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Restoring of Power Wins; Tough Words; Alerting People; Getting Ready for Election. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired April 17, 2017 - 03:00   ET



[03:00:00] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN HOST: ... the THAAD defense system.

Let's bring in Paula Hancocks with more from Seoul. Paula, there are a lot of headlines coming out of that. But the big one, of course, is how much they're relying on China.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Rosemary. There was certainly some sign of heartening responses from China. We heard from Vice President Pence saying after that meeting between President Xi Jinping and President Trump that they were seeing in a positive light what was happening.

But they also then pointed out about China's economic retaliation against South Korea because of this U.S. missile defense system THAAD which is being deployed here in South Korea.

Now it's an economic boycott that China hasn't officially acknowledged but South Korea and the United States have called for them to stop it.

But we did hear from both the acting presidents of South Korea and Vice President Pence that THAAD will be deployed as soon as possible. It's already started to come in over recent months and they said that it would be operational as soon as possible, as it is needed for the defense of South Korea.

Now you did pick up on the most interesting thing, I thought, that Mr. Pence had said. And that was referring to the attack on Syria, the air base in Syria, and also that of course the MOAB, the mother of all bombs that was dropped in Afghanistan.

Now Vice President Pence made a direct from those two to North Korea. There had been lots of speculation as to whether or not that was a message to North Korea. He made that direct link saying that North Korea would do well not to test his resolve. So that's really a very strong statement from Vice President Pence. Rosemary?

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN HOST: It was interesting to hear the vice president point out that the era of strategic patience is over, pointing out, Paula, that strategic patience has been the strategy of past administrations. And also saying that the Trump administration has taken action in other countries, has taken action in Syria, has taken action in Afghanistan, pointing to those actions to show that the United States means business. HANCOCKS: That's right, and this was -- this was certainly the

headline that I took from it. Now he did say once again, yes, strategic patience is over, as the U.S. secretary of state had said here in Korea when he was here just a matter of weeks ago. And he said again, all options are on the table.

We're hearing this more and more from not just Pence but also of the Trump administration officials, saying that obviously the preferred method of sorting out the North Korean crisis is peaceful means.

And we also heard from Pence early where he was up at the DMZ this morning, he talked about negotiations as well. But they specify that all options are on the table.

And when a vice president of the most powerful country in the world makes a connection between a missile attack on Syria, an air base there and a missile attack or bomb attack on Afghanistan, and then -- it's really a veiled warning, a thinly veiled warning to North Korea not to push President Trump too far.

I think that's something that North Korea would have noticed and potentially something that they will have a response to in the next few days.

CHURCH: The message is certainly very clear, isn't it? And then that call from Vice President Mike Pence to regional powers to unite against North Korea as well. Some very powerful messages coming out of just that short statement there.

HANCOCKS: Yes. He did seem fairly optimistic by what China has been doing at this point. And this is what we've heard from other officials, that they believe there may have been some kind of a turning point with China.

We heard from the National Security Adviser as well, H.R. McMaster, in an interview with ABC's this week, saying that many in the region, including China, believe that this has come to a head, that this is necessary to be dealt with now, and not pushed further, you know. Kick the can along the road as many claim strategic patience has been for many years. Certainly the critics say that.

So there is a sense that the United States feels they are getting more from China. They are clear that they need to get more. Pence saying many times that he wants more from the regional powers. And it's important for those powers to be doing more. And clearly he's meaning China in that respect.

But we are seeing a more positive response and reaction towards China than we certainly have seen before that -- before that meeting between Xi Jinping and President Trump.

HOWELL: In these statements from the acting president of South Korea and from Vice President Pence, we know that, you know, Vice President Pence said that the commitment is strong, that it is ironclad.

Let's listen here to just a clip here from what we heard of the vice president on the podium just a moment ago.


[03:05:02] MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: On behalf of the President of the United States, my message to the people of South Korea is this. We are with you 100 percent. Even in these troubled times, we stand with you for a free and secure future.

The United States of America stands shoulder to shoulder with the Republic of Korea and the service of vigilance of some 37,500 U.S. soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines on this frontier of freedom stands as a testament to the enduring partnership between our people.

The alliance between South Korea and the United States is the linchpin of peace and security on the Korean Peninsula, and indeed, throughout the Asian Pacific. The United States I commitment to South Korea is ironclad and immutable.


