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CNN NEWSROOM

Putin Cracks Down on Critics; New Film Show Moon Landing Mission in Vivid Detail; Arsenal Lose First Leg to Rennes 3-1; Interview with Grant Dalton, CEO of Emirates Team New Zealand, on America's Cup Prep; Paul Manafort Sentenced to 47 Months in Prison; ISIS Threat Far from Over; North Korea Documentary Shows Successful Hanoi Summit; British Prime Minister Urges E.U. to Compromise on Irish Backstop; Putin Cracks Down on Foreign Agents and Americans. Aired 12m-1a ET

Aired March 8, 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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JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hello, everybody. I'm John Vause. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.

Ahead this hour, Paul Manafort sentenced to four years in jail for more than a decade of financial crimes. A punishment well short of what prosecutors recommended in the highest profile criminal case so far in the Russia investigation.

ISIS fighters appear to be giving up on their dream of an Islamic State but many remain dedicated to their ideology of hate.

Never before seen images from one of the more documented events of the 20th century.

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VAUSE: Handing down a jaw dropping lenient sentence, Judge T.S. Ellis said Paul Manafort had lived an otherwise blameless life. The former chairman of the Trump campaign had been found guilty of hiding millions of dollars from authorities.

Prosecutors said for more than a decade he acted above the law, was engaged in a sophisticated scheme involving tax evasion and bank fraud. Judge Ellis rejected guidelines from prosecutors that recommended somewhere between 19 and 25 years in jail. He said because of that otherwise blameless life he sentenced Manafort to 47 months in jail less nine months for time already served.

Manafort will also have to pay at least $6 million restitution to the U.S. government. A sentence hearing comes next week on another case involving conspiracy and witness tampering.

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VAUSE: Jessica Levinson is a Professor of Law at Loyola Law School and she joins us now from Los Angeles. Jessica, good to see you.

JESSICA LEVINSON, PROFESSOR OF LAW, LOYOLA LAW SCHOOL: Good to be with you.

VAUSE: OK, it's very rare for prosecutors to appeal a sentence. But given the 15-year gap between you know, the sentence that was handed out and the loss end of the guidelines, do they have a case here or do you think they'll wait and see what happens in that second sentencing hearing next week?

LEVINSON: I think they're going to wait and see what happens in the D.C. sentencing that will happen next week. And -- but I think there's no doubt that this is obviously way below the sentencing guidelines and way below what the prosecutors asked and frankly way below what this judge has given in other cases that we could argue are far less serious.

I mean, CNN reported this as a shocking sentence and I think that that is absolutely the way to describe it. We have Paul Manafort described as having an otherwise less life. And yet if you look at what he has been accused of, pled guilty to and convicted of, it tells a very different story.

VAUSE: Yes. That otherwise blameless life will be sentenced for you know, for witness tampering and conspiracy next week. Judge Ellis, he was nominated by Ronald Reagan, a conservative and during this trial, Ellis continually badgered the prosecution you know, from the Mueller team. Here's part of a report from The Washington Post back in August.

Ellis was said to the prosecutors, you don't really care about Mr. Manafort's bank fraud. You really care about getting information Mr. Manafort can give you that would reflect on Mr. Trump and lead to his prosecution or impeachment.

Ellis also accused Mueller's office of trying to turn the screws and get the information you really want. The comments earned quick praise from Trump. I've been saying that for a long time. It's a witch hunt.

You know, in line o this lenient sentence, do those comments come into play here? Are there any red flags there?

LEVINSON: Well, so there's red flags to the extent that -- I mean, I think you and I actually talked about at the time. I mean, this was a judge who was let's say kind of euphemistically crotchety, that he was giving the prosecutors a hard time, that he was making statements that frankly I think shouldn't have been made in a courtroom regarding what the prosecutors were really after here.

But was he -- I mean, were these statements problematic to the level that we think he couldn't carry out his duties, I would say that is an extremely high bar and I don't think we were anywhere near that. Now we've talked a lot about federal judges. They have an enormous amount of discretion. And again, these sentencing guidelines are just that. There's no

mandatory minimums and a judge can basically decide -- I mean if the judge wanted to come down for the bench, give Paul Manafort a bear hug and say it sounds like you feel really sorry about this, go on with your life, that's within the judge's discretion to do so.

VAUSE: Well, Lawrence Tribe professor of law at Harvard University tweeted this. Judge Ellis' assessment that Manafort led an otherwise blameless life is proof that he's unfit to serve on the federal bench. I've rarely been more disgusted by a judge transparently preferential treatment to a rich white guy who betrayed the law the nation.

