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Trump Wants to Delay Immigration Bill until after Midterms; Trump Changes Focus on Immigration to Crime Victims; Migrant Kids Allege Abuse; E.U. Tariffs Now in Effect on U.S. Goods; Turkey's Erdogan Faces Crucial Election; Separated Families Desperate to Reconnect; U.S. Suspends Some Military Drills with South Korea; Italy Forces Rescue Ships to Suspend Operations; 2018 World Cup. Aired 5-6a ET

Aired June 23, 2018 - 05:00   ET




TRUMP: (In progress) -- be here. People who will continuously get into trouble and do bad things.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): The U.S. president flips the script, talking about Americans who have been killed by undocumented immigrants, still remaining silent on the fate of thousands of immigrant children.

Plus, CNN gets exclusive access inside one immigrant housing center that has been sheltering some of those children who have been separated from their parents.

And ahead, Brazil's Neymar scores his first goal in this year's World Cup, but his (INAUDIBLE) final whistle.

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: 5:00 am on the U.S. East Coast.

The Trump administration says 500 families who crossed the U.S.-Mexico southern border have been reunited. Thousands of children are still being held in facilities around the country. In many cases, their parents still have no idea of where they are.

On Friday, just two days after saying he didn't like the sight or the feeling of families being separated and after issuing an executive order to stop it, Mr. Trump tweeted this, quote, "We cannot allow our country to be overrun by illegal immigrants as the Democrats tell their phony stories of sadness and grief."

You will remember the president's words about migrants crossing the southern border when he announced his campaign for the office. Grossly overgeneralizing, he said this, quote, "They're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime, they're rapists."

On Friday, he returned to that theme against the backdrop of his zero tolerance policy and family separations, as our Boris Sanchez reports for you.


BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Trump met with people who have lost loved ones at the hands of undocumented immigrants, as the White House tries to shift the focus of the immigration debate away from thousands of immigrant children separated from their parents.


TRUMP: These are the American citizens permanently separated from their loved ones. The word permanently being the word that you have to think about, permanently. They not separated for a day or two days. They are permanently separated because they were killed by criminal illegal aliens.


SANCHEZ: Trump used the occasion yet again to blame opponents.

TRUMP: Where is the condemnation of the Democrats' sanctuary cities that release violent criminals into our communities and then protect them?

SANCHEZ: And, building off a familiar refrain dating back to the first day of his campaign, Trump now suggesting immigrants entering the United States are more dangerous than U.S. citizens.

TRUMP: I always hear that, oh, no the population is safer than the people that live in the country. You have heard that, fellows, right? You have heard that. I hear it so much and I say, is that possible? The answer is, it is just not true.

SANCHEZ: Border Patrol Union president Brandon Judd telling CNN the president's broad description does not match reality.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: He makes it seem like almost of these people trying to come into the United States are killers or rapists or drug dealers.

BRANDON JUDD, PRESIDENT, BORDER PATROL UNION: No. If he's purposely trying to do that, then that is not true. The vast majority of the individuals that we encounter are very polite, very respectful individuals. It is about 20 percent that we deal with that have criminal records.

SANCHEZ: After a roller-coaster week of mixed messages from the White House, Republicans in Congress are still uncertain as to what is next.

REP. MIKE COFFMAN (R), COLORADO: What I would like is for the president to have the same message, the message that he -- when he talked to us, behind closed doors, vs. a message in terms of talking to the American people.

SANCHEZ: After saying there was no way he would sign an executive order ending family separation -- TRUMP: I can't do it through an executive order.

SANCHEZ: -- on Wednesday, he did just that and told Congress to follow suit.

TRUMP: We're also wanting to go through Congress. We will be going through Congress. We're working on a much more comprehensive bill.

SANCHEZ: But this morning, Trump appeared to dismiss the idea altogether, tweeting in part -- quote -- "Republicans should stop wasting their time on immigration," leaving some House Republicans who have been working for weeks on a compromise immigration bill deflated.

