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President Trump Threaten to Cut Aid to Three Central American Countries; General Election to Solve Disagreements on Brexit; Kim Jong-nam's Killer Pleaded Guilty; Turkey's President Assumes a Sure Win; Gazans Mourns Who Sacrificed During Protest; A Threat of ISIS Rising Again; People Condemns an Inhumane Law in Brunei; Mother Nature Spares No One. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired April 1, 2019 - 03:00   ET



[03:00:00] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: U.S. President Trump and his administration not backing down, saying they will close the border with Mexico and cut aid to the countries where many of the migrants are coming from.

With its so-called caliphate no more, we have an exclusive report on how ISIS may start to re-emerge.

And later, climate change is impacting a remote island famed for its distinctive ancient stone sculptures and there is no undoing it.

Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us here in the United States and all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church live from CNN world headquarters here in Atlanta. CNN Newsroom starts right now.

Well, the White House is defending President Donald Trump's threat to close the U.S.-Mexico border. The president fired off this tweet Sunday. "The Democrats are allowing a ridiculous asylum system and major loopholes to remain as a mainstay of our immigration system. Mexico is likewise doing nothing, a very bad combination for our country."

He also closed with what could be a vague threat. "Homeland security is being so very nice but not for long."

The administration also says it's cutting off aid to three Central American countries. It claims they're setting up migrant caravans.

For more, here is CNN's Boris Sanchez in Washington.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Administration officials believe that the immigration system in the United States is at a breaking point, and so they are considering or taking drastic steps in order to try to stem the flow of undocumented immigrants entering the country.

Now the president has long hinted as one of those steps, closing the southern border with Mexico. The president says that he intends to do that potentially as early as this week.

The acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney was on State of the Union with Jake Tapper this weekend. He was asked about the potentially negative ramifications that such a step could have on the American economy and trade. Listen to his response.


MICK MULVANEY, ACTING WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: But we're also concerned about the effect to the American economy and the nation as a whole from having 100,000 -- more than 100,000 people cross illegally this month. If we close the borders, why would we do that? Because we need the people who are working at the legal ports of entry to go patrol, and I'm not making this up, where there is no wall.

We were not lying to people when we said that this was an emergency. Very few people believed us, especially folks in the media and the Democrat Party.


SANCHEZ: Mulvaney added that shutting down portions of the border would allow the administration to move Customs and Border Patrol agents from legal points of entry into parts of the border where there is no barrier, there is no border wall.

The White House also took a drastic step this weekend in cutting off aid to northern triangle countries, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Experts within the administration believe that could potentially lead to more immigration because it may crumble the infrastructure within these countries.

Still, the president has a vision for how immigration should be carried within the United States and he's clearly been frustrated by inaction from Congress. Democrats not giving him what he wants in border wall funding. The president wants to make this a very big focus this week. He's heading to the border in Calexico, California on Thursday.

Boris Sanchez, CNN, at the White House.

CHURCH: And authorities say migrant facilities are so overcrowded they have to release thousands of people into local communities.

CNN's Martin Savidge is in Brownsville, Texas with that part of the story.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is the Brownsville bus station in downtown Brownsville, Texas. It's also the processing point now for the migrants as they are dropped off by ICE, that's Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or CBP, that's Customs and Border Protection. It's essentially where what is a federal problem now is dumped into the lap of the city of Brownsville.

Fortunately, they've had a couple of days now to sort of streamline and really get into a rhythm of things. It's been reported that about 2,000 migrants have come into the Rio

Grande Valley. It is still not known how many more thousands could potentially come this way. There is a real concern that if it's too many it might overwhelm the facilities that the city already has set up.

What they do is that city and county officials will meet the migrants. They basically check their documents and then they work on transportation, because the idea is to quickly move them along.

In most cases the migrants are able to get on either a plane or a bus and go off to family members elsewhere in the United States, and do all of that within a day.

[03:04:52] However, in case the travel plans take a little longer to organize, then city shelters have been set up here. The problem is that it's costing Brownsville money. They are essentially paying and helping to pay for a federal problem. They will only be able to do that for so long.

Martin Savidge, CNN, Brownsville, Texas.

CHURCH: So, let's talk about all of this with Amy Pope. Amy is a former member of the U.S. National Security Council under President Barack Obama. She is now an associate fellow with Chatham House. Good to have you with us.


CHURCH: So, the White House is doubling down on President Trump's threat to close the southern border and to cut off aid to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras after blasting those countries for -- he blames them for sending the migrants to the U.S. What will be the likely impact of those cuts and the closing of the U.S.-Mexico border?

POPE: Well, let's start with the impact on the U.S. because the president is intent on making America great again. But if you think about it, the impact on the U.S. to closing our southern border would be devastating.

We're talking about millions of Americans jobs. We're talking about billions of dollars in trade. We're talking trillions of dollars that would be cut off, really harming the U.S. And to what end?

The second question, of course, is what happens in the Central American countries? What we know is that those countries have been devastated by years of violence. They're some of the most violent countries in the world. The drug trafficking flows are significant. They are all coming straight through those countries. Corruption is high.

And cutting off aid means that we're cutting off the means for those countries to be able to better themselves and for people to find opportunity and safety there.

CHURCH: Right. Of course, the problem is officials saying they are struggling to process Central American migrants. So, what does need to be done to address that problem? And what's the best solution to improve border security? Because clearly something needs to be done. There is a problem.

POPE: Look, we dealt with a very similar problem in 2014 when I was serving on the National Security Council. What I do know from that experience is actually you have a significant amount of heads up that this is going to happen.

We were getting information that there were flows of people traveling out, fleeing violence. So, it gave us some time to start preparing.

What we learned in 2014 was that you need to make sure that you have judges available. You need to make sure that there are sufficient shelters. It's not credible to say there is nowhere else to hold people. The United States is a big country and the Department of Homeland Security has significant resources. So that's not a credible answer.

This is reality as a result of the administration failing to plan in advance. And secondly, you cannot cut off the good work that needs to happen in the Central American countries so that people are not being pushed out. They're fleeing because the situation is quite dire. So, the answer is not to make it more dire.

CHURCH: So, when you say that they should have had a heads up, are you suggesting there that there is possibly an effort here to make it look like there's a crisis to justify the declaration of a national emergency?

POPE: Yes, I am suggesting that. I mean, we're talking about -- when you look at population of people in the United States, when you look at the resources available to the Department of Homeland Security and the rest of the federal government, this government has the tools to be able to manage a situation like this. And they haven't done so. And the question is, why not?

And given the president's rhetoric on border security, given his insistence that there is some sort of national emergency, the evidence suggest that he's actually manufacturing the emergency to justify his argument.

CHURCH: And, you know, President Trump has also said, he accuses, he blames the Democrats for giving this country what he calls the weakest immigration laws anywhere in the world and he called on Congress to change those laws. Is it the laws that are the problem here? And why do you think so many immigrants are heading to the United States?

POPE: The laws are actually part of the problem. That's why so many presidents, President Bush, President Obama sought to change them. They were both in favor of bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform.

So, there is a tremendous amount of room to change the law, and that's an important piece of it. But it's not just the laws. This is also about what's happening within the region. It's about what's happening in Mexico. It's a much bigger problem, and so a much bigger problem needs a much more nuanced solution than just shutting down the border.

What's happening at the border is a symptom of something much more significant and the president is making a mistake if he focuses solely on that.

CHURCH: Amy Pope, thank you so much for sharing your analysis and perspective on this matter. We appreciate it.

[03:10:01] POPE: Thank you.

CHURCH: Well, a woman accused of killing Kim Jong-un's half-brother could soon see freedom. This woman, Doan Thi Huong, pleaded guilty to causing hurt by a dangerous weapon as part of a plea deal.

The Vietnamese national and another woman were arrested in 2017 for wiping poison on the face of King Jong-nam. Huong's three-year, four- month sentence includes time served and an automatic reduction means she could be out by May. Her alleged accomplice was freed last month after her charges were dropped.

So, let's turn to Ivan Watson now. He's been following this story very closely from Hong Kong. He joins us now live. So, Ivan, what is the latest on this Vietnamese woman's fate and why does she appear to have been treated differently than her alleged Indonesian accomplice.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the latest is she's plead guilty for a lesser crime. The murder charges were dropped against her in exchange for, as you mentioned, quote, "voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means."

Now, that charge could face up to 10 years in prison, a fine and a punishment of whipping. The judge said you are a very lucky woman right now. He said that the whipping would not be applied because of her gender. And that the sentence would be three years, four months in prison, due to the fact that she did not have a prior criminal record and that she was the youngest of five children in her family.

The prosecutor said that some sentence had to be applied here as a deterrent factor because the whole world had seen the security camera footage of what appeared to be Doan Thi Huong, the suspect and another suspect applying what was believed to be VX nerve agent to the face of the half-brother of the dictator of North Korea in Kuala Lumpur airport in February of 2017.

And that somebody had to face some kind of justice as a deterrent, presumably to stop people from being assassinated in Malaysia's largest airport in the future. And the judge said that that was, in fact, true.

But here you have the trial for the murder of this man that was carried out so brazenly. Basically, wrapping up with one of the key suspects having had charges dropped against her last month and she was immediately set free. This was the Indonesian suspect Siti Aisyah.

And now the other key suspect facing a much-reduced sentence. Her defense attorneys saying that she may actually be released, they believe, as early as May of this year.

And for North Koreans who have been accused or at large, and their whereabout at this time unclear. That could be the end result of this brazen murder carried out at an international airport in front of cameras and many eyewitnesses. Rosemary?

CHURCH: Yes. And of course, these two women insist they thought they were part of some TV show and doing it for a little bit of fun. So, I guess we will never know the true story behind all of this.

Ivan Watson joining us with his report from Hong Kong. Many thanks.

Well, after nearly three years of political turmoil, Britons are asking is this the week that parliament finally decides what to do about Brexit? That is coming up next.

Plus, election day in Turkey has wrapped up in what many are calling a test of the president's popularity. We'll take a look at that as well. Back in just a moment.


CHURCH: It's becoming a familiar refrain out of the U.K. The British parliament is scrambling to save Brexit.

On Monday, lawmakers are set to vote on alternative options for how the U.K. could leave the E.U.

A customs union with the E.U. is thought to be the most likely preference. After parliament shot down the prime minister's withdrawal deal for a third time last week. Time is running out before the April 12th deadline. Everyone, including Theresa May's supporters, ready for a decision.


DAVID GAUKE, BRITISH JUSTICE SECRETARY: My view is that the best outcome is the prime minister's deal, but if that is not the favored outcome of parliament then we would need to consider what parliament does want to do. At the moment all we've seen is what parliament doesn't want to do.


CHURCH: You heard it there, but also British media reporting that Theresa May is expected to hold a fourth vote on her withdrawal bill, and if it fails again, well, there is speculation she might call a snap election. One of her party members was asked if they were planning on that.


JAMES CLEVERLY, BRITISH CONSERVATIVE M.P.: We're not planning for a general election. The conservative party --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you preparing for one? CLEVERLY: Well, I'll be completely straight with you. We have got a

-- we have got a minority government in a turbulent time. So, we, you know, just in terms of sensible, pragmatic planning, but we are not seeking, preparing in that kind of sense that I think you mean for a general election.

What the -- what the government, what the party, what M.P.s are focused on, for the most part, and should be focused on, is delivering Brexit.


CHURCH: So even with votes scheduled in parliament and a creeping deadline putting pressure on lawmakers, anything is still possible with Brexit. So, what could be next?

Well, one option, the U.K. could leave the E.U. with no deal on April 12th. For some that is a worst-case scenario. The U.K. also could ask the E.U. for it can stay in the European Union for a much longer period. If that happens, the U.K. will have to hold elections for the European parliament in May this year.

[03:19:55] Well, Theresa May's offer to resign was conditional on the passage of her Brexit deal. Her political future is now in doubt. The prime minister could also ask the queen to dissolve parliament and call a general election. So, as you see, anything possible.

All right. Let's turn to Ukraine now and presidential election appears to be headed for a run-off. Exit polls show comedian and political novice Volodymyr Zelensky has won the first round, but he fell short of an absolute majority.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (through translator): I want to thank everyone. You've seen recently, as well as I have, some exit polls. There are lots of exit polls, but there is only one winner. Thanks for all the Ukrainians who did not cast their vote as a joke.


CHURCH: Polls also showing incumbent President Petro Poroshenko finished second. He responded on Twitter telling young voters that he hears their concerns.


PETRO POROSHENKO, PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE (through translator): It is up to you to see where Ukraine will go. Who will be the supreme commander? Who will represent Ukraine at international negotiations?


CHURCH: The top two candidates will face each other in the likely run-off in three weeks. To Turkey now. Preliminarily results show that President Erdogan's

ruling party is leading in the majority of the local municipal elections. That's according to state media. And even though ballots are still being counted, Mr. Erdogan is already celebrating.


RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, TURKISH PRESIDENT (through translator): This, they need to know, I will remain for four to five years further as the president of Turkey, right? And the AKP will be ruling, right? So, we'll be in the parliament as the public's alliance, right? We will continue the same way, just as we came here.


CHURCH: Well, Turkey's main opposition party leader says his party won the local elections in Istanbul and Ankara.

CNN's Jomana Karadsheh joins me now from Istanbul with more on this. So, Jomana, what's the latest information you're getting on this election?

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Rosemary, as you mentioned there, while President Erdogan, his party and his political alliance may have won at this point more than half the vote across the country, this is also seen as a possible significant blow for his ruling AKP Party.

Major losses for the first time in years. If you look at the capital city, Ankara, the main opposition, secular party, the CHP's candidate there won the mayorship. This is the if first time in 25 years that the AKP has lost that position. We're talking about Istanbul's -- Turkey's second largest city, the capital and also the heart of politics here in Turkey.

And then we have a contentious situation that is possibly brewing here in Istanbul where the votes were too close to call between the President Erdogan's AKP candidate and the CHP candidate, both claiming victory, but that has yet to be revolved.

There are ballot boxes that are still being counted and we're waiting to hear from the supreme election board on the results for Istanbul, at least the preliminarily results for this city, the second largest city in Turkey. That is also the heart of the -- it is the capital of Turkey. It's the financial capital of Turkey, of course, but it's also, Rosemary, a very significant city for President Erdogan himself.

This is his city. This is where he entered Turkish politics. He was the mayor of Istanbul. We can see how close this city is to President Erdogan's heart, campaigning here on the final days, casting his ballot here.

So, we'll have to wait and see what the results are, but it looks like it is very close to call. A city with 10 million eligible voters and we're talking about a few thousand votes' difference between the two candidates. CHURCH: Yes, it's a real surprise, the possible outcome there for

Istanbul. Jomana Karadsheh reporting from Turkey's capital there. Many thanks.

You are watching CNN Newsroom. So much more ahead, including a sliver of hope from efforts to lighten restrictions on the people of Gaza.

The war against ISIS may be over on the battlefield, but experts call the group's re-emergence inevitable. You will see why in an exclusive report that's coming up in just a moment.


CHURCH: Welcome back to our viewers here in the United States and, of course, all around the world. You're watching CNN Newsroom. I'm Rosemary Church. Let's check the headlines this hour.

One of the women accused of killing Kim Jong-un's half-brother has accepted a plea deal and could be freed as soon as next month. Back in 2017, Doan Thi Huong and another woman were charged with killing King Jong-nam by smearing poison on his face. Charges against the accomplice were dropped.

Rapper Nipsey Hussle died Sunday after a shooting in Los Angeles. Two other people were injured in that shooting and are in stable condition. Police have not yet released any information about a suspect or motive.

The rapper was set to meet Monday with L.A. police to discuss solutions to gang violence.

The White House is defending President Trump's threat to close the U.S.-Mexico border and cut off aid to three Central American countries.

Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney tells CNN the U.S. is struggling to process Central American migrants. He adds that Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala are not doing enough to stop the surge of migrants.

Former U.S. President Joe Biden responded Sunday to a former Nevada politician's claim of inappropriate behavior. Lucy Flores claims he made her feel uneasy by smelling her hair and kissing the back of her head at a campaign rally in 2014.

Biden says that while he did not recall the alleged incident, it is important for women like Flores to be heard.

Well, Israel has re-opened two crossings with Gaza one day after large-scale protests along the border fence. It's the first time both crossings have been fully operational since a rocket attack from Gaza struck a home in Israel last week.

[03:30:02] Mourners in Gaza held funeral services for those killed in the demonstrations. Palestinian health officials say three people died and hundreds more were injured. And our Michael Holmes is in Gaza. He joins us with the very latest.

So, Michael, funerals held after weekend protests. What's the latest from the border now that those crossings have been re-opened?

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Rosemary, I think it's fair to say it's a case of so far, so good. The quiet Israel once being maintained if only for a matter of days so far, and those border crossings openings and also fishermen being allowed back to sea.

Good news for Gazans. Although there is a long way to go on both fronts for both Israel and Gaza, this is a process and a fragile one, judging from past experience. But for Gazans, relief from the economic blockade would be life-changing.

