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U.S. Immigration Crisis; Manafort Goes to Jail; U.S. President Heaps Praise on North Korean Leader; U.S. Drone Strike; Tariff Troubles between U.S. and China; Yemen Crisis; World Cup 2018; Penka the Cow's Immigration Case. Aired 5-6a ET

Aired June 16, 2018 - 05:00   ET




GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Children taken from their parents. We have the very latest developments on the U.S. immigration crisis.

Plus this --


TRUMP: Look, the problem with the Mueller investigation is everybody has got massive conflicts.

HOWELL (voice-over): The U.S. president's surprise chat with the press.

And what it will take for a World Cup match to top this one between Portugal and Spain. Cristiano Ronaldo had a hat trick there. And today it's Lionel Messi's turn. Argentina taking on Iceland.


HOWELL: We're live from CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta. We want to welcome our viewers here in the United States and around the world. I'm George Howell. The CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.


HOWELL: At 5:00 am on the U.S. East Coast, we start with the separation of children from their families on the U.S. border with Mexico. It is happening. Critics call it inhumane and unconscionable.

But the White House says it's not their fault but the facts show 2,000 children have been separated from their parents. That is just from mid-April through May. This according to the Department of Homeland Security.

The increase in family separations is the result of the Trump administration's zero tolerance policy, that policy where adults face criminal charges for entering the United States illegally. President Trump falsely blamed the Democrats. Let's listen.


TRUMP: The Democrats gave us the laws. Now, I want the laws to be beautiful, humane but strong. I don't want bad people coming in. I don't want drugs coming in. And we can solve that problem in one meeting. Tell the Democrats, your friends, to call me, OK?


HOWELL: Democrats, again, did not force that practice on anyone. Those are the facts. This increase of family separations occurred after the Trump administration decided to prosecute all offenders.

The goal with that policy was to deter families from attempting to cross the border illegally. But some people are still coming. Our Ed Lavandera starts our coverage from the border with Mexico.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Officials with the Department of Homeland Security insist they have no choice but to prosecute the thousands of people who come across the U.S. southern border illegally.

This despite years and years of discretion on previous administrations. But this Department of Homeland Security officials saying they have no choice at this point, this because the Trump administration has pushed what it calls a zero tolerance policy that went into effect in early May.

That is essentially to attempt to charge all of the undocumented immigrants that cross into the U.S. southern border with the federal misdemeanor crime of illegal entry. But not everyone is being prosecuted is the true facts in the situation. Federal officials will not say how they decide at this point who gets prosecuted and who doesn't.

But all of this has led this latest outrage and controversy here on the U.S. southern border, where a high a number children here in just the last 1.5 months have been separated from their families.

For the first time, federal government officials are putting a number on just how many children have been separated from their families since the zero tolerance policy went into effect.

And federal officials now say that nearly 2,000 children have been separated between April 19th of this year and May 31st. That 2,000 number doesn't include the numbers that have been added to that just in the last two weeks.

This has been a controversial program; activists and immigration attorneys have mounted protests all across the country. But the Trump administration remains steadfast and unapologetic about what it is doing. And they say this is a long time coming and that people who break these laws need to be prosecuted -- Ed Lavandera, CNN, Mission, Texas.


HOWELL: Ed Lavandera, thank you for the reporting.

The U.S. attorney general really likes the practice, though. Jeff Sessions pushed back against criticism of it and, once again, told families not to come to the United States illegally.


JEFF SESSIONS (R), U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: If we have laws -- and we do have laws and Congress has passed the INA, the Immigration Nationalation (sic) Act, then they need to be enforced. And it's nothing wrong about that.

And we need to tell the world, please don't come unlawfully. Make your application. Wait your turn.


HOWELL: There's a lot of nuance here to talk about. The legal storm whirling around the U.S. president just got a bit more ominous. His former campaign chair, Paul Manafort, right now, is getting used to a jail cell.

And his longtime personal attorney and so-called fixer, Michael Cohen, is weighing his options on cooperating with investigators.