HOWELL: The vice president there, Mike Pence, standing beside Hwang Kyo-ahn, the acting President of South Korea. Keep in mind he pointed out May 9th, that there will be a change, transition happening in South Korea.

But nonetheless, whoever comes to power, the vice president saying that the relationship between South Koreans and the United States will not change.

HANCOCKS: Well, that's right. It's an interesting time to actually come to a country when you're just a few weeks away from a presidential election. But that really indicates that the U.S. felt that this couldn't wait any longer.

You've had the secretary of state, the defense secretary, now the vice president, coming to a country that effectively has no president. The former president has been impeached and is imprisoned at this point on corruption allegations. And an acting president is going to be out of power within a few weeks.

So it's a very interesting time to come and shows that the U.S. believes that this simply couldn't wait. One thing that the vice president did say was he talked of the most urgent, urgent and dangerous threat to peace whilst talking about North Korea.

And in that sound bite that you just played, it was interesting that he mentioned the number of U.S. military here. Thirty seven five hundred usually on the Korean Peninsula, in South Korea, you have 28,500 U.S. military based here.

He's alluding once again that there is an awful lot more U.S. military here right now. You have the USS Carl Vinson which is off the coast somewhere at this point. We know that attack, that aircraft carrier strike group.

We understand that these military assets have been beefed up. So he's really specifying that there is a lot more of a U.S. Military presence here right now than there usually is.

CHURCH: And Paula, let's just listen again to what the Vice President Mike Pence had to say about strategic patience being a thing of the past. Let's listen.


PENCE: For more than two decades, the United States and our allies have worked to peacefully dismantle North Korea's nuclear program and alleviate the suffering of their people. But at every step of the way, North Korea answered our overtures with willful deception, broken promises, and nuclear and missile tests.

Over the past 18 months, North Korea has conducted two unlawful nuclear tests in an unprecedented number of ballistic missile tests. Even conducting a failed missile launch as I traveled here for this visit. The era of strategic patience is over.


CHURCH: A very clear message there, Paula. A message perhaps not only for North Korea, but also for China.

HANCOCKS: Well, that's right. This is a message that we are hearing time and time again now from the Trump administration. Rex Tillerson, the Secretary of State, gave that exact quote just a matter of weeks ago when he was here in South Korea.

It's a very clear signal that the policy of the Obama administration has changed, that this strategic patience, which did have many critics towards the end, is over. Of course, eight years of strategic patience were among probably not that long, at the beginning they did try to engage with North Korea.

But within that time, North Korea has increased its nuclear and missile program significantly. Especially since Kim Jong-un took power just five years ago. The intensity of the testing of those programs has been unprecedented in North Korea's history.

So certainly many believed -- many experts believed that there needed to be a change of tack. Of course there's only a certain amount of options you have when you're trying to deal with North Korea. But this is really a message that the Trump administration has been trying to hammer home, that there was going to be a change, that something different was going to happen.

We haven't had exact details of what this North Korean policy would be, again saying all options on the table, which coincidentally is exactly what the Trump -- what the Obama administration had said as well.

[03:10:01] But they are trying to give the impression that something is changing and something is moving forward.

CHURCH: All right, our Paula Hancocks with that live report from Seoul in South Korea where it is 4.10 in the afternoon. Many thanks to you.

For more on the tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, we are joined now from Rome by Silvia Borelli, she as reporter for Politico, thank you so much for talking with us. No doubt you had the opportunity to watch that joint statement there with Mike Pence, the Vice President of the United States, and indeed the acting president there in South Korea.

A very firm sense that we are united here, the U.S. saying, we're with you 100 percent. And a clear message to North Korea, and indeed to China - don't test us.

SILVIA BORRELLI, POLITICO REPORTER: Exactly, Rosemary. And Pence did once show once again the U.S. is resolve in this situation with North Korea. He wanted to reiterate that the U.S. is going to back South Korea. And of course there was a subtle message there to China, because of course China here is key.

What we've been seeing in the past few days is also a shift in President Trump's attitude towards China, which in this situation is probably the only way and the only country and the only government that somehow has leeway on North Korea because of North Korea's economic dependence on China.

