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Second Teenager Allegedly Raped and Set Ablaze Within Days in India; Music Video's Choreography Carries Cultural Symbolism; Comparing Kanye West With Childish Gambino; Lava Gas And Earthquakes Batter Hawaii; Deadline Looms for Iran Deal; Melania Trump Unveils Formal Platform; Thousands Take to the Streets for Anti-Putin Protests. Aired 2-3a

Aired May 8, 2018 - 02:00   ET




JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): This is CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles.

ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): U.S. President Trump has called the Iran deal the worst agreement ever and in just a few hours, he promises to reveal his final decision on staying with it.

VAUSE (voice-over): Plus another teenage girl brutalized in India as actors from other government do more to stop the violence.

SESAY (voice-over): And the camera captures the lava's unstoppable march but observers now say the devastating eruption is why it may be subsiding finally.

VAUSE (voice-over): Hello and welcome to our viewers all around the world for this third hour. I'm John Vause.

SESAY (voice-over): And I'm Isha Sesay. NEWSROOM L.A. starts right now.


VAUSE: Donald Trump is set to make what could be one of the most consequential decisions of his presidency. On Monday tweeted, "I will be announcing my decision on the Iran deal tomorrow from the White House at 2:00 pm."

SESAY: The president campaigned hard against the nuclear deal, calling it one of the worst ever made. Iran says it will not renegotiate the agreement which has been in place since 2015.

CNN's senior producer Amir Daftari (ph) is live this hour is Tehran with correspondent Ian Lee standing by in Jerusalem, also in London international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson.

First let's go to Tehran. Amir, leading up to this announcement, Amir, there has been fresh defiance coming from Tehran. Here's part of a speech by President Hassan Rouhani.


HASSAN ROUHANI, IRANIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): If America leaves the nuclear accord, it will soon see that this will entail historic remorse.


VAUSE: That sort of defiance and the rhetoric is not to be -- is not unexpected but what is unknown Vause it the Iranians are actually not saying flat out that they will abandon the agreement altogether if the U.S. pulls out.

So what are the expectations here when it comes to Iran's next move?

AMIR DAFTARI, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER: Well, that's the big question, John, one that many are trying to answer. As you heard from President Rouhani there, a lot of tough talk threats and retaliation but very little on detail and what may come next.

Javad Zarif, the foreign minister, has talked about ramping up Iran's nuclear activities if, indeed, the U.S. does pull out. Other officials have talked about pulling out of another international deal, the NPT, the nuclear nonproliferation treaty, which curbs countries' ability to build nuclear arms.

But the Iranian message is that the deal is a deal and there is no negotiating on it. It's all or nothing. So far, like I say, they haven't been giving away too much, waiting to see what President Trump will say because he is just so unpredictable.

So I think until that happens, the Iranians won't reveal what they will do -- John.

VAUSE: OK, Amir, thanks.

Let's go to Ian Lee now, standing by Jerusalem.

Ian, there have been a number of reports that officials link to the Trump administration, have allegedly contacted the Israeli operatives. This happened last year, trying to dig up dirt on officials who worked on the deal under the Obama administration.

We know that these essentially are the same operatives who (INAUDIBLE) Harvey Weinstein issue. They were trying to find dirt on the accusers of Harvey Weinstein.

So what else do we know at this point about what they're calling a dirty tricks campaign?

IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Essentially, John, this campaign was to dig up dirt on a number of Obama officials. You had Ben Rhodes, who was the national security advisor; Colin Call (ph), who was an aide to Obama as well as then vice president Joe Biden.

We're also hearing in these reports that the wives of Call and Rhodes, dirt was also looked into them, basically anything that they could get information to undermine this Iran nuclear deal.

This Israeli intelligence company, we don't know for sure who it was, Black Cube has come out as one of the possible companies that it could have been. Black Cube, though, has said that they have no ties to the Trump administration or Trump aides. They had nothing to do with working with Trump.

But they also added the caveat that they don't talk about their clients to third parties. They did come out, though, in the Harvey Weinstein case. They were hired to look into dirt on the women who were accusing him of sexual misconduct. They said that they apologized for that and that they didn't mean to cause any harm.

But this time they're saying they have nothing to do with this. John, this really does just come up with -- highlight Israel's stance towards this Iran nuclear deal. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been against it from --


LEE: -- day one.

He advocated against it even before it was signed. And recently gave a presentation highlighting a treasure trove of documents that were stolen from Iran, brought to Israel. He says this shows that Iran is lying about its nuclear program but a lot of this information that he presented, experts outside of Israel as well as here have said that there really isn't nothing new with that.

But when you look at the Iran and Israel really, they're having a collision course of sorts, especially with the neighboring civil war in Syria. Israel has struck a number of times inside of Syria, killing more than a dozen Iranian operatives inside.

Israel has said they have two red lines essentially. One, they do not want Iran to establish a strong military presence in Syria. They said they will use force to prevent that.

