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CNN NEWSROOM

Top North Korean Official on His Way to U.S.; ABC Cancels "Roseanne" after Racist Tweet; Escalating Tensions in the Middle East; Furloughed Inmate Kills Hours after Being Released; Trump Goes After 'Chuck & Nancy,' Blasts MS-13 'Animals' At Nashville Rally. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired May 30, 2018 - 02:00   ET

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


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ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: One of the highest ranking officials headed to the United States for talks.

Will North Korea be willing to put its nukes on the bargaining table?

The latest from Seoul in a live report.

A racist tweet ends the improbable comeback of controversial comedian Roseanne Barr.

And a CNN exclusive: the dark side of fighting America's undeclared war against the violent MS-13 gang. We are on the front lines in El Salvador.

Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. Good to have you with us. I'm Rosemary Church and this is CNN NEWSROOM.

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CHURCH: Well, we still don't know for sure if Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un will meet next month in Singapore. But, if they do, the White House says denuclearization must be on the table and the focus of the meeting.

North Korea's former spymaster is heading to the U.S. meet with the secretary of state Department.

Kim Yong-chol is known as the right-hand man of the North Korean leader, is the seniormost official from that country to visit the U.S. in nearly 18 years. CNN's Paula Hancocks joins us now from Seoul, South Korea.

Paula, just how significant is this visit by Kim Yong-chol, one of North Korea's highest ranking officials?

And what might all Pyongyang be willing to do in terms of denuclearization, given it will be the focus of this summit?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Rosemary, it's certainly significant that Kim Yong-chol is on his way to New York now. He will be the highest ranking North Korean official to go there in some 18 years.

Certainly it's significant. He's seen more and more over recent months as really being the right-hand man of Kim Jong-un. He was representing the North Korean leader at the PyeongChange Winter Olympics for the closing ceremony.

He's been seated next to him as he was meeting with the South Korean president Moon Jae-in. So clearly he is a very trusted aide, a former spy chief and someone that Kim Jong-un trusts with this very important mission.

So I think what this tells us is that the talks behind the scenes, the back channels and, of course, the delegations meeting here in the DMZ as well over recent days, has made some progress.

It would suggest that for Kim Jong-un to agree to send such a high- ranking official to the United States and for the U.S. secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, to feel it's worth his while to meet with him because there's very little time left before June 12th, if the U.S. president still wants it to be in Singapore on that date.

Clearly what we're seeing here is a dramatically rushed approach to this democratic process, to this diplomatic process, trying to narrow this gap between the U.S. and the North Korean opinion when it comes to denuclearization.

And you're right, denuclearization will be the top matter on the agenda and it's the trickiest to fix -- Rosemary.

CHURCH: Paula, you mentioned those two U.S. delegations, one at the DMZ, the other in Singapore, where this summit may well go ahead on June 12th.

Are you getting any more information on what all they have achieved so far?

HANCOCKS: Well, we have heard that the U.S. delegation, headed up by Sung Kim, who's a former ambassador to South Korea and also someone who was very much involved in North Korean negotiations in the past, the current ambassador to the Philippines, he and his team have headed into the DMZ, according to local media, who are staking out the route.

Clearly it seems as though they are meeting once again today. They had a meeting a couple of days ago as well. And they're trying to figure out the substance of these talks.

The teams in Singapore, the U.S. and North Korean talks teams will be talking about logistics, about site surveys, trying to figure out where and how they're going to hold this summit in such a short amount of time. But it's a much more difficult task for those in the DMZ because there

is a vast difference of opinion when it comes to denuclearization. The North Koreans have said they don't want unilateral nuclear abandonment. If that's what's going to happen, then they said the talks just weren't necessary -- Rosemary.

CHURCH: We'll watch to see what progress is made in the United States and Singapore and the DMZ. Many thanks to our Paula Hancocks, joining us live from Seoul, South Korea, just after 3 o'clock in the afternoon.

The White House says it will impose new tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods and place new limits on Chinese investments in the U.S. The unexpected news sent stocks tumbling on Wall Street. The Dow fell 391 points, more than 1.5 percent.

