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Trump Thanks Putin; The End Of Net Neutrality; 6,700 Rohingya Killed In First Month Of Myanmar Crackdown; Disney Boss Bob Iger Views Early Cut of 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'; What Disney is Getting from Fox; Putin: Russia Will Defend Athletes In Court. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired December 15, 2017 - 02:00   ET




ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): This is CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles.

Ahead this hour, a big Russian bear hug. Vladimir Putin credits Donald Trump with very serious achievements.

A (INAUDIBLE) report on the Rohingya crisis. Thousands of Muslims in Myanmar dead from violence and disease.

And Disney makes a big move to outfox the competition. But will U.S. regulators approve the media mega merger?

Hello and welcome to our viewers around the world. I'm Isha Sesay. NEWSROOM L.A. starts right now.


SESAY: We begin with the warm mutual admiration society involving leaders of two countries that were once locked in a Cold War. I'm talking about U.S. president Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.

President Trump called up the Russian leader early Thursday to thank him for praising him and the U.S. economy. That came during the Russian leader's marathon year-end news conference earlier in the day.

We also learned during that news conference, when the two leaders talked, it's a bit of a bromance, a bit like a boys' club. Putin said he calls the American president Donald and Donald calls him Vladimir. And there's more. Brian Todd has all the details.



BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): By Vladimir Putin's standards, this was a brief news conference. Speaking for more than 3.5 hours, the Russian President didn't spare any degree of flattery for his controversial American counterpart. Putin said President Trump has been working under great constraints and limitations, but, so far so good.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): Objectively we can see a number of fairly serious achievements over the short period he is been at work. Look at the markets, for example.

TODD: What's Putin's calculation for complimenting President Trump?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He wants to be in a position where he is grading the administration that elevates his status certainly in front of his own people as if he is assessing the Trump administration. He also wants to drive a wedge between the administration and the congress. He is acutely aware it was the congress that pushed the sanctions over the summer.

TODD: Putin also brushed off the investigation into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. The former KGB colonel calling it espionage mania.

PUTIN (through translator): This is all dreamed by people who are in opposition to Trump to make sure that everyone thinks that what he is doing and working at is illegitimate. It's just delirium, its madness.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It also feeds into President Trump's concern about the intelligence community, the so-called deep state, President Putin acknowledged this was something that was created to divide. So, it just strengthens President Trump's views on this investigation.

TODD: Putin's own reelection next year is a foregone conclusion. Still, this authoritarian leader had the nerve to say he wants a, quote, balanced political system with competition. He was asked why there is no effective opposition running against him.

PUTIN (through translator): when you are talking about opposition, it is not a matter of just demonstrating in the streets. What you have to do is propose something to make things better.

TODD: This from the man whose opposition has an extraordinary habit of meeting up with violence. Alexa, the most vocal opponent of Putin's who is still alive has been arrested on corruption charges he says are concocted by Putin. Naval has been repeatedly jailed and prohibited from running for office. Pro prominent Putin opponents like (inaudible) and Vladimir (inaudible) have wound up dead or poisoned to the brink of death.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People that threaten the stability and the longevity of that regime suffer consequence, fatal consequences or they are bankrupted. They are, you know, forced into exile.

TODD: After he wins reelection next year, analysts say Vladimir Putin may try to inject some fresh blood into his circle he may replace some members of his team. He may even install a new Prime Minister to try to make Russians think he is actually undergoing reforms. But at the core, they say, this will be the same Vladimir Putin who won't willingly give up power anytime soon -- Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


SESAY: So much to talk about. Dave Jacobson is a CNN political commentator and Democratic strategist. Joe Messina is a political radio host and conservative commentator.

Gentlemen, welcome.

To start with you, Dave, so we hear the president of Russia, speaking in much the same tone and terms as President Trump when it comes to these suspicions of Russian meddling in the 2016 elections, just to remind our viewers what Putin said when it was brought up, he said this is all dreamed up by people who are in opposition to Trump so as to make sure that's what he's doing --


SESAY: -- that what he's doing, what he's working at is, illegitimate.

What do you make of that, the two presidents on the same page.


DAVE JACOBSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, no, hardly. And also if you look at the other talking points that Putin put forward, he was talking about how the American economy is booming. It's almost as if he was sharing talking points with the Trump White House.

But you know, when I was listening to his remarks earlier today, I thought back to November 11th. That was when Trump and Putin last saw each other and that's when Axios reported on Air Force One Trump went up to a gaggle of reporters and said, look, I looked Putin in the face and he told me they didn't meddle in the election. I believe him.

And so the report obviously indicated that Trump has sided with Putin over the multiple U.S. intelligence agencies that have said Russia did hack and did meddle in our election. And that's just mind-blowing that he's siding with an adversary of the United States over the United States government.

SESAY: Joe, I want to give you a chance to respond.

JOE MESSINA, RADIO HOST: I think this is interesting that because two presidents agree with each other or they're complimenting each other, this is some kind of conspiracy.

How many presidents, how many prime ministers agree with each other and like what the other one's doing?

We don't make comment on that.

As far as what's going on in Russia with the president, have you read "The Art of the Deal"?

Do you know what the president's trying to do? Do you know what it is when you're pumping up somebody else, you're trying to pull them into your corner. You're trying to pull them into your ring.

JACOBSON: Let's not forget, this is the guy that John McCain called a thug and a murderer. This guy is a known adversary to the United States at a time when Donald Trump is alienating our allies like folks like the leader of the United Kingdom, who we're supposed to have a special relationship with, he's fanning the flames and creating discord with us and our allies.

MESSINA: Well, they don't like what he's saying. That doesn't mean that he's creating discord with our allies --


SESAY: -- let me read some of "The Washington Post" piece published on Thursday, in which it's claimed that multiple sources are painting a picture of a president, President Trump, that is, who is, as Dave has referenced, unwilling to see any truth in the intelligence community's assessment that Russia meddled in the 2016 election and that so much so that it's having a real-world implicate. Let me read this for you, as we put it up on the screen for our viewers at home.

"U.S. officials declined to discuss whether the stream of recent intelligence on Russia has been shared with Trump. Current and former officials said that his daily intelligence update, known as the president's daily brief or PDB, is often structured to avoid upsetting him.

"Russia related intelligence that might draw Trump's ire is, in some cases, included only in the written assessment and not raised orally, said a former senior intelligence official familiar with the matter."

On the fact of it, this is coming from "The Washington Post," that is remarkable.

JACOBSON: It's extraordinary and not only that, the story also says that there hasn't been a cabinet level meeting within the Trump White House to talk about Russian meddling.

That's incredible. Think about the discourse that we have in this country on a daily basis your average American citizen and people at their kitchen tables talk about Russian meddling on a daily basis because it's part of the news cycle, it's part of this massive, expansive investigation with the Mueller investigation, with congressional hearings and investigations.

And yet Donald Trump and the Trump White House haven't held a high- level cabinet meeting on the issue.

SESAY: Joe, does it strike you as odd?

To hear it said according to the "The Washington Post," that the president's intelligence briefings are being altered so as to not annoy him, upset him, therefore information regarding Russia may or may not be included, is that troubling to you?

MESSINA: I think this is really funny to say this but the last administration had no problem changing those reports when it went out to the public. They were OK in private getting what was really going on around the world. But they changed some of those reports going out when they went out to the general populace.

As far as Trump, I have a hard time believing that they don't want to get him upset. I think they get him upset on a regular basis. I don't think he --


MESSINA: -- but most successful people, most people that work in the positions he's in or have the pressure on him that he has, you'd think they don't get upset on a regular basis, you don't think my bosses and other bosses --


SESAY: -- they're saying they're making analytical decisions to exclude information for fear of how the president would react, information that may have national security implications --


MESSINA: -- I really find it hard to believe that they're not giving him everything that they're supposed to be giving him. They may not present it the way some people would like them to present it.

But again, you can go back to different administrations, they all have the way they want to see this, how often then want to see it. I believe that President Obama did not want it read to him. He was going to read it on his own, on his electronic --


SESAY: That does not suggest that information was excluded --


MESSINA: -- but everybody gets it the way they want it --


MESSINA: -- in the form they'd like.

SESAY: That is a fair point.

I want to move on and talk about taxes. There's a rush on Capitol Hill to get the president's plan through and signed before Christmas --


SESAY: -- specifically before Doug Jones gets there and wrecks the party, I think is the fear.


SESAY: Joe Messina, you're watching all of this. It's clear that they are rushing and they're trying to get something done.

Is this a move that you are in favor of?

MESSINA: I think if they work it through properly, yes. I don't have a problem with the timeframe because we have seen plenty of things rushed through over the years to get it done before Christmas because we want to give the American people -- and we've heard this before -- a Christmas gift.

Whether you're read it or not, they still want to give you a Christmas gift. So as far as it being rushed, I think they're working pretty hard. I don't think this is something they've been working on for the last six weeks. They've been working on this for quite some time now.

SESAY: Dave, how do you read this?

I mean, Democrats are making a last-ditch move to -- I don't know if appeal is the right word -- but calling on Republicans to slow this down, to hit pause, to allow Doug Jones to join the conversation in January, just as President Obama did with Scott Brown in Massachusetts in 2010.

What is your assessment of the chances of success?

JACOBSON: It's unclear. Look, the fact of the matter is, this is a double-edged sword for Republicans. It's got 29 percent approval, according to Quinnipiac that's a lower approval rating than President Trump, who's hovering around 33 percent, according to Gallup.


JACOBSON: So if they pass this bill that's extraordinarily unpopular, Democrats are going to hang this around their neck come midterms. On the flip side, they haven't gotten anything tangible passed through the Congress. So they want to probably campaign on some sort of deliverable.

And so I see their argument. The challenge that they have is that they've lost the message war. The message now, and the branding around this bill is this is a massive handout to the wealthiest Americans and big Wall Street corporations at a time that it raises taxes on millions of hardworking families across the country, from California to New York to New Jersey.

So I think either way you look at it, it's a lose-lose scenario for the Republicans. When it comes to the math and the votes, you have got Senator Marco Rubio today, who came out, who is kind of a wobbler, who said I want child tax credits. And then you've got Senator Lee, of course, who is close allies --

(CROSSTALK) JACOBSON: -- who has also said that he's sort of sitting on the sidelines.

John McCain is in Walter Reed. He might not be available to vote. Thad Cochran from Mississippi, he is also out on health leave. So I think there are several challenges.

Susan Collins earlier this week -- or I think on Sunday -- had said, you know, that she hasn't made a final decision about this bill.

So it's not clear that they have the votes as of today.

SESAY: OK. Joe, before you respond, I just want to put up Marco Rubio's objections, which he summed up in two tweets. Let's put it up so we can share with our viewers. I mean, he's very clear on his position.

He said, "Tax negotiators didn't have much trouble finding a way to lower the top tax bracket and to start the corporate tax cuts a year early."

The second one, he goes on and says, "Adding at least few hundred dollars in refundable cuts for working family who seem to always be forgotten isn't hard to do, either."

Joe, has he got a point?

MESSINA: Yes, he has a point. But let me get to that back to what you said a little while ago, to say it only takes care of the businesses is not a true statement. You have got middle class Americans who'll be getting bigger tax cuts.

SESAY: -- sunset clauses which will expire.


SESAY: -- middle class but for the corporates, for corporations and rich people, they will last forever.

MESSINA: OK. But this is suddenly go back to a deal, with -- as we've done with plenty of things. We were supposed to go back and fix the ACA, did we really do that and take care of it?

I think it's the same thing with the tax cuts. You need to start somewhere. I love the argument where we pull at the heartstrings and say, look, we're taking money away from the lowest socioeconomic rung. We're taking money away from the middle class.

When do we start dealing really honestly dealing with the tax problem we have in this country?

When you have 50 -- I realize that some people have paid into the system. But when you have 53 percent of the people in this country taking checks from the government, you can't sustain that. That's impossible.

SESAY: Go ahead, Dave.

JACOBSON: The reality is, the economy is booming. But at the same time, we have massive income inequality. The rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer. This does nothing to raise wages, to lift up all boats at a time when it cuts corporate tax rates for millionaires and billionaires and Wall Street fat cats and gives them permanent tax cuts and then it creates a sunset for Americans and raises taxes for people in our state, like in California, where millions of people --


JACOBSON: -- local taxes that are not going to be deducted.


MESSINA: Listen, the 1 percent got rich under President Obama, nobody was screaming about that. As far -- it's -- no. We vote these people into California that raise our taxes. Now they want to raise our taxes on mileage. So they got our money at the gas pump and now they go, we still don't have enough money. Let's go ahead and tax them on the mileage.


SESAY: We're going to keep this conversation going but, for now, gentlemen, thank you very much. Appreciate it.

Net neutrality could be done for in the United States. The Federal Communications Commission voted on Thursday to repeal the Internet protections. Yet again, these are Obama-era regulations being undone by a Trump appointee, new FCC chairman --


SESAY: -- Ajit Pai (ph). The decision rejects widespread protests from consumers, lawmakers and tech firms. They say service providers now wield too much power over the online landscape. Our Laurie Segall explains what this decision means.


LAURIE SEGALL, CNNMONEY TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT: Hi, there. The Republican-led Federal Communications Commission voting Thursday to repeal Obama-era net neutrality protections.

So here's what's going to change. Net neutrality meant every site and every app was treated equally, with access to the same speed and traffic as everyone else. So repealing those rules means creating a fast lane. Think of it almost as a highway. We're all going the same speed.

Now there's a fast lane. And it will allow companies to charge more money to get faster streaming video. The FCC also eliminated a rule barring providers from prioritizing their own content.

So why the change?

The FCC chairman criticized the rules last month, saying it was essentially the government micromanaging the Internet. He said it was a drag on broadband investment and innovation and it's also part of a broader regulation rollback by the Trump administration to boost business and increase hiring.

Now tech companies say that this move gives the Internet providers too much control over what we see online and how that content is delivered and it will also make it harder for new companies to compete when they have to pay to be in the fast lane.

There have been protests outside the FCC meeting and sites like Twitter and Reddit, Kickstarter posted messages this week in support of the rules. And you can bet that we'll likely see a lot of legal fallout as well. Back to you.


SESAY: Our thanks to Laurie Segall for that. A quick break here. And then thousands of Rohingya Muslims slaughtered in the first month of a military crackdown in Myanmar. Those that fled the violence are now refugees living in brutal conditions. I'll talk to an aid worker next.




SESAY: Thousands of Rohingya Muslims were killed in the first month of a military crackdown in Myanmar, not hundreds as the government claims. That's according to a new report from Medecins sans Frontieres, also known as Doctors without Borders.

The aid agency is investigating the eruption of violence against the Rohingya and its aftermath. The group says at least 6,700 people were killed in attacks starting in late August and that is a conservative estimate.

More than 700 of the victims were children under the age of 5. Even more people died from disease and malnutrition.

For more, we're joined by Aerlyn Pharr (ph). She's a midwife and board member of MSF in the U.S. and she recently returned from working with Rohingya refugees, many of whom have been impacted by sexual and gender-based violence.

Aerlyn, thank you so much for joining us.

For the benefit of our viewers, can you give us some insight into how MSF arrived at that estimate of thousands of Rohingyas died in the aftermath of this crackdown?

AERLYN PHARR (PH), MSF MIDWIFE: Yes, we did a study. It was in various parts of the refugee camp in Bangladesh, that was asking heads of households how people in their --


PHARR (PH): -- family passed away during a specific period of time.

So from the 25th of August until the 24th of September.

SESAY: OK. And then I'd imagine that you, from that, you extrapolated those numbers, is that how you did it?

Weighted them, had a model and came up with that final figure?

PHARR (PH): Yes. Actually just asking families how they had lost loved ones and came to the conclusion that this low estimate of 6,700 people died as causes of violence in Myanmar, including what you mentioned, that the 700-plus children.

SESAY: Now as I mentioned, you were just in Bangladesh, working with refugees. I've interviewed many, many people; CNN has covered this story extensively and we've heard the horrific stories of what many have endured, many of the women and the girls.

I'm wondering from your experiences what you came away with, some of the stories people shared with you.

PHARR (PH): Yes, so I was in Bangladesh setting up services for survivors of sexual violence and the majority of my patients were assaulted in Myanmar. And the stories are consistent with the report.

So many women subjected to pretty gruesome types and levels of violence, including about one-third of the patients were under the age of 18. And along with those stories, stories constant with our mortality report, showing that families that were coming in for the services that we were offering, for survivors of sexual violence, also had stories about assault on their families.

SESAY: Yes. I mean, from the work you've been doing, from spending time with these survivors, what is your assessment of how they're coping, after everything they've endured and now they find themselves in Bangladesh, living in truly awful conditions?

PHARR (PH): Yes, the conditions are really terrible. There's not enough water, the sanitation is pretty low level. People are living in makeshift shelters of bamboo sticks and plastic sheeting.

And that's a really big concern actually for the women that are coming in for post-rape treatment is just how they're going to feed themselves and their children and how they're going to put shelter over their heads.

SESAY: When you speak to them, what do they say to you, the survivors of this awful violence, what do they say to you about their wants and their needs?

PHARR (PH): A lot of the wants and needs are specifically about survival. They're about having food and having shelter and having education and health care for their children. But there's also a big request to have their stories be told and to be given a voice to the world that this level of violence is going on and that they would like some sort of justice.

SESAY: I want to pick up on that.

Do they feel abandoned?

Because I know having spoken to many of your colleagues from different aid organizations, that people feel -- and I think rightly so -- that the world hasn't done enough to end this violence. I'm wondering how the Rohingya themselves feel.

Do they feel abandoned by the international community?

Did they touch on that in conversations with you?

PHARR (PH): You know, no one specifically said that they felt abandoned. But most everyone I spoke to, both in the clinic and in the camp, were telling their story for the first time and did mention that they felt like nobody knew what was going on in Myanmar, what was going on for them and had no access to telling their stories themselves.

So there was a big plea for sharing what their experiences have been and what they hope for the future.

SESAY: So we're almost out of time.

But can you tell me what MSF is doing for all these people, how they're helping them in their hour of need?

PHARR (PH): Yes. I mean, the needs are much bigger than we alone can provide. We've had a massive measles outbreak. We're in the middle of a diphtheria outbreak. The survivors of sexual violence are increasing in numbers, as women now with information is and are coming forward.


PHARR (PH): So the needs are really huge. There is a need to dig wells and set up latrines.

We're really talking about a muddy, dirty living condition and, you know, it must have been completely horrible and terrifying and nightmarish to leave Myanmar and if, this the hope that they're arriving at, are these conditions in the camps.

SESAY: Certainly the nightmare goes on. Aerlyn Pharr (ph), joining us there from Portland, Oregon, we appreciate it. Thank you so much.

PHARR (PH): Yes, thank you for the time.

SESAY: We're going to take a quick break. Coming up, the House of Mouse hopes to outofox the competition. How Disney's game-changing deal promises to reshape the media landscape just ahead.




SESAY: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm Isha Sesay. The headlines this hour:


SESAY: Turning now to a mega merger that could reshape the media landscape. Disney is moving to buy a huge chunk of 21st Century Fox for more than $52 billion. The entertainment giant will acquire major TV shows and blockbuster movie franchises, including "The Simpsons," "Modern Family," "X-Men" and "Avatar."

With Disney launching its own streaming services, the new content will help it compete against Netflix and Amazon. CNN's Anna Stewart breaks it all down for us.


ANNA STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: "The Simpsons" predicted it 19 years ago.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And it grows to a powerful emotional climax.

STEWART (voice-over): Much of Fox, including "The Simpsons," will soon be owned by Disney.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's pretty clear today that consumers want access to entertainment, one that is high quality, but, two, they want access pretty much anywhere, anytime, anyhow.

[02:30:00] STEWART (voice-over): Fresh from the "Star Wars" red carpet, Disney CEO Bob Iger will soon have many more movie premieres to attend. Disney already owns huge movie franchises Star Wars, The Avengers, and Frozen. Now, with the Fox acquisition, it will add X- Men, Planet of the Apes, and Ice Age under its fold. Then as the PTV groups, Sky, Star T.V., a stake in Hulu, and a load of cable T.V. channels giving it a massive global foot print and more content for the streaming services it plans to launch.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have to remember that they're only going to be a handful of global brands in the streaming space. We know that one of them is Netflix. The other one is called HBO. The one is called Amazon Video, and let's guess the fourth we called Disney. So apart itself is just too small to contemplate using its brand outside the U.S.


STEWART: Meanwhile, Rupert Murdoch's Fox Empire will be slimmed right down to Fox News, Fox Sports, and its broadcasting network. It's a big about-face for this media titan. He spent the last 30 years building up his empire, now he's selling most of it off. Another mega-merger in a space struggling to compete with digital rivals like Netflix and Amazon. Disney is getting some detail on this shopping spree but some big questions remain, will this help Fox's continued battle with British regulators to take over Sky? What will happen to James Murdoch, Rupert Murdoch's son, and the CEO of Fox, will he have a place in the new entity? And finally, will this deal pass through the beady eyes of the U.S. regulators, the AT&T-Time Warner deal already ran into huge difficulties with the VHA. And this horizontal merger is likely to raise even more anti-trust concerns.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There will be solutions that involve a depletion, a sale of some of the assets.


STEWART: If all goes to plan, Disney will soon be at the steering wheel of an even larger movie T.V. streaming giant. Anna Stewart, CNN Money London.

SESAY: Joining me now to discuss this mega-merger is Global Business Executive Ryan Patel. Ryan, good to see you. This is remarkable deal and I know that some people are going to be at home saying, how in earth do such deals happen? Well, let's see from one of the parties involved, Rupert Murdoch. Let's see how he sums it up.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This started with a familiar friend of mine sitting at my winery one evening, having a couple of glasses, and just talking about our businesses, and the industry generally. The forces of disruption were happening, and that was all, then he rang me back a couple weeks later, and said let's get into this conversation a bit more. And I said, oh, that's only two months ago.


SESAY: As you do, sitting in a winery, discussing how to disrupt the entire media landscape. Ryan, what do you make of this deal? I mean the implications here are huge. Let's talk about the industry as it stands now, what it means to have -- what it means to have these two join forces?

RYAN PATEL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: First off, it's a game changer. And the second of all, you heard what he said the conversation, the keyword was disruption. So I think that's what started this conversation to keep going forward because they came together and said, well, I have a problem here. Fox saying, I can't keep going higher. Disney wanting to get into the streaming business. They -- let me rephrase it, they needed to get into the streaming business and they need to make a splash, and this deal is really around Hulu, and for them to get the majority stakeholder to make decisions, it was a big deal on why they did this deal. So they had -- they had a piece. Fox had a piece. But this kind of really what, you know, they said, this was a big deal.

SESAY: Ok. So with them getting into the streaming space, Disney that is, and really upping their stake in Hulu, what does that mean for Netflix? I mean when -- because Netflix is so far ahead in the game right now. We see it's yielding awards come -- award time. Is this a deal that they would be afraid of?

PATEL: Well, I mean I think when Disney comes out and says we want to get right to the consumers, right? They want to cut the middleman out and I think when Netflix sees this deal, they go, ok, they're really attacking us. So how are you going to have the different verticals to attack them? Because Disney, Disney will add a multiple verticals not just, hey, I'm going to come off the streaming. I think if I'm Netflix right now, I'm trying to go fast and put continue to do what they're doing well which they've been doing, put high quality production, good shows, connecting with the consumers further and I think that's what they need to do to create that loyalty that Disney has. So there's a little bit of a disruption that's going to happen like in anything. Obviously, with Amazon right behind it. It's going to be all around content.

SESAY: It's going to be all around content? As you keep saying, I mean this is -- it's huge. It's massive, the reverberations will be felt everywhere. Is this going to pass the -- pass anti-trust inspection? I mean when you look at this two behemoths joining, I mean is this good for the consumer?

PATEL: I think -- I think it's two parts to that. One, it's more of a horizontal place where Disney is missing some holes. So, you know, yes, they are going to be able to add value to themselves. And Fox does still have a percentage of the shares within that they're selling. And then the consumer at the end of the day, I think it will. The economy's scale, you know, they're already going to say, Disney is going to save two billion dollars and, obviously, that's code of something else of how they're going to get there.

[02:35:15] SESAY: I was going to say, some people are not happy apparently in L.A. People worry at Fox about lose jobs they carry.

PATEL: Yes. And I think the other piece of this is -- this is an international play. What's not being said we kind of a lot of this, the Sky News deal that got automatically at 39 percent in the deal, and now with Disney stepping in, the deal could pass in the U.K. that the Murdoch's are not involved anymore, and, you know, obviously, start Indian in -- is a big deal for a potentially in the future because you got the Cricket, you got the local news programs, and India being one of the hottest video markets as well. So there -- those are not just throw-ins. There are actually with the streaming piece. You got these two other new mark -- two big markets that could potentially push this deal larger.

SESAY: Yes. I mean, it did seem, you know, just to go back to Rupert Murdoch for a second considering all that they're taking to build up the empire. I mean he says, it isn't a retreat, it's a pivot. But it's still remarkable when you look at his career and all he has done to see him hand over -- PATEL: He built this in a lifetime. All right. And this, this

decision wasn't easy, it can't be because you built it to a point. I think for them and for them as a strategy, they needed to get leaner, kind of downsize, and go -- and they looked really looked at it strategically, and go, ok, where can we compete? And right now, they couldn't compete like the big four that they were going to talk about and I think that was a remarkable about what they're trying to do. And still, I think they got almost 20 percent, 25 percent up there of Disney, so they're making a bet as well. This is going to go smoothly and obviously, Disney has a big task to make this transition go very smoothly.

SESAY: Yes. I mean Bob Iger who, you know, who brokered the deal with Rupert Murdoch, I think the deal like a hundred million or something for him and he's not delayed actually retiring or resigning from Disney. And there's a lot at stake.

PATEL: He's key in this.

SESAY: He's absolutely.

PATEL: He's absolutely the reason why this got deal got done and if they're going to be successful which they have been on America's leadership thus far, it will be because of him.

SESAY: We should be talking about the reverberations for this for a long time to come.

PATEL: Yes, we will.

SESAY: Ryan Patel, thank you.

PATEL: Thank you for having me.

SESAY: A lot more to come after quick break. And then, this was the scene in Charlottesville, Virginia four months ago. How the city is still feeling that painful weekend, just ahead.


SESAY: A (INAUDIBLE) in the U.S. State of Virginia pay host to a national moment of reckoning when white supremacists march with torches through the streets of Charlottesville four months ago. Some of those demonstrators had their day in court on Thursday. And our own Sara Sidner witnessed the different side of the city struggle with racism.

[02:40:20] SARA SIDNER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. No one could forget what happened here in August when white nationalist showed up in Charlottesville as did counter-protesters. But four months later, we want to show you what happened when the KKK showed up and went to court.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You (BLEEP) do not come into our city and try to rewrite history.


SIDNER: In Charlottesville, emotions are raw. Tensions still high.



SIDNER: Four months after hate turned into homicide here, members of the Ku Klux Klan showed up and were confronted outside court. They're here to support a member of the Klan who did this. And James Fields, the man accused of driving his car into a crowd, killing heather hair I August. And the man who brought the white nationalist unite the white rally to Charlottesville. Also in court, James Fields, the man accused of driving his car into a crowd killing young protester Heather Hare in August, and the man who brought the white nationalist unite the right rally to Charlottesville.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can't do anything in this town.


SIDNER: But in the midst of those trying to scream down hate, a rare occurrence

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Slow down, man. How are you doing?

SIDNER: Darrell Davis, a blues musician, and an imperial wizard of the Ku Klux Klan agree to meet and find common ground.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As Americans, your confederate history is as much a part of my history as my black history is part of yours.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's time that we got to know one another.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's -- you're exactly right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So how do we convince these people to say, hey, look, you know, we can spend -- we can spend all our arguing or we can move forward?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know as well as do, my organization has a bad history.

SIDNER: But their meeting wasn't welcomed by some.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me ask you a question.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, do not ask me a question about reason --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, then you have no solution then. SIDNER: Davis says he does. And has the KKK robes to prove it.


SIDNER: Wait, how many robes have you gotten from the Klansmen?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: About 44, 45. And Klans women.

SIDNER: And Klans women?


SIDNER: Who have said what?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're done -- they're done. As a result of meeting me and having these conversations, not overnight, but over time.

SIDNER: For more than 30 years, Davis has been on a mission to change minds especially of those who would rather see him dead. He was drawn to Charlottesville, in part because he says, to unite the white rally was not about saving confederate statues.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The reason they were there was to initiate the first steps of a race war.

SIDNER: Surprisingly, Klan leader Billy Snuffer agreed wholeheartedly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of them were not here for the statue --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, they were here to cause trouble.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They were here to cause a race war.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's exactly right.

SIDNER: A descendant of slaves trying to make inroads with the Virginia Klan leader, a chance of change may know would be a long road.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you understand what her concern is at all? Do you see anything?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, slavery was wrong.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Slavery was wrong.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was wrong. But there were white slaves too. You never heard about that.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You never heard about the white slaves.

SIDNER: And with that last sentence, imperial wizard Snuffer used a tactic that is employed by racist to try and equate somehow that hundreds of years of institutional, generational slavery forced on black people with what happened to the Irish here in America when they had to suffer through indentured servitude. But none of that faces Darrell Davis. His philosophy is when the conversation ceases, there is fertile ground for violence and hatred. Sara Sidner, CNN, Charlottesville, Virginia.

SESAY: Well, thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm Isha Sesay. Stay tuned for World Sport. You're watching CNN.


[02:45:40] VINCE CELLINI, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to WORLD SPORT, I'm Vince Cellini at CNN Center. We begin with the latest on the Russian doping scandal. Things could go from bad to worse for aspiring Russian Olympians, as information from the Moscow anti-doping lab has now been distributed to various international sporting federations. As result, those governing bodies could reopen cases presumed dead or initiate new investigations.

This means new data could lead to more Russian athletes being barred from the 2018, PyeongChang Olympics. As according to World Anti- Doping Agency, the names of athletes and related performance-enhancing substances were provided to Olympic sports officials.

Speaking at this here and press conference on Thursday, Russian President Vladamir Putin, has said that Russia will cooperate with the World Anti-Doping Agency and the IOC, over its athletes accused of doping but that -- it will, quote, not be afraid to defend the athletes if necessary.


VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): How will we build up relations with water in the IOC? I hope constructively we will calmly work with them, removing those problems we do have. But of course, working to defend the interest of our athletes, including in civil courts.

I know that many international officials don't want that, but what can we do? We will be forced to help our athletes to stand up for their honor and dignity in civil courts.


CELLINI: This comes as many athletes in Russia wait to find out if they will be permitted to compete as neutrals in Pyeongchang. Meanwhile, on Wednesday the President of the Russian based hockey league, the KHL announced they would wait to find out how many Russian athletes from other sports will be ban from the games before making a decision on whether to allow players to compete in South Korea.

It's important to note, no allegations of wrongdoing have been made against Russian men's hockey team from the Sochi Games. And the NHL already saying, it won't send players to Pyeongchang next year. So, it was strike a further blow to the sport if the KHL opts not to send its professional stars to the games.

Ilya Kovalchuk is one of those stars. The former NHL player has played for Russia the past four Winter Olympics, helping them to bronze in 2002. Kovalchuk was a Three-time All-Star in his NHL playing this.

CELLINI: To South America, were Argentinian side, Independiente have captured their second ever Copa. Sued Americana title, and did so in enemy territory. Beating the Brazilian side, Flamengo in the Maracana in Rio. Independiente, whose nickname translates as King of the Cups, claimed a title after drawing 1-1 on the second leg to give the Argentinians a 3-2 aggregate win. Independiente mid fill their Barco said that, Copa Sudamericana opens a new era for the club who hadn't won an international title since the 90-80s. But sadly, the joyous scenes were somewhat overshadowed by violence. Fans on the streets and in the stands, and the American up ditch. Hundreds of Flamenco even broken to the stadium and attacked Independiente supporters. Forcing the police to used tear gas and rubber bullets in an attempt to control the crowd.

The International Cricket Council says, they are taking very seriously the allegations in Britain's Sun newspaper, claiming there may have been spot-fixing during the 3rd Ashes test in Perth. Spot-fixing, refers to illegally influencing a specific aspect of the game, which can often be unrelated to the final result but upon which a betting market exist, often known as a Prop Bet, to ensure a certain outcome.

December 4th of that underground bookmakers from India had offered to sell their undercover reporters information about spot-fixing during the tests. The ICC has passed the dossier to its anti-corruption unit what they doubt that the series has been compromised.


JAMES SUTHERLAND, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, CRICKET AUSTRALIA: What we heard from Alex Marshall, the head of the ICC Anti-Corruption Unit, is that there's no evidence, substance, or justification based on the dossier of information. The ICC has received from the newsletter, the news outlet, based on ICC intelligence from previous investigations. There's no substance to these allegations or justifications to suspect that this test match or entire the ICC series as a whole is subject to corrupt activities. (END VIDEO CLIP)

[02:50:01] CELLINI: On the field, that is Malan, struck England's first century of this series, as the visitors got out to a solid start in Perth. The middle ordered Batsman's unbeaten 110 pushed England to 305 for four so close this Thursday's play. It was the 30 years Malan first test century and only his seventh ever test match. Raised in South Africa, David made his international debut back in June.

Elsewhere, the British cyclist Chris Froome insists he's done nothing wrong after it was revealed the return to failed drug test at this year's Vuelta a Espana. The four-time Tour de France, champion admitted the results were potentially damaging but says he hopes to be cleared of wrongdoing after a urine sample was found to contain twice the permitted allowance of the drug Salbutamol, which Froome has been taking to treat an asthma condition.

As Froome looks to clear his name, one of the most respected writers in this sport, four-time time trial world champion Tony Martin has slammed the UCI. Cycling's governing body accusing it of double standards. In a strongly worded statement on Facebook, which read, the German saying, "I am totally angry there is definitely a double standard being applied in the Christopher Froome case. Other athletes are suspended immediately after a positive test, he and his team are given time by the UCI to explain it all. I don't know of any similar case in the recent past, that is a scandal, and he should at least not have been allowed to appear in the World Championships. These actions are a major blow to the difficult anti-doping fight.

And still, to come on WORLD SPORT, rough sea is ahead. Around the world race confronted by weather problems results were insignificant. This was about survival.


CELLINI: And we are back, action on the high seas where things are getting rough in the Southern Ocean for the boats competing in around the world Volvo Ocean Race. Currently, the fleet in the third leg of the race on root from Cape Town to Melbourne having left the South African port over the weekend.

On Thursday, the teams were pummeled by heavy, gusting winds and mountainous waves. Team axle noble the worst hit, suffering damage to the track attached in the main slope to the mass forcing them to hit the brakes. But reporting no injuries on board.


CHRIS NICHOLSON, WATCH CAPTAIN, TEAM AKZONOBEL: And now we're just kind of disgusted in how and when we can fix it, we're trying to get the boat may be as fast as possible now. But, you know, we just (INAUDIBLE) discovered give up. Still probably going 6 to 8 knots, fourth part, not scream. So, plan is, after we get track going back on or screwed back on, then we've got to repair (INAUDIBLE), the mainsail over the next day or two. And if that all goes as planned, we can be up, you know, basically, it's saw me to get 100 percent but it's going to take some time and we've got to be careful.


[02:55:07] CELLINI: Sticking with extreme ocean endurance sports, known as the World's Toughest Row, the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge that off in the Canary Islands on Thursday. The annual trans-Atlantic rowing race has a total of 30 teams, taking on the 3,000 nautical miles from the Spanish islands off the coast of Africa to the Caribbean Island of Antigua. Teams vary from having one to four rowers and the boat are just seven meters long with a little under two meters wide and having minimal protection from Mother Nature. That is extreme.

Teams are expected to complete the journey with no repairs during the race and competitors are expected to survive on whatever food or water they have brought on board from the start of the race.

Pyeongchang will mark 20 years in snowboarding, it has part of the Winter Olympics. The United States has dominated the event, collecting 24 medals since Nagano in 1998, which is double that of the next best country. American Lindsey Jacobellis has been a mainstay at women snowboard cross for over a decade. She's a five-time world champion, collected 10 career gold in the Winter X Games but never won Olympic gold.

Famously falling just short at turn in 2006, when she tried an unnecessary move and fell near the finish line. The 32-year-old did take silver that turn but came home empty-handed the next two Olympics. Now, Jacobellis is poised for another run at gold in Korea and a victory in France on Wednesday, surely could not refer poor confidence.

How's that for a show? That's our time, thank you for watching WORD SPORT for all of us, I'm Vince Cellini, the news continues.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The U.S. ambassador to the U.N. accuses Iran of fueling the conflict in Yemen as a humanitarian crisis and that nation worse.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Protest in Washington as the U.S. federal communications commission takes a vote that could affect the speed of online searches.