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U.S. Drops Largest Non-Nuclear Bomb In Afghanistan; White House: Bomb Targeted ISIS Tunnel And Cave Complex; Trump's Foreign Policy Pivots; Assad Says Chemical Attack "100 Percent Fabrication"; CIA Director Speaks On U.S. Security; Lawyer: Dao Suffered Broken Nose, Concussion, Lost Teeth; Analysts: North Korea Could be Preparing Nuclear Test; European Court Says Russia Failed Beslan Victims; Trump Flip-Flops on Key Campaign Promises; Mauritius Cultivates Fast Growing Rum Industry. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired April 13, 2017 - 15:00:00   ET





HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Hala Gorani and we are live at CNN London. Thanks for being with us on this Thursday.


The American president, Donald Trump, is praising the military and its efforts in the war against ISIS, a praise that follows an announcement that

the U.S. military dropped the largest bomb it has in the arsenal that is nonnuclear on what it described as an ISIS tunnel and cave complex in


The MOAB stands for massive ordnance air blast bomb, but the nickname of the bomb is "the mother of all bombs" and it was dropped Thursday evening

in the action district of Nangarhar Province. Listen to President Trump.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We are so proud of our military and it was another successful event.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you authorize it, sir?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Everybody knows exactly what happened and what I do is that I authorize my military. We have the greatest military in the world

and they have done a job as usual. So we have given them total authorization, and that is what they are doing, and frankly, that is why

they have been so successful lately.

If you look at what has happened over to the last eight weeks, and compare to what really has happened over the last eight years, you will see the

tremendous difference, and tremendous difference, and so we have incredible leaders in the military, and incredible military, and we are very proud of

them, and this is another very, very successful mission.


GORANI: CNN military analyst, Colonel Cedric Leighton, joins me now from Washington, a retired Air Force colonel, a former member of the Joint

Chiefs of Staff and served as a deputy director for training at the National Security Agency.

First of all, thanks, sir, for being with us. Secondly, this war first against the Taliban now in parallel with that particular conflict there is

the fight against ISIS in Afghanistan, why now after 16 years this massive bomb that was developed during the Iraq war, but never used there?

COLONEL CEDRIC LEIGHTON, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Yes, that is a great question, Hala. My basic view on that is this, that this bomb is used not

only to send a signal and to actually inflict damage only ISIS in Afghanistan, but it is also there to send a signal to all the other players

around the world that may possibly want to challenge U.S. might.

So we are talking about North Korea, and talking about Syria, other forces in Afghanistan and obviously ISIS in Iraq and Syria so there are a lot of

different elements to this, but I think the effect is both kinetic and psychological. And that is a significant departure from what previous

administrations have done when it comes to the use of weapons of this type.

GORANI: And how accurate are they?

LEIGHTON: So, it is not itself a precision guided weapon, Hala, but what it is, it is a designed to fly, be flown, I should say flown low and slow

over the targeted area. So it's dropped off of the C-130 which is a transport aircraft and a propeller driven aircraft. And what it does is

the bomb is dropped by parachute so that there is no real guidance system not like you would find on a Tomahawk missile for example.

GORANI: Yes, and why wasn't it used in Iraq then? We are not even talking about the administration of Barack Obama, obviously a little bit more

reluctant to engage militarily at least in some parts of the world, but then why wasn't it used on Iraq if it has such psychological power as well

as a military purpose?

LEIGHTON: The difference I think is the type of the target, and so what you are dealing with in Iraq is any time that there were forces engaged,

they were engaged either in small towns, large cities or to some extent in the open desert.

[15:05:08]None of this, except for some of the areas around Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit none of the areas was there really an

extensive use of tunnels. Afghanistan is a completely different environment.

If you had used this kind of a bomb in Iraq, you would have had a lot of destructive power and violated the laws of proportionality when it comes to

warfare, and in this particular case in Afghanistan, because of the structure of the tunnels that ISIS and also al Qaeda use in parts of that

country especially in the eastern part.

That then requires that kind of the bomb in order to even penetrate through the rock and the sandstone and all of the other geologic features that are

over there.

GORANI: And Cedric, the other thing is obviously, people who look at this will say, look, if dropping the bombs on ISIS targets eliminated ISIS, we

wouldn't have ISIS anymore. The U.S. and its partners in Syria and Iraq have been bombing ISIS targets for many, many years. Why would this be any


LEIGHTON: Well, it is the desired effect from the bomb is that you will eventually get the enemy to stop fighting. In rare cases that is exactly

what happens, but usually, it involves the use of the massive amount of force or in the case of a nuclear device, then, of course, the Hiroshima

and Nagasaki effect, which got Japan to surrender in World War II.

But the reason that you don't do it is precisely because of the idea of proportionality. There are rules to warfare. There are also rules that

the U.S. imposes on itself and even if the other side does not follow certain rules, you don't want to overuse the types of weapons that you


And the other worry of course is collateral damage, you do not want to have to kill civilians when you don't need to do that.

