Return to Transcripts main page


Political Chaos in Virginia; Acting U.S. Attorney General Questioned by House Democrats; Feds Investigating Bezos' Claim against "National Enquirer"; Venezuela Crisis; Trump Announces Site of Next Kim Jong-un Meeting; U.S. Border Deal Has Less Than Trump Wants; Mosque Attacker Gets Life, No Parole; Fire Destroys Youth Training Center in Brazil, Kills 10; Finding Purpose after Surviving Human Trafficking; CNN Special Traces Facebook's Complicated History. Aired 5-6a ET

Aired February 9, 2019 - 05:00   ET




NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Calls for resignation and impeachment. Virginia's lieutenant governor faces another allegation of sexual abuse, adding to the state's growing political crisis.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos sues the "National Enquirer" for blackmail and flags links between the tabloid's publisher, President Trump and the Saudi kingdom, we'll explore that.

Also this hour the CNN Freedom Project. We take a look at a fashion- forward approach to helping victims of human trafficking.

Welcome to our viewers here in the United States and around the world. I'm Natalie Allen and this is CNN NEWSROOM.


ALLEN: Our top story, the government of the state of Virginia is spiraling into chaos. Three top officials are mired in scandal and the Democratic Party wants action to stop the train wreck.

The most serious allegations are against this man, lieutenant governor Justin Fairfax. Two women now accuse him of sexual assault. He denies any wrongdoing.

Meantime, governor Ralph Northam, on the right there, vows to keep his job after racist pictures of him showed up in a 1984 yearbook.

And attorney general Mark Herring admits to wearing blackface in 1980 and is also fighting for his political life.

CNN's Ryan Nobles is in Richmond, Virginia, with a closer look at the second woman accusing Justin Fairfax of rape.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It seems in many ways the situation in Richmond, Virginia, is getting more complicated by the day. Already the governor and the attorney general under a cloud of scandal because of accusations of racist photos and appearing in blackface in the past.

Now the lieutenant governor who was already under fire from a sexual assault allegation is now facing accusations from a second accuser. That woman, Meredith Watson, says that Justin Fairfax raped her when they were both college students at Duke University back in 2000.

Watson even goes on to say that she believes that Fairfax targeted her because she was a previous rape victim. Watson's attorney supplying the media with emails that they say show that Watson has told people for many years about Fairfax raping her when they were in college.

in fact, one of those emails came as Fairfax was beginning his political career. A group of Duke alumni asked for donations from fellow alumni.

Watson responded to that email chain by saying, quote, "Justin raped me in college. And I don't want to hear anything about him. Please, please, please remove me from any future emails about him, please. Thank you."

Now Fairfax is vehemently denying this claim by Watson. He says that this is absolutely not true. And he also says that he plans not to resign.

Even though Fairfax says he doesn't want to resign, the calls for him to do so are coming from all corners of Virginia's government. A number of the state's congressional delegations saying it's time for him to go. The former governor, Terry McAuliffe, also saying he should go.

And to take it a step further, a Democratic delegate from Arlington, Virginia, Patrick Culp, says that he will file articles of impeachment against the lieutenant governor on Monday if he does not resign beforehand.

Of course, all of this comes as the state is still reeling from the controversies involving the governor, who, in his medical school yearbook, there was a racist photo that appeared under his name, and the attorney general who admitted that he appeared in blackface while in college as well.

The only update on those two stories is that the governor doesn't appear to be going anywhere. He told members of his cabinet in a meeting on Friday that he plans to serve out the balance of his term -- Ryan Nobles, CNN, Richmond, Virginia.


ALLEN: As Ryan just mentioned, calls for Justin Fairfax's resignation are pouring in from around the country. Virginia's house and Senate issued a joint statement, asking him to step down. It says this, "Due to the serious nature of these allegations, we believe lieutenant governor Fairfax can no longer fulfill his duties to the commonwealth.

"He needs to address this as a private citizen. The time has come for him to step down."

