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Mudslides Kill More than 200 in Colombia; Flynn Left Russia Income off Disclosure; Controversies Overshadow Trump White House; Trump Supporters Say He's Tweeting Too Much; Iraqi Christian Community Becomes a Ghost Town; ; Kremlin Critic Jailed for 15 Days; Pope Visits Italian Earthquake City; Art Heals the Scars of Domestic Violence; Dissident Book Smuggled out of North Korea. Aired 4-5a ET
Aired April 2, 2017 - 04:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): A devastating theme in Colombia now where mudslides killed more than 200 people. We'll hear what one survivor told the country's president.
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Plus the U.S. president's former national security adviser new financial disclosures shine light on Michael Flynn's ties to Russia.
ALLEN: And in Russia, more protests planned the opposition party, accusing Putin's government of corruption. We'll have the latest from Moscow live.
HOWELL: From CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta, welcome. To our viewers here in the United States and around the world, I'm George Howell.
ALLEN: I'm Natalie Allen, CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.
HOWELL: It is 4:00 am on the U.S. East Coast.
First to Southern Colombia; people there are digging out after massive mudslides. More than 200 people are missing, at least 234 people are dead and many just trying to find relatives and friends in the great devastation.
ALLEN: We're told some families were barely able to escape before their homes were wiped out. Just destroyed. The Colombian president visited the region affected on Saturday. A CNN crew was there when the president spoke with a victim.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(Speaking foreign language)
(END VIDEO CLIP) HOWELL: He also says he suspects climate change could partially be to blame. Our Rafael Romo has more for us.
RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SR. LATIN AFFAIRS EDITOR: It all happened very fast. According to a witness, it started raining Friday night about 10:30. And the floodwaters rose so fast that people had to run for their lives. Many houses were flattened, bridges collapsed and highways were washed away.
It happened in Mocoa, capital of Putumayo province in Southern Colombia. Mocoa is surrounded by three rivers which overflowed as a result of some of the heaviest rains the city has seen in years.
Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos said in just one night Mocoa got about one-third of the rain that would normally fall in a full month. The president also said the death toll would likely rise because there are still many people who are missing.
JUAN MANUEL SANTOS, PRESIDENT OF COLOMBIA (through translator): We do not know how many there are going to be. We are still searching. But the first thing I want to say is that my heart, our hearts, the hearts of all Colombians are with the victims of this tragedy.
ROMO (voice-over): Santos has declared a state of emergency in the region. Electrical power and water were out in the Mocoa and the hospital system was shut down, according to firefighters. About 1,000 police officers and soldiers are helping in the search and rescue efforts.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The difficulties we are facing are that it is still raining in the region and the avalanche turned up a considerable amount of land.
There are mobility issues on almost 80 percent of the roads and, where the road ends, it is three hours to the place where the avalanche took place.
ROMO: President Santos reported authorities have found 10 children who are alone and officials don't know if their parents died or are trapped somewhere in the debris -- Rafael Romo, CNN, Atlanta.
ALLEN: We turn to other news now. New details are coming out about how much money U.S. President Donald Trump's former national security adviser made in the past year and how much of that money came from companies linked to Russia.
HOWELL: Michael Flynn, we're learning that he did not list payments from three firms linked to Russia on financial disclosure forms that he signed in February. The payments though do appear on an amended form that Flynn filed on Friday.
Ryan Nobles has more.
RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The White House has just released financial disclosure forms from former national security adviser Michael Flynn. The forms tell us quite a bit about where Flynn made his money in 2016.
He took in a total of $1.5 million. He also had three different income sources, from speeches among them. The television network RT, which is the state-run television network. Also a cargo company and a cyber security firm.
Each one of these speeches paid Flynn at least $5,000. That's the minimum necessary to be reported on these forms. But we know through House Democrats that the speech that he gave to RT allowed Flynn to make as much as $45,000.
What's interesting about these three expenditures is that Flynn did not report these income sources on his February form but then added them on his March form.
The RT speech in particular is something that we've known about for some time. But we'd originally been told that the income from this speech was given for a speakers' bureau, not from RT directly.
This updated financial disclosure form shows the speech was indeed paid for by RT specifically.
