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Trump White House; Meeting with Kim Jong-un; Meeting with Shinzo Abe; Chemical Attack in Duma; Death of a Russian Journalist; Family Lived Under ISIS Rule; North Korea: Trump Says He Will Leave Kim Summit If It Isn't 'Fruitful'; PSG Reach French Cup Final; Neymar Eyes World Cup Return; Nadal Plays First Tour Match Since January. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired April 19, 2018 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[02:01:06] JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: This is CNN Newsroom live from Los Angeles. Ahead this hour, a worldwide success, President Trump has high expectations for his upcoming meeting with North Koreas Kim Jong-Un. Plus, a U.N. shot at in Syria. Its chemical weapons experts are delayed even from further investigating the site of a deadly attack.
And trapped with ISIS, an American woman described what it was like living under the terror group's rule with her children. Hello, everybody. Great to have you with us, this is the third and, sorry to say, the final hour of Newsroom L.A. I'm John Vause. Donald Trump is growing increasingly optimistic, even eager about the prospect of achieving the unthinkable during his upcoming meeting with Kim Jong- Un.
Mr. Trump and the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spoke with reporters on Wednesday in Florida. Both agreed it was necessary to maintain maximum pressure on North Korea. The President says he is expecting the North Korean summit to be a worldwide success.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: If we don't think it's going to be successful, Mark, we won't have it. We want to have it. If I think that it's a meeting that is not going to be fruitful, we're are not going to go. If the meeting when I am there is not fruitful, I will respectfully leave the meeting.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: CNN's following the reactions throughout the Asia Pacific region. We have Anna Stewart in Tokyo, Paula Hancocks in Seoul, Will Ripley in Hong Kong, Matt Rivers in Beijing, and Will, first to you. There is this optimism. There is this eagerness that we're hearing from the President for this summit, but there's still the question of logistics.
It seems they kind of agreed to a location of where these talks will be carried out at the White House, cannot have a location, they cannot announce the date, they cannot have a date or a location, then there is no chance of a deal. WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And they need to be able to sort out
this simple thing like. It's not so simple. It's actually quite complicated for a number of different reasons. But they have to get past this hump in order to have the actual main event, which is this hugely monumental, potentially conversation, the first meeting between the head of state of the United States and the North Korean leader ever.
I mean the stand-off between these two countries has spanned nine U.S. Presidents, these three North Korean leaders. This is huge, in the words of the President. But first, yes, they must find a locale. So where will it be. It's been a court of resources familiar with the discussions. Washington ruled out. Seoul ruled out. Pyongyang young ruled out, the capitals of all the major stakeholders.
Donald Trump doesn't want to go to the demilitarized zone. Kim Jong- Un unsurprisingly doesn't want to go to an aircraft carrier off because of the Korean Peninsula. So where does that leave, potentially in Europe. They could do Stockholm or Geneva. Southeast Asia is being thrown around as a possibility. You see on the screen there, Singapore, Malaysia.
We're also hearing possibly Vietnam or Thailand, (Inaudible) Mongolia was a front runner, apparently not so much of a front runner now. But they need to sort this out. This was the main sticking point when Mike Pompeo went to Pyongyang. It's the main sticking point now. After they can decide on the location, and then they set the date, which President Trump then said early June or possibly even before.
Then comes the big conversation about denuclearization, is North Korea actually willing to give up their nukes, verifiable, irreversible? That's what the United States keeps saying. It seems unlikely according the many analysts who to point to the fact that Kim Jong- Un's missile program got him to this point, where he's gone from being regarded as the ruler of a global pariah to having world leaders lining up literally to meet with him, Moon Jae-in next week, Donald Trump in June.
Also, Xi Jinping making a trip to Pyongyang, potentially. And then, Japan and Russia try to arrange their own summits as well. Kim has a lot less to lose here, analysts say than Donald Trump who needs a political win. He's been touting. His North Korea strategy is the reason for this, and some of that credit, analysts say, is due, although credit also due to the South Korean President, John. But first, the date. And we still don't know the date, and we don't know the location.
[02:05:10] VAUSE: Yeah, the basics. And I guess the other question is without his nuke school, Kim Jong-Un would still be the most popular guy at the dance. Even so, once this play out quite well for Donald Trump, at least politically and domestically. Not so for Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. So let's a check here, Anna Stewart, you know Abe he is looking for some positive headlines out of this. He's got a few problems at home, hasn't quite worked out quite as Mr. Abe had hoped. ANNA STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think Japan has appeared at
least to be sidelined for some time now on all of these Korean talks. Abe certainly caught off the bat first when Trump announced that he was interested in opening up discussions and a summit with North Korea months ago. Now in terms of this summit, he did cause some political winds, John, like he got on North Korea for instance, an assurance that Trump would bring the issue of Japanese (Inaudible) held in North Korea for decades to the table.
