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Heavy Bombings Took Dozens of Souls; No Fear for a Strong Leader; Moving On; Facing Court Scrutiny; Fugitives on the Run. Aired 3-4a ET
Aired March 27, 2017 - 03:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[03:00:00] CYRIL VANIER, CNN HOST: The full investigation is underway after air strikes allegedly killed scores of civilians in Mosul and the U.S. may have triggered the casualties.
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN HOST: Plus, South Korea's former president facing more scrutiny as prosecutors seek a warrant for her arrest.
VANIER: And thousands of people came out in Russia to protest corruption inside the government but hundreds were detained by police.
Hello everyone. Welcome to our viewers here in the U.S. and around the world. I'm Cyril Vanier.
CHURCH: And I'm Rosemary Church. This is CNN Newsroom.
VANIER: The Iraqi forces say new tactics are needed to push ISIS out of its major stronghold in Iraq to help keep civilians out of harm's way.
CHURCH: The Iraq and U.S. militaries are looking into whether recent coalition air strikes unintentionally killed dozens of civilians in Mosul. In particular, there are questions about one strike on an ISIS truck bomb in the city of March 17th.
VANIER: An Iraqi commander says the blast killed dozens of people in nearby homes. But Iraq's government suggest ISIS may have booby trapped those buildings.
Let's find out more with CNN's Jomana Karadsheh who is monitoring this for us from Istanbul, Turkey. Jomana, what are we learning about the circumstances of that air strike?
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Cyril, it's been more a week since that incident in focus on march 17th took place. And it's really unclear what happened in western Mosul. What we do know is that over the past few days we've heard from local officials in Mosul saying that there was a large number of civilian casualties as a result of a coalition strike.
Now, the U.S. and the Iraqi military saying they are investigating this. The Americans do confirmed that they carried an air strike in the vicinity of this casualties took place but they are still investigating and looking into this.
And the Iraqi military says they did call for an air strike but that air strike was targeting a large ISIS truck bomb that was packed with explosives and they're blaming the civilian casualties on this truck bomb.
Now it's unclear how that blast took place from the truck bomb whether it was triggered by this air strike or it was detonated by ISIS. All this being investigated right now.
Now as of Saturday a civil defense unit and took them some time to get into the area because of the situation on the ground. They were still digging through the rubble trying to recover bodies. And as of Saturday they say they pulled 81 bodies out of the rubble.
According to our team in northern Iraq, Arwa Damon and her team have spoken to one eyewitness who was a resident in that area who left after that incident took place said as he were fleeing they heard the screams of people presumably from under rubble calling for help.
So we could see a rise in that death toll in the coming days. While it's really unclear, Cyril, what took place on March the 17th. It would seem at this point that it's certain that many innocent lives were lost.
VANIER: OK. Jomana, some within the Iraqi military have said that the style of combat needs to changes as the fighting pushes into Mosul. So how is that going to translate on the ground?
KARADSHEH: Well, this is what we are hearing from Iraqi commanders on the ground, saying that, you know, because of these conflicts battle right now that be, they will need to be using different tactics, as you mentioned using, for example, a precision artillery, using more drones moving more on foot whether than using air strikes.
But it's hard to see how that is going to, you know, avoid any more civilian casualties if you look at that environment where they're fighting right now. This is a very complex battle. We're talking about a very complex urban environment. This is western Mosul the old part of the city. We're talking about narrow streets, heavily densely populated areas.
And we've heard the warnings, Cyril, from before the battle from Mosul even farthest (Ph). The United Nations have warned that there are hundreds of thousands of civilians who are trapped in western Mosul who were -- in Mosul who were not able to leave.
And they were really concerned about them, the concern that ISIS would be using them as human shield. And ISIS has really dug in. After two years they have really mingled in the civilian population. Their fighters using civilians homes as fighting positions.
Well, so we'll have to wait and see but it's a very complex battle and to try to push ISIS out of there it might at this point looked like we are going to be looking at a high human cost for doing so, Cyril. [03:05:10] VANIER: All right, Jomana, monitoring the situation for us from Istanbul, Turkey. Thank you so much.
CHURCH: South Korean prosecutors want to arrest ousted President Park Geun-hye. Her involvement in the corruption scandal led to her impeachment early this month. Prosecutors have accused her of abuse of power and their investigation of that allege corruption there.
CNN's Paula Hancocks has the latest details. She joins us now live from Seoul. So, Paula, how likely is it that the judge from Seoul central district court will decide to issue an arrest warrant for former President Park Geun-hye, and if it happens what comes next?
