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Macron Digs at Trump Ahead of G-7 Summit; Call to Action to Save Earth's Oceans; Kim Kardashian Talks about Alice Johnson's Release; Following Trump's Lead; 109 Dead in Guatemala: Disaster Agency Under Fire; Kilauea Volcano Created Enough Lava to Cover Manhattan; U.N. Imposes Sanctions on Libyan Human Traffickers. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired June 8, 2018 - 01:00   ET


[01:00:10] (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR: Who would have thought that meeting with the leaders of France, Canada and other allies would be more contentious than one with the leader of North Korea? Yet, that is just what U.S. President Donald Trump faces.

A CNN report exposing human traffickers prompts the United Nations to take action.

Plus, we look at the desperate effort to save the Great Barrier Reef before it's too late.

Thank you for joining us everyone. Live from the CNN Center, here in Atlanta, I'm Cyril Vanier.

Well, Donald Trump may be looking forward to next week's meeting with Kim Jong-un, but first he has a contentious G7 Summit in Canada. French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are taking aim at Mr. Trump's 'America first' policies, specifically his tariffs on U.S. allies.

A source tells CNN that even as late as Thursday afternoon Mr. Trump was questioning whether he should go. Instead, the White House announced he would leave the summit early, before talks about climate change.


EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE: I am not President Trump, so I can't make decisions for him. Can I be criticized for the decisions of another leader? No. They could have criticized me for not standing up to him, for not - - to try and convince him, that could have been a political mistake and I'd do everything I can to change things.

I think we've done everything we can and put everything on the line. We can show the U.S. President that his unacceptable actions are hurting his own citizens. American jobs are on the line because of his actions. (END VIDEO CLIP)

VANIER: President Trump responded on Twitter saying this, "Please tell Prime Minister Trudeau and President Macron that they are charging the U.S. massive tariffs and they create non-monetary barriers. The E.U. trade surplus with the U.S. is $151 billion and Canada keeps our farmers and others out. Look forward to seeing them soon."


VANIER: CNN's Paula Newton is in Quebec City where the protests have already begun.

PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So, as the G7 Summit kicks off here in Canada, so do the G7 protests. There's quite an eclectic group collected here, everything from communists, to those combating gender inequality and even those wanting peace in the Middle East.

This province here, Quebec, has had quite a prolific and in fact violent history of protests. The security forces number in the tens of thousands. Hundreds of millions of dollars being spent on security, but what's different about this summit is that actually the protest groups have been, so far, quite predictable.

What will not be predictable is what happens around that summit table. We are not even assured that they will be able to agree on a communique.

And the irony here is that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had tried to set up a G7 meeting where a lot of the grievances of these protesters - - things like climate change and overcoming inequality, would actually be on the G7 agenda, but at this moment, we are still expecting that the issues surrounding (inaudible) will in fact take over this summit.

Paula Newton, CNN, Quebec City.

VANIER: The president's not so keen on Canada and the G7, but he is keen on Singapore and the historic meeting on Tuesday with North Korea's Kim Jong-un.


Japan's Prime Minister was at the White House Thursday to help brief Mr. Trump, also to make sure Japan's security interests would not be overlooked.

The president seems happy with his level of preparation for the meeting.


DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: I think I'm very well prepared. I don't think I have to prepare very much. It's about attitude, it's about willingness to get things done, but I think I've been preparing for this summit for a long time.



VANIER: It's about attitude. Let's process this through the Nic Robertson computer. He's standing by in Seoul with the latest.

Nic, as somebody who watches diplomacy, whose job it is to explain it to us, to explain it to all our viewers, is this as strange as it sounds?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: President Trump feels that when he gets in the room with Kim Jong-un, he's going to be able to make a connection, or make a case, that he can't do through his diplomats, that this is going to be the winning formula.

This seems to be based on you know, his years as a businessman where we know his record has not been, you know, 100 percent golden. There's certainly been mistakes and bankruptcies along the way, but he firmly believes that when he gets in that room he'll be able to sense whether or not he's on the right track, whether or not he can make the case.

His Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, also made the point, though, to back up you know, President Trump gets their daily briefings, his officials are telling him about the trade, about the economy, about the military relations in North Korea, about the history of North and South Korea.


So, you know, Mike Pompeo hopes his boss is well tuned here, but if this comes down to President Trump's gut instincts, they had better hope - - or at least his officials had better hope, that he has absorbed all this information and be well informed, because would be absolutely critical to getting the right sense of Kim Jong-un, it's complicated.

