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Vatican to Open WWI-Era Secret Archives; Luke Perry Dead at 52; Balotelli Celebrates Goal Live on Instagram. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired March 5, 2019 - 00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


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UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is CNN breaking news.

JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hello, welcome to the CNN NEWSROOM, I'm John Vause with breaking news. Carlos Ghosn, the ousted chairman of Nissan, has been granted bail by a board set at about 1 billion yen, almost $9 million.

He's been in custody since late November, charged with financial misconduct, allegedly underreporting his salary for nearly a decade. He could be released as early as Tuesday. Kaori Enjoji is following the story from Tokyo.

So this is the third attempt at bail by Ghosn and his lawyers reportedly say they've submitted evidence to a U.N working group, claiming he's the victim of human rights abuses.

Is that why he's been given bail this time?

KAORI ENJOJI, JOURNALIST: This is a developing story and a big milestone in this case that gripped the nation and the world involve Carlos Ghosn, the former head of both Nissan and Renault.

We know from a press conference his new lawyer gave yesterday that he's taking a different approach to his previous lawyer. At the time he said he would put into question whether Nissan or Japan itself, the government, had any involvement that led to his arrest in late November.

As you pointed out, Carlos Ghosn has been sitting a detention cell in Tokyo for over three months now and during that time he has requested bail, has been denied. But according to his lawyer says that they have put some constraints on his bail; one, he will not leave the country, maybe limit his computer usage and limit -- put in some kind of surveillance measures, make some cameras.

And perhaps that is the reason why bail may be granted. I say may, because this is far from a done deal although we expect some movement possibly later tonight. This is because the prosecution -- because it is so unusual to be granted bail in a case like this -- are likely to file a motion later today to prevent that bail from happening. So this is still not a done deal. Having said that, this would be unprecedented in many, many ways. Ghosn made a very emotional and searing appearance in Tokyo court in early January, he was shackled and roped at the waist and he made an emotional plea at the time, saying that he is innocent of all the charges that were being placed on him, namely, as you mentioned, underreporting his income and the more serious charge of a breach of trust.

Now after that, his lawyer was dismissed or he quit. He resigned and this came as a shock to all of us covering the story for the last three months. But instead, he has appointed a new lawyer who is very famous here in Japan.

His nickname is The Razor and this is because he has brought a lot of high-profile cases towards acquittal in Japan. The most memorable one was decades ago, when there was a murder case involving a business man, really the closest thing Japan has ever had to an O.J. Simpson trial.

The business man was convicted of murdering his wife, sentenced to life in prison but, in the end, the supreme court decided to acquit him. He's known for that. He's almost notorious in many ways in legal circles here.

So this is the new lawyer and when he presented his case yesterday at a packed news conference, he said that he was going to try to take a different approach.

And he also mentioned the fact that there has been a lot of criticism, that there are things here that happened in Japan that are very unusual from a Western point of view, for example, the limited time that people have access to their lawyers.

They don't have contact with the outside world and they are not granted bail in cases like this where they don't admit to any kind of wrongdoing.

So this is a very unexpected twist in Japan in a very unexpected situation that has rocked not just the auto industry but possibly Japan itself -- John.

VAUSE: OK, Kaori Enjoji, thank you very much for the very latest on bail for the former head of Nissan. We'll see what happens.

Opposition leader Juan Guaido is back in Venezuela and calling for renewed mass protests against President Nicolas Maduro. Guaido defied arrest as he returned from a 10-day regional trip to shore up support for his self-declared presidency. CNN's Patrick Oppmann reports from Caracas.

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PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This was the image Juan Guaido wanted Venezuela and the world to see, the self-declared interim president's triumphant return. But getting into Venezuela required more twists and turns than a Hollywood thriller. Guaido left last month for a tour of nations to support his claim as

leader of Venezuela --

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OPPMANN (voice-over): -- by walking across the border to Colombia. He returned on a commercial flight from Panama on Monday, daring the government of Nicolas Maduro to do their worst.

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"They threatened all of us who are standing here," he said.

"They threatened me, you saw it, with jail time, with death. And I will let you know it will not be through persecutions or threats that they will stop us."

At the airport, Guaido was met by European ambassadors who used their diplomatic immunity to escort him safely to a motorcade of waiting vehicles. The crowd of thousands cheered him when he arrived at a plaza in Caracas. Student Maria Gabriela (ph) was one of the many who waited hours to see Guaido.

"I was born in 1998," she tells me. "I've never known any government but this one. I will stay in the streets and keep supporting President Guaido until the regime falls."

Guaido and the opposition say Maduro stole the last presidential election and that he needs to go.

OPPMANN: Juan Guaido said he will return to Venezuela and now he has, once again defying the government here. He told Maduro that, if he were arrested, it would be the last mistake he would ever make. But by all indications, the military still very much backs Maduro so any possible change of government is still a long way off.

