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ICC To Seek Warrants Against Russians Over Alleged Ukraine War Crimes; Biden Makes An AUKUS Submarine Deal In The Effort To Counter China; Bank Stocks Continued To Fall Despite President Biden's Assurances; Extreme Weather; Biden Admin Approves Willow Oil Project in Alaska; Migrants Attempt Mass Crossing into U.S.; Host Gary Lineker Returning Amid Impartiality Row; India's Supreme Court To Hear Landmark Case Next Month; Cyber Scam Traffickers Targeting Professionals Across Asia. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired March 14, 2023 - 01:00   ET




JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: And here on CNN Newsroom, wanted for war crimes in Ukraine. The International Criminal Court expected issued its first arrest warrants for Russian officials. Sealed with a fleet of new nuclear submarines, the U.S. the U.K. and Australia announced what the new AUKUS security lines will actually deliver. And baking stocks continue to be hammered despite guarantees by the U.S. regulators on all deposits regardless of limit, held by the now failed Silicon Valley Bank.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: live from CNN Center, this is CNN Newsroom with John Vause.

VAUSE: For more than a year, Russian forces appear to have committed countless unspeakable atrocities in Ukraine, from torture and rape to mass executions of innocent men, women and children. Putin's war machine has targeted civilian infrastructure, a deliberate effort to deprive Ukrainians of the basic essentials like electricity and running water to try and break their resolve.

And now after a year is some of the lowest most despicable crimes allegedly authorized from the highest of levels. Russian officials may be facing charges of war crimes. The Reuters news agency and the New York Times reporting the International Criminal Court is planning to open two cases and issue arrest warrants for a number of people.

One case will focus on Russia's unrelenting attacks on civilian infrastructure, including power stations and water supplies. The ICCs chief prosecutor Karim Khan, recently visited Ukraine to meet with President Vladimir Zelenskyy and see the extent of the damage firsthand.

The second case will focus on the abduction of hundreds of Ukrainian children take into reeducation camps spread out across Russia. The ICC investigations were open soon after the war began. Around the same time Ukrainian prosecutors began collecting their own evidence of atrocities committed by Russian soldiers. Regional authorities in Ukraine have reportedly registered more than 65,000 Russian war crimes over the past year. Here's CNN's Ivan Watson.


IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): A senior Ukrainian official tells CNN that the Ukrainian government has been pushing the International Criminal Court for some time to open criminal investigations against Russians accused of committing war crimes in this country since the invasion of Ukraine a bit more than a year ago and that they want the prosecution's to go all the way to the top to no less than Russian President Vladimir Putin who of course ordered that invasion in the first place.

The New York Times and Reuters had been reporting that the ICC is on the verge of opening cases issuing arrest warrants on two separate fronts for the alleged abduction of Ukrainian children, and secondly, for the targeting of Ukrainian infrastructure. We saw just last week, an enormous salvo of Russian missiles targeting Ukrainian power plants across the country for example.

In the meantime, the fighting along the long and bloody front line between the two militaries continues with much some of the most intense fighting taking place, as it has been for months around the southeastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut and that is where Ukrainian commanders say there is close quarters combat between both sides at distances of 10 perhaps 50 meters with Ukrainians trying to flush Russian troops out of trenches.

We're hearing from both sides of the conflict, but some of the fighting is now focused around a metallurgical plant in the city called Azom with one Kremlin military blogger claiming that Russian Wagner mercenaries have taken the battle underground into mining tunnels beneath that industrial area.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian sources saying insisting claiming that they're still in control of that area. And we're also hearing of daily casualties among civilians due to the incredible amount of artillery flying in both directions, more civilians dying every day on both sides of the front line in a war with no end in sight. Ivan Watson, CNN in eastern Ukraine.


VAUSE: For the past few months, this war has been notable for a frontline which has barely moved, any progress by either side has been incremental at best. But in the city Kupiansk in the east, there's an urgent effort to evacuate civilians. Hundreds are refusing to leave this city, which Ukrainian forces took back just months ago during a counter offensive. CNN's Melissa Bell has more.


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): This is what the war has left with Kupiansk, a city in eastern Ukraine that the frontline has never strayed far from. The police called by a civilian who found this, a cache of Russian ammunition. Six months after they were driven out, Russian forces now less than five miles away.

You here those explosions, says the police chief, those rockets flying towards the civilian population. People here are suffering.

Yet, overcoming the human instinct to, Lubyan (ph) and her husband refused to leave. Artillery destroyed their neighbor's house a month ago narrowly missing them.

BELL (on camera): That noise. That noise.

BELL: (voiceover): The worst she explains is at night so she and her husband hold hands. It keeps them safe. This is their home she says not the Russians. Besides she says it's getting warmer now with the rainwater they're collecting buckets, they will survive.

Kupiansk was one of the most strategic wins of Ukraine's full counter offensives, but at huge cost. Now with Russian forces closing in again, civilians are being evacuated to safer parts. Residents leaving Kupiansk and its neighboring villages with not much more than their keys, a heavy heart and the hope they will return.

