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WORLD RIGHT NOW WITH HALA GORANI
Iraqi PM Declares Victory Over ISIS In Mosul; Daunting Task Of Rebuilding Mosul Lies Ahead; Peace Talks Resume In Geneva; NYT: Trump Jr. Met Russian For Damaging Info On Clinton; White House On Defensive Over Russia Revelations; Trump Changes Story On U.S.-Russia Cybersecurity Unit; Trump Tweet Aims At Comey After "Hill" Report. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired July 10, 2017 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello. I'm Isa Soares sitting in for Hala Gorani. This is THE WORLD RIGHT NOW.
A very warm welcome. We begin this hour in Iraq. Three years ago, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi stood in a mosque in Mosul and announced the creation of
the so-called Islamic caliphate.
Now three years later, the entire city has been retaken from ISIS. That was formally announced in the last few hours or so by the Iraqi Prime
Minister, Haider Al-Abadi.
Well, the historic city has been brought to its knees by months of fighting and our Nick Paton Walsh saw this firsthand in a city this morning. He
sent us this report.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's like something supernatural or other worldly sent it.
(on camera): This destruction absolutely breathtaking and really a sign of the dusts and bones that ISIS have left in their way.
(voice-over): The old city of Mosul, the damage new, a city gone, and Mosul almost free of ISIS. Elsewhere, Iraqis are celebrating victory
dancing in the streets.
And here the streets are still being ground to rubble and the last hundred yards of ISIS. The group that once held swades (ph) of Iraq and Syria
found here (inaudible) we are told.
(on camera): There it is (inaudible) the heart of Mosul that marks the end of ISIS territory in Iraq really, but between these Iraqi Special Forces
and that body of water that marks victory are still just dozens of ISIS fighters still holding out.
(voice-over): American airstrikes hammer them.
(on camera): The intensity and proximity of the fighting here. Airstrikes are called in right next to Iraqi forces. They even feel the rubble
landing in their faces.
(voice-over): Perhaps because this really is the end. Some of them appear to give themselves up. A sniper still there. They are welcomed. Carry
him, carry him, the commander shouts.
After the mosques, (inaudible) of propaganda, now we finally see what the Iraqi soldiers say is the true human and defeated face of ISIS. This man
appears like he has a disability and has asked how many got here.
ISIS forced me here he insists. He fought the world war on ISIS here in Mosul and now (inaudible) passed dead fighters. (Inaudible) was Willis at
the start and has lost many friends.
(on camera): How does it feel?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I feel tired. I am tried to (inaudible) the operation here after all this nine months.
WALSH: (Inaudible) planted the Iraqi flag he says on the river bank the day before, but this isn't a battle of flags anymore, but for ISIS of
smaller cells and survival.
So the fight went on even as the official declaration from Iraq's prime minister announced victory. So it will be (inaudible).
SOARES: Well, Nick is now backing a bill in Northern Iraq, he joins me now. Nick, as we saw in that report, in Mosul that morning, what does
victory mean for those on the ground and crucially what happens next? Because you have a unique perspective because you've covered the story for
so long now.
WALSH: At some degree, the fighting is still going on the very smallest remnants that ISIS fighters, we understand in the last hour, still holding
out. But this announcement means that I think those certainly Mosul will try and draw a line under this desperate chapter in their recent history.
Three years and 11 days since ISIS Leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi announced that beginning of the caliphate in the Al-Nuri Mosque, which we passed
today, which was destroyed by ISIS own hand.
Apparently, they didn't want it falling into the hands of their enemy despite it being one of the most sacred buildings in their own
ideology and really I think Mosul now has a desperate task also to rebuild.
You saw the old city there. It doesn't resemble anything that could remotely support human life. We saw civilians trying to come back to the
wreckage pass trying to salvage what they could.
A group headed towards that mosque, but really that is a job where people probably have to start from scratch unfortunately. There's so much
rubbles. So many booby traps potentially.
Some of the ISIS corpses there as well. That's the worst part of the destruction, but the rest of Mosul too equally suffering buildings
flattened via strikes. It's a very lengthy task.
It has to be quick frankly because the very many city local population there who felt disenfranchised by predominantly Shia government and
military that have taken ISIS on their extremists went with ISIS.
So the question really is how do you get back in the folds to ensure that something similar doesn't occur again in the future and bear in mind too
that the fight against ISIS hasn't stopped?
There are smaller towns where they retain a presence and they are going to be a low-level insurgency. But today, it was important I think really for
many marks the end of two days in which they celebrated I think the major population center of Mosul no longer being one that ISIS controls -- Isa.
SOARES: Yes, and that's why critically, of course, Nick, the political reconsideration is important here, but what happens if just doesn't go far
enough. Does this open the door for ISIS 2.0?
