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Vladimir Putin Begins His Fourth Term; Sexual Violence in India; Lava Flow Shows No Signs of Slowing Down; "This is America"; Trump to Announce Iran Decision Tuesday; Israeli Intel Firm Denies 'Dirty Ops' Campaign; Iran Says it is Already Complying with Nuclear Deal - Will Not Renegotiate; Nigerian Army Frees 1,000 Boko Haram Captives; Wall Street Journal Reports Trump Team May Decide by May 17 on Mueller Interview; Politico Reports Trump Unhappy With Giuliani; Melania Trump Unveils 'Be Best' Campaign; Jeff Sessions Warns Illegal Entry To U.S. Will Be Prosecuted. Aired 1-2a ET
Aired May 8, 2018 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[01:00:08] ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR: You're watching CNN Newsroom live from Los Angeles.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Ahead this hour President Donald Trump set to announce the future of the Iran nuclear agreement.
The deal he has repeatedly described as the worst ever made.
SESAY: Plus, a curtain of fire swallowing everything in its path with little hope of diverting the flow of lava in Hawaii.
VAUSE: And, later this hour the messages buried deep inside a new viral music video about race and gun violence in the United States.
SESAY: Hello and thank you for joining us. I'm Isha Sesay.
VAUSE: And, I'm John Vause. We're now into the second hour of Newsroom L.A.
SESAY: Well, when he was running for President Donald Trump called the Iran nuclear agreement the worst deal ever negotiated. And now, he'll have another chance to walk away.
On Monday, he tweeted, "I'll be announcing my decision on the Iran deal tomorrow from the White House at 2:00 p.m."
VAUSE: Donald Trump would like tougher restrictions on Iran's missile program. Also, an end to Tehran's support for radical groups in the region.
Iran, though, says it has been complying with the deal and the IAEA agrees with that. And so, Tehran has decided it will not renegotiate.
CNN's Senior Producer Amir Daftari is live in Tehran. Correspondent Ian Lee is standing by in Jerusalem. While here, in Los Angeles, European affairs commentator Dominic Thomas, also here, Editor-in- Chief of The Foreign Desk, Lisa Daftari.
Okay, let's go first to Ian Lee in Jerusalem, because we're still waiting for Amir to get back to us. Maybe we'll have him in a moment.
But, Ian, there was a situation with report picked up by a number of new outlets in the U.S. about officials linked to the Trump campaign essentially engaging Israeli operatives to collect dirt, if you like, on those officials from the Obama administration that were involved in negotiating this deal - - this Iran nuclear deal.
Listen to Ronan Farrow, he was the reported from The New Yorker that has reported on this. This is what he told Jake Tapper earlier today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RONAN FARROW, REPORTER, THE NEW YORKER: Individuals using false identities and front companies approached them with various offers trying to squeeze information out of them. And, documents that we obtained and sources we talked to suggest that those agents were very specifically instructed, Jake, to dig up dirt.
To find out if these people were profiting inappropriately off of the Iran deal. To find out if they were involved in political scandals. To find out about affairs they had had. This was an all-out offensive involving a very long list of names trying, seemingly, to discredit the Iran deal.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: So, Ian, what are the other details we know here about this so called dirty tricks campaign?
IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, this is coming from what we've been hearing from The New Yorker, from The Observer, that this Israeli intelligence company was hired to dig up dirt on Ben Rhodes, the national security advisor in the Obama administration.
Also, Colin Kahl, an Obama aide, as well as Vice President, at the time, Joe Biden. You know, they were also - - we're hearing that they were looking up dirt on these men's wives.
This was a comprehensive look into these people to try to find any sort of connection that they may have. Any business ties, any way they could have benefitted from the Iran nuclear deal. Basically anything they can do to undermine.
You know, also coming out from Colin Kahl, saying that they believe Black Cube, an Israeli intelligence company was behind this. Black Cube has come out and said they have no connections to the Trump administration, Trump aides. They say any implications of them in this scandal, they say are completely false.
But, they also added the caveat that they don't talk about their clients to third parties. So, really unsure right there, you know, who is behind this.
But, what it was looking at is essentially trying to undermine the Iran deal, try to figure out something that they can get on them to help the Trump administration when they pull out of the Iran deal - - if they pull out of the Iran deal. An announcement we're expecting in about 13 hours' time from now.
So, this is something that has been taking up the media coverage, as well, something that people have been talking about, especially here in Israel.
You may also remember, Black Cube, this is a company that came to popularity in the Harvey Weinstein case. Harvey Weinstein hired the company to look into the women that were accusing him of sexual crimes. The company came out and apologized for their involvement in it.
So, while they say that they don't talk about their clients to third parties, that was one case where they did come out and say, yes, we were involved with this client and we are apologizing for it.
VAUSE: Okay, Ian, thank you.
Amir, we have you back now there in Tehran. It seems the message coming from Iran is that a deal is a deal is a deal, and this one it will not be renegotiated.
Here's part of a video posted on YouTube by Iran's foreign minister.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOHAMMAD JAVAD ZARIF, IRAN'S FOREIGN MINISTER: Let me make it absolutely clear once and for all. We will neither outsource our security, nor will we renegotiate or add on to a deal we have already implemented in good faith.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Technically, is it possible for Iran to stick with this agreement and go it alone with the Europeans, if Donald Trump decides to reimpose sanctions?
