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Australian Terror Plot; Crisis in Venezuela; Trump White House; Night Club Shooting in Germany; Trump White House; Turkey Jails German Journalist; Syrian Dancer Defying the Odds. Aired 4-5a ET

Aired July 30, 2017 - 04:00   ET




HANNAH VAUGHAN JONES, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Foiled: Australia's prime minister says police have prevented a terrorist plot to bring down an airplane. Details on the arrest ahead.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Donald Trump blasting China for the recent North Korean missile launch. CNN has a live report ahead from Beijing.

JONES (voice-over): Plus Venezuelans are just hours away from a vote that could have a major impact on the country's troubled democracy. We'll show you how the unrest has affected the people there.

HOWELL: We want to welcome our viewers here and around the world. I'm George Howell at CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta.

JONES (voice-over): Morning to you, George. I'm Hannah Vaughan Jones live in London. Welcome to all our viewers. This is CNN NEWSROOM.


JONES: Before we get to our major stories, this just in to us here at CNN. At least one person has been killed in a shooting at a nightclub in Southern Germany very near the Swiss border. Three others are known to have been seriously wounded. Police say in Germany say the shooter was a 34-year-old man who was then killed in a shootout with police officers.

The motive is as yet unclear but we will bring you more details on this as soon as we get them but the very latest from the southern city of Costanzia (ph), as we understand, is that a shooting has taken place in a nightclub. At least one person has been killed, several others injured as well. More on that when we get it.

HOWELL: Also we're following this story in Australia, that nation's prime minister says police foiled a terror plot to bring down an airplane. Here is what we know as of now. Four men are presently in custody. Police say the plot is Islamist inspired. They are not saying, however, if the specific terror group is involved. Authorities rounded up four men in raids over the weekend in Sydney.

They say they became aware of a conspiracy to crash a plane using an improvised device. The prime minister of the nation, Malcolm Turnbull, says the investigation is ongoing. Listen.


MALCOLM TURNBULL, AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER: There has been a major joint counterterrorism operation to disrupt a terrorist plot to bring down an airplane. The operation is continuing.

At this stage, four people have been arrested and a considerable amount of material has been seized by police.


HOWELL: Of course CNN live in Australia this hour, our Anna Coren is standing by at the Sydney airport.

Anna, it is good to have you with us. Extra security measures certainly in place there and at airports throughout Australia.

ANNA COREN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): That's right, George, here at the city's domestic terminal there is beefed-up security. Numerous police officers are on the scene to make people feel much more at ease.

But obviously they are here to make sure that nothing untoward goes on following that -- those raids overnight, in which police, heavily armed counterterrorism police, raided five properties across Sydney. One in the inner suburbs of Sydney, the others in the southwestern suburbs of Sydney, arresting four men.

Now we understand that suspicious devices have been found at those locations and police are still on the scene, going through the properties, going through the material that they are finding.

Those four men who have been arrested have not been charged a yet. Terrorism law here in Australia mean that police can hold terrorism suspects for up to a week without charging them. Obviously, within that week, police will work very hard to build a case in the evidence that they have.

With this, of course, George is the 13th foiled plot in several years here in Australia. There has been a spike in the number of homegrown terrorists and terror cells that are taking place here in Australia.

And from the passengers that we have spoken to, certainly in the terminal, they are -- they're concerned but they do believe that security has this under control and that they are doing their best to make sure that nothing happens -- George.

HOWELL: Thankfully, they were able to get the information in order to basically crack down on this potential plot. Anna Coren, live for us in Sydney, thank you for the reporting today. JONES: Let's bring in Rodger Shanahan now, who's in Sydney for us. Rodger is an associate professor at Australian National University and has extensive experience in the Middle East.

Rodger, thanks very much for joining us. The authorities say in Australia very quick to say that this was an Islamist-inspired plot. I'm wondering why they're so confident and if you can give us some understanding of the current terror threat to Australia.


