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News Headlines; Developing Story; Sridevi Dead at 54; Russia Investigation; Kushner's Security Downgrade; Trump White House; Day Two of Humanitarian Pause in Syria Gets Underway; Nigeria Releases Names of 110 Missing Schoolgirls; Family and Friends Pay their Final Respect to Sridevi; Migrant Men Sold into Slavery in Libya; U.N.: We Can't Keep Everyone Safe From Monsoon Rains. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired February 28, 2018 - 02:00   ET



JOHN VAUSE, CNN NEWSROOM SHOW HOST: This is CNN Newsroom live from Los Angeles. Ahead this hour.

ISHA SESAY, CNN NEWSROOM SHOW HOST: The chemical connection, the U.N. has new claim about ties between North Korea and Syria.

VAUSE: The Russia investigation may be crossing what the president has described as a red line with questions about his business dealings with Moscow before the election.

SESAY: And with the monsoon season approaching in Bangladesh, the U.N. warned it cannot keep all the Rohingya refugees safe.

Hello and welcome to our viewers all around the world. I am Isha Sesay.

VAUSE: I am John Vause. Great to have you with us for the third hour of "Newsroom L.A."

SESAY: Day two of Russian-ordered pause and hostility is said to get underway at this hour in (INAUDIBLE) Syria.

VAUSE: There is no (INAUDIBLE) on Tuesday to Thursday. The five-hour ceasefire was meant to go into effect. Activists in the rebel-held enclave of eastern Ghouta on the outskirts of Damascus reported shelling and artillery fire from Syrian military positions.

Meantime, Russia and Syrian government accused rebels of shelling humanitarian corridor. The U.N. has also called for a 30-day ceasefire but to little effect.


JENS LAERKE, SPOKESPERSON, OCHA: It is a question of life and death, if ever there was a question of life and death. This is it. We need 30 days cessation of hostilities throughout Syria as the Security Council demands.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SESAY: Well, here is another alarming development. Kim Jong-un's regime may be (INAUDIBLE) sanctions and providing the Syrian government with the ingredients or supplies to make chemical weapons, according to a U.N. report.

CNN's Jomana Karadsheh is in Amman, Jordan for us and Ivan Watson is in Seoul, South Korea. Jomama, to you first, the first day of the humanitarian pause was a failure. What is the expectation for Wednesday?

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that is what everyone is waiting to see, Isha, in the next few hours. Of course, it is 9 a.m. local time right now in Syria and that is when that humanitarian pause is meant to begin, between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. local time.

Just a short time ago, activists on the ground in eastern Ghouta are still reporting before that 9 a.m. supposed start, artillery strikes against parts of eastern Ghouta in addition to reports of airstrikes. They say, in their words, it really hasn't stopped.

So people are not very hopeful. They are waiting to see what happens, if today is any different than yesterday. But at the same time, Isha, if you look at the level of violence we saw yesterday, there certainly was reduction in airstrikes and shelling based on the accounts that we have received from activists on the ground compared to that relentless campaign we saw since the 19th of February.

So everyone is waiting to see, and of course at the same time, Isha, we heard from the regime yesterday also accusing what it calls the armed terrorist groups in eastern Ghouta who it accuses of holding civilians as hostage of not abiding by that truce of targeting the root that lead to that humanitarian corridor.

So we will have to wait and see if today is any different. Of course, it is urgent for those civilians, hundreds of them estimated, possibly up to a thousand who need to be evacuated, either severely sick or wounded, who need medical attention pretty urgently. So we will have to wait and see if anything changes today, Isha.

SESAY: The need is certainly great on the ground in eastern Ghouta. Ivan Watson, to you now, CNN learning from a diplomat that North Korea has been sending supplied to Syria that could be used to produce chemical weapons. What more are you learning? What is the reaction from the region?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: CNN has gotten a look at and at yet unpublished United Nations confidential report by a panel of experts that alleges that North Korean ballistic missile specialists have made numerous trips to Syria in latter 2016 and 2017.

Another U.N. diplomat has told CNN that the North Koreans were sending supplies that could be used for chemical weapon production including acid resistant tiles, valves and thermometers.

And the unpublished report parts of which CNN has seen again that these North Koran missile technicians have stayed at several Syrian military facilities, some of them are named, Barzei, Adra, and Hama. Now, Syria has been asked about this and strikingly, it argues, it denies this of course

[02:05:00] and argues that the North Koreans have not been sending ballistic missile specialists. Instead, they have been sending sports specialists which is remarkable, the commitment that Syria and North Korea would have to Syria's sports program in the middle of raging civil war.

Now, one of the concerns here is that North Korea could be earning currency that is supposed to be stopped because of United Nations Security Council resolutions, because of sanctions such as the ones that were just imposed by the U.S. Treasury Department just over the weekend where it singled out dozens of companies and ships that it says are breaking United Nations Security Council resolutions.

And we have just seen Japan. Its ministry of foreign affairs published these photos, I believe we can show them to you, that were taken just a few days ago in the east China Sea where it alleges that one of the ships that received, that was named by the U.S. Treasury sanctions, that it may have been involved in ship to ship transfers essentially at sea in international waters, smuggling of supplies that are supposed to be banned by United Nations Security Council resolutions.

