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HALA GORANI TONIGHT

Russia Expelling 60 U.S. Diplomats; Yulia Skripal No Longer In Critical Condition; Russia Welcomes Austrian Offer To Mediate Skripal Case; One Year To Go Until U.K. Leaves The E.U.; May On National Tour Marking One Year Countdown; U.S. President Touts Infrastructure Plans In Ohio; Trump Fires VA Secretary, Taps White House Doctor To Replace Him. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired March 29, 2018 - 15:00   ET

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


[15:00:02]

HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: -- the American consulate in St. Petersburg and throwing out 60 American diplomats, and that number should

sound familiar. It is the exact number of Russian diplomats kicked out by the United States. Russian's foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, announced

the move just days after he said the U.S. blackmailed countries around the world to expel Russian diplomats from their nations.

Let's get straight over to CNN's Phil Black. He's live from Moscow. CNN's Elise Labott over at the State Department. So, Phil Black, we knew there

would be a tit for tat move and it has happened. Tell us more.

PHIL BLACK, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Hala. The principle of reciprocity, that's what they say they are using here.

Not just against America, but against all countries that have taken action against Russia in recent days. They say they'll be responding in kind, but

they have made a special note of announcing the response to the United States, in particular.

As you say, they're matching their 60, their closed consulate. In this case, it will be St. Petersburg, and it's all going to happen pretty

quickly. The St. Petersburg Consulate has to be shut by the end of the month and the other 60 have to leave by April the 5th.

The crucial thing to note here is that they have decided to match and not escalate, but they say they do reserve the right to take further action, if

other countries, and specifically the United States, takes further actions against the interests of Russia -- Hala.

GORANI: And Elise Labott, what kind of diplomats are being expelled? This is not the ambassadorial level. I mean, Jon Huntsman was informed and was

given the numbers and dates. But what are we talking here in terms of function and seniority?

ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: I mean, what Ambassador Huntsman said before he was notified by the Foreign Ministry, he kind of

expected that this was going to be happening and he spoke with a Russian news network this morning and said that he thinks what will really be

affected is visa processing, more people-to-people exchanges.

So, it's certainly not the kind of upper echelon, the ambassador, and his close aides, but it is people that kind of make the embassy humming in

terms of consular services and such. So, that's where the people-to-people exchanges might be affected.

GORANI: And Phil Black, obviously, because European countries have also expelled Russian diplomats after the U.S. announced its move and the U.K.

expelled the 23 a few weeks before that, we're expecting more expulsions of western diplomats in the coming days?

BLACK: Yes, indeed. That's right, Hala. So, there were more than 20 countries that coordinated this move, but 150 diplomats in total. So, yes,

Russia says it will respond in kind to all of those countries. They are all going to be summoned to the Foreign Ministry over the coming days and

receive their marching order for expulsions just as we've seen with the United States today.

GORANI: And let's listen to the Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, today explaining the move. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SERGEY LAVROV, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): At this moment, the U.S. ambassador to Russia, Jon Huntsman, is invited to our

ministry with my deputy sets out the content of our response to the United States. They include the expulsion of a similar number of diplomats and

our decision to withdraw consent to the functioning of the consulate general in St. Petersburg.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GORANI: We heard, Elise Labott, from U.S. authorities because I'm checking now. The president is in Ohio at a campaign-style event. I don't believe

he's mentioned it and he's not tweeted about it.

LABOTT: He hasn't, Hala. The Foreign Ministry just announced it. As I said, Ambassador Huntsman was called in today to the Foreign Ministry.

We've confirmed that that happened. I took an informal kind of initial temperature here at the State Department, and you know, they've said, it

seems like this is a tit for tat.

The Russians have expelled a similar number of as the U.S. There's no appetite really for escalating it. We will hear more any moment from

Heather Nauert, the State Department spokesperson at the briefing, which is just about to start.

But I think in terms of this round, you saw similar kind of tit for tat after the Obama administration expelled number Russian diplomats after, you

know, for election meddling so they said, and then the Russians waited a while, but then last summer, expelled a similar amount of diplomats.

So, I think this reciprocity, as Phil mentioned, is typically what happens, and then they kind of see if there's another issue where they have to take

another step.

KEILAR: All right. Thanks to both of you, Elise Labott and Phil Black. Elise Labott is at the State Department. She's headed to that briefing

there. Perhaps we'll learn more from authorities in Washington and Phil Black in Moscow.

By the way, I want to bring you another item that we're learning today, another piece of breaking news. And of course, it's what sparked all of

this, the assassination attempt of the former spy, Sergei Skripal and his daughter. They were poisoned in the U.K. city of Salisbury with nerve

agents.

[15:05:05] Now, doctors today say Yulia Skipal on the right is, in fact, responding well to treatment and that her condition is, quote, "improving

rapidly." Improving rapidly is the term that they used. Her father, Sergei Skripal, on the left, remains in critical but interestingly and

importantly, stable condition. He's not worsening, according to medical sources in Salisbury.

