Return to Transcripts main page


Stranded Migrants to Dock Soon in Spain; U.S. Immigration Separate Families at Border; Protest Planned at Shelters Holding Children; 17 Killed in Venezuela Nightclub Stampede; Inside Islamic Jihad Tunnels in Gaza; Moscow Taxi Plows through Crowd; Yemen Crisis; World Cup 2018. Aired 4-5a ET

Aired June 17, 2018 - 04:00   ET




GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Stranded at sea for days and now hundreds of African migrants are finding relief in Spain.

Plus more on an immigration debate in the United States. President Trump falsely blaming the Democrats, saying that his hands are tied.

And football star Lionel Messi's penalty that cost Argentina a win.

Live from CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta, welcome our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. I'm George Howell. CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.


HOWELL: The rescue ship Aquarius is due to arrive soon in the Spanish port of Valencia, the second of three ships carrying hundreds of rescued African migrants to Spain. Spain agreed to take them temporarily after they were denied entry last weekend into Italy and Malta.

Earlier an Italian coast guard ship brought the first group to Valencia for immigration processing. The third and final ship is expected to dock later on Sunday. Following this story our Vera Catano is at the port city of Valencia.

First to get a sense -- I know that you're in a specific area there.

But as you're hearing from officials, what are you taking in as the ship is soon to arrive?

VERA CATANO, CNN ESPANOL CORRESPONDENT: Hello, George. Yes, we are not allowed -- the press is not allowed to get to the process area where all these migrants are disembarking.

You can see the first boat which has arrived this morning. We are still waiting for the second one, for the Aquarius. It was expected to arrive at 9:00 am local time. So one hour of delay. We are still waiting. Now some of the migrants who came in the first boat, this Italian

boat, have already completed the medical procedure because the medical attention is the first step once they arrive.

After that they get also psychological attention and then they are driven to shelters or places they can stay during this time. And about their legal situation, we just spoke to a spokesperson from aknoro (ph). Let's hear what she was telling us about this.


The Spanish authorities will provide everyone, migrants and refugees, with a document that is valid for 45 days. They will also inform them about the possibility of applying for asylum. And those who would like to apply for asylum will do that in the final destination points.

UNHCR is present at the registration point, supporting authorities precisely to identify vulnerable cases, to see who could be a victim of trafficking, smuggling, victims of torture and particularly those in need of international protection, that should be channeled through the asylum procedures.


CATANO: So she was telling us about the different situations these migrants are in and let's remember what the government, the Spanish government, said a couple days ago about giving the status of refugees. But they also said that they will have to identify each case individually to see if they apply to the refugee status.

HOWELL: And as for Spain's welcome, as opposed to Italy's refusal to accept the vessels, what is the mood there among authorities and of people that you've spoken to about bringing the migrants into port?

CATANO: They are open to it. The Spanish government with Pedro Sanchez, as the president of the Spanish government, also the deputy prime minister was telling that Spain has to respect international law and human rights. This is what they are doing.

And now here at the port of Valencia, we were talking to the local authorities, too. They were explaining that some of the migrants who have just arrived were a little bit confused.

We also saw some images from there, from them, of the boats when they were approaching the Spanish coast. They were very happy but also when they arrived they were kind of confused.

And it's going to take some hours, in some cases maybe a little bit more so they can identify that they are in Spain, what's coming next and also about their legal situation, George.

HOWELL: Vera, again, what we're seeing play out in real time, the politics, different politics throughout Europe, Spain taking a different approach, allowing, welcoming these migrants, as opposed to Italy, which we have seen shift to the far right. Of course we'll continue to stay in touch with you as you await this vessel's -- [04:05:00]

HOWELL: -- arrival. Thank you so much for your time and reporting.

Here in the United States, the immigration debate is reaching new heights as outrage grows over what happened at the border of Mexico and United States. We're now seeing the impact of the Trump administration's zero tolerance policy.