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Rosemary, the hearing itself is on Thursday. So the judge will hear from the president or the president -- former president's lawyer and they will be trying to convince the job why Park Geun-hye should not be arrested.
Then the other side you'll have the prosecutors trying to convince that judge that she should be arrested. Then the judge will go and deliberate on what they've heard. It's unclear how long that will take but the previous examples show that it's really within the 24 hours the judge has made the decision although there are no guarantees in this case.
Now we do know that Park up until this point has insisted she has not done anything wrong. Prosecutors, though, disagree they clearly think they have enough evidence against her in a statement this morning saying that they believed she should be arrested because there was a possibility she would try and destroy evidence as she had denied the charges against her.
Prosecutors believe that she has abused power. They have mentioned bribery, coercion. And of course bribery on its own if it's over a certain amount of money can have a minimum prison term of 10 years.
So, certainly, a very important week for the former president and a very important week for the country watching this very closely.
CHURCH: And Paula, you mentioned that Park Geun-hye has denied any wrongdoing up to this point but has she, her lawyers responded at all to these latest developments?
HANCOCKS: We haven't had a statement since the arrest warrant has been -- has been sought by prosecutors not from the lawyer of from Park Geun-hye. We did hear from her as she entered the building going to an investigation last week. She was interrogated for 14 hours by prosecutors last week.
And just before she walked into that interrogation she did say I'm sorry to the people but she was apologizing for the chaos, she was apologizing for what had happened, not saying that she was apologizing for any wrongdoing and also saying that she would cooperate with the investigation.
Now we don't know if that is still the case. We don't know if that has changed. We have not heard from her at this point. But certainly it would be expected that on Thursday the former president would be present herself, she is expected to be present to convince the judge why she should not be arrested. Rosemary?
CHURCH: All right. Our Paula Hancocks, with that live report from Seoul in South Korea, where it is just after 4 in the afternoon. Many thanks.
Well, the defeat legislation last week in Washington dealt President Trump and republicans in general a major blow.
VANIER: Yes. Now there are questions about who's to blame and where the Trump agenda goes from here.
The Fox news host is calling on the speaker of the house to step down. But Athena Jones reports that the White House says it supports Paul Ryan
ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, there. As the White House recovers from this devastating loss last week the failure to repeal Obamacare after years and years of promising to do so, there is spreading the blame around it. But we've heard the president blamed democrats in the House.
Also this morning on Twitter he blasted the House Freedom Caucus. That is the conservative bloc of about 30 members of the House who blocked this bill because they felt that it didn't go far enough to undo and on doing Obamacare. One person the White House is not blaming is House Speaker Paul Ryan.
Chief of Staff Reince Priebus was asked this morning on Fox News Sunday whether the president thought Speaker Ryan should step down. Here's what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: But does he want Paul Ryan to step down?
REINCE PRIEBUS, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: No. He doesn't. And he's talked to Paul Ryan yesterday for about an hour. He believes what he said in the Oval Office on Friday. He doesn't blame Paul Ryan. In fact, he thought Paul Ryan worked really hard. He enjoys his relationship. But Paul Ryan, he thinks Paul Ryan is a great Speaker of the House.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: So there you heard the chief of the staff saying the president feels that Speaker Ryan is a great Speaker of the House. But the question remains how this White House is going to work with republicans and democrats on Capitol Hill, not with just the republican leadership like Speaker Ryan and others but also with the house conservatives the president has been blasting and with moderate republicans and potentially democrats.
[03:10:02] We heard Reince Priebus say over and over again during that interview that they were open to talking to democrats. The issue here is that the president, whether on Twitter or simply in comments to the press has been blasting both democrats and that House Freedom Caucus, those conservatives.
And it's that conducive to later working with those groups. We heard House Speaker Ryan say just last week that doing big things is hard and doing big things is going to require the White House figuring out how to maneuver things on Capitol Hill so that the president get done some of the big things he wants to get done. Back to you.
CHURCH: Joining me now to talk more about this is political analyst, Ellis Henican. He writes the Trump's America columns for the metro papers and he's also a bestselling author. Good to have you on the show.
ELLIS HENICAN, POLITICAL ANALYST: Hi, Rosemary. Good to be with you.
CHURCH: Great. So, let's start with healthcare and President Trump prides himself in being the guy who can make a deal, but he didn't or we didn't see much of that in his effort to pass his new healthcare bill, didn't we? What went wrong and why are they unable to get republicans on board with this after so many years of criticizing Obamacare?
