Return to Transcripts main page


Catalonians Claim Victory Despite Spanish Government Crackdown; Spanish Government Defends Referendum Crackdown; Trump Appears To Undermine Tillerson On North Korea; Monarch Ceases Trading, Flights Canceled; All Monarch Flights From The U.K. Canceled; About 110,000 Monarch Customers Overseas Now; Monarch Crisis Leads To U.K.'s Largest Peacetime Repatriation; Somali National Arrested In Two Attacks In Canada; Deadly Stabbings In France Treated As Terror Attack; Millions Still Without Power In Puerto Rico; Trump Slams San Juan Mayor Over Recovery Efforts; Trump Dedicates U.S. Golf Victory To Hurricane Victims; President Trump To Visit Puerto Rico Tuesday. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired October 2, 2017 - 01:00   ET


[01:00:00] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: An uncertain and violent referendum, voters in Catalonia say, yes, to independence, but Spain's government calls the decision illegitimate. And U.S. President Trump undermines his secretary of state in a tweet, calling efforts to find a diplomatic solution with North Korea a "waste of time." Plus, financial trouble grounds a major U.K. airline with only the stages of thousands of passengers up in the air. It's all ahead here on CNN NEWSROOM. Thanks for joining us. We are live in Atlanta. I'm Rosemary Church.

A violent crackdown by the Spanish government is not stopping Catalonians from claiming victory in Sunday's independence referendum. The Spanish national police, they're smashing their way into voting centers, trying to block what Madrid calls an unconstitutional vote. Officers confiscated electoral material and closed down polling stations. Police, also, hit protesters with batons and fired rubber bullets at them. Hundreds were wounded. The Catalonian officials say preliminary results suggest 90 percent of those who voted favored breaking away from Spain.

Well, it is unclear exactly what happens now for Catalonia if anything. But the vote has highlighted the divisions between Madrid and Barcelona. CNN's Isa Soares has more.


ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: (INAUDIBLE) of mood here in Barcelona as the results begin to trickle in. So far, it seems that the yes have a resounding victory, but the turnout, though, is very low of this more than five million expected to vote, only 2.5 million actually went to the polls to vote. Nevertheless, the President of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, said that today we have won the right to be an independent state. Take a listen.

CARLES PUIGDEMONT, PRESIDENT OF CATALONIA (through translator): Today Catalonia has won many referendums. We have won the right to be heard, to be respected, and to be recognized. Today, thousands of people, millions of people face threats and you spoke up.

SOARES: But these numbers won't be met with glee all the way in Madrid. That's because the Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, has said all along this is unconstitutional and it's illegal. In fact, today, speaking to the nation, he said there was no referendum. Have a listen.

MARIANO RAJOY, PRIME MINISTER OF CATALONIA: There has not been a referendum in Catalonia. All of the Spaniards have seen that our rule of law is still alive, that it reacts against those who try to sabotage it, and that acts with all legal resources against all provocations.

SOARES: This has been a contentious referendum and a very chaotic day for those people who are wanting to vote in the very early hours in the morning. The rain, they saw a Guardia Civil that say police moved in trying to block them from voting and really dragging some people from those polling stations. Authority telling CNN: more than 800 people have been injured.

The Catalan president said, the violence fighter, say tonight, and I'm quoting here, "has been abusive, serious, and a violation of human rights." The question now is what happens next? Not only do you have a polarized Catalonia, many people not supporting the vote, but also many tensions within Spain. Which one of those two leaders will blink first? Will this be decided on the streets or at the negotiating table? I'm Isa Soares in Barcelona.


CHURCH: And Spain's deputy prime minister defended the actions of the Spanish police saying, "The irresponsibility of the regional government had to be met by security forces of the state." To talk more about this, I'm joined by Roger Senserrich, he is a Politic Scientist and Editor for Thank you, sir, for being with us. So, how can it be that both sides of the contested Catalonian independence referendum are now claiming victory?

