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North Korea Warns Trump-Kim Summit Could Be In Jeopardy; North Korea Threatens To Pull Out Of U.S. Summit; E.U. Members Raise Concerns About Use Of Force; U.S. Embassy Opens Amid Deadly Clashes; Chinese Developer Linked To Trump Indonesia Project; TMZ Thomas Markle Will Miss Ceremony Due To Surgery; Spike Lee Debut Film "BlacKkKlanman" At Cannes; Lee Delivers Profanity Laden Anti-Trump Tirade At Cannes; Spike Lee Tells World To "Wake Up" Over Trump; LeBron Looking To Avoid Back-To-Back Losses; Marseille Face Atletico Madrid In Final Wednesday; Brazil Announce Final 23-Man Square Early; David Silva Finally Gets To Take Premature Son Home; Ovechkin Eyes Elusive Stanley Cup; Million Dollar Baseball Star Banned 80 Games; Spotlight On Fiji Rugby Sevens Aired 12-1a ET

Aired May 16, 2018 - 00:00   ET



JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: This is CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. Ahead this hour, the White House was blindsided after North Korea threatened to cancel the Trump-Kim meeting vowing not to be pushed into a corner over its nuclear program.

After the protest in Gaza, now comes the funerals as Palestinians bury the dead.

European leaders meantime are demanding answers from Israel.

Plus, it would not be a wedding without some family drama. Meghan Markle's dad, though, may just be taking the cake.

Hello. Welcome to our viewers all around the world. I'm John Vause. NEWSROOM L.A. starts right now.

North Korea is doubling down on its threat to cancel next month's summit between Kim Jong-un and President Trump. Earlier, the North suggested the summit could be in jeopardy because of a new round of joint military drills between the U.S. and South Korea.

Pyongyang also suspended high-level talks with South Korea hours before those scheduled to begin, and now an official quoted by state media says if the "Trump administration is genuinely committed to improving North Korea-U.S. relations and come out to the North Korea- U.S. summit, they will receive a deserving response.

But if they tried to push us into a corner, and force only unilateral nuclear abandonment, we will no longer be interested in that kind of talks and will have to reconsider whether we'll accept the upcoming North Korea-U.S. summit." CNN's Paula Hancocks joins us now live from Seoul. This is a much more strongly worded statement coming from the North Koreans. Actually, the initial statement saying that the talks may be in jeopardy didn't do the trick, I guess, so, they essentially up the ante here.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. It is a very clear threat to the United States that if the United States expects them to move towards a unilateral nuclear disarmament, then it's simply not going to work. They are not interested in talks. They are not interested in this upcoming summit.

So, it really up the ante in that respect. The one earlier we understood was clearly telling the U.S. that they were watching the attitude and they weren't happy with the (inaudible) drills that were going on.

But they are going one step further now, actually suggesting that this summit might not happen. Now, of course, it all depends on what the reaction from the White House, from the U.S. President Donald Trump is.

But it is a conditional thing that North Korea is pointing out at this point. They are not saying they wanted to pull out of this summit, but they are pulling back from the number of concessions really that they had given over recent weeks.

They have said that they were going to shut down this (inaudible) nuclear test site. That's still going to happen they say at the end of the May or before the end of May. Journalists invited to see that.

They've released three American detainees, which most people say should not have been arrested in the first place. And they've also said they are not going to carry missile launches and nuclear tests.

So, this is really from many points of view potentially a negotiation ahead of the summit pointing at that they are going to rollover and be happy with this unilateral disengagement from their nuclear program, which the U.S. appears to favor.

VAUSE: And moving on to the talks with South Korea, which the North canceled. They were essentially a follow-up to that historic summit between Kim Jong-un and President Moon Jae-in of South Korea. That happened last month. So, does that mean that now any progress, which was made between those two leaders, is that now on hold?

HANCOCKS: Well, what we've had from the Unification Ministry, they had a statement on this, and they said that this is inconsistent with the fundamental spirit and purpose of the Panmunjom Declaration.

Now within this agreement between the North and South Korean leaders, they said that they would cease all hostilities, which is what the North Koreans getting this on saying that if you're having these military drills then clearly these are hostilities.

So, that's why they are bringing these articles out according to North Korea. Today was going to be pushing this agreement forward. You are going to have vice ministers of railways on both sides.

So, clearly, they were talking about incremental steps in how to improve relations between the two Koreas improve economic cooperation between the two Koreas. So, that is on hold.

Now, clearly, the declaration from both sides still holds, but yes, the developments that we were hoping to see and certainly, the fact Koreans were hoping to see are now on hold. It's unclear where this goes from here -- John.

VAUSE: OK. Paula, thank you. Paula Hancocks for us live in Seoul.

[00:00:06] Let's go to Philip Yun, executive director of the Ploughshares Fund, former adviser on North Korea to President Bill Clinton. He is with us from San Francisco. OK, so I guess, let the brinkmanship begin.

Officials in North Korea was pretty tapered, some people speculated, it was just a bluff especially given past statements and threats coming from the North Koreans, but now that we have a much more strongly worded statement.

