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Exclusive, CNN Follows Hunt for ISIS Leader; U.K. Revokes Citizenship of ISIS Bride Shamima Begum; Three U.K. Conservative Lawmakers Quit Party Over Brexit; U.K. Prime Minister Returning to Brussels to Continue Brexit Talks; Putin Promises Strong Response to Missile Deployments; U.S. House Investigating Efforts to Transfer Nuclear Technology to Saudi Arabia; Pope Says Sexual Abuse for Nuns is a Problem; CNN Investigates French Order Accused of Sexual Slavery; Taiwan's President Says Threat from China Growing Every Day. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired February 20, 2019 - 10:00   ET


[10:00:00] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

Despite being hunted by the best intelligence agencies, there has been little more than brief sighting, spotty intelligence, and conflicting



BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST: Tonight, on the run, nowhere to go, but still no one can finally hunt ISIS's leader down. You can't see this anywhere else.

CNN exclusively taking you on the trail for him. Inside the shadowy badlands, where he's thought to be crawling around in tunnels.

And then, another CNN exclusive investigation for you this hour.


LUCIE, SEX ABUSE VICTIM: He's a priest. He's a father. He's near God. He is like God. The Christ is living in him. He cannot do something like

this. It broke me. It broke my body in fact.


ANDERSON: Silence until now. The first time ever and only right here on CNN, we hear the stories of women allegedly sexually abused by priests.

We're live at the Vatican just ahead.

And Brexit, the political disaster movie, defines defections, betrayals aplenty, but there is one thing no one seems to have. A clue. With time

fast running out, we're on the ground in London and in Brussels.

With incredible and exclusive reporting from all across the map, we are connecting everything for you like no one else can. I'm Becky Anderson.

This is CONNECT THE WORLD. We're live from our broadcasting hub here in Abu Dhabi.

Our top story for you, after years of attacks and atrocities the terror group ISIS has now lost almost all of its land but the fight isn't over.

Trucks were seen carrying more men, women and children from Baghouz in Northern Syria where ISIS fighters are battling the U.S.-backed alliance

for the last sliver of the caliphate.

This's a look at how that caliphate has been shrinking since the group began its sweep through Syria and Iraq. At one point, controlling an area

the size of Britain.

Well, this land means fewer places to hide for the leader of ISIS. But no matter where his enemies look, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi remains elusive. He's

believed to be moving back and forth between Syria and Iraq. CNN senior international correspondent Arwa Damon went to the mountains of Iraq for

the exclusive report on the hunt.


ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Reverberating through the streets of the old city during this Friday sermon

are words about the true meaning of freedom and Islam. But it was also on a Friday in July of 2014 when Mahmoud Dawoud, Mosul, an Iman, says his cell

phone suddenly lost reception.

MAHMOUD DAWOUD, MOSUL RESIDENT (through translator): I saw masked men all over the neighborhood and on rooftops, he tells us. The cars came. It's

the first time I see them. More than 200 with tinted windows. And then, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi showed up, declared the caliphate. Himself as leader

and ordered all Muslims to obey him.

DAMON (on camera): And that's exactly where al-Baghdadi gave his address.

(voice-over): Mahmoud says he knew in that moment that Iraq would be demolished. It's the only one of al-Baghdadi's locations that is fully

confirmed. Since then, despite being hunted by the best intelligence agencies, there has been little more than brief sightings, spotty

intelligence, and conflicting information.

Saddam Al-Jamal, a mid-level Syrian ISIS prisoner on death row in the Iraqi capital says he never saw al-Baghdadi but was close to those who did.

SADDAM AL-JAMAL, MID-LEVEL ISIS COMMANDER (through translator): About a year and a half ago, he tells us, there were attempts by foreign fighters

to overthrow Baghdadi, but he had them all killed.

The descent within ISIS leadership ranks has even further shrunk the entourage around Baghdadi. The sprawling town of Shirqat is one of the

areas where an intelligence source says Baghdadi moved through in 2015, holding meetings with senior commanders in safe houses.

(on camera): We've been talking to residents here. None of whom will appear on camera. But they were telling us that they saw ISIS's top

military commander coming in and out of this house. And numerous sources say that this is where he was killed in 2015. And an Iraqi intelligence

source tells us that this house is one of the places where he would meet with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

[10:05:00] (voice-over): There were also reports that we cannot confirm that Baghdadi was wounded in that same air strike. A senior Iraqi

intelligence officer says that on at least three occasion, two in Iraq, and one in Syria, they called in strikes that came close to taking him out.

