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Volcano eruption in Hawaii; North Korea Summit with the U.S.; Rudy Giuliani's Media Blitz; Devin Nunes to Hold Jeff Sessions in Contempt; North Korea: Trump Ruining Good Mood Ahead Of Summit; First Lady Melania Trump To Unveil Formal Platform; McCain Voices Concerns About State Of The U.S.; Fans Wish Alex Ferguson A Speedy Recovery. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired May 7, 2018 - 02:00   ET


[02:00:10] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN, ANCHOR: Warnings from the North Korean regime to stop misleading public opinion. We will look at how this might impact the planned talks between the United States and North Korea. Plus, President Trump's newest attorney continues his media blitz, this time actually talking about the Russia investigation.

And later, residents in Hawaii posts things like this. (Inaudible) the lava shooting up from the ground. Hello and welcome to our viewers here in the United States and those of you joining us from all around the world. Great to have you with us, I'm Rosemary Church at CNN Headquarters in Atlanta. This is CNN Newsroom.

(Inaudible) possibly weeks away from a historic summit, North Korea is warning the United States to tone down the rhetoric or risk ruining their recent diplomatic breakthroughs. According to state run media, North Korea says the U.S. is deliberately provoking the country and misleading public opinion by claiming sanctions to force Pyongyang to the negotiating table.

A foreign ministry spokesman reportedly called it a dangerous attempt to ruin the hard-won atmosphere of dialogue and bring the situation back to square one. But the spokesman says the country is willing to denuclearize because of the summit between North and South Korea, not because of the U.S. pressure. And this comes ahead of a planned summit between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un.

Alexandra Field joins us now live from Seoul with the very latest. Good to see you, Alexandra. So what impact might all this have on the upcoming face-to-face meeting between the two leaders?

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN, CORRESPONDENT: Well, Rosemary, I think we just need to regard this as the kind of rhetoric that we do periodically see coming from North Korea. Certainly, they have muted their criticism and the tone of their criticism against the United States in recent weeks or months. But this is an opportunity for North Korea through its state news to flex its muscle, assert its power and its strength going into this summit, and it's finally opportunity for them to write the history of this incredible moment on the Korean peninsula, for their people in their own words. Certainly, there is (Inaudible) dispute here about how this summit has

come together, how this moment has come together, in which we will see Kim Jong-Un and President Trump coming face to face, certainly, something that no one would have expected. You have heard officials within the administration in the United States, saying repeatedly that this moment is the result of economic sanctions and this international campaign of maximum pressure against North Korea.

They consider it a diplomatic success but it has been led by the United States. Certainly, North Korea is going to take a different position with their people and try to broadcast that on a more global level by saying that actually it's their own demonstration of power that has led to this moment. This is part of their effort, certainly to build their own leaders' ability to lead inside that country.

They're certainly going to give him credit for bringing North Korea to this point and for having this sort of calculation that has gotten us to this place. But again, this is not the kind of incendiary rhetoric that you've seen from North Korea in the past, and this is a statement that they've made over and over again.

They want to insist that they're going into the summit in a position of strength. They are not there because they have been forced to be there as a result of sanctions, Rosemary.

CHURCH: And Alexandra, we still know where this meeting will be held and when exactly. And we're also waiting for what we have been told was the imminent release of the three U.S. detainees. What is the latest information that you have on that?

FIELD: Yeah. A lot of groundwork is still being laid for this summit. There's going to be a meeting between the South Korean President and President Trump. That will happen on May 22nd. Again, we are waiting for the date of this summit between Trump and Kim Jong- Un. But the question that you point out, the world is really asking is whether or not these American detainees will be released in advance of the summit.

Officials within the administration in Washington have expressed a great deal of confidence that they will be. It is widely regarded that this would be a good faith effort or a goodwill gesture from North Korea to release the detainees. It seems so tantalizingly close. Just last week, when the President's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani almost inexplicably announced that the men would be released last Thursday.

That of course, did not happen. Officials within the White House, officials within the State Department have not been able to confirm when a release could happen, but certainly, they are remaining optimistic that North Korea will in fact make this gesture. They say it's something that would go a long way toward establishing the right kind of atmosphere for these historic talks to take place, Rosemary.

