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UNICEF Urges Global Support for Syria's Children; U.S. Army Veteran's Wife Fears Deportation; Al Thawadi: Progress Being Made on Migrant Workers; Advertisers Ditch Bill O'Reilly Amid Scandal; Trump: Syria Attack Crossed Many, Many Lines; Experts Symptoms Suggest Exposure To Nerve Agents; Erdogan Calls Syria's Assad A "Murderer"; United Nations Security Council Held Emergency Meeting On Syria Attack; Syria, ISIS, Israeli- Palestinian Conflict All On Agenda; U.S. Official: Missile Exploded 55 Seconds After Launch; More Than A Dozen People Hospitalized After Bombing. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired April 5, 2017 - 15:00   ET





HANNAH VAUGHAN JONES, CNN INTERNATIONAL GUEST ANCHOR: Hello there. I'm Hannah Vaughan Jones sitting in for Hala Gorani. We are live from CNN

London and this is THE WORLD RIGHT NOW.

U.S. President Donald Trump says a suspected chemical attack in Syria has change his view of its leader Bashar al-Assad. He is now blaming the

Syrian president directly for the strike which killed dozens of civilians in Idlib Province.

Mr. Trump spoke after a meeting with the Jordan's King Abdullah. The president said the images of dead and injured children pushed him to speak

out. He says his predecessor failed to act to stop the slaughter.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Well, I think the Obama administration had a great opportunity to solve this crisis a long

time ago when he said the red line in the sand. And when he didn't cross that line after making the threat, I think that set us back a long ways not

only in Syria but in many other parts of the world because it was a blank threat.

It crossed a lot of lines for me. When you kill innocent children, innocent babies -- babies -- little babies with a chemical gas that is so

lethal, people were shocked to hear what gas it was, that crosses many, many lines beyond the red lines, many, many lines.


JONES: Well, there is increasing evidence indicating chemical weapons were indeed used in that attack. The World Health Organization says some

victims have injuries consistent with exposure to nerve agents and that finding is backed up by a team of medics from (inaudible) Frontier, Doctors

Without Borders.

Our Ben Wedeman joins me now live from the border between Turkey and Syria. He's been speaking to survivors at a hospital. Ben, good to have you on

the program. From the stories that you've heard, what do we know for sure about how this attack unfolded?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we know for instance from the many people we spoke to is that it happened at about 6:30

in the morning local time. A series of explosions in the town of (inaudible), which is between Aleppo and Hamma (ph) on the main highway

leading to Damascus.

These the people who were the victims of this attack, this incident, obviously they do not have the expertise to understand exactly what

happened in terms of what chemical, what substance caused so many deaths.

A 105 according to one Turkish medical relief agency that's operating in Northern Syria. But the stories we heard from the people were indeed very,

very chilling. For instance we spoke to one young boy, 13-year-old who said that about 6:30 in the morning, he heard explosions.

He ran up on the roof of his house. He saw one of the explosions was in front of his grandfather's house. So he rushed out ran over to his

grandfather's house barefoot, there he found his grandfather slumped over seemingly asphyxiated.

He ran out into the street and he called for neighbors to come to his assistance, but amidst all the fumes that were in the area he himself

started to feel dizzy and fainted. The first thing he remembered was waking up in a Turkish hospital.

His 55-year-old grandmother, the same sort of story, suddenly a flash. She said I saw yellow and blue, and then I fainted. The first thing she

remembered was waking up in a Turkish hospital. They lost that extended family 19 members alone.

And there are many, many others who have similar stories according to the Turkish relief agency, IHH. They say 450 people were injured. Only 30 of

them were brought to Turkey for treatment. More came over today. Several of them have already died. Something that has prompted the Turkish

president to call Bashar al-Assad a murderer.

[15:05:01]JONES: And Ben, in the aftermath of this attack and the international condemnation that we've seen as well, what's been the effect

on the ground in Syria and in the air above Syria, of course as well, what's happening in terms of fighting right now?

WEDEMAN: Well, there weren't any incidents in this area around the town, but that is a critical area as the Syrian government pushes forward in the

area -- in the province of Hamma (ph), which is south of (inaudible). Of course, you know, the fighting continues. I think the problem is when you

have incident like yesterday, the great focus of the world, the attention is on an incident like that.

But fact of the matter is that every single day people are dying outside of Damascus, in Hamma (ph), in (inaudible) provinces. The fighting continues.

The death toll rises inexorably. And certainly seems that the opposition or what's left of it is definitely pushed against a corner -- into a


Essentially you have just a few moderate opposition groups. The opposition now is dominated by (inaudible), which is really the rebranded (inaudible)

Nusra, which is an al Qaeda affiliate.

When President Trump is talking about action, something to do in Syria, the problem is on the one handled be going up against the Syria regime backed

by Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah or he could back the opposition which is at the moment is dominated by jihadi elements -- Hannah.

