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Trump Renews Feud With Sports World; Moore Threatening To Sue Accusers; Mnangagwa To Be Sworn In On Friday; FCC Unveils Plan To Repeal Obama-era Protections; U.S. To End Protected Status For Haitians in 2019; Haitian Child Once Working As Servant Now In School. Aired 1-2a ET
Aired November 23, 2017 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[01:00:00] JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles.
ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR: Ahead this hour, Donald Trump launches fresh attack against the sports world as criticisms grow over the U.S. president's tacit endorsement of an alleged pedophile.
VAUSE: The Crocodile is back and about to take charge. But is Zimbabwe replacing one dictator for another?
SESAY: And the former doctor of the U.S. gymnastics team pleads guilty to sexually assaulting the underage girls he was supposed to help.
VAUSE: Hello, everybody, great to have with us. I'm John Vause.
SESAY: And I'm Isha Sesay. This is NEWSROOM L.A.
SESAY: Well, The Thanksgiving holiday is upon us here in the U.S., and President Donald Trump began his with an online tirade against sports figures who have angered him.
VAUSE: And so many across the U.S. are about to join together and give thanks. It seems Donald Trump believes he's not getting enough gratitude. CNN's Jeff Zeleny reports from the president's resort in Florida.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Trump back at Mar-a-Lago for the first time since April. His Thanksgiving break, opening another season at his private club in Palm Beach. Even though he went to great lengths to suggest, he's not on vacation. "We'll be having meetings and working the phones from the Winter White House in Florida," the president tweeted just after sunrise.
But as Republicans measured fallout from his embrace of controversial Alabama Senate Candidate, Roy Moore, the president hit the links today, following an early morning burst of tweets starting at 5:25 a.m. He added new fuel to the fight with LaVar Ball, the father of one of the UCLA basketball players jailed in China after allegedly stealing sunglasses. Ball blasted Trump earlier this week to CNN's Chris Cuomo.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LAVAR BALL, MEDIA PERSONALITY AND BUSINESSMAN: Tell Donald Trump to have a great Thanksgiving.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZELENY: The president still fuming over not receiving more thanks for securing their release. "It wasn't the White House, it wasn't the State Department, it wasn't father LaVar's so-called "people on the ground in China" that got his son out of a long-term prison sentence; it was me. Too bad. LaVar is just a poor man's version of Don King but without the hair." Don King supported President Trump in 2016. The president went on to call Ball an "ungrateful fool." In a season of thankfulness, it was a blistering response to ball's refusal to say the words "Thank you" to President Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BALL: If I was going to thank somebody, I'd probably thank President Xi.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZELENY: The president didn't stop there, also reviving his beef with the NFL. "The NFL is now thinking about a new idea, keeping teams in the locker room during the national anthem next season. That's almost as bad as kneeling." The tweetstorm didn't stop until the president arrived at Trump International Golf Course. The messages may have been an attempt to change the subject from his remarks Tuesday at the White House.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Let me just tell you, Roy Moore denies it. That's all I can say; he denies it. And by the way, he totally denies it.
ZELENY: Even as the majority of Americans say, Moore shouldn't serve. Tonight, a new Quinnipiac poll shows 60 percent of American voters say, if Moore is elected, the Senate should vote to expel him; 28 percent do not. But in Alabama, Moore's campaign touted the move, sending a copy Mr. Trump's kind words to supporters. Florida Congressman Francis Rooney told CNN's Jim Sciutto, he was among the Republicans who would not be following the president's lead in backing Moore.
REP. FRANCIS ROONEY (R), FLORIDA: Well, it's up to the president to decide what he wants to do. But if -- I would've rather just seen no support for Roy Moore myself.
ZELENY: Several other Republican members of Congress also said, they did not intend to follow the president's leads and endorse Roy Moore. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who a week ago said, Roy Moore is not fit to serve, had nothing to say after the president's embrace of Roy Moore. Jeff Zeleny, CNN, West Palm Beach Florida.
VAUSE: For more, Democratic Strategist Caroline Heldman, and Republican Strategist Chris Faulkner joining us here. Good to see you both, welcome back. OK. Let's start with Roy Moore, who has threatened to sue his accusers as well as The Washington Post for libel. That legal action has not started, and here's the reason why from Judge Moore.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROY MOORE: REPUBLICAN SENATE CANDIDATE: We're talking about The Washington Post, we're talking about the women involved. You know, it takes time to develop a case and file a case. But you just don't go file a case without some proof, and we're getting proof, we're getting things.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Caroline, did he sort of give the game away? They just don't have any proof.
[01:05:04] CAROLINE HELDMAN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, you know, this is just strategy, right? It's strategy where you threaten to sue the reporters -- you know, Eric Bolling is suing Yeshara Ali for $50 million --
VAUSE: Yes, Donald Trump threatened to sue all the women, and they have to do it again.
HELDMAN: Exactly. It's just a delay tactic. I don't actually think we'll see any action from this.
VAUSE: OK. We're also hearing from Moore's Pastor, Flip Benham, who explained during an interview that when Moore returned from West Point, all the eligible women were taken. And then, well, listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FLIP BENHAM, ROY MOORE'S PASTOR: So, he looked in a different direction, and always with the parents -- younger ladies. By the way, the lady that he's married to now, Ms. Kayla, is a younger woman. He did that because, you know, there's something about a purity of a young woman. And there's something about -- something that's good, that's true, that's straight, and he'd look to that --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Chris, did the pastor do the judge any favors?