OPPMANN (voice-over): Maduro and his predecessor, Hugo Chavez, showered the military with money and housings, even allegedly allowed some generals to engage in drug trafficking, all to keep them loyal, loyalty that Guaido claims is now fading.

"And we know 80 percent of the armed forces are in favor of the change," he says.

"We know this. They have communicated with us. They have spoken to us.

"Why do you think we are here today?

"Now, the time is now. There is no more for now. It's now when we need change in Venezuela."

Once again, Juan Guaido has outsmarted Maduro's regime but it remains to be seen if he can outlast them -- Patrick Oppmann, CNN, Caracas.

(END VIDEOTAPE) VAUSE: To Washington now, joining us is Brett Bruen, former director of global communications for the Obama White House, currently president of the Global Situation Room.

Brett, welcome back.

BRETT BRUEN, FORMER U.S. DIRECTOR OF GLOBAL ENGAGEMENT: Thank you.

VAUSE: It's almost like Guaido has been away for 10 years, not 10 days. His return reenergized the opposition and just before his commercial flight landed, the U.S. vice president tweeted a warning to the Maduro government.

"Guaido's safe return to Venezuela is of the highest importance to the U.S. Any threats, violence or intimidation against him will not be tolerated and will be met with a swift response. The world is watching. Interim president Guaido must be allowed to reenter Venezuela safely."

Is that threat from the U.S. part of the reason why Guaido was not arrested upon his return?

BRUEN: Without question. I think the Maduro regime is walking a fine line.

On the one hand, they certainly want to ratchet up the rhetoric against Washington, use them as a bogeyman, they also are quite concerned to fall afoul of an American president who is spoiling for a fight.

And I think, at this point, they are concerned that they might well be the target that Donald Trump is looking for, to show what his America first policy looks like when applied to a regime like Venezuela.

VAUSE: So given that external pressure on the Maduro regime, is the calculation enough by Maduro just to ride this out, wait for the opposition to run out of steam?

And if that's the case, the advantage it seems would be with the Maduro regime, because keeping up the opposition momentum seems a bigger ask.

BRUEN: Without a doubt, it is very hard to maintain the momentum. We've been going at this now for over a month. There have been successive attempts through the 20 years of Chavismo in Venezuela to keep the opposition in the streets, keep the pressure on the government. In each case, they have failed. In each case, they have run out of steam.

In this case, I think one of the key differences is that they now have strong international support, that there have been sanctions on Maduro and also, quite frankly, Guaido himself is a charismatic, energetic leader that the opposition has lacked for a long time.

He embodies this spirit, this hope right now that the Venezuelan people, at least those who find themselves in opposition to Maduro, are really a placing a whole lot of bets in.

VAUSE: Once Guaido crossed the border and was seen to be alive and well and not detained, national security adviser John Bolton issued his own threat via tweet, putting the Maduro regime on notice, that they are now responsible for Guaido's safety.

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VAUSE: Bolton and the vice president, Mike Pence, have been strong supporters of this opposition movement. But the former chief of staff, Nicolas Maduro, when Maduro served as the foreign minister, said American involvement could actually be preventing a negotiated end to this crisis.

Temir Porras says Maduro -- he says he's not an ideologue or a radical socialist. He goes on to say he is a negotiator and someone who can drive a deal. Here he is talking to Public Radio International.

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TEMIR PORRAS, FORMER MADURO CHIEF OF STAFF: Nicolas Maduro and the opposition will be more likely to cut a deal and sit around the table if and only if the U.S. administration backs off.

The more the U.S. administration will push for a regime change, probably the more Maduro and his entourage will resist and the less likely a negotiation will be.

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VAUSE: Porras is nowhere near the crisis in Venezuela but there is that connection and that bias.

But is there truth to what he says?

BRUEN: I think there is truth in that the Americans need to play their hand very carefully here. They risk antagonizing those who might lend support to the cause of Guaido.

They risk pushing, with some of this rhetoric against socialism, those across Latin America who would be inclined to be supportive of a process to get Maduro and those backing him out of power.

But it is important that the United States not be seen to play a decisive role in this. I think what the vice president, what Bolton have done, in the last 24 hours, are appropriate steps. They should be reminding Maduro that the world is watching, that there are consequences if he tries to arrest Guaido.

But we need to be careful that the United States is acting in concert with other countries, that others are saying that as well.

VAUSE: Right now it appears that Maduro is planning on digging in. The only reason he has that option is because of the support of the military leaders. An op-ed in "The New York Times" has interesting details about why decoupling the regime from the military is incredibly complicated mostly because the military is not a single vertical organization and it's controlled from the top down; but rather there are different factions, each with its own interest, its own power base.

Here's the conclusion of the article.

