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President Trump 180 on ZTE; Death Toll in Gaza Condemned by International Community; North Korea Plans to Cancel Summit with U.S.; Anwar Ibrahim Pardoned And Released From Prison; Yemen's Forgotten War; Thomas Markle Will Miss Royal Wedding Due To Surgery; Prince Harry To Marry Meghan Markle Saturday. Aired 3-4a ET
Aired May 16, 2018 - 03:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[03:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ROSEMARY CHURCH, HOST, CNN: North Korea's latest surprise making new demands and threatening to pull out the sit down with Donald Trump.
As Palestinians bury their dead, international condemnation over Israel's use of deadly force at the U.S. but one powerful ally is defending those actions.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIKKI HALEY, UNITED STATES AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: And a CNN exclusive. The impact of Yemen civil war, a rare look at the devastating effects on civilians.
Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church, and this is CNN Newsroom.
North Korea is threatening to cancel next month's historical summit between leader Kim Jong-un and President Donald Trump. The North says it will not be pushed into a corner over its nuclear program and will reconsider the talks if the U.S. insists on unilateral nuclear abandonment.
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. The North called the drills a deliberate military provocation. And suspended high level talks with South Korea hours before they were scheduled to begin.
And CNN's Paula Hancocks is following the story from Seoul, she joins us now live. Good to see you, Paula. So, as we see, North Korea threatening to cancel the June summit with President Trump is the U.S. demands unilateral nuclear disarmament. What is going on here, is this all about gaining leverage for Kim Jong-un?
PAULA HANCOCKS, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Potentially, Rosemary, that certainly one of the scenarios that we could imagine. Is it pre- negotiation before the summit takes place, is it a power play. It's certainly a different tack that we're seeing from North Korea here.
In recent months we have seen some horrendous goodwill gestures from North Korea. We had seen this very speedy warming up in relations between both the North and South Koreans and the North Koreans and the United States. So certainly this has appeared to take the White House and the U.S. State Department by surprise, here in South Korea as well.
There was going to be a South Korean delegation heading to the DMZ today to have high-level talks with North Korean counterpart, so that was cancelled at the last minute by the North Koreans, saying because of the Max Thunder drills the felt that South Korea was going against the Panmunjom declaration, the agreement that North and South Korean leaders have signed, saying that they wouldn't show hostilities towards each other.
Now from the U.S. in the South Korean point of view, these military drills Max Thunder are not hostile. They say they are defensive, they are annual and they are necessary to train both air forces. But of course, consistently over the years, North Korea have seen these military drills as something very different.
So potentially what we're seeing here is a -- I mean, what we're seeing is a push back by North Korea, but potentially the start of negotiations and indication of the sort of concessions that North Korea is going to ask for. Rosemary?
CHURCH: And interestingly, the Trump administration was blindsided by all this despite the fact that North Korea has done this to previous administration. How big a role did President Trump's eagerness for this summit to go ahead play and revealing a vulnerability perhaps that Kim is nor taking advantage of?
HANCOCKS: Well, certainly that's what some critics would see that the fact the U.S. president really did appear very desperate to have win on North Korea, the fact that he has managed to secure the release of three American detainees just in the last few days was certainly seen as a very positive development.
And this is something that Mr. Trump wanted to push forward. That the very fact that he agree to meet with the North Korean leader Kim Jong- un took many by surprise and there are many critics saying that that's potentially a price that should come later in the negotiation process.
[03:05:04] But it's very difficult to know whether or not that is the reason that North Korea believe that they could now change their stance when it comes to this warming relations. We've seen this from North Korea before. We have seen that the generous side, the warming side towards the United States and then pulling back and then making more demands, demanding more concessions.
And certainly, in the past, that has been one of the reasons, one of the many reasons of course, that talks have broken down. Although past agreements have not been adhere to.
So, certainly, I don't think there's a huge amount of surprise that North Korea has done this. The quest -- the timing has questioned -- has many questions around it.
The fact that we're only a few weeks away from the summit. And it does come directly after a string of potential concessions from the North Korean leader even towards the end of May or by the end of May. He has said that he will close down the Punggye-ri nuclear test site, which is expected to still go ahead. Rosemary?
