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Syria Civil War; Chemical Weapons Attack in Duma; U.S. President Trump's Personal Lawyer; Rape Case in India Sparks Protests and Outrage; Fox News Host Sean Hannity Named as Client of Michael Cohen; Trump Puts the Brakes on New Russian Sanctions, Reversing Haley's Announcement; Mainz Top Freiburg After Bizarre VAR Incident; Manchester City Win 3rd League Title In Seven Years; Stoke-West Ham Play Out to 1-1 Draw. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired April 17, 2018 - 02:00   ET


[02:00:08] JOHN VAUSE, CNN, ANCHOR: This is CNN Newsroom live from Los Angeles. Ahead this hour, chemical weapons inspectors blocked from entering the town Duma, the sight of a deadly chemical attack in Syria. Also ahead, U.S. President Trump's lawyer goes to court and is forced to reveal another surprising client, his third client.

And rape cases sparking outrage across India, as thousands of protesters demanded the government take action. However, thank you for being with us. I am John Vause. We're now into the third hour of Newsroom L.A. Nearly two weeks since the suspected chemical weapons attack is believed to have killed dozens of people in Duma's Syria, international inspectors are still unable to gain access to that town.

The U.S. and U.K. blame the Syrian regime and Russia. Moscow in turn blames the U.N. for the delay and says the inspectors will be able to reach Duma by Wednesday. Washington is also worried Russia may be using this delay to scrub Duma clean of any evidence. Moscow though denies that. The suspected attack from an air strike on Syrian chemical weapons targets by the United States, France, and Britain.

On Monday, the British and French leaders defended their decision to join in those strikes without first consulting lawmakers, and pushed back on criticism by some that they're at the beckon call of the U.S. President.


THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: We have acted because it is in our national interest. It is in our national interest to prevent the further use of chemical weapons in Syria and to uphold and defend the global consensus that these weapons should not be used, for we cannot allow the use of chemical weapons to become normalized, either within Syria, on the streets of the U.K., or elsewhere.

So we have not done this because President Trump asked us to do so. We have done it because we believe it was the right thing to do, and we are not alone.

(END VIDEO CLIP) VAUSE: Live now is Fred Pleitgen in Beirut in Lebanon. Good to see you, Fred. So what is the reality here when it comes to access to Duma, the sight of that chemical weapons attack? Are the Russians blocking the inspectors? You know is the U.N. to blame? Does it even matter?

FREDERICK PLEITGEN, CNN, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think the last is probably the case. I don't think that it necessarily matters that much. However, one thing that we do have to say I mean the Russians and the Syrian government took control of that full area a couple of days ago. And we know that Russians chemical weapons experts, the Russians have said these themselves had access to that area very shortly after that alleged attack took place, John.

I think it was Monday or Tuesday of last week, you'll recall the actual alleged attack happened on the Saturday of last week. So the Russians would have had access to that place for a very long time, and you know Americans are accusing them now of possibly tampering with evidence and using this delay, but they've had a long time in between where they could have done that.

It seems as though the actual delay might be because of confusion that is going on the ground. It might be because of certain sides holding things up. Again, he Russians is say that it was feeling U.N. permissions, which might have to do with the fact that the OPCW investigators actually travel in United Nations vehicles. And obviously, they have to start a security route, their security people after they assess things unclear whether or not that was all in place for them to be able to go.

And of course, they have to coordinate all their movements with the Syrian government as well, many U.N. convoys inside Syria that got held up at many, many, many checkpoints because paperwork allegedly wasn't there. There was always a lot of hold up, moving around in Syria generally done is not a very easy thing to do.

Now, the Russians are saying and the OPCW is saying they hope to get things going by Wednesday. Of course, as you'll note, that is a very, very long time since this alleged took place. So whether or not the there is the tampering of any sort of evidence, whether or not being this sort of dissipate, especially if you're looking at the cases of chlorine.

Of course, it is something that potentially could taint the investigation no matter what the actual investigators then come up with, John.

VAUSE: And Fred, you touched on this rebel-held enclave is no longer a rebel-held enclave. It had been held by rebels for years. So if you look at it, it means Assad is now better off after this chemical attack that he was...


VAUSE: -- in terms of territory he can cross. PLEITGEN: You know I think it's a very, very important point. I mean

we look at all this and we look at the international community saying that it has to do the certain things, talking about a political solution that will have to be in place. But we have to keep in mind that what happened, not just in Duma but in all the areas around that, all of Eastern Ghouta, which is a place east of Damascus that had 400,000 inhabitants before the conflict in Syria actually kicked off.

[02:04:55] Winning that back was one of the biggest victories in the entire Syrian civil war for the Assad government. But I would say that it's on a level with them getting back Homs and Aleppo in -- I think Homs was 2015 and Aleppo of course, was at the end of 2016. So it was a huge victory for them. And obviously, that sort of reflects on the ground as well.

I mean these air strikes that took place, the U.S. certainly did send a message to the Syrian government, did send a message to the Russians as well that they can strike if they want to. But at the same time, it did not diminish the fact that the Syrian government is now more in control of the situation on the ground that has been in a very long time.

