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HALA GORANI TONIGHT
United States Suspending Landmark Nuclear Arms Treaty with Russia; Interview with Thomas Countryman, Chairman of The Arms Control Association; Trump Says Good Chance He Will Declare Emergency for A Wall; Trump Claims He's Not A Target of The Special Counsel Probe; Government Shutdown Did Not Impact Hiring or Wages; Assad Regime Found Liable for Marie Colvin's Death; U.S. Senator Cory Booker Announces Run For President; Detained Refugee Wins Australia's Top Literary Prize; Combating Human Trafficking During The Super Bowl; U.S. Football Fans Ready For Big Game; China's Lunar New Year Preparations Underway. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired February 1, 2019 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:00:00] HALA GORANI, CNN HOST: Hello, everyone. Happy Friday. Live from CNN London, I'm Hala Gorani. Tonight, a change of policy not seen
since the cold war. The United States says it's suspended a nuclear arms treaty with Russia. We'll explore what that means.
Also, tonight, a U.S. judge says the Assad government is responsible for the killing of journalist Marie Colvin. I spoke to journalist Paul Conroy
who was there when she died.
And the U.S. city of Atlanta is gearing up for one of the biggest sporting events of the world, the Super Bowl. We're live in the middle of all the
early excitement. It's been a center piece of European security ever since the cold war. Now the United States is beginning the process of abandoning
a landmark nuclear arms control deal with Russia. President Donald Trump says the reason is simple. Russia has long violated the terms of the inf
treaty. NATO issued a statement supporting the U.S. decision to suspend its own obligations, but make no mistake, many European countries are on
edge tonight. Some fearing this could lead to instability or even a new arms race that could threaten the continent. The American Secretary of
State Mike Pompeo says Russia has one last chance to get in compliance.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Russia has jeopardized the United States security interest and we can no longer be restricted by the treaty
while Russia shamelessly violates it. If Russia does not return to full and verifiable with the treaty, by destroying inf missiles and associated
equipment, the treaty will terminate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, I'm joined by CNN's Moscow bureau chief Nathan Hodge who is here with us this Friday evening. Will this lead to an arms race do you
NATHAN HODGE, CNN MOSCOW BUREAU CHIEF: It's hard to say. The treaty isn't exactly dead. It's just on life support. Basically, what's happening with
the notification happening today, it sets off a six-month ticking clock in order for the U.S. to finally and fully withdraw from this treaty. But it
certainly does set everyone on edge because as Russian President Vladimir Putin has said, the U.S. has had a habit of unilaterally walking away from
international agreements including arms control. So, there's been a lot of concern. A but was Russia violating the treat treaty? That's the U.S.
rationale for walking away. NATO supports the move.
Right. And there was a cruise missile that the U.S. has said Washington wizards o was one of the main reasons for the concern about Russia's
compliance of the agreement. Russia said the U.S. is in violation because of missile placement in Europe. There is a lot of back and forth of the
What is going on in the Kremlin now that the U.S. has confirmed it is planning on walking away?
HODGE: The Kremlin is always a difficult place to read, but it's pretty clear that they are going to use this to score as many points as they can,
again, to talk about American unilateralism. I remember asking Russian President Vladimir Putin in late 2016 about the future of nuclear weaponry
and why he thought the nuclear arsenal was important to restore. And he launched into a long speech about why he thought the Americans -- going
back to George W. Bush withdrawing from the ballistic missile defense treaty in 2002.
GORANI: This is what Donald Trump said he was asked by reporters today about this decision. This is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Especially when you have to add countries, it's old. But very importantly, one side has not been
adhering to it. We have, but one side hasn't. So, unless they're going to adhere, we shouldn't be the only one. I hope that we're able to get
everybody in a very big and beautiful room and do a new treaty that would be much better.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: A big and beautiful room to get a new treaty. Is that likely?
HODGE: So, what the Russians have all told us is clearly one of the concerns for the United States is China. China is not signatory to the
treaty but Chinese possesses missiles that could fall under this. Russia has said they would like to see a new treaty quite potentially that would
include other countries. It's up in the air. It's hard to say what will happen the next several months.
GORANI: Our Moscow bureau chief, Nathan Hodge, thank you for joining us on the program.
Let's talk more about the broader implications o thus us decision and how Europe's security might be affected. We're joined by Thomas Countryman,
Chairman of The Arms Control Association. He served as acting U.S. Under Secretary of State during the Obama administration. Thanks for being with
[14:05:00] THOMAS COUNTRYMAN, CHAIRMAN OF THE ARMS CONTROL ASSOCIATION: Thank you.
GORANI: How much does China play into the decision, do you think? We were discussing this with Nathan Hodge of our Moscow bureau. How much in your
opinion is China a factor?
COUNTRYMAN: I don't think it's a primary factor. I understand that the U.S. military is concerned about the hundreds, perhaps more than a thousand
intermediate range ballistic missiles that China possesses, and they would like to have a means to counter that, to equal it. But it is, I don't
think, the primary motivation for today's decision.
