Return to Transcripts main page


Indiana Win Seals Trump as Presumptive Nominee and Keeps Hope Alive for Bernie Sanders; North Korea Prepares for Rare Party Congress; ISIS Fight Is Far from Over; Prince Had Appointment with Addiction Doctor; Raging Wildfire in Alberta Forces Thousands to Evacuate; Chanel Captivates Cuba. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired May 4, 2016 - 10:00   ET




ZAIN ASHER, CNN HOST (voice-over): Ahead at the INTERNATIONAL DESK: Donald Trump all but clinches the Republican nomination.

A wildfire in Canada forces a massive evacuation.

And Chanel stages a fashion show in Cuba.


ASHER: Hello and welcome, everybody. So glad to be with you. I'm Zain Asher.

We start with a watershed moment in American politics. Donald Trump effectively wrapping up the Republican presidential nomination after

trouncing Ted Cruz in the Indiana primary. Cruz is pretty much dropping out now. He says he no longer has a clear path to the nomination.

Trump is now set to become the first, the first major party nominee to never have held elected office since former President Eisenhower back in

1952. By the way, Trump was just a boy then, just 6 years old, at that time.

Now as our Sara Murray tells us, he's looking ahead to a new opponent in November.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The voters chose another path.

SARA MURRAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Indiana marks the end of the road for Ted Cruz.

CRUZ: We are suspending our campaign.

MURRAY (voice-over): And a major victory for Donald Trump as he becomes the Republican Party's presumptive nominee.

DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What Ted did is a -- really a very brave thing to do.

We want to bring unity to the Republican Party.

MURRAY (voice-over): After months of battling it out with the RNC.

TRUMP: It's all a rigged system.

It's really a disgusting system.

MURRAY (voice-over): The billionaire finally getting a message of support from the very top.

Party chairman Reince Priebus tweeting, "Trump will be the presumptive nominee. We all need to unite and focus on defeating Hillary Clinton."

Now there's only one other candidate refusing to leave the race.


MURRAY (voice-over): John Kasich's chief strategist tweeting, "Until someone has 1,237 bound delegates, there is no presumptive nominee.

California, here we come."

But Trump is largely ignoring the Ohio governor and now focusing squarely on the general election.

TRUMP: We're going after Hillary Clinton. She will not be a great president. She will not be a good president. She will be a poor


MURRAY (voice-over): Trump solidifying his position at the top just hours after this litany of attacks from Cruz.

CRUZ: This man is a pathological liar. And Donald Trump is a serial philanderer. The man is utterly amoral. Donald is a bully.

MURRAY (voice-over): After a rough-and-tumble day on the trail, Trump adopted a friendlier tone in his victory speech.

TRUMP: I don't know if he likes me or if he doesn't like me but he is one hell of a competitor. He is a tough, smart guy.

MURRAY (voice-over): But if Trump was hoping for an endorsement, he may have a long wait.

CRUZ: I am not suspending our fight for liberty. Our movement will continue.


ASHER: Sara Murray reporting there.

Want to bring in Matea Gold, American political reporter for "The Washington Post"

So, Matea, I think I think Ted Cruz's announcement even caught Donald Trump by surprise. But I think the fact remains that there are still a lot of

people in the GOP who pretty much cannot stomach Trump as the nominee.

What does he have to do to win over reluctant voters, do you think?

MATEA GOLD, "THE WASHINGTON POST": I think the best way to describe this state of the mood right now among Republicans is reeling. Many in the

party are still trying to comprehend how they got to this point and until they can really even accept that and accept Trump as their nominee, there

will be a long road to unification for this party.

We're already seeing major conservatives burning their Republican registration cards, tweeting, "I am with her," which is Hillary Clinton's

motto. So I think while there are plenty of Republicans who are willing to climb aboard the bandwagon, so to speak, he faces a huge challenge in

winning over independents, women and people of color, who he's really estranged with his divisive campaign.

ASHER: And what's interesting is that he's actually talked about winning over independents who are Bernie Sanders' supporters.

Is that realistic?

GOLD: Well, we actually don't see a huge amount of affection for Trump among Sanders' supporters, when you look at the polls. I do think that

both Trump and Sanders have tapped into a similar sentiment in the electorate, which is a deep sense of unease with the establishment, a sense

that the economy is rigged for the wealthy and not for the middle class and the lower class.