Also they want to prevent any sort of advanced weapons going from Syria into Lebanon to the militant group, Hezbollah. Right now there is a lot of attention right now in the northern part of Israel. They say they're preparing for a potential Iranian retaliation to recent airstrikes near Aleppo and Homs.

And that really is what we're seeing right now between these two countries, really tensions with Syria but also tensions with this nuclear deal.

VAUSE: OK, thank you, Ian Lee for us live in Jerusalem.

To Nic Robertson, standing by in London just explain the mechanisms here because this small process isn't entirely clear-cut. It's not like in the coming hours the sanctions are for sanctions on because it's always a two-stage process here. What happens in the coming hours essentially concerns Iran's oil and sanctions on oil.

And then a couple of weeks later, there is a much wider decision on sanctions for companies. So explain the process and how that actually affects what countries like Iran may or may not be doing.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, what it would do or what it could do is put the buyers of Iran's oil in a very awkward position vis-a-vis the relationship with the United States, China and other countries. That may lead countries, some countries, European countries trying to ring-fence the business relationships that they have tried to rekindle in Iran since the deal came into effect.

This has been one of the principal concerns of the E3, remembering that this deal was originally signed by the P5+1. That was the United States along with Russia, along with China but also Germany, France and the U.K., with the European Union representative.

And it's the Europeans that have been pushing back perhaps the most strongly and going to Washington's advocate most strongly for their views about the deal and why the deal is still valuable as it stands because they also have business interests, more so than the United States, to lose with Iran if President Trump decides to not to waive these different stages of sanctions.

So the knock-on implications are economic hardships for Iran but also economic difficulties on -- more globally for those countries that are buying Iran's oil or trying to do business with it through its banks or other mechanisms in Tehran.

VAUSE: I'm wondering if this two-stage process gives Donald Trump and the Europeans and the Iranians a little bit of wiggle room because you have the first round of sanctions maybe being imposed on oil and then several weeks later, the other, much wider, broader sanctions being imposed on Iranian businesses that there has been some suggestion that maybe trouble issue more weigh this with certain countries when it comes to importing Iranian oil and there's maybe possibility here of still some haggling or negotiations before this whole deal is actually dead and done.

ROBERTSON: Yes, it does seem that this is the way that President Trump likes to work. If we look at the trade tariffs there on steel and aluminum, for example, he's waived those on some countries. The European Union has given them until June before he makes his final decision on that but not waived them for other countries.

So could he in effect offer similar waivers right now?

It would certainly go a little distance to a conciliatory tone with some of his allies around the world, again, particularly thinking of countries within the European Union here. So that is a possibility.

And it does allow him to have a less blunt instrument, if you will, than just sort of deciding to -- not to renew any of the waivers whatsoever and announce that in one fell swoop, that that going to be his position come those deadlines or not.

He is already making this announcement ahead of the first of those deadlines. So you know, he's giving himself --


ROBERTSON: -- some wiggle room and certainly his allies will be hoping there is something here that they can sort of stay in step with the United States on recognizing President Trump has also made decisions that fly in the face of even his staunch European allies, withdrawing from the climate accord with United States decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

These are things that his most staunch allies have advised against yet President Trump has gone ahead and done that. So it is difficult to read the tea leaves at the moment but I think what we can say is that there is a broad expectation that President Trump will not continue with the status quo as we know it right now.

I think the indications have been what we have been hearing a little bit from diplomats inside Europe and diplomats inside the United States and perhaps if we read the tea leaves as well of his secretary of state Mike Pompeo's recent visit to Jerusalem, where hours later Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made that disclosure of this trove of Iranian documents indicating that they carefully and secretly had hidden previous notes and details on plans on how to make a nuclear weapon.

So you know, the fact that that came right after Secretary of State Pompeo's visit, knowing that pomp was quite a hawk on Iran, does give the impression -- and Pompeo's indicated this himself -- that Trump is not inclined to leave the status quo.

But would t be a soft exit or will he really be trying to present Iran with a no option>

We know the things that he wants to change are things like Iran's destabilizing influence in the region, with Iran says that was not part of the deal, Iran's ballistic missile programs. Iran says that was not part of the deal. The sunset clauses, tougher inspections, all of these things not part of the deal.

Is he looking at something that Iran could live with and his allies can live with?

Or is he looking at something that his allies can live with but Iran won't?

At this stage it really isn't clear -- John.

VAUSE: OK. Nic, we appreciate the analysis. Thank you very much. And of course all will be revealed in the coming hours. Thank you.

SESAY: We find out in the coming days if President Trump will actually sit down face-to-face with special counsel Robert Mueller. VAUSE: "The Wall Street Journal" has been reporting that Mr. Trump's legal team is hoping to decide by May 17th if Donald Trump will testify in the ongoing Russia investigation.

Trump's new attorney, Rudy Giuliani, told "The Journal" every day the team swings a little different on which way to go.

