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Kim Jong-un Attends Concert by South Korean Singers; Trump Says No More DACA Deal; Netanyahu Slams Erdogan. China's Space Lab Lands in the South Pacific; Immigrant 'Caravan' Heading to US-Mexico Border Sparks Trump's Concern; 67,000 Stones And Counting For Holocaust Victims; Nationalist Party Challenges Memorials; Gator Takes A Dip In Florida Family's Pool. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired April 2, 2018 - 02:00   ET




ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): A treat for Pyongyang. Kim Jong-un hosts a K-pop concert even as the U.S. and South Korea hold military drills.

Plus, the future of some young U.S. immigrants is now up in the air as President Trump says no more DACA deal.

And later, welcome home, even if only in pieces. China's wayward space lab returns to Earth.

Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us here in the United States and, of course, all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church and this is CNN NEWSROOM.


CHURCH: Well, we have seen North Korea's leader clapping before, often after he tests a new weapon. But Sunday was very different.


CHURCH (voice-over): Kim Jong-un came out for a landmark concert by a group of South Korean artists, including K-pop stars Red Velvet. It's the first time South Korean performers have played in the North in more than a decade.

Sunday's diplomatic push also included this event. The South Korean taekwondo team put on a display for thousands of North Koreans. They kicked, jumped and even did their own K-pop dance.

The shows are a sign of better ties for the Koreas. But they also come as the U.S. and the South kick off annual war games. And those will be shorter this year but are set to be similar in scale to past drills like these.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CHURCH: For more we turn to CNN's Alexandra Field, who joins us live from Seoul.

Good to see you, Alex.

How significant is this moment in North and South Korean relations, pop stars from the South performing for Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang?

And as the leaders of the two nations prepare to meet, what all can this form of music diplomacy achieve?

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Rosemary, if you consider where we were just six months or a year ago, when we were talking about tensions on the peninsula reaching really a fever pitch, this is clearly a significant step forward to see this delegation of South Korean artists taking the stage in Pyongyang.

And then the surprise element of having Kim Jong-un himself in the audience applauding, seemingly cheering this performance and then going on to meet the performers offstage afterwards.

He was reported by South Korean news that he hopes a similar exchange will happen with North Korean artists traveling to Seoul, perhaps, he suggested, in the autumn.

This comes the heels of another significant performance when you did see North Korean artists go to South Korea. They performed on stage as part of festivities surrounding the Olympics. At that time, you had the South Korean President Moon Jae-in in the audience. So this was certainly reflective of that.

These are powerful images, though, to see this. You have the unification ministry here in South Korea reflecting on the fact that this is a sign of a more amicable relationship. So clearly tremendously quick progress, all of that happening in the run-up to this important meeting, which is now scheduled to take place at the end of April, when Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in will actually sit down face-to-face.

The artists who were selected to make this trip said that they felt this was their job to go there, to put on the best show possible but also to win hearts. They really believe they had a diplomatic role to play here in doing that.

Last week I spoke to one of the artists who was traveling as part of this delegation. He said he actually made a similar trip about 16 years ago at the time. He said it was awkward to perform in front of the North Korean audience. They weren't familiar with the kind of music he was playing.

But he was interested to see what the reception would be this time. You can tell from the images, it was a warm one. People are celebrating this as an important moment and an important step forward.

CHURCH: It certainly was. And this all comes as the United States and South Korea begin annual military drills. How might things be different this time around?

FIELD: Well, they're different from the get-go, really, Rosemary. It's interesting that we have not, as members of the media here in South Korea, received any awareness of any opportunity to go out and film some of these drills.

The past it's typical that we would go out on some of these drills. These images would be seen around the world and some in Pyongyang. These are exactly the drills that North Korea objects to every year. They see them as preparation for an invasion, even though the U.S. and South Korean forces that participate in these drills say they're simply for defensive measures.

But to note how this has changed this year, there hasn't been any awareness of access that the media could have to these drills. That seems to be in an effort to keep tensions at a low point before this summit does happen.

Other tangible steps that we're taking to reduce the tension here was the delay in starting these drills. Typically they would start --


FIELD: -- around March 1st. That is when you had the Winter Olympics going on in South Korea. So these were held until April in order not to conflict with those Olympics, in order to not create more tension on the peninsula.

And also we're seeing them happen over an abridged period of time. Yes, the U.S. says they haven't changed the scope or the scale of the drills, that everything is being done that is necessary to maintain readiness in this part of the region.