[02:04:53] CHURCH: It most certainly would. Alexander Field joining us live from Seoul in South Korea, just after three o'clock in the afternoon. Thanks for that. Well, another nuclear issue, this one with a deadline just days away. Of course, I'm talking about Iran. Britain's foreign secretary is urging President Trump not to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.

In a New York Times opinion piece, Boris Johnson writes, this, at this delicate juncture, it would be a mistake to walk away from the nuclear agreement and remove the restraints that it places on Iran. I am sure of one thing. Every available alternative is worse. The wisest course would be to improve the hand counts rather than break them.

But Iran's President for his part warns the U.S. would come to regret it if it chooses to quit the deal. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If America leaves the nuclear accord, it will soon see that this instill historic remorse.


CHURCH: Mr. Trump is set to decide by Saturday whether or not to waive sanctions against Iran again. If he does not, he will be effectively pulling the United States out of that nuclear agreement. So just recap of what's in that deal. The U.S., Iran, China, Russia, France, Britain, and the European Union signed on to the 2015 agreement.

Iran is required to reduce centrifuges, cut its nuclear weapon and weapons grade uranium stockpiles, and allow inspections. Now in exchange, the U.S. and U.N. waive sanctions at Tehran and $100 billion of its frozen funds returned. President Trump called it the worst deal in history. He said the U.S. would withdraw unless major flaws were corrected.

He wants international inspectors to have immediate access to nuclear facilities. Right now, Iran has 24 days to allow inspectors in. Mr. Trump also wants Iran punished for continuing to develop long range missiles. There is also the issue that some provisions of the deal funds that in 2025.


DONALD TRUMP, UNITED STATES, PRESIDENT: In just a few years, as key restrictions disappear, Iran can sprint towards a rapid nuclear weapons breakout. We got weak inspections in exchange for no more than a purely short term and temporary delay in Iran's path to nuclear weapons.


CHURCH: In seven years, Iran will be able to enrich its uranium. The President thinks limits on Iran's enrichment program should be permanent. The deal also does not address Iran's alleged funding of terrorism. But supporters of the agreement say it was designed to deal with just one problem, Iran's nuclear program.

Well, former New York Mayor, Rudy Giuliani, is on a media tour to try to help his newest client, President Donald Trump. Speaking to CNN Sunday, Giuliani gave us his thoughts on the Special Counsel's Russia probe and the payoff made to porn star Stormy Daniels, more now from Boris Sanchez.


BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN, CORRESPONDENT: The President's newly minted attorney, Rudy Giuliani, making some news on Sunday, on the Sunday morning talk shows, and also speaking to my colleague, Dana Bash. Shortly after a meeting that he had with the President at his golf club in Virginia on Sunday, Giuliani telling Dana Bash that he believes that the founding fathers wanted the President to have a sort of a special executive privilege that would keep him from being indicted.

That's part of the reason that Giuliani said on the Sunday morning talk shows that he believes that the President would not have to comply with the subpoena coming from a Special Counsel. Listen to this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What happens if Robert Mueller subpoenas the President? Will you comply?

RUDY GIULIANI, NEW YORK, FORMER MAYOR: Well, we don't have to. He is the President of the United States. We can assert the same privileges of the President.

Giuliani also saying that if indeed the President were forced to comply, then he would advise him to plead the Fifth Amendment, he believes that the Special Counsel is trying to lay a trap for the President. Giuliani also told Dana Bash that he and the President have come to an agreement when it comes to dealing with the Special Counsel, depending on what Robert Mueller does moving forward, and that they had also reached an agreement about what the President's focus should be.

Giuliani saying that he wants President Trump to focus on the big picture, on denuclearization talks with North Korea, trade with China, and the Iran nuclear deal and to let Giuliani focus specifically on the President's legal woes. Dana also asked Giuliani about what the President said earlier this week about him not having all the facts when he went on Fox News and contradicted some of what the President had previously said about the stormy Daniels saga.

Giuliani saying that he is still getting up to speed, that there are some 1.2 million documents that he is yet to sort through and to look at. Unclear if in any of those documents, there is any indication of when the President knew of that hush money payment to Stormy Daniels, and what he was reimbursing his attorney Michael Cohen for after the campaign ended. Boris Sanchez, CNN at the White House.