After the protest, three funerals in Gaza on Sunday. This one for 17- year-old Tamir Abu al-Khair, shot, say Palestinians, by Israeli soldiers while taking part in the Great March of Return protest on Saturday.

The death and injury toll there lower than the other weekly protests at the border. Hamas and Israel both apparently showing restraint in pursuit of something bigger. Egyptian mediated talks continue between Israel and Hamas to lighten restrictions on Gaza and its two million residents in return for no rockets from or violent protests in Gaza.


GHAZI HAMAD, SENIOR HAMAS OFFICIAL: From time to time you'll find calm after a confrontation, firing missiles, military attacks. This cycle will not be broken until I said, until we achieve a complete political solution.


HOLMES: It's difficult for outsiders to fully comprehend how tough life is for Gazans living under Israel's economic blockade. Seventy percent of people under the age of 30 are unemployed. There are shortages of everything from fuel to even clean water. Electricity comes and goes. And sewage flows untreated into the ocean.

All those things and more are on the table in the negotiations, but nothing is locked in, and likely won't be before Israel's election April 9. And there are many in Israel who feels Hamas should be given nothing that will strengthen the organization.

It's only a week since a rocket was fired hitting a house here Tel Aviv, injuring seven, including three children.

Hamas denied having an interest in firing that rocket, but Israel's Education Minister Naftali Bennett shared a sentiment shared by many of his citizens.


NAFTALI BENNETT, ISRAELI EDUCATION MINISTER: Hamas has established a full Hamas terrorist state in Gaza. Time and again they initiated an unprovoked attack on Israeli citizens, villages, homes and cities. It's time for them to feel the full thrust of Israel's force, and they will pay the price for what they did.


HOLMES: One positive sign at the Kerem Shalom border crossing closed for a week because of rocket fire from Gaza, open on Sunday. Goods permitted by Israel moving in. If concessions come from both sides and they stick, it will give short-term relief here but not a long-term solution.

And, Rosemary, the reality is the restrictions have been eased before. We have been down this road before and they've been quickly re-impose when circumstances change, somebody does something to provoke the other. It won't take much for any understanding between Israel and Hamas to fall apart.

For now, though, a sliver of hope perhaps for long-suffering Gazan civilians. Rosy?

CHURCH: Yes, and Michael, I did want to ask you where all of these Egypt's efforts to ease tensions between Israel and Gaza, and of course, what concessions might be made here.

HOLMES: Yes, those talks continue as we speak, nothing on paper. There almost certainly won't be. More likely if those talks go well, there would be a gradual easing of restrictions on Gaza. The sorts of things on the table, increasing the fishing zone, which is currently down to three miles. Fishermen are going broke. They can't catch anything at that distance.

Allowing Gazans to cross the border perhaps for work in Israel, increasing the electricity supply, the water supply. Fresh water is in short supply here. The water quality is terrible. The sewage system, as we said, is terrible, also allowing more money into Gaza from the outside.

And from Israel's standpoint, Rosemary, what they want is quiet. No more rockets. And if there are to be demonstrations on the border fence, for them to be quiet, nonviolent, no casualties, if you like.

[03:35:00] So there is a long way to go. It's very much a process. And as I said, sadly, we've been down this road before.

CHURCH: Yes, indeed we have. And we will of course watch to see what comes of those talks. Our Michael Holmes joining us live from Gaza where it is 10.35 in the morning. Many thanks, as always, Michael.

Well, after years of war, ISIS' once sprawling caliphate across much of Syria and Iraq has been reduced to a tiny sliver. But as CNN's Arwa Damon reports, the group appears positioned to rebuild and reign terror once again. She spoke exclusively with ISIS fighters' families and some of the victims about what lies ahead.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is western Iraq's no man's land. Historic terror hiding grounds, hard to control terrain, far-flung areas without a permanent security presence. It is in these lands that once night falls ISIS gangs attack, kill and plunder with impunity.

We're heading to the site of a recent horrific ISIS assault. Within minutes of veering off the main road and on to a dirt track, we arrive at what is little more than a cluster of mud homes.

Death has never come to 72-year-old Jusuf Hawas' (Ph) village this way.


DAMON: There are still blood stains on the ground.

Jusuf's older brother and five other relatives were murdered in the dead of night just days ago.

She's been cleaning up or trying to, at least.

Fatemah (Ph) is one of the victim's relatives.


DAMON: This is how they found one of the bodies of the women. What we're doing told is that she was taken to here, the shower area, and this is where they just executed her.

Despite having been declared defeated, ISIS has not died. It is lurking in the shadows waiting for the groundwork that will allow it to rise again. Iraq's security forces have rounded up tens of thousands of accused ISIS members.

In Baghdad we meet these four men who have already been sentenced to death. They admit they were a part of the terrorist network. Two were fighters, one a nurse. And one transported suicide bombers.

Like all captured fighters we have spoken to over the years, they too say joining ISIS was a mistake, but this is how one of them justifies it.


DAMON: That sentiment of being abused by the Shia-led government, of a desire for revenge, was and will continue to be central to ISIS' ability to seduce people into its ranks.

When we ask if they still believe in its ideology -- the question is ominously met with silence. The men unwilling to immediately condemn the twisted thinking that gave them a scene in these photographs, such an intoxicating power, a sense of control over their lives and over the lives of others.

In a nearby building is the courthouse where those on this day awaiting trial don't want to appear on camera. But their cases are classic examples of the Sunni population's grievances.

There are six men here who are facing terrorism charges. Half of them say the charges against them are politically motivated, going back to 2011. The other half aren't even sure exactly what they're being accused of, but they all say that they were forced into confession under torture.

Human Rights organizations have long criticized Iraq for its culture of rampant torture and flawed trials. But Judge (Inaudible) says Iraq upholds international standards and abides by its own anti-terrorism laws.


[03:39:59] DAMON: The issue is that all caught in the dragnet are those who are innocent. Victims of Iraq's historic polarizing dynamics, pitting its Sunni and Shia populations against each other. It's a dynamic that is amplified at the sprawling refugee camps for those who fled the fighting but are still unable to go back home, where those who were affiliated with or just suspected of being affiliated with ISIS are afraid of retribution.

In one tent we meet the parents of three men who were detained and then disappeared into Iraq's murky judicial system. Their mother Sham (Ph) says she hasn't seen or heard from her sons since they were picked up three years ago.


DAMON: As she talks, her anguish becomes overwhelming. She doesn't know where they are or if they are even alive. We meet one of her detained son's children. Their mother doesn't want to appear on camera.

The kids are having problems. They're being harassed by other children who know that their father isn't here and they're telling him, your dad is ISIS, your dad is ISIS.

Their mother tells them it's a lie, but it still tarnishes their young lives, condemns them to a life of isolation and rejection. Theirs is but one story, one example of what many in the Sunni population believe is part of a revenge campaign by the Shia-led government. Another emotional paradigm ISIS can prey on.

It's a sentiment that reverberates throughout these destitute camps with their prison-like feel, dreams traced in dust, the sense of despair. Especially vulnerable are the children of those whose fathers, brothers, uncles, innocent or guilty, were disappeared, killed or detained.

The district director Salah Hassan (Ph) says the government cannot afford to abandon the younger generations.


DAMON: The hatred that festers within them instills yet another complex emotion that ISIS can easily manipulate. There is little that has been done to emotionally or physically rebuild the ruins left behind by Iraq's war on ISIS.

And so far, the government has not dispelled the factors that allowed ISIS to emerge. The sense of abandonment, of being perpetually punished, as arbitrarily targeted. Unless that changes, the next incarnation of terror seems destined to haunt this country once more.

Arwa Damon, CNN, Mosul, Iraq.


CHURCH: And many thanks for CNN's Arwa Damon for that exclusive report. We'll be right back.


CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone.

Well, later this week a controversial law goes into effect in the Southeast Asian country of Brunei that will punish adultery and homosexual sex with death. Anyone found guilty will be stoned to death. The strict new laws were announced by the sultan of Brunei back in 2014 and are being phased in.

Brunei officials say the sultan does not expect other people to accept and agree with it but his country has no plans to halt the law amid international pressure.

CNN's Alexandra Field joins us now live from Hong Kong to talk more about this. Alexandra, the pressure's increasing on Brunei, no doubt about that. How is it responding to these calls for boycotts as a result of its harsh adultery and anti-gay laws?

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, Brunei has been clear that they are moving forward with these laws which they quietly announced on a government web site back in September, but essentially said they are a sovereign country and that it is up to them to enforce their own rule of law.

That has certainly not quieted a chorus of international outrage. We're hearing not just from international political officials and former political figures, but also global superstars like George Clooney who is calling for a boycott of nine hotels that are owned by the Brunei investment group and controlled by the sultan of Brunei.

Here's part of what Clooney had to say. He writes, "On this particular April 3rd the nation of Brunei will begin stoning and whipping to death any of its citizens that are proved to be gay. Let that sink in, in the onslaught of news where we see the world backsliding into authoritarianism this stands alone."

He's getting support from Elton John who writes that "discrimination on the basis of sexuality is plain wrong and has no place in any society. That's why I commend my friend George Clooney for taking a stand and calling out the anti-gay discrimination and bigotry now being enshrined in law in the nation of Brunei, a place where gay people are brutalized or worse."

And, Rosemary, we have been speaking to members of the LGBTQ community both inside Brunei and those who have left. They are expressing their fears. They very much believe that the implementation will happen. The question that their lives depend on, really, is whether these laws will be enforced.

CHURCH: Yes, indeed. And of course, what can and possibly will the international community do about these controversial laws?

FIELD: Well, look, the boycott of these hotels does seem to have generated headlines internationally. They are raising a lot of awareness. People inside Brunei say that might be the most helpful component of that boycott. They're not sure that boycotting the hotels would directly have any impact on policy inside Brunei and for the government, but certainly it is helping to stir up international attention.

You do have these voices of condemnation that are now coming out, you do have political figures that are responding. We've just heard from the U.N. high commission for human rights calling on Brunei to stop the imposition of these laws.

So certainly, we're going to have to watch this over the next couple of days to see whether these international voices and these international rebukes will lead to any kind of action or stalling really action in Brunei. Rosemary?

CHURCH: Yes, we'll certainly be watching for that as that pressure increases. Alexandra Field joining us there from Hong Kong. Many thanks.

Well, climate change comes to Easter Island and experts fear what's happening on the mysterious island may be a preview of what's to come elsewhere. We'll have that story for you when we come back.


CHURCH: Well, right now there is at least one place on earth where the effects of climate change are a settled issue, and hardly encouraging.

Easter Island, the fabled place of massive monoliths has already been marked by climate change and there is no undoing it.

Famed for its distinctive ancient stone sculptures, this remote land mass in the South Pacific is slowly wasting away. Climate change has arrived on Easter Island and it may be a preview for what's to come elsewhere.


CAMILO RAPU, PRESIDENT, MA'U HENUA POLYNESIAN INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY (through translator): Climate change is affecting us directly, and even if we take care of things here, try to conserve, it will affect us, just like it will the rest of the world. (END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: Residents on Easter Island known locally as Rapa Nui have felt water temperatures plummet. Experienced a record drought that drained wetlands, watched as plastic waste congregates on the coast, threatening marine life and seen fears of sea swells erode shoreline washing down artifacts of an ancient civilization.


RAPU (through translator): Our ancestors built these temples, the ahu, some distance from the waves, but now with the effects of global warming and rising tides, it has brought the sea closer to them. And when the weather is bad, it causes them to collapse or erode our temples.


[03:55:07] CHURCH: Home to more than 1,000 stone antiquities, Easter Island is one of the six world hedge sites, most vulnerable to climate change according to UNESCO.

In this part of the Pacific Ocean, studies show water will cool faster than anywhere on the planet, making the area an advanced show of climate volatility.


TAHIRA EDMUNDS, ADVISER, CHILE NATIONAL FORESTRY CORPORATION (through translator): We know that climate change is here to stay. It's not something that is going to happen, it is happening. The only thing we can do is minimize the effects.


CHURCH: As a Chilean territory, the government has commissioned studies with projections of climate change in the area over the next decades. Meanwhile, locals are trying to implement conservation laws promoting sustainable development and more regulation of tourism, which is the island's main economic driver.

The large stone statues erected more than a thousand years ago have long fascinated observers and archeologists alike. What happened to the civilization that built them and how they came to be in the middle of a vast empty sea are some of the island's greatest mysteries. Now time may be running out to save them.

A sobering warning for all of us there.

And thank you so much for your company. I'm Rosemary church. Be sure to connect with me on Twitter at Rosemary CNN. And for our U.S. viewers, Early Start is next. And for everyone else the news continues with our Isa Soares in London. Have yourself a great day.