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California House of Horrors; House Votes to Avert Government Shutdown; Russia Investigation; Civilian Population Devastated in Mosul; Children in Crisis; Exhausting Heat at Australian Open. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired January 19, 2018 - 00:00   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[00:00:11] JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: This is CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles ahead this hour.

ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR: One meal a day, one shower a year. California prosecutors detail what life was like for 13 children held captive by their parents.

VAUSE: Twenty-four hours now before the U.S. government runs out of money. And it's looking increasingly likely there will be no deal to stop a shutdown.

SESAY: Plus heatstroke Down Under -- a super sweaty Aussie Open tennis legend Pat Cash will join us live. >

VAUSE: And it's also affecting the crowds. They've been quite unruly.

Hello and welcome to our viewers all around the world. I'm John Vause.

SESAY: And I'm Isha Sesay. NEWSROOM L.A. starts right now.

In Perris, California the alleged mistreatment of 13 children by their parents was far more cruel than you can probably imagine. The prosecutor says conditions inside the home were so deplorable they can only be described as depraved.

He says the emaciated children were taunted with food they were not permitted to eat and with toys they weren't allowed to play with.

VAUSE: That's on top of years of beatings, strangulation and near starvation.

At the arraignment on Thursday, parents Louise and David Turpin both pleaded not guilty to torturing their children. Bail was set at $12 million each. More details now from CNN's Stephanie Elam.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Listening to the Riverside County district attorney list all of the things they say they've discovered in this household it almost seems too much to believe.

The district attorney saying that they have found that the children were being locked up for the most minor of offenses even including washing their hands above their wrists. They were seen as playing in the water and they could be chained up for that.

They said the treatment of the children has gotten progressively worse. They're starting these charges starting in 2010. But that's when they moved to California.

We do know according to the district attorney's office that these abuse -- the abuse started earlier than that in Texas and then got worse when they moved here to California.

Some of the things that they're saying about the children when the 17- year-old, the one who was bold enough to plan this escape with her siblings for over two years; when she escaped she took one of her siblings with her. That sibling got scared and ran back into the house. She stayed on plan and called the police.

And when police got to the home they said that the defendants in the case, David and Louise Turpin, were able to unchain the 11-year-old and the 14-year-old but the 22-year-old was still chained when the authorities made their way into the home.

They said that they chained them there for weeks or months at a time to the point that they wouldn't even let them out if they needed to use the restroom based on the evidence that they saw in the house.

As far as their appearance they're saying the 17-year-old, she didn't know what medicine was when the police first spoke to her, that some of the children didn't know what a police officer was. So they're talking about the fact that they had cognitive impairment and nerve damage, only allowed to shower one time a year, and that they suffered beatings and strangulations. There are so many things in here that the list goes on.

But today was the first time that we actually saw the Turpin couple in court today looking stoically on as the judge went ahead and set their bail at $12 million each. They're looking, despite the fact -- despite the fact they have pled not guilty to all charges, they are looking at spending 94 years to life in prison if they are found guilty in this case.

Stephanie Elam, CNN -- Riverside, California.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SESAY: Well, with us now is defense attorney Ambrosio Rodriguez and CNN law enforcement contributor Steve Moore. Gentlemen -- welcome to you both.

Ambrosio to you first -- let's get to the question of charges and actually put up a graphic up on screen that lists the charges against David and Louise Turpin as they stand now. AS you see them on the screen, 12 counts of torture, also one count of a lewd act on a child -- that's David Turpin only. Let's bring up the rest there. You see several charges of violations of a dependent adult and also six counts of child abuse or neglect, and there's 12 counts of false imprisonment.

Now let me ask you this -- Ambrosio. Given what we know right now as it's been shared by the authorities, are the charges right in your view? And do you expect others to be added?

AMBROSIO RODRIGUEZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, I do expect more charges to be added. During the press conference today the D.A. Mike Hestrin made a point of letting the press know that the investigation is ongoing.

Whenever children that have been abused and have been obviously abused for decades begin to tell their story they never are able to tell everything at once. I mean they're going through a process where they're beginning to learn what the world really is. I mean they're being for the first time ever to be properly nourished.

[00:05:03] I think as they tell more there will be more charges. I mean the children themselves are the evidence of the abuse, of this brutal abuse.

