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White House Counsel Cooperating Extensively with Russia Probe; North and South Koreans Arrive at Border to Reunite; India Flooding; Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Scandal; The Complicated Marriage of Kellyanne Conway; The Legacy of Kofi Annan; Genoa Bridge Collapse; Paul Manafort Goes Sockless at Trial. Aired 4-5a ET

Aired August 19, 2018 - 04:00   ET




GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): A top White House lawyer now said to be a key witness in Robert Mueller's Russia's investigation. We'll have that story for you ahead.

Plus, families divided long ago by the Korean War prepare for emotional reunions in North Korea.

Also ahead this hour, the pope facing pressure to address the clergy sex abuse crisis spanning several countries.

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


HOWELL: At 4:00 am on the U.S. East Coast, new insight into the Russia investigation here in the U.S. We now know that a key White House official is said to be cooperating extensively with the special counsel, Robert Mueller. It's the White House counsel Don McGahn; reportedly he's been cooperating for the last nine months.

According to "The New York Times," McGahn has talked to investigators for no less than 30 hours. He is said to have given them information they wouldn't otherwise have. The U.S. president insists he let McGahn do it.

Now to what extent he's cooperated is just now being revealed publicly. Our Ryan Nobles is traveling with President Trump and picks it up from here.


RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: President Trump is reacting to the news that Don McGahn, the White House counsel, has sat down for a series of interviews with the special counsel, Robert Mueller, saying that it was his idea, that he had no problem with McGahn, doing so because he essentially has nothing to hide. "The New York Times" reporting that McGahn spent more than 30 hours

with the special counsel, revealing everything he knows about President Trump's role in their investigation and perhaps his attempts to obstruct justice, as they try and find out information as to whether or not the president's campaign was colluding with Russia during the 2016 campaign.

Make no mistake, there's a lot that Don McGahn knows about the last year and a half of the Trump administration. He was there during the leadup of the firing of FBI director James Comey, knows all about the president's comments and actions during that time.

He also knows about the president's obsession with putting loyalists in charge of the probe and of course he also knows about the president's at least thought processes related to perhaps firing the special counsel, Robert Mueller.

There was even a showdown between McGahn and the president, where he warned the president if he took that extraordinary action of firing Robert Mueller, that he was going to step down.

Now Don McGahn's attorney, William Burke, he is a personal attorney representing him, he put out a statement to CNN saying, quote, "President Trump through counsel declined to assert any privilege over McGahn's testimony. So Mr. McGahn answered the special counsel team's questions fulsomely and honestly as any person interviewed by federal investigators must."

And the president's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, also responding to this news, saying that McGahn was sanctioned to do it, that this was the legal team's idea and that the president had no problem with it because he, essentially, has nothing to hide.

And so both sides attempting to try and spin this to the benefit of their public relations plans.

But it's important to keep in mind, this story tells us more than anything that as much of the information that has come out about the Robert Mueller probe, there's still so much that we don't know about what Robert Mueller has uncovered -- Ryan Nobles, CNN, Berkeley Heights, New Jersey.


HOWELL: Let's bring in CNN legal analyst and attorney Areva Martin joining from Los Angeles via Skype.

Thank you so much for your time. The U.S. president has chimed in on Twitter, saying that he, quote, "allowed White House counsel Don McGahn and all other requested members of the staff to fully cooperate with the special counsel," adding, "In addition we readily gave over 1 million pages of documents, most transparent in history, no collusion, no obstruction. Witch hunt," the president says.

At face value, what do you make of this claim of full cooperation? AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: One thing we know, George, is that the president's previous personal legal team were very much in favor of the president cooperating with the special counsel's investigation.

Their thought was, if the president cooperated that the special counsel could wrap the investigation up rather quickly. We see that hasn't happened. The president has changed lawyers, as it relates to his personal attorneys. He brought on Mr. Rudy Giuliani to lead up his personal legal team.

And we see Giuliani has a very different approach to the special counsel and the investigation. And his approach has been to really play cat and mouse with the investigators as it relates to cooperating, particularly when it comes to --


MARTIN: -- the president actually sitting down and being interviewed by the special counsel. We've heard him say repeatedly on cable news that the president wants to sit down, that he plans to sit down.

But yet there doesn't seem to be any real intention by Giuliani and the new team's approach to cooperating with the special counsel.