And that victory in Ghouta and Duma is certainly one that the Syrian government is celebrating and is saying is a major, major step forward for them as far as controlling more and more of the territory there in Syria, John.

VAUSE: Great. Fred, thank you. Fred Pleitgen, live for us in Beirut. Thanks for being with us, Fred. Well, for more on this, joining us now is CNN National Security Analyst Gayle Tzemach Lemmon and CNN European Affairs Commentator Dominic Thomas. Good to have you both with us. Thank you. Dom, let's just start with the situation for Theresa May, the British Prime Minister.

Legally, she doesn't actually free. Some may respond instantly facing doesn't actually need the approval of the British Parliament before joining in some kind of military action like the one we saw on Syria, but there is this convention which is being followed since the Iraq war in 2003. So now that she's in this situation, this minority government where there is sort of this warning out there that of these political risks and consequences should she do this again.

So what are those risks and what are the consequences for them?

DOMINIC THOMAS, CNN, EUROPEAN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I mean you're right. You mentioned since you've gotten back to 2013 when David Cameron went to the Parliament and did not get support for strikes on Syria, so that has to be at the back of her mind. For Theresa May, I think to -- on the heels of the Skripal attack of the Russian nerve poison attack on a former agent, and for which she garnered considerable international support, riding that wave into this.

And that response was a surprise to her I think in many ways, that going into this without getting parliamentary support, which at best would have been ambiguous given the level interested in the level of divisiveness and the precariousness of her position in parliament meant that she went along without consulting with lawmakers.

And the backlash not just from Jeremy Corbin or the opposition but also within her party, where this a lack of consensus on whether or not she served, gone into bed with Donald Trump, with French President Emmanuel Macron without greater consultation with the international community. Now for many arguments for and against it, obviously, the Russian veto at the U.N. -- but I think that she could not have gone to parliament, expecting that to be the vote that she wanted.

And I think the consensus is that it was time to act and that she wanted to go along with Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron.

VAUSE: So, Gayle is there sort of a limited value to baiting what they should or shouldn't do -- have done after the missiles have hit their targets.

GAYLE TZEMACH LEMMON, CNN, NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, this is the thing, right? I mean and I think for the United States there is a fascinating development, which is that we see the United States, United Kingdom, and France working in concert in ways that we have not seen in years, right? I mean for the United States this is actually -- you see the three allies speaking clearly, communicated in very clear tones from all three capitals now going to the U.N., trying to push for a resolution.

You see them really talking about coordinated action, and this is much more coordinated transatlantic approach to Syria than we have seen in seven years, because the truth is that there has been a certain axis of impunity that has been allowed to go on for seven years. And we cannot be surprised that the Assad regime and its Russian and Iranian backers thought no one would stop them and it redlines not...


VAUSE: The U.K., the U.S., and France, Dominic, Germany, nowhere to be seen offering words of support but that's it.

THOMAS: Right. The French case even more you know astounding in a way because Macron has an unambiguous majority. He went neither to the E.U. nor to the French Parliament, and essentially nor the United Nations. So he had probably a greater opportunity of sort of pushing this through and achieving greater consensus from the French position.

But I think that in terms of the broader of European Union you know concern about this obviously is the potential for instability in the region. And I think what people would argue is something of course, needs to be done. It's been going on for much too long and the time has come to sit down and to try and find a solution to this.

What many people would argue is why the rush, why not try to build greater consensus to relay to different partners and as we get into this.

VAUSE: OK. So the British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson answered that question for justifying the use of military force. Here is what he said. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: It was the world saying that we've enough of the use of weapons. The erosion of that to (Inaudible) place for 100 years has gone too far. And Bashar Al-Assad and it was time that we said no and that he was taking effort was the right thing to do.


[02:10:01] VAUSE: So, Gayle how long before Bashar Al-Assad uses you know a chemical weapon like a chlorine barrel bomb, barrel bombs filled with chlorine.

TZEMACH LEMMON: Yes. Well, I think it is a fascinating question, was there are a rush, was this hasty. You know I talked to Syrian activists who would say this is years in the making, where there was green light after green light after green light, the no paying attention to anyone's right, right? So I think you know this conflict has been very long on protests, very long on you know handwringing about how bad the atrocities are, and adjectives no longer describe everything that has happened on the ground.

What it had been short on is anybody taking action to stop that, whether it's diplomatic backed by military or non-military. And so I think you see this whole conversation now turning to is there an end game, but the truth is that while U.S. policy has long Assad must go, the reality is no one thinks he's going anywhere anytime soon, except maybe in Tehran or Moscow for a day trip, right?

It's very unlikely that we see him go anywhere anytime soon.

VAUSE: Well, in the United States, the incoming National Security Advisor John Bolton. He wanted a much larger, much more powerful military response. Donald Trump, the U.S. President said no, regardless of -- there was a lot of backslapping for Bolton from Donald. Listen to this.


DONALD TRUMP, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: John Bolton is here and we just had a big (Inaudible), John. John, that's pretty good. I didn't expect that. I'm a little jealous, but you giving him all the credit. You know that means the end of his job.