ROGER SENSERRICH, POLITICAL SCIENTIST AND EDITOR, POLITICON.ES: Well, in a sense, the outcome is probably the worst for Catalonia as a whole. But it's the outcome that both sides -- both governments were looking for. The Catalan government was looking for a confrontation. They were looking for those images: police hitting an elderly, hitting on children trying to break up a vote, and that's what they got. They actually got the propaganda good that they were looking for.

The central government was looking at something like that. They weren't looking at civil and press, they were looking to have something that is a clear sign the other side that doesn't want to agree with them. And essentially, that's what they g0t. They got the image up here being handed. They are trying to sell that to their base and the rest of Spain. Having the show of force and the confrontation that they want to justify and they can't crackdown and they can suspend regional government at some point.

[01:05:31] CHURCH: Do you think both sides wanted this conflict? SENSERRICH: In a sense. yes. Both the central government and the

Catalan government are looking for ways to escalate this, not to actually -- not to actually freeze the conflict or to downplay this. So, my sense is it's going to get worse before it gets better. In the short term, we are likely to see more of this escalation, more of this kind of confrontation.

CHURCH: Now, according to the Catalonian official, preliminary results suggest about 90 percent of both who voted first to break away from Spain. But voter turnout was low, wasn't it? So, what does this say about the possible outcome?

SENSERRICH: Well, this vote was actually more of a progress than anything. It was -- the whole process was done half-heart. Currently, there was no census. People could vote anywhere they wanted. There was no service from the other side. The vote kind of was pretty much a mess. And the result -- and the regional government had no authority to vote for this. So, the non-Nationalistic Party, (INAUDIBLE) parties called for a boycott, called for people not to participate in this. So, essentially, what we saw, it's the people that are supporting (INAUDIBLE) are the only ones that went to vote today, because it was the only -- the only people that, like this was meaning. It's a huge process --

CHURCH: So, I take it from that, then, you're saying that this vote was unconstitutional and doesn't stand?

SENSERRICH: Yes. Definitely, the regional government had no grounds to call this, and the whole process from -- trying to get this implement. The whole thing, how it was done, and the jury is not even like a council to supervise. Everyone that was in the electoral vote, to supervise the vote, resigned. So, this was held without any supervision even from -- even according to the law that the -- their own Catalan government pass to try to get this through. So, it's more of protest and not a real vote.

CHURCH: Roger Senserrich, thank you so much for your perspective on this, we do appreciate it.

SENSERRICH: Thank you.

CHURCH: And to another issue, we are following. Top officials were looking for support in North Korea; they may not be getting it from their boss. U.S. President Donald Trump released a series of tweets Sunday and appeared to undermine his secretary of state. For more, here's our Ryan Nobles.


RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Mixed messages coming from the Trump administration as it relates to North Korea. This, after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, left a meeting with the president of China where he talked about having conversations in open lines of communication with North Korea. The president tweeting on Sunday morning, "I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State that he's wasting his time trying to negotiate with little rocket man. Save your energy, Rex. We'll do what needs to be done."

Now, this was in response to what Tillerson has to say in Beijing. Tillerson saying, "We are probing. So, stay tuned. We asked the North Koreans, would you like to talk? We have lines of communication to Pyongyang. We're not in a dark situation or a blackout. We have a couple of channels to Pyongyang. We can talk to them. We do talk to them directly through our own channels."

Now, the president is essentially telling his secretary of state that he's wasting his time by attempting to talk to China and that seems the fly directly in the face of the long-held administration policy that diplomacy was the first option, and military action would be second. And the State Department's Spokeswoman, Heather Nauert, seemed to be trying to clean up this back and forth between the secretary of state and the president with a series of tweets of her own where she said, "Diplomatic channels are open for Kim Jong-Un for now, they won't be open forever."

She went on to say DPRK will not obtain nuclear capabilities whether through diplomacy or force. It is up to the regime. And the closest advisors to President Trump and that would be his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and the Defense Secretary Jim Mattis have long pushed for diplomacy being the primary option. Holding out a military strike as a last possible move if they felt there were no options left.

