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Russia Vows to Punish Terror Suspects; At Least 133 Dead in Moscow Terror Attack; Four Gunmen Detained in Moscow Terror Attack; ISIS Claims Responsibility for Attack; Russian Missiles Violates Poland Airspace; Partial Government Shutdown Averted; Biden Signs Spending Bill; Willis: "Train is Coming" for Trump; Royal Health Scare; How Early Screening Save Lives; Support Pours in for Princess Kate; Effort to Free Hostages in Gaza; U.S. Secretary- General Calls Situation in Gaza "A Moral Outrage"; UNRWA Claims Vital Aid Being Blocked by Israeli Authorities; Israeli Defense Minister Travels to U.S. on Sunday; Evidence Revealed in Blogger Child Abuse Case; Colombia's "Care School for Men". Aired 4-5a ET

Aired March 24, 2024 - 04:00   ET




KIM BRUNHUBER, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to all of you watching us here in the United States, Canada, and around the world. I'm Kim Brunhuber. This is "CNN Newsroom."

Russia vows to punish those responsible for a deadly terror attack in Moscow, what we know about the investigation so far.

The Georgia district attorney leading Donald Trump's election interference case says the train is coming for the former president. CNN spoke with Fani Willis about her plans for a trial date.

Plus, a cancer diagnosis rocks the British royal family how doctors say early screening and even routine checkups save lives.

ANNOUNCER: Live from Atlanta, this is "CNN Newsroom with Kim Brunhuber."

BRUNHUBER: Officials in Russia say Friday's terror attack at a concert hall near Moscow has killed 133 people, and they expect the death toll to go even higher.

Investigators say they've arrested the four gunmen who carried out the shootings and set fire to the venue. Survivors are sharing startling stories of the incident.


ANASTASIA RODIONOVA, TERROR ATTACK SURVIVOR (through translator): It is unbelievable. You understand only now that you were lucky, really lucky. I came home. My coat was covered in blood. Apparently, someone shielded me with his body. There were people running behind me, and they were effectively covering me, my relatives, and those who were running next to me.


BRUNHUBER: Inside the concert hall, crews are searching the debris. for more bodies. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack. Russia has declared today a day of mourning. And you're looking at live pictures of a memorial outside the concert hall.

Around Russia, people are leaving flowers at makeshift memorials like this one in St. Petersburg. CNN Chief Global Affairs Correspondent Matthew Chance has returned to Russia to cover this tragedy and he has more on the attack and the aftermath.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CHIEF GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, I can tell you, I've come back to a country that is shocked by what's happened over the past couple of days. The number of confirmed dead in the attack on the Crocus City Hall has now risen to more than 130 people according to official figures.

All day mourners have been laying flowers outside the Burndak (ph) building near Moscow. While inside, emergency teams continuing to sift through the debris say they expect to find more bodies. And with more than a 140 people injured, the death toll is expected to rise.

In a nationwide security operation, investigators say that at least 11 people have already been detained, including the four gunmen suspected of carrying out the mass shooting on Friday night. State media has been broadcasting grisly images of some of the men, tied up and bloodied, being manhandled and interrogated.

One suspect, speaking broken Russian, is shown allegedly confessing to carrying out the attacks in the Crocus City Hall for money. Well, ISIS has claimed responsibility for the assault, posting images of what they say are the attackers with their faces covered.

The terror group says the attack was a normal part of its war against countries fighting Islam. U.S. officials say they have no reason to doubt the ISIS claim. But the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, who's been vowing revenge for what he calls a barbaric act, has attempted to link the attack to Ukraine, saying preliminary data suggests the gunmen were attempting to escape there across what is an extremely heavily militarized border.

That's something Ukrainian officials strongly deny. One senior official there telling CNN that the Kremlin is trying to implicate Ukraine to rally domestic support here for its brutal war and to provide an excuse for ramping up attacks on Ukrainian towns and cities.

Matthew Chance, CNN in St Petersburg.


BRUNHUBER: And the White House is backing up those denials saying Ukraine didn't participate in the attack in any shape or form. Ukrainian President Zelenskyy says the Kremlin's allegations are part of Putin's standard playbook, which is to blame others for Russia's problems. He also said it's something anyone could have seen coming. Here he is.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): They have brought hundreds of thousands of their own terrorists here on Ukrainian land to fight against us and they don't care about what is happening inside their own country.


