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All Eyes to Winter Olympics and Kim Yo-jong; Plane Crash Took 71 Souls; John Kelly's Allies in Full Defense Mode; Harvey Weinstein Faces Another Lawsuit; Charity Taking Advantage of Earthquake Victims. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired February 12, 2018 - 03:00   ET



[03:00:00] GEORGE HOWELL, HOST, CNN: Diplomacy was on stage at the Winter Olympics. A breakthrough between North and South Korea. But here is the question. Where does that leave the United States?

ROSEMARY CHURCH, HOST, CNN: No survivors. A Russian plane crashes near Moscow with 71 people onboard. Investigators hope the plane's voice and data recorders will explain what happened. We are live at the scene.

HOWELL: More revelations. We're learning new details about the highly anticipated wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. And surely the world will be watching.

CHURCH: Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us here in the United States and of course all around the world, we are live in Atlanta. I'm Rosemary Church.

HOWELL: And I'm George Howell from CNN world headquarters. Newsroom starts right now.

Kim Yo-jong's trip to South Korea may be over but Kim Jong-un's sister may have started a new era in diplomacy.

CHURCH: Her three-day charm offensive captured the attention of the world's media during the start to the Olympics but also earns some criticism. It included an invitation to South Korea's president to visit Pyongyang. Now if he accepts that invitation it would seemingly re-open an important high-level diplomatic channel.

HOWELL: O his way back from the games, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence told The Washington Post's John Rogan -- Josh Rogan, rather, it's all part of the plan to put pressure on Kim Jong-un while engaging him at the same time.

Here's the quote.

"The point is no pressure comes off until they are actually doing something that the alliance believes represents a meaningful step toward the denuclearization. So, the maximum pressure campaign is going to continue and intensity. But if you want to talk, we'll talk. Let's bring in CNN's Paula Hancocks following the story live in

Pyeongchang, South Korea. Paula, this development, the U.S. vice president saying the U.S. is open to preliminary dialogue with the North. How significant is this opening given this invitation from the North to engage with its neighbor to the south?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, George, we just heard from the South Korean government as well, the unification ministry saying in a statement that it's consistent. The fact that North Korea and South Korea it's their talking than the U.S. and North Korea could follow. They have said that that's been their consistent stance.

The Trump administration have said that if North Korea does change its tune in some way, then they are open to engagement. Now you've seen in the past few days North Korea has changed its tune. There is no doubt about it this is a real charm offensive by the North Korean delegation that we've seen that are now back in Pyongyang.

And so far we're also hearing from the South Koreans that the U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has also said in the past, that the U.S. could talk to North Korea even before they start discussing denuclearization. So not necessarily a radical change but certainly quite difference to what we saw from and heard from U.S. Vice President Mike Pence when he was here in Pyeongchang and in Seoul.

But I just talked to the Gangwon governor who was talking about those meetings, with the North and South Koreans saying that the mood was soft, that they were warm. That they were like brothers and sisters. Also saying that the sister, Kim Yo-jong was she was very accurate in what she was saying.

She didn't say much but when she did, it was clear she was speaking for her brother.


HANCOCKS: Kim Yo-jong's every move is being filmed, analyzed, judged. Three days that the world's media running after the sister of North Korean Kim Jong-un. And still, we know very little about the woman who has stolen the headlines at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

Believed to be around 30 years, she studied in Switzerland like her brother and is the youngest of seven siblings according to experts who followed the family closely. What is clear is she has her brother's absolute trust. The first member of the Kim family to venture south since the Korean War in 1950s.

Also clear, she was the one in charge on this trip, as shown when 90- year-old Kimg Yong-nam, senior by title and age tried to give up the prominent seat to her when they first arrived.

Kang Myung-do was the son-in-law of a former prime minister in North Korea, he defected in 1994 but he is known to have contacts with some of the elite inside the country.

As Kim Yo-jong is the only family member around him, he says, it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that Kim jong-un rules the country a through z through her. That's why many North Korean officials see as having a similar status to the North Korea leader.

Kang said anyone who wants to meet Kim Jong-un, has to go through his sister. Promoted last year to the politburo the senior body of North Korea's communist party, Kim Yo-jong manages his public events often seen close to his side.

[03:04:59] So What does the South Koreans think of the first sister? This man says, "I hardly know anything about her, except that she has direct authority on the man at the top."

"She is the first to come here from the Kim blood line," this woman says, and "she came instead of Kim Jong-un. I think things will improve now."