Political uncertainty in Italy also played a part as investors worry the European Union could be thrown into turmoil.

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CHURCH: The U.S. television network ABC has canceled one of its most popular shows after a racist Twitter rant from its star, Roseanne Barr. "Roseanne" returned this year to blockbuster ratings and Donald Trump claimed some of the credit, saying the show was about him and his supporters in Middle America.

But early Tuesday, Barr tweeted, "Muslim Brotherhood and 'Planet of the Apes' had a baby = VJ."

VJ stands for Valerie Jarrett, a former Obama advisor, who is African American.

After a swift backlash Barr followed it up with this, "I apologize to Valerie Jarrett and to all Americans. I'm truly sorry for making a bad joke about her politics and her looks. I should have known better. Forgive me, my joke was in bad taste."

We get more now from CNN's Brian Stelter.

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BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: ABC and its parent company, Disney, are being praised for acting quickly and canceling Roseanne Barr's sitcom. But there's also newfound scrutiny on why the sitcom was revived in the first place.

It has been a head-spinning 24 hours in Hollywood. Early Tuesday morning, Barr's tweets, her racist and Islamophobic comments about Valerie Jarrett, George Soros, Chelsea Clinton, were becoming viral on social media.

Executives at ABC knew they had a problem on their hands. But then in just a few hours, the executives decided to cancel Roseanne Barr's sitcom, which means about 200 people, maybe even more than that, are suddenly out of work. The executives at ABC that I've spoken with on condition of anonymity

say that is Barr's fault. They're saying that Barr has to take responsibility for the cancellation of the show.

In a one-sentence statement, ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey announced the decision.

She said, quote, "Roseanne's Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values and we have decided to cancel her show."

Now the network took a risk by bringing the show back in the first place. After all, Barr's Twitter behavior was well-known. She has a history of controversial, even racist comments on Twitter.

But the network was hopeful that she would put that in her past, tone down the tweets and focus on the sitcom. It seems she could not do that, however. She really enjoyed engaging on Twitter and it was those early morning posts on Tuesday that eventually led to the cancellation -- Brian Stelter, CNN, New York.

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CHURCH: And late Tuesday, we got this statement from Roseanne Barr via Twitter.

"Don't feel sorry for me, guys. I just want to apologize to the hundreds of people and wonderful writers, all liberal, and talented actors, who lost their jobs on my show due to my stupid tweet."

The target of Barr's original tweet, Valerie Jarrett, says, "This should be a teaching moment."

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VALERIE JARRETT, SR. ADVISER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA: Tone does start at the top and we like to look up to our president and feel as though he reflects the values of our country.

But I also think every individual citizen has a responsibility, too. And it's up to all of us to push back. Our government is only going to be as good as we make it be. And as Reverend always taught me, you have to be -- people on the inside have to push hard and people on the outside have to listen.

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CHURCH: And it's worth noting this latest Twitter rant is not Roseanne Barr's first brush with controversy. In fact, far from it. CNN's Randi Kaye reports on the comedian's troubling history.

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RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Off-key and shrieking at times, Roseanne Barr was hard to listen to as she sang the national anthem back in 1990 at the old Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego. And when she was done, Barr cemented this moment in history. First,

she grabbed her crotch. Then she spit as if to mock baseball players.

President George Bush slammed her performance on Air Force One.

GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: My reaction is it was disgraceful. That's the way I feel about it and I think a lot of San Diego fans said the same thing.

KAYE (voice-over): Barr eventually apologized. She spoke about it on CNN more than two decades later.

ROSEANNE BARR, COMEDIAN: I think the lesson here is people make mistakes and then they -- you know, after they've apologized 9,000 times they should be forgiven and it should be forgotten.

KAYE (voice-over): In 2015, Barr told "The Washington Post," "I started too high. I knew about six notes in that I couldn't hit the big note. So I just tried to get through it."

And the crotch grab?

She told "The Post" if the song had gone better, she would have taken a longer beat between the anthem and her, quote, "tribute to the players." But she just wanted to get out of there.