Yesterday, as all this happened, instead of dealing with his fellow Russian citizens, addressing them, the wimp Putin was silent for 24 hours thinking about how to tie this to Ukraine. It's all absolutely predictable.


BRUNHUBER: CNN's Clare Sebastian has reported extensively from Russia, and she joins us now from London. So, Clare, what's the latest?

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Well, I think you had those very strong words there from President Zelenskyy, Kim. He did not hold back. And I think it was significant that he said, look, they don't care about what is happening in their own country. I think this gets to the heart of the potential risk here for President Putin.

His unspoken contract really with the Russian people is that he provides security and they stay quiet and accept ever greater levels of state control, and obviously serious questions will be raised about this terror attack, the biggest in Russia in over two decades, especially given that there was western intelligence leading up to this that Putin publicly dismissed. So, there is that.

I think there's also concern for Ukraine, even though President Putin's narrative around this was a little jumbled on the one hand, talking about that link to Ukraine saying that that was window opened on a border, he said, for the attackers to escape, but also then saying that he counts on other states to join this fight against terrorism.

I think the fact that did not mention ISIS and that Russian propaganda is now rallying around this idea of Ukraine somehow being behind this suggests to Ukraine that this could, as Matthew was suggesting, be used as a pretext for escalation. So, I think that's why you see that rhetoric from Zelenskyy echoing, of course, other officials in Ukraine flatly denying that they had anything to do with this. Kim.

BRUNHUBER: All right. Clare Sebastian in London, thank you so much.

Poland says a Russian cruise missile violated its airspace during strikes on Ukraine this morning. It happened as Russia launched a series of attacks, including on Ukraine's capital Kyiv. Its mayor reported explosions in the city and urged people to stay in shelters.

But officials say Russia also launched a barrage of missiles and drones on the western Lviv region, which is near the Polish border. Poland says one of those missiles flew into its airspace for 39 seconds and was spotted on the radar. Poland and its allies activated military aircraft because of the strikes in Ukraine.

While it all went down to the wire, but the U.S. has dodged a partial government shutdown after the Senate passed a new spending bill in the wee hours Saturday morning. President Biden later signed the bill into law. Kevin Liptak looks at the law itself and another congressional battle looming in Washington.


KEVIN LIPTAK, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: President Biden's signature on this government funding bill does take the threat of a government shutdown off the table until September, but it really does punctuate what was quite a tortured saga over the last several months to secure a funding bill that would provide funding for the federal government for fiscal year 2024.

And in a statement, President Biden emphasizes that this keeps the government open. He says it invests in the American people and strengthens the economy and national security, but he also acknowledges this was a compromise and not everyone got everything that they wanted.

And you are seeing both sides emphasizing what they say they're getting out of this bill. For example, there are 2,000 new border patrol agents funded as part of the package, 8,000 more detention beds for migrants. And you hear Republicans emphasizing how this bill strengthened security on the southern border. What you here Democrats emphasizing is the billion dollars for federal child care and education programs like Head Start. And the $120 million for cancer research also included new money for Alzheimer's research.

What this Bill also does is cut funding to the U.N. agency that's responsible for getting aid to the Palestinians. The Biden administration has accused some members of that agency of aiding Hamas.

Now, in that statement, President Biden does point to the next big funding battle on Capitol Hill, which is this fight over more aid to Ukraine.

And you will remember, President Biden has requested $60 billion in additional assistance for Ukraine, that has stalled on Capitol Hill as many Republicans, particularly those closely aligned with the former president, Donald Trump, say that they won't approve any more assistance to Kyiv.

President Biden has said that this is necessary, and you are hearing ever more urgent calls from the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who has said that if American aid dries up that Ukraine could lose this war. [04:10:00]

Now, the House has gone on break for Easter for two weeks. So, we won't see any movement on that Ukraine aid in that span. What we do understand is that the house speaker, Mike Johnson, has tasked members of the House with coming up with some options for providing that Ukraine aid, but it remains very unclear at this moment how that will move forward.

And in this statement, President Biden says that it's time to get this done.

Kevin Liptak, CNN, Washington.


