.
NEWTON: Arhon Young from Sky News Australia has more from Melbourne, thanks for being with us. This is obviously quite a bit of news for Australia to take in especially after all of that testimony that they have heard now for so many years in connection with the abused scandals, what has been the reaction now though that this - that the highest Catholic officials Cardinal was so close to Pope Francis as now in charge. ARHON YOUNG, JOURNALIST, SKY NEWS AUSTRALIA: Yes Paula, as it expect the announce sending shock waves through the Catholic Church in Australia also here in Melbourne of course around the world too, we've just a short time ago the Archbishop of Melbourne who says he's aware of this significance of the decision to charge George Pell. The Archbishop pointing to Cardinal Pell's efforts to address the evil of child sexual abuse as his time here in Melbourne but earlier police confirmed that George Pell has now been with summons required to face the Melbourne Magistrates Court July 18th.
So in around two weeks' time, now police say he has been informed as has the court there are numerous complainants involve in the case and we understand the police used the advice from the Office of Public Prosecutions that engage with his legal representatives in run at the Vatican. Police at pains though to point out the Cardinal Pell is being treated the same as anybody else facing these sorts of allegation and as they point out there are no allegation so far tested in court yet, that's where we go next. He has arrived to due process as you mentioned major consequences for the Church though. It is in modern times where an Archbishop has to face this sort of charges.
NEWTON: And he remains at the Vatican right now as you just said that, you know, that he is returning, I mean what are people expecting from Pope Francis and the Vatican on this, I mean this handpicked of Pope Francis to go to the Vatican be his top financial adviser and it was known that he was a possibility that he complicit in a lot of these sex allegations in Australia at the time.
YOUNG: Yes, it's a very good point a very good question what are the Australian authorities expecting well. Last year when George Pell was called to give evidence to the world commission into child sexual abuse, he is the third most senior Catholic in the Church of 1.2 billion people around the world. He right now runs the finances that's his job, Australia has no extradition treaty with the Vatican but the Pope in the past well we know he has the supreme decision on this and he has spoken very strongly against these sorts of charges he will do what he can to deal with him Cardinal Pell has now released a statement, just short time ago ill read you a part of against extremely denying the allegations Cardinal Pell will return to Australia as soon possible to plea his name following advice and approval by his doctors who are and will advise on his travel arrangements.
Now the charges likely to force him to step aside from his Vatican post while he fights these charges in fact there was a time in Sydney just a few years back before he headed to the Vatican where there were charges likely he was cleared off those charges. But at the time he stood aside while the investigation was pending, we are expecting a similar announcement from the Vatican sometime later today.
NEWTON: An investigation will continue to follow, Ahron Young from "Sky News" in Melbourne, thanks for the update appreciate it. And he made an important point there that of course he's in the Vatican it's a considered a country and they are a cooperating and he says he will return as we've been hearing he did not return for the investigation. [01:25:21] VAUSE: Yes, and so we'll be seeing a long way in playing that. OK, excuse me. The battle to retake Iraq second largest city from ISIS appears to be coming to an end.
NEWTON: Iraqi troops are on the verge of pushing the last of the terrorist forces of Mosul, CNN's Nick Paton Walsh takes us right inside that fight.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The ends near for ISIS, we just feel it and the normal lives bringing back out of this pancake buildings yet turned one corner in Mosul towards it's old city and the unrealism of the very final chapter in this war emerges liberation leaves little to like behind what he's still where they fell in the scorching hut. Senior Commanders takes us in, in the calm before their final storm to wipe ISIS off the map.
How many more days do you think that ISIS have in Mosul in Iraq? Brigadier General Assadi take us on to see that prize, these of the last rooftops ISIS owned in Mosul. Nearly hundreds of meters to go now in the distance left, the riverbank marking where ISIS's world ends and the dust the ruins of the sacred al-Nuri Mosque. ISIS blew it up rather the left that they captured, a terrifying moment for the civilians held underground as human shield here. Well that Mosque is always been a distant target Iraqi security forces and now they literally are able to see it from neighboring rooftops. U.S. trained Major Salam took us into Mosul eight months ago now he's here to see the end. We're at the beginning and now we're at the end of it all.
MAJOR SALAM, IRAQI ARMY: Yes.
WALSH: And so what are we seeing in the screen?
SALAM: It's kind of a digital camera that tries to recon that enemy whether they relocated and we try to find of course the civilians also. Nobody is sure exactly how many civilian there are, they located in so many different houses many families in one house.
