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CNN NEWSROOM

Moon-Kim Meeting Revives Hopes for June 12 Summit; American Released by Venezuela; U.S. Gas Prices Rise; Dermatologist Faces Lawsuits; Ireland Votes Overwhelmingly to Repeal Abortion Ban; Health Workers in a Race to Contain Ebola; New Start for Refugees Who Lost Hands; UEFA Champions League Final; Surfing the Korean DMZ. Aired 4-5a ET

Aired May 27, 2018 - 04:00   ET

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


[04:00:00]

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DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think there's a lot of goodwill. I think people want to see if we can get the meeting and get something done.

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GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): The U.S. president Donald Trump says a summit with Kim Jong-un could still happen on June 12th. This as Mr. Trump welcomed a freed American who spent nearly two years in a prison in Venezuela without a trial.

Plus this.

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IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And the crazy thing is everybody is out here surfing and we are pretty close to North Korea.

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HOWELL (voice-over): Surfing at one of the most heavily militarized borders in the world. Our Ivan Watson hangs 10 along the DMZ.

We are live from CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta. We want to welcome our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. I'm George Howell. The CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.

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HOWELL: 4:01 on the U.S. East Coast just days after Donald Trump abruptly cancelled his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, the U.S. president now says the preparations for that meeting are moving ahead, listen.

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TRUMP: If we can be successful in the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula it would be a great thing for North Korea and South Korea and great for Japan and great for the world, great for the United States, great for China.

A lot of people are working on it and it's moving along very nicely. So we're looking at June 12th in Singapore. That hasn't changed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: June 12th, again, the date for that meeting less than three weeks away. Many experts doubt there is enough time to pull together a high stakes meeting like this. But they are going to try.

The leaders of North and South Korea met in secret on Saturday in the Korean demilitarized zone to see if they could revive the process. On that score they seem to have succeeded.

Afterwards the South Korean president Moon Jae-in said that Kim still wants to meet with Mr. Trump and he remained committed to denuclearization. Let's go live to CNN's Matt Rivers following the story live in Seoul, South Korea.

Matt, this back and forth, this push and pull, it seems now we are getting a little more insight into exactly what North Korea wants.

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. That's exactly right. We are getting a bit more of an idea in terms of the substantive conversation that took place yesterday here in South Korea between the leader of South Korea, Moon Jae-in, and Kim Jong-un himself.

We know that the two men met for about two hours. When the South Korean president spoke with reporters this morning, he talked about the fact that Kim Jong-un still really wants to have this summit. He still wants to sit down with the United States. He still wants to move forward.

And that seems to echo what we've been hearing from the President of the United States. It was just a couple of days ago that there was deep disappointment here in South Korea. The summit was canceled and it wasn't clear it would be on.

While there hasn't been an official announcement that the summit is back on June 12th, that is certainly the vibe you're getting from all parties involved, that the summit is more of an eventuality rather than just a possibility.

In terms of exactly what that summit is going to look like, the details behind it, you mentioned there's lot that has to go into this summit. There is a question of how much can actually be accomplished at a summit like this when there's so little time to prepare.

But given that both South Korea and North Korea leaders met, that they are publicly saying that they want this summit to go forward, it does appear there certainly is a lot of cautious optimism here that is trending toward regular optimism that the summit will happen.

HOWELL: Matt, we have seen one surprise after another.

Is there a sense there from leaders that, from what you're hearing, that all sides, that allies are working together, despite one surprise after the other?

RIVERS: I think there's a general sense that -- what you heard from South Korean president Moon Jae-in is that this summit is really going to depend, the success of the summit, whether it happens, depends on what he is calling practical talks that are currently ongoing between the North Koreans and the Americans.

The outcome of those talks, which were confirmed by President Trump late Saturday night, will really have a huge impact on this summit. But the other thing that's interesting here, George, is we did get some insight into what Kim Jong-un wants out of this summit. Let's play you a little bit of sound that the -- from the South Korean president when he briefed reporters this morning here in Seoul.

