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Prime Minister Theresa May Optimistic with Her New Brexit Deal; More Children to Feed with Less Resources; Boeing Planes Grounded Over Ethiopian Airlines Crash; United Kingdom Parliament Set To Vote On Prime Minister's Latest Brexit Deal; Cockpit Voice And Data Recorders Found In Ethiopia Crash; Sorrow And Alarm After Deadly Plane Crash In Ethiopia; Battle Rages Over Syria's Last ISIS Enclave; Benjamin Netanyahu Comments Spark Backlash; CNN Freedom Project. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired March 12, 2019 - 03:00   ET


[03:00:00] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: A possible Brexit breakthrough, with the deadline looming, Theresa May promises some changes to her deal but will it be enough to pass through parliament.

Questions around the crash of the Ethiopian Airlines flight including whether the 737 MAX 8 is safe to fly?

Plus, saving Venezuela's young and hungry. The nation's orphans are struggling to survive amid the humanitarian crisis.

Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church, and this is CNN Newsroom.

Well, British Prime Minister Theresa May says she has gotten parliament what it wants. Legally binding changes to the Brexit deal and alternatives to the Irish backstop. Now we will have to see if lawmakers buy it.

They are set to vote on the latest deal in the upcoming hours. If they reject it, that will set up a new vote on whether to pursue a no deal Brexit. And if that vote were to fail, they would vote Thursday on whether to delay the March 29th Brexit deadline.

Here was Mrs. May on Monday after talks with the E.U. officials in France.


THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Tomorrow the House of Commons will debate the improved deals that these legal changes have created. I will speak in more detail about them when I open that debate. P.P.'s were clear that legal changes were needed to the backstop.

Today, we have secured legal changes. Now is the time to come together, to back this improve Brexit deal. And to deliver on the instruction of the British people.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CHURCH: Well, for more CNN's Has Gold is live outside 10 Downing Street in London. She joins us now. So Hadas, will everyone get on board? Will lawmakers vote for Theresa May so-called improved Brexit deal?

HADAS GOLD, CNN POLITICS, MEDIA AND BUSINESS REPORTER: Rosemary, that is the big question. It was a late night for Theresa May, for Jean- Claude Juncker and for members of parliament waiting here in London to hear what Theresa May and the European Union had come up with to try and reassure that M.P.'s were still on the fence, still debating whether to vote for Theresa May's deal.

Now Theresa May claim the victory, she said she came out with some legally binding assurances on issues related to that backstop. That an insurance policy, about whether there will be a hard border between Northern Ireland which is part of the U.K. and the republic of Ireland which to stay part of the E.U. in case that they can't get any sort of agreement worked out.

Now keep in mind, this is an insurance policy about something that may or may not happen. But that has been the sticking point for a lot of members of parliament. Theresa May said she got some legally binding assurance that will make sure that will -- should assure these members of parliament that everything will be OK and as they want it.

But for many members of parliament, for example, the Labour Party already came out and said, this isn't enough. It doesn't reopen the agreement like we wanted to. But this at least is something.

After so many weeks, so many months of what seeming like a Groundhog Day of just going back to the same things over and over again. Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker came forward with something that members of parliament can work with.

The question is tonight whether that will convince enough members of parliament to vote in favor of Theresa May's deal. Now as you noted, if that does not happen then we immediately go into a few extra votes.

Tomorrow, there will be a vote that will give the members of parliament the possibility to take a no deal crashing out off the table. Then, on the next day, on Thursday, we will have another vote that could extend article 50, where that would extend the deadline of when the U.K. needs to leave the European Union.

So, although tonight is a big vote it could be just the beginning of what would be a monumental week for this Brexit process, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Indeed. All right. Hadas Gold there at 10 Downing Street. Many thanks to you for setting all of that out and for setting up our next interview. I appreciate that.

Joining us now from Brussels New York Times chief diplomatic correspondent, Steve Erlanger. So, I mean, Steven, just 17 days to go not a lot of detail to go on. How likely is it do you think that these lawmakers will get on board Theresa May's new improved Brexit deal? STEVEN ERLANGER, LONDON BUREAU CHIEF, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Well, a lot will depend on what the Democratic Unionist Party decides. These are the 10 votes that keep Theresa May in power but they are also Brexiteers unlike most of the rest of Northern Ireland.

So, their vote will I think be definitive because a lot of hard line Brexiters inside the Tory Party they don't obviously like this deal, probably would go long if the DUP does.

So, this is really dicey and a lot will depend on whether the Attorney General Jeffrey Cox says this new arrangement or this lipstick on a pig, let's put it honestly, is enough to satisfy him legally to make it politically possible for Theresa May to get this through.