WALSH: Are you getting enough help from the Americans now? Because when we first met eight months ago you won't.
SALAM: More than enough help, so I'm happy for all the support from Usramian side from American side.
WALSH: There is the occasional stands of death here from the bodies of ISIS fighters like this one below me here, left behind and also at times an airy silence when the gun fires subside but it's in these dens of streets that you could really feel how hard the fight against ISIS has been in this final moments. But also to how many few meters there are away from kicking the terrorist group out of Mosul but also out of Iraq entirely. Nick Paton Walsh CNN Mosul, Iraq.
VAUSE: Well still to come here. Venezuela's President says the helicopter attack was an attempted coup, but when we come back we'll hear from the guest who believes it's may have all been staged by the government.
[01:30:39] JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back, everybody. You're watching CNN NWESROOM, live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Paula Newton.
The headlines this hour.
VAUSE: Venezuelan authorities are seeking help from Interpol to find the pilot of a helicopter which was involved in an attack on the Supreme Court.
NEWTON: Some believe this attack was nothing more than a spectacular stunt put on by the government itself.
CNN's Patrick Oppmann has details.
PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Called a coup attempt by Venezuela's government, the attackers rained down grenades and gunfire on government buildings in the capital city of Caracas.
OPPMANN: No one appeared to be injured, but the aerial bombardment further unsettled a country already on the brink.
OPPMANN: For roughly three months, protesters have clashed with police, enraged over the lack of food and medicine, and the socialist government's refusal to call elections. At least 75 people have died in the unrest.
Some Venezuelans have called for the country's military and security forces to step in and end the chaos in the oil-rich country.
OSCAR PEREZ, POLICE OFFICER BLAMED FOR GRENADE ATTACK: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
OPPMANN: The government blames the attack on this man. Before the attack, he took to social media and identified himself as Oscar Perez, a police officer and a pilot. He demanded that Maduro step down.
"This combat is not with the rest of the state security forces," he says. "It's against the impunity imposed by this government against the tyranny."
Following Tuesday's attack, Maduro vowed to respond to violence with violence.
"If Venezuela was plunged into chaos and violence, the revolution destroyed, we would go to combat," he says. "We would never give up. And that couldn't be done with votes. We would do with weapons. We would liberate the fatherland with weapons."
But some in Venezuela's opposition wonder if the helicopter attack wasn't a set-up to justify a heavier hand from the government. Among other things, pointing to the fact that no one was killed. And the chopper circled the capital for about two hours and was not shot down.
The man who identified himself as a pilot said he's not affiliated with any opposition group. But he frequently posts on Instagram where he now has hundreds of thousands of followers. Reportedly, a K-9 trainer, in this video, Perez jumps from a helicopter with a German shepherd strapped to his chest. In another, he uses a mirror meant to apply make-up to shoot out a target over his shoulder.
PEREZ: (SPEAKING FORIEGN LANGUAGE)
OPPMANN: And in 2015, Perez even played the role of a hero cop in the movie, "Suspended Death."
Venezuelan officials have vowed to hunt him down. Whatever his true motives, this would be revolutionary. He's now starring in the role of a lifetime.
Patrick Oppmann, CNN.
VAUSE: The U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, has warned Venezuela's president might be planning to use the country's military against anti-protesters.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: It's worse than what we're seeing on TV. It's in a very bad place. And what I have said before was, you know, we did an emergency session the Security Council. They weren't happy with that. They felt like it needed to go to the Human Rights Council. But we still had it. We went to the Human Rights Council. You know, the reason they had not brought it up, which they need to, is Venezuela sits on the Human Rights Council, and so we blasted them on that. We were banking on OAS doing something that didn't happen. This needs to be on our radar. Maduro is leaning more and more towards using military force and weapons. And I think that this is something that is only going to get worse before it gets better. And we need to make sure that were watching this carefully and do something about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[01:35:07] NEWTON: Before the helicopter incident, opposition lawmakers and national guardsmen clashed outside Venezuela's national assembly. The country's top opposition leader, national assembly president, told CNN what happened next.
JULIO BORGES, VENEZUELA NATIONAL ASSEMBLY PRESIDENT: We have a real confrontation and the people with -- which has the responsibility of our own security, they attacked us as deputies yesterday. Some say, which is a shame for Venezuelans to show this kind of pictures to the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Well, we're joining by Anatoly Kurmanaev, a reporter with the "Wall Street Journal."