That policy aims to charge every adult caught crossing the border illegally with federal crimes. The policy has resulted in at least 2,000 children being separated from their parents. Following this story in South Texas near the U.S. border with Mexico, our Ed Lavandera picks it up from here.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: While the Trump administration remains unapologetic in its support in the way it's rolled out the so- called zero tolerance policy for undocumented immigrants crossing into the U.S. southern border, there is a growing chorus of frustration and anger and protest that will start to be visible here on Sunday in South Texas.

There's a congressional delegation that will be touring several immigration facilities throughout the region, throughout the day. Most of the members of that delegation very much opposed to this zero tolerance policy.

There's a vigil protest also scheduled to occur here on Sunday in McAllen. And there's another congressman who is leading a marching protest over the newly opened temporary facility for undocumented immigrant children. That was just opened up in far West Texas.

So a lot of this starting to pick up as the stories that have emerged from these -- from the zero tolerance policy and people are watching this play out, really starting to pick up steam.

But as I mentioned off the top, the Trump administration, unapologetic; they continue to say that this policy is designed to deter undocumented immigrants from continuing to pour into the U.S. southern border.

However, when you report here on the ground and you talk to immigrants, who have just crossed the border, news of this policy isn't necessarily making it into every corner of these countries in Central America and Mexico, where most of these undocumented immigrants are coming from.

And when you do talk to them and they do know about the policy, they say it is a risk that they're very much willing to take, that anything is better than the homes and the hometowns that they're coming from.

So that's the latest here in South Texas, as the frustration and anger and the focus on this issue really continues to build up -- Ed Lavandera, CNN, McAllen, Texas. (END VIDEOTAPE)

HOWELL: Ed, thank you for the reporting.

President Trump will discuss immigration issues with Republican lawmakers on Tuesday. That comes as he seems to be using the heartwrenching scenes of children being taken from their parents as a political ploy.

In a tweet, he falsely stated this, "The Democrats are forcing the breakup of families at the border with their horrible and cruel legislative agenda."

Again, the facts first, that claim that Democrats are behind this is simply false. Our Boris Sanchez has the facts.


BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: President Trump spent part of his Saturday attacking Democrats via Twitter, blaming the Left for enacting what he calls a law that forces his administration to separate young children from their parents at the border as they try to enter the United States illegally.

Of course, it's factually inaccurate. This was a policy that was enacted by the president's Department of Justice some six weeks ago and the legal basis for the justification from the Department of Justice is a 1997 court settlement. So lawmakers on Capitol Hill have never actually weighed in on whether children should be separated from their parents this way.

Critics have suggested that the president is using this as leverage to try to force Democrats to make a deal with Republicans on an immigration bill. For weeks now, House Republicans have been trying to craft different measures that may get approved before the midterm elections.

However, there are skeptics, even within the administration because there are great divisions, not only between Democrats and Republicans but within the GOP itself, between some of the moderates and hardline Republicans on immigration.

We should get some clarity this week when it comes to that, as President Trump is expected to meet with House Republicans on Tuesday evening and at the top of the agenda for discussion is immigration -- Boris Sanchez, CNN, at the White House.


HOWELL: Boris, thank you.

While some support separating children from their families, saying it's the price to be paid for breaking the law or crossing the border illegally, others see this increased practice as cruel, as inhumane and as disgusting. The former Homeland Security secretary under President Obama spoke to

my colleague, Ana Cabrera, about what's happening, keeping in mind, the Obama administration had been criticized for deporting more people than under any other president.


HOWELL: Jeh Johnson gave his take on this current controversy.


JEH JOHNSON, FORMER HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: I object highly to this current practice of separating children from their moms and dads at the border. And it is something that I feel obliged to speak out about.

When I was in office, we removed, repatriated or deported a million people to enforce our immigration laws and secure or borders. We considered all sorts of things to lower the levels of illegal migration on our southern border.

One thing we would not do is separate children from their parents at the border, something that I could not bring myself to do. This is just not who we are as Americans. This is just simply wrong.


HOWELL: Jeh Johnson on the current practice that's playing out. Let's now bring in Scott Lucas with analysis. Scott, a professor of international politics at the University of Birmingham, also the founder of "EA WorldView," live for us this hour in Birmingham, England.

