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Trump Administration Reverses Obama Policies on Affirmative Action; Whistleblower: Pruitt Kept Secret Calendars to Hide Meetings; England Advance in Shootout Thriller; Rented Escooters: Fad or New Frontier; Old Suitcase Reveals London Photographic Wonder. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired July 4, 2018 - 01:00   ET



[01:00:00] JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. Ahead this hour, getting in that was easy, getting out well, that is compounded more than a thousand rescuers who can't agree on the best way to save 12 boys in a coach from a flooded cave in Thailand. Also this hour a letter of demand, the U.S. President writes to NATO allies in very blunt terms to money they spend more defense setting the tone for a great 10th summit next week. And at the World Cup, an end to the shootout curse for England as they advance to the quarterfinals. Hello everybody, great to have you with us, I'm John Vause, and this is NEWSROOM L.A.

Military planners in Thailand are trying to decide on their least worst option for rescuing 12 boys and their football coach from a flooded cave. Latest images show the boys now at blankets and after a week in and a half underground they told their families they are in good health. Navy SEALs have said they will not leave the boys and will stay in the cave with them teaching them how to swim and use scuba gear. One plan under consideration assigning to divers to each boy and then bringing them out one at a time.


REAR ADM. ARPAKORN YUKONGKAEW, COMMANDER, NAVY SEAL, THAILAND (through translator): Our mission is not accomplished yet. It will be over after we brought all the kids out.

NARONGSAK OSATANAKORN, GOVERNOR, CHIANG RAI (through translator): There are scuba masks that they can use for breathing and then getting out but they have to be trained into practicing inside. Let's see what they're capable of.


VAUSE: Anna Coren joins us now live from Northern Thailand. So Anna, what's the latest we have on the rescue plan?

ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: John, these boys have been stuck inside this cave now for 11 days. And we heard from the governor of Chiang Rai province a short time ago and he said that it would be very difficult to get them out of the cave today. They are still working on the plan to bring them out. He said they need to be 100 percent certain that they are safe. He also mentioned, John, that they are going to have to stagger them out when they -- when they bring them -- finally bring them out of that cave due to the condition, due to their health. They're obviously of varying degrees as far as their health is concerned. But whilst we can, let's now go to Josh Morris. He's the Founder of the Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventures. He has joined other rescuers here. He's currently hiking up the mountain at behind us. Josh, I hope you can hear me. Tell us about the operation that you're taking part of.

JOSH MORRIS, FOUNDER, CHIANG MAI ROCK CLIMBING ADVENTURES: So I'm just joining with some local rescue teams and there's a big organization of -- that is organising all different specialized teams to go up and look for some alternate entrances into the cave to just see if there may be I might be away to provide an alternative to diving. So we're on our way up the mountain to see if we can support there.

COREN: Because there was initially focused on six chimneys, six access points and then we got word from the governor that they suspended one of those areas. Can you tell us more about that?

MORRIS: Yes, the area that was suspended is the area at the very far end of the cave. We know where the kids are. Looking around there probably won't bear any fruit because it's also would require diving to get to the boys so we're looking for some alternate possibilities more where they think the boys are.

COREN: Tell us about these access points that you are looking for, these chimneys as they're known.

MORRIS: So limestone is porous and that's where all caves are. And basically in a big mountain system like this the boys, are in what we call the master cave which is where all the water passage and everything leads. So there are lots of entrances that could eventually make it into the cave. The goal is to try and find the chimney, put drill, some bolts, put some ropes in and rappel down through different chimneys and kind of wiggle your way down through the cave system to see if you can get to the main passage. That's kind of what we're trying to do and that's what we do a lot on these caves.

COREN: It sounds like a long -- it sounds like a long process to navigate your way through a rabbit warren. We got -- we got some video over the weekend of one of the rescue teams that had managed to get just 25 meters inches into the cave. Obviously, that was a dead end but tell us about the challenges in trying to make your way down and how far you would have to bore down into the rock to access the chamber where the boys are?

[01:05:14] MORRIS: Well, it really just depends on what the cave gives us. (INAUDIBLE) clear passage, you can (INAUDIBLE) on your way down by just finding the right puzzle. Sometimes what happens is you get to a three-way fork and the tunnel, let's say, and you have to take one. So we're looking for signs like the cave is breathing, air coming through the cave and blasting out cool air. That usually is a good sign that that continues and you know, looking for piece of geology that'll give you a chip that any of this might continue. So it can be very easy and it can also be very time-consuming. The key is finding the right hole. If we find the right hole, it may not take very long which is whether or not we can find that hole because they're all over the hillside.

COREN: When you said wouldn't take very long, what's the time frame? Hello, Josh, can you hear me?

MORRIS: (INAUDIBLE) we have enough rope --

COREN: OK, it looks like we have unfortunately lost Josh Morris. He was telling us about how he joined a group of rescuers who are traversing the mountain directly behind us looking for access point, those chimney points into that massive cave system to see if there is an alternative way to get inside that cave. Because John, at the moment, we know that they are currently focused on getting these boys out by having them wear full-face oxygen masks and being led out of this cave system by Navy SEAL divers. We know that's going to be dangerous. And as we heard from the governor earlier today, it's not going to happen today. It's just not ready, they're not ready to do that.

