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Trump Continues with NFL Twitter Tirade; Business Mogul Kicked Out; Puerto Ricans Begging for More Aid; Growing Tensions Between Catalan and Spain; Kim Jong-un Added Power in His Regime; Theresa May's Mea Culpa Speech; Secrets Behind Nice Beaches; Koreans in a Free Land. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired October 9, 2017 - 03:00   ET


[03:00:00] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Large crowds of protesters on the street of Barcelona rallying against the separation of Catalonia from Spain.

Plus, President Trump started a new feud and reignited another one this weekend, first a war of words on Twitter with a prominent republican senator, then when Vice President Pence walked out of an NFL game over some players taking a knee, Trump tweeted it was his idea.

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

Catalonia's push for independence from Spain may take center stage Tuesday, that's when the man who has led the independence movement is set to address Catalonia's regional parliament. There he is.

But hundreds of thousands of Catalans are saying let's stay with Spain. They turned out in a huge pro-unity rally in Barcelona Sunday. And Spain's prime minister is warning he will consider suspending Catalonia's autonomous status.

CNN's Isa Soares is in Barcelona and joins us again. So, Isa, what can we expect Tuesday when the Catalan leader goes to parliament?

ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it seems the political standoff is still going into second week and what we know is that Carles Puigdemont, the President of Catalonia is expected to address the Catalan parliament on Tuesday evening here in Spain where he will talk about the current political situation happening in Catalonia.

It's being seen, Rosie, many ways as one way to second navigate really the court decision by Madrid not to be heard on Monday and not talk for independence whether he would -- this is just an excuse really for him to actually go ahead and declare independence will remain to be seen, although in the last 24 hours also we have heard from the Catalan national assembly the groups that organize the referendum saying that on Tuesday there will call for independence, but of course this is not the assembly does not speak for Carles Puigdemont.

Meanwhile, we, you know, the standoff continues. We have heard from Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy speaking to Spanish Daily El Pais where basically said he got all options on the table and he won't allow Catalan declaration of independence, Rosie.

CHURCH: And Isa, this of course has divided people there. What could it mean in terms of tensions across Spain this week.

SOARES: I mean, the tensions are very much palpable. I mean, we've seen the pictures over the weekend of tens of thousands of people out in the street calling for Spanish unity. So that's just goes to the very heart of what is playing out right here, although the protest were peaceful and people wearing white on Saturday from plenty of Spanish lands.

On Sunday, people got to the point they are frustrated and angry at the differing from both political from both leaders both in Catalonia and also in Madrid. But the frustration is of course this will escalate if neither of signs is prepared to bring it back down.

So far we haven't heard from Carles Puigdemont whether he will actually retract the declaration of independence, of course, many will interpret that as political suicide for him and for the 42 percent of voters.

And we have heard from Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy who says he won't ever accept the declaration of independence. So you're stuck in a situation where people were saying, well, why didn't you call for dialogue, why don't you meet in negotiating table and find the solution? And the fear is of course as we saw last week that some of the Catalonian banks would start moving out of Catalonia.

And of course, this is one of the wealthiest region of Spain, 20 percent of GDP roughly the same in terms of export. So it's a huge concern for Catalonia, indeed for the whole Spain. Many of whom are calling for Spanish unity. Rosie?

CHURCH: All right. Isa Soares keeping an eye on developments there from Barcelona, where it's just after 9 in the morning. Many thanks.

Well, the Catalonia crisis is shining a spotlight on the man who is the forefront of the drive for independence from Spain.

Our Erin McLaughlin takes a closer look now at the son of a village baker who has stepped from relative obscurity into the heart of the separatist movement.


CARLES PUIGDEMONT, PRESIDENT OF CATALONIA (through translator): I want to address the king directly in the language that I know he understand and speak.


ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He is either the freedom fighter, the defender of the Catalan voice or the disloyal nationalist risking at all to break up Spain. [03:05:04] It all depends on how you view the crisis that explode onto

the streets of Barcelona. Those who know the 54-year-old best say one thing is certain about the Catalan President Carles Puigdemont. He's always believed in independence.


JAMI MATAMALA, CARLES PUIGDEMONT'S FRIEND: Carles Puigdemont has independence has his core. This is not something he's improvised. It's something he knows very well. It's a part of who he is.


MCLAUGHLIN: Part of who he is a reflection of where he was born. The remote Catalan village about an hour and a half outside Barcelona. Amer has always been a stronghold for independence.

A village so tiny we bumped into his cousin in the main square. He tells us what it means to be Catalan.


JOAN MOLINS, CARLES PUIGDEMONT'S COUSIN: It can only be feel this, it's really hard to express that in words because we're different from Spanish people. We respect them but we have a lot of relations out of culture and that's why we feel so proud.

MCLAUGHLIN: And you think that Carles Puigdemont reflects that?

MOLINS: Yes, absolutely.

MCLAUGHLIN: Not far away, his family's bakery, known for mouthwatering pastries and sweets.

This is where Puigdemont grew up. His family still lives above their bakery. His friends tell me he was loyal, intelligent and outward looking.

At 18, he moved to the nearby town of Gerona, where he was a journalist and a businessman. He eventually became the mayor, then Catalan president.

Antoni Puigverd has known him for over 30 years. He says Puigdemont is an unusual politician.

ANTONI PUIGVERD, ANALYST, LA VANGUARDIA NEWSPAPER (through translator): He doesn't have any problem to sacrifice to risk his own political biography because he doesn't have political ambition. What he has is national ambition.

MCLAUGHLIN: Puigverd insists his national ambition stops at bloodshed and economic hardship. He believed Puigdemont will try to deescalate the situation.

PUIGVERD (through translator): It's an open wound and we get to inflammation down, and I know Puigdemont will try to treat the wound with anti-inflammatories.

MCLAUGHLIN: Even if that means giving up independence?

PUIGVERD (through translator): To the declaration, yes, to the long term project, no. But to the declaration for now.

MCLAUGHLIN: Sunset over Gerona not far from where Puigdemont lives with his wife and two children. It looks serene but things here are tensed. Local police moves us on the man they're here to protect is vulnerable. In a matter of days he could declare this land independent and no one knows what might happen next.

Erin McLaughlin, CNN, Gerona.


CHURCH: A republican senator is blasting U.S. President Donald Trump after a daylong Twitter feud. During an interview with the New York Times Senator Bob Corker said the president's reckless threats could put the U.S. on the path of World War III. And Vice President Mike Pence also made headlines this weekend for joining President Trump's attack on protesting NFL players.

CNN's Ryan Nobles has the details.

RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The White House wading into a number of controversies this weekend. One involving the NFL, yet again, and another involving a republican senator. First on the NFL. For the fourth week in a row, both the president and the vice president voicing their displeasure with NFL players kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial injustice and inequality.

The vice president was actually at an NFL football game. His hometown Indianapolis Colts, he tweeted picture of him standing during the national anthem but when he notices that some San Francisco 49ers were not standing he left the game. Before that a series of tweets explaining his reasoning why.

Not much long -- later after that the president himself took credit for the vice president's move, tweeting quote, "I ask V.P. Pence to leave the stadium if any players kneel disrespecting our country. I'm proud of him and second lady Pence."

After the game, a member of the San Francisco 49ers said that he thought that his whole thing was planned ahead of time.


ERIC REID, FOOTBALL PLAYER, SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS: My honest reaction, does anybody know the last time he's been to a football game? With that being said, he tweeted out a three-year-old photo of him at a Colts game, so with the information that I have, the last time he was at a Colts game was three years ago.

So this looks like a P.R. stunt to me. He knew well our team has had the most players protest. He knew that we were probably going to do it again. And so, this is what systemic oppression looks like. A man with power comes to the game, tweets a couple of things out and leaves the game with an attempt to thwart our efforts.