CHURCH: Yes. And we will of course watch in the hours ahead to see what happens here. Our Paula Hancocks bringing us up to date with a live report from Seoul in South Korea, just after 4 o'clock in the afternoon. Many thanks.
Well, Palestinians are beginning the grim task of burying loved ones killed in clashes with Israeli forces. Thousands turned out for funerals in Gaza Tuesday. Palestinians say the Israelis used of live ammunition on protesters was execessive.
Meantime, more than 200 Palestinians march toward an Israeli outpost from the West Back Tuesday. Israeli forces use teargas and rubber bulletts to disperse the crowd.
The British government is calling for an independent investigation into Monday's violence which led 60 people dead, but the U.S. is pushing back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAREN PIERCE, U.K. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: We've seen concatenation of loss of life, casualties, volume of live fire in Gaza yesterday and this has been shocking and I think appalling to most of us. It is a familiar, depressingly familiar fashion that we have seen over recent weeks, and this includes the deaths of children.
At a highly sensitive time in the region we call for calm and we call for restraint.
HALEY: Make no mistake, Hamas is pleased with the results from yesterday. I ask my colleagues here in the Security Council who among us would accept this type of activity on your border. No one would. No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Very different views there. And CNN's Ian Lee is live this hour in Gaza, and Oren Liebermann joins us from Jerusalem. Good to see you both. Ian, let's go to you first for the latest from Gaza where Palestinians are bearing their loved ones in the wake of these deadly clashes and where protests have been going on for nearly seven weeks now. How likely is it that these demonstrations will continue, and what might the consequences be.
IAN LEE, INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Yes, Rosemary. We'll be seeing if these protests will continue. They were rescheduled leading up to May 14th, but when we talk to protesters they say they want to keep this going. But this morning, Gaza is taking stock of the past seven weeks. They
are mourning the over hundred Palestinians were killed by Israelis soldiers and what was by and large peaceful protest in the sense that there were no rockets fired, no more mortars fired and no Israeli soldiers were killed and injured.
Now we met the man whose words sparked it all.
LEE: "What if it weren't for this person's bullet that poisons his dreams, why do we complicate simple matters?" A poem punctuated by pump of gunfire and words that spark a movement.
Ahmed Abwartama, (Ph) writer, activist, and self-described dreamer. An unlikely leader mobilizing tens of thousands of Gazans with a rare, but simple idea. Gun violence resistance.
"I refuse outright the idea that walls and fences separate the people from each other," he tells me, "I believe people of different cultures and backgrounds should live together peacefully without borders."
The 33-year-old Palestinian says he's never thrown a rock and feels more comfortable in a library than a crowd. So of course he stylized his movement the march of return after his heroes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I like the mission of France (Ph), I like the mission of Martin Luther King.
[03:10:03] LEE: His philosophy though, failing to prevent sometimes terrible bloodshed. Here young Palestinians temp fate. Black smoke will never stop a sniper's bullet. Monday saw 60 died in a single day, the worst violence here for years but still they come.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course I'm facing danger by coming here. But other choice we have? I mean, we've been under siege, we've been like 11 years now.
LEE: The Israeli and Egyptian blockade on Gaza limits what comes in and who goes out. But it's not material goods they have the most.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Freedom, justice, peace, help the Palestinian people not.
LEE: Israel insists Hamas orchestrated this protest movement and deliberately places children in harm's way. It describes attacks on the border fence as terrorism. The international community strongly condemns Israel's use of live fire on protesters but the Israeli army insists it follows the rules of engagement.
MICHAEL OREN, FORMER ISRAELI AMBASSADOR TO THE U.S.: These are designed to actually bring about the destruction in the state of Israel, they are design to break through the defense to kill Israelis and we have to proceed on that assumption. And our soldiers have prevented it, so in that way it is a success. LEE: Abu Artama (Ph) claims no political affiliation and denies ties to Hamas. Bullets, teargas and blood have tested his call for non- violence, still he holds on to his dream that someday Palestinians and Israelis live side-by-side in peace.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Again, we had the seeds to live together (TECHNICAL PROBLEM).