Those left surviving as best they can. A city of around 27,000 now reduced to two and a half thousands, according to local police.

BELL (on camera): It's because the main market and the center of Kupiansk has been entirely destroyed that this makeshift one has been created. The last couple of days we're hearing have been a little bit quieter. And that's why people here are selling what they can while they can.

BELL (voiceover): Of course we're afraid says Lida (ph), who says she now knows the sound of artillery, both outgoing and incoming. We won't go anywhere, she explains. We're not rats. We won't abandon our city. If we do, who will take over? The last civilians of Kupiansk determined like some of its buildings not to be blown away by the shifting winds of this brutal war. Melissa Bell, CNN, Kupiansk.


VAUSE: According to an update to Britain's Foreign Policy Framework, Russia remains the most acute threat to the UK. But it also says China as quote poses an epoch defining challenge to the type of international order we as in the U.K. wants to see. The security challenges posed by both countries have the U.K. wrapping up its defense budget by $6 billion Max Boot from the Washington Post and the Council on Foreign Relations weighed in on this.


MAX BOOT, COLUMNIST, THE WASHINGTON POST: There's no question that China is a threat to the entire international order of which the U.K. is certainly a prominent part. I mean, all you have to do is think about what would happen if Xi Jinping were to try to take back Taiwan by force. And of course, Taiwan is the source of most of the advanced semiconductors on which the U.S. economy, the British economy, a lot of other economies they all depend on Taiwan. So we can't see that in danger, just looking purely at the economics of it beyond the larger political and geopolitical question.

So, you know, I think it's fair to say that Russia is the most immediate threat and certainly, for the U.K., being in Europe, Russia is the neighborhood threat. But China is a much more powerful country in the long term and a larger threat in the long run, I think to the international order.


VAUSE: It's been a busy week in southern Beijing, a big political gathering of Communist Party officials has just wrapped. There's been the role of mediator in the Middle East, so building stronger ties with international pariah (ph) Russia, all the while taking some swipes at the United States. CNN's Selina Wang has details.


SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): Chinese leader Xi Jinping vows to build the country's military into a great wall of steel in his first speech of his unprecedented third term as president, with the biggest applause from the rubber stamp Parliament came after Xi repeated the pledge to reunite Taiwan with the motherland.

It marks the end of a week long political meeting that saw Xi further consolidate his power and drive home how China needs to fortify itself against America's campaign to contain the country.

Less than a day after his speech, U.S. President Joe Biden hosting British and Australian leaders to discuss details of the new AUKUS defense pact that seen as a bid to counter China in the Pacific.

China's new foreign minister Qin Gang has accused Washington of plotting an Asia Pacific version of needle and called America's China's strategy a reckless gamble.


But Li Qiang tried striking a more conciliatory tone in his first press conference as Premier. China's number two official. Li said U.S. and China decoupling is hype, pointing out that trade between the two countries reached a record high last year. One of Xi's most trusted proteges, Li is the former Shanghai party boss that oversaw the city's brutal two-month COVID lockdown last spring.

He tried downplaying Beijing's crackdown on tech and private businesses, calling on officials to support private sector growth. But Li steps into premiership with a tough road ahead. The economy still battered after three years of tough COVID restrictions, U.S. sanctions and deteriorating diplomatic relations with the West. But China's economic and political powers are growing elsewhere. Beijing hosted talks between Saudi Arabia and Iran that led to a breakthrough, the two nations agreed to bury the hatchet and restore ties. It's a geopolitical world amid growing concerns about Beijing's deepening ties with Russia and refusal to call the conflict in Ukraine and invasion.

ALFRED WU, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, LEE KAUN YEW SCHOOL OF PUBLIC POLICY: Xi Jinping make it very clear that he wants to restore China's position. China will play a leadership role in the international arena. I will say that Xi Jinping tried to learn from Putin to consolidate his power. So he see Russia and also Putin's leadership at a lower model. Their relationship is too deep.

WANG: But Beijing is trying to use that relationship to build the narrative that Xi Jinping is a global problem solver, one who calls the shots at home and abroad. Selina Wang, CNN, Beijing.


VAUSE: A closer look now at that Australian, U.S. and U.K. plan for a new Indo Pacific submarine fleet. The three AUKUS leaders met in San Diego, Monday, announcing details of a deal which we'll see a study again its first nuclear powered subs.

The long term through a partnership is meant to deter Chinese ambitions and aggression in the region. U.S. president stressed the agreement will not produce any nuclear armed subs, only nuclear powered ones. CNN's Kristie Lu Stout with us live the entire shot in Hong Kong. Nuclear powered versus nuclear armed is that a distinction without a difference as far as Beijing is concerned?

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, that is a distinction that the AUKUS leaders keep making but is China listening. We are still awaiting fresh reaction from Beijing. We'll be monitoring the Ministry of Foreign Affairs briefing when it takes place at around 3:00 pm local time. But China already has repeatedly expressed its firm objection to this AUKUS submarine deal which is widely seen as a bid to counter China and its military ambition in the Pacific.

