Return to Transcripts main page


Trump Hints About Release of American Prisoners in North Korea; Giuliani's News in Stormy Daniels Case; Pence Remarks Raise Questions About Trump Pardons; Iranian Ambassador Urges European Leaders Not To Appease U.S.; CNN Exposes Child Labor in Cobalt Mines; U.S. Officials Head to China for Key Trade Talks; Data Firm Cambridge Analytica to Shut Down; Flight Makes Unscheduled Landing with Cracked Window; Crisis in Venezuela; 90 Percent of People Breath Polluted Air; Meghan Markle Faces Standard British Citizenship Test. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired May 3, 2018 - 01:00   ET


[01:00:08] (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR: Almost free, a source tells CNN that North Korea will release three American detainees.

Plus, companies promise change after a CNN investigation uncovers child labor in cobalt mines.

Then, the (inaudible) veterinarians in animal medicine, as the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela.


Live from the CNN Center here, in Atlanta, I'm Cyril Vanier and it's great to have you with us.

So, apparently a major breakthrough to free three Americans detained in North Korea could be coming soon.


An official with knowledge of those negotiations says the release of Kim Dong-cheol, Tony Kim and Kim Hak-seong is imminent. This has apparently been in the works for some time, but the timing of the announcement is noteworthy, of course, because it comes just weeks before potentially historic meeting between the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump.

Earlier, Mr. Trump actually teased this news on Twitter, he wrote, "As everybody is aware, the past administration has long been asking for three hostages to be released from a North Korean labor camp, but to no avail. Stay tuned". So, that was just minutes before we actually found out that they had been released.


Now remember, Tony Kim and Kim Hak-seong were detained after President Trump's inauguration last year. So, it wouldn't have been possible for the past administration to campaign for their release. Alexandra Field joins us now from Soule.

Alexandra, fill in the details for us on this story.

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Cyril, as you point out the president says stay tuned and certainly no one is more tuned into all of this than the family members of those three men who have been hoping for an opportunity to secure the release of their loved ones.


At this point, we've heard from the son of one of those detainees who says that his family has been given no indication of a release, but certainly U.S. officials from the very top, up to President Trump himself, have made it clear that this is a priority as they continue to have these discussions with North Korea at this stage.

There is an opportunity here, but certainly identified not just by the family, but by the administration. President Trump now saying stay tuned for further news on this, but also just last month he had said that the U.S. and his administration was fighting for the release of these men.

He had also pointed out the U.S. and North Korea had come a long way. These are the kind of sentiments that we have heard across the top tier of his administration.

But, we are also hearing from one source who has some familiarity with the negotiations, that a decision to release the hostages was arrived out about two months ago when the North Korean foreign minister traveled to Sweden. At that time, though, U.S. officials made it clear that a release could not be tied in any way to the larger issue here at stake between these two nations, which is of course, the discussion of denuclearization.

So certainly, there is every reason for families to be hopeful right now. You've heard the national security advisor say that the release is something that North Korea should look strongly at and we know that the secretary of state, in his travels to Pyongyang, took up this subject directly with Kim Jong-un.

So certainly, the opportunity does appear to be here. There've been indications from a lot of different sides here, that this is something that could be coming. However, we know that there'll be no peace of mind for their family members until they see these men step off a plane. And at this point, we have no indication, really, of when exactly that could happen.


VANIER: Is the U.S. doing anything in exchange for this?

FIELD: This is again an opportunity for both sides. You've got to evaluate in terms of the timing here, really, because we're maybe three or four weeks away from a sit down between Kim Jong-un and President Trump. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

This is a remarkable moment for North Korea, to have this kind of opportunity to sit down with a U.S. President. So certainly, they have made some gestures that appear to be in good faith in order to protect the sort of atmosphere that we're seeing on the peninsula right now, that is conducive to the possibility of these talks, perhaps, at the end of the month.

We've seen them make other gestures. Kim Jong-un himself, saying that he's going to shut down the main nuclear test site in North Korea. And even smaller gestures, like a decision from North Korea to turn off the loud speakers that broadcast propaganda into the South.


These were all some of the outcomes of the very successful, seemingly, summit between North Korea and South Korea just a few days ago, and it's all really about preserving that kind of climate before the next big summit, Cyril.

VANIER: Alright, got it. Thank you for your insights. Thanks for filling out the details of this story for us.

Alexandra Field, reporting live from Seoul, South Korea. Thank you.

Donald Trump's new attorney, Rudy Giuliani, has revealed a major development in the Stormy Daniels saga.


He says the president actually reimbursed his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, the $130,000 of hush money. Now remember, that is the money that Cohen paid to Daniels to keep her silent about her alleged affair with Mr. Trump. Cohen has admitted that he paid the adult film star just before the 2016 election, but until now, the president had always denied two things.

First of all, he denies that the affair happened and continues to do so, but he also had denied knowing anything about this hush money.


[01:05] So, back with me to continue our conversation about this are CNN Political Commentators, Democratic strategist, Dave Jacobson, and Republican consultant John Thomas.

