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Israel Blames Iran for Golan Heights Missile Attack; Giuliani Says Trump Denied TimeWarner-AT&T Merger Deal; Teen Bride's Death Sentence Sparks Global Outrage; A Royal Match: Harry & Meghan. Aired 3-3:30a ET
Aired May 12, 2018 - 03:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Outrage in Iran. Protesters hit the streets after the U.S. pulls out of the Iran nuclear deal.
Also a teenage girl sentenced to death in Sudan for killing her husband. She says he raped her in a horrific act.
Plus mixed messages: the president's lawyer suggests Mr. Trump tried to block the AT&T-TimeWarner merger but it turns out that depends on whom you ask.
Live from the CNN Center here in Atlanta, I'm Cyril Vanier. Great to have you with us.
VANIER: So just days after U.S. President Donald Trump rejected the historic nuclear deal with Iran, anti-American emotions were on full display in the Iranian capital. The fate of the nuclear agreement now hangs in the balance.
Foreign minister Javad Zarif heads to Brussels next week to meet with his counterparts from France, Germany and the U.K. They'll be seeking ways to keep the deal alive without the U.S. If that last- ditch effort fails, however, Tehran warns it may start its uranium enrichment program on a, quote, " industrial scale."
Complicating this situation is the potential for military clashes between Iran and Israel. CNN's Ian Lee is in the Golan Heights, which Israel says was attacked by Iranian rockets earlier this week.
Ian, we keep seeing these flare-ups between Iran and Israel and we've kept seeing them since the beginning of the year and they've been getting worse.
So where is this headed?
IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's a question a lot of people are wondering, Cyril. You're right. We do see these flare-ups from time to time and they have gotten progressively worse. This just last week, we saw that worse flare-up as the two exchanged blows and Israel struck dozens of targets.
But right now, it has calmed down. But it's likely we'll see a flare- up again, as Iran says they're not going to abandon Syria and Israel says that, if they see something that crosses one of their red lines in Syria, which is essentially Iran establishing a strong military presence, a permanent military presence, then they say they reserve the right to act.
But both sides, both President Rouhani of Iran as well as the Israeli government officials have said they want tensions to ease.
VANIER: Let's talk Iran nuclear deal now. Tehran is trying to save this agreement, despite the fact that the U.S. pulled out.
So can this deal survive?
LEE: That's very difficult. And that's going to be up for the diplomats to decide, Cyril, if they can salvage this deal. Right now, we know that Iran's foreign minister, Zarif, is visiting different European capitals, members, signatories of this Iran nuclear deal to see if they can salvage it.
That includes the U.K., France, Germany, also talking with the Russians and the Chinese to see if they can move forward without the United States' part of it.
But it is going to be very difficult because the United States has said they're going to reassert sanctions and keep that pressure on them. And Iran has said, listen, if this deal does fall apart, then they're going to start enriching uranium on an industrial scale.
Now that doesn't mean that they're going to start their nuclear program and kick it back up, their weapons program, rather; but this does make for a more tense time.
VANIER: You've got another being piece of news coming your way in the next 48 hours or so. The U.S. embassy in Israel officially being moved to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv on Monday.
What is -- or what is going to be the Palestinian response to this?
LEE: Well, the Palestinians are outraged by the United States' decision to move. Essentially they said that the United States can no longer be a fair broker in the peace process, basically sidelining the United States, which has put the peace process really on freeze.
But when it comes to the embassy that day, specifically, we're expecting to see protests in the West Bank and in Gaza and specifically in Gaza. Over the past month and a half, every Friday, we've seen protests called the March of Return, where Palestinians inside Gaza go to the border.
And they say they want to return to lands that were lost during the 1948-49 war with Israel. And Israel said anyone who tries to get to that border fence, who tries to cross over it, that is a red line. And they have used lethal force, killing dozens of people. They've been criticized for that, especially with children being shot
and killed and journalists. But Israel says, talking to some officials, they saying they're going to investigate those but they say that red line maintains itself.
LEE: So we're expecting this Monday to be the largest protests that we've in Gaza, which, Cyril, usually leads to the largest amount of violence.
VANIER: Absolutely, Ian Lee reporting live from the Golan Heights, thank you for your input, Ian, thanks.
VANIER: Let's bring in CNN global affairs analyst Kimberly Dozier.
Kimberly, does Israel feel it has a green light from the U.S. to move aggressively against Iran and Syria?
KIMBERLY DOZIER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: I think it's felt it had that for quite some time.
But on the Iranian side, there was a certain check to their action. They were staying within the lines, conducting a shadow war that, while they were aggressively supporting the Assad regime in Syria and supporting Houthi rebels in Yemen, they weren't overtly attacking Israel except a few furtive ventures with the drone in recent months.