Let's start with Paul Manafort. Now he arrived at a jail in --


HOWELL: -- Virginia on Friday evening. Once the head of a winning presidential campaign, he is now known as inmate number 45343 and his cell is listed in the VIP unit. Jessica Schneider explains more for us.


JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A federal judge revoked Manafort's $10 million bail after prosecutors allege that he spent five weeks contacting witnesses in the case and asking them to lie.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's rare to put a white collar defendant with no prior criminal history in jail pending the trial. Terrifically ratchets up the pressure on Paul Manafort.

SCHNEIDER (voice-over): The judge said she didn't have many options to ensure he didn't continue to contact witnesses.

She said, "This is not middle school. I can't take his cellphone.

"I thought about this long and hard, Mr. Manafort. I have no appetite for this." Prosecutors from the special counsel's team called Manafort "a danger

to the community" in court two weeks after filing details about Manafort's repeated contacts with two people who had previously worked for him.

Court filings refer to them as person D1 and D1. Manafort and a confidant allegedly asked them to make the false claim that Manafort had lobbied on behalf of pro-Russian Ukrainian politicians only in Europe when investigators say, in fact, he had lobbied the U.S. Congress for those Ukrainian politicians from 2011 to 2013.

Prosecutors say Manafort used phone calls and encrypted apps for messaging, beginning in February, and allegedly wrote to person D1, "We should talk. I have made clear that they worked in Europe."

They say he also used a system called foldering, where multiple people have access to an account and write messages to each other as draft e- mails that are never sent. One of the witnesses alerted the FBI to Manafort's messages.

Manafort's attorneys tried to argue he didn't know he was contacting witnesses in the case and promised it wouldn't happen again. But now Manafort will await a September trial in D.C. and a July trial in Virginia from behind bars, a factor that will make it harder for his defense and ramp up the pressure for Manafort to cooperate.

All this as President Trump tried to distance himself from his former campaign chairman.


TRUMP: I feel badly about a lot of it because I think a lot of it is very unfair. They went back 12 years to get things he did 12 years ago?

Paul Manafort worked for me for a very short period of time.


SCHNEIDER (voice-over): And later tweeting, "Wow, what a tough sentence for Paul Manafort, who has represented Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and many other top political people and campaigns. Didn't know Manafort was the head of the Mob. What about Comey and Crooked Hillary and all of the others? Very unfair!"


HOWELL: Jessica Schneider, thanks.

And important to point out Manafort worked for the president for more than 140 days. His jailing led to some interesting comments from Trump's attorney, Rudy Giuliani. He told the New York "Daily News" this.

"When the whole thing is over, things might get cleaned up with some presidential pardons." And he added, "You put a guy in jail if he's trying to kill witnesses,

not just talking to witnesses."

Now that raised eyebrows. Giuliani tried to walk that back a bit. Here's what he told my colleague, Chris Cuomo.


RUDY GIULIANI, TRUMP ATTORNEY: Let me make it clear right now.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Please. That's why I wanted you on.

GIULIANI: He's not going to pardon anybody in this investigation. But he is not, obviously, going to give up his right to pardon if a miscarriage of justice is presented to him.


HOWELL: That was that with Rudy Giuliani. And then there is this. A source telling CNN that President Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, the man you see right there, is indicating to family and friends that he may be ready to cooperate with investigators.

Cohen is under criminal investigation in Manhattan for, among other things, the payment he made to porn star Stormy Daniels on Donald Trump's behalf before the election.

Cohen has been one of the president's most trusted confidants for many years but he is said to be angry at the president and at Giuliani for minimizing their relationship.

President Trump has a lot on his mind as well and he's letting reporters know about it. Our Pamela Brown reports, he's not holding back on his comments about everything from Russia to North Korea.


PAMELA BROWN, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Trump making an unusual appearance on the White House North Lawn today.

TRUMP: Listen, I'm doing an interview over here, folks.