VAUSE: Anna, while we have you, the boys had this medical check on Wednesday and the divers that went into that. Some of them, I don't know, all of them perhaps have decided to stay with the boys pretty much until the boys actually get out so those guys going to be with them for the duration?

COREN: Yes. And it's amazing isn't it, but not surprising, John. You see those images of that Navy SEAL doctor in particular. He's the one who's interacting with the boys in those videos and he's just you know, smiling. He's trying to get these boys at ease, obviously trying to boost morale. But yes, they have committed themselves to spend as long as it takes. This Navy doctor as well as a nurse, they said they are there for the duration. And if that takes months, if they have to sit out the monsoon season, then will do it. An amazing, amazing commitment but this is Thailand and these are their boys.

VAUSE: You know, this has been an amazing story filled with amazing stories. And of course, let's just hope it has a good ending and we hope -- praying and hope that it does. Anna, thank you. But right now we'll keep a very close eye on the forecast because heavy rain is predicted and that could complicate the rescue efforts. Meteorologist Ivan Cabrera join us now with more that. So I'm going guess you know, the question is you know, how bad is all this going to be and what does it actually mean you know, in terms of rainfall and the caves, and the water, and what are we looking at?

IVAN CABRERA, CNN METEOROLOGIST: So John, despite the fact that they're continuously pumping water out of the cave there 24 hours right, that we keep putting water in because of torrential downpours continue. Although it's nice to see Anna Coren there with sunshine but that's deceiving because by the afternoon into the evening that sunshine itself is what helps the thunderstorms get going and then we have tropical downpours. Well this is the problem. I mean, if they don't dive out of there or they don't plunk it out with those chimney systems, we've got months and months of rain. It's only going to get worse. We're talking the rainy season peaking late in July and then into August as well with typical daily afternoon of thunderstorms.

And we've been seeing that the last couple of days and we'll see that again heading into the next two to three days. I'll show you some of the rain tallies here. I do not have any tips as far as the weather I must say except for one thing and I'll show you that in a second here but take a look at the rainfall tally over the next 24 to 48 hours and then into the next two-five days. 5o to 100 millimeters depending on the cells that develop right on top of the cave system there. What I'm watching here is the South China Sea. I'll put this in a motion. This is going to go out about five days or so. We have a bit of a disturbance here and this is what I'll be watching here because if we do get any kind of tropical system pushing through, that's going to be a problem but this is mainly going to be a deal for the Philippines.

This is going to be an above average monsoon season as well. Ten percent above average in fact across the northern part of Thailand, below average is going to be to the south so no good news there. And as we head into the next three days, once again those daily thunderstorms will continue to get going now with showers and storms each and every day and those temperatures are holding into the mid- 30s. So weather wise, yes, we're going to continue to see rain, heavy at times day in and day out as we continue the monsoon season here. I mean, this is what got them into trouble in the first place and now they're going to have to figure out a way to get those boys out. But it's nice to see the smiles on their faces there, John.

[01:10:35] VAUSE: Yes, Ivan, we appreciate the forecast, the update. Thank you for that. Keep a close eye on it for us. Thank you. Still, we come here, some alone time on the schedule for Presidents Trump and Putin and they meet in two weeks, a translators no officials but a lot of concern. We'll explain why next. Plus, anti-government protesters in Poland pledged to keep up the demonstrations as controversial new rules take effect which could totally change the country's Supreme Court.


VAUSE: Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has been charged with corruption, accused of embezzling millions of dollars from a state investment fund he created. Najib has pleaded not guilty but investigators allege he spent some of that money on expensive jewelry for his wife. The allegations were a major factor in modulation loss in May after leading Malaysia for nearly a decade. Thousands took to the streets of Warsaw and other Polish cities on Tuesday shouting shame and free court. They are protesting government changes which included forcing a third of Supreme Court judges to retire. The top justice tells state media she's not going anywhere and the E.U. strongly opposes the oval imposed by Poland's ruling party. More protests are expected on Wednesday.

The former President Lech Walesa says he will take part. British police are investigating what they call a major incident involving a couple who may have been exposed to an unknown substance which is learning that had happened on Saturday in the English town of Amesbury not far from Salisbury. That's where Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned with a suspected nerve agent back in March. The couple in this incident are in a critical condition. The U.S. President will meet one-on-one with the Russian president in Helsinki in July -- on July 16th.

[01:14:52] They could be the only two in the room for part of this, there will be beside translators. Ahead of the Trump-Putin summit, U.S. Republican lawmakers are in Moscow meeting with senior officials. CNN Fred Pleitgen, reports on whether Russian meddling in the U.S. election has already being brought up.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: As the summit between President Trump and Vladimir Putin, draw us closer, a Republican congressional delegation on the ground in Moscow. Speaking to Russia's foreign minister and top lawmakers.

CNN asked the delegation leader, Senator Richard Shelby, whether Russian election interference was on the agenda.


PLEITGEN: Was election meddling addressed in the meeting?