But after Bibi Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, had that display, where he had those thousands of documents that he had produced on television to show that Iran had been hiding, lying about its nuclear weapons program years ago, a display that was mostly thought to be aimed at president Donald Trump ahead of his decision about the Iran deal, we've seen Tehran take the gloves off.
VANIER: And Iran has been fairly quiet in its response about these Israeli strikes so far. For about 36 hours, it didn't even acknowledge them.
Is Tehran laying low on this because it's got bigger fish to fry, namely, saving the Iran nuclear deal?
DOZIER: Well, at this point they have some options. They could go with a Hezbollah reaction. Hezbollah has, Israel says, 100, 000-plus missiles trained south at Israeli territory. But --
VANIER: So that's the Shiite militia in Lebanon, in Southern Lebanon.
DOZIER: -- exactly.
But right now we've got European nations saying they want to try to save their side of the Iran deal. Britain, France, Germany have all said they're going to have a meeting to try to figure out if they can continue trade, if they can keep Iran economically with its head above water so that it's worth staying within the deal.
So from Tehran's point of view, that's a reason not to escalate militarily because the people within Iran are still waiting for the economic rewards of this deal.
VANIER: And this deal, can it really survive now that the U.S. has pulled out?
DOZIER: From what I'm hearing from European officials, they are scrambling to figure out how they can maintain some sort of trade ties. But from their perspective, they see slowly companies across Europe making the decision that, in the long term, the U.S. is going to make it too hard to do business with Tehran and, therefore, not worth it.
So from the diplomats I've spoken to, they're afraid it's a lost cause but at least they've got to try.
VANIER: So look, I've got to ask you this, then.
If the deal falls through, do that to unleash a more aggressive response from Iran in the region, then?
DOZIER: Probably so. The actions that we've seen so far, the missile volley over the border into the Golan Heights, may just be the first step. But Iran also knows that they've got to carefully calibrate this. If they go too far, they can get into an absolute fight with Israel.
So I think what you're going to see is harassment in various different locations, just pushing at the edges, which is something they've done very skillfully, while they hope their European allies can pull something off.
VANIER: Kimberly Dozier, CNN global affairs analyst, good to talk to you. Thank you.
DOZIER: Thank you.
VANIER: U.S. stealth fighter jets have intercepted a pair of Russian bombers in international airspace off the Alaskan coast. U.S. and Canadian military officials say the long-range Russian Bear aircraft were spotted Friday morning in the air defense identification zone around Alaska's western coast.
They eventually left the area. The last time U.S. jets intercepted Russian aircraft was a year ago this month.
And we have dueling messages coming from the Trump camp on the merger of media giants AT&T and TimeWarner, which, we should note, is CNN's parent company.
One message comes from the president's new lawyer, the other from the Justice Department. CNN's Hadas Gold lays out the facts.
HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Rudy Giuliani is causing another headache for the White House and now also the Justice Department this weekend. It is all because of comments he made in an interview with the "Huffington Post."
Giuliani told the "Huffington Post" that whatever lobbying Michael Cohen did on behalf of companies --
-- like AT&T, who paid him for consulting, as we've recently learned, did not work. Giuliani used the example of AT&T's proposed merger with TimeWarner.
Now the Justice Department blocked that merger. They sued to try to stop it because they said that it would harm consumers.
But Giuliani said in his interview with the "Huffington Post" that it was the president who denied that merger. Now that matters because the Justice Department is supposed to operate independent of the president.
And they said that they sued to block the merger without any sort of interference from the president or any sort of political bias.
Rudy Giuliani's comments fly in the face of that and, in fact, there was even a sworn affidavit from the head of the antitrust division for the Justice Department, saying that he was not influenced at all by the president or the White House or anybody involved.
But now Rudy Giuliani is saying that in fact Donald Trump himself was the one who denied this merger. The question now is what AT&T will do with this information. A judge is currently taking his time deciding whether this merger can go through or not. We're expecting that decision from him on June 12th.
But AT&T could issue new filings on appeal; they could try to bring up this political bias defense. It's really giving them another part of their arsenal that they can bring forth in this defense. But at the end of the day, it is just another Rudy Giuliani headache for the White House and the Justice Department -- this is Hadas Gold, CNN, Washington.
VANIER: Immigration officials in Malaysia say the former prime minister and his wife are banned from leaving the country.
Najib Razak is accused of corruption involving state funds. Rumors spread that he was planning to leave the country after losing his reelection bid earlier this week. But Najib has tweeted that he will respect the order and that he and his family will remain in Malaysia. Next, protesters are calling on Sudan's president to pardon a teenager who was sentenced to death for murdering her husband while he allegedly raped her. We'll have a life report -- ahead.