CHURCH: (TECHNICAL PROBLEM) -- counterpart Tuesday they discussed continuing to sell oil and gas and protecting European investments in Iran. Deputy foreign minister ask there to meet next week in Vienna.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[03:14:59] JAVAD ZARIF, FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTER OF IRAN: We need to reach some sort of guarantee that these benefits can't be guaranteed for Iran within that specified period of time that the president said a few weeks.
We are going to see whether the political will that has been expressed by the remaining participants in JCPOA can be translated into specific action and we will see that.
FEDERICA MOGHERINI, HIGH REPRESENTATIVE, EUROPEAN UNION FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS: We want to save this deal which is not an easy exercise, but if you want to save this deal we know that the sooner we manage to do it the better and this will be.
Again, it will not be easy but if I can use the metaphor that some grace around the table we all have a relative in intensive care and we all wants to get him or her out of the intensive care as soon as possible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: In the meantime, the U.S. impose sanctions on officials at Iran central bank and on an Iraqi bank official accused of moving millions of dollars to Hezbollah on behalf of Iran's revolutionary guard.
Instead of apologizing for a cruel comment that a senator battling cancer the White House is focusing on who leaks that information.
Plus, another airline scare. A co-pilot is sucked half way out of a broken cockpit window during a flight. We'll have the details on the other side of the break. Do stay with us.
CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well, Donald Trump is facing new questions about his efforts to help Chinese phone maker ZTE. Just last month, he slapped the tech firm with crippling sanctions accusing it of illegally doing business with Iran and North Korea. Now the president wants the Commerce Department to help get the company back into business fast.
CNN is investigating reports that Mr. Trump's reversal may be connected to an Indonesian resort that will include a Trump branded hotel residences and a golf course. A $500 million investment from a state-owned Chinese companies was reportedly made just before the president shifted his position. U.S. senators said they would ask about the ZTE issue on Tuesday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[03:19:56] MARCO RUBIO, (R) UNITED STATES SENATOR: ZTE is a company that has in addition to posing a significant espionage that are against to United States, is part of an overall industry that China steals intellectual property.
Number two, they were sanctioned for violations of the sanctions against North Korea and Iran. And so, somehow now removing sanctions on them in exchange for removing tariffs on famers that didn't do anything wrong doesn't sound like a good deal to me.
JOHN CORNYN, (R) UNITED STATES SENATOR: Any of the state own businesses by China or opportunities for them to steal an intellectual property by cyber theft and to embedding our telecommunications infrastructure in a way that raises huge national security issue.
So, that's the concern that I have with state owned enterprises like ZTE.
CORNYN: Absolutely, yes, we'll have that conversation.
JEFF FLAKE, (R) UNITED STATES SENATOR: I still try to understand that. I think all of us are, so we'll ask some questions I'm sure about that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Well, not only did ZTE not come up over lunch, and neither did a White House staffer's cruel remark about Senator John McCain. Sources say Kelly Sadler jokes last week that McCain's opinion on the CIA director nominee didn't matter because she said, he was dying anyway.
McCain was diagnosed with brain cancer last year. The White House has been under fire for not offering a public apology and Press Secretary Sarah Sanders has focused instead on leaks coming out of the West Wing rather than that comment.
Well, sources tell CNN there are frequent security sweeps in the West Wing to track down anyone using personal cell phones which have been banned since January. Staffer say it's an effort to stop the leaks even though the president is furious about leaking he also used to do it quite a bit back in the day.
Here's our Tom Foreman. TOM FOREMAN, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: "Leakers are traitors and cowards and we will find out who they are," President Trump is raging on Twitter just a he and members of his team have on TV from the start.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're going to find the leakers. They are going to pay a big price for leaking.
JOHN BOLTON, UNITED STATES NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: It's completely unacceptable. That's not good team sports.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOREMAN: The frustration flows from the fact that the White House has been plagued by leaks about contentious phone calls with world leaders including from Mexico and Australia, security clearance problems for his son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner, speculation about firing the man in charge of the Russia investigation and talk of resignation by others, and the jaw-dropping news that former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson once called the president an f-fing moron.