A civil sentiment too from Democrat Senator and presidential contender Democrat Elizabeth Warren. She tweeted, Trump's campaign manager Paul Manafort commits bank and tax fraud gets 47 months. A homeless man's Fate Winslow helped sell $20 of pot but life in prison. The words above the Supreme Court say equal justice under the law. When will we start acting like it?

So the anger in this shock here of this entity goes way beyond you know, any sort of similar of your know, political politics here.

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VAUSE: It seems to be widespread.

LEVINSON: It does and I think for entirely understandable reasons. I mean, I will say that I made a prediction that Paul Manafort was going to be seeing something around 20 years and you know, I don't just have egg on my face, I have an omelet on my face. And I don't think that people really suspected this.

And I think that what we're looking at here is a judge who again has looked at a 37-year-old woman who was dealing methamphetamines and gave her 40 years in prison and said something like well, I kind of chafe at this but I have to carry out my duties.

Now, I -- you know we can think of a lot of reasons why these two situations were treated differently but I do think that this is a problematically low sentence. However, I would say as a bit of caution. I think it is far more problematic if we start to go into federal courtrooms and second guest judges and or take this as a systemic problem in the judicial system.

There's a reason that judges aren't elected. There's a reason that they have lifetime appointments and it's because I still think more often than not it's better to take popular will out of the courtroom.

VAUSE: I get -- you know, I'm not sure if Manafort you know, with this sentencing probably you know, end up dying in jail. The only way that will happen I guess is if he's hit by a bus at some point. Manafort's attorney came out made a brief statement after the sentence was announced. This is what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) KEVIN DOWNING, LAWYER OF PAUL MANAFORT: As you heard in court today, Manafort finally got to speak for himself and made clear he accepts responsibility for his conduct. And I think most importantly what you saw today is the same thing that we had said from day one. There's absolutely no evidence that Paul Manafort was involved any collusion with any government official from Russia.

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VAUSE: That's the only comment he made on camera, no Russia collusion. The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff says it's no accident. Manafort's lawyer basically repeated the president's mantra of no collusion. Schiff believes it's a deliberate appeal to the president for a pardon.

You know -- because even before this trial began, Judge Ellis banned any discussion of Russia. It was a pre-trial motion. There was no talk of Russia, no talk of collusion. So you know, is there any other conclusion which can be drawn from the statement made by Manafort's lawyer other than the fact that it is effective plea for pardon.

LEVINSON: Well, it's a plea for a pardon or it's a very -- it's a very conveniently consistent message with the president. I would also say, I think it's a bizarre statement to make as an attorney who has a duty to advocate for your client. It's like having a client who's found guilty of assault and saying well, yes. And I just want to make sure that everyone knows this has nothing to deal with grand theft auto.

I mean this is what -- Paul Manafort was not tried on any of those charges. So I think to the extent that it is so unrelated to what Paul Manafort was sentenced to, yes, I mean it can be seen as basically an open letter to the president. But again, for your -- for your viewers to remember, Paul Manafort could be pardoned for these federal crimes and still potentially face certain state crimes which he cannot be pardoned from.

VAUSE: Yes. Very quickly, we're almost out of time, but will this sentence you know, being incredibly lenient as it is, will have any impact on what the judge in Washington does next week?

LEVINSON: Well -- so I think we can answer this two ways. One is the judge in D.C. the judge in Washington is going to make an independent determination. The second is judges are humans. They know exactly what happens in the news. And to the extent that the D.C. judge is on the fence, I think that this could just bump up the sentence that Paul Manafort would see in this case.

So again, it's important to remember. He still may be serving a very long sentence. And my guess is it does put some pressure on the D.C. judge to say maybe we should look at least being within the Sentencing Guidelines, not 75 percent under those guidelines as we saw today.

VAUSE: Yes. I think the recommendation for the Washington case is up to ten years. It could be served concurrently which would give him about 14 years in jail. Maybe. We'll see what happens. Jessica, thank you.

LEVINSON: Thank you, John.

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VAUSE: It's a good week for lawyers. Donald Trump's former personal attorney and fixer Michael Cohen is suing the Trump Organization for at least $3.8 million to cover legal fees and court imposed fines. Cohen said he incurred some of the expenses while still part of a joint defense agreement for Trump but a spokesman for the Trump Organization says Cohen is not owed a penny.

The U.S. House passed a resolution broadly condemning hate and intolerance including anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim bias. The resolution was written specifically to condemn anti-Semitic remarks by Democrat Ilhan Omar but it was revised to include other forms of bigotry.

Omar is one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress. She has been under fire even from fellow Democrats for her criticism, twice, of Israel.

Eliminating the ISIS threat will take more than battlefield success. The once sprawling caliphate of Syria and Iraq is being reduced to just a sliver. Fighters have been surrendering by the hundreds but a senior U.S. general warns surrendering is not the same as giving up.

