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Florida School Shooting; U.S. Government; Trump White House; U.S. Politics; Benjamin Netanyahu; Middle East War; Around 80 Schoolgirls Rescued After Suspected Boko Haram School Attack; German Court To Decide On Banning Diesel Cars; Sally Field Plays Cupid For Her Son. 2-3a ET

Aired February 22, 2018 - 02:00   ET



JOHN VAUSE, CNN, HOST: You're watching CNN Newsroom live from Los Angeles. Ahead this hour, guns in America. Florida gun survivors and families demand change during an emotional CNN Town Hall. After a listening session with shooting victims, the U.S. President suggests arming teachers as a way to increase school safety.

A major blow to the Israeli foreign Prime Minister as a former top confidante agrees to cooperate with corruption investigators. Hello, thank you for being with us. I am John Vause and this is the second hour of Newsroom LA.

Well, students who survived the mass shooting at a Florida high school are angry and they are frustrated. But on Wednesday night at a CNN Town Hall, they showed determination, demanding that politicians stop taking money from the National Rifle Association and they demanded a ban on assault style weapons like the one used to kill 17 of their teachers and classmates.

At the White House, President Trump met with families also affected by school shootings, and there he suggested arming teachers. He said it might help. At the Town Hall, one parent, though, lashed out at the President and Senator Marco Rubio.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your comments this week and those of our President have been pathetically weak. So you and I are now eye to eye because I want to like you. Look at me and tell me guns were the factor in the hunting of our kids in this school this week. And look at me and tell me you accept it and you will work with us to do something about guns.

MARCO RUBIO, UNITED STATES SENATOR: Now I think what you are asking about is the assault weapons ban.


RUBIO: So let me be honest with you about that one. If I believed that that law would have prevented this from happening, I would support it. But I want to explain to you why it would not.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator Rubio, my daughter, running down the hallway at Marjorie Stoneman Dowels was shot in the back with an assault weapon, the weapon of choice.

RUBIO: Yes, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's too easy to get. It's a weapon of war. The fact you can't stand with everybody in this building and say that, I'm sorry.

RUBIO: Sir, I do believe what you are saying is true.


VAUSE: Joining me now, Political Commentator and Talk Radio Host, Mo Kelly and Republican Digital Strategist, Austin James. OK. There was a lot of raw emotion at the Town Hall, much of it understandably anger. It was directed at the NRA and as well directed at Republican Senator, Marco Rubio. Mo, to Rubio's credit, at least he showed up.

Not only did he talk about supporting the raising legal age limit from 18 to 21 to purchase a weapon like an AR15. He also said he would consider his position on large capacity magazines. In a way, it's incremental but it seems progress, right.

MO KELLY, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It's an encouraging first step if it's not a false step. What bothered me about Senator Rubio's comments, he was saying what he would support. It puts the cart before the horse because I thought our civil servants or should be a reflection of the constituencies in which they represent. I care less about what he supports and more about what his constituents would support.

VAUSE: Obviously, his constituents go way beyond the Town Hall.

AUSTIN JAMES, REPUBLICAN DIGITAL STRATEGIST: That's a great point. We have seen the recent ABC Washington Post poll, in which almost 80 percent of American polls said that mental health, if it were more effective could have done more to prevent this and other mass shootings. I think going after the guns and banning guns doesn't do more to ban evil. That's the bigger problem here.

VAUSE: OK, the support even from the President to raising the legal age limit for purchasing guns like the AR15 has been used in multiple school shootings. But there is opposition from the NRA to the move -- they argue if the age limit was raised to 21, then 18 to 20-year-olds would be deprived of their constitutional rights to self protection. And, Mo, that just seems insane.

[02:05:00] KELLY: Not only that. Why are we putting the NRA at the top of the conversation? They are not the focal point. They should be the focal point. Yes, they have money involved but they shouldn't be a part of the -- going back to your comment about banning guns, why is it we're going to continue to let the perfect be the enemy of the good? If we can do something which approximates improvement, why not do that?

Part of the problem is the proliferation of the specific weapon, the AR15. If we can move at least or limit that variable in the equation, then I think we are doing better, because no one would say we shouldn't do something to stop terrorism or that not a law would stop all terrorism. We would do something because it's better than what we have.

VAUSE: To your point, Mo, about the NRA, why are they taking center stage in all of this? Well, it was one of the students who survived the Florida school shooting who really put the issue to the forefront when it comes to NRA and politics. Cameron Kesskie really nailed it when he spoke with Marco Rubio.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator Rubio, can you tell me right now that you will not accept a single donation from the NRA.

RUBIO: So number one, the positions I hold on these issues of the Second Amendment I've held since the day I entered office in the city of West Miami as elected official. Number two, no the answer to the question is that people buy into my agenda.