WALSH: Remember ISIS was sort of Al Qaeda in Iraq 2.0 to some degree so the sort of sense of extremist Sunni disenfranchisement, their anger, and
the way that's expressed through harsh ideology is nothing new here.
So yes, there is a bit trying to be sure that those people feel that they have no part in modern Iraqi-Shia dominated society have an alternative and
there is a great risk of that happening again particularly after the extreme violence of this conflict on both sides.
There have been atrocities to some degree or I shouldn't understate quite how ISIS ideology uses brutality as its sort of central tenant, but yes,
there is a risk of the certainly and there is a risk of the billions potentially put aside for reconstruction being (inaudible) in corruption.
And that's nothing Iraq is a stranger to. Huge challenges ahead, but perhaps also in the last 48 hours, (inaudible) Iraq claims to consider an
awful chapter to have ended even though it's unfortunately a sad (inaudible) that's been going for about 15 years of internal conflict --
SOARES: In your report, you said Mosul was just dusts and bones, of course, Mosul was once a bustling trading hub and home to some 2.5 million
people before ISIS seized control.
From what you seen this morning, how do authorities begin rebuilding in what's left of it?
WALSH: Slowly at times mindful of booby traps. I should point out the scenes you saw there, I mean, you step 3 kilometers away from that area,
you drive out in the streets around the old city, people are having perhaps go by the normal life buying paints, heavy traffic like life is desperately
trying to get back to normal.
Remember, there are people living in plastic tents (inaudible) camps in the outskirts of Mosul just want to get home again frankly and keep rebuilding.
So it's a quite strong chance that life's tempo will pick up again normally.
But there will be the consistent risk of suicide bombers, car bombs, potentially ISIS trying to make their presence still felt and also possibly
some animosity between the security forces now, whose major tip of the spear you saw there, the Special Forces are exhausted.
It had a massive casualties in their ranks. They may well hand over security to perhaps federal police, who have their own sectarian issues
potentially. It's difficult and scary challenge ahead frankly to prevent ISIS coming back.
To make the local cooperation sensitive to the government, there are enormous challenges ahead (inaudible) on stage, but we should also not lose
sight of the fact that ISIS have lost their biggest territorial swathe in the country and being dealt really pretty symbolic deathblow in terms of
their idea of themselves here in Iraq.
SOARES: Yes, security challenges, political challenges as well as humanitarian challenges. Nick Paton Walsh, fantastic reporting. Thanks
very much for joining us here this hour.
[15:10:07]Well, let's turn our attention now to a ceasefire in Syria. The first round of talks aimed at ending the Syrian conflict began today in
Geneva. This is just a day after a ceasefire came into effect in Southern Syria.
Well, earlier, I spoke to the U.N. special envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura. He said he was hopeful that a six-year long war could end soon.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STAFFAN DE MISTURA, U.N. SPECIAL ENVOY FOR SYRIA: This type of simplification that we are detecting among world leaders about what are the
priorities. We are getting very close to give a strong chance for ending this conflict.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Well, do stay tuned for my full interview a little later in the show.
Now new revelations are raising a lot of new questions about Russian contacts with Donald Trump in a circle. Mr. Trump's son, Donald Jr. now
acknowledges he met with a Russian lawyer during the presidential campaign.
Now the "New York Times" says he was lured by the promise of damaging information about Hillary Clinton. Trump Jr. now acknowledges that what
his motivation, but he initially called it an introductory meeting that focused primarily on adoptions of Russian children.
Now Trump Jr. says he didn't know the attorney's name beforehand and learned nothing meaningful he said from her. He's defending himself on
Twitter writing rather sarcastically, "Obviously I'm the first person from the campaign to ever take a meeting to hear info about an opponent. Went
nowhere but had to listen."
One advisor to President Trump is also speaking out, Kellyanne Conway, had some exchanges with CNN's Chris Cuomo. Take a listen.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Don Jr. has very explicitly stated he didn't even know the name of the person with whom
he was meeting. He agreed to the meeting based on a contact from the Miss Universe pageant.
They get into the meeting and it quickly turns into a pretext for Russian adoption according to his statements. That the comments this woman are
making about any type of information on Hillary Clinton were vague.
They were meaningless. Others exited the meeting very quickly. The meeting itself is very brief. There is no information given. There was no
action taken. There was no follow up.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Don Jr. changed his story --
CUOMO: Don Jr. says he met with her because she had bad information on Clinton. He said it.
CONWAY: (Inaudible) or Mike Pence. This is why -- look, he learned nothing from that meeting.
CUOMO: It doesn't matter what he learned. It matters why he kept the meeting.
CONWAY: Yes, it does.
CONWAY: Yes, it does. It matters completely --
CUOMO: It does not matter for the purposes of the investigation. They are looking into whether or not Russia was trying to get inside the election.
He admits he took the meeting because someone was offering that kind of information it matters, period.
SOARES: Well, here's another key part of the story which involves the other seat at the table with the Russian lawyer, that's Mr. Trump's former
campaign manager, Paul Manafort, and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, invited by Trump Jr. himself.
We are live in the United States as well as Russia. CNN political commentator, David Swerdlick, is joining us from Washington, and CNN senior
international correspondent, Ivan Watson is in Moscow. Gentlemen, thank you very much to you both for joining us.
David, I want to start with you because it seems Donald Trump Jr.'s story seemed to have change somewhat. First, he never met with the Russians then
said he did, but it was adoption. Now we hear he was offered damaging information on Hillary Clinton. How do you interpret these different
explanations from Donald Trump Jr.?
DAVID SWERDLICK, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, I think this is thing to focus on because what so far the most damaging thing about this story and
these new revelations is not at least at this point that there is anything that you can point to and say, here is the illegality.
Here is criminality, which you can point to is that there's a great deal of inconsistency and it makes it look certainly like Donald Trump Jr. was not
trying to give a full throated accounting of the story until he was pressed on it by news account.
You play that clip of CNN's Chris Cuomo with Kellyanne Conway earlier, and I think although Conway is sort of, you know, one of the most, you know,
forceful advocates for the administration, I think she failed to make her case precisely because of the point that Chris made.
One, it doesn't really matter if that meeting ultimately led to some kind of change and result in the 2016 election or even if the Trump campaign
took anything away that they could use in the campaign.
What matters is that, you know, based on Donald Trump Jr.'s own statements now that he took the meeting in part at least because there was some offer
on the table of damaging information about Hillary Clinton and there seems to be an indication, at least, that he knew that he was dealing with
someone who may or may not have ties in Russia.
SOARES: David, stay with us. I want to bring in Ivan. Ivan, what we had to hear from the kremlin? What they had to say?
[15:15:03]Do we know who exactly this Russian attorney is and whether this personally ever produced compromising information about Hillary Clinton?
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, a kremlin spokesman says that the kremlin does not know anything about this woman and
should not be expected to keep track of Russian lawyers and their movements overseas.
We have reached out to Natalia (inaudible) and she has not yet given us an interview. She did however release a statement to the "New York Times" in
which she insisted she had no ties whatsoever to the Russian government and that her meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner
in New York in June of 2016 was not related to politics or to the election.
As to what we know about herself, yes, she is a Russian lawyer. She is the founder of an organization believe that we have the websites so that we can
show to you called the Human Rights Accountability Global Initiative Foundation.
A nongovernmental organization and basically she was lobbying for the removal of the Magnitsky Act. It's legislation from 2012, passed in the
U.S. that punishes with sanctions foreigners or foreign entities linked to human rights abuses as well as to corruption.
In response for the passage of that legislation, the Russian government banned the U.S. adoption of Russian children. So she had been lobbying
actively against that.
She had also represented a company based out of Cyprus called Prevazon (ph) that had its assets seized under the Magnitsky Act. So that's a little bit
more that we know about this individual, who met with Donald Trump Jr. in June of 2016 -- Isa.
SOARES: Thanks, Ivan. And David, you are talking about the fact that this all happened in June and the timing of this meeting is interesting too,
isn't it? Because this was just two weeks, I believe, after President Trump clinched that nomination.
SOARES: I know this isn't a smoking gun, but is there a bigger question here of collusion. Will do you think he'll be invited to go on the rope?
I'm talking Donald Trump Jr., of course, here.
SWERDLICK: I think there's a good chance that he will be asked to go under oath at some point. But again, I think he will go under oath and the
Senate and House committees as well as Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller will question him to find out if there was anything that amounts to
I don't think we know that yet. The timing is not a smoking gun, but it suggested at a critical moment in the campaign a few weeks before
Republicans headed to Cleveland for their convention and were trying to solidify support around then Candidate Donald Trump as the standard bearer
for the Republican Party to head off challenges to head into the general election campaign against Secretary Clinton.
That that if in fact again if the reporting is correct and if Donald Trump Jr.'s statement is correct, that an offer was made of damaging information
to Hillary Clinton, why did he take that meeting and why according to the reporting -- it wasn't just a casual meeting, right?
Why was Paul Manafort, the campaign chairman, who had worked for interest in Ukraine previously and why was Jared Kushner, President Trump's son-in-
law present at this meeting?
SOARES: David, just stay with us because we are just learning from the White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee, who said that President
Trump learned of his son's meeting in the last couple of days. What do you make of that? I mean, is that normal that he wouldn't be told ahead of
these meetings or that are happening behind him, behind closed doors?
SWERDLICK: Look, it's possible that President Trump wasn't aware of the meeting at least wasn't aware of it in real time, but it does sort of
strain the understanding that political pros have of how campaigns are run, right?
Again, if this had just been a meeting about the Magnitsky Act, this as -- this attorney's account is that it was about the Magnitsky Act, if that was
all that it was, and if it was only with Donald Trump Jr., you can imagine a situation where then Candidate Donald Trump was not briefed.
