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North Korea's Attempted Missile Launch Fails; Pence: Alliance With South Korea "Has Never Been Stronger"; Protesters Demand President Release His Tax Returns; "Saturday Night Live" Mocks Trump's Accomplishments In Office; Thousands Gather To Celebrate Easter Sunday; Pope Francis Leads Easter Sunday Mass; April the Giraffe Gives Birth; Battle Of Apologies. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired April 16, 2017 - 06:00   ET




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Anxiously anticipated missile launch has failed. The missile blew up almost immediately after it was fired.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The patriot missiles are alert in South Korea. Aegis (ph) cruisers that are part of that carrier task group are ready to shoot anything down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is certainly the most tense that I've ever experienced in 11 trips to this country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm so sad my presidency is finally coming to an end.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, sir. You still have over 1,300 days left.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know. Have you seen my tweets about North Korea? This could all be over by Monday.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Start a civil war.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: You never give a tax return when you're being audited.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am here because I think that our government is corrupt and I think we have the right to know what our president so involved in financially.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Pope Francis offered a prayer for the world saying the world looks as Jesus with its eyes lowered out of shame.


RENE MARSH, CNN GUEST ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. I'm Rene Marsh in for Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good morning to you. And new this morning, Vice President Mike Pence is on the ground in South Korea and saying the U.S. stands with its ally just hours after North Korea's latest provocation falls flat.

MARSH: Another ballistic missile test by North Korea, but this one fizzled out just seconds after launch. The White House is offering a low-key response, but they are also warning another North Korean nuclear test could be imminent.

BLACKWELL: All right, just moments ago, the vice president wrapped up his first day in Seoul. Earlier, the vice president, the second lady, Karen Pence, and their two daughters attended Easter service with U.S. and South Korean troops, and their families. Here's what the vice president said.


MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's a challenging time all over the world, but especially here in the Asia-Pacific. The opportunity for me to be here today at such a time as this is a great privilege for me. Let me assure you, under President Trump's leadership, our resolve has never been stronger. Our commitment to this historic alliance with the courageous people South Korea has never been stronger. With your help and God's help, freedom will ever prevail on this peninsula.


BLACKWELL: We have our team of international correspondents standing by on the Korean Peninsula with the latest on the vice president's trip and this failed missile launch by North Korea.

We are starting with Will Ripley. He is live inside the North Korean capital of Pyongyang. Will, what are you hearing? Any acknowledgment officially of this failed launch?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Victor, there has not been any official government acknowledgment and there likely won't be. As in previous times I've been inside this country and a failed missile launch it's not acknowledged by the state media. If the launch is successful, of course, it's announced along with photos of the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un overseeing the whole event. But they will not report inside this country a failure because it doesn't serve their propaganda purposes.

BLACKWELL: We know that although this was a failure, they also want to attempt this nuclear test. Do we know if that is eminent as well?

RIPLEY: Well, that is the big question, isn't it? Because we were talking all last week leading up to North Korea's most important holiday, the Day of the Sun, which was on Saturday, there been a lot of talk about a potential six nuclear tests because analysts in the U.S. and South Korea believe that the nuclear test site is primed and ready for a detonation.

That did not happen. What we did see on Saturday was a huge show of force at this military parade including more missiles on display that North Korea has ever shown before. Analysts say there were two types of ICBMs that were unveiled at this parade likely mock-ups because real missiles are normally not put on display at military parades for safety reasons.

However, these ICBMs analysts -- they don't know how far North Korea has come in developing these weapons, but given the pace and the frantic testing that has occurred, it could be just a matter of a couple of years before North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un reaches his goal of that intercontinental ballistic missile with a nuclear warhead capable of striking the mainland U.S.

Missile launches are one aspect they are testing and this nuclear test is another way the scientists in North Korea get the information they need to get closer to that goal of having that weapon.

BLACKWELL: Will Ripley reporting for us from Pyongyang. Will, thank you.

MARSH: CNN's chief political correspondent, Dana Bash is in Seoul and joins us on the phone. Dana, you're traveling with the vice president. How is the White House reacting to this latest jab from North Korea right now?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Good morning, Rene. First, I should tell you that I'm at a military base with the vice president who is currently having an Easter dinner with U.S. troops who are stationed here in Seoul, South Korea.

[06:05:10]He did give brief remarks. We played some of them at the top of the show. He did give passing reference, but pretty clearly was talking about the failed missile test that happened this morning. He said, this morning, provocation is a reminder of the risk you take.

Talking about the focus of the world being here on this peninsula where these U.S. troops are stationed. Now just about an hour after we took off, I was on Air Force Two with the vice president, took off from a refueling stop in Alaska that they got word of this failed missile test in North Korea as we were heading toward the Korean Peninsula.

The vice president was in touch with the president and others back in the U.S. getting briefed on the situation. As we were in flight, White House foreign policy adviser said pretty early on that they felt confident that this was not only failed, but it was not ICBM, it was not a test of a missile that, you know, was destined or it was supposed to go across continents.

Obviously, they have been trying to missiles that they hope could get as far as the United States. This official said that -- we are not surprised by it and they anticipated it and it was not a matter of when. It wasn't a matter of if but a matter of when.

So basically, they are saying, OK, we knew this was coming and certainly a sigh of relief that it was not another nuclear test. The North Korean over the years have tested five nuclear missiles and they were openly glad that was this not the sixth.

MARSH: Dana, just really quickly, I mean, the response from the White House has been pretty low-key. You're traveling with the vice president. What was -- give us some color, what was the body movement? Was it low key as far as their reaction when they received that information as well?

BASH: It was. It was low key. It was -- I think it was genuinely low key, but their body language was intended to communicate the fact that they were trying to give it a shoulder shrug. In fact, the White House foreign policy adviser who briefed us on the plane said, look, it was a failed test and so there is really no need to focus on their failure, you know, a little bit of not so subtle jab at the North Koreans for whom this was, as will was saying, this was an embarrassment.

This was a day after their Day in the Sun, the parade that we have been seeing all of the pictures of where they were displaying what they claim were new ICBMs or at least new mock-ups of ICBMs and the next day, they have this failed test.

MARSH: All right, Dana Bash, thank you so much. Safe travel.

BLACKWELL: Let's talk about the politics behind this now and bring in Steven Collinson, a CNN Politics senior reporter. Rene just talked about this really toned down response from the federal government. Not even from the White House to be clear here.

Let's put it up on the screen from Defense Secretary James Mattis. The president and his military team are aware of North Korea's most recent unsuccessful missile launch. The president has no further comments. It amounted to, yes, we saw it. Dismissive here in tone, what is the strategy?

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN POLITICS SENIOR REPORTER: Well, Victor, I think what you're seeing is two things going on. As Dana said, this wasn't a nuclear test. It wasn't a test of an intercontinental ballistic missile which could have taken this crisis to a whole new level of tension with the United States.

So in that sense, I think officials are relieved, but I think there is also a willingness and a determination not to react in a way that would give the North Koreans any propaganda value for having taken this test, given the fact that it failed.

So I think that is the way you're going to see the United States respond. We have seen the Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have a conversation over the telephone according to Chinese media with a top Chinese diplomat.

And I think you'll see the administration continue to press China to do more to exert its leverage over North Korea, which the administration believes it has to stop it moving on to a bigger step. In other words, a nuclear test or potentially the test of a ballistic missile.

BLACKWELL: So is that and if it is, what is the political value, the win here for the administration?

COLLINSON: I don't think there is necessarily a political win to the administration other than the fact that it was not worse. This is a crisis that is going to get much more challenging for the administration. At the end of the day, it appears that the North Koreans have made a decision that pursuit of nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them is something that can safeguard the regime and why at the end of the day, it's a very, very difficult question.

[06:10:10]Do we get to a point where North Korea has a nuclear weapon that it can package on a missile and potentially deliver it to the west coast of the United States? That is a situation I think no American president could tolerate and that is the point this gets very dangerous.

The question is if there were in some other part of the world I think you possibly could see military action by United States. The situation here is that, you know, Seoul, which is a few miles South of the demilitarized zone in South Korea is basically under threat from thousands of conventional missiles and shells that the North Koreans to rain on Seoul.

So they have a great sort of incentive and they have a way of sort of reacting to any military action which could be very, very dangerous, indeed. So the diplomatic tools, I think, here are those of the administration will use. The military reaction really is in this case a last resort.

BLACKWELL: Quickly, let's talk about the diplomacy. Are we seeing that China is getting its wish that former officials like former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who said that they need to tone down the rhetoric between the U.S. and North Korea with the failure and this muted response that potentially that is happening now? We haven't seen a tweet from the president and it's been almost 12 hours since this failure.

COLLINSON: That's right. I think at this point it would be a smart move not to antagonize the North Koreans even further. China, we don't know exactly what went on in that summit between the president and President Xi Jinping of China. It could be that China's condition for doing more to rein in North Korea economically was for the U.S. to tone down its rhetoric on this issue. We don't know that but that would seemed to be one way in which the administration could get the Chinese to do more.

BLACKWELL: All right, Stephen Collinson with us from Washington. Stephen, thank you so much. Of course, this will be one of the topics of discussion this morning on "STATE OF THE UNION" and also Senator Bernie Sanders will be Jake Tapper's guest on the show. "STATE OF THE UNION" this morning at 9:00 a.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

MARSH: And chaotic scenes in California as fist fights break out at dueling Trump rallies.

BLACKWELL: Plus, we will take you live to St. Peters Square where thousands are gathered to hear Pope Francis' message of faith on this Easter Sunday.

MARSH: Also Jimmy Fallon heads to "Saturday Night Live" and a few fan favorites return to take aim at President Trump. That is coming up.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just dropped the mother of all bombs on ISIS. The biggest, fattest bomb they have ever seen. It's so big and fat, it almost looks like me in my golf clothes!





UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Start a civil war.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have a right to be here!


BLACKWELL: At least 21 people were arrested and 11 injured as Trump supporters and protesters clashed in Berkeley, California. Seven people had to be taken to the hospital. Berkeley police had to put on gas masks. Look at this. There was pepper spray into the crowd to get everyone under control.

MARSH: Wow. It started as a pro-Trump Patriots Day rally, but counter protesters showed up first. Police tried to separate two groups with a barrier, but it broke down as the clashes started.

In other cities across the country, thousands marched for tax day protest to call on the president to release his tax returns. The marches happened Washington, D.C., New York, Chicago and around 200 other cities according to organizers. Here is Tom Foreman with a look at what they hope to accomplish.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Rene. Hey, Victor. The number one message that people here wanted to get to the White House was that they really feel they need to see the president's tax returns. It has been customary for presidents for many years.

He fought off the demands during the election and still fighting them off. Yet, that is not adequate for people here. They feel it's a basic part of transparent government and restoring faith among many people, certainly among them, in this White House.

But a lot of other issues came up too. Many people carried signs and shouted out slogans protesting his relationship with Russia. Many people are concerned about his thoughts on working or living wage for people. Many people concerned about immigration issues.

All of that came to a head when the crowd marched past the new Trump Hotel here. Many people yelling out shame, shame, and boo, and some of people even yelling out "lock him up" echoing what Trump supporters used to yell about Hillary Clinton during the campaign. Nonetheless, what it all comes down to is a precursor could be a much bigger fight later on. Remember, the Trump administration later this summer and through the end of the year, plan to work on a big tax reform package and you can bet a lot of people heard on this issue want to be heard on that issue too -- Victor, Rene.

BLACKWELL: All right, Tom, thank you so much. The death toll in a car bomb explosion in Syria has risen to at least 112. Yesterday's blast target a bus convoy carrying several thousand Syrian refugees. Now the buses which were parked at the time were taking refugees from two rebel-held towns into Aleppo under a so-called four town agreement. The United States has condemned the blast. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack just yet.

MARSH: Vice President Mike Pence just spoke to U.S. troops in South Korea, but he barely mentioned the failed missile test of North Korea. So what is next? A look at what the U.S. military response could look like if North Korean aggression continues.

But first, we are tracking severe weather on this Easter Sunday. CNN meteorologist, Allison Chinchar joins us now. Hey, Allison.

[06:20:02]ALLISON CHINCHAR, AMS METEOROLOGIST: And hello to you. Yes, it's going to be a very busy Easter Sunday for a lot of folks here with severe weather starting to creep back into the area. We have severe chances stretching from New York all the way back towards Texas.

Again, the main threats with this are going to be tornado, damaging wind, and also the potential for some isolated hail. When you take a look at Easter in general, we talk about how much severe. In fact, 16 out of the last 17 years, we have actually had severe weather on Easter weekend.

And, again, this may be another one of those weekends where we add that number in. Here is a look at the current radar, already strong storms stretching from Chicago down towards Wichita. As we go through the day, those storms will continue to fire up, especially with most of the severe storms limited out towards Oklahoma and especially over towards the Texas region.

But, again, overall your Easter forecast looks on nice in some areas. Washington, D.C. looking very nice. High temperatures in the mid-80s. Same thing for New York City and a very nice day into Raleigh. Get out and enjoy the beautiful day.



MARSH: Welcome back. I'm Rene Marsh in for Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Happy Easter to you. We will take you to Vatican City a little later this morning.

But let's start in South Korea, where just moments ago, Vice President Mike Pence wrapped up his first day in Seoul after North Korea's latest provocation falls flat, but he did not officially acknowledge the country's failed missile test, only saying the test is a reminder of the risks that people there face.


PENCE: This morning's provocation from the North is just the latest reminder of the risks each one of you face every day in the defense of the freedom of the people of South Korea and the defense of America in this part of the world. Your willingness to step forward to serve, to stand firm without fear, inspires our nation and inspires the world.


BLACKWELL: The vice president's visit there in Seoul is the first of an 11-day trip across the Asia-Pacific region. The goal is to reassure allies as the tensions mount with North Korea.

MARSH: Meanwhile, a White House foreign policy adviser says the missile launch came as no surprise and because it failed, there was no need to expand any resources against it.

Joining me now to discuss, Rebecca Grant, a military analyst and president of Irish Independent Research. Rebecca, what do you make of the White House's stance that essentially dismisses the missile test as just another list -- another item on the list of failures for North Korea?

REBECCA GRANT, MILITARY ANALYST: Right. This was a failure and I understand they are taking a choice to dismiss it so they are not talking publicly, but you can bet they are talking privately. I expect that Pence will be getting fresh information from South Korea's leadership on what they think about the test, what they think about Kim Jong-Un's internal instability problems.

Pence can also talk privately with South Korea and later with other Asian leaders about possible military responses and how our allies in the region perceive the crisis at this point.

MARSH: All right, I want to read you this statement, this is from Defense Secretary James Mattis. He says the president and his military team are aware of North Korea's most recent unsuccessful missile launch. The president has no further comments. So my question to you, Rebecca, the nation and the world is watching right now. Should the president have had a much stronger reaction?

GRANT: I love Mattis' response. That is so cold. If you are Kim Jong-un that is just not what you want to hear. He hasn't scored any propaganda value with this. I expect, of course, we will see more from the White House and the team later on, but what they are saying is, look, you've had 50 missile tests in the past several years. This one failed and we are watching you.

You know, military sources tell me that our forces are ready to respond. So I like this cold cool response. I also like the fact that Tillerson has spoken with China. That is really new in this crisis to see that quick coordination between Beijing and Washington. That has to drive Kim Jong-un crazy as well.

MARSH: All right, so you like the response there and you think it gives us a so what factor that you think is beneficial. I want to move on to Vice President Pence who is now on the ground in South Korea. Today, he will be meeting with military leaders or leaders there in North Korea. What do you think that his -- or South Korea, what do you think his strategy is going into the meetings today in South Korea?

GRANT: Right. Well, Pence's strategy, number one priority is reassurance. We have major treaty relationships with South Korea. Of course, we have 28,000 soldiers and airmen and naval forces in the area and 28,000 permanently stationed there.

So they are talking about the range of options. They are sharing intelligence. South Korea has a chance to review military deployments and say what they need. I think they will be talking about continued deployment of the high altitude defense system.

Because make no mistake even with the cool response we are seeing, this is still a very serious international crisis and it's going to be on Trump's watch to fix this one.

[06:30:04] We have waited a long time to see these missile tests developing. There is now a concern about mating a nuclear war head with a possible intercontinental missile. So it's a crisis that's really going to unfold.

Pence is right in the center of that. he's in a great position to get South Korea's (INAUDIBLE) reaction, share intelligence and make some plans going forward.

MARSH: OK. Thank you so much, Rebecca Grant, for joining us.

GRANT: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: All right. A little levity this Sunday morning. I look back to Saturday night (INAUDIBLE) and "Saturday Night live" taking aim at the White House and a few familiar faces return to offer their take on the president's struggles.


ALEC BALDWIN AS DONALD TRUMP: Read to me again from the list of my accomplishments.

BECK BENNETT AS VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: Of course, sir. Nominated Neil Gorsuch.

BALDWIN: God, I love that list! What a beautiful long list.



[06:35:02] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Jared, Steve. Standing before me are my top two advisers. But I only have one photo in my hand.

That's right. Tonight is elimination night. There has been a lot of drama in the house and that's OK, but one of you must go now.

If you don't see your photo you must immediately leave the Oval Office -- the Oval Office and join Kellyanne Conway in the basement.

The person who will stay on as my top adviser is -- Jared!



BLACKWELL: You see "Saturday Night Live" there taking on the latest White House drama. And a few familiar faces return to take aim at the president.

MARSH: Well, SNL hasn't held back when it comes to mocking President Trump and his advisers. And it's part of a larger trend of late night shows turning more toward politics for their material.

Well, here to discuss, CNN media analyst and author of "The War For Late Night: When Leno Went Early and Television Went Crazy," Bill Carter. Well, Bill, Fallon took heat leading up to this during the campaign. He took heat for essentially going easy on Trump during the campaign. Here is part of his interview.


JIMMY FALLON, HOST, "THE TONIGHT SHOW": Could I mess your hair up? It's (ph) a yes?



FALLON: Yes! Donald Trump, everybody.


MARSH: All right. Well, after that, some said this was his chance to show he could handle political satire.

So, Bill, what do you think? How did he do?

BILL CARTER, CNN MEDIA ANALYST: Well, he don't do that much on the show that was -- (INAUDIBLE) he played Jared Kushner and he looks a lot like him. They had him really dressed up in the flak jacket and sunglasses and the blazer.

But the funny thing about that, of course, Jimmy is a fantastic impressionist but Jared Kushner, nobody knows what he talks like.


CARTER: So they had him do it silently which was funny but it wasn't -- it didn't give him maximum opportunity there. You know, it was a good bit, I thought, but it wasn't ideal for him.

BLACKWELL: Let's talk about the Sean Spicer segment. Melissa McCarthy returning to the sketch as the White House press secretary. Here's a portion of it.


MELISSA MCCARTHY AS SEAN SPICER: Now in defending the president's decision, I said that unlike Syrian leader -- uhm. The -- the -- the leader of -- son of -- what is -- what is his stupid name? I got Bazooka Felicia Ahmad Rashad.


BLACKWELL: He just could not get Bashar al-Assad right the last couple of few days. But -- I don't know. Compared to first few press room sketches how did this match up? It felt a little something. Flat, hollow? What is it, Bill?

CARTER: No. There was something different about it and that was that she was not actually live in New York. She was in L.A. so the audience was watching on monitor rather than seeing her live. And I think there was a little difference in time. She couldn't hear them when they were laughing so I think there was a little difference in the comic timing of the bit.

There were some very funny lines about, you know, terrible things he was saying about the holocaust, including like, you know, oh, yes, they sent him on trains but at least they didn't have to fly United. There were very funny joke in there but I think the timing was a little off.

One thing, it was a great inside joke of course is that Sean Spicer actually played the Easter bunny...


CARTER: ... during the George W. Bush administration.

BLACKWELL: I'm surprised they didn't do a fuller United sketch. I guess they know that the viewers come to see the political satire?

MARSH: Right.

CARTER: That but I also thought there's a little danger there. They don't have an Asian performer, for one thing. And I also think -- I don't know -- you know, airlines are often advertisers on the show. I don't know whether that was an issue or not.

BLACKWELL: Makes sense. Bill Carter, good to have you. MARSH: Thank you.

CARTER: Same (ph) with (ph) you (ph).

MARSH: I liked the Spicer skit. You weren't a fan?

BLACKWELL: It just felt a little off time. And I guess that explains it, that she was on the other side of the country doing it live.

MARSH: Tough crowd. Tough crowd.

Well, today marks the holiest day of the year for Christians around the world. Right now, thousands are gathered in Vatican City to celebrate Easter. We will take you live to St. Peter's Square next.



MARSH: Well, we're just learning that U.S. National Security Adviser Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster is in Kabul, Afghanistan, this morning. That is according to the official Twitter account of the Afghan president's office which reads -- quote -- "Welcome Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster to Kabul and thank you for your continuous support."

The U.S. dropped its most powerful non-nuclear bomb on ISIS positions in Afghanistan on Thursday, calling it a tactical move.


POPE FRANCIS, POPE OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH (through translator): Oh, God who on this day through your only forgotten son have conquered death and unlocked for us the path to eternity.


BLACKWELL: Pope Francis led Easter Sunday mass from St. Peter's Square this morning where thousands gathered to mark the holiest day of the year on the Christian calendar. Following the mass Pope Francis gave his regular Easter message and blessing from the main balcony of St. Peter's Basilica.

Now, in his homily Pope Francis emphasized the importance of faith and how it gives Christians the ability to look beyond the obstacles of their everyday lives.


MARSH: Well, CNN Vatican correspondent Delia Gallagher joins us live now with more on the mass from St. Peter's Square.

Good morning, Delia.

DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you. Yes, the Pope just finished up his Easter Sunday mass with a special "urbi et orbi" blessing. That means to the city and to the world in Latin. And in that blessing the pope spoke to world leaders asking that they would have the courage to help stop the -- to help stop the conflicts that are happening around the world and stop the arms trade. The Pope said that is something which he has been talking a lot about in recent weeks. He also made a special mention for the attacks on the refugee convoys in Syria yesterday calling them despicable.

Now, there was tight security as you can imagine for this morning's event but it went off without a hitch. The streets around the Vatican were closed to traffic. There was extra police force there and about 50,000 people in the square had to go through several security checkpoints, including metal detectors, to get into St. Peter's Square.

Today is also the 90th birthday of the pope emeritus, Pope Benedict XVI. Pope Francis visited him on Wednesday to give him his best wishes and the Vatican says that the Pope will be celebrating later this afternoon. Pope Benedict with some Bavarian beer and a visit by his brother Georg who is 93 (INAUDIBLE) -- Victor.

BLACKWELL: Delia, when did we see the pope emeritus last? Has it been some time?

GALLAGHER: Yes. Absolutely. He doesn't come any more to the main events but he is visited by Pope Francis and apparently they exchange phone calls quite often and they discuss matters of the church amongst themselves privately.

He does have some private visitors. His personal secretary lets us know. And is doing rather well according to his personal secretary. His legs hurt a bit but his mind is all there and he'll be celebrating today -- Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right, Delia. Happy Easter to and thank you so much.


MARSH: All right.

And more than a million people tuned in to watch April, the giraffe, give birth. So why all of the excitement? A wildlife expert is here to explain the phenomenon and how the live stream of one giraffe can help save animals around the world.

BLACKWELL: First, it's a musical journey unlike any other.

The new CNN series "SOUNDTRACKS: SONG THAT DEFINED HISTORY" premieres Thursday at 10:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

Here is a look.


BILLY JOEL, ARTIST: Music is an explosive expression of humanity. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every movement has to have a song!

GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I can hear you! The rest of the world hears you!

DWAYNE JOHNSON, PRODUCER: The music will always remind us that it is possible.

NEIL ARMSTRONG, ASTRONAUT: One small step for man.

RANDY JACKSON, PRODUCER: That is what anthems are made of.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's about standing up for your rights.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were killing our own children.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What the hell are we going to do that for?

NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON, ASTROPHYSICIST: There was a cultural political statement.

ANDRA DAY, ARTIST (ph): Music is a vehicle for revolution.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That kind of courage changed how I viewed human beings.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The aftermath of 911, everybody was together.

JACKSON: Somebody has got to put this into words and emotions for everyone to hear.

JOEL: This is how we remember history.




MARSH: Well, it's the event that captivated millions of people around the world, including you, Victor.


BLACKWELL: Really? April, the giraffe, finally gave birth and it was broadcasted live on the internet. The new calf, a male, weighs about 150 pounds and is six feet tall! But animals giving birth is really not new. OK?

So why was the internet captivated by this giraffe? Here to help us understand -- really help me understand because apparently everybody else loves this, wildlife expert Michelle Garforth Venter.

Michelle, help me understand why a giraffe giving birth has become such a phenomenon? MICHELLE GARFORTH-VENTER, WILDLIFE EXPERT: I think first of all women around the world connect in a really big way because pregnancy is tough.


GARFORTH-VENTER: Let's be frank. And then when you think about Africa an iconic species is the giraffe. I mean, it just looks so strange, doesn't it, with the tall long neck. You know, the gangly long legs. They also have, you know, the longest eyelashes. They have the longest tongue as well so you're talking about a creature that people are just natural drawn to.

BLACKWELL: Yes. Pretty unusual but elegant at the same time.

GARFORTH-VENTER: That's right. They say it's over the top and I think God was having a little bit of a joke that day when he created this creature.

MARSH: April had quite a following. I mean, at the peak of this, she had some 5 million people watching and waiting for her to give birth. Why do you think that people were so drawn to this live stream of this giraffe?

GARFORTH-VENTER: I think it's that obsessiveness really, when it comes to saying, when is it going to happen? How long? You know? And there we go. It eventually did happen.

So in terms of this creature and her birth, did you notice that there was no pushing and no noises?

MARSH: I was wondering.


MARSH: She made it look so easy.

GARFORTH-VENTER: So easy because giraffe don't have vocal chords. So that was a very quiet experience, wasn't it?

BLACKWELL: Beyond the voyeurism here and -- I guess, I shouldn't say voyeurism. It's a learning experience. I don't want to be (INAUIDBLE) here. But there is some element that helps the conservation efforts.



GARFORTH-VENTER: This is a huge platform. This is an incredible opportunity to shine the light on the plight of the giraffe. There is a silent extinction happening with them across the continent of Africa. There were nine subspecies. Two subspecies their status has been increased to endangered by the IUCN Red List, which is a database that rate species her annum as to where they are in terms of population numbers. [06:55:07]

Poaching is a huge problem, especially for the (INAUDIBLE) people who are poor, who are hungry. This is a big yield of meat for them. Also habitat encroachment when it comes to human beings this is another primary problem. So this gives us a platform to allow the giraffe to speak so we can hear about what is going on. April becomes an ambassador for all of the wild giraffes.


MARSH: So then there is a university in south Africa that they are strapping Go Pros...


MARSH: ... on the heads of some giraffes because many people may not realize this but the population has been declining. Tell us a little bit about that project and what they hope to glean from that.

GARFORTH-VENTER: So we call them critter cameras. You know, you strap it to -- and you can do this really with a variety of different species. And it gives us insight into their secret world. We can then, as researchers, learn more about the challenges that they are facing on a daily basis where they go, how they are interacting, what they are eating. And then we can better manage their conservation.

Remember, these animals are living in a closed off section and they don't get to move around or interact that much. We really do have to micromanage their lives.

BLACKWELL: Michelle, you know, we were talking about this in the production meeting, that you have a special connection to giraffes. You had one at your wedding?

GARFORTH-VENTER: I sure did! His name was Hamley (ph). Hamley (ph), the male giraffe.


BLACKWELL: How did this come about?

MARSH: Explain. Please do.

BLACKWELL: Doves, I've seen.


GARFORTH-VENTER: You know, us in the animal world we've got special connections with various animal sanctuaries and we decided to get married at an animal sanctuary. Hamley (ph) is used to human interaction and was a fantastic poser, I suppose, for our wedding pictures! Yes.

BLACKWELL: All right.

MARSH: All right.

BLACKWELL: Michelle Garforth-Venter, thanks so much for helping me, helping everyone understand not how just this was a moment for the internet but it really helps with the flight of giraffes around the world.

GARFORTH-VENTER: Thank you, Victor.

BLACKWELL: Thank you.

Well, United has now issued several statements on the incident that is what we will call it. They were forced to apologize multiple times after their first few comments were criticized for being tone deaf. You know the video we're talking about, but they were not alone.

MARSH: The White House spokesman and Pepsi were forced to say, I'm sorry, too. Here is Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For a while, it seemed tough, dragging an apology out of United -- but finally the CEO said sorry.

OSCAR MUNOZ, UNITED AIRLINES CEO: The word "ashamed" comes to mind.

MOOS: You didn't need a poll to gauge public opinion.

JIMMY KIMMEL, ABC'S "JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE": What a week for United Airlines. The company lost $255 million in market value in one day, which means they could have given each of those passengers they kicked off the plane their own jet plane.

MOOS: It's been a banner week for apologies. First, Pepsi had to pull their new commercial, the one spoofed by "SNL."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I stop the police from shooting black people by handing them a Pepsi. I know, it's cute, right?

MOOS: And then, Sean Spicer had to admit...

SPICER: I screwed up.

MOOS: ... for his Hitler comments, lampooned on Kimmel.

SPICER: Someone as despicable as Hitler who didn't even sink to using chemical weapons. So, you have to --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, no, did I just defend Hitler?

MOOS: Sean Spicer versus Oscar Munoz.

MOOS (on camera): We present the battle of the abject apologies, who grabbled most?

MUNOZ: You saw us at a very bad moment. SPICER: Not a very good day in my history.

MOOS (voice-over): Take it from Brenda Lee.

BRENDA LEE, SINGER (singing): I'm sorry.

SPICER: This was my mistake, my bad.

MUNOZ: That's on me.

SPICER: It was my blunder.

LEE (singing): Please accept my apology

MUNOZ: This can never -- will never happen again on a United Airlines flight.

SPICER: It was a mistake. I shouldn't have done it. I won't do it again.

LEE (singing): I'm sorry.

SPICER: I sought people's forgiveness because I screwed up.

MUNOZ: No one should be treated that way, period.

LEE (singing): So sorry.

MOOS: So, who was the sorriest?

SPICER: It was painful myself to know that I did something like that.

MOOS: Sean Spicer seemed most contrite. One Internet poster put him in full apologetic regalia, wearing a United uniform holding a Pepsi.

SPICER: It was insensitive and inappropriate.

MOOS: Jeanne Moos...

SPICER: Inexcusable and reprehensible.

MOOS: ... CNN, New York.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Anxiously anticipated missile launch has failed. The missile blew up almost immediately after it was fired.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The patriot missiles are alert in South Korea. The Aegis cruisers that are a part of that carrier task group are ready to shoot anything down.

This is certainly the most tense I've ever experience inside 11 trips to this country. [07:00:03]

BALDWIN: I'm so sad my presidency is finally coming to an end.

BENNETT: No, sir. You still have over 1,300 days left.

BALDWIN: I don't know. Have you seen my tweets about North Korea?