So who's to blame for it all? Several staffers have been accused or suspected, no one firmly identified.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WOLF BLITZER, HOST, CNN: Are you the leaker in the White House?
REINCE PRIEBUS, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: That's ridiculous, Wolf, come on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOREMAN: Donald Trump did not always hate leaks. In his business days he use them, calling reporters to push favorable stories about himself, while pretending to be his own spokesman under the name John Miller.
For his part, the subject of the most recent embarrassing leaks, Senator John McCain acknowledge last year.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN MCCAIN, (R) UNITED STATES SENATOR: Leaks are endemic to the Washington, D.C. Leaks happen and they will continue to happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOREMAN: But amid the uproar his daughter Meghan is putting a much finer point on this president's problem.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MEGHAN MCCAIN, CO-HOST, ABC: The White House office they never had a leaking problem. And you have leaking problems when you don't have loyalty to the principal.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOREMAN: As best we can make out, the president seldom, if ever, apologizes for information released in these leaks, but rather just called it fake news. That said, many times the leaks are proven not only true but more reliable and timely than the official version of what's going on in the Trump White House.
Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.
CHURCH: And we turn to Malaysia now. Former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has been pardoned and released from prison. Anwar's case has dominated Malaysian politics for years. The 70-year-old was jailed on sodomy charges back in 2015. Charges he calls politically motivated.
Now that he is allowed to reenter politics he could succeed the country's new leader Mahatma -- Mahathir bin Mohamad who won last week's election and has promised to step down after two years.
Now Anwar Ibrahim joins us now on the line from Kuala Lumpur. Good to have you with us, sir. How does it feel to be a free man and to receive a full pardon from the king for all past conviction?
ANWAR IBRAHIM, LEADER, PEOPLE'S JUSTICE PARTY: Thank you. Yes.
CHURCH: What -- how are you feeling now?
IBRAHIM: Not -- I've got the -- I share the jubilance of many Malaysians. But what is more dazzling to me, is that for the king to see this is because the clear miscarrying of justice against you and I cannot tolerate this and therefore you are pardon to be immediate and unconditional.
[03:25:11] CHURCH: Now of course, you've always maintained the charges against you were politically motivated, so does it seem strange that the new leader Mahathir Mohamad is the man behind your newfound freedom considering he was the one who had you thrown in prison so many years ago.
IBRAHIM: Yes. I mean, (Inaudible) at least but still the -- it did happen, although the pardon is the sole pardon of the king it was Mahathir who facilitated the process. And I, of course told him that we have to move on because we had ensure this democratic completion (Ph), democratic accountability in Malaysia.
CHURCH: So your release now paves the way for a return to politics and new prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad as we said intends to hand over power to you within two years he has said. Do you think he will keep his promise and are you prepared to wait that long?
IBRAHIM: Yes. I mean, he's committed to that period, a transition period and I'm not in a hurry because I've just been released, I need to take time to do with the family and to travel around the country and overseas and committed to some problem like to see this in the United States, U.K., and the Middle East.
And I think I need to also share this Malaysian cringe with the Muslim world because I think the last two years there's general apathy in the resignation that there is no hope for democracy in any Muslim country.
The Malaysia has tried to register or process through their various talks and not only that, the commitment is for democracy.
CHURCH: And so, you and Mahathir have put aside your long-standing rivalry to fight together to defeat former Prime Minister Najib Razak in last week's parliamentary election, you succeeded in doing that. Some observers call you to a political odd couple. What brought you together after so many years of bitter rivalry and have you forgiven him completely?
IBRAHIM: Well, long process of negotiations then when he came to see me in court I reiterate our position and finally he adopted the reform agenda. He was committed not only do that but to campaign throughout the country. And he did I think to his credit was definitely hard to achieve what we have seen in the last election.
CHURCH: Anwar Ibrahim, we thank you so very much for joining us and we wish you all the best. Congratulations on your newfound freedom and your full pardon from the king.
IBRAHIM: Thank you very much, Rosemary.
CHURCH: Thank you. Well the war in Yemen is the world's worst humanitarian crisis with more than 22 million people in desperate need of food and protection.
When we come back, a rare look inside one town struggle to survive.