If it's the case as Donald Trump Jr. himself has now said that this proper of information about Clinton was at least part of the meeting and that the
campaign manager at the time, Paul Manafort, and the sort of, you know, one of the key minds in the Trump's inner circle, his son-in-law, Jared Kushner
was in this meeting that suggests a little more that will be hard to believe that the president was not aware of this in the last couple days,
but we don't know that yet.
SOARES: Well, meanwhile, we know the U.S. president is backing off an earlier tweet about what he calls an impenetrable, to his words,
cybersecurity unit with Russia. And that tweet has raised eyebrows with Democrats and Republicans scuffing at that very idea.
[15:20:11] I just want to play some of this down for our viewers. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SENATOR LINDSAY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: It's not the dumbest idea I've ever heard but it was pretty close. When it comes to Russia, I am
dumbfounded, I am disappointed, and at the end of the day, he's hurting his presidency.
REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SCHIFF (D), CALIFORNIA: I don't think we can expect the Russians to be a credible partner in some cybersecurity unit. I think
that would be dangerously naive for this country if that's our best election defense, we might as well just mail our ballot boxes to Moscow.
ASH CARTER, FORMER U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: This is like the guy who rob your house proposing a working group on burglary. It's they who did this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Well, 12 hours after that tweet, the president tweeted the following, I'm going to read it out, "The fact that President Putin and I
discussed a cybersecurity unit doesn't mean I think it can happen. It can't but a ceasefire can and did."
Ivan, how was this impenetrable cybersecurity units between the Russians and the U.S. publicized by the Kremlin? How are they interpreting let's
say this back and forth from the U.S. president?
WATSON: Well, a kremlin spokesman was asked about it today and you know, he was kind of had his back up a little bit against the wall saying, well,
we talked about setting up the cybersecurity unit, but we didn't promise we were going to establish it.
He was trying to understand basically the U.S. president's tweets, but I think the fact is that it was just Friday that you had this historic
meeting between the Russian and American presidents.
The top diplomats were the only other officials who attended the meeting came out with three basic agreements to set up a local safe haven in
Southwestern Syria, to appoint a U.S. envoy to deal with the war in Ukraine, and to begin this so-called working group on cyber hacking and
And within about 48 hours, President Trump in a tweet was essentially saying that one of these that he had recently celebrated calling it an
impenetrable cybersecurity unit with President Putin, he was already effectively declaring it null and void, which raises some real questions
about person-to-person diplomacy between President Trump and another head of state -- Isa.
SOARES: And person to person trust, of course. Ivan Watson there for us and David Swerdlick, thank you very much to you both for taking the time to
be with us here on the WORLD RIGHT NOW.
And still to come, could there be new hope for Baby Charlie Gard. The U.K. High Court set a new hearing. We'll bring you the very latest next.
SOARES: Welcome back. You are watching the WORLD RIGHT NOW. President Trump took to Twitter Monday to blast former FBI Director James Comey
accusing him of breaking the law.
Mr. Trump tweeted the following, and I'm quoting here, "James Comey leaked classified information to the media that is so illegal." The tweet after
report by "The Hill" website concerning memos Comey composed about is meetings and talks with Mr. Trump, but what Mr. Trump is asserting is not
what "The Hill" actually reported.
CNN justice correspondent, Jessica Schneider, joins us now from Washington explaining exactly what has happened. So Jessica, what the president --
what he tweeted wasn't quite accurate, was it?
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: It really wasn't, Isa. The president, he presumably tweeted that very early this morning after seeing
a report on Fox News about a report from "The Hill" publications, and stay with me here.
President Trump, he put it very bluntly in that tweet that James Comey leaked classified information to the media, and President Trump there
saying that was illegal.
But let me breakdown for you what "The Hill" report actually said. It was somewhat misinterpreted by Fox News. According to "The Hill" sources the
fired FBI director actually wrote seven memos detailing his nine conversations with the president.
They say that four of those memos had markings to make clear that they contain information classified at the secret or confidential level that
"The Hill" never specifically said that the memo that James Comey gave to his law professor friend to the "New York Times" was among those labeled as
In fact, James Comey has said at his June 8th hearing that the memo wasn't classified at the time he wrote it. That the friend he gave it to also
insist it wasn't classified, and "The Hill" itself never implicates in that report that it was classified.
Just that for other memos were. So really, Isa, the president seems to be taking unsubstantiated interpretation of "The Hill" report from Fox News
and then tweeting out that very serious allegation that the fired FBI director leaked classified info, which at this point we -- it has not been
proven that that's true -- Isa.
SOARES: And Jessica, do Americans care about this or rather why should they care about this? Are they paying attention to this small snippets of
information, small developments?
