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Fired FBI Director James Comey Goes on Media Blitz; Cohen's Day in Court; More U.S. Sanctions against Russia Coming; Residents Fear Offensive on Daraa; Former U.S. First Lady Barbara Bush in Failing Health; Korean Diplomacy; Beyonce Headlines Coachella. Aired 12m-1a ET

Aired April 16, 2018 - 00:00   ET




UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is CNN breaking news.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hello, thank you for joining us. I'm Natalie Allen. And we begin with breaking news.

In a highly anticipated TV interview, former FBI director James Comey talks candidly about being fired, then attacked by U.S. President Donald Trump.

And Comey held back nothing. Giving his assessment of his former boss in plain terms.


GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC HOST: Is Donald Trump unfit to be president?

JAMES COMEY, FORMER FBI DIRECTOR: Yes. But not in the way I often hear people talk about it. I don't buy the stuff about him being mentally incompetent, the early stages of dementia. He strikes me as a person of above average intelligence, who's tracking conversations and knows what's going on.

I don't think he is medically unfit to be president. I think he is morally unfit to be president.

The person who sees moral equivalence in Charlottesville, who talks about and treats women like pieces of meat, who lies constantly about matters big and small and insists the American people believe it, that person is not fit to be President of the United States on moral grounds.


ALLEN: Comey is starting a media tour, promoting a new book coming out this week. In that book, "A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership," Comey gives his account of being asked to drop the investigation of former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and swear loyalty to President Trump. As for the lingering question, was President Trump compromised by the Russians, Comey did not have a definitive answer.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you think the Russians have something on Donald Trump?

COMEY: I think it is possible. I don't know. These are more words I never thought I would utter about a President of the United States. But it's possible.

STEPHANOPOULOS: That's stunning.

You can't say for certain that the President of the United States is not compromised by the Russians?

COMEY: Yes, it is stunning. And I wish I wasn't saying it. But it is just -- it's the truth. It always struck me and still strikes me as unlikely. And I would have been able to say with high confidence about any other president I dealt with. But I can't. It's possible.


ALLEN: Before the ABC network interview aired, President Trump went on a Twitter rampage against Comey.

In one of his many tweets Sunday, he called Comey "a slimeball and a leaker and a liar."

Joining me now from Los Angeles to break this down and give analysis to this interview, Peter Matthews, political analyst and professor of political science at Cypress College.

Peter, thank you for talking with me.

Peter Matthews Thank you, Natalie.

ALLEN: We've just had a hour of this interview. This is Comey's first interview since he was fired. He doesn't have much to say about the president in the positive. But this comes down to the Mueller investigation, which Comey's firing by the president launched.

Does Comey's book, his attack on the president, affect that investigation, in which he could be a star witness?

MATTHEWS: Well, certainly as a star witness he would affect it. But the book itself I don't think it affects it. But the book is so remarkable because the book itself is a bombshell. There's been no one in the past, a high-ranking official like the FBI director, to be able to attack the president, to say that the president was so morally unfit to be president. It's never happened in the past in any presidency.

And that's what was remarkable about the book. There were no new revelations, so to speak. But the fact that the book was even written and the way Comey comes out against Trump as a leader and questioned his moral authority to lead is just amazing. And I think it's going to have a major impact overall in the presidency.

ALLEN: Yes, you talk about no major revelations. Some were calling it a bombshell. But some of the things that Comey says about the president, Republicans have said about the president as far as him being morally unfit and some other things.

But Comey met early on with President Trump. Mr. Trump reportedly asked him to lay off Michael Flynn, his national security adviser, who was later fired by the president. Here's Comey on that meeting.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Could you have said, "Mr. President, I can't discuss this, you are doing something improper"?

COMEY: Maybe although if he didn't know he was doing something improper, why did he kick out the attorney general and the Vice President of the United States and the leaders of the intelligence community?

I mean, why am I alone if he's -- doesn't know the nature of the request?

But it is possible that in the moment, I should have, you know, another person would have said, "Sir, you --


COMEY: -- "can't ask me that. That is a criminal investigation. That could be obstruction of justice."

STEPHANOPOULOS: Was President Trump obstructing justice?

COMEY: Possibly. It is certainly some evidence of obstruction of justice.


ALLEN: How about that one, is that window into this investigation?