SESAY: And in a furious tweet Monday, the president called the prosecutors running the Russia probe "13 angry Democrats."

VAUSE: Michael Genovese is (INAUDIBLE) and president of the Global Policy Institute at Loyola Marymount University and he is with us now.

Michael, it is always a pleasure to have you with us. So thank you.

As expected the president and his legal team are taking a much more combative approach with the Mueller investigation. So given that, it seems unlikely that the president is -- will actually sit down for this interview with the Mueller prosecutors.

So 10 days from now, we're likely to hear a no to that request.

What happens then?

MICHAEL GENOVESE, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Then people have to decide how far they want to push.

Do you want to push to a subpoena?

Do you want to try to negotiate?

Rudy Giuliani says that he's going to end this quickly. I don't see how he's going to shut it down when he can't shut his mouth. But I think what we're going to see is there will be some heavy negotiating. No one wants a subpoena because that's going to gum up the works.

But if it comes to that, I'm sure Mueller is seriously going to pursue that avenue and what that's going to do is just drag it out for a long, long, long time.

VAUSE: Months into years possibly.


VAUSE: Rudy Giuliani was asked about the subpoena scenario over the weekend. This is what he said.


GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC HOST: What happens if Robert Mueller subpoenas the president?

Will you comply?

RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER MAYOR OF NYC: Well, we don't have to. He's the President of the United States. We can assert the same privileges other presidents have.


VAUSE: Is Giuliani actually a real lawyer?

Because every legal expert I think has disagreed with that opinion that he does have to comply.

GENOVESE: Well, in a narrow sense, he's right. Other presidents have been subpoenaed but they've all, more or less, complied or they've gotten a deal --


VAUSE: -- and made an arrangement --

GENOVESE: Right. And so in the narrowest sense, Giuliani's right. But I think he's just a lot of bluster. And the circus is in town and he's the circus master. It's tough to have two circus masters and I think Trump's going to get a little jealous of that.

But when I was a kid, I loved the circus but not every day, every minute. And that's where we're getting with Rudy on top of Donald Trump. It's just a big circus.

VAUSE: I just wonder if Trump would be better off with Legal Zoom at this point, you know, that website where you put in your legal questions.

During the same interview that we just saw there, Giuliani suggested it is possible that Michael Cohen, who is Trump's personal lawyer, who is under criminal investigation, paid off additional women before the election, not just to porn star Stormy Daniels --


VAUSE: -- and a source told CNN that's an example to prove that Giuliani is, quote, "stealing the spotlight" and he's embarrassing Trump. The White House press secretary Sarah Sanders was asked specifically about Giuliani and Trump on Monday's briefing.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is the president pleased with the appearances of Rudy Giuliani over the last few days?

SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I didn't speak with him specifically about his feelings about it but certainly feels that he is an added member -- added value member to his outside special counsel.


VAUSE: Certainly added member but he (INAUDIBLE) the value part seems to be the bit (INAUDIBLE) in question.

Hard to see how anything that Giuliani is doing is helping the president in his legal strategy.

GENOVESE: And why did he even introduce that notion?

He didn't have to say that.

Just as you say to your client, say as little as possible, at times the lawyer should say as little as possible. I think he opened his mouth and put his foot in it and he's getting a lot of press attention. He is going on all the shows.

And Donald Trump might get a little bit jealous, might have some spotlight envy. The spotlight only shines on one person and Rudy grabs the spotlight, which is Donald's show.

VAUSE: He dropped that information maybe because it's what is going to come out because of all the documents seized during the Michael Cohen raids.

GENOVESE: That's right. He might just be --


GENOVESE: -- prepping the nation for 2, 3, 4, 5 down the road. If that's the case then I think we will be overwhelmed by opposition both politically and in terms of the personal life of the president. I don't know how he survives too many more of these things.

We saw what happened to Schneiderman today. That was a very extreme example.

But how much more can we take?

VAUSE: Giuliani has admitted that Trump knew about this $130,00 in hush money paid to Stormy Daniels. That comes despite what the president said on Air Force One last month. Listen to this.


CATHERINE LUCEY, ASSOCIATED PRESS: Mr. President, did you know about the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels?

TRUMP: No. No. What else?

LUCEY: Then why did Michael -- why did Michael make it if there was no truth to her allegations?

TRUMP: Well, you have to ask Michael Cohen. Michael is my attorney. And you'll have to ask Michael Cohen.


VAUSE: It seems pretty straight up and down. But not according to Kellyanne Conway, the senior White House aide. This is how she tried to spin it today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP SENIOR ADVISER: I will tell you, though, in speaking with the president just yesterday, when the president said no on Air Force One, he was talking about he didn't know when the payment occurred.


CONWAY: It was a very-fast moving exchange between him and Catherine Lucey of the AP, I believe.

And so he is saying he didn't know about it when the payment occurred. He found out about it after the fact.