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GEN. JOSEPH VOTEL, CENTCOM COMMANDER: Reduction --

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VOTEL: -- of the physical caliphate is a monumental military accomplishment but the fight against ISIS and violent extremism is far from over.

Recent observations by our men and women on the ground highlight that the ISIS population being evacuated from the reigning vestiges of the caliphate largely remain unrepentant, unbroken and radicalized.

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VAUSE: Many of the ISIS fighters who surrounded in Eastern Syria still believe their ideology will prevail and they say it's only a matter of time. CNN's Ben Wedeman is there.

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BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In defeat, gone is the bravado, the cockiness. In defeat, the men of the so-called Islamic state bow their heads and cover their faces, a sharp contrast from the shrill triumphalism of ISIS's early days.

"We couldn't fight anymore so we surrendered," Ahmed (ph), a Syrian, says. In the last few days, hundreds of ISIS fighters have surrendered to

the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic forces. Some have yet to give up. This video shot Wednesday of the group's last enclave shows men on foot and motorbike moving about in broad daylight.

Vanquished ISIS may be yet Ahmud (ph), a Palestinian, refugee who grew up in Syria, hasn't given up. He concedes defeat today but not tomorrow.

"Maybe the Americans rule the world today," he tells me.

"But God almighty promised the Muslims that in the end, the world will be ruled by Islam."

Their state is close to death, not their delusions.

"Despite the war and all the problems imposed upon it, I think the Islamic state was a success," Felas (ph), an Iraqi, tells me.

"No one gave it the chance to offer anything to the world."

A state where men claim to rule in the name of God and women obeyed is on the brink of extinction. And the children and the women are paying the price. Caked in dust, dazed and confused, hungry and thirsty, scrambling onto trucks normally used to transport livestock, bound for camps to the north.

In defeat, misery is their lot -- Ben Wedeman, CNN, Eastern Syria.

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VAUSE: Saudi Arabia has been put on notice that the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi has not been forgiven or forgotten. All of the European Union signed an open letter condemning Saudi Arabia's human rights record.

The letter was read at a meeting of the U.N. Human Rights Council and demanded the kingdom disclose all information about Khashoggi's killing.

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HARALD ASPELUND, ICELANDIC AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N. IN GENEVA: The investigations into the killing must be independent and transparent. Those responsible must be held to account. We call upon Saudi Arabia to disclose all information available and to fully cooperate with all limited gages (ph) into the killing, including the human rights inquiry by the special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions.

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VAUSE: The CIA has concluded Khashoggi's killing was carried out on the orders of the Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, the de factor ruler of Saudi Arabia. The Saudi royal family denies any role in the journalist's death. Despite a failed nuclear summit and reports of renewed construction at

a missile engine testing site, the Trump administration remains hopeful there will be a denuclearized North Korea by the end of next year. Meantime in North Korea, CNN's Will Ripley reports those failed talks are being reported as a success.

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WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Growing questions about North Korea's nuclear and missile program in the wake of last week's failed summit in Vietnam. A South Korean lawmaker tells CNN, spy agency NIS, is tracking the increase movement of transport vehicles around a North Korean missile site. Work is under way to rebuild a launch pad and missile engine test stand at the Sohae satellite launch facility and what sources say may have derailed talks in Hanoi. A secret uranium enrichment plant just outside Pyongyang.

JAMES CLAPPER, FORMER DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: So, it is not surprising to me that we see evidence of them continuing with their nuclear and or missile program. That is -- that is the way they generate leverage.

RIPLEY: Analysts say, the North Koreans maybe looking for leverage. After President Trump walked out of his Hanoi summit with Chairman Kim Jong-un, something regular North Koreans will never even know. They'll never see this empty table from a working lunch called off. Never hear these words from President Trump on not reaching a deal.

TRUMP: Sometimes you have to walk.

RIPLEY: Instead, regular --

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RIPLEY: -- North Koreans see this, a carefully edited state TV documentary from comrade Kim's triumphant rival on a bulletproof train to huge crowds lining the streets for a glimpse of his motorcade. Even the moment President Trump called a friendly walk, as far as most North Koreans know, it was.

But sources tell CNN, Kim's team made a last ditch attempt to strike a deal with the U.S. Offering to dismantle their entire Yongbyon nuclear complex in exchange for partial lifting of sanctions just before Trump walkout.

North Korea's vice foreign minister, Choe Son-hui, later issued this sharp warning. That the U.S. missed a once in a thousand year opportunity and her chairman may have lost the will to negotiate. A message sources say came directly from Kim himself. But you've never know any of it watching North Korean TV, despite the summits abrupt and humiliating end.