MATTHEWS: Well, certainly, when he comes out and says it is very possible he obstructed justice. But here is the thing about morality and ethics. He says he's untethered to the truth. That means that he is saying that the president has no moral compass. He's not connected to the rule of law.

And those are very heavy charges that, I think, quite often, I would say they're pretty accurate overall. Because you have seen President Trump say things that are not true, backtrack on his promises this way and that. And that is not very positive leadership when it comes to a president.

And Comey is just confirming this from a front row seat. So I think there is a good chance he did obstruct justice. And Comey says the same thing. So we'll have to see how the investigation, eventually what happens when the reports are finally written up.

ALLEN: Of course, the White House isn't holding back in responding. They have called him a liar, leaker; the president has called him a slimeball in a tweet. And Comey does go low. He attacks the president personally. His looks, ties, hands, hair.

Does that corrode Comey's integrity at all and his message overall in this book?

MATTHEWS: It could be a distraction from some people who are reading it. But it is of course a book that he wants to be sold widely or read widely. And so he writes it in an entertaining way to some extent. And those personal attacks are seen that way, in my view.

But you know, I don't want to criticize him too much for his personal (INAUDIBLE) President Trump, he talks about his hands, his eyes and all this. I think that could have been left out if you just want to be purely analysis of what the president is like as a leader and what he's lacking.

But this is a book that needs to be widely read. And I think Comey wrote it in that way.

ALLEN: And I suppose, as he goes on his book tour, Comey will be asked repeatedly, why did you go there as far as the personal attacks --


MATTHEWS: Of course.

ALLEN: -- on this president. It'll be interesting to see his answer.

But according to Comey's interview, we saw, President Trump and the White House, early on, were not concerned when Comey met with the president about Russia's involvement in the election to the point that to hinder it, it might have been a hindrance that affected our democracy.

He said there wasn't any outrage by the president over that. And that, in part, adds fuel to the mystery, doesn't it, of the Trump- Russia relationship, which continues to be at the center of Mr. Mueller's investigation.

MATTHEWS: Absolutely. Because this unconcern about Russia on the part of the president is very concerning for the rest of us and for Comey himself. And it just shows that, what is the, what is holding President Trump back from coming clean and saying, let the investigation continue. I've won't say a word about it.

Instead, he has been trying to interject all the time and that's where obstruction of justice can come in. Leave it alone.

And when I had a chance to talk to him on this show, I said, Mr. Trump, the best thing you can do is to leave the investigation alone. Leave Mr. Mueller alone and let the law take its course. That's the rule of law principle.

But the law has to be applied evenly and equal to anyone. The president is not above the law. But President Trump doesn't seem to understand that in a lot of ways. He thinks that he could be seen as above the law, the way he's acting and saying and asking Comey to lay off of the investigation of Michael Flynn.

That's amazing that a president would actually do that in a one-on-one dinner of all times. I think Comey has a lot to say about that and very significantly so.

ALLEN: Right. And as far as the president being above the law, "The New York Times" editorial, a blistering attack on that score. We are going to get into that in our next hour here on CNN NEWSROOM. And we know we will see you again then.

Peter Matthews, thanks again, we'll see you in a little while.

MATTHEWS: OK. Thank you.

ALLEN: All right, something else directly related to the U.S. president. Another event likely to be a thorn in his side.

His personal attorney, Michael Cohen, has been ordered to appear in court on Monday. Cohen's office, home and hotel room were raided by the FBI last week. A judge has ordered Cohen to attend Monday's hearing on how the seized materials will be handled.

Apparently he wasn't in court on Friday. The judge didn't like that.

Also, attending the hearing, Stormy Daniels. She's the adult film actress paid $130,000 by Cohen to keep quiet about an alleged affair with President Trump. Cohen has been at Donald Trump's side for decades, serving as both his personal attorney and a confidant. Brian Todd takes a closer look now at Michael Cohen, Donald Trump's fixer.


MICHAEL COHEN, DONALD TRUMP'S LAWYER: All right. (INAUDIBLE) before you knock each other over.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Donald Trump's personal lawyer and confidant in serious trouble on several fronts. Michael Cohen is coming off a tumultuous week, which included FBI raids on his home, office and hotel room and the news that Cohen has been the subject of a criminal investigation for months.