REP. MARK SANFORD (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Game over. It takes the wind out of the sails in what might have been a fairly productive week even in terms of looking for a compromise. Without the president being out front, without the president having legislators' backs, there is no way they are going to take the risk that would inherent in a major reform bill.

SANCHEZ: President Trump has long bashed Democrats, claiming they are politicizing the issue of immigration. If you look closely at that tweet we mentioned, the second half of it reads as a call to action to his supporters to head to the poll in November and vote for a red wave to head into Congress over --


SANCHEZ: -- the issue of immigration -- Boris Sanchez, CNN, at the White House.


HOWELL: Let's talk about all this now with Steven Erlanger, the chief diplomatic correspondent in Europe for "The New York Times," live via Skype with us from Brussels.

Always a pleasure to have you on the show. Let's talk about the president focusing on these terrible stories, the loss of these angel families. Using it, however, to change the narrative from the painful images, the sounds and stories we've all heard, of children being separated.

Does this approach gain traction?

STEVEN ERLANGER, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": Well, I'll tell you, George, this is a very depressing set of stories. It's depressing on every side. The president is clearly -- sees this issue as a vote winner. It's all about taking back control of a border.

The fact is the number of migrants coming to the United States has been falling, falling regularly. It's fallen under Mr. Trump. Most of the people who come are not criminals and the United States' aging population needs migrants.

The president tweeted on Friday, telling Republicans to stop wasting their time on the immigration issue until after the November midterms.

Is he being overly optimistic that he can manage the burgeoning tide of this story between now and then?

ERLANGER: I think he feels that his voters like what he's saying, as exaggerated as it is, and like what he's doing, even though he's doing less than he says, and they like the cruelty being expressed on the border. They think this is what Trump was elected to do.

So I think he really wants the Republicans to leave it alone because he's afraid it will be watered down as an issue before the midterms. This is something, I think, you know, along with raising tariffs and things like that, where Mr. Trump believes he's speaking to his base, which wants American interests first, which feels the country's being overrun -- which it isn't -- and which is very nervous about jobs and their identity.

So for Mr. Trump, I think it's all about votes, it's not about the policy.

HOWELL: Finally, sit back for a moment on a tale of two narratives, I'd like you to listen to the echo chamber, the selling of the president's message by FOX News, not their journalists -- with respect, I do separate them from that. But let's listen to this.


LAURA INGRAHAM, FOX NEWS HOST: Since more illegal immigrants are rushing the border more kids are being separated from their parents. And temporarily housed in what are essentially summer camps.

STUART VARNEY, FBN HOST: They will suppress the good news on the economy, promote children in cages --

CARLSON TUCKER, FOX NEWS HOST: No matter what they tell you, this is not about helping children. Their goal is to change your country forever.

BRIAN KILMEADE, FOX NEWS HOST: Like it or not, these aren't our kids. Show them compassion, but it is not like he is doing this to the people of Idaho or Texas. These are people from another country.

RACHEL CAMPOS-DUFFY, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I spoke to some African- Americans who say, "Gosh, the conditions of the detention centers are better than some of the projects that I grew up in."


HOWELL: Not sure which African Americans she spoke with. Not all of us grew up in a project.

But it does seem clear to me that these are cages in these detention centers, these are not summer camps. That host who suggested these are not our kids later tried to apologize.

But the question to you here, the echo chamber, these two narratives, is the echo chamber finding it hard to sell this message?

ERLANGER: We are a very, very divided as a country. And we are a very emotional country. And somehow our politics have become ugly in their language and in their lack of humanity. You know, I'm not commenting on FOX. These are people with their opinions. They have every right to have their opinions.

But they show a kind of lack of basic human decency that, personally, I think some people, including some Republicans, find a little hard to swallow.

HOWELL: Steven Erlanger, we appreciate your time and perspective. Thank you.

ERLANGER: Thanks, George.

