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Trump in Paris; Russia Investigation; Jerusalem Attack; Lula Vows to Run for President Again; Prime Minister May Reflects on Election; Charlie Gard's Parent Pled for Experimental Treatment; New Cancer Drug Recommended for Approval; Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo Dies in Chinese Custody; Afghan Girls Allowed into U.S. for Robots Competition; Emmy Awards Nominations Were Announced Thursday. Aired 2- 3a ET

Aired July 14, 2017 - 02:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[02:00:00]

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JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: It is the U.S. president, Donald Trump.

SARA SIDNER, CNN ANCHOR: French president Emmanuel Macron invited the American leader to Paris just one week after both men attended their first G20 summit in Germany. Their lengthy talks on Thursday helped them identify areas where they can work together, such as helping to end the civil war in Syria.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

EMMANUEL MACRON, FRENCH PRESIDENT (through translator): We have, indeed, changed the French doctrine on Syria so as to get results and work really closely with our partners; in particular, the United States.

I'm not making the departure and the dismissal of Bashar al-Assad a pre-condition for France's involvement because I'm going off of a simple observation. It's been seven years since we closed our embassy in Damascus and have made this a condition without getting any results.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: But there's still much these two leaders do not agree on and that includes climate change. But after they talked, Mr. Trump suggested he was open to revisiting the issue.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Yes, I mean, something could happen with respect to the Paris accord. We'll see what happens.

But we will talk about that over the coming period of time and, if it happens, that'll be wonderful and, if it doesn't, that'll be OK, too. But we'll see what happens. (END VIDEO CLIP)

SIDNER: After the military parade in Paris, Mr. Macron has a more somber duty ahead of him. He'll travel to the French Riviera to mark the anniversary of the terror attack in Nice that killed 86 people, many of them children, and injured hundreds of others.

VAUSE: Thousands of people (INAUDIBLE) the city's famous seaside promenade last year to watch the Bastille Day fireworks. Suddenly, a large truck came speeding into the crowds, moving everyone down (INAUDIBLE). The terrorist behind the wheel zigzagged along the promenade for about 2 kilometers before he was finally shot and killed by police.

SIDNER: Let us go right now to our Jim Bittermann and Melissa Bell, who are awaiting the start of the Bastille Day parade.

Melissa, let me start with you. There has been a history of President Trump talking about France in less than flattering ways.

How do you see this meeting between him and President Macron going?

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think that the point of yesterday was really that, in a sense, to show Donald Trump or Paris was what France was but also what the history of the ties between the two countries were.

So even before this great military parade gets underway today here in France, for what is France's national holiday, Bastille Day, and things should kick off in a couple of hours, Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron will be just down there on the stand, behind me, watching this parade in which American troops, by the way, are going to take place.

But even before all of this today, yesterday's sequence of events was very interesting because Donald Trump was really treated to the kind of tour that foreign dignitaries, even foreign heads of state don't typically get when they come to France, a tour of the Invalides, for instance, visited the tomb of Napoleon, visiting the tomb of the man who led Allied forces in World War I on the Western Front.

It was almost a kind of history lesson, really, Sara, about how old and how deep the ties were between Western Europe and France in particular and the United States. And I think when we heard Donald Trump in that press conference last night talk about the importance of those ties, their historical nature, the fact that these were drawn in blood I think this was an important part of what Emmanuel Macron was seeking to achieve.

SIDNER: I do want to ask you about the Paris climate accord. We did hear Donald Trump sort of open the door a bit, even though that we know he left those accords with the United States out.

Is there any chance that anyone in French leadership actually thinks that there is a possibility the United States may be rethinking its position? BELL: I think it was an important statement for the American president to make and certainly one that had a good reception here in France and no doubt in other countries as well, Sara, because it was the first time that we heard anything like the possibility that the door might be open for some kind of dialogue on this question with the American president.

I mean, if there's one issue on which he's been absolutely steadfast in his opposition, in his position, is his climate change. So I think that when he said those sentences that you just played last night, it was an important shift.

Perhaps it won't translate into policy terms or perhaps not just yet. But the fact that a dialogue, that a discussion about this issue is possible, not just for American cities but with the White House heads for I think is a massive shift and a real present that Donald Trump made to Emmanuel Macron.

I mean, Emmanuel Macron, when he extended this invitation, could not have hoped for as much.

SIDNER: All right, thank you so much, Melissa Bell there, live for us from Paris, awaiting the Bastille Day revelry.

VAUSE: OK. So thank you. And of course this has been a successful trip so far, at least in many ways for the U.S. president, Donald Trump.

Jim Bittermann is also standing by in Paris.

[02:05:00]

VAUSE: And, Jim, Donald Trump apparently loves a military parade. And there are few who do it better than the French.

JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SR. INTL. CORRESPONDENT: Well, in fact, the pressure among the -- in France, one of the few democracies that has this kind of big military parade every year, it's kind of unknown outside of places like Moscow and Pyongyang.