AMIR DAFTARI, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER: Technically it is, John, in fact many here are suggesting just that. That Iran and Europe go it alone, but as you heard there, the message is that the deal is a deal, there's no renegotiating, there's no tweaking it, it's all or nothing.
The issue for Iran, and ordinary Iranians especially, is that the nuclear deal and being part of it means economic hope. Now, it's no secret that the economy here is struggling and that it needs foreign investment.
So, if indeed the U.S. does pull out of the deal, and the Iranians and the Europeans go it alone, the big fear is that European companies - - big European companies with interests in the U.S. market will be very reluctant to come to Iran.
Now, Iranian officials are holding their cards to their chest, not giving much away, waiting to see what President Trump has to say. But, more importantly, how European allies and the signatures to the deal will respond to that.
VAUSE: Okay. Amir, thank you.
Amir Daftari, there, in Tehran.
Okay. Dominic and Lisa, to you guys now.
Dominic, what do you make of that reporter in The Observer that broke the story about you know, this dirty tricks campaign? It quoted a former high ranking British diplomat who'd been involved in, you know, peace negotiations and peace treaties over the years.
He said, "It's bloody outrageous to do this. The whole point of negotiations is to not play dirty tricks like this".
So, if this is true and there's a number of reports out there that this is what happened, what are the potential consequences here for you now the relationship between the Trump administration and Europe? I mean, obviously, already strained, what does this do to it?
DOMINIC THOMAS, CNN EUROPEAN AFFAIRS COMMENTATOR: Yes, I mean this was a move that strained, but the initial deal, of course, was a tremendous you know project of multilateral cooperation that further strengthened and the Atlantic relationship with the European Union.
And throughout this entire process the question of allies and friendship has been up in the air. The very fact that we have to wait until tomorrow to find out the outcome that there hasn't been broader, and public negotiation and discussion is highly disorienting.
But the possibility that public opinion, which obviously plays a major role in this, has been shaped and that public policy is being shaped by false stories, made up stories and so on, is highly troubling. And further interfering with the diplomatic processes.
VAUSE: Its appalling going after the character or trying to find dirt on the people who negotiated a deal, as opposed to specifically looking at the deal. THOMAS: Right. This essentially takes away from the whole and the validity. It's a way of undermining something that let's not forget brought together the five permanent members of the United Nations, along with the European Union and the German government.
You know, it's an extraordinary deal, particularly in this political landscape in which there are tensions with Russia and trade issues with China, and so on. And yet, the coordinated response is to support this deal and to work with this as best as possible.
VAUSE: Even with Russia, after Russia had invaded Crimea at the time. So, (inaudible) who the cooperation was.
(inaudible) Rudy Giuliani, he's the latest lead attorney on the Trump team. He was talking over the weekend, for some reason, about the Iran nuclear deal.
Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GIULIANI, ATTORNEY FOR DONALD TRUMP: And with Secretary of State Pompeo now on his right hand and his National Security Advisor, John Bolton - - you remember John Bolton?
What do you think is going to happen to that agreement? That nuclear agreement?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Okay. Lisa, listening and watching Giuliani, does it sort of bolster the case, here, that ultimately this decision by the president has a lot more to do about politics and making good i.e. election campaign promise, than actual hard facts on what is the best decision?
LISA DAFTARI, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, THE FOREIGN DESK: I think, you know, if we want to apply that theory, that is what I think President Obama did when he promised to normalize relations with the Iran regime before he even came into office and actually did do that, and sidestepping a lot of the facts.
[01:10:10] You know, somebody who follows Iran political scene inside and outside the country, I can tell you the Iranian people will tell you a very different story. The money that was loosened by the sanctions did not go to the Iranian people, it went into terrorism, it went into Syria, it went into Yemen.
And, because of these other circumstances the narrative that truly follows and the circumstance that we should have - - you know, you can't have American hostages in Iranian prisons and then strike a deal that we think is a good deal.
And it think at the end of all of this, we don't have to look at Bolton or at Pompeo, or at Giuliani, we can look at Macron and Angela Merkel, who came to the White House and even though their position is to keep this deal, they said the deal is not working and it's flawed.
So, let's take the center position . . .
VAUSE: Who said the deal is not working? The deal itself is working, the IAEA says it's working . . .
They said the deal itself is working. What they say that the flaws are were sunset clauses and Iran's other (inaudible)
DAFTARI: Okay. The sunset clause is a major problem. we don't want the Iranian regime on the one yard line at any point in the next 10 years, and now we're a few a years into that 10 years. The point here is that partisan politics aside, there needs to be tweaks and we need to use leverage at this moment.
The best thing President Trump could do - - doesn't matter if he keeps this deal, if he nixes it or fixes it, as they say - - it doesn't matter, because there needs to be political leverage used to put into place real changes with that deal.
VAUSE: Well, that's what the U.N. is usually for, particularly with missile proliferation and testing, and that kind of stuff.
But, I want to get to Britain's foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, because he's the latest European leader to make this personal appeal to Donald Trump. He wrote an op-ed in the New York Times about benefits of keeping the deal, he praised Donald Trump for highlighting you know Iran's nefarious activity.