VAUSE: You know it's no secret Donald Trump (Inaudible) popular in Europe. So how difficult is it for European leaders to sign on board for something led by the U.S. President, especially with stuff like this or (Inaudible) piece of chocolate cake.


THOMAS: I think extraordinarily difficult because of the question of trust that also of course, it's Bolton's week one, right? So we're already seeing action, military strikes, and so. But the level of trust of course, is very low, and his comments are inconsistent and they're at odds with his administration. It is hard to see that a Middle East policy is clearly in place.

And so the long-term goals and the long-term solution are not there. There is this is extraordinary back and forth between him and him and Emmanuel Macron, as to whether or not Macron in fact convinced him to maintain his presence in Syria or not. Emmanuel Macron is about to come to the United States to make his official visit next week, so we can see how this conversation will continue on.

But no, there is very little trust that this can be shaped by the Trump Administration. And I think that Macron sees that and perhaps an opportunity for him to lead the way on this, particularly given French interests, long-term, historical, and present in Lebanon and in Syria.

VAUSE: You have 30 seconds. We're almost out of time.

TZEMACH LEMMON: This is the thing. You have this transatlantic relationship that many think has been tested, but it some ways looks stronger than it did. For the United States, Syria has been a policy- free zone since 2011, and we will see if any of that changes. People ascribed almost everything To Trump when the truth is that Syria has been a continuation of a policy that has faced challenges for years.

VAUSE: As they say, that's a strike, not a strategy. We're here to see what that might be.


VAUSE: Gayle and Dom, thank you. Appreciate it.

Well, Donald Trump's personal attorney reveals his secret client, but Fox News Host Sean Hannity says not so fast. We'll talk about the disconnect just ahead on Newsroom L.A.


[02:15:00] VAUSE: Another day brings another surprising revelation regarding Donald Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen. In court Monday, Cohen's lawyers revealed one of his clients is also one of the President's biggest cheerleaders. That would be Fox News Host Sean Hannity. Cohen's legal team fought to keep that relationship a secret.

Hannity says he talked with Cohen about legal questions but he never paid Cohen and Cohen never represented him in any matter legal. CNN's Brynn Gingras has more now on Cohen's legal troubles.


BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN, CORRESPONDENT: A lot unfolded in the courtroom when it relates to that FBI raid of Michael Cohen's home and his apartment and his hotel room and the document ceased to remember the whole reason that court was happening, because a judge was trying to rule a document ceased where obstructing attorney-client privilege for Michael Cohen's client.

Now Michael Cohen's attorneys were fighting against those documents being looked at by the government, saying that attorney-client privilege was going to be obstructed here. And essentially, the judge ruled in favor of all parties that were involved. The U.S. attorney's office is now going to hand over all those documents that Michael Cohen's attorney can filter through them and see how much the volume of what could be protected for attorney-client privilege.

They're also then allowed to then get some of those documents to the Trump Administration to see if there are any issues there. And then separately, prosecutors can also do their own search, then all three parties are going to reconvene in the courtroom and a judge is going to decide if a filter team is going to take a look at the volume of documents that have been narrowed down before this investigation.

Remember, still a criminal investigation what's happening here, but before that investigation can carry forward. So a lot of detail that still has to be worked out over the next coming weeks. It could take several weeks, but that wasn't enough for -- there was even more drama in the courtroom, and that's because Stormy Daniels was there. Michael Cohen was there. But then also, as part of all this, Michael

Cohen's attorneys were told they had to hand over a client list of Michael Cohen. And that list, in short, had three names on it that were of importance, Trumps, which we already knew about, an RNC head, and then a third name, which wasn't named.

And essentially, the judge in this case made them disclose that name. We learned it was Fox News Host Sean Hannity. Now Sean Hannity then answered back and said that he had only legal advice that he sought for Michael Cohen because there is a big question about what he had to do with any of this or what sort of relation he had with Michael Cohen.

But certainly, that was a shock in the courtroom. So next step, all these parties again are going to reconvene in the courtroom and decide how to move forward with this investigation into the business dealings of Michael Cohen, back to you.


VAUSE: Jessica Levinson is a Professor of Law and Governance at Loyola Law School and Michael Genovese is President of the Global Policy Institute at Loyola Marymount University. Good to have you both with us. A happy start to the week, it was not a happy start to the week for Michael Cohen. So Jessica, first to you, just from the legal point of view, this was by all accounts a train wreck of a day for Cohen's legal team and by association of the President's legal team.

How much damage has been done? Where is this is all now heading?

JESSICA LEVINSON, LOYOLA LAW SCHOOL, PROFESSOR OF LAW AND GOVERNANCE: I actually think it could've been a lot worse for Michael Cohen and for President Trump's legal team. So Judge Wood, the federal judge who is overseeing this whole hearing, which is really about something quite narrow in terms of looking at these documents to determine which documents are privileged under the attorney-client claim privilege.

Judge Wood basically had to push the issue often said, you know, there are no emergency circumstances. All of you get to look at these documents, determine what -- and then maybe down the road, we will appoint a special master -- party to look, maybe we'll have the Department of Justice have a filter team. But I think it could have actually been -- in terms of like the grand panel of disasters...


