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Harry and Meghan Make Stunning Claims in Oprah Interview; Pope's Iraq Visit Ends, But It 'Will Remain' in His Heart; Myanmar Asks India to Return Police Personnel Seeking Refuge; Jury Selection Set to Begin in George Floyd Murder Trial; Years of War Leave Millions Hungry and in Need; U.S.-Bound Migrants Moved from Squalid Mexican Camp; Remembering the Bamiyan Buddhas Destroyed by the Taliban. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired March 8, 2021 - 00:00   ET


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.


MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Michael Holmes.

We begin with breaking news. Oprah Winfrey's stunning interview with the duke and duchess of Sussex has just aired, and Harry and Meghan did not hold back. They hit on everything, from British tabloids to racism, with an overriding message that the couple did not feel supported by the royal family. At one point, Meghan admitting said she thought about suicide.


MEGHAN MARKLE, DUCHESS OF SUSSEX: But I knew that if I didn't say it, that I would do it, and I just didn't -- I just didn't want to be alive anymore, and that was a very clear and real and frightening constant thought.


HOLMES: That was just one of many bombshell claims. Another breathtaking assertion Harry and Meghan make is that, when Meghan was pregnant with Archie, there were concerns within the family about what the color of her baby's skin might be. And the couple was told the baby wouldn't get a title nor have security.

Meghan says the tabloid reporting that she made Kate cry ahead of her marriage to Harry was exactly the opposite of what happened. It was Kate who made Meghan cry.

Also revealed: both Harry and Meghan say they feel trapped in the institution of the royal family. And at one point, Prince Charles stopped taking Harry's phone calls. That's according to Harry. And he says that, while he loves his big brother William, the two of them need space to heal. There was a lot more. With me now, CNN's Anna Stewart in Windsor,

England. Richard Quest is in New York. Anna, let's begin with you. You've covered Harry and Meghan more than most. So many stunning things were said. I think perhaps the most incredible has got to be the color of their baby's skin being discussed or raised.

ANNA STEWART, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I mean, Michael, we were certainly expecting the topic of racism to come up, and particularly, the racist undertones in how the British media had betrayed Meghan in the past. We were expecting that. What we were not expecting was the idea that there were any racist conversations within the royal family.

At one point, Meghan said that in a conversation between Prince Harry and a member of the royal family, in the early days of her pregnancy, this was discussed. Take a listen.


MARKLE: And also, concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he's born.


MARKLE: And --

WINFREY: Who -- who is having that conversation with you? What?


WINFREY: There's a -- hold up.

MARKLE: There are several -- there are several conversations.


STEWART: Really quite shocking. Now, who was that member of the royal family? We don't know. Meghan said it would be very damaging to them.

And later in the interview, Prince Harry was also asked about this conversation he had had, and he says he will never talk about it.

At the same time as that conversation was going on, Meghan says at the same time, they were told that the royal family wouldn't be giving Archie the title of prince.

Now, this is a complete reversal of the narrative that we've got used to seeing and reading about in the media. We believed that it was the Sussexes that didn't want Archie to have a title. That they wanted him to live as normal a life as possible. Quite the opposite, as were so many parts of the story, really turning a lot of media reports on their head. For instance, the fact that -- there was a big allegation that Meghan made Kate cry in the run-up to her wedding. Meghan says it was the exact opposite -- Michael.

HOLMES: Why -- why do you think they did it? Why do they -- what do they get, going public in this way and saying these things?

STEWART: My feeling was that this is maybe catharsis. This is a clean slate for them. They felt very much that they haven't been able to say what really happened and, particularly when they were members of the royal family, working members of the royal family, they weren't allowed to speak to whoever they wanted in the media.

And throughout the interview, you get the feeling that Meghan particularly felt trapped. Prince Harry says he also felt trapped. And he realized, really, once he'd been married to Meghan, they want to get the story straight.

