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European Leaders Have Agreed To A Deal; A Deadly Shooting In Maryland; Specifics Of The Upcoming Trump-Putin Summit; A Critical World Cup Match; The Search For 12 Missing Thai Teens; Japan Hold Onto The Ball Late Hoping For Senegal Loss; Deputy AG Pushes Back On Republican Attacks In Hearing; U.S. Report Ranks 183 Countries From Best To Worst. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired June 29, 2018 - 02:00   ET


[02:00:04] GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: European Union leaders reach a deal on the migrant crisis. CNN is live in Brussels with the very latest for you. A deadly shooting to tell you about at a Maryland newspaper, police say it was a targeted attack. And day six in the search for a group of children and a coach trapped in a cave in northern Thailand.

Will the weather cooperate? That is the big question. Live from CNN world headquarters in Atlanta, we want to welcome our viewers around the world. I am George Howell. The CNN Newsroom starts right now. Around the world, good day to you, European leaders have reached a deal on what to do with the high number of migrants trying to get to Europe.

In short, the 28 E.U. members have agreed to share responsibility for resettling migrants, increasing funding to manage the system, and to bolster the fight against smugglers. Let's get the very latest this hour from CNN's Nina dos Santos following the developments for us live in Brussels. Nina, tell us more about the specifics of this deal and how does it address the issue the.

NINA DOS SANTOS, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, the specifics include creating something called disembarkation centers, George. We're talking about sort of holding pens, if you like, geographically outside of the European Union's borders to try and process migrant asylum claims. This would have the benefit of trying to separate those who are economic migrants and wouldn't be eligible for asylum inside the European Union, and those who really are refugees seeking asylum.

That could help to alleviate the burden. And also they want to try and shore up Europe's borders with more money for the front border control system, more money for important transit countries where the boats launch from, for instance, Libya and so on and so forth. And more money for Turkey, which for years has been hosting hundreds of Syrian refugees.

In fact, since 2015, when a big deal was done with the European Union to financially help Turkey to do that. These are the types of things that are on the table, but obviously these are really (Inaudible) negotiations that went on for almost 10 hours, George. E.U. leaders only left this particular building between 4:30 and 5:00 a.m. in the morning, and they're going to be coming back in a couple of hours, time to talk about other substantive issue, including Brexit security and so on and so forth.

But when it comes to the main concessions, obviously, it was Italy that really held out strong here. Obviously, it has a new government, a fire brand populous government that is anti-immigration. And Giuseppe Conte, the Prime Minister of Italy left here saying that he felt reassured that his country wasn't going to have to tackle the large number of migrants it's been facing for years alone. Take a listen.


GIUSEPPE CONTE, ITALY, PRIME MINISTER: After this European summit, Europe is more responsible and offers more solidarity. Today, Italy is no longer alone.


DOS SANTOS: So I have to say, George, if you look at the plan that we have so far, when it comes to the detailed initiatives like these disembarkation centers, a lot of it focuses on trying to prevent people from arriving in the E.U. in the first place and then sending back those who aren't eligible for asylum around the block, rather than dispersing people from one country to the next, which is the real bone of contention. But at least Italy feels here that it has a stronger commitment from other E.U. countries that the asylum process really does needs some radical reform from here to spread the load.

HOWELL: All right, Italy feeling a bit, I guess, reassured given that the shift in that government with this new deal, but Nina tell us more about the discussion of how quickly these strategies might be implemented.

DOS SANTOS: Well, when it comes to the disembarkation centers that for instance is something hat the UNHCR has been floating for some time. So there has been some preparatory work that's been done on that. Obviously, what they have to do is to agree with deals with countries like for instance like Morocco, Libya, and other countries.

The E.U., as I said before, does have some (Inaudible) this because after the waves of migration that we saw coming across the Mediterranean, particularly towards Greece rather than Italy in 2015. They did agree to a significant deal with Turkey, which agreed to keep the migrants back. But of course, the E.U. has to fund that.

So the question now will be deals with some of these countries, particularly in North Africa and also how to fund those countries so that they can house people in humane conditions to process their asylum claims. There is a lot of work that will have to be done on a number of these initiatives. When it comes to for instance giving more money to front border control system, the maritime border control that can police the Mediterranean Sea to prevent some of these ships who are heading towards Malta and Italy where they've been recently turned back from.

[02:05:11] Obviously, that is something that was in place up until quite recently. So some initiatives are going to be easy to setback up than others. But there has already been done some legwork on this issue, George.

HOWELL: CNN Correspondent Nina dos Santos live for us in Brussels. Thank you for the reporting and we will of course stay in touch with you. Let's now get some context by bringing in Steven Erlanger. Steven, the Chief Diplomatic Correspondent for the New York Times also live in Brussels. Steven, you heard many of the specifics here, talking about the disembarkation centers, talking about shoring up borders and border control, talking about more money for Turkey and nations in that region. What are your thoughts at first blush about this strategy? Will it work?