The ship with the North Korea flag is named (INAUDIBLE) and in this photo, the Japanese Foreign Ministry says that it was tied with bright lights on next to the (INAUDIBLE) tanker in the east China Sea.

So basically from different sources, allegations, accusations that North Korea is engaged in essentially smuggling not only parts that could be used for chemical weapons in Syria but also in fuel that is supposed to be barred by the United Nations Security Council resolutions. Isha?

SESAY: Staggering revelation. So, we will see what comes out in the hours ahead. Jomana Karadsheh there in Jordan, Ivan Watson there in South Korea, thank you.

CNN military analyst and retired Lieutenant Colonel Rick Francona joins us now from La Quinta, California. Colonel Francona, it is always good to see you. In 2013, Bashar al-Assad under pressure from the U.S. and international community joined the chemical weapons convention and agreed to destroy his stockpile. And yet as we know, the reports of chemical attacks continued. So let me ask you this. How surprised are you to now hear that he may be getting help from North Korea?

RICK FRANCONA, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Not all. North Koreans have been supplying the Syrians with a variety of weaponry and technology for at least 30 years. It has been going on almost non-stop. The North Koreans are very adept at evading sanctions and Syria has been of their primary clients. If you remember, a few years back, they (INAUDIBLE) built a nuclear reactor that the Israelis took out several years ago.

SESAY: So, I mean one of the things that comes to mind, it is a longstanding relationship as you point out between North Korea and Syria. But in this small recent incarnation, if you will, the fact that North Korea is under international sanctions over its own nuclear program and to hear that they have been shipping supplies to Syria really (INAUDIBLE) international sanction system.

FRANCONA: Yes, it does. I mean, they are able to get this out some way. You know, everybody is looking at how they are doing this. You know, their ships are still sailing. And they can't stop and search every one of them. So it is very easy for the North Koreans to evade these sanctions.

They are also probably getting help from two other nations. Maybe the Chinese, maybe the Russians are turning a blind eye for this because it is in the Russian interest to have Syria acquire this technology. It doesn't surprise me at all that we are finding this in in Syria.

SESAY: Well, as you mentioned, the Russians, they have described the U.N. report as a joke, saying -- Putin, as you know, he ordered that humanitarian pause that started on Tuesday. Is that by Russian design?

FRANCONA: Yes. I mean, this is very interesting. If you listen to General (INAUDIBLE) today, speaking to Congress, he said that the Russians are playing arsonists and firefighters at the same time. So while they are talking a good game, they are actually one of the main causes of the problems here.

And for the first time in the civil war, we are beginning to see Russian fighter bombers over the Ghouta. We didn't see that before. It is only the Syrians that were bombing there. Now we are seeing the Russians bringing that in. There has been a shift in the tactics in the east Ghouta campaign. Before, we saw the Syrians themselves going after these enclaves and they would always open up quarters for people to get out.

They would allow the fighters to escape. We don't see that happening here. I know that they say there are quarters, but no one is coming out of them. They are not allowing any medical evacuation and they are not allowing U.N. aid in. So, all the Russian are saying they are doing things, they are not. They are the cause of the problem.

SESAY: And the civilians themselves on the ground in eastern Ghouta. Some have been quoted as saying they see these corridors as possibly a means for force displacement.

[02:10:00] Are they right to be skeptical?

FRANCONA: You know, we saw this in Aleppo as well. Once they left Aleppo, then they were forcibly removed to other areas. I am not sure they are going to be able to return. They become displaced persons in their own country. That is what they are afraid of. But the problem is now as these pockets get smaller and fewer, there is less are for them to go.

If the Syrians do like to have in the past and broke a deal with the fighters in the Ghouta, they are allowing them to relocate probably (INAUDIBLE), but we don't see this happen because the Syrians have brought in these elite group called the Tiger Force.

And I have been listening to the Tiger Force commander in his public statements and allow the propaganda from the Syrian government. He said, I am not letting anybody out. You know, he has become this charismatic leader that carries a lot of sway with Bashar al-Assad.

SESAY: It has been described as hell on earth for those 400,000 people living in hell. Colonel Francona, appreciate it. Thank you.

VAUSE: Family and friends of Bollywood icon Sridevi are paying their respect before her funeral. (INAUDIBLE) has ruled her death an accident. The 54-year-old actress drowned last Thursday at a hotel bathtub during a visit to Dubai for a family wedding. Police have ruled out foul play. On Tuesday night, Sridevi's body was going to Mumbai. Hundreds of her fans have gathered as an ambulance carried her home.

Zakka Jacob joins is now from New Delhi. He is the deputy executive editor for our affiliate CNN-News 18. Zakka, thanks for being with us. Can you explain to us what the service will actually be for Sridevi in the coming hours, and how is she being mourned around the country?

ZAKKA JACOB, DEPUTY EXECUTIVE EDITOR, CNN-NEWS 18: She was a superstar and the very fact that she acted in more than 300 films not just restricted to the Hindi film industry, but also in the regional film industry here in India. I mean, when people talk about Bollywood, we tend to think that is representative of all the different film industries across India. It is not. And that just represents the Hindi film industry.