SEN. RICHARD SHELBY (R-AL), CHAIRMAN, SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE: The future and that all issues including that, that what we're didn't -- we haven't settled anything. This is day one, we were glad we're here. We've had positive conversations and dialogue, we're going to continue that.

PLEITGEN: Are you keeping President Trump informed about your meeting about how things are going?

SHELBY: Trump will inform soon we knew we were coming.

PLEITGEN: Both Russians and Americans said, they talked about a wide range of issues acknowledging major rifts on many key topics.

SEN. JOHN KENNEDY (R-LA), SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: I asked the president of Russia not to interfere in our election this year. I asked them to exit Ukraine and allow frankly, Ukraine to self-eternal. I asked the same thing from you. I asked for their help in bringing peace to Syria.

PLEITGEN: On the Russian side, some well-known faces like Sergey Kislyak, Russia's former ambassador to the U.S. who met with members of the Trump team during the 2016 campaign and post-election transition.

One meeting chaired by senior lawmaker Konstantin Kosachev was placed under U.S. sanctions in April of last year. Kosachev, saying he believes ties between the U.S. and Russia can be restored.

KONSTANTIN KOSACHEV, RUSSIAN SENATOR, FEDERATION COUNCIL (through translator): We are satisfied with the way our discussions went, and we once again confirmed that a significant part of our disagreement is based not on a real disparity of positions and interests, but on a lack of understanding of our real intentions, interests, and motivations.

PLEITGEN: And the Russians seem keen to make headway at the Helsinki summit, the Kremlin spokesman saying Vladimir Putin, would feel comfortable negotiating in whatever format President Trump, prefers. Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Moscow.


VAUSE: Political analyst and president of the Global Policy Institute at Loyola Marymount University, Michael Genovese, joins us once more. Welcome back, Michael.


VAUSE: You think back now over what past year and half of the Trump administration of his first term. Look at everything's happened there's very real tension between the U.S. and NATO. There's a summit next week in Brussels. There is stressed and tension between the U.S. and traditional allies within the G7. There's a trade war underway between the U.S. and China, between the U.S. and Europe, as trade tensions between U.S. and Canada, U.S. and Mexico.

The president seems willing to give -- you know, Russia, Crimea. He seems willing to give the Russian to pass on election meddling. He even try to have sanctions on Russia lifted but was stop by Congress. If you look at that list, is there anything else that Vladimir Putin would like at this particular point in time?

GENOVESE: Well, the president certainly, has shuffled the deck. And reshuffled the deck. The most dramatic things you've mentioned, the decline of the alliance and these are warming up to Putin and Russia. What else does he want? He's getting what he wants -- I think, his number one agenda item is to undermine the connection that the Western countries have.

NATO is his greatest threat and they're the ones who are most likely to have a confrontation with him on the ground. And so, what he'd like to do is weak in the Democracies of the West, weaken the alliance, and so, that you basically have a divided opposition, rather than the united one, the United States and NATO. So, he's is clearly getting what he wants thus far.

VAUSE: And the only way really to weaken NATO is weakened from the inside out.


VAUSE: This amount of powerful off to the on his own.

GENOVESE: Right. I mean it has a long history of working together and there were this like a family you have fights. You don't always agree, sometimes you'll pull back, sometimes you won't. So, this is not the perfect relationship. And I think, President Trump is right to call out the Europeans on their --

VAUSE: Every other president has I think, pretty much, yes.

GENOVESE: Right. So, I mean as a real problem that he's talking about, the real problem is the other presidents did it to try to unify and bring Europe together. This president seems to love to slap his allies and push them around. I don't think they want to be pushed around anymore.

VAUSE: You know, it was an odd Twitter day for the president in many ways including this tweet. "Many good conversations with North Korea, it's going well. But in the meantime, no rocket launchers or nuclear testing in eight months. All of Asia is thrilled. Only the opposition party which includes the fake news is complaining. If not for me, we would now be at war with North Korea!"

We'll get to the gulf between reality and rhetoric in a moment, but one of the concerns here ahead of the proving stomach given how Kim Jong-un, essentially, played Donald Trump. And it seems much to that happened in that one-on-one alone session between Trump and Kim. And now, President Trump wants another similar alone time with Putin.

[01:20:10] GENOVESE: You'll recall in George W. Bush met with Putin. And he said I looked into his soul.


GENOVESE: And I can deal with him. He can be an honorable man. Like it could be the exact quote. Donald Trump has an exaggerated sense that he can also look into someone's eyes. He said I'll know in the first minute if Kim and I -- Kim Jong-un and I can make a deal. So, he has this sense that I think he developed in his business career of trying to size someone up very quickly.

First impressions can be important, it can also be wrong. I think he made a fundamental mistake with Kim Jong-un, we've seen it now that Kim is increasing his development of nuclear weapons, as he said he's denuclearizing.

I think it's also the case with Putin that he feels that he's a kindred spirit. You know, we were both kind of -- are the same guy, we're tough for manly --

VAUSE: Outsiders.

GENOVESE: Right. And so, you know, we have a lot in common but I think, just as Kim Jong-un played the president, I think, we run the risk of Putin playing Trump to great negative impact.