And I do support the Second Amendment and I also support the right of you and everyone here to be able to go to school and be safe. And I do support any law that would keep guns out of the hands of a deranged killer. That's why I support the things that I have stood for.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the same of 17 people, you cannot ask the NRA to keep their money out of your campaign?

RUBIO: I think in the name of 17 people, I can pledge to you that I will support any law that will prevent a killer like this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, but I'm talking NRA money. No.


VAUSE: You know, Austin, the argument that Rubio was making is essentially the money follows the politicians. But the reality is the politicians follow the money. And Rubio is number six on the list of politicians, in terms of receiving money from the NRA over the lifetime of his political career.

JAMES: Listen, I'm going to be a little bit different. I grew in Alabama, right? So I think the idea of restricting -- I couldn't purchase a hunting rifle to go hunting with my father at the age of 18. I think that's a ridiculous thing to think about. We're giving the NRA a lot of power. We essentially are -- attacking the NRA would be equivalent to attacking an alcohol distribution trade organization because someone you knew was killed by a drunk driver.

It's ludicrous, I think. My stance on this is I think that we have to go top of funnel and look at mental health, and then I think we go at the bottom of the funnel if we look at if someone slips through like they did this time, what can we do to protect the soft targets like schools, after 9/11 we locked airports down.

It became common place, we took our shoes off got felt up and went through. It's going to be common place. I think we need -- you are going to have metal detectors at schools. You are going to have certain teachers who are going to be trained to carry concealed weapons. I think that's just the way this country is going.

VAUSE: We'll get to the armed teachers in a moment. But Mo, there is the debate in the country about the power of the NRA. That seems to me, the bleeding obviously that the NRA wields a lot of power because they have single issue voters supporting them and they wield that power. It's not just the money.

KELLY: They have the power because, to your point, they fund a lot of politicians and the politicians stay in office and to be able to have the beautiful campaign ads, they rely on this funding, and not to be blasted, no pun intended, by the NRA if they aren't in lock step with the NRA stands for. This is rhetorical in nature. I don't understand why a single organization has so much say and so much sway over politicians.

VAUSE: OK. Well, to Austin's point about arming teachers, the President held his own listening session today at the White House. He was invited to attend the Town Hall. He declined that invitation. Instead, he met with survivors from school shooting, not just in Florida but also in Sandy Hook and Columbine, and that's where he floated this idea of arming teachers.


DONALD TRUMP, UNITED STATES, PRESIDENT: An attack has lasted on average about three minutes. It takes five to eight minutes for responders, for the police to come in. So t attack is over. If you had a teacher with, who was adept at firearms, they could very well end the attack very quickly.


VAUSE: And Austin, this idea of arming teachers is straight out of a 2013 report by an NRA group when there was another previous gun debate held. The reason why the NRA likes this idea is because they are a gun industry lobby group. It's because it means they sell more guns.

[02:10:00] JAMES: I think if I'm not mistaken there are 150 campuses that now allow teachers to carry firearms. I don't think Florida is one of those states. I actually tend to agree with it. Again, growing up in Alabama, I'm very familiar with the southeast. I don't want to make huge steps, but there is also a reason you're seeing a lot of the mass shootings happen at soft targets.

You know Biden made these schools no gun zones. So when you walk in with an assault rifle, you know that it's you -- with almost no defense. There is a reason you don't see it at an Alabama Walmart, you know.

VAUSE: Just hang on a second because here is what one teacher at our Town Hall thought about the idea. She survived the Florida school shooting. This is what she thought of the idea of going to work every day carrying a gun.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I had those hundreds of terrified children running at me, my question to that is, am I supposed to get extra training now to serve and protect on top educate these children on how to be these eloquent speakers that are coming up and presenting issues to you?

I mean, am I supposed to have a Kevlar vest? Am I supposed to strap it to my leg or put it in my desk? How am I supposed to go on that way?


VAUSE: Mo, someone should have asked the teachers.

KELLY: Well, not only that. There is a middle ground here. We look at what's going on here in Los Angeles. A lot of schools do have armed guards or police officers as a function of the city police who guard these schools. But if you're asking the English teacher, math teacher to be able to make that split second decision as far as life and death in a situation where they're not shooting at one person, there may be 35 people running in all directions and and an indiscriminant with an AR15.

JAMES: I don't think that we're talking about every teacher having a sawed off shotgun. You have air marshals that step up for training. There was a great interview on CNN where they asked a teacher would you like to have firearms, and he said he didn't know but he knew numerous teachers who wished they were able to stand and defend.

Again, I think it goes down to what the people want, what the teachers want, and again I don't think we're asking every teacher to carry firearm. Actually, certainly, with all due respect to what she's been through probably would not be the right candidate to carry a firearm.