So even before she came in to Bollywood which was in the mid-80s, she was already a superstar in the regional film industry. She has acted in many different regional languages, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam. She acted in over a hundred films even before she made her entry in Bollywood. In Bollywood, she was extremely successful, acting with the biggest stars, male co-stars at the time back in the 80s, the biggest names.

We talked about equal fee now. Back in the 80s, Sridevi used to get paid more. There was a time when she used to get paid more than some of her male co-stars. So that was the kind of influence that she had. And I think the country is still trying to come to terms with the aftershock of having lost her because she was just 54 years old. People would say that is too young to go.

And also the circumstances leading up to her death, initially some family members suggested it was a cardiac arrest. Then we have the forensic report suggesting that it was accidental death because of drowning. So, not -- the entire detail of the circumstances leading up to her death have not been made clear yet. So people here in India are still trying to process the shock of having lost a big superstar at such young age.

VAUSE: You say that the shock at losing this icon, this big superstar, but from what I read, from many people in India, they thought of her as a friend, they thought of here as maybe a younger sister, even a mother. This was a woman who they have never met but they felt like they knew her so well.

JACOB: Yes. Again, part of the reason I go back to what I said earlier, part of the reason was because she acted in so many different languages, so many different people could relate to her. It was not just the Hindi-speaking people, it was Tamil-speaking people, the Telugu-speaking people.

The fact that she came from one part of India and did so well not just there but also in Bollywood was something that everybody could relate to. Also the fact that she got married into a very film prominent family, the Kapoor family. Her husband is a very famous producer in Bollywood. His younger brother is a very popular actor. She got married into this really popular film family. That again (INAUDIBLE) her quite a lot to a lot of folks.

She did a lot of relatable characters like you said especially in her second coming. She came back into the Hindi film industry in 2012 with a hugely popular movie called "English Vinglish." Basically, it was a story of an Indian woman who doesn't speak in English trying to make a living in America. That was again a very successful film both here and India as well as overseas.

So she was somebody who could do, you know, struggled both worlds. She was a superstar in one film and yet in the very next film, she could be a very common woman.

VAUSE: The industry, the movie industry is changing all around the world.

[02:15:00] You know, why we consume movies wherever we see them. It is very different now compared to when Sridevi started out. So is there another Sridevi out there? Could there be another female Bollywood superstar who could ever get to her level of fame and recognition?

JACOB: Perhaps. I mean, I think it would be dead unfair to compare actresses across generations. There are still huge female actresses in India right now. Priyanka Chopra for example is doing very well on Hollywood. She was there recently in the Golden Globes Award ceremony. I believe she will be there for the Oscars as well. She is doing American television programs. She is very popular.

So, there are big female superstars in India even today. Maybe not quite in the same league as Sridevi, like you rightly said, because that was a different era. I mean, going to the movies, going to the cinema hall to watch this larger than life experience was something that a lot of us will cherish growing up.

We don't quite have the same kind of experience now. You know, you got movies being streamed to your television sets in the comforts of your home. So it is a different experience. But, yes, in terms of popularity, in terms of ability to connect with audiences and for audiences to be able to relate to some of these stars, there are quite a few superstars even women superstars in India right now.

But will there ever be another Sridevi? I mean, I grew up in the 80s and early 90s. For people of my generation, no, I don't think there will be another Sridevi.

VAUSE: OK. Zakka, thank you so much. Zakka Jacob there, deputy executive editor for CNN 18 News. We appreciate you being with us. News 18, I should say. Thank you very much.

SESAY: Well, questions are being asked about Donald Trump's dealings with Russians before he was a candidate. The latest on the special counsel's investigation.

VAUSE: And downgrade in Jared Kushner's security clearance. What it means to the president's son-in-law and senior adviser.


VAUSE: Welcome back. Robert Mueller's Russia investigation is moving beyond the 2016 presidential campaign to Donald Trump's business dealings in Russia before he ran for the White House.

SESAY: Sources tell CNN some witnesses are being questioned about the timing of Donald Trump's decision to run, why his plans for Trump Tower in Moscow fell through, and whether the Russians had compromising information about Mr. Trump. Investigators are also following the money trail for the 2013 Miss Universe pageant which was held in Moscow and ran by the Trump Organization.

VAUSE: We are joined now by CNN political commentator and Democratic strategist Dave Jacobson and Republican consultant John Thomas. OK, let's start with line of questioning here which is centering about 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow. This is from our reporting.

[02:20:00] In particular, Mueller is looking at meetings Trump had with Russian business people or government officials leading the source to believe the investigators were probing the possibility of compromising material on Trump. Investigators were interested with logistics surrounding Trump's hotel room in Moscow. Who was there? Who would have access to it? Who is in charge of security? Who was moving around with him during the trip?

So, John, Donald Trump and his lawyer made it very clear, anything beyond -- anything before he was a presidential candidate, before 2015, 2016, is beyond the scope of Mueller's investigation. But when you listen to these questions and how that might relate to what happened later on in the campaign, why are those questions (INAUDIBLE)?

JOHN THOMAS, REPUBLICAN CONSULTANT, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: This sounds very much like the DNC in Clinton's Russian dossier, right? Whether he was -- what he was he doing in his hotel room, were there prostitutes there, was it compromised, right? That is essentially what an element of dossier was getting into. It is not surprising that the special investigations have mission creep.

I think that's exactly what Trump was afraid of. I don't think there is anything to do to stop Mueller sort of firing him but I am concerned that this creep into Trump's business dealings before the election are going to push his button to such an extent that he will want to fire Mueller.

VAUSE: Dave?

DAVE JACOBSON, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I mean let's not forget it's Rod Rosenstein that is overseeing this investigation. He is a Republican appointed by Republican Donald Trump. And so he is overseeing every element of this investigation. And so clearly there is got to be some tie to the 2016 election. Otherwise, he will shut this thing down, right? And so --

THOMAS: Well, not necessarily. He has gone after Paul Manafort for things he did, you know, years and years and years ago. So it is not necessarily. He is just going down that route to see if there is a there there.

VAUSE: But John, let's just remind you that Mueller was appointed by Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, a Republican, and --

JACOBSON: Mueller is a Republican.

VAUSE: Exactly. But this -- you know, Mueller was given this to investigate any methods that arose or may arise directly from the investigation. It is very broad but that is what Rosenstein told Mueller to do. And that what appears that he is doing right now.

THOMAS: You think it is challenging because Trump wants to say look, they are looking for Russian collusion. They found nothing at least that we know of to date. The investigation has been going on and on and on and there has been nothing. At some point, you have to draw a line. I think Trump's worry, if you back to 2013, are they going to go back to 2000? Are they going back to --

VAUSE: Nothing wrong.

THOMAS: Well, because you might get nailed for process crime. That has nothing to do with Russia collusion. Ask Rick Gates. Ask Paul Manafort.

VAUSE: But still crimes.

THOMAS: Right, but it has nothing to do with Russia collusion. I think that is Trump's point, if you are trying to get to the bottom of Russia collusion, this is not the way to do it.

JACOBSON: We don't know that necessarily. But if you look at the big picture here, we have seen a tremendous swing in public opinion. USA Today and Suffolk University had a brand-new poll that shows that 58 percent of the American people trust Bob Muller, 57 percent don't trust Donald Trump on this issue.

And I think that is really, really stunning because it is a dramatic shift from what we have seen recently. And I think most of that is emblematic of the fact that independent voters are now seem to trust Bob Mueller perhaps more than they were previously.

VAUSE: OK, The Washington Post is reporting that officials from at least four countries, China, Israel, Mexico, and the UAE privately discussed ways to manipulate White House adviser and presidential son- in-law Jared Kushner, taking advantage not just his lack of experience when it comes to foreign policy, but also his own personal financial problems, in particular (INAUDIBLE) which is company he is carrying on Manhattan office tower, $1.2 billion.

This is part of the Post report. Officials in the White House were concerned that Kushner was naive and being tricked in conversation with foreign officials. Some of them said they wanted to deal only with Kushner directly and not more experienced personnel, said one former White House official.

Dave, there was such a concern that it was raised by H.R. McMaster, the national security advisor. He raised this in the intelligence briefing, the daily intelligence briefing. So Kushner, his security clearance and who is he talking to and how he operates, is now the element (INAUDIBLE) raised by the national security adviser.

JACOBSON: Precisely. And that's probably why or at least could potentially be one element of why Jared Kushner hasn't been able to pass throughout the entire course of his time in the White House a standard FBI background check, right? That at the end of the day is a massive clearing issue. And that is why he was recently demoted. That's why he got that security clearance take down.

And I think it is going to have a massive impact in terms of his ability to do the scope of work that he he has been working on whether it is the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks or dealing with and being a liaison to Mexico. I mean, this is going to have a massive body blow in the terms of the portfolio and the data they work that he does in the west wing.

VAUSE: Kushner was also described as the secretary for everything, broker for the Middle East peace, adviser on relationships with Mexico, Canada and China, overseeing the Office of American Innovation, (INAUDIBLE) the entire government bureaucracy (INAUDIBLE) drug addiction.

[02:25:00] And with that downgraded clearance security which essentially is the same as an office work, it is pretty low level stuff, so, you know, it is debatable, John, if Kushner was even capable and performing in that job before this happened. How is he likely to perform now?

THOMAS: I don't think he can. It is a conflict of interest. They say that General Kelly made that call unilaterally, but I guarantee you, he would not have made that call even if he had authority to make that call without consulting the president.


THOMAS: So this is something that the president who sticks very closely by family was willing to go along with because the conflict of interest was so glaring. I have never been a fan of having nepotism in the White House. It just didn't seem to make a lot of sense to me.


THOMAS: But the fact that there has been focus on this, I think it is a healthy thing. I think Kelly has made the right call. And now that he has been demoted, he can't do his job.

VAUSE: Right. Well, as far as his future is concerned, here is White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.


SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: He is a valued member of the team and he will continue to do the important work that he has been doing since he started in the administration.


THOMAS: The interns are important.

VAUSE: Dave, is that one week or two weeks before Jared and Ivanka --

JACOBSON: Well, (INAUDIBLE) communications officer earlier today reported, according to Axios, leaving. I mean, I think this is an effort by Kelly to push him out of the White House. It is sort of that drip, drip, drip but I think in a couple of weeks, I wouldn't be surprised if Jared actually did leave.

