Return to Transcripts main page

IDESK

U.S. Looks to Regional Allies over Syria; Top of the Heap; Up to 500 Migrants Drowned; Breivik Wins Lawsuit against Norwegian Government; Philippines Candidate under Fire for Rape "Joke"; Queen Elizabeth Turns 90; Depp's Dog Apology. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired April 20, 2016 - 10:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[10:00:00]

(MUSIC PLAYING)

ROBYN CURNOW, CNN HOST (voice-over): Ahead at the INTERNATIONAL DESK, President Obama meets with the king of Saudi Arabia.

Huge wins for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in New York.

And a new picture shows four generations of the British royal family.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

CURNOW: Hi, there, everyone, welcome, I'm Robyn Curnow at the CNN Center.

And we start with what's sure to be a tense visit to Saudi Arabia by the U.S. President. Barack Obama arrived in Riyadh for a Gulf summit that will

address terrorism and regional conflicts. But he's also trying to bridge disagreements between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia on multiple fronts, from

Saudi anger over the Iran nuclear deal to a proposed bill in the U.S. Congress that would allow families of the 9/11 victims to sue the kingdom.

Well, our international diplomatic editor, Nic Robertson, is in Riyadh and joins me now.

Hi, there, Nic.

Has also Mr. Obama been snubbed on his arrival?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: You know, you could certainly read it that way. It's not clear how he'll read it. The body

language in the meeting with King Salman in the last hour or so didn't really hint at a lot of warmth.

But at the airport, President Obama, when he arrived at Riyadh International Airport, the most senior government official that was sent to

meet him was the governor of Riyadh -- an important position, a royal but not the king, not the defense minister, not the interior minister, not the

foreign minister.

So none of the sort of senior figures that you might expect to go out to meet an arriving U.S. president. So I think that sort of hints at some of

the sort of background of the tenseness of the relationship right now.

But let's take, for example, some of the big things that are going to be on the plate for President Obama and King Salman and when President Obama

tomorrow meets with the other members of the GCC at the summit here.

Take, for instance, Syria: what President Obama wants is stability and security in the region, a way to tackle ISIS. Well, Syria is front and

center on that. It should be no -- should not be taken as coincidence that the high negotiating committee, the Syrian opposition, backed by the

government here in Riyadh, have their base here in Riyadh, have pulled out of the talks in Geneva, the peace talks, at a time when President Obama is

coming here and can face the Saudis, who are demanding the United States do more in Syria to oust President Bashar al-Assad, to put pressure on the

Russians to bring about that.

So the thorny issues, the difficult relationship, the Syria one, can only be front and center. It's at a very, very decisive moment right now.

CURNOW: Decisive moment; so the tone of these conversations, is Mr. Obama there to soothe ruffled feathers?

Or do you think he's going to continue with this tough talk?

ROBERTSON: You know, I think President Obama's policy here has been very clear in the region, it's one that Saudi Arabia doesn't agree with, a

nuclear deal with Iran has angered them in particular the way that the United States does not have a more robust approach in Syria angers them.

President Obama is turning and pivoting U.S. attention over the longer term towards Asia. So I don't think we're talking about unruffling feathers but

both sides have strategic and key objectives that they want to achieve. Their doctrines might be going in different directions.

But Saudi Arabia wants -- and its Gulf allies want a ballistic missile defense shield in the region to defend against future Iranian aggression.

The United States supplies a lot of weapons systems here to Saudi Arabia. There's talk about how to speed up that.

There's talk about how to better integrate land and air defenses between the Gulf regional countries as work between the United States and their

allies here, you know, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf countries, to do that.

So there's work in progress where there's mutual ground, counterterrorism. There's a lot of work done together there. But I think this is at a much

more pragmatic level.

They -- both countries, both leaders have their own interests here. Saudi has its in terms of the defense shield, they want more aggression towards

removing Assad in Syria.