VAUSE: Yes, the KGB spy who's trained in espionage maybe. And you know there a lot to handle for the U.S. president. Just on that tweet, yes, no rocket launchers, no nuclear test, that is, in fact, a good thing. But, what the North Koreans have actually stopped doing is violating U.N. sanctions and international law. They have not actually conceded anything so far from his point, right?

GENOVESE: Well, it's been a one-sided results so far.

VAUSE: But yet the President boast about this.

GENOVESE: If not for me, he said, there'd be war.


GENOVESE: "If not for me, the son would not rise in the east, instead in the West." I mean, he has an overinflated sense of his own ability to get things done and causality always directed it himself. "I made it happens because of me." Well, it's because of you that were getting suckered by North Korea. So, that overinflated ego can really get in the way of decision making.

VAUSE: Yes, according to one Japanese newspaper, a report, last day also, the week after the Singapore summit, Kim Jong-un travel to Beijing met with President Xi. Kim asked his counterpart to cooperate in lifting the sanctions against North Korea because they have quote, "severely battered his country".

According to several sources involved in the China-North Korea meeting. "I finished the North Korean-U.S. summit meeting successfully. So, we'd like to -- your country to make effort see at the sanctions list if it's possible." He was quoted as saying that's Kim. "I'll make my utmost effort." Xi responded according to the sources.

A week after that China and Russia started pushing their U.N. sanctions eased on North Korea. They have been successful but the -- you know, until evidence on the ground certainly, from China is that those sanctions are being eased, anyway. So, that anybody says that this summit sitting down and joining Kim Jong-un and having a photo, there is no harm in it. Yes, there is harm in it, and we're now seeing it play out. This maximum pressure policy is over, it's done.

GENOVESE: You know, it can be harm. I mean, I think in general it's a good thing to talk to your friends and your adversaries.

VAUSE: So, there's a downside.

GENOVESE: There can be a downside, and that's if you are not vigilant, if you're not tough, if you're not firm if you show weakness. The Chinese and the North Koreans know that if you flatter Donald Trump, you can get anything from him. And so, I think the strategy has been, make him feel good, make him feel important.

VAUSE: For override.

GENOVESE: Give him -- yes, give him something that he can come back and say, "Look, I won." And then, while you do that, you're robbing him blind. And I think that the Chinese are by most reports are already violating the sanctions by delivering needed material resources to North Korea.

VAUSE: There were some reports that Singapore summit was essentially an attempt to divert attention away from the Russia investigation back in the U.S. On that front, it failed, as well. Here's Democratic Senator Ed Markey.


SEN. ED MARKEY (D-MA), SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE: What we have here today on a bipartisan basis, up from Richard Burr and Mark Warner, bipartisan is reaching the same conclusion that there was, in fact, an orchestrated effort by the Russian government led by Putin in order to accomplish that goal of undermining the elections.


VAUSE: OK, so let's see outcome with the Senate Intelligence report. Mind you, they did release the findings 3:00 p.m. on the eve of the July 4th holiday. Which seems in some ways, that they are trying to salute here and not sort of enrage the president tries to sneak it out there.

GENOVESE: Well, you know, you run the risk of all kinds of pushback when you say anything the president finds offensive. But, you know, at this point, there are very few people alive who believe that the Russians didn't meddle, that Putin didn't order it, that Putin didn't want Trump to get elected, and didn't want to hurt Hillary Clinton.

Everyone but Trump and one or two other people believe that. The president seems not to believe it because he can't let himself believe it. That would shatter the bubble. But Senator Markey was simply saying what everybody knows.

And so, the Mueller investigation will continue. I doubt if he'll have too many blockbusters in the fall. Doesn't want to be seen as interfering with the election, but I think, come early 2019, you're going to see a lot of movement.

[01:25:01] VAUSE: Well, you know, a few hours earlier this evening at an event in West Virginia of U.S. troops. The U.S. president promised a home run when he chooses his nominee to the Supreme Court.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have spent the last three days interviewing and thinking about Supreme Court justices. It's such an important decision, and we're going to give you a great one we're going to announce it on Monday that I think you'll be very impressed. These are very talented people, brilliant people and think you're going to really love it like Justice Gorsuch. We hit a home run there, and we're going to hit a home run here.


VAUSE: This brings everything together because what we're looking at here is Donald Trump's choice for the Supreme Court is that the epicenter of the Republican Party's capitulation to Donald Trump. This is where -- this is -- this is where -- this is ground zero if you like, this is what they're getting.

So, by having, essentially, a stacked bench of conservatives for generation, maybe more, in return, Donald Trump gets a free pass on it seems from the Republicans, at least, on all this other stuff. Whether it's a House Intelligence Committee, Republican lawmakers, whatever, they turned a blind eye.

GENOVESE: Well, that's the devil -- devil's bargain that a lot of mainstream Republicans made. To them, the Supreme Court was the paramount issue. If they were to have a Hillary Clinton in the White House, two nominations, they'd lose the chance of having that right- wing majority.

So, we're going to be moving from what is probably a soft conservative court to a hard conservative court. Probably the most conservative one in my lifetime.