And so probably a clear shift in the attitude towards China, and at the same time a strong message of the U.S.'s resolve. Although at this stage it really looks like the U.S. is trying to find a diplomatic solution, a political solution, and not trying to escalate the tensions too far as far as the military conflict.

CHURCH: Yes. And I wanted to ask you this, too. Because we all know, the world knows that the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, is unpredictable. But there's the fear too that U.S. President Donald Trump is as well. And this is what worries people.

Because there's this brinksmanship. And for many watching across the globe, they don't know what's going to happen next and they are worried that the U.S. will strike.

BORRELLI: Right, and as you said, both leaders are unpredictable, probably in different ways. On one side, Trump is very vocal. We know he uses Twitter as a way to communicate with the rest of the world very often. On the other side, Kim Jong-un is very quiet. We don't really know what's in his head. But we do know that North Korea wants to have a global recognition of its nuclear power.

Trump has been vocal on wanting to stop this nuclear proliferation. And here in Europe I have heard analysts and I have been hearing comments of people that are actually worried about this sudden shift in U.S. policy. Because of course we've seen in Syria and Afghanistan recently, we've seen early intervention in Yemen which didn't really go down that well.

And so there are people, especially here in Europe, that are quite concerned in, you know, this escalation of the U.S. being very vocal about having to somehow curtail this North Korean problem, but at the same time, we've heard the South Koreans and the Japanese as well backing the U.S. in this effort to, you know, force Pyongyang to stop this nuclear proliferation and somehow back on its nuclear arsenal.

Of course here China is key and the only way to find some sort of political solution to this is by having China on the U.S.'s side and having China collaborate. But at the same time, of course, China also has its own political interests.

So we're going to have to see until what point China is going to want to give in to the U.S.'s request and abandon North Korea altogether, given their long economic ties which I think have been going on since the 1960s.

So it's a quite tangled situation. It doesn't have an easy solution. And so we're going to have to see from here what happens. And hopefully President Trump isn't going to go too far.

CHURCH: There is a lot of nervousness in the region and indeed across the globe. The ball appears to be in China's court right now. Silvia Borrelli, thank you so much for talking with us. We appreciate it.

HOWELL: A great deal happening on the Korean Peninsula. The vice president reassuring allies though that the U.S. is committed to its position there.

This is CNN Newsroom. We'll be right back after the break.


KATE RILEY, CNN WORLD SPORT ANCHOR: Hello, I'm Kate Riley with your CNN World Sport headlines.

To Formula 1, we have a sense of excitement after the first two races of the new season but the action-packed Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday confirmed its excitement once again.

Valtteri Bottas is (Inaudible) Mercedes but he was unable to challenge the better (Inaudible) for the lead as team mate Lewis Hamilton had the better chance of winning but neither could challenge Ferrari's Vettel who won his second race of the campaign.

Now for the first time this season, South Africa didn't make it to the final Rugby 7s. As they are still closing in on the title, though.

In Singapore we got something historic as the USA and Canada went head to head. Canada seeing off New Zealand and England to get to the title match. And then in the final seconds against the USA, Lucas Hammond scoring the game-winning try. Canada win 26-19 and capture their first-ever 7s title.

And whenever Manchester United play Chelsea it's always a big deal, Sunday's game at Old Trafford no exception. It was United who went ahead first. Marcus Rashford on target after 7 minutes. The United's fastest goal of the season.

But controversial, Chelsea's serious about handball in the buildup. The blues were rattled and the deflector strikes from Ander Herrera early in the second half, we give United a 2-nil win. Chelsea's lead at the top is only by 4 points.

And that's a look at all your world sports headlines, I'm Kate Riley.

HOWELL: Turning now our other top story this day, Turkey's president is promising a new era declaring victory in Sunday's historic referendum.

CHURCH: The opposition, however, disputes the ballot count. They claim possible voter fraud.

HOWELL: A lot to cover here. CNN international correspondent Ian Lee is following it all, live in Istanbul, Turkey. Ian, good to have you with us.

Mr. Erdogan wanted victory at a much larger margin, but nonetheless, it is victory. Does the opposition have any recourse given this vote?

IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: George, right now the opposition has 10 days to appeal what they say are the violations they believe took place. They want a recount of 37 percent of the vote from yesterday's referendum. They point to things like the supreme electoral board announcing that ballots didn't need the official stamp on them to be counted.