As he prepares to follow a judge's order for him to go to court on Monday, Cohen could be on the verge of taking a major legal hit, ostensibly in the service of one man.

COHEN: The next President of the United States of America.

TODD (voice-over): Prosecutors say Cohen has told last one witness Donald Trump is his only client.


TODD (voice-over): For 12 years, Cohen has been Trump's personal attorney or, as many call him, Trump's fixer. One former Trump campaign official says Cohen is a less cool version of "Ray Donovan," Showtime's fictional Hollywood fixer.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no. Oh, Jesus, Ray.


TODD (voice-over): But if Cohen is less cool than Donovan, observers say he's every bit as tenacious.

MARC FISHER, CO-AUTHOR, "TRUMP REVEALED": Michael Cohen is not averse to threatening people, he's a guy who carries a pistol in an ankle holster. He makes it clear to people that he's a tough guy.

TODD (voice-over): From sometimes ruthlessly maneuvering against people who have damaging information on Trump to trying to facilitate business deals for his boss, observers say Michael Cohen consistently doggedly displays the one characteristic Donald Trump values most.

FISHER: There's very little in the world that's more important to Donald Trump than loyalty and Michael Cohen has shown for more than a decade that he will hold confidences and that he will fight for Trump in the way that Trump likes and that is to hit hard, to always hit back harder than you've been hit.

TODD (voice-over): Cohen's legal handling of the Stormy Daniels case has come under scrutiny. He recently said he used his own personal funds to, quote, "facilitate" a payment to the porn star shortly before the 2016 elections.

Trump recently said he had no knowledge of the payment, something legal experts say is almost unheard of.

MARK GERAGOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It is extraordinary and I would tell you that probably 99.9 percent of the lawyers in America would never even contemplate doing this.

TODD (voice-over): Cohen tells CNN his legal handling of the Daniels case has been solid, airtight and that he believes it's Daniels who is now liable for millions in damages, based on her conduct. But Cohen is also being criticized from a pure public relations standpoint.

MICHAEL RUBIN, CRISIS COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALIST: I think the entire thing was either reckless, naive or completely incompetent.

TODD (voice-over): Crisis communication specialist Michael Rubin says it was a bad idea to believe paying Daniels off would make her go away.

What should Cohen have told Trump? RUBIN: Tell him this isn't going to work. That's what he really should have done. There was nothing they could have done to make this go away. So dealing with it honestly is pretty much the only choice they have.

TODD: Cohen defends himself on that score as well, telling us he hopes Daniels and her attorney are enjoying their 15 minutes of fame, that he thinks that will diminish significantly when a judgment is entered against her.

As for the allegations of an affair, Mr. Cohen reiterated his strong denial of an affair on three separate occasions -- Brian Todd, CNN. Washington.


ALLEN: Our other top story, Syria's war grinds on after joint strikes by the U.S., France and the U.K. Coming up here, the area that might be the next target of a government assault.





ALLEN: He is an international pariah. He's ordered the deaths of thousands of his own people. And Western powers just attacked his country over suspected chemical weapons use.

But Syrian president Bashar al-Assad is reportedly in a good mood. Russian state media say he met with Russian lawmakers Sunday and praised Soviet-era weapons. Russia claims they countered some of the strikes, by the U.S., France and U.K. The U.S. denies that. It also says Russia is about to be hit with more sanctions.

Here's what the top U.S. diplomat at the U.N. told CBS News on Sunday.


NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: So you will see that Russian sanctions will be coming down. Secretary Mnuchin will be announcing those on Monday if he hasn't already. And they will go directly to any sort of companies that were dealing with equipment related to Assad and chemical weapons use.

And so I think everyone is going to feel it at this point. I think everyone knows that, we sent a strong message. And our hope is that they listen to it.


ALLEN: U.S. President Donald Trump's order to strike Syria is getting a degree of bipartisan support in the United States. But on the other side of the Atlantic, British prime minister Theresa May has some explaining to do. She is set to face Parliament in the coming hours. Many lawmakers, especially in the opposition, question her decision to launch strikes without Parliament's approval.

CNN has correspondents covering this story across the world. Let's hear now from CNN's Jomana Karadsheh. She's live for us in Amman, Jordan.

A question, Jomana, is what impacts the strikes will have on the Syrian government's war strategy.