And the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus writes this, "In light of the most recent sexual assault allegations against lieutenant governor Justin Fairfax, the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus believes it is best for lieutenant governor Fairfax to step down from his position."

And take a look at this list of some of the many U.S. senators who have called on Fairfax to resign. All of them here are running either for president or exploring a run.


ALLEN: We now turn to Capitol Hill and heated exchanges on Friday between the Trump administration's acting attorney general and House Democrats.

During his testimony before the Judiciary Committee, Matt Whitaker said he has not interfered with the Russia probe. But Democrats say Whitaker failed to answer key questions about his oversight of the investigation. For more, here's Jessica Schneider in Washington.


JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This hearing highlighted the partisan divisions on Capitol Hill. Republicans calling it unwarranted while Democrats dug in.

Now after hours and hours of questioning, the committee chair, Jerrold Nadler, says he is still not satisfied and even not sure he believes all of Whitaker's testimony after several back and forth testy exchanges.

SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Acting attorney general Matt Whitaker making his first appearance before the House Judiciary Committee --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This hearing is pointless.

REP. DOUG COLLINS (R), RANKING MEMBER, JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: If this is the way we are going to go, then we'll have plenty of stunts. We're going to have plenty of theatrics. Bring your popcorn. I'm thinking about maybe we just set up a popcorn machine in the back because that's what this has become.

SCHNEIDER (voice-over): -- and igniting a political firestorm.

REP. JERROLD NADLER (D), NEW YORK: It's our understanding that at least one briefing occurred in December, before your decision not to recuse yourself on December 19, on Christmas Day. Is that correct?

MATTHEW WHITAKER, ACTING U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: What's the basis for that question, sir? NADLER: Yes or no.

WHITAKER: Mr. Chairman, I -- again, what is the basis for your question? You're saying that it is your understanding.


NADLER: I mean, I'm asking the questions. I only have five minutes. So please answer yes or no.

WHITAKER: No, Mr. Chairman, I'm going to -- you are asking me a question. It is your understanding. Can you tell me where you get the basis...


NADLER: No, I'm not going to tell you that. I don't have time to get into that.

SCHNEIDER: Whitaker at one point trying to cut the chairman off.

WHITAKER: I see that your five minutes is up. And so...


WHITAKER: I'm -- we -- we -- we -- I am -- I'm here voluntarily.

I -- we have agreed to five-minute rounds. And...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think that's a fine place to end the five-minute rule.

NADLER: The committee will end -- will come to a -- and I will point out that we didn't enforce the five-minute rule on Attorney -- acting Attorney General Whitaker.

SCHNEIDER: Whitaker denied any conversations with the president or other White House officials about the special counsel's investigation, which Whitaker oversees, either before or after he took over the top spot at DOJ.

WHITAKER: At no time has the White House asked, nor have I provided any promises or commitments concerning the special counsel's investigation or any other investigation.

I'm sorry.

NADLER: It's a yes-or-no question. Have you communicated anything you learned in that briefing about the investigation to President Trump, yes or no?

WHITAKER: Mr. Chairman, as I said earlier today in my opening remarks, I do not intend today to talk about my private conversations with the president of the United States. But to answer your question, I have not talked to the president of the United States about the special counsel's investigation.

SCHNEIDER: Whitaker has come under fire for denouncing the Mueller investigation as a commentator before he joined the Justice Department, which Republicans quickly pointed out was not the reason for the hearing.

REP. DEBBIE LESKO (R), ARIZONA: It's nothing but character assassination, harassment of our witness.

SCHNEIDER: Whitaker, who said he has been fully briefed on the Mueller investigation, declined to specifically condemn the label witch-hunt used by the president to describe the Russia probe.

WHITAKER: I have not interfered with the special counsel's investigation.

REP. STEVE COHEN (D), TENNESSEE: Are you overseeing a witch-hunt? You would stop a witch-hunt, wouldn't you?

WHITAKER: Congressman, it would be inappropriate for me to talk about an ongoing investigation.

SCHNEIDER: And Whitaker giving no specific indication how much longer it will last.

WHITAKER: We haven't received the report. Bob Mueller is going to finish his investigation when he wants to finish his investigation.

SCHNEIDER: This isn't the end of the investigation. The chairman has a list of questions he wants answers to, including when he was briefed on the special counsel investigation and whether or not he had conversations with the president after the briefings.

Nadler says he doesn't find Whitaker's insistence that he didn't have conversations with the president completely credible. Of course the chairman, Jerry Nadler, is once again threatening a subpoena, if it's necessary, to get those answers -- Jessica Schneider, CNN, Washington.


ALLEN: The U.S. president has ignored a legal deadline to tell Congress whether the Saudi crown prince ordered the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Under what is called the Magnitsky Act, he had 120 days to determine if the Saudi crown prince was responsible and whether to impose sanctions.

The White House says the president doesn't have to act on committee requests.

But lawmakers such as Democrat Bob Menendez says he does and they're pushing for action.

Menendez says, "The Trump administration showed that it is willing to ignore U.S. law in its continued effort to stonewall accountability for the murder of Khashoggi."

Mr. Trump has not agreed with the CIA conclusion that the Saudi crown prince ordered Khashoggi's --


ALLEN: -- killing. Khashoggi, of course, worked for "The Washington Post," owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. An intriguing part of Bezos' explosive blog post alleging the "National Enquirer" tried to blackmail and extort him are questions about ties between the tabloid, Saudi Arabia and the White House.

That comes as federal prosecutor look into whether the magazine violated its immunity deal. For the latest, here's Alex Marquardt.


ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The "National Enquirer's" parent company hitting back today at stinging allegations and revelations by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, saying in a statement, it believes fervently that it acted lawfully, that it was in good faith negotiations to resolve all matters with Bezos.

American Media Inc. or AMI also promising to launch an internal investigation into Bezos' long list of claims against them, including what he called extortion and blackmail when AMI threatened to leak risque photos of him. Sources telling CNN federal prosecutors are also looking into his accusations.

In his blog post, Bezos alleges that AMI had a cozy relationship, not just with the Trump White House but with Saudi Arabia. Also alleged in published reports last year. AMI put out a 97-page glossy magazine heralding the kingdom's new crown prince and his vision ahead of his trip to the U.S.

The Saudi embassy in Washington claimed they had no involvement or knowledge of the AMI publication with Prince Mohammed bin Salman on the cover, a man the CIA has concluded ordered the violent murder of Jamal Khashoggi of "The Washington Post," which Bezos owns. The Saudis have called the finding false.

But the Associated Press reported that according to sources, embassy officials got an electronic copy of the pro-kingdom magazine about three weeks before it came out. Today a top Saudi official says he has no idea of any relationship with AMI, adding, "It's like a soap opera," and told CNN that as far as he knows, the Saudis did not press AMI to publish negative stories about Bezos.

The biggest of which was the expose on Bezos' extramarital affair, which people around him believe was a political hit job, alleged payback for his newspaper's dogged reporting of President Trump and of the Saudi crown prince's role in the Khashoggi murder.

Trump and Pecker have a well-documented history. The tabloid paying a so-called catch and kill fee to Karen McDougal once before the 2016 election for

her story about her alleged affair with Trump, which he denies.

Pecker then flipped, cooperating with Robert Mueller's team in exchange for immunity to detail those payments made by Trump's lawyer. That turn didn't dampen the president's rejoicing amid the "Enquirer's" splashy story about Bezos' infidelity, calling the Amazon CEO "Jeff Bozo" on Twitter and saying this about Bezos looming divorce from his wife of 25 years.


TRUMP: I wish him luck. It is going to be a beauty.


MARQUEZ: No doubt this is a complex web of allegations and personal history but what Bezos, without proof, is saying here is clear: that AMI had reasons to protect and to promote the Saudis.

At his newspaper, "The Washington Post," and their relentless covering of the Khashoggi murder angered AMI's friends, driving home the point that this expose of his affair and the attempted blackmail were politically motivated -- Alex Marquardt, CNN, Washington.


ALLEN: Steven Erlanger is chief diplomatic correspondent in Europe for "The New York Times." He joins us from Brussels.

We always appreciate you being with us.

And yes, Steven, where do we start with this one?

Jeff Bezos, richest man, versus the "National Enquirer" and then throw in Saudi Arabia.

And what do you got?

STEVEN ERLANGER, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": And Trump. It's an amazing set of inquiries. The most interesting thing is the way Bezos was deeply embarrassed about this affair has turned himself into a hero of free speech, fighting back against a really revolting newspaper, the "National Enquirer," which we know had deals with Michael Cohen to protect Donald Trump during the campaign from stories that he, himself, had affairs.

And it is very funny for Trump to talk about Bezos' upcoming divorce as "a beauty," given the experience which Trump has had fences with divorces himself. So it's very complicated. Bezos is rich enough and powerful enough to be able to say, OK, I'll do what you want but I'm not going to just lie back and be intimidated. And I think that's very powerful and very important.

ALLEN: Yes, I'm curious, you know, Bezos in his blog post actually --


ALLEN: -- printed the letters from the "National Enquirer." Perhaps they're not used to someone playing hardball with them like that.

ERLANGER: I think that's true, also as he said, if someone like me, he's probably the wealthiest person on Earth, is willing to be intimidated, then what hope does anyone else have?

And I think that his ownership of "The Washington Post" is really a factor in all of this, he used a strange word for it, a "complexifier" for him. But he has done a great deal to save "The Washington Post" and make it a much better paper again.

And obviously "The Post" goes after Trump and Trump goes after Bezos. That's not to say that Trump was behind all this.

But the mystery is how, did the "National Enquirer" get these private emails and photos?

And that meant that Bezos was trying to find when AMI, the company that owns the "Enquirer," threatened to publish more if he didn't stop.

ALLEN: We'll continue to follow that one. But I want to ask you about Congress wanting to hear from President Trump on the killing of Jamal Khashoggi. But there hasn't been a response about whether it was ordered by the crown prince.

Why is the White House staying mum?

ERLANGER: Well, I think this is also, in keep with political views, violating the law, because Congress has mandated a response. Here I think they have some sympathy with the realists in the White House, who understand that Saudi Arabia is an important ally of the United States, that the crown prince is not going anywhere, as some people hoped he would, that he'd be pushed aside. That's not happening.

And so it's very a very electric moment. I think the White House and Trump know very well what happened. But it's not for the relationship to go public about it and some of the same people have to say who decry the national interest quality of the Trump White House are also decrying violence on Khashoggi when, in fact, there are, I think, compelling national interest reasons for Trump to keep his mouth shut on this one.

ALLEN: I want to pivot now to the acrimony we saw, the testimony in Washington. The acting attorney general, going before Congress; contentious might be the word of the day. Someone called him snarky. It's always tough to say the word snarky.

The question, was he credible, forthcoming at all in responding to Democrats?

ERLANGER: Well, it was always going to be hostile and, you know, I think Whitaker, people who suspect he's not the person they want in the job as even (INAUDIBLE) and is respectful of the rights of Congress but to answer some questions about whether or not he spoke to Trump about the investigation. He was reluctantly saying that he wouldn't speak about confrontations

but, no, he hadn't. You want to show he was respectful. It will be interesting to see if Jerry Nadler, the chairman of the committee, brings Whitaker back under subpoena. There are still questions to answer. But as the first act of the show it was pretty entertaining, I thought

ALLEN: All right, we always appreciate your insights. Thank you for giving us your time, Steven Erlanger, thanks, Steven.

ERLANGER: Thanks, Natalie.

ALLEN: U.S. aid for Venezuela is still stuck in Colombia. It's not going anywhere. So many people are in need. Look at that. The opposition leader wants to bring that in. The president says there is no need. We'll have the latest on the ongoing standoff there.

Also, Seattle bracing for another round of snow, look what they've already gotten. Derek joins with us that coming up here.





ALLEN: Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro continues to refuse humanitarian aid from the United States. He has placed troops at the border with Colombia to prevent supplies entering his country. Opposition leader Juan Guaido has warned the military against taking such action. But President Maduro insists Venezuelans don't need the help.

So far, the leaders show no signs of reaching a compromise.


NICOLAS MADURO, PRESIDENT OF VENEZUELA (through translator): Humanitarian aid has become a show to justify intervention in the country. And it is a cheap show aimed at humiliating Venezuelans, to humiliate us. And then they come to take $20 million to say to the beggars, put out your hand and then come the crumbs. Venezuela will not allow for this fake humanitarian aid show because we beg of nobody.



JUAN GUAIDO, INTERIM PRESIDENT OF VENEZUELA (through translator): We have spoken clearly to the armed forces. It is now a humanitarian issue to prohibit the aid, which I insist, it is destined to save lives in this first stage could be considered as a crime against humanity. (END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: The relief items are currently stockpiled in neighboring Colombia. It's unclear if they will ever reach the Venezuelan people but the opposition leader says he'll try to deliver them next week. CNN's Isa Soares has more from the Colombian-Venezuelan border.


ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Flour and vegetable oil, rice, medical kits, nutritional supplements: this is the first batch of U.S. aid coming in to Colombia, standing in a warehouse at the moment, waiting to be going into Venezuela.

We're about 300 meters or so from that blockade on the Venezuelan side of this bridge. This aid is going to waiting here until there's a decision exactly how to take it into the country.

But let's are be realistic here. This is a drop in the ocean for what the people of Venezuela truly need. To give you a sense of why I'm saying this, because of this (INAUDIBLE) emergency medical supplies. This is for 10,000 people, for a period of 90 days. There are more than 30 million Venezuelans living the country and Juan Guaido said last week up to as many as 300,000 people are in need, almost at the point of dying because of a lack of medical supplements.

So this is more of a symbolic move. It is the latest political chess move to put pressure on Maduro and, more importantly, to put pressure on the soldiers to let this aid in. A short time ago we heard from one of Juan Guaido's representatives here in Colombia.

I want you to listen to what he had to say. He had the message to the soldiers on the other side of the Venezuelan border. Take a listen.


LESTER TOLEDO, GUAIDO REPRESENTATIVE (through translator): I want to send a message --


TOLEDO (through translator): -- to the army men who are a few meters away from us and can hear us.

Soldiers, this help is also for you. Here comes food for your children. Here comes medicine for the people that are suffering. Here comes help for the children. Your job is not to condemn them. It is to help them.


SOARES: We heard a similar message from the U.S. ambassador in Colombia, who said this here is legal and it is urgent. Now really the pressure remains how long this is going to be here, how long until it goes across the border. It truly now depends on those Venezuelan soldiers, to see whether really this appealing to their humanity has any impact on whether those three shipments move at all -- Isa Soares, CNN, at Tienditas Bridge on the Venezuelan-Colombian border.


ALLEN: President Trump says Hanoi, Vietnam, will be the site of his next meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un later next month, Hanoi and Da Nang were said to be the top contenders to hold the second U.S.-North Korea summit on February 27th and 28th.

The announcement came via a tweet from the president. He writes he looks forward to seeing Chairman Kim and advancing the cause of peace, promising the North will become an economic rocket.

Well, the governor of Washington State has declared a state of emergency and it is brutal there.


ALLEN: Between a wall and a hard place, pressure is building on President Trump to take whatever deal Congress gives him and avoid another government shutdown. That story coming next.

Plus, U.S. lawmakers asking the Trump administration to dig deeper into whether Saudi Arabia is letting American weapons slide into tariffs hands.





ALLEN: Welcome back to our viewers here in the U.S. and around the world. You are watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Natalie Allen.


ALLEN: A group of Democratic lawmakers is visiting the Mexico-U.S. border to meet with immigrants rights' advocates and to be briefed by Customs and Border officials.

Authorities have beefed up their presence in Eagle Pass, Texas. That's a town that borders Mexico. Some 1,800 migrants are waiting in Mexico to cross over to seek asylum. Most of the caravan is from Central America and authorities want to prevent a massive rush into the U.S.

