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Refugees Face Violence And Tighter Borders As They Flee; Pope Addresses All Catholics On Sex Abuse Crisis; Korean Families Separated By War Share Brief Reunions; The Irony of Melania's Crusade Against Cyberbullying. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired August 21, 2018 - 00:00   ET




JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): This is CNN NEWSROOM. Ahead this hour, a call for fasting and prayer but no details on any real action. More than a month after he learned about the latest clergy sex scandal, the pope does what no pope has done before.

And the perjury trap in Trump world, saying the truth can make you a liar, at least according to the president.

Plus separated by war, relatives who may barely recognize one another reunite on the Korean Peninsula.

Hello and welcome to our viewers all around the world. I'm John Vause. NEWSROOM L.A. starts right now.


VAUSE: Pope Francis has taken an unprecedented move in speaking out about the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church. But some victims' groups say it's not paying far enough. He has written a letter to all Catholics. And the pope has admitted with shame and repentance the church's failure to take action against clerics abusing minors for decades.

He wrote, "We were not where we should have been, that we did not act in a timely manner, realizing the magnitude and the gravity of the damage done to so many lives. We showed no care for the little ones. We abandoned them."

The letter comes after a Pennsylvania grand jury report outlined decades of alleged sexual abuse and cover ups in that state. Barbie Nadeau has our coverage.


BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Answers released in a letter to the people of God, in which he addressed those horrific allegations of sexual abuse against children in Pennsylvania, 1,000 victims of sexual abuse, 300 Catholic priests in crimes that span over seven decades.

He used language like, "We showed no care for the little ones, we abandoned them."

He asked the global Catholic community to stand together and support those victims. He also asked the church as a whole to create an environment that made it difficult for these crimes to continue and even more difficult for the rampant coverup of these crimes to be possible.

But what he didn't call for was concrete action. Pope Francis did call for resignations and he failed to really lay out a plan that the church had in addressing these crimes going forward and in addressing those historical crimes that so many people want to see the secret archives and all of the Vatican records opened for.

This is Barbie Nadeau, CNN, Rome.


VAUSE: This latest child sex scandal is likely to follow Pope Francis as he visits Ireland this weekend, marking the first papal visit there in 40 years. More than 20 years ago, investigators in Ireland revealed horrific stories similar to those now being reported in the United States. Despite this historic letter from the pope, many abuse survivors say they are tired of meaningless apologies.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'd like him to tell the damn truth. I would just like him to acknowledge the simple fact of the cover-up and the Vatican's role in it. And that is where then conversations can begin to happen.


VAUSE: Demands are going out to the Vatican to implement transparent policies and practices which will hold senior clergy responsible for any protection of sex offenders within the clergy. But there's little expectation that will happen anytime soon.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't have any expectations really, to be honest with you. I don't have high expectations because the Vatican has had plenty of time between the time the reports were published in this country and elsewhere and now to actually respond appropriately. And every time they fail to do so.


VAUSE: On Sunday, half a million people are expected to gather in Dublin to hear the holy father deliver mass. It is still unclear if he will address the sex abuse scandal during his two-day visit.

Joining us now is CNN's religion commentator, Father Edward Beck.

Good to have you back. There has been no time set aside during this trip to Ireland for the pope to publicly address the clergy sex scandal or to even meet with those who are survivors of abuse. Maeve Lewis (ph), who is the executive director of the group One in Four told a local newspaper, "The pope's visit is very distressing to many survivors, retriggering old emotions of shame, humiliation, despair and anger.

"The least they deserve during this papal visit is a clear commitment that the Catholic Church finally intends to deal with clerical child sexual abuse."

And when they say a clear -- what they are talking about is not just the words, the apologies but details on what the policies will be and how this will actually work moving forward.

FATHER EDWARD BECK, CNN RELIGION COMMENTATOR: I suspect that he will meet with victims in Ireland. I suspect he will talk about it. They don't put out everything in advance. There are a lot of surprises when a pope visits.

I think this may be one of them.


BECK: So I wouldn't be surprised if we do see that.

VAUSE: Last week he did say there was more coming from the Vatican. Boy, did it come with this letter.