[02:10:15] CHURCH: So let's bring in James Davis. He is the Dean of the School of Economics and Political Science at the University of St. Gallen in Munich, Germany, good to have you with us. JAMES DAVIS, UNIVERSITY OF ST. GALLEN, DEAN OF THE SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS

AND POLITICAL SCIENCE: Good morning, Rosemary.

CHURCH: So President Trump's new lawyer, Rudy Giuliani tried to set the record straight on his latest media blitz, but instead appeared to muddy the waters somewhat. He said the founding fathers intended the President to have special executive privilege that would prevent him from being indicted, and that's why he thinks Mr. Trump would not have to comply with any subpoena from the Special Counsel, but could plead the fifth if he is forced to comply.

What did you make of all that and what's fact and what is fiction?

DAVIS: Well, the first question is whether or not Mr. Giuliani is serving the President well as an attorney or whether he's more taking on the role of a public relations manager for the President, but given the volume of material that he needs to master in order to advise the President of a legal strategy, I find it curious that he has so much time to make the rounds through all of these television stations and give all these interviews.

But with respect to the claims he's making, I think we do need to push a back a bit. The Supreme Court has ruled numerous times, going back at least to the Watergate hearings that the President is not above the law, that the President has to comply with lawful orders, law subpoenas, and cannot claim executive privilege in a way to get around a legal investigation.

So what we need to qualify those statements of Mr. Giuliani, of course, the President is a citizen as it is anyone else and has the right to plead the Fifth Amendment. But then again, the question would be how does the President think he might incriminate himself with his testimony. So I think there is quite a bit of pushback to do here and question whether or not Mr. Giuliani's really serving the interest of the President.

CHURCH: Yeah. And then of course, after contradicting the President at a bombshell interview on Fox last week, Giuliani attempted to clear things up Sunday on the Stormy Daniels issue. But we're still none the wiser on when the President knew of the hush money payment to Stormy Daniels and what he was reimbursing Michael Cohen for exactly.

Giuliani says he's still getting up to speed on the issue. Did he help or hinder Mr. Trump on this attempt to clear things up.

DAVIS: Well, I guess there are two aspects of this question. Politically, I think he actually might be helping the President in so far as the waters become evermore muddy and the average member of the public no longer knows what the questions are here. And so people just sort of shrug and move on.

Legally however, I think there may be some jeopardy coming out of this, because Mr. Trump's various lawyers and various changing stories either from Mr. Trump or from his lawyers create an atmosphere where Special Counsel could in fact find room for interesting questions, including facts -- get the President to contradict himself in his sworn testimony in a way that would perhaps be criminal.

So I think all these conflicting stories make it difficult for the President when and if he does have to testify before the special prosecutor, make it difficult for him to keep a coherent and clear line.

CHURCH: Right. Well, let's take a quick listen to how Stormy Daniels' attorney, Michael Avenatti responded to Giuliani's latest media blitz. Let's bring that up.


MICHAEL AVENATTI, STORMY DANIELS, ATTORNEY: This interview that Rudy Giuliani gave this morning is just the latest in a series of train wrecks for Rudy Giuliani and the President. They can't get their facts straight. They keep changing every interview they give. The facts take on a new life of their own. And this is what happens when you lie and try to cover up, and this is exactly what happens.


CHURCH: Strong words, lies and (Inaudible). That's according to Avenatti, and he calls Giuliani's performance a train wreck. Is that your reading of what we've been witnessing?

DAVIS: Yeah. I mean it is a train wreck in this instance. There is no clear storyline here, and if you're trying to defend yourself, if there's actually nothing there, then it should be pretty easy to have a consistent answer to the questions. But the President has argued that he knew nothing of the payments, than he didn't know if Mr. Cohen has claimed that the payments came from a personal line of credit on his real estate.

[02:15:14] And that Mr. Giuliani claims that the money came from the President. I mean we really just don't know what the answer is. Again though, I want to separate out the political implications of this from the legal implications. I think the legal jeopardy is clear, whether this damage is the President politically, I am not sure because I think that most people have just sort of given up trying to figure out what was is fact, what is fiction, and what is really serious in this whole incident.

CHURCH: Yeah. I think a lot of people have tuned out because it's just so confusing. James Davis, thank you so much for joining us and bringing us your analysis. We always appreciate it.