But the drills will only last a month. That's mean they would wrap up before any potential sit-down could happen between Kim Jong-un and President Trump. And we know that that could happen as soon as May -- Rosemary.

CHURCH: Yes, indeed. A lot of developments there. Alexandra Field, joining us live from Seoul in South Korea, just after 3 o'clock in the afternoon. We thank you.

As immigrants are marching through Mexico toward the United States, U.S. President Donald Trump says he no longer supports a legislative compromise to protect undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.


CHURCH (voice-over): And you're looking at some of the so-called caravan of more than 1,000 migrants from Central America. They're fleeing violence and poverty and some are planning to apply for asylum in the U.S.

Activists have organized this pilgrimage in previous years. They say it's safer for migrants to make the journey in a group. And the march seems to have caught the attention of the president this year.

He tweeted this, "Mexico is doing very little, if not nothing, at stopping people from flowing into Mexico through their southern border and then into the U.S. They laugh at our dumb immigration laws."

The president ends the tweet by writing, quote, "Need wall."

Our Boris Sanchez is traveling with the president and has more now from West Palm Beach in Florida.


BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: No confirmation yet from the White House on why the president chose Easter Sunday to send this message about immigration. But we can kind of surmise what was going on around the time he sent these tweets and made this statement shortly before the president tweeted.

There was a report on a cable news outlet about this caravan of immigrants that is moving through Central America and into Mexico, some of them with the intent of asking the United States for asylum to thereby enter the country. The president obviously angered by this report.

And so he fired off these tweets, demanding that Mexico do more to stop the flow of immigrants and also, in his words, to stop the flow of drugs from entering the United States.

The president threatening to end the North American Free Trade Agreement if Mexico doesn't act.

The president was met by cameras shortly before entering a church for Easter service on Sunday morning in West Palm Beach. Here is more of what he said. Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, what do you mean no DACA?

TRUMP: Mexico has got to help us at the border. If they're not going to help us at the border, it's a very sad thing between two countries. Mexico has got to help us at the border. And a lot of people are coming in because they want to take advantage of DACA. And we're going to have to really see.

They had a great chance. The Democrats blew it. They had a great, great chance. But we'll have to take a look. Mexico has got to help us at the border. They blow right through Mexico. They send them to the United States. It can't happen that way anymore. Thank you.


SANCHEZ: One notable piece of what the president said there, that more immigrants are rushing to try to get in on the action on DACA, that doesn't exactly coincide with what the DACA program actually entails. Individual eligibility aside, President Trump ended this program back

in September, essentially making it impossible for any new arrivals to the United States to apply for DACA.

Of course, courts have ultimately ruled that the DREAMers within the United States staying here with DACA eligibility would be able to remain; that is, they would be able to renew their legal status through the courts as this process plays out.

But for the president to say that a DACA deal is dead is a bit surprising, considering that weeks ago, several iterations of a deal for these DREAMers fell apart in Congress. So it appears that the president is taking a bargaining chip off the table that was already gone -- Boris Sanchez, CNN, traveling with the president in West Palm Beach, Florida.


CHURCH: And Mexico's foreign minister responded to Mr. Trump's tweets.

He wrote, "Every day Mexico and the U.S. work together on migration throughout the region. Facts clearly reflect this. An inaccurate news report should not serve to question this strong cooperation. Upholding human dignity and rights is not at odds with the rule of law. Happy Easter."

Political analyst Peter Matthews joins me now from Los Angeles. He is also a professor of political science at --


CHURCH: -- Cypress College. Good to have you with us.

PETER MATTHEWS, CYPRESS COLLEGE: Good to be here, Rosemary.

CHURCH: So Mexico's foreign minister, as we heard there, thinks his country and the U.S. are working together every single day, displaying strong cooperation on migration. That seems to be at odds with how President Trump views the relationship.

What do you make of these two very different views of what's happening right now between the two countries?

MATTHEWS: They're just as different as being on different sides of the border. And President Trump doesn't seem to understand DACA, because any DACA eligible person has to have arrived in the United States by 2007. These folks coming up to the border to apply for political asylum or what have you would never be eligible for it to begin with.

So Trump needs to understand the (INAUDIBLE) before we can even deal with (INAUDIBLE). That's why hard line --

CHURCH: All right. OK. I don't know whether it's me but I can't hear you very well. OK. All right. Everyone is having problems. We're going to try and

reestablish that audio and get back to you in just a moment. Thank you so much.

Well, China is raising tariffs on more than 100 imports from the United States. The Chinese finance ministry says it's because new U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports have, quote, "seriously damaged Chinese interests."