But, the question remains as we go into this, why is it, when President Trump has said this is a getting to know you meeting, though, what is it both leaders really want to get out of this?

Barring missteps, this could be a reality. President Trump and Kim Jong-un side by side, at stake it would seem, nuclear Armageddon.


TRUMP: North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury.


ROBERTSON: The threat may have gotten the two to the table. For now at least, Trump dialing down on the bad stuff.


TRUMP: It will be a getting to know you meeting.


ROBERTSON: So, what do these leaders want from this? Kim, facetime with Trump, recognition North Korea craves, makes Kim big back home and Trump keeps a campaign promise, kind of, rocks his base back home even though none of these nukes are being handed over, despite this demand.


MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: The complete verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.


ROBERTSON: To get that, Kim wanted these gone, U.S. troops in South Korea. For now it seems off the table. And more of this, trade, sanctions eased. He also wants to keep these, his conventional weapons. And this, his Army, so he can keep lots of this loyal obedience and this is how he wants to feel when it's all done, but if he gets it wrong, he might get this.


TRUMP: If the meeting, when I'm there is not fruitful, I will respectfully leave the meeting.


ROBERTSON: And then, even this again.


TRUMP: They will be met with fire, fury and frankly, power. The likes of which this world has never seen before.


ROBERTSON: Trouble for Trump, Kim is perceived to have given up very little and gained a good bit along the way.

Lots of this, valuable facetime with other leaders. Meaning he is unlikely to face maximum pressure sanctions again. Still, after this, Trump gets to do this - - walk away, leave the details to his deputies, that absent, Trump tracking Kim's will could take years. Leaving Kim doing a lot more of this - - and this - - and none of these get handed over anytime soon, if ever.


ROBERTSON: I think the bottom line here is that both these leaders are so unpredictable, no one really knows at this stage what's going to come out of this summit. But, it does seem we're edging closer to that big photo op of the pair of them getting together.

But, is it just style or is there any substance to it? Cyril, it really isn't clear.

VANIER: So, if we did into the substance a little bit, Nic, do you think there is a deal out there that could satisfy both the U.S. and North Korea?

ROBERTSON: At the moment, that seems a long stretch because President Trump has put himself in a position that historically - - so far at least, other presidents when negotiating with North Korea leaders have found is a very weak position and that is that the opportunity remains, because Kim hasn't made any commitments so far.

So, whatever he agrees to at the table - - and he's not even close it seems to agreeing to denuclearization, are agreements that could be later abrogated. It's not entirely clear what leverage specifically President Trump has.

He did talk about the economy. He talked about China, about Japan, about South Korea, all helping North Korea's economy.

But, if we go back to the middle of May, you know North Korea's Vice Foreign Minister said that this isn't about handing over our nukes for money, that deal is not one that is going to work for us. And this is an official that wouldn't speak like that without the authorization of Kim Jong-un and is still in office.

So, I think you have to look at it from that perspective.

[01:10] At the moment it seems that President Trump is in a weak position and what Kim can get out of this is the potential to spin it out and have some of that sanctions relief. Because really at the end of the day, that's what he needs to keep himself in power and that's what really drives him.

VANIER: CNN's Nic Robertson, thank you very much.

Let's bring in Paul Carroll, he's a senior advisor for the nuclear nonproliferation group, N Square. He joins me now from San Francisco.

I'd like Paul to get with you into the do's and don'ts of the meeting for Donald Trump. When he walks into the room, what are the do's and don'ts?

PAUL CARROLL, SENIOR ADVISOR, N SQUARE: Well, I would say before he even walks into the room, don't have grand expectations and that's exactly what we're hearing. We're hearing - - same as from the president that promised you know the moon and the stars to everyone.


That we're going to have a complete and comprehensive deal with North Korea. They're going to give up their nuclear weapons. I think if he actually believes that, that would be the first thing I'd start with - - don't believe what you're telling us. (LAUGHTER)

VANIER: But, he started changing his tone on that last week, right? And lowering expectations saying well, I never said we'd get a deal immediately, there may be many more meetings needed after the June 12th summit.

CARROLL: You're right. And I would say the second don't is it's one thing to manage expectations, it's another thing to make them so low that you can't lose.

What your reporter said is absolutely true. This is shaping up to be more about style and unfortunately really about the two individuals in the meeting, rather than the safety and security of countless millions of people. Not only in the United States and North Korea, but frankly, globally.

They are playing to their own sort of individual dance cards and what they feel they can get out of this, whether for the political base or for their own egos. They really can't lose, because if it goes south, they can blame on another, if it's a good photo op and a handshake, they look good.