Roseanne Barr has never been a stranger to controversy. Back in 2009, Barr, who was born Jewish, did this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At her request she was photographed as Hitler for a Jewish humor magazine. Apparently she is mocking the Holocaust.

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KAYE (voice-over): As part of that shoot, Barr baked what she called "little Jew cookies." Barr later said she was making fun of Hitler, not his victims.

A year later in 2010, after singer Marie Osmond's son committed suicide, Barr suggested he did so because he was gay and the beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints drove him to take his life.

She later apologized after learning Osmond's son was not gay but didn't back down from her views on the church. In recent years she's been known for her tweets promoting wild right-wing conspiracy theories.

In one, she accused Parkland shooting survivor David Hoag of giving the Nazi salute and in another she suggested that President Trump helped to break up a child sex trafficking ring that was run by prominent Democrats.

The ring supposedly was based out of a Washington, D.C., pizza restaurant and dubbed "the Pizzagate conspiracy theory." It was all made up. Just a couple of months ago while promoting her return to television,

it was trademark Roseanne. When host Jimmy Kimmel questioned her about a tweet she allegedly posted suggesting Hillary Clinton was a murderer, this was her response.

JIMMY KIMMEL, TV HOST: You know I'm going to find that tweet --

(CROSSTALK)

BARR: I deleted it so (INAUDIBLE) you.

(LAUGHTER)

KAYE (voice-over): Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHURCH: Antjuan Seawright is a Democratic strategist and founder and CEO of Blueprint Strategy, a public relations and consulting firm in South Carolina.

Good to have you with us.

ANTJUAN SEAWRIGHT, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I'm so glad to be here.

CHURCH: So how surprised were you that ABC took such swift action and canceled Roseanne Barr's show in the wake of her racist tweet?

And what do you think this approach might signal in terms of perhaps a cultural shift in this country?

SEAWRIGHT: Well, I was actually very much surprised. But I was very glad and thankful because I think what ABC did today sets the tone for other corporations and other entities who may experience this in the future.

And what's so sad about this is that we have a TV network who's willing to do what the President of the United States is not willing to do and that's really call out racism, hate and bigotry in all forms and call it what it is.

And I'm just so thankful that leadership, unfortunately, in this case, did not start at the top but it really started in the middle with a corporation like -- a network like the ABC network. And I'm very thankful for the swift leadership.

CHURCH: It is interesting that the president of this country gets away with racist and abhorrent remarks and his party very rarely reprehends him for it and yet this TV network, the entertainment industry, is leading the way, showing people are more important than the almighty dollar.

How unusual is that?

Have you witnessed that before? SEAWRIGHT: I'm going to lean on the Republicans and borrow a quote from them that they use so often is that we cannot depend on government to solve all of our problems. And sometimes it takes ordinary people -- in this case, an ordinary network like the ABC network -- to step up to the plate and do what some of our leaders would not do and that's call out racism, hate and bigotry in all forms.

And it's so sad. But here's what I believe about this president and even some of the Republican leaders we have in this country. Leopards will never change their spots and zebras will never change their stripes.

And the tone of this president, from the time he campaigned up until now, even recently with the whole NFL taking a knee, he set the tone in giving this type of behavior a vehicle to travel down many roads in this country.

And so what ABC did today, hopefully, will set a new tone and really put an end to giving people the thought process that this kind of behavior is OK. Because it's unacceptable, particularly when it comes to people who have a platform that millions of people look up to and watch on a regular basis.

CHURCH: Of course, it does have to be said, that ABC did know they were getting themselves into with Roseanne. It's not like she suddenly started sending out these racist tweets. She has done it before; they were trying to quieten her down. Then they've said enough is enough.

So, "Roseanne," of course, is a show that the U.S. president has raved about and it's no secret his supporters love it. But he's remained silent on this issue.

Why do you think that is?

SEAWRIGHT: Because what Roseanne said today is very popular and very much in common for the behavior of the president and many of his supporters. This president has a history of not calling out racism, bigotry and hate in all forms.

All you have to look back at what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia, when he said there were two sides.

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SEAWRIGHT: And essentially he was taking sides with neo-Nazis and people who represent all the things wrong with our society.