It is really disheartening when everything that you were raised, on everything that I was raised on wasn't be the best person that can be to help people that need help. And the Vice President of the United States is trying to confuse the message that we're trying to -- we're trying to put out there.


[03:10:04] NOBLES: And the president was busy on Twitter criticizing a member of his own party, Tennessee Senator Bob Corker who's not seeking re-election. The president suggesting that Corker had come to him begging for his endorsement. And when the president told him no he decided not to run again.

Corker has been critical of the president this week suggesting that his closest administration officials like Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis were the only thing keeping the country from chaos.

Now, Corker's office flatly rejects this version of events from the White House. In a statement, Todd Womack, the chief of staff to Bob Corker said, quote, "The president called Senator Corker on Monday afternoon and asked him to reconsider his decision to not seek reelection and reaffirmed that he would have endorsed him as he has said many times before."

Now even Corker not seeking reelection he will be in the Senate until the end of 2018. And the president needs as many republican votes as he can if he wants to pass big ticket items like tax reform and if they attempt another run at healthcare reform.

Ryan Nobles, CNN, at the White House.

CHURCH: Jacob Parakilas joins us now from London. He is the deputy head of the U.S. and the Americas program at Chatham House. Thank you, sir for being with us.

So, a lot to get there. Let's start with this war of words between President Trump and Senator Corker. What do you make of this exchange and what might it signal do you think?

JACOB PARAKILAS, ASSISTANT PROJECT DIRECTOR, CHATHAM HOUSE: Well, I think Senator Corker is saying what a lot of republicans on Capitol Hill both the elected members and their professional staffs have been staying quietly privately off the record for months.

Corker freed up by the need to no longer run for reelection has said it very publicly. He's also I think opened the door for reporters to talk to other members of the Senate and other members of the House and see if they agree with him.

But I think his voice is saying not only the frustration that professional republicans have with Trump's lack of success on legislative agenda but also their sort of worries about his ability to focus and his ability to kind of follow through on diplomatic and foreign policy initiatives and to sort of focus on things in general.

CHURCH: Now, of course, the other big issue of the day was Vice President Pence walking out of the football game between the Indianapolis Colts and the San Francisco 49ers after some players knelt during the national anthem. We reported there President Trump admitted he told Mr. Pence to leave if this happens. And the San Francisco player called it a P.R. stunt. Do you think that's what it was?

PARAKILAS: There is certainly an indication in the briefing for reporters before Pence left for the game that there might be an early departure, that's what was reported afterwards.

I think there's an -- that's an indication and given the sort of widespread nature of these protests. I think it was fairly likely that he was going to leave the game.

I'm not sure what it -- whether it benefit the White House at all to continue to engage on this. The protests are divisive in some degree but Americans generally agree in the First Amendment right to express their opinions.

And for the White House to be seen sort of continuing to engage and continue to sort of, find opposition in the NFL at a time when there have been multiple natural disasters, when the U.S. is managing crisis in Syria and North Korea and various other places. Why the White House is focusing its energy on this I think is really an open question.

CHURCH: Right. And then there is this other issue of note. The White House has laid out aggressive conditions for any deal to protect young undocumented immigrants called DREAMers, including this call for the funding for border wall and cuts a legal immigration not illegal immigration. What will likely happen here do you think?

PARAKILAS: They have laid out essentially a wish list of the immigration hard liner demands. The immediate reaction from Senator Schumer and Senator Pelosi, the democratic leaders in the Senate and House respectively, has been fairly assertively negative. So, I don't think you're going to see a bipartisan deal along those lines.

There's also a fair amount of hesitancy in the republican caucus about hardline immigration moves like this, certainly, you know, the republicans are not necessarily going to go on board with democrat's plan for a straightforward initiative simply to protect the DREAMers.