[03:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN NEWSROOM HOST: Welcome back to CNN Newsroom, I'm Rosemary Church. I want to update you now on the main stories we had been following this hour.
North Korea is threatening to cancel the summit between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump plan for next month. An official reported by state media says North Korea will not be pushed into a corner on nuclear abandonments. The north, is also upset over near joint military drills between the U.S. and South Korea. It postponed talks with South Korea scheduled for Wednesday.
Thousand Palestinians turned out Tuesday for funerals of protesters killed in clashes with Israeli forces. The British government is calling for an independent inquiry into the violence and European leaders say they are concerned by Israel's use of live ammunition on demonstrators.
In Malaysia, former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim is free after being branded a pardon by King Mohammad. He was jailed on sodomy charges which he calls politically motivated. The Pardon could pave the way for him to succeed the country's newly leader, Mahathir Mohamad, the one last week's election and has promised to step out.
Well, now to CNN's exclusive. The Civil War in Yemen has dragged on for years and recent battles in Taiz have left the city decimated as the fighting continues the people there are also dealing with startling levels of hunger and disease. CNN international correspondent, Nick Paton Walsh joins us now, with his report. So, Nick, what is the situation inside Yemen and particularly this city and how people coping?
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it is very rare to get a glimpse of the city of Taiz, this is a photograph by a Brazilian photojournalist Gabriel Chaim, who took this remarkable pictures of the last major population center, to be sort of torn apart by the ravages of this war, often little spoken about it, the spice and intense American involvement now providing intelligence, guidance armaments to the Saudi Air Force, the (inaudible) the government forces, trying to hit Iran's Houthi forces and out of many parts of the country, but really it's the civilians caught in the middle of this ferocious battle. 10,000 deaths have fall, 40,000 injured, 22 million considered by the U.N. in need, who are suffering the hardest as we see here in Taiz.
PATON WALSH: As the conflict grows with Iran, far the ROM fall from the nuclear negotiating tables, the missiles are over Syria and Israel, here a proxy war takes a darker, brutal, yet unseen turn.
This is the Yemini city of Taiz, where an already ugly war metastasized and is grinding the ruins of life into dust. These retro images show how badly a war is left unscathed. (Inaudible) was broken by Saudi Arabian air power guided and equipped by the U.S. Bombarding the Houthi forces that Iran has battling. Houthi mortars broke parts of the city too.
And it is a chaotic free prone fight down (inaudible) between two militia over once on the same side and the Iranian back Houthis. At street level (inaudible) the snipers, the mess, the mines left behind fall from the hardest hit.
Our guide around the city is Myouk (ph), he wants to hide his face as aid workers are targets here. He came from Washington D.C. as a sick mother needed help and the war broke out, and he started this charity.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are the same in the states that says, when life throws you a lemon, you make lemonade and I started it namely to take care of the injured. OK. The Houthis are right there, by the way.
[03:35:00] And now that is the line and that's where they send mortar shells into toys from those hills where there, I will say, it is so beautiful and yet the situation is too far from beautiful. The worst thing here, children being injured in an hospital's a week ago, there was a mortar shell that attack -- that came from the Houthis over to that neighborhood and I just so happen to be in the hospital and a little girl came in, with her heart out, it was very, very difficult to see she was about eight years old and you can see her heart pumping. It is inhumane, I mean, who sent mortar shells and rockets into -- this is the most crowded city in Yemen.
PATON WALSH: Humanity is lacking but also perseveres here in the spirals of dust and torn plastic sheeting that are home for tens of thousands of displaced. Ready yourself for the unimaginable toll that hunger and disease could take on them for (inaudible) reduced almost to twigs of bones.
Alikah (ph), weigh 2 kilograms and her mother Mariam says, this is a parenting improvement.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (TRANSLATOR): When we came here as displace, she was normal and she could eat, then she started to have diarrhea and vomiting, she got very skinny. I feel like crying sometimes, she is getting better now. She is eating.
PATON WALSH: They are the family survivors from Morka (ph) where her husband, brother and son were killed in an air strike she says leaving them with his six children to feed.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (TRANSLATOR): They were hit by a jet in the market. 25 people were killed. The airstrike hit very close to our home.