But what happens next from here? What will the reaction from the palace be? Will they break with the general rule of never complain, never explain? We're going to have to see. The next few hours are going to be really quite difficult for the royal family. Some really serious allegations have been made against them.


HOLMES: Absolutely. Stick around, Anna.

Richard Quest, let's bring you in now. I mean, it's just hard to overstate how unprecedented it is to have members of the firm speak out like this so publicly.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS EDITOR AT LARGE: Yes, it happens about once every generation or so that a member speaks out. But to have somebody as close as Harry speaking in the way he did.

What Meghan says was by far the most serious, but the greater insight came from Harry in the sense when he said that the family is trapped. "My father and my brother are trapped." In return -- in relation to the media, the tabloid newspapers, that they're scared of the tabloids turning on them.

And Harry admits his family cut him off. And when he talked about Prince Charles, his father, the future king, he says -- Harry says he feels let down by Charles, because he felt, bearing in mind what his mother, Diana, went through, Charles would've recognized the pain. But he did nothing to help Meghan or help the situation.

Michael, there's no getting away from it. This is devastating for the royal family, who have spent so long trying to cultivate different images, modern images, a family that's changed, a family that is more in touch with people. And then you get this, which literally blows the whole thing right out of the water.

The -- you know, the other thing to remember, though, is they won't resign. There's no resigning going on here. It's not like a politician. So the family will have to take what they've heard and live with it and manage it, and that's what we'll have to watch and see, but it's very, very damaging.

And to that point, what is going to be the likely or possible reaction from the palace? How much pressure will they be under to respond to what our major allegations that are pretty hard to ignore, or does that never complain, never explain continue on?

HOLMES: And to that -- to that point, I mean, what is going to be the likely, or possible reaction from the powers? I mean, how much pressure will they be under to respond to what are major allegations that are pretty hard to ignore. Or does never complain, never explain continue on?

QUEST: It would continue on except for one important point. This is Diana redux. This is Diana who -- Meghan admits she wasn't helped when she came into the family. She wasn't told anything about protocol or how to handle anything. That's what happened with Diana.

Meghan admits that the self-harming was very much on her mind. That's what happened with Diana. Diana threw herself down the stairs. Diana suffered from bulimia.

And so we end up with a similar situation where you turn around and say has this family learned nothing?

And I think the key to this is what Meghan said right at the beginning. It's dawned on her, after she was in the family, that this isn't just a family of celebrities. This isn't just a famous family. This is an institution.

And I think you saw that very clearly in the last 24 hours, between the work that Charles and William have been doing with Commonwealth Day, staid and solid, and they're much more modern. They're much more touchy-feely. They're much more in tune than we saw with Meghan and Harry tonight. And Meghan simply had no idea what to expect. That is a major failing of the royal family.

HOLMES: You know, the other thing I wanted to get your thoughts on. At the heart of this and also when it came to Diana, as well, is -- is that segment of the British press which does hound and intrude on royal lives. How big of a conversation is the behavior of those elements of the media? Because they clearly are in play here, as well?

QUEST: Yes, and what Harry said blew that up, as well. Harry pointed out that there is the scratching of each other's backs, that the media knows they need the media, and the royals know they need the media.

But this idea that what Harry said was that they are trapped in an environment that they are stuck in. They put the best. They basically do the best they can, because this is how it's meant to be, and they're scared of the tabloids.

Michael, I think that the palace -- the palace is going to have to look at the serious allegations. They're not going to be too concerned about the tabloids and about the relationship and feeling trapped and all of that sort of stuff. They're going to say that's Harry. That's his view.

But there are serious allegations that Meghan says she felt suicidal, and that she felt left out, and that Charles was told about this.

This is on the top, of course, of "The Crown," which has already had a very unflattering portrayal of the Prince of Wales. This is going to be very damaging. It will take some time to repair the damage. It's devastating.


HOLMES: It is. Stay with us, Richard. I want to bring Anna back in.

