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Paul Manafort Sentenced To 47 Months In Prison; Brewing Scandal Threatens Canadian P.M.'s Future; Avalanches Bury Vehicles Close Roads In Colorado; Apple CEO Changes Twitter Name After Trump Flubs It; Paul Manafort Sentenced to Prison; U.S. House Passes Anti-Hate Resolution; ISIS Fighters Now Surrendering Are Unrepentant, Unbroken and Radicalized; Trump Admin Hopeful for Denuclearization in First Term; U.K.'s Messy Divorce; Putin Cracks Down on Foreign Agents and Americans. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired March 8, 2019 - 02:00   ET

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


[02:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: The U.S. president's former campaign chairman is sentenced for his financial fraud crimes and it is far less than special counsel Robert Mueller recommended.

Amnesty International marks International Women's Day with a film about Syrian women activists. We'll hear from one of the women who worked on the film. How far have these activists gone? We'll find out.

Plus, after a CNN special exposes the horror of child slavery in Ghana, the country's government promises to respond.

Hello, everyone. Thank you for joining us. I'm Natalie Allen and this is "CNN Newsroom".

And we begin with former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort dodging taxes on millions of dollars in personal income and now going to prison for at least the next three years. A federal judge sentenced Manafort to 47 months with credit for nine months already served. He will also have to pay at least $6 million in restitution to the U.S. government. It is well short of the 19 to 25 years of prison prosecutors wanted. Manafort's indictment was the first of special counsel Mueller's investigations.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KEVIN DOWNING, ATTORNEY FOR PAUL MANAFORT: As you heard in court today, Mr. Manafort finally got to speak for himself and made clear he accepts responsibility for his conduct. 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 with any collusion with any government official from Russia.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: There has been no official reaction from the White House, but counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway speaking with CNN before the sentencing said she hasn't heard Mr. Trump talk about a pardon for Manafort. She also said the prosecutor's recommendations were too harsh.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: It did seem that -- the sentence maybe was much more than perhaps other people get for crimes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: Even President Trump over the past few months has expressed his sympathy for Manafort.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: With respect to Paul Manafort who -- it is very sad what happened to Paul, the way he's being treated.

Paul Manafort is a good man. He was with Ronald Reagan. He was with a lot of different people over the years. I feel very sad about that.

I think the whole Manafort trial is very sad. When you look at what is going on -- I think it is a sad day for our country. I think it is very sad what they've done to Paul Manafort.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: President Trump is also seizing on comments his former lawyer Michael Cohen made under oath to Congress, comments that administration official now tells CNN the Justice Department may investigate as perjury. The president cited the U.S. network MSNBC in a tweet. "Cohen's lawyer contradicts Cohen's testimony about never seeking a presidential pardon." Here is what Cohen said in that testimony.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER ATTORNEY FOR PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I have never asked for nor would I accept a pardon from President Trump.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: His current lawyer now admits Cohen did ask his attorney at a time to find out if a pardon was possible. But Davis insists Cohen did not lie because he asked while Cohen and Trump were coordinating on their defense.

Joining me now to talk about these developments from Venice, Italy this time is Steven Erlanger, chief diplomatic correspondent for The New York Times. Steven, we always appreciate your time. Let's get your reaction. We've heard plenty of it in the past several hours on Paul Manafort. What do you make of his sentence, just 47 months, when Mueller's team had recommended 19 to 25? STEVEN ERLANGER, CHIEF DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Well, given Manafort's age, 19 to 25, would have seen him in the grave many years before it ended. So, I think that that seem a bit harsh but prosecutors do what they do. This judge is an eccentric judge. He likes to be scissor in his own courtroom and do his own thing.

Clearly, he felt -- he seemed to feel some sympathy for Manafort. But given his age, four years minus the time he has already been in jail is a fair amount of time. It won't be any fun. He is subject to sentencing on another trial where he could be sentenced up to 10 more years.

[02:05:03] So, it is not over yet. And we'll still wait to see from what President Trump says if -- he's not thinking of a pardon, I would be very much surprised.

ALLEN: This video of him coming out of court earlier today at least on Thursday -- excuse me, I didn't mean to say earlier today. As you see, it was in 2018. Clearly, he went to court today in a wheelchair because he is somewhat infirmed.