So they're definitely appealing to similar strains but I think it will be very unlikely that we will see a wave of Sanders' supporters going to


ASHER: OK, stand by for just a second because of course the Democrats did have an interesting night last night. Bernie Sanders picked up yet another

win in Indiana.

But the question is, will it help him going forward?

I want to listen to our Joe Johns with more on that.



SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VT., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I understand that Secretary Clinton thinks that this campaign is over. I have some bad news

for her.

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Bernie Sanders pulling off a stunning upset victory in Indiana over Democratic

front-runner Hillary Clinton.

SANDERS: We understand -- and I do not deny it for one second -- that we have an uphill battle in front of us. But I think we have a path toward

victory, although it is a narrow path.

JOHNS (voice-over): That path, mathematically impossible without swaying some of Clinton's 513 super delegates to his side.

SANDERS: Super delegates are supporting Clinton in states that we have won landslide victories. I think that's wrong.

JOHNS (voice-over): But Clinton is looking past Indiana.

HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm really focused on moving into the general election. And I think that's

where we have to be, because we're going to have a tough campaign against a candidate who will literally say or do anything.

JOHNS (voice-over): Fundraising on the back of Trump's triumphant night, tweeting "Donald Trump is the presumptive nominee. Chip in now if you

agree we can't let him become president."

As some Democrats criticize Sanders, saying he is impeding the Democratic path to the White House by prolonging the Democratic primary, the senator

making his case to CNN's Dana Bash last night.


DANA BASH, CNN SR. U.S. CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Staying in this race, aren't you effectively making it harder for the Democrats?

SANDERS: Well, you have already conceded the race for me and I don't accept that concession. We are in this race to win.



ASHER: You just heard Sanders there, basically saying that, listen, we are in this race to win.

But the question is, isn't he wounding Hillary Clinton, just a little bit, before November as the frontrunner?

GOLD: This is a huge challenge for her right now. She has to figure out a way not to seem like she has assumed she's already the nominee. She has to

deal respectfully with his supporters and the very sincere and passionate sentiments behind his candidacy but also fight off Trump, who's now going

to be focused all of his energy on her right now.

So it is definitely quite a political box for Clinton. And Sanders has shown incredible resilience and an ability to come back in many of these

primaries when it seems like he's out and at least show that there is continuing support and movement for his candidacy, even if the math is

working against him.

ASHER: All right.

What is he hoping to achieve, though?

What is his long-term goal by staying in the race?

GOLD: That is a question that has been posed to him many times in the last few weeks. There's no doubt that what he's hoping to do is prevail in his

message and sort of transform the platform and the language of the Democratic Party, which he feels has become too aligned with corporate


So he's willing to take that message to the convention, even if it means that he is not going to necessarily have a chance to become the nominee. I

don't think we're going to see him bow out and suspend his campaign the way Ted Cruz did last night. And that could be a real complication for


ASHER: Yes. He's in it for the long haul. Matea Gold, live for there, thank you so much, appreciate that.

GOLD: Sure thing.

ASHER: And for more on the race to the White House, our Jonathan Mann has the candidates covered. Catch "POLITICAL MANN" Saturdays at 7:00 pm London

time. Be sure to watch every week for the rest of the campaign season.

North Korea is getting ready for its first Workers Party Congress in nearly four decades. But there are also fresh concerns about how the reclusive

nation might actually be using the spotlight. CNN's Will Ripley joins me live now from Pyongyang.

Will, there is fear that Pyongyang could actually conduct another nuclear test before or during the event.

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Zain. Yes, that is the speculation, certainly in South Korea and the United States. So we are now just a

couple of days away from the -- really just over a day away from the first Workers Party Congress since 1980.

This is North Korea's most important political event in more than 35 years. It was called by this country's supreme leader, Kim Jong-un, and it will

essentially be an event where he consolidates his power and he reinforces his ideology of developing the country's nuclear program right alongside

its economy.

So you saw this year in January that purported H-bomb test, then the satellite launch in February and just in the last few weeks there have been

four attempted mid-range missile launches; three of them failed, which is why the government in South Korea believes, based on their intelligence and

some of the rhetoric here in Pyongyang, that Kim Jong-un, the supreme leader, could order this nuclear test just before or during this Workers

Party Congress, which begins on Friday.