Here's part of it. "The United States and the United Kingdom diplomats have been working alongside their French and German counterparts to reach a joint approach toward Iran. Focused on countering Tehran's reginal meddling, reducing its missile threat and ensuring that it can never build a nuclear weapon".
"At this delicate juncture", he goes onto write, "it would be a mistake to walk away from the nuclear agreement and remove the restraints that it places on Iran". And to get his point across, Boris Johnson then appeared on Fox and Friends. So, he knew the president would obviously be watching Fox News in the morning.
But, Dominic, there is now the situation the Europeans find themselves in, that they seem to have very little influence on a U.S. President on an issue of international importance like this.
THOMAS: Right and European leaders for a very long time - - whether we're just think about, you know, Margaret Thatcher and Regan. Whether we're thinking of George W. Bush, and Clinton, and Tony Blair. This relationship has been very solid.
Emmanuel Macron came to the White House and if anything came out of that meeting was to remind the U.S. President of this long standing historical relationship that is at the foundations of these particular societies. And in fact, came with the way in which he was going to sort of try and help President Trump back down a little bit on his earlier comments.
By arguing that the deal itself had some issues and that perhaps would the president consider, you know, continuing to sign unsupported (ph) and that together they could work to strengthening certain aspects of the deal.
Which would be most likely something easier to enact, particularly on long-range and ballistic missiles, on the sunset clause and so on. To provide President Trump with an opportunity to sort of revisit on the deal, keep it in place, but perhaps rewrite it then down the road.
VAUSE: Lisa, the Israeli Prime Minister, who obviously is a very big critic of this agreement. He believes it's flawed - - fatedly flawed.
But, here's part of an opinion piece in the Haaretz newspaper from Monday.
"The Iran deal is keeping Iran in check from responding to repeated Israeli strikes on its interests in Syria. If Trump heeds Netanyahu's exultations to rectify what the prime minister views as a grave American mistake that made Israel more vulnerable", i.e. the nuclear threat. "He may end up creating new vulnerability by removing a key restraint on Iran's conventional forces."
In other words, if this deal collapses, Iran's got nothing to lose, actually they will strike back against all those Israeli strikes in Syria. And, have a much greater immediate threat right on Israel's doorstep and a military confrontation which could only escalate.
DAFTARI: I think that's based on a lot of false premises, because Iran has to the extent that it would be acceptable by the international community, responded to Israel's actions in Syria. If they took any further action, then - - the global community has given a pass to Iran with all their activities in Syria, in Iraq, in Yemen and the list goes on.
Now, very much clandestine type of operations - - flying a drone into Israel, making threats, there's a reason - - you know, Israel has to watch the Iranians. That, with or without that deal 24-7 it's part of their existential threat.
And, I don't think that any deal in place, or not in place, is helping the Israeli government or the Iranian regime. Holding them back in any way from any activity. [01:15:09] VAUSE: So, very quickly, we're out of time, but the essential argument is that the - - the - - the reigns have been very restrained so far, and that seems to be the case, despite repeated Israel airstrikes on Iranian targets in Syria. You don't think that's the case?
DAFTARI: Do you think that's the case?
VAUSE: Yes I do, because I haven't seen a lot of Iranian retaliation compared to what the dozens of military strikes . . .
DAFTARI: They have been.
No, because they're working under the Bashar al-Assad regime.
DAFTARI: They're working under the Houthi rebels. They're working under . . .
VAUSE: (inaudible) to carry out by the Iranians.
DAFTARI: And, you know what the problem for Israel is that there's a pass off scenario that could happen, that could pass any material like chemical weapons onto Hezbollah in Lebanon and it could get right into Israel. And, it wouldn't be under the name of Iran, it would be Hezbollah attacking Israel, which has happened repeatedly.
Of course, we'll have a decision soon. As we said, this is probably one of the most consequential decisions Donald Trump will be making in the coming hours. So, we'll see what happens.
Lisa, thank you so much, also, Dominic, appreciate it.
SESAY: Well, freedom for more than 1,000 captives of Boko Haram. The Nigerian Army says it rescued hundreds of women and children from the terror group, as well as some men who were forced to become fighters.
Farai Sevenzo joins us now live from Nairobi, Kenya. Farai, thank you for being with us again.
Let me ask you this, the fact that we know so little about the circumstances of these rescues, the fact that we don't even know when these supposed rescues happened, how should be read that?
FARAI SEVENZO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Isha, we can read it by the fact that the Nigerian Army has been trying to make statements like this for the last six months.
They told us, of course, just in February that they had rescued people, and then only to turn around and admit that 110 girls had been kidnapped from a science and technology college up in the northeast.
And, we should also try and understand that these people that the Nigerian Army say they rescued from the villages of Malamkari, Amchaka, Walasa and Gora, that they may have been there all the time.
It was in fact the first time they'd encountered the security forces. There was no contact with the enemy, so to speak. That there were no fighting with Boko Haram in order to rescue what the Army said were mainly women, children and, as you said in your introduction, a few stray Boko Haram fighters. Young men who had been forced to fight for this insurgency.
Now, of course, we also know that - - that - - that the operation, which the Nigerian Army's calling Operation Safe Corridor. What's also conducted by the multinational task force that includes Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Benin.
Now, why are these countries part of this fight against Boko Haram? It is true that Boko Haram has been spreading throughout these countries. Remember in September 2015, a massive bomb went off in a market killing 30 people, injuring 145 according to the Cameroonian (inaudible).