BECK: And I think more needs to come after the letter. I was a little disappointed in the letter. I think it is the first salvo. He talks about prayer, fasting, penance for everybody. But that is not practical solutions as to what the church is going to do.

I thought he overspiritualized. This was an apology. This was setting forth his first statement publicly on what had been revealed. So I think we will have more specifics come. He addressed clericalism as a major sin and a major cause of this scandal.

What are you going to do about clericalism?

Are you going to stop calling the cardinals princes of the church?

Are you going to ask them to stop dressing in their finery?

You did it. You renounced the palace. You lived in simple abode.

But what about everybody else?

Clericalism is from the top down.

How are you going to reshape --


VAUSE: I want to get to that in a moment, a couple of the reforms. But you mention the whole issue about prayer. Some people pointed to the prayer and fasting part of the pope's letter was well received. Here is what he wrote in part.

"May fasting and prayer open our ears to the hushed pain felt by children, young people and the disabled, a fasting that can make us hunger and thirst for justice and impel us to walk in the truth, supporting all the judicial measures that may be necessary."

It does go on. Jurd Manning (ph), who's a professor of Catholic studies at Georgetown University, takes issue with this. He praises the letter overall as being a good step but he goes on to add, "But with the greatest respect, calling for prayer and fasting in response to this grave crisis, as the pope also did, is not sufficient. Words are not enough and never have been enough.

"The church is bound by its own social and moral teachings to do so much more. The time has come for radical action."

And that seems to be the criticism here, that there are no details of plan. You say there is more to come.

But if there is -- it has to be big, it has to be radical action, it has to be something the church has never seen before.

If there is a pope in modern history who can do that, is it this pope?

BECK: I think it is this pope. It is going to start with accountability from the bishops. These are his people, the bishops he has appointed.

So how is he going to call them to be accountable for bad choices, for instilling this zero tolerance around the world, where they have not always done it?

How, if you have a problem with a bishop, who has been an abuser or has not responded adequately with someone who has been an abuser, how will you turn them in?

Only the pope can censure or discipline a bishop?

So are you going to write to the pope?

Is it going to be a lay board, like the American bishops have asked for?

Is it going to have any real clout?

Will laity be a part of it?

See, if you are going to deconstruct the clericalism of the church, the pope can do that. But it is a major overhaul in the structure. This is the hierarchy. This is not a democracy.


VAUSE: With that in mind, I want you to listen to a reaction to the pope's letter from one survivor of clergy abuse. He is demanding a lot more action. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHAUN DOUGHERTY, CLERGY ABUSE SURVIVOR: You're making huge mistakes. This is -- you have insulted the victims again, for sure. However, you are breaking your parishioners' hearts.

Your parishioners are struggling right now. They are trying to comprehend how this has happened in each of their parishes and churches. They are hanging by a thread now, just like the victims are and are with all of their might, hoping that their religious leader in the pope will quit these games and just finally, finally, finally do the right thing here.


VAUSE: There was an editorial in "The Guardian," which looks at some of the reasons why Pope Francis may be constrained.

"Conservative Catholics blame the prevalence of gay men in the priesthood. Francis and the liberals blame the clerical culture which leaves bishops and archbishops responsible for no one outside the church and not even to the lay people within it.

"Changing that which his letter demands, would threaten the power structure of the whole church and would be very fiercely resisted. But it just might offer a chance of restoring some of its moral authority."

Is it that simple?

The pope has to take on the conservative forces within the church and that could be the constraint here?

BECK: I think it is a little more complex than that. I don't think the church has ever dealt well, in my opinion, with human sexuality. Think of the guys here, the priests, the predators who are being accused.

When they entered the seminary, you used to enter the seminary after eighth grade. So now you are in high school seminary, all male environment. You can't have particular friendships. You can't talk about sexuality. You can't date.


BECK: Is there any surprise you have arrested sexual behavior among some of these men in a church that says you can't even show affective feelings?

So until you deal with that culture and that dysfunctional way of approaching sexuality -- I think it has gotten better in later years. But I think there are a lot of issues that are underneath it, seminary formation being one of them.

VAUSE: One of the issues (INAUDIBLE) celibacy for priests. It (INAUDIBLE). It was 1,000 years after the church was founded that they adopted this practice --


VAUSE: -- (INAUDIBLE). That's why there was celibacy. But there was a book out a few years ago, "Sex, Priests and Power," and it writes this.