A pleasure to have you with us, Scott. President Trump continues to falsely blame Democrats for what's happening. But through the responsible reporting of many different agencies, including this network, the pushback on this false narrative has been made starkly clear. What he is saying is not true and, in fact, it is the president who is behind this push to enforce this law in a stricter fashion than seen before.

And, Scott, if you could explain, he alone can change course at his choosing.

SCOTT LUCAS, UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM: George, let me be very clear here, as Boris Sanchez was. In 2014, the Obama administration ruled that there should be no separation of children from parents, whatever the circumstances, crossing the border.

As you heard from Jeh Johnson, they considered this throughout 2015- 2016. They did not change the policy.

So for Donald Trump to come out and say that there is a Democratic law that is behind the separation is a lie. It is a lie in which he is trying to escape responsibility for his own policy, that he pushed to the point of driving his own homeland, director of Homeland Security, Kirsten Nielsen, to the point of resignation.

When he gets pushback and people say that it is inhumane, that it is beyond American values to break up families and to put children into what are effectively prisons, then he runs behind this line.

This is a political device. It is being carried out by the White House and by Donald Trump and, in my opinion, it should continue to be exposed for what it is.

HOWELL: Scott, the world is surely watching what's happening here and there is a growing amount of pressure against this practice of separating children from their families.

Do you think that pressure is coming to bear on this administration?

And is it enough to force the administration's hand?

LUCAS: Well, I think the pressure has been shown in the deceptions by the press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and by Donald Trump. I think the pressure has been shown in Jeff Sessions.

And I say this as the son of a preacher, distorting the Bible to try to justify putting children in these prisons and separating them from their parents, I think the pressure has been shown in the PR effort by the White House.

But there are those who have pushed this policy, like Stephen Miller, the hard line adviser, who will not back away from it, who continue to justify it. And I think we need to be clear here that, unless this is called out for what it is, the inhumanity, on a sustained basis, it will continue.

Because those who carry this out are being inhumane. Those who lie to cover up this policy are being inhumane. And those who do not speak out about this policy are complicit in the inhumanity.

HOWELL: There are those who have been pushing for stricter immigration laws. Some support what is happening here. Again, others who see these images of children, like that child and that child and many others, unsure of what their future is, who see this practice as very cruel.

What do you expect to happen when the president meets with Republican legislators next week to talk about immigration?

Because there are two different bills that are being considered. But those bills illustrate, in fact, the division within the Republican Party on this issue.

LUCAS: I think you will see, as in previous occasions, Donald Trump wander around the table. Remember in past conferences with lawmakers, he has said, on the one hand, we must defend the border and be tough and then, all of a sudden, he has wandered and possibly double backed on the policy.

This is not a president who is necessarily consistent when he is being pressed on details. But your wider question is the key one here --


LUCAS: -- and that is immigration has been an issue in America for decades. We know that. We heard from Jeh Johnson that the Obama administration wrestled with the fact that many people want to come to America because of violence, because of abuse or because they see a better economic future.

The question on how to deal with that, whether to accept these people, whether to deport them, whether to allow them into the U.S. but under strict conditions and monitoring, that is something that will have to be discussed. And there are various approaches, including from the Republicans, on this.

But I think what we need to draw is a bottom line here. This discussion needs to be continued on a sensible basis. And what you must not do, as Donald Trump was saying this week, is to make these children hostages because what Donald Trump said -- and I think you will hear this week is -- if you give me my wall, if you give me a reduction in immigration, if you give me an end to the visa diversity lottery, then I will let these children go.

That is not a humane way to approach immigration, by using children and their parents in this way.

HOWELL: Scott Lucas, thank you for your time and perspective.

LUCAS: Thank you.

HOWELL: Still ahead here on CNN NEWSROOM, it was supposed to be a night of joy. How a graduation party instead became a scene of heartache.

Also, CNN goes inside Islamic Jihad's tunnels in Gaza. An exclusive look at one of the militants' biggest assets -- just ahead.






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

A heartwrenching scene to show you in Venezuela. This as people mourn a deadly stampede at a nightclub in Caracas.