SESAY: Yes indeed.

And Steve Moore to you on that point, the children are the evidence. These are children who essentially have been locked away for long periods at a time, emaciated, suffering nerve damage as has been reported. We are getting a picture; something is emerging from what authorities are sharing.

But where are the holes in your view? What will authorities be drilling down on?

STEVE MOORE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, actually there's not many holes in this at all -- Isha. I mean the holes in our knowledge right now is immense because the kids, as Ambrosio said, they have not had time if they talked from the time of the arrest until now -- they haven't had time to talk about everything that happened.

But one thing that's in the prosecutor's favor here is that there are -- there is at least one adult. There's a 22-year-old. That person has a recollection and a standing with the court that's going to be easier to utilize in prosecution.

It's always difficult when you're talking about five, six, seven-year- olds. You don't want to make them relive these situations. And there's all sorts of questions about what a child will remember.

But when you have a 22-year-old -- that's going to be some pretty good evidence and she can corroborate what the younger ones say. These people should never -- if this is all true and it appears it is -- they should never see the light of day. SESAY: Yes. I mean Steve -- it does presuppose though that the 22-

year-old has the cognitive ability of a 22-year-old. I mean the expectation is with what they've been through that will be somewhat impaired.

Ambrosio -- to bring you in, I mean further on from that point, authorities say the home was filthy. I mean it reeked of scent of urine. And the kids as we've already detailed, you know, there were the chains, there was the alleged beatings, the strangulations and whatnot.

Are you surprised, given what authorities found in terms of physical evidence, that David and Louise Turpin had pleaded not guilty? And not only that, have waived their right to speedy trial. What does that say to you?

RODRIGUEZ: That's completely normal. At an arraignment, that's what today was, a judge would not accept a guilty plea. This is the first time that they've had a time to talk and meet with our counsel. The defense attorneys haven't even received or have just received the police reports.

A not guilty plea is standard at an arraignment. It doesn't mean that they're going to not plead at a later time. Although I doubt that they will. I expect this to go to trial.

SESAY: Why?

RODRIGUEZ: Because I think they are psychopaths, from the evidence. And I don't think they think they did anything wrong. I see him as a cult figure and she -- she was his handmaiden.

And they thought that whatever they're doing, they're kind of this kind of horror show cult. They think that they are right. I mean that's part of being a psychopath, right. You think that whatever evil you're doing, it is the right thing.

So I mean as a prosecutor, as a defense attorney, I've had cases like this where it's just going to go to trial and a jury will have to decide.

SESAY: Yes. Steve Moore -- the abuse of these children according to authorities began long before now. It began when they were living in Texas. They're saying that they were there for some 17 years. And authorities now appealing for help saying effectively someone must have known something; someone must have seen something. I mean that's a pretty fair assumption to make, right?

MOORE: It is. But at the same time we haven't seen anybody who knew about it in California for seven years. So it's possible that they hid it to a certain extent in Texas.

But you still have to go back. It is almost inconceivable to us to -- that nobody figured anything out. Like if these kids didn't even know what a policeman or medicine was, then how about the people in Las Vegas? How about those people? Did they wonder why the kids didn't know certain things? Why nobody knew what a cell phone was? I think there are so many questions about that.

SESAY: Yes multiple, multiple questions. Ambrosia Rodriguez and Steve Moore -- always a pleasure. Thank you. Thank you for the great insight.

RODRIGUEZ: Thank you.

VAUSE: Well, the clock is ticking down on a U.S. government shutdown. A few hours ago, the House approved a short-term spending measure that would keep the government open for the next four weeks.

But the big question now looms in the Senate where it will take 60 votes to pass. Senators could have voted on the bill Thursday night, along with the House but they didn't. And at least right now it appears the votes just aren't there which means as of midnight Friday night in Washington, parts of the government will just start closing down.

[00:10:02] The Senate has now adjourned for the night over the objections of at least one lawmaker.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there an objection?

SENATOR ANGUS KING (I), MAINE: I object.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Senator from Maine.

KING: I object. I don't understand why we're adjourning when we're in this urgent situation. We could vote tonight on cloture and have an entire day tomorrow to work on this matter.