HENICAN: Well, now he was not exactly the closer this time, was he? Listen, he got caught into squeeze. They had a plan, republicans had a plan that poll that 19 percent approval among the American people, a very low number.
The hardcore staunch conservatives didn't like it because they didn't think it was tough enough. The moderates thought it was a yanked coverage away from too many Americans, and democrats oppose it entirely. So they've just was not enough support there to get it through the Congress.
CHURCH: And of course the defeat of the healthcare bill has put a spotlight on White House in citing and the relationship between President Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan with some speculating that Ryan may have to go for not delivering the necessary votes on the healthcare bill. What's likely to happen to him and how damaging will the finger pointing be do you think.
HENICAN: You know, I think he's safe for the moment mostly because there is no good alternative real place in. But boy, trying to figure out what Donald Trump really thinks about Paul Ryan is a complicated equation because we've gotten so many conflicting comments and tweaks from him.
He said some things that are very supportive and flattering and others that would make you think, boy, he can't stand the speaker.
CHURCH: So we'll just have to wait and see on that. And of course, President Trump has moved on to tax reform now, but what all can be achieve on that subject if they haven't delivered on the healthcare promises? HENICAN: Now if you thought healthcare was complicated, get ready for tax reform. And in fact, it's made slightly more complicated because some of the money, something on the order of a trillion dollars that was going to be saved in healthcare taxes was supposed to go to help funds some of the tax cuts in that reform package. So nobody knows I guess any idea about how all that is going to shake up. But let me tell you this. It will be tough going.
CHURCH: Yes, no doubt. I do want to move quickly to another topic that's drawing a lot of attention. The democrats calling for house intelligence chairman Devin Nunes to step down to allow for fair and thorough investigation into possible links between Russia and Trump aides during the election campaign. Should he step down and should a special prosecutor perhaps be appointed instead?
HENICAN: Well, listen, it's always complicated when you ask a politician to investigate another politician of his own party. Awful lot of reason to feel like that, maybe some of the parties have been told.
Listen, I think it's a pretty strong argument to get some kind of independent council or special prosecutor in there but republicans control the power in the Congress, they are showing no desire to do that. I don't think they like the results of some potential run away independent council.
CHURCH: And a public hearing of course was to be held on Tuesday, wasn't it? That has now been cancelled. What are the ramifications of that and what happens to transparency in an inquiry like this?
HENICAN: Now transparency, we haven't seen too much of that, have we? Yes, that hearing was supposed to be on Tuesday. Now it's not going to have a no date set when it might be. Everything in this investigation is being put through a political lens. It's pretty hard to find an objective observer of the whole thing.
CHURCH: Indeed it is. Ellis Henican, thank you so much for your analysis. We appreciate it.
HENICAN: Great to see you, Rosemary.
VANIER: We're going to take a very short break. When we come back, police reports they'd be detained hundreds of protestors in Russia. We'll have a live report from Moscow.
CHURCH: Plus, Hong Kong has a new leader, why pro-democracy activists say her election was a mere formality. We'll back in a moment.
[03:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Good day to you. Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri at CNN Weather Watch.
Now you check your calendar you know it's the time of year where you begin seeing thunderstorms blossom into an incredible amount of activity. And of course, severity across parts of the U.S. And we've already seen about 400 lightning strikes in the past several hours around the parts of the central United States. Severe weather actually.
At least one report of a tornado and several reports of large hail and some damaging wind as well across this region. But all of that activity wants to shift off to the east. And couple of large cities in places like Memphis and Nashville, some travel delays certainly could be expected with a similar sort of weather pattern going into Monday afternoon.
Isolated chance for tornadoes possible as well. And you notice again these storms will want to eventually push on in towards portions of the Ohio valley into the evening hours as well.
The temperature is pretty mild set up. A lot of that cold Canadian area states can find into Canada it makes breath push into parts of the extreme northeastern U.S. But it doesn't look like it's going to last very long whatsoever.
And we'll go with 17 degrees in New York City with some showers expected. Atlanta, afternoon thunderstorms, 26. Los Angeles, a blustery one at about 20 or so degrees. Denver at about 17, and Dallas pushing up to the 20's in the forecast there.
And towards the south we go, and notice a few showers expected in places like Kingston, Jamaica but in Mexico City will keep you dry. You make all your way up to around 27 degrees. And we'll leave you with South America.
CHURCH: We are following a tragic and developing story in Japan. An avalanche struck a group of high school students taking skiing lessons about 200 kilometers or 125 miles north of Tokyo.
