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Pope Francis's Top Adviser Facing Charges; ISIS's End is Near; U.S. Warns North Korea; Protests Welcomes Chinese President; Cyber Vaccine Discovered. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired June 29, 2017 - 03:00   ET



[03:00:00] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: One of the most senior members of the Catholic Church and a top adviser to Pope Francis is facing charges of sexual assault.

ISIS is holding on to the last of its territory inside Mosul, and a CNN team takes you to the heart of the battle.

Plus, we are live in Hong Kong where there's mixed reaction to the Chinese president's visit there.

Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the globe. I'm Rosemary Church at CNN world headquarters in Atlanta, and this is CNN NEWSROOM.

In the past few minutes, one of the Vatican's most senior officials has denied allegations of historical sex offenses. Cardinal George Pell is facing multiple charges in Australia with multiple complainants involved. He says there has been relentless character assassination in the case.

Pell is a top adviser to Pope Francis as well as the Vatican's number one financial adviser. He will return to Australia for a court appearance next month.


GEORGE PELL, AUSTRALIAN CARDINAL: I'm looking forward finally to having my day in court. I'm innocent of these charges. They are false. The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me.


CHURCH: And our Vatican correspondent Delia Gallagher is in Rome with more. She joins us now. So, Delia, just last hour we heard there from Cardinal Pell strongly denying the sexual abuse charges against him, calling this a relentless character assassination. This of course is sending shock waves across Australia. What has been the reaction at the Vatican?

DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, Rosemary, this news of the charges on the part of Victoria police against the cardinal just broke in the early hours here in Rome this morning. And although they are allegations that have been known about for some time and the cardinal really in the last few years has also come out to deny them whenever they've been brought up in media reports, so the Vatican has known about them, but of course he hasn't been charged formally with them.

So certainly there is shock. The director of the Vatican press office also gave a statement saying that they learned with regret of these decades-old charges, he said, and he went on to say that the cardinal had met with Pope Francis, and the pope expressed his gratitude to the cardinal for his honesty and for his work.

They reiterated that the cardinal had claimed and still claims complete innocence of these charges. So in a sense, they are supporting him until the justice system in Australia proves those charges against the cardinal.

The important thing, Rosemary, is that this is significant, as you say, because it is the first time that these criminal charges are being brought against a very high-ranking cardinal of the Catholic Church. But it is also an important test case for Pope Francis, who has been criticized for his handling of sex abuse cases.

He set up a commission to help advice him on sex abuse and on how to handle those cases. One of its most prominent members, Marie Collins, resigned earlier this year saying that the commission was ineffectual at the Vatican, that the Vatican was not cooperating.

So it is one of the areas where Pope Francis has been criticized, and many people are looking to this case to see what the pope's reaction is going to be. So far he is supporting the cardinal. He is going to allow him a leave of absence to return to Australia.

And as I say, they are reiterating the cardinal's statement that he is innocent of any wrongdoing. But what we'll have to watch is after July 18th, after the court trial, what happens then. Rosemary?

CHURCH: Indeed. And of course, you know, as we've been pointing out, Cardinal Pell vehemently denying the accusations, but he does face multiple charges from multiple complainants. This is going to be a tough fight for the cardinal when he faces the Melbourne Magistrates Court on July 18. How is he planning to clear his name?

GALLAGHER: Well, Rosemary, that's difficult to say because the Victoria police did not give any details about the nature of those charges and who is exactly bringing them. We know ABC Australia has done an expose. There has been a book written with some testimony from alleged victims.

[03:04:56] So all of those details are going to yet be seen. But the cardinal claims that he is quite confident that he will be able to clear his name. And for that, we will have to wait until July 18th to see exactly what those charges are and what he has to say about them.

CHURCH: All right. Our Delia Gallagher joining us from Rome, where it is just after 9 o'clock in the morning. Many thanks to you. We turn now to the fight against ISIS. The battle to recapture Iraq's

second largest city appears to be nearing its end. Iraqi troops are on the verge of pushing the last of the terror group out of Mosul.

CNN's Nick Paton Walsh takes us inside that fight.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The end is near for ISIS. You can just feel it. In the normal life springing back out of these pancaked buildings. Yet turn one corner in Mosul towards its old city, and the annihilation of the very final chapter in this war emerges.

Liberation leaves little for life behind. Bodies still where they fell in the scorching heat.

Senior commanders take 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 and in Iraq?