For insight into how the ISIS leader may be moving around, we head from Shirqat to the edge of Baghdadi's former hideout, the foothills of the

Maghrebi mountains. To the west of here, lies a vast stretch of desert that leads into Syria. Exclusive images obtained by CNN show what we are

told are ISIS spotter hideout, masquerading as nomad tents. Photographs of the tunnels inside the mountains. How their entrance is hidden. Life

inside the caves. And a brief video where one fighter discusses his injury, and they all crack jokes.

This is where ISIS is training its strike force. And still carries out sporadic attacks.

(on camera): If you look at the landscape, it's actually very good illustration of how ISIS is now being forced to move around. They take

advantage of these gorges that exist throughout this entire area. And in fact, at one point, there are actually able to, while moving through these

gorges, come up and attempt to plant an IED right here on the road.

(voice-over): Out here, ISIS still rules the night. Coming down in small groups, to murder, plant bombs, and steal. The Iraqis believe they are

closing in on Baghdadi, but he has eluded them more than once, disappearing into the shadows of these lawless lands.


ANDERSON: Arwa Damon reporting there.

ISIS's territory in Syria now dwindling to a tiny patch of land, below one square kilometer. And with that, many foreign-born fighters and their

families are leaving or at least attempting to leave and return home. Something that is testing public sympathy around the world.

And perhaps the most acute example of this right now is the British teenager Shamima Begum. Now and ISIS bride who left the U.K. for the

caliphate when she was just 15 years of age. Now at 19 she is not renouncing ISIS. But nevertheless is still desperately appealing to come

home. Something that's hitting a bit of a wall, quite frankly, as the U.K. now says it will strip her of her British citizenship. Let's get you to

London, where Nina dos Santos is tracking what is an unprecedented case -- Nina.

NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is an unprecedented case. It's also one that has significant consequences for other people returns from

these ISIS war zone areas and specifically women who maybe returning with children as well. Because Shamima Begum -- as you rightly pointed out in

your introduction, Becky -- left as a child, but she then re-emerged in a refugee camp. Tracked down by a British reporter a week ago, pregnant,

with a child, and she's now given birth to a newborn son. So this goes right to the heart of her future but also the future of a newborn baby, who

could be eligible for British citizenship as well. A newborn baby who is alive but she has also lost her two previous children over the last three


Also, the British government has said that they are moving to rescind her citizenship, largely on the basis that they believe she is also eligible

for another citizenship through her mother who comes from Bangladesh. This has been refuted by friends of the family who said that Shamima Begum has

never been to Bangladesh, she does not hold a Bangladeshi passport. In fact, when she left for Syria four years ago, she traveled on her sister's

passport. Which she had taken to be able to travel, because she didn't have a passport of her own.

So their argument here is that this is a very vulnerable young woman, who's probably still brain washed. She's just given birth days ago. She's given

five media interviews since giving birth -- because we counted them. And she's also somebody who is public suffering from severe mental illness as a

result of what she has seen in the last four years, and as a result of the death of her two previous children.

So for all of these reasons, friends, family members, also her lawyers, have said that they are going to be exploring all legal avenues to try and

push back an appeal against this decision by the home office -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Nina dos Santos is in London, with the legacy of this group, if you will. And the complications that it poses even as it dies in Iraq and

in Syria. I want to get us back -- thank you, Nina. I want to get us back to Arwa in Northern Iraq.

You've just heard the incredible reporting from Arwa Damon on the latest, as we understand it, of the leader of this group, Baghdadi. Arwa, how much

of a threat does Baghdadi pose on the run?

[10:10:00] DAMON: Becky, this is where perhaps the dynamics of how ISIS operates actually come to the forefront. Because the way the organization

has set itself up -- according to a number of analysts that we have spoken to in our own reporting on the ground -- is actually specific to the

conditions and circumstances they find themselves in right now. From the moment that al-Baghdadi declared the caliphate, ISIS was readies itself for

at least its territorial demise. Baghdadi, yes, now on the run. The Iraqis say they're very close to getting him. Some of them believe that

he's actually hiding underground.

The area that he can potentially hide in is quite vast, as you saw, in that earlier report. But the cells that exist can operate independently of him.

Plus, according to one analyst we spoke to, Becky, the networks that exist in Iraq and Syria, are perhaps the best known. But they are hardly the

only ones that ISIS has established. They have a vast network that extends throughout Europe, Southeast Asia -- Southeast Asia and North Africa.