VAUSE: I should say something (INAUDIBLE) but what's she is saying could very well be true but it is such a stretch and this has happened so many times over and over and over again. There is this stretch and you really have to try to give them the benefit of the doubt.

It seems that they've worn out their welcome on that front.

GENOVESE: She's in the great dance and I don't know if she's that good a dancer but that's the problem. You can't be straight. You can't tell the real story. You're always dancing around the truth. And we've talked about this before, the rule of three degrees.

If a law is more than three degrees away from the truth, it's not believable. And her story, while it may be true, is not plausible, is not believable, it just doesn't pass the smell test.

VAUSE: But despite all this, all these controversies, the opinion polls came out for the president on Monday. There's the CNN numbers. And they look actually pretty good, at least in Trumpian terms: 41 percent approved, 53 percent disapprove.

I just wonder if those numbers are being driven by this next poll, which has 57 percent of Americans believe things are going well and what was notable about it is that that is the highest number in more than a decade.

GENOVESE: I think there's a real separation between what people say about policy -- the economy is OK; we're moving in the right direction. And about the personal issues, which keep Trump way down.

And so they're celebrating 41 percent. That's not cause for celebration in normal times. It may be in Trump's universe; 41 percent is still low but now he's getting into the company of other presidents.

Jimmy Carter was around this -- at this time in his presidency but you don't want to be measured against the lows. You want to be measured against the highs.

VAUSE: I just wonder if that 57 percent hadn't been there if the 41 percent was maybe (INAUDIBLE). GENOVESE: Well, you know, Bill Clinton era, that people were willing to put up with a lot of his shenanigans because the economy was so good and maybe that's going to be repeated here.

VAUSE: OK. Michael, thanks so much.

GENOVESE: Thank you.

SESAY: The U.S. first lady, Melania Trump, has unveiled her formal platform in a formal White House ceremony, telling America's young people to "Be Best."


MELANIA TRUMP, FIRST LADY: There is one goal to be best and that is to educate children about the many issues they are facing today.

If we truly listen to what our kids have to say, whether it is be their concerns or ideas, adults can provide them the support and tools they need to grow up to be happy and productive adults, who contribute positively to society and their global communities.


VAUSE: She said, "Be Best" will focus on helping children with their well-being, fighting opioid abuse and being positive on social media.

Ms. Trump has --


VAUSE: -- previously faced skepticism for pledging to fight against cyber bullying and negativity online especially considering some of her husband's tweaks but the president signed a proclamation following Melania's speech for "Be Best" Day. There it is.

That's a photo opportunity.

SESAY: Next on CNN NEWSROOM, Vladimir Putin lays out plans for his fourth term as Russia's president.

Can he do what he says he'll do?

The experts weigh in.

VAUSE: Will he be his best?

OK, coming up also, homes destroyed, lava flowing through the streets of Hawaii's big island, apparently no end in sight to the volcanic eruptions.





SESAY: In a quick ceremony with (INAUDIBLE) and Hollywood action stars looking on, Vladimir Putin began his fourth term as president of Russia.

VAUSE: So he serves out this term until 2024 he will have ruled Russia for nearly a quarter of a century. We get details now from Brian Todd.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language).

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He struts down a seemingly endless red carpet, applauded by loyalists in the packed hall, then takes his oath in a throne room once occupied by tsars.

As he reviews soldiers, they exchange calls of solidarity.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language).

TODD (voice-over): And his inaugural speech is all about national pride and achievement.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): As head of state, I will do everything to build up Russia's might, prosperity and glory.

TODD (voice-over): This marks Vladimir Putin's fourth term in office, approaching nearly 20 years of unchallenged power.

TODD: Is this bad news for the U.S.?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think what you're going to see is a continuation of this very negative trend in U.S.-Russia relationship. He's very much convinced that the West is still out to get him and undermine Russia. And we're just standing in the way of Russia's greatness.

TODD (voice-over): Putin remains hugely popular in Russia, a near dictatorship, analysts say, after he's weakened or eliminated his biggest rivals. But not everyone is elated that Vladimir Putin will rule for another six years.

Thousands protested in Moscow, St. Petersburg and several other Russian cities over the weekend. Putin's biggest political rival, Alexei Navalny, was arrested yet again, detained, then released. Experts say the real threat to Putin now is inside Russia, more than Navalny, they say, the threat is economic instability --


TODD (voice-over): -- much of it brought on by sanctions against Russia, instability that has drawn people to the streets.

HEATHER CONLEY, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: There's a lack of legitimacy; there's a lack of renewal. He keeps speaking very ambitiously about goals that he cannot achieve. So there's a restlessness.

TODD (voice-over): Uncertainty rising over Putin's goal to become a top five world economy by 2024.

CONLEY: It's now about 12th or 13th. It would have to take incredible economic reform to get to that in six short years.