CHRIS FAULKNER, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, it's safe to say Pastor Flip shouldn't engage as a surrogate for the campaigning impacts in. No, he's not helping. He should stop talking.
VAUSE: Caroline, it does sort of go to this the bigger picture that there some in Alabama who don't think Roy Moore did anything wrong.
HELDMAN: John, I grew up in a cause of Evangelical. I knew exactly what the pastor is referring to. It's a pretty common practice. There were a lot of dates with much older men when I was a teen. This is not only a normal practice, it's seen as a good practice because you'll find a submissive wife. I, obviously, as an adult and as a feminist who cares about gender equality, have serious issues with it. But I think you're absolutely right, the fact that there are only three percentage points apart in Alabama, speaks volumes to the normalization of this practice.
VAUSE: OK. Well, a day after giving that tacit endorsement to Roy Moore, the president is at his Florida resort for Thanksgiving, clearly believing, you know, he wants a little more love, a little more gratitude from, you know, many people in this ungrateful country. But this is what Congressman John Garamendi said about Donald Trump's Twitter war with LaVar Ball.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN GARAMENDI (D), CALIFORNIA: Mr. President, you're the commander in chief, would you please, please grow up? Stop this kind of absolute foolishness, because you bring all of us down.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Chris, at this time year, particularly, is it too much to expect the president to walk away and just leave it?
FAULKNER: Come on now. The president is a 70-year-old billionaire, who has been but everybody, lots of smart people that there was no way he'd ever be the Republican nominee for president. There is no way you'll ever be president of the United States. We're lucky he's reasonable at all. If you are a 70-year-old billionaire, and you told me all those things that I managed to do all those things, I would tell you this guy is read: water's not wet. There's a reasonable degree to which we can expect him to not be himself. The president is very opinionated on many things. He's going to continue being himself. He has no incentive to not do that.
VAUSE: I just wonder, Caroline, if this is just, you know, oh, we're shining -- there's a great, big, shining object over here, I'm having another Twitter war, you know, the parent of an African-American athlete. I'm going to take on the NFL because that went down really well with base the last time, just forget what I said about Roy Moore on Tuesday.
HELDMAN: Forget about what I said about Roy Moore, forget about the fact there's an active Russia investigation that continues to uncover more people to be indicted. Yes, I mean, it's certainly a politics of distraction. But at the end of the day, I used to think he was much more planful. And now, I really do get the sense that he is simply reacting and living in the moment and that he has some impulse control issues when it comes to Twitter.
VAUSE: OK. You know, Tony Schwartz, who is the co-author of the "Art of the Deal," he explained Donald Trump's to that criticism from LaVar Ball, one of the fathers of the three college basketball players who were released from China. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TONY SCHWARTZ, AUTHOR: I think Trump is half-awed and half-frightened by Black people. And his only way of dealing with them is to attack them, and on the other hand, I think he has a zero tolerance for any criticism of any kind.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: It's always difficult, Chris, to obviously, you know, get into the president's head. But any -- you have any credit to that?
FAULKNER: There's a lot of sound advice that people acquire over the course of a political career. There why there are a whole lot of people that go from playing middle school football directly to the NFL. Because, there's a maturity process, there's learning process.
There's a lot of great advice that I've given to lots of candidates. You want to have a friend? Get a dog. And you know, dogs are always going to be happy to see; they're always going to be gracious; they're always going to be thrilled no matter what you do.
Voters, really, are not t same way. And this is something that you learn over the course of years of being in the House, the Senate, Gubernatorial elections and other things. The president is, probably, genuinely confused why he doesn't get more gratitude. Stock market all-time high, unemployment is falling, there's a lot of really good economic indicators out there, and he's looking at those things and saying, why am I did not get any more credit for those things?
[01:10:12] VAUSE: Caroline?
HELDMAN: Well, he's given himself credit for those things on Twitter, right? I mean, it's, it's juvenile, frankly, to -- and he started this, right, with Mr. Ball by essentially tweeting why aren't these basketball players more grateful? It just -- it's not presidential. It shows a lack of class. And you're right, it's very consistent with what he's done since -- really before he got the presidency. But at the end of the day, I worry about the destructiveness to the office itself.
VAUSE: Well, while the president was endorsing Roy Moore, he also talked about how this is the wonderful time for women that they can come forward, and they can talk about sexual harassment, and, you know, they can do it freely, I guess. But last year, this is how Donald Trump talked about a woman who accused him of sexual harassment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Say, oh, I was with Donald Trump in 1980. I was sitting with him on an airplane. And he went after me on the plane. Yes, I'm going to go after her. Believe me, she would not be my first choice, that I can tell you.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
TRUMP: You don't know, that would not be my first choice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Caroline, I'm wondering, is there a common thread between, sort of, the way Roy Moore treats women and views women, and the way Donald Trump treats women?
HELDMAN: Oh, absolutely. They both, obviously, view women as being second-class citizens in some profound ways. They go after women in non-consensual manners, or at least according to multiple women. And the fact that we elected Donald Trump as President with 16 allegations of sexual violence, and sexual harassment. And now that number is up to 22, including two children, right, a 12 and a 13-year-old. I think there's a clear parallel in terms of age of the accusers. But at the end of the day, these are two men who simply do not respect women as full human beings.