"Mr. Guaido and his international allies may have no other option but to entertain an interim civilian-military partnership while continuing to reach out to some of the more honest military officers, those interested in the integrity of the institution, to turn not against not just Mr. Maduro but also the disparate groups across the military.

"The mission: bring the military institution back to order."

So apart from military intervention to topple Maduro, which it seems is universally considered a bad idea, is this how Maduro will be forced from power?

I guess the problem here is, once the military gets a taste of legal power, often they just want more, they don't won't to leave.

BRUEN: I think it's incredibly complex to try to sift through the various layers of interest and, quite frankly, corruption that exists within the military. But this raises a very important point and that is one that can start today.

I think what Guaido and his team ought to do is begin a process of truth and reconciliation, bringing to light some of the issues that are currently confronting the country, some of those who ever committed some acts of human rights violations.

And that, I think, can begin the process of figuring out what does a future government look like, what needs to be done to bring the country back together again.

VAUSE: Yes, it's complicated and it seems like this is now going to be dragging on for some time, both sides keeping to their demands, Maduro staying, Guaido insisting that he leave.

Brett, thank you. Appreciate you being with us.

BRUEN: Thanks.

VAUSE: Potential obstruction of justice, corruption and abuse of power, all part of a sweeping congressional investigation into Donald Trump by the House Judiciary Committee.

it's by far the most wide-ranging investigation by Democrats and could potentially pave the road to impeachment, even though the committee chairman, Jerry Nadler, says Congress is just doing its job, providing oversight. President Trump says nothing to see here.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, are you going to cooperate with Mr. Nadler? TRUMP: I cooperate all the time with everybody.

And you know the beautiful thing?

No collusion, it's all a hoax.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Less than two weeks before Richard Nixon became the first president in United States history to resign, Congress formally began proceedings for impeachment. The House Judiciary Committee, on a Saturday, approved the first of three articles of impeachment to be voted on by the House.

Here's how the U.S. network, ABC, reported the news.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: The president was reportedly following today's impeachment debate very closely. But when the historic vote came, Mr. Nixon was nowhere near a television set. ABC's --

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- Tom Jarriel reports from the Western White House.

TOM JARRIEL, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: President Nixon did not hear the dramatic vote, the ayes and nos of those sitting in judgment on him in Washington. At the moment of the historic House Judiciary Committee decision, he was strolling on the sand under a warm California sunshine, listening to the pounding of heavy surf at Red Beach at the Camp Pendleton Marine Base.

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VAUSE: The following day, "The Washington Post" reported, "The House Judiciary Committee took the momentous step last night of recommending that the president of the United States be impeached and removed from office.

"President Nixon is charged with unlawful activities that formed a 'course of conduct or plan' to obstruct the investigation of the Watergate break-in and to cover up other unlawful activities.

"At least one other article accusing the president of abuse of power is expected to be approved Monday when the committee resumes."

The third article of impeachment, along with obstruction of justice and abuse of power was contempt of Congress. Now the investigation which the House Judiciary Committee began on Monday focuses on three broad areas, obstruction of justice, abuse of power and public corruption.

Spot a trend? To San Diego now, Harry Litman, a former U.S. attorney and former deputy assistant attorney general is with us. Harry is also a columnist for "The Washington Post."

I may be getting out over my skis here but given that the House Judiciary Committee is unique and it's the one committee which has the jurisdiction on whether to pursue articles of impeachment, combined with what is a very broad investigation, it seems harder to draw any other conclusion other than this is the moment when Democrats essentially kicked into impeachment mode.

HARRY LITMAN, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL: Yes, that is a possible conclusion and there is a parallel with Watergate. When the Congress kicked into impeachment mode in Peter Rodino in that committee, they were taking as a road map the work that a special counsel Leon Jaworski had done. So it there's a parallel there, but at least Nadler is saying no, we're not talking about impeachment yet. We're just gathering the facts.

And the investigative dragnet that they've laid out is so broad that it looks like a year or more. And so what that augers is investigations deep into the 2020 campaign. So at least you're right that that what else could it could it mean about possible impeachment mode but at least the Dems for now are saying that's premature. We just want to investigate.

VAUSE: OK, here's a little more from the chairman of the Judiciary Committee Jerry Nadler. Listen to this.

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NADLER: Our goal is to hold the administration accountable for the obstruction of justice, the abuse of power and the corruption. Our goal is to vindicate the rule of law, to protect the rule of law in this country and that's our core function as the Judiciary Committee the Congress. And we have to find out what's been going on and we have to lay out a case to the American people and reveal it.

VAUSE: You know, I guess this is more of a political question, not a legal one, but you know, impeachment is ultimately a political act as we've all been told. But why are Democrats following this process what do they think it's necessary and why is this need that Nadler says to put everything out and lay it out all before the American public.