On Wednesday, police said they are now focusing on Sergei Skripal's home. They found evidence that the two were likely poisoned there, but they

released a statement saying the risk to the public is low.

So, the big question is, OK, if it happened at their home, did it happen at the door? If it happened at the front door, how was the poison

administered? You can have a very low concentration and put it on something like a doorknob or put it on an envelope that is delivered with

the mail.

Either way, we know that Skripal and his daughter trailed this very poisonous substance with them to a pub, to an Italian chain restaurant, and

ultimately to a bench outside of a shopping mall in Salisbury where they were found slumped over.

All right. Now, as mentioned in the aftermath of those poisonings, we saw massive expulsions of Russian diplomats across the world. At least 100

diplomats ejected by more than 20 countries. But none, however, from one E.U. member, Austria. Instead, it's offered to act as a mediator between

Russia and the U.K. Now Russia is welcoming that news, E.U. countries, not so much.

I'm joined now by Austria's foreign minister, Karin Kneissl, from Vienna. Thank you for being with us, Minister. Why would Austria not join its

allies, its E.U. and NATO allies in, you know, throwing out, making at least a symbolic move, like some of the Eastern European countries, and

expelling Russian diplomats after this poisoning of Sergei Skripal?

KARIN KNEISSL, AUSTRIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: Well, Austria is within a group of several E.U. member states, which have decided not to expel Russian

diplomats for the simple reason that our diplomacy is based in the United Nations Charter, which says parties with dispute should first seek a

solution through inquiry, investigation, and mediation. And we are here to serve as good officers and as of this afternoon, Dmitry Peskov, the

spokesman of the Russian president has said Austrian mediation could be an option.

GORANI: But who's asked you this? Because your E.U. partners are -- and some of them are very unhappy with Austria. Carl Bilt (ph) says your

country's position is hardly compatible with E.U. membership. So, who is asking you to act as a mediator in this situation?

KNEISSL: Well, this afternoon, Dmitry Peskov, as have just mentioned, spokesman of Russian president has announced that Austrian mediation would

be an option. So, we said in the past days that as home to many United Nations offices, through the Organization for Security and Cooperation

Euro, we have a long tradition of mediation and this has always been our way how to practice diplomacy.

GORANI: Yes, but no one in the E.U. or any other NATO country has asked you. Does it have something to do with your coalition partners, the

Freedom Party. They signed an agreement --

KNEISSL: It has nothing --

GORANI: -- a document of understanding that yes, as one of its goal, the rolling back of sanctions against Russia. They're quite friendly with

Vladimir Putin.

KNEISSL: No, it has -- yes, but it has nothing to do with any kind of party politics. It has simply to do with our traditional form of

practicing diplomacy. I, myself, have been appointed as an independent minister of Foreign Affairs. I see myself in the tradition of diplomacy,

which was an act of diplomacy of mediation.

Vienna has always been home to several meetings. I myself, as a child, I was very much shaped between the meeting between Kennedy. I grow up close

to (inaudible) Kennedy Bridge, which was built in commemoration of that meeting in the midst of cold war.

GORANI: Yes. So, it has nothing to do with your coalition partner putting some pressure on the government here?

KNEISSL: It has -- no pressure at all has been exercised by anybody.

GORANI: Yes. So, have you offered your services to any of the countries here that have expelled Russian diplomats, especially the United States in

this case?

KNEISSL: We have several meetings. We had the (inaudible) of the United States in our ministry this afternoon. He was also my guest. We had the

ambassador to the United Kingdom and as the saying goes, it takes two to tango.

So, the Russian Federation has said, as I mentioned previously, Austria mediation could be an option and we are here to offer our services, our

good offices. That is the way many countries have activated communication channels.

For instance, when you think of the Middle East mediation, a country like Norway has done a tremendous effort in the early '90s. Sweden,

Switzerland, we have various examples of European diplomacy that's served well because diplomacy, our understanding, is much more than confronting

each other with policy notes or whatever. It's about --

GORANI: But Minister Kneissl, I guess from E.U. perspective, they're thinking, you're not Norway and two Middle Eastern, you know, rival

factions in conflict. You're a member of the E.U. --

KNEISSL: Hala Gorani, if I may interrupt --

GORANI: You're a member of the E.U. and NATO and therefore you have a camp. That's their point.

KNEISSL: No, we are not a member of NATO. We are not a member of NATO.

GORANI: And a member of the E.U.

KNEISSL: That makes a difference. We are a member of the E.U. and many E.U. countries, as I have spoken to my colleagues over the past days.

There are many, many countries inside the European Union which have decided not to take measures such as expelling diplomats.

GORANI: OK, so when you met with (inaudible) and the U.K. ambassador, did they say that they were interested in the idea?

KNEISSL: Well, I -- I -- I think this is not -- this has to be considered I think by the capitals.

GORANI: But did they say there was a -- that this was something that sounded like an interesting option in the same way Dmitry Peskov did?

KNEISSL: Well, this is not how diplomacy functions on a daily level. The diplomat, ambassador is the messenger. The decision -- he's the decision

shaper. The decision taker sits back in the capitol.