"The question at the time was who is the final power, the king or the church?

"The church can control a person's sex life, money, employment."

It seems this is one are which the pope could very easily address.

BECK: He said he wants to talk about celibacy, that it is a question we can discuss. But as you know, most sexual abuse occurs in families. Married men sexually abuse young people. The majority of pedophiles are heterosexual.

To say this is a gay problem or a celibate problem, it cuts across all of those boundaries. In the Catholic priesthood, it has addressed itself with a lot of gay clerics. I think it's an issue certainly to be looked at.

But I think if you paint everybody with that brush, that it is just gay priests or if they were able to marry, that would take care of everything.

VAUSE: It may help, though, is it part of a bigger solution?

BECK: It is part of a bigger solution of what is sexuality?

What is celibacy?

What's the virtue of it?

Why are we one of the only institutions in religion that still has it?

Is it worth that virtue any longer?

I think that's a discussion the pope wants to have. And I think he should have.

VAUSE: OK, well, like we said, if there is a pope who can do this, it is Pope Francis.

BECK: I agree.

VAUSE: Father Beck, thank you.

BECK: Thank you.

VAUSE: Donald Trump has told Reuters that he is worried an interview with special counsel Robert Mueller could be a perjury trap. The U.S. president says he has stayed out of the Russia investigation so far, even though he could actually be running it, if he wanted. Meantime, sources say he is concerned about what the White House

counsel Don McGahn may have told Mueller's investigators. CNN's Jim Acosta has details. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. McGahn, was it a mistake to have you speak without limits to special counsel Mueller?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's the latest sign that the Russia investigation is inching closer to the Oval Office. One of the president's closest advisers, White House counsel Don McGahn, sitting down with special counsel Robert Mueller's team. But President Trump tweeted, "That's no big deal," insisted he allowed it, stating, "Disgraced and discredited Bob Mueller spent over 30 hours with the White House counsel only with my approval for purposes of transparency."

Much of Washington is second guessing the decision to allow McGahn to testify. Part of the old Trump team strategy to cooperate led by former outside attorney John Dowd and ex-White House attorney, Ty Cobb.

The president's lawyers don't exactly know what was said during McGahn's 30 hours of testimony as they were never fully briefed.

CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), FORMER NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR: Don McGahn has no choice then but to go in and answer everything, every question they can ask him. And this is not in the president's interest, it wasn't in the president's interest.

ACOSTA (voice-over): But a source familiar with McGahn's testimony argues the White House could still assert executive privilege over what McGahn told Mueller's team, setting up a potential battle over any information provided to prosecutors.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do believe that, no, in terms of jeopardy to the president, I don't see the downside to having McGahn go in and talk with them and Dowd's specifically said that McGahn was a strong witness.

ACOSTA (voice-over): Questions are also being raised about the president's current legal team after what his outside attorney, Rudy Giuliani, said over the weekend about Donald Trump Jr.'s infamous meeting at Trump Tower with a Russian attorney.

RUDY GIULIANI, TRUMP ATTORNEY: They didn't know that she was a representative of the Russian government and indeed she is not a representative of the Russian government. If this is their case for collusion, good luck, Mueller.

ACOSTA (voice-over): But that's not true. According to e-mails released by Trump Jr., an associate described the Russian attorney as "the crown prosecutor of Russia, offering official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father." This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is

part of Russia and its government support for Mr. Trump. Giuliani then took issue with the notion of objective truths.


GIULIANI: And when you tell me that, you know, he should testify because he's going to tell the truth and he shouldn't worry, well, that's so silly because it's somebody's version of the truth, not the truth. He didn't have a conversation --


CHUCK TODD, NBC HOST (voice-over): Truth is truth. I don't mean to go like --

GIULIANI: No, it isn't truth. Truth isn't truth.

ACOSTA (voice-over): Giuliani's stunning words that the "truth isn't truth" could easily become an unintended motto of the Trump era.

GIULIANI: Truth isn't truth.




KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP SENIOR ADVISER: Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts to that.

TRUMP: What you are seeing and what you are reading is not what's happening.