In order to balance their losses, they say they're levying a new 15 percent tariff on 120 fruit products and a 25 percent tariff on eight pork products. China says its moves are legitimate and based on World Trade Organization rules.

Let's take a short break. But still to come, more on the landmark concert held in North Korea. What the K-pop show might mean for the Korean summit. That's still to come.

Plus, all eyes to the sky as a Chinese space lab meets its fiery end. We will have a live report on its demise. We're back in a moment.






CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone.

We were experiencing some audio issues with our guest, political analyst Peter Matthews. But we appear to have fixed those and he joins us again.

So, Peter, let's take off where we left off before. And of course, the march of asylum seekers toward the U.S. border appears to have infuriated Mr. Trump over the weekend. He tied the immigrant march to the DACA deal, confusing a number of people in the course of that and saying new immigrants want to take advantage of DACA.

What did you make of that, considering DACA, really, it affected young people before 2007?

MATTHEWS: That's right. He doesn't seem to be aware that no one coming to the United States now would be eligible for DACA. They had to have arrived here before 2007.

Mr. Trump doesn't even know the details of what he is negotiating or what he wants to do with the DACA. And I think he is playing to his base to a large extent. He doesn't understand the real reason why people come from Mexico illegal, the cross the border illegally.

It has to do with economics. It has to do with the uneven trade playing field with very low wage labor in Mexico. So many American corporations go there and pay low wages to workers there and drive them off of their farms through a lot of that -- export of that American subsidized exported agriculture.

And these farmers and workers can't make a living in Mexico and the poverty rate is very high there now. And people come because of desperation, as do Central Americans. He's got them confused completely. He didn't know those were political refugees coming from Central America asking for asylum. It's different in the economic (INAUDIBLE).

CHURCH: And what's also confusing about all this is that most polls show that about 90 percent of Americans support a DACA deal.

So why would Mr. Trump turn his back on this?

MATTHEWS: It is absolutely true; 90 percent support allowing the young people who have come here or were brought here illegally by their parents for a better life. They don't even know any other country, they have grown up in America. Stay here because they're very exemplary students. They're very high achieving students.

And maybe Trump is still not getting it that most Americans want to give these folks a chance to use the country that they live in to achieve something in life. He is only looking at his 33 percent of the base of -- the voters of his base that actually want him, maybe he is thinking they're toughly anti-immigrant.

He is trying to stick to the same rhetoric he had during the campaign, hoping to win those people back again that supported him and they're die-hard anti-immigrant. I'm not sure what he's really thinking. He's not thinking very clearly, in my view.

CHURCH: Right, yes, confused a lot of people along the way. Peter Matthews, I'm glad we were able to fix the audio issues we experienced. Many thanks.

MATTHEWS: Thank you.

CHURCH: British authorities believe they have a clue that points to the nerve agent attack against a former Russian spy straight to the Kremlin. Last week officials revealed that they think whoever poisoned Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, put the nerve agent on the front door of Skripal's home.

Now a source briefed on the investigation tells CNN they believe a move like that was too sophisticated for a rogue agent and likely needed Kremlin approval. Doctors say Yulia Skripal is improving rapidly but her father remains in critical condition.

Well, tensions between Russia and the West are escalating even further after the nerve agent attack and accusations of Kremlin involvement.

Now Russian state media are reporting that the military successfully tested and upgraded an air defense missile. It's just days after the country released footage of the test firing of the new intercontinental missile nicknamed Satan 2.

The Kremlin has now accepted the resignation of the governor of the Kemerovo region after a deadly mall fire claimed the lives of 64 people. It was one week ago flames ripped through the Winter Cherry mall during the first weekend of spring break; 41 of the dead were children.

The governor says he couldn't remain on the job after that tragedy.



MAYOR OF KEMEROVO (through translator): I consider this decision correct, deliberate and the only thing to do because it is impossible to hold the post of governor with such a heavy burden. It is impossible morally. I wish you and your families peace and to be well.


CHURCH: A number of people have been detained as officials investigate that fire. Among them, the mall director and a security guard who failed to activate an alarm.

Well, the insults are flying between the leaders of Turkey and Israel. They are trading barbs over Israel's response to protests in Gaza; 17 Palestinians died in clashes with Israeli forces on Friday. On Sunday, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said this about Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.


RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, PRESIDENT OF TURKEY (through translator): Hey, Netanyahu, we don't have the shame of invading. You are an invader. You are occupying those lands as an invader. At the same time, you are a terrorist.