Still it's typical or not as strong as other threats that the North Koreans have made in the past. But does this suggest to you that the North Koreans are not bluffing? This is serious.

PHILIP YUN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, PLOUGHSHARES FUND: Well, the real negotiations are starting right now. Quite frankly, I was waiting for this to happen. Talk to North Korea, I've in hundreds of hours of negotiations with (inaudible) and never is a negotiation straight line.

At some point, they're going to make things bumpy and this is what's happening now. The key question is why are they doing this now? Some people are talking that there may be a genuine disagreement within North Korea and the leadership.

I'm kind of doubtful of that, but we have to realize that North Korea is not a monolith and these statements have been relatively low level. So, there may be some kind of lack of coordination or some people trying to make their voice now.

The second thing is they are genuinely concern about these war exercises. B-52s are part of this, which the North Koreans absolutely dislike. They've told us that and they don't like those bombing runs.

And there's some discussion that we may be pulling back on the B-52 parts of this as well. It's totally tactical and just to see how much more leverage they could have knowing that the South Korean president, Moon Jae-in and Donald Trump had put a lot of stock into this.

I mean, we have building this up. So, now they pull the rug for not under us and they are going to see how much more leverage they have on this. But I do think that is all about denuclearization.

As (inaudible), the vice minister, I've met him several times. He said we are not to give them up. It's all about timing. Do give them up now which is what the United States wants, or do they give them up later which is what North Korea wants? And so, this is the negotiation. This is where the rubber meets the road.

VAUSE: Let's get on to the military drills, Philip, you know, just be clear here, back in March, the South Korean national security adviser stood in front of the White House and said Kim Jong-un realize that those military exercises, which have been delayed for the Winter Olympics, he understood that they would go ahead.

And the impression the South Koreans gave is that Kim Jong-un was fine with that. Now, those exercises are over. These are new military drills, which has started involving the Air Force and the B-52s.

But why complain about those excises now? They've known that there is new round of military exercises were about to begin, and they started on Monday. So, why complain now?

YUN: Yes. So, it's really interesting. I mean, these are -- these are excellent dates request of the talks, but what's going on is that the discussion is that the North-South declaration said no hostile action.

And so, while they can tolerate a certain amount -- I guess the logic goes that the B-52s, which is a part of this may be a road too far. It's really unclear and the only way we can find out is having a conversation with them for clarification as to what is it that they really mean.

As I said, there are some discussion. We don't know if it's actually true or not that the B-52s may no longer be a part of this, but we know for a long time that this is something they really dislike.

It's unclear whether or not we just didn't read the tea leaves right and went ahead with it knowing that there was some sensitivity and not to give the North Koreans any pretext for making excuse.

VAUSE: Recently, when Donald Trump has talked about Kim Jong-un. He's been very flattering. He's used complementary language like this last month. Listen.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: So, we are having very, very good discussions. Kim Jong-un was -- he really has been very open, and I think very honorable from everything we are seeing. Now a lot of promises have been made by North Korea over the years, but they've never been in this position.


VAUSE: You know, is the U.S. president now learning that maybe Kim Jong-un isn't quite so open, honorable, straightforward as he thought.

YUN: Well, you know, I can't speak for what Donald Trump is thinking. I've got to believe that his advisers say expect something, expect the unexpected. This is what is part and parcel when you negotiate with North Korea.

And so, as I said, the real negotiations are beginning right now and it's good to be a sense of brinkmanship, you know, who's to be able held out longer and the North Koreans feel like they have some leverage.

I think there's also some feeling that the Iran deal is also having effect on this. The administration, U.S. administration is getting roundly criticized for pulling out. There is some sense that Donald Trump needs to have a win or have some success on North Korea.

And so, I think what the North Koreans are doing let's test this, let's see how far we can push and see what happens. So, this in that sense is very classic with renegotiating behavior.

[00:10:11] VAUSE: Yes. I guess, cancelling the South Korean meeting, it's one thing to walk out on South Korean government officials, it's another thing to cancel a summit with the U.S. president, which has been after for quite some time. Philip, appreciate you being with us. Thank you.

YUN: Thank you.

VAUSE: Now to Malaysia now, the former opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, has just been pardoned and released from jail. Anwar's case has dominated Malaysian politics for years. The 70-year-old was joined on sodomy charges in 2015 after a trail he says was politically motivated.

Just moments ago, Anwar was pardoned by King Mohammad and he's allowed to reenter politics. He is expected to succeed the country's new leader, Mahathir Mohamad, who won last week's election and has promised to step down.

The British government is calling for an independent investigation into the violence along the Israeli-Gaza border, which left at least 60 Palestinians dead. Thousands turned out for funerals in Gaza on Tuesday.

Palestinians say the Israelis use of live ammunition on protesters was excessive. Meantime, more than 200 Palestinians marched towards an Israeli outpost in the West Bank on Tuesday. Israeli forces used teargas and rubber-coated bullets to disperse the crowd.