You can bet this information is going to become a big issue for Democrats in particular as they continue to investigate the Trump campaign's connection to the Russian government as the Russian government's attempts to intervene in the American election -- Ryan Nobles, CNN, Washington.
ALLEN: Let's talk more about it now with Scott Lucas, a frequent guest on our program, professor of international politics at the University of Birmingham in England and founder and editor of "EA World View."
Thank you so much for joining us again. Yes, Michael Flynn, the man who would have headed the NSA, apparently took money from Russia and didn't disclose it and he had conversations with Russia and lied about the content and we now hear from his lawyer, he has a story to tell if he's been granted immunity.
He is looking shadier and shadier.
What do you make of him and this?
SCOTT LUCAS, UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM: Well, I think the bigger question is whether the Trump administration is looking shadier and shadier. We've known for some time that Michael Flynn took money not only from Russia but from Turkey, hundreds of thousands of dollars.
And now it appears more in 2016-2016 and that he did not disclose that --
LUCAS: but of course this is just simply the latest revelation. The court here is still whether, when Michael Flynn talked to the Russian ambassador on December 29th, five conversations on the day that President Obama put new sanctions on Moscow for interfering in the 2016 election, did Michael Flynn do that on his own initiative or did he do that on orders from above?
Now certainly this latest evidence said he has connections with Russia. Keeps his name in the headlines. But it's that fundamental question of whether he was working on his own or whether we've got a bigger group within the Trump organization that will continue to dominate the investigation.
ALLEN: And this was the man, Flynn, who said at the Republican convention and led the infamous cheer of Trump supporters, "Lock her up."
And now he ends up being the one who's asking for immunity. And you mentioned Trump.
I'm just wondering, how does this reflect on his leadership and team building?
LUCAS: Well, at the very least, he's looking uncertain. Let's take what happened after it was revealed by Michael Flynn's lawyer (INAUDIBLE) committees that he had offered to testify in return for immunity.
Trump initially came out with this angry tweet, said, oh, Michael Flynn should definitely testify and get immunity because this is a witch hunt. But yet for the rest of the day, on Friday, Trump not willing to be quiet about the issue, he walked away from questions about it.
So I think he personally is not sure how to handle this specific issue. But again, on the broader issue, as long as this Russia issue dominates the headlines in combination with the failure last week to repeal ObamaCare, this administration is looking almost paralyzed.
How do you push through tax reforms?
How do you get your budget through?
How do you make some sweeping foreign policy move if the dominant headline day in and day out is whether you're compromised or even worse by links with Moscow?
ALLEN: We know about Flynn and we know some about Flynn; we really don't yet, you know, have the answers to the questions that you pose but he called it a witch hunt and then he, yes, he seemed to get angry and walk off when someone tried to ask him more about it.
But could it a witch hunt at this point?
Because we really don't know.
LUCAS: Look, it's an investigation, it is an investigation which has not reached any conclusions, as you note right now, about whether this goes higher up in the Trump administration either during the campaign last year or after the inauguration.
If the FBI and the agencies did not investigate what we might find out about Russian interference in the election, then they would be negligent. For Trump to call this a witch hunt is part of a White House strategy, including press secretary Sean Spicer, day after day, to invoke an image of McCarthyism, to say we're not the perpetrators here of the crime. We may be the victims. I can't say whether they're the victims or the perpetrators but I do say it's an investigation that needs to be concluded.
ALLEN: And yes, it's probably going to take awhile and it's been swirling around for some time now.
But what could he do possibly could he do to get a win? The Supreme Court's looking good for him. But you know, to say the least, he's not off to a good start and this is a cloud.
But could he do anything right now that would be a win for him?
LUCAS: Yes, he could stop picking fights with his own conservative Republicans in the Freedom Caucus which he has done the last couple of days, going to the point where Dan Scavino, his communications director, openly said, probably, possibly in violation of a law, that they'll try to get one of those representatives defeated next year.
Now why should he mend fences with the Freedom Caucus?
Because if Trump really wants to get the initiative back with tax reform and on economic issues and on foreign trade he needs to be gathering supporters in Congress, whether it's conservative Republicans or the Democrats, not alienating them by declaring war.