TODD (voice-over): If he fails to meet that goal, experts say, Vladimir Putin will likely resort to familiar tactics to distract Russians from their low standard of living.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think he is going to continue to try to undermine Western institutions, especially democracies. And so far as that's one of his goals, I think you are going to seem meddling in elections not just ours, but elections in Europe.

I think they will continue to use their military. They'll continue to modernize as much as they can.

TODD: Analysts say we can also expect Vladimir Putin to continue trying to eliminate his enemies. Alexei Navalny, they say, could be spared assassination simply because he attracts too much attention.

But others, like the spy, Sergei Skripal, who was poisoned in Britain, and other Russians who might have damaging information on Putin will likely still be targeted. Putin simply keeps getting away with it -- Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


VAUSE: Amid the outcry over sexual violence in India, another teenage girl has been raped and set on fire. We'll have a live report from New Delhi in just a moment.




VAUSE: It's been a great 2.5 hours already. Now we're into the last 30 minutes. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause.

SESAY: And I'm Isha Sesay. The headlines this hour:


VAUSE: Shock and outrage over sexual violence in India continues to grow after another teenage girl was raped and set on fire. SESAY: The 17-year-old survived the attack, which happened the same day another teenage girl in the same region was burned to death after being gang-raped.


Sexual violence in India is a legal problem as the conviction rate in rape cases is low.

But it's also a cultural problem.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a huge social cultural problem in India and the other factors that the conviction rate was three percent. So rape is a rape and these rapes including gang rapes of young girls are increasing. It's not decreasing unless the way women are viewed changes culturally. We're not going to see any stoppage of violence against women.


SESAY: For CNN's Nikhil Kumar joins us now from New Delhi. So Nikhil, we just saw that social commentator say that until women are treated differently or viewed differently, these rapes are going to continue. We have seen people take to the streets in recent days in light of these attacks, these vicious rapes of these two teenagers, do you get the sense that for people on the street it feels like a different moment or does it feel like more of the same because we've seen these protests before?

NIKHIL KUMAR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So Isha, that's absolutely right. We have seen these protests before and the protests in recent weeks again and again when you speak to the people out on the streets and they came out across this country in cities like Delhi where we are, in Mumbai, Kolkata around the country. Again and again they asked the same question, we had the awful and brutal gang rape of a young medical student in 2012 who dies shortly thereafter. The year after that new legislation was passed. Assurances were given by politicians at all levels that more would be done. That more would be done to make India's women feel safe, that laws were put in place they said, and so all of these years later the people who were out in the streets over the last few weeks were asking the question, well, how is it that we're back here again?

The two cases that you mentioned, the two latest case that we've been talking about recently and reporting on in the state -- northeastern state of Jharkhand, it's a distant quite poor, quite rural part of the country and on Friday, we now learned, one girl, a 17-year-old as you said was allegedly attacked by someone who then tried to kill her by setting her on fire. She survived. She is now on hospital with 70 percent burns. In another part of the state, a 16-year-old who unfortunately perish when she was burned to death. She was allegedly raped the night before. And her case in particular has turned a very harsh spotlight on the question of the law and order machinery in this state, you know, her parents on the morning after -- on Friday morning went to the local village counsel. This is a rural part of the country. This counsel sent to be made up of local elders.

They don't have legal authority but they can often have enormous influence. The parents approached the counsel demanding justice -- seeking justice for their child. The counsel's response was penalizing the accused. But this is what they did. They ask the accuse to put up 50,000 rupees, just $750 and do a hundred sit-ups and what's worst that the accused angry of the fact that the parents had in fact demanded justice in the first place attacked the family home and that's when the girl we are told died. So these concerns have been around for years that these cases have once again prompted people to ask, well, you know, we, you know, everyone rose up, everyone ask the government to do more. There was international attention and yet here we are all these years later in the same sort of situation, Isha.

SESAY: Yes. Yes, very much so. I mean I also want to spotlight the case of the rape and murder of that eight-year-old girl in Jammu and Kashmir, a case that is deeply political with the alleged perpetrators being Hindu and this little girl have been a Muslim, you know, have we heard from Prime Minister Modi now that India is once again in the spotlight, not just for that case that eight-year-old, but, you know, this is what appears to be a spike in brutal violence against women and girls, what have we heard from him?

KUMAR: So Isha, we did hear from him in the aftermath of that case, but not immediately the case. The crime (INAUDIBLE) taking place in January. The case hit international spotlight last month and he was in fact criticize for not speaking out, you know, when he did speak out, he made some comments in India about saying that justice would be done and then he was on a trip to the U.K. where he -- where he said that justice would be done in call for the case not to be politicize to which many people here responded saying, well, hold on a second. This case -- the case of the eight-year-old that you rightly highlight brought together two really important concerns. The concern of sexual violence that we've been talking about, but the concern of the rise in the influence of Hindu nationalism. This was a case where we are told by authorities that this eight-year-old girl who came from a community of Muslim nomads that she was abducted, gang-raped, and then brutally murdered, and that this was done apparently, allegedly to terrorize her Muslim community.