There are a lot of discrepancies they want looked at. But whatever way you look at it, yesterday's referendum was historic.

Mark this the day that Turkey changed forever. Thousands celebrate a new Constitution. Preliminary results give this man, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, more power.


[03:20:09] RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, TURKISH PRESIDENT (through translator): Regardless of what people voted for, I would like to thank every single member of our nation who attended the ballot box to indicate their choice. Turkey, in respect of supporting its democracy and respecting people's choices, Turkey will be able to overcome all sorts of difficulty, crises and issues.


LEE: A no-vote would have rebuked the strong man who has led the country for over a decade. And that's why millions of Turks, young and old, descended on the ballots to cast their vote in this narrow referendum.

This father of three voted yes, telling me, it's better for my country, the economy, my children's future, that President Erdogan has more power.

Maliha (Ph) agrees saying of course she voted yes. We've benefited greatly by President Erdogan's leadership. If I said no, the bad times would return. But with celebration comes sorrow. The no campaign said they faced intimidation and threats of violence. Independent election monitors say state media and pro-government outlets slanted coverage in favor of yes and that's what had no voters despairing.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Actually I'm sad. I cried all night. It's really sad that we have to do this whole thing again. I mean, in 15 years we've saw that, you know, the radical Islam has come to power and to end of that with dictatorship.

LEE: This father had voted for his daughter's future also, telling me, "It's courageous to talk about this, democracy is important. Multi-party systems, separation of powers, checks and balances, it's valuable. That's why I voted no."

Security concerns also dominated the lead-up to this referendum. A threat of a terror attack loomed large.

Security has been tight at polling stations like this one here in Istanbul. Hundreds of thousands of members of the security forces have been deployed across the country to secure the referendum. Polls closed without a major incident.

But with such a narrow victory, no perceived mandate, and the president previously calling no-voters traitors who side with supporters of terror.

The question now, can Recep Tayyip Erdogan heal the wounds of this deeply divisive and polarizing referendum?

So George, even though the president last night was declaring victory, it really isn't over until those that -- if those votes are recounted that the opposition party, though, getting a bit of a wind in their sails today saying that they are going to fight this.

HOWELL: Ian, let's take a look here at the map that shows who voted yes and who voted no in that country. You see there in the southeast no. But in the central part of the nation yes. The predominant vote, the conclusion of this vote, ended positively for President Erdogan. But help our viewers understand who voted yes and who voted no.

LEE: You know, there's a trend here that we've seen also in the United States and the U.K. where you have a real disparity between those people living in the city and those people living in the countryside, George.

Those people here in Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir, the three largest cities, voted no in this referendum. Then when you look at the heartland of Anatolia, where the president gets a lot of his support because people believe that he speaks to them, he speaks their language, he can relate to them.

And that's why he's been so popular there. And that popularity remained. And as you can see in the map, that's where he really swept the area. But there's also the Kurdish parts down in the southeast where the president also suffered. And that's because the Kurds and the government here have been going

at each other. The government cracking down heavily on them. Kurds complain of discrimination, marginalization. Kurdish politicians have also been arrested since last July's coup attempt.

The Kurds say that they are being repressed. And so, you do have a real, how you could say right now a contentious atmosphere in Turkey in the aftermath of this referendum. Clearly not a strong mandate for the president going forward.

HOWELL: CNN international correspondent Ian Lee following the story live for us in Istanbul. Thank you for the reporting.

CHURCH: Police in Cleveland, Ohio, believe the man responsible for a deadly shooting posted on Facebook may have left the state.

HOWELL: There -- they issued an aggravated murder warrant for the man that you see here, Steve Stephens. They're asking people in various states, in Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana, and Michigan to stay on alert.

CNN's Polo Sandoval has this report for us.

[03:25:01] POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: the City of Cleveland and also much of the U.S. is still in shock and in disbelief after the senseless crime was captured on camera and then eventually uploaded onto Facebook.

Authorities say that Steve Stephens, a man who appears to go on this rant in his car, then sets his sights on an innocent man. Authorities with the latest information on this case.


CALVIN WILLIAMS, CLEVELAND POLICE CHIEF: We want him to turn himself in. If that doesn't happen, then again, we have all of our partners in on this and we'll look until we find him.

Currently, division police is of course the lead on this. But of course our partners from the FBI, our state and county partners, are also working with us diligently to make sure that we get this person off the streets.