RODGER SHANAHAN, AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL UNIVERSITY: Well, you assume that the reason they (INAUDIBLE) either based on the (INAUDIBLE) or the information they have is received (INAUDIBLE).

Since 2014 we've had about (INAUDIBLE) people that they (INAUDIBLE) on terrorism charges over 70 people have been killed (INAUDIBLE) people still there. So the size of (INAUDIBLE) particularly given Australia's population is a (INAUDIBLE).

JONES: I'm afraid we seem to have lost there, Rodger Shanahan, our professor in Sydney. It was a little bit of a difficult line as well. Plenty more that we will bring you with the very latest, of course, on this situation ongoing situation in Australia as police have now four suspects in custody as yet not charged, though, after they foiled this Islamist-inspired, as we understand it, terror threat there, terrorizing what would have been a terror threat to an airliner.

HOWELL: Moving on now to North Korea, the United States answering the nation's latest missile test with its own show of force. Officials say two U.S. B-1 bombers joined aircraft from Japan and South Korea in a flyover over the Korean Peninsula.

In the meantime, the U.S. president Donald Trump went to Twitter to needle China over the North Korea issue.

He wrote this, "I am very disappointed in China. Our foolish past leaders have allowed them to make hundreds of billions of dollars a year in trade. Yet," the tweet goes on, "they do nothing for us with North Korea, just talk. We will no longer allow this to continue. China could easily solve this problem."

The Pentagon has confirmed Friday's launch by the Kim regime was an intercontinental ballistic missile. North Korea says that it should be seen as, quote, "grave warning" to the United States and experts say a similar missile could strike major U.S. cities. Let us go live to the region. CNN international correspondent Will Ripley live in Beijing this hour.

Will, here's the question, the president's tweets, they come at a time that China is showing off its own military might. We will talk about that in just a moment but first this shift in tone from the president on Twitter with regard to China.

It's. WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is and it's sort of a return, George, to what we saw President Trump tweet back in March ahead of Secretary Tillerson's visit here to Beijing. His tone shifted really dramatically, though, after the subsequent meeting in April between President Trump and President Xi in the United States at Mar-a-lago.

After that meeting, President Trump issued a series of tweets lavishing praise on the Chinese leader, calling him a great leader, a wise leader, somebody that he felt he could count on, saying they had had excellent discussions about North Korea and also hinting that there would be a trade benefit for China if China was willing to assist the United States on North Korea.

But, of course, what we have seen since then have been now two ICBM tests by North Korea, clearly frustrating to the president but even as recently as two weeks ago, after the first ICBM launch, when President Trump was speaking in France, he was still praising Chinese President Xi Jinping. Listen.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He is a friend of mine. I have great respect for him. We've gotten =to know each other very well. A great leader, he's a very talented man. I think he is a very good man. He loves China, I can tell you. He loves China. He wants to do what is right for China.

We've asked him for some assistance with respect to North Korea. Probably he could do a little bit more but we'll find out.


RIPLEY: China does have a policy not to respond to tweets from President Trump. We have not seen any direct responses from Beijing for any of his provocative tweets in the past. So it's no surprise that when President Xi gave a speech just earlier today, local time, at a military parade that he staged in Inner Mongolia, there was no mention of President Trump and no specific mention North Korea, although he did talk about the need for the People's Liberation Army, which is marking its 90th anniversary, to continue to strengthen.

And they were showing off their newly, technologically advanced arsenal, including new stealth fighter jets that really could compete with some of the most advanced airplanes the U.S. is flying right now.

Also, China rolling out its own nuclear-capable ICBMs at the end of the parade with thee announcer calling it a show of strength for the country. This all on the heels of North Korea's second ICBM test. And they were putting out their own propaganda video, showing North Korea's supreme leader overseeing this launch of a missile that analysts believe is really unprecedented in terms of its capabilities.