MUSTAFA BARGHOUDI, PALESTINIAN POLITICIAN: We are here to peacefully protest against the Israeli massacre that was committed yesterday against our people and that took the lives of 59 Palestinians and injured thousands. We are here to say this Israeli oppression will not break our will or our (inaudible).

LT. COL. JONATHAN CONRICUS, ISRAEL DEFENSE FORCES: What we'll see eventually will be evidence that supports our story. We will understand that most of those who died yesterday and most of those who were wounded were part of Hamas and they were here not to protest peacefully but to attack Israel using firearms and using violence.


VAUSE: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon is a CNN national security analyst and a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. She joins us now from San Diego in California.

So, Gayle, on Tuesday at an emergency meeting of the Security Council, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, launched what was unapologetic defense of Israel. Listen to this.


NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: I asked my colleagues here in the Security Council, who among us, would accept this type of activity on your border no one will. No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has.


VAUSE: Well, here's an answer from E.U. members of the council, "While recognizing the right to protect its borders, we expect Israel to respect the fundamental right to peaceful protests and the principles of proportionality in the use of force in defending its legitimate security interest. Yes, the (inaudible) between Washington and the rest of the world especially Europe seems to be expanding into a chasm.

GAYLE TZEMACH LEMMON, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: You know, they are always has been involved on this, but really now you see dueling realities take hold and become ever larger. Where on the one hand, you saw the very powerful image of the embassy that opening.

And on the other you saw Palestinians fighting for their lives and I think gab between these two narratives is only growing wider because it truly was a situation where domestic political imperatives both in Israel and in Washington really determined what was happening on the ground.

VAUSE: Yes, also made the claim that the process in Gaza had nothing to do with the U.S. Embassy moving to Jerusalem and Palestinians in Gaza are protesting for a number of reasons. The U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is one of them and it seemed to be pouring fuel in what was an already raging fire.

LEMMON: I think that's the point, right? You talked about desperation, right? You have a situation where youth unemployment is well above 40 percent especially for young men age 15 to 29 where you have (inaudible) prospects and where you have a population that feels enormous desperation.

That is not all because of Israel, but there is certainly a reality that cannot be escape, which is the desperation of young people, who feel like that this is the only way for them to be heard.

VAUSE: I want you to take a look at the front page of Tuesday's "New York Daily News." There's a photograph of Ivanka Trump drinking champagne at the U.S. Embassy ceremony there in Jerusalem because at the same time dozens are being shot dead in Gaza.

The headlines, "Daddy's little ghoul," some criticism, but the split- screen image here with you -- this was in part at least Jerusalem and the slaughter in Gaza, it was surreal.

And you know, for an administration with the president, he seems (inaudible) power image. He is very tone deaf on this, if you like.

LEMMON: It's an enormous challenge (inaudible) the split-screen, right? I mean, you have winter on the side of Gaza, right, young people desperate and really protesting and facing enormous challenges because (inaudible). The other, you have jubilation in the spring.

[00:15:07] You know, this idea that there is a new dawn in terms of what's possible on the Israeli side and (inaudible) Israelis have really scored a number of victories if you want to look at it in gulf power. Really seeing them as a player, it's not an ally in the fight against Iran.

You had even Bahrain and some other gulf powers almost defending Israel in striking Iran inside Syria just last week, which is, you know, shifting of alliances in the way that we haven't seen.

So, all this comes at a time when I think Israel has really, you know, acquiring more friends and really winning more support also from -- with U.S. withdrawal in the Iranian deal than had been previously imagined.

VAUSE: Yes. And all the time the situation in Gaza becomes more desperate. (Inaudible) in less than two years going to the U.N. becomes a real problem, I guess. Gayle, good to see you. Thank you.

Still to come here on NEWSROOM L.A., there's more reaction from the U.S. on North Korea's threat to pull plug on the Trump-Kim summit.

Also, new questions over a Trump team development, which is in the works in Indonesia. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. Live from Los Angeles.


VAUSE: More now on our top story, North Korea has threatened to abandon planned talks between Kim Jong-un and the U.S. President Donald Trump. This happens in June. But they'll cancel the summit if Washington insists on pushing it into a corner on nuclear disarmament.

It's also suspended high-level talks with South Korea that have been planned to start hours ago. North Korean state tv reports Pyongyang is protesting military drills between the U.S. and South Korea calling them provocative military disturbances.

Earlier on Tuesday, the U.S. State Department said it's still not changing his plans at least for now.


HEATHER NAUERT, U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESWOMAN: Kim Jong-un had said previously that he understands the need and utility of the United States and the Republic of Korea continuing in its joint exercises. They are exercises that are legal. They are planned well, well in advance.

We have not heard anything from that government or the government of South Korea to indicate that we would not continue conducting these exercises or that we would not continue planning for our meeting between President Tromp and Kim Jong-un next month.


VAUSE: With us now, Democratic strategists and associate professor of politics at Occidental College, Caroline Heldman, and Republican strategist, Chris Faulkner. OK, this afternoon, not long after this news broke, the U.S. president had nothing to say to reporters when he was asked about the threat coming from a very nice, open and honorable Kim Jong-un, as Donald Trump calls him, to cancel next month's summit.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Talk about the summit, Mr. President?


