Return to Transcripts main page


Kim Jong-un Visiting China Tuesday and Wednesday; Chinese Ivory Bans Not Stopping Poaching in Africa; World Cup 2018; Medication on Demand; Old Stories Made New by Flipping Roles; Trump Administration Defends Family Separations; Merkel Has Two Weeks to Reach Migration Deal; Trump Escalates Trade Battle with China. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired June 19, 2018 - 01:00   ET




JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. Ahead this hour, cries for help. Children pleading for their moms and dads after forced separations from their families under the Trump administration's zero tolerance immigration policy.

Later CNN goes undercover to find out how the ivory trade is still thriving despite an international ban.

And at the World Cup, a nail-biter until the very end for England fans. We'll have the highlights and a look ahead for matchups.

Hello, everybody. Great to have you with us. I'm John Vause. This is NEWSROOM L.A.


VAUSE: The Trump administration calls it zero tolerance, insisting it's not a new policy but just enforcing the full extent of the law at the U.S. border with Mexico. Whatever you call it, the end result is families being torn apart, in many cases families fleeing violence and persecution and seeking asylum.

This should perhaps surprise no one. Back in February, the Trump administration quietly removed the words "America's promise as a nation of immigrants" from the mission statement of the immigration department.

The new hardline approach has left many horrified, including some Republicans but the president is digging in, insisting it is all about national security.


TRUMP: The United States will not be a migrant camp and it will not be a refugee holding facility, won't be. You look at what's happening in Europe and other places, we can't allow that to happen to the United States, not on my watch.


VAUSE: Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen defended the non-new policy on Monday, insisting detained children are being treated well, being fed, there's medical covering. There's television, even a movie and her department is just following the law.


KIRSTJEN NIELSEN, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: This entire crisis, just to be clear, is not new. Congress and the courts created this problem and Congress along can fix it. This administration did not create this policy of separating families at the border.

Here's the bottom line. DHS is no longer ignoring the law. We're enforcing the laws as they exist on the books. As long as illegal entry remains a criminal offense, DHS will not look the other way.


VAUSE: None of that is true. But that hardly matters for at least 2,000 children, who have been taken from their moms and dads, including this one.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Speaking foreign language).


VAUSE: The investigative nonprofit ProPublica group published the audio on Monday and said it was recorded last week inside a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility. We have to add, though, CNN has not verified the authenticity of the recording but it sounds pretty authentic to me.

Let's bring in our panel in Los Angeles, talk radio host Ethan Bearman and Republican strategist Luis Alvarado.

OK. So by now we have seen the images of where the kids are being kept at chained fences or "chained wire partitions" as the Breitbart news website likes to call it. Listen to part of the exchange between CNN's Jeff Zeleny and the secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen.



NIELSEN: Which -- be more specific, please.

Enforcing the law? ZELENY: The images that Cecilia (ph) was talking about and sounds that we have seen from these big box stores, the Walmarts and the other stores, when you see this, how is this not specifically child abuse toward these innocent children, who are indeed being separated from their parents?

Are there any examples of child abuse, do you believe?

And how could this not be child abuse for the people who are taken from their parents, not the ones who were sent here with their parents' blessing with a smuggler but people who are taken from their parents?

NIELSEN: Unfortunately, I'm not in any position to deal with hearsay stories.


VAUSE: Luis, hearsay --


VAUSE: -- really?

Hearsay stories, she's not in a position to deal with that, seriously?

LUIS ALVARADO, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: She's been give an script and she's trying to follow it. I think we all knew a few days ago there was some animosity between the president and her, that's the understanding.

Looks like she has got back into the camp and now is talking about the talking points that the Trump administration wants her to say. But the reality is the world is -- knows what's happening. She can't hide the sound of crying children and basically it's collateral damage they're trying to spin.

VAUSE: Ethan, when does someone from this administration resign over a point of principle. Gary Cohen certainly (INAUDIBLE) the economics adviser over tariffs. Trump got up there and defended neo-Nazis next to Gary Cohen on a stage. He didn't resign over that. He resigned over tariffs but at least he took a stand.

Who else has resigned?

ETHAN BEARMAN, TALK RADIO HOST: This is an absolute lack of moral conviction on any one of these people that is in the White House and this administration right now. What's odd, what's truly odd to me right now, is on the Republican side, it is actually Ted Cruz and Senator John Cornyn, the senators from Texas, that are actually stepping up, saying we will write a bill to try and fix this problem.

It's weird that there's nobody in the administration that has any moral center. They all have essentially dark hearts, looking at this, pretending like it's, ah, we're just enforcing the law. Truly darkness in their hearts. VAUSE: It makes you wonder where they will be in their thought process in 10 or 20 years' time from now.

Amid all the criticism and some Republicans have been very critical, we should say. But amid all of this, you can add the name of those who are critical of Anthony Scaramucci, the all-too brief director of White House communications, this is what he said.


ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, TRUMP INAUGURAL COMMITTEE: He's got to step in there and he's got to end this thing. I think it's an atrocious policy, it's inhumane, it's offensive to the average American. And when you think about American values, it does not represent American values.