[03:05:08] Now my guess is it won't get through but it will be much narrower and that will still be, you know, do -- will still be doing this right up till the very, very end.

CHURCH: Yes. I mean, that's what seeing here, isn't it which is just extraordinary. The new deal as you mentioned there includes legally binding changes on the Irish backstop. The --


ERLANGER: Well, not so legally binding. I mean, there --

CHURCH: I mean, she, that's what Theresa May says they are.

ERLANGER: But they are legal reinterpretations. Well that's what she said.

CHURCH: Right.

ERLANGER: But they are legally, you know, it's a document that is legal that basically adds reassurance to the reassurance to the reassurance. It doesn't change a word of the withdrawal agreement which is the point.

CHURCH: And so, it doesn't go far enough and won't satisfy the critics, presumably.

ERLANGER: Well, personally, I think it should. Because I think they have pushed it so far that if they're not careful they may lose Brexit altogether. Jean-Claude Juncker said late last night this is it. You know, we're not doing anymore. This is as far as we can go. So, it's time to vote for this.

Now, of course, there's always the chance. There's a big E.U. summit meeting of all the leaders March 21 and March 22, a week from now. And of course, there could be last-minute things done then which would give her time at least for another vote before March 29.

But there need to be an extension in any case, and the votes that parliaments will do if it goes down if it fails tonight vote on no deal vote on extension. This require agreement from the European Union. This is nothing parliament can simply judge by itself. So, I think you know, she has a much better chance tonight, but if she fails, I don't think she is just going to give up.

CHURCH: No. We've seen her forge forth on this, haven't we?


CHURCH: Opposition leader, of course, Jeremy Corbyn calling on lawmakers to reject the prime minister's new Brexit deal. If they do that what's likely to happen next. We're looking at the possible crashing out or possible delay, but then what? I mean, because they've got to make a decision at some point even delaying this --


CHURCH: -- and kicking the can down road. At some point a decision has to be made as to what they going to do. I mean, there has to be a point where you have to stop and say again. They got their backstop against the wall, but do something here.

ERLANGER: Well, quite right. But the problem is if you don't make a decision, a decision is made for you because on March 29 at midnight is out of the E.U. if nothing else happens. So that is, you know, no decision that is the kind of decision.

Now the Labour Party will obviously oppose anything that she proposes, at least officially. But she is hoping to win some Labour members who want this over with particularly who were elected in Brexit favoring constituencies. She is hoping to get conservatives in her own party who are fearful that if this former Brexit doesn't go through Brexit itself might be thrown out the window by a new referendum.

And I think she's hoping that the general fed-upness of everyone will push her over the line. But again, as I said, I think she'll narrow the margin. If she doesn't win this time, I am sure she's to come back a third time after this new summit next week.

CHURCH: A bit of deja vu going on here. We shall see in just a few hours I supposed. Many thanks to you, Steven Erlanger for joining us and your analysis.

ERLANGER: Thanks, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Well, a second deadly crash in less than five months of Boeing's price new airplane. The 737 MAX 8 is raising new safety concerns that could shape the travel industry and Boeing's future for years to come.

A growing list of countries including China, Indonesia, India, South Korea, Mexico and Argentina are grounding their Boeing 737 MAX 8 as a precaution after Sunday's crash in Ethiopia which killed 157 people.

Now the move to ground the jets is not good news for Boeing or for its investors who watch the company's stock plunged more than 13 percent at one point Monday before recouping some of those losses. The company says it saddened by the loss of life and has a technical

team in Ethiopia to help the investigation. It also announced a new software upgrade that's been in the works since the Lion Air crash in October but says it's too early to know what caused Sunday's crash.

[03:10:03] Well, Farai Sevenzo is in Nairobi, Kenya. He joins us now. Farai, we've talked about this global tragedy. So many different nationalities on that plane. What are you learning and what more are you learning about the people on board the doomed flight?

FARAI SEVENZO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, they are not ordinary travelers, they are not young kids out on a backpack to look at the animals out here in South Africa. They are real sort of Afro files, if I can put it that way. People who work in the humanitarian sector.

We have, for example, Ambassador Bashua, a retired Nigerian foreign service officer who died within the crash. We also a father of eight to Kenyan national who was part of the Kenyan Football Association, and of course, the pilot himself.

We know Yared Gatechew, a senior Ethiopian Airlines pilot who the CEO of Ethiopian Airlines tell us that he had an excellent flying record and flew over 8,000 hours. And of course, these nationalities, Rosemary are coming from all over the planet.

Just to give a kind of indication of how far that goes. About three Russians dead. Look at the WFP people who loss several people in this tragedy ranging from this kind of nationalities.

An Italian, a Nepalese, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, eight Chinese nationals. It just shows you the scale of this tragedy that these flights, these shuttle flights from Addis Ababa to Nairobi carry so many different nationalities.