And the United States, President Obama, wants that longer term stability in the region. So they're both going to work to those objectives. And it

seems at the moment that if feathers get ruffled they will get ruffled -- Robyn.

CURNOW: Thanks so much for that perspective from Saudi Arabia, Nic Robertson.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

CURNOW: Turning now to the race for the White House where New York is --

[10:05:00]

CURNOW: -- in a Trump and Clinton state of mind. That is, Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton are celebrating

monumental wins after Tuesday's New York primary.

Look at those numbers. Clinton nabbed more than half of the Democratic delegates on offer and Trump came close to sweeping all 95 Republican

delegates. And Trump's New York win has certainly bolstered his confidence. The resounding victory comes after weeks of negative headlines

for the billionaire. Jason Carroll has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We can't be caught. It's impossible to catch us.

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Donald Trump giving a rousing victory speech, befitting his New York blowout win and signaling a

new phase in his campaign.

TRUMP: We don't have much of a race anymore. Senator Cruz is just about mathematically eliminated.

CARROLL (voice-over): The billionaire front-runner dropping most of the insults and sounding more presidential.

TRUMP: Nobody should be given delegates, which is a ticket to victory.

CARROLL (voice-over): Trump sharpening his focus on Ted Cruz, continuing to criticize his courting of delegates and the possibility of a contested

convention.

TRUMP: It's a system that's rigged and we're going to go back to the old way. It's called, you vote and you win.

CARROLL (voice-over): With the shutout in New York, Cruz defending his delegate strategy.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: I cannot help that the Donald Trump campaign does not seem capable of running a lemonade stand.

If you lose, don't cry about it. Go back and learn how to win an election.

CARROLL (voice-over): Cruz trying to look past his big defeat, debuting a new stump speech in Philadelphia.

CRUZ: This is the year of the outsider.

CARROLL (voice-over): The self-proclaimed outsider calling for unity within the Republican Party.

CRUZ: We must unite the Republican Party because doing so is the first step towards uniting all Americans.

CARROLL (voice-over): Runner-up John Kasich, ready for a fight in Maryland, continuing to argue he's the strongest candidate to take on

Hillary Clinton in November.

GOV. JOHN KASICH (R), OHIO, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When you have these sky-high negatives, nobody's voting for you. The delegates will look at

that and, you know, I think they're going to make a pick my way.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CURNOW: Jason Carroll reporting there.

Let's get straight to my next guest, CNN political commentator Errol Louis joins me live from New York.

Hi, there, Errol. We have sort of lay of the Republican land from Jason.

But the big question is, can the rivals in any way catch up now to Donald Trump?

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, catching up is not the whole game and we only got a version of the truth, Robyn, to tell you the truth,

from Donald Trump.

The reality, it if you don't have 1,237 delegates, you are not the nominee and if he -- there's a very possible scenario; it's almost a likely

scenario, frankly, that none of the three candidates you just showed are going to have 1,237 delegates when they go into the convention.

And so what then ensues is a round of bargaining and a round of voting and then maybe another round of voting and bargaining. And what normally comes

out of this, the last time this happened was back in 1976, what normally happens is some sort of agreement is struck.

And that can include a wide range of things, including who is going to be on the vice presidential -- who's going to be on the ticket as the vice

president, what changes in the party platform might be negotiated, what other kinds of considerations -- it's really up to the delegates to decide.

So Donald Trump desperately wants to avoid that. He wants to kind of come in and say, look, I have got more delegates than anybody else so you should

crown me as the nominee.

That doesn't -- that's possible, it's even likely. But it's not the whole story and that's why the other two candidates are probably not going to

drop out.

CURNOW: No, they want this convention to be messy for this horse trading to take place because that does, as you say, gives them a last chance of

perhaps throwing their hat in the ring.

Tell us, though, Donald Trump, a lot of obviously criticism at him throughout this entire race.

But has his tone changed?

Are we going to be seeing a more presidential Trump?

Or is that just wishful thinking by members of the Republican Party?