Some 500 students were packed into a club for a pregraduation party. Then a fight reportedly broke out and one of the partygoers detonated a tear gas canister. That triggered panic and a stampede, as many people tried to escape there. When it was all over, at least 17 people had been killed, eight of them were minors. Outside the club, the sidewalk is littered with shoes, with socks and reminders of the panic that ensued. Police say that at least 11 victims died of asphyxiation.

Venezuela's justice minister says seven people were detained. The club has been shut down and the owner arrested for not preventing weapons from getting inside the club. It's being reported that the person who set off the canister was a minor.

We need to warn you about this next story. Some of the images that you will see are graphic. Russian officials are trying to find out why a taxi plowed through a crowd near Moscow's Red Square on Saturday. The incident injured seven people and comes as Russia hosts the World Cup.

Take a look now at this amateur video, shown on state media. It appears to show the crash. The driver veered wildly onto the curb and slammed into pedestrians. The driver then runs across the street. Officials say that he was detained and the situation is under control.

Now to Gaza, where CNN has gotten rare and exclusive access inside Islamic Jihad's military tunnels. Fighters say they use them as a shield for defending the Palestinian people. But Israel doesn't see it that way. Our Ian Lee has this exclusive report.


IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A tunnel opening, somewhere in the Gaza Strip. Islamic Jihad militants guide us through. It's hot, humid, narrow and low-hanging. It feels claustrophobic.

LEE: As you can see, many of these tunnels are reinforced with concrete to protect them from caving in but also from potential airstrikes.

LEE (voice-over): Israel has a different name for them: terror tunnels.

ABU ABDULLAH, ISLAMIC JIHAD (through translator): We use them a shield against heavy missiles fired by F-35 and S-16 aircraft, as well as helicopters so that our fighters can move and play their role, defending the Palestinian people.

LEE (voice-over): They've proven effective for smuggling arms and launching attacks into Israel. Abu Abdullah gives the fighters a pep talk, telling them not to be afraid, God is with them.

Then a recital from the Quran. It's the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. Today's movements are tightly controlled; access for journalists is rare. They blindfold us and we prepare to be driven on to the next location.

Islamic Jihad is one part of the complex, faction-based society that is Gaza. It is smaller than Hamas, the militant group that runs the Strip. But late last month, Islamic Jihad triggered the biggest exchange of fire over Gaza for four years, Israel bombing 60 targets in response to about 100 rockets and mortars, fired from launch sites like this one.

LEE: He's telling us this weapons system here has the range of about four to six kilometers. It was recently used against Israel.

LEE (voice-over): Abu Abdullah says the attack was revenge for the deaths of scores of Palestinian protesters killed by Israeli soldiers on the Gaza-Israel border.

ABDULLAH (through translator): The world hears the conflict only through Netanyahu's voice. We try and make it hear us, through the sound of these simple missiles, to say that we are here, we have land, we are human beings, we want to live in dignity.

LEE (voice-over): But one projectile hit a kindergarten in Israel. No one was hurt but only because no one was around.

I ask Abu Abdullah why they target Israeli civilians.

ABDULLAH (through translator): The world needs to know that the resistance never plans --


ABDULLAH (through translator): -- to target children.

LEE (voice-over): He admits to me mistakes are made and yet, time and time again, they fire rockets indiscriminately.

The U.S., Israel and European Union designate Islamic Jihad, just like Hamas, a terrorist organization. The group has few friends abroad. But it's not totally isolated.

ABDULLAH (through translator): Israel is proud of its support from the United States. And we are proud of Iran's support of the Palestinian resistance on the moral and logistical level. There is nothing wrong with it. And it is not a secret.

LEE (voice-over): Gaza's tragedy can be described in a host of different ways. Having militant groups in charge, committed to Israel's destruction, is just one of many. But for as long as Israel and Egypt maintain an iron grip from outside and the rest of the world wrings its hands, it's hard to see how anything will change -- Ian Lee, CNN, Gaza.


HOWELL: Ian's exclusive report, thank you, Ian.

A daughter is urging U.S. immigration authorities to release her father.