And to your point, you're right. ABC knew what they were getting themselves into. But her behavior actually drew a certain crowd to the network. But it was very telling today how they feel and the direction I think many people are thinking in this country, that we can no longer sit back and let these things happen and think it's OK, regardless of what the President of the United States says. CHURCH: Right. Of course, this all played out as Starbucks held its anti-bias training sessions across the country in response to the recent arrests of two African American men, who were simply waiting for a friend.

Again, a private company, saying enough is enough.

Could this signal a change in American society led by private enterprise?

SEAWRIGHT: Absolutely, that can. I think we've seen this after Parkland, when a lot of corporations stepped up to the plate and said they would not sell certain firearms. And the extreme Right in this country pushed back on that a little bit. But now we have these two entities with Starbucks and now ABC network.

I commend Starbucks for their aggressive and bold leadership because they did not have to do this, although I think this is just one step. But it's a step in the right direction. Yo can't solve these problems in one day, in one training. I think it needs to be an mandatory ongoing effort because the truth of the matter is, this country is becoming more browner.

And I don't think a lot of people want to wrap their arms around that. But we have to make sure that our workforce and the people who are in our workforce understand the diversity of this country.

And that's what makes America so great, the fact that we are a very diverse country with many different languages, many different personalities and many different races and different backgrounds.

And so we have to make sure that our workforce, particularly those who interact on a regular basis in the public, understand the diversity of our country and our communities.

CHURCH: Yes. And it would be interesting to see how much social media has played a role in all of this shift. But, Antjuan Seawright, that is a discussion for another time. Thank you so very much. We do appreciate it.

SEAWRIGHT: Thank you, thank you.

And we'll take a break right here. But still to come, the Israeli military says it has retaliated for what it calls the biggest barrage of rockets from Gaza in years. A live report from the region coming up next.

And a terror attack in Belgium. A prisoner out on temporary release goes on a killing spree.

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CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone.

Well, sirens continue to sound in Israeli communities close to Gaza as militants fire off rockets. Israeli forces carried out dozens of airstrikes on Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets in response to what it says is the largest barrage of rockets and mortars fired from Gaza in years.

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CHURCH: Wednesday's emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council is to examine attacks from Gaza. And Israel has asked the council to join the U.S. and designate Hamas and terrorist organizations. Our Phil Black joins us now with the latest.

So, Phil, let's look at these attacks. And we haven't seen them on this scale since 2014.

How did this all start and what targets were hit exactly?

PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Rosemary, over Sunday and Monday this week, there were some incidents along the border between Israel and Gaza. Four Palestinian men were killed under Israeli fire.

Israelis say these were people who were trying to interfere with the fence or launched some sort of terror attack. But that then led to this extraordinary exchange of firepower, as you say, the biggest this region has seen in years, the biggest since 2014, when Israel last went to war against Hamas, the militant group that controls the Gaza Strip.

So it all started in force yesterday morning, this initial huge barrage of rockets and mortar fire out of Gaza into Israel territory. Israel responded with airstrikes through the day.

And there's been more rockets and mortar fire since and again more airstrikes by Israel as well. This all taking place overnight. We've heard sirens sounding in this region. The Israelis say its air defense system has continued to intercept outgoing fire from Gaza.

The Israelis say that they've been striking back against military and what they described as terrorist targets, facilities within Gaza. Israel blames Hamas, because it has overall control of the Gaza Strip, and another militant group as well, Islamic Jihad, which Israel says seems to be acting under the instructions of Iran and is using Iranian weaponry in these attacks.

And as we've discussed, these military groups, they say, yes, they're doing this. They're working together but they're responding to Israeli aggression -- Rosemary.

CHURCH: So, Phil, what happens next?

How likely is it that we will see some sort of cease-fire come out of this?

Or is that premature? BLACK: There has been talk of a cease-fire. We started hearing that last night and again this morning. But the talk is one-sided. We're only hearing it from within Gaza. Members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad have said that there is a cease-fire that has been agreed to because of mediation.

At least one person has talked about Egypt playing that role as an intermediary and making this happen.

