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Human Trafficking Exclusive; Nigeria; Slave Trade; Trump White House; Russia Investigation; European Union; Brexit Talks; National Press Club Recognizes Reuters Journalists With Aubuchon Press Freedom Award; IOC Reinstates Russia's Olympic Membership; Juventus Looking For 4th Straight Cup Title; PSG Face Marseille In Cup Quarterfinal. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired March 1, 2018 - 02:00   ET


[02:00:00] JOHN VAUSE, CNN, HOST: This is CNN Newsroom live from Los Angeles. Ahead this hour, chaos at the, White House, Trump team infighting made public, and yet another top aide walks.

A CNN human trafficking exclusive, he has been freed from his captors but the Nigerian man is grateful for his life, although he is still struggling to survive. Plus, the monsoon season approaching in Bangladesh, the desperate need to shore up the refugee camps before the life threatening rains arrive.

Hello and welcome to our viewers all around the world. I'm John Vause. It is good to have you for the third hour of Newsroom LA. A young Nigerian man put his life savings into his dreams of starting a new life in Europe. What he got in return was a living nightmare of slavery.

Last year, CNN's Nima Elbagir shared his story in her exclusive reporting on migrants being auctioned in Libya. Well, many of his friends have actually made it to Europe. This man has returned home, his dreams shattered. Here's Nima.


NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Benin City in Nigeria is the trafficking capital of the country. It's one of the most trafficked from departure points in the whole continent. It's where tens of thousands of young people, men and women, head off for their dream of Europe.

It's also where tens of thousands of them are returned to with that dream shattered. Today, we're hoping to meet one of those returnees. The last time we saw Victory, he was lying on the floor of a Libyan detention center, just rescued from slavery, begging to be sent back home.

Now, he is back in Nigeria. But has he found his happy ending? How do you feel coming back here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Happy. I'm back home now.

ELBAGIR: Victory is responsible for his mother and three younger siblings. His mother says she is too embarrassed to show her face on camera, too embarrassed to admit her family was desperate enough that her son risked everything to try and make his way to Europe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just have to face everything on my own. So let me see what I can do for myself. So I'm happy to work, even though the pay is not good.

ELBAGIR: Victory is homeless, afraid to burden his mother with his presence, another mouth for her to feed. If anything, Victory says their life now is worse since his return from Libya. But that doesn't mean he is giving up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because everything I do is because of them. I believe that I have to be somebody tomorrow. I have to do something with my life, just move on with my life. That's it.

ELBAGIR: After we did the interview with you in Libya, a lot of people got in touch to say that they thought you were hero. For having survived what you survived. Do you feel like a hero?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm happy that I'm alive today to face tomorrow, to see what I can get for myself.

[02:05:00] ELBAGIR: How many more like Victory will attempt the journey to Europe? Thousands, maybe tens of thousands, many returning to a poverty they say is even more dehumanizing than the horrors they faced in Libya. Victory though, is convinced that his will be a happy ending. That life he lived in Libya, he will again find the strength to survive, Nima Elbagir, Benin City, Ego State, Nigeria.


VAUSE: And if you would like to help people like Victory who have been victimized by the slave trade industry, click on the CNN Freedom Project website at There, you will find links to groups working to stop human trafficking, including the ICRC, Libya's Crisis Appeal, which helps migrants with support and reconnects them with family.

And Nima's reporting has been honored by the Royal Television Society, awarding CNN with the prestigious Scoop of the Year for Nima's exclusive work, exposing the reality of the Libyan slave trade. Nima's team was praised for displaying courage at enterprise on a very dangerous story. Here's Nima after accepting the award.


ELBAGIR: It showed that this is a story that really hit people, but also more importantly that this is a story that needed to be showcased and extraordinary amount.


VAUSE: And congratulations to Nima, her producer, and photo journalist Alex Pratt for journalism which makes a global difference. So ahead of my freedom day on March 14th, we are asking as many as possible for their definition of freedom. Queen Silvia of Sweden is a high profile advocate simple Swedish and international children's charities.

She is the country's longest serving queen, and she told CNN what freedom means to her.


QUEEN SILVIA: To ha your freedom in you heart, you have to know that all your family members, your country, and the children that they are happy, that you have been doing what you can to give them freedom, and then you may have an inner freedom as well.


VAUSE: So what does freedom mean to you? Share your story, using the hashtag #myfreedomday. It's a student led day of action against modern day slavery. Remember the date, March 14th. OK, it has been said before, but it really was another tumultuous day at the White House with President Trump stunning lawmakers with calls for gun control.