Basically they every year have a huge display of their military hardware.

Donald Trump will be up there on the tribune (ph) and kind of trapped in a way, subjected to about two hours of parading French troops. Now there will be Americans in the crowd; 186 Americans are here to represent and commemorate the entrance of the United States in World War I 100 years ago.

And there will be a flying team, the Thunderbirds flying team as well as two F-22s will be flying overhead.

But for the most part, this is going to be French military equipment on display. And it's the kind of thing that every year brings them a great deal of national pride. This year, however, as Melissa mentioned, it's going to be a

commemorative time, too, because it was one year ago that that dreadful attack in Nice took place. And that's something that the president himself will probably remember here at the end of this parade.

He's going to give a small speech, we're told, at the end of the parade, quite unusual for him to do that -- John, Sara.

VAUSE: And, Jim, it also seems that part of the aim here for the French president was to bring Donald Trump in from the cold as far as other European leaders are concerned.

Has he done that?

BITTERMANN: Well, you know, as I heard a French commentator say yesterday, the fact is they're kind of buying Donald Trump's stock while it's at a low price, meaning to say Donald Trump is having a problem on his domestic side, this is a time maybe to extend a hand to someone.

And he'll remember that later on, hopefully, when things change in the United States.

I'd like to bring into the conversation here Dominic Thomas, who, of course, is the head of the French and Francophone studies at the department of UCLA.

Dominic, what do you think?

Have the French succeeded in this idea that they're reaching out to Donald Trump?

DOMINIC THOMAS, CHAIR OF THE DEPARTMENT OF FRENCH & FRANCOPHONE STUDIES, UCLA, CALIFORNIA: Well, I think it's an important, significant moment. Donald Trump had planned to travel to the United Kingdom. And of course that visit was postponed.

Here he is now in Paris for the Bastille Day celebrations, his third trip to Europe in the past few weeks. So it's an important moment. And it's an important moment for President Macron, who is clearly choosing to engage in a policy of dialogue with President Trump.

The election campaign here is particularly tough, as he faced off with a similar kind of candidate in the guise of Marine Le Pen, sort of protectionist, let's put France first.

And I think Emmanuel Macron is sending a message that one can speak to one's opponents and does not automatically have to turn them into enemies. And so this is a real diplomatic offensive, aimed at placing and positioning France in this new global and uncertain landscape.

BITTERMANN: The French have always kind of believed that they have this mission to civilize, to educate the rest of the world, to bring their culture elsewhere.

Is this maybe another manifestation of that?

THOMAS: Well, I think that, from the moment the U.S. president landed yesterday, he has been taken on a history lesson. And like any good pupil, he was able yesterday at the beginning of the press conference in his prepared notes to talk about some of these moments, the First World War; he mentioned General Lafayette and so on and kept underlining the fact that the French relationship is an important one, U.S.' greatest ally.

And he seemed to be sort of regurgitating this lesson that also potentially explaining to his base back home in the United States that international engagement is important and that he can't only focus on domestic policy.

BITTERMANN: There's a basic difference here in the two men, though, because Trump believes in transactional, bilateral sort of deals. The French are very much believers in multilateral agreements, multilateral forums.

THOMAS: And you see Emmanuel Macron all the more committed to that. This is somebody who is eager to get back into discussions in the Middle East. I think that at the G20 meeting, when President Trump had a long bilateral meeting with President Putin and this resulted in a temporary cease-fire in Syria, the French wanted in on that.

And we see Emmanuel Macron enlarging and the scope, trying to bring the Americans into more activity on the African continent and so on. And clearly, if we look across the channel to what's happening in the U.K. with Brexit, there is a significant vacuum today between the United States and France.

BITTERMANN: You know, a long time ago Henry Kissinger said that when you want to call Europe, you don't know who to call, right.

Is Emmanuel Macron emerging here as a person to call in Europe, as the person who represents Europe?

THOMAS: Well, I think he --

[02:10:00]

THOMAS: -- is and also Angela Merkel. And I think part of President Macron's strategy is also to really build this Franco-German coalition. They can no longer rely on their partners in the United Kingdom so I see it as sort of these are the two people really to call but certainly the E.U. leadership, at the Council and the Commission, between Juncker and Tusk, have emerged as important interlocutors and that the European Union is really committed to being a strong entity and would like the U.S. to understand the importance of the E.U. and of NATO and to support them.

BITTERMANN: We'll have to see how this plays out on the home front for Donald Trump.

But how is it playing on the home front for Emmanuel Macron? THOMAS: Well, It's interesting. As you mentioned; earlier, in fact, we were talking about this, is that there are very few demonstrations here. Of course, it's a holiday weekend and so on. The political party of Jean-Luc Melenchon was opposed to this visit. But I think it's an important diplomatic offensive. And it strengthens his position on the international front and he will also extrapolate from this some good things.

