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British Parliament Sidestepping P.M. Theresa May; Political Vendetta in Washington; Recognition of Israel's Sovereignty Signaled a Sure Win for Netanyahu; Airstrike Launched After Reported Israel-Hamas Ceasefire; U.K. Lawmakers Seize Brexit Process From Prime Minister's Government; Series Of recent Attacks In Mali Possibly Linked To Self- Defense Groups; ISIS Territory Lost But Insurgency Not Defeated; Saudi Sisters Starts A New Life; Voters React To Mueller Findings. Aired 3- 4a ET

Aired March 26, 2019 - 03:00   ET



[03:00:00] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Clinging on to power. Theresa May is facing her toughest battle yet as parliament agrees to take control of the Brexit process by sidestepping the prime minister.

Plus, President Trump is jubilant, as the Mueller report actually bring some good news to the White House. And.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Listen, when you marry someone and then halfway in the marriage you realize this is not the guy, you try to get out, but if it's abusive marriage, you get out. Even in the west -- nothing in life is easy to walk away from.


CHURCH: The women and children left behind by ISIS. CNN goes inside a Syrian camp where thousands of women and children marooned by the caliphate are struggling for survival.

Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church. And this is CNN Newsroom.

Well, British Prime Minister Theresa May is facing the fallout of an unprecedented Brexit power grab. She is set to meet with what's left of her cabinet over the coming hours.

This after parliament voted to seize control of the Brexit agenda on Monday. Thirty of her own conservatives voted against Mrs. May, including three government ministers who resigned.

On Wednesday, the House of Commons can now vote on several non-binding scenarios including a new referendum. Here was opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn after Monday's motion passed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JEREMY CORBYN, LEADER, LABOUR PARTY: I would like to congratulate the House for taking control. The government's approach has been an abject failure. And this House must now find a solution.


CHURCH: And for more, CNN's Nic Robertson is live from outside 10 Downing Street. He joins us now. Nic, good to see you. So, what's the likely outcome of this unprecedented move by British lawmakers to seize control of Brexit from Theresa May's government?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Rosemary, if anyone thought it was going to be straightforward from here, that this was something that could be straightforward and easily understood, it's not quite that way.

Number one, that vote last night isn't legally binding. It is expected however that Theresa May and her government will respect it that on Wednesday that parliament can hold the agenda and call for these indicative votes.

You mentioned one of them but possibly up to seven different indicative votes ranging from no deal through to repealing or revoking article 50, the decision to hold Brexit in the first place. You could have even Theresa May's old deal back up there for an indicative vote.

You could have Theresa May's deal plus a customs union up there for a vote that might get government support. You could have a whole new deal where Britain would be in a customs union and single market.

You could have a version, you could a vote on a second referendum. But what the government has said what Theresa May said has said is very clear. That whatever the outcome of those indicative votes, and again, I preface that with saying, if the government decides to go ahead with allowing this to happen on Wednesday, again the indications are that they will but it's not a given that the government if this don't fall into, you know, fall within the government's manifesto then Theresa May has said that they may not implement these amendments as their put forward on Wednesday.

But also, we've heard from M.P.'s as well, saying that, you know, the list of amendments that they want to get through is so long. That it will take more than just one day to do it.

So, from where we stand today, Rosemary, it isn't clear precisely how the process is going to flow out. We have an idea but it's not clear.

CHURCH: So, what do the numbers possibly show, and what has been achieved by doing this exactly?

ROBERTSON: Well, I think what's been achieved is that this was a signal that Theresa May knew was likely coming. We knew from her cabinet meeting early yesterday that she pretty much did understand that this vote on what was called the Letwin Amendment last night, the one we're discussing here, would pass. So that's something that she was expecting to come and follow the

fallout of that, this indicative vote, Theresa May is still hoping that the outcome of these votes will show the hard-liners in her party.

That if they prevaricate and hold on and don't support her deal even if they don't like everything about her deal, then Brexit for them will only get worse in as much as it will become a softer Brexit. It may take much longer or there may be no Brexit at all.

[03:04:54] So, for Theresa May the hope within all of that is that this may play to her hand further down the road, you know, in the coming days. But it's not clear that it will.

As she's indicated quite clearly that there is a potential that she may try to have a meaningful vote number three on her deal again. We'll see that, and perhaps resurface later in the week.

I think for parliament it's indicative of the fact that this is a very broken and divided government. They knew that. But the opposition party here is also very divided as well.

The bigger picture I think, you know, if you're a British citizen waking up today is, that we are in even more of what Theresa May had described last week or two weeks ago, rather, as sort of politically unchartered territory.

And I think it's very hard at the moment to see a clear path through this, that there are outcomes here. The European Union believes that this will all increase the possibility of a no deal outcome.