VAUSE: Well, President Trump also promised very strong background checks, but again at CNN's Town Hall, there was opposition even to this from the NRA.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This mad man passed a background check. How was he able to pass the background check? He was able to pass the background check because a system that's flawed. The Sutherland Springs murderer was able to pass the background check because the Air Force didn't report that record.


VAUSE: And Politico is reporting this, the White House is signaling support for a bipartisan bill that would enhance reporting of violent criminals to the FBI Background Checks Database in order to stop them from buying firearms. But house conservatives are willing to sign on unless the measure is coupled with concealed carry legislation backed by the National Rifle Association.

Combining the two ideas would have the net effect of loosening gun control. Austin, how does this happen when you have a Quinnipiac poll which says 97 percent of the people in the country support universal background checks, and 97 percent of gun owners support universal background checks.

JAMES: Listen, I agree with you on that. I'm on the board of a new organization called Generation for Freedom, and its main mission is education and the main target are adolescents, millennials, and people who are going to be that ardent voice going into the next generation.

I think the bigger issue is there are gun laws today that could have solved this had they worked from top to bottom. Listen, to your point if you look at what the constituents want they want the universal background checks. But that only works if you enforce the laws.

And what we have seen from this unfortunate event and others like it, they did not enforce the law and there was a breakdown of the laws we have. That's what people are saying. When it comes to kind of going and casting the vote, are not the politicians necessarily, who we do hold congress accountable, but is the justice authority and those with authority at the justice level going to enforce the laws? They are not.

KELLY: Let's not ignore the other variables if the conversation. You said there is a mental health issue, to paraphrase you.

JAMES: Correct.

KELLY: But there are mental health issues all or the world, but there are only mass shootings right here. I could go to Australia and find people suffering from mental health issues.

JAMES: We do have an inordinate amount of guns. That's a fact.

VAUSE: I do want to finish with this. It seems President Trump needs a reminder that while meeting with victims of gun violence he needs to feel empathy. On his notes, there was a photograph which revealed the first bullet point was, what would you want me to know about the experience in the fifth point, I hear you.

And so, Mo, think about that for a moment. Donald Trump needs a reminder to tell survivors that he hears them.

KELLY: If this wasn't about children dying, it would be funny. But it is so it isn't. If he needs to be instructed on cue when to be empathetic or how to be empathetic, and then he is incapable of being empathetic because that's not something you can be taught. It's not something that you can be directed. You just either are or you are not.

VAUSE: Very quickly, a couple of words.

JAMES: I would say this. He is someone who shoots from the hip. And I don't know that he wrote that down.

[02:15:00] KELLY: No pun intended.

JAMES: No pun intended. Good one. And I would say this. It was something that someone from the PR Communications Department wanted to make sure he said and he wanted to make sure he got that heard.

VAUSE: It was unfortunate that it got out. OK, Austin and Mo, thanks so much. Good to see you. Appreciate it.

And students across the United States walked out of their classrooms on Wednesday, a show of solidarity with the survivors$ of the Florida school shooting. At the state capitol in Tallahassee, they challenged lawmakers to keep them safe.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do not know exactly what needs to be done. I just know what we're doing now is nowhere near enough.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The time for change wasn't now. The time for change was years ago.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My innocence, our innocence has been taken from us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Never again should a student be silenced by gunshots. Politicians, if you're not with us, you're against us.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My friend and community and I have stared down the barrel of an AR15 the way you have not. How dare you tell us we don't know what we're talking about?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A 19-yeld who can't purchase an alcoholic beverage should not be allowed to purchase an AR15.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you for taking NRA blood money. We are not letting the United States be run by that terrorist organization. $,

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our blood, your hands.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Knowing that you had the opportunity to ban assault weapons and you didn't, are you proud of that now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you kidding me? You think now is the time to focus on the past and not the future to prevent the death of thousands of other children? You sicken me. Your job is to protect us and our blood is on your hands. If Donald Trump wants to listen to us, he should have taken the first invitation. We're not going to come to him. He's needs to come to us.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They say tougher gun laws do not decrease gun violence. We call BS. They say a good guy with a gun stops a bad guy with a gun. We call BS.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are not puppets. We are capable individuals who want change because we are the leaders of the future.


VAUSE: And you can watch the replay of CNN's Special Town Hall with students, parents and others impacted by the Florida school shooting. Stand up, the students of Stoneman Douglas demand action Thursday 9:00 a.m. in London, 5:00 p.m. in Hong Kong.

Well, to Mumbai now and day three of Donald Trump Jr.'s visit to India and the way he tells it it's all about business. And despite a flurry of critical headlines back home, he insists he is there as a private citizen. And the Washington Post reports the American embassy in New Delhi has assured at least one U.S. Senator, the oldest son of the President has received no special treatment beyond Secret Service protection.

