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HALA GORANI TONIGHT

Rally Against Gun Violence In Downtown Los Angeles; Family Who Took In Florida Shooter Speaks Out; School Shooting Survivors Demand Tougher Gun Laws; Trump Fires Off Angry Tweets, Denies Any Collusion; Indictment: Russian Troll Farm Spread Misinformation; Polish Prime Minister Draws Outrage In Israel; Charity Report: Two Workers In Haiti Threatened Key Witness; Minorities Living In Fear In Afrin. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired February 19, 2018 - 15:00   ET

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


[15:00:15]

HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. Live from CNN London, I'm Hala Gorani.

Tonight, a groundswell of student anger, young people are demanding action on guns in the United States. I'll speak to two survivors of the Florida

high school massacre this hour.

Also, we are live in St. Petersburg outside what used to be a hub of Russian internet trolls accused of interference in the American election.

And the movie that has shattered all expectation, "Black Panther" (inaudible) in a record breaking opening weekend. We will have a

discussion on that.

In Florida, stunned students are turning their anger over gun laws into activism. It was just five days ago that a gunman used an assault-style

weapon to slaughter 14 students and three teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

It is a type of tragedy one expects the nation to act on, but with no action from Congress, no action from the White House other than calls for

thoughts and prayers, young people are refusing to let this particular story fadeaway.

Usually, what, the lifespan of a school shooting or a mass shooting is a few days in the news headlines, and then it kind of fades away. Students

are saying not this time, not this time, we will take matters into our own hands.

They are rallying to tell their parent's generation, you have failed us. Emma Gonzales is one of them.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

EMMA GONZALES, STUDENT, MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL: They say that tougher gun laws do not decrease gun violence. We call B.S.! They

say a good guy with a gun stopped the bad guy with a gun. We call B.S.! They say guns are just tools like knives and aren't dangerous as cars. We

call B.S.! (Inaudible) could have been able to prevent the hundreds of senseless tragedies that have occurred. We call B.S.! That us kids don't

know what we are talking about that we are too young to understand how the government works. We call B.S.!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GORANI: Some very powerful words there from a very young woman, a teenager, and what's interesting about this particular shooting is it

didn't prompt protests and anger in Florida only but across the United States.

For instance, here earlier teenagers in Washington staged a line outside the White House. They want gun reform, they say. On the other side of the

country, "Drain the NRA" is holding a protest right now in downtown Los Angeles.

Let's get to Parkland, Florida where CNN's Rosa Flores joins me now. Talk to us a little bit -- now it's been, you know, five or six days, a little

bit about the anger that were still feeling and frustration in this community in Florida about what happened in that high school.

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Hala, there is so much pain and emotion. You can probably see the growing memorial behind me. You can see

traffic. People have been stopping by all day long.

And the surviving students are taking that energy and they are directing it towards gun control because they don't want this happen anywhere else.

Seventeen of their fellow classmates or teachers were gunned down with an AR-15 style rifle.

And that's what they don't want anymore. Now they are specifically for the ban of that type of rifle and also for high capacity magazine. They are

banned because they say that those types of weapons and ammunition that increase the amount of carnage.

As you can see behind me the growing support from this community and for gun control just keeps increasing.

GORANI: All right. We were learning more also about the shooter. He was taken in by a family for a few months and one of the family members who

took him in, this Nikolas Cruz, the shooter in this case spoke to CNN just a short while ago. This is what they had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAMES SNEAD, TOOK IN FLORIDA SHOOTER WHEN ADOPTIVE MOTHER DIED: He told us he was depressed. We know he was depressed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When you say (inaudible) what that means like?

SNEAD: He was just -- he's just trying to fit in. He just didn't know what to say or when to say it or how to say it, you know, so he's asked a

lot of questions. He apologized a lot. If we told him to do something, if he need to clean up something up for himself, or something, he'd apologize

and say he was sorry. He's sorry just do it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GORANI: And there you have it, the adults who took in Nikolas. What more are we learning about this gunman's motivations?

FLORES: Well, according to this host family, they say that they never saw the aggression. They only knew that he was depressed, and he didn't know

how to do basic things like work a microwave and do laundry and so they taught him how to do that.

[15:05:10] They knew that he had a weapon, an AR-15 style rifle, but the parents thought that they had the only key to the safe. Now, of course, we

know that that's not the case.

From getting access to an Instagram account, Hala, we found disturbing, disturbing conversations that he was having with a group of six other

individuals. It includes racist rants. They talk about the weapon, the AR-15, perhaps getting an accessory to make it automatic.

We know from law enforcement that this weapon that he used was not automatic, but they talk about the body armour. I mean, it's just a window

into this disgusting world of racism and violence that now police are taking a look at and trying figure out the motive.

