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Kavanaugh Never Sexually Assaulted Anyone; Trump, Second Meeting With Kim Jong-un Quite Soon; Rival Plan Promises A Fantastic Brexit; Rebel Attacks Hinder Ebola Prevention Center; U.S. Report On Rohingya Avoids Crucial Label; Possible Criminal Sanctions For Human Traffickers; K-pop At The United Nations. Aired 3-4a ET
Aired September 25, 2018 - 03:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[03:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN HOST: More drama for Donald Trump's administration as his Supreme Court nominee faces another accusation.
And the deputy attorney general's future at the Justice Department seems uncertain. Plus, at last year's U.N. general assembly, Kim Jong- un was little rocket man. Now President Trump says he may meet with him again. The details in a live report from Seoul.
And CNN's report on Libya's slave trade spark protest now it's prompting action. Find out what one country is doing to stop human traffickers.
Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church. And this is CNN Newsroom.
And we begin with new questions about the fate of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein who oversees special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe. After conflicting signals as to whether he would resign or be fired Rosenstein will meet with President Trump Thursday about reports that he once discussed secretly recording the president.
Meanwhile, the White House is dealing with another growing controversy over Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. A second woman now alleges inappropriate sexual behavior, this time in college.
CNN's Jeff Zeleny begins the coverage.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR White House CORRESPONDENT: President Trump on the world stage today, but overshadowed by troubles far closer to home. Sitting alongside South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Mr. Trump besiege with questions about the latest episode in his long running feud with the Justice Department.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They know I'm meeting with Rod Rosenstein on Thursday when I get back from all of these meeting and we'll be meeting at the White House and we'll be determining what's going on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZELENY: It was a day of doing dramas for the Trump administration. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the man who oversees the Russia investigation went to the White House expecting to be fired. He was seen leaving with Chief of Staff John Kelly.
After hours of speculation about his fate, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders issued a statement saying "At the request of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, he and Trump had an extended conversation to discuss the recent news stories. Because the president is at the United Nations General Assembly and has a full schedule with leaders from around the world they will meet on Thursday when the president returns to Washington."
The news story in question is an explosive report from the New York Times that Rosenstein secretly discuss recording the president last year and had conversations about invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him from office.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We want to have transparency. We want to have openness and I look forward to meeting with Rod at that time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZELENY: All of this as the White House fought to keep Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation alive amid new allegations of sexual misconduct which he categorically denies.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: People that come out of the woodwork from 36 years ago and 30 years ago never mention it, all of a sudden happens, in my opinion it's totally political. It is totally political.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZELENY: His close advisor Kellyanne Conway who just last set the tone for the White House response to Kavanaugh's first accuser Christine Blasey Ford.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KELLYANNE CONWAY, WHITE HOUSE SENIOR ADVISOR: She should not be ignored. She should not be ignored.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZELENY: Now changing her tune.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CONWAY: This is starting to feel like a vast left wing conspiracy. Are we going to put decades of handicapped demand for women to feel whole on one man shoulders. (END VIDEO CLIP)
ZELENY: The president standing squarely behind Kavanaugh and signaling it's time for Republicans to fight back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Chance that this could be one of the single most unfair and unjust things that happen to a candidate for anything. But I am with Judge Kavanaugh and I look forward to a vote.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZELENY: The president also called Kavanaugh a fine, fine man and a scholar. He said he would be sad if anything happen to block his nomination. Now all of these dramas are playing out as world leaders here in New York have a front row seat to drama and dysfunction inside the White House.
Jeff, CNN, New York.
CHURCH: Well, joining me now from Los Angeles, California talk radio host, Ethan Berman, Republican strategist, Chris Faulkner, and CNN legal analyst and civil rights attorney Areva Martin. Welcome, everyone.
CHRIS FAULKNER, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Thank you.
ETHAN BERMAN, RADIO HOST, KGO: Thank you.
AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Hi, Rosemary.
CHURCH: OK. So we witnessed a very dramatic Monday for Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. He went to the White House convince he was about to be fired, now he'll have to until Thursday to find out his fate when he meets with the president.
[03:04:55] Areva Martin, if Rosenstein is fired Thursday or perhaps after the midterm elections, what impact could that possibly have on special counsel Robert Mueller' Russia probe and who might replace him?
MARTIN: Well, the biggest issue, Rosemary, is whether that probe of the Russian investigation continues if Rod Rosenstein is not in that position. We know he's been very supportive. He actually appointed Bob Mueller to that position and he has supported his investigation.
Now the question becomes, if he's not in that job does Trump replace him with someone who doesn't feel the same way as Rod Rosenstein, is it someone who shares Trump's views that the investigation is a hoax, that it's a witch hunt and that it should be shut down.