The administration's stated goal continues to be disarming the Kim Jong-un nuclear program. And in particular, preventing him from being able to put a nuclear warhead on a missile that could strike the United States or its allies. Ryan Nobles, CNN, with the president in Bridgeport, New Jersey.


[01:10:14] CHURCH: Well, Mr. Trump's dismissal of diplomacy is also likely to have an impact in South Korea. Our Paula Hancocks is tracking that and she joins me now from Seoul. Paula, we talked last hour about this and you said there had been a very little reaction. Is that likely the change in the next few hours? Or will they prefer to leave this alone?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, probably the latter, Rosemary. Although, obviously, I can't speak for officials themselves. It's worth noting it is a holiday week here in South Korea as well -- its Chuseok, which is the harvest festival, Tuesday to Thursday. So, an awful lot of people have just taken the week off. So, we expect less reaction to many things from the ministries because they'll be closed as well. But the fact is we have seen in the past when there have been tweets from the U.S. president that have taken the region by surprise, taken many people by surprise, cut off his own secretary of state, his own secretary of defense as well. There hasn't been much reaction here. It's been told in a very straight- forward way by South Korean media.

And officials, really, haven't wanted to touch it. I did ask the South Korean President, Moon Jae-in when I spoke to him a couple of weeks ago about a different from the U.S. president when he accused South Korea over appeasing North Korea. And his answer was you shouldn't take these tweets too narrowly. So, I think that's really the best answer we could get. The fact that they're not trying to focus too much on tweets, but certainly I don't think it would've, it would've gone down too well in the -- at the private corridors of power here, Rosemary.

CHURCH: All right. Paula Hancocks, bringing us that live report from Seoul in South Korea where it's nearly 2:15 in the afternoon. Many thanks to you. Well, tens of thousands of Monarch Airlines customers are now stranded. The low-cost airline has stopped trading, and all flights from the U.K. have now been canceled. This is Correspondent, Samuel Burke joins us now from London with the very latest. Good to see you, Samuel. So, what went wrong here? Did anyone see this coming?

SAMUEL BURKE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, a lot of people did see this coming. This is an airline that's had a lot of problems, especially because of the pound, which has really decrease steadily after Brexit. But also because of terror attacks in Egypt and violence in a place like Turkey, it's meant that a lot of airlines have shifter to Spain, which is actually where Monarch has had a lot of flight. So, they've seen increased competition.

But what's really extraordinary here is the U.K. is essential, starting this morning, European time, creating its own temporary airline. Because there are about 100,000 plus people, British citizens, essentially this morning, now stranded abroad. So, the U.K. has stopped all Monarch flights. They're going to be chartering about 30 airplanes, sending them out to these different countries, mainly to bring these British citizens back to the U.K.

Now, if you're of these people, you're watching in your hotel room right now in the airport. I mean, this has really caught everybody off-guard in the sense that even their tweets coming out just a few hours were saying, everything is fine, going as usual. The U.K. grounded all these flights early in the morning because it's the only time that all the airplanes are actually on the ground. So, there's a completely new Web site it's --, rather, not

So, people will have to go and check there. They say do not go to the airport if you're in one of these countries right now and you had a Monarch flight. Check on the Web site first. You flight may be delayed a few days. And the U.K. government is saying, disruption is inevitable in these type of situation, Rosemary.

CHURCH: All right. So, 100,000 people stranded. What happens to those other customers who've already paid for tickets?

BURKE: And those other customers, total more than 300,000 people. There is a system in the U.K. that most airlines adhere to call ATOL. A lot of cases, it may be covered, a ticket is canceled there and you'll get the money back from there, maybe your credit card will get you your money back. But for those people who haven't taken their trip yet, there is a chance that they're going to lose the money. For those people who are in those countries, who are in the middle of their trip, they say don't cancel your trip early.

