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Trump-Putin Summit; Hamas, Islamic Jihad Say Cease-fire Reached with Israel; World Cup 2018; Controversial Arrest. Aired 2-2:30a ET

Aired July 15, 2018 - 02:00   ET




CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Thank you for joining us, everyone, I'm Cyril Vanier from the CNN NEWSROOM here in Atlanta.


VANIER: U.S. president Donald Trump is spending the night at his golf resort in Turnberry, Scotland, before heading to a historic summit with Russian leader Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.

On Saturday, he played some golf while protesters yelled at him from afar.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No Trump, no KKK, no racist USA. No Trump, no KKK, no racist USA.

VANIER (voice-over): Mr. Trump is expected to leave Scotland on Sunday and then fly to Helsinki.


VANIER: A major issue overshadowing that meeting: how forcefully Mr. Trump will raise the issue of election meddling with Mr. Putin. We get more from CNN's Jeff Zeleny in the Finnish capital.


TRUMP: I think I have a very good relationship with President Putin if we spent time together. I may be wrong. And other people have said that didn't work out, but I'm different than other people.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Trump is about to find out if that's true. Vladimir Putin has stood the test of time through four U.S. presidents, but he's never been at the red-hot center of American politics as he is today.

On the eve of his Helsinki summit, Trump's relationship with Putin is facing even more scrutiny in the wake of new charges of Russian interference in the U.S. election. The indictments of 12 more Russian agents on Friday still prompted a joke, not a condemnation from the president. Even though he was briefed in advance the charges were coming before they were publicly announced.

TRUMP: I know you'll ask, will we will talking about meddling and I will absolutely bring that up. I don't think you'll have any, gee, I did it, I did it, you got me. There won't be a Perry Mason here, I don't think.

ZELENY (voice-over): Since taking office, the President has barely acknowledged Russian election meddling, let alone forcefully confronted Putin for masterminding it, as the U.S. intelligence community believes. And there are no signs that will change in Helsinki.

TRUMP: Anything you do, it's always going to be, oh, Russia, he loves Russia. I love the United States.

ZELENY (voice-over): Yet, on no other president's watch has Putin's shadow loomed so large. The Russian leader is looking for Trump to do something special, to elevate him on the world stage back to a position of strength. The summit gives Putin an early victory on that front.

Since the days of strolling in Moscow with Bill Clinton, meeting President Bush in the Oval Office and later on the Bush family compound in Kennebunkport.

GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: First I'd like to congratulate President Putin for being the only person that caught a fish today.

ZELENY (voice-over): The Russian President has become isolated, punished by much of the world for the invasion of Ukrainian Crimea, the downing of a polish plane, the deadly nerve agent attack in the United Kingdom and far more atrocities.

After a failed reset with Barack Obama who didn't fully recognize Moscow's reemerging threat or callout election interference until it was too late, Trump has repeatedly diminished any dark motives by Putin, who's even become a central theme at his campaign rallies.

TRUMP: But they're going, well, President Trump, be prepared, you know, President Putin is KGB in this event. You know what, Putin's fine. He's fine. We're all fine. We're people.

Will I be prepared?

Totally prepared. I've been prepared for this stuff my whole life.

ZELENY (voice-over): The Helsinki meeting is Trump's first solo summit with Putin after an initial introduction last summer at the G20 summit in Germany.

TRUMP: It's an honor to be with you. Thank you, thank you. ZELENY (voice-over): They met again briefly last fall at in an economic forum in Vietnam, where Trump showed little appetite for challenging his Russian counterpart for interfering in the 2016 election.

TRUMP: I believe that he feels that he and Russia did not meddle in the election.

ZELENY (voice-over): Since then, the Department of Justice has offered significant evidence to the contrary. The latest round of indictments against Russian agents making an already controversial summit dramatically more so, particularly as the President continues to discredit the special counsel's investigation.

TRUMP: I call it the rigged witch hunt.

ZELENY: The president arrives in Finland after a week of sharply criticizing in at times publicly embarrassing loyal American allies. Now his warm embrace of Putin has the eyes of the world on this summit -- Jeff Zeleny, CNN, Helsinki.


VANIER: In the Middle East, Hamas and Islamic Jihad say they have reached a cease-fire with Israel. This comes after a spike in fighting along the Gaza border over the last 24 hours. The Israeli prime minister's office says it has no comment about the reports of the cease-fire agreements. We have more now from CNN's Ian Lee in Jerusalem.


IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This recent violence can be traced to Friday, when Israeli soldiers killed two Palestinians during protests along the Gaza border with Israel. Then early Saturday morning, residents in Southern Israel near Gaza woke up to sirens warning of incoming projectiles.

Throughout the day, at least 200 rockets and mortars were fired by Gaza --


LEE (voice-over): -- militants toward Israel. At least 30 were intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile system.

Israeli fighter jets retaliated, hitting dozen of Hamas targets, including tunnels, training facilities, weapons depots and command centers. It was the single largest bombing campaign in Gaza since the 2014 war. Two Palestinian teenagers were killed and a dozen injured during the bombings, according to the Palestinian ministry of health.

Israeli medical officials say four people are injured, three of which sustained light to moderate shrapnel injuries after a rocket hit their house in a town. This kind of situation always has the potential of getting out of hand, possibly leading to another war. There were reports that the U.N. and Egypt were working hard behind

the scenes to broker a cease-fire. Islamic Jihad and Hamas confirmed one had been reached, starting at 8:00 pm local time.