They say that this missile theoretically could strike any major --

[04:10:00] RIPLEY: -- U.S. city along the West Coast even further towards the east. Cities like Denver, maybe even Chicago and by early 2018, George, they're saying that North Korea could have a missile capable of reaching the entire mainland U.S., including New York and Washington.

HOWELL: CNN international correspondent Will Ripley, thank you for the reporting today.

JONES: To Venezuela now and the country is just about two hours away from a vote that could further undermine the country's democracy. Voters will choose members of a new assembly that could rewrite the entire constitution. The opposition says the assembly will give President Nicolas Maduro unlimited powers and could essentially turn him into a dictator.

Many in Venezuela are not optimistic about what could happen after this vote.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I don't think anything will change. I think everything will stay the same with the same problems as always. Nothing in the country will move forward. I do not think it will make anything better or worse, just more of the same, more of what we're going through now.


HOWELL: One resident there on the streets of Caracas.

There have been violent clashes in Venezuela, ahead of the vote. Opposition leaders are calling for more protests, despite a ban on demonstrations. In the meantime, millions of Venezuelans, they're caught up in the grips of violence and a brutal economic and humanitarian crisis in that nation.

CNN's Paula Newton reports from Caracas on how people are simply trying to survive there.


PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is a snapshot of everyday life here now. (INAUDIBLE) protesters hurl homemade Molotov cocktails at authorities, in the middle of the street. But now look beyond the chaos and look there.

Right there and you see how Venezuelans are caught in the crossfire.

This auto repair shop has seen it all, vandalized, robbed; a grenade fell on a car. Joel Escalante (ph), the security guard, says protesters beat him and cut his head open, believing he was spying for the government.

"All I want to do is work and they hurt me, "he said.

"If I don't work, what do I bring home?"

The employees here are less than 50 feet away from scenes like this. Through all the street combat, they try to carry on with their work. It's a portrait the details survival and resilient.

NEWTON: One of the things that is so disarming when you're covering these protests here in Caracas is that you have all of these confrontations on the street and yet people are getting on with their everyday lives.

That includes going to church. And you can see there those are people who are just leaving a church service.

NEWTON (voice-over): The endless confrontations can pop up anywhere and they're just another thing to contend with. But this woman tells us not to mistake Venezuelans' survival instinct for resignation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I continue here in Venezuela because I love the country. It's, for me, the best country here, humanity.

NEWTON (voice-over): Humanity, she says. Even on the front lines, there's still plenty of it to be found here -- Paula Newton, CNN, Caracas.


HOWELL: Paula, really putting it into context there. The violence on one side of the street, people just trying to survive on the other and this vote that is due in a short time ahead.

In Mexico, 178 migrants from Central America have been rescued from a trailer that was left abandoned. Officials say those rescued include women and children. The truck was found in the Mexican state of Veracruz and the government officials provided the migrants with temporary housing and with aid.

JONES: A raging fire at a Spanish concert led to a mass evacuation on Saturday. This was the scene in Barcelona at the Unite with Tomorrowland music festival. The stage itself caught fire and more than 22,000 people were forced to flee the area. Thankfully, no one was hurt. Authorities report that the flames were put out but the entire structure is at risk of collapse now.

Organizers, all professionals, say a technical malfunction caused the blaze.

HOWELL: Around the world this hour, thank you for being with us on CNN NEWSROOM. Still ahead, the Trump White House begins the week with a tough former Marine Corps general as its chief of staff. We'll explain more about John Kelly, who is he.

Plus the arrest of nearly a dozen Germans in Turkey is quickly deepening into a diplomatic crisis. We'll explain why Germany claims its citizens are being used by Turkey as political pawns. Stay with us.






HOWELL: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM, I am George Howell.

The U.S. president fair to say was busy on Twitter Saturday, we told you about the comments that he made on China. Well, he was also venting about losing a crucial a critical vote in the Senate last week that was aimed at rolling back the Affordable Care Act.

So with ObamaCare, still standing, President Trump tweeted this, quote, "Unless the Republican senators are total quitters, repeal and replace is not dead. Demand another vote before voting on any other bill."