But I think the list of demands that Trump has issued is not something that we're going to see in whole placed into law, but it does set out a sort of maximum negotiating position which of course is something that Trump is famous for, sort of making these maximum demands and then sort of scaling them back according to how he proceeds the opposition.

CHURCH: Jacob Parakilas, we appreciate your perspective on all these matters. Thank you so much. [03:14:57] And let's take a very short break here, but still to come, the U.S. president is lashing out against critics who say his government is not doing enough to help Puerto Rico even while the island's governor is begging for critical supplies.

We're back with that in just a moment.


CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. U.S. President Donald Trump is lashing out against critics who say he is not done enough to help Puerto Rico after hurricane Maria devastated the island. On Sunday night he tweeted this. "Nobody could have done what I have done for Puerto Rico with so little appreciation so much work."

But the governor of the island says the scale of the catastrophe is unprecedented. He is lobbying Congress for billions more in aid money.

Our Leyla Santiago is on the ground speaking to some of the island's most vulnerable people and here's what she's hearing from there.

LEYLA SANTIAGO, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Still a strong sense of desperation. Hospitals dying as they are operating on a day by day basis. They are still two and half weeks after the storm finding it difficult to get their hands on what they need, water, diesel for those generators.

[03:20:00] As a matter of fact, when we visited one hospital in Caguas we noticed FEMA stopped by but only to assess their need. The only delivery we saw was diesel. And it was a delivery the hospital is scheduled and paid work.

Workers told me it was going to last for just a day and a half. As a matter of fact, earlier this week patients have to be evacuated to the U.S. Navy comfort because of a generator failure. And the doctor of one of those patients told me the person was connected to a ventilator that's why it was so important to get more help.


SANTIAGO: Do you think you'll get that help?


SANTIAGO: Do you need help?



SANTIAGO: And because the hospitals are struggling, many who are already sick, already vulnerable are trying to get out of the island. I met an 8-year-old boy named Diego. And he has a rare disorder. His mother has really been struggling to find the medications that he needs to stay alive. And thankfully, through the help of some private donors the family was able to get on a charter flight to get to Florida and get more help. Not everyone as lucky.

Leyla Santiago, CNN, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

CHURCH: Meanwhile, residents in the U.S. Gulf Coast are grateful that hurricane Nate spare the region from brutal devastation. Nate made landfall in the U.S. overnight Sunday and knocked out electricity for tens of thousands of homes and flooded certain areas. Before reaching the U.S. Nate was a tropical storm that pummeled Central America with heavy rains, winds and flash floods. At least 28 people died.

Nate is now a tropical depression. So let's get the latest on what's left of that storm. And our meteorologist Karen Maginnis joins us again with all those details. So, what is left and where is going.

KAREN MAGINNIS, METEOROLOGIST, CNN: Well, there isn't a whole lot left. As a matter of fact it's going to kind of combine forces with the frontal systems sweeping across the eastern seaboard, so over the next 12 to 24 hours we'll see the bulk of the heavy precipitation right back across the central Appalachian Mountain regions and a secondary focus right across the eastern Great Lakes.

But just kind of the general cloud cover with some rainfall that will persist in a lot of areas in the mid-Atlantic into the northeast.

All right. What you're looking at is video that was shot from the basement from the apartment garage from the Hard Rock cafe in Biloxi, Mississippi, you can see some wave action there and actually it was a storm surge that was really very impressive along the Gulf Coast. In some cases it was in excess of three meters. Well, Nate doesn't look anything like it look 24 hours ago, or over 24 hours ago when it made landfall right around Biloxi, Mississippi.

Now the bulk of that which is traveling rather rapidly off towards the northeast as some areas you may see some significant rainfall. But overall, we can expect a generalized 25 to possibly 50 millimeters isolated heavier amount. And where you see some of the darker orange shaded areas, that's where the wind gust are expected to be the highest.