Let's first of all, listen once again to the comments made this evening by Rudy Giuliani that raised so many questions. Listen to this.


RUDY GIULIANI, ATTORNEY FOR DONALD TRUMP: Having something to do with paying some Stormy Daniels woman $130,000, I mean, which is going to turn out to be perfectly legal. That money was not campaign money. Sorry, I'm giving you a fact now that you don't know. It's not campaign money. No campaign finance violation.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS: So, they funneled it through the law firm?

GIULIANI: Funneled it through the law firm and the president re-payed it.

HANNITY: Oh, I didn't know. He did?


HANNITY: There's no campaign finance law?

GIULIANI: Zero. Just like every - - Sean - - Sean . . .

HANNITY: This decision was made by?

GIULIANI: Everybody was nervous about this from the very beginning, I wasn't. I knew how much money Donald Trump put into that campaign. I said, "$130,000? (inaudible) do a couple of checks for $130,000".

When I heard Cohen's retainer of $35,000, when he was doing no work for the president. I said that's how he's repaying it, with a little profit and a little margin for paying taxes for Michael.

HANNITY: But, do you know the president didn't know about this? I believe that's what Michael said.

GIULIANI: He didn't know about the specifics of it, as far as I know, but he did know about the general arrangement that Michael would take care of things like this, like I take care of things like this for my clients. I don't burden them with every single thing that comes along.


VANIER: Dave, to you first. Why is Mr. Trump's lawyer - - a new lawyer, suddenly admitting that the president indirectly payed a porn star to stay silent? How is that good lawyering?

DAVE JACOBSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It's not. I mean, either tonight Rudy Giuliani made an extraordinarily fireball offense and a gaff on behalf of the president, and potentially will be canned, if perhaps he wasn't sanctioned to go and make these claims on Fox News tonight, but I think that's highly unlikely.

I think he's doing the bidding. I think that this is just the cold, hard reality. That it's a fact that Donald Trump did actually pay, or reimburse, Michael Cohen for an illegal, in-kind, contribution to his campaign in terms of hush money just days before the 2016 election.


This is an egregious violation of campaign finance law and could potentially be a felony, and I think ultimately this is going to be used in court against the president.


The fact that the president reimbursed Michael Cohen, is just as bad as Michael Cohen making the payment in the first place, because neither of which were reported on the president's campaign election forms.

VANIER: John, just before I give you a chance to reply to that, you told us earlier last hour, that this was just a new legal strategy. So, you're not going to be surprised by this Tweet by Washington Post reporter Robert Costa that comes to confirm that.


He spoke to Giuliani after his appearance on Fox News and wrote this, "Giuliani tells me that he just spoke with POTUS, with the president, tonight by phone. President, quote, 'Very pleased', Giuliani says. He says they discussed his revelation of the reimbursements long in advance, does not expect to be fired" - - to Dave's point, "insists his remarks on Fox News channel were approved by Trump".


So, John, this goes back to your point last hour that this is what they want to do. This is what they want to push now.

JOHN THOMAS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. This wasn't a public relations strategy today, it was a legal strategy to potentially alleviate pressure from Trump's attorney, Michael Cohen. So, that the threat that the state of New York, or Bob Mueller, might have against Michael Cohen of illegality as it relates to an independent expenditure that wasn't reported no longer exists.

That's what it appears to be, but I think today's point about saying this is absolutely iron clad and illegal loan to the campaign. First of all, according to Giuliani, this reimbursement was made over a period of - - I believe, six payments that extended well beyond the day of the election.

And the other thing is, I think legal scholars would be able to better argue this than I can, but it comes into question is, in fact, was this a campaign payment or was this simply something like somebody who works for the Trump organization, or a member of the security team? Those aren't reported as loans of the campaign, yet they're useful to Donald Trump.

VANIER: Yes, and definitely that's going to - - maybe, going to end up being litigated. It doesn't seem to me - - but I'm not a lawyer, that Mr. Giuliani's argument that it's not campaign finance violation is a home run, but again, I'm not a lawyer.

Let's talk a little bit . . .

THOMAS: But, it's not a home run, but it is a home run, if the actual strategy is to alleviate and exonerate Michael Cohen of the challenge that he was he was being put in. [01:10:05] JACOBSON: I think the bigger question, though, is whether or not the expenditure benefited Donald Trump's campaign, right? That's the bottom line. Did it actually have some positive influence and impact for President Trump's campaign, just days before the election?

THOMAS: And you're trying to prove a negative? Something that never happened? It's hard to tell.

Dave, he had the Access Hollywood tape, that didn't tank his campaign. You think another woman in this string of women would tank his campaign? That's just speculation.

JACOBSON: Having an affair with a porn star would have been earth shattering to his campaign.

THOMAS: I think an Access Hollywood tape is a pretty big deal, but . . .

VANIER: Hey, Dave, I'm not you know - - I mean, we can't - - no, this is an unknowable thing, but the fact is that the polls today say most people believe - - they don't believe Mr. Trump. The believe Mr. Trump had an affair, and to all intents and purposes, it does seem to be hurting him politically, Dave.