We should note that even if someone in that position doesn't automatically shut the investigation down they can do other things. They can, you know, impact the budget. They can impact the areas of inquiry that Bob Mueller, you know, wants to pursue with respect to the investigation.
So this is a pretty high stake game. I think that the president's plan is not really clear on whether he or someone from his administration had something to do with all of these weeks all of these stories they are very, very confusing. Some say he was going to resign. Some say he expected to be fired.
But we do know that the present likes to deflect and we know that all these allegations coming out about Brett Kavanaugh of this is probably the time when the president wants to take attention away from that very important Supreme Court nomination.
And it looks like the possible firing of Rod Rosenstein is the way that he's doing that.
CHURCH: Chris Faulker, let's put this to you, was this drama that we watched play out on Monday was it a distraction, was it to make us watch what's going on there and forget about what's going on with Brett Kavanaugh?
FAULKER: Well, I'm not an attorney so I can't speak to the legal aspect of that, but from a political strategy standpoint this would be absolutely the worst time for us to try and fire Rod Rosenstein.
So I don't believe that this has really anything to do with some sort of political sideshow or gamesmanship. This is clearly the leak by somebody who is trying to harm the president and his administration.
And they are doing some political game which is unfortunate, but it's a consistent pattern we seem to see it's going on with Washington repeatedly with this president trying to be undermined by both people in the administration as well as outside the administration.
CHURCH: Ethan Berman, Republican Senator Susan Collins issues concerned that the Rosenstein will be either forced to resign or fired. What his likely fate here do you think and what would be the ramifications if he is fired now or on Thursday or after the midterms. And what about this likelihood of a replacement if that happens.
BERMAN: Yes, I think this would be a really bad move on the part of the Trump administration get rid of Rod Rosenstein. Remember, outside of the president attacking him and tweets and certain members of the far right wing of the Republican Party, Rod Rosenstein is actually a very well regarded legal mind who has served this country honorably for a long time.
Now both Republicans and Democrats said that from the get-go just like Robert Mueller is just one small part of the conspiracy minded from Republican Party of 2018. That seems to have a problem with somebody actually doing their job in investigating.
I actually agree with Chris in this case. Oddly enough, that this is not the type of thing that anybody who really cares about the president, the Republican Party or actually the health of our country would release and leak this information now. And by the way, what everybody has to realize to is whomever would
replace Rod Rosenstein is done at the pleasure of the president and anybody who's already been through this Senate confirmation process can be named. Whatever would happen would be bad for the Republicans in the midterm elections. They should not get rid of Rod Rosenstein now.
CHURCH: All right. And Areva Martin, two women now accuse Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct and the Republicans have responded by doubling down in their support of the Supreme Court nominee pushing for a vote by the end of the week. They view this as a smear campaign. They've already made up their mind, haven't they.
How much of this is about the notion that the boys will be boys even if Kavanaugh did do any of this, it's no big deal. That's what boys do it. Is that why there's been no effort to push for an investigation on any of this?
MARTIN: I think there's been no effort to push, Rosemary, because this president sees Brett Kavanaugh is key to his entire administration. We know that Brett Kavanaugh has been very vocal in terms of his beliefs about presidential power.
And there are so many other qualified Republican leaning individuals, jurist, lawyers, judges, they could be appointed to the Supreme Court. The reason that the president holds on to Bret Kavanaugh is because of the likelihood that if something is materializes from this Russian investigation and makes his way to the Supreme Court he knows how Brett Kavanaugh is likely to rule.
[03:09:56] But he's doing so as the sake of women, the comments that the Republicans are making that the president is making about how this is ruining Brett Kavanaugh's family. They've not made any statements about the courageous women that have come forward that have told their stories.
We know that Dr. Ford is already received death threats. She's had to move out of her house. This is devastated her life. She's a private citizen. She didn't ask to come forward. Her name was leaked to the press and now she finds herself in the middle of this incredibly polarized process possibly going to testify on Thursday.
We know what happened when Anita Hill came forward in 1991. We know what those hearings look like, and so for this woman to come forward that the notion that this is a smear campaign and it's some kind of conspiracy is just ludicrous.
That no one would voluntarily put themselves through this process and they definitely wouldn't do it, and name Mark Judge was Brett Kavanaugh's friend, they wouldn't put him in the room if this was all made up and if this is one big hoax.
CHURCH: All right. I do want to read out a statement from the Kavanaugh freshman year roommate, James Roche, he also knows Kavanaugh second accuser Deborah Ramirez and he says this, if we can just bring that part out up. "Although Brett was normally reserved he was a notably heavy drinker. He became aggressive and belligerent when he was very drunk. Based on my time with Debbie I cannot imagine her making this up. Based on my time with Brett, I believe that he and his social circle were capable of the actions that Debbie described."