GORANI: All right. And we are one year away, Minister, from Brexit. Do you think -- I was in Brussels at the European Council Summit and there

were some who said they believe that perhaps now the U.K. has softened its position and even some who believe that Brexit might not happen in the way

that the hard Brexiteers would like. What is your opinion on the way forward?

KNEISSL: Well, I may reply first and foremost, noninterference in domestic affairs. It's up to the British people. It's up to the British government

how they handle the schedule, the negotiations. We had encountered from the past with Brexit minister, David Davis. He was supposed to come do

Austria next week for a meeting. So although as the incoming E.U. president, we're here also to help advance certain topics, because when it

comes to Brexit, the time schedule is very, very tight.

GORANI: Karin Kneissl, the foreign minister of Austria, thank you so much for joining us this evening. We appreciate your time.

KNEISSL: You're very most welcome, Hala. Thank you very much. Goodbye.

GORANI: Thank you, bye. As we were mentioning with the minister, today is the 29th of March, which in this nation means only one thing. We're

exactly one year away from Brexit. To mark the final stage of Britain's journey out of the European Union, Prime Minister Theresa May embarked on

an ambitious tour of her own, stopping by all four countries that make up the United Kingdom.

She started in Scotland, visiting a textile factory, setting out her upbeat vision for Brexit.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I believe that we can negotiate a good agreement, which is tariff free and frictionless trade as possible, so

we maintain those markets in the E.U. But also, that we open up markets around the rest of the world. Brexit provides us with opportunities.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GORANI: Next, the prime minister dropped into a parent/toddler group in Newcastle and then lunch with farmers in Northern Ireland where the issue

of the border is still very much unresolved and onto Wales for a round table with business leaders.

Last on Mrs. May's agenda was tea with some Polish people living in London in an attempt to reassure E.U. citizens they will still be valued post-

Brexit. There's still a lot to be figure out in the remaining 12 months, not least with the future U.K.-E.U. relationship will look like.

Let's discuss that with my next, Nina Schick, a political consultant who's advised E.U. lawmakers and political campaigns, and she joins me here in

London. Thanks for being with us. So, we're a year away, but the ambition is for about six months' time, to present some sort of project to

parliament, some sort of strategy.

[15:10:02] NINA SCHICK, DIRECTOR OF DATA AND POLLING, RASMUSSEN GLOBAL: So, the thing that we have to be absolutely clear about is that when the

U.K. leaves in a year, the future relationship with the E.U. is not going to be clear. The only thing that is going to present to parliament is

basically going to be withdrawal deal.

And what they've decided or would like to have in the two years after Britain leaves is a transition period, because it's not going to be enough

time to negotiate a new deal. What those two years even after Britain has left, what it means is the U.K. is going to remain a rule taker.

It's essentially going to be the status quo, exactly what we have now. So, that means payments, continuing free movement of people, accepting E.U.

laws. But not this kind of freedom that Brexiteers promised because the damage control exercise is going to take years.

GORANI: Right. But, what kind of Brexit are we going to end up with?

SCHICK: Well, Theresa May, of course, the E.U. side has been asking very adamantly for the past year, or even longer since these negotiations have

started, what do you want vis-a-vis the future trading relationship, but there could be no cherry picking.

You can't have all the benefits without paying any of the costs. Now Theresa May finally laid out this year what she envisions the future

relationship to look like. And as far as the E.U. is concerned, it was very much a cherry-picking arrangement.

Theresa May said, where we want to have the same rules, we'll have them. Where we want to be in the E.U. agencies, we'll cooperate, but there's all

these other things that we don't want to have.

Of course, the E.U. said, that's not possible and (inaudible) with their future guidelines is going to be you can either have more access to our

agencies and our markets, but then you have to pay the associated costs.

Given that's a red line for a lot of the conservative party, Theresa May's party, then you're going to be out like Canada where you basically have a

thin trading relationship or a free trading agreement.

But a lot of other things, like what's very important now, on security cooperation and so on. That's going to be wound back, and they'll have to

find new ways to cooperate.

GORANI: Tony Blair, the former foreign minister had this to say one year until Brexit actually, officially happens.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TONY BLAIR, FORMER BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I think it's more likely we can stop it now than it was a few months ago. I always say to people

(inaudible), but it doesn't have to happen.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GORANI: It's more likely that we will stop it now than a few months ago. Is that wishful thinking on his part?

SCHICK: I think it's wishful thinking because I think what you see in this country is a huge cognitive dissidence. This has been such a divisive

issue. It's split the country down the middle. So, those who wanted Brexit wants it more than ever.

And anything that they see as an attempt to stop Brexit, they'll call it sabotage. So, I think it's going to happen, but again, what I think is

going to happen is that you will have two more years were everything pretty much stays the same and then the actual --

GORANI: But why can't it be undone, though? I mean, it's a fair question, right, because, I mean, we don't know people voted for Brexit, but not the

terms of Brexit. Could there not be another referendum on the deal?