HOWELL: Important to point out, this policy of separating children from their families, it has been happening for decades, well before President Trump but rapidly accelerated under his zero tolerance policy.

The U.S. government estimates it now holds nearly 12,000 immigrant minors. Those children are often moved without notice among more than 100 youth detention centers across 17 different states. These facilities are contracted with the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement, which is responsible for the children's whereabouts and their welfare.


HOWELL: Disturbing allegations, though, of abuse have been filtering out of some of those detention centers. They include unsanitary conditions, invasive monitoring of phone and mail and un-air conditioned rooms in the summer and forcibly giving the children powerful mood-altering drugs, often described as "vitamins."

One civil rights attorney says the conditions the children must endure is appalling.


NEHA DESAI, NATIONAL CENTER FOR YOUTH LAW: The care they receive is shocking. What we have witnessed shocked my conscience and I have to repeatedly remind myself that this is actually happening in our country.


HOWELL: One of the many facilities taking in these migrant children is in Bristow, Virginia, not far from Washington. Our Brian Todd was given an exclusive access to it.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is typically three boys to a room?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three, maybe two.

TODD (voice-over): A clean, modest and comfortable room for three immigrant boys who've had a harrowing journey; 46 boys live in this 18-bedroom house. Many have to be taught some of the most basic life skills.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They do it all. They learn how to wash clothes, do their laundry.

TODD (voice-over): This is part of a 200-plus acre campus operated by a non-profit called Youth for Tomorrow. It's in Bristow, Virginia, about 30 miles outside Washington. It was founded by former Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs in 1986 and one of its primary roles is to house unaccompanied immigrant minors.

Today, it's also sheltering children separated from their parents at the border because of President Trump's zero tolerance policy. Many arrive here in an extremely fragile emotional state.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They've been physically beaten. Many of the girls have been sex trafficked and sexually abused, sexually exploited. Many the boys have been threatened with their lives if they don't sell drugs.

TODD (voice-over): CNN got exclusive access inside the facility. But due to federal law, we were not allowed to film any children or even to talk to them off camera. Officials here say that if images of these children are shown to the public, they could be targeted by gangs or human traffickers.

Most of the more than 100 immigrant children here are between 10 and 17 years old. All of them are unaccompanied. But there are also some infants who are housed here with their mothers. Some of those babies were even born here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have a crib for the baby and the mommy and if two girls, two teen girls came, then they would be able to share a room. But when a mommy and me comes, we just give them a room for just the two of them.

TODD (voice-over): CNN has reported extensively in recent days on abuses, neglect and poor conditions in detention facilities faced by many immigrant children in the current wave of migration. Officials at this group home want to show another side of that story, a place that takes pride in caring for the most vulnerable and traumatized of the recent immigrants.

Virginia senator Tim Kaine was coming out of the facility as we entered.

SEN. TIM KAINE (D), VA: This a high-quality program. These are all girls' homes for domestic and immigrant children. TODD (voice-over): There are 10 spacious houses on the complex. They have a library here, well-appointed classrooms, a soccer field and a gym. The immigrant children are housed and schooled here but are kept completely separate from American children.

The American children here are troubled. Many have criminal backgrounds and behavioral problems. The work here for staff members is challenging, tough and emotionally exhausting, all channeled toward one goal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our goal with every immigrant child who comes here is to reunite them with family in America. So we are parents to those children until they are reunited with someone in the family.

TODD: Some advocates for those children and some political leaders have said in recent days that it will be extremely difficult to reunite separated children with their families. And some have said that some of the children will never be reunited.

But officials here say they have a 99 percent success rate in reuniting the immigrant children here with some members of their families in the United States -- Brian Todd, CNN, Bristow, Virginia.


HOWELL: Brian, thank you for that report.

Still ahead, the European Union has retaliated hard against American tariffs on steel and aluminum. And now President Trump is hitting back.

Plus, Turkish voters prepare for a crucial election. What's at stake as they choose a president. Stay with us.