BRUNHUBER: Now, earlier CNN Senior Political Analyst Ron Brownstein weighed in on who he thought was the winner after the adoption of this $1.2 trillion spending package. Here he is.


RON BROWNSTEIN, SENIOR EDITOR, THE ATLANTIC AND CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Neither side is really going to win. The win is not closing down the government. What's striking about this is that House Republicans for decades have been operating under what they have termed the Hastert rule, named after a former speaker in which they would only bring bill to the floor if it had support from not only a majority of the House, but a majority of their own members.

They had abandoned -- they had to abandon that again to pass this, as they have really on every major kind of housekeeping bill they have passed to kind of keep the lights on to avoid debt default and so forth. A majority of Republicans voted against this. They needed Democrats to pass it. And it is just a measure of the chaos that has engulfed this very small House majority, House Republican majority, as its majority continues to dwindle with another Republican, a young, talented committee chair, indicated that he is walking away within weeks, you know, pushing up his retirement. So, it really has just been chaos since day one. And it's not abating in any kind of meaningful way.

It's interesting that Marjorie Taylor Greene thinks this was a defeat. And obviously it was in the sense that the kind of the far-right militant edge of the caucus did not get what it wants. But what Republicans have learned really over 30 years of experience, going back to Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton and Bob Dole, is that shutting down the government simply is not a tool that can allow you to get what you want. All it really is, is like kind of holding a grenade while it goes off in your hands.


BRUNHUBER: And turning to one of Trump's legal cases, Fani Willis is making no apologies. She's the district attorney here in Georgia who's prosecuting Donald Trump's election subversion allegations. She recently avoided being disqualified from the case after a hearing revealed she had a romantic relationship with her lead prosecutor. He later resigned. But the embattled D.A. defended her credibility at an Easter event on Saturday. Here she is.


FANI WILLIS, FULTON COUNTY, GEORGIA DISTRICT ATTORNEY: I don't feel like my reputation needs to be reclaimed. Let's say it for the record, I'm not embarrassed by anything I've done. You know, I guess my greatest crime is I had a relationship with a man, but that's not something that I find embarrassing in any way. And I know that I have not done anything that's illegal.


BRUNHUBER: Willis says she doesn't believe the case against Trump and 14 co-defendants has been hindered and warns "the train is coming."

The clock is ticking on a huge deadline for Donald Trump. The former president is now only one day away from having to post a nearly half billion-dollar bond in his New York civil fraud case. This week, Trump claimed he has the cash to cover the sum, but his lawyer later clarified, saying he doesn't actually have that much cash on hand.

Investors did approve a deal on Friday that made his struggling social media platform Truth Social a public company, which could make him billions, but that's just the first of many steps before Trump could actually get his hands on any cash from such a deal.

Meanwhile, New York's attorney general is now taking steps to possibly seize Trump assets and properties if he can't pay up.

All right. Still to come, worldwide support pours in for Princess Kate after her heartbreaking cancer diagnosis. We'll head to Buckingham Palace for a live update next.

Plus, Israel's defense minister is traveling to the U.S. for critical meetings in the days coming ahead, just as the CIA director wraps up hostage negotiations in Doha. What happened in those high-level talks, just ahead. Stay with us.



BRUNHUBER: The Prince and Princess of Wales are "enormously touched" by the public support she's received after revealing she has cancer and is in the early stages of treatment. That's according to a statement from Kensington Palace. It comes as good wishes and sympathies have been pouring in from around the world.

For more, I'm going to go to CNN's Nada Bashir, live outside Buckingham Palace. So, Nada, take us through what the reaction has been so far.

NADA BASHIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, just as you said Kim, there has certainly been an outpouring of support for the Princess of Wales. Over the last few weeks there has been a lot of speculation, a lot of media frenzy around the Princess of Wales' condition, her whereabouts, of course she hadn't been seen since her Christmas Day appearance at church.

And also, of course, she had shared that she had undergone what she has now described as major abdominal surgery back in January. So, there was certainly a lot of speculation, a lot of interest. But now, given the announcement from the Princess of Wales, confirming that she had been diagnosed with cancer, that she is in the early stages of chemotherapy, what we have seen across the United Kingdom but also globally is an outpouring of support and of course well wishes for the Princess of Wales during this difficult time.