VANIER: A fire official say eight of the students are feared dead and six are injured. Thirty students and teachers were able to get down safely from the slope. Emergency crews are having trouble reaching the area due to poor weather. We'll continue to monitor the situation for him.
And pro-democracy activist say the Chines government has effectively chosen Hong Kong's new leader. As predicted, an election committee elected Carrie Lam as the city's next executive.
CHURCH: That committee chose her over a candidate with more popular support. And now she is facing a city that's divided politically.
VANIER: Our senior international correspondent Ivan Watson has been closely following Carrie Lam's election. We're going to be joining him in just a moment.
CHURCH: All right. Well, police clash with protesters in Moscow Sunday as planned an anti-corruption rallies took place across Russia.
[03:20:01] Hundreds of people were reportedly detained.
VANIER: Among them opposition leader Alexei Navalny. In a series of tweets he downplayed his detention and urged people to keep marching. State media report 8,000 people turned out for the Moscow rally. That's despite the Kremlin declaring it illegal.
CHURCH: And our Fred Pleitgen was at that Moscow protest, he joins us now live with more from the Russian capital. So Fred, President Vladimir Putin apparently has a very high approval rating. So given that how significant is it that such a large number of protestors were brave enough to get out on the streets and voice their concerns and what will happen to those who were arrested.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you know, Rosemary, especially in light of the fact that the protest were deemed illegal at least most of them across the country. It certainly is quite significant first of all that so many people turned out in Moscow but then also that similar rally took place in a lot of other places in Russia as well.
The organizers are saying that it was up to 100 towns and cities where similar protests took place. They also say that, for instance, in St. Petersburg around 10,000 people turned out. The official authorities put the number closer to 3,000.
So that is quite significant. But it certainly isn't a real challenge to Vladimir Putin. As you say the approval ratings are at around 80 percent here in this country. But it is certainly quite significant that the opposition comes out, and the fight to come out even a lot of the fact that these protests were deemed illegal.
Of course because they were deemed illegal there were a lot of arrests that took place. Here is what we witnessed when we were on the ground.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PLEITGEN: There were many tense moments and according to state media hundreds of arrests made in Moscow alone.
Our crew also getting caught up in pushing and shouting.
There's a massive police presence on hand here at this protest and time again we are seeing scenes like this with the police pushing the protesters back and even making arrests.
OK. OK. OK. OK. OK. OK.
Russia's official news agency put the turnout at around 8,000 people at the march in Moscow declared illegal by Russian authorities. Taking to the streets to criticize what they call widespread corruptions among the country's elite. The organizers say similar gatherings happened in about a hundred towns and cities across this vast country.
The man calling for the action opposition activist and Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny was himself detained. But those who followed his call weren't afraid to try to voice their grievances.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm against Putin, against his corruption.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think I will support our government if they really. If they feel how (Inaudible) using as their power.
PLEITGEN: These protests don't pose a serious threat to Russia's President Vladimir Putin who boast approval rating of around 80 percent, but it showed the opposition is willing to take to the streets whether the authorities allow them to or not.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PLEITGEN: And you know, Rosemary, you were asking about what happened to the people who are detained and whether or not some of them were released. It seems that some have been released so far although or probably not all of them just yet.
The things that they're placed into is called administrative detention which basically that they get detained and then the government here decides whether the authorities here decide whether or not they actually are going to get charged with a crime.
But most of them will be released quite quickly. However, what we're hearing so far is that Alexei Navalny who we mentioned there was also detained at the rally, so far has not been released, apparently he has a court date at some points today. We're not exactly sure when that's going to be or if he's going to get out after that court date or after the authorities there decide what to do with him, Rosemary.
CHURCH: And Fred, you would have had a chance to talk to some of those protesters. They are taking a big risk, aren't they, getting at on the streets. Because it's unknown really what could very well become of them if they're arrested. Talk to us about that.
PLEITGEN: Yes, certainly. I mean, a lot of these people, you know, it was difficult for them to even start this march. We were out at the starting point which is when the railway station here in Moscow. And at beginning at least there were far more police, undercover police, police in plain clothes, riot police there than any of the protesters.
And you could see that some of the folks would come who apparently might have been some of the organizers. They were detained before the rally even started. However, they did managed to start this and it really is safety a numbers that a lot these people were looking for.
But on the other hand, I also have to say that the authorities were not as heavy handed as many people would have thought. They did try to keep people on the pavement. There were certain things however that immediately lead to arrest. That is if you had a placard, for instance, then you were arrested pretty quickly, or if you shouted things against the government as well.
[03:24:57] So, there's quite a big risk for these people, but nevertheless they did show that they're going to come out that even with that risk in place, Rosemary.
CHURCH: Yes. Some brave protesters there. Fred Pleitgen joining us, live from Moscow, where it is 10.24 in the morning. Many thanks, Fred.
VANIER: Well, let's take you back to Hong Kong where the new chief executive has been chosen. Carrie Lam elected by a small group of voters, about 1200 people. She's seen as Beijing's choice.
Our senior international correspondent Ivan Watson has been closely following Carrie Lam's election. Ivan, let's put this into context of the pro-democracy protest that took place in Hong Kong where you are.
More than two years ago, at that time they were demanding free elections. And now several protest leaders are being charged for public nuisance and told to appear in court. Do you see it as a coincidence that this is happening on the same day Carrie Lam is elected?
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It certainly is kind of remarkable that 24 hours after the election of the next top official for this city suddenly organizers of the occupy Umbrella protest movement of 2014 say they received summons from the Hong Kong police to turn in and that they're likely to face charges for protest of more than two years ago.
That certainly a conclusion that those activists are coming to. They're arguing that this, the Hong Kong authorities and by extension the communist party in Beijing sending a message that they're going to take a very hard line against these protesters.
Carrie Lam, the now newly elected chief executive was asked by protests -- by journalist about these arrest warrants. And her response was yes, I want to bridge the divide, I want to unite society, but at the same time we must not sacrifice when it comes to rule of law.
So, just how her strategy will move forward to try to reach out to particularly some of the most radical elements here in Hong Kong that are calling for complete cessation from mainland China, and trying to also bend to the will of the central government in Beijing and how she's going to handle that.
Well, in this first day we're seeing that those fault lines were still very much open in Hong Kong society. Cyril?
VANIER: And again, Ivan, if you look back the Umbrella revolution, protesters at that time wanted to be able to choose their own leader through a democratic election.
Is this election here confirmation that their movement failed?
WATSON: Well, certainly. The chief demand that the protestors have made, which was for universal suffrage, one person one vote that was not what we saw on Sunday. Instead, we saw this select election committee of less than 1,200 people who they voted between three previously vetted candidates and the one who got the most votes to now govern the city of more than seven million people was Carrie Lam. The previous second highest ranked official in the outgoing administration.
She got 777 votes to govern the city of more than million people. Does that make for a democratically elected official with a strong popular mandate? I think a lot of people would argue no, especially since her main challenger in that election had much higher polls of results in popular opinion polls and he had far fewer votes in that kind of unique caucus that the Hong Kong official is elected by. Cyril?
VANIER: All right. Ivan Watson, reporting live from Hong Kong. Thank you so much.
CHURCH: And we'll take a short break here. But still to come, the U.S. vows to find out what happened to dozens of Iraqi civilians. Their bodies were found in flattened home in Mosul. Was ISIS or a coalition air strike to blame?
VANIER: And some further responsibilities for the U.S. president son- in-law. Ahead, the new White House office that he'll be heading. Stay with us.
[03:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CHURCH: Welcome back to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church.
VANIER: And I'm Cyril Vanier. Let's update you on our top stories this hour.
CHURCH: South Korean prosecutors are seeking an arrest warrant for ousted President Park Geun-hye. She was impeached earlier this month for the allegations of corruption. Prosecutors have accused her of abuse of power. A judge will now decide whether or not to issue a warrant for her arrest.
VANIER: South Korea's Sewol Ferry on its way to port for inspection. Official say the vessel was completely lifted and floated on Sunday. And ferry was overloaded and travelling too fast when it capsized and sank off South Korea's coast that was three years ago. And at the time more than 300 died, many of them students on a school trip.
CHURCH: British police made a new arrest in connection with a Westminster attack. Officials say a 30-year-old man was taken into custody in Birmingham, suspected of preparing a terrorist act. Investigators believe the attacker Khalid Masood acted alone. Police shot him dead after he killed four people on Wednesday.
VANIER: The U.S. and Iraq are investigating claims that many civilians had been killed in a recent coalition air strikes in Mosul. The coalition acknowledges one strike on an ISIS vehicle packed with explosives on March 17th. But there are questions about whether that strike also caused collateral damage.
CHURCH: And Iraqi commander says the blast destroyed nearby homes killing dozens of civilians. But Iraq's government suggests ISIS is intentionally blowing up building with innocent people inside making it look like air strikes killed them.
Earlier our military analyst lieutenant colonel Rick Francona told us these casualties are hard to prevent.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) RICK FRANCONA, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Unfortunately, there is little
to be done as long as ISIS continues to hold these people hostage in the city. And this, as Arwa said, this is a very densely populated part of the city, the old town they're very narrow streets. A lot of people there. And as long as those families are kept there against their will and there is fighting unfortunately there is going to be these kinds of incidents.
One of the things, when the Iraqis make these advantages and they see these fighting positions oftentimes they will call in air strikes. If you got troops in contact and you call for an air strike most likely you're going to get it.
[03:35:05] So, it's up to the commander onto ground to gauge how much danger he's putting the civilian population in. And a lot of times they air on the safety of their own troops because this is a no-win situation for this poor -- these commanders. They are being faced with these booby trapped cars. They come rushing at them. They have to act very quickly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: And the top U.S. commander in the Middle East calls the civilian deaths a terrible tragedy.
CHURCH: He says the coalition is taking extraordinary measures to keep people safe.
More now from Arwa Damon in northern Iraq.
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The investigations are still ongoing, but what we have been able to at least preliminarily piece together is that on March 17th, according to one of the local counterterrorism commanders, as the forces were advancing there was a truck that they believe was loaded with explosives driven by a suicide bomber that was advancing on forces and an air strike was called in specifically against that.
The force of the explosion then cause a number of homes to collapse. We spoke to an eye witness who live a few houses down would describe a pretty terrifying scene. As he said as he and his family were fleeing they could hear people screaming. Screaming things like "We're alive. Please save us."
And he said that in at least one of the homes there were around six families that were sheltering there because they believe that it was a fairly steady sturdy structure. Just the home owner himself and his family was made up of 17 individuals. And it took the civil defense team quite some time, days in fact, to actually be able to reach the site because of the intensity of the fighting.
And according to the head of the civil defense team, at least 80 bodies were pulled out of the rubble. One of the Iraqi generals who is the spokesman for the Iraqi military, a joint military command, he said that they believe that in one house alone there were 130 people. Now the Iraqis are saying that because of how densely populated this part of Mosul is in and because of these various reports of civilian casualties. They are going to be modifying their tactics using less air strikes advancing more on foot.
These are very narrows streets using more drones, using more precision artillery. But this is the ugly reality of the battle that they are facing.
ISIS is holding the civilian population hostage. People when they do try to flee base on what we have been told if ISIS catches them they turn them back at gunpoint. They don't allow families to leave houses that ISIS then uses as fighting positions. And this is one of the big concerns that even well before this battle from Mosul even begun, the fate of the civilian population.
Arwa Damon, CNN, Erbil.
CHURCH: We turn back to politics in the United States and the White House. We'll be looking to pivot from a week that offered no victories.
VANIER: And President Trump is coming off the collapse of the push to repeal Obamacare and shifting towards tax reform. His chief of staff suggests if republicans will not work with him then Mr. Trump should turn to moderate democrats.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRIEBUS: I think it is more or less a warning shot that we are willing to talk to anyone. We always have been. And I think more so now than ever it's time for both parties to come together and get to real reforms in this country, whether it be taxes, whether it healthcare, whether it be immigration, whether it would be infrastructure this president is ready to lead, and sort of, you know, over with the gains in the legislature.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: And President Trump is expected to sign an executive order this week that will begin to roll back the Obama administration's efforts to reduce carbon pollution from power plants.
CHURCH: President Trump's on-in-law is about to expand his already broad range of influence at the White House. The president will announce that Jared Kushner will lead the new White House office of American innovation.
VANIER: Now that office will have sweeping authority to reform the federal bureaucracy and potentially with private sector solutions. Kushner already drives some foreign and domestic policy decisions and has a hand in the selection of presidential personnel.
CHURCH: Well, more than a dozen inmates have snuck out of a Mexican prison. We'll have a look at the massive tunnel that helped them escape. That's still to come. VANIER: Also when we come back the future isn't bright for the E.U.
according to France's marine Le pen. What she's saying about the bloc and the final stretch of presidential campaign. Stay with us.
[03:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CHURCH: British police made a new arrest in connection with the Westminster terror attack. Officials say a 30-year-old man taken into custody in Birmingham suspected of preparing a terrorist act. Twelve people have been arrested since the attack. Most have been released with no further charges.
VANIER: Investigators believe the attack, Khalid Masood was not directed by ISIS and likely acted alone. Police shot him dead after he killed four people including a police officer on Wednesday.
CHURCH: Fourteen Mexican inmates are on the run after a prison break.
VANIER: And authorities are saying they snuck out through a massive tunnel under a prison wall.
CNN's Leyla Santiago has the details.
LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That tunnel has since been sealed with concrete. But the question remains how did something like this happen in the prison in Tamaulipas?
So, let's go back to the series of events. On Wednesday night 29 inmates escaped through that tunnel, said to be about 15 feet deep, about 130 feet long. And then on Friday when authorities went in to search the cells and make sure that they could reestablish order, a prison riot broke out and the inmates set debris on fire.
Three inmates were stabbed to death and one was also injured. And upon escape we also know that one of the inmates is believed to be responsible for a carjacking in which one man was shot. Then Saturday that tunnel was sealed. And Sunday, family members were allowed to go in to visit.
Prisoners that were still there, the investigation led authorities to a few other inmates that had escaped, but the big question now, again, how did this happen?
Investigators have remained pretty tight lipped. When we called the prison they would not answer our questions. But if you look back earlier this month a son of a well-known cartel leader also escaped a prison in Mexico. In 2105, El Chapo, a cartel leader also escaped through a tunnel.
[03:44:59] So, this is something that's not new and speaks to the power of Mexican cartels inside and outside of Mexican prisons.
Leyla Santiago, CNN, Mexico City.
VANIER: Over to France now where the far right presidential candidate Marine le Pen has a grim outlook for the European Union going into the final month of her campaign. Reuters reports that at a rally on Sunday Le Pen said the block would die because the people do not wanted anymore.
CHURCH: She accused her rivals Emmanuel Macron and Francois Fillon of treason for their pro-E.U. policies. Opinion polls favor Le Pen in the first round of the presidential election. The forecast are run up win for Macron.
VANIER: Emmanuel Macron has never been elected to public office. And he is running without the support of any of France's major parties.
CHURCH: CNN's Melissa bell talked to people who plan to vote for him to figure out what he represents to them.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Energy and intelligence and realism.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would say a vision hope and a new way to approach politics.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a progressive liberal, offering us to grow for a democratic revolution.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Supremacy for his candidacy is to renew somebody to (Inaudible) So, we want new faces and will be new faces.
MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: He has also been described especially as we've been looking at him more and more like the candidate like to say Marine Le Pen in the second round as the candidate of the elite. All of you speak English. Is it a fair charge?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Maybe the reason why we speak English is because Europe represents something to us. Is that the choice of the elite? I don't think so. I think it's an answer for everybody.
BELL: Europe has been accused of democratic deficit of failing a number of its key challenges over the course of the last years and one has sense this anti-European rising. You remain pro-Europeans, why?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am pro-European to the extent that today the debate is no longer whether we should right or left wing but whether we should be open or closed. And it's true that there is democratic deficit.
Today, European institutions are very obscure and complicated but it doesn't mean that the idea of the European Union should be dismissed.
BELL: Can you understand the fear of globalization that has led some people to turn towards the candidates of closure.
CHRISTOPHE ZIMMER, EMMANUEL MACRON SUPPORTER: It's of course an issue that has to be debated in detail and, you know, how you negotiate trade agreements that there are real issues and, you know, there is no straightforward positions to take. But one thing that seems to really obvious is that if you close the
French border it's not going to work. I mean, the French is not, you know, tougher enough to sustain on its own.
PAUL CHAUVET, EMMANUEL MACRON SUPPORTER: We can't fight against USA or against Russia, China, India each in (Inaudible) Alone we can't fight in.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I understand the fear but then we need to go beyond that fear and try to say the opportunity that it represents.
BELL: You're all convinced can Emmanuel Macron speak to both those who want to see profound change in French politics as we've seen elsewhere in the world that in populist way that wants to get rid of the old and bring in the new. Can he speak to that anger gather together the left and right and make it to the Elysee. Do you believe that he can do it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sure he do it and he's new. I mean, he's new so there is no question about that. He can -- he can gather that population that it is proved it is not something of anger. That's really the difference with what we've seen elsewhere. He's saying the parties are they are from assistance today that there is (Inaudible) because it's not a virtual represents what the reality of the country is in.
BELL: You are told about a democratic revolution aren't you? Is that too strong?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've been doing revolutions by 15 heads so far. All I'm getting into walls. For once we have somebody who's doing a revolution by agreeing with other people and smiling, you know, it's not to like.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: We're going to take a short break. When we come back grieving families in South Korea are moving closer to some answers as a sunken ferry is returned to port. An update on the Sewol Ferry ahead.
[03:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
KATE RILEY, CNN WORLD SPORT ANCHOR: I'm Kate Riley with your CNN World Sport headlines.
If anyone fought Mercedes and three time world champion Lewis Hamilton were going to have things on their way then they better think again. After Ferrari Sebastian Vettel feel victory on Sunday as the highly dramatic season opening at the Australian Grand Prix. Hamilton qualified on pole position in Melbourne that he neither Vettel was going to be quick.
Hamilton was struggling with a tie and it will be Vettel who to the lead and held on for his first F1 victory since 2015.
To England's World Cup 2018 qualified with Lithuania on Sunday at Wembley, a game which took place amid heightened security in the wake of this past week's terror attack right in the heart of London.
Four wreaths were laid in memory of those who lost their loves following the atrocity in Westminster. The players observing a minute of silence in their honor.
Goals from Jermain Defoe and Jamie Vardy sealing a 2-nil for the English. And it appears losing in Bulgaria this week was the last straw for the Netherland's head coach Danny Blind who is being dismissed from his position according to a Dutch football federation statement on Sunday. After defeat to the Bulgarians the Dutch have now lost five of their last nine competitive matches under him. They are currently fourth in the, a six points behind leaders France.
And that's a look at all your world sport headlines. I'm Kate Riley.
CHURCH: Welcome back everyone. Well, two workers from an escalator company have been arrested after a terrifying incident at a Hong Kong shopping mall.
VANIER: An upward bound escalator full of people suddenly went into reverse and increased speed on Saturday afternoon. You see it right there. And it sent some shoppers tumbling. CCTV reports that at least 18 people were injured.
CHURCH: Horrible. Well, South Korea's Sewol Ferry will be inspected now that it's been raise from the waters of Jindo. Officials say the vessel was completely lifted and floated Sunday.
VANIER: The ferry was overloaded and traveling too fast when it capsized and sank on South Korea's Coast. That was three years ago. And at the time more than 300 people died in the accident. Many of them students on a school trip. The bodies of nine of the victims are believed to still be trapped in that wreckage.
CHURCH: We are watching a strengthening tropical cyclone approaching the East Coast of Australia.
VANIER: Our meteorologist Pedram Javaheri joins us now with the latest on the storm's track. Pedram.
JAVAHERI: Hey, guys, you know, since I last spoke to you the storm has strengthen actually to a category to a cooling now sitting there about 400 kilometers off the coast of Townsville across eastern Australia. I measures about 1100 kilometers across from its northern fringe towards its southern fringe.
If you were to take the storm and drop it over Europe this would expand from Paris all the way out there towards areas of Warsaw in Poland. So it kind of gives you a scale perspective of a storm system. Winds at 160 kilometers per hour. Once again, just crossing the threshold into a category 2 equivalent storm, a category 2 hurricane say if it were placed in the Atlantic Ocean.
[03:05:02] But very concerned about Townsville, Mackay these are cities population together sits at around a quarter million people. And you know Australia's population about 23 million for the entire continent.
And of course you come down and up and down the coast of Queensland down towards parts of New South Wales. That's for the highest population density. So, any of these coastal communities are going to be in line for some very increment weather going into later on tonight, but eventually into Tuesday morning as well.
And generally one to three meter storm surge. Some of these communities are on Mackay just to the north, maybe 3 to 5 meters storm surge. And that would be an extreme amount of storm surge for some of these areas right at sea levels of course.
And the land fall that would come in around say 4 to 6 a.m. on Tuesday local time. So we know evacuations have already been in place for about 3,500 people living along the coastal communities. And, in fact, through on Hook Island working your way out towards Hideaway Bay and Conway. Some of these areas that are going to be very susceptible to major coastal erosion.
A lot of people have already been warned to exit this area. And notice the rainfall amounts color white right there. You don't see that every single day with storm systems. That is on the top of the charts that is a half a meter of rainfall.
We're talking well over say over 25 to 30 inches in the few spots coming down over the next several days. So, significant weather maker. When you talk about the amount of rainfall forecast here, the storm surge. When it comes to fatalities with storm systems it is that takes lives and not the wind speeds.
Oftentimes, Cyril and Rosemary, people look at these storms and the wind speeds dictates how they feel and how much fear they put towards the storm system. That shouldn't be the case with any storm. And we know that the water aspect is a lot more dangerous. Guys?
CHURCH: Yes, thanks for keeping an eye on that, Pedram. I appreciate it.
CHURCH: And thanks for watching CNN newsroom. Early Start is next for our viewers here in the United States.
VANIER: And for everyone else, not to worry, Max Foster is waiting for you in London. Thank you for watching CNN.
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