Return to Transcripts main page


U.S. Slaps Sanctions On Russia, North Korea, And Iran; Pyongyang Threatens "Firm Action" If Sanctioned; Tehran Promises A "Very Clever" Reaction; Venezuela's New Constituent Assembly To Meet Friday; Trump Backs Points-based Immigration Plan; Scientists Edit Harmful Gene Mutation of Human Embryos; Kenya Election Stirs Up Violence Fears. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired August 3, 2017 - 01:00   ET


[01:00:00] ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR: This is CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles. Ahead this hour, with the stroke of a pen, Donald Trump officially slaps sanctions on North Korea, Russia, and Iran. And now, those nations are responding. Plus, the scientific breakthrough: human embryos are a key to remove a genetic disease, but there are ethical concerns. And later --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This has been a fierce decongested election; these two men are fighting for a share of 19.6 million votes. And no matter where you go in Kenya, people what to know will this be a free and fair election?


SESAY: Well, Kenya gears up for the presidential election with concerns of violence on the minds of some. Hello, and welcome to our viewers all around the world, I'm Isha Sesay. NEWSROOM L.A. starts right now.

U.S. President Donald Trump pulls a new sanction against Russia "seriously flawed." And the White House says, parts of the bill are clearly unconstitutional, but Mr. Trump signed it anyway as retaliation to Russian interference in the U.S. election. In addition to targeting Russia's energy and defense sectors, it also takes aim at banks on foreign governments working with North Korea, and it punishes Iran for human rights violations and weapons programs.

Mr. Trump outlined his objections saying this: "Since this bill was first introduced, I've expressed my concerns to Congress about the many ways it improperly encroaches Executive power, disadvantages American companies, and hurts the interest of our American allies. The bill remains serious flawed particularly because it encroaches on the executive branch's authority to negotiate. Yet, despite its problems, I am signing this bill for the sake of national unity."

Well, we are covering reaction to the new sanctions from all around the globe for you. Journalist, Kaori Enjoji, is in Tokyo with reaction from the Korean Peninsula; CNN's Nick Paton Walsh has a view from Tehran; and our own guest here in the studio, Robert English, who's an expert on Russian politics; let's start with him. Robert, welcome, good to have you with us. I want to read you part of one response, shall we say from Moscow.

This is a response put out by the Russian Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev. Let's put it up on screen. Because he posted this to Facebook and it reads in part: "First, the hope of improving our relations with new U.S. administration had ended. Secondly, a full- fledged trade war is declared against Russia. Thirdly, the Trump administration demonstrated complete impotence, in the most humiliating manner, transferring executive powers to Congress."

Robert, extremely strong words -- needling the president, expressing outrage, but at the same time President Putin's own spokesperson seems to be playing all of this down. So, give us some perspective on the reaction from Moscow.

ROBERT ENGLISH, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS SCHOLAR AND AUTHOR: Disheartening that the Prime Minister of Russia, that model of democracy is so concerned with the balance of powers in our country. But more seriously, yes, it's hard to understand the statement; we see just as Vice President Pence has said different thing from Secretary of State Tillerson or Donald Trump on this issue. So, too, Russian voices have not always been in unison. Nevertheless, the laments and the, as you say, needling of Donald Trump contained in that Facebook posting by Medvedev; it was extraordinary, right? It went after his manhood, "you are impotent." It's part to know --

SESAY: it's a mano-a-mano stuff where --

ENGLISH: It is hard to see why that would be? Now, maybe Medvedev was simply going off a bit on Facebook. He's known to enjoy posting on Facebook, even President Putin has teased him about that habit from time to time. But nonetheless, it's not as if everything is done so like hardily, there must be some reason you would think for singling out this week spot of President Trump -- his manhood, respect. And --

SESAY: And answering what President Trump said in his own statement, which is that his hands are being tied Congress and it's encroaching on executive power.

ENGLISH: It's going to hurt Trump's feelings that none of us can see any way that Trump, too, respond in a fashion that helps Russia, that improves the situation, chains us to Russians advantage. So, it just seems gratuitous, and this is kind of unusual. We'll have to see what dominant lying comes out after.

SESAY: But you know, from Putin's camp, his Spokesperson, Sergey Peskov, said that there would be no further retaliation. Obviously, we saw Putin order 755 American personnel are in Russia. Do you believe that or do you expect that there will be further fall out from this, there were will be a retaliatory measure taken maybe in other spheres of potential cooperation between the U.S. and Russia?