CHURCH: Mr. Netanyahu was equally scathing about Mr. Erdogan, tweeting this, "He who occupies Northern Cyprus, encroaches on Kurdish territory and massacres civilians in Afrin cannot preach to us on values and morals."

Well, tensions, meanwhile, remain high in Gaza following Friday's deadly violence. Funerals were held through the weekend for some of the 17 Palestinians, who were killed in the worst unrest in the region in four years. More than 1,400 Palestinians were injured in the clashes with Israeli troops.

Israel is rejecting calls for an inquiry into what happened.

The confrontations in Gaza have subsided somewhat but protesters tell CNN their march of return is not over. Ian Lee has more now on the demonstrations. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We've witnessed the numbers of marchers dwindle but the violence continues. The march of return called for Gazans to cross the border fence and return to lands lost in the 1948 war, which are now in Israel.

This comes as the international community has called for inquiries into the recent violence. The European Union has called for an independent probe and the U.S. blocked a statement on the violence at the U.N. Security Council. Israel's defense minister Avigdor Lieberman said flat-out that no investigation will happen.

Despite the violence, organizers say the march of return is far from over. They call for continuation of the pressure for the next six weeks. Moving forward, we'll be watching for a repeat of Friday's violence. Israel says it reserves the right to use whatever forces necessary to protect their sovereignty and prevent any breaches of the border.

But when we talked to a number of Gazans, they say that's exactly what they plan to go. One Palestinian told me they've crossed over before and they'll do it again. And that will increase the likelihood of more violent days to come -- Ian Lee, CNN, Jerusalem.


CHURCH: The Syrian regime is moving closer to fully retaking the rebel enclave of Eastern Ghouta. Members of one armed rebel group have evacuated Douma, the last rebel-held town in Eastern Ghouta. They reached an agreement with Syria and Russia for safe passage; 1,100 civilians and rebel fighters left Sunday, heading toward Idlib.

Tens of thousands of people have already fled Eastern Ghouta after weeks of heavy aerial bombardments that have caused more than 1,500 deaths.

Well, China's out-of-control space lab has met its fiery end. China's space agency says Tiangong-1 or Heavenly Palace has plummeted back to Earth, right into the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Most of these spacecraft burned after reentry. It had been slowly falling out of orbit since it last contact with Earth two years ago.

And CNN's Ivan Watson joins us now with more from Beijing.

So, Ivan, it started out the size of a school bus, hurtling toward Earth, but ended up being no threat at all.

How did this all play out?

And what triggered this in the initial stages?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the Heavenly Palace or the Tiangong-1 was first launched into space in 2011. It was China's first space lab, Rosemary. And it successfully completed several missions. Chinese astronauts made a number of visits to it over the years.

In 2017, China informed the United Nations that the Tiangong-1 had, in its words, fully fulfilled its historic mission and, basically, it had lost contact with the space lab. In fact, it revealed at this point that it had --


WATSON: -- lost contact some 14 months earlier and didn't explain how this had, in fact, unfolded, what potentially could have gone wrong.

At the time, the Chinese-manned space agency insisted it was going closely monitor this and ensure that it was going to be a safe descent, though it clearly was going to be out of the control of the Chinese manned space agency.

So you had a number of space agencies as well as just amateurs following the descent, the deteriorating descent of this space lab for days now and trying to predict when and where it could kind of finally touch down.

But most experts were warning, as were the Chinese, that there was very little threat to any aviation or anybody on the ground from this space lab, which weighs about -- weighed about 8.5 tons. It was about 12 meters long; again, the size of a bus. And most of it is believed to have burned up on reentry on its way to the South Pacific.

Some experts predicting that it is likely that very few pieces of debris made it all the way down to the ocean from the atmosphere -- Rosemary.

CHURCH: Good to see you. Happy ending. All right. Ivan Watson, joining us there live from Beijing, where it is nearly 2:30 in the afternoon.

The fired U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs is no longer in charge of the second largest government bureaucracy. But the controversy other his departure, that's far from over.

Plus, more on K-pop diplomacy in North Korea. How a breakthrough concert might translate into actual policy. We'll take a look.


[02:30:14] CHURCH: And a very warm welcome back to you all. I'm Rosemary Church. I want to update you now on the main stories we've been following this hour. More than a thousand people fleeing violence and poverty in Central America are marching through Mexico toward the U.S. border. The so-called caravan is a symbolic pilgrimage that some of the migrants taking part in the march of planning to apply for asylum in the U.S. Well, that march seems to have caught the attention of U.S. President Donald Trump. He tweeted, he no longer supports a legislative compromise that would take undocumented immigrants go to the U.S. as children. The president called on Republican lawmakers to pass strict border laws. There's new information in the nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy in the United Kingdom.

