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Trump-Putin High Stakes Meeting; Spike In Death Of Migrant's Trying To Reach Europe; Revamped Galaxy Note 7 Returns; U.S. Officials: Russia Steps Up Spy8ing in U.S.; German Foreign Minister Warns of Trade War; Samsung Selling Refurbished Galaxy Note 7; Students Worldwide Flock to Hong Kong Stunt School; Will A New Spiderman Deliver for Comic Book Fans; Comedy, Coming of Age in Spiderman Saga. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired July 7, 2017 - 01:00   ET


[01:00:00] MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. High stakes in Hamburg; the Russian and American President set to meet amid so many thorny issues between their governments. A spike in death on Mediterranean, as migrants try to make it to Europe; one rights group says, policy makers are to blame. And later, Samsung gamble its fire-prone smartphone back on the market; big stuff, renamed, and with a cheaper price tag. Hello and welcome to our viewers all around the world, I'm Michael Holmes. Thanks for your company, NEWSROOM L.A. starts right now.

Donald Trump has called Vladimir Putin a real leader and someone he can get along with. Well, in just a few hours, the U.S. President will come face-to-face with his Russian counterpart for the very first time as they meet at the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany. The city has been filled with protesters over the last day or so, a fitting backdrop for what is likely to be some contentious meetings. 76 police officers were hurt on Thursday in clashes with demonstrators. North Korea, Syria, Ukraine, all likely to be on the agenda for this highly anticipated Trump/Putin meeting; Russia's cyber-attack on the U.S. election probably won't. Here's CNN's Jim Acosta.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: The President of the United States once again contradicted the U.S. Intelligence Community assessment of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Nobody really knows. Nobody really knows for sure.

ACOSTA: At a news conference in Poland, President Trump held open the possibility that other countries were involved.

TRUMP: Well, I think it was Russia and I think it could have been other people in other countries, could have been a lot of people interfered.

ACOSTA: But even as he insisted it was not clear Moscow alone interfered in the election, the President tried to blame former President Obama for failing to stop the Russians. TRUMP: He did nothing about it. Why did he do nothing about it? He

was told it was Russia by the CIA, as I understand it. It was well reported. And he did nothing about it.

ACOSTA: While even some Democrats say the Obama administration didn't go far enough, Obama did confront Russian President Vladimir Putin directly last September. And the Obama administration, officially accused the Russian government of interfering in the election in October. President Trump's uncertainty on the question runs completely counter to the U.S. Intelligence Community's analysis.

SEN. MARK WARNER (D-VA), VICE CHAIRMAN OF SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Do you believe that the January 2017 Intelligence Community assessment accurately characterized the extent of Russian activities in the 2016 election and its conclusion that Russian Intelligence Agencies were responsible for the hacking and leaking of information and using misinformation in order to influence our elections?





ACOSTA: The President also issued a stern warning to North Korea over its missile launch this week.

TRUMP: I have some pretty severe things that we're thinking about. That doesn't mean we're going to do -- I don't draw red lines.

ACOSTA: But later in a speech, the President did make a course correction of his own stating his support for NATO's Article Five, that an attack on one of the alliance's members is an attack on all, as he declined to take on his last foreign trip.

TRUMP: To those who would criticize our tough stance, I would point out that the United States has demonstrated not merely with words but with its actions that we stand firmly behind Article Five, the mutual defense commitment.

ACOSTA: And his next stop in Germany, the President also made sure to shake the hand of German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, something they did not do during at tense meeting in the oval office earlier this year, although they did at other times during what White House visit. But it's his meeting with Vladimir Putin, Friday that the whole world will be watching. A senior administration official said it's believed this will be Mr. Trump's first ever face-to-face encounter with Putin. The President has given a range of answers on this question in the past.

TRUMP: I was in Moscow recently, and I spoke indirectly and directly with President Putin, who could not have been nicer.

I never met Putin. I don't know who Putin is. I have nothing to do with Putin. I've never spoken to him. I have no relationship.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But if you have no relationship with Putin, why did you say in 2013: "I do have a relationship." In 2014 --

TRUMP: Because he has said nice things about me over the years.


HOLMES: Jim Acosta reporting there. Let's go to Hamburg now. CNN's Nic Robertson is standing by there. A much-anticipated meeting, and there's been a lot of discussions here about what might not come up, and that is Russian meddling in the election. As we heard there, Donald Trump once again, equivocating on who might be behind that, despite what his Intelligence Community says.

[01:05:07] NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes. U.S. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, when he was on his way over here to Hamburg, and he's having separate meetings with his counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, indicated that you know, Syria, Ukraine would likely be on the agenda. We've heard from H.R. McMaster saying that there wouldn't be a mixed agenda per se that this will be something that, you know, President Trump would go into and deal with the topics that he wants to get into while he's there and we can expect North Korea to be one of those topics.