LOUIS: Well, you never know. Donald Trump has certainly surprised a lot of people throughout this race. This might be the biggest surprise of all,

let's put it that way, if he were to actually change his tone and stick to it for more than, say, 24 hours at a time.

And it's not just about tone, though, Robyn. Some of the positions that he has taken on, say, banning Muslim immigration to the United States, this is

going to kill the chances of a lot of other people further down on the ticket.

so that there are a number of Republican senators who are running and they don't necessarily want that baggage. A lot of that is going to have to

also be negotiated. And tone is not going to change that. So we will see if he can stick to it. Thus far he absolutely has not. There are times

when he has said he's going to act presidential.

And then a day or two later he's back to the insults and the petty bickering and a lot of the other foolishness and the name calling. And

then at the core of it there are those issues and those issues aren't going to -- that's not a matter of tone. Those aren't going to change just

because --

[10:10:00]

LOUIS: -- he says them differently and that's really one of the big outstanding questions.

CURNOW: Yes. And you kind of don't want your presidential candidate to act presidential. You want them to be presidential.

With that in mind, Trump continues to -- and as you've said, battle the party he wants to lead.

So for an outsider, though, he is becoming slightly more of an insider. He's changed his staff to try to manage the delegate race and I believe he

opened an office in Washington.

LOUIS: That's right. He's even allocated $20 million apparently, it's been reported, to help win the race. Up until now he's doing it on the

cheap. It's really extraordinary. This is somebody who has run a national campaign without a pollster, without deep demographics, without a lot of

assistants around him, without foreign policy tutors to sort of let him know what he should and shouldn't say as far as what's possible in foreign

policy.

He's really kind of run a one-man show. And so he's taken some steps in the direction of running a more professional campaign.

Will that fundamentally change things?

Again, it's just so, so hard to say because this is a candidate who's had great success by breaking all of the rules.

CURNOW: OK. Stand by, Errol. I'm going to talk about the Democrats with you in just a moment.

But in the meantime, I just want to catch up on the lay of the land there. Clinton's win in New York has boosted her delegate lead over Sanders,

increasing the likelihood of her eventually securing the party's nomination for U.S. president. Well, our Brianna Keilar takes us now to the New York

primary night.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: In this campaign we've won in every region of the country. But this one's

personal.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hillary Clinton with a big win in her adopted home state, addressing Senator Bernie Sanders'

supporters with her sights set on the White House.

CLINTON: It's humbling that you'd trust me with the awesome responsibilities that await our next president.

And to all the people who supported Senator Sanders, I believe there is much more that unites us than divides us.

KEILAR (voice-over): Clinton ending Sanders' winning streak, where he took eight of the last nine contests.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VT., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Today we took Secretary Clinton on in her own state of New York and we lost. I

congratulate Secretary Clinton on her victory. There are five primaries next week. We think we're going to do well.

KEILAR (voice-over): In New York, 3 million independents across the state did not vote in the state's closed primary, Sanders also railing against

voter irregularities at the polls, with some 100,000 Democrats unable to vote because they were purged from voter registration lists in Brooklyn.

SANDERS: I am really concerned about the conduct of the voting process in New York State. And I hope that that process will change in the future.

KEILAR (voice-over): Time running out for Sanders to catch up to Clinton's delegate lead.

CLINTON: The race for the Democratic nomination is in the home stretch and victory is in sight.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CURNOW: Brianna Keilar reporting there.

Well, Errol Louis is back with us.

And I understand that within the Hillary Clinton campaign, the word inevitable or inevitability has become a bit of a dirty word. They don't

want to get ahead of themselves.

But it's looking like that, isn't it?

LOUIS: Well, they not only don't want to get ahead of themselves but back in 2008, the exact charge was being leveled at them, that they're spoilers,

that Obama's got a lead that they cannot catch up with and so she went all the way to the convention, as is her right.

And so she would be the last person to turn around and try to urge Bernie Sanders to drop out of the race at this point.

On the other hand, it's a little bit more difficult for their campaign to do what they would like to do, which is really try to get ready for

November, focus on the Republicans, save a little bit of their money which they're currently spending to try and fend off these attacks from Bernie

Sanders.

and so they're in a very difficult place. They can't talk about things being inevitable. But it is very hard to see how Bernie Sanders can close

the gap that she has opened because last night she widened it just a little bit more.

I mean, this is twice the lead that Barack Obama had in 2008 and Hillary Clinton was never able to overcome that. So it's very, very hard to see

how Bernie Sanders can overcome this. He's going to have to win just about every state with huge numbers going forward and that just hasn't happened

up until now.

CURNOW: OK. So it's going to -- it's virtually impossible to do that, perhaps, but what he has done is that he has started his self-proclaimed

revolution. A lot of young, new voters inspired, feeling the Bern.

How is Hillary Clinton planning to -- or what does she need to do to bring them into the fold, particularly looking ahead to November?

LOUIS: Well, the first thing she has to do is a little bit of what you've seen, Robyn, which is she's got to handle them sort of delicately, not

castigate them, not make fun of their idealism --

[10:15:00]

LOUIS: -- not tell them that they're being unrealistic but really try to figure out the right language with which to appeal to them.

You know -- and that's a difficult task for Hillary Clinton because some of what Bernie Sanders is promising -- things like free college tuition at

every public university -- the practical side of Hillary Clinton, which is really the core of her brand, really just rebels against making promises

that she knows she cannot keep.

So she's in a difficult pickle there. She's got to try and find the right policies and try to sell the notion of going in the direction that the

Sanders' supporters want her to go in but telling them we're not going to get there tomorrow. It's going to take a little bit of time.

CURNOW: That is, indeed, a bit of a pickle. Thank you so much, Errol. Great having you on the show.

LOUIS: Nice to talk with you, Robyn.

CURNOW: This is the INTERNATIONAL DESK.

Ahead, a presidential candidate in the Philippines is making headlines for a tasteless joke about a rape victim. Why the candidate remains a front-

runner despite a history of controversial comments. That story next.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(MUSIC PLAYING)

CURNOW: We are just learning new details about a migrant boat sinking in the Mediterranean over the weekend. And there are reports of hundreds of

people may have died. Well, our Ben Wedeman joins us now from Rome.

Hi, there, Ben. I'm just reading the UNHCR statement and they open their press release by saying that they've interviewed survivors and this could

be one of the worst tragedies involving refugees and migrants this past year.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. This in a statement from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, suggesting

that as many as 500 people may have died in another disaster at sea.

Now the precise details are still sort of not yet clear but what we understand is that a boat left the port of Tobruk in Eastern Libya sometime

late last week with between 100 and 200 people.

And somewhere out at sea, they met another larger ship that was already crammed with hundreds and hundreds of refugees and migrants. Now they were

in the process of being transferred from this smaller boat to the larger ship.

Apparently the larger ship capsized. And according to the UNHCR, only 41 people survived from this incident. Their statement says that they

basically floated for three days on this smaller boat before they were picked up by a merchant ship that was carrying a flag, the Filipino flag.

Now of those 41 survivors, we understand there are 37 men, three women and a 3-year-old child. Now the survivors have been taken to Kalamata in

Greece. And it's significant that this essentially --

[10:20:00]

WEDEMAN: -- comes almost exactly one year after a similar disaster at sea, where a ship going from the North African coast towards Italy went down

with as many as 850 people on board. So the death toll in the Mediterranean continues to rise -- Robyn.

CURNOW: And the Mediterranean, is this now becoming a focus in terms of these migrant routes?

Obviously the Greece-Turkey route is not being shut off but there seems to be fewer people arriving there because of this deal between the E.U. and

Turkey.

Is there concern that there is going to be a huge increase in the number of people trying to get to Italy in the coming summer months?

WEDEMAN: Certainly there is a belief that, with this agreement between Turkey and the E.U., that the Northern African coast and sort of the route

in the direction of Libya, of Italy, is going to become more active.

And we've heard officials here in Italy talking about hundreds of thousands of people in Libya, refugees and migrants, waiting for the weather to

improve.

So certainly if we're going to see a lessening in the number of refugees and migrants coming via Turkey, via Greece to Europe, we may, indeed, be

seeing much larger numbers once again coming from Libya and North Africa to Italy.

CURNOW: Yes. And some of the statistics already quite worrying. The International Organization for Migration saying that around 180,000

arrivals already this year by sea.

Ben Wedeman, thanks so much, coming to us there from Rome.

Well, Norwegian mass murderer, Anders Breivik, has won a lawsuit against the government over what he called inhumane treatment in prison. Breivik

is serving a maximum sentence in Norway of 21 years for killing 77 people. Fred Pleitgen joins me now from CNN London.

Tell us about this?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Breivik filed a lawsuit in regards to several articles of the European Convention

of Human Rights, Article 3 and Article 8, Robyn.

And it's very significant because one of them has to do with solitary confinement, that is Article 3. And the other one is Article 8, which has

to do with the fact that even someone who is incarcerated has the right to have a private and family life.

Now the court only upheld his side of the verdict on Article 3, saying that the solitary confinement that he was in was too harsh. He also complained

about the fact that he was often searched or is often searched, also the fact that he's handcuffed.

We have to keep in mind that the sort of area that he has for himself in the solitary confinement is three different cells that he goes into. He's

also complained that people aren't allowed to visit him. He wants to have more visitors.

And on that count, the court upheld his side of the equation.

Now I want to read one thing from -- that the court said. It said that this relates to, quote, "an inhumane and degrading treatment or

punishment."

And the verdict says that Article 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights states, quote, "the prohibition of inhuman and degrading treatments

represents a fundamental value in the democratic society. This applies no matter what, also in the treatment of terrorists and killers."

Of course we always have to keep in mind that Breivik was convicted for killing some 77 people, both in a bombing attack in Central Oslo and then

gunning down 69 people on that island outside of Oslo, Utoya Island.

So this certainly is one of the worse mass murderers in European history, really. Nevertheless, the court says that, to a certain extent, his human

rights were violated by the detention that he's in there in that prison. And they've also ordered the state to pay his legal fees, which are $41,000

-- around about $41,000 -- Robyn.

CURNOW: Well, let's not forget most of the people he killed were teenagers and he methodically stalked them on that island that day. Many people

watching this and who have seen prison conditions elsewhere in the world will be surprised because his prison conditions seem actually quite

luxurious.

PLEITGEN: Surprised and also somewhat shocked. And we've already stated it.

First of all, the prison that he's in is very much modern, has very good conditions, by accounts of people who have reported on it. And also, as

I've said, he has three rooms that he actually can go into.

And everybody who knows prison conditions pretty much in every other country knows that normally people who are in solitary confinement are

confined to one cell and might be able to get out of that cell to walk around for maybe an hour or maybe a little more every day.

So certainly by the standards of most other countries, the conditions that he's in are not that bad. Also, it's interesting that the court said the

conditions themselves, the fact that he has these three cells, they say is in compliance with any sort of understanding of human rights as they see

it.

Now the interesting thing --

[10:25:00]

PLEITGEN: -- about all this is that, in the short term, the conditions aren't necessarily going to change for Breivik.

The state can still appeal this verdict to, first of all, pay the legal fees and also to change those conditions. But as long as that appeals

process is still ongoing, nothing is going to change for Breivik.

However, if it goes through the appeals process and he does, indeed, win in other instances, then they are going to have to allow him to see more

visitors; they're probably going to have to handcuff him less. There will certainly be changes to the way that he's treated -- Robyn.

CURNOW: Yes. And we also know he complained about the quality of prison food and about the fact that he had to eat with plastic utensils.

Fred Pleitgen, thanks so much for bringing us this story and of course we'll continue to update you on this decision throughout the day here at

CNN.

Now a presidential candidate in the Philippines is under fire for tasteless remarks he made about a rape and murder victim. CNN's Alexandra Field

tells us he doesn't appear bothered by the publicity ahead of the Philippines' national elections.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Rodrigo Duterte vowed he was done after three decades in politics. Then he did an about-face. He was last

to join the field of other candidates for president in the Philippines. He's now at the top of the heap. And a controversial comment has landed

him on the international stage.

RODRIGO DUTERTE, PHILIPPINES PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (through translator): I was angry she was raped, yes, that was one thing. But she was so

beautiful. I think the mayor should have been first. What a waste.

FIELD (voice-over): He was the mayor of Davao when an Australian missionary was murdered and gang-raped in 1989 in the jail in Davao city,

where he's still the mayor today.

His daughter, a rape survivor, is defending him.

DUTERTE'S DAUGHTER: It was really a bad joke.

FIELD (voice-over): "It was a really bad joke, if it was, indeed, a joke. It was a bad joke. All I'm saying is his being a joker doesn't affect his

performance."

His party issued an apology but he has waffled on whether he's sorry. He has die-hard supporters and outspoken critics because of a history of tough

talk.

DUTERTE (from captions): If I become president, there is no such thing as bloodless cleansing. I propose to get rid of the drugs within 3-6 months.

Criminals, I go after them, as long as I do it in accordance with the rules of law. I will continue to kill criminals.

FIELD (voice-over): Dubbed "The Punisher," one of the Philippines' longest serving mayors is running on hiss record of cleaning up crime in the city

of Davao.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have seen the rise of polling numbers as he was able to tap on the voter frustration, voter anger, voter fear about the rise in

crime, the rise in drug issue in the Philippines.

FIELD (voice-over): But human rights groups have called for an investigation, saying that more than 1,000 people have disappeared from the

city during Duterte's tenure. Activists allege vigilante groups have carried out extrajudicial killings of criminals that are tolerated by the

mayor.

He denies any links to the groups and he hasn't been charged with a crime. But with many in the Philippines he has struck a chord.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right now, he's being seen as the alternative to traditional candidates in the Philippines. His demeanor, the way he

speaks, the way he has answered questions has shown that he is an alternative to the politics of candidates.

FIELD: Analysts are closely watching the election in the Philippines and say there are three key issues that matter the most to voters. The first

being joblessness and poverty, the second being crime and drugs, the third being government corruptions. Duterte seems to be resonating the most with

voters who are most concerned about these last two issues -- in Hong Kong, Alexandra Field, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CURNOW: To Afghanistan: the death toll has gone up after a suicide attack ripped through Kabul Tuesday. Authorities now say the violence wounded and

killed 64 people and more than 300. The terror began in this parking lot when a truck packed with explosives blasted open a building.

Then attackers entered with guns. The Taliban have claimed responsibility. Police say they were targeting a government security unit. But their

victims are mostly civilians, including women and children.

And coming up on CNN, a lighter story. Britain's young prince stole the show at a family photo shoot. We'll be back with more on how the royals

are celebrating a very important birthday.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:30:00]

(MUSIC PLAYING)

CURNOW: You're watching the INTERNATIONAL DESK. I'm Robyn Curnow. Here's a check of the headlines.

(HEADLINES)

CURNOW: And it's not every day that a queen turns 90. But Britain's longest-serving monarch has a birthday this Thursday. And the post office

has this present for Queen Elizabeth, a new portrait with her heirs. It's the basis for a line of stamps. Another set will focus on Elizabeth

through the years as a royal child, then more recent years.

Royal duties have steered the course of her entire life. But some say her grandson, Prince William, isn't doing enough. There's been criticism in

the U.K. Here's what he's told the BBC.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRINCE WILLIAM, DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE: To be honest, I'm going to get plenty of criticism over my lifetime and it's something that I don't completely

ignore. But it's not something that I take, you know, completely to heart.

My grandma and my father are 150 percent supportive behind everything I'm doing and Harry and Catherine.

They very much understand, you know, whilst my grandmother is still extremely active at the helm of the royal family, as the monarch, my father

is incredibly busy with his charitable activities and other responsibilities.

There's the time now and the space to explore other means of doing a worthwhile job. And, for me, it is an incredible important part. It's not

going to last forever. But I think it's important.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CURNOW: Prince William there. And it sounds like he really is focused on leading a somewhat normal life. But that may be hard. Don't forget

festivities for the queen's birthday will stretch into June.

Let's go now to our royal watcher, Kate Williams. She joins us from London.

It was a very important interview he gave the BBC, because it's not often Prince William -- or any of the royals actually deal with criticism and try

to deal with it head on like he just did.

KATE WILLIAMS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You're so right, Robyn. It's very rare that we see a royal actually answer to criticism. We've seen, as you say,

some very severe criticism of Prince William, particularly in the British papers over the past couple of months, that said he's work-shy, too many

holidays, not working hard enough in his air ambulance role, that --

[10:35:00]

WILLIAMS: -- rescue role that he has in the east of England.

So it's been a lot of this kind of conversation. So it's very interesting to see Prince William taking this opportunity off his mother's 90th

birthday, on which there's all kinds of attention focused on the royals to actually say, no, I am pulling my bit, my family is pleased with what I'm

doing. They're perfectly happy.

And what he was saying that's very key here, is he says, I think it's best to ease into duty. It can be bad for you to take on duty too young, so I

want to ease into it. And my family were working hard, so he is really -- that's quite a pronounced hit back to the criticism that we see there.

CURNOW: Indeed. And also what he makes a point of saying -- and you can see that gorgeous little Prince George -- saying that he's devoting a lot

of his time to being a dad. And, obviously, what he's also saying is, I'm trying to raise a future king of England here and I consider that a job.

WILLIAMS: Well, he is. And he's saying, obviously, he only has little Princess Charlotte -- she's not even a year old now -- Prince George is

still very small and I think he's trying to say to the world, look, previous royals, certainly the queen, when she went on her royal travels,

she had to miss Prince Charles' first tooth and his first step and also Princess Diana, she did have to sacrifice some family time.

He's saying I don't want to makes those sacrifices. I want to stay at home with the children, I want to be a modern dad, a hand's-on dad and that's

what he's really trying to talk -- really trying to say very clearly is I want to be a hands-on dad. You don't need to expect me to do that much

duty.

So he feels clearly very happy with his -- what he's doing. And I think he's in quite a strong position at the moment, Robyn, because last week we

saw the state or the visit to India and Bhutan, Prince William and Kate, they worked very hard, a lot of visits, a lot of royal visits.

So it's a good position for him to be in, to be out of that very challenging, difficult, busy royal tour, triumphant royal tour, to say,

look, I am doing the work; really, leave me alone.

CURNOW: Let's talk about someone who hasn't really been left alone, Queen Elizabeth, she turns 90. And this image of her three heirs, it is an

extraordinary one in terms of the history of the royal family. This is a queen who has done so much for the monarchy.

WILLIAMS: She has done so much for the monarchy and it's so rare to see a monarch with three heirs there with her, all waiting, ready and waiting to

take over, really. It's very rare to see that. And it really shows the queen's incredible longevity; as you say, tomorrow, she turns 90. Born in

1926, another era, really. This incredible woman who was a war child, she was evacuated the during the war, she served in the forces during the

Second World War.

And then she has presided over Britain during a time of incredible change. We have changed completely and the world has changed, technology, culture,

technology, culture, manufacturing, travel, nothing is the same as it was when she came to the throne in 1952. And she has presided over it with

grace and with dignity and with an incredible amount of hard work and sacrifice.

CURNOW: Yes, indeed. And she wasn't, we must remember, it's her birthday tomorrow but she wasn't born to be queen. She was thrust into that role

after the abdication crisis.