And that you would also secure Japan's security in those discussions. In terms of trade, there was a much more of a mixed bag actually. Japan is still not on the exemption (Inaudible) and aluminum tariffs, which we thought it would be. But then again, Japan hasn't been forced into a bilateral free trade agreement, which is what Trump wanted.
So mixed bags there, and in terms of TPP, which is what a lot of us were looking out for. We thought that wouldn't be included in the statements today at all. But actually Trump said that he might be interested if the deal was right. So another reversal on that, but out of this summit, the optics was good. Abe looked like a strong political leader.
He played golf with Trump. He seems to be you know back in the fold, so to speak. So he will score some political points from that, but will it be enough. Because as you said, he's really facing quite a lot of difficulty here in Japan. Lots of protests, he's involved in a number of corruption allegations and really low approval ratings, John.
VAUSE: He also knew how to keep that sort of sternly faces when Donald Trump was going on about Russian collusion, so he's obviously been down this road before. Anna, thank you. To Beijing now, which is also having some concerns about being sidelined in all of these talks, especially now, Matt Rivers there in Beijing, that Abe and Trump are talking about maximum pressure being maintained over the North Koreans.
You can't have maximum pressure on North Korea if you don't have Beijing on board.
MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, and the people that were speaking to here in China, the people who are really watching the Chinese government. Analyst who we've spoken to over the last couple of weeks said, look, the Chinese government is looking for any excuse to back off these sanctions. It is important to remember that they were begrudgingly agreeing to round after round of sanctions that the U.N. only because of the unprecedented nature of where we are with the North Korean nuclear and missile program.
And so in that respect, the Chinese government really wants this negotiation between the United States and North Korea to go well. They want to see something come out publicly that says North Korea is playing by the rules, is taking steps towards denuclearization, and then you would like to see the Chinese government try and walk back some of those sanctions. In order to have a stake, though, in these negotiations, no one wants
to be sidelined in the biggest negotiation since the Iran deal. In terms of foreign policy, the United States and China certainly doesn't want to be sidelined. So you have seen the government take a number of steps to try and insert its viewpoints.
You have Kim Jong-Un come to China in a secret visit a couple of weeks ago, that was reciprocated shortly thereafter by a high-level Chinese delegation getting warmly greeted by Kim Jong-Un himself in Pyongyang. And then as Will talked a little bit about a moment ago, you have Xi Jinping probably going to North Korea at some point, so all of that in totality, John, shows that China wants a role in this negotiation.
VAUSE: Absolutely, Matt, thank you. But before there was any meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un, the North Korean leader withholding talks with the South Korean President. Paula Hancocks in Seoul for us this hour, and Paula, those preparations seem to be moving ahead without any trouble at all.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They seem to be, yes. At this point, we actually went up to the DMZ on Wednesday. They were showing us just how ready they are. But (Inaudible) this meeting will take place is about 200 meters or so from the actual order, between North and South Korea. It's under renovation, which is why they said we couldn't see inside, but I'm sure security were a factor as well.
They're making sure that nothing can go wrong for this summit. We know that they are hoping to finish by the end of the week. They're hoping to have a hotline open by the end of the week for the two leaders to be able to talk to each other. So Moon Jae-In and Kim Jong-Un will speak on the phone before they actually meet in person, we're being told.
Now of course, there is a lot of speculation as to what about how Kim Jong-Un is going to cross the border. Will it be stepping over that concrete lift in the MDL, the Military Demarcation Line? Certainly, a very dramatic shot, considering he's going to be the very first North Korean leader to cross the border into South Korea.
[02:10:10] But from the South Korean point of view, they have said they're going to try and broadcast everything live because they realize just how historic this is. Clearly, not the meeting itself, not once they start talking, but they said from that first handshake they want to be able to show the world what is happening.
But they said so they want pomp and ceremony like you had in the previous South Korean leaders going up to Pyongyang, those summits. They want practical. They want very few protocols to make sure that this can happen, not just once this year, potentially twice or three times, John.
VAUSE: OK. Paula, thank you very much, Paula Hancocks there is Seoul. (Inaudible) reporters in the region, we have Will Ripley, Anna Stewart in Tokyo, Matt Rivers also there in Beijing. Appreciate it, guys, thank you, joining me here in Los Angeles, Democratic Strategist Caroline Heldman and Republican Strategist, Luis Alvarado, good to have you guys with us, our dynamic duo just keeping it going, I guess.
OK. So on Wednesday, the President tweeted this. Mike Pompeo met with Kim Jong-Un in North Korea last week. Meeting went great, smoothly, good relationship was formed. Details of summit being worked out now, denuclearization will be a great thing for world but also for North Korea. And then later, whilst he was talking to reporters, he had this comment to add.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I think Mike Pompeo will go down as one of the great Secretary of States and by the way he just left North Korea, had a great meeting with Kim Jong-Un, and got along with him really well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: And this brings us to the reporting we have a couple of hours ago from Politico about why details of Pompeo's trip to North Korea (Inaudible). The revelation was (Inaudible) Pompeo's image as the diplomat (Inaudible) of executing sensitive negotiations on the President's behalf, according to a senior administration official and undermined Democratic efforts to portray him as a warmonger unsuited to lead the country's diplomatic core.
