Return to Transcripts main page
HALA GORANI TONIGHT
New Round of U.S. China Trade Talks and With No Deal; Trump gives China Steeper Tariffs; Four Hostages Freed in Burkina Faso; Facebook Cofounder Says It Is Time to Break Up Facebook; UNICEF Says 900 Child Soldiers Released in Nigeria; Maduro's Government Cracks Down on Dissent; New Round Of U.S.-China Trade Talks End With No Deal; Kazakh Families Say China Is Detaining Their Loved Ones; Genetically-Modified Virus Treats Infected Teenager; Concerned Parent: I Warned District Before Attack. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired May 10, 2019 - 14:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:00:00] HALA GORANI, CNN HOST: Hello, everyone. Live from CNN London, happy Friday. I'm Hala Gorani. Tonight, first the tweets, then the
tariffs. A confident President Trump tells us to sit back and watch as he takes on China over trade.
Nearly 900 children recruited to fight in Boko Haram have been freed. It's a good day. We'll have a live report. Plus the miraculous recovery of a
teenager, we'll have the story.
No deal after a new round of bargaining meant to ease an escalating trade war between the United States and China. U.S. officials hosted China's top
trade negotiator in Washington this morning just hours after the Trump administration slapped higher tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese
goods. President Trump is making the case for those tariffs on Twitter, saying they'll make the U.S. stronger.
He accused the Obama administration of letting China get away with murder. We will fact check all of that. Let's get more now from Richard Quest.
We'll also joined by Jeremy Diamond. Richard, to you first, is there a deal in sight? The negotiator was quoted as saying the talks were
RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS, EDITOR-AT-LARGE: Yes. Because the vast majority of the deal has been done. They've done the outline, the easy
bit. They even agreed on large parts of the intellectual property threat and the joint ventures. But then there's the Chinese supposedly riding
back on what they agreed. That's what has really taken it to this level. It's in the Chinese court in the sense that can China and the Chinese
government get through their own administrations what needs to happen.
From the U.S. point of view, the only important thing now is whether the President sticks firmly to this hard-line position and doesn't go with a
GORANI: And he could go even further. He's saying he's ready to slap tariffs on more Chinese goods.
QUEST: That's right. Several hundred billion dollars worth is what the President said he's considering. He says he's already started the process
to impose those additional tariffs. Whether he follows through of course is another matter. We know that the talks are over for today. Whether or
not the Chinese delegation remains in Washington through the weekend to perhaps continue these talks, that will be a sign, perhaps, of how things
But we've heard some indication from the Chinese and the Americans that really the only way to get over this impasse and get to a deal is going to
have to be some direct conversations between President Trump and the Chinese President Xi Jinping. And so far, that has not happened. We've
not heard of any calls scheduled for today. But the indication we're hearing, that will be necessary.
GORANI: Regardless of the strategy, investors are hating this. Stocks have been tanking for days.
QUEST: Because the ramifications are so wide and unknown. You've not only just got the basics of how will this affect bilateral China-U.S. trade.
You've got global trade to consider. The French finance minister said, he was talking about the wider implications of job losses because as the
minister said, when the U.S. and China go to war, everybody else suffers. There's a general unease, trade stops from around the world or even slows
And that's the problem. That's what you're seeing. But you know, look at the market. This is a repeat of Wednesday. We saw it rally back up again.
We've got -- we're going into the last hour shortly. Who knows where it will end up? The pointed s they're not happy. The Chinese trade issue is
the last piece of the economic jigsaw that needs to be sorted out.
GORANI: And I wonder, Jeremy Diamond, this is a risky move for Donald Trump. Because tariffs hurt importers and these costs are passed onto
American consumers. Many of them in red states that voted for Donald Trump.
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely.
[14:05:00] GORANI: How far is he willing to do? This is a political calculation as much as it is an economic one.
DIAMOND: We've seen the public bluster of Donald Trump on this issue where he insists that these tariffs, he's happy to escalate the tariffs, happy to
take in the money that comes as a result of those tariffs into the treasury department's coffers. But at the same time he's very aware and his
political advisors are aware of the risks of all of that particularly as it hits the midwestern region, the heart land of the United States where the
President enjoys a good deal of support.
At the same time the President has heard these warnings about tariffs for months and as he has erected these tariffs on China and other countries,
you have seen the effect on farmers on certain industries in the U.S. but at the same time the overall economic picture in the U.S. has remained
quite strong despite some of those predictions when you would see a dip. For now, we're seeing the President sticking with this strategy and trying
to up the ante on the Chinese hoping it will get the Chinese to agree to a deal here.