But, the rest of us can lose because if the fundamental security concerns aren't addressed, we're back to square one and that's not a place we want to be.


VANIER: So, your saying based on what we know now, this sounds like it's going be purely a made-for-TV meeting. In that case, what are the do's? What can Donald Trump do to put himself in a good position walking in? And more importantly, walking out of that meeting?

CARROLL: I think what he could do is more of what I believe that he's been doing, with respect to Secretary of State Pompeo. Secretary of State Pompeo has visited and met with senior Korean leadership twice now.


Three times, actually - - once in the U.S., and if he is actually given that charge, both the authority and sort of the portfolio of working with North Korea, and he continues to do that, that would tell me - - and that would give me some confidence that some adult supervision is going on with this relationship.

So, the first thing I would say is President Trump don't just say I'm leaving it to my staff, but actually assign someone the authority with the responsibility.

VANIER: What about the idea asserted by Mr. Trump that he is going to rely on instinct? Could that be good news for you?

CARROLL: No, that can't be good news for me.


I think in that case, I'd be more worried about what could go wrong, than have aspirations for what could go well. Let me say what I mean by that, if he turns on his heel because he doesn't feel he's getting the deal he wants or, frankly, the meeting he wants, then again, we're back to square one. It could deteriorate into rhetoric, it could deteriorate into more muscular military maneuvers, which would be bad for everyone.

If it goes well, what does that mean exactly? What that means is a nothing burger. It means that President Trump is in Singapore, as your correspondent said, there's photo ops. We walk away with what? It's very unclear.

Do we walk away with a piece of paper saying something specific? I'd be satisfied, frankly - - in fact I'd be pleased if the meeting, whether there's a photo op moment or not, there's a commitment to further meetings and identification of people who are in charge of the process, that's how it would work for me.

VANIER: Okay. Paul Carroll, thank you. We'll talk to you again before then, probably during the meeting and after the meeting.

Paul, thank you.

CARROLL: Thanks, Cyril.

VANIER: With the summit on the horizon, the U.S. is lifting its ban on a Chinese company accused of breaking sanctions on North Korea. Smartphone maker ZTE has agreed to pay a huge fine and will again be able to buy U.S. components for its products.

But, there are other restrictions as well. CNN's Matt Rivers has the details from Beijing.

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: U.S. officials are saying this is a very tough deal for ZTE and this deal does appear to have some teeth to it. $1 billion in fines, $400 million in escrow that could go to the U.S. if ZTE violates this deal.


[01:15] They have to replace their entire board, they're top leadership and they also have to install a U.S. chosen compliance team to make sure that ZTE follow U.S. export law in the future. But the big question here is, how does this play into the overall situation between the U.S. and China?

Does a deal on ZTE help generate enough good will to make the talks that the U.S. and China have been engaged in on trade - - that admittedly haven't gone great lately, does it make that progress more possible? Progress possible on a possible overall trade deal?

And, even if that does happen, is that going to be enough to silence critics of this deal? Who say that any deal with a Chinese telecoms firm hurts national security, because of the way Chinese telecoms operate. Which critics would say is essentially as an espionage arm of the Chinese government.

But still, a deal with ZTE appears to be moving forward amidst broader trade tensions between the U.S. and China.


VANIER: Matt Rivers reporting from Beijing there.

Six men who allegedly made fortunes by trafficking migrants from Libya to Europe have been slapped with the United Nations sanctions.


We'll have details on this unprecedented move that was sparked by CNN's reporting.

Plus, an apocalyptic scene in Guatemala, days after the deadly Fuego volcano eruption. Coming up, we go to the danger zone where conditions there make it nearly impossible to find any survivors.

Stay with CNN.



VANIER: Grief and anger are growing in Guatemala days after lava and ash from the Fuego volcano swallowed entire towns.


109 people are now dead. As that number rises, the Disaster Management Agency is under fire accused delaying evacuations. The rescue search operations are on hold, despite some 200 people still missing.

CNN's Patrick Oppmann, reports from the danger zone.

PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's hard to believe that this used to be a neighborhood where people lived. There were houses here, this was the main street, now it is just tons and tons of volcanic ash that will need to be cleared before it can be livable, before anybody can come back.

We have our masks on, in case the wind changes direction, but the smell makes you somewhat dizzy. It is really just an overpowering odor.

[01:20] And you can see as they're watering it down, the steam rises all these days after the volcanic eruption, that volcanic ash is still boiling hot. It is not safe to go there, this worker was not spraying it down and will probably cause the sheet to melt.