VAUSE: You're being called out by Anthony Scaramucci, the Mooch, for being offensive and immoral and not standing up for American values, you've hit rock bottom.

ALVARADO: Well, I think the problem with his statement is that he's trying to give cover to the president, saying it's his advisors are the ones that are giving him bad advice and he should get rid of them. The reality is, the buck stops with the president.

VAUSE: Since when?

ALVARADO: Well, America will determine that. It's up to us to stand up and either say, are we going to continue to allow this administration to engage in this kind of behavior?

Or are we going to use our constitutional rights to ensure our voices are heard and we say, no, we don't want this anymore?

BEARMAN: Oddly, there is an aspect to the fact that the advisors are part of this. It's now chief of staff, General John Kelly, when he was running the Department of Homeland Security, that put this idea forward nearly a year and a half ago.

And then they put the plans in place and they're executing that plan. So while the buck is supposed to stop with the president -- and it seems to periodically with this president -- there is something to be said that there is an advisor, who seems to be the driving force behind it and an attorney general who is very happy to join in on that bandwagon.

VAUSE: Speaking of the attorney general on the bandwagon, what is interesting is that we heard from the Homeland Security secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen, saying this is no new policy. We're just enforcing the laws that are already on the book.

Go back to May 8th. It was the same day that Melania Trump launched her "Be Best" initiative. And then we had Jeff Sessions boasting about this new zero tolerance -- and I was on air. We did. We were one of the few folks who actually covered this. This was Sessions back then.


VAUSE: And about an hour later, after those lovely warm sentiments, the U.S. attorney general, Jeff Sessions, announced it would be U.S. policy to separate kids from their parents that they've cross illegally into the U.S.

JEFF SESSIONS (R), U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: If you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you and that child may be separated from you, as required by law.


VAUSE: Luis, he went on and on and was really proud of this. I guess it makes it pretty hard to gaslight an entire nation like it seems the president and Homeland Security secretary are trying to do, when you have the attorney general talk about this new zero tolerance approach.

ALVARADO: And this is where we are today. And this is the consequence when we allow these leaders -- you forgot to mention from the White House, Stephen Miller, who is actually one of -- seen as one of the masterminds, who has given the authority to negotiate on behalf of the president for immigration reform.

He has an agenda. And it's not the American people's agenda. And Republicans are now standing up. The question is, will there be sufficient to actually bring --


ALVARADO: -- this whole catastrophe and the steps of the president to actually be able to force the president to actually change his mind and change his policies. That will be seen in the next 72 hours.

VAUSE: All five living first ladies have now spoken out against the policy, notably that includes the current first lady, Melania Trump. Some said she (INAUDIBLE) I thought it was a fairly strongly worded statement and good for her.

Here's part of an op-ed from Laura Bush, wife of George W. Bush.

"Americans pride ourselves on being a moral nation, on being the nation that sends humanitarian relief to places devastated by natural disasters or famine or war. We pride ourselves on believing that people should be seen for the content of their character and not the color of their skin.

"We pride ourselves on acceptance. If we are truly that country, then it is our obligation to reunite these detained children with their parents and to stop separating parents and children in the first place."

Ethan, is that the America that Donald Trump sees?

Is that the America that his core base of supporters sees? BEARMAN: Apparently not. Because we knew this from day one, when he jumped into the campaign, hey, Mexico sends us their rapists, they don't send us their best. We've got "very fine people" on both sides at the Charlottesville rallies. So talking about white supremacy.

And remember there was the interview with Jake Tapper here on CNN, where he suddenly drew a blank about David Duke.

VAUSE: Never met the guy.

BEARMAN: It's been unbelievable from day one that this is where we were heading with now President Trump. So his supporters knew this, it was evident. And many of them are very vocal about supporting him on this issue.

The laws are being broken, of course, the children will be separated. If only you didn't come to our border, escaping -- by the way, wasn't it Ortega right now in Nicaragua, sending allegedly squads around that are threatening and killing people. There is violence to flee.


ALVARADO: When you abandon the hemisphere, these are the consequences. I think it's because he knows he's abandoned the hemisphere. He wants that wall because there will be trouble in the whole hemisphere. And America asks the hemisphere to follow them in the democracy.

And it has a responsibility that they're now reneging on. And it's now up to us in this country to make sure that our country stands for the Constitution that we all believe is the Constitution that we deserve and we should have.

VAUSE: It's interesting because this administration keeps on insisting that they're just following the law, it's what Obama did. But what the Obama administration did was put a lot of flexibility in there and did not jail, did not separate the kids and put them in cages.

Here's some interesting reporting from "Esquire," which sort of explains the reality on the ground.

"It is also increasingly difficult to present yourself for asylum recognize at official border crossings, the standard in international law. And migrants have been forced to wait for days outside those checkpoints, living and sleeping in exposed conditions.

"This has driven still more people to avoid the legitimate crossings and to try their luck crossing the Rio Grande, a dangerous path that often leads to quick detention by Border Patrol anyway."