Plus the latest on a deadly dam collapse in Kenya. What authorities are saying about the dam's construction. Stay with us.
VANIER: Time is running out for a Sudanese teenager sentenced to death for murdering her husband while he allegedly raped her.
Noura Hussein's legal team has less than two weeks to appeal the court's sentencing decision. Her case has shone a spotlight on marital rape, which isn't recognized in Sudanese law. A man can legally force intercourse on his wife. Our Isha Sesay has been closely following this and she joins us now from London.
Isha, this is just a horrific story from beginning to end.
The question now, the most important question, can Noura Hussein survive this?
ISHA SESAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That is the question that we're all contemplating and obviously, as people watch this story closely, are hoping --
SESAY: -- will be the outcome. But it is complicated by the fact that the sentence, the death penalty that was handed down was supported by her husband's family.
The husband's family basically could have seen Noura pardoned and a fine imposed but they specifically asked to see the death penalty imposed on Noura. In fact, when that judgment was handed down in the courtroom, clapped loudly and were quite jubilant at the fact.
Now as you've made clear, her lawyers have less than two weeks to appeal this. The hope is that, upon appeal, they will see that this was a forced marriage and will take into consideration the violence that Noura was subjected to and this death penalty will be done away with.
But it is really far from clear because to give context to our viewers, Sudan is a deeply patriarchal society. It is also a country, marriage is legal at age 10 and marital rape is legal.
So in the eyes of the culture, what Noura's husband did basically wasn't wrong. So it becomes very, very complicated to see how they would overturn this unless international pressure mounts to the point where the judges feels it's in the best interest of Sudan. VANIER: And there is right now significant support for her within the usual circles, which are NGOs, political activists.
But do we know -- and you started addressing this -- if there is support for Noura within Sudan?
SESAY: There actually is. This incident, this case has really shone a spotlight on the egregious treatment that women and girls face in many parts of Sudan. And Noura's courage, if you will -- and that's what it's been seen as by many women in Sudan, to basically run away, first of all, when the marriage was initially initiated, to run away to her aunt, where she stayed for three years and then to be brought back under false pretenses and married off, which resulted in this violent ending for her husband.
People see her as being incredibly brave and not being willing to accept the violent norms. And so a lot of women have stood up and expressed support for Noura. There are campaigns and there are petitions in the courtroom itself, when that death penalty handed down. It was full to overflowing, Cyril, with people from Sudan, standing up and saying she mustn't be put to death and that she herself was a victim in all of this.
VANIER: Isha, thank you so much for your update and for your great reporting. We're going to be following this. So there's a two-week clock that has started running as of yesterday. I was being told on an earlier show, speaking to somebody who's part of the campaign to help and support Noura Hussein.
Isha, we'll be hearing more from, you on this as well, thank you.
The World Health Organization is warning of a worst-case scenario as it ramps up its response to the current Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The WHO says there are now 32 suspected cases of the deadly disease. Two more have now been confirmed.
Officials say it will be tough and costly to stamp out the virus. The head of the WHO is traveling to the DRC in Central Africa this weekend to take stock of the situation.
And still in Africa, Kenyan authorities say the dam that burst on Wednesday and killed dozens of people was built illegally. At least 45 people are now confirmed dead and the local governor says 40 people are still missing. So that death toll may well rise.
Homes were swept away when the wall of the dam collapsed after heavy rain and flooding soaked the area. The Kenyan Red Cross estimates some 500 families have been affected.
VANIER: Residents of Hawaii's big island aren't out of the woods yet. It's been just more than a week since the Kilauea volcano's violent eruption. There haven't been new lava emissions since Wednesday. That's the good news.
But the threat of more explosions has again forced the closure of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
And the final preparations underway for the wedding of the year. In just one week, Britain's Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle will tie the knot. And some royal watchers have already placed their bets on key wedding details. Max Foster, ever the gambler, has more.
MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A week to go and no official announcements about the wedding for days now. But that hasn't stopped the speculation. When there's a vacuum of information from the palace, we tend to revert to what people are betting on. So here's what Brits have been obsessing about this week.
First, the dress: Ralph & Russo are the firm favorites as the designers. Erdem and Christopher Bailey are the other front-runners. The palace insists they won't confirm or deny any of the rumors until Meghan actually steps out of the car at the church on the wedding day.
Maybe she's had two made and hasn't decided which to go for we could speculate for England.
Harry's outfit isn't causing nearly as much excitement of course but people are betting that Harry will be wearing a uniform on the day and money is also being placed on whether he'll keep his beard. Most thinking he'll shave it off for the big day.
Then the weather. This is the U.K. and we obsess about nothing more. There's a mini heat wave on its way. And bets are being placed on it being the hottest day of the year. Good news for Markle, who was brought up in the California sun. Less so for Harry, especially if he's in the stifling ceremonial uniform.