He's trying to cool down that volcanic ash. It gives you an idea of how dangerous this is. This is why they're telling residents not to return, because a little further up the street, it could still take someone's life. And, you look down over here, and this was someone's house. Again, completely buried by volcanic ash.

We don't know if the people who lived in this neighborhood, that is now one color, the gray color of ash, got out in time. But, you can see what a hell scape it's become and you can see how difficult it will be for anyone to ever return to this neighborhood in Guatemala.

The smoke is coming off there, you can feel the heat emanating. I'm going to step back because it really is quite hot and we're going to leave. We've been told that we should only stay in this area for a short time. It is an incredible sight to see and it makes you wonder if anybody could ever live here again.

Patrick Oppmann, CNN, near the Fuego volcano.


VANIER: The volcano eruption in Hawaii now, since early May, it's created enough lava to bury the entire island of Manhattan, almost two meters deep.


That's what the U.S. Geological Survey said on Thursday. Officials say fissure number 8, remains the only active fissure producing fountains of lava, spouting up to 17 meters high at times. That fissure is also feeding a lava channel that has filled in Kapoho Bay, destroying what could be hundreds of houses.


VANIER: The United Nations has slapped international sanctions on six people for their alleged role in trafficking migrants through Libya to Europe. This is an unprecedented move. These sanctions were spurred by CNN's expose of slave auctions in Libya last year.

Our Nima Elbagir broke this exclusive reporting as part of our Freedom Project and is following the international fall out.


NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Inside smuggler warehouses in Libya. Squalid and desperate, African migrants can wait here for days, weeks, months even, before continuing onto Europe at the mercy of human traffickers.

CNN was granted access to the warehouses by the owners of the property. For the safety of our contacts, we agreed not to identify the location. When the traffickers come across my cameraman, their patience is limited.

They have money to make and they don't want witnesses. For years now, these networks have held Libya to ransom. Their crimes resonating far beyond its borders. Shipwrecks in the Mediterranean, human cargo brought to shore in body bags. A litany of death, rape and violence.

Then, last October, we filmed a slave auction. $500, $550, migrants sold off to the highest bidder. Finally the world sat up and took notice.


ELBAGIR: The Netherlands has been working for the last year pulling all of this together. Alongside their co-designating states, the U.S., U.K., France and Germany, they've been spearheading this sanctions effort.

These documents obtained by CNN outline the case they've put forward against these men.


Risk of death, brutal conditions, inhumane treatment, the sanctions include an asset freeze and travel bans. Ermias Ghermay, an Eritrean (inaudible), accused of heading the East African network. An arrest warrant has been issued in Italy.

Fitiwi Abdelrazak, another Eritrean, who's network is believed to reach all the way to the United States. He is the subject of several criminal investigations.

And the following men, all Libyan, Ahmed al-Dabbashi, a militia leader accused of counting ISIS members amidst his ranks. Mus'ab Abu-Qarin, AKA the doctor, linked to the worst migrant shipwreck in the Mediterranean. 800 people in total drowned.

[01:25:25] Mohammed Kachlaf, a multi-millionaire running an infamous migrant detention center. Abd al-Rahman al-Milad, AKA el bija (ph), a commander in the European Union funded Coast Guard in Zawiya.

Sending the message that enough is enough, that the African migrants lives have value.


ELBAGIR: In this morgue in southern Libya, there is no one to claim the bodies, so the corpses of dead migrants pile up.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (TRANSLATOR): At the clinic we receive up to two bodies a day. Crimes of murder.

ELBAGIR: In death as in life the migrants are in limbo.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (TRANSLATOR): This year specifically has been such a rise in deaths and rise in crimes against migrants.


ELBAGIR: There's no way of knowing who these men were. No way of letting their families know that they are gone. International sanctions are of course just a start.

The hope is they will lay the foundation for future criminal prosecution, for justice. At the very least they send the message that this people do matter. That the world finally does care.

Nima Elbagir, CNN London.

VANIER: A bit more on this, the Dutch foreign minister told CNN he credits our reporting on those slave auctions in Libya for sparking the new the U.N. sanctions that Nima just told you about.


STEF BLOK, DUTCH FOREIGN MINISTER: I'm very glad Netherlands was able to initiate this important initiative to effectively punish human traffickers active in Libya.

It was CNN that draw the attention to this terrible - - well, you may actually call it a slave trade that has been going on in Libya for far too long. And, as Netherlands is currently a member of the U.N. Security Council we proposed to them to imposed sanctions on six of the worst perpetrators. And that will mean that this crime won't be left unpunished.