And of course, don't forget, Nairobi is traditionally the headquarters of the United Nations on this continent. And of course, Addis Ababa is the seat of the African union.

So, these people are going back and forth to talk to policymakers. And of course, we had an archaeologist on board. We had a doctor, we had a medical student. It's all coming to the full right now, Rosemary, about what the scale the tragedy has and it has touch so many people and so many different cities, and of course, in so many different countries.

CHURCH: Yes. It is just hard to fathom, isn't it? And I do want to talk to you about reaction there in Kenya to the crash and the investigation that's followed given the frequent use of this very same air route from Addis Ababa to Nairobi.

SEVENZO: Well, interestingly enough, Rosemary, just yesterday, we were here 24 hours after Sunday's tragedy, and of course, those same -- excuse me -- those same flights were continuing to operate. Mr. (Inaudible), the country controller of Ethiopian Airlines was in pain to tell us yesterday in eastern (Inaudible) press conference. And he said, look, Ethiopian Airlines is a very successful airline.

They do over 300 flights a day. And just to get back to this point, the feeling here is that people continue to travel this shutter route because it is efficient, it is cheap, and it's one of the best in this part of the world.

So, we met a young woman yesterday coming out of Washington, D.C. who would have taken that very same route, that same flight, and luckily for her it wasn't that very same airplane.

CHURCH: Totally it is just, it's such a horrible story to cover, but it's important to get the stories of those people who were on board this flight and to get some answers to why this plane went down.

Farai Sevenzo, thank you so much for joining us from Nairobi, Kenya. We appreciate it.

And keep in mind you can stay up-to-date with the latest news on the Ethiopian Airlines crash. We are tracking it all live. Just go to

Well, it was the first White House briefing in a very long time. Questions was supposed to be about the budget, instead.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How do think Democrats hate Jewish people as he said on the South Lawn.

SARAH HUCKABEE-SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I think that's a question frankly, I think you should ask Democrats what their position is.


CHURCH: The focus on the president's latest attack on Democrats.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Before, all the groceries didn't fit in the car, she says. Now with the same amount of money maybe you carry one or two bags.


CHURCH: Caring for Venezuela's abandoned children the country's orphanages crippled by economic crisis.


CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone.

Well, U.S. President Donald Trump officially laid out his spending plan for 2020 Monday. And the White House held its press briefing in more than a month for the occasion.

But Kaitlan Collins reports other issues were up at most in reporter's minds.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: The first White House press briefing in 42 days was supposed to focus on President Trump's new budget proposal.


SANDERS: President Trump's 2020 budget, which was released today --


COLLINS: But it was quickly overshadowed after Sarah Sanders refused to deny a report claiming Trump told a room of Republican donors that Democrats hate Jewish people.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just say or no. Does he really believe Democrats hate Jews. I'm just trying to get the answer to that.

SANDERS: I think that's a question you ought to ask the Democrats.


COLLINS: Instead, the press secretary hitting Democrats for not going far enough to rebuke their own members.


SANDERS: Democrats had a number of opportunities to condemn specific comments that have refused to do that.


COLLINS: And pointing to Republicans calling Congressman Steve King out by name for his racist comments.


SANDERS: We called it out by name. We stripped him of his committee memberships and we'd like to see Democrats follow suit.


COLLINS: But the president never condemned King.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I haven't following it. I really haven't been following.


COLLINS: The back and forth distracting from the unveiling of Trump's new budget blueprint. He's renewing his demand Congress pay for his border wall, this time asking for 8.6 billion in new funding.

But the White House proposal is going nowhere on Capitol Hill where Democrats have declared it dead on arrival claiming Trump hasn't learned his lesson from the government shutdown when he walked away without a single dollar in new wall funding.


TRUMP: We have reached a deal to end the shutdown and reopen the federal government.


COLLINS: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer reminding him Congress refused to fund his wall and he was forced to admit defeat and reopen the government. The same thing will repeat itself if he tries this again.

The proposal coming just weeks after Trump declared a national emergency to secure funding for his border wall, a move that rattled critics and allies alike.


SEN. SUSAN COLLINS, (R) MAINE: I don't believe that the president has that authority under the Constitution.


COLLINS: The House passed a resolution to revoke Trump's declaration and the Senate is expected to follow suit this week. Trump has promise to veto that measure, but aides are worried more than 10 Republicans could break with the president.


SANDERS: Let's not forget the only reason he has the authority to call a national emergency is because Congress gave them the right to do so.


COLLINS: Now when a reporter pointed out that President Trump himself has never publicly condemned Steve King, Sarah Sanders said she has and she speaks on his behalf.

