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Vatican's Sistine Chapel To Get Annual Check-Up; 28 Russian Athletes Have Life Bans Lifted; North Korean Delegation Arrives In South Korea; Release of Disputed Memo on FBI Expected Friday; White House Communications Director in the Spotlight; Civilians Forced Underground as Afrin Bombarded; Excitement in PyeongChang ahead of 2018 Olympic Games; Five Mass Graves in Myanmar. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired February 2, 2018 - 02:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[02:00:00]

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NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Donald Trump versus the FBI. The U.S. president is set to approve the release of a controversial memo some say is aimed at discrediting the Russia investigation.

CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): And forced underground: exclusive video from Northern Syria. People are sheltering in caves, praying for the lives.

ALLEN (voice-over): Also an up-close look at the breathtaking frescoes of the Sistine Chapel and what it takes to protect them.

VANIER (voice-over): Hello, everybody. Thank you for joining us. We're live from CNN HQ here in Atlanta and I'm Cyril Vanier.

ALLEN (voice-over): I'm Natalie Allen. These stores are all ahead here this hour on NEWSROOM.

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ALLEN (voice-over): Our top story the showdown between Donald Trump and the FBI could come to a head Friday as the U.S. president is expected to approve the release of a controversial memo.

It alleges the FBI abused its surveillance powers while investigating a Trump campaign advisor.

VANIER: According to our sources, the president believes that the memo could help discredit the entire Russia investigation. CNN's Jeff Zeleny tells us about the thinking inside the White House.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SR. WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Trump not talking about the extraordinary feud raging with the FBI.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, have you decided if you'll release the memo?

ZELENY (voice-over): As the president moves closer to declassifying a highly controversial House republican memo accusing federal authorities of mishandling the Russia probe, CNN has learned top White House aides are worried FBI Director Christopher Wray could quit in protest for disregarding warnings against releasing the memo.

He's made his frustration clear, officials say, but has not directly threatened to resign. After returning from the GOP congressional retreat in West Virginia, the president not answering questions about his FBI director.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, are you worried the FBI director may quit over this decision?

ZELENY (voice-over): CNN has also learned the president has told friends in recent phone calls the memo could help discredit the Russia investigation by exposing bias within the top ranks of the FBI, but not all republicans agree.

PAUL RYAN, UNITED STATES SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: This memo is not an indictment of the FBI, of the Department of Justice. It does not impugn the Mueller investigation or the deputy attorney general,

ZELENY: The latest showdown between the president and his own Justice Department is broiling Washington, a day after the FBI warned of grave concerns about the material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo's accuracy. The White House downplaying the magnitude of those concerns. The president and advisers have reviewed the three and a half page

memo to make sure it doesn't give away too much in terms of classification. A senior administration official said who added that on Friday the White House will tell Congress the president is OK with it.

The White House has gone to great lengths trying to showcase due diligence, even after the president was captured on camera after the state of the union address Tuesday night suggesting releasing the memo was a foregone conclusion.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's release the memo?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Yes, don't worry. One hundred percent. Can you imagine that?

ZELENY: As Democrats join the Justice Department and the FBI in saying the release of the memo could pose a national security risk, House Speaker Paul Ryan dismissed the concerns.

RYAN: What this memo is Congress doing its job in conducting legitimate oversight over a very unique law, FISA. And if mistakes were made and if individuals did something wrong, then it is our job as the legislative branch of government to conduct oversight over the executive branch if abuses were made. ZELENY: The memo poured even more fuel on the already politically combustible House intelligence committee. Ranking democrat Adam Schiff accusing the republican Chairman Devin Nunes of altering the document.

Writing, "It is clear that the majority made material changes to the version it sent to the White House, which committee members were never appraised of, never had the opportunity to review and never approved."

Nunes, a close ally of the president's, who served on the Trump transition team, admitted editing the document. But a committee spokesman called the complaint a bizarre distraction, insisting the changes were limited to grammatical fixes and two edits were requested by the FBI and the minority themselves.

Democrats blasted the president's decision and vowed to keep the investigation alive.

REP. JIM HIMES, (D): Despite the fact that he claims innocence in it there is no collusion, there is an ongoing effort by this president and by the White House to completely discredit, to stop, to end this critical investigation which is the only way he is going to prove his innocence, by the way, which is the bizarre thing here.

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ZELENY: Now, even as President Trump is poised to authorize the release of this memo the FBI is saying they have grave concerns about its contents. The question here is what happens next in this extraordinary confrontation between the White House, the president and the FBI. The FBI director on the job only six months on the job. The Russia investigation still continues -- Jeff Zeleny, CNN, the White House.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: The former FBI director James Comey is taking a shot at the Nunes memo and the Trump administration's attacks on the bureau.

VANIER: James Comey, who was famously fired by Mr. Trump, here's what he wrote.

"All should appreciate the FBI speaking up. I wish more of our leaders would. But heart: American history shows that, in the long run, weasels and liars never hold the field so long as good people stand up. Not a lot of schools or streets named for Joe McCarthy."

Earlier I spoke with a man who used to work with Robert Mueller, his former special assistant to the Department of Justice, now a CNN legal analyst, Michael Zeldin. I asked him about the memo.

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MICHAEL ZELDIN, LEGAL ANALYST, CNN: The Nunes memo I think as a threshold matter shouldn't be made public nor should the Democratic response to that memo be made public. These are both political documents designed to promote a point of view.

In the case of Nunes, to promote the president's agenda, that the Mueller investigation is a bit of a witch hunt and the FBI has it in for him. They're prejudiced, if you will, against him and the Democrats are -- respond saying, no, no, no, that's not true.

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VANIER: What's the harm in making it public?

The Republican arguments is, well, let's put it out there. The Americans have a right to know.

ZELDIN: Well, because in its current form, it is a short summary of massive amount of data that gave rise to a warrant in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance court. That information, which is highly classified, including methods of acquiring information and foreign countries that may have contributed intelligence to them, that's never going to be made public.

So you're never going to get a good summary of what's in there because it's all classified. So you're going to get a snippet and it's going to be misleading and people are not going to be able to draw conclusions from it.

If there is a problem in the acquisition of this FISA warrant, there is an inspector general, whose job it is to look into that process and that's what they should proceed under.

Or, as the FBI director, Christopher Wray asked, he said, let me comment, speak to the entire committee under oath and I'll tell you all what you need to know about this application in the FISA process generally. And the committee turned him down.

VANIER: All right. So, hold on, Michael. The FISA process, for our international audience, is the process whereby a secret court approves a request for, say, wiretapping and that's exactly what this memo alleges.

They say the memo, we believe, according to people who have seen it and according to our reporting, is going to say that the FBI abused its power and showed bias in how it chose to use its wiretapping power because it chose to wiretap a former Trump campaign official.

ZELDIN: Right.

VANIER: Now the FBI has said -- this is part of their statement, "We have great concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo's accuracy."

Let's fast forward a few hours. This memo is likely to be released. It is likely to show or purport to show bias within the ranks at the FBI.

What happens then? ZELDIN: Well, then the problem is that it just becomes political fodder. There is no mechanism that the Congress has set up. And they have mechanisms for it. Before they release this memo, they easily could have turned it over to the inspector general of the FBI and the Justice Department and say, look into these allegations.

They could have easily, exercising their oversight responsibilities, could have brought all these people into testify in a classified setting and say, we have concerns; we'd like to get at the truth of what happened here. But that's not what they're doing.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VANIER: That was Michael Zeldin, speaking to me earlier.

Meanwhile, that investigation into Russian election meddling continues and is looking at Mr. Trump's inner circle. Its newest target may be White House communications director Hope Hicks.

"The New York Times" says a former spokesman for Mr. Trump's legal team will testify that Hicks may have contemplated obstructing justice.

ALLEN: He claims Hicks said Donald Trump Jr.'s emails about that Trump Tower meeting with the Russian lawyer would never get out. Hicks attorney denies she ever said it. CNN's Randi Kaye has more on Hope Hicks.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HOPE HICKS, WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: I'm 28 years old and I am the press secretary for the Donald J. Trump for President Campaign.

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The president likes to call her Hopey. But to the rest of us she is Hope Hicks --

[02:10:00]

KAYE (voice-over): -- now White House communications director.

It was a swift rise for Hicks, who went from modeling and acting early on to handling PR for Ivanka Trump's fashion line after college. By 2014, Hicks was managing communications for the Trump Organization.

And soon her job would change again.

TRUMP: She used to be in my real estate company.

I said what do you know about politics?

She said, "Absolutely nothing."

I said, congratulations, you're --

(APPLAUSE) TRUMP: Right?

KAYE (voice-over): Hicks told "New York Magazine," "Mr. Trump looked at me and said 'I'm thinking about running for president and you're going to be my press secretary.'"

During the campaign Hicks reportedly had a note from candidate Trump above her desk that read simply, "Hopey, you are the greatest."

TRUMP: Hope, get up here. She is always on the phone, talking to the reporters, trying to get the reporters to straighten out that dishonest story.

KAYE (voice-over): Though Hicks was almost always by Donald Trump's side, her voice was rarely heard in public. At this campaign event in Alabama, she seemed hesitant even to just say a few words.

HICKS: Hi. Merry Christmas, everyone.

And thank you, Donald Trump.

KAYE (voice-over): So it's no surprise that our request for an interview with Hicks was ignored.

HICKS: I'm very proud that Mr. Trump put so much faith in me.

KAYE (voice-over): With her position in the White House, Hicks now has access to the world stage, taking part in this intimate gathering with the pope and also the Japanese prime minister's state banquet, where Hicks stole the spotlight in her black tuxedo.

Her access to the president means she may have been able to fill in some blanks in the Russia investigation. She was interviewed by special prosecutor Robert Mueller's team in December.

ZELDIN: So much stuff goes through her as a conduit between outsiders and the president that she really sits in a particularly important seat for Mueller.

KAYE: An important seat because Hope Hicks has managed to stay inside of Donald Trump's ever-changing inner circle, a key player in the administration and now a key player in the investigation into her president -- Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: Other news that we are following for you internationally, the Syrian war has not been in the headlines lately but terrible things are playing out on a new battlefield. It's Afrin, a Kurdish area in Northern Syria, where airstrikes rain down and thousands are running out.

VANIER: And Turkey is shelling the area, officially as part of its campaign against terrorists, both ISIS and Kurdish fighters, but as often, civilians are living in terror. Hala Gorani has an exclusive look from inside the region. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HALA GORANI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For these people of Afrin, life is now underground. This cave home to 12 people, a blanket on the floor the only comfort in the winter darkness. As they crouch waiting for danger to pass.

CNN has obtained exclusive video from inside Afrin. It shows how the threat of Turkish air strikes has driven families from across the Kurdish enclave into caves and basements. Many here say they've lost family members in the last two weeks since Turkey launched its offensive.

And below ground sorrow hangs in the stale subterranean air.

SADIQ MOHAMMED, AFRIN RESIDENT (through translator): We are poor people. My husband was killed. We have no place to go. What are we going to do.

GORANI: Eleven-year-old Yasmin says she lost her father last week, a fighter defending their village.

YASMIN ALI, AFRIN RESIDENT (through translator): My dad was killed and me and my mom and my brothers are all here in the cave. It is really dark here so we are scared because it is really noisy. They're conducting air strikes. What did we do to them? We are just kids. Why is this our fault?

GORANI: This is what they are running from. CNN video shows how air strikes and artillery have shattered the street. Turkey sees the Kurds as a threat. Its Kurdish leaders have long sought an independent Kurdish state in the region.

UM MOHAMMED, AFRIN RESIDENT (through translator): Our homes are destroyed. This Erdogan is dropping bombs on us. We lost our homes our children, nothing is left. Why would this happen to us?

GORANI: The general manager of this hospital in Afrin City says they're overwhelmed with the number of wounded. On one ward, a mother mourns her 10 year-old boy. Wailing "how will I ever live without you?" Doctors say he was fatally injured by Turkish bombing in the city of (INAUDIBLE).

Kurdish officials say scores of civilians have been killed and hundreds injured by the Turkish military --

[02:15:00]

GORANI (voice-over): -- so far though CNN can't independently confirm the exact death toll.

In a statement to CNN, the Turkish government said they're only targeting terrorists and that sensitivity is shown to avoid damage to civilians and innocent people and to the environment.

The U.N. estimates 16,000 people have been displaced across Afrin and says some civilians are being prevented from leaving by local authorities.

With no escape, people are left to find warmth and shelter anywhere they can -- Hala Gorani, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: Meantime, the governor of a Turkish town that borders Syria says five people were wounded after a rocket attack from the Afrin region.

VANIER: The governor says a rocket hit a restaurant, another struck a residential building. Officials believe the attack was carried out by the PKK, a Kurdish rebel group, and Syrian Kurdish fighters.

ALLEN: Up next here on CNN NEWSROOM, we'll take you live to PyeongChang, South Korea, where world-class athletes are arriving for the Winter Olympics, just one week away.

VANIER: Plus, it bears the hallmarks of genocide. A U.N. envoy on Myanmar's crackdown against Rohingya Muslims. Stay with us here on CNN.

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VANIER: In just a week, thousands of athletes from around the globe will be marching in the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics, kicking off what South Korea promises will be the biggest Winter Games in history.

International athletes are now arriving at the Olympic Village.

ALLEN: That includes competitors from North Korea, a delegation of athletes, coaches and sports officials arrived on Thursday. They will march in the opening ceremony and compete alongside South Korean athletes under a unified flag.

Let's go to CNN's Paula Hancocks in PyeongChang, South Korea.

Let's hear it for Olympics spirit and a little diplomacy, Paula, these two countries coming together.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. One thing that struck me, Natalie, was seeing the North Korean flag flying over the athletes' village here in South Korea. Generally you'd get into trouble for flying a North Korean flag. There is a very strict national security law here (INAUDIBLE) land you in prison.

But of course it is a very different time now in the run-up to the PyeongChang Winter Olympics after weeks of intense negotiation between North and South Korean officials. The North Korean athletes are now here and they are inside that athletes' village. Now there weren't many smiles as they came in but there was one. Ryom Tae-ok, which is the female figure skater, she did smile. She had a few words, local media saying that she said that she doesn't say too much before competitions. But it is cold here, I can guarantee that she's correct on that count. It is very cold, not a huge amount of snow, that which is obviously something that is concerning organizers

[02:20:00]

HANCOCKS: -- at this point but there is definitely growing excitement in PyeongChang.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HANCOCKS (voice-over): There's a lot to toast in PyeongChang these days. This group of friends is making the most of the local cuisine and a splash of the local liquor. Barbecue and soju, two Korean specialties that will be in abundant supply for the month of February.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For us, as a restaurant, it's a fantastic opportunity to introduce Korean barbecue to the world. So it is very meaningful.

HANCOCKS (voice-over): Nick Gasson (ph) traveled from New Zealand to help the Olympics preparations. His company makes artificial snow.

NICK GASSON (PH), ARTIFICIAL SNOWMAKER: There isn't much but what we've been able to make has been really amazing.

HANCOCKS (voice-over): Everywhere you look, snowmaking machines are working overtime. The one thing the organizers cannot control, the weather. They're hoping the Games put PyeongChang on the map, encouraging a winter pilgrimage to South Korea in years to come.

Probably one of the biggest boosts to this region after the Olympics is over is this, the KTX, the fast train that runs from Seoul to Gangnam on the east coast of the country, where many of the Olympic venues are, in less than two hours. It usually takes around three hours if you're driving.

But to be fair, the traffic means it usually takes a lot longer.

Those in the PyeongChang region feel far closer to the capital now. Improvements in infrastructure, many think, wouldn't have happened without the Games. South Korea says this will be the biggest Olympics in history, with more athletes than ever before, even some from their northern neighbor, who they're still technically at war with, a united women's ice hockey team with players from both North and South Korea.

Suggesting President Moon Jae-in's early claim that this would be the Peace Olympics may not be as implausible as critics once thought.

For residents themselves, the Games have been good for business before they even start.

(END VIDEOTAPE) HANCOCKS: So we're one week away from the opening ceremony and certainly residents are getting excited about the prospects of welcoming tourists and athletes from around the world -- Natalie.

ALLEN: Well, mean you'll get to cover it for us?

We can't wait, thank you, Paula.

VANIER: Vladimir Putin is apologizing to athletes from his country -- this doesn't happen often -- for failing to shield them from doping scandals. The Russian president put out that statement after 28 Russians had their lifetime Olympic bans overturned and are now cleared to compete.

There's still a bit of a catch, though. That doesn't mean any of them will be allowed to take part in next week's Winter Games in South Korea. Russian athletes who are in PyeongChang will compete under a neutral flag.

ALLEN: And that is because Russia was blocked from sending a national team after the doping scandal of the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. The Court of Arbitration for Sport did not rule that the Russian athletes were innocent of doping, only that the evidence was insufficient to prove guilt on a case-by-case basis.

VANIER: In Asia, police in Shanghai say at least 18 people are in the hospital after a van plowed into a crowded intersection. Authorities say the man was smoking a cigarette and a local newspaper reports that gas canisters inside the vehicle caught fire

ALLEN: The man lost control of the van and slammed into pedestrians. Firefighters put out the fire quite quickly; authorities say none of the injuries are life-threatening.

The eldest son of the late Cuban dictator, Fidel Castro, is dead in what is being described as a suicide.

VANIER: Fidel Castro Diaz-Balart was a physicist, who once ran the country's nuclear program until he was dismissed after falling out with his father. He reemerged publicly when his uncle, Raul, became president in 2008.

ALLEN: State media report he had been receiving treatment for depression recently, called Fidelito or Little Fidel because of his striking resemblance to his father, he was 68 years old.

The U.N.'s Rohingya envoy says it could take 19 years to return all the Muslim refugees to Myanmar. Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees are living in camps in Bangladesh after escaping the violence in Myanmar's Rakhine State.

VANIER: The U.N. envoy, Yanghee Lee, recently met with some refugees in Cox's Bazaar, Bangladesh. She chastised Myanmar's government for continuing to deny access to aid groups.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) YANGHEE LEE, U.N. SPECIAL ENVOY: I still hope that Myanmar revisits their decision because I think it is a very unfortunate decision. If Myanmar is truly is saying that all of this news is fabricated and that there's nothing to hide, then our international observers, international media, fact-finding mission and human rights --

[02:25:00]

LEE: -- observers and monitors like myself need to have access.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: The U.N. envoy also said that other ethnic groups have faced persecution in Myanmar and they feel they're not getting any support from the international community.

VANIER: In Los Angeles now, a 12-year-old girl is under arrest after a shooting at a middle. Five people were injured, including four students. They include a 15-year-old boy, who was shot in the head, and a 15-year-old girl, who was shot in the wrist.

ALLEN: Doctors say the boy was extremely lucky that the bullet missed vital areas. He's expected to recover. The arrested girl faces charges of negligent discharge of a firearm. A police spokesman says the incident is being considered unintentional.

VANIER: Coming up here after the break, CNN's new Freedom Project report shines a light on domestic slavery in Jordan and on the group fighting to protect the rights of migrant workers caught up in a cycle of abuse.

ALLEN: Also an elaborate project is underway at the Sistine Chapel to protect the work of Michelangelo. What's causing his famous frescoes to wither and dull. We'll have a report for you as we push on here. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Atlanta.

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VANIER: Good to have you back. I'm Cyril Vanier.

ALLEN: I'm Natalie Allen. You're watching CNN. Here are our top stories.

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[02:30:00]. NATALIE ALLEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Jomana Karadsheh shows us many find themselves vulnerable to abuse. She tells a story of a woman who became a slave in her employer's home and shows she fought her way to freedom.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN PRODUCER: (Aiza Almeda) is learning about her rights. Rights taken away from her for nine long years. The 36-year old now says, she knows she was a slave. Almeda left a life of poverty in farming in the Philippines she says with a promise of a $500 a month salary as a domestic worker in Jordan. Almeda says she was trapped in the hell of a foreign country she didn't know working 17 hours a day in a remote town near the Syrian border. She knew that her rights were taken from her. But she was afraid of going outside, afraid no one will help her and that her life would be in danger, she tells us. Almeda says she got $500 the first month, 300 each of the following two but then the money stopped. Her employer who kept her passport promised to pay her she says but never did.

Her working residency permits were not renewed. So she became illegal facing thousands of dollars in fines that accumulated over the years. In 2015 after establishing contact with her sister who traveled from Dubai to Jordan, Almeda escaped and made it to Amman, where she says she worked illegally trying to make up for the past nine years. She tells us what she's been through haunts her even in her sleep. wanting to send money to her family but having nothing. We met Almeda at the offices of Tamkeen, Jordan's only NGO specialized in providing legal aid for migrant workers. Tamkeen's founder Linda Al-Kalash says the road to address is a long one.

LINDA AL-KALASH, FOUNDER, TAMKEEN: Communities, they don't know about the rights and some of they know but they're afraid to us, some kids they stay in Jordan for a long time without connection with their families.

KARADSHEH: Not everyone is a silent victim. Hannah is described as a community leader. When the single mother is not working to support her three children back home, she tries to educate others about their rights.

HANNAH: Our agencies in Philippines just tell us, you are going there to be a housemaid and that's it. You have to work, you have to learn how to clean and that's it. They never tell us you have to rest. You have to eat good, you have to have your salary.

KARADSHEH: There are more than 50,000 migrant domestic workers operating legally in Jordan process. Another estimated 20,000 are working without proper documentation. Most are expected to do all the housework and childcare. Some work for as little as $200 a month. According to 2016 report by Tamkeen, more than 38 percent of the domestic workers interviewed did not receive their salaries on time. We also found that many are deceived by employers who promise to pay them at the end of a contracted period but never do.

The Jordanian government acknowledges the problem but it says it's not widespread, it's individual cases. It also says it's working to prevent the mistreatment of domestic workers from turning into a phenomenon of human trafficking. In recent year, laws had been passed to protect the rights of migrant domestic workers. While not easy to enforce, these laws praise the minimum wage limit working hours and employers face fines for withholding travel documents. But not all victims come forward. AL-KALAHS: My message to them, don't be afraid. Go to the police station, go to the Minister of Labor, file complain against this employer. You have right. It's very important to empower yourself.

KARADSHEH: Almeda's case may take years in Jordanian courts. She was deported back to the Philippines in November, leaving behind her long wait for justice. Jomana Karadsheh, CNN Amman.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: Here at CNN, we want to continue to shine a light on modern- day slavery and we want you to get involved. The second annual My Freedom Day is just over a month away. On March 14th, CNN is partnering with young people around the world for a student-led day of action against slavery.

VANIER: And like last year, we're asking what does freedom mean to you? Let us know. Post a photo or video to social media with a #MyFreedomDay.

ALLEN: Still to come here. Heat and humidity are damaging one of the world's greatest works of art. How experts are working to preserve Michelangelo's masterpieces and the Sistine Chapel.

VANIER: Plus, India's Taj Mahal covered in scaffolding, it too is getting a makeover of a mud bath in fact. We'll tell you why

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[02:32:11] VANIER: The Sistine Chapel in Rome. It's an undisputed masterpiece and deservedly pulls in visitors from around the world all the time. Here is the problem. Just by looking at it they, we are Michelangelo's artwork.

ALLEN: That's where expert art restorer take over. CNN's Dianne Gallagher has our exclusive report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Sistine Chapel is getting a checkup. For a whole month each year from 5:30 to midnight when all the tourists are gone, a team from the Vatican comes in to clean it, check for damage and report on the health of some of the world's most treasured art. It's a painstaking process. Scaffolding must be erected and taken down each night and cannot be attached to the walls to avoid damaging the paintings. One of the biggest problems of Sistine Chapel is humidity. 250,000 visitors a day pose a risk for the paintings.

FRANCESCA PERSEGATI, CHIEF RESTORER, VATICAN MUSEUVANIER: You know, our bodies are made of water. So, when we visit the Sistine Chapel, we bring in humidity. And we heat. Everybody heats the environment like about we say 80-watt bulb.

GALLAGHER: Humidity causes condensation and a veil of salt forms on the famous the frescos painted in the 14 and 1500s which damages the color and plaster it's painted on. A laborious technique brushing distilled water onto thin Japanese paper removes the salt layer. To combat humidity there are 30 hidden sensors measuring temperature, air circulation and number of visitors in the chapel. Dr. Victoria Cimino, the Vatican's conservationist monitors the air quality in the chapel.

VICTORIA CIMINO, CHIEF CONSERVATIONIST, VATICAN MUSEUM (via translator): The temperature must be between 22 to 24 degrees Celsius. Humidity must be medium-high. They are very precise markers and we have to verify that the system respects them.

GALLAGHER: The frescos in this chapel are over 500 years old. Now back then there was no artificial lighting. The only light that came in was daylight through these upper windows. And of course being the pope's private chapel far fewer people came through here as well. So cleaning and restoration wasn't really a priority then. Today with new technology and lighting not only is there better cleaning but it has revealed to restorers the original colors used Michelangelo. The world was shocked after a cleaning and restoration in the 90s to discover that Michelangelo actually used vivid greens, purples, and reds because for centuries it was assumed that he painted in dark subdued tones but that was only the accumulation of dirt and grime. The next time you're in the Sistine Chapel, look out for this.

[02:40:01] Little black marks, squares, and triangles on some of the paintings. They're called witnesses, deliberately left his evidence for future restores to give an idea of just how dark the paintings were before. To make sure the colors stay vibrant, a color team measures any changes to tone by taking pictures of the frescos with a multi-wavelength camera which is then analyzed by a computer. Dr. Fabio Moresi in charge of color analysis.

FABIO MORESI, COLOR ANALYST, VATICAN SCIENTIFIC LABORATORY (via translator): We can see the color of every single pixel and compare it throughout the years. It's important because we can detect any changes even before they are visible to the human eye.

GALLAGHER: A behind the scenes labor of love so that the past may continue to brighten our future. Delia Gallagher, CNN, Rome.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: Beautiful. Well, India's Taj Mahal is trying to be beautifuler getting a mud bath. Centuries of pollution have left part of it grimy and black, so workers are applying mud which absorbs the dirt and grease and then rinsing the facade clean. Their next challenge is to clean the monument's dome.

VANIER: Traditional metal scaffoldings are too heavy so they are considering bamboo rigging instead. Indian authorities are also proposing a cap on the number of visitors a day to the tune of 40,000 a day.

ALLEN: We're just -- visitors were just ruining everything.

VANIER: Don't visit it. That's what Google is for. ALLEN: Another amazing historic site is now badly damaged. Here we

go again. But this was an accident. Frozen Nazca Lines, the 2000- year-old archaeological enigma.

VANIER: A truck plowed into the UNESCO World Heritage Site leaving deep scars. Peru's culture ministry says the trucker ignored warning signs and drove onto the lines. He was arrested but then he was released because there wasn't enough evidence that he actually did this on purpose.

ALLEN: The Nazca Lines are group of geoglyphs dating back to 500 B.B. They represent animals, plant life, and other figures and are believed to have had ritual astronomical functions. They're just plain cool.

VANIER: They're geoglyphs. Anything that's called geoglyphs is cool.

ALLEN: Geoglyph is cool.

VANIER: And the Super Bowl is this Sunday between the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles. You are for? Or you don't care?

ALLEN: I think I'm going with Pats. Well, besides the football game, the real star of the show is another notable native of the great City of Memphis, Tennessee. I'm from Memphis. This guy.

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ALLEN: Yes. In case you didn't know it, he is back, 14 years after singer Justin Timberlake's now-infamous Super Bowl act, he will take the stage again Sunday.

VANIER: Now Timberlake has been teasing the halftime show, he did a bit of comedy routine talked about his apparent friendship with Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

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JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE, AMERICAN SINGER: I actually texted Tom before the conference championship game and I said I'm going to the Super Bowl, are you coming to the Super Bowl? Tom is definitely the type of dude you'd invite over to watch the Super Bowl with you. The problem is he is always in the Super Bowl. Speed runs in our family. I've been running routes too. I just want to throw this out there to know Belichick, if, you know, if all of your receivers go down, I'll be ready to go. So shoot me a text.

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FLEITZ: Well, you know, you might remember this scene, apparent scene to watch (INAUDIBLE) urging Timberlake to keep the show P.G. after Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction stole the spotlight at the 2004 Super Bowl.

VANIER: That's it from us. Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Cyril Varnier.

ALLEN: I'm Natalie Allen. "WORLD SPORT" is coming up next. And then we're back at the top of the hour for another hour of news. See you then.

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[02:45:36] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi there, thanks for joining us. Welcome to CNN WORLD SPORT today. We are just over a week out now from the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. The build-up to which has been dominated by two prevalent storylines. First up just how will the simmering tensions between the two Koreas play out, and will this really be the so-called peace games as organizers hope, then, there's Russia.

Now, official team from that country will be allowed to compete and while that does still stand on Thursday came a ruling that now really has strand the run-up to these games into chaos and disarrays.

Sports top court, that's the Court of Arbitration for Sport, otherwise known as CAS, has decided to overturn Olympic life bans on 28 Russians accused of doping due to what it called insufficient evidence. 169 other Russians have already been cleared for the games and will compete as Olympic athletes from Russia. Now, the world anti-doping agency has expressed its serious concern as it put it over the decision -- a decision that also prompted this reaction from Russia's President

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VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): We have to respect not only the court decision which of course, cannot both give us joy as it supports our position that the majority of athlete are absolutely clean, they do not dope. But we also have to respect the other side of the debate. I think we have to have avoid euphoria on our side. We have to take it calmly with respect to the organizations which made the relative decisions. We are happy for the athletes supported by CAS but not everyone was fully cleared of charges. We have things to improve on our side for sure, in terms of our anti- doping program and policy. We will strive for this together with (INAUDIBLE) and the IOC.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, now, the burning question, will the 2018 question actually get to compete in Pyeongchang? In fact, come to think of it, is there even enough time to sort this all out.

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MARK ADAMS, DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS, INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE: On the one hand, the confirmation of the anti-doping rule violations for 11 athletes because of the manipulation of their samples clearly demonstrate once more the existence of the systemic manipulation of the anti-doping system at the Olympic Winter Games, Sochi, 2014. On the other hand, the IOC regrets very much that according to the CAS press release, the panels did not take this proven existence of a systemic manipulation of the anti-doping system into consideration for the other 28 cases. The result of the CAS decision does not mean that athletes from the group of 28 will be invited to the games. North being sanctioned does not automatically confer the privilege of an invitation.

MATTHIEU REEB, SECRETARY GENERAL, COURT OF ARBITRATION FOR SPORT: The evidence collected was found to be insufficient to establish that an anti-doping rule violation was committed by the athletes concerned. This does not mean that these 28 athletes are declared innocent but in their case, due to insufficient evidence the appeals are upheld the sanctions annulled, and their individual results achieved in Sochi are reinstated.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've broken down some more information for you on some of these Russian athletes to have the medals reinstated now by the court. Among them, Alexander Legkov who won Olympic gold in the gluing 50-kilometer cross-country skiing race in Sochi. And know the silver medal in the four by 10 km relay.

The Russian Alexander Tretiakov was also a gold medal winner who had his medal stripped from him back in November, but he can call himself the men's skeleton champion in the Black Sea resort. Likewise, the women's skeleton bronze medalist Elena Nikitina. She's also the current woman's European and World Cup skeleton champion.

Well, there were 11athletes whose lifetime bans were upheld and still disqualified including Alexandr Zubkov, the stripped double Olympic bobsled champion and Russian flag bearer in Sochi. Zubkov is now 43 years of age and announces retirement back in 2014 due to long-term injury.

Now remember the Winter Games start next Friday in Pyeongchang, but what does it all mean in terms of timelines? Well, Russia's sports ministers saying that they could return to CAS and force the IOC to invite the 28 athletes to Pyeongchang. Meantime, the committee says, it's considering an appeal to the Swiss Supreme Court to challenge the rulings. You can be sure, there is so much more to come on this. We're here at CNN, we'll bring you, of course, all the latest key developments after unfold.

Well, it's regarded as one of its fourth toughest challenges, but the sailors in the Volvo Ocean Race certainly deserve an update or two. So, standby for a fascinating behind the scenes look on how some choose to spend it Hong Kong style.

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[02:52:32] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, back now with more on our continuing countdown to this year's Winter Games which start late next week in South Korea. Thursday, we saw the official opening of the Olympic village there. Just there, athletes -- the world over starting to pour in from China, the USA, and the Netherlands, as well.

Among those arriving here, you can see now the village, of course, so much the hub of all things Olympics during the games which last until the third week of February. And here, you can be finding stuff like the media and the doping control centers. Accommodations and of course, dining as well.

There been historic scenes as the host nation welcomed the delegation from North Korea ahead of the game's opening ceremony next Friday in Pyeongchang, which lies some 80 kilometers south of the demilitarized zone that divides the two Koreas. Now, organizers have dubbed these Olympics as the peace games but one key question does remain unanswered. Here's CNN's Paula Hancocks.

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PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The final North Korean athletes that will compete at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics are now here in South Korea. A little earlier this Thursday, they flew in an airplane from North Korea to South Korea which in itself is extremely unusual. The two countries still technically at war, there are no flights between North Korea and South Korea.

But this is an unusual time ahead of these games, weeks of intense negotiation between North and South Korea culminating now in 33 members of a delegation arriving just today. Now, we know there were 10 athletes within that, there were coaches there was support staff as well. And of course, you already have the women's ice hockey team which has been training here with their South Korean counterparts since last week as they will have a joint team competing at the Olympics.

Also, marching out of the opening ceremony under a unified flag. Since certainly there is a lot of hope among the South Korean officials, among the Olympics officials who wanted this to happen. And of course, the President Moon Jae-in of South Korea who wanted this to be as he build it, the peace Olympics.

He wanted North Korea to be involved and has been saying it for many months, there were many cynics at the beginning. Listening to that, of course, there are many cynics even today now North Korean athletes are here. And the question is what happens once those athletes go home? Just on Wednesday, two diplomatic source with deep knowledge of North Korean -- North Korean intentions told CNN that at this military parade that they will be carrying out in Pyongyang on February 8, the eve of the opening ceremony of the Olympics, they will be displaying hundreds of missiles. And potentially, dozens of ICBM. The Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles that North Korea claims can hit mainland United States.

So, even after is this building excitement in South Korea that this could be the peace Olympics, the question is being asked, what happens once the athletes go home. Paula Hancocks, CNN, Pyeongchang, South Korea.

(END VIDEOTAPE) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, the halftime to take to you Spain where

all-conquering Barcelona, it continuous to I. F. silverware and plenty of it to the Catalans. Of a common take 11-point, La Liga lead of the Atletico Madrid. They have Chelsea next stop on the Champions league around the 16, and then there's the Domestic Cup competition, the Copa del Rey, the King's Cup that he perform. Thursday with Brazilian (INAUDIBLE) will continue starting on the bench, Ernesto Valverde is man haunted dig deep against semifinalist first like opponents Valencia, a team in third place right now in the league.

Just one goal will decide this to came from you a Uruguayan star, Luis Suarez. He struck just over 2o minutes from time for the 29-time tournament winners. Coutinho did come on in the second half 1-0 it would end.

Well, sailing at Volvo Ocean Race we'll now question one of the sports toughest ordeals. The current edition back -- what started in Spain back in October of last year. And when it finishes in June, will have taken in 45,000 nautical miles across four oceans, six continents and did I mention the 12 host cities?

On Thursday, Chinese Dongfeng Race Team, taking a tour around Hongkong on a well-earned off day. Well, I gear up to set sail for the ocean once again next week towards New Zealand. CNN's being that busy catching up with some team members to get views on the challenges of life at sea.

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CHARLES CAUDRELIER, SKIPPER, DONGFENG RACE TEAM: Arriving (INAUDIBLE) In first place is just magic because this is one of the best place

for sailing. And the crew will be there. And these days are just beautiful and for finishing first here is a dream.

CAROLIJN BROUWER, CREW MEMBER, CREW MEMBER, DONGFENG RACE TEAM: Nine months of non-stop racing where you don't have the warm bed, you do not have a shower on board. You definitely don't have a (INAUDIBLE) massage at the end of the hard working day. Basically, you're racing 24/7 with other crew members on board of the 65-foot yacht. And that's basically all you have.

CHEN JINHAO, CREW MEMBER, CREW MEMBER, DONGFENG RACE TEAM: I remember when I finish here, crossing the finish line, the people is a -- is a -- said, oh, (INAUDIBLE) upside a are arriving at the lots of friends are in the pontoon, also the families are already on the pontoon waiting for us. Just amazing feeling.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thanks so much for joining us. Do stay with CNN as ever, thanks for watching.