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Filmmakers Fight Modern Slavery; Polls Open Next House in Dutch Election; Trump's 2005 Tax Return Made Public; Senator: Comey To Say Whether FBI Investigating; Tillerson's First Asia Visit Comes At Tumultuous Time. Aired 1-2a ET
Aired March 15, 2017 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[01:00:00] JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles. Ahead this hour:
ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR: Election day in the Netherlands. The latest test for nationalist uprising, that appears to be sweeping Europe.
VAUSE: Plus, one year of Donald Trump's tax return in finally made public, while some believed the President himself, may have been responsible for the leak.
SESAY: And later, the fight against modern day slavery -- filmmakers compete to help raise awareness of the issue.
VAUSE: Hello everybody, great to have you with us. I'm John Vause.
SESAY: And I'm Isha Sesay, this is NEWSROOM L.A. Well, the polls open next hour in the Netherlands, when election dominated by anti- immigrants' rhetoric and the wave of nationalism. Far-right leader, Geert Wilders, is competing for Prime Minister with two-term incumbent, Mark Rutte.
VAUSE: Wilders is -- Wilders rather, is promising to stop immigration from Muslim countries, closed mosques, and banned Berkas. But Prime Minister Rutte says, he's done his part of the immigration in-check.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK RUTTE, THE NETHERLANDS PRIME MINISTER: In 2015, the Netherlands faced a very big problem: A big migrant flow into the Netherlands of Syrian refugees. At the end of last year, I've succeeded to reach agreements that reach one of the Balkans, and the Balkans are now closed. We reached an agreement with Greece, and now Greece is closed. We also reached an agreement with Turkey, resulting in a number of Syrian refugees, decreasing by more than 95 percent.
GEERT WILDERS, DUTCH PARTY FOR FREEDOM: The Netherlands, is not for everyone. Netherlands, is for the Dutch. Do you hear me well? People who have chosen ten percent for our country. Your party; they make sure that people feel like foreigners in their own country: Second class citizens. That's why they don't vote for your party anymore. The people do not want this.
(END VIDEO CLIP) SESAY: Dominic Thomas is a Chair of the Department of French and Francophone Studies at UCLA, he joins us now from Amsterdam. Dominic, good to see you. The polls will open shortly, as you take a look at the landscape and at this vote as a whole, what's at stake?
DOMINIC THOMAS, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LOS ANGELES DEPARTMENT OF FRENCH AND FRANCOPHONE STUDIES CHAIR: There's going to be a really remarkable election. There are more political parties running for what is a parliamentary election. 28 political parties, 28 parties that people will have to select, thus they go to the polls later today. The number of undecided voters, is at really at record-high. And over the past ten years, there's been a decline in voter-turnout. All this to say, that the outcome is highly unpredictable.
The election has been shaped by two factors. On the one hand, a broad range of domestic issues: Healthcare, education, pension as right, and so on. And the other aspect has been the extraordinary international attention, that is bestowed on the Netherlands precisely because of the far-right candidate, Wilders, representing his party. That the PVV, that has run this election on questions of immigration, national identity, and so on, which many of the other leaders especially Rutte, have felt that they've had to address as they've made their way forward into this campaign.
SESAY: Yes. It seems remarkable there were -- at this place and time, were Dutch voters on mass, stand poised abandon the mainstream parties, or the center-right and the center-left, Dominic.
THOMAS: This is exactly what's going to happen: There're so many political parties in this, that the traditional structure of the two, to maybe three parties, being able to form a coalition, is going to be a thing of the past. When we emerge from this, there're really two option that we're going to be looking at, of course, there's a surprise factor. Most of the political parties are unwilling to work with Wilders, so this creates a whole issue for his -- for his voters; what happened.
This of course, would not be the first time, in the history of voting in the Netherlands, that a party that has come ahead has not been able to form a particular coalition. But what I've been looking at, what would be called a grand coalition, which is essentially Rutte's party finding people that he can work with. But of course, the Socialist Party have expressed a lack of interest in working with him and even the Greens. Or, I would argue, perhaps more likely, a left leaning coalition that would bring together the Greens, the Socialist Party, Labor, and so on, and actually oust Rutte from power.
SESAY: How stable would such a coalition be? I mean, a coalition made up of these different -- these different interests.
THOMAS: Well, the coalitions are going to be very large, we're thinking of probably five to six parties at minimum. The interesting thing though, is if we look at the electoral landscape elsewhere in Europe: We take the French case, for example, where we have an extraordinarily divided political landscape. Dutch's are used to coalitions, and even though there's a lack of consensus on this particular issues, they are accustomed to forming coalitions.
And whether there's a lack of consensus or not, there is the same kind of divisiveness in society over these issues. Most people agreed that healthcare is important, that pension reform is important; and in equality, is these other factors, immigration, identity terror, and of course the lingering crisis with Turkey and the European Union that has a way to potentially inflect this election in an unanticipated way.