WALSH: Brigadier General Assadi (Ph) beckons us on to see their prize. These are the last rooftops ISIS own in Mosul. Barely hundreds of meters to go now. In the distant left, the river bank marking where ISIS' world ends. And in the dust, the ruins of the sacred al-Nuri mosque. ISIS blew it up rather than let it be captured. A terrifying omen for the civilians held on the ground as human shields here.

Well, that mosque has always been a distant target for Iraqi security forces and now they literally are able to see it from neighboring rooftops.

U.S. trained Major Salam (Ph) 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.


WALSH: And so what are we seeing on the screen?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a kind of digital camera that we try to recon the enemy where they are located and we identified now where is the civilians also. Nobody sure exactly how many civilians there are. They are 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 weren't?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: More than enough. I am so happy for all the support from the Iranian side, from the American side.

WALSH: There is the occasional stench of death here from the bodies of ISIS fighters like this one below me here left behind. And also at times an eerie silence when the gunfire subsides. But it's in these dense streets that you can really feel how hard the fight against ISIS has been in these final moments.

But also too, how many few meters they are away from kicking the terrorist group out of Mosul. But also out of Iraq entirely.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Mosul, Iraq.


CHURCH: Joining me now to talk more about this is CNN military analyst, Rick Francona. Good to have you on again. So in this final push against ISIS in Mosul, how big a challenge is this going to be, and what are the major hurdles at this juncture that you see?

RICK FRANCONA, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, the major hurdles are these 300 fighters that are dug in. They're in an area in the old city. It's just a rabbit warren in there. And it's two and half kilometers square. That sounds like it's going to be easy, but the fighting has evolved into noyt only street by street but now house by house.

These fighters have had as we know two years to build their defenses. This was always going to be the last battle, the last stand for the defense of Mosul. And they're going to take their punishment on the Iraqi army. They know they're going to lose. The ones that are there have decided they're going to stand and die.

So that creates a big challenge for the attackers. When the defenders are willing to die, they can wreak a lot of havoc on the attacking force. So I think the Iraqis will be smart to go slowly and do this methodically.

CHURCH: So you're saying they should go slowly, but how far away do you think it is from Mosul being seized back from ISIS? And once it is, how hard will it likely be to hang on to it, or do you think that these are just the last remnants perhaps in Mosul?

FRANCONA: Yes, I think these are the last remnants. So I think when the Iraqis finally seize this portion of the old city -- and there are a few little pockets that need to be cleaned out -- they will have control of the city. I know the Iraqis have said they're going to do this in a few days. I don't think that's realistic.

I think when they start taking more casualties as they have, as they go into these very close quarters, they'll slow down. And I think probably maybe another couple of weeks is more reasonable.

[03:09:54] CHURCH: So what do you think the signals for the survival of ISIS in the region and, of course, we have to remember that we're seeing this emergence of ISIS in the Philippines. How concerned should Southeast Asia be about that?

FRANCONA: I think that we've already seen the transformation of ISIS from a territorial group to more of an ideological group, much along the lines of Al Qaeda. They've already started with this massive social media campaign inside Iraq as well to try and recruit more Sunnis. They're trying to play up on the Sunnis' belief that the government in Baghdad is run by Iran. It's a Shia-controlled thing, and the Sunnis have been disenfranchised.

Surprisingly, they're getting a lot of positive feedback. So we're going to see them morph into more of what we could call a traditional terrorist operation, not really a state operation. And of course they're looking for other places to go. We already see them in North Africa. We see them in Libya. We see them in Somalia and now, as you say, the Philippines and Southeast Asia.

CHURCH: Right. So how big a concern do you think that is, and what sort of numbers do you think we're talking about? In the end, though, is it a diminished ISIS?

FRANCONA: It's a different is. I wouldn't say it's diminished. It's just going to be a different threat. The threat will no longer be concentrated in these areas of Iraq and Syria. It's going to be -- it's going to be region-wide and unfortunately probably even worldwide.

We're seeing them ramp up their attacks in Europe. I think we're going to see more attacks inside the United States. And I think it will continue that way as they lose territory. They're just going to -- you know, when you squeeze the tube, it just runs out everywhere.

CHURCH: Right. Very alarming indeed. Rick Francona, always good to talk with you and get your perspective on these matters. Thanks so much.

FRANCONA: Good to be with you.

CHURCH: Chinese leader Xi Jinping is making his first visit to Hong Kong as president. Mr. Xi and his wife arrived in the city about three hours ago amid tight security. Saturday marks the 20th anniversary of China's takeover of Hong Kong.

Mr. Xi will swear in Hong Kong's new chief executive, Carrie Lam.