There was the resignation of a long-time aide. And Donald Trump renewing Twitter attacks on his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions. And the Washington Post is reporting that Mr. Trump's efforts to force Sessions to quit last year now focus of the Special Counsel's Russia investigation. Meantime, one of the President's closest aides, White House Communications Director, Hope Hicks announced she is leaving.

This comes the day after she testified before the House Intelligence Committee. A source says the President berated Hicks for admitting she sometimes tells white lies on his behalf.

Joining me now for more on this, Democratic Strategist Caroline Heldman, Republican Strategist, Charles Moran, and in New Hampshire, Attorney and Professor Seth Abramson, and Seth, let's start with you because we have this reporting from the Washington Post that the Special Counsel Robert Mueller now asking questions about a period during last year when Donald Trump ramped up the pressure on Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Here is part of the story. The thrust of the questions was to determine whether the President's goal was to out Sessions in order to pick a replacement who would exercise control over the investigation and possible coordination between Russia and the Trump associates during the 2016 election, according to three people.

So Seth, every member of the cabinet serves at the pleasure of the President. They can be fired at any time for any reason. But if the Mueller investigation is looking at this in the context of the obstruction of justice, he needs evidence of corrupt intent, and that appears what he is looking for.

SETH ABRAMSON, ATTORNEY: Well, John, the President can fire anyone in the executive branch for any legal reason. He cannot fire someone for an illegal reason, for instance obstruction of justice. I would say at this point the President has an expansive scheme over period of time, it appears to obstruct justice.

His treatment of Jeff Sessions is just a small part of it. At this point, I would say the evidence that there is a course of conduct on Mr. Trump's part to obstruct justice -- at this point overwhelming. What we are talking about tonight with Jeff Sessions is one piece of evidence among many.

[02:10:00] VAUSE: Charles, is anyone in the White House ,anyone who is left in the White House at this point, is anyone able to go to Donald Trump in the next couple of hours and say, Mr. President, I think it's a really good idea that you should stop saying things like this.


DONALD TRUMP, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: I'm disappointed with the Attorney General, but we will see what happens. Time will tell. Time will tell.


VAUSE: And also maybe, Mr. President, time to lay off the tweets.

CHARLES MORAN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I think what we saw in the President's frustration that he expressed on Twitter, again, comes from the situation where he wants to see more demonstrative action from the Justice Department and the Attorney General. It is clear that you know that the I.G has a bifurcated responsibility, not only to the Attorney General and the President but also to the Congress.

And you know there through this there might be a slower nature. The President has always voiced concern about the speed in which these investigations are being conducted. The leaks that are that are coming out of these types of investigations. They're doing nothing but continuing to fuel the drama machine. I think that what we saw was the President really just being frustrated at the process.

VAUSE: You're referring to the tweet which happened earlier on Wednesday morning. Essentially, what we are talking about here is Donald Trump going after Jeff Sessions for recusing himself and the implications that it had for the Russia investigation. We'll get to the early morning tweet in a moment. Caroline, the Post is also reporting that behind the scenes, Trump referred to Sessions as Mr. McGoo, a cartoon character who is funny and bumbling, according to people from whom he has spoken.

Trump has told associate that he has hired the best lawyers his entire life, but is stuck with Sessions who is not defending him and who is not sufficiently loyal. This is worth repeating. We've said it before. It's not the Attorney General's job to protect the President. The Attorney General swears loyalty to the constitution, not Donald Trump.

CAROLINE HELDMAN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Correct, and so Donald Trump seems to think that Jefferson Sessions is his personal attorney. He absolutely is not. I think when he put Sessions in this position, Donald Trump is learning about how government works, and he really did think his first job was to be loyal and protect him.

And so what he did over the summer and what he is doing now, going after Sessions can all be seen through this lens of obstruction of justice. Mostly because I think Donald Trump just doesn't understand what his job is.

VAUSE: Seth, this is a very unhappy relationship between the President and his Attorney General. As Charles mentioned, it was on Wednesday with the tweet from the President. This is what he tweeted out there. Why is AG Jeff Sessions asking the inspector general to investigate potentially massive FISA abuse? Has no prosecutor power and already late with reports on Comey, etcetera.

Isn't the I.G. an Obama guy? Why not use Justice Department lawyers? Disgraceful. So apparently, the President at this point is outraged by comments Sessions made a day earlier. He would essentially refer issues with the surveillance warrants that they had wrongfully obtained. He would refer this matter to be investigated to the inspector general.

That is essentially the process here. This is what is meant to happen. It doesn't mean the investigation is underway.