Caroline, what's the problem here when the President wraps his you know domestic play-like fists in with what is you know potentially nuclear annihilation missiles in North Korea's nuclear program.
CAROLINE HELDMAN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, it's kind of naked politics, right? So he is running it like a reality show where a meeting that -- the most sensitive meeting perhaps we could have globally. He's using it to spin it in order to get partisan support for his candidate for Secretary of State. Otherwise, I think Trump is doing a reasonably good job on North Korea, given his limited options of removing or doing a military strike or using sanctions or diplomacy.
But this is kind of a crass political move, which makes you question his judgment.
VAUSE: I was going to say (Inaudible) question the President's motives in all of this because you know -- this is the President tweeted to his Secretary of State six months ago, don't worry about negotiations. Rex, there is no point when it comes to North Korea. And now suddenly, this is what's happening.
LUIS ALVARADO, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, career diplomats will tell you that everything has a tempo and diplomacy because that's how people get accused.
VAUSE: And with Donald Trump, that tempo is just thrown out the window and it becomes a rock concert. And nobody knows what to expect. And that is uncertain. The uncertainty of that is what creates the change and hope, hopefully. What we're looking for is that with that change actually break something that usually hasn't been obtainable with past diplomat efforts.
And he is a negotiator. You know one thing you can't deny is that he does negotiate. He even negotiates as well out of trouble sometimes. He is still a negotiator.
HELDMAN: He's not a good negotiator.
HELDMAN: What has he accomplished -- I mean sorry, but most of his major initiatives, he hasn't been able to negotiate even with his own party.
VAUSE: Well, look he did say, as part of these negotiations, he's willing to walk if they don't go well. This is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: If I think that it's a meeting that is not going to be fruitful, we're not going to go. If the meeting, when I am there is not fruitful, I will respectfully leave the meeting. And we will continue what we're doing or whatever it is that will continue, but something will happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Luis, the problem here is you know whatever will continue, what's happening will happen. And this is the uncertainty. This is why all these details usually lock down. So you don't have to walk away and you don't have to be in a position where maybe the next step in this is military confrontation.
ALVARADO: Yeah, at the same time that uncertainty can also be the door that's never been cracked open before when it comes to finding some solutions. Because the one thing we can all agree in this that Donald Trump's strategy and style are very -- closest to what with regards to how he sees the world. So you're going to have two people and at least going to have to speaking the same language.
ALVARADO: And hopefully, that actually allows them to identify some kind of consensus that will be beneficial and would be supported by the rest of the nation.
[02:15:02] VAUSE: Caroline?
HELDMAN: Well, you just compared Donald Trump to a dictator and I couldn't agree with you more.
ALVARADO: Not a dictator. I'm talking about styles of personality when it comes to dealing with situations. HELDMAN: Well, that -- but he -- Kim Jong-Un is a dictator so that's
what he brings to the table, and Donald Trump is very much bringing the hammer as well, unprepared for this. But I -- he is getting further than previous administrations have. The American public is pretty happy about it. Experts are concerned because putting him in the room with other people he has to negotiate with.
He often says things and is unprepared and is simply not ready to do what needs to be done.
ALVARADO: And it is exactly what the American people wanted.
VAUSE: OK. Onto Russia now, CNN is reporting that President Donald Trump personally made the decision to abandon plans to impose more sanctions on Russia for supporting Syria's chemical weapons attack on civilians, according to senior administration officials and a source familiar with the discussions.
But don't worry, President Trump put Moscow on notice, when he said in no uncertain terms.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We'll do sanctions as soon as they very much deserve it, we will have a -- that is a question. There has been nobody tougher on Russia than President Donald Trump.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Caroline, nobody tougher on Russia than President Donald Trump. Just because you say something over and over and over again, doesn't make it true.
HELDMAN: Well, I think it resonates with the 20 percent of Americans who believe him, even though this is the least honest President we've ever had sitting in the Oval Office. He is not the toughest on Russia. The very fact that he flip-flopped on these sanctions and told his Secretary of State, I am sorry, told his un ambassador one thing and then flipped is a clear indication, right, that he is not tough on Russia.
The fact that he waited even after Congress almost unanimously passed Russian sanctions. He waited half a year to implement even tepid sanctions is an indicator that he is simply not telling the truth. This is a country that meddled in the 2016 elections, and he has failed to take action, just as President Obama did. Neither of them has really taken any action that they need to take.