[04:05:00]

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MOON JAE-IN, SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENT (through translator): I told Chairman Kim that if he decides to put into practice a complete denuclearization, President Trump is willing for economic cooperation and ending hostile relations.

As a continuation to the Panmunjom declaration, Chairman Kim once again affirmed his commitment for denuclearization, emphasizing that he will clear the history of war and confrontation and cooperate for peace and prosperity and a successful U.S.-North Korea summit meeting.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RIVERS: The South Korean president went on to say what Kim Jong-un is concerned about is not his willingness to denuclearization the Korean Peninsula but he is concerned about the security guarantee from the United States.

It appears Kim needs further convincing that his regime can be ensured its survival in exchange for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. What you're not hearing is a straight-up, unequivocal claim or willingness from the North Korean regime to give up its nuclear weapons completely.

What you'll hear from experts is there is a lot of gray area when you talk about the denuclearizing of the Korean Peninsula.

What exactly does that look like?

Is that kind of vague language enough for the United States to sit down at this summit in just a couple of weeks?

Because I can give you a whole bunch of North Korean experts who say that Kim Jong-un will not give up his nuclear weapons without an incredible amount given up in return by the United States.

HOWELL: At the end of the day, Matt, that's what it comes down to, that question, what will be on the table, what are the details here?

Matt Rivers, thank you so much for the reporting.

Let's bring in Martin Navias. Martin is a military analyst in the department of war studies at Kings College in London.

It's a pleasure to have you here to talk about this. From what you're hearing from North Korea, for these talks to take place, clearly security guarantees are a top priority for Kim Jong-un. For the United States. It's about denuclearization. The devil always in the details.

What do you believe the details will be?

MARTIN NAVIAS, KINGS COLLEGE: Well, firstly, I think that denuclearization is not really on the table here. It will be aspirational and both of the leaders will agree that that is the objective, ultimately for nuclear weapons to be removed.

But the more immediate objectives will be, from the American point of view, the destruction or the curtailment of North Korean missiles that are capable of hitting the United States and also a freeze on North Korean nuclear tests and nuclear weapons production and a promise by the North Koreans not to transfer that materiel out of the country.

Those will be the main American objectives. From the North Korean perspective, they will want these guarantees and also promises of economic aid.

HOWELL: For North Korea, when it comes to denuclearization, you say that probably a loose framework.

But do you see that country opening itself up to the rigorous tests, the inspections that would be necessary to prove that they are following through?

MARTIN: Well, that is going to be the difficulty. The North Koreans do not like external parties coming into the countries and moving around their military sites. But if they want to get that aid, they're going to have to do it.

I think the bottom line here is that Kim needs this deal more than Trump does. Trump, in 2-6 years' time, the worst thing that happens to him is he returns to Trump Tower in New York.

The worst thing that happens to Kim, if he cannot develop his country, is that he ends up like Col. Gadhafi as was rather insensitively pointed out to him by Mr. Bolton and Mr. Pence somewhat recently. And so I think Kim is going to have to give way on these points.

HOWELL: The United States and South Korea described their alliance as ironclad, no daylight between them. But clearly President Trump cancelled the summit to the surprise of the South Korean leader. And President Moon Jae-in then held a surprise summit with the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Are these different interests at play here?

Is it every man for himself?

NAVIAS: Well, the South Koreans should not have been surprised. This decision by President Trump to cancel the summit was straight out of his playbook. I mean, literally, if you read "The Art of the Deal," his book, page 52 or 53 says explicitly, the worst thing you can do is give the impression to the other side that you really want the deal.

Because then, as Mr. Trump says, he smells blood and you are dead. So it was clear that Trump was going to play hard to get. But I think now he has shown --

[04:10:00]

NAVIAS: -- that he could walk away from this deal and he is not beholden to the North Koreans or the South Koreans and he will do a deal if it's in his interests. South Koreans should understand this. President Moon has negotiated in a way that Mr. Trump will never negotiate. He's shown a complete, total commitment to this deal.