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, Natalie, I don't think anyone expected these strikes to be a game changer. They were really limited in scope and targeting the alleged chemical weapons capabilities, as we heard from the different governments involved.

You know, one displaced Syrian described them to us, saying that they were just a little slap on the wrist for the regime. You know, just a few hours after those strikes, we saw the regime declaring victory in Eastern Ghouta, that's a major accomplishment for this regime, securing the area around Damascus, the capital.

So, you know, after that, so many people who are living, still living in the handful of areas that remain under rebel control, are absolutely terrified of what might be coming next, as we learned in this CNN exclusive from Southern Syria.


KARADSHEH (voice-over): After months of relative calm on the southern front, this. Airstrikes and shelling reported in Daraa province (INAUDIBLE) U.S.-Russian (INAUDIBLE) cease-fire last summer. And with the regime backed by its allies on the ground and in the sky, capturing more territory from the opposition, some feel it is a matter of time before an offensive to reclaim the south, the birthplace of the Syrian revolution.

There seems to be a strange sense of normalcy on the streets of the city. But almost everyone interviewed fears what might be coming.

"We expect an attack on Daraa any minute. We are worried about women and children from Russian --


KARADSHEH (voice-over): -- airstrikes." this woman says.

"We are afraid of the attack on us because the Russian strikes will spare no human nor stone. And they will use all weapons on us," this Daraa resident says.

Before the truce, like other parts of Syria, Daraa was hard-hit, leaving much of city and the province divided between the regime and the opposition. Civilians like car mechanic Rafat al-Nasser (ph) were displayed by the fighting. He says recent strikes were near his home, leaving him no choice but to flee once again. Now he is a squatter in a town close to the Jordanian border. But al-

Nasser (ph) says nowhere is safe.

RAFAAT AL-NASSER (PH), CAR MECHANIC (through translator): I am worried for myself, for my children. I am afraid that what happened in Ghouta would happen here. This regime can do anything. They don't care. They use chemicals, cluster bombs and phosphorus.

KARADSHEH (voice-over): The Syrian government has repeatedly denied the use of chemical weapons. Rebel commanders from the Free Syrian Army, once receiving what they described as insufficient support from the U.S. and other allies, now say the international community has left them to face Russia and Iran alone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We have prepared ourselves for what is coming. The days ahead will have many surprises. So we must be ready to overcome this phase. We have taken several measures, military, social, inspecting front lines and meeting with the people to reassure them that everything is good and we are ready to face the worst case scenario.

KARADSHEH (voice-over): Any attempts to change the status quo here, bringing Iranian forces closer to a border shared with Jordan and Israel, could mean the start of yet another complicated chapter in this seemingly endless war.


KARADSHEH: And Natalie, it is not just in the south, another part of the country where people are really worried about what might be coming next is in the north, in Idlib province. That is where millions of displaced people from areas that have been recaptured by the regime were bused to these area that are under the control of rebel forces in the north.

They fear that they also might be the target of a regime offensive at some point. And aid groups have warned that Idlib has turned into this giant killbox -- Natalie.

ALLEN: Yes, in the shadow of a chemical attack. He's on the rampage yet again, it seems. How very, very sad. Jomana Karadsheh for us, thank you so much.

Before the joint strikes were launched, French president Emmanuel Macron said he had to convince U.S. President Donald Trump to leave U.S. troops in Syria. Mr. Macron made the comments in a televised interview with French media outlets.


EMMANUEL MACRON, FRENCH PRESIDENT (through translator): Ten days ago, President Trump said the U.S.' will is to disengage from Syria. He convinced him that it was necessary to stay. And I believe that, on the diplomatic front, beyond what went on, these three strikes, which are one part, but for me it is not the most important in what is going on in Syria. Please be reassured we have convinced him that we had to stay on in

the long term. The second thing is that we convinced him that we had to limit these strikes to chemical weapons, even though there had been a media tick uproar by way of tweets, which you may have been aware of.


ALLEN: In response to Mr. Macron's comments, the White House issued a statement Sunday, saying, "The U.S. mission has not changed. The president has been clear. He wants U.S. forces to come home as quickly as possible. We expect our regional allies and partners to take greater responsibility, both militarily and financially, for securing the region."

A little pushback there from the White House on Mr. Macron's comments.

For more on what can be expected next, let's turn to CNN military analyst, Lieutenant Colonel Rick Francona.