HOWELL: To your point, the president describes this as full cooperation. But there is also a suggestion coming from "The New York Times" report, that this was somehow a move to set McGahn up as the fall guy for the president.

Mr. Trump's attorney, as you also mentioned, Rudy Giuliani, he spoke about it on a conservative opinion show. Let's listen to that.


RUDY GIULIANI, TRUMP ATTORNEY: I think the best -- the best analysis would be that the Mueller team is panicking. They know they don't have a case. There was no collusion. There was no obstruction. They can't prove it and they are trying to get the president to testify.

And they're hoping that if they put out a story like this in which they suggest that McGahn is cooperating against them but don't say it, they don't say that, that he'll want to come in and explain himself.

Now the president wants to testify. The president wants to be open and transparent, otherwise he wouldn't have encouraged 30 witnesses including McGahn to testify.


HOWELL: Rudy Giuliani there giving his take on things.

Is that Rudy Giuliani's spin or how do you see it, Areva?

Does it seem like McGahn is cooperating for the president or against him? MARTIN: Well, you know, George, Rudy Giuliani just made some really bizarre statements in those comments. He said the special counsel is panicking. We have absolutely no evidence of panic on the part of the special counsel.

If anything, the special counsel has been so incredibly quiet, we don't know what his team is doing. We know that he hasn't wrapped up this investigation. We know that there's been some communication with the Trump team about Trump coming in and sitting down for an interview. And that's about all that we do know.

So I don't know where he's getting this information from, one, that they're panicking; two, there's no evidence that this story was leaked by the special counsel and that it was leaked somehow to encourage McGahn to come back in and testify.

What has been reported is that McGahn has already sat down with the special counsel for almost 30 hours and has been open and completely honest in his testimony honest in his testimony. That's a statement that's been issued by McGahn's own attorney.

So as to Giuliani's comments, I would say they're more spin, unreliable and unsubstantiated.

HOWELL: Areva Martin, joining us from Los Angeles. We appreciate your time. Thank you.

MARTIN: Thank you, George.

HOWELL: Now to the Korean Peninsula, a select number of South Koreans are preparing for what will likely be a very emotional next few days; 89 people are preparing to cross into North Korea Monday for a brief reunion with loved ones they've been separated from.

Thousands of families were separated by the Korean War and haven't seen their relatives in nearly 40 years. CNN international correspondent Paula Hancocks is following this story in South Korea.

And Paula, I know you've been speaking with people about these rare and delicate next few days ahead.

What more are you hearing?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, George, you have 89 families inside the hotel behind me at this point. They're having orientation, which is really talking them through what to expect over the next few days because, as you say, it's going to be an incredibly emotional time.

These are family members that many of them didn't even know about, whether they were dead or alive. But since the Korean War back in the 1950s, they have applied to be part of these reunions; 57,000 people were hoping to be part of this round here.

And now you have 89 who will be going first thing Monday morning, crossing the border into North Korea and meeting with their family members for the first time in decades. It is just a fraction of the people who want to go to be reunited with their family members.

And a tragic example of just how time is running out, four people had to drop out over the last few days because of deteriorating health. The majority of the people within this round of the reunion are 80 and above. More than 20 percent of them are in their 90s.

So there really is this desperate need to have a number of these reunions in quick succession. I spoke to the head of the Red Cross, he said he is talking to his North Korean counterparts, trying to push more of these reunions in the future to make sure that as many people as possible can be reunified with their loved ones.

These are the lucky ones, they will be going to North Korea but it's bittersweet as well. It's just for three days. It's very organized, it's highly choreographed. There's certain hours of each day they'll be allowed --


HANCOCKS: -- to sit down with their family member. And at the end of it they have to get on the buses, come back over the border to South Korea, knowing that that is likely the last time they'll see their loved one.

HOWELL: You said that could be the last time they see their loved ones. To contemplate what that will mean for those who will get to go in North Korea, to have that limited amount of time to see these other people they've been separated from and then that's it.

HANCOCKS: That's right. That's the cruel aspect of this, that, even though they'll be reunited, then that is it. We're hearing from the head of the Red Cross that he doesn't want that to be the end of it. He wants there to be a continuation, a follow-up. He wants there to be communication between families once they've been reunited.

But that's a work in progress. It's up to North Korea whether or not they want this to happen. These reunions only do happen when there are good relations between North and South Korea. There hasn't been one for three years.