Trump will not do that. I mean ultimately there is distance between them. The Americans will look after their own interests. What they want is to ensure that the North Koreans cannot hit the continental United States with nuclear armed missiles.

That's different from the South Koreans' interests. But the Americans will only move if they can assure this. And so I think at some point, there will be a difference of approach between South Korea and the United States.

HOWELL: Martin Navias, thank you so much for your time and perspective, life in our London bureau.

NAVIAS: Thank you.

HOWELL: For almost two years an American and his wife feared for their lives behind bars in Venezuela. But now Joshua and Thamy Holt are here in the United States. They've reunited with their families. You see the video of that reunion right here.

In the meantime, the White House is warning their release does not change U.S. policy on Venezuela. Our Boris Sanchez reports.

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BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: President Trump hosting Joshua Holt and his family in the Oval Office on Saturday night, shortly after Holt was released from a Venezuelan prison. The American had been held captive there since June of 2016, accused of stockpiling weapons.

The president thanked everyone involved in his release. On hand were Senators Orrin Hatch and Bob Corker. Corker, of course, met with Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro just on Friday and secured Holt's release.

We did get to hear from Holt himself, who was emotional and thankful in his remarks. Listen to this.

JOSHUA HOLT, AMERICAN RELEASED FROM VENEZUELAN PRISON: I'm just overwhelmed with gratitude for you guys, for everything that you've done, for thanking about me and carrying about me, just a normal person.

TRUMP: I want just to welcome you to the Oval Office, welcome you to the White House. It's really very special to have you both. You have gone through a lot. You have gone through a lot, more than most people could endure. I want to thank your parents for being such loving parents.

You were really very, very special. You were fighting all the way. There was not a day that -- there wasn't an hour or a minute that you weren't thinking about this man and calling everybody and letting us know.

SANCHEZ: The president also took the opportunity to point out that, during his administration, 17 Americans being held captive overseas have been released. He compared himself in favorable terms to his predecessor, Barack Obama, in that regard.

We also should note that two officials on the National Security Council speaking on background to CNN have told us that the United States offered nothing in exchange for the release of Joshua Holt.

Somewhat surprising, considering that there has been some brash rhetoric between the two sides in recent days, just about a week since the Venezuelan election, in which Nicolas Maduro was elected to yet another six-year term -- Boris Sanchez, CNN, at the White House.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOWELL: Boris, thank you.

Still ahead, the southeastern part of the United States prepares for the first storm of the hurricane season. The very latest on Alberto just ahead.

Plus an Atlanta area doctor who dances during surgery is facing mounting legal trouble. Why she is still allowed to practice. Stay with us.

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[04:15:00]

(MUSIC PLAYING) HOWELL: Just take a look at that. In the United States, the states

of Alabama, Florida and Mississippi are declaring states of emergency as subtropical storm Alberto moves toward the Gulf of Mexico.

It is the first named storm of the hurricane season and is expected to intensify as it continues north from Florida. The National Hurricane Center predicts part of the southeastern U.S. will be drenched in heavy rains and possible flooding in the coming days.

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[04:20:00]

HOWELL: With the Gulf Coast preparing for Alberto, oil rigs in the area could be shut down. That doesn't go well for U.S. drivers, who have already seen a big jump in gas prices. CNN's Polo Sandoval has more now on this crude awakening.

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POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is already shaping up to be one of the most expensive summer travel seasons for the estimated 36 million people who are hitting the road this weekend, according to AAA.

A couple reasons why we are seeing the national average of gas at $2.97, one of them is the president reimposing sanctions in Iran. Also there is also a higher demand now for fuel so the result is about a 31 percent increase in the cost of fuel when you compare it to what we saw last year.

This could come with political impact here; for example, President Trump, also several Republican lawmakers who have been riding the wave of success after recent tax reform, could see many constituents upset over the price of gas. This could become a major pocketbook issue ahead of the midterm elections.