You may even have to extend your trip and those costs will be paid for. And pretty much any cost from this point, if you're already on your holiday, will be covered by this U.K. program. They may have to fly you back to the wrong airport here in the U.K., but they say there will be buses waiting to take you back to your correct if you have some type of connecting flight or need to be back at that airport because that's there where you left your car. But it is amazing to think that the government is just creating this system overnight, really. And having to create its own mini-airline in a sense.

CHURCH: Indeed, and also, Monarch airlines' having trouble, but it still took people by surprise, didn't it? Samuel Burke, joining us there with that live report from London where it is nearly 6:15 in the morning. Many thanks to you.

[01:15:57] Let's take a very short break here. But still, to come, Donald Trump laughed the mayor of San Juan just days before he's scheduled to visit Puerto Rico. What can we expect from president's trip to the island? That's still to come. And an attacker takes aim at a police officer and pedestrians in Western Canada. How the police brought the attacks to an end? We'll have that in more when we come back. Do stay with us.


VINCE CELLINI, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Vince Cellini with your CNN WORLD SPORT headlines. We begin with football in the strangest of settings for Las Palmas and host Barcelona. There was a game staged behind closed doors in response to political violence and unrest of the city. A decision made as a result of Catalonia's disputed independence referendum which resulted in an extreme pushback by the Spanish government to deny the vote. Rather than take any risk at the game for incidents as well as the forfeiting of points, the F.C. Barcelona board of directors decided the game would take place without an audience.

As birthday weekends go, Dutch Formula One Star, Max Verstappen, couldn't have written a better script. He turned 20 on Saturday. A day later went out and won the Malaysian Grand Prix. Impressive too, when you consider it was Louis Hamilton in his Mercedes who had pole position ahead of this race.

The President's Cup wasn't about how. But rather by how much for an American squad building a near insurmountable lead over the international team. The lead was 11 entering the singles on day four. Sunday met 12 singles matches and pure pride for the internationals. In match four, Daniel Berger won the match, 2-1 to clinch the President's Cup -- second fastest clinch ever as a team. The Americans tend one-on-one all-time in President's Cup play, a seventh straight victory. And that's a look at your sports headlines. I'm Vince Cellini.

CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. A Somali national is under arrest in connection with two terror attacks in Canada. The first was captured on video. And a warning: it is graphic. A car driving at high speed hit a police officer. The driver then got out and stabbed the officer repeatedly before running off. Police found an ISIS flag inside the car. The officer is now recovering. Later, the suspect led police on a chase where they say he deliberately aimed for pedestrians with a track; four people were hurt. Police broke the windshield and used a stun grenade and a taser to arrest the suspect.

Well, police in Southern France are treating a pair of deadly stabbings as a terror attack. A man with a knife killed two women at a train station in Marseille before police shot him dead. Authorities are investigating whether he had links to any terror groups. The media wing of ISIS claims the attacker was a soldier of the Islamic State.

[01:20:21] Puerto Rico's governor says more needs to be done to get aid delivered throughout the island after Hurricane Maria. Millions are still suffering from limited access to water, power, and fuel, 12 days after the storm, and cell service is still down for many people. But Governor Ricardo Rossello also says the U.S. government has granted all of his requests. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump spent part of the weekend blasting the mayor of San Juan for criticizing the government's response to this disaster. He also attended an international golf tournament where he dedicated the U.S. victory to hurricane victims.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: On behalf of all the people of Texas, and all of the people of -- if you look today and you see what's happening, how horrible it is, but we have it under really great control. Puerto Rico and the people of Florida, who have really suffered over this last short period of time with the hurricanes. I want to just remember them, and we're going to dedicate this trophy to all of those people that went through so much that we love, a part of our great state, really, a part of our great nation.


CHURCH: The president plans to visit Puerto Rico this week. CNN's Sara Murray has more on the trip.