And once you get arrested and you break the law, you run the risk of being convicted of what is a misdemeanor at this point. But you still have the risk of losing your child.

So, Ethan, this administration is creating the conditions for these families to be separated.

BEARMAN: There is no question. That's exactly what they've done. They cracked down so hard you can't go apply for asylum, which is in contravention of the 1953 United Nations Refugee Convention that we are signatories to.

Furthermore, what is happening specifically, so now that a misdemeanor has occurred when you have crossed illegally into the country, even if you get recognized with asylum, that doesn't get released from your record, either. That stays on your record that you committed the misdemeanor to cross in to get the asylum, which also going against the convention we were signatories to.

VAUSE: We are out of time, Luis, but last word to you, because this president is taking this country in a whole different direction.

ALVARADO: At the end of the day, this is a self-inflicted Katrina from a political standpoint. Republicans will suffer harshly if they don't find a way to demonstrate to the American people that this is something that they're willing to fix.

It's not just President Trump, it's those elected members in the Congress, but, most importantly, it's those people that donate to Republicans. And now those Republicans are now quiet.

VAUSE: I guess we'll see. Midterms coming up in November. Interesting times ahead. Ethan and Luis, thank you very much.

A growing number of Republicans are speaking out against family separations along the U.S. border with Mexico. CNN's Nick Valencia spoke with lawmakers allowed to visit the detention centers.


NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This nondescript warehouse is housing some of the very youngest children caught up in this immigration policy. Inside, kids, all under the age of 10, some as young as 5 years old, have been taken from their parents after crossing the border.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's really heartbreaking.

VALENCIA (voice-over): We weren't allowed inside for a tour. But Congressman Filemon Vela was. He was part of a congressional delegation to see the conditions --


VALENCIA (voice-over): -- the children are being housed.

REP. FILEMON VELA (D): There are about 80 children; 40 of these kids have been separated from their families. And there's rooms with toddlers. So there's no question that even children underneath the age of 1 are being separated from their families.

VALENCIA (voice-over): The vinyl signs, which are removable, say "Casa El Presidente" and are the only indicators what's behind the walls. While this shelter is smaller than the massive childcare facility less than 3 miles away, Casa Padre, which is housed in a former Walmart superstore, both facilities are run by the same nonprofit, Southwest Key Programs, in cooperation with Health and Human Services.

Southwest Key says their goal is to reunite families as soon as possible.

It was over the weekend a group of Democratic lawmakers toured that shelter, along with the detention facility in McAllen, Texas. The images have spurred bipartisan outrage. Chain-link fences, mattresses on the floor, pens that look like cages.

SEN. JEFF MERKLEY (D): Those kids inside, who have been separated from their parents, are already being traumatized. It doesn't matter whether the floor is swept and the bedsheets tucked in tight.

VALENCIA (voice-over): In McAllen, no one is supposed to be housed longer than three days. But one immigrant said he had been there for a week. Critics say it's the result of the Trump administration's new policy, one that has facilities bracing for a surge of immigrants.

REP. WILL HURD (R): What I've seen is a manifestation of a failed policy. I don't think separating a kid from their mommy is going to prevent terrorists or drugs from coming into our country.

SEN. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN (D): This is not working in terms of stemming the folks who are fleeing for their lives from violence.

VALENCIA: Medical experts say the separation of these children from their parents could be life-long -- Nick Valencia, CNN, Brownsville, Texas.


VAUSE: Coming up here, as the world watches children being taken from their parents, what's the impact on America's moral leadership?

Also Donald Trump wades into Germany's immigration row and goes after Chancellor Angela Merkel in a blistering tweet.




VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody.

The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, is racing the clock to reach a new deal on migration with other European Union leaders. She has two weeks to make this happen or her fragile coalition government could collapse. We get details now from CNN's Atika Shubert in Berlin.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: On Monday, there were fears of a looming showdown between Angela --


SHUBERT: -- Merkel and her interior minister, Horst Seehofer, over the issue of immigration. Seehofer basically wanted to unveil a 63- point plan to reduce migration to Germany. And he had a specific provision that Germany could reject asylum seekers at the border if they had already applied for refugee status in another E.U. country.

Now Merkel rejected that plan because she disputed that one point. She said that freedom of movement was a core principle of the E.U. Take a listen to what she said.


ANGELA MERKEL, CHANCELLOR OF GERMANY (through translator): That's why we believe uncoordinated rejections at our borders as a country at the heart of Europe could lead to negative domino effects, which could also be to Germany's detriment and ultimately lead to the questioning of European unity.


SHUBERT: Instead, Merkel offered a compromise, two weeks for her to try to negotiate a number of bilateral agreements, which would allow Germany to return asylum seekers back to the country where they had originally asked for asylum.

Now she has to work overtime, especially with countries like Italy and Greece, who are already feeling overburdened and overwhelmed with the number of asylum seekers they have.