[02:35:10] That's the allegation. So this was -- this was a case where these two concerns came together. Two members of Prime Minister Modi's party were reportedly have taken part in protest in defense of the accused. This is something that shocked everyone here. How could anybody rise up in defense on somebody accused of such a horrific crime? So there is immense pressure on him and as I say, he has in his -- in his remarks when he was in the U.K. about the said, you know, we shouldn't politicize this. We should do more and people are asking , well, hold on a second. This should have been done -- more should have been done long ago and how can you ignore the politics here, Isha.

SESAY: Yes. Oh, I mean that's the thing. How can you ignore the politics? And this all well and good. Nikhil, as we discussed, you know, to have more laws passed, what's the point if those aren't, you know, actually enforce. The people aren't persecuted. Nikhil Kumar from New Delhi. We appreciate you as always. Thank you. Well, more than 1000 people have taken and held against their will by Boko Haram in Nigeria and now freed. The Army says most of those rescued are women and children. Some men who were force to fight for the terror group also in this group. CNN's Farai Sevenzo joins us now from Nairobi, Kenya with more on the story. So Farai, let's get this straight. So these rescue of which we know very little about were conducted by the Nigerian military and the Joint Multinational Force which is a regional grouping of Nigerian and Cameroonian forces. We don't know much about what happened in the case of the thousands who were told have been released. What do we know about this force about this multinational force? What do we know about its been operating all this time?

FARAI SEVENZO, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it was setup really by the African Union, Isha, around about 2012 given more scope in 2015 again by the African Union. It involves as you said Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Benin and that is because areas like this in piece of forest southwest of Cameroon and northeast of Nigeria had been the real main hiding place for the terrorist militant insurgency, Islamic militant insurgency that is Boko Haram and don't forget as well that just back in September 2015, Boko Haram attacked a marketplace killing 30 people, injured 145 in a place called Kerawa which is not in Nigeria. It's in Cameroon. So it's very much in these countries interest to try and wipe out the scourge of Boko Haram in that area. Now, just to catch you up, five minutes ago I spoke to Brigadier General Texas Chukwu, the man who gave that statement about a thousand people being rescued yesterday evening and he was adamant that the rescue he says is one of the most important. But he did rescue this people.

I asked him when did they rescue these people and he say that the operation began on the 28th of April and is it still ongoing. I then asked him if in their rescue of these thousand people they had actually come into contact with the Boko Haram, he just told us literally five minutes ago that they killed more than 50. Now, these are the statements coming out. No one has independently verified these statements and of course to say that it's a rescue is good news for the Nigerian Army. But don't forget back in February, the Nigerian Army told us they had rescued more people only to turn around 24 hours later and change their tune to the fact that a hundred and ten girls had gone missing. So there are still a lot of verifying to be done but this is an ongoing story and of course the most important thing as well that I need to tell you, Isha, is that today Mr. Buhari, the president of the Republic of Nigeria goes back to the United Kingdom for his fourth treatment bout with his doctors there. So there's a lot here to deal with and of course people are wondering if he's fit enough to do it.

SESAY: Yes, indeed. And let's just rolled out in that for a moment and the issue of president's health, that has raised many concerns, you know, especially, you know, the country was in a recession for a time, Boko Haram, you know, certainly is being in recent months certainly on a bit of a tear with these high profile attack. I mean what is (INAUDIBLE) how open is the government being on the issue of the president's health and his ability to handle multiple issues facing Nigeria right now? SEVENZO: Well, at the moment, you know, he's just returned from a

trip to meet Mr. Trump at the White House as you know and the government at the moment in terms of Boko Haram are giving everything over to the army to speak to us journalist, and open they have been according to -- what is the matter with Mr. Buhari and why does he keep needing to see his doctors. That is a point of contention indeed with all Nigerians. They wonder of course if he's strong enough to meet this challenge. Remember, there's various attacks beyond the northeast and on Sunday, 45 people were killed between bandits and militia and herders, so key other regions need his help and his concentration, Isha.

[02:40:12] SESAY: Yes. We shall keep a close eye on this situation especially the health concerns of President Buhari which I know of the great interest of Nigerians and around the continent. Farai, always great to have you with us. Great analysis as always. Thank you.

JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: And we'll take a short break. When we come back, This Is America, the new music video by Childish Gambino comments on African-American life, gun violence, and police brutality often once. We'll explore the main -- we'll explore the main messages after.


VAUSE: This Is America, a new single by Childish Gambino AKA Donald Glover is much more than a critic of gun violence and police brutality in the U.S. The award-winning actor, writer, and musician offers his perspective on African-American life through a powerful music video.