But certainly with this inter-Korean cooperation we're seeing at the moment with the summit, with the Singapore summit between the U.S. leader and the North Korean leader, there's renewed hope that there could be more of these reunions in the future.

There is that case, that it's a race against time, that that this is in the 1950s that many of these families were torn apart by the Korean War. So the family members that want to be reunited are elderly.

Consider there were more than 130,000 people originally who wanted to be part of these reunions, who registered, but more than half of them have since passed away.

HOWELL: And you'll be bringing us these stories in the days to come. Paula Hancocks, live for us in South Korea, thank you for the reporting. We'll keep in touch with you. Now to tell you about what's happening in Southern India, thousands of people there stranded or trapped, their flooded homes, many waiting on rooftops for any help they can get.

It's the worst flooding to hit the southern state or Kerala in nearly a century. In this video, you see soldiers who have been dropping packages from helicopters. But it's an uphill battle. Many of those trapped are running out of food, drinking water and medicine. At least 345 people have died since the monsoon season started in May.

And there's this, the added danger, the recent torrential rain has triggered landslides. Hundreds of thousands of people are staying in shelters.



HOWELL: More than a dozen fans of the singing group Backstreet Boys and 98 Degrees. They were injured in Oklahoma, this after a powerful storm tore through an outdoor concert venue.

Staff started getting fans to safety after lightning was spotted nearby but not everyone listened. Witnesses say heavy rains and winds of 100 kilometers or about 75 miles per hour, they knocked over structures by the entrance, threatening hundreds of people waiting in line. At least 14 people were taken away by ambulance.

Around the world and in the U.S., you're watching NEWSROOM. And still ahead, Pope Francis is set to deliver a Sunday prayer as a sex abuse scandal rocks the Catholic Church. CNN is following the story live in Rome -- ahead.

Also this hour, from Iran to Israel, senior officials are praising the life of Kofi Annan. We look at the life and legacy of the former U.N. chief. Stay with us.





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

As yet another clergy abuse scandal rocks the United States, the drumbeat for accountability is getting louder. The one man who could make that happen, the pope.

And in the next hour and a half, Pope Francis is set to deliver his Sunday angeles prayer. We go live to Rome shortly to see that prayer, to follow it in a moment. But first, our Rosa Flores has a look at how this crisis has unfolded.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The word God makes me think of him and I just --

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The voices of victims still demanding justice. While a bombshell grand jury report revealed more than 1,000 children were victimized by more than 300 predator priests and the bishops who hid their crimes over 70 years, the statute of limitations for prosecution has run out for all but two priests.

JOSEPH C. BAMBERA, BISOHOP, DIOCESE OF SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA: The grand jury has issued its report of findings.

FLORES: Pennsylvania bishops have released statements expressing their sadness for the victims, but that is not enough for Terry McKiernan.

TERRY MCKIERNAN, FOUNDER, BISHOPACCOUNTABILITY.ORG: It's a lot of sadness in these file cabinets, right?

FLORES: The founder of, an organization that has tracked thousands of accused priests, a database that's about to grow significantly.

Take the diocese of Pittsburgh. The investigation revealed that it sheltered 99 predator priests, more than double the amount previously known to McKiernan. From 1988 to 2006, that diocese was led by then- bishop Donald Wuerl, now a high-profile cardinal in Washington, D.C.

MCKIERNAN: Wuerl's legacy in Pittsburgh is a lot more complicated

than we thought. He was, beforehand, thought of as one of the good guys.

FLORES: The grand jury report credits Wuerl for standing up to the Vatican in some cases of abuse, but also suggests he guided at least one accused priest back into service. Cardinal Wuerl defended himself by saying his diocese, quote, "worked to meet or exceed the requirements of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the reporting requirements of Pennsylvania law."

But those are laws that critics say the Catholic Church is working overtime to influence in its favor.

Take Bishop Ronald Gainer from Harrisburg. He is one of the bishops who issued a statement expressing sorrow for the victim of the diocese. Gainer is the head of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, a group that aggressively lobbies against reforming the statute of limitations.

MCKIERNAN: The Catholic Conference has been tenacious in opposing this and, of course, they have allies in the Pennsylvania legislature.

FLORES: The group released a statement saying it was "devastated and outraged by the revelations" and "that the time to discuss legislation will come later." Pennsylvania attorney general also pointing the finger at the church

in a letter to Pope Francis last month, saying he believed that two unnamed Catholic Church leaders tried to, quote, "silence the victims and avoid accountability."