She met on Monday night with the new Italian minister, Giuseppe Conte, and on Tuesday, she will meet with French president Emmanuel Macron as well as the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker.

Now she has until July 1st. Then, she must come back and report to members of her own party, to lawmakers and try and turn down the heat on this simmering political crisis -- Atika Shubert, CNN, Berlin.


VAUSE: Joining us CNN U.S. security analyst, Gayle Tzemach Lemmon.

Gayle, thank you for being with us. The U.S. president shared his thoughts on the immigration issue in Germany. He sent out this tweet.

"The people of Germany are turning against their leadership as migration is rocking the already tenuous Berlin coalition. Crime in Germany is way up. Big mistake made all over Europe in allowing millions of people in who have so strongly and violently changed their culture."

There is so much wrong in such a short tweet. GAYLE TZEMACH LEMMON, CNN U.S. SECURITY ANALYST: The thing that is so remarkable is we have reached this moment where there rely is no place to go for folks. If you look at Germany, the CDU and the CSU, you have this coalition that is really coming apart because of this big sister-little sister relationship, because of migration.

The CSU has told Chancellor Angela Merkel, we have no intention of changing our views, because the truth is the people that we can send back should go back. So you see walls and borders every place you turn.

I was just in Northern Syria and you talk to people who were trying to flee from the fight.

Where would they possibly go?

People are fleeing desperation on land and they go to sea and they have no place to go anytime.

VAUSE: A lot of people also called out the president for saying crime is up in Germany (INAUDIBLE) way down and violently changing the culture, a lot of people are taking him to task for that. The U.N. Commissioner of Human Rights also publicly criticizing the Trump administration for its policy on family separation. Here is what he said.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The thought that any state would seek to deter parents by inflicting such abuse on children is unconscionable. I call on the United States to immediately end the practice of forcible separation of these children and I encourage the government to at last ratify the convention on the rights of the child in order to ensure that the fundamental rights of all children, whatever their administrative status, will be at the center of all domestic laws and policies.


VAUSE: They're not separating moms and dads from their kids in Europe but if you look at the overall picture, it's not a whole lot better.

LEMMON: No. It's grim. And if you look at what the Italian interior minister said, today he was talking about counting Roma population. So German media immediately started running stories, saying, what does counting a minority population remind you of?

Does anyone remember national Socialism or what the United States would call the Nazi party?

That is immediately what you see happening. And if you look at this remarkable day, you have both the U.N. Security and secretary general and the head of UNICEF talking about the United States as a nation where they have to be concerned, not as a nation, a donor nation, not as a supporting nation but as a nation where they feel they need to speak out about America's actions. VAUSE: And amid all this, the president continues to shed crocodile tears about the status of U.S. immigration laws. This is what he said on Monday.


TRUMP: We have the worst immigration laws in the entire world. Nobody has such sad, such bad and, actually, in many cases, such horrible and --


TRUMP: -- tough. You see about child separation, you see what's going on there. But just remember, a country without borders is not a country at all. We need borders, we need security, we need safety.


VAUSE: He always is geared towards domestic politics here in the U.S. But no one around the world actually paid that much attention to it (INAUDIBLE). They just see moms and dads and kids being separated.

So what's the impact?

LEMMON: And they hear the sounds of children. And I think the one universal experience that we still have not otherized is parenthood. And I think that is a very difficult thing to stomach, to listen to.

So I think you see this administration trying to figure out, how does it talk about being tough on borders while reckoning with a policy that is now really in the headlines to an extent that I think they never really quite planned on.

VAUSE: I found this opinion piece by Paul Krugman in "The New York Times" enlightening.

"For 70 years, American goodness and American greatness went hand-in- hand. Our ideals and the fact that other countries knew we held those ideals as a kind of great power, one that inspired trust.

"Committing atrocities at the border, attacking the domestic rule of law, insulting democratic leaders while praising thugs and breaking up trade agreements are all about end American exceptionalism, turning our back on the ideals that made us different from other powerful nations."

VAUSE: So essentially giving up the role of moral leadership.

Under what circumstances will the average American actually feel the impact of that?

because right now, it's sort of up there and it's a concept.

LEMMON: It is. And part of how we reached this moment is the politics of corners. I have a lot of people that support President Trump in my family. And you see there's little common dialogue. Even now, in this moment, so the question is whether the idea of

parenthood threatened by policy becomes the thing upon which people can agree. But I don't really have an indication that that is anywhere in sight.

Certainly, not talking to folks in my family and certainly not reading headlines and talking to people who really think, yes, this is awful but.


LEMMON: People shouldn't come here illegally. And I really do worry about the European Union. We're talking a lot about the United States. But if you look at "Le Monde" today, they say the migration crisis is actually what could undo the European Union.

And I think we will see France and Germany meeting tomorrow and everybody trying to figure out whether there is common ground on a number of issues, including migration.

VAUSE: These are all problems which just keep coming back on a regular cycle. It just seems that a solution is so difficult.

LEMMON: With moms and dads in the middle and little ones.

VAUSE: Thank you.

LEMMON: Thank you.