We spoke with people here and asked them why they work so hard to follow the martial Kim.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are -- Korean people think leader Kim Jong-un is our father, just like our father and just like mother. And so we trust

him, only trust him.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And we do best for the building the thriving country in our country, in the world.


ASHER: We lost Will Ripley, reporting there on the first Workers Party Congress in North Korea in nearly 36 years. They've been gearing up,

preparing for this in Pyongyang, with a speed campaign in terms of publicizing it. Hopefully, we'll get Will Ripley back a little bit later

on this show.

Still ahead, monitoring the Syria cease-fire. We'll hear one of our correspondents embedded with the troops, who are trying to keep the peace.

Plus: roads blocked by fire, gas stations empty and tens of thousands of people are searching for shelter. We'll have the latest on the evacuation

of Alberta, in Alberta, Canada, that's coming up.




ASHER: The U.S. Defense Secretary says the battle against ISIS is far from over, despite the killing of another American service member. CNN's

Christiane Amanpour just sat down with Ashton Carter in Germany for an exclusive interview. Take a listen.


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: I want to first talk about the issue that was brought up in your press conference and that is the death of a Navy

SEAL in Iraq. You were very clear. You said that he was in a firefight. He died in combat.

But what I want to ask you about is the fact that 100 ISIS forces were able to breach the toughest front lines that exist in the fight against ISIS,

which is the Peshmerga.

How worrying is that?

ASH CARTER, U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Well, I mean, his death is tragic and he -- it was a heroic action that he was part of. And obviously, as

Secretary of Defense, the most serious responsibility I have is to put people in a risky situation like that.

But he was operating with one of the toughest forces in the whole Middle East, certainly in the Iraq-Syria theater against ISIL, namely the

Peshmerga from Northern Iraq in the Kurdistan regional government area.

And he was operating with them. And it was a surprise ISIL attack. That suggests something that I think also needs to be a caution to us, in

addition to his loss, which, in addition to being tragic, shows us this is risky -- this is a risky campaign.

There is risk here; Americans are at risk doing it but it's necessary. We need to, we will defeat ISIL. But there's going to be risk associated with



ASHER: And you can watch Christiane's full interview with Ash Carter later on on "AMANPOUR." That's just a few hours from now at 7:00 pm London time.

So the U.S. appears to be digging in for a long fight against ISIS in --


ASHER: -- both Iraq and Syria. I want to turn live now to our Jomana Karadsheh, who's live for us in Amman, Jordan.

So it is going to be a long fight. U.S. service members right now helping Peshmerga squeeze supply lines to Mosul. Just give us a sense of the

success of the mission so far.

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Zain, you would hear from the Peshmerga forces and our teams, who have been in the region; recently they

have been making some slow and steady gains. They have taken over some villages from ISIS in the area; of course, with the long-term goal here,

the vision is to try and liberate Iraq's second largest city, Mosul, a city of about 2 million people that has been under ISIS control since 2014.

But the Peshmerga forces would tell you, like we hear from other Iraqi forces, that they need more support from the U.S., from the coalition.

They ask for more heavy weapons and other kinds of support.

But it does seem that this operation for the liberation of Mosul is going to take some time. We have heard this from the U.S. We've also heard it

from the Iraqis. And if you look at an incident like yesterday's, Zain, this is quite alarming because this was not one separate incident.

According to Peshmerga commanders, there were several other attacks that were launched by ISIS, what sounds like a coordinated major assault on

different Peshmerga front lines in Northern Iraq.

It took some time, a few hours, to push them back, according to the Peshmerga because of the support they got with the U.S. airpower and the

coalition airpower. But it really highlights that ISIS still has that ability, Zain, to launch these kinds of major complex attacks, like this

one, where the U.S. Navy SEAL was killed. That involved multiple suicide car bombs and bulldozers and again, as we heard, it happened in different

locations to yesterday.

So the group still has the ability, despite some of the losses hat we have seen them suffer in Iraq and in Syria, losing some territory in recent

months -- Zain.

ASHER: Jomana, this fight to gradually take back Mosul, this comes amid major political uncertainty and turmoil for Iraq and very difficult times

for Haider al-Abadi.

KARADSHEH: Absolutely. Iraq is facing one of its worst political crises in years, as you saw those scenes out of Baghdad over the weekend, when we

saw protesters, most of them supporters of radical Shia cleric, Muqtada al Sadr, storming the green zone. It was for a day; they occupied parliament

and left after al Sadr called on them to leave.