VAUSE: Let's change up though with the ongoing saga of Trump's personal lawyer, his henchman, his fixer, the possible bagman Michael Cohen, who by all accounts is in some pretty hot legal water right now. And because the President doesn't actually have any more words at the moment, apparently he called old friend, his attorney from the 90s, 85-year-old Jay Goldberg, who negotiated Trump's first two divorces. And apparently on Friday, Goldberg warned the President to be careful
about his longtime friend Michael Cohen. Maybe he predicted it could end up cooperating with prosecutors. And anybody who is facing 30 years never stands up, Goldberg says, he told the President. Without exception, the person facing a prison term cooperates.
Goldberg also added that in addition to cooperation, the person may also wear a wire. Goldberg said the President had no response. (Inaudible) told the President not to speak to special counsel. They can jam you up even if you're telling the truth. OK, Caroline, let's just bring this full circle. If they attack this legal peril for the President, but it's not entirely clear cut -- not exactly you know treason, some mudding of the waters, whether it's collusion or obstruction of justice.
And all of this comes out whilst he's in the midst of these negotiations, these very (Inaudible) negotiations with North Korea, trying to end this you know crisis, this problem which has confronted the world for years and years and years. That seems an awfully good political cover just to let those charges, let that matter drop while the President does this very important work.
HELDMAN: Well, I think they're going to stay on it. There's no way, as James Cohen...
VAUSE: -- politically not legally.
HELDMAN: Oh, politically. Well, absolutely. I mean this is great subterfuge, right? This is the time to be pressing this issue. And as much as you know it might be for political purposes, which it certainly was with Pompeo. It's still really good that he is doing this in the sense that -- at the end of the day, I don't think it's his eyes sparkling personality, Trump's or negotiations. I think it has a lot more to do with the fact that Nikki Haley was able to get stronger sanctions to the Security Council at the U.N.
And that is working on North Korea. It is really putting the pressure on them that they haven't felt for years.
VAUSE: Very, very quickly, Luis. Am I giving Trump way too much credit?
ALVARADO: We'll know in a few weeks. It is still way too early to know, but the opportunities for him to actually pull out a rabbit out of the hat.
VAUSE: -- genius plot.
ALVARADO: We did win the presidency.
ALVARADO: And so the question is he can still pull more rabbits.
ALVARADO: We'll see. Time will tell.
VAUSE: We'll see what happens to the rabbit. Luis and Caroline, thank you.
ALVARADO: Thank you.
VAUSE: Well, still to come this hour, the clock is ticking for experts to reach the site of the suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria. Also ahead, an American woman claims her marriage all started happily until her husband took in to Syria and they lived under ISIS.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No one will ever, ever be able to imagine what it's like to watch their husband rape a 14-year-old girl.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[02:20:00] VAUSE: Well, it's still not known when U.N. inspectors will reach the site of a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria. The U.N. security team was shot at on Tuesday trying to reach Duma. The U.S. and other western nations say the Syrian regime used chemical weapons at an attack in the last rebel held town in Eastern Ghouta, about 75 people killed.
Syria and Russia deny a chemical attack took place. Jomana Karadsheh is live from Amman, Jordan. So we've been waiting for this for 12, 13 days now. What is causing the delay this time?
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN, CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, John, that came from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. The OPCW did arrive in Damascus over the weekend, but they still, as you mentioned, have not had access to the site of the alleged attack. Now there's a lot of planning that goes into this before they're able to reach the site.
They need to get permissions, and after they do receive that, they need a security team to go ahead of their mission to make sure that the situation on the ground will allow them to conduct their work in Duma. And that is what happened. According to the OPCW on Tuesday, a U.N. advanced security team did going into Duma.
They did inspect two sites that these -- the team from the OPCW, the fact-finding mission would be visiting. They say at the first site, a large crowd gathered around the advanced security team. They had to withdraw from there. When they arrived at the second site, they say they came under small arms fire and an explosive device was detonated, and they had to withdraw to Damascus. According to U.N. sources, we're told that no one was hurt in the
incident, but this of course, John, is delaying the mission. We don't know who is responsible for these attacks, for these you know -- for this obstruction of allowing them to reach the site. But as you mentioned, it's been nearly two weeks since the attack.
VAUSE: Does it now reach a point where there just simply is -- (Inaudible) actually going into that site to inspect it because whatever evidence may have been there will just simply be gone.
KARADSHEH: Well, that is a very important point, John, and everyone is wondering what is going to happen now. You know the more delays there are, this does impact their mission. You need to look at the scope of the mission. This is about not establishing blame. They don't do that. What they do it to try and establish the facts, whether an attack did take place and what was used in this attack, and when you talk to chemical weapons experts, they say that if this was chlorine gas that was used.
This is a chemical that could disappear, that it could evaporate within a couple of days of an attack. If you're talking about something like a nerve agent, like western governments believe that it may have been, sarin that was also used in this attack. That is something that could linger around for you know a couple of years, they say, a few years.
[02:24:49] So it's still very important, according to chemical weapons experts, that this fact-finding mission gets to the site as soon as possible. And then there's the issue of the site being compromised, tampering with evidence. And as we have seen in over the past week, you know Russia said their own experts have been on the ground.
