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U.S. Special Counsel Investigation Concludes; ISIS Loses Last Major Stronghold; 2018 CNN Heroes See Their Impact Widen
Aired March 25, 2019 - 04:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Hi, I`m Carl Azuz with your March 25th edition of CNN 10. Welcome to the show. A major investigation has ended within
the U.S. government. It was called the Russia Investigation, the Special Counsel Investigation or the Mueller Investigation because it was led by
Robert Mueller, a former director of the FBI who was put in charge of it 22 months ago. His team looked into alleged Russian interference with the
2016 U.S. presidential election and part of that was examining whether Donald Trump`s campaign illegally coordinated with Russia.
Mueller sent his full report to the Justice Department on Friday night and that department sent a four page summary of it to Congress on Sunday
afternoon. It said that while Russia did try to influence the 2016 election, something Russia has repeatedly denied, the U.S. Special
Counsel`s investigation quote "did not find that the Trump Campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its
efforts to influence the election." Another part of the investigation looked into concerns about possible obstruction of justice.
Did President Trump`s actions intentionally and illegally interfere with the government carrying out its work? The Special Counsel says quote,
"while this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him." The Justice Department says the Mueller
Report left it up to the U.S. Attorney General to decide whether the president`s conduct constituted a crime and the U.S. Attorney General and
Deputy Attorney General both concluded that the reports evidence is quote "not sufficient to establish that the president committed an obstruction of
The White House called the report a total and complete exoneration, a clearance of any wrongdoing for President Trump. But some Democrats say
Special Counsel Mueller did not exonerate the president and that the Justice Department`s summary wasn`t enough. They want to see the full
report in the days ahead.
Another issue President Trump has been addressing concerns the ISIS terrorist group. We`ve talked about this a lot since ISIS swept to power
in 2014. Its name and its mission were the same. ISIS stands for Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, something the group wanted and it once controlled
a huge area of land in the region with a population of almost 8 million people. Not anymore. On Saturday, the Syrian Democratic Forces, a
military group supported by the United States said ISIS had been defeated in its last physical stronghold in Syria.
In a formal ceremony to mark the terrorist groups defeat, the SDF paid tribute to the thousands of forces and fighters it lost in the battle but
it said it would continue to fight against any ISIS members who continued to operate and threaten the region.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In 2014 ISIS had a presence from the outskirts of Baghdad to Aleppo in Western Syria at a time when it seemed that they were
unstoppable. Sending the armies of Iraq and other in parts of Syria militias running before them. Now they have disappeared as a territorial
entity. They are no more. So this is a massive, sort of, turn of events when you consider the situation just a few years ago but I think that
enthusiasm even in this part of the world - - of the region has been tempered by the realization that they still remain a threat as a terrorist
They are still frequent attacks by ISIS sleeper cells in this part of Syria and also in many part of Iraq as well. And of course, another problem is
that if the regional government here or the government in Iraq don`t do a better job at reconstruction at reviving the local economies, you could
have a situation developing whereby discontent feeds into the ideology of ISIS. And you could have ISIS come back perhaps under a different name, in
a different form but it`s not just the question of defeating an organization like that militarily. They have to be defeated ideologically
and politically and its not all together clear if that can be achieved under the current circumstances.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ: 10 Second Trivia. Which of these world capitals is located closest to the equator? Lima, Peru; Brasilia, Brazil; Khartoum, Sudan; or Hanoi,
Vietnam. At 12 degrees south latitude, Lima is the closest city on this list to the equator.
One series we love to run on our show is CNN Heroes. Everyday people from all over the world, including Peru, who`s work is helping their
communities. Nominations are open for the 2019 CNN Heroes. You can tell the company about someone you know at CNNHEROES.com. Meantime, please have
a look at how the impact of some of last years nominees has continued to grow.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON COOPER: Every year the world gathers to honor the top 10 CNN Heroes for their work helping others.
This is an amazing event with some amazing people so we`re just glad to be here.
And 2018 was no exception.
Welcome to CNN Heroes, an all star tribute.
From Nevada to Nigeria to Kansas City, Missouri, these every day heroes joined forces in New York City and experienced a star studded night of a
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are here tonight because people believe in us.
COOPER: Receiving a cash prize and recognition that can be a game changer for their work.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am energized. We`ve been working on some of this stuff for 14 years. I really think about violence and trauma and healing
but being at the Heroes event, I was like, wow, we get to share this stuff with a larger stage and this larger platform.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. Let her rip.
COOPER: Luke Mickelson built free bunk beds for needy kids. The global exposure helped his organization grow significantly.
LUKE MICKELSON: Just since January 1st, we`ve built and delivered 1,100 bunk beds. We`ve trained 14 new (inaudible). We`re averaging about 15
every other month. We`ve partnered up with FEMA and the Red Cross and now are offering these much needed services and beds to families that have been
effected by disasters across the country. We`ve learned that there`s just that many more kids that are struggling and families that are struggling.
The race is on to try to get out to them as quick as we can.
COOPER: Hooter (ph) Abisoye Ajayi-Akinfolarin runs a foundation that provides free tech training to girls and young women in Nigeria. She`s
been able to help more students.
ABISOYE AJAYI-AKINFOLARIN: So many (inaudible) natives have been knocking on our doors. Normally we look for partners. Now partners are looking for
us. Girls (inaudible). I speak at engagements. We visited the vice- president. We are looking at (inaudible) from a national level now and how we can spread across every part of Nigeria.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That - - this is my website.
AKINFOLARIN: Before CNN Heroes, (inaudible) girls for years. But with the (inaudible) we`ve been given we`re growing to 5,000 in one year.
COOPER: And with the spotlight came an unintended effect.
AKINFOLARIN: People recognize me everywhere. Even when I change my look, people still, you know, recognize me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sometimes I go to the restaurant and they start clapping. They say good job.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, people recognize Tom more than they recognize me. We were going through an airport and somebody walked up and they said,
is that the dog from the CNN show?
COOPER: And after finishing the non-profit training in Los Angeles provided for free by the Annenberg Foundation`s Alchemy program, part of
their Heroes prize the 2018 top 10 CNN Heroes are ready and energized to do even more to help others.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When everyday people, ordinary people, put big, big hats wanting to just make a difference.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s a lot of weight on our shoulders but we know that for sure we can do it. And we can make a big change in our world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ: Chances are this guys abs are stronger than yours. In fact, I don`t know anyone who can hold a plank for 38 minutes. That`s how long Andy
Stienfeld (ph) reportedly stayed in the exercise and the community center where he did it says it`s a world record for his age group. The extreme
senior athlete from Minnesota is 71 years old. He just finished radiation treatment for a type of cancer and he says he did this to motivate other
Seems like that much time would make you "board" of a plank. It`s hard to "abmagine" the support you`d need to stay propped in such a "hard core"
exercise that seems to last "abdominall" day long. Some would rather walk the "plank" than "plank" down the time to break the "plank" record but if
you`ve got the strength, it all comes down to "isometrics". I`m Carl Azuz for CNN.