[00:20:13] VAUSE: Maybe CNN's Jeff Zeleny has reported, Donald Trump and the administration was totally blindsided by this North Korean threat and like everyone else, the president found out about this from watching television news, some just reporting.


JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: This is one thing that senior administration officials, some of them have quietly worried and wondered about, what could North Korea do to potentially disrupt the summit? Is President Trump acting too eager for this summit to happen here?

Has he removed the leverage from these discussions? As all of this is still being coming in and sorted through. I'm told by an administration official look for some other type of reaction possibly from the White House once they sort of get a handle on what's going on.


VAUSE: So, Chris, first to you, isn't this why you all of these issues before you announce the summit between the two leaders so that you don't get into a situation where the North Koreans are actively threatening you publicly to can the thing?

CHRIS FAULKNER, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I think it's safe to say that if you try and apply a rational perspective to rational players, you are always going to be disappointed and no one has proven themselves to be less rational than the North Korean dictatorship regime.

Really there are people in control there and not just Kim Jong-un. There are obviously people generals, people around him that their whole basis for power is crisis, and if you remove that part of crises, you're moving that power base.

So inevitably there are going to be people that are going to try and disrupt this process. I lived in Seoul for three and a half years, and it is an incredibly personal tumultuous process between two Koreas in particular North Korea.

VAUSE: Caroline, (inaudible) the president has given how much he's built it up and how much (inaudible) on him politically coming with midterms, basically at least. Is there ever a battle here with the North Koreans?

CAROLINE HELDMAN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I think the summit will happen. I think that this is just standard in the playbook of Kim Jong-un, right, where you build up expectations, you make promises that looks like progress is going to happen, and then you choose something like I don't know annual drills that he knew were going to take place and you use that as an excuse to gain more leverage in the process.

I think there is no way that North Korea is going to give up its nukes. It's just way too important component of their foreign policy and so this is just something to give him more leverage and more concessions leading up to the summit.

VAUSE: And no way that you will give up the chance to sit down with the U.S. president, which is what they wanted to take place.

HELDMAN: Exactly. So, what -- we know what we want. We want we want to nukes gone, right? We want that contained? What do they want? He certainly wants to sit down with Donald Trump and act as, though, he is equivalent to the U.S. president.

And in fact, having Donald Trump squirm right now puts -- gives him basically a propaganda crew right where he is in a position of power over a U.S. president. So, it's already a win for him.

VAUSE: OK, well, so new questions over the president's decision to lift sanctions on China's ZTE. The smartphone maker has been penalized for violating sanctions on Iran and North Korea.

To Matt Rivers now in Beijing. And Matt, this past Sunday, the president tweeted that he was working with Xi Jinping (inaudible) ZTE back into business to save Chinese jobs, but two before that came a report in the "South China Morning Post," a subsidiary of China estate-owned construction firm, Metallurgical Corporation of China (MCC) signed a deal with Indonesia's MMC Land to build a theme park outside Jakarta.

The project includes Trump branded hotels residences and a golf course as well as other hotels, shopping and residential developments. The deal is the latest to raise questions about the extent of Trump's financial exposure to Beijing.

What more do we know about this $500 million loan and the possible connection here with that decision to try and save ZTE?

MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I mean, to be clear, John, there is no evidence yet that has been presented publicly that the Trump Organization and this deal in Indonesia has anything to do with what the president tweeted about ZTE.

But let's walk our viewers through our quick timeline here, 2015, the Trump Organization agrees to a licensing agreement with this theme park with the company behind it called MNC Group, fast-forward June 2016, the Chinese company that's involved here agrees in principle to help develop this theme park.

Then fast-forward again towards last week that principal agreement is finalized and then a couple of days later you get the Trump tweet about ZTE. Now, there have been a couple responses. The Trump Organization said the deal had nothing to do with the China back development.

And MNC Group, the owner of the theme parks said that the theme park project is wholly owned by MNC Land and has no relationship to the Trump Organization. Now to be fair, we have seen this pattern by Chinese construction companies all over the world backing projects like this.

It's part of the "One Belt, One Road Initiative" that the government here is really pushing, but given Donald Trump's position as president, given the fact that he has not fully sold his ownership stake in the Trump Organization, and given the fact that the U.S. and China are locked in these trade negotiations.

[00:25:05] A Chinese delegation is in D.C. right now, even the appearance of impropriety is something needs to be examined, needs to be looked, but John to be clear, so far, there is no evidence that has been presented publicly that the ZTE announcement, which admittedly was very unexpected has anything to do with this project in Indonesia.

VAUSE: Matt, thank you. Matt Rivers there in Beijing. But Caroline, regardless of everything that Matt said, this is why there is an (inaudible) clause in the Constitution.

HELDMAN: That's right. It says that you can't actually benefit financially from your time in office. So that's a suspicious deal. What's also suspicious about this is that ZTE in April, Trump's administration decided that this company had been lying to the United States for so long have been violating all of these agreements not to sell to Iran, not to sell to North Korea.