STEVEN ERLANGER, CHIEF DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT, NEW YORK TIMES: Well, it was a very long night, first of all. And this is political crisis. It's not a migration crisis really, because migration has fallen considerably in Europe. But the push of migrants a few years ago has created a lot of populous party surges all over Europe, including in Germany.

And it has created a populous Italian government. So basically, it was Italy and Germany who both came to Brussels under pressure to do something to satisfy their populous parties and their more conservative wings about a crisis that really is no longer a crisis but has become a really political sore point. Now, Europe has been vague about asylum for a long time.

Every country has a different asylum policy, which is part of the problem. And there were two things going on. The Italians want to stop migrants from coming because they end up in Italy, Greece, Spain. So they actually also talked about voluntary screening centers inside Europe where migrants would let's say processed in Italy and be sent to be screened and then either treated as refugees and dispersed to other countries or sent home.

In other words, Italy would no longer be responsible for them all the time or Greece or Spain, as well as these so called disembarkation block forums. They help to setup outside Europe, normally in North Africa to prevent people from going to sea in the first place. And then those people are rescued at sea before they get to Europe, presumably would be sent back to these third countries' centers for screening.

So the whole idea is to keep people from coming, to screen them before they come, not to let NGOs ferry them to Europe. And then for the Germans to be more strict about internal controls inside Europe so that migrants who are registered in Italy, Greece or other countries cannot just wander into Germany and seek asylum. That's been their problem. So you have these two problems with two major countries both trying to score political points. And for Merkel to make sure she keeps in power because there's a threat to her.

HOWELL: All right. So interesting you describe this as more of political solution as opposed to a strategy that's actually designed to make an impact to a problem that truly exists at present. The question for you, well, politically does this help Angela Merkel?

ERLANGER: Well, we'll have to see. I think it does in the sense that she was arguing all the time that you couldn't have a German solution. You needed a European solution. That you couldn't just as her interior minister wants to do, and is in her government but is a rival and facing state (Inaudible). You couldn't setup border controls between Germany and Austria because then the Austrians would start setting up border controls.

And the whole (Inaudible) program of border free travel would begin to fall apart. So she was pressing for a European solution. I think this does help. I mean the current regulations have obviously been a failure, and Europe will be facing migration for decades and decades to come. It may not be in the surge of 2015, and these policies are designed to prevent that.

But first of all, Europe needs migrants. It's an aging population. And second, given climate change and poverty and the attraction of European life, migrants will continue to come. So the question is how do you control migration? How do you protect your borders? How in a way as in America do you ensure you get the migrants you want and prevent just anyone showing up who wants a better life?

[02:09:55] So that's really the issue. And it is a political issue, too, because the sense that Europe is not in control, that countries are not in control is what has fed populism not just in Europe but in the United States and in Britain, too.

HOWELL: Steven Erlanger with perspective. Thank you so much for your time today.

ERLANGER: Thanks, George.

HOWELL: Moving on now to another major story we're following, a deadly shooting that took place at a newspaper office in the U.S. state of Maryland. A gunman opened fire with a shotgun at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis on Thursday, killing five people. Law enforcement sources identify him as Jarrod Warren Ramos. He filed a defamation claim against the paper in 2012.

That case was later dismissed. One witness to Thursday's shooting said the newsroom looked like a war zone. Just listen, this audio from police scanners.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People are coming out with their hands up. I need them covered.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do we have any kind of intel on our shooter?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: White male with a ponytail.

(END VIDEO CLIP) HOWELL: And through it all, the Capital Gazette managed to publish a Friday edition. You can see the front page of that paper right there. Just a short time ago, police released the names of the gazette staffers who were killed in this attack. You see the faces of these journalists here, one of them John McNamara, a staff writer sportswriter.

The newspaper says a sports reporting was his dream job. Also killed Rebecca Smith, a sales assistant, she was a recent hire. Rebecca loves spending time with her family. Robert Hiaasen, the Gazette's assistant editor, he was described as a joyful stylist and a generous mentor. Wendy Winters, a mother of four, she also died. She was a special publications editor and a prolific writer who chronicled her community. And Gerald Fischman was also killed, Fischman the editorial page editor. He was described as a clever and quirky voice at the community newspaper.

CNN has cruised on the scene. Here's the very latest from CNN's Crime and Justice Reporter Shimon Prokupecz.


SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Police are focusing on this long standing dispute that they believe the gunman, the shooter had with the newspaper. You mentioned this. There was a lawsuit that the shooter filed in 2012, 6 years ago, claiming defamation after a story that the newspaper had written about an arrest that he was charged with in connection to some harassment case.