HOWELL: President Trump is doubling down on his trade fight with Europe. On Friday he threatened to impose steep tariffs on European auto imports. It was a counterpunch against the European Union for its new tariffs on American products. We have more from Clare Sebastian.


CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There was a tit-for-tat playing out in real time and in public. First, E.U. tariffs on $3.2 billion worth of U.S. goods came into force Friday. That was widely expected and telegraphed: peanut butter, Bourbon, denim, motorcycles, quintessentially American products from politically critical states, designed to hit the U.S. where it hurts. The E.U. was retaliating for the Trump administration's tariffs on

steel and aluminum. The Trump administration doesn't see it that way.

Within hours, President Trump had tweeted this, "Based on the tariffs and trade barriers long placed on the U.S. and its great companies and workers by the European Union, if these tariffs and barriers are not soon broken down and removed, we will be placing a 20 percent tariff on all of their cars coming into the U.S. Build them here."

It is not the first time the Trump administration has dangled the prospect of car tariffs. Back in May, they opened an investigation into whether foreign auto imports threatened U.S. national security.

But it is a serious threat. The U.S. is the biggest market for European cars and European carmakers already being hit from all sides in this trade spat. Daimler, the maker of Mercedes-Benz, already warned this week its profits would be hit by the U.S.-China tariffs.

And this could also come back to bite the U.S. economy. European carmakers already manufacture many of their vehicles in the U.S. If their profits get hit, so will U.S. jobs. And a 20 percent tariff means the U.S. consumer could be paying thousands of dollars more for a European car.

However you look at it, this escalation is intensifying, where we could all end up paying the price -- Clare Sebastian, CNNMoney, New York.


HOWELL: Clare, thank you.

Turkey is preparing for Sunday's landmark elections when voters go to the polls to elect both a president and a new parliament. The president there, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is hoping to secure another victory to usher in a new system of government, one that scraps the prime minister role and gives the president sweeping new powers.

Our Sam Kiley spoke to some of Mr. Erdogan's diehard supporters. Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): There is freedom in this country, there is services, peace and stability. He built roads, airports and hospitals. This is a president together with his people. Therefore, I wish him all the success.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): We use our headscarves, we go to mosques freely, teach Quran in courses, religious schools are free. We live in our religion Islam freely. What else can he do?

I think economy is doing fine and Erdogan brought us good services.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SAM KILEY, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There is only one person expected to win Turkey's presidential elections and that is the man standing behind me.


KILEY: The issue for him is, can he avoid a runoff and can he save fate by holding onto power within Turkey's parliamentary elections?


HOWELL: And Sam Kiley joining us live from Istanbul, Turkey.

Sam, an opposition rally there underway.

What is the mood and what are the issues rallying people together?

KILEY: (INAUDIBLE) Muharrem Ince, to claw back (ph) the concentration (INAUDIBLE) that President Erdogan has for winning in a referendum last year and through this election will be able to consolidate almost all the executive power in his own hands.

Now Mr. Ince, who represents a broad coalition from hardline Islamists (INAUDIBLE) staunchly secular heirs of Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, he has said that, in 48 hours, if he gets elected, he will repeal the state of emergency that exists in Turkey following the attempted coup two years ago and also continue to control the -- allow greater concentration of power in the parliament.

Now, George, I think I've lost my feed to you in my ear.

So I'll also reflect on Erdogan. He is a character, who, however you cut it, and he's often unpopular (INAUDIBLE), is a popular figure in Turkey. He could win 51 percent of the first round of presidential elections and that would guarantee his -- continue his incumbency.

If he doesn't and he's forced into a runoff, things get a lot tougher for him, particularly as there is some anticipation that he may lose ground in Turkey's parliament.

Also a lot of this might well turn on how the predominantly Kurdish community votes. A lot of them, ironically, are actually Erdogan's (INAUDIBLE) secular Kurds are pro the opposition. So a lot will depend on whether or not the main Kurdish party (INAUDIBLE) counted at all -- George.