SCHICK: There could be except that that would have to happen within the next few months and I don't see politically in my assessment, I don't see

that happening. The only way I think where that could happen is if you saw a huge shift in public opinion. So, perhaps the economy goes terribly

badly. But there hasn't been that one event that would have precipitated the change in public opinion where you actually see a call for a second

referendum.

GORANI: There's been some negative impact on the economy. I mean, inflation is higher and you do have E.U. companies and banks and multi-

nationals moving some of their stuff to E.U. countries.

SCHICK: Absolutely. And I'm of the view that economically speaking, Brexit is a disaster and everything we've seen thus far is going to be a

damage control exercise, but I think the difference here is that the impact hasn't been so bad, at least in the public perception, that it wouldn't be

enough to shift public perception --

GORANI: In such a short period.

SCHICK: Exactly.

GORANI: Nina Schick, thanks so much. A pleasure talking to you this morning.

A lot more to come, his brief seclusion over, Donald Trump back in the spotlight today. We'll see what he's doing outside of Washington, just

ahead. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[15:21:07]

GORANI: Well, he's been out of public sight for a few days, but the American president, Donald Trump, is now back in the spotlight. He's been

talking to union builders today in Ohio, but he'll soon board a plane to head to his resort in Florida for a holiday retreat. Mr. Trump is touting

his plans to improve infrastructure, but his speech touched on other things as well, from clothing imports to trade with South Korea.

Let's bring in our reporters now. Boris Sanchez is live in Richfield, Ohio, and Dan Merica is at the White House. And Boris, I wonder, did the

president say anything about Russia expelling these 60 American diplomats during his address today?

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hala, no mention of Russians during the president's speech here in Richfield. He was talking to the International

Union of Operational Engineers, a sizable crowd here. They cheered him on as he went through a number of different topics, talking about defending

the Second Amendment.

Talking about potentially holding back a trade deal with South Korea to gain leverage during nuclear talks with North Korea. He also talked about

a recent change to the Veterans Affairs Administration saying that he fired David Shulkin, essentially, because he didn't believe that veterans were

getting the care that they needed as expeditiously as he believed that they should.

He also talked about Roseann Barr and the ratings of her sitcom. So, the president weaving a number of different topics into this discussion about

his $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan. One that he even acknowledged at one point would likely have to wait to be unrolled until after the midterm

elections.

But again, to answer your question no mention of Russians or of the American officials that were expelled from Russia -- Hala.

GORANI: And Dan, and Boris touched on that and the president mentioned it in Ohio, the dismissal of his current VA secretary, or the VA secretary

that was in place, and then his personal physician, who many people will remember gave this glowing review of the president's health will be taking

his place. Listen. This was just a few months ago.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. RONNY JACKSON, NOMINEE FOR SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS: There is no indication whatsoever that he has any cognitive issues. The president, you

know, he's very sharp, very articulate, a lot of energy and stamina. Look at his vision, I mean, he's 71 years old, and he can drive if he wants to

without glasses. He washes his hands frequently. He uses Purell. He has incredible genes. I think he'll remain fit for duty for remainder of this

term and the remainder of another term if he's elected.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GORANI: So, Dr. Ronny Jackson is now in the cabinet.

DAN MERICA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Yes. It seems like he and Trump share a love for hyperbole and clearly won some points with the president. We

are told a White House official says that it's his performance at that press conference that garnered a lot of support from the president for Dr.

Jackson.

Of course, he's been trained as a doctor. He's served under both Democrats and Republicans and he's gotten plenty of praise from former Obama

administration officials. But there are plenty of veterans groups who see him as kind of a blank slate stepping into the second largest bureaucracy

here in the nation's capital, almost 380,000 employees administering health care to our nation's veterans.

That's a critical job and he doesn't have a ton of management experience. There's going to be a lot of questions that these group will have, that

lawmakers on Capitol Hill are going to have about how he's going to run this agency, what he sees as the way forward for an agency that's been

plagued by a host of issues.

President Trump brought that up in Ohio today. He said that he wants to see more choice for veterans. He brought up the fact that he would like to

see veterans have the ability to go to private doctors as opposed to just VA facilities and VA doctors.

Many of which have been plagued with issues, but the president -- Boris is right, that speech was a scatter shot speech. He was supposed to go and

talk strictly about infrastructure, but as President Trump does want to do, he gets in front of the cameras, large audience and he takes on a number of

topics, largely ignoring or at least making news on top of what he was supposed to talk about, which is infrastructure.

That's going to bother people plenty of people here in Washington, because it means less coverage for an issue that many people would like to see

tackled if not this year, next year.

WHITFIELD: And Boris, this is where we see Donald Trump at his most comfortable, right? These sort of campaign-style events.

SANCHEZ: Yes, absolutely. As Dan noted, often we see the president go off the cuff, making news when he's supposed to be talking about issues like

infrastructure. $ you know, he has a tendency often to relish these moments.