LEVINSON: Even more disasters.

VAUSE: And he said that about a lot of days. We've been having -- in the U.S. when it comes to politics and stuff. But I guess the train wreck aspect of it was how Trump legal team and the Cohen legal team handled themselves in court (Inaudible) preview of what's to come. There just seems to be so many mistakes that they didn't really know what they're doing.

LEVINSON: Well, this is like -- you know if you are writing a pilot for like America 2018 legal drama...


VAUSE: -- comedy, yeah.

[02:19:57] LEVINSON: Right. I would say it's more of a farce.

VAUSE: Right.

LEVINSON: So I mean in terms of like what Michael Cohen has done, I would not write an exam question that had these allegations, because I think my students would be like -- remember, the bar wouldn't do that.

VAUSE: OK. Michael, there are potential legal consequences here. There are political consequences as well. All of this coming from the materials seized by the FBI -- from Cohen's office, from his home, from his apartment. This is what Michael Avenatti said. He is the attorney for Stormy -- court and he was there with his clients. Listen to what he said.


MICHAEL AVENATTI, STORMY DANIELS' ATTORNEY: Depending on what is contained within those documents, I think there is significant danger to the President. The President trusted -- the President trusted Mr. Cohen as his fixer for years. He trusted him with his innermost secrets and I think that the chickens are about to come home to roost.


VAUSE: OK. So he did preface it by saying depending on what is in that material, in those documents. But from the reaction that we've seen so far from Cohen, from Cohen's legal team, from the President, from the President's legal team, would you say that the President is facing a bigger legal problem here or a bigger political problem. MICHAEL GENOVESE, GLOBAL POLICY INSTITUTE AT LOYOLA MARYMOUNT

UNIVERSITY, PRESIDENT: Well, this opened a Pandora's Box, and Trump and his attorneys, and Cohen and his attorneys are trying to close that box, but it's open, and it's become a carnival atmosphere. And today, the revelation that not only was the President one of Cohen's clients, but you had Brody who had the legal problems with the Playboy model who he impregnated.

And then Hannity's name comes up in court. You would call these three a rogue's gallery, but I wouldn't want to insult rogues. This is -- it's just become so carnival-like in atmosphere. I know lawyers couldn't make commercials now. Can you imagine the commercial Michael Cohen would make for his law firm?

VAUSE: Well, no (Inaudible). You mentioned Sean Hannity -- he or Fox News fame. Just in case anybody is of any doubt about Sean Hannity, this is Sean Hannity from earlier this month scolding specifically about the raid on Cohen and the case before the court. Listen to this.


SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS, HOST: We have now entered a dangerous new phase, and there is no turning back from this. It is clear, as I have been warning, Mueller is out to get the President and it appears at any cost. Here's what happened. Upon referral from Special Counselor Robert Mueller, the FBI has raided the office, the home, and the hotel room of Michael Cohen, the personal attorney of the President of the United States.

Keep in mind, Cohen was never part of the Trump Administration or the Trump campaign. This is now officially an all hands on deck effort to totally malign, and if possible impeach the President of the United States.


VAUSE: Jessica, it is the deplorable that Hannity did not declare his relationship. At least, ethically it's deplorable. But what are other legal issues here as well, or is it just a question of ethics and saying for Fox News to worry about.

LEVINSON: I think its journalistic ethics. I mean when I was watching that, what I really took away was -- I mean one of course, there's the elephant in the room that he doesn't say a word about the fact that he knows Michael Cohen, that he's consulted Michael Cohen for legal advice, but also that if you just say certain things in a certain tone, that apparently means that something nefarious happened.

If you read the transcript of what he is saying, is essentially the justice system is working. The President's personal attorney was raided. There's a reason that you take such an extreme step, and that in and of itself is actually implication of how badly the President's lawyer has actually behaved. But in terms of Sean Hannity's legal problems, I mean we don't know what's going to come out there. What was really interesting in the argument today in court is that

Michael Cohen's lawyer said was somebody, somebody who is very high profile and it's going to be extremely embarrassing for them you know this information to come out. And then the government said you know basically point me to where in the code it says embarrassment...


VAUSE: We had -- Alan Dershowitz was actually on the show, in Hannity's show a few hours ago when all of this came out. He actually chastised Hannity on air. Michael, listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I really think that you should have disclosed your relationship with Cohen when you talked about him on this show. You could've said just that you asked him for advice or whatever, but I think it would have been much -- had you disclosed that relationship...


HANNITY: It was minimal.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You should have said that.


VAUSE: Michael, even if you take Hannity's word, does it matter if the relationship was minimal or anything else.

GENOVESE: Well, give Dershowitz some credit. I mean a lot of people have criticized him recently because he's been in the President's corner. In this case, he made a very strong statement right to the source. It takes courage to do that. Give him a lot of credit. And Hannity was trying to sort of fluff his way out of it. You can't fluff your way out of something like this...


GENOVESE: No. And it reflects not just on Hannity but on the whole defense of the President and his team. And is it to say we can do any damn thing we want and it doesn't matter.