GORANI: OK, Ben Wedeman, live for us on the Turkish-Syrian border, thank you. Well, the attack in Syria took center stage at an emergency meeting

of the U.N. Security Council today. The U.S. ambassador to U.N. condemned Russia and the Syrian government and suggested the U.S. was open to using

military action to end the bloody conflict.


NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: When the United Nations consistently fails in its duty to act collectively, there are times in the

life of states that we are compelled to take our own action. For the sake of the victims, I hope the rest of the council is finally willing to do the

same. The world needs to see the use of chemical weapons and the fact that they will not be tolerated.


JONES: We'll our senior U.N. correspondent, Richard Roth, joins me now live. Very, very harsh words there, Richard, from Nikki Haley. But no

vote actually in the Security Council today. Are we likely to see any resolution that the U.S. and Russia can agree on?

RICHARD ROTH, CNN SENIOR UNITED NATIONS CORRESPONDENT: Well, here is the latest from movements ago, Security Council diplomats saying highly

unlikely that a vote will occur today New York time. Could be tomorrow. Negotiations underway between the differing parties namely western powers

and Russia.

It is unclear if the existing proposed resolution might be watered down so much in order to get a compromise resolution that in effect it has no

teeth. That's one angle of this story.

Of course, you just played the comments of Ambassador Haley, who has talked very tough from the moment she walked in the door two months ago saying,

she'll be taking names who is on the U.S. side and who isn't.

She's definitely been the forefront of the Trump foreign policy team way ahead of any public remarks from the U.S. Secretary of State Tillerson. He

or she got out of the seat at the Security Council to hold up the pictures of children, women, who she said died in that chemical weapons attack.

Very dramatic, we've had this before at the Security Council. I don't recall a U.S ambassador doing this when they happened to be president of

the council for that month. Russia furious I think about this show and there were harsh words between the U.K. versus China and Russia on

responsibility for action.

Everybody here saying we got to do something but for six years we've had multiple vetoes by Russia and China on other resolutions. So big day here

again on Syria for an issue that kind of faded away despite the U.N. trying to keep track of chemical weapons inside Syria.

But even there, there is more division on what do you do about the findings of U.N. team which said three chlorine gas attacks occurred from the


JONES: Yes. They can't decide on what to do going forward. But one thing that the U.S. and Russia do seemed to be agreeing on is the blame that the

previous administration, the Obama administration should take should have with regards to Syria saying that the red lines that were crossed and no

action taken gave a red light then to deterioration on the ground in Syria.

ROTH: Yes, even the deputy Russian ambassador, I almost thought I was listening to White House talking points unless I missed it, I'll have check

my notes, but he said this all could have been solved years ago. He mentioned the red line's moment, what -- it's unknown also did comments

from two weeks by Tillerson and Haley that said the Syrian people really have to solve this on their own.

[15:10:06]And Haley is saying that the focus should not be on Assad. It's on terrorism in the area did that give a green light to Assad? Now it's

back in President Trump's lap he's talking about lines have already been crossed even more significant than red lines. It's all tough talk and

rhetoric. We'll have to see where it leads.

JONES: We certainly will. Richard Roth live for us there at the U.N. in New York. Thank you.

The British foreign secretary has joined the global chorus of condemnation over this attack calling it a barbaric act. And he points the finger

blamed firmly as well at Bashar al-Assad. Take a listen.


BORIS JOHNSON, U.K. FOREIGN SECRETARY: I simply don't see how Bashar al- Assad can remain in charge after what he has already done of the 400,000 people are estimated to have been killed in Syria. He -- he is responsible

for the vast majority of that butcher's bill and you have to go a long way back in history to find a tyrant who has stayed in office in such



JONES: Nic Robertson joins me now to talk about how this attack could then change the course of diplomacy in Syria. Nic, we've seen chemical attacks

before in Syria. Do you think that Idlib and what we've seen happened there with all these children died in particular could change how the world


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Not collectively it doesn't seem so because the U.N. -- the language in the proposed resolution

didn't have must cease and desist every attack like this. The strongest language against Assad was he must comply and help with the chemical

weapons inspection by the PCW.

And Russia, the delegates, the U.N. there really trashing the PCW said that they failed to do a good job in the past. Essentially therefore, you know,

their results and methodology wasn't really to be trusted going forward.

I mean, they pretty much trashed all aspects of previous investigations, administrations, et cetera. So you know, if you're going to get resolution

as Richard said, it's very likely would have to be watered down.

But you have President Obama saying -- President Trump saying you know, I - - putting himself in a position -- many lines have been crossed he's horrified, change his position about Assad, and threatening here on

unspecified action.

You know allies will be wondering if this is pure rhetoric as we know it has been contrary at times and confusing with his rhetoric and his actions

to follow it up.