The Secretary of State Tillerson has sort of said that in his view, this is a meeting that is going to, if you will frame the tone of the nature of the relationship between the two countries going forward, that there have been lower levels between himself and Sergey Lavrov and other lower level conversations between U.S. and Russian officials. But this, obviously, is the most senior level and this will sort of set the tone of things going forward. But of course there is so much focus on whether or not President Trump does get to the issue of was Russia or -- you know, the issue of Russia meddling in the U.S. elections and what he'll say to President Putin about it, and you know, the sort of broad analysis of President Putin is that he respects someone who deals with him in a tough and firm way. That's the sort of man that he is.

He's also somebody that analysts say, you know, given his intelligence background, Putin's intelligence background and his years in the KGB, that he will exploit weaknesses in his opponent. So, you know, anything that's sort of different between President Trump's stated and the administration's sort of stated position, outing Russia yesterday as a disrupter in Ukraine and other parts of the world, versus the President's message at the press conference yesterday where he was equivocating about, you know, Russia's role in the meddling. Then there's potentially something that President Putin will exploit. That's the sort of broad analysis that we're getting.

HOLMES: All right, Nic Robertson, on the spot for us in Hamburg, in Germany. Thanks so much for that, Nic. And joining me now in the studio: Richard Anderson, a Political Science Professor the UCLA and a Specialist in Soviet Politics and Foreign Policy. Professor, great to have you here. What do you think it is that Vladimir Putin wants from Donald Trump out of this? We talked a lot about what Donald Trump might talk about.

RICHARD ANDERSON, POLITICAL SCIENCE PROFESSOR, UCLA: Well, I think that the basic thing that Putin is after is to have the meeting. Because if you have a summit meeting, you tell people in Russia, look, the Americans realize I'm the top guy. And the same is true for Trump, he gives the same message to Americans, I'm the high guy here. And that, I think, is what they're both after.

HOLMES: When you look at the dynamics here and there's being a lot said that Donald Trump didn't have an agenda or he might now, but it came over not having an agenda for this meeting that he likes to go off the cuff, he likes to be spontaneous. How is that going to stack up against Vladimir Putin, who is, by all accounts, a very shrewd negotiator?

ANDERSON: Well, I think you can over-emphasize how shrewd Putin is. I mean, yes, he was in the KGB, but his career in the KGB was a failure. He was a terminal lieutenant colonel. He was assigned to what he himself is described as a backwater in Dresden and East Germany where his responsibilities were not very great or very broad. He ended up leaving the KGB; you can't leave, goes into the reserve. His job was so important in the KGB that when he left he was in charge of supervising me. Yes, I was a visiting scholar Kaliningrad and Petersburg, and he was in charge of overseeing visiting scholars like me. It was at the very beginning of my academic career, just not an important job.

HOLMES: Hope you didn't cause him much trouble. Donald Trump likes to talk, of course, about America first and that seems to be shaping his foreign policy and economic policy as well. But Vladimir Putin, really, is a Russia first kind of guy. Do you agree with that and how will that shape the conversation?

ANDERSON: I agree with that entirely, but they mean different things. America first has always meant, ever since before the Second World War. Before the First World War, America first is meant isolationism; withdrawing from contacts with other countries, withdrawing from intervention around the world. Russia first means standing up for Russia, compelling people to accept that Russia is still a player. And so, what Putin wants to do is have a presence in a place like Syria, have a presence in the European Union, have a presence at the G20, and have that accepted by anybody.

He's said, Russia has interests and others have to respect them. Putin -- pardon me, President Trump has made it clear that he wants to withdraw from the American role in the world and cut off our ties, cut off our cooperation both with our allies, and it's for that reason that he and Putin sort of see eye to eye, because he wants to get out of Putin's way, and Putin wants him to get out of Russia's way.

HOLMES: If you were in Ukraine and you're watching the foreign policy of the U.S. unfold and this meeting coming up and the like, would you have any concerns about where that particular conflict is headed? I mean, Donald Trump said that he's going to talk about Ukraine. The Russians haven't budged when it comes to their policy on Crimea and Ukraine in general. ANDERSON: Well, that's true. And if I were in Kiev, I would be

looking at this and thinking, you know, we're not going to get any help. The good news from the Ukrainian point of view is that Putin has everything he wants in Ukraine and he doesn't want it anymore. And they're sort of locked in this position where they can't recover the territorial integrity; the Ukrainians are. But they're also not in much danger, from my point of view, of further Russian action, unless they provoke it. So, in some sense, the fact that -- the United States has always followed this very hands-off position toward the Ukrainian conflict with good reason because the only thing we can do is make it worse.