Our source briefed on the investigation tells CNN authorities believe that Kremlin likely approved the attack because the nerve agent was placed on the victim's front door. They say that move is too sophisticated for a rouge agent. In Costa Rica's presidential round of election the candidate who supported same sex marriage has won decisively with most of the votes counted Carlos Alvarado has won with about 60 percent of the votes. He defeated this right-wing preacher who campaigned strongly against same sex marriage. Well, now for the latest on the story we're tracking out of the Korean Peninsula. North Korea's leader has attended a landmark concert by South Korean artist in Pyongyang. Kim Jong-un clapped at the concert and reportedly took pictures with the singers.

The musical diplomacy comes ahead of a meeting between Mr. Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in. That's set for April 27. A North Korean summit with U.S. President Donald Trump could also be in the works. All of these of course signals better ties on the peninsula. But the U.S. and South Korea are also holding annual war games. They kicked off this weekend. But they are shorter than past drills unlike the one same here. We will talk about that and all the developments. For analysis, I'm joined now from Pusan in South Korea by Robert Kelly. He's an associate professor of Political Science at Pusan National University. Thanks for much for being with us.


CHURCH: So the world has witnessed this incredible shift in North and South Korean relations and just a matter of months culminating in this musical diplomacy on the Korean Peninsula and all these summits that we're waiting for now and the talks between both sides, both nations. What do you make of how far they've come and what all do you think could be achieve?

KELLY: Right. Well, I think so far it's been good atmosphere but not too much more. You know, the Olympics were nice and having musical troops and the shows, and things like that. You know, there's been sort of shared cultural events and all that's great. I mean it kind of sets of mood in it. It gets the ball rolling, right? We've had sort of difficult times in the past. Last year (INAUDIBLE) nuclear war. So I mean all these are progress. But it's still -- like I said they're basically when they're addressing it's still really atmospheric. Well, ultimately, we need to find out what the North Koreans are willing to offer us.

I mean one of the reasons these kinds of things were broken down on the past (INAUDIBLE) or didn't offer us enough and the Americans and the South Koreans are going to see real movement from North Korea. We can't just give the North Koreans concessions. The North Korean have got us -- give is something on missiles and nukes particularly and so far in the last three or four months no proposals have yet been floated, so that's what I think everybody is still waiting for like what are they going to offer that they haven't in the past.

CHURCH: Yes. We haven't too long to wait have we? Because of course the leaders of the two Koreas, they'll meet on April 27th and then Kim Jong-un will meet face to face with President Trump in May if that goes ahead. Pretty much an unthinkable meeting just a matter of weeks ago. What would you expect to come out of these two historic summits?

KELLY: Actually, my own senses -- I'm rather skeptic. My own sense is this will probably a bus particularly the one with Trump and Kim. I think the Moon want probably sense a better chance of only because the South Koreans I think are much better prepared for this, you know, President Moon has been working on North Korea going back 25 years. He was a part of the last liberal administration 10 years ago that pushes the Sunshine policy, so I think he really knows these issues and he can get in there and to slug it out in detail. I'm actually rather skeptical if President Trump can do that. I don't know.

I just don't know what the South Koreans whether what the North is going to give. President Moon, I mean Moon was only elected with 41 percent of the vote. I mean he's going to face crushing criticisms in the conservative press here if he comes back with a deal that looks -- makes him look like (INAUDIBLE) or something like that. I mean the North Koreans need to give us something substantial, you know, like access to the sites, a missile count, something real because that's the only way you're going to sell to the hawks here and then Washington who are suspicious of this.

[02:35:03] CHURCH: Is there a risk that someone might get played here by Kim Jong-un specifically President Trump?

KELLY: Well, I'm concerned about that. I mean if you -- if you sort of look at the way the president had govern for example, so the cast that routinely come out of the White House if you look at the fact that Secretary of State Tillerson was fired and then Adviser McMaster. I mean there's sort of a lot of turn at the top. It's not clear to me who the North Korea point person is at the White House or in the State Department. We don't have an ambassador for the U.S. here in South Korea. I mean there's no -- and there's not an undersecretary for East Asia. I mean there are a lot of like open spaces and the president himself doesn't know a great deal about Korea.