This highlights the pivotal role that Egypt has been playing in keeping the peace. Although Israel's prime minister's office had no comment on the cease-fire.

Now right now, it seems to be holding and this isn't the first time in recent months we've seen a cease-fire like there, where there might be few more exchanges that might take place. Before it does, a return back to calm -- Ian Lee, CNN, Jerusalem.


VANIER: And we are awaiting details of a U.S.-North Korea meeting that is happening at this hour. The subject of the meeting: The return of some 200 sets of remains of U.S. service members lost in the Korean War.

But the meeting has much wider implications. Andrew Stevens is joining us from Seoul, South Korea, with the details.

Andrew, first things first, is North Korea going to return the remains of the American service members?

ANDREW STEVENS, CNN ASIA PACIFIC EDITOR: Well, that was one of the very few specifics to come out of the summit on June 12th between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump, the return of the remains of the U.S. service men. That was included in their agreement, that broader agreement on denuclearization which was pretty light on details and on specifics except for that particular one.

So at that level, yes, the North Koreans are going to return them. The trouble is that the negotiations and the talks to make that happen, have, as we have been reporting, had a pretty rocky start.

Initially there were supposed to be a meeting on Thursday and then the North Koreans were a no-show on that. They then postponed the meeting until today, Sunday. We do know that the meeting has started. We don't know if it's finished yet.

And we do know also, at the North Koreans' request, this would be a general level meeting; i.e., it would be led by general senior military figures from both sides, rather than the working party meeting that had been expected before.

So that tends to suggest that decisions can be made at that level. And we also know that the U.S. has, in preparation, caskets and American flags at the DMZ waiting for the remains. The U.S. thinks there's the remains of perhaps 200 U.S. service men, who lost their lives during the Korean War.

There's still more than 5,000 U.S. service men unaccounted for in North Korea. So this would be the start. And just by the mere fact that the meeting is now taking place, it's only a good sign. VANIER: Andrew Stevens, reporting live from Seoul, South Korea. Thank you.


VANIER: Fans are getting are revved up for the ultimate football championship. Croatia and France will fight it out Sunday at the World Cup finals. CNN's Patrick Snell has more on this.


PATRICK SNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The World Cup final is set to take center stage in Moscow on Sunday when France take on Croatia. With a population of just over 4 million people, Croatia will look to become the second smallest nation in history after Uruguay to win the World Cup.

The Croatians were semi-finalists 20 years ago but then followed years of relative underachievement until now, that is. This golden generation of stars simply doesn't seem to know the meaning of the word defeat.

Three times in the knockout stages, they emerged victorious after trailing in all three matches as they bid to try and win the tournament for a first time. But standing in their way, the formidable French, who were crowned world champions 20 years ago on home soil, by the way, beating Croatia en route to that title in the semifinals, in fact.

Le Bleu will surely be hugely motivated as well after losing the Euro '16 final against Portugal in Paris, when they were absolutely expected to win by the home faithful there at least.

By the way, what an accomplishment --


SNELL: -- this would be for France's head coach, Didier Deschamps, who is looking to become just the third man in history to win the World Cup as both a player and a manager following in the footsteps of Brazil's Mario Zagallo and the legendary Franz Beckenbauer.


SNELL (voice-over): Now Belgium and England hoped to be in the final but had to settle for the third place match on Saturday. It was competitive and it would be a dream start for the Belgian national team to actually get on the board as early as the fourth minute of play, thanks to Thomas Meunier's finish that actually threw him off his right knee for the opening goal.

Belgium well on their way to their best-ever finish at a FIFA World Cup. One of the many tough points for the English would be the outstanding form of their goalkeeper, Jordan Pickford, the Everton stopper, again showing his class to keep Meunier from adding to his tally. Pickford though, utterly helpless when Belgium put the game to bed

near the end. The Chelsea playmaker edging out Hazard (ph) with his third goal of the tournament at this World Cup, 2-0 and the Three Lions pounded (ph) their third loss of the tournament. Victory for Belgium.


SNELL: That's your FIFA World Cup update. I'm Patrick Snell.


VANIER: Two police officers in the U.S. state of Georgia have been caught on camera, joking about whether to arrest a woman based on a coin toss. CNN's Kaylee Hartung has this story.


KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The decision to arrest or release a speeding driver in the state of Georgia debated between two officers with the help of a coin flip app on a cell phone. Listen to what this bodycam captured.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A, heads; R, tails.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is tails, right?




HARTUNG (voice-over): The two officers you hear in that bodycam video, they have both been placed on administrative leave. The local police department saying they have opened up an internal investigation. They did so as soon as they learned of this incident.

The police chief has gone so far as to say he is, quote, "appalled that any law enforcement officer would trivialize the decision-making process of something as important as the arrest of a person."

In April, Sarah Webb was late for work. She was speeding, driving down roads that were wet after it had rained. She was pulled over.

Then a discussion ensued inside the officers' patrol car.

Would they arrest this woman or would they release her?

They turn to a virtual coin flip to make that decision. And what is interesting, when you actually listen to the back-and-forth, though, the coin lands on tails, which they had agreed meant they would release the driver. They arrested her regardless.

She was charged with reckless driving, too fast for conditions and speeding. But when prosecutors saw this bodycam footage, all of those charges were dismissed -- Kaylee Hartung, CNN, Atlanta.


VANIER: All right. That's it from us for now. Thanks for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Cyril Vanier. "MARKETPLACE AFRICA" is up next and we have the headlines in 15 minutes.