They said that no attack took place. And also the Syrian government did take journalists to that site also, including American journalists. So it is very important, according to experts for the OPCW to get there as soon as possible. But right now we don't know when they're going to get there.
VAUSE: OK. Jomana, appreciate you covering the story, thank you. Jomana Karadsheh there live for us in Amman. Maxim Borodin fell to his death on Sunday and the Russian journalist became the latest Kremlin critic to die unexpectedly. And yet, police say there is no evidence of a crime, even though the timing at the very least is suspicious.
Borodin had recently exposed a shadowy group of Russian mercenaries fighting in Ukraine in Syria. More details now from CNN's Brian Todd.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIAN TODD, CNN, CORRESPONDENT: Maxim Borodin though he was in danger. The Russian journalist contacted a friend last week, said his apartment building was surrounded by armed Russian security personnel wearing camouflage and facemasks. The friend say Borodin then called him and said it was a false alarm. Now Borodin is dead, having fallen from his fifth floor apartment.
Russian officials say they don't suspect foul play, that there are no indications of a crime, but friends and colleagues don't believe it was a suicide, and human rights observers don't believe it was accidental.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yet again, a Russian journalist whose covering topics that the Kremlin doesn't want covered has died.
TODD: Maxim Borodin has been investigating powerful, wealthy, and dubious Russians with close ties to Vladimir Putin. One is Oleg Deripaska, just sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department. A billionaire who once had close ties to Paul Manafort, President Trump's former Campaign Manager who was indicted as part of Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.
Part of the intrigue surrounding Deripaska involves Anastasia Vashukevich, a self-proclaimed Russian seductress. She claims to have had an affair with Deripaska, which he denies, and claims to have information on Trump-Russia connections. Vashukevich spoke out from jail in Thailand, where is being held for prostitution.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi to Deripaska. I am waiting for him to come rescue me.
TODD: But Maxim Borodin had also broken a story about Russian mercenaries in Syria, men from a group called Wagner, linked to an oligarch who supports Putin. The CIA director talked about a recent confrontation between Wagner mercenaries and U.S. forces in Syria.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A handful of weeks ago, the Russians met their match. A couple hundred Russians were killed.
TODD: Analysts say Borodin's exposure of those mercenaries may have gotten him killed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Kremlin doesn't like for its own citizens' or for others around the world to know how it uses proxies to prosecute its aims. It doesn't want us to be exposed because it reveals the extent of Russia's military involvement in both Ukraine and Syria.
TODD: Putin has always denied targeting journalists, but advocates say there's a long line of reporters who have been killed while digging on his government's alleged abuses. People like Anna Politkovskaya, gunned down after she exposed human rights violations in Chechnya.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Anybody who is getting corruption, it is this -- taking their life into their own hands on some level, right? Anybody who is investigating military casualties, corruption of the military, hazing, there is a long legacy of people who have investigated this and it didn't end well.
TODD: The committee to protect journalists says 38 reporters in Russia had been targeted for murder since 1992. The group of Reporters without Borders is calling for a full investigation into Maxim Borodin's death. But human rights advocates say if Putin and the Kremlin don't want such an investigation, it won't happen. Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Well, an American mother tells her story behind an attention grabbing ISIS video.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was my choice. I ended up with two broken ribs over that video. I fought. I fought. I fought.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: She describes how her son and the rest of the family were forced into living under ISIS, that story still to come here on CNN.
[02:31:45] JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Welcome back. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause. We'll check the headlines this hour. Donald Trump says he's looking forward to meeting Kim Jong-un but he's not afraid to walk if things just don't go well. Donald Trump says his main focus is for North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons. He's predicting the summit will in fact be a worldwide success. It's not clear when an international team will be able to travel to Douma, Syria to determine if chemical weapons were used there killing dozens of people. The U.S. and its allies accuses Syrian regime of using the banned weapons to attack the last rebel held town in Eastern Ghouta. Syria and Russia denied the claim. And the pilot who guided a plane to safety after engine exploded in midflight says she and the first officer were just doing their jobs.
Captain Tammie Jo Shults says their hearts are heavy after a passenger was killed in the incident. Well, it's the end of an era in Cuba. Raul Castro is stepping down as president ending almost 60 years that he or his brother Fidel held that position. Mr. Castro is expected to be replaced by the first Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel who's been nominated by Cuba's National Assembly to take over. Still have a lot of question how much power the new leader will actually have because Raul Castro is expected to leave Communist -- Cuba's Communist Party until at least 2021. Seven months after Hurricane Maria smashed into Puerto Rico, most of the island is once again without electricity. Passenger train suddenly stopped on the tracks.