GORANI: So, what is the primary motivation?
COUNTRYMAN: I think there are several. First, in the Obama administration, we tried many times, first privately with the Russians, to
get them to address this violation that posed a new threat, not to the U.S. territory, but to European territory. And the Trump administration
continued for the last two years. So, I certainly understand the level of frustration that the Russians are continuing this violation. But what
concerns me more is that the U.S., after going the extra mile several times, is failing to go one more extra mile in pursuing a solution that
would preserve a treaty that has been so valuable for European security. And the hostility of the National Security Advisor, Mr. Bolton, towards
this treaty and towards other arms control treaties is well documented over the years.
GORANI: So, what do you think is the proper extra mile that this administration is not taking? Because you agree that Russia was in
violation of the inf treaty, NATO is supporting the U.S.'s decision to suspend its participation. What more can it do?
COUNTRYMAN: What has been proposed by a group of U.S., Russian and German officials, including myself, is that the two sides agree on a mutual
inspection that would allow each to verify, to look into the accusation that it has made against the other. So far, the United States has not been
willing to give any credence to the Russian counter accusation, which, in my view, is important, but less serious than the outright violation from
the Russian side. And the Russians have not yet offered the kind of inspection and verification that would allow U.S. concerns to be addressed.
This matters because it would reassure our allies not only that we are committed to an arms control regime that promotes European security, but
that we have made every extra effort to get there. And it would deny the Russians the public relations advantage that the Kremlin is enjoying today.
GORANI: And finally, should European countries -- I mean specifically countries I'm talking about Baltic countries, others, that feel threatened
by Russia, should they be increasingly concerned, do you believe?
COUNTRYMAN: Well, the one thing that the Russians don't talk about when they talk about unilateralism is their unilateral decision to create an
entirely new class of weapons systems that is pointed at European NATO territory. Not only the Baltics, but further beyond. So, yes, there
should be a genuine European concern. I wish the Europeans had pressed harder before today against this new Russian deployment, but that does not
mean that it would be an easy task to convince any of our allies in Europe to host a new deployment of nuclear missiles. They remember very well the
tit for tat escalation we lived through from 1979 to 1987.
GORANI: Thomas Countryman, thank you for joining us for this story. The border wall may be a big part of the State of the Union speech. There is a
good chance he'll declare a national emergency to get funding to build the wall. He says he will give a preview of potential wall action during
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[14:10:00] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, have you privately decided whether or not you will declare a national emergency --
TRUMP: Have I privately, what's in my mind?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's in your mind.
TRUMP: Certainly, thinking about it. I think there is a good chance that we'll have to do that, but we will, at the same time, be building --
regardless we are building wall, but I can do it a lot faster the other way.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you saying we should be prepared for to you announce at the State of the Union what you are going to --
TRUMP: I'm saying listen closely to the State of the Union. I think you'll find it very exciting.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: He made similar remarks during a wide-ranging interview with "The New York Times" on Thursday. He also touched on several other topics. The
Russia investigation, the indictment of his long-time associate roger stone, and he told the times that talks with congress to avoid another
government shutdown are a waste of time, quote-unquote. Jeremy Diamond is our White House reporter. He joins me live from Washington. So, a good
chance, he says, he'll declare an emergency. Will he actually pull the trigger, or is this an idle threat?
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, you heard the President say there listen closely to the State of the Union. It seems
that he is prepared to perhaps preview the possibility of declaring a national emergency or perhaps declare it altogether in his speech to
congress this coming Tuesday. What is clear, though, is that the President has been playing pretty coy with this. Both today and in that interview
with "The New York Times" yesterday. The President criticized these negotiations that are ongoing between both chambers of Congress with
members of both parties sitting at the table, calling it a waste of time. And at the same time hinting that he is indeed moving closer towards this
notion of taking executive action to build the wall. Perhaps with this declaration of a national emergency. The President also conceding today
that that declaration is likely to face legal challenge, immediate legal challenge from Democrats. And he did point out the fact that if it does go
through the 9th circuit court which has frequently ruled against several of the President's executive actions, that it's likely that it could be
blocked by that court and an ensuing legal battle would then follow. But it is notable to hear the President here, after this 35-day government
shutdown, now that the wheels of government are working again and both parties are at the tables, President criticizing those negotiations.
Instead indicating that he's going to move forward on his own.
GORANI: Interesting. In terms of polling, when the government shutdown was ongoing, he was being blamed. Congressional Republicans were being
blamed. Much more so than Democrats for the shutdown. Interesting he's still going down that road. In "The New York Times" interview, Donald
Trump was asked about the Mueller investigation, of course. This is what he said about whether he thinks he's a target of that probe. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Well, he told -- he told the attorneys that I'm not a subject -- I'm not a target of -- Yes, oh, Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did he say anything about the SDNY investigation?
TRUMP: About which?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The SDNY investigation. There's Mueller and there's Cohen.