GORANI: And we saw there was an error, by the way, in the fight against ISIS in Syria where there was some friendly fighters accidentally killed

today. Cedric Leighton, thanks so much for joining us. We always appreciate your analysis.

Our senior international correspondent, Nick Paton Walsh, joins me now live from Erbil. Ryan Browne is with us from the Pentagon. Nick, can you

please describe the area where this bomb was dropped?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Very mountainous and remote and incredibly hard to walk around much of the time. This is

some of the toughest territory frankly in the world, places where the U.S. has struggled in the outposts during what is that 16-year longest war.

Now bear in mind that this is the epicenter of where ISIS first emerged a couple of years ago. We have the first pictures of them and they have been

kicked out of that area where they often pushed civilians out initially by the Afghan Army and the succession of the U.S. drones and airstrikes as


But they found their footing and got back in there as well. Slowly and surely, they have spread across parts of Nangarhar. Now their influence

has been bolstered by the fact that there are many younger recruits, who frankly are tired of the branding of the Taliban.

Frankly super anyway to be exhausted in the insurgency, been fighting longer than the U.S. has in Afghanistan. ISIS a fresh branding that has

made many people gravitate towards them and they have better resources at times.

They have also been able to project power inside of Kabul, the capital. Recently attacking a military hospital very close to the U.S. Embassy. So

perhaps the use of this kind of firepower and the incredibly violent response is a measure of the threat they feel that ISIS pose in


But also to perhaps measure the deterioration more broadly of the security in that country, where arguably in some estimates half of the country or so

is contested by the Taliban or controlled by it. That is a serious mess.

And one important point to mention, too, Hala, you know, discussion about whether these bombs should be used or not, well, they've been available to

previous administrations, but don't get used because sadly no matter how hard you try, you end up catching civilians in the blast. And that often

turns the hearts and minds you're trying to win over in a --

GORANI: We've just lost -- we got a good chunk of his answer, though, which is a good thing. We just lost Nick Paton Walsh there in Southern

Turkey. But Ryan Browne is at the Pentagon.

So Ryan, let me ask you this, because when President Trump was campaigning, and even in the first few weeks of his presidency, it was all about America

first. No major military involvement in countries whose conflicts we cannot necessarily influence or want to influence.

Now we are seeing after the Syrian strike against the Syrian airfield, this big bomb dropped on Afghanistan. What is being said about the Pentagon

about this remarkable pivot?

RYAN BROWNE, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: Well, it is interesting. I think that in this particular case in Afghanistan, this weapon was moved

into Afghanistan we are just being told by our sources here prior to Trump taking office. It was actually requested by the Commander General John

Nicholson, the commander of the U.S. forces in Afghanistan prior to his taking office in January.

[15:10:11]So it is a capability that they had sought authority for, for some time. We believed that it was then this target was identified this

target of opportunity, and of course, as Nick mentioned, it is very remote area, in Nangarhar Province, so it lends itself to this type of the weapon.

And of course, Donald Trump has long talked about the ramping up the ISIS fight as a candidate and while it is an affiliate ISIS in Afghanistan,

largely formed from other insurgent terror groups, the Islamic movement in Uzbekistan and Pakistani Taliban that had been in the region.

But it is an affiliate of ISIS and so the authority to target it has been given to military commanders there for some time, so the latest use of the

massive 20,000-pound bomb dropped out of the back of a C-130 transport aircraft is part of that effort.

GORANI: Ryan Browne, thanks very much at the Pentagon. Of course, it is not just Afghanistan and Syria and Iraq, but another major foreign policy

issue on Donald Trump's plate is North Korea. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says Pyongyang may have the capability to deliver missiles equipped with

sarin nerve gas, according to the Japanese prime minister.

And the North may be preparing a six nuclear test ahead of a key anniversary in the country on Saturday. Alexandra Field reports from



ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Satellite images appear the to show new activity at North Korea's main nuclear site, analysts say

it is primed and prepped for the country's sixth nuclear test. The tension rising while concerns are growing over whether the regime could

pose a chemical weapons threat.

SHINZO ABE, JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER (through translator): There is a possibility that North Korea has already a capability to put sarin warheads

to strike the ground. Just recently over hundred innocent citizens including babies and children fell victim to this gas in Syria.

FIELD: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe calling the security situation increasingly severe as U.S. warships reached the waters of the Korean

Peninsula, a warning message from Washington.

TONG ZHAO, ASSOCIATE, CARNEGIE-TSINGHUA CENTER FOR GLOBAL POLICY: And many believe that the North Korean leadership is irrational, and willing to do

anything for the regime survival.

FIELD: The goal for North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-un, an intercontinental missile capable of delivering a nuclear tip warhead to the

continental U.S. Analysts say he is already capable of creating regional chaos, disaster with chemical weapons.

ZHAO: It is not very economical for the North Koreans to use an ICBM, to deliver some chemical weapon agents all of the way to the homeland of the

United States. It only makes sense for nuclear warhead deliveries. So again, I agree that chemical can weapons are more relevant for regional

targets such as Seoul and some targets in Japan.