ANDERSON: Arwa Damon is in Erbil for you this evening. Arwa, terrific reporting. Thank you.

Moving on for you this evening, the strain of delivering Brexit is quite literally tearing apart the country's political parties. Three

Conservative MP's have quit the Prime Minister's party. Blaming her, quote, disastrous handling of Brexit. They will join what's known as the

independent group of MP's who resigned from the opposition Labour Party.

Now these defections thin the Prime Minister's already slight majority in Parliament. It's not been an easy day, even by Mrs. May's standards. It

has to be said. But it isn't over yet, she is due in Brussels in two hours to meet the European Commission Chief for yet more Brexit talks.

Erin McLaughlin is in Brussels ahead of Mrs. May's arrival. First let's get to you to Phil Black in London. Look, not a flood of defections but

enough to put both the Prime Minister and the opposition leader -- it has to be said -- in a position of weakness here. What's the bigger picture?

PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So you're right, Becky, not a flood, and in a sense, the likely characters you would have to say. Certainly these

three Conservative MP's who have split with their party, former Conservative MP's. They were the ones that you would pick if you had to

guess in advance.

But it's still an extraordinary development. We are witnessing this redrawing, if you like, of the traditional British political landscape.

And so you now have this extraordinary situation where former political opponents have decided to leave the parties, that they've spent years or

decades serving, dedicating their lives to. Because they feel they have more in common with each other than the parties they are leaving behind.

And what we heard from these Conservative -- former Conservative MP's today, was pretty much exactly the same thing as we heard from the former

Labour MP's two days before when they first split with their party. That is, they believe they haven't changed, their values haven't changed but the

party has, that it has been taken over by extremists that it has moved away from them. And so, there is no long a space within it for them, in the

traditional middle centrist ground of British politics.

And so, what they hope on both sides, both in terms of those who left Labour, those who have left the Conservative Party is, that the leaders of

both of those parties will now reconsider or at least be sensitive to the steps they take going forward, from here, for the fear that others could

follow them. That other members of those parties could also quit and join this new centrist independent group. That's the hope. They're now 11

members in total, it was seven just a few days ago. But they do hope their numbers will rise in the coming days -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Mrs. May, I'm sure, would say if we were speaking to her now, that she needs a bit of a break, and the Europeans could provide that break

for everybody who is sitting back in Britain trying to work out what happens next. Whether there is a deal, that Mrs. May wants, or whether

there is no deal. Which many people say is, is a would-be disaster for the U.K. Erin, are the Europeans going to offer her that break in Brussels this


ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It certainly does not look that way, Becky. As Jean-Claude Juncker the President of the European Commission,

who she'll be meeting with in just a couple of hours or so, yesterday ruling out any break-through from today's meeting with Prime Minister May.

The talks though are continuing. This is a meeting that is at the request of the British Prime Minister.

I understand that the goal here for her is to keep that political momentum moving in a direction of a compromise on the Northern Irish backstop, which

of course remains the center of an impasse that has gone on really for months at this point. She's insisting that it needs to be changed in

potentially three fundamental ways. Either an exit clause, some sort of ends date for the backstop, or alternative arrangements.

[10:15:00] Officials from London have been in Brussels earlier in the week meeting with the Commission, to try and work out what could potentially be

done. My understanding is out of that, they have ruled out alternative arrangements for now, says there is simply not enough time between now and

March 29 for some sort of alternative to the backstop to be drafted.

But frankly, you know, I'm detecting from conversations I'm having here with diplomats, an air of frustration, because in their view, that had been

ruled out months ago. And yet, U.K. officials are bringing forward these ideas, proposals, that had been talked about, and ruled out, as much as two

years ago. And we're here in the 11th hour, and there is deep skepticism at her tactics here. That Theresa May is simply trying to run the clock

down to create a pressurized situation for which her deal could ultimately be passed through Westminster.

Something that was said by those three MP's that resigned from the Tory Party earlier today. They were accusing her of trying to create this

pressurized situation, a binary choice between no deal and her deal. Hoping that ultimately that 230 MP's who ruled out her deal earlier in

January will pass it when faced with the option of that no deal Brexit chaos. Which is deemed catastrophic for both sides of the channel.

Something that both sides are furiously working to avoid. Interesting, tomorrow, Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour opposition, is expected for meetings

here in Brussels. EU officials see a potential cross-party compromise as a way out of this impasse. But that kind of compromise, given the political

dynamic there in London does not seem to be in the cards at this point.