So, it's this part of the region, this whole fight against Boko Haram, but as you rightly say we're very patchy on the facts. When it happened, how it happened, who was involved and how the rescue was affected.
SESAY: Yes, and these young men that you just mentioned there, that we're told were fighters - - were forced to become fighters, I mean, what do we know of what happens to them in the instances where they are taken into government custody when they're rescued or caught? What happens next?
SEVENZO: What happens next to these young men, Isha, is that they go through some kind of government rehabilitation. But, that's what we know from the Army's - - the means by which they try and get these young men to come forward.
I mean, the very fact that they're calling it Operation Safe Corridor is that they're desperate to get the men who are not willing to fight to Boko Haram onside and to stop fighting the Nigerian state. So, it's a rehabilitation process that goes on with the Nigerian Army.
And then, of course, it's anybody's guess whether that actually works and whether these young men actually remain away from guns, or they become sort of inside people in cities like Maiduguri, which has suffered so much from this insurgency.
SESAY: Yes. It's anyone's guess. There's so much we still don't know.
Farai Sevenzo, always appreciate it, thank you.
VAUSE: Well, still to come here, we may now have a date for the season finale of the 'will he, or will he not', testify with Robert Mueller in the Russia probe.
Donald Trump and his legal team apparently now setting May 17th as a deadline for a decision on whether or not to testify to prosecutors.
SESAY: Plus, Vladimir Putin has been in power for the last 18 years, we'll look at what he's planning for the next six and visit his inauguration.
[01:20] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
SESAY: Well, May 17th is the one year anniversary of the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. That day may have a significance this year.
VAUSE: According to the Wall Street Journal, President Trump's legal team hopes to decide by then if the president will sit down with Mueller and testify in the on-going Russia investigation.
Mr. Trump's newest attorney, Rudy Giuliani, told the Journal everyday swings a little different on which way to go. And, in a furious Tweet on Monday, the president called the prosecutors running the Russia probe, "13 angry Democrats". How about that?
Michael Genovese, he's political analyst and President of the Global Policy Institute at Loyola Marymount University joins us now.
Okay, well the president also, you know, he went on this Mueller tirade on Twitter over the investigation. Here's another Tweet which he put out.
"The Russia witch hunt is rapidly losing credibility. House Intelligence Committee found no collusion, coordination or anything else with Russia. So now the probe says OK, what else is there? How about obstruction for a made up, phony crime. There is no O," as in obstruction, "it's called fighting back".
That last line really caught my attention, the fighting back part.
This seems to be how Donald Trump has conducted his business life. When it came to any kind of legal conflict, you just swing and swing, and swing and you fight, and now he seems that he's taking that attitude to the presidency and it's not, obviously, entirely appropriate.
MICHAEL GENOVESE, POLITICAL ANALYST, PRESIDENT OF THE GLOBAL POLICY INSTITUTE AT LOYOLA MARYMOUNT UNIVERSITY: Well, you know, the best defense is a good offense, and he's done that all his life. His father taught him that. In his books he talks about, you know, you go after them, don't take any gruff (inaudible) to the jugular.
And so, that's his operating style and it's his preference. The odd thing is, regarding Mueller is it's a one-way street. It's all Trump because he's the public figure going public. Mueller's in the background doing his job, acting very professional.
And so, on the one hand, Donald Trump has the advantage in trying to set the narrative, but on the other hand, Mueller's setting in the background with a big left hook that he might be leveling at the president.
VAUSE: Yes, he's biding his time it seems. You know, there's another possibility - - we're talking about May 17th for a decision on whether or not to talk to Mueller. If he decides no, that brings the other possibility of subpoena.
If he's subpoenaed before a grand jury, then comes the option of maybe the president pleading the Fifth. He will not testify on the grounds that he could incriminate himself. This is what Rudy Giuliani, the latest addition to the Trump legal team had to say about the president taking the Fifth.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, HOST OF ABC'S THIS WEEK: Are you confident the president will not take the Fifth in this case?
RUDY GIULIANI, ATTORNEY FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP: Oh, how can I ever be confident of that? When I'm facing a situation with the president - - and all the other lawyers are, in which every lawyer in America thinks he'd be a fool to testify.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[01:25:25] VAUSE: It would be incredible if the president went down that road to take the Fifth, wouldn't it?
GENOVESE: It would be unprecedented, it would not be an admission of guilt by any means, because that's a legal recourse he could take, but the optics would be just horrendous.
VAUSE: Is it likely? If it got to it?
GENOVESE: I think Donald Trump thinks he's the smartest man in the room and I think he feels he can just run rings around Mueller and his team. While Rudy Giuliani and all of the lawyers around him are probably saying don't, don't, don't, please, dear God, don't.
It's Trump's ego and - - and - - and he thinks he can just you know spin - - weave his web around anyone.
VAUSE: Okay. It has not been the best few days for Rudy Giuliani.
We've got this report now from Politico. "The president has been griping to associates that Rudy Giuliani, his new personal attorney, has failed to shut down the Stormy Daniels hush money saga. And he has expressed frustration that Giuliani's media appearances are raising more questions than they are answering, turning the story into a days-long drama", which seems to be absolutely spot on.