ALLEN: Scott Lucas, thank you as always. We appreciate you joining us. We tried to find something positive but it is tough right now because a lot is going not in his way, President Trump. Thank you, Scott.
HOWELL: Now to the nation's vice president, Mike Pence. For the fourth weekend in a row, he is on the road, selling the president's agenda in towns across the nation. Pence was in Ohio on Saturday, where he reassured small manufacturing employees there at a company that the effort to repeal and replace ObamaCare is not over.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Congress basically said that they weren't ready yet to begin the end of ObamaCare. It really is a shame. But as Congressman Tiberi just said to me a few minutes ago, it ain't over yet.
Even as we speak, I'm told the members of Congress are forging ahead working to craft legislation that will usher in the end of ObamaCare. So be assured this, folks here in the Buckeye State, when Congress finally decides to repeal and replace ObamaCare --
PENCE: -- President Trump and I will be ready to work with them hand in glove.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: You'll remember the previous effort to repeal and replace ObamaCare failed. Pence also touted the president's pro-business agenda which he says has brought optimism back to the manufacturing sector.
ALLEN: We've seen media lash back at Donald Trump for calling the media fake news and they called what he puts out sometimes fake news. But Mr. Trump has been tweeting again, this weekend announcing more fake news.
HOWELL: Interesting. CNN's Brynn Gingras talked to a few Trump voters, who want the president to dial it back on Twitter.
BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: How many of you know about the President's tweets or follow them through some sort of media?
Everyone in this room in eastern Pennsylvania voted for Donald Trump.
EMMA LEACH, VOTED FOR TRUMP: Seeing more people involved, it is like a modern day constituent letter. They are tweeting out the President. They are voicing their opinion and they are more politically involved.
ILENE WOOD, VOTED FOR TRUMP: He feels that people are editorializing his commentary. So therefore it is his way of assuring that his message is going direct to the public.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't like tweeting. I have other things I could be doing, but I get very dishonest media.
GINGRAS: But nearly everyone in this group wants the President to stop tweeting about things like TV ratings at his inauguration and Arnold Schwarzenegger's departure from "the Apprentice."
RAY STAMER, VOTED FOR TRUMP: What Donald Trump is doing is he is reacting immediately. He's not taking -- it's a knee-jerk reaction.
GINGRAS: So does that concern you as the President? STAMER: Absolutely. He needs to tone it down and forget about Snoop Dogg and forget about Arnold Schwarzenegger. We don't really care about them, do we?
SCOTT MCCOMMONS, VOTED FOR TRUMP: I don't. If you want to be the press, step down. Let somebody else care about the country. He needs to be Presidential, plain and simple.
STAMER: Sometimes he overreacts and doesn't have the facts before he tweets.
GINGRAS: Like this tweet, how low has President Obama gone to tap my phones during the very sacred election process? This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad or sick guy! An accusation that is false.
MARK HANNA, VOTED FOR TRUMP: I did see an automation news channel network and I remember the first thing I said to my significant other was, I don't believe he just tweeted that. Even if he felt that way, I don't think he should have tweeted it.
LEACH: I don't like those tweets, I really don't.
GINGRAS: He is using this as a medium because he doesn't trust the media. However, if you use that medium and lie on it, where does that put us?
WOOD: It makes you know better than the journalist that you are sailing.
MCCOMMONS: Show us the proof, don't tweet it. Nobody got in that building and set up wiretaps in that building. He knows it. He won't admit it. That's the kind of stuff that angers me. That's un- presidential.
GINGRAS: Lifelong Democrat Scott McCommons said he went to two Trump rallies and was so inspired, he crossed party lines this election.
TRUMP: Thank you.
GINGRAS: McCommons said he now regrets his vote, even tweeting Trump, your twitter rants are out of control. I voted for you to make America great again. Run the country, sir.
MCCOMMONS: I will jump back on his wagon if he starts telling the truth and being honest with the American people.
GINGRAS: Do you trust the President?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In what vain?
GINGRAS: In general. It's a simple question.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is a simple question.
STAMER: At this particular moment, I said I will trust him even though he comes out half-cocked sometimes. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm thinking Trump 20.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not good in forecasting that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am. I already am.
GINGRAS: Brynn Gingras, CNN, Eastern Pennsylvania.