PATON WALSH: Those children who are able to fend off disease, hav3 a trauma to digest. Salah (ph), playing in the weed grass with his little friend Freema (ph). His story, had the mine exploded his patchy (inaudible).
We used to play with rocks, he says. She would be on the grass and came back and sat down, they were playing and a bomb exploded. I get scared now. Anyone get scared of the missiles and when we hear the word war, we get scared. Scared of bullets, landmines and missiles.
He says, he would like to go home, but there's still bullets and shelling there. And in Yemen, where the Saudis have enough American support in resolve against Iran to fight on. Nobody is going home until many more lives lost and broke first.
PATON WALSH: Now, obviously what both sides are to blame here. The Saudi back government forces often Iraq type collection militia at times and there opposing the Iranian back Houthi forces to the Saudis have long been criticized for imposing a blockade of all types of aid into Yemen. That was ease at one point but quite clearly it has done nothing as you can see in those pictures there to show suffering of the very smallest and so much focus now is lacking frankly most of the time on the U.S. involvement in this. Less it before United States is well-known as an armor of Saudi Arabia air force, but in this case they are providing intelligence, they are providing midair refueling and in fact the commander of Centcom, Joseph Votel, said recently in congressional testimony that once they refueled an aircraft over the skies of Yemen. They have no idea where that Saudi aircraft goes on to attack
afterwards and in fact they later admitted that when reports come through of civilian casualties in this airstrikes, like the one you just referred to there by Mariam, the mother about heavily emaciated infant girl and when a civilian casualty instance occurs, in fact they USA, they are unable to tell whether it was U.S. ammunitions that were involved in that. Deeply troubling war on a staggering humanitarian scare the world worst humanitarian crisis. Say the U.N., the one that the U.S., the world's foremost military power has had quite a substantial role in so far.
CHURCH: It is a shocking situation there in Yemen. Nick Paton Walsh, we thank you for that exclusive report. We will take a very short break. We will be back in a moment.
[03:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CHURCH: And we are just three days away from the royal wedding and there has been a lot of uncertainty about whether the bride's father will attend the ceremony. For more on all this, Isha Sesay, joins us now from Windsor with the very latest. Great to see you Isha, of course the Markle family is getting a pretty tough list on how to deal with the scrutiny that comes with marrying into the Royal family. What is the latest from Meghan's dad and who will likely walk her down the aisle now that it seems his health prevents him from flying to London.
ISHA SESAY, NEWSROOM HOST, CNN: Yes, indeed. Hi, there Rosemary. There has been a sound of will he or won't he, when it comes to Megan's father and now we are hearing from TMZ, that US-based celebrity website that Thomas Markle will not be attending the royal wedding on Saturday here in Windsor. We are told, from TMZ, that it is because on Wednesday he will be having heart surgery, repair damage caused by a heart attack, he says he suffered about a week ago that he won't be here. The big question is -- you may clear as who will walk Meghan down the aisle, unclear as yet. Unconfirmed who his replacement will be. We are hearing that Meghan's father feels that she and Meghan's mother that we just don't know. But there is anything I think we can say with some certainty is that this is a very sad situation for the bride herself. She was, of course, looking forward to having her father here for this very special day. I will add some more perspective on all of this now from Victoria Arbiter, she is a CNN royal commentator and royal expert.
Thank you for being with us. What do make of this? What is your gut say to you about the explanation we have right now that Markle senior won't be here because of his surgery?
VICTORIA ARBITER, CNN ROYAL COMMENTATOR: It has been an extraordinary 48 hours really and exactly as you say, that he will he wait here, and you can't help it, he is desperately sorry for Meghan at this morning. It is interesting in terms of what we can actually believe and I don't want to take away from Thomas Markle accounts, because, of course, of health crisis is very, very serious and that is a long trip to make event that he really is (inaudible). But the timing just doesn't quite makes sense and the fact that all
this information is going through TMZ, it means nothing has been corroborated, Kensington Palace certainly appears to be in the dark. And this is the first, we are getting all of our royal update through a celebrity entertainment base website is opposed to Kensington palace.