Of course, many people may be left to ask, what good is all of this additional take-home pay if many of it is being spent here at the pumps?

Here in New Jersey, with the price of gas about $3.10, I can tell you reaction has been mixed. We have heard from some people who say gas prices, when it comes to that, it is what it is. They have seen prices go up and down and they hope this increase will be short-lived.

But then there are those genuinely concerned. An Uber driver who we heard from earlier this morning, says a $3 gas budget is certainly something not that he has considered and this could lead to a change in jobs.

So this is what we are seeing right now as the summer travel season begins, not only the highest price of gas we have seen in a while but also many people seriously concerned about the price at the pump. Reporting in Hudson County, New Jersey, I'm Polo Sandoval. Back to you. (END VIDEOTAPE)

HOWELL: Polo, thanks for the report.

Now here to the U.S. state of Georgia, a doctor is on the hot seat for dancing during surgery. A number of patients say that her unsafe practices have left them with serious, even life-threatening complications. Our Kaylee Hartung reports.

KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As she cuts into human flesh, this Atlanta area dermatologist sings and dances for the camera. CNN has obtained video of multiple instances of questionable conduct by Dr. Windell Boutte in the operating room.

More than 20 videos like this one were posted to the doctor's public YouTube channel for promotional purposes. They have since been deleted. Patients have taken notice. CNN has found five malpractice lawsuits pending against Boutte. She has reached four settlements.

CNN has not found judgments decided against her but female patients with lawsuits claim they've suffered infections, disfigurement, even brain damage following procedures at Boutte's hand.

Boutte's office and her attorneys did not respond to CNN's request for comment. CNN has learned the Georgia Composite Medical Board has had information regarding Boutte's allegedly unsafe practices since at least March 2016.

In an interview with CNN affiliate WSB, the chairman refused to comment directly on Boutte but said the board does not want to rush to judgment. So Boutte continues to practice.

SUSAN WITT, ATTORNEY: Quite frankly, that is appalling, that they have had information about Dr. Boutte and her unsafe practices for 26 months.

HARTUNG (voice-over): Susan Witt is an attorney, representing three women who claim their lives have been changed by Dr. Boutte. Among them, Icilma Cornelius.

WITT: She was really excited to start the next chapter in her life. And once that office staff was aware of that, they played upon the fact that she was getting married and she wanted to look good in her dress.

HARTUNG (voice-over): Two and a half years ago, Cornelius went to Boutte's premier esthetic center for Botox and other minor cosmetic treatments ahead of her wedding. While in the office she agreed to more, a surgical procedure that Boutte said could flatten her stomach.

More than eight hours into surgery Boutte's staff called 9-1-1, according to court documents.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She is not awake? She is not awake and she is not breathing, is that right?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Correct.

WITT: While they did start CPR --

[04:25:00]

WITT: -- by the time that the first responders arrived she was essentially dead. Her pupils were fixed and dilated.

HARTUNG (voice-over): Cornelius survived but suffered permanent brain damage. Her 26-year-old son is now her 24-hour caretaker.

OJAY LIBURD, CORNELIUS' SON: I have to basically help her in the bathroom. I have to brush her teeth. I have to prepare her meals, prepare her medication, of course changing her clothes. Everything that we are like so used to doing for ourselves, I have to do that for her.

HARTUNG (voice-over): Cornelius' case was settled for an undisclosed amount. Former patients tell CNN they bought Boutte's claim this she is Atlanta's leading cosmetic surgeon and her credentials, medical school at UCLA, residency at Emory, a board certified dermatologist.

But lawsuits claim she is unqualified to do many of the procedures she advertises, even though law in Georgia allows it.

WITT: If you have a medical license, then there's no restriction on what you can do. We have seen cases where emergency room physicians have gotten into the cosmetic surgery business, OB-GYNs who are performing breast augmentations, breast reductions, tummy tucks.

HARTUNG (voice-over): Witt said the focus is on Boutte now but she is not unique -- Kaylee Hartung, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOWELL: In Ireland, a decision that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago, now women's rights supporters are hailing a historic vote in that country.

