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First Cruise Ship in Decades Arrives in Cuba; Inside Aleppo Hospital Hit by Airstrike; Kerry on Syria Truce; Obama on Osama bin Laden Death; Court Hearing on Prince's Estate; Venezuela Crisis Deepens; American Held in North Korea Speaks about Prison; Princess Charlotte Turns 1. Aired 10- 11a ET
Aired May 2, 2016 - 10:00 ET
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ROBYN CURNOW, CNN HOST: Ahead at the INTERNATIONAL DESK, a U.S. cruise ship makes history in Havana.
World powers hold talks to halt the violence in Aleppo.
And Prince's relatives take their fight over the music icon's estate to court.
CURNOW: Hi, everyone. Welcome. I'm Robyn Curnow at the CNN Center.
We begin with a historic sight in Havana. After navigating an ocean of red tape, a U.S. cruise ship -- there you see it -- has sailed into the Cuban
capital for the first time in decades. It's the latest step forward for relations between Cuba and the U.S. CNN's Patrick Oppmann joins me now
live from Havana.
Hi, there, Patrick. This is -- there we go. What a shot right. It's right behind you, getting ready to dock.
PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, picture perfect day. But it was not smooth sailing for the months it took Carnival Cruise to
negotiate being able it to restart after nearly four decades, regular cruise service to the island, the Communist-run neighbor of the United
States, dealing with all types of controversies and problems that come with being the first.
But here it is, picture perfect moment as the cruise ship arrives. I'm just going to step out of the way, Robyn, so you can take a look at their
cruise ship, the Adonia, as it approaches the terminal, where it will dock. About 700 passengers to disembark.
And to sum this up, you know, Robyn, you were here, of course, just over a month ago, when President Obama came here and it feels like another one of
those moments, where all of a sudden time stands still in Cuba because people never expected to see this.
Most Cubans born after the 1959 revolution have only ever known Cold War, the long-standing animosity between Cuba and the United States. So to see
a ship, a U.S. ship, a tourist ship arrive here is something really incredible.
They've heard their whole lives about an invasion, about an American -- this is a very different kind of invasion. Within the next hour or so, we
expect 700 not only Americans but over a dozen Cuban Americans, we're told.
And that's very important because this is the first time since the revolution that Cubans were able to come back to their homeland aboard a
ship. You have to think what a morning it was for them to watch the island that they left so many years ago come back into view.
And here they are, arriving any minute now. And even though the Cuban government never announced in the state media that the ship was coming
here, an American ship, we are still seeing crowds of Cubans thronging along the Havana seawall to get a glimpse, take an iPhone photo if they
have smartphones, just to live the historic moment -- Robyn.
CURNOW: Indeed. And as you say, I was there a month ago and the positioning of the CNN bureau means literally we're overlooking that image
and we could actually see people in other cruiseliners from -- obviously not America -- having a Jacuzzi. I mean, that's how close it's going to
dock into you.
Why is this such a big deal?
As you say, there's been a number of firsts but this, particularly, it's not just the political symbolism but also about it's new business, isn't
OPPMANN: It is about new business. And of course, this is on an island and it's the ocean that separates and also unites Cuba with the United
But in so many ways, Cuba, despite trying to move away from the United States, trying to move away from a tourism-based economy that's what
they've come back to, not because they want to but because that is just the geography, the situations of Cuba is opening more now more and more to U.S.
tourism. And there is work to be done here.
This port is in terrible shape, Robyn. It cannot accommodate the larger cruise ships that have thousands of people aboard. Only smaller cruise
ships like this one right now can come in.
But Cuban officials say that will change. It will modernize this port. They will respond to this huge American interest in Cuba.
And, yes, European cruises have been coming here years and years but never to this level. Carnival is talking about beginning cruise service here
that would bring cruise ships here once a week. They want to eventually have a separate cruise ship terminal here where they can accommodate much
larger cruises and there are many other cruise lines, American cruise lines, trying to follow them into this market. So this is going to bring a
lot of change here, not all the good but it's beginning to happen -- Robyn.