He gets a charge of energy, obviously from the raucous support from the crowd. A number of things that he mentioned drew their attention and got

their applause. Two things that he didn't mention, though, that I think we do have to bring up because it has to do with recent silence that we've

gotten from the White House.

The president didn't say anything about Stormy Daniels or that ongoing legal saga that he has unfurled with the former adult film actress. He

also made no mention of explosive reports yesterday, that indicate that his former lead attorney, John Dowd, discussed pardons with former national

security adviser, Michael Flynn, and his former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, who are both facing very serious charges from Special Counsel

Robert Mueller.

Flynn has already pled guilty to some of those charges. Manafort is apparently holding out. But there are so many controversies swirling this

White House and chaos within the administration itself with a number of changes still ongoing, just a few weeks ago, the president noted that he

was still perfecting his administration.

So, it's unclear if we're really at a point now where the president has found his groove in terms of personnel. We may still see more changes

ahead -- Hala.

GORANI: All right. Boris Sanchez in Ohio, and Dan Merica is at the White House. And Boris mentioned the Stormy Daniels story and a judge has denied

Stormy Daniels' request to depose Donald Trump, by the way, and his lawyer, Michael Cohen.

It was all tears and apologies as Australia's three-banned cricket players arrived back home and now the cheating scandal has claimed another

casualty. The head coach, he wasn't involved, but ultimately, he says he's responsible for the team's culture. Andrew Stevens has our story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDREW STEVENS, CNN ASIA PACIFIC EDITOR (voice-over): Australia's champion cricket captain is not used to this sort of homecoming.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's devastating and I'm truly sorry.

STEVENS: Steve Smith ranked the best batsman in the world, now banned for a year for cheating. On Thursday, he faced the media and a cricket-mad

nation that prides itself on winning fair.

STEVE SMITH, FORMER CRICKET AUSTRALIA CAPTAIN: Cricket is the greatest game in the world. It's been my life and I hope it can be again. I'm

sorry and I'm absolutely devastated.

STEVENS: Staring at defeat against South Africa in Capetown, cameras caught Cameron Bancroft purposefully damaging the ball in a way that would

make it more difficult for the opposition batsman to hit. Cricket Australia investigators say Vice Captain David Warner was the architect of

the plan and it was Warner who convinced Bancroft to tamper with the ball. It was on Smith's watch. He and Warner have been hit with one-year bans,

up and coming young player, Bancroft, won't play for nine months.

CAMERON BANCROFT, BANNED CRICKET PLAYER: Not a second has gone by since last Saturday evening when I haven't wished to turn back time and doing the

right thing during the lunch break. It is something I'll regret for the rest of my life.

STEVENS: The cheating play was unlikely to change the final outcome of the match, but it's deeply affected an Australian public that had put the

players on a pedestal.

KEVIN RUDD, FORMER AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER: How on earth could Australians have done this? Because we're seen as a fair-minded people who

believe in the principles of fair play and that image has now been violated.

STEVENS: Major sponsors of cricket in Australia are now dumping a team that once could do no wrong. Smith and Warner have lost their million-

dollar contracts to play in India's domestic league. Instead, Cricket Australia says the players must return to play and support the game at its

grassroots where they hope to earn back the respect of heartbroken cricket fans at home and around the world. Andrew Stevens, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GORANI: Still to come tonight, tempers flare in Venezuela as anguished relatives of prison inmates demand answers after a deadly fire swept

through a jail. We will be live in Venezuela.

Plus, she's won a Nobel prize. She's inspired girls worldwide, but today, Malala Yousafzai did something she could only dream of, her trip home to

Pakistan is ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[15:30:10] HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Welcome back. We want to take you now live to Sacramento, California, where a funeral service is

underway for a young black man who was shot and killed by police almost two weeks ago. Officers were investigating reports of a man vandalizing cars

when they began chasing Stephon Clark. They shot him multiple times in his grandmother's backyard believing he had a gun. Later discovered he was

unarmed all he was holding was his cellphone. Outraged residents have been taking to the streets to protest Clark's death. More demonstrations are

expected today. CNN's Nick Watt joins us now from Sacramento. Nick, big crowds I can see behind you today.

NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Hala. The organizers here were saying that they expected maybe 500 people to show up. Many more than that

have come to pay their respects to this young 22-year-old man who was a father of two, who as you mentioned before, he was shot 20 times by two

Sacramento police department officers and he was later found to be armed with nothing more than a cell phone. No gun was found at the scene. Of

course, there is an investigation, an internal investigation going on right now. But this morning, right now, is the funeral service. The family is

in there. Many people from local community. Stephon Clark's brother was seen hugging the casket at the beginning of the ceremony.

And also leading the congregation in a chant of his brother's name, the Reverend Al Sharpton has flown across the country to be here, as well. He

said he's here for the family and he also rebutted something that came out of the White House yesterday. Sarah Sanders, the press secretary, said

that as far as they are concerned in the White House this is a local matter. Reverend Sharpton says this is absolutely not a local matter. And

he said, Hala, he said this brother could be anyone of us.