And this has come, of course, from the Royal Family. We've heard from King Charles III saying that he is extremely proud of his daughter-in- law for her courage in sharing her diagnosis. We've also heard, of course, from her own family, her brother, James Middleton, sharing a family photo of their childhood on Instagram saying that they have climbed many mountains together, but also climbed this mountain together as a family.


And of course, we have seen, in the U.K., much support coming from members of the public as well. And the Princess of Wales and the Prince of Wales, William, have shared that they are touched by these messages of support and moved as well by the respect we've shown for their privacy. And this, of course, has been a huge focus for the royal family during this difficult time.

And it was something that the Princess of Wales touched on during her video message. And of course, that video message in itself is somewhat unprecedented from such a senior member of the royal family to share such an intimate and personal piece of news with the British public via video message. It was, for many, a show of strength and also positivity from the princess. But also, she spoke about needing time to focus on her healing and recovery and also privacy to do so with her own family.

And of course, there is a lot of concern, of course, for her three young children. The Princess of Wales said that she had assured them that she is on the mend, that she is doing well and in good spirits. But of course, the timing of this is interesting. The video message was released just as her children were to go on their Easter school holiday break. So, clearly, there is a real effort here to ensure that the family is afforded as much privacy as possible.

And given the speculation that we've seen, given at the media frenzy, this is something that the royal family has faced pressure on over the last few weeks. But of course, important to remember that beyond being members of the royal family, senior members of the royal family, they are, of course, a family. This is a very personal private matter. And we know, of course, that King Charles III is also undergoing treatment for an early-stage cancer diagnosis. So, this is certainly a difficult time for the family as a whole. But there have been well wishes coming from across the board, including from the U.S. President Joe Biden.

BRUNHUBER: All right. Thanks so much. Nada Bashir in London.

Well, the Princess of Wales is far from alone with her illness. Someone in the U.K. is diagnosed with cancer every two minutes according to a non-profit organization Cancer Research U.K. It also finds that there are around 375,000 new cancer cases in the U.K. every year. That's around 1,000 per day.

Almost half of these cancer cases were diagnosed at stage three and four. And among females, there are more than 182,000 cases each year. Beth Vincent is the health information manager with Cancer Research U.K. and she joins me live from London. Thanks so much for being here with us.

So, it was a shock to many, not just because of who she is obviously, but also her age. She's so young.

BETH VINCENT, HEALTH INFORMATION MANAGER, CANCER RESEARCH U.K.: Yes, absolutely. I think a cancer diagnosis is shocking for anybody and always a very challenging time. And the first thing I'd like to say is, on behalf of everybody at Cancer Research U.K., we send our best wishes to the Princess of Wales and wish her a swift and full recovery and very much respect her privacy at this time.

BRUNHUBER: So, it seems surprisingly common to get a cancer diagnosis when you're actually being treated for something else. Why is that do you think?

VINCENT: There are probably lots of reasons. To be honest with you, there tends to be a lot of different factors at play with things like this. Sometimes it might be that people don't have symptoms yet of a cancer. Some cancers tend to have symptoms presenting at later stages, and that can mean that they're diagnosed much later. Sometimes incidentally when they might have something else going on.

Sometimes it might be that we're all a little guilty sometimes of ignoring symptoms, that we think -- you know, or hope might be harmless, but actually, sometimes they can be something more sinister. And that's why we say that if you ever think something's not quite right with you, if you have a symptom that feels a bit strange or won't go away, you know, your body best. So, do talk to your doctor. It probably won't be cancer. But if it is, getting early can make all the difference.

BRUNHUBER: Yes, absolutely right. Good advice there. Research from your organization has called attention to the high rate of misdiagnosis with cancer, and for women especially, not just in the U.K., in countries like here in the U.S., statistics suggest women are more likely to be misdiagnosed or to take longer to be diagnosed for some cancers.

VINCENT: Yes. Like I say, that could be due to a few different reasons. I think -- so, there are over 200 different types of cancer, and all of them have different symptoms. And often those symptoms are what we call vague symptoms.

So, that means it could be a symptom of cancer or it could be a symptom of something else. So, you know, a headache could, in rare cases, be a symptom of a brain tumor but it often is just a headache. Stomach pain could be a symptom of only a number of things rather than bowel cancer.