Not everyone agrees. Some South Koreans are furious that the relative of a man they see as the enemy has been welcomed into their country.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's not coming. She is the dictator's sister. I'm sure she's like Kim Jong-un. She's not looking at North Korea's people.


HANCOCKS: Some reports even suggest that Kim Yo-jong ran the country in 2014 when Kim Jong-un was ill due to diabetes. And Kang says that he can't rule out the possibility that if something happens to the North Korean leader that his sister would take power quickly.

HOWELL: Paula, your piece touched on this. But to press further the mix of opinion, what is the prevailing perception among people in South Korea seeing their president so closely engaging with North Korean delegates -- delegation there during this Olympic Games. Is there a trust gap? Is there a sense of optimism, which is more prevalent?

HANCOCKS: There's definitely, George, some anger about the sister of a leader that many perceive as a leader of an enemy country to actually be here. This is the conservative view, the more right-wing view feeling that there should be any engagement with North Korea.

There was also the other view, though, that certainly where we are now, having these discussions, no matter where they end up is certainly preferable to where we were. Just a few months ago when there was talk of a second Korean War. The South Korean president, Moon Jae-in had to publicly give reasons why there shouldn't be a second Korean War.

So, we have certainly gone a long way since then. But it's difficult to get an exact feeling of what the prevailing sentiment is at this point. Some support the fact that there may be peace talks. But at the same time they don't like the fact their athletes weren't able to walk out under their own flag at an Olympics that was held in South Korea.

So it's a very complicated matter. There are certainly a case to be made for this frustration that the South Korean flag was not flown at the opening of the South Korean Olympics.

HOWELL: All right. A delicate issue for many people there. Paula Hancocks, thank you for the reporting. We'll stay in touch with you.

CHURCH: New developments in the investigation of a deadly plane crash in Russia. Investigators have now recovered both the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder. They hope this will help them determine what caused the crash.

A surveillance camera captured the moment the jet came down, killing all 71 people onboard. You can see that big explosion in the distance there.

HOWELL: The plane had taken off from Moscow, for the city of Orsk, that's when it disappeared from radar. Investigators say the debris from the crash that it scattered over a radius for about one kilometer, that's about half a mile.

CHURCH: Now CNN's Frederik Pleitgen joins us now live from the crash site near Moscow. So Fred, both black boxes have now been recovered, so how much closer are Russian authorities to figuring out the cause of the plane crash and of course, how long will it take them to retrieve the critical information from these black boxes?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Yes, Rosemary, I think -- I think the fact that that they've now also found the cockpit voice recorder certainly is a big step for the investigating authorities who really moved in here in force over the course of last night as we were here at this very scene reporting on this incident.

Now the authorities have come out and they have said that because of voice recorder is in what they call satisfactory condition, which means that they will be able to get information from it. And of course keeping those two things together the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder is really something that should bring them a lot closer to determining what exactly happen to this plan.

And of course the flight data recorder will monitor a lot of the parameters of the plane and what sort of configuration the flaps were in and what kind of condition the plane was in. And whether or not there were some sort of major electronic of mechanical failure. With the cockpit voice recorder will then tell them whether or not the pilots signaled some sort of mayday or were talking to each other about the fact that there was some sort of failure on the plane.

Now, another major thing that the authorities that we have as this emerge that this plane had crashed is whether or not the plane had for whatever reasons disintegrated in mi-air or whether it crash while it still intact.

So that is something that could be a clue as to what happened, but again, the investigation still in a very early stages and could the authorities a while to get all that data off those two recorders and then hopefully know about what actually went wrong with this flight that crashed so soon after it took, Rosemary. [03:10:06] CHURCH: Chilling to think about what the people went

through those on board just in these last few seconds.

Our Frederik Pleitgen live there at the crash site near Moscow, we thank you so much.

HOWELL: And certainly condolences to the family members who has learned such terrible news.

In the Middle East, a story we're following. The shooting may have died. But the rhetoric it keeps coming in a standoff between Israel, Iran, and Syria. So this was the scene. Take a look. Near the Golan Heights on Sunday, this after Israel launched air strikes into Syria.

CHURCH: Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says it dealt sever blows to Iranian and Syrian forces. This after Syria shot down an Israeli war plane and an Iranian drone reportedly breached Israeli air space.

HOWELL: CNN international correspondent Ian Lee following the story live in the Golan Heights. Ian, given the simmering tensions we've seen in the past few days, where do things stand right now? And given the responses we've heard where might things go?

IAN LEE, INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, the latest development, George, is about this drone that Israel shot down. They say it's a copy of an American drone the RQ-170 Sentinel. This is a stealth drone that the United States operates.