Let's get back to this. Despite the fact that Manafort was convicted of fraud, his attorney was quick to point that there was no evidence of any collusion with Russia. The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff saying he believes this was a deliberate appeal for a pardon. What do you think about that?

ERLANGER: Well, first, going to court in a wheelchair because of gout seems a bit much. There are pills for gout. Maybe he has terrible gout. That seems very much part of the spectacle. I do think that -- the defense lawyer claiming that this had nothing to do with Russia doesn't necessarily mean much. He wasn't tried on collusion with Russia.

I mean, the interesting thing for Manafort for Robert Mueller is less what he did than how Mueller used what Manafort did breaking the law to get him to talk about what he knows which is his time as Trump's campaign manager and his time in Ukraine and these meetings at which we are told by reporting that Manafort exchanged polling information with people working for Russia.

So, that's not what the trial was about. The trial was about clear breaking of the law. It is very interesting President Trump sympathizes so much, says it is so terrible and so sad that someone is actually tried and convicted and given a life sentence for breaking the law, but there we are.

ALLEN: Right because the judge indicated first of all that he was disappointed Manafort didn't show remorse for his crimes. He said these crimes were very serious. In any way, is this somewhat a victory for Donald Trump? Yes, he wasn't on trial for collusion, but is it also somewhat a setback for Robert Mueller?

ERLANGER: I don't think so. Judges, you know, run their courtrooms. The man was, you know, did plead guilty. I mean, he is convicted. He will pay a penalty at an advanced age. He will lose a lot of money. And so, you know, one can certainly say justice has been done. I'm not sure it is a victory for one or the other.

I mean, the fact that he was convicted and he's -- he faces sentencing in another trial, those are victories for Robert Mueller and his team almost by definition. The fact that Manafort was so close to Trump at least for a time, I suppose, you know, must make the White House nervous.

They knew this was coming. And Manafort for the most part because Mueller has already accused him of lying to Mueller about things that have lapped happened, maybe the Trump people feel that Manafort protected the president in some fashion that obviously we don't yet know.

ALLEN: As you mentioned, there will be another sentencing for Manafort next week. We will wait what the judge does there. Steven Erlanger, as always, we appreciate your input. Thank you.

ERLANGER: Thanks, Natalie.

ALLEN: The U.S. House has passed a resolution broadly condemning hate and intolerance, including anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim discrimination. The resolution was first written specifically to condemn what some called 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 of Israel.

Eliminating the ISIS threat will take more than battlefield success. The one sprawling caliphate across much of Syria and Iraq has been reduced to a splinter. Loyal fighters have been surrendering now by the hundreds. But a top U.S. general warns surrendering is not the same as giving up.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[02:09:59] JOSEPH VOTEL, COMMANDER, U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND: Reduction 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 remaining vestiges of the caliphate largely remain unrepentant, unbroken, and radicalized.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: Many of the ISIS fighters who surrendered in Eastern Syria still believe their ideology will prevail and that it is only a matter of time. Our Ben Wedeman spoke with some of them.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

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, (INAUDIBLE) 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 maybe yet (INAUDIBLE), 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, (INAUDIBLE) tells me. No one gave it a chance to offer anything to the world.

The state where men claim to rule in the name of God, women obeyed, is on the brink of extinction. And the children and the women are paying the price. They are dazed and confused, hungry and thirsty, scrambling on to trucks normally used to transport livestock bound for camps to the north. In defeat, misery is their luck (ph).

Ben Wedeman, CNN, Eastern Syria.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: The Trump administration remains hopeful there will be a denuclearized North Korea by the end of 2020, even amid reports of recent activity at a missile engine test site and after the failed summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un. Our Will Ripley reports North Korea's propaganda machine painted those talks as a success.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

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 increased movements 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, 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 the way they generate leverage.

RIPLEY: Analysts say the North Koreans may be 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 North Koreans see this, a carefully edited state TV documentary from Comrade Kim's triumphant arrival 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.

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 walked out.

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.

[02:15:08] But you would never know any of it watching North Korean TV despite the summit's 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.

JOHN BOLTON, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: The president is obviously open to talking again. We'll see when that -- that might be scheduled or 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 that U.S. says must not include provocative or threatening behavior.