LITMAN: Right. Well, in part because what's going to happen in the Mueller process which is coming to an end is a big mystery. There's some prospect I personally think it won't happen but there's some prospect for a very sort of bare-bones analytical report.

So if you take it as an imperative and I do, that in some fashion the American people have to receive the facts of the matter in some ways even more important than bringing Trump or whoever to justice is knowing the score and what occurred in 2016 with the Russians but Nadler is stepping up and saying they will play that role. Because at the end of this long investigation presumably a very thick congressional report would be in the offing. So it's a dual function. Vindicate the rule of law but also tell -- have an official account of just what occurred.

VAUSE: You know, when it comes to you know, the I-word, impeachment, even the outspoken representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is pulling her punches. Here she is.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think he should be impeached?

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D), NEW YORK: Well, I've always been very clear that I am supportive of -- and how I would vote in terms of impeachment. I understand that the leadership perhaps may want to build a stronger case and subpoena more records or figure out what's happening perhaps in the Mueller investigation. And so I defer to the chair, I defer to the party leadership.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: And again, this is political, I guess, but why are Democrats taking this approach? You know, avoiding what their base is calling for, you know many within the Democrats want to see the President impeached. Why are they refusing to go there?

LITMAN: Yes. I mean, I think both parties are really taking a very grave situation and think -- seeing it first through a political prism.

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LITMAN: Why? 1998. The conventional wisdom is that the Republicans way overplayed their hand with Clinton and it led to an electoral landslide in them in the midterms.

So the notion is as confounding as it may be that a close you know, fairly strong case of a whole laundry list of crimes more than any president, I would say, has ever been accused of is nevertheless striking at least the base and the Republicans in the Senate with its having -- its having no impact.

So if the Democrats really agitated least get impeachment ginned up, they will not be able -- you probably know the process and your viewers do. You have to vote out articles in the house but then convict in the Senate. The likelihood of convicting in the Senate is very small and seems to be almost impervious to what the proof is.

So the worry by the Democratic leadership is they'll look overly punitive, they'll look like they don't have a solution for either like economic problems and they're just a one-trick pony thinking about impeachment and the voters will punish them for it. I think it's that sort of political calculus.

VAUSE: You talked about the demands that this committee is already making, documents requested from 81 individuals and entities, all revealing possible misconduct by the president.

That's just the beginning. As a prosecutor, when you look at some of the names on the list, including Trump's executive assistant for three decades, Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organization chief financial officer, Steve Bannon, what does it say about the direction where this investigation is heading?

LITMAN: Omnidirectional is what it says. There's really nothing that they're not trying to get at. It's all the greatest hits. But some, as you say, older names; it's Trump's children, it's some people we haven't heard of, it's money and misadventures from before he was a candidate. It's Russia, it's obstruction and things when he was a candidate. It is the whole battlefield and then some.

Now keep in mind, some of these are going to be subject to court battles and the Democrats will not automatically prevail. Some of them could be time-consuming and basically will wither on the vine.

But they are casting a very, very wide net. You can see it cynically in political terms although you could also say somebody needs to tell a full, comprehensive story; it might not be Mueller, it might not be the Department of Justice, so it would fall to the Judiciary Committee.

VAUSE: Harry, we didn't get to the fact that the three committee chairmen want to know more about Trump's conversation with Putin, another fascinating topic of investigation.

But thank you for being with us.

LITMAN: Thanks for having me, John.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: Hillary Clinton's speculation that she was considering a run for president in 2020.

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HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: I'm not running but I'm going to keep working and speaking and standing up for what I believe.

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VAUSE: Even without Hillary Clinton in the race, the Democratic field is already crowded with a dozen candidates either officially running or exploring a run for the White House next year.

When we come back, a major gathering of China's communist elites, the country facing a slowing economy and embroiled in a trade war with the United States.

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VAUSE: Right now, 3,000 political delegates are gathering in Beijing for China's two-week National People's Congress, which is essentially a rubber stamp get-together to sign off on whatever the Communist Party wants.

They will lay out a few plans for the coming years. Will Ripley is live in Beijing.

For the most part, it's political theater writ large. But having said, Xi Jinping will actually be facing some scrutiny this year because the economy is slowing, there is a trade war with the United States and some international criticism for the crackdown on the Uyghurs.

So maybe not your garden variety NPC.

RIPLEY: Nothing can compare where President Xi Jinping was granted the possibility of being appointed president for life. However, you talked about the Uyghur Muslims and their being held in reeducation camps. That's not going to be discussed much. It's a very sensitive issue in China.

We've now gone black on television screens here in China because whenever we talk about that, we get cut off the air. There are other issues they are going to be talking about as well.

China's economy is expected to slow just a bit more this year, with growth targets estimated between 6 percent and 6.5 percent. Last year 6.5 percent was the lowest growth level since 1990.