[02:25:04] VAUSE: Yeah. The other big story today, FBI Director James Comey, the former FBI Director, he has a book to sell, and he's been out doing the television rounds. On ABC, he was asked if maybe the Russians have something on the President. This was his answer.


JAMES COMEY, FORMER FBI DIRECTOR: I think it's possible. I don't know. Never thought I'd utter about a President of the United States, but it is possible. I would have been able -- about any other President I dealt with, but -- can't. It's possible.


VAUSE: Michael, there is some criticism that Comey is showboating here, that by going out and selling this book he's actually you know harming his reputation and may be falsely generating sympathy for the President.

GENOVESE: Well, I think he has in many ways harmed his reputation, because you have to remember going into this, Trump and his team don't like Comey. And a lot of the Democrats don't either. So he's really got a tough act to sell. You know but I think what's so fascinating about this is it he said she said kind of thing or he said that's reminiscent of Watergate, where John Dean made some big accusations.

Well, how do you test those? Well, they had tapes. In this case, Comey versus Trump, who is telling the truth? It's kind of a heavyweight battle, but it's between two Republicans, and that's what's fascinating. It's not Democrats versus Republicans. It is two Republicans in the ring.

VAUSE: One that's interesting here, Comey made those comments over the weekend. Also on Sunday, the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley said there would be sanctions announced on Monday on Russia. Those sanctions never came though (Inaudible) by the President, Jessica. So you know Haley got it wrong or you know Donald Trump decided that he didn't want to upset Vladimir Putin. Where do you think the truth lies here?

LEVINSON: Or Haley got it right at that moment.

VAUSE: Yeah.

LEVINSON: And the President changed his mind, which I think is entirely possible. You know whenever we have talked about when this President has imposed some sanctions or taken some action that adverse to Russia's interest, it really is breaking news, because if you think about it, the bar has been so low.

We essentially expect him to give Russia a free pass because there's such a cloud of suspicion over whether or not the Russian government has something over him. I thought that there were a number of interesting moments in that Comey interview. But that I think, frankly, I mean, you know, is it possible...

VAUSE: Yeah.

LEVINSON: Yeah. I mean that's not a -- that's not conclusive statement. He made a lot of other statements that I think were a lot of strong.


VAUSE: Sure, but I think he says it's possible and then the (Inaudible) the President pulls the sanctions that were magically announced on Monday. They don't happen. Sort of goes to proving you know the point that Comey was making.

LEVINSON: It's not a great narrative for the President. And I would have to think that every one of his advisers hopefully was saying look, people aren't going to have to connect you know three dots. They're going to connect two dots, comment, and action.

VAUSE: Yeah.

LEVINSON: It doesn't look good for you.

GENOVESE: But this also reflects, I think the -- not only the confusion within the Trump Administration, but also the confused policies that they have. And to say that -- if we said two years ago that a former FBI Director would say that it's possible that the President was helped by the Russians or in cahoots with them in some way, you would say that is completely absurd.

You'd think it was from U.S. basher, but it's not. It's from the FBI Director, and the shocking thing is that it is plausible. And I don't say it's true, but it is plausible...


VAUSE: -- we've seen over the last 14, 15...


GENOVESE: It's utterly shocking.

VAUSE: Jessica and Michael, good to see you both.

GENOVESE: Thank you.

LEVINSON: Thank you.

VAUSE: Thank you. Well, there is renewed public outrage in India. We'll have the ground response with the series of attacks against young women and girls, more on that in just a moment.


[02:30:50] JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Welcome back everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause. We'll check the headlines this hour. U.S. president is holding off on new sanctions against Russia at less without that's even though the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley still on Sunday that most sanctions would be announce on Monday against companies aiding Syria's chemical weapons program. The White House says Mr. Trump is considering additional sanctions and a decision will be made in the near future. Donald Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen has also represented both the president's most vocal supporters. "Fox News" host Sean Hannity. The revelation came from Cohen's lawyers as Cohen appeared in a New York courtroom.

Hannity however says he, "Never retain Cohen in the traditional sense." (INAUDIBLE) they've been investigating Cohen for months for a possible criminal combat. An outrage is growing after an apparent incident at a Starbucks in Philadelphia. Employee say two African- American men refused to leave the cafe when they were told they could not use the restroom or wait for a friend unless they were paying customers. They were subsequently arrested after the manager called police. The company CEO has apologized and has agreed to meet with the two men who were taken away with this. The United States and the United Kingdom have issued their first joint alert warning that Russian hackers are trying to gain access to routers controlling the flow of internet traffic. Many details from Sam Kiley.

SAM KILEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In an unprecedented statement put out by both the United Kingdom and the United States, Russia has been identified by those two countries as the perpetrator of cyberattacks aimed ultimately at crippling national critical infrastructure. That is the guts, the basic means by which a country functions, the trains, roads, healthcare, computers across the nation, even nuclear power stations. Now, that has not yet happened although there has been evidence. The American say of a tense to hack the national grid inside the United States. Nonetheless, they are saying that this is a moment of extreme danger and let me read you one quote. They say the current state of U.S. and U.K. network devices coupled with the Russian government campaign to exploit these devices threatens our respective safety, security, and economic well-being.