HOWELL: Sam Kiley, live again in Istanbul, Turkey, where we look ahead at the election coming up. We will stay in touch to see what the results are. Thank you.

Floodwaters have started to recede in parts of northeastern India. This after torrential rains devastated the area in the last few days. Take a look at these images. You get a sense of what's happening. Nearly 2 dozen deaths are being blamed for (sic) the floods . More than 1,500 villages have been swamped.

Flooding is an annual problem during monsoon season in South Asia. Meantime, landslides and flooding are also hitting Southwest China.



HOWELL: Still ahead, President Trump tries to change the focus on immigration using fear to drive the debate. How that fear is affecting migrants with children.

Plus this --


LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: She's crying because she says she had to leave her mother and her brothers. She feels alone. She feels alone with her three kids.


HOWELL: Our Leyla Santiago has been telling these stories of families escaping hardships. You'll hear more of her story as CNN NEWSROOM pushes on.






HOWELL: After a week of nonstop criticism, Donald Trump moves to retake control of the immigration debate, putting the focus on crimes committed by undocumented immigrants, signaling that he may have backtracked on the separation issue.

But he's still not giving up that zero tolerance policy. He met with families who had relatives killed by undocumented immigrants and then suggested the immigrant population is somehow more dangerous than U.S. citizens. The president also tried to compare those families, what they're dealing with, to what's happening on the border. Let's listen.


TRUMP: These are the American citizens permanently separated from their loved ones. The word permanently being the word that you have to think about, permanently. They not separated for a day or two days. They are permanently separated because they were killed by criminal illegal aliens.


HOWELL: Mr. Trump also returned to his familiar themes, attacking the media and attacking Democrats.

He wrote on Twitter, "We can not allow our country to be overrun by illegal immigrants as the Democrats tell their phony stories of sadness and grief."

But those stories caused the president to issue an executive order to stop those separations. And they've been documented by reporters along the border and across the country, reporters like our Nick Valencia, who looks at some of the families affected by the president's policy.


NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This 7-year-old boy from Guatemala was finally embraced by his mother in a Baltimore airport this morning after weeks apart. They're just one family lucky enough to reunite after being separated at the U.S.-Mexico border.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): This is the only son I have and I'm never going to be separated from him again.

VALENCIA: U.S. Customs and Border Protection says it has unified approximately 500 children, over 15 percent, with their parents who had been referred for prosecution for illegal entry.

By that math, more than 3,300 immigrant children have been separated in the U.S. and a vast majority of them are still wondering when they will see their loved ones again.

Cindy Madrid and her 6-year-old daughter, Allison, are part of that group.

CHILD: I want to go with my aunt --

VALENCIA: Allison is one of the tiny voices recorded by "ProPublica" that sparked national outrage this past week. Also this week, CNN spoke with her mother who is currently being held at this detention facility in Port Isabel, Texas. Allison is reported to be more than 1,200 miles away at a children's center in Phoenix, Arizona.

CINDY MADRID, SEPARATED FROM HER DAUGHTER: Please help me reunite with my daughter soon. I'm desperate. I want to see her.

It's maddening because at the every moment I ask myself, how is she?

Has she eaten?

VALENCIA: During a report by "ProPublica," Allison phoned her aunt, who did not want to be seen on camera.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (from captions): Have they said anything about your mom to you there?


VALENCIA: In a new suit filed in a Washington, D.C., court, three undocumented immigrants are demanding immediate access to basic information about their children's whereabouts and wellbeing.

According to the document, one mother, who was separated from her son last month, has only been able to speak with him for a total of 15 minutes.

"I try to tell him everything will be OK and that I'll see him soon. But the truth is I don't know what will happen with us," she says.

An immigration attorney I spoke with today says those detained have little information about their fate.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What I was told was it might take about a month just for that reunification to happen. But people inside the jail actually had no idea that was even a possibility. They were just -- what they're getting information from the news.