VAUSE: This is what a trade war looks like. Donald Trump has fired the latest shot in America's trade dispute with China. On Monday, he ordered officials to find another $200 billion of Chinese goods to face new tariffs.

That follows China's attempt to match the Trump administration's tariffs on $50 billion worth of U.S. exports. The president believes the tariffs will push China to change its ways on acquiring U.S. intellectual property and technology.

Late on Monday, China commerce ministry responded in a statement, saying, "If the United States loses its senses and comes up with a new list, China will be forced to strike back hard and launch comprehensive measures that match the U.S. move in quantity and quality."

The trade war is underway.

Next on NEWSROOM L.A., we go undercover to find the depths of corruption fueling the illegal ivory trade in Mozambique.

What's behind it?

Cash from China.


[01:30:55] VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles.

I'm John Vause. We'll check the headlines this hour.

Donald Trump is once again falsely blaming Democrats for his administration's policy of separating immigrant families at the U.S. border. The President says the U.S. will not become a migrant camp or refugee-holding facility. Critics though say the policy borders on child abuse.

German chancellor Angela Merkel has two weeks to reach agreement with the E.U. on a new immigration or face the possible collapse of her coalition government. The party's junior partner wants tighter restrictions on asylum seekers trying to enter Germany.

More violence and other types of persecutions forced more than 68 million people to flee their homes last year. A new report from the U.N.'s refugee agency said the number of displaced people was at a record high. The long running war in Syria played a major role in forcing up those numbers.

The North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is visiting China on Tuesday and Wednesday. This comes a week after his first summit with the U.S. President Donald Trump.

For the very latest now, we're joined by Matt Rivers in Beijing. For a leader who just didn't really travel a whole lot for the first few years, Kim Jong-un is getting around.

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. John -- we were just having that conversation at the bureau here. It is amazing how quickly, the fact Kim Jong-un, a man who before a couple of months ago had never met an foreign leader of another country. And yet here we are talking about it as if it's been essentially normalized, which in a lot of ways it has.

I mean this is the third time that Kim Jong-un will visit China in the last several months alone. And that would have been almost unthinkable six months ago and yet here we are. And it's amazing how quickly things can change.

In terms of exactly what Kim Jong-un is doing here. Pretty typical, that it was not announced in advance. We don't have any details about his schedule while he's here. We've seen a couple of planes leave Pyongyang. We've seen a convoy that is similar to the one Kim traveled in the last time he was here.

But we haven't seen the picture that shows him with Xi Jinping yet. So exactly where he is at this moment, what he's doing, who he's meeting with we're not sure. But I think, you know, you do the math and he's coming here to talk to Xi Jinping about that summit that was held with Donald Trump, tell Xi Jinping him, the President of China what happened.

And also he's going to hear from the Chinese president. How are China's strategic interests going to be represented at these negotiations moving forward? But yes, it's just hard to overstate how incredibly fast this normalization of the most reclusive, or what was the most reclusive leader in the world now just flying around meeting with people.

VAUSE: Just like it happens every day. Matt -- thank you. Matt Rivers live in Beijing.

Well, despite bans, protests and outrage around the world, the ivory trade remains alive and well. An estimated 30,000 elephants are killed each year to supply the illegal ivory trade. The sale of ivory has been banned internationally for almost 30 years but some places allow what's considered to be old ivory or ivory which were sold in the market before that ban to continue to be traded.

It's a gigantic loophole. The E.U. is the largest exporter with most of their products bound for Asia. But many countries are outlawing these types of sales as well. The United States and China came together in 2016 to announce a nearly complete ban of ivory, old and new, in domestic markets. But despite those efforts elephants are still being slaughtered.

CNN's David McKenzie traveled to the center of poaching in Africa -- Mozambique, where the ban has not had much of a dent in the trade.


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Just a few remaining villages before the remoteness takes hold.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think, you know, it's one of the last great wildernesses and that really needs to be protected.

MCKENZIE: From the plane, Niassa Reserve seems untouched by man's greed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm looking for elephant number 30. We're approaching her last known tracks.

MCKENZIE: But even with the help of GPS, we struggle to find a single herd.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What have you seen?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I've got one, I've got one.

[01:34:59] MCKENZIE: Just like the rest of Africa, here too, the poachers have found a way in.

What happened to the herds?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They've been decimated by poaching.

MCKENZIE: There should be upwards of 10,000 elephants in this reserve. He estimates there are less than 2,000 left.

PHILIP MCLELLAN, WILDLIFE CONVERSATION SOCIETY: Just flying over what used to be bountiful countryside we are now struggling to find animals.

MCKENZIE: A Chinese government ban on ivory has been heralded as the key to saving the species. The world's largest market should now be off-limits but here, conservationists say the slaughter continues.

"We were in the bush when we found a group of elephants," he says. "I shot the first one and then I shot the second one. We were about to remove the ivory when security officials arrived to apprehend us."

Inside a prison yard this poacher speaks freely. He's agreed to talk to us because he wants people to know.

