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CNN NEWSROOM

WikiLeaks Reveals Spying Secrets; Iraqi PM Gives ISIS Two Options: Surrender or Die; Killing for a Horn; No Regrets and not Backing Down; Terror Attack in a Hospital; GOP Unveils Obamacare Lite; Worsening Famine in Somalia; Ending Modern Day Slavery; Celebrating Women Power. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired March 8, 2017 - 03:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[03:00:00] MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR: Spying secrets exposed. How the latest WikiLeaks revelation could affect how the CIA collects intelligence.

A beloved rhino shot dead in a wildlife preserve on the outskirts of Paris. We'll have the latest on the investigation. And the CNN Freedom Project report, how high-schoolers in Atlanta are joining the fight to end modern day slavery.

Hello and welcome to our viewers around the world. I'm Max Foster, and this is CNN Newsroom.

We are following developments for you in an insurgent attack on a military hospital in Afghanistan's capital. At least two people have been killed and seven others are wounded.

The initial reports say the insurgence detonated a huge explosion before entering the hospital. One official said a number of gunmen were wearing medical uniforms and security forces are on the scene. The gun battle is ongoing, we understand is happening near the U.S. embassy and diplomatic district.

We'll bring you updates as we get them.

WikiLeaks, meanwhile, says criminals and hackers have stolen the CIA's top cyber spying tools, including the ability to watch and listen it to people through their cell phones, tablets, and computers. WikiLeaks published the trove of documents that says was stole from the CIA.

Amongst the claims of program called "Weeping Angel" allowing the CIA to spy on people through their Samsung televisions. The program allegedly puts the TV's in a fake off mode where it can still record your voice.

WikiLeaks says the program was reportedly created with the help of the British spy agency mi-5. Former CIA Chief Leon Panetta says the claims have a global impact.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LEON PANETTA, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: When these kinds of leaks are made (TECHNICAL PROBLEM).

[03:05:00] (TECHNICAL PROBLEM)

JAMES RUBIN, FORMER UNITED STATES ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE: ... that this whole scandal is the CIA spying on Hillary Clinton. We know that Vladimir Putin even said publicly, let's not worry about how we got these documents. Let's just say what's -- let's worry about what's in them.

So, Russia's goals are very -- are very transparent here. They wanted to undermine the American democratic system.

FOSTER: But to legitimize their claim, they're saying, you know, wherever these documents do come from, you know, what we've found from hacking into the democratic system was true. I mean, it's evidence. Real evidence.

(CROSSTALK)

RUBIN: Well, again, the question isn't what was in those documents back in the day of the campaign. That's over. Hillary Clinton lost. Donald Trump won.

But the fact that Russia, Moscow, the Kremlin, chose and risked war by interfering so deeply in the American system, basically reaching deep inside our pocket and...

FOSTER: Yes.

RUBIN: ... threatening our system, and just because the CIA has the capability to mask its operations, that every organization has that, we have every reason to believe based on what Russians were saying to each other after the operation, that it was Russian. It's not just the cyber fingerprints. It's all the different intelligence information.

FOSTER: Yes. But when it comes down to the evidence, that's the question that we're saying, Donald Trump needs to provide evidence to the sort of claims that he's coming up with. But on this, they're basically saying, there isn't evidence that Russia hacked into the U.S. So, this hyperbole...

(CROSSTALK)

RUBIN: Who is saying that?

FOSTER: Well, the Russians are saying that. Donald Trump has also said, you know, there's no evidence that Russia hacked.

RUBIN: But there is evidence, it's just not always made public. And people that I...

(CROSSTALK)

FOSTER: So they're suggesting it could have been via the CIA.

RUBIN: Well, that is unrealistic because we know from talking to the people who are able to actually get all the information, democrat and republican senators like John McCain, that the evidence of Russian interference in our system is not just the cyber fingerprints.

That's what we're talking about. Not just the context but things they were saying to each other afterwards, like, isn't it great that we were able to do this? So, this is not evidence that the Russians didn't hack. This is evidence that WikiLeaks really wants to undermine the security of the United States.

FOSTER: James Rubin, thank you very much indeed for joining us.

RUBIN: Thank you.