And the big issue is shaped up to be the off on Scarlet Letter. The A, instead of adultery is going to be abortion. And I think that is going to dominate discussion, and it's going to dominate the considerations for the new appointee, whoever it is.

They've all been vetted, they are all anti-abortion. The question is do you directly go after abortion? Or do you try to defund it, and that's I think, the Republican strategy.

VAUSE: Leave it to the 20 states who (INAUDIBLE) look like they're about to (INAUDIBLE). What a conservative walk on the Supreme Court, is this logic from the Conservatives? With that be seen as a way to counter the cultural and demographic changes which are underway in this country. We're just seeing so this white -- you know, minority- majority.

GENOVESE: Well, you're not going to be able to stop that, but what you can do --

VAUSE: You slows down low, yes.

GENOVESE: Yes, you can -- you can put a couple of -- you know, plugs in the holes. And I think that's -- it's a defensive strategy. They fear, and I think with some justification, the demographic changes are working against them. And how long can you go before the vote simply switches to the other side? And if we can get the court now, we've got it for 30 years.

VAUSE: Yes, it's really like everything.

GENOVESE: It's an enormous victory for President Trump and an enormous victory for conservatives. And I think, you know, a lot of conservatives are saying, "I'll still hold my nose, but I vote for him and he's still my guy."

VAUSE: Yes, OK. Michael, as always, thank you so much.

GENOVESE: Thank you.

VAUSE: Well, the embattled U.S. environmental chief is facing more than a dozen investigations but that did not stop him from applying for a new job. That one, figure the one he's got right now, a lot more important, he wanted to be Attorney General.


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

I'm John Vause with the headlines this hour.

The young football team trapped in a cave in Thailand now have blankets, food and fresh water. Video show the boys saying their name and thanking everyone for their support. Authorities there are trying to figure out the best way to get them out of the flooded cave.

U.S. President Trump demanding NATO allies boost their defense spending. He sent scathing letters to the leaders of a number of countries including Norway, Canada and Germany. He warns the U.S. may shift its military presence in Europe if they don't comply.

And the Trump administration is taking a major step against affirmative action and will now encourage schools and universities not to consider race when deciding which students should be admitted.

On Tuesday the administration reversed Obama-era policies which outlined how schools could legally consider race as a factor to diversify their student body. Two years ago the swing vote of the Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy confirmed that schools can constitutionally consider race as one of many factors during the admissions process. But now Justice Kennedy is retiring and there is a lot up in the air.

CNN legal analyst and civil rights attorney Areva Martin joins me now.

Ok. This is a busy day over at the Department of Justice --


VAUSE: -- rolling back a whole lot of Obama-era guidelines but this is the big one. This is all about schools that actually wanted to use race as a positive factor to diversify their student population.

The Department of Justice issued a statement about this saying, "It's all just a review of guidance document that go beyond or are inconsistent with the constitution and federal law. The Justice Department remains committed to enforcing the law and protecting all Americans from all forms of illegal race-based discrimination." Nothing to worry about.

MARTIN: Yes, that's not really an astonishing statement particularly given the Fisher v University of Texas case where the Supreme Court affirmed that schools, universities, could use race as a factor, not the sole factor but as one factor in making admissions decisions.

And it wasn't just the Fisher case. There was also a 2003 case where the Supreme Court again stated that race could be a factor in college admissions. And when you think about core values of this country -- diversity, inclusion -- those things used to mean something and you know, that's what America stands for.

But when you look at what Trump has done to so many of the, you know, core values, and how he addresses them, this isn't really shocking or surprising. And let's not forget this is an Obama --

VAUSE: Right.

MARTIN: -- era guidance.

VAUSE: Which is like holy water to a vampire, isn't it?


MARTIN: -- word here is Obama, yes.

VAUSE: Ok. Look, there is this perception out there that affirmative action and diversity, you know, it disadvantages white kids. It advantages all the minority kids. But you know, a few years ago there was a study by the non-profit group, Century Foundation. They found students were better off in racially-diverse schools. This is all students.


VAUSE: On average students in socioeconomically and racially diverse schools regardless of a student's own economic status have stronger academic outcomes than students in schools with concentrated poverty."

The research went on. They've got a whole list of benefits.


VAUSE: We're not going to list them all but here are the highlights. Students have higher average test scores. They're more likely to enroll in college. Diverse schools help reduce racial bias and counter stereotypes.

You know, this is one for the Republicans. They produce a higher return on investment. This policy of encouraging diversity is good for everybody.


And there is so much data to support it so even if you don't, you know, believe that it's good for the country if you just look at all of the studies, all the research that has been done. And even when the Fisher case was being decided you had major universities throughout the country weighing in, in support of the court deciding that universities could use race as a factor.

You had Fortune 500 companies. You have, you know, a huge swath of the country saying that these policies are good not just for minority students but as you just articulated, good for all students.

And when you think back about the history of, you know, race relations, you think about racial, you know, segregation in public schools and how far we have come in this country looking back to Ward v Brown -- you know Brown v Board of Education and the progress that has been made. And what's this kind of, you know, rejection of that guidance by Obama does for the progress that we have made -- that's what's so alarming about what Sessions and the Department of Justice did today.