We know he doesn't read a lot. I mean this is what I'm concerned about is that Trump is going to walk in there and he's just not ready for this, right? So my own sense it would be better if the American one was (INAUDIBLE) for six months to nine months and Americans have time sort of hand them out the set of talking points and those things were floated in the press and thinks that that's huge. They have some sense of where we're going. In South Korea I think it's a little bit easier because Moon Jae-in's work in this thing for such a long time and people know what he wants.

CHURCH: What do you think we're on a same this very difficult approach from Kim Jong-un? I mean we talked about with the -- we thought he was playing Mr. Trump but do you think there's a possibility that he's shifting who he is or he's just shifting his approach to the outside world?

KELLY: Sure. Think the North Koreans are probably thinking they have nothing to lose by having these summits now because they've probably got the weapons. And it's almost certainly clear now, almost everybody the technical people, most of them agree now that the North Koreans can strike the continental United States with a nuclear weapon. So now that they've got that, why not float around and see what you can get for, right? I mean in the days when they sort of needed to spring for this thing are over. Now, they've got it. So why not meet anybody, and everybody, and see if they'll offer you anything forward.

If they don't, you can just go back and do a defensive approach and hang out with the nukes for a while but in the intel room, I mean I'm meeting with everybody, right? They're going to meet with Abe of Japan soon (INAUDIBLE) with the head of IOC the other day (INAUDIBLE) they Methotrexate with Xi Jinping. He's going to go to Pyongyang right now. I mean basically it looks like the North Koreans are saying, you know, we're open for business. We have this thing. What are you going to give us for them? And that's actually pretty smart to think about it.

CHURCH: Right. Just very quickly. The U.S. and South Korea military drills that got underway on the weekend, they're going to be different this time around. They're going to be shorter, does that signal some sort of compromise do you think?

KELLY: Yes. That's probably the American sort of giving Moon some room to move on this. You know, people are obviously -- and South Korean conservatives particularly concerned about the alliance and they're worried of who's going to go up there and sort of gamble things away. Moon's got to make sure the North Koreans don't back out at the last minute. They've done that kind of stuff in the past. So this is a way of signaling both I think deterrence would also to give Moon a little bit of space, so he can say, you know, I can cut a deal with the Americans. I can sort of hold them off and X, Y, Z. You have to give me something real. That's my guess.

CHURCH: Robert Kelly, great to talk with you. Appreciate it.

KELLY: Thank you for having me.

CHURCH: Well, the fired U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs is not leaving quietly. In an interview on "CNN State of the Union", David Shulkin here on the lift decline to fully endorse the doctor chosen by President Trump to replace him. Critics worry Ronny Jackson does not have the experience needed to lead the second largest bureaucracy in the U.S. government. Meanwhile, the White House says Shulkin resigned, but he says he was fired because of politics.


DAVID SHULKIN, FORMER UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS: I'm committed to veterans and I'm committed to fighting for them. And I would not resign because I'm committed to making sure this job was seen through to the very end.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you were fired?

SHULKIN: I did not resign. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Let's move to the op-ed you wrote this week just after you were fired. You said, "In recent months, the environment in Washington has turned so toxic, chaotic, disrespectful, and subversive that it became impossible for me to accomplish the important work that our veterans deserved. As I'm prepared to leave government, I'm struck by a recurring thought. It should not be this hard to serve your country." There are political appointees that made your life difficult according to sources close to you. The list includes Assistant Secretary John Ullyot at the Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as Senior Advisers Jake Leinenkugel and Camella Sandoval as well as at the White House Darin Selnick. All of these are Trump appointees. So in a way I wonder, did the Trump White House -- did President Trump himself set you up to fail?

SHULKIN: Well, I don't think that this was the president. The president is committed to improving the care for veterans. These appointees had a belief that there was a different way to do it than I was approaching it.


CHURCH: David Shulkin talking there to our Jake Tapper. Well, public school teachers in two U.S. states may walk off the job in just a matter of hours in protest over their pay which they say is too low. Thousands of Kentucky's educators are expected at the state capitol. They are upset about a bill that would overhaul state pensions and possibly reduce their benefits. On Friday, teachers in several counties called out fit when the measure was passed by the state legislature. It's now on the Kentucky governor's desk for signing. And thousands of Oklahoma teachers also plan to walk out Monday despite a $6100 pay raise approved by state lawmakers.

[02:40:07] The state teachers union says, it's not enough. Several teachers tell CNN, they are working multiple jobs just to pay their bills. Well, police in any Central Florida say they stop a potential mass shooting by seeing some clear red flags and acting on them before a potential tragedy. CNNs Victor Blackwell tells us what got their attention.


VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The purchase of a rifle, a dramatic change in appearance, holding up inside his room, and a pricey shopping spree that included a corvette, a student at the University of Central Florida is being deported to China after the school's police chief said there was red flag after red flag that something bad would happen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We just saved a bunch of lives. There's no doubt about it.

BLACKWELL: Police started investigating 26-year-old Wenliang Sun earlier this year after he made unusual statements to a school official. They flagged him to the ATF and found out that Sun owned an assault-style and ammunition. When a detective interviewed him, some referred to his weapon as a sniper rifle but said, he never thought about hurting himself or others. Days after that interview, Sunday bought a second assault-style rifle. This one with a buy part expensive scope. Police were monitoring Sunday but officials say he owned both guns legally.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We know if one individual falls through the cracks, very bad things can happen.

BLACKWELL: But then his visa was revoked due to an issue unrelated to his gun purchases. He stopped going to class.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So I think there was a disaster about to happen and we stopped it.

BLACKWELL: Sunday is now being held by immigration officials and is expected to be deported soon. And he will not be allowed to return to the U.S. for ten years. Victor Blackwell, CNN Atlanta.


CHURCH: New details surrounding an SUV that plunged off a California cliff last week, Highway Patrol now believed the SUV crash may have been intentional. The car's software has indicated that the vehicle stopped at the road's turnout and then speed up towards the cliff. Authorities say two adults and six adopted children were in the car when it crashed 100 feet down into the Pacific Ocean. Three of the children are still missing. The bodies of two adults and the other three children have been found.

Just days before the crash, officials in Washington State confirmed that they were investigating the family over alleged abuse or neglect. Among the missing is 15-year-old Devonte who drew headlines just a few years ago when he appeared in this touching photo at a protest. We'll take a short break here. But still to come, a German artist has a unique way to honor holocaust victims but as his memorials grow, so do the backlash why some people don't like the message he's sending. We're back in just a moment.


[02:46:09] CHURCH: A small but powerful memorial honors every life lost in the Holocaust. They're called stumbling stones and so far, there are more than 67,000 stretching around the world. But as Atika Shubert explains not everyone is on board with this simple remembrance.

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Artist Gunter Demnig removes a slab of Berlin pavement and carefully inserts three small brass plaques engraved with the names of the Jacobson family. 75 years ago, this is where they lived before they were sent to Auschwitz and murdered.


GUNTER DEMNIG, ARTIST: There's a place to remember that, it cannot be replaced. SHUBERT: These are stumbling stones and it's an extraordinary

memorial to the more than six million killed in the Holocaust. The concept is simple, a plaque for every person killed. It began more than 20 years ago and it now stretches across 22 countries. 67,000 stones and counting. The largest memorial of its kind in the world. Demnig shows us how each one has a story to tell.

DEMNIG: If you want to read the stone's inscription, you have to bow your head. This stumbles with your head and with your heart.

SHUBERT: Irene Weingartner's grandmother lived next door to the (INAUDIBLE) family. When her parents did not return home one night, her grandmother took their eight year old boy to be with his family in detention. Not knowing that they would all be sent to Auschwitz and killed. That she says is why she asked them make to install the stones here and she invited the local schools to attend.

IRENE WEINGARTNER, RESIDENT: All my life, I knew about it. And so, it was important for me to tell other people. And to -- I hope it will help so that things like this will never happen again.

SHUBERT: Germany has worked to ensure the horrors of World War II are not forgotten. Schools are required to visit Holocaust memorials but Germany's culture of remembrance is being challenged by the AfD or Alternative for Germany, a nationalist far-right party that is now the largest opposition party in parliament.

AfD lawmaker, Wolfgang Gedeon, demanded an end to the stumbling stones. He refused to talk to CNN but referred us to this statement instead. "The stumbling stone initiators impose a culture of remembrance on their fellow human beings, dictating to them how they should remember who and when. Who gives these obtrusive moralists the right to do so?"

His demand was rejected by a local official but it sparked a national debate about how Germany should remember its World War II history. Irene Weingartner had some harsh words for the AfD.

WEINGARTNER: Those people who think that they are good Germans are very bad Germans and they refuse to remember what has happened -- what has happened in Germany and by other German people.

SHUBERT: Demnig, brushes off the recent debate. He wants the memorial to speak for itself.

DEMNIG: You can imagine there is sadness about what happened. But then, when the least the interest, that so many people are interested in. And this is now a place I can remember, wow, they are going to (INAUDIBLE). So, one time I said now I can come to Germany again.