He arrived on Tuesday. This week-long visit to promote Trump branded luxury apartments, interested buyers can pay a $30,000 booking fee for dinner and conversation with Trump Jr. on Friday. Critics say he is selling access to the first family. And that's raising serious concerns.

But the Trump organization says many deals have been passed up to avoid conflicts of interest. John Defterios is closely following developments from Mumbai. He joins us now live. So John, Donald Trump, he is out there pushing the brand in Mumbai. What sort of reaction is he getting from local buyers?

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, there is a very big divide, as you know in India particularly in Mumbai between the wealthy buyers and the poverty you still see on the streets, John. It's mid day in the financial capitol, in the heart of Mumbai with the sky scrapers. So Donald Trump Jr. selling that brand yet again.

And this is a big project even by the standards of the Trump organization. You see the high rises behind me. Behind that set of high rises in a prime section of town called the Park, you have the Trump Tower, and this is big in terms of scale, 400 units selling for $1.25 million each. We're talking about a project about a half billion dollars overall for the group, the Trump organization.

But Donald Trump Jr. created controversy when he talked about India's smiling poor. He said they are very humble on the streets but it didn't pose with the wealthy pitches he has been making, suggesting Trump has arrived, have you? If you are willing to buy a big ticket property, you can get exclusive access to the President's son.

He didn't step away from that at all, suggesting we have decided to hold off starting any new projects, anything before 2016. Stands nothing new going forward, and he pushed back about all the controversy. Let's listen to what he had to say first.


[02:20:00] DONALD TRUMP JR., PRESIDENTIAL SON: There is the opportunity for the deals that we are not able to do that don't get us discussed. When people talk about it these days, it's profiteering from the presidency. Wait a minute I can't do deals. I've spent over a decade creating a relationship.


DEFTERIOS: Donald Trump Jr., John referring to the 2016 voluntary agreement that the President established for him to pull out of the organization, let Donald Trump Jr. and Eric run. But you can hear the frustration in his voice there, talking to a local TV channel, saying we could do a lot more if I was given some freedom.

But of course, it's already raised controversy having the five major projects throughout India today for the Trump organization.

VAUSE: Very quickly, John, we're almost out of time. What do we know about this dinner, this $38,000 a head dinner and conversation with Trump Jr. Do we know who is signing up for that, what sort of people?

DEFTERIOS: He is trying to bring in a new round of buyers, John, in this fast growing economy. That's no hidden secret. This is something is doing in Delhi. But he's been courting the investors in all the different city visits that he's been doing. They are trying to tone down the external visibility of his trip.

When he gets a chance in front of local cameras, he speaks his mind. But the Trump organization, for example, is limiting the photo op. We weren't allowed in just the local TV channels and even his speech where they talked about having the title of improving indo-pacific ties. We're now told that was an exaggeration.

He is speaking as a businessman, but in fact, in front the Prime Minister, who has a very tight bond with Donald Trump these days in the White House.

VAUSE: Just seems an odd strategy for someone to pay $38,000 and then $1.6 million for an apartment. We're out of time, John. Good to see you, thank

DEFTERIOS: Yeah, thanks.

VAUSE: Next here on Newsroom LA, growing legal problems for the Israeli Prime Minister. This could be big. One of his closest former aides telling police everything he knows. And no refuge from the bombing, what children are facing in the besieged suburb of the Syrian capitol.


VAUSE: Israeli leader, Benjamin Netanyahu is now facing perhaps the most serious challenge of his political career. At least five criminal investigations now swirl around the Prime Minister, which he dismisses as a witch hunt. Numerous people close to him have been arrested.

Charges include fraud, bribery, and breach of trust. Now the man once considered Mr. Netanyahu's right-hand has turned state's witness. Oren Liebermann, live this hour from Jerusalem. Oren, I guess the theory is that if anyone knows the deepest darkest secrets of Benjamin Netanyahu, is Filber, which is why so many are saying this could be the beginning of the end.

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's absolutely right. Let's put this perspective. These investigations he been going on for something like a year and a half at this point. Obviously, in the last week and a half it's gotten serious. Police saying they have enough evidence to indict in a couple of these cases, as well as all these revelations and arrests in the other cases.

[02:25:00] And yet, the single biggest below to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is Shlomo Filber turning state's witness. As you point out, this is a guy who was Netanyahu's right-hand man and closer to Netanyahu in the inner circle than anybody else.

That is a very small inner circle, which is why Filber agreeing to work with prosecutors, could implicate Netanyahu himself in a case he hasn't been named a suspect. That's case 4,000, which involves the relationship between the Ministry Of Communication and Israeli Telecom's firm, Bezeq. The controlling shareholder here is one of Netanyahu's closest friends.

