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North and South Korea Hold High-Level Talks in DMZ; Trump Replaces Veterans Affairs Secretary; Skripals Poisoned by Nerve Agent at Home; Facebook to Make Privacy Settings Easier to Find; Cricketers Banned In Ball Tampering Scandal; Brexit: One Year To Go; Atlanta City Gov't Computers Hit By Cyberattack; CNN Follows Dramatic Mission To Save Antarctic Waters. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired March 29, 2018 - 01:00   ET




ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles.

JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Ahead this hour, a new round of diplomacy on the Korean Peninsula. Officials are laying the ground work for the first face-to-face meeting between the leaders of North and South in more than a decade.

SESAY (voice-over): Plus Facebook's latest attempt to end its public relations nightmare, how the social network is trying to give its users better control.

VAUSE (voice-over): First came the crushing penalty from Cricket Australia then the jeers and boos from angry fans as the cheating Aussie cricketers left Johannesburg. Next, the moment of reckoning when they arrive home to a disgusted nation.

SESAY (voice-over): Hello and thank you for joining us. I'm Isha Sesay.

VAUSE (voice-over): I'm John Vause. If you missed the first hour, don't worry. There's two more to go. You're watching NEWSROOM L.A.


VAUSE: Technically right now they are still at war. But at this moment there is a high-level meeting between North and South Korea.

SESAY: The delegations are meeting in the demilitarized zone and are expected to discuss the timing of the summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korea's president Moon Jae-in. Leaders from those two countries have not met since 2007.

VAUSE: The talks come on the heels of Kim's surprise trip to Beijing and ahead of an expected meeting between Kim and the U.S. president Donald Trump that's tentatively scheduled for sometime in May.

SESAY: Oh Joon is the former South Korean ambassador to the United Nations and he joins us from Seoul.

Thank you so much for joining us. We very much appreciate it.

What's your view of the scope of the preparatory talks?

How much detail will they really go into?

OH JOON, FORMER SOUTH KOREAN AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: Thank you for having me. I think what they are doing today is just preparing for the inter-Korean summit, probably discussing logistics. But what happened within those days, it's quite harnessing (ph), I guess, so far. We'll have to see.

SESAY: How does the visit that Kim Jong-un made to Beijing, how does that change things?

How does that alter the dynamics of the upcoming summit?

OH: If you think about it, after China is North Korea's traditional ally, so it's not a surprise that Kim Jong-un would like to see Chinese leader before meeting President Trump.

But, you know, what has happened recently is not business as usual. So I think we are a little taken aback because, you know, all of a sudden they are having meeting and they are confirming the summit Kim Jong-un is going to have with South Korean president and (INAUDIBLE).

SESAY: Does it increase Kim Jong-un's leverage in his talks with President Moon Jae-in?

OH: In a way. After all, North Korea has China's support when it comes to its talks with South Korea and the United States so you can say that they might be able to use some leverage.

SESAY: China's Xinhua news agency quoted Mr. Kim as saying he's prepared to resolve the issue of denuclearization as long as South Korea and the United States respond to our efforts with good will, create an atmosphere of peace and stability while taking progressive and synchronous measures for the realization of peace.

I'm sure that that word "good will" caught your eye. There's a message being sent.

What is it?

What is your takeaway from that?

OH: Well, that depends on what exactly the North Korean leader means by effort of peace and security on the Peninsula you might see. We will find it out when he meets South Korean president, when he meets Mr. Donald Trump.

But I think what is important for them is to show that their willingness to go for denuclearization is genuine this time, unlike any other previous time. SESAY: You talk about the question of genuine or not when it comes Kim Jong-un's statements on denuclearization. I'm sure you saw that "The New York Times" on Tuesday, was reporting satellite images appearing to showing a new North Korean reactor in the Yongbyon facility coming online.

As we know, it could produce electricity for civilian use but it could also produce plutonium for nuclear weapons. We're back to that question, can you trust North Korea in any statement it makes about denuclearization?


OH: It's hard to say right now but we should also bear in mind that North Korea has been under sanctions which are pretty tough, toughest in history. So probably (INAUDIBLE) if that's the reason why they are turning around, then I think we have some degree of expectations (INAUDIBLE).

SESAY: All right, Oh Joon, former South Korean ambassador to the United Nations, thank you so much for joining us. We really appreciate the insight.

OH: Thank you.

VAUSE: Joining us here now, David Siders, senior reporter with "Politico," and Austin Darby, criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor.

David, first to you. A rare presidential tweet on Wednesday morning, first thing out of the gate. That Twitter account is really idle and it's really eerie. It's (INAUDIBLE) subdued.

Anyway, the president tweeted this, "For years and through many administrations, everyone said that peace and the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula was not even a small possibility.

"Now there is a good chance that Kim Jong-un will do what is right for his people and for humanity. Look forward to our meeting."

OK, I don't know if there's a good chance that Kim Jong-un is ready to give up his nukes. He may be. I'm not too sure. But I'm pretty certain of two things right now. There's a fair chance that this meeting will never happen and if it does, there's a good chance it could go very badly.

DAVID SIDERS, POLITICO: Yes. The president is certain of one other thing, too, and that is there is polling that Americans want this meeting to happen and think it is a good thing. So for him to even be talking about it, whether or not it happens and regardless of the outcome, this is to his political advantage.