Rick, thank you for joining us. I want to reference first Jomana Karadsheh's report there. Already, that there are concerns that Assad is going to push south into Daraa and then perhaps north into Idlib province. This might have curtailed his chemical weaponry, we hope so. But it certainly has not curtailed his zeal to keep this war going.

LT. COL. RICK FRANCONA (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Yes, that's absolutely right. That was an excellent report. And I think that's exactly what is happening. We are already seeing Syrian troops massing around the Yarmouk (ph) camp in the southern suburbs of Damascus.

The regime wants to completely secure that Damascus area before they go anywhere else. After that is done, then I assume they're going to go south to Daraa and reduce that pocket and then they'll turn their focus to the north.

And Idlib, as she said, will be the killbox. It's going to be a bloodbath. That will probably be the final battle for the opposition. There is no way they're going to win this.


As we have talked before, I know how this ends. Bashar al-Assad stays in power. The Russians assume the powerbroker role and then this, the Russians, the Iranians and the Turks are going to decide what happens in Syria.

And if we don't maintain a presence there -- and this goes to what Macron was saying -- if we don't maintain some sort of a troop presence in that region, we are not going to get a vote as to what happens in Syria. And I don't think we are going to like the outcome if we don't have a say.

ALLEN: Right. Because no one wants to see Assad completely unimpeded as he continues his rampage.

The question is, how does the United States work in and around that?

FRANCONA: What we need to do is to get the focus back on ISIS. If you see what is happening in the Northern Syria right now, the ground campaign against ISIS has ground to a standstill because all of the Kurds, the Syrian Democratic Forces, made up mostly of the Kurdish YPG, which the Turks regard as a terrorist organization, have stopped fighting and they're, they're moving back through the border, to defend their, their homes, against the Turks.

The Turks have mounted a military operation trying to remove the Kurds from the border area. And, it has, it has, really, thrown a wrench into our plans as to defeat ISIS. So we have got to refocus our efforts in Northern Syria on ISIS. That's the mission right now. The American mission is to, is to reduce those ISIS pockets and eliminate ISIS on the ground.

We're not doing that right now. And until the Turks can be brought back into the fold it is not going to happen.

ALLEN: Let's talk about the psyche of Assad. We were just seeing video of him there, meeting with his team. He has his coat and tie on. He is acting like this is no big deal. Yet this pariah marches on. The appearance he gives of himself being a business man, conducting business, is rather sickening. And somehow, he continues to stay insulated from all of this going on around him.

FRANCONA: Yes, Syrian media is full of, of, coverage of him and his family, you know, acting like nothing is going on. We see life in Damascus, pretty normal. And this is all a show. Because the Syrians believe and the regime in particular that they have dodged a bullet here, that the strikes over the weekend did what they were supposed to do. They eliminated that chemical R&D facility in Barzeh.

And it sent the message to the Syrians that, if you use chemical weapons, the rest of the world react. But if you don't chemical weapons, everybody is willing to just let it happen, which is unfortunate. The Russians know this as well. And I think the Russians are the ones that are going to put the pressure on Bashar al- Assad not to use chemicals.

Though I think, it has been successful in that part because the Russians are, are really the ones that Bashar al-Assad is going to listen to.

ALLEN: All right, Rick Francona, as always, we thank you, we'll see you again.

North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un, is said to be sincere and genuine in his outreach to the world. And that praise is coming from a South Korean minister. We'll have that interview for you just ahead here. Much more news, please stay with us.





ALLEN: Welcome back. I'm Natalie Allen. Here are our top stories this hour.


In the history of the United States, there are only two women who have been both the wife and mother of a U.S. president. One of those women is Barbara Bush. And CNN has learned she is in very poor health. We get more now from CNN's Jamie Gangel.


JAMIE GANGEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We have some sad news: 92-year-old former first lady Barbara Bush, we are told, is in failing health according to sources close to the Bush family. I'm told she is being cared for at home in Houston and has decided she does not want to go back into the hospital. She has opted for something called comfort care.

This is not a complete surprise; if you have seen her in public, you might have noticed that she has been on oxygen for some time. We have learned that she has been battling COPD and congestive heart failure for the last two years. And she has been in and out of the hospital multiple times.