Will Ripley, CNN, Beijing.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: Getting ready for Brexit isn't easy on either side of the English Channel, and new worries that the easy movement of goods, people, and even our four-legged friends might come to an end, an abrupt end. That's coming up here. Also, massive crackdowns in Russia are on the rise just as the president's popularity begins to fall. Ahead here is the effort to clamp down on spies, Americans, and free speech.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ALLEN: A widespread power outage has left much of crisis-stricken Venezuela in the dark. The government blames it on sabotage at the main hydropower station which provides 70 percent of the country's energy. Blackouts are common in Venezuela but one this size is rare.

President Nicolas Maduro accuses his political adversaries of creating the problem, but critics including the U.S. secretary of state blame incompetence and corruption for the failing power grid.

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 over the Irish backstop, she can't pass her deal, and they'll also face a no deal Brexit.

The backstop is a provision designed to avoid a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. Critics fear that would definitely keep Britain bound by E.U. rules. As negotiations carry into the weekend, the U.K.'s foreign secretary says he has hope for a breakthrough.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[02:19:57] JEREMY HUNT, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: Now there are very exhausting discussions on both sides to try to find a way to achieve that. I think there is goodwill on both sides. I think both sides want to try and find a way through this. And obviously we're hoping for that success to happen this weekend in time for the vote.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: And while British are worried about a no deal Brexit, they are not alone. The French are also concerned and getting ready. CNN's Jim Bittermann reports Britain crashing out of Europe could affect all creatures, great and small.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

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. In short, it is re-establishing controls that haven't existed here for 25 years.

The time since (ph) 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 (ph), for instance. At the moment, the French import about 55 percent of the land they consume, much of it from Britain, according to agricultural statistics. And most (INAUDIBLE) have 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.

BITTERMANN: Some (ph) are already making decisions without waiting. At STC Transport which rarely moves thoroughbreds back and forth across the channel for raising and breeding, one recent client cancelled his horses' trip. The company believes others will follow.

SIMON BROSELETTE, STC TRANSPORT: We're reticent to travel at the moment. We don't know if the mask (ph) will stay in the United Kingdom, how (INAUDIBLE) 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.

Jim Bittermann, CNN, Calais, France.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: Brexit is complicated. Vladimir Putin is warning foreign agents to stay out of his country's affairs. The Russian president says he's clamping down on suspected spies allegedly trying to gain access to Russian technology. But our CNN's Frederik Pleitgen reports Putin's clamp down also extends to free speech and American citizens in the country.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

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.

[02:25:00] 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 fake news and negative comments about the government and Putin. The bill awaits final passage but has already made it to the lower house of parliament. Opposition lawmakers were ripping into the measure to no avail.

ALEXEY KURINNIY, DEPUTY, COMMUNIST PARTY (through translator): Let's first ask ourselves a question. Why do people believe fake news? It is because they apparently don't trust the authorities and official sources because the authorities are lying very often, especially recently. PLEITGEN: As Vladimir Putin's popularity among Russians seems to be waning, he does remain close to his security services, today with female police officers with a presidential horse for the upcoming International Women's Day.

Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Moscow.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: Fred just said it. It is International Women's Day. And to mark it, Amnesty International is releasing a special film about the women of Syria, activists, and what they've been trying to achieve. We'll take a look. Also ahead here, Ghana responds to a CNN investigation after we found rampant child slavery in parts of the country, what officials say they're doing to tackle it. Much more ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[02:30:00] NATALIE ALLEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: And welcome back to CNN news room every one. I'm Natalie Allen. Let's update you on our top news this hour. A U.S. Federal judge has sentenced former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort to 47 months in prison. He was convicted last year of tax and bank fraud. The 69-year-old Manafort faces another sentencing hearing next week for conspiracy and witness tampering.

A top U.S. General warns defeating ISIS on the battlefield will not end the threat. At a U.S. House Committee General Joseph Votel just testified the ISIS ideology remains strong even among fighters who have recently surrendered, he says many are still radicalized. U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton said Donald Trump is open to more talks with Kim Jung-un even after failing to reach a deal at their second summit in February.

And a Senior State Department Official says the administration is still hopeful for denuclearized North Korea by the end of next year. Today marks International Women's Day in much of the world an event now held on March 8th each year. International Women's Day celebrates the achievement of women, and is a public holiday in several countries. It's associated with the color purple, one of the colors worn by the suffragist.