SCHNEIDER: Well, there certainly are many small developments every one of them -- a lot of them coming early in the morning with president's Twitter
feed. You know, I think it's fair to say, Isa, a lot of Americans may have really tuned a lot of this out.
But really this tweet from the president, it's another example of how he selectively watches Fox News or other conservative news outlets and then he
hears something and he tweets out what's really their interpretations of other news.
We thought this happened back in February when the president without a rally, he referenced terrorist attacks including he said one that happened
in Sweden last night, well, that have been mentioned off the cuff by a Fox News analyst, and it turns out there was never such an attack.
So really it goes to the president's propensity to tweet or even speak without really doing his own fact checks first -- Isa.
SOARES: Jessica Schneider there for us, thanks very much, Jessica.
Coming up right here on the show, after three years, Mosul has been retaken from ISIS. We look at what's happened over that time. What is needed to
rebuild it? And could we soon see an end to scenes like this at last. My interview with the U.S. special envoy to Syria and why he's hopeful that
peace may finally be (inaudible).
[15:30:47] ISA SOARES, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. We return to our top story this hour.
The victory that Iraq's Prime Minister has proclaimed in Mosul is not just a military one but also a symbolic one. It's the city where Abu Bakr al-
Baghdadi declared his caliphate, and it's the city that has been under the clutches of ISIS for three years.
CNN's Ben Wedeman has covered the story for years. He takes a look now at the city and how it's changed under ISIS.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was supposed to be the showcase of the good life under ISIS. Mosul was the
largest city in the once rapidly expanding territory under the group's control. A buzzling metropolis with a rich history, the jewel, and the
crown of this self-styled caliphate.
Just a few hundred ISIS fighters managed to drive a much larger and better Iraqi force out of the city in June 2014. It was here that Abu Bakr al-
Baghdadi made his only appearance as calipha or caliph of the new realm.
Initially, many Mosul residents welcomed the group after years of what they say as Baghdad's heavy-handed, often sectorial rule. It soon became
apparent, however, ISIS' priority was not good government, but rather an unrelenting assault on Mosul's very soul. Tens and thousands of
Christians, Shiites, Yazidis, and others fled the city under threat of forced conversion, imprisonment, slavery, and often, execution.
The extremist destroyed ancient shrines like the Tomb of Jonah, the Biblical prophet. They desecrated churches and they took their
sledgehammers to priceless artifacts in the Mosul Museum. All the while, life gradually became more difficult. As oppression increased, coalition
airstrikes became more frequent, and as it became evermore apparent that ISIS' bizarre experiment was coming to an end.
Over the last nine months, as the battle for Mosul raged, thousands of its residents were killed and large parts of the city transformed into a
wasteland. No single act better encompasses what ISIS means to Mosul than the group's recent destruction of al-Hadba, the leaning minaret that was
the symbol of the city. What couldn't keep, like Mosul itself, they destroyed.
SOARES: And Ben Wedeman joins me now. And, Ben, we heard the Iraqi Prime Minister say that ISIS is a dustbin to history. How significant, from your
perspective and having covered the story for so long, is this of a blow for ISIS? Is this the end of the caliphate as you see it?
WEDEMAN: It's significant but I would be hesitant to say it's the end of the dream of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and the people, the sort of the brains
behind ISIS. Certainly, if you compare the situation today with what we saw in the summer of 2014, it's a huge turnaround. I remember being in
Erbil, which is just an hour's drive from Mosul, and there was real, palpable fear that ISIS was on a roll, that ISIS had taken Mosul and then
Tikrit and then other Iraqi cities, that it was unstoppable.
And now we've seen a complete turnaround. We see the Iraqi army really coming to the fore, pushing ISIS out of one city after another, and
fighting this brutal battle in Mosul that's gone on for far longer than anyone expected. Nine months, as opposed to just the two or three that
were anticipated, not only by Iraqi planners but also by senior American officials. So it is significant, but the way ahead is still going to be
long and difficult.
[15:34:58] Keep in mind that he said that ISIS still controls large parts of Syria, most of Deir ez-Zor province. In Iraq itself, it controls
Hawija, which is a large city south of Kirkuk in the central part of the country. It still controls Tal Afar, which is halfway between Mosul and
the Syrian border, and the town of Al-Qa'im, on the border between Syria and Iraq.
So there's still a long way to go. But at this point, it appears that ISIS has lost about 60 percent of the territory that it controlled at the peak
of its expansion. But there's still a long fight ahead -- Isa.
SOARES: And if we bring that map just back up, if we can, of what ISIS was then and now. Just so people get another quick look at ISIS territorial
losses. I mean, they've lost Mosul here territorially, Ben, but what comes next? Does the brand suffer? Does recruiting become more difficult?