That they pose a security threat. So, Donald Trump for some strange reason is backing this Chinese company that only has to do the Chinese jobs regardless of whatever he is trying to say that American jobs and at the end of the day, it poses a national security threat according to his own administration, so what's his motive? VAUSE: So, Chris, is it odd that the president is willing to ignore ZTE's violation of Iran and North Korean sanctions? Is it all that (inaudible) on what was a core campaign, a promise during the election or that he ignored a 2012 House Intelligence report which found ZTE cannot be trusted to be free of foreign state influence and thus poses a security threat to the United States and to our systems." Isn't it odd?

FAULKNER: It's only odd when you take this whole thing out of the entire context, trade negotiations with China. This isn't just about a cellphone manufacturer. This isn't about a golf course in Indonesia. This is about U.S. farm agricultural products being exported to China. This is about billions of dollars of U.S. exports to China both in Ag and as well as other commodities.

This is one part of an overall larger aspect. Of course, people are going to try and draw pictures of collusion that there are somehow an Indonesian group that bought franchise rights and somehow is connected after the fact to a Chinese corporation, who then is going to somehow benefit. It's a stretch.

HELDMAN: But (inaudible) put us here, though, right, because of the aluminum and steel tariffs. The fact that China is now threatening to sanction (inaudible) --


HELDMAN: Trump started a trade war and now we are paying for --

VAUSE: If Trump had put his company on a blind trust in the first place and actually subsidy the statement that his lawyer made back in January 2017, which is no new foreign deals to be made whatsoever during the duration of President Trump's presidency (inaudible), this wouldn't be happening.

FAULKNER: I believe the timeline specifically was 2015 when those rights were negotiated with Indonesian companies --

VAUSE: This is a (inaudible) now.

FAULKNER: Right. It happened after 2015 after the (inaudible) --


FAULKNER: (Inaudible) last week after the Trump Organization was already involved --

VAUSE: But again, there is reporting also in "South China Morning Post" that Don and Eric Trump have been actively involved in these negotiations as well. So, they are involved directly with this project.

And you know, if the president had isolated his businesses in some kind of blind trust, we wouldn't even be talking about this.

FAULKNER: Agree. You're right. We probably shouldn't have closed down the Clinton Foundation as well because taken those donations while she was secretary of state is a bad idea.

HELDMAN: I don't know if you know this, but Hillary Clinton is not the president so maybe if we focus on who is actually in power, that would be great.

VAUSE: OK, Chris and Caroline, thank you both.

Well, the royal wedding is just days away. Isha Sesay is in Windsor. How about that? Hello.

ISHA SESAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, there, John. Hello. I am here indeed in the chilly English weather, but there's lots heating up when it comes to the Markle family drama. I'll have all the details after a very quick break. See you then.


[00:31:23] VAUSE: Welcome back here everybody, your watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles, I'm John Vause. The headlines this hour.

North Korea is threatening to cancel the summit between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump, plan the next month. An official quoted by state media says, North Korea will not be pushed into a corner on nuclear abandonment. The North is also upset over new joined military drills between the U.S. and South Korea, and it postpone indefinitely talks with South Korea which was scheduled for Wednesday.

Thousands of Palestinians turned down on Tuesday for funerals of protesters, killing clashes with Israeli Forces. The British government has calling for an independent inquiry into the violence and European leader, say they are concerned by Israels use live ammunition on demonstrators.

And talking here officials, there's the meeting with Iran's foreign minister was positive and plan to being made to try salvage the Iran Nuclear Deal after the U.S. called out. Meantime, U.S. imposed sanction on Iran's central bank governor and an Iraq base may to read money for Iran's revolutionary guards.

Oh the bells, the bells it must be a wedding. And we had the latest on the drama surrounding the royal wedding. Father of the bride, Thomas Markle will miss the wedding because of heart surgery on Wednesday.

A day earlier, he told TMZ he wanted to walk Meghan down the aisle. This was after he said he'd stay away because of reporting stage photos for the paparazzi. For hours later he hold TMZ, he couldn't attend the wedding after all because of that surgery. How do they keep with all, Isha Sesay is at Windsor, she joins us out with the very latest.

OK, Isha, is it really possible though that Thomas Markle is actually skipping the wedding really to heart surgery which he booked in but -- in all 20 grounds notice. Or did someone have a quiet words say, (INAUDIBLE). SESAY: Come on now, John. John what is --

VAUSE: Isha, Isha.

SESAY: We have only -- we only -- Thomas Markle Sr. word to go on this as told to TMZ, that he is not going to be attending this wedding, because he needs some work done on his heart. Apparently, he tells that he had heart attack about a week ago, and that is some damage and now that work what we've done on Wednesday to be clear, CNN has tried to track him down, we're trying to find out where he is right now.

We do not know his whereabouts. We have reached out to the general hospital in Rosarito, Mexico, where he lived to find out whether he is indeed in the hospital, they have not commented, so we don't actually know the full situation. We don't have any -- anyone on the medical world to see well coming out and confirming that this operation is to take place.