[01:05:23] SESAY: Yes. Let's stick with the issue of Geert Wilders for a second. As we know, no one expects him to be able to form a government, so what are your expectations for the role he will play in the aftermath of this poll? What will his new role be in the next political landscape?
THOMAS: Right. As I've mentioned, you know, in the past, the Labor Party - the PVDA, has on three occasions, you know, led in the polls and performed well and not being able to form a party. But I think this situation, Wilders, will be slightly different, because so much has been organized around these particular issues. But I think it's going to be very difficult to move forward with coalitions that's simply exclude him.
He has a following: It's of course not a majority following, but a substantial amount of people; by voting for him, will be expressing concern of the questions such as E.U. Bureaucracy, the question of Muslims in Dutch society, the question of integration, terrorism and border control, and the relationship of the Netherlands with the Turkey, and so on. So, it's going to be difficult for this to go away, and it's going to complicate the negotiations that will begin most likely on Thursday morning, and that will last a very long time.
SESAY: Well, we should be watching. Dominic Thomas, always a pleasure to speak to you. Thank you so much for the analysis. Dominic Thomas, there, joining us from Amsterdam.
VAUSE: Throughout the presidential campaign, Donald Trump kept his tax returns: A closely guarded secret defying 40 years of political tradition. But now, the returns for 2005 have been made public. The White House says, Mr. Trump, made a $150 million, paid $38 million in taxes. The return shows, rode off a $100 million in losses reducing his tax burden.
SESAY: Well, the White House issued its statement just ahead of MSNBC's report on the filing. It read in part: "You know you are desperate for ratings when you're willing to violate the law, to push a story about two pages of tax reforms over a decade ago. Before being elected President, Mr. Trump, was one of the most successful businessman in the world, with the responsibility to his company, his family, and his employees to pay no more tax than legally required"
VAUSE: Well, joining us now for more on this: Democratic Strategist, Dave Jacobson; Republican Consultant, John Thomas; and CNN's Senior Reporter for Media and Politics, Dylan Byers. Thank you all for being with us. All of this started, it was a big exclusive by the news network MSNBC, they had the President's tax returns, they tweeted out, got it run and really interesting. And then, after that 40 minutes, "The Rachel Maddows" program, this is the conclusion they came to.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC POLITICAL COMMENTATOR AND HOST: There was speculation he had paid nothing for 18 years, now, we have this. He's paid them -- he paid them.
DAVID CAY JOHNSTON, AMERICAN INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST AND AUTHOR: He encouraged that speculation. When Hillary Clinton said, you know, you're not paying taxes; he said, because I'm smart. That's all what he said, he really did pay a lot of taxes and you're tricking us; or you're not paying taxes --
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW HOST: Well, now we know, he did pay over 20 percent taxes here.
JOHNSTON: That's right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: So, Dylan, after all that, the President paid taxes at a rate of around 25 percent.
DYLAN BYERS, CNN SENIOR REPORTER FOR MEDIA AND POLITICS: Right. At the end of all that, he paid taxes for the one year that we now have two pages of the tax returns for. I mean, it's very hard for me to see how this moves at all except, sort of to the benefit of Donald Trump and his administration, in so far, as they're able to sort of discredit what is very legitimate inquiry into his refusal to release his tax returns.
I think the one sort of net positive of MSNBC's report tonight is that it demonstrated that the White House is willing to release some of that information, when they're under pressure. But you know, there're so much build up, and so much hype, and so much excitement that this thought that somehow MSNBC had finally found the holy grail that was going to bring Donald Trump down. And (INAUDIBLE) something that I actually demonstrate that Trump paid his taxes.
SESAY: And John, I was going to ask you about, you know, let out at least these two pages, and for the White House's happy moment because it vindicates that they paid taxes. They all talked about in moving the needle on the story, but how does the White House take the ball and run now?
JOHN THOMAS, REPUBLICAN CONSULTANT: Well, there's a couple of things: First of all, the silence is deafening from Hillary Clinton, who accused Donald Trump of not paying any federal taxes in September debate -- Presidential debate. So, I've waited to see that apology. But I think what --
VAUSE: We've all been waiting for a few apologies from Trump, for he's putting in out there.
THOMAS: She's not in jail right now.
THOMAS: No. But reality is, the Trump administration likes to play the victim when it comes to the media over reaching, and this was a giant softball handed right to them that they're going to run with. And rightfully so, for some time, because the reality is, not only did Trump paid taxes -- that's not the story, the story is the margin at what he paid. He pays it at a higher margin than Barack Obama, higher margin than --
VAUSE: Bernie Sanders.
THOMAS: Yes, Senator Sanders.
VAUSE: Mitt Romney.
[01:10:12] THOMAS: Exactly. So, I think that's the thing is that, he wasn't using loop-holes to screw the system. He played fair and square.
DAVE JACOBSON, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: But doesn't it undermine the entire argument that he sorts of pursued throughout the course of his campaign that, oh, I'm being ought to dead, so I can't release my taxes.
THOMAS: Well, he released it. I mean --
JACOBSON: But they jumped the gun before Rachel Maddow released anything. It was the White House that issued a statement before the show aired tonight. So, at a certain level like they did undermine their argument, I think it's going to open up a kind of worsts for them. I think it raises the possibility that people ought to start asking the real question like, OK, why 2005? Why not 2006? Or 2009? Or many other years?
VAUSE: OK. So --
BYERS: If I -- if I may.
VAUSE: Dylan, go.
BYERS: I would just tell you that both of you guys are right. I mean, both Dave and John are right.
THOMAS: Thank you.
JACOBSON: Thank you.
BYERS: The problem is -- the problem is, is that it's so much easier to put forward this narrative that the media is over-reaching, that the media is trying to gang up on Trump, and that it just doesn't have the goods. It's much easier to make that argument, than to sort of get into the weeds about how this proves Donald Trump could release his tax returns, which again, was not an issue to keep the American people from voting him into office.
So, I think, you know, really, what could've been done better here by MSNBC is instead of making this, you know, advertising this as a big reveal of Donald Trump's entire tax returns. What they could've done was focus on this point, if they're willing to release information about 2005, ahead of the MSNBC broadcast, then they should be willing to do that for all of the other years that Donald Trump can't release those tax returns for before they're under audit. Instead, they chose to focus on something that they didn't have.
VAUSE: Yes. Let's look at that moment from MSNBC because there was this huge build up, you know, a few hours before "The Rachel Maddows Show" went to air. And then the show went to air, and to about 20 minutes before it finally got into this moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOWS: What I have here, is a copy of Donald Trump's tax returns. We have his federal tax return, for one year, for 2005. I believe this is the only set of the President's federal taxes that reporters have ever gotten a hold of. What we have are these two pages, front and back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: And Dave, as a Democrat who's watching this, did you get a sense that Rachel Maddows' sort of over-promised and under-delivered in a kind of major way?
JACOBSON: Well, it wasn't the bombshell that we were hoping for, right? Perhaps, it would've sold it differently. But at the same time, like everyone's saying, OK, Donald Trump paid his taxes. I mean, yes, of course, he's President, he was the candidate for President, he should be pay his taxes. But I think look, from a Democrats' perspective, knowing full-well that Donald Trump -- if he's good at one thing, he's really good at shifting the conversation away from something and down to another shiny object.
Is we really need a harp on the fact that this guy paid $31 million, and the alternative minimum tax. A tax he wants to abolish, at the same time that he's going to gut healthcare for poor people, and for seniors who depend on it with the Affordable Care Act. So, I think Democrats have the only issue that's put a bright spotlight on it, and they've got to hold his feet to the fire.
SESAY: Dylan, you know, the Republicans delight in saying that, you know, the American people went to the poll, they voted for Donald Trump. And now he's the President, they don't care about the tax return. But if you look at the social media reaction and the build-up to the Rachel Maddow announcement, social media -- Twitter was on fire. I mean, how should we read that?
BYERS: Well, that's absolutely right. I mean, the Americans do care about Donald Trump's tax returns. I think the issue here, you know, it's actually -- if you look at the three cable networks -- not that CNN's on horn here.
SESAY: No, go on. BYERS: If you look at the three cable networks, what you had, is you had MSNBC really over-reaching in a way that was very aggressively anti-Trump, when they didn't have the ammunition to do it. You had Fox News responding with this sort of aggressive defense of Trump, going against the media, going against anyone who would even question Trump. The sort of narrative that somehow the media is just out to get Trump, and has no other objective than bringing him down. If you looked at our air, both international and domestic, what we actually have is a nuance conversation which is the conversation we should be having.
Trump's tax returns matter. We shouldn't over-stay, we shouldn't be conspiratorial in how we go about -- talking about things that we don't know, we should just continue to work to get that information, just as we should be working to get more information about Trump's ties to Russia, just as we should be working, you know, to question how he can claim that Obama wiretapped him in Trump Tower during the campaign when he has no solid evidence for that. I think we should report what we know and ask the questions about what we don't know.
VAUSE: OK. Well, this must be a little conspiratorial just for a moment because there's little bit a buzz on Twitter like, if you take a closer look at the documents which Rachel Maddows held off. And there is a stamp on one of the pages, and if you could take close look at that stamp right there, it actually reads "Client copy." And so, John, to you, this is raising, you know, a lot of speculations, a lot of conspiracy theory, that you know, these documents were actually leaked, by the President himself for someone worthy --
[01:15:12] THOMAS: Russia?
