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Coronavirus Outbreak; Trump Visits India; Harvey Weinstein Found Guilty on Two Counts ; American Passenger Finally Disembarks Cruise Ship; China Fires Back at CNN Report on Data Leak. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired February 25, 2020 - 00:00   ET




JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hello and welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm John Vause.

Coming up on CNN NEWSROOM, it's not a pandemic. But fear it will be sent global markets tumbling after the number of cases surges worldwide.

It has been style over substance but now with his trip to India coming to an end the U.S. president and Indian prime minister will meet to talk trade, tariffs and defense.

Harvey Weinstein is a rapist, no ifs, buts, allegedly. It is a fact. A New York jury says the moody big shot who preyed on young starlets and Hollywood royalty is a rapist.


VAUSE: The World Health Organization says the novel coronavirus which is spreading quickly beyond China has the potential to become a pandemic but it's not there yet. As the cases spike, stock markets around the world plunged on Monday. The Dow dropped more than 1,000 points, its worst day in two years.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also saw big losses. And the FTSE 100 had its worst day since early 2016. Markets are also slipping in Italy and South Korea, where the outbreak is also surging.

Italy has reported more than 220 cases; South Korea, almost 900, mostly in the southeast. But they're not taking any chances in Seoul. Parliament was closed Monday for disinfection.

Worldwide, there are now more than 80,000 cases and nearly 2,700 confirmed deaths. The vast majority are still in Mainland China. For the very latest, Paula Hancocks is in Seoul and Blake Essig is in Tokyo.

Blake, officials there are facing fallout for the way they handled the quarantine of that cruise ship.. BLAKE ESSIG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, the quarantine in general has been called into question for works now by infectious disease specialists. Residents here in Japan and countries all around the world. At least there is some good news now.

The crew members on board that ship for weeks, quarantine continuing to serve the passengers on board, are finally disembarking. We were able to obtain video of that disembarkation taking place right now. It's Filipino crew members who are disembarking the ship.

They are boarding buses, walking down the gangplank, finally after weeks of being on this virus ridden ship, essentially. They are getting off, boarding a plane to head back to the Philippines.

All those people that are disembarking have tested negative for the coronavirus. Princess Cruises did say they hope to have all crew members who have tested negative disembark by Thursday of this week.

As we talk about the fallout, that this was not a proper quarantine, the Japanese government has said it was not perfect. Recently, they emphasized the next one to three weeks, saying this is a crucial time to make sure they can prevent the further spread in Japan.

Several issues that took place as far as issues, 23 passengers did not receive a test during quarantine. They were tested prior to quarantine. They came into contact with somebody who tested positive or were showing symptoms themselves.

There was also a woman in her 60s, following quarantine protocol and within two as you say developed symptoms and since tested positive for coronavirus. These are situations that essentially have made the Japanese government reset their efforts.

They are now telling everyone in Japan not to gather in large or small groups, to try to prevent the spread of the coronavirus across the country.

VAUSE: Blake, thank you.

To Paula now. There's been a surge of countries like South Korea which has been driving this market selloff and in particular the one religious group that has made a bad situation worse.

What do you know?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. This group, Shincheonji, is a religious group that effectively accounts for more than half of the cases in the country at this point. There's almost 900 confirmed coronavirus cases and well over half can be linked to this one particular group.


HANCOCKS: Police have been trying to track down all of the members. We just heard recently the officials have admitted that the group has finally given all the names of their members. But critics have said that they are secretive, that they would be

withholding that kind of information and this is a race against time when it comes to trying to contain this kind of outbreak.

So they have come under a lot of criticism within this country. But have said they are the biggest victims of this. So it all centers around the southeast of the country, a city called Daegu, that has about 2.5 million people there, that is now undergoing a containment policy, according to officials. Not a lockdown but there will be quarantines put in place and they are making sure that the highest alert is in that particular area.

Then also a hospital south of that, which is when there was a funeral of the leader of this religious group, his brother -- and many came to that funeral and since then there have been a number of infections and deaths that have happened at that hospital.