[01:05:01] ENGLISH: Judging by other Russian actions and statements of other high officials including the Foreign Minister, including President Putin himself, my sense is they would like to draw a line under this and avoid another round of escalation of tit-for-tat sanctions and worsening of the crisis. So, I don't see a trade war. I don't much worse than the current poor state of relations falling out from this. I could be wrong, and maybe Putin -- Medvedev is signaling something, but the bigger issue, as I've mentioned before could be in Trump and his enforcement of these sanctions and frictions with our European allies, who do a lot of energy business with Russia.

SESAY: How much wiggle room does the president, President Trump, have when it comes to maybe not going the full way if that lives his decision to not implement these sanctions.

ENGLISH: Here we are again with the constitutional crisis. President Trump thinks he has a lot of legal rows, and that he will essentially not enforce those aspects of the sanctions: such as trying to interfere with the Nord Stream Two Pipelines, the gas pipeline from Russia to Germany. Others interpreting those sanctions strictly would say he's obligated to sanction those German and Dutch companies that are indirectly helping Russia by proceeding with this deal. We shall see.

SESAY: We shall see. Robert, it's always a pleasure, thank you. Let's get some reaction now to the sanctions that have leveled against North Korea, let's bring in Kaori Enjoji -- she's reporting from Tokyo. Kaori, good to see you once again. So, the president has signed this bill that targets North Korea. Is there any real expectation where you are there in the region that these new measures will bring about a change in North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile activities?

KAORI ENJOJI, JOURNALIST: Well, Isha, every time North Korea does something provocative, the United States and its allies respond with some kind of sanction, so this has been the pattern time and time again to the point that over the last 60 years, North Korea has lived through either one kind of sanction or the other. And you have to remember that despite all of this, North Korea has continued to develop its nuclear weapons program. And take for example country like Japan, they have had a trade embargo against North Korea for years, yet the missile continues to land closer and closer to Japan than now in the exclusive economic zone in Japanese waters.

So, I think these sanctions are trying to focus, and trying to free some of the financial assets that are linked to North Korea and that inevitably has pointed to China, and this is where the difficulty lies. They have -- countries have identified other Chinese institution or shipping companies, or trading companies that might have links to North Korea. But because -- for the private sector (average companies), China is the most important market in the world. In this kind of tit-for-tat at the political level, undermines their ability to do business there, so that is one (INAUDIBLE).

And you also have to remember, United States is not the North Korea's biggest trading partner -- China is. They share a very long border, it's very permeable, a lot of goods go back and forth, and a lot of labor goes back and forth. We don't know exactly how much that is because the data out of North Korea is so sketchy, but this is where the difficult balancing act is. You have China that is the lynchpin in these sanctions and negotiations yet at the private sector level this a crucial company for all global -- for all companies operating around the world, Isha.

SESAY: Also, it's worth pointing out to our viewers that the U.S. State Department is banning the U.S. citizens from traveling to North Korea. Give us some perspective on the significance of that.

ENJOJI: Well, these -- the travel ban itself will go into effect on September First. And the U.S. is advising people that are already in North Korea to get out of there as soon as possible before those restrictions go in place. So, unless you're a journalist or you have some kind of special activity there, either something humanitarian activity there, the U.S. is saying we will not be able to travel to North Korea from September First. So, not a whole lot of people go to North Korea, to begin with, they usually go through tour groups, through China.

So, I think at the practical level, it probably doesn't impact too much, but of course, this comes on a news, of course, the U.S. student, Otto Warmbier, who returned to the U.S. recently in a coma and then passed away. So, I think, you know, at the -- there is practical level, it may not have much significance but I think they're trying to balance that, of course, with the economic angle that we discussed earlier. So, not giving North Korea some kind of leverage, a bargaining chip, so to speak, should U.S. people be taken hostage in North Korea, and try to freeze the flow of cash that's going into the country as well. So, I think that's part in parcel of that package.