DAVIS: Thank you, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Well, the Chairman of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee says he plans to urge lawmakers to hold the U.S. Attorney General in contempt of Congress. Republican Devin Nunes accuses Jeff Sessions of withholding documents related to the Russia investigation and the committee's probe of alleged government surveillance abuses.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two weeks ago, we sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions. It's a classified letter (Inaudible) usual it was ignored and not acknowledge, just completely ignored. So last week, we sent a subpoena and then on Thursday, we discovered that they are not going to comply with our subpoena.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So what are you going to do about it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very important information that we need.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So what are you going to do?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The only thing left that we can do is we have to move quickly to hold the Attorney General of the United States in contempt, and that's what I'm going to press for this week.


CHURCH: In response, the Justice Department explained why the documents were held back. And I am quoting here, disclosure of responsive information to such requests can risk sever consequences, including potential loss of human lives, damage to relationships with valued international partners, compromise of ongoing criminal investigations, and interference with intelligence activities.

Well, a volcano in Hawaii is putting on quite a show, but it is deadly, the latest on the eruptions on the big island. Plus, Congress have some concerns about the Trump Administration's pick to run the CIA, why Gina Haskel's past may affect her future. We'll take a look at that and more when we come back. Stay with us.


[02:20:00] CHURCH: You're looking at molten lava spraying out the bright burning (Inaudible) more than 19 meters. That is some 300 feet into the air. It's in the neighborhood of (Inaudible) states of Hawaii's big island, which is being under siege now from constant volcanic eruptions for days. It looks spectacular but of course, it (Inaudible) up homes and threatening to change the landscape forever.

Experts say there are no signs the Kilauea volcano will stop erupting anytime soon. And right now, they were 10 volcanic visuals in this residential area, releasing lava and dangerous concentrations of toxic gas. Authorities are allowing some residents who were evacuated days ago to return to their homes to collect belongings they left behind.

But the dangerous conditions are making it hard for people to get through, leaving some residents frustrated. They just can't reach their homes.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People who belong in there or who need to patrol in there should be ought to be in there, not just we're all standing on the perimeter wondering and then hearing conflicting stories. And it just makes people more upset and more anxious, and you know now we don't need that level of anxiety to be any higher.


CHURCH: And of course, on top of that, many people are terrified of losing their homes and having no insurance to protect them. CNN's Stephanie Elam has more on that.


STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN, CORRESPONDENT: For people who live in the areas affected by these fissures of Leilani Estates, many of them were able to get back in to retrieve anything they weren't able to evacuate with the first go-round, but still, officials do not want them to stay there. They're saying these fissures continue to open and they don't know when these fissures are going to stop opening.

They don't know when the Kilauea eruption will finish. So they want people to get out of there, not just because of the lava that is bubbling up out of the earth and shooting up into the skies, some 6200 feet based on what some residents have told us. They don't want people to stay there also because of the toxic gases.

They are talking about sulfur dioxide that is also very dangerous. So that's why they've widened the perimeter around where these fissures are opening. I want to show you where I'm standing right now. This is a lava flow from 2014, and as you can see, it came down and cascaded around, threatening some buildings right here nearby.

There's no way to stop a lava flow when it is coming down, hot molten lava. So you just have to let it go, and that is the danger here for the people who had built their homes in these communities. If lava comes in and takes the home like it has done to several homes at this point, they may never be able to go back to their neighborhoods. And for many of them, that is the most devastating news.


CHURCH: So let's get some more on what residents can expect in the coming days. Our meteorologist, Pedram Javaheri joins us now from the international Weather Center. Of course, Pedram, when this is all over and we don't know when that will, be these residents will return to a very different landscape.


PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN, METEOROLOGIST: Absolutely. Change forever, yeah you know, it is not something you can go and remove. When this lava hardens, it's really not something at all that you can be manipulated across this region. And of course, you know, the history, the landscape, the geology of this region really plays -- of course through hundreds if not thousands of years, and when it comes to the landscape developing that it has, and we know what to expect at least in the next couple of weeks to a couple of months, potentially.

Earthquakes will continue additional fissures should be expected, the poisonous gas will be released every single time. We have one of these new fissures that are what officials expand that boundary that area of threat zone where the (Inaudible) removed away from this region, but of course, you only got so much land to work with.