BROWN (voice-over): Telling reporters the inspector general's report on Hillary Clinton's e-mail practices issued Thursday absolves him from Mueller's investigation.

TRUMP: I think that the report yesterday, maybe more importantly than anything, it totally exonerates me. There was no collusion. There was no obstruction and if you read the report, you'll see that.

BROWN (voice-over): But the report did not address anything about possible collusion or obstruction and determined the FBI's handling of the Clinton e-mail probe was not politically motivated. But it did chastise FBI officials Lisa Page and Peter Strzok, who

worked on the Clinton and Trump investigations, for exchanging a series of anti-Trump text messages. And it found that former FBI director James --


BROWN (voice-over): -- Comey acted in an extraordinary and insubordinate manner at times during his investigation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From what you've seen so far, should James Comey be locked up?

TRUMP: Well, look, I would never want to get involved in that. Certainly he -- they just seem like very criminal acts to me, what he did was criminal.

BROWN (voice-over): But the president today stopped short of putting an end to the Russia investigation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you thinking of --


TRUMP: No, but I think that whole investigation now is -- look. The problem with the Mueller investigation is everybody has got massive conflicts.

BROWN (voice-over): Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, went a step further, telling FOX News --

GIULIANI: Peter Strzok was running the Hillary investigation. That's a total fix. That's a closed book now, total fix. Comey should go to jail for that -- and Strzok. Let's investigate the investigators. Let's take a halt to the Mueller investigation.

BROWN (voice-over): The president today also talking about his newly minted relationship with North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un.

TRUMP: He's the head of a country. And I mean, he is the strong head. Don't let anyone think anything different. He speaks and his people sit up at attention. I want my people to do the same.

BROWN (voice-over): Later telling reporters he was joking.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did you mean just now when said you wished Americans would sit up at attention --

TRUMP: I'm kidding. You don't understand sarcasm.

BROWN (voice-over): He was also pressed on his previous statements about the North Korean dictator loving his people.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How can he love his people if he's killing them?

TRUMP: I can't speak to that. I can only speak to the fact that we signed an incredible agreement. It's great.

BROWN (voice-over): The president causing angst on Capitol Hill today after a White House source said he misunderstood a question on immigration, saying he would not support the House's compromise immigration bill.

TRUMP: I certainly wouldn't sign the more moderate --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What does the bill have to --

TRUMP: I need -- I need a bill that gives this country tremendous border security. I have to have that.

BROWN (voice-over): Trump today also inaccurately blaming Democrats for the new Department of Justice policy that separates families at the border.

TRUMP: That's the law and that's what the Democrats gave us. And we're willing to change it today if they want to get in and negotiate. But they just don't want to negotiate. They're afraid of -- they're afraid of security for our country.

BROWN: Nine hours after the president made those comments on FOX News, the White House put out a statement, clarifying, saying that the president did support the immigration bills that he had seemed to say he had opposed hours earlier -- Pamela Brown, CNN, the White House.


HOWELL: Pamela, thanks for the reporting.

Now let's get some perspective with Kate Andrews, a U.S. political columnist for "City A.M." in London, live in our London bureau this hour.

Kate, there is a lot to talk about, right?

So let's start with the president's comments about North Korea and people falling in line, as they do for Kim Jong-un in North Korea. He later said that he was kidding about that.

But given that comment and others, praising and even supporting some of the actions of Vladimir Putin in recent years, what do you say about President Trump's view on authoritarian leaders in contrast to his predecessors?

KATE ANDREWS, "CITY A.M.": He's kinder to them than I would like to see him be. I think that this particular comment about his people, my people standing up and giving attention probably was a joke. But it's not very funny. And I would like to see the president taking this slightly more seriously.

That being said, I think we have to think about the president's recent actions reaching a hand out to North Korea, having that Singapore summit.

If this were any other president who had gotten the dictator of North Korea to come to the table, how would we be reacting to it?

Sometimes you have to play certain political games and have certain niceties at the table in order to move forward. So I'm willing to grant the president the fact that he has to play certain games in order to work toward liberalizing North Korea.