HOLMES: And you touch on this as the America first policy means isolationism more and more, how does that benefit, Vladimir Putin?

ANDERSON: I think it enables him to follow his policy of trying to be a salient defender of Russian interests without having to worry too much about the U.S. standing up to him. But at the same time, you know, he can't get the U.S. to remove the sanctions. He can't get the U.S. to back off on these claims about Russian interference in the election. Which by the way, I think, is true. I haven't had any classified access since 1981. And I have no inside information and no contacts, but I have my own reasons for thinking that Putin had to try to interfere in the U.S. election. I also think it made no difference. I think the hardest thing to do would be to find a single vote that was changed by anything Russia did.

HOLMES: Yes, but opinions may have changed. That's the thing that is being alleged. Are you surprised as we've been reporting and talking about here for a long time now, that Donald Trump will not say it was Russia? He will say it might be Russia. It might be a bunch of people. It might be different countries. Whereas his own intelligence community says it was Russia. Are you surprised when you here like he even did in Warsaw and equivocated on whether Russia was behind it? What do you make of it?

ANDERSON: No, he can never say that it was Russian interference because if he does, he says to his own voters, we didn't win the election, the Russians won it for us. And he wants to take credit because he wants to give them credit, he wants to make them feel empowered. So, they'll come back and support him in the future and support him in the future. He has a loyal following. He maintains that loyal following by not worrying about whether the statements he made, command agreement from other people.

You know, he claims that Hillary Clinton won in California because of people who voted illegally. Neither he nor his followers mean that as a factual statement. They take it as a metaphor which means the people who voted for Hillary Clinton weren't real Americans. And this whole notion of un-American behavior has come from both parties. George Bush said it about Michael Dukakis, and of course, it was famously the House on American Activities. The committee was the vehicle for McCarthyism, but both Lyndon Johnson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt used explicitly the phrase "un-American."

HOLMES: Yes. It's fascinating. I could talk to you for ages about this, but we've got to leave it there. Professor Richard Anderson of UCLA thanks so much for coming by.

ANDERSON: My pleasure.

[01:14:17] HOLMES: Well, next up on NEWSROOM L.A., harsh words and veiled threats: Donald Trump's response to North Korea's latest missile launch. Also, human rights officials say 2017 is on course to be the deadliest year for migrants sailing into danger to reach Europe. When we come back, how Europe hopes to stop the flood of people to its shores. Stay with us.


[01:16:47] HOLMES: Welcome back. President Trump says he is writing a response after North Korea's most recent missile test. And he says that includes, "some pretty sever things." CNN Pentagon Correspondent, Barbara Starr with more.


BARBARA STARR, CNN PRENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): North Korea's new Intercontinental Ballistic Missile rolled up to the launch pad, fired, and changed the world for President Trump.


STARR (voice-over): After declaring that era of strategic patience is over, the North Korean threat is now a major issue at the G20 Summit, President Trump trying to leave all options from sanctions to military action on the table.

TRUMP: I have some pretty severe things that we're thinking about.

STARR (voice-over): In his first public speech, Defense Secretary James Mattis says diplomacy still is the priority in controlling North Korea's new missile launches.

JAMES MATTIS, UNITED STATES DEFENSE SECRETARY: I do not believe that capability in itself brings disclosure to war because the President has been very clear, the Secretary of State has been very clear, that we are leading with diplomatic and economic efforts.

STARR (voice-over): The Secretary has long warned that war with Kim Jong-un could lead to catastrophe.

MATTIS: As you know, if this goes to a military solution, it is going to be tragic on an unbelievable scale.

STARR (voice-over): Military options have been updated for the President. But the problem is unchanged. A limited U.S. strike poses significant risk. Kim Jong-un could quickly attack Seoul, South Korea killing millions.

BRUCE KLINGER, SENIOR RESEARCH FELLOW, HERITAGE FOUNDATION: We would have to be prepared to go all-in. Meaning, an all-out Korean war.

STARR (voice-over): The U.S. does have a limited missile defense capability on land and at sea, but there are questions about its reliability in some cases.

KLINGER: The same situation applies. Even if we are just to take out one missile in mid-air, one missile on a launch stand that could escalate to an all-out war.

STARR (voice-over): The map is simple. North Korea has thousands of infantry forces and armor and artillery near the DMZ. Much of it, according to the Pentagon, in thousands of underground facilities and bunkers ready to fire on Seoul and even the hint of an attack by the U.S, which is why Secretary Mattis also rules nothing out.

MATTIS: The military maintained military options for the Commander- in-chief.

STARR: Barbara Starr, CNN, the Penatgon.