He says Pope Francis, the one man with the power to hold everyone involved accountable, has not yet responded.

MCKIERNAN: Transparency and accountability are the only thing that's going to save this church.

FLORES: Rosa Flores, CNN, Miami.


HOWELL: As I mentioned, Pope Francis is set to give that Sunday prayer in St. Peter's Square in the next hour and a half. And following that, Barbie Nadeau is live in Rome.

Barbie, good to have you this day. The pope has spoken out in recent days about the Genoa bridge collapse, the lives lost there.

The question now, will he address in sexual abuse scandal himself this day and directly?

BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's a big question but I don't think there's any expectation that the pope is going to mention this today in his Sunday angeles. Usually he speaks to those people gathered in St. Peter's Square who gather on Sunday morning who want to see him.

And the Vatican has issued a statement; 48 hours after that report came out some people say that was too long and some people say it was the right amount of time. And they used language that we haven't heard before. They called it criminal, they talked about accountability and using the civil law and civil courts.

It's going to depend on whether or not the Vatican follows up that statement with some action. If they demand the resignation of some of these complicit bishops or if they open up some of their secret archives.

Those are the things that the victims want. But we don't know if the pope feels any obligation to address any of that today -- George.

HOWELL: The people who come together in the square are these people who will be clamoring for and who will want some sort of a response, given what's happened.

NADEAU: Well, we're not aware that any of those survivor groups are planning to be in St. Peter's Square today. Usually on a beautiful Sunday morning like this in Rome, you've got tourists who want a selfie --

[04:25:00] NADEAU: -- try to get the pope in their selfie. They're out there to see the pope. It's one of those rare opportunities to get a glimpse of him.

And those people are generally devout or they're tourists. And we're not expecting that the survivors will be gathering there today.

HOWELL: CNN contributor, Barbie Nadeau, live for us in Rome, Barbie, thank you.

The suspect in Tuesday's vehicle attack outside the British Parliament is set to appear in court on Monday. Prosecutors have charged the suspect with two counts of attempted murder.

According to police, he drove his car into a group of pedestrians and police officers, before ramming it into barriers. Police are treating the incident as terrorism.

Still ahead this hour, he may be the ultimate inside man. Now the White House counsel is a key witness, cooperating witness, in the Russia probe. And what a report that Don McGahn feared that he was being set up by the president. We'll look into it.

Plus, he brought the U.N. into the 21st century, earning praise and criticism along the way. We look back at the impact, the legacy and life of Kofi Annan. Live ahead on CNN NEWSROOM from Atlanta this hour. Stay with us.




HOWELL: Good morning and welcome back. Coast to coast across the United States and to our viewers around the world this hour, you're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Atlanta. I'm George Howell with the headlines we're following for you.



HOWELL: Let's talk more about this now with Scott Lucas, Scott, a professor of international politics at the University of Birmingham, also the founder and editor of "EA WorldView," live this hour via Skype from Birmingham, England.

Always a pleasure to have you on the show.

The president is framing this as a clear example of full cooperation. He says, no collusion, no obstruction; he calls it a witch hunt.

How do you see it?

SCOTT LUCAS, UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM: He would say that. It's a case of closing the barn door after the story had bolted because "The New York Times" had already splashed on its front page that White House lawyer Don McGahn is cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller and is being very forthcoming apparently in some of what he's saying.

And Donald Trump belatedly tried to say, oh, I authorized this so there's nothing to see here because clearly Don McGahn would only say that I'm completely innocent.

Well, the problem is we don't know that.

In fact, the big story this morning is, what exactly has McGahn told Robert Mueller?

Has he actually simply said that Donald Trump was within his legal authority when he fired James Comey, the FBI director; when he asked for a halt to the investigation into Michael Flynn, the national security advisor; or when he asked attorney general Jeff Sessions to take over the investigation again or even when he tried to fire Robert Mueller.

Is McGahn saying all of that is legal?

Or is he raising the possibility that this may constitute obstruction of justice?

That's the hanging question this morning. We don't know. Only Robert Mueller's team knows what was said in those 30 hours. But no, Donald Trump is not at ease with this story.

HOWELL: Let's talk a bit more about this. You've touched on this, the suggestion coming from "The New York Times" report that McGahn was somehow worried about being set up by the president as the fall guy.