Anatoly, thank you for being with us.
A lot of speculation this helicopter incident may have been staged by the government. Is that something which President Maduro would likely try and pull off? Has he got the ability to do something like this, and maybe the motivation as well?
ANATOLY KURMANAEV, REPORTER, WALL STREET JOURNAL: Sure. Of course, the government denounces coup attempts all the time. In the four years of this Maduro government, he went on more than a dozen times saying the government's officials have derailed a coup attempt, they arrested people, they found caches of weapons. Of course, nothing ever came to fruition. Going ahead and bombing its own buildings takes it to the next level. There's no precedent for that. And it's a very drastic step. There's a lot that Maduro has already gained with this incident. First, yesterday, there were events in Venezuela. A lot of national guards overran the national congress. Government allies, supreme court has tripped a key government powers. And even today, today was a big day for clashes throughout the country. Three people reported dead. And no one is talking about it. All eyes are on the helicopter and its pilot.
VAUSE: One of the bigger concerns is that the government orchestrated this helicopter attack to justify a wider crackdown on dissent, especially those who oppose Maduro's plans for a new constitution.
KURMANAEV: That's right, John. On the one hand, this incident could cover up what's already happening. On the other hand, it can give Maduro a free hand to step up the oppression. There's concern among the opposition that it's being used by the government to suspend liberties, to militarize the country ahead of a key vote next month with Maduro tries to enact a new constitution, essentially do away with elections, do away with the political process and do away with what's left of Venezuelan democracy.
VAUSE: OK, so let's assume, let's give the government the benefit of the doubt. Let's assume this wasn't some kind of conspiracy here and this was actually a genuine incident as it's described. Would this be the first sign of discontent inside the military, the first steps maybe towards a possible coup to remove Maduro from office?
KURMANAEV: A lot of Venezuelans, a lot of politicians here, observers, see the military to key to the conflicts. Whatever the armed forces decides will be the country's political future. And there's a lot of cries from more radical sections of the military to rise up against the regime to defend the constitution. We've seen no signs of this happening to any military whatsoever. President Maduro is doing all he can to give as much as possible to the military. They control the distribution of food. They control access to dollars. They have a very cushy existence, at least the high ranks. And there's no indication that the armed forces are going to rise up. And very importantly, the fact that the government is talking so much about this coup attack, it rings false. Because if the armed forces did rise up, the government could use its control of all the media to completely suppress it and say nothing is happening and it's normal.
VAUSE: We've seen these street clashes and protests. There have been a lot of fatalities over the last couple of weeks with protesters who have been killed. But we also heard from Maduro saying he is willing to violence to stay in power. So against the backdrop of it, the current protests and the violence, how close is Venezuela to an outbreak of widespread conflict?
[01:39:47] KURMANAEV: That's right, John, very radical remarks yesterday. He said whatever unfolds, they will deal with weapons. Very strong words. We have to take it with some skepticism. He is speaking to his supporters. He is trying to dominate the media agenda, what people are talking about. He doesn't want people talking about the deepening crisis. He doesn't want them talking about the lack of food, medicine. The discussion has to be, as you heard, the latest crazy thing that Maduro said. But the government is stoking the fears of violence. Stick with us. We are bad. The opposition is bad for stability. You have some modicum of peace. If you choose something different, there will be civil war. This is the fear the government is explaining to us. Speaking realistically, the government controls the weapons. It will be -- the firepower between the government position is David and Goliath. There's no -- even if they desired to, there's no way the opposition could physically confront the government in an armed way. Therefore, all these talks are more scaremongering than actual threats of a civil war.
VAUSE: So while the military stays loyal, Maduro stays in power it would seem.
Anatoly, good to speak with you. Thank you for calling in from Caracas. Thank you.
NEWTON: Now, Tuesday's Petya cyberattack has companies around the world, of course, scrambling to make sure that the virus does not strike.
VAUSE: And a researcher in Israel appears to have the solution to ransomware.
CNN's Oren Liebermann asked how he cracked the cod3e.
AMIT SERPER, CRACKS RANSOMWARE CODE: I didn't believe it would work. And I also didn't believe that it would blow out like this.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Amit Serper had a few hours to waste on Tuesday night when his dad told him about this new ransomware he heard about on the news. So Serer got a copy of the ransomware from a cybersecurity Web site and began pocking around.
SERPER: I had a eureka moment. I don't if that means that I'm good or if they were not good or it's simple. I think I just got lucky, honestly.