VAUSE: Well, maybe by Vladimir Putin as they, you know, but maybe some of his guys are working with Donald Trump because this is a fabulous diversion and gives him a lot of breathing space right now because he was really under the gun.
THOMAS: I would -- if were a betting man, I would give him a 90 percent odd that the leaks didn't come from the Trump Organization makes perfect sense. And the Trump organization is brilliant when it comes to public relations and moving the conversation. We saw them do that time and time again in the campaign cycle. I don't see why it seems different here.
SESAY: Dave, do you think they were behind it?
JACOBSON: It's definitely a possibility for sure, I mean, if the possible strategic move from a political perspective on the heels of the C.B.O. coming out, with the reports saying that 24 million people, more people that gained health care from the Affordable Care Act are going to lose healthcare for the next 10 years. So yes, if I was Trump, I would change the conversation.
VAUSE: I just want to a big deal back in this because, you know, everybody goes on about, you know, Donald Trump being this massive manipulator and you know, that's very clever about trying to change the narrative and manipulating the media but sometimes I think that's giving them way too much credit.
BYERS: Well I think there's a -- I think there's a good point that you're making there. And also no, when it comes to the C.B.O. numbers, unlike so many, you know, shiny objects that Trump could throw after during the course of the campaign. The health care is actually legislation, the C.B.O. number are something that Trump can't run away from it. At a certain point, he's going to deal with that, because that's not a matter of spin or P.R. or messaging or narrative, that's a matter of actual legislation it's going to actually affect people's lives. When he starts thinking about his reelection campaign, that's going to be something he can't run away from and there's nothing he can toss out. Whether it's that's returns or anything else that's going to distract people if they don't have healthcare.
SESAY: And Dylan, last question to you again. Given the hype that build up and given on what we got which is effectively a damp swim, what's the feeling among MSNBC's Execs and the aftermath of all this? You know the landscape and a time where CNN, New York Times, Washington Post, they're breaking big stories, they walk out with this and gave us very little.
BYERS: Well I think, you know, I think the feeling here is probably that they miss the lay-up. And in fact, MSNBC's has had very strong ratings recently much in the same way as Steven Colbert. Anyone who's sort of comforts Liberals or anti-Trumper's at a time when they feel really worried about the direction of this country. Those networks have been doing very well in the ratings. This was a chance for Rachel Maddow to come out and have her big moment to sort of become the hero of the first term of the Trump administration and they whip it. They missed it in a big way and I think that, you know, I think that's going to come back to haunt them. They're going to have a huge boon in the ratings for tonight. But at the end of the day, most people are going to remember this is an embarrassment for them now.
VAUSE: It always -- we'll wrap you now, but always felt like it was kind of rush and a lot of people doing phone interviews.
VAUSE: Are there -- whenever a little ground they're on.
THOMAS: There's no there, there -- to make their point. And that's the problem.
VAUSE: Yes, and that was the problem. It was a great big nothing though, at the end of the day.
SESAY: You were happy so with tonight, are you?
THOMAS: Glad I am.
THOMAS: We'll give you the check-in review tomorrow.
VAUSE: OK. So --
VAUSE: Dylan, Dave and John, thank you so much.
SESAY: Always a pleasure. Thank you.
THOMAS: Thank you.
VAUSE: OK, short break. When we come back, Donald Trump's top diplomats has headed to Asia and we will take you to Tokyo, Seoul and Beijing for the latest on the intelligence waiting there for the Secretary of State.
SESAY: Plus, the possible answer on whether the FBI is investigating the the Trump campaign's ties to Russia. That's next.
[01:22:32] VAUSE: Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson will arrive in Tokyo on Wednesday. The start of his first official trip to Asia.
SESAY: Tillerson will also stop in Seoul and Beijing. The visit coming after especially 10th time in the region. Reports from CNN Correspondents now, in all three capitals.
MATT RIVERS, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDET: I'm Matt Rivers in Beijing.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Paula Hancocks in Seoul.
WILL RIPLEY, INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Will Ripley in Tokyo.
RIPLEY: U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's top priority here in Japan is North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and his rapidly advancing nuclear program. It's why these patriot missile interceptors are on standby here in Tokyo ready to shoot down any incoming North Korean missiles. Several Ballistic missiles from North Korea came dangerously close to the Japanese post just last week but in striking range of U.S. military bases.
On Friday, a new round of U.S. Japanese joint military exercises and the Trump Administration says right now, all options are on the table including a military response. Tillerson also must convince Japan to deepen cooperation with another key ally- South Korea. With more from there, here's Paula Hancocks.