ACOSTA: As for Giuliani's comment that the truth isn't the truth, the president's outside lawyer later tweeted a clarification, saying he was only referring to the Russia investigation as something of a he said-she said -- Jim Acosta, CNN, the White House.


VAUSE: Joining me now, Wendy Greuel, former Los Angeles city council woman, and Luis Alvarado, Republican strategist and media consultant.

Thank you. That Reuters interview was quite interesting that the president did a few hours ago. Here is more from it, talking about his administration. The president said it was "a smooth running machine, except in that world," which is the Russia investigation, which he described as a disgrace.

He went on to say, "And I've decided to stay out. Now I don't have to stay out. I can go in and I could do whatever. I could run it if I want. But I decided to stay out."

Wendy, apart from (INAUDIBLE) possibly the complete opposite of that is true, technically Trump could actually I think get involved here. He could try to fire the deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein who oversees this investigation.

He could then try to put someone favorable in to fire Robert Mueller. All of this is an open legal question. In the past, Congress would never allow the president to get away with this stuff. We don't know right now (INAUDIBLE) Republicans in Congress, how far they will let this president go.

WENDY GREUEL, FORMER LOS ANGELES CITY COUNCIL WOMAN: Well, I think that they have said very much so that Mueller cannot be fired or don't believe they would stand up for that.


GREUEL: -- they have been so quiet on a number of other issues which have been so outrageous that the president has said or done, whether in Moscow or wherever it has been. They have been silent. The fear is there, that will they just stand by and let him do something that is Nixon-like in the kinds of ways he is going after this?

VAUSE: Every time -- often when Republicans are asked will the president fire Mueller, we don't think that will happen. They don't address it. We just don't know what could happen if --


GREUEL: -- legislation that they were talking about that would stop it --

LUIS ALVARADO, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I think we are certainly in strange times. From a legal perspective, I am sure that there is going to be some challenges that are going to overwhelm our nation.

When he was asking about pardoning himself as president and the powers that allow him to do that, that certainly put a big red flag as to how much parameter he was going to be seeking with regards to protecting his administration. And I think this is the beginning of the beginning.

VAUSE: Just the beginning.


ALVARADO: How much more is going to come from judicial challenges from this administration to Congress and to the Supreme Court?

VAUSE: The president talked about the risk of perjury if he is interviewed by the special counsel. He said, "So, if I say something and he" -- Comey, as in James Comey, the fired FBI director -- "says something and it is my word against his and he is best friends with Mueller, so Mueller might say" -- as in Robert Mueller -- "well, I believe Comey. And even if I'm telling the truth, that makes me a liar. That is no good."

Let's start with the lie the president said in that statement about being caught in a lie while telling the truth. Comey and Mueller are not best friends. That's been absolutely proven. This is all part of a line coming out by Trump and those around him that Mueller is conflicted and has conflicts of interest, which Trump's Department of Justice did an investigation and found out there are no conflicts of interest for Robert Mueller.

So Wendy, the only reason it seems the president is worried about possible perjury is because he is not telling the truth.

GREUEL: Kind of remembering "A Few Good Men," with Jack Nicholson, that you can't handle the truth, that we are going through that with him and Giuliani. When you speak the truth, it's kind of like having a conversation with your kids. You're telling them you can't lie. You can't go around this.

And here we have a President of the United States who seems to think it is OK to lie and it's OK say there might be a difference as we are looking at the size of our inauguration. I think we are in dangerous times.

VAUSE: And Luis, Rudy Giuliani, truth isn't truth, he tried a little damage repair on Monday, a little more on that tweet.

"My statement was not meant as a pontification on moral theology but one referring to the situation when two people make precisely contradictory statements, the classic he said-she said puzzle. Sometimes further inquiry can reveal the truth. Other times, it doesn't."

Putting aside that is not what he said during the interview, on the one side of this he said-he said argument, you have the head of the FBI or former head of the FBI, testifying under oath before Congress, keeping (INAUDIBLE) notes, telling a small leadership group of the FBI exactly what happened at the time of those conversations when --


VAUSE: -- they happened.

On the other side is the President of the United States, who, according to "The Washington Post," has made well over 4,200 false or misleading claims in his presidency so far, an average of 7.6 per day, which is up from the last count, which was an average of 5.2 per day.