FOSTER: Now Iraq's prime minister has a strong message for ISIS. Meanwhile, surrender or die. He made the comments on Tuesday after his forces made some big gains in western Mosul just this week.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HAIDER AL-ABADI, IRAQI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): Daesh militants should flee or be killed. They have two options, either to surrender and we promise them that they will have fair trials. And the second option is that they will be killed. They have no other option.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: CNN international correspondent Ben Wedeman joins us now from Irbil in Iraq. You've been monitoring the progress here. I mean, where are we with it?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, what we've seen in the last 48 hours, Max, is dramatic progress by the Iraqi forces, particularly the counterterrorism troops and the federal police in an area just south of the old city where they've managed to take over a complex of government buildings, including the Central Bank of Mosul and the Mosul Museum, which held many valuable, priceless, antiquities, but in February 2015 was vandalized, looted by ISIS.

Now we've heard from the head of the federal police who says that they have now gone about 300 meters inside Mosul's old city. In the process, however, they've met (Inaudible)...

(CROSSTALK)

FOSTER: It went a little bit but it was...

WEDEMAN: ... and they had to destroy 19 suicide car bombers -- Max?

FOSTER: OK. And when it comes to those that are trapped within the city, there's a huge amounts of concern about, you know, we've heard about some have managed to get out. But there are those still in there. Have we got any sense of the numbers, or how they're managing to survive, or how they're going to protect themselves as those forces get ever closer? WEDEMAN: Well, reliable numbers are very hard to come by. The U.N.

estimates before the offensive began, that there were as many as 800,000 civilians left in western Mosul. Now, we know that yesterday the Iraqi authorities were saying 62,000 people have fled, but those who have remained behind, and we don't know how many are in the city, are suffering from a lack of food, lack of medicine, lack of clean water, and of course, they are caught in the middle.

[03:10:04] We've been up to close to the front lines. We've seen that the bombardment of western Mosul is intense. There are American B-52s dropping their loads on the city. There are Iraqi attack helicopters, F-16s, artillery, mortars, rockets being fired into the city.

So, the worry is that there's a level of civilian casualties that we didn't see in the eastern part of the city. So, it's a horrendous situation for civilians in Mosul. And it's only going to get worse. Now the question is, how long will this battle last?

If we go by what happened in eastern Mosul, that took just over three months to drive ISIS out. The progress so far in the west has been much faster, but it's believed there's still several thousand ISIS fighters holed up in the city. They've dug a complex network of tunnels. They've booby-trapped many buildings. And of course, they are ready to die, many of them.

We've heard -- we heard what the Iraqi prime minister said, surrender or die. I suspect that the majority are probably going to take that option. Max?

FOSTER: OK. Thanks very much, Ben.

Now, Malaysia's prime minister has accused North Korea of assassinating the estranged half- brother of Kim Jong-un. He says his country has a responsibility to investigate the crime, because it happened in Malaysia.

Kim Jong-nam died after being attacked with a VX nerve agent in Kuala Lumpur last month. And Pyongyang and Malaysia are currently locked in a diplomatic dispute over the murder.

The White House is not backing away from Donald Trump's claims that his phone was tapped by former President Obama. Up next, why some leading republicans say they're not so sure.

And later, poachers target an endangered white rhino, killing him for his horn, and it happened inside a French zoo.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DON RIDDELL, CNN WORLD SPORT ANCHOR: I'm Don Riddell with your CNN World Sport headlines.

You would expect that the round of 16 in the Champions League would be competitive and entertaining. Well, that wasn't the case on Tuesday as both Real Madrid and Bayern Munich advanced to the quarter finals pretty easily. Madrid, the reigning champions came into Tuesday's game against Napoli

with a 3-1 lead up. They fell behind early, but Madrid got a goal from their star Sergio Ramos, they found their groove, won the game 3-1, 6- 2 on aggregate they advance.

Meanwhile in the other game, Bayern Munich came into the night with a 5-1 lead from their first leg against Arsenal. The Gunners had little chance in this one, but at least they were at home in London.

What transpired, though, was a horror show from Arsenal. After showing some early promise with a goal from Theo Walcott, the Gunners fell apart as Bayern continued their route with a 5-1 win and a 10-2 aggregate score.

[03:15:08] Finally, closing with a possible Cinderella story in the making in the world baseball classic where the Israeli team, ranked outside the top 40 and in the tournament for the first time ever, has shocked the world number three powerhouse South Korea, 2-1 Monday. And then, followed it up by topping the fourth ranked Chinese Taipei by 15 runs to 7. Israel now lead play and are virtually guaranteed a place in the last eight.