JONES: If we put the sort of potential military action aside for one second, let's talks about the diplomatic efforts, we saw for so many months

the talks between former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterparts, Sergei Lavrov. Are those talks still ongoing between the new

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Lavrov, or did they just cease when the new administration took over?

ROBERTSON: They ceased, you know, Kerry and Lavrov were key behind the scenes in the Geneva peace talks -- peace talks under the U.N. Resolution

2254, which envisions the political transition to get rid of President Assad. That collapsed under the Trump administration.

Not the talks but at least that effort between Kerry and Lavrov. That hasn't happened this time. You've had the military talks that have

(inaudible). The Geneva talks have staggered on. The U.N. special representative to those talks has told me personally that he misses not

having Kerry there.

Tillerson hasn't engaged. The reason it appears to be and we heard this from Secretary of Defense Mattis last week. We heard it from Ambassador

Haley last week and we heard it a little bit from Tillerson as well.

That when Mattis was asked what's the U.S. policy on Assad? He said, we're handling that one day at a time. The most important thing is we've got

ISIS on the back foot. It's the policy of the Trump administration has been through ISIS not about Assad.

Therefore that immediately implies a disengagement of Tillerson. He has no role to play. That's where we've been at.

JONES: Just really briefly, Nic, sorry to push you on such big topic here, but when the U.S. talk about unilateral action going it alone if you like

against Syria, what, when, how?

ROBERTSON: They don't have the troops on the ground. They've got 1,200 groups on the ground. These are dedicated and focused on aiding local

tribes, militias to take down ISIS. That's clearly not an option.

What springs to my mind when you hear this sort of rhetoric is Trump going to go way and try to plan some sort of decapitation effort, a strike of

some kind to try to take out Assad or something on the ground, what allies in the region, Israel can he turn to?

He is going to need specific and detailed intelligence. These things are hard to come by. They're incredibly prone to risk. You target a building

where you think the target, in this case, will be Assad is. You hit some people that's all over the news.

[15:15:09]It works out very, very bad politically, but we don't know what actually he is going to take. He refused to go there. What is task since

he came to office was he tasked Secretary of Defense Mattis with finding a new plan to tackle ISIS.

We've heard no talk about a plan to get Assad out of office or a decapitation effort to remove him physically from leadership. However,

again just wrapping it up quickly, the line, the narrative today we heard from President Trump was -- and his administration is about a political

solution. So that removes decapitation effort off the table. It's not clear where we go from here.

JONES: Nic, thanks very much nick. We appreciate it.

U.S. President Trump calls the chemical attack in Syria an affront to humanity. Standing alongside Jordan's King Abdullah at the White House

today, Mr. Trump said he has the responsibility to respond but gave no hint about what form any action might take as Nic was just alluding to.

The leaders also talked about the war on ISIS and efforts to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but much of their news conference focused as

you'd imagine on that horrific attack in Syria.


PRESIDENT TRUMP: The heinous actions by the Assad regime cannot be tolerated. The United States stands with our allies across the globe to

condemn this horrific attack and all other horrific attacks for that matter.

KING ABDULLAH OF JORDAN: At the end of the day as you pointed out, Mr. President, is the civilians, women and children that are paying the

heaviest price. This is happening on our watch, our conscious as well as the global community. And I know the passion and emotion that the

president has expressed in how this should not be tolerated whatsoever.


JONES: Let's get more now on Mr. Trump's touch stand today on Syria and some other big developments at the White House as well. We are joined by

CNN political producer, Dan Merica, and CNN political analyst, Josh Rogin. Gentlemen, thanks very much for being on the program.

Dan, to you first, just talk us through the mood between the Jordanian king and the president of the United States at the White House today. Was there

good body language between the two?

DAN MERICA, CNN POLITICAL PRODUCER: I was struck by the -- the fact that they seemed to really get along. One thing I thought was worth noting was

that King Abdullah has clearly watched what his predecessors have done with President Trump and that seems to butter the president.

Talked about relations will improve with him, how they have confidence in the fact that he will take the fight to ISIS. I think you also saw King

Abdullah avoid really talking about the refugee issue at any length.

He was asked directly about it and seemingly kind of sidestepped the question not wanting to talk about an issue that is thorny for the two. I

mean, they agree on the fight for ISIS. They agree on a number of other issues including trying to figure out the Israel-Palestine peace agreement,

but they don't agree on refugees.

I think that the fact that King Abdullah tried to avoid that topic shows that he wanted to be on stay in the good graces of President Trump while he

was here.

JONES: Josh Rogin, it's the first time we've really heard Donald Trump speak in such a combative way about his responsibilities. He kept

referring to his responsibility. It's my turn now to have to react and deal with these global problems. He has so far wanted to avoid being

president of the world and focus on being president of the United States, but your reaction to the tone that he struck today.

JOSH ROGIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, it's really a stunning reversal of everything we've heard from the president and much of what we've heard from

his staff about what he views as the U.S. responsibility not just in Syria but to protect freedom, human rights, and democracy around the world.