TRUMP: I don't know about that. That I don't know about.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: So, he sounded quite confident that he is not the target of this - - of all of this.
TRUMP: That's right. He indicated that the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein -- remember, he previously oversaw the Mueller investigation
until Matt Whitaker was appointed as acting Attorney General. He's indicating that Rod Rosenstein told his attorneys, the President's
attorneys that he was not a target of the Mueller investigation. Of course, that would probably go back several months. So, the question --
but again, the President expressing some uncertainty about whether he could be a target of the investigation by the prosecutors in New York. And
again, we do know, though, that the Mueller investigation appears to be winding down. That is what the acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker said
just last week. And so, it does -- it is clear, though, that the President and most folks in Washington are eager for that investigation to conclude
so we can at least have a better sense of what Mueller has actually been up to and what his conclusions are in this investigation.
GORANI: Remind us what happens when this investigation wraps up. What happens to the report? It's not like it's publicly issued and we all get
to pour over it, right? It's going to be the decision of the Justice Department whether or not to hand it over or to make it public or to hand
it over to Congress, right?
DIAMOND: That's right. And that has come to light, especially during these hearings that we've had for the Attorney General nominee Bill Barr,
who has been asked whether he would allow the Mueller report to come out in full. And while he has pledged a certain degree of transparency with this,
he has made clear he would do it in accordance with the regulations of the Justice Department and also indicated it would clearly go through him first
if he is, indeed, in place as the Attorney General once this report comes out, before it goes to Congress. And so, it's not going to be Mueller's
report directly transmitted to Congress most likely. It will be the report of the report submitted by the Attorney General.
[14:15:00] GORANI: All right. So -- yes, I guess we'll all have to wait, even if we learn it's over. It's not like the next hour we'll all be
printing it off at work.
DIAMOND: That's right.
GORANI: Thanks very much. Jeremy Diamond.
Meanwhile, Trump's confidant Roger Stone is in court as we speak. He has a status hearing in Washington. Earlier this week, the self-described dirty
trickster pleaded not guilty to charges brought by Robert Mueller for meddling in the 2016 election. Stone is accused of coordinating with the
Trump campaign to steal Democratic e-mails from WikiLeaks.
The U.S. economy hits a milestone. January was the 100th straight month of job gains. U.S. employers continue to bring in new workers, and the
numbers are encouraging. 304,000 new jobs were added in January. The 35- day shutdown did not impact hiring, but it did impact unemployment. That rate ticked up slightly to 4 percent. Let's go to
Christina Alesci, our business correspondent in New York. So, how did investors react to these figures? And were they better or worse than
CHRISTINA ALESCI, CNN MONEY CORRESPONDENT: They were much better than expected. That is a political win for Donald Trump, who tweeted about the
report and, you know, jobs, jobs, jobs. Of course, that is politically very important to him. He sees this as a big bright spot against many
setbacks. Let's look at many specific numbers. You mentioned 304,000 jobs. That is just a huge January. Now, keep in mind that January's job
numbers tend to be what economists call a little noisy, so it could see that number revised down. But look at the last three months. That's
really important because if you average the last three months, we are still generating over 200,000 jobs. That average is very positive. And as you
mentioned, when we flip over to the next chart and look at unemployment rate, the unemployment rate did tick up just a bit, and that is because
some federal workers reported being unemployed as a result of the government shutdown. Most of the economists I spoke to today believe that
it will resume the trend downward, that unemployment will resume a trend downward once things normalize in February. So not many people are
concerned about that. To your point about 100-month straight jobs growth, if you look at the yearly gains, you'll see over 2 million already this
year generated, but we've generated that many -- more than that many since 2011. So, we've had this very strong economy. Most economists are now
asking when does it end? When do we get a slowdown in hiring? And they've been asking that awhile and it keeps going up.
GORANI: Is there any kind of risk in terms of overheating of the economy? At some point, right -- there is the debt load is also going up and up and
up in the U.S. what are the risks here?
ALESCI: Yes, I think that's a great question. One of the things that economists and the federal reserve, frankly, look at is wage growth. And
we're not seeing a sharp uptick in wage growth that would indicate inflation. That is a reason that the federal reserve might want to hold
steady on raising interest rates. But at the same time, so to your question about overheating, it doesn't look like we're in that kind of
ALESCI: But at the same time, there is a concern about borrowing and this is something that I'm consistently hearing from 2020 contenders on the
Democrat side, believe it or not, because Republicans have been the party of fiscal responsibility and they keep, you know, adding to the debt rather
than reducing it. So, I do think that's a head wind for the U.S. economy. It's just not something people are paying attention to today.
GORANI: Christina Alesci in New York.
She died telling stories of horrific wars. The U.S. says her death was murder and the Assad government is to blame. We speak to photographer Paul
Conroy who was with Marie Colvin when she died. We'll be right back.
[14:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
GORANI: She died in a rocket attack in Homs, Syria. The death of journalist Marie Colvin was found to be a targeted murder and the regime of
Bashar Al-Assad is being held responsible. The civil lawsuit is filed by Colvin's sister in Washington. The judge also ordered the Syrian
government to pay more than $300 million in damages to her family. The Assad regime never formally responded to the lawsuit and the President has
previously denied being involved in Marie Colvin's death. She was killed that day alongside French photographer, Remi Ochlik.
Joining me is Paul Conroy in the attack that killed Marie Colvin. He joins me in the studio. Thanks so much for joining us.
PAUL CONROY, FREELANCE PHOTOGRAPHER: Thanks so much.
GORANI: When you heard the ruling from that judge in America, what did you think?
CONROY: I am relieved, vindication. It's been seven years almost to the day since Marie Colvin was killed. We've pushed, you know, ever since I
sat down when I got back and said that the attack was, you know, clearly targeted -- I was in the artillery for six years.
GORANI: You were in the military service, Yes.
CONROY: When I had the fire packet in London, there was a 30-second pause and another two rockets, I almost counted the seconds down till the
building was hit.
GORANI: Almost like you were expecting it?
CONROY: I was completely expecting it. At that point, a lot of people were saying get out of the building, get out. I was like, no -- I was
screaming because it was a hell of a racket going on. I was screaming stay in, stay in. Marie Colvin and Remi got to the doorway. Rockets came
almost to the second.
GORANI: Does it feel like it's been seven years?
CONROY: Sometimes it does, sometimes it seems like yesterday, you know, when I think about what happened. I miss Marie Colvin so much. And with
these films, old films coming out at the moment, it's a reminder, you know, constantly, you know.
GORANI: Do you think -- I mean, you don't expect a check in the mail or anything. I'm sure Marie Colvin's family is not expecting a check in the
mail from the Assad regime.
CONROY: The money aside, I think that it's the judge has weighed this open. Good on for that. The main thing is the verdict, the fact that
these people are now, you know, it's not suspected any more. These people -- the people named in the indictment of the regime are guilty of murder.
GORANI: Yes. So, there is accountability in some sense in your opinion?
CONROY: And also, you know, one of the main reasons this case is being brought is not just -- you know, Marie Colvin -- we were there reporting on
the plight of civilians being slaughtered by this regime. So, it gives us the opportunity now -- this creeping rehabilitation of this regime back
into the diplomatic life and almost the opinion of oh, better them than anyone.
GORANI: Better than the Islamists, better than the extremists.
CONROY: That shouldn't be the option. These people suffered for seven years.
[14:25:00] GORANI: Marie Colvin's life is, of course, the subject of a book and a film, "A Private War." you were a big help to the producers of
the film. Jamie Dornan plays you. Here's a clip of the trailer here, then we can continue our conversation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ACTOR PLAYING MARIE COLVIN: I need a photographer. Any good?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The best.
ACTOR PLAYING PAUL CONROY: I'm still thinking about it.
ACTOR PLAYING MARIE COLVIN: It's crazy, not something you get used to.
Wars are not terrible for governments. Not wounded or killed like ordinary people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Why did Marie Colvin -- you, I mean -- my colleagues here at CNN who keep going back over and over again to these very dangerous places, why
do you keep going?
CONROY: You know, I think the one thing in common with all of us, as you know, we're story tellers. The people when we go into these places, we're
going to the people -- certainly Marie Colvin's case in mind, the least voice, the women, the children are always in some awful basement, huddling
from death falling from the sky. To get to those places takes quite a bit of doing. You know, some people do geo politics. Some people do military,
really good journalists. Our path is to get to them people who don't have a voice.
GORANI: I guess in journalism, for people who don't do this job, are you an adrenaline junky, do you want to change the world? Do you want to tell
stories because these people are voiceless? What's the motivating factor?
CONROY: I don't like the adrenaline junky one. There are better ways to get adrenaline. Jump off a bridge with an elastic band. Most people I
know who do this job do it because they passionately believe there is a story to be told and, you know, if people didn't do it, the world would be
quite a dark place for a lot of people.
GORANI: But we're kind of living in an era now where journalists are easily -- we saw it with Marie Colvin. Even in recent years.
CONROY: We have investigative journalists being blown up in Malta, the Saudi killing of Khashoggi. It's a profession under fire. I think a film
like this and a ruling like this, you know, it's much needed.
GORANI: Are you still working as a photographer in conflict zones?
CONROY: Not really. I was the photographer on the film which was great. You get the same shots, except you go on in a car and don't get shot at.
It's quite nice.
GORANI: Paul Conroy, it's called a private war. There is a special screening on Monday. With a special q & a with you and some of the actors.
That will be broadcast live into cinemas. The wider release for "A Private War" is February 15th.
CONROY: Yes. And the documentary actually goes out on the 11th so --
GORANI: The theatrical release?
CONROY: No, the story, it's finally going out. So, we get the verdict, both films in the space of a week.
GORANI: Look forward to seeing both of them. Thanks very much. Paul Conroy, appreciate t.
CONROY: Thank you.
GORANI: Still to come tonight, the field of Democrats hoping to challenge Trump in 2020 is already getting crowded. Now you can add another name to
the list. I'll have more on Senator Cory Booker after this.
[14:30:00] Also, ahead, a refugee held in an Australian detention camp has won a top literary prize. We'll bring you that as well.
[14:30:13] HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Another Democrat has thrown his hat into the ring, hoping to be the one to challenge Donald
Trump in 2020. Cory Booker, Democratic senator from New Jersey, is the eight Democrat to officially jump into the race.
His first campaign ad focused on themes of unity, while drawing a contrast to Donald Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CORY BOOKER (D), NEW JERSEY: I believe that we can build a country where no one is forgotten, no one is left behind. Where parents can put
food on the table. Where there are good paying jobs with good benefits in every neighborhood. Where our criminal justice system keeps us safe
instead of shuffling more children into cages and coffins. Where we see the faces of our leaders on television and feel pride, not shame.
I'm Cory Booker and I'm running for president of the United States of America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Larry Sabato joins me now. He's the director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. So, what's the -- I mean, lots of
Democrats already announcing that they're running for the presidency.
LARRY SABATO, DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR POLITICS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: It is. Lots of Democrats think, maybe incorrectly, that 2020 is theirs,
that Trump will not get a second term. That may be confident. Some might define it as overconfidence.
Eight are in. You can look at the field of prospective candidates and easily see another eight, maybe more than the total of 16. So I think this
field is going to be about the size of the Republican field in 2016. They had 17 candidates.
GORANI: Right. So, how is that going to change the race? The fact that it's so crowded already?
SABATO: Well, it makes it very unpredictable, so it doesn't help the pundits, Hala, and that's very important. I'm kidding, of course. But
beyond that, I think it increases the chances that Democrats will not be able to unite fully. And it's going to be very, very important for them to
The continuing feud, though it was burning quietly during the fall of 2016 between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, didn't help Clinton. And the
same thing could happen times 10 if you've got 16 or 20 candidates.
GORANI: But what I found interesting is that among Democrats, they're not shying away from some of these themes that wouldn't have played well with
centrists just a couple of years ago, like Medicare for All, that kind of thing. And Kamala Harris, we heard from Kamala Harris.
So it seems as though some of the ideas of the Bernie campaign from two and a half, three years ago, have made it into at least a wing of the
Democratic Party that feels like they need to play on that to get ahead as oppose to play it safely in the center.
SABATO: That is correct. And it's the major change in the Democratic Party that we've seen, partly as a response to Trump. The Republican Party
has moved well to the right over the last four years, and so Democrats have moved to the left.
And I would predict flatly to you, Hala, whoever gets the nominee -- a nomination, you're going to see that nominee reflect the new progressive
tone in these candidacies. Medicaid for All on the -- on the health care side, but also some other issues that are coming into play. I think are
going to be very, very important for the Democrats. And it activates their base just like Trump activates his base.
GORANI: So what happens to the center?
SABATO: Well, the center doesn't hold any more. We used to say the center holds and that defines American politics. It isn't true anymore. The
reason it isn't true is because Democrats and Republicans, the activists and broad-based voters have polarized and Republicans as a group really are
further to the right and Democrats as a group really are further to the left. This is where America has gone, and the politicians follow.
GORANI: All right, Larry Sabato, thanks so much for joining us on this Friday. Have a great weekend.
And don't forget, you can get the latest news and interviews -- here's Larry again. Hi, Larry. OK. Bye. On facebook.com/halagoranicnn. And
check me out on Twitter, why don't you? @HalaGorani.
The Kurdish-Iranian journalist has won Australia's richest literary prize worth almost $90,000. But instead of celebrating, Behrouz Boochani
received the news in a refugee detention camp where he's been since 2013. Kristie Lou Stout has that story.
[14:35:01] BEHROUZ BOOCHANI, DETAINED KURDISH-IRANIAN JOURNALIST: This was from a person who has been held captive on this island for almost six
KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Words painstakingly typed out from a smuggled cell phone in the Manus Island Detention Center.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do we want?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do we want?
STOUT: Words that formed a book, a literary portrayal of life locked up in Australia's offshore refugee processing system. Behrouz Boochani, Kurdish
refugee, asylum seeker, detainee and now prize-winning author.
BOOCHANI: This proves that words still have the power to challenge inhumane systems and structures.
STOUT: Boochani's book, "No Friend But the Mountains," claimed Australia's richest literary prize. The Victorian Premier's Literary Award as well as
a separate prize for nonfiction.
BOOCHANI: So, I am living with hundreds of people who are suffering and we are in limbo.
STOUT: Boochani was not in Melbourne to collect his prize, a check for over $90,000 U.S. His effort to reach Australia by boat without a valid
visa means he is banned from the country forever.
Instead, he must remain on the Papua New Guinea Island of Manus until Australia decides what to do with him.
But his plea for freedom has reached Australian readers, translated for them from Boochani Farsi by the man who received the string of encrypted
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For me, it's probably the most important thing that I'll ever do in my life.
STOUT: The government in camp maintains that keeping roughly 600 asylum seekers detained on Manus Island is a deterrent to people smugglers and a
prevention of deaths at sea. Boochani and the hundreds of others held indefinitely say their humanity has been traded away by politicians.
Kristie Lu Stout, CNN.
GORANI: A lot more to come this evening. Two days to go until one of the biggest sporting events of the year. We go live to Atlanta, Georgia, next
for all the action around the Super Bowl.
GORANI: The American south is known for its special kind of hospitality, and this weekend Atlanta, Georgia, will welcome football fans from opposite
corners of the country.
But there is, like in any big city, a seedier side to Atlanta. Home of the world's busiest airport. In fact, Atlanta is in a constant battle against
human trafficking. Law enforcement and activists are using this weekend's big Super Bowl event to send a message and to try to save some lives in the
process. Here's Robyn Curnow.
ROBYN CURNOW, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Super Bowl is surround with hype, large crowds and big dollars. But some
local officials are concerned those dollars could be spent in a more sinister way.
Atlanta's mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms, is all too aware this city is already a U.S. hub for sex trafficking.
[14:40:02] KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS (D), MAYOR OF ATLANTA: We are concerned 12 months out of the year. We know that there's more attention faced on human
trafficking during the Super Bowl. But what we know is that this is a growing problem and it's not someone else's problem. It literally is
happening in our backyard.
So, again, it's about informing our hotel workers, even putting literature in some of our strip clubs throughout the city.
CURNOW: So with all this awareness, particularly in the lead up to, say, the Super Bowl, is this, sort of, a disconnect, perhaps, that by increasing
awareness, it looks like there's a problem?
BOTTOMS: No, it's not a concern. I think that you have to look for opportunities to educate the public. And what we know is that when people
are talking about the Super Bowl, there's an opportunity for us to increase awareness.
CURNOW (on-camera): And it's not just about the lead-up to game day. The awareness campaign stretches from the airport to the taxicabs, to hotel
rooms, and beyond.
CURNOW (voice-over): In this convenience store just miles from the stadium, an opportunity to spread the word, or even spot a victim. I met
Nita Belles, executive director of the nonprofit organization called In Our Backyard.
NITA BELLES, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, IN OUR BACKYARD: Yes. And this story has done an excellent job. They've got the freedom sticker and the information
about human trafficking right here on the front door.
CURNOW: She has traveled to 10 Super Bowls with her organization.
BELLES: The Super Bowl does not increase trafficking, sex buyers increase trafficking.
CURNOW: She fights human trafficking by partnering with stores like this one.
BELLES: Traffickers bring their victims to convenience stores every day.
CURNOW: The volunteers know that, so they put the human trafficking hotline number inside bathroom stalls for those rare moments when a
trafficking victim is alone.
BELLES: We have documented cases of people that have actually found freedom as a result of the freedom stickers.
CURNOW: Haley Bower represents this chain of Petrol stations and convenience stores, where they train employees how to spot potential
victims and traffickers.
HALEY BOWER, CLIPPER PETROLEUM: They're probably coming in to buy drinks, snacks, anything that they need for their hotels. So, yes, we think they
will be coming in and hopefully we can put a stop to it.
CURNOW (on-camera): You've got your eyes open?
BOWER: Our eyes open, our ears open, we're ready.
CURNOW (voice-over): They are the eyes and ears that you will never see out in the open. Nita led us to the secret location in Downtown Atlanta
where volunteers are scouring the dark web looking for new leads to feed to law enforcement with the goal in mind of finding missing youth who are at
risk of being trafficked.
BELLES: These are some of the children in our missing children's book. And some of them, as you can see, have been recovered.
CURNOW: Here, we met Cheryl Csiky, a volunteer with a personal connection to trafficking.
CHERYL CSIKY, VOLUNTEER, IN OUR BACKYARD: I was exploited as a youth around the age of 10. I was pretty much pinned in the midst of a
neighborhood, young child trafficking abuse ring.
CURNOW: Overcome with emotion, she revealed it took her years before she realized what was happening, but hopes her work can prevent others from the
CSIKY: I think the most rewarding experience -- I've been around four years now, is actually this Super Bowl, meeting up with convenience store
workers and hearing them say they've seen some of these kids in the booklets.
CURNOW: A glimmer of hope in the fight to save lives. As officials and activists use events like the Super Bowl to highlight a year round problem.
GORANI: And that was Robyn Curnow reporting.
By the way, I was in Las Vegas a few months ago and I remember noticing those stickers in the bathroom stall in the airport. And I thought to
myself, you know, if you can just kind of memorize that phone number, if you're a trafficking victim and have access to a phone, that would save
lives. So it's really, really great to hear that those who are fighting against human trafficking are finding that those types of messages are
helping some people. Even if it's just a few.
And there's another anti-trafficking initiative. My Freedom Day, CNN is partnering with young people around the world for a student-led day of
action on March 14th.
This year, there's a simple question driving it all. What makes you feel free? Here's some of the answers we have received at CNN.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JACINDA ARDERN, PREIME MINISTER OF NEW ZEALAND: What makes me feel free? The ability to speak my mind, say exactly what I think, that freedom of
expression is incredibly important and something that I will always defend.
ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC, FORWARD, LOS ANGELES GALAXY: When I have nobody controlling me, I do whatever I want. I feel alive. I feel healthy. I
feel I have opportunity to do whatever I want.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: All right. Some of the more higher profile guests we've had answer that question. We want to hear from you. Tell us what makes you
feel free. Post a photo or video using the #MyFreedomDay.
The big game is taking place just steps away from CNN's world headquarters. Eager fans are gathering for what's arguably the most popular U.S. sports
event of the year. The New England patriots will take on the Los Angeles Rams for Super Bowl LIII on Sunday.
[14:45:11] Our Coy Wire has got us covered when it comes to American football. The NFL veteran joins me now from Atlanta. Talk to me about the
excitement, first of all, and your prediction. Who do you think will come out on top?
COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: You're going to put me on the spot, Hala. I like it.
GORANI: Right out of the gate.
WIRE: I will oblige, I'll play, but we're going to save it until the end.
Let's talk about the excitement. Yes, this is the marquee sporting event in the United States, a projected one million people coming here to the
city of Atlanta to experience the week-long festivities and there aren't a million seats in that stadium so a lot of these people are coming just for
the fun, the family events, a chance to get to see a living legend who may be walking the street.
The parties, talking about the parties. Shaquille O'Neal, the NBA legend, he has a huge party tonight called Shaq's Fun House. There will be Cirque
du Soleil circus members. There's going to be fire, there's going to be dee jays.
And he did tell us plenty of drinks as well. It's just one of the facets of Super Bowl week. It's a celebration. It's the last game of the season.
And this game features two teams. It's an intriguing dichotomy. You have the institution, the New England Patriots led by their head coach Bill
Belichick who's 66 years old. He's is a living legend. He has been coaching in the NFL for the entirety of Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean
McVay's life, plus a decade. Think about that.
And you see Tom Brady there on the right of your screen. He's a living legend as well. We are witnessing history in the making every time he
steps onto the field. He's going for a 6th Super Bowl ring. He already has five of them taking up his entire hand. His opponent Jared Goff is
just 25 years old to Tom's 41. And he's looking to play in his only third ever playoff game. He's never been to this big of a stage. So it's going
to be interesting to see how this all plays out.
It will be an extremely close game, but I will give my prediction. As long as Tom Brady is still the quarterback of the Patriots, as long as he's
still married to supermodel Gisele, and it seems like every time he smiles the heavens open up and good things happen, you cannot bet against Tom
Brady and the Patriots. They are favored by about two points last time I checked in this game. It should be good for the hundred million plus who
are likely to watch on the television.
GORANI: Yes. I think a lot of people would be energized if they were married to Gisele as well.
But what's his secret? Because I'm not going to like. I'm not a --I'm not a football fan. I mean, I can watch a game. But I'm fascinated by Tom
Brady because of his age and because of the fact that in his 40s, he's still playing at that level. In a really rough game, where people usually
don't last that long. So what's -- how did he outlast so many others, do you think?
WIRE: Well, it's a great question. And I played nine years in the NFL, and I have a titanium plate and four screws in my neck to this day. I'm a
To show for it, it is a violent game. But at 41, Hala, some of the things that I found fascinating studying Tom Brady, and again, I played against
him twice a year every year for six years. So I've seen him quite often. The way he approaches every moment of every single day, down to his diet,
the guy eats -- he doesn't eat strawberries because they have too many carbohydrates.
He's so disciplined. He does eat ice cream, but it's avocado ice cream. He's so disciplined, so dedicated to his craft. He often knows his
opponent better than they know himself. I think that's a huge part of it, just not wasting any moments that he's been given on this earth. He's
maximizing every single one and it is absolutely showing on the field.
GORANI: Yes, absolutely. That sounds like discipline. Maybe not the most exciting diet, but certainly very disciplined. But also, I've seen -- I'm
sure you've been to London and seen and have also reported on the NFL trying to expand because so many of our viewers -- my husband included, by
the way -- are excited for the Super Bowl.
My husband is German and has never lived in the U.S. So this sport and this event transcends America. And I wonder, I mean, this is the new
frontier for the NFL, isn't it? Because worldwide, it's still soccer, as you call it, football as we call it. But this is the new frontier for
WIRE: There's no doubt about it, Hala. They started playing games internationally with just one a year, right? And what you'll hear NFL
executives, when they have conversations, they'll talk about globalization of the game. They want to expand. They're talking about maybe having a
franchise in London at some point. There will not be games just three games in Europe this year, but there will also be one in Mexico for the
WIRE: It's certainly growing and they also like bringing players from around the world to start to join the league. And they don't want it just
to be an America's sport on the field either. They love the diversity.
GORANI: Yes. Because it's also -- I mean, it's a business, you know? It's a way to get more eyeballs, more revenue, and all of that. I
personally am waiting for the halftime show. It will be late for us, but I'll stay up.
[14:50:09] WIRE: It's one of my favorite parts as well and the American -- the national anthem as well. Let's get together. Your husband and I can
talk football. You and I can try avocado ice cream. Sound good?
GORANI: Let's do it, Coy. Thanks so much. Coy Wire, enjoy your weekend.
In China, hundreds of millions of people are preparing to go home for the Lunar New Year, and it's, of course, involves a lot of preparation and a
lot of travel.
Michael Holmes has the story.
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's just days from the start of the Lunar New Year, and the mad rush is well
underway in China. Nearly 3 billion trips are expected across the country in the world's largest annual human migration.
Hundreds of millions of people are trying to get home to celebrate the New Year's Spring Festival.
21-year-old intern, Xiang Rumai (ph) is one of them. She's making a nearly 17-hour long journey to the Northeast by train.
XIANG RUMAI (through translator): I have experienced how hard life outside was and I miss home. Home is where the warmth is.
HOLMES: More than 400 million trips will be by rail and China says it is prepared to handle the onslaught. The country already has the world's
longest rail network and 10 new railways were added at the end of 2018.
New technology also helping to make the long journey more convenient for travelers. There's the new automatic ticketing machines at some stations.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We used to wait in line to buy student ticket at the manual ticketing office, but now, I only need to do
some simple operations on the automatic ticketing machine to buy the ticket.
HOLMES: Seventy three million trips will be made by air. Regardless of the mode of transportation, a multitude of festivities await travelers in
villages and towns across China.
This is Yuxian (ph) City in Shanxi Province, where decorative lights blanket the city.
Elsewhere, winter lanterns light up parks and streets, traditional dances entertain audiences and the site attraction in some areas, a trip to the
zoo. The zoo even got into the festive mood with decorations as it showed off two panda cubs to the public. Some visitors, brought gifts, fried
food, hoping for good luck in return during the year of the pig.
Michael Holmes, CNN.
GORANI: More to come, including its known as the rock and an E.U. statement on Gibraltar has sparked fresh controversy over the British
GORANI: Some potential good news for U.K. citizens. After Brexit, the European Union plans to allow visa-free travel if they are on a short trip.
It would apply to British citizens for a period of 90 days traveling to any of the 26 countries within the Schengen area, but this is only of the same
deal is offered to E.U. citizens in the U.K. The European Council announced it's working on that in a statement.
Within that proposal, there was a line that has angered British authorities. The document described Gibraltar as a colony of the British
crown. The rock is a sore point between the U.K. and Spanish governments with Madrid saying the territory should be returned to Spain.
Now, more on that rare and exclusive interview that we first brought you yesterday. Our Bianca Nobilo was able to speak to the U.K. speaker of the
House John Bercow. You'll know him best as the man who shouts loud in the House of Commons while trying to referee the debates of lawmakers.
[14:55:13] Well, he took our camera on a behind the scenes tour of parliament. The debates of lawmakers. He took our camera on a behind the
scenes tour of parliament.
JOHN BERCOW, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS OF THE UNITED KINGDOM: This is what we call the corner room here in the Speaker's House. I would tend
to welcome distinguished visitors here. So, for example, it might be a visiting ambassador or a visiting speaker, a visiting president.
So, I was told that I should have a portrait. It was the norm. So I thought what I'd really like is an action portrait, a portrait that shows
me at work in the chair.
Now, I'm either just stipulating in the direction of a particular member or underlining a point that I'm making.
The prime minister's order, if it's a genuine point of order.
And there is also a convention, Bianca, that the speaker has a Coat of Arms. My Coat of Arms is depicted there. The blue and the red reflect
really two things. They reflect the two sides of the House of Commons.
The ayes to the right, 317. The noes to the left, 301.
There was also another unstated point about me choosing to deploy the blue and the red, and that is that in my own family, my own marriage, we come
from different traditions. I am by background a conservative, though I don't have that party allegiance now. My wife is a very strong and
vociferous Labour Party supporter.
The ladder is intended to represent the prospects, the chance of social mobility. These, I gather, are known by the heraldry expert's roundels,
but mine was intending them to be tennis balls. I'm party about tennis. When I'm not in the chair doing my duty, I'm very likely either trying to
play tennis or watching it.
GORANI: All right. And there you have it, John Bercow. Order.
Finally tonight some new images from one of the most remote places on earth has scientists alarmed about climate change and also rising sea levels.
This is a glacier in West Antarctica. The water you see is a massive hole, two-thirds the size of the island of Manhattan. There's evidence that
nearly 14 billion tons of ice have melted, which is obviously a problem. For rising sea levels.
I'm Hala Gorani. If it's your weekend, have a great one. And do stay with CNN. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next.