CURNOW: Patrick Oppmann, keeping an eye on those images --
CURNOW: -- thanks so much, coming to us there, live from Havana.
There's a new drive to save the crumbling cease-fire in Syria, as the world digests the horror of last week's bombing of a hospital in Aleppo. U.S.
Secretary of State John Kerry is in Geneva for a second day of urgent talks, reporting progress but revealing few details.
Kerry says the U.S. and Russia will increase their presence in Geneva to monitor events inside Syria. Saudi Arabia's foreign minister also at the
Geneva talks and he calls the continued attacks in Aleppo a, quote, "outrage."
And we're learning now about what was happening inside the hospital before the bombing and who died there through surveillance footage obtained by
Channel 4 News. Matt Frei has this story.
MATT FREI, CHANNEL 4 NEWS (voice-over): This is a silent film. But you begin to imagine the sounds. The CCTV cameras outside the hospital in the
rain and inside are unflinching observers of what is about to unfold.
The clocks on the screen are an hour out. It is 9:38 on Wednesday evening and the Al Quds Hospital is shaken by an explosion nearby. Some people
head downstairs, expecting casualties to arrive. That turns out to be a deadly mistake.
No one you can see here has any idea that this hospital is seconds away from becoming a target itself. The choice of where to go, left or right,
up or down, seals their fate.
The man in green is Dr. Mohammed Moaz, leaving the intensive care unit. He is 36 years old and he's the last pediatrician in Aleppo. He's already
done one day shift at another hospital and is the middle of the night shift in this one.
He is single and his parents have fled to Turkey. He was looking forward to visiting them a few days later. We don't know exactly where he has now
gone but we do know his fate.
At 9:42 and 12 seconds, the hospital is hit.
Same explosion, different camera.
Minutes after the dust clears, the survivors emerge, the ghostly image of a nurse, carrying a child or a baby from the maternity ward. Civilians
milling around in a daze, taking on the tasks of the nurses who have been killed or injured.
Dr. Moaz is now dead and so are 50 others -- nurses, patients, visitors. As the smoke clears, the road outside emerges as a field of rubble. Since
then, two more hospitals have been hit and yesterday's one of Aleppo's main medical storage facilities. In this case, four CCTV cameras bear silent
CURNOW: Devastating images there. Fred Pleitgen joins me now from Moscow.
Hi, there, Fred.
With the political process in tatters, what has Moscow specifically said they're trying to do?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Moscow is going to play a key role in all of this. And something that U.S. Secretary
of State John Kerry has acknowledged, he's, of course, in Geneva right now, trying to get this cessation of hostilities back on track.
Now it's interesting because at the beginning of last weekend, the Russians were saying that, at this point in time, they don't plan on pressuring the
Syrian government into ceasing its air campaign around Aleppo.
But seems as though late Sunday the Russians then, all of a sudden, said, yes, they are in negotiations to try and get the cessation of hostilities
to come back into force in the Aleppo area.
It's unclear who the Russians are speaking to; it's unclear whether it's forces that are on the ground, maybe opposition forces, maybe the
government or whether or not it's some of the other international countries that are involved in this whole Syria process, namely the U.S. and some
Now Secretary of State Kerry said it is absolutely key for the Russians to get on board. He says that he expects the Russians to be on side with
trying to get it on track, also to put pressure on the Syrian government to cease its air campaign. But he also acknowledged that the cease-fire at
this point in time is in a lot of trouble. Let's listen to what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: But is a fact that, in the last weeks, the cessation of hostilities has been put to test and it has frayed in certain
areas and it has fallen completely in a few areas.
And so we are engaged in an effort with all of the members of the International Syria Support Group and with Russia, particularly, in an
effort to restore that cessation of hostilities in those places --
KERRY: -- where it has been most at risk.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PLEITGEN: And that effort that he's making is multifaceted. We understand that John Kerry later today will speak to Russian foreign minister Sergey
Lavrov about this whole process. The Russians themselves don't have a representative in Geneva but the U.S. says that it's constantly in touch
with Russian authorities.
Also the U.N. envoy to the Syria conflict, Staffan de Mistura, is expected to be here in Moscow tomorrow to also hold talks on this issue at this
point in time.
John Kerry has said that he believes there's cautious optimism that some sort of agreement could be reached to try to get the cessation of
hostilities back in place in Aleppo. But he also acknowledges, Robyn, there still is a lot of work to be done.
CURNOW: Yes. Thanks for all that. Fred Pleitgen there in Moscow, thanks a lot.
Iraq's deepening political crisis taking a new turn. Over the weekend hundreds of protesters poured past the heavy fortifications of Baghdad's
green zone. They have withdrawn but the crisis is far from over. Our Jomana Karadsheh has been following the unrest from Jordan. She joins us
now from Ayman.
You spent a lot of time reporting from Baghdad. I mean, this deepening political crisis certainly makes it more difficult to fight ISIS.
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Robyn. That is a concern for many right now. Historically in Iraq, politics and the security
situation and violence are so closely intertwined. And if you look at the rise of ISIS over the past two years, the group really exploits political
divisions, exploits chaotic situations.
This kind of political crisis that we're seeing now, it's kind of a dream scenario for ISIS to try and gain support, for example, in Sunni areas.
And on the other hand, there are some who are concerned about what a situation like this, this political situation, does to the fight on the
front lines. The prime minister is himself the commander in chief of the Iraqi security forces. And now he is pretty much entirely focused on this
political crisis in Baghdad, trying to find a way out with other political leaders in the country.
And also, Robyn, another concern is the security forces, members of the military who are on the front lines, if the situation in Baghdad does
escalate and they need to bring in reinforcements to secure Baghdad, secure the green zone and other areas, what -- how will this impact major front
lines in the northern part of the country and in the west?
And a very important thing here is what we are seeing, Robyn, mainly is a Shia-Shia conflict when it comes to the political situation there. There
are divisions within the Shia parties, as we have seen. Mukhtar al Sadr leading now this protest movement.
And as you know he is the leader of one of the most powerful militias in the country, formerly the Mehdi army, now known as the Peace Brigade.
So there is a concern about how -- what impact this political situation, this division within the Shia groups, who have played a key role on the
front lines, arguably more than the Iraqi security forces.
So a very -- really here we're looking at a situation that is extremely unpredictable and what would happen in the coming days. You can't really
look at the political situation in isolation when it comes to the security situation in the violence in the country and, as you mentioned, the fight
against ISIS -- Robyn.
CURNOW: Yes. Thanks for that. Keeping an eye on Baghdad for us, Jomana. Appreciate it.
Moving on and coming up here at CNN, Donald Trump raises eyebrows over a four-letter word he uses to describe China's trade policy with the U.S.
Plus what U.S. President Barack Obama says now about the killing of Osama bin Laden five years later. Stay with us. Lot to talk about.
CURNOW: Welcome back. I'm Robyn Curnow. Thanks for joining me.
This week marks a significant anniversary in the war on terror. Five years ago, a team of U.S. Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of Al
Qaeda. U.S. President Barack Obama reflected on the operation in a new interview with CNN's Peter Bergen. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: On decisions like this you're leaning in a certain direction. I had been inclined to take the
shot fairly early on, in the discussions. But you hold back the decision until you have to make it. And in the end, what I very much appreciated
was the degree to which we had an honest debate.
One of the lessons I drew from that was that good process leads to good results. I could honestly say, by the time that I made the decision, that
everybody had had their say. That we had all the information that we were going to be able to get. We had not looked at it through rose-colored
glasses. We knew the risks involved.
We had prepared as well as we could. And it was in that way, emblematic of presidential decision making, you're always working with probabilities.
And you make a decision, not based on 100 percent certainty, but with the best information that you've got.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: Those comments are part of an Anderson Cooper special, called, "We Got Him." Peter Bergen joins me now live from New York.
This was really one of President Obama's defining decisions, wasn't it?
Did you learn anything new?
What else did he tell you?
PETER BERGEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, you know, first of all, he sort of physically walked us through the day of different places that he
made these decisions. There was a final meeting in the Situation Room. Some of his senior advisors said, do not do the raid. Secretary of Defense
Robert Gates and vice President Biden advised against the raid.
Here we are, in the small Situation Room, where they took the iconic photograph in the middle of the raid. And President Obama describes what,
you know, what he was thinking.
I mean, he dryly said it wasn't an ideal start when they saw the helicopter go down. Then we transfer to the colonnade where he could, for the first
time, hear the cheers of the crowds that had gathered, thinking that there was going to be a major announcement.
And then finally into the hall in the White House, where he made the final announcement to the world that bin Laden was, indeed, dead.
And we also talked to the architect of the raid, Bill McRaven, Admiral Bill McRaven, who spoke at length to us in more depth than he's spoken before.
And so, you know, you get a good sense of the decision-making and also the actual operation itself.
CURNOW: Let's talk about that operation.
What did the head of Special Forces at the time tell you?
BERGEN: Well, I think one thing that he said that I think was important is he initially understood that the operation was designed not to necessarily
have to fight their way out of Pakistan and was urged by the president to basically have a plan to fight their way out if necessary.
Of course, Pakistan is an ally of the United States. But it might well have happened that Pakistani soldiers, there was a nearby military academy,
or Pakistani policemen might have engaged with a firefight with the SEALs. President Obama --
BERGEN: -- instructed Admiral McRaven, who carried out this order, to make sure that if there was a need to fight their way out, that they could.
CURNOW: Peter Bergen, really looking forward to that, thank you so much.
BERGEN: Thank you.
CURNOW: On the day before another crucial primary in the U.S. presidential election, Republican front-runner Donald Trump is raising eyebrows over his
choice of words when describing China's trade policies. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Because we can't continue to allow China to rape our country. And that's what they're doing. It's
the greatest theft in the history of the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: CNN's Phil Mattingly is covering the political race for us today.
Again, Phil, the tone of these comments, the language that he chooses.
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Robyn, look, it makes not just Democrats who are looking forward to trying attack -- trying to attack
these things in the general election shake their heads, it really makes a lot of Republican leaders uncomfortable.
And I think what's worth noting, Robyn, is on this issue, particularly, specifically when you talk about trade deficits, when you talk about the
relationship with China, now this is an issue that Trump's advisors have made very clear, he will continue to hit on, he will get more aggressive
with his rhetoric, not less so, as they move into a general election.
And tat's something that's very unsettling to Republican officials, not just on the political side but also on the economic side. Robyn, they look
at this and they think two things, primarily.
First off, does Donald Trump actually understand what he's saying about trade deficits, how trade deficits actually impact the U.S. economy?
And the second thing is, is Donald Trump on the verge of sending us into a trade war with China, a battle back and forth for tariffs and threats, the
type of thing that would very negatively impact the U.S. economy?
Those are the two concerns. As I said, Trump's advisors not worried about it and actually thinking that they're going to ramp things up in the weeks
CURNOW: OK. So with that in mind, what's the mood inside the Republican establishment?
We've spoken about it before, about how there's a growing sense of resignation; however, this conversation about who's going to be his running
mate is also making many people sort of pretend they're in the corner whistling, not hearing.
I mean, this is something not a lot of Republicans want to be associated with, I understand.
MATTINGLY: It's a difficult situation they find themselves in. And I think you have to look at it past 2016, Robyn. You have a lot of
individuals in the Republican Party, including a lot of the individuals Donald Trump has already knocked out of the Republican race, that are
looking at what's going to happen in November.
They're looking at the current polling, they're looking at Donald Trump's historically high unfavorability ratings and they want to set themselves up
to run again in 2020 to take on Hillary Clinton in her second term. That's what they're looking towards.
So if that's the case and if you think Donald Trump is going to lose the presidential election, historic -- by historic margins, why would you ever
want to be on his ticket?
Now this doesn't cover everybody. Chris Christie, the current New Jersey government, obviously one of the first major endorsements. Ted Cruz
received, his aides have told me personally that they believe that Christie would be very willing to take that slot.
Ben Carson, another former presidential candidate who has dropped out, he would be willing to do it, too.