SANDOVAL: We're now learning more about the victim in this case. A 74-year-old man who was simply walking on the side of the road. And by all accounts randomly targeted by Stephens according to authorities. His family now reacting to his loss.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's a good guy. He's a -- I mean -- give you the shirt off his back. I mean -- I'm not just saying that for these cameras like people do, knowing that the people really is not right. But I'm telling the truth that this man right here was a good man. (END VIDEO CLIP)

SANDOVAL: Well, CNN spoke to Stephens' mom, a woman by the name of Maggie Green, who tells CNN that the last time she saw her son was on Saturday. He told her it would be the last time that she would see him.

Polo Sandoval, CNN, Atlanta.

CHURCH: We'll take a very short break. But still to come, the standoff with North Korea over its military ambitions has Washington and its allies considering their options. The continuing impact on U.S. foreign policy. We'll take a look at that.

HOWELL: More on Turkey's historic vote. We look at the wider implications for the region with President Erdogan poised to gain more power. Stay with us.


HOWELL: Welcome back to viewers here in the United States and around the world. You're watching CNN Newsroom. And it is good to have you with us. I'm George Howell.

CHURCH: I'm Rosemary Church. Here are some of the other we're following this hour.

Rescue teams are trying to save hundreds of migrants trapped off the Libyan Coast. The Italian coast guard and a relief agency say at least seven people were found dead Sunday, including an 8-year-old boy. Poor weather conditions have impeded the operation.

HOWELL: In northern Iraq, Christians celebrated Easter mass for the first time since 2014. Iraqi forces pushed ISIS militants out of Qaraqosh in October. Many of the Iraqi Christians have fled to the autonomous Kurdish region when ISIS took control.

CHURCH: Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro is ordering the military to control city streets in the wake of protests that left five dead. Violent demonstrations erupted when his government tried to resolve parliament and banned a popular opposition leader from politics earlier this the month. More protests are planned for Wednesday.

HOWELL: Plus, recap the breaking news we're following this hour out of South Korea. The Vice President of the United States, Mike Pence, gave a statement just a short time ago. Also stared into North Korea at the Korean demilitarized zone shortly -- a short time ago as well. He delivered this joint statement with South Korea's acting president.

CHURCH: Both leaders underscored the strength of their alliance a day after a failed missile test by North Korea. Pence praised South Korea for its democracy despite recent political turmoil. Take a listen.


PENCE: I'm here to express the unwavering support of the United States for our long-standing alliance with South Korea. President Trump and I are grateful for your strong partnership with the United States. We commend you personally for your steady hand in this time of transition in South Korea.

The president and our entire administration admire the South Korean people's commitment to the rule of law and the democratic process, and we look forward to the upcoming election with great anticipation.


HOWELL: Based on President Trump's campaign rhetoric, China would seem to be an unlikely diplomatic partner.

CHURCH: But that's changed with the tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

Matt Rivers explains.

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, this latest missile test out of North Korea only serves to strengthen the notion that both China and the United States continue to have a major problem on their hands when it comes to the Kim Jong-un regime.

But over the last several weeks we have seen signs of increasing cooperation between the United States and China when it comes to trying to work together to figure out a solution to this ongoing crisis. And many people will point to the relationship between Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump as the reason why.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: China, which is what been ripping us off, the greatest abuser in the history of this country.


RIVERS: That was candidate Trump. But there's been a stark about-face from President Trump in just the last week on one of his favorite campaign targets, China.

Remember when he said he'd label China a currency manipulator on day one of his presidency? Didn't happen. And now he says they're not manipulating the Renminbi.

And then there's North Korea. Trump consistently blasted China for failing to stop Kim Jong-un's nuclear weapons program. Now this.


TRUMP: We have a very big problem in North Korea, and as I said, I really think that China's going to try very hard and has already started.


RIVERS: So what changed?


TRUMP: I have really gotten to like and respect, as you know, President Xi, is a terrific person, spent a lot of time together in Florida. And he's a very special man.


RIVERS: The new detente appears to have started in the sunny confines of Mar-a-Lago at the crucial first in-person meeting between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping on April 6th. Trump said talking with Xi helped change his mind on China's ability to handle North Korea.