LIEBERMANN: In 19 lines of deconstructed code in the ransomware, Serper found a way to prevent the ransomware from encrypting the computer, what he calls a temporary vaccine by creating a simple file.
SERPER: There is an algorithm there that says if this file exists, quit. If it doesn't, encrypt the files and create this file. But just make sure this file exists.
LI#EBERMANN (on camera): The file doesn't do anything. It just --
SERPER: Yes. It's just like a marker in the sand.
LIEBERMANN (voice-over): The 30-year-old, a cybersecurity researcher at a company called Cyber Reason, he put his vaccine on Twitter to publicize it.
(on camera): Serper is here in Tel Aviv to talk at Cyber Week. He's giving a talk about the security devices connected to Macs. That's his expertise, not Windows and not ransomware. He says he got lucky in where he looked to find this vaccine.
(voice-over): From the moment he looked at the ransomware code, until he put out the vaccine, it took less than three hours he says. But it's a simple fix that's overcome by whoever made the ransomware.
SERPER: They can start a new attack just by changing the name of the original executable, the file that starts everything. Then again, if they won't change anything in the code, if they would just do that, then it will be real easy because we already know the trick.
LIEBERMANN: Serper's vaccine doesn't help if your computer is already encrypted, but now, it's a race between the spread of the ransomware and its temporary solution.
Oren Liebermann, CNN, Tel Aviv.
NEWTON: The dense forests of northern California are perfect for marijuana plants.
VAUSE: But they're also hiding the growing problem of trafficking. When we come back, out CNN Freedom Project.
[01:46:00] VAUSE: The CNN Freedom Project this week is focusing on human trafficking in the United States.
NEWTON: Yes, it happens here, too. Today, we travel to the forests of northern California where the lush greenery hides a dark secret.
CNN's Lynda Kinkade has more.
LYNDA KINKADE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the high western corner of Norther California, Humboldt County Sheriff Deputy Greg O'Rourke patrols the cloud-covered valley. He's lived here his whole life. But even he doesn't feel safe in some parts of this territory.
We have Russian mafia up here. We have the Mexican mafia up here. We have Asian gangs up here. Because the marijuana industry is money.
KINKADE: For decades, the emerald triangle of a picturesque three- county area filled with redwoods, wildlife and jaw-dropping coastline, has been one of the most lucrative centers of cannabis cultivation anywhere in the world.
Ark View (ph), a Canadian market research group, says Californians spend $1.8 billion on legal marijuana, but that represents just about a quarter of the total. Three-quarters of the sales are illegal. And according to Deputy O'Rourke, that meant an influx of other criminal activities into the area, including human trafficking.
O'ROURKE: A lot of the trafficking that occurs in the marijuana camps are the young woman that get picked up and brought up to these rural camps are they're being forced into different sex acts. It's now coming to our attention as law enforcement that this is what's been occurring. It's been occurring for a while.
KINKADE: In 2013, Lake County authorities say these two men, marijuana growers, allegedly forced a 15-year-old girl living on the streets of Hollywood to work on their farm. Authorities say, there, they sexually assaulted her, tortured her, kept her in a large metal tool box for several days next to a trailer on the property.
SHOSHANA WALTER, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST, REVEAL: When investigators went there and got her, they actually found a poem she had written inside about her life inside the box.
KINKADE: Shoshana Walter is an investigative journalist with "Reveal" at the center of investigative reporting in San Francisco. She's looked extensively at the intersection of human trafficking and the marijuana industry in northern California.
WALTER: Other employees witnessed the girl getting abused and they told investigators. They later told investigators that they saw the growers stinging her with a cattle prod. They saw her getting penned up.
KINKADE: Due to the secluded nature of these farms and the presence of armed guards on the property, Deputy O'Rourke says it's too dangerous for marked squad cars to even patrol some parts of the county.
But CNN ventured up the mighty road that leads to several of these cannabis farms. Sporadic locked gates giving only the slightest glimpse of what's occurring in these hills.
Aerial footage high above, however, provides another view.
Alicia Hashim worked on a pot farm several years ago as a trimmer. She says she could feel the danger the minute she stepped foot on one of these farms.
ALICIA HASHIM, FORMER MARIJUANA FARM WORKER: It's like the Wild West. Women just have to be cautious and realize that, like, the men are kind of like a little bit - they might be in that animalistic state, especially if they've been out on the hill for a long time.