That is a quick look at your sports headlines. I'm Don Riddell.

FOSTER: Now top republicans are steering clear of President Donald Trump's unsubstantiated wiretapping claim, but the White House isn't backing from it.

And as Pamela Brown reports, the accusation were fold into congressional investigation of Russian involvement in the presidential campaign.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The White House not offering evidence of President Trump's tectonic claim that President Obama wiretapped Trump's phones during the campaign. But it did reiterate its desire to investigate leaks to the press.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEAN SPICER, UNITED STATES White House PRESS SECRETARY: As the president said in the statement on Sunday, we believe that that investigation, as well as the investigation of other classified leaks and other important information that threatens our national security be looked into by the House and Senate intelligence committees.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: But there is plenty of fresh confusion for members of Congress over the accusation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN MCCAIN, (R) UNITED STATES SENATOR: I think that the president of the United States, who has stated categorically that Trump Tower was wire-tapped, then he should come forward with the information that led him to that conclusion. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: And tonight, Senator Cornyn telling CNN that the Senate intelligence investigation will look at the wiretapping claims.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Do you believe the president when he says them?

JOHN CORNYN, (R) UNITED STATES SENATOR: Well, like I said, it needs an investigation so we can find out what the facts are. So we'll follow the facts wherever they lead.

RAJU: I think largely, though, largely, was it appropriate for him to say that, to accuse President Obama of this?

CORNYN: I don't know what -- I don't know what the basis of his statement is, so I really can't comment on that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: Today the attorney general refused to comment on the president's wiretapping accusation. But democrats are demanding more answers after Jeff Sessions originally failed to disclose two meetings he had with the Russian ambassador to the U.S., leading to his recusal.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEFF SESSIONS, UNITED STATES ATTORNEY GENERAL Therefore I have recused myself.

AL FRANKEN, (D) UNITED STATES SENATOR: He should come back and explain himself, Mr. Chairman. I think he owes that to us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: But judiciary committee chairman republican Chuck Grassley coming to Sessions' defense.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHUCK GRASSLEY, (R) UNITED STATES SENATOR: If I was going to ask you a got you question and I was going to tell you about it ahead of time, and I consider what Senator Franken asked Sessions at that late moment, that that story just come out, as a got you question.

FRANKEN: It was not a got you question, sir.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: As questions about Russian interference into the U.S. election swirl, Rod Rosenstein, the man nominated to be deputy attorney general, who would take over the investigation, is at the center of the storm. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROD ROSENSTEIN, UNITED STATES DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL NOMINEE: I want to make sure you're all clear on this. I do not know if there is an investigation. I don't know anything but what I've read in the newspapers at this point.

FRANKEN: Well, I actually find -- found -- find it very disturbing that you did not read the declassified report on Russia's activities during the election. I find that very, very disturbing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: And we have learned that the first public hearing on the Russia investigation will happen on March 20th on the Hill.

Pamela Brown, CNN, Washington.

FOSTER: President Trump is warning fellow republicans that the party will suffer a bloodbath in the 2018 midterm elections if they fail to repeal and replace Obamacare.

The new health care bill was revealed on Tuesday but critics already slamming the legislation. Conservative republicans dismissed it as Obamacare lite, saying it doesn't go far to get the current plan.

Senator Rand Paul says the new bill won't even make it to the Senate floor.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RAND PAUL, (R) UNITED STATES SENATOR: I don't think they have the votes now. So I think there's going to be some head-counting going on. And I think the bill as it stands really is dead on arrival. I don't think it's going to ever arrive in the Senate. I think it's dead on arrival in the House.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: Well, joining me is Leslie Vinjamuri, of course. She is a senior lecturer in international relations at SOAS University of London. Thanks for joining us.

(CROSSTALK)

LESLIE VINJAMURI, SENIOR LECTURER, UNIVERSITY OF LONDON: Good morning.

FOSTER: On Obamacare, has he completely misjudged this or Obamacare lite as some are calling it?

VINJAMURI: Well, it would appear from the reaction that he has. Because what's interesting about this, is that he seems to be pleasing almost nobody, right? The conservative, far-right conservatives groups that have really wanted to see repeal and replace succeed, are very -- seem to be very unhappy with this bill, as do a number of congressmen. But he's also not going to make those who rely on Obamacare, the

Affordable Care Act, for their health care, very happy.