But the situation there hasn't really been resolved. We might see an escalation that could happen in the coming days; at least that is the tone

we're hearing from the supporters of Muqtada al Sadr and this protest movement we have been seeing.

But the important thing here, Zain, it's not just the politics. Politics and security in Iraq are so closely intertwined, as we have seen

historically. So there's a lot of concern that this could be distracting the Iraqis, for example, from the fight against ISIS, troops that might

have to be pulled back into Baghdad to deal with that protest movement there.

But also a time for ISIS, that we have seen historically, to try and exploit the divisions in Iraq and to try and reignite that sectarian war

that we saw in Iraq between 2005 and 2007 -- Zain.

ASHER: All right. Jomana Karadsheh, live for us there, thank you so much. Appreciate that.

ISIS is not part of a cease-fire agreement in effect in parts of Syria. CNN's Frederik Pleitgen has been in Latakia province, embedded with Russian

forces, who are trying to maintain the calm. He joins us on the phone now from Northern Syria.

So Fred, just describe what you see and where exactly you are in relation to Aleppo.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Zain. I'm in the town of Hama, which is a place -- province here that has seen a

considerable amount of fighting and also the big presence of the group Jabhat al-Nusra, which is the Syrian offshoot of Al Qaeda here.

We're on the road here with Russian forces. They're going to some villages where apparently there are some reconciliation programs going on. Now the

Russians are telling us that, despite the fact that they announced a couple of months ago that they would have a major drawback of a lot of their

forces from Syria, they still do have considerable airpower here in country.

We were at Russia's main airbase here in Latakia earlier today and we saw jet after jet take off; they said they were policing the cease-fire. Of

course, they may have been some bombing runs as well. So certainly the Russians still very much involved in a full-scale military operation here

in Syria.

One of the questions that I posed to the Russians is what can happen next in Aleppo because everybody is so concerned about it. Secretary of State

Kerry has called on the Russians to use their --


PLEITGEN: -- influence with Bashar al-Assad to try and make sure that his aerial campaign is at least curbed somewhat. The Russians, for their part,

say they have no influence over the Syrian air force.

They also said that they believe that the reason why the cease-fire in Aleppo is not holding is because Jabhat al-Nusra keeps shelling

neighborhoods that are held by the government.

But they also say they are in very close talks with the U.S. to try and get some sort of cessation of hostilities in that area as well.

It was interesting to hear the Russians say that, in general, they believe that the cooperation between themselves and the U.S., here on the ground in

Syria and probably more importantly in the skies over Syria, is working better than ever -- Zain.

ASHER: So, Fred, you mentioned that, despite the fact that the Russians are supposed to be withdrawing, there is significant airpower that they

still have there.

Just explain to our audience, what exactly is Russia's end game in Syria?

PLEITGEN: Well, that is actually a very, very good question. And it's certainly one that at this point in time the Russians have been struggling

to answer and haven't really been willing to answer yet.

It seems as though at this point in time they are supporting the cessation of hostility, they say that they're supporting the political process that's

going on with the United Nations. Of course, there have been breaches of cease-fires seems to be unraveling in many places.

So the big question is, do they believe that Bashar al-Assad will be able to take back all of Syria?

Do they believe in some sort of political process that could be the end of the rule of Bashar al-Assad?

I spoke to a very senior Russian official, that actually is in Russia, a couple days ago about this matter and he said that they believe that, for

the time being, from their vantage point, that Bashar al-Assad is still the person who has the strongest military behind him. So he's the one that

they're going to continue to support.

However, they also say that if the Syrian people don't want him there anymore then the Russians would obviously not support him here.

But the big question is, how do you measure the support of the Syrian people?

Impossible to hold elections here at this point in time. But right now it's a very good question for the Russians to explain what their end game

here in Syria might be.

ASHER: So, Fred, is it then fair to say that Syria's political future pretty much depends on the Russians?

PLEITGEN: Well, I'm not sure it totally depends on the Russians but I would say that at least Syria's political future won't ultimately be

decided without the Russians. At this point in time the Russians clearly have the strongest force in the skies over Syria.

They have the strongest -- they are the strongest supporters of Bashar al- Assad on the ground. You also still have the Iranians and of course the Hezbollah as well.