So this religious group is really at the heart of the South Korean spike in these numbers -- John.

VAUSE: Paula Hancocks was live there in Seoul and Blake Essig in Tokyo, thanks to you both.

Ryan Patel is a senior fellow and he is live with us from Los Angeles.

So, Ryan, it's good to see you; for weeks, the markets especially in the U.S. seem to be underestimating the potential risk here from the coronavirus so now they found it has nothing to do with being from Mexico.

Is this an overreaction?

RYAN PATEL, GLOBAL BUSINESS EXECUTIVE: I feel like you and I talked about this two works ago, how they weren't reacting to it. And all of a sudden everyone is four days late to it. I didn't think they are reacting enough to what was going on.

When you and I were together, you said the last time we saw a 1,000- point deduction was two years ago. We were here in Los Angeles.

And what has changed?

This virus and days like this are not the same anymore. You feel like investors have been used to these up and down markets and understanding what the pandemic is.

But that is not why they are freaking out. They're freaking out because you see Apple and other companies starting to realize that they are not going to make a revenue stream this year. That is one.

And the markets did not move very much, so what is changing?

There is no end in sight right now to control the virus on something that has no vaccine for and can be moved in globalization, trade, all over the place. That means supply chains are going to get hit. People are not working in southeast Asia, even though there is a

demand for product, there is not anyone to fulfill that. And I think what I feel is the biggest underestimate here is, this economy as a whole will be down 1 percent or 2 percent.

Don't assume next year that everything is going to be two times much. Most companies budget, they're going to make this amount this year and another 5 percent this year. Well, that's not going to happen this way and the longer this goes, it doesn't add a day to the actual impact. It adds multiple days.

VAUSE: We have been down this road before, in 2006, 14 years ago, the Congressional Budget Office looked at the economic impact of an influenza pandemic. The bottom line conclusion was this.

"The overall impact of a potential flu pandemic on gross domestic product about 4.25 percent in the severe scenario, about 1 percent contraction in the mild scenario."

So 4.25 percent is still the garden variety economic contraction right. But this study like everything else is like the generals fighting the last war. It's based on past viral outbreaks and modeling that has nothing to do with the coronavirus, which is so different. So no one has a clue how bad this could get.

PATEL: Let me rephrase this: nobody has a clue, that's because we are so intertwined in the global economy. People can go across borders no matter what. And we have never been into something like this before.

What is really interesting; you see the stats and that's what you and I talked about, we saw that we were going to get to this day, what was going to have to be.

And then you look at economies that are not as sophisticated?

What happens when they get hit?

That takes a huge impact in the region. We've seen it in the past with crisis in Turkey, even in Italy, in Catalonia and Barcelona, that everybody does get affected, that's what's different from 2006.

VAUSE: Let's assume there'll be some economic contraction; central banks will just cut official interest rates. But the U.S. and Canada, there's some wiggle room. But Australia and Britain, nothing and Europe and Japan, they're giving the stuff away. But don't worry.


VAUSE: There's old-fashioned public spending but look at this. Mostly major economies already drowning in red ink.

So tell me this, what is the plan C?

PATEL: You're giving me no hope here, we are not painting a good picture. And plans, easy; governments are having to step in, they can't do the normal spend here, they have to really work together, kind of what China is doing. They have to create some kind of stimulus package but from where and what.

Is it from the infrastructure spending?

They're going to have to get creative and that is the key. There that is something that creativity for some of these governments to get ahead of this, because the best-case scenario is that this thing does get contained in a month or two. And then all of a sudden the economies go back.

But it needs a jolt. It's not just all of a sudden going to be OK and businesses need support.

And the fear, the second piece of this I have to talk about, there is a fear piece to the average consumer. You look at South Korea, the movie theaters, no one is going out, no one is spending. These things take a toll, you can't flip a switch. You've got to build the trust back that everything is OK.

And to anyone who is traveling or at home here, when do you know that time is ready to go?