This is a president who made an inaugural speech based on the principle of America first. All we've seen in the first few months is his uttering of

phrases that seemed to pull back the United States' responsibility for responding to just these types of things.

But this presidency is about the president. There is not a real big policy process. There is not a lot of formal interagency review on the Syria

question itself. There is about ISIS but not about Syria.

So when the president changes his tone, and if he gets emotional about seeing pictures of dead babies gassed by Assad that changes the policy now

the rest of the Washington bureaucracy that sits under him will have to adjust and react.

They don't know what that means. They're trying to figure it out, and they are trying to come up with options. It's very reactive, but this is a

pivot point. It's a watershed moment not only in U.S. policy towards Syria, but also the presidency of Donald Trump itself.

JONES: Dan, what do you make of that watershed moment because he wasn't just talking about Syria, he was also talking about North Korea, Iran,

Middle East peace process as well. All of this is, of course, leading up to the meeting with the Chinese leader later this week. When effectively

he is saying that the U.S. could be taking on multiple battles on multiple fronts.

[15:20:06]MERICA: You know, I think josh is exactly right. You've had a president who basically said this is an America first presidency for much

of his first few months in office. It seems like that's changing now that so many issues, international issues have landed on his plate.

Whether they be two of the earlier foreign leader visits that happened this week or the critically important visit that will happen in Florida later

this week. I think this is all kind of building up to how important the two days he will spend with President Xi really is.

You'll see him kind of confront both the public perception of his presidency, how it's -- how his handling of international issues is viewed,

but also how much he wants to wade into them. He's made all these promises to American voters to focus on issues like the economy and issues like


But you can't really decide not to focus on international issues when they land on your plate. You are the American president and there are some

responsibilities that come with that. I think that President Trump is now kind of grappling with that fact especially with what's happening in North

Korea and Syria.

GORANI: Josh, I'm wondering what you make of the fact that there was no mention from Donald Trump at least of Russia in his press conference. So

much talk, of course, between the United States and Russia within the United Nations, but he didn't say anything about Russia.

ROGIN: You know it was very interesting. The statement from the White House yesterday didn't mention Russia. The statement from the State

Department did mention Russia, of course. Nikki Haley of the U.N. mentioned Russia.

You know, what we see here is the basic split inside the administration over whether or not Russia can be a constructive part of solving the Syria

equation. And for all of these months and actually for the entire campaign Donald Trump personally believed that they could be and Michael Flynn

believed that they could be.

And Steve Bannon believed that they could be, and now they don't know what to think, OK. The whole frame of solving Syria was let's join with Russia

to kill terrorists and then we'll figure out the rest later. And now that doesn't seem to be operable anymore.

Not only because of the Russia investigations and that whole story but also because you know Russia is complicit in these crimes so they're going to

have to come up with new plan they don't know what it is.

JONES: We are seeing a new President Trump this week as well as this big diplomatic week rounds up really for him as well. Gentlemen, Dan Merica,

Josh Rogin, thanks very much for your analysis. Thank you.

Still to come on THE WORLD RIGHT NOW tonight, North Korea's spectacular failure. That is how the White House describes Pyongyang's botched missile

test. We'll find out how it sets to affect a high level meeting between the U.S. and China. Stay with us.


JONES: A spectacular failure, that's how one White House official is describing North Korea's latest show of force. The North fired a missile

over the Sea of Japan also known as the East Sea.

[15:25:06]But the official says just 55 seconds after launch it exploded and crashed. It was the latest in a series of test firings. Officials say

the launch was timed to coincide with the upcoming meeting between the United States President Trump and Chinese President Xi.

CNN's Will Ripley is live for us now in the Chinese capital with more on launch and of course, it's impact on that meeting between the Chinese and

U.S. leaders.

Will, I'm curious about your reaction to the U.S. State Department's response to this missile test. They didn't really say all that much at

all. How is that going to go down in North Korea?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, whether it was a failure or not is open to interpretation because earlier the U.S. government said that they

believed this missile traveled a relatively high altitude before coming down in the water east of the Korean Peninsula after traveling a short


They said it may have been a test of one phase of missile launch. Keep in mind for North Korea every failure is still a success in the sense that

they gain more information. And North Korea has had more successful missile launches as of late than failures.

They've already launched successfully at least five by my count since the Trump administration -- since Donald Trump took office as president of the

U.S. The first being that launch that happened during his meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Mar-a-Lago.

What we need to watch now is will they do something else, something bigger during this upcoming meeting between President Xi and President Trump in

Florida that set to begin in a matter of hours.

JONES: And of course, it was supposedly launched to coincide with that meeting that's going to take place. How difficult though does it make for

China going into those talks with Trump?

RIPLEY: Well, China is certainly irritated by this type of provocative behavior by North Korea especially one day before a very important summit

between United States and China.

However, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here in Beijing is trying to downplay any connection saying they don't see any obvious

connection between the summit and this missile launch by North Korea citing so many missile launches.

They believe the missile launches are happening because of the U.S.-South Korea joint military exercises that are taking place. But keep in mind,

Hanna, that next week is a very big week for North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-Un.

The supreme people's assembly, their big legislative gathering happens on Tuesday. It's where all the delegates arrive in Pyongyang and vote

unanimously in favor of whatever Kim Jong-un puts before them.

And then on Saturday, it's North Korea's biggest holiday of the year, the day of the sun holiday and we have seen in the past around that particular

holiday major shows of force provocative acts by North Korea. Think back to April of 2012 when they tried and failed to launch a satellite into


So if Kim Jong-un tries to do something big around these two major events like perhaps the sixth nuclear test, which analysts say could happen

anytime or even some other type of bigger launch that could actually force the two presidents to respond when they have a whole lot of other issues on

their agenda including big disputes over trade and also the South China Sea.

JONES: All right. Will, I know you've got -- unique experience if you like, of being in North Korea as well. So it's great to get your

perspective on this. Will Ripley live for us in Beijing.

We turn our attention to Russia now where the country is observing three days of mourning after Monday's horrific suicide blast on the St.

Petersburg Metro System.

The parents of the suspect, 22-year-old Akbajan Djalilov (ph), a Russian national born in Kirgizstan, have arrived in the city. The explosion

killed 14 people and wounded dozens more. Well, some of those victims are still recovering in hospital.

CNN's Paula Newton went to visit them, a warning this report contains video you may find disturbing.


PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In every sense the survivors here are utterly shattered. Wounds cover their bodies, the horror still on

their minds. This young woman was pierced with flying metal and glass shredding her flesh, the cruelest cut splashing her face.

(on camera): Is she going to be OK?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think that very good prognosis.

NEWTON: She is a young woman. So this is a second operating --

(voice-over): Dr. (inaudible) walks us through intensive care. Eighteen victims came to this hospital. He tells me so far they haven't lost any,

but two patients are still quite critical.

(on camera): They have very serious injuries.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The prognosis is not optimistic now. It is, how to say, 50/50.

NEWTON: It's delicate.


NEWTON: The fact is teams here have been preparing for this kind of a terrorist incident for years now. When the victims arrived here many of

them had dozens of wounds very serious wounds all over their bodies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We see them when we look on x-rays.

NEWTON: You were removing -- you were removing tiny metal pellets from patient's bodies.


NEWTON: And you could see them. That must have been loaded in the explosive. It must have been in the bomb.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, of course.

[15:30:00] NEWTON (voice-over): Alexey Chirochkin saw victims pouring out of the train on to the platform and snapped this photo. Then he realized

what was happening. He says he'll never forget the look on the survivors' faces as everyone pulled together to help victims.

ALEXEY CHIROCHKIN, EYEWITNESS (through translator): It's possible that the person I dragged out was dead. He had lots of blood on his jacket. It was

soaked in it. I don't know if he is alive.

NEWTON: Just a day later, the same platform was already a shrine to the victims but also a potent sign of strength. People here in St. Petersburg

bordered the same subway line in defiance and got on with their day. Vigilance was high, security tight. And yet all around, there were

touching scenes of grief.

Resilience in this city is rooted in its epic history. It could never be conveyed in a single gesture, let alone a hashtag, but instead you feel it

in solemn prayers, bitter tears, and profound disbelief.

Paula Newton, CNN, St. Petersburg.


HANNAH VAUGHAN JONES, CNN ANCHOR: Still ahead on the program, more on our top story, the apparent chemical attack in Syria that's prompted global

outrage. We speak to a top UNICEF official about what must be done now.


VAUGHAN JONES: Welcome back. Let's return now to our top story and Tuesday's horrific chemical attack in Idlib in northern Syria.

Health experts say they believe a nerve agent, such as sarin gas, was used in the attack. Activists say at least 70 people have died and 10 of those

are known to be children. The West blames Bashar al-Assad, the President, but Syria says an airstrike hit a rebel-operated weapons factory.

But a short while ago, U.S. Donald Trump said it, quote, "crossed a lot of lines," and the attack changed the way he views Syria and its leader Bashar

al-Assad. Well, at an emergency session of the U.N. Security Council, Syria's ally, Russia, defended the regime. The Russian Ambassador to the

U.N. said there was no need for a resolution. He also hit out at criticism that Moscow didn't have a plan to stop these attacks.


VLADIMIR SAFRONKOV, RUSSIAN DEPUTY PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE TO THE UNITED NATIONS (through translator): Yes, we have more than one plan. The first

plan is to combat terrorism. The second plan, regarding your resolution. At this stage, we don't see a particular need to adopt a resolution.