I was curious. I mean, you're there in the U.K. What of -- what of the public reaction to the decision of -- of Harry and Meghan to withdraw? Have they been supportive of that or not? I mean, it's going to be interesting to see how this all plays out. It's already going to -- it's already all over British television. It's certainly going to be front page.

STEWART: Well, that decision that was made last year really shocked the public and really divided opinion.

When it came to the tabloid press, it was very much seen as a decision driven by Meghan, and it was often referred to as Megxit.

A lot has clearly been revealed in this interview, and I think one of the strongest points was that Harry and Meghan did not want to leave their positions as working members of the royal family. They just didn't want to be the senior members of the royal family. They wanted to be able to take a step back. They said before they didn't want to take a step down. They wanted to continue to do their service, to do their duty, but they felt that they just couldn't.

Now the reaction today will be really interesting. This interview hasn't yet broadcast in the U.K. will broadcast this evening, but of course, so much will be in the newspapers this morning. It will be getting there as soon as the shops open. It's only 5 o'clock in the morning, Michael.

So it's a little bit early, but we will be getting that reaction quite soon. And I think there will be a lot of sympathy for Meghan. This is a woman who said she felt suicidal, that she asked for help, and no one gave it.

HOLMES: Yes, yes.

Richard Quest, the other thing, too, that's striking, you know, about this. We have a situation with what's been going on in recent months has been competing narratives in a way. The palace, you know, we've heard the leaks that, you know, Meghan was bullying staff and so on, this sort of using of the media to -- to get points across in this way. I mean, a lot of people said the royal family is fairly dysfunctional, but this is such a -- a fissure in the family.

QUEST: Nothing new, Michael, about the royal family leaking the news in the media. Go back to -- well, you've seen it in "The Crown," when the queen leaked about her dislike of Margaret Thatcher. It's true. It did happen like that.

Go back and look at Diana and her interview with Martin Beshear, which was then followed by Charles's interview with the -- with Jonathan Dimbleby, in which he laid into that.

So this is nothing new. They've all used the media to get their message across.

What I think has happened here that is slightly different, and by the way, Oprah Winfrey did a superb job. I mean, she asked the tough questions in a very polite and respectful way, but nobody got away with anything.

She asked Harry, Look, don't you want it both ways? Don't you want to be royalty can make money on Spotify and Netflix, armed at the same time you want to have the freedom.

So she gave -- she gave them a good opportunity to justify their position, which is what they did. They said that they wanted to stay, but they simply felt they couldn't.

That's the difference this time, Michael. That's the difference. They left. They've gone to California, and they're now telling their story.

HOLMES: Utterly extraordinary stuff. Richard Quest there in New York and Anna Stewart in Windsor. Appreciate it. Thanks to you both.

And we'll take a quick break now.

China is calling for more cooperation with the U.S., but at the same time, it wants Washington to stay out of its business. Details on Beijing's message to America when we come back.



HOLMES: Pope Francis's historic visit to Iraq is wrapping up. He held mass in Irbil on Sunday at a stadium filled with people. And also, met the father of Alan Kurdi, the boy whose body washed up on a Turkish beach 6 years ago while his family was trying to reach Europe, an iconic image, of course.

But as the pope prepares to leave in the coming hours, he continues to call for peace.


POPE FRANCIS, CATHOLIC CHURCH LEADER (through translator): Now, the time draws near for my return to Rome. Yet, Iraq will always remain with me in my heart. I ask all of you, dear brothers and sisters, to work together in unity for a future of peace and prosperity that leaves no one behind and discriminates against no one.


HOLMES: CNN's Ben Wedeman is in Iraq and has more on the pope's momentous visit.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Pope Francis has returned to Baghdad after a very full day in northern Iraq, the last full day of this historic trip.

He began in Mosul, where he held prayers in the square, until ISIS came along, was home to four different churches.

Now, all of those churches are simply Rubble. He then went Qaraqosh, which is the biggest Christian town in Iraq. There, he held a service in a church, the Church of the Immaculate Conception which, in 2017, the ceilings were scorched black from fires set by ISIS.

They had burned Bibles and prayer books and used the courtyard of the church as a firing range.

During the service, he called upon the people of Qaraqosh to have forgiveness, but after the knowledge of ISIS, what forgiveness is hard to say.

He then came to Irbil, where he held another mass, this time in a stadium where at least 8,000 people attended. And at the end of that service, he switched into Arabic, saying, "Salam, salam, salam shukraan," which is, simply, "Peace, peace, peace, thank you."

But the crowd went wild. Absolutely enthusiastic about the entire visit, about the fact that he has come here to speak to the people directly. When the service was over, one woman told CNN, perhaps no, there is hope.

Ben Wedeman, CNN, Irbil.


HOLMES: Pro-democracy protesters are marching again in Myanmar. This follows a weekend of huge demonstrations, and of course, more violent crackdowns. Police firing tear gas and, again, live ammunition at protesters in some of Myanmar's biggest cities on Sunday.

Also, an official in Myanmar asking India to detain and return police personnel who fled the country last week.

Paula Hancocks is following all of this from Seoul. Let's start with these eight police personnel seeking refuge in India. What's all that about?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Michael, this is eight police officers, as far as CNN understands, at least four of them in their twenties, fled across the border and went into the Indian state of Mizoram last week.

Now, apparently, the -- the Myanmar official on the Myanmar southern border has said to India that they have to be detained, they should be returned, quote, "in order to uphold friendly relations."

But up until this point, the Indian officials concerned have said that they're still trying to ascertain the facts. Now, this really goes to the heart of whether or not there is, in fact, this trend, as we have heard reports of, at least very few reports of some police not wanting to be working against the people. Potentially, some police having affiliation, or having sympathy with the CDMV, the civil disobedience movement against the Myanmar military. Calling for the reinstatement of the democratically-elected government.


So clearly, this is an embarrassment for the military leadership. They want those particular police officers back, it's understood. But at this point, India's saying that they will come back to them once they have more details on this.

Now, looking to what we could expect today, Michel, this Monday, we have heard that 18 labor unions are calling for a nationwide work stoppage.

So, potentially, we could see more people out on the streets today. We are already through the live stream seeing many people protesting.

But what the labor organizations are calling for is a full extended shutdown of Myanmar's economy. Now, as you mentioned over the weekend, we did see, once again, these images of beatings in the streets of protesters by security forces.

We have seen security forces, again, using tear gas, using rubber bullets, and reports, as well, of live ammunition against the protesters in different parts of the country.

Now, we don't have updated figures on injuries or fatalities. It's still believed to be somewhere around 54 fatalities, but that is the official tally that the United Nations and other organizations and NGOs are able to -- to ascertain. That the real figure, activists say, could be far higher -- Michael.

HOLMES: Right. Good to have you there covering this for us. Paula Hancocks in Seoul.


WANG YI, CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): The one China principle is a political foundation of the China-U.S. relationship, the red line, that should not be crossed.


HOLMES: China reaffirming its claims over Taiwan there and warning the U.S. to stay out of its affairs. At a news conference on Sunday, the Chinese foreign minister said Beijing is willing to work with Washington on a number of issues but drew a line in the sand regarding Taiwan.

He also dismissed claims that China is committing genocide against Uyghurs in Xinjiang, saying Washington's accusations are baseless.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) WANG (through translator): We hope that the U.S. and China will meet each other halfway and lift various unreasonable restrictions on Sino- U.S. cooperation as soon as possible and not create new obstacles.

The claim that there is genocide in Xinjiang could not be more preposterous. It is just a rumor, fabricated with ulterior motives and a thorough lie. Many foreign friends who have been to Xinjiang have said that it is, in their own eyes, totally different from what certain western media have reported.


HOLMES: Guichehra Hoja is a Uyghur journalist and anchor for Radio Free Asia which, is of course, funded by the U.S. government, just to point that out. She joins me now from Washington, D.C.

Your work is, obviously, deeply personal. As said, you're a Uyghur woman. And your work has led to your own family being targeted, rounded up. Gas it been difficult to continue what you do, despite the risks, despite the consequences for you personally?

GUICHEHRA HOJA, UYGHUR JOURNALIST: You know, the -- Wang Yi recently says it's not genocide. They're denying. But of course, this is not new. Just as they were denying the existence of the camps, they are going to deny the genocide.

Because Wang Yi is the part of the same criminal government that is committing this genocide against the Uyghurs. Here at Radio Free Asia, have produced many reports, and interviewed all of the Chinese concentration camp survivors.

Also, other news agencies, such as CNN and BBC, and other human rights organizations, experts, and researchers, all have presented evidence that show what Chinese government is doing is -- constitutes to the genocide.

According to experts, all five of the Geneva Convention definitions of genocide are happening to Uyghurs, but you only need to -- one to meet the determination. Whatever you call it, let's remember, it is ongoing.

We have more than enough evidence and proof. If the Chinese government has nothing to hide, then open its borders, let us journalists, investigators inside the country and to see for ourselves. And allow the Uyghurs to freely communicate with their relatives and the world.

HOLMES: Guichehra Hoja, thank you so much. Appreciate your time.

HOJA: Thank you very much.


HOLMES: Now, jury selection begins just hours from now in the trial of the ex-police officer accused of murdering George Floyd. Officials in Minneapolis expect to see more protests during the trial.


CNN's Omar Jimenez reports on the preparations inside and outside the courtroom.


OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT This is the beginning of a process that's been a long time coming in this case and a process that's not expected to be an easy one. Now, what we do know is cameras will be allowed in the courtroom, but no potential, or chosen jurors, will be shown.

This will be a sequestered jury selection process, meaning each of these potential jurors, or chosen ones, will be examined separately from one another. And prospective jurors were sent a 16-page questionnaire asking about everything from their prior knowledge of this case, literally down to what news sources they primarily consume as the trial for Derek Chauvin gets underway.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No justice, no peace!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No justice, no peace!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No justice, no peace!

JIMENEZ (voice-over): From calling for justice, to letting the justice system play out.

Derek Chauvin, the former officer seen on the now-infamous cell phone video, kneeling on the neck of George Floyd for nearly eight excruciating minutes. He's standing trial for second degree unintentional murder, and second-degree manslaughter.

Both of which, he's pleaded not guilty to, but the first, carrying a weight of up to 40 years in prison if convicted.

The case is likely to bring protesters and renewed attention to George Floyd's death. His family remains at the center of it all. Balancing grief with the weight of a racial justice movement.

Now, with the trial on the horizon, preparations are underway on a number of fronts, including closing the intersection where some of Floyd's final moments played out, leaving it as a central grieving point, as it was in the immediate aftermath of his death.

MAYOR JACOB FREY (D), MINNEAPOLIS: We fully expect our Minneapolis residents to engage in the time-honored tradition of their First Amendment rights and speech, and we want to make sure that their right to protest is protected in every way, shape, and form.

JIMENEZ: But what some protests over the summer devolved into is still fresh in the minds of city officials. It's why they say to expect an increased law enforcement presence over the next weeks, even months. But up to 2,000 National Guard prepared to respond.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We cannot allow for any sorts of unlawful activity. JIMENEZ: Not to mention the physical barriers, growing up around the

government center where the trial will be taking place. Then, COVID-19 protocol. Chauvin will be the only of the four former officers on trial this spring, with Judge Peter Cahill citing physical limitations of the courtroom, "make it impossible to comply with COVID-19 physical restrictions in a joint trial involving all four defendants, beginning March 8, 2021. Given the number of lawyers and support personnel the parties have now advised the court, are expected to be present during trial."

And the judge said, it's the largest courtroom they have. Tied to that? Only one member of the Chauvin family and one member of the Floyd family will be allowed in the courtroom at a time, a decision that the Floyd family called disappointing.

PHILONISE FLOYD, GEORGE FLOYD'S BROTHER: The video is enough. There's nothing else to talk about. You can make your judgment off of that, because Chauvin showed you, he was the judge, the jury, and executioner, all at once. Right then and there, when he took my brother's soul from his body.

JIMENEZ: And with jury selection beginning March 8, opening statements weeks later, a country watches as a test of police accountability gets underway, which many see as a major step towards justice for George Floyd.

(on camera): Every day, starting Monday, until potentially March 26, jury selection begins at 10 a.m. Eastern Time and goes until 6 p.m.

Outside of jury selection, the judge in this case initially dropped a third-degree murder charge that prosecutors wanted for Chauvin, but an appeals court judge ruled that this initial judge needs to reconsider reinstating it.

So it's unclear whether any sort of reinstatement will affect the timing of this, but for now, jury selection Monday, opening statements set for March 29.

Omar Jimenez, CNN, Minneapolis, Minnesota.


HOLMES: Quick break now. When we come back, Yemen's desperate plight after years of war. Millions are being displaced and many more on the brink of starvation. Coming up, what is needed from the international community?



HOLMES: Aid agencies say six years of war in Yemen has created the largest humanitarian crisis in the world. UNICEF says there's a shortage of clean water and sanitation. Only half of the health facilities are functioning, and many of those lack basic things like masks, and gloves, some of them water. More than 24 million people, about 80 percent of the population, need

some sort of assistance. And that includes more than 12 million children, according to the World Food Program. Twenty million people are suffering from hunger and malnutrition.


HOLMES: Joining me now is Jan Egeland, the secretary-general of the Norwegian Refugee Council. It's good to see you, sir, but sad as it is on this topic, you've just been in Yemen for a week, and you described some of what you saw as "subhuman conditions that I haven't seen anywhere to that extent."

What's your overall first-hand assessment of the current situation?

JAN EGELAND, SECRETARY-GENERAL, NORWEGIAN REFUGEE COUNCIL: It is absolutely horrific, heartbreaking. I traveled to five governates in the northern parts and the southern parts of Yemen.

I came out yesterday, and I saw children dying from starvation already. So this famine that we have been predicting is not something theoretical. It is happening.

Children are dying, because food rations were halved last year around this time. Half of the food supply to 15 cities has been gone. The subhuman conditions I found in settlements for people who have fled the conflict lines, and they live in -- in the most terrible, you know, mud huts and in whatever plastic sheeting they can find. It cannot continue like that.

HOLMES: The only way to end the suffering is to end the war, and what is happening, of course, in Yemen is essentially a proxy war between Iran and the Saudis. How to stop that?

EGELAND: Well, it sounds very difficult, but of course, it's not a very difficult thing for grown men who have seen now, for a number of years, that there's no military solution to this conflict of theirs to stop it.

What we need now is a common prevention cease-fire. Common prevention cease-fire. I brought that up in meetings in Sana'a in northern Yemen. I brought it up in meetings in Aden in southern Yemen, both with the -- the Ali Saleh Houthi government and with the international recognized government.

And they both say they would like to see an end to the war. They both say they want to cease fire, but it's not happening. The bombing is continuing, and this offensive against the -- the city held by the international-recognized government (UNINTELLIGIBLE) is continuing. Tens of thousands of people are being displaced as we speak.

HOLMES: So where does the pressure come from? I mean, the international community. The Biden administration has cut its support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, but the Saudis, of course, continued to bomb, even in the last couple of days. What -- what more should be done in terms of pressure? And of course,

the other side of the conflict, how to stop the Iranians sending in weapons to the Houthis.

EGELAND: Well, there has to be maximum pressure on all sides. What the Biden administration has declared -- and that is very positive -- is that they would prioritize diplomacy now.

They are not supporting the war effort anymore. I wish other westerners would also stop sending arms to fuel the fire. I hope that there will be more countries, diplomats speaking to the Saudi-led coalition but also to Iran, which is also behind this, so that the conflict has.