In 2011, the CIA lost one of these drones over Iran. Iran said they were able to capture it and reverse engineer it in 2014. And that's the drone that Israel shot down. Although it didn't seem to have the stealth capabilities as Israel says they were able to track it.

Now here on the Golan Heights, you have the close proximity to the war. And while this the tensions for now seem to have died down, this region is known for its upticks in violence.


LEE: Military hardware litters the Golan Heights. Deadly reminders of Israel's last two wars with Syria. In 1967 it was captured by Israeli forces. Ever since, the international community has regarded this high plateau between Syria, Israel and Lebanon, as serial-occupied territory.

War erupted again in 1973. Thousands of Syrians and hundreds of Israelis died amid the barbed wire. This area has always held strategic importance. In ancient times it was crossroads of the (Inaudible) from the Mediterranean and the Kings Highway from the Red Sea both going to Damascus.

Nowadays those roads are gone. But it still holds the importance with Lebanon visible to my right and Syria to my left. These days, it's the cameras doing the shooting here. The nature of the history and the proximity to danger draws thousands of tourists.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And where you the trees in the far distance there, these trees there, they are in Syria.

LEE: The U.N. monitors tasks to keep the peace have also become part of the attraction.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: California, all right. How are you?

LEE: A jolt from the past struck the Golan last Saturday. Israel and Syria engage in their most significant classes in decades. Syrian air defenses brought down an Israel jet fighter on a retaliation mission after an Iranian drone launch from Syria was shot down over Israel. But even that couldn't dissuade tourists.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I feel safe. I think the Israeli army is going to take care of us here. I live in Israel, I mean, Jerusalem now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's not what I expected. I'm glad we have U.N. people here. And it seems very safe, so.

LEE: A sense of security Israel hopes remains. A day later, and tensions seem to have eased. No one here perhaps desperate for a fight. But all are aware of the possible dangers if the ghosts of the past catch up to the present.


LEE: And George, I want to give you a bit of an idea of how can surreal the Golan can be at times. You know, on a daily basis since we've been up here been hearing gunfire from the civil war in Syria. But let me just show you around where I am.

Behind me, I actually have a mine field. You can see the warning signs there telling people not to enter. But just next to it, there's also a vineyard and further behind me is an apple orchard. You know, this is a region that's also known as one of Israel's largest producing wine regions. And you get a lot of tourists up here for that, as well.

But meanwhile, you have those tensions here, George.

HOWELL: CNN correspondent Ian Lee showing us a touch of the past there and giving us a sense of where things stand presently. Ian, thank you for the reporting. We'll stay in touch, of course.

[03:15:02] CHURCH: And we'll take a short break. But still to come, the White House on the defensive. How President Trump is fielding criticisms about his response to abuse allegations against a now former staffer.

HOWELL: The state of New York is suing Harvey Weinstein and his company and a lawsuit could undermine a deal to sell his former film studio. Stick around.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) HOWELL: All eyes will be on the markets for sure this week. The Asia-

Pacific markets opened the new trading week mixed after last week's extreme volatility.

CHURCH: Let's look at those numbers. Japan's Nikkei was closed for a holiday. And you can see, the Hang Seng is down now. Last hour it was at the Shanghai composite up after three-quarters of a point, and nearly a point stronger in Seoul. In Australia, it's down a third of a percent

The European markets all in positive territory, adding more than 1 percent for the most part. And investors will be keeping a close eye on several key economic reports in the U.S. and for signs of accelerating inflation.

[03:20:05] HOWELL: We'll see how things go in the U.S. this week for sure.


CHURCH: We'll be watching.

HOWELL: The White House is struggling to contain the fallout over the handling of a scandal involving Rob Porter. Now Rob Porter is the White House staff secretary who resigned last week over domestic violence allegations.

CHURCH: Mr. Trump's aides showed up in force on the Sunday television talk shows to defend General John Kelly, Mr. Trump's chief of staff for keeping Porter employed despite allegedly knowing about some of the abuse allegations for months.

More from Ryan Nobles.

RYAN NOBLES, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Sunday was a day for spin at the White House, as a myriad of White House advisers went to the Sunday talk shows attempting to explain away how the White House handled those domestic abuse allegations against two prominent White House staffers.

Those staffers Rob Porter and David Sorensen are no longer on the job, but it was not until press reports emerged specifically against Porter that demonstrated the accusations against him.

On the Sunday talk shows, a lot of that went back to the role that chief of staff John Kelly played in this entire discussion. And there are some questioning whether or not Kelly's response was enough and that perhaps he could out of his job.