Or this is actually the current forecast maybe some gusty winds on about 60 kilometers per hour. The rainfall though, although along the Gulf Coast was rather impressive in Mobile, Alabama, over 110 millimeters of rainfall. And in North Georgia right around Anna Ruby Falls 139 millimeters of precipitation.

Those were some of the more impressive amount that we have seen. Well, this is the previous track of what Nate took and as it moved over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico water temperatures here very warm around 32 degrees plus. Well, this is when it was a category one hurricane, but quickly weaken in intensity and as I just showed you it was moving off towards the northeast.

However, the number of tornadoes reported right around upstate South Carolina and into western portions of North Carolina 17 reports, lots of damage. No reports of any injuries or fatalities. Rosemary?

CHURCH: All right. Thank you so much, Karen. I appreciate that.

Well, just three days after Bono show report by the New York Times that the late decades of sexual harassment against employees, a powerful Hollywood mogul is kicked out by the company he co-founded.

Our Brian Stelter has more.

BRIAN STELTER, SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Harvey Weinstein fired from the Weinstein Company. It's a headline that it was hard to imagine a week ago, but in a wake of a New York Times investigation into a pattern of improper behavior in his past the Weinstein company board decided on Sunday to terminate Harvey Weinstein's contract.

Now here's part of the statement from the board of directors, which includes Harvey's brother, Bob. The company said quote, "In light of new information about misconduct by Harvey Weinstein that has emerged in the past two days, the directors of the company have informed him that his employment is terminated effective immediately."

[03:25:06] That announcement coming Sunday evening after a weekend when this crisis deepened for the Weinstein Company.

For a moment, let's go back to Thursday, that's when the New York Times published its investigation into Weinstein. They found a pattern of behavior involving actresses, assistants and models spanning decades. Now this kind of harassment that alleged in the Times story had been whispered about in Hollywood for years, but it had not been made public, it had been reported on this way before. Some way it's because Weinstein had so much power he was able to keep people quiet, he was able to quash unflattering news stories.

Now when the Times story came out on Thursday Weinstein denied some of the claims, but acknowledged he behaved improperly in some cases. He also said he was sorry for causing people pain, and said he would seek professional help.

On Friday, the Weinstein company board said we support his decision take a leave of absence. We know he has something to work through, but the back then the board kept the door open for him to possibly return the future. On Sunday, that door slammed closed.

Now what happened in between Friday and Sunday, well, there was a couple of things that happened. Number one, a couple of Weinstein's advisors quit so they wouldn't work for him anymore, and number two, there were more investigations by more news outlets are happening.

The Weinstein Company aware that there could be more allegations from more women coming in public pretty soon. So, the Weinstein Company now breaking from its co-founder. There is no immediate comment from Harvey Weinstein. We'll see how many Hollywood choose to support him or criticize him, or stay silent about this embarrassing scandal.

Brian Stelter, CNN, New York.

CHURCH: Thanks so much, Brian. We'll take a short break here, but some say the British prime minister is in office but not in power. Theresa May could still have one political saving grace.

We're back with that in just a moment.


[03:30:00] ROSEMARY CHURCH, HOST, CNN: A very warm welcome back to CNN Newsroom. I'm Rosemary Church. I want to update you now on the main stories we've been following this hour.

Catalonia's regional president is said to address his parliament Tuesday as the crisis over Catalonia's push for independence from Spain grows. Hundreds of thousands of Catalans rallied in Barcelona Sunday calling for Spain to remain united.

At least 10 Rohingya children and two adults have been killed after their boat capsized on their way to Bangladesh. They were escaping what the U.N. fear is ethnic cleansing in Myanmar. More than half a million Muslim Rohingya have fled. They are now facing a humanitarian crisis in Bangladesh.

South Korean leader Kim Jong-un is consolidating his family power even more. He has promoted his sister Kim Yo-jong to the country's main political decision-making body. She is now the youngest member of the powerful group which is run by her brother.