[02:25:02] I want to breakdown the age of these islands, because once you go toward the northwestern periphery of the islands, the island of Kawai in fact is the oldest island across the chain of 132 islands that make up the archipelago here. We work our way into Oahu, 3.4 million into Molokai, 1.9 million. Lanai comes in at 1.3 million, and notice Maui and then eventually the big islands, the youngest islands in this chain.

So we're watching geology across this region, history literally taking place. And we know in fact just a couple of years ago, the eruption that occurred there that we saw Stephanie Elam and her story talking about the lava in place. But actually added some 200 acres of land across that region in the last couple of years, additional land form from that eruption, pushing out towards the coastal communities.

So here's what we're looking at. The eastern rift really the area of concern, 35 year period we watched her and seen her eruptions in 1983, another one in 1992 that consumed some 3 villages across this region. And then of course, 2012 to 2014, we lost 200 structures. Lava in places as much as 35 meters thick across this region.

So again, not something that can be manipulated and it is a very dangerous situation from the -- a lot of perspective and also the poisonous gases in the atmosphere there, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Yes, it most definitely -- it's important for people to get out of that area if they are there right now. Thanks so much, Pedram. Let's chat again about this next hour. Appreciate it. And we'll take a short break. (Inaudible) is a hard thing to run from and that could cause Trump nominee a promotion, why some lawmakers are worried about the President's choice to run the CIA.

Plus, waiting for the results in Lebanon's parliamentary elections, what we know about voter turnout. We'll have that for you in just a short while. Stay with us.


[02:30:09] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: A very warm welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Rosemary Church. I want to update you now on the main stories we've been following this hour. North Korea says the U.S. is deliberately provoking the country by saying it will not ease sanctions until the North gives up its nuclear weapons. According to state-run TV, Pyongyang claimed it is willing to denuclearize because of the North-South Summit, not U.S. pressure. Britain's Foreign Secretary will meet with the U.S. Vice President and the National Security Advisor in Washington this week to try to convince President Trump not to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.

In an op-ed in the New York Times, Boris Johnson wrote this, of all the options available to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, this pact offers the fewest disadvantages. Geologists say several volcanic vents continue to erupt on Hawaii's big island. It least 26 homes have been destroyed by molten lava from fissures opening up in a residential area. Authorities warn earthquakes, high levels of toxic gas, and new eruptions still threaten the area.

At least 14 people were killed in Eastern Afghanistan after a bomb exploded at a mosque that was being used to register people to vote. Thirty-three others were wounded. The Taliban have denied being involved in the attack and no other group has claimed responsibility. Well, the woman President Trump has picked to lead the CIA may have a rough road to getting that job. CNN has learned Gina Haspel offer to withdraw her nomination after questions arose about her past activities with the agency. Michelle Kosinski has the details.

MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: For a long time, in fact, ever since Gina Haspel has been nominated to be the first woman to head up the CIA, there have been these serious questions about her more than 30-year tenure there. Her support for U.S. torture programs after 9/11, the fact that she headed up a secret U.S. detention camp in Thailand that somebody was waterboarded there under her watch. But now, leading up to her nomination hearing on Wednesday, the White House has been getting plenty of questions from lawmakers wanting more clarity. The debate has been growing and it got to the point on Friday. We now know that the White House had significant concerns and Haspel herself had enough concerns about this hearing that she offered to withdraw her nomination. We know that she meet with people in the White House on Friday.

We also know she participated in this practice session known as a murder board where you go over all of these tough questions that she will absolutely face on Wednesday, and that reached the point where she said, you know, she would be willing to step away from this if it was going to be too tough. The Washington Post first reported the story and they reported that she was concerned not only about how this hearing would go but also how the CIA's reputation would come out of this. We know that later on Friday, she met for hours with two people on the White House staff including White House Spokesperson Sarah Sanders, and in the end it was decided she would continue with the nomination. So how tough will that hearing be on Wednesday? We already know the kinds of questions that lawmakers especially Democrats are going to hammer her with, but it is expected to be tough enough that at one point on Friday she was willing to walk away from this nomination.

CHURCH: And that was Michelle Kosinski reporting. Meanwhile, Russia's Vladimir Putin is just a few hours away from being sworn in again as president. The inauguration is expected to take place inside the Kremlin. A new cabinet will also be appointed. However, not everyone is happy about Mr. Putin having a fourth presidential term. This weekend thousands of protesters took to the streets for anti- government demonstrations. Police arrested about 300 protesters. Among them was Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny who was briefly detained in Moscow. Well, people in Lebanon have waited almost a decade to vote and they are still waiting to find out who won. Voting wrapped up Sunday in Lebanon's first parliamentary election in nine years. Official results are expected in the coming hours. This amid reports the turnout was low. The interior ministers say it was just less than 50 percent. That's compared to 54 percent in the last election. For more on the vote, CNN's Ben Wedeman filed this vote from Beirut.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is Lebanon' first election since 2009. Twice parliament had to delay the elections because of political paralysis and worries about instability spilling over from Syria.

[02:35:05] What's important about this election is that out of the 3.6 million eligible Lebanese voters, there are 800,000 new voters who are taking part. Many of them obviously have different concerns. We've spoken to people who say they're worried about the brain drain young Lebanese who want to leave the country because there are no opportunities. Other people complain about the fact that in most parts of Beirut every day, there's a three-hour power cut. You have perennial problems with the garbage here, so there's plenty to deal with apart from all of the sensitive sectarian issues here in this country.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The current regime if I have to give them a report card, they get an F on the report card, so they have failed. So they need to give way for someone else to give it a try.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (via translator): I say it's a big farce says (INAUDIBLE) we're fooling ourselves, but we're voting anyway.


WEDEMAN: We're now in the (INAUDIBLE) neighborhood of Beirut, a predominantly Shiite neighborhood where the two main Shia parties, Hezbollah and Amal are very strong. But it's important to keep in mind that nothing is straightforward here. These are the lists on which Hezbollah is running, but you'll find these Maronite Christians, this is Shia, Shia, Maronite Christian, Jews, Maronite Christian because Hezbollah has been part of an alliance in the government that's tied with the Maronite President of Lebanon. Traditionally, regional powers have played a role in Lebanese politics. Saudi Arabia, for instance, is a big backer of the Sunnis. Iran has supported the Shia community here.

This time however, it appears that their concerns are elsewhere and the focus of this election is very much on domestic issues. One thing that makes this election different is the growing role of groups like this (INAUDIBLE) or we are all my nation in Lebanese politics. These are people who reject the old sectarian patterns of Lebanon's power- sharing system, and want the government to do what a government is supposed to do, give you services on the basis of your citizenship, not your sectarian affiliation.


WEDEMAN: (INAUDIBLE) a candidate insists Lebanon is right for change.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (via translator): Are just the way for somehow who like to take a private company. They -- it gets from the father to the son, or if there is no son, to the son-in-law, and it's like a never ending story of corruption and abuse of power. What we would like is to get everybody involved in this. This is everybody's country.


WEDEMAN: No one expects these elections to result in an earthquake that brings the political elite crashing to the ground. They may, however, feel a tremor. Ben Wedeman, CNN Beirut.

CHURCH: Another horrific sexual attacked in India is sparking outrage as protesters demand justice. A teenage girl in a rural village was allegedly gang-raped last Thursday, then the girl was burned to death in her own home after her family south justice from a local village counsel. Earlier, we spoke with CNN's Nikhil Kumar from New Delhi.

NIKHIL KUMAR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The family alleges that on Thursday evening when they were attending a wedding, the girl -- the 16-year-old was kidnapped, brutally gang-raped. And on Friday, the family then approaches the local village counsel in this village as you said in the northeastern state on Jharkhand, one of the poorest parts of the country. The village itself is in a remote section of the state quite far away from the nearest urban center. They approached their village counsel seeking justice as you said. These village counsels don't have legal authorities. They tend to be made up of local elders, but in these distant parts of the country, they can sometimes build enormous influence.

So the family goes to them demanding justice narrating what happened the night before. The village counsel imposes punishment on these men but listen to what it is. They imposed a fine of 50,000 rupees. That's about $750 and they asked the men to do a hundred sit-ups. That's it. Then the case takes another very disturbing turn. The men -- the accused men in retribution -- in a chilling retribution for the family going to the village counsel to report this attacked the family.

