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Final Preparations Underway For Royal Matrimony; Trump: Libyan Model Doesn't Have To Apply To North Korea; Trump: North Korea Summit May Or May Not Happen; Mueller Russia Probe Hits One-Year Anniversary; NYT: Kushner's Near Deal On Tower At 586 Fifth Avenue. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired May 18, 2018 - 00:00   ET




JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: This is CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles. Ahead this hour --

And they are off and racing just a day and a half before the wedding of the century in Windsor. Royal rehearsals are under way to make sure everything is perfect.

Also, ahead, President Trump reassures North Korea the U.S. is not seeking regime change, but then tells Kim Jong-un he'll be really happy he'll continue to rule, and his country will be rich.

Hello, welcome to our viewers all around the world. Great to have you with us. I'm John Vause. NEWSROOM L.A. starts right now.

Just one day left now until royal matrimony. Final touches are under way for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding.


VAUSE: The bride's mother is set to meet Queen Elizabeth in the coming hours at Windsor Castle. It's still unclear who if anyone will walk the bride down the aisle. Meghan Markle has confirmed it will not be her father who is recovering from heart surgery.

In a statement from Kensington Palace, she wrote, "Sadly, my father will not be attending our wedding. I've always cared for my father and hope he can be given the space he needs to focus on his health."

She continued on saying, "I would like to thank everyone who has offered previous messages of support. Please know how much Harry and I look forward to sharing our special day with you on Saturday." You can see it here on CNN.

For more on all this, CNN's Anna Stewart joins us from Windsor Castle. This is a big moment today for the mother of bride, Doria Ragland, a tea with Queen Elizabeth in her private apartment at Windsor Castle. But she's already met several members of the royal family.

We had this report from "The Times." The yoga instructor and social worker met Prince Charles and the duchess of Cornwall after landing at Heathrow from Los Angeles on Wednesday without time to recover from jetlag.

They had tea at Clarence House. It was a very jolly afternoon, a source said. OK, at least, one member of the Markle family attending the wedding hasn't caused any scandal so far. But without her father there, it means Harry and Meghan will get married with Harry and Thomas Markle never actually meeting in person.

ANNA STEWART, CNN WINDSOR: I know, which is absolutely extraordinary when you think about it. The whole fiasco has been very sad, and Meghan's statement really reflected that yesterday. But I guess, the fact that she came out and finally said, my father is not coming has drawn a line under this whole scenario really.

And today nice things to look forward to, more wedding preparations. Doria Ragland, Meghan's mom, meeting the queen. Wouldn't you love to be a fly on the wall there? And having had tea at Clarence House with Prince Charles yesterday, I guess she's already got a little bit of the British tea etiquette.

But the whole town is really now coming under lockdown. Yesterday we had rehearsals all day. We had soldiers on horses. We had soldiers as a marching band. We had soldiers everywhere, John. It been insane.

VAUSE: Well, with that in mind and with the big day now almost upon us, how do the locals there feel about the circus coming to town?

STEWART: That's a really good question. There are mega fans here who have been camping out for three days. Let me tell you it's a little bit chilly here in Windsor and they've still got one more night to go. But not everyone is happy. It wouldn't be Britain without a little bit of moaning. Meet Windsor's loveable locals.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where are they going to the toilet?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's costing the nation, I should say, an awful lot of money, isn't it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, it was the queen's birthday, was it, a few years ago? Had some guy in a dress with a beard, who tried to get into the party.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You will get the extremists.


STEWART: I love the concern about the toilet. Fear not, John, I have seen some facilities temporarily located very near to here. We'll be just fine.

VAUSE: I'm glad you got that all worked out. Anna, thank you so much. We appreciate the update.

OK, let's get a little more now on the royal wedding from our royal correspondent, Sandro Monetti is with us.

SANDRO MONETTI, ENTERTAINMENT JOURNALIST: Out with the scandal, in with the spectacle, John.

VAUSE: Absolutely. It's like that joke, how do you know a plane load of British tourists have arrived, you can still hear the whining after the engines have stopped. That's a joke.

We've talked about the pressure that Meghan Markle has been facing as she starts this whole new life. Here's part of a "Vanity Fair" report on the sacrifices she's making. Markle already has had to make a number of extremely significant shifts in her life.

She's moved to a new country, converted to a new religion. She shut down her lifestyle blog and her popular social media accounts. She's quit her job acting on "Suits," had to leave behind one of her dogs in Toronto, a social adult with many friends she's had to suddenly adjust to maintaining friendships when she can't easily venture out in public.

[00:05:07] I mean, that is a lot to give up and if previous generations of royal marriages are anything to go by, they often don't end with a fairy tale, right?

MONETTI: Absolutely. And the build up to this has been more like a soap opera wedding than a royal wedding, and the odds are certainly against. I mean, we have to put ourselves in that situation. How many of us in Meghan Markle's place would make such a huge lifestyle change, l know I would. I'd love to live in a palace.

VAUSE: You'd marry Prince Harry in a heartbeat.

MONETTI: I married (inaudible). I love to have sandwiches with the queen.

VAUSE: Then you get to meet the queen, I'm guessing. This is when Prince Harry and Meghan were talking about how he proposed.


MARKLE: Just an amazing surprise. It was so sweet and natural and very romantic he got on one knee.

PRINCE HARRY: Of course.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's an instant yes from you?

MARKLE: Yes, as a matter of fact, I could barely let him finish proposing.

PRINCE HARRY: She didn't even let me finish. Then there was (inaudible) and I had the ring in my finger. Can I give you the ring? And she goes, oh, yes, the ring. (END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: That is sweet.

MONETTI: It's a young couple in love.

VAUSE: Harry cooked dinner that night, keep that in mind because you can head to the KFC for your commemorative chicken bucket, British and American flags. If you haven't been in Windsor, you can register online to win commemorative bucket made from bone China. The company calls it a priceless piece of British history, which raises the question what exactly do they think the word priceless means? And what part of British history are they referring to?

MONETTI: Well, there is nothing more British than Kentucky fried chicken, is it? But you can buy anything around this royal wedding. Royal wedding condoms are selling particularly well.

VAUSE: Markle's half-brother I think is selling marijuana.

MONETTI: That's right. Yes, he's the pot-growing nephew of Meghan Markle, has his weed farm in Oregon, and he's got product called Markle sparkle.

VAUSE: Getting back to the KFC, what battle was Colonel Sanders involved in, in the history of Britain?

MONETTI: I'd like to see his medals.

VAUSE: With all of that, everything said, it seems that there's only one thing which is missing, and that is an official anthem for the wedding of the century. But it is missing no more.

MONETTI: Really?

VAUSE: Yes, here we go.


VAUSE: The Euro Vision song contest one of these days. (Inaudible) and Molly Shannon of "SNL" on the Jimmy Fallon show the other night. One thing which does stand out about this wedding, it seems a lot more relaxed than what we saw with William and Kate. Is that reflective of the fact that they're just further down the pecking order?

MONETTI: It's also the fact that it's not in London. So, it doesn't have the same level of crowds, the same level of spectacle. Windsor is a small town. But even though it's much smaller in scale, I can't remember bigger headlines for any royal wedding going into this. And that's thanks to the Markle family, because as Meghan's off to the church, her money-grubbing relatives are off to the bank to cash all those media checks.

VAUSE: Absolutely. And this will be huge on social media.

MONETTI: It will indeed, yes. What hash tag do you think will be trending after the wedding, John?

VAUSE: #howlongwillitlast or #wewishthemwell. Thank you, Sandro.

Well, the royal wedding is all going ahead as planned, but what about the summit between the U.S. and North Korea? President Donald Trump spoke out for the first time about North Korea's threat to pull out of the June 12th meeting, saying, if the summit happens, Kim Jong-un will get very strong protection.

He did not elaborate on what that meant, but he did try to reassure Pyongyang after his national security adviser's comments said that Libya would serve as a model for disarming North Korea.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: The Libyan model was a much different model. We decimated that country. We never said to Gadhafi, we're going to give you protection. We are going to give you military strength. We're going to give you all of these things.

[00:10:01] We went in and decimated him, and we did the same thing with Iraq. The model, if you look at with Gadhafi, that was a total decimation. We weren't in there to beat him. Now, that model would take place if we don't make a deal, most likely.


VAUSE: CNN's Paula Hancocks is in the South Korean capital of Seoul. She joins us now with the latest. Paula, it seems the U.S. president is confusing the Libya model for disarmament back in 2003 and the overthrow of Moammar Gadhafi in February of 2011 during the Arab spring. Tell me what would North Koreans make of this?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, there's been no response at this point, but you're right, it does appear as though he's talking about the fact that Moammar Gadhafi was killed by rebels that were backed by Washington.

But the fact is, that is what North Korea is looking at when they hear the Libyan model. Clearly, they are looking at how it ended for the leader of that country. And that's why they consistently said that they need their nuclear program in the past, in order to make sure that something like that doesn't happen to them.

Saying they don't want to be a Libya, they don't want to be an Iraq. So, although, you know, Mr. Bolton may have been talking about the 2003-2004 Libyan model, North Korea is clearly looking at what happened at the end to that leader.

And they said, they don't want the same to happen to them. That's why also, you're hard pushed to find an expert in this region that truly believes that Kim Jong-un will completely give up all his nuclear weapons, because of those examples that they have cited.

And of course, you've heard just a couple days ago, the North Koreans through KCNA, the state-run media saying that they will not have a unilateral nuclear abandonment. And if that is what Washington is pushing for, then potentially this summit shouldn't go ahead -- John.

VAUSE: OK, Paula, thank you. We appreciate you being with us. Paula Hancocks live for us this hour in Seoul.

More on the story now, we're joined by political commentator and radio host, Mo Kelly and Joe Messina, conservative commentator and radio host. OK, the mojo is back. Good to see you, guys.

Mo, previous U.S. administrations have had a policy of not seeking regime change in North Korea. But Trump talked about Kim remaining in power, the country would be very rich, he would be very happy.

These are fairly remarkable public guarantees by the leader, by the president of the United States to a dictator whose rogue regime is considered to be an international pariah.

MO KELLY, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: What has concerned me, he's been way out in front every step of the way. He was hailing the release of the hostages, hailing the dismantling, supposedly of the nuclear facility, and not understanding that North Korea had not made their own demands.

And once again, he's making these proclamations, not necessarily in concert with North Korea, but ahead of them, and it leads them into the possibility of being publicly embarrassed again.

VAUSE: Yes, back in 2012, Donald Trump tweeted this, "Negotiation tip number one. The worst thing you can possibly do in a deal is seemed desperate to make it." Joe, does the president seemed to be a little desperate here to get some kind of deal with the North Koreans?

JOE MESSINA, POLITICAL RADIO HOST: I don't think so. I think Kim Jong-un was looking desperate. He was giving up everything. He was going to, you know, bring in the press, willing to get rid of the nuclear base and what have you.

But as far as the president goes, why not tout what's going on? Why not say, if you don't come to the table honestly, this is all for not. And to your point earlier, of what Bolton was talking about, really it was Bolton who was talking about --

VAUSE: The Libya model.

MESSINA: The Libya model and that was that we went in as Americans, we took out the nuclear devices. We took out the equipment and what have you. We didn't count on them like we did in Iran, please let us know when you're done. That works out well, doesn't it?

VAUSE: But the North Koreans were offered that deal a decade ago, they rejected it.

MESSINA: But you get a different guy in here right now and he's trouble. He is in trouble there with his people. He's in trouble with he can't feed anybody, can't take care of anybody. When you talk about wealth, think about what wealth means to those people. How about simply having a meal on the table.

VAUSE: Mo, I don't think Kim Jong-un or his father cared about the population starving.

KELLY: They've never cared about the people starving, and that what was propelled their nuclear ambitions and they keep their people very close off from the rest of world. We are always seen as the principal threat. So, the whole idea that Kim Jong-un would make a deal with us is probably counterintuitive.

VAUSE: Doesn't seem quite logical.

MESSINA: Maybe it's the wrong choice of words, but take a look at what he's done at the border, at the DMZ. I mean, he's made some major changes. That doesn't mean he's a good guy -- he doesn't want to die. He is worried about somebody taking him out.

BOLDUAN: Stay with us because there's a lot to get to today with Donald Trump and U.S. politics, there's a lot of stuff. So, we'll get you to stick around.

[00:15:04] After the break, we'll take a look at the Mueller investigation. It's about his first anniversary. We'll take a look how the president and the allies and those around him, are trying to end this investigation. Back in a moment.


VAUSE: Well, President Trump is marking the first anniversary of the appointment of Robert Mueller, as special counsel with some quality Twitter time, "Congratulations, America, we are now into the second year of the greatest witch-hunt in American history, no offense to witch-hunts. And there's still no collusion and no obstruction."

Trump's choice to lead the FBI says it is not a witch-hunt but that doesn't mean a lot to this White House.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This morning the president marked the one-year anniversary of the Mueller investigation saying it's disgusting, illegal, and unwarranted, but his own FBI director yesterday said it's not a witch-hunt.

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: They've found no evince of collusion and still strongly believe that it's a witch-hunt. I'm not sure how we could be any more clear and certainly not sure how the president could be any more clear about his beliefs and his opinion.


VAUSE: Back with us now, Mo and Joe. OK, so on this anniversary, this first anniversary of Mueller's appointment, the president says, one year, it's time for the investigation to end. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FORMER PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON: I believe the time has come to bring that investigation and the other investigation of this matter to an end. One year of Watergate is enough.


VAUSE: Sorry, wrong clip. That was Richard Nixon back in 1974 at the state of the union talking about the year anniversary of the Watergate investigation, and we all know how that ended.

But what's the rush here in trying to wrap this up. The Clinton Whitewater investigation took seven years, Iran contra under Reagan four years to find out about the CIA Spy Valerie Plame. So why the rush?

MESSINA: I think he's to the point, whereas was stated during Hillary's investigation, what do you have? What is coming to life? We have 13 indictments, one company that didn't exist and we indicted them anyway. We got some that were indicted or charged with lying. Do you want me to go through the list of Hillary's lies? Why didn't we indict her?

VAUSE: In that alternative universe where Hillary Clinton is president, maybe they are, but she's not.

[00:20:06] MESSINA: But morality is morality when you are president or not, I hear that a lot.

VAUSE: OK, one year to the Mueller probe, this is what we've got, 22 people and companies are facing 75 criminal charges. There's been five guilty pleas. One person has already been sentenced. So as far as the legal investigation goes, that's moving along at quite a clip.

KELLY: Not only is moving along, going back to Sarah Sanders, when they say there's been no evidence of collusion, there's been no presentation specifically for the public to see of evidence. We haven't been into any of the classified briefings.

But there's obviously -- there is evidence of crimes being committed. And the Mueller investigation wasn't about just "collusion," quote/unquote, it's about unearthing any crimes which may arise in the investigation of the relationship of the Trump administration campaign and also the Russians.

So, let's see this to its collusion. The president's remarks, I always say a person of innocent mind acts accordingly. And this sounds like a president who is trying to convince himself and us.

VAUSE: And Joe, you say, what's the evidence of collusion, there lots of evidence of collusion. We just don't know it's being criminal or not.

MESSINA: Then show what it is. It's like you're looking for something, going on your way to try to find something that you're going to make stick. Give me something really serious.

VAUSE: What about the case of Paul Manafort?

MESSINA: But what I'm saying is that anybody in this case back to Trump's campaign, back to Trump himself.

KELLY: George Papadopoulos.

MESSINA: George Papadopoulos was throwing back some brews at a club.

KELLY: And you know this happened?


MESSINA: Mainstream media has put it out.

KELLY: If you look in the indictments, they have directly connected him to Russia.


KELLY: It's the investigation of the Trump campaign.

VAUSE: If there wasn't any obstruction of justice, may it would be a lot easier to find out what happened. But the latest line of attack by the president against the Russia investigation is this allegation the Trump campaign was spied by the FBI.

Here's the tweet, "Well, word seems to be coming out that the Obama FBI spied on the Trump campaign with an embedded informant. McCarthy's says there's probably no doubt that they had at least one confidential informant in the campaign and so this is bigger than Watergate."

Let's go back here because McCarthy's story came out last Saturday. There was lots of speculation, no evidence. Then came this online story on Wednesday, "The New York Times" saying the FBI's investigation into the Trump campaign, at least one government informant met several times with Mr. Page and Mr. Papadopoulos referring to Trump campaign aides, Carter Page and George Papadopoulos.

Which was then picked up by Breitbart, which twisted it to its own unique way. Leakers to "New York Times" confirm FBI ran spy operation against Trump campaign, which again is totally incorrect. (Inaudible) world's greatest lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, on Fox News.


RUDY GIULIANI, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S ATTORNEY: What about placing a spy in the Trump campaign?

LAURA INGRAHAM, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Do you believe that happened?

GIULIANI: I don't know.

INGRAHAM: Does the president believe that happened?

GIULIANI: I don't think we want to believe it or not.


VAUSE: This is a house of mirrors filled with smoke, viewed from the wrong end of binoculars.

MESSINA: I think (inaudible) we have an alleged -- it's alleged that we had somebody on the inside -- wait a minute, and we're making a big deal out of this, but yet it's only been alleged that Trump has connected directly to Russia and he's guilty already.

VAUSE: No one is talking about a spy, no one is talking about the FBI actively placed somebody within the campaign. There was an informant, also could be known as a whistle-blower, and now there's a campaign to out this guy, who from the FBI, their source within the Trump campaign, but Trump and his allies.

MESSINA: Yes, we've now given this broad term the whistle-blowers like it makes them honorable. If you had this leakage when President Obama was in, you'd be up in arms.

KELLY: Maybe there's something to be said about the people who are government who feel that this administration should not be trusted and this information should be brought to light.

MESSINA: It's ideology. It nothing but ideology. Just because you don't like something a president or your boss does, you don't go running around telling everybody --

KELLY: Well, maybe if he hired the best people, he wouldn't have to worry about it.

MESSINA: We're on the same page. You need to go in there, stand on a desk and say, you're all gone Friday. You're out of here.

KELLY: Even Jeff Sessions.

MESSINA: I never would have put Jeff Sessions there, never.

VAUSE: And the big picture of the Trump presidency is kind of small, but here's a report about White House adviser and presidential son-in- law, Jared Kushner. The headline in "The Times," Kushner's near deal with Qatar-linked company for troubled tower.

How the report says the deal with Brookfield is likely to raise early concerns about Jared Kushner's dual role as a White House point person on the Middle East and a continuing stakeholder in the family's company.

Mr. Kushner earlier this year lost his top-secret security clearance amid concerns that foreign governments could attempt to gain influence with the White House by doing business with Kushner companies. [00:25:04] Joe, I was wondering, let's say the story wasn't about Kushner and Trump and wasn't president. Let's say the story read this, "(Inaudible) near deal with Qatar-linked company for troubled tower.

The deal with Brookfield is likely to raise further concerns about President Hillary Clinton's youngest brother, Tony Rodham and his dual role as a White House point person on the Middle East and a continuing stakeholder in the family's company.

Mr. Rodham earlier this lost his -- get the idea. If this was in a Democrat administration, Hillary Clinton was president, and one of her relatives was doing business with Qatar -- Republicans' heads would explode, wouldn't they?

MESSINA: Listen, I know it makes for lousy tv, but I agree with you. I think we should look into anything that doesn't smell right. But I mean, everything and anything.

KELLY: He gave you a hypothetical. It didn't actually happen.

MESSINA: When you're talking about Trump, I don't care what the names are. If it doesn't look like, if it isn't right, if it isn't above board, look into it.

KELLY: But that's the whole point of the Mueller investigation. They are looking into everything.

MESSINA: But when it seems like you're going down the track to go out of your way to try to find something on him, that's a whole different story. You know as well as I do, you enough, you can find anything.


VAUSE: It's got to be there to find it in the first place. You can't just make it up. If you talk to prosecutors, this judge in the Manafort case, this is not atypical. This is what he has done before, challenging prosecutors on their charges and their investigations.

KELLY: And ultimately what happened? They did nothing. In other words, they did not throw out any of the charges and they proceeded. He was heard, but now it's going to be heard on the merits, as opposed to just personal beliefs.

VAUSE: So, are we good too with the dossier being funded the way it was, and what we found out was false information there?

KELLY: Not the prime reason for moving forward. That was a piece of information.


VAUSE: The investigation started with George Papadopoulos blowing of steam in a pub in Britain to an Australian diplomat, boasting that he had Hillary Clinton's e-mails before Anybody knew that Hillary Clinton had been hacked. That's why the FBI went to London to interview the Australian diplomat in the first place.

KELLY: That actually did happen where there were they trying to get information and dirt on Hillary Clinton with foreign nationals connected directly to the Russian government. That sounds like anything, the Logan Act at best, criminal conspiracy at worst.

VAUSE: Let's go to Joe.

MESSINA: I just -- I love how things are, as you a Republican does it, or smells like a Republican is doing it, it's wrong, bad, or what have you. So what John Kerry just did in going out and trying to work the Iran deal, there was nothing wrong with that, right. That was OK.

KELLY: Complain to Jeff Sessions, get it done.

MESSINA: It won't go anywhere.

KELLY: It's the Trump administration, who are you going to blame?

MESSINA: No, it won't go anywhere, because he doesn't move on things quickly or quickly enough. People are feeling left out just like they did in the Obama administration, when Holder wouldn't go after certain people, Lynch wouldn't go after certain people. The American people have lost their trust in this government, period.

KELLY: And the president trying to undermine the credibility of the DOJ doesn't impact that?

MESSINA: Not the whole DOJ.

KELLY: There's only one DOJ.

MESSINA: But there's plenty of people in the DOJ and you know as well as I do like with the FBI, you have corrupt people at the top, even the members of the FBI, the guys working hard, have lost trust in their bosses.

VAUSE: We'll leave it at that. Thank you both. You know, the problem with this, it is so complicated and there are so many strands and you got to continue to pull it all together. I guess that's what we will try and do. So, thank you. Appreciate it.

OK, a short break. When we come back, a royal opportunity to briefly escape our miserable little lives as commoners. Next all you need to know as an American prepares to marry into the British royal family.


[00:30:00] VAUSE: You're watching CNN News Room live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause. We'll check the headlines this hour.

U.S. President Donald Trump says his (ph) administration is still planning for that June 12 summit with Kim Jong-un, even though North Korea has threatened to pull out. U.S. officials say they believe Kim is posturing, and the meeting is not in jeopardy. U.N. Secretary General and Amnesty International are demanding the release of a 19 year old woman in Sudan, even though she has been sentenced to hang for killing her husband. Noura Hussein says her husband's relatives held her down as he raped her. Amnesty has sent 150,000 letters to Sudan calling for her release.

A deadly ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo has entered a new phase, increasing fears it could become harder to contain. The outbreak has spread from rural areas to a city of more than a million people, where one case has been confirmed. Officials are scrambling to roll out experimental vaccine. 4,000 doses are now on the way to the epicenter of the outbreak.

Royal vows (ph) have been building for months, and now the big day, it's almost here. Final preparations -- yes, the very last preparations are underway for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on Saturday.

After weeks of speculation, the bride-to-be confirms her father cannot attend the service because he's recovering from heart surgery, and it's unclear right now who, if anyone, will actually walk her down the aisle.

In a statement, Markle says, "I've always cared for my father, and hope he can be given the space he needs to focus on his health."

Sophia Money-Coutts is a columnist for the Sunday Telegraph, and a former director of features for Tatler Magazine. She joins us now from Windsor.

Sophia, thank you for getting up so early. It's very kind of you. I'm wondering, is it any indication --

SOPHIA MONEY-COUTTS, COLUMNIST, SUNDAY TELEGRAPH: It's almost (ph) one in the morning.

VAUSE: -- good morning. Any indication of the royal title the queen will grant Meghan, and why does that matter? Is there any competition here with Kate, perhaps?

MONEY-COUTTS: There've been rumors since Harry and Meghan got engaged that they will be made the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. That was a front-runner -- that has been a front-runner since November, when they announced their engagement.

But we don't know much more than that yet. It will obviously be announced soon, so we just have to sort of wait and see on that one.

VAUSE: What's the importance of the title?

MONEY-COUTTS: Well, obviously being made a royal duke, it's a very important title. If they're the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, it'll be HRH, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

A duke, in terms of the British aristocracy, the duke is the sort of top of the tree. You get the duke at the top, and then you get earls, and viscounts, and lords all underneath that. So it means they're the top of the tree, really.

VAUSE: Technically, though, she won't be Princess Meghan. She'll be referred to as Princess Henry --


VAUSE: -- of Wales, which, you know, to us royal watchers (ph) and experts sounds kind of odd.

MONEY-COUTTS: Yes, I suppose it does, but I suspect, a bit like with the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, she will be more commonly referred to, I would still think, as Meghan Markle for a while.

I think it'll be pretty formal places that she would be referred to as Princess Henry of Wales. Harry himself is very -- you very rarely, apart from formal occasions, would call him Prince Henry.

He's sort of Prince Harry, or Harry, or Has, even, the evening invitations to the wedding tomorrow night have come from Has and Meg. So you go from right up from Prince Henry down to Has.

VAUSE: All right. That's kind of cool. There's some sort of speculation that maybe Meghan, because, you know, she is so different and so out of the box when it comes to your typical royal bride, that, you know, she'll have some impact on changing the Royal Family for the better.

MONEY-COUTTS: We have -- I mean, the most exciting chapter, I think, is what's going to come next. We don't quite know yet. This week has obviously been these sort of ups and downs for the couple.

But I think the most important thing at the moment is that tomorrow's going to be a very, very happy day. They're clearly madly in love. And then how Meghan sort of develops in that role as Harry's wife, as a Royal Duchess, remains to be seen.

But, yes, I think hopefully she will continue to be fairly outspoken, talk about the issues that matter to her, and, yes, we'll just wait and see on that.

VAUSE: I just want to say, sort of on (ph) a wee bit of a downer, because part of a report out of the Washington Post highlights the fact that "May 19, the day fashionable and outspoken American actress Markle will marry redheaded Harry is the same date that redheaded King Henry VIII had his wife, the fashionable and outspoken Anne Boleyn, executed. Oh, and Harry's real name is Henry. In a royal court sodden with etiquette that dictates everything from the way a cup is held to the way legs are crossed, how did anyone rubberstamp a wedding date on such a horrific anniversary?"

The story goes on to note that one historian did say it's almost impossible to find a date in English history when something awful did not happen. But, surely, couldn't they have chosen something maybe a little better date?

MONEY-COUTTS: Yes. I mean (ph), exactly. Well, I mean, potentially -- that was several hundred years ago.


I think, as it happens, May 19, and this week in London, as you can see behind me, and it's pretty cold here now, but I think it's going to shape up to be another very, very hot day here, and tomorrow.

So, in terms of that, I think we're quite lucky. They seem to have picked it for the weather, at least. So, yes, fingers crossed. I mean there may have been -- there would have many, many dates that could have been bad news.

So I think tomorrow we'll just have to concentrate on the sunshine, and hope all goes well.

VAUSE: Well, let's just hope history is not prologue. Sophia, thank you very much. Good to see you. Thank you.

MONEY-COUTTS: OK. Thank you. Bye.

VAUSE: OK. Well, let's talk a little bit more about the weather. Derek Van Dam is with us. We had a bit of a weather report just then. Is it going to be -- what's it going to be like? A warm day?

I mean, a warm, what, 12, 13 degrees? Sunshine for a couple of hours?

DEREK VAN DAM, METEOROLOGIST, CNN: That puts it in perspective (ph).


VAN DAM: Right. Exactly. That's what you'd expect for London, right, this time of year?

VAUSE: More rain, perhaps.

VAN DAM: It lacks (ph) -- that's right. It rains ten days, on average, out of the month of May in London. But not this particular time.

But before we get to that official forecast, John and everybody watching at home, I don't think any of the die-hard Londoners are going to care just exactly what mother nature does, because they're still going to be lining up on the streets, the procession route, as they already are.

I mean, the frenzy surrounding this wedding already starting to grow across the procession route, regardless of if it rains or if it is sunny. Well, if you look at previous royal weddings, Princess Elizabeth, Princess Philip, 14 degrees and cloudy. It was 24 degrees for the wedding of Princess Charles and Princess Diana, and it was dry for Princess William and Cathryn as well.

It looks as if the forecast will be perfect -- picture perfect, in fact, for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. In fact, it's looking fantastic right now. Clear skies across the United Kingdom. There's a cold front that will bring some cloud cover late in the day

on Sunday, but really nothing to be concerned of. We are going to keep this weather forecast dry right through the course of the weekend, and you really couldn't ask for any better conditions.

Regardless, people are still going to come out in the hundreds of thousands, and with the great weather in the weather forecast, well, it looks like that could just only increase the viewership numbers for people spending time outdoors to watch the royal couple come across the region.

All right, you guys. I've got to talk to you about what's happening across the other side of the world. It might be sunny and perfect across London, but that is a far cry from what's happening in Hawaii.

We have had yet another major eruption on the big island. Was this the big one? Well, I'll tell you all about it coming up after the break. Stay tuned.


VAUSE: New video shows an explosive eruption of the Kilauea volcano on Thursday morning. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, an enormous plume of ash and smoke was sent about nine kilometers into the air, about the cruising altitude of a commercial jet.

Residents near the plume are being asked to shelter in place, and are being warned more explosive eruptions are possible. Let's go back, now, to Derek Van Dam with more.

With this eruption, and, of course, the natural concern, when is the next one coming? Do they have any idea?


VAN DAM: And the other question people are asking is, "Is this the big one? Is this the one we should be concerned about?" Because volcanologists have been warning residents that "the big one" was still yet to come, with all the seismic activity, and all the fissures that have been taking place in the big island.

We'll explain what we're expecting here in just one moment, but quite an amazing image, there, captured by the Hawaiian Volcano Observation Unit, and it also picked up on radar. That little blip you see, that's actually the volcano erupting from one of the local radar sects.

The problem, here, is that this volcano is starting to mirror what happened in Kilauea back in 1924 when the volcano exploded, but it also hurled boulders this size, eight tons, hurled them one mile into the sky.

Well, this is a concern, because what we're starting to notice now is that the lava in the lava crater, or the magma chamber, is starting to basically drop. And eventually that is going to allow for those boulders that you saw

on that image a moment ago to basically start to block up that magma chamber, and you can imagine the amount of pressure that that is starting to build up.

So is "the big one" still yet to come? Well, if those rocks move into that magma chamber, block it up, and it reaches the water level, that hot magma -- eventually, there's going to be another explosive eruption, and it could, potentially, bring a larger ash plume into the sky, which of course has concerns for not only acid rain, but also for the aviation industry. John talked about that just a moment ago.

We want to talk why this is a concern for planes, because they fly roughly at nine kilometers in the sky, 30,000 feet. And if you think about that, you take the volcanic ash, which is ultimately pummeled rock, and also sand, it can turn into glass, and it can actually freeze within the turbine of the engine once it cools eventually, and that will prevent air from coming through the engine, and ultimately having engine failure. So you can see the concerns there for the aviation industry.

One of many, right, John?

VAUSE: Yes. I remember, what was it, like ten years ago there was that volcano in Iceland that it was erupting, and it threw world travel into utter turmoil for weeks.


VAUSE: So I guess they're hoping something like that doesn't happen again. Derek, good to see you. Thanks so much.

VAN DAM: All right.

VAUSE: Thank you for watching CNN News Room live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause. Stay with us now. World Sport with Patrick Snell is up next. You're watching CNN.


PATRICK SNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi there. Thanks for joining us. Welcome to CNN World Sport. We begin with football news, and not the kind we were perhaps expecting.

At least, it wasn't the retirement news we were led to believe we might get concerning legendary Italian goal keeper Gigi Buffon. But he has confirmed he is leaving (inaudible) champs Juventus (ph) at the end of this current season.

Buffon's actually kind of left us in tenterhooks to some degree. Will he in fact, though, play elsewhere next season? Buffon, who has also apologized to English referee Michael Oliver for his reaction to being sent off in the recent Champions League Quarter Final with Real Madrid.

He's been the (inaudible) keeper for the last 17 years, and he's been part of nine championship teams. He's also won an Italian League and Cup Double in each of the last four years, and the Scudetto for the last seven.

Gigi, who's also a World Cup Winner, as well, is 40 years of age now, and he's not been giving too much away on his next career move.



GIANLUIGI BUFFON: Like I said a long time ago, I am not willing, nor do I think it would be right, to finish my career in a third or fourth division team, because I couldn't live in such a context.

I wouldn't feel comfortable. Juventus is a club that prepares for the future. Its future is like its present, and its past. It is a winning future. So if one day I am to be considered an element they would count on, because I can bring something to the cause, it is clear that for me Juventus has priority on everything else for me.


SNELL: Intriguing. Buffon, of course, as I said, a World Cup winner at the expense of France or Germany, 2006.

And speaking of the French national team, Les Bleus have revealed their squad for the World Cup in Russia next month, a squad in which there's no room, it would seem for Marc Zaful or Demetri Paella, who suffered a hamstring injury in Wednesday night's Europa League Final loss against Atletico Madrid.

Also missing out, the arsenal striker Alexendra Lacazette and Man United Anthony Marial, who are only on the standby list to deliver the goals. Head coach Didier Deschamps is putting his faith in Antoine Griezmann. He scored twice for Atletico in that final in Leon.

Chelsea's Olivier Giroud and the Paris Saint-Germain Forward Kylian Mbappe, as well. The 1998 World Champs are grouped with Australia, Peru, and Denmark.


DIDIER DESCHAMPS, HEAD COACH, IRAN NATIONAL TEAM: There are players who deserve to be there because of the season they've had with their club who are not. There's a sporting criteria, obviously. And that's what they do with their club.

In the sporting criteria, there is also what they did with me in the French team, and at times there's a gap between what they can do at the club and what they do in the French team.


SNELL: Meantime, the Iranian national team preparing for its fifth World Cup, and they have every reason to be quietly confident under their Portuguese head coach Carlos Queiroz, heading to Russia not having conceited a single goal during the final round of qualifying until their very last game.

In fact, they were also unbeaten, as well, winning six of their ten games. It won't be easy though. Their group is going to be tough. Iran must play the reigning European champions Portugal, the 2010 world champions Spain, and Morocco.


KARIM ANSARIFARD, FOOTBALLER, IRAN NATIONAL TEAM: So this is our dream, for sure. This is our dream. We cannot be before the game to say, "OK, we're going to lose," or something like that.

For sure, we do believe in our dream. We live in our dream, and what I said before is, "We have to work harder than another team to be stronger in this competition, in the biggest in the world -- the World Cup is the biggest competition for us."

So everybody's excited, and everybody's ready for this competition, for sure.


SNELL: Now, when it comes to the sport of surfing, is there really such a thing as the perfect wave? And if there is, how come it's miles away from the Californian coast? Stand by. All is about to be revealed.


[00:50:00] SNELL: Welcome back to World Sport. Now, when it comes to goal-scoring exploits, Russia's NHL superstar Alex Ovechkin is rightly considered the greatest of his generation.

The 32 year old Washington Capitals Captain has enjoyed nine 40-goal seasons over a historic (ph) career, and he's also scored at least 50 goals seven times.

But the fact does remain: an otherwise glittering resume still has one glaring omission. Both he and the Caps are yet to win the sport's biggest prize, the Stanley Cup. Just look at the focus and the intensity, there, in Ovechkin's eyes as even before Thursday night's game four of the Eastern Conference Finals with the Tampa Bay Lightning got going.

His assist to compatriot Evgeny Kuznetsov -- that made it two a piece in that one. A shocking score, though, for the home fans there in D.C. as Alex Killorn put the visitors ahead.

A frantic finish will be triggered by that, and the host almost winning (ph), but the Swede Nicklas Backstrom would be left very frustrated, indeed.

Lightning win it 4-2 in the end. Frustration all around for the Capitals. Nowhere -- look at that -- is it more evident than with Ovechkin himself. Well, we now know Ovechkin's powered by his favorite pregame meal, chicken Parmesan for the record. But he and his team will be hungry to get going, and to get back to winning away (ph), that's for sure.

The series now all tied up at two a piece between these two teams. Game five on Saturday, by the way, while in the west the Vegas Golden Knights playing the franchise's very first season to remember (ph). They have a 2-1 series advantage ahead of their game four, with their Canadian opponents the Winnipeg Jets later on Friday.

Now for something that really could be the future of surfing in a way you likely never even considered possible before now. Just for context, 11-time world champion Kelly Slater is the most successful man in the history of the sport, and it seems the 46 year old American has even found a new approach to making just the kind of waves that has everyone talking right now, and World Sport has been to take a much closer look. Here's Don Riddell.


DON RIDDELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Surfers like their early starts, but here it makes no difference, because these waves represent the dawn of a brand new era.

The nearest beach is 100 miles away, but the world's top surfers have come inland, to Lemoore in California, because this Surf Ranch could represent the future of their sport.

LAKEY PETERSON, PROFESSIONAL SURFER: The wave itself is totally on- par with those breaks, which is just unbelievable that they've been able to create a wave -- a man-made wave that is as good as a lot of these waves (ph) we used to go to all over the world, that are the best in the world.

SOPHIE GOLDSCHMIDT, CEO, WORLD SURF LEAGUE: I think this is a moment in history for surfing, and it'll never be the same after this weekend.

RIDDELL: It took 12 years to design and two to build. It's a $30 million project that somehow the developers were able to keep a secret. 11-time world champion Kelly Slater is the brains behind this massive facility, which extends the length of seven and a half football fields.

KELLY SLATER: I think it touched something in people, you know? I think it planted a seed, or a dream in people's minds, and it sort of captured -- it's captured a lot of people's imaginations in a lot of ways.

STEPHANIE GILMORE: You know, one of the highlights in my career was probably having Kelly Slater call me up to say, "Hey, do you want to come surf my wave pool?"

And I was just like, "Oh my gosh, yes." Dropped everything. Flew an entire lap of the globe to make it to Lemoore to have a go.

RIDDELL: Built on dry land between farm country and the desert, the Surf Ranch has to be seen to be believed. It's a grand vision, and cutting-edge technology

enables the designers to perfectly recreate some of the best breaks, and some of the most iconic beaches around the world.

This is as close as they were prepared to let us get to seeing the technology, but in some ways the science behind it all is very simple.

HUNTER AINSLIE, MANAGER, WAVE DEVELOPMENT GROUP: The easiest way to explain it is you've got a big machine, we call that a vehicle, that's pulled through the water, and basically it works like a boat, and off of the boat comes a wave. We just made it a good wave to surf.

So here you've got Johanne Defay coming through. So there's three sections of the wave. She's on the first section, that's the performance section, so that's better for turns.

Then it goes into the middle section, which is a barrel section for that tube riding. And then it's the third section is a performance section again, and that's the best turn section, there.

RIDDELL: It has its critics, but the benefits are obvious. Facilities like this will make surfing more accessible, and the growing sport will benefit with a reliable showing for broadcasters. An artificial pool is not at the mercy of the weather.

And its perfectly fair. Everyone competing gets to surf the same wave.

GILMORE: The wave pool is -- you know, it's a whole new world.

JORDY SMITH, PROFESSIONAL SURFER: It's consistent, man, and it's equal-opportunity. So everybody gets the same ride, everyone gets the same chance.

JOHN JOHN FLORENCE, PROFESSIONAL SURFER: The pool -- here you have this consistent, you know, the wave's (ph) going to be exactly the same every time.

[00:55:00] CARISSA MOORE, PROFESSIONAL SURFER: You know, surfing the wave pool is definitely different. It's a man-made wave. But there's still a lot of power behind it, a lot of speed, which is very similar to the ocean.

KELLY SLATER: Nothing will replace the ocean. I mean (ph), that's where we made all of our dreams, and ideas, and imaginations have grown from being in the ocean and learning from there. And this is just kind of a culmination of all those things coming together, for me.

But this will never replace that. This could just supplement that. I think it's -- you know, the intention of this is to make the experience better and broader.

RIDDELL: 2020 is the next big date for this sport, when surfing makes its debut at the Olympic games in Tokyo. It certainly is not the end for the ocean. Surfers will always want to compete in a natural environment. But now there is another option.

As Laird Hamilton once said, "We are all equal before a wave." Now the waves can be equal before us. Don Riddell, CNN.


SNELL: Really impressive to see that. Thank you so much for joining us, by the way, and make sure you're around for later Friday editions of World Sport. For the team here in Atlanta, thanks for watching. Stay with CNN.