"I had nothing else I could do," he says. "This is the only way."

He says the demand for ivory hasn't diminished. Who then are the buyers?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Chinese have become strong. I think they've bought their way in here and they are like, they have protection.

MCKENZIE: This investigator is actively tracking poaching syndicates.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They know how to get things out.

MCKENZIE: So we are protecting his identity. Despite the ban, he says the Chinese continue to control the market.

What does that mean for conservation?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very, very bad. Very bad. If it continues like that in Niassa there will be nothing left.

MCKENZIE: And are the Chinese to blame for this?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. 100 percent. 100 percent.

MCKENZIE: We wanted to see for ourselves. Using a hidden camera we follow an investigator as he posed as an ivory middleman at the main Chinese trading center he was invited into. It was remarkably easy to get them interested. But, then, China is mentioned.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't take it there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But it is possible to get it through customs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's a crime.

MCKENZIE: It could be a negotiating technique. Drive up the risk to drive down the price, or perhaps the ban's message has made it to Mozambique's Chinese traders.

But a massive bust by authorities in Maputo would show otherwise. In mid-April, more than three tons of ivory was confiscated. Police say the container is linked to a Chinese trading company. The suspects fled and the investigation continues.

Why had there not been prosecution of Chinese nationals in Mozambique?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That one is now the problem, the biggest problem. I think they're buying their way out.

MCKENZIE: Corruption?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Corruption. Corruption.

MCKENZIE: These photos show ammunition, still wrapped in government- issued packaging. The poachers caught wearing all too familiar fatigues of the national army. The rut runs deep.

Just listen to the government's own prosecutor. "We have no doubt about that," he says, "corruption is at the source of poaching." But he says there's a commitment by the state to prevent it.

MCLELLAN: I don't believe that it's too late, no. I'm an optimist and I believe there are elephants down there in the little pockets that we haven't seen. And that they will come together and breed and come back strongly.

MCKENZIE: Reporter: but their population has reached a critical point. And unless China's ivory ban is felt here, this Eden could be emptied.

David McKenzie, CNN -- Niassa Reserve, Mozambique.


VAUSE: Well, Monday's World Cup opener for England came down to the wire. We'll have a look at the last minute heroics and the reaction from the team's captain. All that just ahead here on NEWSROOM L.A.


VAUSE: England's Three Lions staged a dramatic comeback and Belgium's Red Devils looked more like a contender than ever before. I have no idea what any of that actually means.

Thankfully CNN World Sport anchor, Patrick Snell is with us to explain.

PATRICK SNELL, CNN WORLD SPORT ANCHOR: All right. I'm here, I'll take it away.

VAUSE: Over to you, man.

SNELL: I'll tell you exactly what it means. Thank you.

Yes. Look, you have to go all the way back to 1966 for the last time the English national team won football's World Cup. That's over 50 years ago now.

But after the 2-1 victory over Tunisia -- just call it the Harry Kane show, expectations are certainly going to be higher, I would imagine, among England's fans. Captain Kane to the rescue -- and this was, it was a dream start for the English. They take the lead just past the 10 minute mark.

But here's the concern for them. They actually let the Tunisians back into it a needless foul by Kyle Walker there, a penalty is given. And it is for Johnny (ph) levels for Tunisia, 1-1, game on.

I have to say, John -- England did labor. They were frustrated in the second half. But in (INAUDIBLE) time it is Harry Kane, the Tottenham forward who puts the ball into the back of the net -- non-existent marking there, I have to say. Delirious joy for Gareth Southgate, the England head coach. But it became the match winner and let's hear from the main man himself.


HARRY KANE, ENGLAND FOOTBALL PLAYER: It's always in the back of your mind that it's going to be one of those days the ball just won't fall in to a player at the right time. But that's what your character's about. That's why you work so hard as to (INAUDIBLE) 90 plus minutes and thankfully we got one in the end.

GARETH SOUTHGATE, ENGLAND HEAD COACH: For him, I'm personally delighted. But I know he will feel the pride in leading his country to a win in a World Cup match tonight is the most important thing.


SNELL: Well, I mentioned England's kind of success-starved when it comes to winning the World Cup, over 50 years since they last won it. And have a look at the reaction amongst the fans there inside the stadium in Russia. That reaction -- look at that young guy in particular, absolutely living and breathing the moment.

That's what it feels like to watch your team, watch your country competing at the FIFA World Cup. England, get the job and get the three points done -- they really won that time.

I want to focus in on now, John -- on another big story line. Romelu Lukaku and the Belgian national team -- they were 3-0 winners over tournament debutantes Panama. But it's what Lukaku said in the build- up to the game that really caught my attention. Really opening up on his childhood back home in his homeland talking about the family's financial struggles as he grew up and how that helped motivate him become a player.

Here's what he said that some people he feels in him home that wants him to fail. And he added "But it's cool. Those people weren't with me when we were pouring water in our cereal. If you weren't with me when I had nothing then you can't really understand me at all." Really, really powerful words.