[03:20:01] So, there's really nobody that seems to be coming out very strongly in support of this. And at this point, I think the president's going to have to decide to what extent he's going to really actively engage to try and push forward this -- to push forward this legislation.

He's scoring a number of losses right now. And so it's a very tricky moment, but of course this has been so central to his or central throughout this campaign, central to his agenda. So it will be very interesting to see how much he's willing to push forward with something that does not seem to be getting any support from those he's seeking to appease.

FOSTER: It's an attack on Obama policies, isn't he's also attacking Obama himself, claiming that he tapped his phone. And we're going to have these hearings on the Hill, aren't we, coming up where they're going to consider, you know, was there any Russian involvement as well in the election. All of these things, when he has to start providing evidence for all of these claims, right?

VINJAMURI: Yes, that's right. And his -- the tweets over the weekend that the -- that President Obama had tapped, that there was wiretapping there, those people surrounding the President Donald Trump are making a strategic retreat from that claim. They're sort of walking it back, because there doesn't seem to be any evidence, any information supporting that.

The head of the House intelligence committee, and the Senate intelligence committees have both said that they'll look at this, but nobody's coming out, saying, yes, there's evidence of this. But it did have the effect, which I think probably the president was aiming for, of deflecting the focus on what had come just before that, as we recall, right.

The Attorney General Jeff Sessions had to recuse himself from any investigations having to do with the 2016 elections, which was a very major news item, yet we've moved away from that. So, despite the fact that he's having to walk back, or that those around him are protecting this, he has been successful in moving - moving the lens that was cast over him.

FOSTER: Is it a problem for him that these hearings are going to be taking place and we, the media, will be reporting on it? And he can't -- I mean, he can only sort of tweet to distract, but ultimately, we're going to be led by the hearings, because that's where the content will be coming from.

VINJAMURI: That's right. And I think there's a really important role right now for the media to stay focused on the larger question, and on this particular issue, the larger question really is about what was the role of Russia, with respect to the 2016 elections. Was there -- were there any -- was there cyber-attack, and was there a link between that, and of course the current president? So this is -- this is a very serious and ongoing issue and it's going

to come under ongoing scrutiny. And I suspect that we'll see an effort to continue to deflect that kind of attention. But it's not going to be successful. It's not looking like it's going to be very successful.

FOSTER: Leslie, thank you.

VINJAMURI: Thank you.

FOSTER: Now, the hunt is on for the poacher who killed an endangered rhino in a wildlife preserve near Paris. Vince the white rhino was shot and killed on Monday night. One of his horns was chain sawed off and the other horn was partially removed.

CNN's senior international correspondent Jim Bittermann joins me now from outside the wildlife preserve. Jim?

JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Max. In fact, this happened yesterday morning. Zookeepers came, when they arrived here, they've checked out the rhinoceros house back of us here, and in fact, found that the white rhinoceros had been shot three times, was dead, and the horn, at least one of the horns from the rhinoceros had been removed, apparently with a chainsaw, a really violent crime.

I want to bring into the picture here, Max, Thierry Duguet, who is the director-general of the Chateau de Thoiry. And Thierry, tell me, I mean, what was your reaction yesterday morning when you heard about this?

THIERRY DUGUET, CHATEAU DE THOIRY DIRECTOR GENERAL: We were absolutely terribly shocked, you know, to see this, to see our rhino, you know, five years old, a male, killed with three bullets in the head. That's terribly shocking for all my people, all my staff there. We could not imagine that such a thing could happen in France and in Europe. So it's so sad.

BITTERMANN: What did the people there, the poachers have to do in order to access this area? You've got fences all around here. How do -- how do they get in?

DUGUET: Yes, because they just, you know, broke the fences. We had three different levels of security. So one is the big fences all around the park, and they have cut it. And then they have broken, you know, the house where the rhinos were sleeping and then last one, you know, a door has been totally broken.

BITTERMANN: And you've got -- this morning, you've got the police out here.

DUGUET: Yes.

BITTERMANN: What are they up to?

DUGUET: So now you know, the police and the French police and a lot of different parts of the French police are investigating now. And they will, how you say, autopsy?

BITTERMANN: Do an autopsy.