SARA MURRAY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: On Tuesday, President Trump heads here to the island of Puerto Rico. It'll be his first opportunity to view some of the devastation firsthand. But the question on everyone's mind here is exactly what is the president going to see? Is he just going to stop by San Juan where power, where cell phone services are coming back, where restaurants are coming back online? Will he venture further and will he see communities that have been entirely cut off, some without power for weeks? Many, who are wondering if the president understands the magnitude of the damage of the devastation of the destruction. He and his administration have taken a very rosy view of the federal government's response so far.

The president even took to Twitter over the weekend to insist that all buildings have been inspected for safety. That's a comment that even left the governor of Puerto Rico scratching his head, wondering what the president could've been referring to. The reality on the ground here is that there are still communities that are entirely isolated, with no cell phone service, with no way to ask the government for help, and roads that are impassable, frankly, impossible that all buildings have been inspecting. We will see what the president's itinerary is. We're expecting more details on that from the White House today.


CHURCH: Sara Murray there in remnants of Hurricane Maria and Lee are making their way to Western Europe. Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri joins us now with more on that. So, Pedram, how bad will the weather be for Western Europe?

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: You know, for parts of Western Europe, Rosemary, especially across the northern tier of this region, we're going to see a lot of inclement weather. And you know, some disruption could be seen as well with it. The rainfall, already beginning to come down, and you think we're done with what is left at Maria, even Hurricane Lee. And of course, not so the case, not just yet. Maria, of course, made it out as a Category 5 as it moved over portions of the Caribbean. We have Lee, remained over the Atlantic. What is now happening here with the last couple of days, you notice the track over the past few days here, Lee, in fact, is the bigger player as we head in towards portions of the U.K. So, the track takes it, and actually merge with an additional storm system that was across this region.

So, now, in the northern portion of the U.K., that's where the biggest disruptions could be expected. We're talking about generally, say, high-profile winds, any sort of shipping, ferry services, also air service across this region highlighted in yellow that could be impacted with winds that could be anywhere from 50 to 70 kilometers per hour. And I wouldn't be surprised if we get some gusts enact up to 100 kilometers per hour in some of those western areas of, say, Scotland here, at least later on this afternoon into this evening. This will be a short-lived event. The Storm system is moving at rather fast clip across this region, but the rains are beginning to come down, and yes, they are remnants of a tropical system.

It's a really fast hitting elements to think about when the storm and the track it took over the last several weeks. But in places like London, you won't be impacted by this whatsoever. Maybe a few clouds stream in but the temperature is generally uniform. This is the time of the year you see the transitions in the seasons, you see the variance in temperature is not there yet, not towards the south. But to the north, of course, an entirely different story with storms coming in one after the other in the last couple of days and the next few days as well.

I want to talk about what's happening across the Indian sub-continent because the monsoon season is progressing, it's withdrawing out of portions of this sub-continent. In the middle of September, we expect this to be across this region, but it is approaching for us now towards portions of Mumbai climates logically in. The monsoon season -- the numbers have come in and out as far as what we've seen so far in this season. And we know, for all of it here, we're actually seeing a five percent drop at least in what is considered normal. So, it is for the fourth consecutive year of below-average rain season across the monsoon.

[01:25:04] There've been of major implications, of course, when it comes to India's 1.3 billion people, half of it work in the agricultural industry. We know about 15 percent of its economy withdraws its resources from the monsoon season, from the rainfall. You know, the two percent drop that is expected now because of the lack of rainfall in the rice crop and about eight percent drop in the soybean crop as well. So, significant implications here for what is shaping up to be another disappointing season in the monsoon for places such as India. Rosemary.

CHURCH: All right. Thank you so much for that Pedram.

JAVAHERI: Thank you.

CHURCH: Well, coming up, President Trump says being nice has not worked North Korea. Analysis of why that might undermine his top diplomat? We're back in just a moment.


CHURCH: Hello, and welcome back to our viewers joining us from all around the world. You are watching CNN NEWSROOM and I'm Rosemary Church. Let's check the headlines for you this hour.