VAUSE: I thought there was no chance of this being (INAUDIBLE) forward. But given the current political circumstances the president is in right now with Stormy Daniels and all the other legal problems, I think just by sheer force of his will this will happen because Kim Jong-un obviously wants it as well.

SIDERS: It seems that way and he's making a little the preparatory steps -- the meeting in China.


VAUSE: There's some talk or some speculation whether or not the North Koreans were on board so it does look like it's -- will happen. If it does, here's advice from someone who knows a thing or two about how challenging it can be to sit down and deal and negotiate with North Koreans.


CHRISTOPHER HILL, FORMER AMBASSADOR TO SOUTH KOREA: The real question will be, as we discovered back 10 years ago, North Korea agreed to give up all their nuclear weapons, abandon all their nuclear programs.

But ultimately we couldn't make a deal because they had no concept of how to allow people to verify the thing. We were supposed to play trust me. And no one can rely trust the North Koreans.

So the devil is still very much in the details. A lot of work to be done. And I sure hope the administration in Washington is up to the kind of diplomatic statework this is going to take.


VAUSE: Christopher Hill there, he led the six-party talks for years, they did eventually reach that deal, a deal which in a bizarre twist of historical irony, John Bolton at the time when he was with the Bush administration, made it his lifelong ambition to destroy and he is now coming in as a national security advisor just before this meeting is likely to take place.

OK, that's a side issue. But on the surface at least, this administration seems far from prepared to go into these talks. (INAUDIBLE) ambassador in South Korea (INAUDIBLE) secretary of state, John Bolton is fresh off the boat, even the guy who was responsible for North Korea negotiations resigned a couple of weeks ago.

SIDERS: And the people who are there aren't unified.

VAUSE: Or experienced.

SIDERS: No, you have hawks and you -- well, not doves, I would say, but some more moderating influences in the White House. And so there will be conflict within the White House about how to approach that meeting. And then it doesn't necessarily have to be much of a meeting for this to be a success, though.

I will say that, that there are --


SIDERS: -- observers who say the best possible outcome may be a meet- and-greet and see you later.

VAUSE: A photo op; we came, we saw, we shook hands, we left.

SIDERS: Indeed.

VAUSE: And that will be a success.

SIDERS: It certainly wouldn't do damage.

VAUSE: Well, OK, it would be OK. In that sense, it would be a success.

OK, let's move on because the comings and goings continue at this White House. Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin is the latest to be told you're fired, which he should have expected the moment the president said this.


TRUMP: We'll never have to use those words. We'll never have to use those words on our David. We will never use those words on you, that's for sure.


VAUSE: Oh, yes, we will.

Austin, Shulkin had actually done some good work at the V.A. He'd made some progress on a number of those thorny issues but it was his overseas travels, which involved his wife which apparently had raised a lot of ethical issues and that was his undoing.


So what do we know about that?

AUSTIN DOVE, ATTORNEY: What we know is that ultimately the president had decided that he was going to go with someone who's probably a little bit more controllable, a fresh face and he's going to play ball. He's been playing ball. There's this issue about privatization and whether he's going to go in that direction. I think the president wants it to go that in that direction.

Shulkin wasn't really in that camp; he was kind of --


DOVE: -- more moderating, the two sides of this issue. And he's moved toward someone that will actually say yes.

And then, you're right; it's very foreboding to be told by this president that you're not going anywhere.


VAUSE: And that's always a good indication that you should not unpack your bags.

You don't think it was the issue of the wife and the trip to London and the Wimbledon and the 120 grand and all the sightseeing?

You think this is a policy reason?

DOVE: I think it's a convenient pretext. The talk about the sale of these other issues that are underlying. I mean, Ben Carson is buying $31,000 --



DOVE: -- not surprisingly. I guess he can't get fired. But no, I do think that he was -- I mean, he's fired people for very little reasons. I think he wanted to supply a reason because, to the extent that Shulkin was popular with some people that he needs to have in his camp and he wants to placate, it's convenient for him to say this is someone, this is the reason why we're doing it. It's a legitimately good reason.


VAUSE: You mentioned the replacement; Dr. Ronny Jackson, that's the next Veterans Affairs Secretary. He is the personal physician to Donald Trump. He gave the president this glowing assessment when he had that physical earlier this year.

So, David, apart from, you know, essentially kissing up to the president -- well, that's (INAUDIBLE). It was a very glowing assessment, Jackson has no experience running a (INAUDIBLE) department, especially one of this size which has this many challenges, which is facing some very tough and difficult decisions.

SIDERS: No, but I think it would be fair to say that this comports with the president's approach to populating his administration, which is not necessarily to look at the most obviously, say, or experienced choices.

VAUSE: This sounds to me like when he tried to put his personal pilot in running the FAA, wasn't it, the Federal Aviation authority?

SIDERS: I think it does seem similar.

VAUSE: So this seems to get to the heart of the problem of why there is such a high staff turnover at the Trump White House. He puts these people into these positions that they may want but they're not qualified for. And then they screw up.

SIDERS: I think that's partially the president's preference is to test people in different areas. But I want to say this about the doctor because there are even critics of the administration who say he deserves a chance because the V.A. is so sprawling you couldn't possibly be prepared.

VAUSE: OK. And he still has to get Senate confirmation, right?

DOVE: Oh, yes.