HOLMES: And for more on this, let's go to Paula Hancocks in Seoul, South Korea. As the fallout from that North Korean missile launch continues, bring us up-to-date on some interesting comments today from the South Korean leader given what he said in the recent days.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: If this is President Moon Jae-in, the South Korean President on Thursday in Germany, he's there ahead of the G20 meeting. He gave a speech to a think tank. And it was effectively outlining his North Korean policy. And in that speech, he said that if conditions were right there, if North Korea showed that it did want to ease tensions, then he would be willing to meet with Kim Jong-un, the leader, anytime, anywhere.

So, this is something we've heard from President Moon before we've known he's pro-dialogue, pro-engagement. But certainly, the first time since that ICBM launch we've heard, they're showing that his ideas haven't changed despite the situation potentially changing.

He also said that he doesn't wish for a collapse of North Korea. And he doesn't want to push for any form of unification by absorption. So, clearly saying that his ideas are still the same, Michael.

[01:21:02] HOLMES: Me, I would say, quite a thing looking at some video of that now; thousands and thousands of people out there. When Mr. Moon says what he said, is there any sense from those you've talked to, what South Korea could offer North Korea where they both turn out up suddenly at a negotiating table?

HANCOCKS: Well, what President Moon has consistently said, far before when he was still campaigning or even before he was thinking of becoming President, he wants more engagement? He wants more family reunions; he wants more engagement, economic cooperation. Certainly, that would benefit North Korea as well as South Korea.

So, these are the source of olive branches, if you like, that he is showing this point. So even though there has been this launch which the United States, but one of course is taking very hardline stunts on, he is still keeping his pro-engagement ideas public, Michael. HOLMES: All right, great reporting as always. Paula Hancocks there in Seoul. Thanks so much. Well, let's turn to an issue that continues to haunt the European Union. Italy's top diplomats says Europe is taking steps in cutting the numbers of migrants and refugees, making their way to Italian shores.

Italy is the main port of arrival from most of the migrants. Following a conference on migration in Rome, the country's Foreign Minister said they hoped to stem the tight of migrants entering Libya which is the jumping off point for Europe.


ANGELINO ALFANO, FOREIGN MINISTER, ITALY (through translation): For us to reach the target to cut down the number of people that come here, we need to cut down the number of those who reach Libya. Not only, therefore, the control of Libya's northern border, but also a greater control of the Southern borders to diminish the number that enter Libya.


HOLMES: The International Organization For Migration says more than 100,000 migrants and refugees have crossed the Mediterranean just this year, most of them arriving in Italy by the Central Mediterranean route. More than 2,200 have died or are missing.

Amnesty International is blaming the soaring death toll squarely on policy makers. The new report from the rights group says European governments aren't doing enough to stop the crisis. Naureen Shah is the Senior Director of Campaigns with Amnesty International. It actually goes further than this; this report does not pull punches. It actually says, "Cynical deals with Libya by the Europeans consign thousands to the risk of drowning, rape, and torture." Very strong stuff. What were these deals done?

NAUREEN SHAH, SENIOR DIRECTOR OF CAMPAIGNS, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: Well Michael, what we're seeing is a really urgent risk for migrants taking to the sea. More than 2,000 have died and 2017 in course to be the deadliest year along the world's deadliest migration route. Instead of stepping up, European leaders are actually taking a step back and looking to non-governmental organizations and Libyan authorities to conduct search and rescue operations. The Libyan authorities are woefully dysfunctional and inadequate at doing those search and rescue operations.

HOLMES: So how many have died? Or rather, how many more people have died because of those policies?

SHAH: There's a lot of reasons why people are dying at sea. There's setting sail in extremely dangerous circumstances. What's contributing to that are the policies that say that we're going to see European governments do the kinds of things they did in 2015, which is do more to adequately resource search and rescue operations.

Two things are happening, Michael. One is that Libyan Coast Guard are doing search and rescue operations, doing a terrible job in many cases. Second, they're sending people back to Libya. They talked to people who have been raped and tortured. We talked to one man who said they used the toilet water as drinking water. He saw a young boy who was tortured and then died.

[01:25:39] HOLMES: OK. So, in Libya or itself, the report is saying that is happening, but they're also saying the E.U. is turning a blind eye to these sorts of abuses which is quite an allegation. What does the E.U. say about that?

SHAH: Well, what we're hearing from European leaders, they want to give more responsibility and train up Libyan Coast Guard. But what we need to see is them holding accountable the Libyan Coast Guard for the kind of practices they're undertaking. The documentation shows that sometimes Libyan Coast Guard are boarding ships, making it more dangerous for refugees and migrants to cross. This isn't a case where European leaders can say, hey, we're trying to send money over there, we're trying to train others, they'll take care of it. We need to see them say we're going to equip rescue operations, so people are sacrificed in the name of deterrence.