Worth pointing out that this morning, a number of other suspects in that case, known as Case 4,000 are have having a remand extended. This is getting very close to Netanyahu. Yet, John, at this point, his coalition is hanging in there, key partners saying look we will wait for an attorney general decision.

VAUSE: Very quickly, Oren, last week, Benjamin Netanyahu was busy posting on Facebook, saying he is innocent. He would stay in office, nothing to see here. Has he posted anything since this news broke?

LIEBERMANN: Not yet. He certainly hads the opportunity to make a statement when he spoke last night in front of the conference of Presidents of American Jewish organizations. And yet, he stayed away from it, trying to portray in -- sense of normalcy. He hasn't gone in that direction yet. It is worth pointing out that he did point to recent internal poll, pointing out not only his support is strong, but it's actually grown.

His party would go to 30 seats to 34 seats. As he faces more and more adversity, his base gets stronger and stronger. So he is certainly portray sense of everything is all right and my base still stands right beside me.

VAUSE: OK, Orin, thank you. We appreciate the update. Obviously, this is a fast moving story. And we'll be talking to you a lot in the coming weeks, I'm sure. Thank you.

Well, the United States is calling out Russia for the brutal assault on a Syrian suburb. In a statement, the White House strongly condemned the attack by Russia and the Syrian regime on eastern Ghouta. Activists say regime shelling and airstrikes have killed 300 people in 3 days. The U.N. Secretary General calls it hell on earth. Amnesty International says war crimes are being committed on an an

epic scale. Many are taking refuge in underground shelters, but there is little food, little water. Russia backs the Syrian regime but denies responsibility for civilian deaths. Moscow is calling for a Security Council meeting on the crisis Thursday.

Eastern Ghouta is rebel-held area near the capital of Damascus. It's meant to be a safe zone. One 15-year-old boy is documenting what's happening in his hometown. He wants the world to see what he sees, his friends and their families being killed in airstrikes. Eastern Ghouta has been bombed to ash and rubble and this is his plea for help.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to become a reporter when I grow up.



[02:32:07] VAUSE: Welcome back everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause with the headlines. Survivors of the Florida school shootings are demanding lawmakers to take action and restrict the sale of military style assault weapon. At a CNN Town Hall, they also called out politicians for accepting campaign contributions from the National Rifle Association. And President Trump declined an invitation to attend the town hall. Instead, he met with survivors and families of other school shootings as well as the one in Florida. And there he floated the idea of arming teachers.

A former aide to the Israeli Prime Minister has turned state witness in a corruption probe. Shlomo Filber was considered Benjamin Netanyahu's right-hand man for many years. Police say five criminal investigations are now under way involving Mr. Netanyahu and his inner circle.

To Syria and the U.N. Secretary General is calling for immediate end to the attack on Eastern Ghouta. Activist say 300 people have been killed in regime airstrikes in just three days. Syrian residents have been taking shelter in underground bunkers. They have little food and little water.

And invitation only funeral has been set for March 2nd for Evangelical Billy Graham. Graham was one of the most renowned and admired Christian leaders of the 20th century. He died on Wednesday at 99 years old. The family will hold a private memorial service on Saturday followed by a public viewing. We have more now on Billy Graham's exceptional life from CNN's Michael Holmes.


BILLY GRAHAM, AMERICAN EVANGELIST: You come by faith in him.

(END VIDEO CLIP) MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: He was called America's pastor, a minister in the old-time tradition of Southern U.S. Baptist who built a mass following worldwide. Traveling the globe and taking to the airwaves as no religious leader had ever done before. He had no home church, no regular congregation, no church hierarchy except the one he himself created. But through radio, television, movies, publishing, and appearances in 185 countries to record breaking crowds, Graham reached out to hundreds of millions of people preaching the gospel to try to save the souls of each and every one.


GRAHAM: There is no other way man cannot be saved by bread alone.


HOLMES: Billy Graham was born in 1918 and raised on a dairy farm in Charlotte, North Carolina. A time and a place familiar with traveling preachers who would visit long enough to try to revive the community's faith in Christ. Graham attended a revival meeting when he was 16. He became a minister and launched his own revival.


GRAHAM: I do not believe that any men, that any man can solve the problems of life without Jesus Christ.


HOLMES: He called his revival campaigns crusades and made them bigger than any ever seen before, night after night for example at New York's Madison Square Garden for 16 weeks.

[02:35:09] In 1950, Billy Graham made his first visit to the White House. He met and prayed there with Harry Truman and through the decades with nearly all of Truman successors.


GRAHAM: I know that God has sent me out as a warrior on the five continents to preach the gospel and I must continue until He gives the signal that I'm to stop.