VALENCIA (voice-over): For now, the Trump administration has few concrete answers -- Nick Valencia, CNN, Los Fresnos, Texas.


HOWELL: Nick, thank you.

As word spread through Central America of children being forcibly taken from their parents at the U.S. border, some parents were stopped dead in their tracks, uncertain as to whether they should continue making the journey. But others say they have no choice but to keep going, even with the risk of family separation. Our Leyla Santiago explains for you.


SANTIAGO: Here in Tapachula, on the Mexico-Guatemala border, immigration officials tell us that the flow of immigrants is about average. The reason that's so important is because, typically, what you see happen here, in terms of immigration, is an indication of what's to come at the U.S.-Mexico border.

SANTIAGO (voice-over): At a local shelter in Tapachula, Mexico --


SANTIAGO (voice-over): -- just north of the border with Guatemala, the news of families being torn apart at the U.S. border is spreading fear.

24-year-old Margery Flores left Honduras the day after gang members threatened to kill her and her children firing gunshot at her home. Staying in Mexico, she says, isn't far enough to escape the gang's reach.

But the idea of being separated from her three children, whose faces she does not want shown to protect them, has put her plans on hold. Even here, she's heard the recording of the haunting sounds of children sobbing. She is crying because she said she had to leave her mother and her brothers. She feels alone. She feels alone with her three kids. Ana Hernandez is staying in the same shelter with her 8-year-old daughter.

She's talked to her about the possibility they may get separated. So she finds this all so confusing, what order has been signed, what the policy is, but what she knows for sure is that she can't keep going north if she's going to be separated from her child. But she's also mentioned she also can't go back to Honduras because she fears being killed there.

Despite the unfolding story up north, some migrants are still determined to press on. This group of seven adults, two children, say they haven't heard much about the ongoing immigration debate in the U.S. but that's where they plan to go.

As they are rushed along, Yanick Abroad (ph) from Cameroon explains it's too dangerous to live in a place where basic human rights are not guaranteed. They can't go back, he says, even if it means family separation.

YANICK ABROAD (PH), CAMEROON IMMIGRANT: He is the president. He can decide, but we just want a good -- a place where we can be safe.

SANTIAGO: Wilson Chinchilla (ph) is on his first attempt at reaching the United States, partly in search of a job but mostly for safety. He's escaping the violence in his native Honduras that has left his body scarred, the assaults from gang members.

Even so, he feared what could happen to his wife and his 4-year-old daughter if they joined him on his trek to the United States.

SANTIAGO: He is saying that he has heard and he understands that things are changing on the U.S.-Mexico border but he plans to continue his journey north and he says they're not all gang members.

And we talked to one immigration attorney who says smugglers are really preying on the vulnerabilities of these immigrants, using that fear of family separation to convince them to use a smuggler instead of going about it the legal way, saying that they can get them into the United States without having to worry about family separation if they use a smuggler -- Leyla Santiago, Tapachula, CNN, Mexico.


HOWELL: Leyla, thank you.

An airline in Mexico is offering free flights to families separated at the U.S. border because of President Trump's zero tolerance policy on immigration. Reuters reports that Volaris will work with U.S., Mexican and Central American authorities to offer free tickets to families that are trying to reunite.

In a statement, the airline said, quote, "It hurts us to see these children without their parents," end quote. Earlier this week, several U.S. airlines asked the U.S. government not

to use its planes to fly migrant children after they're taken from their parents.

The U.S. zero tolerance policy also appears to be in effect in the northern part of the border with Canada. This after a French woman was visiting her mother in Canada, arrested last month, the 19-year old was jogging on a beach in British Columbia when she says she accidentally slipped into Washington State.

Here's how she described being held for weeks by U.S. authorities.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): He stopped me and started telling me I had crossed the border illegally. I told him I hadn't done it on purpose and didn't understand what was happening to me.