SESAY: Well, it explores many, many things. It explores America is the chaotic rule with violence and celebration co-exist against this battle of social injustices. The video also explores the relationship between black culture, media consumption, and (INAUDIBLE)



SESAY: Politics & 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. I mean will you look at it -- first of all, you can't take your eyes off Donald Glover. I mean when you see him on screen with the dancing and the facial expressions, I guess -- let me ask you this. This video at this time from him, why?

JARRETT HILL, POLITICS & POP CULTURE JOURNALIST: I mean I haven't figured it out. So that's the end of the conversation I guess. No, it's like -- I mean, it's really challenging but like, it's interesting to watch the video the first time and like watching dance around, and watching shoot, and watch all the things. And then, you watch it again, and you like you're watching a little bit more closely for -- but the third time you watching -- you've noticed, you should be watching everything happening in the background behind him. SESAY: Yes, yes.

HILL: He's dancing, and (INAUDIBLE), and twerking, and smiling, and I'm so pretty. And then, you notice like their people jumping off a building.


HILL: There's -- you know, explosions happening in the background. There's a horse running to the background.

SESAY: I don't know (INAUDIBLE).

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, its -- I mean, there's a million things to him to organize.

SESAY: What does you say about gun violence?

HILL: Well, are the interesting pieces of analysis that I saw at my work? People talking about the ways that guns were treated with such care when life wasn't, right? Which is -- which is overtly American idea.

SESAY: Yes, yes.

HILL: We protect guns and we hold them so dear, but life -- you know.

SESAY: Yes, yes.

HILL: And that when he shoots the man at the very beginning, a man comes up well-dressed, you know. With the cloth to take away the gun. The man that was shot is drag off and you never see him again.

SESAY: It just goes away.

HILL: So, it's an interesting talks to position.

SESAY: Yes, I mean, listen, the people are talking a lot about, you know, what it says about being -- you know, what it says about being black in America. What did -- what did it say to you when you look at it? I mean, as we trying to like, unpack it.

HILL: Yes. I think -- I think it's just 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 at America for a lot of people. The terror if you will of being black.

But, like the fearlessness of some of the things that we do in our culture but also the seriousness of this depiction of a church choir and they're all -- they're all just slaughter.

SESAY: There on down, yes.

HILL: And so, there is some people who believe that I have something to do with like the lyrics in here talking about money, and the prosperity --

SESAY: Yes, philosophy that you think.

HILL: Exactly.


HILL: So, it's a -- there's so many different things juxtapose against one another that you have to kind of pick them apart and take something away for what you believing for me.

SESAY: I mean, you know, obviously, as you get something like this from Donald Glover, Childish Gambino in disguised. Making this commentary, the searing commentary --

HILL: Sure.

SESAY: And then, you got Kanye of recent days. Saying what --

HILL: I'm sorry -- I'm sorry, who?

SESAY: Saying what he had to say about people and the black experience. And listen, this is something that is on Twitter, and a lot of people are talking about.

HILL: Sure.

SESAY: Let me read a tweet for you from @RomeTrumain. He says, "Kanye declares himself a genius, drops poopity scoop. Donald Trump drops This Is America and says nothing. Apparently, poopty 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 her behaves like a person who's well. And that's a challenge for me.

And I mean, and I -- and I hate for that let say even like (INAUDIBLE) 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 you think that he's OK.

SESAY: But his wife said, we shouldn't make a correlation, a connection between --

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, so, if that's be the case, I mean, Kanye was that person though that --

HILL: Sure. SESAY: I know, what a decade ago.

HILL: Probably.

SESAY: About a decade ago, you would have expected Kanye is been making this searing commentary:

HILL: Yes.

SESAY: Is that now we want Donald Glover --

HILL: Yes.

SESAY: In this space. I mean, I guess, my question is, not everybody like this. So, what will the impact be of this video choosing?

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 opened 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 -- what is this saying? What is this say about me? What do I take away from this?"

SESAY: Yes, someone you know, the tweet from someone who said this is evil garbage. Look at this -- look at this -- all right, this wasn't compelled. I mean, this -- look at this eyes, his possessed or being himself. The needs to promote violence and the thirst for blood.

The person goes on to say, the person will have also, this is propaganda against the Second Amendment, Make America Great Again.

HILL: So, without even knowing the concept of that tweet, I immediately thought about this is like immediately troubling like a big NRA rally where the President of the United States is a fair never. A photo of DeRay Mckesson, and discussing it, you know what I mean, so it's like, you want to talk about brutality a disgustingness, but like, you're one of those people who would've used the right of that's -- was probably one of those people who would walked away with a gun wrapped up in a cough, 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 through the thing that are important to us but also --

SESAY: And we feel since so on.

HILL: Exactly, and what's happening around us that were may not be paying attention too.

SESAY: I think he's genius.

HILL: I think too, I'm with you.

SESAY: I'm really do. I going to watch it again, I read the lyrics, I still don't understand the lyrics. But I still think he's genius. HILL: This is America.

SESAY: This is America, that's all you need to know. Jarrett Hill, thank you.

HILL: Of course.