And ever since then, it appears that he's had this long-standing dispute with the newspaper. Now as you said, his name is Jarrod Ramos. He's 38 years old. Police are at a home some 28 miles from here in Laurel, Maryland, where they're executing a search warrant. They're hoping to perhaps learn more information. Really the question right now is what hit him off today? You know as we said, this has been a long-standing dispute.

But what in particular may have occurred within the last day or today that caused him to come here, open fire, as police said targeting victims inside this Newsroom killing five people?


HOWELL: Let's bring in Jim Maxwell, Jim, a retired FBI special agent and bomb technician joining us from Sonoma, California. It's good to have you with us on the show to talk about this. Look, this has been described as a targeted attack. The alleged gunman had a dispute with the paper there, and there were numerous threats on social media. Given these different points, what do you make of this latest mass shooter?

JIM MAXWELL RETIRED SPECIAL AGENT, FBI: Well, it does seem like a targeted event. You know recently published studies -- in fact, the FBI did a follow-up study this month, published it this month on an active shooter. And it described the list of stressors. The stressors are indicators or contributing factors to these shooting situations.

Two of them mentioned on the list are civil litigation and the other one would be mental health issues. So I suspect based on what I have learned today that this may be a combination of those two stressors. And that combined with social media. There were some clear indicators or layering here as far as seeing this coming.

I know it's very easy to quarterback these things after the fact, but this is starting to show or unfold indicators that show that this was a likely behavior.

HOWELL: OK, Jim, you point out these points of the social media were these missed opportunities or these red flags. And if so, you know what should have been done?

[02:14:57] MAXWELL: Well, this is a learning process. You know what happened down in Florida in Parkland, there were a lot of contacts with law enforcement authorities, a lot of contacts on social media with this individual. And I suspect it's probably the same here. The problem is filtering this information. When this information is received, who receives it and where does it go?

And if the newspaper was receiving these types of threats or whether they're idle threats or direct threats, they should be passed on to the authorities. I can tell you since the days of Columbine, the state and local authorities have gotten very good at nipping these things in the bud before they blossom into a violent event.

So I think what has to be looked at here is how we pass along this information, how it's digested, and how it's distributed to the people that need to know, especially if you're dealing with a company or any type of entity that deals with the public, those people at the front line who are checking the passes, who are reviewing whether or not people enter buildings.

They need to be armed with the right information. I mean this happens all the time with husbands and wives that have restraining orders placed against them. They come into businesses and act out and violate their restraining order. The right people need to know that this is a potential problem.

HOWELL: Jim, let's just take a moment here. I'll ask our director if we could just show our viewers again the images of the people who were killed in this shooting. And five people were killed in this shooting at the Capital Gazette. But here's the thing, Jim, police response, it was key, very quick to prevent further casualties.

MAXWELL: Yes, absolutely. Responding to active shooter right now is a primary patrol responsibility. And the training is getting out there. I participated in training with police officers on this type of course. And they're taught to go right in, address the threat as quickly as possible. And they're taught to move down hallways, in through doorways as effectively and as quickly as possible. Up and down staircases.

There are specific tactics involved in the way police officers approach these things. And I can tell you that it's a fairly new skill in the last couple of years, and it seems to be more and more important these days that we have adequate and very quick response on the part of the state and local authorities. They're our first line of defense in these things and they need that necessary training, especially at the patrol level.

These are guys who are going to be on scene first, and they need to know how to do that. And I can see in Maryland, this department -- based on what I have seen, they definitely have their act together based on their response time.

HOWELL: And Jim, one other question, this being a soft target and given the heated rhetoric that is certainly out there, just around journalism, around journalists, the places that they work. What can be done to protect these soft targets from potential attackers?

MAXWELL: It's situational awareness. You need to train your staff, whether you're running a business that deals with the public every day or you're running a newspaper. You know I think we're very foolish to assume that the press is immune from these acts of violence. You know the press deals with the public every day just like public agencies and businesses do.

And I think you have to train your staff to be aware of potential problems. Does this guy show up regularly and complain? I mean look at what happened a few years ago in Maryland when the TV station was attacked by an individual. That individual regularly showed up at that station until he finally got frustrated and acted out.

So these things that we call it layering, these things build up through a series of minor events, and they come to a head in some cases. But training your staff to be aware and to recognize these things and to pass the information along to the right people, that is key. So the training is not only important for the police departments, but training staff to be aware, because this is just as important as responding to a fire alarm nowadays.

And everybody knows what to do when the fire alarm goes off, but does everybody know what to do when there's an active shooter in a commercial establishment?

HOWELL: It is just truly sad to see what happened at this newspaper, these journalists just doing their job.

MAXWELL: It's terrible, terrible.