[03:19:58] She did not deny that the president made that remark to that group of Republican donors but when the president was leaving the White House on Friday to go down to that fundraiser he said, and I'm quoting him now, "Democrats have become an anti-Israel party. They become an anti-Jewish party and that's too bad."

Kaitlan Collins, CNN, the White House.

CHURCH: In her strongest statement yet, the U.S. house speakers said she's not in favor of impeaching President Donald Trump. Nancy Pelosi spoke with the Washington Post saying this. "I'm not for impeachment. Impeachment is so divisive to the country, that unless there is something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don't think we should go down that path because it divides the country and he's just not worth it."

Pelosi says she thinks the president is ethically and intellectually unfit for office.

Well, the question is whether Pelosi stand will divide congressional Democrats. And I spoke with Politico's White House correspondent Gabby Orr earlier.


GABBY ORR, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, POLITICO: And there are already several freshman Democratic members as long -- as well as other veteran Democrats who have come out and said that we need to move forward on impeachment proceedings against this president. And they have various reasons as to why.

And Nancy Pelosi is sort of trying to steer her caucus into the direction of not pursuing that strategy. And then there's several reasons for doing that. But one of which is Democrats are obviously heading into an intense reelection year in 2020.

There are number of seats that were won in 2018 in the midterms that were in Republican districts that might not be as easy to hold onto this time around, and pursuing an impeachment strategy could easily backfire in some of those districts that Democrats just gained in 2018.

CHURCH: Interesting. So, of course, we saw the White House eventually hold a press briefing Monday after more than 40 days to talk about the president's budget plans, but instead, it turns to his comments that the Democrats hate Jewish people. Why was press secretary Sarah Sanders in capable of giving a straight answer on that, and what does it tell us about what's ahead with the campaign?

ORR: You know, I spoke with the White House special earlier today who said that this is something that they plan to highlight as much as possible. That being the anti-Semitic comments that make from Representative Ilhan Omar and any other comments down the road from Democratic members that may or may not be perceived as anti-Semitic.

They think that this is a winning strategy heading into 2020 that they can potentially siphon off Jewish voters who would typically support a Democratic nominee and Democratic candidates at the House and Senate level to instead support President Trump and Republicans if they can continue to convey that somehow the Democratic Party is becoming more and more anti-Jewish.

CHURCH: And Sanders also refused to rule out a pardon for Paul Manafort. What did that signal to you?

ORR: You know, I think it signals that that's obviously something that could be on the table. The White House is been sort of off and on, on this question of whether they're even in talks with Manafort's legal team whether they've had discussions previously about pardoning him.

They -- some people say that they haven't, that it's never been a topic that has been broached. Others say that there is, you know, it's not entirely off the table, particularly because he did not cooperate with the special counsel investigation.

So, you know, I think that this is the answer that we could have expected to hear from Sarah Sanders today. And I'm sure that we'll hear it from other White House officials the more and more we probe that topic.


CHURCH: And our thanks to Politico White House correspondent Gabby Orr.

We turn to Venezuela now. And President Nicolas Maduro is blaming the U.S. for the widespread power outage, crippling his country in a televised speech late Monday. He called it an electric coup carried out by criminal minds. Maduro says school and work will be suspended for another 48 hours, but the country will slowly recover.

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he is pulling all remaining staff from the embassy in Caracas and he's blasting Maduro, Cuba, and Russia for Venezuela's economic crisis.


MIKE POMPEO, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE: No nation has done more to sustain the death and daily misery of ordinary Venezuelans, including Venezuela's military and their families than the communist in Havana.

Cuba is the true imperialist power in Venezuela. Russia too has created this crisis. It too for its own reasons destroy the Venezuelan people's legitimate Democratic hopes and their dreams.

Moscow, like Havana, continues to brag political cover to Maduro regime while pressuring countries to disregard the Democratic legitimacy of interim president Guaido.


CHURCH: Well, Venezuela's National Assembly has declared a state of emergency to help in the power outage. The decree will allow for international help over the next 30 days, but it can't come fast enough for Venezuela's poorest and most vulnerable, especially the children.

[03:25:08] CNN's Patrick Oppmann reports now from Caracas.

PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: At an orphanage on the outskirts of Caracas 25 children laugh and play unaware of their country's sliding deeper into chaos. Many of these children have special needs, children that are hard to care in the best of times.

For their safety, we've been asked not to show the kids' faces. The government sends children here who have been abandoned to live or find new homes says Magdalena (Ph) who has run the orphanage for 15 years.

All her funds come from private donations, she says. Last month she told the government she can't take any more kids. She can barely feed ones already here.

"Before, all the groceries didn't fit in the car," she says. "Now with the same amount of money maybe you carry one or two bags."