And even as the Trump administration warns of more sanctions, if North Korea fails to denuclearize, they are also leaving the door open for a third summit. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president is obviously open to talking again. We will see when that -- that might be scheduled or what -- how it would work out, but he thinks the deal is there, if North Korea is prepared to look at the big picture.

RIPLEY: A big picture the U.S. says must not include provocative or threatening behavior. Will Ripley, CNN, Beijing.

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VAUSE: Well, still to come, Brexit anxiety spreading across the Channel with growing concerns the days of easy movements of goods, people and just about everything will soon come to an abrupt end.

Also ahead, the first man landing on the moon as you have never seen it before after the discovery of thousands of hours of archival film and audio recordings.

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VAUSE: A widespread power outage left much of Venezuela in the dark. The country says the country's main hydropower station was sabotaged. Blackouts are common in Venezuela but on this scale they're rare.

President Nicolas Maduro accused the opposition of being involved in the outage but critics, including the U.S. secretary of state, say incompetence and corruption are to blame for the failing power grid that provides about 70 percent of the country's electricity.

Britain's prime minister is scrambling to save her Brexit deal ahead of a critical vote next week. She says if the E.U. won't give ground in negotiations --

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VAUSE: -- over the Irish backstop, she can't pass a deal and they'll all face a catastrophic no-deal Brexit. The backstop is a provision to provide a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. Critics fear that would also keep Britain bound by E.U. rules indefinitely. Communications carry into the weekend. The U.K.'s foreign secretary says he is hoping for a breakthrough.

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JEREMY HUNT, BRITISH FOREIGN MINISTER: Now there are very exhaustive discussions on both sides to try to find a way to achieve that. I think there's goodwill on both sides and I think both sides want to try to find a way through this. Obviously we're hoping for that success to happen this weekend in time for the vote.

(END VIDEO CLIP) VAUSE: Many in Britain are worried about a no deal Brexit. They're not alone. The French are also getting ready and a little concerned. As CNN's Jim Bittermann reports, Britain crashing out of Europe could affect all creatures great and small.

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JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Oscar the Yorkie may not look too worried about Brexit, but his caretaker certainly is.

Paul Anderson runs a business called Pets2Go2, regularly transporting thousands of pets a year from Europe to Britain and back again. Unlike other animals, Oscar travels back and forth easily with a pet passport.

But potentially after Brexit, more paperwork will be needed and perhaps even a new blood test before he can re-enter into France.

PAUL ANDERSON, DOG CARETAKER, PETS2GO2: There doesn't seem to be any clarity on what is going to happen to our business or transporting as a general. It is a bit of a mess.

BITTERMANN: With as many as 2,000 pets crossing the English Channel each day, according to animal control inspectors, any change in the rules means added expenses and headaches for pet owners. For the three dogs of Ian Squirrell and Debby Lansley, this may be the last trip for a while.

DEBBY LANSLEY, PET OWNER: Until we know what is happening, I mean someone is saying that they're going to need rabies injection but --

IAN SQUIRRELL, PET OWNER: Blood tests.

LANSLEY: Yeah.

SQUIRRELL: The English vets are charging 260 pounds for the blood test which is quite a lot of money.

LANSLEY: We got three dogs.

SQUIRRELL: We got three dogs.

BITTERMANN: Even without a clear idea of which direction Brexit may take, it is also costing a lot of money. French customs says it is spending more than 68 million dollars constructing new customs facilities, hiring 700 more customs agents and hundreds more veterinarian inspectors.

Customs officials here said they have been planning for the worst case scenario for years and that means going back to the battle days of customs declarations, health and sanitary inspections, screening of animals for diseases and fruits and vegetables for pesticides and weedkillers; in short, re-establishing controls that haven't existed here for 25 years. In the time since, under European Union rules, customs inspections have been carried out on a random basis, sometimes quite literally looking for the needle in the haystack. But after Brexit, French customs inspectors are expected to be much more thorough.

The French produced a video hoping to explain to people how they can avoid delays crossing by ferry or by Euro tunnel by going online in advance of their trip.

But those new facilities include expanded customs and parking areas for any of the eight million trucks crossing the channel which have not completed proper paperwork in advance, according to the customs director for Northern France.

THIBAUT ROUGELOT, CUSTOMS DIRECTOR, NORTHERN FRANCE (through translator): It is possible with the formalities, there won't be an added cost to transport. I don't know how the companies will react to this extra cost and restrictions on the circulations of merchandise.

BITTERMANN: Merchandise like fresh produce, for instance: at the moment, the French import about 55 percent of the lamb they consume, much of it from Britain, according to agricultural statistics, and most after it had been slaughtered.