HOWELL: The focus for the media is obviously to focus on the president's agenda, things that he has tried to push through to also focus on the questions. There are many questions about Russia but also to separate fact from fiction and we'll do that nonstop.
Still ahead here on NEWSROOM, once the ancestral home of many Christians, this Iraqi town has been abandoned.
ALLEN: We'll go inside the community, Ben Wedeman did, and we'll have a report for you, coming up here on CNN NEWSROOM.
HOWELL: Airstrikes focused on ISIS in Iraq and Syria have killed hundreds of civilians. This according to a report by the U.S.-led coalition. It covers Operation Inherent Resolve, which began back in 2014. The coalition says since that time, airstrikes have likely killed at least 229 civilians and that number will likely rise.
The report does not cover airstrikes in mid-March on a Mosul neighborhood. Those are still being investigated. An Iraqi health official told CNN more than 100 bodies been recovered from that fight.
A thriving area near Mosul has become a ghost town after years of ISIS control. More than 60,000 people pled as militants looted, vandalized and burned their houses.
HOWELL: ISIS even turned one of the town's main churches into a target practice range. Our Ben Wedeman is on the ground and has more.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A small flock has returned for mass in the charred ruins of the Church of Mary the Immaculate in Qaraqosh near Mosul.
ISIS set fire to the church and used its courtyard as a firing range.
Jakub Panak (ph) came home to Qaraqosh a week ago and has yet to recover from his shock.
"I felt pain," he recalls, "my eyes filled with tears."
Setvana (ph) is back just for mass and says, "This is the first time I returned to this church."
And then she's at a loss for words.
Archbishop Yohanna Butos Moshi (ph) struggled to help residents through the trauma but worries the specter of ISIS still hovers nearby.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): "We expected everything in Qaraqosh. Theft, damage and destruction," he tells me.
"But arson, for us, is a message, a threatening message that the idea of ISIS is still here in the region. And that's what we fear."
Today this once-prosperous Christian community is a ghost town of empty streets, blown-out buildings, gutted shops, everywhere reminders of ISIS' hatred for everything Qaraqosh stood for.
Workers have erected a large cross at one of the main roundabouts to signal the town's liberation. But it's just a symbol. Before ISIS took over this town in the summer of 2014, more than 60,000 people called it home.
Now months after it was liberated, only a handful of families has returned. Without electricity and running water, without help to get life moving again, most residents are hesitant to return.
Businessman Tofiq Sukka (ph) moved back two months ago. At a generator running nearby he shows a list of everything ISIS looted from his businesses.
"The central government," he says, "hasn't restored power or water. It's completely neglecting the Christians."
Some residents have returned, briefly, to bury the dead. Friends and relatives bid final farewell to 83-year-old Nasira, a nun who fled Qaraqosh and died in Erbil. She, at least, has returned in death to the town of her birth -- Ben Wedeman, CNN, Qaraqosh, Northern Iraq.
ALLEN: When will there be something positive out of that region?
Officials are searching for a missing South Korean cargo ship off the coast of Uruguay. That's according to the Yonhap (ph) news agency, citing South Korea's foreign ministry. The agency says crew members made a distress call on Friday, saying
the ship was sinking. It is unclear if any of the 24 crew members on board survived.
Next year Russia bracing for more anti-corruption protests. We'll take you live to Moscow for that.
HOWELL: Plus new revelations about President Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, this man, and the payments he received from Russia-linked firms. That story ahead.
CNN is live from Atlanta, Georgia, this hour. From our networks both in the United States and around the world, you're watching CNN NEWSROOM.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Welcome back. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. Live from Atlanta, I'm Natalie Allen.
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): And I'm George Howell with the headlines we're following for you this hour.
ALLEN: In less than an hour, more protests are expected in Russia after last Sunday's huge anticorruption demonstrations. They were some of the biggest rallies since the 2011 protest.
HOWELL: Hundreds of people, including a prominent opposition figure, were arrested in Moscow for taking part in this protest last week. CNN's Paula Newton is live in the Russian capital following the situation.
Paula, so what is the overall feeling about these protests?
PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's interesting the government was clearly shaken, taken by surprise. I think a lot of average Russians were taken by surprise as well, although we should point out what happened was not broadcast live on state TV.