But Kellyanne Conway, a senior adviser to the president said that at this point, Kelly is going nowhere.


KELLYANNE CONWAY, WHITE HOUSE SENIOR ADVISER: I spoke to the president last night and I told I would be with you today. And he said, please tell Jake I have full faith in Chief of Staff John Kelly, and that I'm not actively searching for replacement. He said I saw that all over the news today. I have faith in him.

MARC SHORT, WHITE HOUSE DIRECTOR OF LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: I think there is probably some in the process some lack of communication between different elements in the White House.

I don't know, to be honest. I don't know who knew what when at this point.

MICK MULVANEY, DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET: And I think all the stories about replacing General Kelly are mostly being fed by people who are unhappy that they've lost access to the president under General Kelly's leadership as chief of staff. So, no.

I'm generally pleased with the job the chief has been doing. Everybody in the West Wing is. The president is, as well. I think talk about the chief's departure is much ado about nothing.


NOBLES: And part of the reason that Kelly appears to be on the hot seat is because of how he handled this situation and the inconsistencies in his story. Now Kelly has said repeatedly that when he learned the full extent of the accusations against Rob Porter, he swiftly moved him to remove him from his job.

Now we are learning that as early as this past fall, Kelly was made aware of the concerns and specifically that Rob Porter was accused of violence against his two ex-wives and at that point decided to do nothing about it.

Now Kelly has said repeatedly that he confronted Porter about these accusations and Porter flatly denied them. Although our reporting tells us that even though Kelly is trying to paint a new picture as to exactly what happened in the White House, there are many people even within the administration that are questioning the validity of that point of view.

Ryan Nobles, CNN at the White House.

HOWELL: The State of New York is suing Harvey Weinstein, and his former film studio, complicating a deal to sell the Weinstein company. The suit claims the company did not protect its employees from sexual harassment and from discrimination by Weinstein. And for any sale to go through, victims must be compensated.

CHURCH: Weinstein's attorney says many of the allegations don't have merit. More than 60 women have accused Weinstein of sexual harassment or abuse including rape.

HOWELL: Now to a story we're following. The British government could stop giving money to the aid agency Oxfam after a sex scandal in Haiti. Government officials will meet on Monday with representatives from the charity group. CHURCH: Oxfam denies covering up allegations that some of its senior

employees paid for sex in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. An investigation by the Times newspaper in London alleges children may have been sexually abused. Oxfam says the allegations involving minors have not been proven.

HOWELL: CNN international correspondent Erin McLaughlin has been on top of this story, live this hour from an Oxfam store in London. Good to have you with us, Erin. What is the government reaction to all of this?

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, George, Oxfam is an organization that relies on the goodwill of the public. It relies on public donations, it relies on people shopping at charity shops like the one you see behind me.

It also relies on government funding. Every year, Oxfam receives some 32 million pounds or $42 million from the government. And now we're learning that funding may be in jeopardy. Oxfam representatives are going to be meeting with the Secretary for International Development, Penny Mordaunt here in London. Today, she gave an interview to the BBC yesterday. Take a listen to what she had to say.


PENNY MORDAUNT, SECRETARY OF STATE FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE UNITED KINGDOM: I'm very clear. It doesn't matter whether you got a whistle-blowing hotline. It doesn't matter if you got good safeguarding practices in place.

If the moral leadership at the top of the organization isn't there, then we cannot have you as a partner.

[03:24:59] I would also note, that there are enormous numbers of people who are doing good work and they're good people working for Oxfam. And they have been betrayed in this, as well.


MCLAUGHLIN: We've also heard from Oxfam executives, assuring people that they have put measures in place since 2011 to make sure that kind of behavior does not happen again. And the Oxfam chair saying that she is looking into it putting into place even more measures. Saying that, in light of the investigation from the London Times more Oxfam employees have come forward.

She issued a statement that reads in part, "As a result -- as a direct result of the stories in the Times, staff members come forward with concerns about how staff were recruited and vetted in this case. We will examine these in more detail to ensure we further strengthen to improve safeguarding, recruitment, vetting and staff management procedures that were put into place after 2011. George.

HOWELL: All right. Erin, the context, the background here, certainly important. Explain to our viewers why this is coming to light right now. MCLAUGHLIN: Yes. This is part of the issue that British authorities,

government authorities, authorities in Haiti have with this story. It's the fact that they're learning about what happened on the ground in Haiti 2010, 2011, in the wake of that horrific earthquake.

