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North Korean Leader Kim Jong-Un's visit to China; Trump White House; Koreas Tensions; Nuclear Weapons Issues; People killed in Fire in Siberian Mall; Donald Trump controversies; Stormy Daniels; Cricket Cheating Scandal; Documentary Exposes Bombings In Nuba Mountains; Music Composed From Heartbeat Of Terminally Ill Patients. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired March 28, 2018 - 02:00   ET


[02:00:58] JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: This is CNN Newsroom live from Los Angeles, ahead this hour.

ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR: Mystery no more. The train that rolled into Beijing had Kim Jong-Un on it, what he told President Xi ahead of planned summit in South Korea and the U.S.

VAUSE: The counter puncher in chief pulling his punches on the Stormy Daniels controversy and the silence is deafening.

SESAY: We'll take you on a journey to the heart of Nuba, where you'll meet one doctor running one hospital who has treated one million patients in war torn Sudan. Hello and welcome to our viewers around the world. I'm Isha Sesay.

VAUSE: I'm John Vause into the third hour of Newsroom L.A.

SESAY: While Kim Jong-Un is on his way back to North Korea aboard his special armored train after what was until just a few hours ago, a secret trip to his most important ally, China.

VAUSE: Well, during his four day visit, the North Korean leader held talks with Chinese President Xi Jin-Ping, attended a banquet dinner, all of this under extraordinary security and secrecy. According to Chinese state media, Kim affirmed his commitment to denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

SESAY: This comes just weeks before Kim is said to hold talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and then possible U.S. President Donald Trump. CNN's Andrew Stevens joins us now from Beijing, and Andrew, an important meeting for Mr. Kim and President Xi, not just because it's about the reset between China and North Korea relations, but also an opportunity I would imagine for Kim Jong-Un to gleam some more info on President Trump.

ANDREW STEVENS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I take it that was probably one of the topics of discussion over whatever they drink, or what they ate at the banquet that certainly Kim Jong-Un would want to know what he -- how he needs to arm himself when he's going to -- into these discussions with Donald Trump. But it has been enlightening just seeing what has been coming out of

this meeting between Xi and Kim Jong-Un. Isha, first of all, we are now hearing for the first time from the North Korean leader, albeit via Xinhua, which is state-owned news agency that he is committed to denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula.

Now we know that because the South Koreans have said, he said that, and the South Koreans have told the Americans he said that, but we haven't heard anything from North Korea. The radio silence has been deafening on the other side of the Korean border. Now we have these direct quotes from Xinhua to Xi Jin-Ping from Kim Sang that he is committed to the denuclearization, in fact, that he is pushing it along further than anyone would have expected.

And he is sort of the driving force, if you like. The other side of this, of course, is that reset you mentioned. Kim went to China because he does need to shore up his relationship. He does need to secure his relationship with China, which has been rocky, no doubt about it. And if you think about it, China, as much as anyone has been responsible for getting Kim to the negotiating table in the first place by enforcing the sanctions, which have been put on North Korea internationally, which is hurting the North Korean economy.

So Kim wanted to get China on side. Certainly, the rhetoric suggests the two were singing off the same hymn book, but there was a personal meeting of minds, if you like, very, very complementary praise on both sides at the stage. So it does look like Kim may have achieved a couple of his objectives by going to Beijing, Isha.

SESAY: I guess the test will be, Andrew, the test will be or the proof will be if we see China pull back on enforcement of those sanctions. I mean that is surely something Washington's going to be watching closely, having them come together in this manner, this rosy bright rhetoric coming out of it. What happens with those sanctions?

STEVENS: Yeah, well it's interesting because the reaction from Washington was the fact that Kim going to China was a result of the maximum pressure being applied by the U.S. administration, by the Trump Administration, which has been supported, as I said, by China. Now whether China is prepared to ease off on any of the sanctions or the enforcement of sanctions probably looks like it's like at this stage.

Because China's stated them -- also is denuclearization. They have Kim there. They have, China and the U.S. have a lot of leverage at the moment, economic leverage over Kim and they're or unlikely to let that slide preemptively, if you like. It will have step for step, and I think easing sanctions is really the strongest weapon they have at this stage, China and the U.S., to get Kim to actually follow through the moment.

But just hearing words from North Korea, we have to see actions.

[02:05:01] SESAY: Well, it appears that we have lost our own Andrew Stevens there, sadly, giving us some insight in that meeting between Xi Jin-Ping and Kim Jong-Un. Andrew, are you back? So just pick up on that thought as to where things go next.

STEVENS: So we're back live, I've taken, Isha.

SESAY: We are indeed.

STEVENS: So yes, where do things go next? It will be what China is prepared to ease for North Korean actual -- North Korea action. And I think at the moment this maximum pressure seems to have worked to the point where I've North Korea to the table, and it is likely to stay until there is concrete action from North Korea as I was saying. What they're going to be, we will have to wait and see.

Obviously, verification of just missile tests being a moratorium on this bomb test or bomb test would be a good start, perhaps opening up the nuclear industry to independent observers to see what they've actually got there. Those sorts of issues to get them on the table, that's the sort of negotiations that are to take place. Again, they have got to be tough and they have got to be very, very difficult.

And let's face it, North Korea up until now has shown no interest whatsoever in abandoning its nuclear capability.

SESAY: As you said, just words so far. And going forward is going to be a case of trust, but verify. Andrew Stevens joining United States there from Beijing, thank you as always, Andrew.

VAUSE: Joining us now is CNN Political Commentator and Democratic Strategist, Dave Jacobson, and Republican Consultant John Thomas. OK, so at the White House the Press Secretary Sarah Sanders issued a statement. The Chinese government contacted the White House earlier on Tuesday to brief us on Kim Jong-Un's visit to Beijing. The briefing included a personal message from President Xi President Trump, asking him about Stormy -- no sorry, which is being conveyed to President Trump.

The United States remains in close contact with our allies in South Korea and Japan. We see this development as further evidence that our campaign and maximum pressure is creating the appropriate atmosphere for dialogue with North Korea. And so John, the big read out of this is this is an indication that you know the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-Un is preparing for that summit with Trump. He's taking it seriously.

On the U.S. side, what do we have? We don't have a date. We don't have a time. We don't have a location. We don't any idea who is actually taking part in that meeting.

JOHN THOMAS, REPUBLICAN CONSULTANT: Well, the stakes are much higher to the U.S. than it was in neighboring countries. So it's not surprising we don't have a date yet, but I fully intend -- I understand that there will be a date locked out. I think it's a step in the right direction. He's coming out of his shell and starting to address the concerns of his neighbors. This is all forward momentum. There is still work to be done, but I don't see...

(CROSSTALK) VAUSE: We also don't have a new Secretary of State sworn in.


THOMAS: I don't think North Korea really cares about that. They care about one man.

VAUSE: Sure, but this is all part of the preparation on the U.S. side.

THOMAS: Sure, sure. And that probably is slowing down things, but I think they'll get it together.

DAVE JACOBSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, this is the fascinating thing. Axios reported today that there is now a new nuclear reactor in North Korea that was reported. There are new satellite images of this. This is a reactor that fuels nuclear weapons, and so this is very similar to what we saw in Iran, what we're doing in the Iran deal when were trying to shut these reactors down. So North Korea hasn't stopped moving forward in building momentum internally, it looks like.

And so the question is like what is going -- is this meeting going to happen, if so, when, and then what is going to come out of it, coming at just the right time.

VAUSE: Clearly, by going to Beijing, Kim Jong-Un is showing that China is still a major player in all this. And you know is China is still their only friend in the world in any major capacity. How willing is China going to be to help the United States in all this whilst it's in a middle of a trade war with the U.S.

THOMAS: Yeah, I mean that's an interesting dynamic here, but China you know hasn't exactly been a great ally of the U.S. in putting pressure in North Korea from the outset. So perhaps there's some trading on the one hand we can do over economic sanctions and this trade war to help us get what we want out of North Korea. I have a feeling it's a multipronged game of leverage.

JACOBSON: I think it's a power play by China. I think their going to use this as leverage against the United States to try to downplay some of these trade wars that we're seeing.

VAUSE: You know one other point out of this trip to Beijing by Kim Jong-United States, apparently he -- one of the other reasons for this is that even the North Koreans have been surprised that Donald Trump accepted their offer of direct negotiations, which is why the hurried trip to Beijing to meet with China's Xi Jin-Ping, you know the leader of their closest ally before they met with the U.S. President.

JACOBSON: And yes, its further evidence of the chaos presidency. Like, we're talking about how promising the potential is for this meeting. Like, we're also not looking at the flipside, like what happens if Donald Trump tweets something or says something that the North Koreans perceive to be some sort of criticism. I mean it could be used against us, and perhaps it could backfire. THOMAS: I am not sure how it could get much worse, Dave.


THOMAS: I am not sure what would.

[02:10:00] VAUSE: The President, at least at the moment, is holding his thumbs, keeping his thumbs dry. The Twitter account of the President has gone almost silent. It is eerie. No tweets about the porn star Stormy Daniels since the interview on Sunday night with in 60 Minutes when she talked about her affair with the President. Here is Sarah Sanders explaining why.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why not has he punched back on this one?

SARAH SANDERS, UNITED STATES, SECRETARY OF STATE: Look, President, I didn't say he punches back on every single topic. If he did, he would probably be addressing a lot of the stories that most of you write every single minute of every single day.


VAUSE: And then she went out to say that the President has already addressed this issue of Stormy Daniels. What exactly did he address with the issue of Stormy Daniels?

JACOBSON: He hasn't. And like he is a counter puncher, this is a guy who went after his own attorney general, calling him Mr. Magoo. He said leaking James Comey.


JACOBSON: But Jeff Flakey, Crooked Hillary, Lying Ted, Little Marco, the list goes on and on and on. The fact of the matter is this guy's got thin skin. He's a schoolyard bully and he always counterpunches, so there's something to this, John. I think that Stormy Daniels or Vladimir Putin or the equivalency of political venom, when it comes to this President, and they're putting the squeeze on him, because clearly -- I mean I'm baffled that he's silent.

VAUSE: OK. In case you're missing some of the Trump taunts and the name calling, let's have a long walk down memory lane.


DONALD TRUMP, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: Sleepy eyes Chuck Todd. He's a sleeping son of a bitch. He's not a war hero. Hillary Clinton is a joke and I see her barking like a dog. Rosie O'Donnell's disgusting, I mean both inside and out. You take a look at her. She's a slob. Cher is somewhat of a loser. She's lonely. She's unhappy. I like his acting but you know in terms of when I watch him doing interviews and various other things, we're not dealing with Albert Einstein.

I thought Seth Myers, frankly, his delivery was not good. He's a stutterer. You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever. Lying Ted, he's no good. I'm telling you, bad guy. I told him Little Marco, Little Marco -- Crooked Hillary Clinton. I call her Pocahontas and that's an insult to Pocahontas. This dopey guy Glen Beck, he looks like hell.

She was the winner and you know she gained a massive amount of weight, and it was a problem. We had a real problem. Oh, the poor guy, you have got to see this guy. Oh, I don't know what I said. I don't remember.


VAUSE: And no mention of Putin or Stormy Daniels in that entire clip. Sarah Sanders said that, you know, the President basically is too busy running the country to engage back and forth with Stormy Daniels or her attorney. Does anyone actually really believe that?

THOMAS: Well, if you wanted to, I suppose he could. He could find time but the issues where you do go with this. She's told it all in her 60 Minutes interview and there really wasn't much there. They had a one night affair. Where do you go from there?


VAUSE: He publicly denied it.

THOMAS: But the White House has denied it.

VAUSE: Yeah, but he hasn't.

THOMAS: But that's his -- the White House is...


JACOBSON: Donald Trump.


THOMAS: Now, it's to their lawyers to do the talking.

JACOBSON: If they take legal action against him, against Stormy...


THOMAS: That's the next step. But having Trump -- what are you -- how are you going to get any lower than with a porn star who looked like she was coked out of her mind with Anderson Cooper.


VAUSE: Oh, come on, that's harsh.

THOMAS: Her pupils were massively dilated. Doctors have warned that your pupils are dilated.

(CROSSTALK) THOMAS: They're tight.

VAUSE: Dave?

JACOBSON: That could happen from having a glass of wine.

VAUSE: I don't think she was on coke.


JACOBSON: Yeah, I think its a little over-the-top.

THOMAS: Even for a porn star?

JACOBSON: I mean look, the other thing that could potentially be happening is like it could be like Melania Trump saying I don't want you to weigh in on this. Like, I guess -- she has not waited. She has been dead silent on this issue when it could be the first lady waiting and saying, you know what I don't want you to weigh in on this. But a number of hours have reported that Donald Trump has been making calls to some of his allies outside of the White House, asking if -- I mean he is like grinding his teeth. He's ready to go.


JACOBSON: Absolutely, we've never seen this from this President, beyond having -- he's the only other person that Donald Trump has never criticized.

VAUSE: OK. Also at the White House briefing on Monday, Sarah Sanders tried to play down a report that the Trump legal team, working on the Russia investigation, as opposed to the other legal problems, trying to play down, you know, this deception that the entire team is in disarray. This is what she said.


SANDERS: Look, the President has a highly qualified team, with several individuals that have been part of this process, Ty Cobb, Jay Sekulow, for specific details on any search process outside of the White House. I would refer you to his outside counsel.


[02:15:00] VAUSE: OK. Well, good news because after the President is Reuters is reporting that Andrew Ekonomou, 69 years old, a Washington outsider is joining that highly qualified team. We're not sure if he's being elevated to a central role. He's from Georgia. He part-timed contracted the DEA there. Here is part of the reporting from Reuters. A little known former prosecutor with a doctorate in medieval history will play a central role for U.S. President Donald Trump's legal team, as many top tier lawyers shy away from represent him in a probe into Russia's meddling in 2016 election.

David, doctorate in medieval history could come in handy at some point, as he what, joins this team what, one, to join Sekulow is that it?

JACOBSON: Yeah. I think so. I mean, it's clear that the Washington insiders, some oft the top attorneys in this country who represent high profile officials are turning down such an honor to represent the President of the United States, a because they think is going down potentially and they don't want to be part of it, and b, because being associated with Donald Trump is going to tarnish your reputation for the duration of your career.

This guy has the lowest approval ratings that we've seen of any modern-day President at this point in their presidency, and he's just running a circus of a White House. Nobody wants to be part of it.

VAUSE: You know so, John, to that point. How difficult is it to get a D.C. lawyer to go work for the most powerful man in the world, the President of the United States, regardless of party. Normally, this would look great on a CV.

THOMAS: I think it's the same challenge that he has with finding a qualified Communications Director and that -- those two roles, both legal counsel and Communications Director are all dependent upon the President following your advice. And what we seen as the President does what the President feels, and if that means tweeting or saying something off-the-cuff that could potentially undermine our internal legal strategy, any highly credible, seasoned lawyer doesn't want any part of that, because they don't want to take the blame.

And that they have a fiduciary responsibility to not to slam their client for disagreeing with their advice.

JACOBSON: I mean undercuts his Attorney General, calls him Mr. Magoo. He undercut Rex Tillerson, his Secretary of State.


JACOBSON: It's crazy.


VAUSE: OK, David, John, good to see you both. Thank you.


SESAY: Quick break here. Protesters in Russia demanding answers after fire in a mall full of 64 people, including an entire class of 5th graders. Fire exits were blocked and the alarm system was turned off, the very latest on the investigation next.

VAUSE: Also, in the bomb struck from a brutal regime in Sudan, one man is always on call, the only doctor in the Newman Mountains serving the needs of a forgotten people, his story when we come back.


[02:20:00] VAUSE: Well, days after a deadly fire in a mall in South Central Russia, the victims are being mourned across the country. SESAY: The blaze in the Siberian city of Kemerovo killed at least 64

people, 41 of them children, including an entire class of 5th graders. Investigators say fire exits were blocked and an alarm system was turned off.

VAUSE: Worst of it all, who is following that investigation, joining us now live from London, Melissa, it seems just on the initial findings of this tragedy could've been prevented.

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That it might have been prevented, even as you're getting, John, these horrendous reports of the horrifying messages that were sent by children to their parents, one of them a fifth grader who wrote we're burning. It's probably goodbye. One of those of that entire class reported to have died in the fire, even as that begins to sink in, as emerges people share about it and try to imagine the horror of what went on in that building in the final few minutes while those children and while those people were still alive.

There is this growing sense of outrage, really, John in the town of Kemerovo at the perceived lack of transparency and the processes that allowed it to unfold, but also the perceived lack of transparency and investigation into how it unfolded.


BELL: After the grief, the anger. On Tuesday, several hundred people gathered in Kemerovo to demand answers the deadly fire that torched a shopping mall on Sunday. Russian authorities say dozens were killed, most of them children.


BELL: -- was much higher, meanwhile, (Inaudible) assuring that those responsible would be punished. Earlier, he visited the scene of the fire, laying flowers at a makeshift memorial to the victims.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT: What is happening here? This was not a combat situation, not an unexpected methane outburst and a mine. People came to rest children. We talk about demographics and lost so many people because of what, because of criminal negligence and carelessness.

BELL: The fire, one of Russia's deadliest in recent years broke out on Sunday afternoon when the Winter Cherry Shopping Mall was packed with shoppers and cinema goers, and many, many children. With the fire exits blocked and the fire alarm turned off, according to the investigative committee that's looking into the tragedy. Witnesses say the scenes inside were of sheer panic.

Among those in Tuesday's protest, parents of the victims sharing their anger and their grief. On Wednesday, Russia will hold a day of mourning, but with so many casting doubts on the official death toll, there are others gathered in Kemerovo many are questions than answers.

(END VIDEO CLIP) And John, the problem is that the protesters say that the numbers of those still missing far exceeds the official toll that's been given, all those that authorities believe are still missing. And until those parents of Kemerovo get the answers that they seek, it's very difficult to see how the sense of outrage, how the protest is going to die down. It's interesting that Vladimir Putin didn't go and speak to those protesters yesterday.

He is clearly facing a difficult time in the international stage, isolated is he is with these expulsions of diplomats against him and now at home, this anger at a system really, not just at a single tragedy, John.

VAUSE: Yeah. It's a horrible story and for all sorts of reasons. Melissa, thank you.

SESAY: Really terrible.

Up next, he won a $1 million prize for awakening, humanity, and then gave it all away to continue his mission, an American doctor in the heart of war torn Sudan, saving countless lives and bringing about change, the power of one now the feature of a much anticipated documentary.

VAUSE: And then later this hour, nothing can make up the loss of a loved one, but we'll talk to a music therapist who is helping families in their grief by disposing songs of life from the heartbeats of (Inaudible).


[02:25:00] VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. You're watching CNN Newsroom live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause. We'll check the headlines this hour.

North Korea's Kim Jong-Un made his surprise visit to China, the first time he's left his country since taking power in 2011. Chinese state media reports Kim wanted to personally inform President Xi Jin-Ping about developments on the Korean Peninsula. Kim in expected to meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in next month and possibly U.S. President Donald Trump in May.

A national day of mourning in Russia, days after a fire ripped through a mall in a Siberian city. The blaze filled as 64 people, including an entire class of 5th graders. Fire exits were blocked and an alarm system has been turned off. Hundreds of protesters are now demanding a full investigation. And civilian sanctions are expected within 24 hours with 3 Australian cricket players at the center of a cheating scandal.

They admit they conspired to tamper with the ball and change its spin during a weekend tournament in South Africa. TV cameras put Cameron Bancroft

SESAY: One doctor, one hospital, one million patients, the power of one on display like no other in the war-torn Nuba Mountains of Sudan. They come to him by foot, by car, or carried in the mother's arms, the only surgeon within 200 miles. The American-born Tom Catena, medicine, faith and his love for these forgotten people are his life, on call always.

Some treatment is routine. But sadly, much of Dr. Tom's work is utterly heartbreaking. Innocent people targeted by a brutal President, the victims of indicted criminal Omar al-Bashir relentless bombings, where the lack of humanitarian immediate attention that daily life was often interrupted by the sound of jets overhead and a sprint to a foxhole below.

But that's all starting to change. Thanks in part to an explosive new documentary called The Heart of Nuba.


TOM CATENA, AMERICAN-BORN DOCTOR IN SUDAN: I've chosen to live in Africa. I liked the idea of staying in one place and becoming part of the community.


SESAY: Well, Dr. Tom Catena joins me now from Sudan, along with Heart of Nuba Director Kenneth Carlson here with me in Los Angeles. Welcome to you both. Dr. Tom, let me start with you. You were in upstate New Yorker, now living essentially in the bush. How on earth did you end up in the Nuba Mountains?

CATENA: Well, it was quite a journey to get here. I had worked in Kenya for many years previously. And I heard there was an opportunity to work in Sudan, the bishop who was in charge of the diocese here was opening a hospital, and I thought it was a great opportunity to go somewhere where there was no doctor, where there was no hospital, just start something from the ground.

And I took that on as a challenge. I thought I'm going to do it. Now is the time I like to do it. I took it as big challenge and haven't had any regrets.



CATENA: Oh, God, help us. Let's start the rounds. Very fast today, OK? A lot of people to see.


SESAY: You live in a small hut. According to the film from what I've seen. You own next to nothing. Your life is this work. Can you describe for us what a typical day is like to you?

CATENA: Well, a typical day depends a bit time of year. Only I get up around 5:30 and I start off with a daily mass. We have two priests with us, two excellent priests. So we have a daily mass that starts at 6:30. That goes about 7:00, 7:30 and start hospital round at 7:30. I do rounds in all the wards and see anywhere from about 300 to 450 patients during the ward rounds. What that's over, I often go to clinic and then see 50 to 60 more in clinic. And on operating room days, I only do a brief round on the ward and then go to the operating room where we have 15 to 16 operations for that day scheduled. And then of course seven days a week a non-operative days we have emergencies coming all the time, so always on call for the emergencies that pop up any old time.

SESAY: You never stop. You never stop, Dr. Tom.

CATENA: No, no.

SESAY: Let me bring in Ken at this point. You were there for seven months something like three months. Talk to me about being there day in, day out seeing the wounded, seeing the kids really just chronicling Dr. Tom's life. I mean what was that like for you? What stood out for you?

KENNETH CARLSON, FILM PRODUCER: Well, first of all, I went in. It was very difficult to get in. There's more tore in than all journalists film makers. There was no movement and I smuggled myself in. Actually, I was held at gun point in Turalei in South Sudan. Literally, pulled off the airplane, spat upon boy soldiers, you know, with AK-47s pointed at me. I thought this is how it's all going to end.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The fighting broke out June 6th of 2011. After that there was a lot of fighting relatively close to us in the villages that were maybe an hour from here.


CATENA: I think that fear that one feels when the Sudan Air Force bombers got overhead, you can never -- you can never explain to anybody much of that situation. It's terrifying. It's traumatizing to see bodies torn to pieces by the actions of a dictator. It's something I'll never get out of my mind. Very difficult that I think through a combination of the -- of my personal face, a combination of the resilience and the will of the people here is what -- is what keeps me and the rest of our team here going.

SESAY: Yes. But I'm going to be the voice of the viewer and still say to you as you describe that fear, as you hear the jets overhead, I'm going to be the voice that says, why not leave?

CATENA: Well, the way I see it in good conscience, I can't. And, you know, for me, I look at it very simply. I'm a medical doctor and, you know, my job is take care of sick people, people that are wounded, people that are hurting, people that are traumatize, and people here need it. And if I leave, I'm not saying this I supposed by any means. But if I leave, people won't get that care and I simply cannot do that and I won't do it. I've been tempted a billion times, tempted every day but I'm committed. I'm not leaving. I'm staying. SESAY: Can you also run for cover as you described? You also were there when some of this violence was playing out. What was going through your mind because it's one thing that Dr. Tom -- I mean he's a special soul, not that you're not special. But I'm just saying, what was it like for you and -- at any point, did you think, I could lose my life here for this and I'm wondering whether the point you ever thought is it worth it? Because that's, you know, as journalist, as filmmakers, that's sometimes the question to be ask.

CARLSON: Absolutely. I understand what you're asking. And, yes, I was in fear of my life several times as I've mentioned some of the close calls that I had. But the (INAUDIBLE) strange way of drawing you in. When you're there, I'd like to say that it's calm until it's not. I was in the O.R. with Tom and you could hear this rumbling, the low (INAUDIBLE) noise and sure enough we had to duck down --

SESAY: And that's so distinctive?

CARLSON: Oh, it is. And we have to stop down and walk outside and sure enough they're coming by and we didn't know if they were going to dropped circle or go somewhere else. So it's that --it's that tentative nature that you live in there, so it's always, you know, you're living in fear and you -- and the entire, you know, the entire population is, so you're always looking for a fox hole.

[02:35:18] SESAY: Can you -- you made this film about this remarkable man doing incredible work and a much needed part and the need of part of Africa, you know as well as I do that the apply to over Africans doesn't always make to the front page of the newspaper or the top story on the news cast. And yet, you made this film. You put all this money, all this time rescue a life, at any point whether fears, nerves that there wouldn't be an audience for this?

CARLSON: Yes. I -- we're changing that and I am not going to stop until this part of the world is a household name and until the President Omar al-Bashir until he steps down or steps back and stops this. There is a ceasefire right now that has been called and that's great. But there still is this ominous cloud hanging over these people because they have been for years they have been bombed and threatened and the atrocities have taken place or just overwhelming. So it's a difficult subject. One, because it's about Africa. Two, because it's about a war zone. And three, there's -- it's a graphic nature to it. But I think we achieved the tipping point which is a thrill and so sure enough there's a ceasefire and it has been in an entire year and Tom can witness to the fact that there are no more Antonov's, and no more Sukhoi's, and no more -- no more bullets up flying in the near distance. So it has -- it has had in fact which is exciting.

SESAY: Well, the ceasefire is a big step and we're going to pick up this conversation. It's a big step but a humanitarian corridor is the ultimate goal. With that in line, Ken, took that initiative all the way to the top of one on one interview with Omar al-Bashir.


CARLSON: Are you aware of the fact that a hospital, the mother -- the Mother Mercy Hospital in the Nuba Mountains was bombed?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course nobody -- no human being was ever target a hospital. But during the war, this takes place.


SESAY: What it's like to sit down with an international; war criminal next.


SESAY: The President of Sudan Omar al-Bashir is an indicted war criminal. His campaign of genocide has killed hundreds of thousands of civilians in Darfur, but his brutality is not limited to one region. In the powerful new documentary film, The Heart of Nuba directed kind of council exposes the leader's bombing campaigns in the southern part of the country.

[02:40:09] One of those attacks targeted the only hospital and doctor within a 200 mile area. Council wanted answers and because of the mountain pressure from the film, Bashir agreed to an interview. This is the first time it's being shown publicly.


CARLSON: Are you familiar with Dr. Tom Catena in the Nuba Mountains? Have you heard of him?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I did about him and his efforts in Nuba Mountains.

CARLSON: You're the commander-in-chief, you know what's going on militarily and obviously, you know, in other parts of government, are you are of the fact that a hospital, the Mother -- the Mother Mercy Hospital in the Nuba Mountains was bombed?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course nobody -- no human being will ever target a hospital. But during the war this takes take place and this is going on as a military term friendly fires.


SESAY: Well, back with me now. Dr. Catena in Sudan, The Heart of Nuba Director Kenneth Carlson is still with me here in L.A., senior political adviser for the Enough Project Omer Ismail in Washington, D.C. as well as "New York Times" columnist Nicholas Kristof. Welcome to all of you. Ken, I'll start with you. We just saw you there in that clip sitting down with Omar al-Bashir, a man wanted by the ICC. Before you go on that plane, before you walked into that room to sit down with him, was there any part of you that thought, maybe I should Skype? Maybe I shouldn't do this?

CARLSON: Absolutely. That's why I took out a huge insurance policy. You know, I found the situation to be surreal that I had been building a case against the President of Sudan for many years at that -- at that point and he is my antagonist, the villain of my film, of my story, and to be presented with an opportunity to actually meet with him, it was in some ways daunting but it was exhilarating the fact that I actually had a chance to get answers because being out there in the Nuba Mountains and seen the carnage, seeing what Dr. Tom has to deal with it on a day to day basis reading Nicholas Kristof's articles and being so, you know, filled with horror of what's happening, the idea of sitting down with him was as I said surreal. It was out of body experienced. But I was thrilled to be given that opportunity and I think we done some -- I got a great interview, so I think we got some good stuff out of him.

SESAY: Yes. We're going to dig into that. But Omar, to you, why do you think Bashir was willing to sit down with Ken who was makes a point, Ken, that he's seen the violence firsthand playing out in the Nuba Mountains. Bashir has refused interviews from countless other western journalists?

OMER ISMAIL, SENIOR POLITICAL ADVISER, ENOUGH PROJECT: Because he knows the impact of this movie. He knows that this documentary is going to air and the world would see. So he wanted to be part of it. Bashir doesn't care about the Nuba Mountains or about what Dr. Catena is doing down there. All he cares about is that this is an opportunity for him to say what he wants to say to the world that is why he is denying that he -- or his army targeted the hospital and he's saying that is just collateral damage and I don't think the translation was correct when it says that it's friendly fire. No. He was -- he meant to say that is just part of a collateral damage in a war zone.

SESAY: Nicholas Kristof, this film is remarkable. This film made by Ken and hearing the story of Tom, it's incredible -- it must be heard. People must know what is happening. But I do fear and I want to get your thoughts on this that as certainly much of the western media or something of much of American media is focus on everything the Trump Administration is doing day in and day out, stories like the Nuba Mountains and the atrocities and holding people like Bashir accountable, they seem to be fading into the background. I wonder what you think.

NICHOLAS KRISTOF, COLUMNIST, THE NEW YORK TIMES: I think there are two things going on that are both very unfortunate. One is that the Trump Administration has retreated from what had been a bipartisan commitment to human rights and the State Department is much less staffed and aggressive on these issues that used to be. But we as journalism can't simply lay the blame on the State Department or on the Trump Administration because we essentially have dropped the ball as well. And the controversies over President Trump except all the oxygen out of the room. And so, and when the media struggle for business model and we discover that if you put two toughly heads in the room, and have them yell about President Trump, people will tune in. While it's a lot harder to get people's attention to what is happening in South Sudan, in the Nuba Mountains, in Darfur, in the Yemen, into the Rohingya in Myanmar.

And so, I think that -- you know, we, in the news media, we claim special privileges, describe our role in society. We have to be held accountable as well for providing a spotlight on humanitarian crisis around the world. And that's exactly what Ken's documentary does. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[02:45:50] CARLSON: There's hope in this place. And these lives -- yes, that's why the lives if you would here it matters as much as anywhere of the world.


SESAY: Dr. Tom, I wonder whether you feel forgotten by the rest of world as we talk about where the attention is often applied or directed.

CATENA: Yes, I mean, I think certainly now, we're way of people's radar. We were a bit in the news a few years ago on the fight first started but take now we're way off -- way off radar. So I think, just my hope is at this will hope bring peace back in the folks of still -- there still a conflict here.

We know we're near peace resolution. Not only us here in Nuba but in their form on (INAUDIBLE). The place is still a mess, and by share his feet and need to be held to the fire. To really make a durable peace for all the people of Sudan.

SESAY: Currently, would you say that things are a little better than they were? I guess, you know, before the ceasefire, I mean, how great is the difference and change to your life?

CATENA: No, things are definitely better that sort of grinding everyday fear and excite, he's not there. He could see with the people, they don't have that fear. We don't have the fear of the (INAUDIBLE) flying overhead of the (INAUDIBLE) flying overhead. So, things are definitely better. Grab now, we're just kind of a state of limbo. We're in a sense waiting -- in a sense waiting for the fighting to start again because we know this on a peace agreement. We know both sides are very far from the agreement. We don't expect any humanitarian aid coming in. Sort of kind of waiting for the sparks this are flying again.

SESAY: Yes. But Dr. Tom, I do understand that things have to change on the front for you. You are no longer on your own.


SESAY: Maybe you would like to share some of that with us?

CATENA: Yes, why not? You know, May 6th, 2016, I married my wife, Nasima. So, I'm married almost two years now. Very interesting process, I didn't get out of anything. So, I had -- the full dowry and after all the deal with the family and everything else, we had an incredible wedding here. I don't know, how many if they were five or 10 thousand people showed up, we -- we've had a huge party. It was interesting because that morning, we had to change the day of the wedding because we're afraid that word had reach Khartoum and they would come and bomb us. So we had to actually move the day of the wedding back to date. The day of the wedding, there was anti-aircraft guns station nearby come and hidden out in the bush in case any Sukhoi or (INAUDIBLE) come overhead and decided to spoil our big day. But, thanks for the God, things went enough well and we are properly married.

SESAY: Congratulations, congratulations.

CATENA: Thank you.

SESAY: A man cannot live by work alone. I want to thank you, I want to thank you Dr. Tom for everything you're doing there in Sudan. We're grateful for your efforts.

Tom Catena, Kenneth Carlson, director of Heart of Nuba, Omer Ismail with The Enough Project, Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times. Such a pleasure, thank you so much to all of you for joining me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you -- that you, Isha.

SESAY: And if you want to help, support office on the efforts at Mother of Mercy Hospital, visit THEHEARTOFNUBA.COM. The news continues after this very quick break.


[02:50:41] VAUSE: So, can you hear that sound? That's the beating heart of A.J. Carter. Almost four years ago, we was born with a profound birth defect. Doctors thought he would not survive more than a few hours, but his heart keep beating. And so, his dad at rose that beating heart is the baseline to hope.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I really hope to see the day you start giggling from your mothers tickling but your first birthday was the worthiest day, I won't lie.


VAUSE: So, a friend choice to rap to son's beating heart. Well, fathers like Jerry Hanson, before she died from cancer. Beating heartbeat was recorded and then mixed with the hymn of line away.

And then, there's 15 year old, Kylie Ride. She died from a brain tumor last year, but on a months before her death, she recorded her heartbeat. The heartbeats of a mom, dad and brother, all mixed together, as she saying The Best Day by Taylor Swift.


KYLIE RIDE, DIED FROM BRAIN TUMOR: I know, you're not scared of anything at all. Don't know if Snow White house is near or far away. But I know why I had the day with you today.


VAUSE: Nothing can heal the grieving heart of a parents whose lost the child but it seems there is comfort and solace to hear the ones healthy beating heart of that child long after they gone. Brian Schreck is a music therapist at the Norton Cancer Institute in Louisville, Kentucky. Brian is the man behind the very emotional music.

Brian, thank you so much for being with us. Just tell us how this all began, because I think it began with a mother want o telling you that she was worried that she wouldn't forget the sound of her daughter's voice, and her daughter was terminally ill.

BRIAN SCHRECK, MUSIC THERAPIST, NORTON CANCER INSTITUTE, LOUISVILLE: Yes, I started recording a lots of things. So, anything that was working where there was a voice, or a laugh, or anything that we could use that would help from -- you know, create any kind of music with. There would be a nice memory for anyone to listen to in the family.

VAUSE: Now, how just seem so special though? And when you look at to parents who have a some of this ill child, it almost seems that these heartbeat recordings approve of existence -- you know, a mark that left behind of a life cut short.

SCHRECK: Exactly right, and it's something that is still alive and in the symbol of love that's always there and it's never ending and it's forever. So, I think, there is something that, that is continuous about it that is surely lovely.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So hard it is that's leave somebody. We're doing things that make us happy because you need to live until you die.


SCHRECK: The choice of music is sometimes the most important part of this whole process. And to me, if there's a process it's not exactly a product. So, it can be this ongoing thing that we can work on together. Then, let's do that therapeutic relationship that I think really can help people.

VAUSE: OK, so you started out with terminally ill children which must been very difficult to work with -- you know, in very emotional, are you now working with all of patients. Here's a part of a clip from a movie that you're making.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So we're just going, we can put it right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, right there. So that's me?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You see my man, look like a healthy. Take that healthy beat makes of (INAUDIBLE).


VAUSE: Just explain the process here technically. How do you actually go about doing what you do?

[02:55:01] SCHRECK: So, I have two different stethoscopes. This one that I created that this uses a natural acoustic stethoscope. And then, I just put a lavalier microphone inside. And then, the other one is a really fancy digital stethoscope, both of these are plug into my computer. Once I have the cleanest cuts of bits of everything, so ones I have the cleanest four to five or six bits in a row, then I can loop that. And then on top of that, we can create anything.

VAUSE: It must be very sweet for the family to listen to these heartbeat songs.

SCHRECK: It can be, but I really try to figure out ways to make it something that is beautiful, and alive, and joyful. I want them to want to listen to it, and I want it to break their heart every time that they pulled it out.

VAUSE: And what about the emotions that you experience? You once the hot song is finished, and then that person die, somebody who you spent so much time with. And then, done through this process which is very personal and very emotional. And then that person is no longer there.

SCHRECK: What I love is that I still have that record as well. So, I can visit them whenever I want. And when I'm physically recording over their heartbeat, I'm feeling alive with them. And I feel like it's all about them, and in the background, and it's, it's really about them. And I want them to feel the same love that I have for them as well.

VAUSE: Well, it's a beautiful memory I guess too, so many people to have, and that's a beautiful thing to this. So, Brian, thank you. Thanks so much being with us.

SCHRECK: Well, I'm grateful. Thank you.

SESAY: So many people doing so many good things.

VAUSE: I see a nice change to see some good people doing good work.

SESAY: Yes, really. You've been watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles, I am Isha Sesay.

VAUSE: I'm John Vause. The news continues with Rosemary Church in Atlanta after a short break. You're watching CNN.


ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: A mystery solved. China says it was Kim Jong-un, secretly visiting Beijing this week. Plus, embarrassed and ashamed, more punishments are coming soon in a cheating scandal in Australia that's rocked the world of cricket. And the new historic moment in Pakistan as the country's first transgender news anchor makes her on-air debut. Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world.