WEDEMAN: Well, I think recruiting, we've already seen, has fallen off. Many fewer people are attracted to joining the ranks of ISIS, and it's much
I remember just a few years ago, crossing from Turkey into Syria, and it really did seem like there were an awful lot of people from many different
backgrounds crossing the Turkish-Syrian border in the middle of the night. That border is now effectively sealed. It's much more difficult to get to
Syria or Iraq if you want to join ISIS. But keep in mind that most of the people involved in ISIS affiliated attacks in Europe and North America
never went to Syria or Iraq.
There's the problem of sort of cyber space, the appeal over the Internet, which has been as effective as ever at winning over recruits to conduct
these terrorist attacks. And they really have nothing to do with people who managed to travel to Syria or Iraq, so there's still quite a danger out
SOARES: Very much so. Ben Wedeman there for us with an analysis. Thanks very much, Ben. Really good to see you.
Now, the United Nations says a new ceasefire deal for parts of Syria is largely holding. It was brokered by the United States, Russia, and Jordan,
just days before peace talks in Geneva got underway. Now, Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin agreed to a ceasefire framework when they met at the G-20
Summit. If you remember that photo. Well, this is the fifth attempt at a lasting truce since the Syrian war broke out in 2011.
Well, I spoke to the U.N. Special Envoy to Syria who is in Geneva for the talks. I asked him what he meant when he said he was seeing a
simplification of the complex conflict.
STAFFAN DE MISTURA, UNITED NATIONS SPECIAL ENVOY OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL TO SYRIA: Well, I think, from what we are seeing in discussions at the
geopolitical level in Hamburg recently, is that countries and leaders are realizing that the best way is to deconstruct this complexity.
Example, priority one, cauterize (ph). Is that the priority? Yes, for everyone. So priority is Mosul and Raqqa. Having said that, the second
similar priority, all of that at the same time, is de-escalation. In other words, reducing the violence.
And while this is happening, like the one agreed upon now between President Trump and President Putin, humanitarian access because that is also what
people need. That's the simplification.
Now, the next step will be, it's not enough to fight Daesh and throw them out of Raqqa. You need, at the same time, to learn from what was the
lesson in Iraq. You need a political, inclusive process.
SOARES: So on that transitional period and trying to get everyone on board, from the point of governance, Mr. Mistura, where does this leave
Bashar al-Assad? Does he go?
DE MISTURA: You see, this a standard question we can weigh probably as complicated, rather than simplify the whole discussion. And if we are in
the process of simplifying, let's let the Syrians to be able and allow, through U.N. assistance, election for the Syrians to decide who should be
running their country.
What is needed now is addressing the first three priorities. The Syrians, believe me, if they are helped in having fair elections, they would decide
that themselves. It should not be me, should not be you.
SOARES: You were talking that -- you were saying just now that you think it's imminent. Are we seeing an end to this war? You have made this your
main task, your main focus of attention. Are we almost there, Mr. de Mistura?
DE MISTURA: Well, you have to forgive me. You know, I've been 47 years in the U.N., mostly dedicated to trying to reduce the effects of conflict. So
I am, by definition, by nature and by survival -- like a logical survivor - - an optimist. So you have to filter that.
[15:39:57] But I've been now three years, on behalf of the Secretary- General, trying to find entry points, any type of entry point, to reduce the violence and go back to a political process. I think with this type of
simplification that we are detecting among world leaders about what are the priorities, we are getting very close to give a strong chance for ending
SOARES: What lessons can be learned from Mosul that can be a pride in Syria?
DE MISTURA: The first lesson is that there is a need of an international joint venture in order to support those who want to liberate their own
cities from Daesh. But a second one is, how do you actually ensure that not only Daesh is, in a way, defeated but totally defeated? And the only
way to do so is learning from Iraq.
There was a possibility of actually addressing al Qaeda. And in fact, it took place, by including the Sunni tribes, by including those who were
excluded, and they help in solving the problem and stabilizing it. Then the occasion was missed. And the occasion was missed in Iraq, and it's
regrettable. We should not miss that occasion in Syria.
In other words, we should be making sure that, immediately after, there is a serious political inclusive, credible process that includes those who
felt excluded. Otherwise, there is always the danger they will not be called Daesh or ISIL, but they may come up under another name and another
SOARES: And as the Geneva talks begin, what would you like to be telling the world come Friday? What would be a win for all here?
DE MISTURA: Well, first of all, let's be modest and honest with ourselves. The real -- the discussions are the ones we have seen taking place between
President Trump, President Putin, President Macron and President Putin, and other locations, globally, about addressing the Syrian issue.
We are preparing, we are doing the homework, like in Astana, because believe me you will see it did happen in Bond, I remember, at the Afghan
end of the war conflict. Everybody was saying, what are they doing, preparing these meetings and having it? Then suddenly, one day, there is
news on CNN saying here we are, the conflict is almost over. We need a conference, and now we make sure everybody sits around the table.
That's what we are trying to do now, preparing all those points so that when the right moment will come, we will be ready. And we would have
helped the Syrians to be ready.
SOARES: Staffan de Mistura there, speaking to me earlier. Well, you are watching THE WORLD RIGHT NOW.
Well, warning, in no uncertain terms, European lawmakers call Britain's exit offer a damp squib. We'll explain next.
[15:45:06] SOARES: Now, the U.K.'s High Court is set to hearing for Thursday in the case that has drawn international attention. Charlie
Gard's parents will have the chance to submit new evidence showing why their terminally ill son should receive experimental treatment. Erin
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Isa, it was a dramatic hearing today at the Royal Courts of Justice. At one point Chris Gard, Charlie's father,
yelling out, when are going to tell the truth, question directed at the legal counsel for the Great Ormond Street Hospital, which is treating his
son. The same hospital that brought forward the request for today's hearing, citing a claim made by the parents of new evidence in this case.
The hospital today is saying it has yet to actually see that new evidence. And the judge in this case ordered the legal counsel for the parents to
present a summary of that new evidence by 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday.
The judge also asking the question as to whether or not this new evidence will show that the brain damage suffered by Charlie will be reversed as a
result of this evidence. He said that without that, what kind of life would Charlie live? He also expressed concern over Charlie's continued
Now, this is a case that has garnered international attention, tweets from President Trump as well as Pope Francis. But the judge was very clear. He
said that he will not be swayed by tweets. He wants to see new and dramatic evidence that treatment will help Charlie Gard, otherwise the
original ruling will stand. The next hearing is scheduled for Thursday -- Isa.
SOARES: Thanks very much, Erin McLaughlin.
Well, some of Europe's top lawmakers have a warning to the U.K. about its Brexit plan: we'll veto it unless you improve the rights of E.U. citizens.
In an open letter, the European Parliament's Brexit coordinator and seven other senior MEPs say Britain is offering a damp squib -- those were their
words -- which could turn Europeans living in the U.K. into second-class citizens.
They write the following: the U.K. proposal only confirms this belief, falling short of its own ambitions to put citizens first. If implemented,
it would cast a dark cloud of vagueness and uncertainty over the lives of millions of Europeans.
Well, Elmar Brok was one of the lawmakers who co-wrote that letter. He told me why the U.K. hasn't gone far enough when it comes to safeguarding
the rights E.U. citizens.
ELMAR BROK, MEMBER OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: There's such more details which have to settled in their -- in tourist questions, in their questions
what happens, for example, for the children which will born now and later and such questions.
There's also the question of safeguarding of the situation because if it's purely under national law, then this national law can be changed on one
side alone. And we must clear in a binding way that such things are not possible, but should have --
SOARES: So what do you want? So what do you want to see?
BROK: We want to -- as the situation as it is now. Their situation should not be changed as they have it now. That is the point. This is on the
question of reciprocity.
We would like give these rights to the British citizens who live, for example, in Germany. And we hope that the citizens from the continent will
keep these rights as they have it now. So all that safeguards for the future, also in the United Kingdom.
SOARES: So with the European citizens' rights here, who would be in charge? Who will be overseeing their rights? Would it be European courts
-- European Court of Justice -- or will that be the U.K. courts here?
BROK: We believe that it's -- by that time, so long these people live, that this should be because its European law, it should the European Court
of Justice, but that is part of the negotiations. You know, but the European Court of Justice is common rules in which we should keep. And so
SOARES: But then in that case, aren't you creating two levels of citizenship where one has extra benefits than the other?
BROK: No. Every citizen has the residential rights. He is not a full British citizen. He cannot vote, for residents, for example. He is not
carrying a British passport, but he has residential rights in that way as it is setup now.
It's the same situation as we have it now. No changing that. We would like to keep it as it is. And that's in the way of reciprocity, that is
for the citizens on both sides, for this 4.5 million people.
SOARES: OK, so you would like keep it as it is. If it doesn't change and if Theresa May does not budge, what are you prepared to do? Will you veto
[15:49:59] BROK: Look, that's clear, the decision of the 27 member states, of the parliament, the council, and the commission, that we should have
sufficient progress on three fields -- citizens' rights, the financial obligations, and the Irish border questions -- before we can decide to
start the second phase, which will help us to find a way for the future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union.
This is the official negotiating position of the European Union, decided by all member countries on all issues.
SOARES: So what is the hope of this letter? Why write this letter? Is this a threat for Theresa May?
BROK: No, that is simply our main positions. I think we should have a situation that we have a transparent process of the negotiations.
There are two proposals on the table. There is a British proposal and we say this proposal is sort of -- the possibility to veto it and therefore,
we call Britain to negotiate properly on it. And hopefully, the negotiations will be done successful and that will build the bridge, to
which we agree to which both sides can be thankful.
SOARES: Elmar Brok there. Of course, Brexit is far more about than just politics. It is, at the end of the day, about people away from horse of
Millions of Europeans who live in U.K. are facing uncertainties. They once never really imagined, like German tutor Nina Hofmann who has been here so
long, she even speaks with a Northern English accent. But as Nina told me, she feels like the country she's made home doesn't want her anymore.
SOARES (voice-over): Nina Hofmann feels like she's been bullied into leaving the U.K.
NINA HOFMANN, GERMAN LANGUAGE TUTOR: Come, Sofia.
(SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
SOARES (voice-over): A German national, she came here in search of work as a foreign language tutor 11 years ago
(SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
SOARES (voice-over): And in the process, found love, got married to an English man, and had two children, Benjamin and Sofia.
(SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
SOARES (voice-over): Her home is a testament to that love. Every portrait have framed the life she's built, a life now left in limbo following the
U.K.'s decision to leave the European Union, further complicated by a legal loophole.
HOFMANN: Politically, I do very much feel like an outsider because one should have to follow the general discourse surrounding immigration and the
E.U. immigration and the fact that, obviously, I don't know if I will be able to stay here.
SOARES (voice-over): She was hoping to apply for permanent residency here but was told by a lawyer she wouldn't qualify.
HOFMANN: I found an immigration lawyer who was giving advice for an hour (ph). So she took my timeline -- when I was working, when I was on
maternity leave -- and found a gap where I was neither working nor on maternity leave but just at home looking after my children. Asked me
whether I had held private health insurance, and I say, no, I didn't know that was necessary.
SOARES (voice-over): But it is. Not that Nina or anyone else has ever heard of it.
HOFMANN: My doctors, the dentists, nobody ever said anything to me.
SOARES (voice-over): But the Home Office does require it if you're a student or self-sufficient.
SOARES (on camera): We reached out to the Home Office regarding this little known rule, also known as Comprehensive Sickness Insurance. And in
a statement to CNN, the Home Office says that this is a requirement set out in the Free Movement Directive and applies to all member states. It is not
just in U.K. law.
But it seems the European Commission has a different take, telling CNN that this actually breaches E.U. law and going as far as saying that access to
the U.K.'s National Health Service should count as a sufficient. Easy then to see why so many Europeans feel like they're bargaining chips in this
SOARES (voice-over): Adrian Berry, an immigration asylum barrister, tells me this insurance hurdle is causing plenty of uncertainty.
ADRIAN BERRY, BARRISTER, GARDEN COURT CHAMBERS: Well, about 70 to 80 percent of the people I'm seeing since the referendum had been -- have had
a Comprehensive Sickness Insurance question in the heart of their case and their need for a permit. They haven't had it. They are immensely
SOARES (voice-over): Back in the Northern England, Nina certainly feels like she has overstayed her welcome.
SOARES (on camera): Do you feel like you're being bullied out of the country?
HOFMANN: In a way, yes. If I now make a decision based on this political uncertainty, it would be for my children. That's feel like I am being
SOARES (voice-over): A sentiment shared by many who feel their lives are coming crashing down.
SOARES: Coming up, for 20 years, J.K. Rowling has been bringing magic to millions around the world. CNN's Christiane Amanpour sat down exclusively
with the famous author to find out how she's helping children now. That's coming up next.
[15:55:47] SOARES: Now, if you are one of the millions of Harry Potter fans around the world, you would know that "Lumos" is a spell used by
wizards to create light. But now, J.K. Rowling is using that name to shine a light on children in institutions. She sat down with CNN's Christiane
Amanpour for an exclusive interview on that. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
J.K. ROWLING, CREATOR OF HARRY POTTER: Our ambition is to end child institutionalization by 2050. That's the ambition. And --
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN ANCHOR: All over the world?
ROWLING: All over the world. Global.
AMANPOUR: How many kids are we talking about?
ROWLING: We estimate there are 8 million children in institutions worldwide, but that might be a locus. And we know that around a million
children disappear in Europe every year.
AMANPOUR: Why Lumos?
ROWLING: Well, it's a spell in Harry Potter. It's a light giving spell, so the metaphor is glaringly obvious, yes.
AMANPOUR: Harry Potter is an orphan --
ROWLING: Harry Potter is an orphan.
AMANPOUR: -- so it's kind of obvious that you're doing this, isn't it?
ROWLING: It wasn't obvious to me at the time. But to be very candid, I think my worst fear, my personal worst fear, is powerlessness and small
spaces. And I think that just the idea that these children were being kept penned like this was horrific to me.
But then -- so although I didn't think that, like Harry and his cupboard, I suppose, why did put Harry in cupboard? Because this is my fear, being
trapped and being powerless, just powerless to get out to that space.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: A very important cause. J.K. Rowling is speaking exclusively to CNN'S Christiane Amanpour.
And this has been THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. Thank you very much for watching. I'm Isa Soares.
"QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next with Zain Asher. Do stay right here with CNN. We are, of course, THE WORLD RIGHT NOW.