HOLMES: What is particularly concerning, there's so much in this report that's concerning, but one particular thing, you say that the Libyan Coast Guard is doing a terrible job. But it goes further than that. There are allegations that the Libyan Coast Guard members are actually colluding with smugglers and abusing migrants.

SHAH: That's absolutely right. Our report also documents serious reports of Libyan Coast Guard members taking gun shots at boats of migrants and refugees. We're talking about boats that are not designed at all to withstand that, rubber boats, wooden boats. Hundreds of migrants and refugees, including women and children who are in these boats, who are at risk in terms of their livelihood, they are, as you know, drowning at sea because of action like this because of the indifference of the global community.

HOLMES: Do you think the plight of those trying to cross to Europe has been forgotten? It received massive coverage when it began, and for year or so. Have those people been forgotten?

SHAH: I think we're seeing that across the board in terms of the global refugee crisis. More and more, we see governments around the world trying to turn their back on refugees. We see it with the United States, with European governments. This is a trend that has to halt. We cannot afford to remain indifferent to people dying at sea, dying as they cross borders all around the world.

HOLMES: Naureen Shah with Amnesty International thanks so much for being on the program.

SHAH: Thanks for having me.

[01:28:12] HOLMES: And still to come, why the U.S. election encouraged Russia to make some big changes especially when it comes to espionage. We'll be right back.


[01:30:47] MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles. I'm Michael Holmes.

The headlines for you this hour --


HOLMES: Mr. Trump will come face-to-face with the Russian president Vladimir Putin for the first time in just a few hours from now. The White House says they will talk about Syria and Ukraine. Not clear if Mr. Trump will raise Russian meddling in the U.S. Election.

Mr. Trump had plenty to say about Russian hacking during his stop in Poland. First, questioning the unanimous conclusion of U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia was behind the cyberattack. And then, he blamed his predecessor, Barack Obama, for not doing anything to stop it.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think it was Russia, but I think it was probably other people and/or countries. And I see nothing wrong with that statement. Nobody really knows. Nobody really knows for sure.


HOLMES: Well, the supposed inaction over election meddling that has led, according to many, to some consequences already for the U.S., and apparently emboldened Russia. Intelligence sources telling CNN Moscow has stepped up its spying efforts in the U.S.

Pamela Brown with more on that.


PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUTICE CORRESPONDENT: Russian spies are ramping up their intelligence gathering efforts in the U.S., according to current and former U.S. intelligence officials, who say they've noticed an increase since the election. So the Russians' efforts have not been slowed by the intense focus of the U.S. intelligence community assessment that Russia meddled in the U.S. election. And since the election, U.S. authorities have detected an uptick in suspected Russian intelligence officers entering the U.S. under the guise of other business. Officials say they've been replenishing their ranks since the U.S. expelled 35 Russian diplomats suspected of spying last December. And in some cases, Russians spies have tried to gain employment at places with sensitive information as part of their intelligence gathering efforts.

The FBI, which is responsible for counterintelligence efforts in the U.S., would not comment for this story. And the Russian embassy in Washington didn't respond to a request for comment.

But all this begs the question, why isn't this being stopped? Partisan political disagreements over the Russian activity and President Donald Trump's reluctance to accept intelligence conclusions about Russia's meddling in the election has slowed efforts to counter the threat, former and current intelligence officials tell us. We also told FBI counterintelligence is seeking to keep an eye on some of this activity. In some of the cases, the FBI uses surveillance to track the suspected Russian intelligence officers as part of a counterintelligence effort.

Pamela Brown, CNN, Washington.


HOLMES: And Ivan Watson joins me live from Moscow.

I don't think there's many people watching who don't think the U.S. has its own spies at work inside Russia. This is just what countries do. But this allegation that there's been a new wave of Russian spies to the U.S. as a result of sort of inertia within the U.S. on this whole Russia meddling issue, how is that likely to be received where you are?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTRNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's early in the morning here, so we can't get an official response from the government here in Moscow yet to these allegations. As you heard from Pamela, the Russian embassy in Washington declined to comment on these allegations as well. But likely, Russian officials will reject this and call it another example of what they refer to as Russophobia and paranoia in Washington, in the wake of the election. And the Russians have also basically argued that all of this discussion about alleged Russian meddling is just on behalf of people who are unhappy with the election results of the November 2016 election. And using this as an excuse, as a cover-up to help deal with this, or to hurt President Trump in his efforts, stated efforts, to try to develop stronger relations with Moscow.

It is worth noting that the Russians declined to retaliate when the outgoing Obama administration shut down two Russian diplomatic compounds at the end of December in the U.S. and abruptly expelled some 35 Russian diplomats. Moscow did not retaliate. Did not engage in the usual tit-for-tat moves on that. And U.S. officials at the time had argued that some of the diplomats were involved in intelligence-gathering activities. That is an unresolved question right now. One of the questions that the Russians have raised again, they'd like those two diplomatic compounds returned.