And even though that's an enviable growth rate for most developed economies, it signals a slowdown here in China. And economists question whether growth numbers that China puts out are really accurate, because, miraculously, when the Chinese government sets a growth target, the target's always reached. Go figure.

So the economy is one thing they are looking at, obviously in regard to the trade war with the United States. There is this new foreign investment bill being voted on that could tackle some issues Trump has raised, intellectual property theft, forced technology transfer and just treating foreign companies more equally to Chinese companies when they operate.

These are some long-standing complaints. There will also be things like how to bridge the trade deficit.

Will China just keep buying more U.S. goods to pacify President Trump and get that deal signed before some potentially destructive 25 percent tariffs kick in?

Also China announcing it's going to up military spending, up by 7.5 percent, China investing in an aircraft carrier, killer missiles, all things that strategically could pose a threat to U.S. assets in Asia Pacific.

So China trying to position itself not just economically but also militarily in the coming year.

VAUSE: That whole president for life thing, I had forgotten about that. That was just a year ago. Sometimes there are big stories.

Still to custom, the Vatican's secrets, what they could reveal about Pope Pius XII.

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VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause with the headlines this hour.

[00:31:25] Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn has been granted bail in Tokyo, set at almost 9 million U.S. dollars. He could be released in the coming hours. Ghosn has been held since late November, accused of underreporting his salary at the automaker for nearly a decade. Prosecutors plan to appeal.

Opposition leader Juan Guaido is back in Venezuela, despite the threat of arrest from Maduro's government. Guaido defied a travel ban and left the country last month to meet with regional leaders to drum up support for his self-proclaimed presidency. Now, he's back, Guaido is calling for another day of nationwide protest this Saturday.

U.S. House Democrats are launching broad investigations into the Trump administration. Three committee chairmen are requesting information on contacts between Donald Trump and the Russian president, Vladimir Putin. Another committee inquiry is looking into allegations of obstruction of justice and abuse of power.

So what the Vatican did or did not know about the Holocaust could soon be revealed. Pope Francis says secret archives from the time of Pope Pius XII will be open to the public next year. Pius led the church during the Second World War, and critics say he could have done a lot more in the fight against fascism. CNN's Delia Gallagher has more now from Rome.

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DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The opening of the Vatican's secret archives, containing documents from World War II, is something that researchers and religious leaders have been calling for for decades.

And it's important, because of the controversial figure of Pope Pius XII, who was pope during that time and who, some say, didn't do enough to publicly denounce Hitler and the Nazis, while others say he worked behind the scenes to help save the Jews during the Holocaust.

And Pope Francis made the surprise announcement on Monday, when he was giving a speech to employees of the Vatican's secret archives. And he said, in part, this: "I take this decision having heard the advice of my closest collaborators with a serene and trusting heart. The church is not afraid of history. On the contrary, it loves it."

Now, the archives weren't opened earlier, because the Vatican generally waits for a period of about 70 years from the death of a pope before allowing access to classified correspondence of that pontificate. In this case, Pius XII died about 60 years ago, and there are hundreds of thousands of documents relating to the 19 years that he was pope, from 1939 to 1958.

And the United States Holocaust Museum, amongst other Jewish groups, have welcomed the news, saying that "We owe it to the survivor generation, which is rapidly diminishing."

Also, the chief rabbi of Rome, Ricardo di Segni, said it was better late than never and that he hoped that all of the documents would, indeed, be made available.

The archives relating to this period will officially be open for researchers in March of 2020.

Delia Gallagher, CNN, Rome.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: Next up on CNN NEWSROOM, at the time, he was considered too old to play a high school student. Now he is definitely too young to die. The very short life of Luke Perry is next.

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VAUSE: Music fans are morning the loss of Keith Flint, who was found dead at his home in Essex, England, Monday morning. Flint was one of the most recognizable figures on the British electronica scene as front man of the group The Prodigy. His death was announced by the band's Instagram page, with band made Liam Howlett confirming that Flint took his own life. In a separate post on Twitter, the group called Flint a true pioneer, innovator and a legend.

And then there was the sad news Monday that Actor Luke Perry, just 52 years old, had died. For many of us at a certain age, it was a bolt out of the blue that, for some reason, seemed especially troubling.

He was the bad boy of the 1990s hit show "90210." His was the eternally furrowed brow, playing the brooding, emotionally scarred Dylan McKay, who read poetry, was a surfer, rode a motorcycle. Throw in the leather jacket and the royalty to almost every rebel without a cause cliche there ever was.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JENNIE GARTH, ACTRESS: My mom didn't even know I was gone, she was so coked up.

LUKE PERRY, ACTOR: Well, you're closes in town. You can call him right now if you want to.

GARTH: What are you saying?

PERRY: I'm saying that was then, and some people do change, Kelly.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Perry never recovered from a massive stroke a week ago, and according to his publicist, he died surrounded by family and friends.