[03:45:00] So, I think further details will make themselves clear, but certainly according to the number of the tabloid newspapers, Thomas Markle has not left his house, when he said, he had a heart attack, he then a few hours later drove to L.A. He was seen at fast food restaurants, delivered flowers to Meghan's mother and then drove back. That doesn't strike me as someone who just have a heart attack.
SESAY: No, it is already peculiar, you know, on the outside externally, I know that there is great sense of sadness and sympathy for Meghan that, you know have been days, you know, he is really been blighted in some way, but by all of this. That is how a lot of people feel in the general public and in the media, let us be honest. What about internally, within the royal family, will she get sympathy from this family members who are really accustom to things being done properly and then rather stately manner?
ARBITER: Well, you are absolutely right. The royal family leaves nothing to chance. Everything is choreograph and everything is make sure it runs perfectly smoothly. But I think that is going to be tremendous sympathy for Meghan behind castle walls. The Queen is something, she had a heart of stone, but actually, she very sympathy to all of this. The Windsor, let's face it, they have their fair of dysfunction and I think the Queen is well aware for Meghan at this point is deeply humiliating, deeply embarrassing. In the past, the Queen's incredibly supportive of Diana, she would regularly call meetings at newspaper, editors at Buckingham Palace and plead with them to leave Diana alone. In some sense previously there was one such meeting and just days later, Charles and Diana was photograph at holiday in Caribbean. Diana in a bikini with a very small baby bump shelling. So the Queen knows what everyone is capable of and I think really would lessons learned from the past. She going to be keen to offer support, guidance and really to just be there to show Meghan that they are behind her.
SESAY: Victoria we appreciate it. Thank you and Rosemary, you know it's many girls dream, you know, that day you get to walk down the aisle, let alone forget your Prince and to be getting married and at St. George Chapel behind me here in Windsor and it really is, I think personally quite sad to have all of this drama and overshadowing Meghan's big day, but, you know, we are hoping that Victoria is right that everyone is busy running around Meghan.
CHURCH: Yes, I mean, Meghan is like the modern-day Cinderella, isn't she? Along with the step brother and sisters and all that is going on, very dramatic. All right Isha, thank you so much.
SESAY: Very dramatic.
CHURCH: Yes. Counting down to the day, many thanks. Well, Meghan Markle, will not be alone in missing a parent at the wedding Princess Diana's absence will be felt keenly as her son marries Nick Glass looks back on the close bond between Prince Harry and his mother.
NICK GLASS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The images are forever see in the collective memory, three men, and two boys walking slowly behind Princess Diana's coffin. William head bowed, he was 15, Harry hands tightly clenched, and he was about turn 13. Who can never forget his simply tribute, wreath of white roses and that single word, Mommy.
Who could never forget the anguished little face, a child's suddenly breathe of his adored mother. 10 years later and just before a memorial service for Diana and Harry look beseechingly to the heavens and quietly wipe away a tear. It was he who gave the address, perhaps the most moving and personal given by any royal in modern times. Words are all his, losing a parent at such a young age he said was indescribably shocking and sad. The changes in William's lives forever. Princess Diana and her girl in 1997 just seven months before her death. Harry's bond with his mother is reflected in his commitment to her courses hoping to read the world of land mines. As an adult, Harry picked up where she left off.
And another campaign, Princess Diana in Washington DC in 1990 educating the world about Aids and HIV. Harry has continue this work too in Africa, making families aware of the lead for regular testing.
Momentarily pretend areas with hearts smiley and jokey, but until he was 28, Harry admits he didn't really talk about losing his mother. He suppressed his grief and so more recently he's champion another cause, mental health.
When you speak to the people's family, this little kids and stuff, you think?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, you know, I don't want men have to go through the same thing.
GLASS: This design for Meghan's engagement ring, Harry not pretty want to do include reference to his mother. The twin diamonds are the main stone was source from Diana's jewelry collection.
[03:50:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In his days like, like today, when I really miss having her around, I miss being her shadow for had been years, but you know, with the ring and everything else is going on, I am sure she --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She is with us.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, she is with us now.