Is Giuliani the next Anthony Scaramucci? You know, he lasts about 10 days before he's kicked out?
GENOVESE: Well, Rudy's adding a lot of high drama to a very dramatic situation and - - and - - and he loves it, that's who he is. But that's also who Trump is, and the problem is these two monumental egos are squeezing each other out of the same room.
And so, you just don't know how long that's going to last, but - - but - - but many people are saying that there enough dissension in the White House that Rudy may be pushed out. I don't think he's out until the president says, "You've taken too much attention away from me".
VAUSE: Okay. Some good news for the president, his approval numbers according to CNN are just over 40 percent, which in (inaudible) terms is actually pretty good. But, even better than the president, which may have him a little envious, the first lady, her numbers are up 10 points since January, 57 percent.
And, on Monday, she launched her anti-cyber bullying campaign. You know, it seemed like a (inaudible) message to the president.
GENOVESE: Well, it's a delicious irony, if nothing else. You know, in a way this is a very traditional role for a very untraditional White House and she should be applauded because her issue - - child (inaudible) coverage is really important. Give her credit for that, but you've always got this irony that the bully in the room is the guy sitting next to you at dinner every night.
And so, you know, give her as much credit as you can. She didn't sign up for this, but she's been humiliated for months. But, she's really making an effort . . .
VAUSE: Okay. During her speech on Monday, the first lady said every child should have the chance to enjoy their innocence. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MELANIA TRUMP, U.S. FIRST LADY: Children deserve every opportunity to
enjoy their innocence. Every child should know it is safe to make mistakes and that there are supportive adults and friends nearby to catch them if they fell.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Then, about an hour later, after those lovely, warm sentiments, the U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced it would be U.S. policy to separate kids from their parents if they cross illegally into the U.S.
Listen to Sessions.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEFF SESSIONS, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: If you cross the border unlawfully, then we will prosecute you, it's that simple. If you smuggle illegal aliens across our border, then we will prosecute you. If you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you and that child may be separated from you as required by law.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: This seems to be a significant shift in U.S. policy. (inaudible) teenagers, we're not talking about grown kids. I mean, it seems that we're talking about babies literally taken from the arms of their mothers, and separated and taken away.
GENOVESE: And the juxtaposition of Melania, whose becoming the anti- Trump of the Trump administration, and this message which was harsh, it was draconian, it's not really necessary. It looks horrible. It is horrible. Why do you do this?
And, that's the conflict between the Melania view and the Trump - - I mean, Trump has all the cards, Sessions is doing his bidding. And Sessions is actually doing a very good job, in spite of all the criticism he gets from the president in implementing the president's agenda.
So, this is Sessions saying it, it's the president's policy.
VAUSE: Yes. And, we have Melania Trump there, sort of announcing something completely different than (inaudible) whether it's bullying or something like this.
GENOVESE: Well, and it's almost as if the president's saying, "Here, here's your little toy, go out and play with it. But, we're going to do the real dirty work and the business."
VAUSE: He even Tweeted about it, the Iran nuclear deal coming up - - an announcement being made, I think either before or during the first lady's speech, which was an interesting timing.
GENOVESE: Thank you.
SESAY: Well, still to come, sexual violence plaguing India where another teenage girl had allegedly been raped and set on fire.
VAUSE: To all the viewers joining us, you're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause.
SESAY: And I'm Isha Sesay. The headlines this hour.
Donald Trump will announce his decision on the future of the Iran nuclear deal in the coming hours. He's widely expected to pull the U.S. out of the agreement despite urging from Britain, France and Germany. Iran says it will not renegotiate the deal.
VAUSE: "The Wall Street Journal" is reporting that President Trump's legal team is hoping he will decide by May 17 of testifying in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe. One of his attorneys, Rudy Giuliani says the President has felt, what does he have to lose by sitting down with Mueller? But Donald Trump has also promised to weigh his legal team's advice.
SESAY: Well, the Nigerian army says it's rescued more than 1,000 people held captive by Boko Haram in Borno State. Most are women and children and also some young men who were forced to fight for the terror group. The rescued hostages are receiving treatment at a military facility.
VAUSE: Well, there were dignitaries, a former German chancellor and a Hollywood action there all looking as Vladimir Putin began his fourth term as Russian president.
SESAY: In his inauguration speech, he laid out a plan for more restoration for his new term.
Matthew Chance has all the details.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we witnessed an extravagant bit of political theater here in Russia with the inauguration ceremony of Vladimir Putin. He was pictured working in his office, then strolling on his own to the long corridors in the Kremlin before getting into a especially constructed presidential limousine which has been dubbed locally the Putin mobile to take him on a short drive to the Grand Kremlin Palace and St. Andrews Hall where there're these exorbitant rooms which are lavishly decorated were filled with 3,000 especially-invited guests including ministers in the Russian government and some foreign dignitaries as well including Gerhard Schroder, the former German chancellor and Steven Seagal, who is a Hollywood movie star and a close personal friend of Vladimir Putin.
In a short address following his inauguration, Putin said that he would service Russia for the rest of his life, much to the alarm here, I expect of critics out there that want to see him gone. But he also said that his emphasis as head of state will be to make Russia prosperous again and glorious.
And the tone of his speech was very much in this fourth term in office. Vladimir Putin wants to emphasize economic recovery as is main platform.