For more, Rebecca Sun from "The Hollywood Reporter" joins us now from Los Angeles.

Rebecca, nice to see you.

REBECCA SUN, "THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER": Good to see you, John.

VAUSE: You know, in the hours after Perry's death, the story was the most read on CNN.com. You know, it was trending very high on social media. With all due respect, you know, he didn't achieve huge levels of fame or critical acclaim, but you know, the news stopped many like me in my tracks. I think the reason why is that for people, you know, of my generation, the same able group as Perry, it's kind of a reminder that our "90210" days are long gone, and maybe we're heading to "Golden Girls" territory.

SUN: Well, you're not quite "Golden Girls" yet, John, don't worry.

VAUSE: I feel it sometimes.

SUN: But yes, I mean, I think that that's how it felt in our newsroom, you know, this morning when the news -- we were in a staff meeting when it happened. And, you know, he really had -- because he had such an iconic role, he represented that ultimate cool that really defined what cool meant to, you know, anybody who was, yes, like you said, around his age. Or I was in junior high, I think, during "90210's" heyday. And was really in disbelief for most of today. It was just out of nowhere.

He was not somebody who was ever, you know, in the headlines for being troubled, you know, clearly and not just in, you know, his prime, but he had -- he was having a career resurgence, you know. He was a series regular on "Riverdale," which in some ways was the latest descendent of "90210," you know, playing a father figure that was introduced to a whole new generation of young people.

And I think that that's what was really striking about his death is that, you know, for kids today, it probably felt a little bit like their dad died.

VAUSE: Yes.

SUN: And for those of us who knew him as Dylan McKay, it was like -- it kind of causes you to revisit your own mortality.

VAUSE: And the thing is, he didn't die, you know -- he wasn't at a Hollywood party of a drug overdose. He didn't crash a sports car, you know, drag racing down Sunset Boulevard. It was a stroke. Just -- it could happen to anyone.

SUN: That's exactly right. I think that, in some ways, the sort of mundanity of that cause of death is, you know, certainly for one thing, is just in this, you know, five days or so since he, you know, the stroke happened on Wednesday, it's really been a call to action for, you know, a lot of health care providers are sort of, you know, I've seen them tweet "Here are the signs for recognizing a stroke."

VAUSE: Right.

SUN: So it's brought a lot of attention to that. This was something that could have happened to anybody. It was not, you know, substance abuse related or anything we often associate.

VAUSE: Which is, you know -- obviously, it's a good thing. But yes.

You talked about the sort of creative resurgence that he was sort of undergoing, but in 1992, this might be considered one of the highlights of his career. It was an appearance in "The Simpsons." Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAN CASTELLANETA, VOICE OF KRUSTY THE CLOWN: Are you comfortable in there, Luke Perry?

PERRY: Fire away, Krusty. (SCREAMING)

Oh, my face, my valuable face!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: I'm just wondering, in some ways, did that seem to kind of sum up his career? He got some breaks. You know, some really good breaks. He landed on his feet, or, you know pillows, only to have things not quite turn out as he expected.

SUN: Well, I think that, you know, one thing is that it showed that Luke Perry was never afraid to poke a little bit of fun at, you know, what he was known for. He was not a guy who was very self-serious, who had a huge ego. I mean, you could not think of a bigger teen idol during the '90's. I mean, he -- a lot of people considered him the second coming of James Dean.

And so he had a really good attitude about it. All day today, tributes from people in the industry all reinforced the same thing: that he was with really, incredibly humble, especially for somebody who experienced the level of fame he did, and he -- it was somebody who said he really aged with grace.

I think it was Seth Green, another sort of, you know, '90s icon, who said, "He really showed how to age with grace." You know, he took it, you know -- took his fame in stride. And as he got older, he was able to segue into less high-profile roles but just, you know, he was a working dad, a working father, and, you know, he lived a good life.

VAUSE: Yes. People had a lot of good things to say about him, whenever they worked with him. He was a hard worker. He was easy to get along with.

You know, but just getting back to his career, to me, he'll be remembered as a guy who tried to be James Dean on that 1990s TV show, with adults playing kids. Let's take a look at sort of a James Dean moment from "90210."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PERRY: Lock up the place for me, will you?

JASON PRIESTLEY, ACTOR: Sure.

I guess I'll see you around.

PERRY: I guess.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: "I guess." This was a role that kind of stuck to him like, you know, stuff on your shoe at the zoo. He never sort of moved on. Why didn't he move beyond this? Because at the time, he was a megastar. How is it that he couldn't take that fame and use it to move on to the next level?

SUN: Right. Well, I mean, I think in some ways he did. It just wasn't -- you know, he didn't become, like, Brad Pitt, you know, and do movies.