CNN's Ivan Watson joins us now live from Hong Kong. Ivan, you're at a pro-Beijing rally there now, but overall what are people on the streets of Hong Kong saying about this anniversary, and how do they feel about it, and what's being said about this visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Certainly the people here are -- this is an occasion for a celebration. So the singers who have been on stage have just finished up their lovely song. That sign says welcome to Xi Jinping, the President of China. And people here are waving the Chinese flag as well as showing the flag of Hong Kong as well.

So for people here, this is a moment of pride, this 20th century -- 20th anniversary of the return of Hong Kong to Chinese rule. We have seen other scenes, though, in other parts of the city in the last 24 hours.

In a central square, we saw demonstrators last night doing a protest and basically very concerned about the future of democratic freedoms in Hong Kong and calling on Xi Jinping to listen to them, to see them. Several dozen of them were detained.

In my kind of informal polling around Hong Kong, a lot of people, when I asked them about this 20th anniversary, they kind of shrugged their shoulders. There is a certain bit of ambivalence. Perhaps that's because of surveys that have indicated that among 18 to 29-year-olds, you have only about 3 percent according to a 2017 survey identifying themselves as Chinese versus being residents or citizens of Hong Kong.

More disturbing, in 2016, a separate poll had 40 percent of those questioned between the ages of 15 and 24 calling for independence completely. And some of that is being fueled by reactions to the 2014 occupy protests here, which seemed to have radicalized particularly some of the youth who do not feel as connected to mainland China as perhaps some of the people here who you see are in an older demographic. Rosemary?

CHURCH: Ivan, very much mixed feelings there across Hong Kong. So what did Xi Jinping have to say when he arrived in Hong Kong, and were there any signs of pro-democracy protests? We know there will be on Saturday.

WATSON: Well, when he arrived, he said that this is a very important celebration for the entire country. Even though Hong Kong often does not feel like the rest of mainland China, and I think that gets at the heart of the identity questions that kind of separate Hong Kong from mainland China.

[03:14:56] He did take care to invoke the one country/two systems rule, which allow not only these types of demonstrations in Hong Kong, but also anti-communist party demonstrations or, for example, the Falun Gong protest up the street here, the Falun Gong movement, a religious movement is of course banned in mainland China.

Take a listen to an excerpt of what Xi Jinping had to say upon arrival here.


XI JINPING, PRESIDENT OF CHINA (through translator): We want to make sure one country/two systems can work smoothly and continue. I'm looking forward to seeing with my own eyes the new developments and changes to Hong Kong in the recent years.


WATSON: So, again, an historic visit and a certain amount of polarization here in the city. Even though we're seeing these cultural demonstrations right now, Rosemary.

CHURCH: All right. Our Ivan Watson getting an idea how people are feeling about the visit there by Xi Jinping. And it's just 3.15 in the afternoon there. Many thanks.

Well, the U.S. national security adviser is delivering a new warning about North Korea. What President Trump may have in store if Kim Jong- un threatens the U.S.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's in complete denial, and that is a dereliction of duty because his first job is to defend our country.


CHURCH: And sharp criticism of President Trump's response to Russian election meddling. We'll be back with that in just a moment.


CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well, U.S. President Donald Trump wants to be prepared in case North Korea carries out another nuclear test or missile launch. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster says military options are updated and ready to go if need.

U.S. defense officials say there's growing concern about North Korea's ability to attack the United States and its skill at keeping missile tests hidden until the last minute.


H.R. MCMASTER, UNITED STATES NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: The threat is much more immediate now, and so it's clear that we can't repeat the same approach -- failed approach of the past.


CHURCH: U.S. officials including President Trump have expressed concern that pressure on North Korea from China doesn't seem to be working. And this comes as South Korea's president is in Washington for his first meeting with President Trump.

Paula Hancocks joins us now from Seoul. So, Paula, how much pressure is there on South Korea's President, Moon Jae-in, to stand his ground at his first meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Rosemary, that is what is being focused on here certainly within South Korean media. How should he behave? Not what should he talk about, but how should he be able to forge that friendship and that relationship with U.S. President Donald Trump and then be able to deal with the more substance and more hard core questions like how you deal with a problem like North Korea.

[03:20:03] In fact, in local media here, there is great debate and many opinion pieces being written about the handshake. How should President Moon deal with the handshake with President Trump. So certainly there has been an awful lot of attention on the minutia of this meeting.

Very different men, President Moon, President Trump, but they do have common ground, a common problem in North Korea.