[01:30:23] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: So let's recap one of the top stories we are following out of the United States. U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday released a series of tweets that appeared to undermine his top diplomat on North Korea. He wrote, "I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful secretary of state, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man." Now, this comes after Tillerson said saturday in Beijing that the U.S. had direct lines of communication with North Korea.

Joining me now to talk U.S. politics, are two CNN political commentators, Marc Lamont Hill and Ben Ferguson.

Thanks to you both for being with us.

President Trump again mocking Kim Jong-Un. At the same time, appearing to undermine his own secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, by tweeting that Tillerson is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man, referring to the North Korean leader. Is that presidential behavior? And why would Mr. Trump undermine his own secretary of state's diplomatic efforts? What purpose does that serve?

Marc, let's go to you.

MARC LAMONT HILL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, a couple of things. One, at this point, the president's behavior, he's the president, and he does this all the time. This is no longer behavior that we can say it is an outlier or it will change. This is who Donald Trump is. The most cynical read is he wanted to change the topic from Puerto Rico, so he has more control over it. It's something that garners more support from his voting base, which is being and talking tough against Kim Jong-Un. The idea of referring to him as Little Rocket Man, the idea of engaging in this bellicose language on Twitter tweets serves no one particularly well. Even more from a level of strategy, to undermine Rex Tillerson in such a public way, where Rex is saying, I would love to do something diplomatic here, I would love to work, even if it is against the odds, and you have Donald Trump saying this is waste of time, it cheapens the work of Rex Tillerson and undermines any measure of diplomacy. This is not about whether Trump is right or not on the North Korea question. Even if ultimately you need a militaristic response as opposed to a diplomatic response, it doesn't help them to have him do this, even if it is a good cop/bad cop, Tillerson clearly doesn't know. If I'm Tillerson, I'm looking in the want ads. This seems like a president fed up with his secretary of state.

CHURCH: Ben, how do you explain that.

BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I don't think he's fed up. I think the reality is the information that Kim Jong-Un is getting is mostly coming from media reports. And it is pretty clear, the presidents is playing the diplomatic game of putting pressure on other nations, specifically China, to get involved and really suffocate Kim Jong-Un with all the resources they're giving to him on the black market. China isn't doing their job. These sanctions have not worked. And I don't think it was so much him undermining the secretary of state. He is trying to play good cop/bad cop and let them know there is a time line here and maybe I'm becoming disinterested in dealing with you because you're not dealing with us in a normal or sane way. I don't think it is a pretense that Rex Tillerson is being gone. I think he'll be around for a while.

I think you have to try all different ways to deal with an irrational human being. Having a rational conversation has not worked for nine years under the Obama administration. Having a rational conversation with China hasn't worked the last nine years either. Having a rational conversation through the U.N., the sanctions, has also not worked with Kim Jong-Un. So what else is left? I think you try everything, try every strategy before you go military. And that's what I think the president is trying to do, say, I'll give everything out there, try every different way to communicate with him, I'll give him every look I can and see what happens.

CHURCH: We'll have to leave it there. Of course, I would love to continue chatting.

But Marc Lamont Hill and Ben Ferguson, many thanks to you both.

Let's go back to one of our top stories, the financial difficulties of Monarch Airlines.

For more, Andrew Haines joins us. He is the CEO of the U.K. Civil Aviation Authority.

Thank you for talking with us.


CHURCH: So Monarch Airlines was having some problems. This seems to have taken people by surprise. Why?

HAINES: In the early morning hours of the U.K. time, the administrators were appointed for Monarch Airlines so the company has ceased trading. That, of course, the decision that the directors took, maybe 24 hours in advance, decided that the company can no longer trade lawfully because of its future financial prospects.

CHURCH: What went wrong? Why did this happen to Monarch Airlines?

[01:35:07] HAINES: Well, the company says it has been directly affected by terrorism in Turkey and elsewhere in the Middle East. Meaning there's no competitive market in the West and the Mediterranean. And it has not been able to do, to run a profitable business compared to what is actually a very intensely price sensitive, competitive market.