VAUGHAN JONES: So the question now, how will the international community respond? One Syrian refugee is urging action. She is 7-year-old Bana

Alabed who became the face of the children in the war-ravaged country. Here is what she told my colleague Alisyn Camerota on CNN's "NEW DAY."


[15:35:04] BANA ALABED, SYRIAN REFUGEE: The world is what changed. The world doesn't do anything.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: What do you want the world to do?

ALABED: I want stop the war, and I want that the children of Syria play and go to school.


VAUGHAN JONES: Bana Alabed there. Well, let's talk to Geert Cappelaere. He's UNICEF's regional direct for the Middle East and North Africa and

joins me now live from Brussels.

Sir, thank you for being on the program this evening.


VAUGHAN JONES: The broader picture, if you will, in Syria -- I know you've spent some time there recently -- this is a war stolen a generation. How

many children have died in seven years of conflict?

CAPPELAERE: Well, Hannah, it's very difficult to say how many children exactly have died in Syria. But what we know from verified figures is that

several thousands of children have lost their lives with, indeed, yesterday again more than 10 children dying in an atrocious attack in Idlib. Six

years of war has had incredible impact upon children. Lost childhood is probably how we best summarize it.

VAUGHAN JONES: I know you've spent a lot of time in Syria very recently as well. What is the main threat to Syrian children? Is it chemical attack,

or is it being caught in the crossfire? Hunger? How vulnerable are they, and what is the biggest problem?

CAPPELAERE: Well, the problem for children in Syria, and that is throughout Syria, is not having any safety anymore. Children have been

killed while simply going to school. Last year, every single school day, a child has been killed simply by sitting in a class, aiming at learning. So

there is that absence of safety throughout the country, which is, as the young girl was just saying, that's what children are asking the world,

first and foremost, is that for that war to stop, for safety to come back.

It is just critical that, now, with the outrage we are hearing after the Idlib attack, these are today, again, all words, lot of time spent on

expressing anger, et cetera. What children in Syria need today is action. The war needs to stop. They are paying a brutal price for a war that is

not of their making. Children are the biggest victims.

VAUGHAN JONES: And you're talking to us from Brussels because there is a conference going on in Brussels right now to try to come up with some sort

of solution to the crisis in Syria. How do you see the diplomatic process working? Has the world's moral conscience simply disappeared?

CAPPELAERE: Well, I hope it hasn't disappeared. But it is high time that the world's conscience translates itself into an action stopping the war.

What I have heard today is a lot of generosity.

Today, in Brussels, a lot of donors came together and pledged close to $6 billion to help Syria, to help the humanitarian crisis in Syria. I have

heard today generosity from neighboring countries like Turkey, like Iraq, like Lebanon and Jordan, who are hosting thousands, millions, of refugee


I have heard a lot of generosity, but I have also heard that time has come to find a solution for Syria, for peace to be brokered, because everybody's

efforts to help Syrians is going to get stretched, is being stretched. We've heard today the government of Lebanon. We have heard today the

government of Jordan telling the world that they have been very generous, but unfortunately, there is end to their generosity.

We need a final solution. We need peace to come back and in the interest of the boys and girls in Syria.

VAUGHAN JONES: How frustrating is it for you and your organization, and for UNICEF, when you see the political dead lock that's happening in the

United Nations at the moment? How does that impact the work that you do on the ground in Syria? Does it paralyze all of your efforts?

[15:39:59] CAPPELAERE: Absolutely not. We, as UNICEF, will never, ever turn our back to the boys and girls in countries like Syria. We are

determined today more than we have been ever determined. Ultimately, we are there to assist the children on a day-to-day basis.

There is one thing we, as UNICEF, do not have in our hands, and that is the decision for the war to stop. That is a decision that lies with the

parties to the conflict in Syria. That is a decision that lies with those powers who have an influence over the parties. All the rest, we, as

UNICEF, can do for the interest of children. But the war to stop, that's a political responsibility that has to be taken urgently.

We cannot have children continue dying without any reason. There is no reason to continue justifying, for children, the war in Syria.

VAUGHAN JONES: We very much appreciate you talking to us on the program tonight, Sir Geert Cappelaere, from UNICEF. Thank you.

Well the U.N. Secretary General says the need for humanitarian aid and the protection of Syrian civilians has never been greater. For ways that you

can help those affected by the violence in the country, go to There you'll find support organizations aiding those in

crisis, just like UNICEF who we were just speaking to.

Turning now to the United States where there is growing anxiety within the undocumented immigrant community largely because of the Trump

administration's tough stance on immigration. It has one military veteran grappling with uncertainty and worry about his family's future. CNN's Rosa

Flores has their story.


ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Every time Army veteran Ricardo Pineda walks into this Baltimore Immigration Office with his wife, Veronica, he

grapples with a heart-wrenching decision.

RICARDO PINEDA, UNITED STATES ARMY VETERAN: I have to decide between the welfare of my children and my wife.

FLORES: His wife is an undocumented immigrant. If she gets deported, he has to choose between staying in the country he served where his two

disabled sons have a better chance at life, or move his family back to Mexico.

PINEDA: And what are we going to do now?

FLORES: The family has lived together in the U.S. since 2001. Ricardo says he was a green card holder until he joined the Army in 2009 and became

a U.S. citizen. Two years later, he requested citizenship for his wife and two children. He says his wife got detained.

PINEDA: It was traumatizing.

FLORES: Veronica says she's been routinely checking in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE ever since.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They're going to be gone fast.

FLORES: And ever since President Trump took office ICE has been using these check-ins to take some undocumented immigrants into custody.

Veronica was nervous for the meeting today because the first time she tried to enter the United States illegally in 1998, she got caught.

After she was detained she said she vowed never to come back to the United States. She broke the vow in 2001, she says, when doctors in Mexico told

her, her son Juan needed open heart surgery and his chances of survival were higher in America.

PINEDA: It was a life or death situation.

FLORES: Veronica says she walked 19 hours to get to the U.S. border while her sick son was handed to a human smuggler. The family has been in the

U.S. ever since.

PINEDA: If we choose to stay there, he will be dead by now.

FLORES: Their son Juan survived the surgery, but complications left him with brain damage, unable to speak. His brother Kevin has cerebral palsy.

Veronica takes care of them and their father too.

In 2014, Ricardo developed diabetes and was medically discharged after serving nearly six years in the U.S. Army. An injury to his hand prevents

him from giving himself insulin shots, so he relies on his wife.

PINEDA: How am I going to take care of my sons? That's the main problem. How am I going to take care of myself?

FLORES: Today, Veronica had good news about her meeting with an immigration agent. She can check in again in another year, a crisis

averted at least for now for this military vet and his family.

Rosa Flores, CNN, Baltimore.


VAUGHAN JONES: This is THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. Still to come, it was the announcement that energized Qatar. But as the country pulls all the stops

ahead of the World Cup, what price have migrant workers paid? A CNN exclusive interview with the head of Qatar of 2022, that's coming up next.

[15:44:51] And later on in the program, a sexual harassment scandal at the top of Fox News again. We'll be live in Los Angeles to find out why

advertisers are ditching star host Bill O'Reilly.


VAUGHAN JONES: Hello again. Welcome back. In just five years' time, one of the biggest events in the world will come to the tiny Gulf nation of

Qatar, football's World Cup. The country is trying to use eight stadia, building seven of them from scratch. But as it pulls out all the stops,

activists have long decried the treatment of Qatar's migrant construction workers.

Our Becky Anderson have an exclusive interview with Hassan Al Thawadi, the man charged with delivering the competition and asked him about that

controversial issue.


HASSAN AL THAWADI, SECRETARY GENERAL, QATAR 2022 SUPREME COMMITTEE: Progress has been made. Now, again, there is a discussion as to the level

of progress, is it far enough or not? That, I will leave it to the experts and the relevant authorities to comment on it, but what I can say is,

progress is being made.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN ABU DHABI MANAGING EDITOR: So you concede there have been instances of exploitations in the best-case scenario and slave labor

on these projects in the worse and that there continues to be opportunities for contractors who exploit their labor force unless more is done?

AL THAWADI: What I can say is this, and this is not exclusive to the state of Qatar, from what we've seen worldwide, there's been exploitation that

occurs in relation to workers. And in terms of Qatar, the laws have been put in place, but there have been people that have not applied the laws.

We are working very hard, along with the relevant authorities, to ensure that people do apply the laws. And having said that, while there have been

people that continue to try to find loopholes not to apply the laws, we have seen great progress made by contractors.

ANDERSON: How will you secure fans, footballers, and FIFA officials alike?

AL THAWADI: Obviously, the security of the fans and the security of the tournament is of the utmost importance for us. Now, the security committee

itself has looked at and partnered up with international organizations, not least of which is Interpol, communicating with international law

enforcement organizations for databases and identifying potential threats.

ANDERSON: What help do you need from others? I know there's been some reach out to the Brits, for example.

AL THAWADI: Well, I was just about to say that.

ANDERSON: What are some of the specifics we're talking about?

AL THAWADI: Well, for example, last week, we've signed two memorandum understanding agreements with security forces within England, within the

United Kingdom. One of them specifically is about developing a United Kingdom -- well, I believe the United Kingdom has a police force relating

to football, specific to football. And we're looking at developing something similar to that as well and, again, benefit from the experience

that England had from London 2012.


[15:49:46] VAUGHAN JONES: This is THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. And up next, we're going to be in Los Angeles where the most gripping television drama of the

week is playing out off screen at Fox News. Find out why Bill O'Reilly is losing advertisers in their droves.


VAUGHAN JONES: He is one of the most recognized show hosts in U.S. cable news, but now his employer, Fox News, has a difficult choice. Punish Bill

O'Reilly or risk losing lucrative advertising deals?