North Korean athletes showcase their taekwondo skills in South Korea, a sporting connection where a political one is lacking. But South Korean President Moon Jae-in wants to change that, meeting the sportsmen at the taekwondo world championship last weekend and the North Korean member of the International Olympics Committee. He called 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 athletes from North and South Korea marched together during the 2000 Sydney Olympics." A clear pro-engagement stance ahead of a 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 as saying a preemptive strike is still on the table. Experts say President Moon needs to make a personal connection with his U.S. counterpart.


JOHN DELURY, PROFESSOR, YONSEI UNIVERSITY: My sense from the South Korean side is they're more focused on the interpersonal 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 shared problem of North Korea's missile program provides some common ground.


JOEL WIT, SENIOR FELLOW, US-KOREA INSTITUTE SAIS: He also has to somehow figure out how to inject into the mix a discussion of the substance because the challenges facing us from North Korea can't be put off.


HANCOCKS: And then there's THAAD, the U.S. missile defense system being deployed to South Korea, which many simply don't want, including in the past President Moon although he's since softened his tone.

A recent protest outside the U.S. Embassy had a distinction anti- American tone. This protester says," I want President Moon to tell President Trump that THAAD is not beneficial for the peace of South Korea, and people here are furious about being controlled by the U.S."

Now, recent Pew Research Center survey did find that there was a drop in global confidence in the United States since President Trump took power, and that's been felt very acutely here.

Apparently here in South Korea, there was 88 percent approval and confidence in the United States at the end of Obama's term. There's 17 percent now President Trump is in power. Rosemary? CHURCH: Interesting numbers there. Our Paula Hancocks joining us with

that live report from Seoul in South Korea where it's nearly 4.25 in the afternoon. Many thanks.

Well, President Trump held his first re-election event on Wednesday at his own hotel in Washington. He's well ahead of schedule on fund- raising for another run at the White House compared to his predecessors. But one democratic lawmaker says the timing is not the biggest issue.


REP. GERALD CONNOLLY (D), VIRGINIA: I think it's a terrible perception problem. I think it really taints the process. I think it's most unwise, and I think frankly it's just plain wrong for the American president to be engaged like that.


CHURCH: Protesters were gathered outside the hotel when Mr. Trump arrived. According to the invitations, tickets started at $35,000 a person and went up to $100,000 to sit on the host committee.

Well, the White House has consistently downplayed the allegations of Russian meddling in last year's presidential election, but one former ambassador says that has to change.

Michelle Kosinski reports on the testimony on Capitol Hill.


MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Today the Senate intelligence committee heard strong words from former Ambassador Nick Burns, who has served both republican and democratic presidents.

NICHOLAS BURNS, FORMER UNITED STATES AMBASSADOR TO NATO: It is his duty, President Trump's, to be skeptical of Russia. It's his duty to investigate and defend our country against a cyber-offensive because Russia is our most dangerous adversary in the world today. And if he continues to refuse to act, it's a dereliction of the basic duty to defend the country.

KOSINSKI: But burns also had criticism for the Obama administration for not doing more about the Russian hacking and faster when they were trying to avoid appearing like they were attempting to influence the outcome, something Trump, his White House, and his lawyer have grasped on to.

JAY SEKULOW, MEMBER, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S LEGAL TEAM: Why don't we have a special counsel reviewing why President Obama did nothing after he assured the American people he gets intelligence briefings, but then assures the American people that Russia did not interfere with the election?

KOSINSKI: To which the ranking democratic member of the House intelligence committee had an equally sharp response today. [03:25:02] REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), CALIFORNIA: The president is

criticizing his predecessor for not doing more to speak out on Russia at the very time the president -- the current president is refusing to speak out on Russia.

KOSINSKI: And his committee is now set to hear testimony behind closed doors July 24th from Trump confidant Roger Stone, the man who said he had contact with Russian hacker Guccifer 2.0, believed to be connected to the Russian government as well as WikiLeaks during Trump's campaign.

ROGER STONE, FORMER TRUMP CONFIDANT: I actually have communicated with Assange. I believe the next documents pertain to the Clinton Foundation, but there's no telling what the October surprise may be.

KOSINSKI: Stone has repeatedly and publicly denied he had any contact with Russian officials during the campaign. The committee wants to talk to him after hearing yesterday from Hillary Clinton's former campaign manager, John Podesta, whose e-mails were hacked and leaked to the world.

He sat down with CNN's Jim Sciutto.

JOHN PODESTA, FORMER CLINTON CAMPAIGN PRESIDENTIAL CHAIRMAN: We know that Roger Stone had at least previewed that they may be doing something like this as early as late August. So at least there seems to be some indication there was some contact between forces closely associated with the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks.

KOSINSKI: Now Stone tells CNN, "I am confident that Podesta most likely repeated his lie that I knew in advance about the hacking of his e-mail and am anxious to rebut this falsehood. I'm still unhappy that my testimony will not be in public, but believe it is more important to resolve the question of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign, which I believe was nonexistent."


CHURCH: Michelle Kosinski reporting there. And after the Senate hearing, CNN spoke with former Ambassador Burns. He expanded on his testimony.


BURNS: Any previous American president, democrat or republican, would have investigated that attack, would have ask the U.S. government to put together a plan to defend our country to tightened up our security as to how votes are counted. We do this with states here in the United States.

But there would have been a vigorous response. And because of what's been happening in Europe, there would have been the United States reaching out to the NATO allies to try and help them and work together.

President Trump has done none of that. He hasn't investigated the attack. He's not made this a priority. He's not raised it with the Russian government. He's not had any of his cabinet officials even have conversations with him about this. He's in complete denial, and that is a dereliction of duty because his first job is to defend our country.


CHURCH: Nicholas Burns talking there to CNN a little earlier. We're going to take a short break. Still to come, though, Venezuela's president calls it a coup attempt. But some people believe the so- called attack on the Supreme Court was staged. Why they're calling it a government stunt.

An Iranian official weighs in on the diplomatic crisis in the Gulf. What the speaker of Iran's parliament has to say about one of Qatar's neighbors. That's still to come. Stay with us.


CHURCH: A warm welcome back to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Rosemary church. I want to update you on the main stories we are following this hour.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife have arrived in Hong Kong to mark the 20th anniversary of the city's handover to China. On Saturday, Mr. Xi will swear in the new chief executive, Carrie Lam.

Police cracked down on demonstrators ahead of the visit. About two dozen pro-democracy protesters were arrested late Wednesday.

Iraqi troops say they are on the verge of retaking the country's second largest city from ISIS. It's not clear how long the final push for Mosul will take. The commanders appear confident that it is a matter of when, not if.

One of the leading figures in the Catholic Church says he is innocent of the sexual assault charges he's facing. Cardinal George Pell of Australia spoke at a Vatican press conference last hour. He's a top adviser to Pope Francis and the Vatican's top financial adviser.

Pell says he will return to Australia for his court appearance next month. Well, Cardinal Pell says he looks forward to having his day in court to defend his innocence, and Australian police say the cardinal should be treated like any other defendant.


SHANE PATTON, VICTORIA POLICE DEPUTY COMMISSIONER: It's important to note that none of the allegations that have been made against Cardinal Pell have obviously been tested in any court yet.

Cardinal Pell, like any other defendant, has a right to due process, and so therefore it's important that the process is allowed to run its natural course.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CHURCH: And our Anna Coren has more now from Hong Kong. So, Anna, last hour we heard Cardinal Pell declare his innocence and call this a relentless character assassination. Not surprisingly, this has sent shock waves across Australia.

The country's senior Catholic figure facing multiple sex offense charges from multiple complainants. So what is being said about that, and what will likely happen at Melbourne's magistrate's court on July 18?

ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Rosemary, shock waves across Australia but also across the world. This is one of the most powerful men in the Vatican. But as for what's going to happen on the 18th of July, I presume there will be a hearing in which George Pell, the Cardinal, will have to appear.

Obviously from what we heard from Cardinal Pell an hour or so ago, he is planning on attending. That he has sought the advice of his lawyers and doctors and that he's at this stage being given the go-ahead. He's also sought a leave of absence from the pope, which has been given so that he can go and defend himself.

So obviously there's going to be a great deal of attention not just in Australia but around the world as to how this is going to play out. The cardinal talks about a relentless character assassination in media leaks over the last few years. We know that this investigation has been going on now for some two years.

But, Rosemary, you would have to presume that the police have some strong evidence that they have been gathering this over the last two years if they are going to press charges against one of the most important men in the Vatican. Rosemary?

CHURCH: Indeed. Of course as we've been saying, Cardinal Pell vehemently denies these accusations. But given the nature of these multiple charges from multiple complainants, it's going to be a tough fight for him, isn't it? How is he likely to clear his name?

COREN: Yes, well these are historical sexual assault charges. This is dating back decades. You have to remember that Cardinal Pell was made a priest back in the '60s, that he came through the ranks from country Victoria to bishop, to the archbishop of Melbourne.