Customs delays could mean fresh lamb would have to be frozen, putting British lamb in direct competition with countries as far away as New Zealand.

TOM BUCKLE, SHEEP FARMER: Things will get complicated. No one knows what will happen really.

BITTERMANN: Some, though, are already making decisions without waiting. At STC Transport, which regularly moves thoroughbreds back and forth across the Channel for racing and breeding, one recent client cancelled his horses' trip. The company believes others will follow.

SIMON BROSELETTE, STC TRANSPORT: The owners are reticent to travel at the moment. They don't know if the mares will stay in the United Kingdom, how will they return?

How will they return in France?

BITTERMANN: So in spite or perhaps because of the political dither on the other side of the channel, over in France, some are already voting on Brexit with their feet -- Jim Bittermann, CNN, Calais, France.

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VAUSE: Still to come here, Russia's Vladimir Putin launching a crackdown on spies, Americans and free speech, claiming the threats are everywhere.

Could this have more to do with his waning popularity?

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

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VAUSE: Three dozen countries publicly condemn Saudi Arabia at the U.N. Forum on Human Rights. They called on the kingdom to release all information on the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. It is the first time the Human Rights Council openly criticized Saudi Arabia.

They're warning foreign agents to stay out of Russia and stay away from Russian technology. But as CNN's Fred Pleitgen reports, Putin's clampdown also extends to free speech and Americans living there in Russia.

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FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Even as the Kremlin touts the power of Russia's new weapon technology, Vladimir Putin also revealing he fears the U.S. and others are trying to get their hands on it.

Speaking to a spy service, Putin are telling his agents to be vigilant.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): This especially concerns the protection of information on the design, testing and manufacturing of advanced Russian weapon systems as well as advanced military and dual use technology. Control in this sphere must be very strict and thorough.

PLEITGEN: While the Kremlin keeps saying it believes President Trump is the trying to improve relations with Russia, Moscow thinks America and its allies are ramping up their efforts to infiltrate and destabilize the country, claiming to have caught hundreds of foreign agents last year alone.

PUTIN (through translator): We see the foreign special services have been trying increase their Russia operations, doing their utmost to gain access to political, economic, scientific and technological information. This means that you must work even better to counter these activities.

PLEITGEN: Russia is clamping down on Americans, recently arrested U.S. citizen Paul Wieland for alleged act of espionage. Wieland's family claimed he was in Russia simply to attend a wedding. And apprehending and convicting several U.S. citizens for allegedly violating the rules of entry and stay in Russia. But as Putin faces historically low approval ratings, his government is also aiming to further silence criticism within Russia. The parliament is taking up a bill banning the spread of alleged --

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FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): -- historically low approval ratings, his government is also aiming to further silence criticism within Russia. The parliament is taking up a bill banning the spread of alleged "fake news" and negative comments about the government and Putin. The bill awaits final passage but has already made it through the lower house of parliament. Opposition lawmakers ripping into the measure to no avail.

[00:30:26] ALEXEY KURINNIY, COMMUNIST PARTY (through translator): Let's first ask ourselves a question. Why do people believe fake news? Because they apparently don't trust the authorities and official sources, because the authorities are lying very often, especially recently.

As Vladimir Putin's popularity among Russians seems to be waning, he does remain close to his security services, today gifting female police officers with a presidential horse for the upcoming International Women's Day.

Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Moscow.

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JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: CNN is partnering with young people around the world on March 14 for a student-led day of action against modern- day slavery. Ahead of My Freedom Day, we're asking what makes you feel free. Here's what supermodel and businesswoman Naomi Campbell had to say.

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NAOMI CAMPBELL, SUPERMODEL/BUSINESSWOMAN: Free means -- I mean, my God, it's a big question. I mean, basically, just to be able to go for what you want to do in your life. To not have any stigma or any segregation. To be -- people to be open with a diverse mind of -- free of any racial prejudice.

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VAUSE: Tell the world what makes you feel free. Share your story, using the hashtag #MyFreedomDay.

With that, we'll take a short break. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. We'll be back in just a moment.

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VAUSE: Perhaps it's just human nature, but with the passing of time, we tend to settle on an agreed narrative about some of the most defining moments in history, essentially a headline with no detail.

Like this iconic image of courage and defiance by a lone protestor in Tiananmen Square. Yes, he stopped the tanks, but at the time the tanks were actually leaving the square.

This photograph of a passionate kiss between a sailor and nurse would become a symbol of joy and celebration after the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II. The woman was actually a dental assistant who never consented to being kissed by a stranger.

And then, there's the Apollo 11 moon landing, one of the greatest achievements of mankind, essentially short-handed by our collective memories to this.

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[00:35:05] NEIL ARMSTRONG, ASTRONAUT: It's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.