They're learning about it from the London Times, which had an exclusive investigative report access to an internal document from Oxfam, the product of an investigation into the misconduct of seven employees, including the country director for Haiti at the time.

That internal Oxfam investigation found that these employees hired prostitutes, and hired prostitutes for sex inside the villas provided by Oxfam. The investigation was not able to rule out the possibility that some of those prostitutes were in fact underage females.

After that investigation, in the wake of that investigation, the seven employees were either dismissed or their resignations accepted. But authorities in Haiti were not notified of the details of the investigation, the trustees of British government official were also not notified of the details of that investigation. And that really is a serious problem.

You heard there from Penny Mordaunt, the international development secretary, saying that there needs to be moral leadership at the top of Oxfam to make sure this kind of thing never happens again.

HOWELL: And with regards to minors, Oxfam saying that that was never proven. But certainly the context of this report, Erin, giving a lot of people pause to say the least.

Erin McLaughlin, live for us.

CHURCH: All right. We'll take a very short break here. But still to come, high winds are shortening or postponing Olympic events.

HOWELL: CNN is live in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Just ahead. Stay with us.


ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN NEWSROOM HOST: A very warm welcome back to our viewers here in the United States and of course all around the world. You're watching "CNN Newsroom." I'm Rosemary Church.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN NEWSROOM HOST: And I'm George Howell with the headlines we're following for you this hour. The U.S. vice president, Mike Pence, tells The Washing Post the United States is willing to talk with North Korea, but that doesn't mean the U.S. will ease pressure on Pyongyang. This comes after Kim Jong-un's sister attended the Winter Olympics in South Korea and invited the president of South Korea to Pyongyang.

CHURCH: The cockpit voice reporter has now been recovered from the side of a deadly plane crash near Moscow. The flight data recorder was recovered earlier. Investigators hope the devices will help them determine what caused the plane to go down shortly after takeoff on Sunday. All 71 people on board were killed. Authorities have not said if weather was a factor, but there has been heavy snowfall in the area.

HOWELL: A deal to sell the Weinstein company, well, that's now in doubt. This after the state of New York filed a lawsuit against Weinstein and his former film studio. The suit claims the company did not protect its employees from sexual harassment and discrimination by Weinstein. His attorney says many of the allegations are without merit. More than 60 women have accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment or abuse including rape.

Parts of Northern Puerto Rico are experiencing a blackout. This after an explosion sparked a fire at a power substation. The island's power authority says it was caused by a mechanical failure. It's unclear how many people are without power across the affected areas. Puerto Rico has been struggling to recover its electrical system since Hurricane Maria knocked most of it out last September.

HOWELL: Day three of the Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. It's underway and the stiff wind is not letting up. CNN "World Sport" Amanda Davies joins me now from Pyeongchang, South Korea. So Amanda, what's been happening at the Winter Olympics and what impacts are those strong winds and cold temperatures having on the game?

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN SPORTS PRESENTER: Yes, Rosemary, I can confirm the strong wind is making it very, very cold. I have ran out here to speak to you and I forgot my gloves and honestly within the first five minutes, my hands are absolutely freezing.

But the anemometers are doing overtime at the moment. We knew that the wind was scheduled to pick up. The gusts around our studio have been approaching about 40 kilometers an hour down here. But that down here is up to about 75 kilometers an hour up at the alpine center.

And for the second time in two days, the ski racing events have been canceled. It was the men's downhill yesterday, but (INAUDIBLE) women's giant slalom (INAUDIBLE) today. So that means a highly anticipated start to Mikaela Shiffrin's Olympic campaign has been delayed.

The 22-year-old American we've been talking so much about in the runoff to this game, she's expected very much to be one of the stars, and she was scheduled to compete in the first of her five events. She seemed quite relaxed. She described the delay as a bummer, but says she is feeling good and is going to continue training towards race day.

The women's snowboard slopestyle has gone ahead, but that left some commentators asking pretty big questions of the organizers after the majority of riders

[03:35:00] suffered some falls. Qualifying was canceled on Sunday, yesterday, so today it went straight to the final shootout, but only five of 25 riders made it to the end of that first run without a fall.

In the end, it was the defending champion from the United States, Jamie Anderson, who took gold. She was absolutely a mile ahead of the rest but wasn't unaffected by the wind. Her winning score really significantly lower than the 95.25 which took her goal in Sochi four years ago.

The Canadian figure skaters, though, were pretty unaffected by the weather inside at the ice rink. We knew they had a good line up heading into these games. And they proved it with some room to spare. They threw off competition from the Olympic athletes from Russia to take victory in the team events that is there. First gold of the games. Back to you, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Wow, some tough weather to contend with there. You need to get your gloves. Amanda Davies joining us from Pyeongchang in South Korea, many thanks to you. Stay warm.