NATALIE GARCIA, JOSE'S DAUGHTER: They should not even be separating families. They should not be dragging people from their homes and kidnapping them.



HOWELL (voice-over): Her father was detained, despite legally living in the United States. Their story still ahead. Stay with us.




HOWELL: Welcome back to our viewers around the world, you're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Atlanta. The headlines we're following this hour.


HOWELL: Turning back to the U.S. immigration debate. President Trump says his hands are tied when it comes to children being taken from their parents after they've crossed into the U.S. from Mexico illegally.

He falsely tweeted this on Saturday.

"Democrats can fix their forced family breakup at the border by working with Republicans on new legislation for a change."

Again, the U.S. president blaming the Democrats but, facts first, it is his own administration that implemented this zero tolerance policy. That policy prosecuting adults caught crossing the border illegally with federal charges, resulting in the increased family separations.

For undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States, the fear of being deported has escalated under the Trump administration. One mother of three fears that she will be separated from her children and sent back to her home country, where she says she will likely be killed. Our Nick Valencia picks up that story.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Speaking Spanish).

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: If you go back to Honduras they'll kill you?

VALENCIA (voice-over): In many ways, Joanna feels like she's already dead. An undocumented from Honduras, she's too scared to show her face or use her real name. She says MS-13 gang members murdered her brother and two relatives back home. Which is why, in 2011, she fled. If sent back, she says, she will most certainly die.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Speaking Spanish).

VALENCIA (on camera): You'd rather they kill you here than you die there?


VALENCIA (voice-over): For the last seven years, Joanna and her American-born children have lived in the shadows of America. She thought fleeing MS-13 gang violence and being a victim of sexual assault would help her qualify for asylum. She applied in 2011, but admits, like so many others, she was too scared to show up to her court date.

Now with a new edict from the Trump administration, her greatest fear is what will happen to her children when or if she's deported. She has three children, all U.S. citizens, under the age of 7.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translation): What will happen to my kids?

Will I be able to take them?

If I go alone, what will happen to my children who are here practically alone?

VALENCIA: On Monday, she's in court for driving without insurance and a license. She could be detained by immigration officers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translation): With the orders that the president gave to get out all of immigrants, why doesn't he take the time to know how someone's life is?

Why on the border are they treating us like animals?

That's not being human. To not feel the pain of someone else.

VALENCIA: Joanna says, under President Obama, she was aware that deportations were at an all-time high but still had hope with the prospect of asylum. Not anymore. Now the only thing she can think of is how best to shield her children from the strong chances of her being sent back.


HOWELL: Nick Valencia with that report, thank you, Nick.

A California family is also feeling the impact of the Trump administration's stance on immigration. Take a look here at Jose Luis Garcia.

His family says he's been a legal resident of the United States for decades. Now at 62 years old, was born in Mexico, he sits in a detention center. He was arrested outside his California home last week by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents because, nearly 18 years ago, he was convicted of a misdemeanor for a domestic violence incident.

Earlier my colleague, Ivan Watson, spoke with Garcia's daughter, Natalie. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Can you briefly describe what happened that day?

GARCIA: He was -- it was just a typical Sunday morning --


GARCIA: -- and was drinking his coffee, watering the lawn. And he started screaming out my name. And I ran out and there was eight officers or agents arresting him.

And I asked for a warrant and they didn't show me a warrant. They said that they were going to take him and it was due to a domestic dispute that he had in 2001 and he had a misdemeanor.

And they didn't tell me where he was being taken or anything. They just took him.

WATSON: Have you been able to see your father since then?

GARCIA: I just saw him today.

WATSON: How was he doing?

GARCIA: He's distraught. He's broken. My father is sick. My father has high blood pressure and diabetes. And he needs constant health care and right foods. And everything. And I just want to make sure he's OK and...

WATSON: This must be just terribly traumatizing for your family right now.


WATSON: Can you help fill in -- what do you think your father's legal status was at the time when he was detained?

GARCIA: He's a green card holder. He's a legal resident, permanent resident. He's been here for 50 years. He's paid his taxes. He's a homeowner. He's been here. He has nine grandchildren, two great- grandchildren. He takes care of my daughter.