VAUSE: Also the problem here is disruption to supply chains. If you look at Apple, they have a lot of production out of China. An interest rate cuts are not going to fix that problem.

On top of that, the reason why stocks have been falling is because you have a narrow number of tech companies, driving the markets for so long. they've taken a big hit right now, that is what is dragging them up and down in a big way.

PATEL: Exactly and what is in the places that loves, tech companies can survive the long term piece.

But what about the small businesses in southeast Asia, the ones that actually are supplying?

You look at Vietnam, now there's towers of all this construction of trying to hit this demand but there's no workers, what are the midsize companies doing?

They can't stick around and pay overhead, right. They go out of business and fold. That is the scary part of all of this, is that specific, when the demand comes back and the small businesses come out.

And when the big companies are actually telling you, John, they have been telling us over the last few weeks that this is a disruption, they are going to be affected and they've already come out in the earnings report, saying it is.

What about everybody else?

That, to me, it's going to be interesting to see how this plays out.

VAUSE: Maybe they will listen to us once, we will see what happens. It's always good to see you.

Just moments ago, the U.S. president laid a wreath to Mahatma Gandhi. So much of the state visit has been ceremonial. President Trump arrived in the official residence of the Indian president a short time ago and will get down to business with the prime minister, where they are expected to talk trade.

These are live images and Sam Kiley is live with us once again.

So Sam, you talk about this is the business end of the trip, he has 12 hours left or so in India before he boards Air Force One.

What can you get done in that period of time?

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think continuing to build a relationship. Oddly enough ahead of this trip to Donald Trump played down ambitions that there would be some sudden breakthrough in terms of trade talks with India during this trip. He has repeated that yesterday, saying that he hopes that a good or great result in terms of a trade deal could be achieved.

But he said before the trip that this would come after the November elections because he is assuming he will be back in the White House after those elections. Nonetheless, there is an enormous amount of goodwill between these two leaders but there is and he kept making this point that he is a tough customer. He's a difficult man to negotiate with.

And that said, there is a big delegation coming from the White House, with a lot of high powered members of the Trump administration and cabinet, intending to help drive that through or build the bridges and the basis for what could be a significant trade deal, even if it has to come after November.

You will recall that the Indians lost their favored trading nation status under the Trump administration due to a trade imbalance, very much in favor of India. India remains or the U.S. remains India's biggest export partner and therefore this is of great importance indeed to the Indian economy, which has been faltering.


KILEY: Narendra Modi has returned, continued in power, having won last year's legislative elections. But he needs some economic boost to his reputation if he wants to hang on and every sign that he does want to do that for many years to come, John.

VAUSE: In many ways, this has been Donald Trump's dream, when he goes to countries he's not the most popular man. But this time there have literally been tens of thousands of real life, not imaginary, supporters turning out to cheer.

KILEY: No question. If you compare his visit here to his visit to a place like the U.K., there is no Trump baby blimp, there are not concerns about him being, having rotten eggs thrown at him as he traversed through the capital city, none of that concern, maybe because he's more popular in India than in the United States, according to opinion polls in terms of international affairs from the Indian perspective, right between 53 and 56 percent, numbers he will be delighted within a presidential election year, back home.

He has attached himself very closely to Narendra Modi, perhaps knowing that, for all the criticisms of Mr. Modi, he remains a very skilled politician and riding a Hindu nationalist wave, arguably causing that wave and then riding it here in India, there is a sense of populist brotherhood between the two leaders.

And that -- a degree of that stardust rubs off on Mr. Trump here. He's also drawing cheers from the crowd of at least 100,000 in that stadium, outlining the achievements of India, both social and economic, even military.

But insisting also and driving home a point that is very welcome for Indians to hear, that this is the world's biggest democracy and has done all this in a state of freedom, not oppression.

VAUSE: We should note just polluted data in the Indian capital, one of the issues to deal with. But that's an extraordinary day for the president and we appreciate you being with us, will check in with you next hour.

A short break here. When we come back, a jury has convicted Harvey Weinstein of rape. But after the verdict, the movie mogul did not go to jail but actually to the hospital and will tell you why.