Now, the leaders of U.S., U.K. and Australia, they revealed this very ambitious plan for a new fleet of advanced nuclear powered submarines. And under this plan, we've learned that Australia will be receiving at least three advanced nuclear powered submarine. We know that in the first batch, it will receive three American Virginia class attack submarines this will take place at the beginning of the next decade. And then a decade after that that will be followed by British design submarines that contain American technology. And then the Australians will be able to use that design to manufacture their own advanced submarines and they will be manufactured in the Australian city of Adelaide.

Now in the meantime, we also learned that American submarines like the USS Missouri will be able to rotate through Australian ports. And we heard from the Australian Prime Minister earlier who commented on the historic nature of this deal. Take a listen. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANTHONY ALBANESE, AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER: The AUKUS agreement we confirm here in San Diego represents the biggest single investment in Australia's defense capability in all our history.


LU STOUT: AUKUS officials pointed out that these advanced submarines will not carry nuclear weapons. China continues to reiterate its firm opposition to the deal. This is what we heard from Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson on Thursday morning Mao Ning who said this, we urge the U.S., U.K. and Australia to abandon the Cold War and zero sum game mentality faithfully fulfill their international obligations and engage in efforts conducive to peace and stability in the region. Unquote.

This deal is likely to inflame further tensions with China. Australia says that it is offered China a briefing to discuss this deal. And U.S. President Joe Biden he was asked the question whether he was worried about China's response if China would see this as an act of aggression. And John, you know the response to that for his Biden said no. Back to you.

VAUSE: He was pretty blunt about that wasn't he didn't mince words at all is simple no.


VAUSE: Kristie, thank you. Kristie Lu Stout for the entire life out there. Thank you.


VAUSE: We'll take a short break when we come back, have U.S. regulators contain the fallout from the collapse of two major banks, or is there still risk of contagion? Later this hour, the BBC facing uproar over the impartiality or lack thereof of its football commentators as Gary Lineker will soon return to the air.


VAUSE: Confidence in regional banks in the U.S. remains shaky despite assurances from President Joe Biden that America's banking system is safe. Monday was a volatile day on Wall Street is shares of dozens of regional banks plunged to record lows following the sudden collapse of the Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank.

Meantime, Europe's biggest bank, HSBC which has bought the U.K. almost Silicon Valley Bank, for a symbolic one pound have not found a buyer. SVB U.K. would have been placed into insolvency.

The collapse has impacted markets around the world. Let's take a look at Asia right now. It's still red across the board. They're the decade down by two and once a quarter two and a quarter percent. Hong Kong down by one and a half percent. Shanghai Composite down just a touch over 1 percent they're late trade and Seoul KOSPI down by two and a quarter percent as well. CNN's Rahel Solomon has more on President Biden's promised to do, quote, whatever is needed to protect the U.S. banking system.


JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: Americans can rest assured that our banking system is safe. Your deposits are safe.

RAHEL SOLOMON, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): As President Joe Biden underscoring that the American financial system remain secure.

BIDEN: All customers who had deposits in these banks can rest assured, I want to rest assured, they will be protected, and they'll have access to their money as of today. No losses will be borne by the taxpayers. Instead, the money will come from the fees that banks pay into the Deposit Insurance Fund.

SOLOMON: This follows his administration's emergency response to the sudden failure of two banks. On Friday, tech lender Silicon Valley Bank collapse after facing a bank run, it is the second largest failure of a financial institution in U.S. history behind only Washington Mutual in 2008.

MOHAMED EL-ERIAN, CHIEF ECONOMIC ADVISER, ALLIANZ: As that deposits went up, they put it into treasury bonds and didn't, didn't think about what happens to the value of those bonds when interest rates go up. As we know when interest rates go up, the value of the bonds come down.

So, you have a whole ecosystem that got used to this very accommodating liquidity situation. The Fed didn't react quickly enough to inflation called the transitory and therefore it's had to raise interest rates higher than would have had to otherwise.

SOLOMON: The stunning collapse of SVB raise fears among many companies over the weekend.

ISA WATSON, FOUNDER AND CEO, SQUAD: My chief technology officer have a family of four in Maryland won't have a single mom engineer on my engineering team These are people whose families depend on our payroll whose families depend on our ability to pay our health care premiums for their families every month.


These are very hardworking Americans that are kind of caught up in this turmoil.

SOLOMON: And on Sunday, the government shutdown New York based Signature Bank, which was teetering on the brink of collapse. Shortly after that, the Treasury Department, Federal Reserve and FDIC issued a joint statement guaranteeing all deposits even the uninsured money in an effort to assure public competence and the banking system. SOLOMON (on camera): But the action did not appear to calm some investors concerns regional bank stocks, including the First Republic bank were sharply lower on Monday. Rahel Solomon, CNN, New York.


VAUSE: Derek Flanzraich, a CEO and founder of Ness, a Fintech startup and customer of the Silicon Valley Bank. He is live with us from Austin, Texas. Thank you for taking the time to talk with us.