"After listening for 10 minutes I realized it's not so easy," the president told the Wall Street Journal. Trump went on to praise China for banning North Korean coal imports, a move China actually made back in February.


TRUMP: The vast amount of coal that comes out of North Korea going to China, they've turned back the boats.


RIVERS: The apparent ability of Xi Jinping to connect with Donald Trump is unexpected if not remarkable. Given that both men appeared to be polar opposites.

[03:35:03] One is the brash, attention-seeking New York media personality. The other, a scripted, enigmatic leader who has never given a face-to-face interview as president. Someone who steadily rose through China's communist party ranks, consolidating power in a way not seen here since the days of Chairman Mao.

Speeches like this one at the world economic forum in Davos helped give Xi the air of an international statesman. And China's economic prowess has forced many a world leader to pay homage.

Xi's global charm offensive seems to have at least temporarily worked on Donald Trump but there are signs it won't last. Trump's strike against Syria and threats of military action against North Korea have alarmed China.

Xi even called Trump this week asking for a peaceful solution to the crisis. And despite that coal import ban, China's total trade volume with North Korea is actually up nearly 40 percent in 2017, figures sure not to sit well with the Trump administration.

But a nuclear North Korea appears to have bridged the divide for now. Two very different leaders with budding cooperation over a common threat.

But the ability of this newfound cooperation to continue I think largely depends on how the United States under the Trump administration is going to react to North Korea moving forward. I think you can depend on the Chinese to remain consistent in their position as they have for well over 10 years now.

But if the Trump administration decides to launch some sort of military strike, that could put a serious dent in the ability of the United States and the Chinese to continue to cooperate. Back to you.

HOWELL: Matt Rivers, thank you.

Now to Turkey. That nation's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has claimed a narrow victory in Sunday's bitterly fought referendum. It gives him new sweeping powers and opponents have already expressed upset about the results. We've heard Mr. Erdogan, though, is promising a new era. Let's listen.


ERDOGAN (through translator): From tomorrow onwards, instead of losing time with unnecessary disputes and discussions, it will be beneficial to focus on the new era and changes. And I invite everyone to respect our nation's decisions. The other countries, especially those we consider as our allies, should respect our sensitivities, especially in respect of our approach against fighting with terror.


HOWELL: The opposition party CHP says it will contest at least one- third of the ballots because of suspected voter tampering.

Borzou Daragahi joins us now from Istanbul, he is the Middle East correspondent for BuzzFeed news. It's good to have you with us this hour, sir.

Let's talk more about what this means for president Erdogan in the coming years. Essentially more power that he says will bring stability to the nation. What's your feeling on that?

BORZOU DARAGAHI, MIDDLE EAST CORRESPONDENT, BUZZFEED NEWS: Well, I think that it could bring stability to the country, at least some version of stability. But the narrowness of his victory is really not a good sign for stability.

It would have been almost better if he had won much more decisively than the opposition could at least assure themselves that a huge majority of the country agrees with these new changes.

But the narrowness of the victory creates a formula for strife and resentment and real opposition to these changes in the coming months and years.

HOWELL: Essentially you're saying it makes a more divided Turkey, yes?

DARAGAHI: Absolutely. Turkey has already been very, very polarized in recent years. Between supporters of Erdogan and his opponents. And this exacerbates those difficulties, those tensions. And the one former U.S. official I spoke to said that it would likely

increase the possibility of some kind of political violence. Yet another dimension of political violence to a country already fending off a Kurdish insurgency and the threat of ISIS.

Help to put this vote into context for us. Because just over a year ago, there was the failed coup attempt. And then following that, claims that President Erdogan jailed many of his opponents following what happened. Did this help to pave the way to where we are right now?

DARAGAHI: Well, it's tough to say. Erdogan and his justice and development, the AK Party have been pining for these changes for some time. And in many ways some of the proposals, amendments that have been put into place, are rather uncontroversial. They've been floating around for decades, really.

[03:39:52] But the context. As you mentioned, the arrests, the purges after the coup. What they have done is actually tarnished those -- some would call regular, ordinary possible reforms that any country would consider, and sort of put them in a context of this repressive climate, what many criticize as an overly exuberant police state arresting people for various reasons, putting journalists into prison, putting party leaders into prison.

And in a way, what could be rather humdrum changes to the system of governance have been tarnished with these sort of allegations of political repression.