JACOBSON: I - - I - - I would beg to differ. I mean, he's hovering around 39 percent approval rating according to Quinnipiac's poll that came out the other day. The bottom line is Donald Trump has a base, but he does not have a majority of the American people supporting him.

So, this was one of the most razor thin electoral victories that we've ever seen. He obviously lost the popular vote by millions and millions of votes. He won the Electoral College, of course, but in terms of some of those key swing states, this was a razor thin margin.


And so, this could have potentially swayed the election one way or another. It's plausible that had this come out - - had this hush money expenditure not been set forth, that Hilary Clinton could be president today. Of course, we obviously don't know whether or not that would have happened, but it's a possibility for sure that could potentially be explored in court.


VANIER: Hey John, as a Republican strategist, does this bug you what Mr. Giuliani said this evening? And, specifically this point, which is that it gives even more credence to everything that Stormy Daniels has been saying until now?

I mean, we don't know about the affair. Granted, we can't prove that, but everything that she's been saying has been borne out by the fact after revelations have kept coming.

THOMAS: It doesn't bother me as a strategist, I mean, the partisans have already taken their sides. You know, you either believe Stormy or you don't, and more importantly it's not a matter of . . .


VANIER: This is not - - as we get revelations, it doesn't become a partisan thing anymore. It becomes based on the facts, right? And, you've got a porn star versus the president, but at the moment the porn star keeps being right and the president keeps being . . .

THOMAS: But, I think voters have already decided whether or not they care about this issue or not, whether this issue is going to persuade them or not, I think was long ago litigated in the voters' minds.

JACOBSON: Well I think, Cyril, to your point real quick - - I mean, CNN came out with a story just two weeks ago that two dozen U.S. lawmakers, whether they're in the House or the Senate, who are Republicans, refused to endorse Donald Trump's 2020 reelection effort and I think this is indicative of that.

I mean, Donald Trump has lied, according to the Washington Post, over 3,000 times. The fact of the matter is scores of Republicans still refuse to attach themselves to him, precisely because of this issue. He plays fast and loose with the truth, and he's attached to salacious scandal after salacious scandal and can't get rid of them.

VANIER: To be fair, they might also just be waiting to see which way the wind is blowing, perhaps they'll end up endorsing him, it's still very early in this process.

THOMAS: Politicians waiting for the wind?


VANIER: Good point.


Dave Jacobson, john Thomas, thank you for joining us on the show, always appreciate it.

THOMAS: Thank you.

JACOBSON: Thanks, Cyril.

VANIER: Meanwhile controversial comments from the U.S. Vice President are raising new questions about Donald Trump's power to grant pardons. CNN's Brian Todd reports from Washington.


BRIAN TODD, CNN REPORTER: In Arizona, Vice President Pence pays tribute to a popular former sheriff, now a Senate candidate. A man Pence called a great friend of the president.

MIKE PENCE, U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: A tireless champion of strong borders and the rule of law, spent a lifetime in law enforcement, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, I'm honored to have you here. (END VIDEO CLIP)


TODD: But, that champion of the rule of law, former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, was convicted for contempt of court for ignoring a judges' order to stop detaining people he suspected of being undocumented immigrants.



LYNN SWEET, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Vice President Pence heaped praise on the sheriff as if he had not broken a federal law.



TODD: President Trump pardoned Arpaio last year, before Arpaio was sentenced, and now a key question is being raised. Could Trump pardon his way out of the Mueller investigation?

The New York Times recently reported that Trump's White House attorneys, last year, approached lawyers for former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, with the idea that Trump might pardon both of them.

That was while Robert Mueller was building cases against both men. White House lawyers denied making those overtures. Manafort's since been indicted for financial crimes and pleaded not guilty. How could a Manafort pardon help Trump in the Mueller probe?



JED SHUGERMAN, PROFESSOR, FORDHAM UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW: Pardoning Manafort would make sure that Manafort would not need to cooperate with Mueller stay out of federal prison.



[01:15] TODD: Flynn has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and cooperated with prosecutors, but experts say, as he awaits sentencing a pardon could still be in play for Flynn, and could still help Trump in the Russia investigation.



SHUGERMAN: They would still need Flynn's cooperation following up on any documents or any - - any - - any statements he's given to Mueller for a trial or for further investigation.



TODD: Trump's lawyers consistently deny discussing pardons for anyone involved in the Russia investigation, but some legal experts say Trump could pardon Flynn and Manafort, if he wanted to stymie the Mueller probe.



JAMIL JAFFER, FORMER ASSOCIATE WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: The president had the ability to take whatever action he deems fit pretty much for the reasons he sees fit, and he doesn't honestly have to really explain in the event, he could simply just decide to issue a pardon, and he can issue it at any point in the process.



TODD: But, other analysts say there's one part of the Constitution that would prevent Trump from pardoning Flynn and Manafort, the part saying Trump has to quote, "faithfully execute the office of president".