[01:10:02] SESAY: Yes. Kaori Enjoji, joining us there from Tokyo; we appreciate it. Thank you so much. Well, Iran says news sanctions the United States is imposing -- violate the terms of the nuclear deal. And the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs says Tehran will have a very clever response. Nick Paton Walsh is in Tehran with more.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Donald Trump signing this legislation is to some degree a technicality. Iran's response to it known when the Senate initially passed it; they considered it needs to be perhaps some comprehensive measure against it. One senior official saying, perhaps, really it may cast in the doubt, certainly, the spirits if not the exact text of the nuclear that Iran signed with U.S. and European powers back in 2015. (INAUDIBLE), and that in fact, which says the U.S. and those of European power shouldn't undertake measures that compromise Iran economically on the international stage, do new sanctions like the ones just imposed by Washington do that? Well, certainly here in Tehran, they would argue that definitely.

The broader question here though is the spirit of that deal. Donald Trump has been very stridently against it while campaigning and in office. He even (INAUDIBLE) recently, he might certify Iran as not being in compliance with it, potentially in the months ahead. Washington says, new sanctions are not related to the nuclear-related sanctions, and therefore can still go ahead without violating that deal. Iran, many of its senior officials are beginning to question, well, we've done our part in stopping nearly all nuclear management has required under that deal. When are we going to see the kind of sanctions relieve more broadly across the stage in the coming? Frankly, of American rhetoric that makes us feel we're getting our side of the bargain through there.

None of this really helped in the last few hours by the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, condemning what she called the threatening behavior of Iran, pointing to what the U.S. says with the ballistic missile test in the last few days. Iran says, it was part of a space program, the U.S. says that technology can be used as part of a weapons program. And the U.S. put in forward a letter in which they say, the U.S., France, Germany, and U.K., united in wanting to hold Iran to account for this. They say that the spirit of a resolution called 2231 which backed up a nuclear deal, also said Iran shouldn't undertake ballistic missiles test. Well, didn't actually ban them from doing that. I just called upon them, not to do it.

So, all of this coming down to the text and its finer point, the broader issue, those are spirits of that deal -- hailed back in 2015 as a way of calming nuclear tensions here in this particular region. And now seeming very much in jeopardy, Donald Trump doesn't like the legislation he just signed, he didn't like the nuclear agreement that the Obama administration signed. He certainly is not a fan of Iran's stolen policy in the region. The question is: what does he intend to do about it? Well, Iranian officials deeply concerned on what they see as the White House's policy here in general, perhaps, in disarray -- some analyst served him talking to, have been referring to.

The question is: what comes next? Can the rhetoric be calmed or do Iranian officials begin to fail themselves increasingly distant from this nuclear deal? They said they've done their part. They don't feel necessarily economic relief put to speed, they wanted to a big question for the months ahead here. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Tehran, Iran.


SESAY: Well, the organization for American states is calling for an emergency council meeting to address Venezuela's political crisis. This comes hours after President Nicolas Maduro sworn in the newly elected constituent assembly despite claims of voter fraud. The attorney general now says those claims are under investigation. CNN's Leyla Santiago has more from Caracas.


LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In a nationally televised address, President Nicolas Maduro has announced that he is pushing back the installation of his new constituent assembly. And this comes a day that the numbers behind the election of the members of the constituent assembly are being questioned. The president has said that he believes more than 10 million people showed up to vote in this election, essentially saying that's what he believes is the support for his government in Venezuela right now. But the elections technology company that is behind the machines used

the election believes and they say was on the doubt that there are some tampering with the election. And keep in mind, this is the company that has been here since 2004 and has never taken issue with any of the elections despite who the winners may be. Now, the government has said that those are an irresponsible statement; they even come out to say that they could possibly take legal actions against them.

And this at a time, with international pressure, is mounting. The United States has already placed sanctions on individuals associated with President Maduro, they've placed sanctions on him as well. What they have not done is that target the oil industry. So, as Venezuela and the world wait to see when this constituent assembly will go to work because it could possibly rewrite the Constitution and it could replace the national assembly in place right now that is controlled by the opposition. Maduro seems to be moving forward, the international community is watching, calling this "the road to dictatorship." Leyla Santiago, CNN, Caracas.


[01:15:12] SESAY: Tense times in Venezuela. Quick break now. Still, to come, a proposed overhaul of U.S. immigration policy: a point system will get preference to English speakers with the highest levels of education.


SESAY: The U.S. State Department says there is more to the New York Times report that it's investigating race-based discrimination in college admissions. According to the Times, the Civil Rights Division plans to investigate and possibly file suit in cases where students were intentionally discriminated against based on race. The Times pull it up saying the Justice Department is actively seeking lawyers to work on the issue, which with resumes due by August Ninth. The Trump White House called the report flawed.


SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The New York Times' article is based entirely on uncorroborated inferences from a leaked internal personnel posting in violation of Department of Justice's policy. And while the White House does not confirm or deny the existence of potential investigations, the Department of Justice will always review credible allegation of discrimination on the basis of any race.


SESAY: Well, the Justice Department issued a statement saying the case in question is a complaint filed by Asian-American students during the Obama administration back in May 2015. While the Trump administration is supporting the plan to dramatically cut legal immigration to the U.S., the proposed bill would slash the number of immigrants by half over 10 years. It would revise rules for work visas and family-based visas, and the number of refugees allowed into the U.S. would be kept at 50,000 a year. Mr. Trump says the purpose is: protect American workers.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: For decades, the United States was operated and has operated a very low-skilled immigration system, issuing record numbers of green cards to low waged immigrants. This policy has placed substantial pressure on American workers, tax payers, and community resources. Among those that hit the hardest, in recent years, have been immigrants, and very importantly, minority workers competing for jobs against brand new arrivals. And it has not been fair to our people, to our citizens, to our workers.


SESAY: Well, the new plan envisions immigrants competing against each other through a points system; a minimum of 30 points will be required to apply for a U.S. visa. Those points will be allocated based on things like age, education, and ability to speak English. The highest number of points would be awarded for winning the Nobel Prize or an Olympic medal.

Well, a Senior Trump Advisor, Steven Miller, was tasked with explaining the new immigration proposal to reporters. CNN's Jim Acosta asked Miller to justify the new policy in light of the famous line on the Statue of Liberty by Emma Lazarus. It reads: "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free," and it provoked this testy exchange.


[01:20:08] JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Aren't you trying to change what it means to be an immigrant, coming into this country, if you're telling them, you have to speak English. Can't people learn how to speak English when they get here?

STEVEN MILLER, SENIOR ADVISOR FOR POLICY TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, first of all, right now, it's your requirement to be naturalized -- you had to speak English. So, the notion that speaking English wouldn't be a part of an immigration system, would be actually very ahistorical. Secondly, I don't want to get off into a whole thing of that history here, but the statue of liberty is a symbol of liberty in lining the world, is a symbol of American liberty lining the world. The poem that you're referring to -- was added later -- is not actually part of the statue of liberty, but worth fundamentally. This history -- they've had more fundamentally.

ACOSTA: So, you're saying that that does not represent what the country has (INAUDIBLE) --

MILLER: I'm saying that the notion -- I'm saying the notion that can --

ACOSTA: Steven, I'm sorry.

MILLER: No. Let me ask you a question.

ACOSTA: That sounds like some national park revisionism. Are we just going to bring in people from Great Britain and Australia?

MILLER: You know, actually, I am shocked at your statement that you think that only people from Great Britain and Australia would know English. It's, actually, it reveals your cosmopolitan bias to a shocking degree, that in your mind -- no, this is an amazing moment. I just want to say --

ACOSTA: It looks like you're trying to engineer the relational ethnic flow of people into this country.

MILLER: That is one of the most outrageous, insulting, ignorant, and foolish things you've ever said. And for you, that's still a really -- the notion that you think that this a racist bill is so wrong.


SESAY: Well, joining me now to talk about all of this here in L.A.: Talk Radio Host, Mo'Kelly; and CNN Political Commentator, John Phillips. Gentlemen, good to see you once again.


SESAY: John, let me start with you. Why is Jim Acosta wrong, when he says that this bill effectively changes the notion of who an immigrant is coming into the United States?

PHILLIPS: I think there are about 125 million people of India who are very happy right now, who are English speakers. Look, we've always had standards in the United States when it comes to who gets to come to here. And of those standards, up until the Kennedy Immigration Bill in the 1960's was the ability to assimilate, the ability to become an American, the ability to take care of yourself, so you don't go on the public toll. Those are important things to Americans and this is the reason why -- one of the main reasons why -- President Donald Trump was elected; he ran on this issue.

His position on the issue of immigration was very different from Jeb Bush's, who at the time was the frontrunner in that Republican primary or even Marco Rubio who evolved any number of times on the subject. And I would argue, even Ted Cruz, it was the reason that he separated himself from the pack, and was chosen by those voters. And I believe, one of the main reasons that so many Democrats, so many blue-collared Democrats, people that are used to voting for Barack Obama -- once, maybe twice -- in places like Ohio, in Michigan, and Wisconsin voted for him. He also did better among Black and Hispanic voters than John McCain and Mitt Romney, and it was because of illegal immigration, in my opinion.

SESAY: Let me just push you that. And then, Mo, I want you to weigh in. You talked about assimilation for those coming in, what do you mean by that? Because that remains unclear to many, including myself, what do you say for people who come into the United States, when you say they need to assimilate? Is that what is happening right now? PHILLIPS: It means speaking the language. It means accepting George Washington is the father of the country. It means being able to integrate into American society. You have countries in Europe where you have areas that have a lot of problems right now.

SESAY: We're not talking about Europe, we're talking the United States and what it's facing, something separate you Europe which has different social issues.

PHILLIPS: Well, we don't want to become Europe. We don't want to become Western Europe. We don't want to have to deal with a lot of those problems. And I think it's fair for our country to be able to have an immigration policy, to have borders, and to have those laws respected.

MO'KELLY, TALK RADIO HOST: Did you catch that? He conflated illegal immigration with legal immigration.


KELLY: But Donald Trump didn't run on legal immigration. He was forwarded to the idea of illegal immigration. And let's be clear, anything that's immigration is bad, they're rapist, they're terrorist, they don't seem as they're best. I mean, at what point do we realize that this a part of the American tradition, as far xenophobia and racism. And when you talk about have it assimilation or speaking English, you speak into a very narrow segment of the world, as far would approve of coming to this country.

SESAY: Listen, you know, we can get into -- we can into the weeds with this, but let's just take top lining in. This doesn't have even a chance of getting through Congress. I mean, John, this is something that, obviously, we expect the Democratic position to be what it is. We heard from Chuck Schumer, the Minority Leader, basically saying, this isn't for us. But this is an issue -- legal immigration -- that divides Republicans.

PHILLIPS: Well, it also divides it also divides Democrats. How would like to be Heidi Heitkamp put in for re-election for North Dakota on the position of wide open borders? How would like to be Joe Manchin or Donnelly in the state of Indiana? There's a lot of red state Democrats -- 10 in fact -- in states that Donald Trump won that are running for re-election in the midterm cycle. Midterm cycles tend to favor more conservative candidates, tend to favor Republicans over Democrats, at least they in recent years. I wouldn't want to be Heidi Heitkamp, voting for open borders. I wouldn't want to be Joe Manchin.

[01:25:31] SESAY: Mo, do you think this will possibly have a chance in Congress?

KELLY: No. I mean, this administration has not proven they can pass anything of significance. The easiest one would've been health care -- repeal and replace Obamacare. If you can't get that done, you definitely can't get tax reform done, you definitely can't get immigration reform, because that is actually a wedge issue. And to move from illegal immigration to legal immigration, you have even less footing, you have less traction. You would have less unanimity on or consensus on a Republican side of the aisle; same nothing to the Democrats.

SESAY: John, there's this question that the president is, you know, trotting out, if you will, these initiatives because it's about the base, it's about the base that is sure ringing that up, firing it up at a time when you have Quinnipiac polls putting out numbers like 33 percent approval rating for the president. Is that what this is? Is this an attempt to fire up the base at a time when there is, I mean, 61 percent disapproval -- the president?

PHILLIPS: It depends on how you define the base. I think it certainly meant to come through on a campaign promise to his supporters. There's a reason why states like Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, voted for Donald Trump and they didn't vote for John McCain -- an open borders guy -- or Mitt Romney, a guy who was, you know, supported by the Wall Street Journal. It's because he hammered the issue of illegal immigration over, and over, and over.

SESAY: You have to say it illegal immigration.

PHILLIPS: And he also talked about legal immigration before that.

SESAY: How does one even talk about it in 2015? And on "MEET THE PRESS," that he said he was fine with legal immigration.

PHILLIPS: You're looking at the campaign documents that they put out on the issue of legal immigration. Miller was the one who wrote it. I mean, it's very consistent with what they're following through. The voters knew exactly what they were getting on the issue of legal and illegal immigration with Donald Trump.

SESAY: Last words to you, Mo, what's the political upside here for the president?

KELLY: He may improve this poll numbers in the short term. But if he can't deliver some legislation through, it doesn't matter in the long term.

SESAY: All right. Gentlemen, I appreciate it, always good to see you two. Thank you.

PHILLIPS: Thank you.

SESAY: Quick break here. Ground breaking research has found a way to prevent genetic diseases, but some critics say it could lead to scientists playing God. That story is just ahead.


[01:30:11] SESAY: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles. I'm Isha Sesay. The headlines this hour.


SESAY: Now, scientists are reporting a potential medical breakthrough by successfully correcting a genetic mutation in human embryos for the first time. A study in the journal "Nature" says researchers used the technique to removed genes-linked to inherited heart conditions. The DNA repair system then replaced the missing genes with a copy from the parent without the mutation. Researchers found that more than 70 percent of the resulting embryos didn't have the harmful gene. Scientists hope the research could one day let them edit or sniff out genetic diseases from children before they are born.

Dr. Stuart Finder joins us now to talk about the study. He's the director on Center Health Care Ethics at Cedar Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.



Thank you for being with us.

The potential and the upside for this here in preventing children being born with painful and incurable diseases is clear and obvious but there are still ethical concerns here?

FINDER: Sure. There's actually a variety of different levels of concerns. One is that for that individual that might be, so to speak, help by this -- and I say so to speak because that's the issue. Even if we can demonstrate that we can get the gene from the parent into that embryo, the question is going to be, in the long run, what will be the effect on that individual? That's the sort of thing we'll know by actually trying. We're going to have an individual put at risk. That's one layers.

A completely different layer is, once we've done this, we've now actually altered that individual's DNA forever. As the grow into maturity, become an adult, they're going to start, if they procreate, they're going to introduce into the population something that may be different. And we don't know what that will do. So that's a second layer.

And finally, on a third layer, is really the fundamental question of what do we actually identify as the bad stuff that we need to cut out. And although it seems fairly obvious, some of these things are not as clean-cut as we may think.

SESAY: When you say that, do you mean that it could be the beginning of the slippery slope? People talk about designer babies and more cosmetic changes.

FINDER: It could be that, but it's also even the nature of disease itself. Let's think there's something that there's a one-to-one correspondent, like Huntington's Disease. That is clear cut. There is a clear gene that leads to this condition. Take away the gene, the condition goes away. But there are other conditions in which the correlation is not so direct. And there may be other effects of having that gene. So for instance, sickle cell disease. Everyone knows it's awful. But at the same time, people who have sickle cell disease don't get malaria. So how does the genes in not just isolation but actually in the unity of one's entire DNA affects the individual. That's the question. And we don't know as much as maybe we pretend that we know with the science. I think that's what raises the ethical questions. Because we don't know what will be the effect once we go start to go down that road.

SESAY: Given the fact that clinical trials are outlawed in the U.S. in terms of federal funding of them. I mean, how do we get to that point of having enough data to say that this is safe?

FINDER: And that's one of the challenges. So there was a consensus organization last year that people from genetics and ethics law got together and said, in theory, it should be acceptable to try this in human beings. The question will be, how much safety and evidence do we have to have from animal models before we say it's acceptable.

SESAY: When it comes to this issue, let's face it, while there are the concerns here in the United States, it's happening in other countries. It's happen overseas. It again brings a question of the need for openness, right, and the need for transparency and to be able to see the data to prevent people going down the dark allies.

[01:35:09] FINDER: That's right. And I think that's the thing that also prevents us from going down the slippery slope. It's being able to have that more open conversation not just in the scientific community but the broader social community. After all, there are people with religious commitments, people with certain kinds of political or economic concerns that are not going to be favorably, or conversely, are favorable. Given that we live in a very pluralistic society, it's how we have that kind of open conversation about what's at stake, for whom, and what we're willing to go with, and where we might want to draw our limits.

SESAY: This kind of conversation, what will it take to get it mainstream, what will it take to get a rational conversation about it. Because at the end of the day, yes, the so-called benefits, as you phrased it at the beginning, could save a lot of people, potentially:

FINDER: That' right. So it's balancing what we see as the potential good and what we see as the potential harms. That's a very important social conversation we have to have. It's not going to be up to just the scientists or the politicians, the economists. It's really about having all stakeholders participate. And that really, in one sense, is at the bottom, the biggest ethical issue. It requires a lot of information, a lot of transparency, as you said, about what's actually going on, what's at stake, what's the science behind it? And we have to have that in a way that people can actually year one another.

SESAY: And I think it also begs the question amongst all of us when that conversation happens on a broad scale of what kind of world we want to live in.

FINDER: That's right.


SESAY: And what is humanity --


FINDER: And what's at stake for all of us in terms of trying to help create a better world.

SESAY: Absolutely.

Dr. Finder, thank you.

FINDER: Thank you.

SESAY: Appreciate it.

Still to come, Kenya's presidential election is days away, but old memories of election violence are haunting some of those voters. Stay with us.


SESAY: New Zealand's opposition leader is pushing back against what she calls unacceptable questions for a professional woman. On Tuesday, hours after Jacinda Ardern was unanimously elected as head of the Labour Party, she was asked on a TV program about her thoughts on juggling being leader of the party with the possibility of maternity leave. It should be noted Ardern is not pregnant. She initially didn't mind the question but took a stronger stance later, along with her male colleagues.


JACINDA ARDERN, NEW ZEALAND LABOUR PARTY LEADER: I have chosen to openly talk about it. But my point is that in this day and age, it doesn't mean that any other woman should be answering those questions.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Have you ever been asked?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. Do I look pregnant? That's what I'm concerned about. No, I just think it's a stupid comment to make here. There's no place -

[01:40:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's entirely her business. It is absolutely pathetic that anyone is questioning whether someone, could be an M.P. or prime minister, as to whether they are likely to have children.


SESAY: Ardern is stepping into this new role with less than two months until the next general election.

Voters in Kenya head to the polls next Tuesday. With incumbent president, Uhuru Kenyatta, battling for a second term. Many expect him to win. The long-time rival opposition leader, Raila Odinga, remains hopeful.

As reports, they just want to make sure of one thing, that the election is peaceful.


FARAI SEVENZO, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In this area, one of Africa's largest, a mother of five is making something to sell. Here in Kenya, this dish is popular with everyone.

But when it comes to politics, opinions are far more varied.


SEVENZO: Eight candidates are running for president but polls show the real race is between two long-time rivals whose own fathers led Kenya to independence nearly 55 years ago, as president and vice president.

(on camera): Who are you supporting?


SEVENZO: Is it the name of the incumbent, Uhuru Kenyatta, on this particular street. 55-year-old Kenyatta has served one term as president and he's going for his second. 72-year-old Raila Odinga has failed three times in the polls and is going for the presidency for a fourth time.

The race is tight enough for him hope that this time the outcome will be different.

(on camera): This has been fiercely contested election. These two men are fighting for the share of 19.6 million votes. And no matter where you go in Kenya, people want to know, will this be a free and fair election and will it be peaceful? And the question of the hour is, of course, who will it be?

(voice-over): This woman tells us that the two main candidates are ready to win and this worries her because, she says, neither of them are ready to lose.

Even though Kenya's last election in 2013 was peaceful, she says the violence that followed the disputed polls in 2007, when over 1,000 people were killed, still scares her.

But she is determined to vote for the opposition, Raila Odinga.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translation): Let's give another person another chance. We can't continue with somebody who is making our life miserable and continue with him again and again.

SEVENZO: The word "peace" is on everyone's minds. Go into the center of Nairobi and you will hear it again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's have a peaceful election and whoever wins it will be fine.

SEVENZO: Make no mistake, this is a wealthy nation, popular with tourists. But Kenyans are worried about the cost of living and how the incredible wealth does not tend to trickle down to everyone.

President Kenyatta is promising to create more jobs and to keep Kenyans safe from terrorism. Mr. Odinga is promising to support the poor and end corruption that many acknowledge has blighted development here.

When two bull elephants clash, they say in these parts, it's the grass that suffers. Kenyans are hoping there will be no suffering and that their country will roll out an election with incident, come the 8th of August.

Farai Sevenzo, CNN, Nairobi.


SESAY: Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles. I'm Isha Sesay.

"World Sport" is up next.

I'll be back with another hour of news from around the world.

You're watching CNN.