HOLMES: He prayed in Russia, China, South Africa.


GRAHAM: Christ belongs to all people. He belongs to the whole world.


HOLMES: He prayed in North Korea, Canada, Hungary.


GRAHAM: I greet you all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.


HOLMES: And in 2005, he prayed at his last crusade with 200,000 people in New York.


GRAHAM: We hope to come back again someday.


HOLMES: Billy Graham prayed all around the world in his seven decades as a media savvy minister, a preacher who reached out to the planet.

VAUSE: The Reverend Billy Graham also known as America's pastor dead at the age of 99. Day 13 of the winter Olympics. It's under way in Pyeongchang, South Korea. So let's take a look at the medal count so far. Norway topping the table 13 golds. The Scandinavian country has dominated these games with 33 medals in total. And then Germany followed by Canada. The United States in fourth place moving up from fifth from yesterday, eight golds and twenty-one medals in total. CNN's Amanda Davies joins us now from Pyeongchang. It's amazing is it that the U.S. still not quite right, you know, in its true form or what you would expect from an Olympic giant.

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely, John. And it's something we've been talking about here over the last couple of days. I was actually sitting next to some of the U.S. Olympic Committee members on the way down from watching Lindsey Vonn in the downhill yesterday and they were really struggling to explain what has happened. But it's not just in the alpine events. We've seen them underperform in the figure skating as well certainly one of the talking points here. But I have to tell you today, the last couple hours particularly have been a fantastic day of sporting action. We're in the middle of a gold rush really. There are 10 golds today being decided which is more than any other day at the game and that's because the weather is coming back into play. I don't know whether you can see behind me. It's pretty great, pretty cloudy.

The snow has started in the last few minutes as will. The winds are starting to whip up and that's why a few of the alpine events have been moved around. So we've seen them in the last couple of hours. And in the mountains, we have in many ways had two surprise winners. All the talk in the run up to the women's alpine combined was about the U.S. pair Lindsey Vonn's final Olympic race, so the chance for her young U.S. teammate Mikaela Shiffrin to try and redeem herself after a disappointing performance in the slalom. But after a stunning downhill run, Vonn pushed too hard and missed the gates in her slalom leaving her giant -- leaving her empty-handed, and Shiffrin put in a stunning second run, but it was only good enough for silver which Switzerland's Michelle Gisin taking the gold four years after her sister took downhill silver in Sochi. And in what's being described as one of the biggest upsets of the games. Sweden is under a mire took the top spots in the men's slalom which

been billing this one as a chance of Marcel Hirscher and to take three golds in three events, but he crashed out of the first run. Henrik Kristoffersen was the man leading but he made a nervy start and got tangled in a gate. In his second run and 35-year-old Myhrer took advantage becoming the first Swedish winner of the event since 1980. He adds the gold to his bronze from Vancouver 2011. One of the fixture that has very much become a staple on the Olympics schedule in recent times is the USA against Canada in the women's hockey final.

It's been Canada with the upper hand. And today in the decider, they were looking for gold medal number five. But the U.S. had other ideas having not won an Olympic gold since 1998. They had a serious score to settle. It was epic. It ended 2-2 couldn't be split in overtime, so it went to the shootout and the U.S. finally emerged victors once again. It was described by one commentator this week as a battle for the age. It absolutely played out that way.

And away from the sporting action an update on the failed doping test and Russian curler Alexander Krushelnitsky has dropped his appeal against his failed test. He handed back his mixed curling bronze medal having failed the test for Meldonium. And the 25-year-old issued a statement saying, I admit there has been a formal violation of the current anti-doping rules. The samples tested have been collected during the Olympic Games and I'm ready to face the verdict. And whilst we wait to hear on the court of arbitration for sport and what they now rule, we are also waiting on what impact it will have on the IOC's decision on whether or not to allow the Olympic athletes from Russia to march not under the neutral flag but as Russia with their national flag and their own uniforms at Sunday's closing ceremony. It's a situation that a lot of people are talking about and the chairwoman of the IOC Athletes Commission address it in a news conference earlier.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is just been hard for everyone. And yes, we represent the rights of clean athletes and that includes Russian clean athletes. And that is something as we put an increased emphasis on the pre-games testing where obviously Russian athletes were high- risk athletes given what we had seen. They had an incredibly high hurdle. But we made sure the Athletes Commissioner made sure -- want to ensure that if they got pass that hurdle that they could compete.


DAVIES: The IOC are going to make their decision this weekend and just before we go, thou, time to another look at the medal table and it is Norway leading the way very much. The feeling that actually they have picked up some of the medals or the majority of the medals that Russia haven't claimed because some of their top athletes have not been here because of those sanctions after the banning of the Russian team. Germany in second place with 24 medals overall, Canada in third, and real disappointment actually for them that they weren't able to reclaim that hockey gold in the last half an hour, John.