ANDERSON: Yes, the last time we had that was sort of the war cabinet back some 70 years ago. And people have been talking about that, sort of cross-

party cabinet, that might actually get on and agree on a position on Brexit, now for some time. But certainly, we haven't seen any evidence of

that even though there's been some suggestions by specific lawmakers that that may be the only way to go at this point. As you rightly point out,

both of you, only just over a month, until B-day, as it were, Brexit day, March 29. All right, to both of you, thank you.

Still to come, a Vatican spokesman says it is time to look this monster in the face. Just ahead, the Vatican's unprecedented move to tackle the

crisis of abuse that is plaguing the Catholic Church.

Also, U.S. lawmakers say whistle blowers raised grave concerns about the Trump administration's efforts to sell nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia.

We'll tell you about a new investigation just ahead. Stay with us.


ANDERSON: Russian President Vladimir Putin has a warning for the United States in his annual marathon speech to Parliament. Mr. Putin said if

America installs intermediate range nuclear weapons in Europe, Russia will target, quote, decision making centers. Fred Pleitgen listened to the

speech in Moscow, and Fred, Vladimir Putin issuing a warning directly at the U.S., and others it seems.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, certainly, and I think it was quite thinly veiled that one of the main places that he

meant by those decision-making capitals was Washington D.C. And I think it was quite interesting because to us it seemed like one of his strongest

remarks yet at threat of a possible new arms race between Russia and the United States and indeed Russia and the U.S. allies.

And one of the things that Vladimir Putin did is he essentially blamed the United States for leaving the INF Treaty. Which is, of course, the treaty

that bans medium range nuclear weapons by the United States and by Russia as well. Even though the U.S. of course says that it believes Russia is

the country that violated the deal and continues to violate the deal. The Russian President however saying that if the U.S. does deploy medium range

nuclear weapons in Europe, that the Russians would retaliate. Here's what he had to say.


VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Russia will be forced to create and develop weapons which can be used not only towards

those territories, from which direct threats may be directed at us. But also towards those territories where centers of decision making and rocket

systems that are threatening to us.


PLEITGEN: Said Vladimir Putin. And to add some muscle to those remarks, Vladimir Putin also announcing some of those weapons that he's talking

about -- which are under development, are very much on schedule. There's one that he talked about called Zircon, which is a hypersonic missile that

the Russians say can get around American missile defense systems and travel at nine times the speed of sound.

There is also another one, that the Russians announced today, called Poseidon, which is an underwater unmanned vehicle, that they say conducted

a successful test today. Now the Russians continuing to say all of this is defensive in nature. They say they don't want to strike first. And

Vladimir Putin also saying -- I think this is quite significant -- that the Russians still do want better relations with the United States but also say

they are not the ones coming knocking on Washington's doors -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Fascinating. Fred, thank you. Fred's in Moscow for you this evening.

Well, a former FBI official who first opened investigations into Donald Trump says he still believes that the U.S. President could be acting on

behalf of the Kremlin. While that extraordinary remark comes just as a "New York Times" report raises new questions about Mr. Trump's possible

obstruction of justice. Now it details what it calls his two-year war on the Russia probe, and related investigations, and his alleged attempts to

install political allies to oversee critical inquiries. Now, the former acting FBI director Andrew McCabe talked to CNN's Anderson Cooper last

night. Have a listen to this.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Do you still believe the President could be a Russian asset?

ANDREW MCCABE, FORMER ACTING FBI DIRECTOR: I think it's possible. I think that's why we started our investigation. And I'm really anxious to see

where Director Mueller concludes that.

COOPER: Do you know, was the President's family being looked into, either before the appointment of Mueller or after?

MCCABE: That's something I don't feel comfortable talking about as it goes to kind of the -- it could go to ongoing investigative matters.


ANDERSON: Well, it's not just Russia. A House committee now investigating whether the Trump administration tried to transfer sensitive nuclear

technology to Saudi Arabia in possible violation of the law. CNN' Kara Scannell is on the story for us from Washington. And this says that those

efforts appear to be ongoing, as we speak. What are your sources telling you?

KARA SCANNELL, CNN REPORTER: That's right, Becky, the House oversight committee is now investigating whether the Trump administration was

pursuing this nuclear deal despite multiple warnings internally by career staffers. Their big concern was that this could be violating conflicts of

interest rules. Because Michael Flynn -- the then national security adviser -- had ties to a private company that had developed this plan to

sell and to develop nuclear power plants in Saudi Arabia. And so that was one of their concerns.

[10:25:00] Another concern was that this could violate the Atomic Energy Act. The law in the U.S. that limits the ability to transfer and export

nuclear technologies to foreign countries without Congress' approval. There is a lot of concern within the White House, among those staffers, the

career national security staff, that they were trying to bypass the normal protocols in order to get this deal with the Saudis. And that, you know,

even when they had gone to the top legal official in the national security division, and was told, you know, stop working on this program. Because of

these concerns, that Michael Flynn and his allies continue to push this program. They wanted to get it in Donald Trump's hands, before are key

meetings and calls that he had with Saudi officials. This was a big concern.

Now, the House oversight committee, they only had about four months' worth of information on the early days of the administration, now they're wanting

to dig deeper into this to see if it's continuing. Bloomberg reported last week that members of this private company had organized a meeting with

other CEOs to meet at the White House to try to move along in this deal. We also know that the Saudis, have their lobbyists here in the U.S. and

they are continuing to promote this. The Department of Energy Secretary has been testifying on Capitol Hill and elsewhere. Also talking in favor

of a plan like this. It's unclear where it's going to play out. But now we have the House oversight led by Democrats taking a deep dive into this

issue -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Bottom line, just to be clear, there is no evidence that any key technology actually got transferred. Correct? It was -- this

investigation is about whether there was an effort being made to transfer it?

SCANNELL: That's right. There's no indication that any technology has transferred. It was just the means and manner in which the White House was

rushing so quickly in the first couple of months to get this deal done over the finish line, without going through the proper checks and balances that

a process like this normally would have to endure.

ANDERSON: Fascinating. Kara, thank you.

ANDERSON: Well Iran, a bitter rival of Saudi Arabia, slamming the Trump administration, accusing it of hypocrisy. Javad Zarif said, quote, day by

day it becomes clearer to the world, what was always clear to us, neither human rights or a nuclear program have been a real concern of the United


Harrowing accounts of women who say they were targets of predator priests. Telling their stories for the first time to CNN. We hear from them in an

exclusive report. As an unprecedented gathering in Rome aims to confront this crisis.



PETER SAUNDERS, SEX ABUSE SURVIVOR: And it would seem that the Pope once again is giving the two fingers to survivors and to child protection

everywhere, which I think he's an absolute disgrace.


ANDERSON: A sex abuse survivor they are slamming the Pope, just a short distance away from the Vatican. Where an unprecedented summit is being

held. Nearly 200 Church leaders from around the world will attempt to confront what is the scourge of clergy who commit sexual abuse. And those

scandals, well, they seem almost endless.

But let's walk you through some of the latest stories just this month. Earlier, this month, the Pope for the first time called the sexual abuse of

nuns by Catholic clergy a problem. Even saying that some women had been sexually enslaved by religious men.

Last Friday, we learned the Vatican's Ambassador to France is under investigation for sexual assault. And last Saturday, the Pope defrocked a

prominent American former cardinal over sexual abuse allegations.

We've got some exclusive reporting to bring you now, from CNN's Melissa Bell. She has been investigating a French order that the Pope accused of

sexual slavery. She joins us live from Paris. Before we get to you, Melissa, let me just get to Delia Gallagher, our Vatican insider who has

traveled with the Pope around the world. This summit is about to really kick off in earnest. What can we realistically expect to be achieved --


DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, basically, since the Vatican announced the summit, they've been trying to downplay

expectations. They are saying that it's a summit to get all the bishops around the world on the same page when it comes to procedures to follow for

sex abuse. It sounds like an obvious thing to do 17 years after they've been dealing with it publicly.

But it's a challenge because different countries around the world are on different pages. There are some countries that haven't even begun to look

into the question of sex abuse. And they are also hoping to raise the issue of accountability, that is coverup. And that has to do with bishops

and with a systemic problem of a culture of secrecy, a culture of allowing the institution to come before the stories and the truths of the survivors.

Those are things, Becky, that obviously take a long time to change. This has been building for decades. It will probably be decades before it is

fully resolved. Nonetheless, the Vatican says this is one step for them on this long journey.

ANDERSON: Melissa -- thank you, Delia. Melissa, let's remind our viewers that it was the Pope's comments on the flight back from Abu Dhabi to Rome

recently, which really retriggered all of this. Let's hear what he said again on the sexual abuse of nuns by the clergy.


POPE FRANCIS, HEAD OF CATHOLIC CHURCH (through translator): It's true, in the Church, there have also been some clerics and in some cultures more

strongly than others. It's not something that everyone does. But there have been priests and even bishops who have done this. And I think it is

still taking place. Because it's not as though the moment you become aware of something, it goes away. The thing continues. And we've been working

on this for some time. We have suspended a few clerics and sent some away over this. I can't say this doesn't happen in my house. It's true.

Should something more have been done? Yes. Do we have the will? Yes. But it's a path we have been on for some time.


ANDERSON: Working on this for some time, he said. Melissa, some would argue that is too little too late, correct?

[10:35:00] MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT: Well, certainly for the victims that we've been speaking to. And just to make it plain that we're

talking about different sorts of victims. So far, the Catholic Church, we're just hearing from Delia, there, looking ahead to what will come out

of the summit over the next few day, is really focused on that question of pedophilia. But that scandal broke 17 years ago. This is how long it has

taken for the church to work through it. And in a sense, we're at the beginning of another scandal since women were abused as adults really found

that it was the Pope's words in the last couple of weeks, that allowed them for the first time to speak about their suffering at the hand of the men

that they should have been able to trust the most.


LUCIE, SEX ABUSE VICTIM: It was like automatic, you know. He wanted to go to the end, to ejaculation, and I was just like an object for him, and I

had the feeling that he did this a lot of times.

BELL (voice-over): Lucie -- not her real name -- says she was abused by a priest. So do Liene Moreau and Laurence Poujade, none of their alleged

abusers have ever faced trial. This is the story of the broken women of Saint Jean. The order of the Contemplative Sisters of Saint Jean was

founded here at St. Jodard by Father Marie-Dominique Philippe, who preached for the physical expression of affection.

(on camera): It was long after his death that the order recognized that he'd been guilty of sexual abuse. But for years there were rumors about

other priests and other victims within the order.

(voice-over): Lucie was 18 years old and preparing to become an "oblate," a lay person concentrated within the Church when she says the abuse began.

LUCIE: You can be 18 or 16 or 20. When you have not experienced sexuality, and you have suddenly in front of you this sex of men, it's just

a shock.

BELL: It took Lucie 15 years to be able to talk about it. She then says the Church wouldn't listen. In the criminal courts, the statute of

limitations had expired. The Vatican now says it is investigating allegations made by several women against the Lucie's alleged abuser. She

was removed from the community ten years ago but even now it is the strength of her faith that makes it so hard to take in.

LUCIE: He's a priest. He's a father. He's near God. He is like God. He is the Christ is living in him. He cannot do something like this. I think

the worst was to talk. It broke me. It broke my body in fact. I prefer to have been shot by a gun or if I had just a leg handicap, it's OK, I can

live my life. But here, it's a murder inside of your heart, and of your soul, because it's about faith, also. So it's like something is dead in


BELL: Liene was a novice when she was abused. The Order of Saint Jean says that her alleged abuser, Father Mario Lieve (ph) is now being

investigated by the Vatican. He declined our request for comment. Liene only began to put a word on what happened to her two years ago and by then

it was too late to take to the criminal courts.

LIENE MOREAU, SEX ABUSE VICTIM (through translator): The psychological abuse was worse than the sexual abuse. It's my inner life. He took my

dignity. My femininity. All that I was.

BELL: Liene says the abuse went on for 15 years. In the letters she shows us, Father Mario Lieve (ph) suggests discretion, adding, that his crazy

love for her comes from Jesus.

CNN reached out to the Vatican. Its spokesman wouldn't comment on any specific allegations. But did confirm that several clerics belonging to

the congregation of Saint Jean were being investigated.

Laurence is a former nun, who now heads a victim's organization.

LAURENCE POUJADE, SENTINELLE VICTIMS GROUP (through translator): We are talking about victims who don't speak out. But what about those who went

straight to psychiatric hospitals? What about those who mutilated themselves? And I know of one case, her parents call me to tell me that

she had cut out her own tongue. What can you say? What happened for a victim to do that?

BELL (on camera): Not all of the abuse took place here. But the order says that over the course of the last 45 years, five priests have been

found guilty of sexual abuse in civil courts with three under investigation. Furthermore, two priests have been found guilty of abuse in

Church courts.

(voice-over): French authorities wouldn't comment. But the Order of Saint Jean gave CNN a statement, saying that it accepted that errors had been

made in the past in the handling of cases of sexual abuse because of a lack of awareness of the suffering caused to the women.