I mean, the hundreds of thousands of people there, that are essentially in gulags, that are tortured every day, are people that America needs to reach a hand out to. But we need to see him taking this seriously and he needs to put the jokes aside. And they're not very funny.

HOWELL: I want to pivot now to the many legal questions about the Russia investigation. And there are several to start. His former campaign chair, Paul Manafort, now in jail. Rudy Giuliani suggesting pardons may be an option and then walking that back a bit.

And then finally, President Trump's former attorney, Michael Cohen, possibly ready to flip on him.

Of these scenarios, which seems to be the hottest fire that should take priority for this White House?

ANDREWS: Well, for Trump personally, I would suspect Cohen. He's the one that he has the longest relationship with. He probably knows the most about Donald Trump personally, about previous lawsuits and about his time during the election. So that's what Trump should be concerned about.

But in terms of the Mueller investigation, obviously Manafort now actually being put behind bars is quite crucial. It's important to point out that, so far, what he's being charged with is not explicitly related to issues about Russia and collusion around the 2016 election.

However, this is thought that perhaps Manafort behind bars might be more willing to cooperate about anything he knows. This is still not evidence that the president colluded with Russia during the election.


ANDREWS: We're still not there yet. But in terms of Mueller's investigation, Manafort now being behind bars, much more uncomfortable than he was before under house arrest, may really turn the winds on this.

HOWELL: Finally, I want to talk about what we're seeing here with these images of what's happening on the U.S. border with Mexico. We've seen the separation of children from their families, immigration officers basically following a directive but President Trump saying this is the fault of the Democrats.

And, Kate, the facts first. That is not the case.

ANDREWS: No, that's not true. Decisions made by the Trump administration to prosecute illegal adults coming over the border criminally is what is separating kids from their parents, roughly 2,000 in less than two months. It's really quite horrifying.

I would love to see the Trump administration roll this back immediately. These children should not be separated from their parents. I do think, if you're going to look at immigration policy as a whole, there are lots of complaints to put against the Democrats as well as the Republicans.

Barack Obama was actually labeled deporter in chief by many pro- immigration groups because more illegal immigrants were deported under Barack Obama than any other president in U.S. history.

So it isn't as if the Democrats deserve some kind of exemption from our criticisms around the immigration debate. That being said, this particular policy, separating these kids from their parents, is down to the Trump administration. And they should be rolling that back very quickly.

HOWELL: Some people support what we're seeing, these, you know, families detained, children separated. Others find it quite disgusting. Kate Andrews, thank you for your time. We'll stay in touch with you.

ANDREWS: Thank you.

HOWELL: The two largest economies in the world, the United States and China, could soon be at each other's throats in an all-out trade war. We'll follow that story for you.

Also an instant classic at the World Cup, highlights from Spain versus Portugal. You don't want to miss this. Look at that.




HOWELL: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm George Howell.

The United States and China are on a collision course to a full-on trade war. Just three weeks from now, July 6th, both countries say they'll impose punishing tariffs on billions of dollars of goods from each other. To explain how these tariffs will be deployed, CNN's Matt Rivers picks it up from Beijing.


MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A major escalation in the trade tensions between China and the U.S., as the U.S. now officially moving forward with --


RIVERS: -- a threat that had been months in the making. Now the U.S. administration saying they will move forward with levying tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports to the United States. The Chinese products they're targeting largely in industries as a part

of what's called the Made in China 2025 plan. It's a government initiative that wants to increase China's prowess in number of different high-growth industries over the next several years.

Those industries would include everything from I.T. to aerospace, new energy vehicles, AI, robotics, that kind of thing. Billions of dollars in government loans and subsidies are going to those industries to help them. And the U.S. is saying that's unfair and that is why they are targeting those industries.

The tariffs were initially put on overall, the U.S. says, to punish the Chinese for intellectual property theft. But the Chinese government is not taking this lying down as promised. They are going to retaliate and announced they would do so shortly after the U.S. made these tariffs official.