Earlier, Mr. Trump demanded Republicans change the Senate rules in order to move that legislation. Republican Senate must get rid of 60 vote now, he says, it's killing the Republican Party, allows eight Democrats to control the country, 200 bills sit in Senate.

A joke, says the President of the United States.

Marine Corps General John Kelly moves to the White House on Monday as President Trump's new chief of staff. He has spent the past six months as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. CNN's Dianne Gallagher has more now on how his military experience might well influence the West Wing.


DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Friends describe John Kelly as plain-spoken --


GALLAGHER: -- mission-oriented, a leader, basically the consummate Marine. But perhaps more importantly, President Trump likes and respects Kelly and it appears the feeling is mutual.

GALLAGHER (voice-over): It was another major announcement made over Twitter.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: We're following breaking news. President Trump just announcing a new White House chief of staff.

GALLAGHER (voice-over): The president tapping Homeland Security Secretary General John Kelly to replace Reince Priebus as his new chief of staff.

TRUMP: Reince is a good man. John Kelly will do a fantastic job. GALLAGHER (voice-over): Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general with nearly five decades of military service, has served many roles; the latest, Homeland Security chief, where he has earned high marks from the president for defending and enforcing the White House immigration policy.

Now, earlier in his career, Kelly served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. His son, Robert Michael Kelly, was killed in combat in Afghanistan in 2010. President Trump and General Kelly visited his son's grave on Memorial Day earlier this year.

Starting Monday, General Kelly enters a new arena: White House politics.

GEN. JOHN KELLY, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: What I never saw on the military side was the level of toxic kind of politics that are associated with what I do now.

GALLAGHER: The question now is can General Kelly unite the West Wing where sharp elbows, staff infighting and loose lips have distracted from the president's agenda?


GALLAGHER: And General Kelly is also described as fiercely loyal to his troops, to his staff. In his statement acknowledging he was chief of staff only one sentence was actually dedicated to that. The rest was praising the staff of the Department of Homeland Security.

This is something that is very important to him. He is moving to a White House where there is a lot of public rebuking, name-calling and backstabbing. The president himself outwardly speaks illy (sic) of those staff members and people within the cabinet. And so this is thing that John Kelly is either going to have to change or get used to very quickly in the White House -- Dianne Gallagher, CNN, Washington.


HOWELL: Dianne, thanks for the reporting.

Let's get some analysis from Scott Lucas. Scott is a professor of international politics at the University of Birmingham, live with us via Skype from Birmingham this hour.

Good to have you with us, Scott. So we just heard the reporting from Dianne there, the changing of the guard, Reince Priebus is out. General Scott (sic) Kelly is in now as White House Chief of Staff, described as the consummate Marine. It is believed that he will bring a very disciplined order to the ranks there, to control exactly who has access to the president.

But given the nature, Scott, of this president, who, fair to say, operates in an unprecedented fashion, what impact do you believe General Kelly will make here?

SCOTT LUCAS, UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM: Well, here's the question. Will Trump simply use Kelly for his personal whims, which can change from day to day?

As we saw in fact in part with dismissal of Reince Priebus, with attacks in recent weeks on Attorney General Jeff Sessions, with the Twitter almost tirade yesterday, including against the Republican Party?

Or can John Kelly, possibly in alliance with other former generals, James Mattis at Defense, H.R McMaster at the National Security Council, can they somehow control, keep a rein on the president and on other advisors, say like the very flamboyant communications director, Anthony Scaramucci?

I think the fact is and what needs to be said is that you talked a little bit about this toxic politics in the White House. Well, to some extent, Donald Trump is the source of the toxic politics, not the victim of it as he likes to portray.

He has played advisors off one another. He has gone after senators in the legislature, even threatened them and threatened your states with punishment if they didn't vote the right way.

And unless Kelly and others in the White House recognize that rather than simply facilitating what the president wants to do, the chaos will continue.

HOWELL: Scott, I think I conflated two names as well; your name, Scott Lucas and I called -- John Kelly. Just want to be very clear on that. My mistake.

The president also bashing the GOP over health care. But moving forward, what does the president have to do himself to make sure that this big campaign promise becomes a reality?

LUCAS: Well, first thing is Trump would have to stop being Trump. And I'm not sure that's going to happen because if you really want to get a health care bill through, some might say you need to work with the Democrats, an option that at least Senator -- Majority Leader Mitch McConnell may considering right now.

But if you choose not to work with the Democrats, you have got to work with different factions of the Republican Party. There are some conservatives who have opposed versions of the bill, people like Rand Paul, people like John McCain, who cast the decisive vote last week.


LUCAS: There are some moderates who have opposed the bill. Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, who also cast deciding votes in the final ballot. And unless you can bring those different wings together through the belief that everyone benefits from this, you can't get the bill through.

And Trump actually is more of a dividing rule person than a uniter. So I think the health care bill is dead on. And I think we have to move very quickly to talking about the budget because supplement funding for the federal government runs out at the end of September. So that fight begins as soon as Congress comes back from the August recess.

HOWELL: And the question will be will the president have broad support even with Democrats in order to get this important legislation through?

This other question I want to pivot, Scott, the president's latest round of tweets keeping in mind the White House has indicated the tweets are official record of the President of the United States.

So if that is the case, these tweets on China certainly indicate a major shift in official policy.


LUCAS: They represent what Donald Trump thinks, although people now may read it as policy. Let's be honest. What we saw yesterday was a president who may or may not be out of control, tweeting from what might have been a locked room in the White House all day.

And it was not with consulting with advisors. It was not with discussing the latest over the North Korean crisis. It was not with discussing the latest over Russia and the possible intervention in the 2016 election. At times he was reacting just to what he saw on TV. And that's an extraordinary situation.

I don't think we've ever been in a position where a president with a single tweet or a single set of tweets, as he did earlier this week, on the issue of transgender people serving in the military can suddenly set off questions about what exactly is the U.S. doing.

So his people inside the White House are not sure. People on Capitol Hill are not sure. And America's allies around the world are simply not sure of what is going on when you let Twitter -- let Trump on Twitter unchecked for a full day.

HOWELL: Scott Lucas, live for us in Birmingham, England, Scott, thank you so much for the insight today.

JONES: Such a fascinating insight and great analysis there. Thanks to Scott.

Still ahead on CNN NEWSROOM, trouble in Washington that could have major repercussions further afield. We visit Alabama, home to the current U.S. attorney general, Jeff Sessions, to see how his treatment by the president is being viewed there.

Plus Germany protesting the detention of its citizens by Turkey. The latest on deteriorating ties between those two countries -- just ahead. Stay with us.



HANNAH VAUGHAN JONES, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Welcome back to our viewers all around the world. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Hannah Vaughan Jones live for you in London, where it's just gone 9:30 this Sunday morning.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): 4:31 on the U.S. East Coast. I'm George Howell, live at CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta, with the stories following hour.

This story just came to CNN, at least one person was killed in a shooting at a nightclub, this taking place in Southern Germany near the Swiss border. Three others were seriously wounded in the city of Konstanz.

Place say that the shooter was a 34-year-old man who was then killed in a shootout with police officers, the motive still unclear. Of course we continue to follow the story and bring you updates as we learn more here on CNN.


HOWELL: With General John Kelly moving from Homeland Security to now become the White House chief of staff come Monday. It may be present -- present, rather, an opening to solve another of the president's headaches, the question what to do about the embattled U.S. attorney general Jeff Sessions.

But at least one prominent Republican is frowning on the possibility of having Sessions replace Kelly at Homeland Security.

In a pair of tweets, Senator Lindsey Graham said this, "Attorney general Jeff Sessions has a good ring to it," and then added, "Department of Homeland Security Jeff Sessions does not sound right does not feel right," says Lindsey Graham.

JONES: The controversy surrounding Jeff Sessions is being closely watched in his home state of Alabama, the U.S. attorney general is something of a political icon there and the recent fallout with President Donald Trump is leaving some people conflicted. Our Martin Savidge went to find out more.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In Alabama, it's not political. It's personal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am extremely disappointed with what's going on here lately.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Attorney general Jeff Sessions is from Alabama, voters electing him four times to the U.S. Senate. The last time he was unopposed.

SAVIDGE: And he's pretty well liked here.


SAVIDGE: Loved, maybe, even.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. SAVIDGE (voice-over): Sessions was the first Senator to endorse

Candidate Trump and political insiders here say that turned millions of conservative skeptics into Trump voters.

SEN. JEFF SESSIONS (R-ALA.), U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Make America great again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His endorsement of Donald Trump made he pause and take back and say, hey, do I need to give this guy another look.

SAVIDGE: Alabama voted overwhelmingly, 62.7 percent for Trump. That's the highest percentage of any southern state.


SAVIDGE: So Trump making Sessions attorney general wasn't just here as reward, but right.

RUSS JORDAN, LOCAL ATTORNEY: As attorney general of the United States, you want integrity. That's the bottom line.

TRUMP: I'm very disappointed with the attorney general.

SAVIDGE: The president's sudden about-face and unprecedented public attacks on their native son has many Trump voters here shocked.

KELLY PAUL (ph), TRUMP VOTER: I don't think it's right. More like drama. He could do better. There's more things to be worried about than little things like this.


SAVIDGE (on camera): Is he turning people away from the president in any way support-wise?

TERRY LATHAN, ALABAMA REPUBLICAN PARTY CHAIR: There's going to be some people that probably will. I have no polling data that shows me that.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Some in Alabama have heard enough. Congressman Mo Brooks is running for Jeff Sessions' old Senate seat.

He issued a statement saying, in part, "I support President Trump's policies, but this public waterboarding of one of the greatest people Alabama has ever produced is inappropriate and insulting to the people of Alabama."

But despite the anger or insult, nothing here suggests that Trump voters are abandoning the president in large numbers.

LATHAN: President Trump, he is so popular in this state.

SAVIDGE (on camera): Still?

LATHAN: Still. Very still, so much so. SAVIDGE (voice-over): At Dick Russ' barbecue in Sessions' hometown of Mobile, breakfast and politics come in generous portions. And Matt Waltman is struggling.

MATT WALTMAN, TRUMP VOTER: I'm not trying to jump off the Trump train.

SAVIDGE: He's torn between his support of the president and the attorney general home-state hero.

WALTMAN: I am extremely discouraged with it. I hope that these two -- I hope these two offices can squash this and move forward and especially don't need it being put all over damn Twitter.

SAVIDGE: The president has put many of his Alabama supporters in a political quandary, unsure of which side to choose, hoping they won't have to -- Martin Savidge, CNN.


HOWELL: Martin, thank you.

We continue to follow the news from Southern Germany, again, where at least one person was killed in a shooting that took place in a night club in the city of Konstanz but authorities in Hamburg, Germany, they are investigating another fatal attack that we have also been tracking.

Investigators say that the man who fatally stabbed someone in a grocery store on Friday is a known Islamist and psychologically unstable. But apparently the 26-year old does not appear to be linked to any terror network. The suspect stabbed three shoppers with a kitchen knife in the store. Then he headed outside to attack four other people.

Authorities say that he is an asylum seeker, who intended to leave Germany.

JONES: Several instances there in Germany that we're following but meanwhile, the relationship between Germany and Turkey is deteriorating. After Turkish police arrested German nationals and accused them of terrorist activities. CNN's Atika Shubert interviewed the partners of two of the detainees.

They say the allegations are absurd.


ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: When Dilek Mayaturk decided to marry Deniz Yucel, it was not the wedding of her dreams.

"It was not a celebration," she told us. "We had two witnesses and an officiate. It was on one of her open visitation days so we could hold hands. But it was nothing more than that.