Having said that, some of these protesters have been quite determined to keep up any kind of momentum that they were able to start to that end. There had been some social media postings about trying to gather today.
The government had been observing that and then moved to censor at least five Russian websites that they said were engaging in that type of illegal activity to try and cite this kind of violence, they say, that's what the government's claim was.
And more than that, George, they also for today closed down Red Square here in Moscow. They say that was for Victory Day parade rehearsals. It goes on in early May and we can confirm that Red Square is closed. Some of the bulletins on social media had proposed meeting there.
And I also want to point out that the police department here in Moscow made it very clear that they are being vigilant, that they are watching how and if people organize in Moscow and elsewhere and they are saying we want to make clear that any kind of a gathering would be unauthorized, in their words.
HOWELL: Let's talk about that. Just a week ago one of the protest leaders was detained and made mention -- and I'm paraphrasing poorly here -- but saying, you know, I'm detained, so what?
HOWELL: The movement continues.
So is there a concern though about being detained and, if so, is that a deterrent?
NEWTON: I mean, there certainly is and that has been a deterrent for many years here, George. What is really highlighting the fact that this protest might have more momentum, especially across this region, is the fact that many young people are out there at this point in time.
As you know, these aren't people, the young generation here, that are necessarily watching state TV or even watching television for that matter. They are on their phones and their computers. A lot of them riled up by what they see as living standards and education standards that are not up to par, they say, but also a certain level of corruption that they claim has gone on for far too long.
Alexei Navalny is still in prison. He was sentenced to 15 days for those protests and should be out later are week and we'll see with that release if they do get the momentum that they're hoping for.
But as you can see from the pictures we're showing you, once people do see those pictures and they circulate widely online, even if state TV doesn't run them, it does serve obviously as a deterrent to some.
HOWELL: CNN's Paula Newton, live for us in Moscow. Paula, thank you for your reporting.
Moving on now to Ecuador. That nation just hours away from choosing its next president. The election is a showdown between pro business candidate Guillermo Lasso or continuing the leftist policies of the last decade with his rival, Lenin Moreno.
Voters will also ultimately decide the fate of the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange. If he wins, Lasso promised to evict him from the Ecuadoran embassy in London within 30 days of taking office.
ALLEN: So let's remind you of why Assange has been living in Ecuador's London embassy for so long.
In November 2010, the Stockholm criminal court issued an arrest warrant for him based on allegations of sexual assault from two WikiLeaks volunteers.
The following month, Assange turned himself into police in London and denied any wrongdoing and his supporters claimed the charges were politically motivated. Assange was placed under house arrest.
But in May 2012, the U.K.'s supreme court denied Assange's appeal against extradition to Sweden. The WikiLeaks founder feared Sweden would then extradite him to the U.S. where he could face the death penalty for publishing government secrets on WikiLeaks.
The following month Assange sought refuge in the Ecuadoran embassy and was later granted asylum and he has been there ever since.
Newly released documents are revealing financial information about President Donald Trump's former national security adviser. They show Michael Flynn made $1.5 million last year. Some of that money came from fees paid by firms linked to Russia.
Flynn failed to list payments from a Russian television network and two other Russian firms on the financial disclosure firm he filed in February. But he did report the payments on an amended document filed on Friday.
Flynn's lawyer issued a statement saying, here it is, "General Flynn had only just begun the financial disclosure filing process at the time he left the White House. Filed a draft form explicitly listing his speaker's bureau contract and he expected to engage in the usual process of consultations with the White House counsel's office and office of government ethics regarding what he was expected to disclose.
"That process was suspended. However, after he resigned" -- pardon me -- "when the White House asked him this week to complete the process and to itemize the specific speaking events, he did so."
HOWELL: There's important context to add to this story that we continue to follow.
Still ahead, Pope Francis heads to Northern Italy to bless the rebuilding of cities ravaged by a deadly earthquake. Details ahead
ALLEN: Plus one of the world's most celebrated songwriters, Bob Dylan, received his Nobel Prize this weekend. Only took him five months to actually accept it. We'll have the story.