GORANI: We shall see. Jeremy Diamond and Richard Quest, thanks very much. Let's talk more now about the trade war between the world's two largest
economies. We're joined by Ken Rogoff a former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, now a professor of economics at Harvard
University. Thanks for being with us. Donald Trump calls himself tariff man. What do you make of his strategy?
KEN ROGOFF, FORMER CHIEF ECONOMIST, INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND, PROFESSOR OF ECONOMICS AT HARVARD UNIVERSITY: It's like a Neanderthal man in how
he's approaching these trade talks. Had the deal as it was advertised gone through, I think it would have been historic. Forget the tariff part.
China was agreeing to intellectual property rights, not to continue insisting on forced transfer of IP. Had that happened, it would have
brought China into the fold in the global trading system. We always wondered would we be able to enforce it. I thought it would fall apart in
a year or two, but not before it actually got signed.
GORANI: But the President says it's China that backed down from agreements that they had reached. Is he right to say that?
ROGOFF: Well, we don't know, but that's certainly what the U.S. side is saying. I have to say a week or two ago when President Xi was saying China
will respect intellectual property rights. We will top subsidizing our state firms, we will worry about the climate more, I was somewhat
incredulous that he was saying all of that.
I wondered if we should believe it. Well, I think they decided they've gone a little too far, maybe it didn't look good. I think the Chinese plan
has always been to sort of agree to everything and quietly back down at the edges.
But evidently, they reached some impasse on the wording that they just couldn't get past. I don't know what will happen going forward. I suspect
they'll reach a deal. But Donald Trump felt if I back down, if I don't get this, I'm going to look bad. And that's why he's willing to take the pain.
GORANI: One of the things he's tweeted over and over again is the fact that by imposing tariffs, he's getting money into U.S. coffers. Obviously,
tariffs don't -- explain to us who ultimately pays for these tariffs, because this tweet from today reads, these massive payments go directly to
the Treasury of the U.S.
ROGOFF: Well, that's right. The question is who is making the payments. And I think most studies show it gets passed on and U.S. consumers are
paying for this. It's not being paid by the Chinese. It's just bluster. Don't ask me if he knows better. I have no idea. He's sort of maintaining
this tough bargaining position, how much of it is ignorance or facade, who knows.
GORANI: The U.S. economy is booming. It's undeniable the figures are good. The issues within equality and other problems that the economy is
facing hasn't been solved but the headline numbers are great. This trade war doesn't seem to be impacting the U.S. economy. Is this something that
lags far behind? Could this be detrimental.
ROGOFF: It's definitely detrimental, but it's harder for China. China depends on its export engine. Everybody is wondering, should I invest in
China, are they going to experience more of this? And although the European Union is quiet, they're not necessarily having that different of a
position than the United States. China already was somewhat shaky. This hurts China much more. The U.S. is much better positioned to take it.
[14:10:00] GORANI: And the world economy suffers as well. All of these trade disputes are hurting the smaller partners. For instance, Germany's
economy is doing OK. But they've been hurt a lot by some of these trade disputes. Other third countries as well outside of the U.S. and China
relationship are starting to feel the heat here.
ROGOFF: Absolutely. When you have the two titans in the room battling the waves, it hits everybody. It's brutal on some of the smaller countries
that specialize in areas. Now they don't know where they can export, import. They don't know what's next. And there's a fear in these tariffs
stick, President Trump is going to turn the gun pointed at the auto industry and then turn it at something else. Many of my academic friends
are asking me, is there actually going to be a trade war? I think not. But I'm less sure than I was 48 hours ago.
GORANI: What would the consequence of that be? If this goes off the rails, could we accidentally, for whatever reason, the President might not
want to back down, and this really, really turns into a proper trade war where the President goes even further, he imposes tariffs on hundreds,
billions more on Chinese imports of goods, what then for the world?
ROGOFF: Well, if it just stayed at that, I think it would cut growth a little bit. But the fear is that it starts going elsewhere and it
undermines confidence. A lot of global investment, hiring, depends on businesses being confident of what's going ongoing forward. A full-scale
trade war that starts spreading, if it gets turned on the European Union, they reciprocate, it would -- it could hit global growth and confidence
hard. We're not there yet. There's some point at which I think President Trump would get stared down. But we're not there. The U.S. economy is
GORANI: Yes. As we were discussing. A pleasure. Thanks so much for joining us on the program this evening.