ALVARADO: It kind of reminds me and it is very unfortunate for a nation that we find ourselves here, that he has become the impersonation of Baghdad Bob with regards to how much credence can be given to the words that he utters or the tweets that he puts out in public.

Giuliani is somebody who is aspiring to keep up with his boss with regards to how much disinformation is being put out. It is dangerous times for the nation. I think Republicans are in a corner with regards to how they are going to treat the investigation once they are presented with evidence. We all know the midterms are around the corner. The question is who

will keep the House with regards to the power that it is giving it. I read somewhere that that was a strategy by Donald Trump, that he would be OK with losing the House --


ALVARADO: -- let's remember that America sent him to the White House. There are plenty of Americans who do not see this style of communications by the president or his administration as something negative. There are those who are OK with it because they did send that boat into the china star. This is just the broken china we are going to pay to move the country in a direction that he promised he would --


VAUSE: That's a lot of broken china.

GREUEL: -- whole store is broken.

VAUSE: Let's finish with the salute to the brave men and women who proudly serve the country on the front lines, securing the borders, keeping America safe. President salutes all 60,000 serving members of the good old CBC.




VAUSE: You get the prize, Luis, it is actually the CBP, Customs and Border Protection. It was written that way in the teleprompter but, wait, there is more. During his remarks, Donald Trump paused, calling to the microphone one of the agents who was there being honored and he paused to honor this very surprised Adrian Anzaldua for what would be a moment of blatant racism.


TRUMP: I want to ask you a question. How did you -- come here. You are not nervous. Speaks perfect English. I want to ask you about that.


VAUSE: You speak perfect English.

Wendy, you would think that Donald Trump was honoring one of the agents who enforces a policy on the border which many have criticized as being cruel or blatantly racist, he would at least remember the name of the agency.

GREUEL: Couldn't remember the name of the agency, he couldn't pronounce the gentleman's last name so he decided to make a comment, which he has the uncanny ability to demonstrate a behavior which is racially insensitive. He continues to do that.

I think that, in this instance, this is a Border Patrol agent who was saving people's lives.


GREUEL: And he demeaned him in that way, by the way in which he addressed him and suggesting that. He has called people up to the podium many times. They have never -- he has never used that with anyone as he did today.

VAUSE: We will finish up with a couple of recent headlines. Trump speaks at fourth grade level, lowest of all last 15 U.S. presidents, new analysis finds. And there is a bar graph to prove it. He's right there on the left-hand side of the screen. Jimmy Carter was apparently at the top of the line.

From the "Irish Times," "You total loser, Donald Trump and the power of a small vocabulary."

"Vanity Fair," "Expert. Trump speaking style raises questions about his brain health."

I must say he speaks perfect English.



ALVARADO: Mrs. Brooks, if you are watching from English class at L.A. High, thank you for being so hard on me.

VAUSE: Is that offensive to you?


ALVARADO: It's incredibly offensive because, not only that, over 50 percent of the agents that work for the Border Patrol are Latino. He offended all of them, any other Latino person or immigrant who comes from another country or another heritage that serves in the federal government were offended.

And he doesn't have to look far. Even his wife probably doesn't speak --


ALVARADO: But in his mind, it is the zinger that he had to throw in there. It is still part of the dog whistle mentality that he has, that he has to diminish --

VAUSE: Are we still in the dog whistle stage?

I thought we had moved straight on to the bullhorn kind of thing at this point.

Luis, thank you.

Wendy, as well, thank you very much.

GREUEL: Thank you.


VAUSE: The same or worse?

Hyperinflation with five fewer zeroes, the economic solution of Venezuelans' president Nicolas Maduro is not unprecedented. And just like it always has in the past, it will probably backfire.




VAUSE: The Venezuelan president has described his economic overhaul as a magic and revolutionary formula which will fix everything. The reality is the country's economic crisis will probably only get worse.

In a few hours from now, banks will start rolling out a new currency with five fewer zeroes, dropping its value by more than 90 percent. (INAUDIBLE). Sovereign (INAUDIBLE) will be pegged to Venezuela's cryptocurrency, the petro, which experts actually describe as a sham.

Meantime, business owners fear having to lay off employees when the minimum wage increases in about two weeks by more than 3,000 percent. The opposition is calling for a national strike on Tuesday.