Another element to this is the Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak, who was in many meetings with the ousted national security adviser, Mike Flynn, with the current Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and has been at the center of a lot of controversy in Washington over meetings that were not subsequently reported by the Trump administration officials. He has spoken out and the Russian foreign ministry has spoken out since, defending his reputation and saying that his reputation has been dragged through the gutter, all due to domestic internal politics in the U.S. They say he is an honorable diplomat -- Michael?

[01:36:48] HOLMES: Fascinating. Ivan, thanks so much. Ivan Watson, in Moscow for us tonight.

Well, Germany is warning of a potential trade war between the U.S. and Europe. Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said he's greatly concerned the U.S. is pushing in that direction to the detriment of both sides. President Trump and Chancellor Merkel have traded jabs on trade before, with Mr. Trump lamenting the U.S. trade deficit with Germany, and Mrs. Merkel criticizing his tilt towards isolationism. The European Union's top trade official echoing concerns of a breaking point.


CECILIA MALMSTROM, E.U. TRADE REPRESENTATIVE: We are worried about some of the signals coming from the U.S. And we have conveyed those concerns to our American friends. The maybe proposal on steel related to section 232 would be very damaging for the European Union and we have conveyed those concerns. We will be affected by this, many of our companies and also many of the other companies of the world. We are friends and allies of the United States and we think there are other ways that we can deal with the basic problem, which is the overcapacity in China.


HOLMES: In the meantime, Japan sending its own message, agreeing to a massive free trade deal with the E.U. It's been in the works for four years, but officials say President Trump's America First rhetoric and actions, like pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, made them insist on closing the deal.


SHINZO ABE, JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER (through translation): Japan and the E.U. account for 30 percent of the GDP, 10 percent of the population, and 40 percent of trade of the world. So this is the birth of the world's largest free, advanced, industrialized, economic zone.

JEAN-CLAUDE JUNCKER, PRESIDENT EUROPEAN UNION: The agreement puts families and values at its core. Like our agreement with Canada, it will set the template for others, and follow the high standards of labor and environmental protection. It has a dedicated chapter on sustainable development. And it puts the focus on fair trade as much as it does free trade.


HOLMES: Jean-Claude Juncker adding that he hoped the treaty would go into effect by early 2019.

Next up on NEWSROOM L.A., Samsung relaunching the Galaxy Note 7. We'll see why the company is touting this refurbished version, despite its past problems.

We'll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[01:41:25] HOLMES: Welcome back, everyone. Samsung's fire-prone smartphone making a comeback. The company is releasing a refurbished version of the Galaxy Note 7 in South Korea under the new name Galaxy Note FE. The original phone was taken off the market last year after customers reported their devices catching fire. This new, cheaper version will come with updated software, a lower capacity battery and the artificial intelligence assistant, Bixby.

"CNN Money" correspondent, Sherisse Pham, joins us now from Hong Kong.

Ter ease, let's talk about this, if you have a phone that catches fire, even if you refurbish it and give it a new name, why take the risk of putting it back on the new market?

SHERISSE PHAM, CNN MONEY CORRESPONDENT: It's a good question, Michael. I think Samsung is really trying to recover just a little bit of the losses. When they recalled 2.5 million of those phones last year, they took a more than $5 billion hit to their profit in the mobile division. So there's a little bit of that going on. But they also want to show customers that they've identified the problem and that they've moved on from it. They say the new phones, which are going to be called the Galaxy Note fan edition, they're really tapping into the Samsung loyalists out there, to buy this phone. They're going to be made from old -- excuse me, not old. Unused and unopened Note 7s. And they're really branding this as an environmental, eco- friendly initiative, which is kind of is. Your phone, Michael, my phone, they're all made up of components that are environmentally unfriendly.

But it's a bit of a gamble for Samsung right now. Today they are launching 400,000 of these units in South Korea, that they go on sale. But also today, they announced that they're going to have record profits in the second quarter earnings that they're going to release here in a few weeks. Analysts have said this is great, it will show that they've moved on, or it's a suicide mission. Because if anything goes wrong, it will be a real backlash on the brand.

And for people who don't remember the Note 7 crisis, these were phones that were release the late last year and within weeks customers started reporting that the phone was catching fire while it was charging. And very soon, airports and airplanes were banning them because of the danger that they posed.

So will this be a good move for Samsung? They hope so. But if anything goes wrong, if there's any report of a spark, a little bit of one, it will be a big, big blow to the brand -- Michael?

HOLMES: No kidding. Just quickly, are they going to sell them outside of South Korea?

PHAM: They have not announced a timeline for selling outside of South Korea. They do plan to, but they have said that they are not going to sell them in the United States.