The (INAUDIBLE) is blamed on a machine belonging to a contractor which got too close to a main transmission line and then blew it out. One of the fore point four million homes and businesses on the island about 3000 have power right now. Utility officials say the repairs will take a few days. India's Prime Minister is speaking out about the growing problem of sexual violence in his country. Narendra Modi was greeted by protesters in London angry about two brutal rapes in India. One was a 16-year-old girl. The other an eight-year-old. The Prime Minister address thousands of Indians in the U.K. saying rape is rape. How can we accept this? This is a matter of great concern for the country and these sinners are somebody's sons.
The rape of a daughter is a matter of worry shame for the country. Protests have also taken place in cities across India. A politician is suspected of raping the 16-year-old. In the case of the eight- year-old, seven suspects have pleaded not guilty. Another suspect is a juvenile and will be tried separately. An American woman is telling her story of living under ISIS rule in Syria. Right now she's in Kurdish detention with her four children. Her future remains uncertain but what brought her to this point began in the Midwest in the United States with her marriage to a Moroccan national? Nick Paton Walsh picks up the story from there.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The story of how an Indiana family went from a mundane life of sports cars and a delivery business.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi.
WALSH: To joining ISIS and to see their son here, the face of ISIS propaganda against America is one with mystery, compassion, and animal savagery that stretches belief.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- for the fighting that just begun.
[02:35:01] SAM SALLY, WIDOW, ISIS FIGHTER: All I saw was a bunch of drug using thugs that came from their countries who had no place.
WALSH: We meet Sam Sally, 32, Matthew, 10, Sarah aged five, and her youngest two born in the so-called ISIS caliphate. Now, in Syrian custody. In limbo and whether they go home or not, it depends in part on how well Sam explains her innocence in a four year old deal behind them. Her story begins with a vacation to Turkey that lead to a border town where she says she was duped to crossing into ISIS' word. There will be people who simply don't believe you.
SALLY: They can believe whatever they want to believe, but they've never been put in a situation to make a decision like that.
WALSH: At the ISIS border crossing, she says, she faced an impossible choice. Her husband grabbed Little Sarah while she had Matthew.
SALLY: The position I was in was to stay there with my son or watch my daughter leave with my husband and I had to make a decision. I thought like I said we could just walk across the border and we could come back again.
WALSH: She chose to keep the family together. But it's hard to believe Sam didn't ever realized what she was getting into. It was also when the gentle comfort of her marriage ended and her husband Moussa could never even seem devout in America became an abusive monster.
SALLY: Before he used to spoil me, I love you, this -- I mean we were very much in love. It was -- the romance never left. As soon as we came here was completely different. Everything was completely different. I was a dog. I didn't have a choice. It was extremely violent.
WALSH: Moussa traveled the loss to fight -- he beat Sam at home but still had two more children with her in Raqqa. It's quite why part of the sniffling twists of a clearly abusive relationship may remain locked inside Sam along with exactly what she knew and when about Moussa's radicalization. Remarkably, Moussa suggested they buy slaves, some of the Yazidi girls captured by ISIS in 2014. They spent $20,000 on two teenaged girls, Soad, Bedrine, and a younger boy (INAUDIBLE) to keep her company, she says, and rescue the slaves to a better life. Yet Moussa, repeatedly rape the girls.
SALLY: When I Methotrexate Soad, I couldn't -- I couldn't think about money like I would have spent every dollar I had on her to bring her.
WALSH: But it turned out that she was repeatedly raped by your husband?
SALLY: That is true. But in every house that she was in before like that was the same situation but she didn't have the support of someone like me.
WALSH: Do you know now regret enabling that serial rape?
SALLY: No, because it would have been worst with anybody else. And no, no one will ever be able to imagine what it's like to watch their husband rape a 14-year-old girl ever. And then she comes to you, come to me after crying and I hold her and tell her it's going to be OK. Everything is going to be fine. Just be patient. I would never apologize for bringing those girls to my house. We knew that if we were just patient, we would stick through it together. She understands. I was like their mother.
WALSH: Astonishingly, Soad sends this message from a refugee camp confirming Sam's kindness and how Sam was beaten black and blue when she tried to protect her from Moussa.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (via translator): I'm doing well with my family, she says. And I want to see you even just once more. Let me know what I can do to get you out.
WALSH: The terror did not stop there. Matthew (INAUDIBLE) Sam's first marriage to an American soldier was a price cast member through an ISIS film shot. How did Matthew come to being that near? I recognized him from it.
SALLY: It was not by choice. I ended up with two broken ribs over that video. I fought and then I fought -- I fought.
WALSH: What do you remember of that day, Matthew?
MATTHEW SALLY, SAM SALLY'S SON: It was hard. I didn't want to do it. He would hit me. He would stress me.
WALSH: Moussa died in a drone strike late last year. SALLY: And then I was able to be free. It was like, OK, we can start
WALSH: Tens of thousands fled the Raqqa siege but Sam said, she only felt safe for the very end leaving with these last hundreds of ISIS given passage out in the field. The FBI has interviewed them but there were no charges yet or ticket back home.