HANCOCKS: Secretary Tillerson will be arriving in the country without a President. Park Geun-hye's is just being impeached. The country is divided, the government is being affectively paralyze for months due to this corruption scandal. But for those still holding the fort here in South Korea, they want assurances from Tillerson that the U.S. will stand side by side with South Korea when it comes to North Korea. They also on assurances that fired the U.S. Missile Defense System is going to be fully operational in this country as soon as possible, knowing that the next President in South Korea, who would come in within a couple of months, may will be a Libral and might not wanted.
Above all they will want to try and convince the top U.S. diplomat that it is business as usual here in South Korea when it's anything but. After Seoul here's -- after Beijing here's Matt Rivers.
RIVERS: Secretary Tillerson's meetings here in Beijing are going to be all about, well, another meeting. A Senior U.S. Administration official tells CNN that's there a tentative agreement in place for U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping to meet for the first time next month in the U.S. secretary Tillerson visit here will be all about laying out the final details for that summit.
Despite candidate Trump's fiery rhetoric, President Trump has been nearly silent on China since taking office, backing off for now on threats about imposing tariffs and the One China policy. Chinese officials have pointed to that as a sign of smoother ties ahead.
But with tensions rising in the South China Sea and rising on the Korean Peninusla, Tillerson will have a full plate during his short visit. It's either he will make sure he knows they are unhappy about the controversial U.S. deployment of a missile defense system in South Korea. But expect Tillerson to express Washington's view that as Pyongyang's only major ally, China should do more to curve the threat from North Korea. For Will Ripley in Tokyo, Paula Hancocks in Seoul, I'm Matt Rivers. CNN, Beijing.
[01:25:33] SESAY: Policy lawmaker says FBI Director James Comey will soon say whether he's investigating ties between Russia and the Trump campaign. Senator Sheldon in White House says he and fellow Senator, Lindsey Graham, met with Comey two weeks ago.
VAUSE: White House says during that meeting, Comey promised to tell them by this Wednesday. Even if official investigation is in fact underway, the FBI has not responded to CNN's request for comment.
SESAY: Well, the American reactions to possible ties between President Trump and Russia is largely mixed too often, depending on political leanings.
VAUSE: But in order with Russia, it's all been fairly consistent there, most causing doubt on those allegations. Details now from Fred Pleitgen.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: As the row over Russia's alleged interference into the U.S. Election deepens and questions about President Trump's contacts to the Kremlin continue, a lot of Russians are mocking the allegations and the discussion about them.
Like Vladimir Putin's spokesman in a CNN interview.
DMITRY PESKOV, KREMLIN SPOKESMAN: The oldest hysteria in public opinion, is Tehran named official Washington. Hysteria in American media. This has done lots of harm to the future of our ballots in the elections.
PLEITGEN: As Spring temperatures rise in Moscow, the new ice age between the U.S. and Russia is on people's minds.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I think this is stupid and it's just a provocation as man says.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): How can you say all this? He adds, U.S.A admits that Russia changed their history? "I'm just so shocked. How can you say those things?"
PLEITGEN: And this woman adds, "This is ridiculous and stupid. I think, we have nothing to do with it. I'm sure of it." Whether it is questions about contacts between Trump hotel servers and a Russian bank, or questions about which associates met with Moscow's Ambassador during the campaign, Russia's mostly state-run media is lashing out at Western coverage of the events especially at CNN's.
This is the top pro-Kremlin, pundit, mimicry, Kiselyov and one of his many unfounded accusations.
DMITRY KISELYOV, RUSSIAN JOURNALIST (through translator): "The C.I.A feeds the Russian hacker story to the media," he says.
PLEITGEN: And then, let's say, CNN blows them out of proportion. Some here in Russia even say the current mood in America reminds them of their country's dark Soviet past. Like Carnegie historian, Dmitri Trenin.
DMITRI TRENIN, CARNEGIE HISTORIAN: People in the Soviet Union was seen by the Soviet government as too easy to be contaminated, to be manipulated. Each and every kind that came into contact with Foyles, particularly West in Foyles. I see some of the same things now in display in the United States. That's astounding.
PLEITGEN: But Russians also realize the current conflict is hurting their chances of improving relations with the West. While some folks here may ridicule the questions being asked in America about President Trump's ties to Russia, most people here simply want to see the issue go away. They feel their country's being demonized and that the issue also hampers any sort of efforts, to try and repair relations.
Every new allegation, every new revelation, makes those ties more complicated and more toxic. And any effort at bringing them back on track, more challenging. Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Moscow.
VAUSE: Quick hello to our friends at RT. Good to know you're watching CNN at this hour. Keep it up. OK, we'll take a short break. When we come back, a music legend joins us to reveal the winner of the MyFreedomDay, public service ad.
ISHA SESAY, HOST, CNN NEWSROOM: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm Isha Sesay.
JOHN VAUSE, HOST, CNN NEWSROOM: I'm John Vause. We're at the halfway mark here, so let's check the headlines.