And then he moved to Sydney to be the archbishop of Sydney to help clean up the Sydney archdiocese, which was going through its own round of claims of sexual abuse, which as we know has been rampant in the church.

From then, he went on to the Vatican, where he has been the secretariat of the economy. That means that he is in charge of the Vatican's finances. He also sits on an advisory council.

[03:35:03] Only nine members are on that advisory council, who obviously then advise Pope Francis on matters including sexual abuse.

So obviously this is extremely damning, and as we heard from Cardinal Pell, he is determined to fight these. That this gives him resolve to do that in attending the court hearing next month. But certainly he does, as you say, Rosemary, he's got a tough fight ahead.

CHURCH: He certainly has. Anna Coren joining us from Hong Kong, where it is 3.35 in the afternoon. Many thanks to you.

Well, the man behind an attack which Venezuela's president calls an attempted coup is apparently on the run. Authorities found the police helicopter they say was stolen and used to attack the Supreme Court with grenades and gunfire Tuesday.

They're asking Interpol to help find the pilot identified as Oscar Perez. You see him there on your screen. He claims he's part of a coalition of police and military demanding President Nicolas Maduro's resignation, but the president's critics believe this all may have been staged to justify his crackdown on dissent.

Well, there have been months of protests against Mr. Maduro's government, and a vote is coming next month which could rewrite the country's Constitution.

Journalist Stefano Pozzebon joins us now from London with more details. Let's start with the suggestion from Maduro's critics that this could very well have been a government stunt. How can we prove that either way, and what do we know about this pilot?

STEFANO POZZEBON, JOURNALIST: Well, Rosemary, to prove this either theory, we would have to speak with Mr. Oscar Perez, who currently is the most wanted man in Venezuela. We know that the situation is -- it's increasingly tense in Caracas, and we know everybody is trying to find this chopper pilot.

The chopper has been found yesterday in a rural area just outside the Venezuelan capital, but there is no news of where the pilot is hiding. The opposition is blaming Nicolas Maduro or people close to the government for staging a sort of a coup to increase control over democratic rise and move forward and push forward with the custodian reforms later next month.

CHURCH: Yes. Let's talk about that because where is that likely to go? There have been these problems, there been these protests. People have been asking for the resignation of Mr. Maduro. So what comes next, and what is likely to happen next month?

POZZEBON: The next big step is the 30th of July when the government has called for election to elect a new constitutional assembly with the task of rewriting the Constitution. This has -- he's attack to that has breaking within a lot of people with chauvinism (Ph) because the Constitution of Venezuela was passed in 1999 by the late President Hugo Chavez, who was Maduro's political mentor and the great reformer of the Caribbean country.

So many figure head of chauvinism and many people that used to be a aligned with the government are now breaking ranks and opposing to this latest move. One of them is the Attorney General, Luis Ortega Diaz who has taken the baton of one of the most harshest critics on President Nicolas Maduro.

And just late last night, the Supreme Court slammed the sentence on Luis Ortega, freezing assets and preventing her to leave the country. She will be facing trial on the fourth of July to charges of mishandling in this office. But this is an increasing and tense situation in Venezuela for sure.

CHURCH: All right Stefano Pozzebon, thank you so much for joining us there from London, giving us some perspective on what's happening there in Venezuela. Many thanks.

Well, after months of legal wrangling, key parts of the Trump administration's revised travel ban will take effect in less than 24 hours. Applicants must prove a relationship with a parent, spouse, child, or sibling in the United States.

If you can't establish such a relationship, you are banned for 90 days if you're from Libya, Syria, Iran, Somalia, Yemen, and Sudan. Current visa holders and those with bonafide school or business ties to the U.S. are expected to be exempt as well.

Well, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is rolling out new security measures for air travel. DHS Secretary John Kelly says changes are necessary to meet a challenging security environment.


JOHN KELLY, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY: Today I am announcing a first step toward this goal by requiring new security measures to be applied to all commercial flights coming into the United States from abroad. These measures will be both seen and unseen, and they will be phased in over time.


[03:40:03] CHURCH: Kelly withheld some details for security reasons, but he did make one thing clear. Airlines that didn't comply with the new measures could be included in a laptop ban or banned from operating direct flights entirely.

Qatar says it's willing to negotiate with its Gulf neighbors to end a diplomatic freeze, but its sovereignty is not on the table. Earlier this month, a coalition of countries including Saudi Arabia and the UAE cut ties after accusing Qatar of supporting terrorism through its connection with Iran. They gave the country a list of demands, but Qatar says you can't make demands and refuse to negotiate.