FIELD: Two years ago, U.S. defense officials concluded North Korea was capable of it. North Korea probably has had a longstanding chemical

weapons program with the capability to produce nerve, blister, blood, and choking agents. They probably could employ chemical weapons agents by

modifying a variety of conventional munitions including artillery and ballistic missiles.

In 2011, former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry testified --

JOHN KERRY, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: They have one of the largest stockpiles in the world.

FIELD: Kim Jong-un is already accused of deploying a chemical weapon of mass destruction. U.S. and South Korean officials say VX agent was used to

kill his half-brother, Kim Jong-nam and that the dictator ordered the hit. North Korea denies any involvement. Alexandra Field, CNN, Seoul, South



GORANI: A lot to talk about in terms of how Donald Trump has been approaching foreign policy and their strategy there. Ryan Lizza join me

now live from Washington. He is a CNN political commentator and the Washington correspondent for the "New Yorker."

So Ryan, first of all, lots of 180s and pivots. This is a president who claimed America first would be how his foreign policy will be defined, but

in the first 84 days, we have seen an airstrike on a Syrian air base. Now we've seen the mother of all bombs dropped on Afghanistan, and military

reinforcements headed to the Korean Peninsula. What is going on?

RYAN LIZZA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think the Donald Trump is facing the reality of America's role in the world. You could add to that

list some of his comments this week about NATO, and how he no longer believes it is obsolete.

You know, George W. Bush made some comments this week that I think are very relevant that, you know, sometimes presidents come into the power with a

protectionist and nationalist agenda, but they are quickly learn that in the modern era the United States can't isolate itself, and can't protect

itself economically.

[15:15:05]And that they end up being much more interventionalist and internationalist than sometimes the rhetoric on the campaign trail. Look,

I think what is a little striking about some of these things is it sometimes when Trump talks about them, it seems like he is learning about

the complexities of these issues for the first time.

And that he didn't really do this sort of due diligence on some of these issues before coming up with positions during the campaign and now he is

realizing, OK, he is president.

GORANI: Yes. He is president. He has to learn about all these issues and these conflicts that have been so protracted. Afghanistan is a perfect

example where we are in year 16 now, and the U.S. is using its biggest bomb in its arsenal, the biggest nonnuclear bomb in its arsenal, and leaving the

door open to further intervention inside of Syria as well. I mean, I wonder what the next few months will -- how the next few months will unfold


LIZZA: Yes. Look, on Syria, I don't think that Trump or any of the main foreign policy advisers want to escalate. I think that they are drawing

the line at deterrence of Assad's use of chemical weapons. So far, it seems like that is all they want to do is make sure he doesn't use chemical

weapons again rather than intervene in a more serious way with boots on the ground, or you know, taking out his air defense forces or anything like


With Afghanistan, it does seem like from Donald Trump's remarks earlier today, he gave a broader military authorization than President Obama had.

It's when he was asked at the White House a few minutes ago if he authorized the use of this bomb, he suggested that he didn't.

If you read between the lines of what he said, he suggested that the military simply had the authorization to use this and didn't need to give

him a head's up. So that suggests some of the rules of engagement perhaps have been less restrained in Afghanistan.

GORANI: Right, loosened a bit, yes, absolutely. Now on North Korea because this is going to be a big challenge especially as we expect

potentially another nuclear test this weekend to coincide with an important anniversary, this is what Donald Trump had to say about what the U.S. could

do with regards to North Korea, and then I'll have you react.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: President Xi wants to do the right thing. We had a very good bonding. I think we had a

very good chemistry together. I think that he wants to help us with North Korea. We talked trade. We talked a lot of thing, and I said the way

you're going to make a good trade deal is to help us with North Korea. Otherwise, we are just going to go it alone.


GORANI: So what does that mean, Ryan, "go it alone"?

LIZZA: Well, first of all, it is very highly unusual to tie bilateral trade agreements with the world's most complicated and vexing and dangerous

national security issue North Korea's nukes. So I would say that is highly unusual.

He did this week say that he will not be declaring China a currency manipulator so maybe that is the start of this deal he is talking about.

He backed off a major campaign promise, something the Chinese have to be happy about.

The second point, you know, "The Wall Street Journal" interview, I believe it was, this week, he said that after talking to President Xi, he realized

after 10 minutes that what he had believed about China's influence over North Korea was incorrect.

In other words, Trump for two years has been saying that the Chinese could solve the North Korean problem easily, and after ten minutes of talking to

the leader of China, he suddenly learned that that was no longer true and it was all more complicated.

He has also had some positive things to say about the leader of China that is in stark contrast to the way he talked about China on the campaign


GORANI: Yes, and he talked about the dessert that they shared when he informed him that he had ordered a strike against Syria. Last one about

Russia, the relationship here, Rex Tillerson, you know, it was in some ways probably, a tense meeting and others not really because he spent three and

a half hours with Sergey Lavrov and then he had a two-hour meeting with Vladimir Putin.

It's not exactly a new cold war, but highly unusual, the kremlin released no pictures of this meeting and we don't know what is going on. I mean,

America's top diplomat is engaging in crucial discussions about the future of America's relationship with Russia and we don't have any detail about

what is being said?

LIZZA: Hala, can you still hear me, I lost you for the last 10 seconds there.

GORANI: Yes, I was going to say Rex Tillerson, America's top diplomat is engaging in incredibly important and crucial discussions with Russia and we

don't know what is being said or discussed.

LIZZA: Yes, two things here, on the press, the press was not taken, the press poll that Tillerson brought with him to Russia was not taken to the

kremlin for the meeting. They are saying the meeting was last-second so they didn't have time.

And then secondly, they are not -- the American administration is not giving detailed readouts of these meetings and not even the bare bones

readouts that we usually get, and that is highly unusual.

[15:20:07]I think in general, it was always -- there were too many things that divided Russia and the United States for this relationship to be as

easy to get back on track as Trump thought it would.

And I think the fact that there are so much in the American press with the investigations over Russia's influence, I think it has had a backlash in

the Trump administration where they have had to take a tougher line on Russia because otherwise it seems, you know, these questions of collusion

during the campaign become even more uncomfortable for them.

The good news is at least Tillerson -- the U.S. and Russia is talking and sort of, it is, you know, a baseline if any progress is going to be made in

the relationship, but obviously, what happened in Syria with the missile strikes was a big blow to what Trump thought was going to be a new alliance

in Syria.

Remember, 13 days ago the White House was talking about Assad staying, and then a few days later, we are bombing him.

GORANI: Talk about a 180 on many fronts. Ryan Lizza, as always, thanks so much for joining us.

LIZZA: My pleasure.

GORANI: Coming up, western countries say the evidence is overwhelming, but Bashar al-Assad says the chemical attack blamed on his regime is a

complete, quote, "fabrication." The Syrian leader speaks out just ahead.


GORANI: The Syrian leader, Bashar al-Assad says his regime has never used chemical weapons and no longer even has a chemical arsenal. He is speaking

out publicly for the first time since last week's U.S. missile strike on one of his air bases.

That a strike was in response to the chemical weapons attack on a rebel- held town, and that attack was widely blamed on Assad's forces. The Syrian leader spoke to the AFP News agency in Damascus but insisted that his own

staff filmed the interview. Listen.


BASHAR AL-ASSAD, SYRIAN PRESIDENT: We don't know whether the dead children were the (inaudible) -- were they dead at all? Who committed the attack if

there was an attack? What is the method of -- you have no information at all. Nothing at all. It is not investigated.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you are saying it is a fabrication?

ASSAD: Definitely, 100 percent, it is fabrication. We don't have arsenal and we are not going to be using it, and you have many indications if you

don't have proof, because nobody has complete information or evidences.


GORANI: All right. Now let's get more from our senior international correspondent, Ben Wedeman, live tonight from the Syrian/Turkish border.

And Ben, the Syrian government only released the first five questions in televised form. There is a full transcript out there, but only the five

questions were actually aired on television and released as video. Not a surprise obviously that Bashar al-Assad is denying any involvement here.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Not really. Here is just doubling down on the denials that we have heard from the Syrian state

media, and other Syrian officials, a flat 100 percent denial that anything happened.

[15:25:12]Earlier we'd heard Syrian officials talking about an airstrike on some sort of warehouse that contained chemical weapons in the possession of

the Syria's al Qaeda affiliate. He sort of dealt with that claim much further down in the interview, but by in large, he seemed to be saying

nothing happened here. Move along.

And he even as you ran that bite from him where he talks about the children who -- the shots of the children dying or dead as a result of that strike

saying were they dead at all, and so he seems to -- yes.

GORANI: If I can just have you standby one moment, we'll get right back to you, but the CIA director is addressing some of the issues in the news

today speaking on national security. Mike Pompeo is speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Let's listen in.

MIKE POMPEO, CIA DIRECTOR: -- and persuaded Libya to abandon its nuclear program. We have also been on the cutting edge of technological innovation

throughout our history. The CIA-led efforts to develop the U2 aircraft and orbiting satellites. Endeavors that allowed us to surveil activities in

rebel states that were closed to us.

We've pushed the boundaries to the possible ways that would benefit both the security and the welfare of the American public. More recently, CIA

investment technology venture in 2003 led to the development of what we know today as Google Earth.

My first few months on the job have only reaffirmed for me that the innovative spirit and can-do attitude are much alive and well. So now I

would like to talk about what the CIA does not do. We are a foreign intelligence agency and we are focused on collecting information about

foreign governments, foreign terrorist organizations, and the like, not Americans.

A number of specific rules keep us centered on that mission and protect the privacy of our fellow Americans. To take just one important example, CIA

is legally prohibited from spying on people through electronic surveillance in the United States.

We are not tapping anyone's phone in my hometown of Wichita. I know there were always be skeptics and we need to both trust with them. But I also

know firsthand from what I saw on the Congressional Oversight Committee and from what I see now as the director, the CIA takes its legal

responsibilities and restrictions with the utmost seriousness.

We have stringent regulations and engage in robust office of the general counsel and an empowered independent office of inspector general to make

sure of that. Moreover, regardless of what you see on the silver screen, we do not pursue covert action on a whim and without the approval or


There is a comprehensive process that starts with the president consists of many levels of legal and policy review. Let me assure you when it comes to

covert action there is oversight and accountability every step of the way.

And I inherited an agency that has deep respect for the rule of law in the Constitution. It's embedded in the very fiber of the people that work at

the CIA. And despite fictional depictions meant to sell books or box office tickets, we are not untethered or rogue agency.

And so while we have had some truly awesome capabilities at our disposal, officers do not operate in areas or against targets that are rightfully and

legally off limits. At our core, we are an organization committed to uncovering the truth and getting it right. We can devote ourselves to

protecting our trade --

GORANI: All right, the CIA Director Mike Pompeo there speaking in Washington defending his agency saying they do not engage in domestic

surveillance saying despite what you might see on television, maybe referring to homeland, for instance, that they are not a rogue agency like

you might see on TV.

Ben Wedeman is still live with us at the Syrian-Turkish border. Let's get back to Assad here, is he under any kind of pressure after that U.S.

strike, after perhaps the possibility that the U.S. and Russia may eventually come to some sort of agreement to sort of push him away from the

leadership position? Is he feeling any pressure?

WEDEMAN: Well, I think he is feeling pressure as a result of Thursday night's air strike on that base in Central Syria, and perhaps away from the

sort of the public view, the Russians may be telling him that he might have gone too far in this instance.

But certainly, he is publicly, he is feeling no pressure from the people or rather the countries that count when it comes to Syria. Publicly Russia

seems to be on the same page as Bashar al-Assad. Iran definitely is. Hezbollah is, and those are the players that are backing this regime to the


[15:30:00] So, yes, he may feel compelled on the international stage to come out and redouble his denials that we have heard before. We have heard

after this attack and of course, after that attack on the 21st of

August, 2013, which was much more serious when you consider what happened. More than a thousand people were killed in that instance.

And it's important to remember, at the time, citizen Donald Trump urged President Obama not to attack Syria. And now after a much smaller chemical

attack, which left, we believe, 89 people dead, he launched a missile strike on Syria. So, President Bashar al-Assad, he has his own reasons for

giving this interview, but certainly, as I said, his friends aren't pressing him to change his ways, at least, publicly -- Hala.

HALA GORANI, CNN ANCHOR: Right. Ben Wedeman, thanks very much. Still to come, what these satellite images tell us about North Korea's nuclear plans

and where the threat level really stands. We fill you in when we come back.


GORANI: United Airlines is promising that it will change its policies after that viral video of a man being violently dragged from an airplane

sparked a P.R. nightmare. But for the ejected passenger captured in this video, it may be too little, too late.

David Dao seems to be gearing up for a massive lawsuit against the airline. In an emotionally charged press conference, his lawyer claimed Dao suffered

serious injuries, including a broken nose, a concussion, and two broken teeth. Listen to how Dao's attorney compared the episode to the terror his

client suffered during the Vietnam War.


THOMAS DEMETRIO, DAO FAMILY ATTORNEY: He said that he left Vietnam in 1975 when Saigon fell. And he was on a boat, and he said he was terrified. He

said that being dragged down the aisle was more horrifying and harrowing than what he had experienced in leaving Vietnam.


GORANI: Well, CNN's Ryan Young was at that press conference earlier. He joins me now live from Chicago.

So will they sue? Are they hoping for a settlement? It looks like they have a clear strategy already.

RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think that is the big question right now, but you are absolutely right about that clear strategy. I think

all of us were taken aback about the idea that the doctor will have to have reconstructive surgery after this incident. So many people watching that

video, and so many passengers now reaching out to the lawyer for this man to talk about exactly what happened.

[15:35:05] One of the women who's actually sitting behind him is pregnant, and she expressed that she was in fear for her life after the way these

three aviation officers were acting. Something that we should note, all three officers have now been put on paid suspension after this incident.

They don't work for United. They work for the Aviation Department.

And so far, the attorney says that not only has United not contacted them, but the city of Chicago has not reached out. Now, the attorneys have also

filed in Civil Court so far, the Circuit Court actually. They want to preserve all evidence in this case.

They believe this man will become a model for what is going to happen in the airline industry, because they want to take back passenger rights.

This news conference lasted an hour long. All of us sitting there, sort of surprised about some of the details that we were learning.

GORANI: Yes, absolutely. The concussion, the fact that he lost two teeth, his nose was broken, all of that. I mean, we all were horrified at the

video but didn't realize, I guess, that his injuries were so extensive.

His daughter was there. He wasn't. He's receiving treatment. This is what she had to say.