VAUSE: A 29 year old man in Germany is in custody after driving into a parade on Monday. Eyewitnesses said he rammed his Mercedes into the crowd, at least 30 people were injured. A bystander told police he saw people, including small children, lying on the walkway after the attack.

The driver is a German citizen and has been treated for his injuries and will be brought before a judge when he is fit for questioning. Police have not revealed a motive for the attack.

It has been hailed as a landmark moment in the #MeToo movement. A jury in New York has found the movie mogul Harvey Weinstein guilty of two sex crimes charges. After the verdict his attorney said he had chest pains and heart palpitations and spent Monday night in Bellevue Hospital but then it's off to Rikers Island jail. For more, here's CNN's Erica Hill.


ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Harvey Weinstein, once one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, now a convicted rapist.

CYRUS VANCE JR., MANHATTAN DA: Weinstein, with his manipulation, his resources, his attorneys, his publicists and his spies did everything he could to silence the survivors. But they refused to be silenced, they spoke from their hearts and they were heard.

HILL (voice-over): At least 100 women have now publicly accused Weinstein of actions from unwanted sexual advances to rape. He has denied all allegations of nonconsensual sex. Six of those women testified over the past month.

On Monday, a Manhattan jury found Weinstein guilty on two counts, committing a criminal sex act and third degree rape. Charges based on testimony from Miriam Haley and Jessica Mann. Haley told the court Weinstein forced her into a sex act in 2006, while Mann testified he raped her in 2013 during an abusive relationship.

The 67 year old was acquitted on more serious charges of predatory sexual assault against both women and first degree rape against Mann. Immediately taken into custody, Weinstein faces five to 25 years in prison for the criminal sex act charge and a maximum of four years for the rape charge.

Ashley Judd, who accused Weinstein of sexual harassment in a bombshell "New York Times" story published more than two years ago, tweeted that, "For the women who testified in this case and walked through traumatic hell, you did a public service to girls and women everywhere, thank you,"

"Gratitude to the brave women who testified and the jury for seeing through the dirty tactics of the defense," wrote Rosanna Arquette. Arquette publicly accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct in a separate story for "The New Yorker," written by Ronan Farrow.

In response to the verdict, Farrow lauded the many women who came forward at, quote, "great personal cost and risk. Please keep those women in your thoughts today," he wrote.

Weinstein's attorneys, who plans to appeal, tell CNN they don't think he could get a fair trial, in part because of the intense media coverage. They also believe the DA wanted to make an example of him.

DONNA ROTUNNO, WEINSTEIN ATTORNEY: The district attorney's office wanted to shame Mr. Weinstein and they wanted to get him on all counts.

DAMON CHERONIS, WEINSTEIN ATTORNEY: I think, clearly, throughout the course of this trial, through the cross-examinations and the evidence we have put forward, there was a reasonable doubt, a grave reasonable doubt as to whether or not these crimes were proven.

HILL (voice-over): Erica Hill, CNN, New York.


VAUSE: CNN legal analyst Areva Martin is with us now from Los Angeles.

Areva, Harvey Weinstein is a rapist, it's official.

Why do you think the jury decided he was not guilty on the most serious of those charges?

AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: The serious charges that he was found not guilty were enhancement (ph) charges, so, essentially, if the jurors found that he was guilty on the lesser charges, they could look to the testimony -- say, for instance of Ms. Sciorra -- to determine if he did rape her or if they found beyond reasonable doubt that she had been raped by Harvey Weinstein.

They could use that rape to then escalate the charges and find him guilty of the predatory charges. And there was some question about her testimony. She could not remember the exact date or other key details of the rape that she said occurred with respect to her.

So the jurors were not certain of that and we're not sure if they totally rejected the testimony or just couldn't reach consensus about the believability.


MARTIN: But in any event, they did not need that testimony to find them guilty on a very serious rape charge and a very serious assault charge, which as the piece indicates, carries up to 25 years. And we shouldn't forget this is not the end, this is the beginning in some ways for the legal trouble that Harvey Weinstein finds himself in.