That, of course, is deeply worrying for people. The reality is, it just isn't clear how we get through the coming days and the coming weeks that 12th of April deadline to leave the European Union, or tell them our next steps forward.

CHURCH: Yes. More uncertainty now than ever. Our Nic Robertson from 10 Downing Street there, just after seven in the morning. Many thanks.

Well, David Herszenhorn joins us now from London. He is the chief Brussels correspondent for Politico. Thank you so much for being with us.


CHURCH: So, of course, as we've been discussing an unprecedented move by British lawmakers seizing back control of Brexit from Theresa May. But what has this achieved? And which Brexit option do you think will likely prevail when you look at the numbers and you look at what's on the table here, what will happen Wednesday.

HERSZENHORN: Well, Rosemary, let's be clear about what's going on here. This is confirmed something that Brussels is known for quite a long time, which is Theresa May has totally lost control of this Brexit process. That was evident to the folks in Brussels when her two top negotiators

quit. It was evidence when the parliament rejected her deal twice. But it doesn't mean that she doesn't have the best plan.

And so, the question is, can the parliament show a majority for anything at all. It's not clear they will be able to do that.

Now, one thing this is underscoring is how important the decision made in Brussels last week by the European Council was to really push this back to London to the U.K.

What we're seeing here is that, and this is really important for Brussels to show that they prove beyond any doubt, the problem is on the U.K. side.

The country is divided. And we are going to see that in these intense days of debate in the House of Commons where they can obviously put forward any motion, as you heard, all sorts of variations of Brexit which one of them, if any, has a majority. That's completely unclear.

CHURCH: Right. Well, let's look at one of those possibilities the second referendum. We know a million people call for on the streets of London over the weekend. And five and a half million signatures are online calling for this to happen.

Would that be enough pressure to sway politicians to get on board to give the people of Britain who didn't know what they were voting for in the initial stages. Many of them have said that, to give them another opportunity to say what they want to happen here.

HERSZENHORN: So far, we don't see that as being enough pressure, but obviously, it's been building and building and building. And there may be under questions that get be answered before this issue (AUDIO GAP) will there be a second referendum.

If Theresa May comes under enough political pressure, and then obviously we see this mounting now, there may be a national election in the United Kingdom. That would serve as a first proxy for a second referendum if British voters have to go back to the polls and decide on a new government.

If the delay happens where they can't get a majority together for a new plan and the commons sticks to its view that no deal should be avoided at all cost. Then the U.K. would be obligated to participate in the European parliament election which is in May.

And that would be a second chance when you effectively have a proxy vote for the referendum. You'll see all sides mobilize fighting out this leave or remain battle again. But it is quite remarkable that, you know, years after this referendum that debate is still underway in the United Kingdom.

CHURCH: It is extraordinary, isn't it? Of course, and now the possibility it could Brexiteers and others be scared into getting on board Theresa May's original Brexit deal. HERSZENHORN: There's no question some of them are thinking about

that. That is a worry that it will not happen. Now the key thing for (TECHNICAL PROBLEM) over and over again lost in the chaos of politics in Britain. The U.K. doesn't get to decide this unilaterally.

Any of these plans that come up have to be agreed in Brussels by the 27 other European countries, and they are not about to go along with just any old plan. They made very clear, they've been consistent all along about what their red lines are.

[03:09:56] And so, not only is there an issue of, you know, will this matchup with what the conservative party stands for, the conservative party being in control of the U.K. government. But is this anything that will fly in Brussels will the remaining E.U. 27. They've got to come across that challenge as well.

CHURCH: Yes, I understand that. And of course, meantime, three ministers resigned. One of them claiming the government was playing roulette with people's lives. What are those resignations signal, and some 27 conservatives voting against the prime minister?

HERSZENHORN: Well, you've got some very serious resignations, people who are making clear that they would like an orderly outcome, they want this process to move forward.

When I met personally Alistair Burt in the foreign office, I mean, these are very serious long-serving government officials who are saying they can no longer stand by the government because this Brexit situation needs to be resolved.

And what it's telling you, again, is that the country is completely divided. You know many people say, well, look at this, this is a failure of democracy in the United Kingdom right now and (Inaudible) to be the opposite. Democracy is working just too well. The country is split.

You could argue in thirds -- a third who want Theresa May's deal, a third who want no deal, a third who want something else entirely like a second referendum. And until those divisions get resolved, we're going to see this kind of turmoil, these sorts of resignations.

Folks obviously very keen to have somebody clearly in charge. But, you know, that's a little unfair to Theresa May in the sense that she was sent with an impossible mission to Brussels to work out a deal that would get the U.K. out of the E.U. safely after these decades of really becoming an extension of the U.K.'s own government services.

And she actually accomplished that mission. Brought home a deal that would accomplish the goal, and yet it hasn't been good enough.