VANIER: You can read more of CNN's reporting on the fight to end modern day slavery. That's at


Harsh words between Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron, ahead of the G7 summit. Have some asking whether the bro-mance is over.



[01:30:22] VANIER: Welcome back.

I'm Cyril Vanier. Your headlines today.

Protests under way in Canada ahead of Friday's start to the G-7 summit. President Trump is expected to clash with U.S. allies over trade and tariffs. The White House says Mr. Trump will leave the summit early before talks about climate change and the environment.

The President has a historic summit with North Korea's leader just days after the G-7. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was at the White House on Thursday to help Mr. Trump get ready. But the President said he didn't need much help claiming he's been getting ready for a long time.

The U.S. Department of Justice says it won't defend the Affordable Care Act against the latest challenge to its constitutionality. Texas and other Republican-led states filed a lawsuit arguing that parts of health care law should be validated including the protections for those with pre-existing conditions. French President Emmanuel Macron has gotten in a few digs at Donald

Trump ahead of the G-7 summit in Canada. He's been critical of Mr. Trump's America First policies. And he warned that the other G-7 leaders could band together without him. The animosity has some questioning whether the Trump-Macron bromance may be over.

CNN's Melisa Bell reports.


MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: From that frosty firsthand shake to this warm hug.


BELL: Over the course of the last year an unlikely friendship has blossomed between the French and American presidents as Emmanuel Macron has sought repeatedly to get his message across.

EMMANUEL MACRON, FRENCH PRESIDENT (through translator): The United States like France has a responsibility particularly in the moment that is today. We are the guarantors of multilateralism.

BELL: His plan was to keep his unilateralist counterpart talking multilaterally even on those subjects that divided them which didn't work out the way Macron had hoped when it came to Iran.

TRUMP: They restart it, they're going to have big problems -- bigger than they've ever had before and you can mark it down.

BELL: Other subjects of discord climate change and the imposition of tariffs on E.U. steel and aluminum exports. Apparently the final straw for Macron who said the decision to impose them was not only illegal but a mistake on many points.

The day before the tariffs took effect Washington sources told CNN that a phone call between the two presidents had been not just bad but terrible. This week Emmanuel Macron chose to strike back. The leaks about the nature of the call after all had not come from Paris.

MACRON: As Bismarck used to say if we gave people the recipe for the sausages it's not sure that people would eat them.

BELL: It's not the first time the French President has had a dig at his American counterpart. But half the divergence has simply grown too big.

PIERRE VIMONT, FORMER FRENCH AMBASSADOR TO THE U.S.: This is a gap that is going to be very difficult to bridge -- sorry. And of course, the result of this could very well be that France would look for other partners.

BELL: Emmanuel Macron has been reaching out to older friends these last few weeks, convincing Angela Merkel to back at least part of his plans for European reform. One year on from their first meeting at the NATO summit in Brussels and in a G-7 meeting in Sicily, another G- y summit will reunite them and their peers. Bar one new Italian leader, the faces will all be the same but the mood no doubt a little grimmer.

Melissa Bell, CNN -- Paris.


VANIER: Joining me from Los Angeles is political analyst Bill Schneider. He's also the author of the book "Stand-Off: How America became ungovernable".

So Bill, you heard when the French President Emmanuel Macron came to Washington, we saw the pictures there. The question at the time was how much of a friendship would Mr. Trump get you.

Do you want to revisit that question in light of everything we've seen over the past month and in light of this G-7?

BILL SCHNEIDER, POLITICAL ANALYST: Ok. Let me try to answer it. Not very much.

Trump uses personal relations as a negotiating tactic. He will berate, he will bully, he will insult, he will flatter, he will be warm and friendly until he gets -- as a way to get what he wants. In this case what he wants is for the French to accept the tariffs and to try to reduce the trade surplus they have with the United States.

He defends his tariff policy as a matter of national security which is a novel defense for imposing tariffs. Not an economic issue, he said it is a matter of national security. And the Europeans and a lot of Americans wonder what does that have to do with national security?

[01:35:00] VANIER: You know, the Republican Party in the U.S. is actually against these tariffs. This is contrary to their dogma and their belief on trade and how it should work. They've been trying to bring pressure to bear on Donald Trump. Do you see any evidence that it is working?

SCHNEIDER: No. It's not because Donald Trump owns the Republican Party now. It's been entirely Trumpified. There are -- there is a group of senators, Republican senators who would like to -- who have been planning or proposing some kind of a resolution or law that would limit the President's ability to use national security as a justification for raising tariffs. But apparently they're abandoning it. It isn't getting anywhere.