Plus this:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WATSON: This area is heavily militarized to protect against the threat of possible North Korean incursions. But it's also home to some of the best waves in South Korea.

HOWELL (voice-over): We take you to a hidden gem not from Korea's demilitarized zone. Surf's up later this hour on CNN NEWSROOM.

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[04:30:00]

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HOWELL: Live in the United States and around the world this hour, This is CNN NEWSROOM. I'm George Howell with the headlines we're following for you this hour.

(HEADLINES)

HOWELL: A historic decision in Ireland, voters there overwhelmingly decided to overturn a constitutional amendment that banned most abortions. Supporters cheered the outcome. Opponents called it a tragedy of historic proportions. Our Atika Shubert joins us from Dublin.

Atika, tell us first of all the significance of what happened in that nation. It is substantial.

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, it's a historic moment. I want to show you how the day unfolded yesterday but first, I just want to show you this headline that's come out here from "The Independent," "The Power of Women."

And you can just see in that photo there, the reactions of women. It was such a momentous occasion. I can tell you the kind of feeling there was in Dublin Castle when the results were announced. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SHUBERT (voice-over): A sweeping victory for women's rights in Ireland. The final count, 66 percent voted yes to change the Irish constitution and paved the way to make abortion legal in Ireland. Only 34 percent voted against, 64 percent of registered voters cast their ballots.

For veteran women's rights campaigner Elba Smith (ph), this was a long time coming.

SHUBERT: I heard you say that this is history being rewritten with this vote.

ELBA SMITH (PH), WOMEN'S RIGHTS CAMPAIGNER: There is no doubt about it. What we are saying, maybe it's not about -- maybe it's about making a new Ireland, where women truly matter and where we have a right to make choices for ourselves about our lives and our bodies.

SHUBERT (voice-over): It's a seismic shift that's been building for decades in Ireland, a country whose deep Catholic roots had underpinned some of the harshest laws against abortion.

At the Dublin vote count, cheers as ballot box after ballot box went for yes. But no voters struggled to come to grips with their loss.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Shocked that nobody was listening to the no side. The right to life stands for every human being from the moment of conception to the time that they die. Nobody can take that away, no law, no anything. So in fact we don't stop. SHUBERT (voice-over): There was fierce debate leading up to the referendum but more and more women told their harrowing stories of seeking abortions they knew were illegal at home.

Scared and desperate with an unwanted pregnancy, that's how Lucy Watmouth (ph) described her experience to us before the vote. Now she sees this.

LUCY WATMOUTH (PH), ABORTION RIGHTS ACTIVIST: I'm just so overwhelmed. I just kept thinking we are safe now. My sister will never go through what I went through. (INAUDIBLE) one day she won't go through what I went through. I'm glad they listened to us. (INAUDIBLE).

SHUBERT (voice-over): It was also a political win for Ireland's prime minister, Leo Varadkar, and health minister Simon Harris. Both had pushed to hold the referendum. Now they must shepherd the legislation through parliament.

SIMON HARRIS, IRISH MINISTER OF HEALTH: For me personal as minister for health, when I started meeting women in Ireland who'd be putting this out, all I can say is I'm sorry we couldn't help you rather than be able to help them. I became very determined that we should try and do something on this and work with civil society so that we could campaign for that.

SHUBERT (voice-over): The politicians will get to work next week. But for yes voters, it's time to celebrate a historic moment for Ireland.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SHUBERT: A lot of people were celebrating late into the night. But Sunday morning, it's time for a lot of reflection and a lot of looking over how votes were cast. One county in particular, Donegal, voted --

[04:35:00]

SHUBERT: -- against the referendum. And of course, being Sunday, a lot of people also going to church. So it is a day for the country to kind of reflect that the results see, see what has happened. And then Monday, that is when the politicians get to work, crafting legislation to push through parliament -- George.

HOWELL: Atika Shubert, live for us in Dublin, thank you for the reporting, Atika.