The Trump White House is asking Congress for hard line immigration confessions. The wish list could prevent Congress from protecting undocumented young immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, among other things, the Trump administration is asking for money for the border wall and cuts to legal immigration.

The British prime minister is urging the European Union to be flexible during Brexit negotiations. European officials say they first have to agree on the terms of the Brexit divorce. But Theresa May wants to start discussing the future relationship after the U.K. leaves the union.

She will tell British lawmakers on Monday the ball is in the E.U.'s court. Meanwhile, the prime minister is facing a political crisis.

Our Nina Dos Santos has more.


THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Our economy is back while we will met -- will excuse me.


NINA DOS SANTOS, CORRESPPONDENT, CNN: Her flattering performance that the British prime minister at the Conservative party conference is viewed by many as symptom of a deeper malaise, a crisis of confidence in the British government triggered by disastrous election which cause the Conservative party's majority and left some to suggest Theresa May is in office but not in power. Now words that 30 of her own M.P.s would back a call for her to stand down. That claim coming from the former co-chairman of the Conservative party, Grant Shapps. The public face of this rebellion, 48 M.P.'s are needed to trigger her removal.

Theresa May move to steady the ship.


MAY: What I think is necessary for the country now, what the country needs is calm leadership, that's exactly what I'm providing and I'm providing that with the full support of my cabinet. Thank you.


DOS SANTOS: But this call for calm like the falling letter behind her conference backdrop as she delivered her speech is not a good look for the prime minister and the timing is terrible. With Brexit negotiations set to continue on Monday, the prime minister's weakness cannot be escape the notice of E.U. negotiators.

All of the markets with the pound having its worst week in a year. The prime minister had hoped that the mea culpa over her decision to call a snap election would have turned on her fortunes. But to no avail.


MAY: I hold my hands up for that. I take responsibility, I led the campaign and I am sorry.


DOS SANTOS: There is one saving grace for Theresa May and that's the fact that faces with the resurgent labor and opposition her party will do all it can to avoid triggering a general election. So, until its members can fix on a suitable successor it's likely that she may lean on a little while longer.

Nina Dos Santos, CNN at Westminster in London.

CHURCH: And John Peet is the political editor for The Economist. He joins us now from London. Thanks so much for being with us.


CHURCH: So, just how bad is it for Prime Minister Theresa May right now after Scotland's First Minister Nicholas Sturgeon added her voice to the growing calls for the prime minister to resign?

PEET: Well, I think, I mean, she's under a lot of pressure from that trenches who were unhappy with the progress of the Brexit negotiations. But think she probably will survive as prime minister for a while longer mainly because the Conservative party members are very anxious to avoid another election. What she's finding more difficult in a way is the fact that the Brexit negotiations in Brussels are making very little progress. [03:34:59] CHURCH: So, as you mentioned there, you know, we're got a situation here with Theresa May's departure could possibly trigger general election and there is no way the conservators want to see that happen, but they could possibly think it enough numbers quietly replace her, couldn't they?

PEET: They could. I mean, there are certainly people in the party using the best way forward would be to push her right replace her with like Boris Johnson or David Davis, the Brexit secretary. But I think if that there would also be quite a little pressure on the party to conceive that there should be an election.

So it's quite a risky venture for Tory M.P.'s to pursue. They may find themselves pushed into an election in that circumstance of cells which they could well lose to Labour.

CHURCH: All right. So she may very well stay put for now, but meantime, of course, Brexit negotiations continue Monday. What impact May's leadership was having on these negotiations and what will she tell British lawmakers in just a few hours do you think?

PEET: Well, she is going to say in a few hours that she's made a speech two weeks ago in Florence in which she said hopes the need for transition period, she had a softer tone, she considered something on Britain paying money to Brussels. And she thinks that in exchange for that the rest of the European Union should now agree to talk about the future relationship trade talks with Britain should begin.

But her big problem really is that in Brussels they had also nailed that she is very weak in her own party, that there is a speculation about whether she might be pushed out. So they're not actually very inclined to make concessions because they don't see her as the leader of the Conservative party and the primes minister will be in future.

CHURCH: John Peet, a pleasure to chat with you. Thanks so much. We will of course keep an eye on what happens with all the developments on this particular issue. Many thanks.

Washington and Ankara are locked in a diplomatic dispute. On Sunday, Turkey's embassy in Washington announced it was suspending visa services for Americans at its U.S. facilities. Now, that came after U.S. diplomatic facilities in Turkey suspended their routine visa services.

This back and forth was spark when a U.S. consulate employee was arrested in Istanbul over alleged links to the man Turkey blames for last year's coup attempt. And Turkey's president says a military operation in northern Syria is a national security issue for his country. The operation underway in Idlib province is aimed at establishing a de-escalation zone.

President Tayyip Recep Erdogan says Turkey's border problems are under threat. And meanwhile, a deadly air strike hit the city of Maarat al- Numaan in Idlib province Sunday. As rescuers search for survivors they found a man and a child under the rubbles there. The strike was said to be carried out by the Syrian regime. So joining me now is CNN's Gul Tuysuz from Istanbul. Gul, talk to us about what you know at this point about the Turkey forces and what their aim is in northern Syria.

GUL TUYSUZ, PRODUCER, CNN: Rosemary, the Turkish tanks are lined up along the Turkey-Syrian. And Turkey over the last month is actually been moving its military hardware down to that border in anticipation for this operation. We've also heard from FSA commanders that there are about 800 FSA fighters that are waiting in the Turkish border town of Reyhanli waiting to go in to this area that the operation will (TECHNICAL PROBLEM)



CHURCH: The CNN Freedom Project takes you to the Dominican Republic. For millions of tourists the country is a vacation paradise, but it's also a main spot for human trafficking and child prostitution.

Don Riddell went to the Dominican Republic to find out how one organization is trying to change all that.


DON RIDDELL, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: This is a classic beach, the Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, it's 85 degrees. We've got sun, sea, sand, everybody is having a great time. Everybody seems to be free except if you look a bit closer you might see something quite different, something not quite right.

[03:45:05] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They approach you and offer any kind of woman.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you prefer, they have older ones, they have minors as well.

RIDDELL: In a country that attracts more than five million tourists every year there is a very dark side and it's often hiding in plain sight. Up until 2003 the Dominican Republic didn't have any legislation to prevent human trafficking. But passing a law and having the resources to properly enforce it are two very different things.

So the NGO International Justice Mission arrived to help in 2013 with Fernando Rodriguez heading up the operation.

How would you describe the situation here in the Dominican Republic if you can give me a broader review of what's going on here.

FERNANDO RODRIQUEZ, FIELD OFFICE DIRECTOR, IJM DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: We are looking for cases and confronting cases of children being sold for sex, children being paid to have sex on purpose by pedophiles. The production of pornography using children. We had one rescue operation in which we were involved where a mother

is now being accused of producing pornography with her five and seven- year-old girls.

RIDDELL: When IJM arrived baseline research revealed that they found examples of minors being sold for sex in 90 percent of the communities that they look that. Many experts here say the real problem is poverty according to the World Bank, a third of all Dominicans live below the poverty line. And it's easy to spot when you drive away from the all- inclusive vacation resorts.

DAISY NUNEZ, DIRECTOR OF AFTERCARE, IJM DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: In our culture it's very common for teenage girls, especially to be emancipated when they're 11, they're 12, 13, 15 years old. So they're on their own and they're supposed to that kind of crime and they need money to survive.

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

It would be very tempting to think that the problem is fueled solely by international tourists and their vacation dollars. But IJM's research has revealed that it's 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 kabanas all over the capital city, a motel-like rooms to rent for as little as $10. Tinted car windows concealed your identity on arrival complete anonymity is guaranteed during your stay.