CHURCH: Yes. Meantime, the people of Britain looking on wondering what is going on. David Herszenhorn, thank you so much for joining us and tried to shed some light on what is going on there. I appreciate it.

HERSZENHORN: Thank you. CHURCH: Well, Israel's military says it has launched airstrikes against Hamas, these images showing the offensive against targets in Gaza. All these come despite a reported ceasefire between both sides.

The conflict was spark on Monday after a rocket fire from Gaza hit a home in central Israel wounding seven people.

And our Oren Liebermann joins us now from the Israel-Gaza border. So Oren, talk to us about the ceasefire was supposed to be an effect when these airstrikes were launched. What happened here and what is the next step?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Rosemary, at about 10 o'clock last night, so just under 12 hours ago, there was a statement from Hamas that Egypt had successfully brokered the restoration of a ceasefire between Israel and Gaza.

Well, that lasted for all about 20 or 30 minutes as we were standing very close to the Israel-Gaza border, in fact, quite a bit closer than we're standing now, we saw two iron Dome aerial defense interceptions over our head indicating rockets fired from Gaza into Israel. We then heard a few more launches coming from Gaza.

So, the ceasefire if it was restored it certainly fell apart pretty quickly. And then there was more fighting. Israel carried out more airstrikes in Gaza, the biggest of which was earlier yesterday when it struck the office of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh. And there were rockets coming out of Gaza.

So where do stand now? Well, the latest red alert we got which indicates rocket fire or mortar fire was at about three in the morning. And the latest report of an airstrike in Gaza from our CNN producer there was at six in the morning.

So, is this a bit of a lull at the moment or is Egypt working behind the scenes, or perhaps the U.N. as well to try to restore that ceasefire that held for such a brief period last night. That's what will become clear in the coming hours.

CHURCH: And Oren, also, Hamas reportedly claims that initial rocket that was fired deep into Israel that started all of this, was actually fired by mistake.

But we're trying to figure out was that incompetence, or was that intentional? Because it's not the first time that they've blamed an attack like this, a rocket attack on a mistake.

LIEBERMANN: This is the farthest a rocket has come into Israel since the end of the 2014 war. The last rocket until now was two weeks ago, when Israel's assessment was that low-level Hamas operatives had accidentally launched the rocket.

And then, last year, a few months ago, there was rocket that was triggered by a lightning strike. So, it has happened that you get these unintentional launches or launches for what are frankly, bizarre reasons. Israel has given no assessment at this point, which is the military

won't comment on whether things this launch was intentional or unintentional.

Regardless of that, Israel says the rocket fired, a rocket with a range of 120 kilometers was manufactured by Hamas in Gaza, and it is Hamas' responsibility that it was fired off regardless of what the intention is.

So, as we wait to find out what the reasoning is and we see if Hamas puts out an official statement about that, it is clear that Israel still holds as it has in the past, Hamas responsible for everything that happens in Gaza and everything that comes out of Gaza.

CHURCH: Right. Many thanks to our Oren Liebermann at the Israel-Gaza border there, just nearly 9.15 in the morning. I appreciate that.

[03:14:59] Well, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu mark a big victory in Washington Monday as U.S. President Trump changed decades of U.S. policy and recognize Israel's sovereignty over the disputed Golan Heights.

Israel captured the Golan heights from Syria during the six-day war of 1967 and formally annexed of the territory in 1981. But that annexation has not been recognized by the international community.

Numerous countries including Russia, Jordan, and Turkey have slammed President Trump's change in U.S. policy. The announcement gives Mr. Netanyahu a significant foreign policy victory just two weeks before Israelis head to the polls.

Well, a summary of the Mueller report has dropped. And Donald Trump and his supporters are celebrating what they call total exoneration. But the U.S. president isn't ready to forgive or forget. And not only that.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translation): Two years of sleepless nights, and they didn't find any collusion that we didn't elect Trump. Too bad.


CHURCH: Russia puts the Mueller report in its win column. Reaction from Moscow ahead.


CHURCH: Just after the Mueller report conclusions were released Sunday, the U.S. president was said to be in a jovial mood. Come Monday, the Trump administration was on the war path. Since the report found no collusion, Mr. Trump is setting his sights on two of his favorite targets. The Democrats, and the media.

Kaitlan Collins reports now from Washington. KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Declaring victory in the

Russia investigation.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's a 100 percent the way it should been.


COLLINS: President Trump went on offense.


TRUMP: There are a lot of people out there that have done some very, very evil things, very bad things, I would say treasonous things against our country.


COLLINS: Blaming his treasonous critics for the probe and signaling he's looking for a pay back.


TRUMP: I've been looking at them for a long time, and I'm saying why haven't they've been looked at. They lied to Congress. Many of whom you know who they are. They've done so many evil things.