Now let's get some context now with Fiona de Londras, a professor of global legal studies at Birmingham Law School at the University of Birmingham, live in Dublin this hour.

It's good have you with us, Fiona. First of all, talk to us about the significance of this vote with regard to women's rights, with regard to the deep roots of the Catholic Church because, clearly, again, this is a major development and shift. FIONA DE LONDRAS, UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM: Absolutely. This is (INAUDIBLE) vote. The eighth amendment was inserted in 1983 when there wasn't a big social movement seeking abortion rights. But there was a movement for women's liberation.

And so the eighth amendment was a preemptive strike against women's liberation and on Friday and when we counted the boxes yesterday it became clear that in the 35 years since then, despite the efforts of the constitution, despite the efforts of the church, women in Ireland have been liberated.

And almost 70 percent of our co-citizens agree that we should have bodily autonomy and agency and the right to choose whether or not to remain pregnant when pregnancy happens.

So I think it's an absolutely incredible weekend for Ireland. I think it shows that we want a constitution and a law that reflects our real makeup as a society and our real lives here and the fact that we are a loving and caring society and we believe that women should be able to decide what happens in our reproductive lives.

HOWELL: Fiona, I would like to get your thoughts about Ireland as it stands now, with some of the harshest, the strictest abortion laws in the developed world. Talk to us about what that means in reality for women who have clearly demanded those laws change.

DE LONDRAS: The law, as you say, is extremely strict. You can only access a lawful abortion in Ireland if there is a real and substantial risk to your life. And if abortion is the only way to avert that risk.

So there are only about 2 dozen legal abortions in Ireland in any given year. And in the same year, 4,000-5,000 Irish women will either travel abroad to access abortion or import abortion pills and take the immediately here in Ireland.

So that is the law as it stands. (INAUDIBLE) the constitution has been changed, it will be possible for us to introduce a new law. That's what the government now proposes to do and to have a period in early pregnancy up the 12 weeks in which a woman can access abortion without having to certify a reason, sometimes called abortion on request.

But then after that, very limited again, a risk to life or risk of serious harm to health after the 12-week period and only after viability of the fetus.

So it will take some time for that law to be finalized, for it to go through the parliament and of course then for the health system to be organized in a way that will be able to deliver that.

But I would a reasonable expectation that within 12 months from today, it should be possible to have that law operating until then, 10-12 Irish women will continue to travel every day to access the abortions that they need and that they can't get yet here in Ireland. HOWELL: Fiona de Londras, thank you so much for your time and perspective on this. Obviously, a very important vote that has happened there and as we heard in Atika Shubert's report, one person saying possibly a new Ireland from what we're seeing in this vote. Thank you for your time today.

DE LONDRAS: Thank you.

HOWELL: More refugees are crossing into Canada. And many are risking their lives to escape anti-immigrant policies in the United States.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Position your thumb to open it a bit more to -- wider to get a grip on the cup, OK, and --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There we go.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh.

(LAUGHTER)

HOWELL (voice-over): Up next, the story of this refugee starting a new life after losing his fingers to frostbite.

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[04:40:00]

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HOWELL: Health workers in the Congo are trying to stop an Ebola outbreak from exploding into a full-blown epidemic. Their main concern now, the deadly virus has been found in the trading hub city of Mbandaka. Health officials fear if it isn't contained there, it could then spread to Congo's capital.

Our Zain Asher explains.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ZAIN ASHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Health workers in the Democratic Republic of Congo are in a life-or-death battle to stop the spread of an Ebola outbreak first reported in early May. The challenge is magnified by the difficult conditions and the lack of any local health care infrastructure.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Getting in vaccines, getting in freezers, having enough fuel so these freezers can function in the area where you don't really have electricity. You need to have vaccination teams to be trained so they know exactly what they need to do.

ASHER (voice-over): In one case, the relatives of three Ebola patients helped them leave a hospital isolation ward. One was about to be discharged but the other two were highly infectious and died within 24 hours.