BITTERMANN: Dominic Thomas, thank you very much.

Back to you guys, John, Sara.

VAUSE: OK, Jim, thank you, Jim Bittermann there in Paris, along with Dominic Thomas.

SIDNER: Well, while President Trump is in Paris, his problems at home are never far away.

VAUSE: (INAUDIBLE) news conference with the French president, Mr. Trump defended his son in part by blaming Democrats. Trump Jr. admitted this week that he met with a Russian lawyer to gather damaging information on the president's then opponent, Hillary Clinton.

Investigators plan to ask Trump Jr. as well as Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law, who was also at the meeting, for more documentation.

The U.S. president was also confronted with some of his own controversial remarks he made about France during last year's election campaign.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You've mentioned a friend, Jim. We told you that Paris is no longer Paris. You were implying at the time that Paris was not safe anymore. You've also said that France and Germany are infected by terrorism and, quote, "it's therefore because they let people into the territory."

Those are very strong words.

Would you repeat them today?

And do you still believe that France is not able to fight terrorism on its own territory?

Thank you.

TRUMP: You better let me answer that one first. That's a beauty.

He's the one that asked the question. That wasn't even one of my picks.

You know what, it's going to be just fine because you have a great president.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Joining me now Democratic strategist Matthew Littman and Republican strategist Luis Alvarado.

Good to see you both. Obviously that was a Jim Acosta of French television asking that question of Donald Trump. Obviously, though, he wasn't listening to the U.S. president when he was speaking a little earlier. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: The friendship between our two nations and ourselves, I might add, is unbreakable. Our occasional disagreements are nothing compared to the immortal bonds of culture, destiny and liberty that unite us, so strongly unite us also.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: OK, Luis, let's start with you. This does sort of get to the notion that Donald Trump is a day trader. He says something one day, forgets about it, moves on as if it was never done or never said.

LUIS ALVARADO, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Yes, remember when he went to visit Mexico and was very diplomatic with President Pena and he presented a good position in that 24 hours later he was still throwing the stones about building the wall and Mexico is going to pay for it?

VAUSE: He even racked it up (ph).

Yes.

ALVARADO: So there's no surprise. I think the reality that not only America but the world is starting to realize that they have to understand that's who he is and they have to start creating filters so they can understand what he can actually deliver and what's just basically rhetoric.

VAUSE: What's the problem, though, Matt, with having a president like -- ?

(CROSSTALK)

MATT LITTMAN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, let me just say first of all, on the climate change thing, which was -- we were making a big deal about. So when Donald Trump, when he was -- after he was elected president, he met with Al Gore, met with Leonardo DiCaprio, talked about being open-minded on climate change.

VAUSE: Ivanka and Jared were pro --

(CROSSTALK)

LITTMAN: exactly -- he'll say whatever he needs to make himself feel good in that moment with whatever audience is there. I will tell you, he's not going to be revising the Paris accords. That's not going to happen. He just tries to make himself feel good for that second. VAUSE: OK. If the U.S. president was hoping that this trip to Paris would be some kind of circuit breaker for all the Russia controversy, maybe that could have been the case -- until he said this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I think from a practical standpoint, most people would have taken that meeting. It's called opposition research. That's very standard in politics.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Matt, the problem with that statement is...?

LITTMAN: Well, I've worked on campaigns. It's not opposition research. I don't think that there's ever been a campaign where this would happen.

You worked on -- you work on campaigns, too. And I've never heard of something like this. He's Donald Trump Jr. is in obviously a lot of trouble here. The "New York Post," which is very alive with Donald Trump, described Donald Trump Jr. as an idiot in the editorial a couple of days ago.

(CROSSTALK)

LITTMAN: -- and said that this was one of the stupidest -- taking this meeting is one of the stupidest things --

[02:15:00]

LITTMAN: -- I've ever seen. This was an incredibly stupid move.

But the question is now, Donald Trump is in Europe. He's probably happy to be in France and get away from some of this stuff. The American people did not elect Donald Trump to have a good relationship with France. The elected him on the issues that are before Congress right now.

Donald Trump is not fighting for those issues. His senior advisers are also on vacation.

Why isn't Donald Trump fighting on health care, taxes, the issues that he said that he was going to fight for?

He's in Europe now. He shouldn't be.

VAUSE: And Luis, you know, the president did make the point on a number of occasions he was elected President of the United States, not mayor of Paris, America first and all that kind of stuff.

So to Matt's point?

ALVARADO: Well, I think the challenge is that when he brings family into the White House to act -- or to the campaign and now to the White House -- to act as his surrogates and they are attacked then he becomes not President Trump but Daddy Trump, who's going to look out for his kids, like any other parent would look out for their kids.

But that, I don't think, serves the American public and I think it detracts from the issues that Republicans are actually trying to do in the Senate and in Congress, in trying to present something in ObamaCare that's actually going to be able to pass, start thinking about tax reform.

And those things are deterred when we start talking about Russia day in and day out.

VAUSE: (INAUDIBLE) with President Trump is that the first part of the statement is fine. If he had just stuck with my son is a very good man or boy, I think he said, (INAUDIBLE) that. It was all the other stuff he went on with the answer. And that's when he gets himself into trouble.

ALVARADO: And that's the problem. It's that he doesn't know where to stop. They give him a script and sometimes we know he goes off the prompter and that's when everybody has to now start spinning what he said or what he didn't say to try to make it palpatable (sic) or to make it look something that's actually true.

And I think that is the problem that we're having in this White House right now. And I think that Europe and the U.S. has to not understand is that that's who he is. And we can't take him at -- for granted for every word that he says.

VAUSE: Another point out of this news conference which was interesting, he somehow tried to blame the Obama administration, at least in part, for all of the controversy surrounding his son right now. This was the part when he brought in Loretta Lynch, the former attorney general.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Now the lawyer that went to the meeting, I see that she was in the halls of Congress also. Somebody said that her visa or her passport to come into the country was approved by Attorney General Lynch. Now maybe that's wrong, I just heard that a little while ago. But it was a little surprise to hear that. So she was here because of Lynch.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: So, Matt, the argument is that, Don Jr. is just this naive young man who was run afoul by a fast-talking lawyer from Russia, who Barack Obama let into the country.

LITTMAN: Well, when he says that he may be wrong that Loretta Lynch might have let her in, he was wrong. Loretta Lynch didn't let her into the country. Donald Trump Jr. got an e-mail that said that the Russians were trying to elect Donald Trump president. And his reaction to it was absolutely glee.

And there doesn't seem to be any question. Jared Kushner takes the meeting. The campaign manager takes the meeting. It's an important time for the campaign.

Something you have to point out here is Jared Kushner, on his security clearance form, he had to add 100 meetings to that security form to revise it after the initial form that he sent in.

He's one of the president's closest advisors, tasked with every important issue under the sun, and had to revise this thing with 100 new meetings that he didn't put in there initially.

VAUSE: And there is a statement from a spokesperson for Loretta Lynch. This is what it reads.

"Attorney General Lynch as the former head of the Justice Department does not have any personal knowledge of -- the Russian lawyer's name, which I can't pronounce -- travel.

"The State Department issues visas and the Department of Homeland Security oversees entry to the United States at airports."

So we see a -- I think Mr. Trump was referring to a story which appeared at -- on "The Hill" website, which was clearly inaccurate. And, again, the responsibility for the United States president to get stuff verified before he says it at a joint news conference on the international stage seems to be a concept which has not sunk in yet.

ALVARADO: It's starting to sink in. The question is, Donald Trump still cares about his base. And as long as his base is going to stand there with him, side by side, it doesn't matter what the world thinks; it doesn't matter what the press thinks. Donald Trump is going to be Donald Trump.

The unfortunate part now is that Republicans, looking at 2018, are trying to ask the question, how is that going to hurt me when I go to the -- ?

(CROSSTALK)

LITTMAN: Well, when you say that it matters what his base thinks, it also -- he doesn't care about what the truth is.

VAUSE: Right.

LITTMAN: So he's just willing to say anything he heard from somebody, that it was Loretta Lynch -- I mean, come on.

SIDNER: And our thanks to Matthew Littman and Luis Alvarado.

Coming up, an attack in Jerusalem has left two people seriously wounded. We will take you there live.

Plus high hopes for a new drug to treat a type of childhood leukemia. That is all ahead on NEWSROOM L.A.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [02:20:00]

SIDNER: We're following developing news out of Jerusalem at this hour. Israeli police are calling it terrorism. Two people have been seriously wounded after a shooting attack in the Old City.

Three shooters were reportedly killed after they fired at police responding to the scene. The incident happened near the Lions' Gate. That's the Old City of Jerusalem. That's next to an areas Israelis call the Temple Mount and Palestinians call the Noble Sanctuary.

Let's bring in Ian Lee. He joins us now live from Jerusalem.

Give us a sense of what is happening now.

And is there any sense of what the status is of those two people, who have been wounded?

IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I'm at the area where police have blocked off people from going any further toward Lions' Gate. There's a heavy police presence here, people who are going to pray at the al- Aqsa mosque, which is on Haram esh-Sharif, they have been blocked from entering that area.

Police say that they are scouring the area for any more evidence that they could find about this attack. But right now, what we know is that two people were seriously injured in this attack, that police are calling a terrorist incident.

Three assailants were involved. They were carrying various weapons with them, including three firearms. They fired at police just about an hour and a half ago, when this incident took place. They were able to neutralize the assailants quickly but not after -- not until after they were able to injure two police officers.

SIDNER: Those two officers, we do not yet know what the status of those officers are.

You are looking at video taken clearly from a cell phone, as things were happening there near the Old City.