"We said our vows and I had to let my husband go."

That man, Deniz Yucel, is a journalist. He has been in solitary confinement in a Turkish prison for more than 150 days with no indictment against him. The reason for his arrest: propaganda in support of a terrorist organization and inciting public violence.

His articles for Germany's respected "Die Welt" newspaper were submitted as evidence by Turkish authorities. Yucel is Turkish but also a German citizen.

This month, human rights activist Peter Steudtner was arrested along with nine others, charged with, quote, "committing crimes in the name of a terrorist organization," without being a member. He was arrested in the midst of a workshop in IT security training in mental health for human rights workers, including Amnesty International.

His partner spoke to us in Berlin.

MAGDALENA FREUDENSCHUSS, PETER STEUDTNER'S PARTNER: If international organizations and their human rights defenders are under threat I think this is a threat for everyone.

SHUBERT: He was actually preparing --

SHUBERT (voice-over): She tries to be stoic but she admits their two children miss their father, especially when he is not there to read a story before bedtime.

FREUDENSCHUSS: For me, it's important to know or try to feel that he is with himself and he's -- that there is a strength with him.

SHUBERT (voice-over): There are about 3 million Turkish nationals in Germany. There have been massive rallies in support of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on German soil but there have also been several NATO military personnel seeking asylum here after the failed coup attempt against Erdogan last year.

Now there are fears that German nationals may be held as political hostages, as one senior politician put it. Germany's foreign ministry has asked its citizens traveling to Turkey to exercise caution.

Both Dilek and Magdalena do not want to imagine their loved ones becoming political bargaining chips. Pretrial detention in Turkey can last years. Both are determined to fight the charges.

"He said from the beginning, I went in as a journalist and I want to come out as a journalist," she says. "I expect a fair --


SHUBERT (voice-over): "-- trial. And as absurd and fantastic as the accusations are, we are not going to answer them with anger because we are in the right," she says.

Germany is demanding their unconditional release and threatening to reassess its relationship with Turkey with possible travel and trade restrictions. Turkey insists the law must take its course; for the families, that is an agonizing wait -- Atika Shubert, CNN, Berlin.


HOWELL: Atika, thank you.

Still ahead, scientists are making a last-ditch effort to save endangered Northern white rhinos from extinction. It involves cutting edge technology and test-tube rhino embryos.

Plus an almost impossible dream. You don't want to miss this inspiring story of a danger who overcame the most daunting of odds. Stay with us.




JONES: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM.

An investigation has begun in South Africa after two people were killed in a stampede outside the country's largest stadium. It all happened during a football match in Johannesburg. An official said people who did not have tickets tried to enter the FNB Stadium. Remarkably, the match was not stopped even in spite of the fatal incident.

HOWELL: Now to a story we're following about the Northern white rhino, truly magnificent animal, and on the brink of extinction. But scientists in Kenya are hoping that cutting-edge techniques can save them. Our Max Foster has this report.



MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They are the very last of their kind. Three Northern white rhinos now so rare and precious that they're kept under armed guard in Kenya.

Sudan is the only surviving male; his half-sister, Najin, and her calf, Fatu, have medical problems that stop them reproducing naturally.


FOSTER (voice-over): But thanks to science, it might not be the end for this rare bloodline; 7,000 kilometers away at the Longleat Safari Park in Wiltshire, England, these Southern white rhinos are part of a groundbreaking plan.

Eggs have been carefully harvested from three of the park's females and sent to Italy. There, scientists hope to use them to create a test-tube rhino embryo. It's the first step in an experiment that could eventually see these Southern rhino females carrying a Northern rhino calf.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And there's only a very limited supply of the sperm from the Northern white rhinos. There's only three of them left in the entire world. So got that limited genetic bank.

So what they're planning on doing is also experimenting with mixing Southern white rhino sperm, Southern white rhino eggs and reimplanting that. And just to fine tune their success rate, when they use (INAUDIBLE) Northern white rhino sperms, they know it's really going to count.