We only have the word of TMZ that this is of course of action and that he will not be attending his daughter's big day. Which bring up the question John, who will walk Meghan down the aisle? Lots of different options where it is said according to TMZ that Meghan's father believes her mother would be the right option.


VAUSE: OK. Nice choice. OK, here are some words of wisdom from Royal biographer Penny Junor, he says, Harry, I absolutely just awful, because he tried to protect Meghan and the situation for her, is incredibly difficult. As he goes on to say, that Meghan, she got those wrenched half-siblings for making troubled for her as well as uncles who seen the complaining they haven't been invited despite not having seen her for years. We'll have these kinds of relatives tucked away somewhere in our families. But those dramas are not dished up for public consumption.

[00:35:19] He's got a point, how many of us would like our roses on show for the world to see. I know I certainly wouldn't.

SESAY: No, I mean you've got to feel for Meghan. I mean, this is first to be the happiest day of her life. And, you know, getting that stressful enough John, as you and I both know, that lead to all of this drama throwing in. And it is quite unfortunate. It is and quite unfortunate that, you know, she had the situation with her father and the stage photo, her half-sister has been front and center in the media, saying, own number of disparaging things about Meghan. Her half-brother Thomas Markle Jr. he wrote that open letter, saying Harry shouldn't marry Meghan.

It's all -- it's all ugly. Let's call it what it is. It's all ugly, it's all rather unseemly and, you know, it's in the age of ruining, what should be discuss, you know, happiest moment. Quite frankly --


SESAY: -- they only supply down. Let's just be honest at least I'll be.

VAUSE: More the other weddings, were they like the second, third happiest days, I'm just curious. But, as far as the man for the house is to goes. She just keeps talking, she is superior on television every way she's on Australia television --

SESAY: She just keeps talking.

VAUSE: I mean and she's taking all of the -- she talks about how, she has the horrible relationship between Meghan and her dad and how she (INAUDIBLE) her father. This going to stop. It's time for that woman to zip it.

SESAY: But not only that, she has a book coming out.

VAUSE: Oh my god.

SESAY: And she's got a book coming out, I mean, you know, "The Diary Of Princess Pushy Princess", (INAUDIBLE) something to that of state, where she is dishing -- you know, she says -- you know, on good morning person, there and so go not to judge a book by its title, which is kind of hard not to do, when it is called that.

I mean and it's just quite unfortunately again. And this Meghan is marrying into family that is, you know, on a cause them to such. They are used to protocol, they used to things being very orderly, and they're not use to the income of the newcomers, coming in with so much drama. Will on the stand that Meghan's mother and some other relatives are only meeting really the Queen and the other royal, really in the lead up to the wedding.

So, it's all just very uncomfortable and really, nobody needs this. I mean, John, I'm sure you remember meeting your in-laws for the first time. I mean, you know.

VAUSE: Yes, that isn't quite nice. I can't wait to see the episode of "The Crown" which deals with all of this, that's why about 10 years away. But it will be good.

Isha, lovely to see you.

SESAY: Oh my goodness. And it is also -- also I'm pointing out that some of the relatives are going to be royal correspondent but some of the network here in the UK. Those who have not been invited to the wedding.

VAUSE: It never ends.



SESAY: It never ends.

VAUSE: Well, CNN is cordially inviting you to the special coverage of Harry and Meghan's big day from the I dos to the dress, we'll have all of it covered Saturday, get a popcorn, put your feet up, all of it. Right here on CNN.

Spike Lee has debut his new film at Cannes, it called BlacKkKlansman. But it's the directors x-rated anti-Trump tirade which is getting all this anxious.


[00:40:33] VAUSE: Director Spike Lee, is calling out the U.S. President with an explicit film anti-Trump tirade. Well promoting his new film at Cannes. CNN's Robyn Turner has details.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's never been a black cop in this city. We think you might be the man open things up around here.

ROBYN TURNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Spike Lee's new movie, "BlacKkKlansman" is based on the true story of an African-American police officer infiltrating the Ku Klux Klan in the 1970s. The unlikely plot sees the black detective become a member of the Klan.

Lee, says the film has a message relevant from modern cinema goers.

SPIKE LEE, AMERICAN FILM DIRECTOR: We have a guy in the White House. I'm not going to say his (BLEEP) name. Who define a moment, because it's not just for Americans, for the world and that (BLEEP) was given a chance to say we are about love and not hate. And that (BLEEP) did not denounce the mother (BLEEP) clan, the alt-right, and those nasty mother (BLEEP).

TURNER (voice-over): He was referencing, U.S. President Donald Trump's controversial remarks in the aftermath of last years Charlottesville riot. But white nationalist and other right-wing groups clash this counter protest as demonstrating against racism and Nazi propaganda.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES: And you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides. You had people in that group excuse me, excuse me, I saw the same pictures as you did. You had people in that group that where there to protest, to taking down of to them a very, very important statue and then renaming of park from Robert Lee to another name.

TURNER: One Charlottesville protester Heather Heyer was killed when a car ramps into the crowd. The movie its final scenes link past and present with footage from the white nationalist rally and Mr. Trump's response at the time.