LUCAS: Oh, I think that's quite clear what's happened here. I mean, sources who -- and quite clearly this story is based on some sources who are close to McGahn, sources have told "The New York Times" that you have the 1973 precedent, during Watergate, where Richard Nixon's team, threw the White House counsel, John Dean, under the bus.

He pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice. The Nixon team hoped that would end Watergate; of course, it didn't. But McGahn's people are looking at that saying, is it possible that Donald Trump, who is not known for loyalty to his subordinates, could simply turn on McGahn and say, oh I got bad advice, I didn't know I was obstructing justice, it was all my lawyer's fault.

This is a way for McGahn to actually block off the possibility that he's the fall guy.

HOWELL: I want to pose this question to you.

Do you see any similarities between Don McGahn, his role as counsel to the White House, and the man who served as counsel for the former president Richard Nixon, John Dean?

You'll remember Dean flipped on the former president and even spent time in prison but is credited for exposing the Watergate scandal.

Do you see similarities here?

LUCAS: I think it's a stretch to say that Don McGahn is just like John Dean. They're very different personalities and people.

What's similar here is the situations and that is, in Watergate, remember, we had an investigation which took place not only a few months, took place over two years. And that investigation gradually, as it got closer and closer to the president, meant that you had to put aides up on the front line and hope they would be the sacrifices to stop it.

John Dean was that sacrifice in '73; it did not work. Now if Don McGahn was to be the sacrifice by Donald Trump, will it work this time?

I doubt it. My broader point here is this: just as Richard Nixon, in the end, only had a couple of loyalists around him, Donald Trump is not loyal to anybody. Anyone is expendable, except maybe his own family. And I'm not even sure that they're safe at this point.

HOWELL: Scott Lucas, wow, with the perspective, live for us --


HOWELL: -- in Birmingham, England. Thank you for your time today.

We're getting new insight into the lives of Kellyanne and George Conway. Kellyanne, who serves as counselor to President Trump, and her husband and attorney, George Conway, appear to be living in a divided house of sorts.

George says he now regrets ever introducing her to Donald Trump. And as one of the president's biggest critics, he's grown a sizeable Twitter following for his takedowns of President Trump.

CNN's Tom Foreman has the inside scoop from "The Washington Post" reporter who first wrote that profile of the couple's complicated political life.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As power couples go, Kellyanne Conway and her husband, George, have something of a short circuit. Both are conservative but while she's the president's fiercest defender...

TRUMP: There is no den she will not go into.

FOREMAN (voice-over): -- he is a sharp Trump critic.

Now "The Washington Post" has scored a rare behind the scenes look at their split-level homelife.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She told me that she rolls her eyes at the tweets and certainly her life would be easier if he wasn't criticizing her boss.

FOREMAN (voice-over): Criticizing?

George Conway routinely savages the businessman turned politician. Just this week tweeting, "What if a CEO routinely made false and misleading statements about himself, the company and results, and publicly attacked business partners, employees and kowtowed to a dangerous competitor?"

When the president called Ohio governor John Kasich "unpopular," Conway posted a poll, showing Buckeyes think much less of Trump. He has trolled the president over his clashes with his political foes and the press over his fallen allies and his lies.

His wife told CNN's Dana Bash last spring...

KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP SENIOR ADVISER: He writes a lot of things that are also supportive and he writes a lot of things about corgis and Philadelphia Eagles and sports, too.

FOREMAN (voice-over): But to "The Washington Post," she said, "It is disrespectful, it's a violation of basic decency, certainly if not marital vows."

"The Post" said she quickly tried to have her own words attributed to a person familiar with their relationship.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So she said that and she kind of tried to weasel her way out of it but I just printed it.

FOREMAN (voice-over): Her husband, a lawyer, introduced her to Trump and now says he regrets it. He was once reportedly considered for an administration job but now seems glad it never happened.

Despite all that, Kellyanne suggests questions about their marriage are sexist.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would ask you that if you were a man.

CONWAY: No, you wouldn't.


FOREMAN (voice-over): And George, he disagrees with his wife about the cause of any friction, too.

"Her problem is with her boss, not me."


HOWELL: CNN's Tom Foreman reporting there.

Former U.N. secretary-general Kofi Annan is being remembered as a global statesman, a gentleman, who fought for more than many, many times for a peaceful world and sometimes fell tragically short of that goal. Annan died Saturday after a short illness. The Nobel Peace Prize winner was 80 years old. CNN's Richard Roth has a look back at his life and legacy.