But at this point in time any sort of effort to reach a political agreement, any sort of effort to try and reach some sort of transition

process here in Syria is not going to happen without the Russians, something that they feel, it's something that they also take very, very

seriously when we speak to them.

ASHER: All right. Fred Pleitgen, live for us there in Latakia province, thank you so much, appreciate that.

And a new report suggests that music superstar Prince died just before he was going to meet with a doctor to address an addiction to painkillers.

That's according to a report in the Minneapolis "Star Tribune." Stephanie Elam is live for us in Minnesota.

So, Stephanie, what more do we know?

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Zain, what we're hearing from this report from the Minneapolis "Star Tribune" was that, on April 20th,

representatives from Prince's camp reached out to this California doctor, who specializes in helping people get over addictions to painkillers and

alcohol, to reach out to him to get help for the iconic singer.

The doctor could not clear his schedule for that next day. So he sent his son in his stead to come out here and tell Prince about the treatment

program. He took a red-eye flight, getting here on the morning of the 21st.

What the report says here is that he went inside Paisley Park with two of Prince's representatives. They couldn't find him. And this was about 9:30

in the morning. They then located him in the elevator and it was the doctor's son who was the one who called 9-1-1 to report that they needed to

get emergency personnel here to Paisley Park.

This all coming out today, obviously, but also adding more information behind the fact that Prince was found with these opioid painkillers on his

person and inside of Paisley Park.

We've reached out to the doctor and also the lawyer here in the Minnesota area who is representing the doctors for comment. We have not heard back

from them but we did reach out to a member of Prince's family and at this point they had no comment -- Zain.

ASHER: Stephanie, any word yet on when we might get details from Prince's autopsy?

ELAM: It's still a couple more weeks out. I actually have been in contact with the officials there and they have no update on timeline. But when the

autopsy was first done, they said it would be about four weeks. So we still have a few more weeks before we could finally hear perhaps what was

in his toxicology and also the autopsy report -- Zain.


ASHER: All right. Stephanie Elam, live for us there in Minnesota, appreciate that, thank you so much.

Still ahead at the INTERNATIONAL DESK, Donald Trump is set to become the U.S. Republican presidential nominee.

But can he win over skeptics within his own party?

A Republican leader gives us his opinion. That's next.




ASHER: Welcome to the INTERNATIONAL DESK. I'm Zain Asher. Let's get you caught up on your headlines happening around the world.


ASHER: Trump also called for party unity during his victory speech on Tuesday night. He avoided insulting his rivals and even praised Ted Cruz,

calling him. "one hell of a competitor."

But can Trump win over skeptical members of his own party?

The head of the Republican National Committee thinks that last night's speech was a good start.


REINCE PRIEBUS, CHAIRMAN, RNC: Look, I don't know about all the apologies but I do think that it's time to come together and I think you saw the

beginning of that last night.

I thought that Donald Trump was very gracious. I thought his tone was spot on. I think that is the Donald Trump that people are going to see a lot

more of and I think he was right to compliment Ted Cruz. I think that he was right to call what he did brave and gracious. I agree with that.

And I think you're going to see more of that. You're certainly going to see a lot more of that from me and I think you're going to see a lot of

that from Donald Trump moving forward.


ASHER: The anti-Trump movement is no doubt licking its wounds after Tuesday's results. New data shows that Trump's opponents have aired nearly

-- get this -- 64,000 TV ads critical of him.


ASHER: The price tag for those adverts: more than $75 million. That figure, by the way, does not include ads on cable and (INAUDIBLE)

television, which are a lot harder to track, actually.

Trump, on the other hand, has spent only $19 million on TV ads during his campaign. CNN's chief political correspondent, Dana Bash, joins me live

now from Washington.

So I guess the question is, what happens to the anti-Trump movement now?

DANA BASH, CNN SR. U.S. CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The anti-Trump movement is no more as we know -- as we knew it, obviously, in that they

are not going to keep pushing in a formal way.

The big question is whether or not pro-Trump forces and Trump himself can get any of those who were no way, no how, never Trump, #NeverTrump, on his

side. Some will fall in line. They're going to look in the mirror and let the sort of emotion subside of the last several months and say, do I want

Donald Trump or do I want Hillary Clinton?

And many of them are going to say it's Donald Trump. But some of them won't. And it's -- we've already seen it happening. We've already seen,

you know, kind of on a lower level, not major figures but Republican operatives and opinion makers saying, sorry, still not going to vote for

Donald Trump.

Now they're saying, OK, let's try to make the best of this, even though we didn't want him in the first place.

ASHER: But Dana, is there any possibility -- this might sound crazy -- but is there any possibility that some of the anti-Trump movement could

actually end up perhaps rallying around Kasich?

BASH: It doesn't sound crazy and --

ASHER: That hesitation means no.

BASH: No, no, no. It doesn't sound crazy and they could rally around him and, you know, vote for him in the remaining contests.

But, mathematically, just the way the process of nominating a party nominee on the Republican side, really both sides, works, is we're so far down the

line that it's hard to see the anti-Trump forces turning over that apple cart at this point with somebody who is -- John Kasich is now fourth in a

two-man race when you look at the delegates, meaning he still has fewer delegates than Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, who are no longer in the race.

ASHER: So yesterday, when I was listening to Donald Trump's speech, I was actually quite surprised to hear how he praised Ted Cruz.

Was that a glimpse of the new Donald Trump going forward?

BASH: You know, perhaps. It was like whiplash because it was only, what, you know, a few hours earlier that he was accusing Ted Cruz of having a

father who was involved in the JFK assassination, something he ripped from the "National Enquirer," which is a -- is a tabloid here of the ultimate

degree in the U.S. that does not run things based on fact at all.

So, yes, it likely is. He clearly went out of his way to praise Ted Cruz as a competitor and as a viable one. And he's going to -- he says he's

going to continue to try to unite the Republican Party.

And I think what you just played before bringing me on, from the Republican Party chair, Reince Priebus, is going to go a long way as well, because it

takes two to tango.

Donald Trump can say, I want to unite people. But for the chair of the party to say, OK, come on guys, let's start to do this, that is incredibly

important as well.

ASHER: Certainly interesting times for political reporters like yourself.

BASH: Yes.

ASHER: Best job out there. Dana Bash live for us there, thank you so much. Appreciate that.

OK. We go now to Canada, where a raging wildfire has shifted and taken hold in an Alberta city. We are joined now by CTV news reporter, Bill

Fortier, he's reporting from south of the blaze, where some of the evacuees have now taken shelter.

So, Bill, thank you so much for being with us.

I'm just curious, do you now have a good understanding of the extent of the damage that you're dealing with?

BILL FORTIER, CTV: We are getting a better understanding from multiple sources, of course, people that are coming in here are telling us what

they've seen on the way out. We do have a crew sort of within Fort McMurry right now and were getting updates from officials.

And the update from this morning, it's not good. You know, not yet a worse-case scenario but very close. We do know that there's one entire

residential neighborhood of this city that is 80 percent gone, destroyed by fire. And that's just one.

We have a list of about 12 different areas of the city, 10 to 12 areas, all sustaining some fire damage, some of them minor, but many of them

significant damage. So fire officials don't have an estimate right now in terms of number.


FORTIER: They tell us they're not busy counting right now. They're busy actually still fighting these fires. They're still very active in town and

making sure that people are getting out, that the evacuation is taking place.

We can certainly see from here that it is taking place. So they don't have numbers. But we can certainly say that the damage, when this is all said

and done, will be significant, quite likely among the worst natural disasters in this country's history.

ASHER: Wow. Sobering thoughts there. We know that 80,000 people have been evacuated by force.

Where are all those people going?

FORTIER: Well that's a great question. The geography of this area is interesting because Fort McMurry is a major oil and gas center for the

industry here in Alberta and there's only one highway.

This highway right here, Highway 63, that links Fort McMurry with Edmonton, that's the capital of Alberta and one of the largest cities and a major

western center here in Canada, here in the province of Alberta.

And so this one highway has been packed for at least the last 16 hours, that's how long we've been here, since last night, when we arrived, the

highway packed bumper to bumper and really still is.

And you can see some of these people are coming here. This is one of the few places on the way between where you can get fuel. So there have been

tankers coming in and refilling the gas stations. But the lineups are incredibly long here just to get gas. And of course that keeps almost

running out supplies here in Wandering River also running out.

This is just a tiny hamlet. I'm told by locals that fewer than 100 people live here. So it doesn't look like that when you look at it now but it's

certainly not a town prepared for this kind of influx, really a tidal wave of evacuees.