HOWELL: Yeah. But, you know, the thing about it, the paper did go on to print the next edition. Jim, we appreciate your time and perspective and we'll stay in touch with you.

MAXWELL: All right. Thank you very much. Good night.

[02:19:55] HOWELL: The time and place have been announced, details of the upcoming Trump-Putin summit and the questions about what's on the agenda. We'll have that story ahead for you. Also later this hour, a decisive World Cup match between Belgium and England, but it seems both teams wouldn't have minded losing. We'll explain. Stay with us.


HOWELL: Welcome back to CNN Newsroom. I am George Howell. We now know that President Donald Trump and the Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet face-to-face on July 16th in Helsinki, Finland. What we don't know? The specifics of what they will discuss. Many White House officials say the Russian election meddling issue will certainly be a topic at hand, but a Trump tweet on Thursday seems to cast doubt once again on whether the U.S. President thinks that's even an issue.

He said this. Russia continues to say they had nothing to do with meddling in our election. Let's talk about with James Davis, James, the Dean of the School of Economics and Political Science at the University of St. Gallen live for us in Munich, Germany, a pleasure to have you with us, James. President Trump again casting doubt on whether Russia meddled in the election, essentially saying that they say they had nothing to do with it, this again in direct contrast to what we've heard from the intelligence community.

JAMES DAVIS, DEAN OF THE SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS AND POLITICAL SCIENCE, UNIVERSITY OF ST. GALLEN: That's right. I mean the President's own intelligence chiefs are convinced that the Russians manipulated this election, intervened in the American elections and are probably going to do so again this fall. But for some reason, the President doesn't want to accept that assessment.

I think it's because he thinks it undermines his election, undermines his authority, and that's something he doesn't want to accept. But at least, one can say this meeting is going to take place after the NATO summit. We were afraid it might take place beforehand. And so one would hope that the President would go into this meeting with a clear agenda backed by his allies in NATO and, you know, maybe get some serious business done.

HOWELL: All right. But generally, what's the reaction, what's the feeling across Europe about this President of the United States, who as we've seen before slams NATO with one hand but on the other has an open palm for President Putin?

DAVIS: Well, everybody is quite nervous. I mean the President apparently -- the last meeting with European leaders suggested that Crimea belongs to Russia because the people there speak Russian. That's sort of like arguing the United States could annex Canada because most of the people speak English. It's a ridiculous statement.

[02:25:10] He seems to be more willing to criticize the European allies for trade issues and a lack of contributions to NATA than he is willing to criticize the Russians for an illegal annexation of the Ukraine for continuing to harass the Baltic states for continuing to support Assad in Syria and his murderous civil war.

You know there's a real concern that this President has lost his bearings or that the United States is no longer committed to the ideals for which we as -- an alliance in NATO have traditionally stood, the ideals that the United States is traditionally led and championed worldwide. This President seems to have a different agenda, and everybody's scratching their heads trying to figure out what exactly it is.

HOWELL: You look back at the G7, and President Trump suggested that Russia should be included again. It is a different perspective with this President than his predecessors. Look, President Trump describes himself as a master negotiator. Do you believe he will push President Putin on various issues, or is there concern he may give too much away?

DAVIS: Yeah. I mean the President considers himself to be the master deal maker, but if you look at his track record so far, it isn't particularly so good. He started with a big meeting with the Saudis. We still have a number of disagreements with the Saudis with respect to Qatar and the way they're prosecuting the war on Yemen.

Then had a very splashy meeting with the Chinese leader and thought he could get along with him quite well. Well, we're now in a trade war with china. He had a similar meeting with the French President and it was widely reported that the two of them got along, and the President seemed to that that was enough to resolve any outstanding issues. Well, we're now in a trade with the Europeans.

And then he had a meeting with Kim Jong-Un, which he also thought was a great success. He had ended the nuclear crisis. And the reports coming out of Pyongyang in the last couple of days suggested that that might not be the case. So the track record isn't really there. The President seems to enjoy the atmosphere of these meetings.

I can understand that because he has very little to show for himself in terms of domestic politics. And so maybe this distracts people's attention from the failure to solve the immigration crisis, the failure to come up with a solution to the healthcare crisis, a failure to come up with a solution to the gun violence crisis, which we unfortunately today are once again talking about.

And so maybe traveling the world, having these meetings gives the President a sense he's in charge of these things, he's moving the agenda forward, but the track record just isn't there.

HOWELL: All right. You mentioned Crimea just a short time ago, but let's also talk about Syria. Might the President be able to strike a deal there? And also with Iran, is there a chance that President Trump can somehow sway Russia from its close alliance with that nation?

DAVIS: Well, there's always a chance obviously. But I mean the Russians are pursuing a very systematic plan. They have defined their interests in the region. They've clearly sided with Assad, and it's clear that Assad is going to win this civil war. The Russians have realized that with the Iranians they have a chance to get back into the larger geopolitical game in the Middle East, a game the Americans have not been playing very well. And so I think there's a chance for progress, but it's a slight chance at best.

HOWELL: James Davis, thank you so much for your perspective and we'll keep in touch with you.

DAVIS: Thanks, George.

HOWELL: Ahead in the next 30 minutes, the latest in the search for 12 missing Thai teenagers and for their coach. A live report from the region and a look how weather is impacting the rescue operation there. Also, the U.S. defense secretary goes to Tokyo but the talk is about North Korea. The latest details ahead as CNN Newsroom continue.


[02:31:24] HOWELL: Welcome back to our viewers around the world. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Atlanta. I'm George Howell with the headlines we're following for you. This hour, European leaders have reached an agreement on the migrant crisis. This follows an all-night set of negotiations after Italy threatened not to sign a joint statement unless other members agreed to do more. The deal bolsters Europe's defense to fight against smugglers and setting up migration processing centers in countries outside of Europe.

Five people are dead in what investigators call a targeted attack, an attack on a newspaper office in Annapolis, Maryland. Police say the suspect opened fire with a shotgun at the Capital Gazette. That suspect is presently in custody. Authorities are looking into social media threats around against that newspaper. Mark your calendars. The upcoming summit between the U.S. President Donald Trump and the Russian President Vladimir Putin it is set for July 16th in Helsinki, Finland despite earlier word that Russian election meddling would be on the agenda. President Trump may be backing away from that.

Onto Thailand now, rescuers are exploring what they call a more promising entry into a cave tunnel system. This is where 12 members of a youth football team and their coach are believed trapped. Heavy rain has been hampering search efforts there. Let's bring in CNN's Kristie Lu Stout following the story live in Hong Kong. And look, given what you've heard from your sources there, so far what's the latest on this search?

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: It has been more than six days since this team of 12 Thai boys and their football coach has gone missing in this vast cave complex near Chiang Rai in Northern Thailand. And the rescue effort is intensifying with new leads. Now, this cave system is some 10 kilometers across. And the disaster relief workers believe that the boys entered the cave system on Saturday and about three kilometers in, they put their backpacks down.

And then they made a decision at a fork in the system to either go left or to go right. Now, Thai rescuers over the last two days have been working on the assumption that the boys turned left heading south. If they turned left, the boys should have headed to higher ground, an area called Pattaya Beach or Complex Three and that's what the Chiang Rai governor said yesterday he believes that the boys were.

And they've been trying to reach that area by pumping the water out and sending divers in. But now, a British team of experts are wondering if they turned right heading north and if the boys turned right, they would have moved up to the highest ground overall. We have Thai and British relief teams are trying to access the area actually down to the jungle floor. And we do have a CNN team on the ground there with that operation. It's said to be a very promising new lead. The climbers are being lowered down a chimney hole. And again, we're going to bring you any updates when they come in, George.

HOWELL: Wow. It is a promising as you say promising new lead, but certainly very difficult. A great deal of uncertainty for the families involved in this. Tell us more about the new Prime Minister of Thailand visiting.

STOUT: Yes. The Prime Minister of Thailand General Prayut Chan-o- cha, he is there and he is there to offer encouragement to the disaster relief workers but also to the families because as you point out, it has been as you've seen a portrait of anguish there at the cave ever since Saturday. We've seen the parents of the Thai boys, family members of the missing including the 25-year-old football coach out there offering gifts of flowers and food to the spirit of the cave. They've been chanting please come back to mommy, please come back to daddy.

[02:35:02] And we've seen these emotional pictures and videos of tears just streaming down their faces, but it has been six days on. There is this intensified relief effort under way. International teams from all over the world, U.S., U.K., Laos as well as a sizable Thai team there on the ground still no answers yet. All we can do is wait. Back to you.

HOWELL: At 2:35 p.m. there in Hong Kong. Kristie Lu Stout, thank you so much for the reporting. We'll stay in touch with you as you keep in touch with our teams there for more information. Also, let's get a sense of what weather is doing, how it's impacting things there. Our Derek van Dam is here. And Derek, the weather, the muddy conditions there difficult for these --


DEREK VAN DAM, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Extremely challenging for the divers, the rescuers, the entire operations that are on the ground there searching for these children. What's interesting to note as well that what Kristie was talking about accessing these tunnels from above the caving system, what that is allowing the rescuers to do is actually navigate around a passage or a chamber that is currently flooded. So that is the strategy that they're going for here because the water, the rains across that region have been relentless. It is the southwest monsoon and the rainfall continues to come. And it's come with quite a vengeance as well. Look at the challenging conditions that these people have to deal with, the rescuers, muddy conditions, trampling through the forest and jungle floor.

They are taking thermal imagery drones flying them above the cave system looking for any kind of heat signature, that being of a human, whatever they can detect. The satellite imagery has been lighting up especially in the southern sections of the country. But there have been flares of random shower and thunderstorm activity across the northern sections where Chiang Rai is located. This is one of the specialized divers that have brought in the British dive team to come and search in the rest or aid and the rescue efforts, and then what you're looking at here is a close-up perspective of quite a group of people here. But there's the pumping system trying to take the water out of the cave system. This is the entrance to the cave in Northern Thailand. There's the water being pumped out. Of course, a monumental effort to try and take out the flood waters. Now, also, think about the waters entering this cave system.

It's picking up debris. It's picking up leaves. It's picking up mud. It's making it very murky within that water that settled into the cave system, so the visibility is extremely low for the divers. That's why it's so challenging. That's in fact why they had a five-hour delay yesterday for the search and rescue operations specifically for the divers.

That has been lifted because the rain abated temporary. But going forward as you can see the forecast radar calls for more showers, more thunderstorms to develop, and sometimes these storms can setup right over that region for a long period of time creating heavy miles of rain in a short period of time and localized flooding, and of course, that water has nowhere to go. It seeks its own level. So it goes into the lowest (INAUDIBLE) the lowest chambers of this caving system. You can see the weather forecast going forward through the weekend. That is going to make the search and rescue efforts even more challenging as time goes on.

Rainfall totals, well, the good news out of all this, not as heavy as what we were experiencing a few days ago when the search and rescue operations began. But nonetheless, we still have the potential over the next two days to see another 50 to perhaps 150 millimeters of rainfall impacting Northern Thailand. I need to remind you though, this is the rainy season. We are just starting into the southwest monsoon. It will really ramp up as we head into the months of July and August and then finally start to abate as we head into October and November. But, you know, we are really thinking and hoping for the best outcome out of this, George. But, you know, I'll tell you the conditions there are ruthless. The weather continues to make it very challenging for the rescue operations there. And, well, our hearts go out to the family members who are awaiting word for these 12 children and the one adult.

HOWELL: And Derek, more rain underway.

VAN DAM: It is true.

HOWELL: All right. We appreciate it.

VAN DAM: Thanks, George.

HOWELL: Moving on now to Tokyo, the U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis is there meeting with his Japanese counterpart and other officials. This comes after a similar trip to South Korea and very high on the agenda, what happens now after the summit between the United States and the North Korean leaders? Our Paula Hancocks is following this story live for us in Seoul, South Korea. And Paula, Japan certainly wants to know the progress of negotiations with North Korea. Tell us more about what Mattis had to say.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, George, one of the main topics of conversation that seemed to come up unsurprisingly was the fact the U.S. President Donald Trump had suspended some military drills or war games as he called them saying that they were provocative after that meeting he had in Singapore with the North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un. Now, he did talk about it here in Seoul with his South Korean counterpart and in Tokyo with his Japanese counterpart.

[02:40:08] And what he was saying was that the reason for this pause is to try and give the diplomats a chance to push things forward saying that it is the diplomats who are most definitely and firmly in the lead at this point. But also, both in Seoul and in Tokyo hammering home the point that if necessary, the U.S. and South Korea, the U.S. and Japan do stand ready to counter any kind of threat that might come their way. We did hear similar words from the South Korean defense minister saying that they are agreeing to postpone and suspend these drills as long as North Korea is following the path meaning so long as Pyongyang is pushing towards it as stated intention to denuclearize then they're happy to do that.

On the Japanese side, the defense minister actually said that their drills with the U.S. would continue and they were also going to try and keep the pressure up on North Korea. For example, trying to counter a legal ship to ship transfers that we have seen Pyongyang do at sea somewhat over recent months trying to get around those sanctions. So a more hard line approached from the Japanese, George.

HOWELL: And also, you know, as was stated in South Korea, the relationship with Japan described as essential by U.S. officials, at the same time, China's influence surely growing within the region. Is that topic being discussed in Japan?

HANCOCKS: Well, Secretary Mattis had an interesting thing to say during his one and only press conference on this Northeast Asia trip. Just a matter of hours ago he did say that the ability to get on with China for the United States really depended on being able to competitively coexist saying that they need to look to cooperate where it is possible, and they will compete vigorously in other areas. So there's really that acceptance that it's not going to be a smooth relationship, that there is always going to be this competition with China.

And certainly, what we heard from President Xi Jinping after Secretary of State Mattis met with him in Beijing was there was going to be nothing changing when it comes to the South China Sea, that China is not going to give any ground. It's not going to pull back in any respect in trying to lay claim to what it believes is its territory and its waters. So certainly there was an acknowledgment from the Secretary of State that there will be issues in the future. But saying it is also important that the U.S. is cooperating with China on certain things clearly on North Korea.

HOWELL: You point out the South China Sea, also with cross-strait relations with Taiwan, is there a sense from this meeting that was again described as open and honest? Is there a sense that the relationship will remain somewhat tense around these issues?

HANCOCKS: Well, certainly, there are a number of issues between Washington and Beijing that have historically made it fairly tense. We've seen the South China Sea as I've just mentioned something more recent of course, the trade tariffs that have been -- that have been discussed by the U.S. President Donald Trump. This has certainly been a real bone of contention between Washington and Beijing in recent weeks.

And then of course you have things like the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the U.S. president both publicly saying that they believe China is not doing as much as it was doing in trying to keep these sanctions in place against North Korea since the relationship between Washington and Pyongyang has improved. Officials have been saying that they feel that the Chinese even though they are trying to keep the sanctions going in some respects are lessening the impacts somewhat. Of course, China is the biggest trading partner with Pyongyang, so it's really in China's hands to be able to make it hurt for Pyongyang these sanctions that the United Nations Resolutions and the Security Council has passed. So certainly, you have that public criticism from Washington as well.

HOWELL: Paula Hancocks live for us in Seoul, South Korea. Thank you for the reporting. Still ahead this hour, Senegal makes history at the World Cup, but crushed their dreams in the process. All the very latest ahead.


[02:47:15] HOWELL: All right, the very latest World Cup action for you. The knock out stage was set for Thursday, with Belgium beating England to top Group G. But in a weird twist of fate, England, might have been better off because of the loss. Our Kate Riley is here to tell us more about that. And we know who is in the round of 16 now, a game that neither side really wanted to win.

KATE RILEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL SPORTS ANCHOR: No, not at all. So, for once, an England fan is smiling even though England lost on the night. So, yes, stranger things have happened, George, while it was that the site of World Cup match in Group G between Belgium and England. Both teams had already qualified, of course. The question was, who would want to win the group?

While it was a fairly lethargic affair in Kaliningrad, and there's only one goal in this one. Adnan Januzaj on target early in the second half, and that's all there was. Well the only thing that got people excited, George, are like this, was the celebration of Michy Batshuayi, somehow managed to kick the ball into the post. And then, it went back out onto the face here. That's got to hurt, right?

Well, here is confirmation of the result. Belgium top on nine points. England go through with six. Tunisia, the 2-1 win against Panama smooth, they are both how.

Well, the beautiful game can be cruel at times, and it was oh so cruel to Senegal. Africa's last hope for the tournament crushed out of the tournament in a 1-0 defeat against Colombia. But that wasn't sealing their fate, it was actually six yellow cards in the end. So, it was Colombia who took Group H. Japan go through in second place.

This is how the group looked at the start of the day. Before the last two games were played, it was Japan and Senegal that would progress. Poland were out already.

This is the pitcher having lost their first two games, but, yes and better next goal against Japan changed the landscape. Now, Senegal would top of the group, and Japan were going home. But then, the pitcher changed again, 16 minutes from time when Colombia scored.

Colombia always knew they had a win and then, it came courtesy of a thumping header from Yerry Mina. And it was a goal that prompted scenes of wild celebration back in Mina's hometown in Colombia.

The Barcelona player who comes from a city with just over 20,000 people now have two goals to his World Cup. And these people can't get enough, can they?

Meanwhile, in the other game in Volgograd, the most bizarre situation, George. Japan had the ball and they were simply passing it among themselves. And when it finally came, the Blue Samurai, scraped just a last 16. Spare thought with Senegal, though that is a horrible way to go out. The first time that FIFA had used this fair play rule to determine the standings after the group stage.

So, yes, this is how close it was in the end. Japan and Senegal, I just can't point, goal difference and goal scored. And so, all came down to a pair of late yellow cards in their second game.

[02:50:05] HOWELL: Wow, Kate.

RILEY: All right. Devastated for them, right?

HOWELL: Yes, I just hate to see it in that way.

RILEY: So, we've got a busy -- we've got a rest day. And then the games come thick and fast, George. So, you're going to be excited for this one. This is where it gets super interesting. Win or go home?

The round of 16, kicks off on Saturday, with two games. France against Argentina will be the first game in Kazan. While Paraguay and Uruguay will then, go head to head later in the day in Sochi, George.

HOWELL: All right, we'll be watching. Kate, thank you so much.

RILEY: Thank you.

HOWELL: All right, the U.S. President Donald Trump, celebrated a new Foxconn factory, a plan for Wisconsin while also criticizing Harley Davidson

He -- Fox -- Foxconn chairman and the state's governor as broke ground on the golden shovels for the $10 billion dollar plant. The Taiwan firm makes smartphones, tablets, and other electronics for clients including Apple and Sony.

It's promising to hire 13,000 workers. And in return, Foxconn received $4 billion in tax breaks and incentives. The groundbreaking came as Mr. Trump is feuding with Harley Davidson. He said customers won't be happy about plans to move some motorcycle production overseas because of European retaliatory tariffs.

In Washington, fiery words as Republican lawmakers grilled the U.S. Deputy Attorney General. Rod Rosenstein and FBI director Christopher Wray were on the hot seat as the Republican-led House adopted a resolution demanding the Justice Department comply with document requests and subpoenas.

Rosenstein and lawmakers clashed with committee members over various issues including the special counsel's Russia investigation. Listen.


REP. TREY GOWDY (R-SC), CHAIRMAN, HOUSE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE: If you have evidence of wrongdoing by any member of the Trump campaign, present it to the damn grand jury. If you have evidence that this president acted inappropriately, present it to the American people. Whatever you got, finish it the hell up.

ROD ROSENSTEIN, UNITED STATES DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL: So, your statement that I am personally keeping information from you, trying to conceal information --

REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH), HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: You're the boss, Mr. Rosenstein.

ROSENSTEIN: That's true, that's correct. And my job is to make sure that we respond to your concerns. Your use of this to attack me personally is wrong.

JORDAN: Why did you --


HOWELL: The hearing had originally been scheduled to discuss the Inspector General's report of the FBI's handling of the Clinton e-mail probe.

Still ahead, the U.S. releases its annual report on human trafficking around the world. We'll tell you the worst offenders and which countries have improved.


HOWELL: An annual report on global human trafficking has been released by the U.S. State Department. It ranks 183 countries on a five-tier system. Countries in Tier 1, the green color, are judged to be doing the best and fighting the problem. Those in the notorious Tier 3, the dark purple color, they are considered the worst offenders. Our Clare Sebastian has this report. [02:55:04] CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is the 18th year, the U.S. State Department has produced its Trafficking in Persons Report. This is a diplomatic tool design to spur countries to do more to combat human trafficking. And as always, the critical thing is who has moved up in the ranking and who has moved down?

This year, there was good news for countries like Japan, Estonia, Cyprus, and Bahrain, who all got moved up to Tier1, which means they're meeting the minimum standard when it comes to combating human trafficking.

But the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said they also don't shy away from singling out those who aren't doing enough.


MIKE POMPEO, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE: We read the horrific accounts of human trafficking and abuse of African migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers in Libya. Resulting in modern-day slave markets.

We've engaged the Libyan Government of National Accord to bring the perpetrators to justice, including complicit government officials. In Southeast Asia, a Burma's armed forces and others in the Rakhine State dislocated hundreds of thousands of Rohingya and members of other ethnic groups. Many of them were exploited through the region as a result.


SEBASTIAN: Well, there was one glaring absence this year. The U.S. State Department currently does not have an ambassador-at-large for combating trafficking in persons. We weren't able to speak to the acting director of the office of combating human trafficking. And we also were not able to speak to anyone from the White House on this issue, but we did speak to the former U.S. ambassador for combating human trafficking, Luis CdeBaca. And I asked him why this absence matters?


LUIS CDEBACA, FORMER UNITED STATES AMBASSADOR-AT-LARGE: First of all, the people who are at the trafficking office right now are doing an amazing job. The acting director Harry Johnstone, was my deputy when I was ambassador, is a top-notch diplomat, phenomenal manager, and there's a great team there.

But the reality is that having a Senate-confirmed ambassador, I'm just like having a Senate-confirmed assistant secretary over at ICE. An assistant attorney general over at the Justice Department, or an assistant -- the administrator, a confirmed administrator for children and families at HHS, would be very helpful for this issue.

And right now, all of the key players in those cabinet agencies have not been named. You don't have the assistant attorney general. You don't have the ambassador. And it constrains the ability not only to work within the agencies in United States, but it constrains our ability to work with our partners overseas.

The idea that an ambassador can go out and meet with heads of state, can meet with the foreign minister, speaks with a certain legal imprimatur of the president in the government, that's important. And so, we certainly hope that with Secretary of State Pompeo, coming in.

He has said that he's going to move quickly to start filling positions here at the State Department. And those of us in the anti-slavery community are very much hoping that today's energy that he brought to the ceremony against human trafficking that, that will translate into a prop-nomination of a really good ambassador.


SEBASTIAN: The theme of this year's report was local solutions for a global problem. The State Department honored those who are involved in grassroots efforts to combat human trafficking. A reminder that this is not just a problem for the diplomats and the politicians but for every level of society. Clare Sebastian, CNN, Washington.

HOWELL: Clare, thank you. And thank you for being with us this hour for CNN NEWSROOM. More news right after the break, stay with us.