tv CNN Newsroom Live CNN March 4, 2017 1:00am-2:01am PST
the u.s. president heads to his florida resort while controversy grows around his attorney general and conversations with the russian ambassador. and officials in yemen insist a raid that killed a u.s. navy s.e.a.l. provided new intelligence. and a new hotel on the west bank blends art and regional politics. we look inside this unusual retreat. that's all ahead here on "cnn newsroom." we're live in atlanta. thank you for joining us. i'm natalie allen. u.s. president trump is at his florida resort for the
weekend, but the fallout over reported contacts with the president's campaign aides and russia's ambassador to the u.s. continues to grow. democrats are demanding more specific answers from u.s. attorney general jeff sessions on why he did not disclose his own meetings with the russian diplomat. sessions says he will turn in amended testimony on monday. we get more from jeff zeleny. >> reporter: president trump heading off today for a weekend in florida. but not escaping lingering questions about russia. before leaving the white house, his closest advisers holding an animated meeting in the oval office. steve bannon look particularliage taitzed as the weekends with more aides acknowledging meetings with the russian ambassador last year. a day after attorney general jeff sessions recused himself from any investigations involving the 2016 campaign after failing to disclose his meetings with the ambassador, the administration is on damage
control. the president's words from last month not holding up to scrutiny. >> i have nothing do with russia. fwoets of my knowledge, no person that i deal with does. >> reporter: the white house has yet to explain the pump of these meetings. the disclosure of which has overshadowed the president's well regarded speech to congress this week. republicans urging team trump to be more fort coming. >> i think everybody who has had contact with the russians need to get in the practice of oversharing. >> reporter: in a statement the president defending his attorney general as an honest man blasting dmgs for what he called a total witch hunt. those words echoed in moscow where russian foreign minister sergey lavrov described it the same way. >> translator: it all looks like a witch hunt. >> reporter: russia clearly on the president's mind today sending this tweet, we should start an immediate investigation into senator schumer and his ties to russia and putin, a total hypocrite. senator schumer firing back, happily talk about my contact with mr. putin and his soergtss.
took place in 2003. in full view of press and public under oath. would you and your team? in wisconsin, vice president mike pence facing questions about using a personal e-mail account to conduct business as indiana governor. it was hacked in a fishing scam as first reported by "the indianapolis star." >> i'm very confident that our e-mail practices were in full compliance with all of indiana's laws. >> reporter: on the campaign trail, he often criticized 4k's private e-mail server. >> classified information clou allowed to be on her own private server exposed to hacking. to be honest with you, i'm experiencing clinton's scandal fatigue. >> reporter: pence rejected that comparison today. >> no, there is no comparison whatsoever between hillary clinton's practice, having a private server, mishandling classified information, sgroiing
e-mails. >> reporter: all this as the week drew to a close with the president still not signing a new travel ban for visitors from majority muslim countries. he once argued it was you are gebts urgently needed. a new report finds that most vie lebts extremists are notal radicalized when they come to the u.s. but only after living lear for several years. >> despite the controversy over russian contacts, the former head of the cia says it's in u.s. interests to find areas ever cooperation whenever possible. david petraeus says the most important thing is to be realistic about russian motives and goals. petraeus spoke with cnn's frederik pleitgen. >> it is very clear what vladimir putin's objectives are in many cases they are unacceptable to us and nato and our allies and partners around
the world. having said that, there could be some convergence of interests when it comes to the defeat of the islamic state and the al qaeda and perhaps stopping the blood shed in syria as an overall objective, as well. >> could that be a spring board toward better relations? >> i would go into this with my eyes very wide open, with realistic appraisal of what russia has done and what putin would like do. i think strategic dialogue with one's adversary is not something that should be avoided. i think you should actually pursue it. there is the possibility of some other initiatives and indeed some policy initiatives at some point. this is where you might see an initiative with russia. i don't think you see that in ukraine. i think you could possibly see this in syria. >> nic robertson joins us live from moscow.
and we just heard general petraeus saying it's good to find cooperation with russia. but there is an investigation in how russia may have meddled in the election and now wariness over reports that several trump team members met with the ambassador after the president said to the best of his knowledge no person deals with with russia. so what is going on on that side? >> reporter: frustration. there is frustration because clearly russia is being implicated in nefarious activities and meddling in the u.s. elections. that is something that they say there are not involved in that, but at the same time, they describe what is happening in washington as a political witchhunt and also internal u.s. affairs. they feel that they are being caught up in that emotionally charged situation. but in the areas of cooperation,
cnn asked peskov yesterday what about cooperation over syria. he said look, there are areas potentially over isis where we could be cooperating. and he said we're not. which is sad. but he quickly corrected himself after that and said but russia will strike out and continue to do actions on its own. and if you take a look at where the u.s. stands diplomatically over the issue of syria, you have peace talks going on in geneva, they wrapped up yesterday, but as part of that process, you had senior russian diplomats, deputy foreign minister meeting with members ever the opposition parties. we haven't seen that before. and the united states not representative at any similar level at those talks. so while there is frustration here in russia, there is a gaping hole appearing in what should be effective areas of u.s. international foreign strategy and policy appearing. >> i want to play a portion of
the interview we did with steve hall, retired cia chief of russian operations. this is what he said about potential cooperation between the u.s. and russia. >> for the west there is always and specifically the united states, there is a goal for cooperation. we want to achieve a specific goal. for russia sometimes cooperation is the goal. they want a seat at the table, they want to be a great power, they want respect. we hear it constantly in their speeches. so sometimes cooperation for russia is a different thing than it is for the united states and the west in general. >> exactly, that mirrors what you were saying. they're looking for something different. they're looking for respect perhaps. >> reporter: sure. that is part of putin's goal here, to be so engaged in big international affairs that russia is allowed on the international platform. and to a degree it has.
it hosted the military cease fire talks just recently. and it is putting itself on the world stage which is where it wants to be. but the reality is it cannot resolve these issues alone. it's looking for a partner in the united states. but you might, you know, if we were more months into the trump administration, you might be able to say this is a tactical move on the trump administration not to engage in syria, to essentially not deliver what president putin wants which is the international recognition of being an international player and also to get out from underneath some ever the sanctions that he's under in ukraine for over his actions in ukraine, which is an nexting crimea as well as crossing the border to get involved with the separatists in the east of ukraine. but it doesn't seem to be that the united states is at that stage yet at the moment, playing that strategic role. they're not ready for it and that's russia's frustration. >> all right. nick roberts son li robertson i
you. author of an upcoming book how the west a aiding and abetting the decline of democrat is joining us. first up, lavrov says this is a witch hunt as far as the curiosities about these meetings with the russian ambassador. but democrats say it seems like they're covering something up. what is your take? about. >> well, i think any of these individual meetings could be explained. jeff sessions meeting with the russian ambassador might be something that is normal. but at some point you have to ask how many red flags do there need to be. the real problem here is there is no alternative explanation coming from the trump campaign or the trump white house as to why all these different people from diverse backgrounds have met with russian officials or russian operatives and that have had shifty denials about these r those meetings. remember michael flynn said he
called over christmas, a courtesy call. then it became a series of calls. then it was we talked about with sanctions. then we found out this week that he also met in trump tower with him. and question is why all of these denials, why all of these claims if nothing is really there. >> if there is some sort of coverup here, what could they don't want us to know? they of course being the trump administration. >> well, the allegation is that there is collusion between the trump campaign and russia because russia certainly meddled in america's election with hacking and it was to the benefit of donald trump's campaign. and the question was is there coordination. and if there was, it's a serious, serious allegation that the united states president would have been involved in illegitimately affecting an election outcome. >> so what could the white house or the president do or say to make it crystal clear this is government business as usual? >> i think at this point the
only thing that will make the story go away is a full investigation. and a full report that documents the level of contact, what was sgued, and when by various trump administration officials. there are too many questions to not have afternoon investigation at this point. and so it would be improper.inv at this point. and so it would be improper. and question is will it be independent. it only took the embarrassment of sessions' testimony being exposed for him to recuse himself for investigating a campaign that he was involved in. so we have to look at the integrity of the investigation going forward. >> and the president and his team have been saying that they will roll out a new version, a tweaked version of the travel ban, but now it hasn't happened. what could be the hold up there? >> well, i think that this is an extremely complicated policy that needs to pass legal muster. they were slapped down in about court previously, the travel ban
deemed to be unlawful by the court. and so as a result of itrying . but the irony is that trump tweeted that the judges were holding up national security and that he would blame them if a terror attack happened as a result. but now they are waiting. so the narratives are somewhat blurred in terms of is this really essential for national security and if so why the hold up. >> brian class, london school of economics, thank you for joining us. and coming up here, we will hear from some trump supporters about some of these allegations. that is coming up here on our newscast. plus an alleged fake jobs scandal is erupting around presidential candidate marine le pen. that is ahead as well. getting heartburn doesn't mean i means i take rolaids®. rolaids® goes to work instantly neutralizing 44% more acid than tums® for fast, powerful relief
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all the partners agree? even iced tea? especially iced tea. goodbye, sugar. hello, new splenda naturals. the international red cross is sounding the alarm over iraq's battle for mosul. it says 12 civilians were treated this week for injuries from a suspected chemical attack. meantime iraqi military commanders say coalition air
strikes in mosul killed six militant leaders and took out an isis headquarters on friday. the fight for western mosul has driven more than 46,000 people from the city. 46,000. united nations fears that number could reach a quarter of a million. an al qaeda affiliate in yemen is being hammered by u.s. air raids. the pentagon says it's conducted more than 30 strikes there thursday and friday. groens were u drones were used and at least one high member was targeted. these are the first since the controversial raid in january. several civilians and u.s. navy s.e.a.l. were killed then, but u.s. officials are defending the mission. here is more from cnn's barbara starr at the pentagon. >> reporter: u.s. officials are insisting to cnn that they did get valuable intelligence from that raid back in january that killed the u.s. navy s.e.a.l. and led to the death of several
civilians on the ground. none of it can be absolutely verified because the intelligence is classified. but officials say that they are now taking action to monitor, look for hundreds of contacts that they got on some of the data, the laptop, the cellphones that they seized. they believe they have names and contact information for people in the west who may be sympathizers to al qaeda in yemen, may even be working to plot and plan new attacks. so they are taking action, trying to track all of that down. at the same time, they got intelligence that is leading them to more information about al qaeda's safe havens in yemen. that may lead them to more raids. they have information they say about recruiting, targeting all of the activities of al qaeda and eninformation about its explosive manufacturing. and of course it is al qaeda in yemen that has perfecting
nonmetallic bombs, the kinds of bombs that can make it past airport security. this is a group that very much wants to get a bomb on board a u.s. airliner. >> barbara starr there. now let's go to ian lee in cairo and monitoring what has been happening there in yemen. what are you learning, ian? is it the same that we heard from barbara starr? >> reporter: the thing about the strikes is they were targeting a number of things, natalie. they were going after weapons, they were going after militants, sa safehouses, the infrastructure of al qaeda in the arabian peninsula. there were more than 30 air strikes. and when you compare that to 2016, there was roughly 30 air strikes in the whole entire year. so this is a sharp increase that we're seeing taking place here. and they're targeting these militants in the southern central part of the country in
several provinces where al qaeda has been known to congregate and take advantage of the lawlessness and vacuum that has been created by the war in yemen. >> and this war has been going on and on there and there has been criticism from people inside saying where is the world. what is the view there on how the u.s. is stepping up this air campaign and how it might overall affect the war? >> reporter: interesting thing about this, when you look at yemen, there are several conflicts really taking place. you have the primary one between the houthi rebels and the government troops of president mondaysour and there a proxy war supporting the president in iran, assuming the houthi rebels, to the extent we really don't know.
but on the other side of the country, you have al qaeda exploiting that vacuum, you have isis trying to exploit that vacuum. so these air strikes are really trying to keep al qaeda in check. but when you look at the war, the conflict overall, it's unlikely to really play -- have much of an effect on the war between the houthi rebels and the government troops. that is taking play more in the western part of the country, although al qaeda has been taking its shots at both in the past, as well. >> another war that is extremely complicated. thank you so much, ian lee live for us in cairo. french presidential candidate francois fillon is hoping a rally can salvage his faltering campaign. he's fighting allegations he misused public money. there are more high profile defections from are his team and calls for the french conservative to step aside are growing. melissa bell has more from
paris. >> reporter: it was anotherfran fillon. he lost not only the spokesman of his campaign, but two of his directors, his foreign affairs spokesman. his support has been hemorrhaging over the last 48 hours. more than 60 republican parliamentarians say they no longer back his candidacy. but he's looking toward sunday in a rally that he's called here in paris to try to show that he has the support of the people. that gathering is already criticized by the french president hollande who says by definition it is the criticism of the institutions of the republic, that is of the judicial system that is taking francois fillon on. ever since it was announced that he would likely be facing charges on the 15th of march, this having said all along that if he faced charges he would be standing aside and then refusing
to stand aside, this has all proved too much for so many of those who assumed him thus far. now the calls for the man who came in second to come back and save the party and be the party edith are growing almost it seems like the hour. all the more so since this new pollartyedith are growing almost seems like the hour. all the more so since this new poll also suggested that were francois fillon to become the party candidate, he would beat le pen. new developments in the murder case of kim jong-nam. malaysia has issued an arrest warrant for this man, a noerth korean airline worker. he's wanted for questioning in the death of the north korean' leader half brother. meantime this citizen was released. he was held as a suspect in the case, but malaysian authorities say they don't have enough
evidence to charge him. he was deported to pyongyang and said this to reporters after arriving in beijing. railro >> translator: i realize is this a controversy, a plot to try to damage the status of the right public. >> two women have been charged in the murder. malaysian officials say he was killed with vx nerve agent. still ahead here, the trump administration admits there were meetings with russian officials but only after month of denials. why the denials? we'll have more about it when we come back here. only tylenol® rapid release gels have laser drilled holes. they release medicine fast, for fast pain relief. tylenol® today, unlimited gets the network it deserves. verizon. (mic thuds)
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welcome back to our viewers here in the united states and around the world. you're watching "cnn newsroom." i'm natalie allen. here are our top stories. a u.s. judge is giving the white house two more weeks to answer a lawsuit that challenges parts of trump administration's travel ban which is now on hold. immigrant rights group says the order blocked legal residents from reuniting with children trapped in war-torn countries. mr. trump now says he will sign a new order. the former haitian president has died at age 74. he was haiti's only democratically elected president to win and serve two terms. he was president during the catastrophic earthquake in 2010. haitians say mr. preval strengthened political stability. russia's defense ministry says at least 1,000 isis militants were killed or wounded as the russian backed syrian military recaptured palmyra this
week. the city had been in isis' hands for several months. it's about 225 kilometers from raqqah which is considered isis headquarters in syria. sunday could be the last stand for french presidential candidate francois fillon. he is fighting allegations that he misused public money. some members of his team are deserting his campaign. marine le pen is also accused of misusing funds. her lawyer says she won't answer judges questions until after the french election. the trump administration insists there was nothing wrong with senior aides meeting with the russian ambassador on several occasions last year. indeed such contacts are not illegal, so why did trump officials repeatedly deny they occurred? brian todd looks into that. >> reporter: for months the denials have been emphatic and definitive. >> can you say with 100% confidence that mr. trump or anybody in his campaign had no
conversations with anybody in russia during the campaign? >> no, i'm just telling you it's all phony bologna garbage. >> if any adviser or anybody in the trump campaign had any contact with the russians who were trying to meddle in the election? >> of course not. >> can you say whether you are aware that anyone who advised your campaign had contacts with russia during the course ever t of the election? >> i have nothing do with russian. >> reporter: it appears they were at best deflections. cnn has confirmed a growing lilg of people affiliated with the president's campaign who had contact with russia's ambassador to the u.s. sergey kislyak as far back as last spring. he was in the audience in the same room with attorney general jeff sessions as then candidate trump gave a speech calling for the u.s. to ease tensions with russia. three months later, kislyak was in cleveland on the sidelines of the republican convention.
cnnen has learned at least three trump campaign national security advisors met with the russian ambassador. one tells cnn nothing inappropriate was said, that there was no collusion with the russians to aid the trump campaign. but was trump's russia policy affected by those meetings? trump's team allegedly pushed convention delegates into changing the gop platform language to offer less help to ukraine in their fight against russian separatists. days later trump told abc this. >> he's not going into ukraine, okay? just so you understand, he's not going to go into ukraine. you can mark it down, you can take it anyway you want. >> he's already there. >> reporter: during his confirmation hearing, jeff sessions also denied any contacts as part of the campa n campaign. >> i did not have xhun indications with the russians. >> reporter: but on thursday, sessions admitted he, too, met with the russian ambassador in cleveland. >> in retrospect, i should have slowed down and said but i did meet one russian official a couple times. that would be the ambassador.
>> reporter: the week after that meeting in cleveland, e-mails stolen from the nags ald committee were released embarrassing democrats. the trump campaign denied any involvement. >> are there any ties between mr. trump, you and your campaign and putin and his regime? >> no, there are not. it's absurd. and there is no basis to it. >> reporter: days later mr. trump was back in front of cameras seemingly garing tdarin cell lynn to help take down hillary clinton. >> russia if you're listening, i hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. >> reporter: u.s. officials now say the russians were engaged in a concerted effort to help trump get elected through hacks and fake news. on september 8, sessions still a surrogate for the trump campaign met with the russian ambassador a second time, this time in senate office. sessions says the subject of ukraine came up. cnn has learned contacts continued after the election. in december, a senior
administration official now says the ambassador met briefly at trump tower with jared kushner and his appointed national security adviser general michael flynn. despite news cameras rolling constantly, kislyak was apparently never seen by reporters entering or leaving the building. later that month, michael flynn had a flurry of phone calls and a text with the russian ambassador he says touching on everything from holiday greetings to sanctions. it was then president trump expelled more than 30 russian diplomats and leveled sanctions on russia, but putin said he wouldn't respond in kind. trump praised putin's move saying i always knew he was very smart. two months later after the "washington post" detailed the timing of the calls, flynn was forced to resign. the white house says for misleading vice president pence about his conversations with the ambassador. the next day press secretary sean spicer was still trying to answer questions about trump campaign contacts with the russians before the election. >> there is nothing that would conclude that anything different has changed.
>> reporter: two days later, the president himself was again asked and again denied that anyone on his campaign team had contacts with russia during the election. >> nobody that i know of. >> so you're not aware of any contacts during the course of the election? >> how many times do i have to answer this question? >> reporter: it appears the president and his team will continue to have to answer these questions as congressional investigations are looming. it's important to note it's not unusual for members of the president-elect's team to meet with foreign dignitaries after the election, none of thieves contacts appear to be illegal. and the trump administration says it did nothing wrong. brian todd, cnn, washington. in brian's report, one of the people pictured as having had contact with rish sha's ambassador is carter page. last september, the trump team tried to distance itself from page saying he had, quote, never been part of our campaign. and now even the energy executive himself has been denying that he had meetings with donald trump. anderson cooper asked him about
that. >> i never shook his hand. i've been in, you know, many rallies with him from arizona to north dakota to indiana in new york. >> rallies. >> which is meetings, you know. >> well, let me ask you about that. because you have said repeatedly that you were in meetings with the president. you were in moscow in december of 2016, you held a press conference at the "sputnik" headquarters. and you apparently to reporters you denied claims that you had never met donald trump during your time as adviser and he said i've certainly been in a number of meetings with him. that implies i'm in a meeting in a conference room around a table. you're new saying that those meetings were actually rallies. >> that is -- listen, if you look at the definition of meeting in a russian context, 90% of the students from the university can and other media people that came to that meeting, that briefing or the presentation i gave, were
russians. so when they have demonstrations and gatherings in the square or other places, the term for that is meeting. >> so again, a lot of questions surrounding trump's team and more revelations about these meetings. we wanted to hear from trump supporters, what do they think about what is happening. cnn's ran drandi kaye posed tha question to people at a rally in virginia. >> reporter: on board the uss gerald r. ford, sailors packed the belly of the carrier anxious to see their commander in chief. many in the crowd hadn't yet heard that newly minted attorney general jeff sessions was under fire for failing to share during his confirmation hearings that he had met with a russian ambassador twice during the campaign. >> many members of congress including republicans are saying
that he misled the committee during his confirmation hearings. does that concern you? >> it does concern me. so i hope it's not true. >> should he resign? >> i don't think so. i think we need to find out more first. >> do you think it's a big deal. >> probably if he's talking with the russians. we don't know exactly what is going on. not sure exactly. >> he said he was doing it because his job at the time, not because of mr. trump or anything else. so -- >> so you believe he met with him as a senator and member of the armed services committee, not as a trump surrogate? >> why would he lie? you have to take a man at his word, right? >> so all the questions about him lying under oath, do you believer believe he told the truth? >> i do not know all the questions, but i hope if he's done something illegal that it's taken care of. >> reporter: when we told this trump supporter that the man then senator jeff sessions with is considered by u.s. intelligence to be a top russian spy, she refused to even talk
about the situation. >> better get somebody else, because that really pisses me off that that was said. >> reporter: some in the crowd thought sessions deserved a break suggesting it was memory lapse or that he was possibly being coached. >> ites part of his job. >> are you concerned that perhaps then senator sessions lied under oath? >> no, i think at that time he was probably told that he should not say anything. so i don't think he was lying under oath. >> reporter: and about those appeals for him to step down? >> what do you make for the calls for the attorney general to resign? is it too soon? >> i think it may be too soon. maybe wait for more facts to come out. wait more time just to see what happens. let the whole process continue. >> do you think he will make a good attorney general? >> i think he will. >> reporter: so does this man who was quick to point out all senators talk to foreign nations, that it's part of the job. >> does that bother you.
>> no. he's a patriot. god bless america. >> reporter: randi kaye, cnn. well, the u.s. department of homeland security is considering a proposal to separate children and adults who enter the country illegally at the border with mexico. a senior official says the measure is meant to stop people from exploiting children. right now when adults come into the u.s. illegally with children, authorities usually release the families who can stay in the u.s. while their cases are processed. we spoke earlier with theresa cardinal brown, she's the director of immigration policy at the bipartisan policy center. >> one thing you have to understand is that under our laws, unaccompanied children are treated differently than adults at the border. and if a child is with a family member, they still get preferential treatment. and one thing that has happened over the last couple of years as central americans arrive, first it was a lot of unaccompanied
kids and then as policy were earn acted that said families could be released if they were in the company of minor children, border patrol did see could be released if they were in the company of minor children, border patrol did see a lot of people claiming family relationships who after questioning found out not necessarily the case. >> president trump says he wants to hire 15,000 border patrol and customs enforcement agents, but it won't be easy. the job market is sat schtatura candidates must meet a written test and spanish course. a controversial street artist has built a boutique hotel in a place that is searching desperately for dialogue. we'll explain in about a moment.
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but not so much this weekend. cold weather on top of all the spring blooms. >> isn't that something? the flowers across pretty expansive area about 20 to 30 days ahead of where they should be as far as they have been growing. but frost taking place right now, so we will get some of those plants to die off and maybe regrow again. but we'll show you what we're talking about here because the current temperatures outside start you off around the northeast, it is currently sitting there in the capital of montpelier at 2 agreedegrees. you take a look at the windchills, feels like minus 2 in boston, feels like 12 with the winds in new york city. but just a couple of days ago, first day of plarnmarch on wedn, it reached a record temperature of 70 for new york city. look where we are right now, 21 what the air temperature is. that is a january 15th-like
reading. so going to what it feels like in january here in march. so wild to say the least. about 14 million people underneath a freeze warning at this hour. so protect the three ps, pets, pipes, plants. haven't had to do that much across atlanta. but that is the case this morning. that cold canadian air is locked in place. it's very short-lived. by monday and tuesday, the warm air returns and pushes back in to the southern canada. so a pretty expansive area of warming and late next week another shot of cold air. but notice, it is really confined toward the northeastern corner of the u.s. and that is about it as far as what looks like the winter may have to offer. temps warming up into the 60s in atlanta on saturday, new york 32. again very impressive when you consider what has happened in recent days. and take a look, so far since the first of january, over 8500 report high temperatures have been set in the u.s., 1200 record low temperatures.
about 8:1 ratio in the coldest time of year. >> very odd. >> absolutely. so that is the wild winter we've had so far. >> i was in new york this week for the 70. got out just before the cold set in. >> welcome back. >> thanks, pedram. all right. the view isn't much and there is no gym, but israelis and palestinians are allowed to visit. that is a big deal on the west bank where graffiti artist banksy has opened his first hotel. jonathan mann tells us about it. >> reporter: it's all about location. and that's definitely the telling point of bethlehem's newest hotel which opened under the concrete shadow of israel's security wall. >> it has probably the worst view ever that you can get from a hotel. >> reporter: it's called the walled off hotel and there are no rooms with what you would call a view. all look out on the graffiti
scrolled bear yes, long seen as a symbol of oppression by palestinians. it's an unusual venture developed over the past year by the hotel's unusual owner, br t british street artist banksy. >> banksy chose the location and developed the whole concept. he chose to put it next to the wall. perhaps not for the great views, but for other reasons that are more artistic. >> reporter: and banksy's artistic touches unmistakable, which is decorated with eclectic next of his murals and gentlemen's club kich. he says it's a place for people from all sides. a hotel with no view. would you call it visionary? jonathan mann, cnn. and a programming note for you. cnn is teaming up with young people around the world for a unique student drk l-led day ofn with the launch of my freedom
day on march 14th. driving it is a simple question. what does freedom mean to you. here's what some students in asia said. >> freedom to me is to be able to pursue my passions and dreams and achieve what i want to do in my future. >> freedom according to me is an emotion. it's an expression. >> freedom to me is waking up every day, not having to worry about my rights will be taken away from me, living peacefully and happy with my friends and family. >> to be free is to have the power to make others free. >> join us on march 14th. >> so what does freedom mean to you? we want to hear from you. send us your answer via text, photo or video across social media using #myfreedomday. we enjoy hearing from people around the world. young people. it's a tale old as time with
a twist. coming up, why one theater in the u.s. is keeping the beauty and the beast remake off its theaters. ad is being condensed for your viewing convenience. so i just switched to geico. what took you so long? i know, i saved a ton of money on car insurance. that's what i'm talking about! geico also gives you 24/7 access to licensed agents! booooyah. good game, you really crushed it. no son, geico crushed it. ♪ ♪
in the u.s. a theater in the state of alabama is closing the curtain on the new beauty and the beast movie before it's even released. it's all because of a guy moment as the movie's director calls it. here is our affair fill i can't tell waay. >> reporter: a classic disney story of a young girl who falls in love. >> if she is the one, i will break the spell. >> reporter: but when the remake premieres in march -- ♪ -- it will debut disney's first openly gay character who has a crush. but it won't air at this theater. the owner took to facebook thursday night announcing she will not show the film at her business because of the gay character. in the post she write, quote, when companies continually force
their views on us, we need to take a stand. >> my salvation isn't about money, it's not about man. it's what god wants me do. >> reporter: the post received mixed responses and while some patrons said they won't buy another ticket at the theater, some customers said they would still be in line for a front row seat. >> when i grew up, it was a regular romance between a man and a woman. >> i think it's absolutely absurd. >> reporter: but gay rights advocate strongly disagree with the decision. >> i commend disney for being inclusive and showing the real diversity of love in oir world. >> reporter: for 17 years, this drive-in theater has shown many explicit movies right on its jumbo screen. but the current owners who took over in december told me that the beauty and the beast isn't the only movie that is getting the cut. >> we will not be playing movies that have sex, that have nudity. >> reporter: while she knows she might lose out on a lot of money, she's staying firm on her beliefs.
>> it's my choice. >> reporter: and for now that choice will have nothing to do with beauty and the beast. >> and that is "cnn newsroom." thank you for watching this hour. hannah vaughan jones in london has another hour of "cnn newsroom" right after this. today, unlimited gets the network it deserves.
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