Finally, they aren't even married and people are already talking about the baby. Ladbrokes have slashed their odds on Markle making a pregnancy announcement by the end of this year.
Let's give them a chance, though, shall we, to enjoy their first big royal event together without any of this. Not long now -- Max Foster, CNN, London.
VANIER: And way before Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were even thinking about a walk down the aisle together, they were dealing with various struggles. CNN takes an inside look at their past and future in our special, "A Royal Match: Harry and Meghan."
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Harry wants to keep his relationship with Meghan private as long as he can. But just four months after that first date the news is out. And the paparazzi pounced once again.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was a photographer who got inside Meghan's house in Toronto. The paparazzi were camping on her mother's front lawn and following and harassing members of her family, anybody who knew her.
CAMEROTA: Despite starring in a TV show, Meghan is relatively unknown. Now the British press wants to know who she is and if she's fit for the royal family.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was a woman who has been married. People are fascinated by the fact that she was divorced. People are fascinating by her background, her acting, a career woman.
How would that work being with someone in the royal family?
That's not what we've seen before.
CAMEROTA: They also have not seen someone biracial dating a member of the royal family.
CAMEROTA (voice-over): And some of the conversation is blatantly racist.
AFUA HIRSCH, JOURNALIST: There was one newspaper headline saying, "Straight out of Compton," suggesting that she was from a gang-ridden neighborhood.
CAMEROTA: Afua Hirsch is a journalist and recently wrote a book about race, identity and belonging in Britain.
HIRSCH: Would Harry be dropping around for tea in gangland, which was very clearly racially loaded.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Another issue exploded which was the number of horrific social media racist comments began to flood in from the darkest, vilest corners of the internet.
VANIER (voice-over): CNN's special report, "A Royal Match: Harry and Meghan," will air throughout the weekend on CNN. That includes Saturday at 8:00 pm Eastern time in the U.S. and Sunday evening at 7:00 in London. And of course we'll be carrying a lot of special programming for the event. That will be next weekend.
As President of the United States, every move you make is magnified, analyzed, scrutinized. And Donald Trump's body language is no exception, especially when he crosses his arms, which he seems to do a lot. Jeanne Moos went in search of answers about Mr. Trump's signature moves.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Some tend to think of President Trump as a man you'd better not cross. But there he is, crossing his arms.
TRUMP: And I think it's a disgrace.
MOOS (voice-over): In a very un-Trump like gesture.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a negative defensive gesture.
MOOS (voice-over): As the author of "Famous Faces Decoded" noted...
DAN HILL, DECODING EXPERT: But his shoulders hunched together, it's extremely unusual for Trump to make himself look smaller than he is.
MOOS (voice-over): -- normally his gestures are expansive, assertive. But it seems frequently...
TRUMP: And my performance --
MOOS: -- President Trump's been performing with arms crossed.
TRUMP: Didn't say what that congresswoman said. Didn't say it at all.
MOOS (on camera): Crossed arms even made it on to the list of the 10 worst body language mistakes to make in an interview.
MOOS (voice-over): Arms crossed over your chest signal defensiveness and resistance. When an expert like Dan Hill watches the president react to that FBI raid...
TRUMP: Democrats, all, just about all...
HILL: Underneath all the bluster and the anger is also a real sense of being under siege.
MOOS (voice-over): When the president had to listen to a Democratic governor argue against arming teachers...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Packing heat in first grade classes.
MOOS (voice-over): -- his crossed arms weren't just defensive.
HILL: But it's also dismissive. He shows contempt on his face.
MOOS (voice-over): Comedians have their own theory.
TREVOR NOAH, HOST, "THE DAILY SHOW": I think it's so cute that, whenever Trump is out of his depth, he gives himself away with that little hug that he gives himself for comfort.
MOOS (voice-over): It's become so common, Alec Baldwin has worked the gesture into his "SNL" impersonation.
KATE MCKINNON, COMEDIAN, "JEFF SESSIONS": Just like skunk stink on a bird dog, sir, I linger.
MOOS (voice-over): The crossed arms even inspired a parody product.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Do you have a president who's unrelieved?
TRUMP: No, get those lights off. Off.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are his arm movements a danger to those around him?
Then we've got a solution. The straitjacket suit for presidents. It looks just like a regular suit. No one has to know.
MOOS (voice-over): It has a way of tamping down the president's --
TRUMP: Fire and fury.
MOOS (voice-over): Jeanne Moos, CNN...
TRUMP: Why don't I just fire Mueller?
MOOS: -- New York.
VANIER: OK. Thanks for watching. I'm Cyril Vanier. I'll be back with the headlines in just a moment. Stay with us.