GLASS: Meghan Markle was a 16 year old high school girl when Diana died. Like millions of others she watch the funeral on television and was move to tears. I vowed to be my country, Diana's favorite hymn. It was sung at her funeral in 1997, as it was 16 years earlier in 1981 on her wedding day. Will it now be song as an emotional reminder of her absence at Harry and Meghan's wedding. Nick Glass, CNN in London.
CHURCH: Well, the 1965 Ford Mustang is a pretty cool car, and it continues to win fans. CNN style took a ride with one of the young admirers model Kendall Jenner.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wow.
KENDALL JENNER, AMERICAN MODEL: Right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look at this.
JENNER: Who are you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who? Nice ride. What do we got here?
JENNER: 65 Mustang. You want to go for a ride?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to go for a spin.
Where do you think your vast for classic cars came from?
JENNER: I think it's kind of like -- like I was raised to be a tomboy like my dad raised me love stuff like this. if I love it I love it, like if I am walking and I really like, to me I would need that car, it is a very muscular car, it is more like a tomboy like I would love this and also every car that I get into my list. Like my Corvette is super like even though technically is a muscle car, it is a 50's cars, so it doesn't feel like muscular, I feel very girly, I feel like I have to dress that way, their very wings, sunglasses and like, you know what I mean, like there is just, I don't know.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How does the car make you feel?
JENNER: This is makes me so cool, like a cool girl.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: It's the life. Well, Avengers Infinity War, continues to rake in the cash, Chinese audiences is shelling out hundreds of millions of dollars to see the new superhero film so can China cure what ails Hollywood? CNN's Matt Rivers has the answer.
MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A $200 million opening weekend for Avengers Infinity War in China. Thanks in part, the people like this. A fan lead event last Friday with 300 or so more diehards pack the Beijing theater to watch the film on its opening day.
I like Thor the best, because he is sincere and straightforward, good looking.
THOR: Who the hell are you guys?
RIVERS: In just three days the movie had already bested the entire China runs of other Marvel movies like Black Panther and Captain America Civil War and the film could make a run at the highest grossing foreign film ever in China. For parent company Disney, it is a massive success. The result of years of cultivating the second- largest movie market in the world. Their impact is expanding in China so more Chinese viewers will come to watch Hollywood movies it is something Hollywood has counted on for years now and in 2017 the North American box office was widely reported to be down 2.3 percent.
[03:55:05] China was up 22.3 percent according to Chinese regulators. The market year has saved movies like World of Warcraft and the Tomb Raider Reboot, both of which bombed in the U.S. but did well enough in China that analysts say sequels for both could happen.
I think Hollywood movies have high standards, they are doing well in China and I think that's because they're so high quality. China is not a cure although for Hollywood's prophet was, for example in 2017 China only allowed 34 foreign films to be shown here and this year probably won't be much different. Plus, there is increasing competition from films made right here in China.
The top foreign film in 2017, "The faith of the furious," made 2.6 billion UN here. Wolf Warrior 2, a Chinese made action film made more than double that amount, but despite those long-term concerns big studios will keep looking to China. Its theaters pack with heroes who may not save the world but could give a boost to Hollywood's bottom line. Matt Rivers, CNN, Beijing.
CHURCH: Well, it is fun. All right. Well, just a few years ago, a phot of a dress pull something of a viral Civil War. Social media was divided over the column of this image, some saw white and gold, others swore the dress was blue and black. Well, it is happening again and this time it is an audio clip. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: So you get the idea, right. So, some people are adamant it is saying Laurel, which of course is obvious -- it is saying Laurel, right. While others insist it is Yanny, can't understand why anyone could hear Yanny there and if you even hear both, one expert CNN, one expert told CNN that the low quality of recording can contribute to the confusion and he says changing the pitch of the recording can also affect what someone hears and it is caused quite a stir here in our newsroom and it looks like Laurel has come out on top of my very scientific Twitter page poll. 54 percent say they hear Laurel, 46 percent hear Yanny, but of course that is at least one twitter user who is absolutely sure the composer and musician, Yanni.
I'm curious to hear your take of course reach out to me at Rosemary CNN and of course vote. That does it to CNN Newsroom this hour. The news continues now with Hanna Vaughan Jones in London. You are watching CNN. Have a great day.