GORANI: I mean, what about the police officers who shot them? What's happening with them? Is there a case against them? What's the latest

there?

WATT: Those two police officers are now, of course, on administrative leave as an investigation goes on into their use of force. That is

standard procedure. The Sacramento county district attorney's office is also going to oversee that investigation, they say. Of course, you know,

this is the third man of color shot dead by police in Sacramento since 2016. We have seen any number of these cases across the country. And the

demonstrations here have been large. They interrupt the city council meeting, they disrupted a local basketball game, they shut a highway down.

They are demanding justice. They want charges filed. The demonstrations, so far, peaceful, emotional, very, very emotional. Hala.

GORANI: Nick Watt in Sacramento. Thanks very much.

Some tense scenes in Venezuela. Distraught family members clashed with police in the city of Valencia. They want to know just what happened after

it was announced that 68 people died when a fire broke out at a jail in that city. Anguished relatives say they aren't getting enough information

from authorities.

Jorge Luis Perez Valery is live for us in Valencia, Venezuela. So the family members and the loved ones of the people who died said, we want

answers. Are they getting any answers?

[15:35:26] JORGE LUIS PEREZ VALERY, FREELANCE CORRESPONDENT: Hala, there are still some people that are waiting for answers, a day after of this

tragedy. One of the worst tragedies that has ever happened in a Venezuelan prison. We can still see some people around this place, this facility,

waiting for the police officers to tell them what is going to be the next step for those who died and also for those who survived that are also

waiting for being transfer for other prisons. The smell that you can feel from this place is obviously born to smell. The police officers are still

not giving enough information. The authorities, the government authorities are still keeping silence on this tragedy.

Sixty-eight people, according to the attorney general's office died yesterday in this event. The main reason is a fire, but there's still a

lot of uncertainty about how this fire has started and this is still a question that many of the relatives that are still here still have. Hala?

GORANI: Yes. All right, thanks very much. Jorge Luis Perez Valery is Valencia, there in Venezuela where so many people died in that prison fire.

An update on the breaking news we brought you at the top of the show. We now have American reaction to Russia's decision to expel U.S. diplomats.

Just a few moments ago, the spokesperson for the state department, Heather Nauert, said countries are holding Russia responsible for its actions.

Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HEATHER NAUERT, U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON: You break the chemical weapons convention. And that is in place for a reason. That is in place

so that countries can be responsible parties and so that they can work together, we can all work together in some sort of peaceful understanding

of the kinds of weapons that won't be used against civilians. Russia broke with that. Russia broke with that, and so a lot of countries made the

decision that they needed to be held responsible and that their spies need to be held responsible and kicked out.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GORANI: And that was the state department reaction.

Now, to Pakistan. The last time Malala Yousafzai was in her home country, she was on a stretcher after being attacked by the Taliban. Today, she

finally returned and Becky Anderson tells us what has become a very poignant homecoming.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MALALA YOUSAFZAI, PAKISTANI ACTIVIST (through translator): Today, I am very happy that after five and a half years, I have set foot on my soil, my

country.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: An emotional homecoming. Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai returns to Pakistan for the first

time since she was shot in the head by Taliban militants nearly six years ago. The 20-year-old education activist arrived in the middle of the night

on Thursday, under heavy security at Islamabad Airport, where she was greeted by local media.

Traveling with her father and younger brother, Yousafzai met with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. She also gave a speech on national

television about how much she missed home. Breaking down in tears, Yousafzai says it was the happiest day of her life.

YOUSAFZAI (through translator): I am so happy. I still can't believe that this is actually happening. For the past five years, I have always dreamed

that I would come home. When I would be in the plane, in the car, and I would look at the cities of London or New York, I would tell myself,

imagine it's home. Imagine it's a city back home that you're driving in Islamabad, imagine it's Karachi. But it never was true. And today it is.

And I am so happy.

ANDERSON: Prime Minister Abbasi welcomed her back and said that she returned as the most prominent citizen of Pakistan.

SHAHID KHAQAN ABBASI, PRIME MINISTER OF PAKISTAN (through translator): I am very happy that our daughter, who rose to fame in the world, has come back.

ANDERSON: There has been much secrecy around her surprise trip. There's speculations Yousafzai will travel around the country, possibly even to her

childhood home in the Swat Valley. Her courage in the wake of the Taliban attack caught the world's attention and drew a wave of support to the cause

she's dedicated her life to, education for girls. Within Pakistan, opinions are split. Many see the young woman as a hero, while others

believe she should be silenced. Becky Anderson, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[15:40:54] GORANI: Still to come tonight, here in the UK, it's been months of seemingly endless debates. But now Brexit is a year away to the day,

and for some, it can't come fast enough. CNN speaks to residents of a town that wanted out and still do. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GORANI: It might just be the most high-profile divorce the world has ever seen. Right now, Britain is exactly one year away from its big breakup

with the EU. And although the country is still pretty divided on the issue, The London Borough of Havering voted pretty decisively. CNN spoke

to people there in the historic market town of Romford.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can't ignore that over 70 percent of the Borough vote, that's not going to go away overnight. I'm Angelina I've lived in

Borough for 14 years and I voted to remain. If I had to see a Brexit, I would like to retain some sort of freedom of movement. My children have

family in Europe. I don't want them to have to apply for visas to go and visit their granddad or to go on a family holiday. I want them to be able

to go and study and explore Europe and not be limited. People that certainly I speak to that did vote to leave, but they did that based on

there being another 350 million for the NHS. I think a lot of people are seeing that the reasons they voted are starting to feel maybe that they

were manipulated and they didn't know all the facts.