CRYSTAL DAO PEPPER, DAVID DAO'S DAUGHTER: It has been a very difficult time for our entire family, especially my dad. And we are truly grateful

for your support. What happened to my dad should've never happened to any human being, regardless of the circumstance. We were horrified and shocked

and sickened to learn what had happened to him and to see what had happened to him. We hope that in the future nothing like this happens again.


GORANI: So that is Dr. Dao's daughter. Do we know where he is right now and what the next step is exactly?

YOUNG: Well, we've been told he has been released from the hospital. He does face that surgery. He also has told his attorney that he does not

want to get on another plane, so maybe they will drive him back to Louisville, Kentucky.

But you have to think about this, how the cell phone has changed this entire conversation. With everyone now having video cameras in their

hands, we have all these separate bits of video that's putting this together. And the idea that this has lasted for several days where the

world has been paying attention to what happened to this man on the flight, it's almost like everyone's standing up and saying, enough is enough.

You talk about Dr. Dao and his daughter there, she is one of four others that are also part of this family who've all had to sort of stop their

lives, they say, to watch this and to feel that pain over and over again as this video gets replayed across the world.

GORANI: Ryan Young, thanks very much, following this story for us.

YOUNG: Thank you.

GORANI: Returning to one of our top stories, worrying signs on the Korean Peninsula. Donald Trump calls North Korea a problem that, quote, "will be

taken care of." But what threat does Pyongyang really pose? Let's break this down.

Philip Yun is a former North Korea advisor under President Clinton. He joins us via Skype from San Francisco, California.

So, Mr. Yun, thanks for being with us. We all saw the satellite imagery -- we can pop it up on our screen for the viewers as well there -- detailing

some of the activity around a nuclear facility. 38 North is the agency, the organization, that collects this intelligence and shares it with the

public. What should we make of some of the satellite photos that have been released?

PHILIP YUN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AND CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, PLOUGHSHARES FUND: Well, it seems pretty clear that the North Koreans are preparing for

a test. And so the question is, basically, when is it going to happen?

It could very well happen tomorrow, which is the anniversary of the birthday of the grandfather, Kim Jong-Il, or it could be a month from now.

It really is a political decision, essentially, for the North Koreans. They are going to figure out how they can get the most advantage when

examining their external relations, their internal relations, as well as their military considerations as they figure out when to do this.


YUN: As a result of all this escalation that you've been talking about, it is something that we have expected would be an outcome, an actual test of

some kind, whether it's nuclear or missile. It's not a cause, necessarily, these military games that are happening right now, but it is a product or

an excuse for the North Koreans to do what they want to do.

GORANI: And what does it tell us about how far North Korea is to developing, to weaponizing its nuclear program? Because that's really what

the world cares about at this stage.

YUN: Well, I think you can assume that North Korea has basically weaponized. That they've had five tests in the last 10 years, if they do

another test tomorrow or a month from now, that's six tests. That's a significant number of tests.

GORANI: You're saying weaponized --

YUN: And if you compare them to other countries --

GORANI: Let me just jump in. You mean they can fit nuclear material onto a missile, whether it's medium or long-range. Do you think they're at that

stage of development?

YUN: That is what we're assuming that they're going to be able to do with this sixth test. That they'll be able to do that, that's is the

assumption. I mean, no one knows for sure.

But what you can say is that in the next five to 10 years, you can assume that if things continue as they are, that North Korea will have a small

nuclear arsenal, maybe 25 to 50, that will have the capability of hitting the United States.

[15:40:10] It doesn't have that right now, and it's going to take a little time. But right now, they have the capability, the missile and the

delivery capability, to hit pretty much all of South Korea and Japan. So this is a situation that has to be dealt with very soon. We have time.

GORANI: But how do you deal with it? I mean, is it a military confrontation? How much influence does China have in this?

YUN: Right. So what we have is, basically, there are three options. Other than, you know, we're not going to surrender to North Korea. So one

is to take the path that we have right now have done, which is sanctions and pressure. It hasn't work. It's a policy that the United States has

tried outsourcing to China. It has not worked.

People are talking a lot, in loose talk, about a preemptive strike, that would cause scores, tens and hundreds of thousands, of casualties in Seoul

and start another Korean war. So the only option that we have right now is to use pressure in a way to get North Korea to agree to a freeze over the

short term, not the do anymore missile tests, and not to do any more nuclear the tests with an attempt, at some point later on, to --

GORANI: But how do you achieve that, because that would be great? It would be great if they froze the program for people who are very concerned

about this weaponized nuclear program, or potentially weaponized nuclear program. How do you get the leader and leaders of North Korea to agree to

a freeze?

YUN: Well, what you have to do is to basically coordinate with China, South Korea, Japan, and the United States. So what we've had right now is

China playing good cop, and the United States playing bad cop. You know, that is great.

That can work if it's coordinated, but to this point, they haven't been coordinated and they've had very basic disagreements on how to approach

North Korea. Given that, there is a huge gap that North Korea has been able to drive through and to do essentially what it wants.