If we do not have a cease-fire, if we do not have a doubling of the humanitarian assistance and the humanitarian funding, and if we do not have the partners on the ground, giving us aid workers more easy access all over the country, we will have a famine unlike anything we've seen since the 1980s.

HOLMES: The suffering is -- is incomparable and you mentioned the funding, a U.N. conference to raise humanitarian donations fell way short. The International Rescue Committee called it a failure of humanity.

And when you look at the level of suffering in Yemen and the lack of action internationally, it's bewildering.

Jan, I wish we had more time. Thank you for yours and thank you for the work that you do.

EGELAND: Thank you.

HOLMES: Hundreds of migrants who have been stuck in limbo in a squalid Mexican camp near the U.S. border finally have a chance at a new life.

Under Donald Trump's policies, they had to stay in Mexico before they were even allowed immigration hearings in the U.S. But under President Biden, many of their claims are now being processed.

Stefano Pozzebon with the details.


STEFANO POZZEBON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The migrants camp in Matamoros, Mexico, just meters away from the U.S. Southern border has been taken down over the weekend in a clear departure from Trump-era policies on immigration.

Under those policies, hundreds of migrants would have to wait in Mexico for the confirmation hearing to know whether they will be allowed entry into the United States.

A spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security told CNN that the last remaining migrants in the camp were being relocated to more secure locations in partnership with international NGOs, and that over 25,000 migrants are still waiting to know whether they will be allowed entry into the United States.

This is the same migrant camp the democratic lawmakers had previously visited, condemning the Trump administration handling of immigration, which included kicking families of immigrants, including women and children, back into the camp and the poor conditions there.

For CNN, this is Stefano Pozzebon, Bogota.


HOLMES: A British-Iranian aid worker is free from house arrest in Iran after completing a five-year sentence for spying, but the lawyer for Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe says that she has to be in court next Sunday for further charges of spreading so-called anti-regime propaganda.

Her husband tells CNN's he's still trying to get a handle on what is going on and, quote, "the games continue."

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is promising to do everything he can to secure her permanent release so she can return to the U.K.

Well, they were the world's tallest standing Buddhas. The Taliban reduced them to rubble 20 years ago this month. We look back at what was lost and what remains of where those Buddhas of Bamiyan once stood.



HOLMES: It has been 20 years since the world lost the Bamiyan Buddhas. They stood for centuries, carved into the cliff in Afghanistan until they were destroyed by the Taliban. Now an empty space is all that remains.


HOLMES (voice-over): A game of cricket underway with a few onlookers resting on rocky ground. A peaceful scene at the foot of a mountain with towering cutouts were two Buddhist statues once stood, now filled with scaffolding and rubble.

This man says he was here 20 years ago when Taliban forces, who had taken control of the province, over the course of a few weeks obliterated the statues, as part of its campaign to destroy pre- Islamic artifacts they considered to be an assault on Islam.

GHULAM SAKHI, FARMER (through translator): We were going to the bazaar when the Taliban picked us up on the way, and then took us to the Buddhas. There are around 45 other people, and the Taliban forced us all to carry the explosives. They told us to leave when the task was done, and then the detonated the Buddhas, and dust filled the entire valley.

HOLMES: The monuments had been part of the landscape of Bamiyam for about 1,500 years, surviving Genghis Khan and centuries of war. In March 2001, the Taliban relentlessly hacked away at them with tank

fire and explosives until they were shattered.

SAKHI: We realized that nothing was left but an empty frame and an identity that had been destroyed. My feeling was that we had an historical artifact that being turned into such a miserable state.

HOLMES: In the two decades since their destruction, some have tried to recreate the likenesses through technology. But to the people of Bamiyam, it is a towering loss of a piece of history reduced to boulders, dust and memories.


HOLMES: Thanks for watching the program, spending part of your day with me. I'm Michael Holmes. Follow me, @HolmesCNN on Twitter and Instagram. I'll see you in about 15, 20 minutes or so with more news. WORLD SPORT coming up next.