Health workers are trying to trace anyone who may have been infected after coming into contact with them. They're also trying to educate those at risk about the virus.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): It is very important that family members of the patient understand the risk of spreading the disease when they keep the sick at home. If people understand that, there will be less chance that they'll want to escape. It is a hospital, not a prison. We cannot lock everything up.

ASHER (voice-over): The World Health Organization says efforts to halt a full-blown epidemic have reached a critical point. There's particular concern about the presence of the virus in Mbandaka, a crowded trading hub on the Congo River with road, water and air links to Congo's capital, Kinshasa.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're on the epidemiological knife edge of this response. The next few weeks will really tell if this outbreak is going to expand to urban areas or if we're going to be able to keep it under control.

ASHER (voice-over): Ebola was first discovered in the Congo in the 1970s. It spreads through direct contact with body fluids from an infected person. More than 11,000 people died in an Ebola outbreak in the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone between 2013 and 2016 -- Zain Asher, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOWELL: Zain, thank you.

Canada's largest city, Toronto, is opening 800 emergency beds for refugee claimants.

[04:45:00]

HOWELL: Thousands have fled across the border from the United States since 2017. They have been looking for a refugee haven. This as the Trump administration cracks down on illegal immigration. The U.S. has also been feeding the flow of asylum seekers northward by pulling temporary protection status from groups such as Haitians and Nigerians.

Two refugees who made it to Canada now have new lives. Their journey through treacherous winter conditions almost killed them but Austin Grabish updates the story on their situation that we brought you last year.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PETER TEN KROODEN, PROSTHETIST: Are you excited today?

Oh, yes?

Good. AUSTIN GRABISH, CBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Seidu Mohammed has waited over a year to finally be able to do this.

TEN KROODEN: -- have to do is position your thumb to open it a bit more to -- wider to get a grip on the cup, OK, and there we go.

STELLA KANKAM, WINNIPEG GHANAIAN COMMUNITY: Oh..

GRABISH (voice-over): These prosthetic hands are a gift of independence.

SEIDU MOHAMMED, REFUGEE: We've been praying for it and God has answered our prayers and things are getting better always every day. So it's like an exciting moment for us.

GRABISH (voice-over): Mohammed and Razak Iyal lost all of their fingers to frostbite in the dead of winter in 2016 after they got lost walking into Canada from the United States in a bid to get asylum.

TEN KROODEN: Put this one on first.

GRABISH (voice-over): Iyal got his new hands last week and Mohammed tried his on for the first time Tuesday.

TEN KROODEN: You're already a natural.

(LAUGHTER)

GRABISH (voice-over): A moment that brought tears to Stella Kankam's eyes.

KANKAM: Now for him to pick up a coin and pick up that small screwdriver, it's like, OK, am I really seeing this?

Is it true that now he can do that?

GRABISH (voice-over): She and other members of Winnipeg's Ghanaian community have been by Iyal and Mohammed's side ever since some of the simplest things in life became the hardest.

MOHAMMED: Even today when I was coming here after taking the bus, so my payment card fell down and I don't know how I can pick it. But what I did is I used my feet and put it together, pick it up.

GRABISH (voice-over): But now Mohammed can pick up a coin.

TEN KROODEN: There we go.

GRABISH (voice-over): Scissors.

TEN KROODEN: There we go.

GRABISH (voice-over): Carry a bag or even open a cupboard.

TEN KROODEN: This is where we do all the manufacturing. GRABISH (voice-over): The prosthetic hands were made right here in Winnipeg at Anderson Orthopedics. They came at a steep cost, about $10,000 a hand.

TEN KROODEN: It can never replace what he's lost unfortunately. But this at least does give him some quality of life back, which was exciting to see him do so well.

GRABISH (voice-over): Both men wanted to thank Manitoba Health, which paid the bill.

RAZAK IYAL, REFUGEE: Today is the day when we got it and I'll say, wow, the dream come true.

GRABISH (voice-over): And both say they have big plans for their new hands.