Can you give us a sense of when they may reopen this?

Because now it is a place where investigation is ongoing. But this is also a very important place of prayer.

LEE: We're able to overlook Lions' Gate from a distance, to kind of look into that area. There's a heavy police presence. It doesn't look like it's going to be open anytime soon.

And you're right, this is Friday. This is a day of prayer. People are expected to go to the mosque there and to pray. Thousands of people weekly go there to pray.

But police have said that there won't be any prayers today because of this incident. This area is blocked off as this investigation is ongoing.

And really, right now, Sara, there isn't any word on when they are going to reopen that area.

SIDNER: OK, Ian Lee, we will check back in with you --

[02:25:00]

SIDNER: -- if there are further developments.

And, again, just mentioning what the police have been saying, three people, they say they have neutralized. They have killed three suspects in what they're calling a terrorist attack that wounded two police officers. We're still waiting to find out what the status of those officers are and the area there in the Old City closed for now.

The former president of Brazil is refusing to give up on his political career. Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva gave a fiery speech on Thursday in Sao Paolo after he was convicted of corruption charges and sentenced to 9.5 years in prison. But Lula says this is not the end.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LUIZ INACIO LULA DA SILVA, FORMER BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): I'd like to appeal to the press and the Brazilian people. If you have evidence against me, please say it. Bring it to the justice system. Bring it to the supreme court. Bring it to the press because I need, I would be happier to be sentenced based on the evidence.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SIDNER: He obviously was not jailed after his conviction and is going to be appealing. Lula says he will appeal his conviction and vowed to run for president next year.

British prime minister Theresa May is reflecting on a turbulent few months; between multiple terror attacks, the Grenfell Tower fire and ongoing Brexit talks, she's had plenty to deal with.

But the embarrassing loss of her party's parliamentary majority in an election she called was especially damaging to her personally. Here's how she described her reaction in that moment.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I felt I suppose devastated really because I -- as I say, I knew the campaign wasn't going perfectly. But still, the messages I was getting from people I was speaking to but also the comments we were getting back from a lot of people that were being passed on to me were that we were going to get a better result than we did.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Devastated enough to shed a tear?

MAY: To -- yes, a little tear. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Absolutely.

MAY: At that moment, yes.

SIDNER (voice-over): In that same interview, the prime minister made it clear that she never considered resigning, even though there were widespread calls for just that immediately after the election.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SIDNER: And time now for a quick break. "STATE OF AMERICA" with Kate Bolduan is coming up for our viewers in Asia. For everyone else, a dramatic moment in a London courtroom as parents slash with a judge over their child's terminal illness.

Plus, people around the world are mourning the death of Chinese dissident and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Liu Xiaobo.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[02:30:11] SARA SIDNER, CNN ANCHOR: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles. I'm Sara Sidner. Thank you for rejoining us.

The headlines at this hour --

(HEADLINES)

SIDNER: The parents of a terminally ill British baby stormed out of a court hearing in London. Charlie Gard's parents are fighting to take him to the United States for experimental treatment for a rare genetic disorder. But the judge says he needs significant evidence before he can change his ruling that further treatment is futile.

Erin McLaughlin has the latest on the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A key question in the case of Charlie Gard, does the 11-month-old baby have irreparable brain damage. On Thursday, the Royal Court of Justice heard from a U.S.- based expert that the only way to know for sure the answer to that question is to give the baby experimental treatments, the same treatment the parents have been calling for all along. The same treatment that the hospital treating Charlie Gard says is futile.

But this expert, testifying over a video link from the United States, his name withheld by a court order, says there is a, quote, "small but significant chance of improvement in brain function with the experimental treatment." He said this is an assessment based on recent months of research looking at mice and patients suffering from a similar but not sustained mitochondrial disorder.

The judge noting that this expert has not treated, has not seen Charlie in person. But in light of this new research, he is calling for all parties involved to get together, the hospital, the parents, the experts, to try and reach a consensus on what should happen to Charlie Gard.

Erin McLaughlin, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SIDNER: A new type of cancer drug has been recommended for approval in the United States. Some experts are encouraged by its results in clinical studies. The gene therapy drug, produced by Novartis, treats a type of leukemia that is more common among children. The drug can enable the patient's immune cells to recognize and kill the damaging cells. It could provide a second chance to some patients whose first- line drug had failed them.

Earlier, our Amara Walker asked one medical expert to weigh in on this new treatment.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JONATHAN COHEN, WINSHIP CANCER INSTITUTE, EMORY UNIVERSITY: This is a group of new drugs that are pretty remarkable actually. They take the patient's own immune system. They harvest "T" cells. They then are manufactured and engineered in a way that they recognize the cancer and are infused back into the patient and where they take out the residual cancer cells. It's hard to overstate the impact this new therapy will have on the patients.

AMARA WALKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: How far is it in the approval process? When will patients be able to get it from the drug stores?