VAUSE: OK, let us finish up with secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Ben Carson. First, there was the whistle blower who told CNN that she was pressured to exceed the legal $5,000 limit to redecorate Carson's office.


HELEN FOSTER, FORMER HUD OFFICIAL: One-on-one meeting with my boss who was the acting secretary at the time. And he told me again that $5,000 wasn't enough and specifically $5,000 is not enough to buy a decent chair.


VAUSE: She said it wouldn't buy chair but $31,000 apparently buys a very nice dining table and it comes under the heading of office supplies, so it doesn't go into the redecoration. According to The New York Times, Carson didn't know the table had been purchased but does not believe the cost was too steep and does not intend to return it, said Raffi Williams, a HUD spokesman. In general, the secretary does want to be fiscally prudent as possible with the taxpayers's money, he added.

John, this comes as programs at public (ph) housing to help the poor, the homeless, are said to be cut by the White House budget. So, for Ben Carson, a man who wants pose in a painting with the son of God, what would Jesus do ---

(LAUGHTER) THOMAS: You know, lawmakers get nailed for this kind of stuff all the time, lavish expenditures on their office. I think it is a bipartisan problem. I am glad he was exposed. And I think it is pretty simple. He either cuts a check himself or he steps down. I really think it is that simple. Elected officials or appointed officials should not be living lavishly on the taxpayers' dimes. It is just that simple.

VAUSE: Good point to end it. John and Dave, thanks so much.

JACOBSON: Thank you.

SESAY: Quick break here. After week of confusion, the Nigerian government is sharing new information on more than 100 missing girls. What to do to find them and bring them home, just ahead.


[02:30:46] ISHA SESAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm Isha Sesay.

JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Thanks for staying with us. I'm John Vause, we'll check the headlines this hour.

A Russian order pause in hostility has gone into effect this hour for a second day in Syria. But it's unclear if either sides honoring the humanitarian ceasefire. They did on Tuesday when activists (INAUDIBLE) enclave of Eastern Ghouta reported shelling and artillery fire from Syrian military positions.

Meantime, Russia and the Syrian government accused rebels of shelling humanitarian corridors.

SESAY: It appears Special Counsel Robert Mueller is looking at where the Russians fight him against Donald Trump before he runs to office. So he tell CNN witnesses have been asked about the timing of Mr. Trump's decision to run. Why a Trump Tower deal in Moscow fell through and whether the Russians had compromising information to try to influence since.

VAUSE: Family and Freidan of Bollywood icon Sridevi are saying goodbye. Hundreds of people are gathered in Mumbai to pay their respects. The 54-year-old actress accidentally drowned in a hotel bathtub during a visit to Dubai. Police have also ruled out foul play.

SESAY: Now, the Nigerian government has released the names 110 girls kidnapped in the raid in the city of Dapchi last week. The girls are 11 to 19 years old. Authorities believe Boko Haram took them from their school. For many this looks like a repeat of the kidnapping of hundreds of Chibok schoolgirls four years ago. The head of Nigeria's air force is narrowing the area to personally supervise an aerial search.

Well, Evon Idahosa joins me now from Benin City, Nigeria. She's the founder and executive director of the Pathfinders Justice Initiative. Evon, always good to see you. So the Nigerian government is pledging to do all it can to rescue these Dapchi girls. How much confidence is there that Nigeria can sure the release without significant international assistance?

EVON IDAHOSA, FOUNDER, PATHFINDERS JUSTICE INITIATIVE: Well, the reality is that Nigeria doesn't have the ability, right? To secure the girls, whether or not (INAUDIBLE) to do so I think is a different story. We certainly need the assistance of the international community. It's not for anything else certainly could do to put pressure on these girls and to remind the Nigerian government that every single (INAUDIBLE) and so I know on our end, to bring back our girls campaign certainly will continue to emphasize that reality.

SESAY: At this stage, is there anything known about where these girls are? Where they might be?

IDAHOSA: You know, we know that they -- certainly they moved from where they're abducted from to where the border of Nigeria. But we don't know -- having the most specific (INAUDIBLE) as to where they are. We are standing with the Nigerian air force who certainly been -- from what they reported (INAUDIBLE) to determine the specific location, but we really don't know specifically.

SESAY: We're all trying to figure out how this could have happened again. When (INAUDIBLE) in Borno State. The focus of the military operation essentially to rule out Boko Haram. I mean, how was it the space to terrorist to move in with the convoy and move out with 110 girls?

IDAHOSA: You know, it's still (INAUDIBLE) frustrating. From what we understand that the (INAUDIBLE) since 2018, the case when Boko Haram intended to carry out massive attacks in this particular area. And so the fact that -- they actually left the area and they deploy the military and they deploy -- to provide support for the other areas. It's alarming. It's more reprehensible to leave innocent children vulnerable to these (INAUDIBLE) grieving, angry, and frustrated (INAUDIBLE) should be.

SESAY: Evon, I think we may have lost you. Apologies there and to have you. As we lost the connection with Evon Idahosa there in Benin City, Nigeria who's giving us some insight into the status of these girls and how people reacting and really the question that everyone wants to answer, how could this happen again?