They don't know the motive just yet or at least they haven't shared it with the public at this point.

GORANI: Thank you very much, Rosa Flores with the very latest live in Florida.

While at Mar-a-Lago resort over the weekend, Donald Trump is said to have had many conversations about gun control and even appeared open to doing

something about it. So, how do students keep this momentum going?

I'm joined now from Parkland, Florida, Adam Alhanti and Chris Grady, both students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and both survivors of the

attack. Thanks to both of you.

Adam, I would ask you first. First of all, how have these last few days been because it's so traumatic what you -- what you went through, what you

had to endure? How are you doing now?

ADAM ALHANTI, STUDENT, MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL: Thank you, Hala. I am doing just fine myself. We have been working tirelessly over

the past couple of days to change the way this country thinks about guns and to change the way this country thinks about our politics and our

legislators.

We need to make a difference in this world and if our past generation isn't going to do anything, then we are going to be the ones to step in. You

know, I was once told that I'm just a child and that I can't do anything.

And now were knocking on our legislators in Washington, D.C. to make a movement and to make a difference.

GORANI: And Chris, you same thing, you survived this horrific attack and hope you're now able to manage some of these terrible emotions that anybody

would be feeling after this. Why do you think that other school shootings did not prompt this kind of outcry, but the one in yours will? Why do you

think?

CHRIS GRADY, STUDENT, MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL: Well, you know, for example, the shooting in Newtown in 2012, those kids were too

young to speak out about what happened, but we are not. So, we are going to be the voices for them and thousands of other children have also been

affected by tragedies like the ones that have happened here.

GORANI: Yes. And Adam, do you think the generation of your parents would basically would be my generation, people in their 40s and 50s. Do you

think they fail you that allowed these gun problems to get out of control?

ALHANTI: Yes. I think that our parents and the past generation had a chance like everybody had a chance and they let it pass up, and I don't

just think that it was our parents fault. I really think that, like the media in a way failed our generation by not continuing to speak about this.

Because our movement relies on people like you, Hala, and other networks that can keep our story going because we can't get our word out without

people like you, guys.

GORANI: OK. And you know, working all around the world, this is CNN International literally everywhere around the globe. Chris, if you had --

a lot of young kids I speak with say why does this happen only in America, this type of mass shooting. If you had to explain it to someone your age

outside of America, how would you?

GRADY: That interest groups such as the NRA has consolidated too much power. They have politicians in their back pocket.

GORANI: And Adam, do you agree with that? Do you think there's other reasons or do you think primarily that?

ALHANTI: Yes, I think that other governments like the government of Australia, for example, 12 days later after one of their largest shootings,

they immediately put a ban on assault rifles and they took action quickly. And America did not, and this is what we need to do to stop more shootings

from happening.

GORANI: And Chris, what's -- how old are you, Chris, now? Are you old enough -- you're not old enough to vote yet, but you will be soon, right?

GRADY: I am.

GORANI: You are so you're 18 already, good. So, what is the path forward because many presidents and political -- and politicians have promised in

the past to do something to curb gun violence. They haven't succeeded.

[15:10:06] What does someone in your generation, your age, what are you able to do, do you think?

GRADY: Continue to speak out. March 24th, the march for our lives where we'll be marching on the nation's capital and we encourage every student

from every corner of the country to join us. And if they can't join us in D.C. then to march in their own major cities.

GORANI: That's on March 24th. Adam, I got to ask you a more personal question. I mean, what conversations did you have with your parents after

this day? I imagined they hugged you a lot tighter the day after the shooting. What words were exchanged in your intimate family environment

about what you went through?

ALHANTI: My mother told me that she sat on the side of the road for about three hours waiting for me to walk out of my school. And I spoke to my

parents about how they felt because it's not really just about the students.

I mean, no parent should ever have to bury their child and no parent should ever have to wait on the side of the road like my mother did. And I think

if the politicians don't do anything that that many of them are parents, and if they don't do anything they can expect to be waiting on the side of

the road for hours just like my mother did.

GORANI: Did either of you know any of the of the students or teachers who were killed last week, Chris?

GRADY: Yes, I did know some of them. It's obviously awful what happened, but you know, if we stop what we are doing, we are just going to be

tarnishing the legacies of heroes like Coach Bies (ph) and Coach Hicks (ph) and every other teacher who had died protecting their students.

That's why we are going to keep fighting no matter how hard it may seem. It's not going to take days or weeks, but it's going to take years, but we

are going to keep fighting for them.

GORANI: Adam, last one to you, is this different do you think? Do you think this could change things what happened at your school or do you think

like other mass shootings people will slowly kind of -- it will fade?