COHEN: This is a type of therapy, especially at the beginning, will only be available in specialized centers, many of which currently participate in our transplantation. Many of those centers are already offering this therapy through clinical trials. Our hope is by later this year some of these therapies will be available outside of a clinical trial when we receive FDA approval.

WALKER: What about eligibility? Does age matter? Young versus older? Is there an age limit?

COHEN: Remarkably, we've seen benefits from these therapies in wide age ranges and a number of cancer types. Yesterday's meeting discussed a lot about the effects in young patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and that's really where we've seen some of the most impressive results. We've also seen impressive results in older patients, including those with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and other cancer subtypes.

WALKER: This could work as a cure?

COHEN: Pediatric leukemia seems to be a big step forward. There are many patients that were on some of the initial treatments that remain in remission. Many of those patients had no remaining available treatment options. So we always get nervous throwing around that word "cure" because that's an important world. This definitely appears to be a game changer.

[02:35:17] WALKER: A game changer.

COHEN: Yes.

WALKER: I guess it's too early to say if this can be a cure because it's only been in clinical trials for a short period of time.

COHEN: Exactly. It appears to be very effect in a large number of patients.

WALKER: A game changer is a big deal. What about risk? Things can still go wrong?

COHEN: Yes. We've learned a lot at our institution and other institutions about how to manage some of the side effects. But some patients can have life-threatening toxicity. So this is not a therapy that we take lightly. Any time you rev up the immune system, and you stimulate inflation throughout the body, which can lead to life- threatening complications. And we've also seen some significant neurologic toxicity.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SIDNER: Novartis expects the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to make a final decision by October but declined to comment on the drug's potential price tag.

From heartbreaking disappointment to tears of joy. The Afghan girl's robotics team is heading to the United States after all. Who pulled the strings to make that happen? We'll let you know coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(SHOUTING)

(HORN)

(SHOUTING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SIDNER: Forget the U.S. health care debate. Taiwan has a real legislative battle on its hands. Fighting has broken out in parliament for a second straight day. This footage shows the scene. The brawl started when one party refused to let the premiere deliver a report. You can see fists going there. The premiere had to be escorted out by security.

Liu Xiaobo, one of China's most-prominent political prisoners, has died after a battle with liver cancer. Some of his supporters accuse China of neglecting his failing health by refusing to treat his cancer early. But the Chinese say they made all-out efforts to treat him. The Nobel laureate was 61 years old.

Our Matt Rivers joins us live from Beijing. We're learning about his death. Hundreds of supporters gathered

outside of Beijing's office in Hong Kong. What's happening in mainland China?

MATT RIVERS, CNN ASIA-PACIFIC EDITOR: Well, really, no one can talk about it here in mainland China because government won't let us. I used a popular messaging app here, called We Chat (ph), in China, to try and send a message to a colleague here about the fact that we were doing live shots about Liu Xiaobo all day long. He didn't get it because We Chat (ph), which is monitored by the government, wouldn't allow that message to go through. It is censored. Any mention of Liu Xiaobo cannot be put online today. The Chinese social media censorship operation is in full swing.

But the fact is, even if we can't talk about him online, his work spans decades, going all the way back to Tiananmen Square. And he fought for democracy and human rights, right up until his death.

SIDNER: I do wonder --

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

[01:40:18] MATT RIVERS, CNN ASIA-PACIFIC EDITOR (voice-over): He was one of China's most-famous political dissidents and among one of the few Nobel Peace Prize laureates jailed for their work. But the name Liu Xiaobo was taboo in his homeland. The prolific writer and veteran human rights activist saw his books and even his name banned by the Communist government. Imprisoned several times after 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, his last conviction came in 2009. His crime? Inciting subversion of state power by cowriting a manifesto calling for political reform. His punishment, 11 years behind bars, a reality he seemed to be prepared for.

LIU XIABOBO, CHINESE DISSIDENT: If you want to have dignity, fight for human rights and fight for free speech, going to prison is what you do.

RIVERS: In 2010, while in prison, he was awarded for the Nobel Peace Prize for, quote, "his long and nonviolent struggle for fundamental human rights in China."

An infuriated Chinese government tried to censor the news and boycott the award, putting his wife under house arrest and freezing diplomatic relations with Norway where the recipient was chosen.

Despite the threats of Beijing, in December 2010, Nobel organizers placed Liu's citation and the medal on an empty chair in a ceremony in Oslo.

(MUSIC)

RIVERS: Liu was diagnosed with late-stage liver cancer in prison in June 2017 and granted medical parole. Many blame the Chinese authorities for his condition, alleging negligence.

Liu's wife may have summed up his legacy the best before the last trial.