At the orphanage there is no fruits or of vegetables anymore and only meat every other day. Still, these kids don't go hungry. Other children in Venezuela are not nearly so lucky.

Magdalena sends us to a kitchen she helped star in one of Caracas's most dangerous slums. There we find children lining up. There's stomach is rumbling. Many on their own.

"The parents had to leave to work in other places and other countries," says an organizer. Maybe their grandparents are taking care of them. We give them what we have to give. No one here has to be told to clean their plate even if they can't reach the table.

As Venezuela slowly comes undone this commodore kitchen is one of the places that's trying to make the difference however they can. When they started two years ago about 30 kids came here each day to eat free meals. Now they're up to 600. And for many it's going to be the only meal they get all they long.

Venezuela's government says there is no humanitarian here. But activist like Malena (Ph) said the number of children being abandoned or going hungry is spiking.

"Children don't have political alliances or color of flag," she says, "they are every color. They don't belong to anyone. They are Venezuela's. These children are too young to understand the events taking place around them or how deeply their country has failed them.

Patrick Oppmann, CNN, Caracas.

CHURCH: Well, big questions for Boeing after the Ethiopian Airlines crash. Is its 737 MAX 8 safe to fly? We will ask an aviation expert to weigh in.

Plus, ISIS is in its death rows outmanned and outgunned. Find out why U.S.-backed fighters have yet to bomb the terror group out of existence. An exclusive report when we come back.


ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back, I'm Rosemary Church. I want to update you now on the top stories this hour. The British parliament is set to vote on what the Prime Minister calls an improved Brexit deal. Theresa May held talks with E.U. officials on Monday. She says they agreed to legally binding changes, and to work on alternatives for the Irish backstop. Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn is calling on lawmakers to reject the deal.

Venezuela's national assembly has approved a request from self- declared president Juan Guaido for a state of emergency. The decree will allow for international help to end widespread power outages, now into their fifth day. Meantime, the U.S. says, it's pulling all remaining personnel from its embassy in Caracas.

Investigators and Ethiopia have found both the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder from Sunday's Ethiopian Airlines crash. They are important clues which could help explain why the Boeing 737 Max 8 jet went down minutes after takeoff, killing all 157 people on board.

Meantime, a growing list of airlines and countries are grounding their Max 8 fleets as a precaution. It's the same brand-new model of plane as the Lion Air crash back in October, though there is no evidence as of now that the two incidents are linked. Our David McKenzie reports from Ethiopia.


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Mystery and worldwide fallout today following the crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight et302, which killed all 157 people on board after it went down Sunday just minutes after takeoff. The focus now for many of the plane itself. The plane, Boeing's best-selling passenger jet, the new 737 Max 8. Sunday's tragedy is the second of its type to crash in the past few months. Though there is no evidence of a link.

The first, back in October, when a Lion Air flight went down near Indonesia, killing 189 people. China, Indonesia, and several airlines around the world have grounded their fleets of the plane, but in the U.S., Southwest, American airlines, and WestJet are among the airline saying that at this stage, they are not planning to change operations, expressing confidence in the aircraft.

Boeing for its part says that safety is their number one priority, in a statement Monday adding, we are taking every measure to fully understand all aspects of this accident based on the information available. We do not have any basis to issue new guidelines to operators.

The voice recorder and flight data recorder had been found, as investigators began to piece together what happened in those final moments. NTSB investigators are also on their way to help officials on the ground. The flight took off on Sunday morning reporting technical problems moments later, and asking for permission to turn back, just six minutes after taking off contact with the plane was lost.

The stake area is taking key parts of these aircraft and placing it in a pile with engine parts. The impact of this crash on this hillside was intense. There is a massive crater. The plane was just destroyed into thousands of pieces. The plane came right over, says Tadu, there was a fire near the back

of it. It looked in trouble. It came straight down and there is a huge explosion and fire. He was tending his sheep when he heard the noises above, and saw the plane with his own eyes.

Questions too and heartache for the loved ones of those on board. The plane was packed with many hope to make the world a better place, aid workers, teachers, environmentalists, some heading to a major U.N. environmental summit. And the families who go to bed tonight with the place missing, brother, mothers, fathers, and children. David McKenzie, CNN, outside Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


CHURCH: And here's a look at some of the airlines and countries that have grounded their Boeing 737 Max 8 planes. The list includes Ethiopian Airlines, planes in China and Indonesia, Cayman Airways, South Africa's Comair and airlines in India, Mexico, Argentina and Singapore. And again, as David McKenzie noted, U.S. carriers have not grounded any of these jets. So why are some airlines grounding the Max 8, while others are not? We pose that question to CNN safety analyst David Soucie.


DAVID SOUCIE, FORMER FAA SAFETY INSPECTOR: The aircraft do need to be grounded. The FAA is saying in their bulletins that we don't have any new information or actually let me step back.

[03:35:05] They are saying that we haven't been given any information that we could act on. The challenge with that is, why are they not looking for that information? Because I have been able to find that information. The ADSB is very clear, it sends out information about what the angle of attack indicator does, through the fight radar 24, which is a public site, I can get this information.

I have a subscription to it, and that helps, but within that I can see that the aircraft is running down the runway, it shows erroneously, that there is a 2500 feet per minute climb while the aircraft is still on the runway. That is impossible. So, what's that telling me is that -- and there were three hits on that? It wasn't just a single erroneous thing. It was actually three hits on that showing that this had happened. That the information that was coming from the angle of attack indicator. Now, this doesn't go through a computer, or anything like that, it goes straight from the angle of attack indicator to the transmitter that transmits that information.

So, we've checked it, double checked it, triple checked it, we have that information, why does the FAA, why does Boeing say that they don't have the information? That is the question for me? People asked me would I fly on the airplane and I think where I'm at on that is that I would fly on this aircraft. I have looked at the bulletin that came out, I'm satisfied that the FAA and the aircraft certification of Boeing have taken five critical steps towards making sure that they are safe. They've look at the maintenance procedures, they've looked at the

operational procedures, they've looked at the way that the angle of attack indicators tested, they've looked at all of these things, there's actually five steps to it so far that they've completed, and there's about five or six more that they're still going to go through.

So, I am pretty confident that this aircraft is safe for me. Now, when it came to my granddaughter, my five year old granddaughter, I'm not gonna take her anywhere very soon. Not on a Max 8.


CHURCH: CNN safety analyst David Soucie with his insights there. Well, the ISIS caliphate that once stretch between Iraq and Syria is now down to a square kilometer or less. U.S.-backed allied forces, are bombarding that last enclave with airstrikes and mortars and had been -- have been for the better part of a month. And you see in the CNN exclusive video the explosion lighting up the night sky. Ben Wedeman, his producer, Kareem Kada (ph), cameraman Scott (inaudible) and team member Adam Dobie (ph) are near the front lines and Ben, joins us now. And Ben, we just talked last hour, bring us up to date on what the situation is there on the ground?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: At the moment, it is relatively quiet. We hear occasional pops of gunfire, but the day started just after the sun rose with heavy machine gun fire, raining down on to that encampment behind me. You still might be able to see flames in the distance, rather white smoke in the distance. Because, we did see white phosphorus, which I last saw being used by the Israelis in Gaza.

It's used normally, to provide cover for, advancing troops, but one of the collateral effects is it rains down little blobs of burning jelly, so to speak which as we saw, lit those tense on fire. There is no indications at this point of how much longer this operation is going to continue. It's now into its third day, and this is the third time that the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic forces have tempted to finally wipe out the last bit of ISIS's territorial entity. But the previous two times, it had to be halted, because of the presence of civilians.

This time around, there haven't been civilians coming out though, are at best just a handful. So it maybe, the final battle, but I would not venture to say definitively, that it is. Rosemary.

CHURCH: Understood, and of course, that has been a problem hasn't it for U.S.-backed allied forces, trying to avoid civilian casualties. As you say, they don't know how many are still there, and that has had an impact on the time that is taken to bring this battle to a close. Talk to us about of just how frustrating that has been for the allied forces there?

WEDEMAN: Of course, it's very frustrating, particularly the troops involved, in battle. In fact, we've had some of the soldier's complaint to us, soldiers with the SDF that they were supposed to go on leave. That they were overdue to go on leave, but they've been kept down as a result of this sort of stop and start of battle that is going forward.

[03:40:05] There have been preparations made for celebrations, once the final victories is announced, but those preparations have been completed, they're done, everybody is ready to go, but they still cannot go forward, until this very small patch of land behind me is finally taken.

And so really everyone is on hold, until it happens. And I, obviously, one shouldn't suggest that this is anyone's fault. It has been an attempt by the SDF, to prevent what would've been a massacre. If the battle had gone ahead with as we discovered, after the fact 30,000 or more women and children, were inside this camp, in the adjacent town before it was taken.

So, it just as a fact of life, they wanted to avoid civilian casualties as much as possible. So it's taking time, frustrating the soldiers, the commanders and I'll be frank, the journalist as well. Rosemary.

CHURCH: Sure. And Ben Wedeman, we thank you and your team for some incredible reporting there on the ground, exclusive reporting there from Eastern Syria. Many thanks again and do take care of you and your team, I appreciate it.

Well, the family of Shamima Begum is pleading for the British government to show mercy and restore her citizenship. Especially in light of the death of her child, after she announced or renounced the terror group. But as Hala Gorani reports, that may not be enough.


HALA GORANI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: When 19 year old Shamima Begum was interviewed by British crew in February, she was at the all-fall (ph) refugee camp in Syria. Along with other foreigners who joined the ISIS. She was cradling her gravely ill newborn son Jerah. After running away from home in the U.K. to go to Syria, when she was 15. She now wanted to come home.

SHAMIMA BEGUM, FORMER BRITISH CITIZEN: It's not just because I don't want my son to die, because I know it's not what I believe in.

GORANI: This was now her third child, she said her first two born after she joined ISIS had died. Lack of medical care and poor hygiene, have claimed the lives of dozens of children in the camp, like Jerah. But Begum had previously justify the ISIS attacks in Europe as retaliation for coalition airstrikes that killed civilians. Already the British government announced, it was planning to strip her of her British citizenship.

SAJID JAVID, BRITISH HOME SECRETARY: The House, we have also seen the comments of Shamima Begum and that she's made in the media and we will have to draw its own conclusion, quite simply, if you back terror there must be consequences.

GORANI: Only days ago, her young son Jerah died, reportedly from pneumonia, and critics in the U.K. blamed the baby's death on the government's earlier refusal to allow her to return, but other British officials say this tragedy could have been avoided.

JEREMY HUNT, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: Shamima knew, when she made the decision to join ISIS, she was going to a country where there was no embassy, there was no resources, and I'm afraid those, you know, those decision, awful though as they do have consequences.

GORANI: The dilemma for foreign countries whether to allow nationals to return home after leaving to join a terror group, it is on a worldwide scale, referring to the case of Shamima Begum's child. Aid groups like Save the Children argue the rights of children born to foreign nationals should always be protected.

KIRSTY MCNEIL, SAVE THE CHILDREN: We have found that there were two and a half thousand children of foreign nationals, but not all of those that are British, we think should be returned to the U.K. so that the children can be given health, education and protection services and their parents tried if that's appropriate.

GORANI: The aid group estimates that foreign nationals fighting with ISIS in Syria come from at least 30 countries. The group also estimates that the population of the (inaudible) camp where Shamima Begum is being held is overwhelmingly made of women and children. Following the death of Jerah, the family of Shamima Begum is now asking the British government to show mercy and allow her to come home. Hala Gorani, CNN, London.


CHURCH: Well, when is an Israeli not really an Israeli? Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has some ideas, hear the comments that have sparked a backlash that is coming up after the short break. Stay with us.


CHURCH: Well after weeks of protests, Algeria's ailing and aging president Abdelaziz Bouteflika has announced he will not seek a fifth term in office. And he also announced a delay to election slated for April 18.

Protests were replaced with celebration on where the president would not seek another term, Algeria's Prime Minister also resigned Monday, replaced by the interior minister who has been task to form a new government. But that too has some protestors skeptical.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): It's a good thing, but only if they change the government completely. If they bring someone just like him, it's not worth it. They have to change the whole government.


CHURCH: Well, first elected in 1999, the now 82-year-old president has really been seen in public since suffering a stroke six years ago. Well, according to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his non-

Jewish citizens are not really Israeli citizens. He's comment it's stirring up a lots of criticism, not just because of its nature, but also its timing. Melissa Bell joins us from Jerusalem with the details. So, Melissa, tell us, give us a background up here, what has transpired.

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Rosemary, this is a story that was made even bigger, got even greater attention once (Inaudible), the Israeli actress got involved, posting to her merely 30 million Instagram followers, but already and even before she had done that this was already a huge story here in Israel. Partly because Benjamin Netanyahu seemed to go further than any ever he had before, and partly as you say, because we are only a few weeks away now from crucial elections on April 9th.


BELL: She is one of Israel's best known faces, an actress who is now the center of a political firestorm only weeks before Israel goes to the polls.

It was in response to an interview with Benjamin Netanyahu's all true loyal culture minister Saturday, Rotem Sela, posted this question on Instagram, when will anyone in this government tell the public that this is a country of all of its citizens, and that all people are born equal.

Netanyahu replied directly to Sela's comment at his weekly cabinet meeting.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): Israel is a Jewish, Democratic state. This means it is the national state of the Jewish people alone. Of course it respects the individual rights of all of its citizens, Jews and non-Jews alike, but it is the national state. Not of all citizens, but only up the Jewish people.

[03:50:10] BELL: The Prime Minister's words set the internet a light, even wonder woman weighed in, the Israeli actress, Gal Gadot calling on Instagram for a dialog for peace, for equality, for tolerance between one another. The anti-defamation league which fights anti- Semitism warns against the vilification of Israel's Arab minority population, saying this anti-Arab rhetoric is deeply troubling trend.

So what does Israel's Arab population, its Palestinian citizens, stink of what the Prime Minister said?

They represent nearly 20 percent of Israel's population. We've come to (inaudible) a mixed town to find out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I don't want to talk politics, but Bibi should give us a chance to live in peace and calm. We are living here like brothers and family, I love my Jewish neighbors.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We really are like a family, and politician have never succeeded in changing that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): The most important thing is that we are clever to live peacefully with each other.

BELL: That message echoed by a leading Arab lawmaker.

AYMAN ODEH, ISRAELI LAWMAKER: Netanyahu is encouraging incitement between one particular group and another, to stay in his chair. And we have to find a way to connect.

BELL: It's not the first time the Prime Minister has been criticized for the use of inflammatory language ahead of a vote. On Election Day four years ago, he warned that Arab voters were heading to the polls and droves, later apologizing but only after he won the election.


BELL: Once again, essentially what Benjamin Netanyahu has done, Rosemary is confirm and you heard there from the Knesset Arab lawmakers, Ayman Odeh, he made this point yesterday saying, look, essentially what the Prime Minister has done is given us some clarity. He has confirmed that with that nation state law that was introduced last summer, quite controversially, but that left some doubt about precisely what it meant for Palestinian citizens of Israel, what Ayman Odeh says is look, what Benjamin Netanyahu, who has confirm this that what he meant by that law, is that they are second class citizens and nothing less.

CHURCH: Many thanks to Melissa Bell, for that story from Jerusalem, coming up to 10 in the morning.

Well, told he was too young to make a difference, a 12 year old decided to start his own charity. Now meet him as a man, who has been working to fight child labor for more than two decades. And teaching kids around the world to do the same.


CHURCH: Well now to a CNN Freedom Project story, explaining forced child labor to children is not an easy conversation. When Canadian Craig Kielburger though was 12, he was so concerned by the idea of child labor, he tried to get involved with some charities. When they told him he was too young, he started his own. Well, more than 20 years later, he's nonprofit is one of the most recognized in all of Canada, and is a force on the global stage, as CNN's Paula Newton reports.


CRAIG KIELBURGER, CO-FOUNDER, WE-CHARITY: I first heard about the issue of human trafficking when I was 12 years old. It was a story on the front page of my local newspaper of this boy from Pakistan who was sold into body labor and was killed when he was 12 for raising his voice. And it just completely rock my world that this could happen.

[03:55:06] PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Craig Kielburger says that was the moment that changed his life.

KIELBURGER: I tore off the newspaper, brought it to my class, and with this tiny group of friends we decided to get involved. We picked up the phone and called other charities, and they often say to us, you could just send money. And there was this attitude that the issue of human trafficking was something that kids shouldn't talk about in our world.

He was sold into slavery --

NEWTON: So in 1995, he started his own anti trafficking organization, free the children. One of the tiny clubs first actions, was a petition. Craig says they collect it 10,000 signatures to demand the release of a jailed human rights activist in India. The activists told Craig, if he really wanted to understand child labor he had to come see it with his own eyes.

KIELBURGER: So when I was 12, I sat down with my parents, and convince them to let me take two months off school with a friend and the two of us travel with this activists through Southeast Asia.

NEWTON: That activists (inaudible) went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize and 2014. And today, Free the Children, now called We-Charity build schools and provides healthcare and some security programs in poverty stricken rural communities.

KIELBURGER: We work in villages now on average five years until the entire village is self-sustaining. We were working on regions that have seen the highest instances of human trafficking or child labor that we actually got to prevent it from happening in the first place.

NEWTON: They do that by inspiring students. More than 4 million children and 60,000 schools, right around the world teaching them that young people can make a difference.

LAUREN MANNA, STUDENT ACTIVIST: My age, it doesn't define who I am, we have young minds that are developing. And we have great ideas that we want to share with the world.

NEWTON: Lauren Manna is 12 years old, the same age Craig was when he founded We-Charity. (Inaudible) Cecilia Catholic School in Toronto -- where the MeTooWe Club is working on action plan to ensure the company that makes their school uniforms doesn't have child labor in its supply chain.

JOBINA THOMAS, TEACHER, ST. CECILIA CATHOLIC SCHOOL: I feel like my students are inspired by Craig as a person, they heard about how he started. They understand that he was a student just like them that helps them see that they can also take the same path.

KIELBURGER: We have to raise a generation of young people in every country, in every corner of this world, who are standing up, and who are saying no, we will not let children be brought to this world. And only when that basic sense of justice and also injustice is in the heart of every young person, we actually will see the change we need to see in this world. (END VIDEOTAPE)

CHURCH: We-Charity, totally inspiring what a great story. And thank you so much for joining us this hour. I'm Rosemary Church. CNN Newsroom continues with Isa Soares, that's next.