LEE: This film to me is a wake up call, because we got an okie dok walking around in the days as what is happening and its topsy-turvy and stake has been trumped as a truth.

So a job, as film maker is a story tellers, was to connect this putridity of peace to President day. Was happening now did not just hop up out of thin air. TUNER (voice-over): BlackKKlansman marks to return to Cannes for at least almost 30 years after his film "Do the Right Thing" (INAUDIBLE) on the Palme d'Or. The festivals top price. This time around Lee says, he doesn't care what the critic say, to him is about being on the right side of history.

Robyn Turner, CNN, Atlanta.


VAUSE: Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angles, I'm John Vause. Please stay with us. "WORLD SPORT" with Patrick Snell is up next.

You're watching CNN.


[00:40:19] PATRICK SNELL, CNN WORLD SPORT: Hi there. Thanks for joining us and welcome to CNN WORLD SPORT.

NBA superstar LeBron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers had an all to do on Tuesday night, having lost the first game of the postseason's Eastern Conference finals against the Boston Celtics.

James had appeal for calm, center was simply no need for panic after dropping the series opener. I said, back-to-back losses surely weren't on the script. LeBron, really looking the pot hear. He meant business and he certainly showed it initially. At least, he absolutely drags just see more red, backing to this the 21 points from him alone in the first quarter of this game.

A tally was tied the most points he's ever had in a playoff quarter, but then enough he joke, the system after colliding with Boston's Jayson Tatum a painful shoulder to the face and (INAUDIBLE) leading James retreating to the locker room.

He'd be back though, but by then, the Celtics have lamented with Marcus Morris tie it all up full fire up at 69 points of these, inspired by so many of these young talented Celtics. Jaylen Brown as well is going to see my 23 points as young Boston seem is nothing if not relentless determined and fearless too, overcoming a double-digit deficit the power its way to 107 points to 94 victory may now have a 2-0 series advantage, much for LeBron to fonder.

Meantime, the defending champions, the Golden State Warriors will try to take a 2-0 lead over the Rockets with victory on Wednesday. The Rockets are certain to come out firing on all cylinders to try and get it right back into this, especially with a series going back to Golden State for game three and four.

Don't bet against the Warriors, though. Since 2014-15, they are formidable. 13-1 after taking Game 1 of a playoff series.

All right, much look forward too, and look ahead too as well. Wednesday at the Europa League Final in the French City of Lyon, with Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid, are preparing to take on Olympic Marseille.

Later on, the first of two vague European finals this month for La Liga's Madrid-based clubs with Real taking on Liverpool in the Champions League final in the Ukraine, as well. And let you know so often in the shadow won't may Real having lost to recent Champions League finals to them in the recent campaigns, but they did win the Europa league in 2010 and 2012 and they were also the chomping to Spain in 2014.

As I say, they also made it to those Champions League finals, not yet again, in 2016. Next stop for them, though, its French opponents on French soil.


DIEGO SIMEONE, MANAGER, ATLETICO MADRID FOOTBALL CLUB (through translator): Tomorrow we are playing yet another final, a loss of emotions will be involved. We have dreams at this opportunity. But we also face it to the great deal of humility, whenever we comes to this situations, we need to approach it with humility and hard work.


SNELL: First, Diego Simeone, and then remember, he won't be on the touchline urging his team on its all. The Argentine -- really he's the supreme motivator, he always wears his heart on his very passionate sleep and his player's response to that as well. They really do sweat blood for him, they give 100%. Simeone will have to watch from the stance after he lost his appeal against the four much spine following a verbal clash with officials during the first leg of the semifinal with Arsenal. He meant to spend the whole of the second leg of that tie watching very frustrated at times, from afar enjoyed celebrating the goals though.

Marseille give when the European Champions League that was back in the early 1990s, but no French club has anyone, any European trophy since. And it seems the Europa League is really grown on their fans though. Just look at these images from the first game of their campaign back in September of their own Stade Velodrome, a stadium that can hold 67,000. Barely 8,000 people turning up, but the fans or even at the time calling the head coach Rudi Garcia to be shown the door, but they've turned things around superbly. And on Wednesday, they'll play in their first European Finals in 2004 when this tournament was actually called the UEFA Cup.

Well, a FIFA World Cup, is still lot just under a month or so away. But this the time when national team managers have to do something pretty difficult. A personal phone call the provisional all final squads are not being submitted for Russia 2018. And it means some pleasantly on tenterhooks to see if they made it, or they the ones getting the call, and what does the call tell them?

At those provisional squads, I mentioned have to be cut further to just 23 by June 4th. Brazil have the five-time Champions of the World, but the South Americans are still waiting to see if their prized asset Neymar, witnesses baffled to be fit in time following surgery on his foot earlier this year.

Last week, we learned one of the most experienced campaign as the PSD defender Dani Alvez won't make it to Russia due to injury, meaning a chance for someone else and that someone else is the Corinthians defender Fagner, who is discovered he will be going to football's biggest showpiece occasion, scenes of shared joy then, and relation, but the 28-year-old Brazilian.