[01:35:06] Now whether or not that will happen or not remains very much to be seen; obviously Russia has massive economic obstacles. But as I mentioned there are lots of political protests -- there have been over the course of the past 48 hours or so as well, over the weekend before the inauguration ceremony. The people turning out in towns and cities across Russia to voice their opposition to Vladimir Putin who won a landslide election back in March.
He now starts another six-year term as Russian president. He's already served four terms. And in fact he's ruled this country as either president or prime minister for the past 18 years and there's very little sign at this point that that is going to change.
Matthew Chance, CNN -- Moscow.
SESAY: That's a long time.
VAUSE: It is.
SESAY: Now, another teenage girl in India had been raped and set on fire. The 17-year-old is now in a hospital with burns to 70 percent of her body and the suspect has been arrested.
VAUSE: This all happened in the same region where another teen was burned to death after being gang-raped.
We have details now from Anna Coren.
ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The haunting screams of family members begging for justice following the alleged gang-rape and murder of a 16-year-old girl. The attack which happened last week in Jharkhand, eastern India is the latest in a series of violent sexual crimes across the country.
"There was a wedding at my brother's place", said the victim's uncle. "She went to fetch water and that's when the attacker grabbed and took her in a car. Then he raped her."
When the family complained to the local village council, the accused men were fined $750 dollars and order to do 100 sit-ups. Enraged by the punishment, police said the men (INAUDIBLE) up the family and then set their home on fire.
The charred remains are the now the subject of an autopsy and police investigation. Multiple arrests have been made.
DEEPA NARAYAN, AUTHOR AND SOCIAL SCIENTIST: The rape is a rape. And these rapes, including gang-rapes of young girls is increasing. It's not decreasing.
COREN: India has been reeling from a string of highly publicized attacks that have sparked protests.
Earlier this year, an eight-year-old girl in the northern Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir was abducted, drugged and held captive in a temple where she was repeatedly raped by several men before being strangled to death.
Despite the national outcry over this brutal attack, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was accused of being extremely slow to respond. His days of silence widely criticized until finally addressing the crime.
"I want to assure the country that no culprit will be spared", he said. "Complete justice will be done. Those daughters who have become the victim of such crime will get justice for sure."
But justice is sadly elusive for the surviving victims and families. Authorities claim more than 100 cases of rape are reported each day. That's roughly one every 15 minutes.
There was a 12 percent rise in the number of reported cases from 2015 to 2016 but there are more than 15,000 rape cases awaiting trial.
NARAYAN: It's a huge social, cultural problem in India. And the other factors that the conviction rate was 3 percent.
COREN: India's deep-rooted problem with rape came to international attention in 2012 when a 23-year-old physiotherapy student in New Delhi was brutally gang-raped on a minibus. She died a few weeks later.
The anger and protests that followed forced the government to change the laws and increase penalties for sexual violence. And just last month, the Indian cabinet approved the death penalty for rapists of girls under 12.
But critics say those laws are yet to be enforced and attitudes still haven't changed.
NARAYAN: unless the way women are viewed changes culturally, we're not going to see any stoppage of violence against women.
COREN: Anna Coren, CNN -- Hong Kong.
SESAY: Honestly distressing. VAUSE: Yes. It is an issue which just keeps coming back and
obviously there needs to be something done.
SESAY: And they have laws but the question is not more laws, it's enforcement.
VAUSE: Yes. And education.
SESAY: And education.
VAUSE: Still to come on NEWSROOM L.A. rivers of lava on Hawaii's Big Island showing no signs of slowing down. We'll have an update on the volcano in just a moment.
SESAY: Well, the Kilauea Volcano in -- here we are.
VAUSE: Here we are.
SESAY: Here we are.
VAUSE: There it is behind us.
SESAY: They can't
VAUSE: That's incredible. Look at it.
SESAY: That volcano -- that one. That one is in Hawaii.
VAUSE: You're in big trouble.
SESAY: It shows no signs of quieting down. It's been spewing lava and toxic gas since Thursday.
There are now at least 12 fissures which have been opened up. Thirty- five structures have been destroyed including more than two dozen homes.
Stephanie Elam has the latest now from Hawaii's Big Island.
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Rivers of smoldering lava threatening Hawaii's Big Island. The red-hot magma spewing up to fissures that have emerged since the eruption of the Kilauea Volcano has ravaged roads and destroyed dozens of structures.
Watch this time lapse show the all-consuming flow of the lava as it slowly creeps across a road, engulfing a parked car leading a smoky black trail in its wake; more lava spilling through neighborhoods, turning lush, green island vegetation to walls of blackened rocks.
At least 1,700 people in Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens have had to evacuate.
Tell me what it was like when you first saw lava coming out right by your house.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was, it went really orange, the highest splatter I saw first was about 60 feet tall which is pretty big.
ELAM: After that, potentially deadly volcanic gases. The eruptions have released high levels of sulfur dioxide into the air. And then there are the Big Island earthquakes more than 1,300 in the last week alone.
From a helicopter, we can see where all of this began and the destruction is massive. To the south, the Puluoo (ph) vent of Kilauea collapsed.
SEAN REGAHR, HELICOPTER PILOT: -- craters up there, it almost collapsed into one big hole.
ELAM: Some residents in Leilani Estates have been allowed to return temporarily to check on their homes. But the threat and the uncertainty remain.