COLLINS: But the president taking a softer tone on Robert Mueller. Conceding the man he once called a disgrace, acted honorably.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, do you think Robert Mueller acted honorably?

[03:20:03] TRUMP: Yes, he did. Yes.



COLLINS: Trump reversing two years of verbal attacks.


TRUMP: The entire thing has been a witch hunt.

Mr. Mueller is highly conflicted. In fact, Comey is like his best friend.

Robert Mueller put 13 of the angriest Democrats in the history of our country on the commission. (END VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: Asked if the president owes the special counsel an apology, the White House punted.


SARAH HUCKABEE-SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I think Democrats and the liberal media owe the president and they owe the American people an apology.


COLLINS: While the Mueller investigation maybe over, the fight is far from it. As Democrats demand to see the special counsel's full report, Trump said he's leaving it up to the Justice Department.


TRUMP: It's up to the attorney general but it wouldn't bother me at all.


CHURCH: So, let's talk more about all of this with Lisa Lerer. She is a national political reporter at the New York Times and a CNN political analyst. Thank you so much for joining us.


CHURCH: So, President Trump is rejoicing understandably in the revelation that Special Counsel Robert Mueller found no one in the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government in 2016. But the Democrats don't accept those findings.

This is what Democrat House intelligence committee chairman Adam Schiff had to say about that.


REP. ADAM SCHIFF, (D) CALIFORNIA: Our investigation has always focused on counter intelligence issues. That is, is the president or anyone around him compromise in some way. That work has to go on.


CHURCH: Now, of course this comes in the midst of calls for Schiff himself to resign. How did the Democrats pursue this without looking too political and as if they're overreaching with all of this?

LERER: Well, they're going to look political because this is a political battle. Of course, the White House and Republicans are seeing this as vindication. That's something the president has been saying for months, even years, which is that this is all a witch hunt. And he is not guilty of any kind of collusion with Russia. And it does seem like the initial report from the special counsel, or

rather from the Justice Department interpreting what the special counsel said does give them that cover.

Democrats on the other hand, are saying well, they would like to see the entire report. What came out was a four-page summary of the report made by the Justice Department by attorney general that President Trump appointed to that position.

So, they are really pushing hard to see this entire report, and they're also pursuing a large -- a number of other inquiries into the president.

They've requested documents from 81 entities and people associated with the administration. So, certainly, the fight from their side is going to go on, frankly, probably until the election.

CHURCH: Right. And of course, as you said the Democrats are demanding the release of the full report of the Mueller probe. President Trump has said himself that's fine, as long as it's OK with the attorney general. That might be the stumbling block. So, will we see the full report released do you think?

LERER: I think there is a pretty small chance of that. You already saw in the four-page summary that Attorney General Barr laid out that there are certain things he cannot release.

Either because, you know, you don't want to play (Ph) it against people against, you know, people named in the special counsel investigation that were found to had done nothing wrong. There are also rules around what they can release from grand jury testimony.

So, it's almost entirely unlikely that the public will ever see the full report. But Democrats are certainly pushing for that. It's a good political line for them.

And I think it is likely that we may end up seeing more of this report. The question becomes how much? And that's where this political battle is going to go over the next few weeks.

CHURCH: Right. And of course, Mueller found that while his reports did not conclude that the president committed a crime in relation to obstruction of justice. It did not exonerate him, although the president is insisting it did.

LERER: Right.

CHURCH: Why would Mueller leave this open to interpretation? Especially now that we learned that Attorney General Bill Barr was made aware of this very point three weeks ago. So, he had time to digest this and come up with how he was going to summarize the outcome.

LERER: Well, of course we don't know, because we haven't heard anything from Mueller this entire investigation process over the past two years or so, he's remained entirely silent about the proceedings which of all happened, you know, decidedly behind closed doors.

And as we said before, we haven't seen the full report. But there are some -- there is some speculation that part of the reason maybe because the Justice Department has already ruled that it's impossible to, you know, pursue criminal proceedings against a sitting president.

So, to bring up an obstruction of justice charge especially against, you know, something that he, that the special counsel has cleared the president of doing, which is potentially colluding with Russia. The sense is that maybe that wasn't going to really go anywhere is what the speculation is, and certainly that's the reason -- reasoning of the attorney general.

[03:25:03] But honestly, we don't know, and that's one of these unanswered questions that could be answered if the public and if, you know, Democrats on Capitol Hill and Republicans on Capitol Hill saw more of this special counsel report.

CHURCH: Right. And of course, we will watch to see whether the public have an appetite for the investigation on all of these aspects to continue on. We'll watch very closely.

Lisa Lerer, thank you so much for joining us. I appreciate it.

Well, the Mueller report offered good news to Russia on the allegations of conclusion, but Moscow still disputes the government's finding of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Fred Pleitgen has more on the Kremlin's reaction.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The Kremlin gloating after the Mueller report found no conclusive evidence of collusion between the Russian government and the Trump campaign.

The four-page summary of the report from Attorney General William Barr setting of a feeding frenzy for state run Russian TV. The top political show joking about the findings.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Two years of sleepless nights, and they didn't find any collusion that we didn't elect Trump. Too bad.


PLEITGEN: The Barr letter again underscoring the government's conclusion that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election. Still, the Kremlin continues to deny any involvement. Vladimir Putin's spokesman blasting the inquiries conclusions.


DMITRY PESKOV, KREMLIN SPOKESMAN (through translator): I want to remind you the words of one Chinese philosopher who said it's very hard to find a black cat in a black room especially if it's not there. Centuries go by but the West doesn't understand us.


PLEITGEN: Some whose actions have been publicly scrutinized now taking to the airwaves like the Kremlin-linked lawyer who attended the infamous meeting with Trump campaign officials in 2016.


NATALIA VESELNITSKAYA, RUSSIAN LAWYER (through translator): I do not plan to go to U.S. any time soon but that would immediately lead to my arrest. I'm not scared of a U.S. prison per se for the pretrial hearing. I'm mostly concerned about the manipulations. Because of this persona of me created in the USA, Kremlin agent, Kremlin spy.


PLEITGEN: Some Russian lawmakers hoping with the Mueller probe over relations between Washington and Moscow could improve. A top Russian senator saying, quote, "certainly a lot can be rectified if there's goodwill. I do not rule out any initiatives on Russia in the near future because the outcome of the Mueller report has now dealt Trump's team a full hand of Trump cards."

President Trump often stated his admiration for Vladimir Putin. Some Russian officials now hope the president will turn that admiration into a more Russia friendly policy.

Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Moscow.

CHURCH: We'll take a short break here, but still to come, Brexit isn't a bad thing for some British companies. Why business is hitting out for cold storage facilities. Stay with us for that.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think the people should just realize that all the people (Inaudible).


CHURCH: She's talking about thousands of displaced people rejected by ISIS and no longer wanted by the places they once called home. Some of their stories when we come back.


ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to CNN Newsroom, I'm Rosemary Church time to check the headlines for you this hour. Israel has launched air strikes against Hamas targets in Gaza, hours after a rocket fired from a strip hit a home in central Israel. Now this comes with a reported ceasefire between the two sides. Our CNN team says Israel intercepted several rockets, some 45 minutes after that ceasefire was supposed to take effect. British lawmakers have voted to seize control of the Brexit process

from Prime Minister Theresa May. Thirty conservatives voted against the Prime Minister, Monday to help pass the so-called left-wing amendment. That sets up a series of nonbinding votes, Wednesday. Lawmakers could support a second referendum.

With Brexit in mess at this time, a no deal looking more, more likely. Many across Britain are preparing for the worst, stockpiling whatever they can. You might think this would be a burn for companies offering storage space, but not so much. CNN Isa Soares reports.


ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Recent winter months would typically see a decline in business for this cold storage hub outside of London. As you can see we have reach maximum capacity. (Inaudible) has prove very different.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A lot of our existing clients panicking due to the uncertainty around Brexit and therefore stockpiling and getting goods shift in to us and -- in larger boxes and quantities.

SOARES: This site stores produce for a range of clientele from manufacturers and restaurants, caterers and small business. And their space here for the 2000 palettes of frozen goods, items such as bread, chicken breast, as well as ice cream. The fully stock shelves present an unwelcome problem in these industry.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We had quite a few new inquiries over the last couple of months. Bad for business, because in an ideal world, you don't want to have to be turning away any business.

SOARES: Threats of leaving the E.U. without a deal or with a bad one have created a safety first approach for many retailers across the U.K. who fear trade disruptions. Those with enough resources are stocking up while they have a chance.

FRASER MCKEVITT, HEAD OF RETAIL AND CONSUMER INSIGHT, KANTAR: We know that retailers are taking a number of steps. They can be looking to a higher extra staff working in their customs units, to help to get things through the borders if there should be any delays. They've also been looking at what they stock. Is there a chance perhaps to source things locally from the U.K.? Everybody wants to do that, of course, it's a great marketing tool to talk about locally grown progeese (ph) and British progeese (ph) to British consumers. But the simple fact is, Britain only produces half of the food that it actually needs.

SOARES: The government has set far reassure the public that food supply irrespective of Brexit will remain unchanged. A spokesperson for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said this to CNN, the U.K. has a high degree of food security built on access to a diverse range of sources including strong domestic production and imports from third countries. This will continue to be the case as we leave the E.U. They added while we are making sensible preparations for all eventualities as we leave the E.U. the government is not and will not be storing food.