ALLEN: The worst flooding disaster to hit Peru in decades is not giving some victims any of a break. A main river has overflowed again in Northern Peru. That's one of the most devastated areas. Flooding and mudslides across Peru have killed at least 97 people. HOWELL: The Peruvian government says it needs more international aid to help hundreds of thousands that are in need presently. Officials say local donations have been decreasing.
In Northern Italy, Pope Francis is visiting the city of Carpi. Take a look here at the site of the devastating earthquake back in 2012. More than 20 people were killed and dozens of buildings destroyed in the 5.8-magnitude quake.
You're looking here at live images.
ALLEN: The pope will celebrate mass in front of the Cathedral of Carpi. For more on the pope's visit, CNN's Delia Gallagher joins us from Rome.
Hello there, Delia.
DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT: Hi to you, Natalie. Yes, the pope is currently saying mass in front of the Cathedral of Carpi five years after those devastating earthquakes hit this region known as Emilio Romana (ph) in the north central part of Italy, killing 28 people.
This cathedral was just opened last week. So Pope Francis has come to celebrate the reopening of this cathedral as well as to remind the people that are there still trying to rebuild from the earthquake that they have not been forgotten.
Now interestingly, Natalie, after the mass, the pope is going to bless some stones. Stones that will be used to rebuild some church offices in the area. One of those stones comes from a church that was demolished by the fighting in Iraq, in Nineveh. They will be using one of those stones and they brought it over from Iraq to start the rebuilding process from some other offices in this area of Carpi.
The pope, in the afternoon, will go to a nearby town called Mirandola, another town that was hit in the 2012 earthquakes, where he will meet with families of those who lost their lives in those earthquakes, including a Muslim family. This is an area which has some significant population of immigrants, particularly from India and Pakistan.
And the pope will be meeting with them as well. He will also lay a wreath at a memorial for the victims of that 2008 earthquake -- Natalie.
HOWELL: The pope -- this is George here, Delia -- the pope's simply being there focusing on the revitalization of that region, these live images that we're seeing as it takes place right now in Carpi, I remember from reporting with various other earthquakes just the sense that people didn't want to return, the sense that people were concerned about more earthquakes that could occur.
Is there a feeling though that people are starting to move back --
HOWELL: into that region?
GALLAGHER: That's why this visit is so significance, George, because in Carpi, they basically managed to rebuild, to get their jobs back and houses back.
In nearby Mirandola, the main cathedral there is still closed. There's still rebuilding efforts going on. So you have a lot of small towns that have been hit and, depending on the amount of money they have and other bureaucratic issues, the rebuilding efforts can take a long time. This is five years after the 2012 earthquakes.
We all heard last year about the terrible earthquakes down in Amitrice (ph). That's the same faultline but we're up a bit north now and the pope coming there is saying, yes, Benedict XVI went there right after these earthquakes in 2012.
Pope Francis coming five years later is saying, we still understand that you're here and that you suffered during those earthquakes so that's also an important message for the pope to be giving to the people of that region -- George.
HOWELL: Delia Gallagher, live for us following this live event, thank you so much for your reporting.
ALLEN: In Russia, lawmakers there voted to decriminalize some forms of domestic violence earlier this year.
HOWELL: But survivors of abuse are finding new hope outside the halls of power. Our Clare Sebastian reports on a tattoo shop that's now changing lives.
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tattooing a scar is like painting on a crumpled sheet of paper, says Zhenya Zakhar. The popular tattoo artist in the Russian city of Ufa (ph) started seeing women turn up in her salon looking for tattoos to hide their scars.
Victims of domestic violence.
Last summer following the example of a Brazilian tattoo artist, she placed an ad on social media, offering the service for free.
ZHENYA ZAKHAR, TATTOO ARTIST (through translator): They came in droves. I then understood how serious the problem is here. In the first month, around 100 girls came to see me.
SEBASTIAN (voice-over): Today, a red rose is taking shape over seven months' worth of knife scars. "Anna" says she was just 18 when her boyfriend started drinking and cutting her with kitchen knives. For legal reasons we are concealing her face and real name because he was never charged with any crime.
"He was my first great love," she tells me.
"I thought the violence would stop." In Ufa (ph), a city of 1 million people, between the Volga River and
the Ural Mountains, Zhenya is not the only one waging a quiet war against domestic violence. A few miles away, Viktoria Levina (ph) shows us the paperwork she
submitted to local authorities to set up a crisis center specifically for domestic violence victims, something that doesn't yet exist in the city.
VIKTORIA LEVINA (PH) (through translator): I have this strong internal motivation because I've encountered this problem myself. And at least in my own town, I want women to have some kind of support in these situations.
SEBASTIAN (voice-over): Her website is already up and running and she hopes one day she'll be able to provide women free legal and psychological help, perhaps even a shelter.
Back at the tattoo salon, before-and-after photos, a reminder of the acute need. This woman was pregnant when her husband took her to the woods and stabbed her in the neck. Now in place of the wound, a butterfly.
ZAKHAR (through translator): When they leave here with a smile, it's wonderful. It makes me want to work to do something good.
SEBASTIAN (voice-over): Looking at her rose, "Anna" says she feels relief, past wounds redrawn -- Clare Sebastian, CNN, Ufa (ph) Russia.
HOWELL: That's beautiful.
Still ahead, 743 dog-eared pages bound with string, well, it's making North Korea a little nervous.
ALLEN: We'll show you how a book smuggled out of the country, written by a dissident, is finding a global audience. That's coming up here.
HOWELL: Bob Dylan finally receives his Nobel Prize in literature. The legendary singer-songwriter accepted the award in Sweden Saturday, nearly six months after it was announced that he won.
ALLEN: No cameras were there for the ceremony and Dylan made no comments before or after the event. He has said it he appreciate it. He's put a statement out before. But he's the first songwriter to be awarded a Nobel Prize.
Good for him. (INAUDIBLE), I guess. (LAUGHTER)
ALLEN: Some book authors suggested otherwise.
Well, it's the book North Korea does not want you to read. It's called "The Accusation" and it has found a global audience.
HOWELL: Publishers from around the world gathered on Saturday at the DMZ, the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea to honor the dissident author, who is still inside North Korea. In an exclusive interview, CNN's Paula Hancocks talks to the activist who smuggled that book out of the country.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Coming together at the last bastion of the Cold War to celebrate a man they've never met, meeting at the border between North and South Korea for a very unusual book reading.
"The Accusation" is a work of fiction written by a dissident writer still inside North Korea about regular citizens trying to function in a dysfunctional reality. The author calls himself "Bandi (ph)," Korean for firefly, as he sheds light on the dark.
The South Korean activist who helped smuggle this book out of North Korea says it is unique.
"It doesn't deal with political prison camps, says Do Hee-youn (ph), "or public executions, human rights issues. It shows normal life of North Korean citizens and it's very frightening. This book shows they live like slaves."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To think that the same glimmer of hope I'd clinging to was in fact the dark shadow of wickedness.
HANCOCKS (voice-over): The book is being translated into 19 languages.
Publishers and human rights activists have come from around the world to read the one book that links them.
"The Accusation" was published in the U.K. last week and is already on the best sellers' list.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Speaking foreign language).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So it's short stories, so it's fiction but it does, like all the best fiction, give a very powerful account of the experience of living in a place that we couldn't otherwise know about.
HANCOCKS (voice-over): Do said there was really no other choice when he was thinking about the venue for this reading. Bandi's stories are all about love and family and this is where separated families come to, to leave these messages on ribbons, messages of support, prayers that they'll see their loved ones in the North once again, families who've been torn apart by the Korean War and who remain apart because of the division of the peninsula.
Do first heard of the manuscript when he helped a North Korean defector arrested by Chinese border guards. She told him Bandi, a relative, had asked her to smuggle it out. She was too scared of being caught.
When she safe, Do organized for someone to go into North Korea and bring it out.
"We found a way of getting the script back through Chinese tourists," he says. "North Korea likes exporting propaganda materials, such as books idolizing the leaders. (INAUDIBLE) manuscript in that."
Do says Bandi is safe for now but fears the regime may one day find him. He says Bandi valued this book more than his life, hoping it was a voice that would be heard by the world -- Paula Hancocks, CNN, near the border between North and South Korea.
ALLEN: That's our first hour of news. I'm Natalie Allen.
HOWELL: And I'm George Howell. Another hour of news from around the world straight ahead. Stay with us.