Now, that if it were a description of a conventional weapon would probably cause a degree of hysteria but because there is this steady state now of reported attacks by Russia or in other actors or point fingers pointed at China or criminal elements, a constant attempt to get into critical national infrastructure. People perhaps have got used to it and I think it's for that reason that this joint statement has been put out to alert the public and private sectors in both the United States and the United Kingdom and the wide western international community that in the view of the FBI, the head of cybersecurity in the United Kingdom, this is a moment in which Russia is on the offensive.

But the Russians have responded out of their embassy in London saying, Russia is not planning to conduct any cyber-attacks against the United Kingdom and we expect the British government to declare the same. A typical response that we've come to see from the Russians to somewhat flippant reply and of course the United Kingdom and the United States not yet providing any substantial proof at least not in the initial warnings but they are providing methodology to large and small companies right across their nations for how to defend against these cyberattacks. Sam Kiley, CNN Moscow.

VAUSE: Well, there's growing outrage in India as details of several recent rapes and murders are becoming public. Students march in New Delhi demanding the resignation of the ruling party ministers who have been responsible for handling the cases. One ruling party lawmakers under arrest in connection with the rape of a teenager in Uttar Pradesh. Eight men are accused of the rape and murder of an eight- year-old girl who is an Muslim in India-controlled Kashmir and her father says he now fears for the family's safety.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) [02:35:08] UNIDENTIFIED MALE (via translator): We are afraid to go anywhere. If we go back, who knows something wrong can happen or if we go down, something wrong can happen. When we go down from the hilltop village, we should have security.


VAUSE: Well, the New Delhi Bureau Chief Nikhil Kumar joins us now. So Nikhil, we know a little bit more about two cases in particular which suits me at the (INAUDIBLE) one of all is that 16-year-old girl another as we just heard an eight-year-old, so fill us in some of the details that we now know.

NIKHIL KUMAR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So John, the case of the 16-year-old as you said is in the Northern State of Uttar Pradesh. She's alleged -- it is alleged that last year in June, she was rape by sitting legislator of the ruling party, Bharatiya Janata Party was controlled the local state government. It's also the political party of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and in government in New Delhi. And then there was a lot of concern that the fact that this man was a senior member of the party in the state was not affecting the investigation and in fact he was only arrested last week after growing public pressure and after the court called out the local government for effectively not doing enough. That case sort of details emerged at the last few weeks.

And then again last week we had details from as you said the Northern State of Jammu and Kashmir in the Jammu section where an eight-year- old Muslim girl belonging to a nomadic Muslim community was allegedly abducted, raped, and then murdered brutally. Eight Hindu men had been arrested for this crime. The allegation is that they did this to terrorize the Muslim nomadic community and, you know, what really shocked everybody was last week when authorities were trying to file charges against the men, they were meet by protesters, Hindu nationalist who stood up in defense of the accuse apparently only because of their religion and so two concerns came together about the safety of women and about the growing influence of Hindu nationalist which prompted as you said protests across India on the weekend, John.

VAUSE: (INAUDIBLE) but we appreciate the update, of course, precious of the prime minister to do something ahead of those election, so we'll see what happens. Nikhil, thank you. And with that, we'll take a short break. We'll have more news when we come back.




VAUSE: And that's Grammy Award winner Kendrick Lamar. He's also the first rapper ever to any point surprised for the music for his album Damn. The Pulitzer Board says the album captures the complexity of modern African-American life. First time the winner of the Pulitzer for Music is not a classical or jazz musician. Lamar is also attacking personal, social, and political issues with his music. Congratulations.

[02:40:12] And following this hour, it's (INAUDIBLE) for a former FBI Director James Comey in his own words. Jeanne Moos explains.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You are looking at the former FBI Director trying to blend in with the curtains to avoid the notice of President Trump. It's a story we've been hearing about for months attributed to a friend of James Comey's but now it's coming straight from the horse's mouth.

JAMES COMEY, FORMER DIRECTOR, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION: Right next to me is this blue curtain and I'm wearing a blue suit that doesn't match perfectly but close enough.

MOOS: The original story inspired one cartoonist portrayed the president joining Comey behind the curtain. People tweeted pictures of their pets. Someone even wrote a haiku, a tool wimpy man stands by the White House curtain. Trump pulls down the shade. But who needs a haiku when we have Comey himself.

COMEY: So I'm thinking how great is that. I got a little camouflage and so I start moving over and I pressed myself against the blue curtain.

MOOS: A conservative commentator tweeted Lion Comey trying to hide in a blue curtain (INAUDIBLE) supporter to scratch back. He's not hiding anymore. Some compared Comey and the curtains to former Press Secretary Sean Spicer hiding among the bushes as well as the curtain coming down on Obama's portrait with the president engulf in greenery. The blue curtain didn't save Comey.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He's become more famous than me.

COMEY: And my family had a lot of fun watching my face as I walked across because I know that's my, oh, no face.