ABRAMSON: Well, if I can just correct what was said earlier. In fact, there have been very few leaks from the OIG investigation that Michael Horowitz is conducting. And he is conducting a very complex investigation at this point that's looking into for instance FBI leaks to the Trump campaign during October 2016, right before the election, as well as many other issues.

I'm not sure that it can be said that, that investigation has gone slower than expected. I think there have been fewer leaks than many expected. And so we don't know a lot about what's going on. But the fact is that the President wanted Jeff Sessions to order an investigation of the FISA abuses. I'm not sure there are any grounds for any investigation.

And Jeff Sessions did order the investigation as the President wanted. I think the President is concerned is that I.G. Horowitz will not come to the conclusion that Mr. Trump wants. And I think that's fairly transparent at this point, as is his frustration with Jeff Sessions which stems from not understanding what an Attorney General is or what an Attorney General does, who an Attorney General represents, which is the people of the United States, not the President.

VAUSE: And interesting point about the I.G. is that, yes, he was under Obama but he's also served Republican administrations as well.

ABRAMSON: Yeah, I don't think we have any evidence that I.G. Horowitz is a political actor. Because there have been few leaks from that particular investigation. What I would say is that investigation has been under reported, under discussed. I'm not sure if Mr. Trump would like us to discuss it more. Because again, one of the major issues the I.G. looks at is why the FBI was leaking to Rudy Giuliani and possibly others in the Trump campaign in October of 2016.

We're not talking about that now. But we will be talking about it when the report comes out hopefully in the next few months.

VAUSE: And Charles, if the President has such little faith in the Attorney General, why not fire him.

[02:15:00] MORAN: Well, the Attorney General has offered his resignation to President Trump. President Trump did not accept it and said quite demonstratively that he wants Jeff Sessions in the job. There are going to be ups and downs. But again, I believe the frustration is born out of the fact that the Justice Department is the hub of a number of investigations going on right now.

The FBI is lodged under the Justice Department. Clearly, the I.G.'s projects and investigations are lodged under the Justice Department as well. We're still continuing to see a lot of holdover from the last Presidential election, the things that went into that, he Russia investigations. This is all being housed in this one area.

And again, this process is going at a pace -- and there are number of leaks beyond the I.G.'s office. But with the other investigations going on that are doing nothing but to drag on the President's leadership and his ability to advance his agenda. That frustration is very, very clear and it's very justified.

VAUSE: You know what is interesting, Caroline, at 7:35 p.m. Washington Time, Wednesday night, Jeff Sessions, the Attorney General, his Deputy, Rob Rosenstein, the Solicitor General, Noel Francisco, all seen walking together to a very up market restaurant in D.C. for dinner.

It seemed to be a show of solidarity. Something for the President to consider, perhaps, fire Jeff Sessions and then what, fire Rosenstein, and then what? This was a moment I think which you know sort of encapsulates what the President is looking at should he go down that road.

HELDMAN: He should not go down that road for his own sake. It would be a self-inflicted wound to start firing people in order to stop the Mueller investigation. I absolutely disagree with you, Charles. I think that Mueller has an obligation and Jeff Sessions has an obligation to make sure that these investigations do go forward, and that they take place with all of the due diligence and the speed that they take.

So the idea that you want to speed it up or you want to remove people so that that they don't uncover things, this is the pattern of obstruction that is being investigated. And it's almost as though it doesn't matter that's being investigated because Donald Trump is still engaging in actions which has bought this investigation upon him.

VAUSE: OK. Another senior aide to the President is gone, Communications Director Hope Hicks. She quit apparently in tears after the President berated her for telling lawmakers that she sometimes tells white lies on behalf of Donald Trump. Seth, it seems Robert Mueller has been especially interested in one comment that she made to the New York Times after the election. Just a few days after the election, she had there had bee no contact

between Russian officials and the Trump campaign. Clearly, that is not accurate. Given her position, how she has been close to Donald Trump, not just during the administration but during the campaign and before that, it would be hard to imagine that she would be unaware of that contact, right?

ABRAMSON: I think so. I think it's important to understand first that this was the President's gatekeeper, still is until she formally resigns, and has been from day one. If you wanted to get in touch with Donald Trump via email or any other means, you would go through Hope Hicks. She has a lot of the basis of knowledge and basic knowledge that Donald Trump has about the events that Mr. Mueller is interested in.

She said that she told white lies on occasion when working with Mr. Trump, and that particular statement about no Russian contact, she said her white lies had nothing to do with Russia, a substantive relating to the Mueller investigation. But I think that Bob Mueller appears to doubts that. And the questions he is asking suggests that he thinks that Hope Hicks may not have been honest, consistent with his fear about her conversation with Mark Corallo over the Donald Trump Jr. statement, and her suggesting that perhaps the e-mails between Donald Trump Jr. and Rob Goldstein would not be revealed ultimately.