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VAUSE: Of all the history-making moments of the 20th Century, few have been as well-documented as the mission to the moon by Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins, and yet it turns out there is much we never knew and surprisingly never saw until now.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'd like to know what you feel as far as responsibilities of representing mankind on this trip.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's relatively difficult to answer. It's a job that we collectively said that was possible and we could do and of course that the nation itself is backing us so we just sincerely hope that we measure up to that.

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VAUSE: This new documentary is called "Apollo 11," and it uses newly- discovered archival film and audio recordings for a mind-blowing look at an event we all thought we knew so well, and along the way, stirring emotions for what was still -- what was and still is a triumph of human achievement.

With us now is the director of "Apollo 11," Todd Douglas Miller, and the producer, Tom Peterson.

So thank you guys for coming in and congratulations. Everything I have read about this documentary, the reviews are raving and they are gushing. So congratulations on that. TOM PETERSON, PRODUCER, "APOLLO 11": Thank you.

TODD DOUGLAS MILLER, DIRECTOR, "APOLLO 11": Thanks so much.

PETERSON: Thanks for having us.

VAUSE: A pleasure. OK, Todd, let's start with you. Go back to that moment. You're finding all of this archival film. It must have been like finding buried treasure. Eleven thousand hours of original film and audio.

I guess then came the realization that it was 11,000 hours of film, and none of it had been logged. The canisters weren't even properly labeled in some -- in some instances, right?

MILLER: Yes. You know, we started the project, we kind of cast a big net to try to get all the available film footage. So that consisted of everything that everybody has seen before.

But what really was the amazing part was several months in, when this discovery of the collection of the 65 millimeter. So it was all large format. And you know, needless to say, our jaws were on the -- on the ground when we saw the first images off the film scanner.

But you alluded to the 11,000 hours. That was 11,000 hours of audio that strictly pertained to the mission control team of Apollo 11. So, you know, it was a task to, you know, rifle through all of that stuff, and it's a great testament to the team.

VAUSE: Yes. Absolutely. Here's another part of the documentary. And it's a few minutes before launch. Have a look.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Countdown for Apollo 11. Now 5:52 and counting.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go to flight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: BSF, go for launch?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: BPSFF. Go for launch.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: BSFC. Verify go for launch?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Boost to flight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Verify go for launch.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: S.R. over. Go for launch.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: S.R. over. Go for launch.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, I'm verify go for launch.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go for launch. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go for launch.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

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VAUSE: So Todd, what is striking to me is that the film, the quality of it. It's vibrant; it's crisp. Normally, a 50-year-old film, there would be some considerable degradation. Right?

MILLER: That was probably the most amazing thing, was how pristine it actually was. We were just absolutely floored.

Typically, when you get, you know, film footage, archival footage, you spend a lot of time in the restoration process. And our restoration team as great as they were, really used kid gloves, you know, with all this stuff. It was -- and it's a real testament to archive preservation. The fact that NASA, 50 years ago, had shot this, developed it, sent it out to the different centers and then ultimately, it ended up -- ended up at the National Archives in College Park outside of D.C. and sitting in cold storage all these years.

VAUSE: And Tom, I want to ask you about the style of the documentary. There's no narration, no recreations, no interviews. Before I get your answer, I want to play another clip, because it shows the spectators that gathered in the area around the Kennedy Space Center to watch the launch. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) at this time. About 30 minutes, 15 seconds and counting. Lift-off time, 32 minutes past the hour. Start launch window on (UNINTELLIGIBLE). Three stages of the Saturn 5 (UNINTELLIGIBLE). In the event, during powered flight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- destroy the vehicle. This obviously would go (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: So Tom, I thought it was a great clip by itself, because it speaks to another time. So how did you get to the decision of, you know, moving away from the traditional sort of documentary-making skills and just going with this original source material?

PETERSON: That was, you know, personally some of my favorite stuff, was the -- you know, all the shots of the crowd. And just, you know, people going about their business. People, you know, sleeping on the beach.

[00:40:13] But, you know, it certainly makes you think that, you know, 1969, everything we know about that era; and they were capable of doing this amazing, you know, near impossible thing. It's -- it's, you know, really astonishing.

VAUSE: Yes, I love the woman in the hat. The big fluffy yellow hat.

PETERSON: Yes.

VAUSE: It's so iconic of the times.

Of all the glowing reviews, and there are plenty, here's part of one from "The New York Times": "'Apollo 11' dispassionately lays out just how many things needed to go exactly right for the mission to be accomplished. And as many of the things that could possibly go wrong, the movie also implies that it's only giving you the tip of the iceberg in that respect."

So, you know, Todd, 93 minutes from thousands of hours of footage and audio recordings. That must have been a lot of very brutal, difficult choices.

MILLER: Yes, absolutely. I think it's a real testament to our team, to the sound designers, to the film restorers and certainly our archive team, and working hand-in-hand with NASA, the National Archives, the astronauts and their families. I mean, it was the, you know, the pleasure of our lives to be able to design sequences that we wanted to see that hadn't necessarily been depicted in fiction or nonfiction films before on the subject, show it to the astronauts, get immediate feedback or the families, and then go back and work with the team to get it just as accurate as we possibly could.

VAUSE: And lastly, in the trailer for it, it says go back to a time when we were one. It really was a different time, huh?

PETERSON: Yes. I think that, you know, something that working on this film has really driven home for me is just that, you know, it was -- there was a lot of social upheaval at that time; and it was this -- this unifying thing that everybody came together not only to accomplish but, you know, it brought everybody in the world together to watch. And it, you know, was really inspiring to see that through the footage itself.

VAUSE: Yes. We could do with a moon landing at the moment, I guess, in many ways. Todd and Tom, thank you so much. Congratulations on the documentary and best of luck.

PETERSON: Thanks.

MILLER: Thanks for having us.

VAUSE: You're very welcome.

And thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause. Please stay with us. WORLD SPORT starts after the break.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'd like to know what you feel as far as responsibilities of representing mankind on this trip.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's relatively difficult to answer. It's a job that we collectively said that was possible and we could do and of course that the nation itself is backing us so we just sincerely hope that we measure up to that.

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PATRICK SNELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hi, there. Welcome to CNN WORLD SPORT today. I'm Patrick Snell.

Haven't we just been thoroughly spoiled this past week? Football at its very best in the leg for Champions League. Thrilling, historic comebacks. Just ask Manchester United and Ajax, who booked their places in the quarterfinals.

[00:45:04] But on Thursday, the spotlight falling firmly on the Europa League; and what a night it would turn out to be for the French club side Rennes. A side tenth in Ligue 1 right now when they fell behind to Alex Iwobi's cross come shot for English Premier League opponents Arsenal, in this round of 16 first leg match, it looked like a really uphill task for them.

Shortly before halftime, though, the Gunners reduced to ten men after Greek defender Sokratis was handed a red card. Two yellows equals a red.

Seconds later, the hosts would level a breathtaking strike from Benjamin Bourigeaud. His effort just flew into the back of the net. And then to compound Arsenal's misery, Nacho Monreal putting through his own goal to put Rennes ahead. The French team adding a third before the end, the visitors losing in France for the first time ever in European competition.

To West London, where 2013 winners Chelsea will field there with a great shot of winning the competition again. The Blues hosting Dynamo Kyiv on Thursday. Remember, if they do triumph, Chelsea will qualify automatically for next season's Champions League.

After Spanish star Pedro have given them the lead, they have to wait until well into the second half before they get the second. Well worth the wait. How about this? A super strike from the Brazilian Willian.

And then right at the end, the icing on the cake for the host. Teenager Callum Hudson-Odoi making it three. Chelsea with a resounding first-leg lead to take to the home of the Ukrainian Premier League champions.

Some other news we're following, which could potentially, at least, have implications for Manchester City as far as the Champions League is concerned. Football's governing body in Europe -- that's UEFA -- now investigating the Premier League champions for alleged financial play in fractions. It follows recent reports in the German publication "Der Spiegel" based on leaked documents.

Meantime City, who deny any wrongdoing, releasing a statement on Thursday, saying in part, it considers the investigation "an opportunity to bring to an end the speculation resulting from the illegal hacking and out-of-context publication of City e-mails. The accusation of financial irregularities are entirely false. The club's published accounts are full and complete and a matter of legal and regulatory record."

Busy year for World Cups in 2019. Japan will host rugby's later this year, but before that, it's all eyes on football's Women's World Cup, which takes place in France. And bad news, by the way, if you were hoping for a ticket for the final itself. That's because the big game in Lyons is an absolute sell-out already. We're told the remaining tickets sold out in around 31 minutes. The stadium has a capacity at just shy of around the 58,000 mark.

The month-long tournament starting in just over 90 days now.

We may still be two years out, though, from the next America's Cup sailing competition, but you know, it's never too early, it seems, to finetune preparations. We're headed to New Zealand next to hear from one of the sport's biggest names. We're one-on-one with the iconic Grant Dalton.

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[00:51:07] SNELL: Well, we may still have two years to go before the next America's Cup sailing competition swings into action, but it's clear the teams are already making every single second count.

The skipper of American Magic has said that every single day is already accounted for between now and March the 6th, 2021. That's when they hope to be one of the six teams to face the winner of the 2017 edition Emirates Team New Zealand in Auckland.

Now, the man in charge of New Zealand's success, both past and future, is their CEO, the legendary Grant Dalton, who took over the team after they lost the cup in 2003.

Now, Dalton has participated in the historic race five times. None more memorable, of course, than that win two years ago when he helped bring the so-called Auld Mug back to New Zealand for the first time in 17 years.

Well, earlier, Kate Riley spoke with Dalton, who joined us from the team's headquarters at Auckland's Viaduct Harbour.

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GRANT DALTON, CEO, EMIRATES TEAM NEW ZEALAND: There's some great anlages and we always draw from those analogies. And the one we draw from is our world champion All Black team, who in 2011, having been unsuccessful for 25 years and re-wrestling the World Cup, won it in the final in New Zealand and only just won it.

And in that team, at that point, there was a number of players that effectively became a dynasty for the next World Cup, which was in 2015. And they absolutely cleaned it up. And they'd really come through the smoke and the flames to win in 2011, and by the time they got to 2015, they were -- I don't think they'd actually lost more than one game in the four years coming into that World Cup.

And, you know, on the inside this team feels a little bit the same. Bermuda was a very difficult campaign for us, and we won it well, but we learned a lot, and we got tougher. And I think we now have to take those lessons forward to create a stronger culture within our team. More leadership from the guys that have come forward and also been able to recruit new people, because we're a good place to work now.

KATE RILEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Now, what's it going to be like having a hometown America's Cup?

DALTON: I mean, we've got rugby and we've got sailing in this country and there's a few other sports, obviously. But those are big sports in this country.

And it's kind of hard in a lot of other countries to understand how big sailing is in New Zealand. I mean, we don't really have ice hockey as such, you know. Obviously, in other countries, it's massive. NFL, all those sort of things.

So -- so we brought the racing in quite close into where it can be viewed not only from on the water but also on the shore. And I don't think it would be any stretch of the imagination to expect a live audience, physically, around the edges of the race course, of 300,000 people. That's before you go to the TV audience.

So it's a big sport here. It's a nationwide sport. It's seen as a sport that anybody can participate in as opposed to, say, the example of East Coast, West Coast America. And there's some great statistics. Some two out of three families in this country have access to a boat; and you can't get more than 35 kilometers, or 20 miles, from a body of water anywhere in the country. So it's in our DNA.

RILEY: Now, you told us some amazing stats about the accessibility of this sport for people in New Zealand. How has the sport been able to attract different audiences around the world?

DALTON: You know, it's never going to be the biggest sport in the world. It can't be. It just -- you know, you don't do that much sailing in certain countries. It just doesn't happen. You play other sports.

So one of our objectives with this next coming America's Cup is, it's tended to, in recent years, been to a pay-to (ph) with TV, but that doesn't spread it. So we've gone about seeing literally (ph) TV as a cost rather than a revenue stream and we're -- possible we're doing pay-to -- free-to-air broadcasts around the world but also free-to-air digital rights, as well.

[00:55:24] So -- so really, the graphics that make the sport more understandable, because it's quite a difficult sport to understand if you just -- can look a bit like paint drying if you're not careful. And so the graphic package that overlays on the water makes it more understandable and taking it to a broad audience through free-to-air and also digital Facebook, YouTube, for example, should hopefully grow -- grow the audience.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SNELL: Fascinating insights there. All right.

Well, golf fans, it's the time of it will year that we all start to get rather excited. Especially because we know that the first men's golf major of 2019 -- that's the Masters -- taking place at Augusta National next month. But the countdown to it already very much in full swing.

The iconic Arnold Palmer Invitational always one of the most eagerly- anticipated events on the U.S. PGA circuit, but no Tiger Woods this year, after the eight-time winner was forced to unwillingly withdraw due to a neck strain.

That said, Phil Mickelson, he won this event back in 1997. He's very much in action this week at the event, but he has work to do if he's to add to that.

The five-time major winner with problems here at No. 10. Lefty up against an out-of-bounds fence. As I said, said, he's known as Lefty, but he had to go righty here. Right-handed, trying to get the ball, but it gets caught up in the fence, leading to double bogey 6. He's at four under.

Now to the stuff that dreams really are made of. American veteran D.A. Points at the path for the seventh. Officially, he appeared to not like his tee shot. I don't know why. It just rolls right into the hole for the ace. What's not to like about a hole in one?

So who's leading after the first round? That would be the Spaniard, Rafa Cabrera Bello, who showed wonderful touch around the greens on Thursday. And opening round 65 for him, and he leads the way at 7 under. All to play for there in the Sunshine State of Florida.

Thank you so much for joining us. From the team here in Atlanta, we'll see you again next time. Do stay with CNN. Thanks for watching.

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