MCKEVITT: We do know that 10 percent of consumers has said that that they are already stockpiling goods, but another 25 percent of consumers has said they would consider stockpiling.

SOARES: And as Brexit uncertainty continues to fester. Businesses and consumers must now choose how fast to fill their freezers. Isa Soares, CNN, London.


CHURCH: Well, the president of Mali is sharing his grief after a deadly massacre this past weekend. He met with survivors in the rural village were armed men reportedly dress as hunters killed 134 people. Many of the victims were women and children. The U.N. says most of the people killed were off for the Lani Muslim Ethnic Minority which has been accused of being the key source of recruits for jihadist groups in the area.

[03:35:00] The armed men may be linked to so call self-defense groups. The president warns that the military needed to be more alert amid the growing violence.


IBRAHIM BOUBACAR KEITA, MALIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): In the event of an emergency, I will not tolerate taking more than two hours for the military to reach the scene. The vehicles of the Armed Forces has been constantly mobilized. We are not in peacetime. We are in times of war.


CHURCH: CNN's David McKenzie has more on why the For Lani Minority was targeted in last weekend's massacre, just had to for a look at his editorial.

Well, a four year battle finally ended the tyranny of the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and as Ben Wedeman reports, while their territory may be lost, the ISIS insurgency is not entirely defeated.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Terror, mass murder, genocide, slavery and its bloody life, the so-called Islamic State carried out atrocities that stretched around the globe. Its victims Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

From Syria and Iraq to attacks it either masterminded or inspired in France, Belgium, Tunisia, Turkey, Egypt, Britain, the United States and elsewhere. It left a trail of death and destruction in its wake. What made ISIS unique was it maniacal penchant for publicity, in murder, there was no shame, it's unrestrained brutality a weapon to terrify its foes and attract followers from near and far. It boasted its barbarity with high production value videos, the

beheadings of American journalist James Foley and others. The burning alive in a cage of Jordanian Air Force pilot, Muath Al-Kasasbeh. The murder of more than a 1000 Iraqi soldiers in the Speicher Camp outside Tikrit.

It took equally perverse pleasure and pride in the one-time destruction of archaeological treasures and religious shrines. Its persecution of minorities who fell under its way, the Zaidi's, Christians and others knew no balance.

Anyone or anything that did not conform with its twisted vision was killed, destroyed, obliterate. And at the head of this monstrosity was Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who declared himself Kalifa or Caliph in July 2014. At its peak ISIS controlled an area the size of Britain stretching from Syria to the outskirts of Baghdad with 10 million people under its rule. It's ambitions boundless, Baghdadi promised his followers, you will conquer Rome and own the world.

It was however not to be, within three years ISIS was driven from Mosul, its de facto capital Baka. The war against the group left both cities in ruins, killed thousands of civilians and drove millions from their homes. ISIS as a territorial entity in Iraq and Syria no longer exists as an idea the Islamic State is far from vanquished.

Among those who surrendered we heard thousand ISIS would someday return with a vengeance. Many of the men and women and children still carry with them ISIS's poisonous ideology. Now tinged with bitterness and resentment for their final humiliating surrender. And beyond this small corner of Eastern Syria, groups pledging allegiance to ISIS still control territory in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, Libya, Nigeria, Afghanistan, the Philippines and elsewhere and its message still drives so-called lone wolves to carry out terror attacks.

The caliphate, the so-called Islamic State is a haven for madman and murderers is no more for now. Ben Wedeman, CNN, Eastern Syria.


CHURCH: So what happens to those displaced by war and an ideology thousands of foreign men, women and children are in limbo in Syria as their home countries refused to take them back, CNN's Jomanah Karadsheh got rare access to some of their stories.


JOMANAH KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is not any refugee camp. Roche is where some of the women of the caliphate and their children end up, for them, this is how ISIS is perverted promise of a Utopian state ends. They've traded one miserable existence for another.

[03:40:11] ISIS's so-called brides like American (inaudible) and British born (Inaudible) are now housed in these tents.

We've been told that we cannot speak to any of the women here. There are about 2000 women and children, this are ISIS family members certainly as we are walking around, you feel that no one really wants to talk to us. The women seem to be hiding in their tent.

But at the sprawling our whole camp, they do. She says the Islamic State will be back. Only offense separates this defiant true believers from the tens of thousands of refugees whose life were shattered by ISIS. Some of the women claimed they were naive victims who were only chasing the dream of the true Islamic State, oblivious to the reign of terror upon which that so-called state was founded.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think the people should just realize that all the people here are not (inaudible).

KARADSHEH: This woman declined to give us her name, but she's been identified by Irish media as Muslim convert, Lisa Smith, a former member of the Irish military. She says she came to Syria as bride, now she's a widow, left alone with her two-year-old daughter.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to go home.

KARADSHEH: But you might be prosecuted when you go home. You might end up in jail. Are you ready for that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know, they took my passport and stuff (inaudible). Prison, I don't know. I'm already in prison.

KARADSHEH: And that maybe the point. This prosecutions by home countries can be complicated by lack of evidence, officials here worried that foreign ISIS members are being left for them to deal with. If that responsible, the spokeswoman says, especially from countries that are part of the international coalition. The mostly Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces are now holding thousands of women and their children.

Before asking this question, there saying that you all have the opportunity to leave, you shouldn't have been here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Of course, listen, when you marry someone, and half way in the married life, this is not the guy who tried to get out, but if he is abusive man, do you get out? Even in the west, nothing in life is easy to walk away from.

KARADSHEH: Some of the women had been dupe by ISIS, but when those women joined and saw some of the offense, why do they not try to escape, she tells us, they could have, but they chose to remain under the control of ISIS. But perhaps the riskiest burden is the more than 1000 foreign fighters from 50 different countries now in STF custody.

We were granted access to one of those detainees who agreed to speak to us, a Canadian recently captured during the battle for Baghouz. The Vancouver native like so many others claims he wasn't a fighter, but a humanitarian who joined the terror group to help refugees.

So many people in the West don't want you back. In this part of the world don't want you because you are a reminder of the heinous crimes that took place. What do you think should happen to you? You must've thought about this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought I wanted, I would just like to -- even if they put me in prison or home, it's about that I'm being in here.

KARADSHEH: There are signs of permanence pushing into the camps. The school, satellite dishes and concrete foundations and a warning from here, the longer this signs remain pack for those indoctrinated with ISIS's toxic ideology, the more likely they become a time bomb for generation trap here paying for the wrongs of its parents. Jomanah Karadsheh, CNN, Northern Syria.


CHURCH: We'll take a short break here, still to come, deadly flash flooding turns streets into rivers in Iran and authorities say it came without warning.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I will finally have my life for the first in my life.


CHURCH: And the new beginning for two Saudi sisters who feared for their lives for months.


CHURCH: At least 19 people have been killed by flash flooding in Iran. Sudden intense rain, a month's worth in just a few hours. Inundated the city of Shiraz and surrounding areas. Authorities say it happened so quickly there is no time for a warning. Let's turn to our meteorologist Pedram Javaheri, to get more on this and Pedram, the images is shocking. A month's worth of rain in just a few hours. How is that possible?

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Its incredibly, this storm system is a very slow-moving system and in fact it is still producing rainfall over this region, Rosemary. We expect additional rainfall to come down and when you see images like this, it really makes you how much power is behind the moving water that you've seen these images. And in fact, if you take just a square meter of an area, essentially a moving box, a size area, put water in that particular area, and we are talking about weighing over 200 kilograms in weight. Just that much of water, a size of a moving box, put that in motion, tremendous force behind it.

And I want to show you exactly how things had played out here, because the rainfall amounts, again, as you mentioned there, just about a month's worth of rain fall coming down, but other parts, other provinces just to the north picking up even significantly greater totals, so, you know, damage could be far more extensive.

We know Shiraz, home to about 1.5 million people, so certainly a lot more documentations across that particular part of the country. But notice we are at the tail end of what is a very brief wet season, a rainy season. Beyond that, you get to the summer months and rainfall is almost none existent across this dessert terrain and it's also in a high elevation region as well. So, anything that falls here, especially when you talk about hitting rainfall unto a desert landscape, it instantly becomes a run off and the port of element across this region, it's also been -- urban development has also been partly to blame, because we know that run off becomes a major problem and then you factor in the landscape across this region. You see the funneling effects through canyons, so all of that water all funnels into one particular spot. And becomes run off picks up debris with it as well, Rosemary, so really becomes a dangerous scenario across this parts of the world.

CHURCH: Yes. Incredible graphics there to explain that to us. We appreciate it. Pedram, thank you.

JAVAHERI: Thank you.

CHURCH: Well, they have been looking over their shoulders in fear for six months, but now two Saudi sisters are beginning a new life. They've fled their family during a holiday, but their plan to escape to Australia came to a sudden end in Hong Kong. Ivan Watson picks up their story from there.


IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is the moment two sisters from Saudi Arabia found out they'd suddenly be free. A country which we won't identify for their safety, has just granted the sisters emergency humanitarian visas. Six months of living in limbo in Hong Kong, now finally over.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I will finally will have my rights, for the first time in my life.

WATSON: This is 18 and 20-year-old Ruwan and Reem -- not their real names during much less happy times. For their security they've asked us not to show their faces.

[03:50:02] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Since we are teenagers we experience family violence and (inaudible). And we want to earn our way of this.

WATSON: Who is committing the violence in the family?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Father and the brothers.

WATSON: in September of last year, the sisters conspired to flee from their family during a beach vacation in Sri Lanka, they were enroot to Australia during what was supposed to be a two hour layover in Hong Kong international airport. When they say airline employees and diplomats from the Saudi consulate in Hong Kong intervened. Taking their passports, allegedly canceling their tickets to Australia without their permission and trying to get them on a flight back to Saudi Arabia. Their lawyer filed criminal charges on their behalf.

MICHAEL VIDLER, HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYER, VIDLER AND CO.: We alleged that they were the subject of an attempted kidnapping at Hong Kong International Airport in their restricted area. WATSON: Hong Kong police confirmed to CNN that their investigating

what happened in the airport on that day. In the meantime, CNN reached out multiple times to both the Saudi Foreign Ministry in Riyadh, and the Saudi Consulate, here in Hong Kong for comment, but received no answer. In, fact the Saudi consulate sent back are letters by mail unopened.

For the last six months, the sister have been stranded in Hong Kong living in fear.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm afraid that I will go somewhere they will kidnapped me, because if they can do it in the safest place, in the airport, some official place, they can do it in the street, they can do it in any place in Hong Kong.

WATSON: But humanitarian visas to a new country have taken away that fear.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I will have so many option that I never had in my life. I will have to choose which is very new thing to me.

WATSON: Under Saudi Arabia's male guardianships system, women have fewer legal rights than men, force to cover up and unable to travel or even apply for a passport without a husband, father or brother's permission. The sisters have now escape that system. They are the lucky ones, their attorney says they have a message for the women they've have left behind.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The coverage of their story will alert people to the flight to women, in Saudi Arabia.

WATSON: As they step in to their new future, these sisters say they feel reborn. Ivan Watson, CNN, Hong Kong.


CHURCH: Well, no surprise to anyone Democrats and Republicans have very different reactions to the Mueller report findings. We will get both the reaction from the U.S. heartland.


CHURCH: Well, we have heard from politicians and pundits about the Mueller report findings but about voters. Miguel Marquez went to the key state of Michigan to find out.


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In the heartland, conclusions of the Mueller report so far favor the president. And he's catchphrase, for winning.

BRIAN PANNEBECKER, MICHIGAN VOTER: I make of it exactly what Donald Trump's said it was. It was fake news, it was a witch hunt, it was a hoax, all along. Matter of fact I think they need to investigate the people that funded the fake dossier, because they're the real criminals in this.

[03:55:00] MARQUEZ: Ford auto worker, Brian Pannebecker is a huge Trump fan. He help elect the president in his vote rich county and says, the reports fillings gives the president a lift.

PANNEBECKER: If the Democrats were smart they would start working with President Trump instead of trying to overturn the results of the election.

MARQUEZ: In your mind, if they do, they are only going to make him stronger in places like Macomb?

PANNEBECKER: Absolutely. Because the guy didn't do anything wrong.

MARQUEZ: Michigan and Macomb County are critical to the president's re-election. In 2016, he won the state by just 10,704 votes. Macomb County and suburban Detroit voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012. It flipped for Trump bigtime.

He won the county by more than 48,000 votes. Even Democrats here say the report findings won't help them win back Macomb County in the state.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is a little bit surprising that more wasn't revealed in this report.

MARQUEZ: Henry Yanez, who has run for and held several political offices says his fellow Democrats need to investigate less, and focus on policies.

HENRY YANEZ, STERLING HEIGHTS CITY COUNCIL: I think the Democrats really just needs to work -- roll their sleeves and get to work on the issues that are important to the citizens of my city and my state.

MARQUEZ: There is hope for Democrats here, the midterms saw them rebound slightly, the county narrowly back the winning Democratic candidates in the Senate and governors races.


MARQUEZ: John Skantze, who retired from management in the auto industry, considers himself a moderate Republican. He voted for the president, but could be persuaded to support Joe Biden in 2020.

Do you think the Mueller report and the summary helps the president?

JOHN SKANTZE, MICHIGAN VOTER: I think it helped him a lot, I think it help him a lot. And he got a -- rid of a big stigma with his following.

MARQUEZ: So Republicans here say that Democrats should be smart to lower the intensity of the investigation of the president and a lot of Democrats we speak to say that they would like to see less focus on investigation at a national level and more focus on local bread and butter issues, but both parties people from both parties, Democrats and Republicans say there is one person who faces either the biggest threat or the biggest hope for the party's in this part of the Michigan. That is a guy who hasn't even announced the president yet, Joe Biden. Miguel Marquez, CNN, Macomb County, Michigan.


CHURCH: And thanks so much for your company, I'm Rosemary Church. Remember to connect with me any time on Twitter @rosemarycnn. We'd love to hear from you. And the news continues next with Isa Soares, live outside the U.K. parliament for more of our special Brexit coverage. You're watching CNN, do stay with us.