VAUSE: And Chris, if you look at the exit polls from the election, a Tuesday ago, when -- in Virginia and New Jersey, women went against Donald Trump. You look at the opinion polls right now Alabama, women are going against Roy Moore. You know, there was a lot of talk leading up to the 2016 that Donald Trump had a woman problem. Now, it really seems he's got a pretty big woman problem if this continues.
FAULKNER: Again, I think -- going back to the elections that happened, in terms of Virginia and New Jersey, those were states that are definitely trending against Republicans. Is Donald Trump's tweets, his, you know, behavior, is it a drag on Republican candidates?
It can be. If a candidate -- you know, it was a drag for Democratic candidates with Bill Clinton, it was a drag for Democratic candidates when we passed Obamacare on Republican's House back in 2010. There is always that, that uptick a drag that's going to come down on those candidates. How those candidates choose to define themselves, how they communicate, what it is that they're staying for? He's going to be the real challenge. It's going to be an increasingly difficult challenge for them, because, obviously, there are news -- the information flows continually, nationalized. The death of local media and the way people consume information is much more nationalized now.
VAUSE: Yes. And it's going to be very difficult to separate themselves from the Roy Moore's and the Donald Trumps.
VAUSE: OK. So, remember back when the president was in Asia, and he called Republicans and Democrats about his tax plan. He made that totally untrue claim that he would be worse off, he's spoken to his (INAUDIBLE) he's going to be really, you know, worse off onto this plan. OK. Well, here's how Trump's Economic Advisor, Gary Cohn, managed to end that call from someone who's in the room. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TOM CARPER (D), DELAWARE: Gary gets out to take a call on his cellphone, comes back into the room and he said we have somebody calling in from Asia, and it was the President. 15 minutes later, the president's still talking. I said, Gary, why don't you do this? Why don't you just take the phone from -- your cellphone back and just say, Mr. President, you're brilliant, but we're losing contact and I think we're going to lose you now so goodbye. And that's what he did, and he hanged-up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you saying Gary Cohn faked the bad connection to get the president off the phone?
CARPER: Well, I wouldn't -- I don't want to throw him onto the bus, but yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Caroline, the only thing that would make this better is if Cohn got out a hair dryer blew down the phone and pretend that he was in a tunnel. I mean, this is cabinet who's faking, you know, bad phone lines to end conversations. You've got the National Security Advisor McMaster saying that the president has the intellect of a kindergarten; he doesn't understand what's going on. You know, his secretary of state, not denying that he called the president a moron.
HELDMAN: Well, again, I think that this speaks volumes to how much under threat the presidency is. When you have a cabinet that is not actually listening to you, that is engaging in calling you names, and this is just what's leaked, so you know that this is happening much more behind the scenes. But getting off the phone with the president because there isn't something useful being said, yes, this speaks to the erosion of how the presidency is supposed to work, and that is really due to this one man being in the office.
VAUSE: And, Chris, you know, is that -- is this, sort of, just the tip of the iceberg? Because as Caroline says, this is what we know about. This is the stuff which is leaking out or is this it?
[01:15:07] FAULKNER: No, I disagree. I think we live in an age where the microscope of public scrutiny is much more so that it has been in the past. Whether or not -- I mean, a team of rivals. I mean, American politics has always (INAUDIBLE) with conflict, with fights, with name calling, which really ugly, really bitter fights. Because what we're fighting for is really that important.
We live in, obviously, a very fast -- in terms of coverage, in terms of what people are seeing, they're hearing and seeing everything that we're saying now. You imagine you think about Roosevelt, he was in a wheelchair during World War II. You can even get away with be walking from one building to the next now without being, you know, videoed and photographed. It's just very, very different time.
HELDMAN: You think that Lincoln's team of rivals would've tried to get off the phone with him? FAULKNER: No. They would've shut him down in the first place.
FAULKNER: They probably, multiple -- if you really, look, the guys were running for president against Lincoln actively while serving in his cabinet. So, I think, I think discourse --
FAULKNER: They'd probably call them far worse than that.
VAUSE: Exactly. That's true. I mean, it was a much more rough and tumble time of America politics. This is, I guess quite tame in comparison. Before we go through, we have a quick pop quiz. OK. Look at the screen. Can you guess which photo is America's loudest, most annoying helicopter parent? That would be LaVar Ball. And which photo is the active best known as the engineer from the U.S. Enterprise -- Georgi La Forge, AKA LaVar Burton. OK. So, is it -- is LaVar Ball, photograph A? or is photograph B? Caroline.
HELDMAN: Well, obviously, LaVar Ball is photograph B. And it's unfortunate that we're having this conversation right now.
VAUSE: OK. Chris?
FAULKNER: Well, LaVar Burton will always be me (INAUDIBLE) to me.
FAULKNER: So, obviously, depicted therein you photograph --
VAUSE: You're both accurate. But apparently many Trump supporters do not know the difference between LaVar Burton and LaVar Ball because LaVar Burton has been the focus of a lot of angry tweets. And with that let's say good night. Thank you.
HELDMAN: Good night.
VAUSE: Good to see you both.