Most Republicans in Congress, Senators and in the House they are terrified of Donald Trump because he has an army of American voters behind him. And if they defy President Trump, he can go after them with his army and they have win Republican primaries to stay elected.

VANIER: But I just wonder what the end goal is here for Donald Trump and I'll put to you the question that Republican Senator Lindsey Graham put out there. He was one of those trying to convince Trump to kill the tariffs. And he said look, I'm sure there's an end deal out there. There's some big trade deal that Donald Trump wants. Just what is it? We don't know.

SCHNEIDER: Well, he wants to obviously get the Europeans to buy more American products. Look at what he's going with China. He browbeats China, then he flatters China, then he saves a Chinese company that was in trouble because of American sanctions.

All of this is really intended to get other countries to buy more American products so that the United States will actually have a better economy. He knows that he as president will survive (AUDIO GAP) he's doing. And he wants to make sure that trade doesn't hurt the American economy. But a lot of people think a trade war would do -- would be ultimately very damaging to the American economy.

VANIER: Well, I was going to ask you, do you think Mr. Trump has anything to fear from his upcoming stand-off with France, with Canada, with the other members of the G-7. I mean we read that tweet last hour about Mr. Macron saying, you know, we can sign a joint statement just the six of us and isolate Mr. Trump. Do you think he minds being isolated?

SCHNEIDER: No. He has been called an isolationist. He denies it but all of his policies point towards isolationism. What he really fears is a recession. If there's a recession in the United States he might be doomed for reelection.

Americans don't stand for recessions very easily. Look what happened to former President George H.W. Bush, the first President Bush who stood astride the world like a colossus after the first Gulf War. And then the economy went south and he was finished.

VANIER: Put in perspective for us what's going on right now on trade. I mean we've witnessed the opening salvo of what could be but isn't yet a trade war -- right. The U.S. has tariffs in place. Canada and the E.U. should have theirs in a few weeks but they're not in place yet.

How -- just how rare is this? Because I feel we've seen the U.S. go through protectionist moments and phases before.

SCHNEIDER: We've gone a little further this time. We have -- of course, we have a long protectionist past. The Republican Party used to be a protectionist party for a long time. We've protected American interests and American industries.

That is now in disrepute particularly among Republicans. But remember it's a populist issue. Trade protection appeals to ordinary voters particularly working class voters who see it as a way of protecting their jobs.

Remember that in the 2016 campaign two candidates talked about imposing tariffs on other countries in order to protect American. One was Donald Trump; the other was Bernie Sanders who couldn't be less like Donald Trump on anything. The tool (ph) -- it is a pure populist issue.

VANIER: Bill Schneider -- thank you very much. Always appreciate your time on CNN NEWSROOM. Thanks.

SCHNEIDER: My pleasure.

VANIER: Next up, is climate change killing the Great Barrier Reef? We'll get a first hand look at what's happening to one of the world's great wonders.

Plus it appears her meeting with the U.S. President paid off. Reality TV star Kim Kardashian talks to CNN about her freedom project.


VANIER: Friday is World Oceans Day. It's a call to action to clean up some of our most incredible resources and especially to save the oceans from plastic.

One focus is Australia's Great Barrier Reef where advocates are working to ban single-use plastics such as straws; another danger -- climate change. This is home to the world's largest collection of coral reefs. It has already experienced extensive damage because of massive coral bleaching. And that of course, is alarming scientists.

Ivan Watson joins us live now from Palmco (ph), Australia. Ivan what's being done?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean it is World Oceans Day. But this has been a tough story in this part of the world because in the last two years climate change and record high temperatures killed off an estimated 50 percent of the coral in the Great Barrier Reef -- this magnificent marine habitat, some 2,300 kilometers long.

The Australian government has pledged up to around $400 million to come up with ways to try to save it so now the government scientist experts, they're in a race to come up with some kind of a way to save what's left of this magnificent reef.


WATSON: In aquamarine waters off the coast of Australia, there's a world so fantastic that words cannot do it justice. A sprawling marine habitat of coral reefs that's larger than Italy.

I'm at the Great Barrier Reef. It is one of the natural wonders of the world and it is in trouble.


WATSON: Charlie Veron is the world's leading authority on the Great Barrier Reef. In a career spanning nearly half a century, he's discovered a quarter of the world's coral.

Do you still remember the first time you came out and saw some of this?

VERON: I'll never forget the first time I did. It made an image (ph) impression on me. I was absolutely -- my life started (ph).