VAUSE: OK, so long as Roku, which had about what $480 million with SVB, you'll get access to your account as well. Now, I think that's about $5 million. That's a big chunk of change --

FLANZRAICH: A little less.

VAUSE: OK. But that's still a big relief, right? So if you hadn't -- if you'd lost that money, with the company being able to take that sort of hit and continue on over the stuff layoffs, so we'd be out of business, how would you describe it?

FLANZRAICH: We've got an experienced team. You know, we had contingency plans in place for macroeconomics challenges along these lines. But it's hard to imagine a world where if all the cash that you deposited in a bank account gets vaporized, you can last for too long.

My experience has been that startups are not cool, they're hard. And yes, they can potentially lead to, you know, outsize impact and success. But mostly they ended up failures. And to be honest, the most frustrating thing about the last few days has been the possibility that all these things we've been working for all the real challenges we have to face will be undone by, you know, mismanagement at a bank and a sort of Twitter frenzy.

And so I'm glad, frankly, relieved today to be back at work focusing on the things that really matter, which is building a great business and open to make a big impact.

VAUSE: Yes, the frustration of having this all outside of your own control and none of your own doing. That's often really hard to deal with. According to Bloomberg, though, SVB was doing business with 44 percent of venture backed technology and healthcare companies that went public last year, many of them backed by the region's top venture and private equity firms.

So what is it about SVB that made it the bank of choice to so many tech startups? And does this collapse, raise doubts about how venture capital private equity will actually work in the future?

FLANZRAICH: Yes, I worry that people will point to SVB as sort of a symptom of a larger issue to make some political statement. I think, frankly, they were like many regional banks or sort of specialized focused banks. They worked and got to know the people in the community with my first company, this is my second, but with my first company when we had a really tough period of time. And we were -- we had some venture debt with them. They could have given us a really, you know, they could have really held our feet to the fire and given us some trouble and said they were supportive, and thanks to them, were able to sell the business successfully.

And that story, though, you know, told him like a startup context is not probably unlike a local bank for many people where there's a deep understanding of, you know, your challenges. And, you know, maybe they host a couple dinners or two.

And so I think that's really what it was about. And I do think that the startup and VC community really had a good partner in SVB. But I don't think that's the story here. I think the story is mismanagement. And that kind of a Twitter frenzy that went awry.

VAUSE: Yes, the Twitter frenzy was one thing. But I'll just point to this line in the New York Times from Monday, which I think you clearly obviously disagree with. The reality is that SVB was just a small, if it was just a small regional bank that did not have ties to loud politically connected venture capitalists -- and the tech community, it might have been allowed to die, its customers, individuals and small businesses would have suffered instead, because it's the Silicon Valley, it commanded attention.

So, you know, obviously you think that's unfair, but also what about the fact that now that you had these endless guarantees on limitless deposits? Is that now the new norm for the entire banking industry? Is it possible to walk that back? Have you thought about the wider implications here? Of what they could actually mean?

FLANZRAICH: Yes, I think, you know, I think to the first point, obviously, I do disagree. I think it's easy, again, to point to the fact that it's called Silicon Valley Bank and point to this idea of sort of Silicon Valley. And, frankly, poke fun at it in a world where that's become maybe less popular and easy to poke fun at. At the same time, I think entrepreneurship and innovation is really important, and it's hard to imagine that people who put money into any bank, any depositors shouldn't be made whole.


You know, I'm not a shareholder stockholder in SVB. I didn't invest in it. I purely decided to, you know, put my money there, the same way anyone would decide to put their money anywhere. And I would argue that actually the fact that so many of the businesses are entrepreneurs trying to make do and probably with less good access to like immediate capital, maybe kind of emphasize and exaggerated actually why this was so important.

As per the sort of impacts on the larger, you know, economy long term, my -- I don't want to speak for the FDIC, but my guess is this is not their plan moving forward. And this was more a, you know, an effort to protect the banking system that has been, you know, a core part of this country for so long.

VAUSE: They're going to push the level. I'm very glad that you and your employees obviously that $5 million is still there. So it's good news for you guys. And that is, you know, that's a positive. Obviously, there are big questions here, which we'll see how they play out in the months ahead, but thanks for being with us. And good luck. We appreciate that.

FLANZRAICH: Thank you for having me.

VAUSE: You're welcome. Well, the Biden administration has just approved a new massive oil drilling project in Alaska. Is that economic promise kept or is it an environmental promise broken? We'll speak to a conservation scientists in a moment.

Also, California battered again by rain and floods. But it's not just the West Coast bracing for some extreme weather (INAUDIBLE) the U.S. forecast. In a moment.


VAUSE: Malawi has declared a state of disaster in the aftermath of Cyclone Freddy, the storm slabs of Africa over the weekend killing at least 99 people in Malawi alone. There are fears that death will rise with ongoing heavy rain and reports of landslides and flash flooding.

In neighboring Mozambique, authorities say at least 10 people are dead after more than a year's worth of rain in just four weeks. This comes as emergency crews were dealing with the aftermath of the first time Freddy made landfall in Mozambique late last month.