Before we say any more, can I just pass some information to anybody that might be a passenger abroad?

CHURCH: Of course.

HAINES: We want to contact those people. We've set up a dedicated Web site, We've been asked by the U.K. government to bring everybody home who is due to fly back home within the next two weeks. And on a day, by day, basis, anybody abroad due to fly back will find the details of their revised schedule on the Web site. So the people do not have to cancel their holidays. They are not stranded. We will look after them and bring them back on the day they're due to come back.

CHURCH: You say they're not stranded. But we are talking about 100,00 customers or so. And then another 300,000 who bought tickets. What happens to them?

HAIRINES: Well, yes. 110,000 people abroad, and the government has asked us to make arrangements. So we've chartered over 30 aircraft from 16 different airlines, many which are already in the sky. There will be 700 flights over the next few weeks. So we're very confident that we can bring those people back over the next two weeks. For people who have yet travel, well, there will be no more Monarch flights. The company has ceased trading as of 4:00 a.m. this morning. If you're protected by the U.K. protection scheme, then you will be fully compensated. If not, then you will be reliant on either the insurance you have or credit card, debit card cover.

CHURCH: So some people will lose their money?

HAINIES: That would depend upon the nature of the credit card protection they have. We think that most people will have booked by a credit or debit card. And they will be entitled to some forms of refund. But some people will be financially disadvantaged by this.

CHURCH: All right. CEO of the U.K. Civil Aviation Authority, Andrew Haines talking to us, assuring all of you customers out there, if you're feeling stranded, that you will be brought home eventually. But do check out that Web site.

Many thanks to you for joining us, Andrew Haines.

Let's take a short break now. But still to come, the trial begins for two women accused of murdering the North Korean leader's half-brother. A live report from Malaysia coming up in just a moment.


[01:41:08] CHURCH: In Malaysia, the two women accused of murdering North Korean Leader Kim Jong-Un's half-brother have pleaded not guilty. They arrived earlier for the first day of their trial in Kuala Lumpur. Authorities say the women killed Kim Jong-Nam at the city's airport back in February by rubbing VX nerve agent on his face.

Our Nic Robertson is in Kuala Lumpur and joins me with the very latest.

Nic, you were there when these two women were brought into court. How did they look? What is expected out of today's proceedings?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Sure. I mean, they arrived in saloon vehicles, not in some big heavily armored trucks, but they did have flap jackets on. They were whisked up the stairs into the court building. Saw them just a few seconds. I could see the women, they weren't really showing any emotion. But from their lawyers they feel confident that they can win this case, that the claims of being innocent, not guilty, that they can get that across in this courtroom. But this has a huge amount of interest in the region and it has potentially huge international diplomatic implications.


ROBERTSON (voice-over): Caught on security camera, a brazen daylight murder in public. Two women sneak up behind a man at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, one of Asia's busiest transport hubs, and wipe a cloth in his face. The man asked airport staff for help, but minutes later, he was dead. The victim is Kim Jong-Nam, the estranged and exiled half-brother of North Koreas leader, Kim Jong-Un. Investigators concluded the substance that killed him was VX nerve agent, a chemical weapon.

Kim's murder drew international attention and sparked diplomatic row between Malaysia and North Korea. Within days, police arrested two women. But South Korean intelligence and, later, Malaysian officials pointed the finger to Kim Jong-Un for ordering a hit on his half- brother. South Korea's intelligence service believes the women were recruited

by two assassination groups. The women say they were duped and thought they had been hired to take part in a TV prank show. But Malaysia's prosecutors allege they were well aware of what they were actually doing.

One key question though is why North Korea may have wanted Kim Jong- Nam dead. Theories range from the regime's desire to send a warning to North Korean defectors to stay silent, to Kim Jong-Un feeling threatened that his half-brother may be a challenge to his rule and line of succession.