But there's been no comment, even their denial from some Israeli officials that any sort of cease-fire in is place. The Israeli position seems to be, we didn't start this. So once you stop attacking us, then we'll stop retaliating.

For the moment, here we are on Wednesday morning and this region, the Gaza Strip, well, it is quiet right now. And I guess we'll see how things progress over the course of the day.

CHURCH: We will be watching very carefully as I know you will be. Phil Black joining us with that report, many thanks as always.

Well, two police women and a teacher are dead after an inmate on temporary release from a Belgian prison went on a killing rampage Tuesday.

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CHURCH (voice-over): Belgian media report Benjamin Herman took refuge in a high school, where he held a woman hostage. He was killed in a gun battle with police. Herman was in prison on drug offenses and may have been radicalized there.

The crime is being investigated as a terror attack at this point. Our Nina dos Santos is where it all happened in Liege and she joins us now live with the very latest.

So Nina, why was this inmate given authorized temporary release from this Belgian prison?

And what more are you learning the circumstances surrounding this deadly attack?

NINA DOS SANTOS, CNNMONEY EUROPE EDITOR: That's a question, Rosemary, that the justice minister and the interior minister of Belgium have been having to field on the late-night television shows in this country, namely as you put it, why was this individual deemed fit for release within the community.

If that decision may have had such deadly consequences for the people of Liege. We heard the justice minister say yesterday on Belgian television that this individual had actually been released on day release many times in the past, (INAUDIBLE) Benjamin Herman.

We know apparently had a long history of offending, largely petty crime. He'd always signed back in the justice minister said at the of his day release. But for some reason this system seems to have broken down over the course of the weekend, when he was released for a two-day release but failed to sign back in on Monday.

So the focus of the investigation will be what changed in this individual's mind during the last few years between his last release and this particular release, that caused him perhaps to become as radicalized, if indeed it seems as though this was --

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DOS SANTOS: -- the incident that was caused by radicalization in jail.

What caused him to become radicalized and to go on to commit the crime that he committed?

I'm just standing outside the cafe where the two female police officers were stabbed in the back by Benjamin Herman. He then made off with both of their weapons and then went on to shoot a passerby in a stationary vehicle, just outside that cafe, before moving on further down the street toward the school, where he took a hostage.

What caused this individual to become so extreme that he would perpetrate an act like that, that is the focus of the investigation. And later on today we're going to be hearing from a federal prosecutor in Brussels, who (INAUDIBLE) taken on the case. That does indicate, many say, that they believe terrorism is a real possibility here -- Rosemary.

CHURCH: It is horrifying; the details are just hard to comprehend. Nina dos Santos, bringing us that live report from Liege, Belgium. And of course, we will yet see what impact that has on future temporary releases like this. Many thanks to you.

A prominent Russian journalist who was openly critical of Moscow's actions in Ukraine and Syria has been shot and killed in Kiev; 41- year-old Arkady Babchenko was gunned down outside his apartment building in the Ukrainian capital.

He had left Russia last year because of threats to his life. Police say Babchenko apparently was targeted because of his journalism work. Ukraine and Russia are blaming each other for his killing.

And another journalist has been killed in Mexico. The body of Hector Gonzalez was found in Ciudad Victoria in the northeastern part of the country. He worked for the Excelsior newspaper, covering security issues. He is the third reporter killed in Mexico in the past two weeks and prosecutors are looking for a motive.

It is a CNN exclusive. We go inside the dark, deadly and controversial fight against criminal gangs in El Salvador.

And Nicaragua's government condemned for using lethal force against protesters. Amnesty International's report, that's still to come. Stay with us.

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CHURCH: A very warm welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Rosemary Church. Wanted to update you now on the main stories we've been following this hour.

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[02:30:00] CHURCH: Roseanne Barr has apologized for comparing a former White House Advisor to an ape. The network called the comments abhorrent, repugnant, and inconsistent with its values. Amnesty International says Nicaragua has enacted a shoot to kill policy in dealing with protests over the past month.