ALHANTI: Yes. Hala, I don't think that this is different. I know this is different and I know that we are going to get together especially on March

24th in Washington, D.C. for the "March For Our Lives."

We as a nation are going to get together, and we are going to fix the things that our politicians were elected to do but aren't. And we are

going to get out there hand-in-hand, and show our nation that we deserve change and we deserve to feel safe in our own country.

GORANI: Adam and Chris. Adam Alhanti, thanks very much. Chris Grady as well. Thanks to both of you. Sorry we had to speak after a horrific event

like the one you had to live through last week. Thanks very much for joining us. We really appreciate your time this afternoon.

Now Donald Trump's resort is near the site of the school shooting, near the site where Adam and Chris were speaking to us from. But he wasn't focusing

on comforting a community and mourning over the weekend, he repeatedly in fact raged against the Russia investigation instead.

In fact, he's still firing off tweets. The latest condemning former President Barack Obama for not doing more to fight Russian, quote,

"meddling." Mr. Trump still has not condemned what he now acknowledges was an anti-US campaign by the Kremlin.

An indictment released Friday makes stunning allegations about Russian interference in the American election including Russians posing as American

political activists working around the clock to churn out propaganda and inflammatory social media post.

At one point in 2016 decided to go all out in favor of Donald Trump and against Hillary Clinton.

Matthew Chance is standing outside this Russian troll factory at its called at the heart of the indictment and he joins me now live from St.

Petersburg. What are you learning there from that location where it seems it was the nerve center of this operation according to this indictment?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Hala, we are learning quite a lot actually because we came here on the understanding it

wasn't being used anymore, this the Internet Research Agency, in that building right behind me.

We know better as the sort of Russian troll factory as it's been dubbed in the media and by others. But in fact, there were people coming and going

to the (inaudible) all day. People taking smoking breaks. They were taking delivers of things.

All sorts of stuff going on. They worked late into the night. And so, there is this sense that it's supposed to close down or moved on, but it's

very much active here at least that's what we saw.

Now, this is the place that's been named in that U.S. indictment as being the seat of all sorts of illegal activity. Russians posing as American

citizens, incident bloggers to promote various causes in the United States even organizing rallies on divisive political issues like rights relations

on the streets of American cities.

[15:15:12] That whole conspiracy in other words to sow discord and chaos in American politics took place inside that building behind me.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHANCE (voice-over): This is the only glimpse we have of a Russian troll factory in action. The undercover video was recorded inside the secretive

Internet Research Agency in Petersburg where paid internet provocateurs works 12-hour shifts distorting the U.S. political debate.

CNN spoke to a Russian journalist, who went undercover there as an internet troll 2016.

LYUDMILA SAVCHUK, FORMER INTERNET TROLL (through translator): The U.S. elections are the key issue for the Kremlin and, of course, Russia has

invested a lot of effort into them. That's why the troll factories are working. I have no doubt.

CHANCE: And this is the publicity shy Russian oligarch now indicted in the U.S. for bankrolling the troll factory. Yevgeny Prigozhin dubbed by

Russian media as Putin chef has lucrative catering contracts with the Kremlin but denies any involvement in election meddling.

"Americans are very impressionable people," he told Russian state media, "They see what they want to see. I have great respect for them. I am not

at all upset that I'm on this list. If they want to see the devil, let them see one," he added.

But the possible expensive Prigozhin's alleged involvement in the often shadowy world of Russian foreign policy is only now starting to emerge.

He's already on the U.S. sanctions for supporting Russian forces in Ukraine.

(Inaudible) through a complex web of relationships. He's suspected of links to covert Russian mercenaries deployed in Syria where CNN has

reported several were killed in a recent U.S. airstrike. Prigozhin denies any connection to the group.

Whatever the truth, Putin's chef and his network of secretive companies seemed to extend far beyond the kitchen.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHANCE: We heard Prigozhin's denial there of any link with U.S. meddling. There have been other denials as well from Russian officials, not least the

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who said he's not seen any facts relating to that and described what he had seen as blather.

Also, today, it's been the first time the Kremlin has reacted to these latest U.S. indictment, so they say that they saw no substantial evidence

that any Russian officials or the Russian state took part in the alleged election meddling -- Hala.

GORANI: All right. Our senior international correspondent, Matthew Chance, live in St. Petersburg.

A lot more to come this evening, Nazi symbols painted on signs outside the Polish Embassy in Israel. We'll tell you about the two countries

increasingly tense debate over the Holocaust.