North Korea strenuously denies any involvement in the murder. Malaysian police named several North Korean citizens they want to question about the case. Four of them left the country the day after Kim's murder. The others were sent back to Pyongyang after questioning.

That leaves the two women as the only people charged in this most high-profile murder mystery. If found guilty of murder, both women face death by hanging.


ROBERTSON: So already the trial has gotten contentious. The prosecution laid out that these women individually, with four unnamed others, perpetrated this crime. Now, the defense said to the prosecution, they asked the judge to get the prosecution to name these four others. The judge, after a couple of hours of deliberation, said, no, they didn't have to be named, which has left the defense feeling the case against them is prejudiced, that they are disadvantaged by this. They say they will fight back.

But it raises the question in their mind, because these four individuals are known to be North Koreans, is there an attempt to keep North Korea out of central focus in this trial of these two women, who claim they are innocent -- Rosemary?


[01:45:31] CHURCH: All right. Out Nic Robertson, in Kuala Lumpur, where it is 1:45 p.m., covering this trial. Many thanks to you, Nic.

It is a favorite vacation getaway. But the seamy side of the Dominican Republic puts it on a disturbing list. The battle against human trafficking. That's ahead.





(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) [01:52:12] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where a mother is being accused of producing pornography with her 5 and 7-year-old girls.

DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When he arrived, baseline research revealed that they found examples of minors being sold for sex in 90 percent of the communities they looked at.

Many experts here say the real problem poverty. According to the world bank, a third of all Dominicans live below the poverty line. And it is easy to spot when you drive away from the all-inclusive vacation resorts.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In our culture, it is very common for teenage girls, especially, to be emancipated when they're 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 years old. So they're on their own and they're exposed to this kind of crime and they need money to survive.

RIDDELL (on camera): One investigator told me the price for having sex with a minor is incredibly cheap, as little as 1,000 or 2,000 Dominican pesos. It is unthinkable that you could you ruin a life for that. That something so damaging can be acquired for just $20.

(voice-over): It would be tempting to think that the problem is fueled solely by international tourists and their vacation dollars. But the research reveals it is a cultural problem, too. Many of the victims don't even see themselves as victims. Abusers can be locals as well as visitors.

And according to one investigator, the Dominican culture of secrecy only facilitates the trafficking.

You can find these cabanas all over the capital city. Motel-like rooms to rent for as little as $10. Tinted car windows conceal your identity on arrival. Complete anonymity is guaranteed during your stay. Investigators that I spoke with say about half the victims rescued were taken to places like these.

But despite the scale of the problem and all the obstacles, there mains real hope.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We see changes in the government. The government is doing their best with what they have.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know, in 2015, the Human Trafficking Department of the national police conducted zero rescues of sex trafficking. And this year, we've engage in the five rescue operations of sex trafficking with this department. So it is beginning to change. It is beginning to get mobilized, but there's still a lot of work to be done.

Don Riddell, CNN, Dominican Republic.


CHURCH: On Tuesday, the CNN Freedom Project introduces to you some NFL players, including Baltimore Ravens tight end, Benjamin Watson, who have made it their mission to shed light on human trafficking and sexual exploitation in the Dominican Republic. Here's a preview.



[01:55:05] RIDDELL: Watson, along with his wife, Kirsten, and five other NFL players and their families, arrived in Santa Domingo to partner up with an International Justice Mission, an NGO dedicated to fighting the problem

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When these people come and they know their names, and they bring gifts, and they want to play games with them or have snacks with them, it is really meaningful. That means, to them, I am valuable.

BENJAMIN WATSON, BALTIMORE RAVENS TIGHT END: It was an easy decision. We wanted to come and learn. These criminals prey on the poor, on the vulnerable, the voiceless.


CHURCH: Hear more about their fight against human trafficking in our Freedom Project report on Tuesday.

And that wraps up this hour of CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Rosemary Church. Thanks for your company.

The news continues next with Natalie Allen.


[02:00:11] NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: With the U.S. government's response to desperate needs in Puerto Rico --