A new report says the government's excessive use of force has resulted in an alarming number of deaths. According to the group at least 83 people have been killed. Protesters are calling for President Daniel Ortega to resign. The demonstrations were triggered by social security reforms but expanded when the government cracked down on protesters. We turn now to the fight against gangs in El Salvador particularly against MS-13. That's being called the most dangerous gang in the world. In a CNN exclusive, Nick Paton Walsh gained access to an elite police squad. But it's a law enforcement unit with a dark history and it's backed by American money. Here's his exclusive report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's an undeclared war here in El Salvador. Elite police against MS-13, a gang menace that beheads, rapes, and terrorizes, and it's America's war too because President Trump has declared MS-13 animals that must be eliminated, and these men are fighting with U.S. money and help. A lot of this equipment American government supplied part of an effort to try and tackle gang violence back in El Salvador. These men, the Jaguar unit say their targets are gang leaders to cripple the gang hierarchy.

CESAR ORTEGA, JAGUAR POLICE UNIT (via translator): The U.S. participates in training as well as providing equipment. The only thing that the U.S. does not supply is lethal equipment, the weapons, and the ammunition. But it does supply us with protective equipment, helmets, bulletproof vests, and knee pads.

WALSH: Well, that's something U.S. taxpayers should know about how America is fighting this proxy war. This unit has a dark history. Many once in an elite unit called the Special Reaction Forces, the FES or FES. It was disbanded after troubling allegations. The FES had a very lethal track record on the street killing a staggering 43 people they say were gang members in just six months last year. Some has repeatedly been alleged illegal executions.

That's a problem for the U.S. who aren't supposed to fund units guilty of human rights abuses. Critics say some FES police have faded this dark past are being folded into the new Jaguar unit, so the U.S. had no issues funding them. In fact, the number of gang members killed each year by police has risen five times in two years, a high body count that hasn't made people feel safer. It's a culture of an alleged impunity exposed in WhatsApp messages CNN obtained where FES police discussed executions and ask informants help identifying gang members. Can you send us a picture of shadow? The message says, we're going now. We're located him. Send me his photo right now.

We're going to crash that -- a local police officer rails at the sloppy cleanup of an execution of a gang member by fellow police nearby. And the witnesses who saw that they were beating that son of a -- before killing him, but our comrades portrayed it as a shootout. Here, you have bad procedures in practice. If you're going to do some -- like that, you better be sure there are no witnesses.

Brutal tactics can drive people away from the police towards gangs like MS-13 into whose world here we get rare permission to enter. We're headed now to one of the scenes of the more prominent killings here deep inside gang territory carried out by what locals here say was effectively a police escort. Nobody disputes that eclipse as he was known was a local gang figure. But they do dispute that eclipse was armed when police shot him dead. Neighbors say it was simply an execution.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (via translator): They came inside and a little time passed. They're screaming, hand in your weapons and they obliged. There they're mister. They're surrendering and all of a sudden we heard the first shot, and after hearing the first, there was some silence, and after another shots were fired.

WALSH: His distraught mother shows us the scene, his bedroom.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (via translator): Here he was lying down, his hand is like this as if he had been sleeping. They killed my son.

[02:35:05] WALSH: She claims they shot him in the back. They say the police never come around here now. This case was investigated but charges weren't filed. Police rarely if ever prosecute their own. In fact, one of the officers accused in this shooting likely now serves in the new Jaguar unit. Using his photograph, a facial recognition expert who used to work for British police identified him in our footage of the new Jaguar unit.

KENNY LONG, FORMER POLICE IDENTITY EXPERT: These images are very, very clear, very good images. (INAUDIBLE) at least that this is one of the same person I'm looking at.

WALSH: An officer accused of killing in the old unit, the first is likely in the new one, the Jaguars. The forthcoming U.N. report will declare a pattern of behavior by security personnel amounting to extrajudicial executions. El Salvador police replied they are fighting, "Terrorists and often arrest them without the use of arms while keeping human rights paramount." More than 200 officers faced court for improper arm aggression last year they said.

ORTEGA (via translator): There's a general belief about this unit having a green light to kill these gang members, but that's a lie. This does not happen here, not in any other country. We stick to the legal norms of our country. We can only respond against aggression and use the force level that applies to all the police corp. And as a last resort, we fire our weapons.