(on camera): We did just try and ring the bell here at the order of Saint Jean, but no one would speak to us on camera. What matters though now is

that the order has recognized that there are victims other than those of the founder.

[10:40:00] Now, that acknowledgment came just after Pope Francis had lifted the lid on what he called sexual slavery within the order of Saint Jean.

So what did the Pope's words mean for the victims?

MOREAU (through translator): Well, it was like a bomb.

LUCE (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): It's a new beginning.

BELL: The Pontiff's recognition may come late but it does put words on a trauma that for so many had until now been unspeakable.


BELL: And Becky, you really sense -- and we felt this throughout our investigation -- the Order of Saint Jean which have proved very

communicative, really expressing this sentiment, that look, mistakes were made but we would now like to right these wrong. Encouraging the women

we've spoken to, Becky, to come forward and try and give their testimonies once again. Because they will now be listened to. And I think that's one

of the really important points on this. As one of the victims says, it's not just about the Catholic Church. It is wider society that is now

willing, prepared, ready to confront these issues and look them in the face -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Melissa, that's fantastic reporting. Thank you. Back to Delia if we can. You've just heard and seen that report. If these victims, and

the Church itself, genuinely believes that the door is now open, and that things can be achieved, on behalf of the victims, and this can stop, that

has to be surely reflected at the Vatican. Is that possible? Are we going to see that -- Delia?

GALLAGHER: That's exactly the point, Becky. There are two phases. One has to be that, let's say the nuns in this case or victims in any case have

the safe place to go to report, and know that that reporting will reach the Vatican. That's the first step. And we heard from the leadership of those

nuns, of nuns around the world, just on Tuesday, saying they are now going to help nuns to do that process.

But then, once it reaches the Vatican, you have to be ensured that it's getting a fair trial, and a quick trial. Because up until two years ago,

we had a backlog of cases at the Vatican. We were just told on Monday they have doubled their numbers to 17 employees looking at sex abuse cases.

Probably we will be looking in the future, that they up that number to deal with all of these cases -- Becky.

ANDERSON: And will these be criminal cases going forward?

GALLAGHER: Well, the criminal cases also depend on what the statute of limitations are in the particular country. It's another sticking point of

course when you're talking about sex abuse cases internationally. Every country, indeed, many states, have different statutes of limitations. So

that there has to be also a working together with civil authorities. The Vatican does their own Church process, of course, to either defrock a

priest or pronounce some judgment on the abuser.

ANDERSON: Both of you, thank you very much indeed. And if you want to, viewers, read more, about these women's stories, you use the website for

more of that compelling reporting and the victims search for justice. That is You know that site well I'm sure.

Right here on TV, Taiwan's President warning of a more combative China and how to confront it. We will get to a third CNN exclusive of the hour,

right after this short break. Stay with us.


ANDERSON: Taiwan's President says the military threat posed by China is growing, and I quote, every day. And in an exclusive interview with CNN,

Tsai Ing-wen warns Beijing's geopolitical ambitions are a global threat which won't stop with Taiwan. She also told us about her plans to run for

re-election. Matt Rivers filed this report.


MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As the U.S. grapples with a more combative China, economically, politically, militarily, one small

island says it's already fighting those battles on the front line. Taiwan. About 100 miles off China's coast.

RIVERS (on camera): Madam President, good to see you.

(voice-over): Taiwan's President, Tsai Ing-wen, sat down with CNN for an exclusive interview, the threat from China is top of mind.

TSAI ING-WEN, TAIWAN PRESIDENT (through translator): China's ambitions and aggressions are not just targeting Taiwan but also other countries in the

region or even worldwide.

RIVERS: Taiwan is a vibrant democracy of 23 million people, and a close U.S. ally, self-governed for seven decades. But Beijing still considers it

a part of its territory to be retaken by force if necessary. And since he took office, analysts say Chinese President Xi Jinping has increased

military drills near the island.

The military threats grow every day.

ING-WEN (through translator): The military threats China poses on Taiwan grow every day.

RIVERS: The threats faced here could increasingly reflect what the U.S. might see from Beijing. Tsai's government says China might have meddled in

Taiwan's elections last year, not unlike what American officials say Russia did the U.S. in 2016. Beijing denies that. The Trump administration

believes China could do the same thing to the U.S. in 2020. And then there is Huawei, the Chinese tech giant that critics allege has close links to

the government. Huawei denies that. The U.S. now says the company is a national security threat. Tsai says Taiwan has already done something

about it.