VAUSE: OK. Finally we have that report in "The New York Times" which says John Dowd, who was until recently the president's lead attorney for the Russia investigation, raised the prospect of pardons with lawyers representing the former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, Trump campaign boss Paul Manafort.

"The Times" also reports during interviews with Mr. Mueller's investigators in recent months, current and former administration officials have recounted conversations they had with the president about potential pardons for former aides under investigation by the special counsel, according to two people briefed on the interviews.

So, Austin, what are the legal issues here?

DOVE: Well, one thing we know, that the president can't pardon himself, that it would take an act for someone, to get around to wanting to take action acts the president in that way.

What we do know is it's sort of like telegraphing. You're essentially telling counsel early on in the stage, look, we have a safety valve here. And it does smack of obstruction of justice under normal circumstances in a different arena.

You'd be concerned that the lawyers participating in this, communicating these messages to witnesses, either potential witnesses and people who are what we call targets actually being indicted who can now know I could either not participate and choose not to participate and not have repercussions.

Or if I am participating, and -- in other words going to fall on the sword, I have someone that's going to say I'll be bailed out for this. So all of that really makes it kind of a very complicated, messy pot in terms of all the conflicting, overlapping strategies.

And where do you go with this advice?

VAUSE: Manafort does get a pardon, does that mean he can't plead the Fifth?

He has to testify because if he -- that testimony won't incriminate him because he's received a pardon.

DOVE: Well, presumably he wouldn't do it in that order. Presumably he'd be found guilty or make a guilty plea, then be sentenced and then be pardoned.

VAUSE: Then he could be called back?

DOVE: Actually, that's a very good question.

After being pardoned could he be called back to testify? Presumably yes. Because you can no longer plead the Fifth anymore.


DOVE: Lost your right to appeal and all that kind of stuff, that might be the strategy -- you're onto one.


Ty Cobb, the president's personal lawyer, issued a strong denial that these discussions never happened.

But if you look at the bylines on "The New York Times" story, it's some of the biggest names at "The New York Times." It's --


VAUSE: -- five of them, yes, big, big names. So it seems solid.

And of course there a lot of questions about this during the White House briefing on Wednesday. Here's Sarah Sanders.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ty Cobb's statement deals with the president.

So I just want to ask you very specifically, did the president direct John Dowd to talk to the attorney about Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen about potential pardons?

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I'm not aware of any conversations of that nature at all.


VAUSE: It's incredible, the number of issues that Sarah Sanders doesn't --


VAUSE: -- talk to the president about. News of the day, she's unaware of what's happening. And she just seems to be really choosing her words so carefully, this is a woman who speaks for the president but rarely, it seems, speaks with the president.

SIDERS: I'd like to answer this question but I haven't really --


VAUSE: I'm not aware of what's happening.

SIDERS: What it does is it creates distance and space to make the press conferences less...


VAUSE: They haven't been informative since they started.

SIDERS: And that's the advantage for the president if you're walking a cautious line on these issues with journalists (INAUDIBLE) in "The New York Times" things that you don't want to read.

VAUSE: But when she says I'm not aware or I haven't had that conversation, seriously?

Obviously you have to take her at her word but it doesn't seem plausible.

SIDERS: And that's the downside of this politically for him is that you and I have this conversation about this right here. But I honestly think what it does is it means that there isn't a headline generated from the press conference. So only on issues where the president wants to make news will you see Huckabee Sanders take a firm position.

VAUSE: Doesn't seem to be the role --


DOVE: -- with a tweet of his own. (INAUDIBLE).

VAUSE: OK, Austin and David, thank you both, appreciate it.

SESAY: British police are focusing on the home of a former Russia double agent as they investigate a chemical weapon attack. The U.K. says the former spy and his daughter were poisoned with a military grade nerve agent developed by Russia and now they're looking at the way the toxin was actually delivered. CNN's Erin McLaughlin has the latest.


ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is a major development in the investigation, which authorities say is one of the most complex investigations the Metropolitan Police has ever conducted.

They've now identified what they believe to be the source of the contamination which left Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in hospital. They say they believe that they were contamination at their home, specifically by the front door.

That is where they found the highest area of concentration of that nerve agent that was used to carry out the attack. And they're advising the neighborhood that they're conducting further searches in the area, that there will be a police presence for some time, not to be alarmed, that the risk to the public at this point is low.

But I can tell you, having been outside that home in the days following the Salisbury attack, neighbors were extremely alarmed. Forensic experts had been moved in, they cordoned off the home, they were seen carrying out boxes of evidence, there was a forensic tent outside. And the neighbors were extremely worried, especially when you consider

the type of nerve agent authorities say they have identified, the Novichok nerve agent is extremely deadly and experts say can linger for weeks and months, which is part of the reason why authorities were working so furiously to identify the source of the contamination.

Now of course, key questions remain as to how long the nerve agent was on the door, when it was put there and by whom -- Erin McLaughlin, CNN, London.


VAUSE: When we come back here on NEWSROOM L.A., cyber hackers have targeted the city of Atlanta. And it's not the only place in the crosshairs.

SESAY: And it's supposed to be easier to control your privacy on Facebook. Ahead, a look at whether that will be enough to calm angry users and investors.





VAUSE: Officials in Venezuela say a fire in a jail has killed at least 68 people. Family members gathered at the detention center west of Caracas facing off with police in riot gear.

SESAY: It's not known what caused the fire or how many of the dead were visitors. Some media report that it broke out during a riot at the facility and gunfire was reported when the unrest began.

VAUSE: Facebook says it wants to make it easier for users to control their privacy settings. This comes as the tech giant faces a global backlash over the revelations a data collection company gained access to 50 million Facebook accounts without permission and then used that personal information to target voters in the 2016 U.S. election.

SESAY: CNN's Samuel Burke has details on the new privacy feature and when they might be available.


SAMUEL BURKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Facebook says it's finally going to make it easier for you to change your privacy settings on the platform. The social network is even acknowledging that it's done a poor job with this, admitting that having the privacy and security settings scattered across 20 different pages isn't user friendly.

For ages, I flagged that oftentimes the tools Facebook offers as fixes are very hard to find. The tool to see if you're been targeted by Russian propaganda, for instance, is an example of this problem. It's only available on desktop, not mobile, even though Facebook brags to its investors about being a company with the majority of its users on mobile.

But this time around Facebook says they will make changes to the privacy settings clearer on the mobile app. So let's just take a look at the before and after. On the left are the settings, how they look right now and on the right is what looks to be a somewhat more simple menu of what they should look like.

But let's be cautious here because while Facebook is already talking about the changes, they haven't actually made them yet. You cannot access this on your mobile app just yet and it may not be available for a few more weeks.

Hopefully it will be available before Mark Zuckerberg testifies before Congress so legislators can see what types of changes, if any, Facebook has made as they grill its top executive.


SESAY: Our thanks to Samuel Burke for that.

Scott Perry joins us now for more on all of this. He's the founder of "LA Tech Digest" and the author of "Snapchat 101."

Scott, thank you for being with us.

SCOTT PERRY, AUTHOR: Thank you for having me.

SESAY: So Samuel Burke just laid out this whole new gambit, if you will, that Facebook is going down or taking on in terms of reconfiguring privacy settings and how you use it, how you find it.

How much of a difference is this going to make?

PERRY: Zero difference whatsoever. All this is window dressing. Nothing has really changed in the data they are collecting and your controls over it. It might be easier to find those settings to manage the levels of what you do and don't share.

But the things they talk about today, making your account more secure. Yes, you can add two-factor authentication. That's been available for a while. Controlling your information to see who you're sharing with it, whether it's just friends, friends of friends and everybody, that's always been there.

Controlling the ads you see, managing that a little bit, sure. And then but do you make it private, public, what information do you have up there?

Can you delete it?

All those things have been available. The biggest thing, it might be easier to find ways to quell that. But it doesn't change the issues associated with the overall data breach itself, namely being able to get user information on 50 million people based on a subset of 270,000.

SESAY: And to be very clear, for our viewers, (INAUDIBLE), Facebook tried this about eight years ago. They talked about reconfiguring privacy settings and here we are eight years later, talking about the same concerns.

PERRY: None of this has anything to do with the privacy settings within Facebook itself. Cambridge Analytica was able to extrapolate this data from a subset. And it's like so what was the loophole exactly that allowed them to pull this data and create psychographic information based on that data?

SESAY: Let's talk about the face that Facebook announced late Wednesday that they're ending a practice called partner categories, which is using third party broker data. First of all, explain what that is for our viewers so they understand.

PERRY: Basically it's just taking data points about users from other area and then applying it to their profile so that you can advertise against them as well. And so even allowing any of these apps or quizzes to be had to begin with, that's been nothing more than --


PERRY: -- data farming anyway. It's been a great way --


SESAY: But they knew that.

PERRY: They've totally know that and they've charged advertising against that in order for people to download those apps and take those quizzes. And yet they've allowed it this entire time. And yet now they're finally getting caught with this. And they're having to adjust their messaging because of it.

Is it going to change their overall practices?

It's hard to say.

Is it going to affect their overall revenues?

It's possible. When you try and take out 2 percent or 3 percent of your ad revenue, that's a significant portion of their overall sales.

SESAY: I was struck by the fact that the statement announcing the ending of this practice, this partner categories, which is how they describe it as Facebook parlance there, it is going to take them six months to wind it down.

Why would it take them that long?

PERRY: It's not like you can turn off the data hose. You have to ratchet it down, bit by bit and get more organic data from the platform itself and get people ported onto using a lot more data that's available through Facebook -- SESAY: So they will get the data, it's just they're going to reconfigure the route to it?

PERRY: It'll get some of the data. The information that you allow to be seen on Facebook, as an advertiser, if you want to reach men of a certain age who live in this town who are fans of this product or this brand, that should be enough.

But beyond that, you get third party data coming in and drills down a little bit too close to home.

SESAY: And to be fair to Facebook, they're not the only ones. This is an industry wide practice and it's something that has buttressed Silicon Valley.

PERRY: Oh, yes. Yes. Yes, in fact, Twitter got hit pretty hard for the same thing yesterday because a short seller had announced that Twitter was wholesaling a lot of their data to advertising companies and because of that they could be possibly in the crosshairs in the coming months as well.

SESAY: The #DeleteFacebook movement, has that crested or is this still miles to run?

PERRY: Nobody cares. You get angry for a minute but your friends are on there, you're on there. You don't want them --


SESAY: I'm not on there.