HOLMES: Sherisse, thank you. Sherisse Pham there in lovely Hong Kong.

Martial arts movies became an international phenomenon during the golden era of Hong Kong cinema. And now young people from around the world are hoping to learn the secrets of the ancient discipline, so they can leap onto the big screen.

Kristi Lu Stout reports from iconic Hong Kong.


KRISTI LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Welcome to stunt school.



STOUT: A new generation is learning how to pull off the action-packed and emotional fight scenes that Hong Kong Kung Fu films made famous.

TOM CASERTO, STUDENT: Worldwide, everybody knows the Hong Kong action is among the best. It's like a dream working with all these excellent directors and professional stunt men.

[01:45:09] STOUT: American Tom Caserto is one of a dozen students in the advanced course taught by the Hong Kong Stuntman Association. They're a mix of foreigners and locals, men and women.

LAURIA WU, STUDENT: It's really hard moves. It's dangerous.

STOUT: But class is about more than perfecting moves. It's about making movies. Every lesson is meticulously filmed so students can critique their performances.

PHILIP YIU, JONG KONG STUNTMAN'S ASSOCIATION (through translation): Besides doing the body moves, our faces must also show proper emotions. If not, your body is acting, but your face isn't. Then it will come off as poor quality and unprofessional to audiences.

STOUT: The acting is something that Anson Quan enjoys. A finance worker by trade, he says he trains four days a week for at least three hours each.

ANSON QUAN, STUDENT: I don't like to work in office. I like doing exercise. You can really get into it. You can do this. And rage.


YIU: (through translation): The fact is our industry, the stunt-man industry, needs new blood. If there's no new blood, we have no one to pass the art to. It's important, because this was founded in Hong Kong. We hope to carry on this legacy, to let Hong Kong's action movies and the stunt industry to carry on.



HOLMES: And explore more of Hong Kong's unique culture in our special program, "Iconic Hong Kong." It premieres just a few hours from now, Friday, 5:30 p.m. in Hong Kong, 10:30 in the morning, London time, only on CNN.

And next up here on NEWSROOM L.A., coming of age of a superhero. Will a new Spiderman deliver for comic book fans?


HOLMES: Welcome back. The disappearance of the legendary American pilot, Amelia Earhart, has fascinated people for generations. Any new clue as to what happened to her can send them flying into a frenzy.

Our Jeanne Moos is on top of the latest lead.



JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Whether you low-key it --

UNIDENTIFIED NEWS ANCHOR: There is a new clue.

MOOS: -- or hype it --

UNIDENTIFEID MALE: It will blow the lid off the whole Amelia Earhart story.

MOOS: -- this 80-year-old mystery never gets old. Amelia mania is back as the History Channel presents new evidence for an old theory.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She may have been held prisoner by the Japanese.

MOOS: Backed up by a photo that purports to show Amelia Earhart alive, sitting on a Pacific island jetty in 1937.

And this may or may not be her Navigator Fred Noonan, according to a facial recognition expert.

UNIDENTIFEID FACIAL RECOGNITION EXPERT: The hairline is the most distinctive characteristic.

Are you kidding me? That's Fred Noonan.

MOOS: And is that ill-defined blob really the plane being towed by a Japanese ship.

The theory is Earhart crash landed and was picked up by the Japanese and imprisoned until her death.

Even Cher was intrigued. "OK, no more politics. How about finding Amelia Earhart?"

And singer Josh Groven (ph) confessed, "This is giving me chills."


[01:50:08] MOOS: But the naysayers say, nay, could be any one. No face to see, black and white and grainy.

"I want to, but I don't see it."

(on camera): As if the latest photo weren't already questionable enough, Internet posters couldn't resist embellishing it.

(voice-over): Photoshopping in a flying saucer, JFK's assassin and Big Foot. Even Chris Christie in a beach chair has landed on the jetty.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The world has wondered.

MOOS: Did she crash into the ocean or was she a castaway? Shortwave radio operators say they picked up distress calls.


MOOS: One place we know you can find Earhart's plane is on iTunes. You can download this romantic comedy, starring Clark Gable and Joan Crawford, and guest starring Amelia's actual plane. The 1936 movie came out the year before this Lockheed Electra disappeared.

"Love on the Run," it's called. Seems we never run out of love for the mystery of where Earhart's plane ended up.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


HOLMES: "Spiderman Homecoming" hits the theaters today. And its creators are hoping it's more than your run-of-the-mill science nerd blessed with superpowers thanks to a radioactive spider bite. Veteran Actor Robert Downey Jr joins the young Englishman Tom Holland in the title role.


TOM HOLLAND, ACTOR: I get to keep the suit?

ROBERT DOWNEY JR, ACTOR: Of course. Doesn't fit me. Just don't do anything I would do. And definitely don't do anything I wouldn't do. There's a little gray area in there, and that's where you operate.