SALLY: We want to eat McDonald's and, you know, we want to live a normal life for us again.
WALSH: Instead, now, she's surely relieving her decisions over and over again. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN Northern Syria.
VAUSE: Wow. With that how things would break. We'll be right back after this.
[02:41:54] VAUSE: Social media users recall a massive sandstorm which swept through Central Iran on Monday. A wall of sand is seen heading towards a town just moments before it's engulfed. It left them a blackout conditions streets. Well, some houses was also blown in a wind in Victorville, California, tumbleweeds like something straight out the wild, wild west. Strong winds blew in lots of the tricky plant. One resident even reported a neighbor who was trapped in his home for two hours because the weeds blocked the front door and the garage (INAUDIBLE) pitchforks as well as heavy equipment. We'll finish here now with a goodbye to a colleague and a friend and one of the great, Richard Blystone was old-school. He love words and he used them like no other to make us care about stories about unknown people in faraway places.
He came to CNN from the very beginning in 1980 but he was already a veteran reporter who covered the Vietnam War. For more than 20 years with us, he wrote the first draft of history. He was there for the fall of communism. He reported the horrors in Somalia, Rwanda, the wars in the Persian Gulf. Richard was a mass storyteller. He always found the emotion, the heart of every story, but above all of that he was an incredibly decent man with a keen sense of humor, a quick wit, and a kind word when it was needed most. We are all better to knowing him and we are deeply sad to say goodbye. And we'll say goodbye right now. Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. "WORLD SPORT" is next.
[02:45:40] KATE RILEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL SPORTS ANCHOR: Hello and welcome along to WORLD SPORT. I'm Kate Riley, at CNN Center. We're going to start with News from Syria. One of the few leagues in Europe which has have an out now winner on Wednesday. Max Allegri and (INAUDIBLE) missed the chance to take a big step closer yet another domestic title which would be an incredible seventh straight. Juve were wait to Crotone, and after a quarter of an hour, Douglas Costa got the ball.
Alex Sandro, who put the ball in the back of the net. Then drew level of halfway through the second half. And brilliant fashion, Marcello drop to missing his rightful kick attempt. But teammate 3-0 bid just inside the less host for that spectacular goal. Reminiscing of Ronaldo's (INAUDIBLE) in the Champions League against Juve, couple of weeks ago, while it was honors (INAUDIBLE) on Italy's south host on the night.
Now, with Juve, dropping points, Napoli needed to take advantage to get back in the race. They certainly did scoring three goals and in 11 minutes stretch in the midway. Surges of the second half to secure a 4-2 win over Udinese, it's now a four-point gap at the top with five to play. And this is where it gets interesting, Juve will host their huge rival at Napoli on Sunday evening.
While speaking of Ronaldo, he and his Real Madrid side were back in action on Wednesday night, and Cristiano had a chance to extend his consecutive games with a goal straight to 12 against Athletic Bilbao. Bilbao, hand earned a point in the Bernabeu in some 13 years, and it looks like they would get three when Inaki Williams, scored in the 14th minutes, foot goal bow ahead.
And after being denied a several chance, who's early in the match, CR7 finally got on the ball seeking their least as moderate for half they (INAUDIBLE) to that, that gave a typical striker that 12 a straight game with a goal in all competition until clean a heart force 1-1 draw.
Staying in Europe for a moment, and the French Cup has reached its semifinal stage league on giant Paris Saint-Germain will up against semi-pro side camp. PSG might be 11th-time record winner of this competition. But they weren't taking anything for granted. Edinson Cavani set-up Kylian Mbappe to take the lead there going into the break.
But the host had other ideas when they do level. History then, repeated itself with minutes to go when Cavani again provided Mbappe with his praise, 3-1 it ends to the visitors. It will be a David and Goliath contest after nearly, Unai Emery, made of the history to reach the final where they will face PSG.
Well, the Paris sight, obviously, without their star man on the night, you'll remember that when Neymar left Barca for Paris Saint-Germain last year, he became the most expensive footballer on the planet. So it would be a shocked if he didn't play at World Cup, and while recovering from surgery back in his home country. The Brazilian superstar said, he will be fit in time for Russia 2018, which start in June.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NEYMAR DA SILVA SANTOS, JR., FORWARD, PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN (through translator): I'm looking to get in good shape. I've given it my all. I'm going through treatment daily, and from the moment time back on training. I will give myself, even more, to dedicate myself even further because it is a dream becoming a World Cup. I have waited four years (INAUDIBLE) and it's closed. I hope to be in good shape.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RILEY: To the English Premier League now, Manchester United will looking to rebound after that disasters loss to West Bromwich champion. Which intern hundred their noisy neighbors Manchester City that title. Jose Mourinho, who was fuming after that loss, made seven changes to his side on Wednesday night for that trip to Bromwich, while United broke the deadlock after some 28 minutes when Jesse Lingard (INAUDIBLE).