[02:35:07] We're going to continue to sail over the story and we're going to continue to answer tough questions of the government to find out more about the Dapchi girls.

Well, on Thursday, CNN's Nima Elbagir catches up with the young man named Victory who tried unsuccessfully to reach Europe last year. he is now back home in Nigeria.


VICTORY, NIGERIAN MIGRANT: (INAUDIBLE) NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The last time we saw Victory, he was lying on the floor of a Libyan detention center, just rescued from slavery, begging to be sent back home. Now, he is back in Nigeria. But has he found his happy ending?

How do you feel coming back here?

VICTORY: A lot of people lost their lives over there. I am happy that I didn't lose my life. I'm back home now, so I can take another step. So I'm happy.


SESAY: Grateful for his life, but still, still struggling to survive. More on his story Thursday only here on CNN.

VAUSE: Nima also went undercover to expose the dangers many migrants faced in the journey from Nigeria to Libya and then to Europe. So- called pusher men, human smugglers told Nima when she was posing as a migrant that she would probably be raped and she shouldn't fight back. She witnessed a slave auction in Libya where migrant men sold off to the highest bidder and she spoke about this experience with the Daily Show's Trevor Noah.


TREVOR NOAH, HOST, THE DAILY SHOW: Well, people who see this story from the other part of the world, I mean after your report came out, people were hashtagging, many of us felt helpless because you are. Is there anything that a person on the side of the world can do to help in any way with the situation?

ELBAGIR: I mean, we are honestly just so incredibly grateful that you had me on tonight because as long as we people reminding people that this is still happening, because I think at the time, everybody heard all this noise, and we all thought, well something, someone, somewhere, I don't know who is, but someone is doing something called damage. But of course no one was. The Security Council met four times and they still haven't -- they still haven't found an effective way through this. But I think if we keep reminding them that we can, then I think ultimately, they will be forced to do something.


SESAY: Incredible work.

VAUSE: It's one of those stories that is memorable and has actually really made a difference.

SESAY: Absolutely.

VAUSE: And hopefully we continue to it.

SESAY: We're all proud of her.

VAUSE: OK. It's your break. When we come back, the U.N. has a stark warning for Rohingya refugees. We cannot protect you. Monsoon season is coming and with that, comes the threat of deadly flooding and flashfloods.

SESAY: Plus, I'll talk to a doctor who's just back from those camps. He's on a mission to help the Rohingya and he was shocked by what he saw there.


[02:40:51] SESAY: Hello, everyone. A warning from the UN for tens of thousands of Rohingya refugees facing a devastating monsoon season, "We can't keep you all safe." The refugees are living in (INAUDIBLE) overcrowded camps in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. Nearly 700,000 fled Myanmar over the past six months trying to get away from horrific violence. And now, they're facing yet another horror.

VAUSE: The UN warns the refugees' makeshift shelters could be swept away when heavy rain comes and turns the ground to mud. Another threat, landslide and flooding which could block roads into the camps. Aide can't get in and diseases spread quickly. The World Health Organization says those sequences are a huge risk to the entire population there.

SESAY: Well, Dr. Mohammad Khan joins us now. He's a U.S. physician who's traveled to Cox's Bazar to help the refugees there. You just got back was it Saturday?

MOHAMMAD KHAN, U.S. PHYSICIAN: Yes, I got back Saturday. That's great. Thank you, Isha.

SESAY: Welcome. Thank you for joining us.

KHAN: Thank you.

SESAY: You have made the point that you grew up in India. You have seen poverty growing up and yet when you got to Cox's Bazar, you are still taking aback. Tell me about what shocked you.

KHAN: Like I said, I grew up in India. And I lived to neighborhoods, poor neighborhoods, slums as you might say. But just the magnitude and the concentration of the people there and the very dire, unhygienic circumstances they were living in. And thousands and thousands, hundreds of thousands of people all they crunched together in a small area and kids running around. And just before that (INAUDIBLE) and the expressions that they have and the look in their faces and the fear and the sadness been together by the whole surroundings and the (INAUDIBLE) and kids running around and this was nothing I've seen before.

SESAY: Those looks that you talk about, the haunted looks. You can suspend time a little time there. How were they doing?

KHAN: I think it would be a (INAUDIBLE) if I say they're all sad or they're all happy or they're all resilient. I would say that's a bit of mixed emotions that I saw in many people. I got to (INAUDIBLE) the patients in the clinic and then we went into the interior of the camps to see everyone. So I would say some are just -- they still have the look of being terrified and fear. Some are just sad. They start crying. Then the moment you ask them, okay. What's going on? Luckily, we have translators all the time and you ask them and then they start crying.

Some kids are dazed out and that's what struck me most. When I saw daze, they are like expressionless. I saw a nine-year-old kid - I have a seven-year-old son, so I could relate to him and it was nine- year-old kid and he came to us with the urine infection with some drainage in the area cleaning. And they asked him about what's going on. So he had the look -- he doesn't smile, he doesn't laugh, he doesn't react to pain. He has just this look. But he communicates to the translator. And he said he walked eight days to get there. His father was killed and with his mother and his sister. It was a journey on foot for eight days.

SESAY: Eight whole days.