But as you look across the spectrum -- and this doesn't just go for the vice presidential pick, Robyn, this goes across the board for Cabinet
selections, up and down where government officials would be for a Trump campaign, their problem, up to this point, has been attracting mainstream
It doesn't look like that's going to disappear anytime soon, even if he is the Republican nominee -- Robyn.
CURNOW: Great to have your perspective. Phil Mattingly, thanks so much.
Less than two weeks after Prince's untimely death, the legal wrangling has now begun over the late musician's multimillion-dollar empire. CNN's
Stephanie Elam is outside a Minnesota courthouse, where a hearing with Prince's siblings has just wrapped up.
What do we know happened?
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Robyn, it was very quick. I was inside the courtroom. It was only about 12 minutes long. And it was very
procedural, basically going through and just making sure that things that we heard about last week were still OK.
And the biggest thing to come out of that was the fact that they wanted to make sure that any potential heirs had been given plenty of time to then
come and join this petition.
And they said in the court that they do that all potential heirs are now aware of what's going on here in this Harvard County Court to try to figure
out how they're going to decide the massive wealth and estate that Prince had amassed since there was no will or trust.
But they did say that the --
CURNOW: Sorry to interrupt you, Stephanie.
Is it confirmed that there was no will and no trust?
ELAM: Well, you want to be upset about it but this is not unusual that we see these kinds of things happen. This happens for the super wealthy
sometimes and it happens to people who have less under their name.
But the fact that someone who was so, so protective of his music and of his catalog throughout the years did not have a will is surprising to some,
that there wasn't a trust set up to protect what would happen to everything that was in there, from the music we know about, the music we don't know
about and all of the property that he owns as well.
So there's a lot to go through. It's a long process ahead.
CURNOW: A long process ahead --
CURNOW: -- potentially messy.
There's also these reports of a vault on his estate that perhaps holds unreleased music, a treasure trove.
Has it been opened?
What's the status with that?
ELAM: Right. And that is part of this estate and so what needs to happen here is making sure that all of this is secured and making sure that what
happens is decided.
But here's the thing, whether or not Prince wanted it to be released, we will not know. But what will happen here is if it goes between Prince and
his one full blood sister and then his half siblings, it will be up to them to decide whether or not this music gets released.
So it's still anyone's guess what will happen to it. Still so many questions out there at this point -- Robyn.
CURNOW: And trying to divvy up perhaps more than a $300 million estate between six or so siblings and half siblings is, in itself, going to be
very problematic. We heard one of the conversations with them all was perhaps some yelling and shouting went on.
How close are they?
How much of a team are they going to present to the world in trying to decide how to manage this?
ELAM: Yes. It's hard to imagine that it won't get messy at some point. We have heard that it's been contentious at some point between the siblings
as they work to figure this out.
We have also heard that Prince, while alive, was very generous and generous with his friends and family members and so that he made it easier for them.
But now without him there as sort of that buffer, it may change the tone of things.
CURNOW: OK. Thanks for keeping an eye on things there, Stephanie Elam, appreciate it.
It's a whodunit that has riveted techies, just who invented bitcoin. The world may now know. Australian computer scientist Craig Wright says he's
the force behind the digital currency. At least a dozen people have been named as the creator in recent years.
And Wright reportedly said he wanted to set the record straight. He provided evidence that may link him to bitcoin's earliest days.
Still ahead, Venezuela's economic and political situation is so dire right now that people there say they are going hungry. We'll have a live report.
Stay with us.
CURNOW: Welcome to the INTERNATIONAL DESK. I'm Robyn Curnow. Here's a check of the headlines.
CURNOW: Uncertainty and hunger: those are the two things on most Venezuelans' minds these days as the country plunges into economic and
political chaos. Well CNN's Paula Newton has this report from Caracas, a capital considered one of the most dangerous in the world.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Even in the driving rain, Venezuelans started their day in search of food, expecting to see the usual
grim queues that form at government stores.
Not today. The only stores with affordable food are shut, closed for the national workers' holiday, the sign explains. It says, "Sorry and thank
People walked away empty-handed but full of dread, wondering where their next meal might come from. I asked Julian Perez what he needs.
JULIAN PEREZ, GROCERY SHOPPER (through translator): All the basics. I have nothing at home. Sometimes I go hungry.
Who can say that we, the people, aren't hungry right now?
NEWTON: Here's the thing. These people aren't allowed to come back tomorrow. Food is rationed here, doled out according to the last number on
your government ID.
Carlos Chidenos (ph) explains his turn is today. His number is five.
Cinco. Cinco. Cinco.
So he's saying that, just today and Wednesday, can he buy things and because it's closed today, he's out of luck.
NEWTON (voice-over): So, too, is this Ledes Manas (ph), with two children and one on the way, she is raising her kids with no food in her cupboards
and barely any in the fridge.
Venezuela is sitting on the world's largest proven oil reserves. But it can't stock the nation's refrigerators.
"This is all I have," she tells me, as I ask about milk.
"When I find it," she says, "they have milk."
And even at six months pregnant, sometimes with a child on each hand, she lines up for as many as 18 hours to find anything to eat.
Janet De Bolivar (ph) shows us all she has, too. She says it took her three weeks of queueing to stock this much, a shop that would have normally
taken an hour.
This is not the worst of it for this family. Janet introduces us to her daughter, Yazday (ph), who explains the country is out of medicine, too,
and there's no line you can wait in for that.
YAZDAY BOLIVAR, CARACAS RESIDENT (through translator): Cancer waits for no one. I'm worried about my own health and the health of so many others who
are going through this right now.
NEWTON (voice-over): Yazday is holding unfilled prescriptions for chemo and she says no doctor, no hospital can tell her when she will get
BOLIVAR (through translator): It pains me to see Venezuela in the state that it's in right now. But what really makes my heart ache is the thought
of not being here for my daughter tomorrow.
NEWTON (voice-over): Three generations of Bolivars are counting on things to change in Venezuela. But like so many on this date, they cling to
patience, hope and very little else.
CURNOW: Paula Newton reporting there.
Puerto Rico is about to fall off its own economic cliff. The U.S. territory will default today on a $422 million debt payment. Now that
dwarfs the nearly $2 billion it will owe on July 1st. Its governor is urging the U.S. Congress to restructure Puerto Rico's debt. But lawmakers
in both parties oppose the plan.
No American has spent more time imprisoned in North Korea this century than Kenneth Bae: 735 days, to be exact. In an exclusive interview, the
Christian missionary tells our Chris Cuomo just how hard it was.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Give us a sense of what life was like there every day, what was hard on your body, what was hard on your mind and your heart?
KENNETH BAE, FORMER NORTH KOREAN PRISONER: Well, I was the first American ever sent to labor camp in North Korea. And I had to work from 8 o'clock
in the morning until 6 o'clock at night, six days a week, working in the field, doing farming labor, working --
BAE: -- carrying rock and shoveling coal and all those things that was physically very demanding and was very difficult. Especially I had back
problems and different issues that I had before imprisonment.
But, along the way, that I found myself adjusting to life in North Korea prison, depending upon God and just solely pretty much living day to day
and just living one day at a time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: And Bae says, week after week in captivity, a North Korean official would tell him he had been forgotten. Bae says he prayed to God
and lived one day at a time, as you heard there.
Coming up if you're hearing a lot of oohing and ahhing, it's probably over these new photos of Princess Charlotte. Oh, sweet. What she's getting for
her first birthday. That's next.
CURNOW: U.S. President Barack Obama's eldest daughter is following in his footsteps a bit. Malia Obama will attend Harvard University after taking a
gap year next year. She'll be part of the class of 2021.
Her father received his law degree from Harvard and Mr. Obama and his family will remain in Washington after his term is up, so younger daughter,
Sasha, can finish high school there.
And Britain's Princess Charlotte must have spotted those photos of her brother, Prince George, in a robe, meeting Mr. Obama and now she's ready --
there we go -- for her own overdose of cute.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have released new photos of Charlotte for her first birthday. CNN's Max Foster joins me now live from London.
They are adorable, aren't they?
MAX FOSTER, CNN HOST: Well, that's the point, I think, isn't it. And Prince George really stealing the show recently with his big meeting with
President Obama in his dressing gown.
But these pictures came out yesterday. They were taken by the Duchess of Cambridge, who is a very keen photographer and they were taken at their
country home in Norfolk. And people analyzing these pictures in great detail.
This is actually a picture from "Vogue," which is their centenary edition and this shows the Duchess of Cambridge in some very closely monitored
photos in the British tabloids. But the Princess Charlotte pictures are the ones that have been grabbing the headlines, in many ways because they
are mementos, they show her as she turns 1. It's her first birthday today. They're very sweet pictures. You get a sense of where she lives.
And crucially, Robyn, what's interesting, yet again, is that these are pictures taken by the duchess and released by the palace. They're
controlling their own media.
So there are some people frustrated in the British media; normally British photographers would take these pictures, they'd be released en masse to the
This is a new way of handling the royal family, protecting their privacy --
FOSTER: -- but also controlling rights to the images, which is so valuable in being around the world.
CURNOW: Yes. It is a family, learning lessons from the past, hard lessons.
Tell us, though, a little girl turns 1.
What do you give a princess for her birthday?
Has a list been released of what some of her gifts are?
FOSTER: We do get a list of gifts to the royal family and people have been monitoring very closely what Princess Charlotte and her brother, George,
have been getting because they're pretty extraordinary gifts, has to be said.
So from president of Mexico, she received a silver rattle, we're told. And that was to mark a state visit to the U.K. last year.
Another state visit by the Chinese president, she was given some silk figurines, a very classic Chinese gift.
And you'll remember, I was talking there about President Barack Obama coming over this year just recently; it wasn't a state visit but there were
some photos of Prince George. We saw a big dog on the sofa there. And that was a dog, a cuddly dog, which looked like the president's dog, given
to Charlotte. Apparently she loves it. She loves all of these toys, of course.
But it's interesting that it's not the most expensive toys that she like, it's the ones which don't cost a lot but are just fun, I guess. They don't
understand the true value of money just yet.
CURNOW: No, I know. Between the two of us, we have got enough kids to know that they prefer the box at Christmas time. And, yes, we saw there a
$40,000 rattle. We also know from Pippa Middleton, the duchess' sister, gave her biodegradable nappies. There's quite a gamut here.
FOSTER: Yes. And the prime minister giving, rather controversially -- you'll like this, though, I think, Robyn -- a full set of Hans Christian
Andersen fairy tales when she was born.
So the sorts of gifts that they -- I think people like the idea of giving a gift that these children will use because it becomes part of their lives,
part of royal history. But the alternative, of course, is something you can lock up and put in the Tower of London, I guess, to go with the crown
CURNOW: Absolutely. Let's just go back to that image that was flashed up a little earlier, when we were having this conversation of the duchess on
the front cover of "Vogue." Now this is her first time I understand -- I think they've been trying for a while to get her as the cover girl.
FOSTER: Well, it's interesting. This was actually a collaboration with the National Portrait Gallery. So she's keen on photography and the
National Portrait Gallery is very big on that. And she's a patron of the National Portrait Gallery. So there are pictures of her that would
normally have hung in the National Portrait Gallery, which wouldn't be unusual.
And she would have been very closely involved in the imagery, the type of clothes that she's wearing. So a lot is being read into these images
because this -- these will be defining images. And she has chosen to be defined in this way. So quite casual.
She's a country girl. So she's there, out it in the country as well. But interesting that they also collaborated with "Vogue," to put it on the
front cover, which wouldn't have happened in the past. But they had a lot of control over that moment. So it's the sort of situation that they're
comfortable with right now.
CURNOW: Max Foster, as always, great chatting to you. Thanks so much for joining us.
Well, you've been watching the INTERNATIONAL DESK. I'm Robyn Curnow. I'll be back in just over an hour. But, in the meantime, I'm going to hand you
over to "WORLD SPORT."