WATSON: He's been --


GARCIA: He works three jobs like --

WATSON: He's been in the U.S. for half a century.

GARCIA: We have -- his grandchild is in the active military right now. He's deployed in Germany. He's distraught as well.

WATSON: All right. Natalie, Immigration and Customs Enforcement has put out a statement about your father's case, saying, quote, Databases reveal that Mr. Garcia has past criminal convictions that make him amenable to removal from the United States. Mr. Garcia is currently in ICE custody, pending removal proceedings."

Can you tell me what you know about these past criminal convictions?

GARCIA: What I can tell you is what -- they only specified this one conviction to me. They only specified this one conviction, this misdemeanor to the congressman, Tony Cardenas, to Senator Kamala Harris. They only specified this one misdemeanor.

So and it doesn't matter, because they're trying to portray something else to the media. And what they're really saying is false. And they should not even be separating families. They should not be driving people from their homes and kidnapping them.


WATSON: If your father is deported, presumably he would go to Mexico.

Has he lived there?

Does he know anything about living in Mexico today?

GARCIA: This is his country. This is my father's country. He's been here almost his whole life. We were all born here, we all live here. He's been a model citizen. He has three jobs, like, he's paid his taxes, his home -- he came here for the American dream. And now it's a nightmare.

WATSON: Natalie, this is a terribly difficult time for you and your family.

What does what you have experienced in the last week, what does it tell you about immigration policy in the U.S. today?

GARCIA: There has to be some change. There has to be laws. There has to be reform. There has -- you cannot separate people. You cannot just come to people's homes with no warrant, with no where -- no identification. My father carried his green card in his wallet, his driver's license. They took that from him.

They took it. They said it was government property. They didn't even ask him for an identification. They just took him into a car and didn't even tell us where he was going.


GARCIA: -- tomorrow, it's Father's Day tomorrow and I'm not going to even have my father.


GARCIA: This it the first that I've -- would -- I'm not going to be with my father. And my daughter, that's her father. And I don't even know what to tell her. (END VIDEOTAPE)

HOWELL: And it is Father's Day today and Natalie Garcia speaking with my colleague, Ivan Watson, about the status of her father.

Now to the coast of Spain, we're following the rescue ship Aquarius, which is now in view as it arrives in the port city of Valencia. We have some live images to show you right now. This is the second of three ships carrying hundreds of rescued African migrants to Spain.

On this story, let's return again to Valencia, Spain. Karline Kleijer joins us now with Doctors without Borders.

It's good to have you with us again. We're --


HOWELL: -- watching right now, and I'm sure you can see it as well, that vessel as it approaches Valencia.

What are you expecting as this ship arrives?

KARLINE KLEIJER, MEDECINS SANS FRONTIERES: First of all, we're grateful for the decision of the Spanish government to receive these people. But we were delayed (INAUDIBLE) the people were on board. They are actually very excited. People were singing this morning about their arrival in Spain.

At the same time, we were quite upset because there's not enough here to rescue the (INAUDIBLE) Mediterranean Sea and our boat will be out of business for at least two weeks because of this.

HOWELL: (INAUDIBLE) Medecins sans Frontieres, just a curious question that I have for you, as you assess the many, many people on board, is there a concern about health issues, people who have been stranded at sea?

What do you expect of the situation that people have been in?

And how they are now?

KLEIJER: At the Aquarius at this moment, we kept the most formidable people, either children, either pregnant women or all the children who are on board, which is more than 100.

So yes, a lot of them. And then we have some sick people, we have the people with chemical burns and we had people who were very much affected by hypothermia and the bunch who were almost drowned. We had to bring some people to life after that horrible rescue on Saturday night.

So these are the most vulnerable people. They're OK medically; many of them do need medical care in hospitals in Spain. But what's worse is that these people could have been saved in an harbor in Italy at this moment or in Malta or in France. Instead of that, they had to go for a sea (INAUDIBLE). Many of them (INAUDIBLE) the journey. From our side, (INAUDIBLE) we think this was completely unnecessary.