William was saying there that his granny still works very hard, is still very active. There's no suggestion, like what some of the European royals,

that this queen would ever step down if she became sick, for example, or if she felt like she wanted to hand the crown down to her son.

WILLIAMS: Well, she is in this incredible health, as we see. I follow her around as a royal commentator. And I can barely keep up with her

walkabouts and I'm not quite 90 yet. She's in amazing health. But even if she wasn't, she has said that I will not give up the role. I will not

abdicate. And as you say, some European royals do abdicate, it's a bit like retirement.

They hand over to their eldest son. The queen is determined to stay on the throne. She said that she will -- she's a woman of great religious faith.

So the way she feels is that the -- God has given to the role to her and only God can take it away from her. So she won't abdicate. As you say,

Edward VIII, he abdicated, made her brother -- her father had to become king, threw into this job that he didn't really expect. It was difficult

for him.

For the queen, abdication would be a failure. And yet we will see her handing over duties to Charles, much of the foreign travel she has now

handed over to Charles or the younger royals. She's still going to Europe. She went to Germany last year on a state visit.

But the overseas travel, those big, long-haul flights, increasingly that's too much for her. So the younger royals are going to help out. But still

she's the queen, she's the monarch, she does the main job.

CURNOW: And there she is, looking fabulous in pink. Thank you so much, Kate Williams there.

WILLIAMS: Thank you. Thank you, Robyn.

CURNOW: Still ahead here at the IDESK, the world responds to Johnny Depp's apology to Australia with mockery. We'll show you the many parodies

cropping up in the canine mea culpa.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:40:00]

(MUSIC PLAYING)

CURNOW: My favorite story of the week, the reviews are in for Johnny Depp's latest performance. His apology video to Australia -- and they're

not good. People, the world over, are mocking the video he made with his wife to apologize for illegally bringing his dogs into the country. Well,

our Jeanne Moos reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For Johnny Depp, maybe it wasn't the most adept apology video. By apologizing to Australia for

bringing in their two dogs without declaring them, Depp and his wife got off with a slap on the wrist.

AMBER HEARD, ACTOR: I am truly sorry that Pistol and Boo were not declared.

JOHNNY DEPP, ACTOR: Declare everything when you enter Australia.

MOOS (voice-over): But what most people declared was how much the apology looked like a hostage video.

STEPHEN COLBERT, COMEDIAN: Totally convincing apology until you zoom the picture out.

MOOS (voice-over): Prepare for the parodies.

HEARD: Australia is a wonderful island with a treasure trove of unique plants, animals and people.

DEPP: It has to be protected.

MOOS (voice-over): Gesturing with the gun to smile is Australian comedian Natalie Tran.

Stephen Colbert offered his own apology.

COLBERT: I would also like to state this woman is not my wife and I am truly sorry for smuggling her into your country. She has not had her

shots.

MOOS (voice-over): Do not adjust your set while watching the next parody.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm also sorry for wearing too much jewelry. And too much eye shadow.

MOOS: Maybe you remember the Australian minister, who once threatened the dogs if the couple didn't comply with the rules.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, we're going to have to euthanize them.

MOOS (voice-over): Well, now he's euthanizing Johnny Depp's performance with his review of the apology video.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think he's auditioning for "The Godfather."

MOOS (voice-over): One tweet ranked the "Apology to Australia" video as Depp's second worst acting performance.

(VIDEO CLIP, "PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN")

MOOS (voice-over): The whole undocumented dog saga went by the hashtag #WarOnTerrier. But now it's as if there's a war on this sorry apology.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That is why Australia has to have such strong biosecurity laws.

MOOS (voice-over): Jeanne Moos, CNN --

DEPP: Both warm and direct.

MOOS (voice-over): -- New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CURNOW: Fabulous. Thanks for joining us here at the INTERNATIONAL DESK. I'm Robyn Curnow. Don't go anywhere. "WORLD SPORT" with Alex Thomas is up

next.

END