SHUGERMAN: Those are duties against self-protection and self-dealing, but the president uses a pardon to get co-conspirators off the hook and so that they don't have to participate in a prosecution, that too would be a faithless use of the pardon power for self-dealing, or self-protection, against the public interest.


TODD: If President Trump does pardon Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort or others, analysts say that could bring political heat on him later. They say those people would be free from legal jeopardy, but it would then be much harder for them to plead the Fifth.

Harder for them not to spill what they know about the president's dealings, if they're hauled before Congress for impeachment proceedings or other investigations.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.

VANIER: President Trump is nearing a deadline to decide whether to keep the U.S. in the Iran nuclear deal. European leaders are pressing him not to withdraw, but Iran's ambassador to the U.K. says they should not appease Mr. Trump. In an exclusive interview with Christiane Amanpour, he had this blunt warning.


HAMID BAEIDINEJAD, IRANIAN AMBASSADOR TO U.K.: When the United States is out of the deal, it means that there is no deal left. The consequence would be that Iran would, in fact, would be ready to go back to the previous situation.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well that means enriching uranium at a vast speed and capacity.

BAEIDINEJAD: It could be enriching uranium, it could be redefining our cooperation with the agency and some other activities that are under consideration.



VANIER: By May 12th, President Trump must decide whether to continue waiving sanctions on Iran, or effectively pull out of the agreement. Iran's ambassador says it is working and must be honored.



BAEIDINEJAD: The (inaudible) that are suggested totally unacceptable to us, because there is some kind of conditionality that if we want to continue the implementation of the JCPOA there should be agreement to other elements, which is totally unacceptable.

JCPOA was negotiated on its own merits and still it's working and it should be continued to be enforced. If there are other issues, which the parties - - all parties reached to a conclusion that they can have dialog and understanding, certainly that's a possibility for the future.


VANIER: Earlier this week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that he had evidence Iranian officials were lying about their nuclear goals. European leaders said those claims underscored the need to keep the deal.


Up next, car makers say their taking action after a CNN investigation found child laborers mining a crucial component for electric vehicles.

Plus, Venezuelans are already going hungry. Now, many are going to desperate lengths to find another necessity, medicine.


[01:22] VANIER: Just hours after CNN exposed child labor in the cobalt mines of Congo, the industries that use those minerals are taking action. Car maker Daimler announced a major audit of its supply chains after CNN found the cobalt used to power electric car batteries is often being mined by children.


NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We arrive at the Musonoie river mine where the cobalt ore is washed to grind it down. Although we've been given permission to film here, as soon as they see us, officials begin to scare the children away. Not all of them, though, are fast enough.

Some work on, one young boy staggers under his load, his friend sees the camera and he drops his sack. They've clearly been warned.

A mining ministry official spots this boy carrying cobalt has been captured by our cameras. His response is brutal. Later, we ask him why he struck the child, he refused to answer.

We've now witnessed for ourselves that children are working here, that they are involved with the production of cobalt and we've seen the products of that child. They were loaded onto a variety of different vehicles.



VANIER: Now, Daimler says it has explicitly forbidden child labor for years, but admits that it's very difficult to verify the source of its cobalt. The company says it will work with 1,500 suppliers worldwide to stop any violations.

The head of supplier quality at Mercedes, which is owned by Daimler says, "We actively create transparency in the supply chain right down to the mine, if necessary".


Ed Kim joins me now from Los Angeles, he's the vice president at Auto Pacific, a consulting and marketing research firm for the auto industry.

Thank you for joining us. My main question is this, can we really trust the auto makers to clean up their act?

ED KIM, VICE PRESIDENT OF INDUSTRY ANALYSIS, AUTO PACIFIC: Well, this is something that is very important to the auto makers because ultimately the news gets down to the consumers, and if the news gets out to the consumers that there are unethical practices, well, that doesn't reflect kindly on the auto makers. And also, it must be remembered as well, that electric cars are a potential means of solving some environmental problems, but an auto maker does not want to, nor is it in best interest, to create new problems in the process of solving existing ones.

VANIER: But, you say it's not in their best interest, unless it is the cheapest, fastest way to produce their cars?


KIM: Perhaps, except that once again, the consumer knows. Electric cars, for many consumers are considered to be ethical purchases. These are vehicles that can potentially help solve environmental issues, help reduce pollution, things like that.

Many people who buy electric vehicles are doing so because of they believe it's an ethical purchase. So, if there is word out there that these are being produced in unethical ways using child labor, human rights abuses, that doesn't reflect positively on those auto makers.

[01:25:02] VANIER: Right, as you say, people who buy those cars pretty much always feel that they're doing something good for the planet. And now, it turns out the mass production of those cars is actually also causing harm in some places.

And, you know what? They hypocrisy of this is pretty staggering, because what strikes me is, all it took is for CNN to film this. To go there and actually look at what was happening, to see that kids were involved in the manufacturing of this.

And now, the car makers are telling us that for them it's very hard to find out how this is made?