HOWELL: Karline, I want you to stand by with us for a moment again. I just want to show our viewers the full live picture we're seeing. What we're looking at right now, the Aquarius, that vessel is arriving to the port city of Valencia, Spain, that vessel carrying hundreds of people who've been stranded at sea, these African migrants who are now being allowed into Spain temporarily.

Let's bring Karline back in.

I want to ask you about that process. I set up the context simply to point out there are many nations that are not as open to welcoming migrants. Spain has agreed to do so.

Has your group found it more difficult to carry out the work that you're doing in these rescues?

KLEIJER: Well, by forcing us to go to Spain, it means for, at least another 10 days, probably longer, there's not sufficient search and rescue capacity at sea. And just to emphasize, we have more than 20 nationalities on the ship, we have people from Afghanistan, people from Bangladesh, people from Algeria.

It's a wide variety of people. This is not just migrants from Africa. There are actually many people who've left (INAUDIBLE) and are looking for asylum.

HOWELL: Karline Kleijer, thank you so much for being with us with Medecins sans Frontieres. We will stay in touch with you.

Again, for our viewers, what you're seeing there, that vessel, the vessel Aquarius, as it arrives in Spain at the port city of Valencia, Spain, I should say. Hundreds of migrants, we have been informed, migrants from throughout the region, have basically boarded that vessel and will soon be on safe ground as Spain has welcomed them.

We will continue to track this ship's progress as, again, it approaches the port city of Valencia, Spain.

Still ahead here on CNN NEWSROOM, Lionel Messi starts what could be his last World Cup. How his Argentina squad did against Iceland. Stay with us.





HOWELL: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM.

Residents in New Delhi have been choking on higher than normal levels of dust and pollution this weekend. Fortunately, there could be some relief in sight in the coming days.


HOWELL: Still ahead, day four of the World Cup kicks off in Russia. The very best of Saturday's games and what to expect in Sunday action. Stay with us.






HOWELL: Iceland did not disappoint Saturday in its first ever World Cup match. The island nation got a 1-1 draw versus football powerhouse Argentina. Lionel Messi went scoreless and missed a crucial penalty kick. Argentina's lone goal came from Sergio Aguero in the 19th minute.

CNN's Alex Thomas joins us now live in Moscow with a look ahead in what you can expect.

I'm so excited I can barely say it. Tell us more about what we should see.

ALEX THOMAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: George, we're only an hour away from kickoff in the first of three games on this fourth day of action at the FIFA World Cup in Russia. It all starts with Costa Rica against Serbia at the Samara Arena in Samara, which is one of the eastern of the 12 regions.

Not going to set the pulses racing for the usual football fan immediately but look out for Costa Rica, surprise quarter finalist at Brazil 2014, only losing to the Netherlands who eventually came third after a penalty shoot-out.

Serbia back in the World Cup after missing that Brazil World Cup. They were in South Africa in 2010, a young squad but bolstered by experience in the shape of Nemanja Matic, the Manchester United midfielder and --


THOMAS: -- also the Roma defender, Aleksandar Kolarov. Probably one of the big games of the day undoubtedly is Brazil against Switzerland, a 9:00 kickoff in group E. Brazil the most successful nation at this World Cup but trying to avoid a third successive defeat for the first time in their history.

After that famous 7-1 humiliation to champions Germany in the semifinals on home soil four years ago, they went on to lose the third place playoff as well. But there's a newfound confidence in this Brazil side. The first team across the globe to reach the qualification mark and book their place to Russia 2018, led by Neymar, their superstar, back from injury after Messi's failure against Iceland yesterday.

And Ronaldo's hat trick on Friday, Neymar, who'd like to be in the same conversation as those two greats, has a chance to shine. Switzerland beat Spain. The eventual 2010 champions in the opening game of that World Cup in South Africa.

And then sandwiched between those two group E games is the first match in group F, the defending champions, Germany, up against Mexico, Germany with an impressive record in opening games, George. They have got three and a half goals per opening game since 1986.

HOWELL: All right, Alex Thomas, thank you so much.

The day's top stories still ahead on CNN NEWSROOM. We'll be back after the break.