US President Donald Trump's tax returns from 2005 are now public. Just before an MSNBC report, the White House said Mr. Trump paid $38 million in taxes on $150 million income. The returns show $100 million write-off in business losses, which reduced the amount of tax Mr. Trump had paid.
SESAY: We're just an hour away from the first votes in the Netherlands' crucial parliamentary elections. Far right leader Geert Wilders is hoping to take over the Prime Minister's seat from incumbent Mark Rutte. Wilders wants the Netherlands out of the EU and an end to immigrants from Muslim countries.
VAUSE: French conservative candidate Francois Fillon is being formally investigated on a number of charges, including embezzlement of public funds. Fillon has faced harsh criticism over claims he paid his wife and children for work they did not do. Despite the scandal, he says he will stay in the race.
SESAY: CNN is working to raise awareness of modern-day slavery with #MyFreedomDay. And we've partnered with the Global Sustainability Network on their third PSA competition.
Leaders from different faiths came together to sign a joint declaration against slavery. Filmmakers from around the world created public service ads to raise awareness about the issue. I talked to one of the judges about the competition and the winner.
SESAY: Joining us now to mark #MyFreedomDay is legendary music producer and philanthropist, the one and only Quincy Jones.
QUINCY JONES, MUSICAN, SINGER & MUSIC PRODUCER: How are you?
SESAY: I'm well. Thank you. Welcome.
JONES: My pleasure.
SESAY: It's good to have you here with us.
JONES: My pleasure, honey.
SESAY: You are called upon to lend your voice to so many issues and campaigns and causes. So, tell me why you have chosen to throw your weight behind the fight to end modern-day slavery.
JONES: Because I've witnessed it and I've been traveling the world. Everywhere in the world since I was 18 years old. Aleppo; Damascus; Iraq; Iran, when I was in Anglo-American oil company; Karachi, Pakistan, all of it. It's amazing.
And so, I'm very - I can't help, but be touched by what's going on in the world. When I look at the favelas, I've been going there for 63 years, in Brazil. It's frightening really, the way they live.
[01:35:08] SESAY: And so, tell me, how did you become involved in this PSA expose film competition. How did that happen? And so, they came up to you and asked you to be a judge?
JONES: Yes. They induct you.
SESAY: And with everything you're doing in the world, you said yes?
JONES: I can't say yes on all of it. You have to be very choosy about this stuff because it takes a lot of time, a lot of passion, energy, creativity, and I love it.
SESAY: And what was the experience like being a judge as part of this?
JONES: Great. It's great. It's great to get to the true message of what's going on not just in our lives. More and more and more (INAUDIBLE).
SESAY: Mr. Jones, would you do us the honor of announcing the winner?
JONES: With my pleasure. And the winner of the film competition is Matthew Franco Eales (ph) from South Africa.
SESAY: Thank you so much for coming in to make this very special announcement. We're so grateful to have some of your time.
JONES: Thank you. It's a pleasure, honey.
SESAY: And we will now show you that winning entry from Matthew Franco Eales from South Africa.
VAUSE: And Matthew Franco Eales joins us now from Johannesburg. Matthew, thank you for being with us. Just off the very top here, a mention of Giggs Hulay (ph) who was your co-director and co-writer for this PSA.
So, explain to us the back story here. Where did the idea come from to focus on child sex trafficking in South Africa?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I'm actually related to someone who is quite active within - working against it. She works (INAUDIBLE). She's my cousin's aunt. And Giggs, my associate also experienced - he lives in a township basically. So grew up in relative poverty.
And he experienced this trafficking happening in his society and it really - that was where we departed from that point. From that point, it was set in stone. We knew that we were going to do something to do with trafficking - sex trafficking.
VAUSE: OK. We just saw the 30-second version. There is a longer minute-long version. And in the longer version, it goes from sort of the ordinary everyday, dad finishes dinner, kiss on the cheek and then suddenly gets very creepy very quickly.
How common is that in South Africa that children are being sold as sex slaves by someone from within their own family?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's actually - it's unbelievable how common it is and how little people see it. Just in the news recently, they had - there was a kid being sold on the corner of a train station by his mom who wants to - actually to get drugs. So, she is trying to sell her kid, basically an infant, to get money for drugs.
And further exacerbating it, in Springs previously, last year I think it was, there was a - someone who actually held his whole own family with five kids - I think it was five kids. And nobody knew about it. So, the whole community just didn't speak about it. They didn't know what to do. And I think that's really something that we need to change.
VAUSE: I guess, trying to change that, that's where, I guess, these PSA ads come in. Once yours gets a bit of air time, what sort of impact are you hoping for?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're really hoping to open people's eyes as to how close it is to home. It's not something that happens far away in Africa or in other parts of the world. It's in your friend's house, it's in your neighbor's house even.