I'm sure he has some concerns based on public reporting about Hope Hicks being honest in that situation.

VAUSE: And according to the New York Times, she told colleagues that she had accomplished what she felt she could with her job. That made her one of the most powerful people in Washington, and that there would never be a more perfect moment to leave.

Charles, this is a White House in crisis. This is probably the worst time for the Communications Director to be leaving, right?

MORAN: Well, Maggie this morning in The New York Times stated from multiple sources that Hope had been talking about departing the White House for the last several months, corroborated by multiple sources. This wasn't just a snap moment where she got her wrist slapped by the President, and then decided to quit on the spot.

So this has evidently been a continuing conversation. She was at the White House for about 12 months. The average time span for any White House aide to be in that position is about 18 months, so she is slightly below the bar, but not outside of that zone.


MORAN: She's not packing up her bags and walking out the door tomorrow. She is going to be in her position for the next several weeks, continuing to work on behalf of the President and the American people. But again, this is a very demanding job. It is a demanding position. There is a lot of cycling in some of these types, especially in this administration. [02:20:00] Once again, the facts don't show that because of what

happened yesterday and the house hearing, or what may have happened this morning with the President's conversation with her, that that was the cause. Once again, plenty of evidence to show that she has been thinking about this departure for a while.

VAUSE: Very quickly, we're going to go reform because there was this bipartisan meeting of lawmakers in the White House on Wednesday.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just doing something on this background check issue and using that as a base and then -- I would like to add some of the other things we talked about, I think would make a major difference.

TRUMP: If you add that to this bill, that would be great. If you could add what you have also, and I think you can, into the bill, can you do that? Joe, can you do that?


VAUSE: OK. Who is that guy and what did he do with Donald Trump? Because what he is talking about there -- excited about is that she wants to include a ban on assault weapons. So Caroline, I'll leave you to have the last word. Is this a real moment here? Do you think there will be progress given what we saw today in the White House?

HELDMAN: It's extraordinary that he promised, right? Outlying bump stocks, domestic violence ban, national registry, the assault weapons ban, and so Diane Feinstein is downright gitty because he sounds like everything the Democrats have been fighting for, for common sense gun reform. Will it happen? No, this is a flip-flopper.

The second thing is a lot of this has to go through Congress. He has not been able to pass anything really through Congress that they didn't want to pass. I think it's a lot of talk. I don't think we'll see much action.

VAUSE: Very quickly, Charles.

MORAN: I think the President is walking the line here. I think he's earnest in trying to make a deal. We just saw a President who is really trying to forge consensus here. He knows that he's going to have a fight on the right if he tries to institute some of these things, but I think he is willing to do it because he sees where the American people are.

VAUSE: OK. Charles, thank you. Caroline, as well as Seth, thank you all for being with us. Most appreciated.

Well, Brexit talks getting a little more contention over what to do with the Northern Ireland border. The latest on the fallout after the British Prime Minister weighed in. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. British Prime Minister Theresa May is at odds again with the European Union over Brexit talks. The issue now is the new proposal from the European Union to keep Northern Ireland in a trade union. Mrs. May has made it clear that no British Prime Minister could ever accept that. Erin McLaughlin joins us now live from Brussels in Belgium. So Erin, what is going on here? This is complicated. It is controversial. What are they going to do about this Irish border? Just how at odds are the EU and UK government when it comes to this issue?

[02:25:00] ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, at this point, it looks like the Northern Ireland issue could threaten to derail this entire process. You may remember that back in December, both sides reached a political agreement on what to do about Northern Ireland. At the time of that agreement, a senior EU diplomat telling me that that agreement was "pure fudge."

Now, that has been translated by the European Union into legally enforceable text. It's their draft version of the agreement reached in December in legal ease. And essentially, what that does, it says as a fall back option Northern Ireland would remain a part of the EU's customs union if the UK does not come forward with alternative proposals, which so far it has not done.

Alternative proposals in the form of some sort of trade agreement or some sort of technological solution to this issue, so once again, this is back on the negotiating table. And as the Chief Negotiator for the European Union, Michelle Barnier said yesterday, the clock is ticking. They have about six months to figure this out.

VAUSE: There is also an issue with the so-called transition or implementation period. What did the European Union Chief Negotiator say?

MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah, that's right. What was put out yesterday by Michelle Barnier was 120-page comprehensive draft, legal document that covered the withdrawal issues as well as the transition. Now, this is going to be sent to member states for feedback before being put on the negotiating table with the United Kingdom.

As I said, it includes the transition. Barnier, yesterday pointing to sticking points when it comes to the transition, which essentially is a time period requested by the United Kingdom to allow for British businesses to implement the Brexit agreement, a time period of around two years. Key sticking points though, remain including what happens to citizens moving to United Kingdom and vice versa ding the implementation period, as well as what sort of say the United Kingdom could potentially have over any rule making process, any rules passed by the EU during that time period.

Those are all questions that still need to be resolved. But keep in mind, that British business community has been asking for Theresa May to finalize a transition deal by the end of March. Once again, time is running out on that.

VAUSE: Divorce is never easy. It always takes a long time. Erin, thank you.

Well, coming up, life for Rohingya refugees, especially the children is already a miserable daily struggle. That could get a whole lot worse with the coming monsoon season. There to save the children in Bangladesh will be with us, after the break.


[02:30:00] VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. You're watching CNN Newsroom. We're live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause. We'll check the headlines this hour. An hour long meeting with lawmakers, Donald Trump expressed support for a number of gun reform opposed by the National Rifle Association as well as members of his own party. He urged them not to fear the powerful gun law by the NRA. Recalling from this, from the background checks and raising the legal age limit to buy rifles.

The Russia investigation is reportedly focusing on President Trump's efforts to ousted Attorney General and whether in amounts of obstruction of justice. The Washington Post reports the Special Counsel is looking at the President's threats last after Jeff Session recused himself from the Russia probe.

British Prime Minister Theresa May is having another run-in with the European Union over plans to pull the U.K. out of the E.U. The European Union wants to give Northern Ireland in a trade union but Mrs. May says that would harm trade within the United Kingdom and ne British leader could accept that.

Few journalists with the Reuters News Agency were back in court in Myanmar on Wednesday. They're accused of possessing states secrets but insist they were simply doing their jobs covering the Rohingya crisis and they've met two police officers for dinner and were arrested when those officers handed them a bundle of documents. Not long after that authorities dug out a mass grave in a Rohingya village. One of the journalists still in hand cuffs, said police learned about the massacre of reporting by both him and his colleagues.


KYAW SOE OO, JOURNALIST, REUTERS (via translator): We were arrested while covering the news. We cover the end-in story as you know. Aung San Suu Kyi said, it is new that the top madaja had admitted to what happened. Nobody recognized that we were the first the ones that shed light on that fact.


VAUSE: Mark Pierce is country director for Save the Children. He joins us now live from Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh. Mark, thank you for taking the time. Just on the story with the journalists. The military has now admitted carrying out a massacre in Indian Village. It's an area where officials are continued to block the access. And that like of information from that part of Myanmar continues to be a major concern. MARK PIERCE, COUNTRY DIRECTOR, SAVE THE CHILDREN: Well, of course it is, and we've called for some independent monitoring of this situation but there is a dire lack of information coming out of that area.

VAUSE: The Save the Children has always this comprehensive report of what life is like for the children in those refugee camps. According to the interviews, the fears include wild elephants and snakes, violent men lurking in the forest and human traffickers on the prow during the night. In general, children are very resilient but how do they cope with this type of trauma?

PIERCE: That's a very good point. You know, the children have experienced a lot of trauma in this -- in this crisis and they continue to experience a lot of trauma. They have fear of violence and sexual assault. They have -- they have fears of kidnapping and trafficking. And of course they are also worried about their own health and whether or not they'll have enough food to eat. So it's really important that we try to do everything we can to try to appease them and try to address those fears and provide whatever assistance we can.

VAUSE: Those fears will be growing with monsoon season on its way because the rains are expected to cause some nature damage to the camps. What is being done to shore up, you know, these very clumsy structures and to try to prepare the area for the rain and essentially save lives.

PIERCE: Yes. Absolutely. There's a hundred thousand people had great risk in terms of landslides, flooding, and of course that would follow, this would perhaps the help of a health crisis. And so, say the children is addressing it by trying to improve people's shelters and trying to build basic and improve basic infrastructures such as drainage and bridges. Also, in terms of improving their early warning system that -- so that people can plan and get out of the way of the -- of the floods where they can -- and find a higher ground or better ground to protect themselves.

VAUSE: Do they have an escape plan as it means showing them where they need to go when the rains come, they have like a route workout?

PIERCE: Very good question. You have basically 700,000 or 800,000 people living in a very limited geographic area. So where to go is part of the problem. So we are trying to reinforce embankments on hills in order to better protect the hills from landslides and also trying to see what provisions can be made to be evacuate people to side-bang shelters or other safe places.

VAUSE: It's a hundred thousand people. I mean, it's incredible to think, it sound difficult that will be when the rains come. Finally, we have Three female Nobel Laureates arrived that visited the camp center in Bangladesh over the last couple of days. They wanted to arrange this meeting Aung San Suu Kyi, there was no response. Mairead Maguire had this message for Aung San Suu Kyi, the de facto leader of Myanmar and also a Nobel Peace Prize winner. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) [02:35:11] MAIREAD MAGUIRE, PEACE ACTIVIST: The Rohingya people have

every right to have their citizenship , their safety in security, they have a right to human rights and democracy. Let's have the other 135 (INAUDIBLE) so we look forward to (INAUDIBLE) our sister Laura. And we hope that she will have -- and be supported by the people of the world. The courage to speak art against the genocide that has been carried out by (INAUDIBLE)


VAUSE: It was a little difficult to hear but let me verify. She basically said, all children have right to live and she was asking for all leaders including Aung San Suu Kyi to have the courage to speak out against the genocide. At this point, is there any hope or any realistic expectation that Suu Kyi will actually do anything to end these atrocities?

PIERCE: Well, it's very difficult for me to comment on that. I don't know the situation in Myanmar very well. I will say that it is very important that the international community step up and try to find a durable solution to this terrible refugee crisis. It is the children that are most affected. This is a children's emergency. 55 percent of all the new arrivals are children. That's almost 400,000. So it is -- I don't know, I would say that it's very important that all leaders really step up and try to address the underlying problems of this crisis.

VAUSE: Very quickly. So we have a little bit of time left but world leaders are not stepping up to help out with this problem. So what can anybody out there do who wants to help -- what are their options to help out the Rohingya right now?

PIERCE: Well, I would -- I would suggest that people contribute to organizations like Save the Children for $35.00 we can a feed a family of seven for a month. For $50.00 we can provide therapeutic food for a child that's malnourish. And for a thousand dollars we can make sure that children are able to learn or better protected to child- friendly spaces. So it is great if people can step up and contribute because this is a tragedy that no child should face.

VAUSE: And this is -- this a group of people who are not being held in any serious way by anyone around the world. I guess from apart from Bangladesh which is hosting the many refugee camps. So that's about it. But Mark, we run out of time but thank you so much. It is always good to see you.

PIERCE: Thank you.

VAUSE: Commercial break. When we come back. The star and Oscar- nominated writer of the hit film The Big Six explaining why he's pushing Hollywood to include more minorities in his big ticket productions.


VAUSE: Hollywood likes nothing better than nine of self-commercial agents and the biggest Mac Daddy of them of all, it's this Sunday and the Academy Awards. And laid out to the Oscars, CNN has the series called Creators and this profile is on Kumail Nanjiani.

[02:40:08] I think I got that wrong. Let me try again. Kumail Nanjiani, the star of the film, The Big Sick. He's also nominated for an Oscar for best original screenplay for the movie and he explains the challenges and the rewards of being a self-agent immigrant in Hollywood.


KUMAIL NANJIANI, -PAKISTANI STAND-UP COMEDIAN: I just enjoy the part of storytelling in this medium, you know, in my performance and writing. I really -- it's my favorite thing to do.

I like telling stories and whatever the appropriate format is, so that's what I did with stand-up and that's what I do with Silicon Valley which is, you know, servicing somebody else's version but putting a piece of myself into somebody else's version. Then the movie was tremendously satisfying, was being able to tell our story in this long format. Heckling doesn't have to be negative.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So if I -- if I yield out like you're amazing and bad, that thing heckled?

NANJIANI: Yes. Being accurate heckled. This story is obviously so important to us and I was very aware that we have one shot at it, like if we didn't get the story right, the story was never going to get to hold again, you know.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you very much. It was kind of like whole new world, go home, and like hope.

NANJIANI: You traveled the race (INAUDIBLE)

You know, it's tough because there aren't that many stories from South Asian perspective, so each story does have the pressure to represent a huge group of people that cannot be represented by any single story. I mean, the experiences being a South Asian immigrant in America is not (INAUDIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is the way that player shines, your X- files, that's your favorite show. The truth is out there.

NANJIANI: Hollywood I think is finally realizing that stories from the perspectives of people who don't generally get to tell stories are not just good for , you know, society. They're actually good for moneymaking.

NANJIANI: I think I'm just going to wait anyway.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You guys broke up. I'm not sure why you're here. You don't have to worry about being committed to anything now. You didn't want to when she was wake. There's no need to do it when she's unconscious. NANJIANI: Our industry has a lot of work to do, you know, in many different ways and a lot of that stuff is coming to life right now and these are the first steps in the right direction and sort of fixing some of these problems that we have -- that we've had for decades I guess. I mean, I hope -- I hope that we're heading towards that industry that's more inclusive that celebrates different voices and celebrates different experiences and that is -- that treats people from different groups equally.


VAUSE: Please join Isha and me for the special coverage of the Academy Awards. We'll have all the winners and the losers, the scandals, the controversies and of course, from Fox and (INAUDIBLE) from Hollywood's biggest night that's right after as we telecast 1:00 p.m. Monday in Hong Kong, 5:00 a.m. Monday in London morning. So that will be here on CNN. Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause. Stay with us now. "WORLD SPORT" is next. You're watching CNN.


[02:45:28] KATE RILEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL SPORTS ANCHOR: Hello and welcome along to WORLD SPORT. I'm Kate Riley at CNN Center. Where I kind of begin with some big needs from the International Olympic Committee on Wednesday. Russia had its Olympic membership restored after the Pyeongchang suspension.

169 Russians were invited to the games but were barred from marching under their flag and playing their national anthem. Instead, they have to be known as Olympic athletes from Russia. During the games, two Russian athletes tested positive for doping violations in South Korea. The IOC board ruled on Sunday that if all other tests came back clean, the suspension will be lifted. Which the IOC has now confirmed is the case.

Russian Olympic Committee President Alexander Zhukov, spoke on state television on Wednesday, to express just how important message to the country.


ALEXANDER ZHUKOV, PRESIDENT, RUSSIAN OLYMPIC COMMITTEE (through translator): It's a decision of utmost importance to us because the Russian Olympic Committee has had its rights fully restored. And it's a fully legitimate part of the International Olympic family without any losses.

All this happening on the same day that President Vladimir Putin welcome Russian medalists from the games. At the Kremlin ceremony, he gave out awards to the winners and medalists from his country. Putin praising the female figure skaters who came away with gold and silver in Pyeongchang. The men's hockey team victory also got a mention, calling the gold a great gift for millions of Russian fans.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): You withstood sport, strain, and tensions around supports with dignity, endured emotional challenges and showed your best qualities as athletes and as people, and you showed the character of a fighter. We know how difficult it was for each of you. How tough was this marathon?

PAVEL DATSYUK, ICE HOCKEY PLAYER, RUSSIA (through translator): We have worthily defended the honor of our country. Thanks to the Russian character, support, and trust of our great and huge Russia. Thank you for your help, you allowed us to prove to the world that a Russian character is not beaten down. And it will never be beaten down.


RILEY: The IOC's decision will not affect the 30 Russian athletes competing in next month's PyeongChang Paralympics. They will still compete as neutral Paralympic athletes. The International Paralympic Committee has told CNN, it stands by a suspension of the Russian Paralympic Committee. Meanwhile, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency remain suspended by the World Anti-Doping Agency, WADA.

All right, to football now and semifinals of a Cup fourth Italia, where Juventus are looking for unprecedented fourth straight title, and what would be the 13th in total in the semifinals. They save the team who by comparison, had won a Cup fourth Italia title since 1963, Atalanta.

The old lady had won the first leg, 1-0 away in January. And it was the same again, back in (INAUDIBLE) Miralem Pjanic with the penalty in the second half. Meant that (INAUDIBLE) will be back in the final for record 18th time.

Well, in the all of semi-final, it was another Italian powerhouse, AC Milan. They've got five Coppa Italian titles to their name but none since 2003, in which time their opponents last year had won three.

The first leg ended goalless, (INAUDIBLE) the second leg which meant they need a penalty kick to decide the winner. And they need a seven round of them before a Lazio Romagnoli put it past the keeper to give AC Milan the ticket to the final. So, will be Juventus stop against AC Milan at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on May 9th. Can Juventus win four straight Coppa Italia title? A feat never done before.

Well, over in France, we have yet, another update to the Neymar injury Saga. On Sunday, the Brazilian superstar suffered a crack in his right foot and sprained had his ankle during Paris Saint-Germain's 3-0 win over Marseille. Initial reports suggested the strike might undergo surgery and could be missing for several weeks.

Meaning, he would miss the crucial match-up with Real Madrid in the Champion's League next week. Then, on Tuesday, the club pushed back. They suggesting no decision had been made regarding treatment there. And that Neymar was not yet ruled out of the match with Madrid.

However, on Wednesday, the PSG Striker's father told ESPN that he expect his son to be out at six to eight weeks. And now there's -- there was no chance of playing against Real Madrid. Now, it does seem as though, the 26 year old will need surgery after all. And according to the club, a joint decision between the medical staff of PSG and the Brazilian national team house ruled that Neymar will return to Brazil this week for surgery. Here is the kick, so to speak. We'll the surgery will be performed by a Brazilian doctor, PSG will be sending their own doctor to accompany the surgeon during the procedure.

[02:50:11] RILEY: Speaking of PSG, they were back in action on Wednesday, facing the exact same opponents they played on Sunday when they saw that superstar striker's foot broken. Marseille, this time again, and they will playing in the Coupe de France. So, PSG, just like UEFA in Italy, a three-time defending champions.

And just like over the weekend, it was a pretty easy win for the Parisian. Angel Di Maria, pinning PSG at 1-0 just before the break. And grabbing another just a few minutes into the second half with nine minutes to go. Jimmy and (INAUDIBLE), Edinson Cavani who made it 3-0, the final score -- same as Sunday, would you believe? Paris Saint- Germain into semi for the Coupe de France.

Coming up on the show, how Los Angeles is fast becoming a soccer town? How the new club there is hoping for a Hollywood ending to their first season?


RILEY: Welcome back to the show, we're off to Los Angeles. This city is set to have a second major league soccer team enter the division, and it's going to be the 23rd team in what will be the 23rd season of the league. In fact, LAFC announced today that it's sold out of full season memberships, for the club's inaugural season which kicks off on Sunday against the Seattle founders. Former men's national team coach Bob Bradley is in charge in LAFC. And not looking to merely make-up the numbers here, as our partners at coup at 90 found out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: L.A. is a football city waiting to happen. Sunshine, massive youth participation, and a string of international communities in love with the world game. From footballing contacts, the galaxy have been there for years, but just look at where they located. By being the most successful club in the MLS, they've always struggled to gain a (INAUDIBLE) following. Carson is far from the center of town, you can make it only by highway.

Now, LAFC are in town, and they seem to be doing it right. Putting a ground at the center of the town, at the junction that connects the second biggest Mexican City in the world. Massive Korea and Japanese populations. A (INAUDIBLE) of Central American communities, Iranis, you name it. When you think the World Cup in 2018, L.A. will have a lot more citizens actively involved in the outcome games than many participating nations, and that's with the U.S. already being eliminated.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just so what is it like to build a club as like as a supporter's liaison officer? [02:55:01] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You've got a group of supporters who haven't been able to see a team play.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is it like building something like that organically and trying to make it feel genuine?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's awesome, it's been embracing people who come to us from day one. A back before we were even black and gold, it just when we were announced. Talking to the people that were already raising the flag saying, "Hey, I support LAFC." And (INAUDIBLE) them into the office and saying, "Hey, what do you want out of this club? What do you want out of your supported culture?"

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Owners like Magic Johnson, Mia Helm, no more Garcia Par and Will Farrell, are representative of this cities ever as make-up. The ultras are gathering under the ban of 3252, named after the capacity of the brand new stadium standing section.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: First in the very beginning, we had the black army and the district 9 ultras. Engage (INAUDIBLE) and gone away. So, they worried (INAUDIBLE), a brand new club that represents that. So they came in first. Then, we saw new groups Pop up on social media. We started (INAUDIBLE). And they want to start something (INAUDIBLE) no offense to the Chivas USA guys. They want to be an LAFC from the beginning and onwards supporter group. And so, the two got together, they worked it out. And then, we started saving all these new groups that pop up meet each other. (INAUDIBLE).

Everyone can have different personalities, different groups can have different cultures. But if they're together, they know it's strong.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In classic L.A. fashion, they've already made a malice headlines. Sign the likes of Mexican international Carlos Vela, Egyptian international Omar Gaber, and the promising young Uruguayan forward, Diego Rossi. Along with Coach Bob Bradley, it's hard to believe they've get to play a game.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, L.A. is a huge soccer city, man. I'd play the biggest soccer city in the country, but it just -- it hasn't really been a movement to get all those people into one local club.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Even the (INAUDIBLE) have seen the galaxy has bought a new exciting element with fans thanking over each other's murals. Something that first emerges in the L.A. group (INAUDIBLE) to seen is coming back full circle to the ultras.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is LAFC fans are emerging of two groups. Those who supported Chivas USA, and a new set of fans, closely tied at center of the city and eager to finally have a club of their own. They bringing together all those arteries that makeup Los Angeles and turning it into one beating heart.


RILEY: And that's it from us here at World Sport. I'm Kate Riley, stay with CNN. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)