SESAY: An important distinction to many.
VAUSE: Yes, it's very important.
SESAY: Good chill on that. We're going to take a quick break. A new leader is set to take the oath of all decisions in Zimbabwe, just ahead. Why some critics say the next president may be no better than the dictator he's replacing.
VAUSE: Also, ahead, the days of net neutrality may be numbered in the U.S. and that could have global consequences.
VAUSE: Well, a Saudi-led coalition fighting military rebels in Yemen, says it will allow humanitarian aid into the country. The Saudis will open one port and airport. Aid routes were closed after the Saudi capital was hit by a missile fired from Yemen.
SESAY: The U.N. says it will monitor the situation to make sure aid is getting through. After the closure, the U.N. aid team said the blockade could spark the largest famine, the world has seen in decades.
VAUSE: U.S. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, has sharpened his assessment of Myanmar's military crackdown on Rohingya Muslims since late August about 600,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh with stories of mass murder and rape.
[01:20:13] SESAY: Tillerson refused to call this humanitarian crisis, ethnic cleansing, earlier this month. But now he says, "these abuses by some among the Burmese military, security forces, and local vigilantes have caused tremendous suffering after careful and thorough analysis of available fact. It is clear that the situation in Northern Rakhine State constitutes ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya.
VAUSE: Zimbabwe's incoming-President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, is promising peace, jobs, and a return to economic prosperity. He's set to be sworn in on Friday, replacing the ousted dictator Robert Mugabe.
SESAY: Mnangagwa was fired more than two weeks ago to make way for Mugabe's wife, Grace, as successor. The former vice president went into self-imposed exile, fearful that the regime might actually try and kill him.
VAUSE: He's known by many as The Crocodile. Mnangagwa has a reputation for violence and repression, and some skeptics say Zimbabwe might just be replacing one dictator for another.
SESAY: Well, CNN's Farai Sevenzo has more now on a country in transition.
FARAI SEVENZO, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is the night freedom returned. (INAUDIBLE) Zimbabweans as they took in Robert Mugabe's resignation. They stepped out, embracing a fresh beginning. The men in uniform became the focus of their surging affection. One was even carried on the shoulders of the ecstatic crowd.
SEVENZO: The morning after the night before, Wednesday, it was back to a relatively normal life with a nagging question: how different will the future actually be?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everything's going to change here in Zimbabwe. We are going to get jobs. We'll get jobs, everything, schools.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's come together and support him. And let's give him his time to do whatever he's going to do. SEVENZO: And for now, this is the man leading Zimbabwe, Emmerson
Dambudzo Mnangagwa arrived at the ruling party's headquarters to cheer in crowds. He reassured Zimbabweans he is the man to lead them into that future.
EMMERSON MNANGAGWA, INCOMING PRESIDENT OF ZIMBABWE: Today, we are witnessing the beginning of a new and founding democracy.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
MNANGAGWA: You want to withdraw our economy? You want peace in our country? You want jobs?
SEVENZO: Mnangagwa will be in power until elections are held in 2018. It is the nation's hope that the freedom's enjoyed as Mugabe left the political life will be valued by the new leader. Farai Sevenzo, CNN, Harare.
SESAY: What scenes. Well, Journalist and Talk Show Host, (INAUDIBLE) joins me on the line from Johannesburg. (INAUDIBLE), good to speak to you once again. So, Mugabe is gone but ZANU-PF, his party, the system that he built, is still very much in place. What does that mean? What does that reality of an existing ZANU-PF for Emmerson Mnangagwa's promise of building a Zimbabwe?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through telephone): That's a very important question, Isha, because many of us believed that ZANU-PF was a system. That what ZANU-PH represents is a breakdown of institutions, of democracy. So that it's simply to no way that the removal of Robert Mugabe is going to overnight turn that system around.
But (INAUDIBLE) as much as Emmerson Mnangagwa and his group with, the day two, he's grown in a genocide, in Zimbabwe, in the 80s, that's very, very important, Isha. But I think what is important here is that we are living in the 21st Century, he must grasp that anti- democratic principles and practices will deal him the same fate as Robert Mugabe. And many people are hoping that the fate that befell Robert Mugabe will be a profound lesson for Emmerson Mnangagwa.
SESAY: Yes. I mean, indeed, nobody wants to discard or cast him out before he's even had a chance. He's being sworn in on Friday. But is notable, really, that in his first public speech, there was no mention of elections.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. Actually, he got no mention of elections, but the elections in Zimbabwe are scheduled, as far as I understand, to take place in 2018. So, hopefully, in his inauguration speech, which he will deliver after his inauguration on Friday, that he is their bet because elections are a very important democratic tool for people to exercise their vote. I do not think if this place could get away with not committing to an election day because it's already fixed before Mugabe was deposed. So, hopefully, those plans are still in place.
I don't see how the opposition is going to accept that elections are no longer on the table. But Zimbabwe is scheduled to go to a called elector to (INAUDIBLE). And so far, ZANU-PF looks really popular. I think this -- getting rid of Robert Mugabe has endeared ZANU-PF, again, in the minds and hearts of many Zimbabweans. But we're all waiting and watching for elections, as scheduled, to take place in 2018.