SHUBERT: Demnig knows he may never finish his work but he has set up the stumbling stone foundation to continue his work to remember those lost, one stone at a time. Atika Shubert, CNN, Berlin.



[02:52:01] CABRERA: With your "WEATHER WATCH", I'm CNN Meteorologist Ivan Cabrera, checking in on winter. Still hanging on (INAUDIBLE) Canada, and the northern part of the U.S., not just cold temperatures, right? But snowing and in fact, significant snowfalls from -- you're getting up into Montreal, as well. With the system that continue to roll through.

It is spring further south, nice and warm across the Southeastern U.S. but if you are perhaps, traveling into the big apple, you going to have some delays, I think, through the early part of the day. And then, temperatures warm up enough through the afternoon where it just going to be a slushy mess. But quite remarkable, certainly, for this town. But you're to continue to see these temperatures and not just that but the snowfall that has remained.

Upper single did is in Chicago. You're behind the system there, some mostly sunny skies likewise in Winnipeg. But notice cold air residing there, so temperatures is about 10 to 12 below zero, and that cold air will eventually push. We're going to have big of purple and pink that means just another shot of very chewy temperatures and unseasonably cold air that will be rolling through across the northeast. We're going at a wrong direction here.

Single digit highs will have that warm-up ahead of the front. And as then moves through back to upper single digits. So, once again, still remain chilly. If you want the warm air, it resides, of course, further south. Great time for a vacation this time of year with the wet season not quite moved in, in earnest. Just if we're looking pretty good where Mexico City as Managua, temperatures there are very warm in the 30s.


CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. A ferocious heat wave is hitting Southeast Asia, but in the northeast U.S., more snow and cold weather is expected this week. Our Meteorologist Ivan Cabrera joins us now with more on this unseasonable weather, and of course, this extreme side, what is going on?

CABRERA: Complete extremes here now in India, it just pretty typical for this time of year but we should not be getting snow in the northeast this late in the season. We'll talk about then in the second, I'll show you where it's been snowing where it normally doesn't, right? So, temperatures that in India, throughout the week, we got a high temperatures upper 30s the low 40s if that seems cool over in Celsius here, it translates to about 100 or 105 degrees of Fahrenheit.

So, this is the time of year, where the heat really gets going in India. Because what we have is, of course, we've left the winter months. We're getting into the very hot temperatures through the next several months. But we're not yet into the monsoon, those cooling rains that come in from the south and continue pushing up to the north. So because of that and that doesn't happen until May, by the way. We're going to continue with some problems here. Warmest March in eight years for New Delhi, this doesn't help, zero rain for the month March. And that hadn't happened since 2010. We will have some pre-monsoon storms. My concern with that is that able to increase humidity in areas that don't get the beneficial rain across the Eastern States here.

And humidity increasing along with the temperature, and that combination, heat index could be deadly the next few days. We will watch that very closely with across the western site, you can see they're not much doing as far as any significant rainfall. So we'll continue to watch that.

I do want to show you something. Well, this is unusual for this time of year. Kansas City through the weekend. How about a snowy Easter? Easter eggs under the snow? This is exactly what they have to deal with your -- with several inches of accumulation.

This occurring at Kansas City but the storm has continued to push to the east. Those folks trying to get around that's exactly what it's going to look in the New York getting into the next few hours. As our storm has made do you see the winter weather advisories? This would not be a big deal but it's the fact that we're in April. So. if this was January or February, a quick little move in here.

But it's going to drop a bit two to four inches and it is terrible timing because the morning commute is getting underway. Rosemary here is going to be a big problem with two to three-inch totals. I think some areas have potential for the eight inches, our Natalie Allen was getting on a plane to New York. I said, listen, just sleep in, take a later flight and I think, you'll be OK as we check on the seven-day forecast here. You will see the temperatures beginning to warm up, Rosemary. How about some 60s after our snow event early this morning?

[02:56:19] CHURCH: Yes, let's have that. All right, thanks so much, Ivan, we'll chat next hour.

One family in the U.S. State of Florida found an unwelcome guest taking a late night dip in their pool. Yes, that is a 3 1/2 meter long alligator, can you see it? Take a look at this incredible video. The sheriff in Sarasota says the gator made his way into the pool after breaking through a screen. A professional tracker was called in to safely remove the alligator from the water. Wow!

Thanks for your company this hour. I'm Rosemary Church, another hour of NEWSROOM coming your way in just a moment. You're watching CNN, the world's news leader. Don't go anywhere.