Meantime, in the U.S., more wet weather in store for California which was already dealing with major flooding. Millions across the state were under flood alerts on Monday. A bridge levee was making matters worse in Monterey County, but authorities there say they hope to have the bridge fixed.

And on the other side of the country, major nor'easter storm expected to cover New England and parts of New York in snow. Meteorologist Britley Ritz has latest forecast. At least it's snowing where it kind of should be saying it's supposed to snowing in California where it should not be snowing.

BRITLEY RITZ, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, exactly. We've got a lot to talk about, John --

VAUSE: A lot.


RITZ: -- between the ARs that are coming in to California and that Nor'easter. The rain right now in California pretty light to moderate and still very scattered. However heavier rain will come in here within the upcoming hours. So we're expected to pick up an additional 1 to 2 inches of rain widespread. Isolated higher amounts up to 4 to 6 inches possible where we're seeing that yellowish orange color.

We have moderate to high risk flooding. That is why we're highlighting even that fuchsia color that you're seeing on Tuesday. Now Monday, overnight we have that moderate risk from the northern coastline where it rolls down into (INAUDIBLE) Obispo as we roll into Tuesday morning and throughout the afternoon and again into Wednesday.

And that through the southern foothills of the Sierra Nevada highlighted in that fuchsia color. 5,000 feet and below, where we're getting that fresh water on top of the snow pack which considers a lot of flooding expecting here in the upcoming hours.

And there's that heavier rain rolling in Tuesday morning Central Time 6:00. By Tuesday afternoon, you'll have that heavier rain then pushing inland and again falling as snow through the higher elevations. Regardless expect quite a bit of rain.

And from that first AR a lot of that moisture now part of this nor'easter that's rolling in to New England. As of morning already dealing with some heavier snowfall through the Berkshires. That heavier snow continues through the Adirondack as well as the Catskills.

Some of the higher elevations there likely to pick up about two to three feet of snow. But two to three incher per hour in some of these locations there, folks. On top of that, that heavy wet snow, that's showing wind gusts 40 to 65 miles per hour on shore. Now we're dealing with the coastal flooding and wide spread power outages.

So John, this is going to be a mess for travel. Many airports expecting delays. In fact, there are already many delays coming out of Boston. So we'll have to keep this in mind as we're going out and about today and tomorrow.

VAUSE: Pack your patience, I think is the best way. Britley thank you. Take care.

The Biden administration has approved the controversial new oil (INAUDIBLE) in Alaska that's been a point of contention for years. The Willow Project would open up drilling sites near the edge of the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve. Environmental groups trying to fight it in court arguing President Biden has broken his promises on tackling climate change.

Live now to Anchorage, Alaska we're joined Richard Steiner, marine biologist and conservation scientist. It's been a while, Richard, thanks for being with us.

I want to read part of a statement from the Republican Senator from Alaska Lisa Murkowski. Here's what she wrote, "We finally did it. Willow is finally reapproved and we can almost literally feel Alaska's future brightening because of it. Alaska is now in the cusp of creating thousands of new jobs, generating billions of dollars in new revenues, improving quality of life on the North Slope and across our state."

So tell me this, how bright will Alaska's future be with the planet warming more than 2.5 degrees Celsius. How much devastation. How many billions of dollars of destruction will be caused by rising sea levels, more intense and more frequent wildfires. How much worse is expected to make an already declining quality of life?

RICHARD STEINER, MARINE BIOLOGIST: Absolutely and you notice in Senator Murkowski's statement, she did not mention that Willow with the historic mistake, many of us feel the wrong decision and the wrong place, the wrong time and we cannot keep making these mistakes.

This is sort of an epic contest between two opposing ideologies. One, the need to deal with climate change and move beyond fossil fuel economy. The other is the entrenched (ph) interest of fossil fuel interests making hundreds of billions of dollars off of continuing the fossil fuel economy.

In this particular instance, they prevail but we cannot keep making that mistake, period. Even the -- I mean just from the climate stand point alone, even the International Energy Agency has said that if we want even the modicum of chance for a sustainable, stable climate in the future, governments cannot be permitting any additional, new fossil fuel development projects

And we're suffering terribly here in the arctic from climate change right now. We're heating at four times the rate of the rest of the planet and I don't think many people really appreciate the dire condition northern Alaska and particularly in the Arctic Ocean is from climate change right now. This is -- this is not a disaster 10 years in the future. This is a disaster right now.

VAUSE: Yes. And in fairness we should not be -- the decision was also welcomed by the Democrat representative in Congress at the same time.


VAUSE: But you know, the Biden administration sort of there's a way to justify this or sell it, I guess, announced this protect up to 16 million acres from future fossil fuel leasing including a declaration the entire U.S. Arctic Ocean is off limits to future oil and gas leasing.


VAUSE: They also plan to announce new rules which will protect more than 13 million acres in the Federal National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska. One official describing this new protected area as a firewall against both future fossil fuel leasing and expansion of existing projects.

Ok. So here's the question. Will that be enough? Will those rules be enough to offset the estimated 9.2 million metric tons of carbon emissions which will come from this new source of oil every year?