So what has to happen is that China has to be willing to use stronger and more serious sticks. And the United States, South Korea, and Japan on the

other hand have to be willing to use much more sweeter carrots.

GORANI: All right.

YUN: That is the only way right now we're going to be able to figure out a solution.

GORANI: And time is of the essence if we're talking about a test potentially this weekend.

Thanks very much, Philip Yun, for joining us. We really appreciate your expertise.

Coming up, after a 13-year fight, a court says Russia failed the victims of the worst terror attack in Russian history. We'll hear from the families

affected by the Beslan school siege. We'll be right back.


GORANI: Well, it was one of the worst terror attacks in history. Three hundred thirty people including more than 180 children lost their lives in

the Beslan school siege. Now more than a decade later, a court in Strasburg is pointing the finger of blame right at Russia.

[15:45:02] The European Court of Human Rights says Moscow failed to a thousand people taken hostage by Chechen rebels in 2004. This is some file

video of that terrible time in North Ossetia. The operation by Russian forces to free them resulted in massive casualties, it was a disaster.

Judges ruled that they used disproportionate force and ordered Moscow to pay $3 million in damages.

It was an emotional day in Beslan where the victims' families welcomed the verdict but pledged to keep fighting for justice.


EMMA TAGAYEVA, RELATIVE OF BESLAN SCHOOL SIEGE VICTIM (through translator): We will press for those guilty for that terrorist attack to be punished

because I have already said that impunity brings new tragedies. As a mother who lost her children, I don't want other people to go through such

tragedy because it is so horrible to bury your children.


GORANI: One of the people who lost their children. Well, Moscow rejects all of this. Kremlin's spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, said, "It is

impossible for us to agree. Such wordings for a country coming under an attack are, of course, absolutely unacceptable." This is from the Kremlin


Back to U.S. politics now. Donald Trump came to power with a nationalistic, America first policy. We heard it a lot during the

campaign, with hardline rhetoric on NATO saying it was obsolete, China saying it is a currency manipulator. And this week, though, all the tables

have been turned on the policies.

So 84 days in, where are we headed? Let's bring in David Swerdlick, CNN Political Commentator and assistant editor at "The Washington Post."

Those are some pretty major 180s by the President. Of course, there was bombing of the Syrian air base. I went to bed on one day, thinking Donald

Trump was happy keeping Assad where he is and only fighting against ISIS, woke up the next morning and he had bombed a Syrian air base. And we have

all the other pivots. So what exactly is going on?

DAVID SWERDLICK, ASSISTANT EDITOR, THE WASHINGTON POST: Yes, Hala. You are right, these are some major 180s. But doing 180s, doing flip-flops, is

what Donald Trump does. It is what President Trump does.

In addition to all of those things that you named, in "The Wall Street Journal" yesterday, they also reported that he has changed his position on

the U.S. Export-Import Bank, on whether or not he favors Fed Chair Janet Yellen staying in her job, the list goes on.

Back during the campaign, Hala, he flip-flopped on something like abortion, on universal health coverage, from positions he had taken a decade or so

ago. President Trump is consistent at being inconsistent.

When it comes to NATO, as you just described, I think what's going on is that now that he has gotten into this position where he did the Tomahawk

missile strike last week and sees that, on the one hand, he got some bipartisan praise for it but, on the other hand, he doesn't quite see the

road ahead, he wants to have allies by his side. Who are our allies? It's NATO.

GORANI: Yes, but, David --


GORANI: David, what does that make him? That makes him a traditional Republican politician. That's not why his supporters voted for him.

SWERDLICK: Great question, Hala. That's right. A lot of the people who supported him, his most hard core supporters, thought he was going to turn

to, as you said, this America-first idea, that we were going to stay out of the world's affairs and do, quote/unquote, "nation building at home."

But, again, these are the realities of governing that hit any president, including Donald Trump, once they get into the office and see the options

arrayed before them on the resolute desk in the Oval Office.

GORANI: Let me ask you a question about Steve Bannon --


GORANI: -- his chief strategist and all these reports that he's being sidelined. Donald Trump even threw shade at him in a "New York Post"

interview. What is going on there? Because, he obviously headed Breitbart News. Breitbart is running the big headlines on, we want a president for

America, not a president for the world.

SWERDLICK: That's right.

GORANI: There seems to be quite a divide forming here.

SWERDLICK: A divide is forming. I don't know that I'm prepared to say that Steve Bannon is on his way out, but I think what we've seen in the

last week or two is that his influence, at least at the moment, has somewhat been diminished or downgraded relative to President Trump's son-

in-law, Jared Kushner.

The reason partly is, as you just said a moment ago, Hala, this idea that President Trump is turning slightly, in a few cases, particularly foreign

policy, toward a more traditional Republican point of view or, at least, recent Republican point of view.

But the other thing is that Bannon is suffering from having been one of the key advisers during the first 80 or so days of this administration where

President Trump has enjoyed pretty poor poll numbers. He was in the mid- 30s. Now, he's up to about 40 but that's not where President Trump wants to be as he rounds out his first 100 days.