And then this is what Mark Osler, a former classmate of Kavanaugh's at the law school said about a letter he signed in support of Kavanaugh before he knew about the hearing and before he had learned about the allegations.
Let's just listen to that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK OSLER, FORMER CLASSMATE OF JUDGE BRETT KAVANAUGH: It appears that there's facts we didn't know that have not been fully investigated, and certainly what Dr. Ford has come forward with is part of the story that needs to be examined.
And so if someone sent me a letter like that right now despite the truth of the fact that his qualifications from the bench are fine, I would not sign that letter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: So Chris Faulkner, a former roommate describes Kavanaugh as aggressive and belligerent when drunk, and a classmate calls for an investigation into the allegations of sexual misconduct were seem to be getting a very different picture now of Kavanaugh, a reason to pause do you to think and investigate, your reaction to that on what they said?
FAULKNER: I think what Republican, Democrat, and moderate liberal, conservative it doesn't really matter. At the end of the day this is about a process that need to takes place. And if there is a serious charge throughout the investigative process that's what the senators there to do, that's what they're trying to do.
There are people that are trying to manipulate this process, manipulate Dr. Ford, and you're right, absolutely. Her life is been totally offended. And we all should absolutely have empathy for her what's going on.
CHURCH: But Chris, if they're trying to get to the truth of the matter they're not going to get to that truth by just listening to a he said/she said situation where both Kavanaugh and Blasey Ford to give their testimony, and then they just sit back and decide which one to believe.
And since they are pushing now for a vote on Friday it seems to be just giving lip service to allowing her to give her testimony. That you don't think now that we're sort of hearing now from a roommate from Kavanaugh and we've heard from a classmate that maybe we--
(CROSSTALK) FAULKER: No. What -- no.
CHURCH: -- we should push button and investigate what is going on here because this is for the highest court in the land.
FAULKER: It is. It's absolutely important but this is more important than the highest court in the land. This is about the public assassination of someone's character and about their qualities as a person based on hearsay, unproven accusations and basically what someone thought of something based on their social circle.
I'm six foot four, I'm a big guy, so yes, theoretically I'm capable of being aggressive and ugly but it doesn't mean I am.
And just this insinuation of this continued extending and saying well, some of the people he hang out with might have been that way so yes, I can sort of see that happening. That's not justice. That is a total mob justice.
And it's ridiculous for us to basically make all these things if it fits into someone's narrow political agenda slow down this process and continue to politicized it.
It's extremely unfortunate for Dr. Ford or anyone who's been a sexual crimes or aggression like this because it tribulizes those things and over politicize to something that really isn't actually a crime.
CHURCH: Ethan, your reaction to this investigation--
CHURCH: -- when we're seeing now some classmates and a roommate coming forward. This is understood two women accusing. Is it at least an opportunity to have a look at this, to investigate?
BERMAN: Yes. No question. I was absolutely appalled that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's speech today was disgusting to me.
[03:14:55] By the way, remember, Judge Gorsuch made it through this confirmation process without any of these kinds allegations happening. So clearly there is something here with Judge Kavanaugh that needs to be investigated. We have to get to the bottom of it.
And by the way, all you have to do is look at the history of sexual abuse or sexual assaulters, rapist, they're wonderful to their own families yet, they still rape people, yet they still commit crimes. Just because he is wonderful to his wife and his kids love him--
FAULKER: So we're going from an accusation to he's nice to his family so therefore he is a criminal?
BERMAN: Absolutely not. But that is not a defense.
(CROSSTALK) FAULKER: But that is exactly what you are insinuating.
BERMAN: There is no defense. His wife going on TV -- his wife going on TV with him in no way suddenly makes it that he is purely innocent, and by the way his interview on Fox News, he avoided the question.
Who cares if you were a virgin all the way through high school and college. Nobody accused you of rape. You were accused of grabbing somebody from your mouth over her over your hand over her out pinning her to the bed.
You're also accused of somebody I won't repeat on the air here of what happened in your freshman when you're at Yale. So, this is all something that must be investigated. And again, to just paint it as a purely partisan attack is bonk is Neil Gorsuch made it through and he's on the Supreme Court with any of this happening.
CHURCH: Right. Many thanks to Ethan Berman, Chris Faulkner, and Areva Martin for joining us. We appreciate it.
BERMAN: Thank you.
CHURCH: Well, one year after a blistering speech on North Korea President Trump is returning to the U.N. General Assembly with an entirely different outlook.
After a sideline meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Mr. Trump discussed plans for second, a second summit with Kim Jong-un, though North Korea has not taken any verifiable steps toward denuclearization Mr. Trump remains positive.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It will be similar to the format we had before, most likely at different location. Again, it will announce pretty soon. I think a lot of progress is being made.