STEINER: Absolutely not. And this offset that they're suggesting are simply not sufficient and they're not permanent. If we have a Trump or a DeSantis administration come in in two years, they would do away with whatever administrative protection the Biden administration puts in right now. Unless we make them permanent, they are not doing that.

Plus this notion of offsets, we have got to stop trying to trick ourselves with offsets to kind of get out this mess. We have to stop producing fossil fuel and using them as if there is no consequence because we know there is.

You know, the Willow project is kind of like just another needle in the arm of a junkie here. I know there are six (INAUDIBLE) Alaska's oil addiction and a lot of the folks in -- you know, a lot of the political establishment here in the oil industry and such simply don't want to get beyond this addiction. And they want to stay hooked regardless of the -- and ignore the consequences.

And that -- that's a pretty sad state of affairs when everybody realizes what the science is saying. And so we need to be better.

VAUSE: Everyone realizes what the science is saying but in some ways it seems the urgency of the moment hasn't really registered. There's this belief (INAUDIBLE) that locking up some wilderness area there's going to be enough to make up for all of this damage caused by the carbon pollution which comes from how many millions of barrels of oil. This is what 6 billion barrels of oil this represents.

You know, this is a staggering amount of oil which is, you know, years away from actually hitting the market. So this is not, you know, going to happen now. This is going to happen at the worst possible time when it comes to climate change.

STEINER: Absolutely perfect point. And it's about estimated to be 600 million barrels of oil producing and when it's burned about 270 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the global atmosphere.

What's more worrying too is there's another tens of billions of barrels of oil, heavy oil in Alaska Arctic North Slope that the industry is eyeing right now, trying to figure out how to produce and that's even many times larger than Willow.

And so these folks will stop at nothing, they want to produce every kind of carbon atom at this North Slope possible, make all the money they can, the future be damned. And that is -- that's really irresponsible and reckless. And I think this behavior and policy -- and I think history will judge them harshly for it.

VAUSE: It's like the longest suicide note that we've ever written.


VAUSE: Richard, come back soon. We want to (INAUDIBLE) us more so thanks for being with us.

STEINER: Thanks for attending to it. Thank you very much.

VAUSE: Right. You're welcome.

Well for international travelers to Nepal, take note, there will be no hiking alone. The news comes five years after Nepal banned solo climbers to Mount Everest or climb to eight of the world's tallest mountains and the trekking industry, big money maker for the country but the cost of actually finding lost hikers is also significant. Travelers who would like to trek in remote regions must now hire a

government licensed guide or be part of the group. Not much to ask.

Still ahead, a huge crowd of migrant storm a bridge from Mexico into the United States. And they said the Biden administration is failing to deal with the border crisis.



VAUSE: Texas authorities are warning Americans read -- college kids, not to travel to Mexico during spring break because of the risk of violence from the drug cartels.

But Mexico's president is pushing back saying it's all part of a campaign by conservative politicians in the U.S. to try and prevent Mexico from developing.


ANDRES MANUEL LOPEZ-OBRADOR, MEXICAN PRESIDENT: Mexico is safer than the U.S. and there's no problem with traveling safely across Mexico. That's something U.S. citizens know and something our fellow countrymen know.


VAUSE: The president trying to ease fears after four Americans were abducted in the border town of Matamoros earlier this month. Two were killed, the other two were released and returned to the U.S.

Well, for many migrants trying to travel from Mexico into the United States, they're saying that that design to make the asylum process easier is not working. In fact they say it's ending in chaos.

CNN's Rosa Flores reports.


ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A large group of migrants rushing the international bridge towards El Paso, Texas Sunday and in a standoff with U.S. Authorities for hours.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Please, we want answers.

FLORES: This woman, begging officials --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're robbed. We're extorted.

FLORES: -- saying she is being robbed and extorted in Mexico while trying to navigate a frustrating and cumbersome U.S. Asylum process.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The App doesn't work.

FLORES: Migrants pointing their anger at a new app launched by the Biden administration. Asylum seekers use it to try to set up appointments to enter the U.S. legally under an exception to Title 42, the rule invoked at the start of the pandemic to expel migrants.

But getting an appointment is a big challenge. That comes into focus in this deep canyon in Tijuana, Mexico just south of San Diego, where the dreams of children like Arthur Salazar, a nine-year-old from Guatemala.

What's your biggest, biggest dream?

To arrive to the U.S.?

And the flaws of the broken U.S. immigration system coexist. Do you like science?


FLORES: Arthur arrived in December and says the wait is depressing and sad.

Why is it sad?

He says that it's sad because sometimes they don't have food to eat. His mom, Jennifer, opened this food stand in front of the school. What are you waiting for?

She says that the migrants here are stuck because of the CBP One app. The head of Tijuana's Migrant Services says about 5,600 migrants live in shelters and the one port of entry nearby only takes 200 appointments a day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not enough.

FLORES: Jennifer wakes up at 3:00 or 4:00 a.m. to try the app.

She took screen grabs.

This is another one. It says that she must be close to the border here in Tijuana. This is a border town.

Then candidate Joe Biden said this during the final presidential debate in 2020.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is the first president in the history of the United States of America that's anybody seeking asylum has to do it in another country. That's never happened before in America. They are sitting in squalor on the other side of the river.

FLORES: The scene President Biden described then appears to be happening under his administration too. But tensions appear to be escalating. Migrants rushing a border crossing --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To have a better future and help my family.

FLORES: -- and some pleading with authorities saying they just want a better life.

According to an administration official, smuggler misinformation is to blame for the incident on the bridge leading to El Paso. Now the White House has pushed back on comparisons of current policies to those policies from the Trump administration saying that President Biden has actually expanded legal pathways to come into the country.


FLORES: About the app, Customs and Border Protection says that it's working as intended, that they have processed more than 40,000 applications since January from over 85 countries. Now about that huge demand, that's why these applications slots fill up in minutes.

Rosa Flores, CNN -- Houston, Texas.


VAUSE: Longtime host of "The Match of the Day", Gary Lineker was back on the air for the BBC flagship football show this weekend after his suspension for a tweet criticizing the UK's new plan regarding asylum seekers. But the uproar over the BBC's impartiality or lack thereof as well as freedom of speech seems to have only just begun.

More now from World Sports Patrick Snell.

PATRICK SNELL, CNN WORLD SPORTS ANCHOR: A story that has been very much front and center over the last few days but now it seems to have found resolution as to when Gary Lineker will return to "Match of the Day" chair.

The former England international football captain poised to resume hosting duties on the BBC's flagship football highlights program, "Match of the Day" that he's fronted since 1999.

Now it comes after he was unceremoniously pulled from the show on Friday, plunging Britain's national broadcaster and its weekend schedules into chaos.

The footy highlights program, of course, is a national institution in the U.K. Lineker out walking his dog on Monday, doorstepped by reporters there in London.


GARY LINEKER, BBC HOST: I've already said what I'm going to say on Twitter. If I say anything more now it just encourages people to do.


SNELL: Now 62, Lineker is a revered former player, the leading scorer of the Mexico '86 World Cup then turning his hand very successfully indeed to broadcasting. He had been taken off air following his tweets which criticize the British government's controversial new migration policy. The BBC saying it considers his recent social media activity to breach its guidelines. The former Leicester City, (INAUDIBLE) and Barcelona player reacted on

Monday by saying he is delighted to have navigated away through it calling it a surreal few days. He thanked all his colleagues, including the many former professional footballers who came out in support of him. What he called a remarkable show of solidarity.

He did have this tweet though, a final thought, however difficult the last few days have been, it simply doesn't compare to having to you're your home from persecution or war to seek refuge in a land far away.

It's heartwarming to see the empathy towards their plight from so many of you. We remain a country of predominately tolerant, welcoming and generous people. Thank you.

Meantime, the BBC's director general, Tim Davey and this is really important, announcing a review of the BBC's social media guidance would be led by an independent expert acknowledging the existing guidance that caused potential confusion.

Having Gary as a valued part of the BBC and I know how much the BBC means to Gary. And I look to him presenting him on coverage this coming weekend.

The Lineker fallout has shown the spotlight on two key areas. they have the battle between impartiality and free speech. Lineker is set to return to "Match of the Day" this coming Saturday as England's FA Cup quarterfinals take center stage with among the games, "Match of the City" hosting Burnley (ph).

Back to you.

VAUSE: Patrick, thank you.

Next month five senior judges in India will hear final arguments on a landmark case seeking legal recognition for same-sex marriage. CNN's Vedika Sud reports on a case that will be a milestone for LGBTQ rights and is moving forward despite government objections.


VEDIKA SUD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Abe and Supriyo (ph) are building a life together in Hyderabad, and like many couples, committed to each other for several years, they decided to marry.

They said the ceremonies two years ago though it wasn't legally binding was almost a dream wedding. Except for the many precautions they had to take.

SUPRIYO CHAKRABORTY: You will not believe that our guest list, I took almost six months to plan our guest list -- whom to come or not to come, right. And all the guests, I would, say almost 90 percent of guests, they were in house. You don't need to go out or you know, the gates should be locked. There was police protection. There were bouncers. Because we didn't want to take any risks.

SUD: The couple says they want to legally marry without fear, with the same rights as heterosexual unions. So they filed a lawsuit which along with several similar petitions went before India's Supreme Court Monday.

NINARIKA KARANAWALA, LAWYER: The Supreme Court was pleased to issue the mattered to five judge benches for consideration, and the matter will likely be taken up on the 18th of April.

SUD: There are hopes in India's LGBTQ community that the court will built on its historic 2018 decision that decriminalizes consensual gay sex. And now ruled to legalize same sex marriage.

But that faces says strong opposition. From religious groups and the Indian government led by prime minister Narendra Modi which says it recognizes many forms of relationships but legal marriage should be between a men and women. That's something like couples Abe and Supriyo needs to change.

ABHAY DANG, CASE BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT: Do we have the right, if something happened to me that we have the right to inherit. Something happened to him do I have. Do I have the right to inherit? No.


DANG: So in the eyes of the law, whatever basket of rights marriage provides which heterosexual couples completely take for granted, for us, as some sex couples we do not have those rights.

SUD: Many activists say Asian countries are far behind the western advancing LGBTQ rights.

In 2019, Taiwan legalized same-sex marriage. South Korea hasn't recognized it. But a court recently ruled that same sex couples could get equal health benefits. Last year Japan upheld a ban on same-sex marriage, but said same-sex families deserve legal protection.

So there has been incremental progress in the region including in India. But many people say it's not nearly enough.

ANJALI GOPALAN, NAZ FOUNDATION TRUST: What happened with the 2018 judgment, is that home sexuality has been de-criminalized which means the communities no longer see in the same bracket as criminals which is murderers and thieves, and all of that. However, no other rights have been granted to the community.

SUD: Those rights are once again under review in India. Abe and Supriyo they have hope for the future. That their case before the high court in the land will one day give them the basic rights they feel every married couple should have.

Vedika Sud, CNN -- New Delhi.


VAUSE: Still to come here on CNN, forced into cyber scam operations across Asia, young professionals being targeted by high tech human traffickers. More on that when we come back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VAUSE: Online crypto scam surged last year to nearly $10 billion dollars, that's according to the FBI, a $3 billion jump from 2021, when the highest level in the last five years.

Complaints range from marketing scams to ransomware. People under 30 file the most complaints but people older then 60s are the group reporting the most amount of money which was lost.

But even young tech savvy professionals are falling victim to cyber scams. Across Asia, there's a great number of people who thought they were traveling for high paying jobs but instead were forced to work as cybercriminals.

For CNN's "My Freedom Day", Kristie Lu Stout takes a look at the growing human trafficking trend that is targeting new unsuspecting victims of modern day slavery.


KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Maybe you've seen one before -- a friendly text from a stranger that could be the beginning of a cyber scam.

LU XIANGRI, TRAFFICKED BY CYBER SCAMMERS (through translator): These cyber front (ph) companies are doing all kinds of scamming. The first company I went to was looking for Chinese people. They are tricking them to invest.

STOUT: Lu Xiangri worked as a cyber scammer in Cambodia against his will. He was lured to Sihanoukville with the promise of a management job only to be held captive, forced to work as a cyber criminal.

XIANGRI: More than a dozen security guards were out there with gun, we were not even allowed to step out of the door.

STOUT: We spoke to people from Bangladesh, China, and Taiwan who all say they were trafficked by cyber scam companies and they all share a similar account. They were lured by a dream job, forced to scam with fake identities and some even sold from company to company.

MINA CHIANG, FOUNDER, HUMANITY RESEARCH CONSULTANCY: Asians are mostly educated because to combat scam is a very different than other kind of job they use to get (INAUDIBLE) better.


STOUT: According to the International Labor Organization, 50 million people worldwide are now enslaved. Up 25 percent from the last estimate in 2016. Experts say cyber scam traffickers have exploited unemployment from the COVID-19 pandemic to lure tens of thousands of people.

PATRICIA HO, PRINCIPAL LAW LECTURER, UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG: Taking advantage of joblessness is one thing. But also taking advantage of the fact that people really wanted to travel. So the idea that you could travel somewhere for a job project was something that was quite exciting for many.

STOUT: China, Indonesia, Pakistan, Thailand, and Vietnam have all issued warnings about high salary job offers from Cambodia. Hong Kong authorities are warning travelers at the airport of scams and have setting up a dedicated task force for victims. But many victims are too afraid to ask for help.

HO: We have to find ways to encourage them to go to the authorities. Giving them immunity from prosecution isn't -- it's an absolute necessity.

STOUT: Cambodia has acknowledged that foreign nationals have been trafficked by cyber scammers and carried out high profile raids. But activists say many large-scale operations are still running.

CHIANG: I mean they are very (INAUDIBLE)

Kind of a showcasing to the international community but it was nothing compared with the whole scale.

STOUT: Lu managed to escape when he contacted local officials. He became a volunteer rescuer, determined to help others avoid his fate.

And what is your message to people who think this would never happen to me?

XIANGRI: You can earn $20,000 U.S. for one person you scam. Many would be willing to do it even if it means selling their relatives and friends.

STOUT: Lu is one of the lucky ones. Activists say thousands of others remain captive, trapped by a dream job that turned into a nightmare.

Kristie Lu Stout, CNN -- Hong Kong.


VAUSE: This Thursday is "My Freedom Day". CNN's partnering with young people worldwide for a student-led day of action against modern day slavery. These tunes in Kosovo are pledging to take action.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Small actions go a long way, let's stay united and fighting against human trafficking.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Knowing the signs saves lives, let's take action together

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let's end modern day slavery.


VAUSE: Please join us here on CNN from March 16th for "My Freedom Day". Share what freedom means to you on social media, you can use the hashtag MyFreedomDay.

Rosemary Church has already done it. She is up next after a very short break.

I'm John Vause. Thank you for watching. See you right back here tomorrow.