And Oxfam is promising to do better after a sex abuse scandal, but details are still emerging about how staff threatened witnesses. Details after the

break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[15:20:00]

GORANI: Israel and Poland are at odds over history once again, and to the point where there was a lot of anger. Swastikas painted on signs outside

the Polish Embassy in Tel-Aviv in response to controversial comments by the Polish prime minister about the Holocaust.

When asked about a new law that makes it illegal to blame Poland for cooperating with the Nazis, the prime minister said even Jews were among

the perpetrators of the Holocaust, as you can imagine, that brought a strong response from Israeli leaders.

For more let's bring in Oren Liebermann in Jerusalem. Tell us more -- Oren.

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And if you thought this was calming down anytime soon between Israel and Poland, it certainly is not. The

latest remarks coming from the Polish prime minister. The Israeli president called this a new load by the Polish government.

While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said there is no comparing Polish actions during the Holocaust to Jewish actions. This is now gone beyond

the political level of discourse or disagreement between Israeli and Polish leaders.

As you pointed out there, this is now gone to the streets where someone spray painted swastikas and Polish murderers on the Polish Embassy in Tel-

Aviv. This has not shown any sign yet of cooling off.

It's neither the Polish government or the Israeli government seems willing to give any ground. But I will point out one interesting aspect of this,

Netanyahu himself was criticized for offering a fairly soft response to the Poles where everybody here wanted essentially a fiery response against the

Polish government.

Why could that be? Well, Israel and Poland contrary to last week or so have had very good relations in recent years where Poland has protected

Israel and looked after Israel at some international forums.

Netanyahu perhaps worry that if he went after the Poles too hard, he would risk that protection. But Hala, this isn't cooling off or ending anytime

soon it seems.

GORANI: So, what beyond this could be the result of this tips between the two. Will it just end at this or -- what's the was a worst-case scenario

here, do the ambassadors recall diplomatic incidents?

LIEBERMANN: That hasn't happened yet to any great extent and that we've only really seen rhetoric right now and threatening language firing back

and forth between the governments. No indication yet that it will go beyond that, the diplomatic action calling or recalling ambassadors there.

But that would essentially be the next step and we'll see what happens in the coming days and weeks. Beyond that, Poland has, as I pointed out,

essentially offered a sort of protection at the E.U. and the U.N. for Israel.

If that goes away, that is a far greater risk for Israel. Not only that because generally the assumption here is that Hungary would then follow

Poland. Remember, Hungary was one of the few votes or the few countries that voted in favor of Israel at the U.N. in both condemning Trump's

recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

And that just gives you a sense of how this could go from a political level to a diplomatic level with far greater consequences if this is not calmed

down fairly soon here.

GORANI: All right. Oren Liebermann in Jerusalem, thanks very much.

Right here in the U.K., an internal report released by Oxfam reveals contradiction that even more scandals. The report is the one that dates

back to 2011. It said at least three workers physically threatened a witness while the charity was investigating claims of sexual misconduct by

staffers after the Haiti earthquake.

It was released to promote transparency, but as you can see a number of names have been redacted. It also states the charity's former country

director in Haiti admitted to using prostitutes in Oxfam guesthouses, and that is a direct contradiction to an open letter he released just days ago.

So, what is the truth here? Phil Black has the details.

PHIL BLACK, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hala, this was the report that kick started the whole Oxfam scandal after its existence and

some of its findings were reported in a British newspaper. That is how the world first found out that seven Oxfam stuff had been investigated in Haiti

for engaging prostitutes on Oxfam property.

There are other allegations as well. All have since been forced out of the organization either dismissed or resigned. There are new details in this

report including the fact that three of those people investigated suspects as they described in the report without engaged physical threats and

intimidation against the witnesses that was helping the investigation.

It happens after one of the suspects line managers leaked an internal investigation document. The report also talks about the interview with

Haiti's country director. That is the lead Oxfam person on the ground in Haiti.

The report says he admitted to using prostitutes and offered to resign, an offer that was accepted so in the words the report he could have a phased

and dignified exit.

[15:25:09] He more recently has denied that investigation through an open letter published in the Belgian media. Oxfam says it's releasing this

report now in order to be as transparent as possible about the decisions it was making at the time of that investigation.

The report that has been made public is redacted. Some names and details have been blacked out. A complete version will be provided to the Haitian

government. Hala, back to you.

GORANI: Thank you, Phil Black. And speaking of the Haitian government, on Monday, today Oxfam issued a formal apology to the government of Haiti

saying, "Oxfam is grateful to the Haiti government for allowing us the chance now to offer our humblest apologies and to begin explaining

ourselves and start the long road ahead of reestablishing trust and partnership, given our 40-year history with Haiti and its citizens.

We will stand ready to engage with the people of Haiti and have expressed our openness to collaborate as much as required with the Haiti government."