HOWELL: Finally, help our viewers to understand who are the voters? Who are the people who chose yes on this referendum? And contrast them to the people who chose no. What are the differences?

DARAGAHI: Well, I mean, in general, because of the way that this referendum was presented, it was highly divided between supporters and opponents of Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his AK Party. He and the party made it a sort of referendum on them and their rule in recent times.

But if you look at the demographics of how people voted, in general, Kurds, secular, liberals, and those living in the cities, including cities that Erdogan has won in the past, were against these proposals.

And people in the Turkish heartland, the newly elevated middle class, many of them rather pious, Muslims who were kind of set aside and marginalized for many decades in Turkey, they're the ones who supported the proposals.

HOWELL: It is good context to understand how this vote went. We appreciate your insight today live from Istanbul, Turkey. Thank you so much.

Still ahead on CNN Newsroom, the French presidential candidates they are focusing on the little time left before the vote. The concerns are growing over hacking and what Russia could be up to this time.

CHURCH: Plus, it has been almost 20 years since Princess Diana's death. Now her son is opening up about the loss. We will hear what Prince Harry says about the tragedy.


CHURCH: Prince Harry is giving a personal look at how he dealt with his mother's death. He was just 12 years old when Princess Diana died in a car crash.

HOWELL: In a candid interview with the U.K.'s Telegraph, Harry explained how he first ignored the situation for a while before he sought professional help.


PRINCE HARRY, PRINCESS DIANA'S SON: My way of dealing with it was sticking my head in the sand, refusing to ever think about my mom. Because why would that help? It's only going to make you sad, it's not going to bring her back.

So, it's an emotional side of I was like, don't let your emotions be part of anything.

So I was a typical sort of 20, 25, 28-year-old running around going, you know, life is great, life is fine.


HARRY: And that was exactly it. And then I started the conversation, and actually all of a sudden, all of this grief that I'd never processed started to come to the forefront. And I was like, there's actually a lot of stuff here I need to deal with.


HOWELL: Harry is encouraging people to seek mental health treatment and to be more open about their struggles.

CHURCH: France is only days away from deciding its political future. Ahead of the vote, many are concerned about Russia meddling with the election and the spread of fake news disinformation.

Our Melissa Bell takes a closer look at that.

MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The choice facing French voters is stark. Eleven candidates with radically different visions of what the future should be.

Of them the two front-runners have almost diametrically opposed proposals. On one hand, a stronger relationship with Europe and a tough approach to Russia. On the other, a referendum on leaving the E.U. and a closer relationship with Moscow.

It's (Inaudible) that Marine Le Pen has already started working on with a visit to Moscow. Vladimir Putin took the opportunity to state Russia's position.


want to influence events in any way.


BELL: But inside Emmanuel Macron headquarters the fear is that Moscow has been trying to help Marine Le Pen. His campaign manager says they are being targeted by both cyber-attacks and fake news.


RICHARD FERRAND, SECRETARY-GENERAL OF EN MARCHE (through translator): Emmanuel Macron wants a strong European Union. And we know that the strategy of those countries that don't want a strong Europe means making him lose the election.


BELL: So is Russia interfering in France's presidential campaign as it is alleged to have done in the American poll? France's internet watchdog has warned of the danger of cyber interference. We asked an expert on French cyber security whether he thought Russia was involved.


FABRICE EPELBOIN, CO-FOUNDER, YOGOSHA: Yes, probably. Just like the United States has been interfering in many, many presidential elections around the world for the past, I don't know, 50 years at least.

Just like France has been interfering in almost every African presidential election since, well, the last 60, 70 years. It's the way democracy works around the world.


BELL: The trouble, says Fabrice, is that it is impossible, given the sophistication of the technology, to determine where a particular hack originated.

CNN reached out to the Kremlin to get their response. A spokesman said, we strongly disagree with these accusations, they are groundless, Moscow was not involved in any cyber-attacks and can't be involved. So what about fake news?

At the French daily Le Monde a special unit was set up in which 12 journalists worked to identify and debunk fake news.

Adrien Senecat tells us the French presidential campaign has seen partisan news from Russian media but not fake news, that his news stories that are entirely made up. They have tended, he says, to come from inside France.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ADRIEN SENECAT, JOURNALIST, LE MONDE: Stories the last couple of months under French internet where mostly being made up by far right web sites or far right partisans or far right Facebook pages. Mostly targeted migrants are media of Emmanuel Macron.