KIM: Well, there are certain standards that are already in place. The problem here, and what makes it difficult to track, is that often when an auto maker has a supplier, that supplier itself often has a supplier to a supplier to the supplier.

So, it can often be very difficult to track exactly where these raw materials are coming from. It think certainly CNN's investigation does certainly show that it can be tracked down and I think many of the auto makers out there are getting that message, and are taking the appropriate steps.

VANIER: So, you're telling me this is not necessarily an example - - if I understand what you're saying, of blatant hypocrisy from the auto makers, but this is more an example of what happens with our globalization and our supply chains?

KIM: I do believe so. I mean, I personally don't think there's anything malicious on the part of the auto makers, as far as them seeking out child labor or anything like that. Of course, they are looking for, you know, the lowest cost raw material they can get, but at the same time that needs to be balanced with making sure that's ethically sourced. And certainly, there are things like China's Responsible Cobalt Initiative that's being formed and you know, many companies out there are joining that in order to help ensure that these human rights violations are being minimized, and hopefully eliminated altogether.


VANIER: Alright. Thank you very much. Ed Kim, joining us, giving us your insight.

KIM: Thank you.

VANIER: I certainly hope that they can clean up their act. And, I'd like to thank, also, Nima Elbagir, CNN's investigative reporter for that report.

Ed, thank you.

KIM: Thank you very much.


VANIER: You can find out more about our investigation into cobalt mining in Congo. One of our many reports on modern day slavery and that's on


We'll go to a quick break, then, when we come back, Southwest Airlines dealing with another safety problem.


This window cracked during a flight. How dangerous was it? We'll find out.



[01:30:31] CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR: Ok. Great to have you back. I'm Cyril Vanier.

Let's go over the main stories this hour.

The release of three Americans detained in North Korea is believed to be imminent, that's according to an official with knowledge of these negotiations. We are told North Korea's foreign minister proposed their release two months ago but at the time U.S. officials insisted the release should not be related to the issue of denuclearization.

Mike Pompeo was sworn in as Secretary of State for a second time on Wednesday with U.S. President Donald Trump looking on. Pompeo officially took over the U.S. State Department a week ago but Vice President Mike Pence administered the oath again at the agency. The U.S. military says it's transferred an al Qaeda terrorist from the Guantanamo Bay detention center to Saudi Arabia. He is the first detainee moved out of Gitmo since President Trump took office. The detainee will serve the rest of his 13-year sentence in Saudi Arabia.

And the leader of Armenia's protest movement is calling for a pause in the demonstrations. Protesters blocked roads and railways after Nikol Pashinyan failed to receive a majority in parliament to become prime minister. Reuters is reporting a senior official with the governing party has hinted it might support him in a second vote in parliament next week.

Now, a team of senior U.S. officials is in China this week hoping to tamp down fears of a possibly trade war with America's biggest trading partner. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and other high level U.S. officials will hold two days of talks, Thursday and Friday, but the Chinese government is downplaying the meetings and warns not to expect any big agreements.

CNN's Matt Rivers joins us from Beijing. Matt -- does that mean China is not planning to make any concessions?

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, so far Cyril, they haven't really shown any signs that they're willing to take the kind of steps that the Trump administration would want them to.

We know that this delegation is here in China. We know that they are planning on attending meetings this afternoon here in Beijing and then again tomorrow before leaving tomorrow night.

The Treasury Secretary himself wouldn't get into a ton of details before the trip, saying that he was here to have frank conversations. And we know the President tweeted just a short time ago saying that this team is in Beijing and they are trying to negotiate a level playing field on trade. In part that's what he said in that tweet.

So in terms of what exactly the United States wants we're not sure. We do know what the problems the administration has with China. Things like intellectual property theft. Things like counterfeiting here in China. Things like the forced technology transfers that U.S. companies are often forced to make with their Chinese counterparts.

And perhaps more frustrating to the U.S. than any of those under the current president would be the trade deficit that he regularly brings up greater than it's ever been, well north of $350 billion at this point -- excuse me.

So what the U.S. wants though from the Chinese is that's the details we don't have. Do they want more concessions from China, in terms of greater market access? Do they want more specifics on how China plans to roll out those promised reforms here in China? Do they want the Chinese government to commit to buying more American imports? That would bring down the trade deficit.

Those are some of the possibilities floated by analysts that we've spoken to but in terms of exactly what the U.S. administration is going to be arguing for here in China, we're not sure.

VANIER: And Matt -- correct me if I'm wrong, but some of the tariffs that the Trump administration has announced have not yet taken effect, right? They haven't yet kicked in. So where do we actually stand on this trade war right now?

RIVERS: Yes, you're right. I mean most of these tariffs that have been announced, both on the U.S. side and on the Chinese side in retaliation, are just threats at this point. They haven't actually gone into effect which is why you hear a lot of administration officials saying trade dispute rather than trade war.

But really what these tariffs are, you've got about $150 billion in threatened tariffs from the U.S. side; $50 billion of that has been targeted to specific Chinese products already. And on the Chinese side you have $50 billion in threatened tariffs as well.