CNN's international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson joins us now from Abu Dhabi. So how is this all playing out?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: It's playing out towards the deadline on Monday. The Saudi foreign minister has said that these demands are non-negotiable. He also said this was painful for Saudi Arabia and its allies to impose these conditions and terms that they've imposed on Qatar on a sisterly nation. But it's very clear that as the deadline approaches, there is no

middle ground at the moment, or if there is, it certainly isn't being made public.

What happens on that deadline? Well, Emirati officials have on the one hand said this could be a parting of the ways between Saudis, the Emiratis, the Egyptians, and Bahrainis and Qatar. Also they have said the ambassador, the Emirati ambassador to Moscow said that there would be no sort of great event on Monday. That the Saudis, the Emiratis, et cetera, will have to sit down together and figure out their next move.

But we are also hearing stronger pushback on this coming from the Iranian side. The speaker of the Iranian parliament talking to CNN a few hours ago seemed to sort of thrust at the very essence of what the Emiratis and the Saudis are doing, which was to question the Saudi authority. This is what he said.


ALI LARIJANI, SPEAKER OF THE PARLIAMENT OF IRAN (through translator): Of course the Saudis, they did not just pose these conditions. They posed 13 of them. One of them was that the Al Jazeera network would have to go off the air. Another one was for Qatar to cease relations with the Muslim Brotherhood. And many other conditions.

And to listen to the Saudi directions. So, is it logical, is it mature for one country to dictate to another and say, you must do as I say and say, you must cease relations, for example, with Iran? And I do not believe that in the region the Saudis carry this kind of weight to say these sorts of things.


ROBERTSON: So that really is a direct challenge to the Saudis in essence there about what they're doing. It was interesting last night that the Emirati ambassador to Moscow in an interview again with CNN was very clear. He said that he thinks Rex Tillerson, the U.S. Secretary of State is the world's lead diplomat. So an indication that perhaps they expect the United States to play a role in mediation.

Rex Tillerson has begun to do that but there's no indication so far, again as I say, that a middle ground or a middle way is being found. Both sides are sticking to their positions; even we can say digging in right now, Rosemary.

CHURCH: All right. Our Nic Robertson joining us there from Abu Dhabi, where it is 11.45 in the morning. Many thanks.

Well, U.S. President Donald Trump is promising a big surprise on healthcare reform. But will his plan be enough to help those dealing with opioid addiction? We will hear what recovering addicts think when we come back. Stay with us.


CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well, republicans in the U.S. Senate are working hard to pick up votes for their healthcare reform plan. President Trump is promising a big surprise although nine members of his own party say they oppose the bill.

Republicans have delayed a vote since they can only afford to lose support from two members. Protesters are voicing their opposition to the republican plan. They say it cuts funding for those most in need and gives tax cuts to the richest Americans.

And a new poll shows only 17 percent of respondents approve of the Senate plan. Fifty-five percent disapprove. Still some republicans say the bill doesn't go far enough.


SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: We've given the moderates in our caucus lots of money to keep spending. They get to keep the Obamacare subsidies. They get to keep the Obamacare regulations. They get to create a new federal superfund for insurance company bailouts.

So those are all things that big-spending republicans want. Now if they want conservatives to be on board, they have to start talking about. you know what, we promised to repeal. Why don't we make the bill look a little more like a repeal?


CHURCH: Well, funding for drug abuse treatment is a central issue in the healthcare debate. Addiction to opioids is a growing crisis in many states, and some republicans say they can't support the Senate bill with its current funding levels.


SEN. SHELLEY MOORE CAPITO (R), WEST VIRGINIA: I'm very concerned about what this bill does with Medicaid. We have an expanded Medicaid population in West Virginia of about 180,000. Forty percent of the spending in that area goes for opioid abuse and drug issues. That's a major issue in our state as it is in many states, and I'm totally unsatisfied with how this bill would keep coverage for those folks both in the opioid and other -- you know, other areas of health care.

And so I've been pushing for better growth rates, for better coverage in the opioid and drug abuse area.


CHURCH: Addicts struggling to stay clean say funding cuts in the Senate bill could sink their recovery.

CNN's Gary Tuchman reports.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Thirty-three-year-old James is desperate. The father of three small daughters is an opioid addict, heroin, pills. He wants to stop, but he can't. What has it done to you physically?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's ruin -- I've lost 60, 70 pounds.