International Women's Day was first marked in 1911, first celebrated by the U.N. in 1975. Well, this is how Air India is celebrating, 12 major international flights and more than 40 domestic flights will be operated by all female crews. This isn't the first time the airline is observing International Women's Day in this is way. This is a picture of an all-female crew celebrating after landing in San Francisco in 2017.

The airline says, this crew made history by being the first all female team to fly around the world by going from New Delhi to San Francisco and back. This year's all women crews are operating flights to San Francisco, New York, Washington, London and eight other cities. The Australian Prime Minister has provoked outrage on social media this International Women's Day in an address marking it. Scott Morrison said, men shouldn't have to make way for women's empowerment.

He said this, we want to see women rise but we don't want to see women rise only on the basis of others doing worse. We're not about setting Australians against each other and trying to push them down to lift others up. His take. Amnesty International is marking Women's Day with a film about women from Syria. It is called Unheard No More: Women Shaping Syria's Future. It features women fighting for representation in politics and then end to gender-based violence, problems that have become worse since the 2011 Syrian uprising.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: Just a little glimpse there of the film, Diana Semaan is a Syria campaigner with Amnesty International she joins us from Madrid. Diana, Happy Women's Day to you.

DIANA SEMAAN, SYRIA CAMPAIGNER, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: Same to you.

ALLEN: And thank you for your contribution with this film. It points out that Syrian women have been pioneering and leading community activism and political organizing inside and outside Syria. Can you give us an example of what they've been doing or one or two things?

SEMAAN: So, the video that we're launching today at (INAUDIBLE) features seven women who have been subjected to horrible suffering or violations inside of Syria. But when they -- after they -- after leaving Syria and seeking refuge elsewhere, they became -- they established organizations that provide psychosocial support to detainees that have been released from prison. They've, you know, established grassroots movement calling for the release of their loved ones.

But they've also joined political movements, feminist movements, and they've became agents of change.

ALLEN: So, they have made gains via activism but what had they actually done, what had they actually gained? They're still underrepresented in politics and do men recognize their gains?

SEMAAN: So as women, what they have achieved which was, you know, like, there's something they could never have done inside of Syria was that they were able to basically empower other women provide capacity building, provide services to other women but also to take on -- to lead on being, you know, leaders of organizations, heads of organizations, something that they were not allowed to do so and in Syria before the crisis.

[02:35:24] So they have been, you know, amplifying their voices, they have been giving platform for others to also speak out, to ensure that voices of all of the women reach decision makers which in the case of Syria are the biggest state supporting part of the conflict such as Russia, Iran and Turkey. Yes, women have been underrepresented or in some cases represented by women who don't exactly represent the civil society. And this is why we have this campaign launching today is to ensure

that when negotiation start in Geneva in the future, to insure that women have an active political participation or political role and not only symbolic. It's very important that they have a seat at the table and the bare minimum is for all parties of the conflict but also their backers is to listen to the concerns of these women and what they have endured, and what they have to say in shaping Syria's future.

ALLEN: Well, it's hard work and they're making a stance and they probably have a ways to go, where does the Middle East rank in giving women equal rights?

SEMAAN: Sorry? Can you repeat that?

ALLEN: Can you hear me? Sure, sure.

SEMAAN: Yes, it broke.

ALLEN: Sure, Diana, no problem. Where does the Middle East rank in giving women equal rights? And what prohibits advancement for women in the Middle East?

SEMAAN: I mean, to begin with at least of the Middle East region you have laws, local laws that prevent women from, you know, one, there's from protecting their own rights and let alone to allow them to be active in any kind of political movement or participation, et cetera. So -- and you definitely also have the, you know, personal status laws and other types laws that prevent women -- to protect women to begin with.

But also definitely have a patriarchal society that, you know, doesn't like the idea or prohibits or doesn't encourage women to be leaders, to have -- to take, you know, stronger stance to be part of the governments, definitely we've seen the oppression against women in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf and Syria during the conflict.

ALLEN: And I want to ask you, Diana, about whether there is a generational divide in activism among women. In your film, you -- I saw that you depicted older women, how young do you go?

SEMAAN: So, we start to interview women from of all ages which definitely reflects all of the movements that they have been taking part on pre-2011 until today. There's definitely -- since 2011 we've seen a new generation of women, if you want of younger women who, you know, they broke the barriers of fear and they started of, you know, with small activities of providing humanitarian aid, of relief, et cetera.