[03:24:57] DUGUET: Do the legal autopsy this morning. So, in the house there. And then they will investigate, see what kind of bullets have been utilized for that.

BITTERMANN: Are there any clues at all? I mean, do you have surveillance cameras maybe that had...

(CROSSTALK)

DUGUET: Yes, we had. We do. We do have. And so we will give all that, the staff, I mean, all the recorded videos to the police and they will investigate also all our video records.

BITTERMANN: OK. Thank you, Thierry Duguet, director-general there, Max. Just in a while now, the park will open up to the public and the remaining two rhinos will be brought out into the rhino pen where they're allowed to roam free and they're expected to be quite a few people wanting to come and see the remaining two rhinos that are surviving here this morning. Max?

FOSTER: OK. Jim, thank you very much, indeed. A frightening development in the poaching story.

CNN joins the U.N. Secretary General, meanwhile in Somalia.

Just ahead, how President Trump's travel ban is hurting the fight against famine and terrorism in that country.

Plus, CNN's Freedom Project is showcasing young people who were involved in the global fight for freedom. Coming up, how a popular high school club is helping to end modern day slavery.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER: Welcome back. I'm Max Foster. Let's update you then on our top stories this hour.

A gun battle is ongoing between security forces and insurgents at a military hospital in Afghanistan's capital. At least two people are dead, seven wounded. One official says a number of gunmen were wearing medical uniforms. They set off an explosion before entering the hospital.

[03:30:02] WikiLeaks says criminals and foreign spies have stolen the CIA's most advanced tools for cyber spying, they include the ability to infiltrate people' cell phones, computers and even smart TV's. The CIA refuses to comment on whether the documents published by WikiLeaks are authentic.

Hawaii will be the first U.S. state to take legal action against President Donald Trump's revised travel ban. Attorneys say they plan to file a motion in the day ahead, asking for a temporary restraining order. Mr. Trump signed the updated excutive order on Monday. Somalia is one of six countries included in that travel ban. Experts including the U.N. Secretary-General say that could complicate efforts to fight terrorism and the country's worsening famine.

CNN's David McKenzie explains.

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Flying above drought stricken terrain, where Somalis fleeing Al Qaeda-linked terrorists now fear famine.

No doubt that Somalia is unsecure. We're in an armored personnel area right now. But the new U.N. secretary-general says that's no visa to ignore a looming humanitarian crisis.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANTONIO GUTERRES, SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS: It is the dramatic situation of countries like Somalia that create all the conditions for terrorism to prosper. And clearly it's become a global problem, a threat everywhere.

MCKENZIE: Speaking of terrorism, Donald Trump has just instilled another travel ban affecting Somalia, is that a helpful way of dealing with the threat of terrorism?

GUTERRES: I've said time and again that countries have the right to protect their borders and to manage them in a responsible way, but that should not be done with any form of discrimination in relation to nationality, to religion, or to ethnicity.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MCKENZIE: Here survival is the only concern. Fatema's (Ph) son is tired, gaunt. "I fled with my children more than a hundred miles on foot," she says. "Shankaran (Ph) cried the whole way," she says. Little Racma (Ph) is exhausted.

A famine hasn't been declared yet, but that means little to the sick and the hungry at the regional hospital.

The U.N. says more than six million people desperately need food assistance. That's half the Somali population. The United States is the U.N.'s biggest donor, but the secretary-general faces a White House that has threatened to slash U.N. funding and foreign aid budgets.

The new Somali president was given a make Somalia great again hat in his first meeting with the U.S. ambassador and now a travel ban.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does it weaken the relationship?

MOHAMED ABDULLAHI MOHAMED, SOMALI PRESIDENT: Well, it's something we have to work on. We have to work with the U.S. government to see that this ban must be lifted. (END VIDEO CLIP)

MCKENZIE: His country in need once again of an international community he hopes is still willing to help.

FOSTER: David McKenzie joins me now live from Nairobi in Kenya. Is there anger growing in countries like against the United States and their sort of lack of compassion, it seems there?

MCKENZIE: I think there is anger. And speaking to Somali officials in Mogadishu, they say, well, you know, this travel ban doesn't necessarily affect ordinary Somalis who are just struggling to get by, to deal with the hunger that is gripping the southern part of the country especially.