[01:25:39] SESAY: You brought up the opposition, so let's pause there and pick up on them. I mean, MDC Leader, Morgan Tsvangirai has been, again, notably quiet, the opposition has been very much on the sidelines, do you anticipate that that will change? Do you anticipate that that is a calculation their part? Or they just simple have run out of steam? I mean, how do you read the way they've conducted themselves to this point?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Again, a very important question, Isha, because, let's remember that Robert Mugabe, and indeed, Emmerson Mnangagwa who doesn't what part of that cabinet, they did their best to decimate and mute voices of the opposition. So, I do think, Isha, that the opposition has suffered many, many losses. And Morgan Tsvangirai, let's also remember, has been dealing ill with cancer.
And so, perhaps, that also kind of depleted the energy stored in the opposition movement as it were. But I think that the removal of Mugabe has emboldened the opposition. But they have a bigger task than ZANU-PF -- why do I say?
I said earlier that ZANU-PF has endeared itself in the minds and hearts of other voters. So, what does the opposition have to offer? What is it that the opposition agreed to for the public, are they going to do (INAUDIBLE), by the events that unfolded in the last 16 days.
They've been very haphazard, there's been infighting within the opposition itself. And I think they've made some incredible, incredible loss, they've suffered from incredible, incredible loses, and they have a very, very big or massive task that lies ahead. So, my answer to that is that they were taken by surprise for the events, they were not prepared, this is their time between now and the election next year to mobilize and galvanize to action, and remind the public that ZANU-PF is the cause of Zimbabwe's problems and not Robert Mugabe alone.
SESAY: (INAUDIBLE), some great insight. We really appreciate you joining us again. Thank you. Thank you so much.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thanks, Isha. Always a pleasure.
VAUSE: OK. He was in a position of trust, and he used that trust to victimize young girls. When we come back, a U.S. Olympic team doctor pleads guilty to a despicable crime.
[01:30:16] SESAY: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm Isha Sesay.
VAUSE: And I'm John Vause. We'll check the headlines this hour. Zimbabwe is preparing for a new president with Emmerson Mnangagwa set to take the oath of office on Friday. He replaces long-time dictator, Robert Mugabe, who was forced out by the military. And Mnangagwa says he will focus on jobs and the economy.
SESAY: The Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi Rebels in Yemen says it will reopen a key port and airport to allow humanitarian aid into the country. The Saudis had blocked aid routes after a missile attack on the Saudi capital Riyadh earlier this month. The U.N. says it will monitor the situation to make sure aid is indeed getting through.
VAUSE: Police in Northern Papua New Guinea are trying to remove asylum seekers from a detention facility. The Australian-run center on Manus Island was officially closed last month. Though officials say hundreds of men have refused to leave. They claim they fear for their lives.
SESAY: Now, one critic calls it's the crowning achievement of the most anti-consumer FCC chair in history. The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has unveiled its plan to repeal net neutrality protections. Safeguards approved back in 2015 under President Obama.
VAUSE: Now, these safeguards regulate internet providers preventing them from speeding up or slowing down traffic to specific Web sites or actually even blocking access altogether. They also keep providers from prioritizing their own online content. It's a difficult, complicated subject, so David Lazarus with the L.A. Times is here to help explain all of it what this means. And we should note David is a consumer columnist. So, thanks for coming in. Good to see you.
LAZARUS: Thank you.
VAUSE: OK. It's -- sometimes it's difficult to sort of wrap your head around this idea of net neutrality. And I think one of the easiest ways is to know where it came from. It's back in 2005, a small phone company in northern -- in North Carolina blocked its customers from using, you know, the app Vonage or Vonage, which is a voice-over-internet company. Essentially free phone calls, customers complained to the FCC, the phone company was fined. And the company then had to allow the customers access to Vonage.
Now that we're having essentially removal of those safeguards, this now means that basically, the phone company in North Carolina can go back to blocking Vonage.
LAZARUS: Yes, basically, and what you need to remember is you say net neutrality to people and their eyes glaze over and they go, let's move onto the Zimbabwe story, that's was a whole lot more interesting. In reality, if you are an internet user in the United States right now, this is hugely important because this is going to define your internet experience going forward. And the big difference between now and the Vonage time that you're describing is the gatekeepers of the internet, the phone companies, the cable companies, AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, Charter, those guys, they're wearing multiple hats.
So, on the one hand, yes, they're selling you your internet access. On the other hand, they own the content as well. So, here's a good example. Look at Comcast. They're one of our big cable giants. They also own NBC Universal. So, they've got a lot of content right there. And just in September, they launched a new streaming video service called Xfinity. And what this is, is basically cable channels that they are going to stream. That puts them in direct competition with Sling TV, with Netflix, with Hulu. Now, if you are going to compete with those other companies, typically, you're going to compete on quality, you compete on price, but if you're Comcast, what you can also do is slow the other guys down, or speed up your own signal and give faster, better access, and suddenly your product becomes a whole lot more interesting. That is net neutrality.
VAUSE: OK. And when net neutrality became the law of the land in the U.S., other countries are pretty quick to follow. What happens when net neutrality is no longer the law of the land in the U.S.? What will other countries do?
LAZARUS: You know, they'll probably take cues to some extent. I think also it will become an investment opportunity for a lot of overseas telecom companies because this is the government stepping back from the internet and from broadband. And broadband is the happening place in telecom right now. If you're a cable company, you're not making money anymore off of those big fat packages, you're making money off of the broadband connection. So, I think you're going to be seeing more companies and more overseas partnerships wanting a piece of this unregulated pie.
VAUSE: But do they then look at it in their own countries and say, well, you know, the United States isn't regulating the internet, they don't have this net neutrality, it's game on for everybody. Do they copy that?
LAZARUS: I think there's going to be some countries that will say that sounds pretty good by me, especially countries that have very strong telecom industries. In the other hand, countries that have a strong consumer movement. And in Europe, that's a very big concern. I mean, look at the privacy laws that are in place in Europe as opposed to the United States. You're going to see a greater emphasis on protecting the end-user. And I think there's going to be a reluctance to say the government has no rule in this. And Ajit Pai, the chairman of the FCC, a Trump appointee says that the rules put in place under the Obama administration were heavy-handed.
[01:35:16] VAUSE: His words, yes.
LAZARUS: He uses that phrase a lot.
VAUSE: A lot, yes.
LAZARUS: Yes, a lot. They were heavy-handed. Well, how heavy-handed is it? I mean, at the same time, you've got the Trump administration filing a lawsuit against AT&T.
VAUSE: Well, and this is -- this is the mixed messages that we're getting from the two different departments. You've got the Department of Justice saying that AT&T, Time Warner, our parent company, this acquisition cannot go ahead because it's -- you know, it will make AT&T too big and powerful, it will be detrimental to consumers. And then the FCC is saying, well, hang on, we've just got to -- you know, have no regulations because, you know, it's better to consumers?
LAZARUS: You'd be a whiplash from stuff like that. Now, Ajit Pai in talking about rolling back net neutrality, he makes the case for saying, well, under the net neutrality rules you had less investment, you had less innovation. That's mostly a bunch of hooey because we saw a lot of consolidation under that.
VAUSE: Very quickly, we're out of time but there is an argument out there that because it is such a wholesale repeal and there's not a lot of evidence to back up why it's needed, this has got very little chance of getting through the courts.
LAZARUS: I think they're going to roll back the net neutrality. I think that's going to happen. And I think we're going to see prices going up. And I wouldn't be surprised at all if we saw the telecom companies parceling out access like gaming access, social media access, and different ways of doing it.
VAUSE: A very different internet ahead by the looks of things. David, good to see you, thank you.
LAZARUS: Thank you.
SESAY: Now, in the U.S. State of Michigan, the former doctor for USA gymnastics pleaded guilty Wednesday to seven accounts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and using his position to sexually abuse underage girls. In all, 125 victims said Larry Nassar assaulted them. Some of those charges were dismissed in a plea agreement. In court, Nassar apologized.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY NASSAR, FORMER DOCTOR, USA GYMNASTICS: For all those involved and that I'm so horribly sorry that this was like match that turned into a forest fire out of control. And I play the rosary every day for forgiveness -- I want them to heal, I want this community to heal. I have no animosity towards anyone. I just want healing, it's time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SESAY: Well, Nassar was U.S. team doctor through four Olympic games and several gold medal winners say he abused them. The judge praised all of the victims for coming forward. The first police complaint came from gymnast Rachael Denhollander and she said Nassar abused her on five doctor visits.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) RACHAEL DENHOLLANDER, VICTIM: We have yet to hear the truth from MSU
and USAG and the USFC. Officials who kept Larry in power for decades, officials who ignored repeated reports of sexual assault, officials who brushed victims off as unable to tell the difference between a medical exam and sexual violation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SESAY: Well, Olympic champion Aly Raisman herself, a victim, tweeted, "Referring to Larry as Dr. Nassar, I'm disgusted, I'm very disappointed. He does not deserve that. Larry is disgusting, Larry is a monster, not a doctor."
VAUSE: And she's right. OK. Next, from forced domestic servitude to hope and education. See what children in Haiti have accomplished six years since CNN's Freedom Project first told their story.
[01:40:35] SESAY: It has been nine weeks since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico. The massive storm forced thousands of residents from their homes.
VAUSE: And many are starting over in Florida where they could actually impact the state of politics for years to come. Here's Athena Jones.
ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Linda Gonzalez says, starting her life over in Florida is like being reborn as an orphan. She was forced to flee Lares, Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria destroyed her home.
Gonzalez says she lost everything overnight. She and her son joined a wave of evacuees arriving in Orlando three weeks ago. Some170,000 Puerto Ricans have landed in Florida since October 3rd, according to state officials. And while not all of them will put down roots here, many will. Some are comparing it to the 1980 Mariel boatlift when 125,000 immigrants landed in South Florida, reshaping state politics as a powerful voting bloc. The tide of Puerto Ricans has already surpassed the boatlift and shows no sign of letting up.
And unlike Cubans, Puerto Ricans, the vast majority of whom lean democratic, are already citizens. They can vote right away as long as they register. Florida is a perennial swing state. Trump won here by just over 100,000 votes. And Barack Obama won twice eight years after a flash finish and subsequent recount chanted the state to George W. Bush in 2000. The historic influx of Puerto Ricans could shift the political calculus.
MICHAEL MCDONALD, POLITICAL SCIENCE PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA: That group could be pivotal in a swing state. And so, their impact and their effect on state-wide elections both for Governor, U.S. Senate, and of course for president could be very dramatic. JONES: But political science professor Michael McDonald says white retirees from the Midwest and the Northeast, many of whom lean Republican are also pouring into the state, likely keeping state-wide elections closed for now. President Trump toured the devastation two weeks after the hurricane.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We spent a lot of money on Puerto Rico, and that's fine. We've saved a lot of lives.
JONES: Gonzales says the federal government should have done after Maria. And she's still hurt that the President said the people of Puerto Rico should do more to help themselves.
"It hurts. We are human beings," she told me. He should not have spoken to us in that way. A train sheep, Gonzales plans to stay here train and believed her lift have spoken to us in that way. A trained chef, Gonzalez plans to stay here Orlando and rebuild her life. It's the sort of dream many of those arriving from the island share. As for 2020 and casting a ballot for Trump, I asked her, would you vote for him to remain in office?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
JONES: Athena Jones, CNN, Orlando, Florida.
VAUSE: Well, for many, Haitian immigrants in the U.S. these are uncertain times after their special status which prevents them from being deported has been revoked. Nearly 60,000 immigrants have temporary protective status after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti which leveled Port-au-Prince.
SESAY: That's right. Well, the status has been extended several times, but now President Donald Trump's administration says it will end in 2019. Well, Farah Larrieux joins me now from Miramar, Florida. She's the spokeswoman for the TPS National Alliance. Thank you so much for joining us. In making this decision to end the temporary protected status for Haitians, the Department of Homeland Security said life in Haiti has improved dramatically since 2010 when that earthquake struck. Has it?
FARAH LARRIEUX, SPOKESWOMAN, TPS NATIONAL ALLIANCE: No, it has not actually. Things are still difficult, unemployment rate is very high, poverty is very high, and the health system is still broken still. And that's why some people even they are here living in six whole years, they would like to go and do their retirement in their home country. You can't because of their system is not good.
SESAY: I know that a campaign was launched to convince the Trump administration to continue TPS, letters were written by faith leaders, immigration advocates, lawmakers on both sides also intervened, there were meetings held. Why do you think the Trump administration still made this decision to end the program?
[01:45:06] LARRIEUX: Well, I think based on this anti-immigration policy, and I think this is a big hierocracy because America is a land of immigrants. And Donald Trump is a son of immigrant. The first that he is an immigrant, so I think that's -- it's a need should be on immigration policy. I would even think it's a racial issue. (INAUDIBLE) the immigration consideration for white people, immigration consideration for Hispanic, and immigration consideration for black people. Because we can't understand why he keeps saying things that are false. And the news coming from Haiti shows it. The images show it. So, why he keeps saying that Haiti in a better position?
And we have to open the conversation beyond Haitian -- this is not a Haitian issue, this is a national issue because we're talking about over 300,000 nationalities who are under immigrants, who are under TPS, and we're also talking about over 800 DACA recipient who are facing deportation soon because now today it's Haiti, tomorrow is going to be the Caribbean and South (INAUDIBLE) so and so and so forth. So, we need to address this on a national level.
SESAY: I mean, there's no doubt about it, as you make a good point, this is not a Haitian issue, it involves lots of Central American countries as well. When we look at the situation, you know, the Department of Homeland Security has also said that Haiti is perfectly able to absorb 58,000 returnees, which others have made the point is just not true. And we know that 32,000 Haitians live in Florida. So, we've heard from a lot of Florida lawmakers weighing in. And Bill Nelson, the Democratic Senator, he called the administration's decision unconscionable and he also put out this tweet that I want to show with our viewers.
He said, "There is no reason to send 60,000 Haitians back to a country that cannot provide for them. This decision today by DHS is unconscionable and I'm strongly urging the administration to reconsider. Ultimately, we need a permanent legislative solution." Farah, given all that we have seen from this administration with its efforts to curb immigration, do you hold out much hope that this decision will be reversed?
LARRIEUX: Well, definitely, I hope that and that's what we're fighting for, and I have to also add to what you say, the Haitian government has made a clear statement and called upon this administration to tell them they cannot absorb 58,000 people. So what else do you need to be to -- for them to convince you that what you keep saying, that Haiti can do it, it's not true? So, the Haitian government has said they can't. And considering also this issue, we have to say that now we said we have to 18 months. It allows the government to -- the president to give, to grant it -- to grant. But we now need to shift the conversation and the pressure on Congress. Because Congress has the power to change the TPS on a permanent residency law.
So, we ask Congress to act now, not in 18 months. We can keep talking about what this administration keep doing but we already know that they are anti-immigrant. So now, this is the time for Congress to act. And we hope that Congress does not going to play a political game over the lives of over millions of immigrants facing deportation. So we ask Congressmen -- we ask Congress to not just talk, to not just criticize this government, the Trump administration, we ask you to go work on a bill. We know that there's a full proposal right now, but we need -- we need one bill, one law that will -- that will come back to fix (INAUDIBLE) over on these immigrants. And that's what we ask and that's why we need to work for.
SESAY: Farah Larrieux, I'm wishing you the very best with these efforts. We're going to continue to check in with you and see how things are progressing, thank you so much for joining us. We very much appreciate it.
LARRIEUX: Thank you so much.
VAUSE: An update now from CNN's Freedom Project on a story six years in the making. In 2011, we met 8-year-old Fedna in Haiti a shy little girl who wasn't enrolled in school but living in restavek, a form of domestic servitude.
[01:50:01] SESAY: But now she is receiving an education and looking forward to the future. Our Michael Holmes reports.
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Fedna, delighted to meet you.
We first met Fedna in October 2011 while filming "COMMON DREAMS", a CNN Freedom Project documentary that aimed to shed a light on the issue of restavek in Haiti. Local non-profit say as many as 400,000 children work as domestic servants in Haiti's restavek system, a traditional practice where children are sent to live with a relative or a friend in the hopes that children will receive an education in exchange for doing household chores. But too often, the children are exploited during work beyond their years and left vulnerable to all manners of abuse.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's doing work that's beyond her physical strength, that's beyond her capabilities, work that the adults should be doing.
HOLMES: Fedna was just 8 years old, living as a domestic servant in her grandfather's house. Like most restavek children, she had never been to school.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's never been to school.
HOLMES: Most restavek children especially the girls do not attend school. Through negotiations with an advocate from the non-profit Restavek Freedom Foundation, Fedna's grandfather agreed to let them take her to school the next day.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He said he would be fine with us to come in and get her to take her to school tomorrow.
HOLMES: Six years later, the CNN Freedom Project went back to Haiti to find Fedna. Now, 14 years old, she still lives with her grandfather and she is still in school. FEDNA JEANTILIEN, FORMER RESTAVEK (through translator): The big difference in my life is that now I can read and write.
HOLMES: Fedna says being in school has been life-changing.
JEANTILIEN: I feel really good for all that I've accomplished. And I have learned so much. All the things that I've learned, I apply them in my daily life and I share them with other children as well.
HOLMES: Samuel Jean Baptiste is Fedna's child advocate. He says she has grown from a shy, tentative girl into a confident young woman.
SAMUEL JEAN BAPTISTE, CHILD ADVOCATE, RESTAVEK FREEDOM FOUNDATION: She has motivation. She is devoted to learn. She is working very hard. And I'm really happy for her. And I hope and I'm sure that she will reach her goal one day and very, very, very soon because she has motivation for that.
HOLMES: Fedna's grandfather says he is grateful to Restavek Freedom for the opportunity to send Fedna to school and he is optimistic about her future.
ASSEGNE JEANTILIEN, FEDNA'S GRANDFATHER (through translator): I really hope that she will become somebody.
JOAN CONN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, RESTAVEK FREEDOM FOUNDATION: I think now as we work with him and we talked to him about giving her time to play and giving her time to study, things are getting better for this child and her life has improved. And she's a beautiful, beautiful child.
HOLMES: Fedna says she still does chores at home but she is grateful that she's been allowed to make her education the top priority in her life.
JEANTILIEN: It's important to me because I go to school, I believe I will become somebody in the future.
HOLMES: Michael Holmes, CNN.
[01:55:10] SESAY: One of the most popular shows on Netflix is "The Turning."
VAUSE: Love it.
SESAY: Never seen it.
VAUSE: Oh, what?
SESAY: Yes. You should do your impression.
VAUSE: Yes. SESAY: It's returning for a second season in just a few weeks.
VAUSE: This time around, though "The Crown" will focus on the British royal family in 19 -- if we kept talking like this around the house. Oh, I'll have a cup of tea now. Right. Here's Robyn Curnow. She's got a lot more details.
ROBYN CURNOW, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: It's a red carpet fit for a queen. The crowd, the cameras, the corgis. The stars of the hit Netflix series "The Crown" turned out for the season 2 world premiere in London. The show starring Claire Foy as the young Queen Elizabeth II, takes us back to the early years of her marriage and reign and the struggles facing the monarchy. This season is set in the turbulent 1960s.
QUEEN ELIZABETH II: I've been Queen barely 10 years. And in that time, I've had three prime ministers, not one has lasted the course.
CURNOW: And it's not just politics rucking Buckingham Palace, the storyline covers the crisis in the Suez Canal, rumored infidelities by Prince Philip, and a new love interest for the rebellious Princess Margaret.
CLAIRE FOY, ACTRESS: Well, I think they're trying to change with the times as quickly as they possibly can, and unfortunately, you know, what's happening in every single way is that, you know, the world is changing faster than anyone's able to kind of keep up.
CURNOW: With lush scenery and captivating characters, the viewer gets to witness the ups and downs of an extraordinary family.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Lord is too (INAUDIBLE) you keep telling me yourself. One more scandal, one more national embarrassment and it would all be over.
CURNOW: All eyes had been on the Queen and Prince Philip in recent days as they celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary, posing for portraits marking the occasion, the Queen wore gold broach given to her by Prince Philip in the same time period the T.V. drama is set. Now, all eyes will be on "The Crown." The new season will hit the small screen worldwide on December the 8th. Robyn Curnow, CNN.
SESAY: Say goodbye.
VAUSE: It's a great series because it really shows a side of the royal family you never get to see. It's wonderful. OK. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles, I'm John Vause.
SESAY: And I'm Isha Sesay. Be sure to join us on Twitter @CNNNEWSROOMLA for highlights and clips from all of our shows. We'll be back with more news right after this.
[02:00:13] SESAY: This is CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles.