tv CNN Newsroom Live CNN April 22, 2017 1:00am-2:01am PDT
daniel de abreu and furtado, three men murdered. four tragic endings. less than 4 hours before france heads to the polls, the terror attack from thursday casts a dark shadow over a vote that could affect the future of the european union. did russian spies try to use trump advisors including this man, carter page, to infiltrate the campaign. later the story of a little film festival that could become a real player. tell you about cuba's self-described core film festival. >> welcome to our viewers here around the world and the united states, we're live in atlanta. i'm natalie allen. >> and i'm george howell. "newsroom" starts right now.
it is 4:00 a.m. on the u.s. east coast and millions of french voters will head to the polls to choose a new president. but this happened after a brazen attack killing a police officer. the nation in shock after that killing. happened thursday in paris. the attacker apparently supported by isis. >> we now learn the gunman was under investigation by french terrorism officials for the past several weeks. melissa bell joins us from paris with the very latest. certainly that casts a shadow over this very important election, melissa. >> that's right, natalie. it was already looking incredibly unpredictable as elections go and also decisive given the vast differences there are between the different candidates and their programs. many radically different tool
than has gone before and i'm not only thinking of marine le pen. how this would have played in to the last few days of voting. the last opinion poll was compiled before the events of thursday night. published on friday it suggests that le pen the far right are neck and neck. but what difference could the very dramatic events that unfolded here on thursday night make? have a look. beit was 9:30 on champs-elyess. police targeted. parked alongside police and opened fire with an automatic weapon. within minutes one police officer was dead and two more wounded. the killer, a frenchman, taken down. follow in short order and 24 hours of the attack paris' prosecutor was able to say more of the assailiant. >> a piece of paper next to his
body. also several other pieces of paper were found between the two seats of the vehicle which carried the addresses of several police forces. finally in the boot of the car the officers found a large black bag containing rifles, two large kitchen knife and a curan. >> reporter: throughout the morning raids were carried out in a number of locals and three members of his family were taken into custody. with less than 48 hours to go until polls opened, france's prime minister expressed his fear that one candidate might try to add fuel to the fire. >> the candidates like every drama seeks to profit from and to control the situation to
divide. seeks to benefit from fear for exclusively political ends. >> reporter: marine le pen put the fight at the heart of her campaign. controversially, she wants all terror suspects thrown out of france and the country's borders closed within 12 hours of the attack, she went on the offensive. >> i demand that an investigation be open with the objective of dissolving cultural organizations that promote a finance on mandalist ideologists. the islamist mosque must be closed. >> reporter: repeated some 10.5,000 people expelled. the main rival the centrist took to the airwaves with his replies. >> do not give into the fear and
do not give into intimidation. >> reporter: with the campaign ending at midnight paris time the only measure the choice is the poll itself. a vote that the world will be watching. now, it's very easy in all of this, natalie, to overlook and forget the fact, of course, that a brave man lost his life on thursday night. there is that emotional side of things. not only a proud policeman, he was also a proud defender of rights. this goes far beyond the question of how france is going to vote. with regard to the broader electorate. people can choose to vote with their hearts. i think the question is how this, how the events that took place here on the champs-elysees play into the final vote of those who had to make up their mipdz. >> that element is part of this election. with that said, how do you gauge the atmosphere there right now?
>> you know, it's been such an extraordinary election. so many twists and turns every day and some people are fed up with it. they say they're worried about the future and they're worried that none of the candidates have provided them with a positive idea for which to go and vote, but rather that there has been a lot of very negative campaigning. there are many here in france who were worried about le pen's position in the polls and i suppose one of the facts that we know from the recent position does benefit from a very decided group of voters. she has a lot of people who are determined to go out there and make the most of what they believe is her real chance of making it to the palace. hamon has never been elected before and never standing with the benefit of an electorate party. difficult to understand and
indwaj and many people are not convinced that he is the right man to lead france at this very point. great levels of unpredictability and these very different programs where, once again, natalie, looking at an election and embodied in the two candidates. a vote either for continuity and openness or for a great rupture that has all gone before and a retreat behind france's borders. >> we thank you so much. melissa bell bringing us the very latest there. thank you. let's bring in now our own colleague to give us some insight here and lived in france. you reported on french politics for many, many years. help our viewers to understand what exactly is at stake here with two candidates who couldn't be more opposite. >> well, i think one of the reason why this election is more important than just for french people is you've got a lot of european leaders looking at this. because, simply put, two of the four leading candidates right
now could deal a body blow to european construction. we're talking about the far right candidate marine le pen and jean-luc melencohn. as for marine le pen the first thing she wants to do if she becomes president take france out of the single currency and abandon the euro and return to the former french currency, the frank. that means the whole idea on which europe is built and cross the borders freely from one country into another which is really part of the european psyche. she wants to get rid of that. thirdly, she wants to organize a referendum on whether or not to stay within the european referendum. the european union has been very much built since the very beginning on the partnership between france and germany coming out of the second world war. if you have a country like france leaving the european union, it is more important than
the brexit, just cripples the european project. >> that's why so many people are watching this. melissa touched on it of this terror before this election and what impact that perhaps might have. what do you think? >> the answer could determine the future of france because it could end up who ends up determining that election. i think to whether it has a lot of impact, you could convincingly argue this both ways. on the one hand, french voters are people who seem an endless stream of tax over the past few years. as anybody, they have their breaking point. this with that cumulative effect. is that where they reach their breaking point and they'll turn to anybody who tells them i can stop these attacks. maybe. marine le pen has been saying that. with my policies we would have avoided some of the tax that took place over the last 2 1/2 years because of her strong anti-immigration policy. she says some of the people who perpetrated those attacks would
not have come into france in the first place or been deported or in some other respect been neutralized and not been able to carry out those attacks. that's one way. you don't need to sway that many votes because all the leading candidates are neck and neck in the polls that we saw a couple days ago. only a few votes one way or another could really swing the vote. >> could be a close one and lots at stake here, i guess. >> absolutely. >> thank you. well, now, we want to give you a cnn exclusive report. we are learning that u.s. intelligence officials had gathered information that suggests russia did try to use advisors to donald trump to infiltrate his campaign. cnn u.s. justice correspondent pamela brown has that. >> we have learned the fbi gathered intelligence last summer that suggests russian operatives try to use trump advisors including carter page to infiltrate the trump campaign according to multiple u.s.
officials. now, critical speech of u.s. policy in july 2016 at a prominent moscow university is part of what raised concerns in the bureau that he may have been compromised by russian intelligence. the new information adds to this emerging picture of how the russians tried to influence the 2016 election not only through e-mail hacks and propaganda and also trying to infiltrate the trump orbit. the intelligence that was gathered led to that broader fbi investigation into the coordination of trump campaign associates and the russians as fbi director james comey. the officials we have spoken with made clear they're not aware russians may have been using him because of the way russian spy agents operate. he could have unknowingly talked to russian agents. saying that at times he actually helped the u.s. intelligence community. he told cnn, "my assumption throughout the last 26 years have been going there has always
been that any russian person might share information with the russian government as i have similarly done with the cia, fbi and other government agencies in the past." it is important to note within the trump campaign carter page is someone who had little or no influence. but he was one of several trump advisors who u.s. contacts with russian officials and the fbi investigation is still ongoing. pamela brown, cnn, washington. >> pamela brown, thank you. now, let's get more live from cnn's fred pleitgen. good to have you with us. what do we know about carter page and his interactions in russia? >> somebody who was very active here in russia. visited the country. he, himself, said several times in the past 26 years especially in reference to these new allegations that have come out. he said, look, every time he
came here to russia he took great care not to reveal too much and say too much because he believed that everybody he was talking to may in some, way, shape or form may be providing information to the russian intelligence or russian services. part of the policy he had not just dealing with russian business people, but also dealing with the american side, as well. so, certainly, he is someone who always said he took great care. when he was in russia, as pam just mentioned, the u.s. intelligence services believe that maybe unknowingly he might have been used by russian intelligence services and then, of course, also by russian government officials, as well. certainly someone well known especially in the oil and gas sector, which is very powerful. here in russia he met top official and gas officials here in this country. someone who is quite well respected here in russia and, therefore, someone who was also quite positive towards russia even as russia was very
controversial and a controversial topic as the elections were going on in 2016. george? >> fred, also, what has been the response. the general response from russia about carter page, about these allegations as they would say into meddling into the u.s. election. >> you know what, i think it's very important that you say the general response because to this specific new allegation and this new information, the russians have not commented. it came out very late on a friday night here in russia. no surprise that the russians wouldn't comment. however, we are seeing an increased, i would say, fatigue here on the russian side and having to deal with a lot of the new allegations that have been coming out. vis-a-vis russian interference in the u.s. election process. they are sick on having to comment on a lot of this and you can see the frustration and the anger among officials that really feel this whole topic is something that is making it increasingly difficult to repair
russian relations that any sort of notion of them being repaired under the trump presidency which they had hoped for better relations fairly quickly. a lot of that had been poisoned with that coming out. they feel the new president is fending off a lot of these new allegations instead of trying to rebuild the relations with russia. there has been a certain degree of anger to these specific allegations. no comments at this point in time. the line that the russians usually use is that they say official russia was not involved in any sort of hacking around the election. any sort of intense to try to influence the electoral process in the 2016 election in the u.s. >> 11:15 a.m. in moscow. fred pleitgen live for us. we always appreciate the reporting. thank you. a revealing interview with carter page when he spoke with anderson cooper back in march when reports of links between the trump campaign and russia first came to light.
and want more coverage, guess what? you could apply for a medicare supplement insurance plan whenever you want. no enrollment window. no waiting to apply. that means now may be a great time to shop for an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. medicare doesn't cover everything. and like all standardized medicare supplement insurance plans, these help cover some of what medicare doesn't pay. so don't wait. call now to request your free decision guide. it could help you find the aarp medicare supplement plan that works for you. these types of plans have no networks, so you get to choose any doctor who accepts medicare patients. rates are competitive, and they're the only plans of their kind endorsed by aarp. remember - these plans let you apply all year round. so call today. because now's the perfect time to learn more. go long.
>> fully funds the construction of a wall on our southern border. don't worry about it. remember, i said mexico's paying for the wall. fully repeal obamacare. i will direct my secretary of the treasury to label china a currency manipulator. establish tariffs to discourage companies from laying off their workers. >> so, what were we listening to there? that was then candidate donald trump speaking back in october. next saturday marks a benchmark in his presidency. the first 100 days in office. >> that was then and this is now. and it's been quite different. he said those ambishitious goaln the campaign trail and not exactly delivered on them in the white house. here's more from jim acosta. it's a critical milestone for any president, but nearly
100 days in office president trump says this is no time to judge his performance. no matter how much i accomplished, it has been a lot including supreme court media will kill. in the lead-up to the 100-day mark, the president tried to make the case he is putting points on the scoreboard. >> we're now in the process of rebuilding america and a new optimism sweeping across our country. >> reporter: but the president has yet to follow through on many of the promises he said he could accomplish in his first 100 days in office, such as health care reform and imposing term limits on members of congress and tax reform. during the campaign the president promised so much winning the american people would grow tired of it. >> we will win so much, you may even get tired of winning and you'll say please, please, it's too much winning. >> reporter: in fact, the president laid out his 100-day agenda at an event just weeks before the november election. >> just think about what we can accomplish in the first 100 days
of a trump administration. we are going to have the biggest tax cuts since ronald reagan. >> on the first day of my term of office, my administration will immediately pursue the following six measures to clean up the corruption and special interest collusion in washington. ethics reform will be a crucial part of our 100-day plan, as well. we're going to drain the swamp of corruption in washington, d.c. >> reporter: so far, much of what the president has done is come through executive orders, not legislation. the white house is taking another stab at repealing and replacing obamacare, something the white house hopes can actually pass the house before mr. trump hits that 100-day milestone next week. >> the plan gets better and better and better and it's gotten really, really good. and a lot of people are liking it a lot. we have a good chance of getting it soon. >> reporter: but standing in the way, the prospect of a government shutdown. congress has until next week to pass a bill to fund the
government. one potential obstacle, the white house is still insisting on money for one of the president's biggest promises, a wall on the mexican border. the oval office, the president didn't sound worried that a shut down could actually happen as he hits 100 days in office. . >> i think we're in good shape. >> that was jim acosta reporting and, basically, reporting on the empty promises so far. let's talk more about trump's first 100 days. we're joined now by brian class a fellow at the london school of economics. brian, thank you for joining us. first of all, why are the first 100 days so significant? >> well, it's a barometer of how effective the president is at delivering at their campaign promises. it is to some extent arbitrary but holding the president accountable for the own standard that he set for himself.
trump set out a contract for the american voter that he would pass or aim to pass ten major bills by the end of the first 100 days. he is currently 0 for 10 and just a week away from the milestone. important to check in and see how he's delivering on his promises or how he's failing to deliver on them. >> a moment the things the president has succeeded on. a supreme court nominee. but at the same time, the things that have not come to fruition at this point. given your read of what you have seen happen, how is this new u.s. president doing? >> well, i think there is two major things that trump has done in the first 100 days that is positive. the supreme court justice for his agenda, that was a very big positive for him to be able to get that through. i also think that bombing syria and making clear that there is no place for chemical weapons in the civilized world. another positive. although it came with no strategy attached to it which is
a serious problem. trump said it is a ridiculous standard to look at him at the first 100 days. in obama's first 50 days, he passed a gender equity pay act. he expanded health insurance for 4 million people. passed an economic stimulus package and fully funded the government's budget. trump's first 100 days, the signed legislation so far has been repealing the protection rule which eradicating for mining company to disclose foreign payments and a nasa authorization bill. if you look at signed legislation, trump is not close to where obama was in his 50 days and that is trump with an extra 50 days beyond that. >> he keeps trying to put a positive spin on it. saying, you know, people are optimistic in the country. but, how long can he talk like that, brian, without getting something tangible done that he
promised? >> this is, this is the big question because a lot of the optimism came from business who believe that trump would deliver on his promise to cut red tape and create tax reform. and businesses were very excited about that. but after the health care bill stalled and failed after 17 days, people began to become skeptical and that's why when he yesterday said a tax reform bill is coming next week the stock market moved and effectively no confidence that he will actually do what he said he will do. this is where the 100-day barometer is important in judging a president's ability to deliver. >> we'll talk with you in a few more days and see what has or hasn't changed there in the white house. thank you. >> thanks, brian. still ahead here, we are live in paris this hour with thursday's attack, will likely be on the mind of voters when they cast their ballots on sunday. plus, who is carter page and
welcome back to our viewers here in the u.s. and all around the world, you're watching cnn newsroom live from atlanta. i'm natalie allen. >> and i'm george howell. a source says french counterterrorism authorities began investigating the gunman in the attack, karim cheurfi had a criminal record and was known to police. the afghan defense ministry
is saying there are more than 100 casualties among afghan soldiers after a taliban attack at an army base. six opened fire at the base in northern afghanistan during friday prayers and that the battle lasted for six hours. venezuelan officials say at least a dozen people were killed in what they are calling acts of violence. the attorney general says some of the victims were electrocuted and others died of gunshot wounds. witness tell cnn that nighttime protests against the president had turned into looting. u.s. vice president mike pence and australia's prime minister have reaffirmed their strong ties between our countries. pence says the u.s. will accept more than 1,200 asylum seekers honoring an agreement reached with the obama administration. the vice president was in sydney on the final stop of his asia pacific tour where they also discussed north korea. >> mr. prime minister, know that
mr. trump and i are truly grateful to you, truly grateful on you for calling on china to play an even more active and constructive role in addressing the north korean threat. the president and i in his words have great confidence that china will properly deal with north korea and i know you share that. but as president trump made clear just a few days ago, if china is unable to deal with north korea, the united states and our allies will. the united states and australia face this threat and every other one together. >> the vice president says the american alliance with australia is "a bedrock of our foreign policy." returning now to our top story. as french voters gear up for sunday's presidential election,
officials say the gunman in the champs-elysees attack was known to authorities. let's go live to paris. thank you so much for being with us to give us some context on this. the big question here, will these candidates in such tight races, will this attack be in the minds of voters when they go to the polls, but will it sway this election? >> well, it's very hard to predict the outcome since the four major candidates are very close to each other in the polls. i have the impression, however, that this attack will not play a very important role in the decision of the french voters. when i walked around this yesterday and today i talked to people and also in my own neighborhood in the center of paris i notice that the people, well, they were not really shocked as they were in november 2015 with the attack on the clan. it seems somehow they got used to the attacks. i don't have the impression that it will play a major part. and maybe the two candidates
that could profit most from the attack on thursday night melenchon and le pen. it will have a personal impact but i don't think it will be a very decisive impact. >> this is such a critical election. let's talk about what it means for europe, stefan. >> the impact for europe can be huge. two major contenders. marine le pen is outspoken antieuropean. she would love to leave the european union. she wants to leave the nato and then the other side who is an outspoken european candidate. during his meetings, these are the only meetings where you see european flags waved by many, many people. when marine le pen wins in two weeks from now, it will be very bad news for the european union.
and if jean-luc amacron and a tr up, jean-luc melechon. he would love to lead the euro, as well. it would mean bad news for european union on sunday night. >> journalist, thank you for the context. of course, all eyes on the french election and, of course, we'll be following it here on cnn. thank you. we turn now to cnn's exclusive report, the fbi had gathered intelligence that suggests russian operatives were trying to use advisors to donald trump, including carter page to infiltrate mr. trump's campaign. >> cnn's anderson cooper interviewed page earlier this year when reports of possible links between the trump campaign and russia first came to light. anderson asked page about his work in moscow and what
connections he had exactly with the trump campaign. listen closely. >> did you ever -- you were, apparently, they said early on that you were an adviser to the campaign of foreign policy adviser. did you ever brief donald trump as a candidate or as a president-elect. >> president trump said it absolutely 110% accurate. i never briefed him. and in reality -- >> did you ever meet him? >> i never shook his hand. i've been in many rallies with him from arizona to north dakota to many in new york. >> rallies. >> rallies. which is meetings. >> let me ask you about that. 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 headquarters and you denied claims that you never met donald
trump during your time as an adviser. i have been in meetings with him. that implies i'm in a meeting at a conference room around a table. you're saying those meetings were actually rallies. >> that is, listen, if you look at the definition of meeting in russian and in a russian context. when they have large -- i get by. i can understand what's happening in meetings and i can get my ideas across. but it's pretty -- >> you are saying you are using the russian definition of meetings so that hundreds of thousands of people who have been to rallies -- >> not, i've been in a smaller rallies. >> hundreds of thousands of people who have been to donald trump rallies. can they say they've been in meetings with donald trump? >> they have been in smaller ones, as well. >> what is the smallest? have you actually been in a meeting where foreign policy was discussed? >> anderson, listen, they were often discussed in rallies, et cetera. >> you know, if i go to a rally
of donald trump's, it doesn't mean i'm an adviser to donald trump. it dozen mean i'm going to a meeting with donald trump. i'm at a rally. so, you went to a bunch of donald trump rallies. >> and things like that. >> donald trump says your name, names you as part of the foreign policy team and that was in march, and then in august they say you're an informal adviser and then a month later jason miller says you're not an adviser and you made no contribution to the campaign. you are saying you were sending policy papers to the campaign as far back as in march. >> i never met jason. i think he joined kind of mid-summer and was -- >> did you write policy papers and send them to the campaign? >> i don't like talking about specifics of -- >> you told "new york times" you did on march 25th. >> that's fair enough. >> so ambig youty over a meeting. regardless there, you heard jason miller mention at the end
of the interview there. miller was a senior communication's adviser for the trump campaign. >> he sat down with anderson cooper a few hours ago and spoke about whether he had ever direct contact with carter page. >> you never met carter page? >> no. >> and candidate trump did name him as one of five advisors at the time. at a time when the candidate was under pressure to name, to name some advisors. he named carter page phd. did, to your knowledge, carter page really have any role? did he put in policy papers? do you know? >> not at all. here's the deal. carter page never met president trump. he never spoke with president trump. he said in some article that he went to lunch at trump grill. if you know anything about trump tower by law the city of new york makes it open to the public to come in. look, i went to a yankees' game a year or two ago. that doesn't mean i'm advising derek jeter.
>> talking about rallies that tens of thousands of people went to. >> completely ridiculous. i think there's a broader push back point we have here. it seems every time president trump is starting to put together a really good week or a really good day. the great news of getting the egyptian american women and her husband freed last night. all of a sudden one of these stories pops up with anonymous sources. just ahead here, icebergs can be deadly in a titanic kind of way but also amazingly beautiful. we'll show you some of the stunning images. along iceberg alley. cnn newsroom continues. if you have medicare parts a and b and want more coverage, guess what? you could apply for a medicare supplement insurance plan whenever you want.
no enrollment window. no waiting to apply. that means now may be a great time to shop for an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. medicare doesn't cover everything. and like all standardized medicare supplement insurance plans, these help cover some of what medicare doesn't pay. so don't wait. call now to request your free decision guide. it could help you find the aarp medicare supplement plan that works for you. these types of plans have no networks, so you get to choose any doctor who accepts medicare patients. rates are competitive, and they're the only plans of their kind endorsed by aarp. remember - these plans let you apply all year round. so call today. because now's the perfect time to learn more. go long. you won't see these folks they have businesses to run. they have passions to pursue.
>> i want to be these guys right there, george and natalie. this is awesome, right? to see this, it's also kind of ominous especially since we're talking about earth day. check this out. i mean, we're talking about a gigantic, monstrous-sized iceberg that broke off the coast of greenland and traveled down iceberg alley. this is really living up to its name. we're about 105 years on since the "titanic" actually sank. where is it exactly. just off the coast of canada from newfoundland's coast and a series of currents that leads to these icebergs that eventually move southward. what scientists are noticing a major uptick in the number of icebergs that have floated
across this region. 130 spotted in this transatlantic crossing and on an average year they only see about 200. kind of an ominous sign, especially when they're this size. how big was that iceberg or the iceberg we're looking at just behind me? there is actually a scale for that. just like there is an app for that. there is a map for that. it goes from to a small/medium all the way to a large and that is what we saw here with a length of 200 meters and a weight of ten mega tons. that is ten million tons. unbelievable. roughly the size of a stadium and that is only the surface of this because 80% to 90% of this iceberg is below the water. can you believe it, george, natalie? makes you think about what's happening. global warming, climate change and we start to conserve what we have here on the planet considering it is earth day. >> yes, it is earth day. created in the united states, we want to say. the first earth day held in
1970. and it is credited with sparking the environmental movement. but, as you know, president trump has rolled back some of those environmental initiatives and environmental cleanups and thinking about pulling out of the paris accord. much to think about this earth day. >> helped prompt u.s. lawmakers to create the environmental protection agency which has taken great cuts and passed critical revisions to the clean air act. now, every year earth day is celebrated by more than 1 billion people around the world and 193 countries. >> the bigger picture, china is starting to embrace earth day because of their problems. they're hoping to end their notorious toxic smog as part of our earth day coverage. >> cnn matt rivers takes a look at china's love/hate relationship with coal. >> china loves coal. it's cheap and efficient. you can pile it up and burn it to heat your house and it's also
powered the economic miracle here over the past 30 years. but china also hates coal because it's a major reason the skies above places like beijing are often choked with toxic smog. so, enter the power plant. the happy medium between both sides. it's a so-called clean burning coal facacility just outside of beijing. instead of pumping out high levels of pollution, it keeps emissions low by retrofitting turbines and recycling waste water. emission levels are monitored realtime. >> translator: people used to look at coal and saw something dirty and polluting. but we have resolved the problem through the technologies you see here. currently no other forms of clean energy be it wind, solar or even nuclear can satisfy china's total needs. >> reporter: the plan is part of a drive across china. the country's environment minister says the cleaner technatec technology will be installed by
2020. china puts more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than any other country on earth. frankly, it's not even close. the country wants the co2 emissions to peak and in order to do that it will need plants like this one burning cleaner coal. a model that other countries are trying to emulate. big producers as someone who likes coal a lot in the white house. >> the action i'm taking today will eliminate federal overreach, restore economic freedom and allow our companies and our workers to thrive, compete and succeed on a level playing field for the first time in a long time, fellows. been a long time. >> this is technology that can be deployed else where in the world and the lessons that china has learned. >> reporter: some environmentalists remain skeptical about the whole
concept. direct investments and subsidies in the wrong direction by ignoring a simple fact. >> coal is still one of the most hazardous fossil fuel in the world and still generating a lot of negative impact on our pollution on carbon emission and also on water consumption. if we want to solve the problem from the very beginning, we need to transit our energy structure, not only just cleaning the coal. >> reporter: still, despite the criticism, china remains committed thanks to the abundance of coal. the country with skies like this, eager to turn the so-called black gold into a silver lining. china. still ahead here on "newsroom" it may have a modest budget but cuba's self-described film festival has big dreams and hollywood-like dreamers. we'll explain that story ahead.
town is stunning but usually pretty sleepy place. most days someone here catching a big fish passes for news. except when it buzzes with activity. as a movie festival brings in throngs of visitors, including hollywood stars. >> great filmmakers that have come out of cuba that we don't know. so, you know, maybe they'll reach out. you know, maybe we'll be able to get a little bit out of cuba and not just cuba getting ideas from all over the world, but also the cuban ideas will also. >> reporter: it's a long way from canne or sun dance. more horse and carts on the roads here than cars. what the festival lacks in glitz, it makes up with pure cuban soul. when the film festival began in 2003 organizers celebrated the town's humble means by calling the poor cinema festival.
renewed ties with u.s. renewed budget pictures like the latest installment of "the fast and furious" franchise. and the network series "four seasons in havana." an organizer of the festival says starting this year it will no longer be called to reflect the changes taking place. >> translator: when this festival began, it was motivated by low-budget movies, he says. now, we want to widen the spectrum of movies that participate and the attendance of movies here and let the quality determine the movies. the festival's name may have changed, if not the antique equipment on hand. it may only be called the festival of poor cinema, but resources here are still pretty scarce. a screen hung from a tree turns a public park, no makeshift movie theaters.
many here are convinced that cuba has captured hollywood's attention. increase the attention in packed places in gibara. just goes says this hollywood star. >> i think it's great. i think people here are -- they'll know how to handle it. they'll know how to handle the change and you've got to have faith in people. >> reporter: gibara has resisted change for a long time. but maybe now this small cuban town is ready for its hollywood moment. patrick atman, cnn, cuba. that is our first hour and i'm natalie allen. >> i'm george howell. more news after the break. you're watching cnn. hey you've gotta see this. c'mon.
no. alright, see you down there. mmm, fine. okay, what do we got? okay, watch this. do the thing we talked about. what do we say? it's going to be great. watch. remember what we were just saying? go irish! see that? yes! i'm gonna just go back to doing what i was doing. find your awesome with the xfinity x1 voice remote.
a deadly terror attack leading up to the french presidential election alters the race. we'll have the latest. cnn exclusive. fbi intelligence suggests russia tried to use trump adviser carter page to infiltrate the campaign. in venezuela, at least a dozen people are dead after another round of violent protests. a lot to cover this day. live from cnn world headquarters, welcome. to our viewers in the united states and around the world, i'm george howell. >> i'm natalie allen. "cnn newsroom" starts right now. it is 5:00 a.m. on the u.s. east coast. first to france where millions of voters there will head to the polls supposed to begin the process of choosing a new