MOOS: Or if his wife puts it.

COMEY: She said that's Jim's -- face.

MOOS: Comey says he avoided a hug with a handshake as President Trump whispered, I really look forward to working with you.


MOOS: When the president fired the FBI director, it was curtains for Comey but he'll always be remember for trying to blend into that curtain.



MOOS: All six-foot-eight of him.



MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN New York.

VAUSE: I think anybody out there actually think that airlines could not make trouble any worst (INAUDIBLE) because they can, so try standing up for a whole flight. That's almost what you do if your airline seat design catches on. The Italian manufacturer developed it to help airlines reduced the space between Royce because there's so much their right now they can do away with. This way they can guest squeeze in more passengers. The first redesigned here. You can see how passengers were actually sit sort of very upright, not really comfortable, practically standing. Still not known how that would actually feel during a little bit of turbulence or when that person next to you wants to get up to use the restroom. On a bright side, you don't have to worry about stretching your legs. Thank you for watching NEWSROOM -- CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angles. I'm john Vause. "WORLD SPORT" is next.


[02:44:59] DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Hi there, and it's time for WORLD SPORT. I'm Don Riddell, at CNN Center. Many football fans still have rather mixed views on the new VAR technology. But it helps create a pretty unique situation in the Bundesliga on Monday night.

Pablo De Blasis had made history in Germany by scoring a penalty. So what you might say well. When does the last time you saw someone score a penalty during the half-time break? Now, we do have the benefit of replay here, but you can see that the Mainz's striker, Daniel Brosinski, takes to shot on goal on the outreached hand of the Freiburg defender hit the ball and change this direction. Mainz appeal to the referee for a penalty (INAUDIBLE). So, both teams went off down the tunnel for their halftime break.

But, wait a second, the Video Assistant Referee for the match, (INAUDIBLE), she was actually watching from colon, have seen something. And she convince the ref to have another look. Where now in the middle of the half-time break, and the sprinklers were on of the Opel Arena. But the ref decided to get everyone back out there for two seconds of action.

Mainz got their penalty and De Blasis slashes into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead, as both teams left the field again to finish their halftime team talks, cups of tea oranges, or whatever. And I think you will agree, that is one of the most bizarre uses of VAR, and certainly, one that will be remembered for some time to come. But that's not all, there was more, the start of a second half was delayed because of that. Because of an organized protest from the minds fans who don't like the idea of Monday night football in the Bundesliga.

We have seen this around the grounds in Germany this season. Football supporters feel that Monday games are nothing but a money grabbing venture, making away game travel very inconvenient. De Blasis would go on to score another penalty in the second half. This one really in the second half during regular play. As Mainz won it by 2-0. And making things worse by the way, Freiburg's defeat means they take Mainz's place in the relegation zone.

OK, we have known it was going to happen for a very long time now, but it is now finally official. Manchester City are the Premier League champions. But the mere leagues runaway leaders for months and they clinch the title on Sunday without even kicking a ball. In the end, it was their biggest rivals, Manchester United, who did them a huge favor by losing unexpectedly a home to west former champion. City's captain Vincent Kompany, led the celebrations in a Manchester pub with some of the fans.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tonight, we win it again!



RIDDELL: So by clinching the title with five games to spare. City have tied the records set by United back in 2001. They have lost only twice during the campaign and our own course to smash the leagues points record. Chelsea got to 95 back in 2005. City could get pass a 100.

It is their 3rd Premier League title in just seven seasons and the first for Pep Guardiola, who is now won 23 trophies in his managerial career with Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and Man City. There is no doubt that he is a very talented manager, but scenic were point to the very deep pockets of City's owners. The current sporting intelligence has calculated the City score, 11 players and wage bill per season equals $956 million dollars. And while it might not seem fair that big teams can buy success like (INAUDIBLE), for us remembering where this team came from.

Always regarded as a big club, they were plunging down the league pyramid in the late 1990s. And they needed an extraordinary win in the 1999 second division playoff final to start climbing back up. City scored in the 90th and 95th minutes to force extra time, and then, beguiling him on penalties that year. Three years later, they were promoted to the Premier League, and its 10 years now since everything change with the Sheikh Mansour, take over. World Sport's Alex Thomas, has been speaking with City's former striker, Paul Dickov about their remarkable success story.

ALEX THOMAS, CNN INTERNATIONAL SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: We're seeing so many articles today dissecting how City did it? What was the key factor for you?


PAUL DICKOV, FORMER STRIKER, MANCHESTER CITY FOOTBALL CLUB: Obviously, have the glee and strength and someone was a big thank -- you know, (INAUDIBLE) and transfer mark is sending a lot of -- a lot on -- a lot of young players that useful enthusiasm that I can coach.

And to stop it, it doesn't a training ground, you know, it was almost impossible to play again some, sometimes. People will talk about how good they are with (INAUDIBLE), how he wants to play it (INAUDIBLE) something of that book. The thing as he plays mean more -- you know, all of the best teams, all of the best players, they want to -- they want ever so hard, and you know, the transmission will make this well, difficult for teams.