KINKADE: But Hashim and her friend believe in the healing properties of marijuana. There's worry staying silence reflects poorly on the cannabis industry as a whole.
And while many may want to help, coming forward puts their own livelihood and freedom at risk.
It's something Deputy O'Rourke realizes presents a paradox for police.
[01:50:20] O'ROURKE: The victims are afraid. They're engaging in an illegal activity and they don't want to bring attention to them being victimized because of their own activity. So it's one of those things where we need to look at the severity and prioritize. Yes, we have marijuana here. We have illegal growth here. We have tools in place to be able to combat that. But we're behind on the trafficking that happens up there. So we're trying to catch up.
KINKADE: In the meantime, O'Rourke and other law enforcement in the emerald triangle will continue to wonder what secrets still lie hidden under the canopy of these ancient forests.
VAUSE: Lynda Kinkade with that report.
The two marijuana growers have pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute illegally grown marijuana plants and the use of a minor in drug operations. Both are expected in federal court in the coming days. CNN reached out to their lawyer for comments but he did not return our calls. The men could face state human trafficking charges in California.
NEWTON: How close-knit rural communities are teaching kids to spot human trafficking. That's in our next Freedom Project report. That's 6:00 a.m. in London, 1:00 p.m. in Hong Kong.
VAUSE: And we'll be right back.
NEWTON: Football is about to see a showdown between two of the world's biggest teams in the semifinals of the Confederations Cup.
VAUSE: How about that?
NEWTON: World Champions Germany will play Mexico later Thursday.
VAUSE: Both sides are unbeaten in this year's competition, which is often seen a preview for the World Cup. Whoever wins will take on Chile in the final competition.
And Russia is hosting the Confederations Cup, giving it a chance to warm up before next year's World Cup.
NEWTON: And many people are appreciating that they want that warmup, but the country certainly isn't known for football glory. And some are worrying if it could be about scoring its own goal.
Amanda Davis explains.
AMANDA DAVIS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Kazan is known as the thought capitol of Russia. The weather affects the mood and excitement of Russians ahead of the World Cup.
(SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
Thanks, Kiara (ph).
Tell me, how exciting is everybody about the football?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's really exciting because a lot of foreign people from Portugal and Chile and they're really openminded. And all city feels exciting about the World Cup. It's really, really amazing.
DAVIS: And what are you encouraging people to eat?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think (INAUDIBLE). It's the best because is a local traditional food.
DAVIS: Let's have one then.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can taste.
DAVIS: It's very sweet.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Really?
DAVIS: It's good.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, thank you very much.
[01:54:57] DAVIS: So I've got my ticket. And on paper, the sales for the Confederations Cup haven't been too bad. But there are some concerns about the sales for next year's World Cup. Although, Russians are excited.
So how excited have people been getting? Are you getting a ticket?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Actually, people have been really excited. I've been working with the media. And even journalists from Russia and from abroad have been asking how to buy tickets, where, and they are real excited to see the matches.
DAVIS: And the big question, how is Russia going to do at the World Cup next year?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So in my opinion, Russia played excellent. I like it. Of course, in comparison to last year when we failed during the Europe, Russia, we are a great country. And of course, next year, we'll show them.
DAVIS: If everything had gone to plan, you would have Russia's national team at the Confederations Cup. They have been preparing to play their semifinal here. But instead, they're out, focusing, once again, on next year.
DAVIS: How important is Russia doing well on the pitch at the World Cup for the success of the tournament, do you think?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's important for our emotions, for our impression from this World Cup. But we are absolutely ready, if the Russian team will lose, we say OK. It is good for us because it was like that that six or five big tournaments ago, it was the same. We lose, we say, OK, we'll support anybody else.
DAVIS: So if Russia go out early, who do you think Russians would like to see win the World Cup.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It depends on the tourists, who will come from other countries. Like, today, Chile people come to Kazan and they had a really great body every day in the central city. And there are a lot of people that come to the city center so they have fun together and it's like a family.
DAVIS: And if the prospects of seeing more of the likes of Portugal and Chile, and the players, isn't enough to get people excited, it's time for kickoff.
Amanda Davis, CNN, Kazan
NEWTON: Do you know what Russians have in common with the rest of the world? Love to put down their national team if they don't win.
NEWTON: In case, you're counting, it's 350 days away from the 2018 World Cup.
I'm Paula Newton. VAUSE: I'm John Vause. Back with another hour of CNN NEWSROOM right after this.