RICHARD ROTH, CNN SENIOR U.N. CORRESPONDENT: To the end, Kofi Annan was a stubborn optimist. He served two terms as U.N. secretary- general, 10 years in all. He was first the U.N. director of peacekeeping, culminating a long run inside the U.N. system.

He then, as secretary-general, tried to reinvigorate the organization, redefining it, getting it involved even in social issues, such as AIDS and poverty, which the U.N. had traditionally avoided.

He always talked against world countries using military force, thinking that diplomacy could carry the day. And some accused him of being involved in not doing enough to prevent a potential genocide, which did occur in Rwanda, and the Balkan Wars from spreading.

Later in his second term, he got linked negatively in the oil-for-food scandal because his son worked for a company which won a lucrative contract.

Annan in 2001 did win the Nobel Peace Prize, as did the organization. Annan was widely praised for his humanity, his touch with people. And even opponents felt when he walked into a room that he might be able to solve this problem, where no one else had.

Kofi Annan will be remembered probably along with Dag Hammarskjold, as two of the most successful United Nations secretaries-general in history -- Richard Roth, New York.


HOWELL: Richard, thank you.

World leaders, past and present, are sending messages of condolence. The former U.S. president George W. Bush writes this, "Kofi was a gentle man and a tireless leader of the United Nations. His voice of experience will be missed around the world."

And the president of Annan's native Ghana issued a statement, saying this. "Kofi Annan was the first from sub-Saharan Africa to occupy this exalted position. He brought considerable renown to our country by this position and --


HOWELL: -- "throughout his conduct and comportment in the global arena."

Kofi Annan died at the age of 80 years old. He is survived by his wife and his three children. Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced or set.

Grief, anger and blame in Northern Italy as families bury their loved ones who died in the Genoa bridge collapse. Funerals and the calls for justice -- ahead. Also children forced to fight in Colombia's civil war are learning what it's like to live without conflict. CNN's Freedom Project goes to a place that's helped to fill the void of war with education, health, safety and with play. Stay with us.




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

The company that operated the collapsed bridge in Genoa, Italy, is vowing to rebuild as soon as possible. The collapse killed at least 40 people on Tuesday. The company held a news conference, just hours after the state funeral for many of the victims. Our Zain Asher reports, the community is broken. Many people there are angry.


ZAIN ASHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At a solemn funeral service, the names of some of the victims are read aloud, only a few of the dozens who died in Genoa Tuesday when parts of a bridge suddenly collapsed.

Mourners tried to comfort one another. A woman touches the photograph of someone she will never see again, lost forever in the tragedy. Each of the coffins are decorated with large bouquets of flowers. One is smaller and white, holding the body of a child.

The city's --


ASHER (voice-over): -- archbishop says the bridge collapse creates a gash in the heart of Genoa. The wound, he says, is deep. For some, however, the tragedy was more than a wound.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): My son didn't die, he was killed because the state did not look after its citizens. It's not just my son that is dead, 40 people are dead and they are still digging.

ASHER (voice-over): Some of the victims' family members boycotted the state-held funeral, holding private services instead. It's a protest against the government, which they consider negligent.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): There were children and other people there yet to find. This is horrible. They just wanted to cash in money, money, money.

And at the end of the day, to do what?

It should have been used to improve things but here we are, going backwards, not forwards. ASHER (voice-over): As families demand answers, authorities have created an inspection commission to find the cause of the disaster. And the Italian prime minister has stripped the company that maintained the bridge of its concession.

But some experts warn, thousands more bridges could be at risk of collapse in Italy, a sign of more serious failings in motorway maintenance across the country.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Now is the time of grief and tribute for the victims but also to think about the conditions of the roads of our region, about the security of our infrastructure, because these victims cannot be followed by other victims. Italy must stop and think about this.

ASHER (voice-over): Zain Asher, CNN.


HOWELL: A half-century of armed conflict by the FARC rebel group in Colombia is over. And now children who were kidnapped or recruited by the militants to fight are learning to build their lives in peace.

The CNN Freedom Project, which is dedicated to ending modern-day slavery, visited a special shelter that's helping them to do just that. Jacqueline Hurtado has the report for us.