DEBBIE AGBAYANI, RESIDENT: Just watching everybody come out of there with all their things. It's so bad. It's just so bad.
ELAM: And it's worth point out that the people that lived in these communities are mainly working class folks that have taken their life savings and put them into this land to have a slice of paradise not far from the beach. But with lava insurance being so expensive many of these people don't have it and so if their homes are lost to the lava, they will have likely lost everything.
[01:45:04] Stephanie Elam, CNN -- near Leilani Estates, Hawaii.
VAUSE: Let's go to Pedram Javaheri. He's there at the CNN International Weather Center for more. So Pedram -- they don't really know how much longer this will continue or how bad it's going to get.
PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes. It's impossible but you know one way to look at and kind of guesstimate where we think this will end up, you're looking at historical sort of eruptions across this particular region. We know that typically several weeks to several months is a pretty good bet of how long such events last across this region.
So you would expect earthquakes to continue. We're seeing on the order of 100 per day, upwards of a thousand have occurred in the last week or so. Additional fissures up to the 12 that we've seen, potentially more possible as we see additional quakes, and of course, poisonous gas is being released at the moment across this region as well.
Here is the widespread coverage of the quake activity over the past week or so indicated in yellow the past 24 hours. You see that indicated in the orange coloration as well. So the activity is certainly not quieting down. And frankly this is what we have the Hawaiian Islands come from, right. We have volcanic activity, tectonic activity -- put this together go to the northwestern corner of the island, of the 132 islands that make up the archipelago.
Kauai is your oldest island at 5.1 million years old and you can scoot on over towards the southeast, towards the Big Island. In fact, it's the youngest island -- the oldest spots of the Big Island come in at 700,000 years old.
And in fact, in the eruption that occurred across this region back in 2012, we added an additional 200 hectares of land to the island so these sort of eruptions cause the island, of course, to grow and this what we're watching essentially, geology before our eyes. But the temperatures associated with this incredible, in fact, it is that eighth fissure right there that has been really problematic. That produced a tremendous amount of lava that's caused widespread damage. You've seen the remarkable footage associated with this as well.
And just based on the coloration of the lava, we can actually see and guesstimate the temperatures associated with it. The white and yellow colors are indicative of some 1,200 degrees Celsius temperatures. And of course you get down a little cooler down towards the red coloration which is about 800 degrees Celsius.
But see how it hardens and solidifies? That actually does a wonderful job to insulate the lava and that really makes it another dangerous element because these lava tubes can allow the lava to farther travel downstream. We've had previous eruptions where lava has been tracked some 10 kilometers away up to the coastal community right on the coast. And the tubes themselves have been able to maintain their temperatures.
So even on the coast 10 kilometers away, John and Isha, the lava temperatures are 1,200 degrees Celsius and that of course, placed additional major, major disruptions and damages even far away from where the eruption occurred.
VAUSE: Yes. We're hearing from officials there in Hawaii saying this is not a tourist attraction.
VAUSE: Stay away.
SESAY: Yes, this is dangerous.
JAVAHERI: Yes. Not at all -- yes.
SESAY: Pedram -- thank you.
VAUSE: Thanks P.J.
JAVAHERI: Thank you.
SESAY: All right. Quick break here.
Up next, "This is America", the multilayered new single and musipedia (ph) by Childish Gambino is being called a work of genius. We're going to try to analyze its many, many messages.
VAUSE: It's a big time for fashion in New York.
SESAY: I was going to say.
VAUSE: A big night. Not that I know anything about this but this is about New York's annual Met gala and it got all religious. The theme was Fashion and the Catholic Imagination. And co-host Rihanna took it to heart with a Pope-inspired mini dress and cape.
SESAY: And you do.
[01:50:00] Katy Perry went angelic with nearly -- yes, wow, wow -- with nearly two meter high white wings.
VAUSE: There should be a really high --
SESAY: An angel's mini dress.
The invitation-only fund raiser benefits the Metropolitan Museum of Arts costume Institute and if you are invited the ticket -- cheap, $30,000 each.
VAUSE: Ok. Who pays that? Ok.
SESAY: Pretty heavy.
SESAY: It's art.
"This is America", the new single by Childish Gambino, a.k.a. Donald Glover is much more than a critique of gun violence and police brutality in the U.S. The Award-winning actor, writer and musician offers his perspective on African-American life and he does it through a power music video.
SESAY: All right. Well, here's one thing; that this is exploring America as a chaotic (INAUDIBLE) and with violence and celebration at the same time against the backdrop of social injustices.
The video is taking on lots of things here. It's exploring the relationship between black culture, media consumption and racism.
(VIDEO CLIP OF "THIS IS AMERICA")
SESAY: Thankfully politics and pop culture journalist Jarrett Hill is here with us to help us deconstruct this -- Jarrett. I think this is an amazing video. I've seen it four times but I'm still trying to -- trying to really digest it. When you look it -- you can't get your eyes off Donald Glover. I mean when you see him on screen with the dancing and the facial expression I guess -- let me ask you this.
This video at this time from him -- why?
JARRETT HILL, POLITICS AND POP CULTURE JOURNALIST: I mean I haven't figured it out so, that's the end of the conversation, I guess.