WATSON: The 73-year-old godfather of coral gives me a guided tour. With a few short strokes we dive into a vibrant underwater universe, a place where living coral some of it centuries old provides shelter and food for countless species of marine life.

But then Veron takes me to a nearby patch where the coral is dead as far as the eye can see. These coral forests cooked to death by record marine heat waves in 2016 and 2017.


WATSON: In just two years.

VERON: In just two years.

WATSON: Australia is now in a race to save what's left of the reef. In April the government pledged around 400 million U.S. dollars to come up with ways to protect it.

[01:45:03] LINA BAY, SENIOR RESEARCH SCIENTIST: All our pilot studies are suggesting that it's all possible to help the reef help itself.

WATSON: Dr. Lina Bay is one of the scientists at a government research center trying to genetically engineer heat-resistant coral. This is an example of plating coral from the Great Barrier Reef but born and bred here in the laboratory four years ago. And you can see how much it's grown in that time.

Scientists are also experimenting with a kind of IVF treatment to boost reproduction in the wilds. In this lab they test what they call a sunshield. Thinner than a human hair, it could theoretically protect coral from the sun.

This inventor demonstrates a submersible drone called the ranger bot.


WATSON: Guided by artificial intelligence, it is designed to one day patrol the reef and protect the coral from predators. So far these are just pilot projects that could get funding from the government's new Reef Protection Program.

BAY: There are still options available to us if we start looking at it now. We just can't wait 20 years and then start thinking about this.

WATSON: Can $400 million save this reef?


WATSON: Why not?

VERSON: Because the water is warming.

WATSON: Research shows record heat is killing coral at an increasingly frequent rate all across the planet. Australia alone cannot stop global warming caused by the burning of fossil fuels.

Scientists here warn unless that changes this incredible reef stands little chance of surviving.


WATSON: Now Cyril, one of the other measures that the government is looking into is trying to clean up the fresh water waterways that have a lot of erosion coming out of them into the ocean that doesn't help the health of the coral.

And you can see this water here isn't that aquamarine blue in the ocean. It is more brownish because of that sediment in there.

But the other fact that some people may not know is the vast bulk of that Great Barrier Reef is far, far out to sea further than the eye can see. We were out of distance -- could not see the Australian mainland when we visited it. It was a distance of more than 50 kilometers that we traveled to these wild spots with all this life underneath the sea and above. For example, I saw a whale breaching near one of the reefs yesterday.

But that just kind of underscores the fact that what is killing the reefs is not pollution from cities here, it's not kind of plastic in the water. It is literally the temperatures of the entire planet that have been heating up for the last 140 years -- Cyril.

VANIER: And you know, Ivan -- the scary thing is I remember that I reported on this, we've reported on this almost I think annually. And it just doesn't seem to change, the story doesn't get better. In fact it just gets worse.

But thank you very much. That was an excellent piece of reporting. Ivan Watson -- telling the story from where it needs to be told, thank you. Appreciate it, my friend.

And if you want to help save our oceans from plastic, students in schools around the world are celebrating World Oceans Day by enjoying lunch without plastic. The best efforts will be featured on CNN's live blog.

Learn more on how to participate at

One of the other things we're talking about -- the plastics in the ocean. That's another huge danger that we're talking about on World's Ocean Day.

Ivan Cabrera from the CNN Weather Center has been working on this.

IVAN CABRERA, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, you know. And the other item mentioned, and of course, the bleaching that is occurring is because of the warm water temperatures here but it's the other problem that we have a lot of plastic in the oceans because eventually it gets back to us.

Let's talk about it here and take you through the numbers because they are astonishing here as we check in. Eight million metric tons dumped into the oceans (INAUDIBLE); five trillion pieces of plastic are already in there so we're dumping eight million to the five trillion that's already in there each and every year. A million sea birds and other marine life are killed by plastics every year as a result of that.

And they're unseen -- the plastics that we're talking about are not the ones that are going to bobble and you can scrape them up. No these are micro plastics, right. And the reason those are important because those are able to be ingested by marine life and that is what's been killing them there.

And by the way, once it gets into marine life, the fisheries, you go to the store, buy some fish and then it gets back to us. So it's a huge problem that is going to take a global effort along with climate change to really tackle.

[01:50:00] What am I showing you here? Well this is Guatemala satellites -- the other issue we've been following here. My goodness, these folks can't catch a break. We're in the rainy season.

And I'll tell you why this is a big problem. The rains are hampering search and rescue efforts that are still ongoing as a result of what has been mixing the ash with the rainfall.