[01:45:08] And I tell you what, when you go to the action on the pitch (ph) you look at his contribution this day in a whole new light. It was a dream start as well for the Belgians eventually taking the lead. They struggled early on but they eventually take the lead. (INAUDIBLE) with a superb strike there, it's a fantastic effort in the back of the net. They finally made the break through.

And then it was the Romelu Lukaku show, two goals from the big Belgian -- they man (INAUDIBLE), as I say putting it all into context when you reflect back on those words I just mentioned. That's his second goal going in. Belgium -- 3-0 winners there. They're off to a good start as well -- John.

There you go. You have it all in context as I send it back to you.

VAUSE: I learn so much every time I watch world sport with you. It's just fascinating.

SNELL: I'm honored.

VAUSE: Thank you -- Patrick. Thanks, mate -- see you tomorrow.

Ok. Well, the plot sounds familiar but the cast are quite different. We'll have the very latest on what they're calling a gender-fit (ph) reboot trend in a moment.


VAUSE: To qualify for medicine -- what would that mean for anybody who needs immediate access to medication no matter where they are?

Neil Curry looks for answers in "Biz Frontiers".


LEE CRONIN, UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW: I want to see a chemistry Spotify where you could download the recipe for the drugs you need and then make it on demand.

NEIL CURRY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In the Chemistry Department of University of Glasgow, Professor Lee Cronin is developing a finding a new way to record and manufacture medicine. While still in its infancy his vision is for a database which will give certified pharmacists access to any and every remedy ever made.

CRONIN: Drugs have been manufactured the last say 100 years and only a fraction of those being manufactured are still available today because there's only a finite number of facilities.

If we could digitize that then we could have access to any drug on demand, a bit like the back library of Rolling Stones or The Beatles or books that are out of print that we can reinstate those whenever we need them for zero cost.

CURRY: The concept is this, take paracetamol -- also known as acetaminophen. In chemical terms, it looks like this. That gets recorded in a cloud as a code, downloaded, processed through a so- called chemputer or a 3D printer and out comes the pill. CRONIN: This is our universal chemputer that takes the code from the Cloud and does the chemistry here with these pumps and valves in this robot and takes the chemicals and mixes them together in just the right way and controls the temperatures to make the medicine.

CURRY: So we're taking digital code in a laboratory. We can then play that code and make the drug.

The container for each medicine is 3D printed allowing Cronin to create the design test tube while all the chemicals can be precisely mixed to produce the pill.

CRONIN: This is the finished example here where we start at one end and the drug gets produced here. Take azt (ph) is a very important drug for people that have HIV. How many places in the world is azt made? If we could make that available in these types of devices for instance, logistically that would mean that it would assure access to the millions of people that require this material.

Whereas you had one big facility in one place in the world that makes the world supply, we could basically distribute that, like cloud it anywhere.

[01:49:59] CURRY: It's not an easy pill to swallow. In a world where large-scale pharmaceutical companies and copyrights dominate the drug market, there are also type regulations, the safety and security to prevent abuse and trafficking.

CRONIN: The non-profits are really interested in improving the effectiveness of existing drugs because we can use 3-D printer devices that goes beyond the tablet. I think digitization will give us access to many more drugs and that will prevent overuse of a small number of drugs that we use to treat everything.

So I'm hopeful that in the future as more drugs are digitized, that actually, the patient experience will improve dramatically simply because we have more ways to treat illness in a more personal way.


VAUSE: Hollywood is going for remakes. It certainly worked. It's repackaged with a new cast and there's hope for a similar success of the original. "Oceans 8" is the latest in a recent trend of rebooting movies with women in the previous roles played by men.

Your female remakes are appealing to the Me Too Movement but reactions can be a little bit mixed. Some find it empowering; others maybe just annoying retreads.


SANDRA BULLOCK, ACTRESS: In three and a half weeks, the Met will be hosting its annual ball and we are going to rob it.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: $16.5 million in each of your bank accounts five weeks from now.

MINDY KALING, ACTRESS: That's a lot. >


VAUSE: Well, for a closer look at all of this Rebecca Sun joins us now, she's a senior reporter for the "Hollywood Reporter". Good to see you.


VAUSE: Ok. So it's not just "Oceans 8" because all of this started what two years ago with the "Ghostbusters" reboot. And of course, you know, that was Melissa McCarthy and there was a whole lot of hate on that movie. People were saying it's nothing like the original.

But now, what was a one-off is sort of like a genre with "Ocean's 8". There's a new version of "Back to School". It's called "Life of the Party" starring Melissa McCarthy playing what Rodney Dangerfield did. There's a remake of "Overboard" which is the original Goldie Hawn as the high society snob. Kurt Russell was the working class, single parent. Those are also being flipped.

There's also a whole bunch of other ones in the works. What have you got -- "What Women Want", "Scoundrels", "Lord of the Flies", "Splash", "What About Bob".

Ok. Hollywood loves to reboot because they have no originality and they love to you know, use things over and over and over again. But is there something more to this?