But they say it does affect government officials and others trying to do business and to do diplomacy with the U.S. They say that this ban is just counterproductive in the Somali context, because, in fact, it might just help foster the very terrorism that it's trying to prevent. Max?

FOSTER: The numbers actually coming from a country like Somalia are quite small as well, aren't they, ultimately, getting into the United States, getting these visas. So there's also the question of how much difference it will make.

MCKENZIE: Well, that's a good point. There are limited numbers of people who go to the U.S. But you must also remember the personal impact on individual families. There's a large contingent of Somalis lives in the United States, particularly in Minnesota and those areas. They have family connections in Somalia.

So, again, this might split up families and cause heartbreak and heartache. But there is this bigger sense here that really the U.S. and countries like Somalia need to cooperate more fully when it comes to issues like terrorism, when you have Al Qaeda linked Al-Shabaab expanding its influence once again in those areas where the government might not have the power.

And so everything is needed, they say, to keep this relationship positive. As you heard from the new Somali president there, really, they want that ban lifted and lifted now.

FOSTER: Could it be that this anger you're referring to there could be translated into more support for Al-Shabaab?

[03:34:59] MCKENZIE: I think it's probably hard to tell at this point, because as I said, mostly government officials, wealthy businessmen and others access the U.S. through these kind of visas. But it's more on the diplomacy side of things.

And the U.N. secretary-general went on to say, both on the plane and on the ground in Somalia, that really it's a thematic issue, it's the symbol that is put forward by tis travel ban, saying there very strongly that no ban like this, or no protections of any country should be really against certain ethnicities and certain nationalities.

But the U.N. faces a very tough moment right now with substantial cuts threatened by the White House, by the U.S. administration, both to the U.N. and to foreign aid.

So, potentially the fight that the new secretary-general will be fighting is just to save humanitarian agencies work and peacekeeping operations work, because the U.N. put so much money into the U.N., it's absolutely critical for the work of the international body. Max?

FOSTER: OK. David McKenzie, in Nairobi, thank you.

Students at an Atlanta high school in Georgia know a lot about human trafficking. Probably more at least than the average teenager. That's because this school has an anti-trafficking club, which focuses on different ways to help end slavery.

CNN's Lynda Kinkade has details in today's CNN Freedom Project report.

LYNDA KINKADE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Atlanta, the center of the Civil Rights movement in the 20th century. Today, home to many victims of modern day slavery. It's a global issue these teenagers are determined to fight locally.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everyone's going to be volunteering.

KINKADE: Founded in 2011, this club at the Atlanta International School was the idea of a couple of students who had a passion for social justice. Now they've stirred a movement among young people.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everyone in this entire room is going to be working with us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KINKADE: from bake sales, to selling fair trade chocolate, these students raise funds and awareness.

What do they learn by selling this type of chocolate?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, we just want to put the message out, that fair trade, getting chocolate that's been produced ethnically without human trafficking, is so much easier than a lot of people think.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KINKADE: Child labor and modern day slavery are just some of the issues being discussed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, question?

KINKADE: The group meets in their lunch break every Wednesday. It's led by three students, including Kit McCarthy and Amelia Castillo.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was really surprised at the scale of the issue.

KINKADE: As you start to learn about this, what surprised you most?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think that it surprised me most that it was such a problem that hit so close to home.

KINKADE: When you speak to people your own age, how do you explain this issue? It's a pretty tough issue to talk about.

KIT MCCARTHY, STUDENT, ATLANTA INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL: Yes. I would say the first step is to make it approachable. Labor trafficking of children is just the most devastating part of it to me. Because it's everywhere. It's in everything we do, in our phones, in the food we eat, in the clothes we buy, and it just impacts us daily anytime we purchase something, every time we consume something, and I just didn't know.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KINKADE: This group, now one of the most popular social clubs in school.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's an issue that my school I feel gets very little male representation. And I feel it's important for both genders to be involved and to take action.

NICHOLAS GOUDIE, STUDENT, ATLANTA INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL: I see things like I see a t-shirt, for example and be like, maybe someone was taken from their family and had to be forced to make that shirt. Rather than it being made fair trade.

KINKADE: And it's not just about raising awareness and raising funds, you also lobby government. Explain how that works.

We take a group of students down to the capital. Everyone splits up and goes to their representatives and you know, writes them, they can write them notes, letters and things about why they think, you know, why this issue is so important.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.