And it's happening to the children, it's happening to - especially families that it is happening and I think that needs to change. That really needs to change.
VAUSE: OK. Well, maybe with your PSA and the other ones that are out there and the work that you have done making this ad, there could be some change. They say, daylight is the best disinfectant for these kind of things.
[01:40:05] So, Matthew, thank you very much for being with us and congratulations.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thanks very much, John.
SESAY: All right. Time for a quick break now.
You might have seen the video of the kids who crashed their father's interview on live TV. Well, you'll hear from the family in just a bit about the hilarious interruption seen right around the world.
VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. Indonesia is on track to become the world's fourth largest economy by 2050, but to reach that target it will need to tap into the potential of women entrepreneurs.
SESAY: CNN's Kristie Lu Stout looks at the boost for women in business in the Road to ASEAN. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the backstreets of suburban Jakarta, an unassuming cake shop has become the heart of the community. Eka Masaro (ph) started out selling single slices to make ends meet for her family. Now, she has 10 staff and produces up to 500 cakes every day.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (via translator): As an Indonesian businesswoman, firstly, I'm proud of having a business to run, just like men do. Indonesian women are not supposed to be weak. Indonesian women should be independent.
STOUT (voice-over): But for so many Indonesian businesswomen, it is tough to be independent when you lack the formal requirements for a bank loan. Without financial records or collateral, banks repeatedly turned Eka down.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (via translator): At the beginning, I felt it was quite difficult to gain trust from a bank. Thank God BTPN Bank eventually trusted me after looking at the result of my business. So, I started to borrow money from BTPN.
Women run half of Indonesia's small enterprises and a third of all medium-sized ones. But the International Finance Corporation says a $6 billion demand for credit for women-owned SMEs has gone unfilled.
[01:45:09] RUBIN JAPHTA, SENIOR GENDER AND BANKING SPECIALIST, INTERNATIONAL FINANCE CORPORATION: The fact that it is such a large segment of the market that's undeserved and by serving them the impact that it can have on the economies of countries like Indonesia and the rest of Asia and the world is tremendous.
STOUT (voice-over): Indonesia has over 100 banks. BTPN is one of the smallest, but it has seen an opportunity to help meet the massive potential of Indonesian businesswomen. Its strategy, to link small business loans to education and training.
ANIKA FAISAL, DIRECTOR, BTPN: She's the owner, she's the cashier, she's the employee. She's alone. She's doing everything by herself. On top of it, she's probably mum. She manages her household as well. So, we taught them how to make sure that you can manage your cash flow.
STOUT (voice-over): The plan led the IFC depict BTPN as its partner and a $300 million project to boost finance for female-run SMEs in Indonesia. Two years in, the bank says its effort to provide businesswomen with the capital they need is touching lives.
FAISAL: This has enabled them to be able to confidently saying that I can manage myself, I can give my kids a better education, I can give my kids a better nutrition if I'm having a better home.
STOUT (voice-over): As Indonesia goes toward becoming the world's fourth largest economy, women entrepreneurs like Eka Masaro are an untapped resource. The right mix of financial support and business and might be the key for banks to unlock that potential.
Kristie Lu Stout, CNN.
PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN WEATHER REPORTER: Tale of two stories across the continental United States, sliced the country in half there. The western side of it, places like Phoenix, Arizona, warming up with temperatures in the Fahrenheit scale up to 92 degrees on Tuesday. That is about, say, 31 or so degrees Celsius.
But out towards the eastern United States, they've failed to reach zero for high temperature Celsius. So, again, there is that broad circulation here with a big dip in the jet stream, sending a storm system out of parts of northern United States into parts of the maritimes of Canada.
The storm system will bring in some heavy snow showers around New England, on into southern Canada. Some areas could see maybe 30 or 45 centimeters, especially as you work your way towards Quebec, certainly in Ottawa as well, some heavy snowfall expected as the storm departs and the cold dead with it too. Very prevalent here.
Look at this quickly erase out of the picture. Maybe get a sort of cold air returning on Sunday across the eastern US, but we think it will moderate things out for the foreseeable future beyond next week.
[01:50:07] Here is what it looks like in Charlotte, from 6 up to 19. In Washington DC, from -1 to 13. The cherry blossoms are going to be loving life with that forecast right there. And in New York City, from three below to about five above later in the week. So, it is going to moderate quite rapidly.
Denver, they take the cake. Their 24 degree afternoon there across the Rockies. 17 out of San Francisco. Storms still coming in around California, but generally extreme northern California on into Oregon.
SESAY: Hello, everyone. There's nothing quite like live TV.
VAUSE: Good old times.
SESAY: Indeed. You might have seen this video of a sassy girl and her baby brother stealing daddy's spotlight during an interview with the BBC. Now, the family is talking about the interruption seen right around the world.