HILL: No, it's like -- I mean it's really challenging but like it's interesting to watch the video the first time and like watch him dance around and watch him shoot and watch all these things. And then you watch it again and you're like you're watching a little bit more closely.
But by the third time you watch it you'd notice you should be watching everything happening in the background behind him.
HILL: He's dancing and gyrating and smirking and smiling and I'm so pretty. And then you notice like there are people jumping off of buildings --
HILL: There's, you know, explosions happening in the background. There's a horse running through the background.
HILL: It's crazy. So like it talks about the way that we're distracted from the things that are happening all the way around us in every different direction. So it's -- I mean there's a million things to analyze there.
SESAY: And what is he saying gun violence?
HILL: Well, one of the interesting pieces of analysis that I saw were people talking about the way that guns were treated with such care when life wasn't, right, which is an overtly American ideal like we protect guns and we hold them so dear but life -- you know.
SESAY: Yes, yes.
HILL: And when he shoots the man at the very beginning a man comes up, well-dressed, you know, with a cloth (ph) to take away the gun. The man that was shot is dragged off -- SESAY: He's dragged away.
HILL: -- and you never see him again. So it's an interesting juxtaposition.
SESAY: Yes. I mean listen, people are talking a lot about, you know, what it says about being, you know -- what it says about being black in America. What does it say to you when you look at it? I mean as we're trying to like, unpack it.
HILL: Yes. I think -- I think it says so many things about being black, like about the beauty of our culture and the celebration of our culture but also like the horror of being black in America for a lot of people, the terror if you will of being black. Like the frivolousness of some of the things that we do in our culture but also the seriousness of -- there's a depiction of a church choir in there and then they're all slaughtered.
SESAY: Gunned down, yes.
HILL: And so there are some people who believe that that has something to do with like the lyrics in there are talking about money and the prosperity of --
SESAY: Yes, the philosophy of anything (ph).
HILL: So it's -- there's so many different things juxtaposed against one another that you have to kind of pick them apart and take something away for what you believe in to mean.
SESAY: I mean, you know, obviously as you get something like this from Donald Glover -- Childish Gambino and this guy is making this commentary, this searing commentary and then you've got Kanye of recent days saying --
HILL: I'm sorry. Who?
SESAY: -- saying what he had to say about black people and the black experience. And listen this is something that is on Twitter and a lot of people are talking about it.
SESAY: Let me read a tweet for you from @RomeTremayne. He says "Kanye declares himself a genius, drops poody-scoop (ph). Donald Trump drops "This is America" and says nothing."
Apparently poody scoop is a lyric in his new song.
HILL: Yes. Yes. Here's my thing with Kanye. I feel like so many people are having conversations about Kanye as if he looks like, sounds like or behaves like a person who's well. And that's a challenge for me. And I mean -- and I hate for that to even like shutdown a Kanye conversation but like we know Kanye is not well. We've heard him talk about his mental health and like everyone talks about him as if he seems like he's ok.
SESAY: But his wife said we shouldn't make a correlation, a connection between --
[01:55:03] HILL: Let me be clear -- ok.
HILL: Kim -- I love you but like when has Kim ever been the barometer for what is -- I'm not even going to finish that.
SESAY: Ok. So you think -- if that be the case -- I mean Kanye was that person though that --
SESAY: I don't know -- what a decade ago? Was it --
SESAY: About a decade ago, you would have expected Kanye to be making these searing commentaries but now we've got Donald Glover --
HILL: Yes. Yes.
SESAY: -- in this space. I mean I guess my question is -- not everybody likes this so what will the impact be of this video, do you think?
HILL: I think it depends on who you are. I think if you're a black person, this is one of those things where we can celebrate the excellence of this piece of work but also open up a conversation about all of the things that are depicted in it.
I think if you're a non-black person, you have to question like -- what is this saying? What does it say about me? What do I take away from that?
SESAY: Someone that you know, there's a tweet from someone who said this is evil garbage. Look at these -- this doesn't (INAUDIBLE) -- I mean look at these eyes. He's possessed or he's being himself. The need to promote violence and a thirst for blood.
The person goes on to say -- the thirst for blood. Also this is propaganda against the Second Amendment. Make America great again.
HILL: So without even knowing the content of that tweet, I immediately thought about this is like immediately following like a big NRA rally where the President of the United States is up there and they have a photo of DeRay McKesson and this guy -- you know, what I mean?
So it's like, you want to talk about brutality in discussing this but like you're one of those people who would have -- rather that tweet was probably one of those people who would have walked away with a gun wrapped up in a cloth and dragged off the life. You know what I'm saying?
So I think it makes all of us have to ask some questions about the things that we hold true. The things that are important to us are also --
HILL: Exactly. And what's happening around us, that we're may not be paying attention to.
SESAY: I think it's genius.
HILL: I do, too, obviously.
SESAY: I really do. I'm going to watch it again. I've read the lyrics. I still don't understand the lyrics. But I still think it's genius.
HILL: This is America.
SESAY: This is America. That's all you need to know.
Jarrett Hill -- thank you.
HILL: All right.
SESAY: All right.
VAUSE: James Brown -- America.
SESAY: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles.
VAUSE: It's so awful.
SESAY: I'm Isha Sesay.
VAUSE: I'm John Vause. We're on Twitter. Please have a look. And we'll be back after this.
[02:00:09] VAUSE: This is CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles.