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Sources: U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Resigns Unwillingly; Netanyahu Facing Major Challenge In Tuesday Elections; American Woman Kidnapped In Uganda Rescued; Britain Facing Friday Deadline To Leave The E.U.; British P.M. Makes Candid Plea For Cross-Party Talks; U.N.- Backed Government Launches Counter Offensive; Sudan's Brutal Crackdown on Anti-Government Protests; Mexico Wrestles with Influx of Migrants; Women Seek Justice after Extrajudicial Killings; Behind the Music of "Game of Thrones". Aired 1-2a ET

Aired April 8, 2019 - 01:00   ET


[01:00:00] CYRIL VANIER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Kirstjen Nielsen is out. A key member of Trump's cabinet has resigned. We'll have the latest.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: An American tourist rescued. This woman was held hostage for days until found in Congo but she's back, stays in Uganda today. We'll have her story.

VANIER: And it's one of the most recognizable theme songs in pop culture history. We'll hear from the man responsible for creating it.

ALLEN: And if you have to ask, well, you know, you're not cool like us. Thanks for joining us. We're coming to you live from CNN Center in Atlanta. I'm Natalie Allen.

VANIER: I'm Cyril Vanier, CNN NEWSROOM starts right now. The rocky tenure of the U.S. Homeland Security Secretary is over. The source says Kirstjen Nielsen was forced to resign after a Sunday meeting with President Donald Trump who announced Nielsen's resignation on Twitter.

She defended the administration's hardline immigration policies including the controversial separation of migrant children from their parents. Though Nielsen and President Trump just visited the border together Friday, we saw them together, he has grown more and more frustrated over the migrants that keeps coming. And we're told some of his recent decisions on border security took Nielson by surprise. She will stay on until Wednesday to help with the transition for her replacement.

VANIER: And Boris Sanchez has more on this latest cabinet departure.


BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: According to a source close to Kirstjen Nielsen, she did not resign willingly. The source indicates that Nielsen was not expecting to resign when she walked into this Sunday meeting at the White House with President Trump but that she was prepared to do so. A source says that she did not beg for the job, that she did not

grumble or fight to keep it. Our sources have indicated that in the past few months she has been bearing the brunt of President Trump's anger on the border and what he sees as a broken immigration system. I want to read you now a portion of her resignation letter.

She writes, "Despite our progress in reforming Homeland Security for a new age, I have determined that it is the right time for me to step aside. I hope that the next secretary will have the support of Congress and the courts in fixing the laws which have impeded our ability to fully secure America's borders and which have contributed to discord in our nation's discourse.

Our country and the men and women of DHS deserve to have all the tools and resources they need to execute the mission entrusted to them. I can say with confidence our Homeland is safer today than when I joined the administration."

Sources close to Nielsen say that she was blindsided by some recent moves made by the White House first when President Trump decided to pull the nomination of Ron Vitiello to lead Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an agency that Nielsen would have overseen as the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

The second move was the canceling of aid to three Central American countries El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. Keep in mind that announcement came shortly after Nielsen was in Honduras talking about the importance of aid to preventing more migration from those nations to the United States.

President Trump announced via Twitter that her replacement at least, for the time being, would be Kevin McAleenan. He is the Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection. Boris Sanchez, CNN at the White House.


VANIER: All right, let's discuss. Karoun Demirjian joins us. She's a CNN Political Analyst and a Congressional Reporter for The Washington Post. So this has been a long time coming. We've talked about a quasi-resignation or being just a few steps away from a firing/resignation for a while. Big picture, what lessons should we learn from this?

KAROUN DEMIRJIAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, this comes as you -- as you said, after several months in which there was speculation about whether Nielsen was going to make it in Trump's cabinet, and we've also seen the President getting doubling down on these plans to be more aggressive about his border policy.

There were threats of course last week to shut down the border in its entirety that he stepped back from at the last minute. But we really have seen this kind of full steam ahead approach by the president to be really, really tough when it comes to the border security issues. This is something he feels plays well with his supporters and it's something where he and Nielsen we're never 100 percent in line. Remember it was mid last year I think where she was saying we're not

you know trying to separate families here when that was clearly there was reporting that showed that was happening. And just generally speaking, it seems like there's been a little bit of a mismatch here in terms of personalities. She's been walking the you know, walking the line of what the President has been asking her to do in implementing these policies but there's always a question about whether they were really of the same mind. So now that the President is getting to favor this tougher position,

was she going to be the person to try to carry that through? And I think that what we've seen is that the answer is no.

VANIER: Right. And I understand the mismatch of personalities but I don't really understand if I'm told that there was a mismatch of policy. She has been enforcing his policy vision I mean, to you know, without fail. She was even the face of the controversial family separations policy. What more could Trump wants from a Homeland Secretary?

[01:05:20] DEMIRJIAN: Well, that's -- we'll see really in terms of who he appoints next or who he names next as the replacement. That's when we'll know exactly what it is that he wants more of. Does he want somebody who's going to be just more rhetorically off-the-cuff sharing the more aggressive approach that he's espoused towards the border?

And look, some of the things that the President has said border on you know, racist sort of sentiments being projected about people who are on the southern side of the border coming up to United States. Does he want somebody like that? Does he just want somebody who looks and talks tougher? He's really enjoyed this idea of you know, the you know, out of central casting border guards that he's met while he's made these trips as he just did in the last few days.

But we don't know exactly what it's going to be. But as you mentioned you know, Nielsen has been implementing the policies that he's been asking for directing which is why she has really no sympathy among the President's critics in Washington and in Congress especially. So people you know, are reacting to this by saying you know, well, good. She should have to own up for the fact that she did implement these extremely controversial, criticized by members of both parties for how they dealt with the people that are coming across the border especially the children.

And Trump's critics are not really speaking up for her very fittingly as she makes her exit. But again we will see what the President appoints -- who the President appoints next, and that will be the indication of exactly where Trump thinks he's going with this which you know, if he wants to raise the stakes, even more, he could do that. It might -- he thinks -- he may think that plays well politically. It's just going to lead to a lot more tension in D.C.

VANIER: All right, Karoun Demirjian, always a pleasure speaking to you. Thank you very much.

DEMIRJIAN: Thank you too, Cyril. VANIER: And border and staffing issues weren't the only White House

news on Sunday. House Democrats have requested six years of the President's personal tax returns and returns from eight of his businesses.

ALLEN: Will they or won't they be granted those returns? Well, they've justified the move citing an obscure code from the Internal Revenue Service? The acting White House Chief of Staff calls it a political stunt, but is it? Well, here's Mick Mulvaney speaking to Fox News.


MICK MULVANEY, ACTING WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: Keep in mind, they knew they were -- they're not going to get these taxes. They know what the law is, they know that one of the fundamental principles of the IRS is to protect the confidentiality of you, and me, and everybody else who files taxes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To be clear, you believe Democrats will never see the President's tax returns?

MULVANEY: No, never, nor should they. That is not going to happen and they know it. This is a political stunt by --


ALLEN: Well, the Democrats beg to differ. We'll wait and see where that goes this week. All right, Israel, voters they are head to the polls Tuesday on what could be one of their closest elections ever. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu facing a huge political challenge. He is running neck-and-neck with his former military chief of staff Benny Gantz. Gantz trying to rev up last-minute support Sunday hitting the streets with his motorcycle convoy. That should get him some votes.

Polls show his Blue and White alliance has a slight lead but Mr. Netanyahu's Likud Party may have the edge in building a coalition.

VANIER: The Prime Minister is also using last-minute tactics. He announced today that he will annex West Bank settlements if he's re- elected. It's a bid to win right-wing support and Mr. Netanyahu needs the help. He has plenty of backers but he's also facing serious corruption allegations. CNN's Oren Liebermann has more from Jerusalem.


OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: We're here in the market in Jerusalem Shuk Machane Yehuda. One of the central meeting places in Jerusalem where you can buy pretty much anything you want for the day from a coffee store on my side here in a spice store, there's a dessert shop on my other side. This is very much a Likud stronghold. Likud politicians have rallied here in the last few days. They know this is essentially their home turf. There was actually another party here a short time ago that try to get

a rally going, another chant going, and one of the sellers here simply yelled at them Bibi, Bibi, Bibi. And to make that point.

She says, it looks like she's voting for Bibi, for Benjamin Netanyahu, for Likud. And you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know yet. I don't know. Maybe Bibi, I don't know.

LIEBERMANN: There are some here who doubt but no doubt this is a Likud stronghold. This is the home in a sense of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

LIEBERMANN: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in the fight of his political life. In his corner in the boxing ring of Israeli politics, he has the heavyweights. President Donald Trump has made it clear his choice is Netanyahu.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: -- that have taken place many decades ago.

[01:10:00] LIEBERMANN: U.S. recognition of Israeli sovereignty in the Golan Heights, a political gift between longtime friends. In the weeks before the election, Netanyahu has visited Trump in Washington, and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Russia. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, the Trump of the tropics also came to Jerusalem for the first time.

The meetings all part of Netanyahu's campaign strategy to show off his foreign policy achievements while distracting from perhaps Netanyahu's biggest challenge, a series of corruption investigations he faces.


LIEBERMANN: Netanyahu has borrowed a page from Trump's playbook decrying the investigation as a media-fuelled witch-hunt while proclaiming his innocence.

TRUMP: Bibi, it's an honor to have you in the Oval Office.

LIEBERMANN: But while Trump's biggest concerns about the Mueller report never materialized, Netanyahu's have. The Attorney General has said he intends to indictment Netanyahu on bribery and breach of trust charges in three separate cases. Any indictment won't come until after the elections as Netanyahu seeks a fifth term in office.

If he wins, if his big endorsements can beat out his looming indictments, it would make him Israel's longest-serving Prime Minister.

If this is a Likud stronghold, when you see colleagues of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu coming to campaign in the final days of the election coming to secure some of those write-in votes you'll find his rival former chief of staff Benny Gantz campaigning elsewhere in Tel Aviv in areas that are more likely a centrist for liberal donors. Statements like Netanyahu's latest comment that he'll pursue

annexation of not only the settlement blocks but also the isolated settlements has likely to go very well here perhaps securing Netanyahu few more votes as we wish to have -- tries to have the biggest party after election day. Oren Liebermann, CNN Jerusalem.


VANIER: Uganda says its security forces have rescued kidnapped American tourists Kimberly Endicott with intelligence support from the U.S. military.

ALLEN: She and her tour guide were taken hostage at gunpoint April 2nd while on a game drive at Queen Elizabeth National Park. These photos were taken not long after their rescue.

VANIER: A Ugandan government spokesman tells CNN that they were found unharmed in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Robyn Kriel has more details on this.


ROBYN KRIEL, CNN EAST AFRICA CORRESPONDENT: We do have information that a ransom was paid. However, we're not sure the amount of that ransom. According to a spokesperson for the wild frontiers tour group, the handover went over quietly and peacefully. Miss Endicott and her guide both in good health and safe now.

Now, the Ugandan Police Force and other security agencies in Uganda according this a rescue operation. Here's a tweet coming from the Ugandan Police Force. They said police and its sister security agencies have today rescued Miss Kimberly Sue an American tourist together with her guide who were kidnapped while on an evening game drive at Queen Elizabeth National Park. The duo are in good health and in the safe hands of the joint security team.

At this point, we do not know if miss Endicott was targeted because she was an American. We understand that four other people were with her and her guide but were later released. We're also not sure who these kidnappers were. Were they just an armed group looking for cash or where they -- were they part of a terrorist group?

We do know that there are terrorist groups operating in the DRC as well as a number of just other armed groups operating in that particular part of the country. Obviously, there's still a lot of unanswered questions that will be explained over the next few days, we hope, but all in all a good news story emanating out of Uganda. I'm Robyn Kriel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


VANIER: With Brexit at stake, it's all about getting the deal done apparently even if that means reaching across the aisle. That's what British Prime Minister Theresa May is trying to do to the consternation of others in her party. ALLEN: We will have the latest on her last-ditch efforts compromised

next. Plus, the battle in Libya turns to the skies. New air raids are launched as the world continues to call for peace. We'll have the latest on what's happening there on the ground.




ALLEN: Well, after years of catering to Brexit hardliners, Britain's prime minister is now scrambling to make a deal with the opposition party. She's been scrambling for some time but as you can see from our clock there, she's got less than a week to do it, or risk crashing out of the E.U.

Theresa May will head to Brussels once again Wednesday for an emergency meeting with E.U. leaders.

VANIER: She's hoping to postpone Brexit until June 30th. But if the E.U. doesn't grant that extension, then the U.K. could crash out to the European Union without a deal on Friday. Theresa May posted a video message on Sunday calling for compromise. Saying that "Cross- party cooperation is essential for successful Brexit."

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn spoke about his priorities.


JEREMY CORBYN, LEADER OF THE LABOUR PARTY: Unless you see the red lines move, and we have had two meetings this week. One, with the prime minister and a further meeting with Rebecca Long-Bailey and Kier Starmer, held with David Lidington and the team.

That was more of a technical discussion about the nature of the future relations agreements, as well as with the withdrawal agreement which has many, many problems and many flaws in it as we pointed out in Parliament.

The key priority is to avoid crushing out of the E.U. with no deal because of disruption that would mean to industry and the supply chains. And we're determined to make sure there is no crashing out without a deal.

VANIER: CNN European Affairs Commentator Dominic Thomas is in Los Angeles. Dominic, is there a chance of a deal; an agreement between Theresa May and her opposition this week before she goes to Brussels?

DOMINIC THOMAS, CNN EUROPEAN AFFAIRS COMMENTATOR: I think it's extraordinarily -- extremely unlikely rather, Cyril. From the moment that Theresa May officially reached out to Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition, I think that it was too little too late.

She took over in 2016 after the referendum, she called a snap election in 2017 to try and consolidate her power, and she has been pushing and pushing for her for the values of the withdrawal agreement. And this continued on last week.

And what we saw at two sides coming together in an attempt to compromise but seemingly unwilling to make concessions. The Labour Party has been very clear that it wants much closer proximity to the European Union through a customs union, an arrangement with the single market, and these are areas in which Theresa May -- and has not really been that open.

And both sides of the political spectrum are facing extraordinary pressures from the Brexiteers in the case of Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn from a number. From remain constituents and also from those that want a meaningful vote and a second referendum, or a people's vote.

So, it doesn't seem likely if anything at this stage, both of them are concerned about who will take the blame for Brexit failing or for a no-deal happening. And I think that's the more important issue here. Because a general election is hanging over both of these people and both these parties as things stand.

VANIER: Yes, and I think if you look at their parties and you look at their respective bases, you realize they probably neither of them as much of an incentive to really give in that much.

Theresa May is going to ask European leaders in two -- three days. Three days for an extension to Brexit. How do they feel about that?

THOMAS: Well, it's a -- it's a great question, Cyril. I mean, ultimately, for the European Union, it's a -- it's a whole process now as they come together again of risk assessment. On the one hand, they don't want to be blamed for pushing the United Kingdom out of the European Union and seemed too tough on them.

But on the other hand, they have their own institutions to think about protecting there are elections coming up at the end of the month of May. Emmanuel Macron, one of the most outspoken members of the E.U.- 27 has talked about how crucial these elections are, bringing in juxtaposition the Europhiles, Pro-European groups that look for further integration. And the deep concern about far-right parties are being well represented in these elections. And so, there is a serious concern about a country in which the prime minister and the Conservative Party want Brexit and where the opposition want a Brexit.

And yet, at the same time, a ruled out -- a no-deal. So, this complicates the situation. And I think, ultimately, as these E.U. leaders come together, they're going to be wondering about the sort of the existential nature really of the U.K. around these issues.

It would be much easier if there was one side that was absolutely unambiguously pro-European. So, they have to make those calculations and be very concerned about the potential of the U.K. participating and sending 73 MBP's that could potentially, as they've mentioned, be disruptive to the practices and the -- and to the institutions of the European Union.

So, that's a serious concern that will be front and center as the E.U.-27 come together now.

VANIER: Because they've got the way, the potential disruption of having the U.K. participate in European elections as against the disruption of a -- of a no-deal Brexit. The point that you made earlier it gets to my next question, which is, even if the U.K. were to get an extension, what would they do with it?

THOMAS: Yes, well, this is a great question. This is why Theresa May, ultimately, is pushing for a shorter extension because she knows that if she goes for the longer one, she's going to even further enrage the far-right members of her political party.

It really all rests on the question of the no-deal and she's talked about the fact of not wanting to participate in E.U. elections. And if no-deal is taken off the table, this ultimately leaves an option which the E.U. would be unlikely to go along with this.