[02:40:07] They attacked the family home. They burned the house down. The girl is inside and the family said that that's when she died. She was burned to death. The case is now with the local police. They've arrested more than a dozen men including the head of the village counsel and the body has been sent for an autopsy as we wait and we're waiting for more details to see how the investigation unfolds. But it has -- again, these very horrific details that once again turned the spotlight on the problem of sexual violence in this country.

CHURCH: Pakistan's Interior Minister has survived an apparent assassination attempt. Ahsan Iqbal was shot and injured while attending a political meeting in Punjab Province. Police say they arrested the gunman. They believe the shooting maybe linked to a hardline Islamist movement demanding tougher enforcement of Pakistan's blasphemy law. The attacked comes ahead of Pakistan's general elections which could be held as early as July. Coming up, President Trump's wife is set to outline her policy initiatives on Monday. But some of them may hit a little close to home. And one of President Trump's outspoken critics is spelling out his concerns for the U.S. even as he battles brain cancer. What Senator John McCain has to say? We'll take a look at that. Stay with us.


CHURCH: U.S. First Lady Melania Trump is set to make a major public announcement on Monday. She will unveil her formal platform from the Rose Garden. So far we know she will focus on children's issues. Mrs. Trump's efforts will include the issue of cyber bullying something for which her husband is often criticized. CNN's Kate Bennett has more now for us.

KATE BENNETT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Monday is a big day for First Lady Melania Trump. She will announce her formal platform in a Rose Garden ceremony in the afternoon. Now, several months ago, the first lady said she wanted to use her initiatives to focus on the well-being of children, and she has ranged on that front on anything from education to the emotional and physical health of kids. To the opioid crisis that's affecting families, specifically, newborns. And of course, social media kindness, something that includes cyberbullying.

This was addressed by the first lady last month when she met with tech leaders at the White House to talk about social media bullying. She said that she realizes she has been criticized and will continue to be because she's focusing on a topic for which her husband is often criticized.

However, Melania Trump has said she will move forward with this despite that criticism that she wants to help kids tackle meanness and bullying online. I think we'll expect to hear from the first lady as she unveils her branded platform. We could see more than one element into her initiative. She made brook them all together, we will have to wait and see.

However, it is a big day for first lady, 15 months into her tenure to be announcing her official platform. From Washington, Kate Bennett, CNN.

CHURCH: As you with Senator John McCain recovers from the treatment he's been receiving for brain cancer, he's keeping current on what's going on in Washington, and it has him worried. Polo Sandoval, reports a Republican lawmaker is speaking out with the close friend from politics and his memoir.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), CHAIR, SENATE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE: Maybe I'll have another five years. Maybe with the advances of oncology, they'll find new treatments from my cancer that would extend my life. Maybe I'll be gone before you hear this. My predicament is, well, rather unpredictable.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Senator John McCain, reflecting on his difficult battle with cancer and the state of the country. The New York Times reporting, McCain, recently shared a host of concerns with former Vice President Joe Biden. According to the Times, the Republican Senator urged his Democratic friend to "Not walk away from politics."

Biden declined to discuss the possibility of the 2020 bid with the newspaper. He did, however, underscore his friend's fragile state of health, and a concern of the country's reputation is being tarnished amid the political discord.

This weekend, although, he didn't mention McCain by name, President Trump, revisited his grudge against the Arizona Senator for his thumb down vote to end Obamacare last year.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are just decimating Obamacare, we got a bad vote the evening. We got a bad vote the evening that we were going to terminate Obamacare. We got a bad vote, you know about that, right? That was not a nice thing.

SANDOVAL: The relationship between Trump and McCain has been contentious. A source close at the Senator, tell CNN, McCain is making his own funeral plans and President Trump will not be invited. Instead, former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama are being asked to deliver eulogies.

Senator McCain, reflecting on the country's growing divide, and his memoir expected to be released later this month. Excerpt of it were aired by NPR last week. "Whether we think each other right or wrong in our views on the issues of the day, we owe each other our respect."

In his book, Senator McCain makes a last stand for civility. "Before I leave, I'd like to see our politics begin to return to the purposes and practices that distinguish our history from the history of other nations. I'd like to see us recover our sense that we are more alike than different."

Ben Domenech, McCain's son in law gave CBS's Face the Nation an update as his wife, Meghan, visited her father this weekend.

BEN DOMENECH, HOST, THE FEDERALIST RADIO HOUR: In his case, he's live the life over and over again enough, I think, enough for five or 10 different people, he's had a pretty amazing run. The fact is he's very grateful for the chances and the fortune that he's experienced in life. He is reflecting at the end on a lot of different things. And we just appreciate the fact that we've had such a good time to be able to spend with him in this moment. And we appreciate again all the support.

SANDOVAL: Polo Sandoval, CNN, New York.


CHURCH: It's been incredible human being. Let's take a short break. Still, to come, one of the biggest names in football is recovering. We will go to the stadium where Sir Alex Ferguson managed Manchester United for over a quarter century. We're back in a moment.


[02:51:49] PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: Good Monday to you. Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri, here for CNN "WEATHER WATCH" and we're tracking what's been happening around parts Eastern Canada. At the last couple of days we know the Canadian maritime sort of thing getting really battered with some strong storms but still some gusty winds but notice it does clear up and once it does, big blue, high pressure, takes over, and we get a very nice mild spring setup across portions of this region.

In particular, around Montreal, 14 degrees, sunny skies, Chicago, just the spectacular early spring day at 21. Well, the middle 20s down from Atlanta up towards areas around New York City at 23 degrees. Notice the cool air, it does eventually pull out and we get pretty nice widespread warmth here at the next couple of days potentially, the warmest days of 2018.

Upon us, for some cities at least, you know, New York, wasn't really warmer about a week ago but portions of the south will begin to make their first push into the lower 30s over the next several days.

Chicago up to 24 degrees, back down for Friday and Saturday, but notice pretty nice weekend there, at least, into the middle teams. And something interesting to tell you about. Into the tropics we go, there is an area of disturb weather, were watching carefully low probability this will turn into anything. But still, watching some thunderstorms develop, and of course, we know just the couple months away here, nearly a month away actually from hurricane season officially getting underway.

But Kingston, 28 degrees, some thunderstorms possible. Havana into the upper 20s, and we will leave you with conditions across South America.


CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. We are following the recovery of one of the most successful managers in the history of football, referred, of course here in the United States as soccer. The former coach of Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson is in intensive care after having emergency surgery for a brain hemorrhage.

The club says the surgery went very well. This video shows the moment his statue was unveiled at the Old Trafford Stadium where he managed Manchester United for over a quarter century, amazing.

And CNN Producer, Salma Abdelaziz is outside that stadium in Manchester and joins us now. So, some of fans across the world have been sending their thoughts and prayers to Sir Alex Ferguson. What more are you learning about how he's doing right now?

SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN FIELD PRODUCER: Well, Rosemary, we haven't received new news today. As you said, he went to the hospital, Saturday after he suffered a brain hemorrhage. He underwent an emergency procedure which went well according to the Manchester United Football Club, but that he will need a period of intensive care to optimize his recovery.

His health problem have, of course, triggered an outpouring of support around the world. Giants like Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, David Beckham, all taking to social media to voice their support for the man they call the boss. But perhaps, those hardest hit are here, and Manchester home, his club, of course, of 26 years. Take a listen to what some fans told us earlier. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[02:55:04] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just heard about the news and it's really sad because Sir Alex is like one of the most memorable like -- yes, personals in football, and that's really sad. So, we all hope that he will be better soon, and I wish him all the best, of course.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm also devastated it's saddened. I hope he gets better, and we are all praying for him, and hope he makes a speedy recovery.


ABDELAZIZ: Considered the greatest manager in British football history, his fans are hoping that fighting spirit will help him get through these tough times. Rosemary.

CHURCH: Yes, a lot of people across the globe sending him lots of love. Salma Abdelaziz, thank you so much for that. We appreciate it.

And thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM this hour. I'm Rosemary Church. I will be back with more world news right after the short break. You are watching CNN. Stick around.


[02:59:56] CHURCH: A warning to the United States from North Korea to stop misleading public opinion. We will look at how this might impact the planned talks between U.S. President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Plus, people in Lebanon wait for the result from their first election in nearly a decade. Our CNN team is live in Beirut, and later.