This is irresponsible. And I just don't understand it. So I object to the motion.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: And in the Russia investigation the House Intelligence Committee released the transcripts of testimony by Glenn Simpson, the cofounder of Fusion GPS, the company behind the infamous Trump Russia dossier. And much like his testimony before the Senate Intelligence committee Simpson implored lawmakers to look at possible money laundering involving the Trump organization and Russia.

And it comes as the testimony of White House communications director Hope Hicks has been suddenly delayed. >

CNN's Manu Raju has the details.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: More controversy in the House Russia investigation. This after the White House's communications director suddenly pulled the plug on an interview that she was going to have behind closed doors with the House Intelligence Committee about the Russia investigation.

She is one of President Trump's closest confidants even predating the campaign; she has a central role in the campaign. She was witness to a lot of key episodes as well as controversies at her time with the White House and before that.

But she's no longer coming before the committee because the committee was concerned she would pull a Steve Bannon. Bannon as you will recall did not respond to questions that the committee had earlier this week when they -- members wanted to ask him about things that happened during the transition, things that happened in his time in the White House.

But the White House instructed him not to answer those questions out of fear that it could breach the President's ability to cite executive privilege. As a result it was unclear whether Hope Hicks would do the same thing. And that appearance was delayed prompting concerns from Democrats this is an effort to derail the investigation.

Now, at the same time that same committee released its transcript that it conducted of an interview with Glenn Simpson who is the co-founder of the opposition research firm Fusion GPS, that same firm that put together the Trump-Russia dossier.

Well, in that transcript Glenn Simpson goes into detail about potential money-laundering that occurred between Russian nationals and the Trump organization as well as Trump ties with the Russian oligarchs. All of which has fueled more Democratic cause to investigate those matters and potential money laundering.

The Republicans are saying look, there's no evidence there. They are simply allegations and this is just more signs of just the partisan acrimony that continues to dominate this investigation.

Manu Raju, CNN -- Capitol Hill.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: It's been a busy day and a busy night in U.S. politics. So for more on this, we're joined now by Democratic strategist Caroline Heldman and Republican National Committeeman from California Shawn Steel. Welcome.

Ok. Here's some more on the testimony to the House Intelligence Committee from Fusion's co-founder Glenn Simpson. He told lawmakers that his firm's investigation found patterns of buying and selling that we thought were suggestive of money laundering. And there was an amazing number of people from the former Soviet Union who purchased properties from Mr. Trump.

One of them, Dmitry Rybolovlev -- I think I got that right -- he bought a derelict estate at an extreme markup in Florida. I think there was a $40 million mark-up at one point. So Caroline -- how much from this testimony is saying to fill in some of the blanks?

CAROLINE HELDMAN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, I think it's really clear that most of the investigation to date at least as far as the public knows has been focused on possible collusion and the election. But Mueller and other folks who are investigating this are going to that red line, right. They're looking at money.

And if you follow the money there are all sorts of ties to Felix Sater, the money laundering -- now questioned about money laundering with the NRA. So following the money trail seems to be where Mueller's investigation is and obviously where the investigation in Congress should be given the fact that Donald Trump has not released his tax returns and it seems to be you know this is where the path is leading.

And I think it's important to point out that when Glenn Simpson started with this they actually started just looking at finances and very quickly became concerned about what was happening in Russia in terms of Donald Trump making trips where nothing really happened and all of his business connections.

VAUSE: He said -- Simpson said there's an astounding number of trips where nothing actually seemed to come of it.

I know you want to jump in Shawn but let me give you this. Simpson also told the house committee that he wasn't convinced that a crime had occurred. He said, "I'm an ex-journalist. I'm not really in a position to prove that anyone's engaged in a crime. I mean you know, sometimes you do find proof of criminal activity in an investigation. But more often than not you find things that are suggestive or raise questions."

So Shawn -- at the very least, does this testimony raise questions for you about Donald Trump and what appears to be an incredible number of Russian ties, extensive Russian ties that he had long before he ran for president.

SHAWN STEEL, CALIFORNIA REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEEMAN: Absolutely not. This is so funny it's so laughable at many levels.