They begin the process of preparing for the E.U. elections. And if by, let's say the 22nd of May, they have come up with some kind of agreement, then they would not be able -- they would not participate, and they would then leave the E.U.

And, but if they do provide an extension, and I think there are two models. Either, there's the -- long extension that involves participation in the E.U. And after one year, you either come up with a deal or you stay in the European Union. Or the other option is that you do not participate in the elections. You accept that you're leaving the European Union, and you're given an extension for a year to decide whether you leave with a deal or no deal.

No matter what comes out of this, whatever the E.U. 27 agree, and they will agree on something, there will be a red line that is deep, deep, deep, red. And they will not entertain further extensions. This is it for them, and it's going to be a difficult negotiation.


VANIER: All right, that was Dominic Thomas speaking to us earlier. Thanks to Dominic for that.

Now, to the power struggle in Libya. As passion between rival factions raged on near Tripoli. The U.N. has called for a truce to evacuate the wounded. This after Eastern forces led by renegade General Khalifa Haftar, launched retaliatory airstrikes on the U.N.- backed government.

ALLEN: Yes, take a look at this the red zone on this map shows the areas run by Haftar's Libyan National Army. That's a big swath of the country, as you can see, it's advancing on the yellow areas that's held by the U.N. recognized government. For more on this situation, here is CNN's Salma Abdelaziz.


[01:25:13] SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN INTERNATIONAL FIELD PRODUCER: Clashes are intensifying in Libya today between General Haftar's forces and troops from the internationally recognized government. The area of focus seems to be the southern districts, just outside of Tripoli, where a defunct airport is now serving as a frontline between these two warring parties as they seem to go into an all-out battle.

Most worryingly, there seems to be a duel from the skies. General Haftar's forces today saying they carried out airstrikes on the outskirts of Tripoli. This comes just one day after the internationally recognized government has said it had carried out airstrikes as well. This is extremely concerning for residents who are caught in the middle of this fight.

We spoke to a local journalist earlier today who had spent time in a Red Crescent operations room. They were receiving dozens of calls from terrified families. Saying they needed to be evacuated. That they were pinned down in fighting. Some reporting wounded that need immediate medical attention. The influx of distress calls led the United Nations to call for a two-hour temporary truce in those southern districts to allow with the evacuation of civilians.

The Government of National Accord for its part did say, it would abide by that truce. Of so many different militias on the ground, it is extremely difficult to guarantee safety. There are U.N. talks scheduled in the United Nations, has said that they will continue as planned. And it's very difficult to imagine what progress they could make with these two rivals literally pointing their guns at each other. Key to any resolution to this conflict will be the international community.

Critics of General Haftar will tell you that he has long had ambitions to take control of Tripoli, and take control of Libya. As a whole, he spent the last few years building this consolidation of power in the east of the country. Taking control of oil fields in the south, and most importantly, courting governments in Saudi Arabia, Russia, Egypt, the UAE, and others. Even France.

Now, most of these countries have condemned General Haftar's advance on the capital. But the question is, is this just lip service or are they truly willing to withdraw support?

We're also hearing from U.S.-Africa command today, saying that a small contingency of U.S. troops had to be evacuated from Libya due to the security situation on the ground, another reminder of just how dangerous these confrontations are. Salma Abdelaziz, CNN, London.


VANIER: In Sudan, anti-government protesters are facing torture and death. CNN's own Nima Elbager went undercover.


NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is (INAUDIBLE) for a safe house. We don't know how long we're going to have to wait here. They're trying to figure out how to get us out of here. (INAUDIBLE), we have to go inside.


VANIER: Right after this break, CNN exclusive report inside Sudan's struggle for democracy.


[01:31:36] CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR: Ok. Welcome back to the NEWSROOM. I'm Cyril Vanier.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Natalie Allen. Here are our top stories for you.

VANIER: The U.S. Homeland Security Secretary has resigned and a source says Kirstjen Nielsen did not go willingly. President Donald Trump announced her resignation Sunday on Twitter. Nielsen defended the administration's hard line immigration policies but the President has been angry over the influx of migrants at the southern border.

ALLEN: Voting begins Tuesday in Israeli elections and the latest poll shows a tight race. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu facing a major challenge from his former military chief of staff Benny Gantz.

Mr. Netanyahu says he will annex the West Bank settlements if reelected. That move is seen as a bid to win over more right wing voters.

VANIER: Uganda says its security forces have rescued kidnapped American tourist Kimberly Endicott with intelligence support from the U.S. military. Endicott and her tour guide were taken hostage at gun point April 2nd while on a game drive at Queen Elizabeth National Park.

ALLEN: American Airlines says it will continue to ground its fleet of Boeing 737 Max planes through June 5. The flights were set to resume later this month but the airline says it's waiting for more information about the aircraft from regulators. This is comes almost one month after the crash of a second Boeing 737 Max jet.

VANIER: As anti-government protests in Sudan grow larger and louder the country's security forces are taking extreme measures trying to stop the world from finding out. Demonstrators are calling for the country's longtime president to step down and they're accusing the government of using violence against them.

ALLEN: At least six people died in protests over the weekend and that is not counting how many have died since protests began December.

It is hard to get information from there because as we learn in her exclusive report CNN's Nima Elbagir takes us inside the uprising to expose the government's brutal crackdown on people.


NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): This is my hometown Khartoum, for months now in the grip of pro- democracy protests. Much of it brutally hidden from the world by the Sudan government and yet people here are still risking everything for change. Even as the United States works through diplomatic relations with Sudan's government.

Khartoum -- Sudan's capital. As I was growing up here the government's grip on its people was all-encompassing. But a rise in the cost of living in recent years has triggered protests against one of the world the longest serving dictators. President Omar al-Bashir.

The Sudanese government doesn't want the world to know what's is happening. Any journalist caught reporting on the demonstrations risks life imprisonment and the death penalty

In the crowd I try to stand back and film with secret cameras and smart phones and hope that I am not spotted.

(on camera): And I smell the tear gas that they'd been releasing on the demonstrators a little bit further away. The people here are starting to get tense.

[01:35:08] (voice over): Some of the demonstrators start shouting that national security agents are on their way. Operatives infamous for their brutality, we have to leave. A family agrees to hide us in what people had called a safe house. It really is just someone's home.

(on camera): The national security agents have arrived, they'd broken up the demonstration. They're going from house to house. We've been brought into the safe house.

We don't know how long we're going to wait here. They're trying to figure out how they get us out of here.



ELBAGIR: I just saw their cars. They're going from door-to-door trying to figure out who was out there.

(voice over): That sound you hear? Tear gas cannons. We are trapped.

Hours pass we can only watch and listen through a gap in the window. Just next door to us, security agents are slapping and kicking a protester as they drag him out, their neighbor's son.

In the end we leave our equipment behind and take the risk to run.

We got lucky but so many others did not.

CNN gathered detailed testimony from former detainees held in Sudanese government facilities. Of the over 3,000 people who have been arrested since the demonstrations began almost all say they have been abused.

One of them agrees to speak to us. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They were all masked armed and holding batons.

As soon as we stepped out we were beaten with batons. One man slapped me on the left side of my face. It became numb. And he struck me with the butt of his gun in my back.

It's not even an official center. It was one of those ghost houses.

ELBAGIR: Ghost houses. Torture houses which the government says don't exist. We went to try and find one. For all of us that grew up under Bashir dictatorship ghost houses conjure up immediately the horrors this government is accused of -- torture, sexual assault, brutal beatings.

Right in the center of Khartoum, we find a heavy military and intelligence presence. On your left, a screened-off square, a holding pen. Activists pick (INAUDIBLE) beaten here and sorted according to their alleged crimes.

We can't linger. Everywhere there's a high level of security. From here activists say they're moved on to any one of the ghost houses scattered around town. Using descriptions given to us by eyewitnesses and activists formerly held there, We are able to pinpoint one using aerial images just south of the Blue Nile in Garden City.

Keeping watch over this green building we witnessed national security pick up what appears to be detainees. Worse though is in store. Many of the detainees we've interviewed described being torture just across the river here in what is known as a delajat (ph), the refrigerator. Its very name inspires terror and yet one woman agreed to speak to us.

WITAQ AHMED ABDULLAH, TORTURE VICTIM (through translator): They detained us in an abandoned building. Because we were so severely beaten we went numb. I could not feel my arms or legs. The place was so cold it felt like there were knives piercing our bodies. I only spent two days there but they were the worst two days of my life.

ELBAGIR: So why in spite of all this is President Trump's administration in talks to restore relations with Sudan? The brutal aftermath of the terror attacks on the USS Cole and U.S. embassies in east Africa. For years families of victims have been seeking compensation from Sudans' government who they believe was complicit.

CNN has learned that a key requirement for talks between Sudan and the U.S. is that Sudan enter into good faith negotiations regarding compensation for victims' families.

In a statement, the U.S. State Department does not deny that talks are continuing with Sudan or that this is ultimately about the terror claims. But says relations will improve only if the Sudanese government takes steps related to human rights. The Sudanese have shown no signs of doing so and yet talks to improve relations continue.

[01:39:58] After days of searching we are able to verify that the neighbor's son, who we filmed being detained was released only after hours of torture, he says. You can see it here -- another casualty in the litany of victims of

Sudan's brutal repression.

This is what we witnessed in just one day back home. The demonstrations, the tear gas,, the fear. But the horrors have been going on for so much longer. And there's still no end in sight.

Nima Elbagir, CNN -- Khartoum, Sudan.


ALLEN: And we will have more news right after this.


ALLEN: As the United States deals with a huge number of people coming from the south, Mexico is wrestling with its own migrant situation.

VANIER: Some Mexicans are now fed up with migrants settling in their country instead of trying to reach the U.S. and they think it might be time for their president to take a page from Donald Trump's playbook.

Paula Newton explains.


PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): She was once part of the caravan but Maya Lopez Garcia says she now thanks God and Mexico for letting her stay right here.

"We're fine here," she says. "That's why we're not thinking of going to the United States. We'll stay here."

Granted a temporary visa, Maya makes a living making tortillas. She says she escaped poverty and violence in Guatemala and is now counting on Mexico for her future.

Tens of thousands would like to join her. Mexico's borders, both to the north and south, are overwhelmed with migrants, mostly from Central America, who've already been waiting months just for a chance at a new life in the United States.

"So if we end up with a chance to stay here in Mexico, we'll take it," says Carlos Gomez from Honduras, "and work hard to make a living."

[01:44:57] (on camera): And this is where things are starting to get complicated for new Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez-Obrador.

He had promised a more humanitarian policy for migrants and that's being challenged now, not just by President Trump but more Mexicans, too.

(voice over): Even people like Aaron Mendez, who helps run a migrant shelter near the Texas border.

"I think one of the solutions is to change the immigration strategy," he says, "which now lets in all the undocumented migrants."

That echoes the thoughts of so-called Mexican Trumpistas, who may not even like Trump but believe he has a point when it comes to immigration.

On a popular national radio station, Radio Formula, the head of the migration agency was put on the spot this week about how Mexico will cope with all the new migrants. He admitted his government is granting fewer humanitarian visas.

Tere Vale is a Radio Formula journalist and host. She's says it is obvious the migrant influx is unsustainable.

TERE VALE, RADIO FORMULA HOST (through translator): Now we see something like never before in Mexico, a president who is very docile when facing pressure from the United States. Mexico is between the sword and the wall.

NEWTON (voice-over): And President Trump claims his ultimatums are the reason Mexico is now apprehending more migrants on its southern border. Mexican government counters that it has a long-term plan.

LUZ MARIA DE LA MORA, MEXICAN UNDERSECRETARY FOR FOREIGN TRADE: So Mexico is being put under a lot of pressure from both ends. We're being squeezed, exactly. And I think it's -- I mean, it's unfair to say that we are not trying to be part of the solution, because I think that this administration has done a lot of the things that can be done to help this humanitarian crisis.

NEWTON (voice-over): Mexico says it plans to make history of the caravans, with economic development in Southern Mexico and Central America. To do it, though, it will need much help and patience, not just from the Trump administration but Mexicans themselves.

Paula Newton, CNN -- Mexico City.


VANIER: All right. Well, hard report there to watch. Our coverage by Paula Newton over the past several weeks in Mexico -- I beg your pardon -- She was in Venezuela recently though and the people of Venezuela have endured so much loss over the past two years -- jobs, basic resources and now loved ones.

ALLEN: Many have taken to their streets to voice their frustrations as you well know. But some are taking more even more action.

As David McKenzie reports a group of woman has decided to fight corruption after losing loved ones to extrajudicial killings. <


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Aracelis Sanchez keeps track of the killings. Despite the death threats she says she won't give up. ARACELIS SANCHEZ, WIDOW OF VICTIM: We have to denounce it. We have

to documents it. We know we are not in a time of justice but it has be done because if we stay quiet we allow the same thing that happened to us to happen to others.

MCKENZIE: She wants justice for her son Wilson (pH0 a promising student shot in the back by suspected paid actors in 2013. And for the thousands of men killed in extrajudicial violence in Venezuela.

SANCHEZ: It's a massacre, an extermination of young Venezuelans.

MCKENZIE: Human rights groups say the crackdown on Venezuela's young men is getting work with frequent raids into the barrios surrounding Caracas.

Nicolas Maduro's government says it's to curb crime but the barrios are turning on his regime.

CARMEN ARROYO, WIDOW OF VICTIM (through translator): I think that this is that they inflict on the people of the barrios so that the people did not come out and protest.

MCKENZIE: To face their fear, Aracelis formed a support group of women. They speak out, agitate, and file lawsuits again the state. But for some the pain is still too raw.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): It was horrible they had no compassion for our little girl nothing. They just took him and they struck him. They put him on t ban and they hit him and they hit him and they hit him.

MCKENZIE: Yaledy (ph) says her engineering husband Ronnie was grabbed in March from their home by men in black uniforms. She searched for him for weeks. She doesn't know why they took him. Doesn't know what to tell her three children.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: His children are asking for Dad. Asking for their Dad. I have no more words to explain things to my children because of them.

MCKENZIE: The state has not commented on Ronnie's case. He was found next to a pile of trash, both hands missing and badly burned.

[01:50:00] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just as my children ended up without a father there are a lot of kids who could as well if they continue this way.

MCKENZIE: David McKenzie, CNN -- Caracas, Venezuela.


ALLEN: Just horrific.

Well, Malaysian golfer Arie Irawan was found dead in his hotel room on Sunday. VANIER: He was competing at a tournament in China. Irawan was just

28 years old but the PGA says there are early indications that his death was from natural causes.

Emergency responders were unable to revive him. The final round of the tournament was canceled after Irawan's death.

ALLEN: The executive director of the tour says this. "We are incredibly saddened by this news and we extend our sincere condolences to his wife and family.

We'll be right back.


VANIER: Winter isn't just coming, it is almost here. In less than a week the hit show "Game of the Thrones" will make its much anticipated return to HBO for its final season.

ALLEN: It's been a long wait. Fans have been waiting for this last set of episodes -- almost two years. That's just cruel, isn't it.

Now that the wait is almost over we decided to take a look at one of the things that has made the series so special.

[01:55:00] Here's Rick Damigella.


RICK DAMIGELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The cello driven theme of "Game of thrones" is as iconic as the visuals it accompanies. Composer Ramin Djawadi was aiming for that.

RAMIN DJAWADI, COMPOSER: It can be very moody and I think for this dark show I think it was perfect. So that's an instrument I love to write for. And that's why it's everywhere in "Game of Thrones".

I wanted people to when they hear this melody that they know our show is about to come and just get ready and sit down and get in the mood.

DAMIGELLA: Even working behind the scenes he shares the audience reactions to the show's major events, including the red wedding.

DJAWADI: I have to say, I'm a fan of the show myself so even though I do see it before but I see it for the first time to so I lock myself in my studio and I just watched the episode and l am just as surprised as everybody else.

It gets quite emotional for me because I get attached to characters and then having to wright music for them getting killed off the show is tough sometimes.

DAMIGELLA: As is the winding down of the series.

DJAWADI: Who would have thought that this show would be such an amazing success. But I don't think -- think it's all so very exciting to see this now come to an end. I can't wait for the rest of the world to see this amazing final season. I mean it's been very emotional for me to write the music on this last season.

DAMIGELLA: In Westeros -- or rather Hollywood, I'm Rick Damigella.


ALLEN: Well, thank you for watching this hour. I'm Natalie Allen.

VANIER: I'm Cyril Vanier. The news continues next with Rosemary Church and George Howell. You are in great hands.


[02:00:11] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: After months of rumors.