I think tremendous enthusiasm on behalf of Chairman Kim toward making a deal. And I think that that's something that's very good.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: And our Paula Hancocks is in Seoul, South Korea, she joins us now live with more on all of this. So Paula, despite a number of concerns from various analysts it does appear that this second summit between President Trump and Kim Jong-un will go ahead. What more you learning about this.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right, Rosemary. It seems as though the U.S. president is very keen on having the second summit. We know that Kim Jong-un wants this.
He sends a letter a few weeks ago to President Trump and at that point, the White House said that they were open to this.
So what we're hearing from Mr. Trump today is that he's looking at the date and the location but he appears to have made the decision to go ahead with this summit already. Of course, a word of caution that the fact is, just before the Singapore Summit President Trump cancelled that summit because he didn't think enough progress was being made before it was back on again.
So let's not expect this necessarily to be smooth sailing before another potential summit. But what we heard from Kim Jong-un through the South Korean President Moon Jae-in who met with him in Pyongyang for three days last week, was that he wanted to have this meeting quickly so that he could denuclearize on a fast basis and then he could focus on economic development, something we've been hearing for some time from North Korea.
But critics, some even within the Trump administration as well are pointing to the fact that there have not been tangible steps towards denuclearization. What was agreed wasn't a test site to missile test site to be closed down and there would be international experts to verify that.
When it came to the nuclear side of it, the Yongbyon nuclear facility could be shut down if the U.S. gave corresponding measures. So it's conditional. Kim Jong-un wants concessions from the U.S. and that was clearly what would have been spoken about today.
And Kim Jong-un also had a message to give to Trump through President Moon.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOON JAE-IN, PRESIDENT OF SOUTH KOREA (through translator): Chairman Kim was repeatedly conveying his unwavering trust in expectations for you while expressing his hope to meet you soon to strengthen and concluded denuclearization process with you because you are indeed the only person who can solve this problem.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANCOCKS: We also heard from President Moon that he believe Kim Jong- un was sincere in what he was pushing for and was going to be denuclearizing. Because he had to said it publicly to his own people, to the world's media.
To be fair, it was the media of North and South Korea, foreign media was not permitted to go to the summit, but that he had said it so publicly and verbally said that he thought was a sign that it would be very difficult for anyone within North Korea to reverse this process now. Rosemary?
CHURCH: And Paula, what more came out of that sideline meeting between President Trump and the South Korean leader, and what more does Korea want to see come from the U.S.?
[03:20:01] HANCOCKS: Well, on the sideline they also signed this free trade agreement between South Korea and the United States. This was last negotiated a number of years ago and it's one that South Korea didn't necessarily want to renegotiate but this is what the U.S. president is doing in a number of countries.
So Mr. Trump saying it would help farmers. It would help automakers within the U.S. And you heard from President Moon saying that he hopes this will bring some stability to businesses between -- between the U.S. and South Korea now. Rosemary?
CHURCH: All right. Many thanks to our Paula Hancocks, live from Seoul in South Korea.
And we'll take a short break here. Still to come though, as Pope Francis continues his tour of the Baltics a disturbing report about church abuse in Germany is released, and will have the details on that.
Controlling the spread of Ebola is a hard enough task, but in the Democratic Republic of Congo rebel attacks on making it nearly impossible. I'll discuss the process with a filmmaker who is just back from Congo.
We're back in just a moment.
CHURCH: More than 3600 children in Germany was sexually assaulted by Catholic priests over the past 70 years. That is, according to a new report by the German bishops conference.
CNN's Atika Shubert is at their meeting in Fulda, Germany and joins us now live with all the details. So, Atika, what all has come out of this meeting, what more are you learning and what are the goals here?
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we've actually just attended the morning mass that was held by Cardinal Marx here at the San Salvador Cathedral in Fulda and he opened with a prayer that asked for everyone to really look at the weaknesses, he said the sins of the church and how deeply shocking and saddening it was to know that this happened that this was abuse carried out by priests and other clergy out within the church.
Now the actual full report will be released for a few hours now. But we've already seen a copy and as you point out the numbers are staggering. Not just the number of victims but also the number of perpetrators. More than a 1000 priests implicated the victims more than half of them were under the age of 13. Most of them boys.
[03:24:57] But what's even more perplexing is the way this report was carried out. This was voluntarily done by the German Bishops Conference and they had investigators take a look at copies of church files, not the original archives and that's upset a lot of survivors.
I spoke to one of victim of the abuse in one of the schools, Catholic run schools and he said that his case, for example, is not even included in the report because it would involve the school and not a parish.
So even though the church today wants to show that it's being more transparent that it's tackling this problem. Many of the survivors feel that this report does not cut it that it really requires an independent investigation here in Germany.
CHURCH: So it's just trying to show that it's tackling the problem, will there be any effort to find some sort of solution, how does the Catholic Church in Germany plan to deal with this issue?
SHUBERT: Well, this is the big question because this report that's coming out today it took years to come out and there's been no indication so far that there will be, for example, any prosecution of perpetrators of what will happen to those who were implicated in this report.
So it's not clear how they will go forward. Survivors are and victims of abuse are unhappy with the way that this is been handled and say there has to be some way to get justice. And while they are great for the church has acknowledged that this sort of widespread abuse was happening that there needs to be more accountability in this report is not enough.
CHURCH: All right. Atika Shubert bringing the latest on that. Many thanks to you.
And Pope Francis is in Estonia. It is the final stop on his four-day visit to the Baltics. His plane actually landed just a short time ago. He is meeting this hour with the country's president. Later, he will greet a group of young Catholics and celebrate mass in Talons Freedom Square. Huge crowds greeted the Pope in Latvia and Lithuania over the past few days.
His visit coincides with the 100th year anniversary of all three Baltic nations' independence.
Well, the battle over Brexit, British Prime Minister Theresa May is facing a rebellion within her own parliament. We'll have the details for your next.
Plus, orphaned by Ebola amid deadly fighting, how a young girl in the Democratic Republic of Congo is trying to keep her sister safe. We'll have that for you next.
CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. I'm Rosemary Church. I want to update you now on the main stories we've been following.
[03:29:57] U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh said he never sexually assault anyone. His latest defense comes amid a new allegation of misconduct from a second woman who knew Kavanaugh in college.
President Trump says he thinks the claims against Kavanaugh are totally political.
President Trump says there will be another meeting with North Korea leader, Kim Jong-un quite soon, he says. He made the announcement as he arrived at the U.N. General assembly on Monday. U.S. Officials have expressed concerns about another summit since the north has taken no verifiable steps toward denuclearization.
Once called America's dad, Bill Cosby could become on Tuesday the first celebrity of the "metoo" era to be sent to prison. In our faces a shorter sentence of up to 10 years instead of 30. That is because a judge has combined the three counts of his sexual assault conviction.
British Prime Minister, Theresa May is facing growing pressure over her Brexit plan. She insists her cabinet is firmly behind the so- called checkers plan after meeting with senior ministers on Monday. The probe Brexit members of parliament are rebelling. More now from CNN's Bianca Nobilo.
BIANCA NOBILO, CNN PRODUCER: Theresa May is under pressure from all sides on her Brexit plan. Leading Brexiteers, David Davis, the former Brexit secretary and Jacob Rees-Mogg (ph) released a rival Brexit plan on going for a hard Brexit. The early debate criticized the Prime Minister approach and negotiations, they also criticized her tone.
JACOB REES-MOGG, CONSERVATIVE MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: So much of what we have about these negotiations has, been about managing decline. It has been about how do you have the least bad Brexit? This is about how you have a fantastic Brexit that sets us up for the next generation and it ensures our prosperity. It is a really exciting and good paper looking at Britain's position not just in the European context, but globally. And the key to it to my mind is that it is deliverable.
NOBILO: Theresa May's opposition at the labor party has also given hope to the people's vote campaign for a second referendum on Brexit and of course the E.U. at the disastrous summit last week, projected the key components of the Prime Minister's plan.
All this, 27 months on from the referendum took place, with only six months to go until Brexit, the only thing that is, certain about Brexit at the moment is that nothing is certain. Whether or not the U.K. and the E.U. will strike a deal on terms of divorce and what the relationship between E.U. and the U.K. will look like in the future is far from clear. Bianca Nobilo, CNN, London.
CHURCH: World powers are trying to figure out how to salvage key elements of the Iran nuclear deal in the wake of the U.S. withdrawal from the pact. The remaining parties to the deal including Iran met at the United Nations Monday. They agreed to continue trying to maintain trade with Tehran despite the resumption of U.S. sanctions in November. The E.U. said (inaudible) issued a joint statement standing alongside Iran's foreign minister.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The participants consider ways forwards to assure the full and effective implementation of the DCPOA in all of its aspects. They also took stock of the process of finding and operationalizing practical solutions for issues arising from the -- from the unilateral withdrawal of the United States from the agreement and the re-imposition of sanctions lifted on the DCPOA and its Annex two, which they deeply regret.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: And CNN will hear from Iran's President himself in just a few hours from now. Our Christiana Amanpour will interview President Hassan Rouhani while he is at the United Nations. That is at 1:00 p.m. New York time, 6:00 p.m. in London.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, rebel violence is hurting efforts to keep can Ebola outbreak from spreading. Aid group in the city of Venice say they have had to seize vaccinations and stop trying to trace anyone who may had been in contact with the Ebola patient. And this follows a rebel attack that reportedly killed more than a dozen people over the weekend. It comes amid the Ebola outbreak in Eastern Congo that is blamed for the deaths of 100 people since just last month.
Freelance photographer and filmmaker, Thomas Nybo is here with me to talk more about this. Thanks so much for coming into the studio. I mean, the problem with this, there are two stories here, we got the Ebola outbreak and we got the fighting on the ground. And of course that is making the fight to contain Ebola is even more difficult. Let's start with Ebola, what you witness and how bad you think this might get.
[03:35:00] THOMAS NYBO, FREELANCE PHOTOGRAPHER AND FILMMAKER: The good news is the doctors know how to defeat Ebola. Back in 2014, 11,000 people died in West Africa, that wasn't the case. They have learned a lot since then. They know how to treat people. Approximately two out of three people are still dying from it, but there are survivors. So that is the good news, the bad news is, I can't imagine a worst place for an Ebola outbreak to happen. This is actually the second Ebola outbreak this year in the DRC, and in the Eastern DRC it is the Wild West as we saw over the weekend with this attack that left all of the civilians dead.
So what happens is you got to wage a battle on two fronts. The doctors are treating the patients and having great success. But one stories I heard when I was in the eastern Congo, you have the situation in benny which seems under control, you have a woman that gets sick, but instead of going to the Ebola treatment center, she gets on a motorcycle and drives to city, in this case Butembo of nearly a million people.
And when she gets there, she needs help getting off the motorcycle, two women help her and all of the sudden they're high risk contacts. The woman on the motorcycle dies and these two women die. And all of the sudden you have a new population of a million people at risk. So what you're trying to do is win a battle in places where there may or may not be Ebola. You don't know if that is going to spread beyond these women and reach
these communities. And because of the fighting there are no go zones. Even when we try to work in these places, we need armored vehicles with full security and if someone flees to these areas you can't just follow them in there. You got dozens of militia groups which are highly armed and there's fighting every week. There was one day we were in Benning where we had to evacuate the office and lay low at our hotel, enjoying dinner, it sounded like a thunderstorm, you could hear the RPG's and the mortars just exploding for about 20 minutes. So, it is an especially difficult situation for the very reasons we're talking about.
CHURCH: So on the fighting, what effort are under way to try to contain that?
NYBO: You got the Congolese army which was -- who was attack by one of these militia groups. You also have U.N. peacekeepers, typically when we think of U.N. peacemakers, they have more of the defensive mandate. But here they have an offensive mandate and they get involved in the fight, because there are going to be fights and there is going to be a lot of fights and if you look at the last several years hundreds of people have died. I will get to it with one of the subject of my stories, even her mother was killed here. So you got these two fronts and because of the nature of Ebola as being described with the situation in Butembo, you need to respond with an overwhelming force as far as treating it. And what UNICEF is doing is they'll leave the -- the treatment to the doctors, but they're really focusing on prevention and protection.
And there has been resistance within the communities. There is some ignorance and fear that (inaudible) might be spreading Ebola. And for children in particular who survive or who might lose a parent or guardian to Ebola, returning to school can be a very frightening prospect, they might be stigmatized, so what UNICEF has done, it actually trained hundreds of teachers and school directors to work with more than 300 schools to sensitized everybody. These are the facts about Ebola and this is how it is spread. And so they allow this children to understand and then, instead of stigmatizing survivors to actually support them.
CHURCH: Yes. I mean, that is a critical thing here isn't it? Educating people so they understand how it is. Talk to us about that story, you mentioned the young girl whose mother was shot and killed and then Ebola came in the picture, as well. So she has to deal with all of this.
NYBO: She just can't catch a break. So two years ago, Stephanie and her sisters were living in Benning. And their mother was caught in a gun battle and was murdered. Random victim. And so she was sent to live with an Aunt. A month ago the aunt contracted Ebola and died leaving these five sisters orphaned. So the oldest sister who is now 18 all of a sudden has become mother, father and fierce defender of her sisters. They're an especially tight group. It was really inspiring to see their bond.
But they need as much help as they could get. One of the thing that UNICEF did with girls like Stephanie was to help them return to school. To help pay for the school fees, to give them supplies, to sensitized their classmates, because as you know, the children are face with trauma. You try to return them to normalcy as quickly as possible. It was really a touching moment to see Stephanie go through her school supplies and to make that journey to school and to try to piece together any sort of normalcy as best a child who has lost her mother and her aunt can do.
[03:40:11] CHURCH: It highlights the important role that UNICEF plays there as well. There's also a mid-wife who contracted Ebola.
NYBO: One of the challenges is when Ebola presents itself, you don't know that it is Ebola until it is too late. So a lot of the front line health workers who might not know what to expect with Ebola put themselves at risk. So in the case of Rachel, she was a birth attendant, she was in the delivery room with two nurses, she helped a mother to give birth to a child, the mother had Ebola and passed it to child and pass it to Rachel, pass it to the two nurses and everybody in that room died except for Rachel.
She is spent 18 days in an Ebola treatment center and now she is really excited to return to the community and to get back on the front line because one -- the strongest voice you could have is someone who has survived Ebola. Because people think, oh from 2014, if I send someone who has Ebola to an Ebola treatment center, that is where they die. And so a woman like Rachel was able to say that is not the case. They have treatments now, they have six different treatments and I survived and this is what you need to do. If you think you have it, everyone has -- UNICEF has help support phone numbers on the back of cell phones and posters. So, if you think you might have it, you call this number and you get treatment right away so you can get through this and hopefully survive.
CHURCH: I mean, it is gradually improving through education and experiences like that. Of course the people we have contracted Ebola and survive passing on their stories is critical, isn't it? Thomas Nybo, thank you so much.
NYBO: Thank you, Rosemary.
CHURCH: I appreciate it.
We'll take a short break here. But still to come, they survived a dangerous sea crossing owe to the four victims to traffickers. Coming up a follow up on CNN's exclusive reporting. The push for U.N. action on the slave trade in Libya.
And the U.S has quietly released a report about the Muslim Rohingya, but it leaves out one key word which could carry major legal implications. We are back in just a moment.
[03:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CHURCH: There is a push to expand the list of human traffickers facing international sanctions following CNN reporting in Libya. Dutch foreign minister Stef Blok says, you oppressed the U.N. Security Council to take more action against countries and individuals involved in slave trade. CNN's Nima Elbagir reported on six men who allegedly made fortunes buying and selling migrants in Libya. And she spoke with Blok Monday in New York.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEF BLOK, DUTCH FOREIGN MINISTER: We have to extend these regime. We offer people. Currently there are six people on the list, I am afraid they are much more people involved in human trafficking and in human rights abuses. We're looking into the possibility of extending those sanctions to other countries where human trafficking is taking place.
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You are also looking at negotiating the possibility of criminal prosecution of the sanctions having laid the foundation for future prosecutions.
BLOK: That is true. They're working together with law enforcement in authorities in other countries involved. Apart from that the international criminal court has made known that it is looking to the possibility of starting a procedure of its own.
ELBAGIR: When you started this entire process, it really was in the face of people saying first and foremost, how do you even reach these criminals? How do you meaningfully impact them in a situation that is so lawless as in Libya. And now we're looking potentially at a situation where there could be credible criminal prosecution.
BLOK: That is why they work, you know. You present it to the world, those terrible pictures of the suffering taking place in Libya and the slave trade and abuse and that is made the international community move. I see the steps we've taken out, only first steps, but indeed we want to proceed from this, first of all making the sanctions that we agreed to work, but also extend them to other area, human rights abusers and human traffickers.
ELBAGIR: So we are looking at a situation in quite near future where that number six is going to grow. There are of course others.
BLOK: We're working on that. Of course you do need thorough investigations before you can, put people on the list. The consequences are very hard and clear.
ELBAGIR: Do you have a sense of what the impact has been on the ground in these first three months of sanctions?
BLOK: According to my information, the people involve have very well realized that they're under scrutiny now. And that their business model cannot work anymore.
ELBAGIR: How difficult it is when you are dealing with European counterparts, it is like your countries like Italy for example, who believe that this is you blocking migration to Europe is an existential unto to them. So the commander of the Coast Guard in Valla, who is now sanctioned individual at one point his forces were being trained by the Italians, how difficult is that for you? BLOK: The Italians fully support our measures we have taken, and it
is of course a very important subject, these human trafficking. Indeed because number of countries in Europe also and other parts of the world are feeling the effects of irregular migration, but most importantly, because we see gross violation of the human rights. And there, locally, the international community is still able to find agreement that we should not accept those violations, that there's no place for salary in this world. And for that reason, we should impose sanctions and we should bring those people to court.
CHURCH: And you could learn more about how you can fight modern day slavery at our website. That is where you'll see all of our freedom project reporting and learn how you could get involved.
Well the U.S. is adding its voice to the growing international consensus that the Myanmar military is responsible for a violent and inhumane crackdown on Rohingya Muslims. On Monday the state department quietly released a new report which does not describe the atrocities against the Rohingya as genocide or crimes against humanity, however the U.S. is increasing its aid for the Rohingya who had fled Myanmar. Our Richard Roth has more now from the United Nations.
RICHARD ROTH, CNN SENIOR U.N. CORRESPONDENT: Western powers convene a meeting on Myanmar on the sidelines of the special U.N. general Assembly week. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley, announcing that the United States was nearly doubling its contribution on behalf of the Rohingya Muslims for humanitarian aid and assistance. Haley again accusing the Myanmar government of crimes against its own people and pushing out nearly 700,000 Muslims.
[03:50:06] The aid would go inside Myanmar and to refugees in Bangladesh. Haley said the international community must push accountability when it comes to the crimes committed against these Rohingya.
NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: At some point the international community has to stop tap dancing around this. And they have to really hold (inaudible) to account. Terrible things happened to the Rohingya. The military are at fault. The fact finding mission came out and gave pure examples of what happened. These weren't terrorists. This is was the military that did this to them. These people just want a place to live. That is all they want. That is not happening right now. The United States -- I just announced to the group, were giving another 185 million to help with protection, water, sanitation, as well as making sure that some sort of psycho social support and all of those things can help those that were effected in Rakhine State.
ROTH: A recent U.N. investigation released in Geneva accused the Myanmar government of having genocidal intent in allowing murder and gang rapes and attacks on Rohingya. The Myanmar government recently denounced the United Nations report and the international community saying it had no business in Myanmar's own affairs. Richard Roth CNN, United Nations.
CHURCH: A new high-speed train now connects Hong Kong to mainland China, but a lingering controversy looms over the project. We'll find out why.
Plus, the popular Korean boy band BTS on an entirely different kind of stage. Why the group showed up to the U.N. general assembly. We're back in just a moment.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) CHURCH: Welcome back everyone. Well, it can go 200 kilometers an
hour and take you from Hong Kong to Guangzhou in just 47 minutes. Even though it has been pretty even smooth sailing for Hong Kong's first ever bullet train in China, for some it still feels like a rocky road. CNN's Anna Coren hopped on board to find out why.
ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: After eight years of construction, and 11 billion U.S. dollars the controversial yet groundbreaking station is open for business. Bullet trains can now take people between Hong Kong and mainland Chinese cities in a fraction of the time.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (TRANSLATOR): I just want to see something new. I've never seen anything as spectacular. The inside is so large. Totally different from normal train stations.
COREN: The station in Hong Kong is huge. 400,000 square meters mainly underground for an expected 80,000 passengers a day.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (TRANSLATOR): Although it is only 26 kilometers long, the Hong Kong high speed line could directly reach 44 stations in the mainland with transfers Guangzhou south and Shenzhen north station. We can reach all the high speed rails stations in the whole country.
COREN: Stations with an easier reach include the capital Beijing. It is that city's increasing influence on Hong Kong that have some people worried. Hong Kong has its own constitution with the basic law, which allows for rights not seen further north like freedom of speech.
[03:55:00] A small group demonstrated at the opening, they're against having mainland immigration offices at the Hong Kong terminals, who are now able to officially enforce Chinese law on the city soil for the first time.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We believe that practice would undermine the basic human rights of Hong Kong people.
COREN: There are also economic considerations. There are nine massive Chinese cities just north of the border in an area known collectively as the greater bay area.
The new trains as well as a newly built, but yet to be opened bridge connects Hong Kong to the cities more directly.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We look at the greater bay area which has around 66 million people altogether. So opportunity is not there. We need to be flexible, but at the same time, without losing sight of our core interests. I mean the core interests which is safeguard -- in the basic law is our freedom of speech, our freedom of assembly, et cetera.
COREN: With the for better or worse, Hong Kong's future just got a lot closer to mainland China with the opening of the station. A new era is rolling in. Anna Coren, CNN, Hong Kong.
CHURCH: In another move making some activists worried, the Hong Kong government has banned the pro-independence Hong Kong National Party. They cite national security as the reason. Beijing officials say the Party has a very clear agenda of making Hong Kong into an independent republic. Activists and Party members say the ban violates human rights including freedom of speech and assembly.
Well the U.N. General assembly is not just for diplomats. The insanely popular boy band BTS stole the spotlight at the U.N. Monday. BTS became the first ever K-pop group to speak there on behalf of UNICEF's generation unlimited. Kim Nam-jun also known as RM, talked about the love myself campaign to end the violence against young people.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After releasing our love yourself albums and launching the love yourself campaign we started to hear remarkable stories from our friends all over the world, how our message helped them overcome the harshest of life and start loving themselves. Those stories constantly remind us of our responsibility that no matter who you are, where you are from, your skin color, the gender identity, just be yourself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: It was a great message. And thanks so much for joining us. I'm Rosemary Church, remember to connect with me any time on twitter @rosemarycnn, we love to hear from you and the news continues now with Max Foster in London. You're watching CNN, have a great day.