JACQUELINE HURTADO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): High above Colombia's capital city of Bogota sits Benposta, a shelter for children, victims of armed conflict.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): The boys and girls who are right here were often recruited. They escaped usually because they were injured in combat. When they left the hospital, they reached out to us in order to get here.

HURTADO (voice-over): Benposta is home to over 160 children. Some are orphaned. Others sent there for their own safety. Many have seen or experienced things no child ever should.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We also see sexual violence. It can be related to the armed conflict or not. The poverty, that means that a lot of children go into the mines or are exploited in other forms of child labor.

The fact that many of the children that come here actually explain that what they did to me is fine, I can live with that but I can't get over what they made me do to others.

HURTADO (voice-over): In July 2018, FARC members were allowed to become legislators in congress as part of a promise made by the government to end half a century of rebel fighting.

But while FARC agreed to lay down their arms, other guerilla fighters continue their war in the jungles. That's why Benposta continues to operate, to provide safety and structure to children who have known only violence and fear.

That includes Monica, now 18. She's had the chance to get an education in a safe, nurturing environment.

MONICA, FARC CHILD (through translator): Where I'm from, sadly, I didn't study. I started working at 11 years old. But since I got here, I've been pursuing my dream. I want to be an actress and I want to see myself on all the TVs.

HURTADO (voice-over): Ready to move on from her past by focusing on her future, full of optimism and free of war -- Jacqueline Hurtado, CNN.


HOWELL: Jacquelyn, thank you.

As the jury deliberates the verdict in the Paul Manafort trial, the former Trump campaign chair may have cold feet -- literally. Jeanne Moos has that story -- ahead.






HOWELL: You can file this next story away in the category of things you don't see every day. A delicate rescue operation caught on dashcam video. The sheriff's office in El Dorado County, California, they answered a call about a bear trapped in that silver parked car on the right. Watch how the deputy set it free.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to try to get him out because he's not happy at all. I'm going to try to break out the back window with a beanbag.

HOWELL (voice-over): Whoa.


HOWELL (voice-over): Yes, that's right, bears can unlock doors. Remember that, bears can unlock doors. Police say it's a reminder to always remove food from your car and lock it, especially when you're in a hungry bear country like that bear. Wow.

(END VIDEO CLIP) HOWELL: A Green Party politician in New Zealand is having her first child and she took the greenest route to the maternity ward. In 42 weeks, Julianne Genter (ph) is a bit overdue. So she biked to the hospital where she plans to have labor induced.

On Instagram, she wrote that she and her partner cycled because there wasn't enough room in the car for the support group. Genter (ph) was pregnant alongside New Zealand's prime minister, who gave birth to a daughter back in June.

Jurors in the Paul Manafort financial fraud trial are set to get back to work on Monday. And as they consider his guilt or innocence, they may be asking this question, why is the former Trump campaign --


HOWELL: -- chair not wearing socks?

That's right. Jeanne Moos looks into the bare facts.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It came as a no-sock shock. Here's a courtroom sketch of Paul Manafort.

And all I can think about is, no socks?

After all those photos of ostrich and $18,000 python jackets he bought, the skin that's now getting attention is human ankle, as if all the other jokes weren't enough.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And Manafort did not take the stand. However, he did take a watch, three wallets and the judge's gavel.

MOOS (voice-over): Now his sockless feet are Twitter targets. Another inmate took his ostrich socks. Other public figures flaunt their socks, be it President George H.W. Bush with his lobster and Superman socks worn on his 89th birthday or Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau sporting everything from ducks to Chewbacca.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're famous for your socks.

JUSTIN TRUDEAU, CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER: It distracts people every now and then.

MOOS (voice-over): Yes, well, so do no socks in a courtroom. Since he's in custody, Manafort is not allowed to wear a belt or shoelaces and he's only allowed government issued white socks. His spokesman tells CNN he doesn't like white socks.

As "Esquire" put it, Paul Manafort is being forced into socklessness by his own vanity. Though "Esquire" also points out, actually, white socks are awesome, they're in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Loafers with the white socks. Loafers with the white socks. MOOS (voice-over): But some loafer lovers prefer freedom for their feet. And if he wouldn't wear white socks, it's a safe bet the fashion conscious former Trump campaign chairman wouldn't get caught dead in Trump hair socks, selling for 30 bucks at Walmart -- for Across America, I'm Jeanne Moos.


HOWELL: That's NEWSROOM this hour, I'm George Howell. Let's do it again, today's top stories after the break.