TUCHMAN: James is an inpatient to the milestone detox program in Portland, Maine. A facility where addict stay for three to seven days as a first step tp rehabilitation. It's paid for at least in part through Medicaid, but under the current Senate republican health care plan, Medicaid would be dramatically cut.

TUCHMAN: How addictive are opiates to you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bad. I crave them.

TUCHMAN: Do you crave it as we're sitting here right now?


TUCHMAN: What that means for addicts is dire, says this facility's executive director.

BOB FOWLER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MILESTONE FOUNDATION: I think they'll encounter more and more closed doors than they do already, and I think that for some of them, that's a death sentence.

TUCHMAN: A death sentence. Bob Fowler just wrote a letter to his republican U.S. Senator, Susan Collins.

FOWLER: Every day we see the effect that lack of health insurance has on the people Milestone serves. The prospects for people without insurance to receive treatment after they live detox is grim.

TUCHMAN: The letter imploring Senator Collins to vote against the bill. Joey is 37, also here for opioids. He says he has overdosed twice in the past few weeks, on the verge of death the most recent time.

[03:50:06] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As soon as I walked out, I pulled the I.V. out of my arm, went home and got high.

TUCHMAN: High with what?


TUCHMAN: Joey says he's already encountered closed doors, being turned down for Medicaid. And if the Senate bill were to pass in its current form, he doesn't think there's any way he'll get the treatment he needs. But Milestone will take patients like Joey who don't have the means to pay. But one week is the maximum stay for all patients.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I lose hope. When you lose hope as a drug addict, you die.

FOWLER: Last year in Maine, we had 376 people overdose and die, and that's a 40 percent increase over the year before.

TUCHMAN: James believes his Medicaid coverage is helping him stay alive.

Will the Medicaid allow you to go to another more permanent facility after you're here?


TUCHMAN: If your Medicaid was taken away from you, what would it do to you?


TUCHMAN: And as for Joey, he has little idea of how he will pay in the future for what he knows he needs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't want to do this no more. I want to die. I don't want to die. I have a kid. I have a woman that loves me. I have a family that loves me unconditionally but will not sit by and watch me kill myself because that's all I'm doing is I'm just killing myself slowly without putting the gun to my head.

TUCHMAN: Gary Tuchman, CNN, Portland, Maine.


CHURCH: We'll take a short break here, but still to come, with companies still struggling to recover from Tuesday's global cyber- attack, one man says he's found a fix for the problem, a temporary Ransomware vaccine. We'll explain when we come back.


CHURCH: A little taste of Australia there. Welcome back. Euro poll is now warning there is no so-called kill switch that can stop the Ransomware that crippled companies worldwide.

The Ransomware spread rapidly Tuesday shutting down computer networks and demanding the digital currency bitcoin to unlock files, something experts say never to do.

FedEx is one of the latest victims reporting operations at one of its subsidiaries has been disrupted. Well, as companies work to eliminate this threat, one cybersecurity researcher has stumbled upon a solution, a temporary vaccine to the Ransomware.

CNN's Oren Liebermann spoke with him about how he cracked the code.


[00:05:02] AMIR SERPER, SECURITY RESEARCHER, CYBEREASON: I didn't believe it would work, and I also didn't believe that it will, like, blow up like this.

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Amir 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 Serper got a copy of the Ransomware from a cybersecurity web site and began poking around. SERPER: I had a eureka moment. I don't know if it means that I'm good

or if they were not good or if 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 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.

LIEBERMANN: The file doesn't seem to do anything in.

SERPER: It's just like a marker in the sand.

LIEBERMANN: The 35-year-old cybersecurity researcher at a company called Cybereason, he put his vaccine on Twitter to publicize it.

Serper is here in Tel Aviv to talk at cyber weeks who's giving a talk about the security devices connected to max. That's his expertise, not Windows, not Ransomware. He says he got lucky in where he looked to find this vaccine.

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 easy to 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 will just do that, 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.


CHURCH: We leave you with a little bit of good news there. Thanks for your company. I'm Rosemary Church. Remember to connect with me anytime on Twitter @rosemarycnn. I'd love to hear from you.

And the news continues with Cyril Vanier in London. You are watching CNN. Have yourselves a great day.


CYRIL VANIER, CNN HOST: One of the most senior figures in the Catholic Church and the top adviser to the pope vows to defend himself as he's charged with multiple sexual assaults.

[04:00:01] Protests and arrest great Chinese President Xi Jinping on his first official visit to Hong Kong.

And it's the last stand for ISIS in Mosul. We take you to the streets where Iraqi forces say they believe they are on the verge of victory.