The commerce ministry here in Beijing saying they'd levy $50 billion in tariffs of their own on U.S. goods. That's going to affect all kinds of American imports here to China, everything from soybeans to beef to certain cars, fruits, small airplanes and the like. So a wide-ranging list there.

They also said anything that was agreed to over the last several rounds of formal trade negotiations between the U.S. and China, anything that was agreed to, the Chinese government now considers null and void.

Now, look, overall, there are a lot of business people here in China that would say the trading relationship between the U.S. and China is wrong, that the Chinese government does steal intellectual property, that there are forced technology transfers, that there are copyright infringement problems and market access problems.

But there's a lot of disagreement amongst people we speak to that tariffs are not the way to fix that problem. And now there are fears that this trade spat has become a trade war and it could get worse from here -- Matt Rivers, CNN, Beijing.


HOWELL: Matt, thank you.

Hours before a fragile cease-fire was set to begin in Afghanistan for the Eid holiday, a U.S. drone strike may have complicated the agreement. The precision strike killed the leader of the Pakistani Taliban, who was in charge at the time of the attack on Malala Yousafzai. CNN's Nick Paton Walsh reports news of his death may bring about a sense of justice.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: An extremely important target at an extremely sensitive time. Mullah Fazlullah, leader of Pakistan's Taliban, killed by a U.S. drone strike on Wednesday, just inside Afghanistan. The missile hitting Fazlullah a little more than a day before the

Afghan Taliban said they would join a cease-fire in the war-ravaged country for the celebration of Eid, beginning Friday.

The Afghan and Pakistani Taliban often support each other. And it is unclear what this strike just inside Afghan territory, in the mountainous Kunar Province, will mean for the cease-fire.

It was first proposed for 10 days by Afghan president Ashraf Ghani and then half in joined for the Taliban for a shorter period.

The U.S. said it would not stop counterterrorism operations during the cease-fire and has systematically targeted Taliban leaders in Pakistan with drones to fervent Pakistani local opposition. And they recently cut off aid with Afghanistan's neighbor over what the U.S. called assistance to militants in the Pakistani border areas.

Fazlullah was infamous before he became the Pakistani Taliban's leader in 2013. He preached hate on the radio and led the Taliban in the Swat Valley in 2012, when activist Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head for advocating female education.

Many will see the drone strike as ultimate retribution for inciting that cowardly attack, an attack that actually worked against its dark aims, catapulting Malala's message of progress and peace to the world stage.

Yet many other Pakistanis will feel a sense of justice. Fazlullah led the Pakistani Taliban, when they attacked a school in Peshawar in 2014, leaving 141 children under the age of 11 dead, the worst such attack in Pakistani history.

It turned many hearts that harbored vestiges sympathy for the Taliban cause starkly away from their extremism. Yet still, their country remains caught in a battle against the battle insurgency in its hills.

While neighboring Afghanistan could only hope the short cease-fire brings peace from a war in which Taliban is slowly but clearly instilling fear like never before -- Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, London.


HOWELL: Nick, thank you.

The U.N. calls the civil --


HOWELL: -- war in Yemen the world's worst humanitarian crisis and it looks like things are about to get even worse.

In the port city of Hodeida, terrified civilians are bracing for battle because the Saudi-led coalition is trying to take the city from the Houthis and the fighting is getting closer, with heavy artillery clashes closing in and jets flying overhead. In the meantime, the International Red Cross says hospitals don't have

enough electricity and starving people are barely surviving on bread crumbs there. They expect tens of thousands of people to try to escape in the coming days.


HOWELL (voice-over): Still ahead here on CNN NEWSROOM, a major fire threatens buildings in Glasgow, including one of Scotland's most important architectural landmarks.

Plus, two Iberian giants face off at the World Cup, Spain and Portugal's unforgettable showdown. Plus a look at today's matches. Stay with us.