FOSTER (voice-over): If the experiment proves successful, the next step will be to create an embryo using sperm and eggs from the Northern white rhinos.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Those embryos are then going to be reimplanted into Southern white rhino females, surrogate mothers, if you like, maybe ours here at Longleat, and secure the Northern white rhino as a species.

FOSTER: Scientists are hoping to extract the eggs from the remaining Northern white rhinos by the end of the year. But don't expect calves anytime soon. Rhinos have one of the longest gestation periods of any animal and are pregnant for up to 18 months -- Max Foster, CNN, London.


JONES: Still to come on the program this hour, two tropical storms hit Taiwan in just two days. Around 100 people have been injured and thousands more have been evacuated from the worst-hit areas. The forecast is ahead.

Plus they say a journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step. But wait until you see the steps this dancer has taken to find a new home and fulfill an old dream.






HOWELL: Welcome back to NEWSROOM.

Taiwan is just starting to clean up from one tropical storm but a second system may be causing even more flooding there.


JONES: In Syria, civil war has robbed countless people of everything from their lives to their livelihoods. But despite unimaginable challenges, one Syrian is refusing to allow the war to take something very special from him -- his dream. And as Salma Abdelaziz now reports, three simple words are giving him all the courage he needs.



SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN PRODUCER (voice-over): Dance or die. For Ahmad Joudeh, these words are a promise to himself and a challenge to his enemies. Ballet dancer, not Syrian refugee or stateless Palestinian is his true identity.

AHMAD JOUDEH, BALLET DANCER: I felt when I dance for the first time this is who I am. And as I was born as a refugee in a camp, all my life, being annoyed, now the whole world call me the dancer.

ABDELAZIZ (voice-over): Growing up in Damascus, few supported Joudeh's passion. He says his father even beat him for it and eventually left the family.

Joudeh continued his ballet education. He quickly became a rising star, competing on the Arab version of "So You Think You Can Dance."

But his success made him a target. In 2015, ISIS stormed his neighborhood. They threatened Joudeh, telling him dancing was punishable by death.

Joudeh inked his own message of deficit on the back of his neck, permanently.

JOUDEH: I did my tattoo on my neck, "Dance or die," because if they wanted to cut my head I want them to see this as the last thing they can see, dance or die.

Family members were killed; his --


ABDELAZIZ (voice-over): -- home destroyed. But Joudeh remained unbowed, dancing on rooftops and even on the ancient ruins of Palmyra, where the terror group had once beheaded innocents.

Last year, the Dutch National Ballet sponsored Joudeh to come study and live in Amsterdam. He's safe and thriving now. He recently performed in front of the Eiffel Tower.

But his mind is never at ease.

JOUDEH: When I think of my family, it's hard to breathe (ph), especially while I'm dancing.

I was doing the audition and a certain point, my country and my family, they came to my mind and I couldn't even move and I couldn't breathe.

ABDELAZIZ (voice-over): Joudeh's journey has changed at least one mind: his dad's, now a refugee in Germany.

JOUDEH: I was visiting him in Berlin.

ABDELAZIZ: Just five days ago.

JOUDEH: Yes. And he was dancing in his house.


ABDELAZIZ (voice-over): The 27-year old believes ballet can and will warm dark hearts and open closed minds.

JOUDEH: It gives me the proof that I can change the whole world if I'm really believing in myself.

ABDELAZIZ (voice-over): Salma Abdelaziz, CNN, Paris.


HOWELL: The proof that he can change the whole world. What a good way to end our show this hour. Thank you for being with us. I'm George Howell, live in Atlanta.

JONES: And I'm Hannah Vaughan Jones for you live in London. We will both be back with more on the breaking news out of Germany, where at least one person has been killed, three others seriously wounded after a shooting at a night club in the south of the country. Do stay with CNN for more on that. CNN is, of course, the world's news leader.