PERRY: -- good. You'll be one of the last ones on the planet --


PERRY: But no, I mean, for as enraged as people are, yes, I've had a couple of my friends drop out but they're going to be on WhatsApp or Instagram instead. They're still owned by Facebook. So they're still on Facebook. Facebook is still harvesting their data one way or the other. So it's an empty protest, quite honestly.

SESAY: OK but for Mark Zuckerberg himself, his personal brand, his personal standing, that's a different matter.

How hard is that hit by all of this?

And does it recover somewhat from ending partner categories and changing these privacy settings?

PERRY: No matter what, it's still a hit. You take great pride in building a multibillion dollar business. It's affected the world and to their credit, it's done so in a lot of positive ways, connecting us to people we haven't seen in decades, connecting us to ideas and people from other lands that we wouldn't normally be connected to. Exactly. But there's a dark side to that. And these are things that they've known about for a while. And yet I'm surprised they didn't have Pentagon-level type strategists within Facebook going, OK, what's the worst-case scenario?

What can happen with this data?

How can this be used against us and how do we protect our community from the misuse of this data?

Because for all the good that the data has done in the past, there's also been a small percentage where it's been used against us, namely in the election and not just here; it's on other countries as well with other advertising agencies or analysts or whatever you want to call them, who are taking this data and running propaganda campaigns for one party or another to fix elections.

SESAY: I don't think you can hide behind we're just a social network anymore.


PERRY: No, you cannot.

SESAY: That ship has sailed.

Scott Perry, we appreciate it. Thank you.

PERRY: Thank you.

SESAY: You're on Facebook, aren't you?

VAUSE: No one cares.


VAUSE: No I actually deleted the app on my phone by mistake about two months ago and I never reinstalled it and I'm not doing it now.


VAUSE: Done.


SESAY: If I haven't seen you in 10 years, there's a reason. I'm just saying.

VAUSE: OK. We'll take a short break. When we come back, the verdict is in for three Australian cheating cricketers. Just ahead, shame, Australia, shame; the (INAUDIBLE) for these cheaters called out during a test match against South Africa.


[01:31:39] ISHA SESAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles, I'm Isha Sesay.

JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: I'm John Vause. The headlines this hour: high-level delegations from North and South Korea meeting right now in the DMZ, laying the groundwork for an upcoming summit between the leaders of both countries. And it comes just after Kim Jong-un's surprise visit to Beijing. But the North Korean leader said he is open to denuclearizing -- denuclearization, rather, with conditions.

SESAY: British Police believe that a former Russia double agent and his daughter were poisoned by a nerve agent placed at his front door. They say they found a higher concentration of the substance at the source where (INAUDIBLE) anywhere else. Now, investigators plan to focus their attention at that location.

Cricket Australia has add three players in their role in a cheating scandal in South Africa. While the team captain, Steve Smith, is expected back in Sydney in the next hour or so and his vice-captain David Warner. They've been banned for 12 months (INAUDIBLE) Cameron Bancroft received a nine-month ban.

All the way now from Melbourne, Jon Pierik, sportswriter for the Age Newspaper. Thanks for being with us. Cricket Australia's code of conduct allows for a suspension of up to a year for a player guilty of what they call a level four breach. It's defined as cheating during a match, including deliberate attempts to mislead the umpire; and/or any conduct that is considered against the spirit in which the game of cricket should be played. OK, so that's goes what happened. But it seems Smith and Warner were given the maximum penalty here. And now, Warner is reportedly considering his legal -- taking some legal action here.

JON PIERIK, SPORTSWRITER, THE AGE NEWSPAPER (through telephone): Hi, John. Yes, well, the three Australians, they have about seven days to determine whether that -- to lodge an appeal against the Cricket Australia findings. So, we'll know a lot more about that the next couple of days. Basically (INAUDIBLE) the suspensions are about right -- a year is a long time in any sport, particularly for sports going to have such a short stay at the top. And David will be 32 by the time his suspension ends and there's a big question whether he'll even want to play on. And Steve Smith is still young enough to come back and still have a really good career. And Cameron Bancroft is the younger member, obviously, of this trio. And Warner and Smith were given the heavier penalty because Smith was captain and Warner was the vice-captain. It was Warner's idea, he showed Bancroft what to do. And Smith went along with it. You know, he needed to be a lot stronger in character to stop what happened at -- on that now infamous lunch break. And that's where we're at the moment. Yes, Smith's arrival time in Sydney sort of the next hour and a half and we'll hear a lot more from him.

VAUSE: You know, Jon, it's not a national issue until Warney weighs in, former Australian baller Shane Warne. He is among those who believe that this punishment does not fit the crime, writing in an unnamed newspaper there in Melbourne. "We're also hurt and angry and maybe we weren't sure how to react, we've just never seen it before. Their actions were indefendable -- I think he means indefensible. And they need to be severely punished. But I don't think a one-year ban is the answer. My punishment would have been to miss the fourth test match, a huge fine, and then be sacked as captain and vice-captain, but they -- he goes on to say they should still be allowed to play."

It does seem in some way, this punishment has been so severe, it's actually generating some sympathy for the three cheaters.

PIERIK: There certainly a bit of that on social media. But as I said earlier, I still feel the penalties are sufficient. As I said, a year is a long time in any sportsman's career. If it was only going to be a shorter suspension size of six months.