KEVIN GLASS, HEADMASTER, ATLANTA INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL: Our task as educators is to get every single child, every single teenager on earth engaged in social activism to make this world a better place.

KINKADE: Kevin glass, headmaster of the Atlanta International School, hopes these students will take the lessons learned here and share that knowledge, passion, and activism, as they move through college and into the workforce.

What do students bring to the table to tackle this issue that adults don't? GLASS: They bring this absolute unvarnished honesty, without any

veneer of political correctness. You know, and they challenge us, the adults, to wake up, that this is a real issue, and we have to do something about it. Their power is phenomenal.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[03:40:06] KINKADE: Lynda Kinkade, CNN, Atlanta.

FOSTER: Well, CNN is teaming up with young people around the world for a unique student-led day of action against modern day slavery with the launch of My Freedom Day on March 14th. We're asking a simple question, what does freedom mean to you? Here's what some students in Abu Dhabi had to say.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Freedom to me is the ability to express anything you want, any way you want.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Freedom to me means having a choice.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Freedom means being able to express my individuality whenever I want.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Freedom to me is the ability to move around, express yourself, without the risk of persecution.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: And we want to hear what freedom means to you. Post a photo or a video using the hash tag My Freedom Day.

Now the U.N. Security Council has issued a strong rebuke of North Korea's missile launches and a statement on Tuesday called the country's actions a grave violation of several resolutions. The council meets on Wednesday to talk about it.

Meanwhile, China is demanding the U.S. and South Korea stop the deployment of the THAAD missile defense system. In a news conference a few hours ago, China's foreign minister said that it undermines the country's security.

People all around the world are celebrating International Women's Day meanwhile, though, and we're going to look at how females in the workforce are marking the day for gender equality. That's coming up.

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FOSTER: President Trump was greeted by some adoring young fans touring the White House on Tuesday when a woman in familiar pant suit seemed to come into view. You can see the portrait of former first lady Hillary Clinton, as seen to photo bomb the president. But President Trump smile never faltered. And neither did the Clinton's there. [03:44:58] She may be in the White House in spirit but Hillary Clinton

was really in New York attending events on the eve of International Women's Day. In one speech, she seemed to allude to her loss in the presidential election and talks about her setbacks. She also looked to the future, though.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON, (D) FORMER UNITED STATES PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Let us hope there is a wave of young women running for office in America.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: International Women's Day is being celebrated around the world. Governments and organizations observed March 8 as a day to honor women's rights and achievements. In the U.S., women are being urged to skip work for a day without a woman Wednesday.

Now the group who organize this event is the same one behind the women's march, a day after the presidential inauguration. Organizers are asking women to take the day from paid and unpaid labor if they can.

Now, the women of Iceland have been promoting gender equality for decades now. In 1975, 90 percent of women left work to show how much they contribute. The day was called women's day off. Similar events took place in 1985 and in 2005. And last October, thousands of women walked out of work at 2.38 p.m. to protest the wage gap.

Because women are less than men, they say 2.38 signifies the exact minute they essentially begin working for free in an eight-hour working day. Very clever.

The world economic forum has ranked Iceland as a top in gender equality on its list at least since 2009. But inequalities still do exist.

Brynhildur Heidar og Omarsdottir is the director of the Icelandic Women's Right Association and she joins me now and she's from Reykjavik. Thank you so much for joining us. Obviously, you've made huge progress in that country compared with many other countries. What do you find is the biggest challenge now, though, getting to that moment of true equality?

BRYNHILDUR HEIDAR OG OMARSDOTTIR, DIRECTOR, ICELAND WOMEN'S RIGHTS ASSOCIATION: Well, there are two big problems facing us here and around the world. The continuing gender pay gap, which it seems that no matter what we try to do to change that, women keep earning less money than men.

That women's work is less valued than men's work. And of course a second huge problem is men's violence against women. It's an epidemic across the world and goes undressed in any country in the world, also here in Iceland. FOSTER: So, when it comes to that violence, do --is that an issue for

the police, the government? I mean, who resolves that one before we talk about the wage issue.

OMARSDOTTIR: It's a social issue. Both of these problems are social problems and need to be addressed on multiple levels by all members of society, not only by government authorities but by individual and civil societies as well.