Most recently, she was admitted to Houston Methodist on Good Friday for about 10 days, suffering from shortness of breath. She was doing better, she was released. But then, the last couple of days, she started to fail again.

Her husband, former president George H.W. Bush is with her, as are her children, Doro, Marvin and Neil; her sons, former president George W. Bush and former Florida governor, Jeb Bush, have also been visiting and have been talking to her on the phone.

This is obviously a very challenging time for the family. A spokesman for the family issued a statement on Sunday, thanking everyone for their prayers and kind messages of support -- Jamie Gangel, CNN, Washington.


ALLEN: We will keep you posted on her health.

In Tokyo, a push for closer ties between Asia's two biggest economies. China's foreign minister met Sunday with his Japanese counterpart. Both ministers stressed the need to improve the often frosty relations between their two countries. They also discussed North Korea.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We would look to strengthen our cooperation between Japan and China to achieve our common goal, the complete, irreversible and --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): -- verifiable denuclearization of North Korea.


ALLEN: The leaders of the two Koreas are set to hold a summit later this month. That's ahead of a possible meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump.

In the North Korean capital, a meeting between Mr. Kim and a senior Chinese diplomat, state-run television shows the North Korean leader warmly greeting the diplomat as you just saw with a hug, who was visiting Pyongyang with an Chinese art troupe.

The diplomat traveled to North Korea last year but returned to Beijing without meeting Mr. Kim. Earlier this month, Kim Jong-un hosted South Korean pop stars in Pyongyang. CNN's Paula Hancocks spoke with the South Korean culture minister, who was at the event sitting right next to North Korea's leader.


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was an unlikely sight, the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, attending a K-pop concert in Pyongyang. By his side, South Korean culture minister, Do Jong-hwan.

HANCOCKS: What sort of things were you and Kim Jong-un talking about during the performance?

DO JONG-HWAN, SOUTH KOREAN CULTURE MINISTER (through translator): Chairman Kim Jong-un was very interested in the songs, what I knew about the singers, the lights for the stage. He said he hadn't seen that type of light before, asking if we had bought them from South Korea.

HANCOCKS (voice-over): Do says Kim Jong-un suggested a joint concert in Seoul in the autumn, showing that he wants upcoming summits with South Korean president Moon Jae-in and the U.S. president Donald Trump to be successful.

DO (through translator): He was very natural when he was talking about music, culture, sports. Kim Jong-un was completely different from the person you see on the news.

HANCOCKS (voice-over): Do says he understands critics and cynics of Kim Jong-un's outreach to the world following years of intense missile and nuclear testing but says he also believes that Kim was both sincere and genuine during their two-hour conversation. He hopes the Trump-Kim summit set for May or early June could move things forward. DO (through translator): I'm optimistic as both leaders take responsibility. They both have a tendency to make quick decisions with confidence.

HANCOCKS: From meeting Kim Jong-un, do you feel that you can trust him?

DO (through translator): I want to trust him. I think this is our chance to reset the destiny of our nation.

HANCOCKS (voice-over): Following North-South unity at the recent Winter Olympics, Do says Kim Jong-un himself proposed a basketball game between North and South Korea as well as joint teams at other events, moves that Do calls a steppingstone to peace -- Paula Hancocks, CNN, Seoul.


ALLEN: A massive bush fire rages on the outskirts of Sydney. Our Pedram Javaheri will have the story for us coming up next.

Plus, Queen B lives up to her me. All the details on Beyonce's historic Coachella performance.





ALLEN: Part of Southwest Sydney, Australia, have been under an emergency warning for most of the weekend in the face of this, an all- out-of-control bush fire. More than 2,400 hectares have burned since Saturday. There are no reports of any deaths. It's not clear what sparked the fire but officials are treating the cause as suspicious.


ALLEN: The beehive is still buzzing. Singer Beyonce headlined the Coachella music festival in California Saturday night, becoming the first woman of color to headline the event. And her historic performance included a few surprises.


ALLEN (voice-over): Beyonce reunited with former Destiny's Child bandmates, Kelly Rowland, and Michelle Williams. She also sang with husband Jay Z and danced with her singer (sic), Solange. And I just have one important quote on somebody on the front row there, and it comes from my son.

He said, "Mom, she outdid herself."

Thanks for watching. I'm Natalie Allen. "WORLD SPORT" is up next. I will be back at the top of the hour with more news.