MOHAMMED: That for me is to get a job because we've been looking for a job. And we are tired of being at home without doing nothing. We want to show Canada or Winnipeg that we can do a lot. We can do something. So we want to go out there and start doing a job and start doing -- start like doing some job.

GRABISH (voice-over): Which they hope will help them grab the Canadian dream -- Austin Grabish, CBC News, Winnipeg.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOWELL: Still ahead, Korea's demilitarized zone may be known for a lot of things. But gnarly waves was not one of them until now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's so trippy, by the way.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But a lot of foreigners, they come over and they see the scene and they are like, wow.

HOWELL (voice-over): So get ready to surf the Korean DMZ, still ahead on CNN NEWSROOM.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(MUSIC PLAYING)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[04:50:00]

(SPORTS)

(MUSIC PLAYING) HOWELL: Just take a look at this image. Capturing Real Madrid's

Gareth Bale putting his team ahead in the Champions League final against Liverpool. Bale came off the bench to score this goal and went on to score another with 3-1 final score, Real Madrid won their third straight Champions League title.

It is their 13th overall and 4th in the past five seasons.

Now for the surfers out there, when you think the best places to surf, Hawaii's Pipeline or Australia's Gold Coast might come to mind. But there's another spot you might not be thinking of, with some of the best waves that's, well, let's just say a little off the beaten path. CNN's Ivan Watson waxes down his surfboard for a ride along the Korean DMZ.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WATSON (voice-over): The morning after a big storm is a day for some people to get up early, wax up the surfboards and head out to the beach.

South Korea is relatively new to surfing but some here are clearly hooked on the sport and they are kind enough to share the waves with a beginner from out of town.

WATSON: (INAUDIBLE) and the crazy thing is everybody is out here surfing. And we are pretty close to North Korea.

WATSON (voice-over): We are just a short drive from the demilitarized zone, South Korea's border with North Korea. The coastline here dotted with military bases, long stretches of the beach fortified with razor wire, guard towers and security cameras.

WATSON: This is heavily militarized to protect against the threat of possible North Korean incursions. But it is also home to some of the best waves in South Korea. So if you want to surf sometimes you literally have to go through the fence.

WATSON (voice-over): And this what surfing looks like near the DMZ. The military and the surf community somehow coexist on the same shores.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is so trippy, by the way.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But a lot of foreigners, they come over and they see the scene. They're like, wow.

WATSON (voice-over): Lee Hyung-joo runs a surf camp on a beach that, until a few years ago, was off limits to civilians.

LEE HYUNG-JOO, SURF CAMP OWNER: Just here --

[04:55:00]

LEE: -- about 200 meters, about 300 meters is an artillery base.

WATSON (voice-over): North Korean trash regularly washes up on the beach here.

LEE: Sometimes you find like North Korea cigarette packs, that's trash, of course, also some water bottles.

WATSON (voice-over): Lee hopes the current talks between Pyongyang and Seoul may one day lead to real peace with South Korea's northern neighbor.

LEE: If the Korean, North Korean relations get better, then I don't think they'll have use for these barbed wires anymore, right? And also the military bases on the beach, which means more opportunities for tourists business like us.

WATSON (voice-over): That yearning for peace shared by Kwan-ling Joo (ph) and her boyfriend.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We love peace and waves.

WATSON (voice-over): Every weekend, the couple drives three hours from Seoul to surf here. One day they hope they can keep driving through the DMZ.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think that it is a very good place for surfing.

WATSON: In North Korea?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Maybe we can go there and surf one day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think I will be sneaking through any fences to get into North Korea anytime soon to surf there. But if it's possible, I would love to check it out.

WATSON (voice-over): For now, people like Canadian Jake McFadyen (ph) can only dream of chasing that elusive North Korean wave. Surfers stoked for the day when peace may come to these shores -- Ivan Watson, CNN, at the 38th Parallel Beach in South Korea.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOWELL: Ivan Watson, thank you.

Your day's top stories still ahead. CNN NEWSROOM is right back after the break.