VAUSE: I don't like the black beanie as much as the other one. I think the other one looked better. But it's nice to see you. Bye.

DAVIES: I will -- I will wear another one tomorrow.

VAUSE: Excellent. And with that, we'll take a short break. Back in a moment.


VAUSE: All right. 80 school girls had been rescued by the Nigerian Army after they were kidnap by suspected Boko Haram attack in Nigeria on Monday. Official say the kidnappers raided the girl school. The military was able to rescue them after receiving a tip. And joining me now from Abuja, Nigeria is (INAUDIBLE) with the Bring Better Gold Movement. And (INAUDIBLE) thank you for being with us. There has been a lot of confusion over this not just when it comes to the numbers of girls who may have been kidnapped, who may have been rescued, but just simply, you know, was Boko Haram responsible for this or could have been another group. So what's the very latest that we know right now?

[02:45:11] BUKKY SHONIBARE, STRATEGIC TEAM MEMBER OF THE #BRINGBACKOURGIRLS MOVEMENT: The latest we know right now amidst the old confusion and different stories that have come out since this attack happened on Monday night. The latest story right now is that the Nigerian military had rescued all of the remaining girls at a particular border bush. And there was celebration in Yobe State, in certain communities as to what has happened.

However, it must be noted that this similar line of stories and reporting of issues happened, where the Chibok girls were abducted, when some days after the government of Nigeria came out to say all the girls had been rescued except for eight. So, we are still keeping our fingers crossed, and we are doing our confirmation just to be sure until we can indeed say the report is true as being reported.

VAUSE: So Bukky, until -- all the girls are actually back home and accounted for, and with their parents or back with -- you know, their caregivers, there must just be utter dread there right now fearing a repeat of what happened four years ago.

SHONIBARE: Exactly, when we look at what happened with the Chibok girls, considering that today makes it exactly 1,410 days since they are been abducted. The some of these girls came back with severe injuries, some came back with children. And all of them, all the 107 that have been brought back are traumatized.

Although, they have gone through some programs that organized by the government. But one cannot take away the grief and the trauma these girls will face for the rest of their lives. And that's also -- what's are the table (INAUDIBLE) that, 112 girls are still yet to be accounted, or as still yet to be brought back, despite the fact that in about 50 days' time, it will be four years since the Chibok girls were abducted.

VAUSE: Bukky, we're almost out of time, but is there -- is there any indication that the government and the military dealt with this situation any better than how it dealt with the one four years ago? And I guess, there'll be no final judgment on that until the girls are back home.

SHONIBARE: Certainly, the only slight difference is the communication, but because of the confusion in the communication one cannot see difference. It's almost the same thing that is happening such that happened exactly four years ago differently, but different number of girls as to how many girls were missing. Different report also that some girls had been rescued and (INAUDIBLE) they are not rescued.

It seems we are not learning from our past mistakes or a past errors. And I'm hoping that by the time we have a logical conclusion to this, we can indeed see there were distinction between what happened four years ago and now.

VAUSE: Bukky, we will just continue to hope that this all works out for the best. So thank you for being with us.

SHONIBARE: Thank you very much.

VAUSE: Well, it just a few hours from now, German court will rule on a lawsuit that could mean the end of diesel cars in Europe. The government decide whether German cities can ban heavily polluting cars in city centers. An environmental group filed suit after a Volkswagen admitted to cheating on diesel exhaust tests. Other major European cities are planning to ban diesel cars in the coming years. Atika Shubert is in Stuttgart, joins us now, live with the details. Atika?

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, John. This is actually one of the cities that the E.U. says, a pretty regularly exceeds the limits in Germany for nitrogen dioxide. This is one of the things that comes out of diesel exhaust. And you can actually see a layer of smog over Stuttgart, most days. And we had a chance to speak to two of the residents here about what they want to see happen with diesel cars. Take a listen.


SHUBERT: Thiys Lucas, loves his bike. He averages 250 kilometers a week in his home Stuttgart, but there is a problem.

THIYS LUCAS, RESIDENT IN STUTTGART, GERMANY: Well, I could smell that it wasn't clean. It is -- it is hurt in my nose, it did hurt in the eyes.

SHUBERT: Lukas is worried about NO2, nitrogen dioxide from diesel exhaust. The E.U. says in 2014, an estimated 400,000 premature deaths are caused by NO2 and fine particulate, pollution.

Lukas points to two plastic vials, he's installed on his roof designed to trap and measure NO2. There are more than 500 of these throughout the country.