LIU XIA, WIFE OF LIU XIAOBO (through translation): His continued effort throughout these 20 years cannot change the society, but he has influenced a lot of people. He has more and more friends around him. More people have the same goal with him had. More people with fearless. I believe his effort and sacrifice is worthwhile.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

RIVERS: There's some controversy over how effective the treatment Liu received was. Chinese authorities allowed oncologists from the United States and Germany to come visit him. As of recently, this past Sunday, both of those doctors said he was well enough to be treated out of the country in the United States or Germany, per his wishes. The Chinese authorities would not let that happen. His condition quickly deteriorated and led to his death late last night.

SIDNER: Matt, one of his wishes was to allow his wife off of house arrest? Is there any chance Beijing would allow that to happen?

RIVERS: I think the answer most observers would say is no. I don't think the Chinese government wants to allow her out of the country. She's been under illegal house arrest since 2010. She's never been accused of a crime, yet she has been detained inside her home for seven years now. The main reason for that is because the Chinese government are afraid of what she might say. If they allow her to leave the country, she could talk to the media. They couldn't control what she could do. And that's not something the Chinese government would be overly thrilled with.

SIDNER: Matt Rivers, live from Beijing. Thank you so much.

A federal judge in Hawaii is adding to a list of relatives allowed into the U.S. under President Trump's travel ban. The U.S. district judge has ruled grandparents, grandchildren, uncles, aunts, other close relatives should be included. They were not part of Donald Trump's clear list. The judge says the administration had wrongfully excluded them. The ban covers people traveling to the United States from six Muslim-majority countries. The president has repeatedly criticized judged who side against the ban and suggested the judicial system is against him and harming national security interests. Those judges absolutely deny that.

In a change of course, sixteen teenage girls from Afghanistan will now be allowed into the United States for a robotics competition next week. The decision comes after the girls' visas had been denied twice. President Trump, this time, is getting credit for the about face.

CNN's Amara Walker has the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(CROSSTALK)

WALKER (voice-over): Coming to America after all. A group of tech savvy girls from Afghanistan are heading to the U.S. to take part in an international robotics competition. The all-female team thought they would miss out on the contest after their visas were denied.

All of that changed after U.S. President Donald Trump personally intervened.

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL (through translation): We are so happy for the Americans and the Trump support.

WALKER: Under the Trump administration's stricter visa policies the U.S. turned down the visa request from the Afghan team along with school children from a number of Muslim-majority nations.

[02:45:14] UNIDENTIFIED GIRL (through translation): We were disappointed when they made the ban. We lost hope. We were feeling sad.

WALKER: After a public outcry, the president urged the State Department to reconsider and, this week, the decision was reversed.

Thursday, visas in hand, the six girls begin their long journey from Afghanistan to Washington where they will become the first robotics team to represent their war-torn country overseas.

Trump's daughter, Ivanka, was among those who cheered the reversal, tweeting, "I look forward to welcoming this brilliant team of girls and their competitors to Washington, D.C., next week."

Now these teams will get a chance to show off their hard work. This robot which they built out of low-tech recycle recyclables.

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL (through translation): Afghanistan is a war-torn country which is difficult for women to improve.

WALKER: Along with the Afghan girls, the event organizers say all 163 teams from 157 countries, including Iran and Syria, were given the OK to attend the competition.

Amara Walker, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SIDNER: And ahead on CNN NEWSROOM, the nominees for American TV's biggest awards were announced on Thursday. Ahead, which shows got the most nominations.

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SIDNER: This year's Emmy Awards nominations were announced this Thursday. CNN's sister network, HBO, maintained the perennial lead as the most nominated network.

"West World," a show about a fictional western theme part, had 22 nominations.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: I feel like the world out there is gone. You're real.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: It might be.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: I designed every part of this.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Not a theme park, but an entire world.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: I think there may be something wrong.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: No choice you ever made was your own. You have always been there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SIDNER: "West World" not the only one getting 22 nominations, by the way. NBC's "Saturday Night Live" also had the same number. The show is in its 42nd season. And this year, it has ridden Donald Trump's coattails into the U.S. cultural icon.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALEC BALDWIN, ACTOR & COMEDIAN: I'd like to start by answering the question that's on everyone's mind. Yes, this is real life. This is happening.

(LAUGHTER)

On January 20th, I, Donald J. Trump, will become the 45th preesident of the United States. And two months later, Mike Pence will become the 46th.

(LAUGHTER)

I'm so excited to live in the White House. I'm even going to have a little pet, like all the presidents do. Bill Clinton had Socks. Barack Obama had Bo. And I'll have Paul Ryan.

(LAUGHTER)

I'm not gay, but I cannot wait to give it to that man for four years.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[02:50:03] SIDNER: I swear we didn't do this on purpose.

The next story, the Netflix horror series "Stranger Things" garnered 18 nominations, including a first-time nod for actress, Shannon Percer (ph).

The HBO political comedy, "Veep," has 13 nominations. Also with 13 nominations is "The Handmade Tale," on the Hulu series. Also a shout out to an unlikely duo, Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart.

They could find themselves accepting an award together in the outstanding host category for VH1's "Martha and Snoop's Potluck Dinner Party."