He said, maybe you're going to be deported to your country. They started taking me to their center, they put me in their cars with the bars, in a holding room. They took me to their buildings, asked me to take off my belongings, my jewels. They searched me everywhere. That's when I understood it was starting to be very serious and I started to cry a little.



Now U.S. Customs and Border Protection is responding to the arrest. A spokesperson said this, "If an individual enters the United States at a location other than an official port of entry and without inspection by a Customs and Border Protection officer, they have illegally entered the United States and will be processed accordingly."

Still ahead here on CNN NEWSROOM, the ongoing immigration crisis in Europe. Also playing out, rescue ships there picking up migrants by the hundreds. But no country seems to want them there.

Plus, Switzerland gets a tough win at the World Cup. How the celebrations are (INAUDIBLE). Stay with us.





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

The United States is making good on a promise that President Trump made at the summit with North Korea to hold off on military exercises with South Korea. The Pentagon just announced it is indefinitely suspending some of the

drills, including a computer simulated attack and training exercises with Marines from both countries. The Pentagon saying additional suspensions depend on North Korea having productive negotiations.

After all the goodwill, President Trump sending mixed messages on North Korea. Last week he tweeted that the country was no longer a nuclear threat. But on Friday, a different tune.

In an executive order, the president extended a so-called national emergency on North Korea. The order calls the nation an "unusual and extraordinary" threat.

A charity based in Germany called Mission Lifeline rescued more than 200 migrants from the Mediterranean in recent days. It's not clear, though, if those people -- where they will end up.

This is the moment that a mother and her small child were rescued from an overloaded boat off the Libyan coast.

But Italy has a warning: if the rescue ships dock in that country, the vessel may be impounded and the crew could be charged with human trafficking. Our Atika Shubert has details.


ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There's about a dozen or so of these rescue aid ships operating in the Mediterranean right now. The smaller Seefuchs and the much larger search and rescue vessel, the Lifeline. Both of them are run by German aid organizations, both are also Dutch flagged vessels.

The Seefuchs --


SHUBERT: -- does not have any asylum seekers on board. But the Lifeline did rescue more than 200 asylum seekers. Now it's not clearly exactly what happened. But the Lifeline says that it received a distress signal, immediately went to the location.

Italy says that the Lifeline was instructed not to rescue the asylum seekers, to allow the Libyan coast guard to take care of it. The Lifeline did not do that. It picked up the asylum seekers, believing it to be the safest and quickest option.

And that's when an international game of hot potato ensued. Italy says it didn't want to open its ports, insisting that the Lifeline go to Malta. Following that, it said it was actually a Dutch problem because the vessels were Dutch flagged. The Netherlands, on the other hand, said it wasn't its responsibility because the ships had been improperly registered, that they were not registered as commercial vessels.

What now appears that Italy's transport minister has said, that the Lifeline will be allowed to dock in Italy and that the asylum seekers can come ashore. However, the ship itself will be impounded and the crew will be detained for human trafficking.

The Seefuchs, on the other hand, has decided to dock in Malta as a precaution. It did not want to see its crew detained and it has suspended its operations temporarily. As for the Lifeline, it remains at sea. It's not clear at this point what will happen to its crew. and the asylum seekers on board -- Atika Shubert, CNN, Berlin.


HOWELL: Ahead here on CNN NEWSROOM --


HOWELL (voice-over): -- a lot of excitement at the World Cup. Brazil gets something to sing about. And a look at their match and Neymar's history-making goal. Stay with us.





HOWELL (voice-over): It is a sea of excitement. These Brazilian fans taking to the streets of Moscow Friday, celebrating their team's dominant win over Costa Rica. The team got a powerful 2-0 win versus Costa Rica in St. Petersburg.

Philippe Mourinho scored the first goal. Superstar Neymar followed it up with his own goal in the 97th minute.

Also in group E, Switzerland took on Serbia in (INAUDIBLE), Serbia with an early lead with this goal. But the Swiss fought back. They came from behind to win 2-1.