But from what you're seeing the U.S. do, you know, that is to gain leverage in these potential negotiations to say if you don't come to the table, if you don't concede in the areas we want you too, then we're going to put these tariffs into place and move forward.

So far though, at least publicly, China has given no indication that it will change what it's doing based on those tariffs. Now that could change down the road.

[01:34:58] You know, we're still in early days of negotiations but at least so far China has very publicly said that these tariffs are a bad idea but that it will respond in kind, and that it is ready to do a trade war if the United States pushes this country in that direction.

VANIER: Matt -- one more thing before I let you go. I wonder has this conversation percolated down to the level of the average Chinese person, if there is such a thing. I mean are the Chinese people talking about this and if so how do they feel about the threat of tariffs by the Trump administration?

RIVERS: You know, it's interesting. I mean I don't think this is the conversation that is going on in most coffee shops around Beijing. But in the areas of the country that would be affected, that we visited it's very much on the minds of people.

So in the last couple of weeks, Cyril, we were down in Guangzhou, north of that city that's in the Pearl River delta -- that's China's manufacturing heartland. We went to an LED lighting factory, just to kind of give an example of these could be the kinds of products that Americans would have to pay more if this trade war goes into effect.

But in the process of that reporting we spoke to, you know, 18, 19, 20-year-old kids on the factory line and they say look, we don't really understand the intricacies of global trade but we do know that if this trade war affects this company, if our profit margins go down does that mean that my job could be lost?

And that's a story that's replicated time and again across China. There's a lot of ordinary factory workers, particularly in the central and southern parts of this country, that rely on exporting products to the United States for their incomes.

So this trade war would absolutely have an effect not only on American consumers perhaps paying more at Wal-Mart but also on the very livelihoods of ordinary factory workers in China.

VANIER: That's very interesting that you mentioned that because there is to a degree a mirror effect in the U.S. where some industries that could potentially be hurt by a trade war if it does escalate are also wondering how it would affect their bottom line.

All right. Matt Rivers, reporting live from Beijing in China. Thank you.

Cambridge Analytica -- the data company at the heart of the Facebook scandal is calling it quits. The Trump presidential campaign had been among its clients but the firm says the business dried up after Facebook accused it of misusing the personal information of millions of its users.

CNN's Brian Stelter reports on this.


BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: The shadowy political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica is shutting down. The company says it can no longer operate because its customer base has dried up.

This comes in the wake of "New York Times", "Guardian" and Channel 4 News investigations into the company's use or misuse of data to target voters and other members of the public in incredibly sophisticated ways. You'll recall that Facebook kicked Cambridge Analytica off the platform back in March when those stories were about to come out.

Facebook says the company actually misused data from tens of millions of users. Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg then went to Capitol Hill to testify on the matter and vowed to make changes.

Meanwhile Cambridge Analytica has essentially defended itself and said it's been innocent of these charges. In a statement on Wednesday, the company reaffirmed that it always acted ethically with people's data.

Here's a part of the statement. The company says, "Despite Cambridge Analytica's unwavering confidence that its employees have acted ethically and lawfully, the siege of media coverage has driven away virtually all of the company's customers and suppliers.

As a result, it's been determined it is no longer viable to continue operating the business which left Cambridge Analytic with no realistic alternative to place in the company and do administration.

Now staffers in New York and London and elsewhere were told to pack up and go home on Wednesday. They apparently still receive severance, et cetera. The company is also still under investigation in at least two countries.

We know that British lawmakers and British investigators are probing the company's practices and so are some lawmakers here in the United States.

Now the company was creating these detailed psychographic profiles of voters. It worked for the Trump campaign and other campaigns as well. There's been a lot of debate about just how effective the company's practices are.

Now what remains to be seen is whether Cambridge Analytica will reemerge in some new form or some new name but this practice of targeting voters to try to get as much data as possible and then reaching individuals on a one to one basis, it seems likely that's going to continue in various forms. And in fact, it will get more sophisticated with every passing election.

But Cambridge Analytica, the company, the name -- that is shutting down.

Brian Stelter, CNN -- New York.


VANIER: Nine members of Puerto Rico's Air National Guard are dead after their military plane nose-dived and crashed shortly after takeoff near Savannah, Georgia. You're seeing the dramatic footage right there.

The aircraft was on its last flight, heading to Arizona where it was scheduled to be decommissioned. The plane involved in Wednesday's crash was at least 50 years old. And there were no injuries on the ground.

[01:39:57] Another aviation incident: a Southwest Airlines flight was forced to make an unscheduled landing after a window cracked midflight. A passenger sent this picture to her son.

The flight from Chicago to Newark, New Jersey was diverted to Cleveland. The Federal Aviation Authority is investigating the cause of this.

Let's bring in CNN safety analyst David Soucie. How serious, David, is it to have one window crack like what we just saw?

DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST: Well, it's very serious. It's important to remember there's many layers to this window and this was just one of the many layers that was broken. However it was very serious and serious enough that they came back and shortened the flight and made not an emergency landing but it did divert from their original flight path.

VANIER: As you said there are many layers to the windows. If one layer cracks, is the plane still safe?

SOUCIE: Yes, it is. It's part of what people refer to as triple redundancy. So if one part of it cracks, you've got two backups from there. But it does look very serious. It looks like at least two of those layers were damaged with this window crack and there's some de- lamination in it. So it very much could have been much more serious than it was.

VANIER: How does this happen? How do -- what makes windows cracks? I mean is it weather? Is it extreme temperatures? Does it mean there was a maintenance problem?

SOUCIE: Well, it's difficult to say. You know, I wouldn't say that anything hit it or struck it in flight. I don't think there's any connection between this window and what had happened before when the engine had rupture a few weeks ago and broke that window out which resulted in a fatality.

But this is a much different scenario so it must have either had some damage to it before or there's been some problems with de-lamination with windows.

Many years ago, I went to London to (INAUDIBLE) Platen Glass where they do this lamination of the windows because they had a problem. But we haven't seen that happen for years so it's going to be interesting to find out exactly why this occurred.

VANIER: And when that happens on a flight, the plane has to do an emergency landing and re-route or can the plane pretty much go to its destination?

SOUCIE: Well, it's difficult to say. I don't think I would take that risk with this and nor did the pilots feel they wanted to because at this point you've lost two layers of safe you're working on your third. So the best thing and the best action is the one that they took which was to land as soon as possible. So I would not have continued the flight -- no.

VANIER: What's the danger? I mean one layer cracks -- I guess the danger is that other layers might crack? What could happen?

SOUCIE: Yes. Well, you've got 12 pounds per square inch differential between the inside and the outside of that airplane. So you talk about 12 pounds per every square inch of that window and that's what's pushing on the window to go out.

So it's structurally built for one of those layers to go for sure. The second is just precautionary. The third if it goes you're talking about a massive decompression of the aircraft and as what happened before with Southwest Airlines, the person that was sitting in that seat was literally pushed or sucked out that window and died from that.

So it's a very serious situation should that other window crack. So they were right on the verge there and they did the right thing by landing as soon as they could.

VANIER: So now we've seen two almost back to back incidents with Southwest Airlines. One of those was deadly, it cost one human life. Would you think twice about flying on an airline which has this kind of track record? Or are you thinking well, you know, this is sort of you roll the dice and occasionally in a million, you have a problem. SOUCIE: One in a million is only one in a million if you're not the

one. So you have to think about those things. As far anything systemically wrong with Southwest Airlines, I don't see that. And it's too early to tell whether the two things are related right now.

As far as the engines go and the inspections on the engines -- Southwest is diligent -- they have 693 aircraft to inspect for those engines where the turbine fan came apart. So they're expecting those and they're getting that done as quickly as they can but that's going to take 60 days or so to get that done.

And they're going through each of their aircraft to make sure that they're getting inspected but right now they're doing everything that they can. But there's a lot and a long ways to go as well. And it's important to note too that Southwest is not the only airline that flies those engines. Those engines have been safe. They've been around for a long time.

And so trying to say that there's something systemically wrong and that I wouldn't fly, no, I would still fly.

VANIER: Ok. All right. Good to have your insights on this. David Soucie, thank you for joining us on the show. Appreciate it.

SOUCIE: All right. Thank you. >

VANIER: Two African-American men arrested last month when they simply sat and waited in a Starbucks in Philadelphia have settled with the coffee chain and with the city. Now the part of the settlement that involved the city of Philadelphia was for $1 each.

[01:44:55] As for the Starbucks settlement, the company says the men reached a confidential financial settlement this week but we do know that they'll be working together on Starbucks' diversity efforts. And that includes $200,000 for a program to encourage high school students to become entrepreneurs. Starbucks and the police had earlier apologized for these arrests.

When we come back, signs of desperation in Venezuela -- with pharmacy shelves empty people are shopping for medicine in the pet departments.

Plus the startling report about the cities with the dirtiest air. Is yours on this list?

Stay with us.


VANIER: Welcome back.

Venezuela's economy is a disaster and it has left some people starving, sick, and desperate. And because the pharmacy shelves are often empty some are turning to veterinarians and pet stores to get the medicine that they need.

Rafael Romo has our report on this. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RAFAEL ROMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In a country marred by a deep economic, political and humanitarian crisis, Venezuelans are a scavenging for food in dumpsters and fleeing by the thousands.

The economic crisis has also created a humanitarian one. Aside from the lack of food, most of the pharmacists nationwide lack basic medication such as antibiotics and painkillers, according to the Venezuelan Pharmaceutical Federation.

Christina Quinta experienced the shortages firsthand after searching for antibiotics to treat an infection, a pharmacy manager suggested she look for it in a pet shop.

CHRISTINA QUINTA, VENEZUELAN (through translator): Health comes first. And unfortunately we have to make do with what we have.

ROMO: And she's not the only one. More and more desperate Venezuelans are turning to veterinary clinics for medicine and other basic healthcare supplies.

Quintana says she was surprised after finding out that (INAUDIBLE) consuming pet medications had become an increasingly common occurrence and the medicine helped.

Jonathan Bello and his family also felt the crisis first hand. The entire family suddenly started to suffer from itch symptoms.

JONATHAN BELLO, VENEZUELAN (through translator): I don't know why all that itching. I think it was the water or soap because at the time there was no soap so we had to buy industrial soap.

ROMO: They, too, resorted to a pet shop for help.

[01:49:58] BELLO: I went in and asked. I was quite embarrassed since they have animal products and I got a solution. They said it was scabies.

ROMO: Venezuela's collapsing economy has left the socialist government without enough money to buy medical supplies. The country also refuses to accept outside aid.

In April, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said the U.S. will provide $60 million in aid to Venezuelans who have fled and support the neighboring countries taking them in.

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: the United States believes now is the time to do more, much more. Every free nation gathered here must take stronger action to isolate the Maduro regime. We must all stand with our brothers and sisters suffering in Venezuela.

ROMO: While desperate times have led many in this starving country to figure out creative solutions, the U.S., the United Nations and many of Venezuela's own neighbors say they stand ready to help as soon as the country is ready to receive it.



VANIER: A new report says nine out of every ten people on the planet breathe air that contains high levels of pollutants and parts of Asia and Africa face the biggest problems.

Our Lynda Kinkade has more details.


LYNDA KINKADE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Seven million people die each year from a manmade cause, air pollution. That's according to a new study by the World Health Organization.

They also found that nine out of every 10 people on the planet breathe air that contains high levels of pollutants. The WHO says it's the world's most comprehensive data base on pollution. The organization collected data from more than 4,300 cities and 108 countries.

Although air pollution affects people worldwide, low and middle income countries experience far worse. Many of the top cities on the list are in India. While attention is usually paid to Delhi and Mumbai, the WHO have found that the cities of Kanpur, Faridabad and Varanasi are at the top of the list.

KAMYA, STUDENT: This should be shameful for us and we should instead of using vehicles, we can bicycle, we can walk. Even I as a student I come by walking. And I guess that doesn't harm me.

KINKADE: Environmentalists warn that India is sitting on a toxic time bomb. The U.S.-based Health Effects Institute found that over one million people die every year in India alone from the impacts of air pollution.

ANUMITA ROY CHOWDHURY, CENTER FOR SCIENCE AND ENVIRONMENT: It's a national problem. And that's the reason why we are looking with lot of interest and great urgency at the national clean air action plan which the Ministry of Environment and Forest is developing right now.

KINKADE: This pollution is created mostly by car and truck emissions, manufacturing, power plants and farming. The particles in the air are a mix of solid and liquid droplets that get embedded into the lungs when we breathe. It leads to multiple health conditions including asthma, lung cancer and heart disease.

Lynda Kinkade, CNN.


VANIER: What about this, she's going to marry a prince, Prince Harry, but that won't make her British. Meghan Markle faces a citizenship test and the questions actually aren't that easy. We'll tell you about that after the break. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[01:54:55] VANIER: A Finnish climate change group wants to create a kind of Mount Rushmore but made of ice and they're calling it Project Trumpmore. The Melting Ice Association want to sculpt this thing -- a likeness of President Trump's face onto an arctic glacier. The world could then watch its fate through a live webcam. That's the idea.

The unmistakable commentary on President Trump's opposition to the Paris Climate deal would rise 35 meters high in theory and cost half a million dollars. A crowd funding site is being set up. The group says it's looking for a location for Project Trumpmore in a place that shows the impact of climate change.

Even though Meghan Markle is about to marry Prince Harry, that alone does not make her a British citizen. To do that she actually has to pass the same citizenship test as anybody else. And a fair number of applicants do not make the grade.

Michael Holmes has a look at the test questions.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What country did Britain fight against during the Crimean War?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When did the English Civil War begin?

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's high stakes trivia. All people applying for British citizenship must pass a Life in the U.K. test even if you're Meghan Markle marrying into royalty.

Successful applicants have to answer questions on history and culture. When put to the same task the average Brit on the street was stumped.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I did not pass? That's shocking. That's actually quite hard.

HOLMES: The questions range from the practical like how often is the general election held to random facts and figures like how high the London Eye or how old is Big Ben?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a citizenship test that very few British citizens can pass.

HOLMES: Would-be citizens aren't doing much better. According to the U.K. government more than a third of the applicants have failed the test in the past two years.


HOLMES: The House of Lords is looking into changing the questions to include more relevant information. But back on the street, most people think that despite the difficulty, Meghan Markle will get high marks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's all right if she gets half.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think she might have a bit of coaching so she might be ok.

HOLMES: After all she does have the help of one of the most British families around.

Michael Holmes, CNN -- Atlanta.


VANIER: All right. Thank you for watching CNN NESROOM. I'm Cyril Vanier.

And you are in luck. Rosemary Church coming up an hour early today. She'll be with you at the top of the hour. Stay with us.


[02:00:08] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: On the verge of freedom, CNN has learned that North Korea plans to release three American --