HOWELL: From coast to coast across the United States and live around the world this hour, you're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Atlanta. I'm George Howell with the headlines we're following this hour.




HOWELL: Friday's World Cup action did not disappoint. Spain and Portugal played an epic match in Sochi, Russia. Cristiano Ronaldo gave Portugal an early lead. He'd score again but goals by Diego Costa and Nacho Fernandez put Spain on top. They led 3-2 but Ronaldo wasn't done yet. He evened the score and got a hat trick there.

(INAUDIBLE) the end of the (INAUDIBLE). Spain versus Portugal was just day two. Four matches are set across Russia in the coming hours and we're covering this tournament with all angles. Our Matthew Chance is following the story, live for us in Moscow.

But first, let's go to Amanda Davies.

Amanda, given what we've already seen, what can we expect from Saturday's matchup?

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: George, today is definitely going to have to go some to compete with the stunning scenes we saw in Sochi last night. But as you said, the good news is we've got four chances really. The day with more games than any other at this World Cup.

The action kicks off here Saturday in about a half-hour from now with the Euro 2016 runners-up, France, taking on Australia in what is known as Russia's international sporting capital, Kazam (ph). In a few hours time, attention will very, very much switch here to the

home of Spartak Moscow. You might be able to hear behind us, already still, with four hours to go until kickoff, the fans have been arriving in force.

It's going to be the 2014 World Cup runners-up, Argentina, up against the might of the smallest country ever to qualify for a World Cup, debutantes Iceland. They are really everybody's new favorite team, having burst onto the major tournament stage at Euro 2016, as much for their fans, with that iconic thunder clap as for their appearances on the pitch.

Finally, our hotel as we were leaving today, some Argentinean fans were trying to get to grips with that thunder clap. An estimated 10 percent of the population traveled to France, their last major tournament, to support the national team.

We've seen them arriving in force over the last 24 hours or so here in Moscow. Iceland is undoubtedly a country that loves the beautiful game.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Football was always like the modern of all sports in Iceland. And for our generation, we used to play it outside, every day in the cold winter, in the --



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- on the gravel pitches and frozen gravel pitches.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a very popular thing but more popular right now than ever. That's for sure. People really like to see the national team do well. So I think both the women's team and the men's team are doing very well right now. So that is, of course, I think, a big factor in this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was always the big games when Iceland big national team but the results weren't there. So it was different. The early days were just, if we got a draw, then everybody was -- it was like a victory to the whole Icelanders.

But these guys who are playing now, it's much more fun when the results are coming in and we are traveling to European Cup and World Cup.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were celebrating 1-1 draw against the big teams and celebrating like we won the World Cup.

(LAUGHTER) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn't expect that we would go to France. But it was just unbelievable because of -- to see Iceland, this small nation, getting to the finals of this big tournament, it was just unbelievable. I just really loved it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): The final whistle at the Iceland- England game is uppermost in my mind with joy, the realization that --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- we had even one of the biggest nations in football. We're there in the stands. We laughed and cried and hugged each other. People who knew each other, people who did not know each other. And, yes, I'll never forget that moment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just remember the streets emptied while the game was on. No one was out. And then you can just hear shouting and screaming from different houses and it was quite a special evening. For me, it's just such a conversation opener where, because I travel quite a lot. And wherever I go, they now know Iceland.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was in London now from like two months ago. And they were like asking me to do the Viking clap in the restaurant and at breakfast. I think it's an opener, yes.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People sometimes ask me, how come Iceland, this tiny nation of 350,000 people, has a team at the men's World Cup in Russia now?

I mean, it's just unbelievable, unimaginable, et cetera, et cetera. And you are happy to hear this. But at the end of the day, the fact of the matter is that, in Russia, we have the best teams in the world. And it just so happens that Iceland is one of them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's just a dream, obviously, to be a part of World Cup. You've seen all the competitions over the years and memories are strong. But probably if I would have told you that when I was 14, 15, you probably would have laughed at me. Being at the World Cup for this country is phenomenal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In 2006, I went with my friend to Germany to the World Cup to see all the best teams play. And I went to Brazil, Croatia. It was Berlin, great evening, and I was just thinking, unbelievable to be here. And now thinking that I'm going to wake up to see Iceland, it's just unbelievable. I still can't believe it.