[00:15:01] Glenn Simpson is an expert on money laundering, no question about it. He actually got $9 million from the Hillary campaign and the DNC that helped buy Christopher Steele who was a spy, an ex 5 for the British, who had then in turn hired Russian operatives to come up with the infamous dossier.

And he used this money that was money-laundered through three levels -- he probably broke a number of federal laws. And my guess is he's probably going to be in jail within 24 months.

HELDMAN: I have not heard that conspiracy before.

VAUSE: That's a new one. STEEL: That's the point. There are two conversations, detailed deep conversations with deep reporters, lots of analysis. My job is to let this excellent worldwide audience know there are two conversations in America.

VAUSE: Back up. Let's just back up. Let's just stay on (INAUDIBLE) because you mentioned the DNC connection to the dossier. But we also know --

STEEL: But we all know at.

VAUSE: -- that the "Washington Beacon" which is a conservative outlet -- they're the ones that started the investigation.

STEEL: They had a very small part of that.

VAUSE: They started this --

(CROSSTALK)

STEEL: -- and then the (INAUDIBLE) $9 million, by the way, did I mention $9 million money that was laundered to GPS Fusion? That's why they're in the hot seat.

HELDMAN: It wasn't laundered. It was --

VAUSE: It wasn't laundered. It was paid.

STEEL: It was laundered through three sources before they even got the money.

VAUSE: And Caroline -- Simpson did testify that if the Kremlin knew about all of this and they probably did, it would mean that the Russians would have leverage over Donald Trump.

HELDMAN: And indeed we know that Christopher Steele was concerned about that, right. On one of the key points that that came out in the Fusion GPS testimony was that he went to the FBI because he was concerned about what he found and he was concerned about how it might compromise Donald Trump as a candidate and what it meant for politics.

VAUSE: Sure I mean, you know --

(CROSSTALK)

STEEL: That's absolutely not true by the way.

VAUSE: Let me finish -- Shawn. Let me finish.

STEEL: That's a fantasy.

VAUSE: In this testimony -- well, no it actually did happen.

STEEL: No, no, no. Not quite. He actually went to the media first to try to sell the story. He was paid -- he was paid several million dollars and he hired Russian operatives. There is collusion with the Russians but it was the DNC that was colluding with the Russians. They gave him bad information.

VAUSE: Ok. This dossier has --

STEEL: It's hysterical.

VAUSE: -- it talks about Russian mobsters, possibly disguising their names.

STEEL: Wait, wait. You don't think there's anything valid in the dossier, do you?

(CROSSTALK)

STEEL: Is there a single sentence -- is there a single sentence in the dossier that's valid?

VAUSE: A lot has been verified.

STEEL: This is a verifiable joke that every reasonable journalist, every reasonable observer that's looked at this, every lawyer that's looked at this finds the dossier is one of the most incredible fake documents of all time.

HELDMAN: No, Shawn -- that's actually not true. It's only partisans who are dismissing it who are trying to defend Donald Trump.

STEEL: Actually about half of America rejects it.

HELDMAN: It's not -- absolutely not. That's not --

STEEL: Sorry. Wrong --

VAUSE: I'm not so sure where you're getting your facts from -- Shawn but, you know, we'll move on.

The lower House, they passed that temporary budget measure to avoid a government shutdown. As we reported, it's now with the senate.

For President Trump this is all an elaborate scheme -- this government shutdown is all being cooked up by the Democrats.

Here's what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We'll see what happens. No, if there's a shutdown -- again I really believe the Democrats want a shutdown to get off the subject of the tax cuts because they've worked so well. They've been so good that I think the Democrats would like to see a shutdown in order to get off that subject.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Caroline -- that's pretty extreme measures by Congressional Democrats to change the conversation about the tax cuts. HELDMAN: You know it's actually on Donald Trump in terms of this

being where it is. His tweet where he threw confusion on Republicans actually caused Republicans to be critical of him in addition to the fact that he withdrew support for a plan for the Dreamers, right. The 700,000 people who grew up here and his withdrawing that support actually put all of the Democratic votes in the Senate in jeopardy.

And it wasn't a big deal in the House because the Republicans could get the votes that they needed which is their party. But in the senate it's a really big deal. And so there's no clear path now to passing a continuing resolution.