HOWELL: Let's get the very latest, live in Moscow, "WORLD SPORT's" Amanda Davies following all the action and a look at what's ahead at Saturday's games.

Amanda, Switzerland beat Serbia yesterday but there was more than meets the eye to this game, tinged with history and politics. Tell us more.


Who says that football and politics don't mix?

We saw both absolutely collide on the pitch last night. We know that Switzerland is a team that is made up with a number of players from different ethnic origins. Their two goal scorers, Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri, are both of Kosovan origin. Two players who proudly talk about their history, heritage. Shaqiri actually has a flag of Kosovo on the back of one of his boots,

the flag of Switzerland on other of his boots. But there was a lot of history between Serbia and Kosovo.

Kosovo, an ethnically Albanian territory, that was involved in a war for independence against largely Serb troops in the 1990s. Kosovo did declare its independence in 2008. But Serbia still hasn't recognized that.

So we saw the great emotion from Xhaka and Shaqiri as their scored their goals, both celebrated, crossing their hands and putting together an eagle motion, which is the eagle from the flag of Albania, very much making reference to their ethnic roots.

It's something that FIFA and football's governing body doesn't accept. They don't like political statements in the football arena. We expect them to investigate but haven't heard anything official from them, as things stand. Certainly a result not only for Switzerland but far beyond, as well, last night -- George.

HOWELL: All right. Of course a lot of excitement about what is going to take place behind you there at the stadium, a lot of excitement around Belgium and Tunisia. Belgium not quite as good as expected.

Could their luck change in Russia?

DAVIES: Yes, George, the fans are flocking. Still a couple of hours until kickoff. We've got the red, yellow and black-clad Belgian fans here in their numbers.

This is a team that I feel like I have talked about year on year, time in, time out. They're great quality but they just haven't managed to pull it off and do what was expected at these major tournaments in years gone by.

I actually went inside the stadium yesterday and saw the Belgian boss, Roberto Martinez, at his press conference and saw the team train. It's something they're well aware of.

Although their roster is like something from a fantasy football team, when it comes to playing as a team, they just don't gel together. Martinez said he sees that as his main job, to enable them to play together, to maximize their potential as individuals.

They did win their opening game 3-0 against Panama but widely viewed that they didn't fulfill their potential. They were a little bit disjointed in the first half there. Hoping to maybe rectify that this afternoon against Tunisia, a team we know are very good defensively. They pass the ball quickly.

They had disappointment and a --


DAVIES: -- late defeat to England last time out. But Belgium will be hoping that they record their second win in two, which will give them one foot in the knockout stages.

HOWELL: And I've got a minute left. But a huge game surely for the defending champions, Germany.

Is there a real possibility they could be out of the tournament?

DAVIES: Yes, after that massive defeat to Mexico in the opening game, they head into the game against Sweden, knowing that they need to avoid defeat to keep their tournament hopes alive.

Interestingly, the German boss, Joachim Low, although he said he's aware that his side are now massively under pressure in this game against Sweden, he said he's not going to change anything tactically from the opening defeat. He just expects his players step up and do better than they did in their opening game.

It won't be easy against Sweden. Sweden very good defensively. They don't concede many. But equally they don't score many goals. Germany, on the whole, step up when it matters. They will be very much digging deep, trying to refind the form that led them to World Cup victory four years ago.

And also they'll be drawing on their experiences, their success here in Russia just a year ago at the Confederations Cup. They produced three dominant victories at the stadium in Sochi, where this evening's game is taking place.

HOWELL: Amanda Davies, thank you very much. We'll look ahead to see what happens. Thank you.

And thank you for being with us for this hour for CNN NEWSROOM. I'm George Howell at the CNN Center in Atlanta. For viewers in the United States, "NEW DAY" is ahead. For viewers around the world, "AMANPOUR" is next. Thank you for watching CNN, the world's news leader.