WALSH: In a statement, the U.S. Embassy said, the U.S. government takes allegations of extrajudicial killings extremely seriously and has consistently expressed concerns regarding allegations of security force abuses. It provides a system to investigate, prosecute, and adjudicate all types of violent crimes including those involving suspected human rights violations. They added, the U.S. recently provided 500 body cams and tracks alleged abuses so no corrupt officers get their help. The U.S. has tried brute force here and elsewhere before and failed or got caught in a longer conflict. As the threat of MS-13 rises, they will have to hope the gangs crumble rather than escalate the fight. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN El Salvador.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHURCH: And when President Donald Trump ended protection for immigrants from 10 countries nearly 200,000 El Salvadorans were at risk of being deported. In his next exclusive, Nick Paton Walsh speaks to those who actually lived in the U.S. for more than a decade. Now, they faced gang violence, homelessness, and the challenge of making a living in El Salvador's capital.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WALSH: Christian Laura lived in the USA for 20 years and was deported coming out to this Florida construction job. He had only committed immigration offenses. The best choice now is a $5 a day farm job. Oscar is more complicated. He's 20, went to America aged 10, and served four months for assault and bodily harm in Houston. Yet back here, he trembles. Are you scared of the gangs here now?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

WALSH: Are you scared you may end up involve and caught up in that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I was in the USA, I seen the news like 16 people killed every day and that is scaring me, man.

WALSH: Forty-eight hours passed since we meet Christian and Oscar in which there were two beheadings over 20 murders and a policeman is killed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: And you can tune in Thursday to watch the rest of Nick's report from what is considered one of the most dangerous cities on earth starting at 5:00 a.m. in London and noon in Hong Kong only here on CNN. We'll take a short break but coming up next fast moving lava from the Kilauea volcano pouring into the Pacific Ocean. We have dramatic new images and an update on the danger. We're back in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [02:41:05] CHURCH: Welcome back everyone. Well, Hurricane Maria may

have claimed far more lives in Puerto Rico than what officials have said. A new Harvard study estimates at least 4,645 people died in the hurricane and its immediate aftermath. That's about 72 times higher than the official death toll of 64. The study finds many died because they couldn't get medical care. Some did not have electricity for their breathing devices or were not able to reach a hospital. Others couldn't find the medicine they needed. The Puerto Rican government told CNN they don't question the validity of the study, and they have commissioned a separate study to learn more about the fatalities to better prepare for future disasters and hopefully save lives in the future. Well, the power is out in a part of Hawaii's big island. Lava from the Kilauea volcano destroyed equipment at a power plant. The hazardous material has been removed from the plant. But there seems to be no end to the lava flow which is running into the Pacific Ocean. Our CNN's Scott McLean explains.

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You can see from this vantage point just how much lava Kilauea has pumped down into the ocean. All of this black rock along the coastline that is brand new lava created just over the past couple of weeks. And you can see the lava continues to ooze down into the ocean. Geologists say that the rate has actually slowed over the past couple of days, but it's still coming down at a decent rate where we are. And you can see these white flumes that are going up. That is something called lava haze or laze. That is a potentially deadly mixture of gas of hydrochloric acid, tiny bits of glass, and of course the steam that's created as the lava hits the ocean. And look which direction the wind is going, back onshore, creating potentially more air quality issues for the people in this area and because the dangers of this laze there are marine restrictions in this area.

We have to stay about 100 yards offshore. Other boats have to stay much further than that. But the real story is actually beyond our vantage point in the Leilani Estates neighborhood and the area surrounding it where old fissures have reactivated sending new lava into the sky and some points shooting 200 feet up into the air, and sending lava onto parts of streets that simply have not seen it before. There have been more than 80 structures destroyed by Kilauea already. But half of those are homes and the people who live here simply do not know when this will end. Scott McLean, CNN off the Coast of Hawaii.

CHURCH: Thanks for watching this hour. I'm Rosemary Church. "WORLD SPORT" is up next. And I'll be back at the top of the hour with more world news. You're watching CNN.

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