Over the accumulation, right over the volcano area, upwards of 100 to 150, 200 millimeters of rainfall not in the next week or month. This is in the next 48 hours and we'll do that again in the following 48 hours and then some.

So what's happening is the ash that has been deposited by the volcano from that initial eruption here -- think of it like cement, like this powder that is just sitting there. When you get water on top of it you're mixing that up and you're creating in a sense concrete.

And the type of concrete that flows and can destroy everything in it path as a result of the temperature and what is concentrated in it.

So the forecast again, unfortunately over the next few days will call for more heavy rainfall across the area here. So we'll keep you posted on that. And of course, the eruptions that continued as well. So keeping a close eye on our good friends there in Guatemala.

VANIER: Yes. You guys have been all across a number of volcanoes for a couple weeks now.

CABRERA: It has been, hasn't it? Very active, yes.

VANIER: Ivan Cabrera from the CNN Weather Center -- thank you very much, appreciate it.

CABRERA: Good to see you.


Coming up, following Donald Trump's lead on water bottles. Stay with us.


VANIER: We have some sports news to report. The Washington Capitals defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 4 to 3 to win their first ever Stanley Cup. The Capitals' Lars Eller scored the game winner in the third period to seal the win.

The hockey fans poured into Washington streets to celebrate the victory. This is the first major sports championship the city has won since 1992 when the Redskins won the Super Bowl that year.

This is Prince like you've never heard him before.


VANIER: The late pop star's estate is releasing previous unheard recordings of his from his home studio called "The Piano and the Microphone", 1983. Who knows if Prince, who was intensely private, would have approved. The nine tracks are expected to be released on September 21st, but the announcement came Thursday to mark what would have Prince's 60th birthday.

Reality TV star Kim Kardashian was on a mission to get a life sentence commuted by President Trump and she succeeded. Alice Johnson spent 21 years in prison for a first-time drug offense. Here she is in the moments just after her release reuniting with her family.

Kardashian said she came across her story about six months ago and decided to take up the case with the President directly. Mr. Trump cited Johnson's good behavior and rehabilitation in the commutation.

The Kardashians spoke exclusively the CNN's Van Jones about breaking the news to the former prisoner.


KIM KARDASHIAN, REALITY TV STAR: I had assumed that the attorneys had already told her.


KARDASHIAN: And then Alice gets on the phone. We called her -- she was paged to come to the phone.

[01:55:03[ JONES: Inside the prison.

KARDASHIAN: Inside the prison. She gets on the phone and I think she thought it was a routine phone call with her attorneys. And she was surprised and excited that I was on the phone.

And then I was a little bit shocked because she was very calm.

JONES: Right.

KARDASHIAN: And I had assumed she knew. So I just was like wait she doesn't know. And Alice was like, know what? And I was like, you're going home. Like I can like cry thinking about it. Hearing her scream was like I know I'm going to cry so much when I see her but just to know that like we changed one person's life.


VANIER: Now Johnson says she's thankful to Kardashian for never giving up on her.

One more thing -- Vice President Mike Pence has made it known that many times that he respects almost everything about America's president. And apparently that included Donald Trump's bottle ballet.

Here's Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ladies and gentlemen we present synchronized water bottle stashing. First the President ditched his. Then the Vice President followed suit.

In no time the Internet bottled and preserved the moment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a plan for the whole community. It's a plan that --

MOOS: It happened at a FEMA briefing on hurricane season. It was at the Response Coordination Center. Noted eagle eye, "Boy were these two coordinating their response", as one Twitter user reminisced, "Didn't you ever play that game as a kid where you mirror everything your sibling or friend does until they wallop?" The one who got walloped here was Vice President Pence by Jimmy Kimmel.

JIMMY KIMMEL, TELEVISION HOST: It's like Trumpy see, Trumpy do. He's for sure a Westworld robot, right?

MOOS: The VP has perfected the adoring gaze and has been known to pick up on the President's gestures. Get the point?

Point of getting rid of the water bottles was probably to make for a neater photo op. Now you see the bottle, now you don't.

It seems like the President's relationship with water runs hot and cold. His watery antics are always going viral from his dainty swig to his two-handed sip.

And then there's the President's odd habit of moving things, anything. Like a few inches here, a few inches there. But this time, out of sight. Complete with the sight of Vice President Pence mimicking the move.

"Flunky see, flunky do", was someone's mean take on the moment. A more charitable one, "Who the heck is under the table that was so thirsty? One guess, little Marco Rubio."

Jeanne Moos, CNN -- New York.


VANIER: That's it from us.

George Howell will be your host next. Stay with CNN.