HOWELL: All right, let's talk about exactly how cold it is there. Let's bring in our meteorologist Ivan Cabrera with more on that. Ivan, we just saw a moment ago Amanda saying it is very cold. How much colder will it get?

IVAN CABRERA, CNN METEOROLOGIST AND WEATHER ANCHOR: Yes. Good to see you, guys. The concern so much really not the cold, right? I mean, you can (INAUDIBLE) spectators can do as well. You kept the gloves on and it's great. It's been the wind that has been the issue and that continues to be the case.

Not only it has suspended, it canceled some events. But then you have to think the athletes have to then compete back to back and that you can imagine, that can impact scores as well. Take a look at some of the scenes there.

Whipping winds as she mentioned there, anywhere from 60 to as high as 75 kilometers per hour. Let's talk about the forecast because there is an improvement I think as we head through the day on a Tuesday and then we have some problems by Wednesday once again as another system rolls through.

It's a minus 10, (INAUDIBLE), but the winds right now at 25 kilometers per hour. You go little bit higher though just a few meters and then you start getting into 45, 50 kilometer per hour winds.

We'll put this in motion, you will be able to see things begin to wind down. What's been causing the wind, the low pressure to the north and east, that has been whipping the winds which by the way have been crosswinds which have impacted the athletes a lot more than a tailwind or a headwind here at this point, 30 kilometer per hour winds by the afternoon.

We get a break on Tuesday, but then another system moves through that will by the way not just bring gusty winds on Wednesday I think but also the potential for some snowfall as well although that will be too much of an issue, a centimeter of snowfall.

You see these clouds indicative of some very strong winds across the area. Korean Peninsula getting buffeted here with strong winds which will subside through Tuesday and then pick right back up I think on Wednesday. But I don't think Wednesday will be as strong as what we've had in the last couple of days. So, hopefully, any cancellations or delays, that will be minimized as a result. Here the separate venue as you see there, a little bit of snowfall falling through on Wednesday. Again, not a huge deal with the winds once again unfortunately picking up.

With temperatures, by the way, that will stay at minus five and if you factor in the wind certainly we'll have wind chills well in the 10 to 15 below range. I want to leave you with an update on our potentially kind of strong for tropical cyclone here. This is in the South Pacific. This is Gita. It is impacting with Tonga.

In fact, Nuku'alofa is the capital of Tonga. Very small target but amazingly and remarkably this cyclone is moving right -- you see the eye there moving right over the island. This is a terrible situation with 230 kilometer per hour winds. By the way, at the Atlantic, that would be the equivalent of a strong category four hurricane. That's 140 mile an hour winds right now rolling through the region.

So that's not only going to be catastrophic as far as the winds, but also the potential for the storm surge, which is always potentially deadly with these storms especially when you're generating the kind of winds that we're looking at here.

By the way, this dense dives to the south and west over the next few days, rolling over water, not concerned about that, but it is imminent now. Not particular perhaps a landfall but a direct strike over Tonga, over the capital in the next six to 12 hours. Guys?

CHURCH: Well, that is not good. All right, thanks so much, Ivan, for keeping an eye on that. Appreciate it.

HOWELL: Ivan, thanks. All right, back to the Winter Olympics. Some people had a bone-chilling experience to say the least. I don't know if you would do this.



CHURCH: I don't think so. Hundreds of runners took part on Sunday in what's called the naked marathon. CNN's Ivan Watson was there.



IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They say Pyeongchang is the coldest spot in South Korea. So what better place for a half-naked (INAUDIBLE). Organizers call this "The Naked Marathon." Some of the participants look a little crazy. Now in it's 26th year, more than 1800 runners participated.

[03:40:00] To qualify for a medal, you have to run shirtless. Either sprint for five kilometers or push harder for the 10-K race. Gusting winds forced the Olympics to postpone the Alpine ski competition. But bone-chilling temperatures can't stop these Korean runners from this annual demonstration of winter madness.

Ivan Watson, CNN, Pyeongchang, South Korea.


HOWELL: That race is not for me.

CHURCH: No, not my idea of fun either.


HOWELL: Good on them for doing it.


HOWELL: Still ahead here on "Newsroom," Dubai is looking ahead to the Expo 20 (INAUDIBLE). We will tell you why, coming up.

CHURCH: And the royal wedding is just three months away. How Prince Harry and Meghan Markle plan to share their big day with the community.


CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. One hundred and forty countries are represented at the World Government Summit in Dubai.

HOWELL: The focus this time is on infrastructure trends. There's also growing excitement over the prospect of Expo 2020. let's bring in CNN Money emerging markets editor John Defterios live in Dubai with the very latest on it. John, good day.

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN MONEY EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Thanks very much, George and Rosemary. When you talk about big projects, this is the biggest in Dubai, one of the biggest in the region.

But two years ago at the World Government Summit, there was panic because oil prices were around $30 a barrel. It doubled up to around $60, almost a sweet spot, to allow the infrastructure that you were talking about to proceed here.

Let's bring in the executive director of Dubai Expo 2020, Najeeb Al Ali, to give us a sense of how big this project is.

[03:45:00] It is extraordinary in the sense that a couple of years ago, we were wondering if the scale was too big because of the oil correction, but you're awarded $3 billion of contracts in 2017, so it is full steam ahead to 2020.

NAJEEB AL ALI, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, DUBAI EXPO 2020: Definitely it is full steam ahead. We are working on schedule. The ultimate idea as you know, like you said, $3 billion have been awarded. And we are well on track.

The ultimate idea with our development is that we want to finish early because this is going to be a festival that the world hopefully has never seen before. Hopefully one of best expos ever.

The ultimate idea for that, we are committing that we will be delivering our infrastructure one year before the opening. So we have ample time to test all of the other things other than the infrastructure.

DEFTERIOS: Give me a sense of how do you calibrate the right size because this is big city already, but you're building the south of the city. Dubai south, for example, connecting to the Dubai World Central, which is going to be the new airport. How do you say we need this for the expo and then the legacy of it for Dubai's emirates?

AL ALI: Let's first think the expo time. In terms of the interest from all over the world is very high. We already have more than 160 countries committed to the expo at this stage . And our target is to have more than 180 countries to actually come.

So for the expo time, we have huge interest and countries already signing up. In terms of the time after the expo, we have a project called District 2020. We as you rightly know, many mega events around the world become, you know, empty spaces or ghost cities.

We have full-pledged initiatives for this area. We want it to be very active and lively after we close the doors of the expo. I will just give you one example. The trade center. Part of the expo space is going to be converted to a trade center run by the Dubai World Trade Center.

DEFTERIOS: OK. Give me a sense of the catchment area, Middle East, North Africa, South East (ph). Why you think you can get a record number of visitors here? As the crossroads between east and west, are the numbers really realistic in terms of a target?

AL ALI: Hundred percent. We are very committed and very -- our forecast is very strong in terms of the infrastructure we have. The projects, the initiatives, the countries that will come. And as you rightly know, today we are in the World Government Summit.


AL ALI: People are coming from all over the world. And think of the festival you will have in 2020. We have people who will be coming, visitors, government people, corporations and families from all over the world. As you know, we have the right infrastructure. We have the flights that come from all over the world.

DEFTERIOS: What's the target visitors do you think, Najeeb?

AL ALI: We are targeting 25 million visits to our expo during the six months and perhaps the more interesting number is that we are targeting 70 percent of our visitors to come from outside the country.

DEFTERIOS: OK. In the sweet spot of say $60 a barrel, this doesn't slow down the original blueprint for Expo 2020. People say oh, the oil wealth is not here anymore, we have to back off.

AL ALI: I think --

DEFTERIOS: What is the reality check?

AL ALI: If you look at the economy today, the UAE is very strong. It is not only based on the oil, but we have a very diversified economy. And when it comes to the expo, we are talking about of your connecting minds creating the future. And (INAUDIBLE) such as this has been ability and opportunity and mobility.

Areas that are of huge interest for the region and for the world. And the expo can contribute to that for the region and international (INAUDIBLE) to help the local economy.

DEFTERIOS: That's interesting. Nice to see you. Thanks for joining us on the program.

AL ALI: My pleasure.

DEFTERIOS: Najeed Al Ali, once again, the executive director of Dubai Expo 2020. George and Rosemary, that's latest on the World Government Summit. We'll see you in the next hour here looking at cryptocurrency and the volatility of the stock markets.

HOWELL: John Defterios, thank you so much.

CHURCH: All right, a short break here, but world watchers join us after the break.

HOWELL: We'll tell you details about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's big day. Stay with us.


CABRERA: Welcome to Weather Watch. Checking conditions across North America. We continue to see days of rain. In fact, so much so that we have a floods that continue across portions of the south eastern U.S. If you're flying into the busiest airport in the world, in Atlanta, you may have some issues early on, certainly through the day and then conditions begin to improve as this (INAUDIBLE) begins to march to the east.

Another system clipping the north and west. Otherwise, again the big story here. Look at the entire western -- well, it is the entire western part of the state of Georgia. And then including portions of the panhandle of Florida. Very heavy rainfall as the system continues pushing east.

As I showed you on the map fore, cold air in its wake, and that will be filling in and clearing things out but enough for a little bit of snowfall across the (INAUDIBLE) region otherwise beginning to dry things out finally by the middle part of the week.

As far as new temperatures, minus five. Nice and sunny at (INAUDIBLE). Rain and snow will not be (INAUDIBLE) there, but further south, we will continue to see those morning showers eventually giving away to some afternoon sunshine. Looking pretty good though across the western part of the United States.

Into the Caribbean and central America, showers and thunderstorms to the afternoon. San Juan seeing a little window with that as well with temperatures in the 20s. Further west, looking good, Mexico and down towards Managua.

HOWELL: We have an update now on the most famous piece of space junk in the universe that NASA is tracking. And we're talking about SpaceX founder Elon Musk's Tesla roadster. You'll remember it was launched into space Tuesday aboard the SpaceX rocket Falcon Heavy.

CHURCH: Musk himself admits the car was a pretty silly stunt, but NASA is taking it seriously. The space agency said it is keeping tabs on the object, so it is not confused with an asteroid discovery.

You can see the roadster piloted by "Starman," a mannequin in a space suit. And you may be able to spot the roadster from down here on earth as well. This is footage posted by the Virtual Telescope Project. It proves to show the Tesla cruising across the cosmos.

HOWELL: So many people are interested in seeing that -- just the image itself is amazing.


HOWELL: Kensington Palace is sharing new details about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's upcoming wedding.

CHURCH: Yes. We already knew the date, May 19th, and the majestic location of course. But now, we are learning more about how it will all go down. And our Max Foster is live in London for us with all the details. Max, what more are you learning about this much anticipated royal wedding?

MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It has some timings. We get the sense of the day, Rosemary. So, the service starts at 12 noon U.K. time. So, on the east coast, that will be breakfast time. In parts of Asia, it will evening time. It is going to capture wide parts of the global audience.

I think that might be part of the plan. The couple said they wanted the public to be as involved as possible. So we now know as well that at 1:00 after their marriage, they will go on a carriage procession thorough Windsor along the great walk through Windsor Park. It will be a quite spectacular scene.

Harry is a target in many ways. He's a senior royal. He's also a former member of the military. But he did want to get out and about with the public. So, a big security operation underway. As you can see, the route is about 2 miles long.

We also know the archbishop of Canterbury will be overseeing the vows, so he is the most senior official in the church of England. It does show that this is an occasion that church wants to celebrate and the nation also wants to have part of this history.

CHURCH: Yes, a lot of people are very excited of course and how is Harry's celebration likely

[03:55:00] to compare to his big brother Prince William's wedding?

FOSTER: Well, he's in a smaller church and is outside the capital, so he will also have the half number of guests. It is also in a very contained space in the castle.

William's was much bigger and it was more of a state occasion -- it wasn't quite a state occasion but had more (INAUDIBLE) of a state occasion because Prince William is in direct line to the throne. Prince Harry isn't in direct line to the throne. So, this is very much a private affair organized by Harry and Meghan, but trying to involve the public as much as possible.

CHURCH: Yes, everyone very excited about Meghan Markle and what she brings to the royal family. Max Foster joining us there from London live where it is nearly 9:00 in the morning. Many thanks.

HOWELL: And certainly the world will be watching on that day. Great deal of anticipation.

CHURCH: Yes. People love royal wedding.

HOWELL: Absolutely.

CHURCH: And thank you so much for your company, everyone. I'm Rosemary Church.

HOWELL: And I'm George Howell here at the CNN center in Atlanta. For our viewers in the United States, "Early Start" is next. For our viewers around the world, the news continues with our colleague Max Foster again live in London.

You're watching CNN, the world's news leader.

CHURCH: Have a great day.


FOSTER: CNN world exclusive. Our Nick Paton Walsh has intel on what happened to the world's most wanted man following a missile strike in Syria.

Plus, North Korea's Olympic delegation heads home. Did the charm offensive manage to (INAUDIBLE) the relationship with the U.S?

And the British aid agency Oxfam faces accusations of exploiting the people they were supposed to be helping.

[04:00:00] Details ahead.

Thanks for joining us. I'm Max Foster in London. This is "CNN Newsroom."