KHAN: Eight whole days and they -- he said that it leaves on the way. Leaves on the way. But this guy -- this little boy that I saw -- I think I even sent you a picture of that. He has this dazed look and he's very sad and scared at the same time.

SESAY: You were there on a medical mission.

KHAN: Correct.

SESAY: And you just mentioned you went into the clinic and you went into the interior. Medically speaking, what did you encounter?

KHAN: Right now, I would say since the (INAUDIBLE) had started in August, so the immediate trauma or the injury that we have not seen. Now, what we are seeing is infections. And because of the proximity we saw a lot of pulmonary infections. Kids with bronchitis, bronchiolitis, skin rashes due to on hygiene conditions, fungal infections in the skin. And obviously the trauma and the stress to high blood pressures. And I think there are a lot of nutritional deficiency that we saw. Anemia, pregnant woman who are not lactating. They have no food to eat. So, how are they going to produce milk for the babies? Nutritional problems have seem (INAUDIBLE) issues, diabetes, quite a few.

SESAY: A lot of chronic conditions developing.

KHAN: Absolutely. Absolutely.

SESAY: Monsoon season is coming.

KHAN: Yes.

SESAY: The UN has already made it clear. The UN have said, we can't keep you all safe. What are the hazards we're potentially looking at here? Because you've seen the landscape, you've walked the earth. What is coming potentially?

KHAN: Absolutely. The area, it's about 30 kilometers south of Cox's Bazar. It's a tourist city. And this area is called the Balu Kali and the Kutupalong camp. So now these two camps combine. They represent the largest camp in the world, where the refuges are. And up until then it was in Kenya, there was DaDaab. That's the other camp. Now, it's like more than half a million people just in the camp where we were. And more than six months ago, this was just jungles and forest. Now because of the refugees coming in, all the camps are built. And they have built on a step up sort of fashion. And every way you see the (INAUDIBLE) of camps. So, the Bangladeshi government has identified the areas which are prone most to flooding and monsoon. So, what they have said, and I think we should have priority Bangladeshi military and the Bangladeshi government for doing what they are doing. I mean, they are -- themselves a country that limited resources.


SESAY: Themselves are putting -- exactly.

KHAN: So, what they have said is the immediate hazard, the infections in the province will come later. The immediate hazard will be (INAUDIBLE). So, among the 780,000 refugees who are there, they have identified 100,000. And they would be relocating them to a safer area.


KHAN: That's what we have been told.

SESAY: And, we only have about 30 seconds left. But ask, people who've been to cause this (INAUDIBLE) this question a lot. What is it that the world is missing when the casualty glance at what is happening to this people? What is it that you think and believe people should know?

KHAN: Well, people should know that in grassroots evil what we are doing can -- I mean, it does make an impact, but more importantly, a big change has to come from the international community and that's what -- that's what they were less missing. And it has to come out from the goodness of our hearts.

This is a humanitarian issue, it's not the issue that is a religious issue, it's a humanitarian issue. And the world has to -- has to come up and head the people of either Rohingya-Muslims over there. And you know, the powerful country like our United States -- you know, we should speak up. And know the integrity of State has called it an ethnic cleansing. More this to be done to put pressure so that Myanmar can keep -- take them back and give them their citizenship rights.

SESAY: Yes. , we thank you for your heart and thank you for your work. And we appreciate you coming in to tell us about your experience.

KHAN: Thank you.

SESAY: Thank you. VAUSE: In March 14th is the second Annual My Freedom Day. CNN is partnering with young people around the world for student day of action against modern-day slavery. We have been asking people what freedom means to them. His one of means to American Olympic figure skater Nathan Chen.


NATHAN CHEN, FIGURE SKATER, AMERICA: Freedom means being able to be who you are. Whenever, wherever say what are you be would like and just truly be yourself.


VAUSE: So, what does freedom mean to you? Share your story using the hashtag My Freedom Day.

SESAY: A quick break here. Jurassic Park, E.T., Indiana Jones, and now, is Academy Award nominated film, The Post. Steven Spielberg talks to CNN about how this movie has reflect to his personal life.


VAUSE: Did you know the Academy Awards are on Sunday? Because were -- because we're working, we're going to be here.

SESAY: We're here, it's come back to me now.

VAUSE: Yes, CNN -- and until we appear on Sunday with the Academy Awards, CNN is highlighting all the others behind movies today. Our creator's, series which is Steven Spielberg. His the man responsible for some of the most memorable and iconic films of generations.

SESAY: Spielberg's movie, The Post, is nominated for Best Picture. His talk with CNN about how his carrier has evolved along with his personal life.


[02:50:08] STEVEN SPIELBERG, DIRECTOR, THE POST: You know, I have seven kids, when they're all growing up, I told them stories every night. I went from room to room, to room told them all different stories. And I do the same thing with the camera and a crew.

Every movie I've ever made has come from someplace where they're conscious or unconsciously emotional and deep. Even the kind of confections -- you know, come from pain. Even Hulk, which is a confection of my kids always love the movie, Hulk, you know, came from a deep place.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- just shut up.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just live me alone for one moment -- SPIELBERG: Abandon was -- you know, basically, a workaholic does

enough time for his family. And you know, discovers he was once a Peter Pan. But that -- there's a message on that even. So, even a kind of frolic like Hook has some deeper meaning to my life.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- I think we're back in business.

SPIELBERG: I know that my movies -- you know, are kind of rubber bands. You know, and sometimes even stretching to the breaking point, between genres, between a science fantasy or science fiction genre. Or between an adventure horror film. And then, all that historical films I make, though I do vastly back and forth between things that don't need research to authenticate the truth because the imagination is the imagination.

But as I get older, I prefer to tell stories that actually already happened because it's so compelling. And you can't write that stuff the history write for us. History is the greatest writer of drama, and of irony, and of catastrophe, and of -- and of destiny, and of victory. You can't do better than history.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, a kind of so hypothetical questions.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No dear, I don't like hypothetical questions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I don't think you're going to like everyone either.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you have the papers?


SPIELBERG: I just thought this was a great story, it was a great story that should be told in today's current climate. With the press is under such withering attack and also denial.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The time sets 7,000 pages, detailing how the White House has been allying about the Vietnam War for 30 years.

SPIELBERG: Fighting heroes are -- you know, basically, investigative journalists. When I was younger, of course, my heroes were Indiana Jones and Superman, that kind of thing. But today is like in older now I realize -- you know, the kind of sacrifices these people make. You know -- you know, the reputations and their careers, and simply to get the truth out there where can be -- you know, seen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's going to go of this slow to hear, but then, he's going to go a little faster to reveal themselves.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not the full report but it's over 4,000 pages of it.

SPIELBERG: When I was younger. I didn't like shooting, I like editing, and now, when I'm older, I love shooting. And I also love editing, but I love shooting. As I gotten older, I've just got a little more comfortable with the fact that when you make a movie, it's a real social experience.

Every single film I have made has been a marker of who I was at that time of the making of that picture. So, it's kind of like looking back all over your life, and say, was high school more exciting than college? Those are markers in their stepping stones all about who I was? And different spaces of my own growth as an artist, and as a husband and dad.


SESAY: We'll, be show at as a John, John.

VAUSE: To John join,

SESAY: Even John join if you like, John join don't really as I the special coverage of the Academy Awards we will bring you the latest started reaction of Hollywood's Biggest Night.

VAUSE: Isha Sesay, thank you.

SESAY: That's on Monday, medley following the Oscar telecast. 1pm few in Hong Kong, 5pm in London, right here on CNN. John will be in a tux, I'll wear fancy dress.

VAUSE: Have I going on air even if you tell me were to so on air. And they caught up because caught up and they do.

SESAY: We'll be --

VAUSE: We will be here. OK, moving on all those meetings. Well, I think most I have an (INAUDIBLE) I never fall asleep while my boss is talking. But I think you have Isha, what's that like?

SESAY: I haven't, but, it happens, right? It happens, the only issue is when your boss is Donald Trump, you can't nap probably won't go unnoticed. Here is Jeanne Moos.

JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL NEWS CORRESPONDENT: He's a guy who's known for being pretty awake.




MILLER: No, don't be condescending.

MOOS: But there he was caught napping, head drooping even as his boss, the president spoke on school safety.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The headline was Trump wants all teachers to have guns.

[02:54:56] MOOS: He did been a valued effort, Senior Advisor Stephen Miller, yawn, scratch his ear, rubbed his face, stretch his neck, but to no avail he fell asleep. At one point his elbow slipped off the chair with his top views on immigration critics unloaded. "I guess you could say. Stephen Miller was a dreamer, I feel personally safer knowing that Stephen Miller is asleep on the job, Miller joins Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

TRUMP: To inspire mankind.

MOOS: Not inspire enough to stay awake during the president's speech in Saudi Arabia. Of course, the inopportune news cuts across party lines, liberal president like Bill Clinton have done it.

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: To live up to their purpose and potential --

MOOS: Wreaking up, capping his ear as if trying to hear. Even Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.


MOOS: Those through President Obama's State of the Union, blaming it on California wine at dinner.

RUTH BADER GINSBURG, ASSOCIATE JUSTICE, SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES: At least I wasn't 100 percent so good because before we went to the State of the Union --

MOOS: President Reagan fell asleep while sitting next to the Pope. And Tucker Carlson nodded off sitting next to T.V. host.


MOOS: He drifted off during an early morning commercial and woke up after they came back from break. But to know what qualifies as a sleep emergency? When a 911 dispatcher nods off while taking a call from a women seeking help for her unconscious husband.


MOOS: At least, Stephen Miller didn't snore. Jeanne Moos, CNN --

TRUMP: I want highly trained people --

MOOS: New York.


VAUSE: Keep in mind that Donald Trump sleep at four hours a day. It has to be had to keep up for that guy.

SESAY: Yes, sure it is.

VAUSE: Kind of a slack.

SESAY: You been watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles, I'm Isha Sesay.

VAUSE: I'm John Vause, please stay with us. The news continues with Rosemary Church, after a short break. You're watching CNN.


ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: In Syria, the first day of the ceasefire failed to stop air strikes, and aid workers are raising the alarmed once again. A live report on day two is going.

The presidential adviser and son-in-law strip of the security clearance but he needs to review top-secret material. We will hear from a former White House adviser on how this will impact Jared Kushner's work.