[02:50:05] VAUSE: Still to come on NEWSROOM L.A. Rivers of lava destroying everything in their path on Hawaii's begot them. Our update on the volcano in just the moment.


SESAY: Well, geologist are keeping a close eye on the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii. It's spitting lava and toxic gases, Thursday, though some of the activity have subsided for now.

VAUSE: There are now at least 12 fissures which have opened up, 35 structures have been destroy, including whole in 2000 home. Stephanie Elam has the very 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 ravage roads and destroyed dozens of structures.

Watched this time-lapse show the all-consuming flow of the lava as it slowly creeps across a road engulfing a parked car leaving the smoky black trail in its wake more. More lava spilling through neighborhoods, turning lush green island vegetation to walls of blackened rock. At least 1,700 people in Leilani Estates, in Lanipuna Gardens, have had to evacuate.


ELAM: Tell me what it was like when you first saw lava coming out right by your house?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was -- it's by article really orange, the highest splitter. I saw, personally was about 60 feet tall, which is pretty big.

ELAM: Add to 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 1300 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 Puu Oo vent of Kilauea, collapse. Some residents in Leilani Estates had been allow to return temporarily to check on their homes. But the threat and the uncertainty, remain.

DEBBIE AGHAYANI, RESIDENT, LEILANI ESTATES: Just watching everybody come out of there without their things, and it's so sad, it's just so sad.

(END VIDEOTAPE) And it's worth pointing out that the people that live 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 this people don't have it. And so if their homes are lost to the lava, they will have likely have lost everything. Stephanie Elam, CNN, near Leilani Estates, Hawaii.

VAUSE: Well, of the volcano, Pedram Javaheri standing by for the details. So, what are we looking here in terms of time frame?

[02:54:39] PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: Here the time frame could be certainly a several weeks to several months. I think at the very least that what we've seen historically with this particular risk zone and what it can produce that's really incredible.

In fact, a brand new footage coming out of this screen. I want to share with you courtesy of a resident of a Leilani Estate there. It's a keep rocks video who went back to his home on Sunday just to retrieve some of his belongings, and he sees this literally, just a few yards away from his backyard where you're seeing the -- a lava be a lofted high into the air there incredibly.

He said he took to feel the ground running was almost hard to hold the camera still felt like about 100 free trains sounded like them, doing right by his property so, a pretty spectacular sight to see this and to think the folks are literally within just a few meters of this happening from their property. And hundreds, of course, evacuate for good.

I want to show you what's happening here because we know hundreds of crate certainly, could be expected additional fissures. Should be expected begin historically speaking. This is a pattern I could persist for potentially of the entire summer of 2018 across some of these regions. But, you notice taking upwards of a thousand plus quakes that taking place.

And I want to talk about this, because when it comes to the Hawaiian Islands, their formation how it set up is directly underneath the big Island we do have a primitive hotspot, especially, magma being brought up through the chambers there and coming to the surface.

In fact, some of the tallest mountains are planets or across the Hawaiian Islands. What you're seeing with the islands are in fact, the very top of the summits of these mountains that are making up the arms across this region. And with the Pacific plate moving to the northwest, we have the islands moving away from this hotspot, that they solidified, they become many popular vacation destinations. And of course, the Big Island, being the current zone that is beginning to expand.

And once the plate moves away, the Big Island would be separated from the hotspot and an additional Island was formed just south of this region. But you notice, from five million years of age to a younger island being the big island of 700,000 years of age. So, really fascinating to see this. But of course, when you have people in the path of it, it's also devastating to watch as well. Guys?


VAUSE: Yes, this happened like four years ago, there was an eruption to the -- notice no span is this. So, Pedram, thank you.

SESAY: Thank you Pedram.

JAVAHERI: Thank you, yes.

SESAY: Well, New York's Met Gala is often called, the Oscars of the East Coast. It's lot of guest list and that dazzling red carpet.

VAUSE: Dazzling.

SESAY: Dazzling. This year, they're not disappointed.

VAUSE: Thank goodness.

SESAY: Co-host, Rihanna, accept the theme of heavenly bodies, fashion, and Catholic imagination, and ran with it, dressing like a pope.

VAUSE: Interesting choice. And angelic Katy Perry landed with nearly three meter high white wings top in her gold mini-dress. But (INAUDIBLE), who's never been afraid of taking all to church, made into Europeans say, black gown, gold crown, and full veil.

SESAY: during my call.

VAUSE: $30,000 tickets, apparently, for anyone his invited that all goes to Metropolitan Museum of Art, costume institute. It's just what you that, actually?

SESAY: They do look pretty good.

VAUSE: Stylish, quick goodbye we're told.

SESAY: Full on that case. You've been watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from L.A. I'm Isha.

VAUSE: Bye. I'm John Vause, our Rose is next.


ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Donald Trump's decision on the Iran nuclear deal is just hours away. But Tehran says, renegotiating is not an option.