A lot more to come this evening, as war rages on in Syria, innocent civilians on the ground as always paying the price. CNN has an exclusive

report on the minorities living in fear.

And the judge called him a devil and a monster. We'll tell you about the sentence given to the man accused of sexually abusing dozens of young boys

in Britain. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GORANI: Syria's long and messy civil war is getting even more complicated. It's descending into several different conflicts and there are mind-

boggling developments in Afrin where an alliance of opportunity appears to have been forged between Kurdish militia and pro-Assad forces.

They are expected to unite against a Turkish offensive launched last month. But while alliances are brokered, there is endless suffering for civilians

as always. Ben Wedeman has this exclusive report on the minority populations living in constant fear.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Rituals that go back to before the dawn of history, candles and prayers in a cave

in the northern Syrian district of Afrin. Members of the Yazidi minority seen by ISIS fanatics and other Islamist hardliners as heretics and

infidels have come to the ancient hillside shrine of (inaudible) to pray for salvation.

Strips of cloth tied to trees represent their individual prayers. Turkey's offensive in Afrin is now almost a month old. Ankara is pursuing the YPG,

the Kurdish People's Defense Units which Turkey accuses of being an offshoot of its archenemies, the Kurdistan Workers' Party, the PKK, which

has been fighting the Turkish states since 1984.

For the Yazidis, the Turkish onslaught has revived memories all too fresh of massacre and enslavement.

KHALID HUSSEIN, YAZIDI COUNCIL OF AFRIN (through translator): We don't want to repeat of Sinjar here says Khalid Hussein of the Yazidi Council of

Afrin referring to the murder and enslavement of Iraqi Yazidis by ISIS in the summer of 2014. All the inhabitants of the village have come to pray

to God to protect them from the scourge of Erdogan and his mercenaries and the Islamist extremist.

WEDEMAN: Till recently, Afrin has been spared the brunt of the fighting. The wars in Syria, there are many have become a dizzying kaleidoscope of

conflicts sucking in Americans, Russians, Turks, Israelis, Lebanese, Hezbollah and a host of minor players.

The only constant is the seemingly endless suffering of ordinary Syrians.

Fatima lost her son and two grandchildren in a Turkish airstrike on their home. Turkish officials insist, they're trying to avoid civilian

casualties.

This exclusive footage obtained by CNN suggest that may not be the case.

Shrapnel entered his brain says this doctor who needs intensive care. His wounds are serious.

The town of Maabatli is home to around 14,000 people. Many from the Kurdish Alawite minority, while ethnic Kurds, they follow the same fate to

Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad. They too fear the rush of Turkish forces and their Syrian rebel allies. Many of whom are believed to be

jihadist.

BYAR JUMERD, MAABATLI'S KURDISH ALAWITE COUNCIL (through translator): There's nothing to stop them from entering this area, burning it and

killing its people and enslaving its women, as they did in Sinjar, says Byar Jumard, head of Maabatli's Kurdish Alawite Council.

There's little they can do but light a candle and pray in the gathering darkness.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HALA GORANI, CNN ANCHOR: -- joins me now live from Beirut. So now you have some Kurdish militia asking for pro-Assad government forces to join

them in the fight against Turkey. I mean, this is just becoming messier and messier and the chance that there can be a disastrous slip up that

could lead to a wider confrontation is higher and higher.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, Hala, it's been a very confusing day. Basically all day long, the Syrian government media was reporting there with some

sort of agreement between Damascus and the YPG, the Kurdish Peoples Defenses Forces in Afrin whereby the YPG would allow the Syrian forces or

pro-Syrian government forces to enter the area and we were watching hour after hour as reporters working for pro-Syrian media were saying that those

pro-Syrian forces would be arriving within hours, but nothing arrived all day not long.

Now, we're hearing from the YPG that there never was an agreement. There was merely a request from Damascus to send in troops. Now, the rhetoric

coming out of Damascus has been that the Turkish and Persian into Afrin which began on the 20th of January is an aggression. But we're also

hearing from the Turkish authorities, the foreign minister (INAUDIBLE) today said that if the Syrian government forces are entering Afrin to clear

out the YPG, Turkey has no problem with that. However, if the Syrian forces are going in there to fight alongside the Kurds against the Turks,

then that is a serious problem for the Turkish government at the moment. So very confusing and it's not as at all clear how this is going to end.

Now, we do know that Vladimir Putin, the Russian president did speak with the Turkish president Erdogan today about the situation in Afrin and the

Russians are speaking to all sides in this conflict unlike the Americans. So, they yet again may have the key to resolving this very complex

situation in Afrin. Hala.