This same area was the scene of a rescue on Friday. U.S. Border Patrol agents say they saved a family of five Honduran nationals from drowning in the Rio Grande River, two adults and three children were attempting to illegally cross the border there.

Meantime, President Trump may be forced to accept less than he wants for his border wall. Congressional negotiators are exchanging a figure of around $2 million for what they call border barriers and that is below --


ALLEN: -- the $5.7 billion President Trump has been demanding. For more about it, here's Kaitlin Collins at the White House.


KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Trump keeping his distance from reporters after he spent the morning fuming about the Russia investigation, calling it a giant and illegal hoax.

The president at Walter Reed Medical Center this afternoon for his yearly physical exam, as he appears to show new flexibility on his demand for a border wall now that he is facing limited options and another looming shutdown.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think anybody questions his legal authority to declare a national emergency.

COLLINS (voice-over): One week before the government is scheduled to run out of money again, sources tell CNN Republicans and Democrats in charge of hashing out a deal have traded proposals, which, so far, had included around $2 billion for physical barriers, far below what Trump demanded.

TRUMP: Not 245 (ph). No, we're asking for 5.6.

COLLINS (voice-over): It remains unclear if the president would accept the latest numbers, but after meeting with him at the White House Thursday, Republican senator Richard Shelby sounded hopeful.

SEN. RICHARD SHELBY (R), CHAIR, SENATE BANKING COMMITTEE: We had a good positive meeting is all I can tell you.

COLLINS (voice-over): Congressional negotiators hope to reach a deal by tonight. But now those talks will likely stretch throughout the weekend as they figure out the final details. Asked about the odds of another government shutdown, one Republican says this.


REP. CHUCK FLEISCHMANN (R): Nil and/or next to nil. In this situation, there is no appetite on either side of the aisle, I think, in either chamber, for another partial government shutdown.

COLLINS (voice-over): Though the White House claimed otherwise.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're on the verge of a government shutdown again because Democrats won't come to the table.

COLLINS: Now the president didn't speak to reporters upon his arrival back at the White House after undergoing that yearly physical. But in the meantime, the chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, has invited bipartisan lawmakers up to Camp David. The White House said that's not so they can get involved in these funding discussions on Capitol Hill, even though one negotiator is someone invited to Camp David. They said it's essentially more of a meet-and-greet. The government runs out of money in a week. So it's hard to see how it won't come up -- Kaitlan Collins, CNN, the White House.


ALLEN: U.S. lawmakers are demanding the Trump administration investigate whether American weapons are being used to harm civilians in Yemen. It comes just days after CNN's exclusive report exposed that weapons the U.S. sells to Saudi Arabia and its coalition allies are falling into dangerous hands. Our Nima Elbagir reports from London.


NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In the lead-up to a February 9th deadline for the U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo to certify as to the conduct of the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen with regard to both protection of civilians and its compliance with its arms sales agreements with the U.S., a bipartisan letter has been sent by Senator Jeanne Shaheen and Senator Todd Young, calling upon secretary of state Mike Pompeo to hold Saudi Arabia to account.

Citing CNN's own reporting in its investigation that showed the UAE and Saudi Arabia as a part of the coalition in Yemen were in violation of the terms of their arms sales agreements with the United States.

Secretary Pompeo now has to not only process this letter but what came just hours after that letter was sent, where a group of bipartisan senators, including Trump ally, Lindsey Graham, called for greater accountability.

They called for what they called the end to moral complicity on the part of Saudi Arabia in both the alleged killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi but also again their conduct in the war in Yemen. They said that, too, the introduction of that bill was also spurred by CNN's reporting.

So what happens now?

We've reached out to the State Department to get a sense of whether secretary of state Mike Pompeo will be recertifying that the Saudi-led coalition is compliant. We've received no answer from them. We have also reached out to the Senate's offices to ask, what's the next step if the secretary of state does find the coalition in compliance?

At the moment they say they're mulling their options. But it's clear that there is definitely a drumbeat of tension between Congress, between U.S. lawmakers and the administration, on their continuing, unfettered support for the Saudi-led coalition. There is clearly an impasse up ahead -- Nima Elbagir, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE) ALLEN: The man who shot and killed six people at a mosque in Canada will spend decades in prison. Canada has no death penalty so he --


ALLEN: -- was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 40 years. He had pleaded guilty to killing Muslims gathered to pray at the mosque in Quebec City in 2017. The judge called the massacre a hate crime because he targeted Muslims.

Tragedy strikes a Brazilian football facility. Ten young players are dead because of a fire.

How did it happen?

We'll have this story.




ALLEN: At least 10 teenage football players were killed, three more injured when a fire tore through a training center in Brazil. The flames engulfed the players' dormitory, reportedly built without proper licenses. As Shasta Darlington reports, people are demanding answers.


SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): An emotional display of mourning for young lives taken too soon. It's a dark day for Brazilian football.

RODOLFO LANDIM, FLAMENGO CLUB PRESIDENT (through translator): Obviously, we are also sad. This is without a doubt the worst tragedy this club has been through in the last 123 years.

DARLINGTON (voice-over): The view from above shows what remains after a deadly fire at the youth training center for one of South America's most prominent football clubs. It was early Friday morning when flames tore through the dormitory. Most of the young athletes were sleeping inside.

DOUGLAS HENAUT, FIREFIGHTER AND RESCUE SPOKESPERSON (through translator): The place was completely overtaken by flames. We tried as much as possible to locate victims but all we found were dead bodies.

DARLINGTON (voice-over): The cause of the blaze is under investigation. But recent renovations and construction of the training center are drawing scrutiny for allegedly bypassing --


DARLINGTON (voice-over): -- building regulations, particularly at the dormitory where the fire was discovered.

FERNANDO KALLAS, BRAZILIAN FOOTBALL JOURNALIST: They even have all the license from the fire department so they were not, they were not allowed by law to do this structure, so we don't know what kind of facility was there and how bad or well constructed it was.

DARLINGTON (voice-over): As friends and family await answers, fans and footballers around the world offer messages of condolence. Star Brazilian forward Neymar retweeted the club's latest post, which translates to simply, "Flamengo is in mourning."

Several lamented the loss of the young players, aspiring to become professionals in a club that's establishes Brazil's dominance in developing world class footballers.

ZICO, FOOTBALL COACH (through translator): Boys with dreams, goals, many of them were trying to help their families. An incident like this is tragedy.

DARLINGTON (voice-over): Words, too, from the legendary Pele. "My day started with the news about the fire in the CT of Flamengo, a place where young people pursue their dreams.

"It's a very sad day for Brazilian football."

A Saturday match between Flamengo and rival Fluminense has since been postponed. Players would likely be preparing for what was a big event on the country's football calendar. Instead, the club is still and empty, flowers laid out at its entrance by friends and family, some of whom will never see their loved ones play again -- for CNN, I'm Shasta Darlington in Sao Paolo.


ALLEN: Rethreading their lives: how human trafficking survivors are finding a ways to heal and finding a purpose. That story is next.





ALLEN: A new purpose in life is a part of the recovery process for so many survivors of human trafficking and now a reality TV show, an airline and a non-profit are bringing hope to those survivors. As part of CNN's Freedom Project, Zain Asher has our story.


ZAIN ASHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hosted by actress Alyssa Milano, Project Runway All Stars features aspiring fashion designers who compete each week for a chance to break into the industry.

In a recent episode, designers were asked to create a look using materials commonly found on a Southwest Airlines flight and during travel.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The winning designer is Irina.

IRINA SHABAYEVA, FASHION DESIGNER: Thank you so much. Thank you.

ASHER (voice-over): Irina Shabayeva was chosen as the winner with her design, using paper cups and a red clutch purse made out of a leather aircraft seat cover. Shabayeva then took her creation to Rethreaded, a non-profit organization that employs women who are victims of human trafficking. They collaborated with Irina to come up with a line of products inspired by her winning design.

SHABAYEVA: We created about three products. One of them is the red clutch recreated on the show. There is also another duffle that we recreated and some smaller accessories. They're all handmade by these women in Jacksonville, Florida. The program's just also giving them a new purpose and a career even and really rethreading their life.

ASHER (voice-over): These women don't just learn a new skill to get back on their feet but they go through the healing process with a sense of community and belonging.

RENATA BRYAN, RETHREADED: I didn't know what I was good at. I didn't know what I could do with my life. I had literally given up. So the start was by me just basically showing up here, from the day that I came to the door, they have been just hands-on training.

And then I have my survivor advocate standing beside me and my mind was just changed drastically.

ASHER (voice-over): As part of a retrofit program in 2013, Southwest Airlines replaced the leather seat covers on their fleet of aircraft. This change helped kickstart their Repurpose with Purpose program. And through this, Southwest donated 27 pallets of leather from seat covers to Rethreaded.

BRYAN: Southwest Airlines, the partnership we have with them, we were able to create an entire new line. We went from only working with T- shirts to working with T-shirts and leather. And so that's really huge because not only do we get to see all these beautiful products that are made but the winner gets even heavier hands-on training with industrial machines (INAUDIBLE).

ASHER (voice-over): (INAUDIBLE) employment opportunities in everything from production to sales, marketing and finance, Rethreaded has changed the lives of over 40 women since the non-profit was formed in 2012.

BRYAN: Today I have regained my independence, I can set goals and I set dreams that I have a confidence that today we are actually achieving. I know what it's like to be out there, so today I get to give back and I get to speak to other survivors and be first hands-on with them to help inspire them and bring hope so that they can see my life changes and hopefully it will impact them in a more positive way.

ASHER (voice-over): And now their story has become one thread in a TV reality show, bringing the issue of human trafficking to a much larger audience -- Zain Asher, CNN.


ALLEN: That's a good one, wasn't it?

CNN is partnering with young people around the world for a student-led day of action against slavery on March 14th. We're asking people, what makes you feel free?

Share your story using the #MyFreedomDay.

Well, over the last 15 years, Facebook created a digital world of more than 2 billion users. Along the way, it's faced legal battles and privacy scandals. Through rare access, CNN's Laurie Segall looks at how a college experiment changed the world in "Facebook at 15: It's Complicated."



LAURIE SEGALL, CNNMONEY TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's October 19th, 2018, and we are heading to Facebook. This is a really big deal. We're going to sit down with Mark Zuckerberg, who --


SEGALL (voice-over): -- rarely sits down for interviews.

SEGALL (voice-over): Facebook years are like dog years. A lot happens in a little time.

In the month since I first walked through these doors...

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Nearly 15 million Facebook users have been targeted by hackers.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: The largest security breach in Facebook history.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Facebook on the defensive today since this damning "New York Times" report on how Facebook has handled its bad PR.

SEGALL (voice-over): And we'll get to all that later.

But for now, back to Facebook and what you need to know about an interview with Mark Zuckerberg.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's so very cold.

SEGALL (voice-over): First, he likes the room cold, very cold. Turn the cameras around, you will see his people on the other side,

they're taking notes, scribbling furiously, keeping time. They know that the stakes are high these days, the whole world seems to be watching. And that's Facebook at its current moment.


SEGALL (voice-over): Massively influential...

BALDWIN: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg under fire.

SEGALL (voice-over): -- in flux...

ANA CABRERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The biggest breach in the history of Facebook.

SEGALL (voice-over): -- and controversial. But to fully understand Facebook of today, you have to go back to the beginning.


ALLEN: And that's just a snippet of our program. Laurie's exclusive interviews and the rare access she was granted, it's all in CNN's documentary, "Facebook at 15: It's Complicated." And that airs Sunday at 9:00 pm Eastern. That's 2:00 am in London.

Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. For our viewers in North America, "NEW DAY" is next. For everyone else, stay with us for "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT."