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Iraqi Army Prepares To Retake Fallujah; Clinton: Trump Panders To The Gun Lobby; Funerals Held Today For Flight 804 Victims; Search Crews Hunt For Flight Data Recorders; CNN's Secret Visit To Syria; Top Taliban Leader Likely Killed In Drone Strike; Court Orders Mississippi District To Desegregate; Racehorses Die Before Preakness; Five Years Since Joplin Tornado Struck; "SNL" Spoofs Senator Bernie Sanders. Aired 6-7a

Aired May 22, 2016 - 06:00   ET




[06:00:44] DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: She wants to abolish the second amendment. She wants to take your guns away.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Unlike Donald Trump, I will not pander to the gun lobby, and we will not be silenced.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There is no doubt in my mind that our vision prevails.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A major U.S. drone strikes has likely killed the Taliban's number one leader.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They still need to find the fuselage and the date recorders.


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning everyone. So grateful for your company as always. I'm Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Happy Sunday to you. I'm Victor Blackwell. Plenty to get to this morning. In Syria, CNN is the only television news organization to travel with a top U.S. commander as he arrives in Syria on a secret visit to get an unprecedented look at how Special Forces are fighting ISIS.

PAUL: And new details this morning about the death of Prince, Sara Sidner is live for us in Minnesota.

SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It has been exactly a month since Prince died and we're getting details about exactly what was happening in the hours even before his death and just how long he may have been dead before someone discovered him here at Paisley Park.

First, we have some breaking news we want to share with you this morning. We're getting word the Iraqi Army is ordering people in Falluja to leave that city and get to safety as the military is going in to retake that city from ISIS.

CNN's Jomana Karadsheh joins us on the phone. Jomana, tell us what you're learning this morning.

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Well, Christi, the Iraqi military through state TV is asking residents of the city of Falluja to leave the city ahead of this much anticipated operation to liberate the city.

As you recall, this was the first city in Iraq to fall to ISIS back in January of 2014. Now, the military saying that it has created safe corridors for the families and residents in Falluja to leave.

They've set up hot lines for people to call in to try and leave, and they say if they end up stuck in the city, they should put a white flag on top of their homes.

But Christi, in recent weeks, we've heard from organizations like Human Rights Watch saying tens of thousands of civilians remain in Falluja.

That they described them as being trapped by ISIS inside the city and they are besieged by Iraqi forces who have encircled Falluja and lot of concerns about these residents, especially after reports that some families, some civilians have been executed in recent months by ISIS for simply trying to flee the city.

So this will be a really major (inaudible) after clearing much of Anbar Province, if you recall, 70 percent of that province was under ISIS control.

They've regained a lot of Anbar and now Falluja, hugely symbolic, very important for them, lots of history there, but great concern for the civilians in that city -- Christi.

PAUL: No doubt about it. In fact, some of the pictures we were looking at there, these are pictures we're just getting in of some of the military units that are making their way to that city right now. Jomana Karadsheh, thank you so much. We appreciate t.

We're going to talk more about this in just a little bit and ask a military expert how active the U.S. will be in this fight as well.

But of course, let's talk a little bit of politics this morning. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, feuding over firearms specifically morning. The former of secretary of state slamming the presumptive Republican nominee as the politician in the pocket of the gun lobby. Donald Trump firing back overnight.

BLACKWELL: Yes, Clinton called again for stricter gun control Saturday an event put on by the Trayvon Martin Foundation and in what could be a preview of the battle over guns in the general election, Clinton said it is Donald Trump who would put more children at risk, of violence and bigotry. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Unlike Donald Trump, I will not pander to the gun lobby and we will not be silenced and will not be intimidated. As long as children anywhere are being killed by gun violence, we will keep fighting.

Parents, teachers and schools should have the right to keep guns out of classrooms. Just like Donald Trump does at many of his hotels, by the way.

[06:05:02]This is someone running to be president of the United States of America, a country facing a gun violence epidemic, and he is talking about more guns in our schools.


BLACKWELL: All right, let's talk about this with CNN political commentator and Hillary Clinton supporter, Maria Cardona and Scottie Nell Hughes, chief political editor for and Trump supporter. Good to have both of you back.


BLACKWELL: So let's start broadly on the topic of guns. Maria, I want to start with you. This resonates with many families, many communities across the country. When we look state by state and go to the region of the rust belt, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, where Trump has shown some strength, does this work as well politically for Hillary Clinton?

CARDONA: I believe that it does, Victor, because what we have seen in the past several years, even though there has been a complete lack of action on this, on behalf of congressional Republicans that the majority of Americans do agree there should be common sense limitations on being able to give the opportunity for people to get guns who shouldn't get guns.

People with severe mental disabilities, criminals, and the way that you do that is by expanding common sense background checks. These are things that Republicans have been against because they are all in the pocket of the NRA.

What we have seen in the last couple of days is that Donald Trump has now since jumped into the pocket of the NRA, becoming a puppet of the NRA, because he is towing the line of the NRA, which several years ago, he criticized Republicans for doing.

So he not only lied about Secretary Clinton's position on the second amendment, but he has now flip flopped his own position to make sure that the NRA is fully backing him, even though it means that he is going against the majority of what Americans want.

BLACKWELL: All right, a lot of accusations in there. Let me get Trump's response from Trump himself and then I'll come to you, Scottie. He tweeted this after what we heard there from Secretary Clinton.

"Crooked Hillary said that I want guns brought into the school classroom. Wrong." But now I want you to hear what Donald Trump said in October, after the deadly shooting at an Oregon community college.


TRUMP: The second amendment to our constitution is clear. Now, this is in light of what's gone on with Oregon. Everything something happens, they don't blame mental illness or mental health care is out of whack and all of the problems. By the way, it was a gun free zone. I will tell you if you had a couple of teachers or somebody with guns in that room, would you have been a hell of a lot better of off.


BLACKWELL: All right, Scottie, reconcile those two for me.

SCOTTIE NELL HUGHES, CHIEF POLITICAL EDITOR FOR RIGHTALERTS.COM: Well, no, he is saying the exact same thing all along. There is a reason why every school shootings that happens in a gun free zone because the only person that has a gun in those gun free zones is the criminal themselves.

And I hate to break it to Maria, guess what? They don't care about a background check. These folks are already mentally deranged. Mental health issues, which is why Mr. Trump is sitting here saying we need to look at our mental health program.

Rather than sit there and take away of the guns of the law-abiding gun citizens. And talk about flip-flopping and switching and pandering, let's look back at Hillary Clinton right before the Pennsylvania primary.

When she was pandering to those voters saying that she said that the second amendment has nothing to do with hunting. And she sat there and said does Hillary think how important gun ownership is and particularly hunting is in Northern Pennsylvania.

So she was all about pandering to those gun owners at that point. We saw how well she did in the state so maybe she needed to pander some more.

BLACKWELL: Maria, before I get back to that, let me ask you, Scottie, so does Donald Trump believe that guns should be in classrooms or they should not be?

HUGHES: There should be the option for them. Just because we sit there and say we want to put guns into schools doesn't mean that they're mandatory going to be there. What we're going do is tell the criminal, guess what, when you enter a school and you want do harm to my child, there is a good chance that you're not going to be the only one who has a gun.

So you better watch out or you better be careful with it. Right now, our children are sitting ducks. Our teachers are sitting ducks right now because time and time again, we are finding that the mentally deranged, the criminals are going into the schools.

And guess what, our children are defenseless because of Hillary Clinton and the Democrat platform because they sit there and think they're going to protect our children by sitting there and making them without any protection.

BLACKWELL: Maria, last word to you.

CARDONA: So a couple of things. First of all, why don't we start with making sure that the criminals don't have the guns in that way we won't be putting children in harm's way? That's what Hillary Clinton wants to do.

That's exactly what the NRA wants to stop her from doing. That's exactly what Donald Trump is now saying that he is going to do everything that the NRA wants him to do.

It was a complete flip flop because he did say back in October that he was going to put guns into the schools and last night he said that he wasn't.

So clearly, what he is saying is that he cares more about the high end rich billionaires that go to his resorts than he does about the kids in our schools.

BLACKWELL: All right.

[06:10:06]CARDONA: That's going to be a contrast that Hillary Clinton will win --

BLACKWELL: We got to wrap there. Maria Cardona, Scottie Nell Hughes, you're both back next hour. We're going to talk about this "Washington Post"/ABC News poll that shows an 11-point swing in just the last couple of months toward one of the two candidates and we'll tell you, which one next hour. Thanks for being with us.

CARDONA: Thank you, Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right.

PAUL: This morning, Bernie Sanders is taking his feud with the chair of the Democratic National Committee to a new level. In an interview set to air on CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION," Bernie Sanders says he will back Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz's opponent in their upcoming primary. Here's a preview.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST, "STATE OF THE UNION": Your campaign and many of your supporters have argued that Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chair of the Democratic National Committee, has not been neutral in her position as chair.

Your campaign manager, Jeff Weaver in particular, has been very critical. She is being challenged right now in a primary by Tim Canova. He is a law professor who opposes the Pacific trade deal that you oppose.

He supports you. He's already raised $1 million. You've been calling for a revolution in Florida. Are you with Wassermann Schultz or are you with her opponent?

SANDERS: Well, clearly, I favor her opponent. His views are much closer to mine than is Wassermann Schultz's. And let me also say this. In all due respect to the chairperson, if elected president, she would not be reappointed to be chair of the DNC.


PAUL: In response, Wasserman Schultz says, quote, "Even though Senator Sanders have endorsed my opponent, I remain as I have been from the beginning neutral in the presidential Democratic primary.

I look forward to looking together with him for Democratic victories in the fall," unquote. Now Bernie Sanders is Jake Tapper's guest on "STATE OF THE UNION" later this morning. You can watch it at 9:00 a.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

BLACKWELL: This morning, we're getting new reports on the circumstances surrounding Prince's death including the medical attention he was getting just the day before he died.

PAUL: And CNN getting a front row seat for a top secret visit to Syria, where Special Forces are taking the fight to ISIS.

BLACKWELL: Also, U.S. officials tell CNN that the leader of the Taliban has likely been killed in an air strike. Will cutting the head off the terror network really make a substantial difference?



PAUL: New revelations this morning in the hours and days before Prince's death. According to the "Minneapolis Star Tribune," the singer was like dead for at least six hours before his body was discovered.

BLACKWELL: The report also reveals several signs Prince was in poor health just days before he died. You'll remember, he was found dead in an elevator at his Paisley Park compound last month.

CNN's Sara Sidner joins us now from there with more. Sara, what else can you tell us because we are learning in just the last few hours more about those last hours before he was discovered?

SIDNER: Yes, also that publication, the "Star Tribune," talked to a source that said Prince was actually in the hospital the day before he died, and he was given intravenous fluids at that time. We don't know exactly why that was.

We do know from his publicist, a few days before he died, the publicist told CNN that he was suffering from the flu, and so we really don't know why he was getting, and what he was getting intravenous fluids for, but we were told that by the publicist.

Just a day later, April 21st, Prince was found dead here at his Paisley Park Compound inside an elevator. We're learning from someone who had heard from a paramedic, who showed up on the scene, Prince was likely dead for more than six hours before his body was discovered.

We're also getting more information as to what led up to this, that after his plane made an emergency, you'll remember that, he had just done some concerts in Atlanta, people were extremely enthusiastic about this concert, he played for hours.

But on his way back here, he ended up having to make an emergency stop in Moline, Illinois. He was taken to the hospital. Sources have told us that he was treated for what was possibly could have been an overdose treated with medication to treat that.

We're now learning that he was quite agitated after that for several days, he was feeling increasingly agitated, and that is why someone called for help for him. And so we're getting a better picture of exactly how he was feeling, what his health was like before he died a month ago -- Victor, Christi.

BLACKWELL: Coming into focus now. Sara Sidner there at Paisley Park, thanks so much.

PAUL: Well, funerals are being held for the victims of Flight 804 as the search crews are working to recover the plane's flight data recorders now. We're hearing this morning what it sounded like when that plane first lost radio contact.



PAUL: More debris is recovered from EgyptAir Flight 804, the search continues is underway, of course, for the plane's flight data recorders. We're now hearing what it sounded like as air traffic controllers tried to reach the plane when it first lost contact, even enlisting other planes in the area to try to help. Listen to this.


TURKISH 141: Stand by. EgyptAir 804. EgyptAir 804. This is Turkish 141.

Egypt Air 995: EgyptAir 804 from EgyptAir 995.

Egypt Air 995: EgyptAir 804 from EgyptAir 995 on 124.7

Turkish 814: 804 this is Turkish 814, 804 this is Turkish 814, how do you read me?


PAUL: I can't imagine what it must be like for them when they're searching for this plane and they are hearing no response. CNN correspondent, Ian Lee, joining us from Cairo this morning. Ian, we understand that memorials are being held for the victims of this crash. What are you hearing from families today?

IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, really, it is a day of mourning here. There are those funerals that are taking place, even though there aren't any bodies. It is customary to once hearing that someone has died, you have some sort of service, some sort of funeral, at least within the three days after that notification to pray for them as well as for offering condolences.

But it really has shocked, not just the families, the EgyptAir community, but really all of Egypt. People still in disbelief, but all of them really comes to the grips that these people aren't coming home.

The Egyptian government has said that it could take some time to get the bodies to the family members, once and if they are able to recover them, because they will have to go through DNA testing to make sure the right body gets to the right family, and then they'll have the burials, but still very much a sad time, a real tragedy for Egypt.

PAUL: I'm sure there is such a struggle, an emotional struggle there too, because not only are they letting go of somebody they love, but they still don't know why it happened. I'm sure that those questions are hovering all of these memorials.

We know that they're going to try to recover these data recorders, but they could be working with depths up to 10,000 feet. With all the knowledge they have, do they have a timeline by which they think they can make this happen?

LEE: This is what we're hearing from the Egyptian government today is that they have the investigators out there. Their main priority right now is to find the coordinates of the search area, as well as gathering all the pieces, collecting them.

Those will be then taken to a military base here in Egypt. Once they have everything collected, including the voice recorders, fuselage, all of the bits and pieces and then that will all be brought here to Cairo where they'll start going through it to really determine the cause.

[06:25:07]We're told that within about a month, they should have some sort of preliminary report to answer all those questions that we've had about what caused this. But we are also hearing that they do have a submarine out there from the Ministry of Petroleum that's also aiding them in the search for those black boxes.

PAUL: All right, Ian Lee, thank you so much for the update.

BLACKWELL: We are following breaking news. The people of Falluja are being told to get out now. Get to safety as troops prepare to battle ISIS and take back control of that embattled Iraqi city.

PAUL: A drone strike may have taken out the Taliban's top leader. How will that impact the terror group? (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PAUL: Breaking news this morning. The Iraqi army is ordering people in Fallujah to leave the city and get to safety as the military goes in to retake that city from ISIS.

I want to show you these pictures just coming in to CNN. These are people who are leaving the area by any means necessary it seems. The Iraqi joint operations command is warning the anti-ISIS operation will be launched within a few days.

But you can see a family there, somebody holding a young child as they try to get out. The military has told families to call or text an emergency line to seek evacuation.

[06:30:05] Families who cannot escape the city have been told to raise a white flag about their homes.

CNN military analyst Lieutenant Colonel Rick Francona is with us now. So Rick, as you take a look at how this is progressing this morning what -- how are U.S. intelligence, U.S. troops, the U.S. military in general, how are they assisting? Will they be on the ground with these Iraqi forces?


You know, in the last few months, we've been pushing our advisors to a much lower level. Initially we started out at the brigade level. Now we're down working with Iraqi battalions. And the Iraqi battalions are your basic fighting unit (ph). Those are the once who (ph) are actually going to go into Fallujah. They're the ones who are going to conduct this assault.

Going after Fallujah makes sense. It is the next step in what we're seeing out there in Anbar province. You know, at one time, ISIS controlled all three quarter of that province. And Iraqis are slowly taking it back. This is all a prelude to the eventual liberation of Mosul. But you can't go north until you clear out the west.

So you're going to see a lot of U.S. assets being deployed to help the Iraqis. And one thing we have out here is a lot of intelligence assets. So the Iraqis know exactly what they're going to need (ph). And this is going to be another hard fought battle. This will be Ramadi revisited.

And it is a good thing they're trying to evacuate these people because once these battles take place, the damage to that infrastructure is going to be tremendous.

PAUL: Well, a lot of people I think look at this and think if you are announcing your arrival, does that not also give ISIS the ability to either get important people out of the city, or to better prepare themselves? Is there a risk, I guess?

FRANCONA: Well, yes, there is. But the Iraqis have isolated Fallujah. They've got it pretty much surrounded. They know what's in there. You know, ISIS hopefully is fairly well trapped in there. And it's been no surprise that this attack is coming.

So it's not like we're telegraphing our intentions to the Iraqis -- I mean, to ISIS. They know this was going to happen and they've been preparing for it. So it's going to be a hard fought battle but it's just the next step in the eventual liberation of all of Anbar province.

So this will kick off in a few days. And we'll see a couple of weeks of heavy fighting. This is not going to be easy but, you know, the Iraqis are so much better now than they were just three, four months ago.

PAUL: So you're confident in them. They have an ally in this fight that I think a lot of people will be surprised to hear about.

I want to show you some video that we've gotten in. Apparently, these are some of the Hezbollah troops that have joined forces with the Iraqi army. Now Hezbollah of course is characterized by the U.S. as a terrorist group. Hezbollah does not like the U.S. The U.S. does not like Hezbollah.

How is it and how do you think that will work for the U.S., the Iraqi army and...


PAUL: ... these Hezbollah forces to work together?

FRANCONA: Yes. This is an interesting position, you know, juxtaposition of all these sources, but if you notice the flags that they're flying, those yellow flags, they have a red square. This is not Lebanese Hezbollah. This is not the group that we are used to seeing fighting the Israelis and what we're seeing in Syria. This is an Iraqi Hezbollah. So these are Shia militias that are funded and supported by the Iranians and they are actually on the side of the Iraqi government here.

Now, we don't interface with them much. They prefer not to work with us. We prefer not to work with them, but they are going to be some of the better fighting units on the frontlines with the Iraqis. And the Iraqis have done a fairly good job of integrating them in.

The problem they run into is these Shia fighters are not very welcome out in Anbar province. So they've got to use them and then get them out of there.

PAUL: OK. Rick, just stay with us here for a second because I want to talk to you about what is going on in Syria as well.

What we're sharing with you here is a CNN exclusive. A secret trip to Syria with the highest ranking general ever known to visit the battle torn country.

CNN's Barbara Starr is the only reporter allowed to capture all of it on video as you're seeing here. She and her team traveled alongside army General Joseph Votel yesterday, as he flew into northern Syria. That flight, the first by U.S. forces without the cover of darkness.

And while they were inside Syria -- again, this is new exclusive video here. Votel met with Syrian anti ISIS leaders where he got a firsthand look at American efforts to train local forces to fight the terror group. I'm wondering what does his presence do to engage the troops there and narrow the focus, and how many of a gauge do they have on the forces that they're working with, that there is no ISIS infiltration there.

FRANCONA: Well, OK, this is two-sided. This is very important that he did this, because it does, it shows the flag thing, but he goes in and talks to the people that we want to risk their lives to fight basically (ph) on our behalf, to come (ph) more boots on the ground to go after ISIS in Syria. So when you send the commander -- U.S. central command, you're sending a real message. But on the other side more importantly, you know, General Votel is the guy who talks to the secretary of defense. The chain of command, president, the secretary of defense, General Votel. It goes nowhere else.


So now we're going to get the guy on the ground that has to run this war. He can talk directly to the secretary of defense and say I was there, this is what we need, this will work, this won't work. And he's talking to the special operations people, who are on the ground there, and say, what do you need? What will work?

And it's much more effective when he can put his own eyeballs on this and now he can represent what we need to the secretary of defense. And I think it will really energize what we're trying do in Syria because I think we're seeing a lot of success now in Iraq, but we are really struggling in Syria.

PAUL: All right. Lieutenant Colonel Rick Francona, so appreciate your insight and your thoughts and perspective. Thank you for taking the time to be with us.

FRANCONA: Sure. Good to be with you.

PAUL: Thank you.

And don't forget, you can see Barbara Starr's full report on our trip to Syria with General Votel it's tomorrow morning on "NEW DAY" beginning at 6:00 a.m.

BLACKWELL: A key Taliban leader may have been killed in a drone strike authorized by President Obama. Mullah Mansour is or maybe now was the leader of the Taliban in Afghanistan. He's believed to have planned several attacks across that country.

Now, Pentagon officials confirmed Mansour was the target of an airstrike on Saturday near Afghanistan-Pakistan border. But to say his death cannot be confirmed at least just yet.

CNN senior international correspondent Nick Paton Walsh is live in Beirut. Nick, often in these organizations there is a deputy who is ready to move up in the case of a death of the leader. Now, the death has to be confirmed. But if Mullah Mansour has been killed in this air strike, give us an idea of what the impact is on the Taliban.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, first of all, you have to bear in mind that Mullah Mansour only came to this position himself after a pretty lengthy and secretive internal power struggle after the secret death in Mullah Omar that happened some point 2012-2013. Now he was the long time leader of Taliban.

Mullah Mansour then fought his way to that particular new position. Now, he is dead, yes, the question is, who takes his role? Well, there may be those who sought to be Mullah Omar's successor who try (INAUDIBLE) but also many, I think, feared the possibility that a man called Surajuddin Haqqani who is currently the deputy for operations for Mullah Mansour, that he may in fact assume that role.

That's important because Haqqani is actually in the U.S.'s eye, the chief facilitator of al Qaeda in Afghanistan. So that could be a significant lurch toward radicalism. All of this is especially (ph) premised on the idea that Mullah Mansour is in fact dead.

Now, this morning, so far, the Afghan government has begun to give more conclusive suggestions. They believe he is dead. The defense ministry and the man Abdullah Abdullah, who is the chief executive, effectively he's prime minister to some degree, they've both come forward and said, he is dead. But the presidency himself, Ashraf Ghani, has been slight more circumspect, there in fact saying they're still -- quote -- "In the process of reviewing final details, and will announce result as soon as possible."

Now, of course, as a lengthy process between the moment that those unarmed aerial vehicles delivered what must have been missiles over that car carrying two men one thought to be Mullah Mansour, in the middle of the afternoon yesterday. The question being, do U.S. officials actually get access to the site of that destruction? Are they able to get DNA evidence? What are they relying upon to be their confirmation that in fact Mullah Mansour is dead and where will they make that public?

So a lot of work still perhaps being done behind the scenes, but still already, a sense, I think, of a political capital trying to be yield by the Afghan government. This of course is a rare moment of good news. They've been losing a lot of territory to recently involving Taliban under Mullah Mansour's leadership. I think perhaps too there may be a bit by everyone who opposes the Taliban to exploit the lack, I think, of truth and as a transparency they had about Mullah Omar's death to perhaps just believing if Mullah Mansour is alive. Well, is he is dead? Is he is alive? They're really not sure.

A key moment though in Afghanistan. Things could get worst, because it is not better, Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right. Nick Paton Walsh was there in Beirut. Nick, thanks so much.

PAUL: Well, a school district is fighting back against a federal court order to desegregate all schools. Yes, segregation is still blatantly happening and we're going to take you into that community.

BLACKWELL: Plus, a top-notch racehorse collapses, and then dies after winning a race, just before the Preakness at Pimlico in Baltimore. Another horse had to be euthanized on the track. Details on the shock and mystery surrounding the deaths.



BLACKWELL: Consider this. Segregated schools. You know, blacks going to one school, whites going to another. This sounds like something out of the 1950s, but it is still happening in a Mississippi school district.

PAUL: Mm-hmm. And now a court has ordered schools to desegregate. But the district and even some of the students are against that plan.

CNN's Nick Valencia went to Cleveland, Mississippi, and here is what he found out.



NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: At home in Cleveland, Mississippi, a father and son have a conversation that has been 50 years in the making.

DUVALL SR.: We're doing what we think is right not just for black folks but white folks and for everybody.

VALENCIA: This week, after a five-decade long legal battle, a federal judge ordered the Cleveland school district to integrate. The Reverend Edward Duvall advocated for the move and even testified in court. His son, Ed Jr. isn't so sure about the impending change.

ED DUVALL JR., EAST SIDE HIGH SOPHOMORE: I think the parent -- where the parent wants the child to go, instead of the child wants to go.

DUVALL SR.: I don't expect you to agree with me. Just know that the stand I'm taking is for the best interest of everybody.

VALENCIA: Population, 12,000, Cleveland, Mississippi, has 11 public schools that are separated by train tracks that used to be right here. To the east, East Side High School. That's 99 percent black. To the west, Cleveland High School, which historically has been seen as a school for whites. Though enrollment there now is pretty evenly split between the races but still not representative of the population. The Department of Justice took exception with that and pushed to change it.

JAMIE JACK, SCHOOL DISTRICT ATTORNEY: I thought we were doing pretty well. VALENCIA: Attorney Jamie Jack represents the school district. For

the last 50 years she says, the district has complied with federal orders to integrate. But for a federal judge, the process wasn't moving fast enough.

JACK: What the court said is it wasn't intensive enough and it wasn't effective enough. And we think that with the constitution and the law of the Supreme Court says is you don't have to have a racial quota that is required in every school and every district. You have to have made a good faith effort and we think our district as a whole is desegregated.

VALENCIA: Since 2013, Cleveland School District has allowed open enrollment, which gives the freedom of choice for any student, white, black or other to go where ever they want.


Jack says that system of choice proves segregation does not exist.

No one we spoke to at East Side High's graduation seemed to disagree with that. In fact most said they like the way things are.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's (ph) their choice to go to East Side or go to Cleveland High. (INAUDIBLE) choice (INAUDIBLE) for us.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Some of us go over there, some of them come over here. So it shouldn't make a difference because we see each other every day.

DUVALL SR.: First of all it's not fully integration.

VALENCIA: But Duvall wants to see change, because it is good for the entire community he says because it provides equal opportunity for all.

DUVALL SR.: We're trying to make our community better. Not just for tomorrow or the next few years, but for your child.

VALENCIA: Nick Valencia, CNN, Cleveland, Mississippi.


PAUL: Obviously we'll keep you apprised of what happens in the case.

Now, a dark cloud hanging over the Preakness horse race this morning. Coy Wire is following those developments. Hey, Coy.


Two horses die at Pimlico race track in Baltimore just as a record crowd gathered ahead of the second jewel of the Triple Crown.


[06:49:42] PAUL: Well, Exaggerator's upset win at the Preakness Stakes was overshadowed by the death of two horses in earlier races.

BLACKWELL: Coy Wire is here with the more on what turned out to be a really tragic day at the track.

WIRE: It was guys. Good morning to you.

More than 135,000 people were in Pimlico yesterday. That was a track record, but it was rainy. It was dreary. And it ended up being a heartbreaking day on the first race of the day.


A 9-1 long shot and Homeboykris pulls out a close win down the stretch but then he suddenly collapses on his way back to the barn from the winner's circle. His trainer told the "Baltimore Sun" that the nine- year-old may have had a heart attack (INAUDIBLE) to go a necropsy to determine the cause of death.

Now three races later another disaster, guys. This time, a four-year- old named Pramedya broke down midway, tumbled on the muddy turf there suffering a broken front leg. She was euthanized on the track. Jockey Daniel Centeno suffered a broken collarbone as he was thrown from the horse. So a grim day to what was supposed to be a day of celebration, possibly witnessing a Triple Crown run by the favorite Nyquist.

PAUL: Sure, this racecourse has not been good for Pramedya's owner.

WIRE: No, it has not.

Remember a horse named Barbaro.

PAUL: Yes.

WIRE: The -- a great, great running horse. This year's Preakness came 10 years after Barbaro who was an undefeated Kentucky derby winner run in the Preakness, but broke his leg mid race. Well, the owners of Pramedya Gretchen and Roy Jackson also own Barbaro who eventually had to be put down as well. He was put down eight months after the 2006 Preakness.

So, yesterday's deaths guys have already sparked responses from animal rights groups, PETA, they released a statement that read in part -- quote -- "Our own investigations have shown that most breakdowns and deaths occur because horses have preexisting injuries that are masked by excessive use of legal medications. We want to know if that is what happened in the cases of Pramedya and Homeboykris" -- unquote.

Now fans of horse racing are upset. These owners are upset guys because when a horse dies sometime it is like losing a family member. But a sad day for racing. Seven deaths occurred at Pimlico last year, and we have to remember thousands of races of starts happen every year. But deaths are unfortunately part of the equation when it comes to horse racing. BLACKWELL: Yes (INAUDIBLE).

PAUL: Coy, thanks for breaking all that down for us.

WIRE: You're welcome.

PAUL: Appreciate it.

BLACKWELL: One of the presidential candidates just got an 11-point swing in a brand new national poll. But have Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump done anything to improve their record negatives? The new numbers at the top of the hour.



PAUL: A volcano eruption has killed at least seven people and even more could be trapped by the hot ash.

Look at these pictures we're getting in this morning. This was yesterday afternoon in western Indonesia. Authorities say two people are still in critical condition, after Mount Sinabung erupted. Investigators say all of them were farming in the red zone as apparently an area near the volcano that is supposed to be off-limits.

BLACKWELL: There's also a strong cyclone that has made landfall in Bangladesh. Look at this. At least 21 people killed here. Strong winds, sheets of rain caused widespread flooding. More than a half million people were evacuate today higher ground before the cyclone hit.

PAUL: One of the strongest tornados ever reported. An EF5 of winds with more than 200 miles per hour, destroyed a one-third of the town of Joplin, Missouri and killed 158 people. It happened five years ago today. I know you remember it.

Well, the town has mostly recovered, thankfully. But guess what? Another severe storm threat is facing that region from Texas to the Dakotas. There is a risk of high winds and isolated tornados.

All right, "Saturday Night Live," latched onto the news that Bernie Sanders called the election, particularly on the Democratic side, rigged.

BLACKWELL: OK, so last night was the season finale of "SNL" and Sanders traded verbal jabs with Hillary Clinton at a bar. Eventually they see eye to eye, watch.


KATE MCKINNON, COMEDIAN: Well, Bernie, no matter what happens, you got to admit we've had some good times you and I.

LARRY DAVID, COMEDIAN: Yes, it's true. Remember -- remember when I told everyone to stop talking about your damn (ph) email? What a schmuck!

MCKINNON: That could have taken me down.


DAVID: I know. I know. I'm so stupid. So stupid.

MCKINNON: I do not like humor, but that was funny.


Oh, my gosh, and remember all those states like Wyoming, where you beat me by a lot, but then I still got most of the delegates?

DAVID: I was so stupid. It's rigged.

MCKINNON: I know. It's so rigged.

DAVID: Oh, my God. To Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.

MCKINNON: To Debbie.


PAUL: Sometimes she speaks and I think it's Clinton for a second if you're not looking.


BLACKWELL: ... about Larry's -- about Bernie Sanders, about that character, about Larry David.


PAUL: Oh my gosh. They're so -- their stages have gotten everything down. The (INAUDIBLE) intonation and everything is right on.

BLACKWELL: I've always said, "SNL" is best at this period when we get into a presidential cycle.


PAUL: You never -- and this sometime around, we don't even know what to expect in the real cycle. Let alone "Saturday Night Live."


PAUL: Thank you so much for starting your morning with us.

BLACKWELL: We've got a lot coming up in the next hour of your NEW DAY.

Let's start it right now.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESUMPTIVE NOMINEE: She wants to abolish the Second Amendment. She wants to take your guns away.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Unlike Donald Trump, I will not pander to the gun lobby. And we will not be silent.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There is no doubt in my mind that our vision prevails.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Major U.S. drone strike has likely killed the Taliban's number one leader.