BELL: For those inside Emmanuel Macron headquarters, fake news stories targeting their candidate are although more worrying because of the nature of his electorate. It is untested because he has never stood before and the polls suggest much more volatile than Marine Le Pen.

In short, he has many more people to convince, and the fear here is that some may be all too easily put off.

Melissa Bell, CNN, in Paris.

CHURCH: And we'll take a very short break. But still to come, United Airlines is trying to end its PR nightmare.

HOWELL: The company is making changes after a man was dragged off the flight, but a lawsuit? That might be coming next. You're watching CNN Newsroom.


PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri for CNN Weather Watch.

Very interesting setup here on water vapor satellite imagery. You see a classic storm system coming in across northern California. You see that spin in the atmosphere and then you see the convective variety building in across parts of western Texas as storms blossom into the afternoon hours.

And that's the concern really stretching for much of the Southern United States if you're flying out of Dallas into places such as New Orleans, eventually into Atlanta. Some of these storms could make it a rocky go across this region.

But again, very much scattered in nature. While back out towards the west it is very persistent rainfall coming down in that region.

So here's the area we're watching carefully as you exit parts of Oklahoma there for some heavy rainfall, especially as you work your way into parts of the Midwest and into the Ohio Valley, and even the Tennessee Valley there, some heavy rains expected over the next 36 hours.

But there is that western U.S. storm. Here comes round one. There is another one knocking on its doorstep back behind that. So the active pattern for California certainly not over yet. May wish it was over in parts of southern California.

But you notice still getting some decent snowfall, at least upwards of another foot or so possible across the higher elevations of the Sierra the next couple of days.

San Francisco, a few showers. Winnipeg looking at cloudy conditions and 7. Chicago, a pair of 2's. Mostly sunny skies there with comfortable temperatures in place. You notice here in Caracas, Cartagena, Managua, all coming in at around 35 degrees.

HOWELL: Welcome back. United Airlines says it will now require crew members to book their flights at least an hour before departure.

CHURCH: Yes. The new policy comes after last week's video which showed a passenger being violently dragged off a United plane.

Rene Marsh has the latest now on that passenger.

RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Attorneys for David Dao, the man dragged off of a full United express flight, fired a warning shot saying they will probably sue.


THOMAS DEMETRIO, LAWYER: If you're going to eject a passenger, under no circumstances can it be done with unreasonable force or violence.


MARSH: Dao was released from the hospital but suffers a long list of injuries, including a concussion, broken nose, injured sinuses. He lost two front teeth and he's set to undergo reconstructive surgery. After the incident, Dao appeared days as he rambled just kill me.




MARSH: His attorney explained.


[03:54:54] DEMETRIO: He said that he left Vietnam in 1975 when Saigon fell. And he was on a boat. And he said he was terrified. He said that being dragged down the aisle was more horrifying and harrowing than what he experienced in leaving Vietnam.


MARSH: Dao's daughter said watching the video made her family even more outraged.


CRYSTAL DAO PEPPER, DAVID DAO'S DAUGHTER: What happened to my dad should have never happened to any human being, regardless of the circumstance. We were horrified.


MARSH: The attorney also blamed the city of Chicago and its officers. While a lawsuit has not been filed yet, they've signaled it's the direction they're going in, asking a court to order the airline and Chicago airport police to preserve evidence, including surveillance video of passengers boarding the flight, the cockpit voice recordings, and personnel files.


JUSTIN GREEN, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: This happened in the absolute worse city, Chicago, it's famous for being a very good place to sue a corporation and it's the last place on earth that United Airlines would want to defend the case.


MARSH: Well, CNN has obtained an e-mail the airline sent to passengers offering reimbursement for the flight. It says, "Customers are eligible for vouchers towards future flights if they release the airline from lawsuits."

Well, after CNN reported this, a United spokesperson later told us that it didn't mean to send passengers e-mails with that language and then told us that no person on board that flight would have to agree to such terms.

Rene Marsh, CNN, Washington.

HOWELL: Rene, thank you. And thank you for being with us. Early Start is next for viewers here in the United States.

CHURCH: And for everyone else, stay tuned for more news with (AUDIO GAP) in London.

Have a great day.