The other thing, if I can just one more thing quickly --

GORANI: Yes. Yes, please.

SWERDLICK: -- is that Steve Bannon likes to be an irritant to the establishment. Donald Trump, as much as he shot from the hip during the

campaign, he wants the approval of the Washington establishment, and that, I think, is where the divide comes in.

[15:50:05] GORANI: Now, the other issue is, and I don't know if this is something that Donald Trump views as a problem, but Sean Spicer just keeps

making gaffe after gaffe. The Hitler/Assad remark, that went down terribly obviously. And every time

he tried to backtrack, it seemed as though he was making it worse. Then he apologized.

What's going to happen there? Because Donald Trump has been giving more and more interviews, potentially, because maybe he feels that he's not

being represented by his representatives as well as he'd like.

SWERDLICK: Yes, so Press Secretary Spicer has to gather up some credibility and do it fast. I will say just to set the record straight, he

did apologize very quickly, and it was a full-throated apology and it seemed sincere. I only know him a little bit. I don't know him real well,

but I do think that he meant to clear that up and express, you know, that it was a mea culpa, that he did not mean it as it came across.

But that being said, the Press Secretary of the President of United States has to know that making a Hitler analogy when you're talking about al-Assad

is just not the right thing to do. It's a no-go. One dictator can be reprehensible and evil, and another can be reprehensible and evil without

comparing the two. That was just a flat out mistake by a communications --

GORANI: Yes. No, I wasn't questioning --

SWERDLICK: -- professional. Yes.

GORANI: I wasn't questioning his sincerity when he apologized.


GORANI: It's just kind of a major gaffe and, yes, it kind of distracted from, I imagine, the message that Donald Trump would like to send out.


GORANI: The last question I want to ask you is he did receive a lot of praise for bombing that Syrian airfield. We'll wait and see in the next

few hours and days how the United States and political leaders reacting to this Afghanistan bomb, the mother of all bombs being dropped in



GORANI: But, you know, is it possible that, strategically, Donald Trump might see it as a political opportunity, if there is an opportunity to sort

of engage militarily, to take it rather than avoid it?

SWERDLICK: So, right now, I think it's fair to say that the facts are still coming in, and that, you know, by all accounts, at least up to this

point, the military had, you know, a strategic and tactical reason for dropping that bomb. We'll see if that's what comes out in the reporting in

the days ahead.

But, yes, it's also true that President Trump wants to be seen as a man of action and wants to sort of send a message that there is a new sheriff in

town, that he's turning the page from President Obama. I think that clearly was an ancillary benefit, to him at least, of the Tomahawk missile

strike at the Syrian airbase last week. I think that it's potentially true as well for the case of dropping this MOAB bomb in Afghanistan, but I think

that story is still developing, Hala.

GORANI: David Swerdlick, as always, thanks so much. Great talking to you.

SWERDLICK: Thank you.

GORANI: We'll be right back after a quick break.


GORANI: All this week, we are taking you to the island of Mauritius, a big destination obviously for the tourist industry, but also if you're a fan of

rum. Take a look.


WENDA ROSE BHEEKA, SALES SUPERVISOR, RHUMERIE DE CHAMAREL: My name is Wendi. I welcome you to our rum factory, Caramel Rum factory. And I will

be your guide for the tour. I will explain you about the production of Caramel rum.

[15:55:03] Our rum factory exists since 2008, nearly nine years, and we produce agricultural rum. It's a rum which is made from the juice of the

sugar cane. You have industrial rum also, which is made from molasses, which is the rest of sugar.

So the sugar cane is a plant similar to the bamboo. But the bamboo is empty, so sugar cane is full of juice and fibers. So here we need the

juice to make the rum. All the harvest is done manually. The sugar cane are planted on sloppy lands, and the climate is very good, or suited to

have a good variety of sugar cane.

Let's go down. I will show you the factory.

We started like with 20, 50 percent per day. Now we are welcoming 400, 500 guests per day. Everything is done here, from the growth of the sugar

cane, the harvest, the preparation of the juice, up to distillation and aging of rums in the barrels.

We will place the sugar cane in horizontal way. They will be passing in a, first, machine, which is called a cane cutter where the long stem will be

cut into little pieces. And then afterwards, they will pass in the second machine with 24 hammers to break the sugar cane. Because the stem is very

hard, we need to break them and then crush them in the mills afterwards.

These are all the different types of rum that we produce here. Over there, they are really enjoying tasting all these different types of rum, starting

from the rum punch going to white rum, double the serum, ending by the liquors. So they have all these rums to taste over there. I guess that

they are very happy.


BHEEKA: Most people around the world used to travel, they used to discover rum from Martinique, Guadalupe, and other places. So discovering Mauritius

for its sand, sea, beach, and rum, it's something very new, which is very interesting. There is a lot of demand for that.


GORANI: Well, this has been THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. Thanks for watching. I'm Hala Gorani.

Stay with CNN. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is next.