Investigators that I spoke with say around half of the victims they rescued were taken to places like these, but despite the scale of the problem and all the obstacles that remains real hope.

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

RODRIGUEZ: I know in 2015 the human trafficking department of the national police conducted zero rescues of sex trafficking and this year we've engaged in five rescue operations of sex trafficking with this department. So it's beginning to change, it's beginning to get mobilized but there are still a lot of work to be done.

RIDDELL: Don Riddell, CNN, Dominican Republic.



CHURCH: We turn now to the U.S. State of Nevada, and authorities they are learning more about the deadly mass shooting last week in Las Vegas. They says that gunman Stephen Paddock planned his crime carefully,

killing 58 people and wounding more than 500, but they still don't know why.

CNN's Stephanie Elam has the latest now from Las Vegas.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Investigators now telling us that the notepad found inside the shooter's room had numbers on it. No words just numbers. And they believe now that those were calculations. Take a listen to what David Newton from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department had to say about this on CBS.


DAVID NEWTON, K9 HANDLER, LAS VEGAS METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT: He had written he must have done their calculations or gone online or something to figure out of what his altitude was going to be on how high up he was, how far up the crowd was going to be and what at that distance what is drop of this bullet is going to be.


ELAM: Now while that one other clue that has been solve, it's not helping investigators figure out what the 64-year-old man's motive was for this massacre that happened over a week ago now. They continue to look for any reason why this man would've done this.

But in other news, I can tell you that Jason Aldean, the country superstar who was performing at the time when this massacre began. He flew back to Las Vegas after performing on Saturday night live. I came back to Vegas to meet with some of the victims who are still in critical condition at the University Medical Center, hoping to maybe cheer them on. Give them a little lifted their spirits as they embark on the long road to recovery.

Stephanie Elam, CNN, Las Vegas, Nevada.

CHURCH: We turn now to a London suburb. North Korean distances are celebrating their new freedom, but they're also trying to help those still living under the repressive regime.

CNN producer Salma Abdelaziz has this story.


SALMA ABDELAZIZ, FIELD PRODUCER, CNN: A dance from a devout North Korean refugees. Soft, but subversive. These Christian lyrics could have had sent to prison or worse in a country where there is only one higher power, the leader Kim Jong-un.

Now a music teacher in the U.K. Hangge Kim (Ph) is safe to practice her belief but she still fears for the families she left hind. She won't show her face on camera.

Over a traditional Korean meal she talks of how she fled persecution in 2004, swimming across the Yalu River for eight hours until she reached China.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I left without the outside, I left in North Korea without knowing that the world has freedom and happiness, but once I got it seems like the people were all living a lie.

[03:55:03] ABDELAZIZ: The latest volley of threats between Washington and Pyongyang have her worried but she's found some comfort in her community. The obscure London suburb of New Malden, home to an estimated 10,000 Koreans, about 700 of them are North Koreans. They have no idea how their families inside are coping if they're even alive.

For North Koreans, communications with the outside world is illegal.

Joelle Kim says this ban must be defied, that's why he started his opposition newspaper free and (Inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Reporting on North Korea is a very dangerous and risky. It is impossible work if you don't have the courage.

ABDELAZIZ: Joelle was a regime loyalist but after he watched his nephew starved to death he defected bracingly crossing the border in 2007, still wearing his military uniform. The only solution to the crisis he said is to awaken his countrymen with knowledge, break the regime indoctrination. He recently tried to do just that sending bundles stocks of his newspaper across the border by hot air balloon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): As long as I'm here in free land I will never starve to death even if I don't do anything. But the North Koreans are suffering every day hungry and mistreated every day. I suppress my fear and keep doing what I do.

ABDELAZIZ: Courage driven by faith that news will finally reach home.

Salma Abdelaziz, CNN, New Malden.


CHURCH: Well, thank you so much for your company this hour. I'm Rosemary Church. The news continues next with our Max Foster in London.