SUN: Well, I mean I think there's two trends here. One is definitely Hollywood loves a reboot. And you can see on TV, you know, the next fall season is going to have, you know, "Magnum PI" on it. Last season we had a new "MacGyver", we had a "Lethal Weapon".

And so there it's easy to trade on existing intellectual property and not have to take a risk, right, with telling a new story that people might not have an existing fan base for.

But certainly this is a really good time to go and you know, you can call it course correction or you can call it expanding new opportunities for a community of people who didn't have an opportunity to star in all those movies back in the 80s and 90s.

VAUSE: What is it? I read -- sort of about this in the "New York Times". And there was one line which kind of, you know, seemed to sum up the problems and the challenges.

Here's what they wrote, "These reboots require women to relive men's stories instead of fashioning their own and they're subtly expected to fix these old films to neutralize their sexism and infuse them with feminism to rebuild it into good movies with good politics, too. They have to do everything the men did except backwards and with ideals." Sort of a play on the whole, you know, Ginger Rogers --


SUN: Right. That was a great line.

VAUSE: -- flip backwards in heels.

So there's so many expectations on these movies, there's not a lot of room for the movie to be a good movie, these things.

SUN: Sometimes you can see that. I mean I think that some criticism of, you know, "Ghostbusters" or with, you know, "Ocean's ", is that it's too slavishly had to hold to certain tropes. You know, you have to have -- ok, I need the Brad Pitt equivalent, or I need the George Clooney equivalent and that's sort of so on down the line, you know.

But I don't think -- I don't think that Amanda has this quote in there was necessarily a bad thing. I mean I think it's great. If you have the opportunity to correct certain things that were blind spots before, I don't think it's bad to, you know, sort of reverse some of the misogyny.

VAUSE: Fix the record again. Yes, well there was a time, and there still is -- one of the points that some crews have made is that the reboots still exists in the shadow of the men.

SUN: That can sometimes be the case. I mean again, sometimes it's sort of a self-fulfilling prophesy because like with "Ghostbusters", for example, people were so -- some people were so opposed to it that there was no way that script -- they wouldn't even admit that that was a good movie even if they actually felt that it was.

VAUSE: Yes, it was bizarre.

SUN: You know. And certainly there's always a risk in rebooting any property. It doesn't matter if it's gender-flipped or not. People always love the original. This is why there is so much furor over like, you know, Episodes 7 and 8 of "Star Wars", people who liked Episodes 4 and 5.

VAUSE: Ok. Of course, "Ghostbusters" was not the first gender flip reboot. If we want to find out the very first one, I think, let's go all the way back to 1982. Michelle Pfeiffer -- will actually go on to admit that this is the worst career decision of her life.

SUN: My gosh.


[01:55:06] VAUSE: Ok. Yes, it was the never to be talked about sequel "Grease 2". What was interesting though is that Michelle Pfeiffer played "Stephanie" which was the original "Danny" role, you know, the bad guy --

SUN: Right. The biker chick.

VAUSE: Yes, the rebel without a cause kind of character. And then there was the "Sandy" part was played by some guy who I never saw before --

SUN: Maxwell Caulfield.

VAUSE: His name -- I never heard of him again. You know, it was really interesting. Check out how they introduced Michelle Pfeifer in the film.



MICHELLE PFEIFFER, ACTRESS: We will be late. Let's go.


VAUSE: Ok. It was awful, it was so bad. And I guess, you know -- I guess the point of this is that they can be all the best intentions of the world of you know, poking a record, righting the wrongs; getting rid of misogyny, getting rid of the sexism but if the movie sucks, it sucks.

SUN: If it sucks you can't blame it on the fact that, you know, Danny was a girl this time.

VAUSE: Right.

SUN: It's just because of the writing and the hokeyness (ph). And actually I think with "Grease 2" it's because it was just a craven cash grab.

VAUSE: It was horrendous.

SUN: "Grease" was too popular so they made a sequel when it didn't really beg for one.

VAUSE: (INAUDIBLE) if you take a look at "Grease" that was one of the most -- the messages that come out of "Grease" are like some of the worst messages that Hollywood have ever put out.

SUN: The lyrics to "Summer Nights".

VAUSE: Yes. And you know, she became a smoking leather pants wearing, you know, fluffy head woman to please her man.

SUN: Yes.

VAUSE: And that was incredibly successful. But again, yes. The thing is that you can't correct the wrongs if the movie is so bad.

SUN: I think it always has to go back to story. You know, you can -- I mean anything with even lofty societal ideals but if you don't have a good story, if you don't have characters that make sense then it doesn't matter -- all your good intentions do not matter. At the end of the day, audiences just want a good story.

VAUSE: Yes, absolutely. Rebecca -- thank you. I'm going to go watch "Grease 2" again.

SUN: I liked it.

VAUSE: No, you did not. No one liked it. That's impossible. Thanks -- Rebecca.

No one liked "Grease 2".

You're watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause.

Please join us on Twitter @CNNNEWSROOMLA for highlights and clips of the show.

The news continues with Rosemary Church in Atlanta after a short break.