ING-WEN (through translator): We have placed restrictions on the use the Huawei equipment in government agencies and other highly sensitive


RIVERS: Bit Taiwan is most concerned about China's powerful army. A nationalistic drumbeat from Beijing, means speculation about China invading

Taiwan, went from a far-off notion to a scenario real enough that we're talking logistics.

ING-WEN (through translator): After withstanding the first wave of Chinese attacks ourselves, the rest of the world would stand up to exert strong

pressure on China.

RIVERS: Despite having no formal diplomatic ties since 1979, the U.S. has sold billions of dollars' worth of weapons to Taiwan. In a recent op-ed

Senator Marco Rubio said China is the, quote, geopolitical challenge of this century for the U.S.

For Taiwan, the future, the Senator talks about, is right now. And Taipei's message is clear. What happens here, what happens to this

democracy, could happen to others.

ING-WEN (through translator): If it's Taiwan today, people should ask, who's next? Any country in the region. If it no longer wants to submit to

the will of China, they will face similar military threats.


RIVERS: And Becky, we know that some U.S. lawmakers actually want to hear from Tsai Ing-wen in person in Washington. A group of Republican Senators

led by Corey Gardner of Colorado and Marco Rubio of Florida among others have actually formally asked the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to

invite Tsai Ing-wen to give an address to a joint session of Congress. Now that invitation hasn't been formally issued. She said that she can't

answer a hypothetical question when we asked Tsai if she would accept. But we know Beijing wouldn't be happy, Becky.

And speaking of Beijing not being happy about this, we know that CNN's signal throughout the day today in the mainland, in China, has been

blocked, by Chinese sensors, because the Taiwan issue remains an incredibly sensitive issue for Beijing's government that they do not want their

citizens to know all that much about.

ANDERSON: Yes, I know, fascinating. Look, this all, of course, within the context of this trade dispute between the U.S. and China, which is dragging

on. How badly is Taiwan burnt by that, if at all?

RIVERS: Yes, well, we did ask that question, and it's interesting, Taiwan's President is a former trade negotiator herself. She spent 15

years as a trade negotiator. So she had some insight into it. But she basically said, look, like all other countries in this region, they're

trying to steel themselves against the potential that this could continue. It could go on for a long time. They're trying to make sure their own

export capability is good.

[10:50:00] They deal quite often with the United States and with China. They're often a conduit between both countries. So there is no doubt that

Taiwan will be hurt by this trade war, if it continues. And it's something that Tsai's government, already facing a slowing economy, says that it's

preparing for.

ANDERSON: Matt Rivers, on the case for you. Matt, thank you.

Still ahead, pop star Ariana Grande shoots up the charts, tying a record with one of the greatest musical acts of all time. Find out who, after




BEATLES: Well shake it up baby. Shake it up baby. Twist and shout. Twist and shout. Come on, come on, come on, baby now. Come on, baby.

Come on and work it all out. Work it on out.


ANDERSON: They were together for less than a decade but the Beatles have stood the test of time with record-breaking music that spans the

generations. Back in 1964 the fab four became the first musical act to hold the top three songs on the billboard charts with "Can't Buy Me Love,"

"Twist and Shout" and "Do You Want to Know a Secret." Well that seems like an unreachable feat, right? But in tonight's "Parting Shots" one artist

with powerful pipes has tied that record.

The pop princess, Ariana Grande, is now the top three singles on the billboard's hot 100. With songs, "Seven Rings", "Break Up with Your

Girlfriend", "I'm Bored, and Thank You, Next". An incredible accomplishment by anybody's books. And if you compare yourself with the

Beatles, that is pretty remarkable.

Well, finally, for you, this evening, driving through Australia is about to get a lot more fun. Starting March 1, people in Queensland will be able to

personalize their license plates, or their number plates, with emojis.

[10:55:00] There are five options. Laugh out loud. Wink. Sunglasses. Heart eyes. And smile. Costs $350 and the emojis will not be included in

the official registration numbers. They are just I am told for decoration. That could be a bit dubious, hey. Imagine saying I just got knocked off my

bike by 321 wink, wink, lol, smiley heart face.

Well from emojis to the Beatles to some really, really hard-hitting exclusives, packing into what has been a lightning hour of news. We've

done what it says on the tin, we have connected your world right up for you, I'm Becky Anderson. That was my show. Thanks to everyone on my team

spread around the world. Even those of you who have pulled off some Yoko- like antics. You know who you are. Thank you for watching. You viewers, enjoy, see you again next time. Same time.