Meryl Streep continues to comment her status in the overachievers club by becoming one of the select few who were nominated for an Emmy while also being nominated for an Oscar. Other A-listers in the hunt for an award include Robert Deniro, Reese Witherspoon.

And finally, a bitter sweet note. The late Carrie Fisher is a three- time Emmy nominee with a posthumous nod from the Academy. The actress passed away while flying back to the United States from London where she was filming a series.

Joining us now here in L.A., film and entertainment journalist, Sandro Monetti.

We appreciate it.

Lots of shows, lots of nominations, but there were also some snubs, were there 2not?

SANDRO MONETTI, FILM & ENTERTAINMENT JOURNALIST: Yes. This was such a big campaign. We have noticed giant billboards on every corner championing the merits of various shows. Not everything can be nominated. But regardless of the snubs, those that did get nominated, look at that list. If you look at this list, fantastic shows. TV is better than movies for the first time ever. For best drama series, everything there is better than any of the movies nominated for best picture at the Oscars. This is a golden age of television in drama. comedy not so much. There's nothing there better than was on NBC in the '80s and '90s on "Must See TV." "Saturday Night Live" is getting there. This is us doing great for NBC. So, yes, some great shows.

SIDNER: I do want to talk about what we're seeing with the dystopian totalitarianism. All of them are politically based in some way. Says a lot about what's happening, does it not?

MONETTI: Well, of course. Fiction reflects the reality going on in society. This view of a dystopian future, you only have to watch this channel for a number of hours to see why these shows --

SIDNER: What do you mean?

MONETTI: -- could be so escapist and take people away and give them the vision of the future. Great show. Yes, it's a matter to do with timing and why these shows connect with people. They're perfect for right now.

SIDNER: They really resonated.

You said something interesting. Going to the movies is a big thing. We're in Hollywood. The small screen is what people are talking about on social media and amongst themselves. Not so much when it comes through as the big silver screen. MONETTI: It's an economics thing. Hollywood has given up the stage. They have gone for big bombastic blockbusters. Many just aren't made by Hollywood. Television is the place to go. A lot of these great feature movie stars, movie directors, movie writers, they're going to the small careen where the real policy can be found. It's evidenced by these Emmy nominations.

SIDNER: I cannot leave you without mentioning "Game of Thrones." Why is that exactly in the news right now?

MONETTI: Well, "Game of Thrones," the previous winner of best drama series, and not in the nominations. It's not a snub. It's a technicality. As we mentioned before, the new series starts on Sunday night. It wasn't in time to be qualified for this year's Emmy nominations. Taking a break. Going to sweep the board next year, I'm totally confident. For now, everyone else can have a chance.

SIDNER: It's going to go on and on. So, of course --

MONETTI: Let's hope so.

SIDNER: I'm sure the nominations also reflecting the changing nature of television. HBO maintaining its record recent years end and NBC doing well with its show, including "Saturday Night Live" that has been around forever.

[02:55:03] MONETTI: 231 nominations all time for "Saturday Night Live."

SIDNER: That's incredible.

MONETTI: It's the most nominated show in Emmy history.

SIDNER: That's incredible.

MONETTI: Much like "West World," it's a '70s brand which has been reinvigorated in modern times. "West World" started as a book and a movie back in the '70s.

SIDNER: It worked. It still brings people into the fore. Some people watch that instead of watching the regular news.

(LAUGHTER)

We love that.

(CROSSTALK)

MONETTI: Tons of people.

SIDNER: Like Netflix has come up with some incredible shows as well. This is a new trend, is it not?

MONETTI: Yes, 91 nominations. Netflix not far behind HBO. Give them another year and they might seize the throne themselves. Yes. It's a speculative issue. Hugely expensive. "West World," and the production values are so fantastic. When you're asking people to pay money, they want to see it all on the screen. And it's all there.

SIDNER: Let's talk about the posthumous nomination for Carrie Fisher. She was well loved. How do you rate her chances?

MONETTI: I think they're actually very good for a number of reasons, not just her excellent performances. And for me, "Catastrophe" is the funniest show on television. It was left out in the best comedy category. By awarding Carrie Fisher, by extension, you award that show. Carrie Fisher was fantastic. Her brilliance can live on.

SIDNER: Wonderful.

Sandro, always wonderful to see you. Thank you for coming back.

And just a note, CNN is among the Emmy hopeful., "Anthony Bourdain, Parts Unknown" is nominated.

The Emmy Award-winning ceremony will be at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles in September.

Queen B. has introduced her twins. Meet Roomy (ph) and Sir Carter. Singer Beyonce posted the picture on Instagram in honor of the newborns' one-month birthday. The photo reveal also serves as the official confirmation of the baby's names.

You are watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles. I'm Sara Sidner.

The news continues with Natalie Allen, in Atlanta, and Cyril Vanier, in Paris.

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