And I'm so excited for today, the women's strike that it's being called in the United States. I'm so excited to see that the women of America are rising up to protest en masse against misogyny and against inequality. This is something that women in Iceland have known for a very long time, that without outside pressure from a mass protest movement, we cannot effect real social change, because governments and companies and institutions, they need the pressure of people to change, to effect change.

FOSTER: Is your hope that by taking the day off people will think more clearly about the contributions of women, or is it some other sort of effect that would have on the psyche of the social, you know, problem that you're talking about?

OMARSDOTTIR: Well, Obviously, I mean, I hope that this will raise awareness of the contribution of women to society, not only in the labor market, but also the unpaid labor that women work in homes and in homes and in society. But also, this needs to be a first step.

Like, we cannot just protest and demonstrate and think that this will cause real change. This needs to be a first step of organizing by women to put women into power, to put women into positions of authority within the political section, political sector that is women running for election. We need women in decision-making positions in all levels of society. Without that, we cannot have real change.

FOSTER: There have been some suggestions of elitism associated with this campaign, simply because it's only women who can afford to take a day off work and take that risk, that are going to be able to go out and demonstrate, and perhaps there isn't a recognition that people at the very low end of the income scale just haven't got that sort of freedom and they can't get involved in this sort of thing.

OMARSDOTTIR: Absolutely. This is a very horrible dilemma that -- it's a different situation here in Iceland. Iceland is heavily unionized. I think just about 80 percent of the workforce belongs to a union.

[03:49:59] And we -- and we actually recognize the labor movement as a force for good here in that sense, so that we don't have the issue that you have over there in the states. But we have found that women, especially women in the labor movement, have been able to effect change there, to actually negotiate for higher wages.

So I'm not going to be advocating for the revolution of the women of the United States, but this might be also a first step to actually rejuvenating the labor movement in the United States hopefully. FOSTER: We certainly create a living example that countries around

the world are looking at. So, thank you very much, indeed, for joining us today.

OMARSDOTTIR: Thank you.

FOSTER: Now Nike is catering to Muslim women athletes with its new product, the Nike pro-hijab. The head cover is made of lightweight polyester in dark natured colors. Tiny holes make it breathable whilst keeping it opaque, a requirement for women who wear the hijab.

Now Nike says it designed it after some Muslim athletes complained about wearing traditional head scarfs during competition. The pro- hijab will be available in the spring of 2018 for season then.

Next on CNN Newsroom, meet a group of brave souls not afraid to run a marathon on a frozen lake in Siberia, would you believe? Stay with us for the pictures and the details.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER: There has been a shake-up in the 2017 list of the world's best countries. The annual survey from U.S. news & world group ranks 80 countries using various different categories. And this year, a new country took the coveted top spot at number one.

It is Switzerland, followed by Canada, the U.K. coming in third, Germany is fourth, Japan rounds out the top five. The U.S. tumbled three spots this year to seventh. And yes, the survey said the election of Donald Trump did play a role in that fall.

Now a Russian province hosts one of the most demanding and coldest races in the world.

CNN's Don Riddell takes us to a marathon held on a frozen lake in Siberia.

[03:55:03] RIDDELL: Fast and frosty. Some 200 runners from 32 countries warm up to brave the sub-zero cold for a one of a kind race. This is the Baikal Ice Marathon held annually in Russian Siberia. Racers have come from as far away as Malaysia and China.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a great race, and we hope everybody enjoy it.

RIDDELL: Also Germany.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think the temperature is pretty warm today. I expected it to be colder.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RIDDELL: And of course Russia. Despite temperatures dipping to 15 below Celsius, this Russian runner says the marathon's a tradition he never misses. After strapping on special treads to keep from slipping on the ice, they're off and running.

Racers run shore to shore, a straight line from one side of the Lake Baikal to the other, covering 42 kilometers or 26.2 miles across the frozen surface of the world's deepest lake. It's a long, cold, and monotonous trek, with few signs of life.

Only a stop for a hot tea or a quick snack along the way. A Polish runner was first to cross the finish line in 2 hours, 53 minutes and 26 seconds. He says he broke his leg two days before the marathon last year and promised to come back. And that he did in record-breaking style.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do it and I'm very, very happy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RIDDELL: And after spending hours on the ice, the rest of the runners looked more than ready for a warm reception at the end of a frigid race.

Don Riddell, CNN.

FOSTER: Don tried himself.

More CNN Newsroom after this short break. Please stay with us.

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