But we think that possibly that could be something to do with it. We kind of maybe misattribute symptoms to something else, or sometimes within the healthcare system, that can happen as well. But like I said -- I know I'm going to repeat myself a few times here, but that's why we say that you know your body best. You know if something isn't quite right for you, and that's why it's so important to talk to your doctor if you are concerned about something.

BRUNHUBER: Yes. The process is getting so much support from the public, as we just discussed a few minutes ago. How do you think this might help others who are either cancer patients or families who are supporting loved ones with the disease?

VINCENT: Well, I think the first thing is we really commend the Princess of Wales for such a powerful and empathetic and direct message. I think it's really empowering for cancer patients and their families to remember that they're not alone. That's really important.

The other thing is that when something like this happens, it often makes us reflect on our own health and our own well-being and what that means. We have -- we saw when the king was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year, a big increase in the number of people coming to visit the information pages at Cancer Research U.K., which means that people might learn more about cancer, might learn more about what it means.

And the other thing is that maybe if we have been experiencing something that we're not quite sure about, but we've kind of been ignoring and pushing to the back of our mind and hoping it might go away, maybe this type of thing might act as a prompt for us to take that step and go and talk to our doctor if we're not sure about something.

BRUNHUBER: Yes, and even if we don't have symptoms, I mean, you know, there's so much out of our control, of course, but it highlights the importance of the things we can do, early screenings for things like breast cancer, for instance.

VINCENT: Yes, absolutely. So, screening is for people who don't currently have any symptoms. In the U.K., we have three screening programs, one for breast cancer, one for bowel cancer, and we also have cervical screening.

And screening is always your choice. It's up to you. But Cancer Research U.K., you know, strongly encourages people to take up their screening invitation because we know that screening saves lives. And that's because, like you said, screening is designed to catch cancer at an earlier stage. And if it's caught in an earlier stage, treatment is much more likely to be successful. So, screening is definitely one part of the picture when it comes to early diagnosis.

And the other thing is remembering that actually, some cancers are preventable. Actually, in the U.K., almost four in 10 cancers are preventable. And that's through things like stopping smoking if you smoke, cutting down on things like alcohol, trying to keep a healthy weight, and also things like staying safe in the sun. So, those two things together are really, really important when it comes to trying to reduce the number of cancer cases overall and reducing the amount of cases that are diagnosed at a later stage.

BRUNHUBER: We'll leave it on that vital message. Really appreciate that. Beth Vincent, thanks so much for speaking with us.

VINCENT: Thank you for having me.

BRUNHUBER: The U.N. secretary-general is calling the situation in Gaza a moral outrage as UNRWA claims vital aid is being blocked by Israeli authorities. We'll have the latest on the humanitarian crisis next. Stay with us.



BRUNHUBER: Welcome back to all of you watching us here in the United States, Canada, and around the world. I'm Kim Brunhuber. This is "CNN Newsroom."

Top officials from the U.S. and Israel have been in Doha trying to work out a hostage deal with Hamas through mediators. Paula Hancocks is there and has the latest on the negotiations.


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We're being told that steady progress was made, but there are still differences to be worked out, this coming from a source briefed on the matter saying that the CIA director, Bill Burns, leaving Doha on Saturday night.

Now, we also understand from a diplomat who's close to these talks that the Israeli security chief is also leaving on Saturday night, but they've left technical teams in place. Now, in the past when technical teams have taken over it's either to hammer out the details or it's to wait for some kind of a response from Hamas. We don't know which is the case on this particular occasion.

But what we did hear from this diplomat was that there were some areas where there is still a difference of opinion, specifically on the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza and also on Israeli military repositioning in Gaza. Now, we do know that Hamas has said previously during these negotiations that they want all of the Israeli military to leave the Gaza Strip when there is a temporary ceasefire in place, something which the Israeli government and military has said is simply not possible for them to do. So, what we are hearing is steady progress, but a lot -- there is a fair bit that still needs to be worked out.

Now, we also know on Sunday that the Israeli defense minister, Yoav Gallant, will be heading to the United States on the invitation of the U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. He'll also be meeting, we understand, with the U.S. secretary of state and also with the National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan. The topic, we're being told, is the hostages in Gaza, how to get those hostages out and also how to make sure more humanitarian aid can get into Gaza, given the fact that the U.N. is still warning of an imminent famine in parts of the Gaza Strip.

There will be a separate Israeli delegation that will go, and the Biden administration will try and convince them that there are alternatives to this major ground offensive in Rafah that the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, says they will be carrying out shortly.

Now, also, there was another tragedy in Gaza City at the Kuwait roundabout. This is an area where we know many desperate people are waiting for food. It's an area where some of the aid convoys come through, which is why people are congregating there, hoping to be able to get some food or water.

Now, we hear from officials in Gaza that 19 people were killed and more than 20 injured. They say that the Israeli military opened fire on those people that were waiting for the aid convoys to come through.

Now, as we often have in these cases, we have a very different narrative from the Israeli side, the military saying they are reviewing the incident, but they say that they were helping this convoy, and the convoy was attacked and looted, and they did not open fire.


So, as we often see, two very different narratives to what happened. But at the end of it all, there were many deaths and many desperate people still waiting for food and water.

Paula Hancock's CNN, Doha, Qatar.


BRUNHUBER: U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. He spoke during a visit to the Rafah Border Crossing on Saturday, Guterres said nothing justifies the horrific attacks by Hamas on October 7th, but added that nothing justifies the collective punishment of the Palestinian people either. Here he is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ANTONIO GUTERRES, UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY-GENERAL: A long line of blocked relief trucks on one side of the gates, the long shallow of starvation on the other. That is more than tragic. It is a moral outrage.


BRUNHUBER: The U.N. relief agency, UNRWA, is slamming Israeli authorities saying a vital food convoy was denied access to Northern Gaza for the second time this week. UNRWA claims its last delivery to the north was nearly two months ago. Israel has previously denied claims it is limiting aid into Gaza.

At least five patients at Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City died on Saturday, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health. The Israeli raid on the health facility has entered its seventh day. Israel Defense Forces said it is conducting precise operational activity, saying it has eliminated more than 170 terrorists in the area and claiming to have found weapons and terror infrastructure.

But witnesses tell CNN that hundreds of civilians, including patients and medical staff, are trapped inside the complex. The World Health Organization director general says conditions in the hospital are utterly inhumane and is calling for an immediate end to the siege.

The U.S. Navy says it has identified the sailor who was lost overboard in the Red Sea on Wednesday. Officials say the sailor was aviation machinist's mate second class Oriola Michael Aregbesola. The Defense Department says his death was the "result of a non-combat related incident" and that it's under investigation. Aregbesola's commanding officer said he "embodied the selfless character and thoughtful warrior spirit of a U.S. Navy sailor," adding, "our thoughts and prayers are with his family."

Tensions are escalating in the South China Sea after a confrontation between Chinese and Philippine boats Saturday. Video released by the Philippines Armed Forces shows water cannons striking a civilian vessel near the contested Second Thomas Shoal. Philippine authorities said another ship was impeded and encircled by Chinese vessels. It's the latest in a string of maritime skirmishes between the countries. China's Coast Guard insists it acted in accordance with the law. But the U.S. condemned China's "dangerous actions."

Hong Kong's second national security law passed last week is now in effect. Critics warn that it aligns the city more closely with mainland China and could deepen an ongoing crackdown on dissent, CNN's Kristie Lu Stout reports.


KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On the streets of Hong Kong, we ask a simple question, do you support or not support Article 23?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have no idea.

LU STOUT: No idea?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Sorry, I'm in a hurry.

LU STOUT: Yes or no?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, no, I have to go. I'm really sorry.

LU STOUT (voice-over): We ask in English. We ask in Cantonese. No comment.

LU STOUT: Article 23 is Hong Kong's controversial new homegrown security legislation. t includes a range of new national security crimes, including treason, espionage, external interference and disclosure of state secrets.

LU STOUT (voice-over): It carries sentences of 10 years for crimes linked to state secrets and sedition, 20 years for espionage. End up to life in prison for treason, insurrection, sabotage and mutiny. Officials point out that many Western countries have similar legislation and say it will fill loopholes in the sweeping national security law imposed by Beijing in 2020 after mass anti-government protests.

JOHN LEE, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, HONG KONG: We still have to watch out for potential sabotage, undercurrents that tried to create troubles.

LU STOUT (voice-over): In 2003, Article 23 was shelved after an attempt to enact it drew half a million residents onto the streets in protest. No such scenes of opposition are expected this time around. Beijing's national security crackdown has transformed Hong Kong. Dozens of political opponents have been arrested, civil society groups disbanded, and outspoken media outlets shut down. Former opposition lawmaker Emily Lau was among the protesters in 2003. She's no longer marching, but has a message for Beijing.


EMILY LAU, FORMER OPPOSITION LAWMAKER: I just want to tell Beijing, there's no need for such stern treatment. I don't think Hong Kong will go back to the turbulent past. And I think people want to look forward to a safe and peaceful and free future. We want Hong Kong to prosper.

We are part of China. I've never disputed that, but we are different from the rest of China. But the difference is getting less and less, which is very sad.

LU STOUT (voice-over): Critics say the law could have deep ramifications for the city's status as a global business hub. The U.S. State Department says it is concerned by the, quote, "broad and vague definitions of state secrets and external interference that could be used to eliminate dissent through the fear of arrest and detention."

The Hong Kong government rejects that criticism as biased and misleading with Security Secretary Chris Tang pointing out there is strong public support,

CHRIS TANG, SECRETARY OF SECURITY, HONG KONG (through translator): We received 98.6 percent support and positive feedback.

LU STOUT (voice-over): But on the streets, it's hard to tell.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): We don't discuss these things, very sensitive.

LU STOUT (voice-over): Kristie Lu Stout, CNN, Hong Kong.


BRUNHUBER: And legal scholars and business figures have told CNN they are worried about the harsh penalties and broad definitions in the new law. According to the Hong Kong government, cases will be handled "in accordance with the law."

All right. Still to come, more revelations from prosecutors about a popular parenting blogger sentenced for aggravated child abuse. One of the details just ahead. Stay with us.


BRUNHUBER: Prosecutors in Utah have released some disturbing videos and documents in aggravated child abuse case involving a popular online parenting blogger and their business partner.


The new material details how local prosecutors believe religious extremism motivated Ruby Franke and Jodi Hildebrandt to inflict "horrific abuse" on Franke's children. Franke pleaded guilty to four counts of aggravated child abuse. CNN's Camila Bernal has more now on what prosecutors revealed.


CAMILA BERNAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Authorities are saying these two women fully believe that the abuse was necessary to teach these children how to repent from imagined sins and to cast evil spirits out of their bodies. You know, this graphic new evidence includes videos, photos and even Ruby Franke's handwritten journal entries detailing this horrific abuse.

In one of the newly released videos, we see that moment where Franke's 12-year-old son asked for help. This is after he climbs out of a window and goes to a neighbor's house asking for food and water and asking to be taken to the nearest police station. The evidence released shows the duct tape around the child's ankles and the wrist. And we, of course, know that that neighbor called police and described all of this.

Additional video also shows when police went to Jodi Hildebrandt's house and found Franke's nine-year-old daughter, authorities describing the child as petrified and she was hiding in a closet as well as malnourished. You can see in the video, first responders trying to talk to her and even giving her some pizza. You know, sadly, the journal entries also detail months of abuse and it includes making the children stand and sleep outside, making them do wall sits, shaving the girl's head and even at times withholding water, food, and oxygen.

Now, Franke pleaded guilty to four counts of aggravated child abuse. She was initially charged with six counts but then pleaded not guilty to two of the counts as part of a plea deal to testify against her business partner. And Hildebrandt, in her own plea agreement, also pleaded guilty to four counts of aggravated child abuse.

They were each sentenced to four consecutive sentences of one to 15 years in prison, but it's now the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole that will oversee the length of their prison sentence. CNN has reached out to their attorneys for comment about the newly released evidence.

Camila Bernal, CNN, Los Angeles.


BRUNHUBER: Two men who were the target of a 36-hour manhunt after a prison escape in Idaho appeared in court on Friday. Police say Skylar Meade and Nicholas Umphenour were captured on Thursday. Umphenour allegedly shot at state corrections officers so Meade could escape while being discharged from a hospital. Prosecutors say both suspects are being held on $2 million bail. CNN is working to contact their attorneys for comment.

Vice President Kamala Harris made a case for stronger gun control laws Saturday at the site of one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history. She visited Parkland, Florida, where 14 students and three staff members were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018.

She met with the victims' families and spoke about the importance of red flag laws, which allowed courts to remove guns from those who might harm themselves or others. Harris said most states don't have red flag laws and urged leaders to implement them, saying "we must do better."

All right. Still to come, Colombian men are going back to school for a different kind of lesson, how to break through gender stereotypes and nurture their families. That's next. Stay with us.



BRUNHUBER: 190 countries around the world marked Earth Hour Saturday with landmarks like Sydney's Opera House switching off lights for one hour. It's a way to show support for the environment and raise awareness about climate change. In Paris, the Eiffel Tower unplugged, powering down at the designated 8:30 p.m. local time. Lights only stayed off for seven minutes rather than the hour that's usually observed. Several landmarks in India participated in the event which was started in 2007. This is a historic railway terminus in Mumbai. While in the capital of New Delhi, they typically brightly lit Howrah Bridge when dark as well showing solidarity with the movement to save the planet.

In the Colombian capital Bogota, a new kind of school is thriving. It's teaching men how to be better fathers, husbands, brothers, and sons, and it's challenging a country's deeply held ideas about machismo and gender roles. Stefano Pozzebon explains how CNN's -- shows us how in CNN's ongoing "As Equals" series.


STEFANO POZZEBON, JOURNALIST (voice-over): Open, clean, moisturize, close it and they're all set. It sounds simple, but the impact can be massive. This is what a care school for men looks like.

And more than just learning how to change diapers, this is a place where Colombian men can learn how to be better husbands, fathers, and sons.

JUAN DAVID CORTES, FOUNDER, HOMBRES AL CUIDADO (through translation): We can all say it at the same time, first thing we are told is that men don't cry.

POZZEBON (voice-over): And that includes, for example, learning how to tie a ponytail.

CORTES (through translation): Combing hair is not just combing hair. It's about the emotional connection that you create. Investing in men learning about care will allow us to assume this responsibility at home and yet I don't lose masculinity.

POZZEBON (voice-over): That care, something Colombian men just like these didn't really know how to give. During the pandemic lockdowns, many looks for help as they were unable to look after their families. Domestic violence reports in the country also soaring.

POZZEBON: Colombian women are disproportionately in charge of household chores and of raising children. And projects like these are already having an impact.

POZZEBON (voice-over): According to research from Bogota City Hall shared exclusively with CNN, men who said they were entirely responsible for household chores roughly doubled since the project was launched in 2021. The transition from classroom to the real world is fast.

Harold Pardo is a father of four, and he is the one in charge of the school run.

HAROLD PARDO, COLOMBIAN FATHER (through translation): Have you got homework to do?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translation): Yes, I do, in English.


POZZEBON (voice-over): That is changed. Like many Colombians, growing up, Harold was not as close to his father as he is now to his children.

POZZEBON: Will you have wished that your dad had done a course like the one you did yesterday?

PARDO (through translation): Of course. They should do it to see where they come from and where we, the new generation, are going instead. I'd like to see how that generation reacts to what we are doing balancing the scale.

POZZEBON (voice-over): But, it's not all family care for Pardo. He is studying to work in healthcare administration. And once a week, he and his friends gather for a retrial of Latin American manliness.

PARDO (through translation): In the football team we're fathers, sons, brothers. We talk about our responsibilities at home. My teammates would be happy to take a course and be more aware.

POZZEBON (voice-over): But, even here, the tables are turning. Soon enough, Pardo says, they could be gathering for playdates and changing diapers.

Stefano Pozzebon, CNN, Bogota.


BRUNHUBER: A dramatic conclusion to the Australian Grand Prix a little while ago. Ferrari's Carlos Sainz won the race as teammate Charles Leclerc came in second. Red Bull's world champion Max Verstappen started on the pole, but was forced to retire on lap four. Verstappen complained he had "lost the car" before flames leapt out of the vehicle from a brake problem. It was the Dutchman's first retirement since the race at Alberta Park two years ago.

All right. That wraps this hour of "CNN Newsroom." I'm Kim Brunhuber. I'll be back with more news in just a moment. Please do stay with us.