DAVIES: Well, the Icelandic coach, Heimir Hallgrimsson, has described this game against Argentina as the biggest match in Icelandic football history. What a World Cup debut against the two-time winners, Argentina and the mastery of Lionel Messi. It's set to be fantastic. There are a couple of other games today. Peru take on Denmark. Peru

very much enjoying their experience here at the World Cup already. Fans here in their droves. Peru back in the World Cup for the first time in 36 years.

And then the late, late match today, match number four promises to be special as well, Nigeria against Croatia. Kicks off at 10:00 pm local time. It really is one of those days you can spend all day, sat on the sofa, not moving anywhere, with wall-to-wall football -- George.

HOWELL: That does not sound like a bad day at all. Amanda, thank you so much for your time.

Now to our colleague, Matthew Chance, also following this story.

The nation hosting the tournament, Matthew, surely this is a major victory for Russia and for the Russian president, Vladimir Putin.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is. They did very well in their opening match, of course, against Saudi Arabia, beating that side, 5-0. So that was a victory on the opening day.

But you're right. No matter what the team does from here on in -- and I think it's got its next match in a few days from now against Egypt -- the country -- or at least Vladimir Putin, the Russian president -- has won a major victory because, for him, these -- this tournament, this World Cup shows that his country can still bring lots of countries together.

That it says it's not isolated, despite the sanctions that have been leveled against Russia by the international community, including the United States and the European Union.

And it's a really great propaganda coup or a publicity coup by the Russians to try and draw a line under the extremely negative publicity the country has generated over the course of the past several years. Remember, the geopolitical --


CHANCE: -- backdrop to this tournament. And what Russia is hoping is that it can draw a line under all of that, at least temporarily, and focus on this celebration of sport.

HOWELL: We were just looking, Matthew, while you were explaining all of that, the image of Vladimir Putin quite pleased, clearly, with what's happening there in Russia and always important to show how politics intermingles with sport.

But here's the thing, so do economics. This is also a major win for that nation when it comes to hosting this event, very important for the economy.

CHANCE: I think with all these World Cups, the economy gets a bit of a boost before the World Cup is held because of the infrastructure projects that have to be built and the influx of tourism, although the extent to which that all will extend into the future, I think, is uncertain.

What we know is that this World Cup has cost the Russian state, the Russian taxpayer something in the region of $14 billion. So it's pretty expensive one. But the Russian government say they expect to get much more back in terms of money added onto the GDP of the country.

But there are real problems, real social, economic problems in this country and I think one of the more cynical moves over the past couple of days is on that day when Russia beat Saudi Arabia 5-0 and the whole country was gripped in football fever, the government here chose that day to increase the pension age to 65 years old and to increase the A.T. tax as well.

And of course 65 is greater, is older than the average live expectancy for men in this country. And so that was a bit of very difficult economic news which they smuggled in under the radar as the country was celebrating.

So this in some ways, this is just the surface of this masks a much more difficult interior.

HOWELL: Matthew Chance, we appreciate the perspective on all of this. Thank you. Have a good time out there.

So football's World Cup bring out excitement among the world's most serious diplomat as well. United Nations Security Council ambassadors -- take a look at this. They actually staged their own tournament. Our Richard Roth shows you their football flair.


RICHARD ROTH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: When the Russian ambassador to the U.N. practices a header, you know it's World Cup time.

VASSILY NEBENZIA, U.N. RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR: I feel like we're already in the stadium.

ROTH: You have heard of the fog of war. Well, next to U.N. headquarters, cutting tough the fog of diplomacy on the north lawn, delegates from the 32 countries competing in the World Cup and even some who didn't make it to Russia staged some friendlies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The World Cup brings the world together and that is the business of the U.N., too.

ROTH: It was like a dress rehearsal for the World Cup.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's an intense match indeed. But that sport, it means that when we are playing sport, we forget about all our differences.

ROTH: No Messi or Ronaldo but there was the Algerian ambassador.

SABRI BOUKADOUM, ALGERIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: It's better that we fight on the soccer field than here at the U.N.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Much more peaceful than they usually deal with each other.

ROTH: One ringer on the field, Real World Cup winner Lothar Matthaus of Germany, which hosted the cage matches.

Can they play?

LOTHAR MATTHAUS, GERMANY WORLD CUP WINNER: I think they have passion. This is the most important. I tell the same to the children. You have to play soccer with passion and with love.

ROTH: I noticed some of the diplomats apparently faking injuries there, imitating some sports stars. Did you observe that? That wasn't very U.N.-like.

MATTHAUS: That was a bit surprising but I think they were all very friendly at the end.

ROTH: This was a pitch where no player or country could veto any action. Can I ask you why the host of the World Cup is not playing on the field?

NEBENZIA: I'm a scout. I'm choosing players for my team next time.

ROTH: In the same group as Russia at the World Cup, Egypt. The Russian ambassador Nebenzia threaten you at all here?

BOUKADOUM: Not at all. Not yet.

ROTH: Richard Roth, CNN, United Nations.


HOWELL: Still ahead, I want to tell you about a major fire in Glasgow. The fight to save a building there that has been devastated before but not that long ago, which makes it even worse.






HOWELL (voice-over): The fire that you see right here just gutted one of Scotland's cultural landmarks. This is the McIntosh Building, part of the Glasgow School of Art. And it's reportedly burning from the ground floor to the roof.

The flames are under control at this point, thanks to the work of more than 120 firefighters. Fortunately, we understand that no one is hurt.

More than 1,000 firefighters are battling a wildfire in the state of Colorado. Weather conditions there may finally be turning in their favor with rain on the way. Relief is coming from one previous tropical storm. That's sending much-needed rain to the four corners of the United States.



HOWELL: Still ahead, one immigration case has udderly gripped Europe. That's right. I said udderly. Here's why.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's long live Penka the cow.

HOWELL (voice-over): That's right, he said Penka the cow, right there. You could say we're milking this story. Stay with us.






HOWELL: Finally this hour, a cow that crossed the E.U. border was facing the death penalty for traveling --


HOWELL: -- without paperwork. Our Bianca Nobilo explains.


BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Meet Penka. She's a pregnant Bulgarian cow who sparked an international outcry.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The cow was grazing. She got separated from the herd for a while and disappeared without a trace. We started to search everywhere immediately but couldn't find her.

NOBILO (voice-over): The problem was that Penka wandered across the border from her Bulgarian village into Serbia. Bulgaria is a member of the European Union but Serbia isn't.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): This is the document from the Serbian vets. They say there's no problem with the cow.

NOBILO (voice-over): Despite the clean bill of health, Penka's return to her home village meant that, according to E.U. rules, she should be put down.

The plight of the 5-year-old cow sparked an Internet clemency campaign, with former Beatle, Paul McCartney, lending his support.

"I think it would be really nice to see this pregnant cow given a reprieve. She's done nothing wrong."

Eventually even the heart of a Brussels bureaucrat melted.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, let's say long live Penka the cow and leaving the European Union and coming back to it, it's OK.

NOBILO (voice-over): Animal rights groups hope the cases of other animals who wander across E.U. borders will also be dealt with sympathetically.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are animals gone astray crossing the border in the European Union, out of the European Union, on a daily basis. It would be really cruel to kill all those animals. And I do hope that, if there is a gap in European legislation, Penka's case will help to solve this issue.

NOBILO (voice-over): But for now, the potential udderly awful face facing Penka has turned into a moo-ving act of kindness -- Bianca Nobilo, CNN, Atlanta.


HOWELL: Truly a moo-ving report. Thanks for being with us. The news continues here on CNN after the break.