To now becoming and establishing and receiving and being able to secure funding which is always a challenge to establish an organization which is female-led and grassroots movements, et cetera. So, definitely we've seen a new generation that's appearing among Syrian women and Syrian women defend, they do touch upon that very briefly but, yes, I mean, we've definitely seen a change.

ALLEN: We hope so, you know, in all of the years we've seen the Syrian War, we've seen the fighting.

SEMAAN: Yes.

ALLEN: We have seen families running for their lives and suffering and mothers trying to help their children. But this film puts women in a different light and it gets specifically to what they are looking for their future and we wish you all the best with the film. Diana Semaan, thank you.

SEMAAN: Thank you. Thank you, bye.

ALLEN: Well now, we go up to space for you. New images coming in from NASA just moments ago this happened. The SpaceX crew dragon capsule undocked from the International Space Station. Quite exciting. The unmanned spacecraft is capping off its historic test flight and is set to return to earth in just a few hours now. See? There goes the undocking. SpaceX designed the craft to carry humans and now you're looking at live pictures of this undocking. Listen to that.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- already more than 200 meters away.

ALLEN: It's already 200 feet away, he said.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The next big mile support is one that actually gets out side to that approach ellipsoid, which begin as an oval, about two kilometers in height which -- so Dragon will be a little -- a little over two kilometers probably away from the Space Station by the time it exits that.

[02:40:02] ALLEN: How about that one? The goal of course is to once again send astronauts into space from U.S. soil possibly as soon as July. So we wanted to bring you that just a minor live event happening there in space. Just kidding on the whole minor part.

You may recall one week ago CNN presented a shocking documentary about child slavery in Ghana. The report by CNN's Nima Elbagir garnered international attention. It showed children as young as five years old forced to work's as slaves in the fishing industry on Ghana's Lake Volta. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In Ghana. The minimum age for workers is 15, but the law is rarely enforced. And the practice of buying children is widespread. The U.S. State Department reports nearly a third of all the homes here contain a child who has been trafficked.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. This is one of the boys we rescued a year ago. Junior was living with a parent and he lost the father. Six- year-old we're working on the lake.

ELBAGIR: A keeper says Junior's mother was destitute while trying to care for eight children as a widow. She says she sold junior as a last resort, the only boy in the family who could work.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: The government of Ghana was shocked by that CNN report. One member of the country's parliament said the story gives the wrong impression of life on the Lake Volta and that many of the child slaves are actually just kids living with extended family members. CNN's Becky Anderson spoke with Ghana's Information Minister about what his country is doing to combat child slavery.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KOJO OPPONG NKRUMAH, GHANA INFORMATION MINISTER: It's a heartbreaking story and it is much a concern for the government and the people of Ghana. That's why we sent here as we have been taking some steps, aim that first having a framework within which where we can tackle it. Second, specific actions that our aim that rescuing the victims. Rehabilitating them, reintegrating them into society, prosecuting persons responsible.

And then thirdly, putting in place the long-term solutions that deals with the real causes of a challenge like this.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Can I have confirmation from you that you acknowledged the severity of this issue and that you are absolutely committed to concrete action to insure that these children will no longer be slaves a there will not be a problem on the Lake Volta going forward?

NKRUMAH: Yes, Becky. The entire world and the people of Ghana most in particularly the victims of this have a utmost assurance that it is a matter that has started with breaks our hearts and we are committed to ensuring that the resources that we've started become available this year, it will be improved as the years go by and that we'll be able to tackle this problem comprehensively.

We acknowledged the severity and willing and committed to put the resources behind it together resorts we are looking for.

ANDERSON: CNN would be happy to come back to Ghana and witness and report on those actions if they are carried out, will we be welcome?

NKRUMAH: We would like the CNN crew to comeback and work with us back on the lake too, also examine at firsthand some of the efforts that we are putting into dealing with a situation like this. We all have to raise necessary awareness, so we're happy to have you on board as part of the solution.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: And we will go back. Important footnote the story the third annual My Freedom Day is a week away. CNN partnering with young people around the world March 14th for a student led action against modern slavery. We asked singer-songwriter and record producer Rocky Dawuni the first Grammy nominee from Ghana, what makes you feel free?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROCKY DAWUNI, SINGER-SONGWRITER, FIRST GRAMMY NOMINEE FROM GHANA: What makes me free is the ability to express myself without fear. What makes me free is the ability to step up and express what I feel without, you know, anybody stepping in and telling me I'm right or wrong. I think that freedom is something that is inalienable right of every person around the world. And so for me, to be able to champion that and celebrate that, I also hope that for everybody.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: Well said. Tell the world what makes you feel free. Share your story using the #MyFreedomDay. We hope to hear from you. Canada's political darling is facing calls to resign but Justin Trudeau denies any wrongdoing. The scandal that threatens the Prime Minister's future. More about it ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[02:47:29] ALLEN: The man many considered to be Canada's Golden Boy may have lost a bit of his shine. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau denies any wrongdoing in a scandal that has now snowballed into calls for his resignation. CNN's Nick Watt has our story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDREW SCHEER, LEADER, CONSERVATIVE PARTY, CANADA: Justin Trudeau simply cannot continue to govern this country, now that Canadians know what he has done.

NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that, Justin Trudeau. Youthful, strapping, some also say sexy. Now gone from that to this.

Is it feasible that this could be the end?

PATRICK JAMES, PROFESSOR OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: Yes, that government can fall. Trudeau can simply resign.

WATT: After his aides reportedly pressured his Attorney General to cut a deal for a Montreal company accused of bribery because a conviction would bar SNC-Lavalin from government contracts. Today, the fight back.

JUSTIN TRUDEAU, PRIME MINISTER OF CANADA: In regards to standing up for jobs and defending the integrity of our rule of law, I continue to say that there was no inappropriate pressure.

WATT: The honeymoon is over. Where now, three kids in and the baby's up screaming all night. Kicked off by a newspaper expose, then his former A.G. going public.

JODY WILSON-RAYBOULD, FORMER MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND ATTORNEY GENERAL, CANADA: I experienced a consistent and sustained effort by many people within the government to seek to politically interfere in the exercise of prosecutorial discretion -- WATT: She resigned, today, almost an apology.

TRUDEAU (through translator): Situations were experienced differently, and I regret that.

WATT: He didn't say he'd grabbed anyone's privates, says former campaign chair isn't headed to the penitentiary, he didn't call other countries -- a scandal that here south of the border might have been forgotten by lunchtime has been rocking Trudeau's world for weeks.

TRUDEAU: OK.

WATT: Another disenchanted cabinet minister resigned.

JANE PHILPOTT, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE TREASURY BOARD, CANADA: I'm not going to be taking questions on those issues.

WATT: Trudeau's closest aide and good friend fell on his sword but still backs him.

GERALD BUTTS, FORMER PRINCIPAL SECRETARY TO PRIME MINISTER JUSTIN TRUDEAU: What happened last fall is in fact, very different from the version of events you heard last week.

JAMES: People inside the Liberal Party right now seem to be holding firm with Trudeau, but if this story as the saying goes continues to get up and have legs and keeps walking around, I think the pressure will be on him to bail out --

WATT: Is this the end or just a dose of reality for a politician once bathed in a divine light that frankly no leader could ever live up to.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[02:50:05] WATT: The optics are problematic for Justin Trudeau. Both of those government ministers who have resigned are both women and the Attorney General, the former attorney general, she is also an indigenous Canadian. There are elections coming up in Canada this fall.

And some polls right now we're saying that if those elections were tomorrow, Justin Trudeau and his Liberals would lose. Nick Watt, CNN, Los Angeles.

ALLEN: Extreme winter weather and the United States is causing dangerous problems. Take a look here in Colorado, an avalanche buried four vehicles near the Copper Mountain Ski Resort. Authorities say no one was injured and this avalanche dumped 15 feet of snow on the road and is about 300 feet wide.

Transportation officials had to close a number of highways because of multiple avalanches. Let's get more now from Derek Van Dam on the threat there in Colorado. You just were there skiing, you were talking about all the snow they'd been getting and apparently, it's kind of coming down. DEREK VAN DAM, CNN INTERNATIONAL WEATHER ANCHOR: Yes, it has been an epic season of winter snowfall, to say the least, Natalie. And what you're looking at here is a mitigated avalanche.

So, the Colorado Department of Transportation actually goes in advance of potential avalanche areas. And actually, uses explosive devices, triggers an avalanche, and sometimes those avalanches fly over very populated roadways.

Roadways that are heavily used, like Interstate 70, across Summit County to access all the various ski resorts. This particular mitigated slide, no one was injured because they held back the traffic. But nonetheless, it took about four to five hours to clear and the reason they do this is because it's a pre-emptive measure to prevent any avalanches from taking place within that stretch of highway.

Interesting to note that avalanches can travel up to 120 kilometers per hour in a period of five seconds. So, from them being triggered, five seconds later, you're talking about the speed of a vehicle.

The risk is greatest 24 hours following some of the great -- greatest snowfall events. And that's exactly what we've seen in the State of Colorado. There are four factors that really trigger off our avalanches, including steep slopes, we would expect this to happen in the mountains. Snow cover, recent snow cover as well. And a weak layer of snow.

I want to highlight this a little bit as well, because the amount of snow we've had in Colorado and entire western U.S., to say the least, is that we've seen snow fall, after snowfall, after snowstorm, after snowstorm.

And sometimes there are weak layers and there are stronger layers. And we can get that weak layer collapse and it ultimately cause -- you know, our avalanche. Now, Colorado has over 125 percent of average snowfall across the entire state. Some areas more than others, but this is an incredible season and unfortunately, the risk of avalanches is huge.

Even at the ski resorts where they mitigate some of the avalanche control, but certainly in the backcountry. If you look at the statistic in the U.S. alone, 30 fatalities per year from avalanches across the entire world. 150 per season, there is more snow for the Colorado Rockies as the system marches eastward.

I'll end on this, Natalie, it's not only a snow threat and avalanche threat. This storm system is also going to bring the potential of tornadoes across the Deep South, once again, this weekend. Back to you.

ALLEN: Right. I've already seen them. All right. Derek, thank you.

Apple CEO arrived at the White House with one name and left with another, courtesy of Donald Trump. The latest slip of the tongue by the U.S. president. We'll have that next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[02:55:13] ALLEN: Well, everybody messes up another person's name from time to time. But the U.S. president has turned it into a cottage industry, as we learn from our Jeanne Moos.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You probably thought the CEO of Apple goes by the name, Tim Cook. But that was before President Trump accidentally cooked up a new name.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: -- we appreciate it very much, Tim Apple.

MOOS: Late-night audience's laugh, but Tim Cook didn't flinch.

TRUMP: -- very much, Tim Apple.

MOOS: He even ditched his old name on Twitter, embracing Tim Apple. Even Ivanka reacted with laughing emojis, though the official White House transcript put a hyphen between Tim and Apple, suggesting the president was expressing appreciation to both.

The Internet churned out new names for other industry giants. Bill Microsoft, Elon Tesla, Alexander Graham Telephone. Next, came montages of President Trump getting tripped up by names. From John Bolton.

TRUMP: Mike Bolton as you know is in Russia.

MOOS: To the Fraternal Order Police president named, Chuck.

TRUMP: But we just can't make mistakes, right? So we don't make mistakes. Go ahead, Ken.

CHUCK CANTERBURY, HEAD, FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE: I'm Chuck Canterbury.

MOOS: And then, there was the CEO of Lockheed Martin.

TRUMP: I may ask Marillyn Lockheed.

MOOS: Except her name is actually Marillyn Hewson.

MARILLYN HEWSON, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, LOCKHEED MARTIN: Mr. President, Marillyn Hewson, Lockheed Martin.

MOOS: But calling a CEO by the wrong name is kid stuff. I once called a president the wrong name to his face. How do you blow Nixon's name even if I was a rookie reporter back in the 80s?

President Reagan. Sorry, President Nixon.

RICHARD NIXON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I've been called worse than that. MOOS: President Obama once kept calling Matt Lauer, Tim.

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, Tim, Tim -- well, Tim.

MATT LAUER, FORMER HOST NBC: You're saying, Tim. I know, it's Matt Lauer, but I -- believe me, I completely understand --

MOOS: We understand this ICE agent's name was written in the president's speech as C.J.

TRUMP: Celestino Martinez. He goes by D.J. and C.J. He said, call me either one. So, we'll call you C.J.

MOOS: For finessing that, we award the president an apple.

TRUMP: Tim Apple.

MOOS: Jeanne, CNN.

TRUMP: Marillyn, Lockheed.

MOOS: New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: Our top stories, another hour of CNN NEWSROOM begins right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

END