If you go to his IMDB, you'll see that he worked pretty steadily. You know, he did a lot of guest spots on TV shows. I think his next major role after "90210" was he was on "Oz." You know, he played an inmate who was a preacher and eventually was killed brutally. And it's hard to get as different from "90210" as a gritty HBO prison drama.

It's just that people didn't really know about it. And I think it's because he didn't really seek fame. It happened to him because he has that face, and because "90210," nothing was hotter in the '90s.

As you can see, the reason why that show is so iconic is kind of because it was ridiculous in its soap operaness, but that really tapped into the hormones of an entire generation. And hormones are irrational.

But he knew that. You know, he knew that. And I don't think he, like, wanted to be crazy famous. He just wanted to work, and he really did. Again, he wasn't on the radar after the '90s, but if you look at his IMDB, he never stopped working.

VAUSE: Yes. Are you talking about hormones? I used to watch the show, I've got to tell you.

SUN: You and your hormones.

VAUSE: We're out of time, Rebecca. Got to go. Thank you so much.

SUN: Thanks, John.

VAUSE: Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. WORLD SPORT is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[00:45:10] KATE RILEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, there, and welcome along to WORLD SPORT. I'm Kate Riley at CNN Center.

Well, we're starting with looking ahead to the Champions League. And at this time of year in European football, it is just oh, so crucial right now. It's not great if your team is struggling in multiple campaigns. As they say in Europe, it can either be a distraction or be a salvation, just depends on how your team is actually doing.

Well, on Tuesday night, Borussia Dortmund hosts Tottenham Hotspur in their second leg of their round of 16 ties. Spurs won the first leg at 3-nil and are expected to go through. The London club would welcome that.

In the last 10 days, their English Premier League campaign has gone off the rails somewhat, dropping eight points from a possible nine. Dortmund, too, starting wobbling on the home front. They were nine points clear of Bayern Munich at the end of January; now they are tied for the lead in the Bundesliga.

For both teams, this game is massive. The German team know that they are up against it, but their captain, Marco Reus, still thinks they have a chance.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARCO REUS, CAPTAIN, BORUSSIA DORTMUND (through translator): I do believe we are in a position to achieve the impossible. I think what's very important is that we have to believe in it.

Of course, we need a top performance and to score the goals at the right time. Sure, it's important to find the right balance between defense because we know if they score one goal, things will get very difficult. But the whole team and its surroundings believe in it, and so we, too, have to believe in it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RILEY: Tuesday's other game is also intriguing. It's Real Madrid up against Ajax at the Bernabeu in the Spanish capital. After the first leg, Madrid are leading 2-1.

You'll know that Ajax are four-time European champions. However, this is the very first time in 13 years that they've got this far in the Champions League. They are disappointed to have lost the first leg at home. They must score at least twice if they're going to advance.

Normally, that might be a tall order, but perhaps not this year. Real have had problems this season. They've just suffered two humiliating home defeats to their bitter rivals Barcelona, and just a few weeks ago, they lost to one of the minnows in the league, Girona.

The manager, Santiago Solari, is a man under pressure and, predictably, they are struggling to fill the void left by their record goal-scorer, Cristiano Ronaldo, who of course, left during the summer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LUKA MODRIC, REAL MADRID MIDFIELDER (through translator): Of course we miss Cristiano. When Cristiano left, the club wanted the other players to make up for what he did. Of course, not like him but divided between the strikers, and that is not easy, because Cristiano scored 50 goals; and nowadays you cannot find somebody that scores that much. Some had to step up and, well, not score 50 goals but at least what we are missing, 20 goals. I'm not going to give names, but there are two or three players that should have scored 15 or 20 goals or 10 goals, but we don't have that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RILEY: Well, Ajax are up against it. There is still hope. Frank de Boer played in their last team to lift the Champions League in 1995. Nowadays, though, he is the new manager of Atlanta United in Major League Soccer. And in the first leg, he saw enough to be optimistic about the Dutch side he knows very well.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FRANK DE BOER, MANAGER, ATLANTA UNITED: They have to have the confidence to do it, and of course, it's going to be a hell of a job, but I think if they showed the spirit that they show and the balls they showed the first half, because that was really impressive, I think, against the -- you know, the former Champions League winner, you know, and then, you know, they have a chance.

But still, if I predict 70 percent, again, 30 or 80/20 percent that Madrid will go to the next round, because they have the experience. You know, normally they don't give this defense away. But, you know, they have a lot of chance and hopefully, you know, they get one goal ahead in the beginning of the game. Yes, hopefully they can do something special then.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RILEY: However, what happens in the European games this week, you want to keep an eye out for the celebrations, because the Marseille striker Mario Balotelli has just raised the bar and then some.

Balotelli, of course, an enigma. Clearly very talented on the field, but his career has been littered with gaffes and missteps. Some managers have actually found him almost impossible to work with. But when he's firing on all cylinders, he is really something. His

latest goal celebration is again the talk of social media, mainly because that's exactly where it happened.