Their lead were seem to be doubled in the second half when the ones most expensive player in the world Paul Pogba, set-up the substitute Romelu Lukaku, here. Just pull off the bench, eight minutes earlier. About the (INAUDIBLE) 7th EPL goal against the cherries. 2-0, the final score then. So, that means, they move four points clear with Liverpool, for second in the League. With four games to play for them. They're also 6 point clear or fourth place, but, so they're looking good for another Champions League birth.
Well, that summer, Antonio Conte made headlines by suggesting his team must avoid "a Mourinho season" that Chelsea boss was, of course referring to how his predecessor follow it up a Premier League title by pulling all the way out to the Champions League qualification the following season.
Now, it seems the Italian is endangered of doing just that with just five games remaining for them this season. The Blues are eight points behind Tottenham. They do have that game in hand though, (INAUDIBLE) currently sit in those last qualifications spot for the Champions League, you just saw on the table. Despite the odds against them, Conte believed that with the will to fight, there is still a chance they can get back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[02:50:44] ANTONIO CONTE, MANAGER, CHELSEA, PREMIER LEAGUE CLUB: If we want to be realistic with the -- with the five games to go, it's not simple to reduce other gift but you must step the will to fight. We must have the desire to try to take at this target and why not?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RILEY: Well, now, Conte's known as somewhat of a disciplinarian. He requires serious professional behavior from his players, and also from the press. So, one of his phone went off during his press conference on Wednesday. He admittedly, jokingly, perhaps, said, he should be fine.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CONTE: My wife, and always in the -- in the worse moment. Yes. I'm sorry, yes. You can put me up fine, yes. And sorry because -- yes, I'm really bored. (INAUDIBLE) -- yes, that the same situation that to you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RILEY: All right, coming up, when a World Cup, not a World Cup? Zlatan Ibrahimovic, have there on for you in just a moment of time.
RILEY: Welcome to the show. The wait is finally over for Rafa Nadal fans who have waited since the Australian Open back in January to see. The world number one return to the ATP Tour. On Wednesday, the Spaniard played his opening match at the Monte Carlo Masters in front of the (INAUDIBLE) of the Mediterranean Coast.
The 10-time champion quickly dispatch a Slovenian, (INAUDIBLE), and just over an hour, a night result, relieve at Nadal, we'll have to go the distance, and win his 11th title if he's to retain his No.1 ranking come next week. Even though, Nadal is just happy to be playing again. And does he plays where he'd have so much success?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[02:54:51] RAFAEL NADAL, PROFESSIONAL TENNIS PLAYER, RANK NUMBER ONE: -- that I have to look up success in the past always is a little bit affects at the confidence. But at the same time, every year is a different story now. So, you know, this a little bit special situation for me, I have been outside of the competition. Almost for five months, I played Australia but nothing else.
And since Shanghai, I didn't finish that one event. So, yes, it's a very important one for me. It's important to start with a -- with a victory that helps, and they all going to try to keep going. That's the most important thing for me. And now because I need matches, I need to be on rhythm again. But it's a play that I love, sort of play that I really like, so (INAUDIBLE).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RILEY: Well, another former champion, world No.1 Novak Djokovic is also in action on Wednesday. His victory was slightly trickier than that on Nadal. It took the Serbian 10 match point before filling finishing of the youngster Borna Coric, to advance of the third round. That's a good result for Djokovic, he's trying to work his way back to full after that disaster in 2017. And now, his game will certainly, be put to a test to get one of the best playing quarters in the game. Austria's Dominic Team.
A Florence Zlatan Ibrahimovic has also been grabbing his share of the headlines since making a stale of debut for the Los Angeles Galaxy. No wonder that Zlatan has had many invite to some of the late night talk show here in America. In fact, he's quite the owner. Have a look at his appearance on the show, America.on the show Jimmy Kimmel Live.
ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC, PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALLER, LOS ANGELES GALAXY: I had a vision before I come, I ask -- said, when I come and I know, there is some earthquakes in Los Angeles, but this one was me stepping in Los Angeles. So -- I wanted to put a -- I wanted to make a statement.
JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST, JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE, ABC: Are you going to play in the World Cup?
IBRAHIMOVIC: I'm going to the World Cup, yes.
KIMMEL: What will you be wearing at the World Cup? Will you have clits on the bottom of your shoes or will they be regular shoes?
IBRAHIMOVIC: I just said, I'm going to the World Cup because the more people will -- they will hang me. So, just be careful what I said now.
KIMMEL: If they will. It seems like an extreme reaction to you wanting to play in a soccer match.
IBRAHIMOVIC: I mean, a World Cup without me, wouldn't be a World Cup so --
RILEY: All right, then, that is it from us. Many thanks for watching. Stay with CNN, the news is coming up next.
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Cautious optimism on North Korea, President Trump says he hopes for a successful meeting with Kim Jong-un but will walk away if he has to.