HOLLAND: What's up, guys?

Wait a minute. You want the real avenger.


DOWNEY: But this does not mean you're an avenger, in case you were wondering.



HOLMES: Well, the movie steps away from the comic book in some ways. And with a budget of $175 million, it aims to reach both die-hard fans of the franchise and newcomers.

Joining us all to discuss all things Spidey, Segun Oduolowu, the entertainment journalist, pop culture contributor to "Access Hollywood Live"

Always a pleasure to see you.


HOLMES: It has been a while.

Sixth Spiderman, is that right?

ODUOLOWU: No, he's actually in the last 15 years, he's the third.

HOLMES: Right. How is this installment going to stand out from the previous ones? Especially because it was not cheap to make? It's got to create some buzz.

ODUOLOWU: I've seen it and I will tell everyone, go out and watch it. It has heart. And I am -- I'm in the tank for this guy, Tom Holland. More importantly, I'm in the tank for the entire cast. It's multi- ethnic. It's age-range. It's littered with Oscar winners and nominees, Marissa Tomei, Robert Downey Jr, and this guy taking the world by storm. Young actors, old actors, established stars, and the movie is just fun. It's a big tumbling mass of fun.

HOLMES: And Gwyneth Paltrow, too?

ODUOLOWU: Gwyneth Paltrow makes an appearance. I don't want to give away too many spoilers, but she's in there too. If you do not go step by step with the comics they grew up with, they go to their websites and castigate the movie.

HOLMES: Which is the case here, isn't it?

ODUOLOWU: There are some variations that they -- what -- the marvel universe, what they're trying to do is set everything up for the big avengers infinity war that will tie in the "Guardians of the Galaxy," "The Avengers," "Spiderman," "Thor," "Hulk," all of their characters will be on screen, Black Panther. There's going to be a stand-alone movie for him. All of these movies are culminating with this big massive event. In order to do that, they have to fudge and cheat the margins a little bit and put tony stark and ironman in a Spiderman movie.

HOLMES: So it all ties together? ODUOLOWU: So it all ties together nice and neatly.

HOLMES: That's what happens here. Because Spiderman gets his suit from "Ironman."



ODUOLOWU: If you're a comic book fan. I grew up on them. Spiderman, he made his own web shooters. In one installment, they had Spiderman mutating web shooters. So they've diverted from the original path before.

HOLMES: The genre. Is that an inexhaustible market or are people going to get a bit tired? There seems to be a new superhero movie every week.

[01:55:06] ODUOLOWU: It is an inexhaustible market because there are so many characters and these movies make money. You can see that "Wonder Woman" was --


HOLMES: It was huge.

ODUOLOWU: And for the first time, you have a woman lead and a woman director, and it made gangbuster piles of money. Then you have "Guardians of the Galaxy," which, though it was a sequel, upwards of $300 million. It grossed $140-odd million in its first weekend. These movies are profitable, fun. Adult and children can go. And in the theater, I like to watch movies like this. I'm sitting next to a gentleman who is obviously in his mid to late 60s. And next to me is a married couple. Behind me is kids. Everyone's at this movie and everyone is laughing. Some kids are crying, like, no, Spidey! It has heart. It speaks to everyone. It's fun.

HOLMES: Is there pressure on for it to make money? $175 million, that's a lot of money.

ODUOLOWU: It has to do well its opening week, because it will be compared to all of the installments of other Spiderman as well as other comic book movies. And if it doesn't hit the $100 million mark, it would be considered a disappointment. However, the theater I was in, right here in Hollywood, completely packed.

HOLMES: You're the expert. I didn't even know about this other movie that's culminating. When is that going to be?

ODUOLOWU: Look for that in 2018, possibly 2019. Right now, there are comic book movies that are coming, they still have to do Black Panther in 2018, which is going to be the first time a black superhero lead is going to be -- so the whole #hollywoodsowhite. So they're putting that to bed with all of these multi diverse casts. And round 2018, maybe 2019, they can push movies back and forth but that's their goal that they are pushing towards this. And there will be another Spiderman movie in 2019. Mark my words.

HOLMES: Because you need another one.

Segun Oduolowu, thanks so much.

You come in here and I'm excited, all of a sudden.

ODUOLOWU: I'm telling you, you've got to be.

HOLMES: I really didn't care before you came in, but now I do.

ODUOLOWU: That's my goal, to make you care about the movies.

HOLMES: Spidey, here I come. Good.

ODUOLOWU: There you go.

HOLMES: Good to see you my friend.

ODUOLOWU: Good to see you.


HOLMES: Good to see you.

HOLMES: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm Michael Holmes. More news after the break.


[02:00:12] HOLMES: This is CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles.