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Plane Crash in Iran; McMaster: Russia Meddling "Incontrovertible"; Students and Supporters Demand Gun Law Reform; Netanyahu on Iran; Tracking Putin's Shadow Army; Largest Chilean Land Grant Creates National Park; PyeongChang Olympics; Transforming Gary Oldman into Winston Churchill. Aired 5-6a ET

Aired February 18, 2018 - 05:00   ET




UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is CNN breaking news.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): And welcome to our viewers here in the U.S. and around the world, I'm Natalie Allen. And we're following breaking news out of Iran. A passenger plane carrying 66 people has reportedly crashed. It was flying from the capital, Tehran, to Yasuj, an area to the south.

Let's check in with our senior international correspondent, Sam Kiley, in Abu Dhabi. He's following developments.

Sam, what more do we know about the area where this plane went down?

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's extremely mountainous. Local authorities say that the aircraft went down in an area known as the Dena Mountain. Now this is -- this one mountain alone has 40, that's 4-0, peaks over 4,000 meters. That is over 12,000 feet.

And aircraft, a helicopter sent to -- as part of a rescue attempt or an attempt to find the wreckage and look for any survivors, was actually forced back by bad weather. This aircraft took off at 7:55 local time and disappeared from radar, we understand, about 50 minutes later, which would dovetail with its disappearance near Semirom.

Authorities are saying they think it went down 120 kilometers from Semirom in a small village in the mountains. But they haven't been able to get to it and the assumption is that all of those on board most likely have perished in this aircraft crash, which comes amid the continuing concern in aviation circles in Iran that the lifting or easing of sanctions against that country, in return for it suspending its nuclear weapons program, is not filtering through in terms of spare parts and improved maintenance.

That is not to say, however, that there is any link established at all, yet, between the disappearance of this aircraft and any mechanical failure. ALLEN: Well, we have seen protests by Iranians, saying that they want more resources to stay in their country and spend them domestically. Yet again, as you say, we don't know the cause of this crash.

Was there any hint or anything, do we know, from the cockpit, of trouble?

KILEY: There hasn't been yet any indication that there was a mayday signal or a communication expressing concern on behalf of the captain. The aircraft company has released a photograph, showing a man in late middle age, clearly a veteran captain. So there is no yet, so far, rather, any indication of perhaps mechanical failure or even bad weather.

This aircraft simply, at the moment, vanished from radar and is believed to have gone down in this highly mountainous area, in an area that is, at the moment, blighted by bad weather and that is hampering retrieval of such things, such as the black box, which will be fitted to this French-made twin turboprop aircraft.

ALLEN: So you say it went down 50 minutes after takeoff.

Is this a routine flight?

And how far into the flight would that mean it crashed?

How long was it supposed to take it to fly to Yasuj, do we know?

KILEY: Well, it's a little over an hour's flight or a little bit more than that to Yasuj. We can see from the direction of travel between the capital, Tehran, and Yasuj, where it went down or rather disappeared from radar, is on the normal flight path, albeit, perhaps, a little close -- nobody's quite sure, at least I'm not quite sure about whether or not the aircraft would have gone over that mountain range or around it.

It's a pretty complex flying environment. But nonetheless, there's nothing to indicate that it was very far off track. And it was pretty much on time. It disappeared from radar. We don't know whether that was the moment of which it crashed or whether that was some other kind of possible failure.

Of course, all of these sorts of details, if they find the black box, the flight recording apparatus that's on board these commercial airliners, particularly those fitted and manufactured in Europe, as this one was, that kind of information will emerge, no doubt.

But for now, it appears that it was on a pretty routine flight from Tehran and has crashed en route in this very difficult mountainous area blighted by bad weather.

ALLEN: We hope the weather clears so they can reach the wreckage. Thank you so much. We'll stay in touch with you, Sam Kiley, covering the story for us. Thank you, Sam.

On other news we're following, one day after 13 Russian operatives were charged with meddling in the U.S. presidential election and just three days after 17 --


ALLEN: -- students and faculty were slaughtered in cold blood by a young man with an assault rifle in Florida, U.S. president Donald Trump inexplicably linked the two events.

In fact, he suggested the Russia investigation may have been to blame for the FBI failing to follow up on a tip about the Florida shooter.

Late Saturday, he tweeted this, "Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable. They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign. There is no collusion."

The president has yet to even acknowledge the Russian meddling, putting him at odds with his national security adviser. Listen to what H.R. McMaster said at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday.


LT. GEN. H.R. MCMASTER, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: As you can see with the FBI indictment, the evidence is now really incontrovertible and available in the public domain.


ALLEN: But Mr. McMaster's candor prompted this sharp rebuke from the U.S. president. He said, "General McMaster forgot to say that the results of the 2016 election were not impacted or changed by the Russians and that the only collusion was between Russia and Crooked H., the DNC and the Dems."

All of those claims, we must say, are unsubstantiated.

The federal indictment is a thick document, full of rich detail about how the Russians carried out such an elaborate campaign of disinformation. CNN's Polo Sandoval breaks it down for us.


POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These 37 pages allege Russians went a very long way in their attempt to interfere with U.S. democracy. According to the federal indictment, Russians operating out of this St. Petersburg troll farm launched a misinformation campaign to wreck havoc on America's political system.

ROD ROSENSTEIN, DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL: The Russian conspirators want to promote discord in the United States and undermine ;dependence and democracy. We must not allow them to succeed.

SANDOVAL: Examples of the alleged misinformation campaign include allegations of voter fraud by the Democratic Party and the purchase of advertisements to further promote the allegations on Facebook.

The pages were even designed to look like they were run by real Americans and focus on issues in American life, race relations, immigration and of course, then candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

Facebook estimates close to 126 million Americans may have been exposed to this and other propaganda. Federal investigators say the group behind it is the Internet Research Agency link today the Kremlin.

Russia has denied any involvement in the U.S. elections. At the security conference Saturday Russia's foreign minister again dismissed those claims.

SERGEY LAVROV, RUSSIA'S MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS (through translator): I have no response. Until we see the facts, everything else is just blather.

SANDOVAL: Then there are the rallies. In May 2016, a small group of anti-Islamic protests gathered outside a Muslim community center in Houston, Texas. Situation grew intense with counter rally.

The very month of the election, both pro and anti-Trump demonstrations were held in New York.

U.S. prosecutors say both events were organized by this same troll group half a world away in St. Petersburg. Russians traveled to the U.S. on a fact finding mission in 2014, say prosecutors. It would be the foundation of a massive operation brought to light in recent months and described in detail in these 37 pages -- Polo Sandoval, CNN, New York.



ALLEN: Let's talk about the indictment with Peter Matthews, a political analyst and professor of political science at Cypress College.

Thanks so much for joining us, Peter.


ALLEN: Well, Republican senator Lindsey Graham has said, Mr. Trump, the president, has a blind spot when it comes to Russia.

Why does it seem like the president is incapable of saying anything negative about Russia or condemning Russia, when he easily attacked our allies, like the U.K., for example?

MATTHEWS: It seems very strange from those of us looking from the outside objectively. And we're really wondering, maybe he had an inclination toward working things out with Russia when he came into office.

But also we know that he's had investments. He's had private loans given to him for his businesses from Russian entities. And I'm not sure if that has anything to do with it but we have to look at that. He's very loath to criticize Mr. Putin or Russia policies, many times, maybe he has an inclination to want to work things out and reset the button.

On the other hand maybe there's personal interests there involved. And that's very problematic, very concerning if that's the case.

ALLEN: Is there anything Congress can do to force President Trump's hand, vis-a-vis sanctions against Russia?

MATTHEWS: Well, he's the executive branch leader. So he's got to implement what Congress actually has passed.


MATTHEWS: If he refuses to do so, the only thing ultimately they could do to get him to do more of what they need him to do and what we need him to do is to impeach him and then eventually remove him if the Senate agrees to remove him after the House impeaches him.

There's very little other recourse that the Congress has. He is the executive branch, the chief administrator, chief bureaucrat, chief executive to carry out the policies. If he doesn't want to do them or he wants to do them half-heartedly or turn them in a different direction, presidents often do that, actually.

ALLEN: Let's talk about the other topic that is dominating the news this week, the mass shooting at the high school in Parkland, Florida. President Trump visited victims and first responders following the massacre and today he spoke with the Parkland mayor.

He also tweeted this, "Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable. They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign. There is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud."

MATTHEWS: I knew he was trying to connect the two. I knew he would try to connect the two. And it's just despicable in my view that he would do that. Instead he should stop underfunding the FBI.

He should bring in more funds, rather than giving tax cuts to the superrich like he did in this plan that was just passed by him and the Congress and bring the funds in to hire more law enforcement, more FBI agents, more school safety measures, like having checks, you know, real safety checks with metal detectors in schools, as well as background checks and stopping those with a mental illness from owning or from having these guns.

In fact, he reversed an Obama era ruling just a year ago, when President Obama made it more difficult for those with mental illness to be able to purchase a gun. Trump rescinded that executive order, just the opposite of what he's talking the other direction.

So I think that was just very wrong for him to bring in the FBI and blame them for what happened there in that (INAUDIBLE) although they were -- the FBI was informed that this particular shooter had put something on Facebook, saying that he would want to become the next professional school shooter.

And so the FBI, you would think, would respond. But then again they may be understaffed and not enough of them to do that, as many cases with law enforcement today.

ALLEN: Right. They did admit a mistake in not following up on that.

The president has not mentioned guns in all of this. And many lawmakers haven't either. Vigils were held this weekend, though, with students calling out lawmakers over gun laws in the United States. Let's listen.


EMMA GONZALEZ, STUDENT: If you don't do anything to prevent this from coming, from continuing to occur, that number of gunshot victims will go up and the number that they are worth will go down. And we will be worthless to you.

To every politician who is taking donations from the NRA, shame on you. We know that they're claiming that there are mental health issues and I am not a psychologist but we need to pay attention to the fact that this isn't just a mental health issue. He wouldn't have harmed that many students with a knife.

DELANEY TARR (PH), STUDENT: I'm a high school senior, who, three days ago, was worried about which of my friends were going to receive flowers for Valentine's Day. I was focused on what I was going to be wearing to prom one week ago. My main concerns were my grades, college acceptance and my social life.

Now I'm a high school senior who is worried about which memorials I need to place flowers at. Now I'm focused on what clothes I can wear so that I can run away from gunfire. My main concerns are funerals, gun control and whether or not I'm going to be shot wherever I go. My innocence, our innocence, has been taken from us.


ALLEN: These students are brave, they're outspoken and they're going directly to lawmakers.

Could this be the massacre that's a tipping point?

MATTHEWS: It certainly could, because especially if you have students who are so aware now. It's just heartbreaking to hear them and also encouraging to hear them come out with a real solutions, that it is gun control.

We know statistically that where the states that have a high rate of gun ownership, there are far more gun related deaths. States with a lower rate of gun ownership there's lower gun related deaths as are true of nations across the world. So we have to have much stricter gun relations. Students are championing this now. And when students speak up, Natalie, things can really happen. And

I'm very encouraged by these young women and (INAUDIBLE) young student, women's and also men, for speaking out and saying we need our politicians to respond to us. We will never make the next generation if you let this happen and continuously happen.

Don't forget it's also making them very nervous, very stressed out.

How can they focus on their studies?

This has so many ramifications, these school shootings keeping going as they've been outrageously going, 17 of them this year alone, so far.

ALLEN: Right. And churches and concerts, it's an epidemic in this country. We'll wait and see and see if these students can make a difference to try to make this country safer. Professor Peter Matthews, thank you. We appreciate it.

MATTHEWS: Thank you.



ALLEN: We continue to learn more about the confessed gunman, Nikolas Cruz. He's due back in court Monday. Defense attorneys say he will plead guilty, if he can avoid the death penalty. As of now, prosecutors are not ruling that out.

We are also hearing from a friend of Cruz's, who says Cruz actually joked about school shootings.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What would he say about school shootings?

ALLAN VARELA, NIKOLAS CRUZ'S FRIEND: He would joke because we would be looking at photos. And he would joke about the photos and stuff. I really want to be there for him. I really did. I wish -- I felt like I could have stopped it.

And I know it wasn't my fault, but I felt like I could have stopped him. I could have been there for him. Seventeen people wouldn't have lost their lives.


ALLEN: I feel for that young man there.

There were other signs Cruz posted threats. Someone called the FBI last month, warning the shooter owned guns and wanted to kill. The bureau never followed up on that. And police were repeatedly called to his home over the past few years because of his violent outbursts. Many within that high school community remain in shock at this point.

The principal of the school, Ty Thompson, posted this emotional message to his students.


TY THOMPSON, PRINCIPAL, STONEMAN DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL: Eagles, I promise you, I will hug each and every one of you, as many times as you need and I will hold you as long as you need me to, for all 3,300 of you and your families. And we will get through this together.

Our community is strong, our students are strong, we will persevere in these trying times.


ALLEN: We continue to learn more about the victims and their bravery in the face of this horror. Among the 17 killed, geography teacher, Scott Beigel. Many of his students say he died a hero, saving others from the gunfire.


KELSEY FRIEND, STONEMAN DOUGLAS STUDENT: Mr. Beigel was my hero and he still will forever be my hero. I will never forget the actions that he took for me and for fellow students in the classroom. And if his family is watching this, please know that your son or your brother was an amazing person and I am alive today because of him.


ALLEN: There are more stories of heroism. Aaron Feis, an assistant football coach, threw himself in front of his students, giving up his life to protect them.





ALLEN: And welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM.

Two Palestinian teenagers in Gaza were killed in an Israeli airstrike Saturday, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health and Palestinian's news agency. Israel says it carried out a large-scale attack in retaliation after an explosive device detonated along the Gaza border, wounding four Israeli soldiers earlier.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Iran is seeking to dominate the world through aggression and terror and he claims it's developing ballistic missiles that would reach deep into Europe and the U.S. His comments made just moments ago in front of top diplomats attending

the security conference in Munich, Germany. CNN's Nic Robertson is also in Munich covering this story for us and he's been following developments at the conference.

And now we have Benjamin Netanyahu making very strong assertions about Iran -- Nic.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Natalie, this perhaps the strongest speech we've heard here at the Munich Security Conference, a three-day conference. And it's been interesting to learn that prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu hasn't just arrived here, like some leaders, to give his speech.

He's been here for three days, having bilateral meetings ahead of this speech. This was, as I say, a very strong speech. It was very critical of Iran.

He showed a map of how he said, as ISIS is defeated, throughout the Middle East, that Iran is moving in; that Iran's Shia Islam is, in effect, he said, Iran is trying to spread that around the world, a threat to the region, a threat to the world, to Arabs as well as Israelis. This is how he put it.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL: We're on the path to the rule of Islam worldwide. That means right here, too. This is, in my judgment, the greatest threat to our world, not just to Israel, not just to our Arab neighbors, not just to Muslims far and wide but to you, as well because, once armed with nuclear weapons, Iran's aggression will be unchecked and it will encompass the entire world.


ROBERTSON: But he also explained very specifically about Iran in Syria, saying that they wanted to develop naval bases, military bases inside Syria. He even brandished a piece of what he said was an Iranian drone, that was shot down as it flew over Israel.

Israel, in the past couple of weeks, there was a significant escalation in the return of fire by Israel to that incident. They sent fighter jets over Syria to target what he said were Iranian sites, Iranian military sites inside Syria and other sites as well.

And he said that Israel was in no doubt that it would act against Iran, both in Syria and perhaps in Iran itself. This is how he said that.


NETANYAHU: Israel will not allow Iran's regime to put a noose of terror around our neck. We will act without hesitation to defend ourselves. And we will act, if necessary, not just against Iran's proxies that are attacking us but against Iran itself.


ROBERTSON: But to put that in some kind of context, on Friday, I met with the U.N. secretary general. His biggest concern about Syria was the potential for the escalation of a conflict there, through actions by Israel against Iran's interests inside Syria.

So it's a very big concern here that's getting a lot of discussion in the background. Perhaps not so much in the formal panels that we're hearing here but this issue of Israel's concerns about Iran's growing influence in Syria, a big, big issue and topic here -- Natalie.

ALLEN: All right, we thank you, Nic Robertson for us, live in Munich.

Well, Iran right now is dealing with a domestic tragedy. A plane carrying 66 people has reportedly crashed in Central Iran in an area known for its difficult terrain and weather.



ALLEN: Coming up here, U.S. airstrikes in Syria: dozens of Russian fighters are dead and a Putin ally, who is now facing charges in Robert Mueller's Russia investigation in the United States. We will have a live report on how this all may be linked -- coming up.





ALLEN: Welcome back to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Atlanta. I'm Natalie Allen. Here are our top stories.

In Iran, at least 20 rescue teams have now been deployed to the area where a passenger plane reportedly crashed. Emergency officials say the plane had 66 people on board and was headed south from Tehran. Difficult weather conditions are hampering the search.


ALLEN: There are reports U.S. airstrikes have killed dozens of Russian contractors in Northern Syria. But the Kremlin is refusing to say anything about it.

And that's not all. The trail leads to a Putin ally, who was one of 13 Russian operatives charged with meddling in the U.S. presidential election. Let's sort this out with CNN's Fred Pleitgen. He's live for us in Moscow.

And certainly, Fred, these are two separate issues that Russia doesn't seem to want to address. FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You're absolutely right, two separate issues but they all lead back to the same man. His name is Yevgeny Prigozhin, he's pretty much the main person indicted among the 13 by the special counsel, Robert Mueller.

However, a militia that's fighting for Russia in Eastern Syria, that's also linked to him, as well as an oil company that would have benefited if the assault by those forces against U.S.-backed forces would have been a success. Let's have a look at this web that's going on.


PLEITGEN (voice-over): Images you won't find on Russian state media, a grieving mother, her son, Ruslan Gavrilov, killed in Syria, working for a private security company during an ill-fated attack on American- backed forces. Online network Current Time visited her at her home.

FAINA GAVRILOVA, MOTHER OF KILLED CONTRACTOR (through translator): Are they not people?

They obviously went to fight to help, even if it's for the money, it's because of poverty, it's because there are no jobs.

PLEITGEN: CNN has identified several of the Russians killed on the night of February 7th. They were employed by a Russian security company called Wagner and were part of a force trying to take a gas field held by U.S. backed fighters and American troops in Eastern Syria.

U.S. warplanes, helicopters, and artillery killed more than 100 of the attackers before the rest fled.

Sources we've been speaking to, say many Russians, probably a dozen were either killed or badly wounded. One source who visited a military hospitals, says many of the Wagner contractors who survived had what he called horrendous wounds, and he called all of it a massacre.

But just why the attack took place at all comes down to oil and money.

According to the U.S. Treasury, Wagner is led by Dmitry Utkin, seen here meeting President Vladimir Putin. Utkin is under U.S. sanctions because of Wagner's activities in Ukraine. He has a long association with the Russian Oligarch called Yevgeny Prigozhin, which close to the Kremlin.

U.S. investigators believe, Prigozhin's corporation also financed the so- called troll factory that was involved in meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.


PLEITGEN (voice-over): Another of Prigozhin's many companies is called Evro Polis. It has an office in Damascus and a deal with the Assad regime. According to a contract, examined by CNN, Evro Polis gets a quarter of revenues from oil and gas fields that are recaptured on behalf of the Syrian government. Wagner does the fighting, Evro Polis, it's the oil.

Ruslan Leviev, an activist whose group monitors the Russian role in Syria, says the Prigozhin's empire is extensive.

RUSLAN LEVIEV, CONFLICT INTELLIGENCE TEAM (through translator): The group of companies controlled by Prigozhin, includes many known to U.S. structures. One of the most famous projects is the troll factory that specialized in propaganda and informational war.

It's the Wagner private military company which was initially formed by his personal security guards. Dmitry Utkin, the head of Wagner group used to work in Yevgeny Prigozhin's security service.

PLEITGEN: Last year, Prigozhin denied being linked to Wagner, his company saying, quote, "We do not have any information about this organization."

CNN's efforts to reach Prigozhin and Wagner were unsuccessful. For its part, the Russian government is also reluctant to talk about last week's incident, which is of no comfort to the families of these and other men killed in the Syrian desert.


PLEITGEN: And there still aren't really any numbers as to how many Russians were possibly killed in that attack that took place.

But we do see, Natalie, on social media, more and more family members, more and more organizations coming forward and not just talking about the fact that their relatives are either missing or possibly have been killed but also demanding answers from the Russian government, which they don't seem to be willing to give, at least not at this point -- Natalie.

ALLEN: Well, they certainly deserve those answers. And we hope it happens. Thank you, Fred Pleitgen, for us there in Moscow.

The husband of murdered U.K. Parliament member Jo Cox is stepping down from his charities amid sexual misconduct claims. In 2016, Jo Cox died after being shot and stabbed near one of her constituency offices.

Her husband, Brendan Cox, set up charities in her memory after her killing. And now he has, though, resigned from them, after at least two allegations of sexual impropriety were made public by U.K. media.

Cox tweeted earlier, "Last week I decided to step down from my public roles to face up to mistakes I made several years ago while at Save the Children. I apologize to people I offended or upset at the time.

"My actions were never malicious but they were, at times, inappropriate. I take responsibility for my actions and will hold myself to a higher standard in the future." Coming up here, one of the most famous Olympic skiers in the world is having to deal with online haters after failing to medal in the Winter Olympics. We'll be live in PyeongChang to learn more about that story coming up.

Plus, how a huge gift of private land is preserving the breathtaking wilderness of Chile.





ALLEN: That's a look at Chile behind me, such stunning landscape. Many Chileans were suspicious, though, when two Americans, both former CEOs of wealthy outdoor apparel brands, began buying huge tracts of land in Chile.

But those suspicions are now gone, now that this family has turned over their land to Chile, creating a park the size of Switzerland.


ALLEN (voice-over): From snow-capped peaks, to sweeping grasslands, these dramatic swaths of Chile's wild terrain are now one of conservation's biggest success stories.

KRIS TOMPKINS, PRESIDENT, TOMPKINS CONSERVATION: Right now, I'm looking at the northern ice cap of Chile that falls down into the Baker River, which is the largest river in Chile. And then I'm looking out toward the 764,000 acres of this new national park. It's a great feeling.

ALLEN (voice-over): In late January, Kristine Tompkins signed over more than 400,000 hectares to the Chilean government in what's believed to be the largest private land donation to a country in history.

Chile added more than 3 million hectares to that, forming a newly designated parkland that's roughly the size of Switzerland, open to the public to explore. The handover comes after more than 20 years of planning by Kristine and her late husband, Doug, slowly acquiring large chunks of Chile's wildlands.

TOMPKINS: Some of it's just opportunistic, looking for areas that are biologically important and areas that were for sale. And little by little, we just began to patch what became several new national parks together.

ALLEN (voice-over): The U.S. nationals were an unusual mix of powerful magnates and passionate conservationists. He was an avid outdoorsman, the founder of apparel behemoths North Face and Esprit; she the chief executive of outdoor clothing brand Patagonia. TOMPKINS: There was a lot of skepticism about it because we are two foreigners buying up large tracts of land and saying it was for conservation and eventually to create a national park. But we just felt like if we keep going and do those things we said we were going to do that eventually the skepticism and the negativity would pass to the side.

ALLEN (voice-over): Despite resistance to what some viewed as an infringement on local businesses, the Tompkins' plan came to fruition last month. Sadly, Doug Tompkins could not be there to witness it. He died in a kayaking accident in his beloved Chile in 2015.

TOMPKINS: I think, in some ways, this big, audacious vision of Doug's to create these new national parks was the thing that probably kept me in one piece when he died so suddenly. He left us with so much.

ALLEN (voice-over): In carrying out her husband's legacy, Kristine hopes the world will recognize the importance of protecting this vast, wild place for years to come.

TOMPKINS: You have to look at these things in terms of 100 or 200 years and not as necessarily where are they headed in the short-term but what do they look like 100 years from now?

How will they affect and promote human and nonhuman health?


TOMPKINS: That's where the questions really lie.


ALLEN: What a gift and what stunning landscape, isn't it?

Well, coming up here, day nine of the Olympics and a new country has climbed to the top of the medals table. We'll go live to the South Korea Olympics just ahead for the latest.

Plus, Gary Oldman is a 59-year-old actor with a nice head of hair. But you wouldn't know that from his performance in "Darkest Hour." How he transformed into Winston Churchill. We'll have that for you, too.




ALLEN: All right, now it's day nine at the Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea. And all eyes were on the men's giant slalom race, where the Austrian skier, Marcel Hirscher, was looking for double glory at these games after winning his first gold on Tuesday.

And Norway has climbed to the top of the medal table after the men's ski relay. They now have nine golds and 25 total medals. And Germany's right behind, pushed to second place now. They, too, have nine golds but 17 total medals.

So did Mr. Hirscher achieve a double glory?


ALLEN: Let's go to Amanda Davies. She joins me now live with the latest from the Olympics.

Hi, there, Amanda.

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Natalie. Yes, heading into the games, the only question mark really against the ability of Austrian ski sensation, Marcel Hirscher, was the fact that he hadn't won an Olympic gold in his two previous games.

But he quickly put any doubts to rest, strengthening his claims to being the world's best skier, having won his second gold in two races.

It's been a glorious day here in PyeongChang. And the Austrian followed up his victory from the combined last week with a really dominant performance in the giant slalom here on Sunday. He absolutely crushed the rest of the field, over half a second faster than his closest rival, Alexis Pintero (ph).

And the bad news for the rest, is that the 28-year old in such dominant form still has his favorite event to come, that is the slalom on Thursday.

So now the question is, can he make it three from three?

A very, very different Olympics experience for Hirscher, though, as I said, than his two previous games, where he failed to medal. But they do say, don't they, that you learn a lot from a person about how they react to defeat.

And former gold medalist Lindsey Vonn hasn't just had to deal with finishing sixth in the women's SuperG yesterday but she's also had a barrage of abuse on social media to deal with.

You may remember that Vonn told CNN in an interview at the end of last year that she wouldn't accept an invitation to the White House from President Trump if she was to receive one. And it seems his supporters really have not forgotten it.

The 33-year old tweeted about her frustration at her performance and then received a host of replies, celebrating, reveling, really, in her defeat. She'll be hoping to let her skiing does the talking when she goes for gold in the downhill on Tuesday.

The day's other golds have both gone to Norway, Oystein Braaten in the men's ski slopestyle and the Norwegian team in the cross-country 4x10 kilometer relay. So as you said, that moved them ahead of Germany, to the top of the medal table. Wonder how long they'll stay there -- Natalie.

ALLEN: We shall see. So I hope that pesky wind stays away so we can see more great skiing. Thanks so much, Amanda Davies, for us there.

Well, the #TimesUp campaign has been a driving force at Hollywood's awards shows this year and it looks as though the BAFTAs will follow suit. The BAFTA film awards will be announced Sunday in London.

Celebrities there plan to show solidarity with their counterparts at the Golden Globes and black out the red carpet to stand against gender inequality and sexual harassment.

Meantime, five movies are up for the key Best Film award. They are, "Call Me By Your Name," "Darkest Hour," "Dunkirk," "The Shape of Water" and "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri."

"Darkest Hour" tells the story of prime minister Winston Churchill during the early days of World War II. Actor Gary Oldman has been heralded for his remarkable performance as the British icon but can't take all the credit. CNN's Nick Glass talks to the makeup artist behind the transformation.



NICK GLASS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): So how did they do it?

How was Winston Churchill reincarnated so convincingly by Gary Oldman?

On the face of it, even in the shadows, the actor and politician don't exactly look alike.

KAZUHIRO TSUJI, MAKEUP ARTIST: Gary's face, for example -- like Gary looks like a greyhound. But Churchill is like a bulldog.


GLASS (voice-over): The extraordinary transformation from greyhound to bulldog began here in an artist studio in Los Angeles. Kazuhiro Tsuji is a sculptor of hyperrealist faces. He likes to recreate historical figures, the bigger the better. But once upon a time, he used to work in the movies.

GARY OLDMAN, ACTOR: I needed not only a makeup artist but I needed an artist, I felt, for this. And I remember saying, there's only one man, Kazuhiro Tsuji. And my playing Winston was really contingent on Kazu.


OLDMAN, "WINSTON CHURCHILL": So here's to not buggering it up.


GLASS (voice-over): Kazu, as he's known, created the makeup for Jim Carrey in "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and for Brad Pitt in --

[05:55:00] GLASS (voice-over): -- "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." But in 2012, he decided to leave the industry.

TSUJI: I love to do special effects makeup but it was stressing me too much to the level that I felt like I'm shortening my life.

GLASS (voice-over): So Gary Oldman had to coax Kazu back just for this one movie.

TSUJI: I never had opportunity to do a historical character in a film, like a main character, with the makeup. And I felt like, OK, well, this could be once in a lifetime.

GLASS (voice-over): Under the liquid resin, Gary Oldman with a shaven head, this process gave Kazu the mold for a life cast and, from that, he began to design the prosthetics.

TSUJI: This is the neck. It's like a hood piece that goes over his head.

GLASS (voice-over): Kazu did the tests on Oldman himself, everything like real skin, including a prosthetic Adam's apple. In all, he designed six pieces, including cheeks, nose and chin. Kazu left the meticulous daily application to British colleagues, David Malinowski (ph) and Lucy Civic (ph).

The process took them more than three hours every day, for 48 consecutive shooting days. Kazu made a series of wigs from baby hair and angora rabbit fur.

TSUJI: The great thing about Gary is, like, he just disappears. After 10 minutes, I start to forget about the makeup and start to forget about the Gary, because it's just became Churchill. And that's really rare.

GLASS (voice-over): Nick Glass for CNN, with Kazu Tsuji.


ALLEN: Remarkable.

Thank you for watching. I'm Natalie Allen. Our top stories, right after this.