More than 30 companies already pulled their adverts from "The O'Reilly Factor" after "The New York Times" reported that Fox paid $30 million to

settle a string of sexual harassment lawsuits against the show's host.

Well, a similar scandal toppled network president Roger Ailes just last year, but so far, Fox News has stuck by its staff presenter. Even

President Donald Trump weighed in on the matter, saying about O'Reilly, quote, "I think he is a good person. Personally, I think he shouldn't have

settled because you should have taken it all the way. I don't think Bill did anything wrong," end quote.

Well, to dig a little deeper on this, we turn now to our senior reporter for media and politics, Dylan Byers, who joins me now live from Los


Goodness me. He's not only got on the side Murdochs on his side, but he's got the President of the United States. How precarious, then, is Bill

O'Reilly's position right now?

DYLAN BYERS, CNN SENIOR REPORTER FOR MEDIA AND POLITICS: Well, look, he is in a better position than anyone could be in this situation because he is

such a valuable asset to Fox News and such a valuable asset, therefore, to 21st Century Fox. One might argue, in fact, that it's harder to get rid of

him than it was to get rid of Roger Ailes, in part because there's no one who can replace Bill O'Reilly and draw the same kind of numbers that he


Now, in terms of what Fox News and 21st Century Fox are actually going to do about this, it's very hard to know. They haven't really spoken up about

it since the revelations first came out on Saturday. Does that mean that they're going to try to wait it out and hope that the storm blows over?

Does it mean that they're assessing the situation, coming up with a certain legal defense or perhaps a statement, or perhaps even making a decision to

cancel Bill O'Reilly's show? We just won't know until they address the matter.

But given all of this public pressure, given the fact that more than 30 advertisers have pulled out, you do have to imagine that some sort of

statement will be forthcoming from 21st Century Fox within the next couple days.

VAUGHAN JONES: Dylan, as far as we know, Bill O'Reilly, himself, hasn't actually made any comment about this on his show. However, we do have a

sound bite from him from about six months ago when he was talking about celebrity vulnerability to these kind of lawsuits and his vulnerability in

particular. Take a listen to this.


BILL O'REILLY, FOX NEWS HOST: In this country, every famous, powerful, or wealth person is a target. You're a target, I'm a target. Any time,

somebody could come out and sue us, attack us, go to the press, or anything like that. And that's a deplorable situation because, I mean, I have to

have bodyguards. I have to hire physical bodyguards, all right?

Until the United States adopts the English system of civil law, whereby if you file a frivolous lawsuit and you lose, the judge has a right to make

you pay all court costs, until we adopt that very fair proposition, we're going to have this out of control tabloid society that is tremendously

destructive. I stand behind Roger a hundred percent.


VAUGHAN JONES: So he is the victim in all of this, Dylan. How are his T.V. ratings, though, ever since this scandal or these allegations have

gone public?

[15:55:07] BYERS: Well, his ratings are doing just fine. You know, ratings across the cable news industry are extremely strong right now, in

no small part thanks to President Donald Trump. And O'Reilly has been at the forefront of that.

He's had some of his strongest ratings in a long time. And they don't seem to have diminished because of this controversy. In large part, that's

because he has a very loyal fan base, and his fan base is going to go with him no matter what.

I would just say about that clip you just played, it's a very convenient excuse. But you know, when you mention all of those powerful people who

are, quote/unquote, "targets," whether you want to think about Anderson Cooper or you want to think about Brian Williams or you want to think about

anyone else on cable news, they didn't pay $13 million to settle sexual harassment or verbal abuse allegations from five different women. So it's

a convenient excuse, but I don't think it's a sound one.

VAUGHAN JONES: Thirty-odd advertisers have pulled out so far. But has Fox News actually been hit financially yet, or is this just a reputational

problem for them?

BYERS: No, that's absolutely a good point to bring up. It's a reputational problem. It's a reputational problem because the advertisers

have only pulled out of O'Reilly's show. They haven't pulled out of Fox News, so a lot of that money is still going to Fox News and 21st Century


In addition to that, not to get too far into the weeds of how the economics of cable news work, but a lot of money comes from affiliate fees that are

paid to the network rather than advertising revenues. So no, this is absolutely one of public pressure. So far, financially, Fox is going to be

doing OK.

VAUGHAN JONES: OK. Dylan Byers, thanks very much.

BYERS: Thank you.

VAUGHAN JONES: Now, a new advert for Pepsi featuring the model Kendall Jenner has lost its fizz somewhat.

Well, it showed the reality star joining a group of protestors and handing a police officer a can of soda. But it sparked an immediate online

backlash and Pepsi has now pulled the ad, saying, quote, "Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace, and understanding. Clearly,

we missed the mark and we apologize."

And that's all we've got time for on the program. This has been THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. Thank you so much for your company. Thanks for watching. Stay

tuned because "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next.