You know, I think that France, something like the nearly more than any other team. Well, thought live all, and that tells a story in his self. But when you could all together, you know, (INAUDIBLE) is Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Sergio Aguero was over 20 goals again this season. You know I miss hard to pick one player because a bit (INAUDIBLE) this season and all be fantastic.

[02:50:15] THOMAS: Is Pep Guardiola, let the sort of manage the Juve lights of faithful?

DICKOV: I don't think I would getting in of these teams, don't be noticed. But you just can say of -- but when he -- but when he talks to his press conference, when he talks to his players, the talks saying that the players hang off is every single world. You know, and that's so difficult, especially met your team, and that what I woke up. Flash players which sometimes come it, but ego is where we don't want to be (INAUDIBLE) because a clearly thing ignore all. And but prohibited to have them what the way that it doesn't, and do everything that he wants this doing a football coach as a huge achievement his helping.

I have to clear whether he's inherited them, whether he send them appear from truth so much. I (INAUDIBLE) with them.

THOMAS: Paul, you know as well as I do, the Premier League and Manchester City in particular, attract new and more fans every year. But we sum up there, what know about Manchester City back in the day. But even going that as you're playing days at the end of the 1990s. How different was City then, when you are playing for them compare now?

DICKOV: I'm sorry Alex, you can see event that a good then at all means.

THOMAS: No, it's just have been -- but if you lead three, you're sitting down with someone who's gotten no idea how different was it? In terms of being at the club now, about since what it was like when you were playing for them?

DICKOV: OK, that's struck and jeez. You know, 1999, (INAUDIBLE). Then will steps the club yesterday to (INAUDIBLE) a league one, which is it was a crime chain for the couple of Manchester City. And there's been so much to enjoy ever since. You know, the new stadium, the new training ground which is the best in the world, attracting a best player in the world.

But the one thing that's never change in fans, and you know, the another ones that got and was a next player, and the most peaceful because when do we are (INAUDIBLE), we are getting their (INAUDIBLE), there was in fans, up the beat what was in here over the Italian to see. Manchester said, you getting the success when in Premier Leagues and competing the Champions League. You know, I'm really led elated for the times because they're the ones that does (INAUDIBLE) more than everybody else.

THOMAS: And you scored a Robert crucial bow back in 1999, did you feel like you play this small part in this success story?

DICKOV: Yes, it's just small part, but something was in, and it was 19 years ago. That makes me feel really old, Alex, and you know, it won't --

THOMAS: It doesn't care like (INAUDIBLE).

DICKOV: No, it doesn't -- it doesn't. For me, as someone with -- I mean that try to go -- you know, to score it mainly. And then, what it means everybody was a great moment for seeing the club for won in Premier Leagues now is just great for me.

THOMAS: Finally, for let me make you Manchester City Club president for the day, what's your next priority? Defending the Premier League title or the Champions League?

DICKOV: Well, I think both. You really wanted the hardest thing especially, and in recent sees (INAUDIBLE) Manchester City, and what I want to trace before is to actually go and defend Premier League. But I just got the feeling about disrupting a group of player now we know spoke before about how young we are. And they'd only going to get better. You know, you look (INAUDIBLE) this season happen, Leroy Sane, Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling, Bernardo Silva, and Laporte, Ederson, you know, they're all at the age of 24. And it's really great scare of me, frankly but it going forward and have good of (INAUDIBLE). And that only going to get better.

The experience of winning the Premier League, and on the other game. The game (INAUDIBLE) also. Then, to next year, and they'll be very tough to beat it (INAUDIBLE).


RIDDELL: Free memories and truth against out there from Paul Dickov. It is all running games at the top of the table. Less over the bottom, it's another dogfight this season, we've got the latest shootout for you next.


[02:55:54] RIDDELL: Hey, welcome back with the title race now officially open in the Premier League. The focus which is to the fight against relegation. And on Monday night, two of the teams involved went head to head. Stoke City against West Ham at the London Stadium, as Stoke, really lead at the win head. They thought they had it when Peter Crouch, called the (INAUDIBLE) goal but to led minutes from time. But, The Hammers' crushed their dreams with the very well taking equalizer from Andy Caroll, check that out. He also played since the start of January but that was some finish for an invaluable point.

It leaves West Ham, for the career of danger. They're now ahead of Huddersfield Town and up into 15th place. It is not so good for Stoke, though, with only four games left to play. They're on 19th, the bottom three go down, and Stoke a five points from safety.

For some of those teams, the paying is just beginning, but for one of the most top tennis players, hopefully, that is behind him. On Monday, Novak Djokovic, said, "After two years, finally, I can play it without fame. He was speaking after winning his first grand match at the Monte-Carlo Masters, a 30 year old Serbian had minor surgery in February to help the misaiming elbow that is easily dispatch of those pillows. So, Dusan Lajovic, 6-0, 6-1.

And that's all we got time for our WORLD SPORT today, thanks for your company. I'm Don Riddell at CNN Center. The news is next, see you soon.


ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Russia says, inspectors will be allowed to enter the Syrian City of Douma. The site of the recent suspected chemical weapons attack.