[01:35:02] Well, the issue with Australia, it doesn't have a lot of cricket coming up after this tour, there's a one-day series in England and then two or three test against Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates which have yet sort of the concern then they would have been back after that. So, that really wasn't a great deal of suspension. But the players now are suddenly missing the Australian home summer and because of the suspension as well and the severity of everything that's gone on, and Smith and Warner have lost their Indian Premiere League contracts which is worth about $2.3 million Australian. So that's -- sort of on top of that as well. So, I feel if Cricket Australia was to make a statement about this blatant cheating which it was, we know ball tampering has gone on over the years but this was just so obvious. It was caught on cameras.

And the South African cameraman knew what was going on and they followed the Australians around for about 90 minutes just to see exactly what was going on before that shot of Bancroft. So, that's how bad this is. And on top of that, you got the powder keg of the Australian public. It just -- the sort of distraught, angry, frustrated. Say what you (INAUDIBLE) about the excited sort of these two bombs that are going off and that's why Cricket Australia have made some to make a strong stand on this at a time when now sponsors are dropping off and broadcast rights, domestic broadcast rights where they were hoping to pocket about 900 million if not more up for grabs. And then now suddenly got the weaker hand in this.

VAUSE: Yes, the sponsors are dropping like flies at the moment.


VAUSE: There are a lot of questions right now, there's a lot of soul searching over just how it all got to this point. How a very competitive team like Australia turned to cheating and how there is now this need for some kind of shift in culture at the very highest levels. But, you know, the bottom line here is Australians love a winning team. They don't have a lot of time for losers.

PIERIK: That's true. But in saying that most Australians want the team to win in the right spirits. So, if Australian team (INAUDIBLE) has played on the edge, the players like to say, you know, they can be so called difficult line that they keep talking about and, you know, that involves sort of physical -- not physical abuse, but verbal abuse, you know, just trying to dismantle the opposition teams, I guess, with what Steve all used to say is, you know, mental disintegration methods. And, you know, we saw what happened in the first test in South Africa just the way they carry on that right now (INAUDIBLE) dropped the ball, almost got him. And some other issues as well that's been simmering for a while.

And the team culture itself, you know, through the Darren Lehmann, the coach, he sort of -- he knows the pleasure at best when they're pushing this line but it's just been pushed and pushed and pushed. And as I said, you know, this is a powder keg that's gone off at the moment. So, it needs to be reined in, Cricket Australia are tired of it, certainly the executive level and then also are partly to blame for this but not getting on top of (INAUDIBLE). The Australians have had a long reputation as sort of a bully boy team. And this has come back to bite them at this stage.

VAUSE: Right. OK. Hey, Jon, we're out of time. We have to leave it there, but I do wonder if the biggest -- if the bigger crime was the ball tampering or actually getting caught for the ball tampering, but we'll leave it there. OK. Mate, appreciate it.

SESAY: All right. Away from cricket, in exactly one year, Britain is to leave the European Union. And in a few hours, U.K. Prime Minister is embark on a day-long tour across the United Kingdom with this pledge, she says, she is determined that the further will be a bright one. That the U.K. will thrive as a strong and united country that works for everyone, no matter whether you voted leave or remain. But here's the thing, some aren't so sure as both sides hammer out the details on a final deal. There's a major campaign to stop Brexit altogether. CNN's Isa Soares went to England's second biggest city to measure the effect.


ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's a Thursday evening and at this local community center in Birmingham, a last-ditch effort to stop Brexit is underway.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We just want to be a part of the family of nations. We don't want to be isolated on our own.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: None of it makes sense.

SOARES: It may sound like a therapy session for the losing side.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Brexit has brought out the worst in certain sections of the British people. We're not like that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It can mean a number of things, really. If people --

SOARES: But they are here to learn how to persuade their friends, their neighbors, and elected officials to support a new vote on the final Brexit deal.

ELOISE TODD, CEO, BEST FOR BRITAIN: We have to build the bridges in this country to get to a point where we all back a public vote on the deal.

SOARES: Eloise Toddd heads Best For Britain. The group recently received their $700,000 donation from billionaire investor George Soros to hold sessions like the one in Birmingham up and down the country.

TODD: Rather than just talking to people that might have voted a different way and telling people facts and figures, it's about opening up a conversation and trying to understand, well, actually, tell me about why you voted to leave the European Union.

[01:40:01] SOARES: And the first step to changing someone's mind, well, getting inside of it. Participants pair up, one person argues the leave side.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- always telling us what to do. Now, we want to the make our own laws.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, we are making our own laws.

SOARES: And the other tries to persuade them that staying in E.U. is the better solution.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are heartily, we are facing an enormous --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Democracy doesn't stop us not one single point in time.

SOARES: And the issue brought up most by the lead role players, immigration.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thinking Polish. I mean, I want to be in Poland. (INAUDIBLE) leave the English.

SOARES: Pro-leave campaigners said the idea of a public vote on the final Brexit deal would threaten democracy in Britain.

RICHARD TICE, CO-CHAIR, LEAVE MEANS LEAVE: People knew exactly what they were voting for. They were voting to bring back control from an overseas unelected bureaucracy back to this country so that we can invoke our own laws, our own trade deals and take control over our own immigration policy. Of course, there's technical detail to go through but people knew what they were voting for and they voted to leave.

SOARES: Anti-immigrant sentiments drove people to the polls in this part of the country during a 2016 referendum. The region called the West Midland voted for Brexit by a 60-40 margin. But a January survey conducted by The Guardian found the region would be nearly evenly split if a new vote were held today. But Eloise Todd says doubt is creeping in now that the details of the deal are starting to emerge.

TODD: It's really important that people in this country know that we still have a choice. And in terms of the democratic nature of this, it's not democratic to give any government a blank check.


VAUSE: Well, next on NEWSROOM L.A., one of the most sophisticated and consequential cyberattacks is underway right now. Officials say a major American city is effectively being held hostage.


VAUSE: Over the past few days, police in Atlanta Georgia have been writing their reports by hand. Residents have not been able to pay their water bills or parking tickets. Many court proceedings have been canceled.

SESAY: All because cyber hackers targeted city computers with a $51- million ransom demand. On Tuesday, employees were told it's OK to boot up their computers as the city assesses what happened. But getting everything back to normal, well, that could take a while. The mayor had a sobering message.


KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS, MAYOR, ATLANTA, GEORGIA: This is much bigger than a Ransomware attack. This really is an attack on our government, which means it's an attack on all of us.


VAUSE: Rod Beckstrom is the former CEO of ICANN, the internet corporation for assigned names and numbers and former director of the National Cybersecurity Center. He joins us now from Santa Cruz here in California. Rod, thanks for being -- for staying up and being with us. Compared to, you know, recent other cyberattacks, there was that one in Dallas last year, they set off the tornado warning sirens, I think. You know, it was pretty sort of juvenile in Dallas. But this one in Atlanta, it seems a little more sophisticated, it seems a lot more serious which of course it's -- that's the concern.

[01:45:08] ROD BECKSTROM, FORMER CEO, ICANN: Yes, absolutely. It's kind of like an octopus, it's got a lot of tentacles, we're hitting a lot of different systems in the city. And clearly this was well- planned, well-staged, and I mean, these attackers are serious. They've been very successful in extracting a lot of money out of -- out of parties this year through their ransom attacks, and I really feel for the people in the city -- in city hall in the city of Atlanta, but it's a very serious attack, and it kind of brings Ransomware to a new level that we don't want to see but it's probably here to stay.

VAUSE: Yes, the hackers have reportedly been identified as the SamSam hacking crew. This group (INAUDIBLE) some of the major systems alone in Atlanta like the 911 emergency calls, they left wastewater treatment alone. So, why would they do that?

BECKSTROM: They're sophisticated, you know, they don't want to go over probably certain legal tripwires, there's probably different legal prosecutions for taking out emergency systems like that and law and enforcement systems. I think their target here is to make money, their motivation is money. It's not political issues or sabotage or just being a prankster like the folks that took out the train or siren systems in Texas last year. These are mercantile hackers that want to make a lot of money. So, they're very strategic and smart and careful in what they're doing, which is unfortunate because they're also, you know, seem to be quite good.

VAUSE: OK. Along with this attack in Atlanta, Baltimore's mayor said on Wednesday that the city's computer network that's post emergency calls was hacked this past weekend, some had temporary disruption that forced city officials to resort to manual operations to handle calls. Also on Wednesday, a report by the Seattle Times that Boeing was hit by the WannaCry Ransomware. The chief engineer of the commercial airplane production put out a memo to staff, saying "it is metathesizing rapidly out of North Charlestone. I just heard 777 automated spar assembly tools may have gone down." This is Mike Vanderwel, he wrote that he's concerned the virus equipment which was used in functional tests of airplanes which were ready to roll out, potentially spread to airplane software. You know, they didn't say -- an official statement came out of Boeing saying it was all under control, you know, wasn't that serious. It seemed serious. On the same surface, it does seem that there has been a surge in cyberattacks targeting governments and corporations.

BECKSTROM: There is. There appears to be an uptick, John. And, you know, the SamSam group alone, we think they probably got 30 payoffs this year, equaled about $1 million already. That means the small group of hackers is probably going to pull in over $4 million this year alone. With this type of attack, we don't know what other attacks that this specific group is up to, but it is on the increase. You know, and the thing is, at least this type of attack is preventable if you get your systems all backed up, backed up either into the Cloud or backed up onto a hard disk or other media. You can -- you can avoid a recover and spring back. And my guess is these attackers are so sophisticated they might have even identified the systems in Atlanta that didn't have backups, very specifically.

VAUSE: I'm just curious, because is there anything unique about Atlanta? Why this attack was on Atlanta as opposed to, you know, Miami or, you know, any other major sort of American city?

BECKSTROM: Great question. This group is known for being selective in choosing their targets. Their goal is to get a payoff. It's not clear to me whether Atlanta has paid them off or not, they're not saying -- one would almost presume they haven't. I respect them for not paying them off even though it creates a lot of pain for them and for their citizens and the city. But presumably they chose Atlanta because maybe a hop at the fences, you know, were weak. Maybe they thought the backups were not being done, and clearly, any city of that size can afford to pay $50,000 some in Bitcoin equivalent if they wished to.

VAUSE: You know, the New York Times described the attack on Atlanta as one of the most sustained and consequential cyberattacks ever mounted against a major American City. Excuse me. Last week, we found out, you know, that millions of Facebook users had their personal data accessed and used without their permission. Before that, we had the Equifax breach, exposing what, information of 150 million people. And yet, we're all like, it's just one of those things, it's a hassle, you know, it's like a traffic jam, it's like you're going to put up with a long line at the supermarket. It almost seems to happen with a shrug.

BECKSTROM: Well, I don't want to sound like Dr. Doom, but it could be a lot worse. I mean, at least these hackers are just wanting to get money and extort that from the city. They're not taking down critical infrastructure. I mean, imagine a serious attack on grid, for example, taking out the electrical system, much of it permanently could be much, much more catastrophic than this. And in 2012, when I was CEO of ICANN, we had a threat against the whole global internet to take the internet black and we don't even know what all the implications of that would be, it could have been just tremendously catastrophic. So, you know, in some sense, at least these Ransomware attackers are trying to get some amount of money and it's doing damage which is very unfortunate, very costly for these cities. Probably going to cost Atlanta many millions of dollars to deal with this problem.

[01:50:13] VAUSE: Could you imagine how troubling it would be if there was like a major foreign adversary in your power grid like, I don't know, Russia, or wait, they are. Rod, good to see you. Thank you.

BECKSTROM: Absolutely. Thank you, John.

VAUSE: I'm just saying.

SESAY: Let's take a break. Shall we?


SESAY: CNN is in the waters of Antarctica. We're witnessing a Greenpeace protest, it involves the world's foodchain, climate, and controversy. Our report is next on NEWSROOM L.A.


SESAY: Well, CNN is in the Antarctic following Greenpeace activists in one of the world's harshest and most beautiful region.

VAUSE: And they're there to protect this fragile part of the globe, this fragile ecosystem. And Arwa Damon reports on their dramatic, controversial, and dangerous protests.


ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Every day brings with it even more beauty and every shore venture is magical in its own unique way. Zoe Buckley Lennox is one of the Greenpeace activists onboard and she was already determined to protect the Antarctic even before she came.

ZOE BUCKLEY LENNOX, ACTIVIST, GREENPEACE: Yes, the sea, it definitely feels more intimate and it feels more personal that we could lose a lot of this area to climate change and a lot of its species and those (INAUDIBLE)

DAMON: Perhaps just as if not more crucial, the Antarctic's waters and its wildlife especially krill which is the key-stone species here, play a vital role moving carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to the depths of the ocean. Zoe is part of a team that has been tracking the movement of a Ukrainian krill fishing vessel. A lot of the krill fishing happens off the Antarctic Peninsula. And because this area is also the main feeding grounds for the wildlife, Greenpeace and others have proposed this as an ocean sanctuary.

FRANK HEWETSON, CREW, GREENPEACE: Swing around and keep up with the Nazi, probably abreast like this please.

DAMON: Frank Hewetson is a Greenpeace veteran.

Every (INAUDIBLE) have just placed themselves in between the Ukrainian vessel and the reefer hoping to be able to block the (INAUDIBLE) from taking place.

There is already a Chinese vessel offloading on the other side. Greenpeace makes radio contact with the Ukrainians.

HEWETSON: We have no intention of taking control of your vessel. Our protest is peaceful --

DAMON: But the Greenpeace inflatables are no match. The team speeds out again.

Greenpeace believes that protecting the krill now in this vital region may help save the planet later. It's about preserving the balance of an ecosystem that we are all reliant on for our survival. The Greenpeace teams' new goal is to prevent the Ukrainian vessel from heading back out to the fishing grounds. Zoe jumps on the rope, the Ukrainian fishermen cut her down into the Antarctic's freezing waters.

[01:55:02] The team needs to find a better location. And they aim for the anchor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) we have Ronnie on the sub right anchor (INAUDIBLE) we must inform the vessel immediately. My man, Ronnie, well done.

DAMON: Krill fishing is not illegal but the Greenpeace team hopes that their disruptive and controversial actions will generate a reaction and bring international attention to protect these waters and wildlife. Zoe is now on top of the signature Greenpeace pod. Activists can actually live in it, and this is how Greenpeace occupies its targets in extreme condition.

But now the Ukrainians are moving and they're threatening to head out to the fishing grounds full steam.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have 10 minutes. After that, I make my speed full (INAUDIBLE) DAMON: It's becoming too risky. Frank needs to get the climbers and

if possible the pod down.

HEWETSON: I'm calling on you to slow down and give us a chance to remove our people.

DAMON: The Ukrainian vessel does.


LENNOX: Yes. It felt all right. It felt all right. You can just jump on water, which I did twice.

DAMON: You seem to be kind of fearless.

LENNOX: I think I internalize my fear. I like -- the truth is I'm more scared of environmental destruction than I am with a lot of these things.

DAMON: And in this remote and vital region, the Greenpeace message is, we can do something before we reach a crisis point. Arwa Damon, CNN the Antarctic.


SESAY: Wow, beautiful but very harsh place.

VAUSE: Yes. But, you know, make the most (INAUDIBLE)

SESAY: You're watching -- like us, really. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles, I'm isha sesay.

VAUSE: I'm John Vause. Join us on Twitter @cnnnewsroomla highlights and clips from our shows. Isha will tweet you. We'll get back though with a lot more news. Don't go anywhere. It's a third hour -- the third hour is yet to come, and the best of all.

SESAY: It's the best hour.

VAUSE: The best hour. Don't miss it.


[02:00:08] SESAY: This is CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles.

VAUSE: Ahead this hour, a push for diplomacy on the Korean Peninsula. Delegates from Seoul and Pyongyang --