GORANI: But the Turkish offensive is ongoing, right? I mean, they're saying, we're not stopping it. We're going to keep doing what we're doing,

because these people are terrorist on our border. What's the status of that conflict now?

[15:35:10]: Well, what we've seen is the Turkish forces have managed to take some territory within Syria along the border. But by and large, it

appears that the going has been rough. Now, the Turkish authority say they've neutralize, is the word they use, more than 1,500 YPG and ISIS

fighters, although to the best of my knowledge, there were no ISIS fighters in the area, but what we've seen is that Turkish helicopter has been

brought down by the Kurds and it's been rough fighting. It's very difficult mountainous terrain and the Kurdish forces are fighting Kurds who

know that territory better than anyone else. Hala.

GORANI: Absolutely. Ben Wedeman, thanks very much, live in Beirut. And I Eastern Ghouta, an area supposed to be a de-escalation zone, this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

Seventy-one people killed, at least, 325 others wounded, after airstrikes and bombardments by the Syrian government over 24 hours. This is Eastern

Ghouta. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the group added that 62 of the victims were civilians including nine children, nine

militants were apparently killed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GORANI: Check out our Facebook page for more of the show's content, facebook.com/halagoranicnn. And check me out on Twitter, @HalaGorani.

A former youth soccer coach in Britain was sentenced to more than 30 years in prison today for sexually abusing his players for decades. The Barry

Bennell case has shocked the U.K. and investigator say they fear Bennell may have abused more than 100 young boys. CNN's Erin McLaughlin was at the

court and sent us this report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the man the judge called the Devil Incarnate could very well spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Barry Bennell was sentenced to 31 years in prison for 50 offenses of historic child sexual abuse. The judge said he abused boys as young as

eight years old, between the years of 1979 and 1991. He would first move in, gaining the trust of their parents before going on to groom the boys,

preening them to lavish gifts and expensive holidays away, things that parents could not otherwise afford before then leveraging their love of

football to get close to them and to abuse them.

Now Andy Woodward was the first victim to go public with his story. He told me that today, represents for him a chance to move on.

ANDREW WOODWARD, SEXUAL ABUSE VICTIM: I can't put this away, but it does gives some closure for us as a family. Now that so many people have come

forward and here is why he deserves to be. Me and my family just want us to like put that to rest now. And we've all been devastated by it. We

still are now.

MCLAUGHLIN: The victims delivered really emotional impact statements to the court their chance to address Barry Bennell directly. They told him

that this isn't over for them that they will be traumatized and scarred for the rest of their lives. Erin McLaughlin, CNN Liverpool.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GORANI: Well, the Vatican says Pope Francis has renewed the church's panel for the protection of minors. Nine new members have been added to the

advisory body. It brings a total to 16, eight men and eight women. Their focus is, "safeguarding children and vulnerable adults from the crime of

sex abuse." The move comes after Pope Francis apologized to abuse victims after saying, they needed to show proof to be believed.

Still to come tonight, training for a top secret mission that never happened. We'll see how South Korea's reviving a brigade with a deadly

task, in case war does break out with Pyongyang.

And the British Oscars, as they're called. The patron stars and solidarity with their colleagues across the Atlantic. We'll have the details, coming

up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[15:40:00]

GORANI: The Winter Olympics have helped far relations between North and South Korea. But you may not know that just months before the games began,

South Korea's military announced an elite unit with a deadly mission in case war breaks out with the North. Ivan Watson tell this about the

assassination squad.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Faced with a hostile nuclear armed neighbor, South Korea's military has announced the creation

of a decapitation unit. In the event of a war, the mission of the special task brigade would be to take out the leadership of North Korea.

But this is not South Korea's first attempt at creating a team of possible assassins. In 1968, after a bloody North Korean incursion, South Korea

created a top secret hit squad called Unit 684.

The assassination squad was sent to his uninhabited island called Silmido, for years of training. The initial plan was to recruit death row inmates.

But in the end, intelligence officers chose 31 civilians from the streets of South Korean cities.

YANG DONG-SOO, FORMER UNIT 684 TRAINER (through translator): They were either a shoeshine boy, a newspaper boy, a cinema worker, or a bouncer.

They would approach the ones who looked like they might have played some sports, and had a strong physique.

WATSON: In 1970, Yang Dong-Soo was a 21-year old air force sergeant sent to Silmido Island to train Unit 684. The conditions on the island were

often brutal.

DONG-SOO (through translator): There were accidents in the middle of sea survival training, one recruit died of fatigue.

Watson: In fact, five other recruits were executed for desertion or crimes such as threatening their trainers.

For more than three years, unit members weren't allowed to communicate at all with the outside world. Finally, something snapped.