DAVID CROSBY, BRITAIN RESIDENT: People knew what they were voting for and they voted and they see it. My name is David Crosby. I've been a

fisherman all my life and I voted out. It's a year too long. Typical politicians dragging things out again. Because they don't know what

they're doing. I'll be glad when it's all over and done with and we're out.

GRAHAM GIVENS, BRITAIN RESIDENT: Well, we've been in something for 40 years. We're not going to just get out of it in five minute. It's going

to be -- it's like a medicine waiting to take. My name is Graham Givens (ph). I've had a store in the market for over 20 years and I voted to

leave. This is why some of the stock comes to Europe, so we still have to worry that that that might dry up. And stuff has what much (INAUDIBLE) had

to change commodities, change lines. It's a bigger picture of what three children, I need to think of them.

Things aren't better. Things have got worse in recent times. So that's why I think if we leave, things will get better again. Things will get

better. Not as many people will come here. I'm not prejudice, I'm not racist. I have no problem with migration, but not when it's a free for

all.

EMMA HAMBLITZ, BRITAIN RESIDENT: With a year have to go, it does feel like it's going to be a lot longer than that. My name is Emma Hamblitz. I've

lived here all through my life and I voted remain. I haven't had anyone say to me that they are concerned about Brexit. And it's not really on the

pile of anyone's agenda now, because things have happened. The NHS is much higher on their agenda. We've got universal credit coming out soon. So

all of this stuff that -- day-to-day stuff of running a country, everyone is just sick of Brexit, because the important things aren't being done.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[15:45:13] GORANI: Most of us do it almost every day. We buy a bottle of water or a soda, drink it and then throw it in the recycling bin, or worse,

the trash. Several countries around the world have ways of making sure those plastic bottles are, in fact, recycled. The UK, though, is playing

catch-up with them, as Erin McLaughlin reports.

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The world's oceans are under threat by plastic bottles. Water bottles, soda bottles, they seem harmless. But

experts say amount to a third of all plastic waste found in the seas. Compounding the problem, it takes longer to degrade in the ocean than on

land. Bits of plastic even found in the bellies of birds.

SHARON GEORGE, COURSE DIRECTOR FOR MSC IN ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY AND GREEN TECHNOLOGY: We're treating them as if they're a disposable commodity

and actually they're not. Plastics are incredibly long-lived, but we're using them for single-use items and we really need to change that from the

producer and the consumer point of view.

MCLAUGHLIN: Now, the British government is trying to do just that. They're looking for feedback on a proposal that has worked for other

countries.

The proposal is simple. You buy, say, a bottle of water from the store. You pay extra for the plastic. You drink the water. Then you return the

plastic bottle and get the surcharge back. Now, they're still deciding on the amount of the surcharge, but countries have charged everywhere from 10

to 50 cents.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a good move. I guess the only thing is whether people will actually take them back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've seen it in other countries. I've seen it in Denmark. They do it. And it's like almost a hidden cost and you would

feel it, really. I think it's quite good.

MCLAUGHLIN: When it comes to recycling, the UK is behind much of the rest of the world.

GEORGE: Most of our plastic has been going to countries like China. Well, the markets are now changing and that is becoming more difficult for the UK

to do. So, we need to radically rethink what we're doing.

MCLAUGHLIN: About 40 countries in 21 U.S. states pay back for returned plastic. Norway recycles 97 percent of its plastic bottles. Compare that

to the UK with a bottle recycling rate of 74 percent. The program costs hundreds of millions of dollars to implement and even more to maintain.

But to environmentalists, for the health of the world's oceans, it's worth it to get the UK going in the right direction. Erin McLaughlin, CNN,

London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GORANI: Still to come, the return of a smash sitcom catches the attention of Donald Trump. You'll see what made the U.S. president so happy about

"Roseanne's" re-launch that he reached out with a phone call.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GORANI: A big sitcom reboot equals big ratings, at least if you're Roseanne Barr.

A whopping 18 million Americans watch the beloved comedy "Roseanne" make its return to television Tuesday night after a couple of decades. It seems

President Trump may have been among the millions watching. CNN learned that he actually spoke to Roseanne Barr on the phone yesterday.

Chloe Melas joins us now from New York. So, that -- those are huge numbers, Chloe.

CHLOE MELAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Massive. Even bigger than the finale of "Roseanne" 20 years ago, if you can believe that.

