Return to Transcripts main page


Bangladesh Closes Border to Rohingya Refugees; Venezuelan Hospitals Struggle Under U.S. Sanctions; 'Messi Boy' Becomes Taliban Target in Afghanistan; Manchester United's Winning Streak Stopped by PSG; Lauded Goalkeeper Gordon Banks Dies at Age 81; Rugby Enthusiasm Surges in Japan after South Africa Win; Trump not happy but expected to sign budget deal; Drug lord El Chapo convicted, faces life in prison; Inside India's Squalid Rohingya refugee camps. Aired 12m-1a ET

Aired February 13, 2019 - 00:00   ET




[00:00:47] JOHN VAUSE, CNN NEWSROOM: The world's greatest negotiator is set to agree to less than $1.5 billion in funding for his border wall. A year ago he turned down a democrat offer of reportedly $20 billion.

Goodbye El Chapo, hello, El Mencho, with a guilty verdict in a trial of the notorious drug lord, already a new more vicious kingpin is taking his place.

And India, making life so miserable for tens of thousands of Rohingya refugees, life in a Bangladeshi a camp is seen as a vast improvement.

Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world, great to have you with us, I'm John Vause and you're watching CNN Newsroom.

To sign or not to sign, to cave or not to cave, that is the question facing President Donald Trump as he considers a congressional compromise on government funding and border security. The deal falls well short of the $5.7 billion the President demanded for his border wall with Mexico, but signing it would avert another damaging shutdown.


DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: Am I happy at first glance? I just got to see it. The answer is no, I'm not. I'm not happy. But am I happy with where we're going? I'm thrilled.


VAUSE: The deal includes nearly $1.4 billion for new border barriers but it prohibits the use of concrete walls. That means fencing or steel slats that are most likely - the option which they'll use. The number of beds available for those detained by immigration and customs enforcement stays the same, just over 40,000 and the Department of Homeland Security will get a $1.7 billion increase in overall funding.

Kurtis Lee is a National Correspondent for the Los Angeles Times and he joins us from L.A. Good to see you, Kurtis. Thanks for coming in.


VAUSE: Let's review here the art of the deal. A year ago with that offer for $20 billion reportedly for, you know, probably the grand bargain which included an overhaul of the immigration and legalization for the Dreamers, Trump turned them down, it wasn't good enough.

Back in December he demanded almost $6 billion for a wall, he shut the government down for 35 days to get it, he got nothing. So now, it looks like Donald Trump will accept just shy of that $1.4 billion, he gets 55 miles of barrier and fencing similar to what is already in place on parts to the border.

He [INAUDIBLE] with this 6 billion, he wanted 200, also miles of steel and concrete barriers, he's not going to get any of that. I guess the President - well, he may need a little executive time to take a break for all the winning right now. It just seems clearly this is not over.

LEE: No, absolutely. I mean, this has been a campaign promise of Donald Trump. I mean, ever since the 2016 campaign, the President has touted that he is going to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. And, I mean, now, we're more than halfway into his first term and there hasn't been almost any funding for his wall, and which is came off of a 35-day government shutdown. The President has insisted time and again that he wants $5.7 billion for a wall.

And now here we are after this 35-day government shutdown and we're just days away for another possible shutdown and democrats have basically said, hey, we will give you this $1.3 billion for fencing and, I mean, you're even seeing republicans saying, hey, President Trump, take this deal. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell had a phone conversation with the President in which he stressed the need for that for taking this deal. So it just remains to be seen if the President does take this deal, but the time is - the clock is certainly ticking.

VAUSE: U.S. Vice President Ann Coulter, she hit the Twitter machine to let her frustration be known. Trump talks a good game on the border wall but his increasing which he's afraid to fight for it. Call this his yellow new deal. Then joining his regular appearance on Fox News, the White House Chief of Staff, Sean Hannity was equally critical.


SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: $1.3 billion? That's not even a wall or barrier? I'm going to tell this tonight and we will get back into this tomorrow. Any republican that supports this garbage compromise, you'll have to explain.


VAUSE: Okay. Ann Coulter is not the Vice President, Sean Hannity is not the Chief of Staff, but in many ways, they carry a lot more influence in their roles as conservative commentators.


They're seen as being reflective of the base, and if that's the case, the base won't be happy.

LEE: No, absolutely. I mean, these are voices that President Trump listens to, Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, obviously, he's appeared on his show a number of times and done interviews. I mean, these two individuals, Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter, they have President Trump's base, their ear.

And, I mean, the base really listens to these two firebrands who are on immigration, and they really do listen to them and the President sees these Tweets and he knows that his base is seeing them so it has to be in the back of his mind. I mean, right around before the 35-day government shutdown last month, I mean, Ann Coulter was Tweeting and there were reports that the President wasn't happy with some of her rhetoric and he was looking at it and that kind of lead to a series of events to lead to the shutdown. But these folks are Tweeting and talking and the President is certainly listening.

VAUSE: Yes. The plan now is to take this deal, take the $1.4 billion and then find money for the wall elsewhere within the government. Even if that plan actually comes together, I wonder if the base and all the talking heads will still be unhappy, because the President will be seen as giving into Chuck and Nancy and the base and the conservative talking heads on the crazy end into the radio dial, they like to fight. They don't like it when this President gives in to the democrats.

LEE: No, absolutely. I mean, the President's base loves for him to fight and they love for him to take into democrats and on this issue, I mean. But we saw polls during the shutdown. Time and again, polls showed that Americans were blaming the President for the shutdown and that wasn't - you know, that was obviously, you know, probably on allies, people in his administration, their mind with this, but, no. His base definitely wants him to fight and he could be seen as caving on this issue.

VAUSE: Yes. We'll move over here quickly because the President, he's demanding the resignation of Ilhan Omar, one of two Muslim women elected to Congress because of a Tweet over the weekend, which suggested U.S. lawmakers only supported Israel because they have been paid off by an Israeli lobby group. The comment was regarded by both sides to politics as anti-Semitic. Omar issued an unequivocal apology but that was not good enough for Donald Trump. Here's what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: Anti-Semitism has no place in the United States Congress. What she said is so deep seeded in our heart that her lame apology, that's what it was. It was lame, and she didn't mean a word of it, was just not appropriate. I think she should resign from Congress, frankly. But at a minimum, she shouldn't be on committees.


VAUSE: Yes, the same President who could see very fine people on both sides of a rally when one of those sides were in fact neo-Nazis and white nationalists carrying Tiki torches and making Nazi salutes. I mean, this is just hypocrisy, which it is just going [ph] and beyond this scale.

LEE: No. Absolutely. I mean this is rhetoric. I mean, the President - for the President to call on someone to re-sign, I mean, he's with a number of, you know, racially-tinged to remarks during the campaign and, you know, even during his time in office, remarks that offend immigrants that offend the native Americans and obviously the comment that you made earlier about him saying that both sides were to blame, when white nationalists killed the woman in Charlottesville. I mean, this is something that the President has made a number of controversial remarks.

And it's kind of interesting that we really see him call on someone to resign, who has apologized for her remarks. But, yes, no doubt, the President has obviously made a number of controversial remarks over the years.

VAUSE: Yes. If that's the level for resignation, then Donald Trump should have resigned a long time ago anyway.

LEE: Right, yes.

VAUSE: Finish it off, Kurtis, last word.

LEE: Thank you so much.

VAUSE: Okay. Good to see you. Thanks for coming in.

Well, international drug lord, prison escape artist and now, at long last, the notorious head of the Sinaloa Cartel has another title, U.S. convict. A jury in New York has found Joaquin El Chapo Guzman guilty of all ten federal counts he faced, including running an international criminal enterprise, that was the big one, drug trafficking, firearms and conspiracy to launder money. He faces a mandatory life sentence with no chance of parole. Guzman, showed no reaction as the verdict was read but one of his lawyers described El Chapo as extremely upbeat.


JEFFREY LICHTMAN, DEFENSE LAWYER: This is a positive thinker. He's a positive guy. And, look, it's a testament, you know, to his character. And for better or worse, this is a guy that doesn't give up. And I can assure you he has lawyers that will never give up. (END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Well, to Washington now, and Malcolm Beith, author of the Last Narco, inside the hunt for El Chapo, the world's most wanted drug lord, now available at the discount table with all the good books were sold.

Malcolm, I'm just wondering, after the verdict here, we had the defense lawyers, they spoke to reporters, they came out, they admitted that they had never seen a prosecution case quite like this one.


Here's what they said.


LICHTMAN: I have never faced a case with so many cooperating witnesses. I have never faced a case with so much evidence. And we did our best.


VAUSE: Okay. So here's the question. Is this the end of the story for El chapo? Do you need to change the title of your book to the man he was the world's most wanted drug lord?

MALCOLM BEITH, AUTHOR OF THE LAST NARCO: Well, the question now is whether he was the actual last narco or whether he's Mayo Zambala who the prosecution and defense brought up during the trial is really the last narco. And actually I was - spoiler alert here, in my book, I contemplated that question too, because in 2010 when it was publish, similar question were swirling around Sinaloa.

Is this the end for El Chapo Guzman, we'll see. He's going to spend the rest of his life in prison. But I was talking to a former colleague and friend and we agreed that this is not the last we will have seen of him. Somehow whether through wife, through his sons, who were believed to be running the Sinaloa Cartel or the remnants of it, we will hear his name again.

VAUSE: Outside the court, we heard from the prosecutors, they went kind of all Eliot Ness. Listen to this.


RICHARD DONOGHUE, U.S. ATTORNEY, EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK: There are those who say that the war on drugs is not worth fighting. Those people are wrong. Every day, we lose American lives. Every day, harm is inflicted on this country by drug addiction. And every seizure, every arrest and every conviction contributes to a noble effort to save American lives.


VAUSE: I guess, perhaps the question should be is this the right way to be fighting the drug war? Last time El Chapo went to jail, what, 2016, 2017, heroin production from Mexico went up almost 40%.

BEITH: Yes. You could always question the methods of stemming the flow of drugs or trying to stem the flow. Let's face it, they are smart businessmen at this point and they will meet the demand if it's there. They were producing - they were increasing the volume of heroin production back in 2008 when I was there knowing that veterans coming back from Afghanistan and Iraq have end up historically turned to opiates, that they were ahead of the curve on this opiate trend, opioid epidemic. That's not surprising.

What it really does show in terms of - I don't believe in many victories in the war on drugs. It's a long, long effort. But this trial was a good step continuing in the right direction in that a drug lord like Chapo Guzman who had escaped prison twice, who had fled the law, fled justice in Mexico and created plenty of mayhem and effectively terror in some parts of the country was brought to a courthouse in New York where he was tried by U.S. citizens, not particularly a jury of his peers, but close - you know, the closest thing that exists on that sort of trial level, instead of, for instance, we didn't drone him out of his base. We didn't bomb him and kill innocents in the meantime. As far as human rights are concerned, I think the fact that he was held on trial is a great development.

VAUSE: With the fall of one kingpin comes the rise of another. Goodbye El, Chapo. Hello, El Mencho. His cartel is makes El Chapo and the Sinaloa guys look like a bunch of Sunday schoolteachers. Here's a reports from Rolling Stone.

The cartel has established trafficking routes in dozens of countries, six continents and controls territory spanning half of Mexico, including along both coasts and both borders. The cartel have increased their operations like no other criminal organization today. The network is about the same size as El Chapo's but grew in half the time and these guys sound like bloodthirsty lunatics. Again, quoting from Rolling Stone, in 2015, cartel assassins executed a man and his elementary school aged son by detonating sticks of dynamite, duck tape to their bodies, laughing as they filmed the ghastly scene with their phones. This is ISIS stuff, as one DEA agent who has investigated the cartel.

There's also a report say they use rocket launchers, they laid siege to an entire Mexican city at one point, Guadalajara. The comparisons with ISIS in terms of tactics is pretty accurate.

BEITH: Yes, there's no doubt. I have always been - I've long been a skeptic of narco terrorism status that were introduced during the Bush administration. But the truth is a lot of these cartels have long used terrorist-like tactics, beheadings, any sort - you know, at the end of the day, they are spreading terror. That doesn't always fit our definition of terrorism. But without a doubt, they're springing on - the CJ&G's modus operandi is based that they've seized on the gap that was left by Guzman's, and it was the Sinaloa Cartel's gradual demise between 2009 and 2016. So they basically - that's how they have expanded fast across the world. It's the same routes that the drugs need to get there. [00:15:03]

How terrifying they are and how terrorizing they are really - I mean, we have to put it into context. DEA agents are going to sometimes exaggerate the fears or maybe highlight one killing, one specific incident. I don't track this stuff, but it's something worth tracking over the next year or so to see just how violent they're getting.

VAUSE: I want to finish up here with a word from the newly elected President of Mexico. As far as he is concerned more than a decade of a war on drug trafficking is officially over. He recently told reporters there hadn't been any capos [ph] arrested because it's not our main purpose. The capos is a reference to the name of the crime bosses. What we're looking for is safety, to lower the number of daily homicides.

A part of that he says, will see you substitution for, let's say, crops [ph]. Can you see the psychos with a duct tape and dynamite deciding that maybe life is a corn farmer would be a better way of making an honest living?

BEITH: No, it's not going to happen. I mean, my only - I'm generally pro-legalization of marijuana at least, the other drugs probably not. It's just not possible. But when Calderon, The President Calderon in Mexico between 2006 and 2012 pushed decriminalization and the hope was to get - effectively turnover the drugs long-term to the government. But why are they going to give up a multibillion dollar industry? And the question is would they be willing to just hold their disputes in a court for instance rather than shooting each other? Another reason why this trial is so important, this judicial model, some day, someone like Chapo might be tried in a courthouse in Culiacan, Sinaloa instead of Brooklyn.

VAUSE: And that would be a day to see. Malcolm, thank you so much, always good to see you.

BEITH: Thanks very much.

VAUSE: In prison life seems to agree with comedian Bill Cosby calling it an amazing experience. He's serving three to ten years for drugging and sexually assaulting a woman in 2004. And his spokesman, Andrew Wyatt, says Cosby is trying to stay in shape even at the [INAUDIBLE].


ANDREW WYATT, BILL COSBY'S SPOKEPERSON: He said, wake me up at 3:30 A.M., they wake up him up at 3:30 A.M. and he exercises. He's in his cell, he does leg lifts. He pushes up against the bed and does push- ups to stay in shape. He showers. And he waits for breakfast.


VAUSE: Wyatt and Cosby's lawyers are apparently the only ones making jail visits, apparently that Cosby wants it. He talks to his wife on the phone three times a day for three minutes each and has received thousands of letters from total strangers, some even sending money.

Persecuted, desperate and running out of options. Tens of thousands over Rohingya facing another crisis only this time from a place where they thought they would have been safe. Details, next.



[00:20:32] VAUSE: For Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims, Bangladesh has been the refuge from the persecution and atrocities carried out by the Myanmar Military in Rakhine State. But now, Bangladesh has closed its border, refusing to allow any more refugees in.

Over the past 18 months more than 700,000 Rohingyans fled attacks by the military seeking safe haven in the overcrowded camps in Cox's Bazar. The Foreign Minister of Bangladesh says, Myanmar is now targeting other minority groups, Buddhist and Hindus.

Major refugees have also escaped to India. Some 40,000 have moved there in recent years, but living conditions are no better and recent arrests and deportations have raised concerns about their safety.

Joining us now is Dr. Mohammed Khan of the Deccan Alumni Association of North America. Also standing by, CNN's New Delhi Bureau Chief, Nikhil Kumar.

Mohammed Khan, first to you, you've just returned from Southern India and you saw firsthand the slums where thousands of Rohingyan refugees are living. So what are those conditions like? How would you describe their day-to-day lives?

MOHAMMED QUTUB KHAN, ALUMNI ASSOCIATION OF NORTH AMERICA: Thanks, John, for having me back, and thank you to CNN for keeping the Rohingya issue alive. As you mentioned, I had gone to Hyderabad, a city in South India, this place called Balapur area, which is about 15 kilometers from the international airport. There, I got to see the slums and the camps of Rohingyas. There were about 28 camps there. I got to visit a few of them. And their conditions are just horrible. I called it the filthy conditions, people living out of makeshift tents made of sticks and just plastic.

A few of them managed to get some shelters made with the help of NGOs that was last year, but majority of them are at extremely horrible conditions.

VAUSE: And you've also been to Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh. So how do you compare the two?

KHAN: Yes. I did go to Cox's Bazar twice last year. And the biggest difference is, one is, of course, the volume of refugees over there, more than a million in Cox's Bazar now, and - but they're at least organized and they are like actually more than 120 - more than 120 NGOs working there. So they were able to, with the cooperation of the Bangladesh government, make some better looking camps and makeshift learning centers more organized and even the organization for migration was there and there's like so many NGOs helping them. I mean, in spite of whatever conditions there, but I saw that, at least in Bangladesh, they were more organized and they had more resources to work with for the refugees. And also the healthcare, there was more access to healthcare over there as compared to what I saw.

VAUSE: We're going to Nikhil now - Nikhil in there in New Delhi, the Modi government considers about 40,000 Rohingya living in India to be illegal immigrants, not refugees. In September, Amit Shah, the President of the ruling BJP, a man who is very close to the Prime Minister, was quoted saying, every infiltrator will be identified and they will be deported after being off their citizenship. The government has started a process to identify Rohingya in many cities of the country. Appropriate arrangements will be made for their deportation.

There have been concerns raised after a handful of Myanmar nationals are reported the Rohingya were sent back to Myanmar, but how is there a justification for this given the U.N. has ruled the Rohingya are victims of attempted genocide at the hands of the Myanmar military?

NIKHIL KUMAR, CNN NEW DELHI BUREAU CHIEF: So, John, absolutely right, there have been concerned after these recent deportations, but as you say, have been reported to of Rohingya. The government here hasn't confirmed that they say that these are Myanmar nationals. They say that in these particular cases, there were criminal cases involved and as the judicial process came to an end, the following that this was done.

But the broader picture which you rightly highlight is this rhetoric, is this narrative coming out of the government, the top of government at the highest echelons of the ruling party that these people are not welcomed, that there is this - these outsiders are here, these outsiders need to be identified and that they need to be sent back, and that this is still being done really despite concerns raised internationally and within India that these people are going back to a place where they face very, very serious risks. And so you're absolutely right.


And the worry is that as we move closer to elections in India, and it's just months away from the general elections, that this rhetoric of identifying outsiders of ordering [ph] these people that it's only going to get worse and that will make the lives of these people who have fled persecution even worse.

VAUSE: If the government isn't willing to help the Rohingya and not providing any resources and not doing anything, in fact, quite opposite, why are they refusing to our aid agencies into the country, allow the people who want to help them into the country to do their work? KUMAR: So the range of refugees who are in India and the movement here of people from their country, it's been over several years, and as you say, it's about 40,000 is the last number that we have. The government, until quite recently, until a few years ago, these people were not really consider outsiders. India has had historically a pretty good policy commentator [ph], say, when it comes to opening its doors to people fleeing persecution, people fleeing trouble at home.

In this particular case, the government was not sort of standing in the way at all over several, several years. But recently, this has become just a hot political issue. There's only 40,000 people over here. It's not been an issue, which has been at the top of the news headlines over several years, and it's become, critics say, a convenient issue for the government to pick out people who are easily identified as outsiders, as it happens, Muslim outsiders, and that's very important to point out here, because this is the government right now. The government of the BJP, Amit Shah, the President, Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister, it belongs to the right side of the political spectrum in this country as part of the Hindu Nationalist Movement.

And there have always been concerns that this is a government, this is a party that will use its authority to target minorities. And this is a convenient set within the larger group because these are outsiders, the government says they are illegal immigrants and they happen to be Muslims.

So the government is really playing a political game if you talk to critics. They're saying that they're playing a political game. And, historically, they're changing India's policy, which was very open to refugees and they're making it a closed door policy, really. John

VAUSE: You mentioned this general election, which is coming up April or May sometime. Modi is campaigning on his Nationalist Hindu agenda. Last year, a politician who represents the Hyderabad area made a public call to shoot and kill Rohingya. He said, if these, Rohingya's and Bangladeshi illegal immigrant do leave India respectfully, then they should be shot and eliminated. Only then will our country be safe.

This politician is a member of the Prime Minister's BJP party. So, Dr. Khan, what's that trickle-down effect from a statement like that, even though he's widely criticized, and it was denounced, does that raise the level of animosity being directed at Rohingya?

KHAN: I was hoping I don't get to make any political comments since ours is more a humanitarian cause. But since you did ask that, Hyderabad has been very generous and open to all people and refugees. There will always be some fringe elements who create noise like this, but we have a very progressive and a dynamic Chief Minister who is the Head of the State there, Mr. TRS. And we are very hopeful that there will be choices and options for NGOs like us to go and work over there, and that's exactly what we want from the local government to allow us to work there in coalition with the agencies.

There will be always rhetoric or hate speech going on but the goodness of people will prevail with the elections, as Nikhil mentioned, come up and these things will get to here. But as you can see on TV, look at the conditions. And just on a humanitarian basis, I think the people of India will open up their hearts and once again allow us. We - our association, Deccan Alumni Association of North America has done an excellent job in Bangladesh. And we want - we have the expertise, we have the resources. We can deliver good care in Hyderabad as well. And we are confident and we can work with them.

VAUSE: Dr. Khan, we're almost out of time. So let's just finish on the humanitarian angle right now because that's what important. Immediately, what needs to be done from your perspective to help these refugees? What are the resources? What is the most urgent thing here when it comes to trying to improve living conditions?

KHAN: One of our doctors, Dr. [INAUDIBLE] gave a very good thesis article about the conditions in the camp. And she - there is a pregnant woman not getting care. So medical care is the most important that needs to be attended, [INAUDIBLE] malnutrition and lack immunization. We can conduct health camps over there, free medical camp. So the main thing is healthcare.

And the next thing tied to it is the sanitation and the water. You have tap water one side and then you have open drainage and sewage water, people defecating in the open and this poses a great health risk.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So if we address he medical part and we address the water sanitation, then we can move on to schools and some sort of education, as well as rehabilitation for the youth. And this will -- once you have the youth get busy, this will get them out of any petty crimes, any other things that they're involved in, too.

[00:30:27] JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: And the narrative has to change from the government so the people can be -- can come forward and help the Rohingya, and the Rohingya sympathizers will be emboldened if the government narrative changes.

Yes. We're out of time, but clearly, that last part about the narrative from the government needs to change, but it doesn't look as if that will be the case. Certainly not before the election.

Nicolair (ph) in New Delhi, thank you so much for being with us, and Mohammed (ph) as well, there in Los Angeles. We appreciate you coming in and sharing your experience. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you very much.

VAUSE: When we come back, scenes of desperation and suffering in a hospital which is not in the middle of a war zone, at least not a traditional one. How Venezuela's political crisis is putting its most vulnerable citizens at risk.

Also, images of a Lionel Messi jersey made from a garbage bag that earned one Afghan boy Internet fame but, with that fame, came a whole lot of trouble from the Taliban and more. The heartbreaking update in a moment.


VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. I'm John Vause with an update on the top news stories this hour.

Donald Trump says, not happy. Especially not happy with the congressional compromise to avoid another government shutdown. He's expected to sign it anyway. The deal includes $1.3 billion for a border barrier. The president says he'll find other ways to fund his wall with Mexico.

On U.S.-China trade talks, Trump says he could let the March (UNINTELLIGIBLE) deadline slide, keep the talks going if the two sides are close to an agreement, but he also said he'd impose new tariffs if the deal is not struck. His comments come as the U.S. treasury secretary is in Beijing for ongoing high-level talks.

Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, who once ran one of Mexico's most feared drug cartels, is now facing life in prison. A jury in New York found him guilty of all ten criminal counts, including international drug trafficking and conspiracy to launder money. He'll be sentenced in June.

Huge crowds litter (ph) the streets of Venezuela's capital both for and against President Nicolas Maduro. Opposition protestors want Maduro to allow humanitarian aid into the country, and his rival, the self-declared interim president, Juan Guaido, intends to do just that. He posted a selfie in front of a huge crowd, saying humanitarian aid will arrive February 23. And he's calling on all Venezuelans to help hand out supplies.

But Maduro remains defiant, denying there's even a crisis, and says the U.S. and others are distorting the situation to justify intervention. His vice president went further, saying American aid is contaminated, poisoned, and should be considered biological weapons. Maduro also stepped up his attacks on the Trump White House.


[00:35:16] NICOLAS MADURO, PRESIDENT OF VENEZUELA (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): It's a political war of the United States empire of the interests of the extreme right that today is governing, the Ku Klux Klan that rules the White House to take over Venezuela. They're warmongering in order to take over Venezuela.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is President Trump a white supremacist?

MADURO (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): He is, publicly and openly.


VAUSE: The U.S. says it wants a peaceful transfer of power from Maduro to Guaido, but all options including military force remain on the table.

Well, evidence of the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela cannot be ignored. The currency is worthless. People cross the border into Colombia in droves simply to get food, and the poor who stay behind are forced to forage through garbage, looking for scraps.

Hospitals are struggling, as well, as CNN's Sam Kiley reports.


SAM KILEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In heavily-guarded hospitals the government here wants to keep visitors out and its shameful secrets in.

A failed economy, now being crippled by American sanctions, has starved hospitals of drugs and the very necessity of life itself, food. Like us, it's smuggled in by volunteers. If the government got hold of these essential supplies, these aid workers believe, they would be stolen and sold on the black market.

Angie cannot leave the hospital. She lives on a ventilator. Incredibly, Venezuela's president has closed the country's borders to foreign aid.

(on camera): This structure is dependent on outside charity help precisely because the government refuses to take it. It will not accept that it needs help, because that means the government admits that it's failed.

(voice-over): Antonella is six, and she has a tumor in her neck. She's terminally ill, and there are no cancer drugs to buy her a little extra time.

It's her mother, though, that's getting treatment today. She fainted from lack of food when she arrived at the hospital. Now she's recovering on a drip. It's just saline solution. So this handout is just in time.

In every room here, small donations are welcome.

Staff here tell us that only 3 of 18 operating theaters are working. That this is the only pediatric surgical unit left in the capital and that 500 children are on its waiting list.

One doctor quickly writes a shopping list of desperately-needed supplies. She can't show her face for fear of being punished for doing this.

The U.S. and many other nations blame President Nicolas Maduro for scenes like this, and they support his rival, Juan Guaido. U.S.-led efforts to cut off Maduro's access to foreign currency are intended to drive him from power. That might work eventually. In the meantime, it can only deepen the suffering.

Sam Kiley, CNN, Caracas.


VAUSE: Viral fame has turned into a nightmare for one young Afghan and his family. The so-called Messi boy caught the world's attention a homemade football jersey and his love for superstar Lionel Messi. As CNN's Nick Paton Walsh reports, that made him a Taliban target.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Fame has a totally different price in Afghanistan. Meet Murtaza, age 7. His bid to emulate his football idol, Lionel Messi, with a plastic bag as a football shirt and a handwritten number 10, went viral over two years ago. He got this signed shirt and even met the Argentinian star in Qatar.

But this is a story of unintended consequences and how celebrity in Afghanistan doesn't mean paparazzi or footballers' wives but threats and fleeing your home in the night.

Soon after Murtaza's fame, the Taliban attacked their village.

"The Taliban were killing our relatives," he says, "and they were searching houses. They stole cars and killed their passengers searching houses and killing people. I told my mother to take me somewhere else. We weren't allowed to play football by the Taliban or even go out of the house. We used to hear the sound of heavy machine guns and Kalashnikovs and rockets at home. We also heard people screaming. Then my mother decided to bring me here."

His father took them to a nearby city but had to stay behind to fight. "The last time I saw my father," he says, "was on the first day we came here. Then he went back, and I haven't seen him since then. I miss him so much. When he calls my mother, I also talk to him."

Even here, they live behind closed doors, says his mother, Shafika (ph). "It would have been better if Murtaza hadn't gained fame," she said. "He spends all of his time here inside the house. Not only the Taliban but some other groups have started think thinking that Messi might have given him a lot of money. We stopped sending him to school, because we were being threatened all the time."

She appeals again to Messi to help them leave Afghanistan, but their story is just one in the spotlight, where there are millions of displaced here in the growing darkness.

Murtaza hails from the Hazara minority, often persecuted by the Taliban and fearful of their ascendance in any peace deal with the Americans.

"In Kabul, I cannot go outside the house," he says. "My mother doesn't let me go out. She's afraid. I only play with my friends inside. When I was in my hometown, I couldn't wear my Messi jersey, because I was afraid somebody would hurt me. I want to be taken from this country, because there's fighting here. I want to become a football player like Messi and play with Messi."

Caught now, like much of the country, in the gap between how much foreigners are willing to do to help and what Afghans need.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, London.


VAUSE: Great. Back after this. You're watching CNN.


CHRIS BELL, TRAVEL WRITER: The local music is completely unique to the Llanos of Venezuela and Colombia. It's a shared culture, and it's very emotive of the place. It's played on simple instruments: a four- string guitar, a harp, two maracas and a voice.

Joropo in its purest form is singing songs about cows, about horses, about birds, about love and loss. And all of the things that make this region so special.

When it comes to the food in the Llanos, this is what people come here for. The meat.

The food is meat, meat and then meat so more. It's huge slabs of beef on giant sticks, just roasting over an open fire.

But if you're not, say, a meat eater, for example, there are so many rivers running through this region, coming down from the Andes, flowing towards the Orinoco, that fish is another huge part of the gastronomy of the Llanos.

Soups like Amarillo, Monsignor, which is a fish stew made famous as being ordered by a priest who came here to the Llanos and is now the most typical dish, along with the beef.


VAUSE: The little rover that could, continues to delight scientists and researchers by sending back some spectacular images from Mars. The latest being this 360-degree panorama of the landscape which it had explored for the last year. Ridge lines can be seen in the distance, and amid the desert-like terrain, the rover found evidence of ancient lakes.

Now the rover is heading to a new area on the Martian surface. I just don't see anything. It's, like, it's all red and desert-y.

OK. A pooch named King has been crowned America's top dog. He's a wire fox terrier. The 15th time this breed has been named best in show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York. And second place, what they call a Havanese pup named Bono.

There was a little bit of dog doggy drama. One finalist disqualified because of a conflict of interest between the dog's owner and the judge. That's what we know. Details at 11. No. If we have more details on that, we'll bring them to you.

Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause. Stay with us. WORLD SPORT is next. You're watching CNN.


KATE RILEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to WORLD SPORT. I'm Kate Riley at CNN Center.

Well, it would appear that the honeymoon is now over in terms of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Manchester United. Just 54 days, and they have now lost a game under their new interim manager for the very first time.

Earlier they were in Champions League action up against Paris Saint- Germain; and these two teams had actually never faced each other before. The EPL side 2-0 down after the first leg of their Champions League tie against PSG.

Well, the French outfit were without two-thirds of their megastar front line, Neymar and Edinson Cavani. In the end, they didn't need them, though.

United's former midfielder, Angel di Maria, returns to amend them. He made the opening goal for Presnel Kimpembe, and shortly afterwards, he teed up Kylian Mbappe. He definitely slipped it past David de Gea. That's two away goals for PSG.

It gets worse. The United full pumper (ph) was sent off late on. He'll miss the second leg.

Well, it might have been over 50 days for Manchester United to lose under Solskjaer. The interim boss said afterwards that the loss was, quote, "a reality check" but insisted that mountains are there to be climbed.

Meanwhile, our Don Riddell got the thoughts of Rory Smith, soccer journalist for "The New York Times," who was at Old Trafford.


DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS: A really good win for PSG, who actually become the first team to win by more than a goal at Old Trafford in European history. Why would you say this game was won and lost tonight?

RORY SMITH, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": Ultimately, I'd say the main difference between the teams was Marco Verratti, the Italian midfielder. There's been so much doubt about Neymar's absence and Edinson Catani's absence, whether that would prohibit PSG; but with Verratti, they seemed to have a player who was just a level above anything that Manchester United could muster.

He knitted everything together. He prompted the attack that lead to the pressure and led the goals. I suspect the difference in the quality in the midfielders was what gave PSG what feels like a milestone win.

RIDDELL: United have been on such a good run for the last couple of months. This is going to be a really rude awakening. How do you explain this result? From their perspective, have they maybe just had a really run -- run of easy games in England and now this?

SMITH: It feels a bit harsh to dismiss the run in England as easy. They have beaten Tottenham at Wembley. They're beaten Arsenal, of course. They have been impressive, much more impressive than they were at the start of the season.

I suspect it's just that PSG are a level above. That even teams in the Premiere League aren't quite hit the -- hit the heights that the Champions League's ultimate best really can. And United maybe (UNINTELLIGIBLE) a little bit in that sense here.

Whether it means the hierarchy here at Old Trafford decide not to give the job to job full time Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, I think we'll have to wait and see, but it does feel like the sort of thing they should maybe take into consideration.

RIDDELL: Yes. I mean, that's really interesting, because there have been some calls for the board at Old Trafford to just give Solskjaer the job. Because obviously, he's injected so much positivity and enthusiasm; and the team seems to be gelling and much more positive now than they were under Mourinho.

Do you think tonight's game will be a big factor? I mean, was he in any way tactically culpable for the result tonight?

SMITH: Maybe not culpable. I think Thomas Tuchel, the PSG coach, got the better of him tactically. There was no question about that. He set the team up really well. It's a learning curve for Solskjaer, as well. This is his first Champions League knockout tie as a manager, so it's understandable that maybe he wasn't -- wasn't quite at that level.

I don't think this will be the deciding factor for United. As you say, he's injected so much good feeling into the club since he came in. That has to be taken into consideration, too.

The United maybe need to pause a little bit and consider the decision for a little bit longer. There's been talk in England over the last few days that the decision has already been made, though they may not announce it until the summer. They would offer Solskjaer the job.

Perhaps it's a chance to cool down a little bit and just think -- they've got a few months to make this decision. They don't have to rush into anything.

RIDDELL: Great insight. Thanks a lot.

SMITH: Thank you.


RILEY: Meanwhile, it was a case of lucky No. 7 for one particular youngster in Italy on Tuesday night. The other Champions League match, this time between Roma and Porto. Firstly, in the 70th minute, Nicolo Zaniolo opened his account, and it

became historic. Since 7 minutes later, the Roma 19-year-old getting his brace on the night. And just like that, the teenager becomes the youngest ever Italian player to score two or more goals in a single Champions League match. Two on the final score in the Italian capital.

Well, in other news, I'm sorry to say that England's World Cup winning goalie Gordon Banks has died at the age of 81. He family said that he passed away peacefully overnight.

And this guy really was a legend, architect of what is often praised as the greatest save of all time. If you grew up in England, you'll already be familiar with this. Banks saving from the great Pele at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico. England actually lost that game, but many people focus on this moment as Banks somehow clawed the ball away from goal even when it had gone past him.

He played 73 ties for his country, also winning domestic trophies with club sides (ph) Stoke and Leicester.

His family broke the news on social media, saying, "It is with great sadness that we announce that Gordon passed away peacefully overnight. We are devastated to lose him, but we have so many happy memories and could not have been more proud of him."



ANNOUNCER: And now, a moment of wonder from "Great Big Story."

ROSS KOGER, BOXWARS CO-CREATOR: I'm Ross. I'm one of the supreme overlords of Boxwars.

Boxwars is a collective of people that love to get together, create cardboard creations, and then destroy them in an epic battle.

There's rules to Boxwars, but they're very limited. There's no winners. We like to say that if you're in a Boxwars, you've already lost. It's more about competitiveness in being creative.

The only materials that you can use are cardboard, adhesives like tape, hot glue, whatever you can find in packaging. That's the stuff that we like to use to build our suits.

We encourage people to come down to our events and build as elaborate costumes as they can possibly make. Once they build the props, then we all gather at a park and then we battle. Stuff that we spent weeks on designing are all gone in seconds.

There's generally around about 50 to 100 people in the actual battle, and then it can be hundreds and hundreds of spectators. We've got chapters that have dotted up all around the world. We've had groups in Japan and Europe and America and Canada. Boxwars is based around comedy. That's the whole point of Boxwars. We're losers. What we're doing is quite pathetic. We should all have real jobs, but here we are building stuff out of cardboard. If you laugh at us, that's exactly what we want.

Grr. That's pretty pathetic.

ANNOUNCER: For more stories like this, visit


RILEY: Welcome back. What a time to be a fan of sport over in Japan. Naomi Osaka, who represents Japan, is the world No. 1 tennis player right now. And the capitol of Tokyo is getting ready to host the Olympics next summer. But before that, they've got the Rugby World Cup. Japan will become the first Asian host of the tournament. Their team has never made it out of the pool stage of the tournament, though.

Of course, many fans will remember their stunning surprise victory over South Africa four years ago, but for the development of rugby in the country, it was a historic and sobering defeat to New Zealand in 1995 that had a much bigger impact.

This week we are taking a special look at Japanese rugby, and today we are kicking off with how that result in '95 changed everything, ultimately paving the way towards that extraordinary day against the Springboks.


GRAPHIC: In 1995, New Zealand beat Japan 145-17.

KOJI TOKUMASU, JAPAN RFU SENIOR DIRECTOR: I was in South Africa in 1995 when that game was held.

GRAPHIC: It was a World Cup record that still stands today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was the media liaison of the team, and I lost my words. That was in 1995 when I had decided rugby is no more an amateur game and a lot of contractual agreements were happening behind the scenes. And the All Blacks players were all under the contractual agreements. So it is a game of professionals against amateurs.


GRAPHIC: The biggest change is the training method. In my days, we ran around the ground, passed and kicked the ball and we practiced only rugby skills. Now, besides those skills, they also build up their bodies, do weight training or what we call strengthening.

We were more relaxed and had more freedom. After training, we drank alcohol and had fun together and drank until the early hours, even a night before practice. Those things don't really happen anymore.


GRAPHIC: Right at the end, Japan scored a try. It was truly unbelievable what happened. I was watching at work and the workplace was like a madhouse.

GRAPHIC: How popular is rugby in Japan?


GRAPHIC: The profile of the sport is not very high, I think. When I tell people that I play rugby, people often get confused with American football. My dream is to play for the national team, and I would love to play against players and teams from overseas.


GRAPHIC: Since Japan defeated South Africa at the 2015 World Cup, rugby has caught people's imagination again.

GRAPHIC: Can Japan win the World Cup?

TOKUMASU: My strong belief is Japan national team will definitely go to the quarterfinal, because if Japan finish No. 2, we're going to play All Blacks in the quarterfinal. But anything can happen. If we finish No. 1, it's different, because we play South Africa. So either way, the quarterfinal will a tough game, but we hope the home crowds will support Japan for the quarterfinal.


RILEY: All right. Great stuff there. We've got so much more for you right here on WORLD SPORT throughout the week, though. Coming up at the same time tomorrow, an interview with Japan's captain as he prepares to lead the cherry blossoms into uncharted territory.

And that does it for this edition of WORLD SPORT. Many thanks for watching. As always, stay with CNN. The news is next.


VAUSE: Hello, great to have you with us. I'm John Vause. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.