VAUSE: And Shawn -- the Senate adjourned a few hours ago, no agreement on a timing for a vote on temporary funding. They'll reconvene 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time on Friday. The President heads to Mar-A-Lago around 4:30 in the afternoon. The government runs out of money at midnight. So the President won't even be in town.

Is this a sign that Donald Trump seems to have sort of washed his hands of all of this and just doesn't want to be around and is in fact expecting a shutdown?

STEEL: I can't speak for Donald Trump. I am so grateful that I'm alive during this time. This is the most exciting political theater I've ever seen in my life.

VAUSE: Do you think there's real --

(CROSSTALK)

STEEL: I am extremely pleased if the federal government can shut down -- this is the dream of conservatives and libertarians for decades. And the Democrats are doing such a bone headed way they will lose seats, they will lose credibility because they'll be the ones --

HELDMAN: They're not going to --

STEEL: -- when children are trying to go Yosemite they can't get in because of the Democrats.

When veterans are trying to get help -- it will be the Democrats.

HELDMAN: No. Republicans -- Shawn, Republicans run both branches of government. They will be blamed for it.

STEEL: I'm sorry. The Democrats have to -- you have to get 60 votes. The Democrats they're the ones that are blocking government. They're the one's that are --

(CROSSTALK)

VAUSE: They're not in change. The Republicans have the lower House, the Senate and the --

STEEL: No, they have the leverage to prevent the 60 votes and they're going to misuse it. And now Joe Manchin who's a Democrat from West Virginia says I'm not going to go with my Democrats this time. I'm going to vote with the Republicans.

VAUSE: Yes.

HELDMAN: They will definitely get a few Democrats Shawn but they're not going to get enough.

(CROSSTALK)

STEEL: But this means (INAUDIBLE) the senate in 2018 and I'm so happy and pleased.

[00:20:01] VAUSE: You are an optimist. Ok. Finally he had some --

STEEL: The sooner the better. I hope it lasts months, months, months.

VAUSE: Ok. We get some valuable insight now on how to handle Donald Trump and this advice comes from Republican Senator Lindsey Graham.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: You could be the pope and criticize him it doesn't matter he'll go after the pope. You could be Putin and say nice things and he'll like you.

Here's what I found. He's a street fighter. It's not the color of your skin that matters. It's not the content of your character. It's whether or not you show him respect and like him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Shawn -- no matter what, he'll hear you out as long as you're nice to him.

STEEL: You know what, I like Graham, Lindsey and sometimes he infuriates me. I think he's a courtly gentleman. And I think it's a matter -- you know, Donald Trump through no fault of his own or our fault is from Queens, New York. I've never met anybody nice from Queens, New York. Just my personal experience.

I'm not that --

HELDMAN: I've met plenty of folks from Queens --

STEEL: I'm not anti-New York, but it's like with the Russians you've got to kind of be extra careful when you're running into them.

VAUSE: Ok. Caroline? What's your take?

HELDMAN: I would say that Lindsey Graham is saying you should basically treat him like a child. And I would disagree with Graham --

(CROSSTALK)

HELDMAN: -- his behavior is actually racist. So I actually think Lindsey Graham is being a little kind to him. VAUSE: Right. Ok.

As long as you stroke the ego, everything will be fine, I guess was one takeaway.

Shawn and Caroline -- good to see you both. Thank.

HELDMAN: Thank you.

SESAY: Well, coming up the children malnourished, forced to wed and even fight. Why this has become standard for those caught in the cross hairs of conflict.

[00:21:30] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SESAY: Hello -- everyone.

Well, one of the things President Trump vowed on the campaign trail was a more aggressive ISIS strategy. The terror group was already losing ground when he came into office almost one year ago. But under his tenure, it was driven from cities like Mosul and Raqqa.

U.S.-backed ground forces and their power led to those victories but the defeat of ISIS -- that came at a heavy human cost.

VAUSE: Brutal urban combat claimed many civilian lives and much of those cities were left in ruins.

CNN's Arwa Damon has this look at what's left of Mosul. And a warning: her report contains graphic images.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Residents told this (INAUDIBLE) the body of a little girl was buried under a layer of rubble. No one knows her name or where her parents are.

Her body is curled in the fetal position, little more than dried skin and bones next to a stuffed bunny. Her photograph will be added to a growing collection of images of the unclaimed. She's almost unrecognizable but the workers hope that her family, if they are even alive will recognize her toy.

In the old city where ISIS made its final stance where the battle and bombardment were most intense, it's hard to imagine that any rules were followed or how anyone survived.

[00:24:59] When President Trump inherited this war a year ago he did not change the rules of engagement. That is the actual steps and procedures to carry out a military strike. What he did do was give the U.S. military chain of command more authority which then resulted in a more aggressive strategy.

Now, what those words actually mean on the ground -- that's this.

The U.S. and Iraqi governments declared victory against ISIS but for the population here, the catastrophic cost is still unknown. Six months on, the stench of death lingers.

Survivors walk around in a daze and loved one still searched for their dead. With bare hands and a shovel, these young men are looking for the body of their great uncle.

He was an intellectual. But what they remember most about him was his love for a Christian woman whose family would not let them marry. But he yearned for her his entire life. They dig up his skeletal remains one of his bed.

One of his neighbors finds an old magazine with an article about another of America's devastating wars.

Then, like now, the U.S. has shied away from reporting overall civilian death tolls -- grim realities that only become apparent later. A month-long investigation by the Associated Press found that 9,000 to 11,000 civilians were killed in Mosul -- a third of them from coalition air strikes. A local government official we spoke to says that matches the information he has.

The U.S. military says it does look into individual reports and is acknowledging around 300 civilian deaths caused by its air power. And Iraq which requests or approves the strikes has established a committee to look into the overall death toll.

What you get on the ground is a glimpse of the scale of death here.

This is a mass grave that has 20 bodies in it.

This man, a grave digger, says he buried as many as 450 people in two months; many of the graves unmarked, the identities of those here unknown. But he says most were civilians.

Those who remain are left with the agonizing memories of what they endured. In the ruins of his home Thad (ph) cannot see how victory is theirs.

"To kill one ISIS man they would fire a rocket worth millions," he tells us, "and knock down ten homes". "ISIS won by hurting us and America won by hurting us."

Five-year-old Raa wants to find her toys, memories of a childhood gone.

This is the one she wants. It's a dream house, now the only home she has.

What the population suffered here is not a numbers game. What they want is accountability for all they lost, for the price they paid.

Arwa Damon, CNN -- Mosul, Iraq.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[00:28:32] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VAUSE(voice-over): Welcome back, everybody, you're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause.

SESAY (voice-over): And I'm Isha Sesay. The headlines this hour:

(HEADLINES)

SESAY: Around the world, children in conflict zones are suffering at a shocking scale. The United Nations Agency for Children reports that children are being killed, used as human shields, recruited to fight, forced into marriage and enslaved.

UNICEF says this has become standard in places like Iraq, Syria, Yemen and South Sudan.

VAUSE: And then there are the millions of children suffering indirectly from malnutrition and disease caused by no access to water, food as well as basic health care.

Joining me now from Juba, South Sudan, is UNICEF's executive director, Henrietta Fore.

Henrietta, thank you so much for being with us.

So you're currently speaking to us from South Sudan, a country racked by conflict.

What are the children there currently facing?

HENRIETTA FORE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, UNICEF: Isha, it's a real crisis here in South Sudan. There's a crisis of violence. The families are fleeing from their fields and away from violence.

And the most part of those that are fleeing are the children. So it is hitting them hardest. It is a real difficult situation because they do not have school, they do not have nutrition, they do not have health access and that is very difficult on the life of a child.

SESAY: From South Sudan to Syria, Yemen, Myanmar, DRC, to name but a few of the ongoing conflicts right now, 2017 was a shocking year for huge numbers of children. Children became target in their countries, in their respective conflicts.

How did we get to this place, Henrietta, where such a line basically became routinely crossed?

FORE: Yes, it's shocking that we let it occur as a world. In all of these places, the children bear the greatest (INAUDIBLE) of all. So here in South Sudan, one out every five are fleeing.

They've left their homes. And, thus, everything has changed about their lives. Not in school. They just do not have any of the environment for a life. They can't build a life. And in many places now, as you've mentioned, children are the ones that are bearing the brunt of the violence, the brunt of the war.

And even they're now being used as human bombs. It's just unacceptable. The world just must wake up to plight of children. SESAY: Eleven million children, rather, are in need of humanitarian assistance.

To what degree are humanitarian groups, agencies like UNICEF, able to meet the needs of children in conflict zones?

FORE: Yes, it's very difficult. Here in South Sudan, it is the most dangerous place in the world for humanitarian work. But we all know how to do it. And so UNICEF works in education and health.

We were just yesterday visiting some of the camps, where the mothers are bringing their children to see if there's malnutrition. And there is. It's already beginning. We are just entering the dry season and, as a result, there will be less food available. So we are able to give food and nutrition. At the same time we're vaccinating --

[00:35:00]

FORE: -- for polio and for measles. We are just trying to keep this generation of children and young people alive here in South Sudan. And that is true in many places around the world.

SESAY: And specifically, what is UNICEF calling for as we talk about this dreadful new normal, if you will, of children being targeted in conflict zones around the word?

FORE: Well, if we as adults can't make this world one in which children can grow and thrive and that they can build their own lives and build their own nations, then we have lost the future for our world. And that is just not good enough. We must help them.

UNICEF focuses on education, on nutrition and on rights. Yesterday we also brought several children back from -- they were separated from their family. They've been separated for four years. It was due to violence.

And by reunifying families, children have a chance again. So the world just must wake up. We must get access to these children. And we must have immediate funding. But with that, we know how to do this. We can reach them and we can save this generation.

SESAY: Henrietta, you talk about the world waking up. But there is also much talk of conflict fatigue on the part of the general public.

Do you feel that the horrors of children have somehow been caught up in all of this and that there's somehow, in some way, a detachment and the lack of sufficient outrage at what is happening to kids in places like South Sudan, Myanmar, Syria, et cetera?

FORE: Absolutely, Isha, you are correct. It happens to all of us. We don't live with the conflict and so we do not see it as being important in our daily lives. And yet if it's happening somewhere in the world, to some child, we must try to help as a world. It's our responsibility.

SESAY: Henrietta Fore, we are very grateful for your time and you sharing your insights and just giving us the view of what's happening in South Sudan and around the world. Thank you.

FORE: Thank you and thank you for your interest.

VAUSE: Well, just ahead here, it's heating up down under at the Australian Open. Players are complaining about dangerous soaring temperatures. And the crowd has been acting, well, in the words of one commentator, like halfwits.

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VAUSE: Week one of the Australian Open tennis has seen some great matches. There's been some big upsets as well. There's also been unruly fans, technical problems and the heat, sweltering.

SESAY: Yes. Temperatures have soared to almost 40 degrees Celsius. And on the court, it could be even hotter. It got so bad Thursday that Gael Monfils may have had a heatstroke in his loss to Novak Djokovic.

VAUSE: Well, for more, tennis star Pat Cash --

[00:40:00]

VAUSE: -- joins us now live from Melbourne. He's (INAUDIBLE) Wimbledon champion, two-time Australian Open finalist.

Pat, thanks for being with us. On Thursday, the temperature in Melbourne hit about 40 degrees and, after losing to Novak Djokovic, Gael Monfils said it was so hot he thought it was actually dangerous. This is what he said.

"I got super dizzy. I think I had a small heatstroke for 40 minutes. I couldn't feel fresh. I tried to cool down, even with ice, towels and water. I'm telling you, I was dying on the court for 40 minutes. I think sometimes we put our body at risk."

And here's a tweet from the host broadcaster at Channel 7 on Wednesday, "It is 69 degrees Celsius on Rod Laver Arena," which is, what, about 156 degrees Fahrenheit? I don't think that's even possible.

Should they now be looking at that extreme heat policy, which essentially leaves it up to the umpire to make a call if play should be abandoned?

Should that now be looked at and reviewed, given how hot and, you know, these players complaining about basically being put at risk?

PAT CASH, CNN HOST: Well, they're not going to be put at risk. They're lives are not put at risk. The human body -- and I've looked at this quite extensively in actual fact. And look, it --

VAUSE: I think we've lost Pat.

Have we lost Pat?

Because we -- could we get back to him?

They're still trying to get Pat.