[15:50:04] GORANI: Yes. And Roseanne Barr spoke to morning television show, "Good Morning America," in the United States she said this about her

phone call with Donald Trump.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROSEANN BARR, AMERICAN ACTRESS: Well, I really hope that it opens up, you know, civil conversation between people instead of just mudslinging. I

really do, because I think we need to be more civilized than that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELAS: You know, Donald Trump actually -- well, I was just going to say, Donald Trump just gave a speech moments ago where he actually talk about

Roseanne's massive ratings and I think that why this is so interesting is that Roseanne Barr, the lead of the show, has been very vocal about her

support for Donald Trump. Yet the others on the show, like Laurie Metcalf and then you also have John Goodman, others who have, you know, been

against Donald Trump and, you know, are liberal in their views. So that's the first thing. The other thing is that, yes, it's some nostalgia, but

those 18 million viewers that tuned in, a lot of them was from a younger demographic. People that weren't even alive or born when Roseanne aired in

the '90s. So that is what is really interesting. Also, I just want to point out that the biggest ratings of "Roseanne" were actually in red

states, in Trump supporting states. So we have to remember and TV networks must be realizing that there's a major cash cow money to be made by making

shows targeted toward Middle America. Clearly, people are hungry for that kind of content.

GORANI: But Roseanne, the character is a Trump supporter, so there's a lot of conflict within the family. Is Roseanne Barr, the person, a Trump

supporter?

MELAS: Yes, so Roseanne is a Trump supporter in real life and on the show, you know, she is, as well, and there are jokes about how the family deals

with that. And then, also, you know, a lot of people in real life can relate to that as well, because we saw after the election that a lot of

families felt divided over, you know, my brother supports Donald Trump, but I don't. And family split, people spending thanksgivings apart. You know,

so I think that a lot of people see themselves in the Conner family. Because it also represents a lower middle class family that's struggling to

pay the bills and real-life issues. And people can really relate to that. So I guarantee you, Hala, that we're going to see very soon more TV content

that is more focused on Middle America, real-life families with true, gritty stories.

GORANI: I guess it makes sense in the fictional world of Roseanne that in a working class family, you'd have Trump supporters because Trump got a lot

of support electorally and in red states and working class areas from those types of voters. But that the actual actress is also a Trump supporter, I

guess is what might surprise people.

MELAS: Definitely. The fact is, is that she has been, you know, very supportive of Donald Trump. You know, before, his election, afterwards,

especially on social media. You had Donald Trump, Jr. taking to Twitter, commending Roseanne on these unbelievable ratings. And then you have the

president calling her and then also bringing it up in his speech today. It just goes to show you that, you know, when they do find their Hollywood

supporters, although there are few of them, they will make sure to keep them very close.

GORANI: Chloe Melas, thanks so much for joining us live.

MELAS: Thank you.

GORANI: Check out our Facebook page, facebook.com/halagoranicnn and check out our Twitter feed as well @HalaGorani.

For the next few weeks, CNN is telling the stories of young scientists and innovators in a new special series. Their inspiring innovations will make

a difference, hopefully, in improving our environment and our health. Dr. Sanjay Gupta introduces us to one of tomorrow's heroes who knows the

importance of renewable energy firsthand.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: About two-thirds of the earth's surface is covered by oceans. And every single breaker or roll

that you see heading to shore is a potential source of renewable energy. It's just a matter of harnessing the untapped powers of the seas. And

tomorrow's hero, Inna Braverman, has found an eco-friendly way to do just that.

INNA BRAVERMAN, COFOUNDER, ECO WAVE POWER: The sea was a big part of my life growing up. Most of our time as children were spent on the beach.

Constantly seeing the power of the breaking waves, I really knew from firsthand the importance of renewable energy.

My name is Inna Braverman, I'm 31, and I'm the cofounder of Eco Wave Power.

I was actually born in Ukraine. Two weeks after I was born, the Chernobyl nuclear reactor exploded, causing the largest in history nuclear disaster

and I was actually one of the babies that suffered from the explosion. I knew from a very young age that they got a second chance in life and I want

to do something good with it.

[15:55:07] Eco Wave Power developed the unique technology for a generation of clean electricity from ocean and sea waves. We installed floaters on

existent break waters and other type of ocean structures, and the floaters are going up and down with the wave movement and are generating clean

electricity from this resource. Thereby, we don't create any new presence on the ocean floor. We just connect to it a man-made existing structure.

Most of the companies, they took all the conversion equipment and put it inside the actual floater.

In our case, we put only the floaters in the water, all the rest of the equipment on land, this enabled a low price and a higher ability. Most

people, they speak about pollution, but they don't really feel from firsthand the effects of pollution. I really hope that all of these

countries, developing countries, and even developed countries will use these types of technology as a means of mitigating the pollution. Wave

energy is a huge resource and it's completely untapped in the world at the moment. I always say that passion is the greatest renewable energy source.

Everything is possible. Whatever you want to do. If you really, really believe it and if it's really your true passion, you should go with it.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GORANI: Thanks for watching tonight. I'm Hala Gorani. Stay with CNN. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

END