[01:35:00] VAUSE: The only diversity case I think Sessions has taken on has been, you know, essentially involving a white kid who was denied entry into a university at this point.

MARTIN: And they're supporting the lawsuit that's been filed by Asian kids who are suing Harvard saying that Harvard is setting limits on the number of Asian students. So they've taken positions contrary to using race as a really valid consideration for admissions.

VAUSE: Almost out of time. Here is part of CNN's reporting on all of this. "While the decision does not change current U.S. law --

MARTIN: Law -- yes.

VAUSE: -- on affirmative action, it provides a strong illustration on the administration's position on an issue that could take on renewed attention with the departure of Justice Anthony Kennedy from the Supreme Court. And that is why so many people are worried the days of affirmative action are coming to an end.

MARTIN: Well John -- you know, we have been focused so much on Roe v Wade and what the new court with a fifth justice will look like -- this conservative justice.

VAUSE: It's not just about abortion.


MARTIN: It's not just about abortion. It's about affirmative action. It's about presidential power. And it's about so many other, you know, core values for this country. And that's why this name that's going to be released on Monday and this whole fight over what our Supreme Court will look like -- the ultimate court, the ultimate arbiter of laws in this country. It's such an important decision.

VAUSE: We've got to wrap this up. But we should say that where the U.S. goes so many other countries follow, too in laws and culture and (INAUDIBLE) --


MARTIN: Yes. This is a big one.


MARTIN: We should watch.

VAUSE: Areva -- thank you.

MARTIN: And hopefully questions from the Senate when they are, you know, confirming this justice. Hopefully we will get as many questions on affirmative action as we will get on abortion.

VAUSE: We'll see. You know, we'll see. Areva -- thank you.

Some people never take a backward step like Scott Pruitt the director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency -- a man under more than a dozen separate investigations. Even so he approached the President and offered to be his next attorney general.

Three sources say during a meeting in the Oval Office earlier this year Pruitt said the President should fire Jeff Sessions, opening the way for Pruitt, remember the guy involved in a dozen investigations, to become the country's top law officer at least on a temporary base.

The timing here is important because Pruitt made his pitch when Trump's anger at Sessions was boiling after Sessions' recusal from the Russia investigation. It had resurfaced at this time. Pruitt though denies the report. The White House has not responded to a request for comment.

Pruitt is the subject of 14 different ethics investigations and a CNN exclusive raises the possibility of a new one. According to an EPA whistleblower Pruitt kept secret calendars to hide controversial meetings from the public.

Details now from Drew Griffin.


DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): This EPA whistleblower says Scott Pruitt and his staff kept separate calendars or schedules detailing many meetings with industry representatives that have never been made public.

According to Kevin Chmielewski, Pruitt's former deputy chief of staff, a secret calendar containing the actual events was printed out. Then staff would gather around a table, determine which events would be kept on, which would be kept off, and which would be altered. He says it was often done in Pruitt's office, and under Pruitt's direction.

(on camera): Scrubbed?


GRIFFIN: Of the official EPA administrator's schedule.

CHMIELEWSKI: Absolutely -- Which happens quite a bit.

GRIFFIN (voice over): CNN found more than two dozen meetings, events or calls left off Pruitt's publicly released calendar which is only released weeks after the events occur.

What's missing? Meetings with energy industry officials, lawyers, Washington insiders, who could potentially benefit from a friendlier EPA. (on camera): So he would meet with industry lobbyists, somebody from industry itself and decide later that that was not going to look good so let's scrub it off the calendar.

CHMIELEWSKI: Sometimes later, even before, we would always put on the schedule, meeting with staff. That was that default button was a meeting with staff.

GRIFFIN (voice over): Want some examples? Internal e-mails show that in April 2017 Pruitt has a briefing and attends a dinner at Trump International Hotel with coal company executive Joseph Pratt. It is not listed on the public EPA calendar.

September, 2017 -- the official schedule shows Pruitt met with former senator turned energy industry lobbyist Trent Lott but left off that the meeting included the CEO of a shipping company, a discussion of ships and their fuel source.

In October 2017 -- a staff briefing appeared on Pruitt's official calendar. E-mails show the actual meeting was with private attorneys representing a water district over a super fund site.

CHMIELEWSKI: We had at one point, three different schedules. One of them was one that no one else saw besides three or four of us.

GRIFFIN: Two government experts tell CNN -- altering, sanitizing official government records to protect the boss could lead to legal trouble.

[01:39:57] LARRY NOBLE, FORMER GENERAL COUNSEL, FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION: If somebody changed, deleted, scrubbed a federal record with the intent of deceiving the public or intent of deceiving anybody it could very well be a violation of federal law.

GRIFFIN: The most controversial deletion of all, according to Chmielewski, came after Pruitt's $120,000 taxpayer trip to Rome in June 2017. That trip included extensive interaction with Catholic Cardinal George Pell who was charged with multiple historical charges of sexual offenses a few weeks later to which Pell pleaded not guilty.

But this itinerary shows a tour with Cardinal Pell. It's not on Pruitt's official calendar. Also missing -- a lunch with Cardinal Pell.

CHMIELEWSKI: All of our time at the Vatican was spent with Cardinal Pell. Cardinal Pell was basically our host.

GRIFFIN: Yet none of those tours, dinners and lunches appeared later when Pruitt released his official calendar. Chmielewski says that was intentional.

CHMIELEWSKI: Once we came back and the cardinal was actually charged with these offenses, I alerted them and that's when it was basically taken off the schedule that we met with Cardinal Pell.

GRIFFIN: Chmielewski says he was fired from the EPA after raising questions about Scott Pruitt's extravagant spending. He supports Donald Trump and Donald Trump's pledge to drain the D.C. swamp. He says keeping Pruitt at EPA makes no sense.

CHMIELEWSKI: If there is something wrong -- I don't care if it's Republican or Democrat, right is right and wrong is wrong. And what he is doing right now is completely wrong.

GRIFFIN (on camera): CNN, of course, reached out to EPA multiple times seeking comment for this report. Scott Pruitt and his staff have chosen not to respond.

Drew Griffin, CNN -- Atlanta.


VAUSE: The quarter finals are set at the World Cup in Russia. Up next, we will have the dramatic shootout goal that sent England through.


VAUSE: Well, the last two slots in the World Cup quarter finals have now been filled. And for more on that I hand you over to one Mr. Patrick Snell in Atlanta with the details.


Yes, England football fans are smiling smiles of joy and I would imagine relief because when it comes to penalty shootouts over the years let's just say that the word "penalty" and "shootouts" in the England national team, well they don't exactly go hand in hand.

[01:45:06] So huge relief then as the English -- the Three Lions hooked their spot in the quarter finals at the expense of South American opponent Colombia.

And they did it actually with a penalty. This one was scored in regulation on normal time, if you prefer. Harry Cain, the captain with his sixth goal of the World Cup, but incredible contribution from him. But Colombia leveling deep into stoppage time, it's Yerry Mina parrying home the header.

Then to the dreaded penalty shootout, if you like; dreaded if you're on the losing team, that's a great save from Jordan Pickford of England denying Carlos Bacca. And then the moment for the English finally, Scotland's Eric Dier rolling it home.

And just look what it means; the elation to those England players. Their first-ever penalty shootout victory at a World Cup after three previously failures players in '90, '98 and 2006. And the first time they've done it in a competitive even since Euro 1996.

Harry Cain's face tells the whole story.

Who will they play then for a place in the semis? That would be Sweden who are 1-0 winners over the Swiss, the only goal of the Max (ph) coming from Emil Forsberg. His effort is deflected in right past the Swiss keeper. There is no way he is getting to that. And so the Swedes jubilant -- the fans and players alike.

First time they are in the quarters since 1994 -- that was the time the tournament was held in the United States.

All right. Plenty to look ahead to. Let's start with Friday's first two quarter finals at the World Cup. And this is a chance to really the players, the fans, all the nations, they are going to be focusing on a place in the semi-finals for the eight remaining nations.

Two time winners Uruguay, they'll be facing the '98 champions from France in the opening match of the day. The pair have met six times in the World Cup with the South Americans winning twice. The other four games, by the way, have all been draws so far.

The French of course, really on a high after the dazzling exploits we saw last weekend of teen sensation Kylian Mbappe, the 19-year-old scoring not once but twice against Lionel Messi and Argentina in the round of 16.

And the biggest headache for their opponents Uruguay is going to be over their star striker Edinson Cavani. We are following that one very closely indeed. Will he be fit in time?

He scored twice against Portugal but suffered a calf injury later on in that game. He came off. He was subbed out. Let's just see if he makes it. He is crucial along with Luis Suarez, of course, to the Uruguayan cause.

Then it's going to be the turn of the five-time winners Brazil and Belgium, who met just once at the World Cup, that was back in 2002, some 16 years ago. The Brazilians won that one, 2-0 in the last 16.

The Belgians, of course, well, they'll have to keep a close eye, a very close eye on a certain Neymar. He was on the score sheet in the 2-0 win over Mexico but grabbed shall we say plenty of adverse publicity following a rather over the top reaction to a challenge from El Tricolore's Miguel Layun. Certainly getting plenty of criticism and attention on the social media as well.

The Red Devils still breathing a huge sigh of relief after their 94th minute win over Japan this week. Belgium now through to their second consecutive World Cup quarter finals.

All to play for and the quarter finals, John, they begin in earnest on Friday.

Back to you in L.A.

VAUSE: Ok. Can't wait. Thanks -- Patrick.

SNELL: There you go. Thank you -- mate.

VAUSE: Electric scooters have had their own fan base for a while now. But Silicon Valley startups are (INAUDIBLE) shareable e-scooters across cities around the world.

Sam Burke takes a test ride. Where else would you go for this? Paris.


SAMUEL BURKE, CNN TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The scooter invasion, the scooter apocalypse, scooter-mageddon -- electric scooters rented via apps are flooding city streets.

ARTHUR-LOUIS JACQUIER, FRANCE DIRECTOR, LIME: Let's say we want to get this one for you. So you just have to scan the QR code that is here.

BURKE (on camera): QR code right there.


BURKE (voice over): This American start-up has e-scooters in nearly 30 U.S. cities and just dropped hundreds on the streets here in Paris.

JACQUIER: And then you have to give it a first push and then you are good to go.

BURKE: The scooters top out at 15 miles per hour. They cost a dollar to rent, 15 cents per minute to ride and use the same lithium-ion batteries your phones and tablets do.

JACQUIER: We raised $135 million.

BURKE (voice over): $135 million Lime has raised.

JACQUIER: Yes, like in a year and a half. It's pretty good.

BURKE: That's a lot of capital being injected into this market base.

JACQUIER: Exactly.

BURKE (voice over): The cash is crucial because Lime is waging a bitter block by block battle for scooter supremacy. Its main adversary? Santa Monica-based Bird.

TRAVIS VANDERZANDEN, FOUNDER, BIRD: I have transportation in my blood, I guess people would say. My mother was a bus driver for 30 years.

[01:49:59] BURKE: Founder Travis VanderZanden just launched Bird in September. Now it already has scooters in 22 U.S. cities and is valued at an eye-popping $2 billion.

VANDERZANDEN: So really, the goal of Bird is to reduce car traffic and trips. You know, people have been trying to find ways to get Americans out of cars for a long time. And we think Bird can have a big impact.

BURKE: The startups leave them on streets often without city approval and the apps allow you to discard the scooters pretty much anywhere. Residents say they litter sidewalks and pose a danger to pedestrians.

VANDERZANDEN: Cities haven't really -- you know, they didn't really -- can't see, you know, it would have been hard to see this wave of electric scooters coming. And so there is really not a lot of laws around the electric scooters yet. And so we are working with them. We are actually supportive of regulation.

BURKE: Just days after Lime launched in Paris, where it did get approval from the mayor's office, the city is buzzing with scooters.

(on camera): There is definitely a buzz riding these. It's really cool to be whizzing past pedestrians and being able to see above everybody else. But with that speed you can also feel the risk especially when you're in the street and when you feel a bus go past you. You can really feel your mortality.

(voice over): The most important advice I have for getting on an e- scooter -- sorry -- is knowing when to jump off an e-scooter.

Samuel Burke, CNN -- Paris.


VAUSE: He gets around.

Next on NEWSROOM L.A., hundreds of photographs of life in London as early in the 1930s -- all left in an attic for decades without anyone actually realizing they're all pretty good. That is until now.


VAUSE: Well, it's rare to get a new perspective on a city as widely- documented as London but an old suitcase has been found with hundreds of photographs giving us a glimpse of life in the British capital in the early 20th century.

Nick Glass has more.


NICK GLASS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Nothing evokes a time and a place quite like black and white photographs, working men outside a pub in the East End of London in the 1930s. Bowler hats on Oxford Street just by (INAUDIBLE), and Piccadilly Circus in the 1950s ablaze with neon and reflected light.

Until recently no one knew these images even existed. They were discovered in a battered old suitcase in an attic in Kenton, South of England; a cache of several hundred negatives left by an amateur photographer. Very few had ever been made into prints.

MARTIN CARROLL, RETIRED COMMERCIAL PHOTOGRAPHER: I thought we should have something of a clearer house, not before time after about 30 years. I had forgot the suit case was up there, to be honest.

GLASS: The suitcase and the photos came from Martin Carroll's late father-in-law.

CARROLL: All the negatives were in these little manila envelopes.

And here we've got a shot of the London market with a family intent on finding matching shoes from a huge great pile.

[01:55:10] GLASS: Camera in hand, this was the amateur photographer. By profession, John Turner was a property manager.

LIZ TURNER, JOHN TURNER'S DAUGHTER: I was so delighted when he found these pictures because I thought, yes, I knew that was in there somewhere because he was a man who wore a mask quite a lot.

GLASS: John Turner was a man of very few words. He preferred to express himself visually.

TURNER: He had a very dry, very quirky sense of humor.

GLASS: And you can sense that in this early self portrait in the rain, and irresistibly so in his street photography. The lady collecting for a pet charity is herself asked for money by a beggar -- exactly the sort of picture worthy of a master 20th century photographer like (INAUDIBLE).

A 1950s fashionista but applies sunglasses and fur is given a once- over by a bronze dog. The husband distracted by the lingerie display.

(on camera): Has opening the suit case been a revelation?

TURNER: Yes. Yes it has.

GLASS: A nice revelation?

TURNER: A very, very nice revelation because the pictures feel like the father I had an intuitive relationship with. Yes.

GLASS (voice over): Asleep at the wheel on a cross channel ferry, nuns at the beach, a passing backward glance on Bonne Street. Who or what was that?

After his death in 1987, John Turner's photos disappeared into the attic without anyone realizing how good they were.

Liz and Martin are planning a book, and they hope an exhibition.

Nick glass, CNN -- with a suitcase of old photos in Kent.


VAUSE: He had to give them back, though.

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

Please stay with us. The news continues right here on CNN, after a short break.


[02:00:09] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: They are saved but they might be trapped inside a cave for months.