In Venezuelan, it is getting harder and more dangerous with refugees fleeing the south. CNN's Lynda Kinkade reports on how neighboring countries are struggling to cope with the mass exodus of Venezuelans.


LYNDA KINKADE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Thousands of desperate Venezuelans fleeing the economic and humanitarian crisis in their homeland. Their journey to a better life has been met with growing hostility from their South American neighbors.

The mass exodus is increasing tensions in countries like Peru, Ecuador, Brazil and Colombia. On Saturday, angry residents of a Brazilian border town attacked a group of Venezuelan migrants, setting fire to their camp, according to state media.

It comes after a local business owner was allegedly robbed by Venezuelans. The demonstrations forced more than 1,000 migrants to flee back across the border to Venezuela on foot. The Brazilian government says it is committed to helping Venezuelans and says it will try to spread migrants throughout the various states.

It also announced a deployment of 120 personnel from the country's national force to the border to help quell the violence. Meanwhile, in Ecuador, a new rule requires Venezuela citizens to enter the country with a valid passport.

Since some started their journey before the rule went into effect, they're stuck in limbo at the border. Many only have identity cards used to travel to Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia under normal circumstances. Some migrants have expressed frustration and desperation as they try to enter Ecuador.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I am here without my wife, hoping for some kind of humanitarian measure from the Ecuadorian government that allows us to enter with our I.D. card so we can continue our journey to Peru.

KINKADE: Other migrants are taking their chances crossing the border on foot after being turned away at the border, for not having a passport.

AYLIN AGUILAR, VENEZUELAN REFUGEE (through translator): We have to come on foot because the immigration officials are not going to give us an answer. They are not going to stamp any documents. Even if you come legally, we're practically illegal without papers, without documents, nothing.

KINKADE: Many of the migrants are headed to Peru, which has one of the fastest growing economies in the region. The United Nation's high commission over refugees says that more than half a million Venezuelans have crossed into Ecuador through Columbia, since the beginning of the year.

They estimate that the number is growing with some 30,000 entering in the first week of August, alone. Lynda Kinkade, CNN.


JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Still to come here, the meeting of a lifetime, the emotional family reunions, which have been on hold for a decade, now, underway on the Korean Peninsula, but only for a lucky few.


VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. You are watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause. We'll check the headlines this hour.

Pope Francis is acknowledging the Catholic Church's inaction on sex abuse by clerics. He says with shame and repentance. In a letter written to all Catholics, the pope says the church showed no care for the little ones.

Victims groups say the words are not enough and the pope has to take action against the bishops who covered up crimes.

Donald Trump says he stayed out of the Russia investigation, but he could be running it if he wanted to. U.S. President told Reuters he is worried that interview with special counsel Robert Mueller would be a perjury trap where they would make him look like a liar, even though he's telling the truth.

Venezuelan president, Nicolas Manduro, is rolling out a new devalued currency in what he calls a revolutionary economic overhaul with a touch of magic (INAUDIBLE) are warning the new plan will make the economic crisis worse and only fill inflation.

The currency has five fewer zeros and takes the state sponsored oil for (INAUDIBLE) currency which upon us described as a shun itself.

Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, is still in his job, at least, for now, narrowly defeating the leadership challenge by 13 votes. Recent polls suggest his liberal party coalition government may be losing support ahead of elections (INAUDIBLE)

Mr. Turnbull also made a major concession to keep his job by dropping legislation which limits greenhouse gas emissions.

[00:35:05] More emotional reunions taking place at this hour, the families separated by the Korean War, many who crossed into North Korea on Monday, have not seen their relatives in almost 70 years. There were 57,000 applications but there's only 89 families in the end, were selected.

And the meetings were arranged earlier this year, at the summit between the North and the South Korean leaders. U.N. Secretary General says he'd like to see these reunions become regular events. And boy, he's not the only one.

Paula Hancocks, live this hour for us, in Seoul. And it is incredibly emotional to see those families together again. But you just have to think the thousands who may never get that chance.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right, John. I mean, these images that you are seeing here, these are the lucky ones. These are the lucky people who have been chosen. And they still had to wait decades in order to see their loved ones.

Now, we have heard also from the South Korean president, Moon Jae-in himself, from a separated family. He was part of one of these family reunions in the past, with his mother going to meet his aunt for the first time.

He has said that it's a shame on both the North and South Korean governments that there aren't more of these reunions. And for him, it is going to be a top priority, because it's no overstatement to say that time is running out for those 57,000.

Lee Keum-seom hugs her son for the first time in almost 70 years. The last time she saw him, he was four. The emotions are raw. Lee is 92 and since being separated from her child in 1950, she never knew for sure if he was still alive.

A tragic legacy of the Korean War, that tore countless families apart. Days before making the trip to North Korea, Lee told us she cried for a year when she fled to the site with her baby daughter, after becoming separated from her husband and son in the panic. LEE KEUM-SEOM, SEPARATED MOTHER (through translator): Would it be OK to hug my son? He is over 70 years old now. When I see him, I'll call his name Sung Chol and hug him. And that's what she does, not letting go of his hand as he talks to his sister, he hasn't seen since she was one.

At every table in this resort in Mount Kumgang, the scene is the same, a rush of emotion as families greet relatives they barely recognize. Relatives they only recently discovered were still alive. These reunions only happen when North and South Korea are on good terms.

This is the first in three years. Even then, only a fraction over 57,000 families in the South who applied, are chosen. And it is bittersweet. A controlled reunion with families meeting for just 11 hours over a three-day period, before returning home knowing that is likely the last time they will see each other.

So for now until Wednesday, Lee can catch up with her son she barely knows. Seeing photos of her husband who is no longer alive, hearing about a life she should have been part of.

So the majority of people that were part of this first round of reunions were in the 80s and their 90s. More than 20 percent were in their 90s. I spoke to the head of the Red Cross here in South Korea who said that he is talking to his North Korean counter parts and trying to push for more of these reunions and trying to push more people to be involved in each one.

Because clearly, with 57,000 still waiting and there's just a handful of people that go to these reunions each time, a lot of people are being disappointed. John?

VAUSE: And a lot of people are getting older each and every day and their time may come without actually having those reunions or that chance. Paula, thank you. It's a great story.

Up next here, irony, my name is Melania. While Donald Trump calls people, dogs and thugs on Twitter, his wife is on a crusade against cyber bullying.


[00:40:00] VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. While Donald Trump was attacking his critics on Twitter, his wife, Melania, was battling the department of irony in gasoline, lighting a match and burning it to the ground. And by that, I mean, she was addressing a summit on cyber bullying. Here's Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Do what she says, not what he does. Melania Trump was once again speaking --

MELANIA TRUMP, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: on cyber bullying prevention. 3 MOOS: You know, like calling someone, that dog.

TRUMP: And also be destructive.

MOOS: or tweeting angry Democrat thugs.

TRUMP: And harmful when used incorrectly.

MOOS: Tweeted one critic, it appears she's never met her husband.

Tweeted another, irony, thy name is Melania, misspelling her name the way that President once misspelled it.

Someone posted an image of a broken irony meter, off a scale.

Another commenter used the words of the church lady, well isn't that special.

Supporters protested. No, Donald Trump does not cyber bully. He cyber counter punches.

Some thought the First Lady was sending --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A veiled message to her husband, right?

TRUMP: Let's face it, most children are more aware of the benefits and pitfalls of social media than some adults.

MOOS: This adult? It's all gotten so surreal that it's hard to tell what's real and what's parody.

Very proud of First Lady Melania Trump giving a speech on cyberbullying, anyone who uses social media to bully someone or insult someone is a low I.Q. loser who really should just disappear.

Turns out that was a parody Donald Trump. But dozens found it so authentic, they lashed out. 3 You literally can't make a tweet about not cyberbullying without cyberbullying.

Someone else took a page from Rudy Giuliani.


MOOS: Hence, bullying isn't bullying.

Melania has acknowledged that people are skeptical of her discussing this topic.

TRUMP: But it will not stop me from doing what I know is right.

MOOS: Could there be marital fallout because the First Lady dares to use the anti-bully pulpit.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My husband will be so mad he will not speak to me. MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

VAUSE: Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause. Please stay with us. "WORLD SPORT" is next. You're watching CNN.


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