[00:50:20] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fagner


SNELL: Back here, a Manchester City fan as well. This last few days, have also been causing for huge celebration. On Monday, the club stating an open top bus parade to shop the Premier League trophy, though. I have to say there was one notable absentee from all the merriment.

Wants disparate for right now for the club's Spanish playmaker David Silva. He has been featured in any of cities Premier League matches this year. Ever since shortly before Christmas, he's been keeping a close watch at the bedside of his baby son, Matteo, who was born prematurely. Silva revealing -- in fact, early in the New Year, that his son was fighting, "day by day" as he put it.

On Tuesday, though, came this joyous social media posting from the Spaniard, saying, quite "simply, were finally going home". Adding his eternal gratitude to hospital staff. Just look at those images, a wonderful sight indeed, absolutely fantastic to see.

All right, we'll returning the focus next step on to the NHL postseason playoffs, Russian superstar Alex Ovechkin is yet to win ice hockey's biggest prize. But I wonder, is he moving ever at a closer?


SNELL: Welcome back. It must be a source of great frustration to NHL superstar Alexander Ovechkin that is yet to win ice hockey's biggest and most prestigious prize, the Stanley Cup. The 32-year-old Russian who plays to the Washington Capitals has been the league's most valuable player three times but they remains at one clearing a mission from his career resume.

Redskin and the capitals are looking to go throughout in the Eastern Conference finals (INAUDIBLE) in front of the home front against the Tampa Bay Lightning and all the best in light from either. As he failed to score in this one, and full first hand determined opponents getting right back into the series.

And when brave in point found at the back of the net, it will be 4-1 to the visitors. 4-2 the final score. The real food for thought now for the capitals who seriously down to 2-1 in respect to seven and counts. The game 4 places 39th once again in America's Capital city. Some big news to bring you from the world, the Major League Baseball will be can tell you the Seattle Mariners star Robinson Cano, one of the sports best play players is now facing an eighty game suspension following a failed drug test.

Cano was from the Dominican Republic and his currently on a 10 year $240 million contract. Reported to have tested positive rebound substance while on a visit to his homeland on Tuesday, the 35-year-old issuing a statement which read in part, "Today, I decided to accept MLB's suspension. This was the most difficult decision I have ever had to make in my life. But ultimately, the right decision given that I do not dispute that I was given the substance, I apologize to my family, friends, fans, teammates, and the Mariners' organization.

[00:55:11] Well, Cano, won the 2009 World Series, the sport's biggest prize when he was with the fame New York Yankees. He's an eight-time All-Star with 305, career home runs to his name.

When it comes to Rugby Sevens, is one country that continues to set the bar very high indeed that would be Fiji in 2016. The Fijians deliver their country's first ever Olympic gold in Rio, but what or need who is a secret to their success? The South Pacific island nation also on the world suits, well, seven series in both 2015 and '16. And this year, they won four of last five legs of the current series on the well place the economic triumph.

The former Welsh player Gareth Baber, the head coach is bringing out the best in them right now. And as he told our Christina MacFarlane, the partnership has been mutually beneficial.


GARETH BABER, COACH, FIJI NATIONAL RUGBY SEVENS TEAM: I think the -- for the outcome you see is the way that is the way that they place. So, the less plays around perhaps using the wit of the field to pass the ball consecutively over numbers of time you'll taking contact areas.

They like to play the ball with pastry like to play with engaging defenses, but also being able to use the ball around their body a lot in front space brothers, a bit like basketball. On a bigger, bigger field.

For me, when it comes from and to drive up and down, the queens always, so you'll see games play boy kids or along the street. And they will be playing on the ruble, they'll be playing on dirt, they'll be playing on (INAUDIBLE) on times. Probably, similar to the likes of Brazilian soccer.

CHRISTINA MACFARLANE, CNN INTERNATIONAL SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: One other aspect here that we noticed to look up was religion. Biblical birth being done, even during 20 sessions. That must be an unusual circumstance for you, as well.

BABER: I obviously born up in city of Welsh. I was an altar boy. So, you know, I have -- I have a good reference when it comes to Christianity and whatever religion it would be. What you see here is obviously very much based around what these kids are growing up doing? And it is very much part of rugby.

I say the community and faith, and rugby, very, very tighten that admitted. And when I came in I realized that this is the something I want to change, this is something I want to embrace.

MACFARLANE: When you first came here to Fiji, isn't that I found you, perhaps to see so much homes and villagers where these players come from.

BABER: You know, it's fantastic when you go down on the reach, because these people don't have a lot in their lives. Yet, never know some of the people here are going to meet to the world. What I found quite unnerving is I'm gotten to places and people thank me for coaching the team. They say thank you for the job you're doing.

I never have that before. You're well done, or you're doing OK, or whatever but never thank you. You know, the thank you mean for what I'm doing for their country and that's, that's you know, fantastic situation to be in, and you know, it's a great experience me to have.


SNELL: Fascinating insight there. Thanks for joining us. Do join us for later Wednesday edition to WORLD SPORT. Stay with CNN, back next.