So we had people sleeping here. I don't know if you can see, there's a tent here. This is not the only tent we've seen. People have been

tenting, people have been sleeping in their cars. People don't really know where to go. So they're just going wherever they can, just getting out of

the city of Fort McMurry.

Others are going to shelters. There are multiple evacuation shelters set up in communities, including the biggest in Edmonton, again, the Alberta

capital. That can hold thousands of people and, you know, that will likely fill up fairly fast.

ASHER: It's sad to think that, when all this is said and done, a lot of people will not have homes to go back to.

Bill Fortier, appreciate you taking the time to be with us. Thank you so much.

Time for a quick break here. Coming up, models are tipping their fedoras to sell high fashion in a Communist country. We'll tell you what Chanel is

doing in Havana -- that's next.




ASHER: Welcome back, everybody.

A guilty verdict in Germany for the head of the anti-immigrant PEGIDA movement. Lutz Bachmann was convicted of publicly inciting hate speeches

on Facebook. He described refugees as "cattle," "filth" and "scum."

Bachmann was fined $11,000 but --


ASHER: -- avoids prison time. The PEGIDA movement opposes Chancellor Angela Merkel's open-door refugee policy.

Turkish citizens are now one step closer to visa-free travel throughout the European Union. The European Commission is recommending that visa

commitments be lifted by June.

That's on the assumption that Turkey will continue to cooperate on a broader agreement with the E.U. That deal includes controversial migrant

resettlement program. The European Commission says that Turkey has made remarkable progress on its end of the deal.

All right. We go now to Cuba, where evidence of deep political change is now right at the surface. Models and millionaires have been striding over

to Havana for a fashion show. Our Patrick Oppmann is joining us live.

So Patrick, you have lived in Havana for many, many years. Rarely do you see this sort of display of wealth in a Communist country.

PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I've never seen anything like we saw last night and I think that was really the idea. No one had ever done

anything like this before. And I think a lot of us wondered if Chanel was going to be able to pull this off to get the access.

Of course, you can't do anything along these lines without Cuban government permission. There's still a lot of red tape. And somehow Chanel, like the

Rolling Stones and others before them, somehow managed to convince the Cuban government that, despite years and years of prohibitions on

conspicuous consumption, signs of wealth, you just have to think, Zain, that one of these purses costs more than a Cuban makes in a year or more.

But Chanel convinced the Cuban government that this is going to once again put Cuba on the map and they really did pull it off last night.

Vin Diesel was there, Gisele Bundchen, members of the Castro family were in the audience, which was somewhat surprising. And, of course, lots and lots

of beautiful clothes -- Zain.

ASHER: Of course. I'm looking at some of the pictures now. And I was actually glued to the screen, looking at what they are wearing.

How much did Karl Lagerfeld incorporate Cuban culture into the actual fashion show?

OPPMANN: Very much. They were very savvy about doing this. Guests were ferried in the old beautiful American cars from the 1950s. They rented up

about all of the convertibles that are still rolling around after all these years to bring in hundreds of guests.

They did this on a beautiful but crumbling boulevard in the center of Havana, a very historic place. And then, in the evening, they built a

night club for one night in Cathedral Square, the oldest cathedral in Havana, one of the oldest cathedrals in Havana and did this amazing show of

Cuban music.

So it's not perhaps the real Cuba but Karl Lagerfeld's Cuba is a beautiful place. And sadly, as of this morning, has disappeared. But I can tell you

there's probably no champagne left in this town, either. There was a lot of celebrating into the very early hours this morning.

ASHER: Oh, I can only imagine. But, Patrick, the Cuban people have been isolated for quite a long time, they're not used to this.

What are their thoughts on this?

OPPMANN: No, they're really not. And it was fascinating to see people surround the fashion show to get a glimpse of Cuban celebrities, of

American celebrities like Vin Diesel.

And I asked people, does this kind of reversal by the Cuban government, years and years you're told you couldn't live like this, that this was bad.

And most people said, it puts us on the map, maybe it helps the economy but we do not feel as isolated as we did. So they were really by and large

accepting of this, even if they didn't get front row seats.

ASHER: All right. Patrick Oppmann, live for us there, thank you so much.

That does it for us here at the INTERNATIONAL DESK. I'm Zain Asher. "WORLD SPORT" with Alex Thomas is up next. You're watching CNN.