VAUSE: Oh, yes. This is just the start. But I want you to listen to what Weinstein's defense attorney said to CNN after the verdict came in.


ROTUNNO: First of, all Harvey Weinstein was not the only game in town. Second of all, there were other careers that you can find and paths that you can go down and not put yourself in situations.

At some point if you are saying I want this career and I'm willing to do whatever I need to do to have that career, then at some point, that is a choice that you are making.


VAUSE: Wow. That seems like victim shaming and blaming.

MARTIN: And the jurors told that defense attorney where could she go with that outdated argument. They voiced their beliefs about that argument by convicting him of rape.

That is absolutely ridiculous; you make a choice to go on a date with someone; you make a choice to go to someone's hotel room. You may even make a choice to kiss someone. That is not the same as consenting to sexual intercourse or sexual relations with that person. At any given moment in time, you have the right to say no and no should mean and does mean no. So any argument that women somehow put themselves in tenable positions by opening their hotel rooms or going to a man's apartment, those are just antiquated notions and there is no place in our criminal justice system for that kind of thinking.

VAUSE: As they say, you're often judged by the company you keep and Bill Cosby's spokesman, I kid you not, has come to Weinstein's defense, posting this on Instagram.

"There is no way you would have anyone believe that Mr. Weinstein is going to receive a fair and impartial trial. Here's the question that should haunt all Americans, especially wealthy and famous men.

"Where do we go to in this country to find fairness and impartiality in a judicial system and where do we go to find due process?"

The discrimination against rich, wealthy men in the United States is a travesty. It's a travesty.

MARTIN: Yes, I think we need a whole category for those men to seek some kind of redress.

The reality is, I would not expect anything less from Bill Cosby's spokesperson, unfortunately. This is what happened when rich and powerful men are held accountable. And that is what today was, it was a reckoning.

This prosecutor and the prosecutorial team sent a loud and clear message that it does not matter what your wealth status is or your power base may be. But if you engage in this kind of predatory conduct, you will be held accountable.

This was a victory for so many victims, John, victims who have suffered in silence, afraid to come forward, afraid to lose their jobs, afraid of being humiliated and ashamed. Now, I think those women have some solace, they can at least believe that they will be believed and that their cases will be taken seriously.

VAUSE: You bring that point up, because there has been a variety of reactions. For example, this tweet from the Oscar winner Mira Sorvino.

"The beginning of justice, more to come, my sisters. #WeinsteinGuilty."

While the creator of the #MeToo movement, Tarana Burke said this.


TARANA BURKE, #METOO FOUNDER: It's hard to call it a triumph. I think it is important and symbolic. But a triumph would be a real examination of how we get a Harvey Weinstein.


VAUSE: Where do you stand on this? Do you see this as a triumph or the beginning?

MARTIN: I understand what Tarana is, saying and she is saying that we need to get to the root cause.

What allows someone like -- what is the process by which someone like Harvey Weinstein could exist and be engaged in this kind of conduct and in plain sight?

It took years and investigative journalism took brave victims to tell their story, you have to talk about all of the lawyers and agents and non-disclosure agreements, all things in the system that kept this kind of conduct secret for so long.

And some of that was revealed during this trial. We saw that Harvey Weinstein used publicists, these very aggressive tactics to shame and silence his victims. So I do agree that this is in many ways the beginning of something much larger in terms of how we keep women safe.

VAUSE: I feel that we're out of time, Areva. We've been talking for so many years and now Harvey Weinstein is a rapist and it's official. So, Areva, thank you so much. It's great to see you.

MARTIN: Thanks, John.

Well, they may be in the same city but they feel worlds apart. Why a couple driven apart by the coronavirus don't know when they will see each other again.

JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Thanks for staying with us, everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause with the headlines this hour.


President Trump is on a state visit to India where just moments ago he laid a wreath at the memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. Earlier, he arrived at the official residence of the Indian president. Next hour, he'll meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi for talks which are expected to focus mostly on trade.

A jury in New York has found movie mogul Harvey Weinstein guilty of two sex crimes: a criminal sex act in the third degree and rape in the third degree. After the verdict, he was taken to hospital. His lawyer says he was suffering chest pains and heart palpitations. Weinstein faces a minimum of five years in prison.

And the World Health Organization says the novel coronavirus is not a pandemic but has the potential to become one. The outbreak is spreading rapidly beyond China, with hundreds of cases reported in Italy and South Korea.

It's also rattling world stock markets. The Dow dropped more than 1,000 points on Monday.

Meantime, an American who was a passenger on the Diamond Princess cruise ship was finally allowed to disembark, but his wife, who tested positive for the virus, is still in a Japanese hospital.

CNN's Will Ripley talked to them both.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Roaming the halls of a ghost ship. The quarantined Diamond Princess is nearly empty Saturday, when American Kent Frasure is allowed to disembark.

KENT FRASURE, PASSENGER ON DIAMOND PRINCESS: I feel like the lost passenger at times.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's your number?

K. FRASURE: C-409.

RIPLEY: Seven hours of waiting.


RIPLEY: Japanese health authorities finally process his paperwork.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you are not suspicious you are negative?

RIPLEY: First, he's told he's going to a new quarantine. Then plans change. It's a Tokyo hotel.

They give him this letter, saying he poses no risk of infection of novel coronavirus. He steps foot on dry land for the first time in weeks on a rainy, cold, windy Saturday night.

K. FRASURE: Nightmare's over. Really hope Rebecca gets out.

RIPLEY: Kent's wife, Rebecca Frasure, tested positive for the virus more than two weeks ago. Follow-up tests have also come back positive. She's under quarantine in a Tokyo hospital.

The next morning, he's on his way to visit, making a pit stop at the local Kambini (ph), a Japanese convenience store.

(on camera): And then you've got boneless fried chicken here.

(voice-over): Stocking up on Rebecca's favorite stacks.

(on camera): It's like Christmas.

K. FRASURE: I know.

RIPLEY: Christmas in February.

(voice-over): He's allowed into the hospital to drop off his delivery.

K. FRASURE: Thank you.

RIPLEY: But this is as far as he can go. Rebecca's room is sealed off. So like Romeo and Juliet, he finds his way to her window. REBECCA FRASURE, DIAMOND PRINCESS PASSENGER: I can see you.

K. FRASURE: I know.


R. FRASURE: You're alive.

K. FRASURE: Hopefully, you get out soon.

RIPLEY: It's the longest they've ever been apart.

R. FRASURE: How was your first night in freedom?

K. FRASURE: It was nice. Yes. Had a hamburger. And --

R. FRASURE: And it's so good. It's like spicy. Delicious.

RIPLEY: Rebecca hopes to join her husband in his Tokyo hotel before they both go home to Oregon, but first she must test negative twice. Each test 24 hours apart.

Rebecca continues showing no symptoms of the virus. Kent also tested negative twice earlier this month. He gives daily updates to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

K. FRASURE: So 37.7. That's about what I've been running, so I have to send these twice a day.

RIPLEY: His temperature is 99.9 degrees Fahrenheit, slightly above normal.

After we finished shooting, Kent sees a news report. He's shaken. The Japanese government says 23 people disembarked from the cruise ship without being retested for the virus.

K. FRASURE: I'm not one of those 23, but I also wasn't tested right before coming off the ship.

RIPLEY: He says his last throat swathe was February 8, more than two weeks ago. Two weeks of sitting in the cabin he shared with Rebecca. Kent's left second-guessing, wondering if he's putting other people's health at risk.

K. FRASURE: I don't have any symptoms or anything, don't have a fever. But neither does my wife.

RIPLEY: He contacted the CDC immediately and got this email, telling him to take keep taking the usual precautions: limit contact with others, cover his coughs and sneezes, regular hand washing, monitor his symptoms.

K. FRASURE: So I just wonder how many folks out there are in the same situation as me.

RIPLEY: Let go and free to roam around Tokyo. (on camera): What's your impression overall of how the Japanese

government has handled this?

K. FRASURE: Completely unprepared.

RIPLEY (voice-over): Now he's left to worry, and wonder, what's next? When will this all be over? When will they finally go home?

Will Ripley, CNN, Tokyo.


VAUSE: Well, officials in Beijing are pushing back on a CNN report about intense government surveillance of hundreds of Uyghur families, and tenuous reasons for putting them in detention camps in the country's north. China calls those camps vocational training facilities for the Muslim Uyghurs. The U.S. calls them concentration camps.

As CNN's Ivan Watson reports, China denies all of this, even presenting a former detainee, who now apparently has seen the error of his ways.


IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Officials in China have taken issue with a report by CNN and around a dozen other news organizations about leaked documents that appear to show the surveillance and roundup of minority Muslims in China's western Xinjiang region.

In a press briefing on Saturday, a Chinese official insisted that most of the 311 people who were listed on the document as having been sent to internment camps were actually living and working normally in society.

One man at the briefing said he was sent to what the Chinese government calls a vocational training center and says it fixed him. It's unclear whether the man was speaking under duress.

MAIMATI YOUNUSI, RESIDENT OF MOYU COUNTY (through translator): My mind used to be filled with religious extremist thoughts. Not only did I not earn a living for my family, I also believed it was against Muslim practices for women to earn money. So I prohibited my wife from working outside.

After studying at the education and training center, I learned Mandarin, as well as laws and regulations. I also learned the knowledge about business management.

WATSON: The U.S. government accuses China of rounding up around 2 million Muslims and sending them to what they've called modern-day concentration camps.

After initially denying there was a mass internment program, Chinese officials eventually admitted the existence of what they call vocational training in Xinjiang, aimed at stamping out the threat of religious extremism.

CNN has interviewed survivors of some of these facilities, who say they were held in crowded, prison-like conditions and subjected to torture.

The leaked document from Xinjiang in CNN's report last week appeared to show detailed government surveillance of at least 311 families in one county and very arbitrary reasons for sending people into detention, such as for having a beard, or holding a passport without traveling internationally.

CNN spoke to relatives living abroad who confirmed the authenticity of the details of at least eight of the families listed in the leaked document.

CNN also sent detailed questions to the Chinese foreign ministry and the Xinjiang regional government, but the government still hasn't answered those questions.


Amid the crackdown and censorship in this part of China, it's very hard to confirm anything independently. CNN's Matt Rivers recently traveled to report in Xinjiang but was routinely harassed and blocked from moving freely by Chinese security forces.

China's foreign minister recently called reports of the mass detention of Muslims in Xinjiang fake news.

Ivan Watson, CNN.


VAUSE: So a break. A lot more news in just a moment. You're watching CNN.


VAUSE: In Los Angeles, thousands gathered on Monday to celebrate the life of a legend, Kobe Bryant. He died in a helicopter crash last month, along with his daughter, Gianna, and seven others.



VANESSA BRYANT, KOBE'S WIFE: God knew they couldn't be on this earth without each other. He had to bring them home to have them together. Babe, you take care of our Gigi, and I got Nani, Bibi and Coco. We're still the best team. We love you both and miss you, forever and always, Mommy.

MICHAEL JORDAN, FORMER NBA PLAYER: He used to call me, text me, 11:30, 2:30, 3 a.m. in the morning. We talked about business. We talked about family. We talked about everything. He was just trying to be a better person. Now he's got me. I'll have to look at another crying meme for the next --

(MUSIC: "Ave Maria")

SHAQUILLE O'NEAL, FORMER NBA PLAYER: The day Kobe gained my respect was the guys were complaining, said, Shaq, Kobe's not passing the ball.

I said, I'll talk to him. I said, Kobe, there's no "I" in team.

And Kobe said, I know, but there's a "M-E" in that (UNINTELLIGIBLE).


VAUSE: Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause. WORLD SPORT starts after the break.