VAUSE: Robert Kelly, who has actually been interviewed by us in that same spot, says his daughter had a birthday party that day, was in hippity hoppity mood. He says it's his fault for not locking the door. And contrary to some theories out there, he was actually wearing pants.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ROBERT KELLY, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, PUSAN NATIONAL UNIVERSITY: We watched it multiple times too and our families have watched as well. And everybody we know seems to think it's pretty hysterical.
Yes. So, we understand why people find it enjoyable and sort of catching a regular family off-guard and stuff. So, yes, it's funny. We understand that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Also, lot of people made the point that that was his wife who rushed the kids out of the room, not the nanny, which is an interesting point a lot of people have picked up on that.
OK. Well, fans of The Big Bang Theory will get to see a lot more of Sheldon Cooper. CBS has ordered a spinoff of the popular sitcom called Young Sheldon, which will follow the nerdy genius as a nine- year old.
SESAY: Well, the Big Bang theory is in its tenth season and some believe it could be its last. We're joined now by senior reporter for The Hollywood Reporter, Rebecca Sun. Rebecca, thanks for coming in and joining us.
REBECCA SUN, SENIOR REPORTER, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: Thanks so much.
SESAY: So, this decision to go with Young Sheldon, is this a stroke of genius or a sign of desperation on the part of CBS?
SUN: I think it's a sign of the times actually, which is that a lot of the broadcast networks nowadays are turning to spinoffs of established popular properties in order to sort of hopefully keep the momentum going.
And so, you're seeing that with ABC. They are plotting a black-ish spinoff for one of the daughters on the show. They do it over on the drama side. NBC's The Blacklist is doing a spinoff. CBS, of course, After The Good Wife went off the air, now they are airing The Good Fight on CBS All Access.
VAUSE: Is this a sign of just risk averse?
SUN: Yes, absolutely. It is definitely harder nowadays to launch a hit. There is so much competition. You're not just looking at broadcasts, but you have to compete with cable, you have to compete with streamers. And so, when you have a giant established hit like The Big Bang Theory, why not? Milk it for all it's got. Go with - you have an established popular character who's won Emmy Awards, keep that train going.
SESAY: It's still - it's a tricky one, though, right? Because what you're talking about when you look at the original show a kind of alchemy. It's an ensemble. And here, you're looking at a new formula, taking that person out and shining the spotlight on them. It doesn't always work. Everyone remembers Joey. SUN: Yes. That's the perfect example. If it turns out that the chemistry was really with the original ensemble and now you have not just Sheldon, but it's not even played by Jim Parsons, he'll be narrating sort of his childhood past. But it turns into a very different show.
VAUSE: it does raise the question about The Big Bang Theory that's still rating well for CBS. And the comparison with Friends here. Friends called it quits after 236 episodes. The Big Bang Theory not far behind that.
And there's sort of a Friends issue now with the stars of Friends - they negotiated their contracts very much in the public. Same thing with The Big Bang Theory cast. They are negotiating their million dollar salaries out in the public as well.
Is this a sign that the writing is on the wall that is sort of about to head in some kind of death spiral here?
SUN: Well, the producers haven't signaled that they are anywhere near the end. And so, it's true, the cast is there at the end of their contracts. This would be that tenth season, which is when Friends ended.
But they are looking to negotiate at least another two-year contract. And beyond that, who knows? But, yes, they are absolutely in that Friends territory. The top five actors on that show are making $1 million an episode, which is how much the Friends cast got.
SESAY: Which is incredible. Turning to Young Sheldon, CBS clearly putting a lot of eggs in this basket. We're hearing that Jon Favreau from Iron Man is going to be directing the first episode. How much do they need this to be a success for CBS?
SUN: Well, CBS as sort of America's top-rated network is in a pretty comfortable position. And so, I think that this isn't like a huge risk.
SESAY: It's not like a make or break moment for them.
SUN: Yes. They are going to be fine. The Big Bang Theory, it's more like, if they are able to renew that show, the original mothership, then I think they'll be OK. But, yes, they did order the prequel straight to series, which means that they're not even stopping to evaluate the pilot -
[01:55:13] VAUSE: Which is amazing.
SUN: Before committing. Yes.
VAUSE: And just with regards to another season - another two seasons of The Big Bang Theory, how much longer can Jim Parsons or John Galecki, how long can these guys who are now in their 40s keep playing the role of these nerdy, geeky guys, still trying to find their way through that.
SUN: I think you'll find that geeks are evergreen. You know what I mean?
SUN: They're not playing vampires. They're not playing vampires. So, I think it's how much longer do they want to keep making $1 million per episode.
VAUSE: For a very long time.
SESAY: Indeed. They'll be forever young. Rebecca Sun, a pleasure. Thank you.
VAUSE: And you've been watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause.
SESAY: And I'm Isha Sesay. We'll be back with more news right after this.