On the morning of August 23rd, 1971, Unit 684 staged a bloody mutiny on this beach. They began killing their trainers one by one.

When yang heard gunfire that morning, he initially thought it was a North Korean attack. But then he says one of his trainees shot him through the

neck.

DONG-SOO (through translator): When I woke up, I was bleeding from the neck, everywhere. Trainers like me were being killed by the recruits or

running away. It was chaos.

WATSON: Yang says he dragged himself out on to these rocks and hid, and somehow escaped being murdered. After killing 18 of their trainers, Unit

684 wasn't finished. They made it to the mainland and hijacked a bus to the capital. Where 20 members died in clashes with Korean security forces.

Four survived to be later executed.

For decades, the brutal story of Silmido Island was covered up, until the Korean blockbuster movie Silmido hit screens in 2003. Though it led to a

public government investigation, this former Unit 684 trainer claims much of the film is fiction.

The mutineers were victims who were sacrificed, he tells me, and so were the trainers.

To this day, the survivor often preaches about how God saved him on that terrible day when the assassins turned on their commanders. Ivan Watson,

CNN Silmido, South Korea.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[15:45:10] GORANI: And let's stay on the Korean Peninsula for an update on the games. Happier topic. But not for everybody. The Court of

Arbitration for Sports is reviewing a possible doping violation at the Pyeongchang games. A Russian curler, Alexander is waiting for the results

of a second test. He won bronze in the mixed double event this year as part of the Olympic athletes from Russia delegation and the results are

expected soon.

The Olympics are supposed to be all about pushing athletes' limits. It takes of training, immense skill and talent, perseverance. But for those

of us who are not Olympic athlete, there's a way to experience the thrill without the tough training. Our Paula Hancocks tries her hand at skiing

through virtual reality.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: If you've been watching Olympic athletes at the top of their game, the sacrifice, the dedication. You're

feeling a little bit inspired. That's where this comes in. The Olympic park. This is the cross country and it is hard. It's really exhausting.

But these virtual reality experiences means you can be one of the Olympic athletes, although I think I've got a freeway to go.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You move it up and down the torch and theme also moves up and down, left and right.

HANCOCKS: No Olympics is complete without the torchlight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you move your body, the trend little parts, move it left and right when you actually live the experience.

HANCOCKS: K.T. says in this VR experience, motion sensor data and video image transmission use the 5G network. The network K.T. plans to

commercialize by next year.

So this is the skeleton. I was quite tempted to give this one a miss, but the rest of the team decided I should do it. Thank you, David. Thank you,

Yuan. What this is is going head first down an icy track speed of up to 130 kilometers an hour. Head first with your arms behind you. OK.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. You're good to go.

HANCOCKS: So this is apparently based on a track in Vancouver, Canada. Oh, this is fast. It's apparently one of the fastest sliding tracks in the

world. Oh, this just goes against every instinct you have. Head first and not putting your hand out to stop yourself. Unbelievable. I mean, I just

can't believe people do that. It's quite fun though.

A 90-meter ski jump, designed on the Olympic ski jump here in Pyeongchang. I think we can all agree that is the closest I'll ever get to competing in

the Olympics. Been fun. Paula Hancocks, CNN, Gangneung, South Korea.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GORANI: And there's a lot more to come after the break, including the Hollywood hit that has become a cultural milestone. A look at "Black

Panther's" big opening weekend, when we come back.

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[15:50:00]

GORANI: The king of Wakanda is now the king of the box office Marvel's "Black Panther" did huge business all over the globe in its opening

weekend. It broke records in the United States. It earned more than $200 million, easily, the biggest opening ever for a film released in February.

Lisa Respers France have been following the story of "Black Panther" box office news, and she joins me now.

First of all, you've seen it, I presume?

LISA RESPERS FRANCE, CNN SENIOR WRITER: Yes.

GORANI: And?

FRANCE: And I have to say greetings from Wakanda.

GORANI: All right. So you're a fan.

FRANCE: Yes, absolutely. Most of the film was made here in Atlanta, so people in Atlanta are claiming Wakanda big hunt. "Black Panther" is the

movie that we need right now on so many levels. Not only is it talks about race and culture and powerful women in this Me Too age. It's just an

extraordinary film. It's way more than just a Marvel action superhero film.

GORANI: Why is it culturally significant in America right now?

FRANCE: It's culturally significant because we have a president who has made disparaging comments about countries where people of color come from.

It's important -- representation matters. And you have children who are sitting in a movie theater with such pride, seeing themselves, seeing

people of color being portrayed as superheroes, it's technology advanced. Africans, African-Americans, people are leaving the theaters in tears

because they're so proud of what has been achieved with "Black Panther."

GORANI: And what's interesting too is this has cross cultural, cross racial appeal, right? It's not an African-American film.

FRANCE: No.

GORANI: Really aimed or geared at African-American spectators. It's across the board that it's successful.

FRANCE: Absolutely. It's a marvel film, part of the Marvel universe which means you have excellent characters, you have a super villain, you have all

the action in the world, you have great special effects. At the end of the day, it's still a Marvel movie, but it's also a movement. People dressed

up to go see this film. So that's how seriously they're taking it.

GORANI: But I wonder how will that change things you think, in Hollywood, you know, when discussions are being had about how much money or how much

of a budget to put into movies like this with largely African-American casts and African-American director? Do you think this is a turning point?

GORANI: We always have this conversation whenever -- when the Fast and the Furious movie that was directed by F. Gary Gray came out. And it made a

whole bunch of money at the opening weekend. We always talk about. Well, now holiday is going to pay attention, because really, it's not about black

and white in Hollywood. It's about green. It's about the money that comes in. So I always have to say, we'll just have to wait and see. Every

couple of years. We've had it with "She's Got to Have it" with Spike Lee's movie back in the day.

Every couple years, a film will come along that seems to remind Hollywood that black films, African-American films directed by African-American

directors actually make money. Look at "Get Out." So you would think that now is the time for Hollywood to sit up and take notice. But we'll just

have to wait and see. But for right now, people are just thrilled by this film. They want to see it multiple times. And I get it, it's an

extraordinary film. It's one of the best things I think Marvel has ever done.

GORANI: All right. Lisa Respers France, thanks very much for joining us. Appreciate it.

Who are you wearing are words that have long been shouted at women at award ceremonies on the red carpet, but this year, clothes were on spotlight at

the BAFTAs because of politics and not pageantry. It was about wearing black once again. Isa Soares was at the BAFTAs in London.

ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The red carpet awash with black as directors, actors and producers put on a show of solidarity for the Time's

Up movement, calling for an end to sexual harassment and inequality. The talk too was political, with men and women standing up for the cause that

began in the United States.

How do you feel seeing what we're seeing here tonight?

ANNETTE BENING, ACTRESS: Well, I think that we're very lucky to do what we do and that we do have a chance to help other people in other industries.

ALLISON JANNEY, ACTRESS: There's so many people who work tirelessly for social injustice who aren't in Hollywood, but we are just pushing the

movement along and doing what we can with our voices and our solidarity and wearing black. It's an important time. One I never thought I'd see in my

lifetime certainly.

KRISTIN SCOTT THOMAS, ACTRESS: This is our job. And when we make films, we make films and we perform to bring attention to subjects. And this is a

perfect -- this is a perfect issue, subject that we're talking about. And I think that, yes, it is distracting, but let's just be distracted.

SOARES: Some actors went further, ditching partners for rights and equality activists. Gemma Arterton, star of "Made in Dagenham," was accompanied by

two women who, in 1968, staged a three- week walkout from a Ford plant in the same town because of pay inequality.

[15:55:13] On the red carpet, the Duchess of Cambridge walked a more diplomatic line, wearing olive green with a black sash, pleasing and

offending observers in equal measure.

Inside the Royal Albert Hall, the powerful protest continued.

GRAHAM BROADBENT, PRODUCER: There's a tectonic shift taking place. It turns out that meaningful change can happen very quickly if we put our

minds to it. That's good not just for the film industry but for everybody.

SOARES: Even Frances McDormand, best actress for "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri," took a stand.

FRANCES MCDORMAND, ACTOR: As Martin said, I have a little trouble with compliance.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

MCDORMAND: But I want you to know that I stand in full solidarity with my sisters tonight in black.

SOARES: But the discourse didn't distract from the awards celebration. Outstanding British film and best film, "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing,

Missouri," took home five gongs.

Guillermo del Toro won best director for "The Shape of Water.

The BAFTA goes to Gary Oldman for "The Darkest Hour."

(APPLAUSE)

SOARES: And Gary Oldman proved playing Churchill was his "Finest Hour."

A night of celebration, protests and empowerment. Isa Soares, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GORANI: And finally, get ready for this. KFC has egg on its face after temporarily closing 800 of its 900 locations in the U.K. because you can't

run a chicken restaurant if you run out of chicken. There was no "fowl" play involved. See what I did there? A shipping problem left hundreds of

KFC locations chickenless. And rather in trying to wing it, KFC just close the stores. It's blaming shipper DHL for the mix-up and hopes the

temporary shutdown will not ruffle any feathers. See what we did there?

Thanks for watching tonight. I'm Hala Gorani. Stay with CNN. "THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER" starts after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

END