But Lukas isn't just a concerned cyclist, he is also a car engineer. Germany's auto industry makes up nearly 15 percent of its GDP and employs more than 800,000.

[02:50:04] LUCAS: We are very car connected. I mean, every person here is somehow getting money from the company. If not me, then it's my family that earns money from the car industry, and everything is connected. And they're very proud of it. I'm very proud of the cars and the products we make. And -- but the idea we have that cars have to be run by petrol and then, everybody has to have it. Their own car in a city that's growing and you kind of more and more compact, at setting has to change.

SHUBERT: Nearly half of new cars in the E.U. are diesel, but in 2015, Volkswagen was caught cheating emissions tests in California, spewing NO2 up to 40 times the legal limit. Susanne Jallow, says she wasn't surprised by that. She shows us the layer of smog that hangs over the city. Stuttgart is one of 28 cities across Germany that regularly exceeds E.U. limits for the NO2.

"For years, I set my kids out and told them to play outside when the weather was nice," she says, "But cold clear weather like we have now is not good. The issue is that air stagnates underneath, it's like a lid that sits on the smog and cannot get out," she says. That's when she checks her particulate meter, a simple PVC pipe, and circuit board device made for less than $40, one of hundreds across the country. A grassroots initiative to measure the cost of car pollution.

"In the last year or so, things have changed," she says. "People now realize all citizens are affected." Getting Germany to give up or at least, put aside their beloved diesel cars may not work immediately, but citizens like Lucas and Jallow are hoping their persistence pays off.


SHUBERT: At Stuttgart, the sort of the classic German city in the sense that it is home to Daimler, the maker of Mercedez-Benz. And it's the city that hooked on cars. And the entire treasury really made a big bet on diesel, saying it's the cleaner alternative to petrol. But now, it's clear that diesel has really just as many problems. And this is why cities like Stuttgart are looking at a ban. But, city itself has actually been quite resistant to it which is why it's in court now, saying, is it -- is it the city's responsibility or the federal government responsibility to ban diesel cars? Because they know the knock-on effect in a country that really relies on the automobile industry will be massive.

VAUSE: Atika, thank you. Try not to get run over, because you look very close to the road, thank you.

OK, Olympic skater Adam Rippon has no shortage of admirers around the world and it seems no shortage of famous mothers trying to set him up on dates. Next on NEWSROOM L.A.


VAUSE: Well, she's been the flying nun, a beach girl called Gidget, a young woman with multiple personalities. And now, actress Sally Field is playing matchmaker for her son and Olympic skating star Adam Rippon. CNN's Jeanne Moos, tells us now it's all gone.

JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL NEWS CORRESPONDENT: How do you get a date with Olympic skater Adam Rippon? Get matchmaker Sally Field on a case.


SALLY FIELD, ACTRESS, AMERICAN: Plus, something has to be done about this.


[02:54:51] MOOS: Sally's 30 year old, gay son, Sam, has a thing for the openly gay skating star. "Leave it to mom just some really helpful advice from my mom and how to deal with the Olympic crush." Texted Sally, "Sam, he's insanely pretty, find a way." And then, she found a way tweeting the exchange to Adam Rippon himself, so he'd be sure to see it. "Yikes," said her son.

But really, who better to play cupid than a former flying nun? The internet swooned over her matchmaking ploy, tweeted someone that's endearing. "My mom asks if I'm still gay." Sally Fields, always been one of those parents gay kids love winning inequality award from the human rights campaign.


FIELD: A little boys and girls who realized somewhere along the way, they're different from their other brothers and sisters. And so the -- what.


MOOS: A fierce attitude in keeping with Rippon's out and proud personality. BuzzFeed reports the skater called her attempt to fix him up with her son, bold. And Rippon passed on this message, "Sam, your mom, I admire her. And I'm sure one day we're going to meet. So, thanks, mom." Or maybe mother in law?

FIELD: The miracles I have wrought --

MOOS: Mrs. Lincoln, aka Sally Field, told BuzzFeed, "Sam was mortified, I have to bud out now, but I would like to see Adam in the family." As one poster tweeted, never argue with a flying nun, especially one hoping to see a roaming at skid of the ground. Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

VAUSE: You almost see the strings in the flying nun is wasn't that good. Anyway, thank you for watching, CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause, the news continues with Rosemary Church, in Atlanta after a short break. You're watching CNN.


FRED GUTTENBERG, FATHER OF JAMIE WHO WAS KILLED IN SCHOOL SHOOTING: My daughter, running down at hallway at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, was shot in the back with an assault weapon. The weapon of choice.


GUTTENBERG: OK? It is too easy to get, it is a weapon of war.

ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: The demand for gun reform, families, and friends of the Florida shooting victims confront and question their lawmakers.

The head of the United Nations, says Eastern Ghouta is hell on earth.