Now, we're getting some details about a daring hostage operation. Two French soldiers were killed in this raid. The hostages were freed and all
alive. Melissa Bell has been following this story for us. Talk to us about this rescue operation. Sadly it ended in the deaths of two French
elite soldiers. How did it go down?
MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Hala. We've been hearing about the tributes to the two marines who lost their lives. These
two French hostages, two French teachers had disappeared on May the 1st. The French had been looking for them, they managed to catch up with where
they might be, but couldn't, as long as the convoy was moving at the hands of their hostage takers, as long as they run the movie simply couldn't
They explained it was a number of drones, helicopters were involved, Burkina Faso forces as well, but also American intelligence allowed them to
realize that this convoy was going to be coming to a stop. And that's when they got involved in this daring rescue leading to the death of these two
French marines. What they hadn't expected to find with were the two hostages, two Frenchman, two other hostages, one American, one South Korean
about who we know far less.
We know they've been rescued. They're both women and they were taken hostage 28 days ago. Other than that, we know very little. We're likely
to find out tomorrow. Emmanuel Macron will be there to welcome home the two French hostages. -- hostages and the South Korean woman. And at that
point I suspect we will get more details on precisely how the two other hostages became to be in the hands of this group.
We don't know a great deal about the hostage takers themselves. In this area of Africa I am thinking about northern Burkina Faso and also Mali
where the French believe that the hostage takers were taking these hostages, this is an area where a number of countries advice people not to
travel to that are known for the jihadist groups, some linked to the Islamic state. This is an unstable region.
[14:15:00] GORANI: And I find this remarkable. These two women who were rescued, the special forces did not know that there were two additional
hostages so that means the families and friends of these two women who for 28 days were probably sick with worry learned from one day to the next that
they'd been accidentally found during a raid designed to free two French hostages.
BELL: That's right. You can imagine for them what an extraordinary twist of fate, clearly the two French hostages had been actively being searched.
The French have a lot of special forces in the region. They have an ongoing military operation, they help a number of west African forces in
they're day-to-day activities. They're involved in numerous in terms of boots on the ground.
It was only once they got to the campsite where the hostage takers had taken these hostages, they discovered that they found much more than the
two hostages they were looking for. What an extraordinary stroke of good fortune that they should have been found in that group that the French
managed to get their hands on. And this is within the last few hours that their families would have been informed. Details about who precisely was
in the group have only emerged over the course of the day.
An extraordinary day for the families of all of those involved, the families of the French hostages of course have been paying tribute to the
men and women who were involved in that extraordinary rescue and of course sadly to the two men who lost their lives. There will be tributes planned
for them next week. Emmanuel Macron will be paying tribute to their courage next week here in Paris.
GORANI: And so certainly it will be well deserved this tribute to the two men who died rescuing four hostages. Thanks very much. Melissa Bell live
Speaking of the French President, he met with Mark Zuckerberg earlier today. The French government wants to be more involved and says Facebook
needs to be better regulated. That a view shared by one of the company's cofounders. You may read an op-ed he wrote in the "New York Times"
advocating for the breakup of Facebook, that it's been too powerful. He wants to go even further. He spoke with CNN earlier saying it's time for
regulators to step in. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HUGHES, COFOUNDER OF FACEBOOK: Mark himself has said that Facebook went too far, wasn't secure enough in the 2016 election. He's taken
responsibility for it. But the point is, one company and one person have this outsized power. 2.4 billion people on Facebook because Facebook owns
Instagram and WhatsApp. There's no accountability there. It's up to government to come in, break up the company and set this baseline of
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: It's happened to big companies in the past. Telecommunications companies have been broken up. It's not unprecedented, certainly these
days it sounds like a very novel idea.
Hundreds of child soldiers have been released in Nigeria. Their plight offers a harrowing look of using children in war and also the ongoing
conflict in parts of Nigeria. We'll be right back.
[14:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
GORANI: That should never go together. Nigeria has been grappling with the issue for years. And now the united nations says a militia has
released almost 900 children who were being used as soldiers. More than 100 of them little girls. You're seeing pictures of some of those freed
children at a ceremony.
They were recruited to fight in the northeast in the country against the terrorist group Boko Haram which is also guilty of recruiting child
soldiers. The release of the children is a step in the right direction but we don't know how many are left. David McKenzie has the very latest. How
did the release come about? This is not Boko Haram. This is a militia fighting Boko Haram using these kids.
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It shows you how children bear the brunt of this conflict no matter what side is involved. They come
from the CJTIF. As you say this very important step, some 900 young boys and girls released by the group after lengthy negotiations with UNICEF and
the government. They committed to doing this back in 2017. Late last year, they did release several hundred.
At this point they've released 1,700 girls and boys who really had no chance of a normal childhood thrust into the cauldron of conflict. For
many of them, they won't ever be the same again.
GORANI: How did they recruit these kids? How old were the youngest ones?
MCKENZIE: The youngest in this group that has been released was 13 years old, potentially some were younger. Not really kidnapping in this case.
They would have recruited in the communities, maybe there was pressure involved, but these communities are also extremely poor. In my experience
sometimes the children who can't make decisions for themselves voluntarily go or the adults pass them on because they can get some kind of stipend.
This was a stain on the reputation of those fighting in Boko Haram not least of the government who was involved in this. They have kidnapped
thousands of young girls and boys forced the girls into forced marriage and sexual savory and the worst, sending young girls into the communities as
suicide bombers. But all of the groups have been accused of abusing child rights and childhood in that area has been extinguished because of the
GORANI: Is there any government connection with this anti-Boko Haram militia?
MCKENZIE: Yes. They work closely with the government but they are not part of the government. Part of the reason these groups formed was they
started as vigilante groups when the soldiers weren't doing their jobs, trying to form barriers to stop Boko Haram from kidnapping the girls or
boys in their community and falling into the trap or going in the direction of recruiting child soldiers.
[14:25:00] Something we've seen not in Nigeria, but in Africa, in South Sudan, in the Congo. This is a problem that persists and UNICEF and
governments and pressure groups are trying to change because it really does break down the society and forgetting the impact it has on these individual
children who historically have even been sent out to kill. Hala?
GORANI: Thanks very much. It's a happy day, it's a happy day, but it of course is a happy day -- it's at the tail end of a tragic story of using
kids in conflict.
There has been another tragedy on the Mediterranean Sea this time off of the coast of Tunisia. Dozens have drowned. 16 people have been rescued.
The boat had set sail from Libya. The IOM says 443 people have died crossing the Mediterranean this year. More than 25,000 have attempted the
crossing. More than 25,000 have attempted the crossing.
In Venezuela, opposition lawmakers are being locked up or running to foreign embassies for protection. All signs that a new crackdown by the
Maduro government is under way. And now the U.S. has announced new sanctions against members of the country's defense and intelligence
sectors. It's a direct response. The Speaker was detained this week. There he is. Meanwhile National Assembly leader Juan Guaido is calling for
a new round of protests. Some supporters are now living in fear. Paula Newton spoke with the mother of one of the protestors who was forced to
flee the country all together.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: From hundreds of thousands of opposition protestors in the streets in January, to tens of thousands weeks later, to
just hundreds now. This is the Maduro government's definition of success.
ALFREDO ROMERO, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, FORO PENAL VENEZOLANO: The most important capital that the Maduro regime has is repression. There have
been -- I have to say it, there have been very effective use in political repression.
NEWTON: The World Watch says a stark message was sent to protestors. Maduro's forces will not tolerate dissent. Human rights activists say
they're being backed up by a police crackdown. Maria Eugenia Vargas, says police would not stop harassing her son, detaining him, warning him to
never take to the streets again.
Four times they came for him she says and the last time they told me, we'll come here to kill him if we ever see any trouble again. Fearing for his
life, he escaped Venezuela with just the shirt on his back hoping for asylum in another country. Heartbroken, she only speaks to him by phone.
The last time they had him, I kept thinking, don't kill him. Protestors aren't tired or hopeless, but scared.
Stories like his have been common in neighborhoods like this. The repression has been cunning. But in recent months it's become ever more
An elite SWAT force an elite well armed SWAT force have taken up residence in poor areas in recent weeks peering down even on commuters a reminder
they are watching. And President Nicolas Maduro has warned that civil unrest and traitors will not go unpunished. Justice will be served.
In the days following the failed opposition uprising we saw national police investigators follow up on his words, collecting evidence on protestors and
And human rights claim there's a revolving door of political prisoners who are tortured and interrogated.
ROMERO: Ask yourself if you're a poor person, you protest, you're being taken to that place, of course your neighbor, your friend, your family
member will never protest again.
NEWTON: At risk now, Juan Guaido's Operation Freedom, amid a fierce and growing crackdown. The opposition leader may lack the people power he says
he needs to overthrow Maduro.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Still to come tonight, U.S./China trade talks wrap again. No deal is signed. We'll speak with the former U.S. trade representative about
what he thinks will come next. And doctors said there was nothing they could do for this teenager. She was expected to die. But a new medical
breakthrough has given her a new lease on life. Stay with us for that story.
[14:30:53] HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: More now on our top story this hour. The growing trade dispute between the world's two top
economies. The latest round of U.S./China trade talks are over for today. They wrapped up a few hours ago with no agreement. In fact, the negotiator
has left the country.
The U.S. treasury though did call the talks constructive and, Liu He, the chief negotiator was also quoted as saying that the talks went pretty well.
Meantime, the U.S. president, Donald Trump, has more than doubled tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods and he is insisting that tariffs will make
America, quote, "much stronger."
Let's talk with Robert Holleyman, he's served as U.S. ambassador and deputy trade representative during the Obama administration. Thanks, ambassador,
for being with us.
So, what do you make of this strategy by the U.S. president to increase tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of Chinese goods in
order, I imagine, to pressure the Chinese side into making concessions he wants?
HOLLEYMAN: Well, the president has said for a long time he's a tariff guy and we know that he believes that the strategy with China is to put on high
What we recognize as well is that these tariffs are actually taxes. Those taxes are paid by U.S. consumers, U.S. businesses. To date, those have
been manageable in the U.S. because the economy in the U.S. is so strong.
But the challenge will be what happens with the retaliation and what happens if we add even more tariffs in ways that will hit the direct
pocketbooks of large numbers of Americans.
GORANI: So I was speaking with Ken Rogoff, the former chief economist at the IMF and he was saying, essentially, the first trade deal, as advertised
would have been pretty good.
I mean, the fact that China is now accepting the fact that it needs to acknowledge that it should respect intellectual property and other disputes
it's had with Western powers. Do you think this in the -- I mean, you have hope for this round of negotiations that we're going to get somewhere?
HOLLEYMAN: Well, I do think we're going to get somewhere. I think that both sides, U.S. and China, have an interest in getting a deal. That deal
may be several weeks off, if not several months, but I'm relatively confident we'll get a deal.
What I'm less confident in, though, is that China will make the fundamental changes in their state-planned economy that are also at the heart of what
the U.S. is seeking.
We should be seeking those things. But I think those are going to be the things where China resists until the bitter end. And my guess is there
ends up being some sort of detente on those issues, while their resolution on all sorts of others matters that may not be as tough.
GORANI: What would -- and you, of course, know about this better than almost anyone. What would China respond to here? I mean, they suffer more
economically from these tariffs than the U.S. does. U.S. is so far a larger economy, its economy is booming. What do you think would put
pressure on China?
[14:35:59] HOLLEYMAN: I think the pressure is already there. I mean, sort of not only are these tariffs there, but the eyes of the world are on China
to see if they are willing to take steps to play by the type of rules that other countries play by.
So I think the pressure is there. But I also think there are -- in all of these negotiations there are domestic challenges within China between their
reformers and their hard-liners.
Many of the things we're seeing play out. These negotiations are not unlike things that we saw in negotiations that we had in the Obama
administration. And so the questions is, what's ultimately a deal that both sides are willing to live that's a good deal for the U.S. and we
should be trying to get the very best deal possible, that these are long- term challenges from China.
But we could say that no one trade deal with the U.S. and China is going to solve all the long-term structural challenges that the U.S. needs to face
in dealing with China.
GORANI: Well, I don't need to tell you the president has been critical of the Obama administration and of its strategy with regards to China. How do
you respond to that, that the Obama administration was just too soft on China in these trade talks?
HOLLEYMAN: Well, we were certainly very tough in terms of negotiating bilateral investment trading and trying to provide incentives. But I think
the biggest differences is that we realized that the U.S. that we couldn't and shouldn't do it alone.
So the transpacific partnership agreement that the U.S. struck was a strong national security agreement to try to position us as the strongest force in
the Asia-Pacific. President Trump on his third day in office, pulled the U.S. out of it. So his strategy is simply to go head to head with China,
but without bringing in the kind of allies which is what we were trying to do in the Obama administration. And quite frankly with a considerable
degree of success.
HOLLEYMAN: Are you concerned, lastly, that this could accidentally become a full-blown trade war. And, by the way, country's -- third-party
countries, not caught in the middle here, including some European countries are suffering because of these trade tensions. Ultimately, that could lead
to really a global economic problem. Are you concerned that that could happen almost by accident?
HOLLEYMAN: No. While it could happen, I would say that my level of concern about that is actually quite low at this point. Because I do
believe that the U.S. and the Chinese negotiators, certainly Vice Premier Liu He, with whom I've dealt on many occasions, they both have an interest
in trying to reach a resolution and a deal.
And so I still believe that the probability is that that will be struck, that it will be of some limited duration. The challenges will long-term be
how does any deal get enforced and in that respect, the only thing we're likely to see is that the threat of high U.S. tariffs will be the perpetual
threat that the U.S. will have to use to enforce it, which keeps sort of a cloud hanging over this for a long time.
GORANI: Oh, and you've dealt personally with Liu He. What kind of person is he? What kind of negotiator is he? And how do you think it's going in
that room with Secretary Mnuchin?
HOLLEYMAN: Well, I -- look, I think with Secretary Mnuchin and Ambassador Lighthizer, I think that this is really a meeting of people who are equals
and they're extremely well qualified.
Vice Premier Liu He is exceptionally well versed. He does his homework. He speaks in the tone of a reformer. So they are actually sending their
best person to try to talk with Washington, because he seems very much that he's speaking the same language.
The challenge is a domestic one where there's huge protectionism and barriers and those are challenges that quite frankly are only ones that
President Xi Jinping can reach. But he himself is a good interlocking it with the U.S.
GORANI: Robert Holleyman, thanks very much for joining us. Really appreciate your time this evening.
HOLLEYMAN: Thank you very much.
GORANI: Well, the CNN investigation into the alleged persecution of Muslims in China has led us to Kazakhstan some have sought refuge there and
claimed they were tortured in detention camps in China.
Beijing denies it still. But even in this predominantly Muslim country, former prisoners say they still fear for their lives.
Matt Rivers has our story.
MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A tiny room Almaty, Kazakhstan packed wall to wall with desperate people. They all
have one thing in common.
RIVERS (on-camera): So, can you ask how many of these people have relatives that are being held by China and unable to leave for at least six
months? How about for a year? That's everybody.
[14:40:03] RIVERS (voice-over): This woman says she has not seen her daughter in a year and a half. This eight-year-old says she wants to tell
her parents she misses them
Everyone here has family members they say are being held in detention camps, not in Kazakhstan, but in a country that sits on its eastern border,
Kazakhs who are mostly Muslim have traveled back and forth across that border for decades. Some even live in China and are Chinese citizens. So
that's why so many Kazakhs have been caught up in what critics say is China's ongoing crackdown on Islam.
Over the past few years in the Western Chinese region of Xinjiang, the U.S. government says up to two million people, nearly all Muslim have been
placed in detention camps.
CNN got a rare look at some of these camps on a recent trip to Xinjiang. Inside, detainees have said torture and political indoctrination is
Critics say the camps are part of Beijing's attempt to eliminate Islam in China. But to speak to those who've been inside, you have to leave
Xinjiang and Almaty, Kazakhstan is the best place to go.
Just 200 miles from the Chinese border, Almaty is home to many ex-detainees like Kairat Samarhan.
KAIRAT SAMARHAN, EX-DETAINEE (through translator): Now, I hate China so much.
RIVERS: Samarhan is a Kazakhstan citizen but grew up in Xinjiang. On a trip to China in 2017, he says he was detained and put in a camp where he
was often forced to stand for 12 hours at a time, hands and feet shackled, chanting, long live Xi Jinping.
For China's president, he says he even tried to commit suicide. After four months, he was let out and allowed to return to Almaty. China's Foreign
Affairs Ministry told us they are unaware of this case.
Samarhan says his own government in Kazakhstan wants him quiet.
SAMARHAN: The state isn't helping us, it's trying to silence us because we are so in discord between both countries. I'm living in fear.
RIVERS: The Chinese government denies allegations of political indoctrination and torture. They called the camps, quote, "vocational
training centers," designed not to eliminate Islam, but Islamic extremism. But we found a former camp employee who says that is a lie.
SAYRAGUL SAUYTBAY, EX-CAMP EMPLOYEE (through translator): It's not true at all, because I saw it with my own eyes.
RIVERS: Sayragul Sauytbay says she taught the Chinese language to camp detainees in 2017.
Forced to work there by Chinese authorities. She eventually fled and has since accused the Chinese government of torturing camp detainees, something
China denies. She's now applying for political asylum in Kazakhstan, but as a Chinese citizen, she fears she could be deported.
SAUYTBAY: One day, someone knocked on the door and that person told my son that China is going to get your mother back soon. You'll be orphans.
RIVERS: And yet, Kazakhstan's government in charge of a predominantly Muslim country has not publicly condemned Beijing nor called for the camps
to close, and some say that's because of money.
RIVERS (on-camera): So China actually built a lot of this highway that we're driving on right now. It's part of the billions and billions of
dollars they've invested in Kazakhstan through their Built and Road Initiative.
RIVERS (voice-over): China is one of Kazakhstan's largest trading partners and critics say Kazakhstan's government can't afford to criticize Beijing.
We asked the Kazakhstan government if China had bought its silence on the issue of detention camps. They didn't reply.
But no matter the answer, people like these back at the tiny charity in Almaty have no confidence that the Kazakh government will convince China to
release their relatives from the camps. So, they turned to others.
RIVERS (on-camera): So it's kind of heartbreaking because what these people just said is that they think that we, CNN, can get their relatives
out of the camps. As if it's that simple.
RIVERS (voice-over): And now, even the small charity that helps them has become a target. Just hours after we shot this video, Serikzhan Bilash,
the group's founder was arrested by Kazakh police and charged with inciting ethnic hatred. He remains in prison.
The tape on the newly locked office doors says, quote, "Closed by order of police."
Matt Rivers, CNN, Almaty, Kazakhstan.
GORANI: Still to come tonight, one concerned parent says she warned a school district about violence months before two students opened fire at a
Colorado high school. Her message and the school's response is next.
[14:45:58] GORANI: Well, so often, we tell you stories of misery. So let's bring you something uplifting. I like doing that every once in a
while, especially on a Friday.
This is a story of hope and it is a remarkable medical breakthrough. Doctors have treated a gravely ill teenager with a genetically modified
virus, and that has helped saved her life.
Phil Black sat down with the patient and her doctors.
PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Meeting Isabelle Holdaway is a powerful lesson in courage.
BLACK (on-camera): Have you ever tried to add up how much time you actually spend in the hospital? There must be a lot.
ISABELLE HOLDAWAY, TREATED WITH GENETICALLY-MODIFIED VIRUS: I would reckon it's probably almost equal to the time I've spent at home.
BLACK (voice-over): Isabelle is 17. She's always lived with cystic fibrosis and long suffered from one of its common problems bacterial
infections in the lungs. That led to a lung transplant, but the bacteria returned, spread through her body, and started breaking through her skin.
JO HOLDAWAY, ISABELLE'S MOTHER: She was just sore. You couldn't touch her. She was just so frail. It was -- she was just on the brink the whole
HELEN SPENCER, DOCTOR, GREAT ORMOND STREET HOSPITAL: Our patient was in a really difficult clinical situation
BLACK: Despite all available anti-biotic treatment, it just couldn't be stopped. Doctors at London's Great Ormond Street hospital had run out of
SPENCER: At that point when we sent her home on passive care, we were expecting that she was going to die from her infection.
BLACK: Desperate for an alternative treatment, Isabelle's mom researched online and asked the hospital to consider phage therapy.
J. HOLDAWAY: Please. I think we're almost at the point of begging for somebody to find something.
BLACK: A phage is a virus like the flu, but crucially it infects and kills bacteria. Up close, it looks and behaves like something from a sci-fi
movie. The phage grabs on to bacterial cell, injecting its own DNA into the structure. That's where the phage copies itself and the new particles
eventually burst out, killing the bacteria.
Doctors have known about them for about a century, but therapeutic use of their bacteria-killing powers hasn't been widely studied. The hospital
turned to a phage expert.
Pittsburgh University's, Professor Graham Hatfull and his team, began experimenting with their stock of 15,000 different phages.
GRAHAM HATFIELD HATFULL, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH: It was quite labor-intensive. It took several months of extensive analysis, research
and doing genetic manipulations in the lab in order to get the types of phages that we thought would work well.
BLACK: The challenge was to find phages that target the specific bacteria infecting Isabelle. They narrowed it down to three. Back in London with
Isabelle's health deteriorating sharply, the results suddenly inspired hope.
SPENCER: We have this cocktail of phages that in the lab, when they looked at the dish, showed that the bacteria were killed. So for us at that
moment, we just wanted to push ahead and trying to get the treatment for her.
[14:50:02] BLACK: It took just three months from her mom's first conversation about phages for Isabelle to get her first dose. Her
condition changed even faster.
HOLDAWAY: It seemed to be almost overnight that things started to clear up and heal. It was just amazing.
BLACK: Isabelle's case could be hugely significant as doctors warned of a looming global crisis, the spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria.
HATFULL: We need to do the research, we need to build bodily information so we can understand why they just work for one patient and don't
necessarily work for another. And if we can understand that, I think we have an opportunity to (INAUDIBLE) this type of application.
BLACK: Isabelle isn't bacteria free yet, but her recovery has been extraordinary. A year ago she was sent home to die. Now, she's back at
school, learning to drive, planning a future, celebrating everyday things too easily taken for granted.
I. HOLDAWAY: Last year, I was in the hospital, I missed my sister's birthday. So this year, I made her a birthday cake.
BLACK: Determined scientists and doctors and experimental treatment, her family and the little laughter in the darkest times have together changed
and very possibly saved her life.
I. HOLDAWAY: There's a rainbow around every corner.
BLACK: Phil Black, CNN, Faversham, South East England.
GORANI: Well, I get the sense her attitude might have had just a little bit to do with her recovery. So happy for her.
We'll be right back with more on CNN. Stay with us.
GORANI: The teen suspects in the deadly shooting at that Colorado high school will appear in court next week to hear the charges against them.
Prosecutors say two students, one of them seen here, you could see there with the dyed strand of hair there, are charged with multiple counts
including murder for killing a classmate and wounding eight others on Tuesday.
Now, a concerned parent in the school district says she, in fact, warned administrators about bullying, stressed out students and violence months
ago. How did they respond? Scott McLean has the details. He's in Castle Rock, Colorado.
So this concerned parent said what, and what was the school's response?
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Hala. So, yes. This concerned parent that you're about to hear from, she says that she is the
one who sent in that complaint to the school district about what she called a pressure cooker environment for students at that school.
She wants to remain anonymous, but CNN has confirmed that she does, in fact, have a child who attends that school. She also knew a lot of details
about the allegations that had been made. And she speaks about kids who had a rigorous school routine, they were getting a little sleep, sometimes
acting out with aggressiveness, she talked about attempted suicides, teachers having to intervene in fights between students, and she says that
was worried that all of might build up to someone, are they getting seriously hurt or even killed. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It looked like to me that they were a potential for having another Arapahoe or Columbine shooting. And they are seriously
concerned about it. When you mix not reaching out, when you mix a pressure cooker environment where students are stressed out, and overworked, and
they don't get enough sleep, and they feel suicidal, or they feel aggressive towards one another, and they're not being disciplined for it.
[14:55:59] When you don't listen to parents' concerns, when you don't report teacher's concerns, when you don't give teachers the kind of
training that they need or the support that they need, those are the elements that we need for the perfect storm, for something like a columbine
or -- you know, some kind of imminent threat to our children's safety in this wall, whether it'd be a bomb, or an active shooter, or a suicide.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCLEAN: Now, this parent says that she believes the teachers at the school certainly were well-intentioned, but there was this culture of polarization
between school administrators and teachers and parents.
Now, as for the school's response, the executive director responded to CNN through a public relations forum saying that the school looked into these
allegations and couldn't find any evidence to support them. She wrote in a statement like any school with more than 1,800 students, we receive
complaints, all of which we take seriously and investigate promptly.
But, Hala, I should mention that after this complaint was filed, the school actually filed a defamation lawsuit against this parent whose identity they
don't actually know at this point. That statement from the school didn't actually address that lawsuit or why it was filed. The school district,
meanwhile, says that it was aware of that lawsuit when it was filed back in January, but they weren't involved. Hala.
GORANI: So, why does this concerned parent want to remain anonymous at this stage?
MCLEAN: Yes. So they are concerned about retaliation and you can understand that perhaps because of this defamation lawsuit. Again, we've
been trying to get answers from school administrators and from the school district as to why this was filed. I asked whether this was common,
whether there were any other cases. They said not that they're aware of. And so it is not every day that a school goes after a parent for
defamation. And so she is worried that perhaps there could be consequences for her -- there's no indication from the school that that's true. But,
again, beyond this defamation lawsuit, Hala.
GORANI: All right. Scott McLean, thanks very much, in Castle Rock, Colorado.
And as we mentioned there, there was a court appearance for one of the two suspects in this shooting that killed one and injured many, many others.
All right. A recap of our top story and these are the U.S., China trade talks that happened today in the United States. The chief Chinese trade
negotiator has left.
Although both Steve Mnuchin, the treasury secretary, and the chief negotiator for China, were quoted in saying that the talks had been, you
know, pretty constructive. So the hope is that perhaps the next time they meet that some sort of deal will be struck.
And you can see the Dow Jones there, perhaps, off the back of some of those reports that both men qualified the talks as having been productive that
there is some relief on the markets with the Dow Jones up a fifth of a percent.
But Richard Quest will have all the details on that after a quick break. I'm Hala Gorani. If it's your weekend, have a great one. I'll see you