One of the things which has been really interesting about the situation in Australia with the tennis is that there has been this big debate whether or not the players should continue, whether they're being actually quite soft and whether they just simply need to harden up and get on with it or whether or not they should treated, as some say, with kid gloves.

So let go back to Pat.

So, what do you think, Pat?

You obviously have an opinion, that they should just get on with it?

CASH: Well, they're not -- the players aren't going to drop dead. It's very uncomfortable. It's not the first time Australian Open has been in this sort of weather. The body will basically stop. It's very hard to play good tennis, (INAUDIBLE), but, you know, we see them battling through.

And this is what Grand Slam tennis is all about and this is why the biggest prize money in the world is at Grand Slams and this is why they're prestigious tournaments because it really is a battle to the end.

But as I said, I've talked to a lot of the referees, a lot of these officials. The referee will bring it in, once it gets to -- there's a combination of humidity and heat. And in Melbourne, it is very -- it's dry heat and the humidity element isn't kicked up so far that they decide that they -- that they'll bring in that heat rule.

As I said, (INAUDIBLE) tell you every time, the players will stop. They'll get dehydrated, They might start cramping, they'll have to get off the court and default their match. But there's all sorts of ways that the players now know how to look after themselves. And they've got plenty of good medical staff there. So I don't think it's a real issue.

VAUSE: The other issue, though, is what Roger Federer, sort of opened a can of worms. He admitted that he had requested not to play during the day. It turns out he was scheduled for two night matches. I told reporters that he wouldn't mind playing during the day. I hope I thrive under those conditions because, he's says, if you want to get to the top, you have to be able to play in all conditions, which is, to your point.

But it enters -- it sure is helpful to play now at night rather than during the day. Yes, duh, it certainly is.

But this is now a controversy, I guess, in terms of preferential scheduling.

CASH: Yes. But it's been going on for years. It's just the way it is. I mean, it's this prime time in Australia. The Australian public want to watch a handful of men, not even a handful of men; everybody wants to watch Rafa, who's playing at night tonight. They want to watch the local hero, whoever that might be, (INAUDIBLE) is this year.

Novak Djokovic gets some great treatment as well but you've got a guy like Grigor Dimitrov, who's playing right now in a battle in stinking heat. Of course, he plays the winner of Nick Kyrgios, local hero, who's playing in nice, cool conditions tonight.

So there's no doubt that Roger gets preferential treatment. Some say, well, doesn't he deserve it?

You know, it certainly is an advantage for a guy who's getting --

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CASH: -- 30s.

VAUSE: I want to get to the issue of the crowds, there's been a lot of criticism about behavior of the crowds over the last couple of days. He's part of an editorial in one of the local papers there. This wasn't a case of a few bad apples, ruining it for everyone. The noise was too loud, the jeers too widespread to just a blame a handful of halfwits for the distractions. Obviously it wasn't as if the entire crowd was involved but there were enough voices to ensure this match will go down as a shameful chapter of the 2018 Australian Open.

That was the Kyrgios match.

But in general, have the spectators there crossed a line?

CASH: Look, I think, certainly in the past year, there's no doubts about it. It almost became this -- a clash of cultures. There is certainly -- the Greeks and the Croatians were arguing and the Turks were getting involved.

And they worked towards stamping that out a few years ago. I still think there's a long way to go towards that. But by and large, I think the crowds like to go there, it's a very international --

[00:45:00]

CASH: -- tournament. They feel safe and feel comfortable. Sure, you get to somebody cheering on.

You know, I think some of the crowds, they decided it is a football match and what we're going to do is go out there and heckle a player and heckle a player from another nation for no particular reason other than the fact that they're from another nation.

Singing chants, all sorts of stuff like that. I do think it can go too far; I don't think it really has this year. But I think it's something that -- it's always sort of there, simmering, just under -- just bubbling underneath the surface there each year.

And security need to be aware of that.

VAUSE: Yes, it's tennis, it's not rugby, it's not the football. And, you know, it should be treated as such.

But, Pat, thanks so much for being with us. We appreciate it.

CASH: Very welcome.

SESAY: It's not a football match.

VAUSE: It's not a football match. That much I know about sport.

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SESAY: Jolly good.

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

VAUSE: I'm John Vause. "WORLD SPORT" -- whatever that is --

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VAUSE: -- you're watching CNN.