They say do it for the Gram. Well, the goal itself would have got social media buzzing. A bicycle kick cleared Marseille's 2-0 win against St. Etienne on Sunday. But it's what happened next that really captured our attention.

[00:50:11] Balotelli grabbing a smart phone from behind the goal and then started broadcasting his celebration live on Instagram. The video has been viewed well over 2 million times.

And the makers of Pro Evolution Soccer have already released this clip of him doing the selfie in video game mode. Yes, well done there for acting so quickly with that, although maybe they knew this one was coming. It's all in good fun and proof that football, gaming and the digital space are all merging together. And while some might think that's cool, not everyone is quite as impressed.

James Kirkham is the head of our partners at COPA90, and he's been speaking about Balotelli with CNN's Alex Thomas.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JAMES KIRKHAM, CHIEF BUSINESS OFFICER, COPA90: I think a lot of people who are proper kind of supporters of their club still worry that football is football, and all of this is sort of superfluous.

I think we've got to give credit to some of that Mario himself. Balotelli is nothing but a character and a showman, as we all know. But also, there's a bigger piece going on right now, where players are realizing the strength of their own personality. The more character- ful, the more kind of rich and colorful and interesting they are on the social media, they have an even greater proximity to their fans and therefore, they're really in charge of the way they kind of control their brands.

In that instant last night, it's quite interesting that he almost preferred to be playing in the social streams, the universe of all of us fans around the world, than he did with the fans in the stadium. Now, that's what crates such a genuine debate and discussions, because really, he should be there for those fans at that moment. But actually, it's the millions of us around the world who tuned in on social at that very moment and got excited about the fact that he's talking to us through our social streams. So it does create a genuine discussion.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RILEY: Yes, thanks James, there.

Rugby is taking the United States by storm; and their progress in the sevens game may surprise you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) RILEY: Welcome back to WORLD SPORT. I'm Kate Riley.

More than 25 million fans in China are thought to have tuned in online to watch the first Chinese player to ever score a goal in one of the big five European leagues for more than a decade this weekend.

Wu Lei moved to Spain to play in La Liga in January after previously playing in Shanghai. Well, the striker scores the third goal when his side Espanyol beat Valladolid, 3-1. The result sees the winners move up to 11th in the Spanish top division.

And it's thought that, because the game kicked off at 8 p.m. Beijing time, it really did boost the viewing figures, but 25 million is some serious following there.

[00:55:02] We are staying with football for a moment and talk about impressive. Being a world champion, of course, is one thing, but we are seriously in awe of U.S. Women's Soccer player Sidney Leroux Dwyer.

She posted this very telling photo on social media earlier. She starts preseason training for Orlando Pride. And many congratulations, they are in order right now as she told her followers that she is also five and a half months' pregnant. Well, she even told followers online, quote, "I didn't think I'd be starting off preseason 5.5 months pregnant, but here we are."

Yes, here we are indeed. Just wonderful -- wonderful news for her and the family.

The biggest story in world rugby right now is happening off the pitch. The politics around which teams might be involved in the new world league in 2020 are getting quite ugly.

Reports last week suggested the league would be made up of 12 teams: the established six nations from the Northern Hemisphere, the four from the rugby championship, plus this year's World Cup host Japan and the United States.

But the sports world governing body says that nothing has been decided yet and has called an emergency meeting later this month to discuss the plans. But the Pacific island teams Samoa, Tonga and Fiji are incensed at the potential snub, and they're bemused at the notion that the United States might get in ahead of them.

The 15-a-side game may be very different, but if we are talking about the sevens, there would be no questioning the quality of American rugby at all. And that's because the USA leads the sevens world series at the halfway stage of the season.

After winning back-to-back titles in Las Vegas, Ben Pinkelman was the player of the final, scoring two of the USA's five tries as they demolished Samoa 27-nil, delighting the home crowd at the Sam Boyd Stadium.

The USA is enjoying its best ever season, having reached the final in all five events so far, and now they've shown that they can do it in their own back yard.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BEN PINKELMAN, USA RUGBY SEVENS: It's amazing. This is the exact moment we wanted. We had it last year and we didn't want anything more, to just be right back here, surrounded by everyone, storming the field. It's a great feeling.

I'm not sure. We've obviously been to the last four infamously. This one, I think our goal is different. We just had a mindset in the previous ones, the top four. This one, we have to win the goal on hold; and that's our mindset, so we took it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RILEY: Some great scenes there. What an extraordinary and consistent season they're having, runners up in the first four tournaments and now winners in Vegas.

Not only that, but they beat their closest challengers, New Zealand, on the way to the final.

The added bonus for the Americans are the top four will automatically qualify for next year's Tokyo Olympics, and at the very least, they will now definitely achieve that.

All right, that's it from us. Many thanks for watching. The news is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)